A special night.
It's the Future Christmas party. For the last five years, I've spent this night rubbing shoulders with the mixture of saints and devils which make up any corporate body, half-heartedly flirting and ending every evening trying to get into a random club in town despite the fact it's gone one and I'm wearing a suit. But not tonight.
Rarely has my relatively new freelance position been underlined as forcibly.
Of course, I could have probably have blagged my way in, but I'd rather wash my hands of it all. I don't see much to celebrate in the videogame magazine business this year, and I rather enjoy the fact a little line's being drawn in the sand.
And besides - I still remember Johnny Casino, attacking a vodka redbull while looking around the room, stopping to snarl "How come every sip tastes more and more of hate".
Talking of Casino, and for old-time's sake, here's something I wrote the morning after the event three years back. It was for my Everything Is Wrong column, in the period where Daily Radar was throwing cash down the drain and paying a set rate for anything. Some people took advantage terribly, and turned in crap. And other people - like the aforementioned Casino - turned in some of the most memorable games journalism of the last five years.
Everything is wrong came from the first period of disillusionment with videogames journalism, and resulted from something suddenly reminding me why I first put fingers to keyboard in the first place. It was an attempt to make a socially conscious and personal games journalism, part-blog, part agit-prop and part game theory. Some of it - especially towards the end - was pretty good. And - after 13 episodes of the planned year - Daily Radar ran out of money and just became a site which repurposed copy from the paper magazines. Which is clearly a more economically viable idea, but - y'know - a shame.
Anyway - an excerpt and a link. Been a while.
Never trust anyone who doesn't enjoy dancing.
If someone claims they don't like throwing shapes, they're only one step away from breaking into your flat and hammering your ribs to powder with a hammer during one of their sporadic misanthropic rages.
I love dancing for a score of reasons.
Two of them are directly opposed. Sometimes, if you dance long enough and hard enough, you entirely lose your sense of being in a shamanistic frenzy, elating the spirit into narcissistic oblivion, forgetting in the past and future and become satisfied with just existing in a ball of white light. But at other times a diametric reaction races through the neurones: things become very clear indeed. The detritus created by the everyday indecision and insecurity is blown away by a beat and a melody, leaving your thoughts pure, simple and powerful. I've had some extremely profound realisations about existence while doing my duty, shaking that booty.
So, at this year's Christmas party, I found myself on the dancefloor thinking about the year gone past. And - immediately - it seems like progress. I got a promotion. I won an award for my writing. I'd interviewed some extremely intelligent hero figures of mine. I had a couple of genuinely entertaining love affairs. I'd survived a possibly fatal ailment. And - best of all - my raffle ticket had just landed me a 50 quid book-voucher. This was a year of much sweetness.
Everything had changed. Things were better. I was getting closer to becoming the person I've always wanted to be.
And then I took another look around the hall and realised that a year ago to the second I was feeling pissed off as I was watching at the girl I wanted to go out with getting off with someone else. And now, 12 months later, the only difference is that I'm feeling pissed off as I'm watching my Ex getting off with someone else.
We never f*****g learn.
My, some of that does seem familiar. New Years Resolution: Shut the fuck up about dancing for a bit. Here's a link to the rest of the startling naive and enormously drunken rest of the series.
Ah - reading these I can still taste the vodka/faux-redbull in the mouth. Some things can only be written at 3.a.m. and full of booze, and these were among them.
A final note - I don't believe I've plugged Nova Mobbed (Clever wordplay, he knows), which is Comrade Rossignol's relatively new Book Forum. Articulate parties always welcome.
(Hmmm. And this blogger post seems to just not want to publish. Pah!)
Kieron Gillen's Workblog, foo'.