|If you haven't played Far Cry 3 you really should. Just for Vaas.|
Any of you who have played the excellent Far Cry 3 will recognise the question posed in the title to this Sunday Sermon. In Far Cry 3 the rather unhinged and violent bad guy Vaas Montenegro asks the protagonist of this little adventure, Jason Brody, whether he knows what the definition of insanity is. It's actually a rather interesting exchange, and while it doesn't explain why Vaas is as clearly certifiable as he so patently is, it does explain some of his rather 'erratic' decisions. The definition Vaas is referring too is of course that is often thought to have been proposed by Albert Einstein, although it might actually have been coined by American born author Rita Mae Brown:
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results"
Rita Mae Brown, "sudden Death" (Bantam Books, New York, 1983) p.68
Yet still it is contested whether Rita Mae Brown was the individual who is responsible for this oft misquoted soundbite.
Truth is for my purposes today it doesn't really matter who said it first. Or even that it has become a cliché I myself have tired of hearing. Nope, what is important is that actually there is, as is often the case with these things, a grain of truth in them. For the past couple of years Dr Brainiac and myself have driven ourselves mad trying to make ends meet, and eek a living out of doing the same things again, and again. Telling ourselves things would get better. I've applied to countless jobs that quite frankly only a few years ago I was considered far too qualified for, and been knocked back again and again. Each time I've dusted myself off, put on a smile and carried on stoically because that's what us Brits do. It has though been slowly grinding us both down.
Well more precisely it's probably been grinding me down more than Dr Brainiac actually. In short for the past 12 months I've been sick and tired of life in the UK. I've grown to despise my own country and the way it is being run. I've grown tired of seeing often well meaning, but inept individuals 'get on' in life, while many others I hold the deepest of respects for have struggled seemingly with 'British' culture. Well perhaps for Dr Brainiac and I that insanity is possibly coming to an end. You see my better half has managed to snag herself a pretty decent job at Copenhagen University, and it has opened a window of opportunity for the two of us to try something different, and hope to God that it works out. The simple truth is that for me personally I can't think it could be any worse than the state I am in here in the UK. So I'm jumping at the opportunity.
|The Øresund Bridge, where every Nordic serial killers dump their bodies if I believe TV shows|
So we have to now decide whether we choose to move to the insanely expensive city of Copenhagen, or across the Øresund Bridge (or if your Swedish the Öresundsbron, and if you're Danish the Øresundsbroen) into the Skåne region and look at living in either the slightly cheaper Malmö or Lund. It's an insanely big move for us, and the cats, but it's one that we're happy to make. For the past 12 months I've felt like my nation of birth has turned its back on me, and quite frankly would rather I just disappeared anyway. It's not like I've been offered any help to become a more productive member of society. On the contrary, at every turn it has felt like barriers have been actively thrown in my way... and at every turn I've felt myself becoming more frustrated. So my take on it is this, perhaps some other country could make use of my many skills, and would want me as a productive member of their society. I'm more than willing to contribute, in fact I desperately want to.
Don't worry, I am going to get this back on track and talking about 'hobby' at some point soon. So bear with me. This big step is exciting to me. Yeah it's scary too, I mean I speak neither Danish nor Swedish, but the languages I can speak roughly, German and Dutch do seemingly have a little crossover with the Scandinavian tongues. So that has been a sort of help, and besides, I've learned two languages already so I've proved I can do it. The thing is I'm the sort of person that relishes adventure and thrives on change. I also love a good challenge. Sure I could be well and truly out of my depth, but I'm willing to make a good fist of it. Mainly because I'm not willing to go through the motions anymore in the UK, hoping that something might change, that I might get a lucky break. That somehow things will magically get better for me. They won't.
This is where I get back on my hobby kick. Often many of us end up playing the same games, or banging the same drum in our hobby in the hope things will 'get better', when they obviously wont. You see although my productivity level on here have been 'low' I've still been responding to emails. Talking to friends I've made while blogging, and a number of them are quite frankly displaying signs of insanity. Sorry guys, but you are. In short I've been talking to people who are clearly unhappy in their hobby. Be it the hobby itself, or a specific wargame. I've heard people tell me that maybe things will miraculously get better. How? I often ask. Seems they don't know, maybe it'll get better if they switch faction, start collecting a new army. Maybe, they need to find a new gaming club, maybe they... maybe they just come up with lots of possibilities for their own personal hobby malaise, but fail to honestly address the issues they each individually face. And their problems are all individual.
|No game is suitable for everyone|
No, I'm not turning this into a 'quit Games Workshop games' rant if that's what you are thinking, because that's not what this is about at all. It's more general than that. There's an Infinity player who clearly doesn't like the game, guess what buddy it's not for you. You actually prefer big games, you liked the scale of Warhammer Fantasy, but not the game itself. Consider looking at other larger scale games, and hell given half of your club apparently plays historical wargames perhaps you should look towards the Napoleonic era or Ancients. Another is not enjoying HoMachine because he hasn't got any opponents... well he has one. Guess what buddy, you've gone from being able to play 4 to 5 games of 40k a week to struggling to play 1 game of HoMachine. Maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't sell your Space Wolves just yet... at least until you can convince a few others to try HoMachine.
Change isn't always easy, if it was we'd all be doing it I guess. But, if I can decide to up sticks and leave everything I know behind to move to another country, how hard can it be for you guys to honestly change your gaming habits to improve your hobby time? Learning a new game system isn't that hard, playing games you already know isn't that bad. You just have to look at what it is that is genuinely making you unhappy in your hobby and fix it. Only you can make those changes, you can't expect others to make the changes for you. Good things do sometimes come to those who wait, but more often than not you have to get off of your arse and do something about it yourself. Sure it might not be perfect, but the world rarely is. Sometimes you have to compromise, or take a few steps back and try taking a different route to your ultimate goal... and if it's not fun anymore, the why are you still doing it?
|Sometimes it's not your life, but the way you are leading it. Sometimes you need to make the changes.|
I think that's the end of my advice for today. We're capable of incredibly self deception us humans, we sometimes refuse to acknowledge the truth of the situation we find ourselves in because it's less distressing to fabricate external reasons for our own misery. I've done it now for two years, truth is the region I've worked hard to improve, and better as a public servant is actually on a downward spiral right now. It's not going to get any better, and on a broader sense the sort of things I have done in the past and the skills I've amassed are no longer wanted in the UK, and it's time to jump ship. I love the West Midlands and it has been a good home to me and I'll be sad to leave it, but it's just not going to get any better for me here. So if any of you out there are from Denmark or Sweden and have any advice for me I'm all ears... because trust me, I need advice as I haven't got the foggiest idea what the hell I'm doing. But at least it's exciting.
This has though forced me to look harder at myself and what I do and don't want in my life, and more specifically my hobby. Because one thing is for certain, whichever Scandinavian country we end up living in, there is no way on Gods good green earth we're going to end up with a living space that is even half the size of the large family house we currently live in and own. In fact half of the weird crap you see in Ikea that makes no sense to us Brits is starting to make perfect sense to me. Because Swedes and Danes seem to be starved of space in their homes. I certainly won't be able to have my own games rooms... and I'm probably going to have to sell a lot of my stuff. This is the cause of much angst and pain, but I'm not sure Dr Brainiac would be happy selling her handbag and shoe collection so I could keep all of my toy soldiers. So if there's stuff you've seen on these pages you like the look of drop me a email, it's all up for sale at the right price I guess. Peace out!