What’s in a Word…*help*?

“HELP ME” I think must be one of the hardest sentences to use, “help” is not just a word but a motion, asking someone for assistance must be one of the hardest things to ask for in this world, especially when you have asked for so long and it becomes hard eventually because you just don’t want to keep doing it. I also think independence and the loss of it has quite a lot to do with it and then something happens which makes that little bit or huge amount of independence go out the window.

What’s prompted this blog is my fear of asking for help and the question, “why am I afraid of asking for help, what is it that makes it so hard?” So, I started doing my own research and searching within myself for the answers and I think there are two sides to it, two of which are pretty much a standard answer of “I am afraid of looking weak” and “I am afraid of looking needy”, these are pretty standard reasons but there are also individual reasons, reasons that could stem back as far as our childhood. Who likes to look or even feel needy anyway? Put your hand up. My guess is probably a really small percentage. It is one of the worst feelings to feel that you’re being portrayed as needy, whether people think it or if you feel you are portraying yourself as such.

I have been faced with situations many times within the last decade, more than I care to even admit where I have needed help but I have been too afraid to ask, from both friends and family; particularly the friends that have helped me often, it is probably mixed with the standard answers above but I also don’t like to feel like I am being a burden and another feeling I absolutely loath, which I feel derives from feeling as though you are a burden is the discomfort that’s brought if you do ask for help. Do you know this feeling? I do, all too well as I am slowly, very slowly getting used to the idea of asking for help. What I think makes it worse is if you ask someone for help and they give it but throughout that time they go about things in such a way that makes you feel uncomfortable and almost ram the fact that they have helped you down your throat or I think what makes it equally hard is if you politely reject someones help and you don’t particularly go on about about whats up but you still get the fact that help was offered but you snuffed it thrown in your face – these are sadly the kind of people that make everything worse. Those are the kind of actions that have a long lasting impact on the ability, or in this case, the inability to ask for help and in the long run also damages trust in people all together. But within all this I think the main thing, in my opinion and from my personal experience is the fear of rejection, of what??? Rejection – For me it is that feeling when you know you need help, you want help but I tend to often forget the old slogan of “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” and so I opt to go without because of not wanting to put other people, or myself out. It has got to the extreme once where I even made myself go without a roof over my head for fear of asking for help.

The idea of asking for help is something that I am getting used to, its taking a while but I am getting there. But every now and then something happens where I will take two steps back from the one step I have gained.

If you have been following my blog for some time now you will have seen the piece, My First Impressions of Melbourne, Derbyshire and whilst I was up there I became acquainted with a guy who I mentioned to that I was going to write this piece, as he said – this is a piece that could open a whole can of worms. There are however a few websites covering this topic and so it doesn’t really open a whole can of worms – it is just a problem with general society these days and that is because the majority of communities with the way the world has changed have become divided and they go about their own business. With how fast paced the “rat-race” has become we all seem to have forgotten about each other.

I have compiled a list below of articles that have interested me that lead to this question:

  1. Why is it So Hard to Ask for Help by Good Therapy
  2. 8 Reasons Introverts Might Find it Hard Asking for Help by Andy Mort
  3. Why is Asking for Help so Difficult by The New York Times
  4. Why Asking for Help is a Hard Thing to Do by Psychology Today
  5. Why It’s Hard to Ask for Help by the Huffington Post

Being a bit of an introvert (which I truly believe is purely circumstantial and hope it is) and although the majority of points in the second article have definitely hit the nail on the head. For me the second point has hit me the most and have had lines like the one in the first point been thrown at me in the distant past and it has become a line I throw out about myself, often, especially if I am hurting about or angry at something, that is ‘its life’, even though deeply I know it isn’t life, life should be enjoyed, even loved. But these lines being “get over it” and “Its just life I’m afraid”. But hey, guess what? If you happen to be one of those sad people who use that line or both of them, it isn’t just life ‘I’m afraid’. Leading to the second point of the article which is my main issue – though points two, four, five, six, seven and eight are all pertinent to me and therefore I am sure many throughout the world will have the same issue and although no two people can be exactly the same I am sure thousands-upon-thousands will have similarities in the above experiences.

So, what do we do? I don’t know – one minute I think I may have the answer when I manage to take a step forward, then when something goes wrong and I take two steps back that answer then in my mind becomes irrelevant.

And although we may live in a world that has become hugely self-sufficient and self-absorbed I think that communities and society needs to work closer together for those in need of help, for those who find it difficult to ask for help.

In my opinion the fear of asking for help also stems from our pasts and may be why we like to help others but why we find it difficult to ask for help, and sometimes difficult to even accept it when offered.

Its an interesting topic which could be delved into by thousands of psychologists and councillors and although there can be answers found I am sure there will always be underlying issues that will never be spoken about, or fully answered.

It is something interesting that could be studied and researched in-depth and one of those thousands of questions in the world that we will never know the answer to, maybe only a fraction of an answer. But surely a small understanding of why it is that way is better than no understanding at all.

Magnificent Seven 2016 Making

Well, who knew I’d ever write about the making of a movie and although this is in reviews it isn’t really a movie review because the piece is about the making of Magnificent Seven – well, lets just say its a making that blew me away and kinda excited me. When I described how I’d do movie reviews I mentioned they’d come with a twist and if really good then I would wait until they were released on blu-ray and DVD in order to be able to watch the making before watching the feature film in order to be able to write an effective review, so really, this should be an edit to my review of the feature film but in all honesty I think this deserves its own review, and why…well…like all the leading actors in the film I love westerns, my Dad loves Westerns – I’ve got to say that it has to be one of my favourite genres out there, since I was a kid. I think Vincent D’onofrio who played Jack Horne said it best ‘it has nothing to do with a good western, it has to do with morals and good and evil’.

For me the making of a film has everything to do with the film, it has its own backstory, through the cast and the crew; it is what they go through to make the story great, its who they are as people that they bring to the set and from what Chris Pratt said, its about what they have wanted to bring to the set. The role he played was a part that he wanted to play as a child and what makes it even greater is he looks as though he thoroughly enjoyed himself during the making, as I said in my original review, he made the film and is my favourite character in the whole film – his arrogant, amusing, cocky personality is what made him make the film. Even throughout the making he will keep you chuckling.

To me Denzel’s depiction of the film and its spiritual aspect of good against evil, which is a powerful statement to make, especially in a film of this magnitude, especially when you have an ongoing story of Magnificent Seven to live up to and keep it great, without disrespecting the original stars of this great western. Denzel also says that there are those of us that have been put on this earth to protect the innocent, to defend the innocent which is why I love the genre – it is not only that but it is the sense of freedom, it is the sense of being able to do what you please and go where you please, unhindered.

Ethan Hawke who plays Goodnight Robicheaux goes a step further and I quote “There’s something deeply American about the Western, there’s an iconography about it that I think has reached a lot of people. There’s something that is so heroic that we all long for that kind of heroism in our life’. I think its that quote that just labels it all because we do, remembering that I am the same generation of the majority of the main cast who grew up watching westerns. I grew up watching Clint Eastwood in spaghetti westerns, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, A Fist Full of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and then other Westerns like the older Magnificent Seven, The Lone Ranger, John Wayne westerns – it is iconic and I can definitely agree with Ethan Hawke because it is an iconography, its an iconography that led me to wanting to write the western that I want to write.

So, do yourself a favour, ignore the fact that Denzel Washington never runs out of ammunition and invest in this version, you will not be sorry, for the feature film or the making and I guarantee you that if you watch the making first you will want to watch the feature film…

Enjoy…

Blogging, a steep learning curve; personally and publicly.

Its been a short while that I have been blogging compared to others, I did create a hobby blog at WordPress.com but sadly somehow I turned it from a hobby blog into a current affairs and politics page which comprised mainly of Zimbabwean politics and political opinion but in that time of it becoming what it did I was becoming a version of me that I and others close to me did not like, I was becoming highly self-opinionated and critical and it was MY opinion that mattered, it was MY opinion that was the only one that was right (when it came to Zimbabwean politics) and what it was that actually made me aware of this was the first vlog I had ever made (not counting the few live Facebook videos I have made since, if those count??), it portrayed somewhat of an ugly version, it reared an ugly head that needed to be put down. It was actually my sister that pointed it out to me. I had made the video public and posted it to my YouTube channel. After my sister pointed this out I watched it over and over and over again until finally I saw this version. The next morning when I woke up with the few hours I had managed to sleep I checked my YouTube and noted that the video had eighteen views already and so I deleted it, I also blogged about this realisation and the fact that I would no longer be carrying on along the political route due to what it was doing to me and what it was making me feel like inside, I had even decided I was going to be shutting the blog down but the request that I keep the blog going was resounding and so that I did, I just diverted from my political course and blogged about other things and ideas that were coming to me; stuff that I was far more comfortable writing about. Then one day a friend of mine who was helping me with doing some graphic design work on another project I had been working on mentioned that he really liked my style of writing and thought that I should consider doing a self-hosted blog and make something of it. Not really knowing anything about self-hosted blogging I thought about it and thought about it some more; then one morning I decided I’d give it a try and made some inquiries on domains and ended up registering a domain with GoDaddy for £1.10, then a further £4.10 for site privacy.

Since then I have managed to keep away from political opinion and have not been tempted once to even address something and whilst we all know that controversy sells I am not comfortable with putting myself in that seat again, although my traffic was a lot higher with those posts than I am getting now I feel a lot better within myself.

Traffic I got from my one political post in a matter of the last few hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After two days my traffic shot up amazingly high in just two days.

Although this shows the content that people are after I think it needs to be balanced between the bloggers comforts and what their followers want, what people want and politics and political opinion sadly is one those topics.

But since I have started a self-hosted blog it is now a different story, traffic means everything to the survival of a blog and that is determined by writing about what people want – other than politics I now have to figure out what it is that are wanted topics. The other day I wrote a post about my writing plans which did well and so is one of the topics that people want, its entertainment and about the future of British entertainment and the future of the British film industry – a sector that many, many people wish to see flourish once again.

The more a blogger posts the more hits they get on Google, the more traffic increases, the better a blog does; a blogs survival is based on the traffic it receives and not only sharing content but continuously writing and adding fresh content. A friend of mine, an internet entrepreneur who is doing very well for himself, through e-products and blogging nailed it best the other day…“consistency” – the best word to use for this; just to be consistent and carry on, not just pop up as and when we please, although that can be pretty hard. When do we find stuff to continuously write about – really, are we going to start writing about our morning ablutions or sex lives that may or may not exist? So again, adding a little bit of persistence to that. There have been times when I have looked at how well a piece has not done and thought about throwing it all in, but then again I have never been a quitter in my later adult years, especially since I have lived in the UK, I am very persistent and do not give up easily, if I want something I go for it and I will fight for it and I guess this is a lesson to take into blogging, especially when you are new and want your site to do well. Fight for it to get there and not to give up after a post or two not having done as well as you would have hoped. It all falls into making something work.

Blog Monetisation:

Traffic will also affect your site if you have monetised it through ads via Google AdSense. Before you can start making any money you have to have the traffic on your blog and you have to keep adding to that blog for ads to be displayed or then the Google AdSense bots do not know what to send your blog which in the end would lead to you making no money and in the long run Google AdSense closing your account because you are inactive and therefore bringing no money in. Remember that you are a partner with AdSense, and by making money for yourself you are making money for them and visa-versa and so once you are not pulling weight why would they keep you on, why would anyone keep a business partner on who is not bringing in money? And so in that light you, and I need to keep adding as much fresh content as much as we can in order to keep the wheels turning. I recently found a very helpful article for those struggling to understand why their application to Google AdSense was continuously being rejected, How to  Get Approved by Google AdSense – I highly recommend this article, for either if you are just about to apply or are struggling to understand why you aren’t being accepted.

Its all about finding what works for you and your blog, I am still learning but as with everything in life it is all a learning curve – a climb, its just the gradient that matters in your ascent and that you get to the top.

Script-to-Screen

When I first started this blog I didn’t really think about my writing in the full scheme of things, I thought about blogging which is just a small part of it all, for years since my teens I have dabbled in my writing and have a few drafts saved in my cloud storage, all works of fiction, one even going back to when I was seventeen years old that starts during the Belgian-Congo uprising in the early 1960’s; I got as far as losing the manuscript but years later I remembered how I began the story and I had matured a lot and so I embellished on the opening scenes way better than I could in my teens, however for some reason one day I just didn’t touch it again. Its sitting in my cloud storage facility and if it were possible it would be gathering dust – lets just say it is, “cyber-dust”.

Within the last decade or so I have fancied doing a screenwriting course and writing a screenplay and so I have invested in two courses, the Complete Screenwriting Course by Charles Harris and another I am waiting for delivery on, Screenwriters Bible, 6th Edition by David Trottier. Both seem pretty formidable in the particular field from the reviews and should help me get to where I want to in the field of screenwriting, although I would like to tackle the other books I have started writing, all of which are titled but none of which are actually complete. One starts in the Belgian-Congo in the early 1960’s (which I might shelve), the other is set in the US in Montana (present day) of which I feel I am at the point where I can only do so much research online and one is a fiction take of what could happen in Zimbabwe where the ruling party have declared all out war on the populace and murdered all political leaders of the opposition parties and several foreign governments have evacuated their nationals and there is an international military/humanitarian response with the inclusion of several other African states – I then have another story I want to work on…

Genre: Western.

Type: Screenplay.

I haven’t even written anything down for this, I’ve done research on weapons they’d have used within the period which begins on October 5th, 1877 at the Battle of Bearpaw Mountain between Chief Joseph of the Nez Perc and the US 7th Cavalry – this is the only factual part of the story. The research has gone from researching Native American tribes locale to the area (s) (surrounding Montana, Utah and Wyoming right down to New Mexico during the time that the story is set which ranges from 1877 to 1887) to cowboy slang, weapons, dress, geography, meteorology and the US cavalry. But sadly I haven’t taken myself further than that. This year I however intend on taking my writing a lot more seriously.

Course vs Project: –                                                                                                                                                  

So in light of all the other projects I have in the pipeline I have a screenplay that I have had in mind for a couple of years that would be ideal as a project whilst I do the course that in the past have only gone as far as thinking about but no more than I am now. It is set during World War Two and a joint operation between the then British Special Forces and the Armia Krajowa (Polish Free Army (Polish Resistance, basically)) I have already made moves to do some research through the Imperial War Museum in London. My idea behind this specifically is I believe that the British film industry should make a come back and I know for a fact that I am not the only prospective writer/screenwriter that feels like this. If are we to look at films such as Battle of Britain, Bridge Over the River Kwai (though co-produced by British and American companies), The Dam Busters, Guns of Navarone (British and American co-produced), Where Eagles Dare; but to name a few and not to mention some other genres which made the British film industry great and I think its time that the industry made a steadfast comeback.  Yes, sure, we do have some later, more modern great British flicks, there is no doubt about that but I think its time we made a good comeback and I believe it is up to us writers to help with that; whatever the genre, be it war, science fiction, romance, romantic-comedies, comedies, horrors (though I am not one for horrors), thrillers. We need to start pumping out pieces of work (I needed to elaborate on the pumping out because of several friends of mine who would add a connotation to that) and this is the reason I am pushing myself for this project I have in mind because I believe that the industry can make a great comeback, even if we went back to co-producing with some American film companies. Even if we started producing films with European film companies such as Nordisk Film that made Krigen (A War), or Easy Company in France that co-directed with several other production companies to make the outstanding modern French war film Forces Spéciales. I do believe its a comeback that is possible and with legendary British directors/producers/screenwriters such as Paul Greengrass that IS possible – thats assuming he’s washed his hands of any further Bourne movies. So yeah, this is where I am at, I need to grasp this momentum and fly with it because it is only us who can make our dreams come true, through shear hard work and determination.

I have also taken the liberty of posting both trailers for Forces Spéciales and Krigen. Forces Spéciales is default French with English subtitles. Krigen is the same, Dutch with English subtitles. Both are really good films and Krigen shows the bitter truth of what European troops are up against for doing their jobs in Afghanistan. I recommend both and worthwhile investments as war films go.

 

 

How Easy It Is To Have A Case of Stolen Valour aka Walter Mitty

So, I am an Army Brat, my father served in One Commando, the Rhodesian Light Infantry from 1967 to 1980, so basically joined the Rhodesian Army during peace time, the Rhodesian Bush War came along and as a professional soldier he did what professional soldiers are supposed to do, serve their country and as an army is the backbone of defence for any nation my father did his job. He was actually a part of the elite Fire Force of the Rhodesian Light Infantry, a fact that I am extremely proud of.

10402405_10152493154152127_1315457426164262947_n
My Dad getting ready for deployment, note the muzzle of his FN bottom left of the photo.

As for myself I wanted to join the British Army as a Commonwealth Applicant, I was first and foremost proud of my military ties, in both the British Army and with my father. I had a regiment picked out and I chose the Battalion I wanted to join. I was intending on following in my fathers footsteps and my Great Grandfather who was from Wales in Brecon and was too a professional soldier in the British Army and had fought in the Second Anglo-Boer War and then on the Somme in World War One and as such also wanted a career in the infantry and so I chose none other than the most senior English line infantry regiment, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, second battalion (2PWRR)  which is a light infantry battalion (I had no desire to be armoured infantry (1PWRR)). Throughout the years I had decided I wanted a career in the British Army I was (and am still) fighting a battle which prevented me from joining up and living my chosen career in life – it had been what I dreamt of as a child and somewhere along the line had got lost and it was only into my early thirties had I decided it was what I really wanted, although in my mid twenties I attended an Army Presentation at Aldershot ACIO in 2006 but that stalled as I had a bureaucratic issue that prevented me from joining but I never gave up my fight until it was time to hit the reality of the situation, especially now that I am almost two years short of forty, where on earth does the time go?

Now as a result of all of this, my family ties to the British Army and my fathers service with the Rhodesian Light Infantry I have a deep respect and appreciation for our armed forces; the British, Americans, New Zealanders and Australians have all paid a spectacular price for the world we live in, in both world wars, but to name some others thereafter and more recently Iraq and Afghanistan. They, including other forces who played a part in Afghanistan; like the Polish, Latvian, Ukranian, Lithuanian and French forces but to name a few others who were part of the ISAF mission that I hold a deep amount of respect and appreciation for them and their service and so I believe that all of us must not show a lack of respect, but unfortunately, many do, which is a pity.

So, anyway, this evening I’m combing through Amazon, not particularly looking at anything to buy but seeing whats on the market in terms of military memorabilia, clothing etc. And I came across medals of which has spurred me to write this blog. For a while now the Brits and Americans have been suffering with whats dubbed here in the UK “Walter Mitty” or in US Legal avenues Stolen Valor” (valour in English, English) – I will post a few YouTube clips as I go through my blog – in fact, one which I found containing some Royal Marines confronted a “Walt” at a parade in London at Westminster.

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 23.45.28

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 00.15.23

Now, okay, fair enough, I appreciate that these are WW2 medals but the Walt types have shown that they either don’t care or think that serving personnel are stupid enough to not be able to see through their absolute rubbish.

I find it absolutely disgraceful that these types be allowed to carry on like this, it is totally and utterly disrespectful to those that have fought and died and lost friends and family in the heat of battle and serving their country that these people be allowed to continue to do this.

But also, it is so very easy to commit these acts through Amazon and Ebay, and also at Army Surplus Stores, one can easily buy all the kit, berets and cap badges included and be able to walk out and put their kit on and claim they are a part of the forces, it is that easy. I personally believe there needs to be a law on committing this vile and disrespectful act, as the Americans, Canadians and Australians have done, but not only this – I think that it needs to be law that if you wish to purchase items of uniform you must produce proof of identification that are with any of the said arms, whether cadets or full service and it should be outlawed on Amazon that you are to sell items of military uniform. It would be an unfortunate step to take as a lot of military kit is way better than civilian kit and it would put a lot of companies out of business; but it would be one of those cases where the fools have made it worse for everyone else.

For now, I must depart, it is late here, enjoy the vids. There are many others, mostly from the US but these should be enough for your entertainment.