Walking home from work should really be the highlight of my day, but somehow the 90 minute journey manifests itself into a horrific slideshow in which my every doubt, insecurity and fear are exposed, experienced and exploited. Hey sweetie, sweetie you should be close to me. I'm unsure as to whether it's the tiredness, lack of mental stimulation or the fact that there's nothing to return to, but I've started leaving work early just to get this period of the day over with so I can somehow attempt to enjoy the rest. Usually accompanied by Sunshine (the band) I travel past warehouses and workers, fields and farmers, pass under motorways and through metro tunnels but still this variant in landscape and atmosphere ceases to arouse any interest in me at all. I've given up talking to people I see along the way in fear I'll never meet anyone interesting again, or even worse, in fear I'll never meet anyone happy again. I've been reading Condition of the Working Class in England, by Engels recently and even 160 years on I find myself in the same situation as described:
After roaming the streets of the capital a day or two, making headway with difficulty through the human turmoil and the endless lines of vehicles, after visiting the slums of the metropolis, one realises for the first time that these Londoners have been forced to sacrifice the best qualities of their human nature, to bring to pass all the marvels of civilisation which crowd their city; that a hundred powers which slumbered within them have remained inactive, have been suppressed in order that a few might be developed more fully and multiply through union with those of others. The very turmoil of the streets has something repulsive, something against which human nature rebels. The hundreds of thousands of all classes and ranks crowding past each other, are they not all human beings with the same qualities and powers, and with the same interest in being happy? And have they not, in the end, to seek happiness in the same way, by the same means? And still they crowd by one another as though they had nothing in common, nothing to do with one another, and their only agreement is the tacit one, that each keep to his own side of the pavement, so as not to delay the opposing streams of the crowd, while it occurs to no man to honour another with so much as a glance. The brutal indifference, the unfeeling isolation of each in his private interest, becomes the more repellent and offensive, the more these individuals are crowded together, within a limited space. And, however much one may be aware that this isolation of the individual, this narrow self-seeking, is the fundamental principle of our society everywhere, it is nowhere so shamelessly barefaced, so self-conscious as just here in the crowding of the great city. The dissolution of mankind into monads, of which each one has a separate principle, the world of atoms, is here carried out to its utmost extreme.

Hence it comes, too, that the social war, the war of each against all, is here openly declared. Just as in Stirner's recent book, people regard each other only as useful objects; each exploits the other, and the end of it all is that the stronger treads the weaker under foot; and that the powerful few, the capitalists, seize everything for themselves, while to the weak many, the poor, scarcely a bare existence remains.

What is true of London, is true of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, is true of all great towns. Everywhere barbarous indifference, hard egotism on one hand, and nameless misery on the other, everywhere social warfare, every man's house in a state of siege, everywhere reciprocal plundering under the protection of the law, and all so shameless, so openly avowed that one shrinks before the consequences of our social state as they manifest themselves here undisguised, and can only wonder that the whole crazy fabric still hangs together.
Ever been asked what you're looking at? Are we so isolated that we can't share a simple glance anymore? Or make eye contact? Are we so different that we can't talk to a stranger? Why are we so alone here? And if everyone is alone what's stopping us from being alone together?

People from School who you never see two years on. People from jobs you're no longer at. People from places you no longer go. Are these not the same people you knew back then? I'm finding more and more that being in a different social and employment situation to someone you were very close to a year ago somehow makes you both incompatible to continue the friendship, or so everyone seems to believe. Is this because in the space of a year one of you has progressed so much that the other's friendship is no longer worthwhile, or more likely, no longer beneficial? Are you no longer required to talk to this person as to not have to eat alone, because such an action is a social travesty, does that make this person no longer of use to you? Does that make every conversation null and void, every joke no longer funny, opinion no more insightful? Is this person less important than 5 minutes of your day now? I find those around me constantly exploiting suppossed friendships for personal gain. Ever been friends with someone to increase your chances of having sex with their more attractive friend? Are you listening?
I'm not saying we should ignore any less than perfect social interaction, I'm saying we should stop using social interaction as a means of selfish personal gain which is detrimental to the happiness of other parties involved. Maybe then we'll be able to exchange a brief glance as we pass in the street, maybe then we'll be able to put aside jealousy and contempt. Hey sweetie, sweetie you should be close to me. Maybe then we can be happy for our friends and smile towards familiar faces. Maybe it'll be okay to eat your lunch alone tomorrow, maybe the girl at the table to your left will invite you to eat with her, no longer concerned as to what she has to gain from your friendship. Maybe she'll glance over and you'll be afraid to smile back, maybe she'll sigh and go back to not eating, maybe she could do with losing a bit of weight, maybe she's not good enough for you?

To the Superficial, as we just found out yesterday Dawn Of War was just chosen by WCG as a game for their upcoming event(s). Before I comment on that I'd just like to quote myself from September:
The cynicism in me says something will go horribly wrong before the release somehow ruining the game, but it'd really have to be a big something to touch this.
Well, it didn't, a number of small things did though. The game severely failed to deliver the dynamic gameplay promised by ending base building strategies; firstly you still have to build bases and secondly now you also have to build several small outposts, something which stops and chance of there being back and forth gameplay. Instead we get a game so based in routine it pains you after a hundred games (which is under 1000 minutes of gameplay considering most 1v1 games never reach the ten minute mark). 99% of 1v1 DoW games are decided by the first fight, after then the resource model doesn't allow comebacks. The race balance is horrid, to the extent where it allowed me to get into the top100 twice (thanks gamespy for not being able to maintain player stats costing the game scores of players). I am no RTS player, but the extreme routine of having 2 spawns per 1v1 map and every map being symmetrical makes the majority of games an easy victory of theory over practise as the player who implements their set pattern better (or faster in most cases, sadly enough) will win. Incidentally I hope SeleCT|SeleCT wins WCG (if he still plays) for being the only interesting DoW player there is (guess what, he plays Eldar).

Daydreams About White Lines and evenings spent playing CPMA. Everyone's been super active recently. We've had something like 6 practices in the last week, with differing levels of success. Watching new players (and old ones returning) gelling together as a semi-cohesive unit is probably the most interesting thing I've seen in a while. With Jolt TDM starting again soon this is a pretty ace time for any new players to give the mod a shot or old ones to take a look at how the game has progressed.
We played NODM14 for the first time last night (albeit against not the strongest of opponents) and it was the most fun game of Q3 I've had in ages; it's definitely going to be fantastic to see some of the better clans match up on it (nybles vs s?).

Sing Sad Songs. Or at least give Velvet Suicide by Sunshine a listen.