I’ve spent a good few hours pacing back and forth across my apartment, thinking in silence.
It’s 8:32 p.m. on Monday night. I’ve slept three hours the night prior and eaten nothing since waking. I’ve been in an internet wormhole for the past seven hours, glued into Twitter and Discord as I witness explosions. There’s the figurative one pertaining to this blog and now the literal one at a concert in Manchester for which my heart is broken. I’m unable to think straight as I pace, pondering everything that’s happened in these long hours. Because I’m so overwhelmed I can’t even stand the thought of talking to friends or family who are to checking up on me. I’ve been momentarily debilitated by the rush of emotions boiling inside my mind.
You’ve seen the events that transpired publicly. You’ve not seen certain other events that went down within that same span of time of which I won’t be getting into at the present. Suffice to say, I was tested by every facet of the world today as I sat in my apartment, plugged into my laptop; my natural state, except now it doesn’t feel quite so natural.
I’ve got nothing more to say at the present other than further expression of my exasperation. I need food. I need sleep. I need reality.
It’s 2:25 a.m. on Tuesday morning. I’ve slept for four hours, and if I’m lucky I’ll get another four after this entry. But right now I can’t fall back asleep because my heart is broken.
The death toll in Manchester has reached twenty-two.
Twenty-two people have died doing something they and I love: attending concerts. Music is my longest-lived life passion, especially live music. I’ve built many of my deepest friendships on the back of it. As such, going to concerts is one of the things that brings me great joy which makes it all the more painful to know that others partaking in the same were met with such tragedy. It’s sad that the thought must cross one’s mind now that they’re putting themselves at risk by doing what they love.
I went to a concert on Sunday in innocent jubilation, but I go to a concert tomorrow night in honor of those who lost their lives. There was serious consideration given to not attending but I’ve decided the best way to honor Manchester is to stay the course. And, perhaps selfishly, I really need any excuse to get out of my apartment right now.
That’s all. I’m going back to sleep.
It’s nearing noon on Tuesday.
My favorite screenwriting professor once told me not to get starstruck but damn if I’m not a little dizzy right now.
I was inspired to write about anime in the first place because of that guy. No, not my screenwriting professor, although he too had an incredible influence on me. I’m talking about that guy. That guy who just tweeted out a response article to my piece, talking about gonzo journalism as he’s known to do. Yeah, him.
He’s a controversial figure in the scene but one whose content introduced me to it nonetheless. In the two months leading up to my first blog post I watched nearly every video he had put out in the past year and then some. I may not agree with everything he says but my respect for him and his content runs deep. Soon after the blog started to get a small number of views I told a friend that if that guy (that senpai) ever noticed my work it would mean I’d have made it.
Well, here we are. He’s noticed me by proxy of another writer but I’ll take it. However, I’m not taking this as an “I’ve made it! I’m big-time Tim!” moment. I’m instead taking this as a token of reinvigoration. It’s time to put my foot on the pedal and get done the truly exciting ideas that I’ve been putting off for a few months. I want you all to see what I can really do.
Thanks, that guy.
It’s 6:57 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Glenn Kenny has just unblocked and reached out to me on Twitter.
Given how these things tend to go (fizzling out, unresolved) I can’t say I expected this but it’s a welcome surprise. It looks as if we’ll be meeting in-person to discuss anime at some point in the coming months. Regardless of what comes of this, it’s ultimately the solution I had called for in my open letter.
So, that cuts short this series of thoughts. Or maybe this was the natural ending point of it all. Or maybe something else will come up. It seems this chapter has come to a close for the present, though.
I’m off the aforementioned concert now. After sleeping to this I’m going to write some conclusions I’ve come to from this whole ordeal.
I don’t want my reputation to be that of a fire-starter.
What I did here was a critique of a professional work. I stand by the piece and my decision to post it, and I’m glad it led to the conclusion it has wherein Glenn and I will be sitting down to discuss anime in the coming months. What I did here (and those who know me can vouch for this) was in service of the community. Some have and may continue to claim I did this to boost my signal and that’s simply not true; in the ensuing fallout it did happen to a degree but my hope in reaching out to Glenn from the outset was that we would have a reasonable discourse. At least we’re going to have that now, and that’s all I can ask for.
All of this said, I will no longer be writing critiques of professional works going forward. Again, this is not the reputation I want to have nor the type of content I am passionate about making. Any reaction I may write in the future will be in response to ideas that (agree or disagree) inspired me as a jumping off point for my own form of analysis. An example of what I mean can be seen in the two other reactionary pieces I’ve written in the past (read them here and here). You can, as always, expect me to refrain from acting in an inflammatory manner, or having the intent to start drama.
To that end, I’d like to ask the same of others. Glenn has received plenty of feedback about his article and has heard the criticisms levied against him. Some of this response has been measured and polite, as I believe can be said for myself and my colleagues, but there has also been hate speech sent his way of which I do not condone (and have said both publicly and privately wherein I’ve sent people direct messages on Twitter asking them to stop reaching out to Glenn).
I want this to be clear: at this time the situation has resolved. Glenn has heard the criticisms and I ask people on no uncertain terms to stop reaching out to him.
We’re a community of great people and this means we should express ourselves to the world in a way that reflects that. I know for many of you this does not need to be said but sometimes we all need a reminder, myself included. In the discussion surrounding this article I’ve talked about how the the medium of anime and the community surrounding it have been misrepresented for many years but the burden also lies on us to be the collective we want others to perceive us as. Be the change you want to see and all that jazz.
In closing, I’d like to thank my wonderful colleagues and friends (old and new) that have been particularly helpful throughout this endeavor: The Subtle Doctor, Josh Dunham, Jack Johnson, Lauren Orsini, and Lachlan Still. I’d also like to thank my family and friends outside of the community that have been there for both emotional and professional support.
As for me, you can look forward to more content. I’m gonna keep doing what I do best: writing about stuff. Big things are happening, and they’re happening imminently.
So, for those of you both old and new, let’s start again. Hi, my name is Tim Rattray, author of Thoughts That Move. Let’s talk about some anime and etc.