Monday, February 1, 2016

Why I Started The Critical Android

When you were growing up; or if you're not grown up and just a young'un reading this, do you remember the joy that you'd feel when you were able to share things you loved with people who also loved them? Do you remember talking about cartoons with kids your own age? Did you listen to the same bands as your friends and rock out and sing along to the same songs? Did you go to the movies together and enjoy the same laughs and thrills?

Odds are that you probably did at some point and to some extent. I know I did, though it wasn't a common occurrence for me. My tastes always skewed older when it came to cartoons, music, and television. When it came to video games, I was also on the cutting edge of them; my parents were very good about getting me the latest and greatest in NES, SNES, and Nintendo 64 games; up until the point I could purchase games for myself.

Even there though I was in the minority with tastes that didn't sync-up with my friends. I could whip through games with ease and ultimately engrossed myself in details that meant very little to people I knew. I distinctly remember the game Secret of Mana and the hours upon hours I whittled away at that game, gaining experience levels, exploring the world, and becoming enamored with the story. A similar thing happened when Super Mario RPG came out and I was falling in love with the turn-based battle mechanics. Many of the friends I had couldn't understand the extreme enthusiasm I had for this game; how it gripped me, how it thrilled me.

I lived in the minutia of things; I'd pick up on details and tuck them away in my mind. I would retain character names, strategies, story elements, and be able to rattle them off from memory to anyone who was willing to listen. In hindsight, I'm guessing I was an incredibly obnoxious nerd. Really though, I was just a passionate kid without an outlet to share my enthusiasm.

The town I grew up in was very small, very rural. It wasn't easy for me to find like-minded individuals, though there were some; just not many. You know how some people are so obsessed with sports that they can rattle off statistics and player names with ease? I was like that except with anything that wasn't sports; though I actually did know more than a fair amount about the NFL, NASCAR, and boxing. Most of those things came from the influence of my father. He didn't share my interests in anything really, but we could watch those three sports together, as well as corny action movies.

But really, it was difficult to find people to bond with in such a small town. Things grew even worse outside of video games when I was trying to find people who enjoyed the same television shows and music as I did. For example, I would watch reruns of Quincy M.E. on A&E, old episodes of Carson Comedy Classics on the Family Channel, Get Smart episodes on Nick-at-Nite; etc. Now, I also watched the typical kids fare at the time, Ren & Stimpy, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Pokemon (when it debuted in 1998 here in the states) Batman: The Animated Series, and so on. It was fun getting to share my love of those things with people, but no one I knew other than my father could talk to me about Johnny Carson.

College helped out considerably by moving me into an area that had a more diverse array of people with varied interests. There I could find other students who shared my obsessive love of media. One of the reasons I joined the radio program and made a successful show on the station was because I wanted to share my love of music with people. I found out from listening to the radio stations in my home town that they were never going to play the variety of music that I wanted to hear. Knowing that I couldn't change the way corporate controlled radio operates, I decided I'd just have to do it myself and started playing songs from artists that didn't get a lot of radio play, or songs that didn't get the notoriety they should've.

After college came and went, I moved back to my home town, failed at finding a job in radio, and all of my college contacts were physically distant from me. There were times where I'd stumble across a song that thrilled me, watched an episode of a show that ensnared me, or saw a movie that enthralled me, and there wasn't anyone around to really talk to about it.

Finally I decided that enough was enough. If I'm going to be living in an area that is devoid of varied interests, I'd reach out to the internet and send my thoughts out that way. These posts I write about video game music, television shows, obscure songs, and so on; I'm writing them because I really enjoy these things and want to share them with others. I don't necessarily expect you to like them too by any means, but maybe if I keep writing about different things, I'll find something that you reading this, personally enjoy. Maybe then it will lead to you finding more things that can make you as happy as they've made me.

The Critical Android is meant to be a hub of sorts for myself to share a variety of interests with the world and hope that I can provide you with that sense of like-mindedness that I had hoped to find growing up. You may not like everything that i talk about; maybe you can't fathom why someone would like NASCAR for instance, but the channel's not going to be devoted solely to that; just like it won't be devoted solely to game music or '80s rock, or episodes of Frasier. There's going to be a lot of content coming down the road and I want your support, help, advice, and suggestions. I want to know what you like; I want to know what you want to talk about. I want to try and awaken that joy you find when you come across someone who likes some of the things that you do and can really explore it with you.

That's The Critical Android in a....well, a rather large nutshell. Thanks for reading though. Hope to hear from you soon.

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