Every fall I write for the official Midnight Madness and Vanguard program blogs of the Toronto International Film Festival. And I usually try to find a guest writer to cover me here at the Gutter, write a piece ahead of time or even, sometimes, just totally wander out of my assigned comics domain to write about the movies I’ve seen and what I think about them. This year, I was lucky enough to get to stay here in my domain, continue my little sorta series on comics and film and, most of all, lucky enough to interview Dave McKean. Continue reading…
Posted January 13, 2011
R-Type has a funny way of showing its affection. It doesn’t give you black eyes, but it still makes them red and twitchy. You don’t eat as much. You abuse caffeine and
other stimulants, as if that makes much of a difference. Its benchmark of expectation keeps rising. Make no mistake: The standards presented will destroy you; while R-Type itself remains
unscathed on its pedestal. After a while it might become difficult to deny to friends that you are having a troubled relationship with it.
If this sounds familiar, there’s a good chance you’re not alone in suffering silently. R-Type gets around more than it lets on, and sometimes with people you’d prefer not to imagine. I recently found out that one of my friends decided to get a hold of R-Type precisely because of my warnings. If this was true, and my friend was really scoring with R-Type, I’d just have to try harder.
There was a time when R-Type only wanted you for your money, and would only meet you in the darkest corners of the pool hall, jostling you for every coin in your pocket. I’d heard the rumors, but that didn’t stop me. You see, a few weeks ago, I considered myself something of a player. The current landscape presented no challenge. Just how bad could things be? I’d just give R-Type a go, you know, nothing serious. Things would shake out different for me.
I first tracked down R-Type on my iPhone, but soon learnt that it prefers to meet where no one is watching you. R-Type likes to be in control right from the get go.
Thinking I’d do this on my terms, I naively invited R-Type into my home.
Initially, there was a little bit of awkward banter, some business of “blasting off into space and striking the evil Bydo empire”, but after those lofty promises, I didn’t learn much else about R-Type. What followed was a chaotic blur of pure masochism and self hate. *While I felt responsible for where things were going, R-Type soon made it crystal clear that it was only interested in fucking me.
I found this a little unsettling at first, but soon began to respect the honesty of such a pure, albeit reptilian gesture. This respect, however, remains unreturned. That’s the basis of any kind of relationship with R-Type.
I’ve heard some stories where apartments had been violently re-arranged after people had learnt that R-Type wasn’t really right for them. But not me. It takes a special kind of person to understand R-Type. Sure, it might be a bit older, and not the best-looking prospect out there… but, believe me, if you look deep enough into that black, callus heart, you just might lose a piece of yourself.
It’s the little victories that lure you in. After navigating some obvious early mine fields, you might start to think that things are going to go your way… hell, you just might even get into a familiar groove, take things to the next level—sorry to break it to you, but this is just a ploy R-Type does to give you a false sense of security. It does this with everyone. Those initials on the wall of those before you, those are notches on its belt. Those people were not loved. They were broken. But sometimes you need to be broken to find yourself.
Despite the obvious red flags, I still managed to be convinced that the real problem was me, and had been all along. If I’d only paid more attention I might have noticed that there was a way to avoid all of those sudden seemingly constant humiliations, unwarranted explosions. In fact, all of that aggression was waiting for any time I wandered off the agreed course, and it was always assumed that I should know better. The terms of engagement might seem rigid, but they are fair. R-Type may not be perfect, but if you can just stick in there, and develop a knack to handle the often delicate baggage with tact and diplomacy, there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I just know there is!
I might not have the nerve now, but looking down the line, it’s only a matter of time before things will start to change for me and R-Type. Maybe if I work out more, I won’t continue to embarrass myself in front of R-Type.
Maybe if I continue to dig deeper into what’s left of my self respect, I might just find a part of me that can beat R-Type at its own game. But until then, like many before me, I choose to look it in the face and take my lashings with gratitude.
I fucking love you, R-Type.
Note: Since writing this over 1 month ago, I am no longer involved with R-Type. But if you see R-Type
around town, please tell them I say “Hi.”
DARRYL SHAW <LIEKS> VIEDO GMES AND JUST MAED A MOVEI ABOUT ROBOTS!!1!!1 WTF LOL CH3K IT OUT!!1!!1