Miss Mallory Meredith's Misinterpretations and Follies (Obscenities Included!)

We all waited on bated breath to hear the official news, and here it is: I wasn’t let go from my job, but everyone else and their mom was.

Official Work Persona 

I was upset for two main reasons. The first being that they let go some very hard workers that do their jobs twenty times better than I ever could, enjoyed their jobs, and here was one person who would have willingly traded places with any of them, yet she stayed.

It was a very sad day. I lost many friends, ones who I would speak with daily, even via instant messenger, just to get by the hours. We’d constantly be asking each other for help, our own little wikipedia for our jobs. It’s lonely at work now. And those who were left behind now have a completely different job description that won’t allow us the supportive atmosphere we were clinging to in a desperate attempt to have some sort of morale in these dark times.

The second reason I was upset was for mere selfish reasons. My ex-coworker’s Layoff Plan is basically the best in all the land for my situation. Paychecks until I leave on a jet plane, severance that goes well into my trip, benefits for six months.

It was all I could do to not have my mental scream become real at the end of the day.

*not-so-dramatic re-enactment*

It was after a friend was telling me the cruel comments (never read the comments, people) that were on certain layoff sites dedicated to telling the world at how my job is pointless, that we don’t do anything, that we-all deserved to be fired, while also simultaneously discussing with her how they hadn’t even had the decency to prepare boxes for everyone being let go so we had to hunt them down to help people pack, and it all culminated down to the decision of turning it off.

I have spent the better part of the last six months dreading work for all of the right reasons, and now that horrible prophecy has been commenced. It’s time to grimly move on. To stop giving the emotions away until I’m an empty shell of exhaustion by the time the weekend rolls around. The worst of this plague is over, it has taken what it could, has moved on.

Now it’s time for action.

*not-so-dramatic re-enactment*

I upped my walking distance from an hour to almost two hours. Basically, around two of the lakes nearby where I live instead of the one. I expect I’ll but upping that ante to at least three hours within two weeks. I am thankful beyond words for the fantastic shoes I have with added insoles. As long as I stretch, I feel my body can handle anything.

With the walks doubling up means the reading is doubling up as well.

Recently, it has been Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, a book so many people seem to speak so highly about, but I never fully looked into. A friend lent it to me when I mused interest (as if I don’t already have at least 20 books of my own to catch up on), and I’m about halfway through right now. Two walks it has taken me.

**obligatory spoiler-like realm warning**

I’m trying to figure the book out. I think that is what has me plowing through it. In the beginning, I wasn’t too impressed at how it explained every single detail, explaining, explaining, explaining…Within the first three chapters, I was thinking, “Why is this reading like a script for a major motion picture?” Then I turned to the back to read about the author whom, shockingly, is a scriptwriter. I struggled a bit on how it bounced between trusting that the reader understood the 1337 speak, then treating the reader as someone too stupid to understand how the internet works.

But then I realized it was because of Wade himself. He is infuriatingly insipid and dense right now, making the story line pretty easy to figure out (script writing Telling Instead of Showing Your Audience, yo). The amount of times I’ve already groaned out loud, rolled my eyes, and screamed in frustration is high enough to have people who saw me reading on the trail think I’m slightly insane.

The point where I found out that Atr3mis went to school for poetry and writing (much like me) and Wade’s detrimentally obvious obsession (I don’t care how much he admits it, none of it makes it okay) that we all knew wouldn’t work out…the faces I made during their dialogue in the beginning of Level 2 would have filled an artist’s facial expression guide. It mostly would have been an entire chapter on “blech”, “bleh”, and “uuuuuuckhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” (that last one sounds more like when you start to say “ugh” but it turns into the back part of your tongue vibrating against the roof of your mouth like you’re gurgling water).

So much drama in love affairs.

HOLD ME NOW—OOOOOOOOOH, HOLD MY HEART!!!

Legit cannot wait when that obvious moment of betrayal happens. I thought it was Aech at first, but it’ll be Art3mis. It’s always the hot babe with a dress that was “spray painted” on her body.

For the record, I love Art3mis. I hope she wins it for herself. And I hope I’m wrong in her being a weak character siding with the enemy since I was all “FUCK YEAH LEAVE HIM AT THAT PARTY”. Even if the rest of the people reading will consider her a cruel bitch for leading him on or some shit. Because I don’t.

What? THEY ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A FUCKING WORLD CRISIS. Fuck that love bullshit for now and save it for after it’s all done. Respect when a lady says no.

 

What keeps me reading is my curiosity as to what Cline is fully trying to portray here. The book seems to be much how the geek culture is right now thus far, where knowing the most is how you become king. And it glorifies upon that. Obviously, since the goal is for the one who knows all about geek history to win. At least, that is how it is as of right now.

What I am curious about is the direction the commentary is going. Whether this is the love letter it seems to be on that culture.

I find myself interested because of the current (but not new) cultural shift all geeks are going through right now.

I’m not going to get into the sexist, misogynistic, crazy parts (even though the book shows these aspects everywhere, which I think Cline did intentionally for the most part). And I’d have to still read the whole book, much like the rest of this discussion, to have the fully formed opinion on that matter anyway.

It’s more on that whole point system, of winning because of the obsession that is held in such a positive light. Wade is only best friends with Aech because “he is the real deal” when it comes to knowledge, to being a gunter. That casuals are a lower scum because they don’t spend their hours upon hours memorizing films, games, and books to spout verbatim. Simply dropping knowledge gains respect in this society. And the commentary could take an interesting turn, since most of the people becoming obsessed are because of money and fame versus how Halliday naturally came about his love for the 1980s.

As a woman who has been into video games and sci-fi/fantasy since birth, consistently having to prove my geek worth before being embraced by many in geek culture (my closest friends have never done this to me, which is why they’re my close friends), I hold rapt attention to how this will play out. Because it will make mark on me on how it decides to end.

If it’s typical, with the male-powered ending, I’ll sigh and move on. If it actually takes a look at this lifestyle and how damaging it can become beyond the evil MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA that IOI is, the exclusive nature, now…that would be interesting. It could maybe even be considered a self-help book for those much like Wade himself. Potential is still here.

I would love for the prize to be meaningless 32- or 64-bit weapon prizes you could hang in a chatroom.

As it is, I’m currently making my way through the sob story of a man blaming a woman for his problems after becoming romantically obsessed with a person who had some of the same interests, but none of the background personality knowledge. And I desperately hope everyone was as disgusted with him as I am. I’m on Team Yep It Is Your Fault.

I’ve had to live through the enamored male who falls in love ridiculously fast  just because of my hobby and nothing else enough times to have these emotions while reading. I hope I’m wrong about the WOMP WOMP ending I feel like it will get. And I hope it’s the social commentary in the best way.

**end obligatory spoiler-like realm warning**

I think I have these opinions because of the many different types of books and shows and movies there are with this same type of structure. And I like when it can surprise me with something new.

I’m sure the film will be own soon or something, although I wish it could just be an anime like SAO. You can always gather more detail, get away with the crazier aspects of what is going on without the “That is so obviously CGI.”

I also fully admit that, while damaging to society in so many ways, if OASIS were a thing, I’d be there all the time. Who the fuck wouldn’t?

Haters and communists, that’s who.

Mallory out.

 

 

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