A final apology

By Optimus of Dirty Minds

Time has come to clearly explain myself. My last acts at Pouet are pretty pathetic, I am still feeling very sad about the ending, but relieved at least. I guess they had to block my account in order for me to stfu. Wasn't this what I was asking for really? And it's not the only outcome that will help me to get free. More factors are keeping me away from returning back. The fact that what I was doing since years at Pouet became so much pretty dull anymore, both for you and for me (Yes. I have understood that! :P). These days, I have also developed a feeling of disgust about everything having to do with the demoscene. I don't feel like listening to scene music, no mood to watch demos (at least on PC) and of course generally avoiding to browse scene sites (Well, I did. But then I felt so miserable that I immediately logged off). So, why repeating the same mistakes at this extreme point I've reached? I am sick of it anymore!

I'd like to start from the past, however I'll share one paragraph to describe the forces that drove me mad at Pouet. Well, at the very beginning I subscribed, things weren't even a little finger of this crazy. A natural force that lies on the net, always excites you to show up yourself a bit more frequently. This has nothing to do with the real forces however, the ones that played the most important role later. First of all, the rare moments of passionated threads existed because of martyrdom. The most important piece of the truth imho. I think that my former acts were more of a way to convert my despair into something better. Since I was already feeling hopeless about life, I didn't cared at all and I thought that my misery would be at least a nice opportunity to mock about it at Pouet. I had nothing to loose. Much later, I became surprisingly famous, couldn't believe in my eyes, so many jokes and demos about me, and finally reading my name on the default oneliner message of Pouet. This made me more thirsty for attention! It had created a wicked connection between myself (or my net persona) and all of you. Just like a clown and his audience. Martyrdom is just what made my acts diferrent than other attention seekers. Passionated texts about my life, sharing a piece of truth about me, just written a bit exaggerated. The last act? That was too hard. Flooding Pouet like hell, I can't believe that this was me. I think I did it under a pressure of an outburst. I was just too angry with myself. Now I would finally disgrace 'Optimus'! Intentionally, I gave an end to this with a degrading way. No martyrdom this time! I didn't let any ground for my old passion. This kind of humiliation was the hit towards my usual attitude, as I became just a lame troll rather than a deeply dramatic figure. Martyrdom naked.

Moments of my past are hiding secrets that even me doesn't know for sure. Few months ago while meditating, my thoughts slipped back again into what I call martyrdom (Quite coincidentally, I was also reading the novel "Behold the man" by Michael Moorcock at that time, which has something to do with that). I got flashes of my former schooltimes. Pupils were making fun of me. A girl remarked back then, that I was subliminally asking for this effect. Well, I am not really sure if the reason was the same back then, because being the mockery of my schoolmates made me really sad and I also didn't liked most of the things they did to me. However I keep getting flashes of rare martyrdom cases (clown style) in real life, even after school. Nevertheless, it was spooky to discover a reflection of my bad childhood in the scene these days. The girl seems to be right at the end. Repetition of history? Scary! When I just thought that my schooltimes were over, their bad elements continued showing up in an online community in a more appealing and diferrent way. Similar roles in diferrent communities. Who would believe that? I can't accept it..

My family bought a computer when I was a little child. I can't remember the age really even if I must have written around 8-10 somewhere before. Nevertheless, I never had a true chance to become a coding geek at a very early age. This happened after my eighteen. Before that, there were three brothers arguing about who will occupy the CPC for playing games on a late Sunday evening. Computer use was very restricted from my parents. I also didn't had any motives to start serious coding. I had hardly heard anything about demos. I doubt that I would have the opportunity to start learning democoding if I had ever watched some demos back then. I was too small in age, without the passionated personality I developed later. Even if I had the moods to start in the scene at an earlier age, computing time was ridiculously limited for that. At the same time, my parents kept saying to me that I was sitting too much on the computer (well, it's not the same like TV) and my schoolmates thought I was a geek (Quite ironically, some former pupils in a private school thought the opposite. They wondered why I never discuss about computer games with them? I guess I was just too shy to talk about those stuff!). I remember a characteristic occasion during my fifteen, when someone told me that I am a computer illiterate. That was a trigger! Some people say it's bad and stuff to play with the computer, others that I was illiterate. So, was I either a clueless geek or nothing? I remember the flash which hit me that day, the solution being to do something creative with my computer. I decided to become a real computer programmer (as I used to say). This way, it's worth the "bad and stuff" and I am learning much more about computers than my friends. And more than everything, I'd stop feeling inferior. I would become a real computer geek now and everybody would talk about me. Getting attention, if you wish. The one I never got the right way..

Those were my motives which got me started with coding. Not that I purely liked coding itself. Of course, there were elements in coding that made it more appropriate for me than gardening. But my engage didn't started because I liked it. The motives were wrong! I have to underline this!!!

And then I stumbled upon the scene. I liked watching demos. They were diferrent than games. They were visual mathematics. I found out that regular geeks like me have programmed these, not some professional coders which are working in a serious company. I knew that I could learn coding demos easily too. And there was a community out there. Bingo!

I would code for my personal motives of that age. The scene had a hall of fame. How appropriate! One day, I would become known in the community of real programmers. Realtime graphics would look more appealing than database coding into the eyes of my friends. I always liked the connectivity of algorithms with the pure visual. I found some interesting scene friends (and some girls into serious computing ;) on the net. I found a creative and special hobby for my life. I connected my personality with the demoscene. With something that I took more seriously than a hobby. A strong focus. And that was the thing that killed me! Especially the fact that it was going contrary to my parents oppresion. I had to work for many hours per day if I wanted to learn fast and reach higher points soon. There was also this feeling that I started dreaming too late. My hero was John Carmack. I have read that he was having similar problems with his parents and that he was also afraid of starting too late. Well, I think JC was free to code when he got into the university (at his 18), finished the legendary Doom at a lesser age than my current one. While I am still a clueless "scener". I was still worried because my parents continued oppresing me about my computing activities even after eighteen. Sometimes rarely even today but I don't care, since I have plenty of time now to do everything I want. However, I am trying to think why I can't code those days I am free. Lately, I don't have the mood doing that (If I ever did), rather than playing games or spending my time on the net. But I don't feel very creative this way. I can't say I didn't coded much, afteralls I did spend a lot of time on building websites, article writting and other stuff too. I still did enough, especially inside my hard oppresing condition, I am just not sattisfied. I was also dreaming of much lot coding ideas I never managed to start. And I am too tired anymore to clean the mess in my mind..

Anyways... as you can see, this part of mine in the scene, is like a clew in my mind. That's why I got out of subject. Or not?

Not! It has played a role in my Pouet acts too. It's my old misery at the very first years. Demos like 'The Poor Freak' or 'Into the Fight' talk a lot like "Hey!!! I fuckin want to become a real computer freak but my parents or something else doesn't let me fulfill my dreams!". My earliest threads were based on similar stuff too. Completing 'A Step Beyond' was a nightmare, but after that I was relieved. I had accomplished something I am proud of, so I could just quit chasing unrealistic scene dreams if I really got the struggle again. I was a bit better after that. But then? Just martyrdom, seduced by my famous position and perhaps some more. I also found out that I couldn't find strong motivations anymore for further democoding. Perhaps this focus wasn't really for me. I still don't know. Wondering if the situation would be diferrent under a non-oppresing environment. With free and peacefull time and will for computing, would I have been a good scene coder or would my wrong motives still bring me down? Perhaps I would just climb on a hall of fame for a while and then unveil my arrogant character once again. Nobody knows..

The struggle for creating something that will be known, contradiction in my family environment, the feeling of fragile dreams. The scene could be a better place but I killed it's good feelings. I wish I could just go back at the very first days I was watching Second Reality and dreaming of coding something like that too. Those great days! Eh? My parents controlled everything back then! How could I like these days? Scenewise. During these moments I watched a demo for the first time in my life, my ideas about the scene were so pure and beautifull. That's what I want to say. What do I own today? Sadness and disgust about the scene. Do you know why sometimes I dare to write that I hate you? (I don't really since I don't know you in person) Because I am just feeling inferior once again. A lot of you are both/either succesful in the demoscene and/or (typically) in real life. Yes! That's how stupid I am. My bad words are oppressed egoism. I was feeling nothing but jest and I just stayed there. That's all about it..

A part of myself tells me that I can continue dreaming (at least away from Pouet now) and still aiming for coding a real demo. Another part however alerts me that aiming at the same target can only make things go worse. The first self is what I call a capricorn self. My sign is capricorn. Well... I don't believe in astrology, it's just that once upon I read the personality description of my sign and it felt quite appropriate to what I feel about myself. Someone who focus for a high aim and keeps fighting for that, even if that might take him a very long time, no matter if everyone laughs at him in the way. Too stubborn! Sometimes he wins, surprising everyone. And then he never stops aiming higher. It's almost something like Don Quixote. Other than that, I was always thinking that I am thinking diferrent than most of the other people ("99% of human beings think that they are wiser than the rest 99%" as my friend Antitec likes to put it ;). Another focus of my mind was to analyze things deeply (If I ever do so :P). It goes along with my internal problems, I was always confused and so I had to protect my personality with my own original thoughts, not by using the common opinion (which was usually against myself anyways). I also thought that I have a great spiritual focus in life (How come didn't I tried to become a new Messiah ;P). Luckily I stopped thinking so unrealistic since one or two years. I remember the times when I was walking alone in Thessaloniki, talking passionately with myself, using words, big words, words that I would call glorious those old days. Scary! This way, I was telling a lot to myself about my noble but hard way in life, thinking that I would reach that heaven oneday. This was killing me..

At least you can think anything you wish about the previous paragraph, I asure you that these were true however, I just never said any of those things to the outside world rather than to feedback my own ears (and hope).

Am I scary enough? Don't worry, I (don't think I) am [not] schizo. Latest Pouet acts were half a joke and half an outburst of my rage and despair btw. However, I am wondering how didn't I became one under those oppresive conditions, thoughts of what I'd like to be that I didn't, personal confusion of setting unfulfilled dreams to myself, wrong motives, contradictions. I might just go to a psychologist tomorrow, suggested by a friend of mine who have seen that I understand(?) a lot about my life problems, it's just that I am a bit too clumsy to do the right steps now and so I need support.

Other than that, my real life is not that bad after all. At least I am feeling very sattisfied by my peacefull and simple life. Especially lately. I don't need to seek for a girlfriend, especially when I don't feel ready with that thought. I am not in a need of many friends as I always wanted that some people would leave me alone. I am even feeling much better these days in real life rather than in my so called scene life. These few months after my arrival in Greece are much better than ever. I passed more than enough lessons in my exams, I had met a lot of funny and supportive friends, I enjoyed some peacefull and funny moments and I have lost some kilos. I am living times when I think more clearly (Sober in the morning, after a booze sometimes ;). Greece won the Eurocup too ;). And that was good, contrary to the really pathetic ending at Pouet. I noticed that I was enjoying some parts of life (Well... sometimes ;p), but after messing up with Pouet I felt preety sad. These few days, I was really depressed, especially after reading for once again what were people telling about me. Previously, I got depressed just by thinking that I have to struggle in order to finish coding my first C64 demo. Something is going very wrong here, both with my martyrdom at Pouet and my unrealistic will for coding hall of fame demos. I felt so fuckin depressed this morning after reading what people had to say about my attitude (in the grdemoscene mailinglist too). At least this cleared up my mind and let me see. How come am I feeling much better in real life, no matter how simple in some terms it is, in contrary to my old dreamworld? Doesn't this ring a bell? Hey Michael! Real life rules today! Kicks the ass of the scene!!! That's the odd one..

I think I am going to finish this soon. This article might be my most important junk of text, for I am also quitting the scene in one sense. I was thinking it hard these days. I never had such sad days while thinking of the scene. In contrary to my improved real life and the support of real world friends. If you had proclaimed the ending of the drama one year ago to me, I wouldn't believe in it. I reached such an extreme point of lameness that they had to block my accounts and I thank them from inside my heart for that (And keep them blocked for a long time please, if not forever). So, I really don't want to go back at all. Some said that I should be coding something for the scene instead. For what reason? In order to show that I am not a lamer? This brings back a lot of struggle. My brain is wrongly connected to the whole idea of scene activity/fame. Big unrealistic dreams, wrong motivations during schooltimes, oppression with and against computers, fragile dreams. This is preety much complicated and I am too tired to be active in the scene anymore. As much as I am staying, the more sad I am getting.

I just don't think I will stop coding though. This is pure creativity, alone. My mess with the wrong motives and the community brought the whole feeling down. I still have to finish a promised C64 demo this summer, just something small. No bad mood will stop this, because I got an Action Replay VI for joining a group as a coder. Then, I will decide. I don't like coding at best, nor coding demos. There are some good times with them. I prefer some real life motives however. I discovered that I am more focused and truly motivated at coding, when it's all about some little jobs or the university. At least there, I got something catchy in return (money or a better grade) and felt like fullfiling something. My old scene motives were like little air. Bad childhood. Hall of Fame. A weird personality that doesn't even know what it needs. I don't even remember. Nevertheless, I am not that moody in coding demos really. I love realtime gfx algorithms because I am a visual mathematician. But till that point. It's easier to do some effects just for fun, rather than trying to blend music and design into one thing that is called a demo. In order to release it in the community and show that you are active and cool? Another one of those noninteractive programs with the same effects, abstract shapes and monotonous music? Lately, I feel similarly to the scene-illiterate student who was constantly asking me "But why demos? What is their use?!?". This odd change happened When I asked myself about the motivations of coding another demo. Voices whispered "You have to do it!", "You have to release, to show that you are still active..", "Release it so that you can catch up with the next one, real kickin demo", "Aren't you a scener?". Nothing more. Where are the motives concerning the elements of my hobby? I'd prefer to code a new effect or optimize my old ones just for fun. But not making a big demo with them. I'd prefer to do something interactive if I wanted to code something big. A voxel engine, a CPC emulator, a game. Those were coming into my mind lately for example. I like some facts in democoding, but my wicked motives have nothing to do with the subject at all. Now, I can just be a bit content that I have coded some plasma and fire effects in my life :) Anyways, I think I am gonna code whenever I feel like so from now on. And since coding other things and for other reasons might give me some true motivations to aid the work, I guess I will stop coding for the scene. I might also try to get far away from the community.

I felt little bursts of serenity, by the thought that I am about to leave a little world that haunted me for a long time. It's still too hard to leave because it's like killing a big part of my personality. But as long as things are getting worse, I am moving more towards that direction. If I haven't done it partially already. Hopefully, situations get so fucked up once upon in your life, that you are constrained to change something. It is still hard and I believe that if I totally quit, I will return back after 5 years or something. At least, diferrent. Perhaps I can live peacefully in the scene then. Few secrets more and I am finished: 1) My secret plan was to start editing my own diskmag, WAD (Wannabe A Diskmag) was the thought name, a bit diferrent than the others, with my own blog and arrogance, which is just like carrying my egoistic battleground out of Pouet. I would continue but perhaps I wouldn't hear that much from you and I would have regular releases, since only a diskmag engine and then article writting is needed. 2) Chances are that I might return back, putting a very rare chance to fuck up once again (I really wouldn't like that). As I said before, scene dreams is a big part of my personality and I don't feel very well dishing my half life. When I am thinking this, I am getting very sad. Nevertheless, the key in that is Capricorn. He struggles, aims for high grounds, people laugh at his unrealistic tries. But at the very end, he wins! And that's the magic!!! Imagine the defeated 'Optimus', humiliated, thrown away from Pouet, feeling disgust about the scene, dead personality. Ground Zero. And then coming back, after 5 years of silence, releasing a fuckin greatest demo ever!!! This would be much more of a surprise if it ever comes true. The success of Capricornism is much greater in my eyes than a usual success. Though, it's harder. And you know the flaw. I am just messing around with my old motives and I am gonna fuckup everything again. But the capricorn lurks in my mind. Perhaps I should let it sleep for the moment. I sound very silly for the moment..

It was much bigger and unorganized than what I thought. Uncomprehensible at some places? Well, forgive my poetic times. I just like writting. This was my most important text in a scene diskmag, not another way to get attention, but a wish to express what's the matter with me, what was my position in the scene all those years, how did I reached this point and what am I thinking of it now. And a goodbye from the demoscene. One world has really shattered inside me, while another one feels much better than ever. I don't believe that I have finished writting this text. I don't believe that this is the end. I might be still watching at some late releases in Assembly or other big demoparties, coding when I really feel like so (but most probably not for the scene), communicating with few sceners through email or anything. I will still be around at times, just more distant from the scene community as soon as it goes. My mind has to be cleaned from the ghosts of the past. Perhaps I will either be healed after some years, having as a result either to return back or loosing any reason of being a scener at all..

My scene life was not a bad road. I don't believe in 'bad' or 'good' anyways. This was just a sad road. But this was a road that I passed through and I learned enough during my journey. I am almost afraid to go on and forget the past now, but I think I will manage it..

And an apology for the end. Apology for me is something like the explanations which I gave. I am not really feeling like I have to apology for something in the other sense, because I don't think I made something really bad at the end (net abuse, seen before, corrected), except from perhaps hurting some people's feelings during my scene life, but I was hurted too. Nevertheless, because you may not see me or hear much from me anymore, I think this is the best way to finish and say goodbye.

I do.