- To always be fair and honest with everyone only allowing their words and actions to speak for them rather than judging their hearts.
- To be prudent in all manners keeping in mind I do not always have the full facts but also never abandoning my intuition .
- To be sober with both enthusiasm and fear striving to never let my emotions dictate what is true or real.
- To engage my audience and community with love and respect regardless of our differences but also never surrounding my firm values and foundations.
- To allow honest and open dialogue even from those who provide honest and constructive criticism.
- To never engage in complete frivolity for the sake of views, money or attention.
- To strive to improve on what can be worked on and to never surrender what should never be changed or lost.
- To be mindful of my platform and whatever influence it may wield.
- To seek the truth in all things and put aside false ideas when it becomes clear they such.
- To inform, edify, promote, build and better those around me.
“Farewell! O Gandalf! May you ever appear where you are most needed and least expected!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
The stories of Middle-earth are stories of comings and goings. Which sounds simple but it is at the root of a good adventure. J.R.R. Tolkien understood that a good tale had to have twists which of course would revolve around deaths but also introductions of characters. These comings and goings were after all the fate of the world playing out. It may not seem it but Smeagol or Gollum as he began calling himself was in fact fated to take the ring into the fire of Mt. Doom. On the surface Gollum does not look nor act like a hero of valor. Yet it is through his obsession he takes on a heroic course. Showing us that fate or in the theological terms of Mr. Tolkien God uses even the lowest of creatures to help save the people of Middle-earth. It is in this way Tolkien subverts our expectations and gives us surprise and sudden shocking turns of events but you realize they were fated to be. On the surface Frodo as given the task of Ring-bearer should you think have destroyed it but we are not paying attention if we make that assumption. Yes Tolkien is fine with us making that but it is only because the character around Frodo also have this hope.
I find it totally interesting to connect the dots from Isildur to Gollum to Frodo. On the surface Isildur is wise and brave. He himself cut the ring from the hand of Sauron but inside his heart was the same ugliness that deformed Smeagol into Gollum. Tolkien is warning us not to take packages on their appearance alone. This is a common set up through out the stories but it is a huge central theme of Tolkien’s. Not only does he not wanting us judging people on their appearance but he also wants us not to make assumptions about the situations our heroes find themselves in. Well he expects our nature to do a little of that but he corrects that flaw in the midst of telling his stories. For Tolkien this core tenant of his myth is directly tied to Christ and the story of his Incarnation. All the way from the birth of Christ to his death, Jesus never seems to do or be the person a lot of people around him want him to be. It seems almost Tolkien himself was involved in the story of the Messiah. The birth of small baby in a manager is the King promised to bring joy and peace. The boy who grows up in a small backwater town to be will be the one who redeems the whole world. The victory of the world will be won by the death of a man on a cross. No doubt Tolkien brought his Christian faith and sensibilities to his myth. For Tolkien the two were unavoidable. He sees the story of Middle-earth similar to that of the Christian truth of the world. While Tolkien does not go out of his way to tell you this it is evident in his view of the world which in extension Middle-earth is a part of.
The truth is that joy and sorrow of the real world are a very real part of Middle-earth. It is no accident that the day the Ring is destroyed that it is on the traditional day we observe Easter and Good Friday which is March 25th. The supreme joy of Christ is fundamental to the work of Tolkien. So it goes without saying that there is a something we can take away from it this Christmas. The joy of Christmas is that King who came to die will return in full glory to take us to his kingdom is seen the rise of Aragorn as king of Gondor. He ushers in a period of long lasting peace at the end of the third age. The same time Frodo and Bilbo sail to the undying lands with the last of the elves and Gandalf.
So this Christmas bring your smiles out and remember that despite the grief and hardships of these times the great joy of knowing our King will Return will suffice.
Before July of 2019 I had no real desire to be a streamer. While I had experience with a live stream interview show on YouTube, I personally never saw myself as a streamer. To me streamers where simply either e-personalities or pro gamers. From the onset I strove to be authentically me and to pursue the topics I deeply cared about but I failed at that when I was faced with enormous weight of how to get exposure. I realize this is my flaw and one I have to get over if I am ever going to come back to streamer wherever that is. It is vital you understand that I am placing my own personal problems as the main reason for stepping back. It is important I ask myself if I truly want to be a streamer because I like streaming or if I want it to be something else. However with that in mind I need to also admit that the problems at Dlive have not help and it is going to be essential they fix these issues before I can come back. Let it be known that there are two questions here: Do I want to stream and do I want to do it at Dlive.
I realize that this is not the first time I have told people I was leaving Dlive. I am sure by now people might think I am just a drama king wanting attention but ask yourselves this, what streamer doesn’t? The truth is I wear my emotions and passions on my sleeve and this is a problem for streaming for a multitude of reasons. The good thing is that people get to see the real me but the problem is people get to see the real me. I know I do not want to be fake and despite what people may think I am literary just trying to let people know where I am at and maybe that is part of my problem. I need to decide how much of me I should show and how much of me is for consumption. When I first came to Dlive I struggled with figuring out what I was. I started streaming because it was a way to distract myself from my problems and I realize now that can never be why you stream. I also wanted a little side hustle because at the time my wife had also just lost her job. I knew I loved Lord of The Rings and fantasy RPG games but I had difficulty translating that into streaming content. This is where I entered another major problem I begin to be consumed with growing my channel to at least 200 followers in order to get the Affiliate benefits. I felt like the only way to establish myself was to have some of those things already in hand and while it does help being Affiliate the strength in any content is what it is.
Now I will admit it was easy to use the platform and many people were helpful in giving advice but in order to get anywhere it seemed as if you had to grind to that magic number. Last month I had put in the most hours in any given month on the platform. This garnered me the much coveted number of followers but it burnt me out. This is a normal thing and even the best get worn out. So part of my departure is just needing a break. Regardless of what I am about to say it is imperative that you all know that is the most vital factor for my decision but to say that is the only one would be a lie.
It was during this past month though I begin noticing disturbing actions by both streamers and supposed guardians alike. One such streamer even went so far as to call me a fat f*ck on his stream while pulling up my image from another stream I was in. This was frustrating but I tried to deal with it the way I knew how to. I first laughed off the attacks but as they continued and lies where said about me I begin to grow even more frustrated. This is the part where I disclose that I did not handle the situation the way I should and I admit my fault and apologize for that. I do not however think that diminishes the glaring fault of this streamer and the guardians who knowingly allowed it. Not only had this streamer broke TOS of Dlive by personally attacking me and having another stream in his to make insult to injury he also was made Affiliate and is if that was not enough it was visited and hosted by guardians of Dlive. It felt like a punch in the gut. Not only had this guy got Affiliate before me in a shorter time he was being praised by Guardians for being a troll. This is only the most grievous account I have a whole list of other actions by other people. Now I will admit I also did wrong and I need to come to terms with the fact that I allowed such an obvious troll get to me. I did use a false account to confront this guy BUT ONLY BECAUSE HE WOULD NOT STOP LYING ABOUT ME. To make matters worst one of his mods was trying to get me tossed for doing such when it obvious by my language I was not trying to troll this guy but get him to shut up. The only reason I did that is because he muted me after lying about me doing that to him, in a stream THAT WAS NOT MINE. Anyways this is all water under the bridge but it only points to me a problem at DLIVE that I need to be solved before I return. This though is still not the whole enchilada.
I am also equally concern with the direction of the platform. I know it is in the midst of a sea change and I really want to know if it will remain a place that allows for free speech and does not try to cater to only esports. I want more diversity on DLIVE but I also want it be a product I can bring my friends to. I truly hope Dlive can strive to be the platform built on community it started out as.
Part of my problem I also have to admit is that I need to decide if I want to be a streamer and why? I want to refocus on myself and refresh my battery and if I feel up to being a streamer again I will then address the other issues. I have hope that Dlive will fix these problems but until that day I can’t even consider coming back. Again I realize what this might seem to some but that is where your opinion of me is going to determine if you care enough to watch. At this point I will focus on my content and not anyone else. I have to come to terms with my faults and see if this is going to be a worth while thing. I say this because I do not want to feel like I have to be somebody else to grow. While I have never wanted to make a full time living off streaming I wanted to make enough to improve the quality and justify the time spent. In the end what I would like the most is to spend time on what is real. I realize that part of my problem is just that my problem. I have to take time and really ask myself if I am going to be a streamer and if that will be on Dlive. If I come back it will be because I have answered yes to both questions. It is truly my hope that Dlive can be the platform I want it to be and if it is in my heart to stream again to do it there because it has been to this point a rather successful endeavor even with the setbacks and drama. It is my hope Dlive can see the cancer before it overtakes the platform. I can assure you all that if I come back it may be devil may care with me. I will not be the same Wandering Ranger. For those who have been fair with me you may find this all to be a stunt. All I can say is that it is not. I am sometimes overtly hasty with my emotions maybe because I am a Pisces. I cannot change your minds about me and my reasons and I have to accept that reality and whatever it may cost me. I can say that if I am guilty of anything it is wearing my heart on my sleeve. I have to take accountability for my actions and if Dlive wants to ban me for my poor decisions it can. I can only say that it is a weakness of mine to want to engage with people, I should accept some responsibility the same as others but in the end I need a break and how long it will be is yet to be seen. This is the reality of the situation.
The podcast Lessons from Middle-Earth is set to make its return on Saturday January 4th, 2020. A part of the new line up on the Dlive exclusive stream Saturday Night On Dlive with The Wandering Ranger. The podcast will be made available after the live stream on Youtube and possibly other platforms. Save this post and it will be updated with the information for that. At 6pm MST the Ranger will go live to on Dlive and during the stream will play the now 30 minute version of the podcast. You can watch old episodes of the podcast by clicking here.
In the long break I have taken a lot of time to think about the future of the podcast. The return of Season two of The Podcast will be a very personal episode dealing with the reality of death. The new season of Lessons from Middle-Earth set to premiere will come back into 2020 with a bang.
Happy New Year to all!! It is my supreme hope that 2020 is a better year for all of us. I am hopeful that despite the disturbing trends I see emerging that we can emerge from the toxic nature of 2019.
Going forward I have a lot planned the site and it is my hope you will be a part of that. Let us learn from our mistakes and boldly dream for a brighter tomorrow. Happy New Year!
5. That Conservative Inc. is a real thing.
Whether it be Charlie Kirk and TPUSA or Ben Shaprio. There is a movement parading around like they are conservative. It should be noted that worst culprits of this are NeverTrumpers who have also now changed their tune on Trump. Either way this group is a danger and God Bless Nick Fuentes and the Groypers.
4. The Fandom Menace is winning!
There is no denying the impact Jeremy ( @DDayCobra ) of Geeks and Gamers has had on Star Wars and the culture of geekdom on Youtube/Twitter. This tweet just goes to show everything Jeremy has done. Whether you like it or not since 2017 he has been a wrecking ball. Not to mention others in the real Resistance (Doomcock, Odin & Nerdrotic)
3. Ben Shaprio is a coward.
Despite how the established media and Conservative Inc has tried to spin this encounter this just goes to show how much of a coward he is. I get it looks bad on the surface but Ben’s utter avoidance of Nick Fuentes just goes to show that Ben is more concerned with money and optics. He even used his own kid as a human shield.
2. That Porn and Coomers are a problem.
The reality is that the coomer and porn conversation happening on Twitter is more than an issue of Free Speech it is an issue of understanding that some confuse not being an SJW or libertarian Free Speech advocate as being conservative. I get that we can never truly get rid of the porn but to avoid how much of a pass we give it just because of muh speech is a joke. Lets advocate protecting children something hopefully we all can agree on.
And the biggest #1 Thing!
1. That People Do Not Know what Impeachment Means.
The reality is this I could upload a thousand equally stupid tweets about how people think that impeachment means that Trump is actually gone. It is sad but true of the Trump Era that people are easily and emotionally duped by the frauds in the media and sham hearings to think this will actually equate in him leaving or not being re-elected. The truth is that twitter seems to be full of grown children who never got educated on the realities of civics or life.
“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”― Rick Warren
It is not often I think highly of a Rick Warren quote but on this particular day it seems to fit. Much of the past two weeks for me has been getting set up for the future. So much promise and ambition for where I want to guide my website and my stream. I note that in order to have any real progress I have to look back at my past. Learn from both the mistakes I made and examine those who I have also seen both succeed and failed. Progress is not achievable for those blind to the past. It also is beyond anyone dead set on thinking only for the future. Being present means knowing the past and hoping for the future. Knowing that our actions now represent the past and the future.
I take from this that while I should examine what I have learned from looking back I must also look forward. I do want my enthusiasm for the future being drowned out from impact of the past. I want to be clear on what the past says about the present and the future. So for me I reviewing old podcasts and thinking on my old streams. Knowing that the benefit of looking back is that I can return to the now and change the future.