hugh_donnetono asks:

Where do you see yourself in seven years?

I guess that depends in large part on whether I can evade Doom for that long.  Like, in theory it would be nice to be ruling the world as a deranged sorcerer-king by then, but frankly I’ve offended a lot of deities and unleashed several ancient sealed evils, and that $#!t catches up to you.  Obviously I want to finish my PhD, probably sooner rather than later, but I’m not sure I want an academic career anymore.  It’s unlikely I’d get a university position in New Zealand or Australia within my first few years on the academic job market, and I don’t want to keep working in America any longer than I really have to; it’s also really difficult to return to an academic career after a few years working in another field.  This, of course, assumes there will be an America to go back to so I can finish my degree, so I’m gonna need all my readers there to step up and do everything you can to stop the country collapsing into totalitarianism or civil war.

For goodness’ sake, I wanted to be a novelist.  You don’t really get paid up front for that sort of thing, though, so you sort of need to support yourself with a “real” job, like some sort of peasant.  So it would sort of be nice if I could convince more people to pay me for my writing here… but that’s a long enough shot that saying it’s where I “see myself in seven years” seems grandiose at best.  For now I’ll settle for finding a job, and if the world ends I can always rule its ashes from a throne of jagged glass.

Long time; second time asks:

So you’ve been at this a while…. What are you most proud of?

That’s a tough one…

To be honest, I don’t much like thinking back to things I’m proud of, because most of them are quite a long time in the past and it just makes me feel as though I peaked a while ago.  By the time I finish reviewing all the generation VII Pokémon it will have taken me almost two years, and there’ll probably be precious little time left before I have to start doing something about generation VIII (which is coming; you know it’s coming; there’s always another bloody one coming).  In some ways it’s sort of justified, because my Alola reviews are twice as long and much better researched than my Unova ones, and I wasn’t taking regular questions from readers when I did Unova, so of course it takes me longer, and there are quite a few more new Pokémon in Alola than in Kalos, so of course it’s longer than that generation too.  The trouble is that Pokémon reviews feel very routine, very business-as-usual, and they’re a bit formulaic in format (especially the mechanics/competitive second half).  They’re good, and frankly I am proud of how much better they are than the Unova ones, but they don’t make me feel like I’ve written something important and challenging, like when I used to write about the ethics of Pokémon training.  I think the most important and significant thing I’ve written recently was a couple of months ago, when I wrote about why Pokémon may need – may have a moral obligation – to embrace a more pessimistic worldview than has always been its preference.  I don’t feel proud of that, though, because I don’t feel like it accomplished anything – just set out something that needs to be accomplished, that perhaps I need to find some way to do myself.

Continue reading “Long time; second time asks:”

Might be Squidward Tentacles asks:

I am the culmination of your dreams…and nightmares…

Some of these villains were over the top, some were pretty within realistic “levels of insanity” like Giovanni (Pokémon mafia) and Ghetsis (manipulating with a front) . I seek your creativity! How would YOU, the great Chhrrrriiiiis, make a villain team?

Culmination of… dreams and nightmares…?

But… putting aside the sheer improbability of a threesome with Chris Pratt and Grant Gustin, why in the name of all that is holy would Game Freak choose that as their design for an evolved form of Garbodor?

…uh… anyway…

Pokémon likes villains who believe on some level that what they’re doing is justifiable, even necessary.  Which makes sense, because that’s what villains are like in the real world – only a rare few psychopaths are conscious of being evil; most evil people think they’re doing what they have to, because it’s their job or because it will protect their family or because it will help their country or any number of other excuses.  It takes real training and effort to recognise that something you’ve done is evil, because you think of yourself as a good person, and good people “by definition” don’t do evil things.  Continue reading “Might be Squidward Tentacles asks:”

Not Squidward Tentacles asks:

I hope I don’t inspire a thought…because I love your writing!!!

But…just as vinyl records will one days produce nothing more than scratching noises, and the tv will one day return to just being a square plastic box…will you one day stop writing on here?

Well, I probably will die eventually, as have the majority of humans in history.  Obviously I have set certain mystical contingencies against that event, whose details I shall not divulge for the sake of readers’ sanity and/or plausible deniability.  But ultimately, the Endless Void claims us all.

I don’t think I’ll stop writing before that though.  I might stop writing for this blog, and I might even (stars forbid) stop writing about Pokémon, but I don’t think I can stop writing altogether.  It’s in my nature.  And after all, someone has to shriek at Game Freak whenever they do something stupid.

Anonymous asks:

I love your insight and your posts!!! You’ve made me think about the Pokémon world in ways I never looked at. Just one question, do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by your commitment to this?

AH-HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHA BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

ahahahahahahahahahahaha

ha

yes

Seriously though… yes, most of the time.  But the thing is, I’m an academic, and academia has a way of trying to make itself into the only source of achievement or self-worth in your life, in a way that’s honestly kinda toxic.  So even if it’s hard to find the time for it, I think it’s important for me, personally, to keep doing this.  That, and it’s good to always be writing.