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Interview with GoryBlizzard

Posted by TheInterviewer - September 12th, 2012


Interview No. 103

Interview By: @The-Great-One

Today's guest is an interesting fellow. He been with Newgrounds for over 8 Years now and throughout that time he has become a forum regular and a regular of many chat services that Newgrounds has participated in. With the release of the Newgrounds Chat, he has become a Chat Moderator. He has an interesting story to tell of his experiences and life, he is @GoryBlizzard.

Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I found NG through a friend at school and checked it out in March 2000--I was only in 4th grade back then. I would find myself back here on and off over the next 3 years to watch an occasional movie or play the occasional game, and this wasn't all that often. In October 2003, I started to develop a real addiction here and I started to actively seek out more games and movies on NG like a lot of other people in my school. I lurked the BBS for a while, and on November 21, 2003, I made a decision to join NG with QueerThugSmasher as my username. That didn't last long though, because I signed back in on December 24, 2003 and decided to change my username to GoryBlizzard instead. I have no plans to change my name ever again since GoryBlizzard has been my main online alias for a while.

Q: Your first post to the Newgrounds forum would be within the thread Morons should be Shot. What drew you to that thread?

A: Nothing significant. At the time, I was just 13, and on that day, I felt exhausted and even highly inebriated because I had a few drinks right after coming home from school. I was in the middle of writing a diary entry on Diaryland and I was googling images of guns to use in that post because I was in one of those moods where I felt like shooting someone. Anything even remotely shooting-related would have caught my attention at the time, and it just happened to be that thread. I posted that same image to the blog that I posted in the thread. Looking back at it now, I feel no pride--just regret. That first post should remain nothing more than a distant memory.

Q: When did you start drinking and why?

A: Time to go 17 years back in time all the way to 1995. I started drinking alcohol when I was 5 at a barbecue in my grandparents' backyard and only out of curiosity, with plenty of adults around. In my then-childish mind, I thought that if all the big old people around me are drinking beer, maybe if I had some, they would treat me with more respect. I asked my dad to open a can of Budweiser for me, and he did. Now, you'd think that at least one person would have a problem with a 5-year-old kid drinking a can of beer, but astonishingly, nobody came up to try to take my beer away. I vaguely remember this blonde lady talking about how cute it was to see me drinking, but that's it. I felt like I could handle the taste just fine.

For the rest of my childhood, I would have an occasional beer with my lunch or dinner whenever my parents bought a pack, and on some days I drank way too much. I started to become curious about liquor at one point, and when I was 8, I asked my mom if it was okay to have a little bit of their Stolichnaya vodka. Well, she did give me a little bit--not even a shot, and my palate just couldn't tolerate it well, but I continued to drink beer. I was 11 when I gave vodka another chance and my experience then wasn't as bad as last time, and later on I just started to drink it more and more. Eventually I started to drink different types of whiskey and rum as well. Before I knew it, I had a real drinking problem, and at such a young age too.

Most of the liquor I've drank throughout my life was around 80 to 101 proof, on average. I was never really into extremely high-proof liquor such as Bacardi 151, Devil's Springs vodka or higher. I'm also not big into absinthe or Sambuca. Starting to drink at an early age really sucks, because I'm paying the price with the way my health is now--just being constantly afraid of seizures and taking levetiracetam ER every 12 hours to suppress them. I hope to eventually be off my medication so that I can start drinking booze again, but that may take a long time--at least 7 years. I don't want my drinking days to be over permanently, but when I drink again, I'm only going to do it in extreme moderation.

Q: When Newgrounds member Livecorpse committed suicide Tom announced it in the thread LiveCorpse Suicide. You commented on this matter. I want to go through each thing one by one, first off how well did you know Livecorpse?

A: On a personal level, I didn't get to know Livecorpse very well. I talked to him on AIM a few times to give him some movie ideas, and he wasn't all that nice to me. The very first post I ever made was in one of his threads, and like everyone else, I had no idea what would eventually happen to him. The whole incident was tragic all around, and it happened less than a month after thecerealkiller died. I remember that being a big deal too at the time.

Q: This is a bit touchy to talk about so if you don't wish to answer then that's fine. In your post about Livecorpse's suicide attempt, you to spoke of your own suicide attempts. It's not an easy thing to think about or even to attempt, it can be a scary ordeal. How many times did you try to take your own life and why? Also what made you decide not to?

A: My previous suicide attempts are too touchy to even think about, let alone talk about. I wish I could go back in time, knowing everything that I know now, and undo the damage I did to myself.

Q: Still in the same thread you state that "there's no such thing as Heaven or Hell. It doesn't matter how you die when the fact of the matter is, in the end, you're dead." Where is your stance on religion? Are you an atheist, agnostic? Were you raised in a religious household and how did you come to drop your faith so to speak?

A: I'm an atheist, much to the chagrin of many of my extended family members. A few months after I was born, I was baptized as a Catholic, but that was my paternal grandmother's idea--she's still alive as of this writing and has always been highly religious. My parents were both raised in religious households, hated it and did me the favor of not raising me like their own parents did. So in short, no, I wasn't raised in a religious household. Just like a lot of other people, there were plenty of hardships in my life, but at least I can say that I never had to worry about waking up early every Sunday morning to go to church, being told to say prayers every night and so on. There's simply no empirical evidence that any higher being exists and until I'm proven wrong, I will stick to that. I consider myself highly tolerant of people with different religious backgrounds--in general, religion isn't really a big deal for me.

Q: You've been on Newgrounds since 2003. So you were around during a lot of interesting things happening on Newgrounds. Going through multiple redesigns and tweaks. What do you think of this redesign compared to the past redesigns?

A: I like this redesign quite a bit. I'm not sure why, but it's easy enough to navigate and I like that brown appears to be the main color (a departure from the preceding designs--all of which were black). Anything that is shit or reminds me of shit is good. I will say though that I miss the design from late 2004 to very early January 2006, before they replaced the header--that was my favorite one, and it looked especially good when the header was Halloween-themed. The 2007 redesign was also very good and it lasted much longer than I expected. As much as I like the current design, I'm not sure enough people are on the same page. A total redesign may have been too much to absorb too quickly for a lot of people. Stuff on the previous design could have been changed to reflect changing times and features could have been added without completely changing the basic layout.

Q: You were around during a time when the flash sites were practically at war with one another. AlbinoBlackSheep and Ebaumsworld being two. What can you tell us about this little historical nugget from your perspective?

A: Ebaumsworld was the site a lot of people here loved to hate (mainly for their content theft + watermarking), and I'll admit that I was no different. ABS wasn't well-regarded either, and in fact they stole a lot of NG's bandwidth at the time, which riled up the admins here. I never supported either of those sites to begin with, and of course I'm not going to start now. The YTMND raid on Ebaumsworld over that Lindsay Lohan pic in January 2006 sticks out in my mind because it was a good example of how pissed off people can get over stolen content. I never partook in the raid, but I watched from the sidelines.

Q: You are a member of the club here on Newgrounds for fans of Heavy Metal music, aptly named Metal Hell. When were you introduced to the Metal genre? How did you come to join this club?

A: I actually grew up mainly listening to classical music, but I liked some of the more popular metal bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Rush. Since my early childhood, I was a casual metal listener, but I never fully got into the genre until July 2004 when someone else on another forum posted a long list of recommended power metal bands, which I then thought I'd check out. I looked up Sonata Arctica and Rhapsody (later and now known as Rhapsody of Fire), and that pretty much changed the rest of my musical life. From there, I went on to explore the rest of power metal, as well as death metal, black metal, progressive metal, doom metal and so on. I was 14 back then, 22 now and it's nothing short of startling that my musical taste has changed so little over so long. Much of what I enjoyed listening to back then, I still love now, even as I continue to discover new bands. Just metal itself is a never-ending journey for me. It's not the only genre I listen to (I still love classical, plus prog rock, some guilty pleasures here and there), but frankly I rarely listen to much else. I gave nu-metal/aggressive rock/mallcore a chance, but none of it ever appealed to me for the most part.

I lurked Metal Hell for a while just to familiarize myself with the people that post there. I officially joined it on January 12, 2005 when I was still 14, almost 15. I haven't posted there much in a long time, and have taken long breaks in between posting from the very beginning, but that's because I'm busy with a lot of other things and haven't seen all that many breathtaking developments in the metal world lately. Since that time, I've met a lot of my favorite musicians (Ken Owen from Carcass, Muhammed Suicmez from Necrophagist and all of Suffocation to name some examples), went to some amazing shows, and frankly, it's a shame that I can't afford to go to more. I still treasure a lot of my memories from the shows I've already been to, and sometimes take out my old tickets to remind myself, "Fuck, that was such an amazing night." On top of that, I've also increased my metal T-shirt and CD collection. As I'm writing this, I'm listening to Hyperdrive by Devin Townsend. If anyone reading this is looking for a good song to have sex to, there you go.

Q: First off, who is this person? Second, many Newgrounds members are afraid to show their faces or would rather hold a bit of mystery to themselves, but not you. What makes you fearless to show yourself?

A: Wow...well, yeah, that's me all right. 2007 me though, not the 2012 me that almost everyone here is accustomed to by now. I was 17 back then and in the beginning stages of growing my hair long. Earlier that same month, I made the decision that I wanted to have long hair and was fucking sick of short hair, period. As time went by, my wish came true. Now I don't really look anything like I did during that time--I have much longer hair and a goatee now, plus sunglasses obviously, but lately I've been thinking about having another haircut since the way I look now turns off a lot of prospective employers. I just can't rule that out.

Also, I was indeed afraid to show myself on NG for a long time--I certainly didn't even consider doing it until March 2006. As time went on, I became more comfortable showing myself, but almost always in sunglasses which I wear most of the time IRL anyway (except when I'm asleep, in the shower or at a job interview). People often ask me why I wear sunglasses all the time, and the fact is because my eyes hurt and feel more sensitive when they're not on. Wearing sunglasses constantly greatly facilitates my ability to get things done. I don't care that I look like Neo, Slash, Howard Stern, MJ or whatever...I hear that a lot too.

Q: The Newgrounds Stickam Group Chat! would become a regular place for you to be at. A lot of drama and fun stories has been said to go on through there. What can you share with us from there?

A: We don't do much in Stickam except sit around for hours at a time, waiting for random people to come in and do flips.

I know this answer is going to disappoint a lot of people, but it's just the way it is. Sorry.

Q: One thing that happened in Stickam was that you shared some pictures with them. They would later be used in the thread rate my room newgrounds by GiantDouche. Why did you decide to take pictures of yourself naked and share them with Stickam? Also what are your thoughts on this thread?

A: I regret everything about that whole period of time. I regret taking those pics of myself to begin with and I regret sharing them. Back when I used to get drunk a lot, I would often take many more naked pictures of myself than I usually would. Now I no longer drink at all, so there you go.

Q: The Newgrounds Chat has been out for a good long time now. How did you become a Chat Moderator and what can you tell us about the job?

A: The chat was originally launched on April 1st. At first, I thought it would disappear right after April Fool's Day, and was surprised to still see it on the site on April 2nd. Since Stickam had already pretty much died by that point, I figured I'd start going to the NG Chat with more regularity during the day. Asandir and Bahamut were the most active mods back then. Both of them and the rest of the mods seemed competent, but they also missed a lot and I frequently found myself quietly working behind the scenes getting people banned or deleted based on chat conduct.

On May 23rd, Wade made a rare appearance in the room and announced to the room that he made me a chat mod. After talking to Wade briefly on AIM, the first thing I did was look over the ban list, which looked big at the time, and now it's more than twice as big as it was back then thanks to new troublemakers, and a large number of people circumventing their bans with alts. Since being modded, I've put a lot of time into cleaning up the chat as much as humanly possible--disrupting spammers, chronic RPers, underage users and generally disruptive idiots. Every day brings new challenges, but overall, I like to think that the chat is cleaner and more welcoming.

A lot of people have indicated since the chat's inception that they would love to become chat mods themselves. So for future mods, know this: there's a lot more to modding than you may realize. The two most important traits in chat mods (and all other mods) are level-headedness and reasonable intelligence. I'm not saying that most chat users are stupid (frankly, many are, but the same can be said for a lot of BBS users too), but many just don't have the right balance of these traits. As a chat mod, I've already dealt with just about everything. There are days when I don't have to ban anyone and others when I have to deal with a large number of lowlives. It is what it is and I'm constantly prepared for just about situation to come up. I've seen people devote 20+ accounts in a single day just for spamming the chat, and users as young as 6 or 7 in there. Once in a while, I have no problem recommending certain users for modship, but the number of people I've recommended to date remains very, very small.

There's no doubt that many people think I'm a strict mod, but overall I'm fair, and much more approachable than many people seem to think. If there's anything I want people to know, just don't fear me for no reason. Every time I ban someone, I take a screenshot or keep a relevant chat log for reference in case I need to spit it back at them, or if other mods or admins are interested in seeing them. People that PM me regarding their bans, acknowledging their wrongdoing and asking for second chances usually get them. My main objective is to make sure that people that come into the chat can have a decent or intelligent conversation without worrying about too much spam or clutter--that's not too much to ask, right? It doesn't matter if you're new or old. Usually when people try to have fun by way of RPing or just too much fucking around, the flow of the conversation gets ruined for everyone else discussing something serious. One thing I hear a lot is that I don't let people have fun...well, that's not really true. I only destroy your fun if it clearly gets in the way of other people's fun, and while you may not be aware of the serious collateral effects of what you're doing, I certainly am. If discussion isn't fun to you, and spam, RPing, randomness and general nonsense is fun, you're in the wrong place.

Q: You and I were talking before this interview and you brought up that you have epilepsy. For those who don't know what that is, could you tell them what it is and how you have coped with it these years?

A: A lot of people probably already know that epilepsy is associated with seizures. That's absolutely true.

There are many different types of epilepsy out there. Usually if you have at least two unprovoked seizures of any type, that's how you know you have some form of epilepsy. The type I have is Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy, or JME for short. I've had it since I was 14, but I didn't get the formal diagnosis until I was 22. JME is characterized by myoclonic seizures (basically when your body shakes involuntarily--it tends to happen a lot in the morning for many people) and tonic-clonic/grand mal seizures. A tonic-clonic seizure is exactly what most people think of when they hear the word "seizure": groaning, convulsing and going into unconsciousness for a while. I've had 9 tonic-clonic seizures so far. Every time I emerge from my postictal state, I feel confused with temporary amnesia, a fever that lasts less than an hour, a sore/bloody tongue as a result of biting it during the seizure, and petechiae (red/purple spots as a result of bursting capillaries) all over my face. It's really no fun at all waking up from a seizure.

I've had myoclonic seizures since I was 14. Often times, while I was in the shower or about to get up, my body would shake involuntarily, but my consciousness wouldn't be affected in any way. If I happened to be holding something during a myoclonic seizure, chances are high that I would probably drop it. This has happened a ton of times, with drinks, my phone and numerous other things...and like I said, mainly during the morning. I was also highly susceptible to myoclonic seizures after drinking way too fucking much. I even had one once while having sex...yeah, that's probably too much information for some people, but it's the truth. Over so many years, I never thought myoclonic seizures were that big of a deal, and didn't even mention them to my doctor. I didn't even recognize them as actual seizures for so long. I now know it was stupid of me to just ignore them.

The first time I ever had a tonic-clonic seizure was on the afternoon of July 25, 2010. I just remember getting swiped into the subway system, coming on the train, then I woke up lying down on a stretcher inside an ambulance all fucking confused. I really thought I was dreaming at the time, so I looked at my watch and reality started to sink in: this was no dream--this is really fucking happening. I started to think right then and there that I must have had a seizure, but why? Shortly after I was wheeled into the extremely crowded emergency room, after the nurse put the IV in, the doctor introduced herself and asked me, "Do you know why you're here?" I said, "Well, I'm guessing I had a seizure on the train," which she then said was right. She tried to convince me to get a lumbar puncture, and that seemed highly unnecessary...just a way to get more money off me. I was discharged from the hospital in the evening and spent a lot of time at home reflecting on the day's events, such as when will my next seizure be?

Well, I got my answer on December 5, 2010. That's right--I had another tonic-clonic seizure after drinking heavily and tripping on shrooms the night before. My brother was the only other one home and he called 911 to get me help. The cops and paramedics came into my apartment and I refused to be taken to the hospital, not wanting to deal with another high bill. The lead paramedic there tried to scare me into going to the hospital asking me to choose between a high hospital bill, or a $10,000 funeral bill. Yeah, that still didn't work. I remained firm in my decision and lucky me, because I didn't have another tonic-clonic seizure again for the entire year of 2011. However, on February 15, 2012, just 3 days after my 22nd birthday, I had another one. I saw a neurologist the day after my first seizure in July 2010 and went back to him after this most recent one. I also had a brain MRI without contrast in July 2010, which came back as normal with the only abnormality being a small arachnoid cyst. After this latest seizure, and given my medical history, he decided that it was time for me to be put on anticonvulsants, and he chose Keppra (levetiracetam) for me. It's generally well-tolerated and he started me off with 1,000 mg/day (each pill was 500 mg).

Despite now being on levetiracetam, I had a breakthrough tonic-clonic seizure on March 3rd and another on March 13th...which prompted him to increase my dose to 1,500 mg/day. My next one after that didn't happen until exactly 2 months later, on May 13th, then another on May 21st. I switched to another neurologist, who increased my daily dose to 2,000 mg/day. I'll skip through all of the others. My most recent seizure was on August 3rd and since then, I've been on 3,000 mg/day of levetiracetam ER. So far, so good. I'm just hoping I won't have to take Depakote (valproic acid) in the future, because although it's highly effective for my type of epilepsy, the side effects include weight gain, tremors, drowsiness and headaches. It's not nearly as well tolerated as levetiracetam.

I know not a lot of people here can relate to having any form of epilepsy, but I think it's important to educate people about it, and to show support for people that have it. It's really not easy to deal with, especially if you're young. I quit drinking alcohol because of it, and most people know how much people around my age love to drink. Epilepsy is always at the front of my mind, and why wouldn't it be? I have to take my meds once every 12 hours, and I can't put myself in situations that would be deadly in the event that I have a seizure.

Q: What parts of Newgrounds do you like the most and why? What parts of Newgrounds do you dislike the most and why?

A: The community represents both the best and worst parts of NG for me. There are some really cool people here that I love talking to now, and a lot of previously cool people I used to talk to a long time ago that I now miss. There are also a lot of people here that are nothing but trouble, and they don't deserve any attention from me.

Q: If you could change anything on Newgrounds, what would it be?

A: I would make sure that chat mods, like almost all other mods, have gold auras and the natural perks that come with them. I would also see to it that unverified users can't use the chat, and for the store to accept PayPal. There's more, but that's all I feel like saying for now.

Q: You have been here for nearly 9 years now. What experiences have you had since you've been here? What friends have you made? What have you learned?

A: I've seen a lot both good and bad, and I try to learn something new here every day. I started hosting and assisting with NYC meets annually beginning in 2010 (with initial planning in late 2009), and I hang out with certain NGers either individually or in small groups on occasion throughout every year. I've also attended meets both big and small in Chicago, Boston, Baltimore and Point Pleasant Beach. I've been previously invited to the NG office for Pico Day, and while I've been unable to make it so far, I definitely plan on going at some point in the future. All of my friends know who they are, especially if I talk to them on AIM, Facebook or Skype a lot, and the same can be said for a good number of people on Stickam and G+ too.

Q: What can we expect from GoryBlizzard in the future?

A: I'll continue to be a noticeable presence well into the foreseeable future. On the creative end, you may end up seeing some quality written work from me once the Writing Portal comes out. I'll start off by uploading some old stories and poetry I wrote a long time ago--completely unedited, just to remind myself how I've changed over the course of many years. Since I'm continuing to suffer from artistic regression, you probably won't see any future animations or art from me--the last time I even tried producing either was many years ago. I won't completely rule out future attempts, but don't count on it...I'm fucking old already. It's hard for older people to learn art if they didn't already pick up the talent when they were younger. I'm also thinking about hosting meets in other parts of NY and possibly other states, but that all depends on to what extent my financial situation improves.

GoryBlizzard is an interesting individual, there is no doubting this whatsoever. From his adolescence to where he is today, he has certainly shown what effect this site has on people. What this connection can do for one another. All I know is from research to posting, GoryBlizzard is not only a smart person, but a friend to many here - and it is easy to see why.




I guess I'm a little surprised that this didn't end up being a two-parter. I'll also be around all day in case anyone has any further questions for me not covered by what I already said in the interview.

Fuck you Great One 'Hurr what made you want to kill yourself???'

Who the FUCK do you think you are? Tom Brokaw? FUCK YOU leave goryblizzard alone ASSHOLE!!!


No fags/cigarettes for you until you leave Div and I alone Twilight.