Football: Why I’m not a fan

First of all, I don’t dislike football.

I understand that it can be entertaining. Many people have their identity tied to their team. Many people get self-worth from watching other people kicking a ball.

If you were to press me, I’d say that the closest I came to being a sports fan was during the run-up to Donald Trump’s election. I remember how the surrounding events affected my emotional state.

I got depressed when the Access Hollywood tapes came out. Then there was the relief of the debate that happened that night. After that weekend, I had to take a step back from the election.

Having my mood linked to events outside my control was not a good idea.

I like to have the maximum amount of control over myself. I don’t always have that control, but striving to be master over yourself is preferable to someone else having that power.

You think that I don’t understand the appeal of having the choice taken away from you. I do, it can make life a whole lot easier but I don’t like that.

It’s part of the reason why I’ve never loved football.

I’ve thought about it and here are some of the other reasons I’ve never connected with the beautiful game.

What’s in it for me?

What’s in it for you? When the team win what do you get? When the team lose what do you get? Some momentary satisfaction or heartbreak. Then it starts all over again. I guess that’s cool, but I can’t get anything from that.

I love film but what I get from it is an emotional release or the promise of release. Is that what football fans look for from a match?

Watching football and watching films falls into the category of hobby. I understand that many of our hobbies and pursuits are a waste of time and energy.

Taking an active part in your hobby, like playing football or making a film you’re improving yourself. I like films, but I want to make more movies than the one I’ve made so far.

Watching movies is a way of learning what works and what doesn’t work. Refining my own tastes in the hope of making the best film possible for myself. Is football like that, if you watch football but don’t play are you wasting your time?

Football is a nerdy pursuit in the same way that playing video games is nerdy.

You could tell me every team that a footballer played for, it’s the equivalence of telling me all of Charmander’s attacks. Watching football is closest to playing video games.

Watching football is a form of consumption.

Football is boring, and the chance of a good game is minimal

The few times that I have watched football it hasn’t interested me.

On a primal level yes, I see the appeal. When there is a chance at the goal, you feel your body tense up ever so slightly, but this is a physiological reaction.

Aside from those occasional moments, football for me is dull.

If there is to be something extraordinary, then there has to be a lot of factors that come into play.

Take for example one of the greatest matches in football history.

That was when Manchester United went up against Bayern Munich to win the treble. It wasn’t that the game itself was good it was all the outside factors. There was the chance at the treble. The drama comes from the last minute reversal. That United produced goals from two corner opportunities which is a statistical improbability. Consider that George Best, an avatar of the club, the ghost of United’s glory, walked out on them. Everyone gave up hope, it made for one of the greatest comebacks in history.

Football at it’s best is good drama but it takes many external factors to result in great drama.

The likelihood of these moments coming around is rare.

Whereas the theatre experience is trying to create that feeling every time.

Football is unending

I don’t watch football for the same reason that I don’t watch soap operas, read comic books or follow wrestling; they never end.

What I like about films is that they are self-contained I can watch as few or as many as I want. You could argue that certain movies need to be viewed in sequence but again you can watch a film and you’re under no obligation to watch anymore.

You’ll say that you are under no obligation to watch football. You and I understand that, but there is more to it than that.

Football seems like such a time investment as well as emotional.

It’s just that most people we know will watch whatever match is on. It never ends. I like my entertainment to have finality. I can rewatch classic films but do you watch old games? Yesterday’s good games are forgotten, what have the team done for you lately?

Football is a conversation starter for basic bitches

You could walk up to a fella and say “Hey there big guy, see the match?” and nine times out of ten he’ll say “You betcha lil’ dude” that’s fair enough.

Now if you encounter me, that one in ten. I have no interest or general knowledge when it comes to football

I’m able to pick up on some names and teams because most lads talk about football all the time. Whether that is among work colleagues or, my main point of intake, a Whatsapp group.

Now you’ve probably heard a repeated phrase throughout your life, mine is “You’re tall” or some variant. Now if it’s your first time meeting me, this feels like an appropriate comment to make. I disagree, put it like this if it’s acceptable to comment on my height do I not have a right to comment on your width? How about when you see a beautiful girl, you say “Wow you’re a hottie.” she says thank you because people love it when you comment on qualities beyond their control.

“Did you see the match?”, is a close runner-up to overheard phrases. When I roll my eyes, sigh and offer a curt “No” it’s not because I’m repulsed by seeing matches. It’s just that this is the 1000th time I’ve heard this question. You’re speaking about a specific game whereas to me all events are the same. This boils down to two irreconcilable views on reality. I’m just going to have to make peace with this. All I can do is keep saying that I haven’t, nor will I. Sometimes I enjoy lying, say that I have and see how long I can go before getting caught out. Watching someone get invested in a conversation and watching their eyes narrow when you pull the rug from under them.

Football is something that I should like

You may think that I am bashing football with this but I’m not. It comes from a place of frustration that I don’t like it, a massive section of conversational options are cut off from me by default, you feel like you’re on the outside looking in on some conversations. Football is also a social glue for many men in Europe and there’s a whole section again cut off from me. Football is a lubricant for many lads that helps them slide into a friendship. Not me, I have to raw dog it every time.

What’s worse is that technically football is something I should like. Men being men, competition, no talking, results are dictated by action taken. Yet when I look at it, I feel nothing.

Enjoy football, some of us would like to be so lucky.

One thing that I would like to ask is what the hell is the point of TV football commentary? Someone literally telling you what is happening as it happens. “Ehh but blind people, some people can’t see” Have people not heard of the radio?


DUP: 5 things they need to stop doing and one thing they could do

The DUP are a relic of a bygone age. The DUP still holds a lot of power in Northern Ireland politics. It doesn’t look like they are going anywhere anytime soon.

What you might find frustrating is that with a few tweaks they could join the modern world.

To be clear, I’m not a fan of the DUP. I’m amazed at how obvious some of the solutions to their problems are. With a little work, they could soon clear that up.

Now I’m a lowly Catholic popcorn shoveller so I know that none of them are going to read this but this is just for fun.

Happy 12th everyone, enjoy.

5: Drop the whole abortion/marriage equality fight

This is a losing battle for the DUP, and they are taking a long time to realise that they are on the wrong side on this issue. It’s frustrating that the DUP is happy to be part of the United Kingdom, but cherry picks what laws it enforces.

This half in half out policy shows a lack of loyalty and unity with the UK. The DUP must consider if they’re on board with the whole loyalism/unionism factor.

Needless to say that there is a whole section of society that is living as second-class citizens. This is because the DUP is dragging its feet when it comes to progress.

Giving marriage equality to everyone will not bring about the end of civilisation. You might struggle to comprehend what problem the DUP has with marriage equality, I do.

Does the DUP think that homosexual couples are going to demand that they are married in a church? That’s never going to happen. Religious organisations are a private body that has the right to discriminate.

Does the DUP think that homosexuals want to get married in a church? The Groucho quote has it “I wouldn’t want to be part of a club that would have me as a member”.


As for abortion, regardless of when you believe life begins, the first step to ending poverty is to give women control of their bodies. This goes against my own personal belief, not because I believe that life is sacred or any of that nonsense, I don’t. I’m not a big fan of abortion. Only because I think the only way to get good welfare reform is to choke the system until it can no longer function. Seeing as single mothers are one of the primary beneficiaries of that system, keep kiddies coming.

DUP need to go with the flow on these two issues.

4: Avoiding controversy

You won’t accuse me of telling tales out of school but the DUP, by today’s standards, hold some controversial views. That’s fine, you can’t control what people think. The DUP can’t control what they think, and you wouldn’t want to change that, would you?

If the DUP have controversial opinions, then they should stick to it. You can have controversial views just hold on to them. These could be opinions like climate change isn’t happening. If you believe this and you’re running for public office let the people know what you think.

If you get challenged and back away from the opinion then how do I know that you aren’t going to do that with all your other ideas?

You can change your opinion but don’t do it at the first sign of trouble. Make it look like you’re not just doing it to change with the blowing of the wind.

3: Apologising

This is a reply to the controversial opinions. If you’re going to have controversial opinion stick to it and don’t apologise. If you feel you are in the right, then stick to your guns.

Can I make a reference to guns when talking about Northern Irish politics? Too soon. Did that line bomb?

This is a general life rule that you can take from this as well as the DUP. If you apologise for nothing, you will apologise for everything. I’m not a big fan of apologising in general. Not because I think you’re a bad person but because I think you’re insincere if you do it too much.

Apologies are like swearing, if you do it too much, it loses its effect.

2: Talking to the BBC

Are you frustrated that we’ve had two years of Trump? The political novice and politicians the world over are looking at it like it was a fluke.

Do you want to know something? It wasn’t a fluke.

You’ll find politics more interesting if politicians took a leaf from Trump’s playbook.

Why is American politics so much more interesting than UK and Ireland? You know the answer, it’s because it’s so much more entertaining. Here it is so much more routine. A politician makes a statement, press questions them, they make a retraction. The cycle starts again.

You could be forgiven for being unaware of what is happening in UK politics because it’s frigging boring. Gimme the American model. President says something ridiculous, the press goes into meltdown. President makes an even more absurd statement and so on. It’s entertaining, and it doesn’t take that much to get started.

Look at Jim Acosta, it is fascinating. You’re watching a man lose his mind in slow motion. You are viewing the development of mental illness in real time. Thankfully Jim Acosta is a journalist so whether he ends up in an asylum or not doesn’t matter. How was this downfall triggered, the President refused to talk to him. That’s all it took.

What the DUP could do

The DUP could take a leaf out of this book. You might agree with me that the BBC is held in too high regard. They have the worst form of bias in the way that they believe themselves to be immune from bias. They’re the only game in town. Think of how funny it would be if the DUP just stopped talking to the BBC. The DUP could control news cycles just by refusing to enter into the conversation. BBC would continuously repeat the DUP message and come across as moaners by going on and on about it in public.

(Bonus: DUP should definitely do this now)

Nationalism has got a bit of a bad rap recently with Trump and the alt-right in America. Couple that with the rise of right-wing parties in Italy, Austria and Hungary.

Why the hell aren’t DUP using this as a stick to bash Sinn Fein over the head with?

They don’t even need to lie about it they just have to keep referring to Sinn Fein as a Nationalist party, which is true.

There is an open goal for you DUP, kick the ball.

This is why I never believe the DUP to be the boogeyman that they’re presented as. The DUP are so retarded and frequently keep miss opportunities.

1: Alienating the Islamic community

There has been some Anti-Islamic sentiment coming from the DUP. I know what you’re thinking, shocking.

This baffles me and tells you all you need to know about the competency of the DUP. The Islamic community in the UK leans conservative. The Islamic community has more in common with the DUP than other Northern Irish parties.

While Northern Ireland doesn’t have a large Islamic community, it is growing. It’s not a substantial voter base now, but with their growth and native populations declining birth rates, the writing is on the wall. You’ll find that elections in future may hinge on their support.

Here’s a slogan for free if you’re high up at the DUP.

DUP: If we had brains we’d be dangerous.

Hereditary: the good, not so good and the weird

I went to see Hereditary and decided to share my views on it with you.


If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you have either seen the film or don’t intend to. For that reason, I’m not going to hold back on talking about the whole film so consider yourself warned.

The Good in Hereditary

Hereditary falls into that category of a horror film if you like actual horror films. What do you mean by “actual” horror films Kieran? I hear you ask.

Simple, if you’re watching a movie that isn’t reliant on jump scares then you’re watching an actual horror film.

Hereditary is one of those films.

That’s not to say that there are no jumps. The person I was with told me that I jumped on several occasions, who am I to argue? The point is that the jumps in Hereditary are well integrated into the plot. Integrated scares make for a more enjoyable experience.

I’m not a fan of the Paranormal Activity films for that reason. The reaction that you have to them is physiological. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a Pixies song. Paranormal Activity films are quiet, quiet, loud. You can’t control your reaction. If I whisper continuously in your ear and sporadically shout as well, you’re going to be on edge.

What I liked about Hereditary is that when the scares were coming, it was built up. You were expecting the scare.

When the moments arrive, it is a release of tension.


I loved how this film used cinematography to create the creepy atmosphere.

There are many long shots at wide angles on static cameras.

The lighting is effective. Mainly when there may or not be something lurking in the shadow. There is a moment towards the end, it’s a shot of someone smiling through a doorway. The low light makes it creepy because you’re struggling to see and your mind fills in the gaps.

You can consider it high praise when I kept hoping that they used the style more.


The acting in this film is high quality. Gabriel Byrne does well as the put-upon father whose family is falling apart. Alex Wolff does confused and afraid well.

The stand out performance is from Toni Collette who carries the majority of the film.

What is it with horror being an excellent genre for female performers?

Don’t forget that Collette did one of the most excellent “listening” scenes in history right at the end of The Sixth Sense.

In Hereditary she has such a nuanced role. Is she losing her mind or is there really a demonic cult trying to get to her son?

There is a great scene where she talks about how she used to sleepwalk and almost set her children on fire. Her delivery injects so much uncertainty that you don’t know if she is telling the truth or not.

There is also a scene where she is at group therapy and tells her family backstory. She goes through an emotional journey, and you believe that journey.

This film is an excellent showcase for Toni Collette. You probably think that horror films have cheesy acting, but Collette’s commitment elevates the subject.

The not so good

Spirit Mediums

I’m not a big fan of films that rely on spirit mediums to further the plot. It’s a matter of personal taste. Hereditary had one, I’m not a fan. It took up a substantial portion of the midsection.

Getting there and then dealing with the aftermath. I wish that Ari Aster, the writer and director, had gone for something a little less conventional.

You might think that I’m missing the point. That the whole idea of the spirit medium is subverted. It was part of the cult’s plan, but it wasn’t differentiated enough for my liking.

Could lose 10-20 minutes

Hereditary is two hours long. It could have cut about ten to twenty minutes, and I don’t think we would have lost too much. Especially when there are a few scenes of people watching each other. This had already been established by this point. You don’t need to repeat your points.

Hereditary also features a dream sequence. Doesn’t matter what genre you are working in doesn’t have dream sequences. Nothing makes me think that you are padding the runtime quite like a dream sequence. Hereditary is an even worse offender because it’s a dream within a dream. There are also some interesting dramatic questions raised in the dream. These questions could have been integrated into the main plot.


Hereditary’s soundtrack is excellent. There were a few moments where it became overbearing.

There is a moment of ADR  that is done so badly “Make sure everyone is in the same room house” it stuck out like a sore thumb.

Ambiguous about ambiguity

The film tends to have its cake and eat it in some instances of ambiguity. Are the events happening or is it all in her head? If Hereditary could have been a bit more sure of itself and picked a lane.

Had the events of Hereditary unfolded from Gabriel Byrne’s POV it may have worked better. Just a thought.

I would have enjoyed the ambiguity even further if they cut the film off a little earlier. Instead, the last minute of the film is an exposition dump.

“Oh my mother made mats like this”

The majority of the film has good dialogue that deals with character. So when this line is uttered it’s almost as if someone walks out, looks at the screen and says, “I wonder where this is going?”

This line and the last minute of the film are the only real bad moments of dialogue.

The weird

Hereditary is concerned a demon that is born into a girls body but desires to be reborn into a boys body. The girl is killed, and the rest of the film is about how the demon strives to be reincarnated into the boy’s body. The process destroys the family.

Could you view the film as a metaphor for transsexualism?

This is part of the reason why I love horror so much. It deals with social themes in an extreme way.

I hope you will consider checking this film out at some point even if you don’t like horror as it is worth a watch.

As far as “actual” horror films go, I still think that It Follows is the one to beat. Hereditary is a definite contender, and I look forward to Ari Aster’s next film.

Masculinity is an act of rebellion

First of all, you have to understand that I’m not going to lay out a definition of masculinity.

I’ll go so far as to say this: if you’re born a man and believe yourself to be a man then you can be masculine.

Another aspect you should be wary of is that this post is going to come across as a bit sexist. When you get into the specifics of talking about masculinity you’re going to speak in general terms. When you speak in general terms, you come across as a bit of a sexist.

Consider yourself warned.

Masculinity is under siege

You wouldn’t say that masculinity is under attack. You could say that it’s under siege. Masculinity has been sectioned off and feels like it’s under constant guard.

Masculinity is seen as negative in this day and age. I don’t believe that there’s a sinister cabal trying to keep men down. If anything it’s far more mundane.

The western world doesn’t have as much need for traditional masculinity.

Masculinity has spent the entirety of history making life as comfortable for everyone. How do we say thank you? By demonising masculinity.

Society has a history of using up men and then discarding them as soon as they have served their purpose.

Look at Roman Polanski, who only recently has been kicked out of the Academy. Once his output diminished they finally made him a pariah.

Same for Harvey Weinstein, once his producing reduced people were more willing to hear his accusers’ stories.

To be clear, I’m not saying that his accusers are opportunistic. I’m saying that those who could have done something about it didn’t want to hear what his victims had to say.

People will forgive you for anything provided that they are benefitting in some way. Once they no longer benefit, you’re in trouble.

If you are going to set out and make your mark in the world here is my advice. Either don’t quit or be without sin and always have a witness around.

Otherwise, they’ll chase you out of town.

Survive til 25

The first part of a man’s life sucks.

You aren’t pretty like a girl, so people are less inclined to let you away with stupid shit. You’re ugly, awkward and you don’t want to speak to people. Coupled with the fact that you are in this weird space of constantly being horny and aggressive.

Sadly the first 25 years of a man’s life sucks. That’s one of the reasons that there is still a high percentage of us punching our own ticket.

Then you turn 25, and something unusual happens. Everything levels out and life becomes incredible.

One of the first things that I noticed was that women started to fancy me. It took a while to twig onto the idea, but once I did, it was a revelation. “Why is she hanging around, she’s going to be late for work tomorrow” I would think to myself. Then I would realise.

You don’t just magically become attractive.

You have become surer of yourself, you’re more confident. You’ve been rejected so many times in your life, it’s no longer a big deal. Also, you’ve had sex a couple of times and realise that it’s also nothing special.

Essentially you become chill yet authoritative. Everyone loves that.

Some advice

If you’re not 25 yet and feel like life is a big dark hole sucking you in my advice to you would be to hang on in there. Whenever you turn 25, you’ll see what I mean.

If you’re over 25 and still angry, I recommend meditation, gratitude and affirmations. You need to let go of that anger before you turn 30. I say 30 because someone who is over that age and still angry at life tends to get cut out of others. There appears to be a lot of bitter men over 30 who take every inconvenience as a personal offence.

Don’t be that guy.

If you’re over 25 and still a virgin seriously consider getting either a prostitute or an escort. Not because you absolutely have to have sex, but you need to realise that it isn’t that big of a deal. You put sex on a pedestal, and that will only psyche you out. You won’t lose that air of desperation that people can sense.

Boost your testosterone

Testosterone is a wonder drug for boosting your masculinity. The hormone has got everything a man needs packed into two little balls. All your body is doing is waiting for an excuse to release the chemicals.

Testosterone reduces depression, will make you smarter, more decisive, better able to improvise.

The benefits of testosterone are numerous and the work required to access it is minimal.

All you have to do is lift something heavy.

It’s that simple. Go lift something heavy. You don’t even need to go to a gym, just find something substantial, lift it up and put it down. Repeat this process.

Do push-ups, when you wake up do 100 push-ups. Guarantee if you commit to doing a hundred push-ups as soon as you wake up you’ll never feel sad again.

Shrug off peer pressure

You’re going to get pushback for being a man.

Masculinity can be intimidating to those who don’t have any.

You’re going to get manipulated into toning it down, making concessions for the weak.

In fact, that’s how the weak control the strong, through manipulation. The only advice that I can give you in that regard is to nod your head, say yes and then do whatever you feel like.

If they come to you later and complain that you are not doing what they said, tell them that you changed your mind.

After all, it’s a man’s prerogative to change his mind.

Casual gamer: 5 reasons I became one

Just like that, I’m a casual gamer again. I played a lot of Metal Gear Solid 5 but all of a sudden I’m no longer interested. It just happens, lose all investment and not play now until maybe Christmas again.

If I do end up playing it’ll be my go-to downtime games such as Perfect Dark, Street Fighter 3 and Cuphead in small chunks. I’ve cancelled my game pass because I know I won’t use it. There are a couple of other reasons why I’m no longer big into games. Some might say “Kieran your 32 years old of course you should be done with games.”

Maybe I should grow up and get rid of the console. Probably, but playing games fall into the “consumer category”. If you told me that you played video games, you’re the same as a person who supports football or watches Netflix. You’re pouring money and time into something that will not return your investment.

There are a couple of other reasons why I consider myself a casual gamer, here’s a few.

1: Graphics blind

This is more to do with my age than anything else, but I swear, I struggle to tell the difference in graphics from generation to generation. Having played the Phantom Pain on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One I had to watch a video that pointed out the differences between the two versions. Aside from subtle differences like draw distance, I couldn’t tell the difference.

You have sharper eyes than I do so you can tell the difference. To me, it all looks the same. I guess you could say that I’m graphics racist.

All these 4k 1080p 60fps is gibberish to me, I mean I understand the essence to me, but it all just looks meh. Gaming is trying to mimic real life so much that it sends you barrelling into the uncanny valley.

Watch Lea Seydoux eat at the end of the Death Stranding trailer. Graphics wise, impressive but the mouth movements when she is chewing is just; I don’t know, there’s something off.

2: Mass Effect 3

The first Mass Effect had potential. It was a sci-fi RPG that was something like playing your version of Star Trek. What interested me was that your actions would carry across sequels. This wasn’t the first game to do that. Shining Force 3 was the first game to implement the “synchronicity system” as it was called.

Imperfect but pretty close

While the first Mass Effect was far from perfect, it intrigued me to stay invested. Along came Mass Effect 2 and it was great. The main plot wasn’t great. The end fight was anti-climactic but everything that leads up to that moment was brilliant.

It had great side quests with some beautiful sci-fi concepts. There was the crashed ship storyline. The captain feeds his crew local vegetation which makes them retarded. The captain turns his crew into slaves.

There’s the story of the scientist who merges an AI with his brother’s conscience. The only problem being that his brother has autism. I don’t know if these are original concepts. Knowing sci-fi, probably not, however, the game was enjoyable, and I was looking forward to Mass Effect 3.

Harbinger of doom

Mass Effect 3 single-handedly tainted any future investment I would have in a game franchise. Mass Effect 3 started the ball rolling for me to become a casual gamer.

Mass Effect 3 was eye-opening. If Mass Effect 1 and 2 were seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones then Mass Effect 3 is the following seasons. Characterisation and in-world rules are cast aside as it became a race to end the story.

All that choice over three previous games is reduced to an option of A or B. There was no consequence to my actions. It was a rushed and unsatisfying conclusion to what was gearing up to be a perfect trilogy of games.

After that, I stopped playing games with too much depth. I played some of Witcher 2 and thought, this is going to take me too long to get into and stopped playing.

3: Online all the time, casual gamer will get suspicious

This is a short entry but why do games even single player games need a constant online connection? Again because I’m most familiar with it Metal Gear Solid 5 is shocking for needing to be online. Why does it affect the menus so bad?

Let me stay offline and don’t have it affect my playing.

4: Cutscenes are too long (and the writing mainly sucks)

There are so many games that want to tell you these complex, in-depth stories. If you want a casual like me to sit through those scenes, make the writing good.

The problem is the writing isn’t that good. Film scripts are about 120 pages. Video game scripts can run to 1000 pages.

It’s very rare that the writing in a film script is excellent. The likelihood of a video game script being good is even more unique.

One of the few examples of a good script and good acting is a game called Enslaved. Developers, Ninja Theory hired screenwriter Alex Garland to write the script. It also had it’s acting directed by Andy Serkis. I watched all the cut-scenes to, what a shame that the game itself was dull.

I play a game because I want to play. Don’t make me watch for too long. In fact, I skip through the cutscenes most of the time.

That’s why I’ll never play Heavy Rain or any of that. I want to play. Let me play.

5: Too complex for a casual gamer

The reason a casual gamer likes old favourites is that they have simple rules that are easy to follow.

Take Street Fighter 3; you can attack, block and avoid like other fighting games. However what makes this game special is the parry system. You can risk getting an attack in but you risk taking damage yourself. It is this mechanic that makes it one of the best fighting games.

Perfect Dark another old favourite. The enemy AI works like this, evaluate-act-revaluate. It is this fundamental concept and you as the player must work around this AI system. I don’t like Perfect Dark because it’s a highly realistic shooter, I love it because it’s fun to play.

Even Tetris has a simple rule system, make lines using the blocks, over time the rate the blocks drop speeds up.

The more simple a game, the more fun to play.

Once you realise Dark Souls is about watching your stamina bar, it becomes more enjoyable.

That’s why I don’t like Metal Gear Solid 5 as much as other entries in the series. Resource management has made it too complicated. The rules of the Metal Gear franchise were to get from point A to point B while avoiding the enemy. Metal Gear 5 discarded those rules. The game failed to replace them with anything meaningful.

Remember the writer’s adage KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid

Thank you for making June the best month

Thank you for what has been the best month yet for May had been a bit of a lull, but June surpassed all expectations and then some.

Thank you again.

I’ve been a firm believer that you don’t need everyone to read your content. All that you need is that one person who will read all of your content. took a step closer to reaching that goal in June.

I wrote a piece on the power of affirmations and how you can do them. I wrote about how affirmations aren’t magical thinking, but a means to rewire your brain. Affirmations improve your focus.

Scott Adams made me take affirmations seriously. I thought that he might appreciate my article. I’m quite fortunate in that during the run-up to the election of 2016 Scott, and I regularly interacted on Twitter. Our consistent interaction lead to him following me.

Our mutual following meant that I was able to message him directly. Messaging him directly meant that I had a higher chance of having my work seen by him.

I took a chance and decided that I would message him the article. I thought that he would see my article and say thank you.

What happened next far surpassed my expectations. Not only did Scott read it, but he also complimented my writing and shared it with his followers.

This lead to an explosion in readers. The view count shot way up and has exceeded the combined views of the previous three months.

With more exposure, it has meant that I am one step closer to finding that one true fan.

What can you learn from this?

You have to understand something that it has taken me years to grasp.

Consistency is far more important than quality. I have been making daily writing part of my routine. I have the articles for, and I also have the fiction work. Little by little my writing is getting better.

Do something consistently, and through habit alone, you will become better.

I wasn’t even sure about the quality of the article, but Scott complimented my writing. That’s good enough for me.

Don’t wait to be ready to start something.

Be grateful.

I’ve written about gratitude. So I have to say a big “Thank you” to Scott for taking the extra steps and sharing the article. The compliment and knowing that he read the piece was good enough for me. Him sharing it was the icing on top.

Of course on some level, I was hoping he would share the work and thankfully he did so thank you again, Scott.

I will show my gratitude to him financially by buying more of his work soon.

A big thank you to you too. Whether you’ve found me through Scott Adams or you’ve been here from March I appreciate your readership. There is a lot of content out there so thank you for taking the time to engage with mine.

July is going to be a bit of a comedown view wise, but together you and I are going to make it another great month.

Thank you and see you in July.

Customer Server: 5 ways to be better

If you’re reading this, you’re interested in becoming a better server.

I have ten years of direct face to face customer service under my belt.

I’m going to share a few tips and tricks with you that will hopefully make life easier for you.

Please note that this post is for the benefit of my Odyssey Cinemas employees.

Hopefully, whoever you are you can get something out of it too. Some of these guidelines are applicable in the real world. I invite you to try it out for yourself.

If you feel like some of the bad examples are about you directly there’s an easy way to prevent that happening in future.

5: Only apologise if you massively messed up and it’s your fault.

You overhear the person serving beside you, “Sorry for the wait”. You start thinking to yourself, is my colleague deliberately serving slow? Why am I working at full speed if they are taking their sweet time? The customer begins thinking, why am I stuck with the slowpoke, let me go to someone else. Everyone is a bit more miserable because of this.

The above is of course nonsense. No thinks that the person apologising is being deliberately slow. Everyone is working as quickly as they can, but that raises the question. Why is the person apologising?

You aren’t personally holding the queue up, are you? People understand that they are going to have to wait. You and I can’t control when people show up at the cinema; you also can’t control the decisiveness of a customer.

What I’m trying to say is you’re apologising for aspects out of your control. So apologising is unnecessary.

Another aspect of apologising is that the more you do it, the more you devalue genuine apologies. I don’t apologise for all that much, so people know that when I do, it means more.

4: Talk the right amount

Talking the right amount is something that you will have to gauge for yourself over time. Some customers are terse and give grunts; others will tell you their entire life story.

Talk the right amount so that you aren’t coming across as rude or abrupt but make it clear that you have to work not chat. It’s not rude or “not nice” it’s business. You understand that as does the customer.

Building relationships with individual customers is something that you can do over time. You will notice regulars, and in that case, you can get into deep and meaningful if you want. Trying to force it on the first interaction is weird and creepy.

Notice also when a customer engages in conversation, it’s always after they have got what they want.

Customers don’t want their time wasted but don’t mind wasting yours. Be polite but make it clear that other customers now need you.

Customers will also talk for the sake of talking. “Is it any good” is a weird question. They don’t care about the answer they want to talk. “I’ve heard it’s good” is all you need to say.

3: Be repetitive, be repetitive, be repetitive

Customers in their head know what they want, they know it so well that they think that they don’t need to tell you. This is where the power of repetition comes in. Parrot back to the customer their order because it reduces the risk of error.

Customers will also leave gaps in information. You can be more efficient by attempting to fill these gaps.

“One ticket for Star Wars.”

“One (Adult) ticket for Star Wars (now at 6 pm)

“No, I want a student for Star Wars tomorrow at 10 am.”

Repetition may seem a bit clumsy and unnatural, but it keeps you right. If there is an issue, you can say that you checked with them before proceeding leaving the responsibility with the customer.

2: Tell, don’t ask

Customers want to give you their money. There’s an expression with car salesman “No one steps onto the lot unless they want to buy a car”. Our expression would be a little more clumsy. “No one walks around the foyer for 10 minutes before looking for times on the foxy Fridays leaflets unless they didn’t want to buy a ticket”.

Doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

Customers want to give you their money as quickly as possible before they talk themselves out of it.

Customers want to hand over the mullah minimum fuss.

How can you upset this, by giving them too many choices? The customer wants a cinema ticket a popcorn and a drink. They don’t care about how much they spend, make it easy.

How can you help the customer simplify the process?

By telling them and not asking.

Way off the mark

“Gimme a drink and nachos.”

“Absolutely, what drink would you like.”

“What do you have?

“We have coke, diet coke, coke zero, sprite, Fanta. Also how much ice would you like? Also, would you like the cheese on the side with the salsa over the top with a little fence of jalapenos or would you like me to spell out your name with the cheese while using the nachos and salsa to do a historical reenactment of the eruption at Pompeii with the crumbs representing the ash cloud? Or I could use the nachos to represent the ocean with the salsa the BP oil spill, and jalapenos represent seagulls and the cheese the shoreline”.

You probably thought what the point of that last paragraph was? Congratulations that’s what the customer feels when bombarded with choice.

Decision-making fatigue is a problem. The modern world bombards us with choice and the fear of missing out.

The cinema should not be that kind of experience. The best way to make it better is by removing the choice.

Better method

“Gimme a drink and nachos.”

“Medium coke, cheese, salsa and jalapenos on the nachos.”

“Sprite for the drink, no jalapenos.”

Tell the customer what you’re giving them. If they agree, happy days you’re one step closer to becoming a psychic. If they disagree, then it’s up to them to tell you what they want.

Here is the thing, the customer knows what they want, and there is an experiment that you can try out to prove it. Let’s say there is Deadpool 2, Star Wars and Avengers starting within half an hour. A customer comes up “What’s on?” The customer knows what they want to see; they’re too afraid to ask, I don’t understand why that is, you notice over the years.

Here is what you do, “Deadpool 2 and Star Wars are starting soon” I guarantee they will ask about Avengers. Removing the choice makes people more determined to have it. Try this out for yourself, and you will be surprised.

Tell the customer what you are going to do and let them correct you.

1: “Would you mind, because”

If you’re finding it hard to get members sign ups I’m about to introduce you to the most persuasive four words in the English language.

Would you mind because?

Insert these words into a sentence, and you just increased the likelihood of getting them to comply.

A customer approaches you “A ticket please.”

Say the following as it’s written below:

“Would you mind signing up to our members’ scheme because then I can give you discount on the tickets.”

You have now increased the odds of them signing up.

All that matters is that you tell them that they can get the tickets for less. I have heard some people overburdening customers with information, “You get money off at Eddie Irvine’s”,

Too much information can be as bad as too little.

I can’t prove to you about how effective “Would you mind, because” is but I ask you to try it out on people even when your not in work.

See how you get on.

I’ve told this method to a few co-workers, you can ask them how useful the phrase is.

Hope you found this helpful

Hope you found this helpful, I may write a more.

The easier we make it for ourselves, the easier it is for the customer, the easier for the customer, the easier it is for ourselves.

Life is hard; the cinema is an escape.

Let’s make life that much easier for everyone.

Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain is enjoyably broken

I was a big fan of Metal Gear Solid. The game came out when I was starting grammar school, and I was hyped. The game wasn’t that long, I finished it in a weekend, but it was great. It was the first game that I had played that had voice acting and stylishly directed cutscenes. It also featured the fourth wall breaking moments and overall I loved it.

Years and sequels passed. I stopped playing after Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, it went out on a high. Didn’t have a PlayStation 3, so I never played the fourth entry. I bought Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain on Xbox 360. I enjoyed it but didn’t play it that much.

Last month Xbox Games with Gold had released The Phantom Pain as it’s the free game that month. I reinstalled it on Xbox One and played it again. I’m going to share my thoughts with you in regards to why, although enjoyable, it is a broken game.

1: Metal Gear Solid Grinding

This is my biggest problem with the game. It is a grind. The Phantom Pain has a lot of resource management for a game series that was supposed to be about spying.

As you progress through the game, you are gradually introduced to more and more menus. You have to develop items, send soldiers on missions and build extensions to your base.

I don’t know how optional all this is but the game taps into that psychological need to collect everything. You want to max out every aspect of the game.

Part of me wonders did Kojima put these aspects in deliberately. The game keeps you playing for longer because you’re waiting for projects to complete. That means you play for longer. You ask yourself, why am I playing this for so long and your brain backwards rationalises that the game is good.

The problem with this is that the game becomes less challenging the more you play it, and the more you grind.

2: At odds with itself

Metal Gear Solid has always had a unique sense of tone. For every sad character death, there is some moment of slapstick nonsense. It was part of the charm but as graphics improved it has led to a jarring sense of tone.

There are aspects of the game that is ridiculous that also make it way to easy. The Fulton extraction where you strap a balloon to someone, and they magically show up at your base. I know it’s a video game and I’m not insinuating that it’s a bad thing. My problem is it’s hard to take the dramatic scenes seriously with this nonsense going on in the background.

3: Episodic nature Side missions are the same from

The first Metal Gear Solid was excellent because it was set over an 18 hour period. It wasn’t real time, but there was a ticking clock in the background which aided in creating tension.

In The Phantom Pain, this is not the case. There is an episodic nature to the game. Missions are split up into Story and Side Ops. If there is no urgency; there is no drama.

There is no difference between the Story Missions and the Side Ops. The majority of missions are going to this point of the map, rescue/kill someone and then leave.

There are many repetitive missions too. Rescue the child soldiers not once not twice but five times.

Overall they could have all the missions in one menu, but as I have found out, The Phantom Pain loves it’s menus.

4: MB coins

You can feel the rot set in with the MB coins. I’m not sure what they do, but they appear to be connected online. Part of my whole problem with the game is always online.

This was before Konami fired Kojima and they brought out Metal Gear Survive where you had to pay for a save slot. How much of the always online was to do with Konami and how much had to do with Kojima we’ll never know. However, due to my bias towards Kojima, I’m going to say it was all Konami’s idea.

5: What are the rules

In my time playing, I have never been entirely sure about what the rules are in the game. There is a lack of consistency in the AI of the enemy guards. Sometimes you can sneak past them. Sometimes they feel an inconsistency in air pressure and know precisely where you are.

I know you probably think I suck at the game. You’re right I’m not the best at it but I the game acknowledges it’s own shortcomings through the ranking system.

If I suck so much at the game then how am I getting a top rank in missions on the first playthrough? I barely know what I’m doing, but the game says that I am doing it well.

There’s no sense of challenge and no sense of reward if I am muddling through and doing fantastically in the eyes of the game.

6: Open world because why not everything is open world

Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain is open world, and it is not good. What you have is a big beautiful empty world with nothing much to do. There are guard posts, but good lord so much of the game spent with the sprint button held down. You have an option of cars and horses, but it doesn’t make it any more fun. Add to the fact that you can’t climb every rock. It means that there is a strong feeling of bottlenecking when it comes to taking on challenges. You can either approach from the left or the right.

7: The game feels rushed

It is no surprise that like the rest of modern games they always are released before they are ready. The Phantom Pain is no exception. The whole game feels like there was more to come. The way you’re introduced to new elements. There’s no real reason why and the fact that the game has one of the most baffling twists of recent years. There has also been footage released of the alternate ending. With Kojima no longer at Konami and Konami no longer making games it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see a final cut. It’s a shame that the series goes out with a whimper.

Xbox hasn’t got a clue. Here’s 5 reasons why.

Xbox loyalty

Be forewarned this post is about Xbox. The next two are also going to focus on gaming. So if you’re not interested, then I’ll see you next week.

I’m going to use Xbox and Microsoft interchangeably.


I’ve had an Xbox 360 for a while. Only recently did I upgrade to an Xbox One S. It’s mainly a £300 paperweight. I use it to play Cuphead now and then. At some point, I could have switched over to PlayStation but I like Xbox.

I don’t play games as much as I used to but I’ll go through periods where I’ll play consistently. Then after a while, I’ll get bored and won’t touch a console for months.

I’ve been playing more due to the Games with Gold giving away Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. As I’ve been playing more, I’ve been more interested in Xbox. I looked into what they are up to, and I realised that Xbox hasn’t got a clue.

I like the console and want it ti succeed but the way it’s conducting itself is worrying.

1: They have good ideas, poorly implemented

It’s not that the company is entirely clueless. Part of the frustration that I have with the system is that there are many good ideas, just not well done.

Games with Gold

Games with Gold offers two free games every month. These aren’t indie nonsense that you’ll never play, these are often good top tier releases. If you’re patient you’ll never have to buy a game which suits a casual gamer like me.

Occasionally you’ll get something that isn’t good. Recently there was The Witness which I played for five minutes before uninstalling. Despite the occasional dud the good thing about Games with Gold that in the long run, it balances out with some top titles.

There have been several Assassin’s Creed Games as well as Mass Effect. In fact, sometimes the indie games that they give you are hidden gems that you would never think to get. The bullet time puzzler Super Hot is a good example.

What I’m trying to tell you is that the Xbox Games with Gold programmes is one of the best deals for consumers. All it costs is an Xbox Gold membership which is £40 per year. Even if all you use Gold membership is for Games with Gold that works out at £1.70 per game.

Xbox Game Pass

Xbox also has a game pass feature. For £7 a month you have unlimited access to a library of games. It’s the Netflix of gaming, and it’s a good idea.

Unfortunately, it’s still just that, a good idea. The problem, the library is limited. They had the gorgeous yet tedious Mad Max game. There is also a Tomb Raider game on there, but aside from that, it’s older arcade games that are available on Xbox 360.

Xbox Game pass releases system exclusives like State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves directly to Game Pass. Wanting to play State of Decay 2 was what made me sign up in the first place.

Having played State of Decay 2, I’m going to cancel my membership.

Xbox Game Pass is a good idea now that has potential to be great in future.

2: No exclusives

Having no exclusives is a more significant problem than I realised. PlayStation has way more exclusives than Xbox. There have been so many games that have been PlayStation exclusive it’s kind of sad.

Exclusives still sell consoles. PlayStation has seen an upsurge in sales due to the exclusivity of the critically lauded God of War.

That’s just a recent example.

There was the game about the girl who fought robot dinosaurs that looked great. Again, another PlayStation exclusive. Not to mention The Last of Us 2 which will further boost console sales.

The PlayStation exclusives kick the shit out of the Xbox exclusives. Halo has lost a lot of prestige since Bungie handed the reigns over to 343 studios. The series peaked at Halo 3, and it’s been a gradual decline ever since.

Xbox has few exclusives and let’s talk a bit about the ones that they do have.

3: The exclusives they do have leave a lot to be desired

Sea of Thieves

Xbox bought Rare studios the guys behind some of Nintendo’s best games in the 90’s. Xbox bought Rare, and as soon as they did, they turned them into garbage. That hasn’t been any different with their release Sea of Thieves. I have played this and to be honest, I hated the game. There’s nothing to do.

All the game appeared to be is a series of fetch quests with other people I couldn’t talk to.

Imagine Zelda: Windwaker only with more sailing. You have to manage all the minutiae of sailing, like rigging and sales.

State of Decay 2

The other big exclusive is State of Decay 2. I have to tell you that I loved the first State of Decay. It showed up randomly in the arcade store and was £20. It was a pleasantly surprising action RPG set in rural America overrun by zombies.

There is no way to get around this, but the game is dull. I enjoyed the dullness.

You manage resources, kill some zombies and make sure survivors are happy. There was permadeath which added tension to missions. It was repetitive, but it was fun. The game was buggy as hell. Zombies would glitch through walls you would bounce all over the map. For the gameplay, you got from the price you paid the problems were forgivable.

The problem with State of Decay 2 is that it is the same game. State of Decay 2 is State of Decay 1 with a fresh coat of paint. The only thing that has improved is the graphics. Somehow the bugs have gotten worse. The bugs would be fine had the game been released for the same £20 with no fanfare; however, this is not the case. The game is broken

Now State of Decay 2 has been pushed from second tier to top tier. State of Decay is not a top tier game. The amount of money and publicity Microsoft has thrown at this game is embarrassing.

Xbox may have noticed that they have nothing coming out for a while, so they pushed State of Decay 2 to front and centre. This was an error.

4: Xbox needs to get it’s house in order if it is going to compete

Microsoft needs to work on it’s relationships with studios. Xbox can’t control their developers.

This has always been the case since 360 days.

One of my favourite games Alan Wake had an overlong development history.

Alan Wake was supposed to be an open world survival horror game. The development overran, and Xbox prematurely forced the game out. The final game was a hybrid between straight shooting sections and empty open world segments.

Today is no different. Crackdown 3 should have been out ages ago but it’s still in development. Crackdown 3 a game in a series that wasn’t that popular to begin with is now two years late.

Get your house in order Microsoft.

5: Xbox are running a risk of becoming Sega

I see patterns repeat even though that may not be the case. Xbox is following a path that appears similar to Sega in the 90s.

Sega won the Mega Drive/ Super NES battle in the same way that 360 won the battle against PS3.

Victory has made Microsoft overly analytical in the same way as Sega. Both were successful in their respectful generations however I have a saying; you learn nothing from success. Microsoft and Sega are proof. When you reach the top the only way is down.

Sega after the success of the Mega Drive developed a load of peripherals. Sega developed the Sega CD, 32x and the next generation Sega Saturn in quick succession. These peripherals were expensive, oversaturated the market and that put gamers off.

The failure of these three hardware items made Sega rush out the Sega Dreamcast. The Dreamcast ensured their exit from the console market.

History repeats?

Do I see Xbox bowing out of the console market? It’s hard to tell. I consider myself a casual gamer, so am not the most informed on the matter but here’s what I see.

Xbox has three different versions of the one console. There’s Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X. Aside from terrible names, it’s the same system with different cosmetic qualities. There was also Kinect which Xbox has finally taken the hint and given up on. Don’t forget that they were also going to try and set up their version of Netflix. A company who make games were going to move into film production. Let that sink in.

The console is lucky it’s part of Microsoft. Sega only had itself to rely on which is why it exited the market early. Xbox will be around for a few more years, but if they keep making dumb decisions, it’s not going to matter.

Hopefully, Xbox, the underdog, are learning from their mistakes and course correct.

I want them to do well so whenever I next get an urge to game I won’t be stuck for choice.

Affirmations and the action you can take now

Affirmations an introduction

Affirmations are everything.

You recently read about how I meditate and how I practice gratitude. Here’ another daily practice that I do and that is writing affirmations.

Affirmations aren’t the most hippy-dippy thing I do, but I’m self-conscious about it. I shouldn’t be telling you about this but in my quest to not be ashamed of anything, here we are.

Affirmations is either writing down something that you want or stating it out loud to yourself. I do a bit of both every day.

Part of my reason for telling you about all these unusual activities is that it’s to inform you. To tell you that there’s no set way of doing things.

I want to break down my method for others. If you’re reading this and struggling, then I hope that this will provide you with some help.

Scott Adams

You’re aware of affirmations, what they are, you make a positive statement about yourself. “I, Kieran Majury, am a confident person” was one that I used to use before going out in public. Over time I found myself becoming more confident.

You’re thinking, what a load of new-age nonsense.

I was in the same place as you. I thought, how the hell is that going to help?

It wasn’t until I read How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big that I took affirmations seriously. Scott wrote about several occasions that affirmations helped him out.

Scott Adams is a highly successful author. Adams created Dilbert, the widely syndicated comic strip and has written many books.

If anyone is living proof of the power of affirmations, it’s Scott.

Scott believes that humans are moist robots. Like other robots, we’re programmable.

What’s the harm in trying?

Summer of 69

Let’s take a trip back in time to the early 2000s. I was in Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Knock and being a hormonal teenager. I had sex on the brain 24/7.

It was a time before the widely available internet. There was the “family computer” so access to porn wasn’t instantaneous the way it is now. Back then, we had to make do with the Channel 5 Friday night movie (The Ups and Downs of a Handyman is a classic, the policeman falls over).

Due to my perpetual horniness, I saw sex everywhere; I saw the number 69 as having great significance.

I would consistently see the number 69, and it had to mean something, didn’t it? It got to the point that friends would point out the number out to me.

The joke became 69 would follow me everywhere except the bedroom. Was I being followed around by this number?

Short Answer


Slightly longer answer

The number didn’t occur more than usual to me than it did to anyone else. What happened was that my mind had been programmed to be extra vigilant for that number.

Humans have inbuilt biases and pattern recognition. When these two combine you can see whatever you want yourself to see.

Younger me had decided that it wanted to see significance in the number 69 so it saw the number 69 wherever it could.

Reprogramme yourself now

You’re wondering why I’m telling you this. I’m telling you because it’s how I believe affirmations work. I’m not a scientist or anything like that, so take what I’m about to tell you with more than your RDA of salt.

Affirmations are a way of manually reprogramming your brain. I’m not one of these people who believes that I’m “asking the universe to get me a car”. Far from that. In fact, I’m asking myself to see opportunity where I wouldn’t before. In the end, I have to go out and do the work.

When you do affirmations your job doesn’t start and end with you writing them down. You have to get out there and do the work.

Affirmations are a way of getting yourself into the right mindset. Breaking out of the negative conditioning that the modern world has instilled in you.

The joke tells the truth. So there’s the man who asks God to help him win the lottery. Weeks turn into months turn into years “Oh God please help me win the lottery”. The clouds open and the man hears a deep, commanding voice “Buy a ticket”.

Possible evidence

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ve probably heard me speak of how I need a new job. I’ve written about it a few times on Like the man from the joke, it would help if sent and application out every once in a while.

One of my affirmations was “I, Kieran Majury will get a new job.”

Recently I was offered a promotion at work. Was this because I did the affirmations? No, it was because through doing affirmations I became a better worker.

My time keeping improved, as did my attitude and I became a better employee. My employers recognised my improvements.

Do you want another personal example?

One of my daily mottos is “ will become a highly popular website”. Now it’s not blowing up or anything, but after a bit of a lull last month June is looking to be the best month since I started.

Do I believe that people across the globe are asking “I wonder what happens if I key Kieran Majury into the search bar?”


It’s because I’m uploading more consistently than before and because of that I’m becoming more visible. I’m doing a bit more promotion and am less ashamed of my writing.

For better or worse is on the up.

How to do affirmations

Affirmations are easy to do.

Get yourself an A6 notebook and write out what you will do, Do that fifteen times.

This is the perfect size notebook for affirmations.

My current one: I, Kieran Majury, will be rich.

It’s basic but it’s what I need. The one aspect of my life that needs improvement is my finances.

I also put a date on the top of the page so that if I ever want to see how I have progressed I can do that.

So do it every day as soon as you wake up.

The only thing you have to worry about is someone catching you writing your affirmations. You’ll get funny looks.

My dad found me writing them, “What the hell are you doing?” it would have been less embarrassing had he walked in on me masturbating.

Praying and Affirmation: A hypothesis

Do you pray? There’s a chance if you’re reading this that you’ve prayed at some point in your life.

You only bother a higher power when you want something. Prayers are a series of words recited, and when doing so, you concentrate on what you desire.

There isn’t much difference between prayer and affirmations. They take on different forms, but the route purpose is the same.

If you’re too self-conscious about writing down or speaking out affirmations consider saying a prayer.

So see how you get on.

It worked for Chris Pratt.