The world is full of idiots, and someone needs to point it out to them or they will never know.

(Somewhat) Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who are you?
The Free Man

Q. How old are you?
Between 20 and 30

Q. You don't know?
I’m not updating that answer every year.

Q. Why are you called "The Free Man"? Pretty wanky, don't you think?
Well, it's a Half Life reference actually, but anyway, the reason I don't use my real name is because I have a government job that discourages their employees from expressing their opinions in public - and rightly so. To be honest, they probably wouldn't care, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Q. How do I contact you?
The best way is to simply comment on a blog post. I'm afraid I don't consider myself popular enough to have a Facebook fan page or anything, so if you'd like me to make one, send my blog to all your friends!

Q. Got a Twitter?
Not yet.

Q. Will you get one?
Probably not.

Q. What is a "rant"?
I use the term "rant" on my blog in place of "post" or "article", because that's what they are - rants about things I dislike. You will never see me positively review something on this blog.

Q. Why all the hate?
Because love isn't funny, or interesting. However, I do try to keep things civilised, and I try to avoid saying something is bad just because I say so. Yes, it is just my opinion, but I'll always try and back it up with references and sources - as anyone in a debate should.

Q. I disagree with [insert rant].
Well, tell me why! I try to articulate my points as best I can and if there's something you disagree with, you're more than welcome to counter it. Please do not, however, simply post, "You're wrong!" or "Well, that's just your opinion". If you can't justify your opinion, then I win, okay?

Q. I don't care what you say about [insert rant] - that's just your opinion.
Is it? Opinion may be subjective, but quality is not. If I've torn you favourite TV show, book or political stance to shreds, I will have backed it up with significant justification. You're welcome to post a counter-argument in the comments section but, again, if you can't justify your position, then I win.

Q. Your old blog description mentioned you took inspiration from "Maddox and Yahtzee" - who are these people?
Maddox (real name George Ouzounian) is the author of The Best Page in the Universe. It's a strongly opinionated and wildly funny website, and probably slightly better than this blog. Yahtzee (real name Ben Croshaw) is the author of Zero Punctuation, a weekly game review cartoon on The Escapist (among other things). He reviews things in a critical but mostly civilised fashion. If you're a fan of either of these two writers, you'll understand why I name them as my main inspirations.

Q. What other writers do you like? Who are your other influences?
My favourite fiction writers are JK Rowling, Stephen King, Matthew Reilly, Douglas Adams, Peter David, Timothy Zahn, John Marsden and Markus Zusak. Morris Gleitzman, Paul Jennings and Andy Griffiths were my favourite authors as a kid, and their books still entertain me today. As far as non-fiction writers go, apart from Maddox and Yahtzee I admire the writing style of Bernd Schneider, David Wong and Wayne Gladstone. Other influences on my work include Tony Martin, Shaun Micalef, Doug Walker and James Rolfe.

Q. When's the next rant due?
When it's ready. I used to promise something "once a fortnight", but now that I work full time I simply don't have the time or energy to keep this kind of schedule. However, the more people read and comment on my rants, the more likely I am to update more.

Q. Why don't you just update more anyway? I'd read anything you post, even if it's crap.
Thanks, but I'd rather post one very good rant than ten terrible ones. Each rant can take upwards of three hours to complete, from when I log in to blogger to when I hit publish. This includes planning, research and proofreading. This is all quite time consuming when you work full time and try to have a social life. Not to mention, there actually has to be something to bother ranting about, because while this blog may give a contrary impression, I don't hate everything.

Q. What do you think are your best/worst rants?
My favourite three are Why I Hate Family Guy, Thirteen Things I Learned from Five Years at University and Boat People Drowning in a Sea of Fear. Why? Well, because each of them perfectly show my feelings towards each topic. I'm particularly proud of Boat People Drowning in a Sea of Fear, as it surprised even me when I saw how few illegal immigrants were arriving by boat.
My least favourite rant is 2009 - A Year in Review. Each of them came across as far too bitter, and they really weren't written well at all.

Q. You clearly enjoy writing. Have you considered writing a book?
Done and done. And I mean done. It's called The End of the World and I'm currently trying to get it published.

Q. So you're looking for a publisher?
Yes. If you are a publisher or a literary agent and wish to represent me, post a comment on one of the more recent rants and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Q. Can you send me a copy of your novel? Have you written any other works of fiction?
You can read my entire novel, plus a selection of my short stories on my Stories Blog. The blog is very different to this one, but if you like my style of writing it's the best place to see what I write about when I'm not complaining about TV shows or light bulbs. Feel free to post a rant on your own blog if you absolutely despise my creative works, I think it's only fair. :-)

Q. Do you have any formal writing qualifications?
No. Everything I know has been self-taught, except of course the things I learned in school.

Q. So what qualifications do you have?
After graduating high school, I studied a business degree at university, majoring in marketing and advertising. I have since studied another degree in another area and I am now working in that profession. However, marketing and advertising will always be my first love, and I think that shows in quite a few of the rants!

Q. Where do you live?
Brisbane, Australia

Q. Why Have you considered using Tumblr or Wordpress?
I signed up for Blogger because it was easy (I already had a Google account) and because it came recommended to me by friends. I'm sure there are plenty of better services out there, but as far as I'm concerned, as long as people can read it and it's easy for me to use, that's all that matters. I don't work in IT, any website made by me would look terrible and take up far too much of my time.

Q. Do you have a website?
I did, but I stopped updating it long ago, and the site has since been shut down. Creating and maintaining a website was time consuming and difficult, especially when you know only the basics of website design like me. Using a blogging service allows me to ignore tediously updating links and archiving old posts, as Blogger does that all for me. Posting exclusively on Blogger allows me to focus on my core business: writing.

Q. You've mentioned your "old blog" a couple of times. Where can I find this?
My old blog was on my website, and it featured all my rants prior to 2009. Some of them were okay, but most weren't. When I started this blog I kept the old blog posts up for about six months, before finally removing them for good. Trust me, you're not missing out on much.

Q. Your blog is pretty boring. More colours please!
Mine isn't the only site on the internet that uses a simple layout, perhaps you've heard of this one? "Less is more", as they say, and I firmly believe that the simplest layouts are often the best.

Q. Why do you have light text on a dark background?
To quote Maddox, "I've chosen a black background for most of my text because it's easier on the eyes than staring at a white screen. Think about it: your monitor is not a piece of paper, no matter how hard you try to make it one. Staring at a white background while you read is like staring at a light bulb (don't believe me? Try turning off the lights next time you use a word processor). Would you stare at a light bulb for hours at a time? Not if you want to keep your vision."

Q. What are you like in person?
Not as bitter as you probably think.

Q. Can you think of a clever way to end this FAQ?

© 2015 by The Free Man

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