All About Sean Payne and (A.K.A. How the Internet Killed My Childhood and Stomped All over My Dreams)

Young naive idiot

Oh god, just look at him. He probably thinks Metal Gear Solid 2 is genuinely a work of intellectually-stimulating art. Someone introduce him to beer already!

Classically-trained writer. Auteur of the Arts. Musician, poet, composer. Genuinely funny humorist. Professionally-trained bomb defusal expert. Interpretive dancer. Sean Patrick Payne is none of these things.

When not pretentiously referring to himself in the third person, Sean spends his time doing those things that oversized man-children fill their time with: video games, comics, books and bad films.

Hello. Presuming those previous two paragraphs haven't scared you off, I'm going to assume that you're genuinely interested in why this British prat has went to the lengths of putting together a website, so here's a little story that sums up my relationship with technology rather nicely.

When I was five, I knew what I was going to be when I grew up. A postman. Then I turned six and I knew that I was definitely going to be a successful cartoonist instead. I was pretty good at drawing, despite admittedly having difficulty grasping the concepts of "proportions" and "anatomy", and struggling with hands. It didn't matter because I was going to be a famous cartoonist and people wouldn't mind small things like that.

Although I had a Spectrum and an Amiga 1600, I was pretty sheltered from modern computing and this thing I was vaguely aware of called "the internet". I'd tried the internet out at an uncle's house and was generally rather unimpressed with it - most of it was just text and it was pretty hard to navigate. I put it out of mind until I reached 14 and the family decided that it was probably time we joined the rest of the human race with a proper home computer.

It didn't take long for me to discover that the internet was full of cartoons; free ones that were a lot better looking than anything I could produce. That rather scuppered the plan to become a famous cartoonist, quite a gutting realisation at the time. Still, there was always the prospect of getting into the animation industry! Except some brief research revealed that the pay was crap and the hours long and arduous.

Columbian criminal Juan Carlos-Payne

Juan Carlos-Payne, Columbian Drug Runner sentenced to 14 year's bad hair.

I had to re-evaluate my goals. Next to drawing, I enjoyed writing, so journalism it was. I took media studies in sixth form and looked forward to my prosperous career as a renowned newspaper writer. Unfortunately, after A levels, it didn't take long to realise that there aren't many jobs for "aspiring newspaper columnist", especially ones with only a basic set of GCSEs and A levels. That particular dream was crushed when I applied for a week of work experience for the local newspaper. I lasted two days, because the one thing that doesn't get mentioned a lot about newspaper journalism is that most of it is fucking boring as hell. Besides, remembering back to the media studies classes, technological empowerment of the home user meant that traditional media was slowly being replaced by new paradigms of media proliferation (I'm pretty sure that was a sentence from my media exam). This was proven when the newspaper I'd visited was closed down, the branch being merged with the main newspaper office in the big city due to cutbacks. Computers were killing the newspaper industry.

Well bugger it. There was nothing for it. I'd have to get into computers.

There's one ethos to life that I stand by, and it's never let me down when it comes to the crunch: when in doubt, head in a random direction and stick by it. It's why I ended up heading up the peer drug education course in sixth form, and it's how I ended up doing web design at university level. I was probably one of the few there at the open day who'd willingly admit that they had no clue whatsoever what they were looking to do. The rest of the stuff, like programming, sounded a bit too much like hard work, and the only thing mentioned that even caught my attention was web design.

Professional stalker

I miss this look. Nobody has any expectations of you with it, so it's really hard to disappoint them.

"Well you must have had some inkling that that's what you wanted to do," my parents would say after the open day. Not at all, I'd just turned up and the guy in charge there said I was definitely qualified to take the course, what with my media studies and design credentials.

"You don't like technology, you hate Apple, you don't have a smart phone...why are you doing this course again?" a friend would ask me around halfway through the course. It was a fair point, I've never been one for keeping up with modern tech and it struck me that the irony was that I was doing that course because computers, and by extension the internet, had consumed and invalidated all my previous ambitions. Amateur comics, opinion columns, even the bloody job of sending post, all of it is now the domain of online.

So here's my attempt to finally reconcile all my little hobbies into one place on the thing that prevented me from seriously considering my hobbies to be potential careers. That thing's the internet, in case you're a bit slow.

Incidentally, how did it turn out for me? Gainful employment as an email spammer marketer, and now I'm apparently a thing called a "web developer". I still don't call myself a web designer though, I mean just look at this site! It's awful!

So welcome to PAYNEful, just like every other personal website on the internet it's a narcissistic indulgence that presumes that what I think matters and that other people give a shit. This site is basically the equivalent of pissing into the wind that is the internet.

Postscript: Why the hell do you call yourself "The Russian Gestapo" online?

Nice hat!

I used to wear a hat. I still do, sometimes. True story.

Just for the record, I'm not a supporter of the Nazis and I don't speak Russian (I've never been to Russia either); it's a personal joke that only I ever found funny.

I was (probably) the only fourteen-year old in my school with a moustache, puberty blessing me with the ability to grow facial hair with little effort. At a random party, when the booze was flowing, two guys held the following conversation about my appearance:

Guy 1: Wow, check out that guy's moustache!

Guy 2: Yeah, he looks like he could be in the Russian...Gestapo, or something.

Guy 1: The Gestapo was German.

Guy 2: You know what I mean.

Admittedly, the remarks probably didn't go exactly like that as I was very drunk and this was only half-remembered. When the time came to pick a nom de plume for a forum account, I went with "RussianGestapo". It's stuck ever since. Thank you, random party strangers!

I now favour "The Russian Gestapo" as I Googled "RussianGestapo" once and someone else was using it on another forum. There can be only one!

So now you know, whether you wanted to or not.

Wearing facial hair that was fashionable in the 1800s.

The most current version of Sean Payne. It's still running off the 1.0 though.

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