- Dan Bull -


I condensed the whole of the original Half-Life into a 3 minute rap song


Beethoven’s hearing was broken too :(

Beethoven started to lose his hearing and complain of similar symptoms to mine at the age of 28. Same age as me. This is a letter he wrote to his brothers about it and it's so uncanny it feels like I could have written it myself.


For my Brothers Carl and [Johann] Beethoven.

Oh! ye who think or declare me to be hostile, morose, and misanthropical, how unjust you are, and how little you know the secret cause of what appears thus to you! My heart and mind were ever from childhood prone to the most tender feelings of affection, and I was always disposed to accomplish something great. But you must remember that six years ago I was attacked by an incurable malady, aggravated by unskillful physicians, deluded from year to year, too, by the hope of relief, and at length forced to the conviction of a lasting affliction (the cure of which may go on for years, and perhaps after all prove impracticable).

Born with a passionate and excitable temperament, keenly susceptible to the pleasures of society, I was yet obliged early in life to isolate myself, and to pass my existence in solitude. If I at any time resolved to surmount all this, oh! how cruelly was I again repelled by the experience, sadder than ever, of my defective hearing! — and yet I found it impossible to say to others: Speak louder; shout! for I am deaf! Alas! how could I proclaim the deficiency of a sense which ought to have been more perfect with me than with other men, — a sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, to an extent, indeed, that few of my profession ever enjoyed! Alas, I cannot do this! Forgive me therefore when you see me withdraw from you with whom I would so gladly mingle. My misfortune is doubly severe from causing me to be misunderstood. No longer can I enjoy recreation in social intercourse, refined conversation, or mutual outpourings of thought. Completely isolated, I only enter society when compelled to do so. I must live like art exile. In company I am assailed by the most painful apprehensions, from the dread of being exposed to the risk of my condition being observed. It was the same during the last six months I spent in the country. My intelligent physician recommended me to spare my hearing as much as possible, which was quite in accordance with my present disposition, though sometimes, tempted by my natural inclination for society, I allowed myself to be beguiled into it. But what humiliation when any one beside me heard a flute in the far distance, while I heard nothing, or when others heard a shepherd singing, and I still heardnothing! Such things brought me to the verge of desperation, and well-nigh caused me to put an end to my life. Art! art alone deterred me. Ah! how could I possibly quit the world before bringing forth all that I felt it was my vocation to produce? And thus I spared this miserable life — so utterly miserable that any sudden change may reduce me at any moment from my best condition into the worst. It is decreed that I must now choose Patience for my guide! This I have done. I hope the resolve will not fail me, steadfastly to persevere till it may please the inexorable Fates to cut the thread of my life. Perhaps I may get better, perhaps not. I am prepared for either. Constrained to become a philosopher in my twenty-eighth year! This is no slight trial, and more severe on an artist than on any one else. God looks into my heart, He searches it, and knows that love for man and feelings of benevolence have their abode there! Oh! ye who may one day read this, think that you have done me injustice, and let any one similarly afflicted be consoled, by finding one like himself, who, in defiance of all the obstacles of Nature, has done all in his power to be included in the ranks of estimable artists and men. My brothers Carl and [Johann], as soon as I am no more, if Professor Schmidt be still alive, beg him in my name to describe my malady, and to add these pages to the analysis of my disease, that at least, so far as possible, the world may be reconciled to me after my death. I also hereby declare you both heirs of my small fortune (if so it may be called). Share it fairly, agree together and assist each other. You know that anything you did to give me pain has been long forgiven. I thank you, my brother Carl in particular, for the attachment you have shown me of late. My wish is that you may enjoy a happier life, and one more free from care, than mine has been. Recommend Virtue to your children; that alone, and not wealth, can ensure happiness. I speak from experience. It was Virtue alone which sustained me in my misery; I have to thank her and Art for not having ended my life by suicide. Farewell! Love each other. I gratefully thank all my friends, especially Prince Lichnowsky and Professor Schmidt. I wish one of you to keep Prince L — — — 's instruments; but I trust this will give rise to no dissension between you. If you think it more beneficial, however, you have only to dispose of them. How much I shall rejoice if I can serve you even in the grave! So be it then! I joyfully hasten to meet Death. If he comes before I have had the opportunity of developing all my artistic powers, then, notwithstanding my cruel fate, he will come too early for me, and I should wish for him at a more distant period; but even then I shall be content, for his advent will release me from a state of endless suffering. Come when he may, I shall meet him with courage. Farewell! Do not quite forget me, even in death; I deserve this from you, because during my life I so often thought of you, and wished to make you happy. Amen!

Ludwig van Beethoven.

6th October 1802

[Written on the outside]

To be read and fulfilled after my death by my brothers Carl and [Johann].

Heiligenstadt, 10 October 1802

Thus, then, I take leave of you, and with sadness too. The fond hope I brought with me here, of being to a certain degree cured, now utterly forsakes me. As autumn leaves fall and wither, so are my hopes blighted. Almost as I came, I depart. Even the lofty courage that so often animated me in the lovely days of summer is gone forever. O Providence! vouchsafe me one day of pure felicity! How long have I been estranged from the glad echo of true joy! When! O my God! when shall I again feel it in the temple of Nature and of man? — never? Ah! that would be too hard!


My hearing is even more broken :(

Thanks for listening. Full details of my symptoms + contact info are at http://itsdanbull.com/health-problems/
What I believe I have is a combination of the following:
1. Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
2. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
3. Hyperacusis / Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome
I believe these symptoms share a causal factor but nobody has been able to adequately explain it so far. It's fukcing me up, it really is. Thanks again for listening x


Jan 1, 2015

I enter 2015 as i left 2014. Broken, tired, depressed, morose, despondent, disillusioned, lazy, procrastinatory, talented, determined, young, hopeful, excited, awesome. Yes.

Let's look at the past year and see what we can learn for the next year.

Let's make the best of it that we can.



Update on my health and state of mind, and a decision to give things another push

Christ, it's been tough. As evidenced by my previous sporadic journal entries and the yawning chasmic spaces between them, I have not been particularly productive. In fact I've been fucking depressed as fuck. The goalposts of my health keep moving, and as such I can never acclimatise to them. The fact that the illness(es) I have are the ones specifically targeting my ability to create music is a real shit too. But I don't feel any better for having hibernated and sulked for the past few weeks (months?) either. I get to do some of the things I enjoy - hours of gaming a day; films; sleep - but everything feels hollow and meaningless as the days slip by. I have to do SOMETHING. Whether it be "stop feeling sorry for yourself" (Stephen Fry), "keep on keeping on" (my dad), or "man up, you prick" (me), I have got to keep the ship moving forward, at however glacial a pace.

Therefore, although I'm no better physically, I have steeled myself to get back on track and at least have the vessel of my career facing in the right direction ready for the new year, regardless of how arduous and sluggish its journey may turn out to be. Today will be about making preparations to get back into some semblance of a work routine, and to tie up some of the loose threads that have been tickling my ears for too long now.

Small steps. Any steps. Just move. Do what living things do. Survive.



Trying a more serious moody angle in my game music for a change...


MORE symptoms have started now! Fantastic!

The past few days / weeks (what's the difference now?) have been living hell for me. As well as my existing plethora of symptoms I seem to have developed what I am fairly certain is a combination of hyperacusis and tensor tympani syndrome in my right ear. Ironically this is what that cunt doctor who couldn't be arsed to examine or diagnose me properly at the beginning lazily suggested I had. I knew I didn't have it at the time and now I'm even more certain, because now I DO fucking have it. Fucking hell. The ironic SHIT that nature throws at my physical health honestly feels like Sheogorath is testing my fucking breaking point, it really does. Anyway, any sudden sound above the level of a shrew causes my ear to flinch and flutter (presumably the tensor typmani muscle) and me to jump like a little baby. I am a total wreck now. I don't want to get up, to eat, to sleep, to work, to play, I just want to be unconscious. Waking up is misery as my consciousness is thrust back into this creaking, rattling vessel once more - the only relief is knowing that eventually I will become tired and drift away once more. Death no longer feels like something to be feared or delayed, but a welcome, sweet relief. It shouldn't be like this. Fuck you.

Anyway, just as an experiment more than anything, as by sheer chance I've woken up at a relatively human time today (6.30am, anyone?), I have decided to see how productive I can be in the face of all this bollocks, and whether I feel any better at the end of it than I have for the last couple of weeks. Wish me luck! Haha! Yay! CUUUUUUUUUUNTS (not you, I'm just venting my endless rage in a pointless direction). Please appreciate your health while you have it.



onic the Hedgehog runs fast so I made a song about him that is fast.
See what I did there? It all ties together! Like the shoelaces of someone who's had their shoelaces tied together!
See what I did there? I made a joke! Like the fictional novelty toy company Acme!
See what I did there? I referenced something that's not actually real! Like half the edits on Wikipedia!
See what I did there?I took a jab! Like a child being vaccinated against its parents' wishes!
See what I did there? I made a dig in a controversial manner! Like Fred West!
See what I did there? I set my sights on Gloucester, and then put my foot in it! Like Doctor Foster!
See what I did there? I relied on a nursery rhyme to make my point! Like 2Chainz!


Thanks to CarbonArk for the production chops.



"Dan, you should do songs about board games too!"

I present to you, the Monopoly rap.



Ages ago I wrote a song about George Osborne and the Tory/Coalition government's budget plans. It has been sitting on my hard drive until today, and now I'm sharing it with you because I think it is still really rather relevant...