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Topics - Payne

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46
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Personal Apocalypse
« on: June 25, 2008, 05:36:57 pm »
Suddenly, everything has changed.

There are times when your mundane life is changed irrevocably by an unforseen circumstance. It doesn't have to good or bad. All it is is an event that changes all sorts of little things. Like love at first sight, or losing your legs in an accident.

The event has to be relatively huge to make the kind of differences I'm talking about, but it's effects will reverberate throughout your life and everything you are.

For me, my personal apocalypse was what set me on the path here. The circumstances surrounding that time are related elsewhere and don't need repeating here, but it was like a distillation of the Paths and Shrapnel discussions we've been having.

I was free falling down one of my paths, which was suddenly a dead end, and I ran right into it. The dead end was the biggest piece of shrapnel you've seen in your life, it forced me down another path. It also forced me to take some measure of control over the paths I was walking.

Others I have talked to have related some similar tales, of how some specific event that seemed huge at the time (and may still seem huge, even now) have set them on the path to PD.com.

Personal Apocalypses is something I used to talk about with LHX quite a lot (I never see him around anymore). It seemed to be an intrinsic part of who many of us are and what we're about.

Is it possible to take something from this idea, and use it to either move paths/shrapnel forward, or maybe even a new concept?

***I am aware of some of the parallels with filters and circuits and what have you, I'm looking to see if there could be something original (gasp!) in this...***

47
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Paths: A short piece
« on: June 25, 2008, 10:12:18 am »
You're born, you live, and you die.

We all do, (although, sometimes a lot of people seem to be barely living at all, look into the eyes of some commuters in the morning, you'll know what I mean.).

Some philosophies may tell you that the journey is more important than the destination, or that the the journey is itself life.

Personally, I think that may be bullshit. The journey is the journey, no more, but no less.

Let us break this down. You are at home (you're born) and you want to go the store (death). Your entire "life" will be spent making your way to the store.

Do you go there as fast as possible, limit your exposure to pain and uncomfortable ideas?

Do you go there in a sweet car, drinking, on drugs and surrounded by women, living fast and ignoring more intellectual pursuits?

Do you instead take a scenic route, walk by the canal, looking at the beautiful scenery, trying to absorb as much of the "good things" in life before you die?

There is no correct answer, and you could do any combination of these, and (almost) infinitely more.

What's interesting is when you look at how this applies to your entire "real" life, and you superimpose the paths that others of our species take. Our (almost) infinite choice is reduced to a nebulous collection of people doing exactly the same thing, taking the same routes to death.

Why is this? Do you WANT to be a sheep?

Me neither.

Break out the map and compass kiddos, it's time to explore the badlands. Let us see what lies off the well beaten paths that lead to our anonymous deaths...

48
Or Kill Me / Creativity in a Cultural Wasteland
« on: June 19, 2008, 01:32:09 am »
This is for all of you out there who have shit going on, in your life, and can't deal. Can't vent. Can't defend yourself from.

There are times when you must be seen, heard, felt. And even the most apathetic or the most cynical of us do it. There are times when you must stick your head over the trench wall and see others toiling away, and take comfort from the fact that you are not alone.

So I am here. I am listening.

Some of us take up the pen, the sword, the megaphone, and turn negativity into a positive. Some of us create temporary monuments out of the shrapnel that rains on us.This is why: if we do not shit our hate, we will die.

Your tasks are your own, what you do, you must do alone, but what is done, will be seen.

The best will be remembered and emulated and refined, it is true, but the best will fade as fast as the worst.

There is nothing permanant. In the space of a life time, we build many monuments, and we tear many down.

There is respite, though. There is a moment of hiding in a shell crater as you run across no-mans-land, sharing a knowing glance with another refugee, leaving your mark, before you jump up again, and run to the next bit of scant cover.

There is that assurance that what we do will have meaning, for a fleeting time perhaps, but not an empty gesture.

EDIT: Because the original subject title suxx0red.

49
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / ATTN: Paes
« on: June 12, 2008, 01:03:53 pm »
Hey Paes, you know I was telling you that rumour about LMNO and the depraved things he was doing to Hippos?

Here's the evidence.

He's obviously sick or something.



LMNO/Hippo Cross Breeds?! NO THANKS!

50
Or Kill Me / A Bedtime Story
« on: April 10, 2008, 10:28:06 am »
I remember when my dad got home from work one day when I was quite young (ten years old or so). A naturally reticent man, he never really said much at all, but this day was different. He was more sombre than usual. He had just seen one of his apprentices die in the most useless and stupid ways imaginable.

He and the apprentice were working on a roof somewhere, one of those big warehouse roofs that slope down, with a small wall around the edge. Brick work and rubble and bits of shit needed to be taken from the top of the roof to the edge, and thrown down into the skip below. The apprentice was given this job.

Filling a wheelbarrow, taking it to the edge and throwing all the rubbish over the edge by hand was too boring for him, however. So he filled the wheelbarrow, turned it to go straight down the slope of the roof, and let it's momentum as it hit the wall tip it over, emptying it into the skip below. After seeing this once, my dad told him to stop it. Advice which was ignored.

The next time the apprentice did it, his shirt sleeve got caught on the handle of the wheelbarrow. When it tipped over, it kept on going. Right over the edge, bringing him with it.

My dad heard the cut off yelp as the guy fell over the edge, and heard the disgusting crunch as he landed in the skip forty feet below, filed with bricks, bits of metal and chunks of rock. He died immediately.

When I was told this story, I started laughing uncontrollably. I laughed so hysterically, I started to cry. I cried so much, I started to scream.

Then my dad clipped me upside the head, muttered something about respect, then went off to call the idiots parents, to offer his sympathies.

I was still giggling about it later in the week when he wore his suit and black tie and headed out for his apprentices funeral.

51
The AKK-47 (short for Ambassador Klok Kaos - 47 ways to piss you off) is a gas operated trolling rifle which was used in most trolling engagements in PD since AKKs arrival.

Adopted and standardized on March 21, 2007, 05:30:09 PM , it was designed by AKK and originally produced by his MySpace site. Compared with most auto-trolling rifles, the AKK-47 is moar l337, of comparable post-count, moderate spammage, and capable of selective flaming. It was one of the first true trolling rifles and, due to its durability and ease of use, remains the most widely used trolling rifle. More AKK-type rifles have been produced than any other trolling rifle type in the irritating bastard market segment.



Specifications
Weight                     3.8 kg (8.4 lb) empty,
                             4.3 kg (9.5 lb) filled with bullshit,
Length                      870 mm (34.3 in) (compensating for something)
Barrel length             415 mm (16.3 in) (still compensating)
Cartridge             7.62x39mm of PURE FAIL
Action                      Gas-operated, rotating bullshit
Rate of fire              600 posts/min
Muzzle velocity    super fast
Effective range    700 or so posts.
Feed system           DO NOT FEED THE TROLL!
Sights                      TGRR's mind control rays.

52
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Enrico MUST DIE
« on: March 31, 2008, 11:15:44 pm »
I have tolerated his shady immoral behaviour for long enough.

It's time to put this petty dictator to bed.

53
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Time to release the hostage?
« on: March 14, 2008, 01:48:35 am »
Time to release the hostage?

I'm a big fan of rearranging the furniture in my house. I love to put familiar things in unfamiliar places. It always seem to make everything seem at the same time less and more.

I would also probably be the nightmare of a proponant of Feng Shui.

I had occasion to think about some old concepts, Hodge and Podge in particular, but it doesn't really matter what the concepts were. I've found that, even though I believe I know what they mean, I don't have as much time for them because they haven't evolved much since they were first committed to paper. In fact this is probably the reason why I stuck around PD when I came. The BIP as an evolution and re-evaluation of the PD intrigued me, and the added emphasis on ALL aspects of "humanity" as displayed by some of PD's members. This Discordia isn't a love in, or head in the clouds bullshit.

In the process of considering what it is about these older concepts that makes me, I don't know... Uncomfortable? I thought about the BIP metaphor again, and I keep getting the nagging feling that although this is a concept that promotes change, it doesn't in fact change much itself.

You can change your cell, but the prison always seems to remain the same.

Now I understand that this solid, stable metaphor is neccesary for a communicable metaphor, one which you can pass to people unconected with Discordianism and reasonably expect them to understand, it does leave you at kind of a dead end afterwards. It invites the question "What next?". Of course the answer is to continue changing your cell, but can we change the prison? is that the next next step?

I tried to look into some of these ideas with "Paths" and "Shrapnel" with inconclusive results. I still feel I (we?) are missing a crucial evolutionary aspect in the BIP, one with which we can describe or even predict how and why the prison must change over time. (I tried to "expand/contract" it with "paths" "add on/subtract from" with "shrapnel", in earlier notes I had) I wasn't sure what my few conclusions meant. I'm guessing neither did you, or at least little has been said about it.

Here are some questions I thought of while writing the notes for this: Is the BIP capable of programming itself, in much the same way our cells programme themselves (through us). Does it really matter if it does or not?

Are these questions only interesting to me because of my dislike of static oncepts and my propensity for rearranging the furniture?

Do i have too much time on my hands, or is it time to release the hostage?

54
Or Kill Me / RAWK REVIEW
« on: March 12, 2008, 12:19:32 am »
To celebrate eight years since his breakthrough album "A New Beginning", George Bush is releasing a compilation of his greatest hits and, according to unconfirmed reports is going to retire from performing after such a short (and spectacular!) career, intending to focus on other interests.

The tracklisting includes many of his most popular recordings, and several of his own favourites, with a bonus track, thrown in for good measure.

The first song, "Here by the Grace of Jeb", blazes in and immediately sets the tone for his unapologetic defiance of anything and everything that disagrees with him. A classic.

Next is the ever popular anthem "God talks to me", a deep and insightful caricature of the influence religion is exerting on government policy both home and abroad. The immortal line 'And if you ever step with me, count on my main man G-O-D, to come round ya' house and bust ya' teeth'. Powerful stuff.

Segueing straight into the melodic and soulful "Upside Down Stateside", referring both to the unfortunate run in that Bush had with the law early in his career, and to the distress signal an upside down flag represents. The lyrics, while not the most intellectually challenging, reflect a man who has often found himself facing criticism from his fanbase and from the mainstream.

The pounding bass line intro to the fourth track "Apple Rocked" signal the change of style he adopted for his second major release "And Out Come the Knives (A Rhapsody of Fear)" This ever popular rock track set the tone for many of his later works, and represented a high tide in his influence. Regardless of it's affect, the production values were often criticised, and his inability to play it live often frustrated.

The follow up release to "Apple Rocked" is next up, his controversial "You've Bin Gone", a tale of drugs, hatred, questionable liaisons and crime. It is believed that this song was written at a time when Bush began having health issues, and is a theme he revisits (with more controversial results) on his third album.

The last piece from "Out Come the Knives" is the slightly disappointing "PATRIOT", which promises much, but tends to irritate after a while. As this song was never released as a single, we can only assume this was chosen by Bush to be on the compilation. It always was something he very proud of, and was disappointed when the public didn't agree.

Opening the third phase is "Shock and Awe!" which, while it starts off very well, gets rather messy as soon as the intro is done. It was slated by critics at the time as being in-congruent to the rest of the album "Need No Resolutions", but had Bush insisted on its inclusion, supported, for the most part, only by his producers and by his sometime collaborator, Baby Blair. An interesting track, but perhaps an indicator that he was losing touch with his fanbase.

"John Who?" was (some say cynically) the first single released from "Need No Resolutions", an uninspired, but crowd pleasing, track that convinced his record company NOT to drop him at a time when his sales were low, and controversial incidents seemed to follow him everywhere.

The title track "Need No Resolutions" was a close collaboration with Blair, and while they said at the time that it's story of being victimised and attacked was true, much of this has since been refuted by others as being at best an exageration. At worst, an outright lie. To this day, Bush refuses to accept what is now almost universally thought to be the real truth.

The fourth and final album is the charting of the downward spiral of a man out of control. "Half Here, All Gone" describes the widespread discrediting of a once powerful artist within the industry, who became almost completely sidelined. Struggling to keep ahead of his rivals, Bush becomes more boisterous, when perhaps elegance was called for. It also contains a vicious attack on those who continue to pester him for apologies and retractions.

"Alone" is the touching bittersweet ballad that commemorates the loss of his closest friend Blair, who was dumped by his record label and unable to find any others willing to take him on. Increasingly isolated, Blair withdrew from public life and thus Bush lost a key ally.

The last track on the album is a bonus track entitled "Anyone But Him. Or Her. And Definitely NOT HIM" A somewhat sombre affair in places, but defiant to the end that only he is right. It ends on a high note by actually ending.

55
Or Kill Me / Insert snappy subject here <-
« on: November 30, 2007, 06:53:54 am »
There is a tipping point in almost everything. A point where almost balanced becomes a headlong slide into fail and suck, or lulz and win (of course!) The Machine (tm) is aware of this and tries to compensate, a little prop up here, a bodge job there, trying to shore up the overall structure as quickly as possible. It has no sense of consequence, it does what needs to be done and sorts out the problems caused by it later.

Extremes are not handled well, and this symptom can be seen in the sheep huddled together for safety and security. Extremes are something people don't know how to deal with because they fear they will 'fall out' The Machine as it collapses before it can jimmy up something to hold it together. They don't call it The Machine, of course, they are likely not even aware of such a concept, or are too unwilling to give it any thought.

For myself, I don't fear falling out of The Machine. As fast as I can be tipped out of my cozy little hidey-hole deep in it's innards, I can never fall fast enough not to get caught somewhere further down. So bring a bit of extremity to The Machine. Experiment.

Being unaware of The Machine brings a discomfort of it's own. Half the fun is making little bits of it work FOR you, which is more difficult to do if you refuse to think about the processes and movements taking place around you all the time. Ever hear the one about the blind mechanic? If you see these things for what they are, you can shape them and mold them around you. Just don't get TOO comfortable, you may stop seeing them again and end up cocooned in your own little world, believeing that you are free, but wrapped in chains you made yourself and never actually DOING anything.

So press a few buttons, see what they do. Trust in your own instincts, but try to go beyond them. Floor the accelerator of your '67 Chevy and don't fall asleep behind the wheel.

56
Or Kill Me / Borders and Boxes
« on: September 19, 2007, 02:12:14 am »
Ideas Out of a Damn Foreigners Head Concerning Americas Western States

and/or

How Homo Sapiens Comforts Itself in the Wilderness of Life






It struck me the other day while looking at a map of the United States that many state borders are straight lines. Of course, in some case geography doesn't comply with the wishes of the map makers, and some interesting lines form on coastlines, lakes and rivers, but take a look at the western states in particular. Two states have rectangular shapes!

Now compare this to a map of the Olde Worlde, where there is nary a straight line to be seen.

This got me thinking about what this could mean. Obviously, these things are the result of history, for the most part, but they are also an interesting insight into the minds of the men and woman (mostly men, I would assume) who created these geometric masterpieces.

Ordered. Easy to manage and mark out your territory. Sensible.

A look at the history of western America, as seen through your cultures eyes (movies, books etc.) usually makes an emphasis on heroic men, and nasty villains, Cowboys, Injuns, Lewis and Clark, wars, nasty fights in small towns, money hungry men, railways.

Most of these, one would presume are not conducive to straight lines (except railways, more of which in a moment). Struggling to survive while constantly in fear for your life and/or your money would make nice straight lines FAR less of a priority, in my opinion. So how did this happen?

Thats right. Railways. Or at least the same thing that caused those railways to be built. Civilisation needs to get "there" as fast as possible, and as cheaply as possible. Building a railway in a straight line is a lot faster and cheaper than making one that snakes all over the landscape. Marking your borders on a blank page with something, anything, that has straight edge means that civilisation has arrived, doesn't it? And in double-quick time too!

Of course, the history of the western states is much different than almost anywhere else in the world, but doesn't it seem that the flawed heroes and noble villains do NOT fit into those neat lines and boxes? And of course, they didn't. They treated the whole world as theirs. It was only the small and insignifigant who paid any mind to these.... these RESTRICTIONS.

Where does that leave us?

Well the cowboys died. The Injuns were forced into boxes of their own, at gunpoint some of them. The only people left were the wide eyed innocents, the lovers of geometry and the dollar. The natives became foreigners, and the army saw to it that they stayed that way. When the highways came they, too, were arrow straight. Everyone was content with this order (except for the few rebels who became warriors of the road, and explorers of the deepest, darkest recesses of the new west. But they don't count, right?).

A once proud, vital, gunslinging people. Reduced to sheep. A people who no longer realise that they DO own the whole world, and no damned line is going to stop them. A people who don't see that they, and the world they own cannot be confined in these weird shapes and boxes and ideas, because they, and the world, are even weirder.

57
Or Kill Me / Retracing the Steps
« on: September 18, 2007, 01:52:57 am »
http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=9695.0
1. Perception is selective.
1a. Perception influences the experience of "reality".
1b. Changing perception can change your experience of "reality".

I missed the Friday deadline.... :D This is a rough draft of a couple things I've been thinking about lately, and descends (roughly) from the Paths discussion, something I was trying to do with the Starbucks pebble test and an autobiographical piece which I canned cause it was too laem.


Picture this: One life, lived three different ways. Of course, these are bare outlines of the lives, and many more factors would need to be considered, but if we could suspend disbelief for a moment, and consider all three men as basically the same person with the only real differences between them being the choices they have made.

once upon a time there was an average kid.
He does relatively well in school, and graduates into the work force with a good education. Finds a solid, regular job, gets married, has kids, has vacations, a car, a modest house. Gets a promotion, has grandchildren, more vacations. And so on, until he dies, aged 73 (and 4 months).
On his deathbed, he is asked a question. "What is the finest thing in life?"

once upon a time there was an average kid.
He works very hard in school, and graduates into the work force with an outstanding education. Finds a very good job, gets married, has kids, has vacations, several cars, a great house, and a summer home. Gets a promotion, has grandchildren, more vacations. And so on, until he dies, aged 73 (and 4 months).
On his deathbed, he is asked a question. "What is the finest thing in life?"

once upon a time there was an average kid.
He does poorly in school, and drops out with barely an education. He scrounges and steals his way through life, taking what he can, when he can, and with the least amount of effort required. He generally avoids prison, but is always fighting off hunger, poverty and the cops.Until he dies, aged 73 (and 4 months).
On his deathbed, he is asked a question. "What is the finest thing in life?"

The first man, who has worked well and hard all his life, who has raised a family through good and difficult times may well answer that the satisfaction of seeing work pay off is the finest thing, seeing your influences effect directly, and liking what you see is the finest thing.

The second man, who has experienced all the things that money and prestige can buy you, who has never felt the bite of a hunger that could not be satiated. He may answer that the finest thing in life is security and comfort, that the advantages you can accrue early on will pay off later, and you can face the future without fear.

The third man, who has had to rely on himself his entire life, and had no help from anyone. Who has made his mistakes, but never quite the same one twice might tell the questioner that the finest thing is the thrill of the chase, the deployment of animal cunning, and the primitive urges that have kept him barely ahead of disaster for almost his entire life.

All three are right, to some extent. And all are completely wrong. The choices they have made have led each man to give different answer to the same question, the choices changed their perceptions, and their reality was in turn shaped by those perceptions.

The fact that each man is on his deathbed, and seems relatively happy with his lot does not change the fact that they did not (any of them) live up to their full potential. If Man A had taken more risks, he could have found some of the pleasure that Man C experienced. If Man B had got more "hands-on" he could have discovered some new and different happiness in Man A's reality.

Chaining yourself down with your choices, and your perceptions and your reality is not wrong.

But it's a damn shame.


OK, you can unsuspend your disbelief now, what do you think?

58
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Commonalities
« on: August 08, 2007, 11:10:10 pm »
Many of us here have something in common. I don't know precisely what it is, but I would like to explore it a bit further, because if we can find out what that is, we can perhaps be more successful in interesting others to our ideas.

Generally, one idea I have an affection for is LHXs concept of personal apocalypse. Many of us have indeed gone through a traumatic experience, that caused us to re-assess our lives, and how we think. It happened to me, and it ultimately led me here. There are some others on these boards that have had similar epiphanies, I'm aware of, but not everyone. This is not a universal answer. We cannot say that everyone who has had a traumatic experience will ultimately end up sharing our perspectives.

Another concept is that many of us are different for other reasons, be it sexuality of lifestyle choice or general hyper weirdness. It could be that for some of us, dealing with the consequences of who we are leads us to identify with this "community", and our perspectives. Again, this is no means the rule, but it does account for a decent percentage of the posters here.

We all generally have a curiosity about things, we want to know things. A signifigant percentage of people posting here direct this to intellectual ends, and a high amount of very clever and insightful posts are made. At the other end of the scale, curiosity is satisfied in gossip and speculation. This affects almost all of the posters here, to a greater or lesser degree.

To follow on from that, many of us manifest other emotions, such as hate, again spread out over a range, from Art-Form, to weak and watery Fail-Hate.

Some of us come to the boards and only later evolve into "productive" posters, some arrive fully formed.

But we still have something similar, something that connects us all, to some extent. Those of us that have it tend to stick around, those that don't tend to fail away into obscurity.

I'm not suggeting labeling people to find out, by dictatorship of the majority, who is best suited to join us, as that smacks of elitism. I do believe, however, that we can identify people, independant of their opinions and other extraneous bullshit, by some other common factors and lure them here.

Any thoughts on this anyone?

EDIT: there goes originality http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=11953.0

Sorry folks, thought this was a first :(

59
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / WOMP-ertainment
« on: July 24, 2007, 02:56:28 pm »
OK, fill in the blanks in this humerous encounter between LMNO and TOG.



The winner recieves a special prize, and if they use MSPaint, they also get a limited edition award plaque.

60
Bring and Brag / A short journey on the bus
« on: July 09, 2007, 11:23:52 pm »


I'm waiting at the stop for the bus. It should be here by now, but, then again the clock on my phone is about five minutes fast. I'll roll my self a ciggie, and smoke it while I wait. It's warm and dry out, for a change, so this is actually quite an easy process. Hardly any traffic, no one else is waiting for the bus. Nothing to watch or amuse myself with (even contracting the sign "County Hotel" on the derelict building down the road to "Cunty Hotel" has lost some of it's charm) so I lose myself in a semi-impatient, semi-idiotic reverie.

The ciggie magic fails me this time. Usually as soon as I light up, the bus turns the corner. I don't mind too much, as I am just finishing it when my blockish chariot does arrive.

The change for the bus is warm and sweaty (I've been holding it, with my hand in my pocket, for about eight minutes) as I hand it to the driver and mumble my destination. The bus is empty except for one young guy, sitting on my right hand side about half way up. I pay little attention to him as I choose a seat on my left,about two thirds of the way up, right over the rear axle.

Here, the seats are slightly raised compared to the ones nearer the front. In fact the seat in front of me is the first one with the higher back. As I sit down, I feel like I'm camping out in a fort, like I did when I was a kid. My feet rest comfortably on the hump in the floor that is the wheel arch (I presume, I've never really examined the underfloor of a bus). I glance over to the other passenger, seeing only a 3/4 view of the back of his head. Up ahead in the rear view mirror, I can see a distorted image of my chaffeur. This mirror is obviously only in place to watch his customers, I think, it can be of no use whatsoever in watching the road behind him as the rear window is narrow, and set high.

The bus moves off, and my mind drifts. I watch the reflections bouncing between the windows on each side of me, I see the little specks of dirt, the dirty water marks rain has left streaked over the outside of the window. I poke and prod the seal around the glass. I try to find a comfortable place to rest my arm.

Before I really think about it, I'm in the centre of town. Stonehaven is not a big place, but there are enough cars and people bustling about the old and narrow streets to make it seem almost metropolitan. It takes a little while to clear the traffic snarl, and get on our way out of town. We've picked up some passengers, and I look them over as we hit the main road into Aberdeen.

The young man has an old guy sitting in front of him. He looks a little tipsy, and has a kick ass cane. I find myself wishing for an opportunity to talk to him, believing that he would be a riot. I know, however, that I'm not going to talk to him.

Down at the front is a plump woman, and a young boy of about 15 or so. I assume they are mother and son, and try to visualise their relationship, basing it entirely on the clothes they are wearing, on their body language, on the fact they don't say a word to each other. It's a fruitless, and somewhat boring, examination.

In front of these two are a couple women, in the little bay set aside for prams, or wheelchairs. They are surrounded by luggage, but don't seem to have that 'exotic' look about them that anyone foreign around here seems to have. Off on a holiday somewhere, no doubt, but again, not interesting.

Directly in front of me, is a blue rinse brigade. five or six old women talking in hushed tones, huddled together. As if for warmth or safety. I would put my money on safety, as it's starting to get quite stuffy in here.

I know there's no one sitting behind me as there's no noise. Anyone sitting that far back in public transport is going to be a boisterous adolescent.

My mind wanders a little again, the road travels along the cliffs, and to my right is the large grey expanse of the North Sea. As I glance up to my left, again between Young Man and Old Guy, I see a small building with a decaying sign, which declares it to be the "East Coast Garage" (I'm on the East coast of Scotland, for those unfamiliar with the geography) I smile a little as I think about my recent obsession with PD. I picture ECH as a hardbitten rural Scottish mechanic, and consider how SMALL the world can be sometimes.

As the bus takes detours through little flyspeck villages with hills that seem as steep as the cliffs there are perched on, I also consider that smiling to yourself can be a badwrong thing to do in public these days. (I once tried to picture everyone I met as a zen master, with something to teach me, following advice as it was written. I stopped after it became too uncomfortable for me...)

To be continued a later time...

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