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Topics - Cainad (dec.)

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61
Or Kill Me / Fear
« on: February 21, 2009, 05:35:58 pm »
So here I am, in the college world. A million opportunities in the form of both education and people to network with. An incubator world full of booze and weed and hope and the feeling of being able to do anything, given enough time and effort.

The ship is beginning to rock, ever so slightly.

All the most rational predictions tell me I'm in a good field. Environmental science is gonna be an even bigger deal than it is now as the Green Movement comes to a head and as people aren't able to afford petroleum anymore.

Tuition went up this semester. The state is feeling the ache.

I don't know what to do. I'm gripping the railings on this ship, staring white-knuckled into the choppy waters. Nobody's really talking about it; at most there's a light clap on the shoulder and a muttered word of advice to stay on board, not to worry too much. The truth is we're all hoping the waters will calm down soon and we'll be able to get off comfortably when graduation day comes. Now, I don't know much about the world and maybe I'm just a scared little rat on board this collegiate ship... but the skies look dark, the wind is blowing, and the waves don't look like they're going to settle down any time soon.

I'm seeing the world from this little realm of safety, and I what I see looks unfriendly. Things aren't going well for a lot of people out there, and soon I will have to be one of those people. How long can I safely stay here? I can barely focus on my studies because I'm keeping one eye on the conditions outside the incubator, hoping dearly that I'll be able to jump ship at the right moment if I need to.

At this point I can barely think beyond financial security. I hear talk of accomplishing great things and doing anything I want given enough time and effort, but it all sounds like static. I've tuned my brain to hear only weather forecasts and advice on how to stay afloat in the event of disaster. Other than that, I putter along in the academics and engage in goofy shenanigans to keep my mind working on something besides paranoia.

The ship is rocking, and I'm looking desperately for the lifeboats. They put lifeboats on this thing, right?

62
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Sometimes, I can't help but wonder...
« on: February 16, 2009, 06:15:48 am »
What if we're actually wrong about all this? This whole "Discordian" thing: the Reality Grids, the Black Iron Prison, the Shrapnel.

What if there really, truly is an Absolute Truth out there that has been figured out and distilled by wiser spags than us? Somewhere, one of those more serious religions has genuinely figured it out and is waiting patiently (or impatiently, as the case may be) for us to realize the error of our ways.

I wonder if the real truth of the matter is that we're all fucking nuts. We've all bought into this common delusion and taken the whole concept of subjective reality way too fucking far. By some common mental fault that has yet to be recognized in the psychiatric community, our diseased minds can't hold on to any one worldview long enough for it to sink in, and as a result the Real Truth just slipped through along with all the other ideas.

We're all going to hell. Or we're going to be reincarnated and forced to live through yet another life until we Figure It Out. Or we've just fucked up ourselves, and in the meantime built a movement around fucking with other people and trying get them to buy into our madness. We're sinners, or suckers, or a plague upon humanity. Maybe all three.



And then, I think about it some more and realize something. Crazy talk or not, Discordia--whatever the hell it is--is the only thing that makes sense to me anymore, and I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing because dwelling on the "what-if"s will kill me faster than I'm ready to deal with.

Hail Eris.

63
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Cainad's Discordia
« on: November 19, 2008, 10:10:27 pm »
Fucking shitty week.

Nothing worked out. Nothing. Everything went completely fucking WRONG.

Flunked a test. Realized that I'm physically weaker than I was only a few years ago. Missed a meeting for not one, but two clubs that I was really excited to be a part of. Then, while I'm tallying up these failures in my head, I get reminded that I missed an important meeting that night. I laugh it off to the person who said it, then slink back to my room. I sit down and suddenly one more thing pops into my head: I have two assignments due, and I cannot possibly finish both. Holy fucking shit.
You know the kind of week I'm talking about. You've had 'em.

If you're anything like me (you poor soul), it really kills your whole evening. There's no alcohol or tobacco to be had, so you go to bed with a clear head to contemplate how pissed off you are. The darkness and the quiet will give your mind space to think about everything; to absorb and digest every little failure in all its hideous glory. And when you're this full of anger and frustration, bed starts to look pretty good really fast. This shit tires you out. So I think I'll go to bed, let the bile stew, and see how I feel tomorrow. It's worked in the past.

Wait.

No.

If you're like me, it hasn't worked in the past. Not once in the countless number of times that I've been this pissed has "sleeping it off" worked.

If you're like me, you might recognize this as the early stages of depression. Bad depression. The kind where you hate everything but you hate yourself just as much (or more) because you know it's partly, if not mostly, your own damn fault.

My own damn fault.

Okay. I've done this before, I think to myself. A relatively intelligent man once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. I've been through this before. I remember that mulling over my own frustration and misery until I pass out was what I did last time. I remember the vicious cycle: self-loathing and apathy lead to more self-loathing and apathy.

The cycle.

Repetition. Doing the same thing again, expecting things to turn out better. Or just falling into the same bottomless pit and not giving a shit how far down I go.
I may be a bit screwed up in the head and I may be weird by many people's standards, but I'm not insane. Not by that definition.

So I try something different. I go for a walk, even though it's starting to get chilly outside. I remember that worked once, even though it was a different situation. Walking helps. Once I get outside, I'm not tired anymore. The blood rushes back into my body, presumably away from the part of my brain that focuses on how much I hate everything and myself.

Now comes the painful part. This is where I contemplate how fucking pathetic it is that one shitty week will leave me horribly depressed for a month.

"But at least you know you can survive it, right? It's happened before. The people who love you will shield you from the worst the world has to offer, and once you've spent some time with the shrink and taken your pills you'll be back on your feet and you can start again."

"Yeah, but that plan kinda sucks. I can't ask my parents to keep being my safety net. I mean, shit, I have to grow up pretty damn soon, if not right now. On the other hand, if I try to tough it out, things might just get worse and I don't know if I can handle all that failure."

Hey, what the hell?

That's weird. I never noticed this dialogue before from a third perspective. Looks like the competing parts of my mind are both focusing on failure. Well, shit, no wonder this kind of thing never worked out well in the past!

I think back to the Black Iron Prison. I feel around the bars and notice a few that seem particularly foreboding. Frighteningly strong. These are the bars of my failures. Or rather, they are my preoccupation with failure and inadequacy. These are the bars of my depression. In an effort to prevent more devastating failure and misery, I've hidden behind these bars and let them keep me from venturing out into the world and trying again.

I recognize now that it doesn't work. It never worked. Yet I've done it many times before, and it terrifies me to think of going out into that cruel world that will put me to many tests that I will no doubt fail. I am afraid to change the way my mind works, to let go of my past losses and seek opportunities to make amends. I am torn in an internal struggle.

Strife. Discord. Change.

The Black Iron Bars. They're strong, but... I made them. Now that I can see that, I can tear them out.

Don't think that it was easy, or that it was fun. Sometimes, tearing out those prison bars, forcibly changing the pathways of your mind, hurts. A lot. But I did it anyway. No more focus on failures. I decide not to even think any more about this horrible fucking week. Then, I finally let myself go to bed, my mind suitably blank.

The next day, I don't feel too bad. It's still sort of a crummy day, but still I focus on not focusing on the previous several days. The day after that isn't all that great either, but I keep it up. Sure, the memories intrude, but the important thing is that I don't dwell on them. Let the thoughts come, and let them pass. In other words, I'm okay.

On the third day, something cool happens. I'm lucky enough to get a ride to an event that I thought I was going to have to miss because I was stupid and forgot to arrange transportation. I realize what just happened: I snagged an opportunity that I would not have if I'd let the misery overtake me. Depression would have kept me in my room and I wouldn't have been able to take advantage of that one guy who was going to the same place and was late. One less failure that would have happened if I'd stuck to my old habits.

It worked. I'm okay.

Not many things in this world feel better than feeling "okay," and right now I owe that feeling to Discordianism. My Discordia.

64
So I was browsing through the recent archives of "Or Kill Me," and happened upon the following idea.

Many of the people here who submit their own original rants or essays have probably taken heat at one point or another, specifically because their piece was interpreted in a way they did not intend. What would it look like to create an entire Intermittens issue comprised of such works? I honestly have no idea what would come of this. Let's find out!

That's where you come in: Dig through your old rants, essays, etc. and post links to the ones that, for whatever reason, pissed people off and you spent the rest of the thread desperately trying to prove, "No, I didn't mean THAT, what I meant was <your original point>."

65
This thread is for sharing the worst fucking jokes you know. I'll start.



So there's this fish in a stream, right? And he sees this fly hovering above the water, just out of reach, and he thinks, "man, if that fly would drop just a few inches I could get it."

And then there's this bear next to the stream, looking at the fish, but he can't get it from where he is. He thinks, "Man, if that fly would just drop a few inches, the fish would go for it and I could get the fish!"

Now, there's this hunter hiding in the trees on the other side of the river, and he wants to get the bear, but he can't get a good shot on it. He thinks, "Hey, if that fly drops a few inches, that fish will go for it, the bear will go for the fish, and then the bear will be in a perfect spot for me to hit it!"

And there's this mouse hiding behind the hunter, eyeing the sandwich in his pocket. He thinks, "If that fly drops a few inches, the fish will go for the fly, the bear will go grab the fish, the hunter will move to shoot the bear, and then the sandwich will fall out of the hunter's pocket, where I can get it."

But there's this cat with his eye on the mouse, see. He knows the mouse will dart into its hole if he goes for it now, but then he sees what's going on and thinks, "Woah, if that fly drops a few inches, the fish will go for the fly, the bear will go for the fish, the hunter will drop his sandwich as he moves to shoot the bear, the mouse will go grab the sandwich, and then I'll have it cornered!"

Then it happens! The fly drops a few inches, the fish jumps to get the fly, the bear moves to snatch the fish, the hunter shoots the bear and drops his sandwich, the mouse goes to get the sandwich, and the cat springs to get the mouse. But the cat misses and goes tumbling headfirst into the river, getting completely soaked.


The moral of the story?






It takes a little more than a fly dropping four inches to get a pussy wet.



There's this middle-aged guy who's gone impotent. He decides he wants a permanent fix, rather than taking a pill every time he wants to get it on, so he undergoes this really weird experimental surgery that involves grafting the muscles from the trunk of a baby elephant onto his junk.

After healing up from the surgery, he takes his wife out to a romantic dinner at an expensive restaurant. The waiter takes their drink orders and leaves a basket of dinner rolls on the table.

All of a sudden, the guy feels this really strange sensation "down there." Since the place is dark and no one's around but his wife, he unzips his fly and tries to see what the hell is going on. His dick snakes out of his pants, grabs a roll, and pulls it back in to his pants. His wife gives him a sly look and says, "Could you do that again?"

He replies, "Probably, but I really don't want another dinner roll shoved up my ass."



Two muffins are baking in an oven. The first muffin turns to the other and says, "Wow, it sure is hot in here, isn't it?"
The second muffin says, "Holy shit, a talking muffin!"



What's worse than finding a worm in your apple?
Finding half a worm in your apple!

What's worse than finding half a worm in your apple?
The Holocaust.



A wife turns to her husband and asks, "Why don't we fly to Hawaii this summer?"

He replies, "Because you're a cunt."



Q: What do you call an Arab who flies a plane?



A: A pilot, you fucking racist.



Why do elephants paint their balls red?

So they can hide in cherry trees.




What is the loudest noise in the jungle?

A giraffe eating cherries.



A rather toadish businessman has a wife who is frankly far better looking than he deserves, which consumes him with perpetual jealousy.  However, he must go on a weeklong trip for work and leave her to her own devices.  To test her fidelity, he leaves a jar of cream under the center of their bed.  Right above it under the mattress, he suspends a spoon.  He figures it will have cream on it if she has too much fun while he's away.

A week later he returns home from his trip.  His wife runs up to him in her apron, joyfully embracing and kissing him.  Filled with suspicion he scornfully turns her aside.

"I'll see just how faithful you've been, woman," and rushes to their bedroom.  He reaches under the bed and pulls out the jar.  It's filled with butter.

66
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / "Who Killed the Lulz?" Periodical
« on: November 18, 2008, 03:19:15 am »
For posterity, here are two submissions. One from Cramulus and the other from my own diminutive, warped mind. These will (hopefully) be used as a regular column in the Intermittens publication.
The general format is to copypasta some excerpt of text and replace the significant character with "the lulz."


Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market-place, and cried incessantly: "I am looking for Lulz! I am looking for Lulz!"
  As many of those who did not believe in Lulz were standing together there, he excited considerable laughter. Have you lost him, then? said one. Did he lose his way like a child? said another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? or emigrated? Thus they shouted and laughed. The madman sprang into their midst and pierced them with his glances.

  "Where has Lulz gone?" he cried. "I shall tell you. We have killed them - you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to crap up the whole internet? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire web? What did we do when we unchained the forum from its URL? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all forums? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying Lulz? Do we not smell anything yet of Lulz's decomposition? Lulzs too decompose. Lulz is dead. Lulz remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives. Who will wipe this blood off us? With what water could we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we need to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves become Lulzs simply to be worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whosoever shall be born after us - for the sake of this deed he shall be part of a higher history than all history hitherto."

Again I say, I do not know what has become of the lulz, though I think--almost hope--that it is in peaceful oblivion, if there be anywhere so blessed a thing. It is true that I have for five years been its closest friend, and a partial sharer of its terrible jokes about the unknown. I will not deny, though my memory is uncertain and indistinct, that this witness of yours may have seen us together as he says, on the Gainsville pike, walking toward Big Cypress Swamp, at half past 11 on that awful night. That we bore electric lanterns, spades, and a curious coil of wire with attached instruments, I will even affirm; for these things all played a part in the single hideous scene which remains burned into my shaken recollection. But of what followed, and of the reason I was found alone and dazed on the edge of the swamp next morning, I must insist that I know nothing save what I have told you over and over again. You say to me that there is nothing in the swamp or near it which could form the setting of that frightful episode. I reply that I knew nothing beyond what I saw. Vision or nightmare it may have been--vision or nightmare I fervently hope it was--yet it is all that my mind retains of what took place in those shocking hours after we left the sight of men. And why the lulz did not return, it or its shade--or some nameless thing I cannot describe--alone can tell.

And now for some new crap:

From that chamber, and from that mansion, I fled aghast. The storm was still abroad in all its wrath as I found myself crossing the old causeway. Suddenly there shot along the path a wild light, and I turned to see whence a gleam so unusual could have issued; for the vast house and its shadows were alone behind me. The radiance was that of the full, setting, and blood-red moon which now shone vividly through that once barely-discernible fissure of which I have before spoken as extending from the roof of the building, in a zigzag direction, to the base. While I gazed, this fissure rapidly widened --there came a fierce breath of the whirlwind --the entire orb of the satellite burst at once upon my sight --my brain reeled as I saw the mighty walls rushing asunder --there was a long tumultuous shouting sound like the voice of a thousand waters --and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of the "HOUSE OF LULZ."


Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;–vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow–sorrow for the lost Lulz-
For the rare and radiant joy whom the angels name Lulz-
Nameless here for evermore.


What it is, only God knows. In terms of matter I suppose the thing Ammi described would be called a gas, but this gas obeyed the laws that are not of our cosmos. This was no fruit of such worlds and suns as shine on the telescopes and photographic plates of our observatories. This was no breath from the skies whose motions and dimensions our astronomers measure or deem too vast to measure. It was just the lulz out of space - a frightful messenger from unformed realms of infinity beyond all Nature as we know it; from realms whose mere existence stuns the brain and numbs us with the black extra-cosmic gulfs it throws open before our frenzied eyes.


When the Years had carries away Yonath, and Yonath was dead, there was no longer a prophet among men.

And still men sought to know.

Therefore they said unto the lulz: "Be thou our prophet, and know all things, and tell us concerning the wherefore of It All."

    And the lulz said: "I know all things." And men were pleased.

And the lulz said of the Beginning that it was in the lulz's own garden, and of the End that it was in the sight of the lulz.

And men forgot the lulz.

One day the lulz saw Mung behind the hills making the sign of Mung. And the lulz was the lulz no more.

(^Dunsany was a weird fucker)

67
Literate Chaotic / The Religious Case Against Belief by James P. Carse
« on: November 08, 2008, 01:25:45 am »
After some months of occasionally raving about how great I think this book is, I've finally decided to do the right thing. That is, I will procrastinate on my schoolwork to bring you spags some choice quotes-n-notes from this book.

This will probably be tl;dr for many people. I'm okay with that.

AND SO IT BEGINS

Introduction:

Quote
Why a religious case against belief?

In the current and quite popular assessment of religion, there is one thing conspicuously missing: religion itself. It has long been a fashion, and even more so now, to frame arguments against religion in largely scientific language. From the perspective critics are right to expose the inherent falsehood of much that believers claim to be true. The popular argument states that those who believe in God, or Allah, have fallen "under a spell" worked on them by clever but fraudulent thinkers. Or that religious belief was once useful to the evolution of human culture but is now an impediment to mature societal advance. What is more, believers are not just wrong; they are also dangerous. Here, too, critics have abundant material to target. So-called true believers–those so convinced of the rectitude of their convictions they are eager to die, or to kill, for them–have brought once inconceivable havoc to the human community. Even a cursory glance at the present conflicts across the globe, executed in the name of religion, seems to justify a twist on the traditional Islamic exclamation, asserting that God is not good.

For all of their righteous passion, however, what these critics are attacking is not religion, but a hasty caricature of it. Religion has presented itself in so broad an array of disconnected and unique manifestations across the span of human history that no generalization can conceivably apply to the full variety of its expression. Although the critics are for the most part accomplished students of both science and modern society, their interest in the subject of religion seems to have been exhausted by a few initial glances at the actions of several selected groups of avid believers. This is a misfortune. Considering the extent of the chaos attributable to it, a reflective and religiously literate critique of belief is necessary.

Offering a religious case against belief obviously implies that religion is not strictly a matter of belief. It may come as a surprise that a thoughtful survey of the history of religion provides scant evidence for an extended overlap of the two. Quite simply, being a believer does not in itself make one religious; being religious does not require that one be a believer. This improbable distinction has been hidden by the tenacious notion that religion is chiefly a collection of beliefs. By this account, Hindus have a certain catalogue of assertions to which one must assent in order to take the name for oneself, Jews another. This leads to the absurd perception that one could, for example, come to a full understanding of what it means to be a Jew by carefully listing everything Jews are thought to "believe."

But if a religion is not strictly a matter of believing, what is it? Take note first of the irreconcilable differences between the historic religions. Although Islam and Christianity have been close neighbors for fourteen centuries, it is unthinkable that Muslims might occasionally mistake themselves for Christians. There is something in each tradition that definitively sets it off from the other. But what? It might seem reasonable at this point to consult Christians to learn what their religion is at its core, then turn to Muslims with the same request. After the first few inquiries, we would discover that there is little within Christianity and within Islam as to how the core of each faith is to be articulated. Indeed, this is such an open question that both traditions largely consist in the struggle over what it means to be a Muslim or a Christian. At the center of each, in other words, is a mystery they cannot fully comprehend; neither can they cease attempting to comprehend it. They may give this mystery the name "God" or "Brahman" or "Tao," but when we ask for more complete clarification, agreement among them scatters. How then can we say what the Christian religion is when Christians themselves have never been able to do so?

Yes, an inclusive definition of religion is out of reach, but to acknowledge that is not to terminate meaningful discussion of the issue. Instead, we must integrate the factor of unknowability into each of our conceptions of religion. This can have a strong effect on our thinking in general: reflecting on the remarkable way the great religions seem to develop an awareness of the unknown keen enough to hold its most ardent followers in a state of wonder, we may begin to acquire to art of seeing the unknown everywhere, especially at the heart of our most emphatic certainties. This is not just to develop a new intellectual talent, but to enter a new mode of being, a "higher ignorance." Through higher ignorance, an open-ended dialogue becomes possible. It is the goal of this book to reach beyond the phenomenon of belief not merely to defend the religions but to discover how higher ignorance can inform our most ordinary experience. Far from being a critical failure of religion, valued in this way higher ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.

Why a religious case against belief?

In one respect, it is not a mistake to associate religion with belief. Mystery is difficult to live with, and for some even terrifying. It can often be a source of great comfort to hide our unknowing behind the veil of a well-articulated belief system. For this reason, the historic religions seem to be a particularly fertile source for absolutisms. But when "true" believers claim that their convictions have been validated by a given religion, they are patently unaware that in doing so they have just rejected it. The certainties that led Christians to the Crusades, or Hindus to the universal imposition of the caste system, or Muslims to truck bombs all constitute a repression of the tradition they claim as their own. What is more, belief systems or ideologies that originate elsewhere–Nazism, Maoism, Serbian nationalism, American triumphalism–present themselves as the equivalent of religion, often taking on its presumed trappings: Nazi ritual, Mao's Little Red Book, the demarcation of sacred soil, the mission of democracy to enlighten a corrupted world.

This should be enough to indicate that the act of belief is highly complicated and richly nuanced behavior. That it consists of an avowed commitment to a set of truth-claims is the least part of it. On closer analysis in the following chapters, we will find that, among other features, belief thrives on conflict, depends on the clarity and restricting power of its surrounding boundaries, has a one-dimensional understanding of authority, possesses a kind of atemporality that denies the possibility of of an open history, an builds on a sever form of self-rejection. These are characteristics of belief rarely cited in the general discussion. They appear in sharp profile only when we consider their inherent hostility to religion.

In sum, to counterpoise religion and belief is to make possible a deeper insight into both. Given the violence that originates in the absolutism of belief systems, it is urgent that we come to a more incisive grasp of what it at stake. It is proper to hold belief systems to the most stringent canons of knowledge in all its forms. In the process, however, we must take care not to pitch knowledge against religion, as though one is the violation of the other, for in truth they are in essential harmony. The challenge is not to make religion intelligible but to use knowledge religiously. Aristotle wrote that knowledge begins in wonder. By thoughtfully assessing the unmatched vitality of the great religions, we can begin to see that knowledge also ends in wonder.


Emphasis mine. Moar later.

68
Or Kill Me / Allow Me To Be Perfectly Frank...
« on: October 23, 2008, 01:24:30 am »
I do not understand the motivation behind most spiritual inquiry.

Countless theologians, philosophers, and lay thinkers have been and continue to be obsessed with what is often considered the ultimate question: "Why are we here?"
Alternate forms of the question include, "What is our purpose?", "Why are things the way they are?", and "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

I admit that I spend a great deal of time reading about and trying to understand the nature of religion and belief (which are not the same thing, and I would highly recommend The Religious Case Against Belief by James P. Carse to anyone who wants to know what the hell I mean by that), but the nature of that question eludes me. In my mind, the ultimate question is not "Why are we here?", instead it's "What the hell kind of a question is that?"

What do people mean when they ask this question? From my perspective, it has no relevance or bearing on anything; it is inanity at it's highest. Yet many people will spend their lives looking for the "answer" to this meaningless question, and many will spend their lives touting that they have found it. However, the answers that people come up with are so many and varied that it becomes readily apparent that the original question is flawed.

Seriously, did no one but me get the joke about "The Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything" in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? They built the most advanced supercomputer ever to give them the answer to this question, and the supposed "true" answer was 42. Then they had to build another, bigger supercomputer to give them the actual question, so that the answer would make sense. Get it? It's funny because the people looking for the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything didn't know what the hell they were actually asking for! Just like in real life!

People often talk about "purpose" and "meaning." They talk about needing a purpose, or that life would be meaningless without God or whatever spiritual entity they are concerned with. I don't get it. If there ever was a "fall from grace," it was the loss of our ability to have the nerve to face life with some sense of personal dignity and authority over ourselves. Why do people need to have a purpose assigned to them, and how can one be so asinine as to think that a dream, an epiphany, or simply a moment of mania is a message from a Greater Power™ telling them what to do with their lives? That kind of thinking is for people who took The Alchemist seriously.

If you can't assign a purpose to yourself, or just LIVE and be happy doing whatever the fuck you feel like at any given time, then you are dragging your knuckles. Walk upright and be a human being, damn it all. Have enough self-respect and courage to face life and say "Whatever I do in life, I do under my own will and by my own authority."

Please. You people are so terribly confounding and annoying when you blather on about "purpose" and "meaning" and "Why," and then look down on people like me who, quite frankly, don't see why those things are of such concern to you. Maybe you'd start being more satisfied with yourself if you started asking different questions, rather than beating your head against the imaginary brick wall that is "Why are we here?"

69
Literate Chaotic / Cainad writes moar fictional crap
« on: October 21, 2008, 12:40:40 am »
By far one of my favorite pastimes is to write little scenes that people tell me could be turned into interesting novels, and then just leave them as-is and never develop the story any further.


Stuck in a Thick Plot

"No. This is too stupid."

Richard tossed the door key onto the ground and stormed away, stopping at the sidewalk corner to stare up into the street light and sigh.

"Richard, come on. I know this shit is dumb, but if we don't do it something else will just come up. Every time we give up, we get sucked into something else. Let's try and see this one through." Erin picked up the key and put it in her pocket.

"No, Erin. I'm sick of this crap. I don't think it's ever supposed to stop. I think that this stupid... whatever the hell it is... will just keep going on forever, and then when we finally give up on it something new will start. At least these moronic little plots are interesting at first glance; why bother running them into the ground? It's like a cheesy fiction series that goes on for twenty novels that started out okay but got run into the ground by greed and a childish enthusiasm for hearing the same story repeated over and over again, only with minor variations so the reader can pretend they're getting something new."

There was a sick, unhappy little pause. Richard's description was all too apt. For almost a year now, their lives had followed a bizarre and only barely coherent path that no one could take seriously, not even they who were living it. A year of meaningless adventures and pointless escapades had worn them down into rather bitter and cynical characters who went into every new venture fully expecting it to be nowhere near as exciting, important, or serious as it first appeared. Worse still, they no longer knew who to trust in the world, besides each other. People came into their lives all of a sudden and disappeared just as fast, seeming only to exist for as long as they had anything to do with them. Recently, a certain Gerald Mannington had remained fairly consistent, and appeared to be experiencing the same weirdness they were. Still, they kept him at arm's length, half-expecting him to disappear and never pick up his phone again if they should choose to drop out of the chain of events they were currently engaged in.




This next one is the result of my school's creative writing club; we were prompted to write about what we would find behind a door with the sign "Lost & Found of Your Life" on it.

Behind the oaken door lay a hallway lined with small, intricate wooden cabinets. I checked the piece of paper in my hand: underneath my name was written the number of my cabinet, J-2312. I walked down the hall to the little door with a brass plaque that bore the same number. As I raised my hand to the handle of this little door that supposedly held everything I had ever lost in my life, I wondered foolishly to myself if I would find in there the ball cap I had lost when I was 13 that I had liked so much. I opened the cabinet door.

Not quite what I had expected. The single largest item in there was a thick, plain, leatherbound book. I took hold of it, noting the lack of a title or any markings whatsoever. I was bemused; when had I lost such a thing? I could not remember, and I cracked open the fresh cover.

Inside were dated entries, scores and scores of them starting from the time I was about three years old. Each entry was a lost thought, a moment of inspiration, or epiphany that I had forgotten. Pages upon pages of ideas I had meant to act on, both good and bad.

70
Or Kill Me / To the undecided voters
« on: October 18, 2008, 10:56:30 pm »
This is one of those spaggy rants that's directed at the general Amurrican public, not necessarily Discordians.

Dear Undecided Voter:

Welcome to November 2008. It's been a long eight years, hasn't it? Some people will try to tell you that voting Republican this year is dumb because the disastrous war in Iraq and the current economic mess that Wall Street has made of itself have happened under a Republican administration. Well, I'm not going to tell you that.

Truth is, we're in the mess we're in because all this shit has happened under an Idiot Party administration. These aren't the benign, lovable sort of idiots that George W. Bush pretends to be; these are greedy and self-righteous idiots who are very good at one thing, and that is getting ahold of power so that they can play their idiotic games with a post-9/11 world. Even the Democrats who sat back and let this crap happen because they were afraid of being called names are members of the Idiot Party's agenda. But this is all old news.

People from both sides will screw you over if they get the chance. Republicans and Democrats are all politicians, and all those "third parties" are jokes from a strategic standpoint. You shouldn't vote based merely on political party affiliation, and if you're undecided, then you are either planning to flip a coin or are waiting for something to push you in one direction or the other. How about this:

Obama says that you'll get no new taxes if your family income is less than $250,000 a year. Let me guess, you probably fall into that bracket, don't you? Yeah, you do, and chances are you aren't going to be climbing above that quarter-million mark any time too soon.

The obvious rebuttal to this plan is the accusation that it punishes people for being successful, and it only makes sense that those above-$250,000 a year people are pushing this line of thought. Okay, maybe. In America, we're all supposed to get an equal chance. But for the past eight years, a Republican-dominated government has been giving tax breaks to the rich folks and the corporations, who just happen to be the ones helping to finance their campaigns (those slick ads don't pay for themselves, you know). The wealthy work to influence the political system in their favor. That's how it's always been. It's not a new thing and it's not going to change.

But why should the rich be the only ones pushing the politicians around? You've got a vote too, goddammit. Why are you spewing their propaganda for them? Do you think they're gonna be grateful and give you some of their money if you help elect a president who'll give them more tax breaks? HA HA! Here's an idea: let's pretend that we still live in a representative democracy where people vote for the candidate who best represents their own interests. The wealthy will be voting for their best interests, and you should vote for yours. And if you make less than $250,000 a year, then Obama probably represents you in that regard. If he falls back on his promise then kick him out in 2012.

Or don't. Vote McCain, and watch as the wealthy corporations are given more tax breaks and the executives prepare their multi-million dollar golden parachutes for when the economy collapses again (it happens, folks, all the freaking time), while you live in fear of being laid off and losing your house and the price of food and gas continue to become more pressing so you have to dip into those college savings. BUT AT LEAST YOU DIDN'T VOTE TO MAKE THOSE SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE PAY MORE, RIGHT? THIS IS AMERICA, AFTER ALL!

Oh, and did I mention that if you don't vote, you've got no right to complain if the next president sucks? Yeah. Life's a bitch, ain't it?

71
Or Kill Me / Knock It Off
« on: October 09, 2008, 11:15:20 pm »
Find something else to do. You degenerate little fuckshits are a disgrace to our already pathetic generation. Seriously, there are woods nearby to go do this shit in. Why are you baking your brains out in the goddamn room where people have called the cops on you twice already? Do you not realize that they put us on "The List" after the first time you got in trouble?

Apologizing in advance doesn't get me back those lost hours of sleep, nor does it safeguard your dignity. You may receive the blessing of blackouts, but I see you all with sober eyes. I see your stupidity with eyes clearer than the vodka you pump down your stomachs every third night. I remember the shit that goes down.

I fell asleep with the words "Beer pong" and "Captain Morgan" in my ears. I awoke a few hours later to the sounds of our already ridiculously fractious social network breaking asunder. A thunderstorm of drunken rants, freakouts, and hurt feelings swept through here last night, the likes of which I have never seen. Granted, I am inexperienced in these matters, but if this is what it's like when you don't have class the next day during nice weather, what will winter be like?

No, seriously, what will it be like? When there's nothing to do, you will turn to the bottle, the blunt, and the bong. We'll all be stir-crazy, sick of each other, and restless. If this madness can happen when the weather's still nice, I shudder to think what will happen in the coming months.

But I shudder with laughter. Mad, unrestrained laughter. Behold the one true Divine Comedy; the self-destruction of Tomorrow's Leaders! The setup will go on and on, and my guts shall bleed with the chuckles as I anticipate the grotesque punchline.

Then someone will die. Though I've felt like killing some of you in the delerious haze of sleeplessness, it will not be me who puts an end to that poor soul's life. It seems like half of you have drunk yourselves nearly to alcohol poisoning; I have no reason to believe that you will stop or begin to regulate yourselves. Someone will die.

And no one will laugh. In retrospect, I will think, it wasn't a very funny joke at all.

Oh well.

72
GASM Command / SUNY Southampton? POSTERED!
« on: September 18, 2008, 04:46:42 pm »
With two newly acquired minions fellow mischief-makers, I set out to make the evening of Sunday, September 14 as awesome as I could.





Success was had. Click for exactly 23 photos of the exploits of Lost Socks, Yonose, and myself: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29689394@N03/sets/72157607361646101/


Also, yesterday I recruited another skinny white guy with facial hairs who thinks this is cool shit. He's a commuter with friends at SUNY Stony Brook, where one could expect a rather larger audience...

73
GASM Command / TicketGASM
« on: August 19, 2008, 03:48:53 pm »


We've all seen or heard of joke parking tickets, but this promises to be completely different. Why? Because these are Discordian™ joke parking tickets. This particular rant by TGRR, as laid out by Netaungrot, is the example used in this picture. For TicketGASM, more rants, short essays, and memebombs should be laid out in a format that can be easily stuck behind a windshield wiper and will look more or less like a parking ticket from a distance.

Credit for this idea goes entirely to Valerie LeFurston, who also suggested sticking such fake tickets inside real parking tickets for extra lulz.

74
Bring and Brag / Mandelthought
« on: July 18, 2008, 12:00:09 pm »
And we find the signal to be lost in the noise; we lose the recognition of pattern because the pattern was too new, too different.

Struggling in the haze, trying to sculpt the fog of thoughts. Which are the old and which are the new? Was it inspiration or mental masturbation? The old thoughts are fractal, building upon themselves unto infinity and yet becoming less and less significant with each iteration.

Was there ever a signal? Did we experience a new thought at all? Or was it merely a hiccup in the endless downward, inward spiral of old ideas breeding with each other? The noise of entropic decay drowns out our efforts to listen... we have traveled so far down this path that to pull back and see the whole once again becomes a titanic effort. From where we stand now every path seems to lead somewhere we've been before, and while we may amuse ourselves with new variations, we see that it's all really the same.

The thinking has become ingrown, the vines are tangled and no longer bear fruit; some of them have even begun to wither. We fear that the rot will spread to the roots, if we do not take care to prune the excess, the overgrown. But through the tangle, who can see which to cut and which to keep?

75
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Refresher Course on Enlightenment
« on: July 16, 2008, 01:49:23 am »
Author's note: I wrote this just now, in the span of maybe an hour. It's probably rambling and disjointed, but I hope I'm getting my idea across. The thoughts presented here may not apply to everyone, but it seemed significant to me. I demand criticism (please). Have me rewrite the whole damn thing, if you think it's necessary.



Refresher Course on Enlightenment

So here you are. Right now you're probably feeling like you're on the right track, philosophically speaking. You read something new every once in a while, maybe an expansion on something you read before, or perhaps something new entirely.

If you've gotten anywhere at all, think about that feeling. You've figured out some important truths, are now open and receptive to new thoughts and ideas, and other good stuff. What do you think is next?

Yep, you guessed it: go back and re-enlighten yourself. You've forgotten half the stuff that set you on this path in the first place, and yet it still affects you in one way or another. Fact is, you might be close to making the same mistake that lots of people make: you don't know where your thoughts are coming from. You've probably changed up your Black Iron Prison a lot during your life, but eventually you have to let it settle and allow your mind to reorganize itself. Enlightenment can be exhausting.

When was the last time you tried–really seriously tried–to grasp the concept of infinity? It's a thrill the first couple times, but eventually you need to calm down and start thinking about more down-to-earth things. However, the experience won't stay fresh in your mind, and when an experience like that gets buried too deep you can forget that it's influencing your decisions. When the Shrapnel penetrates really far, you can forget that it's there. There are some pieces you've probably chosen to keep, but if they're really big it might be important to keep them close to the surface.

Incidentally, this is probably why most of the "real" religions (ha ha!) have prayers and rituals and all manner of things to inspire religious experiences. Every time they pray or chant or meditate, they're taking a refresher course in the Shrapnel of their particular faith. We (and I use the term so lightly it's ridiculous) don't have it quite so easy, because for us it usually isn't about keeping old Shrapnel or strengthening the bars of the BIP, but changing them. That's rather more difficult, because it can't be ritualized or made routine without losing its essential purpose. So we have to take a different approach.

Remember that you are a distinct, separate entity, and no matter how deep the Shrapnel gets, it's still Shrapnel and not part of you. You are not made up of parts, because you are singular being that experiences life, with its Shrapnel and Black Iron Prisons, not a jumble of those things all mixed together. Those things shape your personality, but they are not you.

You will, and probably should, choose to keep certain pieces of Shrapnel. If you spend all your time rearranging it you won't get anywhere, you'll just become neurotic about having the right Shrapnel. But try to remind yourself from time to time  that even the bits you chose to keep were chosen for a reason. Try to remember that reason every once in a while, and if you can't, well, ditch it. You may find that you don't agree with your reasoning from years ago.

This isn't about living in the past. This is about cleaning your metaphorical closet every once in a while. It's about looking at the old photo album of your life, remembering what you've experienced and keeping yourself consciously aware of what you're doing, rather than letting the stuff build up and leaving you back where you started before you came down this path: loaded down with Shrapnel, trapped in the BIP.

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