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1171
Or Kill Me / Subgenius k00ks by Ivan Stang
« on: October 09, 2007, 01:26:22 am »
Thought this was good enough rantage to bring over.



When you take the path less traveled, you sometimes find that it is less traveled for a damned good reason.

The Church attracts weirdoes; that was always the whole idea. But even though our “weirdar” has a very broad range of tolerance, some of the ones we find stuck to the Tarbaby of Dobbs scare even us.

Much of what “Bob” said was so obviously designed to sound just like what an insane crackpot would most want to believe, that many did. As redundant as the term may seem, we now have to deal with SubGenius Kooks.

We sincerely regret that, sometimes, the Church of the SubGenius just makes assholes worse. It causes some people’s heads to explode in exactly the wrong way. Apparently more people heard what “Bob” said than were capable of understanding what he meant by it. Mister Dobbs didn’t tell us much about the MAL-ALIGNED NORMALS; he only devoted one paragraph to them in The Book of the SubGenius. He made it seem like when the Church went public, it would all be hilarious creative writers, talented illustrators with great drugs, and luscious bespectacled plumper babes who play killer bass. It would be like one big marvelous X-Day Drill that never ends, brimming with priceless sarcasm in every possible form. A lie by omission is still a lie. You gotta hand it to Dobbs, though. He always did lie, and he was right every damned time.

Some so-called SubGeniuses start out laughing at all the wrong things in “Bob’s” Word. When they finally figure out what the rest of us were laughing at – them – they piss their mental panties in rage and become the alt.slack Internet forum trolls and human open wounds who now fill our killfile lists. They short-circuited when they finally got Part Two of “Bob’s” Important Message, resulting in their misplaced faith glands becoming all infected and runny.

We’re sick of seeing unpleasant, unfunny wanna-be-bullies agreeing with, and even living by, ALL THE WRONG BULLSHIT in The Book of the SubGenius. The underlying POINT of the whole thing was a warning about THINKING THAT WAY, in one-dimensional, stereotype-swallowing, us-vs.-them black-and-white Dumbass-VisionŠ but that message goes right over their simple Bobbie heads, and they start enthusiastically making the Church into what it’s a take-off on, instead of the stupid religion it was truly meant to be.

It figures that something created by “Bob” would do that, sure. But we worry that we’ll just get better at it, and end up unleashing a hundred permanent assholes for every one True Beautant the Church inspires.

The SubGenius Kooks seemed funny to us, at first, but after a couple of decades of it, they’re just depressing. Each one is a misunderstood world savior. (In a way, though, aren’t we all?) Not every spazz with a “Bob” shirt sets off our “cradar.” But the worst ones really believe they’re “Bob,” or The Anti-”Bob,” or somebody even more important.

There are so many fakes and copycats: The FlubGenius Must be Lax The RubGenius Must Rub Backs The UnGenius Must Smoke Crack see what we mean? Tiresome.

If only we were kidding. If only this were just another part of the satire.

The Church may be a joke – among other things – but it’s a sufficiently penetrating joke to have driven a few people QUITE MAD. It IS, after all, the direct, revealed WORD of J. R. “BOB” DOBBS. Which is all it needs to be. Even if every SubGenius disavowed the whole thing as a crock, forever, there would still remain that ONE IMMOVABLE FACT of the ISNESS of “BOB.” No matter what we think about it, THAT FACE will always be there, and THAT FACE will always be laughing. And usually not laughing with us.

We’d be the last to denigrate the Differently Saned, or to promote ‘sanity,’ as the Pinks define it; but, hey, as SubGenius Spice put it, “Every church has its pew.”

Most SubGenii deprogram themselves. Having to deprogram zombies from our own cult was once a rare event. But nowadays it’s a spectator sport – you can watch us do it daily on alt.slack! We’re currently experimenting with a preventative approach. We sold all these dipshits the insanity; now we’re working out how to sell them the cure.

What’s considered “crazy” has drastically changed over the years. “Insane” doesn’t mean running around the mall with your underwear on your head anymore. Nowadays, that’s fashionable, whereas demonstrating any manners at all has become weird. What’s “weird” nowadays used to be considered COMMON HUMAN DECENCY.

THE WORLD OF THE DIFFERENTLY SANED

It’s not that they see things that aren’t really there. Serious religious nuts (and speedfreaks too) see connections that aren’t there. Marvelous connections between, say, quantum physics and sappy mysticism. The only reason the rest of us don’t see the connections is that we are not completely insane.

It’s hard to carry on real conversations with a them. They are very precariously balanced mentally, and prefer to lecture. If you question their basic presumptions, suddenly you’re barking up an unoccupied tree. The Non-Traditionally-Awared Person can’t answer certain questions, because if he lets himself even understand them, his whole mental house of cards collapses. The concept of himself being wrong about something is outside his frame of reference. So his answers are always to other questions than the ones asked – the questions he’d prefer you’d ask.

We’re all kooks to some extent. Still, as long as you can take a joke, you can’t be too far gone. In order to be able to take a joke, however, one must be able to recognize that a joke has been TOLD. A crippled sense of humor is the single most distinguishing aspect of the “kook” or Deep Pink personality.

Especially severe Deep Pinks are called “Purples” in subjargon.

Thus, many Alternately-Realitied Persons can’t experience Slack, except negatively – that is, by blocking the Slack of others. Often, such as in the case of street crazies or Internet poets, it cannot mind its own business. Pretending to teach its kook-view, its “Kookanschauung,” to others is how it obtains its sad false Slack, be it from a soapbox on a street corner or via someone else’s blog. Unfortunately, being self-righteous and mentally ill at the same time just plain doesn’t come off.

FOOLING YOURSELF

New Age beliefs combined with dipshit science can inflict brain damage every bit as tragically as can chronic drug use and cable TV. Luckily for all but the most damaged victims, there is a place in the world for them, often a lucrative one, as RELIGIOUS OR PHILOSOPHICAL TEACHERS. (Important Note: rich people can afford to be much more superstitious than can ordinary po’buckers.)

It’s easy enough to learn the trappings of awareness and knowledge. All it takes is impenetrably flighty jargon, punctuated by pregnant pauses and flattery. Big eyebrows help, as does a talent for lying by omission.

Many Mal-Aligned Normals naturally (and automatically) gush the kind of New Age kookademic jibber-jabber and Gaiarrhea that appeals to the Lowest ConMan denominator, the comforting blither-blather of so many gurus, therapists, philosophy majors and other dufii. This self-validating bullshit also tends to be self-generating; that’s why we see so many pests who never get past Mysticism 101.* They eat up their own bullshit as fast as they can spew it out.

^ Those who catch on that there is no Mysticism 102 are the ones who teach Mysticism 101, and pen occult books for the those who like to think they’re thinkers.

Most New Age guru claptrap doesn’t teach you how to be more awake; it only teaches you how to pretend to be more awake, and how to use the lofty vocabulary of Higher Consciousness to categorize all the parts of the personality, and of all human experience, so that you can talk JUST AS IF YOU REALLY UNDERSTAND THEM.

But what you’ve learned from the guru are just holy-sounding platitudes that keep you automatically SURE that you’re NOT ON AUTOMATIC. We know this, because we’re the automatic robots that are programmed to tell all the other robots that they’re robots and must wake up!

It’s certainly gratifying to put oneself into the happy mental state of believing oneself to be fully awake and preternaturally aware, to skip straight to announcing the enlightenment without actually having turned on any of the lights, so to speak. But some New Agers are so busy congratulating themselves moment-by-moment about how “IN THE NOW” they are that they miss what’s happening right in front of their faces. They talk the trademarked talk of the Awakened Spiritual master, but it stays talk. They don’t live forever. They don’t speak from the grave. They do talk, however. And it’s still nothing but words, words words! We’re sick of the hot air, and should probably shut up, ourselves!

“There is nothing, NO, NOTHING, more disillusioning than enlightenment.” - Nenslo

Then there are the FOLLOWERS, those with a vested interest in not learning that they’re dupes of a con man. There are always plenty of Private Assholes looking for a Major Asshole who’ll tell them what to see, say and do, a Teacher or Master with a nice MacPhilosophy they can follow. But followers assume that their leader isn’t just a CONNED MAN, HIMSELF, conned by a long line of previous con menŠ a Follower-Follower with somebody else’s made-up rulebook.

We may not be enlightened, but we can sure spot a liar. It takes one to know one, and we are liars. The liars are the ones who are bragging about their enlightenment.

Let’s say that again. BRAGGING about their ENLIGHTENMENT.

That covers half the Yoga world right there. As everybody who should’ve kept their mouths shut has already said a thousand times, “Those who know don’t say, and those who say don’t know.”

It’s easy to fool the follower types. False Prophets use tricks so simple that they impress only intellectuals – like the Power Stare, a technique so basic that it’s used by chimpanzees and rednecks, but easily cows bookworms, gimps, nerds, dips, Trekkies and geniuses.

Giving lessons in enlightenment certainly implies that a person is qualified to teach it, and here we find the people who tell you what’s smart. BEWARE YE the bushy-eyebrowed mystic who solemnly intones, “You are truly intelligent, I can see. Obviously there are many things which I do not need to tell you.” Telling everybody who’s smart and who’s dumb is a good indication that you’ve gotten the two reversed.

Almost everybody secretly thinks they’re a little smarter than most people, but dumbasses know they are.

We SubGeniuses are always trying to figure out if we’re getting dumber, or smarter, or if we’re really just a brain in a jar dreaming everything.

“I’d like to think that if this were all just a fevered hallucination of mine, I could hallucinate something where I get laid more.” - Rev. Joe Cosby

We so frequently think ourselves dumbasses that that itself gives us a tiny vestige of hope that we might actually be slightly smarter than most people, or, more correctly, that we might have at least half a brain. Einstein, Lincoln, and Mark Twain, for instance, probably thought themselves dumbasses, and they certainly were right, yet they were a little smarter than most people.

For we are, ALL of us, DUMBASSES, and none of us really KNOW a damned thing for sure. All really IS vanity. That said, ALL DUMBASSES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL. Generally, the dumber they are, the more sure they are that they’re RIGHT about how much smarter they are than everybody else.


1172
Or Kill Me / Why I'm loving the coming theocracy
« on: October 07, 2007, 01:01:35 am »
Its no secret America is teetering on the edge of becoming a Christian theocracy.  As the years go by, liberals will continue to wring their hands and debate about “inclusiveness” and “appeal” to people calling them agents of Satan, while conservatives will happily take the cash and legions of brainwashed voters who will support them in their next election.  Their numbers will swell and slowly, but surely, they will take over the running of the country.

And its working.

45 members of the Senate and 185 House representatives have approval from the three largest fundamentalist Christian groups.  These same groups have a plurality in Republican Party state committees.  22% of all voters identify as evangelical Christian and most base their vote around so-called “moral values”.

In short, a constitutional coup is probably not far off.  With ever increasing pressure from a vocal subset of society and an increasingly powerful executive branch, changes have already been made to slowly turn America into Jehovah's most favoured nation on Earth.  And I, for one, welcome it.

Why?

Because evangelists, for all their dubious charisma, their money and organizational skills, their political connections reaching right up to the highest echelons of power, are complete and utter morons.  And what's more, they make the people around them stupider too.

Look at it this way.  They are selling a highly limited and flawed world-view.  Not only does it have extremeness and absurdity in plentiful amounts, but there is a blind insistence on everything being the work of an ancient Hebrew war deity.  It instantly limits all forms of thought, introspection and debate.  And that is a very big weakness.  Because, while everything is good, then God must be on side.  But if its bad, well then...God isn't happy.  Or he's testing his faithful.  And millions of morons will give themselves headaches trying to figure out how best to please their deity, relying on the most superficial and current of events to try and put everything into context.  There is being simple and then there is this method of analysis....at best a symptom of foolish pride and inability to think clearly at all.

So you are already dealing with a mass of people who are easy to manipulate and not too bright.  So what's the next step?  Well, first one would be to avoid getting chucked into a camp for deviants and heretics, but if you've taken any sort of advice about being outlandish into account, and perhaps used any prevailing confusion to secure a new identity, you may be alright.  After that, its a matter of acting subservient around authority figures and blindly parroting a few Biblical phrases now and again.  But you will have to kiss your Sunday morning lie-in goodbye.

Speaking of authority figures, and getting back on point, once you have a leadership who claim a truly divine mandate, things become quite easy, if you are confident enough to bullshit your way through things.  Secure some official looking papers and act like you know exactly what you are doing and you can get away with a lot.  Even if (especially if) you start issuing orders that make little sense.

Finally, we all know how sexist Fundamentalists are.  Its no secret they wouldn't mind seeing a woman stoned to death for being raped, or keep their wives chained up in the kitchen all day – well, when they're not churning out more cannon fodder for the latest Crusade, anyway.  But sexism is also a weakness.  Keeping half the population in chains, breeding resentment, refusing their help or advice?  Oh yes, there's a recipe for trouble, no mistake.  More importantly, especially for the women who hang around here, you will be constantly underestimated, in pretty much anything you do.  So any sudden or long term planned actions could shock our Fundie overlords into paralysis, not to mention making them even more easy to manipulate.

Finally, we know Fundies hate science.  Well, that's fine.  Again, they are only hurting themselves.  If they want to rely on the power of prayer instead of the power of penicillin, then I see no reason to try and re-educate them.  Just make sure you know a thoroughly secular doctor however, in case you do ever need some treatment.

In short, the creation of a Theocracy is a recipe for unrest, resentment, disruption and an easily fooled population and leaders.  While on one level, the loss of traditional freedoms will be no doubt sad, the opportunities presented by the future cannot be simply cast aside.  For the clever, the unscrupulous and the quick of tongue, the world will be your oyster.  The cognitive dissonance that comes from denying an entire nation's natural emotions and modes of behaviour will be incredible to behold, not to mention very useful.  Corruption of all sorts will take a foothold, and it wont be good Christian folk running it, that's for sure.  And with a population reduced to sheep-like subservience, those who are willing to occasionally work with the leaders while still able to think outside the box may find the world a much, much better place indeed.

So, as a thieving, amoral rogue, I raise my scotch glass to the theocratic revolution.  Such an imposition of order, inevitable as it is, will result in corresponding levels of disorder.  And there is no fun in tearing down a society which still retains the slightest vestiges of decency somewhere in its rotting shell, anyway.

1173
Literate Chaotic / At the Mountains of Madness - movie being made
« on: October 05, 2007, 05:52:12 pm »
http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=21168

Good news for fans of Guillermo del Toro – and after Pan’s Labyrinth, that should be all of you.

For it seems that after the great man finishes his current pet project, the currently-shooting Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, he’ll move onto another pet project: his long-awaited adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness.

Madness, in which an Antartic expedition stumbles upon a mountain range taller than the Himalayas that contains an indescribable and ancient evil, has been on del Toro’s to-do list (pinned up on his fridge) for ages. In fact, location scouting for Madness had already taken place in Romania before Hellboy 2 was greenlit; if that hadn’t happened, it’s highly likely that del Toro would have been shooting it right now.

A huge Lovecraft fan, del Toro had been previously unable to find a studio willing to make At The Mountains Of Madness. Perhaps they were scared by the superficial similarity to John Carpenter’s The Thing (although, of course, Lovecraft’s tale predates that by almost seventy years), but now Universal and producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford have given del Toro their backing, it looks like this will be his next movie, ahead of his Tarzan reboot and another secret project that Empire has learned of, but can’t reveal just yet.

And we wish Guillermo well – one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, he’s now developed into a truly world-class film-maker and At The Mountains Of Madness gives him ample opportunity to unleash the monsters of his dreams.

However, as Latino Review’s Kellvin Chavez – who broke the story – muses, will this be a pre-strike shoot for del Toro? Given that Hellboy 2 doesn’t finish post-production until May or June of next year, we reckon it’s unlikely. But you never know – and with the script ready, plus location scouting and some design work, del Toro could be tackling those Mountains sooner than you think.
Empire Empire

1174
Propaganda Depository / I has a microphone, but I sucks at it...
« on: October 04, 2007, 05:36:43 pm »
Well, not technically true.  I'm trying to get into a more suitable sounding voice for podcasting, and I seem to actually be able to record mp3s, to my personal astonishment.

The only problem I am having is ideas.  I mean, I could record rants and similar stuff from here, but I feel that lacks the personal touch.  Suggestions/ideas?

1175
Or Kill Me / Power and Legitimacy
« on: September 30, 2007, 01:25:46 am »
I don't feel so bad now about getting into it with Cain....he's unreasonable when angry.
- Twinkle

Worthy to be a rebel, for to that
The multiplying villanies of nature
Do swarm upon him

- Shakespeare, Macbeth

And shut the gates of mercy on mankind.
- Thomas Gray


Once again, I am called into the role of villain.  Fascinating how often I play this part, I find.  I rarely throw the first blow.  While I often enjoy conflict (mental, physical or rhetorical), the twists and tricks which allow me to win, the twists and turns of it all, I more often than not do not start it.  And yet, here again, I am, being judged by hypocrites who know nothing and will use any excuse to justify themselves.

Well, Cain's obviously a bad person, right?  I mean, look at him, he's unreasonable and sarcastic and, when we get right down to it, rather ruthless.  Once he starts fighting, he can't be persuaded to stop, and he doesn't until he thinks he has got what he wants.  In his bitterness, he lashes out hard and without an ounce of empathy.

I'd be disappointed if you thought any less.  All the above is pretty much true.  I've learnt time and time again there is very little in this world deserving of any mercy, especially those who would antagonize me into a fight.  If I wasn't as ruthless as I am, I would have been trampled by the likes of you years ago.

Look at the world around us.  Hypocrites and liars rule.  Worse, thugs who wrap themselves in words of righteous self-justification, when their only authority derives from the force they wield.  You know its true.  The only difference between a President and a gangbanger is the President claims a divine mandate from 'the people' for his actions.  It's a very neat system, really.  If I were to overthrow the “legitimate” government tomorrow, I could not claim this divine mandate.  Even though I won by force of arms, I cannot be the sanctified ruler.  And yet, if I had the support of the people, but not the power to wield it, I would be crushed like an insect.  I cannot win.

So you'll excuse me when I strike out hard to protect myself, when I am attacked.  I know this is the only true law that exists in the world, the one which permeates every single aspect of our existence.  The harsh judgements of words or steel are the only answer, because anything else would be opening myself to defeat.  If you don't like that, then the solution is simple: leave me alone.

But I'm never truly left alone, am I?  Its funny...I offer my services so often and to so many people, yet as soon as I am no longer needed, I quickly become a public enemy.  That's another example of the hypocrisy I mention.  So long as I am acting against some peoples enemies, then I am the “good guy”, right up until the point I am no longer needed, which is when the daggers come out.  Of course, they would want me on side, precisely because I am good at what I do.  That's also why I have to be gotten rid of once I've done the work needed.

Why?  Its pretty simple: its because I am effective at using force without being one of the duly constituted authorities.  I'm not a chosen leader, I don't have powers conferred upon me by “the community” and so I must be treated as a potential source of rebellion, to be snuffed out at the first sign of trouble.  Even if the trouble has nothing to do with me.

But let us consider where most leaders derive their powers from?  Is it the community, who is so often invoked in such discussions?  “I will defend this community”, as I recall one particularly authoritarian twerp saying, to justify his power induced rampage.  But they do not rule by consent of the community, and rarely are they appointed at all. 

No, they rule, surprise surprise, because they have powers and are willing to use them.  They are appointed to their position through nepotism and general cronyism.  To be sure, occasionally there is a primary leader who rules by their virtue of founding the community in the first place.  But what happens when they stop acting in the best interests of the community, like so many do?  Liars, so many of them, justify themselves with this bullshit story, one step above “I did it for the children”, in order to settle a personal vendetta.  Who brings them to account when they are disruptive?

Oh, that's right.  People like me.  The people who are continually banned from discussions, threatened, mocked, hacked and maligned.  Sure, I don't do it for the community.  I do it for revenge.  But at least I'm honest.  I'm not the one fabricating lies to ease my shrivelled conscience, to sooth my superego.  Can many leaders make the same claim? 

So you'll excuse me when I destroy the next person to attack me, and the next person, and the person after that.  I'm not for kowtowing, especially to liars and petty tyrants, throwing their power around like some feudal lord, trying to cow the serfs.  Remember that I don't attack without provocation.  But if I am treated badly, well....I will make it painful.  I will make it last a very long time.  I will make you beg for it to be over.  And then, I will finish you, like I have everyone else.

1176
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Welcome to Extremistan
« on: August 20, 2007, 12:39:12 pm »
(Note: This is one in a long line of terms I am stealing from St Taleb of the Black Swan.  Eventually, I will get around to making notes and coming up with some of my own ideas and questions, but for now I am introducing the term and its applications.  Besides, its been quiet in here lately).

http://capitalideasonline.com/articles/index.php?id=2270

This is a basic breakdown of the domains of Extremistan vs Mediocristan, that is to say, the areas which are driven by and affected most by the unpredictable, or those driven by predictable and/or measurable factors.

Experience (and biology) enable us to frame the odds. Weight is also from Mediocristan. Pick any 1,000 people and their average weight will be close to that of the general population (even if you include the world's fattest person). Personal wealth, however, is from Extremistan. For instance, the average wealth of 1,000 people will be very different if one of those people is Bill Gates.

This distinction is potent. In Extremistan, past events are a faulty guide to projecting the future. Gates may be the world's richest person, but it isn't unthinkable that someday, someone (at Google, perhaps?) will be twice as rich. Wars also reside in Extremistan. Prior to World War II, the planet had never experienced a conflict as terrible.

Probabilities can be defined and predictions made only if the events that are the subject of the probabilities and predictions can be described. Donald Rumsfeld distinguished known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Statistics, old and new, deal with known unknowns. Taleb's world is determined by unknown unknowns - black swans.

No one, he says, could have predicted the invention of the wheel or measured the probability that the wheel would be invented, because if you could do either of these things you would already have invented the wheel. The invention of the wheel was a black swan.

Taleb argues convincingly that we treat far too much of our reality as if it were Mediocristan when in fact much of it often behaves like Extremistan, where there are occasional black swans among the white. So, for example, out of the many thousands of books, films and recordings released each year, a small number will account for the largest part of sales, and it is not possible to predict with certainty which of the many works released will find black swan-style success (or failure). Indeed, in any endeavor susceptible to notable, unpredictable exceptions, no amount of examining the past will enable us to foretell the future.

1177
Literate Chaotic / Discordian Wars
« on: August 19, 2007, 03:33:02 pm »
A rant in the form of fiction of events that may or may not have really happened.



Ah, fuck them, fuck them all.  They can't touch us, there's not a thing they can do.  This guy, what's his name, Firesong or something?  A nothing. A nobody, ruling an empty site.  Not a damn thing they can do against us...

Hmm?  Well well, looks like we've got a customer here.  Sit down, sit down, let me buy you a drink.  OB!  Hey, OB!  Get me another, will ya?  And one for my friend here too, OK?  Ah, its good to see a new face around here.  I tell you, sometimes, with only the regulars around here and the occasional stray Discordian coming in, it can get kind of monotonous. 

What do I do here?  Well, I suppose you could call me a...troubleshooter, a “point man” for persistent problems.  What sort of problems?  Well, you know, this and that...but, to me, its not just about dealing with the trouble and then moving on.  I like to think I am helping to provide a educational service to those our company deals with.

Ah, this is a good scotch.  We don't really have much in the way of opportunities for cutting loose and having some good old fashioned fun anymore.  Married?  Hardly.  You see, its our competition.  Back in the day, we used to keep our heads down, do the job and do it in the way we liked.  But now, now we're in the spotlight, well...it's all about public image, you see?  Our competition likes to  make big scenes now and then: they make a fuss about where we've been and who we're hanging out with.  Bastards watch our every move, too, always poking through company records.  Still, there's ways and means, what they don't know they can't blab about.

I remember...

Back in the Discordian Jihad of 2004, we were the Rogue Discordians, a legitimate wartime enterprise.  The glory days, fighting Prince Tao and EvT, self appointed leaders of Discordianism.  By the end of August, we had a perfect covert trolling unit in place on PD.com, seemed wasteful to let that talent fade just because we weren't at war anymore.  Besides, maybe we'd fought the wrong people.  You see, soon after, Roger was butting heads with some of the Pagans over at the Obsidian Mirror, while pursuing Trollax.  Business wise, it looked like our real competition wasn't other Discordians, but Pagans.  Wiccans.  Nature religions.

As soon as the Jihad ended, there were already skirmishes happening around the Discordian forum on the Mirror.  These went on and off, with a spirited last stand being made by Efrim until about March 2005, when Horab went over.  Back before he went a little mad, he was quite well respected, except by the denizens of the Mirror, it seemed.  Well, that simply would not do, so East Coast Hustle and Cain went over in order to stir the shit, finish the work started by TGRR and Efrim.

After one day, they shut the entire forum down and the admins there would only allow posts by mods.  Eventually, we got to say our piece and in return for being left alone, Obsidian transferred ownership of the site to one of the many Discordians who came over in the wake of our victory.  Bella, if I recall right.  Because, back in the day, the Mirror had in fact been the base of the DIA, the Discordian Intelligence Agency, but when the group fell apart, ownership was transferred.  And now, we had it.

You see, we had plans for the Mirror....

Now, we had a secret, off the maps, perfectly secure base for our Rogues, where they could stash the tools of their trade and lay down plans without inquisitive eyes looking in.  We renamed it Eris Bar and Grill, and kept the membership exclusive.  A nice quiet little place away from PD.com, where no-one could see what we were up to...

Isn't it a little quiet in here?  Don't you think?  I hate quiet, it makes me edgy.  OB, hey, OB!  Yeah I'm talking to you!  Put that Ear Fatigue song on, you know, “Wire Hangers”.  Ah yeah, that's better.  So, anyway, where was I?

Oh yes, EB&G...anyway, with the untimely return of Eric, it looked like we got our secret base just in the nick of time.  Eric had been disliked before, however the little pedo had lowered himself to new levels of fail in this incarnation.  While flame wars raged over on PD.com, we could sit in relative peace on EB&G and contemplate more intellectual pursuits.  Like, for example, who made PD.com go down in June of 2005.

Evidence suggested Eric and Aini, so the rogue Discordians were dispatched, at the head of a troll army out of FC.  They completely ravaged Aini's board, bombarding it with thousands of vile posts and eventually causing it to be shut down, while the Discordians themselves waged a jihad on Eric's copycat version of PD.com, PD.org.  Getting banned beyond count and driving away any posters who landed on the board by mistake, we declared victory.

From there, we were on a roll.  Megaman Hentai and LittleAngelHentai were both bought low, and the heathens did wail at their misfortune.

After that...well, things went bad for a while.  Every great war that saves a group is immediately followed by one that nearly destroys them, and this was no exception.  With ECH banned from EB&G and TGRR angry at his PMs being read, attacks were planned against PD.com itself from the Sandbox, a new base of operations for the most trollish of Discordians.  It almost succeeded too, driving away many regular posters.  However, by September 05, agreements had been reached, the trolling stopped, and many of those who had supported TGRR and ECH had migrated more to POEE.

Here there was more unity of purpose, trust and like mindedness, which led to expeditions over the web, either for the fun of it or looking for possible recruits.  After some good work done at GothPoetry.com, Roger was banned with no reason.  Well, we couldn't let some pretentious kids tell us where we could or could not post now, could we?  Especially not after the last 12 months.  So Cain and Roger launched a blitzkrieg against the site, bringing it to a standstill in about an hour.  Even after they were banned and the considerable spamming was cleaned up, they became very paranoid and found if they activated too many accounts, they only let a troll or two back in.  In fact, according to a hilarious email Cain “acquired”, they were scared shitless.

In addition to these grand campaigns, the Iron Troll Brigade set out on a trail of destruction, levelling hentai sites left, right and centre.  Busy days, busy days...

However, it was the winter leading into 2006 when we really came into our own...With the various vendettas and grudges more or less settled, and PD.com being down again for the Xmas holidays, many migrated back to EB&G.  From here, they learnt of Verthaine's adventures among the Pagans at Mystic Wicks, and some of us decided to go over.  An advance unit consisting of Cain, Eldora, TTM and Roger made their way over and made quite an impact on the forum.

By “quite an impact”, I actually mean Roger got banned for ranting.

However, the ban was lifted after a day and everyone went about their business quite happily, at least until TTM was banned for disagreeing with an admin.  Meanwhile, plotting continued over at the newly resurrected PD.com, which was by this point little more than a ghost town.  New members came in more regularly than EB&G, however, and TTM decided to put these to good use by creating yet another trolling group, this one ostensibly not Discordian.  With all eyes on EB&G, they could use PD.com as a place to rally the troops and coordinate attacks.  The group, known as HIMEOBS, replaced the largely defunct Iron Troll Brigade and went on to carry out a number of attacks on hentai forums, without a single link back to Discordianism or PD.com.

However, things on MW went from bad to worse, and when Mol's stash of meth finally ran out, he allowed his admins to go berserk while he tried to find a dealer.  With several Discordians and their supporters banned in rapid succession, and the few who remained being harassed, it was on.  Our supporters made their way to EB&G, where they turned a subforum into Little Pagantown.

Obviously, with the MW refugees and spies hanging around, our “secret base” was starting to look like Berlin at the height of the Cold War.  HIMEOBS had already cleverly arranged to have its own very hidden and private forum and site, but very few of the exiles met the criteria for joining.  After all, everyone has to have a fallback position, presuming EB&G were to be overrun, by “fake” refugees no less.

However, said threat failed to materialize, and we went on the offensive.  Mol's sordid past, stupidly revealed in a (probably drunkenly composed) email, were plastered all over his site, along with photos of him posing in a woman's nightie.  Strange thing is, despite sending out this stupid email, he repeatedly threatened EB&G with legal action should any portion of it or the incidents contained within were repeated on his site.  Of course, HIMEOBS was exempt from this, along with his own site...

We also turned agents within his own private pay site, all while driving posters away with the trolling and constant drama being promoted by our remaining supporters.  All in all, his site traffic fell from being the most popular Pagan forum on the net to roughly that of EB&G.  Not bad, eh?  OK, not quite the destruction that was wrought on Aini or PD.com, but good help was hard to find at that moment.

Then, something quite unexpected happened.  After months of nearly no activity, a coup erupted on PD.com, ousting the Mgt from power.  In her place, HIMEOBS agents under the leadership of East Coast Hustle took control of the site and became the moderation/admin team.  Now, the positioned were reversed, the final shape of the whole network was in place.

It's like Agent Nerve said, after he was busted selling MW accounts to YTMND trolls: “EB&G is the “front desk”, it's the open side of the operation.  TGRR, Bella, Idem, Daniel and GIGGLES are there.  The guy lurking in the shadows is Cain.  Who is the boss of Cain?  East Coast Hustle.   Where do they come from?  PD.com.  Where do the trolls come from?  HIMEOBS.  Cain is training and directing trolls.  The leader of HIMEOBS is Captain Da, he is recruiting trolls from all over the web to fight in Discordian covert wars.  What was Da doing by trolling hentai sites?  Gaining a reputation which allows them to find trolls anywhere who will do exactly what he tells them.  An army of trolls at their beck and call.”

As more and more people joined PD.com, HIMEOBS also grew, allowing extended operations not only against MW but any other sites that took our fancy.  With PD itself under our control, we hid one of the forums from anyone without an account, meaning our intended targets could not trace our actions back to us.  At last, with all three sites secure and under control, with a score of trolls at our beck and call, and a trail of blasted websites behind us, we were secure.

Friendly expeditions were sent to a number of other Pagan forums, peace missions if you will.  Not our fault the damn savages tried to cannibalize those we sent in good faith.  Spiritual Forums went into meltdown in record time, banning all Discordians, Subgenii, Pastafarians and anyone else with a sense of humour from their site.  PrincessKLS stupidly kept poking her nose in at EB&G, so a few people took it upon themselves to counteract the rumours she was spreading around the place.  And that is how we found TCC.

That's when you came in, right?  Yep, it's business as usual around here – always has been and always will be.  You wait until autumn comes around, you just wait because you ain't seen nothing yet.  Not TCC nor any of its moronic admins can stop me.  You think they can?  You think I'm worried about one little crummy site run by idiot asswipes, is that what you think?  Because if that's what you think, then in my book you are as stupid as they are!  Those fools can't touch me, I'm safe, totally safe.   

You think their legal threats mean anything to me?  Hah!  I mean, who is going to even believe the ridiculous lies they are telling, let alone act on them?  I mean, its like this whole story I just told you: it never happened.  It was a joke, OK?  A nice little bedtime story to make certain people wet their pants.  If anyone does come around asking questions, well, we just tell them the truth.  What's the truth? It's pretty simple, really:  PD.com, and EB&G protected Discordianism, HIMEOBS protected EB&G and PD.com, TGRR, Idem, TTM, ECH, Cain and the rest protected HIMEOBS and that is why they are Eris-damned heroes.  That's all.  Nothing more to say.

So we dodged IP bans, hurt a few feelings and mocked some overly important idiots, who gives a shit?  The real kicker is, no matter what we do, what tack we take, our enemies take a pasting, often wondering how the hell they got themselves in a position where all their new members either side with us or run off, and their site became a troll playground.

Let me tell you a little secret...it's all done with smoke and mirrors.

Well, anyway, listen, I ain't got all day.  Are you buying what our company sells or what?  Can we do business?

Excellent, I knew you were a discerning client the moment you walked through the door.

1178
Literate Chaotic / I have the greatest book EVER
« on: August 12, 2007, 05:14:15 pm »
Go out and buy "Black Swan" by Naseem Taleb.

Right now.

No excuses.

A book that explains how "black swans" (near-unpredictable events that forever alter the fields they are involved in) develop and unfold.  For example, 9/11 was a black swan.  It covers why unpredictability will always be the primary motivator of world events and how ineffectual the majority of social sciences are at coming to terms with this.  It includes a lot of psychology and philosophy, too.

Probably about the most Discordian book I have seen since the PD.  It encapsulates many of the ideas of creative disorder and the BIP perfectly.

1179
Literate Chaotic / Coming Home
« on: July 28, 2007, 01:54:04 am »
Written around June 4th

I pulled the car up on Shaftesbury hill, in order to watch the sunset as I came home, trying to sort through the many mixed feelings I have about returning to this place.  Stepping outside, I can feel a cool breeze on my face, watched as the last few flies made a desperate search for food this evening.

I realized I hadn't shaved in nearly a week, my usually clean appearance marred by the growth of beard.  But I didn't care.  The wind was starting to become cold, raising the hair on my arms.  I still didn't care.

I had nearly lived half my life within these 50 miles, in one dead end town or another.  In the town in front of me, I had become, ultimately, the person I was today, through a mix of chance and necessity.  I could see the new buildings being put up in the part of town nicknamed Little Warsaw, the crumbling council housing estates filled with subhuman scum, the glittering buildings in the centre of town, monuments of wealth in a county plagued by pathetic wages and inflated house prices.

I was still confused, not feeling much.  Once, I had known what I wanted to do, where I had wanted to go.  I had thought my way was clear, that with the path I had followed I could use what I had learned without having to work with those I detested, either on a personal, political or basic level.  However, these are only areas where someone of my skills could find employment.  Funny what difference 9 months can make.

I wasn't surprised when I saw the two teenage kids appear near me, and walk towards me.  Sighing, I turned to them.  Both looked anywhere between 13 and 16, dressed in imitation designer sports trousers and t-shirts, their body odour causing my nose to wrinkle.
“You lost, mister?”, one asked in a broad south western accent, the words more a statement than a question.
“P'haps we can help you find your way”, the other sniggered.
Lost travellers were not uncommon to the area, many passing through on their way to the popular tourist resorts in Devon and Cornwall, finding the winding roads and dying towns difficult to distinguish.  This gave the locals ample chances to practice their skills in intimidation and extortion ‚Äì valuable abilities for later life, to be sure.

I sighed again, then fixed them with a stare, saying nothing.  The smaller one began to fidget.  The two, seemingly unnerved by my silent relaxation in their presence, seemed to open their eyes wide, moving on quickly.  I breathed out, letting the tension leave my body.

I wondered how many more potential fights would await me down in the town below.  They seemed to be a way of life here.  In small towns where everyone knew everyone (or at least knew someone else who did), insults came quickly and grudges lasted decades.  And most of the idiots here only had the mental capacity to solve a problem with a beer or their fists.  Usually over some pathetic loss of face or incredibly unattractive and spoilt girl that no rational person would ever covet.  It never occurred to them about the power of humiliation, despite how much they hated embarrassment.  A niche  in the market, to my way of thinking...

9 months...it seemed like forever, yet not long enough.  I may call this place home, but I've never felt welcome there.  If home means anything more than a place to stay, somewhere warm and where you can eat food or have relative privacy, this certainly wasn't it for me.  Not only that, I had been gone a long time.  Fleeting visits between Christmas and Easter, normally before heading up to Oxford or London.  Lots of people moving in, tempted by the promise of unskilled labour being needed, no matter how little truth there was in this.  Lots of people rising up too, from the kids they had been to young adults.

Chances were, my past would not get me through anything more than my first couple of weeks back here.  Old friends would be gone, or forgotten, replaced by younger, leaner and more hungry people.  Poorer too, and struggling to find work, if my deductions were accurate.  I would have to step carefully.

There had once been a time I could walk freely anywhere I wanted, at any time of day without fear of attack.  Not because the streets were any safer (though they grew more dangerous with each passing year), but because anyone who came after me would have to be desperate.  And mad.  Because as soon as I thought I knew who they were, I would find them and make their life hell.  And no-one would do a thing to stop it.  In this place, as anywhere where times are tough, self-interest ruled supreme.

The problem wasn't that I feared it.  I knew the hammer would come down, one way or another, and everyone else would watch in order to see the results, know where they now stood with regards to myself.  The problem was that I no longer cared.  It all struck me as so futile.  My experiences of recent times had taught me more than anyone would rightly want to know about myself, or the world around me.  They could play at stupid dominance games all they wanted, because the fact was it was all a lie.  There is a real pecking order, beyond anything they could know, and they would never rank above ‚Äúserf‚Äù on it.

Truth be told, neither would I.  It didn't matter how smart or devious I was, how skilled at analysis of the chaotic patterns of warfare I had become, among my ‚Äúpeers‚Äù I would not be accepted unless I swallowed the entire bullshit line they fed me.  No matter how many problems I solved, or how many ‚Äúcontingencies‚Äù I drew up and critiqued for them, unless I truly believed, I was another academic heretic, disrupting their pre-chosen conclusions.  And that meant I was a problem, unless I ‚Äúrecanted‚Äù.

And it would be no different down here.

New hierarchies, old hierarchies, new jobs or old jobs, it was all the same.  No matter where I went, the same games would be played, only with slight variations.  Dominate or be dominated.  It was a game I couldn't stop playing, and couldn't escape from.  Anger overcame my apathy, momentarily.  Strange, how those two are so often linked, yet so different.

It was all so...dull. 

Getting back into the car, I came to a final decision.  I would not play along.  I did not want, nor need the approval of anyone, not here and not elsewhere.  Perhaps...perhaps it was time to strike out on my own.  I had no interest in serving the whims of another who, while offering a level of protection and safety, would ultimately do nothing for me.  Instead, it was time to move and shake, not be moved or shaken.  And where better to start, than this pathetic town, where the hungry and lean youngsters could very well learn a lesson or two about their real station in the world?  And perhaps, be guided by a hand who could teach them ways of striking back.

Yes, that sounded like a good idea, I thought, as the engine started.

1180
Or Kill Me / Codename V's Rant
« on: July 15, 2007, 03:02:14 pm »
Codename V's real rant.

Obviously this was not written by me, and all applause etc should be directed at Alan Moore etc  That said, its still much better than the washed down, "freedumb!" version in the film, though even a cursory read shows why it was not used.  Its precisely for those reasons I prefer it.  So here is the transcript taken from the comic, presented in full.



Good evening, London.  I thought it time we had a little chat.  Are you sitting comfortably?

Then I'll begin.

I suppose you're wondering why I've called you here this evening.  Well, you see, I'm not entirely satisfied with your performance lately...I'm afraid your work has been slipping, and...and, well, I'm afraid we've been thinking about letting you go.

Oh, I know, you've been with the company a long time now.  Almost...let me see.  Almost ten thousand years!  My word, doesn't time fly?  It only seems like yesterday...I remember the day you commenced your employment, swinging down from the trees, fresh faced and nervous, a bone clasped in your bristling fist.



"Where do I start sir?", you asked, plaintively.  I recall my exact words: ‚"there's a pile of dinosaur eggs over there, youngster‚", I said, smiling paternally the while. "Get sucking."

Well, we've certainly come a long way since then, haven't we?  And yes, yes, you're right, in all that time, you haven't missed a day.

Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

Also, don't think I have forgotten your outstanding service record, or about all the invaluable contributions you've made to the company.  Fire, the wheel, agriculture...it's an impressive list, old-timer.  A jolly impressive list, don't get me wrong.



But...well, to be frank, we've had our problems too.  There is no getting away from it.  Do you know what I think a lot of it stems from?  I'll tell you...it's from your basic unwillingness to get along within the company.  You don't seem to want to face up to any real responsibility, or be your own boss.  Lord knows, you've been given plenty of opportunities...

We've offered you promotion, time and time again, and each time you've turned us down.  "I couldn't handle the work, guv'nor‚" you wheedled.  "I know my place."  To be frank, you aren't even trying.  You see, you've been standing still for far too long, and its starting to show in your work...and, might I add, in your general standard of behaviour.



The constant bickering on the factory floor has not escaped my attention...nor the recent bout of rowdiness in the staff canteen.  Then of course, there's...hmm, well, I didn't really want to have to bring this up, but...well, I've been hearing some disturbing rumours about your personal life.  No, never mind who told me.  No names, no pack drill...



That I hear you are unable to get on with your spouse.  I hear that you argue.  I am told that you shout.  Violence has been mentioned.  I am reliably informed that you hurt the one you love...the one you shouldn't hurt at all.

And what about the children?  It's always the children who suffer, as you're well aware.  Poor little mites.  What are they to make of it?  What are they to make of your bullying, your despair, your cowardice and all your fondly nurtured bigotries?

Really it is not good enough, is it?

And its no good blaming the sudden drop in work standards upon bad management, either...though to be sure, the management is very bad.  In fact, lets not mince words...the management is terrible!  We've had a string of embezzlers, frauds, liars and lunatics making a string of catastrophic decisions.  This is plain fact.



But who elected them?

It was you!  You who appointed these people!  You who gave them the power to make decisions for you!  While I'll admit that anyone can make a mistake once, to go on making the same lethal errors century after century seems nothing short of deliberate.

You have encouraged these malicious incompetents who have made your working lives a shambles.  You have accepted without question their senseless orders.  You have allowed them to fill your workplace with dangerous and untested machines.



You could have stopped them.

All you had to say was "no".  You have no spine.  No pride.  You are no longer an asset to the company.  I will, however, be generous.  You will be granted two years to show some improvement in your work.  If at the end of that time you are still unwilling to make a go of it...

You're fired.

That is all.  You may return to your labours.  Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.



- Edited to unfuck the quotation mark problems caused by the server change a few years back - Roger

1181
Or Kill Me / Moral cohesion and the Discordian Society
« on: July 14, 2007, 06:17:26 pm »
Ladies and gentleman, we have a problem.  It is one that almost 100% of us, myself especially included, are guilty of.  It is one that, if it is not overcome, will likely mean we end up getting killed or imprisoned in the bad times that are coming, or at the very best, will leave us in our current situation that we are now in, with minimal influence and held captive to the workings of others.

Our morale sucks.

Really badly sucks.

Now, to be fair, there are a number of reasons for this.  We were caught off guard in the 90s and the opening years of the Bush administration.  With all the advances that were being made, with an ever more assertive media, 'progressive' governments in charge of the western world, the internet, lack of nuclear terror, the threat of nationalist terrorism receding, we had reason to believe things were, in fact, getting better.  Not totally better, to be sure.  There was still a lot of injustice, secrecy, casually created violence and poverty in the world.  But trends of awareness, the various grass root movements that had arisen and flourished (specifically without the level of government intimidation that had existed during the Cold War) were all good indicators for the future.

In short, we got lazy, and therefore sucker punched, big time.

The current wave of authoritarianism has infected pretty much the whole of the western world.  It came fast and unexpectedly.  Torture is back on the agenda, secret wire taps, gulags, suspension of haebus corpus etc all came out of nowhere and has dominated the political debate of the last decade, nearly, and will likely continue.

But more importantly, we ourselves have not helped.

We could have.  Setbacks can be overcome.  Hell, in the 60s they had COINTELPRO, which is even worse than what we have now.  At least civil rights leaders are not being assassinated by ‚Äúlone gunmen‚Äù anymore, though certainly the tarring and feathering they receive in the press is a non-violent equivalent.  Things are not yet that bad, so a comeback should have been in the making, probably around 4 years ago or so.  But it has not.

Thats because the second problem is not related to external events, but is inside of our heads.

Virtually everyone who becomes a Discordian does so because they chose to, not because they were forced into it.  That gives them a peculiar disposition, that is not found among many other groups.  Because they signed up freely, and usually have the presence of mind to deal with absurdity, contradiction and multiple conflicting belief systems, they are very hard headed.

And wont back down very easily.  To anyone, including other Discordians.

So long as Discordians are willing to stick it to each other as much as they would to a Greyface, then nothing can be solved.

Lets face it, we are numerically weak.  We do not use violence (except in exceptional circumstances), command any sort of control over the media or have a ton of cash.  Our only chance is a variant of guerrilla warfare, fought on terms of our choosing.

And the key to winning guerrilla wars is moral cohesion.  The entire idea is whoever survives the longest without imploding invariably wins.  An example is in order: as you recall, in the film of V for Vendetta, it is not Codename V who kills Adam Susan.  He plays Norsefire and Finch like fiddles, pitting them against each other until the very top of the government implodes under its own suspicious nature.  Susan cannot trust Creedy, Creedy feels threatened by Susan, and Finch suspects both were involved in the terrorist attacks that bought them to power.  V sets all this in motion, of course, and eventually topples the fascist government, but they need not have played along.  Not if they had trusted their own people.

And because of this, of how we have been for the last several years, we will lose any and every encounter we take part in, except against the weakest of enemies, who are already factionalized or limited in other ways.  Right now, we are just about able to hold our own against some fluffy pagans and their sexually deviant webmaster.  How can we ever expect to change the international system, or undermine the various governments that we despise, if we cannot even destroy an insignificant twit like this without major planning and grief?

Now, I am not saying we should become consensus city, or that there will not be disagreements of any sort.  Nor is this some exceptionally Byzantine and laborious way of telling people to go easy on the n00bs.  However, once someone is in, and considered in, that should afford them a certain level of respect and leeway.  It is a mark of honour, to be among us, and we should recognize it as such.  Furthermore, we will make it known that to battle with any single Discordian would mean to battle not a single faction, while the rest stood by and waited for a final result, but to deal with the entire Discordian society. 

To take us on would mean dealing with at least 60 or 70 vicious, smart, free-thinking and amazingly competent individuals (perhaps thousands more, as our networked numbers grow and more recruits are bought into the fold).  A single Discordian can be a very formidable opponent, as people like Hunter, TGRR, LMNO, ECH, Silly etc prove.  But what of these backed up by the entire weight of several forums worth of people?  This is the secret of power, that it resides in relationships and networks, not isolation and individual ability.  In short, to take on the Discordians will be to lose.

To that effect, I have buried all axes and vendettas I am carrying.  Even those most recent or longest standing ones.  I have signed up  to EB&G again, with peace in my heart.  I will not raise a hand against another Discordian at all, unless it is absolutely necessary, in circumstances I see as being next to impossible.  All I expect is similar leeway in return.  It need not be perfect, or even chummy, but so long as the fact I am a Discordian and that we have bigger fish to fry is remembered, then I will be fine.

I suggest others do the same, though I do understand it is a bitter pill to swallow, in many cases.  Long ago I made the case for not bothering with ideological purity in achieving our goals.  Right now, I feel the same applies with personality clashes.  We are not numerous enough to pick and choose who we can work with.  Lets bury the personal issues, and get on with the job in hand.  Which incidentally, is part of what is to come next.

1182
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / I just had a flash of genius
« on: June 15, 2007, 03:53:33 pm »
Pure brilliant inspiration.

I will develop more, but watch this thread for updates.

1183
Literate Chaotic / The last laugh of the show
« on: June 06, 2007, 09:26:59 pm »
I was sat in possibly the worst club in the country.  That was the bad news.  The even worse news was the only whiskeys they had were Bells, or Jack Daniels.  Mmm, a choice between the vile one and the one which had no effect.  I shouted over the music to the barmaid for a double Bells with ice, then sat down.  I reckoned I could alternate, using JD to get rid of the horrible flavour of the Bells.  Or try another drink.  Or another bar.

Well, maybe not bar.  This town wasn’t friendly to other bars.  I suspected it had something to do with the thuggish nature of the hired work here, since this town was crying out for a decent place, anywhere but this meat market.  There were still a few pubs around, one that was supposedly “trendy” one the other side of town, though anyone who truly thought that had obviously led a sheltered life.  And probably even drank Stella Artois.

I looked about the place.  It was fairly quiet, as befitted the early time of night.  Or as quiet as it was ever going to get, to be more accurate.  The speakers pounded out the worst in modern dance and RnB while a few people milled around, ordering drinks or chatting with their friends.  It made a mockery of the whole club.  Not that it bothered me, the opposite in fact.  My friends would probably arrive in half an hour to an hour’s time, as I guaged it.  I happened to live a lot closer than them, plus now I was back home finally, I really needed to unwind some.  What a shitty little corner of the country this place is.

The first glass went down quickly and with no ceremony.  One minute sitting squat on the bar, in its golden liquid glory, then vanished.  I sat back a moment, savouring the moment as much as one can with Bells.   I motioned to the barmaid for a Jack Daniels, again with ice, then sat back.  I took my time over this, savouring the far better flavour, if not the lack of any alcoholic effect.  Perhaps they had some Jameson here, not on display?  It might be worth asking next drink.

By now people were starting to come in with some frequency.  I briefly scanned the crowd, no-one I should be worried about, though a few familiar faces were among the masses.  Sipping on the JD, I turned back to the bar, only to sense someone stand right next to me.

“Hey don’t I know you?” A female voice. I briefly glanced sideways, noting it was a tall, red-haired girl, but not much more.
I took another sip of the drink, then replied without another look “I don’t think so” before returning to my drink.
However, she didn’t take the hint and persisted “I’m sure I do.  You’re Marc, right?”
Damn, recognized.  I grabbed the glass tight, then turned to face her.  To my surprise, nothing else happened.  No grab from behind, no punch to the face, nothing.  Must be my lucky night or something.  Fights broke out here every night, often multiple times.  Now is a bit early, but they've started earlier before, and I've done as much as anyone else had to “deserve” that, from some people anyway.

I decided to answer her question, seeing as I had already been caught out.
“Yes, that’s me” I sighed, like I was reluctantly admitting a criminal charge, which some people would say it was.  I looked at her more closely in the dim light.  She was at least my height and slim, with a wonderful crop of long strawberry blonde hair.  She was dressed in a simple black T-shirt and jeans, wearing a slightly puzzled expression on her face, as if she was going to say something but had forgotten what.  I searched my memory frantically, trying to dredge a name up.
“Jenny?” I managed.  “So how’s things going?”
“I was just about to ask you the same thing.  How about we get a drink and have a chat?”  I shrugged, then since nothing else was going on, accepted.

This was a little odd.  I had known Jen for about nine years now.  We had practically shared a class in every year from when we were both eleven.  But we were hardly what you could call friends.  Just the kind of person you say hi to, when you see them walking in town or something.  But hey, it wasn't like I was doing anything else, right?

She ordered her drink, a vodka and coke, then I started to stand up, when my leg reminded me it wasn’t in the best of health right now.
“Are you alright” she asked with some concern as I managed to stand straight.
“Yeah” I replied through gritted teeth.  “Someone just dropped something on it today, that’s all.”
“What did they drop?”
“A massive reel of plastic lining about this size” I indicated roughly a foot (30cm) with my hands “by this” I finished, moving my hands about 4 feet apart.  I had been helping my best friend move stuff out of his garage earlier, when he had slipped.
“Ouch.”
“I’ll live” I answered.
We managed to grab a table somewhere away from the deafening loudspeakers, which allowed for conversation without loudhailers.
We mostly made small chat, about we’d been up to the last year.  I mentioned studying, while Jen had been getting qualifications towards being a nurse.
I shifted on my seat, once again gritting my teeth.
“Are you certain that’s OK” she asked?  “I could  have a look if you wanted.”
“That’s a kind gesture, but the management probably have rules about people stripping off in here.”  I thought about this a second.  “Male people anyway.  I’m sure it’ll be fine by Sunday, though I doubt I‘ll be doing much with it in the meantime.”
“Were you planning on doing much with it” she asked with a smile.
“Oh, mostly running, perhaps starting Tae Kwon Do again.  I haven’t really had much chance to practice since being down here, what with work and everything.”
“Hah, I still remember when you stormed out of that after college class after showing the instructor up.  My sister says he's back again this year.”

Great, another year taught useless and dangerous self defence techniques.  That was worse than teaching them nothing.  I made a note to do something about that, but skipped over it for now. 

“So, any plans for the night?  Or is it just another booze up at Legends?” I asked, mildly curious.
“Actually, I'm just waiting for some friends.  Then we should be going to the Kings Arms.  Apparently there are a few good parties going on in Shaftesbury tonight and we can easily go from the bar to one of those.  And you?”
“It was going to be just a quiet night in here, but frankly your plans sound much more fun.”
“Aw, poor little you.  Come with me then.”
“Well, that was hard work getting you to accept the idea..alright then, I'm game.”
We clinked glasses together and finished our drinks.  “Excellent” she said, licking some vodka off her lips, “we can catch up on old times.”

I raised an eyebrow curiously as we walked off.

1184
Bring and Brag / ATTN Creative types
« on: May 23, 2007, 10:34:25 am »
What is good software for mucking around with music?  In general, recording, mixing, producing etc

Also, freebies will be much appreciated.

Cain,
may finally do something with the 12 gig of music on his hard drive.  One day.

1185


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