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Topics - The Wizard

#1
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / The Monster
April 05, 2011, 02:43:33 AM
       It's out there. The Monster's out there right now watching you. Peeping through your windows with its mad, yellow eyes, and waiting. It's huge, bigger than any man, stronger than anything made by God. It has grayish skin that feels like paper but that stretches over its misshapen muscle like tight leather. Most terrible of all are its hands, the long, powerful fingers built for choking murder. It's out there right now, watching and waiting for its chance. You created it, and for that it hates you and wants to hurt you.

   It all started out innocently enough. You and your friends, all intellectuals, all politically active young radicals. You just read books and talked about how to make things better, how to make change. You started reading up on John Locke and some other political writers of the Enlightenment, and you thought, why not try them out? So you and you bodies got together and started working. Tom supplied a lot of the ideas, as did Ben and John. They took some old dead ideas, threw in some of their own, stitched them together, and then brought the whole thing to life with something even better than lightning.

   The creature came to life, staggering off of the surgical table with all the clumsiness and fear of a newborn. It wasn't a pretty thing by any means, in fact it was quite ugly, but it was innocent, well meaning, and passionate. And for that you all loved it. The creature did great things, inspired others with its ideals. It had the potential to change the world.

   But time passed, and your creation began to change. Some of the changes were necessary, such as the alterations done when it was twelve years old. But as time passed, it began to get violent and controlling. It turned away from the idealism and fire of its youth, devolving into a twisted, power obsessed monstrosity.

   It took whatever it wanted, its hideous strength making it easy to intimidate others or when it needed to, use force to get what it desired. The creature became paranoid and controlling, suspecting everyone and imposing its rules on everyone. The greed, the violence, the paranoia, and the power hollowed it out, killing the beautiful spirit it was born with. It came to hate the ideas that gave birth to it, and to seek vengeance against the optimists who had helped create it. It became a Monster in both mind and body.

       It has only gotten worse since then. Its paranoia drives it to attack anything different, anything that it is unfamiliar with. The Monster has pushed away all of its old friends and allies, those who looked up to it. None of them trust it, and many of them hate it now. In its madness it does not care whether one was friend or foe. The only difference it understands anymore is between a threat and a victim.

   It's outlived all of its other creators, all except for you. You were the one who did the most to bring it about, the one who was most responsible for both its birth and its decline. It was your job to keep an eye on it, to make sure that your friend's work was not done in vain. And you failed. So now it haunts your shadow, keeping you caged and afraid. It does not want to kill you, but to control you and make you miserable. The Monster holds you prisoner, never letting you leave the house, never letting you feel safe. You do what you can to try and forget its out there, whether its losing yourself in the routine of work or taking whatever pills will make the fear go away, if only for a while.

   But no matter what happens, the Monster is still out there. It'll keep tormenting you forever, until you finally take that step outside of your safe, comforting prison of a home, and face it. On that day, you and the Monster will come to terms, and only one of you will survive it. But until you're willing to take that gamble, to put it all on the line for your freedom, it'll still be out there. Waiting.
#2
        Hopefully most of you know what ignorance is. Ignorance, quite simply, is the state of not knowing something. Its a common thing today, even thought this is supposedly the Information Age. And by itself, Ignorance is not a sin. As long as you are willing to get informed about whatever you don't know, then there's nothing wrong with it.

   But a lot of the time you don't bother to get informed. Maybe you don't have the time, or the interest to research whatever it is you're ignorant about. Maybe you think that knowing about whatever it is is pointless or wrong. That is Willful Ignorance, the next contestant in our tour of humanities failings.

   As with so many of the things that are wrong with people, the best place to showcase Willful Ignorance is in politics. In America, it is a commonly held belief that politicians are liars and bastards. Many Americans will agree with you if you say this to them. But how many of you bother to look up what politicians to say, to actually catch them in the lies? Not many. A lot of Americans neglect to research candidates before election day. No, instead of hitting the internet and seeing where our duly elected representatives stand, you watch them on TV and go off of that. You take their word at face value, these people who are generally assumed to be liars. What's worse, many people don't even bother to watch the news. A lot of you don't even bother with or know anything about politics.

   For example, a poll done in 2010 shows that less than 60 percent of Americans are informed about politics. That may not sound to bad for some of you, since hey ,it's more than 50 percent. But this is a country based upon the people's involvement and knowledge of the political process. For our country to work, citizens have to know about what's going on in politics.

   Along the same lines, a series of studies done in 1996 revealed that 4 in 10 Americans didn't know who the Vice President was. 46 percent didn't know the name of the Speaker of the House. Saddest of all, nearly half weren't aware that the Supreme Court  is responsible for judging whether a law is constitutional or not. With the existence of the Internet, there is no excuse for being ignorant. It just takes a little work.

   But you aren't prepared to put in that time, are you? You just absorb the lies and move on. In a time where information is no farther away than you're cell phone, you can't be bothered. The same holds true with what you're reading right now. Are you going to bother researching anything I've said, are you going to check the examples or the facts I've used to support my ideas? Probably not, because that would require a little bit of work and the use of higher brain functions.
#3
The next sin on our list is Prejudice. This is something we should all be familiar with. We grew up being taught about the Civil Rights movement, about racism or sexism, or whatever -ism is the bad thing of the day. Prejudice is hating someone because they're different in some way, whether the difference is physical or ideological. Prejudice is when you care more about what someone's demographic is then what they're saying.

   For a good example, let's take a look at America today. America has had a long and sordid past when it comes to prejudice, what with segregation, the Red Scare, etc. Even today, there are plenty of things I could use as examples (the treatment of Muslims and Latinos comes to mind). But I want to focus on another kind of prejudice, another kind of mindless division and hate. Party politics.

   Our country has two major parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, the Right and the Left, the Elephant and the Donkey. The Republicans believe in small government, national security, and sucking up to large corporations and WASPS. The Democrats believe in large government, civil rights, and sucking up to large corporations and everyone who isn't a WASP. But in this modern age, the beliefs that these two parties espouse have become less important than the parties themselves. Both parties care more about sticking it to each other than they do about their ideology. They care more about being right than actually doing they're jobs.

   Take a look at the news and at yourselves.  How often do you see politicians blaming the opposing party for a problem rather than trying to fix the problem, and how often do attempts to compromise for the greater good fall through because neither party was willing to act like adults?

   And you bastards do it too. You don't bother seeing what the other side has to say, you just write it off because you can't stand to be wrong or to have your narrow worldviews challenged. You read the news that agrees with your beliefs, you don't research or fact check, you just swallow the rhetoric. You let the politicians and media lie to you because they happen to share similar beliefs. But guess what, the reason they have those beliefs is so they can lie to you and get away with it.
#4
The Seven Deadly Sins are traditionally regarded as some of the fundamental human flaws, the parts of humanity that make us the depraved, sniveling little toads we are. Everyone knows their names, they are about as basic as human evil goes. They're as old as time and despite their age they continue to trip us up to this very day. Lust lives in the specter of AIDS, Wrath is displayed on the faces of our leaders like war paint, and Greed is personified in the short sighted avarice of our political and business leaders. Even the least thought of of the sins, Sloth and Gluttony continue to show their ugly faces in cases such as the obese man in Ohio who was so obese and immobile that when he died he was fused to his chair.

   But those Seven aren't the only primal evils. They've got brothers and sisters in crime. These other sins are known as Apathy, Deception, Short Sightedness, Prejudice, Willful Ignorance, Exploitation, and Fear. They don't get as much attention as the more traditional seven, but they are just as, if not more, damaging to our development as a species.

   First up is Apathy, the distant cousin of Sloth. Apathy is indifference, its just not caring about anything that doesn't affect you. Its being unwilling to rock the boat, to try and make change or even have an opinion. Apathy is evil by omission. Look at every genocide, every dictatorship, every singularly vile act in human history and you'll find people who knew that things were messed up but said nothing. Apathy is letting monstrous shit happen because you don't have the guts to make a stand.

   On April 18, 2010 a Guatemalan immigrant called Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax was stabbed several times while trying to save a woman from an attack. He bled to death in the street as people walked by, doing nothing to help him. The only person who stopped only did so to take a picture of him dying with a camera phone. And this isn't the only case of such behavior. On Christmas Day, 2010, a charity worker by the name of Simone Back posted a suicide note on Facebook. The message was short and simple, "Took all my pills be dead soon so bye bye every one." The response from her 1,082 "friends" was to mock her. While she died of an intentional overdose, these people, some of whom lived within walking distance, called her a liar and argued with each other. No one even bothered to inform her mother of the note until seventeen hours later. Simone's mother posted a message on Facebook announcing her daughters death and asking her friends to please leave her alone. These people who claimed to be her friends were still insulting and arguing about Simone even after she was dead.

   I'm sorry, does this make you feel uncomfortable? Does hearing about the indifference and cowardice of people who do nothing while people suffer around them offend you? Good, because it should. This should make you angry and sick inside. But does it? Think about how this little tidbit affected you. Cause there is a pretty good chance you just wrote it off, just like the spineless bastards who stood by and let  Simone Back and Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax die. Because hey, it isn't your problem, why should you get worked up over it?
#5
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Hey Roger
March 29, 2011, 03:21:14 AM
This year, I've had a question knocking around in my head. Just one of those thoughts that lurks at the back of your conscious, niggling like a tooth ache or a bad knee. Apathy or Boredom? Are the monkeys too jaded, brainwashed, and bored to see what the world really is like, or do they just not care? I'm not talking about the baboons and the howler monkeys, the screeching mob with their placards and their self righteousness. No, I'm talking about the people who are right beneath the noise, scratching their asses and living their lives oblivious to everything outside of what directly affects them. I'm talking about the silent majority, the sleeping tiger which never really wakes up, but occasionally roll over in bed, throwing the entire world on its head.

I look at these monkeys, the People if you want to call them that,  and I can't figure out what keeps them blind. Are they all stuck in their own little cells in the Black Iron Prison, and they just need to break out, or is it that they don't care? Can they not see past the Lies to the Truth, or are they just happier staying ignorant? The question keeps kicking around in my head bones, on optimistic days pointing toward Boredom and darker days Apathy. So I've decided to take this to a Holy Man. Is it worth the trouble trying to spread the Truth to the Quiet Apes? Boredom or Apathy?
#6
Or Kill Me / Strange as Fiction (part 2)
March 23, 2011, 12:59:35 AM
While every person who frequents Connery's is a character in their own right, with their own tales of daring do and surreal danger, there are still those who stand out from the rest. Among the most interesting regulars is Lady Madeline DeWinter, who in her hey day was one of the world's greatest assassin's, a femme fatale to put all others to shame. There was not a single international man of mystery who had not known her kiss, nor one who could say they had bested her. Able to kill with a look, or when push came to shove, a stiletto, she had been lusted after and feared in equal measure.
   
Sadly, her dark, intoxicating beauty eventually softened and lost its edge, though the same couldn't be said for the Madame DeWinter herself.
Rather than cling to her youth, like so many of her peers, she has taken advantage of her age. She's  perfected the demeanor of a sweet grandmotherly old woman, tying her silky hair into a bun and hiding her curvaceous and willowy form underneath thick sweaters and conservative skirts. She still works as a killer for Her Majesty's government, using maternal charm to get close to targets, rather than sex appeal. And while she enjoys the work, especially the jealousy it engenders in her fellows, it lacks the savor, the excitement, of the old days.

In the old days, the targets were mad scientists and sorcerer dictators. She'd cut her teeth cutting the Mad Doktor Bat's throat while he slept beside her, the night before he was going to unleash his. She'd shot at motorcades from grassy knolls, slipped undetectable poisons into the champagne of international criminals, and on another notable occasion, stalked, seduced, and assassinated every single member of a rogue group of power hungry geneticists. But in these modern times, the targets are reporters, Control's political rivals, and similarly boring marks. It's no longer a heart pounding game of cat and mouse, but rather a game of Bengal tiger and squeaky toy. Cloak and dagger intrigue has become boring, bureaucratic, and...mundane.
#7
Or Kill Me / Strange as Fiction (part 1)
March 21, 2011, 11:45:57 AM
The bar is called Connery's. The name's a half serious joke, a nod to the closest thing to acknowledgment its inhabitants have ever gotten. In many ways it resembles a cop bar, the kind filled with retired detective's with nothing left but the good old days and stale booze. Beer isn't served here, it's all martini's, and vodka, and scotch for this crowd. The furniture is spartan, thanks to the ever shrinking black budget that pays for everything. The bar,  like the nameless town that surrounds it, is slowly being forgotten by the people whose asses its inhabitants spent their lives saving.

   The most interesting thing about the place is the decoration. Every wall is covered with pictures of expensive cars and exotic and beautiful men and women, most of them with a date of death scrawled scrawled in the corner. A shrine to lost loves, and old friends. The customer's themselves are plenty interesting in themselves. The women are all aged beauties, some faded whilst others only made more beautiful with time. They're dressed elegantly, in startling gowns and stylish, but still professional suits. The men are similarly well dressed and kind to the eyes, quietly smoking and drinking.

   Connery's is rather quiet most of the day, as people simply drink, smoke, and mournfully reminisce. The barkeep, a one eyed Brit by the name of Montjoy, keeps the martini's coming, only stopping to stare longingly at the picture of a blonde woman whose beauty is startling even by the standards of the wall. As the evening wears on though,  nostalgia and a formidable amount of alcohol takes hold and the inhabitants begin to tell stories. Tales of convoluted criminal conspiracies, of nearly averted Armageddons, of long dead masterminds stroking white cats. They tell stories whose telling is punishable by death anywhere else in the world.

   Ever day starts the same, with the denizen's crawling out of each others' beds (even in retirement it's still fun to sleep with the enemy), putting on their evening wear (which is the only thing they ever wore), cleaning their various concealable weapons (because you never know when it might come in handy), and heading for Connery's.
#8
Or Kill Me / Larger than Life
January 24, 2011, 09:54:19 PM
When was the last time you heard the phrase "Larger than Life"? If you heard the phrase recently, it was probably being used to describe someone who is either dead or getting up there in years. What about today's leaders and artists? Does anyone use the words Larger than Life when talking about Sarah Palin or Justin Beiber? I doubt it.

The reason, at least from where I'm standing, is plain as day. Humanity has forgotten what life really is. They've forgotten how weird, how truly epic life can be. Think about those larger than life people, people like George Patton or Jack Churchill. These larger than life people were all half crazy and completely out of sinc with everyone around them. Because they knew how to have a good time. They knew what they enjoyed and they pursued it. They were the only ones with the stones to actually do what they wanted with life. Amelia Earhart wanted to fly, and nothing on earth would stop her from flying. She kept on flying until the day the disappeared. Nikola Tesla wanted to invent, and he did so up until his death. These people are exceptional because they couldn't be bothered with mediocrity.

You never hear about someone being Larger than Life anymore, is because no one seems to be willing to go out there and make themselves into a legend. No one is willing to push themselves to the very edge, to wage war against an arch enemy, to live life like it should be fucking lived! Instead we've got weak chinned politico's and reality TV. Humanity has castrated itself.

Knows the real enemy when he sees it.
Dr. James Semaj
#9
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Profile issues
January 14, 2011, 12:46:02 AM
Uh...I'm having some difficulties changing my profile picture. Anyone know what's up?
#10
Or Kill Me / Red Handed Man
January 04, 2011, 02:52:36 AM
The Red Handed Man sat in the corner of the bar, far from the notice of the establishment's other patrons. He nursed a scotch, an excuse for him to sit in the booth. He wore a nice suit, elegant yet tasteful, a gentleman's attire. His eyes were always hidden, impossible to see beneath the shadows which clung to him like a rain soaked coat. A rictus grin was scrawled across his face, wide and filled with too white teeth. He was a gentleman predator, a personification of artful violence and the fear of death.

On any other night, he would have been watching the herd, selecting with utmost care tonight's sacrificial lamb. He would have spied them out, latching onto them, his latest pet obsession. He would watch them and write in his little notebook, noting details such as hair color and height. He would make predictions as to which of his tools would inspire the most fear. Maybe he would give the mewling little thing a shave, or wrap his scarf around the slender little neck. Or he could go with the classics and just use his bare hands.

But tonight something was wrong. Instead of selecting his prey and writing in his little black book, he just sat and brooded, his spidery fingers tapping on the table top to rhythm of a heartbeat. In all honesty something had been wrong for quite some time.  The way of life that sustained the Red Handed Man had survived for millennium. Select prey, stalk prey, kill prey. He had sipped wine with Vlad Tsepesh at the height of his power, strolled through Whitechapel knife in hand, and haunted Boston during the sixties. But things had changed.

He couldn't really say when things had changed, when the value of his work had vanished. At some point, the very nature of Murder had changed. It was no longer a thing of fear and malice. The art to which he'd dedicated his existence had been transformed into a business. People no longer regarded the deaths of innocence with terror or despair. In the cities, people walked past corpses without a second thought. Governments assassinated their own citizens and there was no cry of outrage. Children murdered fake people regularly, treating it as a  diversion rather than as a High Art. The herd, his beloved squealing lambs, had become complacent to their own violent deaths.

He was the Red Handed Man, Saucy Jack, the Dark Stranger and the Saint of Murder. And looking out at the great unwashed mass of humanity, he discovered disgust.
#11
Or Kill Me / In the Belly of the Beast
December 11, 2010, 06:56:48 AM
Have you ever met a Trickster? I'm not talking about a mortal asshole putting on airs. I mean a real Trickster, like Loki and Coyote, creatures whose sole purpose in existence is to force those around them to really take a look at themselves and the world around them. Personifications of mindfuckery. I have.

He's a thin, pale, metro-sexual guy, the kind of person who doesn't last long in Redneck Land, in the heart of the Machinetm. But this fellow doesn't just survive, he thrives. He's liked by everyone except the more bitter and banal teachers. Every kid in the school confides in him or confides in someone who confides in him. He knows every dirty secret at this school, which is saying something. He uses these secrets, parceling them out whenever they'll cause the most mayhem. My buddy the Trickster plays the student body like a violin, and what's more, they know he does, and yet they fall for it anyway. And just like any good Trickster, when everything is said and done, the trap has been sprung and you're wiping cream pie off your face, he shows you that it was your own nature that betrayed you. He's the smartest guy I know, and he's destroying himself.

The Trickster parties constantly, drinking himself into a stupor a couple times every week. He's not even eighteen and he's an inch away from being an alcoholic. He's let himself be taken advantage of sexually while drunk, in a town which boasts one of the highest rate  of STD's in the state. He's apathetic in the extreme and amoral to an extent that is sometimes frightening. He doesn't trick anyone so as to teach them, he tricks them so that he can demean the.  In the face of the Machine, of this place, the Trickster has become another cog, turning its way to self destruction.

If the Trickster can't handle it, where does that leave the rest of us?
#12
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / List of Vengeance
September 29, 2010, 12:49:55 AM
As some of you may know, I have recently changed from a Pulp Hero to a Villain. Why you may ask? Because I have received no respect. I worked hard, tried to do the right thing, and even entertained Dok Howl so that he didn't destroy the world. And what did I get in return? I was turned into a stock character and victim of a running gag. I was mocked and maligned because of what I was. Well, NO MORE!!!

You don't there to be any Heroes? Fine, then I'll show you what a Villain I can be. You will all pay for your disrespect! But, while all of you are in some form responsible for my Fall and will be suffer accordingly, there are those who are principal causes of my turn to Evil.

Phoenix of Discordia
Cudgel
Sigmatic
Remmington
Doktor Alphapance
Johnn'yx'
Rumckle
Fred
Sir Squid Didimus
The Good Reverend Payne
Doktor Blight (you asked for it)
Eater of Clowns (Gone to Confessional)
and three two one mystery targets, just to keep things interesting...

So here is my first and final warning: Do not shelter these individuals. Do not try to aid them in any fashion. Don't even stand to close to them, for if you do, then you will be counted as just another delightful casualty. I do not care about civilian casualties, if anything, I relish them. Do not give me a reason to add you to my high score.

In the future, when all of you are but corpses in shallow, unmarked graves, buried at the base of my Dark Throne, people will say in hushed whispers, "This is the price of disrespect." Today is the dawn of a new Era.

So farewell, you poor, unfortunate worms, and remember

NO ONE IS SAFE
#13
Given the sheer number of trolls that invade this place regularly, it occurred to me that it may be handy to have a thread dedicated to documenting these guys. By documenting various alts and the trolls patterns of behavior, we'll be able to identify these fucks easily. Or at least that's the idea.

I'll start with a recent one.

Cheeser
Classification: False Impression Troll, leading up to Zaniness troll
Possible Alt of: Daruko
Behavior: Left good impression early on as smokescreen, repeated use of "I killed the last American Eagle" joke/reference, knowledge of forum history, fixation on TGRR/Dok Howl, performs stupid antics to gain attention.
Stage of Troll Development: Attention Whore

This is kind of a rough draft thing. So, if you guys think this'll prove handy, post some dossiers. I'll due our recent spammer/shitbag tomorrow.
#14
That's it. I have had enough of Marvel's shit. They've killed Nightcrawler. My favorite X-Man. My favorite character, period. And the worst part is that in a couple years they'll just bring him back in some idiotic retcon. I have had fucking enough!


Starting out, I thought Marvel was getting better. They gave us Civil War, which was a truly brilliant series. Sure, it killed Captain America, another of my favorites, but they did it perfectly. They immortalized him Kennedy style. His death made fucking headlines! But of course instead of letting him rest in peace, they retconned him from the dead. You know how? They said that the bullet that killed him actually sent him back in time to World War II. A time travel bullet. So they can tell the story of Cap's fight against the Nazi's. Again.

I give up. Marvel has shat on every good character and storyline they have. For the past couple of decades they've recycled the stories from the sixties, over and over again. And now they've just gone into a retcon frenzy. They've desecrated the heroes I've loved since early childhood, and for that I will fucking watch them burn.  :argh!:

Any comic fans present, don't hesitate to rant your hate at Marvel Comics. They've fucking earned it.
#15
I started a new topic so as not to derail the conversation happening in the other thread. So, hope you enjoy it, and don't forget to tell me what you think.

Politics is dead, at least as a means of enacting change. The political machine has become bloated with corruption, meaningless bureaucracies, and influences from the private sector. Getting even the simplest motions passed takes an inordinate amount of time and effort, and it will be useless with fine print. To get anything done you will have to make compromises, to let corrupt officials and corporate pawns destroy all the work that has been done. To do even a little good, you'll have to  sell your soul to the devil. Politics is a trail of tears culminating in a Faustian bargain, a road paved with the ideals and passions of the people.

   As for the so-called revolutionaries, those people who think that if they can just remove the power group, things will get better, don't trust them. Revolutionaries tend to be not better than those they are replacing, and even if they are idealists, they probably won't be able to handle the challenges of running a nation, or even better, they'll just turn on each other once their in power. See, the problem with just changing the power group is the people. The people sell out the revolution for cable TV and some Levi's, because when it comes down to it, most of them couldn't' give a shit about saving the world. So, revolutions don't change anything either.

   But there is another way, another means of changing a society. Politics may be damned and revolutions may be found wanting, but culture is still there. Language, values, customs, all of these things are elements of culture and all of them are ripe to be used for change. By changing the culture you can change the people, changing the way they think and perceive the world around them. Language is especially good for this. By first subverting a cultural idea and then replacing it, you can completely alter the way a society works.

   The manipulation of culture has been used before, most recently by the Culture Jamming movement. But this movement has not used the full range of culture. Culture Jammers have only used the most obvious methods, and have only subverted culture, without giving anything to replace it. Subtlety and patience is the key to changing culture, as the people are notoriously resistant to change, and will fight to defend their culture.

   The Culture Jamming movement is also too scattered to be of real effectiveness. It is composed of many small groups who each use their own unique method and fight their own private battle. A unified Culture Jamming movement would be capable of more. Culture change also requires a united front, and a group large enough to fulfill your goals.

   Like any method, culture has some inherent problems. Most importantly, it takes time. One of the most successful cultural changes in recent memory is the fight against racism. Starting over a hundred years ago with the abolitionist movement, the fight against racism continues even today. You will probably not see it come to fruition. Get used to that idea.

   Also, while cultural change is more effective than political or revolutionary change, it is also even more likely to fail. When you are trying to change the cultural makeup of a society, then that entire society is your enemy. The people you are doing this for will hate you, the power structure will call you deviants and terrorists, the corporations will try to profit off of you. The best way to avoid failure is too strike from as many angles as possible. Don't have just one plan, have a thousand plans. Don't just change the language, change the customs, or subvert the holidays. Cultural change is like fighting a guerrilla war, you cannot just march up and change society, you have to strike someplace vulnerable and then move on.

   Changing the world or even a society, is never easy or simple. But it is possible, if you're willing to deal with failure and frustration, if you're brave enough to keep going. Cultural change is not perfect, but if you're committed enough, it can do wonders.
#16
This is something I just started writing a half hour ago, while under the influence of lots of caffeine and even more punk rock. So, read and critique to your hearts content. Part 2 will be feature my own personal ideas, and will be posted once I write. So, sometime today or tomorrow. Also, do you think I should add examples to this or is it fine as is? Just something to think about.

The human species has played host to countless revolutions throughout its young life. These revolutions tend to develop along the same lines; you start with an oppressed group, usually the majority but sometimes an influential minority. This group is stuck in a less than acceptable position by the current regime, who are either terrified of the people they oppress or dismissive of them and their needs. Tensions rise, with the oppressed group complaining about their situation and the power group cracking down on them as a result. Eventually a leader appears, someone with the charisma (note I do not say moral righteousness or intelligence) to unite the oppressed group. This leader decides the nature of the revolution, whether it is violent or not, whether it will work within the law or whether they'll just murder the power group. War ensues, the battles being fought in whatever form dictated by the leader. Some people will probably die, either in battle or in "mysterious circumstances". Finally, the revolution concludes, with either the power group still in power and rather miffed about the whole thing or with the revolutionary group in power, with its leader at the helm.

   Assuming that the revolutionaries win, then things can go several ways. In most cases, the revolutionary group picks up where the old power group left off, the only change resulting being a change in the nameplate and national anthem. A few statues will probably be built in the leader's honor. The cycle will start again, with a new revolutionary group forming to fight for their "freedom".

   Another possibility is that the revolutionary group turns out to be worse than those it deposed. The leader turns out to be a complete maniac, and proceeds to use his power to commit genocide on anyone who he feels threatens him, i.e. everyone. He'll paint his ass purple, form a cult of personality around himself, and use fear and atrocity to maintain his throne. Secret police and death squads will be formed, giving the psycho-leader his own personal honor guard of government paid monsters. After years of horror and inhuman oppression, assuming the leader isn't assassinated by one of his advisers, this regime will collapse under the weight of his psychosis. Everything descends down into chaos, with even more people dying, until someone, probably another dictator, takes control.

   And sometimes, through some wonderful stroke of luck, the revolution will actually succeed without destroying itself in the process. The leader will not turn out to be a psycho or a political animal. The group now in power actually makes good on some of its promises. Things are looking pretty good, a constitution is written up guaranteeing lots of nice freedoms and fail safes to prevent another dictator from taking power. Don't worry though, it'll fall apart eventually.

   See, like it or not, the revolution will be compromised. Give it time. The revolution will survive for only as long as the leader lives. Once he dies, someone new takes over, someone with a different vision of what things should be. Or some other group moves in and latches onto the revolution like a parasite, manipulating it to serve their purposes. They'll kill the dream and turn it into food, fuel to get them to the next source of sustenance.

   Worst of all, the revolution may commit suicide. The people, once so full of passion, will turn lazy and cowardly. They'll sell their freedoms for false safety and cheap entertainment. They'll become devolved and deformed, depressed media addicts who cannot fathom where it all want wrong. The revolution will be remembered only in history books, woodenly ironic pop culture, and in the tear filled eyes of the true believers, now old and beaten, buying the latest assembly line fad for their children.

   That is what all previous revolutions have turned into. They either die young and unfulfilled, or they die slowly and whore themselves out. Those that destroy themselves go unlamented, as they probably wouldn't have done a good job in the long run anyway. But those that live to see themselves become side show attractions, those are truly sad. To have your revolution succeed is to watch it die at the hands of the people you started it for.
#17
We lost Ronnie James Dio.

http://blogs.chron.com/peep/2010/05/ronnie_james_dio_dead_1.html

Metal just lost one of it's greatest masters.
#18
Hey, do you guys know anything about some movement called Zeitgeist? A friend of mine has recently gone through a phase similar to one I had last summer. He watched this documentary put out by these guys, and it's become his Illuminatus! in a sense. Anyway, he's really into this movement, and I'd like to be able to discuss it with him. I haven't had time enough lately to do anything more than peruse these guy's website. Anyone know anything?

P.S. Not asking you guys to do my research for me, just asking whether you guys know the basics or someplace I can start when I have the time.
#19
Literate Chaotic / My Novel
March 15, 2010, 05:30:24 PM
For the last year or so I've been working on a novel. I've got about three chapters written so far, mainly because I'm trying to balance this with school and other things, and I could use some critiques. I'd appreciate any reviews.

The story is set in a world controlled by manifest deities, who have built an empire around themselves and which they rule ruthlessly. My main character, Lesith, is an engineer who has invented this world's equivalent of a gun. After his invention proves capable of hurting the gods, they kill his family and try to kill him. This causes Lesith to go on an assassination spree, using his gun-thing to assassinate the upper ranks of the empire, as well as the gods themselves. I'm going to start with the first half of the first chapter, and depending on how many replies I get, I'll post the rest. Oh, and sorry for the length. I thought that half of the chapter wouldn't seem so long.


Chapter One

         Dorntahlm, Chosen city of the Gods, the heart of their empire, the center of the world. Lesith was proud to live there. In his life he'd had opportunity to liven in the other major temple-cities. He'd spent his adolescence in Kallijtahlm, serving out his military service in the walking fortress, and had spent his first years of marriage in Yellnris. But Lesith had been born in Dorntahlm, and the city was still the place he most comfortable. The sound of the Low as they wandered through the filthy and decaying streets beneath him, the heady smell of Runecraft that permeated everything, it was all precious to him.

        Lesith put a window in his workshop just so that he could experience the city while he worked. He considered it one of his more inspired ideas. Dorntahlm set his mind alight with ideas. It was one of the factors in his success.

        Lesith was an up and coming member of the Runer's Guild. The Guild was one of the cornerstones of the Empire, and was by far the most powerful of all the Craft guilds. The Guild created the runes that were integral to Imperial life. Runes of cooling that kept food fresh and drink refreshing, runes of warding that protected the hearths of the High, it was all crafted and maintained by the Guild. Lesith was an engineer, an inventor of rune-based devices. It was work that came naturally to him. He had a unique ability to come up with startling concepts for inventions, and then successfully bringing them into existence. Lesith knew that his abilities would get him to high places in the Guild, and would secure for his family the lifestyle he craved.

        Lesith had never known his parents, like so many children born to Low parents. His earliest memories were of the Guild-run orphanage in which he was raised. The workers there claimed that he had been dropped off by some Guardsmen, which led Lesith to assume his parents had been killed in a culling, a conclusion which was met with surprisingly little sadness. He had just never really felt much of a connection to his sires. His role models were the high-ranking Runer's who lectured occasionally at the orphanage. He was enthralled with the little rune-toys they gave the children, and he was further impressed by their self-possession and apparent inner strength. He was inducted into the guild at the age of six, as an assistant to a Guild blacksmith. Lesith was quickly singled out for his creative mind and talent for practical engineering.

        After completing his time as an assistant, Lesith was sent to Kallijtahlm to serve out his mandatory military service. He was fourteen at the time, and was given a job as a weapon smith. This was also the time where he was first taught how to create runes. It was tough work, balancing his military workload with his studies, but Lesith continued to prove himself a prodigy in the Guild's craft. At the age of twenty he was taken out of the forges and brought to the Guild's Academy in Mmrithka. There, his tutelage in the art of rune crafting was expanded upon. It was during this time that the Guild arranged a marriage for him. He was to marry the daughter of a powerful merchant from the northern provinces. Her name was Rala.

        Lesith smiled, the thought of his wife and the mother of his children making the whole world seem brighter. He was sitting at his worktable, schematics and rune designs strewn around him. The messy, yet strangely organized mass of papers helped him think. He was at home, in the small home that the Guild gave Rala and he as a wedding present. It was a typical dwelling for a young Guild craftsman. Like all homes of the High, is was built into one of the network of towers that kept them adequately shielded from the filthy streets below. Their home was comprised of two bedrooms, two washrooms, a kitchen, and a spacious living area. They were lucky in that they had easy access to the bathing chamber below, as well as a terrific view of the city. The Guild had even been so kind as to include a workroom so that he could work at home.

       The smile widened, not because of his family, but because of the object in front of him. The device was long and compact. It was made up of two parts; a wooden stock and a long metal tube. The stock was made of strong oak wood, and fit snugly in the shoulder of whoever held it. The metal tube was made from the finest steel and was covered with runes, six on opposite sides of it. The runes were etched in gold and diamond dust glittered in them.

        He called it the Cannit, after his youngest daughter. It was Lesith's masterpiece, the key to his future. It would secure for him a position in the highest reaches of the guild, with better funding and more freedom to work than he could imagine. It would also secure for his family the lifestyle he craved for them. His daughters would go to the finest schools in the Empire, would be wed to men of influence, would have access to everything and anything they could want or need. He just needed to wow the God-King and the others at the Exhibition tomorrow.

        In preparation for the Exhibition he had made two Cannits. One was a generic model, made from common materials and marked with simpler, less powerful ruins. It would be the model he would try and sell to the God-King, as it was easy to replicate yet still a deadly weapon. The one that lay before him was a gift to the God-King Dorn, and was made from the finest materials and given the most powerful runes he could craft.

   The runes were the key to the device. A rune is simply a symbol that has been imbued with power to perform a function. The language that was used for runes, M'harvid, was unique in two respects. One, it was made up entirely of verbs and adjectives, and two; it was capable of relaying an entire paragraph into one symbol. It was all in the details.

   For example, the runes that marked the sides of the Cannit were runes of Motion. A rune of motion was simply a circle with a smaller circle in its center. But a basic rune of Motion doesn't do anything, as its energy isn't being directed. So, it needs details add on to it, to tell it whether to rotate or to move straight forward. For the Cannit, the runes had to direct the lead bearing inside down the barrel at high speeds. A pair of horizontal lines through the center of the circle is added, which will direct the rune's energies through tube. Next, two wing-shaped lines are added to the sides, so that the runes will only affect something put inside the Cannit, rather than the Cannit itself. Finally, there was the activator, represented by a single vertical line through the rune. This would make sure that the Cannit would only fire when the trigger is pulled.

   But what made each rune so powerful were its components. Each rune was etched into the Cannit's barrel in gold. The more precious the metal used to make the rune, the more powerful. For even more potency, Lesith had sprinkled diamond dust into the runes.

   The Cannit was beautiful, a worthy offering of war to the gods. It could bring down the remaining holdouts to the God King's Empire, shredding apart enemy soldiers, with the pull of a trigger. The thought of his invention being the key to spreading the God King's rule across the world, made his flesh tingle with excitement. Why he could-

   "I hope it is not improper of me to ask," Said the woman standing in his doorway, her velvet voice heavy with sarcasm, "but when in Mirandith's name are you coming to bed?"
#20
Literate Chaotic / Stuff I need to read.
January 02, 2010, 07:10:56 AM
Would you guys mind suggesting some books I should read? I'm still looking for something, but I need some ideas on what to read next. I'm looking for books on politics, philosophy, magic, Discordianism, religion, subversive theory, and the like. It would be greatly appreciated.  :)
#21
Or Kill Me / What's wrong Mr. Rabbit?
January 02, 2010, 07:03:42 AM

I'll tell you what's wrong. We've lost something. As a people, as a nation, we've lost something. You can call it the Revolution, Free Love, the American Dream, doesn't matter what label you put on it, it's gone. At some point in American history, we lost that part of us that made this country the Great Experiment. Maybe it was when we elected a mindless, illiterate, party tool for president, or maybe it was when we decided that Communism was more important that our freedom. There are an endless variety of times when we might have finally killed our Revolution. But when it happened doesn't matter, nor does it matter whose fault it is, or why it happened. We have given into a disease that has inflicted our species since it's very beginning.

The American public has been enslaved. Now, I'd be willing to bet that it's the same, if not worse everywhere else. We're all slaves. A million bastard machines hold our leash, each one brainwashing us one way or another, starving what little wonder and beauty we can squeeze out. These machines label us. They force us to comply to a description, to a worldview that doesn't really work for us. We're Democrats, Republicans, Muslims, Humanitarians, Radicals, Nihilists, Surrealists, Darwinist, and Sodomites. These labels are meaningless. If you're lucky they'll manage to accurately convey a fraction of what you are. Every human being is a Saint and a Devil, an Innocent and a Despoiler, we are everything and everyone at the same time, and we're constantly changing.

But the machine can't have us change. No, we have to stay in our littel 5×5 cells and thank Mother Church and Uncle Sam for taking away our identity. And we choose to let them. We're too afraid of what we really are, of facing the churning schizoid mess that is the human being. We let them apply their definitions of Good and Evil to us. They tell us that Christians are Evil, that blowing up a bus full of Children is Good. And when they want us to do things so horrible that they bypass our blinders, they use terms like "Necessary Evil" and "The Greater Good". We've bought into a moral system rather than crafting our own. We've chosen to make due with hand me downs rather than innovate. I don't know why, but we do. It's too hard possibly, or we don't have enough time to actually think about what we believe in a way that can't stated in one word.

The Machines fear creation. Anything truly new or wonderful, anything that hints to our true potential is a grave threat to them. But when they're afraid, the Machines can be quite clever. They don't bother trying to stop innovation from occuring. To do so would be greatest folly, as humanity's creativity cannot be stopped, and is only encouraged by opposition. What the Machines do is buy it. As something wonderful rises out of the fringe and starts to become mainstream, they drown it in a wave of crappy wannabes and generic brand junk. They turn an artform into just another label, with which to enslave us. And so the beautiful, magical chaos we're capable of remains forever on the fringe.

As for what can be done to stop the Machines, to break the chains? Well, I've got my methods, which may or may not be effective. I inject as much craziness, passion and absurdity into my life as I can. If the Machines cannot understand you, then they cannot enslave you. I cannot escape the labels, and hell, I use them myself. But I do my best to stay  in the weirder, more fluid labels, and I move among them, picking up ideas everywhere I go. I've gotten to the point that not a single belief or philosophy I have can be stated in one word, or even one sentence. I've thought about my beliefs, and I've carefully decided what they really are. I'm on the path to something strange and beautiful, I know it, and I'm hoping that when I discover it the Machine won't be able to absorb it.

The whole point of this little rant, of this twenty minutes or so I've spent projecting my digital spittle at you, is this; Don't let anything define you. Don't let anyone label you or say that you are something which you aren't. Embrace your depth of personality, and marvel at it's little changes and evolutions. Create what you want, be what you want, and never let anything scare you into slavery. Fear is enslavement. If you don't fear something then it cannot stop you. Live up to your goddamn potential, and make your species proud.

So what are you waiting for?
#22
I could write about this, but it'll be better if I just put the link here. Here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Churchill

Anyone who tells reality to go fuck itself and gets away with it, is a hero in my book. Unless of course, they were a psychotic monster.

Thanks go to whoever posted the link to the Unusual Articles page on Wiki, because that's where I found this man.
#23
Or Kill Me / Diagnosis: Apathy
December 01, 2009, 09:59:29 PM
So how are you feeling today Mr. Sapien? Not good? Oh dear. Well then, tell me what's the matter. Don't worry, I'm a doctor. Hmm. I see. Life seems to be dragging you down, like your trying to swim with cement shoes. No one likes you, not even your own family. The world is full of shit, and you don't see a way to make it better. There's no point in trying to change things, as nothing will get any better. And now you've come to the Doctor for help.

But you see, that's your problem, my friend. You want someone else to pull your ass out of the fire, but that's not going to happen. You're an only child Mr. Sapien; you don't have any siblings to save you. And if you think Mother is going to save you, think again. You've taken her flesh and blood, and tried to replace it with your own excrement. Yes, I know that Father abandoned you early on, that even when he was there he never paid attention. It doesn't change the fact that the only person who can save you is you.

I knew what was wrong with you the moment you stepped into my office. Fat and sticky, yet with something about you that speaks of starvation. Filled to the brim with unattained ambitions and petty anger. So gullible that you'd walk off of a cliff if a suit told you too, yet so stupidly cynical that you've abandoned even basic compassion. Completely self serving and at the same time, distressingly self destructive. You're a sick man, Mr. Sapien. And it's your own fault.

You could have turned things around before they got to this stage. You could have helped yourself. But no, instead you just wallowed in filth as your soul atrophied. Really, how often have you bothered to question, to wonder, to think? Sure, you've had brief periods of brilliance, but these are nothing compared to what you could do if you bothered to try.

And now that things have degenerated to this degree, you've finally seen the light. But as always, you couldn't be bothered to do anything personally, and so now you've come to me. Well, there's only thing I can say, Mr. Sapien. Fuck you. You've earned all of this with your own apathy. You never said no, and you never made an effort. Now it's time to reap what you've sown. Just desserts and all that jazz.

Don't threaten, don't complain, don't say a single goddamn word. Just get out of my office.

And have a nice day.
#24
Or Kill Me / Masks
November 30, 2009, 06:47:15 PM
Everyone is hiding behind a mask. It's as simple as that. No one shows there true colors, not even when they're alone. We throw on false faces and pretend to be someone different. The entire species does this, from the day we realize that we can be hurt. The realization that other people can hurt you not just psychically, but emotionally, it intensely traumatic. So we hide. We throw on thousands of masks, so that no one knows what we truly are. Hell, we don't even  know who we are.

I'm just as cowardly in this manner as everyone else. At school, I wear a mask, a tight, leather, strap covered thing like out of some S&M porno. It's tightly secured, so that if I try and act like myself, I reflexively stop and revert to deadpan seriousness. This mask isn't just for school though. It's for any social interaction where I'm uncomfortable (as in I'm conversing with more than one person). I wear the exact opposite mask at home. I act more like myself, with all the oddity that entails, but I repress any impulse to be anything but Mr. Happyshit. I don't even act like myself here. I have real clue what kind of person I am here, or anywhere else.

My biggest problem I think is this identity crisis. I can only point out a couple things I know for sure about myself. I know I want to be a warrior-poet, I know I'm strange, I know I'm intelligent, but the rest of it, I have no clue. This could be part of adolescence, or maybe it's something the entire species suffers from. The part of the problem that is inherently my own is that I don't understand people. Or maybe I do, but dont' realize that I do.

Not being sure whether I'm friendly or cruel, honest or dishonest, anything is incredibly frustrating. But maybe, I'm full of shit, and this is just a result of caffeine intake. Anyone get where I'm coming from here?
#25
Or Kill Me / Justice
November 05, 2009, 09:48:19 PM
Justice has abandoned us. That's the core of it. The little spark that tells us "this is wrong" has up and died on us. I don't know when and I don't know how, but it's gone.

This realization came upon only a couple minutes ago after I had a run in with one of my friends. Now this friend is one of the folks at my school who gets picked on continually. It's gone on as long as I've known him. I've always backed him up, always made sure that it never got physical, but not letting him rely on me for rescue. So, I'm just walking around and I see this kid, Mikey. Mikey is another friend of mine, and he gets it even worse than my first friend. He's overweight, intelligent, and quiet, the small town triumvirate of victimization. And as usual, I find Mikey being followed by some asshole, who's getting his hard on by messing with the poor kid. And lo and behold it's my first friend, Jake. Jake who's been a victim his entire life, is turning around and doing to this other kid.

I lost it. I've been betrayed by friends, tricked by people who claimed to like me, all kinds of shit, but nothing has ever infuriated me like watching Jake torment poor Mikey. My hands shook, my face went red, and I tear Jake a new one. I scare the living shit out of him. He goes white and when I finally let the little bastard go, he runs.

Now, I understand. Justice is gone. The Lady is curled up in a dark corner, crying out of sightless eyes. She bleeds from her palms, and she screams out at the world "What have you done?". We don't here her though. We're too busy drowning ourselves in pools of our own vomit and excrement, our only pleasure being the mindless cruelties we inflict on each other. Sure, we have courts and anti-bullying seminars and all the garbage that authority throws at us. But it's all just a blindfold, one making us as blind as Lady Justice.

The Lady Justice, that blindfolded bitch. She sold her scales to bureaucrats to count our their bribes. She gave her sword to the abusers so that they wouldn't hurt her. And she gave us her blindfold so we couldn't see what she had done.

The victim becoming the abuser is just a catalyst for me. It led me to an epiphany. We can't rely on Lady Justice to save us, or to even point us in the right direction. She's blind for Christ's sake! No. Justice is a dead memory. But there's Vengeance. It's not pretty and it's never fair, but at least it does something. When the greater good has sold its soul, we have to turn to the lesser evil.

Justice is gone. Time for Vengeance.

Or kill me
#26
Since I was eight years old, I've been seeking enlightenment. It started with Terry Pratchett, whose stealth philosophy was the first real eye opener I ever had. It forced my idiot monkey brain to actually do something. I didn't realize I wanted to be enlightened, until about now, about eight years later. I eventually moved away from Pratchett, who is still my favorite author but no longer my teacher. Then came Alan Moore from age ten to eleven. V for Vendetta, Watchmen, Promethea, it gave me my next push. So it went on, Moore was followed by Anton Wilson, who was followed by Malaclypse the Younger, who was followed by Hunter S. Thompson etcetera, etcetera.

I've been mindfucking myself and my fellow adolescents for years now, pushing my boundaries farther and farther. I've forced myself to see my death over and over again, in ways ranging from heroic to depressingly meaningless. I've screwed myself up royally. And it's hilarious. I can't understand my fellow human beings that well anymore. My mind moves back and forth between insanity and self discipline and some fusion of the two.

I still need caffeine to induce a truly ecstatic state, so that's something to do. I've developed a basic phrase to symbolize enlightenment. "Shoot yourself in the face and come out the other side laughing your ass off."

Now here's the question: Have I spent my life up to now actually going somewhere, or am I just another prick fucking myself into oblivion? And is their really a difference between the two?

What I'm looking for is feedback. Whether my methods, my teachers, my efforts are actually on to something.

Or Kill Me
#27
Or Kill Me / Dragonslaying; something we need more of.
October 10, 2009, 06:29:52 AM


Ever get that feeling where you just want to do something epic? I have had this recurring fantasy for a couple weeks now, probably because I've been listening to a lot of Dragonforce.

It's a classic Dragon Death scenario. I open my front door, and lo and behold there's a big arse dragon outside. Now this dragon is menacing some damsels, as dragons are wont to do, and me being the wannabe hero that I am, I feel obliged to kill the hell out of the thing. Luckily for me and for my fantasy, I have a sword handy (not a phallic symbol, Freud), and I go off to slay the beast. Now depending on my mood, this whole incident ends with me either killing the dragon as planned, or making it into my steed. Either way, I win forever.

I figure a lot of people have fantasies like this, where they get to pull off the amazing feats that real life cheats us out of. And really, we are being cheated. The world as we know it is a hopelessly banal place. There are no epic adventures, there are no dark villains to slay (except for the occasional dictator and Dick Cheney), and it's a shame. Even the Ages of Adventure really weren't what they should have been. The Crusades weren't really a Holy Crusade, it was a bunch of greedy shmucks and religious fanatics who killed each other for a couple years. Admittedly, it was a public service, but it wasn't true Adventure. The Discovery of the New World just gave the bastards in the Old World more room to be shmucks and led to the shattering of native civilization.

The worst part of all this is that we don't even worry about the lack of adventure and fantasy in our world. We just accept that it's "a fact of life" and go on. To be frank, screw that. Just because things aren't one way doesn't mean that they can't be changed. Why should we have to settle for a world without true adventure, where most people never live to see their dreams become reality? It's time we took advantage of the things we have at our disposal and used it to bring some fantasy into the world.

Huh. I didn't really mean for this post to turn into a sermon. Oh well, if you weren't interested you probably wouldn't be reading this. It just bothers me, realizing that all of the worlds and glories that I can create cannot come to real life. Humanity has been stuck with a world that can't measure up to it's dreams. I guess that's just another thing I'm going to have to work on.

Since this has turned into a sermon, I figure I should come up with a moral. How about this: If the world sucks, change it. Just because it "has always been like that" doesn't mean that it can't and shouldn't change. So go out and fix the damn world.
#28
Literate Chaotic / First Chapter
June 19, 2009, 09:13:58 PM
So...I'm wanting to be a writer, and I've currently working on a book idea. The basic premise is that various people around the globe start becoming a new generation of gods. First they manifest superhero levels of power, but eventually they become virtually omnipotent in their purview. Here's my first chapter which focuses on my Death god character

Gods and Men

By Dr. James Semaj

Chapter One

       The sun was bright in the sky; it's glorious beams playing across the cars metallic sheen like laughing children. A sea breeze blew its way through the streets, lessening the oppressive heat to an enjoyable level. The smog that oftentimes pervaded rush hour in Los Angeles was also notably absent, even though it was as busy as ever. The day was California at it's most glorious.
   Or at least so it seemed to Gabriel. He lowered the windows down so that he could experience the beautiful weather. It was always beautiful in the morning, even more so because of his company. His daughter, Eliza, was sitting in the passenger seat, firmly buckled in and smiling. His job often meant that Eliza's baby-sitter saw more of her than he did, something that drove Gabriel crazy but that couldn't be helped. The quality time he hankered for was restricted to the mornings, when he drove Eliza to school on the way to the hospital. It was the best part of his day, his time to be with his child, to see what she was doing and what she was interested in. He had never opted not to take her, nor had he ever been late to get her to school. He took pride in that.
   Eliza looked like a younger, feminine version of her father. She had the same handsome face, the high cheekbones and the large expressive eyes. They both had black hair, but Eliza's was the raven color of youth while years of hard work and harder worry had changed Gabriel's hair to the color of ash. They both had a glow of health in their complexion, something that always made the both of them look fit, no matter what their health actually was.. Eliza was twelve to her father's forty-eight, evident in the contrast between her smooth face and the worry lines that marked her father. Both of them were tall and solid in build, but their demeanor changed the effect. Gabriel's dour and thoughtful expressions made him intimidating; a terror to boyfriend's to come, while Eliza's intelligent and cheerful nature would spell love struck doom to many an adolescent boy.
   The only thing about her appearance that suggested her mother was her eye color. They both shared the exact same hazel hue. It always made Gabriel think of Mary when he looked in Eliza's eyes. She had died in childbirth, leaving Gabriel to raise Eliza alone. He didn't talk about her much, so Eliza had turned to other relatives for information. It was a happy family regardless, he thought.
   Eliza had inherited most of her appearance from her father, but Mary came through in her personality. She had the same fiery personality; she was quick to argue but just as quick to apologize. Mary had been
   "Are you picking me up from school today, Daddy?" Eliza said, more curious that concerned. Gabriel winced anyway, and looked at her in the rear-view mirror.
   "Sorry Lizzie, Uncle Nick will pick you up. I'm going to be working late tonight." He had to work late more than he liked, but his patients required a lot of attention. Mr. Conrad in particular worried him. None of the antibiotics seemed to be helping.
   "Okay." Eliza said, her tone containing all the enthusiasm of a vegan at a steakhouse. Gabriel smiled despite himself; he didn't like that she was growing independent of him so soon, but it also made him proud as hell. A year ago, she would have been horrified at the thought of him not being there to take her home, now she couldn't care less who drove, as long as she got there eventually.
   "So, are you looking forward to school today?" He knew it was an idiot-dad question, but he still liked to ask it anyway. Eliza looked at him sarcastically, somehow managing to imply an eye-roll without actually doing so.
   "Not really." It was the answer she gave every day. The girl detested school, despite all that she learned. Even when she would proudly spout out some newly acquired knowledge, she would still refuse to acknowledge any positive side to the seven-hour imprisonment.
   "Understood. Did you learn anything interesting yesterday?" This was also part of his daily inquisition, one that met with a touch more enthusiasm.
   "Ya! We started reading the Phantom Tollbooth in English. Tock is awesome!" Her eyes light up and Gabriel gets a warm feeling in his stomach. He could remember when Eliza had been a little girl, pleading for him to teach her to read. She was desperate to read, her curiosity drove her insane. She wasn't in school yet though, and he was afraid that if she knew how to read then she'd be bored stiff her first year of school. Saying no had been horrible, but now he was glad he had. Her never-ending enthusiasm about reading was a wonderful thing.
   "I remember when I read that. It was a good book. What part are you on?"
   "Tock and Milo have just escaped from the Doldrums."
   "You're at the very beginning, it'll just get better as you go." Gabriel flashed a grin and looked out the rear view mirror. Traffic was beginning to fill the roads, and soon it would be rush hour. If Eliza was going to get to school on time he would have to hurry up. He put a bit of pressure on the gas pedal and watched as the scenery went by faster.
   "So, Eliza what else did you learn yesterday?" He sort of hoped that she didn't learn anything new in math. She was in such a good mood, he would hate for it to be ruined by the mention of mathematics, her most hated subject. Personally, Gabriel couldn't blame her. Math was the most mind-numbing thing he'd ever done in school, and the only thing he'd ever had trouble with. It irked him that his daughter had inherited his problem with numbers. Mary had been great with numbers.
Every time they learned something new, she had trouble with it, which upset her like nothing else. His daddy-reflexes would want to kick in and make the math go away, but he knew that that would be an exercise in futility. Math was something that you had to be dealt with, like taxes and M&M conferences.
   "In science we're learning about invertebrates, and in social studies we're learning about the Civil War." She pointedly did not tell him about math, which meant that it was his job to broach the subject.
   "And what about in math?" She sighed and frowned.
   "Math's retarded."
   "Watch your language."
   "Well it is! All those stupid numbers and symbols that don't mean anything..." The rest dissolved into undecipherable mumbling. Gabriel groaned inwardly. He turned towards his daughter, and put on a serious face.
   "Are you having trouble again, Lizzie?" She looked up at him with second-hand resentment. She wasn't angry at him specifically, but he was forcing her to face her frustration, something she really did not want to do. Gabriel knew that pushing her was useless so he waited for her to speak. After a couple minutes of awkward silence, she reluctantly spoke up.
   "We're doing fractions. I can't do the multiplication, doesn't make any sense." Ah, that made sense. Fractions. Gabriel had hated them especially when he was in school.
   "Do you want me to get you a tutor?" She didn't say anything.  He could feel the beginnings of a fight. Eliza had refused to get a tutor to help her with math, even saying the word made her ornery. And it had started out as such a fine day...
   "Look Lizzie, I know you don't want a tutor, but it would make things so much easier for you. Sometimes you need to know when to ask for help. No one can do everything by themselves."
   "Daddy, look out!" There was a screeching noise, and Gabriel turned just in time to see a dark gray truck hurtling at them. Gabriel hit the brakes instinctively, and the truck plowed into their van. Eliza screamed, and Gabriel tumbled forward, realizing too late that he had forgotten to put his seatbelt on. It was a fatal mistake in retrospect. He hit the windshield face first, and it shattered, filling his vision with red.
   He felt weightless for a split second and then he slammed into something hard and metallic. He bounced off and hit the pavement hard, his head striking hard against the ground. He stayed there, his limbs refusing to work. He couldn't see, everything hurt, and he was having a hard time staying awake. He was laying in something wet, and there was a coppery taste in his mouth. Blood. He tried to recall something from medical school that might help, but nothing could get through the fog of his thoughts. Images appeared in his frame of view, a man with a dog's head holding a human heart, a man with eyes like hot coals and hair like smoke cradling a pomegranate. Both visions disappeared, only to be replacing by stranger ones. A woman whose face was evenly divided between eye watering putrescence and breath taking beauty smiled coldly down at him, her contrasting eyes glittering with malicious humor. Gabriel's will was weakening, and finally he couldn't stay conscious any longer. He passed out. The two-faced woman laughed.
   Amid the darkness, Gabriel could see some of the figures had returned. The man with the pomegranate stared bleakly at him, his ashen robes trailing smoke. He was joined by a bloody skeleton wearing a headdress of feathers and a necklace of eyeballs. The skeleton leered at him from a pair of teary eyes stuck in the fleshless skull, his arm perched across the shoulders of another skeleton, a woman in a wedding gown. The figures watched him for several seconds, speaking among themselves in languages he couldn't understand, before disappearing into a cloud of dust.
   Gabriel hurt. He couldn't a specific point of origin. The pain was everywhere but especially in his limbs and in his face. The agony made him want to cry out, to scream, but when he tried nothing came out. He wished he could see; find out where Eliza was. His fear that she was injured hurt worse than his own wounds.
"God damn it! Help me get his clothes off these scissors are useless. This guy's a mess, a poster child for seat belts. God, I hate car accidents." Gabriel couldn't see whoever was speaking, and he was having a hard time understanding what they were talking about. Something about scissors? Another voice came, this one deeper, craggier.
   "I've checked out the other two. The little girl's fine, just scared and a little bruised. The guy in the truck is okay too, falling down drunk, but okay." The craggy voice sounded furious at this.
   "Figures. Drunk driver comes out perfectly fine, while the Dad is the one whose face gets carved off. Figures. Get me a gurney. This guy needs to get to a hospital fast."
   Gabriel felt himself being lifted and laid down on something. A gurney he assumed. A couple seconds later, he found himself being bounced around, and he could hear street sounds. I'm on an ambulance, he thought, but he couldn't remember exactly what an ambulance was.
   Gabriel tried to move, to do something, but he was held tight by something. The voices were talking again, and eventually when his attempts to free himself failed, he started listening to what was being said.
   "So what all's wrong with this guy?"
   "Look at him!" He's got lacerations all over his body, especially on his face and arms. He's got pieces of glass imbedded in his face, and I'm pretty sure he's bleeding internally. There are definitely a couple fractured ribs, and his left leg is broken in at least two places. If we save him, he's going to need a lot of reconstructive surgery, poor guy."
   "Mother of god. What happened?"
   "Car accident. Drunk driver hit him and his daughter."
   "How's the girl?"
   "Fine. Just terrified and she'll probably have some bruising from her seat belt."
   "What about the drunk who hit them."
   "Bastard came out without even a scratch."
   "Wonderful."
   Gabriel blacked out again. By the time he came to, the voices had stopped talking. He was still in agony, but comforted by the fact that Eliza was okay.
He was hallucinating again, the dog-headed man had returned. He was eating the human heart now, and he winked at Gabriel before vanishing. There was an odd wrenching feeling in Gabriel's chest, and a whining noise filled the ambulance.
   "Oh god, we're losing him! Get me the defibs." There was a pause, and then: "Okay...clear." Something painful wracked his chest, but it was lost among the other aches and pains. The whining continued.
   "Again!" There was another pause. "Clear!" The pain hit again, and now Gabriel could see two new figures. One was a tall black man in a suit and top hat. His face was painted like a skull, and he had a cigar clenched between his teeth. He was twirling a cane with a silver skull shaped head. The other was an old man in chain mail armor. He was massive, with a strong but infinitely wise face. One of his eyes was missing and covered with an eye-patch. He looked sadly at Gabriel and turned to leave. He stopped and looked back at Skull-Face, saying something. Gabriel couldn't hear it, nor could he hear anything else now. He felt cold. Everything was going dark, and even the little blasts of pain in his chest were fading away. Right before his vision failed him and everything went black, he saw the skull-faced man beckon to him, a bottle of rum in his hands.
   Eliza...

So, tell me what you think. Sorry if it's long.
#29
Or Kill Me / Ever feel like you're going mad?
June 10, 2009, 09:48:49 PM
Today's just another day, part of the bittersweet monotony of summer vacation. The sun is out, the birds are singing, and the idiot hordes are congregating at our local pool. Now, usually I'm a fairly mellow individual, but today I feel like I'm losing my mind. All of the shit I do and plan to do, the writing, the planning of my reality hack, all of it doesn't make any sense. I don't know why I'm doing any of this. :lulz: I'm moving back and forth between depression and psychotic glee. It's one of those days where I want to watch the whole fucking planet burn, just so I can piss all over the ashes. And right now, I feel like I'm going to freak out, have a little "episode" and set fire to the house. I joined this forum to try and find some like minded individuals who want to try and MindFuck the world back on course, but that really doesn't make any sense. The world is already MindFucked you see. We have what, 2 billion people, going to work every day, coming home, and the next day repeating it. And why? To pay for children's college funds? Just paying for a brainwash of your kids by an alien system. What real purpose is there to all of this? Tell me what the hell is the purpose? You work for fifty good years, for things that are going to die with you. Most of our lives spent acquiring things that last twenty/thirty years. The best part is that within twenty minutes, I'll have recovered the illusion, and I'll just think that all of this was a result of boredom and caffeine. THat's why I'm writing this, so that my crazy can be recorded before I forget it. So, one last question before I give up; What's your fucking purpose?

Or Kill me.