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Topics - Q. G. Pennyworth

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Aneristic Illusions / VOTE CRAZY
« on: March 06, 2012, 02:42:21 am »

1) Read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "The Little Prince" as a child.

2) Forget the full title.

3) Spend the rest of your adult life wondering what's so Machiavellian about cleaning out volcanoes.

Apple Talk / When They Came
« on: February 28, 2012, 07:08:47 pm »
The bombs looked like toys. Shiny plastic, two-toned footballs with little fins. When they started coming I got it away from my son, but there was a black mother playing with her two sons outside and she didn't know. I couldn't stop her, just yelled and grabbed the younger boy away from the blast. He didn't scream or cry, just asked me if his family was dead. He couldn't have been more than four years old. I told him I didn't know, but we had to run. I grabbed his hand and my son's and we ran into a nearby building.

One of Them came in through the other doorway. The lights were out, and I could barely see it in the darkness, but I grabbed its impossibly skinny body and snapped it like a stick. We ran into another room, and I had to kill another one. A third followed us, but when I picked it up it was fat and smiling, like a doll. Dark green ET face smiling up at me. I almost hesitated too long, but I came to my senses and snapped the head off. Plastic. I threw the bomb out the window before it went off in my hand.

Later, I saw the parents of the kid I'd rescued. The mother had bloodshot eyes and a drugged smile, obviously a post-op. The father had just been programmed, you could tell when he managed to override it for a second, his eyes went from solid black to brown, but they flickered right back again. The two of them were pushing a stroller with their two "children" in it. They hadn't even bothered waiting for the boy to die before they replaced him.

We ran through the neon-lit streets.

Propaganda Depository / Art Requests?
« on: February 26, 2012, 07:57:45 pm »
Does anyone around here have the time to take requests for images to put in Discordian literature? I'm going to be looking for some very specific weird things, and it would be a lot easier to just ask than to try to find existing art and beg for permission.

Or Kill Me / War Zone Tourist
« on: February 24, 2012, 06:54:59 pm »
A bulletproof vest isn't all that expensive. I know where they sell them around here, the cop supply store that's still got the donut shop sign out front. I'll need to pack a lot of dried food, probably some of those water purifier things. Last thing you need in a war zone is a bad case of foreign microbe syndrome. The nurse supply store is a couple towns over, I can grab simple shit like gauze and catheters there, couple boxes of latex gloves and face masks. Nothing too bulky. I'll need a new pair of hiking boots: light and sturdy with enough support in the ankles that I won't go full-on retard and twist 'em while trying to sprint past the sniper positions on rubble covered streets.

I wonder how cold it is this time of year.

I don't speak the language, but there's some folks who speak English, and I can help with stupid shit like hauling around supplies and changing bandages. And hell, if I get shot that's an extra hour of airtime they'll get on CNN the next day. It matters more when it's non-smudgy people dying, don'tcha know?

Maybe I'll be a hero, and save a kid from a bombed out home.* Maybe I'll find out I'm not terrible at guns and help in more concrete ways. Maybe I can get supplies where they're needed and just not get in the way too much. But more probably I'll just get my stupid foreign ass horribly injured and become another burden. That's what happens to most of them, you know. What's a suburban white kid know about living though a military assault? I don't know those streets, don't know those people. I don't know the food or the culture or the first thing about taking care of myself. I've never even been in a goddamned riot before.

But that's where something's happening. That's where there's something dangerous and real. No padded corners on the playground, no nerf darts, and not the nihilistic risk of "bad neighborhoods" and pointless risky behavior. Fuck getting high. I'm gonna see the world burn. I'll probably crack, come back a broken man, twisted in mind and body from the Things I've Seen. God knows I'm not stable to begin with. The closest I've ever come to seeing a man die was when that cyclist hit the pavement face first, the cameras rolling as blood gushed out of his broken nose like a waterfall: dark and hot and fast. They switched camera feeds when the medics started CPR. I cried watching the Daily Show, ffs. Those newlyweds smiling and waving to the camera a week before the elections, green wristbands proudly displayed. They might have already been dead by the time that hit the air.

I probably won't survive the front lines, but staying home is killing me.

*at this point in writing the CNN notification popped up that evacuation of women, children, and the wounded from Homs has finally begun.

Or Kill Me / I Don't Believe in Chainsaw Murderers
« on: February 23, 2012, 06:01:04 pm »
You can cite me your statistics
You can make me watch the news
You can take me to a crime scene
But it won't be any use

No matter how the corpse is cut up
I've already made my mind up
I don't believe in Chainsaw Murderers.

You can say I'm in denial
You can tell me that I'm wrong
You can choose to sit and argue with me
All day and all night long

But I hope that you won't mind
That after wasting all that time
I still don't believe in Chainsaw Murderers.

Don't bother with your movies
Or your television shows
Even you know all that's fiction
And most of it just blows

Because suspended disbelief
In these fictions that you preach
Breaks down when there's Chainsaw Murderers

I'm not interested in logic
Or your evidence or facts
I'm happy in my prison
Because of what it lacks

There's a reason I won't give in
We all chose the worlds we live in
(I live in the one without Chainsaw Murderers).

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Your Very Own Holy Book (TM)
« on: February 21, 2012, 05:08:09 am »
So, here's the idea:

  • I don't know where all the awesome essays are, and I am too much of a lazy asshat to find them all on my own
  • You (possibly) don't happen to have the skills or software readily available to do layout work for stuff that you may want to have available all together in print format

So, what I'd like to offer is Your Very Own Holy BookTM service! You give me a list of the things that you'd like in easy-to-print format, we check for proper kopyleft/CC permissions, then I design a booklet for you to print out. Printing is super easy if you have a fancypants printer with duplex settings, or you can just take it to a Staples and then they eat the extra paper costs when the first printing inevitably comes out upside down.

Booklets are 16 pages (half-page size) including front and back covers. All booklets will be designed in black and white unless otherwise specified.

Your Very Own Holy BookTM is not a layout and publishing service for other projects. If you are part of a finished project that needs layout I'd be happy to help there, too, but that's something different. Your Very Own Holy BookTM is a way for people to have their favorite essays off the board, intermittens, the PD, and whateverall else they include in their personal little clusterfuck of discordianism in one shiny package. I hope that clears up any misunderstandings.

Apple Talk / So, this is a thing that is happening now
« on: February 21, 2012, 01:21:46 am »
TNT's coverage of the basketball game today includes their celebration of commentator Charles Barkley's 49th birthday. They got him a cake in the shape of a big number 50, and he's getting a mani/pedi on air. They periodically cut in to poorly photoshopped pictures of "previous birthday celebrations."


Aneristic Illusions / Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« on: February 14, 2012, 05:54:49 pm »
WARNING: This post was written from the perspective of an American. All usage of "we" or "our" refers to America or western culture in general. Sorry.


So, on a whim I picked up a $1 book on a trip to DC last year. It's "Superpower Illusions" by Jack Matlock, wherein the Reagan-loving diplomat lays out just how fucking retarded we as Americans have gotten about the history of the Cold War and why it's fucking up our foreign policy. The short version as i understand it is that Reagan *did* have an important roll in bringing the Cold War to an end, but it was more because of his willingness to talk with the Soviets and give them a way out and less the saber rattling. That the biggest problems the Soviets had were self-created through the belief that they needed more control over their people and over the ideological discourse of the nation. By clamping down on their populace, they made western culture look more appealing.

What we're screwing up now is thinking that just "being stronger" than another nation and yelling at them long enough will make them fall down and get into line. That's bullshit. The harder we clamp down on our own people, the more vulnerable we are to internal strife and collapse. And leaning on other countries isn't enough, we have to show them how much more awesome it is to be on our side by making it more awesome to be on our side. You want freedom? Our artists are so free we let them just splash paint on a canvas!

Or Kill Me / Adventures in Jailbreaking; or How I Got Here
« on: February 14, 2012, 02:34:30 pm »
Last spring as the cabin fever from a long New England winter was reaching its unbearable apex and any escape from the four walls of my annual "it's too cold/dark/miserable to go out" solitary confinement sounded like an awesome idea, I began working on a book. It was supposed to be a prop for a game, something to add a little weight to a backstory (and preferably a bit of delicious XP). I'd written huge swaths of the Big Book of Blasphemy already, but I also had a little 8 page booklet from the defunct Circle of Eris that I didn't want to see vanish, either. So I set to work constructing an overarching mythology that placed Eris in the role of "Maiden" and Tlazolteotl in the role of "Crone" and the whole universe in a bubble of snotty pea soup. Obviously, to catch up with the huge backlog of material I'd saved up for the "Mother," I'd need to get a lot more down for Eris.

Searching for material for the second Book of Eris brought me to the Black Iron Prison for the first time. I'd read a friend's beloved copy of the yellow 4th ed Principia in college, and purchased the much-lamer Steve Jackson reprint for myself a few years later, but that was it. I never considered myself a Discordian (although I definitely absorbed pieces of it into my own clusterfuck of a belief structure), never sought out Discordians, or even looked for other Discordian works. It was, as far as I was concerned, a work of fiction every bit as valid and inaccessible as the science fiction I devoured. The BiP was much more appropriate for the project I was working on than a lot of the original PD, and spoke to a lot of the frustration I felt at my current ability to affect change in a shitty world. The PD is all sunshine and bubbles and five tons of flax, which is all well and good for a bunch of San Francisco stoners but doesn't sit well when there are people you care about dying from "Aneristic Illusions."

I also found this: . Judging by the publishing date, I must have come across it very soon after it was posted. It inspired me to give up my self-identification as "crazy," something I've held on to since I was 16, and retroactively applied to most of my life.

I know it's not that easy for most people, but I happened to be in a place where it was possible. It had already been four years since I had needed any psychiatric medications and three since I had needed therapy (though there were points in between where yammering at a shrink would have been nice if not necessary). I had a stable living situation and a few friends to lean on emotionally if I needed to do so. Even with that, it wasn't easy. Being "crazy" means never being held entirely accountable for your actions. Being "crazy" means skipping emotionally draining activities when you feel like ass. I never made a grand announcement of it, and even though I attempted to explain it to the Boyfriend it never really seemed to stick for him, but it made a difference in how I saw the world.

And then I let it slide.

So, this past month was a "big round number" anniversary in my personal history of crazy. I expected it to bother me, as I tend to put more weight on these things than is really appropriate, and provided the Boyfriend with ample warning of impending emotional difficulties. And no, no he was not as responsive as I would have liked when the day came, and yes it was disappointing, but it was not the end of the world. And it occurs to me that this is what not-crazy people feel like when they are disappointed by a thing. And I have to say being "crazy" may be more fun when you're 16 and want the world to burn down around you and everything to be the Biggest Thing Ever, but I'll settle for going to bed miffed and getting up the next day to get shit done without a huge "OMG THIS RELATIONSHIP IS OVER BECAUSE YOU HURT MY FEELINGS" meltdown.

I'm not crazy, and that means a lot of work. It means I need to learn how to communicate my normal, human emotional needs to other people without resorting to the "my mental health is very fragile and if you don't I could end up in the looney bin" implications. It means when I do retarded shit I have to take it all on myself. I really should have been learning this stuff when I was younger, but better late than never. And it wouldn't have happened if I didn't see someone else yanking some bars out of their own cell.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is "Thank you, Cram."

RPG Ghetto / Adventures in splitting the party
« on: February 10, 2012, 03:27:20 pm »
My good friend Mac finally convinced us to play GURPS for the first time. There are only three players. He warned us that he would not be planning things, because we'll just fuck it up anyway so he'll just do everything seat-of-his-pants and we'll like it.

I guess he was probably right.

At the end of the first session, we had already split up and gone back to our homes (or "piles of junk in an alley" in the case of my character) with no means of getting back in touch. After the cops and FBI tried to take two of us in for questioning separately, we managed to reunite and head back towards the home of the one person who hadn't been approached by law enforcement yet, and went back to his place to try to think.

Where there was a FBI van parked outside his front door.

Now, the nice thing to do here would either to all get arrested together or all run away together. Not what actually happened. Because the third character just went into his house, and I turned to the other and said "let's get the fuck outta here" and we hopped on the shitty Chinatown bus to New York. Oh, no, it's better than that, though! Because we know damn well that New York is not a safe destination, so we start arguing over where to head from there. Obviously, Mexico is the only reasonable answer (Mexican cops have more important things to do than track down a couple of suspects in a building explosion, right?) but she won't listen to reason and decides to go back to Boston.

Three characters. One in FBI custody, one on a bus, one in New York. We are fucking terrible at what we do.

Discordian Recipes / Stuffed Red Pepper and Spinach Salad
« on: February 10, 2012, 03:10:59 am »

The carnivore wanted soup tonight, so I got to make something interesting! That's two red bell pepper halves stuffed with a pretty basic egg salad (eggs, mayo, a little tabasco) surrounded by baby spinach with sliced avacado, croutons, and carrots that were rejected from one of the kids' plates. With a little ranch dressing, of course, because I am and will always be a five year old kid when it comes to salads.

Wasn't as good as the first time we made stuffed peppers, the skin was a little bitter. Still, solid B+ night.

Or Kill Me / Some Anonymous January
« on: February 07, 2012, 10:35:26 pm »

There's a long rant to go with this, but I don't have it organized in my head yet. This is seriously the fourth attempt I've made to get it down, and it just rambles. Consider this a placeholder for the time being.

Techmology and Scientism / Required reading for memetic theory?
« on: February 05, 2012, 02:31:03 am »
I have some ideas on the subject, but I don't have the academic background to flesh them out fully. Anyone have some good suggestions to get started?

Or Kill Me / Punching tanks
« on: February 04, 2012, 05:14:42 am »
Things are wrong wrong wrong and every muscle is screaming to go out and do something and I can't, I just can't and it kills me every time I hit that wall and I realize that no matter how much I care about those birds outside my jailcell they're out there and I'm in here and I can't can't can't do anything to save them. It's all so clear when it's someone else something else outside and you can see if only they moved just a little bit they would see things the way you do and they'd fix it like you'd fix it but they don't move and they can't and you can't touch them just yell and yell until your voice is hoarse and still they can't understand what you're saying and they just keep fucking dying anyway and why would you even care you don't even know them you fucking monkey get back in your monkey circle, go tend to your monkeys leave these monkeys alone. I don't fucking trust anyone to do anything, they're all terrible at it. Terrible at everything. Look at what they fucking did! All of them! And you think you see a crack and you can reach them and you start digging and get your hopes up and maybe just maybe someone will get to fly, even if I can't someone will get out of this fucking place someone will make it but the alarms go off and you get thrown back where you belong and there's no out. There's never been an out. I fucking hate it all. It's a wound ten years old, eleven years, twelve; a scar a lifetime long still bleeding. It's nine votes, pepper spray, an argument I had with my brother when we were little shits in high school. It's an Iranian couple waving at the camera. It's the last time I prayed to that dickhole god my parents believed in. A casket under yellow roses. I still can't do anything.

If I could punch my way through this wall, I would fix it. I would punch every tank in the world until they were dust. I'd break out the whistleblowers and lock up the government. If I could. But it's after midnight and the T's stopped, so I guess I just have to go to sleep, and pretend the fact that everything's okay for me is enough.

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