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Topics - Q. G. Pennyworth


Bit of a long read, Roantree is like that. I'm happy to talk reactions, but I'd rather not ruin the end for folks. It's all well and good to play whatever games we want,but the games other people play affect us, too, and it's dangerous to forget that. I don't want to play watch the world burn, so I'm going to go vote against that block.
Propaganda Depository / The Line Booklet
February 19, 2016, 04:28:31 AM
Kopyleft approved!

Comic is Winston Rowntree's The Line ( which he is okay with being used for non-commercial as long as the url is attached. The two quotes are V for Vendetta and Straight Outta Compton, and the background image is public domain forever.

This pdf is designed for booklet printing! Print double sided, flip on the short edge, and fold in half for lovely booklets. For other purposes, please refer to the link for a high res printable file.
Or Kill Me / Have You Done It Yet
February 01, 2016, 02:43:38 PM
Have you fed the people your country was forsaking?
Have you fought down the demons of your own making?
Have you felt the weight of the world in your hand?
Have you taken up arms in defense of your land?
Will the ones who come after us all understand?
Have you done it yet?

Have you spoken the truth though your voice was shaking?
Have you held your ground as your knees were quaking?
Have you felt the bite of the cold and the rain?
Have you held the line and screamed through the pain?
Will the ones who were there remember your name?
Have you done it yet?

Have you guarded the children the police were tazing?
Have you breathed the smoke as the streets were blazing?
Have you rescued a stranger from the wild fray?
Have you guarded the ones who knelt down to pray?
Will the video show you did not run away?
Have you done it yet?

Have you filmed the lives that the army was taking?
Have you fought the charges the state was inflating?
Have you tended the wounded and carried the lame?
Have you cried with the fallen and shouted their name?
Will the world that we know never be the same?
Have you done it yet?

Have you carried your load though your back was breaking?
Have you changed the course a country was taking?
Have you planted yourself at the river of truth?
Have you told the whole world "no, you move"?
Will history books and grandchildren approve?
Have you done it yet?
These are my two feet
My personal space
The spot where I stand
Where you cannot be
This is the space I take up.

These are my two boots
On this grimy floor
Holding my ground
Without apology
This is the space I take up.

I will defend it
With elbows, with fists
With a snap of my head
With a shove of my hips
This is the space I take up.

You cannot be here
I will not leave
Unbroken, unbowed
And still on my feet
This is the space I take up.
One should never carve the name of a person into one's flesh. If you feel the need to carve the name of your crush into yourself, remember that the object of your desire likely will not take this as a compliment, and will in fact most likely become less inclined to engage in a romantic relationship with you, further exacerbating your situation. Carving the name of a celebrity into yourself likewise will not result in positive feedback, as you will actually be harming the celebrity's public relations by feeding the myth that their fans are senseless attention seekers. Don't do that.

One should never commit "suicide by cop." No matter what your opinions are of the police, they are still human. Officers who kill suspects often suffer mental health issues as a result, especially in cases where the death could have been avoided. Additionally, any resources devoted to the confrontation with you and the aftermath will not be available for other emergencies in your area.

One should never commit suicide by traffic accident. As a personal anecdote, a close family friend suffers from a traumatic brain injury to this day because someone decided to commit suicide by ramming his car into hers. Don't be that guy.

One should never commit self-harm with kitchen implements. Those are used for food. Nobody wants to eat traces of you. Nobody you should be hanging out with, anyway.
I don't know what to do for my birthday. All plausible suggestions will be entertained.
Discordian Recipes / Pumpkin Whatevers
October 20, 2015, 06:56:03 PM
1 large can easy pumpkin pie filling
2 eggs
2 cups cinnamon life cereal
Some flour (maybe 1 cup)
Some baking powder (around 1 tsp)

Crush cereal. Check to see if cereal adequately covers the bottom of your rectangular casserole dish. It does, yay! Consider mixing cereal with butter like you planned in the first place. Decide you are a lazy asshole instead. Mix canned pumpkin and eggs. This is too much pumpkin. Add flour. Get baking powder. Consider getting a measuring spoon like a sane person. This is too much work. Carefully sprinkle baking powder in the bowl. Mix vigorously. Fuck, there are still clumps of flour. Mix more. Eventually give up. Pour pumpkin mix into casserole dish over crumbled cereal. Sprinkle allspice on top. Cook at 350 or so until done.

It's still in the oven. I'll give you guys the verdict later.
I know Joe already Poped the Pope on bookface, but I don't think the pontiff has been formally notified yet. We should write a letter.
Or Kill Me / I Told You So
September 29, 2015, 12:11:28 AM
Dearest darling, love of my life,

We seem to be having a bit of a problem here. Not, I believe, one of communication, but of comprehension. Perhaps it's an issue of trust.

I know I don't know everything. There are things you're just better at than I am, and that's okay. Sometimes I will be so sure of myself and then it will turn out that no, you were right all along. It happens. I do my best to look for objective evidence quickly and own up when I have been digging my heels in. Maybe I don't always get there immediately, but I do my best. You've seen it, you know I'm telling the truth. You are better at directions than I am (my method of navigation relative to a central street does not translate well outside of the town I grew up in), you are better at making Google your bitch.

But, my love, there is a corollary to this truth.

You see, there are things I am better at than you. Some of them you accept with grace, and when that happens our lives are easy and things are fantastic. But sometimes -- sometimes -- you get it in your head that I am too broken or broken in the wrong ways and you assume that all of my judgment calls must be bad ones, because sometimes my judgment is a little off.

But my judgment is not off about the people we need to run away from.

No, my dear. I am descended from generations of crazy people and the only way we survive long enough to pass this shit on without completely crapping the bed is having our danger sense turned up to eleven all the goddamned time and having a nose like a k-9 unit for crazy motherfuckers who will ruin us.

You have acknowledged this ability of mine on numerous occasions, specifically right after someone who I fucking told you was no good proceeds to wreck our shit. And always, you are surprised by these instances. Like no one saw it coming. Like each instance of a shady asshole messing up our lives is a complete fluke. Like no one could have anticipated that your wife could be right about the thing she's always right about.

And every time you assure me "yes, honey, I will listen to you next time." And then there is a next time and you do not fucking listen.

I love you.

Next time I'm calling Jimmy Walnuts on your stupid ass.
Techmology and Scientism / Dumb Question
September 25, 2015, 09:12:49 PM
So, this is for a game I'm doing, but I need someone who knows from materials science to help a girl out.

1 cubic yard of ash should weigh around a thousand pounds, according to this thing I got off the internet. Assuming the ash was nearly pure carbon, and something magically smashed it together into diamond, about how big would the blob of crappy diamond be?
You've been told to sit down and SHUT UP a lot in your life, and you're getting tired of it and think you're ready to TELL US WHAT and start your Glorious RevolutionTM whether we like it or not.

Sit down. Shut up. You're not there yet.

If you're still worshiping the guillotine, you haven't figured out The Revolution yet. If you still think that the Second Amendment will protect the First Amendment, you're not ready yet. If you still think that the emptiness in your life is worse than the HORRIBLE TRUTH of the refugee, you need to SHUT UP and LISTEN.

There are bad things in the world, it's true. There are bad things in the First World, from assholes spying on your porn and the School to Prison pipeline and predatory banking and medicine for profits to kale and skinny jeans. Your problems are not "fake problems." It's right and appropriate to look at the bars on your cage and holler about them, I'm not here to tell you otherwise.

What I AM here to tell you is that THINGS CAN GET WORSE. If you don't believe me, go tell Richter your feet hurt. Civilization, for all its flaws, has still been a major net gain for humanity. We don't (usually) die of bullshit preventable diseases. We can all (for the most part) find somewhere safe and warm to sleep. When we are injured, we (generally) have access to the kind of medical treatments our ancestors would have traded kingdoms for. We have the best drugs. Any significant seismic shift in civilization could spell the end for all of that. And if you think you're going to be one of the 10% or so of humanity that would thrive in a post-apocalyptic nightmare, YOU'RE DEAD WRONG.

That's not to say that you shouldn't work on fixing problems. It just means you can't be an UTTER MORON about it.

Civilization needs rabblerousers and malcontents to keep it running smoothly. Terrible People know how to manipulate the rules of civilization to steer it in the direction of Dystopian Nightmare, or to increase the benefits to themselves while reducing opportunities for everyone else, or to punish all those smudgy brown people for believing the wrong book. If Good People don't engage in the steering process, we go to hell in a handbasket right quick. No, wait. Not Good People. What we need are Assholes. We need people who are NEVER SATISFIED with Good Enough. We need people who REFUSE to SHUT UP when something is wrong.

But, again, you can't be an UTTER MORON about it.

Nonviolence is a tactic. You may think it's a popular tactic because people are pansies and you're the only one MAN ENOUGH to suggest that we all get some guns and tear shit down, but that's because you haven't been listening. You can't win against governments if you choose to fight with guns. They have way better guns than you. And more of them, and more people who know how to use them and aren't afraid to put an ASSHOLE like you in his place. Civilization figured out a long time ago how to deal with a small group of assholes with guns. If you want to change things, you have to be smarter than that.

You wanna fuck the system? Fuck it where it can't see you coming. Edward Snowden did it. Chelsea Manning did it. Bree Newsome and Birgitta Jónsdóttir and Julian Assange did it. You have to come at things sideways, find the holes in their armor that they didn't realize existed. Convert their children and throw the best parties and be all FREE IN THEIR FACES WITHOUT PERMISSION.

That's how you change things. That's The Revolution.

But if you still want to go play toy soldier, I can't really stop you. Just try to get some blood on the mask so we can use it for propaganda later.

Or Kill Me.
Principia Discussion / Law of Fives on Binary
September 20, 2015, 01:24:04 AM
So, I had one of those early morning fuzzy brain thoughts today that went along the lines of:

All binary choices obey the law of fives. When you are forced to choose between A or B, you may choose A, you may choose B, you may choose both, you may choose neither, or you may choose something in between.

I feel like this may have been written before and better. Does it sound familiar to anyone?
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / A Modester Proposal
September 13, 2015, 04:57:13 PM
Every privileged chaos cheerleader who hates order more than actual human suffering should be immediately and irreversibly bodyswapped with a child soldier.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Sandwich Argument
September 11, 2015, 04:52:29 PM
QuoteI put them in pairs and instructed them to create as clear and literal a definition as they could—one that encompassed all things they knew to be sandwiches, while providing criteria for excluding all those things that were obviously not sandwiches. Furthermore, anything they were going to submit as examples of a "sandwich" also had to pass the thought experiment of imagining ordering "a sandwich" in a restaurant and being brought that thing—because after all, this is an exercise about common knowledge. We all "know" what a sandwich is. Their definition had to somehow account for this shared mental understanding. So "a bowling ball between two pieces of lettuce" would not count, for example.

This is guaranteed to result in a screaming match every time. Let's do it!
Or Kill Me / Not Dead Yet
September 08, 2015, 04:18:45 PM
There is no place for people like us.

People say they want you as you are and accept the hard things, but when you open your mouth and actually say what's on your mind this is the "wrong space" and "could you tone it down?" and "if you just cut a few words here it would be fine." And the words they want you to cut are the only ones where your feelings live you slither off to find another hole to hide in.

Everybody wants the real you until they see it.

My chemistry is wrong and it's never going to be right and no amount of medication or better environment or better skills will ever change that, and I'm Not Dead Yet.

My brain wants to kill me, and some days it's a sneaky bastard about it and other days it's a goddamned cartoon villain and some days it's biding its time and I know all the tricks and I dodge and parry and call in the cavalry when I have to. I hate that I keep having to fight it and I'm frustrated and tired but I'm Not Dead Yet.

I am stronger than any of those motherfuckers understand.

Because maybe I'm not uniquely crazy, and maybe I'm not the best at literally anything, and maybe there are people who are better at handling their shit than I am. But my inability to handle my shit is not a reflection of weakness. My shit has claws and fangs and a wingspan bigger than a freight train and I'm Not Dead Yet.

And I can't handle my shit, and it's infuriating, and I try my best to stay ahead of it but you can't always win, sometimes all you can do is survive to fight another day.

And I'm Not Dead Yet.
Or Kill Me / I Don't Want You
August 03, 2015, 04:47:46 PM
I don't want this apology. It's insincere and vague and blames the alcohol for what you did. It's a bullshit apology, take it back.

I don't want a real apology. I don't want you to sit down and think out what you really did wrong, I don't want to walk you through all the ways you were a heartless bastard holier than thou fuck. I don't want to talk to you at all. You'll turn my honesty and insight against me, and you'll figure out the buttons to push to convince me you're not all that bad, like you convinced other people and fuck you get out.

I don't want to fight with you. Oh, don't get me wrong, it would be so satisfying to punch the smug right off your fucking face, the sting in my knuckles and the adrenaline jitters. But you wouldn't hit back because I'm a girl and you can't see past that, and you'd ask for another and twist it into some gross parody of a BDSM thing and I don't want to be a part of your fantasies. I don't want to be that important to you, on the off chance that it somehow affected me. I don't want you to touch me like that.

I don't want to make up. I don't believe you. You're not getting better and you have no interest in doing so outside of the fact that being perceived as the miserable piece of shit that you are is getting in your way and you hate things that get in your way. That's why you made fun of me. That's why you made fun of the concept of therapy and of being broken and the entire culture of getting better. You're a piece of shit and you always will be and I don't care about your abusive dad or the stress or anything you ever did because fuck you get out of my life.

I don't want you. Get out.
Or Kill Me / Children of the Strange Times
July 13, 2015, 09:30:56 PM
I tried to read Lovecraft to my kids the other day and it was an unmitigated disaster. Not because of the frequent racist themes, I picked the short story carefully to sidestep the worst of that. It wasn't because the story was too scary or too fantastical, either. Not even the obscure vocabulary and lazy reliance on entirely too many adjectives to pad out the word count. No, their problem is that they cannot relate with the narrator's inability to adjust to the information in front of him, his hesitation to re-evaluate his place in the cosmos on a moments notice. They are Children of the Strange Times, and they do not understand old ideas about reality.

The Children of the Strange Times have grown up with every iota of human knowledge available at their fingertips, and it's primary use is entertainment. Their arguments about facts are resolved by looking that shit up instead of relying on spotty memories. Their schools are full of legos and their textbooks are the laughingstock of every student. Learning isn't a thing they set aside time for, they just fall into wikiholes and come out the other end talking to you about the difference between cultivars of bananas and how every navel orange tree is the clone of a 200 year old mutant. Videos of deep sea monsters soothe them to sleep on restless nights.

The Children of the Strange Times have no religion, but they believe in everything. Tiny wiccans and hacker wizards fill the corridors, bragging to their less enlightened friends about how you can change the world with the right tools and the will to act. Everyone believes they can change everything, because they see it change all the time. Step-sisters become step-brothers and the only question is whether surgery was involved. They build robots and video games and write novellas before they break double digits and raise money for charity and march against oppression. Intractable issues like unrest in the Middle East are met not only with the typical "why don't they just..." of former generations but days of research and formal proposals and YouTube invitations for dialogue with the people on the ground.

It used to be if you were racist you could count on your kids to be racist. If you were Catholic or Protestant or Redneck or Irish, you could depend on those traits being inherited as surely as your great-grandfather's weird toe thing. Now there's white couples adopting Korean babies and Texans trying to get gay married and trust fund babies who just want to work on a farm. Nobody's inheriting anything. The Children of the Strange Times aren't limited to the bad signals their parents or village are sending out -- they tap into YouTube comments and flash games and minecraft server chatter. Parents try to teach their kids but the information's already beaten them to the punch. Sure they can't write by hand worth a damn, but the kids know what a Chordate is and how DNA damage causes cancer and do you know what a siphonophore is? Watch this video! It's grainy and has unnecessary dramatic background music and there's some Japanese guy freaking out in an inset screen, but the video is there all the same.

Before the Strange Times it took a village to raise a child, but the village got smashed and when we tried to rebuild it everything went sideways fast. Kids have two parents or one parent or four and nobody is embarrassed or ashamed or even confused with the exceptions of the adults. Classmates go on vacation halfway across the world to visit with family and pick afterschool activities based on visitation schedules. Teachers have given up trying to learn which adults are "parents." They find themselves saying "so well adjusted under the circumstances" and "you never would guess" so often you'd think they'd figure out that divorce and remarriage don't look like they used to, and that kids are more resilient than you think.

The Children of the Strange Times are always on the precipice of some grand new thing. They have no time to be afraid of anything. Their stuffed animals are the monsters that haunted our parents' nightmares, and their only fear is that Cerberus will be lonely if he doesn't have a dragon friend with him. Their compassion extends not just to dogs and cats but snails and skunks and tardigrades, too. I asked my kids if, in the event that a habitable exoplanet was found and they had access to a radio telescope that could send a hello message, they would take the risk and say hi, even with the possibility that the folks on the receiving end could be horrible and they could be inviting doom on the planet by hitting the button. "Of course we would!"

And if the governments of the world said not to?

"I'd do it anyway."
This one only works once, so feel free to spring it on strangers at parties.

In this scenario, you wake up and it is September 10th, 2001. You are in your normal body for that time, wake up where and when you woke up that day, but you retain every bit of information in your head as of this moment. You have no prior warning that you're about to get time traveled, you don't know if you're going to come back ever, and you have no idea how it happened.

How do you, with your resources at that time and the information in your brain right now, prevent 9/11? No googling.
4 designs safe for almost any situation, with pope card variant and on the back.

Chop 'em in quarters and hand out anywhere! Quartersheets are great because you get four flyers per page!
I'm doing the Boston Pride Parade again and I'm gonna hand out flyers like a mofo. Taking recommendations for what I should print out. Currently pretty sure I'll be doing the Strange Times pamphlet, but it could use some company.

Time sensitive: I need to finish printing by tomorrow (Friday) night.
Or Kill Me / Depression Makes the World Narrow
May 07, 2015, 06:15:06 PM
Depression makes the world
And you don't fit anywhere
And all your ideas end up
Something's shut down
And you're trying to fit
All these grand concepts
That smart people say
Into this little slice
of brain
That's still okay

Depression makes the world
And you try to read words
But your vision's narrowed
To the first five words
Or the first two inches
And everything else doesn't

Depression makes the world
And you look at the heat map
Where lazy people scan
And that's all you can see
Because that's all the room
you have

Depression makes the world
And there's no room for new
Everything worth keeping
Is all piled up in a little
Crowded and disordered
Protected from the flood
In what little high ground

Depression makes the world
And friends seem far away
And there's no room for
new people
Cordiality takes so much
And you'll only mess it up
And drive them away
It's better not to try
And you know that isn't
But there just isn't any

Depression makes the world
And everything is hard
And the work to get
seems out of
Because the
world keeps
Propaganda Depository / REPORT STUFF HERE
May 04, 2015, 11:31:37 PM
Broken links, missing material, stuff that looks like butts and could use a redesign, whatever.

The final lines:
That's exactly where a treacherous, lying, spineless, bastard son-of-a-b*tch like you deserves for be for the rest of eternity. Burn.

Lastly, I will be posting the entirety of these court proceedings online and disseminating them amongst the general population, for the people need to see this disgrace. You control nothing. YOu are nothing. And you can do nothing. F*ck you. Die.
RPG Ghetto / A game for kids
April 01, 2015, 06:05:29 PM
I am running a tabletop game for my daughter, three of her friends, and my son. The setting is from the Magic 2.0 series of books, where all of reality is just a computer simulation and the code that runs it occasionally "leaks" into the simulation itself, where it can be edited by people.

Four ten year old girls and a seven year old boy hacking reality. What could possibly go wrong?

First session we started with explanations of what a roleplaying game is and why we have conflict resolution systems and did character gen. Right now I'm running with three attributes and they started at six skills. The attributes are Creativity, Tenacity, and Charisma, and the skills are whatever they wanted (with some input on useful choices). They roll a d6 pool of the skill plus attribute and look for matches like the Mistborn mechanics.

So, friend number one immediately changed little brother's weight to 3000 lbs, causing him to fall through the floor and break his butt. There was significant back and forth until friend number two banned friend number one's IP from the server the file is stored on. They went to school the next day and were pretty much immediately taken to the office, where the FBI wanted to talk to them. There were two mooks, and one female agent. Who looks an awful lot like friend number three might when she's an adult. And is totally her from the future.
Discordian Recipes / It Was Going Bad Anyway
February 17, 2015, 05:15:03 PM
Avocado Dip

1 Avocado that is threatening to go bad
1 large handful of mixed kale and arugula salad threatening to go bad
3 sprouts of green onion from the onions that got too enthusiastic waiting to be used
no jalapenos, those actually went bad
Spices (this incarnation used the spicy adobo we have for just such emergencies)

Toss it in a food processor, consume with pita chips. Regret immediately not leaving half of the avocado out of the processor to hand smash for better chunkiness. Regret later the amount of green onion.

Thoughts for next time: actually put in some damn tomato, less spices.
Ambition outpaced your talent? Are the icebergs on your To Do list getting out of hand? Never fear! Here are some helpful tips for technically accomplishing all those things you meant to but in fact suck too much at life to ever really do.

Sing on Broadway
Remember: Broadway is just a street! Travel to NYC, plant yourself on the sidewalk, and make noises with your mouth hole until you are rendered unconscious by offended passers-by or police officers. That was easy!
If travel is too expensive for you at the moment, check to see if your town has a street named Broadway.

Climb Mt. Everest
Make a big pile of snow and name it Mt. Everest. For added challenge, use the large snow piles in your local shopping center parking lot instead. Be sure to add a sign and some faux Tibetan prayer flags for the full effect!

Write a Novel
If you wanted to be really cheeky about it, you could just write the words "a novel" and be done with it, but I think we can do better than that. Instead, take all the random text files you've been saving of half-finished short stories and aborted novel attempts and paste all the contents into one file. If you don't break 50k words with that, write some original filler material or paste in almost anything else. To do lists, grocery lists, old school essays: as long as you wrote it, it's fair game! Throw in some arbitrary chapter breaks and call it a day.

Finish your Degree
Print up a diploma from "Backalley University." Ask a local homeless individual to sign and award you with this document. You'll probably have to pay them, but it'll be less expensive than an online university, and nearly as prestigious!
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / The Dark Room
December 16, 2014, 03:26:54 AM
You take the ferry to the island.
You take the ferry to the island alone because there is no one to go with you, and you are unmoored and without responsibility, and it is a wild and terrible feeling.
You pay your fifteen dollars and you take the ferry to the island.
On the ferry a man talks to you. He is from Peru and he is hitting on you but not so much that you mind. He gives you his business card, but you will never call. This is your first and last conversation, and even though it means something you will never remember the details or his name. It is cloudy but the sun will come out later.
He gives you a keychain. It's gold colored metal and it's a tiny replica of an Incan sacrificial knife. It has the word "PERU" stamped on one side. You give him your soapstone necklace.
You never see him again.
You step off onto the island.
You step off onto the island and into the fort. You pass under the chalk-white stalactites forming from the old concrete, calcium leeching from the building in the rain over centuries.
Someday this will all be dust.
You walk over the dry moat and through the reinforced wooden doors, past the tightly turning granite staircase that goes nowhere now but used to lead to the overpass for dropping shit on the invaders that never came. The yard is in front of you. The sun has come out.
The yard is green and bright and someone is flying a kite but no one picnics here because it's forbidden. The horse chestnut trees are to your right, with the warning sign that says "DO NOT EAT THE CHESTNUTS." You walk across the lawn.
Cannons line the walls above you. Stagnant pools occupy the spaces once held by the enormous weapons that faced out into the open water. The weapons that searched for U-boats. New concrete on old concrete on granite blocks.
This place is haunted.
No women died on this island, at least none that we know of. Two men, deserters, were shot in the 1860s, but no women.
There was no desperate wife who stole the uniform of her enemies and made her way to the kindest and gentlest of all the Civil War prisons, she was not caught and was not hanged in an oversized black robe. The stories exist to scare children.
But she was seen.
You walk across the lawn, past the bakery where you sat on a windowsill and sang to the nothing in the dry moat below. Past the narrow way you explored blindly as a child, at once relieved and disappointed when it deposited you right back where you began. Past the old shells sitting on the lawn, never to be fired.
You walk under the arch, and into the dark hallway.
You put your left hand on the wall, cool with condensation even in the summer months. You can see the end of the hallway faintly, but it is not your destination.
You walk along the uneven flagstones. No flashlights, no cell phones.
You left hand reaches the corner you cannot see, and you turn.
There is a metal gate at the end of this narrow passage that is locked up when school tours are on the island. No one wants to lose a kid in the dark room. It is not locked today.
The room is dark. A single shaft of light falls from the ceiling, a few bricks removed for a chimney. You cannot see the walls.
There is only a small shaft of light, too faint to see by.
You keep your hand to the wall and walk yourself along the far side until you reach the back of the room. The sides are curved, and you worry about hitting your head.
You stand in the corner, facing the light.
You stand alone in the dark.
It doesn't take long for the nameless fear to sink in. SOMETHING is here. SOMETHING is dangerous. You cannot see anything but the shaft of light.
You are not alone.
You stand in the corner and you breathe, because you are not dead yet and as long as you can breathe you will be okay.
You breathe and you tell yourself "I am the scariest thing in this room."
You tell yourself "I am the scariest thing in this room."
And suddenly it's true.
You see by the light of the chimney, the brick walls and the worn flagstones. The open gate and the odd remnants of paint.
You stand and you wait for your meal to arrive.
Someday you will leave this place. Someday you will get back on the ferry and everyone will come home and everything will go back to normal. Someday this will just be a thing that you did, a story for parties. Someday people will laugh with you and think "how delightfully eccentric" and pretend that they would do the same if they only had the time.
But they won't.
They do not walk into dark rooms. They do not look into the mirror when there is nothing to see.
You are the scariest thing in this room.
Or Kill Me / Drunk Rich People
December 16, 2014, 02:02:05 AM
Listen to me, you bald motherfucker: YOU ARE NEITHER HIP NOR WITH IT. YOU CANNOT PULL OF THAT FACIAL HAIR AND EVERYONE IS LYING TO YOU ABOUT IT. There. I just wanted to make sure we had the appropriate tone set before I dug into anything of substance. Also I fucking hate you.

I do not give two shits what you do for a living. I am SUPERBLY unimpressed with your financially successful career as a writer of screenplays. No, this is not "a scene." This is not a thing you would write about, me, sitting here at a party with my husband. This is not even REMOTELY appropriate movie material, you fucking moron. I have LIVED movie scenes, and this is not one of them, okay? But you wouldn't know that, because you assume you know me after talking for all of five minutes and you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT ME, MOTHERFUCKER. I EAT MONSTERS FOR A LIVING AND I PUNCH GHOSTS FOR FUN. I KICK GODS IN THE SHIN. YOU ARE NOTHING. My panties are not wet for you and your PDAs with your wife are gross. Fucking stop it.

No, lady, I do not "think it's sappy" that you got back together with your high school -- sorry, JUNIOR HIGH sweetheart after WHO GIVES A SHIT, SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY. GO BACK DOWNSTAIRS WITH YOUR RICH PEOPLE PARTY AND LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE. I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND. I AM NOT HERE FOR YOU TO SLUM WITH. GO BUY YOUR OWN DAMN WEED AND SMOKE IT IN YOUR OWN DAMN APARTMENT. EW. Your husband is gross and you are gross and I hate you and do not want to be your friends. Kindly DIAF.

There is no excuse for you shitting ALL OVER other people's Saturday Night while getting your own Saturday Night on at our expense. There is no excuse for your liquor cabinet. There is no fucking excuse for the scotch you spilled on the way upstairs being more expensive than my GOD DAMNED RENT. I hate you. I hope you die and your money is seized by the feds. I hope you get cancer and the hospitals bleed you dry. Fuck you.

I do not want to hear ONE FUCKING WORD about you being the "nice" kind of rich people. I do not want to hear ONE WORD about how you "earned" it or you "aren't part of the problem." You are a perfect fucking crystallization of THE PROBLEM. You have yours and you're going to use it to make yourself happy because you just have to look out for number one and anyone could have made it if they just put their nose to the grindstone and SHUT THE FUCK UP OH MY GOD SHUT THE FUCK UP.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / COOKIES
November 13, 2014, 09:37:29 PM
I have made up my mind. There will be cookies. PM updated addresses and dietary restrictions.

Baking will probably be late next week if you all are quick about getting me a number.
In this hypothetical: the tools in question are at least as complicated as a screwdriver; the tools are 100% without a doubt from the same time period as the surrounding rock; the scientists in question are actually not pulling anyone's leg.
Or Kill Me / I Love You
November 06, 2014, 09:08:02 PM
I love you all.

I love you like a teenager, with no restraint or common sense or context. I love you without reservation or self-preservation. There's a lump in my throat and a pain in my chest and it feels exactly like dying. I love you like I can't breathe. I love you like a stalker, your picture on a secret altar. My heart beats like a war drum and I am swept along helplessly. I love you like broken glass and bricks and bottles. I love you like it will tear me apart.

I love you like a freight train with no brakes and a drunk at the wheel. My knees are shaking and I can't make them stop. I love you like a 8.5 on the Richter scale and not a single building is up to code. I love you like burning rubble. I love you like a school of starving piranhas. I am skin-hungry. I will eat you whole.

I love you like the end of the world. I love you like a crescendo that never ends but keeps rising until my ears bleed. I love you like a city rising from the depths, like a comet crashing to the earth. I love you like a mushroom cloud. I love you like galaxies colliding and spawning new stars in a catastrophic explosion of nuclear fury. I am on fire and there is nothing else.
Hi Internet! I heard you're having some problems with the ladies lately. Specifically, the ladies keep saying things about not harassing them on the street or fucking them while they're blackout drunk and some of you are scared this means you will never get to have sex ever. Never fear! I committed horrible crimes in a past life and my penance is to help you awful troglodytes with your problems. If I'm really good this time they'll let me reincarnate as one of those sewage eating microbes instead!

Don't put your dick in anyone that can't talk. Passed out? No dick. Too drunk to words? No dick. Bound and gagged in your basement and you have no idea how they got there? No dick. Also you might want to let them go or something.

Don't put your dick in anyone who refuses to admit they want to fuck. Girl wants you to wheedle her into having sex? Send her packing. You're not a mind reader and if she wants to play consent games she needs to learn how to have that conversation ahead of time or she's just training rapists. And you are not a trainee rapist.

Don't put your dick in anyone who doesn't look happy about it. Some people get weird ideas in their head about "owing" people sex, or someone might be physically intimidated by you, or in a bad space in their head and too messed up to air the problem. Whatever is going on, you do not want your dick involved in it.

Remove your dick immediately from anyone who passes out, goes limp, starts crying, shoves you away, or otherwise withdraws consent. Whatever's going on is not cool. Before you figure out what went wrong, get your dick away from the problem. Problems are dangerous places for penises.

Communicate like a fucking adult. Be clear about the things you want. Make sure your partner knows that the things they want are relevant to your interests, and actually fucking listen to each other. Make sure that "no" and "maybe some other time" are acceptable answers for both parties. You don't have to be in a long term relationship or even be in love or any of that shit to be able to negotiate like grownups.

Short version: her readers put her religion as "bloggessianism" and she started making up shit that could mean. It's a little predictable but there's some gold mixed in.

QuoteThou shalt buy all fake hair ONLY from airport kiosks.
Blessed are the Terrible, for they are capable of good on a scale that those who are confident in their own virtue may never achieve.

Blessed are the Troublemakers, for they will get shit done.

Blessed are those with a Good Left Hook.
Or Kill Me / On Being Terrible
October 21, 2014, 02:30:52 AM
Sometimes I feel the need to demonstrate to people what a terrible person I am. More often than not, their response is to downplay my awfulness. "You're not that bad!" "You're really a kind person, I can tell."

First off, if you just met me you can't tell you're just guessing, and you're guessing is disproportionately informed by the fact that I am female and not ugly, which is bullshit because women are completely capable of being evil and so are pretty people but you don't even know what the halo effect is or why it's the only thing relevant to the garbage streaming out of your mouth. "You don't look like a terrorist" shut the fuck up you ignorant twit.

But sometimes it comes from a person who knows me at least well enough that I can't shrug off their attempts at comforting me with wikipedia references, and it bugs me more. Clearly you don't know me all that well, if you're still arguing that I'm a nice person. But [REDACTED], you care about people and stuff! Like that's some kind of measure of goodness, like it negates the bad things that live in my head that are still me whether you call them "demons" or "depression" or "brain weasels." Still me. Still my responsibility. I am not so broken that I cannot be bad.

And I wonder why it bothers me so much that people don't believe that I'm terrible, and why they feel the need to assure me that I'm not. And I think it comes down to religion. Because I know I'm terrible. I can catalog for you every time I have been needlessly cruel to someone, every time I was manipulative, every time I didn't give a shit, or enough of a shit, about things that mattered. All the things I failed to do. It's there and it's real and don't you dare try to pretend that none of that mattered because I did that. It's mine. It belongs to me. It may not be pretty or nice or even not-terrible, but it's all that I have. It's my shitty life and you can't take it away from me for editing and rewrites.

It's not just that they don't understand me. I am not sixteen and this is not shitty goth poetry night. Whether or not anyone can truly communicate their "deep inner life" is inconsequential to the problem at hand. When people try to whitewash me, especially people who are not strangers, I am terrified that they are taking away something precious from me. That somehow, if they remove my awareness of the wrongs I've done, I will be damned. They point out all the good that I've done, or make blanket statements about the inherent worth of life and humanity and it's all the wrong thing.

They tell me I will be okay, that I am okay. That there is such a thing as "good enough." Like there's some magical amount of not terrible that will save me. Like if I do enough good in the world it will make up for the bad. Like someone can do that calculus and my heart will be lighter than the feather.

I left catholicism when I was young, but I still have that running tab of all the bad things I've done and am continuing to do. I had to accept myself as a terrible person, not throw myself before a god I abandoned, but to take stock myself and accept who I was. If I pretended that I was "good enough" then I could lie to myself about being saved anyway. That I could still get a pass to the magical sky castle without all the churchiness. But that wouldn't really be leaving, now would it? I still would have one foot in the door, still convinced I would receive all the benefits from a lifetime of faith without doing the hard part. They could have sucked me back in.

I'm gone. I'm not saved. I'm not going to party with you after we all rot. Whatever happens, I am on a different trajectory now. I don't need your god or any god to come down and forgive me for my sins anymore. They are my sins. They are my weight. Jesus can carry everybody else, I'm gonna do me. And leaving broke more hearts and added more weight and I literally do not give a fuck because its what I needed to save myself. I am here, I am breathing. That's enough.

I'm not coming back. I'm okay with being terrible.
Or Kill Me / Her Ladyship
October 19, 2014, 01:58:18 AM
I love a girl with strawberry blond hair
As thin as a rail with her death laser stare
Search as I might now she just isn't there
And I just can't let go of her yet.

The noble-born rebel in armor and lace
A leader and firebrand none could replace
Who met her own god and then spat in his face
And I just can't let go of her yet.

The belle of the ball with a fresh broken bone
Who conquered the world and turned down the throne
Whose words were electric and breath was my own
And I just can't let go of her yet.

She swore like a sailor, her moods were extreme
The most caring and vicious that I've ever seen
She's fading away like a midsummer's dream
And I just can't let go of her yet.

Nothing I build now can capture her whole
No grave holds her body, no statue her soul
She's gone of somewhere that I can't control
And I just can't let go of her yet.

I know the secrets she held in her heart
Know all the demons that tore her apart
I know she was doomed to this right from the start
And I just can't let go of her yet.

So ready to die for the love of her land
First breath and last in the palm of my hand
She never was real and I can't understand
Why I just can't let go of her yet.
I have contracted an ailment that presents with acute abdominal pain and the peculiar restriction of only being able to walk comfortably if I skulk around like a T-rex on my tippy toes. What do?
Or Kill Me / Free Admission
October 07, 2014, 01:46:00 PM
Ten years on and you're the one I didn't manage to get
And you still have an unredeemed free admission in my pants
I know it'll never happen, since it hasn't happened yet
But that voucher's not expired, should you change your mind by chance.

I kinda hate your girlfriend, and I kinda hate your life
But if you wanted to bump uglies I'd ignore it for a night
I won't drop all I have here and I'll never be your wife
It's just an itch that only getting naked will set right.

I try not to bring it up much, since the entire thing is moot
You made yourself quite clear where those lines were to be drawn
No one wants to hear they're still someone's forbidden fruit
So I did my best to eat my pride, ignore you, and move on.

I don't know why you turned me down when I was young and cute
Being a total nutbag could have contributed, maybe
You were probably quite sensible to politely refuse
But despite advice lots of guys still stick their dicks in the crazy.

It doesn't keep me up at night or bring me any pain
I know by now you'll probably never give me a second glance
There's nothing to worry about, I won't bug you again
Just so you know, you still have a free admission in my pants.
Aneristic Illusions / UK/Scotland Spags
September 19, 2014, 03:30:49 AM
Opinions about the vote?
Or Kill Me / Fuck you
September 04, 2014, 05:10:45 PM
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST why won't you shut the fuck up and die already? The hell is wrong with me that I still have ANY AWARENESS of the shit you are up to? The hell is wrong with me that even after a SOLID FUCKING DECADE I still can't get the hell away from you and stay away? You manipulative, shit eating, unemployable chodemonkey. You are literally one of the worst people I know, and I know GODDAMNED JEW-HATING BITTER SHORT MAN SYNDROME HAVING WEEV. You suck at EVERYTHING you've ever tried to do and you will die without accomplishing a single thing besides MAKING EVERYONE AROUND YOU MISERABLE. And you have the FUCKING TESTICLES to imply that I'M misinterpreting you, that I'M the bad person, that I'M the problem here? No. Eat shit and die. Eat a big bag of dicks and choke the fuck to death and never touch a pen or a keyboard again because you are the worst and no one deserves to suffer through reading another fucking word you write. Fuck you. Fuck everything you ever said or did anywhere in my general vicinity, in addition to the bullshit you said about me behind my back and don't fucking pretend to be surprised I know it. I hope your wife finds out you were fapping to pregnant girls when you invited me to live with you, you miserable little shit. I hope your ex gave you something itchy to remember her by. I don't know what either of them did to deserve being stuck with you for any length of time. I hate that I was ever stupid enough to fall for your shit, you weren't any better than the people I was ashamed of at the time. You don't even pretend not to be a passive-aggressive manipulative asshole; you wear it like a fucking badge. Well guess what, asshat? You're not good enough at bullshit to survive on it. You're not even good enough to trick someone into hiring you. You haven't had an original idea in your entire life and if you were born anything other that white and male you would have already run out of second and third and fourth chances.
But it's totally okay, because you weren't CONSCIOUSLY trying to reinforce rape culture or assert control over women's bodies. We just took it OUT OF CONTEXT, guys. You're ONE OF THE GOOD ONES, right? A NICE GUY.
I told you no. I told you no one time because I was just out of the GODDAMNED HOSPITAL and I'd NEVER SAID NO TO ANYONE and I needed some fucking practice, and maybe not right this minute and maybe you could like me without pants coming off, and NOPE. BRIDGES BURNED, TOO CRAZY TO DATE, GUYS, MOVE ALONG.
Fuck you.
Just, just fuck you.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Dream Girl
August 24, 2014, 02:15:56 PM
I'm at a party and a girl is coming and when she gets there we're going to run away to the bedroom to make out and maybe more and I haven't seen her in a week since the first time we fucked she's the first girl I slept with and she's not real.

She has short brown hair and a lean, athletic body and she doesn't let me get all stuck in my head when we're together and I don't know if we're really dating or if this isn't something she's taking seriously and I don't care because she's beautiful and she makes me feel good and for some reason she likes me too and she's not real.

I remember being wrapped in her arms and the curve of her neck and her confident hazel eyes and I don't know what she feels like even though I can see it all because I can't ever feel anything in my dreams and she's not real.

Time keeps skipping backwards and I'm still at the same party or I'm buying cookies to bring to the party or setting them out on a tray and everything's over-complicated and takes a million steps to finish and the bathroom has collapsed into the floor below and even the little things aren't exactly right and I just want her to show up and make me feel okay and she's not real.

I waste time talking with boys who I used to make out with and we talk about games and what we've been up to and we fuck around on the couch like old times and none of them believe that I like girls and assume I'm there for them and they don't know I know her, I think her name's Danielle or at least it started with a D but it's fading away from me and she's not real.

And when I wake up she still hasn't arrived and I just want to crawl back into the dream and make her come back and hold me and make me feel like I'm not a liar, like everything is simple and it can just be the two of us and no words and none of the things I worry about have to matter at least for a little bit because she makes me feel okay and she's not real.
"Here, let me ruin it for you. I'm only interested because you're potentially valuable to my continued survival. You're taller than me and you've got everyone in there nominally under your thumb. You're smart, but I've watched you get manipulated by less skilled people than me. Smart people are usually the easiest to manipulate, they're so good at talking themselves into idiotic things in the most convincing terms possible. And make no mistake, I would wreck your fucking life. Five years, tops. I would break your heart and ruin every dream you ever had. You've seen me do it before. I'll have all the excuses in the world and it'll sound really great because guess what? I'm smart, too. I am the worst fucking thing you know.

"And the scary thing is you're going to come back next week and I'm not going to be like this. I'm going to be happy and smiling and a playful bitch instead of this monster in front of you right now. And you're going to wonder 'is this the real her, and that terrible thing last week was just the crazy talking, or is she really that thing and everything I thought I knew about her was just an act all along?' And the horrible truth is that both of these are masks, and there is nothing at all underneath them. I don't have a real name."

"[REDACTED]," he said, but the name stuck in his throat like vomiting shards of broken glass. He looked to her imploringly, barely seeing her dark eyes in the dim light. He couldn't breathe. It was tearing him apart. Her outline grew fuzzy and indistinct, he could only focus on those eyes and he stared until his retinas burned, correcting for the static pattern. She was gone.
Babycakes lost his grandmother when he was fourteen years old. She used to be a wiccan, you see, and she said she was a bad witch, and will she get into heaven? Will I get into heaven, if I become a witch? Babycakes wants to summon his grandmother, and make her tell him she's alright.

Babycakes is sixteen years old and nothing is wrong but her brain chemistry that keeps her up all night and makes her wish she'd just stop breathing, and can you give her something to keep breathing for? Babycakes loves you, but what she loves is a thing she built in her head and you will never be the same.

Babycakes lost his father and he is fine just fine and it doesn't matter if he cried at the funeral because grief is not a thing you magic away with rituals, and who cares if he didn't go to school today? Or yesterday? Or all last week? Babycakes just wants everything back the way it was.

Babycakes is scared she's pregnant, and she doesn't know how to find out and she knows if she is there's nothing to be done for it but just run away, and you can't get pregnant your first time, right? And she doesn't know when her period is supposed to be and she's so nervous it's making her sick, and being sick makes her nervous, and she just wishes he'd used a fucking condom like he promised.

Babycakes is hurt and scared and just starting out and already on the wrong path.

Sometimes we are all Babycakes.

When you kick Babycakes, you kick yourself. When you are kind to Babycakes, you are kind to yourself. When you befriend Babycakes, you create a loop that threatens the fabric of reality - an unstable bubble of time.

The only thing you can do is give Babycakes what it needs to get back on its feet, and then walk away.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Stupid dream
July 22, 2014, 04:16:10 PM
Little Antimony, just six years old with hair that wasn't so much "curly" as wild, youngest daughter of the magician couple, went to the door. The robot on the other side was her friend, her brother. He was not so much older than herself, after all. He was a bit shorter than her father with a neutral face and matte black exterior panels.
"[E****], you can't come in," her mother called out. "Something's gone wrong, we still need to fix it."
"I just want to see my family" he said, pressing into the wooden door and straining the hinges.
"Just give us a little -- Antimony!" she shouted, as the girl opened the door. The change in the robot was immediate, smile giving way to a feral snarl. He lunged towards her but she ducked to the side and ran out into the yard. He chased. The virus would make him hunt them down, youngest to oldest, so she was first. Her brother and sister bolted after her, but she was already too far ahead, and the robot didn't care about them just yet. She reached the old tree and scrambled up the first low branch, then ran along the gently sloping branch to one side. It turned back towards the trunk and she grabbed a rotting branch that nearly gave way under her slight weight. It crumbled under her foot as the robot grabbed it, and she scrambled to get her foot away. Finally, she broke out from the tree cover and could see out into the world, but what she saw was not the familiar vista.
The sky was black, with pinpoint stars visible. The land everywhere was barren rock, and in two places the rock itself had been rearranged as if it were clay in the hands of a child. Two massive holes, with displaced rock built up along the edges, and through those holes in the planet, two suns were visible. The ground beneath her tree melted, and boiling lava rushed upwards, engulfing its old and rotten trunk. The robot was still just beneath her, grabbing for her foot and oblivious to the molten doom climbing up below it. She looked out again to the suns.
"Have you forgotten?" They asked, not in words but a rumbling sensation she could feel in her bones and understood on a level deeper than language. "You are a magician, your whole family is. You bend the world to your will."
She looked down, and she willed her mechanical brother to just stop. He seemed confused. She pushed with her mind on the lava, and it slowed and started flowing back into the earth, leaving behind a thin film of molten rock on the trunk. She climbed down a level so she was next to the robot, then opened the air and walked into her parents' house through the closet door.
"Mom? I tracked some lava in the house," Antimony called out.
"I'll get a mop," she answered.
I'm making two-bite foods in honor of the two-bite baby that should be showing up sometime today for our friends. It's more fun making tiny foods when there are more people to feed, so consider this an open invite to this week's Tuesday festivities.
There was a lot of "so what do we do?" talk when the PUA etc. reaction threads went up, and I was in the middle of some mads and wasn't super helpful. So, I'm going to lay out a couple little pointers that I believe to be accurate (ladies and others who have to deal with this bullshit, please let me know how close to the mark this is) and then I will share with you a story of a dude doing it right, possibly without even realizing it. These guidelines are intended for a general audience, I believe most of the dudes on this board are already basically following them.

1) Respect women's space. Women are used to getting their physical space invaded and nobody likes it. When dealing with strangers, the rule of thumb is two or three feet separating you (with obvious exceptions for crowded trains, etc.)

2) Respect women's feels. There's a lot of bad signal about women and their feelings, don't contribute to it. Let women have their space to be angry or sad or whatever. Don't tell them they're crazy or god help you on their period just because they are having a bout of feels. Do not assume that you know what caused the feels, or that you are the person to solve them. Sometimes we need space to have feelings in. Also, don't tell ladies on the street to smile if they're scowling, trust that they have their reasons.

3) Respect polite and soft "no"s. Many women learn the lesson that asserting themselves means getting hollered at, so they resort to soft "no"s, like retreating or creating excuses. It is not your fault this is how women have been trained to act, it is the fault of the people who hollered at them. Do not contribute by pressing the issue or challenging excuses. Obviously this does not apply when talking about workplace communication.

4) Respect their body language and what they say. It's not hard to read whether a woman is into you hitting on her. Don't hit on women who aren't interested. It's a terrible goddamn idea. If you thought she was interested and it turns out you were wrong, you were wrong. She's not a bitch.

5) Assume allegations of rape and sexual misconduct are credible. It's hard not to make excuses when the people accused are friends or people we look up to, but the stats are very clear that false allegations are statistically rare, and it's far more likely that a woman will say nothing than a woman will make something up.

6) Listen when a woman is willing to communicate how you violated her boundaries. It's a very difficult thing to talk about and most women will not take it on themselves to explain what went wrong and how you can do better next time. Not every woman has the same boundaries, and crossing lines is not the same as assault or rape, but listening to where things took a left turn can help you be a better guy.