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Me America, You World. Grr!

Posted 3 August 2004, 10.50 pm by Villager

The European perception of the USA is often unjust, assuming naiveté or reckless arrogance concerning foreign affairs. Having been here a while, I see it is rather more complicated than that.

I was seated outside a sleepy little café in a sleepy little town taking an occasional sip from my morning coffee when I was joined by a friendly local, an old man whose profession I have always admired; gardener and groundsman. We talked about ourselves, the weather, and about England, a country that not a few Americans seem to regard as still in the Nineteenth century (they are not entirely wrong, but that is a topic for another time). Inevitably, conversation drifted onto Global Terrorism and American Foreign Policy. Of those I have spoken to – and of course I can make no claim that their opinions are representative of anything more than themselves – there seems to be two problems, as I seem them, that distort and oppress the American understanding of contemporary conflict and the wider world. First and foremost, the media here is largely terrible. Exposure to television, radio and newspapers betrays an almost shockingly narrow perception and presentation of world events. My native BBC, while not always (or even regularly) living up to the ideals of impartiality and broad coverage, at least seems to have in view the goals it should strive to meet in Public Service Broadcasting.
Flicking through the national broadsheets and Washington’s local publications, one is struck by the lack of world news and analysis, and where it is to be found it pertains almost exclusively to the narrow, short-term American interest. There is a prime-time, right-wing (though ostensibly politically unaffiliated) political opinion show here with a substantial audience which provides its viewers with what amounts to a diatribe of self-interest, distrust of the world at large – even those who have staunchly supported American policies – obsessive paranoia and an utter unwillingness to consider that military and diplomatic force may not be the wisest means of serving the interest of America, her allies or the world at large. The 'liberal' equivalents differ only in their hatred of George W Bush, and such shows are not untypical.
Self interest and, in light of the aggression that this nation has suffered in recent times, reactionary distrust and militarism are perhaps to be expected. But it is very dangerous that these things pervade the media, and so the public mind, without being placed in a greater context. The American media is fixated upon the present and the immediate future. It is not concerned with historic precedent, nor willing to consider the long-term negative consequences of its brazen behavior. If it is to be hoped that the world’s sole superpower will mature and greet the world on equal terms, then the American media’s self-censorship and mindless preoccupation with the here-and-now represents an obstacle to world peace perhaps as great as any other. I speak of historic precedent, and by that I mean that the ‘War on Terror’ to date is, compared to the United States’ recent and distant wars, much less a threat to American lives and general prosperity than political discourse and the accompanying hysteria would have you believe. Yes, the terrorist attacks on American soil and American nationals and interests abroad do represent a significant development in America’s relationship with the world, but what it does not do is herald a new era where America must fight with all her military might or die. Bad as it may seem right now, it must be realized that it could get a lot worse.
The second problem, a sibling of the first, is that the American people themselves seem unconcerned at the journalistic lethargy of their media. Perhaps this is even a cause of the first problem, though inasmuch as a nation’s media and people reflect and shape each other, I hope not for it is much the harder to change. The consequence is that the world lies prone to a force that neither sees nor wants to see the world’s problems with any clarity, its focus sternly upon material self-improvement and preservation. So much depends upon American policy, from man’s perennial abuse of the environment to how many thousands of innocent lives will be claimed and how much destruction will be wrought, if this playground brawl between the forces of Western conservatism and those who would make Islam an excuse to take innocent lives is allowed to escalate and draw the wider world into a conflict that is as unnecessary as it is potentially dangerous.
The key to all of this lies in the pyramid of American political power. At the top, the President and a tight political and economic elite sit astride a two-party system that strangles and perverts the democratic process. If America is to save the world and itself from chaos, then it can only do so through the proper practice of the noble, democratic principles that it is presently attempting to foist upon Iraq. I believe that an accurate political reflection of the humanity within America would solve most of the problems that America faces, but that cannot happen until the people themselves demand that they be properly informed. America and the world need a second American Revolution, but the only Englishmen now are those who sit and ponder in cafes. This time, the enemy and obstacle to true American freedom lies not across an ocean, but within the borders of what the people here so tragically refer to as the
greatest nation on earth. The United States of America was founded on principles which none could justly fault. As the 228th Anniversary comes and goes amid deafening fanfare and celebration, the silent masses need to stand up and defend those principles, else for them and the world, things can and likely will get a whole lot worse.

Africa

Posted 30 July 2004, 3.44 am by Indigo

I watched a woman today
as she stood up on the bus
to stagger down the aisle
clinging to the slippery cold
metal poles
that a million hands and a million lives
have touched.

I looked her over,
scrutinizing,
with an air of false importance.
Stifling a yawn I watched
as she stumbled and
pressed her fingers
into the grimy yellow tape
that promises a satisfying give
into the pressure of your body,
a bright 'ping' and a loud red light up
overhead... 'Next STOP Please':
but always delivers
halfheartedly.

I watched her blunder
and took note of the grace
with which she handled
the whiplash of the road;
and I wondered silently
if it was an echo of the grace
with which her ancestors
bore another
more terrible
lash.

My eyes travelled down
to her ankles
wrinkled and shined
gray-black and slim
but powerful and bare
the rich mahogany of her
overwhelmed me
my heart took up stacatto beat
and the soul of old lands
took root in my chest.

That woman turned to look at me
and I could see wisdom in her neck
and flourescent fear
in her eyes.

She infused a longing in me
for thick beats and moon howling
for the heady scent of life
filling my lungs and clinging to the soft tissue
burrowing deep with claws and teeth
until I am engulfed by the wild

As she stepped off the bus
I could no longer see it in her
though the sound was still in my ears
clogging up my mind.

As she walked away my vision blurred
and beneath her strong ankles
wrinkled and shined
gray-black and slim
I saw the congo
seeping into the concrete jungle.

Death the the infidels

Posted 23 July 2004, 10.23 pm by shaggy

"Hey, look at that sweet ass!" The guy punched him in the shoulder and pointed. "Man, I'd like a piece of that."

It is the same. Always the same. The focus is never on the important things, the significant details that always get lost in the rush and confusion, the cold chill of pragmatic reality. Concrete and fatal, the world pushes down, ever down, until the ground can no longer push back and everything crashes inwards.

"I don't care about her," he thought but did not say. "She is attractive but I do not care. She is no one, not even a name, to me. Why would I want to pay attention to someone without a name?"

"Yeah," he says, his voice tired and obviously not interested. "Simply marvelous."

He picks himsef up, not knowing why he feels so pushed down. This is the real world, where his actions matter, right? The other realm is not reachable without a single act of violence, his will not strong enough to succumb to the demons taunting him in his head. He has scars, yes, but he knows now that those who suffer are not the ones who disappear but the ones who remember. Memory becomes a game, a twisted torture to those who survive to live another day, looking back at those lost. Blame and anguish set in, set shop in the heart, and rest, content in their establishment.

"I vow," he says to the people around him at another point in time, in another moment of his life, "never to go into a place that either has strippers or a wet t-shirt night."

Laughing, the others say "check his forehead, see if he's alright." He thinks but does not say, "there is nothing wrong with me. I am not a freak." Upon reflection, he also thinks to himself, "always to myself, never out loud. Perhaps I deserve the title, perhaps I do deserve to be laughed at."

He wonders silently if its a function of society. Is it the surroundings, perhaps, that are freakish? Maybe he belongs, maybe he is the one who is normal, and all the rest that he sees are the anomaly.

It is really all he can do just to assume that he is all right, after all, that there is nothing wrong. His scars sing out to him, relics of his past. He remembers the logic, for it still rings in his head. "If I hurt, then I can remove the pain." Sometimes, added to it as if on a pile for his shoulders to bear, "I deserve it after all, for being such a failure. One punishes the dog who cannot control his bladder, the world punishes those who cannot control their emotions."

Always a burden, there is always a burden. This is the unbearable weight upon us. When the burden is removed, there comes an even more unbearable lightness of being (see: milan kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being).

"Avaunt and quit my sight," he tells these burdens. "Leave me, allow me to smile." There is silence. He wonders if his words have been affective, if his heart has heeded the call, the necessity of happiness. He wonders if those gentle reminders, little demons that cackled into his ear, would go away.

He depended on their evacuation for his survival.

He closes his eyes now. The pains, as if being beckoned into reality, jabbed at his side and almost knocked him over as he stood. His face contorted in pain, and he clenched his teeth to try to shake it, try to push it away.

After it disappeared he wondered if he didn't deserve it in the first place.

The sunshine comes; the alarm rings and he jumps awake, groggy. He wonders if the new day will be any different, if his vows to smile will change anything at all, or if his Nietzchean cycle of eternal return was fixed upon one short interval of time.

But for all of it, he stands. Somehow.

Sekurity Alert

Posted 20 July 2004, 4.58 am by Villager

Hrm. I'm in Starbucks and two policemen have just sat down on the table opposite me. Of all the tables in the (empty) room, they pick that one. Do you think they're onto me? Should I make a run for it? Or pretend I haven't noticed them, and try not to look suspicious? How did they see through my disguise? Am I not the archetypal, blue-eyed, innocent as apple pie Aryan American? Or was it too good a disguise? They're both overweight, I could probably outrun them. But I haven't finished my coffee. Or my raspberry Danish. I really am at a loss here. Perhaps they know I ticked 'vegetarian' on my meal choice for the flight over. That's one step away from choosing 'halal' and everyone knows vegetarians are to be suspected. No wonder they frisked me at the airport and made me take off my sandals. Wait, that's it! Of course. Sandals + beard = terrorist! What an amateur mistake! I appear to have underestimated the enemy, thinking my pasty complexion would fool their defences. I guess they sussed that one out when Michael Jackson had his makeover. Wait. Perhaps I'm needlessly jumping to conclusions. American cops aren't that smart. But then, why would they be sitting in Starbucks in Uniform? Hm. So... either they're slacking off or they really are onto me. The bigger one's looking at my Danish. Is he trying to intimidate me? Provoke me into making a run for it so he can make his arrest, send me off to Guantanamo and scrump my Danish? So much to think about. What if I'm captured, and they try to get me to talk, torturing me with delicious, aromatic cherry pie that 'I can have if I talk'? I have a high pain threshold, but I don't know if I can take that. I might crack. I only came in for a coffee. And a Danish. Where's Fraser? He'd throw them off the scent, he's lanky and whiter than me. But wait! Fraser's passport has a Saudi endorsement! They were onto us all along! I'm doomed. Maybe they're just waiting for him to come back so they can nab us both. Why else would they hesitate? The smaller one's fiddling with his truncheon. That's not a good sign. What a sordid way to go out, sneaking out to have a brief, sticky affair with a sweet, freshly baked pastry. It seems my vice will be the end of me. Wait! Fraser's coming! This is the end! I could run, but these guys are seriously overweight. I could get pounced on, squashed and suffocate, pressed against their sweaty man-breasts, handcuffed, kicking and screaming like a girl. Tell mother I went out like a man, will you? They're getting up! They're going for Fraser first. That gives me time to finish my Danish! They have mercy after all!. I guess this is goodbye, my love, don't give up the fight. I'll see you in Cuba.

"NO! Get away from my food! You can take my freedom, but you'll never take my Daniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiish!"

I am your...

Posted 19 July 2004, 2.33 am by cris

I feel you stroke my side. You hold me and gaze with distant eyes. The coolness of your touch is like no other. I am naked, pure, a virgin. Desiring to be a part of you, a part of life. Lusting for life itself. I am soulless without you, a void. I need to embody you, to absorb your being. To experience you like no other.

But I cannot. Not unless you are willing to expose yourself to me, a piece of your inner being. To share your self with me. To create me. To breathe life into me. Bringing me into life and existence itself. I am what you make me. I am of your design.

My mood is the pigment, my strength is the layers and my form is the intricacy. With each graceful movement I am more and more complete. Adding color and texture to me. Creating me. Bringing me to life. You make me me, and I am a part of you. Your soul, your vision, your love, your hate, your desire. I am all that you wish to share. I am your CANVAS.

Vanishing Point

Posted 13 July 2004, 1.28 am by shaggy

The world comes at you at times and is focused in on a single point. At this point is eternity, the reaches of space and time, and you feel concentrated, like a black hole at its deepest point.

This point is called "knowledge."

The old adage stands. Knowledge is indeed power and can, taken in the right context, in the right understanding, give one limitless power. Misunderstood, taken out of context, distorted and filtered into a bitter and black mess, and it can subtract your power, can dilute it into a gentle nothingness.

This is the delicate balance between knowing facts and knowing truth.

When one hears something, one understands it. This is an interpretation, and one that can often be correct in its assumptions. However, one must be certain that the assumptions are correct, or the filter (the lens through which we see the world) becomes more of a hindrance than a help to decipher the facts.

Then there are people with instinct, people who understand one another. Perhaps they see through the same filter, perhaps they see more than others, but there are people in one's lifetime who are said to "understand" rather than just merely know you. The people who know you can get close, but only up to a certain point before their potential for misunderstanding becomes disastrous.

The ethical dilemma comes from what to do with such incidents. When people become diluted and jaded to one another, the only option sometimes appear to be a severing of ties. The problem of this is how does one sever completely a tie with one who knows but does not understand you?

One does not like to forget one's friends, after all, even if they have become painful.

But this issue is never to come for those who truly understand you. They are the friends that never go away, the friends that can suffer through misunderstandings because they have faith that there is explanations. Things do not become distorted but concentrated, not muddy but crystal clear.

This condition is rare and must be treated with the greatest of affection.

Where Am I?

Posted 28 June 2004, 11.55 pm by shaggy

"I once was lost, but now am found"

The soldier was lost, this he knew. He had travelled with such a sincere and strong belief in his direction that he could not understand. The maps, the compass, the paths... all melted together in their own uselessness, adding to his trepidation. His heart, encased in its pitiable cage, sat beating rythmically against his death.

"This is not right," he said. His frustration made his mind race with breakneck speed, not caring about how his heart felt, his desperate heart beating its message against his ribs. Looking up, seeing that his way was lit by the moon, the soldier began to have a terrifying thought: "What if I'm going the wrong way? What if, somewhere along the way, I managed to disorient myself, and I'm headed toward--" but he did not care to think about that right now. His training meant little to him except as a disappointment. He had been properly prepared, he had known what to do, and still somehow, the startling truth hit him in the face.

He didn't know what to do. If he doubted his sense of direction, he could either correct his mistakes or make new ones. He might be on the right path, after all. His judgment might have failed on an expectation of time, but prove basically correct. Yet, such line of thought also had its problems.

"A rock and a hard place," he muttered to himself. "Damned if I do, damned if I don't." The desperation grew with the realization that his future decision took all the blame and put it on himself. If he chose the wrong path, he couldn't blame it on the map, on the compass... the only thing he could blame, should he walk up to Death's door with his Bible in his pocket,-- Death would be able to say "you came to me, child. No tears, no pain. You came to me"-- was himself.

He wasn't ready. He wasn't a real soldier, not as strong as he might have seemed to himself and others. The mere presence of his dilemma proved that without a doubt.

"One path to hell, one to heal. One choice made well, but both conceiled."

Eeny-meeny miney mo-- but no! He would not trust such things to chance. Even though it would pass the blame, he had never really been that lucky. Then again, one of his weaknesses was obviously difficult decisions. There was always that snake in the grass to worry about.

He knew he had to make a decision. But how does one make a decision when your heart tells you that you were cheated but your mind tells you to be reasonable, to have faith? Wasn't your heart supposed to have faith, and your mind justification, not the other way around?

The soldier turned his head to the sky. "Is this a test? Am I the new Job?" He was not terribly sure what to expect for an answer. Two equal paths... even if it were a test from God, wouldn't that only force him to live with his decision?

Is that not what he was forced to do no matter what?

God works in mysterious ways. The thought made him began to cry. "I wish your ways would be less mysterious. I'm not even a real soldier. It's just a nickname, ajust an empty title they gave me without really knowing anything about me. I can handle myself in training. Hell, even if bullets are firing, it makes it even clearer what I have to do. But now I can't blame immediacy. I cannot blame violence." He sighed, slumped over in confusion.

He realized his heart knew where to go. But it disobeyed his map, it disobeyed his compass, and it disobeyed his mind. And the truth was, he was not terribly sure he had the courage to know how to follow his heart. He was pulled in two different directions, but tired of not making any decision, he picked himself up, picked his breath out of his pocket, and began to move toward a random direction. As long as he did not stray from his current decision, as long as he followed where he believed he was going, at least he could always find his way back.

(Right?)

So. He moved in the way he currently predicted was the right path, heedless to all his inevitable doubts. "What if I'm wrong" could only be met with "how can one ever know?" He could be making the wrong decision just as easily as the right, but at the very least, deep down, at least he knew he was making a choice.

As he walked the path, tasting it for its judgment, he began to fire off words. "At least my ammunition is still intact," he told himself. What he actually uttered out loud were words unspoken, or perhaps stolen from a friend or archetypical memory:

I made my decision through indecision

Fate leads me now, my body her helpless victim
Moments not lost but gone, not forgotten but
Emptied of meaning. 'Here and now'...

He paused, sighed deeply. "What kind of soldier recites poetry?" he thought to himself. "What war do I fight that I must, but with words instead of blood? What victory do I hope to gain when all my meaning is contingent, a neural designation? What functions decide the output (decision) from my input (here and now)? Do I, as I hope, change these creations of mine merely by observing them, light waving its particles around like it is wont to do?" He pondered, weak and weary, before moving on with his fight:

This imprecise indecision
It's victim my heart's frail prism
Casts its shadows on my heart,
Casts its frail unforgotten
Showers of unspoken depth,
Upon my fragile door.
Beat my heart, oh Fate,
And make my decision for me.
Lead me by the hand
And force me to understand.

He slowly realized that his eyes were closed as he walked. A quick observation, with his compass and footprints, satisfied him that he was still pointed due East. Once he was satisfied of this, he began where he thought was homeward, his heart constantly imagining the other route.

He realized that he should have taken the other way, but occasionally, the path a man can take and the one he wants to take are two terribly different (but equal) paths. One positive, one negative, equal in magnitude but opposite in direction.

The light of the stars comforted the soldier, somehow. Walking on the sand, the stars calming him with their gentle and angelic harmony. Far off, the sound of water gently moving, swaying seductively in his ear, whispering to him in relaxing tones. He could have walked on a landmine, exploded in a mist of blood and bone, and nothing would have shaken him from the soothing breast nature had exposed to him.

As he was walking, he approached a (thankfully) good sign. He found footprints that, after comparing them with his own, were at least those of someone else. It was a new beginning, an extravagant Eden which looked at him, lovingly.

The signal was clear, or so he thought.

He approached a camp, immediately realizing that it was not the soldiers of his army. Which was fine, because his army didn't really have enemies, nor would there, of necessity, be any clash of ideas.

It was, at least, a temporary home.

He walked up to the sentry, who was a corpulent, petulant fellow. His sarcasm was etched deep into his eyebrows for all to see. He was, Our soldier soon realized, a bitter youth.

"How are you doing this miserable wretch of a night?" asked the young sentry.

"I am in need of assistance. I seem to have lost my way."

"Well, Buttercup, you're in the east camp of Nowhere."

"I'm actually looking for Somewhere."

Pause. "Indeed, well; sometimes Somewhere is very difficult to find. Anywhere, on the other hand... are you a soldier?" Squinting eyes.

"Why yes."

"What side?"

"I am a member of T.E.L.O.S."

"Tell us what?"

"No, not 'tell us' but telos."

"You mean to say you are with the Greeks?"

"I'm with everybody." Another pause. "Sort of like the Red Cross or the Salvation Army."

"The sideliners?"

"I guess you could say that. I personally wouldn't refer to Telos as a sideline, but sure. Can you help me find Somewhere?"

"My captain can." The sarcastic one disappeared for a moment, then reappeared, looking quizzical. "What did you say your name was?"

"Timon," said Our soldier patiently. The corpulent sentry snuck back into the tent. Our soldier listened intently, hearing the sounds of a waking, cursing captain drown out his previously comforting sounds of nature. After a bit of noise, ending in the sentry rushing back to his post, a rough, bearded fellow came out of the tent.

"What do you want, Son?" So the captain was the father, then.

"I need to find Somewhere."

"Don't we all, Son. Do you mind if I call you Son?"

"Sure. Just don't call me 'Chief'."

"Duly noted. You see, the folks around here call me Father. I guess that's because I'm the last one here to hold unto my religion. Do you have a religion, Son?" Pause as Father lights a cigarette.

"That question is illegal. Besides, even atheism is a religion, Father. Just one without a centre."

"Do you have a centre, then?"

Pause for consideration. "Yes, I suppose I do, though I don't know if it suits your tastes."

"All sorts suit my tastes. We have jews at our camp, wickan soldiers, buddhist soldiers--" A pause as he reconsiders. "Well, we lost the last two. The jews seem to be the ones doing all the fighting."

"Are you a jew?"

"You can't legally ask me that, Son. I am whatever I want to be. I care about my soldiers and myself, not our titles. I don't even know their names. They aren't 'Joe' or 'Sam' to me, they are extensions of myself. Closest think to naming we have is that I'm Father and everyone else is Son."

"Interesting."

Nodding in agreement. "Terribly." Pause for reflection. "In fact, some of my atheist men (which is all of them now, except myself) believe that we are all mathematical functions. We receive input, process it with our biases, and create an output."

"What happens to the output?"

"It gets itself turned into someone else's input. Crazy, how things circle around themselves."

"Sad, really."

Father nods his head, and gently wipes his right eye. "I hate it when ideas that were once so... new and exciting get turned into something else, meant for someone else other than the original owner of the idea."

"Sad."

"Downright unfair." Pause as both men contemplate this seemingly childish, but true, outburst.

"So, can you tell me how to get to Somewhere?"

Father snaps out of his trance quit violently. "Oh well... yes... let me see if I can remember..." Pause again as Father smacks his lips:
Time is an arrow,
Its window narrow
And its pathway numbered
Its house Somewhere
Will take you there
Unless your life is plundered.
There did that help?"

(Frustrated) "No, it did not! That tells me how to go through time once I find Somewhere, but I still do not know where Somewhere actually is."

Nodding his head in agreement, "Must be one of those circular things we were talking about earlier."

"At least I'm safe," Our soldier thinks out loud. "As long as there is someone nearby, I am not technically lost. I know where I am now, I just don't know where I have to be."

"Tell you what, Son. Why don't you stay here for the night, tomorrow we'll figure out what you need to do. At least you'll be safe tonight."

"Thank you, Father."

"Now. You look starving."

"I've had crackers this morning, with some water."

"Well, before you die or something, have a few things to eat. Indigestion might give you bad dreams, but you can feel safe here. Dreams can only hurt you if you don't believe in them."

"What if I do believe in them? What would that mean?"

Contemplating, the Father says, "I guess that means dreams will come true for you in the end. But the end is a far place, though we all catch glimpses of it from time to time."

"Indeed."

"Glimpses can be so welcome, especially here in the middle of nowhere. One does not catch glimpse of much here. But when one does, when one is wirey and strong enough to catch such things, it becomes quite overly worshipped."

"As all good things must be; everything needs to be destroyed."

"We would have no new things if we didn't destroy them first."

"This is true."

"Most certainly true." Again, the two paused, and looked at each other.

The captain sucked in a deep breath, and then let out with a loquacious and boisterous shout, "You must be one of those new men, who never get tired of agreement."

"No, sir. I disagree with everyone, almost all of the time."

"Such is the way things are, I guess."

"Such is the way things have to be, sir."

"I guess you are right. But you are young. How am I to take this?"

"Well, sir, youth can be a dangerous thing. One expects more from us than we can deliver. Others expect less than we deserve. Nobody really has anything pegged right."

"The problem is pegs. They are as faulty as labels."

"Indeed, sir. Pegs and labels are really crutches that keep a man's muscles from developing. They atrophy humanity."

"Simply tragic."

"There is no simplicity in tragedy, sir. Tragedy is a very complicated business. One must not shed a tear unless one is terribly certain one knows the facts."

"Do you know the facts?"

"On what, sir?"

"On where you are." Contemplating, "but this is not a worry for you. You must be tired. Go have that bite I talked about, and take your nap, and for God's sake, man, stop peskering me."

The soldier began walking toward food when the Father stopped him. "What do you think of the postmodernists?"

"Devils, all of them."

"Then there are no angels amongst them?"

"Only if you believe angels can be immaturity."

"Devils can be the epitome of maturity. It is a serious business, being a despicable creature."

"Indeed. But it is much more serious being good and being perceived as despicable."

"This is true, I suppose."

"And what is more, it is a serious business being innocent."

"Yes, one must preserve innocence. But I thought I told you to stop peskering me?"

"I am sorry, sir, it is just that your conversations are terribly interesting."

"Yes, well, I am brilliant. That probably has something to do with it."

"Probably more than something, sir."

The two exchanged an awkward glance, and then the soldier finally made it to food, and after eating, was directed to his 'chambers,' as they called his tent.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

Girls Get Off Too

Posted 27 June 2004, 5.18 pm by Lilith

The net is full of conversations about the male wank. What once was a shooed-down subject is now all over the place and is discussed by men with others present like it’s the newest thing since sliced bread.

Well, ok. Masturbation is healthy, and it’ll probably help keep your wiener in better condition if you aren’t getting laid for years, and keep it prepared for the odd chance that you will get laid later after all—or, for that matter, a good way to pass the time for a guy between sex and sex. Nothing wrong with it, or even talking about it—but why in the world is there such a wall of silence where female masturbation is concerned? When was the last time you’ve seen someone declare something to the extent of “damn, this new vibrator I got is da shiz!”? You’d think that girls don’t play with themselves or something!

Newsflash: we do. I haven’t checked the statistics for this (and considering their sources, I would not trust statistics on this subject anyway), but I would guess that, barring Muslim countries and those where female circumcision is practiced, as well as the stricter Christian sects, more girls do than do not play with themselves when they feel like it. The only difference between males and females in this respect is that men need to release sperm on a regular basis if they don’t want to have a sticky or wet bed in the morning, and girls can really survive without an orgasm now and then and would still have more or less clean sheets.

To an extent, part of the reason for this being such a closed topic is the general social attitude that still lingers from earlier times—girls are not supposed to want sex or have a sex drive—rather, it is something men have and do, and are proud of. Girls are supposed to acquiesce to it under the pressure from the males, and then enjoy it in spite of themselves—or something. I know that the Western society is moving away from that ideal, but it is doing so far more slowly than it would appear at first glance. Like the fact that gay men are typically more accepted and thought of as cool, like the show “Queer Eye for A Straight Guy”, while lesbians are still frequently labeled as “man-haters” and portrayed as huge ugly hulking fat dykes. Or like the gender disparity between the amounts of the public conversations about satisfying oneself.

Another reason may be parents. While Christianity has long tried to label masturbation as evil, even relatively non-religious parents still often get angry and the kids that are caught masturbating, get slapped on the hands or private parts. They punish the children and tell them not to do it again because it is bad and shameful and dirty, often without explaining to the 7-year-old in question what “dirty” means, or even what “it” is. The atmosphere of fear and shame do not facilitate healthy sex attitudes but rather stunt them from the very beginning. And of course, this is more so for girls than boys for the simple reason that our equipment is more complicated and harder to deal with. No snubbing guys and their wonderful tools, but they are a whole lot easier to play with discreetly, don’t you agree? More girls get caught, more girls get shamed… and later on, the society confirms it for them, while releasing the boys from the stigma at about the age they reach middle high—by then, it’s “cool” to wank.

Later, much later, when we grow up, we discover that there are stores full of toys that are made for the purpose, and a variety of other things—but the damage is done, and girls keep quiet about their masturbatory habits. Short of going to crazy feminazi conventions or participating in lesbian forums, one does not hear/talk about it. Ever.

So how is it that we, girls, get to talk about satisfying ourselves? Where do we get to bring this up? A friend of mine—who loves men and is a very attractive blue-eyed blonde, so please leave the “she’s ugly and can’t get men” stigma at the door—happens to own a nice collection of fancy and expensive vibrators. She uses them between boyfriends (and when boyfriends aren’t enough), and has recommended a few (namely, the Bone, the Rabbit and the Dolphin) to me and other friends. She says that the toys give her mind-blowing O’s that are rare with a man and the different toys provide variety. I believe her, but my personal preference has always run to either sex with men or, barring that, a good jacuzzi, so I haven’t followed up on her advice. Another friend did and quite appreciated the results—in some cases, like when women have trouble reaching orgasm with a man, vibrators can be a lot of help. Another friend of mine (male) also owns a large collection of toys (vibrators and otherwise) that he likes to use on his female partners as foreplay or to supplement his own (quite adequate) tool. He sees no shame in it for himself or the women involved, or in discussing ways of bringing a girl to climax with me and other male or female friends.

In contrast, I still remember my shame and disgust when I first accidentally found my mother’s vibrator in her nightstand (Note: DO NOT tell a kid that’s looking for some lip balm to “go look in my nightstand” when you have not put away the toys beyond stuffing them in the top drawer!). I have since then grown up and realized that there is nothing wrong with owning or using one, but I still carry with me the sheer shock of looking at the iridescent pink thing laying there across pens and bits of paper, and being too grossed out to touch it, left alone look around it for lip balm. I went to a friend’s house and stayed there for the evening (incidentally using her lip balm), just to be away. I still wonder why my mother, who obviously had no problem with the concept of female masturbation, never bothered to talk it over with me while I was growing up.

Was it the social conditioning she received when she was a girl? The pressure of society (can’t say religion, as that is not an affliction that plagues my family), or personal problems? What are these forces that drive mothers not to talk to daughters, and friends not to talk to friends, and women not say anything about wanting to do dirty things with themselves in the dark? I don’t know entirely, no—but considering the double standards of sexuality in the Western society, I have a pretty good idea.

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They were done for an exhibition a couple of years ago . They asked for something to so with the summer. They are mixed media and oil paint on metal advertising boards - for ice cream.


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Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

Yo ! Does this work ?

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