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The Observer at the End of Time

Posted 9 May 2004, 5.49 pm by Alexander

Of the many startling ideas to emerge from Relativity and Quantum Physics (time dilation,gravity lenses,black holes, sub-atomic particles etc.) possibly the most startling of all is Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle which suggests, in simple terms, that nothing can be said to exist until it's observed.

Electrons don't spin sedately around the nucleus, as Newtonian mechanics would have it, but rather exist as a sort of haze, representing the probability of their being in any one place at any one time.

Some scientists see the involvement of the observer as the most important feature in quantum theory. Until the observer observes, subatomic particles can be said to exist anywhere, or not at all. Only in the act of observation is the particle brought into existence, so to speak.

How does this relate to us? Well this is where the Participatory Anthropic principle comes in. On a subatomic scale, quantum phenomena are only brought into existence by observation;but the entire universe is made up of nothing but a vast multiplicity of quantum events interacting on a monumental scale. Do we need any other explanatory device for the whole of the cosmos? If not, then the universe has been brought into being by countless acts of observation, by all the observers who have ever existed, exist now, and will ever exist in the future.

Not convinced? Quasars are believed to be the most distant objects ever observed. They're about 90,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles away. This means they existed about 15 billion years ago, because the light took that long to reach us. When we observe them, therefore, we're looking billions of years into the past, to the early days of the universe. The participatory anthropic principle suggests that the quasar didn't exist until the light from it was observed - before which it was a possibility, a hazy electron.

The Participatory Anthropic Principle view of the universe makes it a kind of self-perpetuating loop. The Big Bang takes place, stars and planets develop, life begins, the universe is observed further and further into the past - and as such the distant past is projected from the far future. The observer at the end of time brings all the past into existence.

So what happens if all life is extinguished, if there is no observer at the end of time? The whole universe will cease to exist, and will cease to have ever existed. How to account for this? If we exist now, it must mean that there will always be a future observer to bring us into existence. This is the essence of the Final Anthropic Principle, which states that once intelligent life exists, it will continue to exist until the end of time, and spread throughout the entire universe. If organic life isn't up to the task, intelligent self-reproducing machines will do instead. Life, after all, is a sum of knowledge. All our knowledge, all our culture, all that is the essence of our intelligent existence, can be carried throughout the universe by such machines, thus perpetuating life forever, and accumulating all the knowledge that there is to know, and observing all that there is to observe, until the end of time.

These ideas bear a striking resemblance to the Hindu belief in the Dance of Shiva, in which Shiva brings the universe into existence with his dancing. When he stops dancing (observing?), the universe ceases to exist.

Christians, too, can draw comfort of sorts from the above. They're taught that God has always existed, and will always exist, that he is omniscient and omnipotent. The thought may not greatly appeal to Christians, but is God the observer at the end of time? Is God an unimaginably large number of intelligent machines spread across the universe? Is God, after all, the Son of Man?

Makes you think, doesn't it?

Complete Chaos

Posted 2 May 2004, 4.40 pm by Alexander

As user submissions are a little thin on the ground at the moment, I'm going to hold you all to ransom by posting my old articles, back in the day when I actually used to write for this site (and quite a few others). If you want them to stop, you'd better start submitting your own stuff.

------------------------------------

I was arguing with a friend of mine the other day, as I tend to do, about the concept of complete chaos.

My main assertion was that complete chaos cannot exist by definition. Chaos can only exist within an ordered structure. It's not just a matter of context either - I'm not talking semantics here. Think about it. Chaos by itself is not chaos, it's nothingness. Without a speck of order there is no matter, no rationale for chaos to deconstruct. What does chaos consist of? Randomness? Even a random number is made of accepted integers.

As an example my friend cited the mentally ill, the true schizophrenics. Aren't their minds in complete chaos? No. Without even a shred of order their mind would not be a mind it would become an abstract, and their physical form with it. Complete chaos would have to scramble everything, from gene strands to atoms to light. It is the completeness of the chaos that is impossible within the accepted regimen of our existence.

Now, I do believe chaos can exist in degrees, and in context of an accepted ordered infrastructure, but complete chaos? There is no such animal, not even theoretically.

What do you think?

Senior Citizens are entitled to half fare upon presentation...

Posted 14 April 2004, 3.44 am by Indigo

I've always wanted to write an anthology of stories about people I see on the bus. I'm obsessed, it's a sickness. I even have a notebook where I write the things I see and the emotions I feel from watching people on the bus. Here's my first ever bus person.



Her hands shook with arthritis as she counted out eight quarters.

"Two Dollars.." she said, shaking her thin tooblonde hair "Rediculous."

The bus driver looked caught between interjecting some pearl of wisdom and staying quiet for his own good. The woman looked to be in her late sixties. Her hair was dyed and fried, and she fought to keep her lips pressed closed in a tight frown. This was difficult because the weight of age was dragging her chin down, trying to part her thin
red pressed-together-till-they-hurt lips. The folds of her skin seemed heavy and stretched from the stress of a life writing it's final chapter against time and gravity and death and other lovely inevitable things.

She managed to haughtily stumble up the steps, and the driver caught her by the elbow, pursing his lips and looking slightly to her left, a little above her shoulder, the displaced eye contact reminicent of a blind man, but more common of a "respectful" younger person in regards to someone so old that it was impossible not to stare.

"Ma'am..." he said, requesting her attention, although he had her by the elbow. "Ma'am." he asked again. She did nothing but look down at him, ignoring the people shifting uneasily in their seats, averting their eyes, raising their books.

"You...only have to pay half fare, ma'am." he said, sounding short of breath, sounding put off, sounding sad.

"What?" She asked, not out of deafness but out of confusion and hurt.

"You...need only show me.." the next words he mumbled, but then with his eyes in that annoying 'Hey look over there before my eyes fly out of my skull' way, he motioned to a sign above his seat that read:

Senior Citizens
are entitled to
half-fare upon
presentation of
a Medicare card.

She squinted at it. It made her contacts feel dry and her hands feel like they'd been dipped in chalk. She dumped all the quarters in her hand into the change machine, and the thing registered $3.75.

"Shove that sign up your ass." She said, sweetly, and stumbled down the aisle to sit next to one of those troublemaker-looking young men who was not looking over her shoulder, but right at her sagging, wrinkled face, as he said in his young troublemaker way; "Nice."

After Amber Died

Posted 13 April 2004, 11.58 pm by ArtemisKat

"You've got the pick-up back on the road, right?" Bill asked, breaking the painful silence between the two of them.
Jody's curt one word reply brought back the barely shattered ice as the two of them stood in the bitter winter gale. They stared alternately at one another and the still steaming body lying in now scarlet snow.
Taking a step toward Jody, Bill began to speak, a note of hesitancy in his voice. "it wasn't fair of Anders to have you shoot her. You've cared for that horse, and all his horses, for years." He stopped for a moment and scratched his balding head with the hand not holding his ancient hunting cap. "I know you loved the horse. You loved her more than that little snot, Evie, ever did, but we've got a job to do. Save your mourning for later, or you'll have lost more than just this one horse."
Jody opened her mouth to speak, then snapped it shut again. What did Bill know about these things? Amber was the first foal she'd ever helped to birth. When the mare died, it was Jody who kept that spindly-legged filly going. It was she who set up camp in the next stall and she who bottle fed the little motherless bundle of energy quivering on four very unsteady legs.
Finally Jody nodded, "Lets go get the truck, Bill," she said turning her back on the form which has so recently held a life force inextricably twined with her own.
As she trudged through the snow, Jody could feel Bill's eyes on her back. Hearing him heave a tremendous sigh, Jody half turned and said, "It's not your fault either, you know. Anders should have listened when you told him she wasn't in any condition to be exercised."
Driving back to The Death Spot, the air between them continued to be empty, though filled with an almost painful static charge. Upon arriving back at the site, Bill immediately jumped out of the truck and directed Jody as she backed near to the vacant corpse.
Climbing in the back of the half ton pick up, Jody grabbed the ropes and threw them over the duel rear wheels to a teary-eyed Bill. Catching sight of his eye, she straightened up sharply and asked in disbelief, "Are you crying?"
He simply turned his head and remained quietly waiting for the rest of the equipment.
"Bill, I'm so sorry. I...I...just don't know how to deal with this. I've seen death before. I mean, I've caused death before, just like this, but it's so different this time. I just..." she trailed off at a loss for words.
Bill wiped his eyes, stood taller and replied with an abnormal gentleness in his voice, "It's alright Jody. But for now, let's just get this done as quickly as possible. I have kids waiting at home for Santa to bring them their presents, and I'm not the only one with someone waiting."
Sighing, Jody nodded and grabbed the ply-wood boards lying in the bed. She pushed them off the back and created a ramp up which they would drag the horse just like they would a deer shot for food, or a large wolf shot to keep the other animals safe. Jody marveled at how impersonal it suddenly seemed.
Mild grunts and the sound of horse hide scraping wood were all that could be heard for the next half hour. Every so often Jody would catch Bill glancing at her, an indecipherable expression on his.
Suddenly infuriated by his silence and strange air, Jody gave one great heave. In the next instant she found herself lying on her back in the cold, sticky snow wonder what the hell had happened. Bill's face appeared at the edge of the truck.
"Well, I guess that's one way to get this job finished quickly," he said with a rough laugh. "But did you really have to take a flying leap backward? I'd have thought you'd have wanted to stay a bit drier than that."
Grinning wickedly Jody scooped up a handful of snow and jumped to her feet. In one swift motion she had Bill's bright red face well washed. It took but a moment for her to sober up again.
"Let's head out to the factory and get rid of this lump," she said with far too much callousness to her voice to be convincing.

"What's done is done," Jody whispered. They placed the tattered black hat with its red band on the head of the giant snowman now standing as a memorial to the third lost horse of the winter. "When will Anders learn? When will he understand that these horses have legs too delicate to be racing on icy trails full of pits and holes in the middle of December? He loses horses every winter, although never this many at once. I don't understand. How can he afford it?"
Walking away, Jody turned around for one more look at the site. No trace of blood remained, only the sad Frosty, weeping in his own way and waving at the sky with his empty black arm.
"He looks like death, hiding under a cover of peaceful snow, just waiting for his next victim," Jody thought.

I appreciate constructive critism greatly. If you have any, I'd also appreciate if you'd let me know whether I can contact you to talk about your suggestions and get further advice.

SequoiaView

Posted 12 April 2004, 10.04 pm by Unforgiven

Sequoia Veiw - A visual representation of a directory structure.

Blatently stolen from the website:

Almost every PC user will be familiar with Windows explorer, which is a tool for browsing file hierarchies on a computer system. Explorer displays the contents of any given directory as a list where the indentation indicates the level in the hierarchy. Users can thus explore the contents of their file system on directory at a time, which works well in practice. A major drawback of this method however, is that the user cannot obtain a global overview of the entire contents of his disk, because the number of files and directories that can be shown simultaneously is limited by the available screen space. Without a global overview of the entire file system questions like "Which directory is taking up most of my hard disk space?" or "Why is my disk full?" are hard to answer.

Treemaps, developed by Shneiderman and Johnson in the late 1980's, present an elegant solution to this problem by making more efficient use of the available screen space. Instead of showing a file system as a long list of files and directories, files are displayed as rectangles, with the size of the rectangle being proportional to the size of the file. We can then display more information at once if we use all available space. We will illustrate this method with a small example:

A ace in the jail(poem)

Posted 11 April 2004, 9.16 am by cauchy3

A ace in the jail: poem
Hello crone I love your corns

Moneys are diamonds in your socks

Your shops are candies but your socks are as clean as corals


Fruits are for all men s ought

You are in manners

Birds never sing to a prisoner with some orals


Deaths are for lures to be annealed

We cross the streets and govern in the sense of the Queen

Rivers and rocks are always


My pig-lid shoes are reeds

Paste can keep your privacy like your tooth

Lovers are classes-genics under the jailer s esteems


Gemstones are rough cats come to groups of looters

Lotteries are prizes to bend down on flat tops

Birds has to fledge out from jailer s farms


You go into my garden and gave me no options

You are the yuck of your maids

Jail is your heaven but the world of the Gods


The maids lurk into my hell which is God made

Balls with their numbers set up all pearls in our tents

Skies are normal but the wands are mad


Pearls are smooth but the cold crops are new

Horses are dress in suits of donkeys

Hip s bones are stronger than our knees


Queens for benches or kings for jailers are today s new keys

Smash the logs in the logical flames

Never eyes to eyes!


Sweep your pains and taste your bitter fruits like sweets

Smears the glasses with dark ghosts that are lame

My God father will listen to my years


I pray to the evils to follow Gods on their stagy stages

I have own to you to repent of one dime

The wall of the pen house stays
Bombs are dived on dividend

I am some men of soft bloods

Harnesses of manual powers are diadems


My gasps are pleasures to load your oodles

My name is to made the oily pans fishy

My deeds are to stand aside the cross of our Gods


As heavens are match with jails

Foods and coats are deprived by powers and over powers

Morals are not only paper trails


Tummies are not belly as our annals are fasten by silver bells of our own

Silver bells are supper to nobles but prisoners hard steels

Only powers are easy mortgages but we have non


I swear I could take away the skies to stop all Gods to steal

Stomachers are wafers but menses are little towels

Lives are so unreal


Please I am happy to put my hairs into knots

I am willing to nod to my worst enemies like a friend
Knouts are like knots with holes


Trials like whores are to the satisfactions of the fiends

However Christ give his bloods to print out our worlds with moneys

Bloods and kidneys are sometimes transplant for leaving


Jailers- guest have lusts that break the preys like the sea otter

Darkness in jails is cover by white hairs on benches

Punishments are thousands times harder than fish in the omens


Thin chicken wings are even not a supper in the dens

It is painful to have images to be planned

Books about laws are too heavy to end


For one tide little fault there are some marches of flautists all over the lands

The reforms are tongues that lick off some things without educations

One cup of coffees deserve one gold coin or all your consents


Jailers cling to use abuse powers in the edge

Heaps of powers made moneys in stacks

Whips have overthrown the prisioners brains and there are no rooms for common elbows

Clowns are put on crowns to act

Frail wills and weak bodies are dirt as cheapens

Humanity are goddess who govern the fucking lakes


Pass to our futures for loves that we bear

Abuses are thunders that spoil our rectums and our ears


by cheung shun sang=cauchy3=laplace181

The Death Trap

Posted 11 April 2004, 2.26 am by Aqua

The cafeteria: That place of food and friends, lunch and losers, trays and torment, but most importantly- the home of the notorious...lunch line... The lunch line is an ingenious concept really. Two parallel lines going through two general food choices, meeting at the end to harmonize with the two corresponding cash registers. It seems straightforward enough; salad, chips, and sandwiches on one side with two hot lunch choices on the other. Column A and column B. Simple, right? Simple, yes, but only to a normal person.

Allow me to explain. When one such as myself enters...the lunch line...we are not only presented with two simple choices, and we most certainly cannot play follow-the-leader despite how easy it sounds. For we know the truth. We see...the lunch line...for what it truly is: a death trap. Pure and simple.

Allow me to explain further. Upon reaching the entryway to... the lunch line... what does one see? When people are occupying it, you obviously see people, and people always occupy it. However, due to this, there are a few things you do not see. One such thing is the menu. It hangs right in front of you, at the bend in the line- but oh- the people. Tall, scary, ominous, stupid, high, etc. They block it every time. What is one to do? Simply yell out "Hey! I can't see what's for lunch! Move your fat head, please-'kay-thanks!" Nay. Doing so would surely result in murder- something one does not want if one wants to graduate... much less, live. So the logical thing to do would be getting closer to the sign. However- another problem is reached at this point. For this means in order to see the sign, one must go into...the lunch line. This is extremely risky if not done properly. By the time one would get to the menu to see what there is to eat to decide *if they even want* that line, five minutes has surely passed! Time would be wasted. Precious time that one could be using to *eat*. And what if the food in the other line is much better than the salad? Regret could occur- and that my friend, is a most dreadful thing.

Too much time has passed already. We make a decision- stick with the sandwiches. Nothing's tricky about sliced meat on bread, right? Wrong. Not only are there 1,548 choices *besides* the one you want, but also the journey there proves to be dreadful in and of itself; as we shall see.

The choice has been made. We enter...the lunch line. Cautiously, so as to not rush headlong, but also not *too* cautiously- to avoid looking like a pathetic loser who has never tread upon this dangerous, dark, abode (which is of course true). The perimeter is scanned. A dividing bar allows for easy separation of the two lines. The one to the right is definitely blocked by the masses wishing to receive a hot lunch choice. We take the left. Scanning the food there reveals but salad. This is okay. The sandwiches must be further down. Don't touch the bar! You don't know where their hands were last. ...Keep walking... Now- the interjection approaches. People are intermixing at this point in time and it is best to be cautious now in order to not cause an uprising. There! The sandwiches are spotted. But another problem arises. The sandwiches are in the path of the other line and people are crossing over to different lines left and right. But this isn't too bad... just wait for a break in the crowd ... and... JUMP! The threshold is crossed safely. Now comes the tricky part. One must decide which sandwich they want. Up until this time, the mind has been occupied with taking in the surroundings, analyzing, not thinking of what kind of sandwich the stomach craves today. The eyes dart to each label quickly: "Chicken Salad", "Ham", "Turkey", "Egg Salad", "'X' means no lettuce and tomato"... no lettuce and tomato, good.. But where is the tuna...? Ah-ha! The last tuna is spotted. It is grabbed before another carnivore intervenes. Now that the main course has been recovered, the beverage must be acquired. Predators are everywhere. One must act quickly...

To the right is the container for the beverages. Luckily, there are plenty of chocolate milks left and one is secured fairly easily enough, with time. Patience. The line moves. Cautiously one approaches the register. Money! During this time one has spent too much thought of food and simply meandering this ominous labyrinth that money wasn't even thought of at all. Luckily one's wallet is somehow in their pocket and is now scrambled with to produce the correct amount of change: $1.60. Any normal person would be cool in this situation but now the mind goes blank for the cautious ones. Math? What's that? Add... two quarters and a dime... a dollar bill too. Phew. The correct amount is here, thankfully. But wait- danger strikes when least expected- an enemy behind has pushed another and right into one's back! The change is dropped as balance is recovered. What now?! Bend down and pick it up? Get more change? Slug the lunk-head who caused this whole situation? Surely that would be unwise... though oh so tempting... Yes- NO! ... One must stay focused and calm... otherwise, tragedy could occur. The change is recovered without much embarrassment and handed to the lady at the cash register. She smiles.

Finally, the food is gathered and the white doorway looms ahead like a great hallowed realm. Time slows as it nears... Is it really over? And then, a step, and the threshold passes through you- a wave of overwhelming joy and accomplishment... you sigh a new breath of relief... free at last. Free at last. Thank god almighty. Free at last...

Revenge of the S.L.U.T.

Posted 31 March 2004, 4.04 am by The_Roach

Last week, I reviewed Generation S.L.U.T.: A Brutal Feel-Up Session with Today's Sex-Crazed Adolescent Populace, by the young, talented Marty Beckerman. Today, I bring you Marty Beckerman himself: raw, uncut, and full of man-juice as he gives us insight into writing, his penis and writing about his penis. Enjoy.


The_Roach: After having read the book a few times, I have to know... how does Your Beautiful Girlfriend put up with you?

Marty Beckerman: Well, the Beautiful Girlfriend in the last essay of the book is different than the Beautiful Girlfriend whom I love today.

TR: I think it's still a relevant question.

MB: Yeah, right.

Well, this is the first girl who understands me, you know? Not that she thinks I'm perfect, but she sees the flaws as part of the bigger picture. Like writing about how much I boink her. That's probably not exactly a plus in any relationship. But this girl totally gets me and doesn't want to change me. You can't date a girl who wants to change you, because then you'll lose sight of who the fuck you are and become a Slave to the Tang. And then you're finished.

That said, I boink my girlfriend, like, all the time. She totally loves it. Total nympho from the day I took the bitch's virginity.

TR: One of the things I've noticed is a complete avoidance of discussing the so-called "alternative lifestyles". Any particular reason?

MB: Like gay/les/trans/ped?

TR: Right.

MB: It's something I don't really care about. I'm straight -- at least, I'm pretty sure I'm straight by now -- so it's not something that concerns me. There are thousands of gay writers and that's their beat, so good for them. The fuckin' ass-clowns.

Also there are a lot of people, especially at the university level, who judge literature on its social importance instead of the actual quality of the writing. So if you write about gay issues or feminist issues or multiculutral issues -- regardless of whether your prose is godawful swill -- you'll be hailed for addressing sensitive issues. At least, in the way that the intellectual elite expects.

TR: So, you'd rather the work were judged on it's own merits and not simply praised for hitting hot-button issues? Because, frankly, you're probably touching a pretty sore spot in American culture.

MB: Well, I'd rather explore territory that interests me, that I'm qualified to speak about -- so I'm not going to write about what it's like to be a gay single mother living in Central America or something -- but I also want to carve out my own territory. So yeah, I want to write about important issues, but on my own terms.

Term Number One: My luscious Jewish dizznick must be a character in the narrative.

TR: Now, the book was published by MTV Books. Were you at all concerned that it might not be taken seriously simply by association?

MB: Honestly, I lost a few nights of sleep over associating myself with MTV. But then I read one of their books, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky, and it completely blew me away. It instantly became my favorite novel, and I actually just had the privilege to do a reading with the author a few weeks ago. So....

.....So I realized that MTV Books publishes quality material, and if they could get "S.L.U.T." to teenagers, who cares who distributes it? It's not like I changed my message or anything. And I think most of my fans understood that. I got a few e-mails from people who loved "Death to All Cheerleaders" calling me a sellout, saying I'm aligning myself with the Devil, etc. etc. But the editors at MTV Books are highly qualified, and helped me take "S.L.U.T." from a melodramatic humor book to something way darker and more effective.

TR: But doesn't it feel a bit weird having a book that addresses these sorts of social issues published by a company that profits primarily by marketing sex to teenagers?

MB: Well, it's not like I'm going on Total Request Live as all the 12-year-old girls scream for me to take my shirt off. Actually, the 12-year-old girls I meet usually just scream for me to put my dick back in my pants. I've said a few times that I'm destroying the system from the inside, but it's more like we're using each other -- MTV Books wants literary credibility and I want as much exposure for this book as possible.

So I don't have any regrets, except "S.L.U.T." came out just as the Janet Jackson bullshit hit the fan, and MTV started getting very cautious about this book, because the FCC is watching its activities very closely.

TR: What did you think of JJ's tit, anyway?

MB: The cultural reaction was astounding. I mean, now the FCC -- which was created to do nothing more than hand out broadcast stations to private entities -- decided to go on this Puritan crusade to wipe out all naughty words, naughty images, naughty suggestions. They're trying to legislate morality, which strikes me as one of those things the founding fathers would've despised. I'm very much a libertarian, which is a pretty conservative philosophy, but Bush is a pretty despised figure all around.

But hey, all that's for the next book.

TR: And the next book is...?

MB: "Jewboy Goes to Hell : Young America and World War III." It's about how the War on Terror will affect people under 25. Hopefully I'll get to fly to Iraq and hang out with the 18- and 19-year-old soldiers over there, because nobody in the media has told their story. At least, not in a way that's the least bit captivating for kids their own age.

TR: Any concerns about the safety of such an expedition?

MB: Some. My parents are totally freaked out, but the area is generally safer than you'd believe from watching CNN. The danger would be hanging around with the soldiers in public so much that people start thinking I'm another soldier. 4000 foreign journalists covered the war, and about 50 were killed. Those odds are pretty good, especially since the real war is over.

Then again, I'm a left-handed white American Jew who doesn't speak Arabic, so.... um.... Oh yeah, and I'm an asshole with no respect for other cultures!

TR: It can't be any more dangerous than casual sex in a private university, right?

MB: Well, maybe not if you're a member of the university S&M club.

TR: What do you make of S.L.U.T. being compared to Nick McDonell's book "Twelve"? Was it an inspiration in any way?

MB: It's a godawful piece of fucking shit. This kid's godfather is the president of Atlantic Books, and he was reportedly paid $250,000 for the manuscript. Which was just horrible... all hype and no substance. I've got to admit I was a little jealous when he got all this "spokesman for his generation" praise thrown at him, but then I wrote a better book so I don't give a shit.

TR: Who does inspire you, then?

MB: Mirrors inspire me. Especially when I'm naked.

Hm.......Inspiration.....

When I was 15, I wanted to be a young Dave Barry. I mean, I read nothing EXCEPT Dave Barry, and of course my writing was very much a ripoff of his style. Then I got a little older, started reading Hunter Thompson, Bret Easton Ellis, Orson Scott Card, Huxley....and my own style started to develop from taking my favorite parts of theirs and blending all that together. Barry and Thompson were the big ones though.

TR: Speaking of Huxley, you make a point to reference "Brave New World" in the fiction of "S.L.U.T.". Do you think that's where this generation is headed?

MB: Absolutely. What Huxley predicted -- that monogamy and individuality would become antiquated as soon as birth control was invented and a sexual revolution ensued..... I mean, the man was a fucking visionary.

And his chapters about pleasure-seeking preteens who don't know anything about Shakespeare because the media had become so dumbed down.... and how they'd all go on Happy Pills but still hate themselves... Yeah, it came true. We're living in Brave New World. Even the communal aesthetic identification -- alpha symbols, delta symbols -- even that's comparable to how today's teens find identity in brand names like Abercrombie & Fitch. Of course, they're not really finding identity, just escaping it, but that's the point. Stick letters on my chest so I know who the fuck I am.

Which leads into the fraternity scene too, but those guys already want to kill me so I probably shouldn't talk more shit.

TR: In the interest of your preservation, then... You had the chance to interview one of the other names on your list up there. So what's Hunter S. Thompson like?

MB: Very sharp guy. I thought he'd be a vegetable because his writing has definitely slipped since his glory days, but there seriously was a glow around him. I mean, I was stoned on hash at the time, but he had this energy... Anyway, he's very down to earth. Interviewing him was one of the biggest honors of my life.

Thank God for marijuana.

TR: What can you tell me about the Christian Jihad for the Elimination of Marty Beckerman?

MB: That was just a joke I desgined for my friends. Funny idea, right? Start a Christian boycott of my own book. Then 1000 people started visiting it a week, so I figured what the fuck, I'll just leave it up. Maybe I could've kept the hoax going, but I'd rather have my credibility intact when the REAL nutcases start protesting me. Turns out the ones who hate me the most are feminists, not Christians. So now I'll have to start ChopOffTheBallsOfMartyBeckerman.com

TR: You're set to graduate from American University here soon, right? Any plans for a "real job", or are you hoping to support yourself writing books?

MB: If possible I'd like to write this Iraq book, but it's an expensive project and publishers are nervous about whether anyone under 23 will buy a book about war, as opposed to sex. I've got a couple offers to work as a straight journalist -- no columns or dick jokes -- which is fine if it feeds me. A lot of young authors get advances exceeding $100,000, but I got enough for one semester of college, so it's not like I'm swimming in my vault of gold coins, Scrooge McDuck-style.

So it's looking like I'll get to have oatmeal dinners for the next couple years. And that's okay -- I'd rather have real world experience than so much early success that I'm not interacting with normal people anymore. Because a good reporter can't become insulated like that. Unless he's insulated with boobies. Then it's okay. Boobies! Big fat boobies!

TR: Okay, one last question. A lot of our users, young and old(er... older; the ladies are gonna kill me) are aspiring writers. Any words of wisdom on the subject?

MB: Yeah.... go fuck yourselves.

No, really.......

Read as much as possible, try to blend the styles of your favorite authors, and don't think that you're not a writer just because you're not published....Because the best asset you've got is your age. People talk a lot of shit about young writers -- trust me, I got trashed by a whole lot of bitter assholes since "S.L.U.T." came out -- but you're still close to the most intense emotional period in a person's life. Those are the stories that are important -- all that heartbreak and insecurity, the first loves and first booby-touchings. And I really think the clarity of those emotions fades in just a couple years -- it's already happening to me......So you've got to get it out now or else it won't be honest, it'll just be nostalgia.

And nostalgia is for motherfuckers.

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Johann

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A year or so ago I undertook a study entitled 'Faces of Death'. I produced a quite substantial body of work concerning corpses, and faces in particular. I concentrated mainly on victims of murder. This image was produced by rolling a thick layer of ink onto a steel plate and rubbing, scratching and soaking it off with turps. The plate was then pressed onto paper, and this is the result.


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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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