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Destroy All: Perspective Through Fire

Posted 13 November 2003, 6.36 pm by Shaggy

I was always of the notion that if you truly love something, the easiest image to you is to have it destroyed. Picture in your head the greatest love: is it not defined by what it stands up against? As a society, as a psychological mass, we tend to throw destruction against ourselves to define our survival. The strongest man is the man who can fight without being torn down, but in order to prove this he must, inevitably, fight the most difficult of opponents.

However, this state of psyche is not always the most comforting. For, it inevitably brings to mind all the things that can crush us, that can attack us from all angles. For, if we define our strength by how long our inner walls hold, we can never know our capabilities unless we try to destroy them.

They call it "challenge". Unhappy is the mind that challenges everything, that has nothing as a stable centre, and yet, how strong such a mind!

Love is the most fragile of emotions. Love is that absolute that has notoriously weak walls. This simple fact tempts mankind over and over again to throw away love, to be heartless and callous, to say "fuck you" to all others in order to protect the self.

Take, for instance, when I was cheated on: When my exgirlfriend cheated, I turned completely and utterly cold. Why? Well, if anyone cannot see why, then a shudder must inevitably drench me. I was protecting myself.

I have been quoted as saying "What would a man want a heart for? I am the great Heartless." Okay, maybe not that explicitly, but something along the same vein. And, at times, it is true. To let oneself open to being cheated on is to welcome the enemy into the bloodstream.

However, the logic of this article dictates that I would prove stronger for surviving. And I would have to agree. I learned how to stand up to my weaknesses. I learned how to kill those that would enter my bloodstream for harm. However, sometimes that comes at the cost of not allowing connection with those who would actually wish nothing but love.

So you find the one who is not the enemy. Either that, or you shake them all from your skin, never to let anything or anyone enter. There is only room in my pathway for one such being. My present significant other has infected me at times, but still has remained friend as opposed to enemy. However, I do not think I would have been strong enough to endure the illnesses she has given me, had I not battled a much stronger enemy with my exgirlfriend (cheating).

I say, do not welcome the enemy, curse the enemy, but do not regret the fight. For in destroying one thing, you find something else coming from the fire.

Look at things from a different perspective... imagine loosing the war... what war would it be? That would be different for each person. However, you cannot win a war without anticipating loss, and guarding against your weark walls.

Fight on, and slaughter the opposition.

This is only what I think.

Posted 30 October 2003, 7.00 pm by Crucias

I believe that real beauty and power can only be found in humans. In anything else, there is none. For example, trees. Trees make oxygen. They make grass green. They give animals a place to live. They're pretty enough, but that's what they're supposed to be. Pretty, green, good for our continued breathing.

Humans, on the other hand, are born or created as nothing and are given the chance to become something. Trees are there to fulfill an intended function. We can choose to be whatever we want. Sure, we might be born with good looks or a capacity for learning that few others have, but we choose to follow that path and that is where real beauty is. That we choose what is right over what is wrong as often as we do.

Valley of the Dead

Posted 28 October 2003, 1.58 am by Shaggy

There was a time, ages ago, in which the role model was the king of men, a completely moral though flawed human being, striving to overcome his flaws. Today is a different day. As Chaucer lamented, gone is the honourable man. Instead, everyone assumed the king perfect, and when his flaws were exposed, instead of attempting to overcome this flaw and use the faults as examples, the masses, stupid lump of coal that they are, think that perfection must be impossible, and promptly embrace themselves as filth. "The king had a mistress," they think to themselves, "thus the concept of monogamy, faithfulness and loyalty must be impossible. How can we resist?" This is the greatest line of stupidity ever announced. "How can we resist stealing, murder, et alia?" To all those who have thought "how can I resist" toward something obviously wrong (not by my standards, or by yours, the reader, but based on a function of how many people involved, how many hurt [in which 1 person is an excess far too large] and many other considerations) I say, promptly and without any remorse, remove yourselve from my vicinity promptly. If you are so weak willed that you base your morality on what others resist or do not resist, your limitations on those of others, you are morally worthless. If you think sexuality only involves yourself, then you are daft. We teach children "your body is yours" to keep from harm. What we do not explain is the concept of multiple involvements. Take, for instance, a fist. If I close my fingers, this is my fist, and no one can tell me what to do with it. However, should I decide to touch someone with it (punch), it is generally agreed to be immoral and even illegal.

Why is it that we ignore the destruction sexuality can cause? Ask any faithful husband how he feels when he learns that his wife has been cheating on him, and he will say "I... feel as if someone has crushed my chest... I... I can't breathe..." Why is this violence ignored and why does our society encourage people to disrespect themselves and to hurt others in a way far more damaging than even the strongest fist? Because "it is only sexuality. After all,k who can resist sex?" This is sometimes followed by the most flawed of logical prepositions: "After all, you are only young once." Youth is not equal to sexuality. Newsflash to the masses: You WILL have sexuality until you die. Respect yourself, and you automatically respect others. Embrace loyalty and truth-- for this you only have one opportunity. Youth is a time of confusion and temptation-- and should you refuse temptation to be immoral, then you have actually lived your youth. You will be happy and proud. Shame on those who think themselves aniamls and thus f--k and fight. You are not living except by the medical definition. You embrace brain-death and a death of the emotions. For shame, for I live in a valley of the walking dead! Non-feeling, non-emotional animals try to take my breath and crush my heart, without even recognizing me as a person.

Someone, please, take these beasts out of their misery! Shame on me if I ever become as they, an unfeeling zombie walking around in the valley of the dead.

lego treasure island

Posted 19 October 2003, 1.37 pm by TonyChef

This is a fantastic little game, a simple idea and a lot of imagination.

Lego Treasure Island.

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo - ONLINE?

Posted 14 October 2003, 2.18 am by firebrand

i'm never getting any work done ever again.

Capcom Online Presents . . . "Addictive game where cute characters yell at each other in Japanese!"

Nice guys and the back of the line.

Posted 12 October 2003, 10.15 pm by Assassin13

Okay, so this may seem a little insensitive, this may seem a little rude. You know what? I don’t care anymore!!!! Listed below are the confessions of the nice guy. Yeah girls, you know who I am talking about, the one who you have shit on for no apparent reason. The one you have used to make yourself feel better and then tossed aside. Guys you know who I am talking about too. He’s the friend who always jumps on the bomb, the wingman who will bail out at the drop of a hat for you; the one who takes blame for anything you can’t take responsibility for yourself.

You know what ladies and gentlemen, we are sick of this shit! We are sick of being your scapegoats and gophers. We are tired of being walked over and asking for more. I call to you my Brothers!! Rise up and stop taking the flak you are taking. We are human beings as well. I may be speaking out of anger and vengeance but this has been a long time coming. Tonight I had my eyes opened for me. A girl I have been ‘courting’ (For lack of a better word) just went home with a sleaze ball. The same sleaze ball, mind you, who has torn her heart out on more that one occasion and put it in a blender. The same guy who is a womanizer, a sexist, a pervert and a cheat. She looked me in the face and lied to me about ‘going home’ when I caught them in my hallway making out. She then proceeds to say ‘yeah I know, just slap me in the face now’. What the hell do I do??? I am not going to slap her, that’s just the way I am. If I hit a woman without just cause I would beat the fuck out of myself. Anyways, enough about me being shit on syndrome.

For all you women out there, remember this: We are the nice guys, we are the one’s who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. We are the ones who will let you cry on our shoulders and sit idly by as you get hurt time and time again. We are the one who truly care for you. We are not looking to get married (Well not yet anyways). We are the ones who would love to have a great time and be honest and sincere. We are not looking for permanence; we are not looking for a life partner. We are looking to enjoy ourselves as much as you do. Open your eyes and decide, would you rather be treated as a piece of meat for the brief time that a relationship occurs or would you rather be put on a pedestal, treated like gold, be longed after like a goddess, and respected more than an angel. And guys, Remember that if you shit on someone long enough they are eventually going to tell you to fuck off and die and then you will be left with no one to cover your ass.

I haven’t posted on the FP for a very, very long time but I feel that this will be the first of many posts in a chain of events that have pushed my life into a new era. It may be dull to some but just remember that there is some truth to my insanity and I hope you will see something and take heed.

Delusions of a proud mind

Posted 10 October 2003, 11.39 am by Assassin13

So I may not be the best story teller in the world and I may not be able to make up ‘fiction’ when I have 36 oz. of alcohol in my system. But what I can tell you is the way I feel, the experiences of my life.

Hi, for those of you who only know me as Assassin13, my name is Jordan. I am 20 years old and retaking my first year of post-secondary school. Yes retaking. Why? You ask. Well its simple, think of an 18 year old who has lived his entire life through rose-colored glasses. Think of this same child being set free in a world of his own that is over 3000 km away from any authority that would expect responsibility. In a nut shell, all I did was drink, play computer games, and ignore school for my entire first year. This is my first public confession of it but I will tell you now that at the end of that first year I had failed 5 of 9 classes. I really didn’t care. I was failing for myself and loving every minute of it. Ask Roach if you want confirmation.

Come 4 months later the shit hit the fan. I was trapped in Ontario and was not going to school. Soon I resorted to the white pages, looking for any job that I could get. I fell upon a ‘promotional advertising’ agency. Yes, being as weak minded as I was, I became sucked in. Door to Door Sales is what it reverted to. I tried and tried and tried but to no avail. I just could not handle ‘high-pressure’ sales. So after three months of failure I ventured home. I took the long, arduous and painful road of accepting my failures and accepting the fact that I would be ridiculed by my family for over 8 months.

Enter March 12, 2003. My 20th Birthday. I didn’t know what to expect and all I wanted to do was have some fun. What I got was a quarter-life crises that extended well beyond a month. Keeping the sappy details apart, I finally decided that if I did not go back to school in the fall of 2003 then I would never go back.

Aug. 20th, 2003. I leave my home and go to write a college placement exam as my last chance to go back to post secondary. How do I do? Well I pass with flying colors. 3 marks above the 93rd Percentile and one mark at the 85th Percentile. Yeah so my grammar and sentence structure sucks, as you can tell. Sue me!

I am now back. Back where I belong. I am taking business and kicking ass in everyway possible. My GPA is now at a 3.82 out of 4.0 and you ain't seen nothing yet. I am here for good. I am here to learn how to dominate. I don’t know where my final field of specialization will be but it will send me into a position of dominance. It may be egotistical to say but it will happen. I have finally discovered who I want to become and now it is only a matter of time before I become that person.

Third shift in the neon graveyard.

Posted 10 October 2003, 4.49 am by VanGogh

You learn things working in a gas station. Hell, you learn things working most anywhere I suppose, but the things that you learn while working in a gas station are different. For instance, a customer walks up to the counter and plops down a lighter, a miniature rose in a corked glass tube, and a box of Chore Boy copper scouring pads. An innocent purchase? Chances are, he isn’t looking to light up a cigarette, charm his sweetie with the rose, and then go tackle some stubborn stuck-on grease in the kitchen. No, the experienced gas station eye knows that as soon as Mr. Customer gets outside, he’s ditching the rose and the corks and keeping the newly purchased glass pipe. Then he’s going to stuff a piece of the wire mesh Chore Boy in, drop in a rock of crack, and get busy with his lighter. That’s the sort of knowledge you just can’t pickup working other places.

Third shift is the devil’s playground. When the sun goes down, all you have to see by is the glow of the neon lights, and often times they flicker just when you need them at their brightest. The ghouls come out to feed, and someone has to be there to charge them their toll. For two and a half years, that someone was me. From 10 p.m. to 6a.m., I was the man you saw for all those middle-of-the-night cravings and emergency goods. A single guy behind a counter of the town’s only 24 hour gas station and mini-mart. No bullet-proof shields. No guns under the counter. Just me, the ghouls, and a whole lot of time for things to get weird in the neon graveyard.

They call third shift the graveyard shift. Most will tell you that’s because it’s so dead. I’d tell you it’s because that’s when the ghouls come out to play. The ghouls I speak of are what you probably think of as customers. And during the day, they probably are. But on the graveyard shift, customers don’t exist. The closest thing you get is a friendly ghoul, and sometimes they are the most dangerous. The night does weird things to people. They become more primal, more susceptible to their base instincts. A guy who would never raise his voice in the light may very well be the one who tries to bash your skull in with a six-pack of beer that you won’t sell him at 3 a.m. Because of that, it’s better to think of everyone who comes in the door as ghouls. They can be friendly, sometimes downright charming. But there always exists that possibility of foul humor, and that’s what you have to be on the lookout for.

I once heard war described as hours upon hours of mind-numbing boredom punctuated with occasional moments of pure terror. I guess that’s as good a description as any of what working the graveyard shift at a gas station is like. You reside in an oasis of neon light, waiting for something or someone to stumble out of the darkness and break up the monotony of the hours slowly passing. That kind of boredom inspires either sleep or madness. I’m an insomniac, so I chose madness. The kind of madness that fades with the light, and whose chief symptom is devilish creativity.

Some of my stunts became things of local legend. If you reach back in your minds a bit, you’ll recall the near hysteria of impending doom that was Y2K. The apocalyptic visions of every computer in the land eating itself and crashing at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve. In retrospect, the whole things seems silly, a paper dragon that had no bite. But at the time, the fear was very real. Visions of everything and everyone being plunged headfirst back into the middle ages were not only common, they were the lead story on the 6 o’clock news. And when the dreaded night came, who do you suppose was asked to stand a solitary post behind the counter?

I remember that the night was crazy. Normally when I came on at 10, and the place was a tomb. But not this evening. Everyone who wasn’t already at a party seemed to be in our store. They were buying up the bread, the water, the non-perishable food. It was chaos. Many were no doubt in a blind rush to get their last minute supplies back to the renovated Cuban Missile Crisis bomb shelters that their fathers and grandfathers had built. I took one look around and decided that if I were to survive, it was going to take something special. Before relieving the second shift crew, I grabbed one of those handy baskets that we kept by the door and started walking the aisle. First into the basket was a bag of 50 brown paper lunch bags. Then every pack of AA batteries that we had on the rack. I followed that with all the mini-flashlights from our shelves, and then two heaping handfuls of individually wrapped condoms. With my basket full of booty, I headed back behind the counter and began making up my impromptu special of the night.

I enlisted the help of one of the girls who was willing to cover my register for a few minutes, and headed to the back. I opened up the bag of lunch bags, and quickly unfolded 30 or so of them. Into each open bag I dropped one pack of AA batteries, two condoms and a mini-flashlight. When I had them all filled, I set the leftovers aside and took out a black marker. In thick letters on the front of each bag I wrote ‘Y2K Survival Kit’. Then I grabbed a blank counter sign and wrote the same thing on it, and underneath I wrote $10.00. I had done some quick math. If you bought all of the items together, they’d cost you $7.00 . I folded the tops of the bags closed and carried them out to the counter. I setup three or four of them beside my register along with the counter sign and went to work ringing people out.

The first customer I got was a panicky looking older guy with tufts of white hair standing up in all directions, furiously fighting gravity. He was sweating. Beads of moisture stuck to his thin mustache and he kept licking at it in a way that reminded me of a cat fishing for milk stuck on its whiskers. He was buying three gallons of milk, two gallons of water, and a can of cream of mushroom soup. He spied the sign and his eyes came into sharp focus for the first time. He opened up a bag, looked in, and then just stared at me dumbfounded.

Then he began laughing…

He bought two.

An hour later, all of the kits I had made up were gone. I’d sold them all. The next morning I was written up for creating a special offer without prior approval. Never mind that my offer actually grossed the store an extra $100 or so on stuff that was already marked up at ridiculously high percentages. I would have been pissed off, but I knew they’d never fire me. After all, I was king of the graveyard grind. And I had one indispensable quality that they couldn’t do without: I always showed up for work. And as long as I kept doing that, nothing short of blind robbery was going to get me in any real trouble. In my two and a half years there, I managed to get written up 13 times. According to the company manual, you’re automatically fired after your third. Once I realized this, I really turned my creativity loose upon the ghouls.

There’s something to be said for basic kindness. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. They call it the golden rule, and I happen to think it makes for a fine life philosophy. Unfortunately, some of my ghouls didn’t agree. When it’s 4 a.m., and you’re tired, cranky, and lost, do NOT take out your problems on the guy behind the counter. Yelling at him with language that would make a sailor blush is not advisable, especially when you follow it up with a request for directions back to the Interstate. I say this because if the guy behind the counter is me, as it so often was, then I’m liable to send you on your way with a set of directions that will land you at least fifty miles out of your way, and as far from the Interstate as humanly possible.

Often times I’d start them out down the road in the wrong direction, but with accurate directions. If I said they’d pass a blinking yellow light 8 miles after the turn, then they would. But at some point, I’d stop giving them actual details, and just start making things up. You might feel this is rude. I’d agree with you, but also remind you that at a measly $8.50 an hour, my tolerance for assholes was relatively low, and usually already used up by the time they walked in the door. And of all the times I did it, I never had any of them come back to bitch me out on the subject. Part of that probably had something to do with the fact that I had them so lost that they couldn’t have found their way back to me if they tried. But I like to think that part of the reason was also shame in their behavior, and the consequences it delivered upon them. Or maybe they just thought they heard me wrong. Ghouls can be silly that way.

But for all of the tedium, and the amusements that I conjured up to deal with it, there was a price to be paid. And that price was absolute fear. Working at a gas station is a dangerous job. The entire establishment is a large neon target just begging to be robbed. And working third shift, alone, without any sort of security aside from a phone, can be downright nerve wracking. In that business, it isn’t a question of if you’ll have the shit scared out of you, but simply when.

One night I was reading a paper behind the counter when I heard the door open. I finished reading the sentence I was on, and then put the paper down. When I looked up, I was greeted with the site of an obviously strung out guy in his 40’s, wearing a stained rugby sweater and no pants. While I tried to process this, he walked up and calmly ordered a pack of Virginia Slims, a traditionally female cigarette. Leary of turning my back on him, but also not wanting to piss him off, I managed to reach behind me and blindly grab a pack without taking my eyes off of him. I rung them up, and he paid using a greasy fiver that he had tucked in his shoe. He told me to keep the change, lit up one using a counter display lighter, and walked back out into the night. I never saw him again.
On another occasion, I was outside sweeping the islands. This is a menial task that I abhorred, but it was a good change of pace from the confines of the store. While working beside Pump #3, I bent down to grab a discarded coke can. A squeal of tires followed by the unmistakable sound of metal dragging on the road brought me upright. Just as I stood up, a tire flew past and slammed into the stainless steel side of the pump hard enough to leave a two foot dent. When I looked back around, I found an older model sedan sitting at an angle on our entrance ramp from the road. The front driver side tire had come off, and the car was resting on the hub. A police investigation later concluded that the drivers neighbor had removed all of the lug nuts on that tire as revenge for the guy stealing his parking spot. He had driven almost 3 miles like that, and the tire had only come off as he turned to enter the lot. They also figured out that at the velocity the tire was moving when it hit the pump, it would have almost certainly have killed me instantly. Both the driver and I were spared death by mere chance.

Third shift in a gas station is a different world. You meet both the best and the worst that humanity has to offer. I’ve had my life threatened over a cup of coffee, and I’ve had complete strangers give me $50 tips for being a kind face on a lonely night.. I’ve stared into the long hours of the predawn and seen life at its worst, and at its best. But no matter what I’ve seen or experienced, one fact holds constantly true. There’s nothing quite like third shift in the neon graveyard.

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Doggybag/baggy_dog is an artist living and working in Barga, Italy. Click here to read about this piece in his own words.


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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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