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Reader Submission #87198527

Posted 28 October 2002, 9.03 pm by Alexander

This is a reader submission from Chronocidal, which between you and me I don't think is the name his mother calls him.

Rite of Passage:

My friends and I were driving by the dormitories in Manhattan, Kansas, and I observed a couple of college-age students sitting outside and shooting the breeze; I realized something when I saw the simple scene playing out before my eyes… I never got to lead the life that they very well could be taking for granted. I've never lived the stereotypical “have fun now, make up for it later” lifestyle that’s running rampant in America’s ghettos and suburbs, and I suppose I feel like I've been scammed out of a very important piece of my life. Even my future’s foreseeable plan of attack doesn't involve the raging teenage angst that I've almost cried out in anguish for. Do I really wish I was living that life, or am I suffering from some sort of adolescent cry for normalcy that has been reoccurring more and more frequently as of late?

I suppose that delving into my previous experiences with my social peers would be helpful in unearthing the reasons behind my sudden ill temperament. My high school days, which seem all too previous for having occurred less than 3 months ago, were relatively uneventful. I was the ordinary smarter-than-school intellect and frequently found myself neglecting my school work due to lack of patience and/or lack of willpower to make myself do something that I felt was too trivial to apply brain power towards… but I feel my current situation has to deal more with my relationships with students more than it does with books and teachers. I never went out and did the party scene as much as numerous people I knew; it wasn't so much that I wasn't cool enough to be invited to parties, as is the case with a growing number of intellectual teenagers these days, but I ordinarily didn't feel the desire to immerse myself in the superfluous partying lifestyle that I saw my friends diving into headfirst. Michelle would invite me to parties, Scott would hold parties and invite Chuck and I, and I have several other acquaintances which would periodically host parties to which I was invited.

Something about that lifestyle never appealed to my specific taste in fun, I suppose it was the fact that I saw my step-father and mother in their current states (I usually hypothesized that I wanted to be the complete opposite of my family that resides in the same housing complex as I did… an ordinary reaction, I've come to conclude) and I found myself not wanting to live their current lifestyle. My mother is a hypocritical, drunken excuse for a matriarch, much the same as my sister (Angela) is, and my step-father is a washed out ex-Army depression case. I think that, albeit I like to play my life out to a more grandiose level than it should be taken, I am a relatively normal child. Which makes my lack of excitement at the prospects of partying all that more disturbing to me… if I don't show any outward signs of horrible exclusion from the rest of 18 year olds, why should I feel any different about certain situations than my friends?

I hope that people who party and read this don't feel like I'm being condescending towards them at all, because that isn't the purpose of this self-discovery; however, I feel that the reason that I never immersed myself in the popular culture evident all around me is that I don't want to feel like I have to grow out of anything else. Partying, drinking, and doing drugs is something that ends with age, and I don't ever want to feel like I have to reach a certain coming of age to realize who I am. People who have recovered from doing drugs have some life-altering event take place that shakes their faith in their current lifestyle… I don't want to look back on my life and say that I honestly regret any of the actions I've undertaken in my short stay here. I hope that perhaps I'll be able to tell my children, which I do plan to have one day (sooner than most people), that I did what they're doing at the moment once in my life, but I learned my lesson and tuned my life around before something catastrophic happened.

I suppose the underlying factor in all of this is that I've found someone who I feel like I can feel complete with, regardless of whether or not I'm in the scene I'm supposed to be in. I suppose that teenagers and college students party and do the drug scene to fill an empty void in your life, and I'm sure that most rehabilitation centers tell their patients that they need to find something to take the mind off of the void they feel without drugs… I suppose at the moment I've found the occupation of that void naturally inherent in my soul. Who knows what will happen in the future, but I'm thankful for now and as long as I can possibly conceive that Ashley’s part of my life and part of my upbringing… the fact that she doesn't disapprove of my seemingly unnatural lifestyle shows me that I'm not as against the grain as I previously conceived.

I suppose that every person has to achieve a certain rite of passage so that they too can come to a strikingly similar conclusion I've come to; I suppose another way to put that would be to say that everyone has to find their own Ashley. I still have some scruples about my life as it is, due mainly to it’s oddities from the normal, but at the same time I like to think that my life has been enriched by its oddities and idiosyncrasies. I have no problems with others living the life that they choose to live (to do anything else would be condescending and overly-judgmental on my part), but I have to choose the path that my own life will have to tread. I'm happy with where I am.

Documents on the Beltway Sniper

Posted 27 October 2002, 2.39 pm by Craig


Visit Site.

Ultima Ratio Regum

Posted 27 October 2002, 11.38 am by Jake

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson is a jet-fueled romp through a geographically skewed, post-apocalyptic futuristic society. It introduces a very Neuromancer-like Metaverse, which is the digital equivalent of the real world, albeit where everything is related to information.

Action in this novel switches almost seamlessly between Reality and the Metaverse, which shows Stephenson's proficiency as an author. The plot is driven mainly through the character development and setting (ironically enough, the lead character is named Hiro Protagonist), and Stephenson does a great job of blending action into the plot so as not to bore the reader.

Throughout the story, there are several perspective shifts, which in fact don't affect the pacing and cohesion of the story, but actually give this already atmospheric novel more depth. Stephenson's writing style is a force to be reckoned with, also. When leafing through this book, his style is all over the place.

With a God-given knack for imagery and his spitting out lines such as "It feels like being massaged with a hundred ball peen hammers", you know you're in for a reasonably entertaining ride. Bristling with cultural criticism and sprinkled with a generous bit of Sumerian history, the sheer size of the book (438 p.) may turn off some readers.

But if you're looking for a good, fun read to kill some time, Snow Crash might be just what you need.

To get you in a Hallowe'en mood...

Posted 27 October 2002, 7.57 am by Acheron

This site is just packed with monochomism-like, text-based, goodies.

67 bourgeois die, who cares?

Posted 26 October 2002, 6.22 pm by Acheron

The gory end to the recent siege in Moscow gives us our first real chance to examine not only reactions to terrorism, but especially those of the Americans following September 11. Certainly, the "axis of evil" and its many God-hating minions have been busy these past thirteen months, but this is the first visceral example where a terrorist group has from the outset been blamed.

My question is why answer violence with violence? The current Russian government, since Putin's election, has enacted a surprisingly un-democratic campaign into Chechnya for the past three years.

Now, call me silly, or politically uninformed, but is it not the duty of a "democratic" government to listen to the demands of the people? If there is a separatist movement in a region of a country, is it more in line with the premise of your government to talk, vote, and accept; or is it the way of the democrat to drop fuel-air bombs over villages of women and children? Is all of this worth the price of two of your own soldiers a day, on average? If that is the death toll among the trained and equipped Russian soldiers, what must be the death toll among the rebels?

One Russian was quoted as saying, "Putin has only one choice. [U.S. President George W.] Bush showed the world what to do with these bastards after September 11. It's Putin's turn to liquidate them in Russia." I suppose the aspect of such statements that disturbs me most is that, whether or not they like it, these people are citizens of Russia. Regardless of their religious or political beliefs, they are countrymen to the people they held hostage, and to the soldiers who kill them.

It scares me when the prevalent belief among a country is that part of its population should be, "liquidated."

Play Gameboy Online

Posted 26 October 2002, 11.21 am by Craig


This site is Great! Play loads of the classic gameboy games in a matter of seconds.

Visit Site.

A Job to Do, part 1

Posted 25 October 2002, 6.03 pm by JamTorkberg

At first, I could only feel my fingers. As if my ten digits were the whole of my existence, somehow connected by an immaterial mind. I could even move them, though they still seemed to be attached to hands that did not exist. Before long, however, my hands did appear (I could tell by touching my palm with my middle finger). Then, not long after than, my feet materialized, followed by legs, arms, pelvic area, torso (which took a while what with all the organs contained within), and neck.

My head, now that was the difficult part. So complex, so many ins and outs. Even the slightest miscalculation could throw the whole thing out of whack, and I could end up with a huge dent in my forehead. So I thought about it very slowly and methodically: the exacta mass of my brain, the distance between my eyes, the length and shade of my lips, density of hair follicles per square inch, tongue density, nose size, ear level, cheekbone prominence, and so on.

Once all of my sensory equipment was in place and I had a brain with which to monitor and control everything, I began to take in the world around me. I was in an alley, somewhere out of sight of the main street, which is good. No man should have to be a witness to what I just went through. It was night, perhaps four hours after sunset. There was a fair amount of pollution about, so I was likely in a city. And I could hear commercial airliners not to far away. Sometime between 1970 and 2020

I nearly made the error of walking right out into plain sight wile still nude. I always seem to make this mistake. I’m not used to having limbs and a body, let alone remembering to cover them. If the shock and screams in those around me did not tip me off, the coldness assaulting my bare chest and buttocks would have let me know anyway. Luckily, a broken mirror lying on the ground of the ally helped me to realize my very nakedness.

I made some cloths, my customary fare. Gray cotton suit, white shirt, gray tie, black shoes, white socks, dark gray trench coat, and, you guessed it, a gray hat. I picked up a fragment of the mirror to look my face over, and make sure everything was where it should be. It was then I saw that my left iris lacked any pigment. It was both a relive and a shock. A relief in that I found the one mistake I made while putting myself together (I always make one, more out of necessity than lack of skill), and shock in that I had made my mistake to glaringly obvious. Missing the hair on one knuckle of one finger was the usual sort of error I would make, or missing a toenail, or an extra pair of ribs. Something that was wrong, but not very pronounced.

But one eye brown and the other stark white. This might be a problem. I took a pair of sunglasses out of a pocket, and put them on. It hid my imperfection, but the glasses might seem odd in the middle of the night. To make up for it, I made the gray of my outfit a few shades lighter, made my trench coat about an inch and a half shorter, and made my shoes a bit less polished. There. Much better.

I ventured out for the alley and into the grand city before me. I was instantly unsurprised by the images, sounds, and smells that assaulted me. It was the same old thing. I was disappointed that nothing was new, but you’d think that I would get used to the fact that things never change. I looked about for some place to get some dinner. Though it was dark, the hostility of the cold air meant is was likely winter, so darkness could mean anything. So I decided to eat dinner. I had to get something in me before the acid in my stomach started to tear at the soft walls around it. I spotted a diner a few blocks down, and walked over to it.

I was greeted by a nice lady who’s name was Lois. Lois was born in Brooklyn to a bank manager and his mistress, a secretary of a law firm he used to sue the man who hit his Rolls Royce, a man who’s son later died of a drug overdose in an alley, alone and forgotten, because all of his money was lost in a high risk venture that tanked when his partner accidentally ordered the wrong size nut (one sixteenth of an inch too small) and their product could not be manufactured. The partner ended up selling the nuts to a man named Stoan who owned a company that built diner stools. I sat down on one of Stoan’s stools and smiled. Connections everywhere.

I Don't Know Why

Posted 25 October 2002, 2.27 am by Berly

There is something odd about a little stretch of road near my home. It is a three-lane street (in both directions), with an eye pleasing, grassy, tree filled median. Within this median is a little bunch of fresh cut flowers. I don’t know why, but they are always there. They have been consistently replaced since I first noticed them approximately a year ago.

I've often wondered what they memorialize or signify. Whoever places them there goes through much trouble to do so. This street is a busy one, and there are no sidewalks or convenient safe places to pull off the road near this site.

I suppose I could call the police department and find out if a catastrophic accident occurred on or near that site. It's not even an intersection, which makes it even more mysterious. If there is a plaque or other informational item there, I'd never know it.

I'm further mystified, since one night while traveling this road I came upon a white truck with its emergency lights on, stopped next to the median. It wasn't until I passed the vehicle and looked in my rear view mirror that I realized what kind of opportunity I had just missed. I saw a man with flowers in his hand walking towards a spot where I knew the flowers would be the next morning.

I'm too busy to find out why the flowers baffle me instead of serving their purpose of reminding me. Perhaps I should make them my own monument to something.

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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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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness

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!

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