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Reader Submission

Posted 21 October 2002, 8.57 pm by Shaggy

This is a reader submission from Sam M. Enjoy, and thanks for the article, Sam!

I have often found that some people simply focus on the negative. Some of my friends, much to my surprise, have turned from the fun-loving people they once were into something altogether different, all under the pretense of "maturity."

I understand that, as you grow up, it is inevitable that people change. At my age, with my friends from high school scattered across the globe, I have to come to grips with this ultimate truth. Yet, I was always told that "the more things change, the more they stay the same..."

I have lost friends because of this change. Some have become so trivial and airy that I cannot stand their company. I do not dislike these people. Some of them I still adore, but it pains my heart to be with them, remembering what they once were.

It might possibly be a danger that I can remember as far back as when I was two years in existence. Remembering the childish in these friends of mine makes me seriously miss that childishness, that jovial time when the stresses of the world are still foreign.

I might be naive to think that all my friends will always get along with me. I have just married recently, and the experience has humbled me somewhat. I see some friends disappear simply out of jealousy, as if my marriage reminds them of something they cannot have. Other friends, I lose simply because their cynical nature either meshes with my ever-lasting optimism, or I no longer wish to humor their darkened personae.

Re-reading what I have just written, I must explain myself. I do not wish to leave my friends behind. In fact, my friends have gotten me through many difficult times. I just cannot perceive of their changes, their alterations. Maybe it comes with knowing what they were like as children, when all the pretenses a person can gather have yet to play with their sense of self. Perhaps I am naive to think that childhood is such a purity, that I can remember the pure essence of someone simply because I remember what they once were.

At any rate, I apologize to all my friends who I left behind, and I hope that you will forgive me. I also hope that you live a life of love and happiness, and that you shall be in love as I am. There is more to life than differences.

Life is so very wonderful, once you get right down to it :)

The Ring

Posted 21 October 2002, 9.17 am by The_Roach

Believe it or not, I am a difficult man to please. Especially when it comes to films. I'm not sure if I was a film snob before I lived with someone that had something good to say about every flick to be released or if this experience was chiefly responsible for it. I will say this, though. The Ring fucking rocks.

The premise is spooky enough to make a good spine-tingler. There's a video tape that, once watched, will cause you to die in seven days. When a Seattle reporter's sixteen-year-old niece dies of a heart attack, she sets out to determine the circumstances, discovers the tape, and attempts to unravel it's mysteries before they unravel her. There's nothing quite like trying to make that kind of deadline.

The film contains all your expected cliches. Excellent background music, more than a fair share of shock tactics, and some just downright disturbing uses of special effects. What will make this a classic, however, is it's very carefully calculated suspense. Several plot twists abound, and there can be no safe assumptions as to the villain or their motivation. All the pieces do fall in to place by the conclusion, and I have to applaud the filmmakers for taking a road slightly less traveled within the genre. It's still not exactly what I would have hoped for, but it's a step in the right direction for Hollywood.

This film was good enough that when I observed a rather obscure (and very geeky) error on the part of the filmmakers, I actually had let myself forget it within five minutes of it's observation. Of course, I've had plenty of time to reflect on it now, and I'm still right. They should have noticed their mistake. I'd like to see if anyone else catches it, personally, as it would make me feel like less of an anal-retentive loser.

So, grab someone who frightens easily (or, yourself, should you fall into that category) and take an opportunity to see what we've been missing in terms of horror. For a taste, here's a link to complete footage of the video that kills.

I think they are as nuts as we....

Posted 21 October 2002, 1.16 am by Berly

This is a site I came across...and honestly I can't remember what I was looking for when it happened.

They've got humor, commentary and the daily Peeg. It's become a regular stop for me, I think you will like it too.

Rum and Monkey

Persistence of Memory

Posted 20 October 2002, 8.30 am by The_Roach

I'm frequently amazed by the types of things that trigger my memory. I saw a movie tonight, a horror film. I haven't been to see a flick in a theatre in over a year now, but the choice seemed like it could be entertaining, and the company was good, so I figured it'd be worth the price of admission.

I'm at that point in my life when I should be looking forward. I have a whole world of options laid out in front of me, golden opportunities that require only my will and determination to take the fullest advantage of them. Tonight, however, I'm only looking back.

I have a long history with the horror genre in film. I can remember the first one of these films that I saw in the theatre. I was far too young at the time to get past the ticket booth, but we were with adults and things were a lot less strict in those days anyway. I can look back on that movie and laugh. I've seen it countless times since, and I can recognize it for it's ironic humor and frequent moments of camp.

This pales in comparison to the first film of it's kind I had ever seen. I was about four years old, as I can remember it, and the film was Silver Bullet. It's funny to me now how an adaptation of a Stephen King story could have frightened me as much as it did, but it wasn't nearly so humorous then. I had nightmares for years. I can still feel the hair on the back of my neck rise as I clearly recollect the climactic scene where the young protagonist is reaching into a drain to retrieve his single bullet, his single shot at survival. I even visualize the gunshot, the werewolf flying back against the wall, his fur retreating into his skin to reveal the weak and mortal man underneath. And, then, the presumed dead villain reaches out to grasp his killer, only to fall short and slump over in his final movements among the living. I've never seen the movie since that first viewing.

What's funny about all of this, though, are the people that I associate this film with. From the time that I was five weeks old until I was nearly six years of age, I had a babysitter. It was similar to the daycare we have available to working professionals these days, but it was far more personal. The woman had only two clients, and we grew up together, in a sense. I can't remember who the other girl was, though. I can't even remember the sitter's name. I always just called her Quigley.

She's no longer with us, Quigley, having died over ten years ago now. I'm not sure how it was that she died. My mother might have told me at one point. I think that she may have just said that she'd passed on. I remember speaking with her husband a few years ago while on a visit to my home town. He wasn't particularly talkative when I was a young child, and it appears that little has changed with him. I'm not even certain if he's still alive now.

I remember their children, already deep within the throes of their teenage rebellions by the time I was even old enough to comprehend their existence. I can conjure an afternoon when their youngest daughter was going on and on to me about the virtues of Billy Idol, his face plastered all over the walls and ceiling of her tiny upstairs bedroom, the only illumination coming from a lightbulb which had been painted red.

So many little details can come to mind. Quigley's chronic foot pain, the ratty furniture, the pet snake that my mother was utterly terrified of, the collection of vintage Coca-Cola bottles in the storage area off the kitchen. I know the entire layout of that place, despite it being so long ago. I can even remember when I had started to learn to read, with the help of an instruction manual to the Atari 2600 version of Centipede, still able to visualize the logo on the booklet.

How do we retain such utterly mindless detail? Are these truly the things that shape us into the people we become? Am I always going to have this attachment to a townhouse on the west end of York, Pennsylvania? I'm not sure. Honestly, I hadn't even thought for one second about Quigley, or her family, or her house until this night. I may not again for many years, but she'll always be a part of me and I suppose I'll just have to accept that.

Arkansas' Aerie

Posted 19 October 2002, 11.51 pm by firebrand

I’ve been away from here too long. I’m getting more and more caught up in the world; I’m losing who I am. This mountain, this bluff, this slab of sandstone – they are all my refuge from urbania and the hectic helter-skelter of modern life. The sheer solitude of it all is where I find my sanity. I’d call it my Walden, but I’m no Ralph Waldo.

Of course, I haven’t completely escaped my fellow man, just left him behind for the time being. The sound of trucks puttering up the other side of the mountain is still louder than the sound of crickets and flies. People still occasionally drive up to my little haven, but I regard them as tourists. They usually get out of their car, give me a quick wave, wander around for a minute, and then drive off. They see the vista but they can’t appreciate it.

They don’t even stay long enough to watch the sun set and see the mist creep up the valley. They’ve never watched the hawks hunt – never seen those noble carnivores sweep gracefully across the treetops only to dive suddenly beneath that green carpet. They have never been still enough to notice the occasional glimmers from the stream on the valley floor.

Mankind has taken itself out of nature. The stunning beauty she can offer is no more than an idle curiosity and her vicious nature is foreign to our comfortable technology-driven lives. Don’t get me wrong. I love infrastructure. Without it there would be no dirt road to get to this bluff, no truck to drive on that rutted track, and no gas to power the truck. But I think we have lost touch with what life really is. Life is not towers of steel and glass. Life is out here, with the trees and the grass.

But now the sun is setting, and I must leave my heart behind and return to the working world. I’ll be back. But it will never be soon enough.

More pictures of petit jean mountain are here

Did you have a yesterday?

Posted 19 October 2002, 4.56 am by JamTorkberg

First of all, let me apologies for the incoherent-ness of the following article. I have been trying to write something worthwhile, but I have not been sleeping, and my thoughts suffer as a result. I think I will stick to short stories for the time being.

Have you ever stopped to consider what your past is? In truth, we as humans can only perceive the now, the present, the very moment we are living in. But, that moment is so tiny, so infinitely small, that it passes before we know it was there, and we are on to the next moment. So, being so small, we enjoy accumulating moments we have already lived through, sorting them out, and comparing them to the now. That is our past, in a sense.

But look at your past. Take a long look at how you define it. As beings that permanently perceive the present moment, how do we even know the past exists? Well, memories for one. We know what we had for breakfast today. We know the last time we had a really good stake, our most recent kiss. But this is not our past. This is the afterimage of more nano-moments, mere collections of “nows”. We take for granted that time passed between these moments. We try to keep track of how much time passed. But we do not recall that time.

No doubt you have heard the phrase “Time flies when you are having fun.” Ever wonder why? Because, while having fun, you loose track of the moments in between the moments you choose to remember. But when not stimulated, the brain takes notice and logs all around it, filling in all the blank spaces between “now” and “then”.

In your memory, you define your life by placing spans of time between the moments you have recorded. Physical evidence would be best, of course. Photographs, films, foot prints, books. These can be taken and stored, but the only advantage is that they may last longer. There is no way to record every moment of our lives, so we must still place distances of time between the moments ate are recorded. But then, what moments do we choose to record?

I speak for myself here, but life is defined by what I call Human Connections. These are the moments that last, the moments that help us define not just where we have been, but where we are. For example, when asked when I moved the west coast, I do not recall the date, or where I lived before. I recall that two years ago I broke up with my most recent girlfriend, and lived alone for a year, then moved to the west coast. I moved a year ago.

As that breakup is my most recent Human Connection, time is beginning to grow fuzzy for me. Within a matter of months, if things do not change, I will begin to loose definition of the amount of time between my major life moments. And a moment that one measures one’s life by, to me, can be nothing trivia. Losing a job, a day at the fair, the day your dog died. None of these are substantial enough to be a milestone of life. A milestone must be strong, such as something never experienced before, and must be with another human, any other human. The first time you make love. The first time you killed a man. These are moments that help to define life.

Name that beard!

Posted 18 October 2002, 1.34 pm by Craig

Those guys over at b3ta have yet another great game for you to play!!!! Visit Site. I just wish I could get the tune they play in th background on mp3!

A Different Character (or the Dislike of a Roommate)

Posted 17 October 2002, 6.36 pm by Shaggy

Text modified Friday, October 18th, 2002. Will be deleted upon further instruction.

I am growing up. As such, it is time for me to enter into such an abstract as "The Real World." What is this abstract? As flesh and blood, do I not exist in this world? Is it only when I look into the future that I become real, focusing on how I will pay payments?

Does that mean that a child who dies before he or she gathers these worries never existed in the first place? I think that is a huge fallacy, for there is no death more sad than that of a child.

No, existence is something that has to be closely examined. My existence can only be rated by those with the same passions and intelligences as I have. Thus, only young and hopeful writers need apply in gathering my conception of real, for they are my interpretive community. They are the lens through which I see the world.

Yet, can I be summed up as being real as a writer? Am I not also a young man, caught in between the consequences of my actions and my growing maturity? Is it the colour of my blood, so to speak, that dictates my presence?

I would think not. I am present, I can feel my flesh and that of the woman I love. My eyes see, and my brain interprets, and thus I am real in the physical sense. In the practical sense, I pay my rent on time, I attend all my classes, I bleed and work constantly (though I have been rather slack these past few days... but anyone who has seen me for the first bit of classes would, I think, agree that I could use the break), and my sweat can be felt. I have been birthed, and, as far as I know, have not yet been abandoned.

When people think of the "real world," they simply mean death. Often, it is not even unequivocal that they are discussing such a morbid topic. "How can you avoid death, and not be prepared for it at all." This is the question that is asked of the real world. I do not want to be an empty shell after my flesh has been reabsorbed into this earth. I will have presence, I will postexist my flesh, and this is something that I passionately believe. Thus, the worries of the flesh are only taken with a grain of salt. Undoubtedly, I do require that my flesh stays on my bones, but only so I can interact with this fragile thing that is human existence.

I love humans, though there be specific people that I dislike.

No, indeed, I fight this thing called "real." In the real world, there is naught but death. In my world, where my head rests in the clouds, there is so much Beauty, so much Truth. I can cry in this world, and I can laugh. I can be frightened, and I can frighten. The practical exists only to keep my flesh on my bones, but the Unreal, the surreal... this is the existence that keeps me alive!

I am in the real world. I exist. I bleed, and I feel. These are the most important things for me; to be able to bleed for my cause, to be able to feel and kiss and love... these are things that I do not take for granted. Even, to a lesser extent, the passion that is dislike.

I think the reason that religion and art are such a strong presence is the simple fact that one cannot exist completely in the real world. One is stagnant when one embraces the Real as it has become in contemporary science. A person with nothing more than the faith that he/she is a clog in the machine of life, nothing more nothing less, is a dead person. Even the people who seem boring return home to passions, be they imagining being rich, having a beautiful wife... indeed, it is in this imagination, this pretending, that will always postexist a single human.

The Greek Historians made a point to fabricate and alter, so as to further the passion of the followers, and in doing so they have found something so precious that a strong wind might blow it out. Yet, they have also found something so beautiful, so real, that it makes grown men, even the strongest of us, cry. The concept that we might postexist the flesh, in whatever manner, is what puts a smile on a face, is what makes people fight to please each other.

It is in ignoring the possibility that humanity can postexist the flesh, and in the absence of imagination and art, that we get something devoid of humanity.

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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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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness


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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