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HAPPY?

Posted 14 August 2002, 1.39 am by Villager


What is it, to be happy? Is it to always have a smile, always see the brighter side of life, and never cry? Is it to know only joy, pleasure and feelings of contentedness, delirium and elation? Is it to never fall into sadness, sorrow and depression? If that is the definition of happiness, I know I shall never be happy. But I don't want to smile all day, and never know of sorrow, sadness, depression, doubt or struggle. A peachy life of roses and sunshine isn't a real world. The typical definition/idea of happiness is wrong. That is cloud cuckoo-land, not a realistically attainable situation in life.

Happiness should be a state of mind where you know joy and its entailments, but not where they are your sole pursuit. To know of joy, and to balance it with wisdom, learning and self-reflection, whether good or bad, leads far more to fulfilment than gratifying one's immediate senses. You might even say the understanding and acceptance of joy means more than its actual experience. Without understanding joy cannot be worth the title of 'happiness', although the converse is of course true. Joy is a vital part of life, however the individual chooses to go about that. Without knowing hard times, good times cannot be fully appreciated, and without experiencing hardship and struggles you have no perspective as to the way in which you deal with these elements, and how they affect you.

You might say that my 'balance' of joy with other less titillating forms of experience and thought process form a kind of happiness themselves, but perhaps even if they should, that would not be a commonly held or accepted view. Happiness is supposed to total, unblemished and the result of your hard work and attainment of various pursuits in life. Money, career, stable household. Fuck that. The common perception of happy purports a delusional pursuit of an empty, worthless lifestyle. What we tell ourselves we want and need we may be able to convince ourselves of, but is it really right that such material developments grow over natural instincts of friendship, learning, family life, community and personal development?

What a place to be...

Posted 11 August 2002, 3.38 am by Jake

Three days.

It had been three days since Lisa had last heard from her daughter. The grandchildren were supposed to have come over that day to go shopping for school supplies. Too bad that her daughter, Linda, had gotten mixed up with this Mexican immigrant that couldn’t write or read, Spanish or English. ‘Goddamn’, she thought. ‘Young maiden, I hope your hours are more gentle than mine.’
She picked up the telephone and called her sister and brother-in-law.
“Hey, Shelley?”
“Yeah, what’s up, sis? Haven’t heard from you in a while.”
“Well, I have a sort of predicament that I wanted your help. And John’s help, too.”
“What’s up?”
“Well, I haven’t heard from Linda in about a week. The kids were supposed to come over and go shopping with me, and nobody is answering the phone. I passed by their house this morning and no cars were there. I was wondering if you and John would go over there with me so we can check things out. This really bothers me.”
“Well….sure. We don’t have to work today and all of the chores are done, so we’ll see you in a bit, I guess.”
“Alright…thanks Shell. I appreciate you guys helping out.”
“Well, why not? It’s your daughter, my niece, after all.”
“I know. See you in a little while.”
“Okay…bye.”

Lisa placed the telephone in its cradle with shaky hands. She lit a cigarette, inhale…exhale the carcinogens and tar…and walked out to her Envoy. She started it up with a resounding “vrooom” and took off to her sister’s house.

On the way to Linda’s house, Shelley could tell that something was really bothering her sister. She spoke in short, erratic sentences and was visibly shaking. She drove fast, way too fast compared to the calm, cool demeanor with which she managed when driving to the grocery store….something was really wrong.

They pulled into the desolate driveway, the gravel crackling under the new Goodyear tires. Linda’s black lab, Hershey, was on a chain in the backyard, barking rapidly at the arrival of company. Lisa stared vapidly at the house for a minute, and then proposed: “Alright, you guys ready?”
“Sure,” Shelley replied, with a tone of insecurity resounding in her throat. She patted John on the knee.
“You ready to go, babe?”
“Yeah, ready as ready can be,” he replied with a hint of worry.
Lisa quipped; “John, could you go look in the backyard? Just see what’s going on there? I think they may have moved, according to the neighbors. Shelley can come with me to see what’s inside.”
John reassured his sister-in-law’s frightened mind. “No problem. You want me to feed the dog while I’m back there?”
“Yeah. I think they keep the dog food in one of the sheds.”

John trudged around the side of the house, grumbling to himself. “Fuckin’ ungrateful kids, leaving town and not telling anyone….”
Hershey barked at John’s entrance, wagging his tail in sheer delight. John looked at both of the steel bowls. Empty. He skulked over to the side of the house, turning on the water spigot and running a fresh bowl of water for Hershey. He heard three sharp knocks around the front of the house. ‘Shelley and Lisa,’ he thought. He looked at the overflowing bowl and walked back over to turn off the water. Three more sharp knocks, even faster.
He shook his head and paced to the closest shed. “Maybe the dog food’s in here?” he said to himself. Hershey yelped and whimpered.
“Guess so.”
John breathed a sigh of uncertainty as he reached for the lock. Three more sharper knocks, running together as a single, drawn-out rap. “Guess nobody’s home,” he thought again. He opened the door to the first shed.
Nothing, save for a few fishing poles covered in cobwebs, a saw, and a few axes. He shut the door, cursed the lock as he snapped it back into place, and stepped over to the next one. He noticed that there was no lock on this one. Odd. He twisted the doorknob, and heard an exclamation of surprise and maybe even fear from the front of the house. Then he looked into the shed.

“HOLY FUCK!” Lisa yelped as they walked into the house. There was blood all over the walls. Blood on the couch, on the television, on the new cream-colored carpet. “Jesus Christ, what happened? Look for them and the kids!”
Shelley heard a scream from the backyard. It was unlike anything she had ever heard. A banshee, even.
She saw John running from the furthest shed, yelling hysterically and waving his arms. She darted to the back door, unlocked it and shoved open the screen. “What’s wrong, hon?”

John didn’t know what to think. It was horrible. Flashes returned to him. An arm. A doll. A pool of blood. The intestines, spilled and hanging from the young girls’ corpses. The bloody scythe lying on the wooden floor, reeking of guilt. He ran towards Shelley, screaming and raving. “We gotta fuckin’ get outta here! Something really bad has happened! Jesus fucking Christ! Let’s just get in the fucking car and leave, right now! Get your sister and let’s go!”

They both paused and stayed silent as they heard a bloodcurdling wail from inside the house.

Lisa stood like a statue in the doorway, horrified. The depraved show that lay before her eyes was too much to bear.
Four men and two women sat around the emaciated corpses of Linda and her Mexican boyfriend. They were pulling off small pieces of rotted flesh in their teeth, grinning and growling with pleasure as they consumed the matter of what was once alive. They were all reveling in their bloodbath, and then the door opened.
Fresh meat.
Two of the men leapt up from their fresh discovery, rushing toward Lisa like an oncoming train. She screamed, and then was jerked from the doorway.
John leapt forward with an axe in his hand. With a primal bellow, he dove for the first person. He swung with all of his might, and his aim was true. He heard the solid thunk as his weapon met flesh and bone. The axe dug into the head of the first attacker, dropping him to the ground like a ton of bricks.
The second person was met by a knife-wielding Shelley. He was overtaken by her onslaught of vigor, and her erratic slashes proved to be too much. She drug the sharp knife across both forearms of the attacker, and jabbed it quickly into his throat.
The other four looked at what Shelley and John had done, and grinned wholeheartedly. They started toward the duo with bloody teeth bared and ready. Lisa ran in, screaming, with what appeared to be somewhat of a Molotov Cocktail, rigged with a cheap bottle of Cuervo and a paper towel doused in alcohol. She tossed the flaming concoction at the offending group, and grabbed John and Shelley by the arms. “We’ve got to get the hell out of here!”
“What?!?”the pair asked.
“I turned on the gas lines, we gotta leave now!!”
“Well quit talking, and let’s fucking go!”

Bob the Builder Sex

Posted 10 August 2002, 6.46 pm by Craig


This is just plain wrong.

Achilles Heel

Posted 9 August 2002, 11.41 pm by Alexander

If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything.

But this is not without it's drawbacks. I can quite clearly trace the path of my life through those who oppose me. Back when I was a kid, I didn't really care about anything - nothing drove me except the next weekend or school holiday or birthday or christmas. If you discount the chronic hypochondria, happier times. For pretty much all of my adult life I've been driven by a variety of concepts both adopted and self-realised. This isn't really news to anyone who visits this site regularly or who claims to be my friend in what we tenuously allude to as 'real life'. I stopped making apologies a long time ago, but my sense of how others perceive me and react to my modus operandi has been sharpened somewhat of late.

I was describing to someone today how people can only really hurt you - get to the core of you - when you care about something. The really talented individuals can eke this out and prey on it for whatever reason. I care about a great many things and I don't hide it. I care about my art for the main, and this encapsulates my world wide web ventures, my music, my paintings and drawings, my kung fu. I also care about the world, which might seem nebulous and 'miss america', but I care about it in the respect that I recognise what I see to be obvious flaws and I alter my own behaviour to affect change. In my experience very few people do this or realise they can. Or maybe they can and they just don't choose to.

Each of these is a target and an easy way to irritate, upset or hurt me, potentially. If I distanced myself from all that by saying 'ah who cares', I almost definitely would not be putting 100% into my endeavours - and what's the point in doing anything if you're not going to do your utmost? So... I stand behind it all unreservedly and I take whatever flak comes my way.

Now, this is understandable and by no means exclusive to myself. Nor am I taking a 'martyrs' stance on it. I fully accept that the further left-field my ideas and endeavours become, the harsher and easier criticism and mockery come. Like most of you, I look to my idols and I see that not one of them has had a life without obstacles, without mockery and undeserved hatred. It's part of the whole package. You want to attempt innovation? You want to attempt to change things? Well best of luck boy because some people are afraid and insecure and clever in all the wrong ways.

I'm sure we're all guilty at times of knocking down something we don't understand or simply don't want to understand. We attempt to bring the protagonist back 'down to earth' or even better, underneath us.

The next time you're about to scoff at the performance artist, or dismiss all modern art as junk, or badmouth the entrepeneur, take a moment to ask yourself 1) Why do I feel the need to mock or belittle them? and 2) In what way is their activity negatively affecting my life?

There are worse evils in the world than experimentalists, artists, individuals, people with a higher purpose or a concept. Like blind ignorance, inbred fear of change and instinctive rejection of new points of view.

Drinking games!

Posted 8 August 2002, 8.21 pm by Craig


Visit Site.

Great Links

Posted 8 August 2002, 8.10 pm by Craig


Ever wish that you could just click a link and be randomly taken to practically any web site on the internet?

Me neither, but it can be done

Linkroulette.

Brightness Falls

Posted 6 August 2002, 2.13 am by The_Roach

Brightness Falls
by Jay McInerney
Knopf, 1992

Every once in a while, a book comes along that totally realigns your perspective on the world. Brightness Falls is not one of these books.

The story follows a married couple and their friends through their lives in New York City during the year 1987. A time and place in which God was replaced by Dow Jones, yuppie mentality pervaded every level of society that could afford it, and (judging by the author's analysis through his characters) literature was at an all time low. Russell and Corrine Carroway seem to have the matrimony thing pretty well worked out, something that none of their peers seem to be managing themselves.

Of course, it wouldn't be an interesting novel without some sense of conflict. Russell, an editor at a prestigious publishing house, determines that he (nor art) is recieving the kind of attention deserved from his superiors and makes a risky attempt at hostile takeover by way of a leveraged buyout. As his power and status grow, he becomes distanced from his wife and begins to let his eye wander.

At it's core, the novel attempts to bear the ancient theme of hubris causing the downfall of it's protagonist. Sadly, it's attempt to decry excessive ambition in the face of unsurmountable (and unnecessary) odds is hampered by that same sort of ambition, as McInerney attempts to connect every social, economic and political issue of the time to the protagonist, a feat far better accomplished by the still mediocre Forrest Gump four years earlier. Though, in Brightness Falls' defense, perhaps it's easier to cover decades in this fashion than a single year.

The real bright side to this, however, is what falls between the cracks. Rumors mentioned in passing get changed and referenced throughout the book, like some literary version of the child's game "Telephone". Many of the characters (especially Corrine) are very believable, even those who only make brief appearances once or twice in the book manage to stay in memory for quite some time. One supporting character has even become the basis for my own literary dream. He writes one great book once, and then lives off of free lunches from editors while scamming additional advances on his second novel for over twenty years.

Will I read it again? Probably not. The most likely chance of that happenening is if I were to somehow forget that I read it the first time. It was a fairly enjoyable book, despite it's failings and worth a page through, if only while sitting on the toilet.

The Holy Bible

Posted 6 August 2002, 1.54 am by Villager

I told myself that I would never review anything by the Manic Street Preachers on AKpCEP. Your first question is probably 'who are the manic street preachers?', your second is likely 'why do they have such a stupid name?' and your third is probably why wouldn't you review them?'. Well, the Manics are, easily, my favourite musical outfit. With the exception of 'This Is My Truth tell Me Yours', I adore all of their other five albums (Generation Terrorists, Gold Against The Soul, The Holy Bible, Everything must Go, and Know Your Enemy). Why? Because they make music that comes from the heart, ranging emotion from hate, anger, angst, love, pity, and much much more. That may not sound so unusual, but the Manics do it with truly ingenious lyrics, masterful manipulation of instruments and very skilled vocals. Now to the album.

'The Holy Bible' sounds sadistic, and it is. the subject matter is depressing; prostitution, immorality, disease, anorexia etc. The album opens with the ironic(I love our free country, the stars and stripes and an apple for mommy, passionate 'Yes', followed by the anthemic 'Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforjustonedayitswholeworldwouldfallapart' and the pure anger that is 'Of Walking Abortion'. Check out the verse:

LITTLE PEOPLE IN LITTLE HOUSES
LIKE MAGGOTS SMALL BLIND AND WORTHLESS
THE MASSACRED INNOCENT BLOOD STAINS US ALL.

WHO'S RESPONSIBLE - YOU FUCKING ARE.
WHO'S RESPONSIBLE - YOU FUCKING ARE.
WHO'S RESPONSIBLE - YOU FUCKING ARE.
WHO'S RESPONSIBLE - YOU FUCKING ARE.
WHO'S REPONSIBLE

Sheer energy, passion and emotion. If I were in a band, I could never hope to achieve such a perfect encapsulation of what I feel in music. It's not crude, either, like the Sex Pistols (who do bear similarity in some respects to this album). This album will change your life. It changed mine. Download either Yes, Of Walking Abortion, or Faster, if you want to sample the album, but they're all cut from the same high quality cloth. That doesn't mean it's predictable, as in contract to the passionate hatred and anger is the melodic This Is Yesterday, illustrating the range in styles the Manics have.


The greatest album ever produced by Wales' greatest band.

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In 2018 I started painting again. This was one of a series of acrylic sketches I did to relearn techniques and revisit my skills from art college.


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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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