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Innocence.

Posted 23 June 2002, 3.02 am by Villager

The most striking change in the life of every human is when we fall from Innocence. Early youth is epitomised by curiosity, new experiences and the discovery of a whole new world. For a child there is no need for a reason or a logical explanation. No desire for absolute understanding or even to care further than immediate curiosity compels. All a child knows is a world where all the colours, smells, tastes and sounds bounce around and amaze, where wonder and fascination power a magical ride through each minute. Carefree, yet to be introduced to restrictions, rules, values, facts and the concept of bad, wrong, evil.

Perhaps this is the closest humans ever get to achieving heaven on earth. Yet to grow into the world where comprehension and understanding lead to dissatisfaction and pessimism more often then not. Where one can dream of childhood glee but never quite recollect the sparkly, enigmatic appeal of things unknown. Perhaps in a state where the child cannot yet understand the world, humankind and finally themselves there exists a state of purity of the soul. A purity which can never be truly recaptured, but in the search of which we never give up hope in life. A child is not happy because the child cannot comprehend happiness, because the child cannot comprehend an alternative. The child just is. And that is enough for a wondrous, magical journey of discovery, where each step in awe illuminates another pebble of the vast and intriguing new world.

The growth into adulthood, at its various speeds, is not a pretty one. Gradually, the joyous rainbow that embraces the sky is clawed away by clouds of disappointment. Magical stories are unveiled as ugly lies, education facilitates a move away from simple appreciation, and no longer do we content ourselves with the uncomplicated beauty of surroundings, the natural shine of which reverberate so strongly in the vivid and undaunted imagination of a child. Here comes negativity, pain, disappointment, cruelty, and a move away from ceaseless harmony. Not all at once though. Life rather chooses to let each pebble in the child’s imagination deteriorate gradually. By teenage this process has become overpowering, the link between childhood and adulthood has nearly torn. From here we learn about the real world.

Knowledge corrupts. Intelligence defeats perception as we look down upon the conquered world where once we stared up with eternal amazement. Out of the destruction of child comes adult, and so society. Society which represents the defeat of the soul and the emergence of its natural replacement. All of the emotions and feelings which encourages the adult to keep faith in the salvation of his soul are the remnants of humanity. In these we find kindness, compassion and good. The internal struggle which occupies and devours us all cannot be won, never can the mind climb to where it dreams. Never can return or replacement be achieved, yet to have it in sight is all that drives us. And so the lifelong, seemingly masochist torture of the individual goes.

Ever to strive, always to fall.

Society's Willing Victims

Posted 22 June 2002, 2.43 pm by Villager

This is not an attack of any description on fat people. Being fat is bad for you, it often inhibits exercise and other -normal- things that slim people do, it causes an array of health problems, and generally leads to a shorter, more difficult life. Fat people are mocked. Children are a wicked bunch in this department, but that is not all. Fat people are the butt of many jokes, especially in the media where comedians, or rather, people trying to be funny, often get a cheap gag at the expense of fat people the world over. There are thousands of promotional campaigns aimed at the fat population to encourage them to be slim, and even more showing thin people being happy.

The result of turning fat people into the modern day lepers? We undermine their position in society and encourage our young to treat them differently. I have sympathy for those overweight, I was a chubby child and I know it is not nice. However. For 95% of the fat people out there I believe the destiny of their size is 100% within their control. I have known several people, once they have gone on a calorie controlled diet coupled with a progressive exercise programme, to lose the majority of their excess body fat and be a whole lot slimmer and healthier.

I thus have very little sympathy for those that I see in McDonalds or those who complain from behind their TVs. If they are going to sit about and blame society for victimising them then they ignore the real issue - that their size is within their control. And in doing so they become Society's Willing Victims. They should not be highlighted in the media just as people with, say, lung cancer aren't mocked. In both cases it is very often largely within the victim's control as to their fate - but in both cases it shouldn't be made the subject of so much attention.

Filthy PC Competition

Posted 20 June 2002, 10.38 pm by Alexander

OK, here's a little bit of fun, as submitted by JanetDoggy.

Contentwatch is another one of these shitty scaremongering netnanny sites that hopes to clean up the world's PCs somehow. The interesting thing is, they have a tool you can run on the site where you can check how many 'objectionable' files you have on your HD. Now, bear in mind we are going by their definition of objectionable, and that they readily admit their test does not check for context, and you have one shitty piece of kit!

But, there is scope for much amusement dear readers - I ran it and there was no less than 901 files full of SMUT, FILTH and DEPRAVITY. Some of which were windows files. The challenge is on - can any of you beat my 901 files?

Saturday, June 15th

Posted 20 June 2002, 7.01 pm by The_Roach

The following is a reader submission from grapey. Enjoy.

okay, this is gonna take a bit to get down. and it might be something you don't actually want to read. which is fine. i debated writing about this. but it's something that i need to get out. and it's not something i should be ashamed of or afraid to write about.

life happens.

when i was 15 and a freshman in high school, i met a guy. i'll call him phillip.
we dated for a bit. he was my first "real" boyfriend. he was the first guy i had sex with. we had lot's of fun together. and got in occasional trouble. probably more than occasional actually. we skipped class sometimes, we drank, we performed general mischief.

one night, a friend of phillips came over to my house. i don't know why he came over. but we were sitting in my room, on my bed. talking. and then he leaned over and kissed me. my memory isn't perfect about everything, i know i told him to stop. asked him what he thought he was doing. i don't remember what he said. i asked him not to tell phillip, since the kiss wasn't something that i wanted, and i didn't want phillip getting mad at me.

well, it turns out that phillips friend couldn't help but tell him.

i went to school the next day and i was walking around outside during class. i believe i was looking for phillip as i had heard that he wanted to find me. i found him. he had a bunch of my stuff - letters i had written him and such. he took them and threw them in the trash, and was yelling at me about how awful i was and what a bitch i was, etc., etc. i was devestated. i cried. i don't remember what i said to him. if i tried to explain. i just knew that things were over.

i went home that day. and tried to kill myself.

i remember not even really having to think about it, it was just something that i needed to do. i got a 2 cup glass measuring cup out of the kitchen, a bottle of tylenol, and a few assorted pills that i found in my mothers medicine cabinet. i filled the measuring cup up with water several times before i could get all the pills down. and then i washed it all down with a beer. i don't remember feeling particularly ill, i just laid down on my bed feeling what i suppose was drowsy. not asleep, and not awake.

obviously i didn't succeed. my parents came home and figured out something was wrong. i think they broke my door down as i had locked it. they took me to the emergency room. i had my stomach pumped. i remember, after they did that, they had me on a stretcher. i begged and begged them to let me make a phone call. i wanted to call phillip. i got through to his house, and told him what i had done, and for the life of me, i can't remember exactly what he said, but i know it was a sarcastic comment, along the lines of "boohoo, poor little girl". and then they afte a couple days in the local hospital, they sent me to a psychiatric hospital for a while.

my mother took the opportunity to blame me, saying i had purposely tried to kill myself so that they would miss the cruise they were about to go on. phillip tried to visit me while i was in the mental hospital, but they wouldn't let me see him. i got out after a few months i think it was, and i'm not sure how we worked it, but....gosh, i don't even remember if we got back together when i got out. i think we did for a little while, but i know phillip and i remained friends afterwards. i know there was some jealousy on my part when he started seeing other people. but time passed and that faded. and we remained simply friends.

we took a trip to reno sometime after high school. we must have been around 21, as i know he bought alcohol. i'm not sure what the reason for the trip was, except to go have some fun on a short road trip. we were staying at a cheap hotel. i remember it was old enough that the small bathroom had pink tile in it. after being out at the casino's in the evening, we went back to the hotel. he got drunk. i suppose i may have been drinking, though i'm not positive. he had a hustler magazine that we were reading.

unfortunately, alot of my time with him has slipped from memory. i don't know if this is due to not wanting to remember things, because they're too painful to remember, or if there is some other reason. i'm probably better off not remembering anyways.

so......he was drunk and horny. i wasn't. he wanted to have sex. i didn't. he didn't take no for an answer.

that's the first time i was raped.

i don't remember crying. or screaming or yelling. i just remember not wanting to have sex with him. not wanting physical contact with him. not wanting him to do to me something i considered an act that should be born of trust and love. when my objections went unheard, i just laid there and waited for it to be over. i remember him tossing his condom in the unlined wastebasket when he was done.

i don't remember what happened after that trip. i think we remained friends until after i got married and my son was born. and then i didn't hear from phillip. for seven years. until about a month ago.

you can't imagine how excited i was to hear from him. i had thought alot about him over the years, wondering if he was okay. he had moved out of state and was involved with what i can only call some shady people. i was worried he was in jail, or maybe even dead. i'm not sure why i worried. you would think someone who had done the things he had done to me - you would think i'd be glad to have them out of my life. for some reason, that was not the case.

so.....he got in touch with me. we emailed and talked on the phone. caught up on each others lives. we talked about sexual situations a few times, not involving the two of us, but of him in his life. and i remember feeling uncomfortable about it,
but not knowing that that's what the feeling was at the time.

the other night i had my webcam on. i gave phillip the url, as i was just sitting and chatting with a friend of mine. well......this friend of mine....we flirt - we've talked on the phone a bunch. i've known him for a couple of years. i trust him. i like him. he wants me to take my top off on cam. i don't have a problem with this. i don't know how that sounds....it seems incongruous to me that i'm upset about getting raped, and yet i have on more than one occasion, been completely naked on cam in front of someone. i guess though the two aren't related for what they are, maybe it's how i feel about them both. i certainly don't feel anywhere near as bad being naked on cam - it can be, in fact, if done in the right frame of mind, an act of sharing of self - of stripping off society's morals and sharing in what i can only call nature. but there must be, on the other side, something about it that makes me feel dirty. whorish even.

in any case, i warn phillip, a couple of times, that i'm going to take my top off, and that if he doesn't want to see, then he needs to stop watching me. i guess maybe i should have just told him to stop watching. after a minute or two when he was talking about something else, he says to me that he has his pants off and his dick is hard and ready. it wasn't what i was expecting. it wasn't what i wanted. i felt kinda weird about the thought of him watching me without my top in the first place, but.....him masturbating to me was way too much for me to handle.

all of a sudden, i felt very violated.

but....it wasn't that....it wasn't just the cam. it was all of it. everything. our entire past. the rape, and as well the 3 subsequent rapes done by 3 other guys. phillip has been living with some girl for a couple of years, and he told me the other night that he didn't want to tell her that he had looked me up. i didn't quite understand, since it's been 17 years or so since we dated. he didn't think she'd understand. so here he is.....won't tell his girlfriend about me, and wants to wank while watching me on cam.

no no no.

i switched ports on the cam so he couldn't see me, and told him i was going to bed. i haven't talked with him since.

i continued that night chatting with my friend. i told him the whole situation. my past with phillip. my friend was very good - helped to calm me down. and has been helpful since then, talking about it with me, and what i should do about it.

i saw my shrinky dink on friday morning. i told her about it - or parts of it. i didn't tell her i was about to take my top off on cam. i'm not sure why except i guess i was embarassed. go figure. anyways, i told her it wasn't the only time i had been raped. that i had been raped 3 other times. 2 of them ex-boyfriends, and the other was my ex-husband. while i was 8 months pregnant. we discussed what i was going to do about phillip. i said i was going to write him an email, and tell him that i couldn't talk with him or have any contact with him anymore. that i couldn't be friends with someone who treated me the way he had treated me. and we discussed why it is that i tend to hold on to people in my life who treat me so shabbily. i mean, for gods sakes, i'm currently still talking with 3 of the 4 guys who raped me. the ex i can't help. he's my son's father. i'll have to deal with him for at least the next 11 years.

anyways, the entire thing - my past, and being raped, and how i've led my life and the things i've done - it's been a hard week. i can't believe i haven't totally lost it yet. i let my apartment become a total mess. i was forgetting to do things - simple things like washing my face in the morning or putting deodarent on. it's been hard.

i told shrinky dink that.....maybe i was holding on to people from my past because i would feel empty otherwise. that i wanted to hold on to what little i could of memories of people who had "loved" me, or shown me attention and affection. not thinking about all the awful things they had done. what she said to me....makes me understand that all of the relationships that i've had, or most of them, it wasn't love. i'm not sure what it was. but since it was all i had known, that's what i kept looking for. not knowing that all i was seeking out was more abuse.

i'm not sure what to do at this point. obviously i need to excise all these people out of my past. but where to go from here. i mean, yeah i want to continue to have sex, but.....what i really want, what i've always wanted, and have never felt, is love.

i've told myself over the years that love was the meaning of life. i think that was just me searching for it - longing desperately to find someone who would love me. but i don't know what to trust anymore.

how do you know when someone loves you?

Is it About You?

Posted 19 June 2002, 5.41 am by Berly

There is a section in the local paper. It is divided into twelve little sections, each containing a few lines of...advice?....with a bold header over each. This is the astrological forecast, and now I know why papers and websites continue to run them. People have an amazing ability to take something and make it all about them - even something as vague as the daily horoscope.

My posts in both the Shed and the front page are highly autobiographical...sometimes. Other times, I've taken a group of events or people that I know, along with a group of events or people that I've heard about, and I mix it with a group of events or people that is purely fictional. I try to respect the privacy of the people in my life while sharing the collective experiences through my posts. Therefore, the facts are sometimes intentionally shifted around.

As I've tried to promote this site to my friends, as well as strangers, I've tried to explain this concept. Futile action. I get e-mails from readers telling me that "you said that ABC happened, when really it was CBA" , or the always fun "HEY, I never said/did/ ABC! How could you even infer that I did?" Did you catch the key word there? Infer? I'm not inferring anything about YOU specifically, which is why the offending line(s) isn't accurate TO YOU.

I suppose this is the all too obvious reason that advertising works so well. Now if companies could just find a way to have the astrologists forecast purchases...

The Artist's Perception of his Art

Posted 15 June 2002, 5.22 pm by Alexander

I was listening to the new AKp CD the other day, which is fairly newsworthy in itself as (understandably) I've heard it far too much already. What struck me was how I was actively filling in the gaps as I was listening - adding guitar parts and vocal melodies that simply were not recorded. I surmised this took place in all my artistic endeavours.

When I paint or draw, I can see in my mind all the lines I didn't draw, or didn't need to draw to have the effect on myself as the viewer. Of course, it's impossible to fully anticipate the way another human eye/mind will percieve the exact same media. There are thought processes running through this article that I may think are obvious, but you might need explaining.

The logical conclusion to all this is that art can fall into one or both of two main ideologies: that which leaves as many lines undrawn as possible to encourage interpretation by the audience, and that which is as detailed as humanly possible to communicate the artists intentions without ambiguity. Neither is more or less valid of course, and there are all the shades of grey in between.

Nonetheless, it's something to bear in mind if you are a creative person - think about how much material you want to give the viewer/listener. When you leave those lines undrawn, the responsibilty for the pieces effectiveness falls squarely on the shoulders of what you have explicitly committed yourself to. The whole piece can rely entirely on what you deem to be the essence of what you are trying to achieve, and as always it stands or falls by it's effectiveness to an unpredictable outside force. Similarly, working to eliminate all traces of ambiguity from a piece in order to communicate a pure idiom can be risky. The myriad interpretations of even the most mundane object or intention is testament more to the variety that exists in the human consciousness than any shortfall on the creators behalf. Look at nature for example. A shark is a tremendously effective hunter worthy of our awe until it bites your brother's leg off - at which point it becomes an enemy, an unthinking savage predator that should be destroyed.

The viewer himself also has a responsibility when viewing or partaking of art. But this responsibility does not extend as far as 'second guessing' the artist. In no way should the viewer attempt to use the artist's intentions in their critical appreciation of a work. Art is autonomous, existing outside of intention, because if that intention is made explicit, it becomes part of the work. All that can be asked for from the viewer is an open mind and some kind of self-honesty and individualism of thought, because in that mindset lies the closest connection with the artist.

An odd movie...

Posted 13 June 2002, 7.59 pm by The_Roach

This link was submitted by janetdoggy. I don't know quite how to explain it, to be perfectly honest. It is not recommended for dial-up users or (as jd put it) dot.

Click Here.

Moments

Posted 13 June 2002, 5.18 am by Sickan

In the night sky the stars are blinking vaguely down to us. They tell the stories of centuries past and centuries to come. I lean back at you and taste the night sky. You are sitting up against an old oak-tree, the smoke from your cigarette is colouring the summers air blue. I touch your knee and you let your fingers run through my hair.

The noise from the city below us comfort me, somehow everything seems calm and unreal here. The puzzling from some hungry animal in the forest behind us makes you move just a little. I wonder if you are uncomfortable and then turn my head, look at you – you smile down at me and kiss my forehead. I can see your perfect teeth in the dimmed light from the city and stars, your eyes have just a hint of the green which usually lit your strong face, now they are dark, look a bit small you must be tired.

A siren howls to the moon from the city as an ancient wolf. I wonder who is hurt and how. Maybe a shooting, maybe a car accident or maybe an old lady who has fallen. I wonder if you those same thoughts, thoughts of people - strangers and their lives. Perhaps.
After a while I get up turn around and take both your hands. You get up, your knee makes a crackling sound and you smile again. Looks at the clock we have been sitting there for almost two hours. I walk to the car and feel the blank metal under my fingertips, it is cold and feel fresh. You call and throw the keys to me, I look at him, wondering, and open the door. Star the engine and you get in beside me. You lean over and take my head in both your hands, you look deeply into my eyes, you look like you are hurt, like it is painful to look at me. I look intensely back at you, try to read your eyes but as usual I find it impossible. You tell me how beautiful I am and how lucky you are to have me in your life. I smile intrigued and kiss you. Push you gently back in the seat and drive out on the road. The radio plays ‘In the shadow of the valley of Death’ by Marilyn Manson. I feel you mouthing the lyrics. You are a wonderful creature.

The city and all it’s light overwhelms me once again. Now we drive in the pumping heart of our city. The banners with all the new movies, the stars from Hollywood smiling at us from posters, the neon from the cheap restaurants, the bars and drunken people shouting, all these things I call a part of home.

Soon we are home, the big old 18th century building seen dark and secretive in the night light. We lock the car and go inside. The building smell of home. The Arabic couple who lives just under us are arguing again, the elderly Japanese couple across the hallway from us are watching television loud.

I find the key and lock us in, the cat welcomes us and you gently pick him up, talk to him with love in your voice. I look at you two and feel so lucky. I hug you both and we stand like this for a while, the cat kick his way free and run out the door.

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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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