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Star Wars fanatics - and I why I want to run them through with my lightsaber.

Posted 12 April 2002, 10.52 pm by James

Fans of George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy have always been fanatics. Whether they're bashing their "dorky" counterparts, the Trekkies, or buying the latest Star Wars "Extended Universe" novel (in which Luke Skywalker is 79, Chewie is dead, and every villain from the original trilogy has been cloned...twice), their devotion remains nothing less than rabid. These days, though, even the most devout fans feel the stinging ice pick of doubt needling their respective cerebral cortexes. After 1999's kick-off of the prequel trilogy, The Phantom Menace, they cringed at the thought of Jar Jar Binks' mad-cap encounters with power couplings, or a young Darth Vader's innocent exclamation of "Yippee!"

Almost twenty years of waiting have gone by, and Star Wars devotees are now faced with the possibility of their beloved space-opera being utterly ruined by its own prequels!

...

Wait. Time out. Please, allow me to interrupt myself.

I am a Star Wars fan myself. I was raised by my mother to adore the classic trilogy, and admittedly, can pretty much recite every line of dialogue from any scene in the seven-hour running time of the cassettes. In other words, I'm a complete loser - it's amazing I've managed to touch a breast or two, being a man who collected Star Wars: CCG cards in middle school and can name the starship and weapon of choice of each of the bounty hunters flashed on the screen for three seconds in the middle of The Empire Strikes Back. Even the sad-looking assassin droid, 4-Lom. Despite my love for these films, however, I don't get my vas deferens twisted up over every quirk and stupid detail of the prequels.

Why, you ask? I guess I just remember some things about the Star Wars saga that others have chosen to forget. Or maybe I have issues with suspending disbelief. Either way, I don't see any of the first three episodes as a perfect template for a prequel to adhere to.. They all had a good amount of cheesiness, a boring spot, or clusters of bad dialogue mixed in with the classic goodness.

Take A New Hope, for example - the beginning of this film can be somewhat tedious, with only a brief look at Darth Vader keeping us interested enough to sit through C3PO's inane belly-aching. If it weren't for the captivating presence of Sir Alec Guiness or Peter Cushing, I'd bet you my mint-edition Chewbacca card that the series never would have taken off. Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford didn't really reach a stride until the second film, and without the seasoned veterans around to carry them, they would've fallen flat on their faces.

The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi weren't masterpieces either, I'll have you know. The matte lines in the Battle of Hoth (or Luke's fight with the Rancor, for that matter) make you want to gouge your own eyes out. And people complain today about "fake-looking" computer backgrounds, which I find breathtaking! They also love to complain about poor, "fake-looking" computer-animated Yoda, who's trying his best, dammit! I can't believe they forgot about the stiff, awkward, puppet-y Yoda that very nearly made the Dagobah death scene from Return of the Jedi more of a laugh riot than a tearjerker.

How about repetition? If you watch the series from start to finish, you should count about forty-or-so instances of the hyperdrive breaking down on the Millenium Falcon, or repairs being made by Han Solo and an always-irate Chewie. On the same token, why not listen closely to the dialogue during the climactic duel of Return of the Jedi - a father and son come to blows in the most emotionally charged battle the galaxy has ever known, and all we hear is:

"Search your feelings, father. I feel the conflict within you."
"Your feelings have betrayed you!"
"You shall meet your destiny."
"This is your destiny."
"It is your destiny."
"Feel the hatred swelling in you."
"Use your hatred."
"You will call me Master."
"Soon he will be your Master."
"I will not be turned."
"I shall not turn."
etc. etc.

Selective memories are sad, people. The original Star Wars films weren't perfect, and the prequels won't be either. Face up to it and move on, or the whole damn thing will be ruined for you. It's only a bit of fun, after all.

The Selling of the American Dream

Posted 11 April 2002, 10.24 pm by Jake

Advertising. It's everywhere. From the pop-up windows that annoy the hell out of you to the brand names on people's clothing....it's practically a plague. Nearly everything is copyrighted or trademarked. A majority of television channels and radio stations play more commercials than actual programming. Advertising has become the business game of the century.
In the fledgling years of advertising, people bought products with the most appealing ads. Nowadays it's almost the same, but ads have taken a turn. Ever since ad agencies started putting emotional "jolts" into their campaigns, "jolt advertising" has become the staple of sales. Think about it. People enjoy commercials that make them laugh. Usually what causes the impulse to laugh at advertisements is a sudden, unexpected event that leaves one of the ad characters as the brunt of hilarity. Other ads rely on beautiful, thin women or powerful, masculine fellows to appeal to the consumer. The average consumerist female(or, in some cases, male) will buy Cover Girl mascara if Cindy Crawford looks good wearing it, and the average consumerist male will only buy Budweiser beer because of the slapstick commercials featuring edgy comedians.
Quite often, we have a corporate answer for every quandary we face in our modern lives. If we get hungry, we go down the street to the desired fast-food restaurant. If we get thirsty, we have Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Gatorade right by us to quench our thirst. And the sad part is, the advertisers are selling us their ideas of "cool". Many people are so engrained into their consumerist lifestyle, they don't know any better. Example: The woman next door owns a Ford Expedition, and she's a trendy soccer mom. She has "it". So, the brooding neighbor goes out and buys a monstrously huge gas-guzzling SUV and becomes the talk of the junior high, carting her kids and their various friends to aforementioned fast-food joints and even the mall to buy overpriced brand-name clothing.
A majority of kids aren't satisfied until they are wearing Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie and Fitch, or Nike. God forbid they were caught wearing anything less. If some kid's wearing Wal-Mart clothing, they're poor trash. Even the "alternative" kiddos are decked out in their Adidas, Puma, and (insert trendy band-name here)t-shirts, accompanied with accessories from the "alternative" stores. Kids' fashion templates are homogenized with what they see on MTV or VH1. When everyone comes home at night, they log countless hours in front of the television or computer. We (as a culture) have become so detached from our standards that we would be lost without television, radio or computers. Reading books? That's for nerds. Just go buy a magazine. Actually going somewhere and having fun as a family? No way. Mom and Dad are too tired to go do anything and besides, the kids would get all nasty if they went outside.
We are breeding cultures that are raised in a completely electronic environment. The amount of information zipping around is so overwhelming that a majority of it is useless. If it can't be reduced to simple little factoids and memorized, why learn it? Amazingly, our culture has survived despite mass consumption and destruction of natural resources. What the real kicker is, is that nobody is willing to stop. Very few people are actually willing to ditch their electronic vices and go do something. My challenge to the masses is: Do something different. Instead of turning on the television, read a book. Exercise.
Instead of drinking soft drinks, try water. The next time you're dying for a salad, go find a mom-and-pop produce stand that grows all of their own products. All it takes is a bunch of small changes to make yourself stand back and look at your life. And then you can prioritize and wonder what you are actually getting out of all of this.

Liberty to believe, not just the others

Posted 11 April 2002, 1.41 pm by Sickan

We all know them most actual matter right now is the war against terror which is “not a war against religions or countries” (Government denies knowledge). Islamic fundamentalists hate a handful of tendencies in USA, as well as a lot of others might do, so therefore they kill a couple of thousand more or less civilians and then they and their religion will probably become much more popular…! Everybody will just love them! Love them because they are afraid to go into open war, love them because they kill innocent people even though the dead might not even know about the terrorist’s cause. Love them because they try to achieve their goals by frightening people, as you by the way sometimes see in the major religions!
I don’t love them, as I'm sure you don’t. As Jack would say:” A religious war is nothing but a bunch of people fighting over who has the best imaginary friend!” I think it is pathetic to fight about anything, but most of all a cover, because these religious wars are battles of power! A battle, in which the winner will be able to dictate people into doing things, hence to be a religious leader must be the highest status a power-seeking Middle-eastern old man could ever achieve. What we might often fail to see is that not all religions have this need of power as its often said about all religions – often it is said that all religions are alike. The general opinion about religion is usually the following:
- Dogmatic: An angry old man who wishes to control or judge everyone.
- Something that will define human limits.
- A game of power
- A total explanation of the world “This is how things are. Period!”
I have experienced that the truth is something entirely different, for me the truth is that all the religions are the same, what often fuck a religion up is when power comes into the picture – power is something humans have created.
The problem is when a person asks if you are Christian or belong to some other totalitarian dogmatic religion, your answer can be two different things, Yes or No (basically). If you say yes, the holy grave will stay well preserved and you agree on that God is great and good and that others who do not believe in God are fools and ignorant or whatever. You can also say no, and the faithful must try to convince you, so the faithful can continue to stay in the belief that they are telling the truth and that they never make mistakes. If such two persons meet, problems occur quickly and they can get into a fight (worst case scenario). You often se in these totalitarian dogmatic judgeful religions bogeys like “If you don’t behave then the Troll will come for you! And that’s bad… reeeeaaall baaaad! So be a nice girl/boy like me and then you’ll manage just fine!”
Another problem occurs when you trust the “old scripts” and the hieratic power sharing. Who ever wrote these in the past could might as well have been junkies with nothing better to do than write these melodramatic cartoonish soap operas. Frequently we see that in religions there are some people who are closer to the Gods which means there are two things the worshippers can do; they can either nominate these persons to leaders, religious leaders as Dalai Lama, The Pope and Osama Bin Laden or they can see these persons as advisers from who they can take advise or just leave it be. Often when the first thing happens you get a system where the individual leaves “the salvation of the soul” to an institution e.g. the church, where the soul is in the hands of a priest or likewise. This can be the easiest thing to do, but from my point of view also the weaker, said people do not take responsibility for their actions. There shall be no doubt that I feel the system with the advisers is the best, in that system you will not be excluded because you do not take the advise given to you, hence you have a choice.
The problem is that not all religions are like that, I don’t know if it is the media or just society in general which makes it look like this.
Way too often all religions are taken as one institution and just made equal in belief and form, as a concept for pathetic people who are afraid to take responsibility for their own lives. But then again it all depends on the way you look at things. Its easy to claim that the religious people just need their religion to safely put away the things in life you cant explain or understand, they need a little box to put all of it in. Humans fear what they cannot control and I guess we all put these fears somewhere.
I think the problem is that people aren’t open enough, were we to be more open we might risk to be proven wrong and that would be terrible!
We all have our opinions on how things are, and if we hadn’t we would all just be empty zombies!

This is a submission from Frugt.05

Gay or Straight

Posted 8 April 2002, 5.37 pm by Craig

Can you tell?



Take the test!!

Evolution of reality....

Posted 7 April 2002, 7.12 pm by Jake

Remember when you were young? Let's just say between the ages of 4-10. Those action figures, stuffed animals, whatever you owned weren't just mere objects. They were your escape. You'd spend hours playing war with your G.I. Joes, the girl next door was drinking tea with her dolls, everything was cool. Five years old...and one day, you're out in the yard, slaying dragons as usual, brandishing your sword in the faces of your adversaries like a modern-day knight when about that time, your parents tell you it's getting dark, you need to come inside, etc. So you walk back towards your kingdom with your trusty sword. Upon entering the door, your mother quips, "Honey, don't bring that nasty stick inside the house. It's probably got bugs and fungus and god-knows-what on it. You look down at your hand, and clasped in your chivalrous grip is a moldy old stick. Not the shiny chrome sword you once wielded. The magic is gone. Part of your imagination is jolted.

Let's go a bit further. You're about 6-7 years old sitting in class. You look outside and the ground is coated in a fine, powdery foot of snow. Your teacher tells you to each get out a piece of paper, because you're all going to write letters to Santa Claus. You beam in excitement. You think, "Great!! I'll ask Santa for that new bike, or maybe a Nintendo or something." So you clap and holler along with a majority of the class while a young boy behind you mutters, "Santa's a load of crap." Horrified, you turn and face this disillusioned individual. He gives you a menacing grin. He's missing his front two teeth. He restates, "Santa's just something your parents told you to keep you amused. He's not real." You whisper back, "Really?" The kid replies, "Yeah. Come talk to me at recess." So you and him engage in a philosophical discussion about Santa Claus. You go home a little bit dejected and a little bit wiser, but your heart skips whenever your parents mention Santa to your little sister. Once again, the magic is gone.

These little experiences, these fleeting visions of enlightenment, become more common with age. You mature, begin to take interest in the opposite sex, hang out with your friends, and spend your parents' money. One day, they refuse to pay for you and tell you to get a job. You are angry at first, but then you begin to sympathize with them, as well as learn to budget and sometimes help out with the bills. Some of the innocence is gone, but you're all the wiser.

Once you hit the job market, you're set. You're making good money, you have a nice apartment, sporty car. You buy quirky, self-descriptive things to decorate your home. You have nice, brand-name clothes, and you come in every night to dinner, a few beers, and zone out on the TV or computer. You're on your own. One day at work, you walk in on a co-worker in the bathroom. He leaps as if terrified, and is snorting and sniffling furiously. He has a bit of white powder spilled on his dark-gray Polo tie, and his eyes are red and glazed. He offers you some..."Sure helps on these late hours." You accept, willingly. After about 15 minutes you become nervous and frantic. You scramble at everything you do and talk at an alarming speed. This drug is nothing like the joint you smoked before the senior prom, this stuff is like gasoline. You begin to hook up with your co-worker and coke buddy, "Brian". You now have something ELSE to spend your salary on. You have another vice. The innocence is gone, but you have new magic. You have nose-candy.

A year later, you find yourself in an uncontrollable downward spiral. You have a $5,000/mo. cocaine habit and are on the verge of losing your job. You can't keep a girlfriend. You quit your job, pack your things, trade in your sporty car for $15,000 cash and a $3,000 junker, and spend 10 of your $15,000 on coke. You rent a hotel room for a month.
All you need is just more...more....magic.

A month later, you're working for a shoddy remodeling company. You start drinking in the mornings with your alcoholic co-workers and get the jobs done slowly. You do shitty work and you retire to your hotel for a syringe full of heroin and a prostitute to shoot it up with you. And then you have unprotected sex with her, nightly. She's worried about the pus-filled sores that are beginning to form on her vagina. Your balls itch.
You go into a rage when you can't find a connection, and you're 2 weeks behind on paying the hotel bill. They're on the verge of kicking you out. But, you have the bottle.
The magic is fading.

A week after, you can't seem to make ends meet anymore. You lost your job, got kicked out of the hotel and wander around the streets babbling like a madman. It's been a week since you've shot up, but you can still follow a man down the alley and roll him for his wallet. However, not many rich people hang out in this area, and the most you've gotten is $20.00. No respectable drug dealer would sell 2 cc of his worst heroin for $20.00. So, you go buy a gallon of whiskey and a carton of cigarettes with your collective savings, and drown your sorrows. You vomit into a gutter, pass out and piss yourself on the sidewalk. The cops kick you out of the way under an awning. It'd be a waste of time for them to arrest you. You awake blurry-eyed, hocking up nasty, bloody wads of phlegm. You stink of the fermenting trash that you sleep in, and have developed a chronic, raspy cough. You start to talk to yourself more often and become unintelligible.
One day, you're following a black man down the alley. You run to tackle him and beat him senseless, but he is aware of you. He leaps forward as you sprawl to the ground in a half-drunken haze. He whips out a .357 Magnum from his jacket pocket and blows your brains onto the pavement.

The magic is gone.

Surviving on contests!

Posted 6 April 2002, 11.48 pm by Waldo

Anyone in the know (or Japan) has heard of those outrageous Japanese game shows. They put poisonous insects on people and the last one to chicken out wins, they sit in various uncomfortable substances and endure humiliating dares and circumstances. Well, all of that gets old. There’s no real human drama about it, now is there? It’s main prospect is that it represents the everyman put into strange circumstances.

Well, this tops all of them. This guy was put through what equates to a modern survival class. No clothes, no food, no ANYTHING. Plopped naked into a room with magazines, a huge pile of postcards, a table, a small radio, a telephone, some notebooks, and some pens. And it’s televised. Much more interesting than any reality based show I’ve ever seen (and it last more than a few weeks). If it weren’t such a repressive, mono-cultural, racist country I would love to live there. Instead I’m left with their scraps of TV and movies.

Too Much Freakin Time on my Hands

Posted 5 April 2002, 6.53 am by Berly

How much of a freak are you? I didn't take the test, because I'm fairly certain that my rating would shame both myself and anyone else who takes the test. Actually, it's entirely too damn long for my patience. If you have a lot of time on your hands, go take the 500 Question Freak Test .

Are you feeling all together ookie and don't need no stinkin' test to tell you what your freak factor is? Then maybe you will like Horrorfind .
"Horrorfind.com the directory and search engine dedicated to Horror, Halloween and Spooky subjects."

Sheesh, I hope there are no naked pictures of Mr./Dr. Spooky in there.

Pandemonium

Posted 4 April 2002, 11.14 pm by Jake

He screamed in fury as he kicked the television set. The large-screen Sony tipped over and exploded in a supernova of light. Breaking the silence. "You idiots!" he fumed. "Can you not see what this thing is DOING to us?" Blank stares, dumb, vacant gazes. "You broke it." one man grunted in monotone. The angry man screamed "What in the fuck? Did you not hear what I just said? This shit is rotting our brains! We gotta get outta here while we still can!" In a panic, his eyes darted around the room. White walls, white floors, white ceilings. Even ths lamps buzzed with a fluorescent white light. The other faces, pale and emaciated, looked at him with sunken, hollow eyes. The only contrast was the colors of their uniforms. Each person was dressed in a different shade of neon. Green, yellow, blue, pink, orange...all stood out from the bleached background, like stains on a canvas. "You broke it," a woman chimed in, with the same dull voice as the other. "SHUT UP!" screamed the angry man. "You stupid cunt!! You're all stupid!!" One fellow glanced upward with bright eyes. "I'm not...." while glancing at the angry man's name tag "...Moore." Moore took the guy by the hand and lifted him to his feet. "That's more like it!" Moore whooped. "Now let's rouse the rest of these listless losers and get the hell outta here!"
"YOU BROKE IT!" growled another man. They all began to rise.
"Holy shit! Moore, what're we gonna do?"
"I don't know. Go for the door."
They all began to chant "You broke it. You BROKE it! YOU broke IT! YOU BROKE IT!" Their tones became angry and menacing. Moore and the boy scrambled at the door. Locked from the outside. They looked at the windows, which were bars welded to the building's metal facade. "There's no way out!" screamed the young man. "Shut UP!" Moore retorted. He began to beat on the door. When that proved useless, he began flailing his limbs against the triple-paned Plexiglas. "FUCK!" he yelled. He began to smash his massive body against the door. It didn't budge, and the group was advancing toward them. One fellow brandished a knife and roared, "YOU BROKE IT!"
Sharp pains, hands grabbing, tearing hair and skin, beating of fists. The white-hot feeling of a blade tore into their bodies. At the sight of blood, the crowd grew angrier. They began tearing and beating on each other. Within an hour, everyone was in a bloody, screaming heap on the floor.
The doctors looked on through the glass, unimpressed. "Happens every time," one doctor said to the group. They all laughed heartily as one of them went over and picked up the telephone on the desk. "Yes, nurses' station? Send in the janitors to room 12 A."

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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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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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