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Forgetting Prehistory

Posted 26 March 2002, 8.00 pm by Jake

I was poring over Roach's newest and thought about the teaching of history in general. Prehistory is a topic that is largely ignored by many teachers. Even if they do teach anything about it, they only spend enough time on the subject to leave you with a vague grasp of what happened. I have no idea why they would treat this event as unimportant. Seeing how early mankind developed would be quite interesting, if you ask me. Maybe they just want to save all of that shit for when you go to college and take anthropology. Maybe it's just a gray area that nobody wants to cover because of evolution. Either way, most history classes seem to begin with the practice of agriculture in Mesopotamia, with little or no emphasis on prehistory. Go figure..
Just happens to be another one of those things that make you want to stomp, shout and scream in front of your local school board about their ignorance and neglect.

ARTARTARTART

Posted 26 March 2002, 6.45 am by Berly

Three sites for your amusement, or not. I'm not sure exactly. Recommended by some of my artistically talentend friends, I give you:

Brittle Bones

Glaznost

Nooflat

"I believe in America. America's made my fortune."

Posted 25 March 2002, 7.48 pm by The_Roach

Some days I look upon the government that runs my country with blistering pride. Other days not so much. I wonder how many of my fellow countrymen feel the same way, curious to know about those people who would place the same blind faith in mortals as they do in God Almighty. Most of us, I can safely assume, know that they lie to us, tell us things that we want to hear to keep things simple and smooth. I am thankful for the lies they get away with, resentful towards the ones I know about.

We encourage our children to learn, to question things in society. Those who created our system of government wanted us to do this, I think. As far as I can tell, the framers of our Constitution had noble ideas regarding the way people should govern themselves, keeping away from tyranny and injustice. The road they paved with their good intentions may not have led us to Hell, but do we really know where we've wound up?

Looking back on the equipment given to me by my public schooling, I know that I was most poorly prepared in regards to the history of my own country. The critical eye, of course, was pointed elsewhere. Europe is where all of the great misdeeds and errors occurred. Meanwhile, in two hundred years, my nation was pristine and pure (apart from a few southerners who had some evil ideas about human trade).

Sure it was.

What they teach us here is indoctrination, once again telling us just what we need to know in order to love and believe them. Then, they want us to pursue higher education. Those who can afford it, or are deemed worthy, get let in on some of the dirty little secrets. Not everything, mind you. We're given just enough to allow us some sense of superiority over our fellow citizens.

We continue to be encouraged to be educated. Those who are willing to sacrifice any semblance of a real career (or who enter specific fields such as law) can continue to learn. One would think, after a while, that too much of this "free thought" would be a risk to those people in power. By that point, though, the newly educated know enough dirt to take over, and another graduating class leaves secondary education to enter the world.

I believe that children are our future

Posted 25 March 2002, 7.16 pm by Alexander

Yeah.

Actually, I'm not usually bothered, but the simplicity of this idea struck me. Click http://www.nspcc.org.uk/donate-4-free and every time you do so, 0.04p gets donated to helping kiddiwinks. Might not seem like a lot, but considering how many clicks dross porn sites and fucking stupid weblogs get, don't you think your mouse finger could be put to better use?

It only works once per day, so stick it in your favourites folder and visit it daily. If anyone else knows of other sites where a simple click earns actual money for a good cause, can they add them to the comments page, thankee.

Perforation.

Posted 24 March 2002, 5.56 am by Acheron

The room is dark from behind my eyelids. I perceive shapes, lights, patterns... all manners of ephemeral etchings across the all-black ever-reaching darkness. How much of what I see now is real? A light rectangle outlined in darker darkness ebbs away from the forefront of my perception as the entire world lightens, lightens, darkens. Did I imagine it? Does it matter? What is reality and how does it affect us? If it affects no one else, does its legitimacy matter?

The room is quiet except for the soft, plastic clacking of my fingers on the keyboard, punctuated by the wetter, more open thuds of the space bar. Clack... clack clack... clack... gtch... clackclackclackgtch... clack.... clack clack... gtch. That. And the room's two fans: one within the tower of this computer, the other at the base of my roommate's cooler. Sometimes, at night, I listen to the two fans. They sound so similar that they create acoustic beats; their combined sounds grow louder and softer at regular and irregular intervals. Sometimes the beats speed up, so much so that they fall like a drumroll across the room; near silence compared to the river I cannot hear through my shut windows... yet... I still feel momentary panic whenever those beats speed up... almost a sense of dread. There is another ambient noise, somewhere behind me. I do not know what is causing it.

I think silence frightens us. No - that's inaccurate. Our thoughts frighten us, and the only sounds in silence are the little voices inside your head - self-perception: that idealized voice echoing between your ears, what you think, hope, or dread that you sound like. And then you hear yourself on a tape recorder, as the accented consonants catch the cheap mic and crackle just a little. That certainly isn't the voice inside your head. That can't be you.

Typing has warmed my fingers a little. They were momentarily cold from the chill outside. The window was open when I entered the room so the keyboard was freezing as well. But it has all warmed up just a little. It feels as though my fingers still remember being cold - they are warm now, but still move jerkily over the keys. There is the occasional awkward pause in the clackclackgtch of the plastic as the fingers just stop working.

There is something strangely pleasant about typing with your eyes closed. It is lying behind your lover in bed, as your hands just wander all over their skin. There are no awkward pauses, really, because there are no cohesive thoughts. Must everywhere lead somewhere, or could it just be rhythm and spacial manipulation? Sometimes I feel like I could pause in the middle of a word and it would seem somehow... norm






al.

The clacking slows and I refocus on the beats of the fans. My aural focus dances.

Clack clack clack gtch

Clack...... clack...... clack...... gtch......

g



tch

Faith vs Hope

Posted 22 March 2002, 10.32 pm by Alexander

This is a reader submission from Assassin13. Enjoy...

One day out of the blue one of my friends asked me a question… What is Faith and what is hope and how do they relate? Actually it was at about 4am after 6 cups of coffee and many heated debates. At the time I gave no answer because I was exhausted and didn't feel like opening up another 'can of worms'. For some reason, though, when I returned home that evening I could not sleep, in my mind all I could think was about the question that was presented to me. Over the next week it was much of the same thing until finally I could not sleep and stayed up merely to write the preceding article. Unfortunately, it was right before a psychology exam yet I fished the paper and still managed to do well on the midterm.

What is Faith? What is Hope? The easiest way to define exactly what these two similar yet extremely different ideas mean is to compare them to each other. On a very superficial level they may seem extremely similar but the fact is that I personally believe that they are different. Faith and hope are not mutually inclusive but do 'overlap' one another, when they are broken down, as you will see, they are two entirely different ideas. Many people have pondered this idea for years and I have to be truly honest. Ever since I was asked this question, I have not been able to get it out of my mind and have had discussions with other people to get their ideas on it so that I could come up with my own conclusions. J.

When you look at it, faith is basically the idea that we know and trust in something that we cannot see and we know it in our heart. Hope looks towards the future while faith does as well but has a deep base in the past and what 'has' happened. Faith may be 'believing in the intangible, trusting in a feeling, not needing proof' (Miranda Smith 2001) but it must not be a blind faith. I have put a lot of thought into it and feel that faith can be classified into three subsections of the main idea: Faith as an extension of hope, Unobservable Faith and Blind faith. First, Faith as an extension of hope….actually it might be better to come back to this one after I have defined hope. Second, Faith in what we cannot see. This subsection of faith can be anywhere from very simplistic to deep and religious beliefs. How a person can believe in something that they cannot see or have never seen is an astounding thought. The only way that we can even conceive this idea is because faith, to some extent, and not just religious faith, is instilled in every individual and it is a genetic mechanism that we have become 'programmed' with over the centuries to help us cope with the unknown. This subcategory of faith is easily explained by giving a small example. For instance I just glanced behind me and saw my bed. Right now I am facing forward and I cannot prove to you that the bed is still there. It most likely is because it wouldn't just vanish but I cannot prove it therefore I must have faith in the idea that that object still exists (Marc Blainey). 'Unobservable' faith can then be brought to the entire opposite side of the spectrum and can define any individual's faith in the existence in God. No one knows if He, She or It exists yet most of the entire world believes that there is some form of higher being from where we all came from and to which we all eventually return. (On a side note the three largest religions in the word, Judaism, Muslim and Christianity all believe in the same type of God. From this one simple idea thousands of religions and cults have spawned and at the base they all believe in one idea, aside from a few such as atheists, and it is only in an extension of their beliefs that they vary.) Finally we come to the most extreme type of faith, Blind Faith. This type of faith can be extremely dangerous because individuals who carry a blind faith can be dangerous and extremely fanatical in what they believe because 'it has to be the truth regardless of what anyone says'. Even the Bible, both old and new testaments, and the Koran say that we must not blindly trust what we read or believe because it is dangerous and we are called to question our beliefs because by questioning them our faith becomes stronger and those questions will, hopefully, be answered. Cults follow more of a blind faith than do religions and trust ideas more 'at face value'. Nothing that has been written can be taken word for word alone because then the entire point behind the stories and poems that have been passed from generation to generation will have been lost. Blind faith creates extremists who are a danger to everyone because once a person believes 'blindly' then a part of them dies and it is hard to get it back for they will never question.

Hope is more a desire and wish that we want to fulfill. By definition it is said that to hope is to be human. I have read many novels that pertain to this issue especially by holocaust survivors Victor Frankle and Elie Wiesel and French-Muslim author Albert Camus (Night, Dawn, The stranger, Man's search for Meaning, The Forgotten). Hope is the underlying basis of humanity and what every living individual uses to strive for things in his/her life. That basic striving to achieve an 'unreachable goal' defines what I believe that hope is. Every single human being must hope in order to survive. We must all want to reach some goal that is not easily attainable and if that goal is finally reached then we create a new one and the idea to desire to reach it, 'hope therefore remains a constant in that person's life. Whether it is the idea that I hope to graduate university, or the idea that I hope there is an after life in some way, shape or form because if not then human life seems pointless, I still Hope! The idea that 'to hope is to be human' is something that was proven out of the holocaust. Even in the most dire and miserable of conditions people somehow managed to survive. How did they do this? One simple answer: they had hope! That specific type of hope may have not been noticeable to the average human but to those people it existed and was the only reason they survived. Whether it was the hope to see their family once again or the hope that they will survive so that they could tell their story, hope existed. Once an individual loses hope then they cease to be human. In the camps this meant death but in today's society, people just become stale and cease to be human. They are merely a shell of what they once were. Hope drives us all and is part of what we are here for, to hope and achieve the 'unachievable'. So in short People need hope to survive and it is at the very core of every one of us. A loss of hope means a loss of what it is to be called human and that cannot happen for individuals and society as a whole to continue to survive.

Now I must go back and describe what I believe faith and an extension of hope to be. Once the hope or desire for a specific idea/dream to come true becomes strong enough it can be said that the individual, who desires it, now has faith that it will happen. There are certain things in life that every individual wants and many believe that one day they will achieve their goals. This is not a blind faith because there is still some sense of reality and the fact that these desires may not be fully achievable. But still it happens. Personally I have faith in the fact that one day I will be extremely successful and happy with my life. I know that I must work towards it but it is not completely out of reach.

In closing let me just say that I hope I have shown how faith and hope interact and what they mean to me. As it appears at their roots Faith and hope seem to be one in the same but now, as I learned, you can tell that they are unique in their won ways. In closing, I would like to leave you with a few more 'tid-bits' of info on what faith is in my eyes. To have faith is not just to trust but also to believe not only in what your faith stands for but to believe in your trust behind that faith. Human beings are born with a sense of faith but it is up to any individual to form and change their faith based on individual experiences .I hope you have enjoyed this 'little' facet into the mind of Jordan Cicoria and I thank you for taking time to read my thoughts. Personally I have faith and hope that there is an after life and that we as a species will one day realize that in order to advance ourselves we must begin to think more 'outside the box' and learn from each other instead of quibbling over petty differences. "Go placidly into the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence" (Desiderata) and in that silence look into yourself and you shall see and know all the answers to your questions.

Turmoil

Posted 21 March 2002, 10.00 pm by Jake

Advisor Musavi looked around the room nervously. He was there, President Nkemi was sitting right there at the table. He checked his watch. 9:05. Musavi told the man to be there at 9:00 with the rifle. No sign of him whatsoever. "Yes, I understand", Musavi replied in Swahili, their native language. The politician was blathering on and on about his "human rights policy". Musavi thought to himself: 'Fuck your policies, fuck you, and fuck the horse you rode in on.' Every time President Nkemi said something, he would nudge Musavi. Musavi would respond with a Swahili "Yes" , and kept on looking for the man. He saw a movement in the rafters over Nkemi's shoulder. 'There he is....slow bastard.' Musavi glared at the President as the sniper steadied his aim. All he had to do was give the signal and BOOM. All of the country's financial problems, all of the racial oppression, all going down the drain with the pull of a trigger. They had been planning this one simple moment for months. Musavi took another sip of his liquor and grimaced as the President told his council members of the military progress in Sandovia. 'In the next five seconds', Musavi thought,'you won't be worried about your military.' With that thought in mind, Musavi leaned back in his chair and raised his hand above his head. Three shots. President Nkemi was chuckling when his head exploded and liquefied like a rotten tomato. Musavi looked up, mouthed the word "Run" to the sniper, and fired six wild shots into the rafters. "Goddamn it!" he yelled, "I missed! Someone go hunt that fucker down!" People were running, children were crying, women were screaming.
In the midst of all the chaos, Musavi grinned.

Do we need them??

Posted 21 March 2002, 12.08 pm by Sickan

Today I was having psychology and we watched an episode of “Friends” for later use as a case. And it made me think. If “Friends” is so popular, is it because they are funny combined with a natural flow of magical conversation about semi-serious subjects? Or is it because we need such TV-shows to identify us with? Do we need TV-shows or something likewise to feel right? Or do we need some unknown person to write a TV-show for us so we feel as better and stronger persons? It is like that the majority need to see shows like “Friends” with their giant coffee mugs, good jobs (or somewhat trendy jobs), perfect friendship and so on and so on, to stay in contact with our own lives.
We might need some characters to identify us with in e.g. “Friends”, maybe we need to be able to say, “Well, I’m a Chandler kind of person – I’m he funny guy in “my” group!” Maybe we need to put ourselves indirectly in a box and say, “Look at me – this is who I am!”
But really, if we need to be put in boxes to fit in this modern world, and then I would rather stay at home! I mean I know we “play” different roles in different types of social environments – but wouldn’t be much more pleasant to “be like them all”, to be an equal part of all the characters of ones favourite TV-show or what ever you choose to identify you with.
To be honest I don’t know – I don’t think about whom I identify myself with or if I do so. But still I find it quite interesting that these rather uninteresting and superficial series have so much success and I think said shows really just grow on the insecure and chaotic world we live in!

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This is in response to the poem 'Business Girls' by John Betjeman. It's ink washes. I was attempting to depict the grime and toil of the subject matter by using a widely recognised symbol of business life - the train.


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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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