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Morbidity

Posted 3 March 2002, 12.05 am by Acheron

It has been said that there are two inevitabilities to life: death and taxes. On a somewhat broader scale, those two sad occurrences are extinction and oppression.

Ignoring, for the moment, our society's self-destructive practices, it is a simple scientific truth that the entropic dissipation of concentrated energy (ie: the burning out of our sun) means that far off in the distant future, humanity will be extinct. Mind you, I'm sure we'll manage to detonate a very large bomb soon and save Mother Nature a few years.

Secondly, the organization of humanity into society is intrinsically linked to the oppression of its less-fortunate members. People want luxury, so they abuse their given/taken power to get said luxury. An equal standard of living for all of the world's many citizens would of course mean poverty for all, by Western standards.

Given these two very unfortunate truths, of which one is metaphysical and the other very tangible, individuals tend to act in one of three ways:

i. Ignorance.

We've all heard tell of Huxley's Soma, and I'm sure we've all retired from a hard day only to, "turn on and tune out." I sometimes wonder how people in the third world cope with their depressing situations (famine, wars, etc.) and then I remember that Africa is in the middle of an AIDS epidemic. At least the ignorant are happy.

ii. Elevation.

Thank you, Plato. Buddhists, Taoists, and goths all around just love to wax philosophical about everything intangible. We're the sort who go off and study Art History in university and shake our heads wistfully at the burning of the library of Alexandria. We still get upset talking about how young Keats was when he died. Net result: eyeliner sales skyrocket among young men.

iii. Action.

On the disgusting end of the spectrum there are those who wail out against economic practices they don't understand by knocking over police fences in Quebec city. On the positive end of the spectrum there are politicians, teachers, and lawyers - educated, hard-working professionals attempting to educate and influence society and its controlling forces. Unfortunately, nobody wants to stop chopping down sequoia trees if it means they can't have two-ply toilet paper.

Where does this leave us? In a collapsing world, rife with wars, terrorism, starvation, extiction, oppression, and a skyrocketing suicide rate throughout the Western world.

Selfish? And?

Posted 3 March 2002, 12.03 am by Villager

Human rights, animal rights, insect rights, tree rights, atmosphere rights. What are perceived as morals dictate that we respect everything, each other, the world around us. That includes standing staunch upon such issues as deforestation, fox-hunting and pollution. Why? Because it makes us feel good to think we've done the Christian thing and treated -everything- as we would wish to be treated ourselves? Because we are pleasant people and naturally hold people and the environment in a position of respect and care? Because we believe that we have no right to be of detriment to the earth and its creations?

Whichever or whatever else it is, it is misguided. By all means, respect your neighbour (but don't try to love him..), a functioning society depends upon such. Respect those around you, create a nice atmosphere and good, useful relations. Respect the people at the other end of the country, you don't want to create a social divide. But do not feel moral compulsion to respect inanimate material and earthly beasts because you think you 'should'. You should not.

The single, lone reason we should be careful as to how much shit we pump into the atmosphere, how many trees we cut down, what animals we render extinct is the effect it will have on us. It is human nature and indeed the nature of nigh all other creations to act out of primarily selfish motive. Self-preservation, self-betterment, improving your immediate environment and quality of life. Natural instincts, absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or guilty about. Why, then, ought we go to great lengths to see that our interests do little damage to the world around us?

Granted, I have no desire to see my landscape and horizon marred by pollution and industrial development. But I care not a jot about the damage that will result in hundreds of years from now from the activity the modern world undertakes. For my benefit and those like me. Like you. We should take care to avoid ruining things for ourselves, and for our children, but it makes no sense to inhibit ourselves for the benefit of things which fall below us in the food chain. Rape the rainforest. Stop when humans are threatened by it. Pollute the atmosphere, just try to do it discreetly, out of sight and not harmful to us. Hunt foxes, it provides appreciated employment, a jolly good afternoon and maintenance of the countryside which you and I can enjoy. Life owes us nothing, we owe it nothing more in return.

Thorns

Posted 1 March 2002, 11.24 pm by Waldo

Well, America has wrapped up her latest war with a third world nation quite nicely. Old news I know, but this is the equivalent of Mike Tyson kicking my ass. No one's surprised. No one thought for a moment that we'd lose and have to start living under the cruel law of the Koran (or something else that is as equally insipid as the US's constitution). Maybe the practice is doing us some good, getting us ready to fight China (another third world country which just happens to have the worlds largest standing army).

Personally I think it's a good thing, us pissing off the Muslim world, killing families and leaving countries full of desperate people with nothing to lose and the backing of all that lovely oil money we give them. Personally I also think it would be a lot easier to give everyone a free gun with every car/turkey dinner they buy. Could make for some great adverts as well, "Come check out our new 2002 Fords and walk away with a set of keys AND a free gun! *ammo sold separately*" Road rage is excellent fun when you don't drive.

Either way, road rage/arab rage, the job gets done. 'The Job' being that thing mother nature hasn't been doing so well these past hundred years, killing people. Sure there's Ebola and AIDS but AIDS takes too long and it's rate of infection can be controlled by some of the smarter apes and Ebola's never made it to Paris (and if you can't even make it to Paris how can you expect to hit Broadway? Huh, Ebola? Ya Slacker). It's up to us to make up the difference any way to can. We must bomb everyone we can, sew all the earth with salt, poison all the grain and groundwater available, mail anthrax to our neighbors (it wasn't us it was Palestine!) until the death rate overtakes the birth rate and we can finally have peace on earth.

The sheer number of people on this planet is the main cause of most of our suffering and most of the problems people have with the world. If we could all just die we could stop stepping on each other's toes. And if you don't do your part, who will?

Oh, and for once I'm not being a hypocrite, I understand that I'm just as useless and worthless as everyone else and can't do anything to make this world's situation any better and I'll accept death when it's served to me.

AKp live

Posted 1 March 2002, 11.12 pm by Alexander

This review of AKp appeared in a local free magazine.

Throughout history, certain individuals have carved their name forever as a result of their terrible mix of egotism and insecurity. From Napoleon to Hitler to Jim Davison, unspeakable crimes against humanity have been committed thanks to this particular type of psyche. A more common result nowadays is the compulsion to pick up a guitar and eviscerate your insecurities in front of a bunch of strangers who you hope will, for some unknown reason, care. So over the years we've been treated to Lennon, Morrissey, Brian Molko and now, it seems, Alexander King.

Ripping your shirt off half way through a gig while telling the crowd how nobody fancies you is, then, potentially the stuff of greatness. Pretending to be Jarvis Cocker in a prog-rock band, though, probably isn't. King's between song monologues lack the Pulp frontman's deadpan wit and generally only serve to get King some attention - which is a bit unfair on drummer Dan and bassist Gem (another ego alert: King's surname is important enough to get into the band's name; the other two's aren't even important enough to get on the band's website) who provide a tight framework for the singer/guitarist to do his Cocker/Neil Hannon impression over.

Music-wise 'Entrails' encapsulates the Alexander King Project; King flutters and flounces with a soaring falsetto like Brett Anderson with a guitar, Dan and Gem keep it square at the back, there's some occasional delay on the vocals to give an impression of grandeur and - bizarrely - a Gary Moore style guitar solo to finish things off. Such mid-song changes are one of AKP's more impressive features; yes, it smacks of prog-rock but also Smashing Pumpkins at their best, and while King likes to keep things loose and baggy Gem and Dan are savvy enough to pull off the changes smartly.

While seemingly lacking in a raison d'etre apart from publicising Alexander King, the Project have a lot of good ideas that a week of practise wouldn't harm and I suspect would sound better recorded in a decent studio than knocked out live to a handful of skate kids on a Saturday night.

All you ever wanted to know about Trolls

Posted 1 March 2002, 6.43 pm by Berly

A troll is someone who posts or flames in newsgroups or on boards to cause a kind of reaction. AKpCEP has even had one.

The ironic thing about this site W.A.S.T.E. Report is that it give trolls exactly what they want on a grand scale. "World Alliance for the Study of Trolls and E-Scum"

It appears that this site is run by a devoted fan of the X-Files who is determined to prevent any trolls or e-scum from ruining the discussions. It is a very informative, and sometimes humorous report on trolling.

No Explanations.

Posted 1 March 2002, 12.16 am by Waldo

Post-modern. That's where they say we are. The whole digital age, the computer thing, the 'me' generation, the flower children and the dope-heads, it's all a post-modern 'thang'. It's a feeling of being lost, of not knowing what to hang on to from moment to moment and eventually finding out that everything you have been believing in wasn't worth it. It's nihilism or death as our inevitabilities. Sometimes both.

There's the passive nihilism of Buddhism, where the world is empty of value and you seek only to escape through death to nirvana. There's active nihilism, self-destruction focused outward and maybe the term 'death-by-cop' put on the coroner's report. Either way you're seeking to lessen the damage done to you by the world, maybe make things better for those around you by reacting to the sense of meaningless found in response to a scan of the outside world and reacting either with anger or helplessness.

It's hard to know what to care about, what to devote your time and emotional energy to. What makes a cause worthy? What makes the world a better place? It's hard to see the good in something that just keeps moving the way the world does. It's easy to get lost, to lose yourself in the world, in materialism and greed but for those of us who won't or can't, what do we do? Try to change the world? What for? What would change? People certainly don't change, there are too many of them, the good ones die and the bad ones breed. You can surround yourself with the good ones and shut everything else out, but it's still there pounding at the edge of your peripheral vision. You had to be aware of it to push it away and it's not just going to disappear.

Hopelessness breeds and nothing seems worth it. Nothing seems to work. No hope and only faith or drugs to drown your mind in. Kill your brain and live forever it seems. Or kill the flesh and die forever. Nihilism is the only response for those that look at the world and don't look away. But it still leads nowhere.

Rain

Posted 28 February 2002, 11.38 am by Sickan

You have somehow managed to get out of bed; looking out the window, realizing the sky is grey and rain is falling in big drops. You shiver and try to prepare yourself to get out there, to get to work. You walk into the kitchen and turn on the coffeemaker.
Like a zombie you go to the bathroom – look in the mirror. Turn around, remember what you are doing in the cold room and turn on the showerhead. The water is hot and steam raises calmly – steps into the cabinet and let the water freshen you up.
Finally you step out again, regrets it immediately, your skin contracts and you feel the biding cold again. Put on clothes and feel a bit better, warm, walks to the kitchen and grabs a mug on the way and pour yourself the steaming coffee. You stand by the window, sips the coffee, feel it run trough your body, smiles vaguely – the rain has stopped, the drops has turned into a puddle.
The street is dark and grey, the shadows is long and reaches out, trying to get the single man on the street. The man is wearing a cotton coat, walks quickly with small steps, trying to protect his fragile body from his soaked clothes. You look at the clock, you are late, you grab you coat and rushes to the door. You walk out into the cold.
You look up on the dark sky and a big drop of water clashes on your cheek. You start to walk – the rain hits you harder.

Liberty..

Posted 26 February 2002, 1.06 pm by Jake

A pretty olive-skinned woman with flowing black hair walked down the beach. She looked to the shore, sizing up the 15-foot-tall grating-and-barbed-wire fence that snaked down the coastline and made an immediate right angle towards the land. It ran all the way from the beach to the border. It was high tide, and the fence sat about 10 feet out from the water's edge.
She had been thinking for a while, and had decided that today was the day. She was going to get over that fence, even if it meant her life. She looked around nervously, and began to run. Her pace quickened as she neared the fence. As soon as she hit it she began to climb. She clamored over the barbed wire and lost her grip. She found herself hurtling face-first towards the ground, when she was jolted. She screamed in agony and looked upward. Her foot was tangled in a loop of barbed wire. The skin tore like wet paper, followed by muscles and tendons, ripping like fabric. Blood spewed forth and ran down her leg like a river of crimson. She frantically pawed the fence, bellowing in pain as the spikes tore ribbons of skin and flesh from her leg. Hearing voices, she scrambles and gasps to relieve herself of the wire. As she dangles there in a panic, her weight finally causes the barbed wire to give.
It snapped. She lands on the other side of the fence with a resounding thud. She looks up in a daze, noticing the strange, new people gathering around her, with rocks in their hands. A large, shirtless man bellowed out a command in a language she has never heard before, and the sharp rocks begin to rain on her. She shrieks in pain, curls up in a fetal position, and cries herself into a warm, black, endless sleep as the rocks pelt her frail body.

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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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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 ?

* Alexander wonders if this still works

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