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rapid rifle's rattle

Posted 19 February 2002, 5.49 pm by Villager

Have you ever had an admiration, or indeed a love, for something and then gone on to study it, in an academic context? I ask in relation to the subject of poetry, which, when I was first introduced to it, fascinated me. The way that words could be arranged in such a fashion as to come to life, to embody the writer’s imagination and, through mere words, convey intrinsic details of emotion and experience.

Then I studied it in school, and now college. When you analyse a poem with the eye of a student, or of a critic, you lose a degree of the appreciation for the creation as a whole. We use classifications and labels to dissect and corrode the structure of the poem. We see oxymorons we see alliteration we see onomatopoeia we see assonance we see euphemisms. I am claiming this as no bad thing in itself, but once a poem is broken down into its fundamental constructs, then we lose sight of the poem as a whole.

I find it very hard to read a poem and not be immediately drawn to the individual make-up. While this does indeed allow me to appreciate to a greater degree the level of skill a poet may have in moulding different forms and methods to create what he will, I find it undermines the beauty of a poem as a whole, singling out and labelling each feature, detaching it from the context of the poem. As such I no longer really enjoy reading poetry, good as it may technically be, and I’ve found writing poetry myself has become a much harder task if I am to satisfy I have neither focused on structure nor neglected it.

Is poetry alone in such effects? Have you experienced anything comparable with music, art, or anything else?

I love Tuesday

Posted 17 February 2002, 6.00 pm by Craig

I've spent the last couple of days reading an online Comic named Tuesday.

Visit Tuesday!!.

That is all...

Hang a Coin Around Your Neck

Posted 17 February 2002, 1.08 am by Acheron

When I was a young boy, the Olympics were the highlight of, well, every set of four years. I have vivid memories of simply sitting and watching the CBC's (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's) coverage of the Olympics, day in and day out. My favourite games were always the winter, and my favourite sport was ski jumping. Recent events in the world of figure skating have forced me to re-evaluate my stance on the Olympic Games.

I no longer see the Olympics as a showcase of ameteur sport. Except for a few rare exceptions, like cross-country skiing, the individual-level rivalries have been replaced by gigantic advertisements, space-age bodysuits, and oversized flags. The Olympics are a chance for the world's nations and corporations to take their stolen hard-earned money and throw it at a glorified metaphor for war. For the most part, every medal is merely the result of either:

a) A larger pool of athletes in the home country (ie: the sport is more popular in that country).
b) Better funding for research, training, and the athletes themselves (ie: the sport is more profitable in that country).

Indeed, every medal must result from these circumstances. Imagine the chaos, the decline in nationalism, and, worst of all, the ineffectiveness of jingoism as a sales tool if athletes won simply because they were indisputably better than everybody else. Picture athletes competing without the flags of their home countries - such a picture destroys the entire purpose of the Olympics; without flags, the Olympics is just a really big track meet - such an event would not garner the sort of television ratings that the Olympics manages to pull in. Why are the Olympics popular? why is the World Cup popular? because tribalism - the at times savage desire for one's own country's victory - is intrinsic to human nature.

The fundamentally nationalistic tone of the Olympics has several negative repercussions on the athletes themselves. First of all, athletes of equal natural talent are often of unequal skill in competitions simply due to fiscal differences. Secondly, sports needing totally objective yet still human judges suffer. Can the Russian judge of pairs' figure skating be totally at fault for his/her decision? When an entire nation desires a certain outcome, that nation's judge will almost certainly take the chance to make that outcome manifest, even if it means ignoring objective truths. Simply put: the nationalism of the Games themselves can and will breed nationalism within the judges of said Games.

The only people truly hurt by this bias are the athletes themselves - dedicated idealists who devote their lives to self-improvement, then have their dreams whisked away by a flag or a dollar bill.

A Link For Dot

Posted 16 February 2002, 2.44 am by Berly

When I first stumbled upon this site, I immediately thought of Dot. Anyone who knows our beloved Dot knows how much she loves the contents of people's wallets. Dot, this link is dedicated to you.

Want a well written, simple to navigate and very humorous site? Visit What's Inside Jeremy's Wallet.

The content is exactly what the title page implies - "The Oldest Wallet On The Internet - Hot Wallet Action Since 1995, Baby!", by Jeremy Wilson. Make sure you check out the photo that moved 21 employees of the Detroit Film Society to collectively email the woman in the photo (but due to delivery complications, it got delivered to Jeremy.)

I wonder

Posted 15 February 2002, 5.18 pm by Villager

Every now and again, it occurs to me that of all the things I do, few are the result of any carefully deliberated thought, and none are of any great significance; my life will toddle on happily enough regardless of which route I choose. Life is easy. Life is a pre-planned path we all travel, and from which few deviate significantly. On first analysis, this seems wrong. But then, are not the lives of creatures the world over merely the result of chance, possibilities and paths chosen? Life is not a magic box. It is a magic garden in which we are free to wander, but which we cannot leave. I wonder why I look for a way to leave the garden.

Perhaps I am merely lacking contentedness, and search for meaning greater than life presents me with. Such immature wonderings are the product of a life unexplored, nonchalance and apathy, unfulfilled fantasies and elaborate dreams. Perhaps such a lack of direction is indeed the 'product of an unfortunate age'; life in the C21st requires more than instinct and nature to be content and happy with one’s lot.

Why am I even typing this, when I know that putting my thoughts down onto the screen threatens to further confuse and clutter my rationale as much as it promises to help clear my thoughts? Why, moreover, am I posting them here for you to see? Because we all, or many of us I suspect, search for ways in which our minds can leave that garden, and look back from afar, and truly appreciate the world in which we do live. We may not be able embody what we can conceive of, but the world can be that much more like we dream of it, you just have to believe in it; in your own ability to positively affect and sculpt the world around you.

Poe - Haunted

Posted 15 February 2002, 3.24 pm by Villager

I am somewhat surprised that neither Waldo nor The_Roach has reviewed this yet, as it is they who introduced me to it originally. The story behind the album is of the death of Poe's father, and her feelings and mourning for him. Despite the undercurrent of meaning, each song stand up as a work of art in itself, with emotive and thoughtful lyrics in each. Sample tunes include "Haunted" and "Walk The Walk", but there are no bad songs on this album.

There is a ranged mix of musical genres here, and the result is a sound unlike any other, and with each track Poe demonstrates an amazing voice and imagination. I can say without reservation that this album is among my favourites, one I can listen to over and again, and it's little short of criminal that Poe has yet to achieve a degree of fame and recognition greater than she has. Go read the Amazon reviews, I'm gonna listen to the album some more..

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Posted 15 February 2002, 3.16 pm by Villager

This, as I'm sure many of you will be aware, is a very famous book. It is also undeniably a classic. Written by Spanish Civil War veteran George Orwell in 1949, Nineteen Eighty-Four is an extravagant tale of totalitarianism and the power-hungry, from a working man's perspective. We see the world through the eyes of Winston, our hero of sorts, a middle aged office worker, just old enough to remember the times when the world was free.

By the present Nineteen Eighty-Four sees planet earth split into three continuously warring factions, each consisting of a heavily oppressive, totalitarian state, with the common goal of suppressing the masses and maintaining the status quo. One third of the earth, and the one in which Winston lives, is Oceania, in which a genius system of language and control of lifestyle makes for a gripping read. The tale of propaganda, indoctrination and 'law' enforcement therein is incredibly well created and will ring alarm bells in each of you as to how the governments of the world influence you.. are you being watched? Is your life not monitored and analysed in much the same way as the oppressed are Nineteen Eighty-Four?

Many of you will have read this book, and I review it only to try and ensure nobody misses out on this, "a masterpiece of political speculation". It’s only 326 pages long, and yet it provokes more thought and imagination in that short space than many authors manage in ten times as much. You needn’t be interested in politics to find this a gripping read, as it strikes at the very core of everyday existence. For the second-hand Amazon paperback price of $1.50, you really cannot lose with this, a true modern classic.

Magical.

My Ishmael-Daniel Quinn

Posted 14 February 2002, 1.20 am by Jake

Having read the first installment of the two, I was pretty impressed with this sequel. Although, it is not a sequel per se. It occurs along (and a little after) the basic timeline of the first one, although set in a different perspective. Quinn's explanations of common cultural mishaps are even more credible through the dialogue of 12-year-old Julie Gerchak and her unique tutor, Ishmael. Covering everything from the common misinterpretations of history, the incorporation of different methods such as agriculture and industrialization and comparing it with the systems of tribal societies, Quinn provides a unique perspective on the destination of mankind, and how we can change the future. Many of his ideas are extremely sensible and appealing, and I found it hard to put down. Although slightly lacking in a few spots, it makes up with cultural analogies and alternatives, as well as alternate perspectives to ideas from the first book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is even remotely interested in philosophy, sociology or anthropology. Give it a shot, you may like it.

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This is the shot of a crab apple tree outside of my house. I used thirds and rather than having the foreground directly in the middle I moved it to the left and let the rest fall out of focus.


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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 ?

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