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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.

The Sound of Freedom

Posted 13 February 2002, 7.54 am by The_Roach

The following is a reader submission from janetdoggy. Enjoy.

The front page of the newspaper revealed the heartbreaking details. Although worthy of a headline story, It was not news to me. I was expecting the worst because I heard the helicopter.

For years, I regarded the noise from aircraft as the sound of freedom. Living a few blocks from Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, My windows rattled constantly. Even Sunday provided no relief from the sensory assault of cutting edge weapons booming across the desert.

Three years ago, I made the right decision. I Moved my family away from the noise and confusion of an overcrowded nightmare.

Adjusting to a small town lifestyle is easy. I like knowing my neighbors. The police are no longer an enemy to be feared. I discuss my childrens progress in school with their teachers at the grocery store. Strangers wave and say "hello".

The helicopter is the only noise I'm likely to hear at night. It lands at the only hospital in a sixty mile radius. For many, it is the first and last time they will ever fly. The helicopter never brings good news.

Requiem For A Dream

Posted 13 February 2002, 2.08 am by The_Roach

Requiem For A Dream
Herbert Selby Jr.

No doubt you've already heard of this stunning piece of fiction, either as a literary work, or due to it's recent film adaptation. If you haven't, you're in for a rare and terrifying treat.

The story revolves around four individuals who lose sight of reality when they pursue their dreams. A lonely widow with nothing to live for learns she will be on television, and decides to take diet pills to fit into the dress she wore to her son's bar mitzvah. Meanwhile, her son and two of his friends plan to start selling heroin on the street in order to save up enough to open legitimate businesses and retire.

Of course, it's an old yarn in today's society, and one with an obvious outcome. What's fascinating about the tale is the manner in which it has been presented in both book and film.

Selby's writing technique is very raw, and requires some getting used to. There is little distinction of voice in dialogue (no use of quotation marks, either), many of his sentences run-on, and there is rarely a paragraph break. The first impression a reader might have is that Selby spent a little too much time with Hunter S. Thompson. What's more disturbing is that it works, drawing you further into the story and associating you more closely with the out of control nature the characters have.

The film doesn't pull any punches either. Director Darren Aronofsky uses a myriad of techniques and presents the viewer with a highly visceral, and deeply disturbing film. It has some very distinct differences from it's parent work, the most notable being the portrayal of drug use. Selby's writing works to downplay their importance, making them seem more casual as they would to the users themselves. Aronofsky employs an interesting tactic to achieve a similar effect by demonstrating the character's addictions in 4 second clips containing a barrage of images that show the viewer exactly what's going on without forcing them to watch another drawn out scene of hypodermic use. Add to this performances by Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, the tragically beautiful Jeniffer Connely, and a surprisingly talented Marlon Wayans (who would have guessed?), and you have a film you will want to show your kids instead of giving them a heart to heart about drug abuse.

So, which is better, the film or the novel? Neither. While not a carbon copy of the original work, the film holds true enough to it's namesake. Both are equally enjoyable, and equally challenging to accept.

GooGoo

Posted 12 February 2002, 5.58 am by Acheron

I am a baby. I am childish - I am immature, incapable of acting my age; an embodiment of my gender; just your textbook case of social underdevelopment.

Sue me.

If there is one thing I cannot swallow about my peers, it is their ceaseless levelheaded cynicism. If immaturity is merely a staunch, even emotional, attachment to one's beliefs, if immaturity is simply characterized by believing in something to the point of being excited, ecstatic, or upset by it, then by all means call me immature. The members of my generation are those, faces painted with doubting frowns, exclaiming, "It's just a game, calm down buddy." - except they say it at all the wrong times. For all our collective empathy we may as well mutter that non-committal phrase whenever someone gets fired, whenever a tree is chopped down, whenever somebody gains another pound of couch-potato primed fat - whenever anybody anywhere snuffs it.

So here I am, caring about biased judging in pairs free skate, caring when people waste my time in their many creative ways, caring about my academic future, etc. etc. - and being called a child for it.

Children care?



Adults don't?

"Guaranteed delivery in 30 minutes or less, or we commit Seppuku!"

Posted 11 February 2002, 9.44 pm by The_Roach

This is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on the web. Not only can you view Ninja Burger's menu, order from them (don't bother leaving your address, they know where you are), and apply for a job (the application is hilarious), they also supply tips for dating ninjas and have a few online games.

Maybe tomorrow

Posted 10 February 2002, 10.31 am by Andy

Pounding.
Pounding.
Pounding.
Pounding.

Oh, the pain: the pounding.

I know that it will never end, yet, still, I cannot find a door to open.
There is no door.
It cannot be opened.
But God knows, if I keep it closed, I'm going to die!

I just wish it would stop pounding!

I stand: pounding.
I sit: pounding.
I stand: pounding.
I collapse: pounding.
I wait, and I stand: pounding.

I walk: so much pounding, with every step pounding.
But I'm walking towards a cure.
I have to be.

I pass some friends.
Some snicker and pat my back (oh! You assholes, the pounding!)
Others' eyes shout empathy.
Still others fake sympathy, but I know they lie; they've never felt such pounding! No living creature has!

The pounding!

My head is hung over the ledge again: that beautiful white ledge.
I peer into its bowels: that beautiful white.
I think of so many stories of near-death experiences: that beautiful white light at the end of the tunnel. Oh! How true!
That beautiful white!

THAT POUNDING!

I see through the white to the ripples. So many ripples, splashing in the water.
Falling from my face.
The ripples are my tears.
Rolling down my cheek.
Splashing in the water.

POUNDING!

I can't remember a time when it's been this bad.
I can't even remember last night.
Surely I will die. Nothing can live through this pounding.

Fractions of events begin coming together: too many bottles, too little thinking.
Too much drinking.
Too little thinking.

Between the ripples I see the watery mirror.
A gash in my forehead.
On top of the pounding.
Fuck you, gash.
Fuck you.

But where did you come from?
Why can't I remember?
Why all of this fucking pounding?

My head is hung over the ledge, that beautiful white ledge.
But still the relief doesn't come.
I fear it never will.

I stand and collapse. Pounding!
Still pounding!

Maybe next time. Maybe next time.
Maybe tomorrow.
Tomorrow the pounding will be gone.
Maybe tomorrow.

I reach for a bottle.
I forget the pounding.

Justifiable Homocide

Posted 10 February 2002, 8.58 am by The_Roach

While cruising around tonight, I found this. If my roomate did that, he'd be dead in an instant.

On a side note, check out this amusing tidbit as well. Irony is a beautiful thing, no?

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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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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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