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This land is my land, this land is your land, or is it?

Posted 1 January 2019, 11.54 pm by Grapey v2

This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land. Or is it?
Thoughts on nationalism and identity in an increasingly divided time.

I’ve been thinking about the national flag recently, and about what it means to people. I would presume that in most countries, there are a large amount of people who feel very nationalistic and patriotic, and those feelings include sentiment toward and about the national flag.

Here in the U.S., people definitely have very strong feelings about it. Well, some people.
I know the flag is a representation of ideals and some of what our country stands for, however at the end of the day, no matter what you do to that piece of cloth or what you say about it, our nation will still stand for the same things. Burning or otherwise destroying a flag doesn't destroy a country or the people, in the same way that burning a Quran or a Bible doesn’t hurt the religion or physically harm the people who practice those religions. So why are people so crazy about the flag and how it’s treated?

Some of my neighbors put flags out on national holidays. My father puts a flag out on national holidays. I'm not a person who would ever do that, be it fourth of July or any other holiday. It isn't that I don't like my country. It isn't that I don't appreciate the efforts of our women and men who have served in the military in situations that contribute to the safety of Americans. I just don't know what the point is.

If I hated my country, I could technically leave it and live somewhere else, so it would seem that, if I'm here, I like my country, just like other people like the country, and why do we need to fly flags to show that? For some people, it seems to be a badge of honor, a symbol of pride. “I love my country and I’m not afraid to show it to one and all,” or, “I must love my country more than you and be more patriotic than you since I’m displaying the flag of my country.”

I saw a short video recently, starring a wrestler/movie actor, talking about patriotism, and about what type of person is considered to be the average representative of this country. And I knew right away where the video was going to go. It assumes, and probably rightly, that the majority of people trying to picture the average American picture a white male. However, 51% of the people in the US are women. The video went on to list the statistics of several different minorities. According to one survey, America is 73.6% white, 12.6% black, and a much lower percentage of Asian, Native American, or other races. One of the things I loved about this video was its point that we are all American; every color, every religion, every sexual orientation. All of us. And that to be a real patriot, we need to recognize all of these people. We are not only American if we are white, Catholic, heterosexual, or work full time.

These sentiments align closely with my desire for writing and what I want to do with my writing, which is to bring people together to show them their commonalities instead of their differences. To help people communicate. To help people get past skin color or country of birth or religious practice. How great would it be if people used the differences of others as a way to learn about, appreciate, and celebrate other cultures instead of a way to keep people who were different to them or seemed “other” at a distance?

As much as I like my country, I easily recognize some of its faults as well. No country is perfect. There are currently 195 countries in this world. Not a single one of them is perfect. The US not being perfect doesn't mean I want to leave or that I should be booted out, labeled a dissident or non-conformist. However, I see the failures, and from what I can tell, they are getting worse, not better.

There is calamity upon calamity with our current administration. The amount of atrocities being committed by this government is so constant that we’re becoming numb to them. It’s simply unbelievable. As patriotic as everyone claims to be, they seem to be yelling it so loud as to have drowned out the cries of the earth, the very earth that we need to survive, that we are so patriotic about, and it is very much to our own detriment.

The piece of earth where I live is really the same as the earth anywhere else on this planet, just at a different location. Dirt, although it can have slightly different ingredients depending on where it is, is dirt. There might be a different culture, a different language, different foods depending on what piece of dirt you’re living on, but there are things that will be the same as well.

What will be the same are our needs, our desires. We all want, among other things, love, inclusiveness, family, comfort, fresh water and enough food, warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer. The freedom to educate ourselves and provide for ourselves and families. Safety from the harm of oppressors, be they individuals, corporations, or governments.

Why can't we see that a flag or a border does nothing to help us with these needs? The more people entrench themselves in their nationalism and patriotism, the more they keep us from coming together, from cooperation, from sharing, from understanding, from loving and accepting one another. Keeping to these ideals and the us vs. them mentality keeps us from helping one another achieve a good standard of living for all, instead of just for a lucky privileged few.

What would happen if every country in the world got rid of their flag? What if they were outlawed? What if we slowly started erasing all the borders? Could we have one large multi-faceted organization with good oversight that helped run the world so to speak, without the need for presidents and kings? What would a world like that look like? Imagine if everyone had enough food, clean water, employment, and felt safe? That’s what I call freedom. That’s a land I would be proud to live in.


Welcome back

Posted 30 December 2018, 9.29 pm by Alexander

AKPCEP is back.

A little history lesson - back in 2001, the heyday of E/N websites (ask your grandad) AKPCEP was born. Check the web archives for its many facelifts and ugly redesigns. Over the years it got popular, then less so, then in 2009 I closed the doors and so it stayed until today.

So why is it back?

This is not a nostalgia trip. AKPCEP is back as a response to my own (and I feel, other people’s) frustrations with what replaced it. Social media such as facebook, twitter etc is depersonalising, corrupt and manipulative. AKPCEP was borne of a love of discourse, of confrontation, and of exploration of ideas. A ragtag bunch of internet miscreants waking each other up to new possibilities.

Can it be so again? Most likely not. The original members are scattered to the four winds, and it remains to be seen if the denizens of the internet 10 years on are even interested in talking to people about things, rather than themselves.

Nonetheless, I built this place, I’m proud of it, and I’m proud of our members past, present and (hopefully) future.

So, welcome back. Sign up for an account in the forums (The Grinding Shed) and say hello. Then come back here to the front page, click ‘Submit Article’ at the top left and hit us with your best shot.

Happy grinding.

It Could Always Be Worse

Posted 22 November 2009, 5.38 am by The_Roach

I just had a minor fender bender at the local convenience store. I was pulling in and angling for a plainly open parking space when I see to my right a guy who looks to be somewhere in his late teens or early twenties. He's standing in front of a car, some beige four-door sedan, and all of a sudden hops up on the hood and clings as the car drives out from it's position near the pump and out of my view. "Hooligans," I chuckled.

Looking to my left, I see an F-150 pulling out of a nearby space. But she's doing it backwards. As in, pulling out towards where traffic would be coming in to park. Pulling out towards me. She braked for a split-second and I thought she had noticed me before resuming her course. I couldn't accelerate. I was too close to the curb by now that I was afraid a rash action would put me on the curb, possibly into the storefront or -- worse -- a person. So, I laid on the horn. Just a bit too late.

Sucks, right?

The woman who hit me lives in the northern part of the state. She's down here to handle her sister's funeral (which is pretty shitty already). The reason she was in the parking lot tonight was to help her son (a local) recover his stolen HTC Imagio phone. They sent the stolen phone a text message offering $50 for it's safe return and received a response demanding $100 instead. It was agreed that they would meet at what wound up being the scene of my accident for the exchange.

Their plan was to have the cops meet them there, so they could have the guys who stole the phone arrested. The police required the woman and her son to be on the scene before they would dispatch an officer. So the son, recently returned from Iraq, talked to the guys and then tried to stop them from leaving before the police can arrive. To accomplish this, he stood in front of their beige, four-door sedan.

And so... the End is Near

Posted 19 November 2009, 3.14 pm by Alexander

Nine years. It's a long time for anything really - a dog, a pie, a relationship, but even more so when you're talking about the web. If I was the kind of guy who did research, I'd put together a list of famous websites that AKPCEP.com predates, but I'm not. I imagine it's quite a few.

In those nine years, the web hasn't really changed. The people on the net have changed, maybe the demographic has changed slightly away from the geek and towards your mom and pop, but I think it's been a few major game-changers that have shifted people away from the traditional "online community" as we used to know it.

With the advent of Facebook, people are now more interested in hanging out online with people they already know offline. MySpace is where you can find new music, and post pictures of your high-contrast cleavage if you feel inclined. Twitter has shown that the fast-food mentality can also apply to web pages, and a few newsworthy instances of mob mentality have given it some kind of legitimacy. Compare Twitter with the Chat Board on the right hand side of AKPCEP.com and the only difference is that the chat board lets you post more than 140 characters. Oh and it doesn't have millions of users.

Mainly though, I think people have just become less inclined to talk with people about things, and more talking at people about themselves. Status updates, tweets, blog postings tend to be by and large self-aggrandising, narcissistic affairs. There's no real dialogue beyond "LOL" after that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not some kind of luddite, I heartily accept and welcome the net's maturing into a platform where everyone has a voice, not just the select few who've learned Perl or PHP and can make a website. It's just a shame that 99.9% of people using that voice have nothing to say.

On top of that, life gets in the way. AKPCEP.com's trusted and loyal membership has been dwindling slowly since it's heyday as people grow up, get married, have kids or indeed find something more interesting to do, and more power to them.

Add to this my own inherent laziness and it's not hard to see why AKPCEP.com's days were always numbered. I had this fantasy that I would build it, and they would come, and I could be a silent onlooker reading hundreds of quality posts every day. It turns out it doesn't really work like that and the absentee landlord isn't much of a recommendation for a site that's supposed to be built on interactivity.

The site still gets plenty of traffic, but very little actual contribution. If it was an online shop, the conversion rate would be a fraction of a percent, and it would be taken out back and shot.

So why shut down? The site doesn't cost me anything to run, as it's just sat on my VPS using a minimal amount of resources. The question should be - why keep it up? It just serves to remind me of the good times when the place was rammed with enough people to keep it ticking over nicely, people made friends and enemies, people created stuff and shared it. Now it's just a lonely, empty shell. A bit like a supermarket in a zombie movie. It's quite depressing.

I don't know when I'm going to pull the plug, sometime fairly soon I think. I'd like to thank everyone who's used the site over the years, from the people who've racked up thousands of posts, to those who only posted once. I think this site has left a legacy - one of the things I'm most proud of is that we've had at least one marriage and at least one baby from people meeting here. That makes me proud, and I think also an uncle.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Alexander

Testicles In The Wind

Posted 28 August 2009, 1.00 am by VanGogh

Since April I have been making a habit out of hitting the gym. I’m down right around 50 pounds as of this writing. And while that number would be more impressive if I still didn’t have twice that to go, I’m going to go ahead and pat myself on the back.

These days the gym is not only a part of my daily work routine, but also something I do at home. When we moved, my wife and I both joined the 24 hour gym that is a quarter-mile from our apartment. So three or four times I week I also put in a workout down there. Having now solidly settled into the groove of routine fitness, I’d like to remark upon something that I’ve noticed. Or rather, something that I have witnessed against my wishes:

Old, naked fat guys blow drying their pubes.

I don’t know what possesses a man to blow dry his nether region. Perhaps it is part of a sacred styling ritual. Or maybe it is related to a trauma caused by a case of severe jock itch that they have vowed never to repeat. Whatever the root cause is, why are they constantly doing it in front of me?

And why are they all fat? At any given time there are between 5 and 35 people working out at the same time I am, regardless of location. Of those, the great majority look so fit that you have to believe they are working out at another gym just to look that good while working out at this gym. Statistically speaking, you’d think that from time to time I’d walk into the locker room to find a Hercules wafting heated air at his secondary beard. But it has never happened. They are always fat, old, and disturbingly naked.

For awhile I thought it might have something to do with balding. The majority of offenders are chrome-dome types, and I thought that maybe they just missed the thrill-filled exhilaration that comes with blow drying. But then I saw what can only be described as an aging, overweight sasquatch performing his own rendition of “no wet ball left behind”. (And frankly… given the fur factor, you have to wonder how that particular spot earned a good drying when the rest of him, including his head, was still a matted mess.)

And even if you set aside the seizure-inducing spectacle that is “Testicles In The Wind”, you are still left with a plethora of old, fat, naked guys strutting about. Being a man of girth myself, I always try to do my part to screen the world from my “vast expanses”. It seems only polite. But these fellows don’t seem to be aware of the spectacle they are creating.

And believe me, it is a spectacle. Because they aren’t just strutting about sans clothes or a towel, they are frequently finding reasons to bend over. It’s as if once they are naked they become extremely obsessed with getting a good look at their toes. Or maybe they are just checking to see if they have dried their man patch yet. Regardless, at least once a week I find myself in a locker room full of old, fat, naked men alternatively blow drying their pubes and bending over to perform various questionable tasks.

I can’t be certain, but I imagine this is what it would have looked like if Hitler and Satan got together to choreograph a ballet.

Little Luca Sunday

Posted 9 June 2009, 9.47 pm by Alexander

Little Luca is maybe just a few hundred in population, a quaint small town sat in the middle of nowhere. It could be the 1950s, or maybe not much has changed since then. It's the kind of place where everyone knows everyone, for better and worse, and gossip spreads like wildfire. Jerry Henderson runs the town's only gas station and is married to the local schoolteacher, a tall and attractive woman named Molly. Jerry is a tall, rangy, practical man of few words, unless you count grunts from under a car hood every once in a while. Despite being in their mid-thirties they have no children, which has only recently become a talking point in the coffee shops and hair salon in town.

It's Sunday morning. Jerry wakes and upon opening his eyes, jumps out of bed, breathing heavily. "Who the hell are you?" he shouts at the dark-haired woman lying in his bed. The woman looks confused, "What on earth do you mean Jerry?". "You're not my wife!" Jerry continues, becoming red-faced, totally bewildered and angry at this intruder in his house. The woman starts to look scared, gathering the bedclothes around her. "Jerry, you're scaring me, come back to bed! What on earth is wrong with you?".

Jerry grabs some clothes and runs from the house, tripping on his trouser leg as he hurriedly dresses all the way down his driveway and into his pickup truck.

On the way into town, driving erratically, Jerry mops his sweat-soaked brow with his shirt sleeve, he's frantic. He's on his way to visit his best friend, to try and make some sense of this situation. Maybe he's still dreaming?

Jerry's best friend is the local newspaper reporter and editor. A bald, slight man with a cocky smile and small round glasses. Jerry bursts through the door of his untidy newsroom.

"Trevor, you have to help me, there's a strange woman in my bed."
"Lucky you! You sly old dog..." chides Trevor.
"No, you don't understand, that woman - I've never seen her before!" Jerry looms over Trevor's desk, almost menacingly. Trevor drops the wisecracks.
"Well, what did she look like?"
"Ahh god I don't know, dark hair, brown eyes, I guess".

Trevor starts to laugh, thinking he's now in on the joke. "Oh I see Jerry, you and Molly trying a little role play?"
"What? God man this is serious! You know full well Molly has been missing for nearly three weeks. If this is one of your stupid games it's sick." Trevor's grin once again disappears.
"Jerry, what the hell. I saw Molly yesterday at the store, that's Molly in your bed. Now do you want to tell me what this is about? Have you two fallen out again?"

Jerry looks about to explode. "You know full well Molly is a blonde, and this wasn't her."

The journalist just scratches his head and looks at Jerry, nonplussed. "Jerry, I don't know what to say - could Molly have dyed her hair as a surprise maybe?"
"No! I know my wife's face and this wasn't her. This is useless. Come with me back to the house, you'll see!".
"OK Jerry, nothing much newsworthy here today anyway."

Jerry and Trevor drive back to Jerry's house in silence. Trevor is looking noticeably uneasy, Jerry increasingly manic. As they pull up at the house, Molly greets them warmly.

"Hi fellas! Jerry where did you get to?"
"Molly! Looking lovely as always!" Trevor chirps. Jerry double takes from Trevor to Molly. "You know this woman? This isn't Molly! I haven't seen Molly since she disappeared, and neither have you goddamnit!"
"Jerry, look - if you two are having a fight I'd rather not get in the middle of it. Take me back to town, there's a good man?"

"I don't know what's going on here but I'm damn well going to find out!". With this he storms back to his truck and peels out in a cloud of dust.

The Sheriff of Little Luca is a slightly portly man with a small moustache and enormous hands - Colm by name. He's policed this small town all his professional life, with little more to do than round up drunks or get between the occasional domestic. His office is small, neat, but everything is old and worn. His door bursts open, it's Jerry, his shirt soaked with sweat.

"Colm. I'm reporting a burglar in my house. You've got to get there right away. I'm serious!"
Colm removes his hat, wipes the inside brim with his handkerchief and ponderously replaces it on his head. "Well, did you get a good look at 'em, Jerry?"
"Yes, it's a woman, she was in my bed when I woke up!" Jerry grips the back of the chair in front of the sheriff's desk so hard his knuckles whiten. An interminable pause.
"You had a burglar in your bed? What did Molly have to say about that?"
"Damnit Colm, Molly is still missing, you know this - I filed the report with you, we put up the posters around town together, on all the noticeboards, up here on the wall - " Jerry whirls round and points to a blank piece of wall. Something might have been pinned there once, but nothing was evident now. "Where is it? Where's the damn poster Colm?"
"Now calm yourself Jerry. I don't have the first clue what you're talking about. Molly is not missing to the best of my knowledge, I've never printed a poster or pinned one regarding a search for her whereabouts."

Jerry is speechless, fuming, with tears in his eyes, but won't be beaten. "This woman, in my bed, she had dark hair. Molly is a blonde, you know this. Come on Colm!"
"Jerry, what the hell. I may not be the busiest Sheriff in the US but I don't have time for any more of this bullshit. Get the hell out of my office. Your wife is brunette, she's perfectly well and no doubt at your home wondering where the hell you are. I suggest you return to her and have a lie down. Good day."

"No! Look, here..." Jerry pulls out his wallet, fishes out a small photograph and his face turns from triumph to despair as he stares at it. It's a picture of a smiling Jerry with a dark-haired woman, the same woman he woke up with this morning.

"Jerry," Colm starts, with a soothing tone. "I know you and Molly haven't been getting along, and I know you've had your troubles with money - damnit everyone in this town knows you're likely to lose that gas station your daddy gave you if times don't pick up, but please don't lose your mind as well. This is hard on Molly too. Don't forget..." but before he can finish, Jerry has whirled out of the office into the scorching heat, the picture clasped in his hand.

Jerry staggers down the street, to the sound of church bells. He accosts people as he comes across them - "Who is this woman? Do you know her?" jabbing his finger at the photograph from his wallet. Everyone has the same answer -

"Jerry, that's your wife. That's Molly."
"A darling picture! Molly is so pretty Jerry"
"Jerry, what's wrong? Is this some kind of joke?"
"You're a lucky man, Jerry Henderson!"

He ricochets across the street until his way is blocked by the town chapel. Looking up at it's tolling bells as if for salvation, he staggers up to the doors and flings them wide. The congregation is halfway through a hymn, which abruptly stops as the flock turns to see who has interrupted them.

"You people!" Jerry is exhausted, his voice hoarse. "You people, what's wrong with you?"

The crowd just stares.

"This woman - " Jerry raises the photograph to eye level and waves it in the faces of the townspeople as he progresses down the aisle "I have never seen her before, I don't know who she is and she is NOT my wife!!!"

The pastor raises his hand for calm. "Jerry, Molly grew up in Little Luca, I baptised her and I've watched her grow up. That's her."

"IT IS NOT!" Jerry screams "And I can prove it! I can prove I'm not going insane!" Jerry turns on his heel and starts out of the chapel. The parishioners, to a man, file out behind him in silence.

Jerry staggers, runs, falls and crawls through the chapel gardens and out into the countryside. With every step he takes, more townspeople join the growing herd following him at a respectful distance. Their faces are blank, almost solemn as they trail this man through the scrub, dust and broken roads on the outskirts of quiet Little Luca.

Eventually, his tears creating clean streaks down his dirt-stained face, Jerry drops to his knees. The crowd stops as one, the entire town stood silent behind him.

Jerry starts to dig in the dirt, with the weariness of an old dog. The crowd watches.

Sobbing, Jerry digs until first one strand, then two, then a mass of blonde hair peeks through the dirt. A female hand, with a wedding ring, emerges like a neglected sapling from the dusty earth.

"That's enough Jerry" comes a voice from behind him. It's Sheriff Colm.

"We knew you'd killed her, Jerry. We all knew. We just didn't know what you'd done with her. When she disappeared it wasn't hard to make some calls out of town and find out about the amendments to Molly's life insurance policy you'd made last month. I know you swore to your daddy that you'd keep that gas station running, and goddamnit you did all you could and you didn't want to lose it, but this wasn't the way."

Jerry just stares at Colm, his face a rictus of anguish.

"This wasn't the way."

The crowd, almost as one, drops it's head, and the townfolk of Little Luca slowly file back into town, back to their jobs and their homes and their children, leaving Jerry sobbing in the dirt with Molly.

Reflections of an Experienced Teacher

Posted 28 May 2009, 3.59 pm by Villager

I'm about to finish my third year of teaching. That might not sound like someone who can describe himself as 'experienced', but the average teacher now lasts only three years before packing it in and looking for another career, so I digress. I have moved on to my second underfunded and underprivileged school, this time in darkest Manchester. It's been an education, if you'll forgive the pun. Despite growing up on a council estate, I've always known that I was relatively privileged; my parents remain married, there's always been food on the table, and I've no particular reason to grumble about abuse, neglect or other childhood trauma. Even so, knowing that life is different on the other side doesn't always prepare you for its reality.

It's a depressing place, it really is. Staff cynicism is endemic, corrupting every activity. Perhaps imbued by years of mismanagement, the teachers here have committed themselves to teaching with the minimum effort required because they don't feel that they are appreciated. Positivity is met with a dismay, as though it's somehow inappropriate. It's infectious, too: I find myself grumbling and complaining, rather than trying to offer ways of improving things as I did at first.

In the past year here, no-one has watched me teach, enquired as to my or my classes' progress, or contributed anything that might improve what goes on in my classroom. Where other schools have tens of thousands of pounds worth of technology in every classroom, I have a whiteboard and some pens. The furniture appears decades old, the most recent books available for reading are from 1993. The entire English department of eleven teachers has a yearly budget of £900 for books, computers, photocopying, pens and anything else.

When I watch other lessons around the school, I cringe, as the hollow figure in the corner hides behind the desk, and puts another video on. In a way I don't blame them; those that try to teach so often lack the charisma or presence to command respect from the children, that lessons degenerate into shouting matches, in which the children have the advantage of numbers. The staff blame the children, the school and the parents variously, and abdicate power and responsibility for making any semblance of difference. No doubt they are right; the children are often obnoxious, aggressive, and always apathetic; the school is grossly under managed and underfunded; the parents are, as often as not, absent or unhelpful. I imagine many would leave, if only they were good enough to get a job at a properly run school with any standards.

There is a lot of pressure on schools to deliver good exam results. Headteachers are under professional and financial pressure to deliver ever greater results, and it is commonly acknowledged that schools inflate coursework grades whenever they can get away with it. Here is no different; those pupils in danger of failing to achieve a C grade simply had their marks increased to a suitable level. I had a number of students with long term absences with incomplete coursework folders. When I declined to invent grades for them, it was done on my behalf. I have spoken to union representatives at the school, but they didn't seem to comprehend my concerns beyond absolving myself of culpability. The idea that principles of fairness and integrity are being abused here is so obvious that it would be laughed out of conversation, the unspoken truth. Dirty words, principles.

In a way I'm proud that I've managed to maintain decent lessons and not involve myself in anything underhand. Yet I feel my spirit and enthusiasm waning every time I enter that wretched building, and I truly doubt my ability to have a significant impact on the culture there. Do I stay and try to improve things in whatever small way I can, or leave and find somewhere that I can do my job properly? I took the job because I wanted to work with challenging children who need people that care about them; I didn't expect to be up against the school and its staff as well.

For all it's bureaucratic suffocation the government is blind to the situation, for as long as the results graph goes up, all is presumed well. The children here are a damning indictment of class in modern Britain; their parents don't care, their teachers don't care, their school doesn't care. What's the end result? They don't care.

GLASS - Chapter One

Posted 13 July 2008, 10.24 pm by Alexander

The boy surveyed his work. Three years of his thirteen crafting, bending, filing, sawing and polishing and the results lay before him like a sleeping dragon. Almost every corner of his father's library was filled with pipes, pistons, bellows and wires - grapevines and tendrils in a forgotten greenhouse. It was New Year's Eve, 1916 - 1917 would see the first successful Transmission.

Acidic smoke belched from a side-vent as the boy turned handles and frantically pumped footpedals. Some type of grit poured from an opening and was directed out of a window with funnels. An array of greasy bulbs slowly came to life as a low rumble emanated from deep in the belly of the machine. The boy wiped his forehead on his jacket sleeve and retrieved a series of punch cards from a nearby table. Leafing through them, his face lit up as his gaze alighted on one particular cardboard sheet. This was it, he thought - the Initial Transmission.

He had no doubts whatsoever that the machine would do what it was designed to do. The boy considered himself a vessel, an instrument just as the recipients of the Transmissions were also vessels. The only difference was, of course, that the mucky-faced child stood in the shadow of the machine knew his role already.

It was nearly time. The boy didn't research the recipients personally, rather they were supplied to him by the same agency that gave him the blueprints for the machine. The understanding was that if the Initial Transmission was a success, he could choose the next set of recipients himself. Frequently the boy had mused that in the coming years he could perhaps refine the apparatus and reduce it's size somewhat, even relegate it to an outbuilding so his father could reach his Encyclopedias again. Perhaps create living quarters within the vast apparatus if the heat and noise didn't make that proposition too risky.

The boy traced his finger across the rough-hewn holes in the punchcard and read the hand-written title at the top. 'Without' was all it said. Of course the boy couldn't decypher the card itself, and even when the machine had devoured and processed it the likelihood of him being able to comprehend the resulting diagnostic data was slim at best - but he would know for sure that it had worked, and the last three years of his life, three years of night-long knuckle-scraping hard work, would not have been in vain.

Three of the five bulbs were now illuminated and the low rumble had become a dense roar. The machine was ready for input, the autistic child - forgotten and left to his own devices, had built a mechanism by which art could be transmitted across time. He inserted the punch card and lungs still, pulled the lever.

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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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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness

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!

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