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Blood[y] Relations

Posted 18 November 2004, 9.32 pm by Macaroni

I could feel the storm brewing. Preparing for my family reunion was like watching an ominous weather report: “Hurricane Fiona has bypassed the Caribbean and is currently making its way over the Atlantic, heading right toward us . . . ” I imagined distant aunts and uncles packing their bags and sharpening their knives with lust in their eyes. They wanted their reckoning, and my self-imposed exile from them would be the main topic of their questions, but my answers would not be accommodating. I never felt close to my family, and I rarely felt supported. I chose to let the people who were close to me, my friends who have earned it, be my family. To me, family is a designation earned, not inherited.
My distrust of blood relations probably started when I was very young. My earliest memories are of arguments between family members; heated discussions over trivial things, unnecessary violence, unnecessary rage. Growing up, I heard stories told in whispers of how this uncle had screwed this cousin out of a lot of money, or how that cousin was a lazy good-for-nothing bum. In spite of being indoctrinated into this family code of negativity and backstabbing, I was disgusted that people would choose to waste their time in such ways, especially on those who were supposed to be working for each other.
Adolescence was a difficult time for me, but I never found myself missing guidance as those who are in a similar position often do. When I needed support, it wasn’t anyone in my family I turned to, it was my close friends. I drew strength from people who shared my experiences and who saw me as a human being of worth, rather than someone’s sister’s son, which by blood meant an obligation to care. My friends were the ones who let me open up to them, free to expose myself, no matter how ugly that unraveling may have been.
Over time, my distaste for family has been tempered by experiences which have shown me that there are some who genuinely care, not just because they would lose face if they openly acknowledged they didn’t. But those experiences have been rare, and my circumstance – living far away from most of them, having no brothers or sisters – probably has played a part in continuing my perception. In part because of these positive experiences, I decided to attend the reunion.
The occasion was held at the house of a family friend, neutral territory free from memories of past gatherings which had played a large part in how I felt about family in the first place. The gathering was casual, held mostly outdoors. It wasn’t long before the interrogation started.
My nosy aunt: “So how have you been keeping yourself busy these days? How come we never hear from you? You never return our calls.”
“When did you call?”
“I called your mother just before Christmas. I told her to tell you we said hi the next time she talked to you.”
“Mom told me that she called you just before Christmas, and that you never returned her call.”
“Yes, well...how is school?”
I realized something which I think I will hold close to myself for the rest of my life at that family reunion. My family genuinely believed they loved each other, and in many ways, they did. But what held them together, tenuous though their bond was, wasn’t about love as much as it was about survival. They needed each other to exist. They needed to feel superior to each other, but at the same time, to know that they would be there for each other. My feelings towards them became less hostile, but my beliefs about what family really is were solidified.
After dinner and what felt like endless torrent of half-hearted questions, I felt I had served a sufficient enough amount of time that I could leave without being seen as having slighted these people who meant so little to me. I immediately made my way to my real family, my friends.

Aspirations and Neglect: A Statement of Intent

Posted 13 November 2004, 2.57 am by Villager

I remember when, some years past, Alexander and I agreed that I would become a staff writer for his fledgling creation. It was an exciting time for me, I was still very naive and had lofty expectations of life and the world. Alex's notion of the website fit snugly with these expectations. I would post at least twice a week, we said. I had entered into a marriage which was to be the canvas for my yet-formed psyche. AKpCEP would nurture me, and I it, a noble and ambitious plan. Through the sharing of knowledge, ideas and understanding, a small website with a funny name would make a blot, however small, in the sea of ignorance and stupidity that surrounds us. Society had failed to educate us, so we must take life by the horns and educate ourselves and each other.

What fills the space between then and now can be readily seen in the archives, which will tell you that I have contributed more articles than anyone else (at least since the dec/01 wipe). Yet this is misleading, in that most of my use of this page has been for my own mistakes, exploration and inquiry, rather than genuine contribution. My use has perhaps been typical; furiously active at times, but usually dormant. Furthermore, I imagine all of you who posted in those early times have been disappointed with what developed over the years. I know I am, not least with my own efforts and results, but with the collective failure too. Great writings have lived on this page where now I babble, but they have been tragically few and far between. Have we achieved nothing? Those of us who remain from such times barely keep our accounts ticking over, new Grinders concern themselves not with the virtual graveyard known as the Front Page, the Shed just another space for pettiness and jokes about AIDS. The past two months boast five articles. Did AKpCEP die without funeral?

This may sound sad to those of you who understand not the purpose of this website, but AkpCEP has been one of the formative influences on my development as a young man. I grew up around dunces and laymen, yet yearned for something more. If nothing else, the interaction with others who aspired to knowledge and understanding - people who to this day I struggle desperately to find in my 'real' life - played a valuable and influential role. That I inflicted upon you regular, ill-conceived ramblings is coincidental to my own experience. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I would be shocked if nobody else had taken similar benefit. As for the future, who knows. I've barely contributed over the past year or so and frankly, neither has anyone else.

As with any system or idea, the results will only be as impressive as the efforts put into them. As a concept, AKpCEP is marvellous. In practice, it flourished then wilted. Personally, I have come to realise that such a hub, that can bring together such diverse and intelligent people, is invaluable in in such a fickle and materialistic world in denial of its own capacity. If the will exists to achieve the goals for which the site was conceived, then it will witness great things once more. I hereby state my own intent to stoke the intellectual embers of the Grinding community, and once again strive for an ideal that I believed in so fervently when I joined.

I do hope you'll join me.

Remember and Long

Posted 7 November 2004, 9.22 am by ArtemisKat

Walking into the gym and surveying the crowd, I wondered just where I fit into this group. I didn’t share the central interest which I believe to be held by at least three quarters of them. My life lacked much of the background of theirs and I certainly didn’t adhere to any of their weekly rituals anymore.

As I pressed through the crowd I ran into a woman I hadn’t seen in over a year (for an individual who has only lived 1/5 of a century, this is a long time). I believe the last time I saw her was actually on the day of her wedding. She’s had a baby girl since then, so I felt compelled to stop and talk with her about that. It was your general perfunctory conversation, and at the back of my mind there was a little voice screaming, “Just move on! Go find Her. You need to see Her!” Just instants after we began conversing, familiar arms wrapped around my waist and I felt as though a profound craving were satiated. Cries of “I get to hug her first” and “no it’s my-day” followed shortly thereafter and before I knew it, I was smothered in hugs by three individuals, one of which I’d cried myself to sleep for the lack of many a night in the recent past. The look of pain and loneliness that suddenly haunted the eyes of the young mother in front of me said more than I could stand. But, before I could do anything to try reviving our lost friendship, I was carried away by the individual whose touch I’d been longing for.

I missed Her. As a matter of fact, I noticed myself falling into a sort of a depression this fall as the time since we last talked face to face grew more distant. I’ve never been one to make friends easily, and even when I meet people with whom I could share large portions of my life, it generally takes a long time for me to get close to them. When I consider all that I do to keep people out, I’m amazed by the connection that She and I built in the mere span of high school. It was painful to see Her today. I looked upon Her face and in Her eyes and knew that time and distance changed us and even more so than us, it changed our relationship.

I don’t know when I’ve hugged one person so much in just one day. We spent almost no time alone together, and even less time talking one on one. While it was wonderful just spending time with Her, even with so many other people around, today was just a tease. There is no way that less than 12 hours could ever be enough time for us together, and I ache even more, knowing it’ll probably be months before I see Her face again and feel her warm arms around me-reminding me of the bond we share. Tears roll down my face as I remember past years and all the good times we’ve had, which can never be repeated. The days we once lived filled with our friendship, our sorrows and our joys. More tears follow as I think to the years ahead, which make up our separate futures.

It won’t be long now, perhaps two or three years, before I expect She too will be engaged. The next thing I know, I’ll be entering that gym again, crossing through a crowd I have little in common with, and whose rituals I have long ceased to partake of, in search of a different bride. On that day, my heart will well with joy for Her happiness and yet, my tears will be nearly impossible to check. I hope on that day, that none see pain and loneliness in my eye. I hope that time will bring us closer together again, so there are fewer friendships I look back upon, and find that I wish to rekindle the fire which fed them.

No Sleep for Dreaming

Posted 28 October 2004, 1.58 am by theGodFader

i escape alone
into illusion
embedded
in a blanket
of silent sound
with
a thousand
textures
of bliss.
the warm
endearment
of unconsciousness
soothes my intellect
with deliberate
ease….
my rational understanding
unravels
in a
calm and
measured
kind of fashion.
i drift
and imagine…
its therapy
as scenes
flow into
one another
in my
weary mind
like landslides,
easing the
pains of
lucid landscapes
and shaping
them ever
so gently
into a
candy-coated reality;
surreal and sweet….
here the
face of time
is blank,
leaving me
an untouched
white canvas
to mark
with memories
as i see fit.
these
three-dimensional
images
that embody
my curative
dreamscape
are the
only genuine
escape that
i have
ever known,
and it is
in this
state of mind
that i
can truly
lay my
head to rest.

Depression and Tears

Posted 14 October 2004, 2.01 am by Lurker

Depression:

Depression and pain burn.
My love, she's not here.
In this world all alone,
Is she really gone?

Or will she return,
To bring back the cheer?
Fate has rolled us this bone.
What's around the next turn?

What is to come? I will learn.
It is the future I fear.
For me she is the one.
It's for Her my heart yearns.


-=-=-=-=-=-=-


To her I send my love, can she feel it afar?
Ever hoping all's well, to be strong while she's gone.
And not knowing for sure, what is inside her mind.
Reaching up to the stars, I am asking them why?

Stay and watch over her, while I curl up and cry.

- JpJ, 14-Oct-2004

Blather

Posted 20 September 2004, 8.34 pm by jackwright

As I begin this particular blather: I haven’t the smoggiest idea as to which thread it will eventually find it’s way to, when it’s finished,(assuming, of course, that it ever gets finished),; as I fully intend to wander my way through several possibilities. I’m figuring that I’ll try to touch, at least a bit, upon philosophy, even if it is no more than my own twisted version thereof; I’ll undoubtedly hit upon some current affairs, and I might review some history; both, no doubt, candy coated and/or shit soaked, by my personal opinions; I’m guessing that I’ll probably skip love, brush up against hate, and skirt religion; and, I’m nearly certain that politics is going to rear it’s ugly head.

So, how do ya like that ?

I’d like to go on record, right now, to say that, if you even remotely believe that you don’t like it; don’t even bother wasting your fuckin’ time. See, I’ve come to the conclusion that all the time that I wasted, when I was younger; working, spending, consuming, wasting; making a filthy bunch of money grubbing cocksuckers richer; sitting in cages to justify some miserable cocksuckers existence; and, in general, running worthless rat races for a bunch of ungrateful mother fuckers that wouldn’t piss in my ear if my brains were on fire; was wasted so that I can waste my time in a manner of my own choosing now. And, it just so happens that I feel like wasting my time in an effort to determine whether, or not, I’m the only person in Amerika that hasn’t forgot how to think for myself. It’s my time and I refuse to regret wasting it.

I was recently thinking, and I thought, “what ?”

And I said, “what ?”

And I thought, “what da ya mean what ?”

And, I said, “don’t pull that fuckin’ shit on me goddamnit.”

And, I thought, “I think you’re talking to yourself again.”

And, I said, “wrong asshole, I’m talking to you”.

And, I thought, “I rest my case.”

So, I said (to my other self, as I was obviously not getting anywhere with me), “damn if I catch myself trying to pull that shit on me; out here in the middle of nowhere, where my input is, pretty much, limited to that which I personally choose; what must it be like for all the poor saps, out in, implied, reality, that keep all the worthless rat races going, so that a bunch of lazy bastards have something to bet on.”

Are you following me here. Okay, I understand, so, how about if I give you a hint ? And, feel free to stop wasting your time here any time you want. I don’t want to ever hear anyone whining that I made them waste their time thinking. The thing is, I’m beginning to wonder if the possibility to think for ones self even exists anymore, for the vast majority of Amerikas sheeple. I mean, most people are led to believe that they are thinking; when, in reality, they have simply been taught to think what Rupert Murdock, and/or his ilk, thinks that they should think.

Here’s the thing; I stopped watching television years ago, as I feel that TV is no more than self-inflicted mind rot. That leaves radio and the net to me. I’ll start with the radio. All that I pick up is AM out here so that means that I’m stuck with news/talk, god squad or Mexican broadcasts; and since I don’t really understand Mexican, and I’m positive that the entire of the god squad is completely full of bigotry, fear, violent oppression of every ones liberty, and bullshit; I’m stuck with news/talk.

I have a radio that a radio tech built for me, and then come out and set up and tuned a long wire antenna for me. So, consequently, even though I live out in the middle of nowhere, there is not a dead spot, anywhere across the AM radio spectrum, on my radio. I pick up all the high watt broadcasters in Amerika.

And, here’s what gets me; there isn’t any center, or left of center hosts in the entire of the spectrum, during the day. And, I can only pick up one, left of center, broadcast at night. This fills my mind with images of Amerikas free thinkers, huddled around an illegal radio, in the middle of the night, in some hidden basement somewhere. It’s truly sad; what Amerikas media is doing to it’s audience.

Then, to add insult to injury; when I tune into those intellectually bankrupt fucktards, like O’Reily, Limbaugh, Savage, Regan, Drudge, or any of the, greedy ass, rabid propagandists, that blatantly poison the minds of Amerika with their misinformation, disinformation, half truths, and outright bullshit; in order to sell commercial time to predatory lenders and, scumbag, real estate scam artists; all they can do is whine about all the terrible damage that the ‘left wing’ media is doing to their messiah, by spreading all their vile propaganda. What a bunch of fuckin’ bullshit; HELLO-OO !!; there is no left media, it’s gone; nien, not, kaput, down the pisser tubes; been replaced by morally embarrassed neocons and robber barons that want to lend you money that you can’t afford to borrow, so they can take your house when you default. And, they have an administration in place that is perfectly content to cater to their immoral behavior, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their world conquest.

I guess that leaves the net. The problem with the net; is that when you find truth on the net; there is always going to be some moron cock sucker that is going to say, “The net is full of shit, you can’t believe everything you see on the net.” DUH !! Doesn’t that just make you want to say, “Get back to your goatsex fuckbrain, and don’t cry to me when you see the flash; or you, or your children get conscripted to go off and fight these evil cock suckers war.”

You know, it seems like everyone has been trained to believe that if you’re not working to make some money grubbin’ motherfucker rich, you are simply a worthless piece of shit. Nobody has time to think for himself or herself anymore. It sucks. Out loud.

But, I’m going to try to give anyone that wants to think, a few things to think about.

- When the Nazi Chimp stole the leadership of Amerika, there was about 12 trillion dollars in the governments bank account, now we are about that much in debt. I wonder if 12 trillion dollars isn’t enough to steal an election for.

- The administration has repeatedly lied to the Amerikan public to justify everything from stolen elections to tax cuts for the extremely wealthy to an immoral war against the Arab world.

- The defense department and the civil service have got together and put a plan together to start drafting poor; white trash, spics, niggers, Catholics, Jews, protestants, and anyone that can’t afford to defer; to be implemented shortly after the Nazi Chimp has secured his position, as ruler of the world, in November.

- Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan welcomed Amerikas boys in desert camo, with milk and cookies, or open arms; they greeted us as the occupiers and oppressors that we are, and, are simply fighting for their freedom now. And, according to what I read, they are winning.

- The Patriot and Patriot II acts don’t have anything to do with patriotism.

- The Homeland Security provisions don’t have anything to do with homeland security.

- An election commissioner in Florida has decided, against a court order, that Naders’ name can appear on the Florida ballot, even though he doesn’t meet the criteria of a presidential candidate. I wonder how that happened.

- All these hurricanes that are stomping Florida are Gods blessing on them for shitting on the entire world, back during election 2000, and their present attempts to shit on the world again in November.

You know what ? I could go on forever, but I wont. Let it suffice to say that it can only get worse, unless the nation gets together and votes that Nazi Chimp and all his shameless henchmen out of office in November. Because God knows that the mindless, lazy bastards of Amerika don’t have the balls to stand up for themselves, if the election is close enough that the Nazi Chimp steals it again.

And what really sucks is that I’m not even going to vote, as there is absolutely no one to vote for. Ain’t life a bitch.











Art-shit.

Posted 13 September 2004, 5.10 am by Jake

So.

I'm sitting at work the other day, and this girl comes up saying that she has an odd question. I've had odd questions before, so I obliged to help her. She proceeds to inform me that there was a man in our store the day before who complimented a friend of hers on a t-shirt that he was wearing, and she wanted to give him information on where to get one. Out of curiosity, I asked what kind of shirt it was. She asked me if I had seen the posters around LA that bore a picture of Mickey Mouse, with GREED written under it. My inner cynic scoffed and spat on the floor. I resisted the urge to launch into a criticism against these wanna-be social commentators, and simply said, "No, I haven't. What is it, some sort of subversive ad campaign?" She replied, "Well, kind of. It's more of a social commentary thing."

All sorts of witty lines burst into my brain like an explosion. Instead, I held back, and figured that I'd save my self-aggrandizing bullshit ideas and opinions for my site.
------------
That's one thing that bugs the living shit out of me. People who work as hard as they can to make it publicly known that they're going against the grain, that they're doing their damnedest to fight against "the man" and working their little asses off to take down him and his collective gang of corporate goons. It reminds me of the people who hang out outside the Federal Building in Westwood and wave their signs, pooh-poohing the current administration and all their faults. If anything, their protests are just a direct effort by the protestor to be acknowledged as a dissenter and to fit in with a group that follows a certain mindset. Not only that, but their efforts are none short of useless. All that the shirt seems to accomplish is maybe a sideward glance and a general response of "ah, cute." from Joe Normal.

Active protesting and flag-waving is, in all honesty, a wasteful activity not too far removed from masturbation. A fervor of activity followed by a less-than fulfilling conclusion, and nothing more. The signs and shirts that these people fling about and shove in everyone's face are mostly ignored, and when recognized, are seen as a nuisance. Nothing more than a cockrach skittering across the kitchen floor at 2 a.m. The message that they're trying to oh-so-subtly convey is gibberish to the common man. Regardless of how clever your little art-shit may look, it lacks any sort of viable and informative explanation, making it a cryptic symbol awash in a sea of stagnant (yet surprisingly hip and common-fare) consumerist society criticism.

Unsurprisingly, the only people who tend to notice these little hints of rebellion are the ones of similar mindset, pompous art-fags and those who agree that globalization is shit and that the media has too much of an influence on our daily lives, why are people so dumb, fast food is bad mmkay, ad nauseaum.

These little things with which they decorate themselves form a pastiche of anti-society cliches, the same things that compose their personalities and their ideologies. While working so hard to distance themselves from brands and memes, they become a brand, a symbol of rebellion. Their effort to become an antithesis turns them into the thing they're fighting against.

Likewise, this assimilation of ideas and such only makes them more susceptible to being the first to blame for any sort of subversive activity, be it loitering, trespassing, vandalism...they'll be the first to be targeted, because based on appearance (which, obviously, that sort of profiling works), they're the most likely to perform those sorts of actions in a useless, spastic death rattle of a protest against society's ills and trappings.

Provided that the people in question possess such a thing, common sense would tell you that if you're actively trying to effect change under circumstances that are less than accommodating, you want to blend in as much as possible. You'd want to be the least likely candidate to stand up and say something when the defining moment comes. Whenever someone of the ilk that I previously described hops up and starts shooting their mouth off about being oppressed, it comes as less than a surprise to everyone, because after a while, that sort of behavior is expected from them.

It takes a degree of observation and an understanding of opportune timing, not just hopping up and screaming every time you're afraid that your rights are being violated. Because that sort of knee-jerk reaction might get you nothing more than a scoff, a guffaw, or a truncheon to the face and a couple of nights in the pokey.

My incessant ranting ends here.

Random Thoughts on the Subject of Untruth and Pompousness

Posted 3 September 2004, 10.00 pm by Lilith

Everyone wants to be someone important, someone of consequence, right? For the most part--and with some rather rare psychologically unusual exceptions, everyone wants to be "somebody" as opposed to just nobody that no one knows or cares about.

On the internet, where there is a (rather transparent, when examined carefully) seeming of anonymity and possibiliy to pretend a variety of things that one may or may not be in real life--in other words, to lie. It is a seeming and not a reality because the anonymity of the internet is a rather relative thing, while one's reputation on the net is near a constant, at least as long as you stay in your habitual circles. People have long memories, and longer on the net, because of easy accessibility of archives on most sites.

There are two routes around that--one is to actually be that transparent and not lie about things, and another is to actually keep oneself anonymous--and then you can pretend to be whatever, at least to an extent that is believable and likely (contrary to the popular belief, people aren't much more stupid on the net than they are in real life). I will discuss lies on the internet another time--currently, a related issue is on my mind, for it is the type of personality that is prone to attempt the latter path (regardless of how anonymous they actually manage to be) that tends to irritate me to no end, as they are almost alsways true nobodies in real life, and pretend to be anything and everything on the net, positively bristling with self-importance and net status (if they are able to achieve it to any extent).

How does one, then, achieve internet importance, even in small terms? I speak here in generalities (though will try to avoid generalizations), and in small terms, because there are many more things on the net than I can or have time to describe in details. There is such a thing as internet power status, very localized and limited, of course--being a moderator, irc Op on a popular channel, or administrator. To be an admin (for the purposes of status as oposed to purposes of adminning one's web site), one must actually create something that attracts a population, like a forum or a blog site--you pick. The positions of Op and moderator are, however, generally acquired things. They are consequently less powerful than the administrator position, and therefore are far more of an accessible (being that becoming an admin of anything worthwhile is rather difficult) status statement on the internet--"look, someone who is an admin thinks I am worthy of being a moderator for his site/forum/channel/whatever!".

There are then also online organizations that have command structures one can endeavor to become a part of, and then the command has a limited to the net, but very real within its limits, power over the membership of their organization and ability to dispence justice within those bounds.

I by no means would claim that all entities in positions of limited power over their little corners of the internet are there for the buttering of their own egos and power-trips, by no means, that isn't so. All I am pointing out is that to those who would want to act in a pompous man-o-power self-important manner, those positions are the naturally sought-after item.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely--should a person of those questionable qualities end up in a position of power, the misuse of it is almost a certain constant in this psychological equation. Sooner or later, they will put others down just because they can, and the exercise of that power makes them feel more important and significant in their own eyes.

To wrap up the entry, I am just trying to classify the breed for study, making a few notes. This was inspired by encountering one of those pompous online bureaucrats today in my net sphere, and I will now take steps to never come into his possible sphere of power again. This person had not touched me directly in such a way as to provoke me, but I resent the possibility of finding myself being talked to as an underling by someone who is a likely nobody in real life, and not my employer, either.

The beauty of the net is that if you don't like it somewhere on the net (where you are nominally welcome), it's your choice whether to remain there. People in real life and on the net will get away with precisely as much as you let them get away with.

I prefer not to let people get away with much.

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This piece was inspired by Andy Warhol's famous 'marilyn monroe' piece in which the same picture is used several times to create a pattern. If you look closely, you'll realise there's a lot going on here with the detailed background against the simple pixelated images create a convergence which I thought would be nice to experiment with. It was created in Photoshop and took me 5 hours to perfect.


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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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