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There it is.

Nov. 9th, 2010 | 11:12 pm
location: Home.
mood: Contemplative.
music: None.

As a child, my favourite television series was a little-watched Showtime series titled Poltergeist: The Legacy. A few nights ago, Karl spotted the first series of the show in WalMart for $10. Check-out lady said, "I've never heard of this show, but for $10..."
It had been long enough since I'd watched the series that I had chalked up my overly fond memories to nostalgia and a child's ability to overlook glaring faults in programs that appeal to their interests (and with the cross-section of archaeology, psychology, and the supernatural that that show presented, my child-self really had no choice but to like it). Upon watching it as an adult, I've been pleasantly surprised to find it better, in fact, than I remembered.
When I was little, a lot of the little bits of the shows didn't make much sense to me, and consequently seemed boring to my child mind. I had not lived for long enough to understand adults and their motives. Now I have. And that makes the show significantly richer.
A welcome surprise, as anyone might expect. But rediscovering this series after so many years led to me pondering my own, persistent tendencies towards the entire genre of horror. My favourite things are inevitably tagged with that title, and as a child I never understood that at all.
I didn't like scary things. I didn't like to be scared, and the things I liked -- all with the label of horror -- were never scary at all, at least as far as I could tell.
And then a line came to mind, from a children's cartoon of all things. "Horror always has sad endings." The line came to mind because it was another bit about horror that I never understood as a child. I had read horror, true horror, and I never found the endings sad. Just true.
Fairytales, romances, stories of any sort of happiness struck me as trite and artificial. I felt betrayed by them, in a sense, and their artificiality made me hate the authors who would write them. Horror stories, with their "sad" endings, merely seemed honest. And honesty comforted me a great deal. It was something hard to find in real life, or so I thought.
I still do, really. After growing up with a sociopath for a stepfather, I still presume that most people are lying to me most of the time, and for no particular reason. I don't particularly care. The truth has no inherent value to me. I speak it as an act of will, to differentiate myself from the vileness that was my stepfather. I value it in fiction, because fiction cannot lie (except through trite contrivances), and can be truly different from my stepfather in that respect. But other people?
I'll never trust them enough to even think that they might be telling the truth.
And so I embrace horror, with its true and honest endings, and forever doubt the possibility of happiness.

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Writer's Block: You and me and baby makes three

Sep. 23rd, 2010 | 06:27 pm
location: Home.
mood: Irritable.
music: None.

Do you think having children is a fundamental human right? Should there should be any restrictions?

Okay, so I actually have something to say about this one, mostly because I predicted I would be, and am, pissed at the responses people are making.
Inescapable fact of life: Your parents fuck you up. They just do. You're going to fuck up your children as well -- if you think about it, you'll fuck them up in different ways. If you don't, you'll probably do the same stupid shit your parents did, and the cycle will repeat ad nauseum.
It strikes me as ludicrous to imagine that we could solve that problem by "screening" parents, splitting up families, or any of the other things people would like to do to control the aforementioned inescapable fact.
Any such attempt is bound to fail. Why? 1: Because all parents fuck up their children, no matter how great they are. 2: Because we can't predict what would or wouldn't be beneficial for any given child. Children, too, are human beings. To be human is to be an indefinitely complex system that is composed of thoughts, feelings, experiences, and wishes. There are too many variables involved to predict anything to perfection, or to raise any child "perfectly."
In short: Being human means being fucked up. Deal with it. And read more Philip Larkin:

This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

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This is my truth, tell me yours.

May. 28th, 2010 | 01:42 pm
location: Home.
mood: Analytical.
music: Manic Street Preachers, Pierrot, silverchair.

So Karl ran into this, which is one of the more similar movements to how I/we tend to think than anything else I've ever really seen. Followed it up on wikipedia, clicked around, and wound up here, which, for me, is even closer.
I quote: "they advocated experiences of life being alternative to those admitted by the capitalist order, for the fulfillment of human primitive desires and the pursuing of a superior passional quality. For this purpose they suggested and experimented with the construction of situations, namely the setting up of environments favorable for the fulfillment of such desires."
And again: "Debord argued in 1967 that spectacular features like mass media and advertising have a central role in an advanced capitalist society, which is to show a fake reality in order to mask the real capitalist degradation of human life."
And again: "The Situationist International, in the 15 years from its formation in 1957 and its dissolution in 1972, is characterized by a Marxist and surrealist perspective on aesthetics and politics, without separation between the two: art and politics are faced together and in revolutionary terms."
Further reading reveals significant differences between their thoughts, methods, and goals and my own, but there were enough dead-ringers that I actually feel compelled to attempt constructing a compendium of my own beliefs. Links will be provided to make it a little clearer what I'm thinking about in asserting these "truths."

1. You can't change the world. No hope lies in the proles, and any revolution that succeeds will ultimately oppress just as truly as the last regime.
2. All forms of government and economics are fundamentally the same, the focus and deceptions merely shift. Capitalism is paid slavery/serfdom of the lower classes, inasmuch as people toil purely to provide for their own sustenance. (Slavery/serfdom is toiling so that someone else may provide those same needs.) One merely provides the illusion of freedom and opportunity -- an illusion which harms as much as it helps, as hope leads to unrest and personal dissatisfaction with one's lot in life (see: Despair to Be Oneself). If there is no hope of change, there is no despair at the lack thereof. Similarly, Democratic opinion tends to primarily be formed by the media and opinions people are exposed to, causing many people to think in a similar way determined by people other than themselves -- a state of affairs that strikes me as not much different from a monarch dictating all political choices.
3. Human beings are fundamentally limited creatures. We are limited by sensory input and their consequences, as well as (arguably) what conclusions we can reach without the prerequisite of our senses.
4. The consequence of the previous statement is that if an Ultimate Truth exists, human beings cannot know it. Furthermore, we cannot even know whether or not it exists. A further complication is that I don't believe that Occam's Razor determines truth. It's a useful tool, but the correct answer is not, in fact, always the simplest. And I do insist on believing that a truth exists, that something must be real, though I do not believe we can ever interface with it directly and with complete knowledge. (Believing in that ultimate truth is, I admit, a personal choice.)
5. The one and only thing we can be completely certain exists, and exists in the manner in which we know it, is our own subjective experience -- our opinions, our thoughts, our perceptions, our decisions. Hence, subjective experience should not be underestimated or presumed unimportant.
6. In the face of this postulate, all decisions about truth, belief, and perception come down to the same level of objective truth as any other aesthetic judgement, thanks to all judgements and perceptions being subjective. Hence, as all perceptions and decisions have the same weight as aesthetics re: truth value, the most honorable course of action is to choose your truth, consciously, on the basis of aesthetic beauty. Specifically, the aesthetic beauty that you, yourself, perceive. This is religion for some, logic for others, and the pure emotional suffering of a vagrant dying on the streets to another. Sometimes it's all of the above. The only hubris which can exist is the belief that anything one says or does has more truth value than aesthetics. In fact, aesthetics hold the most verifiable truth, because they are the only truths that do not erroneously try to persuade the holder of the opinion that perceived truth has any verifiable relation to objective reality. This, more than anything else, is why modelling one's life after aesthetics is honorable. It holds no pretenses, it hides no lies.
7. You cannot choose anything on any basis other than taste and aesthetics. It is physically impossible. Even choosing to follow the advice and claims of others is an aesthetic choice.

I think that's everything important, actually. If I've ever said something to you that you thought was batshit crazy, the root of it's probably up there somewhere.

ETA: I think what this boils down to is that I value honesty and personal responsibility/self-reliance above most things.

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Should've diluted the bleach I cleaned with a liiiittle more.

May. 12th, 2010 | 12:11 pm
location: Home.
mood: High on bleach.
music: None.

I was not aware that it was possible for sewer water, chunks of shit, and smears of toilet paper to spew forth with geyser-like intensity from a bathroom sink. A bathroom sink that is only used one day every week, no less.
Still waiting on the handy-man who's allowed to make judgement calls (the one who vacuums out water et al came and left hours ago), but I bathed the bathroom in bleach in any case. Didn't dilute it enough and am consequently quite dizzy, but at least it's now very unlikely that any germs have survived in that room. People may have to watch it for a while.
This has got to be one of the worst months of my life.
First our car is revealed to have a blown head gasket (and associated problems). Then my car hits 57547 snags getting out here (still in the midst of one). Then my computer monitor goes kaput (currently our 19" LCD TV is serving admirably in its stead -- very happy to confirm that my new computer hardware was not a problem). Now this. After I slept two hours last night due to being sick/etc.
God has a fucked up sense of humour.

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Machines.

May. 7th, 2010 | 01:39 pm
location: Home.
mood: Miffed.
music: None.

Just as my computer finally entered the realm of being fully functional, my monitor dies.
Stuck a graphics card in on Wednesday night. All appeared to be well -- even the periodic flickering I'd been experiencing since building my computer (screen going black and seeming to flick immediately back on with power a split second later two to five times a day) seemed to have vanished completely. I spent a whole day gaming and experiencing no flickering screen. It was glorious.
And then this morning I got on the computer, and started innocently browsing the web. Low impact, not even any ads running, when my monitor flickered and went boom to blackness. Even the LED light indicating power was running through it was off.
Reseated all cables, tried different outlets, and eventually googled the model of my monitor (1800FP). Apparently their internal power supplies dying is the almost-inevitable way they die. Most, however, don't last the seven years that mine did. Finding that out was reassuring, because I was initially concerned that the new card might've caused problems, in spite of seeming to behave perfectly yesterday/the night before.
Still unsure if some kind of hidden conflict might have caused some sort of subtle issue. Vaguely wondering if the integrated graphics chip might've been somewhat at fault as well, since the screen only seemed to flicker while running on the integrated chip. Given that not even the LED power indicator works now though, it seems unlikely that the chip/card were problems. Not perfect deduction, but still. Oddities.
But! My monitor dying the way it did was normal, despite the unusually long life-span. So there's that.
I'm going to go crazy in this state, however. My computer is running brilliantly. I can hear it boot up and run like normal, but I can't use it because we have no spare monitor to plug it into (posting from Karl's iBook G4 -- obsolete tech ftw).
Still going to search the web for possible card/chip fault, but from what I've been able to find, they seems unrelated to the monitor failure. It'll be roughly $200 for a new one, too. Should've just replaced it with the rest of the computer, I knew its time was limited. I liked that monitor, too.
On top of that, we currently have no functional car. Brilliant!

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None.

Feb. 24th, 2010 | 11:20 pm
location: home
mood: drunk/open
music: safetysuit - what if

What sort of fool wishes they could claim to be unhappy?
What sort of fool?

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"If they hadn't done anything wrong, then people wouldn't keep shooting them!"

Feb. 19th, 2010 | 01:08 pm
location: Home.
mood: Elated.
music: Sinister Ducks – March Of The Sinister Ducks

I completely forgot that I put a song about ducks on my monster mix. Fantastic.

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Education.

Feb. 12th, 2010 | 01:05 pm
location: Home.
mood: Mournful?
music: Manics for some of it. This was a long process.

The amount of disdain I have developed toward institutions of formal learning in recent years is remarkable.
Initially, it manifested as a distaste for the amount of bias inherent in post-secondary educations. Every class has a text and test-administrator that makes certain, more than anything else, that his/her students think in the same manner that they do. There is no debate, no thought, merely the spoon-feeding of interpretations. If you disagree, there are other professors, or possibly other institutions, for you.
And some of what's spoon-fed is quite offensive if enough thought is given to the implications. But that's the nature of bias, and of thought. At some point, any thought offends. You're simply less likely to notice if you agree.
The only things anyone can ever learn are things that others have thought, mortal mistakes included.
Your history is formed from biased, sometimes even fictional, written accounts and inferences.
Your literature and poetry are missing vital pieces when stripped of the context that formed them -- for that, you need history, with all its mentioned flaws.
Your science is full of guesswork, and correlation mistaken for causation. No amount of precision, as we now know, will ever show us the full truth. We may be missing more than we currently suspect (and if history tells me anything, we must be).
Mathematics is pure, beautiful, and true -- but it claims to be no more than a man-made system, and tells us about nothing but ourselves. Useless.
Art, likewise.
And philosophy, psychology, sociology, politics, etc... these are blatant collections of different human opinions, each of which hopes to be correct -- or at least useful.
News coverage, the root of history, is a joke. Even the sources that try not to be biased are ludicrously useless if you want to know what's actually happening in the world. All that you see are the warped occurrences that someone found worthy of telling, in story-form. Like fiction.
I'm not saying that it isn't good to know what others think, but the pretense that it matters, and resembles truth and Knowledge in any way, actively bothers me. We are vain and foolish to think that we can know, through logic and learning, anything but ourselves.
My grandmother always had trouble with formal education. She studied and studied for hours every day, and could still never manage to get a grade above a C. She just isn't very bright, by the common standard.
She taught special education when she came to adulthood. To this day, she will speak of her students as though they were perfectly normal, and it isn't a pretense. She can speak to her former students, adults with Down Syndrome, and see them as true, fully-functional human beings. Humans that needed more help than others, sure, but humans with a complete range of wants, needs, and emotions.
She values them, truly and completely, as individuals, even though they never can or will "amount to much."
My grandmother still announces that she's "not smart." I just hope that I may one day have her level of wisdom. I wish that those were the sorts of thoughts and emotions with which we indoctrinated people.
I cringe at spelling mistakes. It's terribly shallow. Meaningless.
But that's what religion is for, isn't it? To indoctrinate people in a way that causes us to see the world as she does?
In the end, our modern knowledge is not so different from religion. Simply less meaningful, and more prone to instilling artificial divisions and false senses of superiority between men.

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This and that.

Jan. 29th, 2010 | 01:16 pm
location: Home.
mood: Thoughtful.
music: Cruxshadows - Ethernaut

I call myself a misanthrope. I am not entirely certain that is correct.
To be sure, I hate spending time with people. I find it absurdly exhausting, and it generally takes me days to recover even from contacts so slight as email conversations. And again, to be sure, I find most people disgusting. There are so many little evils in human nature, and it's hard to see much of the good.
We all deserve to die, and the notion that death can merely be a relief, and not a reprieve from one's own evil, is something that I sometimes doubt.
There are saints, but they rarely begin in perfection. And it takes a lot of work to keep that up. Humans are simply too likely to do things for the sake of their own whims, desires, and satisfactions. There is no sacrifice, there is no willing suffering, and without those things, there is no virtue.
And that disgusts me. That we, as humans, are evil. Inescapably so.
But I find people immensely interesting, and not even in a morbid manner. The things we make, do, and are fascinate me. No animal reacts and creates with the nuance and flair that humans do. People are comparatively unpredictable, complex, deep.
Perhaps I simply enjoy analysis, and People pose the most complex puzzle I can find. Is that misanthropy?
What if I said that, knowing that I am one of these flawed beings, I have true sympathy for them? What if I said that I am actually brought to tears by the knowledge that people willingly, knowingly take advantage of others for their own petty gain? What if I said that, in spite of all of our flaws, it is that willful tendency of some men to let their greed and selfishness control them that pains me?
Does that make me a humanist?

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You can't avoid the poet's fate, not even if you try.

Jan. 22nd, 2010 | 02:53 pm
location: Home.
mood: Good.
music: Cruxshadows - Ethernaut

The trouble with poets is that they see everything as material. Even themselves. They never live, or even truly love anything so much as the art they produce.
Something we share, I suppose.
I've been writing more lately. Fiction, a medium I haven't indulged in since I was a teen. It's different now. I have no pretenses any longer. I don't care about being deep, I don't care about meaning. I don't care about being unique or inventive. I just write the stories I want to write in the manner I would like to write them.
It works better. Much, much better.
My characters are probably too unsympathetic, my style too long-winded, but damned if I don't enjoy really probing my characters and making them act from motivations that feel true.
Listened to music all day, and it was oddly refreshing. While the Manics have my memories, and many of my priorities, they aren't the closest band to where I am right now, lyrically.
That's probably the Cruxshadows. I wonder how much they secretly influenced who I became. As a teen, I never related to their lyrics at all. Now they resonate more than anything else.
The Cruxshadows are probably even why I appreciate Homer, though they're clearly on Troy's side, that is to say, Rome's side. They just felt saccharine when I was younger. Of course, my world looked like this at the time. And sometimes it still does, but so does the Cruxshadows'. It's merely a question of whether you'd like to have hope.
Not hope. Faith. There's a difference.
I feel like I could talk about everything I've ever thought in a short-hand consisting solely of song titles, with the lyrics and their implications, er, implied.
I guess I don't have much to say.

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