Gold, purple, orange, and white light pours over the autumn sky. Dawn breaks later this morning than it has in the past few days as winter solstice draws closer. Tattered and frayed edges stare up at me, beckoning me to fill their lined pages. It is said resistance is futile and so, as I sit, I let the sky fill my page with its own infinite beauty as I accompany it with my words. That golden globe rises higher into the autumn blues and the beauty on the page fades, leaving only my words to remind me of the marvel witnessed this day and all the days before this one. Yet, something sets today apart from those other days, something not yet tangible, something surreal, something grand.|
Purring comes softly from my lap, and as startled as I am, I refrain from quick movements. There in my lap lies a cat; calico-colored like the morning sun. It curls into a ball and drifts off as I stroke its fur, purring all the while.
I return my gaze skyward in time to see the ‘V' of geese dip below the trees. It seems late in the year for migration, but I’ve taken late vacations myself. I sip from the amaretto coffee I made this morning and enjoy its warmth just as the cat I call Jodie is enjoying the warmth of my lap.
I watch the New England countryside out of my window until my coffee cup is dry. I glance down at my page and sigh. Such beautiful words and elegant prose the morning has helped me write, but alas, I have no way to apply them. And so another page finds its way into the garbage.
A few things of note. |
1. New poll up (I wonder which admin did THAT one!).
2. Latest Redguard posted. On Roads and Prisons.
3. You may notice that the random slogans (up at the top there for now) have been tinkered with. We have added quite a few new ones, and also, they now appear on the redirect page as well (the thing that says it will take you back to the thread in 2 seconds after you post but is always lying). That way us people on dialup can have something to amuse ourselves with while cursing our ISP.
4. If you are sent an invite for User Updates, please do them. It is an integral part of the site. If you aren't going to do it, or are going to be spending some time on it (like over a week or so), please e-mail me or one of the other admins and let us know, as we have to account for such things. That would be much obliged.
5. As always, if you have any unsolicited submissions for just about anything, feel free to e-mail one of the admins with it. We are constantly looking for new material, new features, new columns, new everything. If you have any suggestions, as usual, go to the Suggestions forum.
6. And finally, we just registered our 400th member, Harlequinn. Harlequinn = cool man/handle. Welcome him/her/it to the fold and keep the word of mouth going. More members = more lively forum.
That goes for all you friggin' lurkers too!
DON'T THINK WE DON'T KNOW YOU ARE THERE!!!!!
That is all.
No one moves ahead without a clearly defined destination anymore. We buy cars that are designed to isolate us from the experience of travel, and only slow down to crane our necks at random tragedies. To us, the destination has become infinitely more important than the journey. Roads have become the means to an end, and nothing more.|
I took a drive last weekend because I wanted to find out where the road ends.
For me, this day, it ended in a tiny park located in a small town on the fringe of the open desert. Maybe it wasn't a park. I don't truly know. All of the ingredients were there. Children, sunshine, chirping birds, laughter, grass so green that it bordered on black. There was even an old swing set off to one corner whose rusting chains threatened to out squeal the two little boys who were playing upon it. There was something different about this park, though.
It was also a cemetery.
Weathered headstones poked out at odd angles, almost completely obscured by the overgrown grass. I walked among them for a while, stony reminders of those who had gone before. Names and dates from a hundred years hence, worn almost clean from their place by the empty hand of the endlessly encroaching desert wind. Who remembered these faces, these names? All of the infinite mysteries of yesterday, played out long ago and buried here beneath the earth in their final culmination. Dust.
I could not help but marvel at how petty our worldly fears are. I thought back to the many crossroads of my own life. How many times had I hesitated? How many opportunities had I lost for the sake of vanity? (Self-importance is a sin, and its punishment does not lay in wait for us beyond some hidden veil.) There is no one in this world that will remember me, or my story, when I am gone. And, all those whose memories that I carry like sacred charges, what will become of them then? Men who died in the cold dirt, crying for their mothers. Children whose beauty and brilliance outshone the sun. A woman whose beauty was snuffed out on the cold street of a city gone mad. Who will honor these graces? To whence shall they pass?
Why, they shall pass on to nothing, as all things do.
As I sat there, pondering amidst the laughter of children, a wind blew in from off of the desert. Dry and clean, it promised nothing. Maybe that's exactly what I had been seeking all these years. Maybe I'm so tired of the journey and it's trials that I've begun craving the destination, instead (so many of us have). I don't know. Whatever the case, I rose and departed this place of children and tombstones (circles, everything is circles) and sought a haven elsewhere, to the East.
I drove for a while, out into the desert, top-down and the wind caressing me with its unseen hands (the wind, my only lover). The landscape blurred by at ninety miles an hour as I raced towards the elusive promise of nothing. Nothing. If it weren't for that tiny patch of color, I may well have driven straight into its waiting arms.
Setting off to the side of the road was a little field of flowers. They spread out in a gently waving sea of green and orange for about twenty feet or so. A comparatively diminutive patch of something, flaunting itself against an immense ocean of oblivion. Symbolism? No one believes in symbolism anymore.
I pulled up to them, sat there for a brief time, and watched as the delicate petals danced in the wind. For a moment, it almost seemed as though they were gesticulating to me; warding me off from this place of solitude. I refused to heed them. I refused to go.
Glancing down into the seat next to mine, I noticed that there was a little swatch of violet cloth caught in the crease of the leather. It was a hair ribbon (my kingdom for a moment of forgetting). Like a man possessed, I reached across tugging the little scrap of cloth from it's hiding place there in my car, and strode forth towards this delicate field of beauty, like earth's most ancient reaver.
I knelt at the border of the patch for a while, and stretched my hand out above the tiny petals. They tickled their way across my palm in the way that a sleeping lover's eyelashes might. One should be overawed to find oneself so near to living beauty. With a flick of the wrist, and a silent prayer for forgiveness, I drew my knife across their tiny throats and tied their beautiful corpses into a neat little bundle with my borrowed purple ribbon (Once, the world told me that everything is perception).
(How like those flowers are we? Fading from the very moment that we are separated from the source.)
I don't know why I took the flowers. At first, I thought that I was going to take them back to that ancient graveyard and lay them near the headstone of some poor, forgotten soul. No. Mine is a different duty. I am bound to the solitary traveler. So, I continued on, ignoring the call of graves and final destinations. Their lessons will come to me in time, as they must to us all.
(Even the oceans will turn to dust in time.)
I drove past that place of incongruities, and continued on into the heart of the city. Clean desert wind had replaced itself with sooty clouds of diesel exhaust, and the peace that I crave so desperately might well have been a million miles away. Rumbling automobiles, blaring music, screaming people, and the whole great stink of it all. To me, the city has always represented everything that is wrong with mankind. As much as some claim to be kin with it, I know that I am not. I am a thing of nature.
I saw her from a block away, an old, indigent lady, propped-up against the backrest of a bus bench and waiting for her ride to nowhere. She was sitting with a tired grace, eyes slowly searching the ground in front of her. Her palms were folded in her lap, as though she were involved in an act of supplication or prayer (is there a difference?). I could not help myself. I went to her.
I wheeled up in my little Miata, and hopped out (oblivious to the traffic and my own safety). As I approached her, she seemed uneasy. She expected malevolence. This is what her world had taught her. Her eyes became fixed directly on the ground in front of her, as she refused to acknowledge me. "Be meek and never look them in the eye. That only encourages them." This is what she had learned on her journey. I neared her and still she wouldn't look up at me. As a gentleman should, I excused myself and waited for her to acknowledge me. She did look up, in time, and though she did not at first speak, her gaze carried volumes. Her face was as black as the newly turned earth. All crags and fissures, but delicate... So delicate and frail that I was forced to wonder how she had managed to make it up the street, let alone through all those years of life that lay behind her.
Her gaze was hard. It was the kind of gaze that teetered on the brink of an open challenge, and as she raised her eyes to mine, I could feel the waves of loneliness radiating out from her like heat from the summer sun (do you think me mad to have made a statement like that?).
I think it took her a moment to understand what she was seeing. There I was, huge idiot grin plastered across my face, arm stuck straight out with a tiny bundle of weeds clasped in it, and no evil intent anywhere to be found. She wasn't used to that. She wasn't expecting that. She was all set up to endure a beating. She never expected a harmless moron.
As I said, it took her a moment and finally she looked at the flowers and asked me, tentatively, if they were intended for her. I told her that they were, and she shyly demurred, saying that I had ought to go find a pretty, young girl to give them to. I sat down on the bench next to her and told her that I had spent the entire day driving around and looking for just such a lady, and that I considered myself lucky to have finally found her. I presented them again.
This time, she took them, and as she did, she laughed a little and turned her head away so that I wouldn't see her tears.
I asked her if she was okay, and she waved me off with her empty hand as she dried her eyes on the sleeve of the hand that now held the makeshift bouquet. She told me that she was fine, and that she was just remembering the last time she had received flowers. It had been fifty-eight years earlier, on her twenty-first birthday. Her father had presented them to her as a birthday gift. That birthday marked the only time in her life that she had ever received flowers throughout eighty years of toil in this empty, empty place.
She cried for a moment or two more, and then turned to me and began questioning me about all sorts of things. She wanted to know my name, and she gave me hers in exchange. Mavis Eloise Jackson, born in Jackson, Mississippi eighty years earlier, and an awfully long way from home. Never married, no children, the youngest of fourteen siblings, and the sole survivor as well. She had outlived them all. Now, she was alone and living in a city where, four years earlier, she had come to ease the suffering of her brother as he fought the liver cancer and eventually passed from this world.
All of the pent up hurt was coming out in a flood. The litany of sorrows that she couldn't share with anyone for all of those years, she was sharing with me. It was almost too much to bear. Now, it was I who was in danger of shedding tears. I didn't understand. Crowded together with all of this humanity, how is it that anyone could be so lonely for so long? It went on for a goodly while, then it slowly began to ease off. The poison had flown from her breast. Now she was speaking of fonder memories, brighter times. We talked about the state of the country. We talked about the "crazy kids" these days and the "crazy clothes" they wear. Soon, we were sitting there and chuckling about all sorts of things. We talked of life, amazing life in all its gloriously beautiful complexity. As we sat there and laughed, I received my lesson.
With all the lonely weight of close-mouthed tragedies momentarily lifted from her, her sheltered spirit began to unravel itself and blossom into its rightful state. She was funny, genuinely funny. I was laughing at her wonderful, timeless stories, my eyes all creased up and beginning to tear. And, as I looked at her that final time, I saw something that I shall carry with me always. Through the veil of tears caught in the lashes of my grinning eyes, I saw her young again, and I knew that beautiful little girl from so many yesterdays ago was still there. Still there and trapped inside that frail body where no one would ever care to look for her again. Discarded.
I can't articulate it properly. There are not enough powerful or evocative words to express the depth of that moment. I moved my shoulders as though I were still laughing, but I turned my face away and fought the knowing of it. And in that moment I felt a fierce love for her. For everything that she had endured in silence, for all the unsung courage, I wanted to honor her. From everything that she would never know, all the things that she had never known, I wanted to shelter her. I wanted to emancipate her. I would have traded anything to make the world just a little fairer for that beautiful, lost little girl. Anything.
Instead, I wept and pretended that I laughed instead.
It only took me a short while to compose myself (As the madness creeps further in, it takes a little longer each time). In truth, I don't think she noticed. I'd like to believe that, anyway.
We sat there for a while in a prolonged moment of awkward silence. I couldn't focus on anything proper to say. Finally, she touched my shoulder and said that she had never ridden in a convertible, and she wanted to know if I was afraid to drive it, it being so small and whatnot. I offered her a ride, and she promptly declined saying that she'd be far too terrified (I don't blame her). So, with a few more half-hearted sentiments, we excused ourselves and continued on our respective ways.
Ours is the gift of life, and everything in it. We hoard it jealously and simultaneously squander it with a complete lack of reverence. Through it all, I am only here. Untouched. Unloved. Unheard. Un-.
And that's the story of how I bought the world with a handful of death and a few minutes time.
One last time before I go. One last time.
I sit here with my head pounding in agony, wondering at the vanity that possesses people to post for this website.
Am I supposed to read your articles and be what? Interested?
Maybe it’s the tumor in my head slowly pushing against the unyielding bone of my skull, maybe it’s just sobriety. But I don’t get it.
If I want to read such a prosaic morass of banality I’d read Velikovsky.
Truly, does nothing more exciting happen to us? Are these ramblings all you can write about?
Don’t you people know how to live?
Surely a few of you have some venereal diseases you can talk about? I’d rather hear what your thrush smells like than listen to any more meandering drivel (mine own excepted).
I hope I’m not coming off as harsh here. I just don’t want you thinking your posts are any good. It strikes me that posting on the main page for many is nothing more than ego masturbation. You have no point to your piece. It is a vanity.
I like that we have a forum to criticize or praise these posts. But in the main we are too polite to tell the truth. Consider this the truth.
Am I wrong to pine for the times we had on SPF? Sad as it sounds, SPF was my life back then, and I loved it. It just shows that it isn’t just the people that made those times as fun as they were, but the place too. Now you’ve all moved away and SPF is unmitigatedly shit. And while most of you are here, the feel is different. Not bad. I still have fun here. Just not as much.
Such nostalgia! Being able to post pictures to the main forum without being moaned at to remove them. Being able to crush some poor fool beneath the heel of my boot, knowing they will never have the courage to return. Spending my time thinking of retorts for those that maligned me.
God I miss that.
The Asylum is great. I spend a lot of my time here. In fact being 3500 miles away from my friends and family it has bridged in me something that has been missing.
Thank God for Gary Coleman. His contempt is fun. He reminds me of what it used to be like. He doesn’t give a fuck what you think. ToadyRage said once it’s all just shits and giggles. That summed it up pretty well.
Post me something here that will make me laugh. Something that will make me think. Don’t post poetry.
Staring down the barrel of a bleak season...
There is snow on the ground, has been for two weeks now, and sporadically for a month before that. The wind is biting harder by the day. The car takes longer to start, and is losing its sure-footedness to ever-expanding patches of permafrost. I sympathise with it. The trees are bare, they cannot stand the icy breeze. Again, I feel for them. I am alone, bracing myself against the same chill.
I wish I could be like so many creatures, go into hibernation, and crawl out bleary-eyed when the planet is once again fresh and green and warm, ready to start clean, but I cannot. I must brave the world, force myself out into the cutting elements daily, in order to retain my nest, to which I return alone in the bitter evening.
Once there, I warm myself not with fires and the comfort of others, but the twin blue glows of the TV and the monitor. There is a fireplace, a remnant of a more organic time, but it burns wood, and the protectors of this city tell us wood-burning is a crime, more often than not. I am told what nights I can light a pyre and what nights I cannot, in the name of public health and clean, if chill, air. So I reach into the flickering sparks of dual CRTs, reach a tendril out toward the great backbone, and seek the warmth and company of an endless flow of binary digits.
What is gained, what is lost by this mutation of age-old traditions? Exchanging the warm, smoky flicker of burning logs for that of raw data, trading a journey to the local pub for the company of those I only know thru glowing pixels. I encounter minds from an ever broader spectrum of time and place, but raw contact and perhaps true intimacy is reduced to a plane of cold glass. It seems sometimes only those more well off than myself can afford to be physically amongst people. Maybe the world is simply telling me I must get my shit together before I can rejoin its society.
Will I become my own Donner Party? A cannibalized soul whose only goal is raw survival? Is it possible I might not desire the physical comfort of others after all? What must I give to be satisfied? Entire portions of a once legendary collection of music have been sacrificed to bill collectors, but what is that, really, save more stored data? Easily replaced, in one form or another. The sections of my soul which have been placed on the altar of commerce are quite another. Sanity, perhaps, basic face to face interaction, the physical comfort of human contact are gaps not so easily filled. The warm company of a chosen few, and most often one only, have been lost to me. The few true friends I've known say they are available anytime, I simply need call, but they have more immediate concerns, warm bodies to attend to, the company of significant others. Am I now insignificant? Close bonds seem beyond my grasp. Are they there for the taking, am I imagining so much isolation? Where do I go from here?
Maybe it's just the weather.
Hello there, gentle readers.
Some of you have been asking me “Paint, we know you are a kick-ass housewife and childcare provider, but how do you keep YOURSELF clean and healthy?
That, my friends, is an excellent question.
I have acquired over my many years of being a drunken slob certain tips on how to keep yourself in tip-top condition.
So without further ado, I give you:
Paint CHiPs’ Guide to Personal Hygiene and Health.
1. When shaving, go against, rather than with, the grain of your back.
2. Although alcohol is indeed a disinfectant, beer is not a healthy substitute for antibiotics.
3. Those white bugs that live in your hair are not there to eat up all the smaller bugs, and no, it is not a “circle of life kinda thing”.
4. If you leave a ring in the tub after showering, you may want to consider showering more often.
5. Ears, despite common sense, need to be cleaned every so often. Failure to do so means you can no longer claim that you must have had a stroke when you lose all hearing in your left ear.
6. If you are considering shaving your head versus cleaning your hair, you may want to consider shaving your pubic area as well.
7. Despite the proclamation on the bottle that it is “all-purpose”, MrClean should not be used in most major body cavities. Maybe you should write the company about that one.
8. Your body is like a temple. Like that old temple in the jungle in the first Indiana Jones movie, all broken down with spider webs and shit in it. And if you try to steal my gold statues, I will drop my big rock on you.
9. I have no idea what #8 means either.
10. Flintstones vitamins and lots of beer are not healthy substitutes for “food”.
11. Heroin is not a good way to “flush out the system”.
12. When sticking a fork in an electrical outlet to pry something loose, make sure you are wearing rubber boots.
13. Bathing only for the sake of other people is not the attitude you want to have, though it is a good start.
14. Do not brush your teeth with shampoo. Or Windex, for that matter. Or bleach.
15. A good way to prevent tobacco stains on your nails is to chew your nails off.
16. Never, ever try to set a broken bone yourself, especially if you have no medical training whatsoever and if the broken bone is yours.
17. Facial hair is a good way to cover up all the sores on your lips.
18. Q-tips are for cleaning your ears. NOT for your eyes, and certainly not to dislodge urethral blockage.
19. Spraying Lysol all over your body is not a good substitute for bathing, no matter how much you want it to be.
20. Wiping your face with the dirty sock you are about to wear does not help make the face or the sock any cleaner.
21. When somebody says, “It’s so clean you could eat off it!” you should still not eat off it. Especially if nobody said that about it in the first place.
22. Do not use bath towels to clean the toilet.
23. No, “Let sleeping cockroaches lie” is not a common phrase. Kill it.
24. The garbage disposal is not a good substitute for a garbage CAN, especially as far as dirty diapers are concerned.
25. A dog, again despite common sense, is no a substitute for a vacuum.
26. If it can be helped, do not cut your own hair. Especially if you are drunk.
27. If you have become attached to the vermin and bugs that live among you, there may be a problem. Your apartment is not a beautiful rainforest ecosystem.
28. You cannot take the seats out of the van.
29. Do not burn trash INSIDE your apartment.
30. If “leftovers” to you is scraping up the dried melted cheese off of dirty dishes, you should at least consider microwaving the shit first.
Yeah, bfd. 2000 posts.|
And now, the news:
New Feral column (yesterday) ... yay!
New P/C column ... yay!
New User Update from Ats ... yay!
New poll ... yay!
Today in History now linked on the the front page ... double yay!!
No otaku or services in chat ... booooo!
In the forum: posting replies to multi-page threads now takes you to the last page ... yay!
Happy Thanksgiving ... YAY!
This is an article about acquiring various skills, because that is one of the things I enjoy most.|
I remember two persons whose interviews I have seen before they achieved what they wanted to. One was Mika Häkkinen who won the Formula One championship two times recently. I remember seeing his interview a couple of years before that, where he said that he was sure that he could become a world champion, that it might take some time, but he could do it. At the time I thought he was just a bit arrogant. And I remember seeing an interview of the lead singer of the band HIM, when they weren't very well known. He said that he was going to become a famous rock star, and that is what he is now. Yet another example: I read a story which told about the rock band Hanoi Rocks before they got famous. They said that they wanted to become world famous, and afterwards they did become quite a cult band, although a bus accident made them break up. An example outside Finland: I read that Bill Gates said that he was going to make his first million bucks when he was pretty young, and he made it too.
Now that I think of it, I don't remember seeing anybody with that kind of determination, who hadn't achieved what he wanted. Of course, you need to be realistic goal, keep a calm mind, you might have natural talent for some things and not for some others etc. But I think that the most important thing that determines whether you will achieve your goals or not is your attitude. All the time your experiences change you into a slightly different person. But in the end what determines where you are going is your attitude. If you believe that you'll get good at something, your mind will automatically start to make it true. You'll start thinking about what when you get there. Your priorities might change. You may realize that it isn't such a big deal as you imagined it might be. When you get there, you won't be thrown off balance, because you've already been there.
When I started programming when I was about 10, I wasn't confident enough. I wasn't sure that I could ever become like the people whose work I admired. I wasted time getting stuck on little details. If I had started with the knowledge that I would become a good programmer, I would have got here much faster! I would have worked on many different projects at a time, always finding something interesting instead if I got stuck on meaningless details. I would have worried even less about comprehensive school, because I would have realized that most of what they taught there wasn't going to be very useful to me at all. I would have spent much less energy worrying about what other people think about me, and more time learning things.
When I was about 16, I started reading some "positive thinking" books, by Wayne Dyer, Anthony Robbins, etc. Although maybe a bit cheesy at times, I think that they contain some really good advice about self-improvement. I was also learning to compose music and play the guitar at that time, and I noticed that my attitude really affected it. If you play with the attitude of a maestro-in-training, you play much better than if you think you aren't going to become good at all. Right now, I can play the guitar pretty well. I could probably become a professional musician if I really wanted to, but I just don't have time for that. I have started studying physics and mathematics instead. I used to think that I wasn't somehow "smart enough" to become a good physicist, and things like that, which made it much harder for me to make progress. Of course, my other problem was that I somehow thought that I should "make up" for my weaknesses by becoming really smart, and silly things like that. I was paradoxically arrogant and dependent on other people's opinions at the same time. But I think that if I had had a different attitude, I would have had to face those problems a lot earlier, too, realizing that I can't escape anything about myself.
So now my goal is to just learn things. I worry less and less about university course requirements, but I seem to be learning more and more and my studies go better the less I worry about them. When I was younger I wanted to be rich and famous. Now I just want to become a genius!
Well well, Mr. Cage. Seems that some people here could stand to read our ramblings outside the confines of someone else's thread. If we're going to do this, perhaps an old school debating style? How about :
This Asylum believes that internet connections should be plentiful and free to everyone as a basic right in the 21st century
Flame on, if you will....
Nigga, please! I have a very short list of things that qualify as "basic rights." Let me check the list. Hmmm. Nope. "Internet connectivity" isn't on it. Neither is "access to a computer," or even "electricity," for that matter. Hell, "food" isn't even on it. Wow, am I a prick, or what?
As far as internet related basic rights go, the only one on my list is "at least 1 other ISP option, besides AOL."
That doesn't mean that once I become SORM(tm) (one last time, that's: Supreme Omnipotent Ruler of the Multiverse) I won't set everyone up with access. But that's not because it's a basic right, that's just because it's a good leadership practice. I think Marx said it best when he said, "Yahoo!Games is the opiate of the masses."
Don't worry kids, I'll have two internets. There will be the regular internet for most of you, and then the iMacnet. As SORM, I will determine who is issued a Mac and who is issued a Linux box. (Ooh, he said "Linux," he must be 1337.) Actually, that's what's known as a "campaign promise." You'll all get WinMe boxes and like it, as Bill Gates will be the Minister of Predatory Business Practices in my administration.
Marx said that? Are you certain you didn't read it in Mein Kempf? Whatever. When you're SORM just make sure you don't give linux boxes to people like sp00ky. They never seem to shut up about it. If you have to, make sure it's RedHat (look, he knows some distros, he's even 1337er (he also knows to call them distros, he's the 1337est (or is that 133735T? (nesting rawks)))).
I digress. My point, originally, was that we're on the verge of yet another class divide in the world--the wired divide. Those who get their porn from the internet and those who still try to sneak a topshelf mag inside the newspaper. It's a divide we don't need. Look at how much things have changed in the past 10 years. If I had children (and there's a terrifying thought) there is no way I would want them to try to go through higher-level school now without having a computer and internet access. When I said 'basic human right', perhaps I was being a little melodramatic. I meant free access to the internet for all on the same scale as people in developed nations are entitled to free access to public libraries--not as in food (which is free, after a fashion) or electricity (which is not a basic right anywhere, we all have to *pay* for it).
By the way, you were banging on about this SORM crap months ago and you don't seem to be getting anywhere with it. I think we need a gameplan. How about you start working on getting some respect from the local neighbourhood kids? Yes, good idea. You get them to stop throwing things at you and calling you names and then we'll work on your bid for world dominance. [sarcasm]Yes sir, I'm sure we'd all just love someone like you to be in charge of things.[/sarcasm]
Why this basic assumption that class divides are a negative thing? Variety is the spice of life, no? Enforcing class divides in such a way as to prevent mobility between classes is not "right," in my opinion. However, I have no problem with naturally occurring divisions.
If you're talking about ensuring that publicly funded schools and libraries all have similar access to computers and connectivity, then I can't really take issue with that. However, libraries and schools in wealthier areas are always going to be better equipped. That's just The Way It Is (c).
Of course any offspring I spawn (and for which I can be proven responsible) will grow up connected. They will most likely have a laptop of their very own when I send them off to college (which they will undoubtedly pawn for beer). They will quite possibly go to a school that has those handy little LAN drops at each desk. That's because I will be wealthy. I will be in the wired class. I will be in the superior demographic. I'm an Evil American Capitalist Oppressor (tm) like that.
But now I digress. You say that your children (I thought you said aminal was barren...?) will be connected. So will mine. Do I feel that everyone in the First World should be connected? No. Should they be allowed to be connected, if they can pay the bill to do so? Yes. I think you have some unresolved guilt issues. It's ok to have stuff that other people don't.
*cough*warm and cuddly*cough*
Variety is the spice of life, certainly. However, we mean that in the 'ain't it grand that we have more than one type of beer' sense, rather than the 'ain't it grand that 70% of the world's population live in abject poverty' sense. You make *ahem* a good point about the difference between naturally occurring and enforced class divides, but still...the difference between the lower and upper middle classes is hardly the same as the 'haves and have nots'.
The children who are born today and aren't 'connected', as you put it, will suffer a major disadvantage when they hit maturity. We're talking something more than a class divide here. I made the facetious point about pornography, but the internet is fast coming to dominate so many aspects of our lives. It's also a case of computer literacy. I see some undergraduates coming to University even now, never having used a computer before, and they are already at a significant disadvantage. What will it be like in ten, even five, years?
What I'm saying, I think, is that I think it is now, or very soon should be, the responsibility of governments to ensure a basic level of internet connectivity for everyone. Yes, superior levels of service should be charged at a premium, and so on and so forth, but intellectual class divides never occur naturally. Disadvantaged kids shouldn't be punished for their parents' situation.
Wax off. I think it's your turn to have the last say, Mr. Evil Capitalist I'm-such-a-hard-ass Oppressor. I too plan to be in the upper demographic and my kids will be connected. We'd just better make damn sure that my kids never connect themselves to your kids.
"Disadvantaged kids shouldn't be punished for their parents' situation"?? Seems to me that the only way around that is to harvest the children at birth and raise them all in big, government factories. Of course, we'd have to have one global government, otherwise children born under one country would have different opportunities than those born in another. I don't mean to argue ad absurdem. I just feel that there's no good place to draw the line.
If children shouldn't be punished for the failures of their parents, then is it ok for other children to reap the benefits of the successes of their parents? What about children born into poverty, whose parents bust ass and save and manage work themselves into a better situation? Those are the children that I see as the most valuable demographic in our society...the ones who know what it is to suffer and to work and to do without. Those are the achievers and the people who stand to make an impact on our society. By leveling the playing field, you move towards mediocrity. You remove the need for excellence. To me, that is a bigger wrong than individual suffering.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go add a few things to my ever-growing list of "Things To Warn My Offspring About."
...never trust an Irishman who is sober enough to find the 'Submit' key. ...any time a Maine beaner in chat asks you if you know the difference between a blowjob and a Caesar salad, shut down the computer immediately. Then yank the cord out of the modem. ...the top-level domain name ".uk" is reserved for gay sheep porn. Never visit a site in that domain.
Regular doses of an over achieved mental prognostication. Extra curricular effort invested into an extraneous and unrecognized series of empty events. |
Crumbled parapets and disheveled personal affects clutter the tabletop battlefield.
But from behind…
Unaware. Eye's swollen shut after suffering the indignant and impersonal designations; the propagators of fear.
Force your fist through to her womb. Don't retreat regardless of the operator's orders. It is Saint Patrick's Day and the suffocated placenta is not wearing the necessary hue.
Traditional duty requires a little squeeze…
Just a slight tweak of the flesh…
Fatty layers of mother stifle the infants wailing disapproval, although despite the impossibly faint and unintelligible gurgling you are aware that the maggot suffers your imposed agony. And you smile.
Uphold the methods acceptable within this machines tolerable boundaries.
Suck it up.