What Am I Thinking About Now?: Reading, Writing, and The Threat of the Machine Logos

I could give an excuser why I haven’t blogged, but I’m not going to. I just didn’t, maybe my blogging abilities have run dry. I have no real desire to blog and this one may be cut off short because of the way the keyboard is working. You have no idea how many spelling mistakes I’ve made an I know how to freakin type.

A good reason why I haven’t been working on my novel. It’s at a bit of a dry spot at the moment as I have lost some of my fire. Let that be a lesson to you kids, when your working on a scene get it done as soon as possible or you’ll get board. I’ve also tried writing poetry, but at the moment all my poetry seems to be about visions of the apocalypse, which probably says more about my own angsiaties then the Mayan Calander.  Not to say that my novel is all happy fun-times. What started out as a book to bang out my frustrations against the Bush administration has turned into a meditation on the nature of faith in a world that seems to be ruled by evil forces. What is the purpose of God in the world? Why do bad things happen to good people? That sort of thing. As far as my mental health goes, this is not helping. Last night I was up till the wee hours reading “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its scientific pretensions,” by David Berlinski, mostly so I could get over the anxiety that is the entire debate. This whole Science+Atheism+Materialism freaks the hell out of me, and the fact that the one guy who knows the most about science is a transhumanist and believes we will be uploaded into machine clouds to live eternally is kind of scary. I find it kind of disturbing why someone would want to do that, it’s to close to playing God for me. There’s also this whole aspect that he’s trying to control human thought, or at least get it so set up that someone else will be controlling my thoughts and I do not feel comfortable having thought police institutionalized. If the human brain is like a computer, like my transhumanist friend says, then it can be reprogrammed like a computer and be put to other uses. As computers do not seem to have independent consciousness, this is not a problem for them, but humans do have an independent consciousness. We can compute independently from outside forces, and by compute I mean imagine, do science and all that. I have difficulty getting this past my transhumanist friend, because I am a writer with a huge influence from William Blake and Alan Moore, I believe the world of the mind has legitimacy of it’s own. I’m sure my transhumanist friend is right and the natural world has it’s own beauty, but there is to much thought on conquering that beauty. From what I can see, science is just as easily used to destroy as it is to create. I can appreciate the natural world without knowing how the whole thing works, and I can appreciate it more without all the money-grubbing bastards drilling up oil only to have it splurt everywhere, or have entire mountains strip-mined. And further more, imagination is just as beautiful as the material world and so far not as ruined by the capitalists and the atheists, though I’m pretty sure these new atheists have no respect for that either. If they have no respect for God then they probably have no respect for the creative process, it’s fruits (especially in our western civilization, where it is all but impossible to truely move away from the Bible as an imaginative source of inspiration. See Dostoevsky, Melville, Ginsberg, compare “Joe Hill” with the story of Christ, and a bunch of other stuff.

Anyways, back to writing. I was worried about becoming known as a science fiction writer. As far as that goes, I think there is supposed to be at least some interest in science and as far as that goes I’m only interested in that as a way of trying to figure out how it can harm us. I do have ideas for science fiction, and I’ll be damned if I’m known totally as a writer of realist or naturalist fiction (though the idea is slightly appealing). I’m just ticked off at science for the most part, mainly since I see scientists as the self-righteous control freaks such as the Catholic Church. They want to stick themselves up as the only way to explain everything. I’m interested in consciousness though, mostly since I don’t understand it and am hoping that it is untouchable by these freaks. Anyways, my point is I don’t want to be known as a science fiction writer, so much as someone who writes something like science fiction. This may not be problem, as science fiction is becoming slightly more accepted in the field of literature, and the fact I’m also trying to become a poet I’m probably going to have that to stand on. Anyways, these worries are probably unfounded and I should get back to working on my novel.

On the Nature of Living in Specific Places

I thought that, since I have the time I would look through one of the posts that I have in preparation and get it out. I’m a very lazy blogger and don’t have the energy I had so many years ago when I started blogging on the Aspie Diaries. This may be because I want my posts to be important and meaningful, and it takes me awhile to come up with things that are interesting. Maybe I should stop worrying as these are usually put out at a very short period.

Anyways, today I wanted to talk about living arrangements. More mine then anybody elses, because at the moment I am very board. On my previous blog, I wrote a list called “My Ideal Apartment“, which is more or less about the kind of place I’d like to live. This has been a sort of echo in the back of my life that comes out at various times. The basic idea is I want to have my own place, but I’m not sure I want to do this on “straight” levels. Essentially, I want to be a member of the counter-culture when the counter-culture may not be that viable anymore. On another level, I’m kind of against the idea of a counter-culture, as it is such a silly concept. The counter-culture is part of the culture, in that it allows change to a sterile culture. There is also the issue that now the counter-culture may be coming into the hands of those right-wing tea-party clowns down in Yankeeland. I do not like these people’s belief system, and if they knew me then they would definitely not like me. At the moment the only truly sane thing I can do is to learn how to garden, move out somewhere were the Revolution won’t get at me and grow vegetables for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m the kind of person to live of the grid, at least not yet. It is a nice fantasy though.

So far, my only real choice is to live withing society, and my main goal is to come to some level of independence. At the moment, I am living mostly on my parent’s money. They are sending me to University, paying for my food and board, tossing me money for books and cookies and not complaining that much because I am their offspring and they love me. In the meantime, I need a job. Getting meaningful employment has not been something I’ve done a lot of. My younger sister has had more work experience then I have. I’ve also not had that much luck getting places of work in my hometown, which now that University is over, is were I currently am. I may be looking in the wrong places however, and need to look into things. There was a retail place that just opened that sells items for the magic-practicer, but it holds little interest for me. It is more inclined to Neo-pagans and the music isn’t that good. I also checked out the books and from my sources the publisher isn’t that good, and I should probably pick up a copy of Aleister Crowley’s “Magick in Theory and Practice” and “777”. Either way, if I can get to Kitchener at some point I plan on picking up a copy of “Liber Null & Psychonaut.” I’m getting a very interested in the Chaos Magic system, though I’m not sure that the philosophy behind it is something I like, but that is something for another post.

I’m reading an article on the Hotel Chelsea, and to be honest this is the kind of place I’d like to live. For those who don’t know, the Hotel Chelsea was basically a place that several famous artist types lived. The list is quite amazing. Practically all the major Beats lived here for a time, Andy Warhol lived here, Mark Twain lived here, Leonard Cohen lived here, Bob Dylan lived here, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, Stanley Kubricks. I think it’s calmed down now, but I wish that there was a place like this I could live in. I’ll keep my eyes open and see if anything appears. Anyways, I’m typing this from a computer so I should publish this soon and get off before the computer closes down on me. Bye for now.

Save Kiana Firouz

Normally I don’t try to get involved in politics. Quite frankly it depresses me, because it looks like we’re either being run by beings that have been so thoroughly devoured by some supernatural evil it would be an insult to call them human or they are bumbling fools who have no idea what is really going on. However, at the moment I am working out all my pent up rage and frustration at the world via Kiana Firouz, a woman who I have recently discovered on the Internet and, though her life hangs in the balance is receiving no media attention right now. I am disgusted that something like this is even capable of happening.

The basic story is that Kiana Firouz is an Iranian lesbian who is now facing execution in her homeland because of her role in a movie called “Cul de Sac” which apparently shows her having sex with another woman. Now, admittedly, that is kind of stupid, but the problem is that she is going to die and she shouldn’t half to. She isn’t harming anyone and should be allowed to love whom she wants. Now, she is being forced back to Iran were she will in all likelihood be killed.

There has been very little media attention in English on this subject, and it worries me considering her life is at stake. Here we have someone who could be facing death because a few people can’t see past their own preconceptions that they can’t see they are murderers, and no one seems to be doing anything to stop it. I’ve sighed the petition to save her life and sent an email to the people who are deporting her, which I hope is not to angry. It was very short and did not show signs of being a very thought out or formal letter, which is how you need to talk to government officials. I’m just boiling with anger at this entire thing, to think that this woman is more or less dieing and that the people who could save her aren’t doing anything. So now I’m going to through out my own attempts to save her because someone has to help the people who nobody seems to give a damn about.

Email the proper government officials in Britain at: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Sign the Petition at: http://www.petitiononline.com/kianaf/petition.html

Read more at the EveryOne Group

You can stop this, For  the love of God write a letter and sign the petition.

Why I Believe in an Abrahamic God?

Someone named Emily asked me why I believe in an Abrahamic God. Since I need to post more and this is a pretty good question. I am therefore going to try and answer that.

The easiest question is that I was raised in a Christian family, and that my idea of what God is comes from a Christian concept. That is however, not really what I believe. To be honest, I’m not very comfortable calling myself a Christian. It’s not that I have an overall negative experience of Christianity, I’d call my relationship to my birth-religion very good. The problem is that I cannot reconcile my soul to the idea of Christ as Savior. I can say I believe in God, to an extent I even believe in Christian concepts of sin, but I can’t get my mind around the idea that Jesus Christ died for my sins. I am on my way to working all this out in my head, but there is still the details were I am not a normal Christian.

My concept of God is probably one of these, although with the rise of feminism I might not be that off. To put it simply, I think it’s insulting to the idea of God to just refer to God in the masculine. That is why I believe that God has both masculine and feminine aspects in the highest form we can perceive God as without God turning into Cosmic Nothingness. This is a theory I picked up from Hinduism, that believes the highest form of God is androgynous. However, this is not entirely outside the area of the Abrahamic Religions. Kaballah supposes that God has both male and female aspects, though admittedly the early Kabbalists had a negative view of that feminine side.

I also believe that when you get right down to it, the One God is alot more complex then most people give It credit for. There is kind of an unfortunate sterotype that God is an old bearded man who sits on a cloud fashioning plans for wombats. This strikes me as a rather limited view of a being that created the Universe. To explain this I am taking a rather neoplatonic view of divinity. According to Neoplatonism, all life emenates from God, which at it’s highest point is beyond our understanding. This thing we call the Monad, or the One, or the Ayin(the Kabbalists call it that, it’s Hebrew for Nothingness). The Monad emanates down into lower forms, which make up lesser divine beings and eventually the material world. Kaballah is handy for this, because it gives a system to how this works, which probably has it’s own inaccuracies given the subject matter, but humans like maps, so there.

The ultimate problem in believing in the Abrahamic God is the level of Hugeness that the Abrahamic God encompasses. You are basically dealing with a being that is beyond our comprehension. To call this God a being seems to be limiting it. This is something I have in common with Islam, which is probably one of the most monotheistic religions in the world. They don’t even allow pictorial art because it might lead to idolatry. I’m fine with icons however, and believe that there is a bit of Godstuff in all of us, but I understand the point. If we think to much on an image, we begin to be stuck by it and put to much thought into it. That said, since the God that exists out there is so beyond our comprehension, then it is comfortable to have an intercessor of some kind, a bit of God that is not the Ayin. In Genesis, this is solved by having a God that can get down in the dirt (Genesis 2). In Christianity, we have an even more forward step were God becomes human.

Anyways, these are the thoughts I had on this. More thoughts on God will follow.

I’m Back

It’s been a long time since my last post and I’m not going to apologize. People apologize when they don’t blog for a while, and to be honest I don’t think I have that much of an audience. I’ve probably lost most of it anyways.

Alright, so basically I have nothing to post about. I’ve just not posted for well over a month and I want you to know that I’m still alive. I’ve been concentrating a lot on my exams, which will be done in a month and things are slowly looking up. At the moment I’m feeling slightly depressed and want to get started on my novel which I am not doing because I am lazy and not that good at getting novels started. I was feeling better earlier as I had one of my

My Spiritual Journey is getting better as I think I finally have a handle on this whole prayer thing. I watched a video about Eastern Orthodoxy recently, and the priest talked quite a lot about how to pray. Basically I only need to say something really basic like “Bless me, O Lord,” a couple of times, not at regular intervals but I should try to do it a lot and since its pretty easy to say “Bless me, O Lord,” with sincerity, especially if you believe in a God that you can feasibly call the Lord. That said, I am feel slightly ambivalent of Christianity sometimes, as I’m wondering if other deities have as much right to be called God as The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That’s not going to stop me going to a Catholic Mass however, but I’ll probably not go into to deep of a spiritual conversation with any of them, I just want to see what a Mass looks like since I feel I can appreciate it’s symbolism.

Anyways, I’ve got some ideas for blog posts and I’ll try to keep up with you all pretty soon. Hope that I actually do post on this.

Reasons to Love the Revolution #1: Vajazzle

As many people may or may not be aware, our current concept of western society is slowly coming to an end. Capitalism, like an older brother at a Miley Syrus concert, is slowly dieing on the inside and America as a world power is going to be dragged down with it, probably taking everyone else with them while Cuba looks on and laughs like a Marxist Nelson Muntz on the Simpsons. Along with this, I have recently heard of small groups of American militia men who are preparing for this very eventuality, which will probably lead to a series of terrorist attacks at best and a new egalitarian government, much like the one they had in France, at worst. That said, I believe that the oncoming social apocalypse will also have it’s cleansing aspects. Many of the more hideous aspects of our society will go the way of absolute monarchy and powdered  wigs. Because of this, I will be starting an ongoing feature that will examine all the stuff that we won’t miss once the Revolution comes.

And the first bit is going to be something I’m sure we can all agree on, having rhinestones grafted to women’s vaginas. Yes, you heard me right, rhinestones on vaginas. I’m not kidding. Here’s a link. I’m going to let all this sink in before I take a long hard look at what this means.

Sanity back at a reasonable level? Alright, let’s kick this Bastille down.

Before we address anything else, I will ask the question I’m sure you are all wondering. WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU WANT RHINESTONES ON YOUR VAGINA!? This has got to be one of the most pointless excersizes of sexualized fashion of our times, and that is saying something. I personally find the entire idea of vajazzling kind of disgusting. I am not a major rap star and thus excessive diamond or diamond related items do not interest me. If I was a major rap star, let’s say P-Diddy who isn’t really a rap star anymore but I don’t listen to rap that involves diamonds so bare with me. If I was P-Diddy, I would probably find this attractive. But as I am not P-Diddy, but in fact a white boy with very little money, significant female others or any real idea of how rap works as a format, I find this not only unattractive but a deal breaker in any sexual situation.  If I were about to first make love to a woman, I would be greatly disturbed by the fact that she has what appears to be a diamond encrusted vagina. This would lead to a series of questions:

  1. How am I supposed to have sex with a woman who’s vagina is encrusted with diamonds?
  2. How the hell did her vagina get to be encrusted with diamonds?
  3. Why would she have her vagina encrusted with diamonds, because I’m sure they would have mentioned this kind of thing happening in sex ed.
  4. Do I really want to spend the rest of my life with a woman who has diamonds on her reproductive organs? Do I really want to raise a family with this kind of personality? What kind of role model would she be to her daughters?

So, despite what the proprietors of this desecration of the source of all life say, this is not something guys like. I’m pretty sure even the more shallow individuals would find this slightly disturbing for the most part.

Also, we come to what I believe may be another factor in this, Empowerment. While watching a video of Jennifer Love Hewett, who is a woman many people who are not me consider attractive and/or interesting, dealing with the process of vajazzling, she says she finds the experience empowering towards women. Now, I’m not a woman, but from what I know of the women in my life they are probably feeling similar, if not the, emotions I am feeling right now. Probably similar as they are looking at it from a woman’s perspective. And these are fairly empowered women in my opinion. With their powers combined, they could become a giant robot Rosie the Riveter and defeat the Patriarchy in an all-out battle in the style of Godzilla, all without the help of jazzling any part of their bodies. So I’m going to make the statement that vajazzling does not have anything that truelly helps empower women, which any female readers can argue for or against.

Finally, and the reason that we will all cheer it’s disappearance in the Revolution, vajazzling is just plain stupid. In the grand scheme of things there better things to do to yourself then have rhinestones stuck to your genitals. You could conceivably put that money to more trips to the spa, or even things like feeding the poor, or dressing them, or getting homes built. To be honest, anything would be preferable then getting pretty rocks grafted to a place of your body very few people will conceivably see.

Post-Colonial Science Fiction: Avatar and District 9

Awhile back my dad took me to see the film Avatar. I found the movie largely disappointing and completely unworthy of the hype that surrounds it. Most of the fun I had regarding that movie, was taking it apart and seeing how I can put it together. Later, I saw another film that I feel is similar in regards to theme, District 9. Both of these movies dealt with what are essentially colonial themes, but in my opinion District 9 is a far superior movie. This is because District 9 meets what I believe to be the criteria of a good science fiction movie, which is that it explores complex ideas about humanity.

First off, I’m going to talk about Avatar. I was very angry at James Cameron for making Avatar. I don’t really know what I was expecting, because I hated Titanic and the kind of movie I would have liked Avatar to be seen as is downright impossible to be made on the scale that Avatar was done at. The entire thing was one long Dances with Wolves rip off recycled in Space and done with characters who are so cardboard a light breeze could through them over. What disappointed me even more was that Avatar could have been a much better movie. A friend sent me an internet article about an early version of Avatar called Project 880, which had more developed characters and dealt with many philosophical issues in the movie that I thought were underdeveloped or completely missed in the film.

However, if the Gods of Science Fiction were to call on me, they’re humble servant, to go back in time and right the blasphemy against them that is Avatar, this is what I would change.

  • Loose Mighty Whitey, you know this story. White guy goes to random group of native people where he proceeds to out native them in every conceivable way. While in modern times this could have something to do with liberal guilt, it is still kind of racist. Not only that, it has been done. I have heard Avatar described as Dances with Wolves in Space and Pocahontas in Space, but unfortunately Avatar cannot be called Avatar in Space. I’m not saying that we don’t get ride of the whole aspect of Sully joining the Na’vi for awhile, I’m just saying we don’t make him their Messiah.
  • Loose the Noble Savages, this is essentially what the Na’vi are. They spend most of their time in harmony with nature when they’re not riding around on flying lizards and whatever the hell it is Na’vi are supposed to do. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with being a Noble Savage, the fact that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with them is the entire point of being a Noble Savage. My problem is that it is just to easy. I’ll probably go into this later in another point I’m going to make, but basically I think we should cut the blue cat people some cultural slack and make them more then just stand ins for our romantic notions about Native Americans.
  • Loose all that Action Movie Shit, I don’t go to movies because I want to see explosions, and as cool a world as Pandora is, I can’t really get into it if I don’t care about the people who live in it. I would basically turn it from an Action Movie into a Psychological and Philosophical Drama.
  • Character Development, get some, The characters in Avatar are very poorly developed and for the most part act as archetypes. Basically, what I’m saying is give them more depth. Especially that psycho Marine guy who’s basic purpose is to be the Military-Industrial Complex on Steroids and Crack. I personally love seeing American soldiers act like total monsters in movies, it’s kind of cathartic, but these days I’m liking it less and less.
  • Ramp up the Philosophical Issues, To me science fiction has always been a genre of ideas, which is something Hollywood seems to translate as “Things blowing up IN SPACE!” There are two issues that I felt Cameron could have concentrated on, issues of identity and the fact everyone is standing on a living freaking God.
  • Questions Regarding Human (and alien) Identity, The first problem is simple and in my opinion should have been a much larger focus for the movie. Jake Sully is sent to planet were he is given handy new alien body. Handy new alien body can do all kinds of things Sully can’t do, such as breath the toxic alien atmosphere and walk. Sully ends up being picked up by the local alien tribe and gets to learn they’re ways. Now we get to my question: Is Na’vi Sully the same person as Human Sully? When Sully becomes one with his Avatar, is he still Sully, is he still human? This could be highlighted in certain rituals of the Na’vi that we could add to this version. Say instead of burying their dead the Na’vi take the body of that dead person and eat it in a ritual similar to that of the Australian Aborigines. This handily gives Sully ethical issues and messes with various ethical issues, and any preconceived Noble Savage ideas we may have about the Na’vi
  • And Finally, God/Eywa. Not once are any theological or spiritual issues raised that the stupid humans are dealing with is a being that could be the closest thing to a God they have ever encountered without being certifiably insane. Now this is just me speaking, but this should have been a much more bigger thing to catch my attention for this movie. What if the entire point of going to Pandora is really that they have found God? Alright, maybe they come for the Unobtanium, but they stay to figure out this God thing.

So basically, for my rewrite of this movie, we leave out most of the action sequences, the basic starting plot, subvert every Colonialist cliche in the book, and end it all with a huge mindscrew instead of an action sequence.

Anyways, on to District 9. This is in effect the exact opposite of Avatar. They both feature a story about a human who becomes an alien, discovers new things about his world and feature colonial themes, but District 9 is probably a much more accurate idea of how things would turn out in the end. Basically, a bunch of alien insects called the Prawns land their space ship a bit above South Africa and overtime are moved into a slum. They are being taken cared of by a weapons corporation that is trying to figure out how to work they’re weapons, which appear to only work for them. The Prawns are also victims to Nigerian gangsters who eat their flesh so they can have the energy weapons and what appears to be a crippling drug problem related to cat food.

Enter Wikus van der Merwe, a young ambitious bureaucrat for evil weapons company who is sent to get all the prawns into a new slum outside the city. He starts of as a fairly unsympathetic character who bribes the prawns with catfood and “aborts” prawn eggs with a flame thrower. No sooner does this happen then he is infected with weird alien fluid and begins to slowly transform into a prawn himself. This disturbs Wickus very much, as he is soon on the run because his former co-workers want to cut him open for the money.

So why is District 9 better then Avatar? Well, for me it’s because I care about the actors and it doesn’t feel as phony. Avatar just seemed like a cheat, were as the guy who made District 9 seems to have done something that I believe has serious artistic merit. Plus, District 9 just has characters I can actual feel for, like Wickus. He starts out as basically a jerk, but when he comes out he seems to be a more developed human being (or prawn). The movie also had a better handle on it’s themes, such as the whole issue of oppression of minorities. Also, if District 9 is a film version in space of Kafka, it does this in a way that isn’t as obvious as Avatar’s rip off.

Anyways, I’ve been working on this blog post for to long, I will publish it and let you, dear reader, decide if I’ve got a point, am just ranting, or both. Excelsior.

Pencils For Kids

As many people who know me can tell you, I like pencils. At last count I had 56, but since then I have gotten more since then. Usually I carry three near me for the purposes of writing. Practically all of my poetry starts out with pencils.

Today, my mom taught me about Pencils for Kids. Pencils for Kids is “a not-for-profit grassroots organization, to support the educational needs of the community of Libore in Niger, Africa. Basically, the school system in Libore is so poor that thirty children have to share a pencil. One pencil. Hearing that I began to cry, because the thoughts of children being deprived of something like a pencil is almost like someone not being allowed to have food to me. This is why I want everyone to know about Pencils for Kids, and to give them lots and lots of money. My parents get me a box of 97 pencils for my birthday every year and that can’t be more then ten dollars. You can find the Pencils for Kids go to www.pencilsforkids.com to donate. They need alot of money, not just for pencils but for books to write in and actual schools.

Please donate and give them lots of money.

University, Role-Playing Games, My Spiritual Journey and Socializing

Well, it’s been awhile since my last post, so for this one I will be going over recent events in my life.

University

Several papers have been assighned to me, and I will shortly be starting on my various projects. Thankfully, they all have various levels of fun. The least fun paper will be about the development of pacifism in the Mennonite Church in the context of the Munster revolts. That said, this is proving to be very interesting for me as pacifism is the number one thing that I picked up from my Mennonite upbringing, and it will deal with issues that I find very interesting, such as radical revolutions in a Christian context and the interplay between pacifist resistance and violent revolution.

My next paper, for Philosophy of Literature, will be a paper on a book outside my current subject matter. I was feeling kind of down about my success in this class, as half the books I need to read I am in great fear of actually reading. Thankfully, while I was reading the assignment paper I was overjoyed that one of the options. Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment or The Brothers Karamazov. Dostoevsky is one of my favorite writers, and unlike Brave New World, these are books that I would greatly like to read again. This was made all the better in that I was wearing my Dostoevsky t-shirt. Yeah, that’s how big a fan I am, I have Dostoevsky’s face on a t-shirt.

Finally, the crowning achievement in fun papers, is my Survey of British Literature paper. This is my first creative writing assignment in a University class. One of the options I had to take was to write a Petrarchan sonnet on the subject of nature. This I did, and now I have to compare it to two other sonnets from the Romantic period. I’m very glad that this was an option I could take in writing a paper. Also, I had been toying with writing sonnets for sometime, but this is the first time that I have ever completed one.

Role-Playing Games

Basically, I’m in one. I’m playing in a Hunter: the Vigil game. This is a follow up to the last update, and I am playing the “offbeat FBI Agent.” The game is going pretty well, even if it’s just me and another guy. Mind you, the other guy is playing a cop, so if we don’t get any other PCs not involved in law enforcement, we got ourselves a cop show. Only instead of tracking down heroin dealers, we’re investigating spontaneous combustion.

Yeah, people spontaneously combusted. The Storyteller doesn’t even know how that happened. I’ll probably have to do a write up for the character at some point.

The Changeling Camarilla game also looks like it will come up soon. Last I heard it will be starting around March.

My Spiritual Journey

I’ve been learning a lot about how Christians can be real dicks, mostly to other Christians, and I’m beginning to get a bit feed up with Abrahamic religions for awhile. Because of this, I have been looking a bit into my esoteric interests in spirituality. This has taken me to an area of town I have little experience with, which was fun and educational. It turns out that the place I was looking for had been closed for 12 years, but it was still nice to get out and use the bus station. I have also found another place that deals in New Age stuff which is closer and has free tea. Since I’m a University student, free things are always good, and it’s kind of interesting to have tea out of a crock pot.

I’ve also begun more regular tarot readings and so far I have received what I believe to be accurate predictions, especially with the Rider-Waite deck which I have a batter handle on then the Marseilles deck. I am keeping a special book to keep tabs on the tarot readings, with notes on what the cards said at the time, as well as what I believe the predictions to be. My  last reading was two or three days ago and was with the Marseilles deck. The readings were largely mysterious to me.

Socializing

While on the bus to the closed bookstore, I had the good fortune to meet an individual who was reading a magazine. I noticed that he was reading about the tarot, and since I’m very interested in the tarot I decided to talk with him. Turns out he’s a poet and invited me to a local poetry get together. I’m looking forward to this, as it gives me a chance to brush up on reading my poetry in public.

The Nature of Art

I was hanging out, once again, around a bunch of atheist math students when I got into an argument that I did not hold well with in a verbal sense. This was because we were really arguing about Art, and because I associate Art with God and the spiritual world, I got confused. Since I was in all likelihood the only person who believed that a God existed and probably the only one who saw God to be the source of Art. I am also the only person to capitalize Art despite grammatical laws. Anyways, the conversation went something like this

This entire argument got me very upset so I went to talk with my Chaplain. I had had many good conversations with him about God, which for me translates as conversations about life. Before we go anywhere I’m going to give you a brief transcript of the conversation.

Atheist #1: Hey, what does everyone think of Avatar?

Me: Oh ugh, what a horrible movie.

Atheist #1: Well, technically speaking the visual affects where good, but the plot was terrible.

Me: Yeah, but it was a terrible, terrible movie.

Atheist #2: Well, it wasn’t that bad.

Me: Yes, yes it was. Now, if you have a director like Alejandro Jodorowsky, then you’d have something. Anybody here familiar with Jodorowsky? El Topo?

Atheist 3: Oh ugh, what a terrible movie.

Me: No, no. I think Jodorowsky’s El Topo is a better movie then Avatar.

Atheist #3: Nobody understands El Topo.

Me: So?

Atheist #3: So nobody will go and see it?

Me: Why does that matter?

Atheist #3: Because nobody will pay to see it?

Me: That doesn’t mean that it’s not a good movie. What does money have to do with anything?

Atheist #3: If 800 million people go to see it it’s not a good movie?

At this point I’ve come to a hault. I got into a very heated point were I tried to make this about God, which to me it was, but to which the athiests didn’t see that. Athiest 3 did say that he was an artist, but I don’t know if I believe him as of yet.

Now, to explain what it is I should have explained in the argument, Art is a process by which human beings communicate certain concepts to other human beings through methods of symbols. This is fundamentally a magical act, and even if you don’t believe in magic as such, you have to admit that by my definition it’s the closest anyone is ever going to get without sufficiently advanced technology. While I connect the idea of God with this, this is not proof of God’s existence. What Art is, is one of the most fundamental aspects of what makes us human. Which basically brings us to the crux of the argument.

My Position: Art is the most necessary aspect of human development. As such, there are certain responsibilities that make up being an Artist to the rest of humanity. This responsibility is that we must help our fellow human beings. To do this, our Art must not suck. To do that would be to commit a horrible transaction (I might say “crime against the Holy Spirit”).

Athiest #3’s position: Your concept of Art is unrealistic and overly mystified. Give the idiots what they want. If they want to see two and a half hours of “Dances with Mutant Smurfs,” then let them.

So basically, as I talked this all out with my Chaplain, I realized that I was not worried about God as I had previously been, but that I was frustrated on the theories of Art. The fact that in our original conversation I was discussing God only goes to show how seriously I take the idea of Art and the creation of it. As Alan Moore says in Mindscapes, “It is not the job of artists to give the audience what the audience want. If the audience knew what they needed they would be the artists and not the audience. It is the job of the artist to give the audience what they need.” Atheist #3’s comments were an insult to Art, and in my own overlapping social categories thought he was attacking God. Maybe he was attacking God, but he was doing this through his misguided ideas of the nature of Art.

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