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Everything posted by Mitch

  1. Mitch


    [size=1][quote]RUSH is a pioneering line-up of the Seventies Progressive rock, who influenced most hard-rock and even heavy-metal power trios. This brilliant band is composed of bassist-singer Geddy LEE, guitarist Alex LIFESON and famous drummer Neil PEART. In 1974 John RUTSEY was replaced by Neil PEART who also assumed the role of the band's primary songwriter. Their instrumental virtuosity is mind-blowing, their lyrics are some of the best I've ever read, and every album they've released contains a shattering classic. Through their 20+ year career, they've proved to be the masters of their respective instrument while creating incredible music. Now, a brief summary of the band's career ... Through the history of RUSH, they have passed through many distinct phases. Every one of these phases represents a triumph in music, allowing the band to move on. As at the end of all of RUSH's phases, a live LP was released. This tradition began with "All The World's A Stage", recorded live at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada. Since then, the group has released three additional live albums: the best-selling "Exit ... Stage Left" (1981), "A Show of Hands" (1989), and the three-disc set "Different Stages" (1998), which encompasses three decades of the group's music. FIRST PHASE (1974-1976): In the beginning, they started off as hard rock blues outfit with John-boy before he left and Neil came in, bringing his sci-fi mind into the works. The music seems to be a transition between straight-ahead rock tunes and more complex progressive tracks. "Caress of Steel" is a landmark album in the history of RUSH. Lyrically and musically, "2112" was a masterpiece. This multi-platinum release remains one of RUSH's best-selling albums. SECOND PHASE (1977-1981): They moved headlong into progressive rock in the later part of the decade, starting with the album previous and right on to their massive breakthrough, 1981's "Moving Pictures". Synthesizers were now employed by the band, played in the studio and on stage by Geddy. This was the end of transition from long epic pieces to shorter, more concise, and intricate songs. "Permanent Waves" is widely considered to be second only to "Moving Pictures" as RUSH's finest achievement. THIRD PHASE (1982-1989): RUSH embraced the 1980s sound with "Signals", making heavy use of synthesizers and keyboards for the first time in the band's history. Keyboards have become a very large part of the music, and the interplay of guitar, drums, bass, and keyboards became technically almost impossible to play live. The two LPs that followed, "Grace Under Pressure" and "Power Windows", also followed nearly the same mold. They reached the zenith of its keyboard experimentation with "Hold Your Fire". PRESENT PHASE (1990 to today): Moving to a new label, RUSH embarked on their present phase with "Presto". So, after mercifully ending their synth period, RUSH went into a sort of pop/rock phase for this stage in their career. They sought to remove the dominance of keyboards in the music, and go back to a bass-drum-guitar sound . But after their tour for their 1996 record "Test For Echo", the band took six years off before returning in 2002 with the release of their new album "Vapor Trails".[/quote] [b][center][img]http://members.dandy.net/~fbn/2112.gif[/img] "2112," from the ablum of the same name.[/b][/center] I. Overture Words and Music by Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart [i]"And the meek shall inherit the earth."[/i] II. The Temples of Syrinx Words by Neil Peart, Music by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson .[i].. "The massive grey walls of the Temples rise from the heart of every Federation city. I have always been awed by them, to think that every single facet of every life is regulated and directed from within! Our books, our music, our work and play are all looked after by the benevolent wisdom of the priests..."[/i] We've taken care of everything The words you hear the songs you sing The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes It's one for all and all for one We work together common sons Never need to wonder how or why We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx Our great computers fill the hallowed halls We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx All the gifts of life are held within our walls Look around this world we made Equality our stock in trade Come and join the Brotherhood of Man Oh what a nice contented world Let the banners be unfurled Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx Our great computers fill the hallowed halls. We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx All the gifts of life are held within our walls. III. Discovery Words by Neil Peart, Music by Alex Lifeson [i]... "Behind my beloved waterfall, in the little room that was hidden beneath the cave, I found it. I brushed away the dust of the years, and picked it up, holding it reverently in my hands. I had no idea what it might be, but it was beautiful" ... ... "I learned to lay my fingers across the wires, and to turn the keys to make them sound differently. As I struck the wires with my other hand, I produced my first harmonious sounds, and soon my own music! How different it could be from the music of the Temples! I can't wait to tell the priests about it! ..."[/i] What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it gives forth a sound It's got wires that vibrate and give music What can this thing be that I found? See how it sings like a sad heart And joyously screams out its pain Sounds that build high like a mountain Or notes that fall gently like rain I can't wait to share this new wonder The people will all see its light Let them all make their own music The Priests praise my name on this night IV. Presentation Words by Neil Peart, Music by Alex Lifeson .[i].. "In the sudden silence as I finished playing, I looked up to a circle of grim, expressionless faces. Father Brown rose to his feet, and his somnolent voice echoed throughout the silent Temple Hall." ... ... "Instead of the grateful joy that I expected, they were words of quiet rejection! Instead of praise, sullen dismissal. I watched in shock and horror as Father Brown ground my precious instrument to splinters beneath his feet..."[/i] I know it's most unusual To come before you so But I've found an ancient miracle I thought that you should know Listen to my music And hear what it can do There's something here as strong as life I know that it will reach you Yes, we know it's nothing new It's just a waste of time We have no need for ancient ways The world is doing fine Another toy will help destroy The elder race of man Forget about your silly whim It doesn't fit the plan I can't believe you're saying These things just can't be true Our world could use this beauty Just think what we might do Listen to my music And hear what it can do There's something here as strong as life I know that it will reach you Don't annoy us further We have our work to do Just think about the average What use have they for you? Another toy will help destroy The elder race of man Forget about your silly whim It doesn't fit the plan V. Oracle: The Dream Words by Neil Peart, Music by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson [i]... "I guess it was a dream, but even now it all seems so vivid to me. Clearly yet I see the beckoning hand of the oracle as he stood at the summit of the staircase" ... ... "I see still the incredible beauty of the sculptured cities and the pure spirit of man revealed in the lives and works of this world. I was overwhelmed by both wonder and understanding as I saw a completely different way to life, a way that had been crushed by the Federation long ago. I saw now how meaningless life had become with the loss of all these things ..."[/i] I wandered home though the silent streets And fell into a fitful sleep Escape to realms beyond the night Dream can't you show me the light? I stand atop a spiral stair An oracle confronts me there He leads me on light years away Through astral nights, galactic days I see the works of gifted hands That grace this strange and wondrous land I see the hand of man arise With hungry mind and open eyes They left the planet long ago The elder race still learn and grow Their power grows with purpose strong To claim the home where they belong Home, to tear the Temples down... Home, to change.. VI. Soliloquy Words by Neil Peart, Music by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson [i]... "I have not left this cave for days now, it has become my last refuge in my total despair. I have only the music of the waterfall to comfort me now. I can no longer live under the control of the Federation, but there is no other place to go. My last hope is that with my death I may pass into the world of my dream, and know peace at last."[/i] The sleep is still in my eyes The dream is still in my head I heave a sigh and sadly smile And lie a while in bed I wish that it might come to pass Not fade like all my dreams Just think of what my life might be In a world like I have seen I don't think I can carry on Carry on this cold and empty life Oh...noo! My spirits are low in the depths of despair My lifeblood spills over.. VII. Grand Finale Music by Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart [i]Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation We have assumed control. We have assumed control. We have assumed control[/i] This is probably my favorite band...or really near there. If you haven't heard of them, or say the signer's voice is annoying, fine with me. But I put these guys next to Led Zeppelin, maybe even higher as far as I'm concerned. They are near Gods as far as I'm concerned. [/size]
  2. Mitch

    Writing no title [E]

    can a number show me the root of a tree? can a number measure what it is to be free? can a number subract all the losses in my life? can it add all the beauty that's in my sight? can a number show me where life's point lies? the answer's simple in the poetry of your eyes this proof isn't written since there's proof alone if life's an equation, then where's the answer? everything's question after question - a cancer so benign but malignant if touched by the mind numbers are imaginary, but words are divine
  3. [size=1] I was originally just going to post this article I have in the Poetry forum, but I think this forum is much more frequented, as well as is a better place to post it for many other reasons, the main being this forum is a place of discussion and analysis. The basis of this thread be to finally open some people's eyes to the process that is embalming, and in general, the process that is a funeral. I would like to hear what you think of funerals; I would like to know if you think they are a waste of time, if they immortalize death and the person afflicted with mentioned affliction; I would like to know if death in a funeral is over-romanticisized. For death itself is an inevitable thing. I would like to know if you think having a funeral gives any closure to the ones who attend it. I don't think so. When someone dies it is all despair, all sadness, all morose. The world is such a worse place to someone when one one has loved is not there. I can understand this, to an extent. But what's there to lament? Something you knew was going to happen to you, that has happened first to someone you love much? If you knew it was coming, you must have seen its inevitablities. It's obvious many people can't accept death in general though. But back to the topic at hand--the funeral. Does the funeral provide any amount of closure? I don't think so. Tell me, does seeing your loved one one last time, all dolled up, all superficial, and dead, does this make any closure? I doubt it. I'd think more along the lines that it leads to less closure, because it leads more manifested exposure to your gloomy, saddened, lost disposition of lament and miss. I know that if I would see someone dead-eyed, in their casket, it is not going to make me feel better, it is going to make me feel worse; and it is going to stay in my memories--a memory that is the last time I saw this person before they were forever inhumed, or cremated, or whatever they so sought to do. Plus, think about it. What is the real reason funerals exist? Sure, there's the immortalization of a dead one, sure there's the inhuming of the deceased in the ground, sure there's the church procession (if so there is one), sure there is all this and more--but what is it that gives all this? It is the helplessness and easily demeaned mind of one who is getting over the loss that is death. This person is willed to waste opulent amounts of money just to fuel this so-called "proper" procession which will let the person grieve, and let the deceased find "peace." And so they pay this money--money, money, money--even in death one has to pay for one's death. So, with life support, and whatever else money, one gets one "finale," one last toast to life's good fortune--they get a party where they don't even exist, at least physically, that is all about sadness, eulogies, ineffable emotions, all the things which death is so-set to be. Realistically, what is death? It's dying. Nothing more. Death is not a funeral, death is not embalming, death is not mourning, death is not being buried in the ground; death is a Fate, one which we must accept on some ground, and go on with our lives until it happens to us. Death isn't some big deal. It's just what it is--it's death--it is not some flowery, fluent, immortalizing, tantalizing thing. It's death. It is "a permanent cessation of all vital functions," it is the ending of a life. And what happens afterwards, I will not concern myself with; nor should anyone. And that is not what this thread is about--it is about [i]funerals[/i]--more specifically, as the article which I am getting ready to aquaint you all with, it is about embalming. So don't debase to such discussion. The main focus is on the physical all our lives. How we look, how much money we have. Even the brains we use to think, and their perceptions are based on physical manifestations. Because what we saw with our eyes, and what we smelt with our olfactory system--and what we heard with our ears--this is what pools into our mind and creates thought, and creates images, and creates the outward reality we see. We are physical beings, there's no doubting it. Naturally, we are prone to it. The funeral industry is just another thing capitalizing on the "physical." Its main purpose is not death at all--but immortalizing it, making it pleasurable for the grievers, and giving a kind of closure that isn't closure at all. Tell me, what does death have to do with making someone look like a doll via cosmetics, and other superficial devices? It has nothing to do with it. Death has nothing to do with that. Death is the "permanent cessation of all vital functions." I myself find the prospect of being buried, perhaps, quite useless. I myself will probably just be cremated. But this is what I believe. The basis of this thread is what you think of the funeral industry--more specifically embalming--and also how you are going to have a funeral, as well as any other thing pertaining to funerals you would like to say within reason. Don't begin going into some debacle about death and what happens after it, and so on. Focus on this topic, not things which generally don't pertain to it and add to what it is about. In the end the funeral industry is about the money. They have so many inane, preposterous gadgets it's enough to make one sick with grief themselves. From the graves--tombstones--cosmetics used by embalmers--on and on and on--it's just to the point where I can't even see why people would waste such large amounts of money on such an inevitable thing. I mean, just think about it. Is death about a funeral? Is death about that? Is it about embalming? Is it about any of this? It's much like a car, or anything you can think of. What is the purpose of a car? It is transportation. It is about getting from point A to point B. Yet some people buy extravagant cars, with leather seats, and large wheels, and the most technologically advanced features, and a well-polished, beautiful paint job, and a powerful engine. And what is the person doing with this expensive, materialistic, expansive, imperially claimed car? He is just going to travel, the same as a poorer man is going to. The only difference is he's wasted his time on features to his car that look to the eyes more beautiful than his. Death is the same, it's going from point A to point B, and arriving at point B. How do you plan to travel there? Do you plan to get superfluous gadgetry that makes the wheels spin faster, makes everything over-glamorized for its purpose? I'm not going to. Anyway, here is the article I hinted at. I typed it all up myself, since I couldn't find the article on the internet. It may have errors in it at points, but I typed it well enough, and to the best of my abilities for the time I have to spare. It is by a woman named Jessica Mitford. She has a book as well, that talks about the American way of death. But for all purposes, I haven't read it yet. But I do have this article here, as I've said. I believe it is important for any poster in this thread to read this said article. It has many things which apply to the above post, and it's a general synopsis of what, exactly, an embalmer is and does, as well as what the American way of death is. I know there's people here from other countries. Do you recall ever having an open-casket funeral? Is it common practice where you live? From Mitford's information on this point, only the United States and Canada do. I do realize this article is pretty verbosely lengthed. I'd still ask that, if you don't feel like reading it all, you perhaps save it, or read it in parts; if you can't do this, at least scan it. I'm sure you'll be interested in it; I know I was interested throughout reading it. Now, take an open step to the curtained window, with its dainteries and its beautiful veneer, and open those curtains, seeing [i]"Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain.":[/size] [quote][center][b]"Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain"[/b] [i]By Jessica Mitford[/i][/center] The drama begins to unfold with the arrival of the corpse at the mortuary. Alas, poor Yorick! How surprised he would be to see how his counterpart of today is whisked off to a funeral parlor and is in short order sprayed, sliced, pierced, pickled, trussed, trimmed, creamed, waxed, painted, rouged, and neatly dressed-transformed from a common corpse into a Beautiful Memory Picture. This process is known in the trade as embalming and restorative art, and is so universally employed in the United States and Canada that the funeral director does it routinely, without consulting corpse or kin. He regards as eccentric those few who are hardy enough to suggest that it might be dispensed with. Yet no law requires embalming, no religious doctrine commends it, nor is it dictated by considerations of health, sanitation, or even of personal daintiness. In no part of the world but in Northern America is it widely used. The purpose of embalming is to make the corpse presentable for viewing in a suitably costly container; and here too the funeral director routinely, without first consulting the family, prepares the body for public display. Is all this legal? The processes to which a dead body may be subjected are after all to some extent circumscribed by law. In most states, for instance, the signature of next of kin must be obtained before an autopsy may be performed, before the deceased may be cremated, before the body may be turned over to a medical school for research purposes; or such provision must be made in the decedent's will. In the case of embalming, no such permission is required nor is it ever sought. A textbook, [i]The Principles and Practices of Embalming[/i], comments on this: "There is some question regarding the legality of much that is done within the preparation room." The author points out that it would be most unusual for a responsible member of a bereaved family to instruct the mortician, in so many words, to "embalm" the body of a deceased relative. The very term "embalming" is so seldom used that the mortician must reply upon custom in the matter. The author concludes that unless the family specifies otherwise, the act of entrusting the body to the care of a funeral establishment carries with it an implied permission to go ahead and embalm. Embalming is indeed a most extraordinary procedure, and one must wonder at the docility of Americans who each year pay hundreds of millions of dollars for its perpetuation, blissfully ignorant of what it is all about, what is done, how it is done. Not one in ten thousand has any idea of what actually takes place. Books on the subject are extremely hard to come by. They are not found in most libraries or bookshops. In an era when huge television audiences watch surgical operations in the comfort of their living rooms, when, thanks to the animated cartoon, the geography of the digestive system has become familiar territory even to the nursery school set, in a land where the satisfaction of curiosity about almost all matters is a national pastime, the secrecy surrounding embalming can, surely, hardly be attributed to the inherent gruesomeness of the subject. Custom in this regard has within this century suffered a complete reversal. In the early days of American embalming, when it was performed in the home of the deceased, it was almost mandatory for some relative to stay by the embalmer's side and witness the procedure. Today, family members who might wish to be in attendance would certainly be dissuaded by the funeral director. All others, except apprentices, are excluded by law from the preparation room. A close look at what does actually take place may explain a large measure of the undertaker's intractable reticence concerning a procedure that has become his major [i]raison d'etre[/i]. Is it possible he fears that public information about embalming might lead patrons to wonder if they really want this service? If the funeral men are loath to discuss the subject outside the trade, the reader may, understandably, be equally loath to go on reading at this point. For those who have the stomach for it, let us part the formaldehyde curtain. . . . The body is first laid out in the undertaker's morgue-or rather, Mr. Jones is reposing in the preparation room-to be readied to bid the world farewell. The preparation room in any of the better funeral establishments has the tiled and sterile look of a surgery, and indeed the embalmer-restorative artist who does his chores there is beginning to adopt the term "dermasurgeon" (appropriately corrupted by some mortician-writers as "demi-surgeon") to describe his calling. His equipment, consisting of scalpels, scissors, augers, forceps, clamps, needles, pumps, tubes, bowls and basins, is crudely imitative of the surgeon's, as is his technique, acquired in a nine- or twelve-month post-high-school course in an embalming school. He is supplied by an advanced chemical industry with a bewildering array of fluids, sprays, pastes, oils, powders, creams, to fix or soften tissue, shrink or distend it as needed, dry it here, restore the moisture there. There are cosmetics, waxes and paints to fill and cover features, even plaster of Paris to replace entire limbs. There are ingenious aids to prop and stabilize the cadaver: a Vari-Pose Head Rest, the Edwards Arm and Hand Positioner, the Repose Block (to support the shoulders during embalming), and the Throop Foot Positioner, which resembles old-fashioned socks. Mr. John H. Eckels, president of the Eckels College of Mortuary Science, thus describes the first part of the embalming procedure: "In the hands of a skilled practitioner, this work may be done in a comparatively short time and without mutilating the body other than by slight incision-so slight that it scarcely would cause serious inconvenience if made upon a living person. It is necessary to remove the blood, and doing this not only helps in the disinfecting, but removes the principal cause of disfigurements due to discoloration." Another textbook discusses the all-important time element: "The earlier this is done, the better, for every hour that elapses between death and embalming will add to the problems and complications encountered. . . ." Just how soon should one get to embalming? The author tells us, "On the basis of such scanty information made available to this profession through its rudimentary and haphazard system of technical research, we must conclude the best results are to be obtained if the subject is embalmed before life is completely extinct-that is, before cellular death has occurred. In the average case, this would mean within an hour after somatic death." For those who feel there is something a little rudimentary, not to say haphazard, about this advice, a comforting thought is offered by another writer. Speaking of fears entertained in early days of premature burial, he points out, "One of the effects of embalming by chemical injection, however, has been to dispel fears of live burial." How true; once the blood is removed, the chances of live burial are indeed remote. To return to Mr. Jones, the blood is drained out through the veins and replaced with embalming fluid pumped through the arteries. As noted in [i]The Principles and Practices of Embalming[/i], "every operator has a favorite injection and drainage point-a fact which becomes a handicap only if he fails or refuses to forsake his favorites when conditions demand it." Typical favorites are the carotid artery, femoral artery, jugular vein, subclavian vein. There are various choices of embalming fluids. If Flextone is used, it will produce a "mild, flexible rigidity. The skin retains a velvety softeness, the tissues are rubbery and pliable. Ideal for women and children." It may be blended with B. and G. Products Company's Lyf-Lyk tint, which is guaranteed to reproduce "nature's own skin texture . . . the velvety appearance of living tissue." Suntone comes in three separate tints: Suntan; Special Cosmetic Tint, a pink shade "especially indicated for young female subjects"; and Regular Cosmetic Tint, moderately pink. About three to six gallons of dyed and perfumed solution of formaldehyde, glycerin, borax, phenol, alcohol and water is soon circulating through Mr. Jones, whose mouth has been sewn together with a "needle directed upward between the upper lip and gum and brought out through the left nostril," with the corners raised slightly "for a more pleasant expression. If he should be bucktoothed, his teeth are cleaned with Bon Ami and coated with colorless nail polish. His eyes, meanwhile, are closed with flesh-tinted eye caps and eye cement. The next step is to have at Mr. Jones with a thing called a trocar. This is a long, hollow needle attached to a tube. It is jabbed into the abdomen, poked around the entrails and chest cavity, the contents of which are pumped out and replaced with "cavity fluid." This done, and the hole in the abdomen sewn up, Mr. Jones's face is heavily creamed (to protect the skin from burns which may be caused by leakage of the chemicals), and he is covered with a sheet and left unmolested for a while. But not for long-there is more, much more, in store for him. He has been embalmed, but not yet restored, and the best time to start the restorative work is eight to ten hours after embalming, when the tissues have become firm and dry. The object of all this attention to the corpse, it must be remembered, is to make it presentable for viewing in an attitude of healthy repose. "Our customs require the presentation of our dead in semblance of normality . . . unmarred by the ravages of illness, disease or mutilation," says Mr. J. Sheridan Mayer in his [i]Restorative Art[/i]. This is rather a large order since few people die in full bloom of health, unravaged by illness and unmarked by some disfigurement. The funeral industry is equal to the challenge: "In some cases the gruesome appearance of a mutilated or disease-ridden subject may be quite discouraging. The task of restoration may seem impossible and shake the confidence of the embalmer. This is the time for intestinal fortitude and determination. Once the formative work is begun and affected tissues are cleaned or removed, all doubts of success vanish. It is surprising and gratifying to discover the results which may be obtained." The embalmer, having allowed an appropriate interval of elapse, returns to the attack, but now he brings into play the skill and equipment of sculptor and cosmetician. Is a hand missing? Casting one in plaster of Paris is a simple matter. "For replacement purposes, only a cast of the back of the hand is necessary; this is within the ability of the average operator and is quite adequate." If a lip or two, a nose or an ear should be missing, the embalmer has at hand a variety of restorative waxes with which to model replacements. Pores and skin texture are simulated by stippling with a little brush, and over this cosmetics are laid on. Head off? Decapitation cases are rather routinely handled. Ragged edges are trimmed, and head joined to torso with a series of splints, wires and sutures. It is a good idea to have a little something at the neck-a scarf or high collar-when time for viewing comes. Swollen mouth? Cut out tissue as needed from inside the lips. If too much is removed, the surface contour can easily be restored by padding with cotton. Swollen necks and cheeks are reduced by removing tissue through vertical incisions made down each side of the neck. "When the deceased is casketed, the pillow will hide the suture incisions . . . as an extra precaution against leakage, the suture may be painted with liquid sealer." The opposite condition is more likely to present itself-that of emaciation. His hypodermic syringe now loaded with massage cream, the embalmer seeks out and fills the hollowed and sunken areas by injection. In this procedure the backs of the hands and fingers and the under-chin area should not be neglected. Positioning the lips is a problem that recurrently challenges the ingenuity of the embalmer. Closed too tightly, they tend to give a stern, even disapproving expression. Ideally, embalmers feel, the lips should give the impression of being ever so slightly parted, the upper lip protruding slightly for a more youthful appearance. This takes some engineering, however, as the lips tend to drift apart. Lip drift can sometimes be remedied by pushing one or two straight pins through the inner margin oft he lower lip and then inserting them between the two upper teeth. If Mr. Jones happens to have no teeth, the pins can just as easily be anchored in his Armstrong Face Former and Denture Replacer. Another method to maintain lip closure is to dislocate the lower jaw, which is then held in its new position by a wire run through holes which have been drilled through the upper and lower jaws at the midline. As the French are fond of saying, [i]il faut souffrir pour etre belle[/i]. If Mr. Jones has died of jaundice, the embalming fluid will very likely turn him green. Does this deter the embalmer? Not if he has intestinal fortitude. Masking pastes and cosmetics are heavily laid on, burial garments and casket interiors color-correlated with particular care, and Jones is displayed beneath rose-colored lights. Friends will say "How [i]well[/i] he looks." Death by carbon monoxide, on the other hand, can be rather a good thing from the embalmer's viewpoint: "One advantage is the fact that this type of discoloration is an exaggerated form of a natural pink coloration." This is nice because the healthy glow is already present and needs little attention. The patching and filling completed, Mr. Jones is now shaved, washed and dressed. Cream-based cosmetic, available in pink, flesh, suntan, brunette, and blond, is applied to his hands and face, his hair is shampooed and combed (and, in the case of Mrs. Jones, set), his hands manicured. For the horny-handed son of toil and special care must be taken; cream should be applied to remove ingrained grime, and the nails cleaned. "If he were not in the habit of having them manicured in life, trimming and shaping is advised for better appearance-never questioned by kin." Jones is now ready for casketing (this is the present participle verb of "to casket"). In this operation his right shoulder should be depressed slightly "to turn the body a bit to the right and soften the appearance of lying flat on the back." Positioning the hands is a matter of importance, and special rubber positioning blocks may be used. The hands should be cupped slightly for a more lifelike, relaxed appearance. Proper placement of the body requires a delicate sense of balance. It should lie as high as possible in the casket, yet not so high that the lid, when lowered, will hit the nose. On the other hand, we are cautioned, placing the body too low "creates the impression that the body is in a box." Jones is next wheeled into the appointed slumber room where a few last touches may be added-his favorite pipe placed in his hand or, if he was a great reader, a book propped into position. (In the case of little Master Jones a Teddy bear may be clutched.) Here he will hold open house for a few days, visiting hours 10 A.M. to 9 P.M. All now being in readiness, the funeral director calls a staff conference to make sure that each assistant knows his precise duties. Mr. Wilber Kriege writes: "This makes your staff feel that they are part of the team, with a definite assignment that must be properly carried out if the whole plan is to succeed. You never heard of a football coach who failed to talk to his entire team before they go on the field. They have drilled on the plays they are to execute for hours and days, and yet the successful coach knows the importance of making even the bench-warming third-string substitute feel that he is important if the game is to be won." The winning of [i]this[/i] game is predicated upon glass-smooth handling of the logistics. The funeral director has notified the pallbearers whose names were furnished by the family, has arranged for the presence of clergyman, organist, and soloist, has provided transportation for everybody, has organized and listed the flowers sent by friends. In [i]Psychology of Funeral Service[/i] Mr. Edward A. Martin points out: "He may not always do as much as the family thinks he is doing, but it is his helpful guidance that they appreciate in knowing they are proceeding as they should . . . . The important thing is how well his services can be used to make the family believe they are giving unlimited expression to their own sentiment." The religious service may be held in a church or in the chapel of the funeral home; the funeral director vastly prefers the latter arrangement, for not only is it more convenient for him but it affords him the opportunity to show off his beautiful facilities to the gathered mourners. After the clergyman has had his say, the mourners queue up to file past the casket for a last look at the deceased. The family is [i]never[/i] asked whether they want an open-casket ceremony; in the absence of their instruction to the contrary, this is taken for granted. Consequently well over 90 per cent of all American funerals feature the open casket-a custom unknown in other parts of the world. Foreigners are astonished by it. An English woman living in San Francisco described her reaction in a letter to the writer: [center][size=1] I myself have attended only one funeral here-that of an elderly fellow worker of mine. After the service I could not understand why everyone was walking towards the coffin (sorry, I mean casket), but thought I had better follow the crowd. It shook me rigid to get there and find the casket open and poor old Oscar lying there in his brown tweed suit, wearing a suntan makeup and just the wrong shade of lipstick. If I had not been extremely fond of the old boy, I have a horrible feeling that I might have giggled. Then and there I decided that I could never face another American funeral-even dead.[/size][/center] The casket (which has been resting throughout the service on a Classic Beauty Ultra Metal Casket Bier) is now transferred by a hydraulically operated device called Porto-Lift to a balloon-tired, Glide Easy casket carriage which will wheel it to yet another conveyance, the Cadillac Funeral Coach. This may be lavender, cream, light green-anything but black. Interiors, of course, are color-correlated, "for the man who cannot stop short of perfection." At graveside, the casket is lowered into the earth. This office, once the prerogative of friends of the deceased, is now performed by a patented mechanical lowering device. A "Lifetime Green" artificial grass mat is at the ready to conceal the sere earth, and overhead, to conceal the sky, is a portable Steril Chapel Tent ("resists the intense heat and humidity of summer and terrific storms of winter . . . available in Silver Grey, Rose or Evergreen"). Now is the time for the ritual scattering of earth over the coffin, as the solemn words, "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust" are pronounced by the officiating cleric. This can boldly be accomplished "with a mere flick of the wrist with the Gordon Leak-Proof Earth Dispenser. No grasping of a handful of dirt, no soiled fingers. Simple, dignified, beautiful, reverent! The modern way!" The Gordon Earth Dispenser (at $5) is of nickel-plated brass construction. It is not only "attractive to the eye and long wearing"; it is also "one of the 'tools' for building better public relations" if presented as "an appropriate non-commercial gift" to the clergyman. It is shaped something like a saltshaker. Untouched by human hand, the coffin and the earth are now united. It is in the function of directing the participants through this maze of gadgetry that the funeral director has assigned to himself his relatively new role of "grief therapist." He has relieved the family of every detail, he has revamped the corpse to look like a living doll, he has arranged for it to nap for a few days in a slumber room, he has put on a well-oiled performance in which the concept of [i]death[/i] played no part whatsoever-unless it was inconsiderately mentioned by the clergyman who conducted the religious service. He has done everything in his power to make the funeral a real pleasure for everybody concerned. He and his team have given their all to score an upset victory over death. [/quote]
  4. [QUOTE=Brasil]Chabichou, congratulations. You've earned it. [img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v151/madsatirist/OBGilligan2.png[/img] And since we obviously can't just post images that say precisely what so many people are thinking...I'll needlessly elaborate. It's gotten to a point around here where anyone can post any type of "OMG my life is horrible" drivel and so many people still feel like they have to flock to that person's aid. I don't believe that's necessary at all. This thread in particular...is a perfect example of the OP whining about how horrible his or her life is, and then throwing the advice of others pretty much right back in their faces. I'm sorry, but regardless of who you are, that is just piss-poor behavior, and it really should not be tolerated, and others should not imply it's okay. Because it is not okay. If you were to read through this thread, you're going to find a majority of the initial replies trying to be helpful. And then the OP either just disregards them entirely or damn near insults the posters' intelligence...the prototypical "You don't know me" teen angst argument. And I challenge anyone to try to counter me on that. I challenge anyone here to show the OP didn't try to pull any variation on that "You don't know me" rebuttal. And let's not forget the completely irrelevant references to Sony. I sound like a complete dick here, and you know what? I really don't care. I don't care because I know precisely the kind of treatment people need when they're in the same place that the OP is in. I find it laughable, quite frankly, that some here are accusing me of trying to assert some sort of superiority over others in this thread, when I've been making it very, very clear that I'm using personal experiences to illustrate that nobody has had a perfect life, and that nobody will ever have a perfect life. And because of this, as I have stated before, people should not think that they are special in any way at all. I dealt with the crap that's gone wrong in my life. Others here have, too. Why can't people like the OP? Oh, that's right. Because they're getting sympathy from others. Hate me all you want, but giving attention-grabbers like this sympathy is doing them no good at all. I know from experience. Do you honestly believe I would have gotten over so much of my own traumatic life experiences had I been comforted the entire time? Simple answer here is no, I wouldn't have. Had I not turned on the light in the bathroom in the emergency ward and not seen what basically was a walking corpse...my life philosophy would not have changed. If the nurses in the hospital prevented me from seeing the reality of that situation, I would have never changed my entire approach to living. I would have continued to be some scared little punk who thinks he's got the world all figured out. What I saw in the mirror was tough love in every sense of the idea. And only tough love helps people through really traumatic experiences. They need to face death to understand death, so that's another reason I find so many replies here utterly laughable. Some here are criticizing me for being too harsh, yet they're too wrapped up in sympathetic pity to open their eyes and realize exactly what's going on here. I don't mean to highjack this thread or anything, so I'll take my leave, but before I go, I'd like to request that a few people here take a good hard look at themselves and start thinking rationally, because I think that'd do a lot of good for some of them. You see, there comes a point where you're supposed to stop feeling sorry for individuals and start treating them like you'd treat a sociopath. I'm not quite sure why a few people here haven't reached that point yet, but I'd highly recommend that they consider it. [b]EDIT:[/b] And Mitch, I'm not brilliant. Far from it. I'm pretty damn average when it comes to most things. If I were brilliant, some type of higher order of intelligence than most people here, nobody would find logic in what I'm saying. But as it stands? Check page 3. There are a few posts there that echo my sentiments. Page 2 has a few, as well. If I were truly brilliant, only I would be the only one offering these insights. And I'm not the only one offering these insights. Ergo, I'm not brilliant. I just enjoy a little thing called common sense. You know, common sense, the thing that helps people deal with their personal lives in a mature, responsible manner? The thing that allows people to see things rationally, unburdened by hypersensitivity?[/QUOTE] [img]http://www.otakuboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=25095&stc=1[/img]
  5. Honestly, since when can you just post a bunch of images and call that a post? When I was a mod around here I would've never allowed something like that. I mean, it's fine to include some images or whatnot...but at least have some essence to your post, rather than just belittling the maker of this thread and everyone else that's at least taking it somewhat seriously. And how is posting that Psych Ward thing from your My O defending anything? Like was said before, you should've just not said anything at all, nor should you have come into this thread if you don't like it. It's what I've done for quite a long time. Alex, I can understand your frustration with threads like these, but unfortunately I don't see teens suddenly changing into non-angst-ridden people. We all go through that kind of phase at some point, and even after that phase, we get angsty from time-to-time. It's common sense. It happens. Instead of cutting this person down, you could at least tell them that you stayed at a Psych Ward and also that life isn't pointless and so on (which you have done to an extent, but yet again are too crass about it, which just will never work). It's called kindness, which you don't seem to really have half the time. . . A lot of people are really sick of this type of thing from you, Alex. I think they give you too much leeway around here, just because you're brilliant. Your brilliance can be quite annoying, you know. If you were someone else you would've been banned long ago. At least show some decency. At least.
  6. Haha, the "Hold It" pic was timeless Charles. My personal opinion is that I enjoy the DS a lot more than the PSP. I've never played a PSP, however, so perhaps I should do that at some time. It's hard to say...both systems have some good things going for them, and some bad. The DS has the stylus/ touch pad but lesser graphic capabilities, the PSP has greater graphic capabilities and doubles as other things - it can play movies, etc. The DS has some quirky titles - such as Phoenix Wright or Trauma Center: Under the Knife, and eventually the DS will have Pokemon - which I can't wait for. It all comes down to personal taste. Some would enjoy the PSP more, others not...and vice versa. One is not really greater than the other as far as I can see. Both have decent games, although I find the DS's game catalog to be better than the PSP's thus far as far as my tastes go.
  7. welcome to Depressedville where laughter is offensive where blue is a love fixation under the neon dance floor welcome to Depressedville here the phones don't work here rain falls somber from a gray outcast sky
  8. Well if you're going to run away, better start running 2 miles a day till it becomes easy. Better be able to run a tri-athalon for that matter, 'cause in the end your parents will find you and you'll learn some hard lessons.
  9. Mitch

    I Need Music Reccommendations - Instrumental

    Most of Metallica's better stuff isn't played so often. Songs like "Blackened" or "...And Justice for All" or "Sanitarium" or "The Four Hoursemen" and on and on don't get much airplay at all, I've noticed. Perhaps it's just the stations I listen to, but I definitely think you should give Metallica a bigger chance. They honestly have some of the best guitar instrumental work I've ever heard, and I think they are truly deserving of their title as "the Gods of Metal." Their newer stuff is quite a letdown from their older stuff (I'm talking stuff from their first album, [i]Kill 'Em All[/i] here, as well as [i]Master of Puppets, ...And Justice for All[/i], and so on in comparison with something like [i]St. Anger[/i]). Their older stuff is quite awesome, in fact, if you give it a chance.
  10. Mitch

    Guitar help please

    It would've been a better transition to learn acoustic and then go to electric, but I wish you good luck nonetheless. I've been playing for a few months now, and it's been fun. (I play a left-handed acoustic guitar.)
  11. The second stanza was the higlight of this poem. I thought the use of language in that stanza is more along the lines of poetry. I say this because I've been reading a few poems on here, and most of them have been layered with abstract language that feels more like nonsense and doesn't touch on anything [i]real[/i]. The other two stanzas are a mixed bag, and aren't as good as the second. In the two other stanzas, yet again you, like others, rely on abstract words - such as "dreams" or "fantasy" or whatever else - and don't give them any material essence and so those two stanzas are much more muddled than the first. My suggestion is to try to find fresh images (like those in the second stanza) and use them, since that's the bread and butter of poetry. I do like its shortness and how you seemed to have chosen your words at least somewhat carefully. The rhyming in the first stanza "true/ you" felt pretty forced, and as a reader I was wondering then if you were going to follow a pattern and rhyme in the other stanzas, too. You might want to get rid of the rhyming, because I feel it doesn't add anything to the piece, and "true" isn't giving any essence to the poem at all since it's just an abstraction and doesn't have anything to make it concrete in there. I also believe "dream filled" should be "dream-filled" (with the hyphen). That's how I've often seen it.
  12. Mitch

    Writing The First Page - 5 of Tical's poems [PG]

    [QUOTE=? Nomad Tical ?]. [B]Memory Poem[/B] from [B]That One Odd Dude[/B] (Book 1) [CENTER]Looking back I see so vividly A swimming pool of memories A mass of visions inside my head Voices that I'll never hear again I see the good, the bad, the crazy Times of being active, times of being lazy I remember the fights, the yelling, the action I remember the times of love and passion I remember old dreams and aspirations Of being rich or ruling a nation I remember the times of desperation And of course, my constant instigation As I leave this pool of memories I begin to feel a little pleased Remembering things may be fun But I should look to the future before it is done[/CENTER][/quote] My main suggestion for this poem would be to mess around with it a bit. Mainly, see how it would work with some stanzas. As far as your language use in the poem...I feel it could be better. You use quite a bit of abstractions: "love and passion" "desperation "memories" "aspirations" "dreams" which is fine, but you need something more concrete to the poem, and that's what I feel is missing. Poetry and abstractions just don't go well together...if you want to go off on abstractions, an essay would be your medium, but it doesn't work well in poetry. You need some stronger, fresher images that aren't so cliche and aren't so full of abstractions. [quote][B]An Ode To The Underworld [/B] from [B]Because God Pulls No Punches[/B] (Book 2) [CENTER]Ah beautiful! So beautiful! This land we know as hell! Wide rivers of deep crimson And waterfalls of innocent blood Rotting bodies everywhere A putrid scent fills the air The endless fields of red scorched earth Magma streaming across the ground And the flames! Oh the flames! So many bodies they must scorch! And the fiery hail that drops like bombs Is so pretty in the summer The spikes protruding from the earth Covered in blood fill me with joy Oh beautiful, so beautiful This land we know as Hell![/CENTER][/quote] This one is better than the first to me. However, yet again the poem suffers from cliche images that aren't fresh and new. It's a decent attempt, and of course we all have to start somewhere. The line "The endless fields of red scorched earth" doesn't need "red." When a reader reads "The endless fields of scorched earth" they should grab that image in their mind and see the red. It's a lot of the same case for some other lines in the poem, as well: they could be tightened up. In poetry, you want to use as few words as possible and make sure the words you use feel right where they are and are strong words. [quote][B]Oathkeeper[/B] from [B]A. S.weet S.ensation [/B] (Book 3) [CENTER]I swear to God And Earth and Sun And Fire and Ice And myself, for one I swear to Heaven And Moon and Sky And Dark and Light And you and I This oath I keep Now and forever That no matter what Through wear and weather I shall always be yours Long as you are mine This path that we keep Is pure and divine Let us never forget This path that we keep Through waking hours And nights of sleep We are together You and me The two of us Will always be[/CENTER][/quote] This is the strongest poem of the ones you've given in here. It works well because of the parallelism you use, if you could call it that (eg, Earth and Sun, Moon and Sky, Dark and Light, You and I). This one's a job well done, and I really don't have anything else to say about it. [quote][B]Welcoming Commitee[/B] from [B]Mandate For Madness [/B] (Book 4) [CENTER]Come forth The bringer of dark demise Blacken the skies Bring forth our final days Come forth The bringer of heavenly light Brighten the skies Bring forth life forevermore Come Forth The bringer of divine palance Make blue the skies Bring forth what is right Come forth The bringer of deceitful lies Make worse the wrongs Bring forth insecure doubt Come forth The bringer of justified truth Make right the wrongs Bring forth enlightenment Come forth The bringer of divine balance Decide right and wrong Bring forth what is meant to be brought[/CENTER][/quote] It's too repetitive for my tastes. Again, it suffers from cliche images and doesn't use concrete, fresh images and doesn't attract much of my attention. Try to make it less repetitive and get some fresher images in there that aren't entirely abstractions. [quote][B]Nobody But I[/B] from [B]Callous[/B] (Book 5) [CENTER]Nobody knows me Nobody can care Nobody loves me Nobody is there Nobody hates me Nobody can see Nobody's with me Nobody can be I don't know anybody But for everyone I care I want to love somebody But I am never there I can't hate anybody But I can clearly see I wan't somebody with me But nobody wants to be[/CENTER][/quote] This is probably the second best one you've posted. Although I think the repetition at the beginning could be lessened a bit, it isn't necessarily overwhelming. This isn't anything startling amazing or anything, but at least it isn't as abstract and esoteric as some of the others. I know I've said this in nearly every poem, but you need to get some fresh images and nice figurative language within this poem...the language is too simple for me and bores me more than anything else. I'm not saying this poem is terrible, but just that it's more of an average poem than anything. I wish you good luck. Continue writing poetry and eventually you'll develop your own style.
  13. Mitch

    Writing Twisted Maiden (M) Please Critique

    My intent with this review isn't to tell you what's wrong with the piece...but to try to give you some general suggestions so you can get on the right track. I will try to go a bit more in-depth from time to time, but mostly I'm just giving you suggestions that have helped me grow as a poet. First off, this poem just screams STANZAS out loud to me. Reading it is like trying to breathe in space without any space. We need some breathing room as a reader! Also...the language is very hackeneyed. The bread and butter of poetry is images, and the images you offer in this piece are far from startling, but instead pretty cliche. Poetry is all about being fresh with your images. Anyone can write about a morbid type of love...or however you want to put it...but not anyone can come up with amazing images that stay with the reader even after reading, and not anyone can use language to a higher point like it's meant to be in poetry. Everyone has to start somewhere, of course, and I take it you're pretty close to just beginning. Believe it or not, I used to write a lot like this: an Edgar Allan Poe-esque type of poetry that just isn't the higher state of language that is poetry. The main thing is that you never give up on finding your own type of style, and to read other poets' poetry as to inspire you and bring about the change you'll need to get better. About the second thing I noticed, once I started reading this piece more, was that it has quite a few spelling errors. Remember, always run a piece through a spell checker or spell check it yourself before posting it up here. When a reader is reading a piece of any writing, and they find a lot of errors, it's easy to see the writer a) doesn't know what they're doing or b) doesn't give their work the time of day and just post it raw as when it was first made. By having a lot of spelling errors in your piece, it's pretty hard to take what you're writing seriously, and as a writer you lose quite a bit of validity as far as the reader is concerned. Many times in the poem you shove a whole bunch of words on top of another. e.g., [quote]He wants to see her beauty as he slices her sweet veins steals her flesh[/quote] And so on. This further shows me that as a writer, you haven't worked on this piece all too much (in fact, I'm willing to bet you just wrote it right here on the spot). Poetry isn't like prose - in poetry, the word choices matter so much, and how they sound as you read it, and how it comes together as a whole matter just as much, too. Shishkebobing a whole bunch of words together, as in the example above, just doesn't work. I don't want to give you any certain suggestions, because you're the writer of the piece, not me, but definitely look at tightening up the language in this piece and getting rid of all the extraneous stuff like what I showed above. Finally, I have three last suggestions for you. As I said before, good poetry has strong images. Figurative langauge is truly a higher, heightened language...and in order to use it effectively, you need to write figurative langauge using concrete things. This piece is all about abstractions: as a reader, I can't get a beautiful, clear image of anything in my head. It's all abstractions about abstractions. You see, something like a metaphor or a similie works best if you're using something concrete to compare something abstract. So give that a thought, as well. My second suggestion is to tell you that poetry is often compressed. In this way it's kind of like a riddle, and as a reader you have to take far more active participation in the poem than if you were idling reading some prose or anything of the like. The third suggestion is to impose some rules on your poetry. In my poetry, I often brim from being free verse to something inbetween free verse and verse that's full of rules. I try to get the best of both of those worlds, rather than always being at the extreme (I do, however, go for the extremes at times). Just something like attempting to write a sonnet, a kyrielle, metrical poetry - you name it, it'll help you out. What you write using only rules may be terrible...but it's always a growing experience. It allows you to, when you go and write what is mainly free verse, impose some type of rule on what you're writing (no matter how small it is) that adds another dimension to your poetry and helps it along, too. So try to go for tight, compressed, and [i]concrete[/i] images and eventually some good poetry should happen for you. And don't be afraid to impose rules on your poetry, as chaining as it might be (after all, Robert Frost said free verse is neither free nor verse, or something to that extent...sometimes having rules is even more freedom than freedom itself). I hope I've said something that will help you out as a writer of poetry, and I hope to see you improve and grow. I've been where you are, and I know you could reach where I am with the proper effort.
  14. Mitch

    I Need Music Reccommendations - Instrumental

    Metallica's older stuff is pretty heavy in the instrumental department...I'd recommend something like their album [i]...And Justice for All[/i] (it's my personal fave of their older stuff). Something like "To Live Is to Die" off of that album (an entirely instrumental song, well, nearly) is awesome. I can hook you up with some songs from the album over AIM if you'd want (my name is machineofbones). I'm not sure what I'm recommending is quite what you're looking for, though. Rush is awesome. [i]2112[/i] is just pretty damn classic, as far as I'm concerned. I'd agree with that recommendation. Got to love Rush and how they made extremely long songs that rule even though, back then, that was quite a feat to accomplish in front of the studio execs, haha. Another band that comes to mind is Dream Theatre, although I haven't listened to them as much as the ones above. Tony, another guy who used to frequent this site, and is huge into music, thought they had some of the best guitar-playing he'd ever heard. Their songs tend to get long, like Rush's, and from what I have heard they indeed do have amazing instrumentals.
  15. It's only rough. I will be revising it soon. I will accept any comments. It's attached. [b] It is rated M[/b], and I forgot to add the tag once again. Hopefully just saying it here straight-out is enough (if not, asphy, I will remake the thread if it's necessary...). Why do I always have to forget the tag?
  16. If you give me an e-mail, I could perhaps send it there. My best guess as to why it's not working is either a) you have a mac b) for whatever reason, your comp can't open zip files or c) something else is happening and I have no clue. You'd have to describe what the problem is, exactly, for me to get an idea of what the problem is and how to fix it.
  17. [b][url=http://www.otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=51500]Somewhere Out There: A Novella[/b][/url][link] Perhaps it seems self-indulgent to plug something of my own creation, but what can I say, other than I love my self-aggrandizing glory? No, but really, I worked very hard on this (for about a year), and just completed the rough before the near year rolled around. I'm proud of my accomplishment, but not so proud that it's going to make me fall. [b]Brasil[/b] Although our relationship is fraught with fighting and tension, at times I feel we put that all behind us and choose to be friends rather than enemies, or even "friendly enemies" I suppose, to be oxymoronic. I still can't stand Alex on some levels, as I'm sure he can't stand me on some levels, but I respect him. He's a brilliant man who continues to brace these boards, saying things when people are too uninvasive to say them. He's also a master of rhetoric in some facet, and would make a good politician! But hey, what's not to love (because love in essence has to contain hate, as well). I kid! I kid! [b]Andy[/b] I mostly have become acquainted with sir Andy from his blog on Crappy Club for Jerks, and he's a person who agrees with me in a lot of ways. Sure, knowing someone who thinks like you/ looks up to you in some ways isn't always a good thing, but he's a cool cat nonetheless. I'd like to talk to him for real once, because I've never talked to him on any IM client. He's kind of a man of mystery to me, in some ways, you could say. [b]Tony[/b] Tony continues to post posts in Play It, and I continue to read them, even if his activity there has started to wane over time. It's just nice to see someone that has his own thoughts on the game industry, and to see someone that really cares about it, and someone who seems to go against the grain in some cases. Tony also made my blog site, which I adore, and I thank him many times over for that. And overall, Tony is just a nice guy. I, however, miss Weh and him calling him Toast and so on...I also miss that weird misnomer of Semjaza Azazel. I mean, isn't it a mouth full, or what? Does anyone else want to ask him what it means, because it's a good way to make him hate you! [b]Crappy Club for Jerks[/b] Due to the fact that I've tired of OB (I've been here what, three years off and on now? Maybe longer? Hell, I don't even know) in some ways, and specifically My O, it's nice to find a haven for people who just didn't feel they belonged to be at OB or My O any longer. At that place, we have many close-knit relationships, and it's kind of a world of our own. It's kind of like there's life after high school, and then there's life after OB - we all have to grow up (or down) sometimes! [b]The GW Thread and the OB GW Community[/b] Although I haven't been on much lately, GW is another one of those life after OB kind of things. We're all such a ragtag group of hormone-induced riffraffs on there, it's true. I've had many a fun time on there, and I plan to try to squeeze some of that fun time back in there every now and again. Other people who deserve mention: [b]Alan, HeavensCloud, Charles, Annie, Drix, and whoever else I consider a friend that I missed...[/b] I'm short for time, so that's why I had to cut it short like that.
  18. Mitch

    When does life start?

    the question of when life begins is a moot question in the context of this thread, because it does not hit at the core question that we should be asking. so when does life begin, you ask? life is eternal, life was always and it is - even before i was born there was life, even before the earth there was life. they say time is the constant thing that is eternal, but actually life was the first thing, and is actually the best increment of time created. even after the human dies, life continues, and i must say that i have an inclination that there is a world beyond this entirely physical one - but that is as far as i take it. life is far more than our day-to-do existence, and transcends beyond. now, the real question you want to ask is at what point do we become "human" as we are conceptualized within the womb, becoming a zygote that eventually becomes more. when do we become human, then? the answer is that the instant the ovum and the sperm become one, there is a human. i don't really see the need for us to dabble in the difference between animals and humans. the core question is when are we human. does it really involve consciousness to be a human? even though we're just a mass of cells when we're first made, there is the potential for that consciousness, and it is human, even as feebly developed as it is. humans, in fact, are animals, but we just have our heads so high that we think we're something more than that. i don't see it that way. we're animals, too, but we have highly developed brains and thus i am here typing this rubbish and trying to answer abstract notions. actually, recently, my opinion has somewhat changed on the matter of stem cell research, which is of course the main reason we are discussing this topic of when we are truly "human" and when we're not. what swayed me? it's a movie called the island, which was kind of a dystopian work (i believe it was based off the novel of the same name by aldous huxley, but i can't be sure). in this movie (and perhaps the novel, but i'm not sure),[spoiler] underneath a hospital "product" is grown - this "product" is actually clones of famous terminally-ill people. the product lives under there, unaware of the real world, and everyone down there is eventually sent to "the island," which isn't that whatsoever. it is actually when they are needed to be cut up and sabotaged to save their double.[/spoiler] i must say that i am not entirely educated on the matter of stem cell research, as i'm sure many aren't, but i must say that this work, in a way a lot like 1984, shows an alternate future that actually doesn't seem too far away as far as i'm concerned. stem cell research could do some great things, but it does it at the cost of what i arguably consider "human beings." it also will eventually open up the way for even more genetic altering and other such rubbish, which will end up as man playing god, which i feel is something we aren't meant to do and will lead to devastating results.
  19. Mitch

    Your MATURE opinions on homosexuality

    On a side-note to Alex: you're honestly one of the best people at written rhetoric I've ever met. Although this can be a curse to the one who falls under your hand, it's still pretty undeniable. Even if I do disagree with you some of the time, I can still respect it. I agree whole-heartedly with what Alex as well as Boba have said, and all the other "liberal-minded" ones around here, as Drix puts it. The bible is the best-selling novel ever written, and its author is a bunch of anonymous people. A novel is written during its time, and therefore will reflect its time. While all novels, the bible included, still contain some truth intermixed with the fiction, the bible was written centuries ago and was written for a different time and age. We can now only look at it and glean insight into how we became what we are now, and that is about all. It cannot be used to defend our rapidly changing world. I hope that eventually people will outgrow their immense need to fling the bible as a reason to their inbred hatred and also their absolute thinking that says there is no way but their way. Because, in truth, I find that few things are absolute and also that everyone - despite their differing views created by the person they are - are right in their own ways, just so long as it doesn't infringe on other's rights. We live in a democracy, not a theocracy, after all.
  20. Mitch

    Writing Book Recommendations

    You must read [b]Hey Nostradamus[/b] by Douglas Coupland. It's about a Columbine-like school shooting and the butterfly effect it causes even years and years after the shooting, and is narrated in four parts by four different characters who all have a different view on things. A very powerful book, it deals with spiritual issues in such an expert way that it doesn't offend, and it expertly handles feelings of loneliness and is just a masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. I second the notion of [b]Choke[/b] and [b]Fight Club[/b]. Chuck is one of the best writers who's a big-shot around now. I look up to the guy, and his writing has heavily influenced my own. Some other books I'd say you should read include: [b]The Great Gatsby, The Clan of the Cave Bear, Things Fall Apart, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Heart of Darkness, 1984, The Jungle, The Contortionist's Handbook, Carrie, Of Mice and Men, Oryx and Crake, Catcher in the Rye, The Autobiography of Malcolm X[/b], and I'm pretty much dry now.
  21. There's something about the way you look at me I can see it in your eyes It's something I don't know, and I wonder if I want to That look is cemented in my memory So as I lay there yesterday Before it became tomorrow which is today My thoughts wandered everywhere Not letting me fall asleep In my head I spun a new world Where different events made different lives A world where I said, "You want do something sometime?" A world where I asked, "What would you like to do? "What do you like to do?" And like the sun, rising every day From a dead yesterday and new today You said, "Yes" when I know Like the collected collage of women I secretly loved but never did You would turn your eyes and say, "No." And like the moon, deep in night From a dead yesterday and a somber night I would stand in the sky, lunar and cratered Alone as I have been forever
  22. Mitch

    Gaming Trauma Center: Under the Knife

    This game uses the touch screen to the best level that I've seen thus far on the DS. It's a very fun game, which in the end is basically like a timed puzzle-game but it's masked from being that to you truly because it's set up more like you're doing surgery and doesn't have the abstract blocks or so on a la tetris and many other puzzle games since tetris's inception. You usually have a nurse or assistant that runs you through what you have to do while you're doing it, so the learning curve is never too bad. The main thing that I enjoyed about this game is how tense the surgeries got - you actually get the feeling of what it must be like to do this for real. The game never gets old or repetitive, due to the fact that the surgeries are always changing and become more challenging. The game's toughness might turn you off for a while, but you just keep at it till you pass it. The game isn't meticulous in its medical origins, and instead makes sacrifices in that regard. For example, you have a green gel that heals pretty much anything, a shot that raises back up a plummeting patient's heart rate, and also, as you get deeper into the story, you find out about something that makes the game go even further from its technical medical origins (but I of course won't ruin that). When you're not in surgery and using the stylus to use the various tools - the scalpel, gel, vacuum, and so on - you're reading lots of text from the story. The story isn't terrible, and features anime-styled characters that work even as odd as they might be. You can, however, skip over all the text if you don't care for the story and go straight to the heart of the game - the surgery. So, even if the story's nothing mindblowing, it isn't force-fed down your throat if you'd rather just play. This game is a perfect game for on-the-go, which is what DS is all about of course. For $30, it's well worth it if you're looking for an addicting, puzzle-like game that's very tense and even frustrating at times. Check it out.
  23. Mitch

    Gaming Shadow of the Colossus

    This game is breathtaking. I've never played Ico, but I've always wanted to. I just beat this game a day or so ago. It's beautiful and unique, but at the same time is flawed in its ways as well. My main gripe probably concerns the camera: at times it pans around to the point where all you can see is the hulking skin of the back of a colossi, or something like that. You can control the camera, but controlling it becomes unweildy, especially when you're trying to hike your way up to a colossi's weak point or trying to jump from the shoulder of a colossi to his hand. Another gripe is just that the battles against the colossi got frustrating from time-to-time, but I guess that's just a part of the game. I also didn't enjoy having to travel for a while before I met the colossi, because that part of the game felt pretty extraneous to me and just kind of there at times. It was nice to roam this pretty land, and to take in what it looked like and all, but some of the traveling to the colossi just took too long, or it took me a while to find where I was supposed to go. All of these faults, however, are pretty forgivable and are mainly minor things. If you haven't played this game, at least give it a rental. In fact, that's what I suggest, since the game itself only takes about 10 hours to complete (but then you open a hard mode, and can play that, and after that, I'm not sure what happens, because I haven't done it). The main thing is the game could've been longer (that's why it's a better rental than anything, but it's still cool to own I suppose). The main draw of this game is its atmosphere and its uniqueness. Its atmosphere is gained by the graphics and the land you roam as you search for the colossi, how none of the characters speak english (what they say is told through subtitles), and also the spare use of sound and how subtly it is handeled. Its uniqueness is mainly the colossi battles. There's nothing like confronting a new colossi (there are 16 in all), and seeing it towering over you and you having no idea what to do and then slowly finding it out. It's like nothing you've ever seen in a game. In some battles, what you have to do is obvious, in other battles it took me hours to fully understand what I had to do. And if you reach the final colossi. . .it was just amazing to see this humonguous thing towering over you, and then to climb it and then to lay that last stab on his weak spot and watch him fall. It gives you an immense sense of satisfaction. I also enjoyed the ending, it had quite a twist at the end. Give this game a shot, you'll love it in some way, guaranteed.
  24. Mitch

    Gaming Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

    I was sad that this game didn't make it out for the holiday season. I also just checked when it's going to come out, and apparently the release date is set for [b]March 14th[/b], which is quite a ways away. I guess I can wait, though. Apparently the game is going to have three discs, one of them featuring a three-hour MGS3 movie composed of the game's cutscenes and some other things. I'm very excited to buy this game, and can't wait till it's here. Those lucky Japanese got it in time for the holiday season...lucky them.
  25. the pessimistic pest seems to be dead yet do you believe in demons? especially, it must be true, the ones within that will never go away, eating on your humanity perhaps it's only a matter of time before it manifests itself -- again but with will alone i will be sustained and here i am, in surreal survival i used to devour the greatness of this land now, instead, i cultivate the fields that i used to lay in ruin and instead of dancing to thanatos i dance to dance alone living life with dark shades between you all must dance, dance and see this is the dance of survival this is the dance that is the essence that is what human is do not be afraid, and open your eyes fear makes us tremble, and to shake is ruin trembling without fear makes mountains, oceans and a life so endless and new