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Whilst shuffling around for things that are supposed to assist me in doing work (yes, I always start work at this hour), I uncovered some old cassette tapes that I haven't seen for years (I really need to do some cleaning). One is an extremely dodgy Malaysian copy of the second half (the live half) of the double record Joy Division collection of odds 'n' sods; Still. Features such songs as 'A maens to an end'. The other is a mixtape I made some years ago. It was never given to it's intended recipient because I never saw them again. She liked mostly alternative pop music.

Side A

Pixies - Debaser
The Fall - New Face In Hell
Pavement - Conduit For Sale! -- Most obvious ripoff of the Fall Pavement did, this person liked Pavement
My Bloody Valentine - Soft As Snow (But Warm Inside)
Velvet Underground - Beginning to See The Light -- I notice that although it's not my favourite Velvets album, it's my most favoured for using tracks off to put on tapes (CDs now)
Spiritualized - Come Together
Miles Davis - John McLaughlin
Joy Division - She's Lost Control
Tortoise - Glass Museum
Blur - Charmless Man
Pulp - Sorted for E's and Whizz

Side B

David Bowie - Five Years
Swans - I Crawled -- This may have been a mistake to put on a tape for this person
Pogues - Fairytale of New York
Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime
Neu! - Weinnessee
Sonic Youth - Expressway To Yr Skull
The Cure - In Between Days
Television - Venus
The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?

o r E n g e 2

I'm like most people in that when I find something I really like I tend to tell others about it. No surprise there. However, I may be alone in the fact that none of my friends appreciate E2, despite all of my earnest preaching. I had to wait until my best friend returned from Korea to gain a partner in noding. He's a writer, which, despite all of my attempts, I am not. He saw the same utopia that I saw; a community of writers aimed at creating, informing, critiquing and about a million other things - the list is endless.

The single biggest complaint I hear from most people is: "Why would you do a writeup on something, when people could just go to the webpage and find out for themselves?" Obviously E2 is brimming with a lot more than just these type of writeups, but the point is a valid one nonetheless. What sets Everything2 apart?

Honestly, sometimes nothing. It has been said before that this place is a work in progress. I started thinking about those shining collection of writeups that are editor cooled nodes. The process of becoming that gorgeous page of information is a slow one. Someone puts forth an idea, which they synthesized from their sources, be they webpages, books, or personal experience. That's just one writeup. Add to that a dozen other users and their synthesis, and then have an experienced writer groom the node until it reaches that perfect state. Obviously there are thousands of nodes that are waiting to be filled and don't offer much more than you could find by picking the first result of a Google search. This place needs more actual content. But if you want to learn about The Gospel of Thomas then Everything2 is a premier teacher.

Think of information as being juice. The web, for example, is an orange that you have to peel the rind off of, and then bite into swallowing as much pulp as juice. Ideally, E2 is orange juice that has been squeezed from a multitude of oranges. All you have to do is tip the glass and enjoy sweet and pure concentrated information.

The reason I’m turning out to be a bad person.

I lie a lot… not all the time, just at my job. For those who haven’t read my other day logs I work at the Franklin Sparkle Market. Yes I know, no applause or condolences needed. But anyways, it seems my job makes me lie. They aren’t terrible lies just little white ones. But why are they needed?

When I run cash register I hate every living soul that comes through my line. Why? Because of the fact that they’re in here buying groceries and I have to put of with their redundant shit, that’s why. I want to slay them. But it seems it’s customary to greet them with a “Hello, how are you today?” Why should I have to say this? I could give a flying frankfurter how they’re doing today. I wish they’d drop dead in my checkout line.

To be polite they ask me how I’m doing. I bet on average I tell 200 people that I’m doing good. All lies. What I really want to say is that I hate my seemingly worthless life right now and I’d give anything to obtain a titanium-alloy baseball bat to collapse my boss’s cranium with. But I speak not a word of that; I just move on, continue ringing up their worthless, and outdated goods.

I suppose my biggest falsity comes when all the scanning and bagging is over. They’re finally leaving my presence and I say to them, “Have a good day!” Every time I say that I think to myself, ‘do I really want them having a good day? Hell no, I hope they choke on their Snickers bar while driving and slam into a redwood tree’. That’s what I hope happens to them, but once again, I keep my mouth shut and move on to the next customer whom I’ll eventually fill with these white lies.

I don’t mind the lying part. Like I care what these people think of me. I once pretended I had a stuttering problem just to make my job more interesting. I did it all day and a few jerk-offs laughed at me. What gets me is the fact that this deceptiveness is expected. People expect to hear this stuff. They want to hear it. It makes their day better when someone asks them how they’re doing. It’s a crying shame really.

I’ve decided one day when I’m asked how I’m doing I shall reply, “Ya know… If I had a shotgun, I’d take my own life right now. I’d put the barrel down my throat as far as it can go then… BANG… pull the trigger. That’s how I’m doing. If anyone ever tells you that they’re doing good in an establishment of this caliber, slap them in the mouth.”

So how am I doing? Eh… alright I guess. Just passing time until I go into work again tomorrow.

It's days like today
where I wish there
were no days.
It's times like now, now
there is obvious pain
on my face, but no
one cares, no one sees.
It's times like now I could
do it, but when it comes
to it, I can't go through it.
I could go somewhere else,
but it doesn’t hold meaning,
I don’t want to be
anywhere else but here.
this place holds nothing
either. I'm sitting here
in limbo waiting for
these urges to make sense
waiting for the things I know
that should happen to come
to reality. I could do it,
but I can't go through it.
Throbbing. My head hurts.
Tear count: 6
I've finally had it.
250 lbs. is the limit of my tolerance for my excess weight. I'm going to try to improve my health and lose those extra pounds.

I shall chronicle my efforts here, in the daily logs.

My approach shall be twofold:

I know from my own personal experience that small changes in my lifestyle work best. So I'm not going to do anything radical.

  • Diet

    I will start eating breakfast, which shall consist of fresh fruit.

    I think my lunch will remain the same, though I will try to be concious of a few things, like eating only until I'm full, and eating slowly. I enjoy eating out for lunch with co-workers, and that means that lunch would be a difficult place to make the changes I need.

    Dinner is the meal that I will change the most. No more fast food for dinner and no more huge dinners. Dinner will probably consist of mostly fresh fruit and vegitables with some small amount of meat, probably fish.

  • Exercise

    It will be very simple at first, because I really don't feel much like doing exercise at this point. So first thing in the morning, I will walk briskly for 20 minutes and I will take another 20 minute walk before going to bed.

I'm also going to try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night and I'm going to try to limit my caffeine consumption.

Stay tuned to see how this goes.
A while back I put a proposition to some friends of mine - why don't we invade Liberia? The present ruler, Charles Taylor, did it in 1985 with apparent ease, and it wouldn't take much money to do it again. It has a population of 3.7 million people, but only 854,324 of these are males of military age, and according to The Internet 1,000 rounds of surplus AK-47 ammunition costs about $100, presumably cheaper in bulk, which means that slightly less than my annual wage will buy one bullet for each of the country's potential belligerents. If we aim for the head, that's all we'll need. Furthermore, there's an aircraft carrier on the internet for $4.5million, and equipment etc. I've probably said all this before.

Therefore $10million, or about £7,400,000, the cost of a flat in London, will get you Liberia. You just need people. I have five definite followers and a few possibles, plus myself, totals about ten people. If we raise a million dollars each, we will have our own country. Of course, we'll have to invade the neighbouring countries too, because they are liable to attack us, but that's for later.

Anyway, lo and behold, after having this discussion, Liberia starts fighting itself, and also so does Mauritania and the Democratic Repubic of Congo, which will save us time because there will be fewer people to dispose of when we invade. This news tends to be relegated to the back of the broadsheet newspapers because none of the above conflicts can be easily blamed on America and/or Britain. The rebels in the newspaper are all using Soviet or Eastern European arms and their trucks seem to be Toyotas. They are multicultural - Liberia's cultural mix includes the "Kpelle, Bassa, Gio, Kru, Grebo, Mano, Krahn, Gola, Gbandi, Loma, Kissi, Vai, Dei, Bella, Mandingo, and Mende" tribes, according to the CIA World Factbook - and globalised, with their equipment coming from all corners of the earth. They are the future. Wars of individuals and small groups, the mass of people kept terrified and cowed by inter-tribal fighting, the elite in their walled compounds, consuming canapés. The sane solution, therefore, is to try to be part of the elite. The system is too big for you to fight, and even if you knocked it down, you'd build a system just like it, eventually.

Right this minute there are several thousand people trapped in the football stadium in the middle of Monrovia, Liberia, who will be dead in a few days. There isn't a power in the world that will stop this happening now. The problems in Liberia have been festering since 1985 but nobody has done anything, including the Liberians, and now it's too late. The UN has sent a 'peacekeeping force', but like all UN 'peacekeeping forces' it is undermanned and ineffectual. and there is no peace to keep; it would have to be a 'pacifying force'. The 500 UN soldiers there do not have any heavy weapons, any tanks, jets, satellites, artillery pieces, and they are confined to their base. Killings go on outside, and they are not allowed to do anything, and even if they were allowed to act they would not, because they would be killed. Their support staff and the civilian UN workers are being slowly picked off. The peacekeeping forces will eventually evacuate, and the complex they abandoned will be sacked and those left behind murdered. The same happened in Srebrenica, Somalia, insert more examples here, otherwise they'll laugh and will continue to happen. Perhaps next in Mauritania or the Ivory Coast, or Burma, if they kill that nice lady there. A part of me respects North Korea for being a good, old-fashioned, mysterious nuclear antagonist. I can understand that, because I grew up in the Cold War. And ultimately I hope it all goes wrong all over the world, because when it does I get overtime, time and a quarter for weekdays, time and a half for Saturday, time and three quarters for Sunday.

And anyway the UN is a big joke. The individual nations, their governments and their people, they don't want their troops to die for an abstract cause, in blue hats. They participate because it makes them look good, but when the chips are down and push comes to shove, they pass the ketchup and dingle the dally-doo. They don't want to wake up in the morning to the news that 23 of their soldiers have been killed in order to prop up the smoothest-talking faction of some ridiculous conflict. I'm sure the UN's humanitarian efforts are well-meaning and they probably do some good, but what use are good intentions against Darth bloody Vader? He may have been turned to the good side of the force by his son, but it took a ferocious light sabre fight first, and the slaying of Emperor Palpatine. And in the end Vader himself died. What good did it do him, being on the light side of the force?

America might have saved the people in Liberia. Both America the country and America the idea. The USA, more specifically. Chile is also America but will not save the people in Liberia. The bit of North America between and to the left of Canada and Mexico might be able to. I'm sure the people in Liberia aren't too worried about the ever-spreading grasp of McDonald's and Coca-Cola. I'm sure they don't write long books in French about how Sesame Street is evil. We complain if America acts, and we complain if America does not act. And if America acts and it goes wrong, the Americans complain, and we have a good laugh, because at the back of our minds we know it won't hurt to laugh at America, because it's invincible. We all like it when the big man gets splashed by a passing car, and America is the biggest man on the planet. Somebody once said that America is like a farmer holding out cheese to a goat; the goat wants the cheese but he doesn't want the farmer, so he takes a bite of the cheese and butts the farmer, thinking that if the farmer goes away, the cheese will stay floating in the air. This does not happen, of course, the farmer goes away, and the goat becomes thin, and passers-by see the goat and complain about the farmer to the RSPCA, even though the farmer was attacked by the goat, and then the RSPCA get involved and all along everybody wants the cheese. They want America's cheese and they'll lie and cheat and cajole and plead to get it, because America has an infinite supply of cheese, until the day it does not have cheese any more, and then we'll run around and burn the farm. If America had sense it would drill an oil pipeline from New York to the Middle East, under the Atlantic, and then build a big wall in the middle of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and fill Mexico full of poison spiders, and come to some kind of agreement with Canada, and then cut off all contact with the rest of the world and just be happy and rich.

France has sent troops to Liberia or the DRC, I can't remember, and they rounded up the few French nationals left in the country and left again. I think they may have also captured an airport. The EU rapid reaction force is doing nothing at all. The French government would not risk the lives of French soldiers on anything that does not benefit France; Germany is constrained by history; Britain has just worn out its armed forces in Iraq and will not be able to intervene in conflicts of this nature for a few years. The end result is inaction.

And a part of me thinks good, let's sit back and watch the vipers fight it out. Let the poison out, instead of trying to hold it in. These people doing the fighting, they want it, we can't stop them. Youngsters don't form rock bands any more, they form guerilla groups, political pressure groups, self-defence groups, gangs, but the end result is people either persecuting or being persecuted. We can't take away their guns, because we're selling them guns, and they have loads. We can't persuade them not to fight, because they have no reason not to. As long as they have guns, they're in charge, they're gods, they have the ecstacy of rape and the drunken aphrodisiac power of torturing and killing the weak. Anybody reading this who was a bully at school, or who remains a bully, will agree with me that it's great fun, it's superb fun. People respect you. You don't have to be humble, or compromise, or bow your head, or watch what you say. Who cares if it doesn't last. You own the moment and its yours.

And it's not for us to deny them their pleasure. Instead we should help them; flood the world with guns, and eventually only the righteous will be left alive. There will be less overcrowding on the London Underground. The civilians will die because they are weak, they will not help themselves, they're just objects of misery. Somebody will set up a relief fund and we will donate money and feel better, but we won't lift a finger to help them when help might have made a difference. We'll happily send a cheque for £10 to an unregulated, unaccountable charity a long time after the fact, because it's uncontroversial to support a dead cause. We're lazy, we don't want to offend people, we don't have an opinion, and ultimately we don't care.

And also David Beckham is being chased by various Spanish football teams, according to the front pages of most newspapers today. He'll get a lot of money to add to the money he already has. His wife, Posh Spice, was in the newspaper wearing some kind of urban leatherwear, with a bandolier around her waist with dummy 7.62 NATO rounds in it, made of silver. Good for use against werewolves, then.

After what happened yesterday I've decided that nothing is ever allowed to break again. Ever.

You see, it all began when my shower faucet began dripping. After about a week the drip turned into a constant mini-waterfall, and no matter how I turned the nozzle the faucet wouldn't stop dripping. I called the maintenance team at the apartment. They shut off the water. That's when the fun began. While disassembling the faucet part of the assembly broke off. Therefore, in order to get to the pipe and such the repair guys had to cut a large hole in my closet wall (adjacent to the shower) and access the pipes from behind. After a trip to Home Depot they hooked up my new faucet and turned it on for a test run.

Let me tell you that one of the worst sounds in the world is the sound of water pwooshing out of the wall followed by a repair guy saying "Fuck." It turns out they'd accidentially connected the pipe to an old water line and now, whenever the shower is on, water shoots out from the wall behind the toilet. So now we have about a half inch layer of water on my bathroom floor which combined with the dirt on the repair guy's shoes, leading to muddy footprints on my carpet. After fixing the pipe errors it all works again, thank goodness.

  • Total repair time: five hours.
  • Damage total: muddy carpet, muddy wet bathroom floor, and a bathtub full of drywall dust and corrosion residue. The contents of my closet are stacked up in my bedroom in a temporary merging of the contents of both rooms.
The wall repair guys are coming today and the carpet cleaners are coming tomorrow. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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