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was the KB interview, now is religion.


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To be honest, the only thing that's impressed me about Kraig Blackwelder so far is that he didn't fill the Hunter Screen with a series of bible quotes. Don't get me wrong, I thik that scripture is very appropriate for Hunter at parts, but as someone who has that vile religion programmed into them for well over a decade, I'd like to open up a gaming book every now and again and not see "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." Gaming is supposed to be a bastion of anti-christian evil, right? To hear it from many Christians, anyway.

Yeah, I liked that about Kraig Blackwelder. No bible quotes in the Hunter Screen.

--@venger

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Avenger, mind if I ask a favor?

I haven't said anything thus far, but I'd really appreciate it if you didn't include at least one reply bashing Christianity in each thread you are on. Some of us, such as myself, are Christians, and not at all ashamed of it.

Thanks.

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Not ashamed of being Christian?!? Wow. Hey man thats cool but what about all the shity stuff your people have done? Dont get me wrong Jesus was, I'm sure, a cool guy with some good ideas, but I think everyone else after he died preverted his belief into this religion that was catering to the needs of selfish hatemongers.

I don't want to start a holywar on this post so if you want to email me with some inteligent arguments I'm willing to listen.

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Okay, yeah, I called it vile, but that's the closest thing to an insult I could find in there. I even said that bible quotes are appropriate for Hunter, which indeed I still feel they are. Everything else was fact. Go ask your reverend what he thinks of Dungeons and Dragons. If your answer ins't a denouncement, then congrats, because you've found the exception, not the rule.

But I digress. I'm not nice, FK, and I never professed to be. I'm an asshole. You probably would be, too, if you'd lived my life. But hey, you haven't, so I won't try and force my dogma down your throat. And don't think that I hate Christians, because my parents (both of whom are really cool) and many of my associates are Christians. And not to trivialize things, but I don't know what the hell is wrong with all of them, either. It's not Christians or Christ I have a problem with; it's Christianity.

Now I'll grant you that this isn't the forum for a holy war (I can think of many good ones for that), and while I wouldn't blatantly say something inflammatory to another person or directly stated to piss someone off (it's just rude), I also won't censor myself when I feel that the right string of words for the job involves what one might call a "bash" at something someone else holds sacred.

Or yeah, sure, I could stop saying bad things about Christianity. And then, so as not to insult everyone elses sensibilities, I could never say anything bad about Buddhists, Islam, Judaism, Pop music, Rap music, Nintendo, D&D, China, America, the Pope, Disney...or Hitler, Mussolini, the Crusades, the Armenian genocide pogrom, Japans experiments on the Chinese during WWII, the self-serving mentality of hackers, the KKK, or any one of a thousand other things and people that I have "bashed" in my writing. And as a writer, my work would then be bland, tasteless, flavorless, childproof, innocuous mush.

But I wouldn't be offending anyone, and that's all that really matters, right?

I won't say anything directly meant to piss someone off, but unless the webmeisters here feel the need to take punitive action against my integrity as a writer to "call 'em as I see's 'em", I'll keep on like I always have.

I've got nothing against any of you, I'd just like to point out. As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to keep you all at arms length at worst, and I don't care what you worship or enjoy or shag or whatever. None of my business. Say whatever you like about the things I hold dear and the most your likely to get out of me is a well-structured counter-argument designed to rip you to pieces. If you've got a problem with something I say, instead of passively asking me to simply not do it anymore, how about convincing me?

--@venger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

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Iron Lotus: You didn't list your e-mail. Mine is final_knight@hotmail.com. Feel free to e-mail with any questions.

Avenger: I could point out a large number of errors and fallacies in your post. I'm not going to. This isn't the place for an argument. I'm simply making a VERY REASONABLE request. You can take the very small amount of time to be courteous, or not.

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Final Knight-I hate to say this, well becauase I happen to degree with Avenger when he described himself as a particular bodypart (sorry guy, your word, not mine.) but his post really didn't hit me as a bash either.

Maybe he's written some harsh stuff in the past and you are therefore sensitized to it, but it wasn't a slam.

Avenger-Yeah, you've got that great 'right to free speech', but how about trying to be an upstanding and responsible writer and acknowledge that your words have effect, and not always for the good. You've got a nice rythym to your writing by the way.

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Someone once said its not what you say its how you say it. Avenger, I have no problem with well structured arguements (designed to rip me to piceces or not smile.gif), you expressing your beliefs etc. I am non-practicing christain, don't agree with the church most of the time (and having studied both theology and dogma I know what I am talking about...kinda) but I think maybe a little less sand in the vasaline is called for from time to time?

What I am trying to say is I have no problem with you or anyone else declaring your opinions, its when they are declared in such a way as to be offensive that I get irked. Its the difference between "I hate Nirvana" and "All Nirvana fans are a bunch of fuckwits and I wish Cobain had blown his head off about 10 years earlier!".

A little extream there but you see what I mean? By the way I love the tagline...die tired, heh, heh, heh.

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One of the best things about being a Christian is there are so many Christians who are nothing like me. Not only do we have umpteen different denominations, even folks within the denominations don't often get along. Makes ya think, sometimes. What I do believe is that the Divine can still sort us out when the time comes. Just ask Rowan Atkinson.

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*sigh*

No. You can play Mr.-Nice-Gamers if you like, but I'm not in for this one.

I read a lot of offensive things every day. Like newspaper articles that talk about global tragedy, world hunger, natural disasters, the homeless, politics, the hungry and the destitute on our streetcorners, the rapists who live in our neighborhoods, the thousands of people who die because of diseases that the cure costs 34 cents to produce. Like books about the Holocaust, Pol Pot's Cambodia, the Crusades, Chairman Mao's cult of personality, the Jim Jones cult. Like reading about how the top 5% of our people have 90% of the wealth, while you and me and the people we live around are confined to urban concentration camps called "cities" and kept at bay by an authoritarian police state. Meanwhile, we hate and even kill each other over things like race, religion, who we like to bang, possessions, or what hobbies we enjoy. All the while, it eludes us that we all have a common enemy all around us; the ruling class. Take a look up that list. Name me one of those things that didn't happen because the people in power willed it so.

I find that all pretty goddamned offensive.

It simply isn't enough to give people a gentle nudge anymore. You have to bludgeon them over the head with a hammer. I'm sorry, am I a little too much for you? Am I too real? My apologies. I'll cushion what I have to say to make it comfortable for us all. That way no one gets their feelings hurt. And then we can have tea together.

You all make good points. Abrasion for the sake of abrasion is futile, and it isn't my intent to hurt anyone.

But offend? Oh, you better believe it.

To offend someone, to shove that thing which they find uncomfortable directly into their face, provokes thought. Which is what I hope to do. Provoke thought. You list your reasons for my being "nicer", but do you understand that it is the role of the journalist to make the record of history? History -- the present -- is not a nice thing, and there are a lot of not nice people in it.

I have a lot of good things to say about a lot of good things. Honest. They just might not be the sort of things you think are good.

My opinions, I confess, are at times crass. I apologize for any such offense, but only the offense that was and is caused by a comment I don't back up. To say all Nirvana fans are idiots or all Christians are bigoted headcases (neither of which is true) is simply mean and furthermore criminal as it is unsubstantiated by any evidence.

,,

I add that the point of all this was, for once, not to offend anyone. I don't want to anger or hurt anyone with this. But I wish to offer up the following words;

If I am to be told what I can and cannot write, where do we draw the line? When will it come to pass that I can't speak about other, less-PC things? Try not to be so sensitive that the words of someone you don't even know can profoundly shake your spiritual beliefs. Talk all the shit you want about my religion and it won't bother me one bit, promise. Because I have the choice to read your posts, just like you have a choice to read mine, and more importantly, I choose to let you affect me, just as you should make the choice to let what I say affect you. Don't let me get to you unless you want me to. Why should you care what the hell I have to say about Christianity or anything else, anyway? What makes me so special?

In the future, if I'm going to insult, I'll do my best to back it up with information. And if you read my posts, you promise me that if you really don't like what I have to say, just take the simple way out. Hit the back button and push me and my opinion out of your world. Choice. Freedom, baby. It's a bitch.

And remember, I have been known to make the occassional mistake. I may just say something to make a total ass of myself every now and again. After all, I'm not infallible.

And I don't think god is, either.

--@venger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

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Avenger-

Journalists are also supposed to be impartial. They aren't..but they're supposed to be...regardless of what Hunter S says. And don't you think its a wee bit arrogant to decide what needs to be shoved in our collective faces? But that's just me being an ass so we can ignore that.

Ironlotus-

Where to start. I am torn between kudos to you for not wanting to start a war here and my chagrin at the inflammatory nature of your orignal statements...so I'll just say this..

All generalizations are inherently false.

<<Put that in your Star Trek logic loop hooka and smoke it.>>

Everybody-

Geez I go away for a few days and a jihad nearly breaks out.

Yes, some Christians are assholes. But they are not assholes becuase they're Christians..they're assholes because they're people.

Nuff Said.

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Final Knight, you have a right to ask that people refrain from bad mouthing your religion. Now I would like to exorcise my right to ask you not to bad mouth white wolf or its employees. They have a hard job, trying to please the varied and fickle whims of gamers.

Refering to them as the enemy because you disagree with something an employee of the company has done is childish and rude. I'm sure you can voice your displeasure with Conrad by means other than slurs and mud slinging and I would appreciate not having to read it. Thank you.

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Fair Enough...of course then the question begs "how much is too much?" Does "I think Conrad is acting like a child the way he handled the forum thing" compare to "Christians are petty and small-minded" (or Buddhists or anybody). Both may bother someone but one is an opinion (perhaps unfair and small-minded) about a singular person (or in case of White Wolf in all a small group of businesspeople) the other is the worst sort of predjudice...

Here's an exercise...take a statement and change subject for a subject of similar nature. So switch a company with another company in the statement Thus "I don't hate the way White Wolf does things " becomes "I hate the way Microsoft (or Exxon) does things."

Offensive? Maybe but now try this....

"I think Christians are small-minded and petty and their religion is a bunch of crap..."

Now substitute...

"I think Jews (or Buddhists) are small minded and petty and their religion is a bunch of carp..."

Now methinks that would get my dander up a bit more. Particularly in that 18-30 age college educated or minded group many WW gamers tend to fall into. So in direct parallel the comparison doesn't quite hold (unless WW is someone's religion and I'm sorry I can't even begin to comment on that..)

Now me, I'd be happy if we could all talk about fun stuff and leave the rest alone....but we can't....we can try but stuff like this happens (no blame..just a fact).

I think that's because one of the problems with the internet is because nobody has to say things to people's faces the words can get heated and overly bold as people will rip people apart that they knwo they will never have to confront (don't believe me?...remember that cultures with legalized dueling were often very polite...regardless of their other flaws)

"But I would say anything I'd say here to someone's face..." Uh-huh, and WW is in business to make us happy, making money is a side-effect. Hey I try to do this and even often succeed, but to say I always do is absurd.

Now the thing here is that we broke a cardinal rule...never talk about religion or politics in a venue not related to either. Hey, it happens. Now people want to get polarized on this issue.

But I hope I speak for everbody here when I say:

I do not care if you are black, white, christian, jewish, buddhist, gay, straight, or martian....I just care that you are reasonably polite, express yourself well, don't look to insult me or others (and sorry in my book that includes "in your face" commentary...this isn't a classroom or a magazine..its an electronic social gathering). You can disagree with me forever as long as your respect my opinions and differences of opinion and belief. And I want to hear it when you do agree, provided its an invitation to civil debate and not a statement to the effect of "You're wrong and I'm right and I wanted to make sure everyone knew it." (which for anyone who's gonna pull the "I talked bad about WW" card may note that banning me or anyone else from the WW forum and saying after the fact that we were "bad" is a clear violation of that last bit...difficult job or no).

So cease fire.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Atwight:
Final Knight, you have a right to ask that people refrain from bad mouthing your religion. Now I would like to exorcise my right to ask you not to bad mouth white wolf or its employees.


No problem. You'll note that when Chosen asked for me to do just that in the Adventure forum, I did indeed cease. Courtesy. It's not that hard.
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So is compliance. So is just accepting whatever comes your way. Easy, easy, easy. Give me an easy existence, because all this trying sure is tiring, and I want to sit down and give up. I'll be a good little boy and do as I'm told, just so long as no one bothers me. All I want is to shit comfortably.

Bullshit.

I'll say what I please. Read it or don't. Agree with it or don't. If you disagree with what I have to say to staunchly, debate me. I love to discuss things, and I can even be civil about it when such parameters are set. But don't tell me what I can't say. Chosen can ban me, and that's his right. But I refuse to back down on something that I feel this strongly about. If I must err, I choose to err on the side of freedom, because the alternative is the only thing that really scares me.

And incidentally, 'Neo', 'New', 'Gonzo' and 'Outlaw' journalism, as it is sometimes called, is hardly practiced by just Thompson. Everyone sneaks their opinions into what they right, no matter what you may learn in school. Objectivity is a farce. So instead of trying to be creative about hiding our bias, we shove it right in your face. Bias? You bet your ass.

But it's honest, and you can take it at face value. Feel free to do the same with me.

Get that out of your "plain old observation".

--@venger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

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Honest? Uh-huh. Honesty and journalism go together like honesty and politics....gonzo or no.

And as for what I learned in school...stick to what you know not what you suppose I do.

I won't tell what to say. Nobody here has, the closest was Final asking you not to say certain things. But I think the "in your face" style of confrontation is often not nearly as honest as it is inflammatory...

My opinion. You have to take that statement the same way I have to take yours. Don't like it? Well, I don't really care if you don't.

And that you can take at face value.

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Jack,

The intent of my last post was to be sarcastic. In every topic, every discussion, someone is going to be offended. My asking FK to stop all negative comments about White Wolf is just as ridiculous as him asking everyone else to stop posting anything negative about the christian religion. While I don't agree with the way Avenger expresses himself, he does have the right to express himself.

Final Knight has asked Avenger to censor himself. Maybe its appropriate, maybe its not. Avenger, in his round about way, has said he will not censor his writing. Maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong. The ultimate authority on this (at least in this forum) is Chosen. He has the ability to delete posts and ban people. He also has the ability to encourage debate.

I agree that this is a topic that doesn't belong here. Religion is a touchy subject and people should know by now that brining it up is going to push buttons.

To Avenger I say. Learn when and where to pick you battles. This is a place for the enjoyment of a game and nothing more. If you must "push the envelopement" be prepaired to be told to "fuck off" and don't get offended by it.

I know I have a tendancy to ramble. Sorry but it's how my mind works.

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I'll make my stand with Atwight on this one. If some posts diragatory or inflammitory stuff, just scroll past it. I feel it is better to err on the side of too much freedom than not enough.

That being said, the social discrepancies you mentioned are as much a part of human nature as anything else. As long as our society is based on possessions, there are going to be the haves and the have nots.

Communism fails because in relies on people to be honest and forthright. In general, we aren't. Ask someone to work 60 hours a week at the same job as someone who only works 20 hours a week and tell him he will make just as much as the 20 hpw individual. They will probably tell you to go to hell unless your in a communist society, then he will smile, say "whatever" and do 20 hpw as well.

Before you start thinking that I am knocking communism, I'm not. I have studied the Soviet economy as well as early christian communism (3-4th Cent. North Africa for those who are interested). The system fails because people want to own things. Eventually, various factors will give one person or group of people more than another. The process escalates. Those who have an edge, go farther. Those who are more on the margin suffer more from reversals of fortune.

Avenger, seems to me you are unhappy with human nature.

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More than you could ever know, Jager. More than you could ever know.

And look at that, they put up a new board just for us arguing assholes. That's just plain fascinating, don't you think? I really must give Chosen his credit, as it is assuredly due. Way to take care of this situation and make everyone as happy as they're going to get, sir. Well done indeed.

And to everyone. I'd like to point out, as I have said countless times;

say whatever you like to me.

Underline that. Put it in boldface. Make it font size thirty.

I've got thick skin, and your opinions won't hurt me. At best, all you'll get out of me is my opinion in retaliation. You can expect it, actually. Tell me to fuck off, call my religion stupid, say you hate the bands I like, insult my writing, whatever you like. You don't mean so much to me that what you say can hurt me in any way.

All I ask is that you show the same resiliency and patience towards me. And by all means, exercise your freedom of expression as much and as often as you can. Won't bother me one bit. All I need to deal with opinions I disagree with is the sixth button to the right of my spacebar.

--@venger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

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Since Chosen has shown blessed tolerance for this kind of dreck I think I will chime in. Not like my opinion is going to change any of your minds.

Avenger, a few posts back while you were ranting you made a claim I have often heard from those individuals stomping around this world, that you delight in offending people because when someone is offended they are forced to think about things and that, in and of itself, is a good thing.

I have to take exception to this argument. I personally am offended by not a great number of things; mindless discrimination, religious intolerance (regardless of its source), the abuse of children, just to name a few. Now, sometimes when I am offended I do exactly what you talk about, I examine the source of my disgust and smack it around a bit. Check it out and see if my little brain can figure it out. But not always. If I hear about some sick ass motherf***er raping a child I am horrified, sickened, and yes offended at his action. It offends me more deeply than I could effectively convey. I am not going to 'think' about it. I am not going to make any effort to wrap my head around this monstrosity, it doesn't deserve it.

So, offending someone is not some unsung virtue. You've not necessarily opened some poor souls worldview. I don't think you should be patting yourself on the back so much simply because you're spewing venom at everyone in range. You're not necessarily making the world a better place.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Atwight:
My asking FK to stop all negative comments about White Wolf is just as ridiculous as him asking everyone else to stop posting anything negative about the christian religion.
Final Knight has asked Avenger to censor himself.


Sigh.

Ok, I was staying calm, and for the most part keeping quiet, but this is quite simply false. False on two counts:

1) I didn't ask Avenger to stop saying anything negative about Christianity. I asked him to stop bashing it. Calling it "vile" and "totalitarian", both of which are loaded words (things which a writer should know) is not simply making negative comments. It's bashing. Had he really felt the need to express his dislike for Christiandom in his posts, he could have said so in terms that were not designed to invoke the particular imagery those terms evoke.

2) Similarly, I'm not asking him to censor himself. Censoring oneself is when you do not say things that you intend to say. I never asked for that. I asked for courtesy. I'm not asking for a censoring of his opinions, however ignorant (and yes, I'm well aware that now I'm using loaded language, but quite frankly, I'm sick of his bombastic and pompous attitude) they are. I'm asking for the courtesy of someone to refrain from using loaded language of a highly negative manner. When asked about my views on subjects that I find repulsive, I make it clear that I do not condone said subject; however, unless I am in a personal, private discussion with that individual, I do not go off like some egocentric and offensive buffoon. I state my position as clearly and as courteously as possible. If they want to go into it in more depth, I discuss it with them privately. Responsibile use of language is not self-censorship, and any "writer" should not only know that, but swear to it.

I find it more than a little tedious when someone attempts to claim immaturity and selfishness as "freedom of speech." For that exact reason, you'll notice that I haven't replied to Avenger. Why? Because I'd go off on him; because I would then be the one who was using not only my language, but also this forum, in a self-aggrandizing, immature, and irresponsible manner. I don't plan on doing that.

Chosen has nicely set up this alternate section, so I'll let this discussion rage on however it may. I'm done with it. If you look back on my post, it was in no way offensive. It was a simple request not to bash. If, as I said, Avenger really wants to make negative comments about Christianity, he can knock himself out doing it. But there was not, is not, and will not be any reason for him to continue with the loaded language (and yes, that's a bash) in so doing.
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Chosen..brilliant move (no pun intended)

Well that's it..cept this.

I don't find extremists of any sort particularly daring or bold or provocative. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a "pro-this" or "anti-that" and hate never seems to go out of style.

Moderation. Now that's tough. That's a helluva lot more difficult. Why? Cause nobody champions you, most people take your moderations opinions for compliance or complacency and its alway easier to say "I know other people have opinions but I'm right and they're full of shit and I'll do what I damn well please becuase of it."

Moderates don't shoot doctors outside clinics. They don't beat gay men to death. They don't invade Poland. They don't accuse whole genders, races, and belief systems of the atrocities and evils of a few. They generally are the poor joes called upon to stop such acts...since the other extreme is too busy being "horrified" "appalled" and "under siege".

What does this have to do with Christianity, bashing, and this whole deal? I dunno, you guys figure it out.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jack:

Moderation. Now that's tough. That's a helluva lot more difficult. Why? Cause nobody champions you, most people take your moderations opinions for compliance or complacency and its alway easier to say "I know other people have opinions but I'm right and they're full of shit and I'll do what I damn well please becuase of it."


Very good point. I like to think of myself as Left-leaning Centre (whether I am is up to interpretation, my views on subjects are all over the political page as it were).
Although, I've always found it odd that most teenagers in my age group, when they are starting to become political, are quite extreme in their views. I've always found and felt that neither view could really hold the world together.

As for this affair? I personally didn't find anything totally offensive in Avenger's post. I can, however, see the point on the other side of the argument. I try, whenever possible, to use fairly neutral words (and in some of the forums I post, that's a pretty good achievement). It probably wouldn't hurt to use less loaded language in the future Avenger. I find that the English language is large enough that dozens of words can be substituted for another word if need be.

That's my two cents on the subject, complicated as it may be.
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You've all given me a lot to chew on. Let's take this one piece at a time, shall we?

James 'Prodigy' Meehan

Nova

Posts: 83

From:

Registered: May 2001

posted 06-22-2001 10:23 PM Staff Use Only:

,,

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since Chosen has shown blessed tolerance for this kind of dreck I think I will chime in. Not like my opinion is going to change any of your minds.

Avenger, a few posts back while you were ranting>>

Ranting? It's "ranting" now? I see. When you or anyone else disagrees with me but puts on an air of civility, it's reasoned debate. When I disagree with anyone else and don't pull my punches, it's "ranting". Just checking.

you made a claim I have often heard from those individuals stomping around this world, that you delight in offending people because when someone is offended they are forced to think about things and that, in and of itself, is a good thing.>>

Delight? Delight? Are you MAD? You think I ENJOY pissing everyone off? You think I get off on making everyone despise me? Are you under the impression that I play Devil's Advocate in order to satiate some sort of morbid, masochistic desire for attention, whether for good or for ill?

No. No, I don't do that, and I don't enjoy being vilified for my beliefs, and I don't need or want your attention. I could even do without recognition. If people would read what I write, I'd be happy. I'd prefer to keep you all the hell away from me. Nothing personal, mind you, that's just the sort of prick I am. But no. I don't enjoy offending people.

I have to take exception to this argument. I personally am offended by not a great number of things; mindless discrimination, religious intolerance (regardless of its source), the abuse of children, just to name a few. Now, sometimes when I am offended I do exactly what you talk about, I examine the source of my disgust and smack it around a bit. Check it out and see if my little brain can figure it out. But not always. If I hear about some sick ass motherf***er raping a child I am horrified, sickened, and yes offended at his action. It offends me more deeply than I could effectively convey. I am not going to 'think' about it. I am not going to make any effort to wrap my head around this monstrosity, it doesn't deserve it.>>

Well gee, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside that you hate child molestors. Don't get me wrong. No sympathy for the devil here.

I'm not going to bother with my past history -- it isn't the business of anyone here -- but I'm willing to bet I've had a damn sight more experience with rape and child molestation cases than anyone else on this board. I could be wrong, but statistically speaking, I doubt it.

And I'd slaughter all of the motherfuckers if I could. Given the opportunity, I would gleefully take every rapist and molestor and fuck every orifice of theirs with jagged steel until they had almost lost feeling in their body, and then I'd dip them in lye and throw them in a pond to evaporate in utter agony until they shuffled loose this mortal coil. Better luck next time, shitbag. And no, I don't believe in exceptions or second chances when it comes to rape.

But that's off-topic.

The point here is that you, sir, are generalizing. You think I said offending someone is an intrisically good thing. Now you seem to say in retaliation that it's intrinsically bad. Neither is true. It isn't ALWAYS a good thing to anger someone, but come on, side with me on this just a little. Provoking thought in people is a *GOOD THING*, and sometimes, the best way to provoke someone is to piss them off. Like smacking the telly, sometimes it gets the juices flowing just right. Again, pissing someone off; not always good. I try and do it right. But I make mistakes. It happens.

And I won't back down on the Christianity thing. My problems with that religion are something private. In this area alone I confess to being a biased, bigoted ass of the highest caliber. But I've got my reasons, bad as they may be for you.

So, offending someone is not some unsung virtue. You've not necessarily opened some poor souls worldview. I don't think you should be patting yourself on the back so much simply because you're spewing venom at everyone in range. You're not necessarily making the world a better place.>>

Like I said. I'm not patting myself on the back. I provoke people because I like to think I'm helping them, even if they don't realize it. Sometimes I hurt more than I help. That's the risk I run in what I do. And I'm not "spewing venom at everyone in range", by the way. Plenty of people here haven't angered me at all. I've got no quarrel with the bulk of people here. For me, this started out as an amusement, and now has degenerated into a chore. But I continue because I'm a stubborn asshole. Let's not kid ourselves; we're all flawed. My most pronounced detrimental behavioral pattern just tends to shine online. What can I say, I'm blessed.

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Sidious

Nova

Posts: 49

From: Syracuse, NY USA

Registered: May 2001

posted 06-22-2001 10:27 PM Staff Use Only:

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are we still debating the dreck?

oh god we must be bored.

ok, here a final argument in favor of no one.

every living human being has the god, allah, whatever given right to be an asshole.

DO NOT ABUSE THE PRIVILAGE!

Sid out.>>

Sid, I like you man, I always have, and I've got no quarrel with you. You're right, this is a dumb topic, and it's dumb that we all still post on it. So why do you bother showing up on this thread at all? You already know whats going to be here when you show up, so why not avoid it entirely?

Not a criticism, man, just a question.

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Final_Knight

Baseline

Posts: 15

From: Fort Worth, TX, USA

Registered: Jun 2001

posted 06-22-2001 10:55 PM Staff Use Only:

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Sigh.

Ok, I was staying calm, and for the most part keeping quiet, but this is quite simply false. False on two counts:

1) I didn't ask Avenger to stop saying anything negative about Christianity. I asked him to stop bashing it. Calling it "vile" and "totalitarian", both of which are loaded words (things which a writer should know)>>

Attacking my journalistic integrity? Aw, you can tell it's a sore spot, can't you. I can tell. It's fairly obvious. It is for most writers, after all. And here you are, taking care to kick me in the metaphorical gnads. You know, FK, I respect that you were first to get kicked off the AB board. That showed gusto, really.

As for "vile" and "totalitarian", the two words I used specifically to evoke the emotion I wanted, I'd like to point out a couple of things. Number one, I think Christianity is vile. That's my opinion. I've got my reasons. You want to butt heads over dogmatic law until doomsday, I'd be just fine with that. I love to debate religion. Number two, totalitarianism is defined by one thing, and that is total and blinding obedience to a person, edifice, institution, etc. Well...if you're Catholic, which I'm not saying you are, then that edifice is Holy Mother Church and God the Father. If you're Christian, that edifice or entity can be God, church, the Bible...

is not simply making negative comments. It's bashing. Had he really felt the need to express his dislike for Christiandom in his posts, he could have said so in terms that were not designed to invoke the particular imagery those terms evoke.

2) Similarly, I'm not asking him to censor himself. Censoring oneself is when you do not say things that you intend to say.>>

Um, yeah, but, see, I DID intend to say those things. I didn't honestly think anyone would get their dander up about it.

I never asked for that. I asked for courtesy. I'm not asking for a censoring of his opinions, however ignorant (and yes, I'm well aware that now I'm using loaded language, but quite frankly, I'm sick of his bombastic and pompous attitude) they are.

Funny how you get flustered and all that integrity goes right out the window. One thing I'm not is a hypocrite. I don't do or say anything I won't or can't take absolute responsibility for. But now you call me ignorant, question my ability as an artist, you call me pompous, arrogant... You know, I DO remember insulting your dogmatic beliefs, but not insulting you. And now you're insulting me. Bad form.

I'm asking for the courtesy of someone to refrain from using loaded language of a highly negative manner.>>

You mean like you just did? Hey, don't worry man. Doesn't it feel good to let go? Never fear. I SUPPORT your right to call me an egomaniacal, pompous blowhard. Do it more. My smile just gets wider, the more you become like me.

When asked about my views on subjects that I find repulsive, I make it clear that I do not condone said subject; however, unless I am in a personal, private discussion with that individual, I do not go off like some egocentric and offensive buffoon.>>

Or unless they piss you off. Right?

I state my position as clearly and as courteously as possible. If they want to go into it in more depth, I discuss it with them privately. Responsibile use of language is not self-censorship, and any "writer" should not only know that, but swear to it.>>

Oh yes. Please. Discuss with me privately. My email is venatresdeus@hotmail.com to you, sir.

I find it more than a little tedious when someone attempts to claim immaturity and selfishness as "freedom of speech." For that exact reason, you'll notice that I haven't replied to Avenger. Why? Because I'd go off on him; because I would then be the one who was using not only my language, but also this forum, in a self-aggrandizing, immature, and irresponsible manner. I don't plan on doing that.>>

Wait, um...okay, so you insult me and call me lots of names, call my integrity into question, but because you were just telling everyone ELSE how horrible I am instead of telling ME, it doesn't count as replying to me? Okay, got it.

Chosen has nicely set up this alternate section, so I'll let this discussion rage on however it may. I'm done with it. If you look back on my post, it was in no way offensive. It was a simple request not to bash. If, as I said, Avenger really wants to make negative comments about Christianity, he can knock himself out doing it. But there was not, is not, and will not be any reason for him to continue with the loaded language (and yes, that's a bash) in so doing.

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Jack

Baseline

Posts: 16

From:

Registered: May 2001

posted 06-23-2001 12:20 AM Staff Use Only:

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Chosen..brilliant move (no pun intended)

Well that's it..cept this.

I don't find extremists of any sort particularly daring or bold or provocative. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a "pro-this" or "anti-that" and hate never seems to go out of style.

Moderation. Now that's tough. That's a helluva lot more difficult. Why? Cause nobody champions you, most people take your moderations opinions for compliance or complacency and its alway easier to say "I know other people have opinions but I'm right and they're full of shit and I'll do what I damn well please becuase of it.">>

You know, Jack, I agree with you. I just wish you didn't think that I was of that mind. Truth is, this discussion has just had the poor fortune to hit me in the three chinks in my armor: freedom of speech, religion and journalism. More often than not, I am a man of moderation. Often very funny moderation. I try to play the part of clown, because the only time it's really good to drag something to an extreme is when you surpass even extremism into the surreal. Then it becomes funny.

Or...when you believe in something so vehemently that you'd die for it. Or even live for it. That's what I try to do. Sorry that doesn't bode well with you. Honestly.

Moderates don't shoot doctors outside clinics. They don't beat gay men to death. They don't invade Poland. They don't accuse whole genders, races, and belief systems of the atrocities and evils of a few. They generally are the poor joes called upon to stop such acts...since the other extreme is too busy being "horrified" "appalled" and "under siege".>>

Oh, come now, I hope you're not comparing me to a gay-bashing doctor-killer or anything. As far as I'm concerned, theres only one thing you can really condemn a person for, and that's for weakness of character. But mind you, being part of some institutions is precluded by being a stupid bastard. For example, one could be reasonably sure that all members of the KKK are racist. It's kind of part of the entrance exam. Racist people are more often than not stupid, knuckle-dragging cousin-nailing sorts, so one could be reasonably sure that members of the KKK are dumb motherfuckers. But is that 100% true? No, not necessarily. I like to believe in the possibility of anything, no matter how improbable. So yeah, I'm willing to accept that there might be some Klansman out there who isn't racist, for whatever reason. Odds against it are high. But it's possible.

Likewise, I've dealt with a lot of religious people in my life. A lot. Me an' the Pope, right? And I don't like Christians, by and large. The Christian religion boasts such a generous demographic that it would statistically stand to reason that they also have the largest amount of fuckheads, right? It makes sense. If 1 in 10 people are assholes, then 400 million in 4 billion is bound to be, too. Thing of it is, it's so easy to say "I'm a Christian". A lot easier than saying, say, "I'm a Buddhist." Buddhists, Muslims, hell, even Scientologists, from what I've seen, just tend to take their religion more seriously. Christianity has practically become the de facto religion for the better part of the world. If you don't subscribe to any particular dogmatic belief, you must, by default, be Christian, right? And because your average Joe six-pack car-lovin' football-watchin' sort simply doesn't have the cajones or commitment required for Pranayamic meditation, they default to that bastion of the workin' mans faith, Christianity. Because it's easy. Is that the fault of Christianity or Christ? No. It's the fault of dumb motherfuckers who can't go the full nine when choosing a "faith". But then again, among even the most devout, I have yet to meet anyone who upholds ALL the tenants of the Bible. "Well it's up for interpretation..." Bullshit. What's to interpret. God laid down the law. Follow it. You don't see the Shintoists taking their holy texts half-seriously.

Damn, I've done it again. Tangent-land. My apologies. I tried to be as unoffensive as possible. Sorry if I failed.

The perenially filthy unwashed pagan bastard,

--@venger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

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Avenger, just a couple of comments.

1) About the use of the word rant. Yes, I think you were ranting, not something I consider necesarily negative. You've stated that anyone can say anything they want to you , you won't care because their words mean nothing to you. That's not debate, that's ranting. When you use the tone and the language that you use expect people to use appropriate descriptions.

2) I am sorry if I misunderstood you. Again, from the tone of your writing I was under the impression that you were fairly smug in your position as the proper authority on Truth. You claim a exhibit a great deal of pride in your writing skills (one of the few things you've taken exception at despite your claims to having complete disregard for insults from others) and honestly, as I have said before, I like your style. But I misunderstood *you writing* , maybe you need to be a bit more clear in your message. Just a thought.

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Fair enough Avenger..and believe it or not...I wasn't comparing you to the things I mentioned as much as mentioning them because the discussion brought those beliefs of mine to the forefront...

Y'see, some people (not you necessarily or anyone on this forum even) tend to equate their own brand of extremism with "good" others with "bad" and attempts at moderation with "fence-sitting" or "complacency"

Take politics. I personally think that less government is better...This is currently a Republican platform issue. I also tend to think that somehow the taxes need to go down and that the rich should be taxed a higher amount, but not a higher percentage of their income....this is also a Republican issue....I'm also "anti" gun control in the sense I think that extreme broad-based weapons bans don't do much to keep criminals from getting guns and believe that if you do enough harm in society eventually someone needs to take you out of it..thus I guess I'm pro-death penalty too....

All "Republican" Issues....

However, I think censoring TV, books, or whatever is awful..And Joe Lieberman aside..this is generally also a Republican issue. I also think gays should be allowed to legally marry and be in the military (don't ask don't tell my ass), you should not have a drinking age higher than your draft age (a product of a Republican administration a while back), and that anything that involves using religious morals from any faith to influence legislation is a violation of the seperation of church and state.

Not very Republican.....

So I'm an Independant..a moderate..and as such nobody gives a damn what my political views are because I do not have a big lobby or extreme enough views to make good copy.

I'm an environmentalist who can't join a group for the stares and dirty looks I get at saying I believe that humans have a "ecological duty" to eat meat and that Veganism is a "arrogant luxury of an advanced civilization". I get in trouble because I say "Hey maybe homosexuality isn't genetic..maybe it is...but it shouldn't matter when it comes to the law." (Oh yeah, everyone hates me for that one).

What does this little rant have to do with anything you may ask? Nothing much I suppose except its people like me and mine that get the worst rap. We don't have support groups, we don't stick out all that much for our beliefs....just our actions. We get accused of being everything from sexist to racist to heathen when we don't fall in line behind the group that's screaming the loudest and nearest to us.

Now maybe your words did stir this pet peeve of mine up...and why is that?

Well, Avenger, when you start with the boisterous protestations and the "I'm here to provoke a response" you sound frightfully like the assholes I deal with all the time because I make it my "extreme viewpoint" to consider that maybe their is no "right" viewpoint. If you feel that way too, great. But to me, those that "raise their fist and march around" (to quote a band I don't particularly care for) make me shake my head, grab my copy of Preacher, pour myself a beer, and laugh at all those "silly wee bastards."

Are you one of them? Dunno. Only you know that. But when you assume there is anything you have to say that I need to hear no matter how harsh you put it or that serves some sort of "journalistic" purpose..you sure sound like one.

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Aw, dammit, Jack, now why'd you have to go and say all that? Now I have to like you.

To be truly honest, on all the things you mentioned, I agree with you 100%. I'm sure if we got down to fine details there would be a certain amount of disagreement, but on the whole, I agree completely with what you said. Even if we don't agree for the same reasons, necessarily, we do agree.

Is it wrong of a man to think that his opinion is right? I don't know. If you thought it was wrong, would it be your opinion? The folly then lies in thinking that your opinion is right AND that there is no possible way it could be wrong. I'm willing to accept the fact that I may be wrong. I've been wrong before. It happens, although I like to think not often. After all, I spend a lot of time studying. I majored in Psych and Philo in college. So I like to think I've got a good handle on things, especially when it comes to the deep, underlying questions behind humanity. I have theories. I think they're good ones. They may be wrong. But until I hear or see or find something otherwise, this is what I think. Thats THINK, not believe.

So naturally, when I meet someone with opinions so similar to mine on such pressing issues, it's nice to meet someone else who is "right".

Which isn't to say that you like me. You might think I'm an asshole, which would be unfortunate. It's not often you meet someone who's socio-political opinions mirror your own so closely.

The less government, the better. I'll take it one step further and say I'm an Anarchist. Only theoretically. For anarchy to work, it would require changing the whole of society. Something that, while unlikey, I'm willing to try anyway. Well nobody said it'd be easy to change the world...

Taxes down for the poor. Up for the rich. I don't know if you're rich or poor, but I've been both at different times. The latter does suck. I'm in favor of a flat tax. If I pay ten percent of my 300 dollar check, it makes sense to me that the rich guy across town should have to pay ten percent of his 30000 dollar check. And no loopholes, dammit.

I'm not a "gun" guy myself. I do own a gun for protection of my apartment -- better safe than sorry -- and for my own personal protection. I'm more of a sword guy though, personally. If some unarmed mook broke into my home, I wouldn't go for the gun. I'd grab the Claymore. It's scarier. Besides, criminalizing something only makes it more desireable. Look at the violent crime rate in Vermont. Virtually nil, and they have a universal citizen concealed carry law. Who wants to mug granny when rolling her might end you up at the business end of a .45?

Pro-death penalty. I also like to think that reincarnation happens. Better luck next time, scumbag.

As I've made it abundantly clear, I oppose censorship in every form. I'd like to see things made more free than they are now. I'm absolutely for rights of homo and bi sexuals. I don't see a difference. Neither should the law. If you're old enough to die for the country, you should be able to drink in it, even though I don't think drinking is good for anyone at all. Absolute seperation of church and state is the only way to go. No deliberation on this one. Their rules, not mine, shouldn't be ours. I love to eat meat. I jokingly harass my friends about how I must consume the flesh of another animal at least twice a day, because I can't sleep unless I hear the screams. The truth is, I like to say a little "thanks" every time I have a steak. Not to god -- to the animal who got itself butchered so that I could keep living. I know if someone butchered me for meat I'd at least want them to thank me. And I agree about Veganism being an arrogant luxury. People in Ethiopia aren't vegan. They aren't allergic to food, either. You fucking eat what you can get, even if it's already been through the digestive tract of someone else. Food is food. You eat or you die. It's also why I don't like spending a lot of money on anything, especially food. I think I can safely say that I don't care what makes a person homosexual. Again, the law shouldn't either.

And I know what you mean about getting the shaft from political groups. I cant join up with the other Anarchists. I'm not punk enough. When I attended Pagan Beltaine with my girlfriend, I got the evil eye because I wouldn't join their "circle". "Oh, but it's okay with us! Come! Join us!" "Uh...yeah. But it's not okay with ME. Get it?" Buddhists don't like me because I'm all for killing things. Christians don't like me because I'm a heretic. Republicans don't like me because I'm for gay rights and against censorship. Democrats don't like me because I believe in killing things and guns. Or with guns. Hell.

Trust me. I understand the pain of moderation. For the record, I was really just having fun defending myself. I wanted to provoke FK into thought. It wasn't my intention to drag everyone into this. Ordinarily, I'm a pretty mellow guy. Like I said, I just got hit at the three places I can't be mellow about.

Although. Yeah, theres an 'although'. Sometimes, not in this instance, but sometimes, the idea really is to shove something in everyones face as hard as I can. But not for things like my opinions about ethereal subjects like religion or press. Only about actual occurrances, happenings. Only about the truth. I'm of the opinion that most Americans are opulent, stupid, greedy bastards who don't care about a world that exists beyond their own fat asses. So I like to report on things in the foreign press and tell everyone about it. Make them see that world that exists past the ass.

Yes, then I'll shake my fist. Because sometimes passivity and aloofness isn't the way to go. By and large, I love to sit back and watch people go at each other. But sometime you have to join the fray. And that's when you need to fight for something you believe in. I believe in the rest of the world. I believe they exist and that they're important. I believe that we ignore them because it's convenient for us. And that makes me angry. So that's when I show up to provoke a responce. That's when I think it's justifiable -- even necessary -- to march around with your fist raised. That's when it is no longer enough to sit back with a pint. Because remember, man. Even Jesse Custer fought like a goddamned caged wolverine when it was for something he believed. I'll do the same.

--@venger

------------------

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

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Jack and Avenger, nice posts, both of you. I am impressed that you both seem to have done something that seems so damn rare in the various forums I visit, acknowledge each others opinions as having common areas and not overly freaking out about the differences. That puts you in the upper 10% as far as I'm concerned.

Now, the only real reason I'm posting is you both mentioned a comic near and dear to my black little heart, Preacher. With the exception of a few issues towards the end when Ennis seemed to meander I think it is one of the best comics to have come down the pipe in quite some time. I want to ask you a question though (and anybody else who has read the series), what do you think of the ethics and morals of the Reverend Custer? He's presented as a morally superior being when compared to the other characters in the story line (not a difficult feat normally) but all on his own what do you think of him as a human being. Is he someone to be admired and emulated? I ask because he does fairly few things that seem worthwhile. He's an unrepentent thief, he instigated a number of brutal asskickings simply because he didn't agree with someones point of view, and with the amount of power at his command he used it on only one occasion I know of to help someone, but quite often to punish. So, just curious as to what you all think.

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Claymore eh? More of a katana and wu-jian man myself...course the .44 cavalry pistols DO fire..even if they are supposedly display pieces.

But really I HATE violence....being in a few fights will do that for ya. I just hate being beaten bloody or killed more.

(Oh and with ya on the flat tax BTW)

On to Preacher....

I don't think Jesse's morality is displayed as superior to anybody but the real scumbags (though that's most of the cast). However, as the protagonist the story is slanted towards his point of view. But I think Ennis makes old Jesse not much more "moral" than his John Constantine or his Punisher. But like those characters they are a) surrounded by utter scum B) the main focus of the story c) possessed of the "John Wayne chic"

What is John Wayne chic? Its fundamentally the same as Chuck Heston chic and is as follows:

"Ya don't have to like me ya sonuvabitch. Ya don't have to think I'm right. In fact, many of ya don't. But I'm doing what I believe is the right thing and I'm trying not to hurt anybody I don't believe has it coming in the process. And ya don't have to like that...but ya better damn well respect it. And if don't respect it or me, then yer a no-good bastard."

Y'see I love Heston and Wayne movies. I also respect what they have done to support their country and those groups they agree with. Even if I don't always agree with what that was....

Am I for Wayne's giving aid to the HUAC? Oh Hell no. Do I support the NRA's really extreme views? Nope. But at least they seem to have thought about these actions rather than just spouting their mouth off..even if I think their actions were "wrong".

So when Heston says "Rosie O'Donnell doesn't like me because of my position on guns. But Ms. O'Donnel's own bodyguards carry guns. Now, why is it not okay for everyday citizens to do so to protect themselves and their children while she can use them to protect herself and hers?" I say "That is a fine point....Chuck and I may not agree on everything but I respect his arguments and his integrity. Rosie's acting like a hippocrite (do as I say..not as I do..) ."

And when Mark Wahlberg makes snide remarks about Heston before going to cash his Planet of the Apes check I say he's doing the same sort of crap. I don't stop to kick the man who built the building I work in on my way out the door to cash my paycheck.....Apparently celebs (from Movie Stars to Game Designers and all points in between) forget that sometimes.

Chuck's bit too right-wing for my taste. So is the Duke. But at least they seem to think about what's "right" and do it regardless of the critics. They may even be wrong, but at least they all willing to take that risk...

Just like Jesse Custer (and y'all thought I forget about the point didn't ya?)

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Interesting Avenger, I actually agree with you on 95% of what you said. I also find your "rants" quite refreshing, reminisent of Hazzard in fact. (Also, disturbingly, of Dennis Leary...)

Tell me one thing though; is it institutionalised religion or the concept of religion in general that brings out the vitriol in you?

Demogrpahic information on myself for anyone who's interested:

Age: 27

Religion: Christian (non practicing)

Education: University (postgrad)

Job: Manager (IT)

Nationality: Irish

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James --

Ah, Jesse Custer. You know, I really liked the last few issues. Although I must confess, I did hit a bit of a wall at one point. After Alamo Part 5, my local store didn't get the last issue. So for around three months, I was pulling my hair out, ready to go smack the shit out of Garth for ending the series with Jesse dead, no word on Tulip, no word on Cassidy, God, the Saint of Killers...I was angry. Kicking holes in walls angry. It was a few weeks after month two rolled around that it showed up on the shelf with simpering apologies from the comic store guy who forgot to order it. I wasn't sure whether to kiss him or punch him. My fault for not realizing there was one more issue. Incidentally, I really liked the ending. The best part? The Saint kills God and sits on the Throne.

Anyway, as for Jesse. You and Jack both make really good points. Jesse does indeed subscribe to the Old West ethical mores, moreso than anything else. Jack really summed it up nicely, but I'll add a bit.

Garth writes anti-heroes really well. Really, really well. Read Just a Pilgrim, Punisher, Hellblazer. All very cool anti-heroes. And thanks to series like Rifle Brigade, Garth shows some range. He does more than anti-heroes. But damn, he does the anti-heroes really damn well. Preacher was Garth's first series that was all his own that he had license to do whatever he wanted with. So Garth, every the fan of Westerns, made Jesse Custer, and ran with it. Makes sense that he was kind of a bastard.

Jesse uses a lot of questionable logic. Casual theft okay. Murder okay. But only against bad people. To that, I would just say that when you've seen your father gunned down in front of your eyes and your mother killed by your grandmother, it does tend to desensitize one. What's a little grand theft auto when you have to kill people regularly?

And he really didn't use the world as much as I would have liked him to. Godlike power, and he did kind of squander it. That was really my only complaint with the series. It really isn't Jesse's style to try and right the wrongs of the world -- he's more a sort of "live an' let die" sort -- but my idealism (and blatant megalomania) would have demanded a bit more.

Then again, I think this all goes back to the same explanation. Garth writes impossibly human characters. Jesse was flawed. He fucks up. He makes the wrong decision. Every now and again he gets his ass kicked. I appreciate that about Garth, and about Jesse. So I forgive most of this readily. Not every literary character is supposed to make perfect sense. After all, how many people really make perfect sense at all?

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Jack

Baseline

Posts: 18

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Registered: May 2001

posted 06-25-2001 08:34 PM Staff Use Only:

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Claymore eh? More of a katana and wu-jian man myself...course the .44 cavalry pistols DO fire..even if they are supposedly display pieces.

But really I HATE violence....being in a few fights will do that for ya. I just hate being beaten bloody or killed more.

Jack --

I'm a big fan of the katana myself. I studied Miyamoto Musashi's Niten-Ichi-Ryu style (katana - wakazashi florentine) for a couple of years. I've also fenced, and right now I'm training with my Claymore. Yeah, I love swords.

While I appreciate violence on an aesthetic level...the beauty of excellency and skill in combat, the mastery of military strategy, the poetry of falling in battle... In reality, pain sucks, and I don't want to die. I've fought a fair amount as a younger man myself (well, if you call crouching in a corner screaming "Not in the face!" fighting), and I find both being hurt and having to hurt other people an unpleasant experience. I'm certain that if I ever had to hurt someone who really truly wasn't worth shit -- a rapist, molestor, etc. -- I wouldn't have a lot of trouble beating or even killing if I had to. You do what you've got to do. I've had to beat up people before, almost exclusively in self defense. It's not fun. I dont' necessarily hate violence. I recognize and understand the place it holds. The unfortunate truth is that naked force has quelled more conflicts than any other thing in history. Force, conflict, and war all have their place. It's an unfortunate reality that people are always going to kill each other. Sometimes the only way to stop someone dangerous is to kill them, too. It's not nice, it's not happy. But it's life.

,,

Ranger --

Dennis Leary, huh? I find him funny, but I get tired of his cigarette humor. Thanks for saying I'm funny, though. Means a lot.

As for religion, it's not religion I have a problem with. It's mind control. Followers use religion to compensate for the fact that they can't make it through life alone. It seems that people have to believe in some make-believe father figure in the sky in order to feel like their existence is validated. As if their lives would be any less worthless if 'God' didn't exist. Sorry, but going to church doesn't make you, your life, or your soul worth two tugs of a dead dog's cock. If god exists at all, I don't think he has a thing to do with what goes on down here. I don't like religion because people use it as a crutch. "I just couldn't make it through the day without -X-". Whatever 'X' is, get rid of it.

My other beef with religion is the shit that gets carried out in it's name. Slay the infidels. Onward Christian soldiers. It would be one thing if these "religions" were based on some nugget of truth, but the fact of the matter is that most religion was used in antiquity to keep people in check. The church held power. If it didn't keep the peasantry in line through fear and promises, they wouldn't have had any power at all. I'm sure these religions were based on good ideas to start. A set of dogmatic theories for making the world a better place. And then some beuracrat stepped in and fucked the whole thing up. In the case of Christianity, it was Saul of Tarsus.

Oh yeah, and the fear thing. Religion seeks devotion through fear. Well fuck fear. The only thing I'm afraid of is my life ending with nothing accomplished.

Damn, Ranger, I'm sorry. I really have entire dissertations written on the whole religion thing, and it's hard to sum up seven years of research in a few paragraphs. If you want to discuss it in greater depth, I'll do so anytime. I don't mean to slam your religion or anything, but I'm deeply prejudiced against Christians.

And damn damn damn, you're calling me on it. You want my background information, and I could decline. But I won't lie, and despite the fact that this will throw my credibility right out the window, I'll comply. I guess you all may as well know.

I'd like to point out, before I put this down, that I'm sure this will sound self-aggrandizing. It's hard to tell people these things without sounding like an egomaniac -- I know. Please understand, as I tell you this, that it's little comfort to me being the way I am.

Age: 20. Yeah, I'm 20, so I must not know a damn thing, right? I'm young and naive and don't know anything about what I'm getting into. If only it was true, I might not be such a bastard. I tell you this; the fuck about being a child prodigy? When you grow up some, you're not a prodigy anymore. You're just a smart bastard. But because you're not a kid anymore, you're just "smart for a 'XX'-year old". When in reality, you're still smart beyond what a good number of the population will hit in the course of their lives. The downside? Nobody takes you seriously.

Religion: I made up my own. Right now I'm writing down the core ethological scripts. Maybe for publication someday.

Education: I went to college for a year. Instead of finishing, I fell in love and moved across the United States. Since I don't get to live with mom and dad anymore, I pay bills. Which means I work. Which means no school. I've got ten months left to serve on my sentence and then I get to move back home, which means I can go back to shcool. When I left, I was working on a dual-major in Forensic Psychology and PhotoJournalism. I'll pick it up when I go home.

Job: Low-level wage-slaving functionary at IBM. I'm getting laid off next week. I've worked 3rd shift at a convenience store, did art touch-up for a book printing company, did digital art for a game company, managed a bookstore and had about fifteen other jobs. As long as I've been working, you'd think I would have a better job.

Nationality: Earthling. Legally, I'm American. But as Bill Hicks said, "Are you proud to be an American? I mean, really proud? I really didn't have much say in the matter. My parents fucked here, that's about it." And that is about it. I don't indentify myself as American because I don't like America and I don't like Americans. They're an egocentric, ethnocentric, greedy, fat, lazy people who only give a shit about themselves. Our country feels it has the right to police the world, all the while selling guns and drugs to every country they can. So in other words, you are bandaged and tended to by the very thugs who came and broke your knees in the first place. We don't give a shit about the poor and needy, we herd our civvies into urban concentration camps ("cities", as I've said before), we don't give a shit about our veterans and all the while, 5% of the population has 90% of the wealth and we can't figure out what the problem is.

TV capital of the world. Americans watch so much TV it makes me sick. I own a telly. I don't have cable. I use it to play video games. Occassionally. Television, beautiful and hypnotic, has made this country decadent and weak. America is the fattest nation on the planet. I have a lot of problems with this country.

I'm not an American, I just live here.

America; land of coke and money.

Sorry if I sound scattered. I just got off work and I haven't been to sleep yet. That, and asking me questions this broad is sort of like asking for a representative sample of water from the Nile river -- and handing them a Dixie cup. Love to talk to you more.

--@venger

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Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

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I don't indentify myself as American because I don't like America and I don't like Americans. They're an egocentric, ethnocentric, greedy, fat, lazy people who only give a shit about themselves.

So what yer saying is these Americans...they're people...humans. Sorry to burst the bubble but that's the way it is the world around. Most places are much much worse. Is that sad? Yep. But rape camps in the Baltic, history repeating itself in the Gaza, and women getting stoned to death for being raped in a variety of fundamentalist Islamic nations means I don't mind it here so much. Me? I love Asian history and literature but what a fucked up corner of the world...nice to visit but I'll pass on the Bejing condo. Be happy you live in America..you can badmouth it freely and without getting shot.

Our country feels it has the right to police the world, all the while selling guns and drugs to every country they can. So in other words, you are bandaged and tended to by the very thugs who came and broke your knees in the first place.

And everyone lets us...even expects us to. Our problem is we don't police it.....We give India foreign aid they must not need if they can buy nukes...we let American citizens die in foreign prisons after trial proceedings that make the worst of our cases look like shining examples of judicial excellence and fair play.

We don't give a shit about the poor and needy, we herd our civvies into urban concentration camps ("cities", as I've said before), we don't give a shit about our veterans and all the while, 5% of the population has 90% of the wealth and we can't figure out what the problem is.

NOBODY cares about the poor and the needy. I know, I've been both. Same deal with the veterans. Nationality has nothing to do with it. People are by and large selfish and greedy...America has no monopoly on this. Hell, even if that 5 and 90 figure is accurate its better than Brazil's 99+ and 1 percent...something to be proud of? No. But neither is it the worst of the world. And those urban "concentration camps" also happen to be cleaner and healthier than most "rural paradises" across the globe. And let the animals have the wild..they treat it better anyway. And as for "the problem" what's the big secret? We're humans and we have always been thus. Long before 1776 we were this way.

,,

TV capital of the world. Americans watch so much TV it makes me sick. I own a telly. I don't have cable.

No offense man, but so what? After all you admit that....

I use it to play video games. Occassionally.

Uh-huh. And that's better? Undiluted commercial interest from one source vs the various network luminaries fighting for your attention. Seems like a matter of taste.

Television, beautiful and hypnotic, has made this country decadent and weak. America is the fattest nation on the planet. I have a lot of problems with this country.

I'm not an American, I just live here.

America; land of coke and money.

Yeah, gotta agree there. Iran, land of mysoginism and oil is better. Or maybe China, land of revisionism and dead student protestors? Try Thailand, land of kiddie prostitutes and disfunctional monarchies. And who could forget Sweden, home of monumental taxes and suicide.

No offense Avenger, but you sound like a guy who hates his neighborhood but has never been to anybody elses. Nor met many from elsewhere either. Not saying I'm right about that...I quite frankly don't know.

You seem to dislike this country because its better off than the rest...that's funny..that's why I like it. I like indoor plumbing, and having access to health care. I like money and air conditioning. Call me selfish but I like that stuff which is easier to find here than elsewhere. Does that make me decadent and weak? Only if I cannot survive without it. And since I have before (cept the indoor plumbing..unless that camping trip counts) and now don't have to and choose not to then I guess I'm clear. And I doubt the average member of any nation would sneer so readily at what we had and treat it so negatively if it was theirs and not ours.

And as for TV making us weak? Heh. Really? And here I thought it was our medical committment to prolonging life without asking if we should, or our inability to accept that with our rights to bitch, whine, hate, ignore, and backstab come duties too. Or maybe its the incredible urge to point out how wrong everyone who doesn't agree with us is.

America is not perfect. It was never meant to be. If it was humans couldn't live here. But to say it is a fatcat decadent empire is to a disservice to all the foreign soldiers who have worked so hard raping and pillaging their neghbors, to the Khymer Rogue and the Nazis who try their damndest to commit genocide on their countrymen. Its disrespectful to the Columbian cartels who make a point to kill not only their enemies but to torture and kill their loved ones as well. To say we mistreat our veterans is to ignore the British and French soldiers in WWI routinely court martialed and executed to cover up the inneffectiveness of both trench warfare and their commanders. And to attack Television is to render grave insult to patron funded works like Dante's Inferno or state-funded films like Battleship Potempkin.

I mean I know you don't care who you tick off but geesh..the rest of the world is gonna get pissed with you paying all the attention to the USA.

[This message has been edited by Chosen (edited 06-28-2001).]

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You expected a dissertation on the atrocities of the human species at 7am? Come on, man! Cut me a break! Honestly, I should have been in bed an hour ago today (I've got an actual game to run at 4pm, incredibly), but I promise I will construct a very nice reply tomorrow sometime.

The short answer is that you make a lot of good points, and I tip my hat to your obviously impressive historical acumen. But I'd like to debate some of the finer points, yet. Just give me a little time to get to them. I look forward to carrying this out further.

This little Algonquin round table of ours becomes a bit more interesting every time we post...

--@venger

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Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

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Jeez. It's hilarious to read these sorts of posts.

Just admit it, Final Knight, you were being overly sensitive. Like hundreds of others, I didn't see anything in there to begin this huge Crusade. Now you're all suddenly up in arms to defend your rights and beliefs.

I respect Avenger's willingness "to tell it like it is." I also respect Final Knight's choice to believe in Christianity. As an outside view point, and in retrospect, couldn't this have all just been avoided if Avenger just not cared what FK said? I mean, I know FK didn't even have to say anything -- I agree with that view entirely -- but as the "mature" thing to do, in this case, just letting it go or ignoring FK on that very same basis would have (or might have) just avoided this (entertaining) mess.

Now, heh, I am not trying to get into the line of fire here. Obviously, everything has progressed to the point where these observations are irrelevant. Both parties whom started this thing seemed rather touchy about very personal values. I'm just wondering if we will be able to resolve anything? If we can't could we take it elsewhere or...something? Just a call for peace, here, is all I'm asking. smile.gif

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Hmmm, this is what I get for skipping the really long posts, huh? Anyway, disregard anything I said. I looked over everything again, and it just looks like a debate forum for socio-political issues and so forth. I was mainly reacting to what got this all started. Sorry...new here...forgive me...trying to catch up to you all...add a few thoughts.

(Besides, I can't erase messages, otherwise I would have!)

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