Newsgroups: wpi.staff,wpi.students,wpi,wpi.faculty Subject: Re: We have met the enemy... (long) Date: 28 Mar 1997 02:16:41 -0500 Folks, all this talk has essentially focussed around a single issue; the status of women at WPI, and the watershed of hurt feelings that the thought campaign of the COTSOW has undertaken. I'm here to tell you that the issue is much, MUCH larger than what we're currently discussing. We're trying to plug a single hole in the dike, while the whole dam is bursting in around us. It's not about women, or men, or minorities or underrepresented groups... it's about *people*. It's about the shockingly low level of pluralism that WPI has, and how that is going to hurt us greatly in the very near future, in many different ways. Quite frankly, a "committee on the status of women" does not address this very real and vital issue. It addresses *part* of the issue, but curing one symptom of a chronic sickness does not heal a patient. I've been trying to find my copy of the Search Conference report that the Office of Minority Affairs prepared that was titled: "Search Conference on Community and Pluralism at Worcester Polytechnic Institute: January 11 and 12, 1994", but I haven't located it yet. I do, however, have my sufficiency, which quotes parts of that document, and I'd like to share some of that with you: ---------------------------------------------------- "I had the opportunity to attend and participate in a two day search conference on pluralism held here at WPI. Sixty-four members of the WPI community attended, each belonging to one of six 'stakeholder' groups. These stakeholder divisions were representative in that each group held a particular stake in the community, and were easily identified with and recognized by the individuals of the community. The six groups were: faculty, students, administration, staff, Worcester community, and trustees and alumni. The Conference's statement of purpose, as prepared in the report produced by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, reads: to "Explore the history and present state of WPI community in an age of increasing pluralism. Discover our common ground, and plan for the future ("Search" 2)." The issues at the conference were indeed WPI-specific, and were also categorized and defined in a historical context - globally, locally, and personally. Each member of the conference was asked to illustrate what he/she thought were the issues relevant to each category; what the major global forces at work were, what the forces that affected WPI were, and what forces motivated their own personal lives. The creation of a "database" of these experiences and forces was the starting point for other exercises that followed, and was later drawn upon to define the more specific and complex issues. [some text deleted] Another one of the exercises that the conference managers asked participants to participate in was the creation of a visual representation of how our group felt about the present state of the community, and the most important issues currently confronting it. First, we were asked to identify what forces, pressures and events were currently affecting WPI. After writing down 40 or more themes on a large wall map, members of the conference were each given seven stickers to "vote" on those issues they felt were the most important. The stickers were color coded to represent one of each of the six stakeholder groups that made up the community. The results of this voting were somewhat skewed. Unfortunately, some of the dots on the map became dislodged during its transportation; thus, the totals are accurate, but the breakdowns of the groups - how each stakeholder group voted as a group - may not be. Therefore, I will not include those statistics. The issues that were most voted on were: "Ongoing debate on pluralism: need for, meaning and benefits - proactive or natural/reactive - 27 votes"; 2 themes that related specifically to culture - "Cultural arrogance of Americans - 15 votes", and "American culture of quick fix and instant gratification - 10 votes"; 2 themes that related to a recruitment problem "Recruitment: different, not lower means of admissions assessment - 26 votes", and "Lack of women and minorities on faculty - 32 votes"; and finally, "Importance of priority given to pluralism by faculty: rewards and competing demands - 31 votes". The theme names were recorded and somewhat altered by the facilitators, but the main thrust of what they said was not lost. What do these results tell us? The break up of the narrative seems to be the theme of the first three issues; everyone recognizes that no one is sure what exactly is occurring on the cultural level - some think it is because of a lack of definitions or understanding, others think that the source of the misunderstanding is a "sickness" of American culture; as though cultural decline was a disease that had to be cured. The remaining three issues seem to deal with ways to try to improve the situation, naturally (it seems) through the recruitment of underrepresented groups in order to increase diversity. Here the desire for a more equal representation and "accurate" social balance at WPI is clearly seen. The sentiment is for "different, not lower" assessment; fairness is key to this idea of social justice. It was felt by some, including myself, that many of the points being discussed would quickly become moot, given the uncertainties lying at the heart of the debate. It was agreed that underrepresented groups must be brought to the school, but what that meant, i.e. the question of how to do that, was deliberately avoided due to "time constraints" and the desire to avoid debate on a question that would not (could not) be answered at that time. The conference was intentionally superficial, deliberately obtuse. The job of implementing programs and defining issues was to be left to the Pluralism Planning Committee. The conference was designed to give the people on that committee ideas about where to start looking at the problem. Surprisingly, there are currently no white male students on the committee - that is a potential problem, especially when the time comes to explain what pluralism is to those white students who aren't represented on the Committee. The difficulty in overcoming the loss of narrative seemed almost too great to tackle in such a short time with such a small group of people. On the other hand, there was never any argument over whether or not any of the changes proposed were necessary, or right. The opinion that "something must be done" was shared by all involved. Why was that? What was the reasoning behind this assumption? Are we accepting what demographics is telling us about the ethnic composition of our nation in the next 20 years, and then using that to justify that the narrative of the Melting Pot can no longer sustain itself? Moreover, where does this implicit notion of justice arise from?" ------------------------------------------------------ That's all that's really relevant concerning the Search Conference in my report. So now, what is the point I'm trying to make with this? Well, I have two, actually: 1) That PLURALISM is the issue we need to be tackling; and that means that we need to approach the problem TOGETHER, as a coherent, united COMMUNITY. To do this, we need a VISION, and, more specifically, a LEADER who can bring us closer to this vision. This is potentially a terrific position that can be filled by a new president. :) 2) We can't use "task forces" and "committees" to solve this problem, either - it's a matter of involving the ENTIRE COMMUNITY, and having us all participate in a concerted effort that works towards that aforementioned vision. The Pluralism Planning Committee and the Office of Multicultural Affairs had the right idea 3 years ago... but where are they now?? What happened after the conference ended? Where was the follow through??? We aren't really a university. We're a collection of Polynesian Islands, each populated by a different cannibalistic tribe, and we're constantly manning our pontoon boats and going to war with each other, throwing spears back and forth, quite pointlessly. These divisions are occasionally maintained and encouraged by certain leaders of each tribe, who wish to preserve the status quo, and thus their tiny power bases. All we need to do is build bridges across these islands. We can even do that quite easily; there are many, MANY people who belong to more than one of the tribes, and they occasionally find themselves having to go to one side or another when a conflict occurs... but they are the keys to establishing permanent lines of communication and understanding between the groups they belong to. Once those foundations are laid, we can truly call ourselves a community. Then, and only then, can we get about the business of increasing our level of pluralism, and charting a new course towards a promising future. The infighting has to stop. If it doesn't, we'll only fall deeper down the slippery slope of anarchy towards a dark, dark fate at the bottom of the U.S. News and World Report guide. Mike -- o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o |Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |My Home| | email@example.com | Digital Renaissance Man - Writer, Coder & Artist | o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o 8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888 Newsgroups: wpi.staff,wpi.students Subject: Re: National Women's History Month Date: 25 Mar 1997 14:35:23 -0500 In article
, Kari Elise Blinn wrote: >Comments like Dave Brown's and Al Scala's are disheartening, to say the >least. Maybe if we all stopped pointing fingers and naming names, something would get done. Instead of looking for scapegoats, why not address the real issue? Sexism/racism/etc. are not caused by individuals; they are caused by institutions. Disempowerment is also a two-way street - the "victim" has to believe that they have lost their power in order for such a thing to be true. >qualified individuals should be sought after. However, diversity, both >gender and ethnic, strengthens a community. It is in our long-term best >interest -- strategically, financially, and morally -- to attract and >retain excellent women and underrepresented minorities at WPI. I attended the Diversity conference several years ago... a lot was accomplished at that time, and dialogues were opened at all levels of the WPI community. But what happened to the follow through? Where was the fabled Diversity Committee, and why didn't they put any of the ideas born of the conference into action? Why was all the work of that conference shoved aside and lost?? Let's see more positive action on all our parts, and less negative hot air and blame casting. >I have been encouraged to see President Parrish, both in words and actions, >begin to address these issues. But change will not occur quickly. It will >require a personal and corporate commitment for years to come. I hope that >some of our fundamental beliefs will be challenged, and that we will >resolve, in our hearts and our minds, to change. If we really want to form a community out of the separate castes of WPI, we need to have more events that bring everyone - faculty, staff, administration, alumni, students, and residents - together. People need to realize that differences between people are just illusions - something that was demonstrated on the very first day of the conference. I may be a white male... but I am also a CS student, and avid reader of science fiction, of Italian heritage, Roman Catholic upbringing. I like pizza, I perfer Coke over Pepsi, etc. etc. There are many, MANY different aspects to all people, but those who wish to manuever themselves politically only stop to emphasize one particular facet, whichever one gets them the most leverage at any one time. People are more than just their constiuent components; each person is a whole that is much greater than the sum of his or her parts, and that's all you really need to remember. And though I agree that diversity is a vital thing, something crucial to the survival of WPI... I also cannot help but state that, just like the American ideal of the Melting Pot, we must also strive to achieve our own particular vision of unity and homogeneity. People, we are all a part of WPI. We're not just women or men or black or white... we each play a part in this fantastic community of great minds dedicated to learning and education, and the causes of science and engineering. If you truly wish to build community from the disparate islands that some people so desperately wish to balkanize us into, all you really need to do is remember that we're all here, together, because we really do care about this place, and therefore, each other. Mike -- o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o |Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |My Home| | firstname.lastname@example.org | Digital Renaissance Man - Writer, Coder & Artist | o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o *************************************************************************** Newsgroups: wpi.flame Subject: Re: Moments in Black History In article <5e0d74$3s5$1@bigboote.WPI.EDU>, tom leete wrote: >i'm almost certain that he meant it in a degree of sarcasim- not that he >personally saw it as "moment in black history," only that of all the other >things, the pupulous will surely (and sadly) rank this highest in importance >(or at least familiarality). he was mocking the whole thing- et a grip. Yeah, pretty much. But there are even a couple more deeper issues that I attempted to explore in that little witty repartee. Read on... >that's one of the dumbest things i've heard in a long time. should we also >lump in russian history and native american history too? it's a very seperate >topic. black history is very rich and complex and certainly not the same as >conventional us history. to not recognize them seperately would be to deny >them their heritige. above and beyond this, blacks were left out of most >historical literature thus they now NEED to be treated seperately- think of >it as an addendum. you may have noticed books on the "history of great >women", etc- same reason. feel a little less disgusted now? What you're doing isn't exactly correct either... you're saying that black history is more important than any other history. So, Italian history isn't rich and varied? What about Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and that whole thing called the Rennaissance that mostly took place in Italy? We don't have Leonardo Da Vinci day. There's a subtle and pervasive trap here being laid for the African American in institutions like Black History month and Affirmative Action. These things are pride destroyers. How can you feel proud about how you're living your life if you only reach your goals through the sufferance of others? When a person says, "I'm proud to be Irish", what they are *really* saying is: "I've gotten to where I am today because of my individual accomplishments, and this reflects on my heritage on the whole". We don't apply this standard to African Americans, and now other minorities, because we award them merit simply by being members of a particular race/culture. This creates what is called the "Salad Bowl" effect. No longer is America the land of mixing cultures... it is the land of separate but equal cultures that exist side-by-side. This re-telling of the American narrative destroys completely our old ideal of the Great American Melting Pot. But, not only is this ideal of the Melting Pot being deconstructed by people who feel the need to create separatism amongst the nation's various cultures, the African American is being told that he or she is not good enough; that they need special allowances like Affirmative Action, and special recognition like Black History Month to tell them that they are important. No other race/culture in American history ever received any kind of "affirmative action". Every immigrant to this nation worked hard to get themselves where they ended up, to make better lives for their children. Because of the simple circumstance that African Americans were brought over to this country as slaves, they have been treated as a "needy" people because of the psychic trauma of being considered a slave. Their American experience is no less traumatic than any other immigrant experience. Chinese/Asian laborers were brought over in boatloads and worked to death on railroads, but because they were *paid* a menial sum, they were never _considered_ slaves. And yet, they still shouldered their burden, sometimes even impressing their "slave wagepayers" with their determination and fortitude. What other immigrant culture/race did *not* suffer prejudice and racism at some time prior to their assimilation into American culture? What is truly happening here is that African American people are being deprived of their chance to become part of the American Experience by politicians and other bigwigs who wish to maintain the "racial rift" for their own ends. They are being told that they must, in fact should truly _desire_, to remain separate from mainstream culture. Some African Americans have still risen above this challenge. They have realized the American Dream, the Grand Experiment, and they have become a part of our culture. Think of Clarence Thomas or Colin Powell - two men who have risen to positions of great power in this country, yet are seen by some African Americans as "oreos", because they're "white on the inside". This is not the truth - these men are AMERICAN on the inside, because they've adopted the culture of their now native soil. Until we all realize that deep down we are *all* Americans, there will be no end to this artificial "racial rift". Until we re-adopt the ideal of the Melting Pot, our culture will continue to break down and Balkanize into chaos. Mike -- o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o |Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38| |email@example.com |My Home| o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& Article 1084 of wpi.students.vox: From: mikecap@reno.WPI.EDU (Zen, Philosopher-at-Large) Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana Subject: nope Date: 21 Nov 1996 12:45:35 GMT A man walks across a tightrope. The rope is not steady, it sways from side to side changing the boundaries of two disparate fates. The man's feet are tired. He drags them slowly across the thin surface of the line swinging out his arms balancing ever so carefully. Sweat drips down his face. His mind is not focused there is not a single goal; there are several. And one is to simply stay alive. What happens if I fall? Is there still a net? I'm afraid to look down. If I falter now... If I tremble now... If I can't continue I cannot live. I will not have a future. The temptation to jump is far too strong. -- it's not getting any easier, 11/21/96 Mike Caprio -- o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o |Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38| |firstname.lastname@example.org |My Home| o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Article: 14578 of wpi.flame From: mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU (Zen, Philosopher-at-Large) Newsgroups: wpi.flame,wpi.test Subject: Re: Thoughts on voting today... In article <55o91m$ak6@bigboote.WPI.EDU>, Kris Shepard wrote: Hi Kris! >"If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no >candidate and no measures you want to vote _for_ . . .but there are certain >to be ones you want to vote _against_. In case of doubt, vote _against_. >By this rule, you will rarely go wrong. Okay, first of all... I'm not voting this year. Let me preface all my comments with that before I begin. Next, let me tell you a little story. When I was about 15 or so, my dad came up to me and said: "So son - when are you going to get Confirmed? You're going to have to do it soon, you know." And I basically answered that I had no intention of getting confirmed now or ever. "But you *have* to get Confirmed. Just do it because I said so. You'll never have to go to church again, just get Confirmed." It was the last part that caught me. How was I being a good Christian by _lying_ that I believed in any of the tenements of the Faith, and then never going to church again??? The way I saw it, I was actually giving more validity to the religion by saying, no, I don't believe in it, so I won't lie about it. So that sums up pretty much how I feel about the election this year. I happen to believe that it's all a major crock of horse dung, and I don't think any of the candidates are truly worthy enough to lead the country. Not only that, but I happen to think that the campaign and election systems themselves are a bogus pile of crap - the Two Party system no longer works, and it's time we evolved out of that stage. The electoral college cripples the true democratic process. Special interests really _do_ control the government with their money. I ask you - why should I vote in a system I don't believe in, for a candidate I don't believe in?? Does that make any sense at all? Now if this country had a "No Confidence" ticket to vote on, I would be the first in line to vote this year. But the U.S. of A. is one of the few countries in the world which does _not_ support that option - yet another symptom of an ineffectual system. So don't even bother trying to guilt me into thinking my decision not to vote is "Unamerican" or "You can't complain if you didn't vote". That's bullshit. I have every right to complain - I pay taxes, I was born in this country; I'm as American as apple fucking pie. But I am _NOT_ going to lay my principles aside and compromise my worth as a citizen by participating in a broken process that I don't feel has any legitimacy whatsoever. It is the imperative of the people to take up arms against any injustices that may be enacted upon them by an unfair governance; and I do that by refusing to cast my vote. I'm not "apathetic," I'm not "throwing my vote away." Take your little herd cliches about the election process and stick 'em. You're just another blind, mindless cog in a system you think you can change from the inside. Well, you keep on turning, little gear. I'm getting off the bus. Mike -- o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o |Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38| |email@example.com |My Home| o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o ()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()() Article: 1083 of wpi.students.vox From: mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU (Zen, Philosopher-at-Large) Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana Subject: ... Fuck you, you uncaring universe. Pardon me while I get this out of my system... Today, walking back from Fuller, I noticed a ladybug crossing the sidewalk in front of me. I nearly stepped on the darn thing; and what the heck was a ladybug doing coming out in the Fall, especially around this hellhole? I spent several minutes doing my best to scoot it off the sidewalk onto the grass, pushing it along with the fringe off my briefbag, gently nudging it out of harm's way. The person I was walking with finally got tired of this slow task, and he used his finger to motivate it the rest of the way off. I felt pretty good about the whole thing. I mean, there I was, showing some compassion for a fellow creature, and in general I felt like I was having a pretty good day. And then I made my way to the Wedge to do a little work and study, it being the end of term and all. I scattered my papers across the tables, and another ladybug appeared from nowhere, and crawled stilt-like across the white landscape. At first I thought, "oh wow, another one - how cool..."; but then I examined it a little more closely, and realized that someone had pulled half of its outer shell away from its body and crumpled one of its wings. I was shocked. I stared and stared for the longest time, growing more and more depressed with each passing moment. Another friend of mine showed up and asked what was wrong. "Look." And he saw what I saw; the impending death of a poor victim of the baser side of humanity. Nothing could be done; it couldn't fly, no matter how many times it vainly attempted to light from the table. It couldn't fly, it couldn't eat - it would probably get hurt, eaten, or starve to death fairly soon. "It's not going to get better," he said in a hushed tone. So he crushed it under a napkin with my textbook. Highest form of mercy and all that - "it only took a moment," he said. Yeah... the last moment of its life. I couldn't have brought myself to do it. I just sat there frozen by the immensity of the thing, the pure evilness of the whole act of crippling the insect. Now I really wish I could figure out who the dick was that pulled the wing off that poor bug. I mean, it couldn't have been more ironic - I make an effort to be kind and help out one bug... and then some asshole goes and cripples and maims another one, probably just for a lark. I would love to find that guy and rip off one of his arms. I help one, and someone else hurts another, negating everything I did with one shitty little act of malice. Where's the meaning in anything we do if someone or something else cancels out the good that's been done? I don't know the answer. I just know that I'm really feeling ashamed of my humanity. So I repeat: Fuck you, cruel world. And I expect nothing but the obvious response: "Fuck you too." Mike -- o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o |Zen, Philosopher-at-Large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38| |firstname.lastname@example.org |My Home| o--------------------------o--------------------------------------------------o +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Who's a cold soul? Don't I have passion too? Or Am I a stone if I do not express my Love... Like an autumn leaf turning Emotions change color and wither Promise me that Spring comes soon So I can dance in warm sun cool grass Worn down by the savage rains Torn up by the harshest winds I cling tightly to the branch I stave off the inevitable, final Death... Why must the sun go so soon? Why does it become so so cold So quickly? I cannot bear it Who's a cold soul? Not I, not I... A heart's a thing of earth And deep down there is always still Warmth... And there I will find what I need to survive the long winter. --I'm so cold... (10/7/96) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Article: 1080 of wpi.students.vox From: mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU (Zen, Philosopher-at-Large) Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana Subject: Spring, at last Date: 2 Apr 1996 05:41:39 GMT I will walk slowly in the rain breathing in the dark smell of the heady earth seeing the renewal in the trees, the grass buds on the branches I will walk barefoot in the rain letting the cold drops dance across my skin squishing the mud between my toes wet drips against my face I will step in the frigid puddles I will kick away the stones I will smile briefly at the green shoots that push through the ground promising the return of life the rebirth of the cycle And then, I will no longer be walking in the rain I will become the rain I will praise the world and all things living a life among many lives showering everything with my empty self a raindrop in a holy, gentle spring storm --it's raining outside, and it's beautiful (4/1/96) Mike -- _____________________________________________________________________________ |Zen, philosopher-at-large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38| |email@example.com |My Home| |__________________________|__________________________________________________| +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Article: 1077 of wpi.students.vox From: mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU (Zen, Philosopher-at-Large) Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana Subject: nuh uh Date: 18 Jan 1996 09:13:38 GMT condemned to morbidity constrained by mortality a soul kept locked inside with nothing left to share except perhaps a scrap of stale humanity. pain keeps us on our toes shocks the system with the news that we are still alive yes indeed we are old son to walk yet another mile in these ragged brown shoes. what's the point of dying if you're only just living what's the secret to the mystery and other such great quests when do you learn to stop all the giving? what do you have left to hide? 1/18/96 Why am I still awake?? -- _____________________________________________________________________________ |Zen, philosopher-at-large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38| |firstname.lastname@example.org |My Home| |__________________________|__________________________________________________| +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Every time I close my eyes You're the only one I see You're the only one I dream about The one who truly loves me When I'm lying in my bed And I can't quite fall asleep I just think of your cool white skin Sighing softly next to mine You're the one I've always wanted You're the one I'll always need You're the only one I ever could have wished for You're the one You're the one You're the one How could I ever live without you? How could I get the love I need? What is this incredible feeling That I get when I look at you? I love all the things you do And all the funny things you say I love everything about you Every hour of every day You're the one I've always wanted You're the one I'll always need You're the only thing I ever could have hoped for You're the one You're the one You're the one And when you smile and laugh I can't keep from laughing too I can only thank the stars above That I'm the one you really love When I'm in your arms I'm the only man in the world The luckiest man that could ever be And you're the only one for me You're the one I've always wanted You're the one I'll always need You're the only woman I ever could have dreamed of You're the one You're the one You're the one --Inspired by love, (10/10/95) -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= From mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU Fri Sep 22 03:41:39 EDT 1995 Article: 1065 of wpi.students.vox Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana Subject: Late night musing It's hard to look back on your life and count all the people you've left behind... all those people that are still out there, who still exist, but who you never see anymore. Old best friends that you lost when you moved away; people who were once your friend, but are little more than acquaintances now; all the people that meant something to you that you never see or talk to anymore. Whatever the reason, you no longer see this person, and you sometimes find yourself wishing that you did see them more often, that they were still a part of your life. It's weird to run into one of those people for just a brief time - to see how different they've become, to hear the highlights of their lives in the recent past. To intersect again after diverging away from one another for so long... it's strange. Really strange. It almost doesn't feel right; you find yourself thinking about the past, about the things you shared with these people, and about just how important they really were to you. And that's when you start wondering where things might have gone if they hadn't left, where you would be with them now, and how things could have changed for everyone if certain things had only happened differently. Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if I had had more of a chance to talk. But it's all kind of moot now... maybe I'll see them again sometime, since they're bound to turn up in the area again. It seems people have a really hard time leaving this burg. But even supposing that I do get the opportunity to share with them again - it's only still going to be for a very short time, and we'll all have changed again since the last time. We'll still only be brief tangents to the normal course of our lives. What's even funnier (funny weird, not funny ha-ha) is that they're only two houses away from me, right now, at this very moment, as I type this. I probably could have gone over there if I wanted to. But it didn't feel right for some reason. I want so badly to say hello to them again, to welcome them into my life again, to make some kind of contact again... but at the same time... it doesn't seem right to just _do_ that. Not when we're all leading lives apart from one another. Maybe some ties just can't come back after they've been broken. I guess that some of them do, but I think that most of them just don't. They just don't. Mike -- _____________________________________________________________________________ |Zen, philosopher-at-large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38| |email@example.com |My Home| |__________________________|__________________________________________________| (*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*
From mikecap@bigwpi.WPI.EDU Fri Sep 22 03:41:47 EDT 1995 Article: 1066 of wpi.students.vox Newsgroups: wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana Subject: death I'm afraid of dying now. I don't think I was ever really afraid of my mortality before. It was an accepted thing, something that was not a part of my life, something that was just an abstract concept. Something not real. It's real for me now. Being in a head-on with an 18 wheeler does that to you. I've been a hair's breadth away from death a lot of times in my life - one time I was alone at home, eating some breakfast in the usual way, and I choked hard on some food. My air passage was totally blocked, such that all I could produce was a very faint wheezing; I couldn't take in any air at all, and the effect was very frightening. I started to panic a little, realizing that dialing the phone wouldn't help because I couldn't really have talked to 911 (I was just a kid then, maybe 9 or 10, I didn't really know about tracing phone calls or what not, and I wasn't exactly in a clear state of mind at the time). I figured I would just be dead and blue by the time they got to me anyhow. I floundered around a bit, trying desperately to figure some way out of the predicament, when it suddenly dawned on me. "Heimlich," I thought. But there wasn't anyone around to perform it on me... I then remembered that you could practice the Heimlich on yourself by leaning over a chair and pushing your stomach in that way. I gave it a shot, hard, and lucky me - the food popped out. That wasn't the only near miss I had. There was the time I nearly drowned in my pool, the time I was almost hit by a car while crossing the street in Canada, the time 90 West St. caught fire... and these are just the ones I was aware of. How many times was my life in jeopardy that I _didn't_ realize? How many times did the plane almost crash? How many times did the car narrowly swerve to avoid us? The funny thing though is that I never really thought about these events before. Even experiencing the choking thing firsthand was only enough to scare me for a little while (and I was just a kid, too, so maybe that might have something to do with it). But my first car accident (hopefully my last) was scary enough to throw my head out of whack for a bit. I get flashbacks of the accident occasionally, and sometimes I get these really intense foreboding feelings, as if I have very little time left in my life, and that it's all going to be ending soon. I'm sure these responses are "natural" and all that, but I'd really like to know when I'm going to stop getting them on such a regular basis. I understand that being trapped in a smoking heap of twisted Honda can do this to a person, so it's not as if I don't know what the cause of my mania is. It might also have something to do with the fact that I'm getting a hold of my life, of _my_ life - the one I'm going to live, the one that I'm finally coming into of my own accord. It could also be that I've found someone very special to share myself with, someone I can say that I love very much, with all my heart and all my being. I have something worth losing now, I guess. I have a life that I'm very happy with, and I don't want to give it up - not now, and not ever, really. Death is going to take all these things that I've worked towards away from me, and it can do it anytime it wants, it can crush the fragile breath right out of my body, and it can do it in an instant. I don't buy that "death as part of the cycle of life" crap. Fuck that shit. I don't feel like going anywhere in particular, especially if I'm going to lose everything I have now. I don't care if they have to stick tubes in every part of my body to keep me going - as long as my brain's still there, I'm still there, and I want to keep living as long as I possibly can. I could say that there was a upside to all this; that I now appreciate all the finer moments of life, that I'm stopping to smell the flowers, pausing to enjoy myself, etc. etc. But things couldn't be more different - I'm more frantic than I've ever been. I'm more desperate to accomplish something with my life. I'm loving harder than I probably should be, perhaps even destructively so. All because of that 69 year old motherfucker truck driver from Pennsylvania. I swear that if I ever have any control over the nation's highways, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop interstate truck distribution. That bastard robbed me of my ignorance of death, and I can't say that I like that one bit. Not one fucking bit. Mike -- _____________________________________________________________________________ |Zen, philosopher-at-large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38| |firstname.lastname@example.org |My Home| |__________________________|__________________________________________________| +)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+)+) >From mikecap@lizardo.WPI.EDU Fri Sep 8 15:36:35 EDT 1995 Article: 7314 of wpi.students Newsgroups: wpi.students,wpi.students.vox,wpi.students.voxhumana Subject: A very good day I woke up this morning to gray sunless sky and felt rather cold. I managed to crawl from bed into the shower and out again in time to leave for my 9am class. The cheerless sky depressed me somewhat, having been exposed to so much sun in the last few weeks; yet I knew, I hoped almost desperately, that we would get rain soon, that the dust and brown would turn back into soil and grass once more (still no rain yet, by the way, just clouds and cold air...). Walking out the front door and onto the street I felt the first hazy impressions of a drizzle on my bare skin. It was only a very light drizzle, like the air blown out from a humidifier, but it fell continuously as I made my way towards the campus. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes nice little things happen to me, little things that make the day into an especially good one. An old man was walking on the opposite side of the street, bent and wrinkled, coughing horribly as he slouched his way several houses down the street. We kept the pace with each other, me wincing and leaning on my cane, he taking his time and making great efforts to drag himself across the cement. He sat onto some steps with a great harumph, and looked up at me as I looked at him... "Where're the crutches?" he said in his old man's voice. I was taken aback. Here, a complete stranger asking me about my current walking condition. I could only think to say: "I'm walking with a cane now," and I showed it to him, since it was obscured by my right side. "I'm getting better." "That's good," he said, and I walked on to the end of the street. I didn't feel the wet anymore. I walked much more easily than I had before, and it somehow felt much more comfortable to take every next step. I had been recognized, and someone - a neighbor - had cared enough to inquire about me. I've gone the whole day today in a simply incredibly positive mood, all because of the kind words of someone thoughtful. It's days like today that really make me feel glad to be alive. Mike -- _____________________________________________________________________________ |Zen, philosopher-at-large |Listen To Zen Chaos Fridays at Midnight WPIR ch.38| |email@example.com |My Home| |__________________________|__________________________________________________| &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& Just the other day I found myself being reminded about important dates, and how I couldn't remember some dates over others. It made me realize what the nature of "important" was. I used to think I knew what was important, but it's kind of changed for me now. You figure that there are dates in your life that are important - you know, like your high school graduation, or your first date, your prom, shit like that. But for me - I can't seem to remember any of the dates. I can't remember the first time I drank alcohol. Or the first time I drove a car. I can't remember the day I lost my virginity or the day I had my first kiss... all these things that I previously might have thought were important, things that "changed my life forever"... Uh-huh. I didn't know what that meant. Not until Tuesday, December 20th, 1994 at around 1:30pm on Route 12 about a quarter mile away from the Auburn Mall. That day, that moment - that event is burned so firmly into my head that I am never going to forget it. I was driving with a friend to pick up my girlfriend's locket, a Christmas present that I had engraved at the Mall. We had just stopped at Dragon's Lair East, a local game and hobby store near Webster Square, and I was reading the comics and gaming materials I had bought there. The world stopped. Or rather, was jarred off its foundations. It was like a movie, taking the camera and shaking it so hard that the whole image was completely vibrating. And the sound... like nothing I ever heard before, or ever hope to hear again. Crashing, tearing, twisting... I can barely describe it. Like a tornado, like a train rushing past. I think I must have screamed, but I sure didn't hear it. I looked around, got my bearings, and realized that the car was a smoking wreck. We had hit a semi head on. My friend's face was slumped over the steering wheel, covered with bleeding lacerations. I checked myself and noticed that I was intact, not cut badly anywhere... but an omnious warmth in my leg signaled what I knew to be true, that I had broken it. "My leg's broken. I can tell." "Jesus," said the paramedic. "Left leg, lower, it's... jesus... mangulated," he moaned and coughed. Mangulated. My left foot and ankle had broken to the right, pushed aside by the engine block as it sloughed its way through the underbelly of the car. I didn't feel any pain then, nor could I see what had happened to my foot. Gotta love those endorphins. I know my immediate family's birthdays: Dad, January 30th. Mom, April 13th. Sis, February 1. I know what day my paternal grandfather died, but that's because it was on New Year's Eve. I can't remember when my great-grandfather died, even though I can say I loved him more. Maybe the dates aren't that important. Maybe what's important are the feelings that I associate with the events, and not the events themselves - the dead moments of the past, rustling like old parchment in my head. They're only subjective memories though, they're not even close to what truly happened. What difference does a day make? Maybe a bigger one than anybody thinks. Everything can change in a day. You could go from being happy to being depressed, being rich to being destitute, sane to insane, married to divorced, young to old... Or from being alive to sucking dirt. It's amazing how you can turn a negative experience around if you really want to. I could look back on what happened to me and think - "If I had been driving, it wouldn't have happened." or "Maybe if I was paying attention I could have stopped it." or simply "Why me?" But I don't. I don't blame anyone for what happened (actually I blame Willard K. Weist, 69, of Pennsylvania - the driver of the truck, but let's not dwell on it). I look back on it now and recall that I wasn't panicked. After some futile attempts to crawl out the broken window I realized I had to wait. I tried to help my friend, I held his bleeding hand, tried to talk to him. I gave all the firemen and paramedics all the information I could. I stayed conscious the whole time. Looking back at that tells me that I have the strength to survive a disaster. That I can go through a catastrophe without panic, that I can have a clear mind even with a broken leg. A worthy prize, but a pretty steep cost. I still have a bum leg. I still have the lump/dent that reminds me of how far away from my tibia that chunk of bone is. I still ache on the hot humid days and the rainy days and the cold damp days. I still have the flashbacks occasionally, and I'm right back in that steaming mass of rended Honda Civic waiting to be burned alive or saved, and they throw the blanket over me and saw the top of the car off and oh god please don't let this thing blow up and they pull me out and jesus christ it hurts so bad grinding bones and yes they really do grind isn't it interesting that I've never felt quite this much in pain before holy shit it hurts. [insert screaming here] Still... it could be worse. I'm still here. I can still walk. I still have a future. I'm not a hedonist now, nor do I think I will ever become one. If I hadn't thought material things were insignificant before, I sure do now. But neither am I spirtual. People are always telling me I'm going to end up believing in God someday, but you know, I was a hair's breadth away from death, and it hasn't changed me in that way. Christ, my whole family's faith has been practically reaffirmed by my survival - "Boy, you sure had somebody looking out for you!" and so forth - and I couldn't have reacted less. I guess it all comes back to what's important. And what is that, you say? What is the sacred mystery that I learned from staring death in the face? What secrets were revealed to me? Take it as it comes. Live every moment to the fullest. Love with every ounce of your being. How many more cliches do you need? Let me just put it this way... mortality has a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it, so you better make damn sure you're prepared to face it when it comes. Life is what's important, and living it is the hardest thing you're ever going to do. It sure beats the alternative though. !+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+!+ __ADAM__ Why did you try to coax life from these stony limbs? You are no Prometheus to this world No god of enlightenment and faith You're just a man, only human mortal What madness compelled you to breathe warmth into cold clay? I would rather have stayed a lump in the dark earth Than to feel the heat of the sun on my face again for I know how easily it is snatched away. Curse you for bringing me into being. I hate you with the heart you restarted Why have you brought the dead back to life? Did you think you could bring back my soul? ANSWER ME! You don't know anything, do you? The trappings of life mean so little to the dead. Having lived once before I wish to suffer no more I ask that you take your "gift" away Or at least, Do not abandon me to this cruel new fate I must bear for now the lonliness is upon me I am empty inside I am collapsing into myself Dear god, what is this fear? You've thrown me back into an unknown world it is no paradise to be sure. Damn you. Why have you done this to me? inspired, (4/15/94) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What is beauty? Beauty is a state of grace; a perfection of the soul that shines outwardly, blinding all that can see and stunning those who cannot. Beauty lies within the teardrop that falls from the cheek of a mother holding her child... Beauty is the spread sky, the parting air and the wind through your hair... the freedom and joy of flight... But we do not see beauty in ourselves. That is why we are loved, so that the beauty within is brought out - by those who love us. Love is beauty... beauty is love. You are beautiful... I love you. That is how I know. It is not opinion, it is solid unchangeable fact. You are beautiful. You are love. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ A promise unfulfilled --------------------------------------- The heart is a precious stone, flawed, but when polished shines a beauty undreamt of by those who looked closest before The head is a wellspring, overflowing ideas of love a pure clear stream in the dreams of open minds and the fantasies of lovers The body is but a vessel, it cannot capture the spirit nor contain the boundless care of one for another the bliss of sharing hearts Will you share with me? Can I be so bold? To feel, to know... to know and to see. Can I feel your skin beneath my touch your brow beneath my fingertips your lips against my cheek? My soul and mind and body are here, now... Will you be with me? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Falling From Grace ********************* Like two worlds we collided for such a short sweet time then scattered in a million random pieces thrown to the wind as if we were nothing important at all A light a hope a burning eye the life the pain and now I'm falling falling from grace You can only lose paradise once but now that it's gone the memory stays like a knife in the heart a sword in the back a dagger in the eye a hole in the gut. my life my pain no light no hope falling in space the emptiness descends falling from grace You never know what you've found until it's lost but then what's the point of having if you can't ever know what it is you keep? How did I get here? Where did this fire come from? What will I do now that you're gone? The tears on your face my heart so out of place gone without a trace falling from grace falling from grace ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++00000000000++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Only people who think that the future is changeable have plans. The rest of us are just fuck-ups who know better and have cold spots where our hearts should be. And after that, all that's left is this bitter taste and empty hands. But that might just be me... I'm sure there are plenty of other people out there who have much more than they think they have. Matter of fact, I know that those people are out there. And God help me, I despise them. I despise them. All our lives are ruled by circumstance. There is no other law but this. Some of us get nice things, and some of us don't. Some of us don't know what we have; not until we lose it. Some of us just don't listen, some of us just don't understand. Some of us are fucked from the start, and even though we try not to think about it, though we try to hide it under false hopes, we can't escape. Some of us don't know what we want... and those people are the lost. But you know what? It doesn't matter. IT JUST DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- You must never forget that there is darkness in the world. Void exists within us all, dissolving our sanity slowly over time, corroding our souls with the knowledge of oblivion, like acid from a broken, rusted battery. We would rather not acknowledge the existence of the dark, but we have more names for it than we do for the light... it occupies our thoughts constantly if we are thinking people. But the secret, the power behind the power, is that it can only beat us if we let it beat us. The darkness can only win if we give up, if we quit or stop trying. Even when we cannot win, when there is no reason to continue, we have still won - in the securing of life. Where there is life, there is yet hope, and where there is hope, there is light. The void has no control over us - we always and forever control our own destinies. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong. Even if the universe crushes our reed, our thinking reed, we still know that we are being crushed, and that is our greatest triumph. The uncaring universe can fuck off and die - we will still have had our moment in the glory. But you must never forget the darkness. It must have its due, and its price must be paid in time. Yet... perhaps... even that may one day be conquered. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++00000000000+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The Kiss ************ I stood, staring blankly at the empty air. My hands were not my hands and my mind was not my own. You were there tonight. Your hair brushed against my palms and I longed for the sound of your voice. Your voice... urging me on, asking me to hold your purse as you went inside. Sweet melody and soft sounds... your voice like a chorus of angels when you told me I was nice. And now... I brought you home. Outside your door, the night enveloped the sky, and the stars shone weakly, their tiny lights flickering, vainly pushing back that huge emptiness. We stood there, waiting... you smiled at me, I smiled back in my awkward way. And you went inside. And now... Now I'm sitting here. Staring emptily at the hands that held you for too short a time. Where was the kiss? Your lips against my own softly caressing your breath on my face your eyes gently closed. There was no kiss. I didn't dare to try. You were so beautiful. I was too shy. I wanted your warmth so very badly... And now my hands hold nothing but the cold, cold air. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++00000000000++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ How does it feel to be a fuck-up? How does the knowledge of one's mistakes affect a person? Self-knowledge is the worst kind of knowledge, because there is no denying it... not really. When faced with the consequences of one's actions, even the strongest of us turns immediately to jelly. So how does it feel? It feels like nothing I've ever known before. I can't describe the loss in words... there is no analogy; not even losing a limb or a life compares. Insanity, anger, frustration... these are all symptoms of this recurring sickness in my mind. How could I have been so wrong? How could I have misjudged so completely? How can I go on like this? These are questions I face every second I'm awake - only the oblivion of sleep stops me from leaping into this frothing morass of madness. To think that I could have changed all of this, to imagine what it could have been like... it's the worst punishment anyone can endure. But I can't keep myself from wondering - what if? What if... these are the most tragic words man has ever uttered, and they are by far the most pathetic. But how can I stop myself? How am I supposed to forget that I've lost my chance? How can I live with the knowledge of having missed love by a single heartbeat? The most amazing thing is... I've been dead for about three and a half months now, and I'm only just starting to realize it. But que-se-fucking-ra. Life goes on. I'll survive. Right? Please tell me I'm right. I really don't think I am. I really can't face myself anymore. I can't accept what I've lost. I can't live like I did before anymore. I can't ever go back... I can't change the past, and I can't affect the future. I've become nothing; I've lost my existence. The only things left are my tears... but they'll dry, won't they? They'll stop coming eventually? please... i'm lost... i'm gone... ....... help me ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++00000000000++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The world was ending A man sat and moped on a beach somewhere The man was a scientist As before, he pondered the meaning of things Suddenly there was a bright flash of light and God appeared in the sky The man stood up "I knew you'd come." "YOU ARE THE LAST MAN ON EARTH." "I thought so." The silence was heavy on the scientist's heart "All my life I have searched for answers Pondered the questions Found answers Found more questions..." The man's voice trailed off God said nothing "I just thought... I just wanted to know... To ask you What my purpose was." So God came down And stood on the Earth He walked up to the scientist And spoke "YOUR PURPOSE WAS TO ASK WHAT YOUR PURPOSE WAS." The man was about to speak But God turned him to dust And then God left And the world ended quietly With a soft sad sigh. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++0000000000000+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Why does everyone want to know what love is all about? What drives people to seek love out, and what makes them guard it so jealously when they get it, and what is it about love that brings people together? I suppose it's conceivable that a person can live without love their whole life; but how could anyone call that living? Love, even love that isn't shared, is a completely powerful thing - it can dominate your life, it can raise you to new heights and plunge you to new depths. Tolstoy said that there are as many different kinds of loves as there are heads with minds in them. He may be right, there may be no "true" kind of love. Giving is the most important thing involved; giving everything you can, in hopes of making things good with the world. But sometimes you just can't, and those are the worst times. Sometimes you can't do anything, you can only sit and watch and cry and tremble with a deep-seated fear. And all this right before the pain in your guts starts, the pain that gnaws at you and reminds you how incompetent you really are. But it really doesn't matter at all, because it's all meaningless, and all the pain is senseless. Pretty soon all that exists is pain... constant, chronic pain that never leaves you no matter how hard you or your friends try to make it better. But by that time, you really don't notice anything anymore, especially the important things, because those are the ones that, when you screw them up, fuck you up the worst. A nice big feedback loop of misery and self-loathing. No end in sight, either. Then again, what the fuck do I know? I'm nobody special. I've only ever loved one person in my whole life, I've only ever let one person love me. And you know, there truly isn't a feeling worse than the one you get from letting someone you love down. There really isn't. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++0000000000000+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ There were many times I pondered on the meaning of life too many times to count. And my thoughts turned to the futility of life. When we die it seems that nothing is left. I remembered how much I thought about the reasons. All that time misspent asking why. And I realized how much of life I lost because I had to know why. But as I write I gain a piece of wisdom which is no longer any use to me so I tell you this: Life is precious too precious to waste time is too fleeting to spend visiting the dead or reading empty words. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++00000000000+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ A hand, a touch A hand, a stroke A mouth (soft), lips, a kiss A mouth, an ear, a chill A mouth, a neck, a shudder Another kiss, harder and softer A breast, a hand (soft) A breast, a mouth, a shudder Tickling, tingling A thigh, stroking, caressing, kissing slowly (so soft, soft) Massaging Kissing Rubbing faster, but slowly more beautiful soft love more kiss hands slowly there yes ah oh oh my love hold me ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++00000000000+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Time is a killer. It leaves nothing, it gives nothing, it rules your life. You are bound by time. Your mind counts the seconds, your body is ruled by a biological clock, your soul screams soundlessly for all eternity. Yet Time is nothing more than an invention of small man, who needs to grasp at the ungraspable and define by imposing his structure upon the natural order. A sad, sad thing is man; tragic by his own self-inflicted standards, ruined by the construction of his own unreal Time... How many times have you found yourself at the subjective crossroads? There is no absolute; the illusion of order is complete, and subjugates all our reason. But it is as fragile as a flower, blows as dust, rattles like wind in the leaves. Nonetheless, the illusion is as potent as any poison - it seeps into our frames and scars us, over and over, again and again. We're only fooling ourselves when we think that we have Time. No one has Time, but Time has everyone. How much longer? Forever. Soon. Just wait. When? Later. Now. Wait. Infinity is just a heartbeat away. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++00000000000+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Didyoueverwonderwhatiswasthatmakestheworldyestheworldgoroundandroundandwhyyou shouldevenbothertodoanythingbecauseyouknowitsallgoingtoendanywayitsallgoingto endandtheresnothinganyonecandoaboutitnotevenyounotevenyousowhyevenbothertosee tofeeltoheartosmelltotouchtolovewhenitsalljustacruelcrueljokefromacrueloldgod someonepleasepleasepleasetellmetellmewhyithurtsithurtssomuchtodothethingsthat youwanttodotolovetolovetohateissoeasydontyouknow.... %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% Now proceeds the less angstful stuff... ----------------------------------------------- How often I have seen faces in my dreams faces not my own and not of others I know strange faces that act out little dramas in my head for no particular reason living their brief unreal lives for a brief unreal time Stories of love and of hate of birth and death and rebirth the fantastic and the sublime mix freely with the harshness of what seems true. Am I someone else's dream, I wonder? Where is the meaning in my life? Am I as transient as those made of dreamstuff, and what happens when that someone wakes... ======================================================================== long ago... when i didn't dream of anything i was often told how sweet dreams were and how they gave you what you need now i know... i've got something special in my hands and the last thing on my mind right now is letting go is this a dream or is this a melody or is this just exactly what I need... sometimes i think of different things what i used to want what i thought i had i didn't know... but now i've got to know... is this a dream or is this a melody or is this just exactly what I need... is this a dream or is this a melody or is this just exactly what I need...? _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ flesh is beautiful flesh is ugly flesh runs and melts like candle wax flesh grows and rots changes touch my flesh know its destiny feel life within it and death without it say the word like a slush it moves say it slowly flesh... it fits so well flesh is our enemy we must conquer flesh we must fight or we will die taste of me this is my flesh this is what I am what you are. We are all flesh. ()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()() Article: 2275 of wpi.students.voxhumana --------------------------------------------------------------------------- In a hundred years, the wind will change the ground will shift water will rise and fall. In a thousand years, the sun will rise trees will grow petals will open and close. People will be born and die. In a million years, they will all be less than dust. In a trillion years there will be nothing. At all. Think about that, and then tell me how important you are, or how important anyone else is in the scheme of things. Then come to me and tell me what's important. And I'll tell you if you're wrong or right. I found out the hard way. But I learned the answer. I know now. 0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0=0 An Orgy of Death ***************** How frail is life How easily it withers and dies Washes away like a stain Melts away like a candle then gets snuffed. How fragile is life It breaks like glass shatters and is no more. The faint breath just expires and nothing remains no movement of the eyes the chest the heart no thoughts from the brain. No more sounds from the lips no harsh words of hate no soft tokens of love nothing. Nothing. Nothing. (10-14-93) *#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#**#*#*#**#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#* Article: 987 of wpi.students.vox Subject: dreams... I had a dream about the sea. I don't know why. I usually don't dream about things; I dream of people, or of events... not of places. Not just places. It was so strange... all I could see was a crashing surf, an endless expanse of rolling waves, bobbing up and down, white and blue and green and white again. Creatures ranging from the microscopic to the gargantuan rocked back and forth within it, moved by cycles and tides they had no understanding of. Maybe it was because someone told me how much they feared the sea. Someone said to me that the only thing they were ever afraid of was the open sea... and I couldn't understand why. I used to have to think about things that I am truly afraid of; now I've found something to fear. It's very much like the sea, it's very powerful and quite unstoppable... unpredictable... destructive and creative at the same time. I was never afraid of it before; now it frightens me like nothing else I have ever known. Now I am small before it, tossed by its waves and ruled by its cycles. Now I am a child running from the incoming tide and the crashing surf that drives its way towards me. Now I am standing alone before an ocean I have never known. And I'm afraid to move, for fear of drowning. God help me... I'm so afraid. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: The cursor is blinking impatiently at me, waiting for my input, pulsing furiously even as I type the words that magically appear on my screen. What should I do now? What is the next command I want to issue? I suppose eventually we will make the machines clever enough so that I won't have to think about what the next step will be. No amount of tinkering is going to clear up the bugs in this program... My memory's become all patchy; one thing slips out, and another thing slips in. 0, 1, 0, 1... on and off. Is that all there is? Is it all so black and white? It all becomes the same after a while. Even sex is just another process that runs and eventually gets killed. Break. Compile. Execute. no... Goddamnit, I am not a machine! I am not someone else's creation, I am not a tool to be used, a resource to be harvested, a variable to be manipulated! I am a living, breathing MAN and I am the master of my own technology, my own particular pattern of life. No one pushes my buttons... no one but me. But I can no longer trust myself; I am staked to the ground, fettered by the ties of information, bound by a thick power cord that keeps wrapping around and around and around... The TV flickers in the background. The phosphor screen emits flashes of a scene that I cannot change or alter in any way, dictating what I see for me, controlling me instead of me controlling. No escape, no hope. QVC. MTV. ABC. sitcoms... commercials... movies... commercials... death... sex... commercials... I AM SICK OF THIS PRISON. MAKE ME FREE! ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' Article: 963 of wpi.students.vox Subject: A valentine This is for everyone who wants to be happy, who wants to find love. Everyone who cares - I know you're out there guys. Show someone some love. For me. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- For You ************ I thought of you the other day of what you could give of how I could live and of what you meant to me. Can you teach me how to fly? Can you show me what it means to spread my wings and embrace the sky like a friend? I want to be your love to know and share and see to grow and care and be with you. But if I can't have that It's enough to be your valentine to know your heart can be with mine that we could spend the briefest time together. But if I can't have that you say I hope it is enough to tell you what is in my soul that no one else touches my heart in quite the same way. And if I can't do that If I can't have that then I will take my love say my thanks and go. I hope it can be different. I want to be so badly. But we take what we can get. If I get nothing I take nothing. I'm sorry if that hurts you. But pain will go away they say. We all need joy. We all need life. Everyone wants to be happy. To have something, instead of nothing. Will you be my valentine? (2-8-94) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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