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Number of posts: 7,489
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I've always thought this was pretty funny: 3 versions of the same song, and the band that sounds the least like the Beatles is... the Beatles!
Posted by malthaussen | Tue Aug 28, 2012, 10:47 AM (0 replies)
The Story of the Fire-Bringer
This story is told among all different peoples, for it comes from a time when language was young, and we had not yet invented those terrible words, those words of pride and arrogance which separate us from each other, rather than bring us together: I mean those names of People, and Tribes, and Nations, and States, those names of Beliefs and Dogmas and True Paths. It is told among the blacks and browns, the pinks and whites and tans, among the reds and yellows; and it was told among those little green-faced people who were exterminated in a war of hatred so long ago that now they are forgotten, except for those who see them in vision. For it is a story from a time so long ago, that we all suffered identically, living in fear our lives that were cold, solitary, nasty, brutish, and short: a time when we longed for friendship and community, not pride and dominance.
For we lived in darkness, then, my children, in darkness and in cold, huddled in our fearful caves while Chaos howled in the night without; that Chaos which now lives in our closets, or under our beds, the big thing that will eat us if we don‘t watch out, for we are so very small, and so very alone. In our fear, we supplicated the Chaos, and we gave it names, the many names of our many fears, and we sacrificed to it, to appease it: we gave it our King, or our Princess, or our first-born son; or even we gave it a tithe of all our people or goods, so that it would be satisfied, and pass us in the night. We gave it names, and we called it by those many names, those names of the earliest gods. By naming it, we sought to control it: by manipulating the names, we sought to manipulate it. And Chaos laughed to itself, because it is bigger than our names, and we can never control it, or manipulate it, but only those parts of it we can name. Indeed, it cannot even control itself, as this story shows.
For among even the gods, there lived one, who is called by many names, in many cultures, and I will not name him here, because I do not pretend to know his true name. This one wept for the fear of the people, and sympathized with their need to harness the Chaos: for he saw how their fear took the joy from their faces, and tainted the beauty of living in the world. And this one bethought him of a way to help the people, to steal for them a gift that lay within the hold of the gods, a gift from the domain of Chaos itself: the gift of fire.
Now, many among us know what happened next, for this is an old story, and we’ve heard it all before: though some tales may dress it up with quests and deeds of daring-do, and others will spin it out and try to draw from it morals of great significance, the meat of the thing is this: he stole the fire from the gods and brought it to the people, and when the gods caught up with him they made him pay, whether by drowning, or being buried alive, or sacrificed in any other inventive way, or even chained to a rock for eagles to gnaw his liver. You may draw from this any moral that you will; indeed, I know you will. But what few remember is the other part of the story.
For when he brought the fire to the First Man, the Man laughed. And why did he laugh? Oh, for many reasons, my children: because the fire was bright, and danced the way our fingers do, and our toes, when we are young; or the way the people do, when they celebrate. And the brightness drove back the darkness, and the warmth of the fire could be used for oh so many things: to light our pipes, so we could surround ourselves with clouds of smoke and look philosophical; and to cook our meat and give us the opportunity to create sauces. And many other uses, great and small. And he laughed, because the fire was a thing wholly of the Chaos, and yet was harnessed now, and within his control: and from this sudden realization of power many paths diverged, but those are other stories for other places. But most of all, my children, he laughed because he was happy. And this is the lesson that seems to be forgotten, among so many of the Enlightened ones. For, given the power, it seems we must seek to discover its uses, and to see how it may bring to us even greater power, over the chaos, and over each other. And we forget why the Fire-Bringer brought it to us in the first place, oh, my children: to make us happy. And so, my children, we come to a very great irony, indeed, for who are the eagles who gnaw the Fire-Bringer’s liver? You and I, my children, you and I.
Posted by malthaussen | Fri Aug 10, 2012, 08:01 PM (0 replies)
This is a PSA for the Independent State of Caledon, a long-running (6 yrs old in 2012), stable, 50-sim community with a Victorian/Steampunk theme. As such, it is part of the Steamlands, which include a couple of other lesser polities where the emphasis is on courteous, civilized conduct (at least in public), creativity (many well-known builders, scripters, and world engineers call Caledon home), and helping each other learn about SL. The University of Oxbridge has over 9.000 alumni, and is a good spot for newbies to learn about avatars, building basics, and all of the nuts and bolts of the game. It also has classes in photography and how to earn and best-spend your Lindens. Caledon is involved in many charities and promotes them with fairs, activities, and competitions. It's also a place to have fun, with daily dancing at one venue or another, aerial kraken hunts in steampunk aero-machines, and even a bit 'o piracy on the high seas. All-in-all, a great place to live and work, especially if you dread setting foot on the mainland for its rudeness, and shun the Vampire, Gor, and sexual-free-for-all areas. Caledon is proud to be an equal-opportunity sim: Tinies, furries, mechs, and every possible combination are a vital part of the Caledon community. What other state has an elite bodyguard of Gun Bunnehs?
(This message has NOT been approved by the Caledon Chamber of Commerce, and is just my personal opinion.)
Posted by malthaussen | Tue Aug 7, 2012, 08:55 PM (7 replies)
Or something, anyway, at first sight.
I've been ruminating about a phenomenon that is rare in my life, but has always puzzled me since it first happened when I was 30. Classic tale: a woman walks into the room, and the instant I saw her, I felt like I had been just smacked in the gut with a two-by-four. Literally, I had to force myself not to bend over from the shock, and also not to reach out for her with both hands. Never saw her before, and there was nothing at all to differentiate her from a hundred other women. I wondered if this was what people were talking about when they talked about Love At First Sight. I can assure you, my IQ dropped by about 50 points, also.
This has happened to me a total of four times (I'm 56), and I wonder about it a lot. Obviously, this has nothing to do with love, since I knew nothing of the person. So why such an insanely powerful reaction, even when there were others who were easily more "attractive" in the common view than the ladies in question? What causes this attraction? I've heard "pheromones," but pheromones across a room? That's some powerful stuff! Two of the women were similar in characteristics, the other two differed from each. And none of them, oddly, matched my normal aesthetic, except that the first two were tall and slim with dark hair and I gravitate towards the short and small with dark hair. I'd give at least a nickel to figure out what goes on here.
I've also wondered if this powerful attraction is a) necessarily mutual, b) may be felt by only one of the two people, or c) either one. Circumstances in each case were such that I never even got to exchange two words with any of the women in question, which makes me grit my teeth from time to time (but just wait until next time it happens!). I'd be interested in views on this burning issue.
Posted by malthaussen | Thu Aug 2, 2012, 01:42 AM (44 replies)
... had a thing for actress Angela Cartwright, who played the younger sister on Lost in Space? She was only a few years older than I, and I think my entire female aesthetic (short, small, long dark hair...) was formed because I was noticing her interesting bits just as I noticed that I had an interesting bit.
We talk of Ginger and Mary Ann (and Jeannie, who takes the crown), but I wonder how many guys were weird like me, and thought little Penny Robinson was just the girl I wanted under the Christmas tree? But I didn't like her big sister at all. And anyway, she was already taken.
Posted by malthaussen | Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:29 AM (42 replies)
Probably too personal, but I am so sad now, I don't care. I crave the Indulgence of the Court. This is just by way of "goodbye" to someone (I doubt anyone on DU knew her) I never wanted to say goodbye to.
In 1973-74, I loved a girl. She was my best friend then, she is still one of the two or three best friends I ever had. I was 17/18, she was 24/25. Any time during the past 38 years, I would have married her in a heartbeat, if she'd have had me. She wouldn't though and she was probably right. (I can see your sardonic grin right now, girl) She left me with two quotes I use frequently: "Timing is everything," and "If it wasn't meant to be, it wasn't meant to be." Maybe not too profound, but serviceable in so many situations. We were friends, never lovers, and in '74 she sailed away. For awhile, anyway.
In 1980 I faced the worst crisis of my life (so far). Out of the clear blue, six years after she'd left, I called her up and asked for her love and support, and she never hesitated an instant. No surprise to anyone who knew her, she was the truest and most loyal friend anyone could want. She'd closed that distant door behind her, but would open it out of love and the goodness of her heart. Maybe she saved my life -- it's possible. And so we parted again -- friends but not lovers, however much we may have loved -- for good, I figured.
And so it was, except in 1986 I met her in the elevator at the university. She was just starting a BA (at 37, just like her), I was working on my PhD. I invited her to my office -- she never did come by. 73-74 had been bad years for her (not because of me, though. Or not much) I know she wanted to forget them -- and I wouldn't have wanted to stir up bad times for her for anything. Timing... is everything.
And now, of course, she is dead. She died July 8th, I just found out today when I decided to see if she was on Facebook. Imagine my surprise. Anytime during the past few years, I could have sent an email, just to tell her she has never been forgotten... but if it wasn't meant to be, it wasn't meant to be.
As the years pile up, and friends and lovers die, and even my brother, too... how easy it is to understand that simple old saw: "The secret of life is to love and be loved in return." Yet every one of us, it seems, must relearn that secret, again and again. DU, please forgive the too-personal nature of this post. Alene, I will always love you.
Posted by malthaussen | Wed Aug 1, 2012, 08:33 PM (19 replies)
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