Kulaks

This poem is written in response to an event that took place in Stalin's Russia in the 1930s... farmers known as Kulaks were better-off under Lenin's New Economic Policy, and attempted to keep their grain or destroy it so that the government could not buy it at a lower price than it was worth. What resulted was extreme tragedy, ranging from exile to Siberia to brutal death for many of the Kulaks. Anyways, here's the poem.

Misshapen toes,
matching shabby clothes
poor folks' cloaked
by incessant regimes
harbingers of a fallen empire
filled with shadows of men
now too sad to grieve.

Mommy's alright
but Daddy's not
he worked the fields today,
driven to complain
about unfair wages
rights denied!
now Daddy'll sleep tonight
but he won't wake tomorrow.

Daddy finds himself on a train
headed for that frozen plain
Crying out, he is pushed out of the car.

Whatever happened to decent men?
Police are killing without repent
and Kulaks disappear.

Daylogs. So this is what all the arguments have been about. I am a new noder, fresh meat for the grinder etc. I wrote my first daylog yesterday out of pure searing frustration with my cancerous polyp of a computer, and now I'm going to write another one for reasons I cannot fathom.

While exploring the node structure, trying to get a feel for the rights and wrongs of E2 so I dont sink my own ship, I have come across what appears to be a flame war-style debate about daylogs. Why are people arguing about this so much? The way I see it, if this place is to live up to it's name (rather than simply becoming a user-submitted encyclopaedia), stuff like daylogs have to exist. People will always post their thoughts alone, because people are not ordered creatures. That is why this writeup is a daylog, because it is rambling, self-referential and ultimately pointless. People will write what they think and feel on walls, windows, vehicles and anything else they can find. Such behaviour gives rise to both vandalism and street art. By condemning daylogs, you throw the baby out with the bathwater, getting rid of people who write their deepest and most intimate thoughts because they can find no way to title them for a true writeup along with those who write 'I like cheese' just to make up their writeup count for the next level.

So, risking this WU being sunk by a hoard of angry downvoters, I say keep daylogs. Keep daylogs at all costs, because they lend a quintessentially human and chaotic element to an already excellent information source, without which E2 would become a reference archive, and not the rich and thriving community it appears to my (inexperienced) eyes to be.

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye
Hey hey, my my

Out of the blue and into the black
You pay for this, but they give you that
And once you're gone, you can't come back
When you're out of the blue and into the black

--Neil Young

Rust never sleeps. Not when you reach the point where you realize you can't slow down and you can't fade away. There is nothing but running straight into the head wind day after day and night after night. To live means not trying to avoid death. To live means you are cheating death. Life is the only real cause of death. If you got rid of it death would never happen.

People never die too soon.
They always die right on schedule.

They found Tom on Monday morning. His closest friend found him. After not reporting to work for two days and not answering his phone, his friend went to his house. He found Tom in his yard. He wasn't sure how long he had been there, but Tom's life here had come to an end.

It is a strange sensation when you feel that you are working on a project that may be cursed. We were filming the pilot for our television show at Tom's house. After things not working out using a normal studio, we decided more than a year ago that the show could be rewritten and filmed in a house. The first person to agree was a good friend of ours named Don. He was from the east end of London and moved to America to be with the woman he loved. After he agreed to let us shoot at his home he was diagnosed with leukemia. Three months later Don died. His wife insisted we continue to shoot the show, but she sold the house and moved to Utah to be closer to her family. It took six months before Tom offered us his home. We became good friends with Tom and truly enjoyed our time with him.

Tom was a child of the Sixties. He reveled in the Summer of Love and took everything to the maximum extreme. He was well acquainted with everything from drugs to liquor to free love. He loved every minute of it. He was also diabetic. Sometimes he forgot about his insulin. He flirted with disaster for decades.

He was also an artist of impeccable talent. He was paid well for his contributions and worked in any field that would employ him. He once designed and constructed a bar in Jamaica that was designed to look like a Spanish galleon. He spent a week diving down to examine an old shipwreck to make sure he got the details right. He built things. It was what he did. He built things for movies and he designed things to frustrate uptight architects. Tom was put here to build these things. His works are everywhere. We were only just beginning to learn how far his influence really was spread.

He had been married, but that never quite worked out. In his final years he figured out a way to achieve romantic happiness that fit into his way of doing things. He had a girl in Germany and another in Japan. Once a year he went to see them. He took them to grand places and celebrated the bounty of life with them. A month ago he had been in Hawaii with his Japanese girl living it up on Waikiki Beach. He spent last Christmas in the Swiss Alps with his German girl. He jokingly referred to them as his "whores," but on the walls of his house were pictures of him with each of them, arm and arm with smiles on their faces. I am certain that he loved them both.

He died. He is no more. We will remember those Saturdays at his house discussing what part of the show we were going to shoot and his smile as we sprang into action. He has become a part of the legacy of The Harrington Show and will always be tied to it. He was a truly great man who refused to let doctors tell him how to live. He had diabetes and drank Glenlivet hand over fist. He worked whatever hours were necessary to complete the job assignments he was given. He created things and those things will last. He also created an impression. Tom was a truly great man. He burned out before he faded away. I drink a toast to him tonight. It will be the first of many. He is gone but not forgotten.

I read Slyph's daylog for today. I decided to softlink Everything is a Community for him as a show of support, which meant that I had to actually go to it. I didn't even pay attention to the byline and just decided to read what it said, neglecting to note who the author was until later. By the time I got done reading it, I scrolled back up to click on the "+" box and scanned the byline while I was at it.

"created by Hermetic"

His is the only writeup in the node, written on September 03, 2001... a week to the day before he excused himself from human existence.

I think my heart fractured just the tiniest bit as realization dawned.

Before seeing who'd written that marvelous w/u, I was just about to send a MSG via the Blab option to the author... and then realized that it would go unread, unheard. Perhaps, if he's watching us, he may know that I appreciated his words, his faith in this community that is E2. I think, at that point, I felt like a member of the family had been lost, as many others do.

Finally, /me misses Hermetic. Not just as an abstraction of human thought, but as a person.
I mourn our loss, now, but I celebrate what was left behind.

And, yes, he GMV.

It isn't in my head that I feel these things. It isn't in my heart, my gut, or my skin. I feel them only at a very great distance.

It hasn't always been this way.

...

Within antiseptic hospital walls coloured to disarm, all I hear from Dr. Doctor is a low buzz; Something like a hum, but not nearly as sinister. Something that could not possibly hurt me, something that matters so very little as to be insignificant, to be nothing.

What matters is the translation: we don't know what is wrong. if we try to find out, you may die.

That the odds are in my favour carries a remarkable lack of reassurance.

Dr. Doctor says these same words to a thousand people, and not all of them will live.

...

Have you ever been conflicted?

With winter pounding at the weak spot between your bones, and despair screaming static in your head, have you ever felt blessed?

Have you ever known beauty like this?

Has fortune ever forgotten her scales, and let slip something into your life that you could not have possibly earned?

Have the poets ever been where I am?

Did they ever have anyone like her?

Rock Fever Strikes

I woke up Friday morning, caught the 19 bus at the corner of Paoakalani and Kuhio, and kept going. Now, four days later, I am 6000 miles away, back in Charm City. Back in the home of slightlymadman and anomaly with the evil kittens crawling on me and a gin and tonic close to hand. It is still an hour short of dawn and I am the only one awake in the house, having let myself in with my spare key.

So why am I back here instead of my new hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii? Several reasons. First, I was in a rut--a pleasant rut, but still a rut--back on Oahu. My latest temp job ended a few weeks ago, leaving me with lots of free time and money in the bank. I missed my old friends in Baltimore and there were a few concerts I wanted to go to. And, another few thousand miles down the coast in Florida, my grandmother is dying.

I haven't been the best grandson in the world; I haven't kept in as close touch as I meant to, figuring that there would always be time later to take out of my busy and exciting life. Now, with my father e-mailing me to tell me that she may not live to see Thanksgiving, I have plenty of regrets.

Lucky for me, I also have an unlimited use pass on The Big Gray Dog for this month. So, having come this far, I will go the rest of the way to Palm Beach and see my grandma while there's still a chance.

But for now, worn out from four days of constant travel and excited to be in my old stomping grounds, I'm going to get a good night's sleep and hold off all plans until the morning.

update: Goddammit, I forgot to get an absentee ballot, and it's pretty unlikely that I can make it to the Waikiki Community Center before the polls close. This is the first election I've missed since I was old enough to vote. Goddammit, goddammit, goddammit.

Today is election day in the United States, and I voted. If you are a U.S. citizen and have voting rights, I strongly encourage you to vote today.

Vote. It's the least you can do.

Even if you don't pay taxes, vote.

Whether you are patriotic or not, vote.

Even if you've chosen not to serve in the military or do any sort of national service or volunteer work, vote.

If you choose not to give of your time or money for charity, vote.

If you whine and finagle your way out of jury duty, vote.

If you are politically active, or have an axe to grind, vote.

Even if you don't like politics or political discussions, even if you don't have opinions of your own, vote.

Even if you don't write letters to your Congressman or Senator or President expressing your opinion on issues of the day, vote. That will do.

Even if you don't write letters to the editor of your local newspaper, vote.

If you're not old enough to vote, or have been stripped of your right to vote, help someone else get to the polls. Drive them. Buy mass transit tokens and hand them out. Telephone, email, SMS, and/or telepathically contact others and encourage them to vote.

Vote because we can. Vote because no one is going to murder you, or disappear you, or incarcerate you because of your voting.

Vote beccause there is more than one candidate on the ballot.

Vote because we are on the brink of war but it is still not too late to choose peace.

Vote because people are out of work, pensions are withering, the economy is in the dumps, and there is more that can be done than letting market forces take care of things.

Vote even if you think your vote won't count. The act of walking into a polling place and submitting your vote is, in itself, a politcal act of will and cannot be ignored.

Make an informed choice. Read the newspaper before you go. Or don't, and flip a coin, consult an astrologer, roll dice, throw runestones, read tea leaves, consult tarot cards.

Take a little time off work and vote.

Vote, and if you find a race where you don't know who to vote for, vote for someone whose name reminds you of your pet, an ex-SO, a cartoon character.

If you don't know who to vote for, vote anyway.

Just vote. Whatever party you associate yourself with, just vote. Whatever ethnicity or religion you identify with, vote.

Vote because assholes like me are going to ask you if you voted whenever you express a political opinion.

If nothing else, if none of these reasons appeal to you at all, if nothing else can move you, then vote because it is an act of faith. It is an expression of faith that America can be better, that democracy is the best system available, and that, no matter how much we may think otherwise, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, people have voices that matter.

Thank you and have a nice day.

I am being railroaded.

It is a unique experience. And my first real dealing with office politics. What a way to learn.

Let me tell a little story bout a man named Jed. Yeah. Jed will do. Jed and Zeke were promoted at the same time. Both sets of paperwork go to HR on the same day. Zeke gets his promotion in 1 month. Jed waits, and waits, and waits. Jed gets worried and asks WTF? Turns out the paperwork "disappeared" in HR. "Interesting" thinks Jed.

So the paperwork goes to HR for round 2. Only now the budget is "tight". People don't want to commit money to Jed. Jed pulls some strings and uses some favors. All is right in the world. Things are signed and things are going places. Or so Jed thinks.

Jed and Zeke get promoted again. Jed whoops Zekes ass in the promotion. They have to promote good ole Jed first. But wait... whats this? Jed is still waiting for the first set of paperwork from how many months ago.

Only enough money for one now. Contract is up on Friday. May be extensions, may not. I am a mouse in the paws of fickle fate. Fate being played by Human Resources.

Tick Tock

Tick Tock

Loops within loops. People moving paper this way and that. Power struggles just out of reach and sight.

Now I know how Captain Hook felt. Tick Tock.

I am Jed. And I am screwed.

I sit and listen to the news and hear about the problems voting in this place and that place. I read about more problems in Florida with voting and how the election is rigged for Jeb. All of this makes me think about how the rest of the world thinks about this great democracy we live in.

I'm serious, stop and think about it.... If a person loses, he/she, it doesn't matter on party, will sue because the election has been compromised. I wonder if that would be the same anywhere else in the world. Can you imagine any other place where the loser of a vote would sue because he/she lost?

It makes me shudder to realize our democracy is the laughingstock of the world when it comes to elections.

But I'm off to vote on my way home from work. I have been trying to figure out if I should vote or not. I do not vote for president, as well all know my vote does not matter.

A short little story about my leg. The one I lost back in the war. It started out like any other day. The leaves were quietly loosing their color and falling down to the cold, hard ground with a thud and a crackle. Life everywhere was closing up shop, preparing for the white cloth to be strewn on top of the black ground in the fields, and gray trees to turn into confectionery delights for the insane. Already, there were traces here and there of grandfather Cold’s mighty chillin’ grasp taking hold of the surroundings. I was sitting by the window that dusk, noting the birds’ mad flights of fancy in the air. They knew it too, it’s on its way. Even before it begun, the struggle was already lost. Skies were turning through the big wheel of the spectrum, gradually dying out to nothingness. It’s all a big beurocracy up there, by the time you opinion makes any difference, a billion tons of paperwork has been submitted, and eternity has come to an end. There is no end to the cycles of power. Round and round, kind of like those wheels on that short bus to school. Only not too round. Round enough as not to attract any attention, but perfectly square so anything is possible. Don’t blink now, that’s when they get you. You blink, the ties that hold your universe together unravel, and madness terminates itself. In those moments, forever takes place, the sky crumbles into dust that lightly sprinkles on my shoulders, ties that bind me down come loose, reality crashes and burns into the black water, and everything is perfect. Wars are at a standstill, bombs are an eternity away from innocent people, bullets made out of inc wedged into layers of plastic are forever frozen in their place. In those few moments of perfection, singularity is reached with the universal mind, and all traces of violence and unrest are erased from this plain, and maybe, just maybe, it is possible for the individual to change the world. That is not as easy as it sounds, not at all. While here in silicon the formula sounds pretty crazy, in unreality, it is impossible to describe. Therefore, it is pretty tricky to get a hang of the ropes, endlessly entwined in the stuff that these realisms are sewn of. Just like it is impossible to fly in wakefulness, while in sleep one learns the tricks of successfully missing the ground. Here also, one must loose himself in the moment, open his mind to greater wisdom, and just be. Abandoning all physical properties, all flesh of this plain, until only the energy of “I” remains. Then and only then, can one coexist on this plain, forever entangled within himself and the light throughout

Driving through the woods to work the other day in the wet half-light of the English morning, I saw a paperboy trudging along the grass bit by the side of the road with his filthy flourescent bag, hitting himself unhurriedly on the back, over one shoulder, then the other, with a stick off a tree.

That's all.

On this Election Day, a few things come to mind.

First, for those who would call our elections "illegitimate" and who claim that their vote won't be counted: please do us all a favor and find somewhere where elections really are a joke, learn about it, tell us about it, and learn a few things applicable to the US today in the process. The fact that your side lost a close race does not make an election illegitimate. Selective enforcement of election laws illegitimizes an election.

Second, please go out there and vote. But don't do so without thinking about it. Lots of people have lots of stuff to say, and it's awfully easy to throw a fit about what's happening right now. Coming up with a viable long-term solution to the problems that those happenings address seems a bit harder for those folks. Sitting on your hands is a legitimate choice, but is it viable? Neville Chamberlain thought so, and you probably know how that wound up.

Idealism has its place, but unfortunately, the voting box probably isn't it. Think about the interaction your choices will have to carry on with the real world before you punch that card.

And for Pete's sake, be sure you have the punch-card and the key lined up correctly.

This daylog has nothing to do with the election, except for the following sentence. I voted, straight-ticket Libertarian, so I don't even have to worry about watching the election results this evening, as I know my vote doesn't count for anything.

Instead, it's time for another edition of "THE AD," in which I look at advertisements in my local newspaper and point out things that should be in the "help wanted" ads, but aren't.

Today's advertisement is:

LOCAL COMPANY Now Ac-
cepting Applications for 23 Full
Time & Part Time Positions.
Openings are in set-up, serv-
ice and delivery department.
No experience necessary,
company will train. Applicants
must be 18 or older, neat in
appearance, and ready to start
work immediately. $400 A
Week Possible to start.
Management positions also
available (618)555-0000.

Let's dissect this ad, one clause at a time, and see what happens...

Local company: False. The company is just a tiny local office; the company itself is based in Cleveland.

No experience necessary, company will train: They don't pay you for the training. Their "factory recommended" training is four to six weeks.

$400 a week: if you meet your sales goals.

Management positions also available: if you're willing to pay for their management training, price unspecified.

The guy in the suit did a very nice job with his speech, blissfully unaware that the shinola he was peddling mixed all the worst aspects of door-to-door sales and a Ponzi scheme.

Tomorrow, of course, is another day...

If you've been following my past daylogs you'll remember my ongoing fight with my Crohn's Disease. Today is Day 19 of my all-liquid diet, but hopefully there's hope ahead. I've been able to go back to work and some of my classes, and the material that I've missed can be made up at my leisure for the most part. One professor actually set a due date of "whenever" for two programming assignments. I love flexibility like that; now I can concentrate on resting and hopefully being able to eat a scambled egg this weekend.

While I was out picking up my pain pills I did my American duty and voted. This was my second time voting and was proud to mark my choice for governor, Congressmen, and state constitutional amendments, specifically since some of the campaign promises made by some of the candidates would cut funding to my division at work (I work for the government), which might put my job in danger. Hopefully that candidate won't become our next governor and my job will be safe.

My pills are kicking in now, so I should end this before my writing makes no sense. Be sure to eat your votes and go out and egg today.

Yes, I voted.

Course, I also have to be here until every vote comes in, because one of our sites is the Supervisor of Elections for Hillsborough County.

We are now on the touch-screen voting system, and though we have been doing all sorts of marketing for it, today was the first chance I got to really use it. Very cool.

Like some of the other elections, the candidates weren't the most entertaining part. Some of the more entertaining and interesting amendments were:
  • A Constitutional Amendment making it illegal to put a pregnant pig in a cage or tether of any type.
  • A 700-word amendment stating that they wanted to change the wording of the state constitution from "cruel or unusual punishment" to "cruel and unusual punishment". This will allow them to do things such as execute 16-year olds (because the supreme court has ruled that "unusual" but not "cruel".
  • A constitutional admendment banning smoking from any workplace with very limited exceptions.

But I voted, dagnab it!


On a complete other note, tomorrow I leave for Virginia. That is where my girlfriend is finishing up school at. She has until May and then she'll have her masters and be moving back here. Along with me I will take warm clothes, a camera, my heart and a ring, and by Saturday I will have asked her to stay with me forever.

It's going to be a good weekend.

Dearest Xenex and Cornflakes,

Thank you for attending the Cup party that was held at my premise yesterday. My friends also enjoyed your company and found yourselves to be good value and interesting. We enjoyed your company.

The "nectar of the gods" that you sampled - I am glad you enjoyed some of it, but I do recall saying, as I handed it to yourself, "Here try this Mystery beer".. your reaction to it both surprised and amused myself. I am pleased that you were also comfortable enough to partake in the weird and wonderful, and again, was amused at your reaction. Cheers in return!!

As for the spoon game - you are what can only be defined as a great sport and I am sure that you will carry the tradition of this game forward. I trust that you will play with the skill and honour that was taught to yourself. I also hope your lumps heal sooner rather than later...

You will be pleased to know the godless soy-based meat substitutes that you abandoned in my household fed my dog, and for this she (the dog) is grateful although disappointed at the meatlessness of them.

I would like to extend my most heartfelt thanks in return to both yourselves for attending the simple BBQ spread, you added to the flavour of the eve and following day.

Unfortunately I will most probably not be attending this Friday night, as I have my daughter this weekend, and she fails to enjoy the SCA I don't attend - BUT - I will be on going to 'Monthly Bash' on Sunday, and I will forward further details to yourself (and anyone else in the Melbourne region that wants them!) shortly.

Yours most sincerely,
Sui

PS: You will be pleased to hear that 'girlfriend' has now been taken and I am sure she will flow into the E2 nodegel quietly and with the smooth grace she usually exhibits...

Election Day. In America, anyway. After I got out of school, I headed right down to the polls. I'm only 16, and I can't vote. Due to a peculiar quirk in our civil liberties, I could vote right now if I lived in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. But not here.

But, anyway, I headed across town to the polling place. Since I'm going to be a candidate in two years, I figured I'd get a feel for the environment.

I conducted an exit poll, although I only got two votes. If I've learned one thing, it's that people really hate exit polls.

I met the two women who will most likely be running against me. I met people who wanted to elect Shannon O'Brien and people who wanted to elect Mitt Romney. I even met a handful of Jill Stein supporters. I met everyone in this district who's ever written a Letter to the Editor. I spend three hours talking to a Republican on a street corner. After an hour, he realized I was that kid he'd seen in the paper.

It's not a bad town. Soon enough it'll be mine.

Previous
Next

  1. Confusion
  2. Resolution
  3. Admiration
  4. Isolation
  5. Mastication
  6. Lacrimation

Today, for the first time in the 13 months that I've known him, I managed to get Edward displeased with me. Through a complete misinterpretation of something he said to me, I performed an action which he had actually asked me not to do. I'd been 100% sure that he wasn't serious in asking me not to do A and to do B instead. When I brought up later that I had done A, he let me know that he was not happy about that; I was flabbergasted that I'd read him so incorrectly (and done something to hurt him, though in a minor way).

We talked it over for a good half hour: what he'd said, what I'd heard, how such a miscommunication could happen, and how we could prevent such a mishap in the future. There was no raising of voices, no acrimony. As I have been before, I was very impressed with his emotional groundedness, his demeanor, his reason.

In the evening, as I was leaving work, I told him I admire him so much for that. As unhappy as I was at the episode having happened, I was at the same time grateful for the opportunity to witness firsthand his approach to interpersonal problems, and maybe even to learn from it.

Then some weird mental disconnect occurs. I'm at the laundromat, and I find myself wolfing down Sour Cream 'n Onion potato chips and Dr Pepper, with some almonds for a chaser. Then with the clothes in the dryer, I go across the street to the grocery store and buy corn chips, dip, lemonade, chocolate cookies, donuts, and milk. Arriving home, I dump the clothes on the floor and start in on an altogether unwholesome binge. While wallowing in self pity and wondering how I'll ever find anyone even half as good as Edward who will partner with me in sharing our lives, I make significant dents in each of the food groups I'd laid before me. Despite the good job I've done at losing weight over the last seven months, some part of me just wanted to throw that progress to the winds and keep stuffing my face until I exploded.

Before retreating to bed and more sfealnft-aisnideusl goefn t cErdywianrgd, I stepped on the scale and found that I'd gained eight pounds during the day. Oh, what a devious player is the id. Oh, what a beautiful person is Edward.

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