I entreat you...

I implore....
Don't make this any harder, don't struggle, don't fight... You said.

I must....

Let go....
Don't pin my bought wings to this 10 cent felt with your hopes, don't allow my freedom to flutter to extinction from the formaldehyde of your expectations, don't case me in your shadow box in proper form, when I am so adamant that I am only my own.

I sense your thirst

And how you think to consume me
How your life requires the sustenance of mine, because I am vital and resplendant from the nectar of lovers dreams, upon which I imbibe. I smell your lust for those moments in which your delight is designed by the elements of myself, beyond my control to perceive or alter, or create, which you have called beautiful and because you have, you have also called them yours. You would tame my independence, you would snuff me out, you would admire the shadow of what I could have been
and I would be safe,

and I would be yours

and I would be dead.
I dreamed that my father came to visit me in my flat by the university. He's never been here in real life. It was one of those strange daytimes when all the sunlight outside is like invisible molten glass...

He sat down on my bed and started saying something about the heater in my room, like "That's pretty cheap," or something.
"Yeah, it's the only one I could get." I said. My computer was on too, I remember.

I walked over and hugged him; I started crying... "What's this about?" he said. "Are you having trouble coming up with a thesis for a paper or something?"
I didn't say anything.
"Oh." he said, eventually. "It's because I'm going to die."
"Yeah." I said. "We all are, eventually."

I remember seeing something on my computer at this point, but I can't remember what it was. Then he spoke again, just about everyone in general, I could tell:

"With the small amount of time given to us, we have created electronic gaming."

I woke up crying.

It would be easy to get stuck in Bangkok. Sitting there, everything laid out before you (especially on Khaosan Road, the most touristy of touristy locations in the city). Surrounded by fellow backpackers, restaurants and bars no more than 10 metres from wherever you stand, stalls lining the road and footpath selling everything you could ever possibly need as a traveller in a foreign land. If Bangkok was your first port of call on an overseas trip, you'd be crazy to bring clothing with you - simply hit the markets, and you could easily gather clothes enough for an entire trip for the cost of one t-shirt back home. It's that type of place. Everything's easy.

Every night's a weekend night on Khaosan Road. The bars are full every night, people spill out onto the streets, the sound of cover bands and pirate music surrounding everyone and everything. Bars spring up on the sidewalk outside the 7-11 - beer half as much as in the bars nextdoor. If you're hungry, for 20 baht (about US$50 cents) a sidewalk vendor will whip you up a fresh Pad Thai. For desert, half a pineapple - freshly cut, served with a skewer to eat the segments - will be an additional 10 baht. On the street, a Japanese group sits - one skillfully playing a Didgeridoo. He's accompanied by another guy playing a an instrument I've never seen, and can't name - made from metal, placed in his mouth, with a metal prong that he vibrates, while the metal frame rests against his teeth, producing a vibrant twanging sound... Jew's Harp (thanks Ouroboros and Crux) and with the Didgeridoo, forming its own unique sound, it's a picture that shouldn't fit in Thailand, but here, seems perfectly at home.

So far, over the last 3 nights, I've met close to 20 new people, sat and had conversations, swapped stories and advice. If you're alone here, but feel like talking to someone, all you need to is sit at a table, and either invite someone to sit, or wait for someone to ask to sit. It's practically impossible to feel too lonely - almost needing to be a conscious decision. Isolation here is self imposed - there's too much life pressing around you to be able to resist without an effort.

On Khaosan Bangkok in general...the shadows are indistinct. Hazy at the edges, lacking definition and strong shape. Through the pollution and constant haze, the sunlights strength is sapped. Evenings fall quickly, seemingly without warning. Used to the gradual lengthening of shadows from home, signalling night's approach, I'm unprepared for this. As the sun approaches the horizon, and falls below thicker smog and haze, its light is quickly extinguished - as though rather than disappearing behind the earth for another night, it has simply failed prematurely.

When you're beginning to notice the lack of your own shadow, it's time to move on - escape Bangkok, and find somewhere new. I now find myself in Kanchanaburi, home of The Bridge Over the River Kwai, close to Hell Pass - a place of terrible history, and unimaginable suffering. This afternoon, I walked across the bridge - it's still used, on the way back I needed to step into one of the alcoves on its sides to wait for a train to pass. These days, there are stalls at both ends, selling jewellery, t-shirts and food to the tourists. Boats with huge, powerful engines wait to collect people to go for a ride, sounding like light aircraft heading down the runway as they power off. As with everywhere that attracts visitors in huge numbers, it's completely set up to cater to your every whim. Still, it is nice to step outside, and not see a bar for 100 or so metres in any direction.

Nicest of all - now, I walk outside in the heat of the day, and I have a shadow.

amnesiac - a tribute

Nobody knows what has become of our beloved amnesiac. All that we know is, e2 is a sadder, quieter, less sweary place for his absence. I find it oddly fitting that I should be writing this on the day that the little cleaning thing that hangs over the lip of my toilet bowl has run out of purple cleaning fluid. Today, the toilet bowl of e2 will no longer be kept purpley-fresh by amnesiac's soapy wit.

I remember the day we first spoke. I cautiously asked him about one of his writeups, and he replied in the half caustic, half jolly manner that I have since come to expect from him. The first meet I organised, I foolishly asked him if he'd be coming along. His reply was "fuck off, I hate white people". I thought he was joking at the time, but he probably wasn't. The day I actually met him in the flesh was a humbling occasion. We were supposed to taunt David Blaine in his glass box with a Filet-O-Fish - and amnesiac had actually bought one specifically for that purpose. That was the day I realised he wasn't all talk - he believed in his causes, rightly or wrongly, and no white infidel was ever going to stand in his way.

There are many things we remember him for. The AnBesialb emergency catbox, which saved a good many of us during the dark times of e2 server 500 errors. The epic, unsolicited new writeups writeup, constantly updated in real time - for which he asked, and received, no reward. His inexplicable hatred for the film Grosse Point Blanke, and bizarre insistence that it is Minnie Driver who gives an aeroplane to John Cusack with her yeti legs, and not the other way around, despite clear photographic evidence to the contrary. The caption competitions, which he guided us through, helping us to craft and shape our entries, refusing to compromise his integrity, until finally, we won. Well, I did. Although it was an adapted version of one he came up with. But still, it's my name on the thing and that's what counts.

Later in his e2 life, he became frustrated at not being offered an editor or god position. Perhaps his edgy, wacky, "out there" style was not what the management wanted. Or perhaps they just thought it would be like letting a rabid, hormone-crazed, GM-brainfucked, over-sexed greased-up bull into a china shop, where the china plates have all been painted to look like lady-bull vaginas, and doused in lady-bull pheromones, and there are ball bearings on the floor, and flashing lights, and scary noises, and angry bees. Who can say? But wherever he is now, I hope he is happy. I hope he finds the peace that was denied him here. In many ways, he truly was the prince of our hearts.

To try and get over our grief at his unexplained disappearance, I would like to present some personal recollections of the lovable rogue. If you have any, feel free to send them to me. The more sentimental and syrupy, the better. Update: I notice some of you have downvoted this. Have you no shame? Have you no love in your hearts? Would you downvote the victims of 9/11? Would you downvote Princess Diana's beautiful corpse? Would you downvote Ghandi? They wouldn't have downvoted you. And now they're dead. And it's all your fault. Murderers.

noders on amnesiac

Master Villain says amnesiac has made my life worthwhile. Many are the times his tales of cheesemongery warmed my heart on cold winter nights. There is a little bit of amnesiac in all of us.

borgo says just tell him to get his ass back here

LeoDV The only thing I can think of right now is that I tried to compete with him for most foul-mouthed in the catbox, and failed. And that's a pretty big compliment in my book.
allseeingeye: anybody but bush, love amnesiac

Catchpole: tributes to amnesiac are the new caption competiton

LeoDV: Alas poor amnesiac, I hardly knew ye mother.

StrawberryFrog: He said he hated me because I was white, and therefor racist.
StrawberryFrog: He was such a kidder. At least I hope so.
ReiToei: SF: No. I think he just hated you.
StrawberryFrog bursts in to tears

JohnnyGoodyear doesn't remember amnesiac (in a very self-referentially post-modern way mind).

gnarl: besides, once amn kicks it, i've got a nodermeet lined up: The great Grosse Point Blank movie viewing Pork Roast and Booze Up in AMnesiac's Honour (guest appearance by David Blaine).

JodieK says (sniff) who's going to stare at my tits now?

spiregrain says I have kept every /msg the little punk ever sent me. We will never see his like again.

gnarl says i beleive our saviour amn shall reappear within the confines of political asylum , and thus I shall remain there, patiently waiting his second coming, wherein peace shall reign over all, except the neo-cons who shall be against the proverbial wall. ALL HAIL OUR BELOVED AMNESIAC!

ReiToei: Dear Amnesiac, Wherever you are now, I'm glad you're dead. You cunt.

amnesiac on popular culture

amnesiac: The black kids pull up to the ivy league college in a shitty car pumping rap music. The frigid ivy league blonde (Reese Witherspoon) clutches her books to her chest, but feels the raw sexual chemistry of the black men..
amnesiac: Has this film actually been fucking made yet or do I just think it has?

amnesiac: it's like Doctor Who innit, the 'pope' never dies, only the last carrier

amnesiac: hampstead heath is where the gays go for George Michaeling
amnesiac: and is where Gritchka lives, although I am not implying anything.

amnesiac: rectangles ++

knifegirl: This penguin is driving through the desert. Things are going pretty well when the car starts to overheat....
amnesiac: hehe penguin!
amnesiac: good one. Anyone else got any?

amnesiac: If I could give america a gmail invite I would, as some small compensation for the tragic events of 3 1/2 years ago

TheDeadGuy: Who do you think is kinkier in the bedroom? Kerry or Bush? Don't say Cheney, we all know he's freaky in the sack.
amnesiac: I think Kerry, that ketchup bitch looks like she's got moves

amnesiac: Everyone hates Australians - you can't bomb them enough is what I say.
amnesiac: even if you've reached a poin where you think "they've been bombed enough" you should still try to bomb them

amnesiac: whenever i have a meeting with my german colleagues i can't help but wonder what sort of role they would've had if they were born 50 years earlier. I suppose everyone does that.

amnesiac: I've decided that last man alive in a room thing has to end with him getting a spam email

amnesiac: can someone give me the gopher address to find Star Wars information please, specifically who played Hans Olo.

amnesiac on noders

amnesiac: TenMin - I don't think you'd know a cultural apex if it shat in your mouth
RalphyK: I would. If one shat in *my* mouth, I would instantly know what it was. In fact, that's how I insist me and my friends greet each other
RalphyK: I don't seem to have many friends these days, though

amnesiac: That group is actually only meant for irish noders but I joined it out of spite because so many of them had infiltrated britnoders. The fuckers rued the day.

amnesiac: to be fair, yer average bengali lad is going to come off pretty badly in the face of an oolong type bohemian character with all his learning and tantric sex

ascorbic wants a new career. Not one that involved Lotus Noted either, nor one he's done already.
amnesiac: why don't you become a TV Chef, you know cooking and you're a fucking cunt

amnesiac: By the way, whose cock do you have to suck to get RalphyK to do your meet writeup? ..oh I think i've answered my own question

amnesiac: i pretty much called one of the gods a 'cunt'
amnesiac: That is in fact what I did do
Lord Brawl: But better rude to the admins than the donating customers
amnesiac: "stupid cunt" to be more accurate
knifegirl: PS it wasn't me WHEW
knifegirl: Bones told me if one more user calls me a cunt I'm out.

amnesiac on amnesiac

skow: amnesiac are you by chance a 14 year old mexican girl?
amnesiac: I curse the gods that I am not

amnesiac: I don't see how people have the time to be Dr. Who fanatics or transvestites or any of that shit. When i get home, have something to eat and watch the latest hostage snuff it's time for bed. Where do you find the time?

amnesiac: I don't know where you find the time for that. By the time I've finished work, got home, eaten something and contributed to terrorist funds it's almost morning again.

amnesiac: shit - I think I had a bad coconut. Are you supposed to drink the milk ? it's not pasteurised or anything. my stomach hurt!
amnesiac: i just drank it straight out of the coconut like a monkey - now I feel sick
amnesiac: oh god, I know it's gonna kill me, killed by a coconut, i should've seen it coming, tell them I was killed by the feds.
amnesiac: in my semi-delirious state i will finish by saying I quite fancy the old woman who plays Raymond's mum in 'Everybody loves raymond' - he's almost perfectly cylindrical
amnesiac: I would like to roll his screen mum down a hill, then who knows what will happen next.

amnesiac: Can I just make it clear 'shitting in the curry' isn't a metaphor for the current state of the world, it's real curry, real shit.

amnesiac: I have to leave for abut 20 mins to buy the new Nick Cave CD. Will you lot be ok?
knifegirl: Sure, we'll hold the Grosse Pointe Blank discussion til you get back.
Master Villain: noooooo *clings to amnesiacs leg*
amnesiac: OK i'm going, remember you can look through the archive and pretend it's real-time if you start feeling sad

...and that's all we have left to us now - pathetically trawling the archives and pretending that he is still with us...

amnesiac - Friday March 16th 2001 to ?

Sinai - 22:00 Local Time

This fucking sucks

Following enwhysea's (very correct) statement above that terrorism fucking sucks...

At least 30* people (mostly Israelis) were killed and at least 129 were injured in a series of attacks aimed directly at Israeli tourists in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Al Qaeda has been blamed, and indeed an organization called "the World Islamist Group" - believed to have ties to Jama'a Islamiya, Al Qaeda's Asian branch - has claimed responsiblity for the attacks.

21:45: A truckful of explosives went off at the Hilton hotel in Taba, on the Egyptian side of the Israel-Egypt border. The western part of the hotel collapsed; At the time of this writing, people are still trapped under ten floors of debris there, but the chances of finding survivors are decreasing.

23:30: Two simultaneous blasts - apparently from two suicide bombers - were heard in the Ras al-Satan area, about 45 kilometers south of Taba. At least two Israelis died, and eight more were injured.

Dozens of Israelis, confirmed to have been in Taba at the time of the attack, are still missing.

*While this figure is still not final, the most recent reports say 28 bodies were retrieved from the wreckage at Taba, and two people were killed at Ras al-Satan, so that's the truth for now.

Details will continue to magically pop up as they become available.

Node your life in the insanity of the Middle East

I have a story running around inside my head. It's called "Rosabelle Answer". I can't write it for some reason. It hurts to think about. It's about death and life after. That there may not be any. That it is an essential aspect of the human condition to not know. It is an essential aspect of life that we presume this is it. That there may not be anything else. That everything beyond the little we know falls into the category, "faith".


My father was a religious man and Catholicism was his religion. He used to say to me that faith was what you accepted as truth irrespective of "proof".

He knew I was a science-oriented kid. That I needed to experience things before I accepted them. Everything I heard was fiction until it happened to me. There's a certain danger in not believing. We call disbelief without experience being childish because we all start off that way. We don't believe our parents until we grab the hot plate, or tip over the glassware, or stick our finger into the wall outlet. Surviving our disbelief is called "natural selection" by some.

We have to outgrow our disbelief. We need to simply accept some things as fact without the benefit of experience--that fire is hot irrespective of whether it's inside an oven or a single glowing coal. That stepping into a street without looking can get us killed. That some drugs take away our pain, and those same drugs in larger quantities can as easily take away our lives.

The question remains where to draw the line. Because not everything is clear. Nothing is absolute. David Copperfield doesn't make the plane disintegrate from reality. Some people sell you things that aren't worth what they claim they are. Taking some good advice will get you into trouble, and there's some bad advice will make things better, if only temporarily. You can't always believe your senses. You can't always believe your own mind.

Truth, you learn, is absolute and exists outside somewhere. It can be understood. It can be used as a yardstick.

And then you find out that even truth isn't absolute. Something as fundamental as when something happens can be refuted scientifically no matter what time your clock shows. You have to have faith in it.

Everybody has faith in something. It's survival.

My story is in my mind and it will start like this:


Rosabelle Answer

There has been a girl next door everywhere I've lived. Her name is Diane. When there's nothing to do we walk through the woods, down to the creek, to the soft mud in the shade, to catch sunnies. And sometimes we talk about things nobody cares about. Things everyone knows except us.

Diane says, "Nobody who has ever died has come back."

I say, "What about Jesus?"

She says, "That's religion. It doesn't count. Religion's not about normal people."

"What about Lazarus?"

"Same thing."

"What about zombies?"

"Same. You're stuck."

"What about that yeast that can be frozen for 20,000 years?"

"Suspended animation. Not the same thing as death."

"I bet I could come back."

"I bet you can't."

"How much?"


It hurts me to think about it.

Bess Houdini waited ten years before she blew out the candle. Ten years and she never got the message.

And part of me says, well, maybe there's a rule. And the rule is when you die, you're not allowed to talk to living people. Or maybe it's that you can look at life the way we get TV shows at home, you can see and hear but you can't touch. Or maybe it's like it is when you're dreaming. Most of the time you're dreaming, you don't know it. That becomes your life and it doesn't occur to you there is another life to worry about.

Or maybe there's just nothing.

When I was younger I went through a phase of existentialism. I believed, quite firmly and soundly, that the end of life was exactly the same as it was when you were put to sleep for a surgical procedure. When I had my surgeries, there was absolutely nothing between going to sleep and waking up. And I imagined that if I simply died during the surgery, the coming back wouldn't happen, and so there'd be nothing. Just no me.

That belief led me to the inevitable, absolute opinion that the only thing of value in this world was life and love, and that the protection of both was paramount. My world had no God. All life was accidental. And to a man with no heaven, the only good that can come of life is to love the world and its inhabitants, and to hope to be loved in return.

Later, things happened to me that made me start thinking my approach was narrow. And the existence of life after death seemed probable. Even likely. And then my thoughts changed. My beliefs changed. My faith changed. Now I believe in God. I believe lots of things because I think the time is right and I have grown out of my disbelief.

If the answer to life after death was knowable, there'd be no life. It's essential it cannot be known. It's never going to be known. We're never going to prove we've spoken to our dead relatives. We're never going to prove ghosts. All of that will be forever on the margins of our perception, of our real lives.

And it makes me wish I could have kept my existentialism. It was simpler and happier.

I think that's pretty much the whole story of Diane and her friend.

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