KAT Elite Mod

Let's talk about Political Correctness

1601 views    posted 19 Oct 2014, 18:15    
And for the record, clear the decks a bit...

A couple days ago, I made a comment on a torrent that I had downloaded, wherein I noted that the torrent was excellent .... it did download very quickly, it was complete, the books were (or so I believe) readable. Unfortunately, I was not able to tell at first glance by the book titles that the books were of a genre that I normally do not download, certainly don't read, and ... well frankly, I don't like the genre.

Normally I don't make personal comments about my preferences in torrent quality replies. Certainly I know better, having been on the same campaign as others here to stop downloaders from voting their personal social or religious views in torrent comments. I know the quality patrol doesn't approve of that. I don't approve of that.

However, I slipped and gave the torrent a negative thumbs down, despite the fact it was an excellent torrent by one of our most trusted and best torrent uploaders. Couldn't help myself - the books were a big disappointment to me.

That being said, I want to share a bit of the uproar that ensued because of my (admittedly prejudiced) decision... Immediately got a "tut-tut" response in the reply stating that my comment was inappropriate (what I actually said was that the books were not my personal reading preference.

Okay, I saw that, agreed in principle, and deleted my comment. But that wasn't enough to satisfy the Moral Police... and I got a nice long PM accusing me of being a homophobe, etc. Okay ... now the dukes are up.

First, a "homophobe" means.. someone who is subconsciously "afraid" of gays because he/she is secretly gay. I almost laughed. I'm neither gay, nor am I the least bit "afraid" of gays, or of being gay people.

Secondly, and the bigger issue for me, is this notion that seems to prevail today that since the decade of the "Gay Liberation", we all have to jump onboard the band wagon and applaud endlessly a lifestyle that, regardless of the fact it's a normal part of life, and 20% of us are leaning that direction, is NOT the prevailing lifestyle of the majority, nor is it necessarily a sign of special favor in the eyes of God, or the government, or the rest of us.

What really annoys me these days is that this whole business is so in our faces... all of us, that the majority of us (YES, the Majority! of us) are afraid to speak up and decline to voice our profound approval, to say nothing of our acceptance, of a lifestyle that is a minority preference, a sexual orientation, and at times an offense to some of us. We don't HAVE to like it that everyone is not like the average girl or guy. We don't have to approve of any particular lifestyle, just because others do. And we are NOT required to hide our distaste of a social practice just because it's the current Fad of the Month.

Personally, I think one's personal preferences where love is concerned is just THAT - personal. I don't have a life companion, and I don't need one.... nor do I want to hear (on a daily basis sometimes) about "how gay it is to be gay" ... and "Let's All Be Gay Today". I remember a time when this topic was taboo, not discussed in the market place, the town square, and the church pew. It was pleasant to go through the day being with people who didn't feel it was necessary to announce their sexual orientation as if it were the Pulitzer Prize and expect everyone to applaud them for their brave acceptance of their orientation.

Some things in life are better kept at home, and not paraded on the street. I realize there are still people who feel the "Gay Libration" has not completely liberated everyone who has that orientation. However, there will never be total equality for all, on any issue - and it's time for us to move on... to some other obsession.

Finally, I must say that I will not "hush up" my mouth and not say what I think just because someone here dislikes my point of view. We have a wonderfully astute and liberally tolerant community here, which I love. We do NOT have a crowd of zombies walking lockstep in a parade of the "Pop Cause of the Day". I'm an independent now, as I ever was. And homophobia is not one of the hangups I enjoy. I don't have to like it just because anyone thinks that I must. And I don't have to be dishonest about my values because they are "old fashioned" and temporarily out of favor, either.

New Wall buttons

12 views    posted 08 Jun 2014, 04:16    

Vampire Music - and ruminations on the fate of Night Walkers

227 views    posted 14 Mar 2014, 20:51    
So I'm sitting here today listening to the music of Enigma - quintessential vampire mood music, if ever I heard any such thing. No, it's not "Vampire Weekend" (which I think is more heavy metal than I like). In any case, I have a few pieces in my music library by different artists that I think fit into this category - melancholic or raging, but with a distinct undercurrent of lust and a ghostly yearning.

I'm in a particularly downscale mood these days - vampire music appeals to me in times like this. The cause of my moodiness is mundane, not spiritual - I'm suffering through the adjustment period with my new dentures. It occurs to me that having dentures is very much like waking up to discover that:

1) You can't eat regular food anymore, which of course, contributes greatly to...
2) a ravenous appetite... but nothing you try that is "regular stuff" satisfies the hunger, and in fact, ....
3) eating gives you pain - because your dentures are hard, but your gums are soft, and you can't bite down on anything, or chew on anything.

I can't help but wonder if this is the kind of suffering a newly made vampire experiences. Does it maybe hurt, like hell, to bite into the neck of somebody?


Turning away from my morbid fascination with my aching mouth, as I listen to the yearning, plaintive music of a band that forged the definition of dark music - the music of lust and pain - I have to give some thought to why vampires seem to be so totally obsessed with wooing and seducing a lover before they bite her / him. It must be because they yearn so much after life... and the procreative act - the urge to mate - clearly is the very definition of the natural imperative.

You rarely see movies made about the horrors of the Nasferatu - those moldering, ancient dead who are a horror walking. They might want to woo and seduce their victims, too - but I think, mostly they just want to drain them dry, because they've lost all vestiges of their humanity centuries ago.

All the vampires in the popular romance novels are young and handsome (or beautiful) ... aching in their apparent beauty. But I've read enough on the subject to know that the allure is actually a clever spell ... a "glamour" cast over the victim. I think one of the most realistic stories I've seen in a TV series showed the vampire in his natural form, and then again, after he cast a "glamour" on himself. He was hideous in his natural form - a typical "nosferatu".

Makes me shudder. I read paranormal romances for the thrill of those intense emotional encounters between men and women. I hate the way the image of the Nosferatu keeps popping up in the midst of my reading, as I think about what some poor girl is actually enduring, while thinking she is "in love" with a vampire.

There's a big difference between "love" and "lust".

Thoughts on Braveheart - William Wallace the Scots Hero

213 views    posted 07 Mar 2014, 20:45    
Because we are approaching the US National holiday of St. Patrick's Day, which honors an Irish Catholic saint, I've been listening to some music along that general line, among which is an album by Celtic - "Braveheart". The album is purely instrumental, and very soothing, but the album title is, of course, remiscent of the film featuring Mel Gibson as a Scottish warrior and (arguably) a hero in Scots history.

I saw the film - once - I couldn't bear to watch it a second time, after what happened to William Wallace at the end of the film. I was appalled at the graphic depiction of him lying there while somebody (a druid priest? a vindictive Englishman?) cut his heart out while he was still breathing. I cried all the way out of the theatre. These days, I cry everytime I listen to the music from the film.

But I was totally amazed when I read the history of William Wallace, and what they did to him in real life at the end, and I also read the story of Robert the Bruce, because I thought perhaps the film had something to do with HIM, instead of Wallace.

As it turns out, what was done to William Wallace, who did NOT deserve what happened to him in the least!!!, was far worse than what was depicted in the film! He was hanged, but before he died, he was drawn and quartered, his manhood cut off and burned before his eyes before that happened - the most unbelievably cruel and horrid thing I ever read about in history.... altho I am sure other atrocities have been committed by men of low birth who lack souls.

But what is most tragic about William Wallace is that he was buried in an unmarked grave, and "forgotten" by history. The man was a hero of his people, and his tragedy makes me weep, and it makes me very sad. I am thankful that Mel Gibson took it on himself to tell Wallace's story in grand style on the American screen! Although there have been many who have claimed the film was full of historic errors, the truth is, he told the story of a Scots hero who was gravely mistreated, and left to lie unrecognized for his worth in an unmarked grave. He was, in fact, tried by King Edward 1st and died horribly by his order.

For one year William Wallace was the Guardian of his people before relinquishing his seat to Robert the Bruce, who then became King of the Scots, a role he held for 23 years before dying at age 54. I think it's interesting that it was NOT William Wallace's heart that was taken from his body - it was Robert the Bruce's heart - removed after his death and buried in a separate place from the rest of his body.

However, at this time of the year, when some of us in the USA are making light of St. Patrick, and parading around in foolish green hats and silly green outfits, I think it's worth a few minutes of our time to think about the Scottish Hero who gave his life for his country.

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Coping with the Summer Blues - June 16th

7 views    posted 16 Jun 2013, 18:38    
It's been months since I've posted anything in my blog. (Not since January, actually.) I've been feeling the "tug" to write something here for awhile now, but it's hard to get started on these things sometimes.

I've been absent from KAT for several weeks (months?) more-or-less - just stopping in to read personal mail, check on torrent uploads (grabbing one here and there)... and hoping to see a friend that I know here when I do. I've been a bit lucky bumping into friends when I've done that, but then I'm off again for days. I remember when I was a daily "groupie" here, got on here in the morning and stayed all day! Life changes and the river's flow marches on, carrying us away.. carrying me away.

But I'm still loyal to KAT, and still come here regularly, if not everyday.

I hope you are all doing well this summer. I'm a little blued out right now, so this is a super short message, but I wanted to let you know that I'm here, and that I haven't forgotten any of you, and that I still think you're a great group of friends! *BIG HUG*

Recognizing My Flaw(s)

9 views    posted 19 Jan 2013, 20:55    
This morning, after several days of feeling rather depressed about my lifestyle, I got a very nice comment from someone on my Wall - he was asking, basically, where I have been the last several days. And he offered to cheer me up, if cheering is what I need. He was concerned by my absence here at KAT of late.

I thought that his offer of friendship and support was very kind. It's always good to be told that you are missed when you pass through a "friendship zone" after being absent awhile. So I sent him a little message to thank him. Of course, that led to a discussion about what's bothering me.

I thought it was interesting that he should mention I might be experiencing a "test" right now - because I've been enduring some depression the last several days or so. I mentioned to him all the reasons why I don't have a life companion, and what I've accomplished in my life to make my solitary existence comfortable.

But what really came through to ME after justifying to HIM why I don't go out and socialize more in public places is that, basically, I'm too lazy to bother. I had some good excuses for not doing so, too! But it still boils down to the fact that I can't get up the motivation to make the effort!

No wonder I am lonely, alone, and uncomfortable with being that way. I don't really want to be alone ALL the time.

I have another flaw that I don't like to look at. I told my friend that I don't like people much - in most situations - because there's so much selfishness, disinterest, laziness in the world. I remember learning the lesson years ago that anytime you point your index finger at others, there's always 3 more pointing back at you.

It's not a comforting thought that perhaps I am lazy, selfish, disinterested - but to be honest with myself (since for certain I will have to be honest with The Maker sometime in the future) I have these qualities too. Where does this leave me - more uncomfortable for sure - but just as annoying to be around as any other person I might decide is too annoying to be around.

LOL - being honest with yourself is an uncomfortable experience sometimes!


Tthe Communion of Spirit

4 views    posted 10 Jan 2013, 20:48    
I've been doing quite a bit of reading lately (mostly ebooks from here), and thinking about this notion of "love" that so many of us (well, maybe not the psychopaths or the narcissists) try so hard to define to our benefit and find for our happiness. When I was young, I had this notion - from very early in my life, really - that I didn't understand what "love" really is, but I had an intense desire to find out! I grew up in a family without the presence of my father. Instead, I had an annoying, rather domineering grandmother, and a mother who swung between being affectionate and warm to being a screaming bitch. (My mother was bi-polar... thus the absence of my father!)

I remember being told often by my mother, almost never by my grandmother, that she loved me. But her behavior was so bazarre, I became very skeptical of her intentions early on, so I really had NO idea what "love" was when I hit high school age. I looked it up in the dictionary. Nothing in the definitions described my mother's behavior toward me and my siblings.

My grandmother was a misandrist (a man-hater). All I ever heard from her was how beastly men are. I certainly didn't learn one iota of good common sense from her about how to relate to "men".

Because of these early, misguided influences in my life, I never came to understand until it was really too late what it means to love someone - really love someone, and be loved in return. That is, until I started getting into forum groups such as this one, and gaming virtual experiences such as in Everquest 2, World of Warcraft, and Star Wars. However, in these contexts, what I was experiencing was The Communion of Spirit - or as many people of various religious persuasions refer to it - "The Communion of Souls". The Communion of Souls is a religious reference to either the commonality of experience among people in Heaven, or in organized religious groups (churches).

However, I believe the Communion of Spirit is a type of communication that the large majority of people who interact with others on the Internet (and in virtual spaces of any type) participate in daily. I believe the Communion of Spirit is a phenomenon that lies at the bottom strata of human communications - close to what we each think in our most personal moments, close to what some of us think of as our "soul".

While people can lie their faces off in virtual environments (and the human race has centuries of experience with that - having turned it into a virtual "artform"), I believe the truth of who we are, what we feel most deeply, how we view the world and one another, and what we most desire, and despise, comes pouring out amidst all the foolish rhetoric we toss at one another in our Internet communications. Because of this, we sometimes become deeply invested, emotionally, with others of us - with causes we support, with political movements we either love, hate or fear, and most importantly with some "significant others" that we encounter along the way.

Love takes on a very different color and form, when viewed in terms of the Communion of Spirit. I think it can become more intense, and it certainly can become a genuine experience on the mental and emotional level. I think a great many of us are desperately hungry for that communal experience that we think of as "being loved" and "loving others in return". The basis of all this emotional investment, of course, is the desire to know, to experience, the kind of closeness with another that some of us have never known, or only rarely known. I believe the majority of us feel that somehow we missed it somewhere! We've had plenty of experience with lust, and emotional obsession, with a sense of obligation, and sometimes simple, frivolous "fun" - but Love? Feeling genuinely loved by someone, and loving them in return?

Uh-uh - I think many of us think we've missed that, somehow. We don't talk about it with each other (except in our forum discussions, perhaps - our Internet encounters) occasionally. We don't even articulate the sense of disappointment that we feel to ourselves, about this "thing" we may never have experienced, but that we want so much.

I have had this experience - once - but not in my real life! I had it in a one year romp through Norrath (Everquest 2) with someone I never met in real life. Because we were interacting on an "alternate path" through a virtual world. We shared the experience of struggles that a virtual world can offer - the "virtual threats" of encounters with evil and danger, our sense of mutual support and commitment was heightened every day we spent together that way. Feelings of commitment and caring can become very intense in encounters that threaten one - even if the threat is virtual - IF you can rise above your own disbelief in their apparent reality. I think that groups of friends who game together know this sense of shared commitment and the joy of the experience very well.

I don't think that most gamers think of this emotional experience as love, but I know that many of us form lasting relationships over the years with people that we game with as youths. I wonder if future relationships between men and women - the ones that lead to lifetime commitments in marriage (and, of course, between gay couples as well - because they certainly are a part of the gaming communities in the world) could be one of the best ways for people to meet, in virtual environments, where both the best (and the worst) expressions of who we really are deep inside can be expressed.

It is, after all, the suspension of our disbelief that makes possible any enjoyment we may get out of adventure films or adventure stories. But the mutual sense of commitment and caring that rises out of a shared experience of this type is no less real than it is in real life encounters. In fact, I think sometimes it's a more genuine, real life experience than a great many real life encounters!

We've lost a great deal of our sense of communal commitment and mutual care in the real world. We have to recover that somehow. This approach shows real promise, I think.

Love is a "many splendored thing".

Love - there must be 50 ways to meet your lover

4 views    posted 10 Jan 2013, 03:15    
This is certainly Off Topic for a file sharing website, but as we talk about everything, and anything, and sometimes nothing at all, well.... I just feel like talking about something here that is topmost in my mind lately.

I was reading the Wiki review of a really old chestnut book today - Dante's Divine Comedy, and I ran across their summary of Dante's views on "Love" - of course, he was deeply steeped in the religion of his time (the Catholic Church was squarely in the Driver's Seat in Italy in the 14th Century), but I thought the distinctions that he made between "real love" and "false love" were interesting. I won't get into that here right now, but it was intriguing to me, because I am presently going through a rather strange experience.

I'm experiencing some rather strong emotions about someone, and wishing that I were not so very much alone here in my little world. My social isolation is self-imposed, but that doesn't mean it's comfortable.

I wonder how many of us are engaged in long-distance relationships with people across the world, or at least miles away from us in space, these days. I'd be willing to say a LOT of us are now. There are even books on the market now about cyber-relationships. Have you ever been in one? I have. A couple times. But I didn't meet my "significant other" in a dating website, or a Facebook encounter, or even in a forum website like KAT.

I fell in "like"??? with someone in my game world before! Not once! Twice! Which is not to say there is someone in game at the moment I fancy. Rather, someone I wish were in game as my companion.

Over the course of my 8 years in Everquest 2, I've met a couple guys in real life - married one in game, and got in some unbelievable "differences of opinion" with a couple others.

The most romantic of those encounters was a year long run through the lands of Norrath fighting monsters together in groups and raids - he was the most astounding Troubadour and I was a healer. He was a writer in real life, and a fascinating person to talk with on the phone and in game. I still miss him!

So here I am - 8 years on, missing that connection... wishing I had a companion in game again as I did before.

I don't know how people manage to "cyber" in virtual reality on the Internet - but I know in Norrath you can have your own house, your own bedroom, your own bed. I suspect people CAN cyber in Norrath if they try. I haven't tried THAT - but I sure miss the companionship.

At the moment, the person I would most like to have as a companion isn't playing in my game. Instead he's 1/2 way across the world playing in HIS game. Instead, what I have is a gnome girl in MY game trying to cozy up with me (I always play female characters)... so I am totally non-plussed. What do you do with a gnome chick? LOL... I suspect that the face behind the screen on that gnome is actually a DUDE...

I've got particularly good radar where "she-male" players are concerned in the game. *laugh* But I think the Universe is trying to throw me a curve here because I've got a "hankering" going on that isn't being met.

Ain't life weird? LOL

Three days to the New Year - why does the year 2013 bother me?

1 view    posted 29 Dec 2012, 02:52    
I swear I am NOT all bound up in silly superstitions about the number 13. I even know it was a lucky number in some cultures (including the ancient Mayan, if I recall) - but somehow I am more worried about this coming year than I've been about any year in my life so far. Hmmmm... maybe that's because I was born in 1947, and I have not seen a year ending in 13 yet! This will be a first for me.

How about yourselves? Surely this is something new for all of us, yes? I have been watching all the news announcements about the U.S. Congress and the President's struggle to cope with our economic nightmare here. All I see is "no news" or "bad news".... it's all about diminishing social security funds and diminishing Medicare benefits - and higher taxes. UGH... I'm depressed!

Anyone else have some GOOD news yet? I suppose I'm just over anxious for answers that will not be forthcoming until after January 1st!

All the Children Sing - some thoughts at Christmas-tide

1 view    posted 24 Dec 2012, 02:06    
I've often heard that sometimes people become depressed on Christmas. In recent years, I can understand that - I've had to deal with it. As a matter of fact, today, as the weather has turned from snow to rain and back to snow, and my house (really, it's a small, ancient mobile home) has grown colder by the hour, I just feel a bit lonely here, by myself.

I started listening to some favorite old music - NOT Christmas songs - and I came across the rather strange, but beautiful in it's way, song "All the Children Sing" by Todd Rundgren.

Todd Rundgren is actually only a few months younger than myself! I looked up his life story in the wikipedia today. I've long had some kind of strange fascination with his music, maybe because so many of his songs have challenging, even a bit "weird" lyrics.

This song is one of them. I can only guess what he was trying to imply by these lyrics, but I believe it would be more fair to you all if I simply put up the lyrics, and you can find the song, if you're curious. It's on Todd Rundgren's album, "Hermit of Mink Hollow" an album that he came out with very early in his music career - 1978. Another of his rather popular songs is on that album also - entitled "Can We Still Be Friends" - and it's definitely a favorite of mine. Sad, but lovely.

However, for the lonely and sad this Christmas (and for all the rest of us as well)...

ALL THE CHILDREN SING - by Todd Rundgren

See Ms. Malone
She spends another quiet evening alone
Sits in her study and stares at the phone
And a bell in her head will ring

All the children sing
All the dancers start to sway in time
The orchestra begins to play
Somebody pours the wine

The sun and moon collide
Isn't gravity a funny thing
The universe explodes apart
All the children sing

Of Mr. Malloy
He's always seen himself as one of the boys
He thinks that men are tough and women are toys
But a bell in his head will ring

All the children sing
All the birds are chirping harmony
The scent of love is in the air
Sunset on the sea

The angel of the Lord
Just declared we aren't worth a thing
The galaxy is null and void
All the children sing

Crawled across a thousand miles of desert sand
Looking for an answer from a holy man
And this is what he told me with a wave of his hand
He said, "A bell in your head will ring"

Here's to the Chinaman, wise and old
Here's to the Eskimo, brave and cold
Here's to the Jew in the holy land
Here's to the Arab in his caravan

Here's to the African, strong and proud
Here's to the Redneck, good and loud
Here's one to you and there's one more thing
A bell in your head will ring

All the children sing
All the dancers start to sway in time
The orchestra begins to play
Somebody pours the wine

The sun and moon collide
Isn't gravity a funny thing
The universe explodes apart
All the children sing, yeah
All the children sing
All the children everybody sing

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