Author Archives: Dennis

The Ability of Violence

This morning I was on IRC, and Toryu was looking for the movie “Soldier” starring Kurt Russel on Grokster. He had launched a search query and he was listing off all the silly things it returned, including something that caught my interest. There was a supposed execution of a russian soldier among the entries returned…and out of a morbid facination I looked for it. I found it, and downloaded it, expecting to see something like a firing squad or similar.

It was a short movie, maybe 20 or 30 seconds in length…I saw a soldier – only a soldier because he was wearing combat fatigues – pinned with his head to the floor by an armie boot…a hand came from outside the top frame, holding a combat knife, and put the tip of it to the neck of the soldier, right underneath the jaw. The soldier began screaming in protest, and with a bit of pressure, the hand stuck the knife all the way in the neck. You could hear it hit the pebbles on the ground on the other side of the neck. The hand began “sawing” a way through the front of the neck. The soldier was gurgling and grunting.

I was faintly nauseous.

I had a lot of trouble getting it out of my head, and I spent a long time thinking about violence…and how I didn’t understand people. It also made me think of all the violence I had seen myself, and I came to the conclusion that there are some forms of violence that I couldn’t possibly surrender myself to. I can imagine wanting to kill someone, I can imagine killing someone by shooting the person, or pushing the person off a building…

…but something quite that…

Cruel? Unsophisticated? Messy? Primal?

…I can’t get myself to come to terms with. Now, I am not an agressive person at all. I’ve seen too much of it for it not to frighten me, and to realize its total ugliness. I find no beauty in aggression – not violence, mind you – nor can I accept it very well in my entertainment if it is done to realistically. And I remember the “are you able to kill” thread, in which a lot of people – myself included – were very quick to admit their capability to kill, to violence, to agression.

I don’t know exactly what the point of this post is…I guess to share how disturbed I’ve been all day long.

· The discussion I started
· The movie in question [Warning: Do not watch this at work, or if you have a weak stomach.]


Don’t worry, don’t worry, this is not going to be one of those karmic, leaf-eating, granola topics, but rather a confession. One in which I explain that I find it incredibly difficult to be a vegetarian.

You see, after talking to Moulsari at some length about vegetarianism, I decided that it shouldn’t be that hard to abstain from eating meat, and to see if I could actually do it, I’d give it a shot for a month. That month started August 19th.

Now, let me get one thing straight; I am of the vegetarian pursuasion that eats eggs, drinks milk, uses butter and wears leather shoes. So I’m not a vegan, I just don’t eat meat. Now you can squabble amongst yourselves on what the right kind of vegetarian is [if anyone says “a dead kind of vegetarian” I’ll be very disap*…aw fuck it, I’d laugh!] but the fact still stands that I’m a vanilla icecream vegetarian. Not quite like Cash, but still, not the real thing.

So far, I completely forgot about my abstinence when Eva, Sam and I went for junkfood, and I was sort of forced to eat meat tonight, since the restaurant I was eating at with my father sports two vegetarian dishes, which both suck. So that’s one fuck up, and one convenience fuck up. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

It’s Been A Long Time…

…since I posted a journal, so I thought I’d make the effort and tell you guys what I’ve been up to lately. Actually, what I’ll do is tell you what I’ve been up to in the last two months: Travelling, buying a car and looking for work.

Somewhere prior to June 21st, I got an email from my good friend Marco, telling me that his ass was going to get married two weeks from then. Personally, I thought it was about time he got his fat ass commited to his then-girlfriend-now-wife, and I was very happy for him. He told me that I had to get myself over for the ceremony, since I was the only one actually invited, and supposed to be the best man.

Now, that sounds a lot easier than it really is, seeing as how he moved to live in Austin, Texas about two years ago. So I went to book a ticket, and on the 21st I flew over to Houston, where he was supposed to pick me up. Upon arrival, I find out that the actual wedding would be held on the sandy beaches of Paradise Island, just outside of Nassau, in the Bahamas. He’s made all the arrangements for our travel and stay in Nassau – or rather, his girlfriend had.

So we stay in Austin for a week, then fly out to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and drive ourselves over to Miami, Florida, in order to catch a flight to Nassau. We stay there for little under a week, and have a blast. They get married, I cried…it was brilliant. We fly back, and we spend the next week goofing around and celebrating Fourth of July.

I go back for two weeks, and prepare for my “vacation.” My vacation entails the following: 1) Flying out to San Francisco. 2) Roadtripping through the west and mid-west of the United States. 3) Attending the Bulldrek Gathering. 4) Attending GenCon. 5) Roadtripping our asses back to California. 6) Flying back.

Flying out was easy. So was the first Roadtripping leg. San Jose, Ca – San Francisco, Ca – Portland, Or – Seattle, Wa – Billings, Mo – Fargo, Nd – Fox Lake, Wi. Fox Lake is where this year’s Bulldrek Gathering was being held. Which basically meant a week of drunken craziness near a lake in the middle of the Wisconsin corn fields out in the middle of bumblefuck. I had a lot of fun.

Then we went to Milwaukee, Wi where we attended the largest gaming convention in the world; Gen Con. And with “we,” I mean most of the Bulldrekkers at the Gathering. We met up with a bunch of people from the Dumpshock Forums and we had a blast. Another week of drunken craziness.

When I woke up, in a dark hotel-room in Milwaukee, with five or six others sleeping and snoring all around me, and I found my liver next to me on the bed, crying…begging me never to do that again, I knew that it was time to go home. Luckily it was the last day of our stay in Milwaukee.

We went to Madison, Wi to stay with two of our friends that lived there. We had two days of maximum chillage. We did nothing except for watch XXX, staring Vin Diesel. Caz is the best when it comes to watching movies, he’s about as loud and enthusiastic as I am. Bad. Ass.

Then we headed out again, st*…hang on, I haven’t even said who I was doing this trip with; Erik – a guy I know who lives in San Jose, California, and the instigator of this hellish roadtrip, and Eleanor, a girlfriend of mine who lives out in the ass-end of the world, a.k.a. Australia.

Anyway, we headed out again, travelling past Des Moines, Iowa, Salt Lake City, Utah and into Nevada. As it so happens our car broke down in the middle of the Nevada desert. There are only three places I could imagine are worse to have your car break down in or near: 1) The Sahara Desert. 2) Zagreb and 3) Lebanon. Luckily we found people who offered us a ride to the nearest city with more than 20 inhabitants: Reno. There we paid an arm and a leg for a rental car, and we drove on to California so I could catch a plane back home.

You see, normally, I would’ve said; fuck it, let’s just hang back a little bit, and I’ll reschedule my flight. But upon entering the United States, I got a lot of bollocking from the immigrations officer for coming to the U.S. too often over the last three years. He restricted my tourist visum from the normal 90 days, to August 18th, the day on my return tickets. So I had to leave, otherwise I’d risk being withheld access to the U.S. for the next three years.

I bought myself a Honda Del Sol [or the new Generation CRX, for those not living in the United States], in light of my job ending September 1st, and having to hand over my company car.

Looking For Work
Yes, still looking. Things are looking up a little bit. The Airforce ball is finally rolling, and I have several other options. All in all, it’s looking good.

Another Gym Annoyance – Power Plates

I don’t know if you’re completely familiar with the concept of a Power Plate, but basically it’s a vibrating slab on which you stand and the vibrations send impulses to your muscles to make them contract and expand rapidly. It’s supposed to be a good work out, and it won’t take you that much time and/or effort. It’s the newest thing in our gym, and a lot of people are doing it. I however, am not one of them.

You see, I think it like an easy way out. You do little and your supposed to get a lot, there’s something wrong with that deal although I haven’t figured out what it is yet. However, my major gripe is that the people who do need that work out, are encouraged to take the easy way out. Do we really want to encourage these people to be lazy?

What’s Up With People in Gyms?

I frequent a gym, it used to be to supplement my Kung Fu exercises so I could keep eating all the junk that I’m eating. Now that I have more time I also do it to get into better shape since I can’t opt for more Kung Fu lessons. I don’t particularly enjoy going to the gym for a couple of reasons. One of which is because a lot of emphasis is put on muscle building and muscle toning. While I don’t mind the latter much, it’s incredibly boring. I do like cardio work, especially aerobics-ee things.

But the real reason I don’t like to go is because I don’t fit in with the crowd very well. Although contemporary sociologists would have a field day studying the mating rituals of the patrons of a gym, and contemporary linguists would have a field day try to figure out the language of the new breed of idiot that hangs around the gym, but it’s the socialite mentality that ruins it all for me.

Do you remember when Rocky Balboa got creamed by Clubber Lang [My favourite; Mr. T!] because he was getting too decadent in his work outs? Well, if you don’t…he did get his ass creamed, and he needed to be instructed by Apollo Creed in a gritty, back-to-basic environment where there were no photo-ops, no freshly squeezed lemon juice and where there was only sweat, pain and adrenaline.

Well, my gym is none of the “sweet, pain and adrenaline.” It’s more like a social club, where bored house wives come to do about 25 minutes on the StairMaster while idly looking at their favourite soap opera being played on one of the many televisions above, or where muscular guys walk around in brightly coloured, tight fitting shirts, making sure that all the female attention is firmly focussed on them.

But that’s not the worst of it…oh no…

…the worst of it is when I get to a machine that I want to abuse to loose my saddle-bags, and some fucknut has put his towel on it, claiming it as his own. “Where is said fucknut,” you’re wondering? I am wondering the same thing. I look around and see a guy, mid-fourties, pretending to be tired and in desperate need of a sip of whatever it is in his Adidas canister. He’s strolling along only to return to the machine that I wanted to use about 6 minutes later – a time in which I would’ve done my 3 sets of 15 and moved on to the next contraption – to do another set of 10.

I think I am going to have to stop writing before I kill someone. Thank you all for listening.