Crossing ‘a’ Rubicon

Friends,

I’ve always had some hang-ups about sex. I’m now seeking to break those hang-ups and become a fully realized sexual being.

For years, whether single, in a relationship, or other, I would look through craigslist’s now defunct personals section and fantasize about all manner of sleazy, dirty, “shameful’ encounters I could have with strangers. I never had the gumption to pull the trigger on such encounters though and fantasies they remained.

I have been mistrustful of women in my time (thanks, Mom) and have gravitated to long-term relationships where there was a power/experience/maturity differential in my favour. I wasn’t a bad boyfriend per se, but I certainly wasn’t all that I could be because I wasn’t being challenged. I stayed with women who, though lovely, were too afraid to lose me to really take me to task. (Except one, and I fucked that one up big time XD).

I’ve been reading a lot more since getting an Audible subscription a few months back and the books I have been reading have been giving me greater perspective into my own challenges and the ways in which I might transcend my current plateaus. I’m not just talking about sex here either -but of course it connects to everything and I am of the view that no malady, limitation, or impingement exists in isolation:

Reading Blanton’s “Radical Honesty” I saw clearly how my own self-repression and moralizing was crippling my spirit. Reading Sarno’s “Understanding Back Pain”, I saw that the limitation in my shoulder and associated soreness might have less to do with anything mechanical, but rather be a means by which my psyche distracts me from emotional trauma and memories that are unpleasant. I recently finished Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking” and it inspired me to be more bold and unafraid about asking for the things I want and committing to the life I have chosen for myself.

However, it was yesterday, having just started reading Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” that I crossed the eponymous “Rubicon” of this post’s title: About two weeks ago, having returned to Canada I set up a profile on a singles website and in the last few days I have approached by someone trying to ‘orchestrate’ a threesome. Long story short, we exchanged nude photos.

Sending full-frontal naked photos of myself is an unprecedented first for me. I was really reluctant because I still am in the process of accepting who I am and what I’m about, and irrational fears about someone using such photos against me in the future abound in my brain. But reading (listening) to Manson’s book as I mulled the question over in my brain spurred me to say, “fuck it!” I know who I am and what I’m about and this could be an amazing opportunity to explore my sexuality -or at the very least grow my courage. The people I admire most have no compunctions about their naked bodies and I should endeavour to be one of the people I admire most.

24 hours later. Still no blackmail.

I have built a life as something of a professional traveler. I have gotten by on the kindness of strangers and trusted people to come through for me.

Why should things be any different in my sex life?

God bless!
-Dre

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Intervention on My 10-Year Old Self

Friends,

I applied for a job yesterday. At the end of the application submission I was notified that my application would be fast-tracked if I undertook four additional questions. They turned out to be essay questions and I took about two hours providing the answers. One in particular struck a chord with me: What would you tell your 10 year-old seff? Why would you tell him this? What would you be hoping to accomplish?”

I really took this seriously, and dug deep into my soul, memory, heart, and brain in order to come up with an answer. I must have done something right because they got back to me 8 hours later requesting an interview.

Here’s what I wrote:

I would say:

“You have a few tough years ahead of you, but never doubt your vision for your life. If you get knocked off your path -which you will- gently and lovingly correct yourself without being too hard on yourself, without getting discouraged or thinking you’ve fallen behind. No matter what, a clear, unwavering commitment to that vision is the only thing which will bring you salvation, meaning and happiness. Also, you must work harder than you think in pursuit of it, and when you start something don’t get placated and satisfied with beginner’s luck. On a similar tack, persevere when things become tough. You have great taste and great ideas which deserve to be followed through on and worked at, so trust that, and trust that if you pursue these things, and walk this righteous path, everything that is lower order will fall into place.

Don’t fret over those who don’t like you and forgive those who wrong you -you don’t know what their level of suffering is and there could be myriad things bothering them which have nothing to do with you. When people hurt you, it’s usually not because they want to hurt you but because they want to help themselves and they re unsophisticated and careless in the manner in which they do so.

Always stand up for yourself, and if someone stands up to you, take them seriously. Don’t get defensive. They are being courageous and you should reinforce and reward that courage with respect and a fair hearing.

Don’t let social pressure compel you into speaking anything less than the truth. If you don’t know what the truth is, you are allowed to say nothing. Don’t be pressed into giving an answer you aren’t ready to give. Look at people in the eye when you talk to them and smile because it is good for your posture and your relations with other people.

Give compliments as soon as they occur to you -don’t worry if it sounds corny. Trust your instincts.

The right girl will come along if you move righteously in your path, but if she does come along, you must be smart enough to recognize her and brave and secure enough in who you are to commit. Still, be discerning and never settle.

Say yes to things that sound cool even if you haven’t strictly budgeted money for them -you can always make more money. Take bigger risks when you’re younger because you have so much time to recover and start again.

Cut ties with people who hold you back or who contribute to your bad behaviour. Even if you care abut these people. Sometimes you can love people best from a distance.

Forgive your parents for their stupidity and mistakes. They were but children themselves when they had you and they are still figuring things out. More than anything, be grateful to them for all of the tools they furnished you with. They may have trapped themselves in their own invisible prisons, but from their self-imposed captivity, their spirits call out to you to run and be free and shape this world in the manner you see fit.

Honour your step-father. He has a lot of wisdom to teach you and he is trying to shield you from the bad influences in your life which unknowingly seek to atrophy your spirit. He is not your father but don’t hold that against him.Over time, he will become your greatest ally and advocate.

You and your dad got separated early on. It will never be like you hope it will be with him, Like it should have been. Sometimes two spirits which sprung from the same place get separated and kept apart for a time or for a lifetime. That’s ok: If they’re meant to be together, there’s always the next life or the one after.

This goes for women as well… one in particular…you’ll see 😉

Never take your siblings for granted; they are the only ones who will understand exactly where you came from and until you have a wife and kids they are the only other people you can love as much or more than yourself. That’s good, because you can practice true generosity and reciprocity with them by seeing them as extensions of yourself.

Don’t focus on the abstract or the macro to distract from the immediate problems in front of you. If you think about it for a moment there is always something right in front of you that you are competent enough and able to take care of (without screwing up too much) which will make your particular space in the world a little better. Let your ideals set your general direction and the work you put in be the steps in that direction.

Balance your masculine and feminine energies and celebrate them both because they are beautiful aspects of you which need expression and which act as a brake on the excesses of the other.

Your life is a call to adventure. Start today. There’s no time to waste, but if you feel like you have “wasted” time already, trust that that ‘wasted’ time was necessary to bring you to the level of unprecedented wisdom you are currently at and then act on that wisdom.

Say no more than is necessary. Always make the joke. Don’t multi-task while eating. Breathe while you chew. Do your push-ups every day. Avoid breads and pastas. Eat meat. Write every day. Be a man. Sing out loud. Stand up straight. Always observe. Find what you love, what sets you on fire and develop tunnel vision. If you want something, ask. Always make more food than you intend to eat and then tell the people around you that you’re full and they can have the rest. Have no expectations in relationships beyond that which is explicitly agreed to and measurable. Bring water with you everywhere you go.

Don’t be afraid of death even when it seems like certainty. We die like we live and so if you live honourably, you will leave this world in the same way.

And always remember: You have been called for such a time as this. The world needs you and your gifts. You are not condemned by your yesterday if you can grab hold of your now and move in your destiny.

Move. Change. Be. Now!”

I would say this to my younger self because it is what I have learned and by passing it on and having him hear it from a credible source, hopefully I could get to my current level of understanding a little sooner (there are only so many years in life after all).

Maybe someone else will get something from this also. Wish me luck on the interview 🙂

Best,

-Andre Guantanamo

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Pretty Corpse Blues

Pretty Corpse Blues

Live fast. Die young. Leave a pretty corpse.”

…well 2 out of 3 ain’t bad

Friends,.

Here’s a question for you? When you spend your 20s pursuing adventure, whimsy and danger, half-expecting to die young, but then suddenly find yourself in your mid-30s alive, under-educated, with no real specialization to speak of, what do you do?

This is the cross-roads I find myself at: What am I? What is it exactly I do? How long will I be staying in this place that I now found myself in?

I’ve taken to skirting these questions with cleverness: What am I? => What do you need me to be!; What do I do? => Whatever it takes!; How long will I be staying here? => As long as it takes! And while I have felt like a bit of an impostor boldly delivering these nonchalant responses when queried, they do carry more than a little truth. A lot actually, and that’s the problem: the inherent truth behind what I’m saying rather than the facade of bullshit. It’s like I haven’t declared a major. I haven’t tied myself down and committed to anything. Throw the fucking dice already, Dre!

I have been many things in my time but I never saw any of them through. I did them long and hard enough to get some validation and recognition and acclaim (I’m actually very good at whatever I put my mind to), and that was good insofar as it taught me how little fame/acclaim/validation actually means in the grand scheme of things. But there are a lot of unfinished books on my shelf.

My resume is fairly diverse: retail clerk, infantry rifleman, student, warehouse worker, waiter, actor/stunt performer/film-maker, home-stager, yoga instructor, jewelry-maker/silversmith, camp counselor, freelance translator and editor and most recently, musician. When I look back on that list it bothers me; a lot of those things I did because they were the path of least resistance, or because they seemed an expedient way to get something I didn’t want to work for, or even because they just sounded cool to do. I have been feeling for some time that I need to dig deeper and maximize my potential, to spend every waking hour more productively, to take bigger risks and to make greater/more focused efforts.

It’s funny to touch on these themes now, almost two years after writing a post entitled “…When I Learn to Fly” where I outlined a plan to travel the world learning, doing work-aways, etc. It didn’t go the way I thought it would, especially that year and a half I spent in Germany, in a relationship, getting engaged, etc., and looking back I see that when I wrote that post, I was still so fucked up from getting knocked off my path when things didn’t work out with me and my ex. I had no idea at that time that the other shoe was about to drop on me in a HUUUGE way. When I say things didn’t work out with me and my ex, I mean that for me, God died. My highest value, the crux of all my ambitions, the cornerstone of my future happiness and meaning -it got yanked out on some Jenga shit and I was left teetering thinking that I was just swaying.

Now two years later I find myself out of another relationship but its different. I don’t know that I was ever as wide open as I was in the previous one. I always had this feeling like I was living someone else’s life after having been knocked so catastrophically from my own. Well, now I seem to be back on track, not as skilled as that original post predicted I would be two years later but no worse for the wear. A lot of deadwood had to be burned away over the past two years since that original post was written.

Some of the chaos of the last two years. Do I need to integrate it all or is some of it just deadwood?

Most importantly I think I’m centered in myself in a way that I wasn’t before. I am no longer looking for the external validation that comes from women. I know that there is no salvation in the redemptive gaze of another. It is at best a distraction. I see the flames of my own personal hell in my rear-view in a way I never have before and truth be told, I kind of like it -I think the pressure is good for me. In the past I never really saw what was at stake but now I do and thankfully I feel up to the challenge.

When my “God” died and the whole structure collapsed I was adrift, but now I have a new highest value. I want to tell you what that is but its something like a block of marble that is still being carved, but its a beautiful, well-veined piece and its being carved deliberately and slowly by a master.

I can tell you that it has to do with embracing the role of the father -the bulwark against chaos providing habitable order for the ones I love, but it’s not just that either. It’s also the journey to that as well: the constant and never-ending self-improvement, the abandonment of destructive cycles of behaviour and their replacement with something productive. Doing the work essentially. Even if I never have my own family I want to keep that possibility open for myself because far too many times I have met the right woman but I have not been all that I could have been. I can remedy that.

There is something else too, like a joker in the deck that off-sets, complements and, when appropriate, supercedes the more methodical, logical and analytical approach: I have to keep trusting my intuition now as much as I ever did before -more even. (It’s hilarious because I was pretty adamant about that point in my post from two years ago and here I am still dwelling on it. Either I haven’t been pursuing that goal as intelligently/diligently as I otherwise might have or it is something which constantly needs work. Both I suspect…). In more esoteric terms, my throat chakra is still a little jammed up and I won’t be doing it any favours by simply just buckling down and colouring inside the lines. I have to speak my truth and pursuant to that, I know there are a few people who need to hear what I have to say. Perhaps in good time they will, but I won’t make their willingness to listen or lack thereof the defining criteria. Each day presents a myriad of opportunities for us to say “no” and set boundaries, to volunteer enthusiastically for something just outside of our wheelhouse, and even to make the risque joke that might divide the room. I’m taking these opportunities and getting out in front of the things I’m dreading rather than letting them find me.

One last point on my truth and my intuition: There is something I HAVE worked at consistently over the course of my adult life and never given up on, and that is wandering. I am good at it and the best day I’ve had over the last few months was my 24 hour layover in Panama City en route here to Nicaragua.

I was in a new place with everything I needed and only there for a short time. I don’t know if this is the type of way to live the rest of my life but for right now it speaks to me. So I’m going to pursue it, because I love it and because its what I’m good at.

I’m here. I’m alive. I hadn’t prepared for this, but fuck it, might as well make something out of the next 30 or 40 years. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

Best,

-Andre Guantanamo

#prettycorpseblues

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Feelin’ Fine

Friends,

I’m in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. It’s pretty fun here and there is a really supportive community if expats who have made me feel right at home. I suppose I can take some of the credit for my quick acceptance: Aside from their general warmth and the solid vouch from Bobby -a respected member of the business community (which is fucking hilarious when I think of the dumb shit me and him would get into back in the day)- this isn’t exactly my first at bat, and a lot of the things I did in Utila and even before then during previous forays into other parts of Nicaragua, will be continued here.

But more smarter (sic.). I don’t wanna be in the haze I was in from dope and booze back then. I was effective in those times but not as effective as I could have been. Often I woke up hungover and it was like I was applying an invisible tax on myself. And while I was an incredibly high-functioning stoner (adjusted for Caribbean island standards) I think I can do better in a poco verde mundo. In fact, I know I can.

My time in Berlin over the last year has been very instructive and it really matured me as a man -at least in part by tubbing my nose in the utter bile of my own inadequacy as a man. It’s a very sobering thing, that, and I really had to surrender to limitations of mine that I was blind to, wilfully or ignorantly.

But a funny thing happened: Seeing how weak and undeveloped I was, (and not deluding myself about it) actually made me stronger because I realized the absolute necessity of drawing boundaries and saying no in a timely, respectful and resolute fashion. I saw that while I may be afraid to make and hold eye contact, I am even more afraid of being isolated and taken advantage of by those who might read my aversion as weakness (and they wouldn’t be wrong!) I also saw the pathway I could head down, easily and with no insignificant measure of enjoyment either, if I didn’t manage my excesses and it scared the shit out of me.

There is a great monologue about Monopoly at the beginning of the film Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, and one line at the end of it always stuck with me: “How far do you have to go down that road before you see where it leads?”

Far enough I suppose.

But here I am now, once again in a place where I could get into a lot of trouble. I’m not scared -I know what I have to lose. I’m not second-guessing myself because I have no fall-back. This is it. No more overtures and furtive fumbling in the backseat of dad’s car.

I came to fuck (figuratively speaking of course)

I am encouraged because everything I have done over the past twelve years has culminated into this point and I am incredibly well-prepared and positioned to capitalize on the situation here.

And that’s just the now. There are such amazing, such wonderful things on the horizon that this righteous path is moving me toward, and I need only stand up and reach for them.

“…to make this life free and beautiful.

To make this life a wonderful adventure!”

All the things (sic.) can be mine if I just have the courage to take them. I’ve been lacking in courage for some time, and there have been good reasons for that, but knowing what I know now I no longer have any excuse for acting how I acted then. I see how my long-term health, how my very ability to stand upright in my remaining years is all contingent up this moment.

We… I have been called for such a time as this. Let us not lack in courage. Let us not allow our compassion to move us into a path we will ultimately regret. Let us not pursue vain things which bear no fruit and which leave our sense of worth vested in the opinions of others. Let us acknowledge that that thing which scares us most is also that thing which sets us on fire and redeems all the suffering which goes along with pursuing it.

“Find what you love and let it kill you.” -Bukowski

Best,

-Andre Guantanamo

#prettycorpseblues (until I think of something better…or until I’m allowed to talk about the better thing)

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Believing my own Bulls–t

Friends,

Last week I found myself in what is, as of late, an all-too familiar position: that of defending Donald Trump. How do I always end up in this position? Well usually its starts with someone talking shit about “Merica. I then explain that America is the greatest country in the goddamn world (although not as good as it could be, hence MAGA). They’ll argue that statement initially,  but by so many metrics that statement is demonstrably true which inevitably makes making contrary contentions near-unwinnable. So, seeking an easier win (because of course people are trying to win and of course they want to do so easily and expediently) they’ll change gears and refine their position so as to be anti-Trump specifically, because surely I couldn’t argue with that position… 

“Oh I can. And I will!”

THE BROADER CONTEXT

To condemn Trump is to move focus away from a broader context, ignoring important details to focus on minor ones which are far removed from his actual competence as a president. His reality TV past, his ups and downs as a businessman, his scandals and his cavalier attitude toward them are seized upon by his detractors in order to paint a picture of someone unfit to lead. More important details, such as positioning America within a global system, maintaining a balance of power, and the amoral business of Real-Politick are hardly considered. Even worse, when they are, they are reductively and inaccurately represented: Improving relations with Russia is read as sucking Putin’s dick. Flattering Kim Jong-Un to inch forward a peace process is seen as bowing before a despot. It’s pretty embarrassing really, and it always amazes me that otherwise intelligent people who pride themselves on their rationalism can understand so little of nuance and the game that is statesmanship.

Whatever. People are retarded logically when they’re fired up emotionally. I try to avoid firebrands because of pearls, swine, and low-hanging fruit, but it is beneficial to talk to people who can look past their own knee-jerk reactions and follow a logical train of thought -German men are great at following such trains incidentally.

….

 

Following those trains all the way to Dachau, amirite!

Bad joke. Moving on…

THE BROADER CONTEXT II: THE   B  R  O  A  D  E  R   CONTEXT

So if detractors are focused on a microcosmic picture informed by trivialities, and they thus far always are, then I start with the macrocosm of the world and/or multi-nation federations such as the EU or the USA. I make a case for why an emerging global consciousness is a good thing; why it’s important to create decentralized hubs of human congregation and activity which are inter-related and linked through infrastructure, transportation routes and informational technologies, etc. I really harp on DECENTRALIZATION, contrasting it to the hegemonic imposition of centralized authority from the top down which I represent as bloated, monolithic, completely-detached-from-everyday-people federal governments such as, most saliently, the EU.

Centralization vs. Decentralization is a powerful argument. I think most people are suspicious of over-centralization but can’t imagine the laudable aim of global unification implemented without it. Painting a picture of what decentralization might look like; drawing parallels to natural systems and even internet infrastructure, is a powerful way to re-frame what people’s conceptions of the future look like.
When a picture has been sufficiently painted of a decentralized, inter-connected global system as put forward by The Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project, I juxtapose Donald Trump against this hegemony as, at the very least, a brake on the establishment of total global hegemony.

At this juncture it is worthwhile pointing out to the other party that my diagnosis is predicated on the truthfulness of the narrative that Trump is an outsider to the established mainstream. This helps to build confidence in my position because I acknowledge that its falsifiable and possibly erroneous. More poetically, I describe Trump as chemo to the cancer of globalization. Is he toxic? Yes, but he’s also the lesser of two evils / a necessary one.

As of yet nobody has done a 180 degree turn right in front of my face and professed love for Trump where formerly there was hatred, but their frame has been compromised; their meandering and fragmented responses attest to this compromise, and it is very common to see a verbal diarrhea fill the void of their recently-held belief and coagulate into a temporary new scab over this new intellectual / egoic wound. I love this moment because it is a testament to our longing to always make sense of the world, even on the fly. And even if they manage to immediately form a scab which covers the wound for the rest of the discussion I feel little need to pick it and re-expose the void of lost belief because a seed has been planted which will sprout in their brains.

DO I BELIEVE MY OWN BULLSHIT?

Great question! “Yes, but!”

The but is because while I believe what I am saying I also understand that there are a multitude of narratives which accurately describe the current geopolitical situation, and any narrative which resonates has a kernel of truth of a size proportionate to the degree of resonance. So yes, in my view I am speaking a truth, not the truth.

I have often been accused of trolling and not caring about people, but in my heart of hearts I believe that by putting forward alternate / alternative viewpoints, well argued, I am expanding the limits of debate and I think that is God’s work.

Deus Vult!

-Andre Guantanamo

r/raddecentralization

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Bard v. Death

Friends,

The following happened last night while playing Dungeons & Dragons with my peoples. Enjoy!

>Dnd 5e
>lv7 party
>been playing together for 8mos.
>Human female cleric, elf female wizard, human male rogue, and me, Guantanamo, a human male bard
>With shades of what might be called ‘Chaotic Spectacular’, Guantanamo is neutral good. How that plays out is when order is too stringent or too much talk and not enough action, he does chaotic (often ‘chaotic stupid’) shit for greatest possible good
>whuddupdrpeterson.jpg
>theoretically, when things get too chaotic he restores order for the same greatest good -I assure the team of this…
>Party are newly-minted members of Mages Guild
“The F-F-Fantastic Waterdeep Chapter!’
>A couple different quests we’re working on simultaneously
>Find ourselves in old dwarven caverns now occupied by evil
>Not really sure why we’re here -like I said many threads we’re investigating
>Also, Guantanamo is stoned. I know this because I’m stoned.
>Shimmy up tunnel to some small room with an altar, upon which the body of a somewhat rotted young man (kidney had been removed), with snake-shaped dagger sticking out of his chest, lies, set in front of some weird glowing relic/tabernacle
>Walk up to altar humming Bardic Inspiration to myself then whip off bandana to reveal sigil of BBEG I had earlier
P R E S T I D I G I T A T E D
onto my forehead
>Grab snake dagger (in meta retrospect, probably where trouble began), slice my palm so blood drips onto altar and yell out “OH EVIL ONE! I , YOUR SERVANT BRING YOU NEW SACRIFICES”
>nocharismacheck.jpg
>portal opens
>fgt floating mike wazowski appears
Literally summoned the Monster Manual’s cover model smh
>Go time! Tuck snake dagger in belt and draw silver arrow back in my longbow as I approach
>Vicious Mockery: “Yo She-Bitch! You got something in your eye!”
> Vicious mockery fails due to cone of magic. Dm tells me it fails so catastrophically that It hurts me emotionally and I am unable to fire arrows
>playinwitmyfeelins.jpg
>Rogue fires two silver arrows
>2nd sticks right into mike wazowki’s eye –he just laughs
>mike wazowski counter-attacks rogue with petrification but saving throw is made and rogue just gets a momentary muscle cramp
>cleric and wizard cast support spells on me and rogue
>Dm is heavily suggesting that we are no match for this thing and should bail, citing its ability to counter specifically
>on my next turn I
P R E S T I D I G I T A T E 
a flash of light for momentary distraction while we escape down shaft, drawing and aiming another silver arrow as I retreat, but not firing cause of counterattack ability.
NOTE: In handbook, P. Digitate is described as sensory effect, and is considered a parlor trick, so didn’t think I was risking counter-attack. DM agreed in this regard but at the same time didn’t even allow light to reach mike wazowski’s eyes because of magic cone
>dm moves to rogue next who plays his turn, moving toward escape, not attacking
>Dm is like ‘oh shit, I forgot to counter-attack Guantanamo’ and moves back to me and makes to counter-attack with one of small eyes
>this sort of quick, specific adjustment within reasonable amount of time is generally allowable in game for dm trying to manage a combat sequence
>”You see the eye moving to attack you”
>Dm allows me to let fly the arrow I had drawn and readied on my turn but have to roll at least 15 for a hit. Roll 9 but
+5atk with longbow and bardic insp I manage to hit below the socket and cause no real damage
>eye attacks
>need to roll 16 save to have the possibility of *only* taking 45 dmg (my total hp is 38)
>I roll 15 and get literally disintegrated
>Party is shocked
>A full minute passes with Rogue, out of character, repeatedly asking, “What just happened?”
>I sit there cross-legged in lotus position calmly pondering my new life after dnd or at least what new character I would like to play moving forward
>as the dm moves to the wizard she’s a little taken aback, like “right…so don’t attack…”
>thatsit.jpg
>turn To DM:
Me: I never attacked you initially, how did you move in for a counter-attack?
Dm: You did attack me though
Me: But only after you moved in for a counter-attack that I hadn’t provoked
>He felt that since I ultimately attacked it was a warranted counter (linear perception of time be damned!) On the other hand, my argument’s legitimacy hinged on him making an out of turn attack that I responded to, rather than delivering an overdue counter which I had brought upon myself
>we discuss at length, seemingly out of character but essentially in character as Bard v. Death
>for Guantanamo’s part, he’s politicking his ass off like a combination of Perry Mason, Clay Davis and Atticus Finch
​>”IF THE ARROW DON’T HIT, YOU CAN’T COUNTERATTACK SHEEEEEEEEEEEIIT”
>Rogue chimes in suggesting I cop a plea deal: “Well Guantanamo, maybe you have an ability that would allow you to survive”
>I stay in pocket, claiming that the focus is not me making a legal move to cheat death, but calling out an illegal/out of turn move that caused my premature disintegration
>point out that I had no issue with dying initially when it seemed fair (‘Transcending Physical Plane’ is literally written as Guantanamo’s over-arching goal on char sheet) -only had a problem when I felt mistake had been made
>at length, Dm grudgingly accedes, no doubt because of my masterful persuasion skills
>as a compromise, he essentially grants me the saving throw I missed, un-disintegrates me and, dealing 45 dmg instead, I end up at -7hp
>dm/Death states this is a one-time exception
>tilnexttimelol.jpg
>dm even has the courtesy to have my flatlining body fall into the hole we’re escaping through into the water below, rightly figuring that he would lose all the rest of his heroes trying to save me if he didn’t
>rogue picks me up and we boo boo
>cleric stabilizes then heals me when we’re back in waterdeep
>”Guys, I had the weirdest dream….”
>We go to mage’s guild for debrief
>Im excited that I escaped with badass snake dagger
>dm doesn’t appreciate my cavalier attitude toward being recently disintegrated and so I am destined to not get to enjoy the dagger
>mage’s guild elder won’t even touch it
>Dagger is analyzed. Its cursed. Basically minus1 to every possible action taken while carrying it (maybe why I didn’t make my saving throw)
>my one souvenir from disintegration is essentially dogshit; unlucky dogshit
>mages seal it in magic box and bury it
>other members begin whispering about me as the one who was crazy/foolish enough to carry the cursed dagger
>I smile because all bards are narcissists
>allattentionisgoodattention.jpg
>try to use my newfound notoriety to demand to speak with the recter, even leveraging my recent disintegration and citing how I talked my way (pretty much) into death’s pants
>end up overplaying my hand with runaway self-esteem and now nobody is talking about me any more
>fame is a harsh mistress
And that’s the story of how a stoned, redneck, yogi bard beat Death on a technicality
Best,
-Andre

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There Will be Consequences

Friends,

This summer while working at a summer camp in Germany, I was having a conversation with my fellow counselors. I don’t remember what the exact conversational jump-off point was, but at some point while talking about sex, one counselor named Raph started off about how he didn’t like condoms.  He explained that he had tried them once and never used them again (Raph is married in his late 30s with two kids). It wasn’t just because they killed the feeling either; he seemed to be

philosophically against them as well, and while he couldn’t or didn’t articulate exactly and precisely his issue with them, something beneath his words struck a chord with me. And of course, seeing as the ladies in the group were a bit in shock from his unconventional views, I joined in the condemnation of prophylactics for the lulz, claiming with as much seriousness as I could muster that condoms were feminist tools of male subjugation and emasculation -(“All the tonic effects of getting a nice stiff one in you without having to sink to the level of intimate physical contact with a man”, etc.).

Me and Raph had a laugh and someone eventually changed the subject but an idea had been planted which I thought about subsequently. Trying to piece together the hidden wisdom in Raph’s words, the best I have been able to come up with thus far is that sex with condoms, if it is indeed objectionable, is so because it is frivolous.

Is frivolous sex a bad thing? Well, it’s certainly not the worst thing. Lord knows it’s fun…
But when it comes down to it, I’m tryng to do something.

My thoughts can be summed up in the film Rounders: Matt Damon’s ,Mike McDermott quotes poker great, Doyle Brunson: “Put a man to a decision for all his chips.”

When you discover her ‘tell’…

At face value this may not seem particularly relevant but I like the idea of not playing unless you’re playing all-in so to speak. I think when you apply that all-in mentality to sex it has the potential to make people take their couplings a little more seriously -or at least it fits well into an overall sex education which emphasizes something beyond the physical act and going through the motions.

Of course this isn’t to say that sex with a condom is simply going through the motions, but the stakes are definitely lower, and that can lead to all kinds of frivolity. Conversely, just because the stakes are raised doesn’t mean people will play more responsibly; our human history has been characterized by a lack of reliable contraception/general protection and that has been no guarantee of people taking it seriously. Countless bastard children and the spread of venereal disease are a testament to that.

Bearing in mind this human tendency to take stupid risks no matter how high the stakes, I am certainly not advocating for any kind of condom or birth control ban.

I googled ‘African Cardinal’ -I’m not even sure who this is but he looks like someone I would picture if we were to talk about banning contraception. 

Instead I would like to see a consciousness take root in men; one in which they are a little more intentional in their approach to women. An approach where they don’t think about getting laid, but rather one where their mentality when approaching women is: “I want to do something with her that has consequences.”

They should think it, but to ensure they mean it they should say it out loud, because it’s a lot harder to lie to yourself out loud. If they can’t say it truthfully for whatever reason (in love with someone else, don’t really wanna risk being a father, the chick in question is a toad-faced skank, etc…) then they probably got no business making romantical (sic.) overtures.

To bring this all to a neat dovetail, a wise man once said, “If you’re only doing it for the money, it’s probably not worth doing in the first place.”
I think its equally true to say, “If you’re only talking to her to fuck, she’s probably not worth talking to in the first place.”

Somehow, I think the ladies might approve of this message as well.

Best,
-Andre

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