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The Dervish

*This story is based on a prompt from r/writingprompts which can be found HERE.

THE DERVISH

Ishmael breathed into his hands to warm them by the fire. For all the lofty talk of freedom he had heard, all he could say for sure was that it entailed a great deal of discomfort. If only he’d escaped from MECCA-CITY 01 -at least then he’d be in the desert. True the desert lacked abundant water, but seeing as he wasn’t particularly thirsty at this moment that seemed a reasonable trade-off.


(DAYZ Forest Campfire by Kaelakov)

He was suddenly distracted by a giggle from Fatima.

“What’s so funny?” he asked.

“I don’t wanna tell you.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’ll make fun of me.”

“Pfft, I’ll make fun of your dumb-ass ass anyway.” At this, he lunged and attacked her. They wrestled for a moment until he pinned her loosely underneath him. She looked up at him and smiled. Without her head-scarf, her thick, brown hair fell in cascading locks that were quite lovely.

“You should be wearing your head-scarf,” he said, admonishingly.

Fatima’s expression soured. “Oh what, are you gonna be the religious police now that we’ve escaped the city?”

“No….it’s just that it’s cold and if you get sick I’m gonna have to be the one to take care of you.”

She weighed this and nodded. “You know ‘ll get sick even quicker if you keep me pinned on the ground like this.”

“What were you giggling at?” he inquired again? Without waiting for her to respond he grabbed her wrist and gently twisted it so he could see the image on the smartphone’s screen. It was a picture of the prophet engaged in immoral acts with a camel.

“What the fuck?” he exclaimed and got off her, registering mild, though still exaggerated, disgust and disappointment.

“See, I knew you’d think I was stupid for looking at memes.”

“I don’t care that you’re looking at memes, but that’s disrespectful.”

He resumed sitting on the log he had leapt from moments ago. and took on a brooding demenaour.

“It’s a fucking joke, ” Fatima protested. “Have a look. Now, that we’re outside the mosque we’re picking up all kinds of signals from parish and synagogue satellites. I find the parish memes funnier so far…”

But Ishmael drifted off into his own thoughts. There had of course been speculation that the infidels had their own networks and advanced technology, but he’d never been very much interested in that notion; he wasn’t one to spend much time online anyhow. But now, seeing firsthand that the ‘barbarians at the gate’ were actually sophisticated societies…well, it was all a little sobering. Fatima on the other hand, always had her nose in her phone and took it for granted that the infidels must have the internet because what else would they do with their time? She was so far past the shock Ishmael was feeling that she was already doing a comparative analysis of various infidel cultures.

“Why do you think that is?” asked Ishmael slowly and deliberately.

Fatima neither looked up from her phone nor missed a beat as she answered: “Well it seems that the Jews are more afraid of us and the Christians are more disgusted with us, so they’re less overall respectful and therefore make funnier content.”

“No, not that. Why do you think we’re picking up these signals?” he asked, already knowing the answer. “Why couldn’t we receive them in BAKU?”

“Duh! The men who control everything control EVERYTHING!”

That was it. He still wasn’t sure why he found this so shocking. Perhaps it was because it was final, irrefutable confirmation that he -they- had lived a lifetime of betrayal.

“You look surprised.” Fatima observed with as much compassion as she could muster, even looking up from her phone and trying to penetrate his sullen state with her eyes.”

“It’s just…”

“Just what?”

Ishmael took in a deep breath and unconsciously straightened in his posture while turning to Fatima. “Look, we both wanted a way out, but we both knew we wanted it for different reasons.” Fatima unconsciously turned herself toward him and let her hand with her phone in it fall to the side.

He continued: “You have always felt trapped by every aspect of society. You were always a rebel, since we were kids even. I don’t think anyone will be surprised to find you’re gone tomorrow. The elders will probably make a gestural condemnation of you but I don’t think it will go past that. To their credit, they’re pretty liberal in the periphery. Even the men of the desert -most came this far to escape Meccan stricture.”

“So then why did you want to leave if they were so understanding?” she asked with a touch more condescension than she had intended.

“Well as liberal as they are, there were certain things which were beyond questioning. I was fortunate to learn under Mullah Enoch. At times I asked him questions which others may have had me flogged for. But he would just laugh understandingly and say, ‘This isn’t the place to ask such things.’

“Where was the place to ask such things?”

“I didn’t know…at least at first. Then I started to think that perhaps I should approach him outside of the mosque hidden in plain view where noone would be particularly interested in a student and teacher’s conversation, but whenever I approached him he was evasive or just told me that we could talk the following day in the mosque, which of course was ‘not the place to ask such things.’ So I started thinking perhaps he wasn’t talking about the mosque, but the city itself. Perhaps it wasn’t that he couldn’t talk about what I wanted to know, but that he didn’t have the answers to my questions.”

“So you’re gonna gonna look for a mosque in the wild?” Fatima interrupted with some derision.

“I don’t know!” Ismael responded defensively. “But I’m certain that Mullah Enoch was trying to tell me to leave the city.”

Fatima laughed unexpectedly which startled him. “What? Another clever picture of one our faith fucking an animal? What is it -a pig this time?” he asked, disapprovingly.

“No, I’m laughing at you, dumb shit. All this time I thought you wanted to escape the faith and now I found that you want to go deeper.” She brought her phone back into her lap. “That’s so ridiculuous -you’re finally free and you want to imprison yourself even more.” Her eyes traveled down toward her phone.

Fatima’s words didn’t bother Ishmael so much as he realized his story may have been a touch melodramatic, but he had enjoyed having her complete attention. He felt a tinge of panic when he saw it go back to her phone so he decided to tease her to get it back.

“Well, I can’t let you become a godless heathen,” he said matter-of-factly, casting her a sidelong glance. “We’re still going to pray several times a day and read the word of the prophet.”

“Oh really?” Fatima said, not looking up. “Maybe I just abandon you in the middle of the night.”

“I wouldn’t recommend it.”

She looked up from her phone, amusedly challenging him. “Why’s that?”

He looked at her phone. “The battery won’t last forever. Who you gonna talk to when it’s dead?”

“Congratulations! The one reason for staying with you that I can’t refute,” she said as she looked up at him and put her phone to sleep.

His confidence regained by his triumph over her phone, Ishmael relaxed a little and the conversation began to flow a little more freely from his end. “Yeah well when it comes down t it, it’s our crippling fear of being alone with no one to talk to that truly gave birth to civil society.” Fatima smirked at this. “If nothing else, it kept my parents’ marriage from falling apart.”

“Wow, that’s a pretty cynical view of the social contract.” Fatima observed. ” ‘We are both completely inadequate -so let’s be somewhat less cumulatively inadequate together.’ ”

“You could at least give me a ring before you make a proposal like that,” he said, feigning haughty indignance.

Fatima stood up and got one one knee in front of him, looking him in the eye. “I’m just a young apostate kneeling in front of a young heretic asking him to complement her shortcomings with his his own in a co-dependent, probably destructive way.”

“I hear apostate chicks go all the way…

“Till they stone me or burn me with acid.”

“Wow. You just gave me the weirdest boner.”

“And at that, the condemned young female’s vagina dried up and she rediscovered the faith. Allah hu Akbar!”

They both laughed and Fatima propelled herself by pushing against Ishmael’s chest, causing him to fall off the log.

“Lucky for you it’s cold out here so we’ll have to spoon to keep warm.” she said, giving him an accusing smirk.

Ishmael hadn’t bothered to get up from the ground after she’d pushed him. Instead he laid there and cast her seductive eyes., dragging his finger slowly across the ground. “I feel so tiny wrapped up in your big, strong arms,” he said in a smoky, sultry voice.

“Ha, nice try -I’m little spoon.”

“Dath coo!” He got up and began brushing his clothes of while singing, ‘Ain’t nothin’ but a dry-hump par-tyyyyy…’

“Just keep your weird boner away from my butt-crack and we won’t have any problems.”

Ishmael rolled out a blanket on the ground near their fire while Fatima gathered some more sticks and wood for their fire.

“Should we stay awake in shifts?” she asked.

“Probably the most prudent thing to do. You wanna take first or second shift?”

She yawned. “Umm…neither…”

“Then it’s settled. Let’s go to ground.”

They both laid down on their right sides and Fatima curled herself into Ishmael’s embrace. After a few minutes of fidgeting and getting comfortable they finally settled and began drifting off.

“Fatima”

“Yeah?”

“I love you.”

A moment passed.

“I’m all you have.”

“You’re all I want.”

They both began tearing up as the knowledge of how alone they were set in. A few moments passed then Fatima spoke:

“I love you.”

Ishmael squeezed her tighter and kissed her on the back of the head and they, at length, drifted off to sleep.

THE END

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under adventure, Islam, reddit, religion, Uncategorized, Writing Prompt

Mikael the Green

Friends,

The following story was inspired by the following prompt from the Reddit subreddit, r/writingprompts:

[WP] In a world filled with magical weapons, you encounter a grizzled, old veteran with nothing but a simple iron blade by his side.

Enjoy!

Best,
-Andre Guantanamo

Mikael the Green

Mikael trudged his way through the undergrowth of the forest. The spongy dirt was further softened by the fallen pine needles and he took satisfaction in feeling the earth give way ever-so-slightly beneath him with each step. The bramble was thick and he cleared it as efficiently as he could with only his gauntleted, right hand. His left he kept by his waist gripped on the hilt of his ancestral sword, DOOMSBANE. He’d studied swordsmanship since he was a child and had trained with many different enchanted blades. Some were said to be a boon to valor; others were said to be imbued with light so that they might more effectively smite the mythical forces of dark -should they ever rise again. He had settled on this particular sword some time ago and it was said to ward off death for the wielder. That the engraved leaf motifs on the blade and the green reticulations on the hilt pleased him on an aesthetic level was an added allure that was simply coincidental. Wielding DOOMSBANE, he had allowed, even gently encouraged his bannermen, squires, and subjects to refer to him as THE IMMORTAL KNIGHT, or, more poetically, HE OF THE ENDURING VERDANCE in reference to both the sword and the green cloak he wore over his emerald-encrusted plate.

 Mary-Soon-Lee_prince-and-the-dragon
Illustration by Mary Soon Lee

He trudged on with a sense of purpose as if on some great mission or undertaking. In fact, he was on a mission of some import, even if only in his own mind, for he felt powerful in these woods and feeling powerful was important to him. “What better place to cultivate a regal presence”, he thought “than in these guarded woods where my family rules and where I am the mightiest denizen? Were anyone to surreptitiously observe me on this expedition could they but doubt my might? For, clad as I am, I appear less a man and more similar to the forest, were it to take the form of a man.” This thought brought a smile to his face and a further enthusiasm to his trudging. The smile spread wider across his face subverting the practiced stoicism of his visage somewhat to his chagrin. But this childish delight in fanciful imaginings he rationalized: “One mustn’t be stoic all the time, lest life become less joyous. Besides, all legendary knights were ordinary men whose legends were embellishments. Still, their well-wrought legends served to inspire subsequent generations and I can do the same.” Thinking this reassured him and made him feel that he had a good understanding of how the world worked, an understanding which hadn’t soured him with cynicism. At length though, the novelty of these thoughts wore off and the stoicism returned to his face.

He decided he would head to the clearing in the center of the woods with the tall pine he had played in since he was a boy, and from there he would loop back to his home. As he came upon the clearing he heard the dull yet brassy sound of metal plates falling to the ground. He froze and his right hand quickly moved to DOOMSBANE. Slowly his left hand moved to the enchanted dagger, SWIFTWALKER, sheathed in the small of his back. The latter was said to grant swiftness and stealth to its bearer and at this moment he was glad to have brought it. Making his way furtively closer to the clearing he espied the figure of an older man through the boughs and observed him in silence while the man finished unburdening himself of his armor then sat drinking water from a skin. Mikael observed the man thusly for several minutes. Nervous as he was to approach this interloper, his impatience for some definitive result finally reached a crescendo and impelled him forward. Before he knew it he was walking boldly into the clearing heedless of the noise he was making.

“Hail fellow!”, Mikael called out with a confidence he didn’t completely feel. The man turned to him without surprise and allowed a benevolent half-smirk. He attempted to rise but Mikael stopped him.

“No, pray rest. We needn’t stand on ceremony in this private place.” The man nodded in appreciation.

“Much thanks M’Lord….You are the young master of these woods?”

“I am.”

“I require only a brief rest before continuing on my way.”

“Peace, friend -there is no impetus here for a hastened departure. Take such time as you will.” The man nodded and smiled in appreciation again and took another drink from his skin. As he lowered it he wiped his mouth with the tattered sleeve of his worn tunic. The boy studied the man; He wore a patch over his right eye which couldn’t completely cover a vertical scar that ran from forehead to cheek. His left eye was a small and narrow slit with a piercing dot for a pupil and was sunken into his head to a degree that it made his forehead and features seem to protrude. His hair was grey and seasoned, the same color as his bristly beard which was neat and medium length. His body, though worn and tired, alluded to previous might and ferocity, his gaunt hands still looked as if they carried the strength to kill a man.

Mary 2 (2)

His armor told a similar tale: The plates were dull and unpolished, bearing scratches, dents and stains, though no rust. The leather of his armor bore holes which had gone un-mended for some time and the straps looked like they might give way. The man’s sword however, seemed to be faring slightly better. Certainly it was chipped and pitted in places but it still had the shine and edge of a well-maintained implement of war. It sat sheath-less on the grass beside the man attached to his doffed belt through a loop around the base of the blade near the hilt.

Mikael took this all in and it troubled him on a level below his conscious thoughts. He began to resent this man without even knowing why. His very existence was simply not congruent with Mikael’s outlook on life and the world, and his presence stirred up Mikael’s most repressed insecurities.

“You’re green.” -The man’s abrupt question pulled Mikael out of his thoughts. Or was it a question? It seemed to him almost accusatory.

“….yes…” Mikael responded warily. He decided not to elucidate upon his more poetic appellations.

“It’s good,” the man responded. “A good color for these parts.” He made a small gesture with his right hand, indicating the woods around them.

While Mikael appreciated the utility of his green garments in the woods, this utility had been at best an ancillary benefit and at worst an afterthought. This grizzled old man brought this useful quality of the clothing up as if it were the most important aspect of it though, and being praised for the wrong reason made Mikael feel like a fraud, a pretender at war. Also, the man’s seemingly willful overlooking of the impractical gems which adorned his plate felt like condescension.

“I care little for concealment; it is but a coward’s way to prolong his miserable life.” Mikael dismissively responded.

The man became suddenly, sharply attentive and sat there studying him. He made no especial effort to divert his gaze from Mikael’s, but instead looked searchingly into the boy’s eyes. While this might have been construed by some as impertinence, Mikael found himself more aggrieved by the man’s calm and dignified exterior. He went on:

“I announce my presence boldly where I go because I fear no man or beast and welcome all challengers. You yourself bore witness to how well I met you here in this clearing. Yet you insinuate that I wear these noble colors in order to hide myself?”

The man stared a moment longer and then sensed that further silence would only be taken as condescension by this young lord. He averted his gaze and spoke:

“Begging your pardon, M’lord, but I meant no insinuation of any such thing. I only applied my own rationale and logic to what I observed in your lordship. Your lordships’s own reasoning however is apt to be more sublime than that of a common soldier. ”

This almost satisfied Mikael and his body momentarily relaxed, but he noticed that the man was still seated holding his skin. This too could have very easily been perceived as further evidence of the man’s impertinence toward his betters, but Mikael saw it as a greater insult: The man was not intimidated by him and felt the situation didn’t merit reaching for his sword.

“STAND!” Mikael commanded.

The man stared a moment longer and then rose slowly, helping himself up with his left hand. He was still out of breath but the look on his face was the picture of amused tranquility. He stood motionless staring just below Mikael’s gaze with his hands at his sides, the right one still holding the skin.

“PICK UP YOUR SWORD!” Mikael yelled shrilly.

The man met Mikael’s gaze and Mikael thought he saw a slight smirk.

“PICK IT UP!”

The man attempted to speak: “M’lor—”

His words words cut short by Mikael quickly drawing DOOMSBANE and sticking its point toward the man.

“I WON’T ASK YOU AGAIN.”

For a second which seemed like an eternity for the man and longer still for the boy, he kept staring. Then, as he sensed Mikael was about to react to his inaction he dropped the skin from his right hand, averting for the moment Mikael’s next outburst, and bent to pick up his sword. He bent slowly at the waist and grunted slightly at the effort. As he bent Mikael instinctively stepped back several paces out of fear, although he told himself that giving his opponent space to compose himself was the chivalrous thing to do.

Mary 2 (1)

“Is this how it all ends?” the man thought to himself as he slowly bent. “A lifetime of fierce campaigning, attaining justice for widows and children, and punishing those who would prey upon the defenseless, only to be struck down by this young fool whose father’s army I served in so well?

The man allowed a slight smirk at this thought but made sure it was out of the boy’s view.

“Life and its cruel ironies. Oh well, I’ve benefited enough from irony, cruel or otherwise throughout the years. I may as well die as I lived. This boy is a fool if he thinks his father’s archers encircled around us are going to allow a duel-the young imbecile probably doesn’t even realize they’re there. I’ll be dead on the ground with five arrows in my chest before I can stand back up. Still, better that than to disobey him further and incite him into striking me down unarmed with his pretty sword. I doubt he’s killed anyone yet, and I’ll be damned if I’ll be his first. Breathe Deep, Old Man; Peace Soon Enough.”

The man gripped his belt with his left hand and the hilt of his sword with his right. He paused for a second and the feeling of the sword in his hand stirred something in him which had been repressed for years by unquestioning obedience and fealty.

“Let’s give him a thrill” he thought,  “and go out the way we lived: In a screaming, murderous rage.”

At this thought the man swiftly pulled his hideous sword from the leather loop on his belt and lunged toward the boy with unexpected speed, both hands wrapped around the hilt as a primal and savage war cry issued from his lungs.

The first arrow hit him in the stomach and his screaming became incredibly painful yet didn’t abate. He proceeded forward and kept closing the distance between himself and the boy, who at that point had turned white and had dropped his sword and perhaps more.

The second and third arrows came in close succession piercing his throat and just underneath his right shoulder-blade respectively. He stumbled at these strikes and his screaming became a frothy, hissing, gargle which sprayed the boy with blood and sputum as the man dropped to his knee and fell forward still clutching the sword with both hands. The fall snapped the arrow in his stomach, and the arrow in his neck acted to turn his head grotesquely to the right as it made contact with the ground, leaving the patched eye pointed upward, covered but somehow still staring at the boy above a bloody and contemptuous grin.

The arrow in the man’s back stuck straight up and seemed to serve as a grave marker grimmer than grey granite.

The boy was stunned and stared at the dying body of this once fierce man. He could hear the man’s death rattle; or was it air escaping from his pierced throat? It terrified Mikael either way and he was glad when silence and three members of his father’s elite guard filled the clearing. As the three scouts approached the boy from the surrounding woods, he regained some of his composure.

“You alrite, M’lord?” the captain asked. The boy gulped involuntarily.

“I’m fine.” The boy looked at the three men each in turn, and then with overreaching confidence asked, “What are you doing here? I don’t wish to be disturbed during my training.”

The two junior scouts looked at each other and then at their captain who never turned his attention from Mikael.

“We were on a routine patrol, M’lord and heard shouting,” he responded flatly.

Mikael knew it was a lie and knew that these men had been assigned to secretly follow and protect him. He was insulted by this and took it as an affront to his valor. He wanted to berate these men for interfering in his duel and threaten them with reprimands but he suddenly felt very tired. The clouds had cleared and the sun was beating down on him. His breastplate felt heavy and his cloak was causing him to sweat. His mouth too felt dry and he looked thirstily at the dead man’s still-bulging water skin.

“No.” he thought. “He would just smirk at me from beyond.” He looked to the captain and indicated to the body with his hand.

“Take care of this mess and don’t follow me home on pain of death.” He turned around and began walking abruptly away. He hadn’t gotten more than five steps when the captain addressed him.

“M’lord?”

Mikael whirled on him exhausted and irritated, with an expectant look in his eye.

“Your sword,” the captain continued in a quiet and meek tone with his eyes cast downward.

Mikael saw that he had left DOOMSBANE on the ground and that its fine blade, now sullied with blood and dirt, was pinned down under the rough sword of the dead man. Mikael steeled himself and walked over to the sword, grabbed the hilt and pulled it up off the ground causing the two blades two rub together and issue a piercing and unsettling grinding shriek.

Mikael stood up and sheathed DOOMSBANE without wiping it clean. He noticed the looks of discomfort the men wore on their faces and decided he would attribute it to similar revulsion at the sound of the blades rubbing together.

He turned around and walked home.

The End

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Filed under adventure, entertainment, Fiction, Uncategorized

Shedding a Tear for Feminism

For Lil’ Keezy, who missed me when I was gone.

Friends,

In the last couple months I created an account on Reddit after hearing about how it was the best place in the internet; the internet of course being the best place in the world.  I have taken to it slowly, due mostly to the fact that I didn’t really appreciate that I could subscribe to niche “subreddits” that would cater to my particular, peculiar tastes (CHECK OUT r/SPACEDICKS … IT’S TERRIFIC!!!).  From a subreddit devoted to “The Wire” to r/supershibe, haven for doge worship…

fcd

…there’s just about anything you could want.  At some point, probably while looking for a Matrix subreddit to post a wicked funny image I made…

AppMatrix
I KNOW IT’S PRETTY HILARIOUS, BUT DON’T LOL TOO HARD, GAIS!

…I happened across r/TheRedPill.  Naively, I assumed it would be a forum of like-minded dissidents who had “woken up” to the deep, structural injustice in society.

Well, I was half right, but only in the worst way possible.

You see, TRP is devoted to the disenfranchised male of the species taking back the power from oppressive women.  Still naive, I assumed this was a repackaging of the much-maligned Pick-Up Artist (PUA)/Seduction community popularized by Neil Strauss’ 2005 book, “The Game.”  I always felt the PUA/S community was unfairly demonized when it attained mainstream popularity because certain core principles were overlooked and it was derided as simply “manipulating women.”  Naturally, women took offense to the idea that men might be ninja’ing their brains and fledgling Pick-Up Artists who would quote material and routines verbatim were spotted, scorned and ostracized in the backlash.
However, if women took the time to look a little deeper, the core principles are actually self-improvement, taking charge of your life and gaining fulfillment in love and sex.  Nobody talks about that part but most savvy modern women are familiar with the “Neg.” Well bravo, that’s like reducing the profession of nurse simply to one who wipes the asses of bed-ridden patients.  It’s insulting, reductive and inaccurate.
I’m not gonna argue the relative merits of Pick-Up Artistry beyond saying that since my introduction to the community there has been a corresponding improvement in my dealings with the opposite sex and more importantly, a diversification and broadening of my own experiential base and character, vis a vis  life in general.  Notice, I said “corresponding,” not “causal,” meaning you can be like me, take the truth from a given source and use what works to your advantage.  Conversely, you can also take certain ideas and incorporate them into a philosophy of fear, revenge, subjugation and dehumanization.

trp

Like I said, I was a little naive exploring this sub, and more than a little excited to be among others like me.  After lurking for a time and getting some good leads on self-improvement material (Check out “The Black Phillip Show” from the late Patrice O’Neal) I was emboldened to make a post which posited a connection between the (perceived) necessity of PUA/S techniques among males and the unfortunate reality that we live in a competitive society whose operant mechanism is scarcity.  I inquired as to whether others thought that a more egalitarian society where we did not always have to game for advantage would bring an end to the commodity-status of female sexuality/women using sex as a bargaining chip, and men treating their time (time not having sex) the same way.*  A pretty straight-forward well-reasoned question if you ask me.  ASK ME!!!
What damned me was my good-natured, well-intended good-bye: “Til that day, game righteously and leave her better than you found her.”
Pardon my language, but on the strength of that insignificant addendum niggaz was wilin’ on me!

1322615842122
“Yes. We most certainly were.”

Without even addressing my question most people simply attacked my farewell.  The amount of vitriol I received for supposing that you could enrich a woman’s life by being a part of it was a complete shock to me. It was made abundantly clear to me that a woman’s value diminished with every new interaction (i.e. sex partner) she had and that for a man to get what he wanted a woman would necessarily have to be diminished.  So I’m sorry to every girl I ever slept with, but you fucked up.
Amazed by this I took a closer look at some of the suggested reading the subreddit provided links to and was amazed that there was a movement of males who felt that the biggest threat to men today was rampant feminism and that misandry victims were really invisible victims.
Feminism?…really?

Now allow me to put my cards on the table real quick to dispel any notions of “white-knighting” on my part.

Ahem…fuck feminism.**  I got no use for it or any other ‘-ism’ notion.

That said, I don’t fear that the feminazis are coming to get me and in turn use that fear to justify mistreatment of women. It turns out however that a whole community of men do.  Call me old-fashioned (or a beta, liberal-fag, leftard, pussy) but I just think that relationships can be mutually beneficial and fulfilling.  Is it difficult?  Yes, especially in the context of a competitive socio-economic system where everyone, including a romantic partner, can be rightfully suspected of trying to take you for all you have, which really ties into the original question in my post.
But it is possible, and moreover, I would say its desirable.

You see when it comes down to it, I class both feminism and the TRP movement as outgrowths of inequality.  Every disenfranchised group is gonna find some ‘other’ to blame.  But sometimes “others” can be amorphous and hard to define.  Blaming the other gender is mad easy though; its an “other” as old as the species itself.  And, big surprise here, it doesn’t make your situation any better.

bat

If you think one of these pics represents worse violence than the other then you just might be part of the problem.

In closing I want to say that there is truth in everything if you have eyes to decode it and see it.  In the case of feminism, this is especially true; whatever the root causality, there are unique challenges that women go through that it is foolish to try and deny.  I think not acknowledging this is an affront to women.
Similarly, the Red Pill has a lot of good stuff in it but you gotta be willing to wade through a lot of hatred and antipathy.  Moreover, there are some guys who responded thoughtfully, if cynically, to my post, which shows that you can’t just broadly paint any group as good or bad based on the loudest members.

Best,
-Andre Guantanamo

*I realize this is an oversimplified expression of male/female relations but it is an expedient one for the point I was trying to make.

**When well-intentioned issues-based movements gain too much clout and become too established they become burdensome to anyone who isn’t championed explicitly by that cause.  Please read more about my thoughts on the subject here.

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Filed under blog, Critique, Deconstruction, gender, opinion, philosophy, politics, sex

Anonymity & Identity

My Friends,

   Been doing a lot of facebook debating as of late.  I mean its one thing to write a blog and hope someone reads it, but if you comment on someone’s post I find it is more engaging; people are more willing to discuss things that they brought up in the first place by posting them.  I would like to think it is always a mutually respectful discussion, but sometimes things are misunderstood, or points aren’t made or someone gets frustrated, or someone makes a joke without putting LOL at the end and things devolve rather quickly.  This is an unfortunate limitation of text-based discussions.  
   Now, between the ongoing discussion I have been having with a friend of mine for over 3 weeks (it started when I implied stated outright that Obama and all other president’s were ineffectual), and the more recent thread I started on the FB group “Veterans Against Occupy Wall Street,” (I tried asking them why they were so against OWS and they accused me of trolling and then deleted the thread) I have spent quite a bit of time as of late elucidating on the ills of society as I see them.  What I didn’t take into account initially was that these comments posted on facebook would be visible to my friends.  People started making references to these discussions (positive and negative) and just today my friend posted this…
…on my wall, along with some choice words about how people viewed me.  Insofar as I let myself get caught up in arguments, he is right.  Arguments, even in person are about being right => winning.  However I maintain that there is still merit to discussions, or mutually respectful discourse.  And the great thing about facebook and other social media is that your rationalism or stupidity is there for everyone to see.  It forces you to choose your words a little more carefully because you never know who might be reading their news-feed and see that you were trolling some memorial page for a kid who died from leukemia.
If you troll this kid’s memorial page you are scum!! … never mind why I’m laughing

   I remember one time someone posted a link to a group for sexual abuse survivors.  I think it was called “Sexual Abuse Survivors.”  I saw this thread started by this middle-aged overweight female sexual abuse survivor and saw her attention-whoring about how she was a sexual-abuse survivor.  I made it clear in no uncertain terms that by posting all this about herself on an open forum she was making a great sacrificial lolcow out of herself, and that some troll could easily come and milk her for her delicious lulz.  
Lulz: Where’s Your Mustache?
My warning was interpreted as a troll and it became a bad scene real quick.  I aborted and when I returned to my home-page I saw that the news feed showed like five different posts about how I posted on the sexual abuse survivors group. 
   Bricks were shat.  I didn’t want people to think I was a sexual abuse survivor looking for support, but I especially didn’t want them thinking I was trolling the group.  And that’s probably how it would have looked too; after all I didn’t have to go there and point out their attention-whoring ways.  In fact, my advice was unsolicited and so I kind of looked like a jerk.  This incident made me very cognizant about which arguments were worth getting into on facebook, or at least made me realize that I could change the settings which notified people about where I was posting.  In that regard it helped me to see that if someone is sufficiently pathetic, you can always be in the wrong if you get caught pointing out how pathetic they are acting.  So don’t get caught.
   Then, at some point in time, I discovered 4chan.  Its simply a bunch of different image boards, the most popular one being the /b/ or “random” board which has no rules about posting except that you can’t post illegal things (child porn, how to get child porn, etc…) or else you get banned.  The great thing about 4chan is that posting is done primarily anonymously (although so-called “namefags” can elect to fill out the name field) so the rules you might adhere to on facebook go out the window.  No sexual abuse survivor or leukemia baby is safe.  No pun intended.
   In spite of what you may be thinking, this is actually a good thing.  Not the leukemia trolling specifically but the consequence-free anonymity which enables it.  Sure you can see the ugly side of people but barriers are also torn down.  I guarantee I have been more honest on 4chan on average than I  am in daily life because I know it will never be pinned on me.  The bullshit goes out the window and you see that people, although they have a definite sadistic streak for those who have it coming, are really deeply feeling and fucking hilarious when they don’t have to worry about people poking fun at them personally.  Sure someone may tell you to GTFO or call you a fag, but they’re not calling you a fag, they’re calling anonymous a fag, so they are calling themselves a fag(s).
   Now one April fool’s day a few years back, 4chan’s administrator added a new field to the the established submission field.  It was called “Facebook Connect” and it had a little box to check that would post your 4chan submission (pic & comment) on facebook.  The lulziest part was that the box was checked by default, so if people didn’t notice it was there, then whatever invective, vitriol, faggotry, goatse, heart-warming or noble thing they were posting on 4chan, got posted to their facebook wall.  
   Shit was hilarious.  All of a sudden threads popped up with people submitting screen-caps of their FB profiles with the offensive post displayed, talking about how all of their friends now knew what a racist, sexist, Islamophobe they were and how their lives were ruined.  Thankfully, the admin took it down but it hammered home the point about how your anonymous life and your internets persona but be kept separate and distinct.
   Now you might think, “Good, it taught those guys a lesson.  There shouldn’t be anonymity.  Then people will just behave poorly with impunity.”  I think you would be wrong in this line of thinking; anonymity is the one way we can get away from the pressures of maintaining an internet persona.  You don’t have to post a picture of yourself flexing your muscles, or partying with friends or dressed up nice with the right lighting because no one cares, no one is judging.  Its actually kind of a relief.  
   But its not one or the other: Just as anonymity allows a certain freedom of expression, the accountability which comes with a posting on FB or Twitter is also important because it teaches people what is acceptable in the context of internetting.  For example, anonymity may allow you to express creativity and vulnerability, but it won’t teach you to rebut a differing opinion with anything more than “OP is a fag!,” or “GTFO faggot!”  Likewise, you may learn what is socially acceptable on social networking sites but I find they don’t afford much inspiration or lulz.
  We want an identity but we want anonymity as well.  There is nothing pretentious about the former and nothing cowardly about the latter.  And since I continue to post actively as both myself and anonymous, I have to remember to keep my fb discussions civil or risk becoming a Special Olympics gold-medalist.
Stay Thirsty,
-Andre Guantanamo
   

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