1998-05-06 - My Philosophy on Life (Please direct all feedback to my email, not to the group)

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From: “Bruises that won’t heal” <lordsmen@iquest.net>
To: <cypherpunks@toad.com>
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UTC Datetime: 1998-05-06 18:26:48 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 11:26:48 -0700 (PDT)

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From: "Bruises that won't heal" <lordsmen@iquest.net>
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 11:26:48 -0700 (PDT)
To: <cypherpunks@toad.com>
Subject: My Philosophy on Life (Please direct all feedback to my email, not to the group)
Message-ID: <199805061826.LAA08914@toad.com>
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NOTE:  This is probably one of the most unstructured and free-flowing
papers that I have
ever written.  Take it with a grain of salt and two advils.

In the world we live today, it is safest to be either at the top or insane.
 In a story I read last semester out of my ultra-thick Literature textbook,
this was first introduced to me.  One of the leading characters, an
educated man, felt the "sorrow of sanity."  It's true that in this world,
we all want meaningful lives.  Not only do we want to be successful, but we
need to be happy.  The real question of life lies in what brings us
happiness.  So, as you read this, keep the goal of happiness in mind.

First of all, I'd like to talk about my influences throughout my life. 
Television was a large part of my life in the early years, which I am sad
to say has shaped a very minute amount of my mind.  The television, or our
"Vast Wasteland," is a horrible medium  that has too much to say about so
much.  In my eyes, television has failed to serve the "public's interest,
convenience, and necessity."  It has too much of a handle on the world
today, and people blindly accept most/all of what they see.  You may tell
yourself that you are not one of those who conform to the views of the
television, but even witty shows such as South Park and insanely stupid
shows like Beavis and Butthead shaped our lives.  We used to laugh when
Butthead would slap Beavis, and we'd get excited when Beavis would yell 
"Fire!  Fire!"  A statement which was later proven to be a cause for a
young child to light a fatal fire in his own house.  As we grow older, our
minds begin to become more autonomous and move away from such ignorance and
mindless influence, but the way that we are brought up as children will
always be a big influence on our lives.  And since those funny Roadrunner
and Coyote cartoons were there and influenced us as children, a very small
part carries over.  A happy childhood or a sad childhood shapes what we can
become as adolescent youth.  Most of us undergo something sad and traumatic
as children.  Mine came around the age of 14 when my sister and father use
to argue constantly.  Hatred affects us, even when it isn't directly
between us and someone else.  Anyway, this traumatic experience, which also
lasts longer with some, is a major cause for our disbelief and our lack of
immediate trust in everything.  It causes us to think twice about
everything, and it causes us to worry.  We are burned by everybody
throughout our lives.  Remember the first time that our parents tricked us
into something and how angry we were because we were misled?  Remember when
you came home to find your pet, who was one of your best friends, gone
forever and never to be seen again?  Maybe you came home to find that a
really close relative of yours died and somehow you felt betrayed by either
God, or the doctors, or somehow you felt responsible.  Maybe you still
blame yourself for your parent's divorce.  Either way, these are the major
climaxes of our childhood which also carry over.  You see  the jerks out in
the world, and you see those who easily betray, and sometimes you wonder
who first betrayed them, or who manipulated their minds to be so
uncompassionate.  It's sad that everyone has to learn these things at a
young age where we are all so susceptible to misbeliefs and conjectures of
the corporate world.  But, unfortunately, we learn by mistake and that is
human nature. 

This leads me into the thoughts of how human nature can kill a spirit.  We
all like to be liked, and we all need to be loved by somebody.  A heavy
heart appears where love is less spent.  And the nature of hate (which I
believe is not human nature but more a learned emotion) can kill a spirit. 
And the feeling of being disliked, betrayed, hell, even when we hate
someone, that all can kill us.  But this doesn't prove how human nature can
kill a spirit.  I can say this is done because of the way that we naturally
react to so many things.  For example, we learn to hate because we are
first hated or betrayed.   People can be so cold to us, and we take all
that as a part of us (of course, as children) and we turn it into rage and
hate.  When a child is molested by an adult, he/she can instantly reject
the members of his/her offending sex.  They can even lose trust in their
parents (especially if the parent is the offender).  It's a very sad thing
that this is, and it damages so deeply in the soul and heart.  What I'd
like to discuss now is the cause that many people indulge in.

Alcoholism is a terrible disease.  I don't say that because I think that
drinking is wrong.  I believe that irresponsible drinking is wrong.  It's
true that alcoholics don't begin as heavy drinkers, but I believe that
alcoholics form because of drinking due to depression.  Those kids who are
neglected and don't have so many great friends as children may seek refuge
in being drunk or high.  The position I take on marijuana versus. alcohol
is this.  I don't consider anything I can grow in my backyard a drug.  And
marijuana isn't nearly addictive as alcohol because you can only become
psychologically addicted.   We've all experienced mental addictions (seeing
the Titanic movie twenty some times would probably constitute.)  Sex is
more addictive than marijuana is (in my opinion.)  Anyway, alcohol is like
anything else in the ways that it can be used responsibly but is unlike
anything else because it can cause people to rape, kill, and do things a
sane person would never dream of.  So, people, I urge you to drink
responsibly.  Don't drink out of ruins of depression, because it will not
delay problems or solve them.  That is the problem with the world today. 
We don't solve problems.  We just fix them.  Anyway, as Michael Stipe says
in Everybody Hurts "Don't throw your hands/hang on/take comfort in your

My second major concern is pornography.  This is some major bull shit. 
It's corporate people who, as the government  allows them to, take
advantage of people's human urges to cheat on their wives or whatnot. 
Sure, you may believe that I am taking things way to far.  It's only a
naked chick on a page.  But when you find someone special and you want to
have sex with her, she's only the next step up from a bottle of lotion and
a couple of magazines.  Porn-freaks begin to see women as objects, argue
with spouses and dates for insignificant reasons.  Nothing good comes from
pornography of any type.  I guess it's semi-reasonable if a couple want to
use videos together and so, but leave this exploitation alone and I don't
think you'll regret it.  Realize that so much of the downfall of America is
just an expense to the success of someone else's success. 

Now, my personal feelings on how America works.  Government is corrupt. 
It's goal is to serve the people with their own interests.  This is a
farce.  First of all, America is not a democracy.  In a true democracy,
each person voices their opinion on every subject.  Since we have such a
huge number of people living in our country, this is impossible.  So we
elect representatives who we think will best serve in the government
according to our own interests.  But this rarely happens.  Sure, those
stupid bills that would never get passed (i.e.. drop the gun carrying age
to 14) never do pass.  Those are common sense actions.  But real
controversial issues (abortion, education, health care, death penalty,
etc.) are very hard to set actions on because it affects so many people and
the politicians have so many decisions to make.  But I cannot say that our
government is a failure.  They would protect me if Cuba shot missiles at my
home state tonight, and they'll give glue my arm back on if it happens to
fall off on the way to school tomorrow and I had no way to pay for it.  So,
we can all argue about what the government is doing, but we must all also
be thankful that our government isn't shooting us as we walk down the
street.  Anyway, the government isn't the problem so much in America today.
 It's the marketplace.  Commercial business has made more laws than the
government, and it's the big corporate giants who will decide what is the
next biggest fashion. 

Corporate America is the root of all the trouble I can see in America. 
Let's go back to my examples above about the stupid junk with pornos and
drugs and such.  Pornography, I will restate, is worthless and damaging to
the United States.  Now, let's all ask ourselves where this garbage is
piped in from.  Corporate America.  How could it be, you ask?  Simply put,
most of the people in the United States of America (which never really seem
united) will only do things if it makes them money and or it makes them
happy.  Now, most of the time, we won't even do things if it makes us
happy.  We'd all be happy to turn the channel when Barney the Money-Hungry
Education Dinosaur comes on, but if the remote is on top of the television,
we might just take a few minutes for the show to really get on our nerves
before  we'll get up to change it.  That 15 second walk can kill you,
especially if Corporate America has had you up since 5 in the morning. 
But, hold on, the kids want to watch Barney.  Darn it!  You've been slaving
all day at work to raise enough money for those kids to wear expensive
clothes and to buy $30 Barney videos, and now they want to pry into your
time alone?  No, you yell at the kids to go watch another television or to
go outside so you can have some peace and quiet.  Geez, what's daddy so
angry about?  Could it be that he's overworked and stressed, and that he
never spends time with us because all of his spare time is wrapped up in
getting rest for work the next day?  Oh, it's no big worry, because daddy
has all day Saturday off to wash the car, plant some flowers, pay the
bills, cook dinner for us, call back all those people who have called
during the week and to go shopping... all the things he enjoys the most. 
Maybe this summer, daddy can take a week or two to take us to Dinghy world
and spend so much money on us!  Then he can come back and work for two
months to pay off those pesky credit card companies for the thousands of
dollars he spent.  And while daddy is at work, those nice guys on
television can tell us about all the neat things to buy.  Yes, daddy will
love the looks on our faces when we open up our happy meals (what ever
happened to those cool boxes?) and we get our My Little Pony dolls.  But we
can't have just one pony!  We need the whole set!  Let's get them all

		A heart that's full up like a landfill.
		A job that slowly kills you.
		Bruises that won't heal.
		You look so tired and happy.
		Bring down the government.
		They don't speak for us.
		I'll take a quiet life.  A handshake.  Some carbon monoxide.
		No alarms and no surprises.
		No alarms and no surprises.  Please.
		Silent.  Silent.
		This is my final fit.
		My final bellyache.
		Such a pretty house.
		Such a pretty garden.

"Are they getting on your nerves?"  I asked the lady who sat behind the
counter.  She opened up her purse and laid a twenty dollar bill on the
counter, got up and left.  The kids shot me with a water pistol and ran out
the door.  They piled into mommy's car as the lady broke down crying.  Her
rusted station wagon didn't have a back window, but it had a
semi-translucent tarp to keep out the wind and rain.  And then she dropped
her keys.  She wiped the tears from her eyes like lakes from the plains,
picked up her keys, and got in the car.  Never again will I see that woman,
but what she gave me, I wish I could return tenfold. 

 That really didn't happen to me, but it speaks words to me.  Some of you
may not understand that, but what it is basically is saying is that the guy
who spoke to the woman gained something inside from her pain.  She was
barren and empty, poor.  She gave him a 20 dollar thought, and he wished he
could give her 200 dollars.

It's all Corporate America's fault.  Here we could have a woman who went to
college, but couldn't accept a job because she couldn't afford to move.  So
she works days to pay for a tiny apartment, an expensive baby-sitter, and
for her three kids to live.  Where's the husband?  Dead maybe?  Maybe he
was an alcoholic and she kicked him out (not an uncommon thing).  Welcome
to Corporate America.  In their world, you don't have to bring anything to
survive, but they would like it better if you could leave some stuff
behind.  Otherwise, they'll take it away.  Let's talk about this. 
Creativity can be destroyed from having a job.  Yes, crew, by getting a
job, your giving in (not completely, but somewhat) to corporate America. 
You just have to find a paying job that you totally enjoy.  If you do that,
then you'll never work a day in your life. 

For me, I'll be a train engineer.  I'd really like to be in a successful
music band.  We'd never sell out to anybody.  It'd be great.  I used to
really, really want to be a bird.  I'd want to fly around with a knapsack
on.  Inside, I'd have a walkman on that continuously played A-ha's Take On
Me and R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion.  I'd also have about 20 peanut butter
and jelly sandwiches.  That would be my perfect life.  

I feel like I've said so much about everything, but I haven't even began to
scratch the surface of some hot topics.  This is your preface to my
thoughts.  I'll do addendums as soon as they appear.

Addendum I - Microsoft as a Giant Wart

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh today, and he was talking about how
Microsoft puts this stupid new web browser on every computer no matter what
program you install.  For example, if you install a word processor it will
still install Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 (a stupid browser) on your
desktop.  Well, this is junk.  I think that computers are a waste of time,
especially in this time and day.  They should never have advanced past
pocket calculators, and mainly because they are too convenient.  Too many
people spend nice sunny days sitting in front of the Internet downloading
golf images, or pornography, or whatever.  Forget that.  I think that
people should sell their computers and buy a set of golf clubs.  Maybe you
should take that thousand dollars and get a pet and take a weekend trip. 
Computers are nothing but a headache.  Don't believe me?  Test this against
so many statistics and  experience.  Ask that accountant neighbor of yours
if he'd rather go for a swim in a pool or figure out some corporate tax
return information.  Ask that computer programmer how many times he's
visited another city on a trip that was only for pleasure.  Then, ask the
Park Rangers how much they love being outdoors.  You're bound to find that
most people hate technology in a raw form.  The most beautiful things on
this earth are found in nature, and not on some computer screen or in some
magazine.  Anyway, back to Microsoft.  Bill Gates is only partly to blame
for Microsoft's reputation.  Of course, he has a lot of pull in the company
since he is CEO and chairman, but realize that Microsoft is a huge company
and that he can't possibly oversee every individual aspect of it.  Sure,
they are accused of unfair trade practices, but a certain percentage of
that is acceptable (not every company can please everyone all the time.) 
But they do an awful lot of bad stuff (I can't give examples here because
they are too complex to explain), but a lot of that comes from regional
offices, etc.  So, Microsoft is a monopoly because they own almost every
aspect of computers today.  You almost have to use their software in
everything you want done professionally.  And a lot of computer users will
say that they really don't like that.  I have two options for you.  The
first one is, gulp, buy a MacIntosh.  The second (which I highly recommend)
is to sell your computer and buy a guitar. 

Addendum II - The Internet as a Tool

I'll grant that the Internet is an unboundless tool that almost any company
can incorporate.  Scientists can use it to collect data over the world,
share information, and express ideas.  Doctors can use it to find out more
about diseases by reading up-to-date information from around the world. 
But these noteworthy actions rarely occur.  Anyone who goes on the Internet
would have to agree that it really is a not-so-needed "tool" but more of a
world-wide haven for computer geeks.  It's mostly full of perverts who'll
have cyber-sex (cyber-sex is, by definition, when two people type actions
and thoughts to each other while mutually masturbating.  Sounds fun, eh?) 
Every America On-Line user knows what it is like to receive 20 messages per
day about free sex sites and porno distribution, or how to get rich quick. 
Nobody is safe from advertising and spam e-mail on the Internet.  In my
humble opinion, the Internet has "sold out."  It's just like your favorite
underground rock group.  Sure, you loved them as a local group and when
they had their own name.  But now they are playing wherever they can get
paid the most, etc.  It sucks.  The Internet used to be an elite
association of computer users (geeks and the normal people, too.)  But
Corporate America, namely Microsoft, has tried to put a footstep on each
web page out there.  For example, go to a search engine on the Internet (I
suggest Yahoo! or excite.com.)  They all practically do the same thing, so
it doesn't matter.  Instantly, you will see some  advertisement on that
page.  Now, in the search field, type in the name of your favorite band. 
Click search and wait for the responses.  Click on any one of several web
pages that will surely be devoted to the worship of that band.  You will
more than likely see a banner for some sponsor (who pays them a dime for
each person who clicks on it).  See?  Your independent down-home web pages
have been stamped, logged, and dated for Corporations to see.  Check this
out.  Go to www.microsoft.com.  There?  Microsoft now has your name, city,
state, and e-mail address.  Keep this up, and you can expect some e-mail
from some company wanting to sell you something really soon.  Sure, some
web pages don't really want your personal information, but they'd love to
sell it to some other company who would.  Welcome to the Internet.  A place
of boredom, dull information, sex, lies, and overweight people who still
seem to fit into a size 4.

Addendum III - Music as an Influence

Music is one of the most extraordinary mediums in the world.  It's a unique
language that is universal and ancient.  I'm sure that some idiot (the
first man, and even the modern man) sat on a rock and beat a club on the
ground and thought, hey, I should for a band.  So now we got four poor
musicians who'll do anything for a gig.  They're making music that they all
love and life is grand.  These are good guys.  These are the guys that have
a heart for something that they love and they won't let the world stand in
between them and their dreams.  It's the same way with almost all artists. 
Nobody can really enter the world of art expecting to be a success or a
failure.  But what every person should know is that they can enter the
world of art and be prepared to grow and learn from what happens.  I know
that some of the simple photographs that I've seen in my life have changed
the perspective on things for me.  And the songs I hear can most definitely
have a major impact on my thoughts and actions.  It's simple to see this in
everybody.  You know how that fast song with lots of energy comes on, and
before you know it, you're driving 65 in a 30, "feeling the flow.  Working
it."  It's a great feeling.  Something that is irreplaceable (but
definitely not not exceedable.)  Radiohead, R.E.M., and The Velvet
Underground are probably the only bands which I've ever felt really
connected to.  They all deliver a great message to me, and send that
message on wondrous instrumental works of art.  R.E.M. gave me the
advantage of feeling without experience.  Lou Reed's simple minded
complexities were great wisdom that I think of daily and is really involved
in a lot of "What Goes On."  (That's a song title to a Velvet Underground
song, by the way.)  And lastly, Radiohead has shown me the world about.  It
conquered my fears and it has really been a guide in the direction of my
life.  I understand through that music what may lie in the future.  It
really woke me up to quick thinking that my life can be what I make of it. 
No one can hold me back from doing what I really want, but some of us 
aren't quick to realize that we can hold ourselves back if we don't act on
our judgments and if we don't get motivated to do what we want.  I'd
recommend those three CD's to any person in the world.  Get all the live
Velvet Underground you can and listen to each work like it was an important
message coming over the telegraph.  Write those words down, read them over
and over, then hang them on the walls of your bathroom.  Keep a poster of
Michael Stipe in your bedroom and stare at it while you listen to R.E.M. 
And watch the nightly news after you've listened to Radiohead and apply
your common sense to a world of chaos.  "It's a Man Ray kind of sky.  Let
me show you what I can do with it."

Addendum IV - Calvin and Hobbes

This cartoon is so great to me that I just had to mention it here.  The
humor, wit, and philosophy that Bill Watterson so ingeniously portrays
through his cartoon characters is unparalleled in my opinion.  Calvin in a
six year old boy who knows the perils of elementary school and having
parents, and daydreams about dinosaurs in rocket ships.  If you've never
read any of the work, you're missing out on a life-changing set of books. 
I used to anxiously await each and every new release of the next book. 
It's so great.  Anyway, back to our characters.  Calvin is a witty, scary,
typical six year old boy.  His awesomeness lies in his incredible knowledge
of things he knows nothing about.  He picks up a great vocabulary from
television and books, but is a terrible student in school.  His stuffed
tiger, Hobbes, is the wise leader of the two (although Calvin claims to be)
and is very smart.  The conversations the two have and the experiences they
share open different doors in my mind and soul.  From downright hilarious
strips to sad ones that pull your heart into Calvin's, I'm sure that you
won't regret reading anything that Bill Watterson has to put out.  I also
admire Bill Watterson because he didn't sell out.  He fought syndication as
long as he could, and quit writing Calvin and Hobbes because of the
problems he had with the Corporate monsters who wanted Calvin T-shirts,
stickers, figurines, etc.  Screw that.  Calvin and Hobbes will always have
an eternally open field to gambol in inside of my heart. 

Addendum V - Love

Love is a feeling that people feel when they have a special devotion
towards someone.  I am flawed in the fact that I must always feel loved by
a special someone.  It's not so bad, I guess, but loneliness is an empty
feeling which I hate.  A relationship at a young age (the only thing I'm
experienced at) can be fulfilling or detrimental to a person's happiness. 
Some teens grow up all there life on their own and can depend on themselves
solely.  Others of us need a special friend or girl/boyfriend to help us
along the way.  I think I'm that latter, but the girlfriend/boyfriend thing
isn't like having an extra set of arms.  To me, having  a relationship with
someone else can be either an escape where you can throw your blues into
the air and forget about them, or it is a place of comfort where you can
get help with your problems.  Whatever it is at that certain aspect of
time, a very special bridge can build between your heart and that
significant other.  As a young person, it is necessary that we recognize
that life is long and that this relationship most likely isn't one of
eternal reward.  But, we put our hearts into it strongly and we hope that
we never part from that special person.  It's easy to get hurt in a
relationship, and a lot of times, that pain will carry into other
relationships further down the line.  Some people choose to take dating
lightly, and to make high school relationships just fun little dates. 
That's fine also.  It might be best because it keeps hearts from breaking. 
But, I must admit that I need to be loved (just like everybody else does.) 
And I can't keep myself from falling for girls who care, are adorable, and
who are fun to be with. 

The downfall that I've so hardly been hit with is the haunting of ex-dates.
 I broke up with a girl after 2 years, and let me tell you, sometimes it
comes back to haunt me.  I can't express this in words, you'll have to
experience for yourself.  But trust me when I say that you won't stop
thinking about him/her just because you broke up.  You compare stupid
things (and I mean stupid) to what he or she did or was like.  And it's so
annoying.  You'll learn to despise it. 

Addendum VI - Anti-Technology (and what to do about it)

Technology should be feared.  Not for what it is, but for what it can
become.  Trains, planes, and automobiles were only the opening of a new
gate that will open to endless technological takeover.  In my opinion, we
are creating, building, and capitalizing on something that may eventually
lead to our downfall.  The world in which we have created has resulted in
laziness, etc.  What's technology?  First of all, we need to clearly get in
your head what my definition of technology is.  Technology is the
inventions that do not use a man's energy and convert it, but use energy
from the world.  Often times, it's wasted energy.  Nuclear weapons,
toasters, and other machines that we have so great a deal of are a waste of
time and money.  It's funny that I say these things because I am a big user
of technology.  I have a TV, a VCR, a telephone, a toaster, a car, a
computer, and even a air conditioner.  How's that for comfort?  Yes, I do
contradict myself, but I could survive in a hut with a fireplace just as
well.  It doesn't matter if I did live in a hut either.  It's worthless to
set that example without first making clear what I was trying to prove. 
Maybe if this ever gets published into a nationwide best-seller, I can
start an au naturale community out west somewhere. 

What can I say to do about technology?  Succumb.  It's all  relentless. 
Besides, rebellion isn't in style this generation. 

Addendum VII - The Continuing Trilogy of Intelligent Music

The intelligence of the music by the Talking Heads and David Byrne is
overwhelming.  The spoken words of Thom Yorke of Radiohead can rinse your
head out.  The wonderful emotion stored in Pink Floyd's music is wondrous
too.  And here is where the trilogy began.  Although I don't consider
myself any great genius about any of these bands, they all have a link.  In
the 70's, Pink Floyd was a musical takeover.  It started this all.  I was
considering adding The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed to this, but they
don't qualify.  They didn't have such a common theme.  Pink Floyd created
the movie, "The Wall," and it was theirs.  In the 1980's, David Byrne and
The Talking Heads added a great amount of genius and through music,
mesmorized what has become an elite and intelligent bunch of listeners. 
Byrne's movie, "True Stories," made me realize what this was all leading
to.  I don't completely understand it myself, and I think it's up to each
individual to decide and to keep watching.  Radiohead has continued by
creating movie with a scary tone because of their view of the world.  They
have yet to create a movie, but we must remain eager for them to do so. 
It's a must.  This addendum won't make any sense to you unless you see the
two movies and listen to quite a bit of the music of each band.  And listen
to the words are fit them to your view of the world and combine all that
muddy water to the dirt that I put in this.  How's that for deep, dark
Addendum VIII - Photography

Photography, I just want to mention, is a wonderful medium where art can be
captured.  Without it, all of us who can't paint or draw would be artless. 
There is no such thing as a bad artwork.  People who tell you that your
artwork is junk have a hole in their spirit or don't understand. 
Everything in the world can symbolize something else.  Just hold onto your
artworks.  Feeble as such, a cheap blanket from your childhood can bring
tears to your eyes, and a 25 year old photo of a high school love can make
you appreciate times you've had and make memories wondrous.  Taking classes
on photography can be great.  Learning to master the tools is necessary to
fully, completely understand anything.  But getting a grade on photos for
content is damaging.  I don't believe that you can grade anything like
that.  I respect all photographers because it's more and more becoming a
rarely used art medium and it should be just as respected as painting and
etc.  Emotional outlets and ideas can't be graded, and it is dangerous to
manipulate, bias, or fend against that.  It's like trying to stop hot water
from pouring out of an open faucet. 

Addendum IX - Great Quotations
"They can't tell the difference between working and not working.  There's
no concept of weekends anymore."
			- True Stories

"The only thing to fear is fearlessness.  The bigger the weapons, the
greater the fear."
			- Michael Stipe (Hyena)