The king of cancer
There is a white door. The door is not the fading plastic white we see often throughout our lives, clinging on to its hinges in households steeped in mediocrity, it is of a white angelic luminescence, shining bright against the wall it resides in, blotting out its surroundings. It stands erect in all its wooden glory, this simple door to the eyes of the ordinary; only a sparkling golden knob rests amidst its blinding lights.
The opening of the door is preceded by hushed whispers and laughter fraught with the greatness of giddy silliness. Their hands are clasped together in the webs of their fingers, ten previously empty crevices which fit perfectly into one another. Their elbows graze as they walk up to the door. Their foreheads brush against each other intermittently as he places his other hand on the knob.
Euphoria induced giggles and four pairs of eyes that never lose contact.
He is about to speak but she shushes him mute, her index finger pressed against his mouth. The rough surface of his lips grazes the smoothness of her skin. She then places her hand on top of his on the knob and squeezes around his knuckle, tight. They turn it and the majestic whiteness of the door gives way to the magnificence of the room. They enter together, as they always do, as they always are.
The room is built of relative magnificence, the relativity itself the root to its grandeur. It is special, for what it holds and for what it has the capacity to hold, only to them, and they wouldn't have it any other way. It's empty: white walls and white floors. There is just one window and the sun, thankfully, is not facing it. It is dipped in the slightest hint of a midafternoon sun. As they walk in, he shuts the door behind her, and, in the end, that is all they need: a closed door.
Everything is fantasy, blurred edges perforate their vision. They are immersed in each other, a hypnotic trance which takes holds of them with painfully joyous intensity and doesn't let go. The door is locked and they embark on a journey to the center of the room and they sit down, their hands never having left each other's company.
The room had plunged into a thick quietude at the closing of the door, the silence so dense it had settled on their skin and embraced them, still and hushed: the outside world had ceased to exist. And they sit there, encompassing noiselessness, all cross-legged and giggles-turned-into-smiles, their bespectacled eyes never leaving each other and palms so passionately intertwined that it was hard to tell them apart. Histrionic moments of peace and calm, of young love, of things that need not be said.
And then they talk, whispers physically so quiet yet so loud in the roar that beat within their drums, that it almost deafens them senseless. They do not realize what they talk about, everything is a miasma of important things, of remarkable things, that is all they know. They are lost in syllables that only they can hear, and understand, and everything else is immaterial to their self-absorption.
He is her King, and she, his Arian Queen, and he rules over her as completely as one can. Their union is so perfect that even the stars had aligned to give in to it. He inches closer to this kingdom of his and breathes in the excruciatingly beautiful smell that is emitted from its pastures. It intoxicates him, and the act, in itself, does the same to her. There are sharp intakes of breath and the blur they are surrounded in is denser than ever.
He moves closer still, so close their breaths intermingle into one, vaporous inductions which carry the sentiment of what they are to each other, and what they are about to do. His hand detaches and is placed on her cheek, and it traces the soft hardness of her jaw, his touch reverberates with the sheer longing that he experiences. There is an explosion and the rest: the rest is lost in a medley of lips and limps and soft sounds and hushed whispers and giggles, an eruption that froths and gushes out in fiery intensity, zealous bursts of excitement.
And I wake up, suffocating, gasping for breath, an intruder in a kingdom not my own, a Cancerian constellation encroaching where it is just not supposed to be, as the flames of their love burnburnburns all the way to my core, lost, and I do not know where I was, and what right I had to be there.
S. N. Rasul
A mystery of (gaming) violence
The point of games in the Neanderthal era was centered around how many hits you could take to the head and still manage to find your way back to your cave. In this era, games come in super-realistic 3-d renditions of the same bonking some guy over the head. Except with weapons.
Some might argue that games these days are mostly about killing people. Some might argue that people who play games, a.k.a us, turn out to be wrong and twisted in some ways which are detrimental to the world at large.
In all likeliness, these people, a.k.a us, ARE the majority. That means we're normal. And you? Are not. Fact: 75% of American heads of households play video games.
In the context of games let us refresh our memories about the greatest games ever, where they all about killing people/dragons/trolls/little green men? Yes, take Mario for example. Every time he jumped on one of them turtles or the goombas he squished the turtles or the goomba, in other more linear terms, he took the turtles' and the goombas' life. So basically, games have always been about killing people.
Unless you play crappy games like cricket or something like that.
By the way, for anyone who's interested, the video gaming industry will be worth approximately $44bn by next year. So the gaming industry must be doing something right, whether it's corrupting young minds, or converting old ones. The point is that people like to kill other people, and things. And video games provide them a way to satisfy those inherent animalistic barbaric urges so that they don't actually kill people, or things in real life. So in effect, video games are awesome.
There are obviously those who would disagree, like that lawyer dude who created that huge stink about Bully (in point of fact, Bully was awesome). Of course, it's general knowledge among the gamer crowd that the lawyer dude has more stupidity stacked up on his gray matter than a bunch of gnats on heroine. Same goes for the media and most parents of the general populace of the world. It's not bad games that turns kids wrong, it's bad parenting. The first just makes you dislike that game's developers.
Now, we can tell that you're still not satisfied. Some would argue that there are games that are not violent, like Pacman lets say. But lets not forget that Pacman went around maze trying to avoid getting eaten and then when the chance came, he went around eating those who would eat him. Is that not a beautiful metaphor on real life?
Do we not go out of our way to survive (although in the process we do not eat people, but we do compete and demolish those who stand against us in an effort to better ourselves)?
The point of this is that, while the violence in real life may not be as graphic as those that exist in games, our need to go and show up others is still very much present. Games just provide avatars for us to eat (in the case of Pacman) so that when in real life we do get cannibalistic urges, we don't go and eat the geography professor (who wouldn't taste nice anyway). Instead, we go and vent our frustration, anger, whatever emotion you might be talking about in games, where no one really gets harmed.
Which brings up another interesting point: if you really think that real life is NOT as violent as video games, well… Snap, then, 'cause by golly you're right on spot. It's not AS violent, it's more. Dead animals on the street with their guts hanging out? Cruel beatings from school teachers and bullies? That 18+ horror/action movie that you just finished watching, WHICH you forced your six year old child to watch, too? What about those pictures and videos full of blood and spare limbs of bomb/war victims in Gaza, Haiti and wherever not? You know what the funny thing about real life is? It's real.
So, once again you might argue that games should not parallel real life so much in terms of violence, some might say that if games were more cute and fluffy and god forbid, wholesome, people would be more appreciatiave. In that case, buy a Wii.
But that won't help you either, last we heard, Wii had a boxing game that actually taught people how to throw an actual punch. Not to mention that game with the katana. Not so cute and fluffy now, eh?
But that won't help you either, last we heard, Wii had a boxing game that actually taught people how to throw an actual punch. Not so cute and fluffy now eh?
Another point to be considered is that games make us not want to go out of our homes. Tired, self-repeating people will blether on and on about how that means we don't get enough exercise (our dads). Now, let us look at those muscular, masculine men with the abs, do they look violent to you? Yes, they do. Now let us look at the nerd who never sees the light of day? Does he look anorexic to you? Yes, but see, he also doesn't even look capable of violence. Games render us non violent. So there.
Yet another point: That Chinese looking dude who killed people in that college in America, and that other dude at some other place who did the same thing, they said he played violent games and was influenced. We say he probably messed up some math problem and couldn't deal with it and went insane. Tell me, which one seems more likely? The majority of gamers play the same games, like GTA, Bully, Manhunt and what have you not. How many of us go ballistic on our colleagues or friends? Zero. Games don't mess up people. People mess up people.
On an interesting side note for males, 43% of gamers are woman. More women over the age of 18 represent the gamer population (28%) that guys aged 6 to 17 (21%). Now. We, as guys over the age of 18, wonder where on god's green earth these women are, and how come we never see them? Or better yet, meet them? And more importantly, why are all the cool women older than us?
Here's an example of a typical conversation between gamers. You'll note that they're not scheming to kill real people.
By Ninja Murgi and Captain Kauwa
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