Religion


  • WATER WARS: UN rejects access to water as basic human right – You have no right to live; you are a slave. “A hungry man is never free.” – Even truer for a thirsty man. They actually removed all references that recognized access to water as a human right from their resolution! Bottled water buyers have increased the potential profit so much that there are now likely corporate influences on global politics. The privatization of water has been one of the most important events to happen to us as a species in decades, is a much bigger deal than fighting over oil and energy, and is generally under-focused in the media. It’s only going to get worse. (tags: water rights UN)
  • Read on for more stories.. Lots more today———> (more…)

Well be thy one, and wisdom too. And grew, and joyed in my growth. From a word to a word, I was lead to a Wyrd. From a deed, to another deed.

I wish I had time to fully review this amazing album by Sabbat (official website HERE) (buy the album HERE). I wish I had time to speak of the extent to which it has, at times, affected me more than any other album. I wish I had time to speak at length about my long search for the book it was based on, and the experience of finally finding and reading that book some 12 years ago.

And oh, Nic Cage used this book as inspiration for his acting in Ghost Rider. (WTF?!)

I’ll at least try: This is perhaps my favorite thrash metal (speedmetal) album of all time, and it is definitely the album that I have spent the most cumulative effort to understand. The only album that ever made me read a book, something I am both weary and wary of. Musically, there are an amazing amount of good riffs on the album, some of which I would play on my guitar obsessively in high school. The songs do not adhere to any traditional structure — they often have multiple choruses and bridges. Really the only thing limiting their music in any way, shape, or form, is the somewhat narrow style definition of thrash metal itself, and the fact that all songs sound alike to an untrained non-brutal ear. It plays like 1 long song with an intro, intermission (an acoustic song, the only song ever sung by Sabbat), and outro. I used to play along with the outro; it’s classical guitar, and thus can’t be played with a pick, and that’s always a fun challenge. The book is quite amazing too. Later on in this post, I am going to attempt to analyze every song with respect to the album and the book. THIS IS A LONG POST.

THE ALBUM (SUMMARY)

It is a concept album, telling a spiritual story based on the novel The Way Of Wyrd by Bryan Bates (official book website HERE, and a thread by people who found the book via the Sabbat album can be found HERE), who is considered (by Wikipedia) to be England’s “foremost authority on Anglo Saxon Druidry, shamanism and mysteries”. It is best listened to while reading along with the lyrics, preferably with timed highlighting (EvilLyrics), because it is easy to get lost. There are a LOT of lyrics and a LOT of riffs in EVERY song. (Their previous album was called A History Of A Time To Come and is a concept album with a central theme, but no central narrative. Songs could be played in any order, whereas this album should be listened to sequentially.)

PERSONAL HISTORY

It hasn’t been non-stop, but I’ve been listening to this album since it was fairly new. I picked it up within a year of its release in 1989, based on liking the album cover, and listened to it heavily during the cassette and mp3 era, but not during the CD era, because it was basically unavailable on CD from ~1992-2002. My best friend Sam eventually figured out the story, and once the internet came around in 1994, I managed to find (crappy) lyrics online. Around 1996, Carolyn & I spent MANY, MANY, MANY hours in college listening to the album together, and editing the lyrics until they actually seemed to actually match what was said. The book was employed during some hard-to-decipher parts as well.


cover
I now own it on vinyl and cd, autographed by the 5 current members (4 originals):
20080419 - Sabbat concert at Jaxx - 155-5501 - All of our stuff
20080419 - Sabbat concert at Jaxx - 154-5494 - Clint & his autographed albums
20080419 - Sabbat concert at Jaxx - 154-5498 - Clint & Andy Sneap
20080419 - Sabbat concert at Jaxx - 155-5502 - close-up of autographed vinyl album
20080419 - Sabbat concert at Jaxx - 154-5495 - Autographed albums & Power Metal magazine

NOW I GET TO SEE THEM IN CONCERT!!!!
[UPDATE: Read my review of the concert, with videos, HERE]

Tomorrow, at Jaxx! It looks like I will have another bandname to add to my list of concerts I never thought I’d see in my life. I can’t believe that in the space of 5-10 years, FOUR bands (S.O.D., Celtic Frost, Carnivore, Sabbat) that have been broken up for 15 years or more have all toured where I could catch a local show! Suddenly, I feel a bit less old. But then the Sabbat singer says, “Raise your hand if you were alive in 1989 when our album came out” on a live bootleg, and I realize some of the kids at the concert might not have been born back then. Ugh.

MONEY: The most I’ve ever cumulatively spent on a single album!

This album is also the album I’ve paid the most for. $8 for the cassette (no lyrics). $15 for the vinyl (which included lyrics) at Record Convergence. Then, I downloaded crappy mp3s made from a cassette, where the songs were split into separate tracks incorrectly. Then, I got a friend to make new mp3s from my cassette. Then, after many searches, CDs became wanted enough by fans that they sold for exorbitant prices on eBay. These high prices meant hardcore fans could still buy a copy, and I did: for *** $54 ***, which was the going rate 5 years ago. (A live 2005 show includes the Sabbat‘s singer saying, “160 quid? That’s fucking disgusting! Well, those people on eBay will be put out of business, because we are re-releasing the album!) Then, it was remastered and re-released in 2007 (re-release reviews from Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, and Terrorizer can be found HERE), but it still cost $25. (Their first album was re-released as well.) Count that up: That’s no less $102 spent on one album. It was released by Noise Records, who was my favorite record company in high school, releasing bands such as Coroner, Celtic Frost, Kreator. Unfortunately, Noise Records is basically defunct. The website has been reclaimed, and I made one order for them (Coroner CD) around 2000. When it arrived, it came with a receipt: The people at Noise Records had to go shopping in California record stores to find their own album so that they could sell it to me. Pathetic.

THE POLITICS

In the grand scheme of things, the album is politically about how the christians wiped out the pagans, and stole aspects of their religion to help subvert people into christianity. I think the religious movement that wiped out paganism is largely responsible for many of the world’s current problems, and wish the pagans had one. But all the politics is just subtext; the actual album and book basically tell a fictitious and magical story of a christian’s journey into newfound spirituality. And I’m pretty anti-spiritual, so the fact that I’m into this is pretty significant.

THE BOOK
(AND POSSIBLY A MOVIE?!?!?!?!?!!?!)

The book is an extremely interesting fictitious, magical, and spiritual journey. Of course, national library searches for that book failed in ~1992 and ~1994, and it wasn’t until ~1996 that a copy of this novel made its way to American libraries. Reading the book also helped me figure out some of the lyrics that weren’t in the inlay cards, like the ending “prayer” of the song Do Dark Horses Dream Of Nightmares?. Anyway, I just found out today that New Line Films (Lord Of The Rings) is working with Brian Bates to adapt this tale into a film. I could not be more stoked. The summary at at the official site HERE says: “This unusual story documents the physical and spiritual journey of a young man into the vast forests of pagan Anglo-Saxon England – the historical setting of Middle-Earth. Through his experiences the book reveals the teaching of a remarkable Western path to psychological and spiritual liberation; a way of being in the world that challenges many of our current notions of mind, body and spirit. Wat Brand is a Christian scribe sent on a mission deep into a pagan kingdom; a landscape full of alien terrors and mysterious forces. His guide, a sorcerer and mystic named Wulf, demonstrates awesome healing powers, and leads Brand through lessons in plant lore and runes, omens, fate and life force, and into direct encounters with the spirit world. Brand becomes an apprentice, seeks the help of a guardian spirit and eventually journeys to the spirit world to encounter the true nature of his own soul.”

THE STORY, AS TOLD BY THE SONGS IN THE ALBUM:
(this is the long part!)

The Clerical Conspiracy:

Basically, the first song The Clerical Conspiracy details how the christians deliberately conspired to invade and destroy the pagans. The lyrics: “There is no way to fight a foe who strikes from the inside, / and once within we can begin to smite this pagan pride. / We shall take their graven images and grind them in the dirt, / for that men can live in paradise must be the Devil’s work.” Yes, as usual, the christians are all pissy about anyone (including themselves) having any sort of fun, and they want to assimilate the enemy into their own.

The chorus goes on: “The Clerical Conspiracy begins, we wash away your sins; we come to purify / To purge you of your liberty, absolve you of all sanity, the ‘truth’ you want to hear we shall provide.” Such words strike my heart closely as being an accurate depiction of the worst of what organized religion has to offer (which is, unfortunately, enough to make organized religion cumulatively evil; the Crusades, World War 2, and The War On Terror all demonstrate.) Their desire to purify reminds me of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry Of Vice & Virtue. “We shall greet them with a velvet glove, and crush them with an iron hand.” I think this speaks of the hypocracy of christianity (islam, too), whereby a religion can preach peace but cause wars at the same time.

I particularly like the 2nd chorus (a lot of these songs have multiple choruses that are repeated multiple times): “Christian soldiers armed with virtue / hearts afire with blind obsession / cannot see the difference ‘twixt / compassion and oppression.” However, main character Wat Brand goes on to tell us that this whole thing was a mistake. How could he have known what was to follow? “Those who had preceded me of pagan devils warned- With fearful tales of christian souls since martyred on their horns.” Finally, Wat Brand concludes: “And so soon would I learn what a fool I had been, / there is more than one side to a coin- life is not what it seems … It’s no more than a dream.”

Advent Of Insanity:
(only soft Sabbat song ever)

The second song, Advent Of Insanity details Wat Brand’s sea voyage to southern england. This is the “acoustic, soft” song of the album, and the only Sabbat song ever sung. The title and a few lines of the lyrics imply that this is where he begans to lose his sanity, but for the most part the song simply laments the fact that travelers [especially at sea] are pretty much in the hands of destiny. The softness of the song, coupled with the sounds of a sailing ship, it’s ropes taut, but still tightening and loosening, make you feel like you are on the ship. And it goes on for a bit after the song ends, creating an incredibly dramatic pause before the incredibly hard-hitting opening of Do Dark Horses Dream Of Nightmares?: “Standing on a strange shore- this desolate coastline, / it offers cold comfort. / Very little more than the sky for a blanket- / The earth for my bed.”


Do Dark Horses Dream Of Nightmares?

Do Dark Horses Dream Of Nightmares? is an absolutely incredible song. It covers chapter 2 of the novel, “A Forest Of Phantoms”. In the book, Wat Brand lands on shore, but has not yet found his guide, Wulf. Meeting up with someone in ancient England was not trivial. The meeting place was not a city, and there are no cellphones, GPS devices, or landmarks. Wat Brand had to wander the country side, hanging out at certain highly visible hilltops during certain times, and in the end, I think one of them saw the other’s torch from another hilltop during the night. I can’t remember [10+ yrs since reading the book], but I want to say he had to wander the countryside for several days. So this song captures the insanity and terror that Wat Brand experiences, trying to find his guide, while being tormented by spirits. “Childhood terrors return to me now, / from the rand stench of fear in the sweat on my brow. / Deceit and despair are to me kith and kin, / seduced into slumber- my nightmare begins.” There is a chorus “sung by” Woden, welcoming Wat Brand to his web, and it is not long before he is drowning in insanity and terror. The same insanity that started on the ship in the previous song Advent Of Insanity.

Then there is a 2nd chorus “sung by” Wat Brand, when he realizes all this is a test (as christians are wont to ascribe everything to god): “Now I see that this quest is a test of my fidelity – has God forsaken me? When madness sings his lullaby – a nightmare filled with unknown things – to cast aspersion on my sanity…” His dreams are invaded, he is in a foreign land, with a foreign religion, paganism, prevailing. He is filled with terror, and now his faith is being tested. It only gets worse for Wat Brand. “Shapeless forms surround me casting shadows in the night, / I feel their breath upon me- catch their faces in the light. / Somnambulistic hunters come to prey upon my fears – / as peals of psychopathic laughter echo in my ears.” He is going crazy, but not really. I’ve read the book, and the spirits he sees are real. In the end of the song, he futily evokes a prayer to try to make it stop, but of course this does not work, as one of the morals of the story is that God is not the Jehovah as christians see it. This prayer is not included in the lyric sheet, and a significant amount of energy was expended listening to it over and over. In the end, the only way to figure out those lyrics is to read the book: “Oh you wretched, perverse spirits, your power is seen and your might is made known. Now I command you in the name of the eternal Lord, who made you and flung you from the height of Heaven, to cease from this disturbance.” There is a middle part only in the book, but it is less interesting. Finally, in the next song, Wat Brand meets his guide Wulf.

The Best Of Enemies

The Best Of Enemies starts off with music-less dialog: “Who are you that walks across the graves of giants at this late hour?” Wat Brand meets Wulf. In the book, the words were slightly different: “May I ask who you are, walking by moonlight over the graves of giants?”. This entire song is “sung by” Wulf, representing the pagan point of view, and what is seen wrong with christianity, as well as guiding and warning Wat Brand of what he must face. This song covers Chapter 3 (Tales Of Pagan Power), Chapter 4 (Unleashing Life Force), and Chapter 6 (Living Like A Warrior).

The first sung lyrics are “Oh instrument of God force – Fed on ignorance and lies, / so blind and narrow-minded that you cannot compromise.” I think it’s a pretty accurate depiction of religious dogma (and not just christian). Wulf’s lyrics go on to talk about how Wat Brand has as strong a life-force as Wulf does (“the difference is what you hold captive, I set free”). These 2 men are indeed “the best” of their breed, as the song title implies — and that’s why they were both chosen for their tasks.

Wulf’s role is that of both an enemy and a guide. As an enemy, he explains that nobody really wants him there (“mistake your making / overlooking the fact that we might not want to be saved”). He mocks his christian faith: “These teachings that you deem so sacred / become words devoid of meaning, / when compared unto a faith / that preaches something worth believing”. And he does it more than once: “The values that you hold so dear…they hold no more sway here than the mutterings of fools” and “your devil seems so mild, a relic from the faerie-tales my mother told me as a child.” He also asks Wat Brand “Why do you carry your God like a weapon – a dagger drawn ready to strike at the heart of a foe / when you don’t really know the reason that you fight?”, a reference to the fact that in old times, priests would have daggers embedded in their crucifixes, for the purpose of killing people. Whether this was for self-defense or forced conversion is beyond me.

As I said before, Wulf’s role is that of both an enemy and a guide. So as a guide, they discuss The Way Of The Warrior, and the fact that people in pagan England did not at all fear death. In the book, I believe this is where Wat Brand watched a bar fight — to the death — and was a bit traumatized by the fact that nobody wanted to stop it. Wulf provides various warnings to Wat as well: “These spirits aren’t your enemies – but neither are they friends, / do not dare insult them lest all nature you offend.” As the song closes, Wulf laments “Perhaps one day mankind will see the error of it’s ways, / and in it’s future glimpse reflections of our yesterdays”, a reference to Dreamweaver‘s subtitle: Reflections Of Our Yesterdays. Wat should have listened, because things are about to get much worse for him.

How Have The Mighty Fallen

SIDE B: Finally, you flip the cassette (if it’s the 1990s), and get to side 2, with the song How Have The Mighty Fallen?, clocking in at over 8 minutes (most of the songs are about 6 minutes). This song parallels chapter 8, “The Wyrd Sisters“, and chapter 9, “The Spirits Steal My Soul”. I may have had a brush with the Wyrd Sisters once, but it was too unbelievable even for myself. Suffice to say, you don’t want to mess with those three. They are troublemakers. Wat Brand really should have listened, but Wulf was not really being helpful in the traditional, christian sense of the word. The Wyrd Sisters appear to him as a swarm of bees in Chapter 8, stinging him repeatedly. In the album, it seems that he has been poisoned and strangled to death, with the prime suspect being his guide (and spiritual enemy) Wulf. I’m not quite sure what happens in the book, but the lyrics where he die go like this: “Icy fingers grasping madly get a grip upon my throat – / and slowly squeeze the life out of me / on my dying words I choke, / a frantic prayer in desperation / cannot hope to make me whole, / a moment’s lapse of concentration / and the spirits free my soul / Drugs and potions surge within me – / slowly paralyze and kill me, / terrified I stumble blindly / Into the unknown.” And that’s death. A blind stumble.

Weird Sisters, as featured in the cartoon Gargoyles - ask me about my supernatural VCR sometimeAt this point, he should be in heaven, right? That would make sense, if this book was written from a christian perspective. But it was not. In the framework of the Way Of Wyrd novel, there is a god/gods, but (s)he is not Jehovah. So no — he did not go to heaven. The story’s only halfway through, and the rest of it pretty much all takes place in the spirit world. In the book, his soul is stolen, but the album just makes it sound like he dies. It’s a matter of editing the story to fit the format it is in; much like adapting a book to a movie, you must sacrifice subtle plot elements in the name of keeping the story cohesive.

How Have The Mighty Fallen? is perhaps one of the most fatalistic songs on the album, because at the beginning, during his “death”, as far as Wat Brand is concerned, he is completely fucked and not at all happy with the situation. Near the beginning of the song, the lyrics remarks “The fetters that bound me are broken / by words that were best left unspoken / for now I am shackled to sadness / by chains that are tempered with madness.” No doubt that may be what it feels like to literally have your soul ripped from you, while still being conscious of this fact. (I would like to ask the children from The Golden Compass, who underwent “intercision”, if these lyrics captured how they felt. Then again, they were still in the real world, and not the dream world.)

Not having your soul is not pleasant. In fact, it is downright creepy. It goes a bit like this: “Once light hearted I departed – on my quest hope courted me, / now a new love is my true love / and her name is misery. / Eyes as dark as midnight-ravens / gems that filled my mind with awe, / enthrall my heart – distract me / from her milk-white hands / stained red with gore.” Wat Brand watches his life-force die, and wanders in mad confusion. Being dead/soulless, he finally sees things as they really are: “The latch has now been lifted on an ever open door, / and peering through I see things as I never have before.”

Anyway, it is around this time (in the album, and in Chapter 12 of the book “The Dwarf Of The Underworld”) that his soul is literally rebuilt in spirit-world forges, as the shroud of his remaining consciousness float up to the ceiling of the room, watching. In the book, this is described as “ringing out rhythmically like hammers on metal in some gigantic smithy.” In the song How Have The Mighty Fallen?, the lyrics describe his soul being rebuilt as such: “The hammer and the anvil meet / in synchronicity they chime / a sound so simple and complete / it needs no melody or rhyme. / Reforging all that I once was / they make me into something new / no longer trapped within this world / but transient and passing through.” The lyrics really help me imagine what it must feel like to be in Wat Brand’s predicament.

Wildfire

Next up is the 2nd-to-last real song on the album (I haven’t been counting the intro and outro tracks), entitled Wildfire. This song roughly parallels the end of Chapter 11, “The Cauldron Of Power”. This is perhaps the song that I have the least understanding of. Wat Brand’s soul has been rebuilt, and he went back to his earthly body, resurrected. But Wat Brand and his soul are still not together! In the book, he only had about 12 hours of “shadow soul” before he would cease to exist; they had to act fast to get his soul back.

The title of the song, Wildfire, is a mystery. I am guessing that it is about the fire of his soul, soaring on the flames of what I can only ascertain is the spiritual awakening Wat Brand (or anyone) must have experienced upon having a firsthand glimpsed of the underworld. This is knowledge that no mortal consciousness is supposed to have, and such knowledge can be maddening: “Awakened from my troubled sleep – / where dreams once lost as nightmares creep, / to steal my soul and suffocate what sanity remains. / My anger mute – my anguish blind / within this sad fragmented mind / your eyes the spark to light the fire / that burns away my pain.”

He then goes on to great anger over the whole experience, especially in Wulf’s betrayal, and causing him to lose his soul. Most people don’t take to kindly to being killed. I don’t. I can only assume these lyrics are directed at Wulf: “Protected by reality- / yet you still fear the beast in me, / your reckless tongue could be the key, / you’ll be
the first to die if it breaks free. / The first to die!” It sounds like Wulf is protected by pagan sorcery and/or his knowledge of the underworld, and Wat Brand is quite willing to kill him if given a chance. “Wildfire – Hallucinations fill my mind / with a love so strong that it is blind. / A dream of such intensity, / it verges on insanity.”

The irony of this is that it’s just another example of christian intolerance, because Wulf was right, Wat Brand was wrong, god is as pagans see it, not christians (in the framework of The Way Of Wyrd book). So Wulf was actually doing Wat Brand a big favor by allowing him the opportunity to collect enough evidence to see the truth. And Wulf was also serving his people by undermining the christian incursion planned so carefully in the first song, The Clerical Conspiracy. Plus, Wat Brand now needs Wulf to help him reclaim his soul.

Well played, Wulf. Sour apples, Wat. You don’t need to kill the guy. He was trying to do you a favor!

But Wat Brand is no run-of-the-mill person, he has a strong life-force, as pointed out before. He possesses the passion, fury, and “fire” to think things out critically, and to eventually come to terms with the fact that Wulf was right. He’s still mad at Wulf… Y’know, the murder… But he acquiesces nonetheless: “How could you be such a fool, / to dare to break the golden rule? / Yet in the light of day I see / that you were right – / the fool is me… / The fool is me!”

Realizing the truth — realizing that he was a christian fool — only exacerbates Wat Brand’s soulless insanity. It was bad enough in the beginning of the song, but by the end of the song he is nothing short of nervous wreck, panicking in a frenetic bout of the purest terror known to man, a living hell: “I seek a release from this web of deceit – / now my terror is growing. / There is no escape from my fate – it’s too late – / all my fears are showing. / I’m running from something that just isn’t there – / the panic is real, / and you must be blind for my words cannot hide the heartache I feel … Please God help me now.” (God doesn’t help him. Not the christian god, anyway.) And that’s how the song ends: Please God Help Me Now.

Mythistory
(the end)

Finally, we get to Mythistory, the climax of the story and final “real” song of the album. This parallels Chapter 13, “In Search Of The Guardians”. Face with soulless insanity and spiritual holocaust, Wat Brand must now finally act on what he has learned, and he must act soon. But it seems quite futile without a soul: “I’m standing at the crossroads of my life / nothing to lose. / Each path leads to oblivion, / whichever one I choose.”

But Wat Brand perseveres, and seeks out the Wyrd Sisters again. He finds them, and begs for his soul: “Sisters of servitude- / fearful and fair, / Who herald good fortune / and mete out despair. / Take pity upon me / and give back my soul, / so that I who am ‘empty’ / may once more be ‘whole’.” The sisters respond, the only time they ever speak on the album (and there is a production effect of multiple voices to empasize this): “Mortal be silent – take heed as we speak, / not lightly will we return that which you seek. / True wisdom walks hand-in-hand with adversity, / knowledge exists on the brink of uncertainty.”

And I always listen to the Wyrd Sisters when they speak — their words were quite profound. True wisdom probably does indeed walk hand-in-hand with adversity. I don’t see how anyone could achieve true wisdom without some adversity, trials, and tribulations to teach them lessons that would ultimately impart them with wisdom that they would not have otherwise encountered. Sometimes something has to slap you in the face before you learn a goddamn thing, and adversity — and losing — help us grow far more than complacency and victory. The second part of what they said — that knowledge exists on the brink of uncertainty — is an even deeper statement that probably defies my abilities to decode. But I can certainly understand that everything we know, everything we find out — be it science, philosophy, religion, or even art — only opens up new questions. So all knowledge is surrounded by unknowns, and more questions. Perhaps the biggest question of all is what is the meaning of life, and what ultimately happens when we die? And perhaps the truest knowledge of all is that which comes from those who have peered over the precipice — and come back.

Once the Wyrd Sisters have spoken, Wat Brand sees the form of the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. She awakens feelings which his christianity had required him to suppress: “The moment that I saw her face / my lust I could not hide. / She knew me as no other – / viewed me through a lover’s eyes.” This is analogous to the beginning of Chapter 14, “A Sorcerer’s Soul”. Her beauty was more than skin deep — she knew him like no other. The lyrics go on to express this even further, as Wat Brand finally gives in to temptation: “A vision of sensual delight / pervades my senses – and ignites / new feelings that I can’t define, / desire for this succubus sublime. / Sister, mother, virgin, whore – / she is all these and yet still more / that I could hope to understand, / she takes my heart – / I take her hand …”

Walking into temptation, forsaking his christian sensibilities, and his virginity, Wat Brand willingly takes the hand of… a hot chick. He justifies it as such: “And can you blame me? / Is it such a crime? / To crave for one small piece / of heaven that I can call mine?” Love is heaven indeed, and why should he be denied it? “All my life I have yearned; how my spirit has burned / to taste of the fruit that my tonsure forbade. / Yet here was a beauty so pure she could truly / outshine any star that the Lord God has made.” BAM! SACRILEGE POINTS! FROM THE MOUTH OF A PRIEST!

But he still has no soul. He repeats his plea to the Wyrd Sisters to return it. “Sisters of servitude, fearful and fair…” It is then that “The Fairest Of Them All” (as described in the lyrics) speaks. That is, the beautiful woman he just met speaks. There is a two-voiced production here; a male and female voice at the same time. “Brand look no further – / for that which was lost / can be found in me if your / distrust becomes troth. / I will bestow you with riches untold, / for I am your ‘harvest-home’ – I am your soul.” M. Night Shyamalan would be proud — What a twist! The woman was his soul! I hope my soul is a hot chick I can lust after! That’s definitely a lot less gay of a way to interact with yourself than the gay handjob that is called “masturbation”. :) Seriously, though… It was like this in the book too. He finds his soul, and it’s a hot chick. It really does remind me of The Golden Compass in the sense that your soul can actually be external to your body, with its own consciousness and will. But nobody in The Golden Compass was lucky enough (unless they were into bestiality) to have a soul that they were sexually attracted to!

The book concludes at some point after this, with Wat Brand realizing that the true god is not the christian god. However, this is not a rejection of his faith; Wat Brand actually realizes that he had been worshiping this god all along, but simply had an incredibly narrow-minded view about what god was. Now he had more information, and could make a new decision about what to believe.

The lyrics of the album are a bit unclear as to what happens to him, but basically — He has no desire to return to where he came from. It sounds geographical, but I think the comment was spiritual. And she still comes to him: “Many a cold Winter’s night she has come to me – / easing my sorrows and soothing my fears, / in the dreams of this old man, a soft voice still comforts me, / made young once more by the words that I hear.”

And with that, we hear his soul say the same words that she said when he first took her hand: “Come walk with me / through the vale of eternity, / for you must know / ere you go I will go with thee…” A very dramatic fade, followed by the acoustic classical guitar Outro, Happily Never After. Later, at the Sabbat concert, someone asked Martin Walkyier about that woman’s voice, and apparently she was the receptionist at the recording studio!

(more…)

Today was kind of a gross day for the news. D.C. going after people for parking tickets that they gave to stolen cars, pornographers being charged for daring to sell porn over the internet (something that is commonplace for 15 years!), cities changing their yellow lights to be shorter than legally required in order to make more money on red light cameras, and other gross news.

(more…)

This Is Your Brain on God. Very interesting article about research into stimulating your brain to make you perceive God. Other research has already shown that our brain has been hardwired to have religious experiences from the start, so this is the next logical step. By the way, Comcast HDTV sucks. Just look at these screenshots. Comcast is a shitty company. Drop them now. Find alternative ISPs using http://www.broadbandreports.com.

Reporter videotapes cheerleading competition; charged with felony possession of obscene matter depicting sexual conduct of a person under 18! So… um… Why isn’t the school in trouble for hosting public competitions that depict sexual conduct of persons under 18? Now the reporter will fail security clearances, even though the charges wont stand. Looks like the system can fuck you, even if you don’t deserve it. Or maybe the guy had more on the videotape… But videotaping a cheerleading competition is grounds for your arrest and search of your videotape?!?! Hello? It’s a public event. Photographers rights! Buuuut… SCHOOLS ARE STUPID… SO… When an athletic girl strains ligament, is hospitalized, put in a brace, given crutchesguess what happened next? (This was Hillsborough — I assume the same one where they dump arrested cripples onto the floor to make sure they are handicapped.) The school took her crutches away from her — FOR NOT HAVING A DOCTOR’S NOTE — causing her to further damage her knee. And have surgery. Inevitable lawsuit ensues — and I hope they get millions. YOU DON’T DO THAT.

    WAR ON TERROR: U.S. tortures their prisoners of war – no shit – more news from Captain Obvious. How many of these accounts have to come out for this to stop? Does nobody give a shit that we are treating some individuals as bad as China or Nazi Germany? The constitution was specific: ALL persons have rights, not just citizens. When the constitution talked about voting, it said “citizens”, not “all persons”. Duh. But the global government does not care about constitutional rights — hell, United Nations Secretary-General stands behind the censorship of Fitna. I seem to remember appeasement didn’t work with Hitler in World War 2 — so why are politicians trying to appease fundamentalist muslims who want to censor anything that might offend them? If the United Nations is supposed to define human rights, why be a fucking hypocrite about free speech? FUCK YOU, secretary-general Ban Ki-moon – this IS about free expression, contrary to your attempt at doublethink by stating otherwise.

      SCIENTOLOGY IS A DANGEROUS CULT: IRS documents leaked (full pdf). Another great leak brought to you by ANONYMOUS, the full version of the Church Of Scientology IRS-related documents. Grab this while you can. Grab this now, and own a piece of history regarding how Scientology deals with money. Probably about as bad as Sony BMG, which was raided in France, and found to be operating their network with pirated software. Now they are being sued for piracy. Remember Sony going out of its way to sue anyone who “pirates” any of their technologies, and to even stop modchips? They’re hypocrites (just like the UN today). What are they thinking? They’ve rootkitted their customers, they’ve idiotically sued a great accessory shop because they dared to sell their PSPs, and now this? All I can say is: Another day, another shitty Sony story. Viva la France!

      http://wikinews//Church_of_Scientology_Operating_Thetan_documents_leaked_online

      The 612-page manual for Scientologists written by L. Ron Hubbard contains instructions for the eight different Operating Thetan levels including ‘clear’ and OT8.

      Most of the manual is typed from a computer, while the packet contains some hand written notes by Hubbard himself who also signed them. The manual also contains letters by Hubbard to individuals who have passed the according levels.

      A link to the actual 17-meg PDF is HERE. Everyone grab this. This includes stuff that was only kept on a ship, because it was considered too dangerous to Scientology to keep this information on land! But now we all have it, muahahaha. ALL HAIL XENU. (more…)

      So, Scientology is deprogramming for Christians?!?! News to me, but it’s quite intriguing.

      With ANONYMOUS’s ongoing Scientology protests making ongoing headlines for weeks, The Church Of The Subgenius was bound to respond, and did so with their “Message To Anonymous From The Church Of The SubGenius“, which was more a less an invitation for ANONYMOUS to join the party in New York on X-Day. But now someone — seemingly a Scientology shill — has posted a video basically intimating that if you side against Scientology, you are siding Pro-Christian, because Scientology is actually about deprogramming Christians!! News to me, but they go into more detail about it, and it’s quite interesting:

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      If you think things in America are that different from China, just remember to take a sanity pill every once-in-awhile and to realize that things here are still BAD — very very BAD. Arguably freedom is worse off in America than it has been since McCartyhism. When Tibetans can’t even protest to Free Tibet in front of the fucking UN building with a Tibet flag on it, without officers beating, clubbing, and threatning to kill them — realize that the freedoms we have here are barely left. With the powers that be making big bucks off of trade agreements with China, dissent against China is synonymous with dissent against Big American Business. And Big American Business can most certainly influence how the police treat peaceful protesters. Observe for yourself:

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      Starbucks hates Wiccans? We’ll see what the lawsuit eventually says. Smoking while pregnant found to be neglible (but not harmless) during the first 5 months of pregnancy. Sounds like an interesting study whose results are bound to be very unpopular, and thus highly contested due to the irrational emotions children bring out in people. I blame DNA.

      http://www.acm.vt.edu/~clint/download/imagedump/police-brutality-thumbnail.jpgABUSE OF AUTHORITY: Cop’s tactics in arresting a DUI cause a man to go into a permanent coma. He was never charged. 17 years later (3/2008), he is charged with murdering disc jockey Donald Munsey. This is what happens when you ignore a problem. Penalties for police should be GREATER than those for civilians, not less. Those with more power must also have more responsibility for those actions. Christ, even Peter Parker’s uncle knew that. Either way, the growing trend is hurting both the people, and the law itself, because many have little respect for the law when they behave like this. And did Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Office in Maricopa County treat alcoholic inmate worse than a dog? Sheriff had bragged about treating dogs better than humans at their jail. Inmate dead from lack of medical attention. “Jurors won’t much like an alcoholic who steals from his family. But they also might recognize that being arrested is not a death sentence. And that once a person is in Maricopa County jail, he’s our responsibility.” Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s attitude and actions are quite pathetic to me.

      Well, ANONYMOUS’s war against the dangerous cult of Scientology has been going quite well. It looks like The Church Of The SubGenius is inviting them to X-Day:

      (more…)

      CENSORSHIP/RELIGION: Network Solutions takes down website for hosting anti-Islam movies — free speech online is controlled by only a few corporations, and they just want everyone to get along so that we keep buying stuff. When your domain name holder can pull your account at any time, you don’t truly have the freedom to express what you want. Avoid NetworkSolutions, and avoid GoDaddy. Go elsewhere for your needs; these guys are not YOUR friend, not even when you PAY them.  But you can still watch it on Google Video HERE.

      Speaking of religion… SCIENTOLOGY IS A DANGEROUS, CRIMINAL CULT: Read about Gareth Cales and Sean Carasov — it looks like Scientologists poisoned Sean Carasov’s cat, then had him arrested for “threats” which have not been disclosed, much like Keith Hanson. Ultimately, on the protest day, Gareth had to have the police intervene to keep them from being followed into the subway. This is scary stuff. All Scientologist leaders should contract cancer and die. The world would be a much better place. All hail ANONYMOUS and XENU! 6AUP602!

      WAR ON DRUGS HURTS CHILDREN (VIDEO SEGMENT): Douchebag U.S. Prisons Deny Man Temporary Release So Dying Daughter Can Have Last Wish – To Hug Her Father. Um, what about a conjugal visit? Man is in jail on a drug conviction. Remember: Drugs are victimless crimes. It probably hurt the child a lot more to lose a father, than how much “society” was hurt by the father’s actions. Yet here, a child has become a victim to a compassionless system; the American Justice system — which imprisons the most non-violent people of any system in the planet. Laws are not Morals, and in my book, non-violent criminals are, for the most part political prisoners.

      Speaking of children…Child tasered to death after Mom makes him return to store he works at to face discipline for stealing Hot Pockets …. I guess before tasers, they would’ve shot him in the head? Of course, if you shoot someone unarmed, you tend to get sued. But if you TASER them & they die from “exicited delirium”, then a cop gets to blame the victim, avert the lawsuit, AND get away with cowardly murder. This is the 3rd taser death this week, and at least the 2nd time in a week I’ve read about a mother losing her son because she called 911. This is why I propose a softer “811″ manned by people who actually risk their lives by not shooting anyone they perceive as a threat. It would basically be handled like the stereotypical people in white who bring you to the insane asylum.

      SCIENTOLOGY IS A DANGEROUS CULT: The Profit - The movie Scientology doesn’t want you to see. (download torrent here). Get the banned movie here! Not just 8 minute clip that everyone has seen, but the whole banned movie. Special thanks to ANONYMOUS for fucking Scientology over at every possible juncture.

      DRUGS: Researchers have deteremined which gene to ‘knock out’ to reduce tobacco carcinogenocy. Of course, study is funded by Philip Morris. Either way: Many people smoke, and many people will continue to. This cannot ever be stopped. EVER. Philip Morris must be considering that they would make more money if their customers didn’t die, and that their lawyer fees might be lower if they weren’t sued by states due to the strain on the health care system. (Cost of freedom, folks. Cost of freedom.)

      http://www.acm.vt.edu/~clint/download/imagedump/police-brutality-thumbnail.jpgABUSE OF AUTHORITY: Federal agent sues after being tasered and arrested at a ball game for not immediately removing an american flag he was hanging. Lots of cop-on-fed violence for no charges being filed! In the end, the only way we may gain our civil rights is if more police are abused by other police. “He said she said” becomes a level playing field when both people work for the government. Someone’s going down. The best we can hope for is that our police start shooting, abusing, and brutalizing each other — that would reform the system much faster than lawsuits. OVERLY-HARSH PUNISHMENTS: Don’t call 911! Mom calls on her son for taking her car. Son is now paralyzed, most likely for life. They tasered him, against their own policy (lawsuit!) from the top bunk, where he fell, and broke his back. Don’t call 911 if you value the life of the person you are calling 911 about. This is why I propose a softer “811″, to be staffed by more heroic people than our gestapo police. People willing to risk their lives. Right now, police die less than fisherman, farmers, garbage men, & taxi drivers.

      http://www.acm.vt.edu/~clint/download/imagedump/police-brutality-thumbnail.jpgBangladesh retreats on women’s rights after Muslim clerics protest – fuck Islam. Sherrif threatens journalist with arrest for writing about his son’s arrest – um, this is America, remember Sheriff? $28M taxpayer money gone because of idiot cops Juan Curry & Samuel Nassan — who shot an unarmed 12-year-old car-thief boy in the back, killing him on Christmas Eve. (Of course he was black.) I twittered that I farted, and was immediately followed by “FartSurvey“, a twitter account. WTF? Read on for alternate summaries / tags. (more…)

      A man has been in jail half his life — due to the fact that the actual murderer (now dead) was protected by attorney-client privilege! What the fuck!? A murderer’s rights are more important than an innocent man? Someone needs to change the law here! Also: Economic Collapse predicted for 2008 Q3, people turn more liberal with age — not more conservative, and Amazon is deleting criticisms of that are not favorable to Scientology, a dangerous cult.

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      Get ‘em here! Some of these apparently allegedly document child abuse within the Scientology cult. Why not get them and see for yourself?!?

      What a crazy day. The tattoo of a cellphone that works as a blood-powered cellphone is very cool. Interesting links today. Especially the nethack porn, hahaha. Is Ricky Really a Sex Offender? NetHack Porn. Cellphone tattoo. Danish cops too scared of Muslims to do their job. White House Says Phone Wiretaps Will Resume. (more…)

      He died in *apparent* suicide — but people are suspectiong Scientologists for staging a suicide. ANONYMOUS’s response: “His name was Shawn Lonsdale. His name was Shawn Lonsdale. He will not be forgotten. Expect us.” A hose from his exhaust pipe was run to his window. I’d like to see the suicide note. He doesn’t seem like someone who would commit suicide.

      ABUSE OF AUTHORITY? Internet Censorship death sentence. Life sentence for stealing 50 cents of donuts. Ban fat people from restaurants.  Interesting stories today. (more…)

      There’s a funny video in here, so I suggest you take the jump and check it out. A guy literally brings a lion to a party and lets it chase the guests a bit. (more…)

      Nancy ‘voice of Bart Simpson’ Cartwright gives $10 million to Scientology. This sucks. Guess it’s good I only rented those dvds.. Marvel Comics revives Capt. America (spoilers past the jump). MySpace deletes huge Atheist group — MySpace is Christian, you see, sine it’s owned by Rupert Murdoch. Athiests are even reporting that their profile has been edited in some cases. LOCAL: Army psychologist awarded $450K after idiot pig Barbara R. Johnson-Rauf rear-ends him and then has HIM arrested for reckless driving (acquitted!). Don’t you love getting into accidents with cops? By the way, I got a gun pointed at my face once for daring to stop to ask for directions. (more…)

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