I want you to slice me open, as hard as you can

typed for your pleasure on 8 February 2006, at 6.08 pm

Sdtrk: ‘What are you seeing?’ by The focus group

Found out about an interesting cultural phenomenon whilst trawling through the /k/ board of 4chan — funny how I come up with some of the strangest posts due to that site — cross Fight club with SoulCalibur, and you get the traditional Teutonic ‘sport’ known as mensur fencing.


Yes, he’s sporting an enormous open gash. Lookin’ slick, sir! Literally

You have two blokes, wearing chainmaille shirts and gauntlets, heavy padding over the right arm and throat, and heavy steel goggles that include a metal noseguard and mesh over the lenses. The fighters each wield a Schlager, a sword with a three-foot blade that’s been honed to incredible sharpness, and stand three feet away from each other. Now, the key word here is stand — you’re not supposed to move. You can deflect your opponent’s weapon with your own, but if you dodge or flinch at all, you’re disqualified. Bizarrely enough, the goal of mensur fencing is to stand your ground and take your inevitable licks. If you receive a nice facial scar, so much the better — you can show off your Renommierschmiß (bragging scar) as proof that you were in a match. The idea is that if you can face such intense, close-quartered armed combat with someone you may not even dislike, every other experience will pale in comparison. Or, as a famous extremist once said, ‘After fighting, everything else in your life gets the volume turned down.’

The centuries-old student organisations that participate in mensur fencing give off a bit of a ‘Freemasons with blades’ vibe, as many of the successful members go on to lucrative careers, such as the automotive industry, economics, or medicine, ironically enough. Initially, these fraternities sounded somewhat right-wing in nature to me, but they insist that they’re politically neutral. As it turns out, back in WWII, Hitler had told the organisations that they had to eject their Jewish members, and since being in such a fraternity is based upon brotherhood, they refused, and mensur fencing was banned until the end of the war. Even to this day, however, participants still keep their ties to the organisations secret, as most outsiders associate them with the right-wing mentality. Although if you personally ever run across any older Germans or Austrians with prominent scars on the left side of their faces, signal flags might start going up in your mind now…

More about mensur fencing here, and here. Fascinating stuff! Part of me wishes that this was the type of fencing that I’d taken back at Wayne state. Not a very large part of me, but still

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Not exactly a ‘People Person’

typed for your pleasure on 5 February 2006, at 1.18 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Flieger’ by Death in June

I can’t remember how I discovered this particular article, but it’s something I think everyone, especially garrulous blabby extroverts, should read over.

Are introverts misunderstood? Wildly. That, it appears, is our lot in life. “It is very difficult for an extrovert to understand an introvert,” write the education experts Jill D. Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig. [..] Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.

It’s bizarre; sometimes I think I’m fooling myself when I say I’m an introvert, as I often enjoy spending time with my mates now and again. But just because a person has a group of friends that they like to spend time with, doesn’t necessarily define them as being an extrovert. Especially when you consider that I only spend about fourteen hours out of the week with them (the week-ends, obviously; and then, of course, not in a row). Wanting to spend time with someone is far different than wanting to live with them, or having them constantly round you at all times.

I think part of the problem with modern society is that so many people who may actually be introverts try their hardest to fall into lockstep with what popular culture dictates — ‘introverts are loners, and loners are losers’ — and in the process, they become even more miserable, as they’re trying to be something they aren’t, just for the sake of ‘fitting in’. Obviously it’s great to receive the approval and acceptance of others, but a person shouldn’t base their life round what others think of them. If it’s your mates, they’ll be perfectly alright if you don’t think exactly like they do, and if you’re not into the exact same things. If it’s some tosser off the street who thinks less of you due to you not fitting their ideal, their opinion is less than worthless, and every minute of attention paid to them is far more than they deserve.

Personally, I never understood people whose goals were to live according to what popular culture dictates. I always figured they were filling a personality-shaped void within themselves. I’d always assumed that existence was living life for your assumptions and standards, and not for anyone else’s. ‘If it harm none, do as thou wilt.’ If others mock and deride you for your introversion, simply reply, ‘You’re goddamned right I’m an introvert. At least I’ll always be associated with a better class of people.’

At any rate, be sure to read the article

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ROKKU DESSHO!

typed for your pleasure on 4 February 2006, at 3.13 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Cold’ by Nurse with wound

Hello Kitty is like an extraordinarly twee version of Ice-9 — whatever is touched by the paw of Kitty, is instantly rendered Cute. Hence, these fine guitars!


Dig that fretboard! There’s something, ah, round on it

These entry-model Stratocasters have been available since last October in the States with price ranging $200 to 300 USD and will now be sold in Japan (hence the photo below in Sanrio’s showroom in Tokyo on January 26).

I’d love to get one of these for Sidore-chan, but as it is, she’s more of a bassist

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A glimpse of a preview of an insight behind the workings

typed for your pleasure on 1 February 2006, at 8.54 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Only shadows of hooks’ by Current 93

Fans of a certain RealGoth might want to check the haps, as the kids say, over at ‘Kitten with a Whip!‘. Just so you know!
More news as it tumbles gently into place, of course

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