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Drak

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  1. Drak

    Amor Fati

    Amor fati, or the death of desire, is a common goal sought after by those that pursue the spiritual path. Desire dissipates the overwhelming, ruthless Will, which should be paramount. The Will of one that serves the Light would achieve what is right and best and good. Desire surrenders control to external entities, transitory and of limited value. This is why desire should die in one who seeks more than the obvious from this life. And so mystics since time began have sought amor fati. For desire does lead us astray and chain us to the wheel of karma. So it has been written in the holy texts and not without reason. From the airy, cold mountain side, isolated and alone and beyond reason, cross-legged in the lotus position, peering through the expanse of space, through stone, and metal, and wood, and flesh; I note the beloved ones of long ago and recall the golden palaces that I built for them in my heart. I set these palaces afire, one by one, and watch them reduced to ashes, and rejoice. The irrelevant strangers will never know nor care, and I am far past caring, and free, finally, of desire.
  2. Informative post, West. Remember, I use and like Windows too. I am not anti-Windows. However, the situation has always been that no-one even considers Linux. To them, it does not even exist. My argument is simple. Consider it. It's a player, a valid option in the marketplace, and perfect for someone who just wants to surf the Internet, read email, watch movies, or use a word processor--in other words, most home users. For the business user, most of them are going to go with Windows for business reasons--various applications that are Windows-only. In summary, my argument is not "Linux is better," but "Linux is a valid option that should be considered by anyone that wants a secure, low-cost operating system."
  3. I have five computers. Two run Windows 7 and 8, respectively, in order to access certain programs that only work on Windows. The other three run Linux. I love Linux, and I'll tell you why. It's easy, for one thing. Over the years, Linux distributions have gotten smarter and made more of their operating system GUI, which means the times a user needs to drop to the command line to type anything in are few and far between. It's free. That matters in a world where Microsoft charges $100 a pop for an OS install. The spyware situation is a lot better than in Windows 10, too. Linux is not designed from the ground up to spy on its users, unlike Windows 10, which notifies Microsoft anytime you do something on your computer. Finally, Linux will run on anything. That old computer that ran Window XP until Windows XP finally died? It will run Linux fine. No problem. All the software we know and love--Firefox, Chrome, LibreOffice, qbittorrent, and SMplayer--are all on Linux. I recommend keeping one or two Windows boxes around just to access those occasional Windows-only applications. There's seldom a good excuse to make an application Windows-only nowadays, because software languages can compile for many operating systems, including Mac, Linux, and PC, but some developers just don't get it or don't want to spend any extra effort toward supporting operating systems used by a small subset. Qbittorrent is an excellent torrenting program that runs on all three operating systems. Torrenting, by the way, is how we download Linux. The Linux distributors deliver their work to you via fast, efficient torrents to ensure a valid download and minimize consumption of web server resources. Why do people bother making Linux distributions (distros)? Much of the motive I think centers around enthusiasm for knowledge, but having a Linux distro on one's resume certainly will lead to job offers, if one is in the market for one of the great-paying Linux jobs in corporate America. A large chunk of the Internet runs on Linux, incidentally, so Linux isn't going anywhere except continuing to improve, and will be around several generations from now. One area where Linux has low adoption rates is the desktop/laptop market. Probably 1% of desktop users use Linux. This is mainly due to lack of awareness of what Linux is and what it offers and scarcity of knowledge resources. If your family uses Windows, then more than likely, you are going to go straight to Windows and not think twice about it. Microsoft has been great at marketing, and it does make a fairly good operating system, as well. I like Windows and use it. I just believe that Linux is a valid option that should be considered, especially by people who have been or may be victimized by malware. The one thing about Linux that people don't know about is that Linux is secure. Your operating system is not going to go to hell because you clicked on a web site. It is not impossible, but it just does not happen, and why? Partly because the bad guys don't see a margin in targetting a 1% minority with generally higher levels of tech knowledge. Also, Linux is designed for security from the ground up. Goal number one was security. For Microsoft, goal number one was pleasing the business customer and making things as easy as possible all the time. Different philosophies, both laudable, but those who know less about computers ironically have a horrible experience with Windows once their computers become infected, which over time, they will. Firefox is my favorite browser, when I don't have to use Internet Explorer or Chrome in order to access a specific web site for work-related reasons. I like Firefox because I like their philosophy, emphasizing security and efficiency. I do not know what Internet Explorer emphasizes. I trust Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, and I also like their mail reader, Thunderbird, another seldom-used and seldom-appreciated gem out there that makes reading email a lot safer and faster. Why people use a web browser to read their email, I do not know. It seems like a lot of trouble to me. No-Script is my favorite add-on for Firefox, because it gives control back to the user as to what a web site can and cannot do. I can surf the worst malware site on the planet and yawn. Because the malware site cannot touch me. No-Script blocks everything they try to do. The most a malware site can do is annoy me with their tackiness. Meanwhile, the sites I love and trust, like gayauthors, work fine, and I let them do whatever they want. No-Script is a bouncer. You train it for a couple days, and it keeps the troublemakers out of your bar. My advice to the desktop or laptop computer user is simple. I've said it before and I will say it again. Install a distro of Linux, any distro, and if you don't like it for some reason, fine, install another one. I am partial to Xubuntu and Linux Mint XFCE, but there are hundreds of distros to pick from, each with different philosophies and styles. Next, use Firefox as your browser. Install No-Script as an add-on within Firefox. Open your mind and learn as much as you can about Linux, Firefox, and NoScript, the golden triad of secure computing. From that point on, malware is something you do not worry about. You are more secure than 99.9% of all computer users out there. Period. It is as easy that.
  4. Drak

    Silence Cnn

    I am always on the lookout for ways to silence these media web sites that automatically activate my speakers and stream video into my computer without my permission. To read CNN rather than hear it, Firefox users can install NoScript, then forbid scripts running from turner.com. This simple solution transforms CNN.com into an online newspaper.
  5. Drak

    Necronomicon

    One afternoon, with nothing better to do, I wandered into Books-a-Million or some such pulp peddler and, after glancing at the mainstream, GLBT, and Christian sections (a lot of guides on the mystical or magical power of prayer, how to pray away the pains of modern living, and why it is OK to spank your child), drifted over to the Occult section, by no means the smallest, either. There I evaluated Tarot decks and other means of divination, guides, spellbooks Wiccan and otherwise, and other little wonders that beguile the gullible. They are at least interesting, written for true believers, and I like to imagine the believers, some of whom I have encountered in my many years on this planet. I also found the "Necronomicon" by Donald Tyson, not the Donald J. Tyson, deceased, of Tyson Foods, but apparently an experienced occult writer and, one might presume, one of the true believers. Now the Necronomicon is a mythical grimoire invented or perhaps, revealed, by H. P. Lovecraft. Now it is reinvented or perhaps, revealed, by Tyson. I liked the parts I read and found myself intrigued against my will, but the price of the book was $21, a bit too dear for my stingy old heart that grieves every penny. So I memorized the name of the author and the title. At home, I found the book on Amazon and ordered a cheap used copy from Amazon for $6. I don't know how sellers make a profit selling books at that rate, with shipping costs what they are, but they do it, so I will buy. When the Necronomicon arrived, it was in perfect condition, save for one strange thing, it was greasy. I mean the cover, front and back, felt greasy, almost like it had been buttered. I attributed that to either the wax used to laminate the cover or else the former owner's personal habits or hygiene. I have some problems with the plot. If the gods of humans are thralls, then how can Bast, the cat-god, be of any help? I don't even know why the chapter on Bast is included, other than to nod to the popular Internet obsession with felines. Also, why is Abdul heedless of Mohammed and Allah, never mentioning them once, when he was a devout worshiper in his youth? He should at least have some solitary reflections on the bogeymen of his past. Finally, if the Old Ones can be deterred by a written symbol, then why could they not be deterred from the entire planet by symbols written large on the landscape in stone? That would seem an obvious means to keep them from Earth altogether. And why do the Old Ones covet Earth in the first place? They seem sadistic, loving destruction for destruction's sake, and lacking any goals other than destroying whatever came before. Once the old order is destroyed, what do they propose, if anything? This is left ambiguous. Logical inconsistencies aside, the Necronimicon by Donald Tyson enthralled me from day one, and I'm reading it again.
  6. Drak

    Touri$M

    Streets should be named after good people, not evil-doers. If you think evil is on a par with good, and that good people are just silly, then you're evil. If you're evil, no problem, move on with your life, do evil, and karma will take its course. On the other hand, if you think good is good, and evil is bad, then you might think it's a good idea to name a street after a good person, rather than an evil scumbag that raped black women, beat the hell out of blacks, sold human beings into bondage, et cetera. The controversy over whether good or evil matters at all in this world is the major philosophical question of our time. Now that people feel like God is dead, and Hell doesn't exist, many think it doesn't matter whether they are good or evil, because what the hell, they are not going to be punished for doing evil. Then there are others who think that good is really the right thing, and it doesn't matter whether there is punishment at the end of days or not, but we should do the right thing "Just Because." Ultimately the decision to favor good or evil boils down to aesthetics. What kind of world do you prefer?
  7. Drak

    Touri$M

    Tourism is the backbone of Charleston's economy and doesn't hurt South Carolina as a whole, either. One of that little coastal state's trump cards has always been its controversial role in igniting the bloodiest war in U.S. history, the rebellion against the nation in defense of slavery. So a lot of people are making money off the Confederate flag and off of the Civil War history angle, because it brings people to travel to S.C. and buy knick-knacks, such as the pewter 4" replica of Robert E. Lee that I bought at Fort Sumter's gift shop in 1980. All I knew then about Robert E. Lee was what my grandmother had told me, which was he was a fine gentleman, and what our history books had told me, which was he was a good general. And that is what a lot of people think they know. So any attempt to scale back on the Confederate porn industry meets with resistance not only from the "true-believers" who don't understand history but the people who do understand, but want to keep the cash-cow intact, because they are busy fleecing the know-nothings who think the Civil War was about Southern pride or chitlins or deer-hunting or chewing tobacco or the song "Dixie". The reason the South seceded is they wanted slavery extended to the new territories out West, and Lincoln and his Republican party opposed that. The hotheads down South thought that intolerable, so they turned traitor. Today we continue to venerate these traitors with monuments, dedications and whatnot, which is very confusing to some people who think history begins and ends with dates and names. I think that many streets in Charleston should be renamed, beginning with Calhoun Street, because Calhoun was no sort of a good person. Rename Calhoun Street "Rosa Parks Street," and I think that would be a better reflection of history and of who really mattered. I don't know that Germany has any streets named after Goebbels, Roehm or Hitler, and we shouldn't have anything named after slavery-evangelists that wanted to spread slavery all over the Western Hemisphere. The statues of worthless scumbags like Calhoun need to be placed in the furnace and recycled just like Saddam Hussein's statues. Eventually all these things will come to pass, too.
  8. Drak

    Three For Isis

    I read about the three young British women that left the UK, married into ISIS in Syria today and was reminded of a quote from an old friend. He had taken the old saw, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink," and transformed it into "You can lead a whore to knowledge, but you can't make her think." I bet they will be regretting their decision right about now. Wow, just to imagine renouncing the UK for ISIS boggles the mind. It does not compute. But for sure, the U.K. is better off without them. Anyone who thinks ISIS is better is doing the West a favor by joining them and getting the hell out of our society.
  9. Those are nice quotes, but he whipped a black husband and wife, and then after lacerating their bare flesh, ordered their bleeding wounds washed in brine. Now you sit down and digest the image of the helpless prisoner/slave screaming in agony for the duration of 50 lashes with a bullwhip, which is ten feet long, waved in a circle and then lashed as hard as can be to rip out chunks of flesh from the bare back. Lee personally instructed the constable to "lay it on thick" as hard as he possibly could and he supervised to ensure this was done. Fifty lashes. Then the bloody fleshless back was washed in brine for good measure, again on the personal instruction of the devil Robert E. Lee. You think about that, and then think about the victim then watching his wife subjected to the same treatment, her bare breasts ogled by the salivating Robert E. Lee as he lashes her himself, because even the local constable refused to do it, but Lee was such a monster that he did it. If torture is okay, anything is okay. Those who venerate Lee today are evil, and there are no two ways about it, and they are in the same camp with the worst lot of racists. We have named roads, colleges and schools after a devil. That Lee made lots of nice noises after the war shows cunning. Lee was a cunning man. Maybe that is why he caught his runaway slaves that had been promised their freedom by their former master, his father-in-law. One should look beyond what people say and explore their actions prior to judging them. Actions speak louder than words. If quotes were all that were needed, then we could select some choice quotes from everyone from Caligula on down and make them into saints.
  10. Drak

    Vicious

    I do like how Downton Abbey humanized Thomas and made the audience understand better what made him tick. There was a reason for his villainy and it had to do with his alienation.
  11. As a boy, I was asked by our social studies teacher which famous person I admired most. I answered Robert E. Lee. Lindsey Graham reminded me of my boyhood choice in a recent news article, in which he said Yea to removing the Confederate Flag from public buildings, but Nay to renaming all the roads and schools that are named after Robert E. Lee. Curious, I looked up the Wikipedia article on Robert E. Lee. My education on history is not all-encompassing. I know the general outline of Western history, but the details about specific individuals tends to be murky. Prior to reading the Wikipedia article, I had a negative view of Lee, although I despised him for the side he chose. His decision to serve the South is morally equivalent to Ernst Rommel's decision to serve the Nazi state. At least Rommel got what he deserved in the end. Turns out Robert E. Lee was a right devil, about as evil as they come, and a racist through and through. Anyone who defends him today is either ignorant of history or a racist, one of the two, with no exceptions. The way Lee treated his slaves was inexcusable, and his defiance of his dead father-in-law's will is also inexcusable. Lee was a liar, a torturer, a kidnapper, and a murderer, all told, and those who defend him would defend anything and anybody, and their words can be disregarded in all cases. The only reason I liked Lee as a boy was because the history books I read were full of lies and omissions, written by liars with no concern for the truth. Such books should be located in all libraries and destroyed before they get into the hands of impressionable young minds. Their paper can be recycled to make books that tell a more balanced and truthful version of history. My grandmother used to tell me "The War of Northern Aggression" was started by the invading Northern armies because they were against states' rights. She was wrong, told wrong by the wrong-headed men in her life. The real reason the South started the Civil War by firing on Fort Sumter is because the rich slaveowners insisted, not merely on keeping their slaves, but extending slavery into new territories out West, in order to improve their representation in Congress and open up new opportunities for slave-based agriculture in those territories. They were not simply defending slavery, but wanting to expand it all over the Western Hemisphere, to eventually include Cuba, Mexico, and Central and South America. The Civil War was about States' Rights only in the sense of the right to secede from the Union. If you believe slavery is morally right, only then can you sympathize with the Confederacy, but if you do, then you would believe absolutely anything is right, and that there is no right or wrong at all. Lincoln pointed this out in his speeches and letters many times. Someone I admire is Abraham Lincoln. He was amazing, and his speeches and letters are still worth reading today as an example of what politicians can be if they try hard enough and resist the temptation to go into service for the rich. I think Lincoln had his heart in the right place and had a brilliant mind for politics. He probably had some gay experiences in his early life, based on the letters he wrote to an old buddy. Unfortunately, his predecessor, slavery-loving Buchanan, certainly was exclusively gay, and set a rather bad example. Fortunately, there are a couple of other gay Presidents to offset that stain on history. I get mad as hell when I read about people defending Robert E. Lee or anything about the old Confederacy. It was a bad time, a very great evil, and they want to enshrine a stinking turd as though it were a sacred cross. Drop that rag in the wastebasket and forget about the ignorant fools that died for it. The rebels deserved to die, a thousand times over, and each of us would be duty-bound to kill them now, if they were still warring against the Union.
  12. Drak

    Vicious

    And, strangely, I tend to dislike a lot of critically acclaimed movies, usually the "chick flicks," but maybe because they tend to be so heterosexual, and I've become jaded from watching so many heterosexual-themed television shows.
  13. Drak

    Vicious

    I probably shouldn't use the word "dope," but yes, it was reinterpreted by rap artists to mean satisfactory, acceptable. I started using the word once I became aware that so many rap artists have a favorable opinion of cannabis. The original meaning of the word "dope" meant, specifically, cannabis. I am for the legalization of cannabis and find that it is a useful food and medicine.
  14. Drak

    Wit

    Me too. But would we want to *be* Oscar Wilde? I don't think so... Nice and dull for me, anonymity and forgotten after death. That's a-OK. In exchange, a long, pleasurable life, friends, lovers, and being thought well of in the present.
  15. Drak

    Vicious

    I object to the gay critics of Vicious, the Brit sitcom starring Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi. The oh-so-vicious critics declare in reviews printed in the Daily Mail and the Telegraph that this is an old-fashioned show, a throwback to the worst shows of the 1970s, and that the characters are ugly and mean, and that they are gay stereotypes from the bad old days, and finally, the Coup de grâce, they don't Represent. That's right, McKellan and Jacobi do not serve as flattering ambassadors from the gay community to the straight. In short, they make us gays look bad. I object! I call Lie upon the critics! Firstly on the grounds that Ian McKellan is one of the greatest living actors and that anything he does has got to be dope. It has just got to be. He earned the gay sainthood as wonderful Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, that sweet dear man who has championed gay rights at every turn since he came out. His creds as an out gay man are impeccable, and the notion the show is homophobic in any way is preposterous on the face of it. If you like Ian McKellan and think he's dope then you will like the show, Period, end of discussion. If on the other hand you suffer from a chronic case of Lookism and see just two old queens and yearn for eye candy then okay, pass, like the jaded critics aforementioned, who apparently aren't very accepting of the elderly. If I need eye candy, I've got pr0n. When I watch a comedy, I just want laughs. If the vehicle of those laughs has gray hair, so what? Second, the show is funny, yes Sirs, it is, if one only suspends, just for thirty minutes, the compulsion to evaluate every gay as an ambassador to the str8 community and insist they must Represent a cookie-cutter, politically correct, squeaky-clean version of the Gay Man to the rest of the world. Well look, chaps, this a comedy, all right? I allow a bit of literary license to the writers. There are plenty of shows about str8 people that depict them in less than admirable terms. Why should gays be saints all the time? It is not necessary. Not today. Not with so many other shows around. These stuffy critics that demand every comedy be just like the latest favorite are killing television with their compulsion to conformity. I say Viva la Difference! Give me more Vicious!
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