Should we find something to be obsessed about and go all out... all-in? Do our obsessions find us, does it seem like they seek us out, or is it possible to consciously choose what we focus on to the exclusion of everything else?
Is obsession healthy? How much is too much? I assume there are people out there in the world who never become obsessed about anything. What's that like? Is it easier to manage one's life? Does it lack passion or urgency or focus?
There are some things I will always be into, just as there are some things I will never care for. However, every once in awhile I'll be utterly consumed by a certain idea, activity, or hobby. Right now, it's old school, paper and pencil, tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons.
I'm not sure why I become obsessive about certain things, but I do. Don't worry, I'm still very interested in the Cthulhu Cult, Left Hand Path, Fourth Way, my beautiful family etc. However, my attention definitely shifted to D&D and similar games a few months ago. Where will it lead me? I'm having a lot of fun and my creative juices are flowing... so, does it matter? Does everything have to be part of my fate or destiny? Is that just who I am?
One can't have monomania about a single subject for decades, can they? Doesn't a subject deserve a break every once in awhile? Don't we deserve some rest from an activity or hobby?
This is just an open-ended conversation with myself. Me thinking out loud, and hoping that others might listen and have a reaction. Let me know your thoughts!
Well, my nearly 18 month old daughter likes to watch the Disney Channel. It keeps her entertained, and hopefully, educated. Danielle and I don't mind it either. In fact, sometimes I'm just as wrapped up in the TV shows as Briella.
So, I was watching the latest episode of A.N.T. Farm when Cthulhu was mentioned. Not once, but multiple times! A female goth store clerk referred to him as "Dark Lord Cthulhu" - which means South Park's influence on the meme must still be strong. At the episode's end, Cthulhu was personified as a red furry octopus costume with a black and white panda head.
The storyline revolves around the goth-metal band Blood Butcher playing a concert at a Hot Topic like store called Toxic Wasteland. One of the girls wants to see the band in order to fit in, but knows her mother won't approve. In the most outlandish, ridiculous, yet clever scheme, the girl and her friends decide to become this fictional kids band, The Happy Fuzzy Friends, to fool her mom. One of the characters is a octopus/panda hybrid. Why Cthulhu? Well, what sort of religious beliefs is a teenage goth girl suppose to have, anyways? Makes perfect sense to me.
I took these screen shots myself a few moments ago, once I realized that the episode was too new to have anything come up in google images or anywhere on the net. Thank our slimy green Lord for DVR technology!
It was all quite surreal and cool and just plain bizarre! Does this mean the Cthulhu Cult will be more acceptable as time passes? Is man entering a new phase where his evolution is even more possible than before? Are the stars right at long last? We shall see...
Venger As'Nas Satanis
Cult of Cthulhu
Strength started decreasing the workouts after my month 3 update. I was bench pressing 90 lb dumbbells and only got 2 reps. Dissatisfied with losing muscle/strength, I incorporated some higher rep workouts in my training regimen.
The diet was fairly easy to maintain - that's my favorite thing about Lean Gains. Only had a couple cheat meals during the month. Hunger wasn't much of a problem.
I'm hoping that month 5 shows a radical improvement... one where my abs are clearly visible. Not sure if drastic measures are necessary. Time will tell.
Alright, this is the last installment of Doctor Who awesomeness. If you've never seen the old series, then check it out. I highly recommend discovering or re-discovering one of the best science fiction series ever made. The special effects might not live up to 21st century expectations, but sometimes one is pleasantly surprised by the ingenuity and final results from the 60's, 70's, and 80's.
These are last 12(!) stories which I personally feel are the best. Why 12 instead of the usual 10? Well, there were a couple gems I couldn't leave behind. Mind you, just because a story is in this category, that doesn't mean it's average... let alone sucks. Being in the top 30 is still quite an achievement when you consider there's about 200 Dr. Who stories which ran between 1963 and 1989. Picking the top 21 - 32 was just as difficult as 11 - 20. Perhaps more so, because whatever I leave out isn't going to get mentioned. This is the last installment, after all.
Now, I bent the rules slightly with the Peladon stories. I counted both The Curse of Peladon and The Monster of Peladon as one. They are very similar and take place only 50 years from each other. Interestingly, the same thing occurred in the William Hartnell story The Ark (a small jump in time while remaining in the same space), except the time jump was within the story. The Ark is a decent story, if you're into that kind of thing.
I almost chose War Games over Snakedance because it's significantly better in a few respects. However, for the 21st century audience, a long, drawn-out black and white story like War Games is more likely to put one to sleep. Plus, Snakedance is the sequel to Kinda - one of my very favorites. I was also on the fence about Colony in Space. I love most stories where Petwee plays the Doctor, but sometimes I just get sick of seeing him in 1970's Britain. At least, this one is set in a different time and place.
Nor was it easy to choose between State of Decay and Full Circle. Both are great stories from the E-Space trilogy. Again, I think today's audience would prefer vampires to humanoid marsh creatures. So, there you go.
I should also mention that there are a couple Dr. Who stories which I haven't seen in years and years. They are not currently available on DVD, so it's difficult for me to judge them a couple decades later. I'm thinking of The Ambassadors of Death, in particular.
Enjoy my selections. Feel free to post your own preferences, experiences watching these stories, and go rent/buy/netflicks the following if you haven't seen them.
Hopefully, you guys aren't getting sick of all the Dr. Who posts. There's this and in a couple weeks I'll be posting a top 21 -30. After that, the Doctor will be put to rest for a time.
Meanwhile, let us revel in the great, beloved stories which did not make the top 10. When creating a best-of-the-best list, some personal choices must be sacrificed in order to capture a more objective view. With this and the next list, we have more latitude... more freedom. But with that comes difficult decisions. Again, you'll notice a preference for the 4th Doctor, Tom Baker with a nod towards the 3rd, Jon Pertwee, and the 5th, Peter Davison.
Discuss the picks below - why you like them, why you don't, how come "x" didn't make the cut, etc. Upon reflection, I put the subjective before objective considerations regarding Resurrection of the Daleks and Kinda. Kinda would probably have made for a better 2nd tier choice. Oh well, one has to go against the grain, occasionally.
For the top 21 - 30, I recommend submitting your choices here or on the Doctor Who thread over at the main CoC forum: http://cocthulhu.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=unsanctioned&action=display&thread=870
1) Who is your favorite Companion?
2) What is your favorite Doctor Who and companion combinations?
3) Companion death you are still recovering from?
4) Best companion introduction?
5) Best companion exit?
6) Best companion re-appearance?
7) Worst companion exit?
8) Best Doctor Who "scream queen"?
9) Favorite story series (Key to Time, E-Space, Trial of a Time Lord)?
10) Best Companions
verbal jab/telling off at the Doctor
11) Favorite Dr. Who
monster (I define monster as not human and not the Master)?
12) Favorite incarnation as the Master?
13) The three hottest / sexiest companions?
14) Favorite final story of the Doctor's regeneration?
15) Favorite first story of the Doctor's regeneration?
16) All-time favorite story? This is different than "the best"... imagine you could only watch one Dr. Who story on DVD for the rest of your life?
17) Worst story... the one you'll never watch again, unless some very special circumstances arise?
18) What actor (at the time - late 80's) should have the Doctor regenerated into after Colin Baker?
19) Favorite line or bit of wisdom from the Doctor?
20) Cast your dream lineup: Doctor, companion(s), head villain, monster, companion, gadget/vehicle, setting, and plot device.
Questions provided by Loki Dreaming and Venger Satanis. Enjoy!
I have been a fan of Doctor Who since I was little. Every Sunday at 4pm (until it got switched to Saturdays at 10am) on the Public Broadcasting Station, the family television in our house experienced a British scifi invasion geared for kids and, somehow, not juvenile in the least. Occasionally, it was dark. Brutal, even. It wasn't afraid to show the ugly nature of man, as well as, his frequent demise. Like a Lovecraft story, characters would die, breakdown, go insane, or turn to evil. That felt like real life to me. Its mature themes kept me enthralled through my teenage years and far beyond.
Most of the time, my Dad watched them with me. Not 25 minute episodes, but full stories... usually 4 episode extra-terrestrial extravaganzas totaling 100 eldritch minutes. Dr. Who was the crowning jewel of every weekend. No matter what plans had been made, a niche was carved out for the Doctor.
He was a remarkable Time Lord with a brilliant mind and keen sense of humor. The Doctor proved himself over and over to be a bastion of righteousness, skeptical of superstition, open-minded regarding the unknown, careful about interfering too much, and, best of all, a renegade who escaped the stoic detachment of his race in order to travel the universe. He's a role-model to many of us. In the Work, he could be likened to Man #7.
Anyways, some of the Cult of Cthulhu forum members and I were talk about Doctor Who recently. I wanted to do a Top 10, so here it is. Hopefully, it won't surprise anyone that the majority of very best Who stories star Tom Baker. If you're curious about my selections or want to discuss their inclusion, then post below. Next month, I'll probably do a Top 11-20, so feel free to offer your recommendations. Without further ado, and in no particular order, here's the list...
1. Genesis of the Daleks
2. Talons of Weng-Chiang
4. Face of Evil
6. The Daemons
7. City of Death
8. The Caves of Androzani
9. The Horror at Fang Rock
10. The Deadly Assassin
Strangely enough, I haven't seen a film (in the theater) this good since the last time I went to the movies. That film was The Cabin in the Woods - also directed by genre legend Joss Whedon.
However, Whedon not only writes but also directs the premier ensemble superhero film. Saw it yesterday, and I'm pleased to report that it was just as sharp, imaginative, epic, amusing, colorful, and action packed as any comic book fan could hope for.
For reasons I'd rather not get into, I hadn't seen the Iron Man movies, Thor, or The Hulk re-boot. Very much anticipating The Avengers opening day, I had three nights in which to cram the foundational pieces upon which this magnum opus is built. Knowing, as I did, that a whole new actor was portraying Bruce Banner, I decided to leave that one out. I watched Iron Man the first night. Iron Man 2 the second night. Thor the night before May 4th. All good films. As was Captain America: The First Avenger which I originally saw in the theater.
However, The Avengers is greater than the sum of its parts. It could have been disastrous - combining storylines for each significant character while creating and sustaining a cohesive plot, making it entertaining and understandable for those who've seen the foundation films, as well as, noobs who couldn't tell the difference between Spider-Man and Wolverine. Thanks to Joss Whedon, The Avengers not only succeeded on all levels, but surpassed my soaring expectations!
I'm not going to rehash the previews or go into specific details. No, I intend to close this brief review or summary with a specific lesson: when extraordinary individuals work together as a team, they can accomplish tremendous, even unearthly, goals. No one has to lose their identity, no one has to compromise their values or system of beliefs. It doesn't have to be a full time gig, either. As hard to stomach as it may be for some, it's occasionally in everyone's best interest to organize disparate and fragmentary elements so that a greater good is born.
This is true of the Work and, therefore, the Cult of Cthulhu. Alone, an individual can do a lot. As a team, it's possible to do even more. There are forces in this world determined to keep us from attaining our true potential. Unfortunately, overcoming them isn't easy. That's where our emerald religion comes in. Collectivism can be a dirty word; an excuse for being lazy, stupid, or afraid. But what of the times where integration and cohesion have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams? It is my conviction that the reconciliation of collectivism and individuality will herald a new aeon for humanity.
Thanks for reading. Do yourself a favor and see The Avengers! It's going to be the biggest and best movie of the summer.
Venger As'Nas Satanis
Cult of Cthulhu
Assuming you're not an asshole, I'd like you to tell me why you're not an asshole. Why? It's probably not a question you usually ask yourself.
Attitudes and aims come in all shapes and sizes. Negative ones discount the possibility of ascending the current Octave. Those with a negative attitude feel that life is what it is, achieving smaller goals of limited scope is perfectly acceptable to them... especially if they don't have to put in a lot of effort. That's fine. Such individuals have little time for Octaves, Higher Forces, or transcendence and, as such, don't have a lasting interest in esoteric pursuits.
Those who have a negative aim want to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve because they are emotionally damaged in some way. Such folk would rather harm their enemies, for instance, than focus upon their own shortcomings and how to overcome them. In other words, they are not good material. People who say, "The end justifies the means." have a negative aim. It's difficult to imagine a lot of external consideration coming from such individuals.
All this goes back to the asshole quandary. Asshole: briefly defined as A) a stupid, mean, or contemptible person. B) the worst part of a place or thing. C) a worthless or annoying person.
A blatant asshole, like the expression of a negative emotion, is a red flag - easily recognized and thrown out. A non-asshole can go one of two ways. He can either not be an asshole because he's trying to survive, perhaps even flourish, in this prison we call a world. Such a person is just as much programmed to not be an asshole as he is operating from learned behavior. "When I'm an asshole to others, sometimes others are assholes back to me."
The other kind of non-asshole is the aforementioned good material which the Work is seeking, those who can find the Way and travel it. This third type makes effort towards not being an asshole because it's the right thing to do, it's in his nature. Instead of trying not to attract suffering, he tries to be good, to alleviate suffering. Now, a lot of us are sucked into bad situations populated by worthless people (worthless from an esoteric standpoint). Even if not being an asshole is in our nature, there are times when one has little choice in the matter. Under those circumstances, do the best you can... and find better circumstances ASAP!
For those curious about this, go ahead and try it. Imagine the difference. Start with negative emotions. Instead of destroying the negative - create positive. That doesn't mean one has to be naive. It's ok to be cynical, jaded, and skeptical. Yet, and this is important, one must strive to see(k) the good... no matter how much bad there is around us.
Positivity is defined here as... A) characterized by or displaying certainty, acceptance, or affirmation. B) Measured or moving forward or in a direction of increase or progress. C) Composed of or characterized by the presence of particular qualities or attributes; real.
Positivity is active whereas tearing away at the negative is reactive. Start with the latter, at first, if you find it easier, but always keep an eye on the former. Being positive is just as cleansing as becoming the void, and it makes those exterior parts of the self, such as false personality, transparent. That's what we want. Too much filter robs us of illumination. Who can do careful, precise work - especially if we're unsure of exactly how to perform it - in very poor light? Get rid of the filter so there is nothing obstructing or obscuring the view of our essence or soul - the part which needs our attention.
Lastly, I'm not going to sit here typing away and tell you that I've never been an asshole. I have been, I can be. It happens to everyone. That's not the issue. The issue is that some of us occasionally make efforts not to be an asshole... and for the right reasons. Without allowing yourself to be taken advantage of, ask yourself if you're truly being a positive force in the world. Would you rather be a decent human being because it benefits you or because it will benefit someone else?
Venger As'Nas Satanis
Cult of Cthulhu
What's up? Just got off the phone with Zach. Apparently, we are (and always were) on the same page. Antagonism is fun and can even be productive... up to a point. What I'm trying to say is that a little ridicule goes a long way. He doesn't take it all that seriously and neither do I. After awhile, endless shit talking is counter-productive.
SIN has its thing going on, and the CoC has its own agenda. Probably best that these two siblings are separated... for now, anyways. Cross-pollination of users or "dual citizenship" is fine down the road, but let's not spoil it by constant attacks. I'm posting this on the CoC social network because it's time to forgive and forget and move the fuck on. If this is going to be posted somewhere on SIN as well, that's cool by me. Thanks for your time. Happy Walpurgisnacht, everyone!
Let the distractions fall away so that evolution can manifest,
Venger As'Nas Satanis
Cult of Cthulhu
Spring cleaning! Aye, May Eve approaches, and it needs to be done. All that stuff piled and packed away in the dark recesses of our house - it is trash, useless, unsightly! We should get rid of it so that we'll have clean, uncluttered space for when the important things need to shine, front and center.
I've been doing some spring cleaning of my own. I'm shocked at how much there was to do and how much I had put it off until now. I got used to seeing things that needed my attention. What bothered me a year or two ago, I just sort of accepted. Not only its imperfection but its permanence.
If something bothered me a little in January of 2011, then why didn't I change it? Well, I probably put it off until February. It can surely wait until tomorrow or the next day, right? But then summer comes and goes. Now, there's just no fucking excuse! I lie to myself. I say, "It's not that bad. It doesn't really bother me." Those are rationalizations... buffers.
Next thing you know, it's January 2012 and everything is still dirty or broken or cluttered. Things that should have been thrown away, weren't. Well, spring is here again and I was more or less forced into fixing all the bullshit that got away from me a year or two ago. Turns out, it wasn't that much work. And now everything has been improved. I had unopened boxes and bags of food from over 2 years ago, just sitting in the very back corners of my shelves!
Obviously, this is not just a call for cleaning the house. No, this is also a Fourth Way metaphor. Self-spring cleaning. At any point in time, there are about a dozen loose ends which require our attention. Because we're busy trying to survive and get ahead in life, we kind of let the little things go - and for far too long. Now is the perfect time to get our hands dirty. Get in there and make changes! You'll feel better afterwards. I promise.
Venger As'Nas Satanis
Cult of Cthulhu