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Topics - Everdarkgreen

Interzone / Procrasturbation
« on: December 19, 2012, 09:37:52 AM »
I realize this isn't a self-help forum, but I've been beating my head against a wall for a while and figured the folks on here had some wisdom to divulge. How do you stay motivated for tasks with abstract, uncertain and unrewarding goals in the immediate future? Tasks which you know you must commit to but for the life of you, evade the dedication and discipline required to complete them.

Repeating mantras to oneself doesn't always work, especially if they're obvious: "Just do the damn thing" is probably the most sane and practical idea to ram into one's head, but doesn't seem to work. I expect that this is the type of advice many would give, but I was hoping somebody knew of a more systematic, rewarding method.

In light of that, this got me thinking: is chronic procrastination merely a product of modernity? I have a hard time believing that warrior societies had any time to bother with procrastinators, who out of necessity had to fight to survive on a regular basis. It seems that procrastination is partly a product of peace and plenty and other parts psychological dilemmas induced through modernity. So then, is chronic masturbation, like other addictions, a genetic weakness one is predisposed and condemned to dealing with? What is the nature of addictions? What way is there to explain believing in one thing and then avoiding it by doing something completely opposite to it?


1. Statement of goals: X must be done. X is necessary for ultimate goals Y and Z.
2. Avoidance through excuse giving: X is difficult/meticulous/unrewarding/time consuming/etc. Time to do A or B.
3. Results in even more unfavourable situation: *feelings of guilt/shame/regret/embarrassment/etc.*
4. Rinse and repeat. Eventually, no excuse is given for step 2. One knows the excuses are only lies to oneself. Bad habit becomes entrenched
5. Unfavourable situations turn even more unfavourable.

Some procrastinators enjoy the avoidance itself and/or the activities they do instead of tending to responsibilities. For others like me, I realize it's a distraction and as a result, it's not truly rewarding and instead soul-crushing.

Interzone / "Guilty pleasures"
« on: October 10, 2012, 07:01:46 PM »
Are we on this forum generally enlightened masters of our emotions and impulses or are there those with guilty pleasures that they choose to cultivate at their own discretion? What is best? To acknowledge that you have a tendency towards the lesser and try to minimize the instances or instead try to purge oneself completely of them? Do personality/idiosyncratic methods come in to play or can we conclude that purging is the most practical method?

I'd like to think of my idealized self and in that existence there being no place for dawdling about like a deluded philistine unable to conceive of any reality outside his asinine feelings, but something else makes me stop and consider the value of entertainment and distraction to the man intent on pursuing higher ends. Perhaps there is a time and place for doing nothing of any value at all if only to clear the mind?

Now, I'm sure a more organic approach would be to replace said desire for distraction/entertainment with regular intervals of meditation, but then again I must ask if that is for everyone? Can I even reconcile a desire to be distracted at times or is entertaining the notion of and engaging in this form of simple gratification a sign of personal weakness?

To give some examples for consideration:
-Television (non-religious viewing of course, various movies here and now, some shows of the marginally more respectable than Jersey Shore variety)
-Video Games (Most of them can only hope to be inspired by great art, but nonetheless some have something resembling a respectable storyline, if at least in the context of gameplay)
-Going out with folks to do any of the above/nothing useful at all/consume some alcohol/light drugs
-Sports (both being involved in as a player and a spectator/fan). Now I'm sure playing a sport certainly can be seen to have some spiritual benefits (as a way to cultivate competition and as a medium for good conduct between players), but being a fan/spectator of a particular player/team seems pathological oftentimes (even in milder flavors)
-etc. (you fill in the rest)

Metal / Video game music
« on: July 22, 2012, 07:05:56 PM »
I'm sure some of us recall playing certain games and thinking that the background music was more well-composed than most modern music.

In particular, I thought I'd share some Matt Uelmen. He wrote a sort of pastoral Romanticist gothic/horror ambient infusing the likes of Brahms, Tangerine Dream, Beherit's EDS, Lord Wind, DCD, etc. into a sort of moving landscape for the first 2 Diablo games. The music is clearly designed as background, but is not without its structural and melodic merit. While not valuable for its development (though it does manage this to some extent), I think it's a good study as a way to fuse various dark and Romantic aesthetics in a modern context.

Original theme from the first game. Probably the most overtly developed piece. I would again term this a sort of pastoral/idyllic ambient mixed with acoustic folk. Some very beautiful melodies intertwining amongst each other and some of my favorite use of orchestral instruments outside an orchestral setting.


Catacombs theme. Something of a darker Dead Can Dance at first and then turning into some really haunting vibes replete with depraved voices scattered throughout as if momentarily intruding the soundscape to remind one of their dread. Like most of Uelmen's soundtracks, cyclical phrases ebb and flow and give way to new developments that arise organically to develop a consistent level of suspense. Unfortunately, it doesn't really "arrive" anywhere in the end, though one certainly gets the sense that in a more ambitious project and without the limits of writing for a video game, Uelmen could flex a wider range of his compositional muscles. That said, the atmosphere is beautiful and it is yet another great example of an ambient aesthetic that has not been explored.


Another haunting piece. Slightly reminiscent of something Endvra could create, albeit a little more Romantic.


This is a little further in his career showcasing a more vibrant, Romantic landscape bringing to mind music befitting a race of noble and proud people. Some brilliant melodies in there and almost a shame they're not given the chance to flourish in the context of a more ambitious form such as a symphony. Nonetheless, powerful.


Another one I very much like and showcasing a very prominent Romantic darkness. One might ask (reasonably) why he should listen to this over Brahms for instance and my answer is that classical music will always be far and away more developed than anything that even so much as aspires to its greatness. However, I like this as an ambient re-interpretation of Romanticism and the melodies themselves are strong. Once again, another drawback here is that it can feel cyclical, though given that its intent is to ebb and flow rather than swell to greater heights, it does quite well.



Interzone / Romanticism for the past
« on: April 17, 2012, 11:11:47 AM »
I was simply trying to acquire reliable sources (if the Internet permits) on ancient life. In particular, I stumbled upon this theme regarding women's roles:

The women of the Middle Ages were totally dominated by the male members of their family. The women were expected to instantly obey not only their father, but also their brothers and any other male members of the family. Any unruly girls were beaten into submission and disobedience was seen as a crime against religion..

This provides a far different account: http://www.medieval-spell.com/Roles-Of-Women-In-The-Middle-Ages.html

The Roles of Women in the Middle Ages were not limited to spirituality.  They could inherit land and hold fiefs. They were entrusted with the charge of castles when their lords went on crusade. Such a chatelaine in later days was Jeanne de Montfort, who held the castle of Hennebon in Brittany.  Often they were heavily involved in politics, like Emma, wife of Edward the Confessor, who did more then anyone else to make the Norman Conquest to last.

1) Where is a more reliable source on family life in the ancient day? There are many claims of women being seen as "inferior" (Athenian women in particular compared to Egyptian conceptions). Is there a shred of truth to this "oppression" or is this a gross misrepresentation of ancient life?

2) Do we have a romanticized vision of the past when we conclude that family life and bonds between human beings were far superior?

Interzone / Implementing a plan
« on: April 10, 2012, 12:43:29 PM »
What's with all this "he said/she said" bullshit? We're all big boys and can handle harsh criticism without the need to resort to ad hominem attacks. I know the members here have a naturally high opinion of themselves (and not without just cause - most of the folks here are united by similar veins of interest and a penchant for truth and meaning), but if anything, threads like this exemplify the fact that emotions tend to get the best of us at times (not sure who has the humility to admit this, but you know who you are). Let's be clear here: this shows our common tendency towards proledom even with the intent to speak with oodles of wisdom, but also highlights the fact that we all care a great deal about our common human dilemma.

We already know our action plan because it is generalized enough to be put into practice. We know we're not going to form paramilitary attack squads and bomb public areas because we're noble hessian warriors of death. We know that any "revolution" will result in mass dissent and is thus unstable. But we also cannot sit idly by while everything goes on. This means we must not be too aggressive and simultaneously not too complacent. And oddly enough, that's outlined right here:

Quote from: prozak
As parallelists, we believe that we can establish a handful of principles that modify our current liberal democratic capitalist society, and that these will "organically" grow into a whole concept:

    1.Localization. We do not need to live in big cities, and are happier in small communities. These can manage their own affairs, and an overlapping hierarchy of county, state and national governments can address bigger issues.
    2.Culture before commerce. If we change our outlook to think in terms of cultural demands which commerce should serve, instead of the other way around, our society will have more consensus.
    3.Organic, whole society. In everything that we do, we consider whole factors. It may benefit a few factors to have another McDonald's on a busy street corner, but we must think of all factors and make decisions accordingly.
    4.We have a clear consensus and everything else is permitted. We can approach values two ways:
        a)use negative logic and try to avoid evil, which implies that everything else is good, leading to lack of direction;
        b)use positive logic and try to achieve good, which implies that all not leading to that goal is not useful.
    We should approach values through method (b), as it means that more things are permitted.
    5.Direct our resources toward constructive goals. We can spend our time, money and effort on fears, or we can build up the best hopes we have. We should do the latter.

These attitudinal changes alone will produce a parallelist society from what we have. They are easy to implement and require only the agreement of minority of people in society who are leaders in their communities.

How do we bring these ideas to the forefront?

Quote from: prozak
This occurs in three steps:

    I.Identify, brand and promote an ideology via the internet.
    II.Bring the discussion of this ideology to mainstream media.
    III.Unite the people who find it meaningful to aggressively push it to others.

We've got I down and are on to II. The last step doesn't necessitate II to be in full effect because in attempting I and II, we are accomplishing III to some degree.

This doesn't alienate idiots and hits a broad enough target audience. It's the equivalent of asking people if they want the modern landscape of art or social attitudes to change. It's like asking people "Do you want culture?". If you approach it this broadly, you fare a much better chance at uniting something like the third of the distribution, though realistically we can expect that about 1-5% will be brave enough to take on the challenge. 1% of America is somewhere over 3 million people. Not too bad.

The point is you can't really be thinking too far ahead. We're still in the stage of mass denial and thus can only expect a certain amount of "progress" (and if people here see progress as narrowly as direct results, then they won't see any of the behind-the-scenes progress that can potentially be made/has been made). We don't know the full extent of the ideological application insofar as how everything will physically appear, but if we work broadly enough by understanding what we want generally, it can grow into something more realized.

I probably sound like some sort of broken-record idealist here, but has any of this been attempted to any greater degree?

-Anyone in a university/college starting a Conservative group based on the generalized ANUS principles without any direct affiliation with ANUS. Correspondence with various other groups (ie. ethnic rights groups, religious groups, student unions, etc.)
-Handing out pamphlets with said generalized information at university/college setting, public squares, community billboards, word-of-mouth, town-hall-type meetings with recruits.
-Youtube video presence for those generalized ideas. T-shirts and other anal merchandise (sounds ridiculous, but why not adopt the methodology of the left? It's popular for a reason)
-List of popular sites to infobomb. Emphasis on simply getting the platform known instead of "trolling" or engaging in pointless argument. Focus on what we are for rather than against.
-Once the above snowballs into something even vaguely sizable in a local setting, write to local politicians, writers, newspapers, professors, family members, friends' family members, co-workers, etc. in order to get recognition. Any public talks, events, media time could potentially occur.
-In order for the above to work, exercise your hidden extrovert and network the shit out of everything. The purpose isn't to make good friends - it's to establish a network of people who agree culture is worth fighting for and want to be part of something.

Package the ideas in a friendly/accessible enough manner and things COULD start happening. Yes, the above might sound silly/retarded/been attempted before and failed/not attempted before due to impracticality, but it could work for a few reasons:

Tribal mentality, intelligence and the desire to be part of something meaningful could motivate the right folks to join if you have a platform that seems friendly enough that it wouldn't alienate too many. Looking at the bell curve, we know that there are enough above 120 - it's just a matter of reaching them in the right manner. I simply refuse to believe that those 1-5% actually WANT to sit idly by and pretend like they're useless which is why it's quite possible that the right combination of ideas packaged in a particular way could trigger the desire.

Feel free to offer sensible critique.

Interzone / America as a culture
« on: October 24, 2011, 07:21:43 PM »
I recall reading on Amerika (I might be wrong, though I think this is coming from Brett Stevens) that there is a certain love for America, at least in theory. Now, I don't know American history (though plan on reading it in the future), but such a view would logically be consistent if there were an ideal America (either one existing in the past or a theoretical ideal) that differs radically from America in modernity. I don't expect an in-depth history lesson to rectify this hole in my knowledge, but perhaps someone could answer a few basic questions to satisfy my curiosity as this was on my mind at the time:

-Did the founding fathers have an idea of America that was consistent with ANUSian philosophy? If so, was this idea implemented and to what extent?

-A bit of an extension of the previous question: I recall a comment (most likely from Amerika again) which claimed that the American Dream was possible at a certain point in American history, but that it is now not possible. Is this an accurate statement? I don't live in America, but it seems to me (from afar at least) that the level of meritocracy currently in place, while not up to standards of natural selection, is still able to reward those who contribute and work hard (but again, I can't really say for sure since I am not directly part of that system). Certainly it often rewards those who should not be rewarded and makes it difficult for those with something real to contribute, but if I were to pick a discipline and work hard, I should expect some fitting reward in America? Perhaps another question would be this: In what ways does the system not reward those with real intelligence? (any particular examples would be interesting).

-An afterthought from the previous set of questions: Is the American Dream really worth fighting for? Seems like an individualist ideal to me: the freedom to be anyone you want, work hard and make lots of money. Or is Amerika/ANUS perhaps more for the idea of the American Dream in the context of a society which enables useful jobs to flourish?

-Amerika certainly seems to have an ideal America and that of course must involve a preference for the ethnic aggregate too. I am wondering, who exactly should be part of the ideal American society? All white people? I have heard that initial aggregate was composed of mainly Western Europeans and some Easterners. Was the result of the collections of these peoples a marked cultural difference in comparison to their respective European heritage? Could the ideal Amerika potentially contain more Eastern Europeans despite its original composition?

-What is to happen to all of those who are assimilated into modern American ways? Do they remain in America? They are 'cultureless', but after so many generations of assimilation, hold nearly nothing in common with the culture of their ethnic ancestors. Should they be allowed to die off somehow or forced to return to their country of origin? Or perhaps attempt to assimilate to those of their ethnicity within America? That is roughly what pan-nationalism is, if I'm not mistaken. Though the details elude me now as well as implementation from now to a future ideal of cultural homogeneity.

-Is the ideal America/Canada different from that of other countries with ethnic homogeneity in the sense that the ideal of the former contains peoples of various ethnic backgrounds living together but governed as respective ethnic groups within the country? Perhaps pan-nationalist philosophy covers this, but I'd like some clarification on this matter.

-What is American culture (I'm not talking about modernity here, by the way), how is it different to the culture of its initial ethnic aggregate and why is this particular permutation of culture valuable/worth preserving?

Interzone / Leftist thought on Race
« on: October 03, 2011, 05:22:56 PM »
This is a common resource used to tackle the issue of race in modern university/college discussion:


Correct me if I'm wrong on some of these points, as I am looking to get a better understanding.

Quote from: quick facts about race
Race is a modern idea: Ancient societies did not divide people according to physical differences, but according to religion, status, class, or even language

From what I recall,  (many?) ancient societies were racially homogenous. Moreover, physical differences imply more than just physiology, but a particular cultural personality/genetic predisposition to favorable qualities for survival within your race.

Quote from: quick facts about race
Race has no genetic basis: Not one characteristic, trait, or gene distinguishes all members of one so-called race from all members of another so-called race.

Except that race is a collection of traits and there is no easy distinction from one race to the next because of geographic proximity and interbreeding which leads to different degrees of variance among the races. However, it is easy to distinguish between the 3 (or 4?) major racial groups.

Quote from: quick facts about race
Slavery predates race: Throughout history, societies have enslaved others, often as a result of conquest or war, but not because of physical characteristics or a belief in natural inferiority. In America, a unique set of circumstances led to the enslavement of peoples who looked similar.

I don't understand how the phrase "slavery predates race" makes sense, let alone helps to strengthen their leftist claims. Is this some sort of odd way of saying that conquest and enslavement of peoples occur due to mere geographical proximity and convenience? Are they trying to tell me that those who conquered and enslaved did not justify their actions with claims of superiority? And the part about America? I don't even know what to make of that.

Quote from: quick facts about race
Race justified social inequalities as natural: As the race concept evolved, it justified extermination of Native Americans, exclusion of Asian immigrants, and taking of Mexican lands. Racial practices were institutionalized within government, laws and society.

Racism is bad so that means any distinction and discussion of race must automatically lead to more racism. By this quick fact, I'm sure to be feeling an adequate amount of white guilt for oppressing the ancestral minorities (even though I am not personally responsible, nor of Western European descent).

Quote from: quick facts about race
Skin color is only skin deep: Most traits are inherited independently of one another. The genes for skin color have nothing to do with genes for hair texture, eye shape, blood type, musical talent, or athletic ability.

This one just seems like it's completely full of shit. You're telling me that East Asians do not share similar skin color, hair texture and eye shape let alone a predisposition to a relatively high IQ on average? Or that blacks share the same except with a predisposition to a relatively low IQ and also happen to mature quicker out of the womb, making them physiologically more predisposed to excelling in physical feats?

Quote from: quick facts about race
Most variation is within, not between "races": Of the small amount of human genetic variation, 85% exists within any local population, be they Italians, Kurds, Koreans, or Cherokees. Two random Koreans are likely to be as genetically different as a Korean and an Italian.

Lewontin's Fallacy applies here. It becomes rather easy to genetically distinguish once you consider several alleles at once.

Quote from: quick facts about race
Race is not biological, but racism is still real. Race is still a powerful social idea that gives people different access to opportunities and resources. Our government and society have created advantages to being white. This affects everyone, whether we are aware of it or not.

If you're not feeling the white guilt by this point, then this "fact" makes it very clear that you should be. Hey, what about Affirmative Action? They hire women, people with disabilities, natives and visible minorities before they consider a white male. Yea, sounds like a big advantage to being white.

The rest of the site has "interactive activities" like visual race identification in which you try to match the face with the race. I got less than half of them right. I guess this means that I'm racist or something.... (cue more white guilt). They also urge you to "explore why race is not biological" throughout. Comes with silly "Race: The Power of an Illusion" video.

Apparently, neighborhoods turn into shit not because minorities move in, but because white people leave the areas due to "perceiving" a decline.

Also, let's not forget that pbs is an organization. This apparently makes them a valid source for your paper (because people could write anything on a .com site but not .org, har har).

Alrighty then, I'm just going to engage in interracial marriage now because I find black asses to be bigger than white ones and this is a sufficient and fundamental basis upon which I will conduct all my relationships, kthxbai.

Interzone / Shock and info-terror
« on: March 31, 2011, 02:23:44 PM »
I presume this has been answered several times in isolated cases (or perhaps somewhere else on the main site?), so I apologize for the lack of resourcefulness. Alas, this is more related to day-to-day dealings with the people in your geographic location.

When you meet people who you perceive to be useless whom you would normally end up avoiding, but for one reason or another (curiosity, they are your friends' friend, etc.) end up getting the opportunity to talk to and accept this fate for a temporary time frame under the hope that this endeavor won't be entirely useless, you tend to think of methods to get rid of them or failing that, engaging them in topics that aren't inane. I had the misfortune to be invited to sit with these fellows the other day (two of whom I knew from the gym) and realized that I normally tell them I have prior obligations and thus cannot accept their offer before this even happens. But at the prospect that perhaps I was being too cynical with others, I thought I'd give them a chance and see them as individuals.

Of course, the probability was slim and they ended up conforming to the mold: trite babble about inside-jokes (which naturally made me feel left out) and entertainment (most of which I avoid) coupled with the exasperating attitude they had towards conversation: frankly, that topics and ideas should just be thrown out of their mouths as fast as possible, every opinion heard and their duration and significance minute. Because, life's a joke right? Topics of racism were brought up facetiously, but since everyone was oh-so-witty and sarcastic, nothing anyone said was taken seriously. They talked about both sluts and "damaged goods" rather fatalistically as if all women were like this and should be treated this way (and of course, life has no meaning so we should just use them as fuck-dolls). There was even a brief philosophical discussion, which to my expectations revealed their solipsistic/fatalistic/hedonistic tendencies. These fellows just loved to talk about nothing at all.

All the while I was trying to find something at least vaguely useful/interesting/engaging to break the trend of stupidity emanating from their direction. And I had nothing. Potentially fruitful conversations were cast aside in favor of Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris comparisons.

When you fellows find yourselves in such a situation, do you tend to make up an excuse to leave (having failed to do so initially) or do you act sincerely insincere and accepting of the conflict that will arise? If the latter, then how do you manage to indirectly engage others?

Metal / The psychology of staying within borders
« on: January 31, 2011, 03:25:44 PM »
We've all come across the typical meathead "thrash" or power fans who loathe anything that isn't "true" and about wind, fire and steel. Evocative of the mindset outlined in the status article, I have recently come upon one of the most stubborn of these fans. Yes, I am talking about a Manowar fan who happens to espouse the "wimps and poseurs leave the hall" mentality. Someone who also happens to enjoy Venom "ironically" because their campy take on Satan is "hilarious". Someone who when questioned, admitted that he thinks that people should "think less, feel more" and that as somebody who doesn't enjoy Manowar, I am "afraid of [myself]". ie. I just don't "get it ".

I have met several people like this. Especially those avid fans of 80's metal, the ones who want that decade to return because it was "the greatest". All the time they are searching for more traditional/NWOBHM. They happen to know about Satan, Judas Priest and Angel Witch for instance. But they need more. They keep looking for more of the same. They know it's the same. When confronted with this reality, they claim that other music is "untrue". But it's okay to enjoy Lady Gaga ironically because Biff Byford from Saxon hung out with her.

I don't have any revelations here. I simply aim to understand how one can enjoy more of the same? This clearly applies not only to fans of strictly traditional metal, but fans of any sort of niche whether that is music-related or not. The same pedestrian observations, the same television shows/movies/books/music, the same people to talk to, etc.

How is it that something worn down ad infinitum doesn't seem boring to people?

Metal / To what extent to invest in one's rig
« on: January 24, 2011, 12:47:37 AM »
I'm sure this question has arisen in the minds of those set on creating their own sonically destructive, electric transcendental ditties.

The technological world is overwhelming. Ultimately, what one needs for recording a piece of music isn't much at all. You could employ the worst of equipment as a means to an aesthetic end and in this sense, it's easy to discard the idea of rig having any significant importance to the overall product (especially from an underground perspective, which often tends to favor content over presentation). However, metal has posed various problems for musicians, producers and venues who need to get the best clarity and representation of the artist as they intend. While one could certainly get away with poor equipment given proper production techniques and mic'ing methods, getting away with such a poor setup in a live setting proves elusive. Thus, acquiring half-decent gear is simply inevitable if one wants any sort of clarity and adequate tone to match their aesthetic needs. This seems to reinforce the idea that while presentation, specifically from a production standpoint, is secondary, that it's still important to thoroughly consider from a holistic perspective. Essentially, overlooking this critical component would be like settling with little to no clarity (ie garage quality) or with overproduced and inorganic renditions (ie. clicky bass drums a la Decapitated/Dimmu Borgir) which are aesthetically incompatible with the thematic aura of the song at hand.

I've come across many bands which serve as headbanging fodder in a live setting, if only because venues and sound crew are unable to (or don't care enough) allow the guitar to come to the forefront so that a band can showcase their riffs. This is besides the fact that most metal, especially in a local setting, doesn't operate with "riffs" in mind, but rather derivative power chord forms shifting aimlessly in the low end registers. However, it is once again inevitable to notice that the difference between good and bad gear is like night and day. In this light, I think it makes sense to unload a relatively impressive sum of money as an investment in one's sonic and thematic end.

I am a guitarist mainly and so am thinking in terms of guitars, pickups, amps (head/cab) and possibly pedals.

Amps I have found to be adequate for achieving a chunky sound:

Marshall JCM Heads. JCM800/900 are considered some of the best and most sought after tube amps. However, the DSL 50/100 is a great tube amp which has your essential 2 channels and a great classic distortion that is sure to please anyone vying for solid, clear and consistent black metal tone. Alternatively, the tone is great for any other tones for other genres. The downside is that this can run a 1000+ dollar gorge into your pockets. This is what I currently own at the moment and I'm happy with its sound.
Mesa Dual Rectifier Heads (or Mesa Heads in general really). Very beefy and handles low end incredibly well. Ideal for high gain, high output material. Ie. ideal for metal. Downside is that they can run 2k++

Mesa Cabs likewise are able to handle the chunky low end that arises from a need of "fullness" from one's tone. Downside is once again another k dropped into your rig.

Now, I think that guitars simply come as preference and a matter of comfort, but Ibanez RG's have long been the choice of badarsery. I have myself a fairly low end Iby 7-string RG that works wonders. The stock pickups work well. I also have a 6-string RG Prestige into which I dumped considerable money into. Here's a tip: if you're consistently changing tunings and don't like to play the whammy like you're Kerry King, Floyd Rose is a useless system. However, the RG Prestige line is really well-made and utilized a very thin neck that's conducive to the healthy development of chop-intensive metal playing. Speed and conciseness in one package.

Jazz III picks. All day.

DiMarzio house a wide array of great tonally varied sounds. I tried their X2N, the most high output pickup and it's ridiculously trebly and intense, perhaps great for black metal. Otherwise their tone zone and paf pro give excellent clarity.

At the end of the day though, the head/cab seem most important. Invest in a decent tube head and a cab and you're set. Thoughts? Other's preferences? Cheap alternatives?

Interzone / A summation of the effects of modernity
« on: January 23, 2011, 09:45:42 PM »
If this is has been covered by Conservationist or someone else thoroughly (let alone the main site), then please feel free to direct me there.

However, I am more interested in the ability to communicate the dangers of modernity to those who claim that modernity is a godsend of possibility and freedom. Intuitively, it's as if knowing this imminent danger is approaching is second nature. However, when it comes to articulating concisely and with evidence, it poses some trouble. You then have to express in other people's terms because they jump at you for using "big words", and you lose them there. So you have to sympathize and connect on their level.

First off, I'm wondering if the members here actively engage everyone they meet or do they gauge worthy adversaries and then attempt to confront them under the fair assumption that there's a good possibility of intelligent discussion? In any case, I may be off the mark, but what feels like is needed is to essentially engage everyone to confront themselves and experience a reality check. The difficulty (for me at least) is not coming off as a pompous jerk/total idiot.So basically, what would be a good general summation of modernity's effects as well as adequate evidence for these effects, all presented in such a way that even aspies could understand? The idea arose because directing everyone to ANUS is a surefire way to get people to think you're a pompous blowhard, but on the other hand it might be possible to compose a sort of concise pamphlet to bring people on the same page. My (very basic) thoughts (mostly taken from the main article of the site):

*Ecocide/Overpopulation. I recall a Bartlett video series about the exponential function which serves as an effective summation of the realities of environmental destruction. The only qualm I have regarding this is that while the fact that the US had a significant figure of births/1000, it has gone down since. Can anyone confirm that in terms of overpopulation, the US isn't a big contributor? I would expect China and India to be significant contributors as well as the continent of Africa.
*Diversity. Homogeneity leading to a loss of unique characteristics. People like to argue that multiculturalism helps us understand and tolerate other cultures, which in turn helps breed unity and understanding. However, while I find myself in agreement with diversity being a negative here, how would one go about concisely identifying where diversity goes wrong?
*LCD/Utilitarianism/Boredom. LCD panders to the simple-minded and aims to appease their sensibilities, stops exploring beauty since it's no longer "necessary" and vague, and then sends us into a monotonous stupor till our death. I like to bring up "scenes" (ie. hipsters, club-goers, emos, ravers, indie kids, metalheads, etc.) in an attempt to illustrate the concept of LCD. However, I'm often met with an "argument" that looks something like this: "Why does that bother you? People are free to do what they want. It doesn't affect you". The problem being that LCD thinking, utilitarianism and a boring world does affect us all. The difficulty here is once again expressing beyond intuition to show that these are dangers, rather than just something irritable and to be ignored.
*Selfishness. People love to say things like "I do what I want. Fuck off". People exist to achieve "happiness". The problem being that their idea of happiness is both vague and self-obsessed and can't possibly harbor productive qualities in a civilization. Again, the problem here for me is expressing what it so dangerous about everyone living in their own bubble and united under no common ideals, but rather a consumerist fever that encapsulates the whole of their existence.
*Neurosis/Self-image: People either think doing "moral good" is something like giving a few pennies to the homeless/Africa/struggling hipster artists in need of a bursary or they throw out the concept entirely because they're disillusioned by this and understand that it's a band-aid solution and so decry the concept of the necessity of a "moral good" uniting a civilization together to achieve something. This otherwise positive morality of "selfless" contribution to society at the behest of one's immediate pleasures is taken as crowd mentality because these people have given up on real progress. How do you convince others we must unite under ideals? And what ideals are these?
*Depression. People like to say "all those depressed and lonely people aren't my concern.". They look down on anyone who appears to be of lower status/achievement than them and conclude that they shouldn't concern themselves with others who want to waste their lives. Instead they focus on their own lives. How do you show others that ignorance of the effects of modernity isn't a useful mode of thought?

Essentially, in case you missed my questions, I am basically seeking clarity on how to approach the above problems via concision and adequate evidence so that everyone understands. I understand that some people will fight tooth and nail to deny reality, but surely there is a way to connect with them on some level. Furthermore, I was wondering how and to what extent do the members engage others? Obviously, ANUS wants to spread the philosophy and propagate attitudes and behaviors that are beneficial. I am interested in your thoughts on how to most effectively achieve this end.

Metal / Changes in the DLA
« on: October 09, 2010, 12:24:23 PM »
I was just recently browsing the DLA reviews and noticed that the page for Utumno isn't there at all. I personally thought that the Across the Horizon EP was a breath of fresh air for Swedish Death Metal and a great example of how melody can be incorporated without sacrificing aggression.

Then I noticed that all reviews for Septic Flesh other than Ophidian Wheel are gone and if I remember correctly, there was a rather ripe review for Mystic Places of Dawn.

I'm not sure if there are any other notable changes, but it did seem odd to me as I hardly think those would be releases that would be cut without any sort of discussion or warning. Yet material like Baphomet and early Katatonia still seems to have a place on the archives and so this doesn't seem to me a systematic purge, but rather some sort of arbitrary deletion. Perhaps by mistake. Perhaps not.

Interzone / The other sex
« on: September 11, 2010, 07:18:21 PM »
Having not so much experience myself, I ask the users here to share their ideas on relations with the other sex. I noticed the "Is chivalry dead?" thread and had a few thoughts of my own in addition.

First of all, as a student going into my second year of university, I feel terribly uncomfortable with all of the underlying liberal bullshit that permeates the curriculum. And as a confused student, I decided that it might be, well.. interesting, if not simply amusing, to take a woman's course (ie. feminism 101). Why I decided that was a good idea, I'm still not sure. Part of it was perhaps thinking of all the women I could potentially meet who would be gullible and easily led to believe that I was so liberal and open to equality like they were. Of course, I knew that was a load of crap. But I was bored and needed an elective course, so I figured the worse that would happen was that I'd get an easy grade if I just pandered to what the professor wanted the class to believe.

In short, it was full of crap. First we discussed a Henrik Ibsen play where a desperate women escapes her oppressive, abusive husband and takes her children alongside in order to pursue an education she has longed for. Issues discussed were the roles and treatment of women in society in the 19th century as well as the ethical justification in taking the children away from their father. The ideas focused on were basically that women did not have many choices at the time and were forced to live a life of servitude and lost dreams where they'd always come second to the man, constantly living in their domestic sphere while the man would encompass the whole breadth of the social, political and financial spheres of existence. While it was certainly acknowledged that women enabled themselves to continue to put up with this treatment, it was also said that they did have a choice of integrity that would involve fighting for their rights that most of the time they did not choose.

As the class progressed, the increasing amount of opportunities for women to come out of their traditional roles and fight for their rights was constantly reinforced. However, throughout the apparently 'level-headed' debate, I still got the idea that modern woman lives in the constant shadow of their 'superior' or 'ruling' sex. That although so many opportunities are becoming available, women still live with the ramifications of political and social norms enabled by men in powerful postiions that live on in written word and in our collective social psyche to this day. Also mentioned were the sorts of opportunities women were starting to take on in various fields that were traditionally male dominated. You know the story - women becoming more like men.

My question is (having done some research and obviously observing the world from my own experiences), does this conclusion that women are "oppressed" hold up to the facts? From what I know, opportunities are skewed towards the advantage of men. Women do earn less for the same work (which if I remember correctly applies not to your standard unskilled labor).

As well, is it a big problem that we're pushing all this equality crap on women in specific? Because if we accept the fact that they're not equal, then one question is how/why do we reinforce that they are? Also whether this is a productive way for society to function? Is it more effective that women earn less? Are they stubborn to want more all the time? Are they collectively using a liberal agenda in the midst of an age open to liberal propaganda in order to wedge their way into a nonexistent plane of equality, unity and tolerance?  Is it a problem that women feel 'liberated' by their attempts to break out of their traditional roles? Are they abusing their biologically/psychologically predetermined potential to live their gender roles and is this in turn confusing people? Just how rigid are these roles? Is it necessarily a terrible thing if a woman makes more money than the man? etc.

Another thing altogether is courting women. My specific question regarding that is do most of you just pander to the whims of these gullible, vacuous women or do you have a quality check where you entirely avoid those women and instead choose either the solicitude of isolation from the opposite sex or only a woman who doesn't make for an underwhelming intellectual discussion?

Moreso, a general question: are men more intellectually equipped on average than women? Perhaps that's obvious, but I have a debate with myself all the time and find I don't have the real fruits of evidence to back up my own claims and end up reasoning that men have their own brand of intelligence while women have their own. Perhaps it's more a relationship between reason and emotion. Is it reasonable to assume that women are endowed with more of column b? Or that this directly means they are less intelligent?

Perhaps those are useless questions and perhaps it's not clear, but I'm more interested in the social implications of the answers of those questions. How do you treat women, how does it differ to how most people do it, and how/why should others change their behaviours/thoughts regarding this?

I know what some of you are thinking: this is hipster metal with no substance. And I have read some things about this band from members here that verify that sentiment. However, I was surprised to see some less than hostile remarks towards their music. As a matter of interest, their first EP is actually linked from the Audiofile part of the forum and their early material/obZen is occasionally given a thumbs up. I am curious to see if anybody else thinks that they're more than a gimmick as the title suggests?

Personally, I was turned off by their music at a time when I was still uninitiated in the extreme and thus by nature it seemed as if it were only noise. After I gained an ear for it and could not only stomach, but appreciate the nuances of what extreme metal had to offer, I naturally gained the ability to retain an attention span when it came to just about any type of music I came into contact with. After I heard Meshuggah on some occasion a few years ago, I started to appreciate the simplest thing about their music: it was just downright heavy/badass. And it was so because of its ability to play around with repetitive grooves and syncopate these grooves around the core 4/4 hi-hat rhythm set out by Haake's cymbals. With that framework to work around, I started to appreciate the subtleties and idiosyncracies of not only each album, but each song and how it ultimately seemed to progress. Like many people agree, they create a very empty aura, entirely devoid of human emotion, turning their craft into something that feels like the work of some spastic, yet well-oiled machine droning on without complaint in what could be described only as a mindless task. With that imagery in mind, it's not hard to see how its charm is in the depersonalization and in turn of its reduction of the importance of the individual. It reminds us of how mindless and empty and machine-like we are. You could even say that it transcends the leftist utopia that many want to feel good about striving for and places us as nonexistent observers of a dystopic universe devoid of our human flaws. It does so by mesmerizing us with its ambience and sheer impact coupled with the rhythmic use of melody that is employed in the right occasions. And then just when you've felt like an epiphany is about to be had, you're placed right back into the midst of the same droning repetition you initially started off with. Yet, somehow you feel that while you may have wasted another day or week or year, that intuitively you've been gifted with some knowledge that's able to allow you to overcome the stale stupor of your everyday existence.

On the other hand, a lot of other people seem to disregard the band for varying reasons:
-It's too technical and pretentious
-It's all predictable and too similar
-There's nothing really going on

Yet, that seems to me their strength, just misconstrued as weaknesses. They're a band who are at heart very simple, but choose one very limited area to expand in complexity. In doing so, it feels to me like they've absolutely acknowledged that they're simple and not hiding the fact. Instead, this amplified focus on one already imperative element in popular music is brought to the forefront. It basically inverts the colors of the musical canvas from something vivid to something that seems drab and grey and empty, and in that emptiness you can see where there should be a vivid instead of lackluster color. In the predictability and repetition, you're forced to forget about what you naturally would find interesting. Stripped down to its most basic elements and allowing the rhythm to almost solely drive the music forward, the small amount of variation and the relatively long time it takes for it to 'progress' is something that I find one learns to appreciate.

Anyways, perhaps someone could just read this all and say "well, that's a load of crap that you're using to mask the fact that there's no substance and rationalizing the fact that there isn't anything there as a positive thing". And that's a perfectly valid thought. It's also perfectly valid to think that Meshuggah could do something more. But still, there's something so ultimately satisfying in anticipating their brand of breakdowns. For instance, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2stcnTvHlY in the moments leading up to 3:36. Peace and then the sounds of loud machinery, then back to peace. Further on the moments leading up to 4:57. I find that if I let my mind drift like I do with Skepticism, I can space out and just be at general peace with the mechanics of the world.

Just my take on it, anyone happen to agree on anything?

Interzone / The state of being on the fence
« on: May 07, 2010, 12:50:29 PM »
It's this strange purgatory really, and on the other hand an assault on the very ideas that have shaped my existence up until this point. A purgatory because I am utterly confused about how to lead a life of virtue and ascertain a certain "higher" level of existence, bound by the apathy that results from excessive and cyclical questioning of one's own purpose on this earth. And an assault because I am well aware that cognitive dissonance is rearing its much needed head into my fruitless existence and making me feel like a moron for not doing anything of use.

Now, I don't say this as a fatalist, but rather as somebody who has on one hand questioned the world around him, been disgusted with its sorry state for years, but on the whole become accustomed to fatalist attitudes. It's hypocritical to put it frankly, that I don't act on some of the beliefs and that in and of itself may make me just as bad as some of the people I have criticized, but on the other hand I wish to work out a healthy, productive regimen for myself. It's what feels like the college student's equivalent of mid-life crisis. Student-crisis, I suppose you could call it. Or youth-crisis. Whichever.

The picture I am trying to paint is one of an individual who has had ANUS and its respective philosophies and mannerisms on the horizon, but initially as nothing more than the incoherent, pseudo-pretentious ramblings of an elaborate internet troll, intent on luring as many pseudo-pretentious individuals who would "fall prey" and ultimately fight for a cause that's not there. I will save the life story and just say that my introduction to metal started after a chance encounter with an unlikely friend who exposed me to Master of Puppets and from there, my curiosity grew to the reaches of internet metal communities, where I would eventually come to "understand" metal and the philosophies behind subjectivity, taste, etc. I had many bouts of dissonance as my ideas of what music was supposed to be like were challenged. But at the end of each one, I still believed the "different strokes for different folks" mentality. It seemed virtuous, liberal and honorable among other amiable qualities and values. But, as ANUS was becoming a recurrent theme of discussion on my internet community of choice, I naturally couldn't help but try to understand it. After all, when somebody says something so many times, you're bound to start believing in its viability as a valid outlook.

And so, skip forwards to now where that individual has spent many nights reading the articles, lurking the boards, etc. It's already been many months that I have began to understand the objectivity of art and of the many ideas that surround this controversial site. I suppose I could simply ask towards navigation. I don't take pride in not being as resourceful as I might be, but I found the site very overwhelming. There are so many ideas spread around here that it ultimately becomes a chore to go through. So I was hoping that somebody with a penchant for helping a brother out could set me straight on where to start and where to go from there. As well, some of the questions looming over my head remain unanswered and keep me glued to this senseless, apathetic state:

-How does one become more adept at understanding the inconsistencies around himself? I say this in light of the fact that had I not read ANUS material, my mindset would be unchanged to this day. But now that I read about the ways in which crowds and governments are in place to manipulate the individual, it dawns on me that I still don't understand this in depth. I'm inclined to believe that we're sheep, but when I desire to try to convey the validity of some of these topics to others, I find myself unable to give the whole picture, which in itself renders me unable to express what now seems obvious in a sense. And it becomes a nuisance that I can't explain something that I seem to believe in and understand. I wish I could explain this point better without coming off as entirely clueless, but this is the situation.

-The next points stem from the previous in that it deals with how do I do my part? First of all, is the understanding of the previously mentioned concepts, yes. But more in specific is understanding the practical methods in which I could apply that knowledge. I noticed a thread by Conservationist about the ethical approach to life and it got to thinking about how I carry myself as an individual. As well, how do I treat others? I remember a thread somewhere here that consisted of a member talking down to an American Idol fan who didn't "understand" Beethoven, and thus was treated with contempt. However, some of the other users had a consensus in which a medium between contempt and helpfulness was established, but not concrete to me. In that, my question of how do I treat others still stands. I find that many students I meet my own age have little motivation or aspiration to truly learn and understand their world. Like most, they are content with their unchallenged lives, their sole existence watching Lost religiously, binge drinking and getting stoned to escape the dull state of existence. I am personally not the most enthusiastic and outgoing myself, but perhaps I could "convert" others to a more positive approach. On the other hand there is the question of "do I 'convert' others?" or do I simply try to pander to their shallow sensibilities? Then there is the question of, what's morally or ethically right? Are morals and ethics so absolute or will whatever means I approach others with not matter? I am leaning towards it seriously mattering, just it being a question of committal: do I challenge the beliefs of those who are so content in the world they want to believe exists? The entirely subjective, trivial world of inconsequential and symbolic interactions with the faceless corporations and institutions in our society?

I apologize for the rambling, but I'm afraid it's the best I could come up with in my confused state. In fact, I feel like I may have come off as possibly more hypocritical than I established myself as in that I claim to side with much of what ANUS says, but being utterly unable to explain and thus consider myself as an advocate of the ideas here. In a sense, I feel like I haven't fully transcended and gone above my sheepish state of old and still remain a puppet of the crowd. It's as if the strings which control me are invisible, but my perception of there  being some force at the forefront of my consciousness, and my physical body remaining in compliance with the strings and oblivious to the true state of the puppet master that wields them.