Thursday, 25 December 2008

Holiday - Holy Day

Christmas time again, Christmas Day today. I keep hearing a number of things about this whole affair, some positive, some negative, some indifferent but to tell the truth, I am not sure how many grasp the main point or even know the background.

To begin with, a large number of pre-Christian holy days and festivals were held around the 25th of December, usually some days earlier, on the 21st or 22nd, when it's the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. A non-exhaustive list includes the Saturnalia (Roman - when slaves were served by their masters for a day), Yuletide (Druidic - when the old Sun died in order for the cycle to begin anew), Mithraic Celebration of Sol Invictus (actually on the 25th, a bull was sacrificed in order for the young Sun god to be born), Shabe-Yalda (Iran - when people gather at home around a korsee (a low square table) all night, to tell stories and read poetry. They eat watermelons, pomegranates and a special dried fruit/nut mix. Their are tons of festivals to be found around the world from Brazil, to Native American Tribes, to India and so on and so forth (you can read more here).

The oldest surviving evidence of Christmas Day as a proper holiday (and celebration of the Birth of Christ), dates back to 336 A.D., in Rome, mentioned in 354 A.D.'s Philocalian Calendar (see here, page 20). Of course, it has been argued and debated ad nauseeum, that the historical figure of Jesus Christ was not in fact born in December, but somewhere closer to April and of course, he was not born in the year "0" but following that numbering, probably around 3-4 A.D. That much is probably true, especially the falsity of the 25th of December, given that, originally, this holiday was created as a "festivity merger" and later on, during the Church's "hostile takeover" of the older religions, as a counterbalance to one of the most important pagan holy days.

Given what I write, one might think that I am making a case against Christianity. Not at all. In fact, I DO believe in the one God and call myself a Christian. That said, it doesn't mean that I agree with the trappings of organized religion such as it is today or such as it was in Byzantium, after Emperor Constantine forced the Synod to create "one proper faith", to unite his people. Faith and religion are two very different and nigh on unrelated things. Hence, I dub myself an Unorthodox Christian (for, surely, most priests would have excommunicated me). Don't even get me started on respecting other religions and believing that, in fact, Science and Faith don't have much to argue about, at their core, because some would be inclined to exorcise me or treat me to a round of psychotherapy sessions.

Besides, I digress: our subject is Christmas and all the other related holidays. As you have seen, there are quite a few queries and more than a few ambiguities on the whole subject matter. However, in almost all the aforementioned celebrations, there are three common axes: hope, kindness towards and fraternity between people, as well as between people and our small blue world, be they Zoroastrian, Wiccan, Druid, or indeed Christian. These things are the only ones to keep at heart, for everything else - and I DO mean EVERYTHING - in the end is ashes and dust and our differences, quarrels, territories and wars, merely smoke and mirrors.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday to you all,


Friday, 19 December 2008

Vive La Revolution, Vive La Terreur!

Let me put this plainly, without much flourish: things are getting worse, MUCH worse by the day, with both sides (that of the government and that of anyone and anyone taking part in acts of vandalism, arson and hooliganism in general. Mindless people are talking about the "Revolution of Youth", while in fact we are living through days of Terror in its purest form. I bet most people do not know the two are connected. Let me enlighten you, before moving on to the actual facts...

On July 14th, 1789, the people of Paris invaded Bastille, having reached the breaking point with feudalism and the rich getting richer, while the poor simply died in the streets. On August 27th of the same year, the National Assembly issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man. On October 5th, Parisian women stormed Versailles, the royal family estate and palace. On September of 1792, the National Convention had their first meeting and up to this point, there's every reason imaginable and totally valid for the French people to have brought down their governing system and opted for the power of Democracy, under the motto: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity". That, in fact, was a revolution, perhaps the greatest in history, in terms of how it affected the country and in time, all of Europe.

Now, what followed was Louis XVI being sentenced to the guillotine, on January 21st 1793 which still, was "reasonable", given that France was in that mess because of him and the royalists. However, what was beyond all reason, was the infamous "Reign of Terror", which held from September 1793 to July 27, 1794, under Robespierre, who consigned between 20000 and 40000 people to death by guillotine. It was also that period which coined the term "Terrorism". Let us draw a parallel here: I would say, in all fairness, that Athens (and Greece in general), is living through days of terror, especially for the folk working downtown. As further evidence to that, an "anti-government" group attacked the French Institute today, at the corner of Sina and Didotou Sts., mainly defacing the outside wall and only causing some damage to the windows and a nearby ATM, because they were chased away. I would very much like to know what the French Institute had to do with ANYTHING in this sordid case, besides being an easy target for vandals and inconsiderate hooligans (thankfully, no students were inside at the time).

People are saying that Alexander's death was only the spark that struck the fuse of tons of proverbial "gunpowder", due to the government being inconsiderate, passing unacceptable laws and being involved in all sorts of scandals. They say that youths are desperate and looking for a way to vent their desperation and make themselves heard. I could agree, up to a point and if we make a parallel of the youths to the French people of the Revolution and the government to royalists of the same period, it all seems like another necessary outcry from a suppressed populace. However, the people burning Athens, burning Greece, even attacking foreign institutions and thus making any foreign feeling of sympathy obsolete, are rapidly becoming akin to those who started as revolutionaries and ended being terror, even unto their own. The question is, who is the "Robespierre" behind this nigh uncleanable mess.

On another note, there's a very obscure angle to these developments: on Wednesday, the 17th of December, George Palpomatas, son of the Greek Communist Party's and Teaching Association's syndicalist, Constantine Paplomatas, received a .38 caliber (the "Saturday Night Special" of fame - a nickname ridiculously translated in Greek, over the radio) shot in his wrist, while he was discussing with his classmates of the Student Council, at the 2nd Peristeri High School. Thankfully, surgery was successful without further complications, except one: he had his hand in his pocket. Now the pocket is usually thigh-high, meaning that if his wrist had not stopped the bullet , it would have likely hit his femoral artery, among the biggest blood vessels in the human body, usually resulting in fatality, depending on the height of the wound on the thigh (for more information on such wounds, read here). Thankfully, that was not the case.

The event was again fraught with misdirection, discussing the possibility of an air gun (with a projectile of 20mm, right), ricochet or whatnot. In fact, the bullet is very old, the type which still used unjacketed lead and could be around 30 years old. What this means exactly, in relation to everything else, remains to be seen. One thing is for certain: two shots were fired and again, a kid was injured.

As for the special guard, he has started claiming he is delusional, sees demons and generally tries to use a "psychological" fanfare to avoid incarceration. The ballistics testing claims that there's traces of silica dioxide on the bullet, stuff found only in concrete and glass, therefore the bullet that hit Alexander MUST have ricocheted. Again, we must wait and see what this means for the whole case and given circumstances, if, in fact, it is true.

Meanwhile, THIS is how we look to the outside world.

The fires keep burning,


Friday, 12 December 2008

Shameless As Always

Yup, that's what we are people, shameless. Well, to be fair, there is at least one known person who is shameless to the point it would be laughable, were it not so disgusting and many, unknown (to me) people, who are shameless hypocrites. The sad thing is: a large number of them are "concerned and emotional teenagers". Let us recap though.

The well-known shameless person (and the butt of many jokes, thanks in no small way to his being ridiculous), is Alexis Kougias, the attorney who is defending the two police officers. In a statement on TV he said "police ballistics testing shows that the bullet was deformed on one side, therefore it must have ricocheted off something before hitting the boy. It was obviously one of the two warning shots that killed him." There's more but again, let us look at some facts: the police report has not been released to the public, or even officially for the court, so... why does he feel safe enough to say something like that on television? Again, as in the last post, I ask: where is the video, which SHOWS the officer take aim? Where are the witnesses who say so as well? These are not rhetorical questions, because you and I and everyone involved KNOWS that both video and witnesses exist. So, where are they and why is that sleazy lawyer free to make such statements (usually an indication that things will go his way, since he is also a sniveling coward who always covers his ass)?

Now, all this falls into the realm of speculation and is "to be continued". What he said next, however, is plainly infuriating and I believe that if some people out there REALLY need to break something, they should take a shot at his head. Thing is, this is not hearsay: I saw it on the freaking news! "Whether this boy had to be killed or not, will be decided by the judicial system." Take a breather, let the blood flow away from your eyes.

All better? Well, here it is then: the big-shot, prominent and overpaid lawyer states that it is possible for justice to decide: "yes, it was all well and good for this man to kill an unarmed kid". Forget everything else and let us take this a step further: according to the Laws and Customs of War on Land (it's kinda long but very enlightening on MANY THINGS), established at the International Court in Hague, even during wartime, armed forces are prohibited from killing civilians as such. Are we at war? No, not even close, thank God and yet: an officer killed an unarmed 15-year-old kid, as civilian as it gets. Now explain to me, under what preposterous circumstances could justice rule that as a "necessity"?

Moving on now, to the unknown multitude of shameless hypocrites, joined by a faction of idiots. School "psychologists" (yes, I have known quite a few - socially, not as their patient - and no, they are NOT eligible for that title) were heard saying about the whole riot/burning/chaos thing: "the children are shocked, so we must let them blow some steam off". If we are talking specifically about his classmates and friends, I could plausibly understand that. Only, these "psychologists" had absolutely nothing to do with Alexander's school. For an encore, students in several schools (where the "psychologists" worked) argued that they should not have midterm exams because "they are very shocked by all this". Again, should these kids be in any way related or acquainted to Alexander, I can understand. If not, they are just trying to take an idiotic advantage of a host of tragic events and a faction of idiots' "expert opinion". This is how much they actually care: a teenage kid died and all they can think of is how use his death to avoid their midterm exams. Amazing...

I will not go as far as saying that some of these selfsame kids are among the vandals and hooligans burning Athens, but they DO have one thing in common: all this is just an excuse to them. Thankfully, even the weather is sick and tired of everything, so it started raining furiously. Any punk who is out for some burning fun, will have to reschedule.


Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The Burning Times

The Burning Times, else known as the era of the Witch Hunt, is the historical time between 1550 and 1675, when the Church and Inquisition burned somewhere around 150000 - 200000 "witches". Worldwide paranoia had gripped almost every corner of the Earth, in an effort to cleanse the evil "responsible" for every possible mishap, from failed crops to the neighbor's dog dying. In many cases, the paranoia was used to further many people's and/or organizations' personal goals and ambition.

I don't know about you, but it certainly rings a bell to me. Oh, yes: a 15-year-old boy was shot by a policeman and a surprising number of people do not actually care about the fact itself, but focus on using it as some kind of leverage or generally, a means to be exploited. Some recent examples:

(1) Journalist A, says over the radio: "...the officer in question, a father of two...". We don't care if he is a father or not and this is a token phrase used to evoke public sympathy. For what reason? Besides even the reason, that is not journalism: journalism is the cold, hard facts, given in a way that they represent the truth and not used to alter their essence.

(2) Journalist B says over the radio: "...the brave young lad, killed by...". We've been through this: yes, a boy was killed, yes by a police officer, yes it's horrible and tragic and in my opinion there's nothing that would plausibly exonerate the guilty party. However, where exactly does the "brave" part come in? Did the journalist know the boy? Does he have any indication of the boy's bravery in the face of the policemen? Does he have any clues he should share with the public? NO, he just tries to evoke public sympathy and while I can understand it in the case of the victim, still, not journalism.

(3) Journalist C says over the radio and Journalist D says on TV: "...the boy, executed by the police...". Whoa there! Hold your horses! Do these people even know what execution actually is or what it implies? In one case, a direct order by the government to kill that specific kid OR, a direct order from some unknown authority (legal or not), to kill the kid. Think about it and think what that actually means, both in the case it could be true and more probably, in the case where it is not true but a "journalistic" hyperbole.

(4) Greece's "Burning Times" so far, have a toll of 1000 waste-bins, several businesses and buildings, an unknown number of stolen merchandise, as well as cars, public property, etc. etc. and will still have economical, societal and exterior political repercussions. Do the people, currently destroying Athens, act in such a way in the memory of Alex Gregoropoulos? No, they were looking for an excuse; they are ALWAYS looking for an excuse. They are exactly the same as those oh-so-brave punks who viciously beat up a photographer doing a piece on the nightly face of Athens, believing he was working for the police; without a gun. Now, in fact, a policeman has shot someone dead. Are they outside said police station trying to beat the cops up? No, they are instead breaking, entering and stealing from shops all over Stournari St., Ermou St., Kolonaki, in Salonika, in Giannena, in Komotini, all over this poor, pathetic country we call home.

(5) What about politicians? Sure, the average person, with an average IQ rating above a turnip's knows the government (Nea Dimocratia - right wing) is trying to pick up the pieces and cover its ass. For instance, they made the day of the boy's killing, a holiday in his honor (well, in fact it's tomorrow and not the day itself but you get the point). Right, as if that would console his parents - bollocks! As for the opposing parties (PASOK - socialist, KKE, Syrriza - leftist), they are using all this situation to garner favor to the detriment of the government and accuse each other. Mr. George Papandreou holers useless speeches as always, against "the evil of the right wing" (because his beliefs are so leftist, right - pun intended), Mr. Alavanos wants elections and calls "the fighting, vibrant youth to say a loud 'NO' to today's government, by peaceful protest and vote", Ms. Papariga accuses Syrriza of being in league with the hooligans, Mr. Alavanos says that KKE and Ms. Papariga shamelessly try to undermine his party, Alexis Tsipras (note, Syrriza's current head) has not shown his motorcycle-riding mug and all around, people are doing their best to garner impressions.

(6) As for the police, hah, around half an hour ago, a motorcycle Team Z member shot his gun several times in the air, to "scare off protesters", in a densely populated neigboorhood, with people watching the streets from their balconies. Thankfully, no one was hurt - this time.

(7) Meanwhile, every foreign agency of any sort, from here to Timbuktu, advises that people avoid Greece for a while and paint us as we show: as incompetent savages.

By the by: two of my close friends were acquainted with the boy - it's a very small world, countries are even smaller, ours miniscule by comparison and we satisfy ourselves with burning it, either for estate gain or pure hormone/stress/frustration release. I say: get laid more and stop burning stuff. Your dicks won't get any bigger.


P.S. Oh, by the way, some people thought it was a very good and revolutionary idea to blow up a bank's (Citibank) ATM, 2 blocks away from my house. I am SURE it was all done in the name of the kid's death - nowhere near where all this is actually taking place.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

For Queen and Country (Except, We Have No Queen)...

It is a fact that I love many countries around the world, in some of which I should like to live and others where I should like to spend a great deal of time. However, I have often stated, following these musings, that Greece is the only place I will ever truly feel at home. However, events such as transpired tonight, are valid reasons why I would maybe abandon this place once and for all... someday.

Tonight, at 20:50, a 15 (or, according to some reports, 16)-year-old boy was shot to death in Exarchia District, at the corner of Koletti and Mesologgiou St., by an armed Special Unit Officer, triggering massive riots in downtown Athens, Salonika, Komotini, Ioannina and Herakleion (Crete). According to the police report and official statement, the shooting was a result of the two officers, passing through the neighborhood in a police car, being assaulted by a group of thirty anarchist/leftist young men. One officer responded with a flash (again, according to others, smoke) grenade and the other delivered three shots, resulting in the killing of the boy. "They have been suspended, along with the Chief of Exarcheia Police Dpt. and are facing inquiry as we speak, with the presence of the D.A.'s office". We'll just have to wait and see what will come out of it (if anything). Interior Minister and administratively liable, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, delivered his resignation to the Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis, a resignation which was not accepted.

The actual news of the killing reached me while in a friend's house at Pagrati and when I finally took the road home in a cab, around 05:30, downtown was closed off, the streets were near empty and no public transportation could be seen anywhere. Earlier that night, a friend invited at the same house was late because of a pickpocket, caught red-handed by his would-be victim, having to wait for the Metro officers to take him away.

This second incident mentioned here, is of course insignificant by comparison to the killing, which, beyond riots by protesters and wanton violence (car and store arson at Sygrou Ave. and in and around Exarcheia mainly) by people who do not really care anything about the actual events, will have enormous repercussions, as the already disliked government will have to face the consequences of the police's actions and neighborhoods infested with violent and criminal elements professing to be "anarchists" (for some of them, believe me, I know first-hand that it's just a feeble excuse) will become even more dangerous and wanton destruction more common.

Events have been covered all over the Greek blogosphere and newspaper sites, as well as BBC, where you can see a video segment of the now ongoing events.

"For Queen and Country", "To Serve and Protect", "A License to Kill". think I see a pattern there. Don't you?

Saturday Bloody Saturday and Now It's Dawning Sunday


Friday, 5 December 2008

Literary Section XI

2 Fools and 300 Sins
Act I: Carnival of Fools
Part I: Invitation...

September 6th, 2028, 18:30

Blast this verdammt weather! I had hoped that the summertime would hold a little longer but it's just my luck: the humidity just had to go up, two days before the opening and the old wound has been acting up like a real bitch. Ah, to hell with it, I will just pop two of the pills that Lisa ever so kindly (and illegaly) provided me with, grind my teeth and bear it. To be honest, I could very well use the weather as an excuse not to show up; maybe it's even for the best. There was good reason I vanished the first time around and even better reasons for my remaining out of anyone's touch. What the Hell was she thinking--...

Still, I gotta hand it to the ol' girl, first for finding me and second for being persistent enough for me to give her a "yah, I'll come by". I used to take pride in my not being surprised, barring exceptional circumstances and she just had to go and become an extraordinary circumstance. I don't much care for the occult but if there was one time I felt a cold, ghostly hand grab me by the balls, it was when she called. Another was when... Well, not getting into that, I'll veer off subject. Twas two weeks ago and I was loitering around the office, not doing much of anything: it was another day I was feeling too old to go after any small or big-time scandal, be it straight, gay, trans, politician, unfaithful blue-collar or whatever. Anna May was gone early (this whole month's been full of dance rehearsals for the play - must make a note not to miss the premiere) and it was the first day that humidity started setting in. I was in pain, therefore miserable and foul and had disconnected the phone as a result, complementing my misery with the company of a bottle of liquor from the old country. Bless my forefathers for being the most determined drunkards in the Mediterranean.

After it became clear that old case-files and long-since-forgotten "glories" would not help my typically unsettling sleep, I left the mess as was (except for hiding the liquor), put the phone back online and went to get my leather coat (older than me and somehow not the worse for it). After I put on my hat and got my walking cane, I was at the door. Phone rings... The vast majority of myself has been cursing me, no holds barred, for picking it up, but that old curiosity that has fucked me over more than once, demanded I did.

"Yah? D&T Investigations. Whoever you are, we are--"

"Grav?" I froze. This voice only had a mild resemblance to someone whom I had known a very long time ago, someone who had been a good afriend and to whom I had not been as good a friend as I might have. Still, it was not so much the resemblance, but more the familiar tone, almost carefree, almost as if 20 years had never gone by; as if betrayal and death had not come between friends and lovers and--. I broke off from my reverie and to my astonishment, I answered...

"Stormy...?" What the hell was the matter with me? Why did something like that come to the fore of my skull after being in the graveyard of my mind for 20 years?

"Yeah, it's me. Oh, I am so glad you recognized me!"

"Yah, sure... Um... How did you--"

"And how have you been my erudite detective?" Christ, this was rapidly turning into a Nightmare Through the Rabbit Hole. 'Erudite detective'? I had not been called that by anyone in years - well, except Anna-May and then I only react tersely to the poor girl.

"Well, I... uh.. good, good I guess. Well, as good as I can after-- You know..." Right, at 46, it is evident I am turning senile. Why did I have and bring up something that all involved would have most likely preferred forgotten?! "I'm sorry, I mean--"

"Hey, no harm done sweetie. That's all in the past now; do not hit yourself over the head about it." Was she cheerful? It sure sounded that way; tired perhaps, but cheerful. This was becoming more surreal by the second.

"So, um, how's tricks? I mean no, I wanted to ask ye how did you--"

"All that can wait until we meet up close." Here we go. Veering off into madness again.

"Look, Stormy. I appreciate the call and all but I really--"

"Please. Hear me out. I won't even try to dig into that thick skull of yours to find the myriad reasons and excuses you want to give me to avoid getting together with the past. I simply called to give you an invitation to the opening of my nightclub. Your name will be given at the entrance, I will give you a date and address and then do as you like - it's not as if anyone could convince you differently, even back then." Ouch, OK, that got my attention all right.

*sigh* "OK, I'm all ears."

"In two weeks hence, at 21:00 sharp, the '302' will open its doors to the public. It is located--"

"OK, wait a fucking second there! This is not even funny Storm. Is that why you called me? To mess with an old man? You know what? I remember, real clear, if that is what you called for - the leg wound reminds me keenly in this weather. So you can just--" I felt something black and sickening at the pit of my stomach. The '302'?!

"Grav, just for moment, shut up. To begin with, I am older than you. Secondly, it saddens me that you have indeed become a paranoid old fart! Do you remember me this cruel? I KNOW who was real cruel, as well as you do. Do you really want to go there?"

"Ah, entschuldigung Stormy. I just... Well.."

"I know what YOU are thinking for once. That's an odd feeling - YOU were the one who always knew too much. However, don't make this something it is not. I am not an Erinye, Grav and God knows you have enough of your own, even though it was not your fault. At any rate, we got into a discussion that I did not want to have over the phone after 20 years. The club is located where Villa Amalias stood. Did you write down the date and time?"

"No, uh... gimme a sec-- wait, THAT huge thing is yours?"

"You' 've seen it?"

"Well, I have seen the 'KEEP OUT' signs and some of the workers. Some of my... less aware informants used to hang out there and there was this whole upheaval about their having to relocate or face incarceration. Well, as much of an upheaval as people who are in perpetual stupor can cause."

"Well, at any rate, that's where it is. Come early, say around... 19:00. There won't be anyone there yet and we can do some catching up; if you want. Besides, I have one of the best places reserved for you, so you can see the opening. It's gonna be something!" Well, I am not really sure what kind of 'something' it's gonna be but I cannot argue there, for a number of reasons.

"Yah, I'll come by. But I won't stay too late. Leg's killing me."

"As you like. Oh, and Grav? You might see some familiar faces there - I wanna be straight with you but please, it won't matter, so do not let that keep you from coming over."

"Right. Yeah... Look, I gotta go now so..."

"I understand. I won't call again. If you come by, all will be as I told you. If you don't, well, have a good life. such as it may be".

"Right. Thanks... I think."

"Bye, sweetie." She hung up and left me there, numb, apprehensive. I guess 20 years did change her some. She was not chewing words, nor was she calling for support. She was doing me a courtesy, that was all. A courtesy I did not feel I deserved and much less, wanted to deal with. Still, if ever there was one thing that got me into trouble and I could not fight against, that was curiosity.

While, a week a go, I suddenly resolved not to go, another visit (this one an equal mix of threat and friendship) made it quite clear that I had only little choice in the matter. Still, I think it's a bloody stupid idea; but then again, most of my life has been a series of stupid ideas.

[To be Continued]


Friday, 28 November 2008

It Could Happen to You!

Ergo Proxy

Literary Section X - Prometheus Goes to Print!

By now, I believe you know pretty well that I am always working on some project or another, be it for Ordre de Ciel, journalism, blogging, photography, or whatever. What I hadn't been able to accomplish so far, was to publish a piece of original fiction outside of my blogs(s). Well, that day is finally here. Remember when I had told you there have been some interesting development with Prometheus, a character you have read about here? Well, a detective story featuring him has gone print and is now finally published. Mind you, it takes place some 30 years after the stuff you have read here and no mention is made of his Wyrd nature. But rest assured, it is him alright!

Around Winter, I was asked to write a detective story that would somehow integrate an ecological theme into it. I thought it over, turned it around in my head and at first, I came up with just two simple elements that just HAD to be part of the story: a character that had been growing inside my head for the past 8 years, Prometheus, as well as something to do with radioactive waste. It was not much but it was a start (even more so because Prometheus has an extensive "biography" I could draw upon).

By April, I had my final text and I delivered it: my "Double Substitution Crime". After a number of back-and-forths between me and the corrections editor, it finally left my hands in late June. Ever since that day, I have lived with the silent anxiety of seeing my story published in this collection by Kedros Editions, "Ecocrimes". Until yesterday, besides the people in the editions proper, only my family and two other souls knew about this project, sworn to secrecy. Now that, as of today, it is out there for the world to see, I will live with the silent anxiety that people like it. There are a number of heavy literary names in this collection and being the junior of the bunch, I must try and live up to the standards they have set.

Well, that's that then. I feel exceptionally happy and I just wanted to share it with you. Should any of you like, there will be a presentation and reading from the stories of the book on the 3rd of December (12:30), at Ianos Bookstore, in Athens, 24, Stadiou St.



Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Barack Obama: First Black President of the United States, Under the U.S.A. Constitution

It's official, Barack Obama is the new President of the U.S.A., winning 297 to 135 (if I saw correctly on CNN), thus becoming the first black President of the U.S.A. under the Constitution and not the Articles of Confederation. I do not have much to say about this whole affair just yet, seeing as it's 06:21 here in Greece but as a historical development, I thought I should at least make a token mention, to begin with. More in the coming days. Meanwhile, this is his winning speech in Chicago.

Going to bed at last,


Sunday, 2 November 2008

Literary Section IX

It's baaaaaaack!Well, after a fashion. As you might remember, the Literary Section had started with Prometheus's story, split into seven parts. After typing in the Aftermath, I had told you that you would have to wait until the sequel had been written by yours truly. Thing is, events have taken an interesting turn with Prometheus and I had to interrupt my writing the promised piece. No, I have NOT given up on it, not by a long shot. However, it seems that if nearly a year has not been enough to produce it, it's going to be a rather long process.

In the meantime, some other ideas have been popping into my head, one of which is a detective story, part noir and part science fiction, told through the pages of a journal-- But I am getting ahead of myself again. Dim the lights and put on the "Temple of Love" by Sisters of Mercy, sit comfortably into your armchair, on the floor or wherever it is that suits your fancy and start reading the mysterious, bloody and ravaging tale, of...

2 Fools and 300 Sins
Act I: Carnival of Fools
Prelude: "Simplicity"

It ran... ran through streets drowned in mud and free-flowing gutter water, as the unyielding, torrential rain drove cold needles in its muscles and plastered its long hair to its slim skull. Still it ran. Sloshing through filthy puddles that near resembled small lakes in these disrepaired streets, it ran. The coppery dye had half bled away these past few days of constant hiding, fearing and - yes - running. It was no sense of direction that led it to its destination but rather, an inevitable web of irony, lies and sins. Oh, yes, there were many sins in this terrible affair, past and present equally. As for the future, for all its self-centered existence, it knew that the prospect of a future was, at best, an optimistic view on things. Still, it ran, as most who are beyond hope and hopelessness will do.

Now, you have to understand, to the mundane eye, this was no scene of elaborate drama, no noir angle, not even cheap horror flick footage. Passerbys who bothered to spare a glance, saw a creature dressed in a peculiar assortment, of what might have once been clothes of dark fashion. However, the days of running and hiding and slumming had turned this - perhaps once - elaborate attire of pins, cute skulls, stockings and frills, into a very impractical hobo's outfit. It is really beside any logical point to discuss what had been an elaboratre hairstyle and make-up, as the only thing visible was a tangled, odd-colored mop and if one spared a second glance, tears and bruises of mascara, the lips bleeding gloss.

Judging from its general stature (somewhat augmented by what looked like utterly ridiculous boots in such a weather), its build and the - invisible in its running pose, arms wrapped around it tight - small bumps of soft flesh below its collarbone, one would call it female. In fact, purely scientifically speaking, it was a woman in her early 40s - however, as it had discovered, science and life seemed to be at odds. No, more appropriately, science had not yet accounted for the sheer, maddening weirdness of reality.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves, for it has reached a very old building, at least twice renovated and burned down again, at this particular moment in time, boarded up. The LED-sign has been long cast into darkness and the abuse, both of its history and the weather, have almost completely covered it in a shroud woven of filth and muck. Ah, but it remembers the entrance reserved to the soul-keepers of this place of yore and amazingly, almost in a stroke of ridiculously improbable luck, it yields to its desperate efforts at gaining entry.

After it closes the door to the deafening sounds of the outside world and the sadistic persistence of the rain, it collapses in a heap of aching knees and sore body. Though it knows it must not sleep, as each passsing moment may bring it closer to... Well, its view of what exactly threatens it is so distoretd and unclear, that it would insult the esteemed reader. Nevertheless, its smudged eyelids weigh more than the Earth itself and it sinks into a slumber of unforgiving dreams. However, it is so exhausted, that the dreams seem distant echoes of darkness.

Suddenly it wakes but dares not open its eyes. How long has it been and how closer have-- But in the near-silence of its own breathing, it hears nothing stir, nor drag, nor scratch. It's small comfort but better than none. Still, its eyes remain sealed with dripping make-up and dried-up tears. New tears of despair and perceived injustice wash some of the muck away form the sticky eylids and yet, it squeezes them shut, accompanied by its own moans. Another small eternity passes and it recovers some presence of mind. It has found temporary shelter but not safety - no, safety is an illusion long dispelled. However, the dead and the ghosts of memories from this place are far preferable to what might be closing in.

It remembers the general outline, though the debris has altered it some. It fumbles down short steps, to the - more or less - circular center space. The railing used to have candles; now, if this ridiculous luck holds-- some are still there, quite a few in fact. Wonderful. It sets its heavy load beside it and searches for its lighter. There it is, still working: obediently, it lights up and passes its light to three of the remaining candles. No chance of warmth but the shelter from the rain, the silence and the sudden presence of even these meager flames, gives the hunted a moment to pause and look at the geometric, stylized sign on the zippo. New tears and moans emerge, more briefly this time.

It sits down, shivering, and draws the rectangular object near it. Nothing but the case is wet. The crafty bastard had a way with such things, it thinks, as it carefully opens the case. It removes the black tome from inside and sets it on the dry ground, for fear of ruining it before reaping the secrets inside. It's simple black, with only the occasional blemish of use. A magnetic strip keeps the cardboard covers shut, a Japanese ideogram burned on the front: "Simplicity", he had said. How this thought bings it terror! However, for all its apprehension, it must know, it must witness as only he who did not forget and apparently, did not forgive, could.

The magnetic strip does not resist much, and the covers give their place to creamy-white paper, filled with small, inky handwriting. It is this moment it had longed for, since losing all hope of claiming unlawfully, what it had truly desired. This terrible moment of truth. This man's memories. It closes its eyes, takes a deep breath and starts reading:

September 6th, 2028

Blast this verdammt weather! I had hoped that the summertime would hold a little longer but it's just my luck: the humidity just had to go up, two days before the opening and the old wound has been acting up like a real bitch. Ah, to hell with it, I will just...

[To be Continued]


Sunday, 26 October 2008

The "Culture" of BIOS: Unprofessional, Uncooperative and Rude

Yes, I know you ALL really expect some pictures from the past two days, since not only is there material from Audience Killer Loop IV but also from yesterday's... Well, we'll get to that soon enough. As always, a little patience people: the first photos will be up on Monday. Until then, let us discuss yesterday's... events. Now, I am aware that most, if not all of you who were there, are very (intimately even) familiar with what happened in BIOS (Pireos 84). However, for the merit of anyone who did not get the full scoop or was absent, let me enlighten you.

As you have seen over the past few weeks, Ordre de Ciel were invited to BIOS to organize a Cosplay Party as part of the 24-Hour Comics Day, hosted by Comicworld. I believe that on the part of Comicworld, there was absolutely nothing problematic and we maintained regular contact throughout the organization leading to the event. However, the owners of BIOS, as they have done in the past with's Karaoke Party, believed it would be a good time to cause problems 2 days before the event. Ordre de Ciel were informed at the time, that the venue offered one CD-player and two vinyl disc players for Ordre de Ciel to use. Now, that was the first foul, since it had been specified, over two weeks earlier, that 2 (mark the number - it looks nothing like a 1!) CD-players and a mixing console were needed. That was ALL that was required from the very beginning and they thought it very logical to inform of their inability to provide it, only two days earlier, throwing OdC (and me along, since I would be guest DJing) into the hunt for a solution. After various failed attempts, the solution came from one of you! Chiroto kindly offered to provide a professional DJing CD-player and his own mixing console, just in case we faced problems even there.

Arriving at BIOS with Ordre de Ciel, we were witness to intense unwillingness to help with the setup. When you go to a venue and use even one piece of their own equipment, proper procedures dictate that they should take care of the setup, since not only one cannot be familiar with their wiring but there is also the matter of liability in case of property damage. We had to go and get the person responsible for the setup 3(!) consecutive times, until he deemed fit to have everything in working order. Be that as it may, Ordre de Ciel were ready to start playing by 20:05, starting with Raven, who played until 22:00 and then had to leave because she is coming down with a virus again, poor dear (hope you get better soon!).

The fact that [room302] got weird looks from the oh-so-adequately-dressed (laughs all around) people tending the bar, when he went to order some warm tea - looks which continued towards our general direction (and figure, the only cosplayers present at the time were Oremo and Nikmer, as Debitto and Allen Walker from D.Gray-man - nothing too extreme really) afterwards - was not really problematic, just plain rude. I guess their high sense of 'culture' has deprived them of any sense of good manners.

Next up was everyone's dear psycho anime geek (yes, I know you love me - talk about narcissism!), who had already decided to go for broke with that particular list, which, as you know by now, was comprised of anime themes by chronological order, starting with 1974's Getter Robo and finishing with 1999's "Butterfly" from Digimon. I will post the rest of that list on Monday, so again, a little patience: I have people to chew up yet.

After my decidedly happy-tralala set, next up was none other than [ru-mu], who planned on getting the (almost gathered by then) Ordre de Ciel crowd up and jumping, with songs (not specifically in that order) like "Zetsubou Billy", "I.V.", "What's Up People?", "One-Winged Angel", "Koi no Megalover" (a.k.a. "Smurfs With Electric Saws", affectionately), "GO" etc. etc. Predictably, you people got up and started having the wild fun you always do. At some point, the setup guy comes over and asks me what's the rest of the program and how many more of us will play. After I answered him and asked "why", he told me that they were thinking if they could change the music at some point. That smelled trouble, so I went to inform [ru-mu], who, correctly, told me that if they wanted anything, they could tell him in person.

Around the time of "One-Winged Angel", [ru-mu] called me over, evidently infuriated. He told me:

"I'm going to put on one more song and then you are up."

"But... err... It's not yet..."

"Look, I will be leaving, so if you want to take over, it's yours!"

"OK, what happened?"

"They told me that 'this music is too Heavy Metal' and the usual patrons have left." ('Too Heavy Metal' is such an intelligent remark from people who obviously know as much about music, as a stripper knows about nuclear physics).

By that time, 80-100 people, some with incredible cosplays, were present, some dancing, others ordering drinks and in general, the place was getting very lively. When we arrived, BIOS had barely 50 people, all of which were just sitting around with a lukewarm beer or a coffee.

"OK, so they have but still, the place is packed."

"Yeah, but they say that there will be trouble, the patrons will not come back after this and they want us to go to the basement to continue. I AM NOT GOING down there. If you want to go, feel free."

"Dude, look at all these people - and some wear cosplays that will suffocate them in there. There is no way I am going."

After that, the owner showed up and tried to 'reason' with [ru-mu]. Fat chance. I took out my second set and waited to see what would happen. The music stopped. The owner came up to me, all 'friendly'.

"Um, is there any chance you will play some pop?"

"What do you mean, exactly?"

"Well, what's in there?" (pointing at the case)

"You can't put a label on it. It's a Japanese compilation; it has all sorts."

"What, like the one before?!" ("One Winged Angel")

"As I said, there's all sorts inside."

"Right, OK, so we'll just have to take the party downstairs, OK?"

"Look, I cannot tell all these people, some with very stuffy costumes, to go to the basement. They will suffocate."

"No, there's ventilation. why will they suffocate?" (Anyone who has gone to the underground part of BIOS and has done serious cosplay, knows perfectly well why 100 people would suffocate down there. Besides, it was a breach of agreement. Ordre de Ciel had been invited to host a Cosplay Party in the main hall, so there was nothing to discuss).

"I am sorry but if you tell me that we absolutely have to go downstairs, I will simply leave.

"OK, so what do we do now?"

The man was either of limited mental faculties or thought his repeating that same question three times, would somehow make me change my mind, when Ordre de Ciel had already made perfectly clear that they refused to subject their people to what the owner proposed. So I left the decks and waited to be given permission to make an official statement about this turn of events. Of course, that was merely formal, since I knew that the sort of people who behave like this, would never have those they have offended make an official statement on the spot. Instead, I just waited until all our guests had left and informed any who asked about the situation.

Oh, we had plenty of fun elsewhere, but that does not mean that the owners of BIOS (and they alone, because Comicworld and 24-Hour Comics Day was not to blame) are not the most unprofessional, uncooperative and rude people Ordre de Ciel and I had to work with so far.

There will NEVER be another Ordre de Ciel event in BIOS, unless the ownership changes and some people who can respect formal agreements and individuality, buy it off. In conclusion, I advise anyone who is not playing music within the strict limits of pop or drum & bass, to not ever try and book BIOS for an event, because contrary to its elaborate title of "Cultural Venue", the owner and management could not spell "culture" if their life depended on it. Even if you do play to their particular tastes, they are still uncooperative and try their absolute least to facilitate the events they have agreed upon. BIOS is a shame to all professional venues of entertainment and all supporters of culture.

The irony is, given the cosplays and attendance, this would have been one of the most successful Cosplay Parties ever, but the owners 'cleverly' thought to insult the organizers and cut it short, leaving BIOS almost completely empty for the night (except for the 24HCD of course).

Ijyou desu,


P.S. Here is the official Ordre de Ciel Announcement on the events of last night.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

"Where the HELL Have You Been?!"

I realize this must be on the mind of anyone who has cared to come back here since last month's Hellboy post. Well, the truth is I have been caught up in stuff and have had quite a load of things to go through in my life's backlog, both professionally and personally.

On another note, I have been posting quite frequently in Otaku Lens and editing gazillions of pics, as always, so that left no time to write for other stuff here. Meanwhile, Ergo Proxy has been facing one thing after another, after another (and yet, another) with the Army Service (thankfully ending by bloody mid-November), so he has been unavailable even for a bit of talk, let alone blogging.

However, these things being as they may, Easy Subjugation is by no means dead and will be picking up as of November again. As I had written in the last posts during Summer, there will be a slight change of direction, as all the heavy duty Japanese posts will be now hosted in Otaku Lens.

If any of you have read (if not, go read it) and remember (again, if not, go read it) Breaking Into Politics (with a Sledgehammer), you might recall that I am not real big on politics. Sure, I follow the news, both online anf off, read papers, listen to the radio, etc. etc. That is how I knew we were dangerously close to a "Krach", not unlike the one of 1934 ("Depression" is a great no-no word - oops, did I say that out loud?) and that everyone who was anyone, was running panicked to hold it back (well, except the people stealing hard-earned money at the Stock Exchange, under the COMPLETE consent of the law!). However, I do not enjoy blogging politics...

Opening YouTube to find something interesting to post here, all the top videos are, well... U.S.A. elections and Barack Obama related. Why is that? Well, simply, because the U.S.A. have brought themselves to the brink of economic catastrophe, endangering the rest of the world along with them; except for the Chinese, to whom they practically owe a debt so huge that they can NEVER hope to pay off "conventionally" (if you get my meaning). Is it the fact that Obama may be the first-ever colored President of the U.S.A.? Noooooo! It's just that people hope he will somehow make the U.S.A. a giant again. Well, that part is not hard. It IS a giant - substituting those clay feet with something sturdier, might be a bit tricky though.

As I am writing this, I made a background check to make sure I have not - somehow - missed any prior African-American U.S.A. President. Lo and behold: Google turned up "5 Black Presidents". According to it and according to the stated source, people should consider among those (1) Thomas Jefferson (2) Andrew Jackson (3) Abraham Lincoln (4) Warren G. Harding, based on their ancestry, i.e. supposedly their "black" DNA! Now, I am not an expert on racist matters but I am not sure this is a good way to look at it. Even if it is, anyone whose IQ rates higher than a turnip's, knows perfectly well that racial segregation had much less to do with modern genetics or family trees, than it had with politics, economy, religion and plain old-school xenophobic prejudice. However, press on the link above and read the source: I found it immensely funny.

On the other hand, I might be wrong...!!! Digging around some more, I found this interesting bit (read the second from "Other Answers") in Yahoo!Answers. However, if you are ready to consider I am wrong, you might have to consider that these U.S.A. are NOT the same with the original ones... since THOSE U.S.A. were established through the Articles of Confederation and NOT the current Constitution. the Articles became operative in 1781, after the Revolutionary War. Under those Articles, the first President was John Hanson, from 1781 to 1782 and not George Washington.

I might add that the American Constitution was signed in 1787 (and this is the scanned version) and colored people were not allowed to vote until after the end of the Civil War, in 1865. Even then, the Jim Crow Laws of the 1900s greatly restricted any bid for equal treatment, let alone power.

But listen to me ramble on and I am not even American... I know what, let us leave all these uncomfortable things aside and have a look at Michael Moore's "SICKO". Guy's a million laughs alright...

Do you know what the worst part is? From personal experience, I can tell you, the Greek Health Care System is nearly as bad as that of the U.S.A. (except, Greece is so miniscule by comparison, that the problem has not grown THAT out of proportion).

Well, that is all for today. I just wanted to holler and say we're still here and I ended up discussing politics and American history, with a bit of health care for icing. My trains of though are positively weird.

Take care,


Saturday, 13 September 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army - Del Toro and Loving it!

Hello again dear readers. With all the new Japanese event-related stuff moved to Otaku Lens, there is finally room here to write about OTHER media consumption and what better way to start the new season, than the new Hellboy movie?

The story of how I got to see it on the 22th of August (journalists' premiere) is rather long and colorful, so I will stick to the main points: I do PR for the publishing house that publishes the Hellboy and BPRD comics in Greek (Jemma Press), so it fell to me to arrange some joint publicity projects with United International Pictures (UIP), among which, producing the leaflet to be distributed at movie theaters in Greece. I will not go into detail about this but suffice to say, if you thought red tape was labyrinthine in Greece, you should check out the USA. However, the end result looks cool and I am proud of it (mind you, the comic book related text is mine and I have just- ahem - suggested some touches here and there; the rest is the graphic artist's work).

Well, the movie opened just the day before yesterday to the public, so I will not be saying much about the story proper, for spoiler-prevention. Though I also enjoyed the first movie, it seems very likely that the purpose of the first was to fund the second, which was left completely into del Toro's hands, allowing for the creative freedom to deliver his trademark stunning visuals and very "Toro-esque" special effects and make-up.

Angel of Death.

The story begins with a scene from Hellboy's past, around 1947 (with young Hellboy created by Montse Ribe, del Toro's Special Effects Make-Up Artist and voiced by Colin Ford), on Christmas Night, when Trevor Bruttenholm (pronounced "Broom") reluctantly agrees to tell the young demon boy a bedtime story. The bedtime story comes from a book apparently relating the tales of an amalgam of ancient Lemuria, the Celtic Elfland and a spot of Norwegian mythology . The story goes that at the Dawn of Man, who had been created with a hole in his heart, mortals and the magical races found themselves at odds and humans started expanding by way of bloody war (the reason why the humans had so much success in their warfare, though left unspoken in the movie, is the fact that they bred faster than the ancient races and wielded cold iron weapons, the absolute anathema to magical beings, as related in many mythologies).The story continues with the Goblin Mastersmith offering the Elf King Balor to build an indestructible army, 4900 (70 times 70 soldiers) strong, in order to defeat the humans (this is decisively Norwegian in origin, seeing as Goblins, Dwarves and Trolls are related to metallurgy in those mythological circles). Prince Nuada implored his father to accept and hence the Golden Army was made: powerful, ruthless, unstoppable, controled by those of royal blood, if unchallenged. The Magical Races won the war and all but eradicated the humans. However, seeing as the Elf King was benign at heart and hated the loss of any life, he made a pact with the humans and split the Crown of Power into three pieces, that it may not be used again, thus ending the war and making way for the Age of Man.

This is the background of the movie and I will restrict myself from saying who, of these characters mentioned, play any role in the events unfolding therein. However, it might be interesting to know that these are not you proverbial father's (or Professor Tolkien's) Elves. They are a mix of the Tuatha de Danaan, the godlike race to rule Ireland after the Fir Bolg and the Daoine Sidhe, "The People Under the Hill". Prince Nuada was one of the Tuatha de Danaan, also called Nuada Argatlam, "Nuada of the Silver Hand" (a theme found also in the Norwegian sagas with Tyr), whose legendary sword was certain death to anyone and a Danaan treasure. Interestingly enough, in del Toro's version, Balor is the one-handed King, whereas in Celtic legends, Nuada was the one to step down from the throne, when he lost his hand, since a king could not be lacking in any way.

Prince Nuada.

This whole sequence about the war of Men and the Mythic Races is done in 3D-modeled wooden marionettes (on second thought, they could be actual marionettes and if that is the case, the value of this movie has just soared to the next level), with John Hurt's voice narrating in its most singular fashion. The rest of the movie is a visual and acting roller-coaster, with, if you ask me, merely one low point and that's at the very beginning: Hellboy's and Liz Sherman's relationship problems. Nobody cares, it's not really that funny and Director Manning whining doesn't actually add anything to the funny element. Other than that, from the Goblin Market to Manning being replaced by Johann Kraus (more steampunked than in the comic books and freaking AMAZINGLY voiced by Seth "Family Guy" McFarlane), the movie is one cool surprise after another. Seriously, I may not like "Family Guy" but McFarlane is the whole essence of Johann in the movie ("Herr Manning, you can suck my ectoplasmic Schwannstucker!").

The BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and
Defense). Left to right: Johann Kraus, Abe Sapien
Hellboy, Liz Sherman and Prince Nuada with Princess
Nuala in the background.

The general outline of the story, as you may have read elsewhere, is Prince Nuada wanting to awaken the Golden Army and wage war on Humanity, for their many crimes against the planet and the Old Races and the BPRD's effort (here's hoping we see Roger the Hommonculus in the next movie) to thwart him. Other than all the major coolness so far, as well as del Toro's personal brand of monsters (the Angel of death simply ROCKS!), there are a number of issues addressed, like the characters' feeling of belonging (note: they are all supernatural creatures), the whole "protecting those who may hate you" seen in everything from X-Men to Spider-Man to the Dark Knight but with the whole new perspective of: the Mythic World is in fact dying and Hellboy is one of Humanity's primordial fears, a Demon incarnate, so there will be quite a bit of soul searching, very moving moments for those who have a soft spot for the Fey and some well-placed heartache for the characters.

All in all, it is a movie I would readily rate with an 8 out of 10, always from the perspective that it is addressed to a fantasy-loving audience. The news that del Toro is taking on "The Hobbit", as well as a movie concerning the 60 years between "The Hobbit" and the "Lord of the Rings Trilogy", are rapidly making him my favorite director. If the animatronics of "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Hellboy" are any indication, we are in for a treat!

Signing off,


Friday, 5 September 2008

JMCM: Season's End Bankai Bash - Part 4: Chaos!

Here we are then, the last JMCM post, the last Japanese event-related and Ordre de Ciel related post on Easy Subjugation (from here on look for them in Otaku Lens), the post that wraps up Ordre de Ciel's great, last season, even as the new one begins the day after tomorrow. We have come a long way and I want to thank all of you for your continued support, readership and crazy love. As big things are under way for Ordre de Ciel, so they are for the Speedgrapher / Ergo Proxy team but unfortunately, I am not at liberty to discuss any of it just yet. Just wait and see and you won't be disappointed...

However, I will not indulge myself in tearful, spectral goodbyes, since I will (hopefully, for your own sake) see all of you again on Saturday, during the Ordre de Ciel Grand Opening. Hence, this is where I shut my trap and let you enjoy one of the craziest Ordre de Ciel sets yet!

"What? Your hat...?"

"But... errmmm..."

"This. is. MY. HAT!!!"

Despite all appearances to the contrary...

Louiza: beer-guzzling mode!

Aaaand here's for outfit #3, a custom-made
T-shirt with Tatsumi Saiga, the original
Speedgrapher in front and crossed letters,
writing "Easy Subjugation" and "Otaku Lens"
in the back!

Sophia running to Musashi in order to escape
my lens. So naive...

Musashi: J-pop Crazy

Yu-Kun: Here, here kitty...

Simply gorgeous...

"Ahh! No, stop him!"

"And just what have you kids been doing here? Hmmm...!"

"Uh... Um... I dun' really know but I kind of

"We were just getting ready for your picture! That is all!"

Screenshots of my first movie series
in process...


vol. 1

vol. 2

vol. 3

vol. 4

They say the sleep of Reason breeds monsters,
but the sleep of the Elven Queen breeds...


... ... ...

And of course, only Sokail could ask Lamia
Cross for a signed CD when we are about to
take our cabs home!

300 edited photos (give or take a few) later, the JMCM finally comes to a close. Roughly 1200 edited photos have kept you smiling, laughing, maybe even crying a bit, over the past year. Though my index finger twitches reflexively from using the mouse for so many hours and my eyesight may have gotten a bit worse, it has been an immense pleasure. A lens without a subject is just a pretty piece of glass and a photographer without someone to take a picture of, is merely looking at his own, inverted reflection.

Minna, hontou ni, arigatou,


P.S. Well, after that emotional bit (I try to contain myself but in vain), let me remind you about the Saturday party, when I too will be on the decks, with my set: Eien Monogatari Part II - Kaeri to Omoide (Eternal Tale Part II - Return and Remembrance).

P.S. 2 (not the console) Here's two videos from that night, heheh... The first is not of really good quality but it was the best I could do under near total darkness. The second is the funniest thing I have seen filmed impromptu. Enjoy!