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Blogs

Our community blogs

  1. Latest Entry

    By Lone,

    Hey everyone, welcome back to GDC. Sorry if you guys felt lost or worried that we'd never come back online. The upgrade finally went through - and this blog is to list a few of the major changes.

    First off, everything posted after July 18th is lost (PM's, posts, statues, etc.). This is because the failed upgrade Andres attempted last weekend was causing some problems when we tried again, so he had to restore the database to an earlier state and in doing so, lost the most recent data. None-the-less - here's the new stuff.


    New Features

    Only one username now.
    There is no longer a difference between a user's login and display name. They are the same thing. 

    Mentions
    You can mention members in post by typing @username and clicking their display name when the drop down appears.

    Profiles
    Profiles have been completely re-done. You can now add a cover photo to customize your page a bit, and it should be easier to see a user’s content when first viewing their profile.

    No More Mobile Theme
    The upgraded code means that whatever theme you prefer (dark or light) will be the same one you use on a mobile device. It's pretty awesome.

    Along that same note, we're not going to get a custom light theme for now. We'll just stick with the default one since the developer of the old light theme has not indicated he'll be upgrading it to work with the new software.

    That's it for here. There's a lot of new buttons and stuff to look at, too much to try and summarize. If you have any questions or problems, post below and let us know.

    =====

    There's a few things that are not working or that we will be changing/updating. Read the comments below for more information. We'll update this post tomorrow evening with more information.

    Current list of Questions, Comments, Concerns and Suggestions.
    (Last Updated: July 27th 1:07am EST)

    • Is the followed content missing.
      • Yes. We definitely need to replace this. We'll look for a new solution.
    • It seems like the forum is using larger font is squished more horizontally.  
      • This is mainly by design. Just lots of padding around some content. Fonts aren't really too much larger overall. Andres has adjusted font-size in the editor though to make it match the other content.
    • Some media icons are missing
    • Are signatures gone now?
      • Yes. Not sure why, they may come back. Andres isn't really sure.
    • No link in announcement. - 
      • You have to go into the announcement itself to click on the link since it seems to have its own page. Will research a better option like before.
    • Is the back to top button gone?
      • It is. Andres will look for a solution
    • Update backgrounds
    • Can the number of posts needed to make a topic popular be increased?  They are going popular at 9 posts at the moment. - 
      • We will keep adjusting this till we find a right solution. Right now it's only a few posts within the last 30 minutes.
    • What happened to friends?  Do we need to follow everyone again? 
      • YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS. :( You can follow users to get notifications on their content, but it's not a mutual relationsihp anymore.
    • Can the name list in chat be in alphabetical order again?
      • No. It's not an option and would require some coding that Andres isn't up to doing for now.
    • Image adder not loading images.
      • Seems to be some bugs in this code and Invision is looking into it.
    • Join date not with posts anymore
      • Added
    • Are things running slow because of the scripts running in the background? 
      • Yes. There's still a lot of work going on to the database that could be causing some of the issues.
    • Search not working
      • Major issues going on with the search database. Will work on this asap.
    • Can we confirm that only users with 100 posts can see the advice posts in the activity log in the profile? 
      • Yup. Only those with 100 posts can see advice posts everywhere.
    • No notification when a user is kicked from the chat. 
    • Avatars beside the names in the chat. 
      • We'll look into this later on.
    • Can pictures be automatically removed when quoting?
      • This was a third-party addon. Will have to see if another has been created.
    • Move user title under avatar
    • Remove member group below avatar
    • Adjust blue header in chat
    • In chat, change notification colors for entry and exit
    • Replace forum icons with warning man
    • Re-enable cover photos for all users
    • Source code to be changed to BBCode
      • I don't think this is happening. I believe Invision is phasing out some of the bbcode stuff and just want people to use the rich editor.
    • Ads stretching page on mobile devices
      • Ads have been disabled temporarily while I research a fix.
    • Allow quick reply to statuses
      • This is something Invision will likely support in a future release.
  2. 4933457_orig.jpg

    It's Romantic Isn't It?

    Photographer:

    Maria Gloria

    One of the many wonderful photographs by Maria Gloria. Take a moment to check out more of her photography and leave a comment

    HERE.

    Make a suggestion for next weeks MasterPiece of the week my sending BeachBum a pm.

  3. Latest Entry

    Some Other Time

     

    I am not afraid to die,

    but I am afraid when

    I look up at the sky

    and begin to realize that I

    can not ever know

    how far it is my mind can go

    and all I’ll have to show

    as a sign that I was on this earth 

    is this line and the next rhyme,

    which I’m sure I’ll think of,

    some other time

  4. hey guys, just posting two really old songs ( I was like 16 when i wrote these, so bare with me) because I might be doing something with one of them, so I'd love feedback!

    1. Protecting The Criminal 

    I have no excuse

    complaining would be no use

    you want me to stand?

    go and raise your hand- cause..

     

    You're protecting the Criminal

    You're defending the criminal

    you say there's a method to the madness, but...

    You're protecting the criminal 

     

    No words can explain

    what's going through that brain

    you must want to get yours checked too

    if this is what you'll really do

     

    2. DogFood

    Why don't you go away?

    That would brighten my day

    you just leave me alone

    I just wanna go home!

     

    Why don't you eat dog food? (x)

     

    I do not like you

    you don't like me too

    eat your self sick

    steal Fluffy's food for kicks!

     

     

    These are when I was just getting into punk, and it shows lol. thoughts? thanks for reading! :)

     

  5. I’ve needed to take some time to collect my thoughts. Yesterday, when the Unsecreting Thread was posted, I really didn’t have time to do anything other than react, but I have more to say and I’ve had time to think it over, so I’d like to speak my piece, especially since I was the person most targeted by the “secret.” I'm posting this publicly because honestly, if these people don't feel that I deserve a real apology, I don't think they deserve for me to keep my thoughts and feelings on them confined to a private message. 
     
    I find it truly disgusting and disturbing that, none of u have ever been cuckold irl. Wat a shame to america. This is 2015 people. Cuckold is an art. You guys don’t deserve to be a part of this community ever again and frankly you’re all scum to me.

  6. I’ve needed to take some time to collect my thoughts. Yesterday, when the Unsecreting Thread was posted, I really didn’t have time to do anything other than react, but I have more to say and I’ve had time to think it over, so I’d like to speak my piece, especially since I was the person most targeted by the “secret.” I'm posting this publicly because honestly, if these people don't feel that I deserve a real apology, I don't think they deserve for me to keep my thoughts and feelings on them confined to a private message. 

     

    I find it truly disgusting and disturbing that, as Lil freely admitted, the group went around and “mined information” from various users in order to put it in their sick secret. What a complete and utter betrayal of the trust that makes this community, well, a community. How very dare any of you think that your stupid, deranged revenge plot be more important than having basic respect for very personal things told to you in confidence by users who trusted you and considered you friends. How dare you think it was justified of you to spread things told to you in confidence around the forum just so you could get some weak, stupid “revenge” on people who made jokes you don’t like on the internet. And how dare you bring Lindsay, Hannah, Ola, Nora, Jizz, and Liam into your demented “plot”? It completely takes the cake that you saw fit to drag people who have been nothing but kind OR who don’t have access to the forum to defend themselves into your disgustingness. I can honestly say that I have never felt as grossed out by behavior on the internet before. The violation of trust is mind-boggling. 

     

    I’ve said it before but I'd like to reiterate - I have no idea what I did to Ceri to make her hate me enough to be okay with those lies being spread about me. Ceri, I sat up with you so many nights trying to help you with various things. I sincerely worried for you, tried to help you, valued you as a person, valued your friendship, enjoyed you for who you are, and was real with you about my thoughts and problems. Your involvement in this stings the worst. I know you had to have been heavily involved with the shit that was written about me because you were the only one who would have even thought to put any of that together. And now I find out that apparently you’ve messaged everyone you thought deserved a message from you, but I didn’t warrant one. You have turned out to be the most two-faced cunt. I don’t wish ill on you - I don't think I could ever bring  myself to wish ill on you - but I’m incredibly saddened by your true colors and regret having wasted the time I did on you. 

     

    As for the rest of you - Lil, Tom, Graham, but Tom and Graham especially - I knew there was a reason you all rubbed me the wrong way. I knew you weren’t as squeaky clean and awesome as you all claimed to be. I knew you were vicious little fucks behind it all, and it’s really nice to know that I was right, after I’ve been reviled by you guys for months and months because my posting style doesn’t fit your tastes. Your half-assed, self-serving, unapologetic, self-righteous “apologies” make me sick. I hope you’re all too ashamed of yourselves to ever show your faces on this forum again. You don’t seem to feel a lick of real remorse for any of the people you hurt with your bullshit, as your ridiculous explanations so clearly prove. You guys don’t deserve to be a part of this community ever again and frankly you’re all scum to me.

  7. full moon shadows the horizon,
    igniting silver light unto forest floors
    as the wooden bench creaks
    into the silent, dimming night
    and throughout, my thoughts are unearthed;
    a disengagement remains.

  8. Latest Entry

    I don't know, I thought maybe I should make some sort of announcement about this. I'm gonna be leaving GDC, at least for a while. Besides yesterday's shitstorm, I just generally don't have much desire to keep posting on here. Not to complain, but I just don't feel like the forum is what it used to be. I don't feel like it's much of a "community", that whole community feel is just gone. It feels more like fucking high school than anything else nowadays.

    Additionally, I also kind of get the feeling that maybe I've outgrown my time on here. I don't know, it's weird. I kind of wish I could write more on the matter but I really can't think of much else to say. I've enjoyed my stay on here, I've met some of the most wonderful people ever on here but I really feel like I must go. This is the best online forum I've ever been on, so huge thanks to Andres and everybody for making it what it was. I've had some of the best times of my life on here, and I'll always keep those as special memories.

    If you want to get in touch with me, you can find me on Facebook (Alan Conner) or you can send me a Skype request at minigun121696 (however, if you do that please tell me who you are so I don't write you off as spam lol).

    Thanks to you all!

  9. This is a little something that my and my friend recorded for a school project. It was our first attempt at recording a full length song. I'd love to see what you guys think about it!  :D 

    Saved By The Bell <--- Click!

  10. Maybe it's for the best that GDC was down, I never would have completed my projects for county fair. :lol:

    IMG_3414_zpsw5jzuuik.jpg

    Here they are :wub: Pain in the butt, should I add? :lol:

    I'll post additional artwork in my art thread, but I'm going to drop this here. I drew it exclusively for the auction. Basically a visual middle finger to the flag burners, social media brats and the ones who disrespect our veterans. They seem to forget that they're only allowed to burn that flag and bitch about hating the US because those soldiers died for that freedom. They hate it so much here? Go live somewhere else. :lol: 

    IMG_3405_zpsmkkisy2s.jpg

  11. New lyrics, inspired by Mr. Satoru Iwata's death. Enjoy.
     
    Deep Devotion
     
    Hear the blood rushing
    from the heavy heart pumping
    News of the lost sound in
    uncontrollable light
     
    Part of senses steep in motion
    from a path of deep devotion
    What you take for granted
    until you see one's end of the fight
     
    What we always take for granted
    and vision a separate world
    finally arrives the realization
    that death is the end uncurled.
     
    Lay that thought down
    and open to the lines
    of the greatness that they once brought
    through the turbulent times
    and the passage of the highest crown.
  12. I can't wait for you to

    Break me apart

    Break my heart

    I want you to

    Break my heart

    Lead me on, I keep dragging around

    All my thoughts, kept down underground

    Look at me with your beautiful eyes

    I can't wait until you realize

    I'm a mentally unstable and emotional prick

    Tearing down everybody brick by brick

    I chase after girls but I can never gain

    Any ground because I just love the pain

    I can't wait for you to

    Break me apart

    Break my heart

    I want you to

    Break my heart

    Break my heart

    Break me apart

    I want you to

    Break my heart

    There's nothing I love more than dragging around

    All the baggage that I should have put down

    Scaring girls who get too close to me

    Stinging, bleeding, throw away the key

    I can't wait for you to

    Break me apart

    Break my heart

    I want you to

    Break my heart

    I want you, I don't want to

    I love you, and I hate you

    So break my heart

    So break my heart

    I love you and I, I hate you

    So just break my heart

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    Recent Entries

    Todays another start to a wasted day,

    Waking up early,

    putting your sheep clothing on,

    looking the same as everybody else,

    Working on the breadline,

    just to survive,

    stuck in the same old 9 to 5 routine,

    Trying to keep your feet onto the ground,

    Not fucking around,

    Scrapping every penny earned,

    Sitting on the hilltops,

    watching the city burned,

    pay your way in society,

    repeating the same damn shit,

    but that won't ever be me,

    don't want to die alone,

    working 'til the devil gets me,

    disguised as a holy man,

    can't live just to survive,

    breaking the mould,

    i've gotta make it mine,

    make it mine to live ,

    gotta make a name for myself

  13. I built myself a time machine

    And took a stroll through Sodom

    I smoked myself a sweet pipe dream

    Down in Bikini Bottom

    My clients ring me off the hook

    For rocks while I still got 'em

    My kids, they made their teacher faint

    With all the words I taught 'em.

    But like God and punk rock

    I'll be dead

    Then you can all

    Dissect my head

    Pass the scalpel, add some salt

    It's really not your fault.

    Like God and punk rock

    I'll be dead

    Gone staler than my daily bread

    Like God and punk rock

    I'll have died

    I'll have died on the waterslide.

  14. Gorillaz:

    tumblr_nr6rofWwaT1rzeg4ko1_540.png

    An Amblypygid, or tailless whip scorpion:

    tumblr_nqocc7Io101rsocino5_500.png

    Hair - Aquarius:

    tumblr_nr4gv6ustJ1rsocino1_500.png

    Twenty One Pilots - Blurryface:

    tumblr_nr4kqypU1q1rsocino2_540.png

    tumblr_nr4kqypU1q1rsocino1_540.png

    A very Halloween scene:

    tumblr_nr4z2d2ROq1rsocino1_500.png

    Space Explorer:

    tumblr_nr6qwnbcwS1rsocino1_540.png

    tumblr_nr6qwnbcwS1rsocino2_540.png

    tumblr_nr6qwnbcwS1rsocino3_540.png

    tumblr_nr6qwnbcwS1rsocino4_540.png

    tumblr_nr6qwnbcwS1rsocino5_540.png

    tumblr_nr6qwnbcwS1rsocino6_540.png

  15. Latest Entry

    Like refugees

    We're lost like refugees...

    hello GDCers,... ;)

    I was angry without a couse,…. :mad:

    I lived in Indonesia,..a third world country in south east asia,..it’s a beautyfull country and I love it so much,…but in the reality we faced so many poverty and injustice in all sectors,….the post modernism and globalization invade this country,…westernisation, hedonism,fundamentalism,capitalism, islam radical,islam moderat, pop culture, mc donald culture, KFC, economical crisis,poverty, unemployment..all blended into one and create absurdity and chaos....

    All this reality it become my anger and the energy when I made my drawing this time…

    and I got charcoal pencil and paper to chanelling all that anger….

    And here’s the result…..a riot drawing!!!

    And I like to sharing it in my GDC blog… :lol:

    this time i made 12 drawing...

    =======

    calm like a bomb ( charcoal on paper 28x34cm)

    evilempire_2.jpg

    black market love (charcoal on paper 35x42cm)

    evilempire_1.jpg

    the symbol of resistance (charcoal on paper 24x32cm)

    evilempire_5.jpg

    evil empire series...(charcoal on paper)

    evilempire_4.jpg

    evilempire_12.jpg

    evilempire_6.jpg

    evilempire_3.jpg

    evilempire_7.jpg

    peaceful dance (charcoal on paper 23x33cm)

    evilempire_8.jpg

    they school ain't teaching us...(charcoal on paper 23x33cm)

    evilempire_10.jpg

    come out and play idiots,.. (charcoal on paper 23x33cm)

    evilempire_9.jpg

    days of war nights of love ( charcoal on paper 23x33cm)

    evilempire_11.jpg

  16. For your consideration: the five best examples of fiction and the five best examples of nonfiction that I've read in the first half of this year. ("The first half" here meaning up to the first half of June—I'll be writing part two before December is over, so this balances things out.)

    11415499_671113192989947_7926176856250809960_o.jpg

    5. The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

    4. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

    3. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

    2. The Regeneration Trilogy (Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, The Ghost Road) by Pat Barker

    1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)

    Honorable mention: The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka; The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

    10991456_668452199922713_7351741712277198949_o.jpg

    5. A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch

    4. Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard (trans. Alastair Hannay)

    3. What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

    2. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

    1. Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads by Greil Marcus

    Honorable mention: Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay; Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    5. The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

    If I could put my finger on the moment we genuinely fucked ourselves, it was the moment we decided that data was something you could use words like believe or disbelieve around.

    Paolo Bacigalupi deals in scarcity. His debut novel, the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning The Windup Girl, presented a hellish future in which blight has completely destroyed most of the world's food crops and geneticists are struggling to stay ahead of demise. His short fiction collection Pump Six is filled with tiny, exquisitely crafted variations on this theme and other little apocalypses. One of those short fictions, "The Tamarisk Hunter", set the stage for what has now, years later, become his second novel for adults: The Water Knife. A slimmed-down, less exotic counterpart to its predecessor The Windup Girl, it deals with a future that is looking less and less like speculation and more and more like the day after tomorrow: the crumbling of the western United States due to drought and climate change.

    America has splintered into numerous nation-states as the coastline rises and rivers evaporate. Mass migrations crisscross the landscape, refugees fleeing from the dried-out husks of cities that have been cut off from the lines. A lifelong denizen of this hell, Angel is a water knife, agent for the water baroness Catherine Case. His job is to protect the quite literally liquid assets that belong to his boss, and if they don't belong to her to secure them. When one of his jobs goes south, circumstances force him into the company of two unlikely allies: Lucy Monore, an embittered journalist trapped in a Phoenix that is on its last legs, and Maria Villarosa, an immigrant desperate to escape from a life of constant pain and fear. Each of them is caught up in the hunt for an ancient set of water rights that will, in the right hands, either save Phoenix or sound its death knell—and Catherine Case is not the only party interested in them. With former allies turning on him, current allies proving less and less manageable, and the heat closing in fast, Angel may have stumbled onto a river that even his unique powers won't be able to turn.

    The Water Knife is a dystopia, but not in the didactic mold of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451. Rather, it owes its chief stylistic debt to neo-noir, specifically Blade Runner and Chinatown. The former was also an obvious influence on The Windup Girl, but where that novel was comparatively sprawling, The Water Knife is compact and streamlined, limiting its focus to its three protagonists. It's a wise choice—Bacigalupi's worldbuilding is still on full display, but in a way that always serves the story and its themes, where The Windup Girl could occasionally feel muddled. Just as important as the world, if not moreso, is the mystery, which as said above is a spiritual successor to Chinatown—both of them rely on the damage that water scarcity has dealt to the western United States (the film focuses on the Los Angeles area while Water Knife uses the entire western half of the continent as its canvas), and in both the landscape is almost a character in and of itself. That character, in the novel, is a decidedly nasty one. The almost unrelenting grimness of the scenery and of the numerous misfortunes that befall the characters is harrowing, and at times gratuitous (one scene of sexualized violence in particular feels, especially in the aftermath of this year's season of Game of Thrones, not only unnecessary but tedious), but it serves to build the character of the world that surrounds our protagonists: an empty hell born of our own carelessness, one that is bigger than the humans that created it and doesn't care if they live or die.

    Ultimately, The Water Knife is not only a better novel than its predecessor, it's far likelier to be a mainstream success. It's a triumph not only for Bacigalupi but for SF in general, and a shining example of what that genre does best: utilizing a near or distant future to speak to the nature of our own world and the people that inhabit it. Will our own future resemble that of the novel? Almost surely not in the details, but the broad strokes are another matter. Much like Cadillac Desert, a book that its characters look to belatedly as a prophecy of doom, we may look back on The Water Knife decades from now and wonder why we didn't heed the warning.

    4. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

    This is how moths speak to each other. They tell their love across the fields by scent. There is no mouth, the wrong words are impossible, either a mate is there or he is not, and if so the pair will find each other in the dark.

    It's rather a shame that Barbara Kingsolver's most well-known novel, The Poisonwood Bible, is also one of her weaker efforts—in attempting to cover the entirety of the political situation in the Congo, she allows her narrative to expand beyond her control and eventually collapse under its own weight, resulting in a book that is two thirds excellent and one third bloated and tedious. What Kingsolver does best is not to paint a vast, sprawling canvas directly, but to examine aspects of that canvas through an intimate lens—a small cast of characters exploring the wonders and hurts of the world. There is no better example of this in her oeuvre than Prodigal Summer.

    Deanna is a park ranger who is fully comfortable with her solitary middle age, until a young hunter stumbles into her woods and ignites in her feelings she has almost forgotten. The problem is that he is intent on killing the very thing she's hoping to foster: a pack of coyotes, a species that has been absent from the Appalachian range for decades. Lusa, a former graduate student who gave up her career in entomology to marry a backwoods tobacco farmer, finds herself trapped by hostile relatives on one side and potential economic disaster on the other when her husband dies and leaves her in command of the family estate. Garnett, an aging botanist who has nothing left but his faith in an angry God and his attempts to resurrect the extinct American chestnut tree, finds himself in the midst of a battle with an environmentalist neighbor. Their stories are separate to begin with, but just as the intricate ecosystem of the Appalachian mountains depends upon interactions between organisms, so will the three protagonists come to see how integral each of their struggles is to the others'.

    There is a fierce sense of joy to Kingsolver's prose whenever she turns her pen to the beauties of nature. Her love of the land in which she grew up is evident in every sentence, every description of a forest or an animal or a mountain vista. This ecstatic prose is made even better by the fact that she clearly knows what she's talking about—each of her novels is a learning experience for the reader, as she and her characters ponder ecology, biology, and numerous other areas of natural science. In the hands of a lesser writer this density of information could come off as didactic in the extreme, but Kingsolver deftly weaves it into the plot and themes of her novel in a way that feels completely natural. This is aided by the fact that her characters are real people. Even the novel's broader inhabitants, such as Garnett, are not so exaggerated that they could not exist in real life (indeed, I've known more than one of him in my time), and the more subtly drawn protagonists, the Jewish-Arabic Lusa in particular, are complex without sacrificing likability.

    Prodigal Summer is a quiet novel about quiet people, but it deals in themes and ideas that effect nothing less than the entire world: the balance of ecosystems, the nature of love, and the human longing for things that seem impossibly beyond its reach. Its success is that, rather than attempting to tackle these issues on the scale of its predecessor, it dials things back and allows the reader to experience Kingsolver's insights through the course of one summer amongst one mountain community. What it lacks in scope it makes up for in warmth, characterization, and sheer lyrical beauty. As far as I'm concerned, these qualities will almost certainly outlast the more immediate impact of The Poisonwood Bible.

    3. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

    It's a very Greek idea, and a very profound one. Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it. And what could be more terrifying and beautiful, to souls like the Greeks or our own, than to lose control completely? To throw off the chains of being for an instant, to shatter the accident of our mortal selves?

    I went into The Secret History expecting myself to be let down. Ever since its publication it's been a cult favorite of sorts; literary websites all over reference it as The Greatest Campus Novel Ever Written, and it launched the career that would go on to land Donna Tartt a Pulitzer for fiction. At the same time, it's engendered quite a backlash, with its top Goodreads review bearing the dreaded single star and numerous other reviews accusing it of pretension, artificiality, and general snobbery. Thus my nervousness upon entry. I needn't have worried. The Secret History is at times a deeply flawed piece of work, and is indeed pretentious, artificial and snobbish. However, the latter qualities are not what make the novel flawed. Anyone who says so misses the point completely. They are precisely what drive the novel forward and give it its unsettling power.

    The novel opens with the murder of classics student Bunny Corcoran at the hands of his fellow scholars: Richard, Charles, Camilla, Francis, and Henry. The bulk of the text that follows is concerned with explaining the events that led up to this crime, as Richard narrates his experiences with his classmates during their tutelage under the eccentric professor Julian Morrow. A group of the classics students are obsessed with the idea of staging a Greek bacchanal, and eventually succeed—unfortunately, the ensuing chaos results in the death of a bystander, and when Bunny finds out they decide he has to be taken out of the way. After the deed is done, the students find their bonds and their minds increasingly unraveling, and it becomes increasingly apparent that Bunny's death may not by any means be the final one.

    It is the idea that a bacchanal, complete with (possibly) supernaturally altered consciousness and the like, could be successfully staged without the use of mind-altering substances, that is the key to whether or not a reader will accept The Secret History. If the reader can't accept such a thing occurring in an otherwise mundane world, the novel is irredeemable. If, however, they can suspend their disbelief for the sake of the rest of the novel, they will find their patience very much rewarded. The bacchanal is crucial not only to the novel's plot but its theme: the question of how far we are willing to go to experience beauty. The answer to this question is, within Tartt's novel, chilling: exactly as far as it takes. None of the classics students care at all about the unfortunate individual murdered as a result of their staging an orgy of pure carnal pleasure; they care very much about being caught, but the idea that the life that was sacrificed for their evening of fun might have been wrongfully taken never quite occurs to any of them. The death of Bunny affects them more deeply because of his status as "one of them", but again their largest concern is not that they took a friend's life but that they might have to face the consequences for this murder. The innate desire for beauty, Tartt says, coupled with the frightful solipsism that pervades more of us than we care to admit, can render humanity capable of anything. Thus it is that the novel's apparent flaws become integral. Its characters are self-absorbed, arrogant, stilted and pretentious, as are all of us somewhere inside ourselves. We are all convinced, whether we'd like to admit it or not, that we are smarter, wiser, better than others. Most of us simply aren't put in a position to follow through on that conviction.

    The Secret History isn't perfect. It's a good seventy pages too long, the central turning point of the bacchanal is a rather large piece of plot to swallow, and it does at times fall victim to the fact that it is essentially Crime and Punishment without the fiery humanity that Dostoevsky possessed. Despite its weaknesses, however, it is still a far more engaging and ultimately harrowing experience than many other, more perfect novels. Its characters, events and atmosphere are remembered long after its final words have been read. I'll take that over perfection any day.

    2. The Regeneration Trilogy (Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, The Ghost Road) by Pat Barker

    Sometimes, in the trenches, you get the sense of something, ancient. One trench we held, it had skulls in the side, embedded, like mushrooms. It was actually easier to believe they were men from Marlborough's army, than to think they'd been alive a year ago. It was as if all the other wars had distilled themselves into this war, and that made it something you almost can't challenge. It's like a very deep voice, saying; 'Run along, little man, be glad you've survived.'

    While it's technically three novels, The Regeneration Trilogy is one story, and for convenience comes in a one-volume omnibus. Any of the parts could be read on its own—there's enough brief recap that one could be aware of the events of the other volumes without having read them, and as the trilogy is character-based rather than plot-based it won't befuddle anyone who jumps in at the middle. However, to do so would do the story an immense disservice. Read in its proper order, Regeneration forms one of the great war stories of our or anyone's time, an epic that takes place almost entirely on the home front as it depicts the final years of perhaps the largest blunder in military or geopolitical history.

    W. H. R. Rivers doesn't carry a gun, but he sees just as much of the effects of World War I as any soldier. That's his job, in fact. He's a psychologist, and his job is to restore the traumatized, shell-shocked men under his care to some semblance of normal life. Among these patients are Siegfried Sassoon, a poet who refuses to fight not because of pacifism but because of the sheer stupidity of the conflict; Wilfred Owen, a sensitive young man attempting to come to terms with his feelings on the conflict through writing; and Billy Prior, an involuntary sadist who's disconcerted by his sexual proclivities and serves as a counter-analyst to Rivers himself. As the war drags on, and more and more of his patients are returned to the front only to be torn to rags, Rivers struggles to restrain Prior from returning to active duty. However, Prior himself finds his self-disgust increasing the longer he stays away from physical harm, and despite Rivers' protestations begins to believe it's his duty to die in France.

    A lesser author than Barker would have become bogged down in the "celebrity cameos" of her story, pointing the reader to the historical characters with many a nudge and a wink, and the novels would quickly have become cloying for it. Barker is smarter than this, and treats Rivers, Sassoon and Owen as no more or less than fellow players along with their purely fictional counterparts. A reader who is not at all familiar with the historicity of the characters would never know that they were anything but Barker's inventions (I myself had no idea that Rivers was a real man until I did some research into the novels' background), and this is a good thing. The story within which the characters find themselves would at any rate be compelling even if it were completely fictional. The sheer horror of the experiences that have landed Rivers' men under his care is far better seen in their symptoms and neuroses than it could ever be if simply depicted in the present tense. The significant amount of time spent with "shell-shocked" soldiers is incredibly effective at turning the Great War from a historical abstraction into a concrete reality; they are, of course, suffering from the same post-traumatic stress disorder that is now known and diagnosed today, and the similarities between veterans of the two eras is heart-wrenching. Equally as compelling is the interaction between characters; Rivers and Billy Prior spend the entire trilogy in a game of cat-and-mouse that is never entirely hostile but never entirely friendly, probing each other for weaknesses and explanations and daring the other man to slip first—the fact that this is intended on Rivers' part as a cure makes the game no less a battle. Nearly as interesting is the paradox of Sassoon, a man who considers it his duty to be with his men but refuses to fight in what he considers to be a pointless conflict. Barker uses her men as microcosms of much vaster societal and psychological issues of their day, but never loses sight of them as individuals.

    One thing that Regeneration most definitely isn't is a slog—its 900 pages fly by. However, the weight of its material is near-tangible. Many other novels have been written about World War I, by authors whose talent is undeniable. Barker's, I think, is the one that will go down as the definitive one. It strikes a perfect balance between the factual and the fictional, the human and the abstract, the individual and the era. Truly an incredible achievement.

    1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)

    The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.

    To read Dostoevsky is to be embarrassed for all other authors during his century. He is so far ahead of any of his contemporaries that it's almost as if he was transplanted from a much later time. That's part of the thrill of reading Crime and Punishment or Notes from Underground or any of his other fictions—the reader is in awe of how different they are from the books that surrounded them, harbingers of a new literary age. And unlike other authors, who reach their zenith and then begin a period of decline, his final effort was also his greatest. The Brothers Karamazov is Dostoevsky's masterpiece, the greatest novel of the nineteenth century, and a definite candidate for greatest novel ever written. Much like Crime and Punishment, it uses a murder mystery to dissect an aspect of the human psyche, but where that novel narrows its scope to guilt and the criminal impulse, Karamazov is concerned with nothing less than good and evil themselves, and whether either can exist without religion.

    The titular brothers are three in number: the passionate, reckless Dmitri, the cool, nihilistic Ivan, and the pious, troubled Alyosha. Their father, Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, is universally despised, and gleefully acknowledges his wicked, sensual nature. However, even a man despised by his entire town must be avenged when he is murdered, and when Karamazov is brutally murdered there is a positive furor to convict Dmitri, destitute and raging at the time of the crime. As the case unfolds, Alyosha finds himself mired in a positive swamp of relationships and rivalries as he struggles to prove his brother is not a criminal, while Ivan finds himself dealing with devils both metaphorical and literal. Each of the three brothers finds his worldview rapidly crumbling around him as the case trudges on, and as the evidence against Dmitri mounts the question becomes less and less whether he is good or evil and more and more whether good and evil themselves even exist.

    It should be noted that the murder plot of The Brothers Karamazov doesn't actually kick in until roughly halfway through the novel, though copious setup is laced throughout the text before this point. The first three hundred pages are spent getting acquainted with the characters, each of whom begins looking comparatively simple but quickly reveals hidden depths. This depth is less something intrinsic to the characters themselves; it is to be found largely in their interactions with each other, their perspectives clashing and wrapping around each other. Ivan, through his interactions with Alyosha and others (most famously in the Grand Inquisitor parable, which is so well-known as to often be published as a self-contained extract separate from the novel), is revealed not to be merely a straw nihilist but a man who fully realizes the consequences of God's nonexistence and is secretly riddled with fear due to what he knows to be true; he is also deeply horrified at the scoundrel Smerdyakov, who has taken Ivan's perspective and twisted it into a self-serving, solipsistic worldview. Alyosha is pious, but this is not the vacant, unfeeling piety that renders so many "good" characters of Dostoevsky's century unreadable; he makes mistakes, he doubts, and above all he cares deeply about his family and neighbors. Dmitri could have been a caricature of the loose, immoral man, but is instead the ultimate tragic figure, a man who desperately wants to do right but finds himself irresistibly drawn to the vile; the same could be said of his father Fyodor Pavlovich. The characters' complexity is matched by the conclusions of their interactions, none of which is wrapped up neatly. No answer is provided as to whether the pious Alyosha or the nihilistic Ivan is correct in the famous Grand Inquisitor section,nor does the novel conclude with any sort of moral to indicate which of the characters has the best approach to living. Dostoevsky allows his characters to wrestle with each other and with themselves, and doesn't give them the luxury of an authorial solution from on high, which is infinitely more rewarding than his letting the reader take an easy way out and have a clear victor.

    There is a strong current of melodrama running through The Brothers Karamazov, but unlike most novels of his time Dostoevsky succeeds in making this melodrama feel completely earned. While none of his characters are people—their passions are too grand, their speeches too high-flown, their emotions too overwhelming, for this—they are deeply human. The players seem, in their immensity, to be nothing less than representatives of humanity itself. Not all of us have fallen as spectacularly or as passionately as Dmitri, but we have all felt ourselves to be of a piece with them. Not all of us have wrestled with the Devil himself, but all sceptics see our face in Ivan. Not all of us have reached the rapturous, ecstatic spiritual heights of Alyosha, but his joy is our joy. And the themes with which Dostoevsky wrestles are so universal and overarching that they legitimize the heights to which the book climbs. In a novel at which the existence of evil is at stake, why shouldn't Lucifer himself choose to stroll by? In the end, the only way for Dostoevsky to truly communicate the importance of his subject matter is to strain for emotional heights hitherto unreached, and he succeeds. The Brothers Karamazov is filled with incredible tragedy, suffering that makes the reader's heart break; but what the reader have been turned is the rapturous, uplifting feeling that occurs again and again throughout the novel. Bringing tears to a reader's eyes through tragedy is comparatively easy; to do so through joy is much more difficult, but Dostoevsky does it time and again.

    There is no way I can sum up the grandeur and beauty of this novel in a few paragraphs. Suffice to say that few reading experiences have moved me as much, and none have left me with the feeling that I had just finished something that will never be surpassed. There are many great novels in our world. There are many that I enjoy more than The Brothers Karamazov, many which I rank higher than The Brothers Karamazov on my list of favorite books. None, however, can compete with its greatness. It is a novel that succeeds at pondering, in essence, the whole of human existence, and is great literature to boot. If there's a higher praise than that, I don't know it.

    5. A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch

    My aim has been to seek out what I see as the good in the varied forms of the Christian faith, while pointing clearly to what I think is foolish and dangerous in them. Religious belief can be very close to madness. It has brought human beings to acts of criminal folly as well as to the highest achievements of goodness, creativity and generosity. I tell the story of both extremes. If this risibly ambitious project can at least help to dispel the myths and misrepresentations which fuel folly, then I will believe my task to have been more than worthwhile.

    It's a rare thing when the history of a religion can succeed in pleasing nearly everyone. Diarmaid MacCulloch's, however, has done just that, winning raves from secular sources as well as the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. This is in large part due to MacCulloch's attitude toward his subject matter. He is no longer a religious believer himself, but unlike knee-jerk New Atheists his treatment of his former faith is even-handed and deeply sympathetic, recording history accurately without turning into a polemic. While it duly records the atrocities and schisms that stem from the numerous facets of the Christian church, A History ends on a surprisingly fond note, looking forward to the next three thousand years and what they will bring for the hundreds of groups that are unified—well, not really, but trying for it anyway—under the banner of heaven.

    Even if one has problems with MacCulloch's attitude towards Christianity (he feels no need to put it on any sort of pedestal), it can't be denied that he is intimidatingly thorough. He begins with one hundred pages of background into the interactions between Judaism and Greek philosophical thought—it's labeled The First Three Thousand Years for a reason—before spending 900 pages exhaustively recording every nook and cranny of theological development, every splintering of yet another sect, every upheaval of the masses. Portions of these are familiar to anyone with any sort of understanding of church history, but even those familiar bits are seen in a new light as MacCulloch pushes aside the myths and prejudices that have become common and presents things such as the Protestant Reformation or the so-called "Dark Ages" as they really were. More exciting, though, are the swathes of text that deal with everything that tends to be left out of popular histories of the church: the story of the numerous Eastern churches, whose narrative is just as multifaceted and important as that of the Western churches. A whole hemisphere of arguments, trials, and tragedies is a lot to cover, but MacCulloch manages it with flair, taking care to be detailed but never allowing his prose to be anything less than literary.

    The First Three Thousand Years is a massive effort, and not one that should be embarked upon lightly. Finishing it leaves one exhausted, in wrists as well as in mind. Nonetheless, taking the time to absorb the text is well worth it. Understanding the Christian church and its many-colored past is crucial to understanding the world in which we live, regardless of one's religious persuasion or lack thereof. For an overview that is detailed as well as broad, affectionate as well as chastising, MacCulloch's can't be beaten.

    4. Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard (trans. Alastair Hannay)

    For he who loves God without faith reflects on himself, while the person who loves God in faith reflects on God.

    Even when I was a Christian, Sunday-school answers that attempted to explain away the savage or bewildering nature of many of the stories in the Bible irked me. As an atheist, my irritation has only increased. Easy explanations are not only pat and insufficient, they completely fail to do justice to the texts which they attempt to unify. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the Bible is its disunity—it consists of texts from two separate religions, and numerous philosophies within those religions, separated by centuries and written by dozens of people. This of course results in a book fraught with contradictions, disagreements, and paradoxes, but for thousands of years it has existed as an uneasy whole, with people both within and without the Christian religion fighting to make sense of what such clearly conflicting views of morality and the divine can mean. I have nowhere seen this struggle more clearly and elegantly put forth than in Fear and Trembling.

    Kierkegaard chooses as his microcosm of Biblical faith the story of Abraham and his sacrifice of Isaac. Much of the book is spent tearing to shreds the attempts of many theologians and philosophers to justify Abraham's actions, and by extension God's command, as perfectly moral and acceptable despite all appearances to the contrary. These efforts Kierkegaard dismisses as hopelessly insufficient, for they miss the heart of the story and of Abraham's greatness. The greatness of Abraham, he expounds, lies in the fact that he was willing to transcend the ethical/moral and commit what he knew to be an irreversibly immoral action, solely based on his belief that God would somehow do the impossible and work a moral action out of the result. This, says Kierkegaard, is true faith, not the numerous alternatives that have sprung up in an attempt to understand Abraham and by extension his god. It is this faith that a person must spend their whole lives working toward, in his view—to say as skeptics do that one starts with faith and moves beyond it is the height of folly.

    I don't agree with Kierkegaard in many of his particulars or broad conclusions. However, his analysis of the story of Abraham is passionate, literary and beautiful; and more to the point it is honest. A philosopher like Kierkegaard, willing to acknowledge the paradox behind their beliefs and to fully work out the implications of said paradox, is worth ten thousand apologists who merely try to sweep it under the rug or to dismiss it with cheap platitudes. Would that more thinkers were like him.

    3. What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

    There’s no material safety data sheet for astatine. If there were, it would just be the word “NO” scrawled over and over in charred blood.

    Randall Munroe's webcomic xkcd is one of the more brilliant examples of internet literature. Full of pop-culture references and mathematical in-jokes along with copious amounts of genuine pathos and joy, it's like a more scientific, buzzwordy version of Peanuts or Calvin and Hobbes. Of course, Munroe isn't just a comic strip writer. He's also a former employee of NASA, and in recent years has started running a side feature on xkcd's website that utilizes this branch of his talents. Called "What If?", it's like an even more over-the-top version of Mythbusters, relying on reader submissions to provide it with increasingly over-the-top questions that Munroe strives to find exact answers to. What would happen if the Earth stopped rotating? Well, most organic life would die horribly, but eventually the moon would tug us back into motion. If you were to gather a mole (unit of measurement) of moles into one place, what would the result be? In short, a spherical satellite of furry meat. Could you make a jetpack out of machine guns? Yes, but it depends on the model of machine gun and on the amount of ammunition you can carry. How long would it take a Sarlacc to digest a live T-rex? . . .we'll get back to you on that one.

    The sheer maniac joy of using scientific knowledge to provide concrete answers to the dozens of equally absurd inquiries that pack this volume of collected questions and answers is incredibly fulfilling—I found myself grinning like a little kid on numerous occasions, and in a few instances laughed out loud. Even a plain-text version of the book would be one of the best books I've read this year, but Munroe complements each entry with numerous illustrations featuring the cast of xkcd, some of which serve merely as humorous interludes and others of which are tremendously helpful visualizations of the concepts he's trying to explain. For readers of the strip, these illustrations provide more of what you already love, and for those who are new to Munroe's particular blend of science and heart, they form a perfect encapsulation of what xkcd is all about—fun, insanity, and more than a little bittersweetness.

    2. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

    The genius of the current caste system, and what most distinguishes it from its predecessors, is that it appears voluntary. People choose to commit crimes, and that's why they are locked up or locked out, we are told. This feature makes the politics of responsibility particularly tempting, as it appears the system can be avoided with good behavior. But herein lies the trap. All people make mistakes. All of us are sinners. All of us are criminals. All of us violate the law at some point in our lives. In fact, if the worst thing you have ever done is speed ten miles over the speed limit on the freeway, you have put yourself and others at more risk of harm than someone smoking marijuana in the privacy of his or her living room. Yet there are people in the United States serving life sentences for first-time drug offenses, something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world.

    Anyone who was convinced that racism was a force long-spent within America got a rude awakening starting last year, when the contemptible police response to protests in Ferguson opened up a nationwide conversation on race and privilege. In the wake of that flashpoint and others like it, it's essential for those seeking to end the bigotry still rampant in our culture to understand how that bigotry operates. The New Jim Crow is an excellent starting place. Where Ferguson and the murders of Eric Garner and Tamir Rice were microcosms of a larger problem, this book steps back to examine it at its true, titanic scale: the systematic enslavement of people of color not through auctions, but imprisonment.

    Alexander is devastatingly thorough in her case against the United States police and prison systems. The reason she refers to their treatment of people of color as "The New Jim Crow" is that incidents of bigotry and abuse that occur within their confines are not isolated; they are systemic, engrained within the institutions, due to decades of policy and legislation designed to punish black men for the crime of their skin color. Mandatory minimum sentences, coerced felony pleas, and the like build and build upon each other to create an engine of persecution that robs families of their fathers and husbands, disenfranchises voters, and perpetuates the stereotypes that it then uses to justify its existence. The sheer horror of realization that comes with reading this book is hard to match. It's not merely a polemic, either—Alexander backs every story, every claim, with statistic after statistic and citation after citation.

    Racism is not something that simply ends when we refuse to talk about it. Discrimination is not over simply because America has Barack Obama as its president. If we are to truly dispense with this cancer at the heart of our country, it needs to be talked about and fought against, not pushed under the rug in an effort to pretend it doesn't exist. The New Jim Crow is a rallying cry against that sort of wishful thinking.

    1. Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroards by Greil Marcus

    A drumbeat like a pistol shot. 24 July 1965 was the day Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" went into the charts. It was on the radio all across the U.S.A. and heading straight up. When drummer Bobby Gregg brought his stick down for the opening noise of the six-minute single, the sound—a kind of announcement, then a void of silence, then a rising fanfare, then the song—fixed a moment when all those caught up in modern music found themselves engaged in a running battle for a prize no one bothered to name: the greatest record ever made, perhaps, or the greatest record that ever would be made.

    John Updike once said of Vladimir Nabokov that "He writes prose the only way it should be written: ecstatically." The same adverb comes to mind when reading this book—Greil Marcus' attempt to grasp just what makes Bob Dylan in general, and "Like a Rolling Stone" in particular, so great. Marcus may be an esteemed literary and musical critic, but he is before all else a Bob Dylan fan, and this enthusiasm shows forth on every page. His prose reaches near-rhapsodic highs as he seeks to describe the essence of "Like a Rolling Stone", what it has meant both to him and to the rest of Dylan's audience, and why it is indeed The Greatest Song Ever Written. If you're already convinced of the song's status, you find yourself exhilarated by the rush of Marcus' powerful mutual affection, even obsession; if you're not, the sheer force of his conviction makes you believe in what he says without question. Very few people can write about music in a way that is musical; Marcus does so in a way that seems effortless, the power behind his words causing them to transcend the page and become their own kind of notes floating through the air.

    Of course, if the book were solely about "Like a Rolling Stone" it would quickly peter out; no single song, even The Greatest Song Ever Written, can sustain a 250 page tome by itself. Fortunately, much of the book is less about the song and more about the subtitle, describing not only Dylan but all of America at the crossroads. Marcus weaves seamlessly back and forth between analysis of "Like a Rolling Stone" itself and reflections on what it represented for Dylan's artistic career, and from those reflections to further reflections on what Dylan's music represented for the entire culture of the 60s. In Marcus' view, the song is the lynchpin upon which that entire decade's culture hung, and if this isn't strictly true, it feels true, which for Marcus and for music in general is far more important than mere fact.

    Marcus is frequently accused of pretentiousness, and this is an accusation with which I won't argue—it's the height of artistic pretentiousness to insist, without irony or artifice, that a single song can really represent the turning point for an entire culture. However, this pretentiousness does nothing to dilute the beauty, passion, and truth of his musings, and if anything only serves to render them more powerful and thrilling. By the time the book reaches its final chapter, a description of the numerous failed takes, and the single successful one, of "Like a Rolling Stone" on the day of its recording—a point to which Marcus has been building, but from which he has steadily held back, for the entire book—you're near breathless. Dylan the man is sick of his legend, and it's understandable—no one really wants to be considered the voice of their generation. But what a legend it is.

  17. From 1 to 10, 1 being "you're a dick, die bitch" and 10 being "sweet muffin" how would you grade my behavior so far? I need feedback. Thank you good people.

  18. Just as a disclaimer, I know everything I'm about to say will be quickly dismissed by members of GDC with comments like "Well you deserved it" or "You had it coming" or maybe even something more detailed. I know most of what I've said in the past has been to annoy, to joke, and for comedy, but if I could be serious for at least one blog post, I'd like to address something that has been bothering me lately. I usually keep all of my suspension issues between myself, mods, and the affected party, but seeing as that tactic has led to nothing but empty promises and no results, I would like to bring it up to the public.

    The last four suspensions I have received have been unjust and laughable. I will go through them along with details to explain my case.

    Mar 19, 2015 - Suspended for 24 hours by Hermoine for "editing quotes; making personal attacks"

    It's been so long, that I could not find the specific instance. However, I do remember the quote that I edited. Someone said something with the phrase "I want to come with you..." or something, and I edited the word "come" to "cum" in the quote. Again, I do not remember the exact phrase, but the word change was the reason I was suspended. Quote editing for comedy is quote common on GDC. According to Hermoine, my editing the quote was a personal attack on the poster because I twisted their words. That was hardly the intent. The intent was to be silly just like when anyone else on GDC edits quotes. Hermoine also backed up her weak reasoning by saying that I had been mean to others in the past few weeks. When? In my blog post titled "The Hunt," a satirical piece I wrote, Ryan called me a whole slur of offensive things and was not even warned after I reported it directly to Hermoine. Instead, she apparently filed me reporting Ryan and deleting his negative comments under my criminal history as an offense on my part, not Ryan's.

    Mar 24, 2015 - Suspended for 48 hours by Lone for "continuing thread after being told to stop"

    Again, no reference of where this took place was cited by Lone. Instead it just redirects to my profile. However, I do remember this specific conversation in which myself and a few GDCers were making jokes in one of the General Chat threads. I distinctly remember refreshing my browser and being suspended, only to log in 48 hrs later and see that Lone had given me a verbal warning 5 minutes before the time stamp of my suspension. I made no posts between his verbal warning and my suspension, yet I was banned for continuing after I was told to stop. Based on a basic understanding of time, this is impossible.

    Apr 16, 2015 - Suspended for 24 hours by Andres for "making dumb comments about Green Day retiring"

    This was during the HOB thread. I commented on how what Billie said about it "being a strange trip" pausing and thanking everyone sounded like a retirement speech. I received 5 rep on that post (popular status) before I was suspended by Andres. After my suspension, Andres wouldn't even respond to my PM to explain what I did wrong. Apparently sharing my opinion on a band, joking or not, is worthy of a suspension.

    Jun 02, 2015 - Suspended for 24 hours by Andres for "creepy comments towards Kay"

    This the the suspension that made me begin to really take this issue seriously. In Kay's thread about selling GD items, I made a comment asking for her GD underwear. Kay and I joke like this on PMs, and she showed no sign of finding it hurtful. I was promptly suspended by Andres for this comment. I actually felt bad because I thought I had offended Kay. I thought the joke would be funny to her because of our past conversations. So I PMed her an apology, only to find out that she did not find the comment harmful as Andres had claimed, nor did she even report it. She said she thought it was funny and had no problem with it. With her permission, I send Andres the screenshot of our PMs regarding this topic. I thoroughly explained the situation and my confusion of why I was suspended if Kay thought it was funny and did not report me. Andres said he'd discuss it with the mod team. I guess a statement from Kay wasn't enough to prove that she wasn't hurt by it, so the mod team had to convene again to discuss how hurt Kay was by my comment. Andres never got back to me and never revoked my forum and post restrictions. To me, this is similar to leaving a man proven innocent in jail because "oh well, who cares."

    Again, most people who read this will have no problem with the mod team treating me unfairly. Most of you think I'm revolting. But just remember that this could happen to you as well. If you allow a member of a group to be bullied by the moderators because of their bias, nothing will stop them from thinking they can do the same actions to anyone else. If Andres wants a forum in which he rules without question, FINE. It's his website, he can do whatever he wants. However, Andres pretends that this is some sort of democracy. He leads GDCers to believe they can decide what behavior is appropriate or not, when really he makes the decision if someone's words are hurtful or not, even if they aren't. He makes rash decisions to suspend based on his own personal interests and beliefs. Andres brought back Seagull. I don't really care, but given all the people who don't want Seagull around, is Andres making decisions based on the good of the forum or of himself?

    Anyway, it's clear to me that the mods dislike me. Andres told me straight up that no one on the mod team likes me. It's easy to see that they are just scrambling for reasons to slap me with punishments. What I did in the past is deserving of punishment, but now the mod team seems to be working hard to remove me from GDC as much as possible with dinky, picky, and downright ridiculous suspensions. While you all may want me gone, remember that next it could be you. You could make a comment, be suspended, and even with proof of your innocence still be punished because Andres and the mods simply don't care to fix it. Look at Kay, who has gone from one of GDCs brightest members to a "bully" and a "changed person" according to Andres. Get on a mod's bad side and suddenly everything you do has a microscope on it.

    I could go on. I could talk about Andres trying to ban me for joking with Mimi, one of the people I talk to most on here, and asking her if she thought I was attractive. He went full force into that one, only to realize...oh...she didn't care because I was joking. Apparently Andres knows all, including the relationships people have and how they should talk to each other. Or when Tom suspended me for "no note" and would not provide an explanation even when provoked for one. Or when Andres banned me, saying "your jokes suck, even if people like (and rep) them." But this has gotten out of hand, and GDCers need to look around and really think about what sort of law governs this forum.

  19. Latest Entry

    Hello GDCers!

    Today is the last day of Campus MovieFest's #SavedonWD contest, so tomorrow you won't be able to vote for Saving Sadie, which is the award winning student film I produced and edited. If you would like to vote, thus qualifying you to win a Western Digital My Cloud, just follow this link http://savedonwd.wdc.com/contests/showentry/1860412 !!!!!!

    Thanks again to all the GDCers who continue to support us!

    Sincerely,

    Luke Davidson.

  20. I've lived here all my life

    I know all the landmarks

    Yet somehow

    I see them still

    As the landmarks of my childhood

    The blockbuster on the corner

    Though it has long since

    Become another shop

    Shall always be

    The blockbuster on the corner

    I return

    To places I have tread

    And expect

    To still see my footprint

    There

    Forgetting the many footprints

    That have obscured mine

    Expecting a clear print

    Where now there is only

    A memory

    These landmarks of my youth

    The parks

    The river

    The bushes cut away

    Like cuts against my flesh

    Even the street I grew up in

    No matter how

    Child like I am

    The time keeps passing

    And the places do not remain

    The abandoned house

    The one I assured myself

    Was haunted

    Despite never

    Having set foot on its grounds

    My thoughts

    The only evidence

    Of my conviction

    I watch

    As the overgrown

    Vegetation

    Disappears

    I hold on

    To these places

    And let them

    Haunt me still

    They are shadows

    In my mind

    As I once more

    Walk

    Where I once did

    This journey is constant

    A look at a past

    Memories I may not wish

    To remember

    Yet they hold on to me

    As I hold on to

    Them

  21. So a day or 2 go I noticed my ESC key stopped working on steam so I just shrugged it off but now it wont work on ANYTHING! What could be the problem? Im on a Dell Inspiron 11 3000 series with Windows 8

  22. Okay. I know this is going to sound extremely stupid, but I honestly have never used anything to download music besides iTunes in my life. I guess I've seen how Limewire worked when I was in grade six, but that was so long ago and I don't think that's even a thing anymore.

    Anyways, on iTunes I bought this album in 2007 called Grand Animals by Robbers on High Street. It's one of my all time favourite albums, and I have no idea why, but the album suddenly disappeared off of my own library and the iTunes store. :(

    So I was wondering where I could find it, or if anyone had the files to forward to me? I also love their song called Spanish Teeth and it has just randomly disappeared.

    My iTunes has also done this with my Weezer albums (I had them on CD, so I just resynced them), one of my Muse albums, all of my songs by Makeout Videotape, and 21st Century Breakdown. AND no matter how many times I edit it, all of my Linkin Park songs are changed to 'Linkin Park', and the albums are all called 'Linkin Park'. How annoying...but that's my luck, I guess. :lol:

    Thanks in advanced to anyone who could help me!