Tagged blogging

Exploring Satanism with ‘The Lazy Satanist’

The following is a brief interview with a Satanist I spoke to last week. The Lazy Satanist encourages people to visit the Church of Satan’s website for more detailed information.


Who are you?
I prefer to let my dumb posts speak for themselves, but I’m no one in particular.

A post from The Lazy Satanist’s Official FB Page. 

What is satanism to you?
It’s an ethos which guides what I owe to myself and to others.

How does your form of satanism differ from other satanists?
My particular flavor of Satanism is more of a philosophy than religion. Other Satanists may place more importance on the rituals as laid out by Anton LaVey in his original texts, but I don’t find them particularly useful. Instead, I focus more on the guidelines for personal conduct and introspection.

What is a common misconception about Satanists and Satanism?
A lot of people think Satanism is the same as devil worship; that Satanists are out there, looking for children to sacrifice, or that we are aggressively dangerous.

Consent is important in Satanism. A practicing Satanist would not harm anyone unless they explicitly asked for it, or they attacked the Satanist in some way – we absolutely do not turn the other cheek.

In general, we reject the teachings of the Christian church as dangerous and harmful to its followers, which many people misconstrue as a rejection of any ethical or moral standards. Satanism specifically condemns unprovoked and undeserved violence and aggression.

How long have you identified as a Satanist?
When I actually got a copy of the Satanic Bible and read the core tenets, I realized I’d always naturally been drawn toward those values. That’s been about four years or so ago now.

Do you have daily, weekly or monthly devotionals, like prayer, offerings, etc?
Black Mass is supposed to be performed for special occasions where ceremony would be appropriate – weddings, baptism, funerals, etc., but there’s no real devotional schedule.

Since each Satanist is their own god, each day one is true to one’s self and behaves according to one’s own will, you might call that an offering or devotional.

Can you describe your practices?
In the interest of brevity, it’s probably more useful to briefly outline the core beliefs about what to strive for and what to avoid:

People are animals and aren’t above any other beast in the natural world, except by virtue of our cunning, which makes us capable of cruelty unseen in other animals.

One should seek physical, material, and mental satisfaction. Abstinence leads to personal misery and spiritual stagnation.

Love deeply those who deserve your love, and forsake those who would be emotional parasites. Do unto others as they do to you.Value wisdom and truth and be especially wary of self-deceit.

What would you like people reading this to know?
Satanism is basically atheism with heavy-metal trappings. We believe in no theological deity, but worship our own, individual potential. If you have questions, just ask!

What is being apart of the Satanist community like?
The Satanist community is pretty warm and open. We are supportive because we choose to be, not because of any obligation. Unlike most other religious communities, there’s no pretense or holier-than-thou posturing. If a Satanist says they’re your friend, you can believe it.

Your page, the Lazy Satanist, what’s it about?
The Lazy Satanist is about goofing around and having fun with popular misconceptions of Satanism and the occult. Jokes about warlocks and demons are fun for the whole family!


If you have more questions, direct them to me below, or ask The Lazy Satanist directly. “Exploring Satanism” doesn’t end with this article. 

I am From Train Tracks and Busy Streets

by Vivian


I am from train tracks and busy streets.

From motorcycles rides through the city and instant noodles,
The tofu on the streets that caused a round stomach – a baby so pure and so innocent.

I am from red velvet slippers and jumping rope in the courtyard.
From the big, mean girls who never let anyone play with their toys,
Their leader climbing up the stairs to the yellow slide after me, anger – infused face.

The slow-motion face plant as I hit the ground, leading to the broken arm in a cast.

I am from middle school “glo-ups” and makeup bags.
There’s always a first time for everything, baby girl not so innocent anymore.

From highlights to lipsticks, eye-shadow to contour.
The first pebble of insecurity, now towering like mountains.

I am from the stress tearing me apart between good grades or popularity.

“You need to do better. Universities look at this, you know?”
“Be cute, be hard to get, be confident. But watch out for Mackenzie.”
Those small little slip – ups that seem like the end of the world but actually aren’t.

I am from Gingham, Juno, and Lark.

The perfect filter – maybe X – Pro Valencia – or how ‘bout Skyline? Nah, #Nofilter.

Having to capture the perfect meal, posing with the perfect body, living the perfect Instagram life.

The staged smile on the girl holding plastic flowers pretending to be happy. No, no! I don’t want to be her!

I am from Grey’s Anatomy and Disney movies.
To grow up and help the needy, to cure diseases, to advise medicine.
To escape with the rose, flee with two glass slippers, and not kiss the frog.

Wanting to be my own woman, to do something better for the world, without Prince Charming.

I am from the fascinating world of medicine.
To witness the very first breath to the last dying breath, not just once, but a million.

That “tears and smiles” moment in life when joy and pain are seen together, holding hands.

To experience a miracle of a lifetime, or to mourn beside a deathbed.

I am from greatness and failure.
I still have a lot to learn, with many mistakes and failure along the way.

Embarking on a journey to find the meaning of life, every moment leading from:

I am from train tracks and busy streets.


Book Review: Gladiator

Gladiator, Joshua Chou

PJ Review Score: 3.5/5


3: 🙂
4: 😊
5: 😲 

Overview

Gladiator is an action, fantasy novel written by Joshua Chou. Chou is a NYU graduate, who intends to make a career out of writing. He loves super-heroes, which is evident in this work.  Gladiator, published in 2018, is his first novel.

As you might glean from the book’s title, the book focuses on gladiators – several in particular. The story line is quite entertaining but mostly linear, which means that there aren’t any significant multilateral power struggles. The protagonists and antagonists are mostly clearly defined.

Analysis

Conan is the main protagonist, who seems to be an ordinary high school kid. It turns out he actually might not be so ordinary after he passes out from falling down a flight of stairs. Conan remains a mysterious character throughout the novel. Even at the end of the novel, the reader can’t really be sure that they know Conan. This could be due to the fact that Conan’s character is never really fleshed out enough. His character lacks some development in some areas. On the other hand, it could be because Gladiator is a part of a series in which Conan’s character develops over time.

Gladiator takes place some time in the future. This is just my best guess, as the actual time period remains undefined throughout the novel. The presence of hover cars and superior weaponry is evidence of the future.

In the beginning and toward the end of the book, the reader learns about the city of Colossus. The story opens with the city being plagued by ‘Third republic’ thugs, and having emerged from a fairly recent war with surrounding ‘city-states.’ The ‘Third republic’ are a gang, or operation of rebels.

Critique

As someone who loves delving into novels, and immersing herself in fantastical worlds, I was let down by the lack of attention the writer placed on describing Colossus, and its current relationship with neighboring city-states. Because the city lacked some fundamental descriptions, the story didn’t come alive. At least, not as much as it could have.

I would draw the same conclusions about some periphery characters that appeared in the beginning, and those that remained throughout the novel. So much emphasis was placed on the problems, that not as much attention was given to some details. As a result, there are some lingering questions that are never addressed.

However, the story was good overall, it just did not live up to its full potential. If you’re interested in reading Gladiator for yourself, you can find it on Amazon.


 Recommended:

Hear my Thoughts

by Swesuny

This piece was inspired by the current social and political climate in the writer’s hometown and abroad, in the United States. 


It saddened me to see others look for faults in the other people,
It saddened me to see others misjudge the other people,
It saddened me to see others consider themselves higher – above the other people.
It saddened me to see others use their ability to degrade other people,
It saddened me to know others manipulate the information to sabotage other people,
It saddened me to look at those who are in authority using their powers to disgrace other people.
It saddened me seeing others so full of themselves and forgetting their manners,
It saddened me – things I have noticed and seen around my surroundings,
It saddened me that they can’t be more ethical and virtuous human beings.
A human being that has a good heart ready to accept individual uniqueness,
A human being that has an eye open to see every possibility,
A human being that has ears ready to listen to every person’s concerns,
And a human being that has a hand to help without expecting anything in return.
I hope we can spread love and acceptance, not hate.

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What is Anthropology to Anthropologists?

by 罗子禾

At a social event that took place not so long ago, I met a group of anthropologists, some of whom recently received their PhD’s. I have always thought that scientists are a strange bunch. They tend to not place so much value on monetary gains in life.

Instead, they spend their time digging up true and important assertions that further our understanding of the world around us and help us develop tech that makes life easier and more interesting.

However, they are exactly like the rest of us. They have coffee, go see their family, pay their bills, go hang out with friends, etc. I wanted to understand their life choices a little bit better. So, I asked them what anthropology was to each of them, and here are their answers…


The quiet and polite PhD candidate:
Whatever anthropology is, it’s attractive to me because of its depth. As a cultural anthropologist, I believe that everything, every behavior is reasonable or legitimate in its home environment. I’m not speaking of ethics here. I believe that stealing is morally wrong, but I get more attracted to the stories of why people do what they do. There’s always a reason, and that reason is almost always interesting to me.

The youngest PhD candidate at the table:
Anthropology taught me tolerance. The world is a big place and every one of us grows up only in a little corner of it. We are all accustomed to our own sets of traditions and norms, which are often regional. Anthropology is the thing that helps me rise above my own prejudices and faulty preconceptions.

The PhD graduate with a nice smile:
Anthropology is a way of thinking. It’s a set of rules and skills that helps me delve deeper when I think about things.

The extremely sociable PhD graduate:
Anthropology is a lifestyle. It’s a tool for me to understand other people better, including people around me. It’s that part of my life where I can unleash my passion for knowledge and scrutiny. As an anthropologist, I think critically about myself, especially about my values. Critical thinking at this level helps me jump out of traditions or social constructs and design my own way of life. Anthropology is my soul-searching journey.

The old professor:
When I was just starting my post-graduate education, I went against my sponsor’s wish and gave up economics to throw myself into anthropology. I did that because upon arriving in Japan, where I received my PhD, I was suddenly exposed to a whole new world. Unlike China at the time, a lot of people in Japan were bursting, no, imploding with original thought and the associated passion. Left wing extremists would hijack planes to go to North Korea and set up their resistance against the government. I just said to myself, how can I be an economist now that I’ve seen this? I want to understand it, explain it. Anthropology is what helps me understand and explain.

The poetic PhD candidate:
Anthropology is like a romantic partner. Don’t you guys think so? Anthropology, or rather, the idea of anthropology is quite romantic. There is an undeniable attraction between the field and the people studying it. Anthropology brings me ups and downs. It’s exactly like a life partner.

The new chair of the department:
Anthropology kind of became my identity at some point. Even though my job is 9 to 5, I don’t stop being an anthropologist after work. I may not have any work to do, but I’ll think about stuff. Once I started being an anthropologist, I became an anthropologist every second of every day. It’s an identity, or at least a lifestyle.

The composed PhD candidate:
Anthropology is a way to understand the world. It’s one of the fields of study that gives you fresh and interesting ways to think about the fundamental questions in life. Why am I here? What’s it all for? At the same time, anthropology, for me, is the platform that helps me get acquainted with other branches of science.

The happy PhD graduate:
Anthropology is that thing that helps me to come to terms with the coexistence of opposing thoughts and perspectives. What’s more, it’s also a path to change the public’s opinion or to convince people of things that I believe to be true or right.


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Hunger Calls

by Vivian


As a child, they could not keep me from that cupboard.
During nights when the air is still, so dead you could hear a pin drop.
A slight crack in the door and out peaks a little eye.
The hinges scream in tune to the sound of floorboards moaning.
I float past those sleeping doors. As if one wrong move will make the floors disappear beneath me.

The glass cupboard towered over the marble counter–a high rise for a man trying to scale up the windows with no rope.
My stomach demonstrated a whale’s mating call, piercing the dead silence with a wretched rumble. Wincing, I clenched my stomach.

Searching around, I hugged the square box left over from careless cooks. I relished the cold metal handles that sent thrills down my spine. An overcast hung over the neighborhood as hazy light illuminated through the translucent curtains.

I savored the sight of dim colors that lit up as stray light struck the treasure inside the cupboard. I grabbed the smooth plastic bag, wrinkled with a stretchy soft texture. I unzipped the red ridges at the top to have a piece of what I came for.

I sink my teeth into the sweet, chewy consistency as it sticks to my mouth and warms my tongue. I eat what Tantalus could not. I yearn to relieve the desire and thank the darkness for keeping my secrets.


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Drifting Away

by Tylia L. Flores


Sitting here in my wheelchair,

Staring at our pictures on the wall,

Thinking about how much we’ve changed.

Drifting away like a boat out at sea,

I guess that’s what happens when you start to love young,

people change and their paths begin to change.

It’s hard for me to see you as the same

‘Cause I know we’re drifting away from what we used to be.

I don’t want to say goodbye but the more I look at you

The  more and more I know it’s that time,

‘Cause we’re drifting and things are changing  

And I can’t hang on anymore…