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LET’S PLAY (And Overthink): Conan: Hall Of Volta Apple ][ #Retrogaming #AppleII

15 Mar

conan3

So first of all, I’m not writing about this game because it’s good… Oh Sweet Lord Satan No. But this game was a (incredibly vexing) part of my childhood, and it means a lot to deconstruct it. See, first of all it was the mid-to-late 1980s and I had a very serious fixation on hella buff dudes in loincloths for some reason.

conan8Let’s face it, at no point in my life was I ever heterosexual…

So anyway in one of my classes, along with the expectable classics like Oregon Trail, Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, and Karateka, they had a copy of this game. I made a copy to take home.

conan7The schools copy was “cracked“, by the way. Don’t Copy That Floppy!

Conan: The Hall Of Volta is a computer game by DataSoft, originally written for the Apple ][ and ported to other platforms. It was released in 1984 alongside the second Arnold Schwarzenegger Conan movie, although it has characters and scenarios independent of any canonical Conan The Barbarian storyline.

conan9One of the main characters is a bird, for instance.

It’s a pretty straightforward one-hit-death side-view platform puzzle game, one of the first of it’s kind. Adding to the replay value, there were stage-specific death messages when you game over.

conan5They were also terrible, just terrible, “puns” most of the time.

Getting through the stages takes some practice to get the timing right, but once you know what you’re doing, the game can be finished fairly quickly. Stage One gets you used to everything:

conan10

You climb the ladders to go up, and you kill the Giant Bat (1) as soon as possible because it has access to the whole inside of the castle and has no qualm with killing you first. Once you reach the top of the castle, jump over to the tree (2) for a free life from your bird friend. Any time you see him throughout the whole game means a free life. Stage 2 introduces a new element (keys), but keeps up the same pace as the first and doesn’t have any monsters.

conan11

You grab the key (1) to unlock the door (2). Pretty simple. You can also grab a free life from your bird friend (3) by jumping up to touch him at the end of the stage. Stage three brings in the third primary gameplay element (gems and gem holders) and is distinctly harder than the first two, the beginning of a difficulty jump that continues for the rest of the game.

conan12

In stage three you use the teleporters (1) to get the gem (2) to place in the holder (3). Once the gem is in the holder, a bubble forms in the lava(4) that you can use to jump to the end of the stage.  Your avian friend is also here for the last time (5) to provide a free life, and keep in mind that the scorpions and ants on this level (6) are too low to the ground to hit with your weapon. The ants can also use the teleporter, which can seriously screw up any timing you were having for jumps and moving around the level.

conan13

In stage 4, the length of time you can spend at this stage is completely random. You grab gems (1) as they randomly appear, and once you put two in the holders (2) you get access to the key (3) to open the door. Extra weapons (5) appear on the stage randomly as well, and you should keep an eye out for (6) the fall-away white parts of the platforms as well as the middle platform that periodically rises from the geyser beneath it. You can also snag extra gems on this stage if you’re patient, which makes the next level slightly easier.

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Stage 5 is a bastard. No way around it. Basically the best way to go about doing it is standing right around where pictured in (1) and shooting the dragons (2) until you get a key and gemstone for the door(3) and holder (4) on the top level. It might take a few tries to get it where you weapon comes back and you don’t lose it. With the gem in the holder, you get access to the other key (5) which you can use to unlock the door out of the stage (6). Hopefully the absurdly overkill number of gems (7) on the bottom level are clue enough that it’s a trap.

conan15

Almost over… To get through stage 6, you need to kill the floating eyeballs (1) until the ladder (2) appears that gives you access to cut down the chandelier (3) that will smash the power generator (4) allowing you access to the door to the final stage (5). Also, you can get your weapons restored on the bottom level (6) if you need to.

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Final stage, and there is quite a bit going on. Your bird friend is in a cage (1) captured by Volta (2). Volta has some sort of device next to him that spits out gems and then turns them into green and purple magical bolts. Basically you wanna hit the green bolts with your weapon, which turn back into gems, and place them in the holders (3). With three gems in the holders, your bird friend goes free, throws Volta into the lava pit (4), and then flies you to the door at the end of the stage (6). If any of the bolts reach the lowest level, they can release one of the dragonflies captured there (7) which travel back and forth on that level. Also there is a pit in the middle of the stage (8) which drops you back to stage 6. Good if you’ve run out of weapons, not so great for any other reason. After this stage is the ending.

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For some reason, the Apple ][ ending features a knight in full armor instead of the barbarian. This is possibly a throwback to the first draft of the game, when it was called Visigoth. You can also see initials of the game designer and programmer snuck in the background as well (bottom left in blue and on the right in green). Later versions included a character much more recognizable to the theme of the game.

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This ending would have no doubt better satisfied the “burly barbarians in loincloths” fix I desired so much as a child “for some reason”.

conan19Seriously, who the fuck did I think I was fooling back then?

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Named After The Bastard Son Of A Grifter: My Great-Great-Grandfather’s Obituary

22 Feb

grandpa10

grandpa12grandpa7Have I talked about my non-immediate family much? I’ve talked about my uncles and my childhood and maybe mentioned some of my immediate family in passing but I don’t think I really went into my redneck-ass extended family background yet. Hold onto your butts, and enjoy these quirky 1906 print ads (from the newspaper the obituary was in) in the meantime.

grandpa8

Quirky right? So first of all check this out. All three folks in this photo were born with the same name:

grandpa13I’m the genetic dead end of a redneck dynasty.

That elderly gentleman on the left is my great-grandfather; whose first stated memory was “when the servant brought home what was left of my father in a sack”. What was in the bag was “Grandpa Jack” after he had jousted a train. To impress a prostitute. While drunk. On the back of a donkey. No bullshit; swear on his grave.

grandpa14The grave I accidentally knocked over as a kid (another story)

 Seriously tho, it’s pretty impressive that I get to be the awful tranny black sheep of this family because wow. Holy shit. Realize that I kind of have to do some cheating, lineage-wise, here. Technically, this guy is my dad’s mom’s dad’s dad. Got that? Thing is tho, I couldn’t tell you what the name of my dad’s dad was if you paid me. I met him like twice, maybe three times, and I don’t even know if he’s alive anymore. He once offered to pass down an antique harmonica or some other shitty family heirloom to me, but never actually did. That’s all I remember about him. Dad kind of hated his dad, which is kind of funny because my daddy issues are pretty legendary too. Like father like… *cough*

grandpa6

Anyway, I’m a divorcee, my parents divorced, both their parents divorced, you get the picture. Mapping out family and shit is pretty stupid; I have half-step-sibling-cousin whatevers that I never met. The point is: I’m named after the bootlegging (another story) bastard son of a “treasure hunting” grifter, and his dad was such an absurdly dirty rotten scoundrel I can’t help but marvel at the whole thing eleven decades later.

grandpa5

Talking to dad’s side of the family about him (back in the day when they would actually talk to me), the dude was a legend. Tracking him down has actually been a sunovabitch: census records list him at various times as “Jacob” “Jake C” “Jack” “Sutherland” “Southerland” “Sotherlland”, etc.  Here he is signing his name as “Jacob Sotherland” and lying about his age on the 1900 census, the last one he got to fuck with before he died.

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Born in North Carolina in October 1847, he lied his way into the army as a teenager during the Civil War. God even knows what the fuck he did while there, but his gravestone has honor markers from both the Union and Confederate army. During Reconstruction, he was a “treasure hunter”which apparently was some grifter gray area between inheritance fraud and claimjumping. After amassing a small fortune, he moved to Tennessee and hitched up with a woman 32 years younger than him, presumably without mentioning so to the wife and kids he left behind in North Carolina.

Even then, living with the woman he was illegally married to and their kids, he was still out playing drunk chicken trains to impress other women. And yet I’m the black sheep of this fucking family. Fucking amazing.

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F*ggot As Gender Identity, Detransition As A Form Of Suicide.

28 Sep faggot detransition gender dysphoria

“I shall never forget the unspeakable horror that froze the lymph in my glands when the baneful word seared my reeling brain – I was a homosexual. I thought of the painted, simpering female impersonators I had seen in a Baltimore nightclub. Could it be possible I was one of those subhuman things? I walked the streets in a daze, like a man with a light concussion. I would have destroyed myself but a wise old queen; Bobo, we called her, taught me that I had a duty to live and to bear my burden proudly for all to see.” – William Burroughs

detransition gender dysphoria

I’ve brought it up a few times, but I grew up Assemblies Of God and went Southern Baptist at 12 because they were more liberal. I’m not even building up to a joke here. In any case, attending huge tent revivals was a common occurrence throughout my entire childhood and adolescence. You’d be lectured for an hour and then people would stand in line for several more hours to repent, to publicly beat at their chest and renounce all their sins and reaffirm their devotion to God or whatever.

Watch enough of them and you’d see repeat performers… folks that had suddenly hit a brand new rock bottom of fornication and decadence or whatever and would be up front with the others, beating their chest and confessing to increasingly absurd transgressions against their fellow man.

This is relevant probably.

Anyway, you waste enough time on the transgender corner of the internet and eventually you start stumbling across detransition blogs. They’re always anonymous, declaring an unnamed dread of being discovered by this shapeless mob of “trans activists” out to ruin their lives for telling “the truth.” There’s this flair for the dramatic amongst the conspiracies and the increasingly absurd confessions of transgressions; this idea that the curtain is being drawn on “what the trans activists don’t want you to hear.”

detransition gender dysphoria

What they all have in common is an assurance that they know what they are now. Many claim to be gay men, but others actually claim to have discovered with horror that they were autogynephiles the whole time. Seriously. I personally know at least half a dozen funny, sweet and brilliant trans women that have all killed themselves this year before they’d barely started their twenties and yet some pathetic porn-sick creatures can read the documentation on what autogynephilia is, decide “well hot damn that totally describes me” and somehow not feel inspired to stick their head in the oven.

This is why I know there is no God.

I any case, I don’t claim to know shit. I don’t have any answer as to who or what I am and am not really sure there is such an answer. I don’t “identify as a woman”, whatever that means, but have experience a lifelong disassociation and revulsion towards being socially processed through “manhood.” This has meant quite a few different things in my life, mostly because I had no language to describe or understand it.

rani bakerAnd I’ve been dealing with this for decades.

The thing is, I wasn’t really processed through “manhood”, at least not in the sense of being socialized like a heteronormative hegemonic man (as if there was such a thing in a universal sense). From a very young age I was coded by society as a “faggot,” and my socialization was filtered through that coding. I was groomed towards appeasement and subservience to men and coded as deserving of violence and marginalization without resource for complaint. I was groomed to desire approval from and to appeal towards masculine idealizations, while also being held at arms length from any chance of owning them.

I’ve been a eunuch my whole life, regardless of whether I had balls. Faggot was my “gender identity”.

detransition gender dysphoriaReminder that “TERF is a slur” but faggot is a radfem-endorsed social identity.

Anyway, a little over a decade ago, I was coerced into detransition by my radical feminist-devoted boyfriend at the time. He was my second (and second longest) relationship I’ve ever had. I loved him like crazy; hell, I still do. He was brilliant and wordly and passionate, had impeccable music and artistic taste, and he fucked like a goddamn howitzer.

True story: the first time we fucked, it was to the Mindless Self-Indulgence Song “Faggot“.

detransition gender dysphoriaI have no pics of us then, so here’s one from 2006. Yes I’m still friends with him.

But he was also a verbally abusive alcoholic that used to tell me shit like “you’re not a woman; you’re a guy that I fuck in the ass and I wish you’d just accept that.” I wrote about it in my comic, but have never until now included the last page online because it was too painful:

detransition gender dysphoria

detransition gender dysphoria

Where was the Trans Cabal during all this? The one that is supposedly out there pressuring all the gender non-conforming people to transition? Oh right, they were too busy not existing.

detransition gender dysphoriawell, besides existing in the imaginations of transphobic gaybros

But how did I get to that point anyway? Well, nobody gives a shit about tired old stories of pre-teen crossdressing and childhood dreams of being able to break my dick off like a pencil so I could stop fretting about it or whatever. Stories of shoplifting lipstick and a hollowed out teddy bear full of stockings and skirts. Boring shit that folks always trot out their own variation of. Nobody cares.

I feel it’s worth repeating however that literally the first thing I bought with my own money (earned from my job in the dorm cafeteria) when I’d moved away from family to go to college was a (truly hideous) dress and some (appallingly cheap) makeup.

detransition gender dysphoriaNo pic of that either, so here’s me at legendary punk club Einsteins in 1995.

I didn’t really have the language to understand what the hell was going on tho. “Transgender” wasn’t really a word I had back then, and I don’t recall whether I’d used “transsexual” either. In college I’d read “Transsexual Empire” and it’s spiritual sister book “The Pink Swastika” and similar anti-gay books, seemingly most from the 80s. This was literally the only literature on the subject available in a college library in the 1990s. So I became one of those late-90s internet-addicted transsexuals one reads about. Still have my copy of Creating A Feminine Carriage and Melanie Speaks circa-1999 to prove it.

detransition gender dysphoriaSays a lot that I held onto both through a decade of detransition, really.

Back then I still had no idea how to, like, be trans tho. I was a semi-professional drag queen, which gave me a place to explore presentation and also offered me a place to meet men that could potentially find me desirable. I ordered crap fake hormones from crossdresser magazines to bolster the hardcore hormones I was buying from drag queens that smuggled them up from Mexico.

detransition gender dysphoriaMe at infamous Killeen drag bar Krossover, circa 2000-ish

But, like, I knew I was something different than a drag queen, but what? I attended transsexual support meetings full of sneering old ladies sitting bolt upright with their purses in their laps. Women that wrinkled their noses at my leather jacket and Walgreens lipstick, called me “drag queen” and “misguided faggot” behind my back. Hell I didn’t even know if I “wanted to be a woman,” whatever that meant. For the majority of my transition, I only knew one other trans woman that didn’t despise me. And because my life is a fucking disaster, I wound up dating her after detransition.

detransition gender dysphoriaEven more awkward, now she’s a guy again and thinks I’m disgusting.

To add further insult to injury, I had met an actual relatively famous trans activist (Ann Tagonist) shortly before my detransition, and she couldn’t help me. She actually recognized me from my tattoos related to my gender-angst comic Why I’m Not An Artist, which she’d read at a zine library in Portland. We were pen pals for about a year then lost contact anti-climatically. The universe loves to fuck with me.

I remember someone asking me, after hearing about my detransition, “So you pursued a sex change and gave up; what does that make you now?”. Honestly, I had no clue.

After detransition I figured if I had to be a guy, I might as well have some fun with it. I embraced absurd, flamboyant male dressings; arrow collars and exotic suit jackets and such. My gender identity was Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue.

detransition gender dysphoria

I figured folks that had known me for so long would have gotten the joke; this over-the-top expression of rock star masculine swagger I’d suddenly adopted. Nobody got the joke. Hell, after long enough, I’d lost the plot so much I wasn’t getting it either.

A funny thing about being a dude when you don’t want to be; you can deliberately kill yourself slowly in front of everyone and get cheered on for it. You can drink to the point where your skin is flushed from puking and pick up another drink while sobbing about your childhood and everyone just pats you on the back and is like “wow that dude is a party animal.”

If you’re charming and funny enough, nobody questions your judgement.

I’ve had dudes tell me how “dramatic” I became post-transition, and it’s like “wait, you fucking saw me smash a whiskey bottle and cut myself in public once because I was sad when I was a guy”.

faggot detransition gender dysphoriayeah this dude had it all together and wasn’t literally imploding in on himself

Detransition was the worst fucking thing that ever happened to me. I regret it every day; dwelling on how I already knew things about myself and worked on them and then gave up. I was a coward and a failure and pathetic for doing it.

And yet going back to that misery is constantly advocated to me and folks like me.

detransition gender dysphoria“you’re not a woman; you’re a guy that I fuck in the ass…”

Let’s not fucking pretend what people really mean when the push for this is “hurry the fuck up and die and get out of my way”. Because that is what detransitioning again would do to me. And I guess the universe isn’t done fucking with me yet.

She Should Have Been A Son.

6 Apr

So like, I was pretty sure I was gonna come out as gay when I was around 13…

beenason1TOTAL. FUCKIN. HOMO.

The clues were all there… I guess.

Honestly, I don’t know what the fuck I was except I seemed to be completely unlike “other boys”, and everyone seemed to be able to tell. I couldn’t seem to connect to boys my age on any level and instead found myself socializing around girls which found me this nonthreatening asexual presence. Yet I was also being palpably groomed towards appeasement and subservience to men and coded as a “faggot” deserving of violence and marginalization without resource for complaint. I was groomed to desire approval from and to appeal towards masculine idealizations. I remember the first time I’d watched Velvet Goldmine, and in that opening scene where child Jack Fairy is beat up and spreads the blood across his lips I remember actually thinking HOLY SHIT WHERE DID THEY FIND THIS FOOTAGE OF MY CHILDHOOD.

beenason2A pretty reasonable summary of my childhood.

All I knew, honestly, was that shit that “doesn’t happen to boys” happened to me on a pretty frequent basis.

I found no analogous “shared boyhood” experience to cling to when I was 10 and my male friend broke my nose when I told him he was cute and “reassured” me that he did so “for my own good” to remind me “I’m not allowed” to say such things. Was it just typical “male socialization” when I was 13 and it became a running gag/twisted bonding experience between members of the football team to grope my ass and whistle at me and then threaten to beat me up if I complained? When I spent a night at a friend’s house, 30 miles from my home, and he goaded me into drinking vodka and casually got naked in front of me suggesting we “wrestle”, I’d had no preparation or warning or understanding to work off of.

I learned pretty quick that the same boys in the schoolyard breaking my face open and the boys in the back of the bus goading me to give them handjobs were usually the same. And that somehow that made them heterosexual, and me not. My pre-teen years were spent getting a first-hand custom education that what most people understand about gender and sexuality is 100% bullshit, but not in the way everyone tells you it’s bullshit. More like in the straight women creating gay porn way that everything most people understand about gender and sexuality is bullshit.

…and this is aside of my well-trod-out stories of hundreds of pre-teen nights staying up after my family went to bed to play with makeup, calling myself “Rachel” in the mirror. Mornings after when my dad would yell at me for any detected trace of glitter or color on my face, speculating out loud (and loudly) how many cocks his “son” must be already sucking before “he’d” even made it into high school…

So anyway I was a big old homo and I was pretty sure I was just gonna start admitting it to myself and others and then my parents had to up and divorce. I mean, the divorce was needed and an excellent idea, but it put a serious kibosh on my plans to come out. My parents relationship had been rapidly disintegrating for a while, but had accelerated after the suicide of my uncle Jim, an event that fucked pretty much all of us up, including myself.

beenason3One of entirely too few photos I have of my uncle and I.

So anyway my parents split up and it was traumatic and whatever, you know, the typical child of the 90s story. That legendary divorce is such a bore. What it meant to me was that we were relocating from Briggs, Texas to Copperas Cove, Texas, a place where there were people my age that I could feasibly, you know, hang out with and potentially have a normal childhood friendship with. I was 14 at the time and had no idea what that was like and, honestly, I was terrified. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to be my friend if I was gay, so that got buried. Between repressing that and my socialized fear of masculinity, I found myself drawn to and embracing bonehead white trash heavy metal music and lifestyle (of which, thankfully, no photos survive).

placesivecalledhome5The duplex we lived in when we first moved to Copperas Cove in 1991.

Amongst all the knuckle-dragging meathead metal I’d immersed myself in at the time, something else had broken through that fall of 1991. One evening after school I’d caught the near-inescapable video for Smells Like Teen Spirit and I was enthralled. I just didn’t even know how to comprehend what I’d seen except that I’d suddenly become obsessed. I wound up scraping the cash together for the single on cassette, and then a few weeks later the album, and studied the artwork and scrutinized the lyrics and just tried to absorb everything I could out of it. For years afterwards I hunted down interviews and tracked down bootlegs to gain a more cohesive understanding of Kurt’s oeuvre.

beenason4

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get down to brass tacks: here was a scrawny cat with a big nose and a cleft chin with a feminine gender expression, an obsession with anatomical models and other weird antiques, and an obvious chip on his shoulder about toxic masculinity. It was like looking in a mirror or running into the future version of myself or something. I was 15 or so when I first read that legendary statement tucked away in the liner notes to Incesticide:

At this point I have a request for our fans.  If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us — leave us the fuck alone!  Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.

I remember thinking wow this is like the opposite of what it’s ok to say these days and filed it away in a place in my brain similar to the place under my bed where I stashed my gay porn. Someplace personal and private until I worked up the courage to address and admit to myself. I find myself periodically reminded of the role Nirvana played in sparing me from white trash induced mediocrity and self-repression. By the time I was 17 and in colllege away from small-town and family pressure I’d moved well past being that weird kid that was painting his nails coral and writing sharpie slogans and had come out as bisexual and began to cross-dress and wear makeup publicly in increasing frequency…

18yearoldmeMe at Lubbock punk rock club Einstein’s in 1995.

…but then we’re starting to get into a whole other story.

So What Is Up With The Upside Down Crosses?

28 Mar

This is the most common question I get that doesn’t involve my genitals, so I figure I should finally take a shot at answering it.

satanluvsmeYour humble narrator: Rani “No, I Don’t Literally Worship Satan” Baker.

So let’s just get this out of the way: spiritually, I consider myself a pantheist. What I mean by that is that I believe everything that exists is an aspect of the divine. I also reject the idea of a physical manifestation of the divine outside of the realm of metaphor. That said, I don’t have a functioning definition of divinity that I consider satisfactory. I also consider myself amoral in the sense that I don’t externalize the source of my empathy, desire to to do as little harm as possible, and basic social decorum. I also reject appeals to some sort of universality of said “moral” behavior, mainly because most appeal to some sort of chauvinism. Philosophically, I attempt to remain open to a dynamic situational universe and respond thusly. A lot of my positions are influenced by Robert Anton Wilson’s ideas about Model Agnosticism.

So I’m kind of like an atheist, except I kinda believe in everything, except for the concept of a god or morality. Simple, right?

And I’m no fan of Laveyan Satanism either. Too rooted in Objectivist thought for my taste. In reality, what I believe and practice is closer to Luciferianism than Satanism, but most people don’t know the difference and “HAIL SATAN” is more fun to say and gets more people’s undies in a twist. I also appreciate that thanks to my hometown, “Hail Satan” has turned into an informal pro-choice mantra. I swear to Satan I had nothing to do with that… but friends of mine might have. :3

I’ve also always been fascinated by religions that choose to include Lucifer into their rituals, like the Process Church Of The Final Judgement for instance. But long before I dared wear or utilize an inverted cross (which tbh always used to make me uneasy), I’d been drawn to the image of Baphomet (for probably a ton of blatantly obvious subconscious reasons).

ranibaphomet

In any case, for a while I associated both my gender identity (and my attempts to repress it) with black magic, demons, things like that. It terrified me, and the more my body and mind made it clear I needed to confront and do something about it, the more terrified I got.

So anyway, I don’t worship Satan, and I don’t hate Christians either. Because I guess that also needs to be clarified.

That said, I make no secret of the fact that I’m pretty church-damaged. I’m the first-born daughter of a preacher’s first-born daughter, and was raised Assemblies Of God, an extremely strict charismatic Presbyterian sect (that apparently Sarah Palin belongs to, lol). I remember church services being terrifying spectacles of histrionic performance, people slain in the spirit and speaking in tongues and dramatic faith-healings being a weekly occurrence. When I was 13, I voluntarily converted to Southern Baptist because it was more “liberal” if you can believe that.

The thing that really began to erode my Christian faith, however, was the suicide of my uncle Jim, a gay Christian pop singer. I couldn’t (and still can’t) come to terms with a God that wouldn’t want him in heaven, much less reconcile my own sexual orientation and gender identity issues with same. His death shook the faith of a lot of my family members. My mom (the aforementioned preacher’s daughter and one of my favorite people in the world), while still retaining a reverence for the teachings of Christ, currently follows a spiritual path influenced by the medicine of the Lakota Indians. My uncle, a Mennonite pastor, is now actively working to make his denomination more welcoming and inclusive of LGBT people. So, you know, this part isn’t entirely an unhappy ending.

So maybe we’re getting to the bottom of why the inverted crosses, but why pink? Well first of all because it shouldn’t exist. I’ve been obsessed with that idea for a while. There’s probably yet another trans metaphor in there somewhere. Hell, the name Destroyed For Comfort is probably an unconscious trans metaphor. Anyway, this is the first recorded time the pink inverted cross was a thing, and wouldn’t you know it I’m wearing a fucking dress (I swear to Satan this shit is unintentional)-

flipside2009cross

So yeah this was at Flipside 2009. It’s a pretty safe bet there were drugs involved in this decision to include new iconography in the Destroyed For Comfort performance oeuvre.  It didn’t start to become a prominent image until the months leading up to and especially shortly after I’d begun transition, however.

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A sort of symbolic acknowledgement yet rejection of my past while retaining momentum. Confrontational, yet cute. Like me.

Speaking of momentum tho, I think I’m bored with talking about this. Pretty sure I got the point (or as close to one there is) across.

Visited My Childhood Arcade, And It Wasn’t Too Shabby.

26 Nov

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Before I moved out of Texas and headed out to the Pacific Northwest, I wound up going on some trips to haunts of my adolescence with my brother as a sort of little-bro/big-sis bonding. At one point we wound up at the Killeen Mall, hanging out with an old high school friend.   Mostly, the mall is exactly what you expect:

homearcade3homearcade2

But when we found ourselves back at the arcade of our childhood, it was surprisingly fun. But then, spending the day in Killeen, Texas can really throw off your expectations so who can even tell. It was definitely not as depressing as anticipated. Other than the surprising lack of, well, arcade games, there was a lot of fun bright colors and rides. Parts of it looked like they were recovered from a Six Flags or something similar, and there were some games in the back that seemed like downright antiques (but in a creepy, aesthetically pleasing way).  It also included a full indoor black light mini-golf course.

Also, apparently TILT is a franchise.

                 homearcade18 homearcade19  homearcade17 homearcade16 homearcade15      homearcade14homearcade12homearcade13homearcade11homearcade10homearcade9 homearcade8 homearcade7 homearcade6 homearcade4homearcade5    homearcade20