Weapons for the Modern Man

1. Emoji Gun
“Whether with a smile or a frown, I’m taking you down.”

The Emoji Gun was a product of the massive pugilist movement that rose in the early 2030s, an invention mothered by the futility of verbal communication and the necessity of annoying the people that you do not like. Emojis have been around for generations (since the early 90s) and has been mainly used as a sort of pseudo-cuneiform that conveyed an individual’s emotion with one symbol. However, their greatest use was never fully realized until the mid-2020’s. Turns out, emojis contain what are now known as “sleeper symbols;” linguistic devices that seem inert when alone, but in frequent bursts would cause mild annoyance at best, and a ruptured patience valve in the target’s hippocampus, at worst.

Yes, it turns out that emojis are really, really good at ticking people off (to the point of outright killing them), and in the year 2027 a group of scientists begun what is to be one of the greatest achievements in human engineering: weaponizing the sleeper symbols within the emoji. This project was no joke; it involved a team 6 neuroscientists, 6 language experts, 8 psychologists, 7 political analysts, and one Doctorate in TV and Anime Studies (majoring in Sitcoms, Shonen, Slice of Life, and Reality TV).

The Emoji Gun in its current form functions just like any other gun, with the exception that its ammunition functions as a wave and not a particle. This makes it difficult to predict its rate of fire, but it is said to be relatively consistent and on average can produce sleeper symbol waves of up to 10 exahertz (close to gamma rays), which is equivalent to 10^19 emoji emissions per second (EE/sec). If the current pace of technology remains, Emoji Guns dishing out 10^20 or even 10^21 EE/sec may see the light in the next 5 years or so.

2. Drivel Bomb (also known as the Invalid Argument Detonator or IAD)
“Ire in the Hole!”

The Drivel Bomb or the IAD is the product of many, many years of data: generations worth of heuristics, statistical analysis, and conversational nuances, all packed in one little bomb for the modern warrior to enjoy. What the IAD is, is simple: a compilation of strings of Invalid Arguments collected throughout the past millennium, ready to explode in the face of some unsuspecting fast-talker at a moment’s notice.

The IAD uses cutting-edge compression techniques to incorporate every horrifying, shocking, and also all the stupid dumb arguments any human has ever made— all in a sphere the size of a modern baseball! As for the source, well, the inevitable rise in popularity of the Internet in the early 2000s led to the possibility of curating the collective inabilty of the human species to control our mouths especially when in bursts of extreme emotions. Most of these strings are therefore sourced from 16 to 20 year-old individuals undergoing the now obsolete “angst phase,” However, there are some from older individuals as well (particularly those that did not handle midlife crisis very well, or old grandpas and grandmas complaining how the youth at the time were not like the youth of their time— which is a load of bollocks when you think about it).

Every straw man, unfair comparison, false dichotomy, dilemma, cause, or indeed any invalid argument you can think of is included in this neat little package of subatomic stupidity, which can cause massive damage in the immediate vicinity that some could only describe as all the natural calamities rolled into one, experienced three times over. The blast radius, however, is a bit small at a mere 2 miles, but there had been reports that the effects of these earth-shaking stupidities can be felt in locales 10,000 miles away. One such notable use of the bomb is the Pandemona incident in Manila, Philippines which occurred in the year 2033. An IAD was used to flush out insurgents and anti-government cells by the Philippine Military by order of the Dictator / Chief-of-Staff who was already in position for almost more than two decades at the time (said leader is seeking the secret to immortality, it turns out, but we digress). The effects of the Pandemona incident was apparently so severe that it caused individual earth faults to rearrange themselves, actually moving the whole Philippine archipelago closer to China, which in turn re-ignited disputes regarding what country owns which territory.

The IAD is not to be taken lightly. Truly, it is a magnificent feat of human weaponry, one that can make or break world peace, depending on who uses it (not that we care — so long as you pay for it).

3. Attention-Seeking Missiles
“Notice me, senp- *boom!*”

There’s really not much to say about Attention-Seeking missiles, but they are a marvel of innovation still worthy of discussion. Based on the technology that made heat-seeking missiles possible, the Attention-Seeking missile (or ASM) uses advanced algorithmics and neural tracking to lock-down on people who feel that it’s necessary to excessively glorify their selves and thus in turn feel that all eyes should be on them all the time. Well, they can rest assured that the ASM’s eyes are always on them, all the time. Basically, the ASM is good at invading homes of narcissistic people and promptly making their heads explode and have their splattered brains serve as wallpaper and carpet embellishments all in a matter of a split second.

It seems like a simple mechanic, but the criteria for narcisissm was not an easy factor to figure out, much less configure and program into an AI-microchip that’s to be used with a missile. Psychologists and neuroscientists made their breakthough in 2036, when a complete neural structure of the brain was successfully mapped. Basically, this neural map is what the very heart of the ASM is, and it scans the area for certain “triggers” that will make the ASM go batshit insane (indicated by the word TRIGGERED on the built-in LCD) and destroy everything in its path until it gets to the brain that “triggered” it. It will then promptly deliver its payload and explode in a merry concoction of cyanide, thermite, concentrated hydrogen, and antimatter in a lavish display of fireworks while a little audio chip plays the tune of “Happy Birthday To You,” “Auld Lang Syne,” or “The Star-Spangled Banner,” depending on what variant the user ordered. Music can be further customized to play, for example, the national anthem of your country, but it will cost a little bit more than market price.

ASM are slowly gaining popularity in countries with pseudo-governments or those in anarchy, as political “leaders” tend to have narcissistic personalities and the ASM is an easy way “root out the bastards,” so to speak. Just be careful and double-check if you have equipped the included ASM-immunity wristband to ensure that you do not accidentally make yourself a target. Each purchase of the ASM includes the wristband with a serial number that matches the ASM you bought— you are thus immune only to that specific ASM. We repeat: do not use the ASM without the wristband, we cannot stress this enough. It will be bloody.



Writing Concept #776ASJDGHSAKJ

Perhaps one of the greatest inconveniences of time is that there are moments when it goes by so fast, we can’t keep up. For many people, the inability to catch up with the things that matter most has been a constant source of worry, which can become their worst fear, eventually. There have been missives and poems and countless stories written about this, too; always emphasizing how precious the passage of time is, always reminding us that we should never miss a beat.

But if we really stop and think about it, time, or its passage, are never the precious things. These are but constructs of the human mind, designed to describe a cosmic concept that are as natural as gravity, eclipses, or the tides. We gave names and concrete definitions of these things so as to be able to communicate better and form better ideas of them in our heads. Now, don’t get me wrong: the phenomenon we call “time” is real, what I’m saying is that the worries, and fears, are misplaced. We must not fear lost time, for time is a matter of perception. Time was conceived so we can conveniently measure our lives in seconds or hours, or days; just as space was conceived so we could express the boundaries and frontiers that we have crossed in terms of distance, or volume, or depth.

No, what we should fear are lost moments, the lost chances, the lost opportunities. What we should worry about are the could-have-beens, the should-have-beens. Have you ever heard the phrase, “there’s no point wallowing in the past?” That is not true. There is a point, and there is no shame in wallowing and dwelling and reflecting on the choices you could have made, on the life you could have lived had you taken *this* or *that* chance and “seized the moment,” so to speak. By weighing the choices that matter, you can evaluate what you have right now and compare it against what you would have gained before, if you had taken another path. The questions you ask and the dilemmas you resolve in your mind can be the start of self-improvement. Would things be better? Would *I* be in a better state if I took that chance? Would feelings linger longer? Would I be feeling happiness right now, instead of unfathomable sorrow? Would certain people have stayed?

Time means different for many people, but time is never gold. Time… time is there, and time goes, and we can never do anything about that. What is golden are the opportunities, the choices we make, and how we respond.

A. P.

Seaafret - Tell Me It's Real

How I Felt While I Was Listening To… Seafret – “Tell Me It’s Real”

So, I just started this blog, and I think it is going well, so far. I am particularly loving the “Schedule” feature, as it allows me to migrate some of my old poems into the blog without flooding the ‘poetry’ tag feed too much (I hope).

I originally planned to just put up a single poem per day (two or three poems at most), but I wanted to give my older poems a chance to see the light, so I scheduled for most of them to be posted, two hours apart. I hope it didn’t annoy the crap out of people following me (hey, thank you so much for the follows and kind words, by the way, guys!).  It will taper out soon, I promise, as I only got, like three days worth of scheduled posts.

Now, I want to give this blog another dimension by talking about one more thing I really love besides poetry: music. I know, I know, everybody loves music. All the more reason to get into talking about it, right? So I thought I would put up a semi-regular thing where I just write about how I felt while listening to a particular album. It’s a way to express how I go about understanding music and hopefully get some insight on how particular nuances make us love the thing more. Also, it’s a way of encouraging me to write more often. As I said in the sidebar, there on the right if you can read it, I wrote poems every day. Yet, I never actually wrote… blog or journal entries like this one, and for the longest time I wanted to, and regularly! Even if it’s just for a once-a-week kind of thing. The fact that it’s music that makes me courageous enough to try it actually says a lot about me as a person, too.

I want to emphasize how I said I will just write about how I feel. This will not be a critique or an analysis or a review of the album. Although to be honest, it might look like it would veer into any one of those directions at times. However, the bottom line is that I don’t want anyone to take anything from these posts other than the fact that it’s one guy’s emotional response to that particular work of art. If you agree with it, then it’s okay. If you don’t then that’s fine, too. You can even comment on how you disagree; I think it will make for a very interesting discussion, and I would also love to see things in a new way.

I’m not a ‘pro’ by any means, but I can play guitar, keyboard, bass, and drums. I wish I could play violin or cello, though. And watching orchestras perform live just always gives me this super-awesome feeling I cannot even start to explain.

So… that’s my intro, I guess. Today I will be talking about a relatively fresh release, just out January of this year (2016): Seafret’s “Tell Me It’s Real.”

Although it is a little bit embarrassing to admit, Seafret first caught my attention not because of their music. The reason why I know and love Seafret today is because of a thumbnail. You see, I love Game of Thrones and Arya Stark in particular, so when I saw Maisie Williams on the thumbnail for Seafret’s MV of “Oceans,” I immediately clicked; the reasoning being that anything with Maisie Williams in it is going to be awesome.

And boy, was I right. “Oceans” was all sorts of intimate and heartbreaking. That brooding guitar strumming in the intro, for me, felt like a preamble to a lamentation. Of course, it all the more emphasizes that feeling of longing as the vocals come in, saying three very unexpected words: “I want you.”

Okay, what I love about opening lines, especially when you’re hearing or reading an artist for the first time, is that it serves as an introduction that can make or break the idea of your relationship together. So for me this experience is like meeting a person for the first time after which they will just up and tell you that, hey,

I want you.

It tends to catch someone off-guard, as I was.

From there it’s just a snowball of musical atmospheres that builds up on this longing… and also the reason for that longing, which was ultimately revealed in the chorus that sings, “It feels like there’s oceans between you and me…” It was just a beautifully-constructed song, and after listening to it I was convinced that I have to listen to the album already.

This was a minimalistic track, featuring nothing more than the guitar, the vocals and the subtle ambiences. I expected the whole album to be that way, but I was surprised when the album’s opening track, “Missing” featured drums. Nonetheless, it was a good surprise, and I can say that “Missing” is more powerful than most of the other songs, but in a way still conveyed the same sense of longing and want that I first felt in “Oceans.”

I have to say that my most favorite track, though, is “To The Sea,” which featured guest vocals by Rosie Carney. The song has this very nostalgic feel to it and features a somewhat… cozy simplicity which is a step back from the usually heavy atmospheres that most of the songs in the album lay.

I guess it also helps that I live close to the sea, and the song just mirrors some of the feelings and ideas I get when I think about that fact.

“Do you
think of me
when you look to the sea?
I know,
it’s hard to grow
when you’re pushed to your knees.
I know,
our time will pass, your love it will last.

Darling, we will never break.”

“Tell Me It’s Real” is such a wonderful experience, and I can say it is in my top ten of my most favorite releases of 2016. If you’re into laid-back indie pieces featuring guitar and emotional lyrics, try and give it a spin!

”How I Felt While I was Listening To…” aims to be a regular feature of this blog, wherein I try to write about how I feel about a particular album. It is not meant to be a review, analysis, or critique but merely a way to share emotional responses to certain pieces of music and perhaps encourage others to give the album a listen, as well.*

A. P.