- Attended a concert where Howard Shore conducted most of the score from "The Lord Of The Rings" movie trilogy.
- Stood on the corner of Constitution and 15th in Washington D.C. to watch President Reagan's procession to the Capitol, and then waited in line for seven hours throughout the following night to visit the Rotunda, witnessing one of the last changes of the guard that took place during the public viewing there.
- Earned two technical certifications in website design and management.
- Given myself a thorough self-education in how to use Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.
- Started teaching myself Macromedia Flash.
- Spent three days shooting footage for my upcoming short film "Forcery" and several more preparing it for the final product.
- Began learning how to play the guitar.
- Began what I hope will become a successful small business.
- Played and beaten Doom 3 on the "Marine" setting.
- Started getting more serious about my personal times of devotion in prayer and Bible study.
- Finally earned the rank of Master Artisan with my character on Star Wars Galaxies.
- Leg-pressed 500 pounds.
- Started writing another screenplay, and finally was able to begin work on an original idea for a novel.
- Attended a Catholic church service for the first time in my life.
- Laughed a lot. Cried a lot. Thought a lot.
This summer is going to end with me having, I like to think anyway, quite a bit more enlightenment on the way things are than I did when it began. To put it tersely: I've a lot of things to do in this life, and not a lot of time to waste.
On January 22, 1999 I first began posting online, first at FreeRepublic.com and then two years ago at LiberyPost.org, as "Darth Sidious". I took the screenname from the villain of the first Star Wars prequel, still four months away at the time. Not because I'm a BAD guy per se, but because I liked the character and because I've been a Star Wars nut for almost my entire life.
Back then I really believed that online political discussion forums were going to be the seed from which a new renaissance of American liberty and responsibility would blossom from. I now feel utterly foolish and ashamed that it took the present set of circumstances, as despicable and nasty as they have become, to finally convince me beyond any reasonable doubt that... I was very, very wrong about that.
The modern American political mindset demands that we buy into the paradigm that there are two and only two valid camps: the Democrats and the Republicans. One has to choose between one or the other to be considered a full citizen, according to conventional wisdom. That's how I used to see it too, before I first began getting shaken from that mental stranglehold four years ago.
Modern American politics is two cages full of rabid insane monkeys throwing excrement at each other and either one claiming superiority for it. I'm a thirty-year old guy, and I do not want to waste my life or what reputation I have by watching monkeys throw excrement at each other... much less associating with them.
Bush has done some very evil things with the responsibilities he was trusted with. I've no doubt that Kerry is going to do some evil things also if/when he is elected President. Maybe I'm being too old-fashioned and disaffected by things, but the lesser of two evils... is still evil. Electing a man to office knowing fully well that he's going to lack principles, humility and character and yet believing that he's going to do some good... is insanity. And no matter how loud the monkeys scream that they're holding diamonds... that's still shit in their filthy paws.
So tonight, because it's time to move on to bigger and better things, and because I've come to realize how futile and meaningless an exercise it is to spend my time and energy arguing ideas to the best of my understanding to people who seldom desire either ideas or understanding, I'm retiring from posting as "Darth Sidious" to political discussion sites. It was a fun ride, for the most part. I met a lot of good people and made a LOT of new - and now lifelong - friends. It did lead to some very neat things in my life. But whatever vitality they once had is gone now, and I'm going to seek out greener pastures elsewhere. The passion and energies I used to pour into that can be MUCH better spent in writing to this blog, or anything else creative that I bend my mind toward. In the end, I'll be a much better person for it, without all the grief of suffering the inane babblings that passes for "intelligent discourse" from the idiots among the BushBots or the KerryKadre.
It was fun. Now, let's see what else is out there...