by Belphegor the Magnificient, Patriarch of Constantinople
a revenge story that is most interesting
The thousands of ramblings and incoherent readings of Professor Ponder I had borne as best I could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. But you, who so well know the nature of my soul shall not suppose the punishment imposed was not equal to the crime, to which the reader is now pointed.
On a certain day before Thanksgiving Break, Dr. Ponder ceased his muddlings in philosophy to speak of my faith, held most dear, of Eris, goddess of discord, whose most sacred day is Friday. Ponder referred, in a class that was to be held in less seriousness than the rest of the semester, that Discordianism is a joke religion.
He held the story of Malaclypse the Younger and Omar Ravenhurst, who beheld Eris with whom they spoke in 1958 in a bowling alley, to be a mockery of the idea of prophets. He proposed that the Original Snub, by which our great goddess accidentally caused the Trojan War (the beginning event of Western Civilization), after being snubbed by Zeus, was to mock the apparent human need to have a mythic event spark the rise of civilization. He mocked Discordian rituals as “clinging to religious absurdity in ritual” purely for its own sake, and that Discordians did not hold any spiritual values but humor.
Short Story by Chris Drew
We relax briefly. A darkened room. She says something, and I retort. There is a strained pause, a sort of misguided reverent illusion hung in the air. I whisper. She inquires. There are words at the back of my throat.
“How long have we been going on like this?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
Feature by Alexander Clippinger
Screw ‘em. Sorry, Canadian Bambi, but we need oil more than we need you. If you can’t stand the drills, get out of the tundra. I’d move quickly; I think I hear Palin’s chopper coming over the nearest hill.
We really don’t care. Or at least, we shouldn’t. Millions upon millions of people die each year due to lack of food, water, or shelter, or because of hatred and bigotry. Millions upon millions of species have died over the eons; leave it to humans to be the first to care more about the survival of other species than it does about the survival of its own. If hippies put as much effort into ending the violence in Africa as they did attempting to get impotent panda bears to mate, we’d have total world peace by now.
Extinction has happened before, and it’s happening again. Evolution. Natural selection. Just replace the word “natural” with “man-made” and “selection” with “wanton destruction.” The dinosaurs died because they couldn’t learn to live with asteroid fallout. The polar bears will die out because they can’t suck it up enough to swim to the next iceberg. Grow gills or get packin’.
essay by Faith Martin
Blue skies streaked across Earth’s ceiling. I looked down to see people of different races, sexes, genders, backgrounds, interest, fashions, and economical classes. They somehow have all flocked together in this one place.
This place I describe is Pioneer Square in Portland, Oregon. Pioneer Square has been considered Portland’s “living room.” It’s directly centered in the middle of Portland, by the city’s courthouse. Made of brick, the square is mainly flat, while bricks towards the edges form miniscule stairs that creep towards Italian ice vendors and hot dog carts. Starbucks, the infamous coffeehouse that brought “coffeehouse culture” to mainstream America, sits on the right side of the square. Their patio is always chockfull of socialite teens, businessmen, and young writers blogging away on their laptops for everyone to see. They stare quietly upon the street performers, hacky-sack enthusiasts, burn-outs, slackers, punks, goths, artists, and homeless citizens that call Pioneer Square their refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Short Story by Elliot Eastin
The batteries were dead. It was in the washing machine. Your carrier dropped the ball and the message was never delivered. You’ve traveled outside your service area. Your friends are too lazy to bother returning your texts.
All are possible reasons for miscommunications using cell phones. Paul was a smart enough kid, and he knew all of these things. On top of that, he knew it was a well-known fact that you can’t text message break up, but it didn’t stop him from panicking when he got a text from Jennifer saying that it was over.
He and she had been dating for nearly two years, and as far as he knew, things were going very well. He had been sweet and considerate, and, unlike the jocks she could have been going out with, his primary goal was not to simply get into her pants.
She had been hot, but in a very classy way. And she had more than the rudiments of personality to her, in stark contrast to the girls who could be summed up in a bleached-blond hairdo and semi-gloss lipstick. They’d met in Geometry. She’d hated proofs as much as he, and out of that mutual hatred blossomed a compassionate and surprisingly functional relationship.
Short Story by Bill Fishback
I tried to listen to them argue through the door about some shit. The dude’s voice behind the door was pretty muffled and the only things I could really hear clearly were vocal inflections like “uh” and “um.” We definitely needed a periscope or some sort of fiber optic, microphonic ear device. I also really thought that a pith helmet with a headlamp on top would be pretty helpful. Eavesdropping is like, way harder these days.
Once the chick he was talking to got real mad, there was some yelling, so I could clearly make out words like “makeout” and “no” and “fuck you.” I felt that I had a general idea of what they were saying, I think. Then, the door opened when I was leaning in on it. I see the chick walking outside giving me dirty looks and she asked me why I was leaning in listening to the TV. I didn’t know what to say.
“Who are you?”
“Uh, want to make out?”
Feature by Mehdi Zaidi
“They [Haitians] got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said we will serve you if you get us free from the French…true story. And so the Devil said ok it’s a deal” uttered Pat Robertson in his nasally tone on The 700 Club, commenting on the recent earthquake in Haiti. Perhaps he received this portent from one of his divinely inspired chats with God, but is more probable that such childish banter is the product of his lunacy. But Pat Robertson is no stranger to such remarks. What is more shocking is that the mainstream media, as well as respected world leaders are in essential agreement with Robertson by faulting the excess of the disastrous earthquake on internal Haitian factors or on the ‘unexplainable mystical curse’. This perception entirely dismisses the complicated history of Haiti – a tragic tale in which critical junctures offset the normal course of economic and political development.