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Not to incite a discussion about religion on the internet, but...

Is it a bad idea to join a cult?

I've been an atheist for a few years, which doesn't do a lot to help my intense fear of death and the unsettling feeling that I'll never be able to understand what my place in the universe is. So I've been thinking of adopting a philosophy to fall back on when I'm confronted with life's conundrums. Not something that I would seriously believe, because it's kind of hard to start seeing god in spaces that I've already filled in with science. But I'm intrigued by dogma and rituals. Some kind of structure that I can guide my life by.

The top two contenders so far are Scientology and Buddhism. I like the RPG aspect of Scientology. The idea of progressing through OT levels could give me a goal in life, though I probably wouldn't get very far if I don't take it seriously. Which I wouldn't. The sci fi bullshit is silly in a way I can get behind, but the organization's practice of censoring dissenting opinions seems kind of shitty.

Buddhism seems kind of cool, and there are even books about following the philosophy without taking the superfluous mythological bullshit literally. It would probably be better for me psychologically than Scientology but it doesn't have the novelty value of aliens, and it would probably require actual effort to grow spiritually, as opposed to trowing money at an e-meter until it says I'm a good person.


What is video game? Part 1: Before Pokemon Red

I don't play a lot of games. I'm way into the medium, but I always pick a select few to dig into and devote the rest of my time to film, writing, and masturbation. Add to that my parents' wishes that I not play M rated games until adulthood, and you can see how I could have missed several legendary games. Until recently, I have never touched a Halo game. And until today, I have never played Pokemon.

I'm using a specific definition of the word "played" here. I've started Red a few times, and I played 10 minutes of Diamond. I quit after my first Rattata in Red, and made even less progress in the other one. This probably stems from me trying to get into it as an adult, with no frame of reference other than the anime and assorted merchandise, which I was WAY into. Never the RPGs, though. Probably because I never had a Gameboy.

This blog is for the purpose of describing classic games from a virgin perspective. For this first part, I grabbed a copy of Pokemon Red, and I'm going to play it. I also found my old copy of Pokemon Stadium, so I'll finally be able to see what this transfer pack business is all about. When I'm done I'll come back with part 2, describing my thoughts after my first real Pokemon game.