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About Literature / Artist Aram Z-SMale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 14 Years
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If you build it, they will come.
4703 days after I was an idiot.
The chamber always feels cold. I wake up, fully armored in proud greens and blues, and hop out, long black gun in hand. A few other soldiers are milling about, standing at similarly colored holographic consoles looking through deployment options, trying to decide where best to go.
There is no best. I shoulder my rifle, its weight unfelt by my boosted body, and march--double time--to the closest flying transport. The ship is massive, as befits its enormous armor, engines and weapons. It too wears my colors, greens and blues, smeared across it as if by a finger-painting child with square fingers, at various spots, like the rear-loading ramp that falls open as I approach, the child has pushed down hard, leaving distinct square patterns before moving on. I hop on. 17 other unique people sit aboard, but I can't tell who. They are fully armored, identical in their gear, only differentiated by their choice in weapons.
As the transport takes off, I look f
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The power in our stories.
Tonight is the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, which literally translates to 'head of the year.' It's the first day, One Tishrei, of the new Jewish Year 5772. The Rabbis teach us that Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the creation of man and woman.
Isn't that sort of odd?
There were six days of creation (and one day of rest) in the first week of the world. We are not starting at the beginning of this biblical week, nor really at the end. Instead we start our calendar, and every new year, at the anniversary of day 6, the creation of man. Why day six? Is it because humanity might, perhaps, be a bit egotistical?
I think there is more to it then that.
Is there something else that makes day 6 special? In Genesis, chapter two, we receive the second version of the creation story. God has created Adam but, before creating Eve, Adonai has a task for the first man. God brings forth every beast and bird He has created and presents them to Adam. The Torah states that God "brought them to the man to
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Fogged Windows
There was a gravelly sound as Jill scooped the ice into a ball and dropped it into the paper cone. She and her three friends worked in concert, each one contributing their hands and eyes to the work. They rotated throughout the day so that no one got tired of their task. Right now Jill was working the scoop, taking the ice, running it through the grater, and fitting her hand around the metal half-sphere that molded the ice into shape so it would fit in the Ice Hut's trademark paper-cones.
She'd pass the cone on to the next girl in line, the youngest of them, Mary, who stood out in the group of girls by being the shortest and the only one with dark hair. If Mary was behind, or simply busy, Jill would drop the snow cone into a plastic rack that was filled with three rows of holes to stand the cones up. Kristine was working the register, the natural skill that helped her breeze through Algebra class let her work quickly. She could assist Mary in squeezing out the syrup during the register
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Two Strikes
In this week's Torah portion, God fulfills his promise to Moses, that the greatest leader of the Jewish people will not enter the promised land. What could Moses possibly have done, that he was forced to stand on the very border of Israel, still lively after 120 years, but unable to enter?
He struck a rock twice.
Going back, there seems to be a lot of context that the Lord should have considered. In Chapter 20 of the Book of Numbers, we find the Jewish people in the wilderness of Zin. Moses's sister Miriam has just died and the well of water that followed the Jews through the wilderness,  because of her merit,  has stopped flowing. Moses, with the help of Adonai, has only just put down an insurrection and the Jewish people are still resistant. With the water gone, the people once again take up the cry of "why did we ever leave Egypt?" In fact they kvetch so much that Moses has to convince God not to smite them. When Moses asks Adonai for more water, he is told to sp
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Facebooked by Repentance
There's an old story, I'm sure most of you are familiar with it. There is a town gossip. He wants to change his behavior and comes in one day to his Rabbi for advice. The Rabbi hands him a pillow and says "Here, take this pillow and drop the feathers inside all over town, and then come back to me." The man leaves the Rabbi, goes out into the streets, spreads the feathers to the winds and returns to the Rabbi. The Rabbi sees the empty pillow and tells the man, "Go back out and collect all the feathers."
The man looks at the Rabbi and says: "But Rabbi, that's impossible."
"So too," the Rabbi replies "is retrieving all the things you've said about others."
Things have changed a lot since then. Now it feels like those feathers, floating to the four corners of the Earth, could just as easily be a metaphor for our whole lives.
Tomorrow, you will be walking down to the Mason Pond and performing Tashlikh, throwing bread crumbs into the water. It is a fine tradition, but did you know that, hist
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Grand Theft Atonement
I have to admit that I procrastinated a little more then usual before writing this sermon. But, it wasn't all my fault. I was distracted by Grand Theft Auto Four. Now, I know the controversy has pretty much boiled over at this point, but now that I'm playing it, I have to admit to seeing more than a few good life lessons in the game.
Don't drink and drive, because if you do, you'll hit a pole, flip over three times, skid across a major freeway and fall into the Hudson River.
Make friends, help them out, and they'll return the favor… by referring you to a high level Mafia don.
And finally, when the police try to pull you over, if you drive really really fast, they'll just think you're not worth the trouble and forget about you.
While these are all important lessons, it's really the last item that I'm dealing with tonight.
It brings me to the other reason why I started writing this sermon late, and why I missed one of the services in this holy week, I've been very busy. Two jobs, cl
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"Sometimes, war is cheap."
-Arkady Sardais, Hegemon - Fifth Degree.
We got lazy. It was that simple. We didn't do a proper pre-scan before we jumped. I'm sure some would disagree with me. It wasn't like we had the time. Command didn't know that separatists were sitting just outside of scanning range at the Luet terminus. They certainly didn't expect for the Taurians to throw their entire force at one minor terminus.
We came out to complete chaos. Orders had been to take the entire 58th Roving Protectorate Fleet and sneak it through a fairly minor arm of the Thriacia wormhole network. We'd out-put to a backwater system and creep up behind what was suspected to be a fairly minor resistance cell, sitting at some nothing station. But someone in command was a sympathizer.
While we were non-comm in transit the separatists blew a half-dozen bombs and stepped, pistol-forward, into every command center in the system. Which wasn't hard. Luet was one of the few termini named for the
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Bio: Varis Lania Gallientus
Homeworld: Arctus Gordivia IV (Diorga)
Affiliation: Founder, White-Wing Foundation (NGO-Humanitarian). Antarean in origin.  Varis in the house of Gallientus.
Born: 944 A.E.
Status: Deceased

Bio: Lania, of House Gallientus, was born 944 A.E. to the then junior Senator Claetus Gallientus and his wife Riea. She was the latest, and last, of the direct bloodline of the house's founder  Varis Gallientus. Like all members of the direct bloodline from the house's founder Lania was given the title of Varis.
At the age of 14 (958 A.E.), Lania moved with her father to Antarea Prime and was thrust into the limelight as the daughter of one of the Antarean Federation's most beloved public figures. Unlike many of her peers, Lania was forged by the attention of millions of Antareans. Her character was strong and sweet and many considered her the daughter of the Federation, raised by the best that Antarea had to offer in the very heart of the young democracy.
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'Or Are They Spooks?'
The novel "The Human Stain," by Philip Roth, centers around an event. The main character, Coleman Silk, is a professor in a small town college who, when confronted with the consistent absence of two of his students, asks, “Does anyone know these people? Do they exist or are they spooks?” Despite his intent to use the literal meaning, a specter or a ghost, his phrase was considered racist and he was drummed out of his university and sent into a spiral of destruction, deceit and despair.
An interesting story, but what, you might be asking, is the relevance? On Oct. 25, this previous Thursday, Michelle Guobadia, assistant director for Fraternity and Sorority Life, sent an e-mail out to Mason’s fraternity and sorority presidents reminding them of the danger of “inappropriate party themes/costumes.” After talking about her support for First Amendment rights, Guobadia stated “Any costume or theme that deals with race, religion, ethnicity or sex/gender issues sho
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Avenue Q Comes to The National
These days David Benoit takes his home along with him. He plays Nicky, Trekkie and a Bad News Bear in the traveling cast of Avenue Q, which will be coming to The National in Washington D.C. from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9. The tour brings its stage with them, “three old dilapidated brownstones, not that different from Fall River,” Benoit’s Massachusetts hometown. Benoit has been playing the two major characters for over a year, spending time in both the Broadway and traveling cast.
“The show really pays homage to the children’s television shows we grew up with, shows like Sesame Street.” Benoit said. “Shows that taught life lessons. But it is a very adult show, though it looks like it’s a kiddy show. But it is not at all, there are some adult situations, there’s full puppet nudity and there’s indeed puppet sex.”
Many of the puppets may resemble characters from classic children’s shows, but Avenue Q’s puppets are different.
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Yom Kippur Shpiel
During this week, TV personality Steven Colbert has created a Repentance Hotline. In order to help out all of those who may have offended him the line, 1-888-OOPS-JEW, is open to all callers. When you reach the number you hear “Shalom, and welcome to Stephen Colbert’s atonement hotline. At the tone, please be a mench, and unburden your soul by stating how you’ve wronged me–Stephen Colbert. Your call will not be returned but selected apologies will be played on the air. You should be so lucky.” Amusing, and it makes for a great gag, but I think he may have missed the point.
Many Jews who have and will not attend another service all year will attend Yom Kippur, the most holy day on the Jewish calendar. Some people ask for blanket absolution, send out forgiveness requests through Facebook applications or email, or simply mouth the words while not knowing the meaning. As I stand in services, I can’t help but wonder if we may all be missing the point as badly a
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Faith, Freedom, a Jewish Home
Faith, Freedom, and a Jewish Homeland
Okay dear reader, full disclosure. Last year, previous to my employment at Broadside, I had the honor of attending Students for a Democratic Society and the Student’s for Justice in Palestine’s Apartheid Wall event. If you attended that event, you may recall the person handing out short articles titled “Congratulations, You Are an Ignorant Git.” Unsurprisingly, this year’s repeat of the event made me weep for certain George Mason University students’ ability to learn. Further disclosure, I am a lifelong liberal who is embarrassed to be grouped into the same side of the spectrum as those who created the Apartheid Wall event. The replacement of apathy with ignorance is not a pretty sight to see.
Perhaps the most memorable portion of my counter-protest was at the end of a debate with an SDS member. After being unable to counter a single factual point, he had pretty much given up. I asked him, “Where do you get
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Missing Persons
It was the name that got me to pay attention first. Angielczyk. We had just pulled into a Burger King complex, right off the highway, somewhere between Rochester and Buffalo, New York. It had caught my eye because I’m bad at thinking up names, and I always write down names that sound different so that I can use them later. When I passed through the entrance this particular name caught my eye, it would be perfect for a character I was working on. While my parents and sister got on the line to wait for burgers, I walked back out to the rest stop’s entrance, where the posters were hanging. I surreptitiously copied it down, feeling like something between a stalked and a freak, trying to make sure that no one saw what I was doing.
Later on, passing a soda vending machine, I saw her face on another poster, haloed by the blue glow of Pepsi, and noticed that she was attractive. The date also struck me this time; she had gone missing only two days ago. My mother noted her weight, 95 p
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Banned Words
There is a very important book I’d like to introduce you to. In fact, this book is the most important book anyone who writes in English can read: William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style is the book on English composition.
Despite being the textbook for English style and grammar, Elements of Style seems mostly unknown. Actually, it’s not that surprising when you look at the quality of most of the writing that gets out there. I mean it goes deep. Very deep. In fact, the most atrocious violators of the rules of good style are also some of the most famous writers today. Let’s take on the big one, J.K. Rowling. The New York Times Book Review has never forgotten the truth: her first three books were written at about the level of a fifth grader. Now, I know what you are thinking; if a personage as well-known and (let’s pick the important things) rich as Rowling can screw up that badly, does my short story really need to meet a hi
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Facilitator Serasia
Homeworld: [Classified]
Affiliation: [2nd] Antarean Space Empire (ASE) - Ministry of Vox Dei; Facilitator, First Order
Born: 952 AE
Serasia [--------] was once a citizen of the Taurian Confederacy. She became involved with a number of dissident elements within the Taurian Confederacy and would likely have died when the Taurians cracked down on the rebel movement if she hadn't been pulled from the very brink of death by a MVD agent who was watching the rebels for potential recruits.
Even that early on she was beginning to see the inherent hypocrisy in the League, and even in the Taurian rebellion. When she discovered that her savior was an Antarean agent, she denounced the League, the rebels, and Tauria on the spot. Though it is doubtful that she believes in anything like the Imperial Divinity Myth she sees the Empire and it's system of rule as straightforward, efficient and true. Sick of the divisiveness on which the League seemed to be built, she passed every loyalty test the Ministry
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Bio: Anabel von Kreuger
Homeworld: Xaris Prime
Affiliation: United League of Planets, Admiral, Black Designation; KSDT2  Division
Born: 952 AE
Anabel von Kreuger has become a women without a world. In the year she was born, many would have foreseen a happy future ahead of her. The Solesian war had ended, the League was at peace. Few could have expected the chaos that would overtake the League only a few years later, when the Crusaders went on the march. Kreuger's home, Xaris Prime, was a small world just outside the Treadway line. As the League found itself more and more stretched, ships and resources drifted away from the Xaris system, soon leaving the planet almost unguarded against what seemed, to young Kreuger, the galaxy-wide menace of religious zealotry.
Growing up on a planet in orbit around a brown star, Kreuger was hardened and molded into an amazing physical condition, one that she shared with many of her fellow Xarisians. It was only natural for her to enroll in the League's military acad
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Yes, I am alive. Just really really busy.


Aram Z-S
Artist | Literature
United States
Current Residence: Right outside of Washington D.C. or NYC depending on the time of year.
Favourite genre of music: Classic Rock | NO, My screen name has NO relation to ANY rappers
Operating System: Win7 (Desktop) / Win7 (Laptop)
MP3 player of choice: Spotify, iRiver iHP-140
Wallpaper of choice: My Own
Favourite cartoon character: Green Lantern (All of em)
Personal Quote: Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?


Add a Comment:
Daemoria Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Whaaat.. you're alive? That's a surprise. Thanks for the favorite on 'Hot Drop' man.
Phifty Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2015   Writer
Haha, yeah, I still check in here occasionally! 
Kaiminden Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
Thanks for the fave
ironspike Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2008
You friended me. And now I am finally saying thank you. Took me long enough, huh?
dave-hoghtoncarter Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2007
I do actually have another AFF scenario suggestion for the single-player Planetstorm campaign. I've posted it from you link you provided me with.
dave-hoghtoncarter Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2007
Thanks for the support, I do appreciate it.

On another note, I've noticed that my Diyala material was one of the the things that disappeared with the Forum revamp. Is it worth me posting the stuff again? I'd still like to be involved with the Planetstorm single player campaign (assuming that one is to be created).
ejslayer Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2007
no probs man, glad i bumped on ya. great gall. ;)
dave-hoghtoncarter Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2007

Try the '6 weird things' challenge.


msrachel Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2006
I totally did not read your comment until tonight, or should I say this morning... yeah I need to get some sleep. I'm actually up designing a poster I was called to do.. oh well. I'm almost done!
Thanks for the watch and for the nice words, I'm watching you too! See ya in class. :)
walloftruth Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2006
Thank you for watchin'. :)
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