Stupid Disclaimer: The columns contained herein are as close to their original form as possible. Taking on minor duties of editor, typos and grammatical errors have been fixed, and certain content has been altered or removed with knowledge of the author. - Ken Conley.


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EditoRs Column

Issue 1

Right about now you are saying to yourself, what the hell is this? Well, let me tell you, this is a newsletter containing information that interests me. Anything can be printed in it, provided I think its cool. Sounds pretty arrogant, huh, well it might be, but let me explain.

I find that there is only a certain amount of stuff that I can take at any one time. I also know that here are a few of you out there who have interests that are similar to mine. With this publication, I hope to... actually, I have no idea what I hope to accomplish with it. It's just kinda cool. Read it, and when you're done, do something else with it, I don't care.

I hope it will cover mostly industrial music, white wolf stuff, fiction, mythology, and other interesting things. In order to do this, though, I need your help. Send me fiction you have found or written, artwork, articles on anything cool, and anything else that you think will fit. Submit over the Net: Kenji.

This issue is about the size that I hope they will all be; however, in most of them the feature won't be so long, and the other stuff will be larger. Oh yeah, each issue will contain some music reviews, a large feature, and a section on WoD news(not included on this page because old news is bad news). The perspectives column is an area for the readers to write editorials about anything and everything they want. Music reviews can be about any type of music, and anyone can submit them, but I have the final say as to what goes in (that means if I get any submissions saying that Vitalogy is the angst filled hit of the year you can be assured of an immediate rejection). Features will be the largest items, and will probably be role-playing oriented.

That's about all I have for this, sorry the column is so dyslexic, I didn't even convey my real message, but that's Ok. If you send stuff I think we can make the next few issues really cool.

Thanks in Advance.

JR

EditoRs Column

Issue 2

Credit Where Credit is Due

I was surprised at the response the first issue got, not at the number of people that saw it, but at the responses of those that did. I was expecting most people to pass it off as a faze, or a brief interest that would soon pass (that may still be true, this is only the 2nd issue), but most of you thought it was at least worth submitting something to. Because of this I can fill this issue with much more interesting stuff than I could before. The bulk of the previous issue was unfortunately taken up by the White Wolf timeline, and most of the feedback I got from it was that it needed to have stuff that at least most of the six people who are going to see this can enjoy. Thus, I have come to most of you who are reading this and asked you for stuff I can use. The result, a perfect mesh of the totally bizarre that will hopefully provide for some interesting reading material.

This time around I got my hands on another column by Kenji. This issue attempts to demonstrate to us the process by which one slowly loses his mind. "No, I swear, the moon landing was done in a sound stage in Arizona. The President is a pawn of a secret, all encompassing, dictatorial government. My teacher is an alien!" Brendan perpetuates this feeling of teetering sanity with the first of the Doctrines of Nolloth, a lovely feature which I hope continues for awhile. This issue is graced with the beginning of a music reviews column, which I hope all will be contributing to. Fortunately I only got one review for Vitalogy, the fact that it was even mildly complimentary leads me to believe it is a joke.

I believe that I need to give a little history on The Doctrines of Nolloth. Nolloth is not a fictional character, he is a true deity among a large pantheon of gods. His avatar currently resides in the body of a zucchini at the home of Brendan Murphy, high priest to his royal king of pestilence.

- JR

EditoRs Column

Issue 3

Hello all, and thank you once again for reading this, the most uninteresting part of the whole issue. It was rough getting that last issue out, but now that I got the system down it should be quicker. From the feedback I got, I would say that this last issue was a success. Or as much of a success as it can possibly be with a recipient list of 12.

As you might have noticed, if you received the first two, this issue has artwork. I am very happy about this, and I think it is a great addition. I am looking for more, and not only large full page features, but also illustrations to the articles and features.

Most of the comments that I've received were in praise of the Doctrines of Nolloth. I have received several requests for additions to the Doctrines; however, Brendan will not be submitting anymore. There are several reasons for this that we discussed, there reasons are:

  1. There is only so much you can write about the Zucchini god of pestilence.
  2. It would be hard to add more without subtracting from the value of the original.
  3. Brendan doesn't want hordes of Nolloth poseurs to begin imitating him.

Don't fret though, we have an alternative appearing in this issue that I believe will be at that level when improved upon. It is entitled The Compiled History of the Shrimp Kingdoms. It is an open-ended feature that anyone may write in. I am starting it with some background, and the readers can take it from there.

Another addition to the newsletter is a continuous feature dealing with the world of darkness. It is a regional expansion section for Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage. Being from all three games, it has been named The Book of Raging Across the District of Columbia by Night. You may submit stories, adventure ideas, region descriptions, or anything as long as it deals with D.C. in the world of darkness.

I am going to end this issue as I end all of them, by thanking those who have contributed to it, and begging for more of the high quality stuff I've already gotten.

Your Humble Editor: JR

EditoRs Column

Issue 4

You've awaited it, you've demanded for it, some of you have even gotten down on the ground and begged for it. And now it's here, Symposium 4.

You may have noticed or you may have heard that the editor has changed. I, Kenji B, have taken over putting it together. For all those Justin fans, he is still doing a big part, putting together The Book of Raging Across D.C. by Night, gathering stories, writing stories, and other weird but cool stuff.

One of the reasons that I didn't get out this issue sooner was the lack of stuff to put in. As you can see, I don't have any news because no one gave any news and I am not about to write it myself. There are no reviews because--well that was my fault. What can I say, I'm lazy. And I didn't have many stories to put in.

I need news articles, reviews, art work, letters (about whatever has been bugging you and you want to share), weird funny stuff, and mostly stories. You might constantly be thinking to yourself "my stories are stupid" or something like that. Grow a backbone. Take a chance. I'm not going to publicly shame you. If you want, I won't even use your name. And I'll keep your secret as well.

The point is: I NEED STORIES! Send them to me. This newsletter will be better for it. Give your contributions to whoever gave you this copy.

In this issue, the Chronicles of Storch talks about the rise of a chemistry teacher to world dictator. There is some other stuff. A story that Justin wrote, another by Chuck McEdwards, and something else I wrote. Also, there is the part 2 of DC by Night, and a poem by Byron. It's all there. Read. Enjoy. Be merry.

Your New Editor

Kenji Bohlin

EditoRs Column

Issue 5

We all have the problem of getting set in a mold and hardening. Nothing can change us, nothing can move us, our views are stone. Even if the truth stares us blank in the face, we refuse to recognize it because we fear the change.

Creatures of habit, we are afraid to open our eyes because we might become hypocrites. If we change our minds after arguing for something so hard, then we look dumb. We are stubborn to the end. From the "religious wars" that fight for the love of God to the political battles, we refuse to yield.

And it is this mold that threatens us most of all. We forget to see how precious life becomes, and it wastes away. Dreams are forgotten, goals fade away, and wishes turn to dust. We don't "milk the very marrow out of life." Instead, we grasp precariously to things that might have once been true in our hearts, but are now simply habits.

We have to open our eyes because we are as blind as the Pharisees of Jesus' time, and our blindness hurts us and the world around us.

Be yourself. Don't be what others say is "right" or what you molded yourself into years ago. Don't be a rebel if you don't want to be a rebel. Don't be a conservative if you don't want to be a conservative. Be yourself. Reach out and do what you want to do, find your goals again, dream your dreams again.

Don't worry about image or style, popularity or opinions. Open your eyes, breath in the air, and go out and live.

Your beloved editor | Kenji B

EditoRs Column

Issue 6

An upper middle class man races down a lonely stretch of ascending highway, by himself, towards his ski cabin in the mountains. He has a hand full of kids, the oldest a cheerful ten-year-old, a loving wife, a proud father, a good income, and all the incentives that come with all of these things. And everyone is proud of him and everyone is admiring of him (some even envious) and everyone is . . . unsuspecting.

He told his family that he needed some time off, just coming back from a week long trip with his kids at his father's house. He told them that he was going up to their ski cabin. Just to think alone, in peace.

Somewhere along the road, he pulled over and got out of the car. Somewhere along the road he stood in the cool Utah night breeze. Somewhere along the road he whispered "good bye" for the last time. Somewhere along the road he pulled a gun out and shot himself.

Shocked are you? If you've read my stories, you probably are thinking "no" with an I-figured-it-out-smart-ass grin. You see, that's the problem (one of the many) with our modern society. We are all desensitized; by the news, by the movies, by the shows. We take death for granted. All of us. ALL of us. Even I do. Just read my stories for God sakes.

But I cannot take credit for my introduction. It wasn't my idea. But I didn't steal it from some other story either, although you might have heard something similar before. I took the idea from reality. I took it from REALITY!

It happened just a few days ago (early August). I won't name names because it's not my right, but I've known his father since I have had memories. He is like a second father to me, an uncle, and a friend. And he was so proud of his son. So proud. . . .

I heard the terrible news in the morning after coming back from Washington. At first it didn't sink in. I rolled it over and over in my mind. I mean, things like that never hit this close to home. When I realized what my mom was saying, it hit me like a blow to the stomach. I felt dizzy and had to sit down. Just last week (no, less than a week) I talked with him. He was just here! I remember his kids playing tag on their grandpa's deck and lawn, their father standing by watching. And then to find out that he killed himself.

At that time, I wasn't sorry for him or the life he gave up, nor for his children or wife. Not at that time. I was so very sorry for his father. I drove him to the airport that afternoon and he kept bringing up memories he had of his son. I didn't know what to say, what to think. I was just numb all over.

Already this sadness is draining from me, replaced by the careless indifference that our world has programmed into our brains. Only now, as I reflect on the grievous moment, do I feel that sorrow. But there are reminders. A couple of young kids playing and laughing and running around--as young kids tend to do. An old man crying alone.

I fear that this is going to toll heavily on the man's father. He was very youthful before, filled with happiness and vigor. I hope for the best. I fear the worst.

The most disturbing thing about this is that it can happen to anyone, anytime. It could be your father that pulls to the side of a lonely, moonlight road with a .38. It could be your brother, your mother, your sister, your best friend. It could be your neighbor, your uncle, your most hated enemy. But whoever it is, however it happens, you--will--not--be- prepared.

The world in which we inhabit has drilled into our very existence the teaching that disaster falls on the other guy. And when it does fall on us (and believe me that it does and it will), we are totally taken off guard. You simply cannot prepare for something so incomprehensible as death until it happens, over and over again.

I'm sorry to sound extremely pessimistic and I'msorry to bring down your day. Just remember that the ripples of Death affect a great deal more than you probably realize. It's fun to watch on T.V. It's fun to see in movies. Try laughing when it hits close to home.


Your editor, Kenji B

EditoRs Column

Issue 7

I'd like to thank all of you who are reading this in what very well could be the last issue of the Symposium Newsletter. I'd especially like to thank those of you who have been faithful supporters and readers through all of the Symposium's issues and years (even though the issues were few and far between).

This is possibly the last issue ever to be published and I really mean it when I say I'm sad to see it end. I truly enjoyed all the work that went into putting it out (the late nights of slaving in front of the computer and all the money sucked away by the Xerox machines at Kinko's). The gratification I received for all of this was measured not in money but in the smiles and compliments that I received from you my readers. And believe me, no matter how much you think you paid, I did not make any money off of this.

In this issue, I've collected all the stuff I've been given since last October, including a Christmas story meant for the "Christmas Issue" (I wonder what happened to that?) and I would like to heartily apologize to Louis and Chuck (since this is almost June and, last time a checked, Christmas was not in June). But it is a good story, so I have included it in this literary collection.

This issue could be the best issue put out due to the many different people who contributed. Unfortunately, a lot of the works are . . . dark and melancholy. For some reason, the majority of teenage poetry is very moribund and devoid of hope. Also, a lot of people have it in their little heads that the Symposium is about darkness. Now don't get me wrong, that's not necessarily bad. In fact, as many of you might have put together, some of my stuff has a tragic twist to it (mmmmm, tragic twists), but every now and then, a sunshine poem is not bad.

Well, I guess its time to say goodbye. Keep sending me your works (both literary and artistic). You can send them to Ken's account (removed@idsonline.com no longer exists!) or my new account at (removed). Also, keep checking the website (now at www.geocities.com/Area51/Corridor/1979) for announcements. It's been great fun and although I won't necessarily miss high school as a whole, there are parts that I will miss . . . doing the Symposium is certainly one of them.

Thank you all very much for your compliments and may the Goddess (or whomever you believe in) bless you all . . . goodbye.

Your ever grateful editor,


Kenji B


Copyright © 1996, 1997 K. Conley
All rights reserved.

All materials contained within are copyright of the respective authors.
Used with permission.