Leave Me Alone

6th October 2008

Leave me alone…

Were those not your last words to me, dear Sayuri?

They must have been.

I still remember that night you know…

It was really cold, and I could tell you had been crying.

I could have asked.

I should have said something.

Asked how you were doing, whether you needed anything, if everything was okay, anything!

Instead, I tilted my new hat at you and nodded.

And you smiled back.

Just a tiny little smile, but it made me really happy, you know?

That you cared enough to try and smile for me even though you were sad…

Though, I know you would have done the same for anyone who smiled at you…

Still, as you walked away in that light rain

with the shadows growing behind you as you walked further into the dark night in your inky black dress…

I thought that there was still a chance that we could fix the mess we had made.

Thought things were finally getting better…

I didn’t say a word.

And the next morning they told me you were dead.

Wait a minute Sayuri darling.

Let me pour myself a drink. It’s been too long.

And where did I keep that damned matchbox?!

Sorry, where was I?

I remember the day we spent at the beach

It seems like such a long long time ago

Akane was there too, along with him.

That was nice.

We laughed a lot, all of us.

Sang silly songs all the way there and back.

And you spoke to me as if everything was fine.

As if nothing had been broken.

Like you could not see the past anymore.

And I don’t know if that hurt or helped.

But, I do know that I liked the way your dark hair flew about your pale face

and I liked the black dress you wore…

like the one you were wearing the last time I saw you...

Another drink, Sayuri.

Just hold on.

No, I’m not drinking too much.

Just another shot…

You know what?

I wish I knew you before…

Before all the pills, and the drinking…

I know you’d be mad at me for saying this

I know you would say it would have been the same…

But would it have?

Maybe then you would have said you loved me

Maybe then I would have said the same…

Maybe I would have stopped by that night.

We wouldn’t have had that stupid argument…

Do you remember that night?

I do.

I wish I didn’t.

But now, I realize that it was the last time I ever heard your voice…

And so, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget.

I won’t be able to forget the screaming

the thunder

the shattering of the vase (the crystal one Inari gave you for your b’day)

the yelling

the tears that filled up in your eyes – the ones you rubbed away before they ever had a chance to fall…

I’ll never forget the way you looked at me that night

The anger

the disbelief

and the pain…

‘Just leave me alone.’

Want to know a secret?

It wasn’t the screaming that made me leave…

It was that look.

Your words.

I couldn’t bear the thought of hurting you…

and I realized I had.

Over and over,

So, I packed up my bags and left.

Didn’t even kiss you goodbye.

Left you alone, with only your “substances” for company.

Left a shaky you trying to pour a drink into a glass.

Didn’t even offer to help.

Didn’t call.

Didn’t bat an eyelid when that other guy moved in.

Didn’t say a word to you when I ever ran into you anywhere.

Didn’t say anything when I saw the first bruise.

Didn’t listen to the rumors…

I didn’t know.

I didn’t know he hurt you.

I didn’t want to know.

So… I didn’t.

I don’t know why I smiled at you last night, Sayuri.

Perhaps I thought it was finally time.

Maybe it was the fact that it was raining, and I always love you more when it rains.

But I didn’t say a word…

Would things be different if I had spoken to you?

Would it have changed anything?

Would they still find your body in that bathtub?

I wonder what the last thing you thought of was…

Were you scared?

Did you close your eyes when you drew that line?

Did it hurt?

Leave me alone…

Those were your last words to me…

and I wish I had never listened…

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Song as Sung by Prince Lir to Lady Amalthea, from “The Last Unicorn” (by Peter S. Beagle)

“When I was a young man, and very well thought of,
I couldn’t ask aught that the ladies denied.
I nibbled their hearts like a handful of raisins,
And I never spoke love but I knew that I lied.

“But I said to myself, ‘Ah, they none of them know
The secret I shelter and savor and save.
I wait for the one who will see through my seeming,
And I’ll know when I love by the way I behave.’

“The years drifted over like clouds in the heavens;
The ladies went by me like snow on the wind.
I charmed and I cheated, deceived and dissembled,
And I sinned, and I sinned, and I sinned, and I sinned.

“But I said to myself, ‘Ah, they none of them see
There’s part of me pure as the whisk of a wave.
My lady is late, but she’ll find I’ve been faithful,
And I’ll know when I love by the way I behave.’

“At last came a lady both knowing and tender,
Saying, ‘You’re not at all what they take you to be.’
I betrayed her before she had quite finished speaking,
And she swallowed cold poison and jumped in the sea.

“And I say to myself, when there’s time for a word,
As I gracefully grow more debauched and depraved,
‘Ah, love may be strong, but a habit is stronger,
And I knew when I loved by the way I behaved.”

The Importance of Aaron Swartz: The perspective of a layman

The SOPA – PIPA bill was not about piracy, but about control. As was ACTA. This short video puts across the difference between physical stealing and using ‘Intellectual Property’ quite nicely:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmQN93NqqDM. ‘SOPA itself was worded in a way that would send you “to prison for 5 years for uploading a Michael Jackson song to Youtube. That’s one more year jail than the doctor who killed him!!!” This is what Zuckerberg has to say about SOPA/PIPA: http://readwrite.com/2012/01/18/mark_zuckerbergs_not-so-surprising_view_on_sopapip

The whole thing about Aaron Swartz is that he was a long-respected genius in circles that have been fighting such instances of legislation that threaten to impede upon rights that the govt has no right impeding upon. The problem is that the MPAA, and the RIAA have enough money to “buy” whichever ‘representative’ they want to, and the entire copyright industry in America is full of these ex-Policymakers who now conveniently work as Directors or the like in these companies. 

Between our paranoid governments and greedy corporations, it is these mutually supported ideas of censorship and copyright that meet and threaten to punish citizens for literally victim-less crimes in a manner that shows nothing but the intent to control a population, and what they ‘dare say to each other’ over the internet.

The changes that the US govt. has tried to bring about with SOPA and PIPA, their underhanded threatening letters to different countries across the World telling them to enforce similar legislative standards when it comes to copyright, the relentless persecution of both children and grandmothers by the great RIAA, the unimaginable “losses” and “damages” often claimed by these agencies, the sneaking in of similar provisions along with anti-pornography laws, and their outdated, cheap, easily broken, completely *ineffective* technological measures used to ‘protect’ copyright – this is why people are angry that Aaron had to go off himself. Because, believe me, he was one of the good guys. A very intelligent and smart good guy, whose loss will definitely be felt as this War is carried forward.

This is very important. Yes, the issue is a whole lot more complex.. But, while it’s true that democracy is meant to guard against these wrongs, and third-party mediators can play a huge role in maintaining standards, the current publishing houses, and recording agencies, these are all archaic third-parties that once had an important role to play in information dissemination, got really rich and powerful doing it, and now cannot accept the fact that we’ve reached an age where they are more or less obsolete. Knowing this, and having a lot of money, these corporations are then using their resources to convince the government to hold back the inevitable technological advance that the internet has been bringing to the World since its advent.


But, that’s the general problem with our copyright laws today. However, it’s relevant in this instance, because what is protested against is the unfair bargaining position of the middlemen, and the damage this is doing to both the public as well as the authors. As you said, it seems like the assumption made is that all authors are willing/eager to have their content circulated. Well, in most cases, isn’t that a fair assumption? And, in cases where that isn’t true, wouldn’t it be better if the author had more direct control over who could and could not access that content? 

At one point of time, this was as inconvenient as it was impossible. Very. But processes which took months and months, now take place in minutes. These industries must evolve, or perish. But, the problem is that civil society must force this change upon the said corporations. The case of Grooveshark would be one such example of an external shove. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grooveshark> On the other hand, in the world of gaming, an internal initiative can be seen with the Valve Corporation, who’ve been making games and distributing them since 1996, and who launched their social distribution network Steam, allowing users access to an insane number of games, with offers ranging from free-to-play to holiday discounts and games from new-developers that you can give them direct feedback on. 

I’m not very sure how much differently things work when it comes to Scientific and Cultural content, but, when music and games make so much of a difference, and it’s only because their users are more likely to engage in civil disobedience, isn’t it unfair to assume that the existing state of affairs, when it comes to academic content, is okay simply because the vast majority of the world appears to be okay with it? When the truth is that it is blissfully unaware, would like to remain so, and the only people who may have a problem (Students of Universities) are given access to these worlds to keep us feeling privileged, and some highly intelligent people outside the system who can see it for what it is.

A better system will come into place. But, as it stands, it is unfair. And it is most benefiting people who have no right to be so benefited. At everybody’s cost. Information is Power, and if we want to live in a World that is even slightly equal, slightly fair, then this imbalance must not be tolerated.

When the World changes, I think everyone has their own role to play. And each move forces someone else’s hand. There are academicians and scientists already arguing for change from the inside, and there are surely parts of the government resisting this effort by the corporations, and there is Anonymous, dispensing vigilante justice and drawing society’s attention to both the dangers of a Free internet and those of a closed one (and the corresponding realization that the latter is usually worse). Aaron Swartz had his own role to play. And, it’s a damn shame that he killed himself, but he did it all in the name of something bigger than himself. 

The Zapista movement in Mexico (which is really interesting) has a slogan that comes to my mind: “For everyone, everything, for us, nothing.” 

Aaron Swartz didn’t get anything for his efforts, and his efforts were made in the name of information. Access to information. That’s sort of noble, isn’t it?

Here’s a link to his manifesto:

http://archive.org/stream/GuerillaOpenAccessManifesto/Goamjuly2008_djvu.txt.

Requiescat in pace, brother.

~ May the Rage be Relentless ~