William Blake, Marquis de Sade, Other Thoughts

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I finished reading the 120 Days of Sodom and other novels from the Marquis de Sade, who critics and thinkers have tried to understand for the last two hundred years. Though Sade depicts libertine savagery in every story he takes a different stance in each one. In Philosophy of the Bedroom he condones the libertines, devising an entire philosophy to justify it. In Ernestine and Eugenie of Franval he condemns them in morality tales, warning of the dangers of leading a selfish life. In 120 Days of Sodom he does both, praising the four Messieurs as heroes and debasing them as criminals, at times in the same paragraph.

Sade’s readers have tried to reconcile the two conflicting messages. Maurice Lever, one of Sade’s biographers, insists Sade wears a mask when he takes the side of virtue to pass his books past the censors. I think it’s partly true but I wouldn’t be surprised to discover ambiguity in Sade. It is not uncommon for great creative persons to have many personalities, to be possessed by many muses, not just one. These daemons sometimes agree with one another but many times don’t and clash violently in their host.

Likewise, their conflict shows in the genius’ works. – The spectacle happens more often with students of the arts than of the sciences because their work involves human nature. – But the genius embraces and explores nuances and difficulties; ze does not run away from them or suppress them. The pantheon holds many figures of many natures, characters whom are neither black nor white but a rainbow.

Milton: Satan and Christ – Milton’s Satan is an evil person, a deceiver who leads his fellow fallen angels, the first humans Adam and Eve, and himself to damnation. But Satan holds many of the revolutionary doctrines Milton followed throughout his life. The surely republican advocated for freedom of the press, divorce, and regicide. Why would Milton abandon his principles now? Why glamorize the Devil as a tragic hero? Milton was “of the Devil’s Party without knowing it” but was a deeply religious Puritan who found the Church of England corrupt and, like most Puritans, wanted to worship to come straight from the Gospel, with no corrupt Church in the middle. At times Satan and Christ did join together, a marriage of Heaven and Hell.

Shakespeare: The Globe – The Bard had not one or two muses but many. My first companion to Shakespeare, Theodore Dalrymple, emphasized Shakespeare’s nuance in handling the issues of his day and his three-dimensional characters. Shakespeare avoided presenting a simple worldview, and when a character did, he would subvert it by making events happen the opposite way. Richard III and Macbeth are, to me, his most compelling characters. Richard III was a villain but Shakespeare avoided a simple morality play by giving sufficient motive for Richard’s envy, the ridicule and rejection he suffered all his life from his deformed back. Macbeth is a good man but his wife feeds in the ambition all people have, the original sin of pride, and causes him to murder King Duncan and drive the path to his destruction.

Mozart: Beauty and Darkness – Mozart was never the simple and pure composer as we think of him. He was always challenging and controversial who wanted drama and truth to be presented in as natural a way as possible. To be simply beautiful was not enough. Mozart has two daemons, one pretty and charming the other dark and dramatic, and he learned how to fuse the two seamlessly together. His music is ethereal, effortlessly moving from one idea to the next, yet earthy, forceful, and dynamic. Mozart was as much a bridge between the Enlightenment and Romanticism as was Beethoven.

Charles Rosen speaks better than I can: “It is only through recognizing the violence and sensuality at the center of Mozart’s work that we can make a start towards a comprehension of his structures and an insight into his magnificence. In a paradoxical way, Schuman’s superficial characterization of the G Minor Symphony can help us to see Mozart’s daemon more steadily. In all of Mozart’s supreme expressions of suffering and terror, there is something shockingly voluptuous.”

Beethoven: Darkness and Heroism – He held in his heart doves and crocodiles, lions and serpents, the beautiful and the sublime; Beethoven dramatized such as extreme gloom and anger to transform them into hope and courage. As such Beethoven’s music is very dynamic and often undergoes a heroic journey where much conflict, growth, and change happens along the way. His greatest example is the Eroica Symphony, a tale of death and rebirth with the artist as hero. In his works he tended to make musical themes extreme opposites of each other and to convey the rainbow of emotions that resulted. He even carried this scheme into the way he published his music. His first three piano sonatas were published together to present a broad display of his talent: the first sonata dark and tragic, the second gracious and witty, the third bold and forceful.

Sade: Virtue and Vice – The Marquis speaks two messages in his works that are very different from one another but are not necessarily incompatible together. On the side of Virtue: Sade explores the darkest parts of the human heart and the dark side of the Enlightenment. Philosophers of the time praised reason, rejected religion and common morals, and extolled the values of free trade, and materialism and industrial capitalism began to grow. But an underside of entitled selfishness and greed, unchecked by religion or common morals, justified by sophistries, also emerged. The extreme end for an enlightened liberal is not a self-righteous, political correct yuppie but a lonely and antisocial person who shatters all bonds ze shares with other human beings, who has sex without restraint yet loses all intimacy, who commits every crime until no law remains to be broken. Only the weak lust for power at all costs and abuse it. The strong gain strength from their principles and the restraint to not indulge in their follies.

The muse of Vice says: all human beings are truly alone in a monstrous world and true communication is not possible. We are all prisoners; isolated individuals enslaved by Nature, who endowed us with limitations, and by the codes of society. All moral codes and religious beliefs are, at heart, social constructs, reflecting the culture that created them but nothing close to eternal truths. At best they are myths people believe in so they can survive together. But a strong person need not such solace but can live alone, only needing to use the people around zir and nothing else. Why live an empty life of hypocrisy and self-denial under false beliefs you always feared but never truly respected? Let nothing stand in your way. Even murder, rape, and fraud should be indulged in as only fools call them crimes. The weak cling unto such values to protect themselves but you see virtue for the chimera it really is. Live for yourself, fulfill your pleasure, reach for your potential, die with no regrets.

Blake: Heaven and Hell – The Poet was as devoted as Milton yet like the Poet his beliefs were self-made. His beliefs held gnostic trends and, while he did worship the Christian god, he subverted many of the conventions of the Christian churches. Blake presaged Nietzsche in many ways, such as rejecting the heavenly and Platonic for the bodily, praising the physical, fiery, and sensual. He even wrote devilish aphorisms. Blake’s work frequently contrasts extreme opposites to later resolve them. The Songs of Innocence and Experience are mirrors. The Songs of Innocence are the noon sun, a naive and honest state of being while Songs of Experience are the midnight moon, shielded, cynical, and weary state of being. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell reflects two cosmic forces, incomplete on their own but building the cosmos when united. Heaven is rational, moral, Apollonian while Hell is energy, raw desires, and Dionysian. Both are labeled Good and Evil in religions around the world but, though one is stigmatized, it drives us to create and push boundaries. Both must exist and always conflict with each other, or no creation or progress is made.

Nietzsche: Overcoming – One must write an entire book for Nietzsche.

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Brief Review of Sam Harris Podcast

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Harris recently posted a podcast, “What Do Jihadists Really Want”.[1] His message is extreme Muslims, like soldiers of ISIS, ruthlessly kill people because of their religion. This, he insists, is an obvious truth liberals deny because of political correctness.

I’m sure there are liberals who won’t call a spade a spade because it is “insensitive” to do so, but from my experience liberals object to Harris for two different reasons. 1) Blaming Islam only neglects a whole set of factors, including an entire history of American and European geopolitics in the Middle East, that allowed extreme religious sects to emerge. 2) Harris and people with similar doctrines, on purpose or otherwise, tend to brush all too many Muslims as religious extremists. Islam has a billion followers around the world, most of whom actually live in Asia, not the Middle East, and has split into hundreds of sects over the centuries, like Christianity.

Harris sure likes to bash Noam Chomsky, which is silly because US foreign  policy played a major role in creating extreme Muslim sects like ISIS,  and still does. Adam Curtis’ documentary Bitter Lake gives an in-depth  history of how a century of Western foreign policy molded Middle Eastern countries and doctrines like Wahabism. Chomsky himself stated bin Laden’s strategy was to drag America into a mess of costly wars, which only creates more jihadists.

Harris makes a mistake when he insists ISIS and other sects fight only for religious reasons and none political. When your goal is to unite all the Middle East under one caliphate, then your reasons are political. Religion and politics have been bedfellows since forever. But I do agree with Harris that extreme Muslims (like extreme Christians) cannot be reasoned with. Hateful and intolerant doctrines (no matter the religion or ideology) can turn ordinary people into murderers. But Harris’ answer, which seems to be “bomb the hell out of them”, won’t work. It hasn’t worked for thirteen years and won’t work now.

If Harris wants to continue the “war on terror” he should know a few things. Invading the Middle East is what extreme Muslims want. It creates more jihadists and thrusts the region into more chaos, giving them more chances to battle to seize power for themselves. It benefits the big business executives, who we call the one percent, who rely on American’s fear of Muslims to carry out the wars they profit from.

[1]https://www.samharris.org/podcast/item/what-do-jihadists-really-want

 

Yugioh Children of Prometheus 2: Duel 26 – Final Forshadow

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I changed and refined the plot so it makes more sense. Sir Carter, Matthew’s grandfather, never owned the Book of Isis. He just owned a few copied manuscripts, fragmented over millennia of time, and a draft of clues gathered all over Egypt hinting at where the Book is and how to get it. Sensing his impending death at the hands of the Ghouls, he entrusts Pegasus with the documents, who destroys them. The Ghouls, undeterred, still scour Egypt for the lost Book.

Seto Kaiba kept his all female staff of computer programmers busy the entire afternoon, as he did at all times every day since the tournament began. Realizing how taxing the tournament would be on his workers, Kaiba allowed a generous schedule of morning and nighttime shifts to be enacted, but the women were still fatigued and exhausted; they worked diligently anyway. This didn’t impress Kaiba much, as he worked before sunrise and after sunset each day, sleeping for at most four hours, intensely driven as he was. Mokuba Kaiba, however, encouraged the women with kind words and increased their pay for the duration of the tournament.

As for fulfilling the regular duties of a CEO, Kaiba occupied himself too much on the tournament. He left Isono, his trusted underling, to answer all questions at the desk. But Isono was not to worry. Kaiba would employ him as judge during the finals, as he did years ago at Battle City.

As for Pegasus, co-host of the tournament, he soon appeared on one of the oversized screens of the computer room, announcing his presence in booming, childish voice, “Hello, dear Kaiba boy! Keeping up with the tournament so far? I know I certainly have!”

“Of course.” Came Kaiba’s gruff and terse reply.

“Naturally, you’re such a grumpy bear.” Pegasus feigned sadness with a sigh, before brightening up again, “You know we would do great together in a children’s show. You know what a whiteface and redface clown are, Kaiba boy? Well, the whiteface clown is the center of the comedy, a lively character who starts a routine. The redface clown is a contrasting character; he bungles the routine, on accident or on purpose, and everyone has a good laugh. I know there’s an adult sitcom about Malik and Bakura, directed by a tragicomic personage by the name of… what was it? Martin Billany! Yes!”

“Get to the point, Pegasus. Notice anything unusual about the tournament? Did the Ghouls come any closer to finding the Book of Isis?”

Pegasus sighed, this time for real, and became even more solemn than Kaiba. “No, thankfully. As you know, Sir Carter never actually held the Book of Isis, just a few copied fragments passed down over millennia and a draft of clues gathered all over Egypt hinting to where it might be. Sir Carter thought he could guard the secret documents, but it cost him his life. He gave them to me before he died. I destroyed them.”

“What?” The news shocked and dissapointed Kaiba deeply. He thought of getting the forbidden book himself for his own purposes.

“Of course I destroyed them. Why would I risk the Ghouls finding them and getting the Book themselves? And I strongly suspect you want the Book yourself, Kaiba boy.” Pegasus changed his tone further, becoming dark and sarcastic. “I don’t know why you want it. Maybe you want to open a door to the afterlife to settle your obsessive grudge with Atem beyond the grave. Maybe you want to unlock Maria’s powers. Maybe you want world domination as your stepfather did. Who knows? But make no mistake! I’m watching your every move!”

Kaiba seethed with rage, matching Pegasus’ burning glare with his own. Nothing angered him more than when someone reminded him, let alone compared him, to his stepfather. That evil man ruined his childhood, marked him with the scars of abuse, and forever cast him under the evil spirit’s shadow. Gozaburo Kaiba was long dead, but his ghost would always live on.

Kaiba had no refutation against Pegasus. He did his best to hide his true self so no one could see through him, but the silly dandy Pegasus of all people always pierced past his defenses. Kaiba had no choice but to sulk.

He cast his icy gaze at the hundreds of monitors in the room, eying every duelists’ profile and history. Maria was one duel away from the finals, which made him proud of her. Mathias and his crew were way ahead of everyone else. Rex and Weevil were almost back to square one, as if those worthless loser dogs ever had a chance. Stella and her team progressed well. Maya and her crew just defeated Mathias in a duel and advanced to the finals. Such news grabbed Kaiba’s attention. Mathias never lost before. It was unprecedented.

But he also saw their difficult duels against Rex and Weevil. Kaiba could barely contain his scorn and ridicule; that they struggled so hard against such lowlives, but they beat Mathias too? How such dregs, such deadbeat duelists, make victories beyond their worth aggrieved him. They were agitators of the people, dirty street rats that belonged to the masses: bodega owners, minimum wage workers, the homeless, drug addicts, people trapped in project buildings, local politicians, and other untouchables.

Pegasus noticed Kaiba’s fixation, goading him, once again a flirt, “You may be looking at the next Yugi.”

Humph! A response was beneath a man like Kaiba. Such ignoble people who excelled in life were merely clever predators, like snakes or wolves in a pack. They had the souls of thieves and conmen, lacking any understand or respect for the higher values of life; the honor of a true duelist meant nothing to them!

Yet…

Maya and her many friends over the years were slowly changing the game, and in his heart Kaiba didn’t know how to feel about it. Maya was an impious scoundrel who didn’t play by the rules, but a bold one, changing the dueling world before she even became America’s national champion. As one mushroom appears, others grow around it. Stella and her team rose in Iceland, Miguel Garcia became second best in America, and Juliette defeated Donatien in France.

Under a more diverse society of duelists the game itself changed as well. Chaos Control and Monarch decks were no longer the law of the land in America and Europe lost its D Heroes as well. A large palette of diverse decks and strategies exploded on the scene. Gameplay sped up and a power creep made combos much more lethal. Since Kaiba retired he locked himself in a tower, watching his Blue Eyes White Dragons become obsolete. Now all the great new duelists gathered into a mighty storm, their lightning shattering the tower, allowing him at last a chance to walk free.

He thought of himself and other genius prodigies who rivalled: Noah, Siegfried, Tenma. All of them had more native intelligence, excelling in academic subjects while Kaiba struggled. But that was how he became the best. He knew what it meant to struggle and to have guts, to keep trying when the chips were down and win. Maya, as he understood her through her records, knew the same. He couldn’t say any of that for Maria but desperately wished in his heart he could.

Absorbed in his gloomy contemplations, Kaiba didn’t even notice that Pegasus left him.

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DAY 7 : 10:05 AM : LUXOR

“Guys! Guys! I made it to the finals! Woohoo!” Stella rushed to embrace our heroes, who woke up from a nap, able to begin their day proper.

Yukio noticed she was alone without her team mates, for he said, “Why are you all alone? Shouldn’t your team stick together?”

“I wanted to tour Luxor a bit but none of them wanted it, so they stuck with Mathias and his crew instead.”

“Actually, we wanted to tour Luxor ourselves. Want to come with us?” Maya offered.

Stella agreed with zeal and joined the party. They climbed in the nearest tour bust, setting off to the Ramesseum, their first destination. Maya poked Yukio in the chest with her shoulder. “How does feel being the only man for so long?”

Yukio shrugged her playful blow aside, laughing, “Feels great being the only rooster in the henhouse. I have an exotic, Egyptian harem all to myself. No gentleman is luckier.”

“In your dreams!” Stella punched Yukio in the shoulder, and the two started parrying each other’s blows in sport. The jealous Maya cut between the two, insisting Yukio was only hers to hit as she pleased. Sophia laughed as the two hens pecked and scratched each other for their man’s attention. Yukio spread his arms and legs wide, enjoying the catfight. There was no reason to interfere.

The Ramesseum was less a temple and more an entire city or village. That was how it appeared from far above. The group did not have that benefit. They could only see the colossi of Rameses, the shadows of the larger than life person who built the monuments in his name. The king was as imposing, imperious, and distant as always, his shadow cast darkness unbroken after three thousand years.

“’My name is Ozymandias, King of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare the lone and level sands stretch far away.” Yukio recited Shelley’s famous poem named after the pharaoh.

“We wonder, – and some Hunter may express wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness where London stood, holding the Wolf in chance, he meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess what powerful but unrecorded race once dwelt in that annihilated place.” Maya concluded with Smith’s work, seeing with her inner eye New York City gone except for its temples: the World Trade Center, Wall Street, and the Empire State Building.

“Yukio, we need to put those poems to music.” Maya suggested to her friend.

“Classic or rock?” Yukio queued in.

“Both.”

“Excellent!”

Sophia wandered everywhere, peeking everywhere she could with her camera like a voyeur while Maya thought. Of everything. The tournament. Her future. Yukio. A year ago she came back to New York to duel the regional champion. Before the duel she crashed in Jolene’s apartment to not pay money for a hotel room. They played a game called “watch the news”, one of their usual stints, where they watched CNN and took a shot of whisky every time the news station lied or neglected a story. They never watched Fox News on principle. That would be too easy, and fatal.

Naturally, the two got drunk and ate pot cookies. The drug cocktail let them open up to each other in ways they never did before. Somewhere in the middle Jolene talked about her new boyfriend. Maya confessed she liked Yukio but shook her head. She said, “Love is bullshit. Women sigh over romantic love and some magical, profound bond you have with someone. It’s infatuation and nothing more. After a few months women whine to their girlfriends over how their exes were such jerks. ‘Why, oh why, couldn’t I find a soul mate as pretty as Ryan Gosling, rugged as Chris Hemsworth, and responsible as Don Cheadle?’

I met Donatien when he was a foreign exchange student. I fell for him, fooling myself into thinking he was a sweet gentleman-rugged badboy who I could share my deepest feelings with. His sweetness was a ruse. I helped him in his studies, his pro dueling career, and even let him live with me, but he never once supported my work. The sex was all about him – he even tortured me during the act – I was just his fleshlight to help him jerk off, and he cheated on me in the name of ‘sexual enlightenment’. I finally kicked him out. We hit each other and smashed the entire apartment before he left.

I never got close to anyone after that. Even if romantic love was real I can’t take it. I’m not worthy of love or even friendship. I am a disgusting, worthless person. If people can’t see that already they will know for sure when they get close. Fuck to your heart’s content, Jolene. But never love. The heart is a weakness, the flaws of the mind. Nothing more.”

Hearing Maya’s tirade, Jolene countered, “The heart is not a weakness. Our emotions, our needs to bond with people, are why we live in the first place. They give us the strength to live. People can have deep love with each other. I had it with Yukio and you can too. He is a good man who can offer you so much but you need to risk being vulnerable if you ever want his love.”

“Yes, our feelings give us meaning and even strength,” Came Maya’s reply, “but they’re tricks in the end. If Yukio is so great why did you break up with him? Love is worthless. It blinds you to a person’s true nature; leaves nothing but tears.” She grunted, taking two shots. “I’m not a fun drunk girl.”

“What’s wrong?”

Maya snapped out of it. The empathetic Sophia looked at her in concern. Sweet child. Maya didn’t talk about these things with anyone, but she made the exception with Sophia, someone she knew she could trust. She told her everything.

Sophia thought about it grimly, but said, “I’m surprised someone as determined as you would give up so easily. You can reason all you want but all it does is hide your crying heart. Yes, love is rarer than a blue moon, but friendship is better anyway. It can last forever. It’s the only true love there is.”

As the group left for Deir El-Medina, Maya vowed to give love one more chance. The ancient village was a maze of old brick huts of only two rooms, the second room only for the stove. Yukio wondered how any man, let alone the king of the henhouse himself, would have any privacy in a family. It was a wonder the stove didn’t burn the house down or explode. – The boiler room from his memory exploded again, his father burned alive in the blast. He shuddered at the thought. Perhaps he should acknowledge his pain. But to whom?

The group entered the Tomb of Sennedjem, marveling the vignettes on the tomb walls, so pristine as if painted only a few minutes ago. Workers reaped a bountiful harvest in one scene, in another Re takes the form of a cat to slay Apep in the form of a snake. A stranger marvel was the outside of the tomb, marked by miniature pyramids, which the group saw as they left.

Back in the bus they went to see another village: Kul Elna, a tomb robber’s village. Worker’s houses littered the village everywhere but had none of the warmth of El-Medina. Many villages were the homes of tomb-robbers but Kul Elna was one of the few villages where everyone was in the game; where they arguably created the first national black market from riches stolen from tombs. Either way, all the villagers were massacred, ninety-nine used to create the Millennium Items. The rest is history. Kul-Elna held only one tomb, the resting place of the Millennium Items, but it was closed off, having collapsed a long time ago.

And, at last, the Valley of the Kings. The group drove there by car down a winding sand road, the cliffs sharp, austere, tall, forbidding. Inside the tomb of Seti I they went, Sophia taking as many pictures as they could, while Maya and Yukio told all sorts of morbid and inappropriate jokes. Stella found them very funny. Maya teased her further, telling her how erotic it would be to have sex in a tomb, joining the lewd with the morbid. Yukio joked how Maya was as tasteless as she was kinky. Maya rejoined him, challenging him to join a threesome by kissing Stella in the lips. Yukio cried in distress and fell to the tomb floor, pretending to drink poison and die. The three laughed at the entire show. Maya giggled, “Romeo to the end. What a sucker.”

Sophia didn’t understand any of it. Was Maya trying to make Yukio jealous? Why didn’t Yukio take offense at her transgression? They danced and made out a few days ago. Maybe Yukio and Maya liked open relationships or didn’t think making out meant you were in a relationship with someone. Maybe she was thinking way too hard. It certainly wasn’t the way she did things. People do strange things against their best interests all the time.

The group spotted a small man dressed in a while jellabiya, his face covered by a white veil. He gestured at them to come see him away from the tourists and they followed him, wearily. “Are you in the tournament?” He asked, voice altered to a very low pitch. When the group said yes, he continued. “The Ghouls will attack every city in Egypt, including Luxor, to wipe out every duelist in the tournament. But Hassam returned to Egypt to stage a counter-revolution. He wants to overthrow his father and beat the Ghouls. You duelists must aid Hassan and defeat the Ghouls.”

“How can we trust you? How do we know you’re not a Ghoul setting us up as prey? Remove your veil!” Maya challenged him.

The man declined her challenge. “I’m sorry. I cannot. I only wish to warn you to keep you safe. But I can offer you a token of my trust in you.” He tossed Maya a small wooden box. The group opened it to discover some of the most powerful cards in the game: Ultimaya T’zolkien, the Sacred Beasts and their fusion, and others. “We will meet again. Farewell.” And the mysterious man disappeared.

Sophia expressed her uneasiness. “I have a very bad feeling about this.”

“I do too.” Maya said. “He’s chivvying us into a trap. We can’t lose against the Ghouls but if we win we go down the path he wants us to.”

Yukio put his hand on Maya’s shoulder. “We no choice but to follow him and, hopefully, prepare ourselves for whatever trap he has.”

When the team returned to the workers’ village they told Mathias and his crew what happened. Maximus advised them to not use any card the man gave them except as a last resort and the finals. Stella thanked Maya and company for the touring trip and returned to her group.

Our group retired back to their little room upstairs, thinking about everything that happened today. Maya thought of the tournament and her future. If she lost, she lost everything. She would be without money and without a home. If she won, where would she go next? Yukio thought of his father’s death, bearing on him like a vice, growing tighter and tighter by the day.

He put it off again. He took his guitar out. “Let’s put Shelley’s and Smith’s songs into music.” So he started to sing and string out a few chords, improvising. Eb diminished sounded nice, but not with D major. He tried C minor, then B major, and then B major 7. Now he was going somewhere. Yukio saw the music as a fog where simply, blurry colors materialize; in this case a swamp green. For the lines “My name is Ozymandias, King of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” he chose F major seven chord where E-flat is augmented to E, first inversion.

Maya’s ears, sharp as a bat’s, perked up. “Aha! You’re stealing from Beethoven’s third symphony!” She cried. “I thought you didn’t like classical music.”

“But seriously,” Yukio said. My chords are better for the middle of the music, not the beginning.

“Maybe.” Maya turned to the chalk drawing on the ground that was supposed to be a piano. The opening lines could be played like in the Dante Symphony, but with trombones and a better melody since Liszt sucks.” She played two sharp, bold octaves, shouting a harsh, cold declaration with Yukio’s chord, except she changed the F major to F minor and turned the G to G-flat. This music conjured the very dessert outside.

Yukio praised her for the idea but gave his caveat. “There has to be a better way of saying ‘Ozymandias’ then a melodic turn.” And he tried an arching melody; two notes rise, “OZ-Y”, a held note, high above, “MAAAAAAAAN” two eight notes descend as the cruel master lashes his slave, “DI-AS!” Maya and Sophia applauded him for his great idea and had some more fun.

Their celebration finished, Yukio prepared to sleep on his cot, but his demons only returned as usual. Maya sat next to him. “You’ve looked very troubled these days. I didn’t say anything back then because it would have been awkward. But tomorrow we battle. No doubt can cloud our mind.”

Yukio rubbed his eyes together. The pain grew too great. He needed to release it. “Alright. I’ll do it.” Sophia appeared beside him to hear his tale. “I feel very guilty.” Yukio confessed. “My family runs a restaurant in New York, as you know. I always wanted to change the world, fire people’s hearts with immortal music, and fight for justice around the world. But father would have none of it. He wanted me to run his restaurant with him. How could I live such a lowly life when I wanted to be a hero? When I was sixteen I got into a big fight with dad and ran away. The boiler room later exploded, killing him. It was a cold winter so we abused the boilers too much.

Now, I always feel awful and afraid.” Tears welled in his eyes. “I feel like a spoiled brat for running away. If I didn’t, I could have saved him. But I feel so angry, too. How can a parent try to control their kid’s life? He always wanted me to be his clone, to blindly obey until he died. I apologized to mom many times. I wish I could apologize to him.”

“You still can.” Maya said. This gave Yukio an idea. Our heroes bought a few flowers just before the stores closed. Yukio placed the flowers on a large rock, serving as makeshift symbol of a grave. He vowed to his father’s shade, “Dad, I’m sorry I couldn’t be the son you wanted. But I can still walk down my own road and be the best person I can. I can fight for all the right things and still make you proud.” He wiped away all his tears. All was done.

Right before everyone went to sleep, Maya leaned towards him, staring at his eyes. “Yukio, I must confess too. For a long time I have been cynical, angry, and selfish. Mother died, dad hit me until I bled, and people on the whole are such wicked hypocrites; and a convoluted mess of base fears and desires. I felt there was nowhere to go and nothing worth doing. But you truly believe in honesty and justice. You really are a hero. You and Sophia give me hope.”

Maya pinned his arms down on the bed, hovering above him. They looked into each other’s eyes. Fiery, righteous brown met fiery, devilish brown. And they kissed. They rubbed close to each other and stripped each other bare. All their pent up heat released. Yukio grabbed her breasts and ass and entangled his hands deep into her thick black coils. Maya opened her legs and grabbed his back, hips, and ass Yukio halted. “Wait. We could die tomorrow.”

“Exactly.” Maya sucked Yukio’s face until his lips bruised. “A fuck is so sweet when you know you’ll die soon.” She crashed into him, kissing, biting every part of his body while Yukio did the same. Yukio kissed both lips of her pussy, licking around and inside them, sucking her clit. She toyed with his balls, kissing and sucking his cock, enticing it until it was so hard and large it looked like it could explode any time, and put him inside her.

They rubbed and thrust each other until Yukio burst his fuck inside her and Maya burst her fuck on him. They repeated their kissing, sucking, biting, even hitting, climaxing and ejaculating, one round after another, until they gave one another so much pleasure they killed each other. They fell unto each other, embraced into a knot so tight not even death could separate them, and fell into a death-like sleep.

Last Immortality Deck

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Yugioh BAM Pocket will be cancelled by September 9. This makes me very sad since I will no longer be able to compete with my friends in the Arena. I collected every star in the Story Arc to strengthen my deck and for what? I can’t even log in online anymore. But I did retouch my Deck to make it as strong as I could. All my old Decks gave me around a 4 in 1 chance of winning. But this was not enough for me. But sadly I will never see how powerful my new Deck is.

3x Jinzo – Lord
3x Vampire’s Curse
2x Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord
2x Vampire Genesis
2x Zombie Master
1x Stardust Dragon/Assault Mode
1x Gateway to Dark World
1x Magic Drain

I have 3 Jinzo because my opponents frequently play Spells, especially Permanent Spells that have nasty effects. Jinzo can get rid of them and make itself immune. It can also shut down annoying monsters like Blackwing Aurora that make themselves immune all the time. I hold 3 Vampire’s Curse because my opponent’s are just as likely to play powerful monsters, especially ones like Mermail Abyssleed that can double their ATK over and over again. And it gives you 1500 Life Points.

Hieratic Seal kills DARK monsters, which many players use, and gives me 4000 Life Points for each one. The best tactic to use with it though is to kill your own DARK monsters, triggering their events when you destroy them and gaining 4000 Life Points.

Vampire Genesis recycles Zombie Master, Vampire’s Curse, and itself, giving you 3000 Life Points. Zombie Master then can be used over and over again to recycle my non-Zombie-Type monsters. With Vampire Genesis alone I can create an infinite loop, recycling my monsters with Gateway while killing my opponent off with Vampire’s Curse, but it is my deck’s last offense.

Gateway recycles my Jinzos and Zombie-type monsters, but especially Jinzo since it can’t be recycled any other way. Magic Drain gives me 700 Life Points and taking away my opponent’s 700 Life Points for each monster that dies. It may not be by a lot but it really adds up over time, and is especially useful when I play against other Zombie Decks. Stardust Dragon recycles a monster and Spell each time it attacks, allowing me to use my Spells again if they are destroyed and functioning as a third Zombie Master of sorts.

Bakura Survival Deck – 7 Trails to Glory

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Yugioh 7 Trails of Glory is a 2005 game I played obsessively for the last 11 years. In the Mystic Land, where you get to right against Marik, Dark Bakura, Dark Yugi, and the Ghouls, no card limits or ban lists exist. The dark world and its temple of the dead are a fun playground to try out all sorts of crazy decks with little limitations.

I love playing survival duels and creating decks specialized for survival duels. For those who don’t know, survival duels are when you duel one opponent after another without losing, challenging yourself to go as far as you can. The trick is to create a deck that keeps giving you more life points so you don’t wear out over the marathon while still able to kill your opponent.

Monsters:
3x Morphing Jar
3x Magician of Faith
2x Jinzo
2x Maha Vailo

Spells:
3x Pot of Greed
3x Graceful Charity
3x Upstart Goblin
3x Card Destruction
3x Raigeki
3x Harpy’s Feather Duster
3x Monster Reborn
3x United We Stand
3x Mage Power
3x Sebek’s Blessing

Side Deck:
3x Magic Jammer
3x Ring of Destruction
2x Spear Dragon

The deck honors Bakura, who uses a Piercing Damage Deck with Maha Vailo and many equip spells. The deck calls back Bakura’s Duelist Kingdom days, when he played a Disruption Deck using Morphing Jar. It is my favorite video game deck ever created, simpler than the Marik Deck, but deadlier and more consistent.

The strategy is to use United We Stand and Mage Power to pump up monsters like Maha Vailo to huge attacks. Then I deal damage with them, allowing me to use Sebek’s Blessing to heal myself by that amount. I take extra care to not finish off my opponent with such a strong monster so I can gain life points first. I reserve the killing blow to a second, weaker monster. Because I have Maha Vailo and so many equip spells, I have great control over how strong I can make my monsters grow. I usually make my monsters just under 8000 ATK but I can easily make them surpass 10000 ATK if I choose to. Jinzo gives the deck an extra boost by negating my opponent’s traps because I don’t always draw Harpy’s Feather Duster when I want.

Upstart Goblin makes the deck more consistent and, by giving my opponent 1000 life points, I give myself more room to use my direct damage and Sebek’s Blessing combo. Card Destruction and Morphing Jar exist to kill Seeker’s Exodia deck by forcing him to discard Exodia pieces. I faced many problems with Seeker in the past. He is the only opponent who seriously threatens my winning streak, so I took extra precautions so I could finish him for sure. Since I use so many equip spells, I tend to empty my hand, so Morphing Jar helps replenish it.

Magic Jammer exists for normal duels. It’s the best trap to use against Ghouls because they use so many spell cards in one turn, so Magic Jammer helps disrupt their strategies. Ring of Destruction is a good second trap. Unlike Mirror Force, you can activate it almost whenever you like, can avoid being nullified by a Heavy Storm, and it deals damage to your opponent. Spear Dragon is in case Jinzo clogs the deck too much, and it is a monster Bakura uses in the game.

Marik Survival Deck – 7 Trails to Glory

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Yugioh 7 Trails of Glory is a 2005 game I played obsessively for the last 11 years. In the Mystic Land, where you get to right against Marik, Dark Bakura, Dark Yugi, and the Ghouls, no card limits or ban lists exist. The dark world and its temple of the dead are a fun playground to try out all sorts of crazy decks with little limitations.

I love playing survival duels and creating decks specialized for survival duels. For those who don’t know, survival duels are when you duel one opponent after another without losing, challenging yourself to go as far as you can. The trick is to create a deck that keeps giving you more life points so you don’t wear out over the marathon while still able to kill your opponent.

Monsters:
3x Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning
3x Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End
3x Banisher of Light
3x Vorse Raider
2x Magician of Faith

Spells:
3x Pot of Greed
3x Graceful Charity
3x Card Destruction
3x Raigeki
3x Harpy’s Feather Duster
3x Monster Reborn
3x Soul Absorption
2x United We Stand
2x Primal Seed
2x Sebek’s Blessing

Side Deck:
3x Magic Jammer
3x Ring of Destruction

The deck honors Marik, who uses a Chaos Deck in the game. From 2004 to 2006, Chaos Control Decks were the metagame deck. They were all the rage, yet I never owned a Black Luster Soldier or Chaos Emperor Dragon in my life. At least in the game I can drink some of the power so many players had back in the day.

The main strategy to gain life points is to summon Chaos monsters while you have Soul Absorption, which heals you each time you banish monsters. Banisher of Light exists for the same reason, making both players banish cards. Sadly the game has a glitch where I gain life points only when my cards are banished. Primal Seed lets me retrieve any banished card I want, allowing me to use them again. If conditions are right I can create a Primal Seed loop where I can keep banishing one Primal Seed and recovering it with another one, allowing me to get every banished card in my hand.

The second strategy is to use United We Stand to pump up monsters to huge attacks, then deal damage with them, allowing me to use Sebek’s Blessing to heal myself by that amount. I take extra care to not finish off my opponent with such a strong monster so I can gain life points first. I reserve the killing blow to a second, weaker monster.

The other cards are staples. Pot of Greed and Graceful Charity let me draw a lot of cards. Raigeki and Harpy’s Feather Duster clear my opponent’s field so I can kill them. Card Destruction has many functions: it sends monsters to the graveyard so I can summon Chaos monsters, lets me draw more cards, and kills Seeker, the Ghoul who uses an Exodia deck, by discarding Exodia pieces. Playing Card Destruction while I have Banisher of Light out completely ruins his strategy.

Magic Jammer exists for normal duels. It’s the best trap to use against Ghouls because they use so many spell cards in one turn, so Magic Jammer helps disrupt their strategies. Ring of Destruction is a good second trap. Unlike Mirror Force, you can activate it almost whenever you like, can avoid being nullified by a Heavy Storm, and it deals damage to your opponent.

Fire Princess Survival Deck – Ultimate Masters

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Yugioh Ultimate Masters, a 2006 game, only has unlimited cards as an option if you beat the game 100%. Frankly I don’t have any more time for that. I need to do other things, but I did create a deck specifically for survival duels. For those who don’t know, survival duels are when you duel one opponent after another without losing, challenging yourself to go as far as you can. The trick is to create a deck that keeps giving you more life points so you don’t wear out over the marathon while still able to kill your opponent.

Monsters:
3x Des Lacooda
3x Stealth Bird
3x Spirit Reaper
2x White Magician Pikeru
2x Fire Princess
1x Sangan
1x Morphing Jar
1x Marshmallon

Spells:
3x Wave Motion Cannon
3x Messenger of Peace
2x Spell Absorption
1x Graceful Charity
1x Level Limit – Area B
1x Lightning Vortex
1x Swords of Revealing Light

Traps:
3x Solemn Judgment
2x Solemn Wishes
2x Gravity Bind
2x Wall of Revealing Light
1x Call of the Haunted
1x Torrential Tribute

The deck centers on stalling your opponent so you can take your time healing life points, burning your opponent’s life points, or both. I have many cards that prevent attacks: Messenger of Peace, Gravity Bind, Wall of Revealing Light, and Swords of Revealing Light, and wall monsters that can’t die in battle: Spirit Reaper and Marshmallon. Solemn Judgment is an extra wall, negating anything that could break my lock. True, I cut my life points in half but, unlike in 7 Trails of Glory, your reward does not depend on how many life points you have left.

Pikeru, Spell Absorption, and Solemn Wishes allow me to gain life points. It’s usually not by a large amount in any one turn but over time the small doses pile up into a massive life point advantage. I only included two of each because three copies clogs the deck. Stealth Bird and Wave Motion Cannon burn your opponent’s life points. Cannon is a great distraction. Your opponent either destroys it but spares your stall cards or faces a charged up cannon that can take out all their life in one blow.

Fire Princess is not the crux of the deck, but makes a fine mascot. She deals damage while you heal. She is a good tech-in and represents the deck’s dual nature of healing and burning.

FTK Exodia Deck – 7 Trails to Glory (Version 2)

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Yugioh 7 Trails of Glory is a 2005 game I played obsessively for the last 11 years. In the Mystic Land, where you get to right against Marik, Dark Bakura, Dark Yugi, and the Ghouls, no card limits or ban lists exist. The dark world and its temple of the dead are a fun playground to try out all sorts of crazy decks with little limitations.

Monsters:
1x Exodia the Forbidden One
1x Left Leg of the Forbidden One
1x Right Leg of the Forbidden One
1x Left Arm of the Forbidden One
1x Right Arm of the Forbidden One
2x Witch of the Black Forest
2x Sangan

Spells:
3x Painful Choice
3x Pot of Greed
3x Graceful Charity
3x Upstart Goblin
3x Reload
3x Spell Reproduction
3x Monster Reborn
3x Premature Burial
3x Dark Hole
2x Thunder Crash
2x Card Destruction

Side Deck:
1x Thunder Crash
1x Card Destruction

The deck tries to gather all five Exodia pieces in only one turn. Sometimes it succeeds and other times it takes an extra turn or two. I made great effort to make the deck as fast and consistent as possible but I can only go so far. Backup Soldier and Dark Factory of Mass Production are not in the game, which would make the deck go much faster, but I can only use what I can.

This deck requires a sophisticated strategy. Painful Choice is the crux of the deck. Without it, gathering Exodia pieces is harder. The first time I use Painful Choice, I send all the searchers (Witch and Sangan) to the graveyard, so I may revive them with Monster Reborn and Premature Burial, kill them with Dark Hole or Thunder Crash, letting me add Exodia pieces to my hand. The second time I use Painful Choice, I toss away Spell Reproduction and Card Destruction, the most deadening cards in the deck. The third time, I trim my deck of Monster Reborn, Premature Burial, or Thunder Crash, depending on my situation.

Exodia Version 2 has a big difference to Exodia Version 1. It has only one copy of each Exodia piece, which makes it harder to use but sadly does not make it better. I can’t play Card Destruction as often, if at all. I have to play much more carefully. So play this deck if you want a challenge gathering Exodia pieces. Otherwise, you’re better off playing a different deck.

FTK Exodia Deck – 7 Trails to Glory (Version 1)

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Yugioh 7 Trails of Glory is a 2005 game I played obsessively for the last 11 years. In the Mystic Land, where you get to right against Marik, Dark Bakura, Dark Yugi, and the Ghouls, no card limits or ban lists exist. The dark world and its temple of the dead are a fun playground to try out all sorts of crazy decks with little limitations.

Monsters:
2x Exodia the Forbidden One
2x Left Leg of the Forbidden One
2x Right Leg of the Forbidden One
2x Left Arm of the Forbidden One
2x Right Arm of the Forbidden One
2x Witch of the Black Forest
2x Sangan

Spells:
3x Painful Choice
3x Pot of Greed
3x Graceful Charity
3x Upstart Goblin
3x Card Destruction
3x Monster Reborn
3x Premature Burial
3x Dark Hole
2x Thunder Crash

Side Deck:
3x Reload

The deck tries to gather all five Exodia pieces in only one turn. Sometimes it succeeds and other times it takes an extra turn or two. I made great effort to make the deck as fast and consistent as possible but I can only go so far. Backup Soldier and Dark Factory of Mass Production are not in the game, which would make the deck go much faster, but I can only use what I can.

This deck requires a sophisticated strategy. Painful Choice is the crux of the deck. Without it, gathering Exodia pieces is harder. The first time I use Painful Choice, I send all the searchers (Witch and Sangan) to the graveyard, so I may revive them with Monster Reborn and Premature Burial, kill them with Dark Hole or Thunder Crash, letting me add Exodia pieces to my hand. The second time I use Painful Choice, I toss away Monster Reborn, Premature Burial, or Thunder Crash, depending on my situation.

I still struggle whether to put Reload or Thunder Crash in my deck. They have their advantages and drawbacks: Reload gives me more chances to assemble the cards I need in my hand. Thunder Crash resolves inconsistencies in the deck; like gathering Monster Reborn and Premature Burial but not having Dark Hole. It’s still up in arms but I spent so much time playing Yugioh last week I don’t want to waste any more time.

Bandit Keith OTK – World Championship Tournament 2004

latestYugioh World Championship Tournament 2004 is a game I played obsessively for the last 12 years. Once I got 100% of all cards in the game, I unlocked the unlimited cards option, allowing me to duel with no card limits (except Exodia pieces). This allowed me to try out all sorts of crazy decks with little limitations.

Monsters:
3x Barrel Dragon
3x Jinzo
3x Cyber Stein
1x Fiber Jar

Spells:
3x Painful Choice
3x Pot of Greed
3x Graceful Charity
3x Upstart Goblin
3x Card Destruction
3x Raigeki
3x Harpy’s Feather Duster
3x Monster Reborn
3x Premature Burial
3x Megamorph
3x Limiter Removal

Extra Deck:
3x Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon

The deck honors Bandit Keith, a minor Yugioh villain but a pretty cool one. The strategy is getting out Barrel Dragon or Jinzo and pumping up its ATK to ridiculous levels with Megamorph and Limiter Removal. Sadly you can only use one Megamoprh on a monster and you have to use Megamoprh first, since it only doubles a monster’s original ATK. But Limiter Removal takes care of that problem. The complete combo makes Jinzo rise from 2400 to 38400 ATK and Barrel Dragon skyrocket from 2600 to 43200 ATK!

Both machines are very useful. Jinzo supplements Harpy’s Feather Duster by negating your opponent’s traps while Barrel Dragon supplements Raigeki by taking out your opponent’s monsters. I get both monsters out by using Painful Choice to send them to the graveyard. Then I revive them with Monster Reborn or Premature Burial.

Raigeki and Harpy’s Feather Duster serve to clear your opponent’s field. Pot of Greed, Graceful Chairty, Upstart Goblin, and Card Destruction help you draw the cards you need. Monster Reborn and Premature Burial usually takes advantage of any monster you discarded with Card Destruction. Fiber Jar lets me reset the entire board if I need to.

Cyber Stein replaces another monster that wasn’t as effective, since it can summon Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon; a giant beat stick with 4500 ATK. Cyber Stein costs 5000 life points to use, which is steep but lets me use Megamorph to attack for game.