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More Scenesters

WHEN they get tired of just being what they label themselves as, they tend to migrate to something much more chaotic. Almost like parasites, they move from one scene to the next, draining all originality from that scene before moving on to another. The Rising Stars you all know and love revisits the analysis of this most complex phenomenon, The Scene, and it's versatile characters.

Black Metal kid: In his free time the black metal kid plays World of Warcraft and dreams about someday living in Norway. He suffers tremendous debt because he has to regularly maintain his elaborate stage get up. This includes nothing less than leather pants, studded arm plates, necklace with an inverted cross locket, sleeveless shirt of any obscure band, wristbands with industrial nails sticking out, and a lot of satanic imagery on most of these things. He likes WCW's Sting, not because he enjoys wrestling, but because Sting has 'cool' face paint. He loves using the words 'hardcore', 'brutal' and 'mutilation'. His playlist has everything metal, from Children of Bodom to Zyklon, but he has never heard of Bathory or Venom. Unlike his idols, the black metal kid has never set a church on fire, but he has burnt his hair while using his sister's straightener.

Distortion plz: This kid loves noise. Bored of being emo, he has moved on to anything from screamo to metalcore. His tight black jeans, or illegible band T-shirt, or out of control hair doesn't do justice to his 'poetic' side, which he wants to show the world by designing death metal album art. Sometimes hard to distinguish from the black metal kid, they often tend to hang together. He doesn't have an understanding or appreciation of distorted riffs or anything, really, for him, the louder and more chaotic, the better. Around his peers he is musically savvy, but he cares to steer away from discussions regarding technical metal.70's Punk: the poor boy tries to bring back the spirit of the 70's, and it is quite inconsequential to him that he was in fact born in 91. He has a strong stance against fascism, racism, sexism, but had very little or no idea about what they mean. Always with people just as ignorant as him, he wins political arguments by using logic he heard from his dad the previous night at the dinner table. All though his lifestyle seems to embrace anarchy, chaos and rebellion, he will spend considerable time making sure his mohawk is perfectly symmetrical. He fancies himself a purist, and will judge anyone who doesn't listen to albums with a sizable amount of dust collected over the ages. Here's a message to you rude boy, "Give it up, it's 2008". The Queen: the queen of the scene is internet-famous for no apparent reason other than the fact that she is as stupid as she is colorful. The things she claims to have invented include hair straightening, snug jeans, and fashion. She becomes absolutely furious at anyone she decides has stolen her hairstyle, and spends countless hours stalking them online. She has high hopes of one day relocating to Paris and becoming a fashion designer. But her greatest accomplishment to date has been sticking glittery crap to her jeans.

We hope this is the last article written of its kind, because that would mean no more scene kids. But we know that won't happen; the scenesters won't stop coming.

By Ahsan Sajid

The big one-eight

THE clock struck 12. I climbed out of a huge white box wearing a long shimmering white dress. My hair flew around me as I beheld what was in front of me a glowing crystal ball. In the ball, were smoky figures and shapes - my dreams and hopes contained in one glass ball, capable of being shattered any time. But I wouldn't let that happen. I reached towards it…and someone on MSN knocked me.

And so I was rudely awakened from my vision. The clock had really struck 12 and I had just turned eighteen. Wow…I really was eighteen at last. Now where was that list of things I had jotted down two years back that I had to do/was allowed to do when I turned 18? Finding it in a forgotten diary of mine I scrolled down the list. Nope, been there…done that…definitely do not what to do that anymore… still not allowed to do that…I tossed the list over my head. There were so many things I could legally do now of course. I could vote (who for?), carry arms (interesting…), marry without parental consent (not happening), donate my body to science (I'm too young to die!) or be tried in a court as an adult. Fascinating possibilities. What else was there to do? There was going to be a big celebration and gifts and all that but I wanted something else. I wasn't a child star so I didn't have a humongous trust fund to inherit when I turned eighteen, nor did I have a country called Nismovia which I would 'suddenly' be eligible to rule right now. Sigh. So I decided to log onto the net and find out and find out what other wonderful things happened on my birthday except for me. Turns out that Jesses James was shot this day for only $5000. The first portable cell phone call took place in New York City and Joseph Stalin became the General Secretary of the Communist Party in Soviet Union. I also shared my birthday with many famous people including Marlon Brandon, Washington Irving and the Princess Maud of Fife. Maybe I should make a resolution or something to myself right now that in 20 -25 years time, I will also do something that will warrant my name on that list of famous people. However to do that would take determination; I didn't have that energy at this time of night. Maybe tomorrow. I turned off the ringer on my phone and watched as the screen glowed while my friends send me messages or called to wish me. After all this time, I finally started to feel good. I fingered the birthday card that my parents gave me a few minutes earlier and even though the inscription inside was simple, it's love touched me. I thought about my crumpled up list and the imaginary one I had thought to pen down. At this point, I really didn't see the use of either. What had happened to me in the past or was going to happen in the future was not in my hands. I had the present though, and in my present I had my friends and family who were the best and most supportive. I had so many things that many more didn't have, and I was thankful it all.

I was probably on the threshold of my adolescence and adulthood now; I would have to take crucial decisions regarding my life and not be able to blame anyone else for them either. The knowledge of that somehow comforted me, and I was finally able to just bask in the delight of being the birthday girl.

By Nisma Elias

Salem's Lot

I remember this conversation I had with an old friend I ran into at a party a couple of years back. We started a conversation about books, and he launched into anecdotes about Stephen King, one of his favourite authors, and was shocked to hear that outside of Carrie, I hadn't read a single King. He promised to lend me the Dark Tower series, and gave me a list of books I had to read before he let me borrow all the books in the series. Four years and several reviews later, I can happily say that I've made a dent in that list.

Salem's Lot is apparently King's second published novel, and was originally supposed to be called The Second Coming or Jerusalem's Lot, but the publishers thought the titles sounded too religious. The story borrows from the classical vampire plots and involves an author Ben Mears, who returns to his home town in Jerusalem's Lot, Maine, to exorcise some childhood fears about a house called the Marsten house, which is supposedly haunted. This is also the first time he has returned since his wife was killed in a motorcycle accident. His homecoming is viewed with mixed reactions, especially because he's something of a minor celebrity, but despite the suspicions of some, he settles down comfortably, strikes up a friendship with local high school teacher Matt Burke and lands in a romantic relationship with Susan Norton, a young college graduate. The good times are brought to a halt when he realises that the Marsten House, which he is writing a book about, is once again occupied. As to who would want to live in a place that once housed a former hitman who killed his wife before committing suicide in the master bedroom remains anyone's guess. When people start dying under mysterious circumstances, Mears and Burke begin to get suspicious and ultimately realise that their little town has been infested with vampires. As the human to vampire ratio begins to drop, Mears, Burke, and a bunch of ill-assorted but like-minded friends are the only resistance against these fearsome undead. Since the entire story is told in the form of a flashback, we know from the beginning that the heroes only barely escaped with their lives. What have they left behind in that creepy little town? You'll just have to read and find out. Given that this was one of Stephen King's earlier books, I guess, if you look at it as a stand alone, and a classical horror story, it's a good read. The whole vampire thing has been done to death in the years since, though, and so one can't hope to find something new and original there. King's strength lies in how he can bring in real-life fears and concerns into the most bizarre or unreal setting and somehow make it fit. His characters are very relatable, if a little typed, although you will have to have read a lot of King to spot that. Although this isn't one of his best books, it's definitely an enjoyable read.

Sabrina F Ahmad



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