Friday, July 27, 2012

The Shadowed Thoughts of Silas McBane: Episode #15

Bringing It All Together

There’s been an awful lot to think about this week.  And by awful, I truly mean awful.  I have strong roots in the Denver, Colorado area.  I have tons of friends and some family out there.  The movie theatre shooting really impacted me personally.  Then, a day later, I got word from a close friend out on the west coast.  She told me how her father was brutally murdered by his girlfriend of eight years.  Then, a day later, I got word that a local buddy of mine passed away at a relatively young age from a heart attack and subsequent stroke.  Yep, there’s been an awful lot to think about this week. 
                Where do we go with things like this?  How do we effectively grasp the gravity of these events while still maintaining forward momentum in our daily lives?  I’m wrestling with that a little bit.  Normally, I like to think of myself as a well-balanced guy.  I typically take life’s blows and deal with them in stride.  Suffice to say, sometimes life hits a little hard and there’s just too damned much to think about.  That’s been this week for me. 
                Hey, don’t pity your old buddy Silas.  I don’t appreciate or covet sympathy.  I’ll figure all of this stuff out just like I do everything else that comes my way.  I’m a survivor.  Just like you.  And if you don’t believe you’re a survivor, please consider the fact that your lungs are drawing breath even as you read this and you still sleep on this side of the sod.  We’re survivors, you and me.  I’m proud of that.  I’m proud of you.  Hell, I probably don’t even know you and yet I’m compelled to hear your story. 
                So, let’s make a deal (in my mind I said that just like Monty Hall).  You be there for me, and I’ll be there for you.  True, we probably don’t know each other.  But send me some good vibes.  I give you my word, I’ll send them right back.  Let’s infuse our culture with love and strength and positive energy.  We can be not only different, but a difference.  I’m fortunate that I’ve had a couple kind souls be the difference for me this week.  Very fortunate.
                If you ever need, I’ll be a difference for you as well.  You can always find your old buddy Silas at  Peace and love to the beautifully dark community.  God knows there’s been enough bad lately.  Love you all.

-Silas McBane 


Dear DGM readers,

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First of all, a change of format for the magazine site itself. We will continue to provide exclusive content written by the staff here at DGM, but we are preparing to fully activate the new "User Content" section of the magazine. This means that there will now be forums for articles, reviews, tutorials, art, and more all done exclusively by you! You'll be able to create your content and upload it directly to the website for the world to see. Once fully implemented, uploading your own content will be a fast, seamless, and simple procedure.

We also have a new Editor-in-Chief. Editor Gothviking Pasclato has stepped down and the position has been accepted by Sophia Nightwarden. We wish Pasclato all the best, and we're looking forward to seeing what Sophia brings to the table as the website progresses.

Overall, we here at DGM are constantly working to expand and improve the magazine and are committed to providing the best experience for everyone. Our goal is to create an open-ended user experience that is entertaining, informative, and interactive. So be sure to keep watching as we take our magazine in new and exciting directions! We will also be adding new information and tutorials to explain the new features of the site and to keep you updated as we continue to grow.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Shadowed Thoughts of Silas McBane Ep. #14

My Inner Aussie

I like fake accents.  Those closest to me know that I frequently break into a British, Irish, Scottish, German or Australian accent in public at a moment’s notice.  I don’t know why I do it.  Perhaps because I’m very, very strange.  I think that’s the explanation most would offer for that type of behavior.  However, I think I use fake accents for the same reason many of you are goth.  Yeah, I’m probably about to strike a nerve. 
I like to use fake accents because sometimes it’s just fun to not be me.  I’m known to travel a good bit, therefore, I spend some time in airports.  From time to time, if I’m in an airport that isn’t my “home” airport, I’ll pretend to be Australian.  Why?  Hell, I don’t know really.  I know it’s fun, I get to strike up brilliantly stimulating conversations with complete strangers, and people I’ve never met before buy me beers.  There is, however, that earnest fear that one of these days I’m gonna meet a real Aussie in the airport and the jig will be up.  Even I can’t fake out a native.   I’m not exactly thrilled about the potential for that to happen.  I know I’m rolling the dice every time I do it.  But it sure is fun…for now.
                So, back to my point.  I use fake accents for the same reason many of you are goth.  Am I Australian?  Nope, there’s not an Aussie bone in my body.  I pretend.  Yes, that’s right.  I fake it.  I do it because it’s fun and I’m getting over on everyone around me.  There’s a weird self-satisfaction that goes along with it, I suppose.  Some goths are just faking it.  You know the ones to which I’m referring.  They kinda dress it, they kinda talk it, they kinda seem like it, but they just don’t get it.  How does one deal with such a character?  First, I think we have to have an understanding of how sad it is for someone to not know who they really are.  Nothing, in my opinion, is much sadder than the human with a lost sense of self.  Yet I hate how cruel the world is to those who are in such a state.  We’ve all been there.  Lost, rejected, no idea who or what we are, etc.  Can you remember what would have been most helpful to you during that time?  I sure can.  It’s love.  It’s acceptance.  It’s approval and validation.  Nothing can replace a sense of belonging or a hand on the shoulder that says, “your place is here.”  When is the last time you went out of your way to explore the fringes and find that lost soul and give them a safe place?  I’ve made up my mind to do it as often as I can.  Someone did it for me once…

-Silas McBane

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Shadowed Thoughts of Silas McBane episode #13

Secondhand Saints
Silas McBane

Here’s a ballad for the broken
The forgotten and the lost
A verse for the weary
And the lines that we cross
We’re a bit off the trend
Outside the lines
Maybe they think we’ve fallen
But we think we’re fine

We are the ones
We are secondhand saints
With a limp in our step we’re the same
Ever united
Yet strangely divided
We walk though we’re all a bit lame
Secondhand saints just the same

We pray in different places
We walk in different shoes
We love and we hate
We win and we lose
But there’s a common thread a-weavin’
We’re hand in hand
But we’re not forgotten
We’re just secondhand

We are the ones
We are secondhand saints
With a limp in our step we’re the same
Ever united
Yet strangely divided
We walk though we’re all a bit lame
Secondhand saint just the same

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Shadowed Thoughts of Silas McBane, Ep. #12

A Blank Page

Why, you ask, is the normally loquacious Silas a blank page?  Well, I suppose I just am.  Either I’m fresh out of ideas for today or there are far too many random, inane thoughts scrambling about my head to wrangle one and wrestle it into literary submission.  Perhaps I lack the focus or energy to be creative today.  I think I just plain old don’t feel like writing this thing at this particular moment.  But…I gave my word.  Not only that, I signed a contract.  My dad told me once, “If you don’t have your word, you don’t have anything.”  So, I’m keeping my word.  True, I’m not giving 100% here, which is something my dad would be less than impressed with. 

I remember when my dad taught me how to throw a baseball.  That was fantastic.  I’ve been a huge baseball fan my whole life.  Most sports, in fact, I’m very fond of.  Weird stuff for a goth, I know.  Don’t get worked up.  I still wear black.

I bought three plain black t-shirts for $3 each a couple days ago.  I was astounded by the deal I got on those, especially considering they fit so very well.  I would have given $4 for them!  That’s how much I like them.  They go well with my shoes.

You know, a comfortable pair of shoes is one of life’s simple pleasures, don’t you think?  A really cool-looking AND comfortable pair of shoes is the Holy Grail of footwear, in my opinion.

I watched Indiana Jones the other day.  You know, the one where he’s with his dad and he’s searching for the Holy Grail?  That was a great movie.  I can’t help but watch the Indiana Jones movies every time they’re on T.V.

On T.V. tonight is the MLB All-Star Game, which I’m extremely excited about.  I’ve been a huge baseball fan my whole life.  Did I ever tell you about the time my dad taught me to throw a baseball…?

-Silas McBane

Check out more Gothic thoughts at DarkestGoth Magazine!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Shadowed Thoughts of Silas McBane, Ep. #13

There's a feeling in the air
So uneasy, this time
This time I won't fail and miss the chance to see my life
And I…I'm alive
Elemental caution stirs
Breaking will so strong, too strong
So open up my eyes and wash away the years of fear
And pain
And I…I'm alive
Just so you know
I will not be denied
And everything that lives in me
It's undenied
I'm the fool who gave up everything
Only for the chance to see
Only fools would give up anything
That foolish man is me
Just so you know
I will not be denied
-Silas McBane

The Shadowed Thoughts of Silas McBane, Ep. #12

Get a Job

Why don't more Goths have good great careers?  Heck, why don't more goths have jobs?  Do you ever think about that?  I do.  I have a job.  A career, in fact.  I work for a government agency, for crying out loud!  How anti-goth is that?!  However, I've worked and trained and schooled long and hard to get where I am and I'm very proud of myself.  It's a great feeling, getting up every day and going to work and doing something I enjoy which, in turn, makes other people happy.  The paycheck is nice, too.  Did anyone hand this to me?  Hell, no.  I worked my tail off for it.  THAT is why I can be proud of where I am.  Because I have this career, I have a home, a car, and I can care for my children and do the things I want to do.

 Okay, I realize it sounds like I'm bragging.  Point taken.  But I'm really not.  I'm merely trying to make a point.  Far too many Goths are jobless because they're so consumed with "sticking it to the man" that they fail to do what's best for themselves.  Sounds kind of counter-productive, don't you think?  To me, I can be successful, and that can be my way of sticking it to the man, because the world doesn't see us as a successful culture/sub-culture of people!  No, no matter what you want to do with your life, you're not going to start at the top.  I sure didn't.  I spent a lot of years as a helper.  Valuable, painstaking, pride-swallowing, wonderful years.  Catch my drift?  Get up.  Go get what you want. 
This world doesn't hand out anything to anybody.  Anything worth having is worth fighting for and working for.  I remember when I embarked on this career path back in 1999.  I wondered if it would ever amount to anything.  I think I was supporting a family off of around $11 an hour at the time.  But I stuck with it.  I persevered.  I stayed focused.

 It's not un-goth to be successful, dummy.  Go do it.  And quit making excuses for why you can't.  You're embarrassing the rest of us who did it while you were whining about why you can't.

 -Silas McBane

The Shadowed Thoughts of Silas McBane, Ep. #11

Making Sense of it All
 If this particular article came with a disclaimer, it would read:  Warning—the following article contains varying degrees of random thoughts, incoherent rants and bizarre musings.  I guess I have a lot of weird stuff that goes through my mind.  This is my space.  I can write whatever I like.  Here I go…

 How does erasable ink work?  Isn't it weird?  I mean, it's ink, but a pencil eraser removes it from paper.  But it isn't a pencil! 

 Magnets.  They are the strangest things I've ever seen and I could play with them for hours.  Facing each other in one direction, they shoot towards each other like rockets.  Turn one over, and they repel each other!  It's like they have split personalities!

 There are so many varieties of cheese out there that I fear I will live my entire life without getting to sample most of them.  This makes Silas very, very sad.  Please send me strange, interesting, delicious cheeses.

 I love my cat.  She is everything a cat should be.  She never listens to me, she doesn't approach when called, she scratches up my stuff and she irritates my friends.  She's the perfect pet.

 I don't understand how mean people function.

 I need many, many more guitars.

 The weather where I live is so strange.  It has a mind.  It thinks.  It plans…for my barbecues.

 I miss the days where there was no internet, no cell phones, no 5,000,000 channels on television, school books with questionable material, friendly neighbors, cheap fuel and healthy churches.

 For every single piece of meat on a crappy (non-Philadelphia) Philly cheesesteak sandwich, it seems there are three times as many onions or peppers.  Don't get me wrong, I love the onions and peppers.  But my soul craves the cheesesteak.

 Finally, it occurs to me what an honor it is that you read my silly little articles.  I think you are brilliant, beautiful, strong, special and amazing.  Every human I see, I don't see just what I'm looking at.  I see a shooting star ready to launch.

 -Silas McBane

The Shadowed Thoughts of Silas McBane, Ep. #10

 I was thinking today about the masks I wear.  I wear a lot of them and it depends on who I'm with and the situation in which I find myself as to which mask I wear.  For example, when I'm at work, I wear my "work" mask.  I'm a certain way on the clock and it's all about efficiency, deadlines and business.  I don't wear that mask when I'm playing music, hanging out with my friends, or just relaxing at home.  Catch my drift?

 I have a very good friend whom I've known for several years now.  I'm very fortunate to have worked with him for two different companies now.  He has been a great advantage to me in many ways.  He's just one of those guys who doesn't seem to panic over anything.  Here's what I mean:  He and his wife have been trying very hard to have a second child.  About a month ago, we were all very excited to learn that they had been successful in their efforts.  Then, as a result of the pregnancy and growing family, they knew it was time to upgrade to a larger home.  They found a home, sold their old one, miscarried the baby, and found out he was losing his job all within about a week.  Many of us would have been crippled by all of these things.  How could any of us manage such hardship?

 He still comes to work every single day, even knowing his job is ending soon.  His attitude and demeanor haven't changed a bit.  He's still kind, gentle, and caring.  I came to realize that that is his mask.  That's who he wants people to see.  But who is he when he's afforded the opportunity to be vulnerable and remove his mask?  Is he still strong?  Is he hurt?  Afraid?  Is he a child?  I know who I am when my masks are all taken off.  And I also know that that's who I really am.  But few ever see it.  Some do, mind you, but very few.  See, we have to take off all the masks sometimes.  Otherwise, we start to forget who we really, really are.  It's like telling the same lie so many times you begin to believe it yourself.  Who are you when your masks have all been removed?  Does anyone ever get to see that version of you?  I hope so.  Otherwise, I think your life is being half-lived.
-Silas McBane
For more on the thoughts of Silas McBane and other Gothic writers, be sure to check out: DarkestGoth Magazine!