TONGUE PETALS 
December 2000
MERRY XMAS, WAR IS OVER...
The month of December began with the Christmas season and its ever-attendant consumer insanity descending upon one and all. Things on planet Shunt strolled along at surprisingly leisurely pace and, as the first few days of posting breezed through my in box, I thought to myself "My, what an easy job this will be..."
Things began innocently enough with Shunt's now bi-monthly verbal beratement of one Bill Leeb along with some questions posed regarding my predecessors mysterious and untimely demise (nobody quite knows what did happen to Ewan actually - ed.).
Allison, Duck and Bash met up after study hall to play Dungeons & Dragons and to discuss the relative merits of Sci-Fi Channel's airing of 'Dune' which was, as far as I can tell, universally despised.
Yann, our resident Frenchman, voulez-vous'd and boo-hooed his lack of creative drive and personal lack of amphetamines. What may have initially been a cry for help ended with Zander, Marco and Shane ('G.O.A.T.') Etter taking young Yann's weak spirit, lifting it above their heads, breaking it in half over their knees and then demanding, nay, DARING him to quit being such a baby and start doing it for the kids.
The annual end of year volley of top ten lists was begun by the effervescent Dr Michael LaVey with Anton, Jen Jordan and nearly everybody who's anybody in this strange Shuntian world chiming in with their own list. If you were paying attention, a quite entertaining game of 'Who Can Pick The Most Unknown, Esoteric and Downright Bizarre Record to Put On Their List' also ensued and, since I myself have never heard of most the bands mentioned, no clear winner arose. The Americans have demanded a recount.
What followed next increased the workload of yours truly by tenfold, and I think illustrates to many of us the essential dangers in allowing mental patients to be returned to society early, work-release or no!

In a nutshell, a person who shall remain nameless, spammed the heck out of our dear Shunt after he/she/they/it took offence at the 'run of the mill' banter.
Having concocted countless internet 'personalities' as it were, our new friend then attempted to entrap none other than former Fan of the Month, Raven, in a nasty bit of Kak-strewn finger pointing.
Everyone's favourite übergeek, Chris, put a temporary end to the put-on by wielding his now legendary computer voodoo, debunking the Shunt saboteur who (if there really is a Santa) will soon be spending some quality time in a federal prison for sending a computer virus across international borders.
Looking on the bright side however, this little flame war brought out former Shunt cool-kids Yolanda, Marco, J. Christian Guerrero, KJ, Stephanie and Ben 'F" Word' Williams to decry the current state of things and while other Shunt alumni returned to the list, it was under assumed names to slander various members of the Wilder household.
Yann, ever the devil's advocate, along with the aforementioned offender engaged the list in a debate over Shunt's apparent lack of moderation and the nature and function of 'free speech'. Yann and Laerm cultivated a rapidly growing friendship based on their mutual cases of 'cooler than thou' syndrome while the more devoted amongst the Shuntese attempted to bring things around to more Recoil-friendly conversation.
As the birthday of our Saviour approached, things took a decidedly festive turn with the discussion of the silly cost of Christmas trees in Texas, conversations regarding holiday gift giving, plus Anathema Dave's attempt to get quote of the month with some potty mouth. Tried, and failed.
Battle lines were drawn and a vicious 80's song lyric war took over while Shunt lamented the untimely death of Kirsty MacColl. While Dannah made public her desire to lick Marco, naughty northerner Laura teased and titillated boys and girls alike by revealing her dormant but functional bisexuality. Speaking of alternatesexuals, Ken dropped in and wished one and all a happy and well-lubricated holiday season.
So while we're all punch drunk on the Yuletide spirit and swimming in oceans of spent wrapping paper, let's leave Shunt to it's hangovers and it's forthcoming credit card bills of immense proportion.

Now, initially I had planned to subject Shunt to some scientific probing and prodding while also intending to include (on a monthly basis) a run down, percentage-wise, of the month's topics and so forth. However, I think the 1181 messages containing, in essence, "I'm not a loser, YOU'RE a loser!" would have skewed my numbers a bit... so you'll just have to wait until next month.
After joining Shunt to near universal acclaim, Quote Of The Month has just -got - to go to Simon, Shunt's official new Golden Boy, who poignantly pontificated:


"We don't do peanut butter in Latvia."


Genius my boy, pure genius.
And may you all have a happy and safe Kwanzaa...
Sebastian K.
Photography - Robert Mapplethorpe