Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Open Letter to My Favorite Cowgirl

Dear You,

If you ever you look around and wonder what's the point - what's good in this world that's worth all the sticking around, what do other people look to in this life? Remember: they have something you don't. Something beautiful, that fills random moments with wonder, something incredibly special to cross their paths from out of nowhere and remind, all of a sudden "yes! That's why life is so good." They something you don't have, or at least, something you're not in a very good position to see. Something truly beautiful: you, in all the moments when you're not even paying attention. They have the best view on you.

Trust me, unless you spend all day by the mirror looking deep into the eyes, your view cannot compare to theirs. Have you even seen your soul lately? Too busy checking your teeth, I think.

Everybody else in the world gets you: the best parts you choose, to try to put across. They see them even if you don't make it all the way there. But you? All you get is the whole thing, including all the icky and disappointing parts, the embarrassing memories that reflect with a cringe on some passing thing that triggers them, the parts other people barely noticed the first time and haven't thought about since, but that you can obsess on quite easily. The bad moods hidden from view, horrible thoughts rarely confessed. That's you, too, you know.

The whole thing's you, but for each and every one of us, knowing and dealing with the whole thing kind of takes the shine off ourselves. Grown accustomed to the lighting, you really can't brighten your own day - but did you know when you walk in anyone else's room - you know, you really take their breath away?

When I look into your eyes, I find it hard to find the words to say.

Love,

me

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Tough Topics #39: The Revolution

Do you want to tell people they can't be mad and madder about society's problems unless they have a solution to offer, outlined in bullet-point form so you can poke holes in it? Maybe you better take a closer look at the situation, captain pragmatic rationalist. These people don't care WHAT the solution is. There is always a solution: it is called fire, and blood, and death to the weak and vulnerable among us, death to the elderly and the sick and infirm and poor, death to those holding unpopular minority views (or simply unpopular minority genes will do in a pinch), death to whoever is on the wrong side of the first revolution that suckers the weak into pouring their immeasurable strength into it. Death to whoever fares worst, surfing the societal collapse. And I suppose you think the rich and powerful will fare worse than the poor and powerless, as things start to fall apart?

Wow, do you?

Just wow. Is humanity perfectible as well? Is there a greater good that outweighs the good of indefinite you? Do others agree which good that is? That would be too easy, though, wouldn't it.

Don't worry. There's always a solution, and that solution is ON THE TABLE. It is on the table RIGHT NOW, as it always has been for the past 241 years. That solution is always on the table, as soon as enough people find nothing else on the table to live for that they can live with. Revolution is on the table. Nothing you say is going to take it off the table. Now you want to say you can't come up with anything better than that?

It will not come to revolution, as long as more attractive options can be found to put on the table. Anything is better than dismissing mounting fury over real problems with "there's nothing we can do to make it better" as it keeps getting worse. You can either put something more attractive on the table, or you can stand back with your arms crossed complaining how people keep getting madder and madder as hell, without providing workable solutions. There's no burden on you, here, except for a burden of opportunity.

If you don't come up with a more attractive solution, somebody will. It will be a very attractive solution. And what do you want to bet the solution will be a slick fiction that seduces a ton of angry people into getting behind something that won't do jack shit to fix things in the long run? What if in addition to that, the solution also provides a glorious hope and a huge release for their fury and frustration in the meantime? Gives all this rage something to do! Makes them feel like they're making progress. Change! Probably something irreversible, and bad.

"Mad with no solution" does not equal "mad for no reason." People are not stupid. Politics is stupid. People who would dearly love to live their lives focused on work, on friends, on family and on living are not STUPID. They are not avoiding the important things: those are the important things. They have their priorities STRAIGHT. And they have every right to feel rage that politicians and financiers are so fucking incompetent they can't milk the cow without KILLING IT.

So what now? Do regular people who don't even want to get involved have to rouse themselves and GET involved? Do all people of good will need to be coming up with some solutions here, or at the very least, joining in denouncing what is detestably unsatisfactory? If we don't, I assure you all people of bad will are looking very ingeniously for some way to harness this force of discontent to their benefit.

There's always revolution. Surely you can come up with a better idea than that.

Tough Topics #38: The Greater Good

Recognize tyranny by its marks: where the one is called less than the many; less than the goal; less than the cause: there is tyranny. Rarely is it imposed from above. Rarely does it run afoul of the consent of the governed. Usually, it is demanded by the governed. The weak and gullible seek shelter within tyranny's seeming strength, believing that if only they give into it, if they identify with the "us" all greater goods are felt to serve, if they condemn whatever "them" is demonized as the enemy, the adversary, the problem, their loyalty will be repaid. They'll become part of some protected "us." They embrace that there exist greater goods, which can on behalf of us void any one of us.

Giving into this seduction protects no one, serves the good of none, endangers all. You place an inhuman expediency, guided and determined by whoever happens to hold the pen or have access to the button, above us all. Be sure of it: they will take that job on. And when it suits expediency - the moment any one of you becomes sufficiently inconvenient - the inhuman Us will crush you out. You have given it permission to.

If you believe a greater good can be more important than the unspecified individual - the indefinite you - you give your blessing. You've allowed that an individual is of less consideration than a greater good. If an individual is less than, any individual can be. It's no crime for an institution to exercise that discretion against you, once you've given it that power. You set your own one life's worth as less than a greater good as determined by others. You bless an institution with the power to set what that good should be, and it is theirs to say who shall be called less than.

More to the point, if enough of those around you give that blessing, if we let that happen, we too will be governed by that consent. A greater good than any of us will do whatever it sees fit to any one of us.

No institution sees a greater good than its own. You, the individual, will be less than the greater good. By your own will or by common consent, you, your life, your right, will subject to peremptory void. It'll be a very hard call to be sure, but don't worry. You won't be the one making it.

The one thing you can say for sure of the greater good: you are not it.

Friday, January 06, 2017

HYPOCRISY!!! Or Something Quite Like It

So I saw this out there, and I thought "Now, this is food for thought about an awful lot of things, arguably, wrong with America."



As to the image itself: I don't see anything wrong with this. At all. The face, a little maybe. But the point is, this sick aversion we're all supposed to have, to hiss and cringe at the most basic and human of all our natures - the natural animal we are, unadorned in glory or even boredom; our natural human being and all you see and all you get to do with it - this sick aversion is at the root of our worst most pervasive perversions, predations, depersonalizations and neuroses.

You can say the point of this slutshameful meme is hypocrisy: because this is the person so-called conservative Christian values advocates are, apparently, fine with being "our first lady." Well, you'd be right the point is hypocrisy: because if you're a supposed liberal, presumably with enlightened views on sexuality, personal expression, and in any case very much against "slut shaming," you're the hypocrite for creating this image. And from the so-called Christian values side, there's no hypocrisy at all in acknowledging a person who is trying to walk that road now, may have walked a far different road in the past. Or may fall down on that road, now, and get back up. That's not hypocrisy, that's the point of Christianity.

When it comes to calling shame on innocent nature, I am willing take to task any person claiming to represent any value or morals system. On the topic of the human form, on sex itself, properly-expressed. Now, "properly-expressed according to whom?" you may well ask! I solemnly assure you, it is as appropriate for religion to advance a viewpoint on the proper expression of sexuality as it is for an individual person to hold a viewpoint on proper expression of sexuality. Yet it is equally appropriate, when we see such stances advanced, and where we can see and show where the stance in question is sick, unjust, or unhealthy, we can question it. We can object to it; we can remonstrate over it. We can rebuke the stance on merit. It's not only appropriate, it may be courageous. But only if you yourself can see, show, say where it is wrong. It would be foolhardy to try, if you can't. You can't say right from wrong if you can't show and tell. But before you go looking around for the wherefores and whys of right and wrong, get one point straight: don't go blaming your nudity prudity on God.

The fig leaf wasn't God's idea, people. It was ours.

The human body, its form and expression through all variations: what's natural is not shameful. And especially, its forms of expressing in the fullest act of human union bodies and souls can come together to make, making one bucking, thrashing beast beautifully for a few minutes - something you never both come all the way back from, by the way - or for those who consensually mutually prefer their sex a bit less significant, why not? Just performed just for mutual fun, and a thrill to know you better this way; what can be called wrong about that? Casual or serious as death til you part, either way two consenting adults want to play, is FAIR PLAY. Or just one consenting adult, standing or lounged or appearing just as he or she wants, and happens to be - wearing whatever or just a killer Blue Steel. Who is disgusted by this? A human being, beautiful as may be, just as they are? Or humans being, doing any or all of the things together they do so beautifully ugly.

Who is disgusted by this? Who in that scenario is the disgusting one? What's wrong with you, America? GROW UP.

It's time we start prudeshaming the slutshamers. If we haven't already, I mean. One important point before you do, though: it's actually perfectly okay for a Christian to be a proud prude! Because you can guarantee this: a Christian will never, ever judge another's sin.

Some of them just think they can, but we already got a guy for that.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Protagonist Archetypes #3: The Girl Who Gets Fallen In Love With

One could argue that the Girl Who Gets Fallen In Love With is a weak role, not a powerful, almost most wondrous storybook archetype, as I've posited in the past in my critique, note, ode to noted actress Zooey Deschanel. People denigrate that kind of role, calling instead for a gun-totin' or sword slicin' or club bludgeonin' swashbucklerina.

These people have either read the wrong storybooks, or watched the wrong 80s and 90s and 00s reimaginings of them, or both.

Let's look at it from the flipside of the archetype: the Boy Who Gets Fallen In Love With. Don't give me this revisionist glib cynical cowardly Prince Charming stuff. I know Prince Charming. I don't know if he was valiant or not, but he's clearly a good guy, a good catch, an honorable man - rich as all fuck and cuts a damn dashing figure, besides. He is also someone who is capable of true love, as witnessed in broken spells. But I don't know if he was or wasn't courageous, in the hero-of-violence sense. Because as far as I can recall, Prince Charming never even unsheathed his sword! Not in the stories I've read. Certainly he wasn't lopping heads off with it. They just throw all that trash in there these days to pump up the junk-candy adrenaline rush, and fill out a cinematic amount of time. All distracting from the real magic of the story - the only kind of magic that sometimes comes true.

Storybooks are for children, some say. But the power they have is witnessed in the dreams they instill, which mature and endure far beyond childhood as some of the biggest and most wished-for, important gifts adulthood could bring or want. Things that the rest of life needs, for the "happily" to feel right, and fit. The power of these stories isn't founded in some laughable theory of early indoctrination and brainwashing. The themes put into these tales are simply the most powerful themes, the most powerful needs and wants that their storytellers knew. These stories were not written by children, but by grown men and women who knew what magic was possible to life. Powerful, powerful stuff.

The love of these stories is a true thing: not a false, not a lie - but never is it promised, never guaranteed. Never deserved. One can only hope for luck and fate to open a crack, and when the chance comes, it must be dared! You must seize that chance with pluck and audacious good graces. True love is not deserved, but it can be earned. The mere chance of that is rightly called fantastic.

These storytellers put in all of the highest magic of real life that they could. The most powerful adult roles are not soldiers, but lovers.

And as in fiction: so in truth. The most magical and beautiful and amazing of roles is to be the one who gets to fall in love. You who believe that's a weak role: you only think you grew up.

In actual fact, you don't even know which way.

TMI Tips #3

The vagina is naturally elastic. Chances are, you will find it can comfortably accommodate even the largest human penis size, even fully-erect, even in cases where at first blush - the dimensions may seem frightening. As a preparatory measure to ensure comfort and enjoyment (to say nothing of peace of mind), perhaps nothing could be better than sexual arousal.

All the above presupposes consent. I'd like to think that goes without saying, but that may be my typical patriarchal guy style rearing its ugly head yet again, so I err here on the side of caution, if any: guys?

Consent comes first. Then her, then you.

Ladies, please feel free to skip over any chauvinism AKA chivalry implicit in that last bit, with your characteristic and stereotypical grace. Thanks!

TMI Tips #1

Experiencing vivid, green peeps (pee-pees) lately? It could be your daily multivitamin supplement. Discontinue dosage for at least two days. If symptoms persist, consult your physician - or visit WebMD.com for a comprehensive, self-guided paranoiac hypochondrial symptom search.

Leave the most interesting possibilities in comments, below!

TMI Tips #2

Potatoes. Prepared artfully and well, what could be more delicious? However, as is true of so many of life's best things, moderation and responsibility are called for. Potatoes compress readily in the digestive tract. If you've recently been eating a butt ton of potatoes, be sure to take a shit whenever the opportunity presses.

You will greatly reduce your risk of an impacted fecal bolus.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Quote of the Day (Overheard): the onus

"Some say it's onerous when the onus is on the anus, but I say...bonus."

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Personality Test Results: I am EFNJ!

Sometimes it's eerie how close these tests can get it.


The Paragon of Awesomeness

As an EFNJ, your primary mode of living is cosmic in scope, where you respect your central position in the universe, and consider it an honor and your responsibility to keep it revolving around you in an orderly fashion. Your secondary mode is to help everyone else adjust to reality by making sure they are all clear on that same idea.

EFNJs, more than any other personality type, pretty much rule. They swoop through life putting everyone at ease with a lot of minor adjustments. They distract others from the grueling despair and emotional turmoil of day to day existence, just by being so incredibly sexy. Female EFNJs have eyes set on "stun" and a body that just won't quit. A male EFNJ's penis is very large, however, he will always humbly protest that it is "well within the statistical range for what's possible in a human."

EFNJs pretty much know what you want to hear, but they're not going to tell you what you want to hear just because they know what you want to hear. They respect you too much for that. The main goal for an EFNJ is to either make you understand how truly unique and wonderful you are, or "call you on your bullshit," depending on the particulars of the situation.

EFNJs are great listeners. An EFNJ will just listen the crap out of whatever it is you're saying. They'll keep listening, and listening, and listening until every drop of gushing feeling and every pulped juicy bit of meaning has been been flushed from your mouth, and sluiced directly into their ears. Then they'll ask careful questions that show they have grasped the key aspects and distinctions involved in whatever it was you were saying. As they respond with their insightful feedback, you'll feel yourself becoming increasingly sexually aroused - but this is not the EFNJ's intent. You'll also feel a growing appreciation and wonder for humanity itself, as embodied in this person with their easy rapport and their way of supporting and uplifting the sense you make - that's what we were after.

An EFNJ, if he or she is honest, will admit he or she kind of does enjoy a bit of conflict, now and then. Not necessarily that they enjoy a fight or an argument. More that they relish the unnecessary chance to show off how good they are at fighting and/or arguing. The EFNJ is not proud of this, but it is what it is.

EFNJs know what's right in any situation, but will refuse to tell you. That would strike the EFNJ as being needlessly judgmental.

Housekeeping can be a challenge for some EFNJs, since they often don't notice the mundane details such as a sink full of dirty dishes for weeks on end. In terms of personal hygiene, however, EFNJs smell fantastic and their hair looks great. How all of that is accomplished is none of your god-damn business.

EFNJs tend to be the most reasonable of all personality types, the most feeling, the most thrillingly creative in the arts, the most truly loving and loyal, the most skilled and empathic sexual performers (to say nothing of their nigh-godlike stamina when tact justifies and the situation calls for it), the rightest in matters of "common sense," and also almost preternaturally gifted in terms of grasping the most esoteric concepts of theoretical physics, for instance. Where they fail, though, is math. EFNJs suck at math.

EFNJs have an especially clear perception and keen appreciation of their faults. So far, that boils down to pretty much just the math thing. Zoroaster, Siddhartha Guatama, Chuck Norris, Jesus Christ and Teddy Roosevelt are some famous historical figures who would all readily admit to being inferior to an EFNJ.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Thought of the Day: Snappy Comebacks for Pagan Deities

I feel like at some point, pressed for a retort, the Mighty Thor should say: "My rejoinder is MJOLNIR!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I'm willing to do my part to address the patriarchal legacy of sexism.

I feel like as reparations for misogyny, enlightened, righteous men women should volunteer to be sexually objectified by women.

Friday, October 07, 2016

The Clown Problem

Part of me is afraid of clowns. Not afraid, really. Just suspicious. It seems like a weird identity to assume. To what purpose? I am suspicious of the ulterior, potentially sinister motives of clowns. Why are they in clownface? Why hide their features? What's with the circus suit? On one level, this ought to allay suspicion, because after all - they stand out like a sore thumb in that getup! This isn't a guise to assume for purposes of stealth.

And it feels like it's a long time since clowns have been trusted and beloved figures. Nobody could reasonably don a clown suit in this day and age and expect to ride the coattails of some general clown-based faith and goodwill. You might as well dress up in a roman catholic priest garb. Maybe that goodwill used to be there, but these days "sorry." So I can't see the clown identity as itself sinister, or lending itself to abuse, because there's no residual goodwill left to cloak their dark deeds under. If anything, a clown walks in everyone is going to be instantly on their guard!

But it leaves me wondering: why would they do it? Why do they do it? Are they driven to do it? Are they driven to it in one of those tiny cars?

I suppose trying to rationalize and analyze this thing isn't going to get me anywhere. What I've got is some kind of deep-seated anti-clown bias. It's not based in anything rational. I'm not going to be able to discover and articulate a basis for it. Just the look of a clown. There's something about it I don't trust.

But another part of me loves the idea of a clown. It's the secret identity thing, maybe. You transform into someone other, who can do peculiar deeds and has a sort of societal stamp of approval for them, as long as you're wearing the getup! At least for the doing of recognized, clownlike deeds, a clown outfit does confer certain permissions. It's perfectly excusable to douse people with buckets of confetti, or whatever. People start, it's still a bit of a shock when it happens - but then they're like, oh fuck it's just a clown. Ok.

But if I were going to be a clown, damn. I would not make my makeup or my outfit look like THAT.

I'd be like a super-colorful member of 1970's KISS, maybe.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Humility's a habit

Humility's a habit we're all guilty of. We put ourselves down, cause we can't bear the love.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Applied Moral Relativism: Or, What's the Worst Sin in YOUR Moral Economy?

Moral relativism is a good thing, or it ought to be. By all means, let's allow all ideas into the discourse! But it seems many people use moral relativism as an excuse to say: "It's useless to talk about, useless to compare, because no final absolute can be discovered!"

This is ridiculous. This is not the attitude of a rationalist, either. This is the attitude of someone pining for a moral absolute.

Relativism allows, or ought to allow, any rational person to compare competing ideas and ideals based on their actual aspects, and evaluate their relative merits. By which I mean: their merits relative to each other. Moral relativism doesn't and shouldn't mean you can't say a thing is wrong. There's nothing wrong with saying a thing is wrong, as long as you can say what's right and show why. When you lay out your basis, people will share basis to compare. The value is in comparison of real aspects, and discussion of how competing values can be weighed - not some black and white conclusion: "fire bad!"

In the post title, I deliberately chose a loaded word: "sin" - partly because I'm a dick, but let's be frank: even the most secular conception of humanism holds many things to be sins, whether they call them that or no. Skepticism, too, has its sins. Science is much sinned-against, especially by its practitioners.

To believe an unsupported and insupportable assertion is a sin against Skepticism. Skepticism can advance its case as to why it is wrong to believe unproved assertions.

To falsify data to support a hypothesis one "knows to be right" is a sin against science. Science can give its litany of reasons and examples to show why it's wrong to jump ahead of what you can establish via the scientific method: via hypothesis, experiment, falsification, and reproducible results.

None of this requires any final absolute to exist. Relativism means it is possible to compare and judge things relative to each other, without needing to reference some absolute. The principles of skepticism and science are not absolute. They are based on demonstrable benefit. Because we can see the benefit they are based on, we can tell where a given violation may hamper us.

We don't talk about movies or beer as if final absolutes are necessary. "It's useless to say this pilsner is good or bad, when we have no absolute beer ideal from which to judge!" Pish-posh. We sample a range, the wider the better, so as to have a broad basis from which to judge. We identify various merits from this range of experience, some of which may be mutually exclusive, some of which are not. Then we sample and judge between the beers themselves. Judgment is based on what attributes a given person values, and what a given beer's merits are for those attributes. The person can state what they value, and we can know what they're basing their judgment upon. Merit is no more than an ability to serve specific, identified needs. For beer, one need may be refreshment, another may be intoxication. If additional aspects and limitations such as price are brought in as relevant factors, all these considerations together will form the criteria against which we judge a beer's merit.

We're not trying to create an absolute. We're simply trying to make a judgment based on aspects and quantities that can be experienced and known. It's a rational process. A useful process. What good are absolutes? When did we ever need them? When have they ever once been of use?

We have no problem at all with comparisons and judgments based on merit in all sorts of areas. So it is, or should be, with actions and the rightness of actions. A rational person is capable of seeing what can be seen and judging between, based on merit. Based on specific, identified needs being served. Even if each separate economy advances its own view on the rightness of an act, still we can identify the needs being served and we can judge between. We can identify the effect of an act or its prohibition, and we can judge between the views on that act's morality or immorality advanced by competing moral economies.

This is what relativism gives us. Moral relativism is not some wan surrender to apathy, with the hands-waving excuse that it is not worth discussing. It was the old absolutism that was not at all worth discussing. Moral absolutism quashed discussion, moral relativism makes discussion possible.

Moral relativism is what makes it possible for us to tell right from wrong.

Moral absolutism made it possible only to say what we've been told is wrong.

Relativism opens fertile ground for strong and vigorous discourse, wherein people are not afraid to advance their idea of right, defend it with reference to demonstrable effects and basis, and advance it as superior based on specific, direct comparison with competing ideals. There is no need within moral relativism to shirk from hard scrutiny between competing ideals.

In an atmosphere of rationality and relativism, a person advancing a given thing as right must be able to say why it is right. When one person's "why" boils down to a strong foundation of greatest benefit to those most in need, and another person's "why" boils down to "Arbitrary Unprovable Being said so!"...please, don't let's say we can't compare. We have a pretty good basis for comparison, there.

From this discourse, different people will come away differently or indifferently convinced of different things. This is no cause for frustration. Discussion can be fruitful, even if not everyone becomes convinced of the same conclusion. The more we talk about what's important, the more basis we have for understanding where we differ, and the more powerfully we are able to come together where we agree. The more we find we can't come up with an effectual refutation of another person's view - even if we do not agree with it! - still, because we have tried and found we cannot reasonably refute it, we will come to respect how they can hold such a view. The more we understand and respect each other's differences, the more we can work effectively and peaceably together on all the things we know most benefit us all.

And those of us who believe that mixed in with all the ideas there are, there are some ideas that are truly the best and highest of what humanity can strive for - the more we are able to talk about what's important, the more those best ideas have a chance to come to the fore, and persuade those most open to them.

Ideas about right and wrong don't have a chance to change the world if people take the attitude that they're not worth talking about. In the absence of absolutes makes it possible to compare between. The fact that everything is relative makes it possible to compare every thing, and judge it based on how it relates to whatever good you care to claim. You are able to claim a good, when you can show it exists. You can compare two goods and say one is better, anywhere you can show how they intersect with the world others can see.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Here's Some Movies Where I Don't Like That One.

I don't like the one where James Woods is supposed to be the good guy. Come on. We're rooting for him enough as it is! Making him the good guy, that's just overkill. Or something. Possibly, double-reverse-overkill.

I like the one where there's a shootout at the end, but I don't like the one where you think there's going to be a shootout, and instead the good guy and the bad guy make love.

I like the one where - wait, The Prophecy! I liked that one. But apart from that one, I hate the one where instead of a sense-making climax, they just slap a shitload of writhing special effects lightshow bullshit across the screen for five to ten minutes while people duck, dive and do frantic incomprehensible things, and expect you to be satisfied like it's the fucking grand finale of a fireworks. As if that's all you need to successfully conclude a fucking narrative arc!

Technically, also: Raiders. They originated it, arguably, but they made up for the bad example by showing us how to pull it off. I liked that one. Apart from those two, though, no.

I like the one where you see her tits! But I don't like the one where she dies right after. That's kind of bullshit. Another sign of the hegemony of the gosh-damn patriarchal/puritanical paradigm's sinister antinature program! Women must always be punished immediately for embracing the power of their sexuality? As a feminist I say: "FUCK" to that! Fuck it right in its puritanical UNISEX FUCKHOLE.

I don't like the one where the guy and the girl, and it's some big trumped-up complication, and all these ridiculous coincidences to keep them from figuring it out, and then at the last possible minute of escalating catastrophe towards their clearly-set destiny - they get killed by a truck.

I don't like that one at all.

Friday, September 30, 2016

PLUTARCHY: The Game of Global Rape and Plunder!

There should be a board game that's a cross between Monopoly and RISK.

Oh never mind. There is already. A bit ad hoc, and kind of confusing though. They're calling it "Riskopoly" - that's sound enough, I suppose. You can look it up. It seems to be more a fanfic slash boardgame than an actual product. They want you to use 2 boards, the actual Monopoly board and the actual RISK board! Heck, why not throw in Stratego at that point?

There should be a better board game that combines Monopoly and RISK.

It should be called OLIGARCHY.

Or if that's taken: HEGEMONY?

Or if that's taken, oh heck, the name doesn't really matter folks. Make up a word, and it will come to mean that if your gameplay's good enough.

PLUTARCHY. You can play as a military power, a megaglobal syndicate, or a rogue ideology. Better yet, each player gets to play as all three!

Over the course of the game, things can change. You might lose your military power entirely, and still win the game! Military powers have different goals, you can divest yourself of that (or of the syndicate business) and play all-out along only one line. Suppose you lose your armed forces, but gain an extra megaglobal syndicate? That's huge. Imagine if unbeknownst to the world - what if Coke OWNS Pepsi? Or unbeknownst to the world - what if Bayer OWNS Monsanto?

It would be a super-sinister development, with the powers-behind edging that much closer to Global Hegemony. Or whatever.

You can have as many rogue ideologies as you like, but everybody has to have at least one. Each lets you do different things, but liabilities apply as well - and your internal factions can begin to dissonate each other, if you're not careful to keep them divided, conquered and working separately towards your multifarious goals. Rogue ideologies include theocracism (there are a number of these in different flavors!), fanatisystem (same), absolutist relativism (only one of these really, the whole "all wrongs are equally false" deal - primarily used to undermine!), conspiriarchy, dogmagic orthotoxy, and more! Picking up two or three of these gives you a lot of flexibility to undermine, subvert, motivate and terrorize in a way people on the internet will be quick to justify and/and condemn.

Military power is probably best used sparingly, or towards areas where they don't have much media hookup. Of course, if you control enough of the media...you get a pretty acceptable risk.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Thought of the day: not a joke

Life is not a joke. If it were, though, it would have a killer punchline.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Why You Might Want To Reconsider Casablanca As One Of The Best Movies Ever - What A Classic!

So because basically he's all "In one of the gin joints, in all of the lousy towns in the world - and then she walks in!" They had a history, you see, but you don't know that. You find out later. He'd already had a history himself: a real idealist, mercenary type. Running guns, participating in losing revolutions, he thought he was pretty much "all man" and knew the difference. But he had to take a little break in Paris, between gigs, didn't he? It must have been fate at hand, that day - because next thing you know, she meets this guy and they're being all coy and joyfully mysterious about their pasts. Drinking, smoking, implying sex, it was as if it was a game to them. A game they'd heard about before - no time for it, then. But now, it was a game they could both afford to play, because it was so plain they'd already secretly won. Somehow, by that point, what did the past matter?

As it turns out, he was kidding himself. He thought he was the one from the big dark past with shadowy crap in it, meanwhile she herself was just about as rough and tumble a revolutionary as he'd been - and worse, even more willing to sacrifice what's worth living for, even more willing to sacrifice everything for a hard, bad cause: whatever's right. Next thing you know, like a chump in the rain clutching a note, all the meaning in the world was running away and he finally realized that train wasn't ever going there. Somebody lied, or maybe somebody just didn't say the truth out loud. It amounted to the same thing: beans. One hill.

By then, naturally the only thing left with meaning in life was to go crawl to some Gottforsaken desert hole and act mister big shot in a white tuxedo jacket, play coy and mysterious with suave, brutal German honchos, wink sarcastically at the disgusting antics of that barbarous French sheriff, bandy a lot of banter with Sidney Greenstreet and assorted other characters, and then what? Everybody's sitting there by this point going, "the dialogue is delicious!" "How can this man possibly have so much savoir faire and yet care so little about it?" He can't. Nobody can. It's because they don't know the history. Then she walks in with it.

Ingrid Bergman was treated so cruelly in that movie, as you know. The story's famous, and as it happens, it goes that they shot both endings. All along the way - even in the flashback scene, where realistically she shouldn't have even been thinking about it! - the actress had no idea which man she's going to end up with! Much like life, really, but a cruel way to treat an actress. How's she supposed to describe an arc? When she knows somewhere out there, in the future, an alternate ending DVD extra has already happened - and was released. And was the real film, in that universe. And in that universe, everybody said "Ah! Casablanca. A slight film, a charming film, a film with wit and characters - not much heft to it, but at least there's a happy ending! That much is certain, those two were made to end up together, early, often, and ever after. What a piece of business."

And so she had no idea what universe she was living in. And she looked it! She looked like she came in from a better one, still had hopes of getting back there. But at the point of her crisis, she gave up on love for what was right. He, meanwhile, gave up on love because of what was right. That's also why he gave up on what was right, or had been. He'd found out by then what was worth living for. What's right isn't it. Not a broken man, just a bent animal in a white tuxedo jacket and a sense of style, both of which fit perfectly. And by then, she walked in.

God damn it I hope I never hear that song again. But if she can stand it, so can I.

I learned all those same lessons he did, when I first saw the film. And I was deeply moved because it was just a movie. That's what consoles us to these things, that's what reconciles us to movies. Later, I was sitting in a gin joint in some forsaken town in the real world, or what suddenly no longer passed for it: because all of a sudden, she walks in.

It's all a lot of history, and it never amounts to much. The right person got on the plane, that's all that matters. It took me forever to realize that the whole time, she didn't know who she was going to end up with.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Definition of the day: "terrorist"

A terrorist is someone who uses homicide as public relations, and is stupid enough to think this makes their cause look good.

Takes On: FOOD

Time to get back to basics: FOOD

Food, people, is one of those words that's just FOOD-NEUTRAL. It gives you the idea of something to EAT, but it doesn't really expand on that or fill in any of the details. Will the food be delicious? It might say more about you than the food, the answer you give to this next question: FOOD GOOD or FOOD BAD?

I think the human heart holds out hope that FOOD GOOD. Even though let's be honest, we've all had a lot of experience with the disappointment of a meal-gone-wrong. Or even a snack-gone-poorly. Does that put us off food?

What about involving FOOD in a sexual encounter, as sort of a playful, frankly childish maneuver? Don't play with your food, love. It's unhygienic, probably - although this may depend more on the FOOD factor than emotions do.

I remember the first time somebody brought my attention to the idea. It was my first, real love, you know - "X1" as I call her. Actually I don't! I just made that up, but I think I kinda like it! X-1. "Girl X-1." There oughtta be a manga. Anyhow, speaking of mangia, she goes "hey do you want to eat raspberries off my belly?"

Now this is kinkier than it sounds, because she knows what I'm really into is blackberries. Raspberries just seem seedy to me. But what are you going to do?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tough Topics #37-b: Slavery

The main thing people object to in slavery seems to be that it was racist. I wonder how the other aspects would play today, if the racist aspect could be fully and completely purged.

Would people sign up for slavery, if we could guarantee it were a multiracial institution with no race overrepresented, if we instituted strict requirements for clothing, nutrition, medicine, housing and humane treatment - a guaranteed decent standard of living, all you give up is your freedom? It'd be entirely voluntary: upon signup, slaves would first be sterilized, and owners would buy them from the government. It would be unconscionable to allow a generation of children born into slavery. That would ruin the market.

Would you choose a life of drudge work, no pay, no possibility of advancement, but at least you know you'll be clothed, fed, housed and taken care of? If you are like many people, you may already be choosing all the negatives from that list, pretty much. What price, hope?

One is reminded of recidivism. Prisons are drastically overcrowded and, we hear, dangerous places. And in case you don't know, people commit crime just to get back inside, where they know they're clothed, fed, housed, and to some extent, taken care of. Have recidivists been institutionalized - unable to survive outside? Or have they just found that for the less privileged, the outside has become a crueler institution than prison?

Time to Take Pokemon Go to the Next Level. Who's With Me?

I want to get a Pokémon cosplay posse together, dressed up in all different Pokémon costumes and we go around ambushing these people while they're all distracted on their app.

Friday, September 16, 2016

What People Don't Realize Is #2

What people don't realize is, it would be a great children's picture book if a baby bee hummingbird got lost and was taken in and nurtured by BEES.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tough Topics #31: The Intelligent Design Controversy

Another thing: those "Intelligent Design" people? Always talking about how "obvious" it is? Well how come they never point out how the vagina is almost the perfect opposite of a penis??!

I'll tell you why, it's because they're hypocrites. A bunch of sex prudes, refusing to even mention the best argument they've got, probably: creation's naughty parts. After all: come on! Could those parts have arisen at random? In tandem? Pretty suspicious, if so.

It's kind of a tipoff, how they do all these cartwheels everywhere to scrupulously avoid all the sex stuff like it was the plague. Like it was a pitfall, and they thought their name was Harry. Swinging on vines over quicksand and crocodiles, with all their nudity taboos hanging out, and their so-called sexual mores - meanwhile, a moray eel has a better idea of healthy and natural sex attitudes than these people do. Or most of them, anyway. I tell you it'd be laughable, if there were anything the slightest bit funny about how pathetic it all is. Trying to act all natural about it, walking around nude as the emperor's sweet patoot - but with the HUGEST FIG LEAF EVER on! Of, of course.

Surrr-r-r-r-re. We totally believe you on that fig leaf, dude. We're so sure you need one THAT BIG. Hypocrites!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Taunts We Don't Know What They Mean #7: Bull?

"Buddy, you just opened a BULL SHOP in Chinatown!!"


Now.

That's a perfect example of maybe I ought to hold my boasts, taunts or even toasts a moment in mind before letting fly. Because after the initial incredulity, hostility, questioning-of-mutual integrity and everything else - we were both forced to admit that it worked out to a compliment for him! I mean, apart from the dubiousness of the whole enterprise, selling bull to the Chinese, which seems a bit exploitative - but clearly you want to be the bull of the shop, not the one who's got to clean up all the busted wares your curious customers have taken home with them, to put them back together broken-hearted. So much prouder of the pieces they carry out than what they had walking in.

An interesting business. Customers are scarce, because we refuse to speak English. It's a bit of a ticklish dick move, that - "Don't patronize ME!" - seems to be the message on the front door sign. Unless that calligraphist has been making fools of our faith in her! Hey, maybe that's why people keep coming in? Depending on what those beautiful characters hung in the door really say, I'd be curious to.

What with the takeout business so brisk, we're thinking of offering delivery.