Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Friday, December 14, 2018

"Art knoweth not moderation, except in passing."

Quote of the day.

I guess I typically put "Quote of the Day" up there, and the quote itself down here.

You know, I'm not sure it isn't better this way?

Example of a double negative that adds meaning, by the way.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Thought of the Day: Off Schadenfreude

I think the schadenfreude component of much humor is overestimated. I believe our laughter in response to another's misfortune is less often a result of any genuine appreciation of ours for their misfortune, and more often a sudden and involuntary outbreak of relief at our own safety; that we were in this instance spared. Possibly magnified by our recognition that we've been in situations where we exposed ourselves to the risk of quite similar misfortune, just as stupidly, and lucked out or through - a reinforcement that carries a lesson with it: maybe this recognition will help steer us clearer in the future. Or maybe a touch ruefully, we realize it probably won't. That we'll be caught and tripped ourselves, and look a fool, and others will laugh, but we'll carry on through.

The absurdity of our bravery, and the probable futility of it, makes us laugh. I think it is a sympathetic response more than it is a sadistic one.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Thought of the day: perfection consists

Perfection consists not in the realization of an imagined ideal, but in the fulfillment beyond imagining of a real desire.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Quote of awhile ago: praise

"Praise is the better part of criticism."


For some reason I thought I put this up here someplace already. Anyway.

It is.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

How Can We Be So Sure #9: Pumpkin Spice

What I don't get is, pumpkins aren't spicy. Not even remotely. So what part of the plant does the "spice" come from? The vines? The leaves? The roots? Do they even have roots?

I think at the bottom of it all we'll find that so-called "pumpkin spice" is derived from utterly unpumpkinal - and possibly even unautumnal sources!

It should be looked into. But nobody benefits by looking into these things. As usual, its a hegemony of the status quo riding herd on a gaggle of vested interests to keep change confused, divided and unfocused.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Homosexuality Propounded (Part of the Biblical Knowledge Series) Pt.2: "GAY ANIMALS?" (LGBTQ Animals?)

Listen I am a master of Biblical knowledge in both senses, and sometimes you just have to come right up behind the truth and PROPOUND it, also in both senses (if available).

I don't mean that "propound" has two senses. Pretty sure it only has one: to put something forward for consideration. It isn't even necessary pro- or con-, as you see. A very even and unbiased approach. I propound it.

No, what I meant had both senses was the truth. Because sometimes it can. And then I put "(if available)" to signify to you yes, sometimes also it doesn't. We must cover both sides of the truth, even if there is only one. Today's topic is one such perfect example. It seems like two sides, but upon fair and thorough examination, there aren't. Begin.

Homosexuality does not exist in the animal world except in common experience, widely-observed and easily verified. There's no sense in which such behavior can be compared to human homosexuality, which does not depend on empirical verification, but upon the moral dimension.

You have to understand the distinction. With animals, there isn't any. Humans, though, are completely different! When an animal engages in a sex act, it's just there. Doin' it. Doin' it doin' it doin' it. Done! With a human, though, there has to be a sanctifying aspect or else you're basically mocking God's creation by behaving like monkeys. Anyone who can say this doesn't have a moral dimension is by-God deficient in poor reasoning. Sometimes they lack the moral sense entirely.

Homosexuality by definition is between a human and a human.

This is what the term has always meant, and no moral or immoral revisionist no matter what claims of "SCIENCE!" they let drop all sly can redefine what the term means, and has always meant, since time immemorial. Proof? Well, for one thing, people didn't even know about this animal business until quite recently! With the exception of certain perverts who, evidently, must have gone out beating the bush looking for it. Therefore by definition, obviously, "homosexuality" means and has always meant humans, because such were the limits of human knowledge. To deny that is to crap in the Oxford English Dictionary, of an edition and year prior to any gay animals coming into it.

Animals are not gay, because "homosexuality" does not mean the blameless things they do to each other. Because they are innocent, even if unruly and stinky sometimes. Whatever grabbing and slobbering, seizing roughly and poke-thrusting unto they do to each other is utterly regardless of biological sex, not immoral. It is only in animals that sex can be biological, at least, primarily. They do that behavior and - if it's with two males, or two females - it doesn't matter; it's an innocent frolic like children too young to know better, only with the difference of clothes (hopefully). That comparison stank. I just meant animals have the innocence of children. Please stop sexualizing animals: their acts, in this area, are not remotely similar to ours.

Not "ours," I didn’t mean to say! But certainly, some people's.

It's because of the moral dimension. That's what makes animal sex so incomparable. THERE IS NONE. No moral dimension whatsoever! In an animal, so-called "gay behavior" is just a light-hearted slap n' tickle with sometimes a full-bore encore that means as little as the prelude did. But in animals it is first and foremost, totally insignificant!

In humans, by comparison, homosexuality is first and foremost, an immoral act. The two could not be more dissimilar. If animal gay sex is incomparable, human gay sex is even moreso. Nobody’s in any position to compare the two. Only God.

The moral component, its nature and status and essence and character as (first and foremost) an immoral act, means that whatever trivial similarities may appear to exist in the physical realm, true homosexuality is a whole other barrel of Bob's apples. The moral (IMMORAL!) component is so primal, so central, that whatever physical actions go with it are entirely by-the-way, and are only really used to unmistakably signal the immorality of the act. But it makes sense, doesn't it, that given the unique, almost awe-encompassing immorality of homosexuality, the acts chosen to go with are mostly the most gross and disgusting acts unimaginable (and don't try to!)? It makes sense, because this really is an example of the symbolic. That's when something makes sense in a tricky way, that lets you know: God did it. The disgustingness of certain acts, which aren't disgusting at all but perfectly blameless when animals do them, are, revealed for every bit how they disgusting they are when chosen to crown and symbolize the truly disgusting: which exists wholly in the moral dimension.

We are clear on that, I believe.

I was going to say something about Darwin, but I forget.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Friday, August 24, 2018

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Friday, August 17, 2018

Did the Boy Scouts of America mess up admitting girls, or will this revitalize and renew the relevance of their flagging brand?

First, we should admit girls are going to get in pretty much wherever they want to. The question is why they’d want to, given (whether in prospect or consequentially) how they’ll be treated when they get there. What self-respecting girl wants to deliberately run a gauntlet of entrenched Filiarchy?

The answer is easy to see: tomboys. Not every protowoman wants to sell cookies and sash up merit badges on things like modesty, fidelity and homemaking. If the Girl Scouts had stolen a march and badassed their achievement list ages ago, maybe none of this would have ever happened?

Maybe it would’ve.

Girls as an organization have had a branding problem for years. It’s time to think about rebranding girls entirely, something with gravitas, something with heft: protowomen. The problem still doesn’t exist, but it becomes manageable.

The Boy Scouts then respond by changing their name, to what retrospect suggests it should always have been: Man Scouts. This is accompanied by a big ballyhoo’d return to the whole “Man means everyone! Girls too!” ethos, as of old. Controversial? Inflammatory? YES. But sometimes ladies and gentlemen, you’ve got to play a thing out. It wasn’t we who crossed the line first. The line crossed all of us - and now we have to change the game to make sense of the rules! The Girl Scouts would almost certainly up their own ante to keep up with the uncles. To keep the Man Scouts trying to poach their recruit base, they’d need to reinvent themselves as Women Scouts (note the plural! A deliberate emphasis on collective individuality over the abstraction of Man).

Would this be enough to stave off the threat of encroachment? Which proud way would young girls choose? The battle for the very soul of Scouting would be joined!

And with the advent of the new gender-inclusive Man Scouts, eager Eagle Scouts looking to advance to the new next rank of Man would be expected to earn badges in things like cooking for one, self-maintenance (vehicle & home), tax filing, Powerpoint and sports negotiation. At that point, the Woman Scouts would be screwed! They’d need to ramp up their own offering in response, or risk being relegated to a secondary status.

Eventually, a sort of parity would be reached. Colleges would be rebranded as Scouting, open to either side. Beyond college, graduates would continue Scouting right on through life. There are many ways they could do this. For example, they would be well-equipped to take over the task of canvassing the nation’s major Scout Houses for promising future pro athletes.

It’s just a matter of more deeply integrating Scouting into the national fabric, so that it can again become an indispensable part of what forms our character, and guides our young leaders into a hopefully less-confusing future.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Being in love is a decision, falling in love is not even
a choice.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

What's the Difference #8: Modesty and Humility

Basically, modesty is for suckers. No I'm just kidding!

Modesty just means you're not a show-off. Prancing around in all your glory - not your style. You prefer clothes. The outfits you choose are modest. Your assets may be considerable - but it's all well-covered. Much has been left to the imagination. People can still tell, maybe - but it wouldn't be polite to. In general, people respect that, and everybody's comfortable.

Then suddenly, all your clothes fall off! Even your unders. You're HUMILIATED! Humiliation galore!

Instantly, you've become humble.

This strange psychological fact is why some people seem to think it might be beneficial, even desirable, to find some clever way of stripping all somebody's clothes off unexpectedly. But surprise! Those people are bound to be embarrassed by the prison terms involved. Lesson learned, I hope: other people's modesty is their deal, not yours.

In the final analysis, humility is our natural state. Modesty is essentially, an affectation. But that's our business - a personal matter of taste and style, and nobody else's call.

Monday, July 02, 2018

the silent cry of bthulhu

THE QUESTION IS ASKED: "Is it true that humans can never imagine things they have never seen before?"

This is not true at all. At the moment I'm imagining a huge, motionlessly swaying uncannily curved form, of impossible color like smooth soapstone corrupted by deep streaks of impurities, its opaque surface lit from within, towering in a hideous majesty over the bleak grey and whitecapped Irish Sea; its wavy tendrils, studded with darkly luminous gem-like buds, extending airily across the pale white sky in measureless, weightless plaits from a central flanged and crenellated structure which resembles nothing, so much as some unholy (or aholy) ten-dimensional cathedral. From round the collar of that structure's foundation by a huge, hempen rope hangs a huger, rudely-lettered and brutally askew cryptic sign: NEO-CTHULHU.

It goes without saying that I've never even seen the Irish Sea.

We can imagine many, many things we've never seen. A veritable and unverifiable host, whose transmission is easily viral for any notion, nonesuch or factoid whose attraction proves subjectively vivid or grabby. The imagination is a fecund breeding ground for all manner of chimeras and phantasms, grown from the spliced genomes and memomes of what all of us together have seen; imagined; described truly, fictitiously, factitiously or outright falsely; or extrapolated wildly or rigorously from there. We can imagine so much more than only what we've seen.

We can imagine its opposite. A thing can have as many opposites as we can plot angles of relation.

We can imagine its complement.

We can imagine its perfection - and there are as many perfections as there can be purposes.

We can imagine its negative image.

We can imagine its composite - its attributes smashed together with those of any other thing or things, in ordered or chaotic fashion!

Now you can say “that's all just combination.” But there are things one human mind can conceive that are so new and so gigantically unprecedented in effect that they could threaten or unhinge the sanity of another. Things that by any sensible use of the words, no one has yet seen. And if out in the universe, there exist unimaginably alien beings, chances are very, supersymmetrically strong that all they are and all they have to show will also be combination. Very likely of the same three fundamental forces (strong, electroweak, gravity) and the same fundamental interactions between them manifesting matter, energy, and if we're all very good, cake.

Creativity is the faculty that takes what's there and makes what you will of it. Imagination is the will at play. Originality is a novel amalgam.

Reality has only the limits we discover. Imagination…has not even those. Do you know what we have not seen?

I do. I know of a great many such whats, and I can imagine a fair few more.

We have not seen Angels. But I can imagine at least eighteen of them.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Thought of the day: amusement

The whole world's an amusement park if you don't mind being one of the rides.

Alternate supplemental thought of the day: amusement parkour

The whole world's an amusement park if you don't mind improvised rides.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Sense of the Day: #4. Smell. Celestial/Infernal Intrusions: Relative or Subjective?

At the end of the day I might stink to high heaven, but I sure smell great to hell.

emily dickishness

If You were Bare Nude Naked,
And I had Clothes -
I would take off my long Shirt
To tickle your Nose

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Thought of the day: Certainty

Confidence derives not from one's certainty, but from one's ability to improve upon it.

Validation: an Appraisal

Who needs validation? What is it FOR? How can anyone go around feeling “I need someone to validate me!” Who can possibly validate you if you don't already know you're valid?

Once you are valid, who can invalidate you? Does validation have a time stamp, after it expires you have to run round seeking someone new to stamp you? What is this?

There isn't a person or authority on Earth I recognize valid to validate or invalidate me, or any other human being for that matter. A human being's validity in my view is unquestioned and unquestionable. Maybe part of the problem with validation-seekers is that they don't recognize this.

Praise, encouragement and criticism are all very nice. They let us know what we did was worth paying attention to, and they cue us to things we might want to focus on. Praise and encouragement feel good to get, when we feel they're sincere and reasonably accurate. Sometimes I praise or encourage someone, and they thank me for the validation.

I know, I know it's a word people use for that. But it's a horrible word. It's as if you're using the good feeling from praise or encouragement to temporarily get over your essential invalidity. Soon the feeling runs out, and you're no longer valid. You must get more validation. What are you without validation??

Dope! You are valid anyway. You are valid without validation! Not one person on Earth has standing to validate you! It's fine if they try. Take it as a compliment! Compliments are nice, praise feels good, encouragement uplifts you but do you notice one thing about these three things?

Not one of them implies that without them, you are insufficient.

“Validation” is a horrible word for a horrible concept: the idea that you aren't enough, unless someone says you are.

Sorry I called you a dope. Another good reason not to get your self-worth from words of others: sometimes they're bad and wrong. You aren't stupid, validation is. Enjoy and learn from others' praise, encouragement, even criticism. As to validation, though: bin it.

It's invalid.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Thought of the Day: Names

Talking to each other, we don't need names. Names are for talking about each other.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Tough Topics #47: Cultural Appropriation. Get it together please.

Oh wow! Ok, this is actually a decent definition. I've looked and looked the last several years now for a decent definition of what cultural appropriation is, or is supposed to be. And just now, not even expecting anything, I looked again, and here we go!

Cultural appropriation is defined as the act of co-opting symbols and practices from one culture (usually a minority culture) without proper understanding of, or respect for, its original significance.

That, I will cosign. It works. Clear. Slight bit wonky in a couple parts, but overall, this is the best definition I've seen. Because it is clear, it can be used meaningfully to discuss the problem and call out instances of it.

Note, I deliberately took it without crediting the originator!

However, think about it: it's justified. He presents this as the definition of the term. If so, it is neither his definition nor anyone else's, but everyone's. It is simply what cultural appropriation means. I will take him at his word, and I'll further say that if this is the definition that wins out wide, cultural appropriation will be a useful term. For as long as the term is promulgated in such a way that people diverge widely all over the map on what it means, and in particular, on how and why (and whether and when) it is wrong, the term's usefulness is badly hamstrung. When half your discussion is wasted on trying to come to agreement on what it is, that term's utility is highly arguable.

Almost literally.

That battle for clear, strong consensus is still being fought. These processes have to work themselves out, as to how the term should be used and understood so that it best identifies and confronts a real problem. But it's heartening to see at this stage, least one clear, concise definition has emerged that doesn't suck bugs. So many weird, self-contradicting, nebulous or overbroad definitions are currently struggling with and against each other - including far too many that don't give any sense of how cultural appropriation is wrong.

Example, here's Oxford:

The unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.

Ok, "unacknowledged" is easy enough. But let's say it's very clearly acknowledged, though. What then will make it inappropriate? Typical fucking effete Brit nonsense, assumes we all have taste and can tell for ourselves! The definition does not define. It does exclude, though! If it is acknowledged, and if it is also appropriate, the cultural adoption is not cultural appropriation, by this definition. So that's something.

But what about Cambridge? Do let's:

(disapproving)
the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture.

Okay, that "especially" there means that part is severable. That absent the lack of the "especially without" items, the rest of the definition still holds. It is still cultural appropriation, the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, even if you do show you understand and respect this culture. It's cultural appropriation, and disapproval-worthy, as per the definition's parenthetical header.

Both these definitions are useless, but the difference between them is instructive. Oxford gives no hard information on what the substance of the offense is, by which an act of cultural adoption can be judged inappropriate or appropriate. But at least they do indicate that only inappropriate acts (or inappropriately unacknowledged acts) can be called "cultural appropriation." Cambridge, though, calls all acts of borrowing cultural appropriation, identified as a term of disapproval, and then adds an implication of especial disapproval for the ignorant and disrespectful acts.

Oxford assures us that only the bad ones count as cultural appropriation. Bad how? Bad why? Undefined.

Cambridge assures us that all cultural adoptions are (disapproving!) cultural appropriation - especially the bad ones. The good ones should still be disapproved, though, because they're cultural appropriation. Again: bad how? Bad why?

Personally, I'd prefer a definition of cultural appropriation that is based on the act itself, with an admission that depending on things like acknowledgement, understanding, respect, or accuracy, a given act of cultural appropriation can be good, bad, even neutral. But I will gladly accept our first definition cited (can it be cited but not attributed?). It describes the act, it describes clearly that the act must be done with ignorance or disrespect: and this is what makes it cultural appropriation. Ok.

I do think the dude might want to add in the more "woke" angle, though: the oppression factor (I bet he originally had that in there, and an editor pruned it for "clarity" - leaving those ghost traces such as "one culture" where you'd expect "a culture"!). A couple suggestions, then, on behalf of that. Either:

Cultural appropriation is defined as the act of a dominant culture or its members co-opting symbols and practices from a marginalized, oppressed or minority culture without proper understanding of, or respect for, its original significance.

That'd be the "strong formulation." A little less hard, we could go:

Cultural appropriation is defined as the act one culture (usually a dominant culture) or its members co-opting symbols and practices from one culture (usually a marginalized, oppressed or minority culture) without proper understanding of, or respect for, its original significance.

I could work with either of those.

Or the original one! Taken from Dillon Johnson writing for Teen Vogue, of all places. I think Dillon will find soon if he hasn't already that there's a strong push out there that cultural appropriation must be conceived as a one-way wrong: the dominant culture can be guilty of cultural appropriation from a minority et al culture, but the minority et al culture cannot be guilty of cultural appropriation from the dominant culture (analogous to racism).

I'm fine with any of those three definitions, though, or any other definition that makes it clear 1. what cultural appropriation is, 2. whether it is wrong by definition, and 3. when it's wrong, how it is wrong. All three work, it's just a question of how best to shape the term to target the problem.

That clarity is what we need, and what we currently very lack.

Thanks, Dillon!

Dillon's article:
https://www.teenvogue.com/story/coachella-2018-cultural-appropriation-doesnt-phase-me

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Bechdel-Turing test asks whether a work of fiction features at least two robots who talk to each other about something other than humans.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Rights, Laws: Fictions, Reality.

"Rights" are a fiction.

So are laws. They exist in books - on paper, online. Words on a page or a screen. Wholly invented: a fiction. What goose could say laws exist, but rights don't exist? Neither exists any more than the other does: they both exist in the same way. They are both real: because we enact them.

These fictions are a script. More pedantically, you might say they are script direction. We recognize them as useful fictions: to live our lives within them makes a better play. Our rights and our laws bound the narrative of our lives. Our observance makes them real; the fact we enforce them for others makes them very real.

So what makes our so-called "Rights" - illustrated and enumerated in the Bill of Rights, and elsewhere - distinct? One: they're inherent in us. Two: they're self-evident. They're based just on what's in us all, the needs and capacities we have by our very nature, such that all can see: these things are necessary to ordinary human happiness. No just government can exist which disregards these things. They must be guaranteed.

Easy! Easy because self-evident. Easy because these rights embody only prohibitions. No one gives them to us. All we have to do is make sure government is never permitted to take them away. For that reason, crucially important to recognize, important to remain vigilant in defense of, but ultimately: fairly straightforward to accomplish.

Other social goods are not so straightforward. Everything that requires positive action, to create something that didn't already exist - that's far more complicated. If we're serious about social goods, we don't just lazily assert them as rights we already have. We take steps to create the good we demand. Just as with rights, we enact them. But the process involves more. Rights must be recognized, declared, respected. Other social goods, that won't cut it. Those take doing.

So we lay obligations out. We decide who must bear them, and we compel them to be borne. We censure those who refuse their obligations. We the people can do that, for the greater good. We make laws: government acts of prohibition. Of compulsion. Of confiscation. Of confinement. Every one of these acts is an act "against the people," in a very real sense! We accept and recognize that our liberty is not unlimited: it is limited by the legitimate rights of others, and it is bound in common obligation. It is the sole responsibility of the people to be vigilant that government makes no act of prohibition, compulsion, confiscation or confinement whose necessity is not evident and compelling, to our satisfaction. The consent of the governed is everything we allow.

At the foundation of all this, our rights exist to remind us of the greatest good, which no greater good can abridge. The greatest good is always the inalienable human rights of the individual. It is the greatest good, because we are all that.

It is because we recognize that we are all that, that our rights exist. Because they exist, because we enact them and for no other reason, we are in fact: all that and a bag of chips. The chips have been magically produced from thin air by declaring we have a right to them. See how that works? Just kidding; it doesn't. We are all that. The bag of chips is simply what we've additionally declared we deserve, so we take steps to lay obligations that secure it for all. Even though it isn't a right, we still get the bag of chips!

It's crucial that we recognize the difference, because you can't get a bag of chips just be declaring it's your right, and everyone sees and agrees. The bag of chips must still be secured by some means. Not so, the rights which are really yours. To secure these takes only recognition, declaration, and agreement. Whoso disagrees, and violates your real rights, we have the gears and teeth of law to catch and rend them. Rights are very real: because we enact them.

Our rights are that for which law is made (plus whatever bags of chips and services we can demand for the money we pay). Our rights are that against which law is continually checked, and by which unjust law is rejected. Together, these fictions - rights and laws - have real existence. They make a real foundation for the stories we enact as our lives.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

The Whataboutist #2: Pickle Juice

So pickle juice. It's considered a health hack to drink. Ok, what about olive brine then?

I know, I know. "False equivalency." Pickle juice is juice. Olive brine is brine.

WRONG ANSWER. Pickle juice is brine. Olives are in fact pickles.

They are pickles of the fruit of the olive tree, or "olive fruit." This fruit is incredibly bitter right off the tree, so you either have to figure out some other way or you have to pickle 'em. You can use brine. A lot of people do. That's the easiest.

Cucumbers, on the other hand, aren't incredibly bitter at all, right off the vine - some might say they're incredibly bland! I say they're very refreshing, but the point is, they pickle 'em to add flavor; whereas with the olive, they're trying to tame that flavor down a bit. Get some of that bitter out of there. So in that sense, you were correct: false equivalency. Even though both are pickles, relative to the so-called "true" or "cucumber pickle," the olive might be considered an antipickle. It's a pickle in the diametric opposite direction.

It's a pickle for all the wrong reasons, you could even say, going by cucumber cultural mores. Young cucumbers, naive, boring as bored, look up the branches of the olive tree and see all these juvenile olive fruits hanging out - already incredibly bitter and above it all! The last thing those cucumbers think is "those olives, wow, they are direly in need of some pickling!" See, to a cucumber, pickling is a process that results in you becoming more interesting and worldly, piquant if you will, perhaps even tart. Those olive fruits on the other hand - the last thing they'd need is more schooling in worldliness! They're already so bitter, cynical and jaded - though you might well say, "that's just sour grapes," you'd be wrong there. False equivalency on two (2) counts: grapes ≠ olives :: sour ≠ bitter.

That's what the cukes are naive about, though. They don't realize that education can make you less interesting. It really can, too. Olive fruits and cukes, they go to different finishing schools, for different reasons and after different results, and that's why the equivalency is DING! DING! DING! False, even though both are brined.

But what about the original question? Is drinking olive brine a health hack?

We don't know the answer to that, but unlike some (apparently!), we're not afraid to ask the question.

Inspirational Warning of the Day

"If you act like Mr. T, I'm going to treat you like Mr. T."

Friday, February 02, 2018

Little-Known Facts #13: The Most-Haunted Rooms, Pt.1: Eternal Rest(room)

Haunting activity centered around the commode is one of the most common manifestations. It makes sense, if you think of it. Death takes many unawares, and the manifestations of a ghost often revolve around completing unfinished business.