Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Screw, Marry, Murder? Piece of Cake.

Are you folks familiar with this setup? They call it a large number of different things, such as "Bed, Wed, Dead" or "Fuck, Marry, Kill" or "Date, Mate, Annihilate," or "Crush Kill Destroy" - no wait. That last one's not one of them. Unless you could use "crush" as in "have a crush on"? The idea maybe being something less formal than mawwage, twoo wove...? But no, that doesn't work because the moral dilemma aspect really calls for each of these to be pushed to the extreme limit: actual life-and-death stuff. Literally sex, or literally taking that death do us part leap, or literally death. Literally hypothetically, I mean! Literal in the hypothetical universe, where your interlocutor just put you. Literally in that world of pain where only you can choose - and where you have to.

Hm. Except if we use "crush" for sex, then "destroy" has to be marry. Hm.

I don't know. It could fit! But there are better fits, so let's leave C,K,D out of it, for clarity's sake.

Anyhow, the idea is: somebody names 3 people, or fictional characters or whatever, and you have to pick between them: hypothetically, you have to pick one to have sex with, another to marry, and another to kill. There's no rule that you can't kill the one you marry! I mean - I'm not your lawyer and I can't advise you, there probably are rules that say you can't do that, but the rules of the question don't prohibit it. Ditto there's nothing to say you can't have sex with the one you marry, either - there's really nothing in the rule that says you can't do ALL THREE to the person you pick to have sex with! But the point is, the additional two acts are totally non-compulsory. If that's how you roll, that's on you!

What's compulsory, under the scenario, is you have to pick one who you DEFINITELY have sex with, and pick a different one to definitely marry, which leaves the third one, who you have chosen to kill.

You see here how this so-called "innocent game" becomes in fact a moral dilemma in dead earnest. These are some issues here we're dealing with, potentially!

Folks, it's a hypothetical. Grow up. It's meant to be a moral dilemma, to test your ability to make a hard call when the chips that could never actually be down suddenly GET DOWN. If you're not up to it, if you're some kind of moral coward or intellectual overthinky objectioner, grow up - there's nothing really at stake here and no harm in pondering these quandaries.

I'll give you an example, because I bet I could do any number of these pretty easy!

Mark David Chapman, Peppermint Patty, Zooey Deschanel.

Easy.

I'd screw Zooey Deschanel, marry Peppermint Patty and murder Mark David Chapman.

How about another example? Drawn from Scooby Doo characters:

Velma, Shaggy, Scrappy Doo.

Now here you see where it really can force some hard choices! You have to work your way through it. For the sake of this answer, I'd like to mention I'm assuming that for each of my choices I get to do each as much as I like. There's nothing in the setup of the question to limit that, any more than there is to exclude you from adding on voluntary actions to the mandatory one you're forced to pick. There's just nothing in the scenario that forces the limitation (except, of course, the consent of any partner you haven't explicitly chosen to murder. That goes without saying, I hope).

So:

Velma, Shaggy, Scrappy Doo.

Screw Velma, marry Shaggy, murder Scrappy Doo. Easy!

Poor Shaggy in that case, though. I hate to lead a dude on, but #1 I was forced to choose, so lesser of several wrongs, sorry my man! It don't make a right, but when somebody holds a hypothetical gun to your head, what do you do? What do you do? #2, Shaggy strikes me as a pretty conscious dude. Pretty open-minded, and I bet he would want to help "strike a blow" for equal marriage rights, you know? Me and him could do that. #3 I do not support interspecies marriage or bestiality whatsoever. And #4, what the hey, as long as he's OK with me sex-partnering Velma whilst restricting myself to a more "platonic" bond with him, I guess could slip him a "scooby snack" every now and then. Strictly hypothetically, here.

And I want to be able to kill Scrappy Doo every god-damned time the mood strikes me.

Point is: it's a thought exercise. It's a test of character. It's a way to raise and explore greater issues, using some trumped up never-gonna-happen moral dilemma. Because how will you know? How will you know unless you ask yourself, what you'd really do in a difficult situation? How well do you know your self? How well do you want to know yourself - and do you really want to know the answer to that question? Some people don't, but I do.

So yeah, go ahead and pose me a trichotomy or few in the comments, if you want! I can knock these out bang bang bang like eating popcorn. How did I get so good at hypotheticals, at moral dilemmas?

Practice, practice, practice.

Foolproof Contingency Plan #1: In Case of Elephant.

This is a contingency plan to cover the possibility of huge, unspoken elephants.

1. Establish whether there is or isn't a huge, unspoken elephant in the room, or even circling the room.

--->If elephant = NO then END

--->If elephant = YES then 2

2. Determine from the tone (and, if any, wit) of any pit-pat back-forth zip of pithy remarks concerning the possibility of said (or rather, unsaid) elephant whether said unsaid elephant is a good elephant, such as might be fun to continue to unmentionally waltz near, around, or towards; a good elephant such as could be great fun to acknowledge openly and/or parade around with/on; or a bad elephant, such as should never have been brought to the dance and/or could prove ruinous to provoke or arouse.

3. Elephant!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Light and Color: Dismissal of Assorted Theories

I am unreasonable in ways, such as I love you.

I walk through life arrogant. You people have seen. I've always sort of enjoyed that about me - I know, it's an ugly word to some! But I balance it with specific virtues, SUCH AS: I love that word! I love the sound of it. Arrogant.

This more than balances out that it's an ugly word to some.

Yet in my less self-possessed moments, this pose of arrogance - sincere as it is, it's definitely a bit of a pose. Like, a superhero pose, leaping to take flight, or like a rock star, one foot on the amp throwing shapes in the spotlight? You know the kinds of poses I mean! Those are just arrogant. You know? And sure, maybe the rock star is only playing - excused. And maybe the superhero's only playing into that role, that he or she and the world as well pretty much do see him in and love it, or her in of course.

Yet in my less self-possessed moments, when I stop looking to see; when everything blurs - or not blurs, really, since much of the detail is actually sharpened - but when I stop looking. My recognition blurs, at least, and the picture that's lit before me (generally, this occurs on or about the same spot of West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz CA, looking out over Monterey Bay towards the mists and mountains of Big Sur - what a nice walk!), I don't really see objects. So much as shapes, patterns made and joined, of color in hard-to-exactly-name arrays, in a beautiful and bewildering composition of dims and rich hues, hung in tapestry under an invincible blue, with brilliant brights dancing upon deep darks. Blinded by Monet, maybe. And it doesn't even matter what things actually are. Let alone how. It's beautiful.

In those better, mind-free moments, I can't see how any other response can be appropriate to life, except: gratitude. Gratitude and humility. Humility, because I didn't deserve to be here. Because nothing I've done, and nothing I am, entitled me to this. No virtue, no strength, no talent, no skill, no achievement even, nothing solid or valid or true you could cite, except perhaps: birthright.

But I know I didn't deserve to be born. And for that reason: gratitude. Thanks mom! And dad. And "Our Father who Art In Heaven," too, if you're up there. Whether you are or you aren't doing art in heaven, you definitely do down here. You Art down here. So thank you!

I thank God now, just in case I don't get the chance later.

And people are just the same way. And some days, even to a far greater degree than landscapes, even the prettiest ones you could look for, with their seascapes breaking in and over and upon them. People are just the same way, and some days even moreso. They are a play of light upon a fantastic canvas. You can see it in them, and where to look. They say there is only one light [ who says? citation ], but to see the light of life dancing...! - oh, you atheists can be coy about it, if you choose - and rightly so, but you see it too. You just attribute it to a different place. Yours, too is a great good place. You attribute it to a wonderful place: to us. To humanity itself. You consider humanity itself to be a vessel of such light. To give such light, to cause such light. And so be it, may be! I can't see causes and sources in a thing like this, and I don't care to. There's the light to look at, and to see by, and it's lovely and evident, ain't it? Who needs to know how filaments work when you run currents through them. Who needs to know how hydrogen's heart grows heavy in the meeting with its mate hydrogen, bringing forth helium and illumination in an explosion of light. You see the light.

I mean, things such as electricity, and electromagnetism, and thermonuclear fusion and everything else you could know about a given sharp shard of light, its provenances and origins - they are beautiful to wonder about and wonderful to know, aren't they? But the light is self-evident, and more than sufficient. It is more beautiful and far more wonderful than however it happened to work.

All I care to see is so self-evident to me that I can't stop seeing. Each pair of eyes your eyes chance to meet, as you talk or you laugh, and as you make, and then break, and then remake contact - shyly smiling maybe! Or narrowing. Suspicious! Or leaning coyly forward - each pair of eyes has the same light dancing behind it. And yet not: for all the colors and tones are changed, in the brightness that comes shifting and shading in each, so that each light - is its own. Or maybe, is owned. Is made its own. In a choice to shine or to throw shutters, or maybe just to flick the dimmer a bit - mood lighting! It is the same light that dances, but the dance does not belong to the light. A dance does not belong to the music. It belongs to the dancer; it is made by the dancer, a gift: and it is given in celebration of the music. It is because the soul, I think - with the eyes, famously windows. Really, though - I say "eyes," but it is the whole face that lights up, as far as I've seen. And when it does.

Although we are bright, lit from within, each person, each face, each soul is also lit by what each looks out on - always and always and always from its own unique point, from none other. Each point unique, of view and of you. Each its own perfect center of an infinite circle, each circle an infinite universe that you haven't seen. Because how could you? You can't have, you have never seen the first of it, and can't possibly know it - can you? But here it is in front of you. And it seems...so much like you know. Like you do know, or can. Or are going to.

For right now, for this time, the time being, the moment. You get to explore, and tour through to your heart's content - and maybe tear through your heart in the process! Maybe tear your heart's content in half, as part of the price of admission. So worth it. Admit yourself. Go ahead, tear yourself in half: that's the ticket. For as long as the other cares to offer their generosity, or honor your curiosity with their company and consent, so worth it to go in! Get comfortable, and let the lights come up. Or if only to converse! This will be a face-to-face encounter with that which you've never known: or whom, would be better. Will be better. In whom you will find a mystery worth an awe far beyond the unknowable, as you find yourself face to face with the knowable.

I am unreasonable in this. Or maybe, because of this. It seems unreasonable to me, the things we get to see in a place we have not deserved to be. It staggers reason, and for that reason I plead drunkenness.

No, not right now as I type this. I am sober as stones, but my stone's in the sun, and I do declare! As I live and breathe, I feel a warm glow coming on.

Unwanted thought of the day, Pt.2

That ended up being more "Unwanted thoughts of the day," or at the very least "Unwanted thought(s) of the day." I wonder if I should go back and change it.

Unwanted thought of the day

I don't do things unwantedly. At least, if I do I'm pissed because I didn't want to!

I am not wonted to be unwanted, nor to do the unwanted. It's kind of a thing with me. Albeit, nobody's fucking perfect as they say. I don't even want to be perfect! Who would want that. Insane.

The difference between perfection and insanity is perspective. Which is the last thing I want.

How about you? What do you want, eh?

Friday, February 27, 2015

"Library Card"

I think books in libraries are happier than a lot of other books. They have a secure, hopeful sort of life. And while the stacks and shelves of bookstore books anxiously flaunt their covers and thrust their spines at the public, hoping to be browsed and bought, the books at the library can rest easy. "This is my home. I am so glad I have a home! So happy to be stamped 'Property Of' and fitted with my inside vest pocket for the date-card. Oh, it's empty now, we've all got bar codes - but it's a snazzy accessory nonetheless!

"If someone picks me up to borrow and read, I'll be happy! I like to visit, and for people to get to know me - but I love knowing that here is where I belong and will always return. Back to my same happy spot on the shelf, favored by the afternoon sun. Ready to be read by any and all, but happy and content. Just where I am!"

The bookstore book, on the other hand, has a certain forced-cheerful near-desperate look to it sometimes. "Hi! Hi! Hello! A lot of people love me, I could be found very interesting if you give me a chance. I won the prestigious Geathers Book Award! In 2006. Oh, dear."

I try to rescue as many of those as possible.

Then once I've read through, if it's one I can live without keeping on my shelf - I'll donate it to the library! Where it can be happy and secure, be content and be read. Sometimes I'll even bump into one of my books again, at the library.

Which can be a little bit awkward, though.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Me, Defender of Language: That Would Be I

I have hard words, here, for certain honorable and good-hearted, right-thinking individuals, but I cannot apologize any more than I can dissemble. My words here are directed at those who decry what they call a travesty, a sin of degeneracy, an attack on the purity of language: the acceptance of "literally" when used in a figurative way.

There is no legitimate reason to object to this use of "literally."

It is nothing more than an exaggeration for dramatic effect - albeit, one that has largely passed into idiom. Haven't you people heard of hyperbole? "Literally" for "figuratively" is a clear instance.

I love to spring that one on a stickler! But I do it with a heavy heart, because my sympathies in many ways lie with such sticklers.

The worst is, it's perfectly true. Hyperbole is hyperbole. It's a rhetorical device. The word "figurative" may be an antonym of the word "literal" when considering their denotative values, but we know that figurative speech does not create a conflict or difficulty, here. When you speak figuratively, typically you say something that "ain't so." Generally, it's very clear that it ain't so. It doesn't matter that it ain't so.

The fact that it ain't so is not beside the point, it is the point. The exaggeration of "literally" for "figuratively" is in no way worse than the exaggeration of "absolutely" used in a case that is not definite, comprehensive, absolute. This perfectly legitimate rhetorical use. You use hyperbole to convey your excess of feeling in the matter.

Oh, you can call me absolutely wrong, here. But you know full well that if you do - you're literally an ass.

Dating Advice Masterclass #2: DON'Ts.

So we've got the "do"s taken care of - how about some DON'Ts? Depending on timing, these could end up being even more important:

DON'T show up with a reality tv crew in tow. Be a bit classier than that! Show up with a documentary crew, helmed by Werner Herzog.

DON'T narrate the various events of the date out loud as they unfold. Werner will take care of that himself in post-production. The only point to hiring professionals is to let them do their job.

DON'T wear one of those shirts with the padded pectorals. If things do go well, there's going to be no good way to soften the letdown.

DON'T go on and on about how large your dick is. Same reason.

DON'T listen to the advice of others. Trust your mind.

Most Importantly!!

DON'T

Dang. Ran out. Can't think of another don't. See is, the thing is, I've only made a few mistakes on dates ever. I just don't have many don'ts to share!

Anyway, I feel like a lot of you folks have a real good handle on these things. Trust in your confidence, here. Take a leap of belief in yourself, and be open to surprises! Now we're getting more back into "do" territory, I realize - but in the big scheme that's probably the plan, right?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Geeky Pal, Discussions #2, Physical Limits: The Final Frontier

I was just talking about this with a friend the other day: teleportation, also, faster-than-light travel - and which of the various means proposed in fiction were more plausible to less plausible. The actual course of the conversation is too circuitous and discursive to reproduce, but I thought I'd share some of the conclusions and upshots, for the sake of any who may share an interest.

We both agreed that a Star Trek style transporter would kill you. Little consolation to be had from the sudden existence of an exact duplicate of you, even if the duplicate is so close a copy that God, probably, couldn't point out any material difference. Still this would be a new person, a consciousness instantly beginning its life in the middle of your previous uncompleted thought, stepping blithely out of the other transporter chamber with every one of your same connections recreated and hence, all your memories, your personality. Not with them "intact," but rather, with them reproduced. But the you who you were would fade to black. Show's over. No after-credits sequence.

(We also discussed the likelihood of various scenarios in a given sci-fi universe where God exists, and superintends a more-or-less traditional God-style setup. Imagine the plethora of Captain Kirks rubbing elbows in the afterlife, each with a full memory of everything up to their incarnation's first transporter trip! This would include all of that incarnation's memories brought along from all earlier Kirk's trips - indistinguishable from its own brief life's memories! For some people, a heaven indeed. That's not even counting all the Rikers.)

Now, my friend hadn't seen The Prestige, so I couldn't bring in that comparison - and by the way, if you haven't seen The Prestige, spoiler alert! Skip to the following paragraph! It's same principle at play, except 1) the original is not automatically destroyed, and 2) where Star Trek leaves it unspoken, glossed over, in The Prestige the implications of being erased here and remade there take center stage: the you who you really are always falls through the trapdoor and dies. The you who you never were (and never will be) always appears, an instantaneous, new creation, blinking into brand-new being at some remove of distance.

Such borderline metaphysical considerations aside, it's hard to really say how soon or whether the actual transporter hardware can be realized, not without reference to some proposed method. Just how is a beam of energy to build such a complex structure? It's not gone into. Unsurprisingly, most depictions of teleportation don't really get into the mechanics of what happens. Whether turning matter into a signal to beam to a distant location, tunneling through tesseracts or wormholes, or routing one's self instantaneously through adjacent, overlapping dimensions, even when they get into the "how," the how is rarely presented as anything our understanding of reality could call plausible. Naturally, that doesn't mean we won't get there! But we can see in each case what the challenges will be: here we need some exotic element of matter that, as yet, appears nowhere in the periodic chart. There, we need some novel form of energy or force which doesn't appear to be part of our baseline reality at all - or a way to make our known forces behave in novel ways. Such limits are hardly trivial, and we must accept the possibility we may not overcome them if the materials and means for a given method to work simply aren't part of what reality's operating parameters support.

But then again, maybe we'll teleport back from a future where the problem was solved, and lay the secret bare to our previous ignorant selves! As clear as transparent aluminum.

For the record, out of Star Trek tech mainstays transporters, warp drive, deflector shields and...some fourth thing, I forget what...deflector shields seemed (or were agreed to be at least) the least likely to be realized, or realizable, within the limits of known physics - at least as depicted. But given the distances involved in space combat, we both agreed that if space-warping technology could be made to work, it could be adapted to serve the purpose. If you could project a decent-sized defensive warp bubble out to a fair range beyond the ship's hull, one that increases the angle of any incoming light or high-velocity matter, that would do the job neatly. A refractor shield, as it were.

But of course, whether for purposes of travel or defense, creating the warp bubble itself is a bit problematic - a problem shared with other proposed methods of FTL travel. Exotic materials that don't exist, or amounts of energy in excess of the total sum of all energy and matter in the universe, are required.

A tricky nut to crack!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Eternal Questions #3: How Much Wood, Precisely...?

How would one go about designing a wood-chucking contest for woodchucks? How would one entice the woodchucks to compete? Should it be for distance, or just volume of chucked wood? The question after all is not "How hard and far could a woodchuck chuck wood if a woodchuck were to be so inclined as to chuck wood hard and far?" In the classic quandary, it's purely a question of quantity - and more dauntingly, motivation.

But surely in the interest of designing a more gripping contest for spectators, one needs more than merely a count or weigh-in of chucked wood per woodchuck. You need urgency: some kind of a time limit. And I think you need some way to make the achievement more measurable: distance and accuracy perhaps? What about arranging it as woodchuck combat? Each woodchuck stands at the appropriate distance where it's going to take some skill to score a hit, and they just CHUCK THE FUCK OUT OF THE AVAILABLE LUMBER! All kinds of strategies might be involved, dodges, blocks - no blocking with a piece of wood held "in-the-grasp"! One must chuck the wood to knock the incoming block of wood off-course.

There would be a line in front of each woodchuck which could not be crossed. Behind each woodchuck would be an equal supply of wood, in chuckworthy chunks of varying size and weight.

The playing field would be a wide, long elevated mound between two trenches - the trenches being considered "out of bounds." If a woodchuck falls into the trench, that's game. If a woodchuck is incapacitated by a piece of chucked wood - game. If either woodchuck runs out of wood - has successfully chucked their load - game. First woodchuck to chuck all their wood gets +10 points for that.

The winner would be determined by how many pieces of wood chucked "in-bounds," with 1 point for wood in the no-woodchucks zone (between the two front-lines) and 5 points for all wood behind the line. No points for beaning the other woodchuck! You try to so that, of course, but the goal there is purely to put him off (and perhaps out of) his game.

Also note: defensive wrinkle, one woodchuck's wood is painted yellow, the other blue (or suitable contrasting colors) so scoring is easy. But if you choose, you can pick up any of your opponent's wood and throw it back at him! Or throw it out of bounds, etc. - but no kicking of wood allowed. Once again, the wood must be chucked. If you kick a piece of wood out of your scoring area that's a penalty. You'll get 5 pieces of wood added to your stack.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Boring Boring Boring BO RING

I think I've forgotten to write about other crap lately. That used to be my métier! My forte, if you will. Although both those words are french, so probably I'm using one of them incorrectly.

That's neither here nor there. My blog posts lately have been boring me to death! Look at 'em! I used to talk almost exclusively about various crap, junk and stuff. But what I've been mostly talking about lately is, what...philosophy? And viewpoints - ways of looking at life? Where's the life in that!

I need to get back to basics. Talk about things, not relationships between things! Talk about - well, I can talk about the various connections and interrelations as they arise naturally, from talking about the thing itself, but hell! Talk about something first, and foremost, and then note the connections as they arise would be a better way to go about it. Less abstract!

So. Pliers. I'm going to start with pliers. I don't know where that came from, but pliers!

I like needle-nose pliers. It could be because those are the only ones I have in the house. "Write what you know"! But those things do occasionally come in handy! Some missing knob to something, it needs to be turned - but where's the knob? Don't sweat it! Needle-nose pliers to the rescue, just stick 'em down in there and grab the knob's innards, and gently twist it clockwise (probably, clockwise - but go easy just in case it's one of them widdershins deals).

I feel like needle-nose pliers are probably one of the hardest tools to put any sexual symbolism on. Pliers in general, you could probably look at as female, because basically there's an opening between two sides, and it tightens down on your hard knob or shaft, or whatever it is - a nut, maybe?. Doesn't matter - whatever it is you've got to grip or twist - or to coin a term, "wrench." But that sounds painful! Maybe something a bit more skillful: whatever you've got to ply. For that, pliers of course! Ever heard of a woman plying a man with a wrench?

Moving on, of course your hammer is always going to be a ready stand-in for the penis - despite that's not remotely how a penis is used! Come on! The screwdriver, need I say more? No. The wrench - well, this is more just a way to set up a pliers so it has one handle, instead of two. Same deal, it tightens down but you do it by diddling a ratchet-dial, instead of by squeezing the legs together. That's a minor difference at best, I'd say a wrench is roughly about as female as regular pliers. But needle-nose pliers? You can't even look at that as feminine! Sure, it encloses and grasps and squeezes, but not in any encircling way! It's pointy. It's like a long, pokey deal - except then it splits!

For this reason, it pretty much can't be either. And don't nominate it as symbolic of one of those nonstandard gendersexual setups, either - no sale! At no point does anybody's long pokey deal split and then come back together! Not as part of its functional duties during the (or any other) sex act. Ouch!

So arguably, to me, needle-nose pliers are somewhat more "tooly" than other tools, being as they're not susceptible to the rampant sexualization other tools so readily lend themselves to. Needle-nose pliers stand apart from that. They can't be pigeonholed that way.

Not that regular, non-needle-nose pliers are worthless, just because they're easier to sexualize! Nor are other tools any less valid. A tool's value is not in proportion to the degree that one can't use it to symbolize genitals. Point is: these other tools have their use, and they get their use, as needed! That's what a tool's for. It's not for this endless sexualization we see all around us, from which our friend the needle-nose pliers stands proudly pretty much aloof. But when it comes to using the right tool for the right job, regular pliers are no less useful as tools. Depending on the job, of course. In fact, as I perused Google to make sure I was using the right word for the right tool on wrenches, I realized I was wrong. I do in fact have several other pliers in the tool drawer after all, most of which I've used more than once! I guess I just always saw them as wrenches.

A lot of people are ignorant about these things, but I like to pass on the knowledge as I get it.

More About Me #4

It seems there's always more about me. And what have we today? Let's see!

Well, it's Friday. I could do a Fiction Friday, but that wouldn't be really about me though, would it. Still, been a while since the last Fiction Friday. And it's Friday the 13th! I don't believe we've ever had a Fiction Friday the 13th. Maybe Jason Vs. Gog-Bo the Dragon Murderer?

Actually, I have to give Jason the edge on that. It's too early in Gog-Bo's saga, at this point all we've seen him do is brood, farm, and practice with his accursed blade The Wicked Shimmy - an inheritance from his mysterious Aunt Mo! Or no, not "inheritance," as she's still alive. Would it be "bequest"? I like bequest - sounds like a quest could be involved at some point! Which would be good, as there don't appear to be any dragons in the vicinity of his uncle...'s farm. Man, I can't even remember Gog-Bo the Dragon Murderer's uncle's name at this point! But at any rate, I don't see him or any of the other Gog-Bo the Dragon Murderer cast regulars being able to take down Jason. Unless...has Jason ever been beheaded? Running him through the body just seems like a waste of time, but you could probably behead anybody with The Wicked Shimmy. That blade's a beast.

If beheading doesn't work on him, though, than Gog-Bo's probably out as a suitable Jason antagonist.

Guns, too - so the Stranger Lido is probably out as well. Maybe this idea is a non-starter. Also, it's really not "More About Me #4" at that point, so let's get back on topic.

What else about me?

In general, I like to talk about what interests others. Especially if I don't know the first thing about it! Then after, though, I tend to look it up to read deeper into what they clued me into. Sometimes in the process of that, I find out they either tricked me or just didn't know what they were talking about! No worries either way, we can have a good laugh on that later. I don't mind being tricked into a deeper understanding.

I don't think it's important to have a sense of humor so much as a sense of wonder. I don't think personality matters very much, because how can the whole universe somebody carries around behind their eyes be boring? It's a matter of interest, that's all. If a person's interested, they're going to be of interest - to me, at least. Others are into different things, such as I don't know - tits? I'm totally on board with that, myself. And yet when I say personality doesn't matter much, I'm only talking about talking to someone. But when it comes to love, personality matters all the way. Personality - their whole person in all its physical and emotional and intellectual specifics, in all of its virtues and what, specifically, you love about someone.

Love. Love is the thing I've learned the most about, and all of it inapplicable going forward. Which is cool!

That's about it for More About Me #4

Friday, February 06, 2015

My Bucket List Is:

KICK IT


It helps if you say it like the Beastie Boys!

Also, technically I guess that's the same as my everyday To Do List.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Thought of the day: once again, perfection

The real reason perfection cannot be achieved in reality is that reality is what exists between us, for us all to piss on, objectify, riff off of - but perfection can never be anyone's ideal but our own. The other person's perfection is never quite right.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Introducing the Other. A Member of Them.

Some of this may not make sense, for reasons which will become murky.

Hi! I'm the Other.

My Otherness is nothing new. I've always been the Other. True, I'm pretty sure I wasn't consciously aware of it in those terms, originally. But the indications were always there. In any given Us versus Them I've generally been a Them-sympathizer. My particular sense of otherness and knee-jerk them-identification is also the source of my relentless and often infuriating (and effective!) devil's advocacy. But it's only been fairly recently that I've realized how small a them I'm really a part of. Or to be more accurate: the whole of. I just seem to be pretty much the only one I know who relates this way. A pity, because it's pretty awesome! If I had to guess I'd say it consists in my essential nonattachment to self, or a better word: disinterest. Not that I don't love self! I just don't find it interesting, as a subject or as a viewpoint. I'm completely alienated from that, to be honest. I don't relate to self at all. I'm not really sure how anyone does.

I'm well aware they do! It seems beyond dispute that they do. But why they do...that's the puzzler. Are they seeing something I'm not? If so, it's beyond me.

Don't get me wrong, I am unquestionably the unique individual. Of course I am! Who isn't? Just like anyone, I am the unique individual: the ego, who is and who acts. The "I" in reference to which all others undoubtedly stand in the relation of an other.

But that's kind of the point, isn't it? None of them ever seem to see themselves as an other. Let alone the Other. All of them seem to self-identify as...the Self. All of them.

This doesn't make a lick of sense to me. It's ludicrous on the face of it. To how many people do you stand in the relation of other?? All of them! Every single one! To how many people do you stand in a relation of self? Not a single one!

Unless you count yourself, and beg pardon but that's rather begging the question, isn't it? Yes.

To the whole wide world of individuals, I am at home and awake to my nature: unquestionably the Other. That's how everyone seems to see me, and frankly that's always about how it's always felt to me. It feels right. It feels like me, it's what I am comfortable with because I have always been. It fits! When I was a kid in a family of five, six, seven, eight, nine kids, I was pretty much always the Other, perfectly comfortable in that role. That's how everyone saw me and treated me - even mom and dad. Maybe especially mom and dad. But the point is: not a one treated me as the Self, that's for sure! From my earliest days I've always been the Other. My experience of life has always been the experience of the Other.

And why not! I stand confident and secure exactly where you see me: I stand in the place of the Other, in relation to you. You and every other person. People are unanimous on that score - which I'd call a reality check, if I'd ever needed to check! If mine hadn't been the first ballot in the box, but it was. And I'm quite comfortable I do a very good job, representing the Other to all these selves, lost in a featureless sea of individuality, dragging around their definite articles like anchors, insisting on that unique thing of theirs (whatever it is they think it is). Let them have their self-identification. I'm fine! I'm good. I've got something else, and it works pretty well.

In whatever interaction happens, I've been the Other to whoever's asking. I've never had a feel for whatever self-based motive I'd be supposed to care about, to investigate or muster up. I haven't the slightest interest in or understanding of wants or motives - mine, at least. Who cares about that crap! It doesn't bother me when I get upset. It rolls right over me and then I forget. It's pretty easy and I've got no regrets. And people ask me what it is that I got? They try to tell me how I just can't be stopped - how come I always seem to get what I want?

I don't know what they're talking about! I don't care what I want.

I don't even give it any thought. It just feels good. It feels good, being the Other! Not just "an" other, either but the Other. Nice. Pleasurable. Not without distinction. After all, of the billions of others in the world, I seem to be pretty much the only one who identifies that way. Who owns the role, as it were. I can't claim any special credit! It's just natural to me. Preference, habit and inclination. It just goes very well with who I am, with my place in reality, with how I see it.

I'm a disinterested agent of my own fate, basically, and I'm always mystified how the other others have gotten so off-track on theirs. Why are all these other others so self-concerned?

I am always going to be the Other. The object. As far as I can tell, no one's in a position to object to that. The Other flies below the radar it seems: the inessential part of everyone else's self-absorbed day, and why not? Doesn't make my value any less, it just means I'm not an essential part of their purpose, for whatever object or goal they've got at the moment. Maybe I'm a small part of it! If so, I'm interested! I take an interest, I'm glad to help - tell me what I can be to you! What part can I play in whatever story you're the hero of today? What factor or catalyst do you need me to be, in whatever prophecy you're expecting to self-fulfill? I like to take an interest and do what I can! Which is weird, since I claim to take not much interest in my own wants or motives. But think about it, duh! Those wore themselves into my modus operandi by the time I was ten. They're uninteresting because there's nothing there to think about. Natural habit, preference and action - how self-involved would somebody have to be to take an interest in, I don't know, the fact that they like girls? You're not interested in that, you're interested in girls. What's to think about? I use "girls" as an example - I haven't been interested in those in years, I dig women.

Point is, the Other is not the antagonist, nor does the Other like to refer to himself in the third person - that was a one-time mess-up, there. Pray pardon. But while I'm not by any means an antagonist, I do like to react and respond. I've got no agenda of my own to push, but I'd like to understand what your purpose is, and how I fit into it! I make no promises, mind you. But I'll hear you out. And I'll decide if what you're after is something I'd care to do. To do it or not do it. To listen and to understand, to answer, and to move on.

So anyway, that's me! If we happen to meet, that's me: the Other. It's how I identify, and I don't expect you'll see me any differently yourself. I'd be surprised if you did, but then realistically, I'm always surprised that way more people don't see it like this. See it like I do. Identify as otherly. Can't they see how otherly they are, to just about everyone? Me, I try to honor their perspective and preference. I know they identify as the Self, and I try to honor their self-identification. If I'm able, I try to treat every single individual one of them as the Self they imagine themselves to be. But how ludicrous that they can't see for themselves who they are fooling with that nonsense. Sure, pal - you are the Self.

I mean, comfortable as I am with it I'd feel a little bit uneasy about my claim if I had billions of others claiming it.

Maybe we have a self-styled Self reading this right now? Let me ask you: how outnumbered are you as you go about your day, "Self"? Look at all the Others! How do you deal with being the Self, one lonely one adrift in a sea of otherness? Do you demonize the Other? If so, watch out! I don't take kindly to being demonized, and I don't believe any others do either. Do you group a bunch of others into an Us with you, so you can themify the remaining others? So secure in the strength of your intrinsic Us-ness you forget how many others you've let in the fold! Can you trust them? How do you maintain such precarious self-identification? Do you alienate the other from your self - or do you alienate yourself? Fuck. How could you even tell.

You know what? This all sounds like that "angst" crap to me. I've got zero interest in that, let me assure you. My interest in angst is nonexistential. Let's just you keep in mind who you are and who I am, and you'll be fine. I'm the Other.

If you care to dispute me for the title well you can just go fuck your self.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

ALL-CAPS UPDATE #1: SCIENCE IS!!!! VERIFIED! PROVED! AND SUBJECT TO IMPROVEMENT!

SCIENCE IS!!!!

VERIFIED BY FALSIFICATION!

PROVED BY UTILITY!

SUBJECT AT ANY TIME TO IMPROVEMENT, WITH NO NOTICE AND WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT!

NOTE 1: "VERIFIED BY FALSIFICATION," YES! PRECISELY. IT IS MADE TRUER AND MORE VERIFIABLE BY MEANS OF FALSIFICATION, SEE BELOW!

NOTE 2: "PROVED BY UTILITY" = PROVED USEFUL. NOT PROVED INFALLIBLE. INFALLIBLE IS USELESS (DUE TO UNAVAILABLE).

NOTE 3: IMPROVEMENT LIMITED ONLY TO WHAT WE CAN SHOW TODAY OF THE DISTANCE IT HAS FALLEN SHORT OF PERFECT.

CORRECTION TO NOTE 3: STRIKE "PERFECT" - SUBSTITUTE "REALITY." THIS ENDS THE ALL-CAPS PORTION OF YOUR ALL-CAPS UPDATE.

Don't let them lie to you: physics works great in a black hole. It's only our description of physics that breaks down. Or as they may say, physics "as we know it" - yet even this is not true! Physics as we know it includes a full and hearty grasp of the facts: and especially, that a fact can overturn even the most well-supported theory, at any time. Physics as we know it does not "break down" in the face of falsification and consequent refinement. Physics is not confounded by disproof. Science has no certainty in it. Certainly, it does not expect or proclaim certainty in or declare the perfection of its theories.

You may say science seeks to perfect its theories, but this is not ever true in any absolute sense where "perfect" is the goal to be achieved. Always science strives to make its theory "more perfect," and always with a certain expectation and acceptance: that within even our best descriptions of reality, there is always the chance we may find error, finer and finer error, which error opens a way to further refinement and a better, more useful theory. All based on the emergence of a new and unruly fact!

No cause for worry. Even the boldest skeptic may feel confident: the explanatory and predictive power of our best theories and descriptions of reality proves those theories useful. Not infallible! They are proved useful. There will always be the possibility of a finer tune to come along, as we ever more finely tune up our instruments and strike up the symphony in C:

Which is: see. And then swing away folks - cause this big band can DANCE.

The symphonic themes are some or all of these: Observe, Analyze, Theorize, Predict, Test, Repeat. Observe the observable, analyze that which is observed, theorize to account for observations and analyses, predict what new observations we can expect to see if theory is true, test for these: either confirm or falsify. Repeat. Experiments should be repeatable - at least, they should be if the experimenters wish us to be compelled and convinced by this demonstration of their theory in action. In theory, it should work just as well for us.

Inside a black hole is a tough place to mount an experiment! But it's still not beyond the reach of theory. Or the conditions within the first few seconds or less of the big bang - also out of reach for our current descriptions. The pressures involved are more enormous than all we've been able to calibrate for thus far, and the actual environs are not open to inspection. We have not much material for comparison and analysis, and science needs grist to grind: it needs new data that can falsify current theory, in order to refine.

Yet again, no worries at all! Not if quantum physics is on the right track - because the point (a point) of quantum physics is that reality is symmetrical throughout all spacetime. Super-symmetrical, in fact, throughout all the universe - and we have good reason for confidence there. While we need to go finer and deeper to express the furthest extremes, still the central tenets seem to apply from anywhen to everywhere, from a few seconds after the big bang, and all the way throughout the universe - with exception of a few places we can't yet see to reach. Places where things do indeed seem to go weird.

We expect and expected them to get weird. By far the greatest chance is that we simply need additional math to describe what happens to reality where conditions become (or became) super-fun! Remember: there didn't used to be four fundamental forces. There was only one, right at the bang and for a bit beyond. But as reality spread out in its lightspeed explosion, creating room to cool and stretch out through, and calm down a bit, that primal force separated out into the apparently distinct forces that we can see (or at least, that we can test and measure).

Strong nuclear, weak nuclear, electromagnetic, gravity. And even there, weak nuclear and electromagnetic are of course, the same exact force! We simply perceive them as distinct, as they operate at different scales.

There's nothing peculiar or unnatural about a force operating in one way at our luxurious macro scale, and getting jiggier down at the level of quanta. Just think of all those extra curled-up dimensions down at the quantum scale, to dig into and twist and anchor around down at that tiniest possible size! A force is gonna work its way into and work its way out, and you better believe it's going to be a different dance than the one it can do up here in the macroverse. Do si do and perfectly natural.

Just so in a black hole. At the extremes, towards a limit to how dense matter can be compressed, it only stands to reason there could be differences in the way ordinary forces interact - which is to say, in the way that reality behaves - compared to how they behave under more ordinary conditions. It stands to reason such behavior would only come out at or near the extreme limit. Whether we're talking size, speed, density - there are some stiff limits out there, and the surface they create is fun to play with and to dance upon!

We should never expect reality not to play.

Yet we should always keep our sense of proportion, and remember the great good cause we have for our confidence in science. For our confidence in the way it comes up with its descriptions of how reality does play: the process of theory and falsification. We have good cause for confidence that even the rules in operation at these extreme limits can be teased out by pushing the limits we can reach - say, with some superaccelerator action! We can push the limits creatively outside big bangs and black holes, to test aspects of the math we propose might govern the most extreme ways of physics. And too, as years go by we do find cleverer and cleverer ways to observe or infer the secret behavior inside black holes. There will come ways to test that we haven't even teased the edges of yet, and testing will falsify theory to its improvement. Or, verify it, I suppose - less good news, that. Nothing new learned there.

I for one am confident. Firstly, I suspect the descriptions we uncover approaching the limits of physics will prove to be an extension and a refinement of what we know. It would be strange indeed if they proved to be a contradiction!

But secondly, I'm confident because science is not scared of that, either. Not a bit. Contradiction by pesky and unforeseen fact? Physics as we know it is built on that.

Science proceeds by leaps and bounds by this means: the falsification of today's theory. Today's step-proved-false leaps us into a further and more useful grasp of tomorrow's path-laid-out. Today's theory - which, prior to falsification, was very valid! In the sense of very useful, fruitful and productive: the best theory available, the best tool to hand! - damn right we've used it, and well, for as long as it held.

But we rejoice to find now where it is wrong. It can then be refined - or discarded, in favor of some new and better one! This calls for a party! And not a single scientist in the gathering is liable to be shamed.

We are a shameless bunch, we who know science for what it actually does. We who know science not by its results, but in its method. Science does not call us to fear being wrong, but to shout: "Eureka!" when we see it! Our error laid bare is the yellow brick road - and lady, beast, gentleman and scarecrow?

We are off to be the wizard.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Well, in a manner of speaking*, yes.

*lying!

Is a manner of speaking. Lying is a manner of speaking.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Post 1st, Find Out The Idea's Already Taken 2nd

I also think there should be a social connection website called friendzone.com for people who want to connect with the perfect people for each other who aren't interested in that kind of relationship.

Update: well, the post title's half right. The name's taken, as in, the web address, but it isn't that kind of site at all! It's one of those deals where he's like, hey, I put my reputation on the line for you, unlike those bullshit others. I've never even been in the friendzone. Try my system get the girl!

He makes a pretty convincing sales pitch, for a guy who doesn't seem to have mastered punctuation, capitalization or, well, typing. Maybe those skills are too girly for him! He's making a display of his virile indifference. Which is cool, if so. If not, perhaps what he needs is a friend to help him out.

It's a shame I have no place to put my site. It could help him and others out of fixes like this.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Point.

A lot of people hate me. But I don't care - as long as they're white. That way, I know it's on merit.

Racism makes me furious.

So. The Bible, Right?

I hope it's OK to be honest about this. I mean - I'm not Roger Ebert, God rest his so-called soul, but I feel like it's okay for anybody to offer their take on things. The Bible is - I refuse to be misunderstood on this point - great. It's not just one of my favorite books, technically, it's several of them. But published as it is, and referred to as it popularly is - "The Good Book" - I feel justified somewhat to consider the whole schmear as one work. One book. I think sometimes you have to. Judging as a whole, as it were, on overall merit! And let's not mince words, here: whoa. In terms of overall merits...I don't believe I'd be exaggerating to say this book's got 'em over all.

The ending sucked.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

I know, I know, somebody is going to come out of the woodwork, yelling foul and telling me I "just didn't understand it." Sorry. That's possibly dead-on accurate a lot of the time, but here...walk with me on this. See if mine feels like a familiar journey to you.

As our story opens, as the lights come up on the premise - it's a knockout. There's never been anything like this. It's completely original, without precedent, beyond parallel. However you want to put it, it would be almost impossible to overstate the case, here. It's a grabber.

Then, as your characters begin to develop, as the stage is set, as conflicts arise and come in waves it just gets better and better. Not happier! For goodness sake, this is drama and by no means comedy. There are agonies in store, breathtaking reversals and stupefying cliffhangers, but the narrative thread pulls through strong and sure.

You don't doubt for a second you're in the hands of a master storyteller, and not only that - a true artist, capable of mixing textures and techniques like crazy, flowing from origin stories to heroic fails to violence to strife, to disaster movie stuff, and next you have collections of sayings flying in from one side, erotic verse from another, poetry, prose, didactics - and somehow, through all the pastiche, through all the collage, that subtle thread pulls you forward, unbroken. It's uncanny - and I don't think your modern-day critics give it the credit it deserves. In terms of groundbreaking. In terms of practically originating this kind of mix-and-match grab-bag deal (yet pulled into a unified artistic statement) that everyone was gasping at and fawning over when dada and cubism and all that business came pushing in crowding classicism right offstage.

Make no mistake: the Bible is the work of a very creative, powerful voice. It is the first modernist work in literature's canon. It's where it all began.

And I can't even emphasize how beautifully it begins to bring things home. The whole thing changes to beautiful. There's still sad, pain, agony even, but the garden from chapter one is ultimately - restored. And the monsters and marching armies of hatred, the genocide that went-hand-in-hand with the promise of the promised land..! Guys, face it: these are complex, non-cut-and-dried themes, here.

It's a masterwork. A very underrated masterwork of surpassing subtlety and complexity, especially when you consider the first parts were taken down by, basically, cavemen. And the woe and the fall and the struggle and call and the pounding of drums and all the blood and fire and brimstone that is built up, in the momentum of the story, somehow - not "reverses." It doesn't reverse. It's redeemed, it's fulfilled, it's as if the first part was only a thrilling and spine-tingling, heart-jarring dress rehearsal of a stage-setter, and then comes...the play. And there's so much passion in it, but the passion is not for blood and suffering and vengeance. It's a totally different twist on the plot, right in the thick of the flow, and yet - somehow, it feels inevitable. Perfect. Preordained.

And you sit there, and you can't dispute at this point how good this movie is going. So to speak - it's not a movie! I do not in any way trivialize the virtues of this work. I don't think you can.

It's suddenly pulled together into something where you can feel everything is going to end, beautifully. And you won't mind the end, though you know when you put it down, you're going to wish you were still living forever that same story!

But the best stories leave you enriched, and rewarded, and you walk on with that confidence and love in your heart. You lay it down, and move on, and the end is not sad. Because you know that beyond the end, this story has changed your life.

It's like opening up the newspaper, and there's some almost incomprehensible good news on there. You never could have guessed it, and yet it's everything you needed to hear! And what the hey, you couldn't have even deserved all that. All you did was show up. But you know you're in the hands of a storyteller. One who has you, in the palm of the proverbial hand, and you don't yet know where it's going but - all fear is gone.

AND THEN THAT ENDING!!!! WHAT IN THE WHOLE WIDE SWEET GREEN SAKE OF PETE WAS THAT...?!

I'm not the one to judge, here, I recognize. But that whole last part...again, I need to go to the movie comparison. Did you ever see a really great movie, where the setup is great, and the story great all the way through, and it's just - it's already like, climbing your list of favorite movies and it's not even over yet. But you just know. You don't care how it's going to go, because you've been won over already. That storyteller's "got you," and you can't even believe there's any way they're going to let you go! And then suddenly they clap on some big loud special-effects calamity of a "climax," as if it was just some action movie signifying nothing, to be capped by the obligatory firefight? Letdown city!

The better the story was going, the more you were sure it was turning out wonderfully - the worse that letdown is. The ending on this one...if I didn't know better, I'd say the producers overruled the director on this one, but obviously that's in no way a credible theory here. Still, that's pretty much just how it comes off. It's like somebody said "let's slap the whole thing back about twenty books' worth of chapters and undo all that richness and development! We need to go out on the mental and emotional level of Judges."

Don't twist my words, here. Judges is great - it's about my favorite book in the bunch, and you know that's true because how many times have I said it? I don't give another answer on that one, it's pretty well cemented. Judges is a killer read, a first-class roller-coaster ride. It's got popcorn blockbuster written all over it, and if it were cinema, it would've been the original superbad action movie franchise! Once again, way ahead of its time, artistically. Heck, it's something like eleven sequels in before the acknowledged geek-cred universal fan favorite Sampson comes along! Yet every one of those "prequel" judges was pretty bad ass, and could hold down their own movie no problem. Given decent adaptation, casting, execution of course. That's a constant.

I don't know, I'm not sure I really have any real coherent point, here, but when that ending hit...I just thought it was going some other way. What a surprise. If I were doing the novelization - wait a sec, this assumes a scenario where I'd been given the blessing of the original author, for this!

Which is not infrequent: top authors know their finished work already stands forever, pure and original and undiminished by later interpretations. A lot of the time people need to take stories with a different twist to suit all times, just look at the Shakespeare plays with people clomping around in leather jackets like Fonzie. A top author doesn't sweat a few twists in the transition as long as it keeps the spirit. That new, different-medium work can (indeed, always will) have its different angles coming in. Despite the hollering and foaming at the mouth that you always get when the movie version changes somebody's haircut, your all-time greatest authors don't tend to hold every trivial turn of phrase and plot development so all-fired sacred - in case you hadn't noticed.

In case you hadn't noticed, they just don't. The first-class creator, the original voice, will often have confidence in the permanent, incontrovertible worth of their work. Sad to say, it's the fans who don't. The die-hard super-strict fans, ironically, are practically always the worst philistines in any author's audience.

But still I couldn't change a thing myself, without that authorial stamp. Forget it. When it comes to a work I already love in the utmost (twists, turns and all), I wouldn't dare novelize it or cinematize it at all, not without the blessing of the author. I mean...come on. That'd be kind of gauche, to say nothing of egotistical.

But as I'm saying, if I were doing the novelization I think I'd just leave that last part off. End it on a contemplative fadeout note. You know?

I understand we're talking a difference of tastes, here. I get it that I'm probably (at least a smidge!) one of those Euro-film art snob wannabe fans, all extolling found light, naturalistic dialogue and a no-music soundtrack - except what music and songs occur in the actual plot, of course! Salome, Solomon, what have you. But the point is: yeah. I "get" that I'm probably a bit more into the artsy junk, so-called. And so I have to acknowledge, this is a book that was written, quite literally, for everyone. And for a book like this, that's exactly right. So my prissy little I'm-a-critic,-darling! stance cuts no ice, here. Some bombast, some "Star Wars" theme, some sweep and grandeur and thrills, chills, and spills, plenty of explosions - all that is right in order, and entirely called for. My critique, here - it's a quibble at best anyhow. And: who should care what I think? I hope you shouldn't. You'd be the one off-base on that one.

But somewhere, I bet mah man Roger Ebert may very well have an opinion on this. I wonder if I'll ever get to ask him? Awesome!!

Okay, wait, now I'm all psyched again. There's no denying, this is more than "a" good book. It's the definite article.

I should probably go back and read it again. I mean, I thought The Shadow crapped out too on first viewing! Meanwhile, nowadays I can watch it a million times and I don't even remember what I was complaining about. Sometimes all it takes is to come back to it later, maybe from a position of more maturity. Hopefully. What do you guys think?

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Thought of the Day: Enlightenment is a Cliche


"All attachment is attachment to suffering."

- some wannabe buddhist poser

Sunday, December 28, 2014

hebrews one eleven

 ...

faith is being sure of what we hope

...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Attraction, Perversion, Discrimination, and the Natural.

A minor manifesto on the general topic of sexual attraction. Beg pardon.

*cough*.

*clears throat*.

This is either going to be, ought to be, or isn't remotely going to be controversial/ unpopular/ belaboring the obvious of things that needn't even be said. I honestly have no idea how people will react. I don't really care, because a natural fact trumps all the conditioning in the world.

No one can tell me any basis for sexual attraction is wrong. Or bigoted. Or discriminatory. And it does not matter what the basis is. What thing I notice that prompts attraction, or engages enrapture. NO POSSIBLE BASIS for sexual attraction can you tell me is bigoted, oppressive, or "discriminatory" in the politicized sense of "prejudicial on unjust grounds."

Sexual attraction can be strongly preferential FOR or strongly aversive AGAINST:

* certain body types, whether weights or heights

* certain suites of facial features, whether associated with typical ethnicities or otherwise,

* certain sets of complexions, or coloring or intensity of hair,

* certain personality types or abilities or talents,

* INTENSITY of hair?? You know what I mean. THE POINT STANDS.

* certain religious, political or other affiliations, creeds, or persuasions,

* certain predilections for certain urges or perversions -

None of that is discriminatory (in the political, social justice sense) in relation to sexual attraction.

What floats one's boat cannot be called* "discriminatory." Whatever types of persons flit across my screen, push the buttons behind my mind and get my involuntary Irish up (so to speak) are not subject to political judgment or claims of injustice. To claim otherwise will result in aggressive chivalry being declared against you, because you sir or madame are quite in the wrong.

*sole exception: of course, <i>I can call my own preferences</i> discriminatory. If it fits the case, but no one else could possibly characterize it that way: because if I am in fact turned on by bigotry, that's a VERY WEIRD SORT of perversion that nobody else could possibly be equipped to pronounce upon! I can say, "yeah, you know what, it's odd but part of what turns me on is the transgression of certain social norms involving bigotry. X type of bigotry turns me on. I have a bigotry fetish that honestly, I didn't ask for, but there it is. I own up to it at least."

In a case like that, I am the one who could say that my sexual attraction does indeed involve elements of bigotry - but even in that case, the bigoted aspect is not the for or against any of the actual groups or types. It'd be the toward a particular social perversion.

And before you call me on the pejorative, "perversion" is as good a word as any embroidered on any freak flag you'd care to fly. "Perversion" is natural - "perversion" is what society might call the "bad natural" - if society had its head on straight where it sits up its ass, and could be honest about the spades it calls diamonds and the hearts it tries to club you with. "Perversion" is not a bad word. "Perversion" is every bit as natural as "subversion" or "antinormativeness." Oh okay, well fuck. That last one IS a bad word. I think we can admit that, at least. Pathetic, weak neologism - ugly! Ungainly, kill it with fire - wait, it's growing on me - no, kill it for the good of us all, for the language.

So that's that. A minor manifesto on sexual attraction, and its insusceptibility to being unjustified.

You can't tell me that what floats a person's boat is discriminatory.

Level with me folks! Is that even at all controversial? Or was it too obvious to have bothered to state? Because I honestly don't know.

To me it seems only natural.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Or Not.

Anyone who kills me will have to answer to me in hell.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Results are all, aren't they?

The life I want to live ends in death.

shit happens.

But we can make different shit happen.

Human agency. It's a miracle.

"Define sane," Pt.3

~ This post is a part 3. There was also a part 1, wherein I laid out a basic definition of sanity: sanity is the ability to see reality and act appropriately. And there was a part 2, which considered the role of mental illness, which part one had omitted entirely. For good reason, as it turns out! And part 2 is there to explain why. ~

~ Part 3 is basically me pasting a comment of mine in response to reader Jen's question under part one: what about when society is insane? I just came across it and thought hey! A couple of edits and post. Easy content! Thanks, Jen. ~


An English teacher of mine in High School used to "blow our minds" by saying shit like "Sometimes insanity is the only sane response to an insane world."

In fact, the only sane response to an insane world is sanity. It will in no way help you to manage insane risks by either A) pretending that you, too, are irrational, or B) becoming in fact irrational. You are better equipped to survive and thrive with sanity intact. Actually, A) may be a sane option: even a fairly healthy society has us all act crazy in a lot of little ways. But acting crazy is not the same as going crazy. As you do the odd, irrational thing to placate the odd, irrational norm, your sanity will have no problem with that. Those expectations and norms are part of the reality sanity lets you see, part of the reality sanity helps you negotiate: the bedrock facts, and how to deal with society's distortions of the facts.

Sometimes, the sanest response to an insane society may be to emigrate.

Sometimes though, they've got you walled in, or held at gunpoint. In those worst, most insane societies, a sane mind is an ever more indispensable asset. Survival depends on your ability to recognize what your environment is, and discern what the appropriate (beneficial) responses to it should be. In a truly insane society, it is the sane mind that will be best able to recognize society's insane and suicidal elements for what they are. It is the sane mind that will be best able to chart the best course given the presence of the known, dangerous, harmful elements. This is little different from a hunter-gatherer devising strategies to minimize the risk of death by tiger.

The tiger is, from a human standpoint, insane. If a human acted like that, you'd call that human a psychopath! And when they're part of our reality, humanity finds nothing particularly daunting about coping with homicidal animals. Just another recognized cause of death. Just another thing to put what steps you can in place, to manage the risk. But when the homicidal animal is homo sapiens - including any organized body of homo sapiens - suddenly we agonize! Why should we?

Well, because it frustrates us that people act in irrational ways! We seem to think this is unacceptable human behavior. For no good reason, we think this. It's not the actual insanity that drives us crazy, it is that we labor and die under the delusion that humanity is, or "should be," perfectible. That's crazytalk. Humanity is animals too.

Humanity has outgrown the threat of other animals, and has become its own tiger. The course of sanity is to recognize this. Accept it, to a degree: not complacently, but as a step on the way to a stomp. Social elements can be poisonous, suicidal, homicidal, genocidal - in a word, insane. We need to accept that as a problem; we need to identify what parts of the insanity can be treated, minimized; for the parts that are beyond all treatment (at least within our current means), we need to determine the best way to negotiate those hazards.

What is our best way to do all this? To become crazy? No, to remain sane. To drop crazy expectations of a perfectible humanity and see the humanity we have for what it is, and for all that it does. To see reality, and act appropriately.