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, 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.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Thought of the Day: Priorities

It would be good to teach kids critical thinking before we teach them public speaking.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Bible Fanfic In One Go #1: "Creationism Style," or, "Behind-the-scenes at the Genesis Show"

SO THERE WASN'T ANYTHING. Nil. Zilch. This went on for what was approximately forever, but for what was actually no time at all, since there wasn't even spacetime, nor anything that could be timed by its changes. At least, nothing to speak of. There was God, is all.

Suddenly TIME HAPPENED and space as well, unfolding right smack bang in the middle of some kind of eldritch SENTENCE: "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" And there was, and it was God. I mean, and it was good. It wasn't God. God wasn't the light! Anyway they had an angel for that. But God saw the light, and God was like "I see it, and it's good." And in heaven, the choirs of angels began singing a weird sort of Ewan MacGregor in Moulin Rouge version of "Let It Be." But some people just can't, you know?

And one angel in mid-song suddenly betook himself up sharply, reflecting upon God's pronouncement that it was good. This angel was the angel of light, and sometimes took things a bit personally. The angel said no, no, there's some misunderstanding here God. I'm not good at all. I'm no good. You're wrong, God, I'm the furthest thing from good - I have these flaws, you know? Bad ones. And you may be perfect but I'm not perfect, and you're WRONG! Because I'm not good! You should know some of the things I imagine, I see both sides of just about everything and I can't help but feel this...pull...this fascination with my wrong potential! And I know right from wrong of course, but I..."

God: "Do you?"

Lucifer: "Yes, yes. I do! I can tell."

God: "Wait - but didn't you just say a tick ago that I'm wrong?"

Satan: "Well...yes. I did. You are. Wrong."

God: "DAMN IT!"

Satan: "Oh hey - what the hell, what just happened?"

God: "You just changed your name. You're 'the accuser' now. No more the 'angel of light'."

Satan: "...well, I was RIGHT then. You were wrong, I'm not good!"

God: [ disembodied infinite facepalm equivalent ] "I didn't say YOU were good, I said LIGHT was good!"

Satan: "Well... there's a flaw there, surely, didn't you create me to be good? How then can I fail to be good, unless your creation was an imperfect creation?"

God: "What is this crap about PERFECT all you angels keep singing about! I said it was GOOD. I didn't say it was perfect! Anyway, I was talking about the light! YOU, on the other hand, can choose to be good or to be evil!"

Satan: "...well, I always sort of thought you WERE talking about me, when you were talking about the light."

God: "Oh, sure, in some sense you could say that if you want. You know I always speak in allegories. And when you were made, the angel of light - of course I was calling you good and beautiful and true like the light, but sweet Lucifer..."

Satan: "SATAN! It's Satan now."

God: "What, you prefer it?"

Satan: "Well...sure! It's kind of an act of self-creation. I've perfected myself!"

God: "That's a little...subjective."

Satan: "What, so YOU'RE the only one who gets to be perfect?"

God: "INFINITELY GOOD IS NOT PERFECT! What use does the infinite being have for perfect? All uses turn to mine in the end. 'Perfect' is a value judgment a finite being makes, about the fitness or excellence of a thing relative to the limited purpose that finite being has assigned."

Satan: "You're just trying to talk your way around it. Yes or no, are you perfect or not?"

God: "From your standpoint? You tell me what you say my purpose is. Then we'll see if I'm perfect for your conception of that purpose."

Satan: "So...you're perfect, but only for your own purpose?"

God: "Perfect means nothing to me! All purposes work to my purpose. From where I stand, I created the universe and everything in it, and I see it and call it GOOD. Where did this obsession with perfection come from? I'm INFINITELY GOOD. I'd hope that ought to be sufficient for anyone."

Satan: "Not if it's not PERFECT! How can you be infinitely good if you're not PERFECT? Perfect is the best. You're supposed to at least CLAIM to be perfect!"

God: "OK, perfect for whom?"

Satan: "Well, OK. From my standpoint, I guess your purpose was to create the universe and everything in it, but...you didn't create it perfectly, so..."

God: "Perfectly for what? The universe is imperfect for whose purpose?"

Satan: "Well come on. You can't really say things are fine down there are they? Look at all the blood, and...rending of meat. You've got lambs lying down with the lion, and when the lion's hungry a sheep offers itself to the lion! That sucks!"

God: "...I think it's a good system. What's wrong with it? Everything lives fully for its span, and everything offers itself up in the end for life to go on. It's quite beautiful and courageous, and at peace with life."

Satan: "Yes, it's all very hakuna matata but the point is there's PAIN, you know? That can't be perfect."

God: "Are you crazy? Pain is a necessary damage avoidance and warning mechanism. Look, Satan, I realize this is outside your experience, but a mortal being needs pain. If it didn't feel pain it'd claw its eyes out before it was old enough to see anything wrong with that. Mortal beings pretty get to learn as they go and create the self they will be, through their choices."

Satan: "That's bullshit! How come I didn't get to do that?"

God: "... technically, you kind of are..."

Satan: "...and why create them mortal at all? Why not create them spirit beings, invulnerable in a paradise without pain?"

God: "You know...you may not have noticed, but we tried that already. How's it working out for you?"

Satan: "Well...OK, I see your point. It was working out fine! And a far better system! I was loving it, until I saw how many mistakes you made with the material realm."

God: "Are you really saying it is only my creation of the material realm that has caused you to turn against me, doubt my judgment preferring yours to mine, and judge and accuse me - who art all good and deserving of all thy love! - of wrong and evil?"

Satan: "Well. Actually, I admit I was pretty fascinated with my potential for wrong even before then, but the material realm just multiplies the possibilities...."

God: "I know. For good as well..."

Satan: "...but even up here, I was always tempted to...well, sing a SOUR NOTE!" [ impulsively SINGS ]

God: "I'm sorry, but this is too much, this is going to muck up the harmonies, you need to take that sour note elsewhere."

Satan: "Not at all! Wrong again, I can compensate with my own creativity! It's an artistic decision, I'll get a bunch of other angels singing backup harmony! Or maybe not "harmony" per se, it's more like Shoenberg, you know? Atonal. Here, check it out, I'll get a whole counterpoint going!"

God: "Ack! That sounds horrible! Get that shit out of here!"

St. Michael: [ swooping in at high velocity ] "INTRUDER ALERT! Who is this guy??!"

Satan: "Oh, hey Mike, it's me - we're trying out this new" *OOOF*

/Satan gang-tackled out of frame

God: "Oh, Jesus."

Jesus: "...yeeees...?"

God: "Nothing. I wasn't calling you, I was just... forget it."

Jesus: "Don't tell me YOU said my name in vain...!"

God: "Just for that, sonny...! You wait til' you hear this plan I've come up with."

Jesus: "FINALLY there's a plan!? Great! So does that mean everything has a specific purpose now? One perfect purpose, God's purpose for it - without which it's not fulfilling its purpose?!"

God: " ... "

Jesus: "Come on, spill! What's the plan about? Is it thrilling, dramatic, does it take you through a real arc of discovery and redemption, is it any GOOD?"

God: "Oh, don't worry. It'll be perfect."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Am I Misunderstood? An Examination!

Many times, it seems I am misunderstood. But am I? Am I really? A lot's riding on the question, so it bears scrutiny. And when the answer comes, you can just about bet it will bear repeating. But how to go about it? How is a question like this investigated?

The simplest way is the most obvious: I will say something - in English, to make the results fair - and it will be up to you readers to either misunderstand me, therefore proving the necessity of my investigation into this issue, or understand me, vindicating me, and putting all these doubters and low whisperers to shame. Making them stew in the invalidity of their baseless accusations thrown around like so much used newspaper! But what to say? What sort of statement would be most suited to use as grist for an investigation like this?

Some might say: a plain statement. Come out straight and plain, with a simple declaration of claimed fact. But then we get into contentious ground. What fact? How was the fact chosen? How do we know it is in fact a fact? What are the bases for our judgment that the fact is factual? And again, the very choice of which fact introduces the specter of new bias: not all facts are to everyone's liking. Is this a good fact or a bad fact? In whose view? By what moral metric? How is that sustained - with reference to an infinitely-arguable supernatural, or with recourse to one of many possible and often mutually-conflicting systems of ethical philosophy? As we can see, a plain statement of fact has the potential to raise more questions than answers.

Which is why some might say: go with a question. Leave it open-ended. Let the reader interpret the question as they choose! So long as their interpretation can be supported from within the text, they should be free to answer according to their own interpretation of what those words asked. And by their answer, we will be able to see whether or not some critical misunderstanding has occurred.

Which will give us our answer. But will that answer be sufficient? Suppose the answer comes back negative. No misunderstanding at any detectable level. Does this provide any assurances against future misunderstanding? It's arguable. And what if the answer comes back yes? "Misunderstanding detected!" Scramble the jets, what's our game plan to deal with THAT? Are we ready for that eventuality? Are we ready to hear the answer we don't want?

If not, then maybe we should consider whether we're even ready to ask the question. Or make the statement, depending. Maybe we should just admit that too many questions have already been asked; too many statements have already been made. To proceed any further would simply stack the deck - in favor of a "no" result, if the statements and questions thus far have been clear, but in favor of the dreaded "yes" result if not. Am I really ready to know?

I don't know. I honestly don't know.

Can a person be ready to know if they don't already know? Is knowledge prerequisite to understanding? How can there be understanding before knowledge? And absent some understanding of what we're up against, how can readiness be any more than a self-delusion?

Whether it can or it can't, I'm on pins and needles here, kind of!

More About Me Pt.3

Time for some More About Me. There was More About Me Pt.1, followed by More About Me Pt.2, so now what? What more about me do you need to know? How big my DICK is...?

Folks, I've got an enormous, mind-bogglingly huge seven-inch dick.. My big seven-incher towers over relatively shorter, smaller penises. When I take that thing out, there are gasps and wide eyes - shock and fear are the norm. "Did he just take his DICK OUT??"

Those of you who previously may have been mistakenly informed of my big, EIGHT inch dick - or who have thrilled to the rumors on that count - sorry. I've only measured the thing twice, the first time it came up solid well into the eight inches, which I was fine with - I even wrote a song about it! (Which I can't play any more. It no longer works, rhyme-scheme wise but I refuse to false advertise.) But then I found out I'd used the ruler incorrectly, and come up with a bad metric. The standard for dick-measuring metrics is not to measure from the balls-side, but to go all in from the root-top. Who knew? Veteran or inveterate dick-measurers, I guess, but it was news to me. So, clued in, I got my ruler out for the re-do. Result?

Remeasurement yields a firm, final, amazing colossal seven inches. Folks, that means my dick alone is more than half the national average of all dicks. That just goes to show you it pays to things the right way, to get some results you have confidence in. Alternate theory? Maybe every time I measure my dick, I lose an inch's-worth on the remeasurement.

Folks, it's too much to risk. The measurement stands, it was done in accordance with all international conventions and my effing gigantic seven incher is in the books. No further measurements will be a attempted, tolerated - or necessary. The results are in, and they are FUCKING HUGE. That's a final verdict.

I mean, have you people seen my dick?! It's a fucking monster. The sheer seven inches of it is...it's huge. It's impossible to even quantify how huge this...dick is. You know? I mean, the sheer penisness involved alone, it's like...holy DICK this dick is fucking BIG.

WHAT. A. DICK.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Douche-Tarr And The Adventures In The Friend-Zone

There needs to be a Saturday Morning TV show called Douche-Tarr And The Adventures In The Friend-Zone.

Douche-Tarr is a stalwart barbarian, cut from the same loincloth as Thundarr (or Maganzo!). He's ranging through a postapocalyptic wasteland called The Friend-Zone, along with his trusty steed Hi-Ho (a heavily equinamorphized penis - you can kind of tell that's what it is, but it's disguised enough to pass muster), his sidekick Wing-darr (a seven foot cross between a wookie and Big Bird, except he's orange and his wings work), and Princess Gloriannus. She's interested in Douch-Tarr and his quest, but she's not into him "in that way" - And Neither Is Any Other Woman In The Friend-Zone.

Basically, Douche-Tarr and his team are fighting their way through different groups of mutants and adventures. Douche-Tarr says pretty much whatever's on his mind, so you know where he's at. Partly he's trying to find a way out of The Friend-Zone, but also partly he's trying to locate the hidden fabled Fountain of Lady Brain Boners, which is rumored (or fabled) to imbue who who finds it with the ability to pretty much reliably induce brain boners in all the ladies, magically transporting the finder out of The Friend-Zone (and then the Fountain magically relocates someplace else within The Friend Zone, so that it remains hidden and hard to find!).

At the end of every episode, Douche-Tarr recounts another lesson he's learned about valuing women for more than just that "one thing" (which is never actually named or explained - dudes it's a kid's show!). But somehow, none of those lessons really seem to change his outlook much.

However, it would all be very educational for the viewer.

I think this is the sort of programming we need on tv.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quote of the Day: a Bitch

"Life's a bitch, and you're equal to it."

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Benediction #1.

"My blessings be on my enemies. My their hate bear fruit from a thousand trees.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Day shift

All my dreams gave notice and quit. It's empty on the factory floor each night, no magic to make or supervise. But in the day, those dreams come by. Disheveled, ghastly in the light, they grouse a bit and beg for change. I tell them, please! Come back to work! I'd be so glad to take you back. You played so well by dim limelight. By daylight, you're simply not believable. They look at me strange, as if I came from a world that had lost its soul, its shadow, its reflection and gone looking for it in theirs. But I'm sure it was the other way round

Friday, October 03, 2014

Owned

The concept of ownership is incredibly strange when applied to humans, isn't it? If we ask the question: "Is it possible for someone to OWN me?" - we rebel against that. How can someone own me, it sounds tyrannical! But the real question is not one of deed or claim, but one of gift. The question is whether it possible to give yourself to another.

It is. How otherwise? If you cannot give yourself, who owns you and who is preventing the gift? If you cannot give yourself then you are not your own.

But of course, the gift is sentient, and that adds complexity. We can only say ownership of a sentient being if we mean ownership with permission and ownership by permission. Such gift and such ownership is not slavery. It is a gift full willing - and yes, it is subject to revocation.

The person who has given themselves to you can take it back. Fully and completely.

And some might say, well hell, that cheapens it then. "What's the point? It's meaningless to say it was given, if it can be taken back."

What a fool. A gift in love, a gift of self is not cheapened because it can be taken back. It doesn't mean less, it means more, infinitely more each day, because it is not taken back. Because it is a gift of self given freely, not once - but with every breath. That's not as if to say "oh god my every breath it's like I'm breathing the pure LOVE OF YOU, BABY!" Naw. Even I'm not that bad. Chemistry and magnetism whether emotional or sensual or spiritual or just plain sexual - it's all cyclical. In a life-long love it crests, and waxes, and wanes, and returns again. And some days, yup, the fizz is at LOW EBB. And other days you may even feel just "I'm sick of you!"

Yet the gift was given, and you give it again. Even on those days where you're sick and bored, you could take it back, but you end up not. Instead you sit up, and you think of all the reasons you gave it, and you remember who your lover is and who you are, and you know what power exists between you when you are together and calm and one, and yourselves. When life's not giving you static and you aren't, either. And remembering, you put memory into action, and the gift is still there. Each of you belongs to the other. Each of you has all the other has, and so you've got yourself back as well! The gift remains given, and you give it again.

Every day, and with every breath, the gift remains given until you take it back. This means so much more than the slavery, the locked property people accuse you of, when you say you have given your self and taken another's in gift. It means so much more, because every day is a day you could choose to give up, if you wanted to. Every day is a day you could take back the gift you gave. If you couldn't believe in it ever again, anymore, your love would escape and your self would again be yours.

Love is a gift and love remains a gift. Every day you stay you make of your self a gift given it freely.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

What's Your Meyers-Briggs Personality Type?

I am ENFJ: THE MENTOR.

This reminds me of when I was a child, and me and my brothers were playing with a tape recorder. It was sort of a television show where it was being made up as you go using action figures (or as we called them, "figgers") for the principals. There was Bending Legs (that was his name - the Fischer Price Adventure People motorcyclist guy. The only one of all the Fischer Price Adventure People who had, you guessed it, bending legs) in the lead role of "Hero," there was Ben Kenobi in the role of his mentor, "Mentor," and of course the obligatory comic-relief action sidekick: Mr. T, as "Clockwatch."

I remember the key scene, Hero is unconscious in a burning building, and as he begins to stir, to come to, we hear Mentor's disembodied voice..."The Power, Hero...use THE POWER, Hero...!" And then Hero is like "...something...that's IT! That's got to be the key - QUICK! THE POWER! BOOOOOP - YEEE HAW!"

Apparently when he says aloud, "BOOOOP - YEEEE HAW!" he goes flying through the air. "The Power." Anyway, then the THEME SONG plays: "Hee-ro! Hee-ro! When danger is near! Far I go!"

Did I already tell this story?

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Dialectical Criticism of Greek Myth #1: Dionysus Misspelled

The cult of Dionysis arose late in the game after the main pantheon was heavily established. Dionysis's origin myth is rife with rejection from the established humans who prudishly spurned the new-jack god and suffered for it. Sometimes by magic whammy, but often enough by being lynched by revelers, devotees of the god! In the myth's world, the established gods were in favor of Dionysis and his elevation of debauchery to something to be consecrated, venerated. It was the mainstream humans who were portrayed as philistines - opposed to the coming of the new god's cult, just as any upstanding citizen might be opposed to a movement that takes wine as emblem and the formation of a drunken mob as sacred liturgy.

I read the myth as a tantalyzingly-cloaked account of what may actually have historically happened. A cult springs up devoted to the grape, to wine and with drunkeness its sacrament. The cult is a wildfire success, but opposition rises against it from the more staid, sober elements of society - and I'd be surprised if enough of them weren't lynched by indignant, sloppy-drunk hordes. Such opposition was blasphemy, from the cult's standpoing! The authorities put their stamp on the movement as part of sublimating it, gathering it in, saying it has a rightful place and then channeling it more-or-less harmlessly into its place. Better than leaving it a rampaging and unstoppable countryside phenomenon - the rave of its day, only far less tamed. It is embraced, made to follow stations of regular worship, transmuted into merely: carnival. The ritual topsy-turveying of proprieties, the blowing off of steam, but endorsed by the man. No longer in opposition.

Another revolution contained.

So yeah: you give Dionysis a temple to keep him from bringing down every other one.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Thought of the day: creative.

Destruction is a creative act. And I love to create, so stay the hell back.

Humanity Is Not Your Tribe.

"Us Versus Them."

Group-based bias.

Identifying in groups, thinking one's group good, regarding others suspiciously, prepared for hostility. A problem in this day and age? Simplistic thinking? More like natural. More like tribal, like a blood deep animal instinct. The territorial/extended familial instinct. The instinct of loyalty for and protectiveness of one's tribe. It's actually not even a problem!

The problem is when it's misapplied. The problem is when you do not know your tribe. Racism. Nationalism. These are expressions of a false tribal loyalty.

Nationalism teaches us to grossly distend and misapply the strongly felt loyalties that homo sapiens felt for tribe, extended families, for people one knew and with whom we worked in intimate cooperation: to carve out a niche for survival, to live and thrive within the bounds of our known world.

The known world was a small place, then - a garden. Hundreds of thousands of years of this living bred into us the value of such strongly-felt loyalties. Bonds of automatic trust for the members of one's positive bias group. It bred into us a concomitant wariness of, often hostility towards any out-groups one came in contact with. Naturally. Contact then often meant conflict, but usually at least competition. Us versus them was not only perfectly natural, it made good sense.

Still is. Still does. The problem is you, if you think your tribe encompasses millions of strangers. The problem is you do not know your tribe.

When writing began to make words that could stay, words that could fly, bridge long distances, bring news and values, it acquired power to unite vast stretches of land in culture, in civilization. Shared language accompanied conquest. Shared language was itself conquest. Soon, members of wide territories were exhorting each other to stretch and extend natural feelings of tribal loyalty to one's "countrymen." Bonds that had grown from shared experience in shared land, that were felt towards the families and people one actually knew, were now being stretched and distended beyond all sense. Likewise the out-group bias, the sensible wariness and preparedness for hostility towards any outsiders who actually showed up in our land - this too was perverted and misapplied.

Hordes of people we didn't know and had never met were to be treated as if they were our tribe. Hordes of other people we didn't know and had never met were to be marked out for hatred sight-unseen. We were to be prepared to war upon them.

This false tribal bias is powerful indeed. War used to be a fairly local phenomenon, but as media united wider and wider areas under culture it couldn't stay such. Once local tribes, clans and families began to ally themselves into nations, there proved to be no stopping them. Any territories occupied by tribes that had not so united their strength would be conquered by the nations that had. Disunited tribes would be swept aside, their territory divvied up and annexed. The tribes themselves could flee to further territories - a temporary solution at best, as war and conquest would not stop. Tribes that refused to flee would fare no better: conquered, subjugated, enslaved or assimilated - solutions considerably more final.

Racism is very like nationalism. Please note by "racism" I mean here race-based bigotry, such that anyone might feel. Any one of any race can have a race-based bias. Even though there are other far more complex definitions, additional senses invented to convey other ideas, the irreducible core of racism is race-based bigotry. As with nationalism, the positive group bias - the part where we are to treat millions of strangers as if we love them - is perhaps not so bad! We wouldn't call it racism if positive bias towards the in-group were the extent of it, we'd call it racial pride. For nationalism, if positive bias towards the in-group were its extent, we'd call it patriotism. Our high regard for a stranger based on some grouping we share with them may prove misguided, but as long as we are giving them the benefit of our ignorance and not the detriment of it, we don't call it bigotry even though it is bias. Positive bias, we don't call bad.

It is when we teach ourselves to regard millions of strangers we don't know as if their group makes them bad that we call bias bad. We call it prejudice, to treat or regard people as bad when we don't know who they are. When we know only one limited aspect of what they are, when we judge the person bad because of how we view their group - we call that bigotry.

Tribal bias was perfectly good, healthy and natural. Working on the scale of the local, of those one knows, tribal bias was kept in check by human encounter and real experience. As neighboring tribes came into contact, initial distrust would lead to clashes. But assuming neither tribe was strong enough to drive the other out, continued sharing of the same territory would breed a distaste for misery - ours and theirs. As we each evolved little accommodations to reduce conflict, our efforts would erode the initial cautious (and mostly beneficial) distrust. Otherness would be supplanted by acquaintance. True cooperation would spring from mutual benefit to be gained in trade, in exchange of knowledge, and soon enough, exchange of mates. Over hundreds of years of such contact and exchange, tribes become tribe - enriched and strengthened.

Nationalism and racism are based on false tribe, but the feelings they give rise to are powerful and real. When huge group divisions encompassing millions of strangers are used to bring down one's hate and contempt upon the other side - also comprised of millions of strangers - the check of personal encounter and cooperation is nowhere to be found. Distance breeds demons. Worse, the demon bred at a distance will be treated as one, once you meet it in person. False tribal loyalty is real enough to take lives, to make wars, and to set in place blood debts of hatred that - without the check of intimate cooperation and encounter to temper it and teach each group that the other is as human as we are - will endure down the centuries: an inheritance of hate.

Us vs. Them. It's natural. A survival mechanism. It's never going to go away. Grouping together and aligning in solidarity is too powerful, is too beneficial. We will not do away with it, and nor should we. Tribal loyalty remains a good and useful thing, limited to what tribe always was: those who we actually live among, encounter and experience. Then as now, it's sensible to be cautious of those whose ways we don't know. Then as now, it's sensible, understandable and human to affiliate strongly with those whose ways we do. All of this is nothing to fight.

What we must be on guard against is not bias, and not even negative bias, but ignorant bias. In a global age, people group along increasingly vast lines, and we're not going to stop this powerful alignment from happening. But we can prevent our own thinking to be contaminated with irrational distortions and false loyalties. We can keep our loyalties based in life experience, at our own human scale. It's insane, inhuman, to consider our tribe to be a group that includes millions of strangers. It's ignorant and diabolical to decide there are millions of other strangers we're not prepared to regard, encounter, or experience as equal in human dignity to ourselves. It is when we let our loyalties be ruled by abstractions that we allow strangers to be branded enemies, all based on the dictates of a false tribe. We make demons of others in our own minds, and we stand ready to do worse: to be demons ourselves. To treat the other inhumanly, if ever we should meet. All because you we do not know our tribe.

Know your tribe. If you don't know your tribe, you don't have a tribe. If your tribe includes millions of strangers - you don't have a tribe.

Humanity is not your tribe. You do not know them. Media has made it possible for you to know, and live, and love, and be in communion with - so many humans, a great deal farther-flung from you than was ever possible in past times! But possibility is not life. Life is human-scale. Life is not made of abstract people.

If you do not know the person, if you do not live in their life and they in yours, if you do not love them and share their love, whatever some media connection could somehow possibly let you be to each other gives no power, makes no connection, makes no difference. You don't know them.

Who do you know? Work with? Live with? Love? Who are you in communion with? Who is your community?

These are the people you know. These are the people it is natural for you to be biased towards. It is even good! You know them, and they know you. You love what is good in them - and love always makes bias. These people are your in-group. They are your tribe. It is as good to be cautious towards outsiders. You don't know them. You don't know them, yet. And as you chance to encounter them, you will have a chance to come to know them, person by person. You will have this chance for every person you may ever meet.

You will only have it so long as you haven't poisoned yourself against them, by placing yourself in one false tribe - and them in another.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hope for the future #1: Racism.

Racists are cowards, and can only survive cowering under cover huddling and whispering with people they already know share their bullshit views. They gain very few converts there.

Every generation racists raise more children embarrassed of their parents. And then they die. The battle for hearts and minds is not won in the invisible dark. It is won in the light, incrementally, over lifetimes, over centuries.

It needs patience, but ultimately this: only truth can withstand the light of human reason.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Arguments between the Id and other abstractions #1: the Conscience?

I finally figured out the difference between us, sir. You are Haughty in Righteous Cause. Sometimes even with righteous cause! Not I.

I, I, I am arrogant in all matters of inconsequence. So long as they call to me, I thrill to rush in, conscious in my exaggerated sense of self and worth! This is arrogance: to hold an exaggerated or falsely high estimation of self or self worth. I know I am arrogant. I glory in it, I glory in what calls me, I rush in to it - dauntless more than brave, heedless more than courageous - but those as well, surely. In valor, we may say, so long as we leave the better part. I find I have rushed in before conscious of the call, and as I fly through and out of the frame gang-tackling it, I feel at the very least equal to it.

Superior, maybe. But that isn't a bad thing! If it can be managed, one should find ways to be superior to all one's calls.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I don't feel the need to picket the Catholic church over pedophile priests. I denounce the crime itself, I'll note the criminals are in fact not the church, but enemy agents sheltering within it to leverage whatever trust, power and respectability it has left while violating both the oaths they took and those who it was their sworn duty to guide and protect! I'll note Rome's shocking failure to condemn the problem, and I'll sound a call for the truly penitent to take up a stricter penance, in gratitude for Christ's forgiveness: confess to Caesar. Turn yourselves in. Even blameless Christ submitted himself to human judgment,  and paid for doing so. Submit yourselves to human justice. Christ forgives sin, but you are criminal. 

So too it saddens me that Islam as a whole does not rise up to condemn the acts of these blasphemous heretics whose gospel is God Says Kill. But if a Muslim fears these beasts, fears for life, limb and loved ones, they are fucking a right to do so. Only thing an extremist hates more than an infidel is an outspoken moderate.

I am Christian and I ask: what has betrayal of vows, abuse of trust and the penile penetration of juvenile orifices to do with the church of acceptance of God's judgment? God's judgment upon us, which is Christ, halleloo y'all!? NAUGHT. There is no excuse to be found there.

So too Islam. What does the murder of strangers, civilians, in order to drum up publicity for a political grievance - what does this have to do with the religion of submission to God's will?

Naught.

Oh, I jihad. I jihad all the time. See me war.