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, July 25, 2014

Ask A Question Get An Answer #10: How Do You Put Your Pants On In The Morning?

I don't know!

I've tried myself to observe this phenomenon several times, but the subject has proven too elusive and wary. I'll lay out the dilemma - let me know if you get any ideas!

What's known for sure is this: every night, when I go to sleep, I am either wearing A) comfy sweats with underdrawers, B) my comfy soft breathable shorts with or without underdrawers, C) underdrawers, or D) none of the above. Every morning when I wake up, I walk straight to the sales support office and refill my big ol' cup of coffee (my attempts to dislodge more hot coffee by smacking the back of the upended cup into my FUCKING LIP are usually what awakens me in the morning) to find that I am in there, filling my coffee and fully dressed - usually in dark blue, green, charcoal or khaki khakis or else a smart pair of jeans (10 out of 12 it's jeans, to be more accurate), and with a sharp-ass laid-back combination of upper-body garments, which can include any sort of item like a blue, zipperfront pullover (for you Englanders or Commonwealthies, I understand this is what you might call a "wooly jumper") and a blue t-shirt underneath, a polo or other button-front short-sleeved shirt, a full long-sleeved collared button-down shirt of more-or-less classic make, but generally leaning more towards darkly bold or deep color for emphasis rather than any sort of jazzy or dressy cut, gloss, or accents. If a button-down shirt, I may or may not be wearing one of the coolest fucking ties you ever saw. If I'm wearing a sharp blazer, jacket of other kind, or the dark orange sweater, I may just opt for a TEE shirt as the foundational shirt - though you can better believe I'm looking fuckin' good by the time I notice.

But how did it happen? Again, investigations are ongoing. What's really needed here is a research assistant, someone who can be on-site to observe continuously, and make a detailed video record of everything that happens. Everything that happens to happen. The problem is - will the subject behave the same way with a research assistant there, in intimate proximity? The sleeping area is not very large. If the research assistant is a male, will the subject react as if in the presence of a competitor or an aggressor? Or - if the research assistant is a female, won't this too alter the natural behavior of the subject?

It's quite like the ol' uncertainty principle! Can't measure how the subject is putting his pants on, except by introducing a measuring element whose impact or influence may well prevent him taking them off in the first place - and/or present an obstacle to them ever being put back on. At least, not on anything like the timescale we've inferred from observations of the uninterfered-with subject.

I'm not sure what the next step can be, realistically.

I'm going to go get some more coffee.

The Power of Ambiguity? Or: Disclaimers that Fail to Disclaim

"...and I mean that exactly as you're meant to take it."

I Like To Write Online Poems. Anybody Like Online Poems Pt.2?


~ Re: "succinct" - today's most recent poem, and a triumph of concision! ~

I have to admit, I'm happy with the outcome but I wish I could have gotten anything about "concentrated in meaning" or similar in there, but there just wasn't room. It wouldn't fit, I couldn't see any place to stick it or force it in, I mean, I totally could have and the poem kind of cries out for it - how can you write a poem about concision without making reference to the incredible delirious overloading of concentrated MEANING that clamps down on you as an inevitable consequence of making it your priority to take the tiniest possible opening and cram as much as you can in there - "using little to say much," as it were? The poem fucking CRIES OUT for that, for at least some of that, because the point is - by implication at least, that's what the poem's about. The power of a perfect and minimalist composition where every line, every curve, every dip and every swell TELLS. Every. Word. Tells. But at some point, you can't go in like that and just blatantly POUND OUT what the poem is so clearly crying out for, because: that meaning is already part of the word concise. You don't HAVE to force it in!

Anyway, I wanted to - at least just a little of that, just a taste, even just a foretaste you know? I like to abuse the literal sometimes I guess, but there just wasn't any place I could see where I could stick it and make it fit, not without causing some kind of injury to the delicate tissues and sensitive surfaces of the poem's inner essence. You know what I mean?

That's just disgusting, dude. Knock it off.

I Like To Write Online Poems. Anybody Like Online Poems?

Anybody here like the short ones? I prefer the long ones myself, long and lean but I know that it takes all kinds and frankly, I have the skills to crack each different specific niche where anybody might feel the need and fill it to the hilt, if you know what I mean. I mean poetry, and from what I understand, some of you like the short ones for some reason. This one's



"succinct"

close in compass,
compact in scope,
brief in form,
and tightening down:

concise

essentially,
she is.

To closest fit
a given noun
that's just a bit

extravagant

to be precise.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More About Me Pt.2

This post is a Part 2. There was also a Part 1!

Hello, my name is Joe but people around here often call me dogimo (pronounced either doh-GEE-mo, dog-EE-mo, DOG-'im-oh, DODGE-'im-oh, or DODGY MOE), dogi (pronounced lord knows how) or "Dodgy." Someone sent me a t-shirt once that says "Dodgy." Big huge letters.

What can I say? She knows me well.

Another thing I - hey! Hi! What can I say? I'm a good guy. I'm pretty nice. You should know that. Probably.

I used to hate that - being called "nice." I took it as an insult on how bad-ass I wasn't - but that's a balls ass move, come the final analysis. Is "the final anal" a decent abbreviation for the final analysis? Regardless: a balls ass move, to take umbrage at being called nice! What's wrong with nice? I am nice! My nice is alll-rite. Nice is a damn nice thing to be, or it can be - and I'm living proof! So I'm at peace with nice, now. Sure I'm nice. You said it. Well-observed.

That's nothing people really need to know about me, though, or at least, I don't care if they do or if they don't. It's really none of their business frankly. I mean, if they pick up on it themselves - I won't deny it! I won't hide it, but they can form their own conclusions on that without my help. Like I said, no longer am I afraid or ashamed how nice I am, but supposing someone concludes that I am or I'm not, I could give a shit you know? I'm not here to convince you. "Sorry."

No offense, but how I seem is not my problem. Seem is in the eye of the other guy, I refuse to be beholden to beholders over what they see fit to conclude over how I seem. Who gives a thought to stuff like that? How many thoughts should you spare per person, over how they see you? Seriously. Do you have any idea how many people there are who see you? Just from a practical standpoint, don't waste your fucking energy - it's a losing effort! But even beyond the practical, it seems a bit seamy or unseemly to me, those whose concern is how they seem. How others see them. How they might come across. WHO CARES? How would you even KNOW? What are they going to TELL YOU? - what, are you going to ASK them? How would you even KNOW how you seem? Right? Then don't worry about it!

Shoot. Anyway, somebody tells you how you seem, how do you know they're not just lying about how you seem? Frankly, isn't it a little suspicious that they seem to think you care or should care how they think you seem? Who do they think they are! Isn't it their problem how you "seem" to them? Let me ask you this - do you control how you seem, to others?

Dude. If so, that's some kind of bad ass psionic superpower and I hope you don't abuse it. You don't seem like the type. I'd be disappointed in you, but at least if you do control how you seem to others, you've got no problems in that area and can safely skip the entire previous section, if you also happen to be precognitious. Why not? Once you break the fifth-sense barrier - collect them all!

Anyway, hey folks. I'm dogimo.

Someone once told me I have a way with wayward words, or words to that effect. Another one once told me I have a command of the language, but I drive the troops too hard. But get it straight either way, though folks: I mean it.

Don't confuse yourself on that score.

More About Me Pt.1

Hi everybody. I've had a lot to go on, in my life. Sometimes I draw the wrong conclusions, or people find me amusing, or misunderstood. Let's call it even - I'm prone to the same problem on their behalf! But I'm a big pizza eater, I sing out softly in the grocery store when the song's right, I'm a beer slut (lites, stouts, reds, blondes, ambers - I POUND THEM ALL) especially when good times come a-runnin', but let me tell you I enjoy a gin cocktail when it's time to talk some serious shit with my fellow inhabitants of the universe! And wine, wine is more when I want to be at one with the something or other. It's a merger into unity of the allness of things, a cosmosis, if you will. Wine is. As opposed to beer. Beer drinks you deeper into this beautiful moment, and gin - which pleasantly fuzzes you out of it, has you side-phasing over gently into the giniverse.

VODKA? Fuck, don't even make them call the COPS. Point is, hi everybody. I like the cops! I like Jews, I like people who believe in ghosts but I don't believe in ghosts. I mean to say I don't believe your fucking CONSCIOUS IDENTITY hangs around moaning in your HOUSE just because you had a to-do list when your ticker quit on you. That's ass-balls nuts. But I honor those who believe that shit. Hey, I can't disprove the paranormal! Not my job! You got the wrong guy.

I'd more tend to assume that if shit like that's going on, its not the actual remnant of the dead distraught one, but rather more a residue of the emanation of regret, longing, terror, or other strong emotion which was seared into the ("haunted") environment by the sheer force of the living person's living (or dying) aura broadcast. Either slowly, over a life lived in drawn-out regret and woe (woe seems to be better at working its way into a house for some reason! You get very few happy joy hauntings), or suddenly in one traumatic burst, for those of you ax-murdered and such. Who cares? I ain't scared of no Ray Parker Junior BULL SHIT. But I enjoy a little ambience, same as the next guy. Go ahead and clump echoing foot steps down the wooden upstairs hall! Slam shut a door or two, time to time. Go ahead and moan. That's kinda hot!

So yeah, I wouldn't call myself goth, but there's no doubt I'm a bit of a barbarian at heart. I'm just not into gargoyles and forced perspective. Hi!

I was wondering if anyone else here had any particular ideas about Chicklets? It seems like the world's not doing enough with the form. So rounded-square, so crunchy-chew toothsome! They should be far more prevalent. Is it their marketing team? Who yanked the support on these?

In The Offseason, When Our Minds Are Clearer: An Examination of Football's Relative Importance

If you think football is meaningless, I can't help you.

Or maybe I can? I can at least testify! I must at least try. My passion for football is greater than my passion for all the world's painted or sculpted art. And I have devoted years of study and practice to that - and I LOVE ART. Art expresses not just humanity's yearning to stamp one's fleeting self upon the eternal, but also humanity's ability beyond all boundaries to see one person's work, and to recognize in it: ourselves. Even in a work that comes down to us from a across great gulf of distance and time. Still, next to football - come on. No comparison.

Compared to the NFL, compared even to individual teams - compared to the Dallas Cowboys, compared to the Philadelphia Eagles - I would say that many, many things are (RELATIVELY) meaningless. Politics is meaningless, by comparison. I am actually quite passionate about issues, if not parties. I do believe that most who devote their lives to public service in the political sphere are committed to righting the world - and I do *NOT* believe their cause to be utterly hopeless! But still. Next to the NFL? Come on. Naw.

Religion is meaningless, by comparison. Religion is politics applied to faith, with various trappings of ritual thrown in. Compared to the Dallas Cowboys? Come on! Even as a way to God - I will seek and find God through the intercession of a well-played NFL game with a far greater accuracy and immediacy than an afternoon spent in a bible college library poring over theological tomes, or gawking in some cathedral while the gigantic heaving pipe organ massacres Bach under an eager deacon's all-too-human hand.

And don't kill me on this one, but folks? Compared to NFL football? BEER IS MEANINGLESS.

It goes without saying that in all the above comparisons, it isn't as if there's any conflict or dichotomy forcing us to choose between. What we're after here is merely a clear-eyed assessment of the relative importance of different important aspects to life. Have a beer, think it over a bit. You'll see what I'm getting at. Football!

The only major element of human culture that can even hope to stand toe-to-toe with professional American football on anything close to an even footing is music, specifically: rock music. And really, even that's only due to the contributions of a small number of standouts.

I can't help it if everybody has everything wrong, priority-wise. In terms of life's meaning and purpose. The theologians have nearly everything entirely wrong, as do the evolutionists, as do those who say the universe is deterministic but purposeless. It may or may not be deterministic - but it is definitely not purposeless. If there is a God, God's purpose in creating the universe was not to provide a place for us to come into being and create one's self through one's own free perception, contemplation and action. No: God's purpose in creating the universe was to foster an environment wherein FOOTBALL could come about, and be played to the highest standards of professional excellence! Evolution is no mere undirected accumulation of mutations selected for survival benefit. No: evolution has been a long road of every organism on earth, blindly yet unyieldingly yearning and striving to bring life towards a form most perfectly suited to suit up, and get a game on!

People who think humanity is the pinnacle of evolution are stupid, short-sighted, misguided and plain wrong. The pinnacle of evolution is football. Football itself. All the animal world knows it! Have you seen those horses play? Holy goodness. Not to mention bears, lions, bengal tigers, all manner of birds and beasts - all are certainly aware of the situation, even if we're not.

Love's more important that football, of course. But just as love would never force love to falsehood, neither could love ever force love to a denial of what's true and important - or even and especially, a denial of what's enjoyable to the lover but essentially, trivial! The love that takes a triviality and says it outranks love, the love that says "if you do not aquiesce in this trivial matter, than you do not love me" - to do this makes love less than what is trivial.

Football is less important than love, it's true. I admit that's true.

Friday, July 11, 2014

OX OX OX!

I remember when one of my history teachers spoke of "the invention of the ox" as a milestone in human history (agricultural advancement-wise). I was like, what are you crazy? The ox was INVENTED? Picture some babylonian ROBOT OX. But I guess in the old days, the first time somebody got the idea to cut some poor bull's balls off, back then, that entitled you to the laurels of a genius inventor. Eureka.

It's kind of sad: poor bull, castrated to plow some field, but you have to admit - what farmer's going lash his plow to a couple of rampaging BULLS? That's going to get you some erratic rows! Fuck, in fact, THAT'S what they should make the matadors do - that'd be a real challenge.

Speaking of which, I realize the fact that all oxen are castrated bulls may in some people's view tarnish the romantic value of the classic "hugs and kisses" signoff "OX OX OX!" In the minds of some, perhaps the juxtaposition of the image of hugs and kisses and the pain and humiliation of a huge proud ornery beast getting de-balled rings just a little bit fucked-up. For these folks, once they've drawn that association, the next time they get a letter or a card where someone is throwing amorous symbolic oxen at them, they may struggle with it. They may have a hard time trying to see the ox as a bearer of love. But I say screw that - is functioning genitalia the sine qua non of love? Surely it cannot be. Cannot these wounded creatures, these poor beasts of burden, yoked together in their labors, pulling so strong in the same direction, always together in the same direction - are they not, in their own way, fit emblems and paragons of love? And in their own lives, can't they too find love, their own kind of love?

I say we need to be a little more open-minded. Ox Love. Why not?

Bulls with no balls, people. Bulls with no balls. People say "dumb as an ox," but when have you ever heard of anyone say "dumb as a bull?" Castration almost certainly doesn't cause intelligence to drop. I think what we have here is another case of humanity perhaps - not equating belligerence and violent strength with intelligence, per se, but definitely equating docility, compliance, peacefulness...with stupidity.

I tell you this, though. Whoever it was who invented the ox, he or she had some balls. Either before the fact, or after, or most likely BOTH. A simple process in conception, and the formula goes a little something like this:

BULLS
- BALLS
OXEN

Now what I want to know is: did Paul Bunyan do that shit to Babe himself, or WHAT?? I mean on the one hand, who the hell else could have?

And then on the other hand...when he was done, you better believe Paul Bunyan had some big ol' BLUE BALLS. But he probably had those anyway, his neck of the woods was a little short on women his size. The fact he decided to call his trusty companion "Babe" could be a tipoff, here. He probably had to make do with ox love.

My Mind's Not Sweating It.

My mind doesn't even have sweat glands. OR ANY GLANDS. Wait. Does the pineal gland count? No wait, fuck. No.

That's the brain.

The mind is a soap bubble the brain blows. Luckily it can blow an uncountable number of them.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thought of the day: Tolerance! Curiosity? Chinese Food.

I wish there was more Chinese food that tasted like ketchup and mustard. And hot dogs.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Between the Sex Lines #5: Pay for Half?

Issues like this are convoluted, and a little insulting honestly. I'll give you an example of what I mean by that: I told my ex-fiancé that if she got a boob job, I would pay for half. So she went and got one done! She got half a boob job.

Then she was like "you can pay for the other half any time if you want!"

I was pretty much forced to, because I felt like the whole thing had been done to prove some point. And generally, when people do something outlandish pretty much just to prove some point, I feel that on some level, that's my influence there. My bad influence, even - me being fairly prone to making outlandish points, if not actually ever demonstrating the talent or inclination to prove them. It creates a "1 up ya" atmosphere. Intentional or not on my part, I can't dodge the obvious connection. I felt somewhat responsible.

So I paid for the other half, and was she at all grateful? (I emphasize, I was never the one bringing up this subject in the first place! She'd be the one who would be sort of hand-juggling herself, saying out loud reflectively, "I should get these done. You think I should get these done?"). No! Not a bit grateful. Her response was, why are you making this story up? I never got a boob job! We never talked about any boob job. You didn't pay for half of anything, and I don't appreciate being represented as someone who would ever accept money from someone for something that I'm going to do or not do to or for myself. And besides which! We were never engaged to be married! In fact, I never even met you. It's pretty likely I don't even exist. What's your excuse for yourself, what are you trying to accomplish inventing fictitious women to be humiliated in some obscure way by getting the better of you in some convoluted story that doesn't even seem to be trying to be funny?

But see, I couldn't agree with that; I thought she was being pretty unfair. Pretty convoluted. Pretty insulting.

Thought of the Day: Certainty

With certainty comes resistance to clear disproof.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

America: A Meditation On Liberty For Justice

The U.S.A. is the great country ever, and the reason is America. We came and built this land of ours, on top of the land of theirs, and the greatness welling up from those now-widely-regarded-as-atrocious roots plus all the heritage that comes flying at you in gobs from all angles of the globe COMBINES, in a MUTANT-FUNK MIX, with just the right emphasis on those truths we all hold so self-evident, dear! SUCK ON LIBERTY'S PLUMP TEAT, FOOL!

Yeah okay it may be a bit tight and dry, but still plenty plump for a girl her age if you ask me. Maybe you need to buy her a drink! Or smoke a fuckin' peace pipe? Or use your right to demonstrate on the street! "Demonstrate" can mean almost anything, you could yell "hell no we won't go" or you could do a science experiment or something. As long as it proves something.

Some people, rather than demonstrate, prefer to "represent." Liberty is what makes it all good, whichever you choose! And emphasize that fact, to your local law enforcement officer. Oh say have you seen? By the dawn's early light? YOU BET I HAVE! SOMEBODY LEFT THE FUCKING FLAG OUT OVERNIGHT AGAIN, AND THAT BURNS ME THE FUCK UP! They're supposed to either take it down or put a fucking light on it, damn-it.

For traditional reasons, rocket's red glare is an acceptable spotlight substitute, long as it doesn't catch the damn thing on fire. Party foul.

Point is, who the fuck dares to put up their own country up against the BIG OL' U.S. OF US!??!! We just taught the whole world to sing and washed it down with a global Coca-Cola enema. To all the other world's nations, I say to you: "Hey, sailor." You know you want our sweet, sweet money and jobs. Well let's cut a deal - if you provide us with the cheap-rate manufacturing overseas we crave, maybe we can work something out! And laugh all the way to Wall-Mart, but good god-a-money somehow them sneakers still ain't too cheap.

America is a great big red-white-blue mixed up ball-of-wax paradox, people, but I can stand here proudly before you today to say: I DON'T CARE

I LOVE IT

I DON'T CARE

I LOVE IT

I know it seems out of character. Usually I'm so brutal and critical about America's problems. Comin' up short on the RIGHTS, lately, what with all the patriot act BULL SHIT?! Or for example, your dirty backroom dealings. Or: huge corporate profits! Putting the cart before the horse all the way to the glue factory! The homeless. RACIAL SHIT. And other problems, up to and including the patriarchy.

Sometimes, lord knows, I think it's my country 'tis of SUCKS. But my country knows that. My country knows I leave my foot jammed most of the way up its ass on these and other shortcomings just for the sake of convenience most times, but yet still, every now and then I have to cut loose from deep down inside and say: FUCK'S SAKE!! AMERICA! UH!! GOD BLESS MY KISS MAHSELF! AMERICA! WHOSE YO DADDY?!

Remember everyone, this July 4th coming up is your all-purpose excuse to spout jingoisms and nation-first chauvinism on behalf of YOUR country, too. Just don't expect it to stack up to ours, but it doesn't necessarily have to be all about America, even on that day of days! Beat the drum for Yemen, if you feelin' me all my funky Yemenites.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

NOT AN ATHEIST

I am not an atheist. I am an agnostic.

An agnostic is someone who believes it is not possible to know whether God does or does not exist. An atheist is an immoral pervert trying to corrupt our children.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"Define sane" Pt.2: An Afterthought: What About Mental Illness?

~ This post is a Part Two. There was also a Part One. ~

I just realized something that might strike some as odd. In my previous post answering the tired ol' challenge "Define sane!" - I didn't so much as touch on mental illness. I kind of forgot to.

Well, why should I though? Why should I touch on mental illness. I was defining sanity. I realize a lot of people seem to think mental illness is on one end of a scale that has sanity at its other end. Even more people, unable to so much as say what "sane" is or means, define sanity as an absence of insanity. These people are dolts!

Well okay, not "dolts," necessarily, maybe. But they can't be thinking things through! Sanity is a positive strength, a faculty, a virtue - a superpower almost. It's not simply an absence of insanity - sanity is not the absence of impaired sanity. You could with as much sense and justification define light as the absence of darkness - the absence of the absence of light. This is a mystical, circular, ridiculous way of looking at things.

Certainly, mental illness can impair sanity. Can be a cause of insanity. Insanity can be the result of mental illness - though it isn't always. Where the mental illness is serious, or the episode is a bad one, mental illness can create a psychotic break - can upset or disable an individual's ability to do the two things a sane person can do: see reality, and act appropriately (aspects already treated thoroughly in previous post). But most people who have a mental illness, diagnosed or not diagnosed, treated or untreated, are not insane.

They have sanity. Sometimes compromised to a degree, but often as unimpaired as most anyone else. They can see reality, act appropriately.

Mental illness is not the same as insanity. You could not even call it "the" cause of insanity as if there is only one cause. In humans, there is a great deal of insanity - the critical inability to see reality or act appropriately - which is not caused by disease.

Sanity is not simply "the lack of insanity."

Sanity is a smooth and cool and calm and powerful thing.

Being at one with one's world, or at least, having the ability to circle it fairly close in, and join it at will. The power to work within it, to grasp and make contact with the objects and surfaces and concepts others see and grasp and make contact with. Maybe not the exact same grip! Maybe not the exact same hold, but a strong and useful grasp nonetheless. The ability to see and set appropriate goals, so that you can produce effects aimed at...well, whatever it is you're realistically trying to do! Whatever you dedicate your sanity to.

Sanity is more precious than happiness to me. We've seen and been crushed by horrible things; horrible things pop happiness like a bubble. Happiness won't get you through them.

But hold on. Sanity can.

Friday, June 06, 2014

So What's Wrong With You Lately?

I feel like almost everything happens because I didn't do the right thing to stop it. I feel like if I did more to be more or less perfect, the problems of the world would be awesome! But without the secret that everyone else seems to have no problem getting along without, how can I possibly make the same difference they do?

It's like everybody secretly knows, and I don't, and everybody secretly knows that I don't and every day that goes by is another day closer to when they spring it on me, and ask. Probably right in front of everybody! Probably right as I walk into a darkened room, and hit the light switch - and they're all hiding in there, SURPRISE!!? And then what do I tell them? I don't know what to tell them!

All I do every day is try to hide the red rim of panic around my eyes and smile, smile, smile. Because even if they don't know I don't know - at some point somebody's going to just slip up, and ask me by accident. I don't know what's going to happen then!

But I bet I just "pull it off all slick" like I always do. Another reprieve.

Another stay of execution.

If there were a governor or a president I could petition, to nix this never-ending guilty sentence I'm living under, I would fight to publicize my cause like a 1970s social consciousness drama! With me the hero, in bellbottom corduroys, righteously making waves for the justice that "the man" wants to pretend isn't there - but all the grass roots dudes pulling together eventually make inevitable.

But there is no such governor. No such president. No such grass roots dudes. Not for what I've been accused of. I don't even know what it is! My one chance is: maybe neither do they.

So. Plan B, then! Guess I better keep my mouth shut.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

"Define sane."

This happens often enough: someone will quite casually characterize this or that behavior as sane, or as insane, and out wags the other wag's tongue: "Define sane." As if it can't be done.

In a mocking tone! As if this is impossible - to define sane. As if it's a challenge! They toss it clap on the counter like a gauntlet. As if it's alllllllllllll relative, and therefore, you can't define it, buddy!

Asked to define sane, I always say "Sure!" I'm happy to.

There are two components that go strongly into what people call "sane": what you see, and how you act. Obvservation, and response.

Observation: your ability to see reality. And response: your ability to act in ways that benefit your health, life, well-being (and the well-being of those whose good outcomes you've bound up in yours). See reality, act appropriately.

That's it. Simple as that! I'll go on into the two main ways we define sanity, but really the one is only an extension of the other. Both break down into observation, and response.

Sanity, the social definition.

Are you able to see the same reality others see? If your mindset, viewpoint, picture of reality converges quite closely upon the observable reality seen and ratified by those others around you - the general functioning public, those generally accepted-as-sane - congratulations! You have a "leg up" on being accepted as sane. But you're not 100% home-free: next you must also be able to see, understand, internalize the various ranges of accepted response to this shared reality. Observation of shared reality, together with a shared understanding of acceptable responses to it, constitute "sanity" as far as the social definition goes.

Note, we talk about "response," but in the social realm, actually acting in the acceptable way isn't mandatory. Cf. Robin Williams. As long as you can demonstrate you see what others see and you at least know what you're supposed to do - this demonstrates sanity.

The social component is entirely scalable. If there are only twelve of you on a desert island, with no recourse or reference to outside standards, then sane is whatever this small society agrees. If your immediate society is in touch with the wider world and wishes to submit itself to what "the world" considers sane, it will not lack for benchmarks there. However wide the aperture your society sets, to be judged sane, you need to be able to see that same reality, and understand what response is acceptable to it.

None of this makes sanity a squishy or relative concept. The details of what a given society sees as real and sees as sane may differ - and so? Inconsequential. Sanity remains universally the same in all societies: you are able to see society's reality, and you are able understand society's acceptable range of response to it.

Sanity, the survival definition.

More basic, and even easier to break down. As with the social definition, sane observation and response reduce to: see reality, act appropriately. But here, there is no intermediary or judge to consider, to line up with; no ratification required from society and no feedback except the direct feedback from reality that your actions prompt. Alone in a wilderness (as we all are from time to time), you must see the actual reality that impacts, attacks, benefits you. And you must be able to understand what outcomes result from your actions, judge your actions and adapt your behavior to produce better outcomes, reduced risks of damage. This is sanity in action, a direct and appropriate response to one's environment clearly-seen.

Of course in general, for humans, the basic survival definition of sanity involves a great degree of accommodation with a social reality. Or else if not, it involves getting the hell out of that society's sphere! People do that shit all the time. It's totally an acceptable and mainstream thing to do. They even write books about it!

Sanity in its social definition is only as healthy and good for you as that society is.

Quote of the day: Tolerant.

"Of course I'm tolerant to a fault. One doesn't have to be tolerant to virtues."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Tough Topics #33: Cultural Implications and Repercussions of "What If The Trojan Horse Had Been A Pinata Instead?"

I have a very principled staunch stance that I carry through wherever I go or don't go: wherever possible, things should be done for no reason. This makes it very hard for enemies to predict, as they sit preparing for your attack and you surprise them with a guerrilla pinata party! Just make sure YOU BRING THE PINATA. Otherwise, they may just hang you up for the purpose. They are your enemies after all. You can't be too careful.

HEY! THERE SHOULD BE A VERSION OF THE ILIAD WHERE THE GREEKS HIDE INSIDE A BIG PINATA!!! And then those dumb Trojans drag that huge thing in, hang it up - TROJAN 1: "MAN, THIS IS HEAVY!" TROJAN 2: "WHAT KIND OF AWESOME CANDY MUST BE IN HERE?" - the whole city starts partying, drinking spiked Troy Victory War Punch, whacking away at that big ol' pinata until suddenly - *BURST!!* out come the Greeks.

Out comes the slaughter and rape and pillage - not simply womenfolk-rape either, but menfolk-rape and childfolk-rape! A sizeable contingent of the Greek invasion force were Athenians. I can say that because I'm Greek. Well, I'm Greek-Irish, but the Irish stereotypes aren't nearly as transgressive to our modern mores as the Greek ones, where big tough soldiers wouldn't shirk from butt-raping the enemy - not furtively, and away from the censorious eyes of one's commanders like the Knights of England might! No. Raucously, right out in the open! Raucously, I tell you. As a thing to brag on.

Folks, behavior like that is transgressive on too many levels of modern society for a lot of us to even deal with. First - well, the basic ingrained homophobia! Most of our straight-laced society, timidly insistent on the usual pruderies, runs screaming from the idea of two dignified, urbane dudes buttfucking even consensually. Let alone a horde of onrushing, randy half-naked Greeks in helmets! Holy shit, that's an ad campaign, huh Trojans? You want homophobia - there's a sight to phobe home over! Second, these guys were basically, "The Troops" of their day. For their country. Analogous to our "The Troops." Yet that's how they behaved! To us, imagine if our troops were like - praised for behavior like that? And it was just accepted, encouraged? What would Army recruitment ads even look like?

But to them, to those Greeks, the most feared warriors of their day even prior to the post-scuffle cockstuffing-of-butts, this buttrape of conquest was a patriotic act. Also, third: these dudes were - as far as they were concerned - the manliest men around. And would prove it on you. Not just by beating you in a fight, but by then making sweet, sweet (for them more than for you, probably) love to you.

Now, we here in our modern age find that combination a hard contradiction to process. The grim-eyed soldier, the hardened professional warrior as fighter-lover-buggerer-rapist. How does our modern mind grasp this seeming two-in-one-combo?

We can't.

As evidenced by our common slogan: "I'm a lover, not a fighter." A proud myrmidon in the Greek force was like, "Fuck you. I'm both." We just shake our heads: incomprehensible. Fourthly, and most obviously: just the aspect of nonconsensuality involved. That's extraordinarily repugnant to us, as you know. Is rape funny? Fuck NO it isn't. Not to us, you son of a bitch!! And you bet it was even less funny for people who'd just fought to exhaustion, received wounds, had comrades die around them - I assure you there was no humor in it in the eyes and hearts (and, you know) of the defeated and violated enemy. Yet, we're supposed to picture that as part of the makeup and behavior of a hero! It was considered part of heroism, and conquest in general, to pole the other guy's vault. This, to us, is atrocious, abominable - not just transgressive, it's barbaric! That's how we consider it. And "Rightly so!" we say - and so do I! Because it's fucked up. But to the ancient Greeks, it wasn't. They would be like "What? What do you even mean?" And if you persisted in your disgust at their actions, they'd probably be like "There's only one way to settle this. Let's fight over it."

At that point, just walk away. Better just walk away. Backwards.

Man, isn't it weird how that whole sweet cute little idea of a Trojan pinata turned all ugly on us? Sorry guys, but sometimes I have to bring in the nasty aspects of what war was. I can't take a thought halfway to its inevitable conclusion, only to shy away just because I belatedly see where it's going. I'm a bonafide cultural historian, we can't all just avert our eyes from the unpleasant aspects of the past. Otherwise, we shall be doomed to see those same atrocious acts, reenacted in our own day, as part of a titillating HBO series.

Haha! I Just Noticed the Banner Says "This Blog Is Intended As A Real-Time Updated Archive In A Keyword-Searchable Database For The Discriminating News Enthusiast!"

That's awesome.

Sherlock Holmes: An Appreciation!!!!

This one time, the old professor in the crime scene house (the murder occurred downstairs - the prof's assistant) was a smoker; he had some particularly NICE ones which he was ordering and smoking by the bulkload, Holmes recognized, enthused over them as a tobacco aficionado - next thing you know, the guy's bumming cig after cig at Holmes, they're enjoying a nice chain-smoke together as Holmes conducts the whole interview pacing back and forth, puffing away like a spaz and gesticulating wildly, filling the whole fucking room up with smoke as he and the prof have their little talk. Watson was like "What the fuck?", basically.

The whole point of this big act (apart from to put the professor at ease with a show of unforced camaraderie) was so he could pop his back head in the door an hour later and see where the murderer had been hiding! The tracks were plain as day in all the scattered ash. She (the murderer) had been concealed in a cabinet or something. The professor knew it all the time - thought he had put one over on the great detective.

HOLLLLLLLLLLLLMES!!

What a fuckin' weirdo that guy was, you know? A real jerk! Or what about the time he knocked the whole thing of fucking oranges over - and blamed it on Watson! Watson was like "what the fuck?" Still, Watson kept a cool hand, suspecting Holmes had a big fucking foot in the game as usual. Which he did. Which he always did. I can't help but love Sherlock Holmes, and his outré ways! Could it be because he is even as arrogant as myself?

It wasn't always so. Me and my love of Sherlock Holmes, I mean. I had a copy of the big ol' huge A. Conan Doyle collected, "Compleat" as it were - couldn't fucking get any headway through it at all! Why, it might as well have been the fucking Bible at that stage. At that age. I forget how old I was at that point, but I wasn't understanding the charms it had hath. (So to speak.) Anyhow, then years or decades later, I see the Robert Downey Jr. / Jude Law ones - fairly recent films.

Now, I'm the first to admit Downey Jr. looks nothing remotely like Holmes-as-described, OK? But I have to admit, his take on the role made a mark. And then when my eye chanced across that big ol' Conan Doyle doorstop kicking around, I said,"let's have another go, shall we?"

Delightful.

I tore through the whole thing in essentially, one sitting! Punctuated by several standings and a lying down, okay - but I assure you the book was open and continuously in progress more-or-less. Just, one's bodily needs, okay? You got to get yourself a cheese-grilled sandwich, you get yourself a cheese-grilled sandwich. Unlike Holmes, we the readers aren't necessarily compelled to ignore these little necessities, just because Sherlock's all hot on the scent and shit.

And you know what? It was Downey Jr.'s incarnation of Holmes that spirited me through those collected stories of Doyle's. All through that book and since, I just keep on picturing Holmes as Robert Downey Jr. Every time the story mentions or describes what Holmes looks like, I'll say to myself, "that's peculiar," then pass it by. I can't seem to picture Holmes another way, now. I think it's that wide-eyed look he gives us - that look of pretended innocence in some or another matter where we know full well Holmes is up to his tricks! Picturing Sherlock Holmes in his usual classically-depicted unimpressed bird-nosed long-limbed gawky asceticism just wasn't doing it for me. Who wants to hang out with that guy? I don't care how smart he is.

Without changing the peculiar nature of Holmes's character - his acerbity, his impatience with others and disdain for ordinary life, his delight in a challenge and in the exercise of his powers, his pride in advancing the so-called "science of detection" (basically just some bull shit he knocked together himself that nobody else can even do right), his instinct for the dramatic flourish, with all secrets kept for the big reveal - something about Downey Jr.'s take provided the key to the character for me. He made all these things click. With previous Holmeses, a lot of the time I just thought "this guy's a dick, but we need to humor him if we want these crimes solved." Basically you bite the bullet for the greater good. Whereas Downey Jr. makes that same cocktail of characteristics delightful! Delightful. I love to watch him work!

Mind you, I'm not saying a bad word about Rathbone. My mom would kill me. This Cumberbatch guy does a damn good job as well, but something about seeing Holmes running around modern London makes me say "Why not just put him on the Starship fucking Enterprise at that point?" It's not fucking Sherlock Holmes, man. A perfectly valid update/reboot, of course - putting a character in a different setting, hey, it's just done. It's one of those things they're allowed to do - whether I buy it or not. And if you're going to do it, best to do it well. In particular, I must cite the brilliant job they've updating and adapting those methods of observation and deduction. Holmes trains his magician's eye upon all modern details to deliver a classic performance each time, very much in tune with the original. A neat trick.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Artist's Rendering! Sea Levels Rise! Coastal Cities Inundated! GONDOLAS EVERYWHERE!!

This doesn't actually look too bad! How is it that I never even considered the obvious upsides, here? "SUCK IT, VENICE!"



Look how cute our coastal cities will be! I don't know what I was picturing - entire buildings underwater? It's only like the first or second story! Just lift the infrastructure. Sweet.

There's no way this doesn't work out to a huge near-term and long-term boon to the economy and tourism. There will be ample construction projects going - we'll need to have at least some raised bridges and walkways, and with the automobile largely shunted to the side (which is good, right guys?) in coastal metropoleis, public transit will be instant priority number RIGHT NOW. We'll see a boom in traditional options like elevated trains, to be sure - but also, expect some breakthroughs, like subway-to-submarine-way retrofits! How cool will that be. Expect an explosion in personal aquatic transport options as well, many of which are only waiting on mass demand to become widespread and affordable: urban jetskis! Aqua-pedalbikes! And for the bridge & tunnel crowd, the long-dreamt-of (and eminently doable) streetable boat.

What the heck is the deal with people, that they've been ignoring all these obvious upsides? With the pictures, it pretty much stares you in the face what we're going to do. These aren't pipe-dreams, people! Under any credible scenario you care to advance, this is what is going to happen. Except of course, in the event of a real catastrophe. Something on the order of global thermonuclear war - always a possibility. But anything short of that - come on! When the tide comes in, we rise above, turn it into a business and sell tickets. It's hard not to see how well we're going to deal with this. Come on, folks. It's humanity. We don't give a shit.

By the way - hey all you environmentalists? And naturally, I include myself in that. Could we please come off the act that any of this climate concern was for nature's sake? Because it's pretty obvious that it's not, and it never was. Save the earth? Save it for who?

It's just for us. This whole concern is just for us. It's always been. It's blatantly obvious that nothing has ever really been under threat here, except us and our widdle buildings. Meanwhile, the rest of life on earth has weathered global freeze after global melt after global freeze after global melt for ages, and going strong!

Oh sure, I guess if somebody wanted to, they could find tiny little ways to paint it as a "nature's sake" concern. "Species are going extinct!" This is about on the same level of Michael Jackson singing "There are people dyyyinnng..." Yes, Michael, there are. There are and will be. And species are going extinct. Sheesh.

Few things are more annoying than someone who fronts as "informed and concerned about nature," yet - did they miss every year of science class, from elementary all the way through high school? Did their parents excuse them with a note?! Extinction is what evolution is for.

Nope, the stakes here have only ever been a concern for the comfort, convenience, ease and familiarity of homo sapiens. Well on that front, great news! Check a look at these pictures. Not so bad at all! Gondolas everywhere! I can't wait.

Seriously, how cute is that going to be? Okay, except for a lot of dorks and losers who get all boo-hoo about things not being what they used to be. Plenty of humans don't "do" change very well (and honestly, I have to include myself in that, too). But so what? Those people will complain no matter what happens.

Overall, we're going to do fine out of this.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Quote of the Day: Bold.

"Bold words, I know. But bold words call for bold times."

Monday, May 05, 2014

So How Was Your Weekend?

Never play strip poker with a tarot deck. Nobody got naked, and 2 people died.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Quote of the Day: From Observation

"You have to humble your view to approach the truth."

Forgiveable Puns #1

She walked in like a personification of trouble. I similed.

There Is No Time. Part 2

~ this post is a Part 2. There was also a Part 1 ~

So, a popular definition of time is: time is what keeps everything from happening all at once. If time does not exist, what keeps everything from happening all at once?

Well, everything is happening all at once. And not in any philosophical or freakadelic way! In just the plain way we see. Everything is happening continuously, in every direction, at all rates of speed. It's just that everything can't happen everywhere at once. When two things happen towards each other from opposite directions and collide, we say "an event!" When we fret over everything happening at once (and how to keep this from happening) we fret not over matter things, or energy things, but over relation things. We fret over events.

We really needn't fret over that! Yes, an event is - in terms of parts of speech, it's a noun. An event is a "thing," in that sense. But it is not a "thing" in the sense of such material or physical things as matter, energy. Events don't multiply what is. We trail no events behind us in our wake as we move! Events piling up in memory do not add to the accumulation of things-that-are. An event is just an underscore, an emphasis we place. A classification we bring to this or that kind of happening, or this or that specific happening. The event "exists" for exactly so long as the configuration is in place and then the event - is gone. As vanished as the configuration itself. The event is fleeting; it fleets away - it was only a relationship between things in the first place. It was an earthquake. It was a car accident. It was a gunshot to the head. It was a kiss.

Behind it is left: a changed state of things. Actual rubble, actual wreckage, an actual corpse. Love, actually - or at the very least saliva.

In all the things themselves, the energy-matter things - everything is happening all at once. It's not a logistics issue! Fret not. It doesn't take the calendar of days to stop three hundred sixty five suns from rising at once. All that's needed to "stop" that from happening is - the actual things of energy and matter that are happening. Because the earth's motion is regular, because there exists one earth, one sun, because of the actual things and their properties - location, velocity - the events will proceed in order. In sequence. The idea that anything more is needed to "stop" a bajillion suns and earths from suddenly configuring the fuck out of each other is amusingly ludicrous!

There's another popular definition of time that defines time as "that which clocks measure." To be a bit more strictly accurate, clocks are that which clocks measure. A clock measures only itself, not time. The tension and relation of the clock's inner workings is all that's needed, to keep every tick from happening "at once."