Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm So Sick of Moulin Rouge

I liked it when I saw it in the theater, but now I am just sick of Moulin Rouge.

Which is saying something, considering I haven't seen it since. And nobody ever really brings it up.

The Real Danger of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is a big focus of mine. I pay more attention to that than anything. I put a lot of effort and scrutiny into it. I want to be on my guard I guess.

See, I like alcohol. I love it! It's been good to me. I enjoy it. It's a sociable companion at any gathering, and a comforting relaxer at the soft end of a hard day. It isn't that I can't live without it. It's that I'd hate to think of losing it. It's a real nice part of the nice part of life.

And I want to keep it that way. I want to keep alcohol on my buddy list. Because from what I hear, from what they tell you, once you cross that line...once you let it fall out of your control, once you become addicted, once you cross that line into alcoholism, once you become alcoholistic, once you are an alcoholist*, you can never ever go back. You have to cut alcohol out entirely. Can you imagine? Jesus help us! Is it worth it? Is it worth it, to just keep indulging la-di-dah, when that's the price you pay?! I'd go cold turkey every other week for a month to ward that off. And I have done. Hell! You've got to be on your guard. You can't just coast along without paying attention, drinking and drinking. Because if you slip - and you'll never see the line as you glide across it - but if you go too far and become dependent on it, then it turns into your enemy.

And you can never enjoy an innocent beer again.

Is that what you want? I've seen it happen to people! I'm telling you, the second you start to worry you're getting near the danger zone - you HAVE to CUT BACK immediately! And stay cut back, until you feel you're completely out of danger. Don't do it for yourself. Do it for your friend! Your good friend, alcohol. Do you want to have to abandon your friend, all the good times you've had together?

I'm telling you, that's what I do. I'm dead serious. Any and every single time I worry I'm straying into the danger zone, I get scared to DEATH - I cut WAY back, barely touch the stuff for weeks! And then when I finally have another, it'll be: one a day, two a day. Healthy levels. It's okay to cut loose once in a while! As long as in general, you take a look at your consumption and you see that you set: healthy levels.

Shit, three a day's okay for me at my size. That's not the point. Point is, I'm not going to let something wonderful turn into a problem for me. I'm not going to put myself into that position! That's not what I want for me. I love my beers, my whiskys, my wines, my scotches and vodkas and various sundry others. I even love my gins. I don't want them to be forever denied me! I want to be able to have a drink any time I want. I'm having a beer right now.

Here's to ya, friend. You'd tell me if I was getting too clingy, wouldn't ya?

Business Forward: The New Thinking On Stupidity

"Work smarter - not harder!" was the mantra of the new gurus of biz buzz back in the heyday of whenever that was for them. But that was then! Now, forward-thinking business heads are embracing newer ways for their own sake, and finding out that that changes all the rules.

Forget "work smarter - not harder!" By working dumber and faster, you end up creating more work for yourself and ultimately, you end up getting more work done. In today's business-minded workplace, getting more work done is the only name of the game in town.

Take my own example for instance. Several months ago, I hired a real moron for a key position. Now, I'm not going to claim I did it deliberately - but I did end up reaping some very unexpected results, and I learned a surprising lesson. Here's what happened. This person came across very on the ball in the interview, and seemed to be competent enough on the job. But it came out after the fact that all of their work was riddled with teeny tiny little errors that no one could possibly make. After they were fired, I had to go back through all of that and redo it myself - an enormous amount of work! I got more work done in the past two months than I ever have before.

When I looked back on it, and I realized that huge increase in productivity, a bell went on over my head and I began to examine how this new way of thinking could be applied across the board. Soon enough, with a few small adjustments to the way we approach things, my whole office is doing more work than ever before!

That's progress. That's results. This is how it works in today's new workplace. Lateral thinking, coming at an expected problem in an unexpected way, leads to unexpected results that you can then reap for all that they're worth. Today's business leaders know that the only paradigm...is change!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tips For Fantastic Liars

Yes, I know you don't need tips. You're already a great liar. But here's a tip for you, and see if it doesn't come in useful some time down the road:

Nothing looks guiltier than coming out with a big, beautiful, well-crafted excuse for something nobody's even asked you about. Yeah, I know you did a great job on that excuse! You want to show it off. You're on pins and needles waiting for the question that will set it off perfect. It'd hurt something awful to waste it! But you know what? Nobody's asking. And you're going to have to let it go. An excuse no one's asking for can't possibly convince. It will only wake up the very questions it's supposed to be setting to rest.

You're a great liar, fine - the last thing you need to do is prove that to other people. Believe me on this one. The unsolicited excuse is a one-way ticket to Dead-Giveaway City. Don't go there.

Sometimes the best thing you can do with a great lie is to let it lie.

God. Seriously.

I have to say, I can't prove there's a God, but the universe is set up EXACTLY how I would have set it up, had I been God.

I don't mean no suffering. I mean no proof. If one wishes to argue with the theists, then one must at least consider their premise possible for the sake of argument, and address it on those terms. Otherwise one is not arguing; one is reciting one's position and disregarding the other out-of-hand.

So, the premise. If there is a God who created the world to bring forth souls who could chose to love God (or not to love God), and if this God would then take those souls (who choose God) to a perfect and eternal bliss after this life is done, then the question of suffering is put in a very different light. What is my 100 years of agony and torture, set against more than a billion+ centuries of perfect bliss?

It is a fact that the above argument has been used for millennia to reconcile the miserable to their lot. However, that fact doesn't undermine the argument in any way approaching reason. Appeals to injustice aside, the reality (whatever it may be) is a separate concern from the ways people have exploited beliefs about it.

Proof is the main thing. If God wants souls to choose freely, then God would have to leave no hard evidence whatsoever of Godself. If the bolts and seams were showing, if the universe couldn't spin smoothly on its own axles without constant and blatant divine intervention, if people's lives and plights could not unfold in a way that appears natural, that is to say, supernaturally unassisted - well, let's just say that would present a coercive element.

Anyway, like I'm saying, I don't believe it's possible to prove God's existence. But then, it would be in God's worst interest to allow such a thing.

Sh! Miscellaneous Confessions

It's not hard for me to admit I'm not perfect. But it is damn hard coming up with any real good examples.

Still. I'll try:

I tend to push further than I would actually go.

I'm not sure what love is, and I don't mind not knowing.

It feels good to tell the truth, but I worry that's the only reason I do it.

I love people purely on the basis of looks. Not theirs - mine! Best if you don't ask how that works. It's a little complicated.

Okay, I made that last one up. Sorry. I love people for reasons pretty much unknown to me. Except that I'm always very convinced they are richly deserving of it.

I get more joy out of life than other people more deserving than I. I don't feel guilty about that, though.

My conscience used to push me around. Now I push it around. I'm still kind of a wuss though.

In my dreams I often have superpowers. Nobody is ever impressed by them.

When I get a moment of rage, I sometimes purge it via a nearly instantaneous yet ludicrously elaborate revenge fantasy directed at that person. And then I'm fine! Happy as a plum.

Don't ask me what I think. I'm biased.

I can't shake the feeling that I'm wrong about something.

These are starting to remind me of MMPI questions. You folks ever seen the MMPI? That test is great! Comedy gold!! It's one of my absolute favorite weird things in the world.

Ok. I seem to have gone off track.

I don't mind if I have.

The Word of the Day: insouciance

There are a number of words that I love so much, I am always looking them up in the dictionary. "Insouciance" is one such word.

The word of the day is: "insouciance."

I can never remember what it means, though. I mean, I can't remember exactly what it means! I can use it in a sentence just fine, rest assured.

Mostly I'm looking it up for the spelling and pronunciation.

Interesting Quote

"I don't have an intelligence quotient. I never found anything it made sense to divide by."

"It's On Random...!"

The problem is not that the world is unfair. We could live with that. It is our belief that the world should be fair that kills us.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another Blatant Falsehood on Wikipedia

At the top of the page I was looking at. It said:
Your continued donations keep Wikipedia running!
Now that's a damn lie. I never gave them a dime!

Most of My Posts In Here are Too Long!

Best advice I can give you: ignore 'em. Those long ones? Pass right by 'em.

They're just too long!

You can see the last few I've been trying to shorten it up a bit. Don't know how long I can keep that up.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hark the Herald

I can say with utmost confidence and nary a fear of contradiction that I am without a doubt one of the least-heralded songwriters of my or indeed, any generation. No one fucking heralds me. I won't say that I'm entirely unheralded. That can't be completely accurate - I do quite a little sideline in self-heraldry. But that doesn't count for much, you know? So I stand by my original assessment.

One of the.

This or any.

Without a doubt.

Hey. That's "not bad." I'll take it.

Debussy to a Disco Beat

Hey. Isn't it about time for a new Pet Shop Boys album?

Always.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Hate Rumors

Rumors are evil. Rumors torment my mind.

I heard a rumor AC/DC's new album would be available in AUGUST. Which, prior to that people had said October! So WOW! GREAT NEWS!! And then I heard a rumor that it might be followed by a farewell tour.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

Aw, come on. How can it be farewell already? What's Angus now? Fifty-THREE? He can keep duck walking at least as lung as Chuck Berry does right?! I mean, Chuck's eighty one at this point. I don't know, maybe he doesn't duck walk quite so much as he used to but he's still performing I think.

C'mon lads! Tough it out! We NEED you! There's people who haven't SEEN you yet!! THEY HAVE NO IDEA!!!!

Don't leave us all alone with the suck of major label radio brand X soundalike wannabe popstar no-soul no-balls nothing going on but the blah bull shit. The world needs at least one band unafraid to stand there unafraid, and dish out the uncompromisingly stripped-down, bare-bones, bare-ass, bare-minimum purity and blues, that minor pentatonic excellence that we've all come to love and expect in our AC/DC albums and concerts!

I'm not ready to do without that! Don't tell me farewell! I WILL NOT FARE WELL!!

OK! OK! If it's just a farewell tour...that doesn't need to mean farewell! It can just be a farewell tour. So you don't have to tour. You don't need to break up just because you're not touring. Maybe you could just sit around churning out new albums all the time? You don't have to tour! I just want more music.

I just want more.

AC/DC is the greatest rock that ever was.

I hate rumors.

Now I'm so sad I want to go listen to the Cure or something.

New Jersey Reminiscences

Ah! New Jersey. Land of my birth. And not just birth - land where I grew up. Had my coming-of-age. My Bildungusroman if you will. That's a German word, it means grow up, come-of-age and then tell a story about it.

Americans don't make such a big deal over the coming-of-age part. That's more of a European thing. Here, we're more like: "just GROW UP!" We're not really too sure what the "coming-of-age" even means, to be honest. Some of us even suspect it might mean something dirty. And while I personally don't believe that - I'm a pretty cosmopolitan guy - but I have to admit, it could easily be true. Those Europeans, they're constantly cloaking their dirty sexy talk under the cover of their filthy languages. I mean, come on. Tell me that bildungusroman doesn't sound pretty suspect!

At this point you might suspect that all that junk is a smokescreen to avoid talking about New Jersey. But you'd be wrong on that! I'm just strutting my erudition like the cock-of-the-walk that I am!

That's a bonafide New Jersey trait in case you didn't know.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Poll Update: WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT?

Well it's a tight and exiting race so far, but after a sudden 2-vote surge "Good Sense Of Humor" has taken a slim 1-vote lead over both "The Invention of the English Longbow" and "Magnesium" (itself a slow starter), both sitting prettily at 3 votes.

2-vote powerhouses include "Nice Ass" and "Rock & Roll," while respectable showings abound for such 1-vote entrants as "Well Hung," and "Big Tits" (finally on the board as of just this past week or so I believe).

No love for "Nice Personality," "Afghanistan," "The War On Drugs," "A Reliable Breadwinner," "The Battle Of New Orleans," "The Mahabharata," and not surprisingly, "Hitler." It's a bit surprising to see "Shared Interests" drawing a blank, but perhaps even as important as it is, in such lofty company it may be seen to lack a little in the excitement department.

Get your votes in now! Only 319 voting days remain. Results will be final and binding.

Advice on Bad Habits

If you're thinking of giving up on a bad habit, here's a tip: try giving up two at once! For example, if you're finally going to give up biting your fingernails, why not give up picking your nose at the same time?

It makes a good deal of practical sense if you think about it.

Considering Your Ass Kicked

We here at Consider Your Ass Kicked have been wondering: was the rather off-hand choice of a title for this blog an unfortunate choice? It's aggressive, yes, and that's what was wanted. But it may also come over a bit smug. A bit, dare we say, arrogant. And while arrogance is fine - we love it, we are it, we love the sound of it! What a great word to describe us - but smug isn't so good. Smug isn't what was wanted. Smug smacks of complacent, which we're most decidedly not.

So two points here: the original selection of the title "Consider Your Ass Kicked!" was never meant as a threat of implied violence, nor as a peremptory claim of superiority over any ass that may conceivably happen along, nor as an implied threat of violence. No, the emphasis always rested roundly upon the word, "Consider." Consider...your ass kicked. Contemplate that. Reflect upon its inevitability. Even if not by we here at Consider Your Ass Kicked!, it is inevitable that one will get one's ass kicked, from time to time. Ponder that sobering fact.

See? Not smug at all. Kind of a downer, really. We're all in that same boat. But sometimes you get your ass kicked in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. Which balances it a bit - or at least, dilutes its usefulness as a meaningful phrase.

Which brings us to point two, or more accurately, which exhausts point one, freeing us to move on to point two: I'm kind of considering a name change. On the blog. To something with a little less of the ring of an imposing pose. Those who chose to adopt an imposing pose sowed foes where friends could otherwise have been reaped, and that ain't me - or least, it's not how I see me. I don't want to be stuck with one ill-considered decision for the rest of my however long I bother with this.

But then...other days, seems like a perfect title to me! So.

Just musing around with it, I guess. Any suggestions will be gratefully...dealt with.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bad News, People: Motorcycles Can't Possibly Work

Look: this is something that's really going to shake a lot of people up, and change the face of our nation's highways and byways and a lot of people's lifestyles, but there's a serious danger here and I can't shut up about it: there's just no way that motorcycles can possibly work. It's not physically possible. Look, I'll lay it out for you.

First, what's holding them up? How is it possible for a motorcycle to not just topple over? Yeah, I know that when they're at the traffic light the motorcyclist is holding it steady with his feet (or her feet of course - but it would be really hard for her to reach, from up on that little passenger seat back there. Did you know the French call that little seat a pillion? I love that! We call it a "bitch seat," which is frankly just plain déclassé). But then as soon as the light turns green, the feet go up so what's holding it up then? It wouldn't even be possible for him to use his feet once the bike's in motion - real life is not Fred Flintstone! And don't anybody tell me that the speed of the bike is what's holding it up. That's just silly, if that were the case it would just make the bike crash faster.

Okay, secondly, some might posit some force or something that is holding the bike up. People, this isn't Star Wars OK? Let's keep it within the realm of science.

Another popular claim is that it's the wind rushing by on both sides of the biker - that's what holds him up. It provides lift, just like the wind rushing by under the wing of an airplane. Well there's two problems with that: #1, that only works if you're laid out horizontal, right? Like the airplane's wing, right, smart guy? Because if you think about it, the lift involved only pushes in one direction - up! Not two. Otherwise the plane would CRASH. And problem #2, think about the terrific amounts of lift being generated there - enough to hoist an airplane! If that kind of power was being brought to bear on a motorcycle, that amount of lift - it wouldn't keep the motorcylist STEADY! - it would yank him and his bike right off the road and PITCH THEM INTO THE SEA! Come on! We're talking tens of thousands of foot-pounds of lift per square inch. This isn't "Mythbusters" okay? Again I remind you, we have to deal with science here. Science! Science is what we have to deal with. That's all we have really, to go on. Science. Let's stick with that, please. Keep it on-point. Science.

Now, at this point, some of you at some point might be saying to yourself: hey...this guy's right. But if there's no way motorcycles can work without falling over, why don't they fall over?

Well first, good job realizing I'm right. Not a lot of people can make that claim, it shows a real mental distinction on your part. And second, VERY GOOD QUESTION. And the answer is where the implications get scary.

Here's where it gets insidious.

Basically there is a certain factor or element in science or medicine that they call either "the power of prayer" or "placebo power." It's when somebody doesn't know any better, but because they think something is going to work, it works. It's a pretty awesome demonstration on the power of the human mind on one hand, but on the other hand, when the truth comes out - as it ALWAYS DOES - that person dies. So for this very good reason, doctors are very down on the power of prayer.

But the truth is bound to come out in this instance, too. Because it is that same ignorance of physical law, that same rank placeboism, that's what's holding up all these bikes. These motorcyclists don't know any better, and they expect it's going to work, and so it does. But they're in for a crash! Because the truth is going to come out! Therefore I have to be the bird of warning on this one, I have to make people aware of the danger they're in - bikes toppling over all around them, crashing at high speed - it's like some apocalypse movie...! I mean think about it: some big bad biker dude, probably an atheist - when this guy realizes that faith is the only thing holding his bike up, what's going to happen? Of course he'll crash. It's inevitable.

And bees can't fly either. It's aerodynamically ridiculous to claim otherwise.

Violent Thought of the Day

When beaten to the punch, just make sure you beat them to the bite and the kick.

How Far Should One Trust One's Search Engine?

I'm almost certain that at Google, every time I enter in a prospective great band name to make sure no one else is already using it, the second I put it into the browser and click...and click whatever the graphic representation of a button says..."Search," probably?

Yeah, probably.

Anyway, the second I click that, my previously unused and eminently usable great band name is added to their secret list of my great band names! To be doled out clandestinely, to the unimaginative and nameless, name-hungry bands who lack the scruples to suck it up and come up with their own great band name, but who have get-up-and-gumption enough to get out there with it before I can beat them to the punch.

Fuckers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Choice Self-Quote Vehemently Delivered in the Heat of Debate

"Surely any stigmatized minority is entitled to the full use of its own pejoratives!"

Second-Guessing the Greats #2: L.A. Confidential

You know, though, would anybody really open a 24-hour diner/coffee joint and call it "The Nite Owl"? Sure, I'm sure you're doing a nice chunk of business in the wee hours, but do you really want a name like that for an establishment that (you'd think) would still be getting the lion's share of its custom from the morning breakfast crowd and the workaday lunch rush? Don't tell me they're only open at night! Nobody slings hash exclusively in the evenings.

What an odd name for a coffee shop.

"As it happens, he was a Nite Owl regular - in the wrong place at the wrong time."

"NUFF A DAT!"

What Every Superhero Needs Pt. 2

Oh yeah. I forgot something. Something else, less related to powers, but still something very important. You do need a costume.

Yes. You heard me. Yes, you do. You need a costume. I mean you need a Super Hero Suit. I don't care how powerful you are, or how stupid you think you look in it. In fact - the more powerful you are, the more important it is to wear a super-suit, and the more stupid it should look. The more powerful you are, the more outlandish you need to appear in your public appearances. It's important. This is not about looking cool.

It's about reassuring the public.

Superman knew what he was doing. Why do you think he picked that outfit? Because to his warped Kryptonian fashion sense, it looked cool? Because his mommy sewed it. Awwwwwwww!

No. That's all revisionist B.S.

Superman is no moron, and he's not nearly as naive as he deliberately comes off. That outfit was chosen by a very smart man, one with a keen understanding of human psychology. He knew that the idea of an invincible man-god suddenly swooping in among us, moving at will at speeds too fast to see, darkening the skies effortlessly lifting massive objects, pulverizing blocks of metal and stone, looking right through us with an all-penetrating gaze...people would lose their shit at the sight of that. They would lose their minds. They would panic. And if it got to the point where any Joe Normal on the street who you brush past could be - unbeknownstedly - an insanely powerful dynamo with world-ripping strength...believe me. Regular, fragile humanity would never be able to function in the face of that reality. They'd never feel safe again. We're talking irreversible psychic trauma on a global scale. Unless...

That CRAZY SUIT! Man, why's he wearing that crazy suit. And "WOOOO! Look at all the cool shi* he can DO with it!" SAY, JIM. THAT'S ONE BAD OUT-FIT!

The suit is a distraction. The suit allows people to feel safe. They don't feel threatened. How can they feel threatened? Look at what you're wearing. And once the tradition of the super-suit had been established, it even became fine and dandy for highly-powered heroes to try to design their suits with a more hard, grim, "bad-ass" look to them - because ultimately, everyone knows you are wearing a super suit. And ultimately, that's still ridiculous.

The ridiculousness is calming, to the general non-powered public. It allows them to compartmentalize-off the unwordly terror that human-seeming people with superhuman powers ought to inspire. It gives them a safe box to put it all in. The suit itself - that's the safe box. If somebody jumps out wearing one of those things, doing the unthinkable - Oh! That's okay, that's just another of those superheroes. That's just what they do, it's okay. Later, the public looks around - nobody's wearing a set of circus-issue jackass pajamas? Ok. Whew. Exhale. We can feel safe not thinking about it for a while. For the time being.

The public needs that division. They need it desperately. The public can't deal with the idea that just ANYBODY, walking around in STREET CLOTHES, is going to maybe pick up a car and throw it. The public cannot handle that. It breaks the understanding.

If you're going to do the derring-do, you got to wear the duds, dude. It's the rules.

Fruit Salad Recipe Tips

Kiwi and Pineapple don't get along. In fact, they hate each other. These two fruits, these proud ambassadors of quasi-Polynesian rivals - I say "quasi-Polynesian" because I'm not really too sure whether New Zealand and Hawaii are technically part of Polynesia - and in any case, it's less a case of the respective fruits originating in Hawaii or Aoteoroa, and more that they've just become emblematic of those zones - but Polynesian or not, both are undeniably island nations (except for Hawaii, which is of course a State) with a strong Pacific Islander cultural presence and identity, justifying the use of the label.

What the fuck is Polynesia anyway? Is it part of Micronesia? Or is Micronesia the smaller part of Polynesia? Is there some greater Macronesia that encompasses them both? And if so, during the war, which side was it on?

I bet those damn Macronesians threw in with the Axis. Maybe not willingly - maybe some of them were more or less forced - but I bet they kow towed with some degree of enthusiasm nonetheless. Damn I hate kow towers.

I bet in the capital of Macronesia, there is a gigantic, megalithic complex of interlocked, interwinding, skyscraping towers with bridges spanning the gaps between them, and that structure is called the Kow Towers. And if so...they fucking well deserve it.

What Every Superhero Needs

I've been thinking about what the minimum requirements would be to be an effective superhero. I think it boils down to three things: Detection, Protection, and Extraction.

Detection. Think about your own life. How often do you run across evil? Sometimes, I bet. But probably not often enough to do much about the overall problem, assuming you were trying to. That's why it doesn't matter how powerful a superhero is, unless he or she also has some way to know where to go and when to be there, to save the day from crime in the nick of time! Batman has his Bat-Signal for when the police have a job for him, plus his fearsome detective skills for the rest of the time, when he's chasing down crime on his own schedule. Spidey has his spider-sense and a high vantage point (plus...he lives in New York. Which, for a crimefighter, really ought to be considered cheating somehow. You get crime on a silver platter! Served up any time you happen to be in the mood!). Supes has super-hearing, telescopic vision, the whole sensory package. You need some way to KNOW - when the wrong things need setting right. Or you could just wander around and get lucky, I guess. That works out for the Hulk sometimes. He's always blundering into bad guys when all he wanted to do was smash through some brick wall that was bothering him. "Hulk! How did you cunningly track us to our secret warehouse hideout?" "Evil gang mock Hulk's blundering with sarcasm! HULK SMASH!!"
Note: if you can get around fast enough - we're talking, the Flash - you can probably just keep the news station on or a police scanner, and that will work out okay.

Protection. You need something that will keep you from getting killed all the time. Some sort of protection, preferably super powers. Invulnerability, or at least, superhuman toughness. Instantaneous healing factor (preferably coupled with adamantium-laced bones, otherwise somebody could break your leg and it would heal all crooked before you could set it properly - ugh!). Invincible armor. Super-speed - we're talking bullet-dodging speed obviously, with the reaction time to go with it. Super-agility - although, super-agility alone won't dodge bullets if you don't have something else to guide it (the aforementioned spider-sense works well). Don't kid yourself: savoir faire alone is probably not going to cut it. Yeah, yeah, we all know, "Batman!!"! But Batman is capable of hanging upside down suspended from a fifty foot length of cable as he whispers grimly into somebody's ear, and in the half-second it takes for them to whip around all shocked and surprised he's *POOF* gone! I don't care what he claims. Batman has powers.

Extraction. See Batman as the prime example of this. He may be a teleport, I'm not sure. But he can get the hell out of there in a blink, just as long as nobody's looking at him right then. Nobody ever captures him mid-scramble! You never see someone whip around just in time to catch a half-second of Batman tear-assing out of there. No, he's gone already, always. Here a second ago, gone now. But you don't need to do it that way - that's just a stylistic quirk on his part. As long as you have some means of leaving the scene after a successful crime-stoppage, some method of making a fittingly graceful exit, some way of going where the adulating crowd can't undulate after you. Wall-crawling's nice. Flying is of course the gold standard. So dignified! Turn and wave, smiling as you drift away accelerating. Nothing beats flying! Some kind of super-vehicle is always good, but if you're one of those heroes always quasi-semi on the outs with the law, the recurring "endless cop chase" routine can be a pain. You really don't want to get into the habit of leaving the scene in a manner that suggests you are the bad guy. This is also why you can't just take off running (again, unless you're Flash-fast). It looks like you stole somebody's purse.

So, yeah. That about covers the essentials. There are all sorts of other powers and abilities you could have that will come in useful and/or make you stand out in a crowd of capes. But you need to be set in those three key areas, or else your effectiveness will be cripplingly hindered. No Detection - you're never going to be where you're needed in time to do jack about it. No Protection - you're going to get whupped-upon when you try to do jack about it. No Extraction - just as important as the first two! Unless you're so powerful that you can waltz through any obstacle or adversary, you could find yourself arrested, or captured for permanent study by ubertech government spook scientists. Even if you are that powerful, do you really want to be hounded all the way home by paparazzi and autograph-seekers? Where's your dignity?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I'm Sorry If I Was Yelling A Little Earlier

I'm sorry if I was yelling a little earlier. I'm sorry if I was a bit abrasive, or strident. I'm sorry if I was a little high-handed, a little insulting with some of the points I had to make. I'm just feeling a little insecure lately, is all.

That excuses me automatically.

AC/DC's New Album: Still Untitled, Due Out In October

Mind you, I'm not sure how I feel about the whole Wal-Mart thing. Ultimately, I probably don't care in the slightest, but there's some part of me that suspects that on some abstract level, I might have a problem with it. Not really a moral problem. More like a dissonance between their image and the business move.

But hell. They've never really been about image!

Still, what's the deal with the title? Why can't they come up with a title, they've finished recording right? Surely they know the song titles. Pick the choiciest one. Not the best song, necessarily, but the song that #1, is definitely making the cut, and #2, is titled with a title that's most suitably punchy and go-grabbing, as befits an AC/DC album.

As album titles go, they usually get it pretty alright. I like Flick Of The Switch best, probably. Considered purely in terms of the title fitting the band's general character and vibe. Oh, okay. I can't help the fact that the awesomeness of the song in question bleeds into the equation just a bit. ...with a FLICKATHESWIIITCH!! SHE BLOW YA SKY HIGH, WITH A FLEEEKATHASWEEEETCH SHE CAN, SATISFY!!!

I've got weird tastes in music for a feminist, sometimes it seems to me. But you know what? I think that as a feminist, you can't be too into prudery without cutting yourself off from the feminine, the totality of the feminine, in all of its comprehensive aspects. You really do want to be able to connect to that. You want to embrace the full power of feminine sexuality.

Which, that's always a priority for this feminist!

Special Guest Shot #5: My First Super Hero!

dogimo: Welcome to another Special Guest Shot. Super heroes are blowing up all over these days, and I couldn't be more excited to introduce you to this guy, the first Super Hero I've yet had the pleasure to meet in person. This imposingly muscular and colorfully-garbed masked avenger goes by the nom de guerre 'Vambrace'!

Vambrace: Hello, citizens!

dogimo: Hello, Vambrace. What are your powers?

Vambrace: I get that question a lot. I have no powers, actually. I'm more in the "noble vigilante" hero tradition, the whole "pinnacle of human ability" shtick. I may not be able to fly or generate zap rays, but I inspire respect and admiration with my shining moral code as I defeat evil by dint of valor, determination, fighting prowess, and main strength.

dogimo: Not super strength?

Vambrace: No, just main strength. Mainly.

dogimo: Good one! So, just how tough are you? Could you take Batman? In a fight?

Vambrace: Okay, see - I understand and respect that within the geek community, Batman is now supposed to have become some invincible sociopath for justice, who can beat anybody no matter what they have going for them, but let me tell you...the Batman I grew up on was played by Adam West.

dogimo: Gotcha.

Vambrace: That's the real Batman. And I can definitely beat him.

dogimo: Well, he's like, eighty.

Vambrace: I mean, at his height.

dogimo: I can see it. I can definitely see it, when you put it in those terms. So you mention the geek community - what's your relationship to the geek community? Got an fans? Got any...?

Vambrace: Groupies...? Haha, no, no. It's funny, you'd think the geeks would love the real heroes, but they really only seem to go in for the fictional superheroes. By and large, they steer shy of the real deal crusaders like me. But I'm not criticizing - reality can be harsh, it's a tough world out there on the streets. I don't fault them for their avoidance tactics.

dogimo: See, that's what I like: a sense of fairness. So what's with the costume? Tell us about that.

Vambrace: Well, as you can see... [ holds up arms ]

dogimo: Yes, vambraces. And over the rest of your costume as well, your chest has this sort of...vambrace...

Vambrace: ...vambrace-like emblem...

dogimo: ...vambrace-like device that's...

Vambrace: "Device" is precisely the word, although my chest plate has no moving parts and isn't a gizmo like you'd think of when you hear "device," it is in fact a device almost in the sense of a heraldric [sic] device. It represents me, and is a symbol of my vambraces.

dogimo: Which in turn...what is the deal with the vambraces, what do they symbolize?

Vambrace: Oh, they symbolize strength, protection, my vambraces symbolize my preparedness for the struggle and the way I stand between harm's way and...

dogimo: ...and the tender unprotected forearm of society?

Vambrace: A bit flip, but I'll take it.

dogimo: So you've got the true vambraces, on your arms, you've got the vambrace-device chest plate, a couple vambraces on your feet to cover the instep, two for your shins...

Vambrace: "Schynbalds," technically, but for our purposes...

dogimo: I thought it was "greaves"?

Vambrace: Those would cover front and back.

dogimo: Ah! So why not just get yourself a great big vambrace that you could hold and use as a shield?

Vambrace: That would be taking it too far, I think. Plus, those things aren't nearly as useful as they appear to be in the comics. In a comic book, you can go through a 3-panel training montage at the bottom of a page - supposedly representing a few months' intensive drilling - and by the next page you're capable of caroming a shield off three walls, disarming and/or concussing four men in the process and "fap!" back snug into your gloved hand on the final bounce. In reality, it wouldn't take months. It wouldn't take - it would take you permanent daily practice for the rest of your life and you still couldn't do that! The physics -

dogimo: Yeah.

Vambrace: Besides, at that point it's more of an offensive tool. My motif is more defense.

dogimo: Protect the helpless.

Vambrace: Precisely.

dogimo: So how do you go about that? How do you manage to be there when danger strikes, to thwart the foe and save the day? Do you have a signal system, a network of informants? A blinking red phone?

Vambrace: Well...actually that part has been a bit of a challenge. Crime in this community is...we have crime here, of course! Crime is everywhere. There is always crime. But this is not a community with a lot of "high concept" crime, or even high-profile crime. Not a lot of masked thugs, or even bank robbers...

dogimo: Would you defeat bank robbers, though? I mean, they'd have guns probably, and hostages?

Vambrace: True, no, not with bank robbers. I have to let the police do their job, there. Bank robbers, you can't...I can't just barge in recklessly, trying to be a hero. Possibly risk getting innocents killed. That's irresponsible.

dogimo: Of course, if asked to lend your assistance...?

Vambrace: Of course! Certainly, I would coordinate with police efforts and help in any that way I can.

dogimo: So what do you do, then, what's your usual mode of operation when fighting evil day-to-day?

Vambrace: Well, most importantly, I stand for something. I see myself as a shining beacon of right and justice. I like to think that the citizens of this community can look up to that, and feel safer, knowing that I'm there looking out for the cause of good.

dogimo: I feel safer just hearing you say that.

Vambrace: Thanks!

~ End of Part 1 ~

I Just Spanked the Back of My Knee

I just spanked the back of my knee - the crook of my knee? The part of the leg behind the knee, on the joint facing that bends acutely rather than obtusely.

It was itching. And it's kind of hot, it's actually hot as heck today, so it's maybe a little sweaty back there too, you know, how it can get. And I felt like I didn't want to scratch it. Didn't want to risk the possibility of raising a rash. I'm wearing shorts, it'd look dumb with a big red rash back there. It'd be like, got any calamine?

Anyhow so I just started slapping at it, smacking the whole area pretty hard with a firm hand. And it was great. Felt great! Really did the trick. Hit the spot. "Literally," as they say.

And the aftermath, it didn't feel like it does after you scratch it, where the skin feels all good but also possibly all bothered like it's going to break out on you. The skin likes the scratch, you see, but sometimes instead of being satisfied with the scratch it tries to get more scratch by generating more itch. This is the neurophysiological explanation of a rash, and I wasn't about to play into that cycle. So instead of a scratch - I smacked the hell out of that whole area, repeatedly.

My skin was stunned. The itch was satisfied, yes, but the skin itself just...stunned. Like "WTF? What was that supposed to be? Do we want that to happen again?"

My skin never knows what the hell's going on. Still. I'm partial to it.

Why Does God Favor Us?

It's the big question, isn't it? The real leap of faith. Belief in God, by comparison, is a snap. Even our Founding Fathers - Enlightenment Rationalist Free-Thinkers though they were - had little difficulty accepting that there was a supreme Creator. What a lot of them had trouble believing in, though, was the idea that this all-powerful superbeing could possibly have the slightest reason to trouble Itself on our behalf - or even notice us, in particular. Would we not have to be colossal egotists to believe such a thing? Why, out of all the vast and immeasurable glories and wonders of the cosmos, would an infinitely powerful, infinitely sublime supreme being take such an interest in such mere specks such as we? And such as.

Well, it's a good question. I certainly can't prove anything either way, can I? A person can't even prove the mere existence of God - no evidence exists. Forget about finding evidence for what might be on God's mind - forget finding proof of God's attitude towards us. But if you care to indulge me, I can tell you what I believe, and why it makes sense to me.

It doesn't make much difference to the equation, but my personal hunch is that humanity is alone in the universe. In terms of races of intelligent beings. But like I said: even if we're not alone, it wouldn't make a difference. If there were several such races, if there were many such races, dotted across the span of galaxies here and there happily practicing their sentience, it doesn't threaten a thing. Because in every case where (for lack of a more loaded word) "Man" has come into being, in each case where God has created a race of beings in God's image - that is to say, sentient, self-knowing, feeling, possessed of mind and soul and will, of "personality" if you will - the purpose is the same. Whether there is one such race or many, God's purpose is the same.

This world is the forge of souls. This world: and by "world" I mean everything; everything in the sky and beyond our vision, everything out past the farthest feathered edges of our own galaxy and infinitely extending in all directions! My worldview is universal, thank you very much; my world encompasses the universe quiet nicely. And this world has one purpose: it is the forge of souls. God created the world as a place in which selves - consciousnesses - could come into being, could achieve self-knowledge. Could ultimately come to know God, whether to accept or reject, freely.

The physical universe is the backdrop upon which that can happen. Certainly, it is a place of wonders! Impossible for us to wrap our minds around. A very grand thing indeed. Very difficult for us to believe that God could find you and me, lowly worms that we are, more interesting than all that light that spins in the heavens. That's because at bottom - we aren't such colossal egotists, are we? No. Well, maybe sometimes I am. But leave that aside. For most of us, it's a terrific strain on the imagination to believe that God would care about us. We know ourselves too painfully well. Often we do not love ourselves, and how could God - so much more good than we! - how could God love us? Why would God love us? Once we presume God's slightest interest in us, we must realize God would be much more knowing of all our worst and our tiniest flaws than even we could be. How could God look favorably on that? GROSS.

Yet I believe that God does take an interest in us. I believe that the mysteries of the universe are prosaic to God, whose infinite mind probes them down to their finest subatomic scale in an instant, and discards them as mere physical phenomena. I believe that we are the reason that the universe is here. It is here because we need it; we need a place to be born and a place to form. God wanted us. God created us to love, and God wanted us to have a chance to form our selves through our free choices. God hoped we would accept God's grace into our hearts and souls. God wished for us to understand and appreciate the nature of creation, and then, at the end of our lives, God looks for us to come back to God in love. To remain with God forever; each precious person, each self, each immortal soul. We are what God hopes to get out of creation.

Now, God isn't going to force anyone to choose God. Our universe, our world is one we can come to understand on its own terms. One in which we can feel at home. One that actually makes perfect and absolute sense, with no need for recourse to the supernatural. Only in such a world can God truly be freely chosen. Only where there is room for doubt, can faith be a leap.

And then of course, once you do believe in and love God, your heart opens to grace are you begin to perceive all sorts of signs and wonders. You become a sucker, essentially. A sucker for God! And finally, to a Christian, Christ is the crowning proof of God's interest in us.

But that last part's a little too easy to bother pointing out.

Buffer Post

The transition from the previous series of borderline-idolatrous posts from yesterday to today's rather speculative bit of theologizin' is a little jarring. I thought I'd put something innocuous between the two. Not a link or a segue, so much as maybe like how you'd plant a tree in between two things that are not very tree-like, but seem to need a tree in there, in-between them, to break things up a bit.

That was a poorly-formed analogy. I could have done better. I'm not saying this is better, but maybe just for example: maybe you'd plant a tree between a carnival funhouse and a...shoot, I don't know.

I'm scraping empty here.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tina Fey Is Hot Pt. 4: Tina Fey Is Married

It has come to my miserable attention that Tina Fey is married. It was not, is not, and never will be my intention to make lascivious and/or worshipful overtures to a happily* married woman. I am no kind of gentleman of that sort. Accordingly, I serve notice that the recent, decidedly Fey orientation of this blog will be discontinued with immediate effect. I also hereby immediately tender all due apologies to Mr. Fey with all manner of respect and sincerity, and no small measure of envy - but I hasten to add: ABSOLUTELY NO COVETOUSNESS.

If Mrs. Fey has been in any way offended, I am grievously sorry and I apologize - such was never my intent. Please look on me as one whose opinion is worthless, and therefore, not fit to receive the dignity of your pique or dudgeon.

My sincere best wishes to you both for a happy future.

Tina Fey Is Hot Pt. 3

I'm seriously considering changing the whole focus of this blog to make it like a, Tina Fey fan blog. You know! With pictures of her. Looking luminous.

But then I start to wonder about copyright issues. I mean, somebody owns those photos, right? I'm not a paparazzi, but I'm guessing the usual rules apply. But I'm also no copyright attorney, so I'm thinking there might be some flexibility in the rules. Ignorance of the law is an excuse, isn't it?

I mean, supposing I collage four or more of these images together into a montage (or indeed, a collage), isn't that enough of a personal artistic contribution and/or satiric comment upon the original material to assuage the very valid, very legitimate copyright issues? Sure. It must be.

I'm willing to give it a shot anyway. I can't not! Therefore, I hereby present my ardent fan collage in fawning tribute to Tina Fey, to be considered for legal purposes solely as all of the following things: 1) a First Amendment Protected commentary/critique on the original photos by means of context and juxtaposition, 2) a means to satire on the framework and restrictions of copyright law itself, 3) a criticism of the sexualization of even our most brainy and gifted high-class chicks, 4) a celebration of said sexualization, insofar as it may merely be recognizing the intense sexuality already possessed by said babes, and 5) a meditation on the nature and purpose of celebrity image-making in a world that prizes blah blah blah over yi yi yi.

I think I'm covered. OK, no further ado then:
luminous...she's luminous
Note the context and juxtaposition. Good stuff, there. Art for art's sake.

Or Art's. Oh yeah. I'd say Tina gets the capital "A".

Tina Fey Is Hot Pt. 2

I'm sorry, but she's just great. I don't know how she does what she does. I don't even know just what it is she does, necessarily, but she's the best there is at it. She makes me type fast just thinking about things to type about her. She's luminous. She makes smart sexy! My feminist girlfriend says I can sleep with her - it's cool with her if that happens.

Okay, okay. I had to trade her for Christian Bale. But - no offense to Tina Fey - I think I got an infinitesimally better shot. You know. At hitting that.

And Heck, While I'm At It...! Pt. 2

This is less a continuation and more a "do over," with hopefully less garbledegook. The first try was awful with it. Which is a step worse than being lousy with it.

Okay.

--

If you're one of those people who blame science for nuclear weapons...come off it already. Scientists didn't invent the power. They only discovered it. That shit was there already. That's like blaming Columbus for America.

Yeah, I'm well aware that 'it sucks.' I agree: it sucks. It would probably be a lot nicer for us all, if only there were not this indescribably violent power locked within the nuclei of atoms, just waiting for a clever monkey with a key to come along. It would be nicer, that is, assuming that our good ol' sun would still be in business under those conditions. But it seems that's the price we pay for it.

If you believe in God, blame God. If you don't believe in God, then blame the universe, its dizzying array of inscrutable mysteries. But if you're stupid enough to believe that it was ever possible (barring a species-ending meteor strike) that humanity would not unlock and exploit this particular box of Pandoriana, then all I can say is you are very, very stupid. Either that, or you've got a pet theory of parallel-dimension evolution wherein humanity could somehow naturally select to evolve too stupid to figure out some simple-ass shit like that.

You know what? Even in that scenario, you'd still be pretty stupid.

Ponder your stupidity. Taste it. Embrace the fact of it. Live at peace with it. Quit bugging others with it, maybe.

Too much to ask, maybe.

But anyway: don't blame the scientists. A scientist should have exactly the same morality as the universe has. You've got to think like the universe, to plunder its secrets!!

soon to be blue

the moonkissed fluffy whitesilver clouds
sink into bluesilver
in the lingering twilight, just before dawn
arrives
there are stars.
still out
as the redsilver light
yellows the brightening Eastern sky
against the mountains
the mountains hold
the dawn, back
and fuck
ain't it pretty?
a whole crowd and procession
of clouds
all different cloud creeds
and cloud races
the puffed-out big round guys
some bottom-flattened with tops like cottage cheese
and little bitty ones like pulled-apart cotton balls
stuck here and there with long cotton tails of steam
trailing off in different directions
and high arcing wisps, wafting across the top of heaven
made of ice
there are
a few odd ones - big and big around,
like a thick fat slice of tornado,
a section of funnel, sliced right from the middle
but gentle, though - minding their tempers
amidst this mixed crowd gathered to meet the sun

but at first, though! You could barely see them all
wallflowers, shying, waiting, not wanting attention yet
merged as they were into the silver backdrop, all of the sky
squeezed into one distance
a surface of infinite shallowness

then, just beginning to pick out the shapes
from the highlights
as they
- their faces,
begin to glow, they
begin to stand out,
against
the sky behind them
brightening
from bluesilver
brightening
to yellow
brightening
to rose
and soon

to be blue

ah!

here it comes

Friday, June 20, 2008

And Heck, While I'm At It...!

If you're one of those people who blame science for nuclear weapons...come off it already. Scientists didn't invent the power. They only discovered it. That shit was there already.

I'm well aware that "it sucks." I agree: it sucks. It would probably be a lot nicer for us all, if only there were not this indescribably violent power locked within the nuclei of atoms, just waiting for a clever monkey with a key to come along. It would be nicer, that is, assuming that our good ol' sun would still be in business under those conditions. But it seems that's the price we pay for it.

If you believe in God, blame God. If you don't believe in God, then blame the universe, in all its dizzying array of fundamentally inscrutable ineffabilities. But if you're stupid enough to believe that it was ever possible (barring a species-eradicating natural catastrophe) that humanity would not unlock and exploit this particular box of Pandoriana, then all I can say is you are very, very stupid. Or else, you are given to esoteric sci-fi speculations involving counterintuitively anti-adaptive alternative evolution scenarios within which humanity would for some reason have naturally-selectively elected to evolve too stupid to figure out such simple shit as that. Which, yes, I guess that as a concept, it's conceivable. If you go in for what you might call natural-historical fiction.

But that's pretty far-fetched, and more than a little impractical. More likely, if you're stupid enough to believe that, it's just because you're stupid.

Ponder your stupidity. Taste it. Embrace the fact of it. Live at peace with it. Quit bugging others with it, maybe.

Too much to ask, maybe.

Am I Serious or What?

Oh, who cares. What difference does it make. If we're talking about each other's feelings, then of course - sincerity counts for a great deal. But otherwise...not really.

The truth value of a statement isn't altered by whether the speaker meant it. That's a childish conception of the world.

Judge the truth of any statement on merit. It may be solid truth, yea, even though the speaker thought it was a joke.

And the reverse is also true!

As is its wont.

The reverse, I mean.

Our Ostensibly Altruistic Environmentalism Is In Fact Selfish and Anthropocentric Pt. 2

And I'll say one more thing about that:

It's considered rock solid proven gospel that we can and do alter the climate. Fine. Well and good. We have that power. It follows that we need to achieve a deeper understanding of the mechanisms involved, and eventually we will be able to control it. What we can influence, once we can understand that influence, we can devise the means to direct it. Anyone who claims otherwise is an intellectual coward, masking Luddite sympathies under a would-be seemlier cloak of "environmental science." The sort of neo-Victorian moralist who frets over "playing God."

God is the only game worth playing.

Were we created in God's image? Play accordingly. We were created creators. Science was meant for us to use. Nature was meant for us to unlock. Evolution is no threat, not to those who who have the necessary faith to understand that we are not only blessed with the ability to unravel the secrets and methods of creation - we are expected to do so. God doesn't limit us thus! Only lack of faith in God bars us from taking up these gifts. We're afraid of what we'll find; we are afraid lest we find no limits left within us.

I'm not afraid. It's going to get pretty sweet around here, once we get serious about our obligation to live up to our role as the planet's premier self-directed species.

Assuming we don't war ourselves off the face of the earth first, I mean. Can't discount the possibility. Free will and so forth.

Let's Push the Envelope Pt.1: Stock Politeness Phrases

Okay:

"Please."

"Thank you."

"You're Welcome."

That's it! That's as far as you can reasonably go down that road, without looking like a dork. But for those of us who cherish such petty rituals (you know, like elaborate predetermined Soul handshake or choreographed high-five routines), I think we can do better. For the benefit of those people. I think we can probably come up with maybe 3 to five more links in the preset response chain that could then be deployed anytime somebody says "thank you."

I stress that participation would be entirely non-compulsory! It would just be one of those sorts of things that those of us who wish to could do, to show that we're cooler than you are (or perhaps in this case, dorkier - which is ALSO COOLER THAN YOU ARE). (THAT IS - COOLER THAN YOU ARE IF YOU DISAGREE).

Okay. So we've established that part. I can probably even come up with some examples or suggestions for what the next few links in the chain should be, but maybe later. Save something for part 2!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I'm a Rotten Feminist.

I'm a rotten feminist. I'm a lousy feminist.

I objectify women all the time. I don't mean to! I hate it about me. It's not my fault! I was inculcated with it. Or it into me. However it works, with inculcation.

Anyway, a woman will appear, and before I can even lock my intellectual filters into place, some part of me has already seen her as an object.

But she is an object. Isn't she? Come on! We're all objects! What's the use denying it for political purposes? I'm an object. I have mass. I displace air, I take up space. The energy in my constituent atoms sets up this sort of...vibrational force field, that renders the space between the atoms sort of impermeable, and the resultant surface both reflects and absorbs light in a way that allows it to be visible, creating the objective perception of...an object! What's so wrong with being an object? Where's the insult?

I'm an object. People are objects. Women are objects.

Is there no hope for me? Can I never break myself free of these benighted attitudes? I am a feminist. Really I am. There is no limit to how extremely serious on that point. I am an exclusive, committed feminist. I only sleep with feminists.

That's just how serious.

It's just...this whole problem I have. With objectification.

My stumbling block.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Don't Breathe a Soul of This to Anyone

I can't begin to call you
on the telephone to talk
about this - to explain
the threat - because
every single phone call
is being monitored
by sixteen rooms that don't exist
scattered throughout the country right now.
Maybe it's seventeen now. More locations
to serve you.

So I'm telling you this way. This way
is safe.

No one will see this.

CIA Headquarters. Langley, Virginia.
Fully half the rooms in this building
don't exist.

Think about that. It's a huge risk.
For the structural integrity of the
building, if for no other reason.
But I'm not here to talk about that.
I'm here to take you inside
one of those rooms.

One of those rooms

that don't exist.

This one does. And what goes on in there -
they will deny it. But I can describe it to you,
Perfectly. By means of remote viewing.

"remote viewing"

HA

- big joke, now, right? In this day and age? They
spent millions in black ops dollars, back in the
heyday, exploring the techniques and potential
of remote viewing.

And then, when too many people caught on, they had
to publicly "pull the plug" - claim it's a dry well,
that it didn't really work, a bad intelligence investment
- no more to see here.

Well, like about so much else that goes on in those
rooms that do not exist - they lied. They had to turn
Remote Viewing into a joke, because of the danger
that might happen, if too many people took it
too seriously. They might not find it funny at all.
If the methods became too known, if your average

unknown

citizen

began tapping and developing that ability within
himself,

or herself,

without the benefit and sanction
of government training (and containment) programs -
that kind of power in the hands of the people!
That would be no joke at all.

So they had to publicly shut it down. Pull the plug.
Denigrate. Make it safe. Make a big joke out of it.
Because

they couldn't take the risk

of people like you and me being

in

on

it.

But that's exactly what's happened.

Because I've tumbled to their secret techniques.
Because I've unlocked the ability within myself.
And I have looked
inside
one particular secret room
at Langley Headquarters
in CIA, Virginia,

- and do you know what I found?

Do you know what they're doing in there?

Remote Viewing.

That's right. The bastards never stopped.

I don't think they know I know yet. Whenever I check,

they're all sort of...

looking the other way.

Hanging Around

Now, what's the deal on "hanging around"? I know it's an expression with a diverse lineage and many meanings down through the ages (plus an excellent Counting Crows song, I can admit that's a great song - CAN YOU?) - but I want to talk about the current, modern usage.

Hanging around. Is this something you can do by yourself, or do you need to be with other people? I mean, yeah sure, if you just picture it on its own merit, just the bare meanings of the words involved, it seems like something you could do just solo. Even if you were dead, for instance. Gutted on a hook. Hanging around. Yet in terms of how people have come to use and understand the expression, I don't think you can. I think that hanging around carries with it a different assumption. Witness the following exchange:
Burke: "Hey man, what were you doing yesterday? I didn't see you at Trina's thing."

Josiah: "No, I decided not to go. I was just hanging around."

Burke: "Who with?"

Josiah: "NOBODY."

See...in that example, Josiah comes off pretty pathetic, you know? Cool name notwithstanding. "Josiah" is a cool name. But I think in our modern sensibility, when we say "hanging around," that connotes a sort of a group or at least a social activity. It needn't be a large group. You can hang around with just one other person. But if you're by yourself, you're not really hanging around at that point. It doesn't seem like the right term anymore. It seems like you're doing something else.

Maybe you're chillin'.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fire In The Santa Cruz Mts Redux

They're at it again! Fighting fires in the Santa Cruz Mts. This time it's a lot closer to me:
Map of Martin Fire
Actually you can't really see too well from this map, because I just took the map of the other fire, crossed out Mt. Madonna County Park and wrote in Bonny Doon (where the new fire is located). Bonny Doon itself is about an inch, maybe inch and a half past the left border of the map, below where Boulder Creek is, maybe about level with Ben Lomond.

Love those mountain communities!

So anyway: FIRE!! They're calling this one the "Martin Fire," as it originated somewhere near someplace called Martin Road. Not nearly as catchy or evocative as the "Summit Fire" I'm sure you will agree - but that's appropriate, since the fire itself is nowhere near as catchy as that rampaging blaze. This one's about 700 acres right now, and the comparatively light winds should make containment a more manageable chore. And as stated in the previous post, I'm not particularly impressed by anything measured in acres.

I just hope it doesn't threaten the historic and adorable Bonny Doon Vineyard tasting room! I love going there.

Bonny Doon is in a bit of a flux right now, but for my money the Cigare Volant still rules.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lowering Our Standards

Okay, update on comment settings, I just set it to "Anyone can comment (even Anonymous users)". We'll see what happens. I don't really expect any more than usual.

BUT FAIR WARNING - if anyone decides to click on a link that they see in a comment - hey, that's on you not me. Don't do it unless you're prepared to accept the responsibility and the consequences. This is the internet not a tea party.

See how I disclaim all responsibility. Shameful!

Pacing Myself

Holy crap dude. It's only the 162nd day of 2008, and already I have 234 blog posts! Admittedly, some of them are just little "thought of the day" dealies, but even still. That's like...10 posts every 7 days or something.

The weird thing is, I'm working harder than ever at my job this year! I guess this is just an outlet to blow off steam or something.

What with all the quantity, I sure hope QUALITY isn't suffering! I've been trying to work in some more considerations of serious issue and such like.

Plus doodles. That's a new feature.

Road Safety Corner #7: If It's Your Turn Then Go

Honestly, the title just about says it doesn't it? What more can I add? It's self-explanatory!

But maybe it isn't self-explanatory. Considering that the concept itself ought to be self-explanatory without me saying it. How self-explanatory can it be when I am rolling to a stop at a 4-way stop, and I see the other car has beaten me to a full stop - even as I come to a stop, he's already stopped! - and yet he wants to wait for me. He is giving me the go, with various eye contacts and arcane hand signals. Why is he doing that? Don't give me the go, dude. I don't want your go. Take your go and then I'll take mine!

If it's YOUR TURN then GO! You're not doing anyone a favor by sowing confusion and screwing up the rightful rotation on right of way. If you have the right of way, that's not your cue to get all magnanimous, deigning to let others go as it pleases you. No. It's your cue to GO. If it's YOUR TURN then GO!

Suppose you have a screener. You've come to a stop, the other car was there ahead of you, but they can't go - a pedestrian in the crosswalk is preventing him from going. That makes it YOUR TURN!! If your way is clear to go and his isn't, then it is YOUR TURN. And dammit - GO!!!

If it's your turn then go.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Doodeloo #8

Doodeloo8

On-Time Concert Reviews: An Ongoing Series

I've decided to post some concert reviews for some great shows I've seen in the last couple of years. The first two are from mid to late 2006. If I were a music journalist, I'd probably turn everything in about that late.

On-Time Concert Reviews #2: James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards (opening: Paul Thorn)

Santa Cruz CA, Dec 2, 2006 - The Catalyst

I just saw James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards. Opening was a guy I never heard of, Paul Thorn. There's apparently also a comedian Paul Thorne, but this guy's not that guy. This guy is a singer/songwriter, albeit a pretty hilarious dude on stage. He's just a big ol' Mississippi drawl up there, raconteuring his tales of various life's mysteries. Funny guy, real sharp songwriter. Great voice, big soulful voice. He managed to put across the sentimental material without being maudlin, the nostalgic material without being trite, the sexy material without being obnoxious, and the between-song banter without being tedious. I was pretty impressed, even before he mentioned as an autobiographical aside how he fought Roberto Duran in '88. Apparently after he left boxing, he worked in a furniture factory for 12 years, writing songs on the side as a hobby. Eventually he put it together to cut an album, which he says was rescued from sure obscurity by none other than KPIG! Apparently, somebody there heard his album, liked it, and started playing the hell out of it.

The show itself was sponsored by KPIG (see wikipiggia), a local radio station with a global reputation specializing in folk, rock, acoustic, roots, blues, and generally other music I never heard before. One thing upon which I can rely is that when I'm in the mood for such things, I can turn the dial to KPIG 107.5 "One-Oh-Seven-OINK!-Five!" and in a five-song stretch hear at least 4, generally 5 songs I've never heard before, 3 of them great songs, and all of them at least interesting. Often when they name off what they played, I find I've heard of at least a couple of the artists, but the songs are generally brand-new to me.

I try not to get "too into" that type of music, because it's nice to be able to turn the dial and be surprised by something new and good every time. It can be extremely frustrating sometimes, though, like that time I was driving home and they played such a beautiful song, the guitar was was so spiky and echo-y, the guy's voice...haunting. The lyric seemed to be about someone flying lower and lower in an airplane that had run out of gas. The way the tops of the trees were described...the picture is still in my mind, though alas, not the specific words. Or I could google and find out who it was! I'd like to get it, and figure out the guitar part if nothing else.

James McMurtry! This guy doesn't get enough play. He's great. He's like the American midwestern badlands version of Elvis Costello. He actually looks a little like Elvis Costello, maybe crossed with Steven Wright. He's like the anti-John Cougar Mellencamp. But ah, comparisons are odious.

I had never seen him live, and I'd missed a couple chances. Only Thursday, when a friend of mine mentioned he was in town, I was able to snag two of the last tickets through quick action. Was I glad! I tell you, I'm not sure how he manages to be so cranky, irascible, dyspeptic, cantankerous, and yet so enjoyable to watch!

Actually, the man himself seemed serene enough I suppose. But his lyrics. So dry and bitter they're almost juicy with it! Juicy with dry bitterness. His dad is writer and novelist Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Last Picture Show), and for James's sake I hope most of his songs are novels rather than autobiographies. They must be, unless in addition to a successful career as a songwriter and touring musician, he's simultaneously managed to live a dozen dead-end lives in scattered locations across the country.

Oh, I paint a wrong picture. Not all of his songs feature dead-end lives. And even among those that do, there are very rousing and even uplifting ones as well. But all of the best of his songs are tinged with fatalism. It would be accurate I think to call James McMurtry the master of uplifting fatalism. No one is better at singing about a life resigned to desperation, but the music he turns it into provides the catharsis.

He has some truly beautiful songs. I can't even describe them. "Rachel's Song" gets me every time. Go listen to it.

And I will say this: the thing that surprised me most about the show was how hard he rocked! He is far from a naive guitarist. His studio recordings (at least, the one almost-complete album that was taped onto side B of a mix tape someone sent me, the only recording I knew him from) are more sedate, more produced. Yet you show up at the show all unsuspecting, and he up and hauls off kicking your ass!

I always did say that if I saw him live, and he could convince me, then I'd buy a couple of his albums. And he did indeed convince me. Well-played, Mr. McMurtry. Well-played.

EDIT: But one part was kind of weird. I have never before seen a guy tune his guitar so many times on stage! Almost in between every song. Every time he grabbed a new guitar I wanted to yell out encouragement, "YEAHH!!! TUNE IT!!" But I was right in the front row, so. I didn't want to come off like a dick.

On-Time Concert Reviews #1: Richard Thompson

Santa Cruz CA, May 14, 2006 - the Rio Theatre

I just saw Richard Thompson at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz. I had seen him perform ten years ago, in a brief showcase at a Tower Records in San Francisco, and was always impressed by that. So when I noticed that he was playing in town, I said, "hey! Give that guy a chance." The subtitle underneath his photo in the little ad, and on the poster at the venue: "1000 years of popular music" - didn't really sink in. I guess I thought that was the name of his new album. Perhaps it signified that he himself was the culmination of said 1000 years!

I'm vaguely aware of his standing and contributions. A pioneer on the British Electric Folk-Rock scene. Started out as a member of Fairport Convention and went on to a cultish and critically successful solo career including such classic-in-Britain outings as the cathartic breakup album Shoot Out The Lights with his then-soon-to-be-ex-wife Linda. A fantastic guitarist by all accounts. I was looking forward to a chance to experience more of his material firsthand.

Well, I must say I was disappointed in that respect. It's not his new album. In fact, I'm pretty sure he didn't play a single one of his songs all evening! This show was in fact devoted to showcasing the development of popular music over the past 1000 years.

I refuse to believe that this is a good idea for a show. Ancient rounds sung in Olde Englishe. Madrigals. An uplifting ditty composed in Norman French by Richard I while being held for ransom on the way home from the Crusades. A secular Renaissance ode to sneaking around, sung in Italian. Elizabethan troubadour romps. Work songs of various descriptions, from the Missouri River to the coal mines of Northern England (a snappy pro-union rabble-rouser detailing the horrible fate to befall the "Dirty Blackleg Miner"!). Moving on into and through the twentieth century with jazz harmony numbers, with tunes by Cole Porter and Noel Coward (the touching WWII blitz-era anthem "London Pride"), by Nat King Cole and Buck Owens. Then finally a selection of lesser-known rock and roll gems dusted-off and shined-up, interspersed with some famous hits.

One would think it would be excruciating to sit through all of that, performed mostly by one guy on an acoustic guitar (albeit ably assisted by two fine female musicians, one playing drums and the other dabbling in a little light piano, both singing backup and occasional leads). But one would be wrong. This show had exactly what I suspect it set out to have: real epic sweep. Thompson's soulful voice and insanely tasteful guitar work brought just about every single number right home. I continue to refuse to believe that this was a good idea for a show, but I have to admit - as executed it was a GREAT show. Yet it was also a refined cultural experience, and a demonstration of how thoroughly music over the centuries has rocked. Never in my life have I been so thoroughly edutained!

Only thing is...I still would like to see a Richard Thompson show. At some point. I feel like I have hardly any real good idea who this guy is, in terms of performing own personal music. But I will say this for him: his between-song banter was impeccable.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Angus!! (clap, clap) Angus!!

Man, I can't wait to hear what Angus's solos sound like on this new album!! He's always investigating a different sort of approach each time, every album different (while always remaining impeccably Angus).

I bet the solos on this album are shit hot. I expect like, snakes made out of lightning, writhing across the minor pentatonic. I bet the riffs are nimble yet ponderous, like boulders skipped across the Pacific from a cannon.

I can't wait to hear Phil's drums on this one. I bet Brian's in fine voice. Cliff...what can I say about Cliff. The epitome of cool, playing exactly the bass the song needs and marching lockstep with Malcolm to the mic for the hard harmonies on the chorus.

Malcolm...we all know this is your band. You done yourself proud. You done us all proud.

I just can't wait for this new album.

Dang! I forgot my Sunday "God Post"!

If I forget to put my Sunday God Post in on Sunday, and then I do it on Monday instead and change the date of the post so it comes up as if it had been posted on Sunday, is that a bad lie?

I think it might be just an editorial decision. I don't think it's a bad lie.

I still don't have the guts to do it though.

Dang.

God Explained In The Simplest Way: According to the Inerrant and Unchanging Mysteries of Scripture

God is One God. There is only one God. All of the other gods are bad. God will punish the other gods for not existing. God will punish them by giving them a small "g". It is a big insult for any god, to have that small "g"!

God is angry at sin and hates sinners. God will consume you with a side dish of fire if you sin, he will rip out your name from the Book of Life leaving any notable quotes you may have left behind to be forever designated as "anonymous." Therefore whenever you see a really cool or interesting quote designated as "anonymous," don't be too curious over who it really was who said that. Because they are in hell now.

God is One God, and there are Three of Him: Pops, Junior, and Ghost Bird. This 3-in-1 mystery can be easily explained if one remembers the phrase, "six of one, half a dozen of the other." So it is with God: "Three of One, a quarter of a dozen of the other." Some things are too easy to understand.

Pops created all of it, and then put us here to say thanks. It would behoove us to do that little thing. It's not that much to ask. We could easily have been put in a much worse place, such as (oh, for example) an endless lake of fire, wherein we would wail and gnash our teeth for eternity.

Junior is what we call God's Word made Flesh. Imagine if one of your words were made Flesh! Therefore, speak carefully.

Ghost Bird is looked at by some as a side-kick, but not so. God is God! - and that means Ghost Bird every bit as much as Junior and Pops. When people say God moves in mysterious ways, they generally are talking about Ghost Bird. We're not always sure exactly what He is doing, but we all like to think that when we feel that little flutter of inspiration or uplift inside our hearts - that's Ghost Bird.

God is merciful at sin and loves sinners; God wants to forgive them. This is why God sent Junior, and why God has Ghost Bird fluttering around - to guide sinners back to His happy house upstairs, where God has a great big chair that nobody sits in but Him. If you believe in God, and you love Junior, and you have Ghost Bird in your heart, then maybe when you die you will get to sit down on the infinite Spanish tile floor next to God's great big chair. I would lean my head against the arm rest. It would be big and fat.*

I bet the upholstery is soothing and cool!

Doodeloo #7

Abstract art is always more sophisticated.

Damn That Praise Was Faint

"Thanks, Bill - that was Bill T_______ with another of his almost Herculean insights."

Thought Of The Other Day

Life is like a cross between death and not being born yet.

Haw! Haw! Haw

OK, I'm going to try this again. I've had no luck with it on past attempts. I have no reason to expect this will be any better.

What I'm going to do is, I'm going to make up a joke as I go along. Why should that be so hard? Admittedly last time I tried it, it sucked, but I think that's just 'cause I let it drag out. The trick must be: "Keep it succinct."

Okay. Here goes.

The Pope, a Bear, a Rabbi and Spuds McKenzie are out in a rowboat. The bartender looks at the woman and goes, "are you sure that's your shirt?" The man replies "I would if I could, honey, but I haven't got any on me!"

Hey! That ain't bad!

Let me try another one. Let's see.

A man and his wife are having breakfast in bed in a romantic hideaway. "Ding dong!" says the delivery man. "One of us is going to have to get that," says the Bear to Spuds McKenzie. To which the bartender replies, "Well I would if I could, honey, but I haven't got any on me!"

Man, I was totally wrong. I'm a natural at these!

Just gotta keep 'em succinct.

Let me try another one. Hold on now. Gimme a minute! This one's going to be awesome.

Money: I'm Going to Stake Out an Unpopular Stance, Here

When it comes to taxation, I'm all in favor of it. I know a lot of people aren't. They're all like "it's our money, the government shouldn't be all...you know...taking our money."

But I think they're wrong on that. I think if you examine it even mildly, the truth of it should be duh-smackingly obvious to anyone: all money belongs to the government.

It's theirs. They print it. It's got their pictures on there, presidents and such - hell, if I was printing my own money with my own big smiling mug on there, then I'd say that it was my money! But it's not even legal to do that. More proof that the production and ownership of money is (essentially) a government right.

True, the government releases limited quantities of money into the private sector from time to time, as a sort of a social experiment. They want to see what we'll do with it. Later they analyze the results, to use as a basis for certain limited sorts of policy decisions. So ultimately, having money in private hands works for the public good! But we need to stop kidding ourselves as to whose money it actually is.

It would be cool to have a real smartass, pithy 1-liner to end this with; sum up the whole jist somehow. Maybe later. Come back and edit. Pretend it was there all along.

"Pone-Curious"

I'm very interested in pone. Particularly, I wonder what other types of pone there are besides corn. I mean, corn pone SOUNDS awesome - "CORN PONE!" - but I'm not entirely sure I'd like it. Corn pone sounds like it might be a little too intense. I feel like I might rather start off with a little wheat pone, or even spelt pone. Or even supposing I don't start off with the alt-pone, suppose I start with the corn pone and it's just too much for me - I'd want to have some other type of pone handy to fall back on!

I wouldn't want to just ditch the idea of pone entirely. I feel pretty strongly that deep down, I'm a pone man.

It's a hunch really, but I live and die by those.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Doodeloo #6

Doodeloo6

On Nonconformism

A nonconformist is an individualist who is bereft of critical discernment, and is therefore incapable of evaluating artworks, trends, or philosophical positions on merit. As a substitute for critical ability, nonconformists retreat into an easy reaction against whatever is dominant or popular.

There are two main types of nonconformists. Subculture Nonconformists flock together in various groups and cliques, each with its own fairly rigid philosophy, distinctive style of dress, and list of preferred bands. Depending on the subculture, there may a number of films, artworks, books, and/or personages enshrined as particularly worthy of veneration by all true members of the subculture.

These groups are extremely intolerant of variation. Embracing emblems and practices of the dominant culture which the subculture seeks to subvert is particularly censurable (but n.b.: in certain subcultures, adoption of dominant culture emblems is permissible, so long as said adoption can be successfully presented as mocking or ironic). Members who adopt modes of expression not sanctioned by the group paradigm will be ostracized and ultimately expelled. Such excommunicants tend to shed all affiliation with their previous subculture. Most will then attempt to join a rival subculture of equal or greater marginality. A few will become - at least temporarily - Loner Nonconformists.

In contrast to the Subculture Nonconformist, Loner Nonconformists seek to cut themselves off from all group dynamics, whether dominant or marginal. The Loner Nonconformist strongly self-identifies as the "true nonconformist." To the Loner Nonconformist, Subculture Nonconformity is neither subversive nor rebellious, but is merely a retreat into an ultraorthodox conformism that is practiced on a smaller stage. The Loner Noncomformist regards Subculture Nonconformity as nothing more than a pathetic hobby: self-congratulatory, intellectually incestuous and devoid of moral heft. On the other hand, Loner Nonconformists see their own mechanical reaction against anything dominant or popular as a rigorous, austere philosophical stance.

Loner Nonconformists are solitary by choice. Their highly-opinionated nature, combined with the caustic manner in which they express their views and their general lack of social networking skills, provide additional reinforcements for this lifestyle choice.

There are two related types that are less common, but bear mentioning. The Loner Conformist is to all external appearances identical to the Loner Nonconformist, but has very different motives. The Loner Conformist has been drawn to the lifestyle not by any sincere feeling for noncomformism, but out of a wish to emulate a figure or figures who are greatly admired, and who are seen as having lived a life of solitary nonconformity. The Loner Conformist often sees himself or herself as one driven to create work in a similar mode to his or her hero(s) or heroine(s), and believes that shunning the world in like manner will be conducive to the production of like work. Other Loner Conformists have no particular desire to emulate the work of their role model, but rather are motivated by a wish to experience the admired figure's lifestyle.

The other related type is the Subculture Conformist. It is by no means known how rare or how common these are. Some experts maintain that most cliques identified as Subculture Nonconformist are in reality composed of Subculture Conformists to a greater or lesser degree. In practice, it would be almost impossible to devise a test to distinguish between the two. Therefore we will leave the question open.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

BILL CLINTON:

(secretly relieved)

Doodeloo #4

doodleoo4

I Respect The Hell Out Of Rivers Cuomo

I mean, why wouldn't I? There's only one thing that guy does: writes songs. He's not in it for some other thing. There's only one reason he does what he does, and that's to write songs! Writing songs is the reason he writes songs. It doesn't get any more basic than that. It's almost a completely pure exercise with that guy.

People might accuse him: is he trying to get a pop hit? Is he trying to sell out? Uck that! Selling out doesn't even come into the picture for this guy! He's got a song to write, he's going to WRITE it. Whether the song itself decides to sell out, that's not his problem - but he's going to make sure that song grows up big and strong, fully-formed and as capable as he can make it. Once it wings its way out, set loose into the big world, it's got to fend for itself. Sometimes a song is conceived in innocence and simplicity and that song goes on and sells out. That's not the song's fault. And it's certainly not a reflection on Rivers Cuomo! It's more down to the vicissitudes of the buying public, frankly.

The types of songs he writes - hey, these are sturdy, basic, accessible rock tunes on the sorts of themes a lot of folks can relate to. He writes songs like that not to score big with the common denominator, but because that's his music. That's the music he's into making. I'm so sick of having every songwriter with a certain amount of populist sensibility, a certain amount of heart-on-sleeve mixed in with their individual odd perversities and their quirky humors, be accused. Just because of that honest luster of accessibility, they get accused of diluting their artistic integrity making a play for the charts. That's bullshit. For almost anyone not part of the lockstep anti-conformity army, a certain amount of accessibility is PART of your artistic integrity. It is the pure love of music's most elemental power: the ability to reach us all on a fundamental human level, a level that transcends petty divisions of scene, chic and anti-chic.

But even dealing with lesser artists than Mr. Cuomo, people really need to quit that accusation. To claim that the purveyors of what rules the Hot 100 are somehow compromising their artistic vision - as if they'd be capable of so much better - it's ridiculous. It's a simplistic, baby-minded conceit and anybody over the intellectual age of 14 ought to know better.

The music people make is - for better or worse - the best music they're capable of making at a given time. Sure, from time to time an artist will claim that they produced schlock because they were pressured to produce schlock. I don't buy it, pal. No, you made the best music you could. And then people saw it for what it was: empty and shallow. And now you're trying to claim you were capable of better all along, if only the mean old music industry hadn't pressured you. Really! What a cowardly excuse. A second-rate excuse from a third-rate artist with pretentions to being better than they are - all the while knowing that their public output damns them for a hack, dead-to-rights. They're trying to exonerate their talent for the crimes of their work. Well, it ain't gonna fly until they can produce the genuine and inspired goods! C'mon. Show us what cha. If you had better in you, what's stopping you from putting it out there RIGHT NOW? Knock us out, beeyatch!

But such hacks aside, many first-rate artists have an artistic vision that IS populist, is popular, IS POP - including some great talents, genius-rank artists. Loving music that is accessible, loving to produce music that is catchy and well-crafted - this is no knock at all. This is perhaps the highest calling within music.

So anyway, don't sweat it Rivers. Pursue your muse.

My Boom Box Got No Boom 8^(

I don't know what happened to it. I was going to get a new one, but I couldn't find one with a tape deck plus radio plus CD. That's important to me.

The left speaker went out a while ago, so I was restricted to listening with headphones only like - for all intents and purposes it was a preposterous, gigantic walkman. But that's fine for blasting rock and roll while you get shi* done.

Today I was overjoyed to notice that the left speaker again works! So I can hear the full mix again. But somehow, in the process of fixing its left speaker, my poor boombox has overextended itself and it can no longer boom! The highest it can get is roughly half the previous top volume.

Where am I going to get another boombox like this one.

Oh well. Stagger on little boombox. When I can find one to replace you, I'm sure it will be another RCA.

Friday, June 06, 2008

That's Just Dumb

No, that's probably not accurate. I'm sure it's not just dumb. I'm sure it's something else in addition to being dumb.

Something subtle.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Derogatory Thought of The Day

"You make an excellent argument, but it isn't about anything."

Hey, Are You Together? Let's Keep It That Way!

Hey all you, in your long-term relationships, all you marrieds, all you live-in lovers - stay together why don't you! Don't stray. You have a thing going. I won't presume to call it a good thing going. I don't know who's reading this. But you definitely have a thing going, right? You must have stuck it out this long for a reason, right? Maybe as time went on, you weren't so jazzed about sticking it out, and sticking it out, and sticking it out some more. But you stuck it out. Keep sticking it out. Thick and thin, people! Thick and thin. You can't have it all, but you can have both. The two of you, together like it has been, for so long!

See, that chick you feel the connection with, yeah you're very good friends, we know - damn, she is pretty cute isn't she? But leave that alone. Let her handle her own cute. Her cute is not for your hands to handle. You've got your loyal little missy at home, right? Isn't she a prize? Keep your eyes on the prize, you already won the game! No need to backpedal back across the finish line after some also-ran.

And that guy at work, well sure, his jaw is pretty square and he doesn't have a god-damn PONY TAIL, and he SHAVES a little more often than maybe some guys do, but GET OFF MY FUCKING BACK alright?!!!?? I've got my own good points!!

My abs...my abs are just...awesome. They're splendid. And that's just one for instance.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Question For You Music Historians

At what point did Steven Tyler first decide to start doing that trademark vocal seizure of his? You know the one I mean: "YAHG-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-OWW!! OWW!!! Ack ack ack ack KOW!!!" When did this technique first manifest itself on record? What album, what song?

I can hear a bit of it in the Run-DMC version of "Walk This Way" from 1986. Then by the time Permanent Vacation came out, it was definitely a feature. But as far as I can recall, it wasn't much in evidence on their early hits. Maybe he was doing it even back then, but the reaction of the producers of the day was to pull a face and drop it straight out of the mix as often as Steven tried to slip it in?

"That was good guys, can we try that again? Steven, can you try putting that cooool screaming fit of yours in the first verse this time instead of the second? We'll cut it together however it sounds best."

Hot Fuzz Should Have Been Called Hard Fuzz

Great movie! I liked it quite as much as Shaun Of The Dead (from which it is very different) except...the title falls flat. Hot Fuzz. It just...it sounds vaguely boring and porny. Kind of...heated, and fuzzy, and bothered, but ultimately just off-puttingly listless and enervated. It sounds like something just lying there, drawing shallow breaths - an overheated house pet, perhaps. It doesn't do the job! In terms of parodying the stereotypical titles of the supercop genre.

HARD FUZZ, it should've been called. Now that nails the ambience! Hard - all those straight-to-ShowTime cheese epics have "Hard" in the title! And "Fuzz" not only captures the copper angle, but when you put the two together - Hard Fuzz - it suggest the stiff-bristle feel of running your hand over a short buzz cut such as your earnest hardcore supercop might sport.

Why oh why did they go with Hot Fuzz? It sounds like "Hot Cops." They're not strippers!

EDIT/UPDATE: Jeez, you'll never believe it. It occurred to me that maybe there was already a film called Hard Fuzz, so that they couldn't use it. I figured I should check that out. I didn't come up with a pre-existing film by that title, but I did discover that Hard Fuzz was one of the titles considered for the film! Was in fact, at one point in its development, the working title of the film! What the PUS!? Why did they change it? It would've been perfect.