Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

More From The Selfish Theologian

It is not possible for God to be just, in a world where I cannot find my keys.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Have, At Best, A Third-Rate Mind

God, I would say, has a first-rate mind. Even if God is only theoretical, I'd say you have to leave that spot open just in case.

One assumes those big/weird-headed Grey aliens (are they really Grey?, because they look more Beige to me) would fit neatly into the all-important second rank. Again, even if they are only theoretical. I mean, give them credit. Immobilization rays and faster-than-light travel don't grow on trees! At least...not on our galaxy's trees...! Oh okay, "planet."

Then there's me, and, you know...humanity. We're all pretty much squeezed into that broad 3rd category, there. Some of us more than others.

Some of us, less than others.

Fourth-rate mind: the dolphins.

MIND YOU. IMPORTANT NOTE. Within each species, there can be individual specimens with aberrant mentality levels - either way higher or way lower than you'd expect. So in theory, there probably are at least a few Grey aliens down in there with those dolphins. For instance.

Generally when we're talking aberrantly higher or lower mentalities, we're talking: LOWER.

Moving Day Observations #4:

Man. I think I'm starting to bog down on these fries.

That damn was a good bag o' burger and chocolate shake. That damn shake tasted so good it was like it was malted. And I know it wasn't, and I know that if I'd asked, I bet they could have malted it for me! That's just the kind of old-school place this is. I'm sure they're back there behind the counter, malting shakes.

You know. If you ask.

Unfortunately I just wasn't thinking.

Moving Day Observations #3: Self-Pity is ALL RIGHT!!

I can't believe nobody even offered to help me move.

Actually, like 3 people did, but it sounds better to say nobody offered than it does to say 3 people offered and I turned 'em down. There's precious little pathos to be mined from that vein.

So anyway. Like I was originally saying. I can't believe nobody even offered to help me move. Well you know what, I'm going to use that as a source of strength, as a motivating factor. I can do it all myself! I don't need any help.

There's also the very real possibility that any helpers might lose patience with me taking long burger breaks dicking around on my blog.

Moving Day Observations #2: Sno-White Is ALL RIGHT!!

So I'm at the Sno-White Drive In getting a big bag of burger for my hard-deserved lunch break. Right in front of me before I put my order in, these four kids get their four large chocolate shakes and their basket of fries and sit down at the table nearest the order window.

These kids are about - the youngest of them looks like he hasn't yet seen the far side of five, the oldest is a scrawny eleven but his voice broke already, so he's got this...deep, serious voice. It's kind of funny.

Anyway, I'm not really paying attention, I'm waiting for my food, but it's taking awhile - Sno-White is BUSY! - and about halfway through my wait, these kids are starting to bog down on those shakes. So I hear the eldest kid say "I think we ordered too much. We probably should have gotten smalls."

Nobody seems to want to comment on this, so there is sort of an uncomfortable pause.

Then he continues, in that serious voice, "I'm not going to make a big deal out of it, like a grown-up. But that's what we'd be saying if we were parents." I have to kind of casually turn and look in that direction, to see how this is being received.

Solemn faces. Sober nods.

Anyway, I think I've got a new favorite saying!

"I'm not going to make a big deal out of it, like a grown-up."

Moving-Day Observations #1:

"The head was not designed for heavy lifting."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Your Source For Music News You Won't Hear Elsewhere!

DJ Intermittent Lee and MC Sporadic have announced a semi-hiatus, during which they will pursue joint projects together but call themselves something else. Fans were elated but confused by the news.

Crush Karma have cancelled their recent tour, due to a temporal misunderstanding. Ticketholders seeking refunds will be told where to go.

• After eleven years, Geoff Leopard and a Side of Rice are parting ways. The band will be going solo, while Geoff pursues a career in aerodynamics.

The Starkers have announced that they have at long last picked a support act for their upcoming first-ever headlining tour, but that they like the band so much they're going to switch spots and open for them! You'll have to buy a ticket to see who it is!

That's all there is from us here at Consider Your Ass Kicked! - where our Music News Motto is, "if you didn't hear it here, it must not have been all that important!"

Either that or, "Music for your EARS!! News for your FACE!!" That also could be a good Music News Motto.

Apologies to the Readers of the Recent Political Posts

I extend my apology to the readers of the recent political posts. That was by special request. While this does not excuse me, I think it's safe to say there won't be any more such requests.

That's not to say I won't do it.

Let's Not All Be Cynical

I'm just saying, ok? Let's not.

Let's not all.

That's OK, isn't it? That's a good request. I mean, it's not cynical just to even suggest such a thing!

I just really think it would be better if everyone weren't so cynical. I mean, it wouldn't just be better for everyone, better for us all, like "the greater good" or something! It would even be better for them.

It's in their own self-interest.

It's U.S.A. Time!!!

That's right! Election Year really brings out the best and the brightest in all of us! I for one stand ready to call it as I see it on both sides with equal righteous fervor. I think my Americanisticism practically demands it of me.

So get ready for some bite, some froth, some fizz and some foam as I chaw my toothy way through the thick flank steak of propagandistic electioneeringism - and spit out the gristle for you all to gawk!

Man, when the pitch gets this pitched, you can almost expect me to make up words right and left. But I'll try to restrain myself - honestly, the existing words in English are almost always sufficient to get one's point across.

But watch this spot. Making up words or not, you always know what you're going to get with this guy. I'm not always fair in what I say, but you know what? Fairness is my cup of tea.

But this ain't England.

OK Then - Let's Get Political!!

Barack Obama fucked up! I can't believe he didn't add a sexy babe to the ticket like Gramps did! He should have gone with that Hilary! It's degrading to fucking women that he didn't do that!

Wait, that sounds wrong somehow. A little bit wrong. Make that, "it's fucking degrading to women"!

I mean, come on. What the fuck, the democrats - supposedly the party of the people right? What, the people don't like to see a little eye candy up there? Is this or is this not America? That Hilary was hot! Power is sexy, baby. All that feminist talk done fogged up my glass ceiling!

Anyway. It's fucking degrading to women to leave them off the ticket. Ask McCain, he obviously knows. It's plain to see that dirty ol' man knows how to stack a ticket! Would the phrase in this case be "stack a ticket" or "balance a ticket"? This political jargon confuses me. Anyway, either way: ask Gramps. He knows. That sly old coot!

This whole episode just makes Obama seem out of touch with his fan-base. It's a mis-step. Let's hope he can recover and run strong - I want to see a nice tight race with a whole lot of hollering at the end!

GOD!!

What's with all the religiousness posts lately? It must be to balance out something extra-secular on the other end of the cosmic scale.

I don't know if you are aware of this but I am, in some way that I can't explain, situated at the exact center of the cosmic scale. The fulcrum, if you will. I have always known this, ever since I thought of it just now.

But seriously: God, the Hell, the Devil - who are these guys? Really! Who are they? Some people seem pretty certain and serious about the details:
"My God is a personal God."
"My God is a fair and impartial God."
"My God is a genderless entity composed of pure spirit power."
"My God lets me tug on His beard when I'm asleep, dreaming."
"My God is beyond such things."
"My God is deeply involved in all things."
"My God is a humorless jerk."
"My God is ALL OF US."
"My God exists for one reason and one reason alone, and I can tell you exactly what it is."
Well that all sounds pretty scary.

Me, I try to leave God's personal aspects and tidbits as God's personal business. I've got my ideas, but I don't much insist on them. I've my reasons for leaning towards what I lean towards, but ultimately however God happens to go about being God is okay by me. I believe in the one God. The God That Is. You know - the one that practitioners of Islam believe in! When they say: "There Is Only One God, and His Name Is Allah." That's the God I believe in! I mean sure, the name, some people make that a point of controversy, but come on folks. That's kind of beside the point, isn't it? If there is a God, and there is only one...God's going to know who you mean, right? I mean, one God, who knows everything - no matter what name you know to call God by, God's going to know Who you're talking about, right?

Hey God! How are you doing, God?

"Perfect."

Seriously! Any attributes I might want to try to ascribe to God are going to be just as likely way off-base as otherwise, but even the bits I get right are rather beside the point. After all, if I am ever so blessed and fortunate as to meet God, I'll have my chance to find out.

I picture that happening. I'd be like, "Hey! God!!
...Oh my God! Wow.

This is so amazing, my friends will never believe this! Some of them.

You look great!

So...

Tell me a little about Yourself!"

Ironically Enough

...the previous post was posted from work.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Name Is Joe, and I am a Workaholic

I can admit it now. It was a struggle for a while. I was telling myself, "hey, I'm not a workaholic. I can quit anytime."

But who was I kidding? Soon it got to the point where I had to work every day. I needed to go to work just to get up in the morning - and vice versa. It had gone beyond my control. I needed help.

Finally I hit rock bottom. Everyone knew it. I was forced to stare long and hard in the mirror and admit to myself that I had a problem and that if I didn't quit, it was going to put me in my grave. With the help of supportive family and loved ones, I was able to give it up - to quit cold turkey. I'm proud to say now that I haven't taken a paycheck in 18 months.

Oh, it was hard at first. That withdrawal can be a bitch. You really become addicted to the sweet rush that paycheck provides! But luckily, I was able to qualify for a government-sponsored program for recovering workaholics. They helped me taper down with a series of simulated paychecks - not the same high as the real thing, but enough to keep you from relapsing.

Sometimes it's hard though. I miss the way work made me feel. Especially when I'm lying on a beach, sipping something relaxing and looking out at the sun-dappled waves, I'll feel a sudden pang for the heady rush of running around trying to get other people's stuff done for money. But I know now that I can never go back.

It'd kill me for sure.

Sex And Ethics

It's a tough question, but the good news is you don't necessarily have to pick just one or the other.

The Natural Condition and the Supernatural Question

A person who can't accept reality will never accept God.

The world was set up to make sense. By that I mean: the world was set up to be plausible, to stand up to scrutiny, and to reveal its secrets if we are persistent enough to tease them out. The world was set up to be a place where physical causes produce physical effects in a way that is susceptible to being reasoned out, even if the causes and effects themselves spill blood or ooze pus. The world was not set up as a padded comfy happy den playpen, and this fact disturbs some people.

I'm okay with it myself. I came to terms with it, I think I was about seven years old at the time.

From the largest living things on earth all the way down to the tiniest bent bit of self-replicating DNA, nature is red in tooth and claw. Vicious beasts human and animal leap out to wound and devour passersby human and animal. Naked bits of genetic material move from host to host, doing all in their power to multiply, spread, and conquer without regard to the hideous symptoms they induce along the way. Groups of animals band together for safety, and organize as best they can to collectively fend off starvation or die trying.

Everything dies. And it is because everything dies that everything you see now living can find its way in life. Life continues to be suited to its current conditions, because of this continuous struggle to improvise, adapt, overcome. The struggle itself is what equips life to continue.

There are reasons for this. There are reasons why the world is set up to make sense, and why life is set up to overcome adversity. My personal theory: God was in the Marines.

On Satan's Power

Satan has no power on earth.

That's right. Quit glorifying Satan! Right now, Satan has the worst room in hell - he's down there languishing in anguish, not sitting proud on a high red throne like a hornèd lord, grinning wickedly wide as he powerfully pushes his seeping evil upwards to infect our souls.

Nah. We've already got our own more-than-sufficient minds to do that. We can see all the possibilities for ourselves, can't we? Same as Lucifer could see the possibilities for himself. Before he fell.

When needless to say, there was no Satan to tempt him.

Just as with Lucifer, each of us is more than capable of performing that service for ourselves: to see a possibility for our selves. To find it seductive. To dwell upon it. To be fascinated. To dive in. But oh, it is so much more comforting to blame someone else though, isn't it?

Temptation is no more than observation plus imagination. Anyone who can see and think needs no help from mister burly red hornyman to see the bad possibilities that lie entangled with the good. And you know what, sometimes those bad possibilities hold some powerful and obvious attractions! But that's not because Satan personally applied a shiny wet coat of Good-Lookin' Evil Gloss to it, right before you looked! No, it looks good because almost every seductive bad thing is just a seductive good thing misused. And the virtue is still right there, hot and plain to see! But you want it for the wrong reasons, or you want it when it's not yours, or you want to get it in such a way that you endanger or destroy it, you want what you want with contempt for what you want. That's not Satan, making that happen for you.

There's only one influence Satan has on this earth: at one point in time (or perhaps, a point just before time) he set one hell of a bad example. That's it. That's the entire extent of his power and influence: he set a bad example. His hands are not reaching up from hell right now, working on your heart, massaging the pesky kinks out of your conscience. If you feel hands doing that, take a good look at the fingerprints: those hands are yours, my friend.

The only hands Satan has on this earth are ours.

Nicolas Cage IS Gene Simmons IN Bangkok Dangerous

You know, I'm actually a fan of Nicolas Cage in non "action star" mode. It still seems so weird to me that he's considered that, now. I mean, it seems like that's what he does primarily now.

I think it would be cool if him and Steven Seagal did a big movie together, and both of their characters got killed like in the first ten minutes, and the rest of the supporting characters are just left kind of looking at the camera uncomfortably, "...jeez, what are we supposed to do now?" Of course they get it together, and do their best to get along for the rest of the running time - but you can tell that they're a little taken aback and awkward carrying the whole spotlight.

Then at the end - TADA! - they weren't really dead after all! Our heroes walk back into the room and congratulate everybody. "Good job getting it done without us!"

Then a big fight breaks out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Community Suspect Watch Urgent Alert Warning

Take a good look at this composite sketch:

this is a composite
This sketch is a composite.

The subject or someone fitting his description was last seen in the area between 21st and 36th avenues, when he was observed entering a house on foot through the back door. He later fled the scene on foot. No missing items were reported, but possible motives are suspected to include attempted assault, sexual harassment, child abuse, disorderly conduct, bribery, possible criminal negligence, drugs, and reckless criminal endangerment. Six blocks away and within exactly two hours of the incident, the same man or a man fitting his description was observed crossing the street to evade pursuit. As soon as he was noticed, there was a loud shout and again he fled the scene. All of this information has been confirmed.

Witnesses describe the suspect as being evasive, potentially dangerous, and prone to sudden fits of escape. If you see this man or anyone fitting his description, turn yourself in for questioning immediately for your own protection.

Do not attempt to approach this man under any circumstances. If you are approached, feign innocence and attempt casual banter. Make a mental note of the location, and look frequently at your watch to establish the time. Do not make eye contact. He fucking hates that.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dropping Like Science

"You are approaching the Outer Limit: our infinite struggle to intersect the axis that is science, and the elusive curve that is the universe. This isn't science as we know it. Rather, science as we shall know it."

- host Ryan Karels

The Outer Limit #2



I love this program. This is my favorite educational science show. I learn all my science based on this man's basic stated principles.

The Outer Limit #3



I wish it was still on.

Your Humble Poet

I was crying at the liquor store
and they didn't even ask why
I guess they get a lot of that
or maybe they figured, shit
"I am not a bartender."
Well damn it I don't like sitting in bars
unspooling my boo hoo tale to some dick
excuse me, or dickess,
for tips and applause!
I am not this evening's entertainment!
No, sir.
But as I open up my empty home
and set down the heavy paper sack
I take a bow

Is There A Bloggo Suggestion Box?

EDIT 8/26 at 5:07PM: I'm just going to keep bumping this one as I come up with stuff.

* a button to click to take the user to "random post" (for vanity/quality control purposes, blog administrator could restrict the set of posts from which it would select randomly)

Originally posted 8/22 at 5:01PM
These are some fun features they could R & D up for us:

* a box listing all your commenters (with backlinks where applicable), sortable either alpha or by TOTAL COMMENTS per commenter! SWEET!

* a box ranking all your posts by "popularity" (most visits? Or I don't know, what if it was a separate little clicky on each post thumbs up/thumbs down! Actually that's rightly a separate asterisk)

* each post would have a separate little clicky thumbs up/thumbs down, so people could rate it without troubling to comment. Voting would be restricted to those with logged-in personae, so that each could only vote once.

* a box ranking all your posts by thumbsiness. Based on the above "thumbs" idea.

Well, That Was Enthralling.

I'll have to tell you all about it sometime.

Remind me later.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Famous Last Names

I think if my last name was "Cancer," I'd be alright, as long as my first name wasn't "Brian."

I just think that's just too much room for potential confusion.

Also, I would probably not want to go into medical practice. Research, maybe - but not dealing with patients. Because they might not know how to interpret that. They might not even want to know.

Atheist Football Players

If you're an atheist football player and you score a big touchdown or win a big game, who do you give all praise and credit to?

Or if you're a Buddhist, do you say "Well first of all, all the credit goes to my previous lives! I wouldn't be here if not for them!"

Or if you're an agnostic, are you all like, "man I don't even know how that happened."

Personally I like to picture Jesus sitting up there, in the eternal livingroom in front of the infinite widescreen, in a gathering with these various other religious figures such as Buddha and Nietzsche enjoying the game, and every time one of the these players scores a Touchdown for Jesus, Jesus is up there going "HAHA!! In your face!! Oh yeah - Uh-huh! Who's the Lord? Who's the Lord?"

JUST IN CASE YOU WERE

Just in case there is someone out there, reading this blog, wondering "how long can he keep up this pace of this non-stop quality, posting a storm of trenchant and incisive posts, in the face of such clear indifference from his reading public? Hardly anyone comments! How long can he keep it up? How does he not LOSE HEART?"

Well first of all, let me just say that the people who comment are only the tiny minority of readers, the bold minority, the minority unafraid to step into the arena with me on MY terms and tell me: "What For!" Most readers read what I have to say, and then what can I say they become a little bit intimidated (can you blame them?) by my clear and saucy command of all topics which I exhibit in my posts, by the vigor and force with which I comport myself linguistically, by my overbearingly obvious mastery of the obscure and the obvious alike, and perhaps even by my what could only be termed mental puissance.

Either that - the intimidation factor - or else maybe they read what I have written and say loudly, out loud, out loudedly - they can hardly help themselves, it is an involuntary outburst! They say: "Say! He's hit it on the head there! What more can I possibly add?"

So those are the two possibilities that we have, that we are aware of. In either case, I feel pretty confident that I've done my job where it counts. So, to say that I ought to be discouraged, just because I'm doing such a job of overawing any potential commenters into meekly submissing to what I've posted, and/or to ineluctably conclude that I simply and flatly satisfy any and all comers with my perfectly-well-stated and nothing-more-to-add take on things...hey, I can live with that.

Not bad. Not bad at all in my book!

Waterworld Reappreciated

Okay I'm not quite ready on this one.

Shit Pops

Sometimes I see/read the phrase "shit pops" and I think "what the fuck? Is that supposed to be like, a breakfast cereal?"

But just today I found myself saying "Shit, pops - you wouldn't catch me out with that weak-ass trick!"

I wonder if that's what people mean by that? And all along I thought it was just a real dumb phrase that didn't really mean anything. The difference a comma can make.

Hell.

Quick Question for the Atheists

Quick question, atheists: If you're an atheist, does that mean you're not allowed to like the world?

Reason I ask is, somebody tried to say that #1 there must be no God because #2 the world sucks so bad. I was like, dude - what are you talking about? I always thought the world's awesome! I always thought it was set up beautifully, very believably, in a convincing and naturalistic manner! Then I read a book by Richard Dawkins - he seemed to think the world's awesome too!

Maybe it's just your rank and file atheists who resort to such trite arguments?

The weirdest part was, then this atheist started ragging on evolution. Not by name, necessarily, - they didn't call out "evolution" or "natural selection" per say, but they were complaining about it nonetheless: the stronger creatures devouring the weak, et cetera cetera. Complaining about that.

These atheists need to get it through their thick skulls: evolution is a PROVEN FACT. Grousing about the particulars isn't going to bolster their damn case.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Superficial Look At In-Depth Analysis

There are some people out there who just have the knack for in-depth analysis. It's not that they have clearer minds, or better opinions, or that their smarty parts are bigger and more vigorous than ours, it's just that they have this knack. It's like this little trick they have.

For in-depth analysis.

They can toss it off, analysis left and analysis right without so much as batting an eye! It's partly a knack for observation, partly a knack for presentation, but either way I hope these people don't expect you and I to be impressed or intimidated at them, just by this stupid little trick that they see so fit to pull. Who's that supposed to impress? We've all got tricks, pal.

That's my take on it anyhow.

Paging Arthur C. Clarke

Any sufficiently advanced theology will be indistinguishable from science fiction.

God being the scariest alien of all.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Confessed"

"She's Confessed"

she buttoned her coat over nothing
and stepped out into the night air
she couldn't begin to explain herself
the purpose of her presence there
there was a knife, but it wasn't used
and scandalous details emerged
like the link the connected the two of them both
(which wasn't what you might have heard)

she's confessed
she's confessed
to so many things, we can't see
how they all connect
she's confessed
she's confessed
still no hint of what it all means

there was a knife, but it wasn't used
and the blood stayed concealed in the body
(which was carefully hidden beyond all trace
by a third, unidentified party)
and scandalous details emerged
as we stood around smacking our lips
in the darkened confessional, third-degree light
she's making sure everything fits

she's confessed
she's confessed
to so many things, we can't see
how they all connect
she's confessed
she's confessed
still no hint of what it all means

she stepped in red-handed and leapt at the bait
we owe her a great debt of thanks
from person of interest to suspect to culprit
she tidily filled in the blanks

she buttoned her coat over nothing
and stepped out into the night air
it couldn't support her, she was -
insupportable
the weight of her guilt, no doubt
too heavy to bear

and she's confessed

More Colorful Hyperbole #5

"Man, that smells like everybody's ass put together!"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Apology to America

I have to apologize because, I look and see that I've only got "America" down as the label on two (2) posts, and...that's not reflective of how I see my heroic patriot's heart! I hold America tight, like a loved one, and it's got a very special place for me, and for this blog. I'd be ashamed for anyone else to think otherwise.

When I was born, there was a sort of quiver that ran through the heart of this great country of ours, as if to say "hey...that's my buddy! He's finally here!" I mean that quite literally. When I was born, each proud American citizen had this sort of a moment, when this undefinable, thrilling aura ran through them, to where they could tell...something. Now I'm sure that by this point, by now, most people have completely forgotten that fleeting, long-ago moment, that sudden subtle jolt, that unspecified epiphany - but at that moment in time, They Knew. They Knew Something.

It must have been a bit like that scene in the Millennium Falcon, where Ben Kenobi suddenly knows what happened, and...you know. He has to sit down a bit. Because a shudder ran through the universe, of sorts. Now me, my birth - of course it was not on quite that scale (although I hasten to point out that mine came first, by several years before the release of Star Wars, and therefore I have a not-entirely-unjustified hunch that perhaps George Lucas was one of the ones unknowingly inspired!). My shudder did not run the breadth of the whole universe. Just its greatest nation. And so at the very moment of my birth...

Let me backtrack a minute. I don't mean at the moment of my birth! I mean at the moment of my conception. Yeah. That's right. You know what I'm talkin' bout!

Anyway, where was I. All I'm saying is, I have a very special relationship with America in my heart. And I'd like to think that in some small way, perhaps forgotten by most people yet none the less real for all of that...it cuts both ways.

And in recognition of that special fact...I mean, two labels! Come on! That's inadequate. I'm going to have to go through and put 'America' on every post, that would be perhaps a bit more reflective of my true strength of feeling on the matter. But on the other hand, it would be far less useful for those looking for my MOST America-flavored posts.

Going to have to think this through.

Always Remember

It is ours to appreciate how wonderful the world is.

It is not the world's to appreciate how wonderful we are.

"Wow, You've Really Got An Answer For Everything, Don't You?"

Nope. Just the dumb stuff, mostly!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Man, I used to drink beer like it was going out of style

but that was before it went out of style.

We Need New Rights!

When was the last time we had new Rights? Isn't it about time we got some more?

Is this or is this not America? Are we or are we not allowed to vote on everything? I say we are. I say we should get to vote on EVERYTHING - even if the result isn't necessarily going to be taken into account, we should still have a chance to vote. Per the natural extrapolation of freedom of speech = the First Amendment, our vote = our say! And our say = our speech. Free Speech = Free Say, and therefore that means we should have to be able to get to vote on whatever we want to! A beautiful example of perfect, circular logic. And that means I win by definition. As the man once said: "that's a Truism!"

I gotta tell you...very few people ever beat me in an argument. You have to get specially trained to do it.

So if we should get to vote on everything, then I say let's VOTE ON THIS:

New Rights.

Isn't it about time we had some? When was the last time they gave us any new ones? I mean, I don't even know what new ones are even under discussion at this point! This should be a topic of National Discourse in above all, this, an Election Year. I say we make 'em each add it to their respective platforms or ELSE: *kkchhyyycck!!*

I'm not sure if that's how that's spelled. Spellcheck has its doubts.

Anyway, back me up on this, peoples. Have any of you heard about any new Rights waiting in the winds? I think Washington's falling down on the job on this one. I mean, I remember a few years ago they were talking about giving us the Right To Not Burn Flags, but...okay. Don't get me wrong, I support that 100% but...as Rights go, that pretty much blows. I can already not do that. I sat around all this past summer not burning the damn flag. Sheesh.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Guys Named Beth

You don't really see a lot of 'em. And yet, I bet you could fake out a lot of people with that! It might be a good move.

The trick is, you have to be born that way. Then it's ingrained in you. It has integrity. Nobody's going to be that impressed by a dude who decided to go by "Beth."

Here's an idea: if you find yourself giving birth to a manchild now or later, try naming him Beth, or something that shortens to Beth. Preferably something really awful, so that he'll have little choice but the short version as he grows older.

Or you know what else you don't see too often? Dudes named Jickard. And yet...that's a name with a touch of something extra.

But here's the other thing: if your kids go to court and change their name, can you take them to court, and force them to change it back? Or else suffer the immediate court-ordered restitution of all the money you say they owe you over food and clothes!!

If I ever visit Washington, that's a question I'm prepared to take all the way to the Supreme Court.

I'm not sure they'd let me in to ask, though. They should really set aside at least one hour every week for stuff like that.

Rehearsing This Speech Forever

He's been rehearsing this speech forever -
"The only advice I have to give you is never
never give up on your dreams. So many times,
as I went through the valley of the shadow
my life had become, I threw hope aside
and gave up on myself. But something
always came back to me. All the people,
famous and admired, the only advice
they could ever give me was this: never
give up, and never turn your back
on your dreams. And as I sat there
squinting at the television, I made that
decision, I made that leap, I took that
advice to heart and I kept it to heart, I kept
that advice and I learned to persevere and
to try twice as hard, and

I believed in myself and now look

look where I am

today

today

today he stopped rehearsing.

OMG OMG OMG!!

I just had a personal epiphany about me!

I mean everything I say - but I don't mean anything by it.

Hm.

It seemed more significant at the time.

I'll have to come back to that later. After I've acquired hindsight. Which sometimes takes a while. Good thing I got it down fast though! Otherwise I'd have been like, "man I had this incredible realization and now I can't remember what it was!"

My memory is great at forming fantastic impressions of things without retaining ANY of the supporting details.

HEY! That's now even how you spell "acquired"! Isn't there a spell check in this window? askdfhskdfjhskdjfh!!!

...

Okay, so spellcheck checks out. So does the word "spellcheck," in fact. Funny. Didn't realize that had been awarded wordhood. Perhaps only in the eyes of spellcheck software...it looks out for its own interests.

"Wordhood" wasn't so lucky...

Poll Update: IT'S A BREAKAWAY!! (What Is More Important Pt.3)

At 21 votes logged and only 264 days remaining, this tightly-contested race is developing into a tight and racy contest! Opening up its lead on the pack, presumptive favorite Good Sense Of Humor continues to gallop confidently down the stretch at 6 votes - more than or equal to double its closest competitor!

Magnesium will not be denied at 3 votes, uneasily sharing the #2 spot with The Invention Of The English Longbow.

Nice Ass, Big Tits and Well Hung stand firm, high, and proud at 2 votes apiece, with Rock And Roll cuddling snuggly beside.

Shared Interests all alone at 1! Ironically or not, as may be.

No love whatsoever for Hitler, Afghanistan, The War On Drugs, A Reliable Breadwinner, The Battle Of New Orleans, and The Mahabharata. What did I, spell it wrong? Or are there just no fans anymore of Epic Sanskrit Hindu Myth Lit? Do people realize that the Mahabharata includes the Bhagavad Gita? It's in there!

I mean come on. That's value for the dollar. That would be like if the book of Genesis included In A Gadda Da Vida.

Which in some sense, I suppose it does.

Olympic Scandal: Spain's Illuminated Synchronized Swimsuits Banned From Competition!

Apparently, the little electric lights sewn into the suits have been deemed too flashy for the conservative curmudgeons on the committee.

I say they should just do without entirely. Not only does that send a real principled, "stick to your guns" type message, but when you think about it, it's even flashier!

Now really, now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

She Will Have Her Way

An Original Hymn, By Special Request

Ok, in a previous post about the hymn "Here I Am, Lord" (a SWEET HYMN, that) I alluded to the fact that I'd written a few hymns of my own - none of them suitable as hymns. So the question came up, would I share one of them anyhow? Or at least the lyrics?

WOULD I?

Yeah, sure, I guess.

This is as-yet untitled.

I'm gonna sell my soul to Jesus
in exchange for earthly riches and success
he'll take me up to heaven, when I die -
so each of us wants what he gets

if that's too much to ask
if that's not how it works
if that's too much to ask
I won't ask, that's all

I'm gonna sell my soul to Jesus
I'm kicking the bushel basket away
and exposing my big fat lantern
just like the good book say

if that's too much to ask
if that's not how it works
if that's too much to ask
I won't ask, that's all

EDIT: Shoot, that's not untitled! I just forgot the title, that's all. It's called:

"Sold To The Highest Bidder"

Lyrical Letdown #3: Don't Tell Me "What A Guy!"

I always thought it was
Been workin'!!
So hard.
I'm punchin'!!
My card.
8 hours!
For what?
Don't tell me "what a guy!"

But it isn't, you know. It's "Don't tell me what I got."

That's a lyrical letdown.

Kids Are Not Cute

They're disgusting. They're little germ machines, they like to sit packed into rooms together and incubate contagious microbes, to be later unleashed in concentrated form on the population at large via the most convenient disease vector.

They like to get their grubby little pudgy fingers onto and into every surface and nook and nostril, and then wipe it all on their pants. Then they see you're watching them, and they break into that sudden, unrehearsed shy grin and - oh, man! I can't stand it, they're ADORABLE aren't they?? Look at those cheeky dimples!

But that's just me, though. I've always loved kids. I think it all started when I was one.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

China: Olympic Letdown?

Yeah, China's doing well in the medal count. But I don't know, after watching Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, I expected China to dominate - I expected them to sweep the field in most of the gymnastics and track & field categories! In the high jump, at the very least. But I guess maybe a lot of that special Wudan training was lost to the ages.

Pity. Li Mu Bai would have brought home the gold.

A Particularly Deep, Dark, Dense and Moist Theological Problem

A tricky theological poser just occurred to me. I don't know what to do with it, so here it is:

Did God create chocolate cake?

See? Not so simple is it! I'm not sure what to do with that one. On the surface of it...it seems like a ridiculous question! And yet...did He?

It kind of makes you want to reframe things a bit, reconsider your fundamental assumptions. I'll tell you what though...if He did...man, I'd love a slice of that with a cold glass of H2Moo! Or can you imagine if you could lay your hands on the recipe...? Holy cow, that ought to be in the bible come on!! I mean, if there is such a recipe. Maybe there isn't. Or maybe it's one of those things that is in there, but you need to know Kabbalah or whatever, to coax it out of the number jumble of an isolated series of obscure verses.

See, I just don't trust those esoteric methods of scriptural exegesis. I'm not sure I'd want to try a slice of the cake that would result from such a recipe as that - a recipe obtained by those suspicious, not to say spurious methods. I could not be sure such a cake would be free from doctrinal or moral error.*

Anyway. I'll have to contemplate on this one a little bit. I'll let you know if I can unkink the enigma. You know me! Always trying to reach that deeper place.

So He Said, So-And-So "was a typical Renaissance Man"

...which caught me aback for some reason. I had to think about that one a second or so, before responding "What do you mean - he was toothless, superstitious, illiterate and syphilitic?"

I rather think that it is the atypical Renaissance Man who has come to define the type.

Thought of the Day In-Between

"I'd rather be right tomorrow than right yesterday."

Ladies First? No, SIR!!

I always thought "Ladies First!" was a sort of a feminist motto - you know, like "Earth First!" and environmentalism? But no, apparently it's REALLY NOT. Apparently it can even be offensive. Apparently there is a school of thought within feminism that says "no thanks, BUD!!" when confronted with the whole "Ladies First" ethos. But it isn't a nice "no thanks, BUD" - they say it kind of nasty.

For these theoreticians, the feminist ideal is best expressed by everybody jamming their shoulders together trying to get through that door at the SAME TIME - and may the "best person" win.

Well shoot! If that was the way of my world, I'd be leaving a lot of women on their ass - with the door hitting them while they're down, because frankly - what chance does this sweet little thing's slight and graceful arc of shoulder have, going up against my broad, punishingly-muscled expanse of beef? No contest, toots!

See, that's why I'm the REAL feminist. If I get to the damn door first, I'll hold it open for you, to go through. And then, when you reach the next door first - you can hold it open for me if you want! Or not. It's your right to choose, just as it was mine. Sweet equality!

Courtesy is not a casualty of the gender struggle, except among those whose politics are merely an excuse to prop up their rudeness. Or at the very least, the other way around.

*refined, dignified sniff*

A Veritable Font of (Unveritable) Advice

The first thing I have to say is, if you could use some good advice, I am FULL OF IT right now. I'm just...bursting with good advice. I have so much good advice, I don't even know what to do with it. Some of it's very general advice, and I'm saying to myself "well yeah...that's good advice and all, but it could apply to practically anybody. And not to knock it but...it's kind of a little obvious." And then other pieces of advice are very cryptic and specific, and I'm like "wow, I don't even know what this advice is for. I can't even imagine what situation would call for advice like this."

Yet it's clearly quality advice, so I'm left casting about a bit. Wondering, can anybody use this advice?

And then I think, maybe I better keep this advice for myself, for right now. Keep it for later, I mean. Wait until the perfect moment becomes plain.

Okay, I was kidding about the advice. Honestly I have no advice whatsoever on me at the moment. But that's no bar. Make no mistake, if pressed, I could come up with top-notch advice on the spot, EASY. Professional caliber advice. Horoscope-caliber advice.

"Mid-week, avoid unnecessary complications."

Here I Am Lord

This was absolutely my favorite hymn as a child. Now I am a man, and I have written a few hymns of my own. They are entirely unsuitable, as hymns.

Here I am Lord

I the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry
all who dwell in dark and sin
my hand will save

I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright
who will bear my light to them
whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord,
if you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart

I the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people's pain
I have wept for love of them
They turn away.

I will break their hearts of stone,
give them hearts for love alone
I will speak my word to them
whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord,
if you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart

I the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame
I will set a feast for them
my hand will save.

Finest bread I will provide
till their hears are satisfied
I will give my life to them.

Whom shall I send?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Road Safety Corner #9: The Physics of Hitting the Gap

There isn't much I can tell you on this one. There are no "tips" in this Road Safety Corner - except a very old one from the Latin: Cognosce te carrus motorius. Know Your Car. Because this is between you and your car. Those other cars on the highway, flying at you from deep within the rear view? They do not truly matter. There are only two things that matter: you, the on-ramp, and your car. Yes, that's right: I said "two things." Because you and your car are one.

There Is No Merge.

Now when I hit the gap...it's a thing of beauty, as long as I'm paying attention. I admit that if I'm busy singing a song or futzing with the stuff on the dashboard, and I'm not paying attention to who's coming up in the mirrors and how I'm going to negotiate that merger seamlessly, I sometimes get skunked and have to chicken out. But as long as I'm watching what I'm doing, no highway-speed traffic can keep me out on a narrow-gap merge! I look back, judge where the gap is going to be, and then I PUNCH IT! Accelerating perfectly to synch the gap at an appropriate highway speed.

I never cut anyone off. I am never in anyone's way. As far as the car behind me: I'm already moving faster than they are before they can even get near me. As far as the car in front of me: generally within seconds of establishing myself in the right-hand lane, I am already zooming left to pass them by.

That's all down to my bad sweet ride. Plenty of acceleration through 1st 2nd and 3rd, but if I don't manage the transition to 4th properly I hit a real torque plateau.

Which is precisely the point. Know your car, folks. And watch out for mine.

Re: Def Leppard's New Songs From The Sparkle Lounge LP

Actually, I haven't heard it yet, but re: the little CD booklet that comes with...specifically, re the band lineup photo: holy shit! Phil Collen's pecs are like the Joe Perry's abs of Def Leppard guitarists' pecs! Put a shirt on under that sharp-ass dinner jacket Phil, you're scaring the paying patrons with that POSEDOWN-WORTHY barrel chest of yours!

Man, I bet you put Phil Collen's pecs together with Joe Perry's abs, I'll tell you what you'd have: one POWERHOUSE of a RIFF-DRIVING, GUITAR-SHREDDING TORSO!! Okay, the torso itself maybe isn't the part that drives the riffs. But the torso is the engine that makes the GUNS run, SON!!

I'm getting a little hyped up here. I need to calm down a little.

Better give that album a spin.

A Comparison of Musical Greats

Man, I'm really glad I got this Creedence collection - the first 3 albums! GOOD. I'd never heard some of these album tracks before. That's some Taste-T gee-tar work, SON!

I wonder, if you walked right up to Tom Petty and told him "hey! Creedence was BETTER THAN YOU", I wonder what he'd do? He wouldn't even dispute it, right?! He must revere those guys, I'd imagine. I mean, he couldn't get mad, could he? It would be like walking up to Beethoven and saying "hey! Mozart was BETTER THAN YOU."

Well no, Beethoven would most likely put you on your ass if you did that.

But then...Tom Petty is no Beethoven.

Whatever Happened to Roll Music?

I mean, it wasn't called rock or roll, BUD. Was it?? NO! It was rock AND roll! !

!

Somewhere along the line, I think we must have forgotten that. We lost our roll.

Is This Even Cheese On This Burger?

Is this even cheese? They call it cheese on the menu board. IN WRITING. I mean, it's written right up there, and lit up! That ought to be legally binding, right? Otherwise, it would constitute some sort of advertising infringement! It was not spelled "cheeze."

I wonder if there's anybody in the QC lab on Saturday? They could test this. Test it for cheese.

I mean, I'm no fool, I don't expect them to do it for nothing. If they're in here on a Saturday, it darn sure isn't so they can screw around testing people's lunches for cheese!

I'd be willing to bribe them with fries, if they'll do it.

Hittin' the ol' K-Mart for Some Tunes!

Shopping at K-Mart feels almost like a political act now. I mean, what with Wall-Mart and all. They say it's so bad. I'm not clear on the reasons, but everyone says. A little like global warming! In fact...I think that might be what it's supposed to be. Wall-Mart caused global warming.

I'm sure once it finishes working its way through the courts, we'll all get a piece of the reparations on that one. I mean, I'm feeling the heat, right? Pay me.

So anyway, what with Wall-Mart being so bad, going to K-Mart feels like recycling or something. It feels good! I like to support a good cause, even if I don't really know why. Sometimes we just have to believe what we're told.

In any case, I was on a quick luncher from work and I needed some new tunes, because I'm a little uninspired with what I've got with me in the office. Now I hardly expected to walk in there and get the EXACT CD I ACTUALLY WANTED!! But I did: the new Def Leppard album!

I'll let you know how that turns out. Maybe. If it's not too embarrassing. I'm not going publicly excoriate my boys! I like to support them if possible. They've been through enough. I liked that covers album they did last year (especially that awesome version of the Happy Monday's "Step On!" - what a choice!). Anyway.

I like to support a good cause.

But besides that, I picked up a $5 swingin' Sinatra compilation, the early years, the REAL early years, like the Columbia period. He looks like a beautiful girl on the cover! Well. Not beautiful, maybe, but cute enough for the nineteen forties. Par for the course back then. And just look at those eyelashes! Are those real? Wow.

Anyhow, I never cared for Sinatra's music but I figure, maybe this is my chance to clue in. I keep an open mind at all times that way.

I also got the Footloose soundtrack, which has nostalgic connections as being the only tape in mom's car that she'd be willing to listen to* that the kids could stand as well. Although after awhile...

What else did I get. Oh, this looks pretty good! CCR's first three albums in a tiny tin miniature lunchbox or something! "Collectable."

K-Mart's always good for touching, family-style scenes. There was a mom with her young son (I don't know, about 4?) in the checkout lane, and the kid was like, "Mom?" "Mom?" "Mom?" "Mom?" while she was trying to get her stuff together. Finally she was like "What is it?!" And the kid gets all sheepish, leans in and says in a LOUD WHISPER:

"HE'S LOOKING AT YOUR ASS."

It was the cutest thing!

It wasn't me, by the way. Looking. You can trust me on that. I would hardly have mentioned it in that case, would I!

Okay: I did sneak a quick peek in the parking lot. How could I not? After all the controversy! But I was very stealthy and respectful about it. It's a matter of simple respect.

Your Humble Poet

I stunned a bug
and it fell in my food
and I didn't even notice
until I chewed

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Beatles! Vs. Batman!

Here it is: an epic showdown, a clash of the most overrated thing going in each of their respective fields! Who will win: Batman Vs. the Beatles?

Now of course, we're talking taking each of them at the peaks of their respective powers (except Batman, who as we know doesn't have powers), and throwing them together in a sudden winner-take-all slugfest. No time to plan or prepare, just a knockdown dragout brou ha ha. Winner take all, as I said.

Now obviously, the Caped Crusader can take down any four random thugs. But these guys are anything but random thugs! They're English. Will that turn the tables in favor of rock's pops-topping mop-topped Liverpuds? Liverpuddles? Liverpudlians. Let's find out.

drum roll...........

Surprisingly, Ringo takes it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just Between Us Kids

James McMurtry's most recent album is the best thing he's ever done, by a stretch so wide as to seem impossible to anyone with an ounce of damn sense and any passing familiarity with his existing catalog.

I mean, anybody like that would be like, "how much better can you get than awesome?"

And they'd be right. But as it turns out: you can get quite a little bit better. Good Lorrrrrrrrd, sir. Hit us with those bitter, clipped lyrics and those fat, juicy, bluesy grooves you boogie so woogie with! Tell us those tall tales - tales standing tall, but so low in the ditch of despair that they have to aim straight up to be in spitting distance of sea level.

And you know what happens when you spit straight up.

Mr. McMurtry, no offense to your kith and kin, but you sir are the novelist in the family. God bless and keep you, just as you are.

Can't wait for your next one.

Lawsy, lawsy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not Necessarily the MMPI

Ok - y'all know the MMPI? There's tons of other people blogged about it. It's a psych profile test they give to job applicants for public service gigs (police and so forth). It consists of a giddy series of seemingly serious questions, some mind-bogglingly mundane, others so bizarre as to possibly inflict the mental damage that they purport to test for. There are hundreds of these questions, and they just keep marching on and on until the test-taker's mind goes numb and they all start to seem almost normal. THAT'S when the real data can be collected! They need to access that defenseless mind.

But back to the questions: they're awesome! Check out some of these. These are real, from the actual test:
"Everything tastes the same."

"At one or more times in my life I felt that someone was making me do things by hypnotizing me."

"The top of my head sometimes feels tender."

"Powerful forces are aligning against me."

"I believe my sins are unpardonable."

"I have very few fears compared to my friends."

I'd hate to meet his friends!

Note that I persistently and wrongly call them "questions." They are of course actually statements, to which the testee can strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree. But they're worded so weirdly, it throws you:
"Once in a while I laugh about a dirty joke."

Shouldn't it be "laugh at"? This sounds like you're sitting there alone, recalling a dirty joke somebody once told you and laughing about it. Okay, a quibble perhaps, but what to make of these:
"I loved my mother."

What if I still do?

"My people treat me more like a child than a grown-up."
My who? What am I, from Ork?

"At times I feel that I can make up my mind with unusually great ease."

I bet plenty of people agonize over that one.

"When I leave home I do not worry about whether the door is locked and the windows closed."

Okay, let's choose: do I want to look like a weird, incompetent obsessive, or a moron who leaves doors flapping open? None of the options really gets across "I don't worry, because I know damn well I locked up."

"If I were a reporter I would very much like to report sporting news."
Do I have to call it "sporting news"? Do I have to work for The Sporting News? I'm more an SI guy.

"Once a week or oftener I become very excited."
Yup. Just like clockwork!
"I have had very peculiar and strange experiences."
No. None! NEVER!!
"If people had not had it in for me I would have been much more successful."
Strongly disagree. I'd still be a failure!
"Peculiar odors come to me at times."
OK. Try flipping some of these around to see what they really mean: "The world never, ever smells funny to me." Any takers?
"I have strange and peculiar thoughts."

NO ONE ACTIVELY TAKING THE TEST can deny that one. Those thoughts are being forced upon you!

"I wish I were not bothered by thoughts about sex."

If I agree, does that mean that I have thoughts about sex, I'm bothered by them, and I wish I wasn't, or what? If I disagree, does that mean that I have thoughts of sex but I'm not bothered by them? or that I have no thoughts about sex? Or maybe I just love being bothered by them?

Such poorly-structured questions can't possibly yield a meaningful interpretation, but they work great to get the test-taker off-balance! After about a hundred of these, you begin to second-guess even the relatively innocuous or straightforward ones:
"I liked Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll."
Just what are you saying? Wait - is this a trick question? Was it T.S. Elliott?
"I do not often notice my ears ringing or buzzing. "
Wait...do they not buzz often, or am I just not noticing often?
"I drink an unusually large amount of water every day."
If I did it every day, wouldn't that make it a usually large amount?
"Someone has control over my mind."
Surely someone does! I do! But if I "agree strongly," what are they going to assume?

The effect of the outright bizarre and the just kind of "off" builds and builds, until innocent remarks like these seem fraught with unspoken admissions of guilt and mental illness:
"There never was a time in my life when I liked to play with dolls."

"At times I am all full of energy."

"I gossip a little at times."

"My hands have not become clumsy or awkward."

"I enjoy children."

It's such a great test. I would love to have a job coming up with questions for it. I bet very few people could tell the difference between mine and theirs.

Special Guest Shot #6: Legendary Director Ken Moess

dogimo: Well, I'm here today privileged to be talking with one of the greats. A maverick Hollywood and more recently, independent filmmaker well-known for his in-your-face style, his ability to confront, occasionally insult, and always challenge the filmmaking community and sometimes, the audience. Renowned director Ken Moess.

Ken Moess: ...

dogimo: First off, let me ask you - the pronunciation on your last name. For years I always heard people pronounce it "Moss" but it seems now that -

Ken Moess: "Moe-ess." That's how it's pronounced. For a long time, and before that, growing up, I pronounced it like my father had been doing - you know, to fit in. Make it easy on people. He was a weak man. But that's not exactly my style is it?

dogimo: I guess not! For example, the last 3 movies you were attached to - all big successes, one of them a blockbuster by most standards...

Ken Moess: By any standard.

dogimo: ...but you were fired from each, very early in the production. Replaced by other directors.

Ken Moess: In the old days I guess people were more willing to put up with my shit. But it's clear I still have the stuff, the vision. Just look at the results - even stolen, you can tell whose movie it really is.

dogimo: Well, surely the significant changes -

Ken Moess: Surely don't matter! It doesn't make a squat damn of difference, I still consider those my films. I'm the one planted the seed. I don't care how many times you pump that b____ afterwards, when the kid pops out it's going to have my eyes.

dogimo: That's...okay. Could we have a bit more family-style style of metaphor going forward? That's a bit strong, around here.

Ken Moess: Cut the crap with me, sonny, that's more family-style than anything! Kids popping out - come on. That's as family-style as it gets.

dogimo: True enough, I suppose...my mistake. So what's next on your plate? You seem to have established yourself pretty firmly in the world of independent cinema.

Ken Moess: Well, I'm trying to. Bad timing maybe - all the studios pulling out, shutting down their artsy wings, investors taking a dump - the glamour's taken some hits lately. I waited too long. But when I look at it now, this move to the independent side couldn't come soon enough. For God's sake, I was so sick of being hired to direct shitty stories that had to be gimmicked up with all kinds of high-concept bullshit grafted on, just to justify shellacking the screen with the six figures of CGI work that the modern popcorn audience demands. Epic these days equals bullshit. I wanted to tell simple, cutting, daring human stories.

dogimo: Sounds good! So whatcha got?

Ken Moess: ... well, actually this next project is a bad example of that. But the screenplay was too good to pass up. It's an epic, but with intimate-scale details, a respectable budget but it's all going into the real physical production - not into a lot of inflated superstar vanity paychecks and CGI. There's going to be no CGI at all in this one. We're taking our effects from the old school.

dogimo: What's it called?

Ken Moess: Well, it's a satire. It's called Jesus Christ Vs. King Kong - but the story is from this brilliant new screenwriter who just pulls out elements of the ancient world that you can't even imagine, uses them to skewer all aspects of our entire modern sensibility. Except it's not a zany goof! It's a thrilling and serious adventure story on one level - but with this whole other level of intellectual gloss on it that's just a riot, once you see where it's going.

dogimo: That sounds like a really awful idea.

Ken Moess: It does! I know, but there's a kernel there of something and I know exactly what to do with it. The finished film, in my mind, is already a masterpiece.

dogimo: Well I for one am willing to take your word on that. If you've shown us one thing over your career, it's that top-notch direction can take an awful idea and make it shine as bright as a good one!

Ken Moess: You're fucking-a right I have, you little shit! Trying to be funny? What's your fucking legacy? This interview is over.

...

dogimo: Well that was a short one for you today, folks. Sorry about that. Did it sound like a good movie idea to you guys? Wait, he's coming back.

~END OF PART 1~

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

"We have to remember that the system is designed corruptly, and works against us, so you can't convict those who can benefit from the system because it's not necessarily their fault."

- Mohandas Dewese

Monday, August 11, 2008

King Of Close Calls

So she is standing at the sink, washing out her cup, as her short hair cut falls fetchingly across her face and I almost say (because that's the kind of relationship she and I have, the very close kind where I almost say) "You know what, since you've come back - that new short haircut really suits you well! Looks great,"

When she stepped away from the sink and turned her face toward me, and suddenly it wasn't even her. It was someone new I barely knew. And her eyes towards me, her face looked just as it would have if the whole scene had indeed unfolded. I have no idea why. Luckily, I hadn't yet said a thing.

"Nice cup!"

"Thanks!"

It was a damn good thing she had a nice cup.

How To Get People To Shut Up

Usually they will if you just ask them.

"Will you just shut up, please?"

That will work! 99% of the time. You don't have to be all rude.

It hurts my feelings.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Baloney and Related Baloney

God, I just craved a baloney sandwich. What a weird deal.

It wouldn't be on Wonder Bread, though. I didn't mess with that stuff as a kid. It would be Pepperidge Farm white bread. With mayo on one slice, and with one slice of baloney. Two slices of baloney is just disgusting in my book. Too thick, baloney-wise! Baloney is not tavern ham. You can't just stuff those bread slices with a thick wedge of it and bite in. Eeeeg.

Speaking of which, what is the origin of the phrase "best thing since sliced bread"? Are there not a ton of things to come along in recent decades that you would rate well above sliced bread? Let alone "best thing since"! I think what needs to be done here is, let's cut it out with the needless vagaries. Let's get a firm date agreed-upon for the accepted historical debut of sliced bread. Then, let's take a look at what other things have come along, either at that time or since. I have a pretty good hunch there will be plenty of things that you'd say beat hell out of sliced bread! And if that's the case, the idea of "best thing since" becomes a wee leetle bit moot.

Ooh, that last part looks like I'm speaking Dutch!

LL COOL J HAS STOLEN MY STYLE

LL Cool J has stolen my style. I don't...I really don't know why. I'm kind of in shock actually. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do about it, either. What can I do?

If only there were some sort of precedent to guide me, in this situation.

IF I STARTED RIGHT NOW

If I were to start right now...if I started right now and I didn't stop - EVER - then I could get an infinite amount of work accomplished!

It's logic like that that keeps a procrastinator smiling, dreamy-eyed in the face of an increasingly hostile reality.

THE MOTHER OF ALL CRUNCH-TIMES

Of all crunch-times, this one is The Crunchiest. Of all deadlines, the deadliest.

I think we all owe Saddam this much at least: he coined a pretty cute turn of phrase, up there. It sounded all dumb the first time he said it. "The Mother of All Wars?" How's a war going to come along at this late date, and then - all casual-like - go give birth to all those other wars we're already familiar with from history books? That's like putting the ancestor before the predecessor. That's like putting the pony before the horse! When we all know that ponies evolved from horses (did you know that? I think that's right, it's a damn solid guess in any event). But yet it had a sort of "Balky from 'Perfect Strangers'" malaprop cuteness to it, too. It fit, in a twisted sort of ESL ethnic neighborhood shopkeeper way. In the end, I'd say that little phrase alone - who knows if he was even the original coiner on that, but popularizing it, giving it its widespread cachet - that one contribution of his was worth the expense of us bothering to go through the motions of that whole show trial deal and associated rigmarole prior to the foregone conclusion execution. He earned it.

So anyway, the point of this post is: I am tremendously busy RIGHT NOW. Tremendously. Big pressure deadline. Lots to do and not enough time. Right now.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

"Tom Sawyer", Pt.2

Speaking of which...it is pretty awesome that three dudes can make all that noise. They may be the single biggest trio in existence, sound-wise.

Duh-nuh-DAH NAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
duh nuh DAH NOWWWWWWWWWWH!!!!!!
duh nuh DOW NOWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!
duh nuh DAH NAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!

Duh-nuh-DAH NAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
No his mind is not for rent!
duh nuh DAH NOWWWWWWWWWWH!!!!!!
to any god or president!
duh nuh DOW NOWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!
his every point of defense!
duh nuh DAH NAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!
putting out a cigarette!

YEAHYEEEAAAAHHHHYEAH! What chu say about his company is WHAT CHU SAY about society!
Catch the miss!
Catch the hit!
Catch the mystery!
That's the spirit!

doodley deedley deedle deedley doodle doodle...

Man. That song has one mean, mean stride. I can't think of too many songs from that long ago where I still have every word etched, mind-wise. So kudos to them on that. Somewhere Mark Twain must be scratching his head, though.

Wow, Sweet Quote!

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."
- Kahlil Gibran

Wow. What a beautiful image that is! And this BASTARD - whoever he is - has BEAT ME TO IT!!

Grrrrrr.

EDIT: Wait, I take that back, I had to look it up and it turns out - he came up with that one before I was even born. I can't really hold that against him.

By the way, for the ignorant amongst you, Kahili Gibran is the world's 3rd best selling poet of all time. Behind William Shakespeare and some other guy. So a little respect is in order.

Thank you.

Subversiveness Is the Dominant Paradigm.

Or so it would seem.

Famous People, Dying of Pneumonia

Man, if I were a high profile celebrity on the brink of dying from pneumonia, I would make it a condition of my will that they put out a post-mortem press release flat-out stating I died of AIDS. Number one, who cares? Does anybody still seriously subscribe to the "divine punishment in this life" angle? That's a God-damned comedy act, if you ask me - and I use the term "God-damned" advisedly (and quite possibly literally, but I'll leave that one up to you-know-Who). Number two, everybody's going to be hinting around about it anyway, so why not? And number three, I'm going to be dead! Might as well make it count for something extra. Might as well drum up a fresh rash of donations for the still-at-least-#3 most popular disease cause.

I mean, screw pneumonia. What are they going to do with pneumonia? They can't cure that!

Hm. When I lay it out all frank like that...it kind of sounds a little unscrupulous.

I'd do it anyway. Stigma don't befront me none.

By the way: I tested clean. Just in case anybody thought I had some kind of bias.

People With Great Big Dumb Hits Need To Realize

You can't resent it. Not publically, at least.

I'm talking to you, Jani Lane. You ought to be thankful for "Cherry Pie." There were not other songs on that album that were somehow crowded out by its success. Songs that, had there been no "Cherry Pie", would have somehow blown up huge. Nope No how no way. The success of "Cherry Pie" didn't distract or detract in the slightest from the success of any other material you ever came up with, on that album or after. If anything, a great big dumb hit like that will serve as a springboard for deeper and deeper album cuts to penetrate the consciousness of the rock and roll nation.

But only if the quality is there. Only if the rest of the album has the tracks to back it up. Look at Hysteria and "Pour Some Sugar On Me." That song was so dumb, they held it back until the 4th single, as if ashamed (or maybe they were just showing uncommon restraint and sagacity, secure in the knowledge of a sure thing? Doubtful!). But after it was finally released, and had been instantly and universally acclaimed as the Greatest Song Ever Written In English, all of the previous singles burned right back up the charts and great album tracks like "Rocket" (which never would have seen the light of day otherwise) were foisted off as singles to meet the insatiable demand for that sharp n' hard yet luscious Def Leppard sound. To this day I still don't understand why "Love and Affection" got no a-side 45 love (or in that day and age, "cassingle love" I suppose). It would have done bonkers in that climate.

"Cherry Pie" was just another attempt at a song in that quick-and-simple lunkheaded pop-a-rocka PSSoM mode. Everybody (including Def Leppard, playing catch-up with themselves) was trying to come out with another one of those - something big, dumb, catchy, preferably with some kind of "Hey!" or "Whoa!" involved. It's harmless, nothing to be ashamed of. It certainly didn't hurt your career.

Anyone who has a great big dumb hit and really...nothing else too special besides...well, they ought to at least feel grateful for the great big dumb hit that they did have. But for you, Mr. Lane, there really is no excuse. You had at least two other decent hits to hang your hat on. It really seems petty of you to resent your blue-ribbon prize-winning pie just because it's cringingly hokey in retrospect (as it was in pre-spect and during-spect, one suspects). Trashing the song that hit biggest isn't going to cue any critical reevaluation of the songs that couldn't cut it!

Yes, yes, I understand that the song is not what you want to be remembered for. I sympathize. I could be a frustrated artist myself at heart, for all I know. And I agree with you that the song itself was and is spectacularly craptastic. But you know what? "Down Boys" was not better by any appreciable order of magnitude.

Success, to be sweet, must be seasoned with humility. At least a pinch.

Does Back In Black Present an Unfair Standard?

People will be talking about so-called great albums by various bands, and my gut-jerk reaction is almost always "Well sure...it's a great album, so-called, but it ain't no Back In Black." And then we'll look up and down the line of that band's catalogue, trying to determine what "their" Back In Black might have been, only to miserably conclude...they don't have one. They probably don't even have it in them.

But seriously...does anyone have it in them? Has anybody ever come out with a Back In Black besides AC/DC? And I don't mean to imply that AC/DC has another one in them. Maybe they don't.

Now to be clear: I don't just mean an album with that title. That wouldn't be so hard. No, I mean: does anybody have an album that stacks up to AC/DC's Back In Black on all the relevant levels? An album that's even nearly as sharp, hard, searing, soaring, beautiful, theatrical, riffariffic, shredtastic, and songalicious? Sure, some might measure up in one or two of those key categories, but in all of them? I don't think so.

Heck, Back In Black isn't even my favorite AC/DC album! That'd be Powerage. Now that's a great album.

But even I have got to admit...it's no Back In Black.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Hustler Redux

You know what, The Hustler is a really good movie! I think it's high time that they should do it again, you know, as a remake, or a sequel? Yeah I know - The Color of Money - you don't have to tell me that. But that was more about Tom Cruise. They should come back with it again, only this time with the focus square on the Paul Newman character, except, as a twist they should instead of casting Paul Newman, they should cast that other guy that I always used to get confused with Paul Newman, way back in each of their "middle periods." You know the guy, he was in Stakeout? That would be a cool twist, that guy doesn't get enough chance to show what he can do. He was pretty good in Stakeout.

Once you get to part 3 of anything, you want a little twist in there. Speaking of which, aren't we about due for Stakeout 3: Yet Another Stakeout? Because if we are, try this little bit of a curveball on for size, casting-advice wise: get Paul Newman. Get him, to play the title role. I think it's the title role. That's his name, right?

"Freeze! Detective John Stakeout, LAPD!"

Actually I don't know if it was set in L.A. or what. That was just for example. Also, I don't think the cops really shout their whole name when it's "Freeze!"-time. But you know what I mean. Whether you're trying to get someone to freeze, or to go see your part 3 sequel, sometimes it's that little unexpected twist that can make all the difference.

A splash of the unusual!

"Tom Sawyer" Makes No Sense!

What is the deal with "Tom Sawyer" by Rush? Modern day warrior, mean mean stride..."today's Tom Sawyer"...mean, mean pride...

?

Okay. This is going back a ways for me, but you know what - I don't recall Tom Sawyer being all that "mean, mean." If anything, Huck was the more rebelled up and bravadofied of the two! And frankly, I've long suspected that Joe Harper could have kicked either of their ass. He was just a little more low key with it is all.

Heck, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Becky Thatcher couldn't put Tom on his butt, two out of three tries! That's a double negative, but just you see if it doesn't sound better than either other way to put it.

Today's Tom Sawyer...please. In what way does Tom Sawyer resemble this legendary badass depicted in the song? Does tricking a bunch of dudes into doing your chores for you qualify you as a "warrior"? Hey, maybe in the 1800's it might have. MIGHT have. But it certainly does not in the modern day - as the song would have you believe! Rush fans who take it back to the book hoping to thrill to the literary adventures of their mean-striding unrentable-minded hero's ostensible progenitor are going to be let down.

Shame on you, Geddy Lee. Shame on you, Alex Lifeson! Shame on you, the drummer.

Now, okay. I won't dispute that the song itself has a mean, mean stride. Wow, does it ever. But it's just such a random choice for the lead role, it makes the whole thing ludicrous! They might just as well have said "today's Pip Pirrip" or "today's J. Alfred Prufrock"! Cast as the mean, mean modern day warrior, coming at you with that big menacing sound. It's to laugh!

Now, on the other hand, for the sake of comparison - you know who would have really fit the bill? Natty Bumppo. Oh yeah.

But then, the sound of the name - "Natty Bumppo" - that's just a tad less badass, going by sound alone. So I don't know, I guess I can't fault them, choosing sound over sense. They are after all, Canadian.

A proud and poetic race!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

FW: FW: FW: FW: a funny joke

FW: FW: FW: FW: a funny joke

>a funny joke can make everyone feel like laughing

>a funny joke can bring a smile to your face after a bad day

>a funny joke is the difference between a frown and a happy moment

>a funny joke can make you understand a deep truth about the human condition

>a funny joke can help you forget your dead pet, if only for a while

>when you laugh about a funny joke, it makes other people around you want to know what's the joke

>a funny joke can be a blessing from God

>a funny joke is the difference between us and the savages

>a funny joke can start your whole day off right!

>a funny joke is less funny if you have to stop and explain it to somebody

>a funny joke isn't funny at all if someone gets offended

>but you can always make a funny joke about them after they leave

>your favorite funny joke is a treasure to share

>BRIGHTEN SOMEONE'S DAY. SHARE THIS LIST WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW.

God Likes Me.

God likes me infinitely.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Ain't Missing You At All

I just saw John Waite. Last night, actually. Friday Night Free Concert at the Boardwalk. I was impressed. So much so that after the show, I wanted to get a t-shirt - but the line was INSANE for the merchandise table! No doubt due to the presence of John Waite up there, signing stuff. I wished there was a separate line for people who just wanted unsigned swag. Picture me walking around in a sweet-ass JOHN WAITE t-shirt. Not something I'd have previously imagined me in, but I have a life-longstanding policy of never refusing to go to a free show (except of course in cases where a prior obligation absolves me). And I always go in with an open mind, giving whoever's onstage full license to knock me out if they so choose and have the means to do.

John Waite had it in him, and he wasn't stingy with spreading it around. So I'd have been proud to sport his t-shirt if I'd had a chance to get one. Oh well.

Anyhow. He was really good! His band was tight. There was a woman at the front, stage left, who was doing a combination of interpretive dance and sign languaging the lyrics for the benefit of the hearing impaired as I sat denim-clad ass in the cool sand stealing sips from Sierra Summerfest bottles that my date had smuggled in her purse, grooving on the whirling lights of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk rides as dark came on.

It was a wonderful setting, and a fun show. Lord, his voice is great! And that, in the second show of a double header (shows at 6:30 and 8:30 in the Boardwalk Summer Concert Series). I found myself comparing him favorably to all sorts of people. He'd certainly sound awesome singing anything from any of your raspy voiced prominent rockers such as Mr. Henley or Mr. Stewart (or is that Sir Rod, now?). His voice is easily as good today as any of those guys in their prime. I don't know, maybe even a bit stronger. He can belt it out beautifully, with a lot of soul.

I didn't really recognize anything from the set except "Missing You". A few of the numbers sounded half-familiar. I'd probably half-heard them before. Oh wait, I definitely did recognize "When I See You Smile" from his late 80s tenure with bad-hair band instant elder statesmen Bad English. Lord, John, was that a wig or what back then? Holy cow. And I know I've heard songs from The Babys before, but if he played any The Babys songs they were not the ones I'd heard.

But it was a very good show. The lack of familiar numbers was no problem, because all of the material was solid. The lyrics were incredibly straightforward - he spends a lot of time in these songs thinking of you, smiling when he thinks of you, seeing you smile, thinking of you and having it always turn out good - but he belts it out clear like a beacon and it somehow seems heartfelt rather than embarrassingly clichéd. It hit me with a bit of an epiphany, thinking that maybe clever wordplay is not necessarily a hallmark of good songwriting. Maybe I need to knock that off a bit.

Pretty compact setlist. He only played a little over an hour, I think (I wonder whether the set was identical to the 6:30 show or whether he mixed it up a bit?). At the end the sign-dancing woman had some nice things to say about Mr. Waite and a tease for the remaining 4 shows in the Free Boardwalk Summer Concert Series. Maybe I'll see the Tubes.

All these years in Santa Cruz, I never bothered to go to one of these. Huh. Well, it would have been a cheap date, but dinner at Lucio's balanced that set of scales!

Actually, Lucio's is perfectly reasonable. And what an angel hair pasta pomodoro! Bliss through simplicity.

Friday, August 01, 2008