Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Don't Have a Type!

I mean, not as a particular strong preference. I've nothing against them! Types are fine, all types are fine. I'm not against types. Whatever the opposite of a fetish is, I certainly do not have the opposite of a fetish towards buxom blondes, for example. I just don't have a real preference towards them. Or towards any other category of women based on visual classification of gross physical attributes. In short, I don't think I have a "type" at all, really.

I love women for their BIG, SMART, BOOMIN' MINDS. Them's the kinds of chicks I hanker for!

Well, wait, but not even strictly that. You can't just depersonalize and objectify the totality of a woman's being down to her mind. You must appreciate all her fancies, facts and facets! And so of course, I am a great appreciator of physical beauty, as well. Big-time. And in all other areas, I have high standards in general, I think. But the point is: in terms of particulars, I find that as far as leaning towards specific types goes, I don't really. Whatever a woman has going on, as long as she knows she's workin' it! - that's the most attractive thing a woman can have. Not even "confidence," per se, I mean more like: sense of self.

That's way more important than any "type." When a woman appreciates who and what she is - whatever her specific attributes are! - that's when I can appreciate her for who and what she is. I don't just look for a specific set of surface attributes and pick based on that. That just seems dumb to me.

It's like types of beers. Do I like Blonde Ales? Sure! Hell yeah, I'll guzzle the FUCK out of one of those! I'll grab it, slam it, and then look around for more! With a gleam in my eye. If there's libational excellence to be had, then baby, I plan to indulge! Or what about a nice, tight, light Lager? Sure, long as it's refreshing and tasty. I've no objection to a bit of lighter refreshment, playing across my usually-more-serious palate. Stouts? FUCK YUP. I love a nice, big, full-bodied bouncy Stout, with some substance, some flavor and maybe an interesting finish. How about Red Ales? Well, these can be a bit temperamental, but some of them can be EXTREMELY fun, as long as you both know it's clearly just for laughs and not anything serious! Otherwise, somebody could get hurt.

Do I like Amber Ales? Oh lord. Yes. Yes, I do.

I hope to marry one in fact.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Telling Random You-Tube Videos What For, #2

Free songwriting advice. The chorus goes "'Cause I'm a businessman, businessman. I'm a businessman. 'Cause I'm a businessman, businessman. I mean business, man."

Just that one little tweak. Well you could also say of your BMW that it's black not blue, but on the whole I think the lapse into non rhyme there is more effective than otherwise.

Good job. Keep expressing the depth of your soul through the medium of songwriting, Mr. Vilderman.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Name That Tune #26!

"Get clear, I tell you, get clear.
What's with the canines nosing my toes!
they're sensing something, they're registering
registering that temperature...
that temperature...

I'll take hot water vapor,
and the sensations it produces
reinforce your sense of reality
Take an existence, to go with the fantasy

You can differentiate between refinements and garbage
between fake, and legal tender
If I've wandered off the path you know how to find it again
However...with you, I'm well acquainted.
You can differentiate between a pole-dancer and a liquid pigment
between a person beset with moral transgressions, and a person living in divinity
when the pearly gates are closed, you can jimmy them open
However...of you, I have certain knowledge.

I'll take hot water vapor,
and the feelings you have can reinforce its reality
to the same degree of reality as any locality which you have inhabited
Take an existence, to go with the fantasy

Get clear,
to reiterate: Get clear!
Is it not apparent to you that I've become ungovernable?
My discretion has become negligible
You close in on me, your proximity is such that I can feel your temperature
feel your temperature, your temperature

I'll take hot water vapor,
and the sensations it produces
reinforce your sense of reality
Take an existence, to go with the fantasy

You can differentiate the somewhat cool secondary color from the hot primary
You can differentiate the rapid from the deceased
You are superior to the others to such a degree that
You believe yourself to be singled out for divine favor
But with you I am well acquainted

You can differentiate between the many-runged scaling aide and the many-scaled legless reptile
You can differentiate between the choke-hold and the foot-pedal
You can differentiate between an (infinitely) thin, (infinitely) long, one-dimensional bi-directional geometrical projection, and the one not-so-straight
You're well-endowed with biological tissues designed to convey information via electrical impulses
But of you, I have certain knowledge

I'll take hot water vapor,
and the feelings you have can reinforce its reality
to the same degree of reality as any locality which you have inhabited
Take an existence, to go with the fantasy

All of us, get down
Don't exhale, say "1-2-3-4-5!"
a pat on the back, a bomb perhaps
insulate it from shocks with sheets of plastic cushiony packing material
indoor vibration, seismic tremor
Discover a method of keeping conscious
it will fellate, it will become nonfunctional
That's alls I can stands!

Yup, I require hot water vapor
The sensation of hot water vapor around me presently
you make the temperature increase
as I'm talking in my sleep
and you agitate your extremities
please move yourself into this cloud of hot water vapor
this hot water vapor

I'll take hot water vapor,
and the sensations it produces
reinforce your sense of reality
Take an existence, to go with the fantasy

Assist me, yup
Prepared to direct the hot water vapor towards the lumber clump!
cabin fever from the ice to the verge of becoming gaseous
Water's boiling, it's b..b..b..boiling
boiling boiling boiling boiling
vitality is beginning to bubble
donate me some hot water vapor, woman
donate me some hot water vapor encircling me presently
I'm the opposite of low, like returning from the dead,
to reiterate: donate me some hot water vapor!"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Knowledge Alone Can Ruin The Taste Of Something

You know what? I'll spare you the specific example.

Droppin Gs Left and Right, I'm Droppin Gs

When you're typing out dialogue, there's something kind of artificial and overly precious about sticking an apostrophe on there for the dropped "g" off the end of an "-ing" verb. You're basically tacking an asterisk on, to say "yes, I know that's not how it's spelled. I've substituted an apostrophe, for the 'g' that really should go there. In this way I show that I am more educated than the speaker, whose ignorant dialect I faithfully transcribe."

Well to me that's bullshit. It totally violates the spirit of the dialogue being reported! Putting that apostrophe inside the speaker's quotation marks reflects badly on him. You're putting your fastidiousness in his mouth. It makes what he has to say look like an affectation. When you read it, you say: "This guy here, with all his singin', and his dancin' around the issue, he comes off as a bit of a poser."

I say just leave the apostrophe off. That dude is not saying what he has to say with an apostrophe. He dropped that "g" with complete unconcern and nonchalance. No way is he going to be so fussy as to put something on in its place, to apostrophize (if you will) the absent consonant.

You want to drop a "g," drop a "g." Don't be all dainty about it. Dropping the "g" is not a dainty move.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A High Five From A Toddler!

Now that's validation.

Don't Like This Post? Bookmark It!

Don't care for this post? Leave a comment! Tell me what about it you didn't like. Then, maybe revisit it later! Bookmark it today, and come back in a few months. Read it again. Has your opinion of it changed? Perhaps it grew on you! Some of these posts are growers. Leave another comment, describing how your feelings towards this post have changed.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bible Stories Updated For Modern Life: The Prodigal Son's Returns

So we see all these different paraphrases and interpretations of the bible online, like "The Message: The Bible In Contemporary Language" and the even more contemporary LOLcats Bible. What could be more of a blessing than to use God's word, paraphrased into language that people can easily understand, to teach them the lessons that will help them in their daily lives? For whatteth profiteth a Bible if noneforso can readeth the dang thing? Or even if it's in English - sometimes the wording can be so stiff and dead to modern ears. The word of God was meant to live and breathe and move within us! So I'm definitely on board with the prophets of paraphrase. Using such means, we can keep the spirit and meaning of God's word intact, while boosting its ability to reach the ears and hearts of those most in need of its saving grace and direction. Right on!

But I think we can go even further. We can do more than generalize broadly with our paraphrases. We can tailor the way we deliver the word, to better reach all sorts of specific "target audiences"! Indeed, the four evangelists did this: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each presented Jesus in a way that emphasized the appeal of Christ's message to a particular audience - whether Jews, Romans, gentiles, or those steeped in the more metaphysical traditions of Greek philospophical thought. It is right that one seeking to share the good news should make an effort to reach one's audience!

So I say it is time we brought the bible fully into step with the modern age, with a paraphrase that brings home the truths of capitalism and global economics, as revealed in the healing light of God's word.

Therefore may I please present Bible Stories Updated For Modern Life: The Prodigal Son's Returns
A man had two sons. This man was comfortably well-off but he kept his money in a mattress. He didn't believe in investing. He believed in hard work all his life, and was now pretty comfortably set, and could think of retiring, and handing over the running of his property to his sons.

The younger son said, "Father, your liquid assets are tied up in a mattress. This is not a sound financial strategy. Please allow me to manage your finances for you." The father said, "No, son. I manage my money as I see fit. I don't parley with bankers and such! When I die, you and your brother will each inherit your half." Hearing this, the younger son was troubled in mind. "What will become of my father and brother if something should befall?"

"Father," said the younger son. "Give me my share of the inheritance now." Hearing this, the father was angered. He divided his money in half, and gave his younger son half. "Go now, ye faithless lad! Cursed be the sandals of your feet and the thick twisting curls of your head of hair! From now on you shall be known as The Prodigal Son!"

"What does it mean?" asked The Prodigal Son.

"No one knows." The old man turned and left.

The Prodigal Son took the money and set off for a distant country where he knew the markets were favorable. There he multiplied his wealth many times with savvy investments and a diversified portfolio - not neglecting to secure the aid and advice of a shrewd, reputable investment counselor! The Prodigal Son lived frugally, enjoying the fruits of his prudent, well-shepherded wealth. In time he had amassed a net worth exceeding his initial investment by many multiples.

Finally one day a visitor came to the austere office The Prodigal Son used to receive potential business partners. The Prodigal Son rose from his chair in joyful recognition: "Besmas! Steward of my father's house! Though I have been cursed and exiled from the bower of my youth, still my heart leaps with joy to see you! What news of my father? But how is it with you, Besmas - why look ye so ragged and haggard? Were you waylaid on the road?"

"Nay, The Prodigal Son," said Besmas. "No brigand would waylay me, destitute as I am. Your father has been struck down by misfortune. He upset a lamp in his bed-chamber and set his whole bed ablaze. He escaped unharmed - but the taxman came the next day! And your father's entire fortune was burned up. He had been cash-rich, but with all his liquid assets destroyed he was naught but a pauper. He had nothing to give but his possessions and his equipment. The taxman took all. Now the whole house is reduced to such a state as you see before you."

The Prodigal Son was overjoyed. "But that is but a small hurt! Come Besmas, I will return with you immediately. All will be well."

So The Prodigal Son, together with a company of his trusty servants, rode with Besmas in a procession of donkeys and carts to the country of his home.

While they were still a long way off, his father saw him and ran out to meet him. Taking in the splendid procession of donkeys and laden carts, his heart was moved with remorse and shame. Dressed as he was in rags, he flung himself down and prostrated himself before his son. "Oh Prodigal Son, have pity on me for I was a fool, and have suffered for not heeding your wise financial advice! I am no longer worthy to be called your father. But come into your childhood house, and let me and your older brother be as servants to you!"

"My father," said The Prodigal Son, "What I did in asking for my half of the inheritance, I did for you out of fear for your solvency! I have minded your money just as if I had been entrusted by you with it, and have multiplied it many times. All I have is yours. Receive me into your house, and let us celebrate!"

At these last words, the newly-joyful countenance of the father fell. "But," he hesitated, "we starve on crusts, and charity leavings. I have no feast to lay before you, such as you deserve."

"Did I not say all I have is yours?" laughed The Prodigal Son. "Besmas!" he called. "Bring out the provisions! Fatted calves for everyone!"

The older brother was kind of a jerk about it at first, but when he saw all the food he was like, "Right on, little brother."

See? See? We can preserve the core message and intent of the story, while using little tweaks and paraphrases to reach other ears and teach important lessons!

God's word is versatile, peoples.

Friday, July 23, 2010

When I Was a Kid #Whatever We're Up To

When I was a kid, the only thing I knew for sure about reindeer was they could fly.

Fiction Friday: This Wasn't My Dream Job I Just Fell Into It

I'm a blowjob interpreter for the National Security Thing. They show me sensitive tapes. People want blowjobs, but they also need reassurance. Sometimes you can't be sure of motives involved, divided loyalties, things like that. I'm the man who comes in and gives you the bad news: this blowjob is a con job. She's after something else. Or sometimes, I get to give you a happy ending of a different sort: congratulations, man. This blowjob was sincere.

Those good days are increasingly rare. My job is not one for the naive pollyanna, no job for people who want to believe in what's generous and good in all of us. But it's a job I have to do. I'm the best there is.

I look at every nuance and gesture as the act is performed. I can spot an insincere blowjob a mile off. There are all sorts of savvy indicators that I base my gut call on. Body language. Frequency and style of eye contact. Facial expression - or lack thereof.

Spit vs. swallow is not as big a tipoff as you might imagine. Some just don't care for the taste.

I have to say, ultimately? I know that there are reasons why people need to know. But for me? In my personal life?

I keep my eyes closed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010







Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Forward to The Self-Written Book

This fucking book wrote itself. You always hear about it, but you never expect it to happen right in front of you. I wasn't even involved, I just. Man. It was kind of freaky, and hard to describe.

I only put my name on it because I saw the whole thing happen. If anybody's going to come around asking questions, there should at least be someone there to ask, who at least saw something.

Name That Tune #25!

"Be seated and hearken unto a story of a foredoomed journey.
Embarking from a harbor in the lower latitudes, on a miniscule vessel.
The match was a sailor of puissance, the captain - courageous and certain!
Less than half a dozen passengers aboard, the journey was to be brief.
The storm came upon them and the waves threw the vessel about.
The only thing that saved them all was the brave action of the shiphands.
The vessel is wrecked upon the beach of an unknown discrete landmass, not part of any continent.
With all those aboard, either by name or by occupational designation."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Doodeloo #60: PEGURSUS!!!




The Power of Being Me

The Power of Being Me isn't something I can really explain to you too well, or pass on in any usable form to others. For one thing: you can't do it.

Don't even try! Don't even waste your time; you will fail.

For another: honestly? It's not worth the effort.

Not for what you get out of it.

The Elusive Chinese Dragon: No Myth?

I believe that the strong tradition of dragons in Chinese folklore is down to dinosaurs. My theory is that dinosaurs held out far longer in isolated pockets of mainland China than they did elsewhere. We all know China is a trove of undiscovered fossils and new-to-you dinosaur species! If only they'd let us get in there with some decent large-scale paleontological expeditions, I bet we'd find evidence that populations of dinosaurs heretofore unknown to science had held on long past the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction boundary. Perhaps even surviving into historical or near-historical times.

I admit, I have no hypothesis as to how these 'saurs could have made it through the plummeting temperatures that claimed all their kin on land and in the seas. I do tend to back the theorists who cite a relatively narrow range of temperature in which dino eggs could incubate and hatch, as being the root cause of the big die-out. So how could these dinosaurs have beaten that seemingly unbeatable sucker-punch?

Ancient Chinese Secret, huh?

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Don't Mean Nothing By It

It's just my way.

Hey, Technology. Get with it.

With all of the technological leaps in the past 30 years, why haven't they come up with an Etch-A-Sketch that lets you lift the needle from the drawing surface? So that you could have a broken line once in a while, without attempting the dreaded "controlled shake"?

How To Learn How To Write #2: Priorities, Please!

So you have an idea for something you might want to write, but you're not sure it's going to be worth reading?

What the hell is wrong with you. Don't concern yourself with whether something is worth reading. That's a question you can't answer.

Ask yourself: is it worth writing?

If the answer is "no," then you must not be much of a writer. It ought to be worth it for practice, alone. Write the thing! Oh, if you have something better to write, then of course: write the better thing first. Then go write the other thing.

Then write the next thing. Then write the next thing. Then write the next thing. Practice, as they say, is a m*****fucker.

Don't ever not write a piece that occurs to you, just because you think it might be no good. Write it and see if it's good. It's not a waste of time, unless something better crops up that you could be working on. And if that happens, no problem! Lay the cool project aside, while you work on the hot one. You can always come back to the other one later.

Or maybe you won't have time to - maybe you end up going on a streak from one hot project to the next. That's the entire point! As long as you don't stop writing, as long as you keep working, even on a piece that you think has little potential - the act itself will keep your hand hot, will keep your mind open to inspiration, will keep the creative juices flowing.

There's no such thing as writer's block: just too-fussy writers, too lazy to get their hands dirty on a bad idea. Holding out for the precious idea.

Don't hold out. Work. Work on the best thing you've got going now. Even working on the worst thing you've done is still better than doing no writing at all. Maybe you'll hit a breakthrough! Take a sad piece and make it better! Or maybe you won't. Maybe that piece is just going to turn out bad. It doesn't matter. Once you're done with it, set it aside and move on to the next. You do the best you can each time, and your best gets better. When you can execute a poor idea strongly, you'll be ready when a great idea comes along.

Even if a given piece turns out not to be among your best, you make it as strong as that idea can be. You pour your heart into it anyway, so your heart can grow. Even if you finish the piece and it's no better than you expected it to be, the writing you put into it will make you better.

Is it worth writing?

All writing is worth writing.

Doomsday Pt.2

This post is Part 2 of a 2-parter. There was also a Part 1.
I hate to be the one to break this to you, but we as a race could detonate every single working nuclear weapon on the planet right now, and humanity would still survive. We'll survive until either a big enough rock comes along to hit us, or the sun runs out of hydrogen and enters its hungry hungry helium phase. We're dug in too deep as a species. We're dug in worse than roaches at this point. There are plenty of us tucked away in out-of-the-way places that will not suffer direct hits, and there would be many, many breeding populations that could weather the winter of a few hundred (or thousand) years, and come out smelling worse, maybe - but basically okay. Remember that through the worst ice ages this planet ever saw - ferns survived.


There are places we'd survive, tucked away. Then once the global thaw sets in, it'd only take a geologic eyeblink for us to over-repopulate the globe again - even if no technology survived to help us do it.

Better pray that big rock comes along before we get good enough to take it out from beyond the orbit of Neptune. Because if nothing hits us first, that technology junk is going to get us out of here long before Big Mr. Sol start's blushing and plumping up.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Your status update is too long. The maximum status length is 420 characters, but it is 2013 characters long.

"Let's see how long this field can get?" I said. I began whistling a tune. I was still whistling the tune when ten guys joined in. I said "hey dudes, come on, that's not even the tune I was whistling." "Sorry," they said, not only in unison, but in an eerie harmony of monotones. I said, "are you guys aliens?" The tall one said "no!" but the other nine guys had just started to say "y-" Then they all kind of stopped and stared straight forward, holding perfectly still as if somewhere, an egg was being balanced.

I don't know about you, but this made me suspicious. Soon I was casting about for explanations: "Well, are you or aren't you?" "What?" they queried, innocently. "Aliens!" I clarified. "No," came the harmonically monotonous reply, "we most definitely aren't. Yourself?"

"No, I'm not either," I said, for the moment satisfied. (Although, still wondering how much longer this field gets). "Well, that settles that!" I was determined not to bring it up again if they didn't.

"What made you ask if we were aliens?" they ventured. Their voices and eyes all held the very same slightly-hurt note.

"Well, come on guys, it's not that, it's just..." I hesitated, then resolved.

"Okay, you're all wearing identical ill-fitting pinstripe suits, it looks like the exact same suit but it fits none of you.

"But -!"

"Hang on! Don't interrupt for a minute, ok?"

"OK." They were growing increasingly dejected. Their sensitivity to a fashion critique was at least, quite unexpectedly human.

"You all say - for the most part - the same thing at the same time, all in monotone, and the separate notes of each of your monotones forms a rather arrestingly perfect ten-part harmony. The-"

"Where is the offense, in all of this?" said the tall one, in a quailing, almost Mozart-aria-esque passage of wide-ranging melodicism that nonetheless somehow came off as spoken.

"Humans don't do it." I said.

"Oh," they all sighed in unison, shoulders slumping. Man this field just keeps going! But will it POST?

I Rarely Insist

"I wish to be paid in dineros, if possible."

"That's not possible."

"Dollars, then."

The World Won't Respect My Faith! ("Expanded Version")

Ever notice how every time somebody says so-and-so-they-know doesn't "respect their faith" - when you ask them what their faith is, it always turns out to be something REALLY DUMB?

I usually give the good advice at that point, such as, "Well, perhaps people would respect your faith if you switched to a more, oh say, respectable faith."

One good tip on that score is, it should be about God. People don't understand it otherwise. Mind you, worshipping nothing is fine! People totally understand and respect atheists. But if you tell people you worship some offhand thing, it's going to strike them a little weird. Like "I worship a doorknob." Sure on the one hand, at least we can grasp the purpose and nature of a doorknob! But why worship that? Not so easy to grasp.

Also as far as "God" goes, it's totally wide-open! It doesn't even matter what your conception of God is, or what attributes you ascribe - just as long as on some level: it's God. That's key. Otherwise, people won't get it. They'll think, "well...if it's not God...what are you praying for?" That's a natural response! It's not about condemnation, really, it's about comprehension.

Look, people believe in God because you can't see God anyplace, no matter how hard you look. Therefore, that's something you could pray to, and expect some results! It takes some sort of strong power (some say, infinite power) to be so stealth - especially when you are literally everyplace, constantly.

Now, when I say "God" - please recognize, the name's not important either. You can call God something funny if you want to. God'll get the idea. But it's got to be God, or something equally invisible and majestic (actually, that's still God. Nothing is equally invisible and majestic, except God). Because otherwise, it just seems real goofy calling it faith. You can't be praying to bunnies, or to trees, or to a bubbling brook and expect people to react all "Hey! I respect the heck out of that sort of deal! How respectable of you - to have so much faith! So much faith in a tree. I too have faith in the tree! In fact, there it is now, over by the babbling brook, next to the bunnies. Kind of hard not to believe in it. So...can you explain the part about praying to it though?" No, you can't. Because praying to a tree is STUPID.

Hey, let's all pretend we're atheists for a second! Some of us are (hi, folks!), so let's just pretend we're all atheists. Now in that case, praying to God would be stupid! Right? Sure. But I tell you: even in that case, praying to a tree is more stupid.

Man. Let me tell you, incense and candles are fine if the room stinks, or is dark, but it's not some big holy deal, okay? That's another thing - separate issue, though. Don't worship candles or incense! Again: it's stupid! Remember that whole thing with Israelites and the prohibition on worshipping graven images and stuff? That prohibition is for that exact same reason we're talking about: you go around worshipping inanimate objects, it's just embarrassing for everyone. You. Your family. Everyone. God, even.

It isn't that God's really jealous when God sees that stuff going on. God's just kind of vicariously ashamed. "God?" "Yes, Gabriel, what is it?" "It's the Simpkisses - it's Jess and Melissa Simpkiss, down there. They're worshipping quartz, now." "Gabriel?" "Yes God?" "What part of 'omniscient' do you not understand?" "Oh. Sorry, I...I just...yes, of course. Sorry." "I was pretending not to notice." "Yes, of course." "It's embarrassing." "Yes, of course God, sorry I brought it up!" "Peace be with you, Gabriel."

I'm telling you, even God can't respect that kind of thing. And God can respect quite a bit.

But of course, if you don't care about the respect part, then worship what you want! If you're willing to not complain when the world won't respect your faith - worship away! No one can stop you from worshipping whatever you want. That's between you and...whatever it is you happen to pick out. As long as you don't sweat the respect, then all of the above goes right out the window and you don't have to worry about any of it.

It's only when you care about people respecting your faith, that all these other sorts of concerns come in. But really, if you don't care, then you're totally free to worship your own feet if you want.

I dare you. I just dare you to found a religion upon your own feet. See how many recruits you get on that one. Nobody wants to worship your feet, pal.


The World Won't Respect My Faith! Pt.2: Update

The previous post seemed needlessly flip!

So I'm putting up an expanded version.

The World Won't Respect My Faith!

Ever notice how every time somebody says so-and-so-they-know doesn't "respect their faith" - when you ask them what their faith is, it always turns out to be something REALLY DUMB?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quote Of The Day: Snappy

"That comeback was as snappy as a severed thumb."


When a Native American greets you by saying, "How!", don't laugh. That's not some big joke for you to laugh at. In fact, if you trace the history and origins of the term, you will maybe get a shock. Because the joke may be on you.

Back in the day, the Indians were all like, "man, every time the white man comes around, he's all like 'how?' 'How do you get the corn to grow so good, red man?' 'How do you start the fire like that?' 'How do you sit on the floor, or drink water "Indian fashion"?' Every damn sentence out of these white guys' mouths starts with 'How?'!" And then Chief Heap Big Sarcasm made a suggestion that from now on, everybody should adopt the white man's signature greeting as their own. It was looked at as a polite and subtle form of ridicule.

You have to have some historical perspective. At that point, they were clearly the more advanced culture. We did not show up bristling with moon-rockets - all that stuff came way later. Back in those early days, when we first landed upon the various large rocks scattered up and down the Eastern seaboard for that purpose, we immediately saw that the indigenous population was leaps and bounds ahead of us, in terms of what we Americans have always called "know-how." In this case, it was the natural native wisdom of the land that we ourselves had been cut off from, due to our posh European upbringing. Because we were like, "How will we last the winter? We have no provisions!" And then people were like - "How about we ask those dudes in the woods? They seem to be getting along pretty well - and look how they're dressed!"

Before long, a lively exchange of views and ideas began thriving, as well as some valuable cultural interchange in the form of alcohol and diseases. But from the standpoint of the Native American at the time, making the subtle point that the white man was so ignorant that the standard greeting of his culture was "How?" - to adopt that in their dealings with us was a pretty subtle move that displays a fine, shrewd sense of humor.

That's why it sticks in my craw when ignorant moderns try to use it as some kind of stereotypical caricature! Learn your peoples' histories, peoples!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fiction Friday: Update On The Letdown!

Fiction Friday this week is a total bust.

No fiction friday.

Sucks. I was on a roll there, for a while!

You can still click the 'fiction' tag and scroll back through some old fridays! You probably missed a few along the way, if you need a fix you can always hit the archives. In fact, I just tried to do that myself, hoping for some point of inspiration to pick up from and run. No good.

My head hurts and I'm just exhausted. I've got a stupid party to be at tonight too. Shiite.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quote of the Day: Possibly Not Actually A Compliment

"The level to which you are creative exceeds the level to which I am able to appreciate creativity."

Script for a Quick Comedy Sketch. NSFW (OC)


Scene: two dudes, 30s, handsome, dressed casual but sharp, sitting having a drink in an upscale bar someplace. They're either having beers or some kind of worldly, manly cocktail - whichever's funnier.

Brad: So, what happened with Katy?

Curt: Oh man, you won't believe it!

Brad: Yeah!! C'mon, spill!

Curt: Well, you know she lives right upstairs from there, right?

Brad: Nope, didn't know that.

Curt: Right in the old hotel upstairs - condominium conversions.

Brad: Nice.

Curt: So anyway, she invites me up to her place, for coffee.

Brad: Nice!

Curt: And the upshot of it all is, we start kissing.

Brad: Yeah?

Curt: Yeah, and next thing you know, we both start taking our clothes off. And pretty soon, we're both naked.

Brad: Yeah??!

Curt: Yeah! And before I know it, I...

Brad: Yeah...?

Curt: My penis ended up going right into her vagina.

Brad: No way!

Curt: Swear to god.

Brad: What did she say? What did you do?

Curt: Well, she didn't really say anything. She was kind of inarticulate.

Brad: I can imagine! Holy shit.

Curt: Well wait 'til you hear the craziest part! We're like that, and we're moving around a lot, really vigorously for a while...

Brad: What!?

Curt: ...and then all this stuff comes out the front!

Brad: What!? Of your penis?

Curt: Yeah! Right out the front!

Brad: What the hell!

Curt: It was crazy. It felt amazing. It was like there were all these nerve endings down there, that just...were designed to make it feel like the most incredible sensation in the world.

Brad: ...

Curt: Yeah, I know, I know.

Brad: ...are you shitting me!

Curt: Swear to god I'm not!

Brad: Well what did she say? When that happened?

Curt: Nothing, dude! She seemed pleased. Real pleased.

Brad: Wow.

Curt: Yeah, I'm really glad you asked me, actually. The whole thing was kind of a lot to process.

Brad: Pretty weird!

Curt: Yeah.

Brad: Damn.

Curt: Yeah, I know!

Brad: Huh...

Curt: Yeah?

Brad: Do you think Katy would let me try?

Curt: I don't know. I guess I could ask her!

Brad: Thanks, man!

Curt: Yeah, no problem.

Brad: So, how was the coffee?

Curt: Aw, it was incredible. Katy makes amazing coffee.

Brad: Damn, man. You had some night!

Curt: Tell me about it.

Thought of the Day: Hopeless

Hopeless is the one thing a hopeless romantic never is.

Ever Brush Your Teeth With Soap?

Have you ever tried brushing your teeth with soap? No? Well, are you going to consider trying it now? Or are you the kind of close-minded person who says: "I don't do things." Because if you are, then I ask you: how do you know if you don't know?

I'm not talking about some half-way measure, either. I mean if you're going to try something, you need to give it the full trial. Really work those bristles into that bar and lather up that toothbrush. Then get into your mouth and scour every surface of enamel 'til it gleams! Don't just dip a little in past your lips and get all pukey and give up on it. You can't say you really gave it a try if you don't go all the way! That's like going to see a really shitty movie, walking out of it before the end - and then trying to claim to people that it was a shitty movie. Well, maybe it is! But you didn't stay to the end, did you? So you're not really fit to pronounce on that, are you?

The world has all kinds of tricky ways of making a hypocrite out of you. You've got to be on your guard at all times.

It's like being some really religious person, and then one day you hear someone talking about a book that came out, where your favorite most beloved religious devotional figure is utterly SPAT ON, and DEGRADED, and stuff - and then even though you may not have READ the whole book, you still have all the gall to pronounce upon it and say: "That book's an abomination!"

Well guess what buddy: you just abominated the bible.

That's right. Didn't see that one coming did you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Madonna Hasn't Got A

Madonna doesn't really have a Thriller. She hasn't got a Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. She hasn't got a Back In Black.

I wonder if that bothers her. I wonder if it torments her? If it keeps her up nights, sometimes? I mean, I know it would bother the heck out of me.

Luckily I have all those albums.

Name That Tune #24!

"arise so that you might be numbered,
for what is about to be bestowed upon you
we are distributors, of whatever you require.
Pay homage to JJ's dyn-o-mite sitcom,
Because a stone must be yielded to.
Not a myth story, not an underlying reason for something to happen -
Our life's purpose is a carpe diem type situation.

Our kudos are for the people commencing to groove
Our kudos are for the people commencing to groove

We groove it right down where the the opposing military forces have dug in across from each other,
like a smiting from on high
the heavens are flashing with the toothy attack of a stringed instument
decapitations are predicted to groove this evening"

And for dessert? I'll have the burnt custard.

Flan's all...glistening and jiggly. Anyway, it's too soft. Creme brulee is hard. It's got an outer surface of hard caramel glaze that you need a metal implement to crack! Creme brulee has been through the fire.

But underneath that rigid, gleaming facade...the smooth custard. Sweet and cool under the surface. Hey! He's not so tough after all!

If the name weren't so françois it would be considered a real manly dish! Sitting so self-contained in its ramekin. It should be called "Burnt Custard." That would be a dish any man could feel proud to slam down his fist on the table and demand an order of!

"So. Dessert. What'll ya..."


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hey, You Know That Gargoyle?

You know that corner-of-the-eye gargoyle? That hunched, scowling dude you only catch a flash of as you leave a darkened room? You were walking right past him on the way through the doorway, into the next lit room, and your heart about dropped out of your chest because there he was! You didn't see him, not clearly, not dead-on - and you didn't even react. You didn't even flinch. You just played it dead flat-affect cool, because your shocked reaction could not even kick in, before you were already out of the room. Your walking momentum had already carried you into light, and safety.

You know that guy, right? Maybe you don't conceptualize him as a gargoyle. Perhaps to you he's a troll, or a goblin. A gremlin. A monster of some kind. You only get a glimpse - maybe what strikes you most in that instant is his flat-featured face, dull teeth bared, beady eyes glaring in hatred - and what you'd swear was anticipation. Or maybe you key in on his silhouette, and the main impression you get is of his tall shock of awful, wiry, gnarly, bushy hair.

When you walk back into the room, you flip the light switch on first, and look. Curious, but nonchalant: "Hm, what might that have been?" And there's nothing there at all, nothing that could remotely answer. Or else: there is some collection or assemblage of borderline-plausible objects. You convince yourself: "Ah!" "Yes." "That...must have been it."

But anyway, you know the guy I mean! That darkened-room gargoyle. You know him, right?

Well I was just having a talk with him. He says the next time you ignore him like that, he's going to kill you.

I'd Prefer a Society Where Pt.2: I'd Prefer a Society WHORE

This post is part two of a two-part series. There was also a part one.

Actually, dear reader The Vegetable Assassin was minding her own business, reading the Pt.1's post title, and I was so impressed with the greater heft and evocativeness of what she had read it as that I said, "this cries out for a Pt.2 on that basis alone!"

And so we have it. On that basis alone.

I Am Not An Institute

I am not an institute. I have not been founded to advance the cause of some specific knowledge, or to curate some great esoteric good. I am not housed in a blocky clifftop modernist edifice, constructed out of challenging angles, looming before an empty parking lot at the end of a long and disused, winding switchback driveway. I do not have a matte charcoal gray metal security box with a steady red bead of light, standing vigil to the right side of my locked glass and steel front doors. There is no untenanted reception desk in my lobby, darkly visible through the smoky green tinted, semi-reflective windows. I am not an institute.

But I wish I was. Lord, how I wish I was.

I'd Prefer a Society Where

I'd prefer a society where people were made of luminous light and sound and sense, singing in overlapping tones of metal, gold, and chrome; wings spread gauzily, our edgefeathers mingled at the tips as we all revolve in infinitely concentric circles turning in upon the ringing, shining, singing source of all of us, of which all the beauties from which we are formed are merely the sheerest echoes.

I'm an idealist, you see.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kickass Screenplay Ideas: TV Pitch Edition: "Diagnosis: BEAR"

I think that "Diagnosis: BEAR" could be a pretty sweet tv show about an investigative medical examiner who solves crimes by detailed procedural methods in a remote Yukon-like area way up in the rural Alaskan reaches or thereabouts. His whole deal is, he brings the most modern scientific methods to bear to crack the case in this scenic backwoods environment. Maybe expanding a few minds, as he goes. That's this M.E.'s M.O.

Every episode, there would be a new case to solve. At the end of every episode, after a lot of suspense and red herrings, the murder would be pretty conclusively pinned on a local bear known to be furtively rampaging in the region. The show would not go into any of the efforts to catch the bear - if such efforts were being made, it would be quite out of the department of our hero's exploits.

The story arc that would straddle the second half of the second season, the cliffhanger season finale, and the epoch-breaking first five episodes of the third season (including the 2-hour long "very special" 3rd episode) would involve a copycat killer.

Thought of the Day: for love

A fool for love is the smartest kind.

I love that sweet, sweet underlying context.

(Barry White voice)

"Hey baby."

"Let's you and me discuss..." "some, fundamental principles oh, yeaaaEAAaaeahh..." "Oh, yes!" "You know, we've got to express..." "all those meanings and intents / within an underlying con-text - " (CHORUS) "that puts the point / in a way / that fits, so / oh, so meaningfully / now we're ma-king sense - OH! BABY! I on-ly want-to-make-sweet- SENSE to you-ou-ou-!"



I uh, get carried away sometimes. By reason.

Placebo Effective! Studies Show: Safe, Effective Placebos Are Our Best Health Bet

I'm a big believer in placebos, and I think no where near enough emphasis is being laid upon their proven health benefits. Medical science is really sticking its head in the collective sand on this one. As usual, anything where they can't explain the mechanism, they try to sweep it under the carpet. Even though they know it works! The studies are right there to prove that placebos are safe and effective!

It's an open secret that certain prescription medicines are in fact, placebos. Doctors prescribe them because for certain ailments, a placebo has simply been shown to be the most effective treatment. The breakthroughs in placebo use to safely and effectively treat hypochondria were only the beginning. Yet still we have this closeted mindset! Placebos have to be kept in the dark, behind lock and key. We know they work. We know they're safe. Why can't they be made available to everyone, in over-the-counter strength? There is no reason that any adult shouldn't be able to walk right into a pharmacy, and choose from a broad selection of placebos. Condition-specific placebos.

Look, people aren't stupid and they don't need to be treated as such. With the reams and reams of studies to back up the efficacy of these proven, potent medicines, we don't need to be lied to or coddled anymore! It's time for placebos to come out of the closet, and take their rightful place. When it comes to research, when it comes to proof, there are few other medicines that can boast a track record even remotely comparable to what placebos have shown they can do.

It's time placebos got the respect they deserve.

Thought Of The Day: Great Minds

See, I never understood the whole "great minds think alike" thing, because really, just to witness similar phenomena and draw similar conclusions from them - that only takes common minds, right? Is it just people of a common mind flattering themselves with the implication that their minds may be great?

I may be overthinking this. Great minds tend to overthink this.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Quote of the Day: On Combatting Evil

"Evil is not combatted by making evil illegal. Evil is combatted by making evil unnecessary."

The Opinionated Dickhead Takes On: Kim Chee

The Opinionated Dickhead Takes On: is a regular segment wherein our regular contributor The Opinionated Dickhead provides in-depth review/commentary/history and/or criticism on a topic he knows little about, and has refused on principle to research.

Kim Chee is considered a Korean delicacy by some. It is basically a soaked-vegetable dish that has been allowed to go bad, until it comes all the way back around to good again. This process is called "fermentation," and its use is defended on the grounds that various other kinds of delicacies such as yogurt, pickles, and also alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine, all employ fermentation.

I was thinking maybe bread itself is also technically fermented, because of the yeast angle? But I'll let that one pass. There's probably some tricky distinction involved, to where once somebody finishes explaining it, you wish they hadn't bothered. But you know what, hell with it: bread is technically fermented as well. There, I said it.

Kim Chee is made up of primarily cabbage, with a lot of other stuff in there too. But primarily as a result of the cabbage angle, the International Food Committee (the governing body of world food classifications) classes Kim Chee as a form of sauerkraut. This sticks in the collective craw of both North and South Korea. Efforts are constantly being mounted and abandoned to have the classification reversed - classing sauerkraut as a form of Kim Chee. Germany however will not stand for this, despite the fact that Kim Chee has been around for thousands of years, while sauerkraut as we all know was invented accidentally by a German immigrant at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

Kim Chee occupies a central place in historical Korean legend. The legendary wandering warrior Kim Po-Pai (featured in a wide array of comic and mystical adventure tales and battles, but believed to be based on a true historical figure) was said to derive his incredible herculean strength from his trusty pot of Kim Chee, always at his side. His famous motto and battle cry is translated loosely into English as "I'm strong as infinity, 'cause I eats me Kim Chee."

My primary knowledge of Kim Chee comes from some short story I remember reading in a literary periodical, several years back. The author was Korean, and talked about how pickled and stinky it was. I've tried not to let that influence me in a negative way.

Final verdict on Kim Chee: I recommend it.

As I Stand Before The Firing Squad

They'll be like, "cigarette...? blindfold...?"

I'll be all: "Get me some of those 3-D glasses. And a CIGAR."

What Is God's Greatest Gift?

What's God's greatest gift to us.

Free Will?


Life itself?

That's kind of cheating, though. "Life Itself." That covers too much! We should try to narrow it down at least a little.


Come on people! Sex! Don't be prudes. It's pretty great, isn't it? It's certainly up there, on the great gift list. Gotta be!


Well, I've kind of got a weak spot for Love. It'd be hard for me to not pick Love. As highly as I value each of them, I'd probably have to take Love over both Free Will and Reason. In fact if I'm honest, I probably I have.

Rock and Roll? Well damn. This is just getting too hard!


I'm pretty darn sure it's not Drugs. I mean, if I get to heaven and God's on the door all, "'d you like all the drugs...? Pretty good shit, huh? What do you mean you didn't! Aw man, you missed out. Well, come on in anyway. No drugs up here, though."

I mean, that would be kind of weird! I'd probably laugh. I guess I couldn't really criticize, at that point. Kind of a faux pas, from what I understand, criticizing up in heaven. There's a whole lot of stuff from down here that I'll probably be biting my tongue on up there, for a while. After all, my stated stance is, however God wants to work it is fine by me! I stand firm on that one, pretty much. I pretty much have to.

Okay, I'll have to go with Love, Sex, Rock and Roll, and Reason. In that order.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Se non e vero, e ben trovato*

*If this is not true, then it is well said.

(from the Italian)


Stephen Malkmus with the Jicks. Not pictured: The Jicks

Friday, July 09, 2010

Thought of the Day: You Can Be Worth It. But There Is A Choice Involved.

Either live like love matters, either live like love is worth something and you are worth something - or don't inflict yourself on another. They can do better than you. Let them save themselves for someone worth their time.

Quote of the Day: On How You Know You Were The One To Blame

"An eavesdropper deserves everything they ever hear."

I'm Going to Start Reviewing Some Books!

Some say a stranger came, dealing death before the end...Pt.5

"Stranger, I like what you had to say just fine. I'm just not in the mood to listen to it."

Rose Althea's head barely moved as she spoke, her torso plastered across the stranger Lido's back. They swayed bareback on the exhausted nag as it clapped its dusty hooves at a trot across the hardscrabble track that passed for a highway out here. They'd been riding so long without a break, about the only thing that kept them on that horse was the fact that they were plastered together by sweat. Rose Althea had synchronized her ragged breathing to his.

"Rose Althea, I believe after all we've been through," said the stranger Lido in a graveled purr, "you can call me the stranger Lido."

Rose Althea gave a bemused snort.

The stranger Lido kept swaying to the horse's rhythmic gait, subtly varying his breathing to see if Rose Althea would match it.

There was silence for a while. As much silence as you can get on a wheezing, clomping nag with the slow-beating drum of two fugitives' hearts in low concert under a brutal sun. At least the wind had picked up. Drove away the flies.

"That wind feels like a cool bath," Rose Althea said.

"This damn horse," Rose Althea said, some time later.

"Where the hell are we going." Rose Althea said. The sun kept climbing higher.

"'The Hell Away,'" replied the stranger.

"You ain't kidding," she said. It was almost a whisper.

She was thinking of Tin Rink, Wyoming. She hadn't been born there or anything, but it was home. It had been home. The men folk there were bastards, it was true.

"They had been bastards," she rasped, barely audible.

"What's that?" asked the stranger Lido, matter-of-fact. Innocently.

"I still don't know how you shot us out of that scrape, back there. I ain't never seen anyone handle himself like you back there." She pronounced "anyone" like it was three words. "Not just the shooting, even. You skewered Tom Hoke with that knife throw from twenty yards. Injuns teach you that?"

The stranger Lido was silent for a minute. "I taught Injuns that."

Rose Althea didn't really hear. Her mind was miles and miles behind. "You know, I'm counting as many people as I used to know, and I don't think you left a single man in town in any condition to chase after us."

The stranger Lido pulled the horse up short and straightened up. Rose Althea pulled away as best she could. They peeled off of each other and a cool wind came between them. The stranger Lido twisted around, and his eye gleamed in the shade of his hat's black brim. Rose Althea's shining black eyes were wide open and awake for the first time in more than twelve hours. They'd ridden all night through a bad dream, one that sunup had only made worse.

The stranger Lido held her two eyes with one of his. The stranger kept breathing. Rose Althea held hers.

"Well," said the stranger thoughtfully. "I guess we can take a rest stop over by them trees yonder, then."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Infamy At A Pool Hall #7

Infamy at a Pool Hall is a recurring feature, wherein I recount the various shameful and infamous statements, cracks and expostulations heard at the pool hall during our regular Thursday night sessions. To my shame, these are all remarks made by our own regular group of fellows, ordinarily so full of uprighteousness. The twin demons of pool and beer weave a sad tale that holds a moral lesson for us all in this, the Seventh installment of: Infamy At A Pool Hall.

"At some point, we have to admit that the philosophical implications of killing yourself are less interesting than the philosophical implications of murder."

"You can't judge people by what they do. You have to judge what they do by what they say."

"Man. That bacon egg and cheese was like having breakfast in heaven for infinity." "Minus the duration, of course." "Look: I don't side with the people who claim you can't appreciate good unless you know evil, who say you can't appreciate the light without the darkness, who say you can't truly enjoy a blowjob without having experienced the anti-blowjob. That whole stance is void. It's just a cowardly attempt to justify why bad things happening to good people is good, on the part of people who not only lack imagination, but who can't understand the simple math of how life works. Bad things happening to good people is already perfectly explained. Simple math: free will + physics. NOT COMPLICATED. However, having said all that, I will admit that a consciousness of the ephemeral can add a real boost to the appreciation of the moment. The philosophical 'necessity of opposites' is bullshit! Yet sometimes, the fact that we are conscious that the wonderful moment we're in won't last...that can be a real plus, when it comes to appreciation." "That's a valuable insight. Now will you please shoot the fucking eight already?"

"I don't think that shot was the right one to take." "Sorry, man." "That's alright, I'm just saying. It pissed me off."

"Seven in the corner, off the eleven." "What, double bank?" "Fuck you. I don't have to call that."

"What is this - is this Phil Collins?" "Man, I don't even want to know if it is."

"You have to admit, that was one hell of a shot." "I don't have to admit that."

"So what are you saying? Her ass is too big?" "Naw, man. It's more of a gray area than that." "Her ass is gray?"

"I have to admit, and I made the shot so maybe I'm not the right one to be saying this..." "Go on." "Well, I have to admit, that was the most impressive bank shot to the side pocket I have ever seen. Did you see how hard I hit that? Did you see how straight that ball traveled? Right through the air! Dead on to the pocket, bounce and roll." "Yeah, it was impressive. It was one of those really impressive-looking shots that nonetheless reflects poorly on you for taking it." "What are you saying, I hit it too hard?" "..." "Didn't you see that shot?" "I saw it. A thing of beauty."

"You know Chuck Berry is really like a pioneer of Alternative Rock. He never gets any credit for that." "No."

"A man like me can't help but wear this heart of mine on his sleeve."

"Okay, so this is a potentially controversial question here, and for that I apologize." "Shoot." "If a white girl names her baby that racist?" "No: I meant shoot your damn shot."

"A thing of beauty can still be a thing of stupidity." "Nice comeback."

The Opinionated Dickhead Is Taking Your Requests.

Man. Re: The Previous Post? "The Sports That Matter"?

I have to say, that "straight up opinionated dickhead mode" I hold forth with in that post has got to be the easiest character/voice out of all of the styles in which I write. I can crank out post after post in that mode. I could just go to town on any topic you could name, in that self-same style. Great way to blow off steam, and maybe while I'm at it I can do a little gentle skewering of the moron-level uninformed self-assuredness rampant on the internet (while I'm at it, who are these intellectual cowards with their self-parody taboos? As if one should hold one's self sacred, even in its arguably ridiculous aspects).

But while it's a fun style to write in, and it lets me sound off on all sorts of important issues without really doing any research or work, still I do try to go easy on it. For obvious reasons. It's fun to write, hopefully fun to read as well, but let's face it: even if the post turns out great, it still tends to reflect poorly on me. In some way. Depending on how people want to interpret it.

Still, an idea occurred to me to throw it open to requests, in the comments queue of this post. Anybody want to suggest a topic for me to go to town on, with no research or facts to back me up, just shooting from the hip with the most flip and strident stance I can think of to pull off in the heat of the moment of inspiration?

Note well: I'm asking "suggest a topic." Don't tell me what stance to take on it.

That's my call.

Dang It! Another Goof-Up! PLUS BONUS CONTENT: Sports That Matter

That's like the third time this week I hit "Publish" instead of "Save Draft" on a post that was not done and ready to go! Then I have to take it down all fast.

Sorry about that folks. I assure you, I'm not deliberately being a tease.


Long as I'm posting this, let me tell you what I think on some topic. Otherwise it's just some damn post to tell you "oops." Let me give it a little value-added. Let's see. How about baseball. Baseball is the only sport where the team with the ball is on defense. How about Hockey. Hockey is the only sport where...

Wait a second. NOTE: when I say, "the only sport...", I don't mean these penny-ante non major league sports. I'm not talking the novelty circuit, the carnival circuit. The demolition derby is not a sport, I don't care how many Pepsi decals you're sporting on your crash leathers.


I'm talking about the already more than extensive selection of big-time sports that matter. There are four of these. Precisely four: NFL Football. Baseball. Basketball. Hockey. The Big 4. Hockey squeaks in by a fraction of an echelon, but they're in there.

Nor am I talking about the whole host of lower-tier team sports going on such as Jai-Alai or Lacrosse, or the other similar sports in that category that only connoisseurs can differentiate. Or volleyball, or for that matter the beach/swimming pool team sports such as beach volleyball or waterpolo. Then there are your variants that try to horn in on the "big tough men colliding on the turf" NFL football mystique, such as your Rugby, or your "Australian Rules," and to a lesser extent, Soccer - but to my way of thinking, Soccer is more of a freak hockey variant, played off the ice and with no sticks or clubs. I class Soccer with Polo, really. It's horseless Polo with no sticks.

These are all sports, it is true, technically, but I don't rate them conversation-worthy. They're more sociological curiosities - interesting to consider in an esoteric way, but understood to be excluded from the elite of what we mean when we get down to brass tacks and talk "Sport." With a capital ESS!

Then you have your whole classes of "leisure sports" such as tennis and golf, or the "gentleman leisure" category such as pool, or darts. These aren't sports at all. I'm not saying you don't need to have athleticism to compete at tennis, or that you don't need coordination and aim to compete at pool, golf, or darts. Sure you do. You also need athleticism and/or aim to be able to chuck a javelin, or sprint 1,000 yards. But that's not a sport. You're just tear-assing as fast as you can, or throwing an object with no game or aim at stake beyond hitting a far mark. There's some personal glory in that, sure, but there's nothing really on the line. There's no real progression, or teamwork, or much struggle or strategic wizardry involved. Tennis is just a plein-air ping-pong match. Taking some amusing, competitive diversion and sticking it out in the yard doesn't make it a sport!

I mean, suppose you play a game of chess on one of those gimmicky human-scale lawn chessboards? Fine, sounds fun! It's not a sport.

Note: in the above, I specify "NFL Football" not to dignify Soccer per se, so much as to offer a slight to the minor-league college circuit. Grow up, boys. Men play on Sundays.

Or okay, if they damn well want to, men also play on select Monday or Thursday nights, or Saturdays - especially during the playoffs. But when that happens, it's nationally televised. So you can still tell. Plus they don't have teams with mascots like ducks, hoot owls or a tree. It's easy enough to tell the difference, here.

Doodeloo #59: Who Is The Doctor


You Know What They Should Have? #4

They should have NASCAR in Madagascar.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

thought of this moment

Make life itself the love of your life. Be the person you know you can be, who you want so much to be. Be open to being amazing; to being amazed by love and to grand one-in-a-million chances, and you'll find yourself buried under them.

Name That Tune #23!

"My desire is that I should be where the material for my underpants grows
where pleasant days are remembered indefinitely
avert your eyes! Avert your eyes! Avert your eyes! Paper cup country.

Oh my desire is that I should be in paper cup, in the lower latitudes, lower latitudes
In paper cup country I will staunchly resist
to have bodily function, and eventually cessation of same,
in paper cup country"

More On About How To Learn How To Write #2, Pt.2

It was a crisp and spicy morning in early October. The lilacs and laburnums, lit with the glory-fires of autumn, hung burning and flashing in the upper air, a fairy bridge provided by kind Nature for the wingless wild things that have their homes in the tree-tops and would visit together; the larch and the pomegranate flung their purple and yellow flames in brilliant broad splashes along the slanting sweep of the woodland; the sensuous fragrance of innumerable deciduous flowers rose upon the swooning atmosphere; far in the empty sky a solitary esophagus slept upon motionless wing; everywhere brooded stillness, serenity, and the peace of God.

- from "A Double-Barreled Detective Story," Mark Twain, 1902

Now, that's just to serve as an example! Not an example of the previous point per se. Just as an example in general.

More On About How To Learn How To Write, #2

This is About How To Learn How To Write.

A lot of times I hear people say, "you used that word twice." Like it's a rule. They say it to other people, mind you! Or it's said online, in a typing way. Now I want to be clear. Nobody says that to me. Because it's clear I already know about how to write. So nobody much presumes to school me, which is fair.

So anyhow, they say it like a rule: "You used that word twice." Which, the unspoken implication there would be: Don't.

Now I understand the value of a telling a kid a rule that, who can't write none and whose vocabulary maybe needs building up. It's the sort of rule that comes accompanied by a complementary thesaurus: "Here, try this."

"Complimentary" also would work there. Even though no, they are not synonymous. Example, a Chinese restaurant I go to has a "complementary" egg roll. They charge you for it, but it really goes well with the meal. If you complain about it, then their English is better than yours is.

Anyway, the rule. The rule as commonly expressed is: "you used that word twice."

I'm all for it, in terms of getting someone used to using a wider range of words. But the point of the rule is misunderstood. It's not so much to not use the same word twice. It's that there may be many ways to say a thing, and you don't want to use different words each time, so much as you want to use the right word each time. Now it stands to reason that you can't use the right word each time unless you know all the candidates. You have to be acquainted with them pretty well, in order to judge between. Only one word is going to be the right word. The next-closest-to-right word is going to strike the tuned ear a little sharp or a little flat, as Twain observed in his celebrated critical garroting of James Fenimore Cooper.

But as far the right word goes: if you know it, use it. Every damn time. Don't settle for an off-right word just for the sake of variety, when you know what the right word is. If you have to say it three times in a paragraph, well if that has to happen, it's a damn sight better to use the exact right word each damn time rather than look like you're trying to dance around it like a fool.

Anyhow. As you can see my prose style is very much out-of-whack at the moment, from working at the latest installment of Some say a stranger came, dealing death before the end...

Look for that on Friday and in the meantime: Learn How To Write!


Luckily, my quick-reacting kneecap intercepted the hurtling 2 lb. jelly jar on its way to being caught slam-pound-flat by my perfectly-interposed foot, to then bounce and land with a loud, heavy (but comparatively-softened) thump-and-roll on the linoleum!

I'd rather walk funny for a couple days than have to clean up two pounds of jelly n' glass first thing in the #@$%&@ morning. The idea of all that jelly wasted, I don't even want to think about it.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Fiction Friday Preview: the return of the stranger...

Yes that's right, this week's fiction Friday installment will feature the return of the stranger Lido. Fans of this hard-bitten, hard-biting, hard-kicking hardscrabble sharp-shooting six-gun prestidigitator with wits for fists and vice-versa had best settle in for another unpredictable ride! As the stranger Lido and Rose Althea take it on the hoof right the hell out of Tin Rink, Wyoming, where things have gotten decidedly too hot. But will the fastest way out of town prove any cooler? Can Rose Althea trust this raw-boned one-man pandemonium any farther than she can spit? And what about the stranger Lido? Can he trust Rose Althea?

You heard it here first: a lot of questions.


Man. I just got this at the store:


And I was like, man. What am I going to do with all this jelly?

Then a still, calm voice at the back of my head chimed in: "It's jelly. You know what to do with it."

You said it, still, calm voice!

NOTE: that jar is even bigger than it looks; my hand is enormous.

The Reason I'm Going to Die, Is...

So the reason I'm going to die is, it's not even really a reason, it's more just that - everybody else is going to die. So, it was just considered to be fair. That I, too, would have to die. As I understand it, it's nothing I myself did. There's no performance reason for it, and it's nothing personal.

That's how it was explained to me, at least.

It's still kind of bull shit.

The Stalker, in a Nutshell (WARNING: ENORMOUS NUTSHELL)

So I'm writing this July 6, but I'm not going to post it until that day has rolled off the front page. This isn't front page stuff. I just need a place to refer people who ask about it. It seems likely that this person will be following me around the internet forever, picking fights. So I will have one place I can link to if asked.

I want to be clear about this person: as far as I can tell, she's a normal person. With everybody but me, she seems to be a normal person. People seem to think she's pretty charming and reasonable. I thought so myself originally. And you know what, after all that's said and done, that's what I'd rather believe about her. I'd rather believe that she is a more-or-less decent individual, with flaws and vulnerabilities like we all have, who believes what she says about grace and human goodness and Jesus and all - and that for whatever reason, she got onto this incredibly weird track with me and she can't let it go, but that it doesn't touch any other part of her except how she feels about me. That's my take on her, and I hope that it's truly the case. I wish her well in life. I do wish she'd leave me alone, but we can't have it all.

OK. So. The timeline.

Some of the dates are exact based on e-mails, others are fudged in on a guess. Note that I've never bothered to delete anybody's e-mails. I can't be really bothered to spend hours going through neatening up stuff when Hotmail has a seemingly infinite capacity. Look. I don't advise anyone to read this, unless you have some reason to. If she's contacted you spreading her side about me, well at least maybe you'll see this and have something to counterbalance that.

So, here's a rough timeline of a pretty rough time:

May '07. An online friend of hers first commented on my blog. Became a regular commenter, linked to my blog from hers. We were friendly.

8/20/08 [ the person in question ] first commented on my blog. Sometime after that, I first commented on hers. My comments on her blog mostly dealt with abstruse theological points, and many of them were about as goofy as the theology you see on here. But we were quite friendly, the atmosphere was friendly.

Dec '08 she first e-mailed me. The first 2 e-mails were kind of just tentative. In the third e-mail 12/23/08 she said a lot of things that in retrospect should have been tipoffs. She thought I was a cryptic puzzle, she thought I was playing a game. She speculated that a woman from Santa Cruz who had posted on a friend of hers' blog might secretly be me. She saw that (the mutual friend) and I were friends, but felt like she wasn't able to connect with me. Now - I have no idea why she felt that way, I'm the same way with pretty much everybody. I haven't got different modes. I responded back to her pretty much putting her mind at ease on all points, or I thought. She had said in her e-mail that she worried I might be somebody laying back pretending to be somebody else online, and having a laugh over her stupidity somehow. I said that as far as I can tell, the person who does THAT is the stupid person - so why care? Later I realized her whole idea of me was based on the firm fact that I was absolutely playing some game. Nothing I said could ever change that fixed idea.

Most of what we talked about during the short period we e-mailed in a friendly fashion was what you might call philosophy: issues of self, identity, grief and obligation, as well as friendship. We also talked a lot of Christian theology. Much of our conversation was what I'd call arguing. I'm tremendously hard-headed and will not generally give up on a point until either the other person sees my point, or at least until I can see theirs. I don't like leaving a disagreement with no understanding. Exacerbating things was the fact that I generally talk pretty widescreen on the major common universal issues, whereas she tended to want to take anything I said as a criticism of her, if it were at all possible to do so, and as an irrelevancy if it were not. During all this time, her endless refrain was that I was not being upfront with her over who I am (while she was always "JUST ME!"). Now, it's true I don't generally put my name out online - this a personal preference, but to her it was some kind of cryptic obsession, a desire for me to be seen as a puzzle. At one point she claimed to have "figured out" who I was, I was like "wow, thanks for respecting my wishes,"...but it turned out she thought I was some completely random teacher named Joe in Santa Cruz. I just wanted a small comfort level between me and the internet. She wanted to "solve the puzzle of Joe" - treated it as a game. In fact I would not be exaggerating to say that she treated everything as a game, in all of her dealings with me. She constantly spoke of how forthright she was, and how she didn't "know the rules," but everything she did was to beat me at this game she was convinced I was playing.

I prefer to be private online, not just because of psychos, it's also because I am by nature kind of private in real life. Much of this blog is utter nonsense. None of it particularly means anything or has a point - of course I do include my own views in some posts, but I also include an awful lot of grade-A asinine. I don't necessarily want to be out there without a pen name, on some of this stuff. But when I'm talking to somebody or corresponding (or even in comments), I am only who I am. I don't pretend to be someone else. So it was pretty insulting to have this weird insistence from her that she is endlessly being confounded by me, that all I am is some kind of cryptic, self-built wall to keep her out. All the while I was in fact sharing what I really believed, on many issues quite near to my heart. I was honest, I bared the truth as I knew it, and said what I really felt the best way I could possibly put it. I generally do. She incessantly tried to "figure me out" while talking nonstop about what a game it was.

I don't know why this struck me as harmless. In retrospect I'm cringing at my stupidity. At the time, I had no experience with a person like this.

Anyway. This was the "good" portion of our correspondence. It ended within less than 90 days. In March '09 she "got real" on me. She claimed numerous poems I'd written were about her (they were not), she said I was directing my blog posts at her. I was not, although I should mention that any time I make what I consider a good point in conversation, in an e-mail, in a comment someplace or a post someplace, or even a memo at work, I am liable to jot it down for possible later expansion upon (whether as a blog post, a song, or something else). Now that would be what I said only - simply my unadorned point, shorn of the original conversational context. My blog, to a large extent, anthologizes such random points as I may make in life. Especially if something touches off a thought process, I like to work that out to its conclusion. But it turned out that with her, if I posted something that digressed from a point I had made earlier, she saw any snippet or reference or similarly-themed post as me alluding to her about "our conversation." And things I posted that had no relevance to anything we'd talked about would be brought in as well, as evidence I was trying to manipulate and/or seduce her.

Some of the above I learned about in more detail later. At first all I had was the allegation: that I was using my blog to seduce her and that poetry I'd written (years earlier mind you, but only just posted on my poetry blog) was in her view, most definitely about her. I told her the hell off, as I considered that she was likely some kind of insane at that point, whether temporary or otherwise. She became upset and told me things about her troubles (she was married, possibly still is) that made me reconsider and think: OK, maybe she's just having a hard time, give her a break. I even stupidly shared some of my own woes in that regard (she has time and again used the few things I shared with her as savagely as possible, in her cracks and remarks). I reiterated very clearly I had no designs on her.

After I told her as clearly and thoroughly as possible and flatly denied the accusations she was making, she eventually apologized and finally recanted what she'd said about me being obsessed with her, and directing my blog at her. Again and again she said she loved me, and apologized for that. She apologized for misinterpreting and she said she believed me that it had been misinterpreting. I said ok I forgave her - but I was pretty shaken up and I had to warn her that if she kept telling me I don't mean what I say I mean, then forget it I didn't want to talk to her anymore. At some point she began begging me to call her on the phone. She felt we could get it all straightened out and be "friends again" if I'd just call her once. She gave me her phone number. I thought at the time, maybe it was possible she'd believe from my voice what she couldn't seem to get from my words: that I was on the level. I called her, and I said as clear as possible that I had no ulterior motive and wasn't trying to play her or seduce her. She said she believed me. We talked a long while about the same sort of stuff we'd discussed before: God, obligations, truth. In e-mails, we had discussed my songs considerably, and I played her one. Before, during, and after the call I made it clear that the whole point of the phone call was to clear the air and not progress to some next level where we're calling each other on the phone. Practically the first thing I did when I called her was to tell her my name. I stupidly thought this would help, because it seemed to be a trust issue with her. I wanted her to believe I was on the level.

She said at the time that she was clear on everything, and apologized for all the "reading into" my words and motives. Anyway. She pretty much immediately relapsed into the same kind of accusations. I told her off again, then she apologized and recanted again, wanted another phone call, I refused. We e-mailed a bit more, then she relapsed again, and finally around May I told her to quit e-mailing me. She flatly refused. At some point I tried reporting her to her e-mail providers. I stopped approving her comments submitted to my blog. She sent several e-mails claiming after all that she had come to her senses, that she absolutely did not believe any more I was "playing" her, that she realized it was a misunderstanding and she apologized for all of the misunderstandings, and that she considered me a dear friend. I told her I was not able to be comfortable interacting with her anymore. I told her if she was my friend, then to please honor my wish to be left alone. I'd already begun to be afraid of her, but the craziest wrinkle had yet to develop:

During the period between May and August, she became convinced that I was secretly reading her blog (I was not) and "mirroring" her posts with allusions or symbolic responses on mine. The examples she cited are so tenous I can't even take them seriously (I went into the main ones in some detail in the comments here in response to her). During this period she continued to e-mail me, and submit comments that were extremely scary to me, very unwelcome statements including sexual remarks and statements of faith in our future. She believed that while on the surface of it, I was telling her to please leave me alone, she felt that I was in fact secretly communicating with her through this tenuous, symbolic means (coded messages in my blog posts). Now I didn't know this at the time - I didn't piece together what she was going on about until she laid it out as the next big accusation, at the end of July. At that point I didn't know what to do. She was constructing this fantasy in complete disregard of everything I told her was true. I went to her blog after what had been by then a long absence, and saw posts there claiming me as some kind of buddy or inspiration to her - during all this going on! It was bad enough that I was being made subject to this private harassment campaign, but I was dog-goned if I was going to have my name on her blog lending legitimacy to this picture she was desperate to paint. I couldn't do anything about her posts, of course, but using Google I identified every one of my comments on her blog that I could find, and deleted them. I'm sure I missed a few. Even Google can't cache everything.

3 days later I got a spate of signup e-mails from adultfinder and bootycall and a bunch of sex sites, plus a one from a site called Truth In Deception with the following cheerful login info:

Username: dogimo
Password: psychopath

I elected not to activate any of these accounts, but the thought was nice.

From August to December we alternated between periods of me successfully ignoring her, punctuated by periods of me rising to some bait (usually either something particularly atrocious, or else a cry for help from her, claiming that she'd finally seen I was telling the truth, and could we please put it behind us) and us engaging in a flurry of angry e-mails that boiled down to the same thing: me telling her to please leave me alone, her gloating that the fact that I even replied at all (even to tell her not to contact me EVER AGAIN at all, by phone, computer, mail or visit) meant that I insatiably craved contact with her. "Our conversation," she called it. Her manner was frequently exultant. She said she loved it when we were fighting. To her, everything I'd done - first in terms of talking to her in the first place, and then later in terms of trying to talk her out of her delusion - the very lengths to which I went were used against me. She said "nobody would" do what I had done, or go as far as I did - putting so much effort into trying to convince someone they were wrong - "nobody would" go to such lengths without an ulterior motive.

Finally in January she called my house, which was one of the things the cops said I could call them about. I called the cops, they were extremely helpful and kind. The officer said he called her house with a warning. I have had no phone calls or e-mails since.

She still follows me around the internet withersoever she can. She's created accounts at the 3 public message boards where I'm a member. Two of these boards have a good 'Ignore' function and I have put it to use. I do my best not to engage her - I've finally realized that even me setting her straight on her bullshit (which alas I have a weakness for in general, for anyone's bullshit) is going to be used by her to support her claim that I can't get enough interaction. More of "our conversation," - a conversation of which less than 90 days had been amicable/consensual.

One the third forum, she went on the attack against me pretty viciously, saying I was only there to internet-predate (is that the verb form of predator?) unwary females. Luckily everyone pretty much knew me there; the word "bullshit" was liberally applied to her claims, several folks sounded a public call for any and all "unwary females" who'd felt the grope of my slimy tentacles to come forward, and she was basically driven off by a mob bearing pitchforks - but an open-minded mob, who asked her to "prove it," who would have been perfectly willing to hear her back up her baseless claims if she could have. Look, at this point I can't understand how she still thinks I'm anything but what I am, up-front. How can she still believe it? She used to claim all my evil designs were directed at her. She turned away from that stance after I kept wanting nothing to do with her - she changed her accusation from me trying to seduce her to me trying to "fuck with her." Who is fucking with who here, seriously? Now she claims my blog (and whatever else I do) is a trap to lure in not her per se, but the unwary in general, the unwary "like her" (delusionally hyperwary, more like). She claimed that my attentions (as a blog commenter) have caused people she knew of to give up blogging in despair. I don't know who or what she can possibly be talking about. I don't know how she can believe herself at this point. I don't think she does believe herself. At this point, it has to be simply an attempt to get back at me for not being obsessed with her. Just whatever she can say or do to slander, hurt or upset me.

Anyway. I've put this whole huge thing together as a 1-stop shot on the topic. I've done my best to not go around mucking with her life, but this is obviously going to keep going on and on, and she's going to keep pursuing me and calling herself the victim, and she's going to keep telling people I'm this predator (a rather bizarre sort of predator: one who flees from his prey, one whose prey pursues him all over the freaking place). Whatever. All I can do is deal.

That's about where things stand.

So anyway. If there are any unwary females out there reading this, watch out: slimy tentacle alert.

I'm Always Doing Little Thoughtful Things That No One Ever Notices

Like the time I took a semester of Forensic Penmanship (or whatever the course was called). That course was hard! We learned how to identify all these different tell-tale signs in people's handwriting: signs of stress, or mental disturbance, or various sorts of personality quirks and traits as conveyed and played out through their hand, made visible in the curves and lines of their written words.

So I did pretty well in the course, I learned all that stuff and then I said, "well how do I apply it?" Long story short: for the last ten years plus I've been writing like a psychopath.

I keep thinking, this is going to be such a great little trick on people who go in for this stuff! I keep hoping somebody is going to take a look at a note I wrote them, glance up worriedly, glance back down at the note, and go " know. I'm a little worried about your mental state, based on some of these cues I'm picking up here..."

That's when I can spring the net shut on the prank! Ha! Fooled you. Shouldn't have been so gullible on interpreting the signs (I'm also constantly mis-employing classic "body language" tipoffs)!

But nope. Effort totally wasted so far. Nobody ever picks up on it. It's like all that knowledge and application for naught.

Sometimes I get a close call. I'll get the glance up / worried look / glance back down, and then my hopes will shoot through the roof! My face will all light up in expectation, I'll be thinking "Is this the person who is actually hip to the signals? Is this the fruition I've been jonesing for, the big payoff on all my hard-working deranged-handwriting verisimilitude?"

But no. False alarm. Or at least, if they did catch the reference, they don't come right out and say so.

The worst part is, I can't bring it up. The joke wouldn't work right if I was the one to bring it up.

Thought of the Day: Finity

You have to choose with whom you will make your life, but this is not a judgment against the other billions of people in this world.

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Top 9 of All Time! #8

Announcing a new Top 9 of All Time! As seen in the sidebar. Pretty good batch this time around, if I do say so myself:


Science and Religion: Another Bad Breakup
Probably Not a Good Idea to Update Your Resume While You're Furious
Any Dictionary Surfers Out There?
Hey, Viruses! Pt.2
I'm a Bit of a Bible-Thumper
If Only My Place Were In The Kitchen
They Say Patience Is a Virtue
Fine Shades of Meaning, Out the Wazoo
The Story of Passover
Sympathy For The Sellouts
Which Member of My Immediate Family Are You?

The links in the sidebar are enabled and clickable!

As always, as tradition would have it, the Top 9 of All Time consists of 11 posts.

The final 3 are all tied for ninth.

Kickass Screenplay Ideas: Capsule Edition

These could be shows or movies. It could go either way. Just a roundup of short sweet pitches!

Made Maid - gritty Sopranos-style blackly-satirical drama about a meter maid who has shall we say "connections." Hilarity ensues.

Beverly Hills King - exiled European monarch Beniface Koeburr Goth-Saxa XIV visits Beverly Hills and through a series of mishaps and misunderstandings is accidentally declared King. Hilarity ensues in this reverse-bildungsroman comedy of manners.

Hilarity and Sue - Sue, underappreciated, friendless, bitter and brilliant comedy writer working on a middling hit family-style sitcom alongside a group of other writers who just don't "get" her, retreats into her imagination by creating a series of misanthropic story arc ideas (for the show, for her own life, for the world in general) which are played out onscreen.

Leaning toward tv show on that last one. This next one, definitely a 1-hour episodic drama series:

Emergency Response - Starts off apparently another well-done procedural, this one focusing in on main characters drawn from the whole spectrum of emergency management, from FEMA and National Guard all the way down the chain to street cops and paramedics (and a journo or two to widen the scope). Their diverse characters and stories are woven together as they cope with an emergency in a major U.S. metropo- fuck it, it's Los Angeles. The first half-season story arc takes you inside the handling of a major emergency (earthquake or bombing or riot or something similarly large-scale - but emphatically not a volcano!). Viewers get a chance to empathize and indentify with the main characters, to care about them. Then as the first crisis fades, odd reports begin to creep in. That's when the real raison d'etre for the series rears its ugly head, as we bear grim witness to the rise of the dead. Zombies! From the first isolated, conflicting and confused reports, unfolding over weeks with shock and disbelief as the problem spreads, then seems containable, then completely breaks out of control and the world sinks, with agonizing slowness, into hell. Most of our major characters from the various strata end up banded together to face the menace as best they can.

Note on that last one: yeah I know, "zombies?" I should have pitched it a few years back when the idea occurred to me, right? But, to me, none of your zombie movies have ever really given you the hard eyes-open look at the slow disintegration of society that, to me, would be the scariest part of the scenario! They all pretty much skip to straight to the apocalypse. Yet to me, the sight of normal life coming apart and sliding into bedlam is by far the more horrific. Members of the general public first trying to live their lives as normal, in shock and denial, figuring law enforcement and the army must have it handled! Then beginning to doubt in the face of what's clearly growing out of control. People escalating into panic at different rates. The stage at which freaking and panicking humans are every bit as bad a threat as the undead (who remain for the most part off-screen until Season 2 really goes to hell at the midpoint).

Hand me a development deal, anybody - I dare you.

Quote of The Day: Well OK, Then!

"Give me impunity, or give me consequences!"

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Whatever Happened to Stirring Oratory?

In honor of the occasion, it is only fitting to quote a stirring speech from a great American President.

We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

- President Thomas Whitmore

Doodeloo #58: Happy Independence Day Everyone!!

The Eagle Flies Hardest
You will note, that is not an actual American Flag, but is rather my stylized representation of one. You're not actually supposed to depict the actual flag - it's considered disrespectful.

God Bless America?

Why is there a question mark in the post title? Oh, because this is a Sunday God Blog Theology post, and because the purpose of theology is all about the questions, the seeking, the etc etc.? Okay, I guess that's a reasonable reason to put a question mark up there. On such a straightforward statement.

Or, it could be looked at as a plea! God, Bless America? Pleeeeease?

God knows what I'm talking about, let none of you doubt it. God knows God's fully authorized to interpret any and every one of my blog posts as a heartfelt prayer of praise, or hymn of supplication.

Anyway. You'd think I could do a bit better justice to a meaty concept like "God Bless America?" Especially on this! The day that vigorously anniverses the nativity of a nation that some might call (in humble homage to Jesus of course, and with all due deference) the "Messiah of Nations!" The nation who shewed us all (the world, that is) that only by a firm founding upon and subsequent pounding home of the permanent, central, fundamental importance of human rights, can a nation set itself free and its populace up, to reap from all and for all, the benefits of the best of humankind's altruistic virtues, while also diminishing the negative impact of our own more selfish instincts by harnessing those drives to lift the level of the common weal.

We can't lose our way on those, because only that high standard can light our whole way forward into a free future! And by "our whole way" I don't mean just the U.S.A.! The more other nations take up the cue to found their whole stance upon free speech, free press, freedom of worship (by which I mean freedom from government establishment of religion as well), and respect for rights to property and privacy - the more other nations step forth and say "yes. We believe in human rights!" - the more the world can come together, the more tyrants can't get away with their shit, because while evil people will always worm their way in and wage a war of attrition via abuse, against what the system itself stands for, AT LEAST if the system is very plain and loud about what it stands for, then an abuser can be held up and judged against that standard!

All in all we made a pretty good start, here with the right idea - the rights idea. It is the light of that one simple idea that has dragged us inexorably forward, headlong out of all kinds of bigotry and inequity such as even America was steeped in, couple hundred some years ago. At the outset, we stepped up and made some bold statements. As time went by, we found that the statements were SO bold and SO clear, that we kept having to call ourselves and each other even on our own bullshit! We had left ourselves with no room for prevarication: "Well wait, if we really mean this, then it applies to everyone." "What, women too? Blacks?"

It wasn't a case of humanity discovering new virtue or enlightenment. It wasn't a march of new ideas. No: it was just the ever-expanding implications that dawned on and on, as we kept our hold on that same old idea. As people kept their minds and eyes fixed on human rights. Rights as we had laid them out clear - so clear. Clearer than we had even at first understood! We laid them out so clear that we were forced to grow in our understanding, as we contemplated those truths. We had left ourselves no choice! We were forced forward by the clean, clear, bold, precision truth and simplicity of our founding ideals. They are so good, and so right, that they have pulled us clear out of miasmas the founders didn't even see as particularly miasmatic.

Those rights and principles are by no means obsolete. We do not now and we never will need to progress "beyond" human rights. They remain: so good, and so right. They are a permanent standard by which a government can be judged. Judged by what it upholds. Judged by the power it refuses to take up (i.e. abuse). As far as progress goes, we've still got a ways to go, yet. We've got miasmas of our own. And we have and always have had the way forward out of them.

So, what's all this got to do with God, anyway? Well heck. America's the best we could do so far, and so we ask God to bless it. It's that simple. God didn't set this thing up. We did. America's kind of our problem. Which is fine! God's not overly worried by what goes on down here. God knows there will be eternity for God to help us deal with the repercussions of this little blip.

But as we observe our little holiday, each in the manner that seems most fit to us, I'll say this, God: if there aren't any hot dogs in heaven, there dang well better be something better than hot dogs.