Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More Bullshit Keys to Self-Esteem #3

Last time, we talked about the importance of confusing people in a good way, about what it is you do for a living - by instead of telling people what your actual job is, come up with a creative way to describe your duties that will still be "technically accurate," while sounding more impressive. You're not a "waiter" - you're a Prepared Food Salesman. You're not a "customer service rep." You're a Client Satisfaction Engineer. Or go the other way, punch it up hip and style-y! If you actually are an engineer - you're a Make-It-Happen Czar. That's what engineers do, right? They make it happen!

Actually, you know what? "Make-It-Happen Czar" sucks. Don't use that one, but you get the idea: you're not a "marketing strategist," you're a - wait.


"Marketing Strategist" is already perfect. That's exactly the tone we're trying to strike! Sounds great. It sounds like you're the general, marshaling the massed armies of marketing. What the hell do you do in that job? What does that entail?

Are there any openings?

I like to take a phrase that has been corrupted by sarcasm, and redeem it by the sheer force of my sincerity.


Another Sunday Theology God Blog Post! This Post Contains Absolutely No Reason for Any Intelligent Atheist to Change His or Her Mind on That Issue.

I used to joke that citing names instead of stating arguments was the logician / philosopher's equivalent of dogmatic biblical literalism. "It is true on a higher authority than yours. I can't explain why - its truth rests on the authority of this name (or Name)."

Of course, that applies only in cases where the one doing the citing couldn't put the argument across based on their own understanding of it. In your case, I feel confident that you do have the points square, and could easily explain why. Your referral to well-known arguments of others is purely for the sake of brevity and convenience, and to avoid belaboring us with the specifics of arguments you'd expect us to already know. All of which is a good thing! A time-saver.

And in that spirit, I'll save the space & trouble of recapitulating the arguments you cite, and go directly to addressing them. Look closely: they are circular. Each of these arguments is based purely on one kind or another of an out-of-hand rejection of the theistic premise - rejection of the premise, without providing any sort of refutation of it.

Take suffering. The claim is that it is gratuitous? From the theistic perspective, I run it thus:

Given Physics and Free Will, suffering is the unavoidable consequence of mortality.

Within the theistic standpoint: we must have mortality, in order for God to gather us in. This world is not the self's final home, but is rather the place where we form who we are to be - through our own choices, as we navigate our given circumstances.

Further, to create a self freely, without the coercive presence of a God who we are not free to accept or deny, we must have a natural world (one wherein the hand of God is not coercively present).

To have a natural world requires that the observable universe be built on discoverable natural principles ("laws") that have fairly consistent applicability. Such laws cannot swerve to avoid hitting babies and old people.

Mortality itself requires pain, purely as a survival mechanism. Organisms that are mortal need the ability to sense damage.

And sadly, one consequence of free will is that some will choose evil - choosing deliberately to harm others.

But we're far better off with all of that, than without it.

Because: take it a step farther. If we are sincerely exploring the theistic premise from within, to demonstrate some logical conflict within it, then we must concede that an omnipotent God can do anything. Therefore, an omnipotent God can heal all damage in an instant. Pain, psychological, any and all damage no matter how severe: soothed and gone in an instant, leaving only a self built on the full memory of all experiences and choices made during life - in present and eternal bliss, with all pain wiped away, no damage, no scars. This self is the goal and the end result, within the theistic premise - the self is what God wants to gather back in (a gift freely given back, not coerced).

Since we can't dispute that an omnipotent God is capable of healing all damage, if we persist in calling God cruel for allowing suffering, we must be able to show that suffering is gratuitous. We must be able to at least suggest how the same ends could be achieved in a world without the possibility of suffering. Can we suggest a model for a natural world that would avoid suffering?

"But God is omnipotent!" - runs the protest: "God can do anything! God can create a world without suffering, even if I cannot conceive how."

Yes, certainly God can create a world without suffering - by voiding logic, free will, and physics. By creating an irrational world, where effects do not proceed from causes and where no universal, discoverable laws obtain. Or even in a world with natural laws, God could reduce suffering by creating an enslaved world, where no free actions are possible *except* for those actions God wills as "good."

A world along those lines is a far worse world than ours is. Far pettier, and crucially: far more cruel. God would be cruel indeed to take this wonder we have from us, and saddle us with a world like that. A world that would infinitely proscribe and diminish our chance to grow, thrive, feel, and become.

Those who pretend to demand that God give us a world without suffering are acting as petulant children, who want our majestic universe of infinite possibility to be exchanged for a padded playpen devoid of grandeur and risk and achievement, devoid of the possibility of advancement for the human race. But they're not children, not really. They are only pretending to be. I say "acting as" and "pretend to demand," because their demand is in no way sincere. Since they don't believe God exists, they have no real worry of having to live in the horrid, shallow, cramped world that would be the consequence of their pretend demand, if it were fulfilled.

Personally, I do believe God exists. And I know God can create a world without physics and free will, and with no suffering. A universe that functions as a stifling security blanket; our wills and actions constrained by safety belts for our "own good." But you know what? I'll take the bracing thrill. I'll take the infinite sprawl of possibility, that stretches out and breathes steam into the grandeur of this cold, rational reality that is ours to inhabit, to explore, and to make our own. I'll take the wonder of whether and why. I'll take that instead. Thanks!

But! Final desperate and outraged protest! How can any amount of fulfillment, prospective thrill or achievement be worth the [ insert breathlessly horrific laundry list description of things that happen every day ]? Well, rephrase the question yourself. Finish the question. How can WHAT be worth it? Can you really be asking: is it worth suffering and the risk of suffering, for all of us to be able to live in THIS, THE REAL WORLD? Well, I say to you fuck yes. Yes, it is! And if you say you think otherwise, well why haven't you killed yourself, then? Could it be that you're a hypocrite? Ask yourself whether it's worth the risk of suffering, to be alive in this world and to have this world to live in. Is it worth it or isn't it?

For me, I'd say yes, it is fucking-A worth it, to be alive, and to have this world to live in. It would be worth it if God doesn't exist. I'd say that to put it mildly, it's at least as worth it, if God does.

So if you state "God does not exist" - well, there's no burden of proof on you, to prove a negative! If I wished to attack your premise, the burden of proof would be on me. Just as: if you wish to attack the premise "God does exist," the burden falls on you to demonstrate either conflict between the proposition and observable reality, or a violation of internal logic within the proposition's tenets. And best of luck to you, with that - I want to see!

The fact is, I'm fine with the atheist premise. The real universe, as typically viewed by an atheist, is a place of spectacular wonder and beauty - well worth living in. I live in that universe myself, I just happen to thank God for it. But the atheist's premise: "There is no God" - cannot be demonstrated to conflict with observable reality, any more than the premise "There is a God" can. I find the atheist's premise persuasive, natural, easy to believe in, and very comforting. I just don't buy it.

But that's the point. Not buying something is not a refutation.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quote for Tomorrow: as Delivered Yesterday in an Impromptu Address to those Assembled in the Company Lunch Room

"You know what - no matter what politics or religion you espouse, no matter what nation you're living in or what nation you're from, for one day a year at least out of life, people of good will ought to set aside a time to step back, open their eyes and say: 'God damn it! - this is one hell of a world. This is an overwhelmingly deep well of a world we have to live our lives in, here. And as we work our way through these lives, the potential we find for good, for bad, for pain, for love, for wonder and amazement all unrolls into a beautiful tangle of incredible depth, breadth, and sweetness. We should take a moment to have humility, given the enormous scope of what we find laid out here before us. We should take a moment to have gratitude, for our chance to take this world for what it is, and to make of it the best we can. This is Thanksgiving.'"

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #13

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)

NOTE: Scoring will remain open on this week's quote for at least 24 hours. As long as no answer has been posted, scoring remains open!

Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:

"A lot of the time what you think's going to happen, doesn't. Especially when you're sure! But then some crazy shit you would have never thought was going to happen...BAM! Does."

Thought of the Day: Just a Little Bit!

Don't underestimate the importance of overestimating the importance of things that are a maybe just a little bit more important than you'd think they are.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Faith, and the Unseen

I'm a big believer in the unseen. Pretty much, everything above, and everything behind my head. I can't see it, but I know it's there.

Sure, I could look straight up, or turn around entirely - but then I couldn't see what was right in front of me! Or at least, what had been right in front of me. Is that a sensible approach? I leave such circular reasoning to the skeptics and sophists. I have no need to "prove" the existence of the unseen.

It's there. I simply know that it is. That's all there is to it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ordinarily, I Hate This Sort of Thing,

...but this is sheer magical. 'ness.

God bless you, Kurt Cobain, for inadvertently laying the groundwork to make something like this possible!

I'm Changing My Reactions (from Odd to Strange)

This is more in the line of an announcement. At the bottom of each post are some

REACTIONS: hard ( ) hurt ( ) odd ( ) fine ( ) sharp ( )

I explained a little about that here.

I'll cut to the chase. 'Odd' is out. I'm changing 'odd' to 'strange.' I never liked 'odd.'

Frankly, every time one of you people clicked 'odd' on one of my posts, it pissed me off. I know! I know, I'm sorry, I'm the one who put it there. I know I have no legitimate beefus. This one's all on me. I gave you the option to piss me off. I didn't force you to, true, but I put the option out there. So since the option was abused, I'm removing it. I'm removing 'odd' and replacing it with 'strange.' This change is just the best compromise solution.

Now, I when I do make the change, one of two things could happen. It may be that when I make the change, all the 'odd' clicks won't carry over. Those clicks may translate straight to strange, or they may be lost for all time.

And if either of those outcomes is the case, well, I'm sorry in different ways. If the clicks transfer over to 'strange' - it will be like I'm changing what you said! You didn't say "strange." You said "odd." Bastards. But on the other hand, if the clicks vanish - if that happens, then I've stifled your voice. Those of you 'odd'-clicking COWARDS. But you know what? If you want my RESPECT for your voice? Why don't you come put in a one-word comment in, tell me my post is "Odd." !

See, see the effect this has? Again, my apologies for the clear overreaction, here. I really do think this change is for the best. For my own sake and for yours, I really just had to bite the bullet on this one. I just don't care for someone click-calling one of my posts 'odd' and then running away. It's like some kid running up, knocking at or dinging the door-bell (perhaps yelling "ODD!") and then tear-assing out of there, only in this case the door-bell itself is rigged up so that instead of a happy "ding-dong!" chime or a knock (redolent of opportunity, perhaps), the sound of this so-called "doorbell" is a loud, ringing: "ODD."

'Strange' I can get with. 'Strange' sounds adventurous. Bordering on eldritch or uncanny.


But no, no, nope no wait. No. I'm going to go with 'strange.' It is a pretty neutral synonym, the clearest and nearest to 'odd' that I can think of, and the word itself has a ring I like instead of a ring I detest. 'Strange' is a fair exchange. It can be used the same way 'odd' can, for people who are trying to say: "WEIRD, dude." Whereas if I went with 'uncanny', I'm kind of forcing peoples' hand a bit: "Hey, why not click this button to tell me how extraordinarily striking and mysterious I am." Too much editorializing there, with 'uncanny'.

Funny how big a difference it makes, which of a pair of near synonyms you pick! Strange.


Peculiar, even.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Some say a stranger came, dealing death before the end...Pt.8

The stranger Lido was laid out nearly flat, his head pressed at a hard angle against the dent it had made in the rotting wood of the deserted bank's back wall. He stared crazily ahead, his normally narrow squint eyes huge and white with unaccustomed shock. His slack mouth puckered, and half-spat a wash of blood onto the front of his own clean, white shirt.

Focus returned to his eyes. "I don't want to have to kill you, Rose Althea."

Rose Althea held one of the stranger's own six-guns out dead level at arm's length. The dull gray barrel's pitiless pitch-black eye was locked in a staring contest with the stranger's watery left eye.

Rose Althea's legs were trembling in a wide stance. Her wet torso shook with ragged, gasping sobs. Her lovely head swayed, eyes fixed forward, one black lock of long hair matted to a sweat- and tear-streaked cheek; her long, pale neck a tower listing on its unsteady foundation of bare shoulders. Somehow, her long right arm held out shock straight: as white, smooth and immobile as the stony, accusing finger of a carved giant's marble hand.

"You're not going to have to," Rose Althea began. "Because..." her voice caught. The stranger's eyes had strayed upwards by millimiters to find Rose Althea's gaze. All the shock had gone out of them. All the accustomed hard, mean squint had gone as well. Rose Althea felt she was looking at a man she'd never known before. A man she wished she could have had a chance to meet.

The trigger pulled all the way back, dragging her finger with it.

I just had an "a-ha" moment! And then whatever it was slipped my mind again, driven out by this irrelevant thought:

Say, I wonder if you go to an A-ha concert, is it chock full of such moments?

THIS Is My Favorite Pink Floyd Song.

"Shine On You Crazy Diamond."

Not "Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pt. IV" from Wish You Were Here. Not even "Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pts. I-V", from Wish You Were Here - no, nor "Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pts. VI-IX" from Wish You Were Here, neither. Though by your smiling you seem to say so.

Not even "Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pts. I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VII and IX" considered together as a whole! No. Those songs pretty much all - I don't want to put it delicately here, but every single one of those songs stinks. You might as well light up a big, stanky bowl of marijuana hash pot, for all the good it'll do you at that point.

No, sir. My favorite Pink Floyd song is "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." From A Collection of Great Dance Songs. The original, and still the best - or rather, to paraphrase: not the original, but still the best. And I do mean by far.

It sucks how bad those other songs suck, compared to how great a song some of them could have been. Thank God somebody at the record company butted in and took care of business.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Infamy! At A Pool Hall #9

Infamy at a Pool Hall is a recurring feature that periodically spotlights the myriad vile and contemptible slurs, japes and other utterances heard at the pool hall during our regular Thursday night sessions. Shameful to admit, these are not infamies overheard from other tables! - presumably voiced by lowlifes, who have no better excuse for how to act - but rather, they are remarks spoken loud and aloud exclusively by mouths from among our own regular group of fellows, all of whom to look at you would ordinarily assume would have a little more fucking class than that. The twin demons of pool and beer weave a sad web that ensnares even the most upright knights of morality it seems, in this, the ninth in an increasingly appalling series of installments of: Infamy at a Pool Hall.

"Hey, why's my beer got an orange slice garnish and yours doesn't?" "So I can tell 'em apart."

"Two off the five - left corner."

"Mother fussy-fuss!"

"Man..." "Yeah, I know." "How come her ass looks like that?" "Go ask her." "Nah, she'd take it wrong." "Man, where do you get off judging a complete stranger at a glance like that? How do you know she'd take it wrong?" "You know what? You're right, that's very bullshit of me. I'm going to go ask her." "Do it."

"Nice shot." "I made it look easy, too!" "You made it look like a complete asshole could have done it."

"Oh come on, how the mother of butter-lovin' sons did I miss that shot."

"Now that's not to say that I wouldn't, if she asked nicely!" "See, that's a perfect illustration of why a double-negative is not an automatic grammatical foul. Now it's true, a double-negative that creates either redundancy or unintended self-contradiction is a foul! True enough. But the sin is not the double-negative. The sin is the redundancy or the self-contradiction. Because - take what you have said, there. To substitute 'that is to say that I would, if she asked nicely' - that would not be at all the 'correct' equivalent! It would mean something completely different." "Yeah! In this case, the double-negative is essential to convey the nuance." "Fuckin' A."

"Are you stripes or solids?" "Do I look like I'm stripes or solids?"

"Man, that was a great shot on the eight. I love to see such an incredible comeback. See how happy and smiling I am for you?" "Yes, you look happy." "I know I do! And just wait until after this next game, when it's sincere!"

"Holy Motherly Comfort!"

"We should have got Newcastle Brown Ale, man." "Yeah, it's pretty good." "I want to move to England and open up a pub." "Do you have a name for it yet?" "Nope." "How about, 'Her Majesty's Cunt'?"

"That was pretty sharp. But it wasn't too smart." "Oh yeah? What shot would you have taken?" "One that wouldn't have pissed me off."

"I love my mother. That's why I talk about her so much."

"No, I don't even know her! She just turned to regard me while I was waiting for the beers, and so I look at her and smile, friendly-like -" "Like you are." "- like I am, and out of nowhere she goes, 'hey man, I think you're hot.'" "No she did not. She's pretty cute, man! - what did you say back?" "Well, I paused. And I took a step aback regarding her with that head-cocked-to-the-side quizzical kind of imperceptible narrowing of one eye that I do, and then I said, 'I think you're thinking of somebody else.'"

"Mother McBastard!!"

"If you miss this shot, then you're just a pussy." "You're confusing cause and effect."

Attention iPod Users:

Could you possibly go deaf listening to less-shitty music?

Why I Still Disagree with the Decision to Reclassify Pluto. (alphabetized by sentence)

And as a definition, it was pretty well botched even at that! As to merit. But mistake me not: I do understand the gut appeal. Except for that pipsqueak Mercury!

If you believe in the validity of your point, then to circumvent the process and conventions of consensus even within the little traditions and stipulations that govern your own lil' non-binding club - to pull so bold and peremptory a backdoor maneuver over what you say is just plain fact - well, that's just stupid.

It would have been more accurate and more honest (hell, more scientific!) if they had simply revised the definition of "planet" by taking the old definition, and tacking "(excluding Pluto)" on the end of it. It's too clear that it was drafted for the express purpose - an axe-to-grind purpose: to exclude Pluto. Nothing like a little cloak and dagger controversy to perk up a dry topic! That bitch is next on the list.

That is, if you're sincere about science, then it's stupid.

The fact that the majority of those seeking to reinstate Pluto appear to be going primarily on sentiment for tradition doesn't change the fact that this definition is a poor fit for the existing planets. The strong need some astronomers feel to reclassify Pluto makes sense, even if the definition adopted to serve that end does not. The way the motion was snuck through was needlessly divisive. The way this was carried out was a breach of professional respect and a strategic blunder (at least from the standpoint of respectability within the scientific community). This is more than a technicality.

This wasn't about science, it was a publicity stunt; on that score it was brilliant.

We have to admit that Pluto is a vastly different bird to the others, who do pretty well flock together. Well, I fault it first and foremost on procedural grounds. Well, I find the revised definition (of planet) badly crafted, very arguable - needlessly so.

Who says scientists don't understand marketing?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lay's Plain! Let's Hear It For.

Can I recommend a delicious product to you? Lay's classic potato chips. Those things are good. Man, you can eat as many of those things as you want, and you'll still be eating them.

Flavor? PLAIN. Perfect. You don't even need to salt them! They've got the right amount - already. Just grab the biggest bag you can, pop-a-rip it open, and watch the chips fly! Into your mouth. You'll be digging in that bag with both hands, grabbing up huge double-handfuls, mashing up those crisp, delicate chips in your tightening fists heedless of the grease and crumbs, just so you can keep shoveling as much as you can as fast as you can into your mouth and it's hard to do that with two huge grasping handfuls of big, crisp fluffy chips headed for just one finite mouth! Then you'll realize it's not really effective enjoyment-wise to try to eat chips that way, so you'll slow down and savor, bringing each huge, crispy-diaphanous chip mouthwards with a slow, elegant flourish, pop it just past your spread-wide lips and *CRUNCH*! Bite down with one curt, decisive chomp. And then, smile wide with the deliciousness that hits and coats the entire inside of your mouth in spreading waves of salty pleasure.

Holy shit, that's a good potato chip.

Maybe they don't call it part of a square meal. "Junk food" some say - but if that's the case, the good people at Frito-Lay are making some junk food. And when you bite into that perfect golden saltness wisp of bold, crisp potato flavor, you'll be calling the government on the phone to say "if this is junk food, then baby better add another level to the Food Pyramid!"

The best thing about me telling you about Lay's chips in this venue, here at Consider Your Ass Kicked!, and completely unrecompensed in any way by the Frito-Lay corporation (except in the sense that we are all of us richly recompensed, simply by the fact that they have made their delicious chips available to us for purchase!) is that it's not technically "advertising," so I can say all I want. I can lie my ass off if I want, it doesn't have to be true, because it's not advertising. No one is claiming these claims are true. No claim is being made. So I can pretty much let loose full-bore! Lay's classic chips are U.S.D.A. Certified Organic - and they always have been. Nothing has been changed to kow-tow to those government fat-cat bureaucrats and their arbitrary certification regime. Also, Lay's classic potato chips are now made fresh and local, right in your own town the same day you buy them - made from potatoes grown in your own back yard, if you have one. That's the Frito-Lay guarantee.

Of course, they are the perfect when it comes to dipping in any dip you might care to dip a chip in! A thick dip might require a more judicious angle of insertion, and then pull back out slowly with gentle angled upward pressure to get some dip out of the bowl without breaking that fine chip of yours to pieces in the process. It works fine if you can finesse the technique, but you know what? Why bother. They're just so good plain. Who needs dip, with a chip this hip.

Lay's, baby. They're coming after you in your DREAMS after I described them so good. Now go hit the 24 hour and come back with bags and bags of 'em.

Tell 'em Joe sent you.

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #12

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)

Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:

"Gimme big, fat dudes to hang with - bald-headed men, heavy sleepers! That guy - man, he's all scrawny and starving-looking. A dude like that'll put a knife in you."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yes, It Is Your Fault.

Yes, it is your fault.

It wasn't your choice, maybe. So what? It's still yours, not just in the sense that it is part of you, but more importantly in the sense that it is yours to deal with. To whatever extent it may be a problem, it's certainly your problem - not anyone else's. And it most definitely is a fault - or you wouldn't be so scrupulous about saying it's not your fault. It is a fault: a flaw. An imperfection - you have plenty of those, don't you? Don't we all? And this fault is in you. It is yours: your own. No amount of saying otherwise is going to make it not yours.

So own it.

Own yourself.

Do not disown yourself. You get nothing, no help from that transaction. No benefit. You won't feel better. You'll still be stuck living with, and dealing with the same shitty eyesight, or mental state, or chronic condition, or height or weight, every day in and out for as long as it (or life) persists. Maybe you'll have tricked yourself into some sort of state of denial, where if you claim it's not your fault, that will somehow make it easier to deal with. But how so? How will it make it easier, really? By what means can any portion of your burden be truly lifted, by pretending it isn't yours? Do tricks like that work?

The things that are wrong with you - whether arising through choices of your own or because you were born with them, whether they are intrinsic and incurable, or subject to some modification - those faults are as much a part of who you are as the things you consider right with you. I do not mean that as if to say "What would the light be without the darkness?" Mealy-mouthed, pap-minded imbecility, that! No, I mean it simply as if to say: you are yours and yours alone to carry. Others may help you, but the kindness of others, their mercy and charity doesn't absolve you of who and what you are. Grow up, and shoulder your whole load.

Only by taking on the entirety of who we are can we begin to have strength. The whole self we own is our whole muscle to lift - only the self we disown drags behind us, a burden. It doesn't matter whether a given point is bad or good, chosen or unchosen. Some faults are flesh-, blood-, bone-deep and will never go away; some faults you can acquire and cultivate. Just as some virtues are gifts that you appear to have simply been born with, while others can be instilled. It doesn't make a difference: all of it is you. Don't be such a weakling, such a coward as to pretend that the worser, more inconvenient parts of who you are are not yours.

If you can't own your faults, you have no claim on your virtues.

Work on the parts you can work on, sure - good and bad. But if the point is liking yourself, how about this approach? Like your whole self.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Interview With: Myself

Q. What are your turn-ons?
Well, honesty is a big one. Honesty, a sense of responsibility, a sense of wonder. A sense of play. A sense of what's delicious. A sense of nudity.
Q. What about turn-offs?
Anyone who considers herself not my equal. Or, alternately, anyone who considers himself my equal.
Q. Sexually-wise, where's the best place to "put it"?
Well, I'm a vagina man myself. No offense to the other options.
Q. Does that extend to oral sex as well?
Look! This is getting kind of crazy, here - are these questions all going to be sex-related or what? I'd like to keep it more "family-friendly" here if I can. Yes.
Q. Fair enough. Fave children's book?
A Brief History of Time by Mr. Stephen W. Hawking
Q. What are the five greatest films of all time?
Haven't been made yet.
Q. An optimist, eh?
Where filmmaking's concerned.
Q. Whom do you most admire?
Hm. Tough one. The President of the United States.
Q. Obama?
Well, not just Obama alone, more all of them.
Q. admire the office itself, more than the individuals who have occupied it?
Not so much like that. More like, I conceptualize the Presidency as a sort of a Doctor Who situation, where they keep regenerating him over and over again with a different appearance and personality.
Q. Hm. Wouldn't a setup like that undermine the whole purpose of the executive branch two-term limit?
Look, you don't need to make a big involved cosmology out of it, alright? It's just what came to mind - you're asking me to name off the top of my head who I most admire, - I just, suddenly that big ol' Eagle-blazoned seal filled my mind's eye and that Monty Python music struck up. It was an off-the-cuff answer, I'm a patriot what can I say. It doesn't really go that deep.
Q. Fair enough! Sorry. It's kind of hard to know with you sometimes when you're serious!
We done with the questions, then? That wasn't a question.
Q. Sorry! Right you are. Testy, eh?
Q. Yeah, "Testy?"
Not particularly, but neither do I suffer fools with any great relish.
Q. "Fools"? You, do realize you're being interviewed by yourself, here. You realize that?
Look, pal. If that's the attitude you take towards the process, if that's the seriousness with which you approach this exercise, you can forget it. This interview is over. You can answer the rest of these damn inane questions yourself.
Q. No wait! Come back! Are you still there?
Q. Hello? Hello?
Q. Are you there?
Q. What is the square root of South Dakota?
Q. Shoot!
Q. Aw, man!
Q. I think he's gone.
Q. I had some pretty sweet questions lined up.
Q. I think he's gone.
Q. Damn it, I shouldn't have got off-track with that Presidency thing.
Q. It's just, it seemed like an intriguing concept! The implications seemed like they could be fruitfully followed up.
Q. Some people just have no damn sense of humor.

The Curious Gourmet #2

When you're making an omelette, or you're making scrambled eggs, you put a little milk in there with the eggs, right?

So what's wrong with a CORN FLAKES OMELETTE!!

Let's find out! Everybody make one at home, and then report the results in the comments.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #11

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)

Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:

"When you step on a bug, that little f'er feels its death as big as Andre the Giant's."

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The futility of certain comparisons

Last couple days, total waste. Why am I not doing the sinkfull of dishes? Why am I not sorting or at least straightening the house? As long as I'm stuck here. What am I doing instead? Lying in bed like an idiot. Like a moron. Lying in bed like a scumbag. Lying in bed like a rapist. Lying in bed like a racist pedophile. Lying in bed like a god damn mass-murderer. Lying in bed like a...who else lies in bed? Almost everybody, I guess. It's not a very valuable comparison really.

Sick of it, and of my cells and my tissues. Sick of it, and of sick. My humor turns black; nothing I want to say that I'll later have wanted to have shared. I can read at least, but I have nothing to read that takes me away from cursing myself for not doing the dishes.

Lying in bed like almost everybody except a homeless person.

Aw man.

Thank god I have a bed.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Feminist Critique and Deconstruction of AC/DC Rock Videos #1: You Shook Me All Night Long

Well, we might as well start with this one.

First of all, let me just say that if I was the average-Geordie bloke as portrayed here by Jonna, and I was going up into my lady's house, she had beckoned me up and I came in the front door and up the stairs, and through the door and then - she had a setup like that up there...?! That would raise some questions. For Christ's sake, that's a lot of stationary bicycles.

Now getting back to a more strictly intellectual feminist critique approach, from a feminist standpoint, this video stinks. Actually, that may have more to do with the video itself, and less to do with a feminist standpoint per se. But look, all the tell-tale hallmarks are there: 1. Objectification of women. 2. Sexual objectification of women. 3. Sexy objectification of women. 4. That's quite enough is it not? But what about the corruption of minors, or at least, of middle-aged men dressed as minors?

Oh, that's not true. "Middle-aged" - these guys were in their 30s at this point, tops. Look at Angus! Damn, he was HAWT. Still is, in fact, although he's kind of starting to resemble a miniaturized Dave Letterman. Maybe that's just the haircut. Anyway, here, though - this diminutive dynamo of minor pentatonic pyrotechnics is in peak form - and I don't only mean musically! rrRROWrr.

And you know, that could be raised as arguably a really strong point on this video's behalf. Because there's really quite a lot of hot male here, to ogle. This band is eye candy. I mean, practically the first thing we see is Brian Johnson, barrel-chested and virile, taking a particularly vigorous bubble bath (still with his hat and boots on)! And then all that smokin' hot young Young brothers, prowling the streets of Amsterdam or London or wherever this was shot, with their sexy little antics. To say nothing of Cliff Williams (that comparatively tall drink of water on bass guitar) and Simon "Do Ya" Wright on drums (yes, I know it sounds like Phil Rudd, but that's definitely Simon Wright back there in the video!). In terms of sheer bristling sexuality, these men blow at least most of those skinny bike ho's right off the stage! So maybe it equals out, you might say? Exploitativeness-wise? Tentatively?

Well, no. That's where you'd be wrong. Because as a committed feminist, I'm telling you. It doesn't equal out. These women are being presented as objects. You can practically see the light bouncing and reflecting off of their exterior surfaces, and they way they appear to occupy space and possess mass (not much, some of them, it's true, but still!). It's as plain as day and it's simply inarguable. And it's just not right to present women as objects.

Nor am I saying they should be venerated as ethereal beings! That sort of benighted Victorianized Romanticism is just as benighted.

In fact, I'm not actually sure how or in what manner it would be acceptable to present women. We feminists ourselves are still figuring that one out. It's a behind-the-scenes controversy within the movement. And let me tell you, sometimes the debate gets a little heated, if you know what I mean. But that's only to be expected! When you get a lot of people together who are all passionate about the same cause, but who have some pretty passionate disagreements as to how best to go about getting what we all know everybody in the room wants - there's friction, and things will get heated.

We'll let you know how it turns out, in terms of what if any presentation of women is acceptable. But in the meantime, you can be pretty damn sure that the manner of presentation as seen in this video ain't it.

Wherever you are

Wherever you are
it's 3AM
and I'm awake

imagine the light
upon your blue,
transparent face

Saturday, November 06, 2010

You have to work through your feelings.

GOD I'm annoying.

God, how can I be so annoying?

Can I really be that annoying? What is it that I'm doing, specifically, that could be so annoying!

Shit, I'm probably not that annoying. I mean, I'm probably not that annoying. I bet most people don't even notice!

In fact, I'm probably not annoying at all. What the hell's wrong with me!

Calling myself annoying.

The nerve.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Poetry Critique Update: Pretty Pleased!

I tell you, I kind of fell by the wayside on those monthly poetry output critiques, but I was just looking over some of what I've done in there since June or so. And I had a bit of a shock! Because I think - I have become a really passable poet.

Have any of you been reading that stuff? I mean, I know some of you have, I'm not sure if others do. But some of it is really pretty good! I mean, yes, I know there are also a lot of pieces in there that sort of take potshots at the very sanctity of poetry itself, that tread upon the idea of poetry with contempt. Or, that simply suck. But those pieces are part of my overall style, too! Part of my body of work, my oeuvre. I think that if you're going to use words like "oeuvre," then you have to counterbalance that with a little contempt for the form, from time to time, or else you just look like an asshole. You know, like one of those people who is really...self-precious about what you do.

Nobody wants to read poetry coming from THAT sort of mindset, I assure you.

But take a look at some of these. Look at dead letter. Wow. I love this poem! It's not - it isn't earthshaking fantastic. I know it is not. But it is just - sad, and sits there and it's looking at you, like the letter. You know everything that letter is holding inside, worded perfectly, venom put to penmanship and exactly what you meant - and it sits there. Accusing you: unsent. Waiting.

Will all these words that so need to be said, ever be sent? Ever be read?

Maybe the poem itself is a little pat at the end there, ending as it does. I don't want to spoil it, but that ending could possibly be a little pat. With a tear and a kiss! "Elloelle!" I'm not entirely sure if it is or it isn't pat. It definitely looked pat to me. But then I tweaked the line breaking at the very end, and now...I think it actually works!

These works of mine are not mighty works. But I had to say something, because I tell you, I am so low-key pleased right now with myself!

I am a passable poet.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

ENOUGH With the Bacon Blue Cheese Burgers, Okay?!

ENOUGH with the God-damn bacon blue-cheese burgers already, okay? I know it's like, the trendy combination or something, with the creamy-crumbly stinky-chic strength of that blue cheese just melting into the thick, crisp, fatted-salt strips of delicious bacon, all jammed together in a warm, toasty bun around that fat, juicy beef patty, - a THICK one! - cooked perfect-to-pink in the middle as you chaw down another bite closer to its hot, red beefy sweetness in the center - but ENOUGH, okay? ENOUGH already, with these goddamn bacon blue cheese burgers. Enough!

I mean shit. I've had three of these things, already. To say nothing of the sides of fries! It's too much.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

For What It's Worth!

What's a commitment worth?

What about a commitment to yourself?

Is that worth less? More?

I have a problem. One that maybe, one or more of you can help with. Not in a direct way, not with material assistance or personal intervention, just by...maybe, providing some kind of perspective. Maybe not even help with the problem itself. Maybe just...helping me to frame it. In my mind.

My problem:

I have obligations.

That I have defaulted on.

But here's the thing: I do not believe that I have defaulted upon them.

I mean, yes, I am more than willing to admit I have defaulted on them. But, "defaulted upon" - this conjures in my mind an image of me doing the worm across my obligations. Breakdancing upon them. Vigorously disporting upon them, as if while thumbing my nose and whooping, in exultant disdain or contempt.

I assure you, there was none of that! I merely...defaulted on them.

Isn't that bad enough? Surely that's quite bad enough! Isn't it? We don't need to resort to prepositional hyperbole to make me feel bad, do we? DO WE?

I dispute and resent any suggestion that I may have or ever would default upon my obligations. That's not who I am.

That's even not who I see myself as.

Guess The Shakespeare Quote, As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob #10

SCORING RULES (CHECK BEFORE YOU ANSWER! - no credit for partials!)

Today's Guess The Shakespeare Quote As Reinterpreted By My Buddy Rob:

"If there's no way to fix it, fuck it. The shit happened."

Monday, November 01, 2010

Thought of the Day: Trustworthy?

All my life, I have been relieved to have people tell me that I can trust them. And what they mean is, I can trust them not to repeat something that I shouldn't be telling them.

The strangest thing about these trustworthy folks is, when I thank them for the reassurance, and I tell them that I do trust them, but that I would rather simply be trustworthy than burden another with my untrustworthiness - this is looked at as a great insult!

I hasten to clarify - it's not looked at as them insulting my trustworthiness. Which if anything, you'd think that would be the insult in the situation. Someone has come to me saying they think I'm the kind of person who will break a confidence, but that it's okay, because they won't let anyone know. And I don't take insult, I just decline to break a confidence.

This, they take as an insult.

I can never figure that one out. Loop-a-doolie!