Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Quote of the Evenin'

"God damn, woman! How do you think I know? I know all sorts of things! And that's one of them."

Pretty Please

Some people think I'm pretty fucking pleased with myself. It's actually not true! I'm pretty pleased with the world. By which I mean, "the universe" - or more precisely, observable reality. Fuck the geopoliticaleconomic situation - that's something we will always have with us, to paraphrase a well-thumbed coin.

I'm pretty pleased with the world. And I'm just so humbly mind-blown all the time, at the sweet position I'm in, to be able to move through it! Take it in. Spit it out. Interacting. Touching things.

Giving 'em a little widdershins spin, maybe. Poking them, sometimes.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Amish Friendship Bread: a Case Study in Cultural Symbiosis and Yeast Cultural Symbiosis

Amish friendship bread itself can be regarded in almost purely Darwinian terms. A perfect example of co-evolution, where two widely-divergent organisms evolve together in a symbiotic fashion that benefits both Amish culture, and the cultures in the bread dough.

Within the bread dough, the yeasts reproduce primarily asexually by budding - and one could look at the larger collective of the dough itself as reproducing asexually, by a sort of macro-mitosis if you will (if only metaphorically). The dough is taken to a new host family, they enlarge it by mixing in additional dry and wet ingredients, and after the resultant body of dough has time to fully ferment, it is "split" into new dough "cells" - to be baked as loaves, or to be forwarded on to the next friend. All the while this is going on, the Amish themselves are reproducing sexually by ordinary means (these means perhaps assisted by the natural mixing and leavening effect from the social interaction the bread affords!).

Side note: some claim that the Amish have nothing to do with this bread at all. I'll believe that when I see it with my own eyes.

Memory Giving You Trouble?

If working on retention and acuity isn't getting results, try focusing on creating a day or even a moment worth remembering.

Repeat as needed!


You know, in the previous post, I'm totally forgetting all the sunsets, and gleams of light off tall buildings, when I'm standing down in amongst those canyons of glass and steel and looking up, not to mention the wheeling cosmos - and I can't even count how many other things have seized or struck me as holy! And sometimes, somebody's eyes after what they just said.

It's just that all of those things too can strike you in different ways as well, depending on your frame of mind. Like beauty in the eye of the beholder? Holiness is in the soul of the beholder. NO WAIT. Eyes - windows of the soul! You don't need holiness of the soul to be struck with it and by it - any more than a person's soul has to be beautiful to be struck by beauty, and an ache for beauty. So.

Holiness is in the windows of the soul of the beholder's eyes.


It's like, when I think how holy God is, then I'm trying to look around and compare that to anything else, I'm struck by how unholy most of the world is. Wait, "unholy" gives the wrong meaning. Not "unholy" - more just, non-holy. I mean what else besides God even is holy? "Thou" is pretty holy.

"Thou" seems to have become the benchmark, in a lot of ways, for holiness. I think we can all pretty much agree God's holier than that! But what else even is there?

I guess that's part of the mystery of holiness.


I can't get over how holy God is.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What If the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean Switched Places?

What if the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean switched places?


That would blow your mind.

Not mine, though. I thought about it last week, so I've pretty much got all the details worked out.

This Post Contains Chemicals Known to the State of California

The implications of a State knowing things are a little unsettling. I see signs posted up time to time, "contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer." The State of California knows things?

Who exactly participates in this knowledge? Shouldn't all of us, all Californians? There's some kind of untapped Jungian psyche out there, and they've cut us off from it? What else does the State of California know that you and I don't?

Hell, for all I know, you do know. It's like some collective unconsious, except it's not for the whole collective, it's a consciousness of privilege that only the elite and ensconced can tap into. That's pretty weak. Imagine being able to just stick your finger upside your head with a faraway look and reel off a whole list of chemicals known to you (and of course, to the greater State) to cause cancer! Wouldn't this be in the State's best interest? Get the word out! I don't see why some of us are shut out, of what the whole State supposedly knows.

Maybe it's just native-born Californians. Well I say that's bullshit, but apparently my say means pretty little.

I mean, I know some of those chemicals, sure! Some of them are pretty famous. I guess...nicotine? No wait. Maybe not. I think nicotine's clean on the cancer charge. Nicotine's just the buddy chemical, right? Carcinogen wingman. The one with the addictive personality, coolest dude in the world who inexplicably hangs out with this toxic crowd. And what you don't realize is, that's his whole purpose there - to draw you in, keep you coming back, subjecting yourself.

But it's not like he needs to bother! Those "chemicals known" are everywhere. Total saturation deal. Hell, my body right now probably contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer. I'm sure of it.

I want to print up t-shirts with a Prop 65 warning, so people can wear them. WARNING. This human being contains chemicals known to the State of California to Cause Cancer. I'd be a little worried though, because if somebody really loved the shirt and wore it a lot, what if they got cancer? They might think there's a troubling link. I guess I could print up another batch of shirts for those people: WARNING. This person ACTUALLY HAS Cancer. And then when the person wearing that shirt ran into the other shirt on someone, they would be like, "I wouldn't wear that shirt too much if I were you." It would be like a public service message.

Against cigarettes, maybe? Sort of symbolically? By allusion. Because t-shirts can't actually cause cancer!

I mean, except if the fabric is impregnated with a heavy load of certain unspecified chemicals that the State of California is so keen to hint around about all the time. Then they could. But I want to stress that I would take all reasonable and statutory precautions that my t-shirts would be free of such contamination! I will not have my shirt-making workers subjected to that unsafe, toxic work environment.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oh For Sake's Sake!

I count on everyone to NEVER do anything uncomfortable, to never do anything out of their own comfort zone, for my sake. In fact, no one ever has! THANK GOD.

A few people thought they had, but after looking into it they had to admit, no they hadn't.

Because I hate that! How can something you hate be for your sake? Isn't it kind of insulting, when someone does something YOU HATE, and says it's for "your sake"? Come on. I think some of these people, there's some weird sake of their own involved, that they're just trying to foist off on yours. Don't let people get away with that crap.

A few times, a couple of people thought they had done personally uncomfortable things for my sake. They thought for some reason that would please me! Like the idea of people doing uncomfortable things (things that, let's be honest, I wouldn't have asked them to do, and don't remotely need) could ever in a million years please me. It's repulsive is what it is, frankly! Thoughtful gestures, that's fine, but who thinks a personally upsetting or uncomfortable action can be a "thoughtful" gesture? What kind of sick, codependent, passive-aggressive behavior pattern is this? Sure, if a person wants to violate their own comfort zone for some reason of their own, that's fine! Who am I to judge? But that's for their sake, not mine. Maybe they wanted to prove some point, or push some boundary. That's on them, and good on 'em! Go for it, okay? Just leave my sake out of your little experimental self-boundary exercise, please.

Be honest with yourself. Think about it. Aren't we all pretty well universally aware that nobody actually wants us to do uncomfortable things, and say it is for THEM? No, it's not for them. It's for you. I've never encountered anyone who actually wanted me to do uncomfortable things for them.

Most people would be repulsed by that proposition. Wouldn't they? Wouldn't you? I sure would!

That's why it's just the weirdest thing to me, when every now and then, it happens. Somebody tells me some horrible (to them) thing that they did, for "my sake." I'm like, dude. Get your own sake. Hands off my sake, you clearly have no accurate idea about what it is or what it's after.

Oh, they always apologize after I clear up the situation for them, but really, they didn't need to do that either.

Another Great Day In The Morning!

I go into work with the attitude, "What's going to STOP ME TODAY????!"

Songwriting Update #1 Pt.2

This post is Part Two of Two. There was also a Part One.
I think I better hold off on going any further on this one right now. I don't want to forge ahead to verse two, make something slapdash happen. This song deserves a special verse two, I'm going to wait. Hold out for something special.

This song deserves it!

Songwriting Update #1

It's been a while since we had a songwriting update! Have we ever had a songwriting update? It's certainly been a while!

Anyway, I just now wrote the best first verse I have ever written, at least in terms of NAILING what the song in question is trying to accomplish! What happened was, I had this pretty neat refrain lying around for almost a month. I wanted to come up with something special for it! It was the kind of refrain that could work brilliantly if it had a song to pull together, but if the song around it was too pat or too blah, it would fall flat. So I wanted to wait for something special, but finally I got sick of that and said - tonight, I said: "Screw it! Slap some kind of verse one on there. I can always come back and scrap it, substitute something better if something better shows up!" (Something better never shows up, folks. Once you've got that subpar verse on there, expect it to stick and drag down your opinion of everything associated with it.)

Anyway, I went ahead. Forged ahead, as it were - determined to get some kind of verse on there. "Verse 1 or bust!" To get my mind right, I began by playing the refrain three times through, then I noodled into / noodled up a chord progression for the verse, and then I started the lyric off like a kick off a cliff, with some rather mundane, cliched words: "All of my life..."

Though I started out with what I assumed would end up being throwaway lyrics, to be written over as soon as I had some momentum going, the whole thing just took off from those words over those chords. It took off and spooled out into a complete, coherent verse, and then I stepped back and said holy shit! Nice job! It's crazy. It actually says something I've been trying to put my finger on about myself all of my life. Crazy. I'm pretty sure I've even tried and failed to formulate this sentiment, in regular words, just prose - or more properly, speech! And failed. More or less, failed.

And then all of a sudden, here comes this verse, out of nowhere. And it fits SO GOOD. Fits the song, fits in general, I am just swimming in gratitude, right now. Towards myself I suppose!

I'm welcome.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thought of the Day: Supposedly

Don't ask whether you're supposed to. Ask who's doing the supposing.

I Am One of The One Percent.

I don't mean wealth-wise! That whole disparity situation. No, I just mean on my SATs. I totally top-percentiled that shit on "verbal." (Math, don't ask.)

We all have one thing we don't suck at. Or so I'd like to think!

What are YOU in the top one percent of?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Joke Away and Riddles Plus! Actually, No Riddles.

So, a rapist, a racist and a pedophile walk into a bar. The bartender says "get the fuck out of here! I can't make anything funny out of this situation!"

So. An alligator walks into a bar. This is a different bar. It's in Florida I guess. Anyway, the patrons all jump up on the bar, on the tables, screaming - the bartender calls animal control and says "There's a goddamn alligator in my bar! Send somebody quick!" All the patrons sit tight while the 'gator sort of plods and swooshes around the floor area. After what seems like a long time, animal control pulls up with a screech and a couple guys come running in with a noose-pole and other 'gator-wrangling accoutrements. The bartender asks them "What took you so long? Is that how you react when an alligator walks into a bar?" The animal control guy says, "We were trying to think of a punchline!"

So, a um. biblical literalist walks into a bar where the bartender is a theoretical physicist. The theoretical physicist bartender asks the biblical literalist "What'll you have?" The biblical literalist says, "Glenlivet and soda, rocks, splash of bitters." The theoretical physicist bartender says: "Coming up!" The biblical literalist asks the bartender, "Say, what's a theoretical physicist doing tending bar?" He...he...

Damn dudes. These things are really hard to make up!

I don't know how people do it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fiction Friday: Another Random Installment of Fiction Friday!


I didn't actually look up. Policy.

"FOOL!" The voice was more insistent, this time. A bit thundering. I looked up quizzically, with a "who's yelling?" look, pointedly not a "responding to 'FOOL' as if it were in fact my name," look.

It was John. Again.

"Look, John. What's the problem, okay? I don't need your shit right now." I had been thumbing abstractedly through the third drawer of a five-drawer filing cabinet, which is third from the top or third from the bottom. It doesn't even matter where you start counting, or whether you consider yourself an optimist. The drawer was half full, more or less.

"Listen, pal," John began. We weren't pals, either. "I've installed a little improvement I'd like you to get a look at." His was one of those voices in which the italics slant all the wrong way.

"Later, man. Can't you see it's not important?" I lowered my eyes back to the contents of the file drawer. I had begun beating my thumbs rhythmically between the folder for "AAF" and "BWW." It was a kind of flamenco polka rhythm. Suddenly I was whistling, determinedly but dispiritedly. John huffed, and the door slammed.

I looked up with relief, "Thank go-"

My lips bit together. John was standing there, grinning. I slowly rose to my feet, formulating some choice words of disdain. As I did, John's hand nonchalantly flicked the light switch next to the door - the switch that controls the ceiling fan.

John laughed.

My scalp felt like somebody had latched a man-eating hat onto it. My neck jerked taut and my feet began sliding uncontrollably around, legs stretched and straining to keep some kind of support underneath me, as my entire body revolved crazily, describing wild tippy-toe circles, scuffing the drab tiled floor of my office.

All I could know for sure was that the ceiling fan had somehow latched onto my head. I was caught by the hair, bitten by a million pulling roots. My scalp felt like it was pulling away. Like it had air under it, and my bare skull floating underneath. There were tears welling from my eyes; not just welling, but dancing out into the air, like distress-drops flying out from the head of a cartoon pugilist who just got socked a good one - as I most surely had. The room spun, and my throat began making "Gurk! Gurk!" noises.

For what seemed like at least a minute and a half, I could not form one coherent thought. Then one came: maybe I had been treating John a bit unkindly, recently.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Shakespeare Can't Really Be Blamed for How Far Behind Us He Was.

I mean, it just stands to reason. Coming all these centuries and decades after, we've got the benefit of not only that dude's peculiarly-laid foundation to rest our gathering laurels upon, but also the benefit of all the constructions and all the advances of all the dudes after him! And, lest you think me sexist, all the dudesses as well. Which just makes the odds more overpowering. Though that's a bit needless to say - and "dude" can be gender-neutral in most usages, surely!

We see the same kind of thing in all our fields. Advances. Advance is ineluctable, and it's effect is: it leaves shit behind.

Do you think our modern particle physicists, nuclear physicists, quantum physicists and astrophysicists spend their time sitting around in apple orchards, lounging against trees waiting for inspiration to strike? Fuck no. That was how physics used to get done - back when there were no better methods. But I believe it was Sir Isaac Newton himself who said "If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." And rightfully so, in his case! The dude was a shrimp, even by the shrimpy standards of his age.

Actually, I have no idea how tall Sir Isaac was. I submit to you that it may be irrelevant. The point is, by his own admission, the dude was no giant. Let's respectfully pass that over, and get back to Shakespeare.

Shakespeare. In the estimation of most people, Shakespeare was a giant. A giant of literature! But things have changed, Will. Frankly, I don't think you could hack it in this day and age. Why, we can meet OR BEAT every damn one of your plays, and all we'd need is an infinite number of monkeys! You ever even think of using monkeys, in your day?

That's the point. Methods have advanced, in literature as in all fields. Let's give our forebears all the credit in the world, for whatever they did back then, but you have to admit it's pretty lame now! Compared to what we can do, given a sufficiency of monkeys.

Neologism! Score!


A euphemism expletive. Portmanteau. Something you say as a euphemism, in lieu of a conventional "offensive" expletive.

Apparently, I just coined it! Google says zero hits. Weird.

I'll lay dibs to "euphemixpletive" at the same time (also zero hits), but it's a clearly inferior construction.

The correct neologism for this usage is "euphemexpletive."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thought of the day: Too Much Perspective

I would like to hear a barbershop quartet cover Spinal Tap.

Can You Help?

Hi guys! Maybe one of you, my loyal readers, can help Serge out by posting some suggestions for him in the comments. This is the e-mail he sent me:


I'm so glad that someone else reads books :) I found The Master and Margarita in your profile, it is one of my favorite ones!

I just want to thank you for your wonderful blog

I read the post "Daylight! Let's Just See What It Looks Like" and then I spent another hour on your blog by reading your posts with pleasure :) Every article is interesting and easy to read. I really like the "Tough Topics #25: The Occupation".

I work for XXXXXX company, we aggregate job adverts around the world.

My job is to persuade bloggers to link to our site.

I really love my job! We have a friendly team and good management, but unfortunately I have no idea how to convince a blogger to link to us, I'm afraid I might lose my job because of it :(

And that is why, instead of sending letters to thousands of different blogs, I am reading yours.

Honestly, I am not really sure if the link to our website in United States -, will be appropriate for your blog, but if you believe it will and it is possible to add it, I would be really grateful to you! Our site is really cool, it can greatly help hundreds of people to find a job.

I wish you to have a good day and excellent mood! Thanks again for your nice blog. Write more! Thanks!

Best regards,

Serge Lxxxxxx
Account Manager

Serge, I am glad that you are so sensitive to people and their sensitivities. It is a fact that the link to your website would not be appropriate for my blog, but maybe I can help this way! I'm sure you will be reading this post, and hopefully some of my readers can come up with some suggestions for you, as to what might be good ways to convince bloggers to add a link to their blogs so you don't lose your job!

Folks, I don't know Serge personally, but I can tell just from this one e-mail, he's dead-on correct about a number of things:

1. Every article is interesting and easy to read.
2. Someone else does indeed read books! And that's something to be glad about.
3. The Master and Margarita is a great book.

Serge, you are welcome from and welcome to my wonderful blog! I hope the readers can come up with some good ideas for you!

I now close with a beautiful little number called "Serge (Late In Rome)" by Mr. Neil Finn.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Daylight! Let's Just See What It Looks Like

I love the long pans over the crowd kind of boppin' along in scattered patches.


Tough Topics #25: The Occupation

A lot of people have been asking me to "chime in" on this Occupy Wall Street business.

I tend to agree with the NY Times editorial that pointed out it is not the protester's job to draft legislation. See, I think a lot of critics are trying to pull a reverse ad-hominem attack, here.

In a regular ad hominem, the actual points in an argument are ducked and dodged in cowardly fashion, and instead an attack is made on the person advancing the points. As a way to avoid dealing with the points themselves. Critics of this movement say the movement is leaderless, they say it lacks any clear agenda, advances no clear points of action to solve the problem. These critics would love to have some leader step forth and articulate points. The critics could then say, these enraged and discontented people are following this leader, and this agenda of points. Then they can take those points one-by-one and demolish them! They want to attack the actual points, and so avoid having to deal with the enraged and discontented people.

It's a reverse ad hominem, and a trickily-insidious one! I strongly doubt anyone but me has even noticed it, or pointed it out.

But what a dodge that is! As if that will help! As if it will help, to demolish points. The points are not the point! The point is: people are mad, and their madness is real. It is valid. It's a troubling sign.

Don't quibble over "points!" FIX IT.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Breakfast: A Complicated Architectural Metaphor

Breakfast: the cornerstone of your food day.

But it can't be as simple as that! A day doesn't have a cornerstone. Try again.

Breakfast: the cornerstone of the foundation of your food day.

This does a much better job of telling the truth about what breakfast is, what breakfast does, what it accomplishes, the part it plays, and how it fits in. But as a metaphor, it still falls a bit short. Because a day doesn't have a foundation any more than it has a cornerstone!

Breakfast: the cornerstone of the foundation of the edifice of your food day.

Perfect! Now you're ready to face anything.

Fact Jackers II: Electric Sincerity Bomb

The strange thing about pointing out a fact is, it doesn't matter "whether you mean it." It doesn't even matter how you mean it. Anyone can go look at the fact.

Sweet deal.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kickass Screenplay Idea #20: This Could Be The Big One, All You Faithful Sci-Fi Fans

I want to do a classic space operatic type sci-fi franchise, as big as Trek or Wars, action figures, sequels, spin-offs, rip-offs, conventions, the whole works. And you know it would take off, because this would be a faith-based take on the epic intergalactic sci-fi genre! All of their technobabble would be couched in terms and rationalizations that would make it clear that God was the driving principle behind the universe, and underlying all their high-tech devices. You know when evolution is explained by reference to intelligent design? Well, here it would be physics that would be explained that way. Easy leap to make! All the jargon about energy bolts, matter-transference and force shields would be just be "Godded-up." AWESOME.

For example, when the gruff, charismatic, sexy-yet-intriguingly chaste starship captain of the hero ship USS KYRIOS wants to give the order to jump to faster-than-light, instead of "Warp" or "Hyperspace," it would be "Make the jump to GODSPEED!"

Stuff like that. This will be something for all the faithful sci-fi fans, who are sick of being insulted by various concepts in sci-fi that crop up from time to time that are clearly unbiblical.

The good galactic forces would be called the Fellowship. They would have to spring into action to deal with a godless rebellion centered on planet Secularr. The Seculons, misguided, misled, would have unwittingly forged an alliance with Space Satan that, if unchecked, would certainly lead to their destruction, and the destruction of plenty of other stuff besides.

The whole thing is called STAR CROSS. I have the ship designs and poster all worked out.


OOO! This reminds me, though I'm sure others have done this too! Too simple not to. But in any event, in lieu of "xoxo", in situations where this would be appropriate I have been known to substitute the subtly different


Monday, October 10, 2011

My Apologies, Pajama Club!

Here I am posting some EXCITING AS HELL live clip of you playing a cover tune of some dude's brother-act band, when I didn't even realize you actually went to the trouble to make an OFFICIAL VIDEO.

Awesome use of promotional resources, thank you for the excellent and rather disquieting effort!


Edit: by the way. RELEASE "GO KART" AS A SINGLE!

EDIT2: aw, I love this! Straight video of the band in a room with gear strewn about.

As much as I like the more "mod presentation" of the album-art-set and cartoon-half-dissected-sex-zombies clip for "Tell Me What You Want" in the clip above, which works very well for the song, this here is such beautiful laid-back capture of character. The song is gorgeous:

Suffer In Pajamas

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Tough Topics #22: Sending Jobs Overseas

Exporting jobs overseas. Eventually it's going to catch up to you, but good news: once it does, the problem solves itself!

Here's how it works. You keep sending those jobs to India for instance, okay. That only works for you in the short-term. More years go by, their standard of living will keep rising - side effect of all those jobs. Next thing you know, it's practically up to our standard! - and their home-grown industry will be on-pace as well. That'll force us to move on to the next shit-wage labor place, but: problem. India's now exporting their jobs there as well! Cheaper labor than those now-pampered Indians.

The top-standard livers will keep having to divvy up the shit-standard load bearers between them, and the more jobs we pour down their underprivileged throats, the sooner their standard starts leveling up. This problem just builds and builds. Soon fewer and fewer places exist where primo jobs can be sent for a shit wage! And the competition among top-standard countries for that shrinking available bottom-earner labor pool will just get fiercer and fiercer - and they will have to pay top shit dollar to land that in-demand labor. Supply-demand-based pressure, driving up the price as usual.

Eventually, all of the high-living standard countries will run out of places with any poor-living standards at all. No place will be left to send our precious jobs for shit pay, because everyone's standard of living will have been brought up to - well, not ours, but close enough to it that it isn't worth the export effort.

Problem solved. Nobody will be shipping jobs overseas, then.

So Okay, I'll Bite: What the Hell?

Speculations about the nature of hell have approximately the intellectual weight of speculations about the nature of galaxy-spanning alien civilizations. That's not a lot of intellectual weight. In my mind, at least! We're talking feather-juggling. That is some extremely breezy, lightweight talk, as substantial as a zephyr - and just as refreshing, for those who like to work and to play with ideas! Ah.

But as much as I can spend pleasurable hours with someone interested in such a thing, as fun as it may be to busy ourselves working through permutations of possible galaxy-spanning alien civilizations, each of us not-a-moron in that conversation will recognize that #1: there may actually be no such things at all. It's entirely possible there is not one single alien civilization out there, galaxy-spanning or of smaller size, in all the reaches of space. Seems a little on the preposterous side to me, but admittedly I'm anthropomorphizing there. I expect these aliens to exist, because well fuck. People exist! Which is a bit of a shit argument, technically. These aliens may be nothing like us. Just because we exist doesn't mean they do. They may not exist at all. There's no reason we should assume we can apply our standards to them. Talk about existential arrogance.

And #2, each of us not-a-moron in that conversation is going to fully recognize that all our airy talk, all our conception of details, myriad aspects of these alien civilizations we conjure forth from the merely possible - all of that has no relation to whatever reality actually is. Pure conjecture. Fun stuff!

Which brings us to hell. Same deal, really. You want to talk about hell? You want to talk about long soaks in lakes of fire, alternating with thorough sessions under the care of flesh-tearing hook-wielding aestheticians, like some macabre day spa gone horribly Clive Barker? Or do you prefer the dark, mad room, where you sit staring for all eternity at the worst demons your own worst actions, missteps and maltreatments of others can summon up? There's the ever-popular 'poetic justice' hell, where what you get bears some really insufferably cute relationship to some bullshit thing you did, or some attitude you have. Or the increasingly popular "hell-is-merely-the-eternal-absence-of-God" option! (Sometimes conceived in terms practically identically to the atheist's conception of hell, which is: you dead, dude.

Gone. Over. Identity wiped, individuality erased, consciousness not at all transitioned: EXTINGUISHED. Exeunt, defunct - slammed through the buzzer-beaten hoop of the universe on a nasty dunk! And vanished down that well, never so much as reaching the floor to bounce). Theologians, I tell you! Got to love 'em. They get into this stuff! They're every bit as legitimately geeky as sci-fi fans. Sure, I'll be interested if whoever else is! Bring the bring. I can talk about hell with an avid and open-minded conversationalist for idle hours and call it paradise. But where's it going to get me?

No closer to hell, that's for sure.

People who happen to be interested in speculating about various things, that's just an interest. It doesn't speak well of a person, to cherish or burnish some particular idle interest. It doesn't speak at all poorly of a person if they lack the interest. If you could design a boat that would float based on how you buttered your bread, made your bed, and lay in it - well you'd have to show me first before I grant you a patent, but it would probably be a very enforceable patent because that's some kind of crazy boat!

And that's exactly the point: it's your boat. The mechanisms by which it achieves buoyancy are purely your concern, and nothing for anyone to criticize.

I have a pretty good idea about it, though. About where you're headed with this hell of yours - the hell of your preferred conception, I mean. You're leaning toward the lakes-of-fire idea, right? Yeah, you want to see about taking that boat of yours out on those lakes. What a spectacular fucking view that would be, as the sun sets on another picture-perfect day in your favorite stretch of hell! Out by the flaming lakeside, a little piece of hell. Ah.

The only real problem with hell is the monotony aspect, let's be honest. To we easily-bored mortals, eternity's a far more daunting than some suffering. Especially if the suffering is particularly exotic! You know damn well no matter what hell you come up with, if travel agencies could book you a one-week tour and back again, those would be extremely popular vacation packages. Tons of people, lining up to be there, do that, bring back the damned t-shirt. People today are curious for new and extreme travel destinations - and I for one can't think of what could be further 'out there' than hell!

Except...maybe a week in the capital city of the home planet of some galaxy-spanning alien civilization, maybe? Wow. Even just thinking about it. Pret-ty cool!

Nah. Not even close. Hell's way more exotic, no matter how you slice it.

No contest.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Pah! Pt.2

The previous post is almost totally out-of-hand! I don't mean a bit of it. Who could possibly get such umbrage out of such a weak, little syllable? It's quite true I don't care for "meh," but the pitch and vitriol is just silly. Silly.

So fun to write those posts! All worked up over some mind-breakingly inconsequential thing. I seem to do a lot of those. Wow, imagine if I walked around like that? Finding that huge level of fault with all these things! I'm going to start giggling in a minute if I keep trying to picture how that lifestyle would work out. Wow.

I do say "Pah!", though. Every time. Can't even picture me going with "meh." Be more emphatic with your disdain, please! If you don't care, to the point where you need to express that you don't care, for God's sake say it like you mean it at least.

Friday, October 07, 2011


Are you like me? Do you not in the slightest bit understand the fascination and attraction people have for "meh"? People say "meh," like it expresses something. Minor scorn, apathy. Disinterest, I guess. Whatever it may be, they say "meh." And unless I misread the mood, they seem kind of proud to say it. Like they've made a statement. Sometimes I think it's their weak attempt to approximate a gallic shrug in language, or something. Does it really get that across? I'm not getting it. It's a gravy word, except only if gravy had no flavor, if gravy were gruel, if the point of adding gravy was to add no savor or richness at all, but rather to just...drip something gray and watery and thin across the top. "What's that you say? Let me put my 'meh' on top of that! That's what I do in these situations."

It leaves me cold, frankly, this "meh" business. For one thing, I have never in my life heard anyone say it out loud. Please, those of you who dispense your "meh" here and your "meh" there, so freely, so willy-nilly - where did you get that? Did you read it, and like the effect? Every try it out loud? Take an experiment, for your own sake. Give it the ol' cold turkey, tell yourself "I will not use 'meh' once more in writing until I've used it at least three times out loud." If you make that pledge and stick to it, do you think you'll ever use "meh" again?

I doubt it. But then, maybe I have a better opinion of you than you deserve. Because to me, saying "meh" out loud in any situation where you routinely use it typing is approximately the best way to look like a total asshole. I mean, I try to be charitable, here. I try to give you enough credit to recognize that, if you were to try the experiment. But maybe not, I could be wrong.

I swear, never once in my entire life have I heard "meh" used out loud. Maybe I'm just lucky, or traveling with a select crowd or something. Heck, I remember one time I said "SIGH!" out loud. As a word. I was just a kid, I'd picked it up from context reading Charlie Brown, and I thought it was a word that people said in situations like that, in contexts such as those in which Charlie Brown finds himself customarily embroiled. But guess what, it's not a word to say out loud, as an exclamation, in those contexts. Or in any contexts. It doesn't work. Sometimes onomatopoeia just doesn't really cut it.

I wonder sometimes how these enervated "meh"-heads can summon up the energy to hit those three keys. "Meh," they tell us, as if it means something: as if it expresses to you some fact about their state of mind, as if it conveys their very mild disdain for whatever proposition has been advanced, or for whatever topic is being discussed. Anyone who says "meh," you can be sure of one thing: that's really the best, most interesting thing that they could come up with to say on that topic. But since that's the case...why are they bothering to add this noise to our hopefully comparatively signal-heavy ratio? Who are these people, who think their "meh" is news worth broadcasting? "Meh," you say?

Well, what the fuck to that. I'm sure I don't know why you'd bother. When everybody who uses it puts it out there with airs, as if they've just made some definitive pronouncement! "Meh," as if their "meh" carries weight! "Meh," they say: "Meh."

Well FUCK your "meh," buddy. That's what I say. Stick that "meh" up your "meh"-hole and "meh" off while you're doing it.

Franchise Reboot to End All Franchise Reboots

Well I say, heck with updating all these "small potatoes" franchises. Your James Bond Reborns, your Bruce Wayne Yet Agains, your Spock Spocks Up The Mother-Spockin' Time Continuums, your Teenage Godzilla Vs. Some Umpteenth Next Best World-Ending Threat...! For gosh sakes, what are we diddling around for with all these also-rans? Get your guts in order and set your sights where they ougtta! Ditch the remix albums of middling hits, and skip straight to the all-time chart-topping numero uno.

The Bible.

Boo yeah.

Did I hear somebody say "biggest bestseller of all time"? Oh yes! And by FAR.

Did I hear somebody mention, "single most theatrically-adapted book of all time"? Well, duh! I think that Mel Gibson movie a few years back pushed it over the top. Although wait, there could be one Japanese samurai-type epic that they've made like, 200+ films out of. I heard something about that. Not sure those really count, could be they were "made for tv" films. Well, leave that one aside for the record-keepers, for the time being. Pending confirmation: IT'S THE BIBLE.

You think Jedi Redux is going to get people feeling the force? How about a fresh young new hot take on JESUS CHRIST, set in today's day and age? And what about hitting us up with the PREQUELS as well - at the SAME TIME?

Coming to theaters near you, next year:



Call Peter Jackson. Treat it right, this thing can run forever.

Sunday Theology Blog Pt.4, Fiction Friday Update Pt.2

You know what, I've just got the bug lately on spirituality and matters metaphysical! This week's Fiction Friday will be coming to you in just a moment, in the form of a Kickass Screenplay Idea that is also a Fiction Friday installment AND a Sunday Theology God Blog Post!

Coming right up: The Franchise Reboot to End All Franchise Reboots

Ahh, the sweet smell of crossover.

Sunday Theology Blog Pt.3

Annnnd on behalf of yesterday's post, feel free to expect this week's installment of Fiction Friday next Monday!

Never can seem to get the hang of this "post scheduling" function, somehow.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Sunday Theology Post: Christianity vs. Buddhism: Comparative Conceptions of the Infinite Pt.2

"... The way of Buddhism is to honor each being around us, learning those lessons that individuality has to teach - but also ultimately to transcend those voluntary, illusory constraints, and attain to the realization that all consciousness is one."

- picking up from Pt.1

Now, I don't buy that for a second. It sounds like a crock of shit from where I stand! But if it's easy to conceive of the Buddhist one light of infinite consciousness, wriggling out into the material world as so many little wiggling fingers so as to be able to feel and to have experience of what separateness is like - then surely, it can't be hard to conceive of God's infinite self extending out as one BIG finger, in the person of Christ Jesus! Easy peasy.

So while I'm kidding about it being a crock of shit, it's a nice point to begin a comparison. From the Christian perspective, we talk of God's light in us, of God breathing God's life into us. We all start from the same place - that radiating one light of God's life animating us all. From that beginning, the classic Christian stance places a great emphasis on the importance and reality of identity, on the being being created as an individual, to learn and grow and become more and more one's own self. A self self-chosen, through our every thought and action, and with free will.

The views are not so far apart to start, but they do become so. Where this Buddhist friend of mine conceived of each of us "As God," it was a case of God playing a game of sublime hide-and-seek with God's self, putting forth consciousness into darkened skulls to learn and see through pinprick eyes - and eventually, to be enlightened. Perhaps to the highest consciousness, the feeling of infinitely repeated enlightenment is pleasurable? But upon death (or upon the eventual enlightened death of one's consciousness), having learned whatever lessons were the point of becoming individual, the individual dissolves: purpose complete. Usefulness outlived. Dissolved utterly, and absorbed back into the light. Nirvana: blissful nonexistence.

My Buddhist friend looked at the difference between his conception and mine as essentially, semantics, but to me the difference is a fundamental one. The crux of the question is: does the individual matter at all?

I believe God did not create this world as a place to play hide and seek with God's self through so many disposable finger-puppets of false (illusory) consciousness. I believe God created this world because God wanted to come to know us, and this world was the way. God created us because God wanted to give us a chance to be and to love. A chance to grow, to learn in a natural environment where the presence of God was non-coercive, and can quite plausibly be denied. Only so can we create a self freely, only so can we make free choices and take free actions, determine who we are and what we think, and whether and what to love. Only so could we to come to know God. And only so - if we choose - can we create ourselves as a gift we freely give back to God. In this conception, that self is a gift God would keep.

Only if the self matters does selflessness - one's decision to let something matter more than one's self - have any real tooth to it.

I believe you, yourself, have worth - and are not simply an empty experiment in consciousness. I believe God could not look at you and fail to find you as beautiful as I do.

See, each of us is beautiful and enduring, and of worth. You are not a thing to be cast away at the end of life's day. The person you are is not a meaningless means to an end, a step to a lesson learned and then discard the learner. The individual is - you are - the desired end to God's plan of creation. You, specifically you, are the joy of God's desiring. Each of us is what God wanted to get out of this world. Each of us is a thing of infinite worth. God created the world in the hope of gathering us in.

Always and only if we'd want that! Some perfectly decent people do hate God, or say they do. And others less decent, as well. In any case, I can't imagine God would force eternity in God's company on anybody who doesn't want it! That would be kind of a "dick move."

Sunday, October 02, 2011

And we need to rebuild what was never there

Richard Thompson and his son Teddy Thompson, on a song Richard co-wrote with Tim Finn back when.

I still believe it.

Sunday Theology Post: Christianity vs. Buddhism: Comparative Conceptions of the Infinite Pt.1

So here's how I look at it. And I realize, my thinking may be colored by a metaphor from Buddhism (or vice-versa), but I think sometimes perspectives from another tradition can be of help, in conceptualizing the unknowable. And given especially the writings of such firmly-embraced Catholic thinkers as Thomas Merton, I'd say a Buddhist or Zen gloss is not wholly incompatible with the doctrine and perspectives of Catholicism!

Anyway, I was talking to a Buddhist friend of mine, describing how I conceived of Christ: as an instance of the infinite, choosing to experience limitation as we do. God, the infinite consciousness - transcendent and immanent within us all - chooses for God's own inscrutable reasons to put Godself into individuality. Now God of course knows every individual, inside and out, to an infinite degree - but the choice of incarnation goes much farther than this: God's choice here is to become one of those individuals. To become fully human is to take on and experience the limitations involved - human form, human nature. To live within the partitions of personhood and identity that constrain a soul, that constrain us all. Only so could the infinite consciousness, God, truly have experience of Godself as a human being - as a separate, specific, material human being. Only so could God have our experience. Of course, even while this is experience of individual personhood is going on, God remains always and transcendently infinite and immanent everywhere (and we see instances in the bible where God as human interacts with God transcendent)! Easy peasy for an infinite being, to have it both ways - or every way.

Which in a way is how my friend took it. My friend said smilingly (with the infuriating wisdom of the stereotypical Buddhist) that from his standpoint, you could conceive of all individuals that same way: the one light of all consciousness, extruding itself into these discrete packets of individual viewpoint, of sensory constraint and alienation, because that is the only way for the infinite light of consciousness to become conscious of self. And so, to experience self-consciousness. As he explained it, the way of Buddhism is to honor each being around us, learning those lessons that individuality has to teach - but also ultimately to transcend those voluntary, illusory constraints, and attain to the realization that all consciousness is one.