Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Friday, June 29, 2012

Existence: Keep It Real

I only concede that a person is real if they have a corporeal form, a sentient mind, and free will.

However, as a caveat - I'm not so inflexible in my standards as that makes me sound! If anyone ever tries to claim that they do not possess one of these things, I don't automatically assume they're a figment of my subconscious (or worse, my imagination!). I treat their claim with extreme prejudice, extreme skepticism. I put the burden on them to prove their incorporeality, or their nonsentience, or their status as a deterministic automaton. I don't credit every whinge and wheedle of the disaffected existentialist fringe!

There. A straightforward answer to the problem! Assuming there ever was one.

Quote of the Day: Is Your Back...?

"Is your back an erogenous zone? You're always patting it!"

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Much Is That In Bears?

In my house, bears were employed as standard units of measurement for various hyperbolic purposes.

It started out with either temperature or hunger as the accepted usage. You might come in from outside, cold still steaming from your icy lungs and declare "It's as cold as a BEAR out there." One-upmanship soon changed the bear from mere object of comparison to bona fide unit of measure: "I'm as hungry as a BEAR." "I'm as hungry as ten bears." Soon bear units were in use for all sorts of things, some fairly literal, others more poetic or fanciful:

"It was at least ten bears long."

"I've waited two whole bears for this!"

"I'm a bear and a half away from killing you."

"Did you hear their new album? A five-bear effort."

Or used more loosely:

"Damn it's hot. The sun's got bears on."

"That burger was bears on buns."

"Did you see that chick who just walked by?" "I saw about two hundred bears just walk by."

I'm not entirely sure all of these usages worked, in retrospect. But you have to admit it was a pretty vivid and versatile unit! The strange thing about bears as a unit of measure is: no matter the magnitude of whatever you're talking about, you give the effect of exaggeration when you measure it in bears.

Oooh, I almost forgot the most emphatic one of all: "I'm as hungry as a bear made out of bears."

Thought of the day: Parts of Speech

When I beat you up, it will not be with adjectives. It will be with nouns.

Well dang.

Those last couple posts were a bit foul-mouthed! Maybe I should go easy on that for a bit. Don't want to seem like a 1-trick pony of profanity.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Human Rights: How We Got Here, Reflections On America's Legacy...And The Way Forward

I love America. America is my favorite! America was like "HEY! Fuck this! And let's set it up different," and then people were like, well here's how they've fucked us up, and here's how they've fucked us up, and basically all these different cultural inheritances of how government is prone and known to fuck shit up for its populace, whether via the tyranny of the tyrant, the tyranny of the oligarchs, or the tyranny of democracy - the tyranny of majority will, unconstrained - so they were like "FUCK ALL THIS! We'll set it up DIFFERENT," and they did. They put all this shit in place, where this, that or the other couldn't even happen - like institution of state religion, or laying down state standards for what's OK for the people to say, or restricting who is allowed to peaceably assemble, or any of that shit!!!! - they said, Let's put some human rights in place! Let's say they're "inalienable" (which is sort of a clap-for-tinkerbell situation, similar to "money is worth money") and applicable to the INDIVIDUAL - which is all of us! - and as if to say: "Government SHALL NOT DO THIS SHIT, or at least, if government does, people will see it and know it ain't right, they shall know that government for what it is: an unjust tyranny."

When they were done, they looked up quite pleased with themselves and then suddenly, for the next two hundred years, the nagging started: the nagging of idealisms embraced, but not yet realized: "Well wait, if this is true, if we really mean it, then what about SLAVES...?" Then later, "well wait, if this is really true, if we mean this, then what about WOMEN...?" And still later "- what about HOMOSEXUALS...?" And no, we're not done with racism, sex- or gender-related discrimination, or other types of bigotry by a long sight! But it's that crazy emphasis laid down in the original founding times of yore - those legendary days of legend, that fucking Constitutional Convention of ours - it's that original emphasis laid down, on the primacy of the human rights of the individual (which is each of us) - THAT SHIT RIGHT THERE is what's dragged us so far, kicking and screaming all the way towards (but not yet quite all the way to) the equality of all persons under the law!

That's why I say: BOO YAH. IN YOUR FACE, TYRANNY!

Now we just need to come up with some creative new antitrust measures to goad and yoke the globalmultis. Not as if to punish! Profits are fine, and rampant success is fine, as long as we've got sound rules, in place and enforced, to protect the public, to harness the profit motive to the public weal. The public trust is what antitrust is all about. Sherman, Clayton, Robinson-Pattman et al are all well and good, I guess, but woefully inadequate to address the multifarious ways that modern business models have over the past 100 years mutated, grown, and flown globally o'er the antiquated regulatory bars and harnesses, in ways that are very much anti- the public trust. We need a comprehensive campaign to re-focus as a nation, to find ways to combine with other nations, with a goal to create new and enforceable hammers and blades, tools to break into and limit, cut down the ways that modern corporations combine and align these days, in their many-tentacled efforts to undercut restraints, to shortcut public interest, and to betray the public trust. That's what antitrust is all about: are you doing business here, in this territory? Are you doing business here, with my people? Well then you shall do it in a way that does not harm them then!

Such an effort is more than justifiable: it is just. We have every right. The question is: do we have the will?

We could really use another T.R., I tell you. If America stood up and threw its shoulder behind a real modern-wave global-geared antitrust campaign, I am confident other nations would pitch in. All you'd need is for the biggest marketplaces to combine on some sensible antitrust measures, designed for the global age. I'm not saying we have to be the one to lead the charge, but it would sure be nice if we fucking could.

We used to do that shit all the time.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Forward.

Some people forward stuff on, and some people don't forward stuff on.

Suppose I am a person who forwards stuff on: that doesn't make me a gullible dupe, or a sheep. Maybe I read the item, I can see what it's in favor of and what it's against, and I agree with the message. So I forward it on!

It's a show of support for the message itself. Maybe the facts underneath it are trivia to me, compared to the larger message.

But suppose I am a person who doesn't forward stuff on: that doesn't mean I don't care, or that I am unsympathetic to a cause.

Some people feel the need to put things in their own words, or to speak first from their own experience. Some people may believe in a cause, but disagree with the way it's put. And some people just aren't co-signers, but they can be passionate advocates one-on-one for what they believe!

Only five percent of people who read this will forward it on - but approximately twenty percent will recognize that's a made-up statistic. If it sounds good to you, forward this on to five friends in ten minutes, and good luck with that.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fiction Friday: The Seventh Angel (A Fairy Tale!)

Once upon a time there was a prince named Prince Seven Angels. When he was born, seven guardian angels gathered around his crib. As each angel stepped forth, it curtsied, and bestowed a blessing. "Long life," said one. "A kingdom free from strife," said another. "A beautiful princess to be your wife," said another. "These fresh, delicious pears," said a fourth, and so on, each angel bestowing wondrous blessings, until the seventh angel stepped up saying "FUCK YOU, PRINCE! I DON'T GIVE YOU BLESSINGS FOR SHIT! YOU GET NO BLESSING FROM ME 'TIL THE DAY YOU DIE, AND THEN EVEN THEN IT WILL BE SOME BULLSHIT BLESSING, NOT A REAL GOOD ONE!" But no one was in the nursery to hear, so the story remained unwitnessed, and the infant scrunched up his troubled brow and kind of, writhed a bit, and farted. Then he smiled.

When Prince Seven Blessings was twelve years old, suddenly he remembered the whole thing. "What the fuck?" He went straight to his mother and father, the king and queen of all the realm, and asked: "Why did you not tell me?" "Because you were too young to know," said his mother. And his father replied: "Now you must go on a quest." "What the fuck was that about?" they asked each other, after he had left.

Prince Seven Angels took with him on his quest a stout bough of oak, a stout bow of yew, a cheese, a jug of magical, everlasting water (that one of the angels had given him as a blessing), and a picture of you. He knew that the only way to find the rest of his blessings was to go on a quest, and so he found them. When he came back, the seventh angel was waiting. "YOU SON OF A BITCH, YOU THINK YOU'RE SUCH HOT SHIT?" said the angel. "WHAT DID YOU EVER DO TO DESERVE THESE BLESSINGS?" "Nothing, kind sir angel! For none of us deserves any of our blessings, for we did not do anything to deserve being born. That is the moral of my story."

"HOLY SHIT, YOU GOT THAT RIGHT," said the seventh angel. Then he repented of his harsh words, and fucked the fuck off.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Disability: In The Workplace

I wonder if you had a captain with an eyepatch, missing an eye, would he get pissed at subordinates saying "aye aye" to him all the time?

Another thing, what's the deal with all the hook-hands, peg-legs and eyepatches in the old-school nautical realm, when you hardly ever see those sorts of things in say, depictions of soldiers guarding forts? Those dudes weren't necessarily any less able to man the walls than a seaman to man the decks. Was it just not done? Did anyone with a serious wound put in a transfer to the maritime arm? "Sure! We can use 'im!"

Monday, June 18, 2012

On Behalf of "They,"

No, we didn't say that. We never said that.

We were misquoted.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sexy to Me

Sexy to me is a bearskin rug* with nothing on. Waiting. A wine glass, waiting expectantly for the pour, not knowing white or red just knowing you - and knowing it will be exquisite, with your lips to follow. A plate, clean, white, gleam - awaiting: something soft, warm. Salty, savory; something to be scooped out in dollops, and scooped up with toasted crusts. A door. Closed; waiting. A whole room, the whole house - darkened.

The misty hiss of tires outside, rained-upon asphalt rolling out a carpet for a car rolling up, a carpet of wet black, shot across all over with electric stars, a car rolling up with us inside. A slam of car doors and a laughter of running feet, with elbowing for inside position, as -

- a key slid in, and thunk/click. And open, and tumbled rush, and:

"Base!"

Safe, and home, and dry.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Cakes For More Occasions! #1: The Respect Cake

So what you do is, you bake a cake or buy one, and you decorate it so that it has the word "RESPECT" on it. It can be in bold letters, or flowing script, totally up to you. Then you light the candles, pick up the cake and everybody goes in to surround the guest of honor (or better: "guest of respect") and sing the Respect Cake Occasion song:

"We respect you so much,
We respect you so much!
We respect you [ PERSON'S NAME ]
We respect you so much."

(sung to the tune of any song whose copyright is owned by Paul McCartney)

Then the person of respect blows out the candles, cuts the cake, everybody has a piece! Delicious.

The Respect Cake Occasion is ideal for anyone to whom you want to make a very obvious statement, "Hey: we respect you." It's especially appropriate for anyone who is in any way disadvantaged, or part of an oppressed group, or is generally hypersensitive and defensive for whatever reason. Coming in there with a whole group of people, singing and setting down that Respect Cake before them - that will really seal the deal on how much you and everyone else respects them.

beauty is in the eye of the beholden

(a thought of the day)

Thursday, June 07, 2012

I Find It Disturbing #1: The Hokey-Pokey

#1 in a conceivably ongoing series entitled, "I Find It Disturbing."

The song (and popular roller-rink choreography) "The Hokey Pokey" is called "The Hokey Pokey" in Australia (including New Zealand), Ireland, and America (including Canada). That should be good enough for anyone, right? Wrong. It's called "The Hokey Cokey" in the U.K.

This deplorable act of arbitrary and whimsical linguistic unilateralism makes me sick. Yet another instance of the British! Don't get me wrong, I've been willing to put up with their bedamned and bedizened Britishisms, at least in so far as the rest of the English-speaking world goes along with them. Because if America is the only one in the right, then so be it #1: that's our job, innit? And so be it #2: I magnanimously decree such barbarous usages of other countries dipping their daughter-tongues at the common font acceptable. Because what does America stand for, if not Democracy? Albeit - can somebody tally up the total populations involved? We may be due a recount. Leave that aside for now; due process will prevail. The immediate point is: generally when the Britzers go out on a limb with some wrong-looking but technically-traditionally-acceptable spelling or bizarro variant on a word or term, much of the Commonwealth does go along with them. Thus "backing them up." But where the hell do these UK-ers get off going off on their own calling it "The Hokey Cokey"?

There's no sense to it.

I was originally going to call this post "I Find It Disturbing #1: The Hokey-Cokey", because the thrust of my objection is after all all about this misnomnymic abomination of songmenclature. But as soon as I was about to, I realized A. "Hokey-Cokey? No one is going to know what the fuck that is," and B., the Hokey-Pokey is in itself disturbing enough to justify its headliner status.

More on that in a part 2, perhaps.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Ask A Question Get An Answer #7: Why do people like to eat things stuffed with other things?

So thanks to reader JMH for this one. "Why do people like to eat things stuffed with other things?" Right you are, JMH, to ask this question! I had to look at this a couple different ways.

1. Sometimes you need the outer part more to hold in the goodies. I call this the "goodies" theory. Examples include a souvlaki sandwich, a gyro, a stuffed pepper (arguably), a jelly-donut, a "calzone," or any other treatment where the "stuff" is "held in" by some outer item that keeps it from scattering, falling apart, or rolling around. This could be during cooking, during eating, or both. In the case of mushrooms that have been stuffed with various diced and spiced materials - delicious! Have you had these? They're easy to make and easy to eat!

2. Deviled eggs are another example. When you think it through, the white part of the hard-cooked egg itself is not very flavorful. Yet would you want to eat just spoonfuls of the filling? No, not really. Here, the contrast of the two different tastes and textures eaten together is a key to deliciousness. This I call my second theory, or "theory number 2" for lack of a more technical term. This principle comes into play any time you might have something like an olive (for instance) - which people do eat on their own! - but you stuff it with bleu cheese, or an almond, or roast garlic to add interest: "Hey! There's a little guy in here!"

Needless to say, both of these principles are often in operation at the same time. A third theory:

3. What if the outer part is just as delicious as the inner part? So that you end up with something glorious stuffed inside of something just as glorious? Can anybody think of an example? It feels like this should be the holy grail approach for all stuffed-food techniques, yet how often is it even tried?

Thanks for your question, JMH! You know what? This is one question I suspect has as many answers as there are things being stuffed into things - or people stuffing their faces with the results!