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, August 31, 2012

HOLY DANG THAT'S A GOOD POEM

I just wrote this thing! If you care to check it:

artifice is nature: ours

Anybody thinks I can't write a good poem, feast your eyes on this son of a bitch! And then please, promptly come back and apologize in the comments. Because humility is GOOD for you.

YACHT i walked alone

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Open Dream Journal #91: INTO THE UNCANNY

I hate those sleep paralysis dreams, where you're almost on the edge of waking but your sleep-mind is engaged and your senses are not entirely true to reality. Anyway, I was lying in bed with my ex-girlfriend and I couldn't move, and for some reason she was down around my waistband kind of scrabbling at the buttons of my jeans and speaking a low, incoherent stream of subconsciousness. Which would have been nice I guess, but somehow I could tell it was not her. It was her demon doppelganger. OH COME ON!!! "Doppelganger"'s not a word? Spellcheck? Doppelganger? Doppleganger? What, do I need the accent? Doppelgänger?

For context, my ex-girlfriend's demon doppelgänger has bedeviled me before. At least once: back when we were together, and it was the scariest dream moment I ever had in my life, because it went on so long. I was once again, lying in the borderlands of sleep and waking, and I could not move or speak, and my girlfriend was kind of snugged up into the crook of my neck and shoulder, but my head was propped up on the pillow a bit. And my eyes had opened, and she was standing in the bedroom doorway. But I could feel she was right next to me! Her head was on my shoulder - but there she was as well in the doorway, and she was looking at us with a completely motionless face. This paralyzed stretch of time slithered over me for what seemed like minutes. I can't explain how terrifying it was, this unbroken stare, this absolute, definite presence, the dead, cold eye contact - eye contact sort of, but unmoored, crawling all over the both of us - and I was trying to move something, any part of my body, or maybe shout (okay, scream), somehow alert my real, sleeping girlfriend to the existence of this hideous, possibly malevolent apparition! Well wait, I guess "hideous" is kind of harsh. I mean, she was a dead ringer for my girlfriend, so, "hideous" - a bit strong. It was more psychologically hideous. Unheimlich, maybe. Those Germans have words for these things, I'll give them that. This thing was definitely there, and it was and wasn't her - and you could see both aspects of that for a fact, in its placid face, and its dead calm eyes.

So anyway, back to last night's dream. I realized somehow that it definitely wasn't my ex-girlfriend, and I started to struggle to move, which I couldn't. Finally I was able to force something through my vocal chords, and I heard myself speak aloud, in a hoarse, sepulchral groan: "NO ONE IS HERE." In response to this denial, there came a horrible, feeble, strangled, wheezing, outraged caterwaul from...my eyes opened in shock - there was a cat! Visible, up above me and to the left, hovering by the wall. It was sort of hanging in the air with its legs dangling, and it moved across the room up by the ceiling, to wait by the top of the door. The cat was kind of a pale, whitish-orange, but it was definitely not Noonie. My eyes were riveted on it the entire time: the room was very dark, and for instants at a time the dim form of this thing faded so that you could tell "Oh thank GOD - it's just a shadow! It's just how those angles of shadow come together," - and then it drifts a little further and you're like, "fuck, no, I am looking at a flying cat." Once again, the whole atmosphere was pervaded with a sense of wrongness, of unease (ever notice it's always the badnesses that pervade? Goodness tends to "suffuse"). Yet, I was also consciously aware of the fact that I was half-asleep, and experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations. So I was kind of intrigued by the terror itself. Why be afraid when you know it's fake? But I was. I kept looking straight at that cat until it dissolved. By then, my ex-girlfriend's demon-doppelgänger had also disappeared. Which, thank God for that! I mean, whatever happens in a dream is morally neutral I'm sure, but that thing of hers is CREEPY. Too creepy even for dream nookie.

Proof positive it was just a dream? When I awoke, I wasn't wearing any pants. I mean, why would I go to sleep in jeans? So those jeans in the beginning, they weren't my real jeans, they were my demon doppelgänger jeans. Anyway, bottom line, I'm glad I wasn't around during those Salem deals. Shit.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

TURNOFFS. Part 14.

TURN-OFFS. Here are some more of them. All this is purely my own personal! Whatever you're into is FINE BY YOU.

105. Dudes who smell like pee.

106. Big plastic garbage cans that have been knocked over - now that shit's everywhere!

107. suddenly somebody's got their SHOES OFF and it's neither the place nor the time for it

108. Lawyers who claim to "love" lawyer jokes.
108A. EXCEPTION: hot female lawyers
108B. Exception 108A in principle probably applies across the board: add the modifier "hot female" onto what was previously a turnoff, that can be a hell of a mitigating factor. Note: it won't mitigate #105, since "hot female dudes"...that in and of itself...for me at least!...naw.

109. Hot female dudes.

110. People who go on and on about the "fear of commitment."
110A. ...unless they're talking about an insane asylum! That would be legitimately scary, OK. I can see "fear of commitment," there. But otherwise, what's the fear for? Commitment, pft. No big deal. Pft.

111. People who need you to explain pop cultural catchphrases to you in great detail, even though a) you're not the one making these things up! and b) it sounds great regardless of what it means. And c) you get a sense they're just doing it for their own amusement to see what you can come up with!

112. People who have a lot of "deal-breakers"
112A. NOTE: none of these turn-offs are "deal-breakers." They're just turn-offs. A turn-off can be mitigated (see notes at #108). A dealbreaker can't. Or else if it can, don't call it a dealbreaker then! Right? I mean you can, but calling turn-offs dealbreakers is kind of a turn-off.

113. Sex with people other than me. There's no room for this in a relationship! Frankly, I'm not too crazy about it in general, but I guess if that's what people want to settle for.

114. Flowers, jewelry, or sex that is looked at as a required "apology" or "make up" step for something - or even as an obligatory special occasion thing. That's bunk, because I'm always lavishing people with stuff when they least expect! I'm not some timetable calendar watcher. Things should be more sincere than that.
114A. Of course, the other party can do as they please in this regard. I am extremely open to the idea that my turn-offs are the turn-ons of others.

115. Getting a new bill in the mail - when you just paid the old one!

116. When somebody gets a case of the ass for no reason.

117. Cars that are of some indeterminate color, like kind of a grayish mauve purple with a green sheen in the light? What the hell. I'm going colorblind looking at that thing.

118. Pasta that has been too thoroughly cooked.

119. ROAST BEEF.
119A. I know, right? But I don't like it. A turn-off.
119B. Sometimes when I'm in a rare mood, some rare roast beef may be just what I'm hankering for. But hardly ever.

120. Wives who act like you're "flirting with them." When everybody and their brother KNOWS THEY'RE MARRIED! Quit it, woman. I don't flirt with adultery.

121. Husbands who act like you're "flirting with them." Dude, no. I've very fond and full of admiration for most people, get over it. Does your wife know about you? I'm not the judge, here, but you owe it to her to be up-front about the important stuff.

122. Dogs who act like you're "flirting with them." Awww da big doguuu! Lookit dah doguuu! Good dog gets a scratch. Good dog ALWAYS GETS A SCRATCH!
122A. It's not flirting. Get over it. Good dog always gets a scratch, it's a fundamental law of the universe OK?
122B. I'll say this for cats: not one cat has ever acted like I was flirting with them. And I tell you, that hard to get routine...whoo. Turn-off.

123. Airport security videos that seem overly reassuring. I feel like they need to heighten awareness more! Don't give me a false sense of security. But while I'm at it, don't go overboard, because:

124. Strip-searches.

That'll do it for now.

Monday, August 27, 2012

What People Don't Realize Is, #1 Pt.2

And I, by the way, am well-spoken which is why I know that. In case you were trying to guess.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What People Don't Realize Is, #1

It ain't shit to say things that mean something when you're well-spoken! You can say shit off the top of your head that means something, and you mean it! - that shit ain't shit, not when you're well-spoken it isn't. That's what people don't realize.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Uh Um Hot Damn


A little Lovin' Spoonful helps the Fresh Prince get down.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Theology God Blog Post #2: Adam, Eve, Incest and the Original Edenic Genome

Where genes are flawless, the risks of consanguinity are negligible. This is why Adam and Eve and their offspring had no problem. Adam and Eve's double-helixes, still hot from the celestial forge of the mind of God, were as perfect as human genes can be. While prone from the very first coupling to all the hazards of shuffling and random mutation from replication, the source material they had to start with was so perfect that it would be impossible to find a single maladaptive trait for inbreeding to exacerbate! It would be seven times seventy generations before sufficient imperfections crept into the genome to make an accumulation of maladaptive traits due to excessive dabbling in the same gene pool a risk.

I believe that an enlightened reading of the paleoanthropological evidence will eventually show us that anti-consanguinity taboos arose very far downstream from Eden indeed - and that they arose because people observed the real hazards in action! Those hazards couldn't have shown up In The Beginning. They would only have surfaced after many layers of recombination and mutation had stocked peoples' genes with recessive, maladaptive traits - traits that would only express themselves if both parents carried copies.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Just Once, Perry Mason. Just Once.

Now don't get me wrong, Perry Mason was a kickass defense attorney. So kickass, in fact, that he never got anyone off except by calling the REAL guilty party to the witness stand, and sneakily browbeating them into a confession!

Just once, I'd have liked to see the defendant get off - "not guilty!" - and then after the case, the victorious team walking out of the court building, everybody suddenly turns to Perry and says "Hey wait a minute! What about the guilty party, Perry? You forgot to solve the case!" And then Mason goes, "Oh, it was our guy. He did it." And they're all shocked and disillusioned, and he just hauls off and eviscerates them (and by proxy, the audience, with its harmfully childish warped wish-fulfillment view of criminal justice). I picture Perry really tearing into them, making brutal point after point (better than I can do it, hell I am sure - he's a professional!) and capping it all off with a steely glare directly into the camera: "We're DEFENSE ATTORNEYS."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I have to apologize

I have a different perspective this morning. I think I need to accept that it's possible that everything has happened exactly as you said it did. It's possible.

What happened to change my perspective was, when I got out of bed this morning, all of the atoms in my body spontaneously aligned with the gaps between the atoms in the floor, and I dropped right through the floor into the basement. When a thing like that happens, that can be a real eye-opener let me tell you.

Anyway like I said. I think it's possible.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Band, Song, and Album It's From #1

Band, Song, and Album it's from:

Jehovahvahvoom
"Slip You A Miracle"
Backalleylujah

Belated Sunday Theology God Blog Post

I am simply not getting back on track with these Sunday God Blog Theology posts. I keep meaning to! Sometimes I even try to. My aging ancient Sundays of yore are littered with half-executed unpublished drafts. Perchance to be used in the future?

The problem is, theology is SUPPOSED to be a bit thought out, and I'll be honest, I'm rusty with the process. I used to be way better at thinking and criticism than I am now (formalist criticism I mean, not the insult kind). I mean, I used enjoy the effort! But I also remember when it was not hard. You know? I don't mean it was easy, I mean it was not hard. It's hard, now; I'm so far out of practice it ain't even funny!! WHOO.

Man, I remember one time at bible study I accidentally jumped out of my chair, involuntarily, kind of, and so everybody looked at me of course. Expectantly, a sort of "pregnant pause," (perhaps mixed uncertainly with a certain unspoken, "did you have to go to the bathroom?") and so I was forced to fare forward, I fixed my stare, bit back on my umbrage a bit and critiqued (calm voice! control now, breathing easier there, big guy - tones of reasonable entreaty, not tones of reasonable fuck off and die you oligarchical monopolist pus merchant) the other guy's entire bullshit point PLUS THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS, in Marxist-Feminist Dialectical terms. And everybody totally agreed with me!

Ah, I was my hero in those days.

Afterwards when I realized what had happened, I kind of lost respect for everyone in the room, especially myself. But at the time, I think, people were just like "hey, this guy means it. HEY WAIT, HE'S RIGHT." And so I took it as my due, being arrogant. I was like, "so what if God maybe just happens to be a Marxist-Feminist?" Right? I mean, at the time it seemed plausible.

I since kind of left that idea to the side. Like maybe God was a marxist-feminist, but grew out of it. It was a phase, like, you know, incarnating as human for a foot ministry in Galilee. God's not averse to a bit of dabbling around. But if God ever did subscribe to marxist-feminism I am sure it was more from an artistic standpoint than anything. I mean, come on! Lord knows the market economy does not really respond to and move in accordance with inexorable and prophetic historical forces. As theories go, what a puke of pretty flowers! Marx, hey - I've always said, was a genius, a marketing genius. Rebranding metaphysics as economics! Creating a brand new humanist mythos - a FUNCTIONAL one, mind you! But like any mythos, sure, a bit whimsical and two big scoops of bunk in every box. Doesn't matter, it's like any religion. Marxism was the opiate of the proletariat, and a beautiful drug it was. But one cannot be a fundamentalist Marxist, one must not insist on literalism. It was all just a beautiful and poetic way to sort of...allegorize about humanity's higher drives: the blind need to unify, and the blind urge to smash.

And those are the forces that drive us on each day, drive us each to each other, and smack us away. At societal scales, they pile up pressure on a level with global tides, and can break like earthquakes and hurricanes when the crisis point turns. Thesis, antithesis and synthesis - that shit's dead-on. No joke. It was just that Marx got a little carried away, turning these natural habits of mass-scale human interaction into inexorable cosmic forces, which: bullshit. Fuck though, everybody does that on some level right?

What the everloving fuck of christ am I talking about.

Tune in next week for another Ever-Lovin' Sunday God Blog Theology Post!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Points for Clarity!

"Did you just call me a slattern!?"

"No, I didn't call you a slattern, I said don't be a slattern."

"You said 'Don't be such a slattern.'"

"Well, there's nothing wrong with being a little bit of a slattern."

Thursday, August 09, 2012

For Those Still Waiting Around For Shit To Get Real

I submit to you: shit is inherently real. "Real" is shit's natural state.

So if you're still sitting around waiting for shit to get real, maybe you need to sort some shit out, or else, uncover the shit that's there - because I assure you, that shit is already real. Maybe you just lost your shit, or perhaps the problem is you don't know shit from shinola.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Racism: What Keeps It Going?

The problem, as I see it, is kids.

See, kids are adorable, and in most cases it's fine. We all circulate the latest cutesy quotes of "the things kids say" - how they take what they've been told and put the most dead-literal spin on it. For most things, it's terribly funny! Not for race.

When kids get a hold of race, their ignorant curiosity and propensity to spin whatever answer they get into the next logical (but unconscionably wrong, unconscionably insensitive!) conclusion or question...that is what perpetuates wrong-headed attitudes about race, that is what keeps them going. Because let's face it: once you're not a kid anymore, you don't bother asking about this stuff! Your ignorant attitudes freeze in place, like the face your parents made when you asked:

What are black people called?

Why do white people dance like that?

Is Chinese food like that because Chinese people need special food?

Kids put parents on the spot, and the parent has to give some kind of answer. What can a parent say? They haven't thought about this stuff since they were a kid! Nor should they have to, really, especially since they've since learned since then there aren't any real answers that you could tell to anyone. Any answer you could possibly give is an answer that somebody's going to have a big problem with. Worse, any kind of answer you give is liable to result in the kid drawing all sorts of huge conclusions from it, when you were trying to minimize things!

Some parents resort to a watered-down version of the same garbage they were told - thus perpetuating that same old legacy that's been holding us back for years. Others lay down a wall-of-sensitivity answer that explains nothing, and pretty much invalidates the question: "There are no black people or white people - not as such!" Or, "We can't talk about a whole group of people, because it won't apply to them all." Answers like this can't possibly do anything but confuse the child, who know they have a question, here - and who may then go elsewhere for answers: other kids. Television melodramas. Internet. And what will they get there? Same thing, or at least: nothing better.

The most insidious tactic is to tell the kid they're too young to know, and you'll tell them later. We never tell them later. We just hold out until they figure it out on their own that it's confusing, it's dangerous and possibly hurtful to talk about, and the person you ask won't know either. But why does it have to be that way?

Kids are the problem. Kids perpetuate the cycle. It's this damn inquisitive phase that keeps the whole thing going, by forcing all the old, bad answers to be brought up yet again and torturously reinforced, qualified or justified to a new set of minds. If kids wouldn't keep asking these ignorant questions, maybe adults would stop having to contort, contrive and lie (just as was done to them at that age), and then in a couple generations maybe the whole thing would die out as a tender subject and people could just talk about it, in an unforced way, leaving the old bad answers of the past behind!

I wonder what they'd say.

Friday, August 03, 2012

An Introduction To My Sister's Novel


My sister wrote a book and damn if I'm going to take that lying down.

She knows I'm the better writer. We've always known that. I don't know what she's trying to pull, with this.

She's a very good writer, mind you. You pretty much have to be, to get a book accepted in this era of print media implosion. But she knows and I know that I could write a better book than hers.

So why haven't I? First, this isn't an excuse, it's a preference. I work hard all day. I earn my evenings and weekends. When I come home, I don't want to have to be knuckling down writing a book, just to prove I can do it. Maybe if I had an inferiority complex to assuage, that could appeal. Second, I have very high standards for ideas. I have tons of ideas, all the time, but I've always wanted to hold out for that one idea that just jumps out at me, undeniably, as my book to write. The book no one else could write. Otherwise, why bother? If someone else can write it, let him or her do it! And in this case: her, and good for her.

My sister's book is fine. I'd even say it's very good. It's a neat little dream exploration, slash meditation on the nature of reality, slash romance novel: "romance" with a small "r," and nothing very novel about it. Anyone could have written this book, at this point. It's a sound entry in the modern pop lit canon of questioning, existential magical realism stocked with quirkycutter characters dealing with down-to-earth conflicts that unfold in predictably surprising ways. And I'm sure anyone will adapt it into a screenplay, as well. It reads as "unfilmable," in a way that any independent savant is sure to take as a gauntlet thrown down, a chance to pull out the stops on what the critics will all praise as a "convoluted, puzzle-box feel-good roller-coaster of the heart's mind."

Don't let me seem to be disparaging it: it's literature, albeit of a sentimental/manipulative tearjerker cum wannabe intellectual think-piece sort. It's not even pretentious. Too earnest by half. This is quite a smart, simple little book. She pulls some clever effects, and works a couple neat tricks for all they're worth, which by the end of the book's close to four hundred pages has piled up to quite a bit. And writing this thing wasn't an easy job for her, by any means.

I should know, because she came to me several times with drafts, wanting me to read through, wanting to know my thoughts. I gave her all the encouragement an honest, even-handed assessment can provide. I'm proud to say that even at a cursory skim, each later draft was a marked improvement over the one before. I wouldn't say she used my suggestions; I tried not to make any. I did my best to limit myself to eliciting from within her what she was already trying to do. I'm really proud of how I kept my own preferences and notions out of it. I didn't think it would turn into anything, to be honest! I was touched and amused, happy to help with this little hobby of hers, and though I knew her admiration for me and how much she was willing to take my opinion and run with it, I could see how much effort she was putting into this. Whatever the result, I wanted it to be the unalloyed expression of her own voice. I wanted to give her that. This book is hers, despite I'm sure I'll come in for a dedication or at least, a prominent acknowledgement. She's really done a good piece of work, here. I'm as proud of her as I am happy for her, but it pisses me off a bit that now I need to step up and show my own stuff.

Just in a fit of pique, really - not because I have to. Just in a fit of pique. She'll be the first to tell you I have nothing to prove. But let me tell you: that doesn't mean I can't prove. It's time to write my book. There's no need to hold out for some grand idea, really, is there? All one needs to write the book that no one else can write is: imbue it with something personal. Something of one's own. The title I've chosen is My Sister Wrote A Book.

It's a novel. The fictionalized account of a guy whose sister wrote a book, telling the story of said book from within multiple frames: the development of the sister's book from the sister's perspective, how she tinkers and nudges the tale along in a way that interacts with her own life's gaffes and missteps and in the process, reveals much of her own hopes, prejudices and limitations; the alternate development of what the book's untold story could have, or perhaps, should have been, as the brother's eyes perceive an overlay of untapped, underexplored deeper themes that hint at a starker reality; and, weaving the two together, a frank, debunked, demystified narrative of the events from the brother's life and relationships that clearly provided the inspiration for the story in the first place - albeit, stripped thrillingly free of the gloss that so changed and distorted them as to make any resemblance plausibly deniable.

Expect a masterpiece. The humor will flow naturally from the characters. The gripping interest of the situations as they develop, and the endlessly quotable dialogue, will make the story a treat for the enjoyment of the average must-read book list consumer. Yet the additional levels of meaning and reality, and the interplay between them, will make my novel a feast of ambiguity laid bare, for more sophisticated readers.

In the meantime, as I said, my sister has written a very good book, here! A bit shallow, a bit escapist, implausible in parts, but it fits. This book captures the views and character of the author in a voice as real, as recognizable, as distinctive as anyone you might bump into on the street, or at church. As you read, note to yourself that the omniscient yet fallible narrator is the real protagonist, and you'll be sure to smile along with the twists and turns her whimsy has in store for you. Sit back, settle in and enjoy.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

How Serious?

Oh, I'm serious. I just:

1. killed every single song off my iPod.
2. filled it up with nothing but AC/DC.
3. Put it on 'shuffle.'
4.



Image © 2010 Allie Brosh http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com and shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Once Again, My Life Story Pretty Much

I was born on the bad side of life, already knowing what was in store but never believing it for a moment. Home was a word I was never taught. I went though school feeling as if my mouth was constantly sucking, sucking on a fruit pit that had long since lost its juice. My mom, my dad, my brothers and sisters - none of them could tell me anything that would make a difference. It was as if an occult hand had dipped its sharp quill into ink of the most impenetrable blackness, and marked out a strange fate for me in cryptic sigils. I left home every day, never to return. In the evening, I was back again. Everyone I asked had an explanation for me that made absolutely no sense.

Finally, I turned to drug addiction, sexual perversion, mental illness, criminal negligence and personality disorder. None of these seemed to help. The end of my rope was fraying. I was endlessly worrying away at it with my toes. It was like a compulsion of some kind, but as much as the friction of the process soothed my misfiring neurons, I couldn't stand the result. That rope was coming apart into separate strands. I'd never be able to hang in there properly if all I was grasping was a bundle of strings and not a stout rope! I've always taken a metaphor too far. Anyway, I thought maybe if I slid down a little further I could hang on by my hands while I moistened the ends with my saliva, and maybe that would get it to stick together better.

Fool move. You guessed it.

My hands slipped.

It was then that I remembered the rope was only a metaphor in the first place. Still, a realization like that in the situation I was in gave utterly no material aid.

Doodeloo #95