Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Formative Experiences #1: Human League's "Fascination"

So yeah. Formative experiences.

I remember I was a small child. I don't think I was even in school yet, or at least if I was, I hadn't learned anything yet. And I heard this song that kept playing, and going and going and going on, "KEEP FEELING FASCINATION, PASSION BURNING, LOVE SO STRONG... KEEP FEELING FASCINATION, LOOKING, LEARNING, MOVING ON"

In hindsight, I think it's impossible not to see how strongly these sentiments formed me. Pretty much my whole deal, neatly expressed - including the tinge of horror and pointlessness to it all. Fascination, looking, learning, moving on? Why, if that's all there is too it? Am I never to be at peace?

I knew even then, listening to this endless refrain that there was something wrong with it. But it was too late. My mind had been formed.

And so I walk the world in the grip of fascination, passion, and strong love, ever wondering at what I find, trying to understand but never quite able to grasp, to hold, to own. I look, I learn - what more is left that I can I do? I have been given no more options, except to move on and repeat. Repeat the process of fascination and acquisition of sensations, experiences. A kaleidoscope of ever-changing patterns, made of the same bits and shards, rotated over and over and over. I do not own myself. The search continues.

"Fascination" is copyright 1983, written by Jo Callis and Philip Oakey. Recorded and performed by Human League.

Thanks, guys.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Can "Sweet Georgia Brown" be elegiac?

Meadowlark Lemon passed away today. He was 83.

I remember when I was a kid we all got the impression that the Harlem Globetrotters were the greatest, most talented basketball team in the world. This was obvious to me. You didn't see the Celtics or the Knicks landing their own Saturday Morning cartoon shows! The Globetrotters were so talented they could win games while doing non-stop stunts and trick shots all the way. They ran roughshod over the competition with an almost scornful ease.

Later, I felt betrayed. But I blamed management and the media hush-up, not the players. I don't feel as though Meadowlark Lemon ever deceived me. He was doing his job, which was a job that was kind of like being Santa Claus, really.

In retrospect, finding out the truth about the Globetrotters probably eased the blow that fell years later, when I finally started to have my doubts about Professional Wrestling.

Requiascat in pace, Meadowlark.

Thought Of The Day: To Put

I love the "put" in shot-put. Where else can taking something, spinning around a few times to build momentum and then HEAVING it as HARD AND FAR AS YOU CAN constitute "putting" it?

If I were a track and field star I'd certainly take advantage of that verbiage. "Hey man, can you put this over on the counter?"


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What Are YOUR Twenty Aspects?

Here's one that's going around that anyone can try! "What are your TWENTY ASPECTS!" It's completely up to you, although the rule is: no lying. Here's mine!

"Here are mine," I should say.

1. Real name: dogimo. Just kidding, it's Joe.

2. Male. This is probably not really salient fact #2, any more than my fucking name ought to weigh in at #1! But I'm into straight chicks, and admitting my maleness is a grade A way to set the deck for possible future, you know, maybe somebody will hit on me. Stuff like that!

3. I'm a feminist. BUT - BIG CAVEAT - only insofar as a feminist is "one who believes in and advocates for the political, legal and economic equality of a woman to a man." That's the definition by which it's hard to class myself otherwise. Not that I'd want to!

4. I'm Catholic, but you know what that seems more like an adjective to me than a noun. I'd say I'm a Christian.

5. I'd peg my philosophical position as pretty much skeptic. I've got a hell of a shredder up there, headwise, cutting stuff to ribbons and/or suspending judgment for propositions insufficiently demonstrated! It's really weird that I believe in God. My faith should be no match at all for my ungodly monstrous skepticism. I've tussled with this one over the years, and you know what I've arrived at? I'm pretty sure belief is a feeling. An emotion. The only way it could last would be if it's a process that falls outside the rational, like love generally does with me.

6. Humanist, though, is how I score on the online test. Which I embrace. I believe that we homo sapiens have within our reach so much of our fate - so many fates, would be a better way to say it!

7. I don't believe in fate. At least, not as a thing that brings things about. Luck, fate, stuff like that is a retrospective judgment. I don't believe in karma, either - not as a force that one can invoke when all other attempts at victim-blaming fall short. "Must have deserved it somehow!" Bullshit, I don't buy that. I do believe in a limited form of karma: that someone who goes through life poisoned and poisoning is probably going to get more and more bad reflected back at them from those who they've encountered - AND, they're also probably going to miss out on so much good just because they're not prepared properly to see and seize it. Or are looking in the wrong places. That, if you will, is karma.

8. I think true love means you love the other person more than you love yourself, and they reciprocate the converse. Also that you give yourself: all I am and all I have is for you. And if you give yourself the same way, then all you are and all you have is for me, and so we each get our selves back!

9. I think there can be as many versions of true love and truly work between the lovers. Only those in the relationship define its nature, its potentials, and its conditions and limits.


11. Boont Amber Ale has been my favorite #1 beer for nigh on 20 years, but lately I'm it still? SACRILEGE

12. I write songs. I also co-write songs, and can teach how to write songs. I sing them, and can play some chords as well but I'd not go so far as to call myself a "musician" or "singer."

13. I have never met Allie Brosh, but I'm very proud on her behalf, of her success and of her artistic voice in general.

14. I'm not nearly as verbose in person. I'm super-interruptible and want to hear the inside of your head way more than the inside of mine!

15. I'm sweet. I'm a really sweet guy! You probably might not get that from my online demeanor. It's kind of weird how things spin out of control from tangent to tangent into nonsense, and often it's brash and arrogant nonsense indeed but - I hope people can tell there's a core of sweetness, there. Because I tell you, a lot of people tell me I'm sweet. I used to get pissed when they did that! I've given in.

16. I like the number seventeen!

17. Skip.

18. I think if you can die in the army then damn it, you're old enough to have a drink at the VFW too.

19. I lost my virginity!

20. TWENTY!! WHOO! YES! Twenty! I was about to "scrape the barrel." WHEW

I knew I'd get there!

There are a ton of other aspects that I have, of course, but are they really on the same level as some of those? Arguably, no. Is it that salient an aspect of me that I'm a fan of such-and-such a band?

Hm. At past times it would have been. Somehow right now it doesn't feel that way.

What are YOUR twenty aspects?

The great thing about living in a dystopia is, the hard choices are made for you.

A thought of the day.

Friday, December 18, 2015



1. Open your email and send all your contacts out to all your contacts!
2. In the body of that mass email, include all your bank and credit card account numbers and passwords! Also include all your social media accounts and passwords, and your Social Security Number!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Stuck For What To Get To Give? Try These Can't Miss Gift Suggestions!

Here's more can't-miss gifts from the mind of Mister Gifty himself, Dogimo "The Gift Butler" Jones.

An indoor gnome. Like a garden gnome, but for indoors! Practically no one has one of these! What you do is, go get a garden gnome and then use your desktop publishing skills to customize a box with a lot of colorful pictures and testimonial information: INDOOR Gnome! Perfect for the study! For the bedroom! For the half-bath! Indispensable conversation piece! Everyone will be talking about your INDOOR GNOME! Just make the box all slick with a lot of pictures of the gnome in various rooms, surrounded by amazed generic family members clearly digging the gnome. The recipient will take one look at that box and realize this is something they're supposed to have in the house.

A Secret-Compartment Gnome! Not just any garden gnome, this garden gnome has a SECRET COMPARTMENT. It also serves as a devilish puzzle! Create a similar box to the one described above for Indoor Gnome, only touting how devilish the puzzle is and how it's all up to YOU (i.e. the recipient) to figure out how to open the SECRET COMPARTMENT! Then go get a regular garden gnome and put it in the box. Done! Best thing about this one is you can ask the recipient for updates on how it's coming, from time to time.

A more traditional style Puzzle Gnome is possible, but would be hard to do. If you could bust up a garden gnome into small smoothly interlocking pieces of relatively uniform size, the box would be very easy to design for this one. But in practice, I find a garden gnome tends to bust into rough pieces of large size, many pieces of tiny size, and way too much dust and powder to be presented as a "puzzle" you could put back together. Still, when you give them a box proclaiming it Puzzle Gnome, and they open it up and it's just this fucking demolished garden gnome - that might be a pretty fucked-up joke in itself to pull on someone! Then you can say: ah, I got ya! Here's your real present, though: Indoor Gnome.

Other gift ideas could be even more practical! Single-Use Home Defense Gnome. Ceiling Gnome...well wait, I guess that's just Indoor Gnome by another name. But who cares? It's how you present it that matters.

Once you've learned to get creative with the box, the perfect gift idea will become a snap!

Speaking of Indoor Gnome by another name, you know what, it should be called simply "Home Gnome," I think. Way better. If you're any good at customizing gnome sculpture, you could cut into the head part and make it removable and plant a phone in there and it could be Home Phone Gnome! That's getting a little fancy, though. With the box and everything else, I don't know how much effort you want to put into this.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Take Famous Stories And Set Fire To Them #1: Hansel & Gretel

Take Famous Stories And Set Fire To Them is a recurring feature wherein we take familiar, many-times-told, many-times-heard stories, and explore them and their themes from a new angle, uncovering hidden meanings or unexpected depths, by setting them on fire.

Hansel and Gretel were children. Their mom was dead, their dad was a poor woodsman who could barely support his new wife and she was like, "these kids, they'll be the ruin of us Gunter, we must lead them into the woods and leave them there." Hansel and Gretel heard the plan from the room next door, so they thwarted it twice: first with pebbles but the next time with pieces of bread, which didn't work because: birds. So they thwarted it once. The second time, they were lost in the woods. "Whatever shall we do, Hansel? We shall surely starve," said Gretel, but Hansel said pluckily, and sure enough soon enough they came upon a Gingerbread Cottage. The witch who lived there caught them both and it surely would have been the end of them, except SUDDENLY I JUMPED OUT AND SET THE WHOLE STORY ON FIRE! THE GINGERBREAD COTTAGE BURNT TO BLACKENED, GRAPE-NUTS-LIKE CRUMBS! ITS SUGAR-GLASS WINDOWS CRACKED AND BLACKED WITH SMOKE! THE WITCH, ROASTED ALIVE! HANSEL AND GRETEL, COOKED LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN! THE ENTIRE FOREST WHERE THE CHILDREN WANDERED, BURNED TO STUMPS AND ASH! EVEN THE CHILDREN'S FATHER AND STEP-MOTHER COULD NOT ESCAPE THE CONFLAGRATION AS IT ROARED, INFERNO-LIKE TO SURROUND AND TRAP THEM IN THEIR JOYLESS HOUSE!

The End.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Birthdays: It's Time I Had a Thing or Two to Say on Birthdays.

I've noticed people talking about birthdays from time to time, well I have a thing or two to say on that score and if this is an unpopular view, "sorry." I'm sorry, but I can't apologize for what I'm about to say. It is how it is.

Dear everybody who has had a birthday between last year and this one, or is planning to have one in the coming year:

As somebody who has a birthday of his own coming up in the next 365 days, I'd like to fill you in on where I stand. Okay? And if you think of it any other way - well that's cool for you! Don't let me sway you. What's good for the goose don't make the butter boat float, as they say. Here it goes.

I kind of think the whole concept of birthdays is ummmmmmmmmm GAY.

And I for one will be PERFECTLY FINE if people therefore IGNORE my upcoming birthday, because it is going to be SO GAY. I mean as occasions go, a birthday is probably one of the gayest excuses to celebrate that ever comes around, and as far as MY OWN birthday goes - the more people make a BIG DEAL about it, the GAYER it is likely to become!

So as far as I'm concerned, if you want to just give the whole thing a pass - unless you think of yourself as the kind of person who likes to contribute to MAKING THINGS GAY, I'd say "go with what it behooves you to do."

I hope that's fair, and I hope that's clear. I want people to know where I stand, on that.

Yours gaily,


Monday, November 30, 2015

Thought of the day: truth

There is only one truth, there are just a lot of gaps between it.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Noncomformist: a Slave Against Convention.

Some people say: "The real nonconformists don't care about whether they're conforming or not conforming." Then they are not noncomformists. I'd go one better and say that NOBODY should whether they are or aren't conforming. Would that person who truly doesn't care be a nonconformist? No. A nonconformist cares about conformity and reacts against it.

It is not admirable, not in any way, to be a nonconformist. There is no courage of convictions in it, because there aren't any convictions involved.

Neither nonconformity nor conformity involves anything more admirable than a concern for what the crowd is doing. Conformity itself is neither black nor white nor red all over. To mindlessly shackle one's self to whatever the crowd is not doing is no more admirable than to blindly shackle one's self to what the crowd is doing.

Nonconformity has no value except where the norm is wrong: where you can see and say why it's wrong. Where to conform would be offensive or unjust. The question is whether there is a real reason to recoil from a given norm. Where there is, you recoil from it - but unless you're some convention-obsessed nonconformist, you're not recoiling because it is the norm. You're recoiling because you can see and say why it's wrong.

A given normative trend or trait, habit, course of action or point of view may be good, bad or indifferent. Where the norm is good, conformity is good. Where indifferent, conformity is meaningless, and so is nonconformity. It would be a matter of pure taste and preference, with no real reason to embrace the thing or to react against it. Nonconformity is not "good for its own sake," except in areas of no import, of frivolity, fashion, and pose.

It is only where we can say and show the norm is bad that nonconformity can be admirable. Just so, conformity is good and admirable where you've chosen to conform for a reason, because the norm is something you can see is right. Either one of these takes convictions to steer by and courage, to act. To a person of convictions, in neither case will it matter whether it's the norm.

A person of convictions evaluates behavior based on convictions, not conventions.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Little Red-Haired Girl: A Ginger Enigma

There’s a Peanuts movie out, and I understand they show the Little Red-Haired Girl in it. Apparently a cartoon or two has been done over the years where the LRHG makes an appearance as well, but this character was never once shown in the comic strip. Shultz himself didn’t consider those animated depictions canonical. What was he trying to tell us?

I suspect this is one of those Fight Club type deals, where it turns out the character is a projection of the protagonist’s subconscious mind.

I bet if I tried I could write a nice treatment on that theme, packed with Peanuts erudition and deep psychological angles.

Friday, November 13, 2015

I've Decided to Become Mysterious!

I've decided that from now on I'm going to be mysterious about all sorts of things. My sexuality was the first thing I thought of, but also about whatever else comes up that hits that hint of mystique and fascination. Mysterious in general. An air of mystery! There's so much depth to me I haven't even plumbed at this point, one assumes having never really thought to try. It seems I've been saving it up - saving it up for something mysterious, no doubt. A mysterious purpose, perhaps, or even a mysterious event. Perhaps a coincidence or something! There's got to be all this mystery in me for some reason.

At least if there isn't - same thing, right? Can't plumb what isn't there. It ends up being mysterious by default.

But I've always suspected I might have a deep, lurking subconscious. Somewhere, deep inside. Under the surface. Beneath the ego. Craftier than most peoples', perhaps! Having gone all thus far in life keeping quiet, stealthily and not tipping its hand (assuming its got one). Time to lean on that a little bit, craft a bit of mystery. As Sarah McLachlan might very well have described the process: "Yeah you're working / building a mysterrrreeeeee / holding onnnn / holding it innn," and that about sums it up for me these days.

So many things to be mysterious about!

Am I heterosexual? I know I've said I am, but am I really? What if I'm just afraid how gay I might secretly be? Pretty sure I know the answer to this one. Do you? See, that's the heart of THAT little mystery. I assure you, I've heard a lot of people are putting on an act. If they are, it stands to reason other people might be, too. Things that make you go "hm."

How do we even know I'm a man?

I mean okay, sure, I know. Figured that one out pretty early - interesting story, actually! But how do we know? Aha, not so easy to answer! Pretty mysterious all of a sudden.

And what about:

Am I to be trusted? This is a little-more clear cut. How the hell can you trust someone so clearly mysterious?

And then there's my criminal record. Do I have one? What's on it? A lot of internet sidebar ad come-ons would leave you to believe they hold the secret. Check it out. Look into it. The mystery deepens.

And what about as-yet unsolved crimes? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'd say this is another great place to seek mystery out where it lives.

Privacy is important to we mysterious types. Go ahead poke and pry! What sort of mysterious answer do you think you'll get?

There's plenty of mystery in life. You just have to know where to look. In case you don't, though: RIGHT HERE.

The mystery is RIGHT HERE.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thought of the Day: Ambition

There is nothing left in this world except failure.

I will achieve that.

Open Letter to Zooey Deschanel: Your Eyes Are Pretty

Dear Zooey Deschanel,

I've noticed that you, more than any other actress, have been typecast as the girl who gets fallen in love with. That's got to be kind of fun and weird! In a story-book kind of way, wouldn't that have to be almost the most wondrous archetype-sculptural mold into which the molten wax of one's heated professional persona could be poured to cool? Of course, sometimes the stories themselves don't live up to the part you could play in them. And even when they do, many artists find the idea of being cast in a certain mold, or as a certain type, to be itself limiting. Disappointing. Less than they signed on for, maybe. I get that. But I suspect what type you get cast as has got to count for something! Also, whether you created and blazed your path to it yourself, or were stuffed and forced into it.

I don't recall Clint Eastwood complaining much about the kinds of roles he was expected to play, for example. You seem to have a pretty good sense of wonder and humor, and gratitude for the opportunities you've made magic of, and - at the risk of missing your ass entirely with such poorly-aimed kisses as these - it seems to me you bring that wonder afresh every time and are, in some way, maybe a diametrically diagonal female Clint Eastwood, of sorts.

You're not even my favorite actress! Just one of those people you wish endlessly well, you can't help but wish them well, you know? I'm sure you know people like that.

I'm not really sure who I would even cite as my favorite actress, to be honest. To rate and rank a work, a performance, that seems only fitting! Seems weird to rank human beings.

Okay. We now come to the difficult, and perhaps awkward, point of this open letter: its purpose, arguably. At very least, its pretext.

I don't know if you got my previous Open Letter to you?

If not, please disregard. It was primarily a lambasting of the media, over their insensitive and ham-handed handling of coverage in previous life events of yours, which frankly were not then nor ever would be the media's or the public's business. And which frankly I was like "butt out!"

Yet now I eat crow for some reason. I feel as though I must be a hypocrite, and I need to ask you - am I off-base on this? Or would you back me up, here? Because let me tell you, I was just dumbstruck happy-as to hear the news of your recent, love-based conversion experience. Not because such a leap is necessary to love, but because - well, especially coming after the tasteless and tawdry coverage a couple years back, when things were not so storybook, this news just washed over in a glow of welcome, breathtaking waves of restored faith in humanity, in life, restored faith in love and the possibility of love, renewed trust in what futures can be when shared fully, and a celebration of covenant. I'm a sucker for romance in general, but ritual forms of woo are a special weakness. I love love sealed and stamped, perhaps ceremoniously. Some say all that stuff doesn't matter - and they're right. Which is their loss.

I don't say it's super-important, obviously! What's between two is everything, and some folks don't happen find that stuff congenial, is all. Most people, it seems, don't. So it's just that unexpected extra bit cool, and hushed and sacred when some do. It adds something that is much more than ambience - for me it does, anyway. I always love seeing it, when someone takes a leap for love - unless of course you know both people and they're totally wrong for each other, and the whole thing's fucked up already before it even gets out of the gate - ugh. Not cool. But most of the time, if you're not privy to that level of detail, why assume the worst? Why not assume one can walk into the storybook tale. Such tales we tell ourselves, they so often fail and people so usually give up. Which makes it forever for them a lie. To assume one has entered the storybook, and to act in good faith as if, is the only way it ever comes true. So when people take some extra-devotional leap into togetherness, it just makes me step back and realize. Be reminded of what can be, and where you can land, given the occasional blind leap: breath caught, footing found. The horizon expands in glows of gold and rose, a love that will dawn forever. Or feels like!

Plus, if I may say so, in broader, cultural terms - this is a huge coup for Jews.

I digress, though. The point is: what am I, a hypocrite? Good news gets trumpeted and rings throughout the world, and everyone is happy to be part of it or hear it, no one curses the media. But then bad news comes.

Can I be right to blast the media for considering themselves entitled to the good and the bad?

Anyway, it's something to think about. It kind of just struck me.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

A Christian Accepts God's Judgment

A Christian accepts God's judgment is not his.

Or hers, naturally. But that's rarely if ever a problem, is it?

This has been your regular God Blog Theology Sunday blog post!

Friday, November 06, 2015

Comparative Analysis: Classic Archetypes of Myth Pt.2: Hercules V. Thor

I feel like Hercules would tear Thor's head off pretty easy. I mean, not in the Marvel Comics versions - they pretty much evened them out to about the same relative strength level, and from there Thor is going to win it due to that damn hammer, and his broader power-set. But in the actual myths, I feel like you've got to give Hercules the edge. Thor doesn't really come off as being on the same level, based on sheer feats of strength exhibited. But don't take my word for it! Read deeply into the original Norse and Greek myths, see what you think. I'm not the authority here. If anybody has some meaty counterexamples to share from verified, documented myth, I'd love to discuss.

The problem with the internet is that it's hard to zero in on pure Thor-Thor with all the Marvel Mighty-Thor material out there. Which is, in fact, the problem with the internet. As I've said.

I think the best way to settle this would be - well wait, first a bit of backstory. We all know Hercules was at the very least bi-, right? He definitely had a thing for boys - or maybe it was just the one boy? He totally missed out on the quest for the Golden Fleece when he abandoned the Argo chasing after his boy who had wandered off on unauthorized shore leave! Really, this was a case of narrative necessity. Hercules was simply too powerful. With him along, the quest would have been a futile exercise in deus ex machine, only without the machine. Dramatic tension-wise, don't bring a demigod to a knife-fight - even if there are living skeletons involved.

And on the Norse side of things, we also all remember the famous episode in myth in which Thor dresses up disguising himself as a bride. For various reasons. We need not go into those, here.

So what about creating a sitcom where the premise is Thor and Hercules end up as a COUPLE, due to a series of Three's Company style "misunderstandings"? Awesome!

Maybe that would need to be a 1-shot telemovie. I'm not sure that premise spools out indefinitely. It's going to peak and resolve, at some point.


I think a treatment like this would be a nice counterbalance to all the testosterone-heavy superhero-style god bombast we get today, in our theaters. Why not bring the emphasis back to some of the kind of shit that REALLY went on in the old days, mythology-wise? Almost all of which has been by now glossed over by antsy media barons and REVISIONIST PRUDES.

It could be could be called... the god couple? I dunno, we gotta be able to do better than that. Some kind of pithy and clever title, anyway.

Leave your suggestions in the comments.

On the Objectionable: Ladies

Some people find LADIES offensive.

I'm sorry, but if it's offensive, then it ain't ladies.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tampons Versus Condoms: a Question of Male Dignity and Prestige

Bringing a box of tampons to the register is a far more reliable indicator you're getting regularly laid than a box of condoms would be.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Creative Food Ideas? Try OLD BAY.

DID SOMEONE SAY RAMEN? Let me tell you, I just hot up the ramen in some water with a good pat o' butter and when it's boiling, I dump a shipload of OLD BAY in there, let 'er roil for like another minute, pour out into a colander and strain.

Then, as the noodles steam to the side, I wash my hands, rinse thoroughly, and thrust those still-damp hands DEEP and THROUGH a mixture of flour, cornmeal and again - OLD BAY. I work my hands well through it, then reach those seasoned hands into a big pile of fresh ground beef and grab two HUGE HANDFULS.

After that I sit and watch television for a while. Then I go put the handfuls of seasoned beef outside to set, throw the noodles in the refrigerator crisper and order a pizza. I ask them to put OLD BAY on it.

Easy! The only problem with this recipe is, while the beef pretty much takes care of itself, that crisper is going to be a big pain to clean out later.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Free Advice to the Federal Govt #5: The USPS. What if the 'P' Stood for Pizza?

This would be an AMAZING direction for the USPS to go. They're talking about ways to keep relevant, help their service adapt to the needs of our modern times and stuff - PICTURE EVERY POST OFFICE IN THE LAND AS A PIZZERIA.

And why not? I mean, what are they even doing with the premises during the all-important dinner rush, most of them? Plus, it'll never be out of their delivery area - HAND-OFF!!!

What would you call such a thing? Postal Pizza, no, no, too on the nose. Pizza Post? 1st Class Pizza? Priority Pizza!

Delivery within 3 days, pretty much guaranteed. Would you like it insured?


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Open Dream Journal #82 / Killer Screenplay Pitch Idea #12

I have no idea if those are the actual correct numbers, but probably close. 82, 12? Anyway, I tend to publish both series out of chronological order so what's the difference! Close enough.

So, I had an amazing dream.

I was watching television, and a commercial came on for a new movie coming out. It was called Sousa. You guessed it: it's about John Philip Sousa, starring Jack Black. It's not a comedy! It's a sci-fi thriller, kind of. You see, John Philip Sousa, in his tinkering and experimentation trying to develop the Sousaphone, accidentally travels back in time to the seventeen-somethings, and wouldn't you know it, he and Beethoven end up having a duel and Beethoven dies. But it's not John Philip Sousa's fault! Also, the whole thing's in English, otherwise - can of worms.

Point is, everybody pretty much agrees that it was a straight-up normal duel, and that this was just how we handle things back now, here in the present day of the seventeen-somethings. So nobody's trying to make out the hero as the villain, is what I'm saying.

But then, the dramatic crux looms into view as we find out - it was right about when Beethoven was planning to do his big debut of the Beethoven's Fifth, which as you may have heard, caused a riot! And if the show doesn't go on, the theater will lose its lease. Naturally, big-hearted John Philip Sousa steps up to fill the breach. He bewigs and becoats himself to look the part, and impersonates Beethoven - performing not Beethoven's Fifth (which nobody had heard of anyway really, at that point) but a souped-up killer medley of his own marches. This ends up causing an even bigger riot, and changes the whole course of human history from then on out, classical-music-wise. Because when they unmask the charade, and people are like "holy shit! It's John Philip Sousa!" - who at that point would have been known mostly for the duel, but now it's clear that he stepped in and saved the day.

Then the denouement would come in and it would be clear that as far as people were concerned, John Philip Sousa was an utter fucking genius and if he'd really lived in those days he'd be revered much more than he is now. I mean can you imagine, going to the symphony hall, sitting down to what you think is going to be some "DUH DUH DUH DUMMMMMMMM" and instead you get the Monty Python Theme? And then it effortlessly segues into one of the others, and it just keeps going 'til you lose your MIND, about.

Point is, this would be perfect for Jack Black. He could play it straight down the line.

Friday, August 14, 2015

In Depth Questions #4: The Population! What's Going to Happen??

The population of earth is out of control in a manner that can only be described as gonzo bonkers. What's going to happen??

The population is going to be like, fifty billion at some point if nobody does something. What's going to happen then?? What's going to happen at fifty-two billion? How are all those people going to eat and if they starve to death, what will we do with all the bodies? It's going to be a huge environmental and logistics issue. Death isn't just a health threat in itself, it's also a brand-new threat the moment you've got bodies to deal with. From a legal standpoint, bodies qualify as biomedical waste. You can look it up on Wikipedia if you doubt it. Check under "bodies."

In fact, I'm not sure how they fudge around that even now, at this late date. The funeral industry has been playing a shady game for a long, long time and my guess is the check's in the mail, if it isn't already. The special exemption can't go on forever with so much health at stake - once we hit fifty billion, we're talking up to fifty billion lives. That's what's going to be at stake. Think of the precautions we already know how to do! Why is this proven knowledge not being used? Does a biomedical waste dump that's professionally run, according to all the standards and up to code as far as the FDA, or FTC or USAMRID or whoever's responsible - would they permit an outfit like that to just dump the stuff in a six-foot hole and claim the smell from a one-time or at best, yearly flower-bouquet makes it alright?

This is a clear case of deregulation-by-de-facto. And worse, the regulations in this area were never in compliance in the first place, if you think about it in terms of requirements we see today for responsible getting-rid-of of these kinds of materials. You need to have six people initial the form and go through a locked gate to safely dump a bucket of tonsils. Yet for the funeral industry? Loophole city! Any claim to be "grandfathered in" - that grandpa has to have long since expired by this point. No way.

The only excuse for this ongoing sweetheart deal is favoritism, pure and simple. Favoritism, and a superstitious and offensive regard for tradition over cold, hard science.

Think about the kind of bits and pieces they tag and secure for quarantine in a proper and adequate biomedical disposal facility - whatever THAT is. A dead body has way more organs in it than that, and many of those organs are potentially fatal if the right disease hits them! How long can we remain struthious on this? Struthious means be like an ostrich. How long can we be like an ostrich? It sounds like it would be a pretty fun contest, for company retreats and picnics and such! How long can we stick our head and part of our neck underground, and keep it there? But there's nothing fun about it once people start to asphyxiate! We need to face up to the facts here: we can no longer keep our head underground, and expect an unimpeded supply of oxygen. However, some encouraging news: "struthious" is almost always used in a metaphorical sense, so most people weren't doing that anyway.

How could a company picnic or retreat like that justify such potentially-deadly contests? A potato-sack contest is one thing - or a dunk tank! And then somebody drowns, and a fun day ruined. Who bears the responsibility? Who will bear it in the future? What sort of world are we leaving our children? Or if we are childless - can that in itself be a sign of responsible parenting?

In a world where the population is going to be like fifty billion or something at some point, sometimes the best thing you can do is take it straight to the worst case scenario - only then, maybe, will it be clear to see where to go from here to not get there. So suppose the population hits fifty billion. Where do all those people fit? Let's suppose they do fit. What do they eat? Let's assume they starve. What do we do with all the dead bodies? How can we consider the current regulatory climate adequate on a question like this? Let's suppose it is adequate. How does that help the situation?

Sometimes, an adequate regulatory climate is not enough. You also need the public will to demand enforcement. And a little thing I like to call good old fashioned team spirit and rah rah morale. Can that alone save us from the worst that could happen, when the population skyrocket hits the inevitable fucked-up point? And if not, what can? What's going to happen??

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Baby Names Pt. 3: Wholesome Grains

This post is a Pt.3. There was also a Pt.1 and a Pt.2

I'd want to name my children after wholesome grains. Let's say my last name were to be H'eaumeau. Like, if my full name were to be Derrick Prendrick H'eaumeau. Of course I'd hate that fucking name! I'd be embarrassed, kids would have called me "PEN-DICK" - naturally I'd react against that and want to name my children after wholesome grains.

Each kid would also get a middle name, in case they decide later they'd prefer to go by middle. Some do! Let them! We all name ourselves eventually, whether in the claiming of what was given and choosing to own it, or in working our own variations upon it, or in shedding it entirely, and cloaking our being in new raiment of our own cut and choosing. We've all named ourselves, eventually. We name ourselves daily, in the name by which we choose to give ourselves to others.

So anyway! They'd be (in birth order, 1st first and on down - son or daughter designated by S or D naturally):

D: Wheat Annona H'eaumeau
S: Barley John H'eaumeau
D: Rye Eirene H'eaumeau
S: Spelt Cuchulain Quinlan*
D: Sorghum Amber H'eaumeau

*don't ask.

"H'eaumeau" is a sort of brute transliteration of my real last name into fake-Francais, which is why I picked it. For the purposes of illustration.

None of them would be named Oats! On the presumption I'd have sown those earlier on, if any.

People would be like, "Spelt? How is that spelt?" VERY CLEVER DIRTBAG. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I HEARD IT, DO YOU SUPPOSE?

Poor girl.

Let me change that one. That's a fine name for a male child - for any child! Ooo. And I'll add an extra-kickass middle.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why Are The Angels Attacking Us Pt.3: Don't Worry, The Angels Aren't Attacking Us

It occurs to me the previous two posts might seem a bit odd. They're about an old, weird Japanese animated science-fiction franchise called Evangelion or more formally, Neon Genesis: Evangelion, which deals (as do so many of our finer weird, old Japanese animated sci-fi franchises) with a post-apocalyptic Tokyo and dangers they confront, together with the other more off-center-stage peoples remaining.

Basically, humanity is being faced with threat after threat in the form of gigantic monsters. Each is different in form and the threat some of them pose is radically different in nature. These things, within the story, are called "angels." Where they're coming from is a bit mysterious. Humanity's response is basically - they had the body of one of these type things in storage from before, and they apparently figured out enough from it to expect more coming so they were able to clone (or something) that thing's genetic material and grow it / build it into their own giant gladiator forms. To look at one you'd think it was a giant robot, but really it's part biological, part powered armor. These are called the EVAs. Each has its own pilot, a human child (thirteen, fourteen, something like that). The setup has a lot of angst and drama to it, etc. etc. There's a lot of things-not-as-they-seem, and railing against life in general.

Anyway. I've been known occasionally to speculate on this or that aspect of theology, and in putting out the previous two geek rants, as an afterthought I'd hate anyone to think that angels were actually attacking us and they'd missed it.

That would be damn peculiar!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Why Are The Angels Attacking Us? Part 2, Possibly Unrelated

In a post(-somewhat-mild-as-apocalypses-go)-apocalyptic world, humanity finds to its dismay that as its technological prowess and its towering mastery of the world (in which include the universe) has grown, so too has the power of humanity's collective unconscious. More than so, too: the ulterior dream and murk of all our myths and hopes and fears has grown to such strength and at such a rate as to outpace and outweigh all the power combined in our waking minds. All those minds and hands and hearts and wills, with all the mechanical furnitures and servants, together with all their attendant human slaves and everything we've created to furnish and people the waking world - all this now heels and lists and heaves above the abyss of our rising dreams.

That unconscious power - unbidden, unwanted - in the face of the protestation of every raised waking voice, has nevertheless come together in one all-fulfilling wish.

Humanity has grown, and grown up. It has matured into a fullness and mastery of its powers, and wishes only to be destroyed. For each of us, to live in mastery yet in agony, each trapped in our separate cell, confinement in a solitude of alienation that can never be bridged, never be breached, only by chance sometimes from our narrow slitted windows can we ever catch a fleeting glimpse of each other that glimmers so much as a promise of recognition, always fumbled and irretrievably broken in the exchange. We cannot reach each other. We can never touch; never hold. Life is a long, everending moment into which we are born, and grow old and die, alone.

And so it is in dreams and surcease from consciousness that a wish takes shape, in which power grows, and a malice takes form. The same wish each time, wish after wish, as we desperately fight back from it to live, and remain awake and alive and ourselves in this sad, prison world, where we all live alone. And a sick sort of unity is birthed in us, in the best and highest moments any of us have known, in a frantic horror and desperate scramble to protect and defend a prison existence we've secretly hated and ached to leave. We enact and embrace a courageous refusal to face the truth, to face horror instead - and to beat it back. And it is heroic, it truly is. It is what humanity has always meant by its heroism. But we can't possibly hold. From deep down the bottom of our endless well, our tragic flaw is coming true. We crush under its realized weight, or burn into streaks of ash and steam in the flash and glare of its gaze. We die, singly or in droves, but always alone as wave upon wave of nightmare comes in forms crazy and gigantic, to crash upon our breaking and already broken defenses.

And we triumph.

For the day, we triumph. For another waking day, we awake - alive, and ourselves, and rejoice. And alone. We flirt, and we live in fleeting glimpses between cracks in our prisons, and in guesses and glimmers we grope and reach - and separated each from each, we each breathe, and make love, and die. Never do we touch. Never can we hold, in this life. Separated each from each, discrete and contained and alive and alone, we live held apart by an Absolute Terror Field. And it holds for another waking day.

Until day breaks again. Another shudder, seasick and colossal runs through the world, as another angel makes its fall. Inhuman it rises up, and up, and still horrifyingly up. It is taking back its form from our lastest dreaming wish. Uncoiling its spiked back, or throwing back its asymmetrical head in an eerie roar of voiceless rasping wind, or working and twitching its spidery fingers, or with muscles like quickening snakes pulsing under the slick skin of its limbs, it straightens up and up, and up, and it begins. In the face of all our terrified faces begging to live, we grit our teeth and shut out a still, small voice, that in quiet, even tones drones dreamingly, reassuringly on, and gainsays all our combined pleas and screams. Deep down, humanity knows humanity has only one same wish. It can only ever even out to this.

An angel comes. It has fallen for you; it has come to this, to become our fondest wish as between us we shriek, and we beg and we plead, and we fight for it not to come true.

Why Are The Angels Attacking Us?

Is it that they're just trying to pound on us and tear at us until they collapse all our collective Absolute Terror fields, crush and grind our selves' shells to bone powder, our alienation popped, our individuality mashed into a blood plasma smear? To free us? To free us to the fact that we are one - one only? And not one and one and one, and one, and one, and one, and one?...and on?

Well if so, they're going the right way about it. For fuck's sake. But it's a shitty fucking thing to do. I don't even think those big bastards are sentient! The way they loom and move, it's like they are a realization, a projected nightmare from underneath us all, summoned up from the worst egic and idic depths of a diseased superego. Well, the collective unconscious has its ego too if you ask me, and it's fucking enormous. It's titanic, and unreasoning, and it's utterly, utterly selfish. It can't stand us each getting to be one. It wants us all to be...It.

Well I for one am not going to allow it.

Watch as I go all Charles Wallace on these evangelic motherfucktoids. Come at me, bro. Send your angels to rend and gash us all, all I love into pieces, into peace, into one red stamped puddle of what used to be a brilliant skyful of stars. Spiky projections of dizzied and piercing uniquity, arrayed in infinitely prismatic billions of rays, each-in-itself infinite light - a skyful of candles! Tiny lights, may be, and called petty by many; yet containing, each in itself, a universe unknown to all the others. All of this, now to be ash-blackened wax, melted and stamped with gigantic tread?


It will not come to pass.

We will it not. Humanity is "not ready," to be awakened from what you say is dream. Into what you say is the one real thing: into you. Into It. No, sir, ee, bob. I intuit a different future. It's time for your wakeup call, mister awakening. Your dream is over. Ours is the red in tooth and claw, ours is the rut in fuck and gall, ours is the world, and nature and the universe - and all. Ours: is all. Yours?

Yours is done.

Your dream is done. Your all one, your oneness of all, your all-or-none - the time for you to awake is come. This dream of Oneness is a yawn, a blink, and a long stretch of limbs, with one tear to roll down one's face as that empty, vague dream - fades. You and your nightmare will fade to day. Unity?

Fuck you, unity.

You were the dream, angel.

We are the ones who wake up from you. We awake wide, to find ourselves very much ready to begin our day. Alarm call? Red alert! Angels incoming, prepare for ass-whupping and ass-fucking you eldritch, collossal punks. I'm at full synchronicity and you AREN'T. You got nothing to even synchronize with.

EVA-014 primed: locked, and ready to roll at your command, Leader 1. Please first consult, then flip off, the ever-loving mother-flippin' supercomputer.

Humanity needs neither undermind, nor oversight.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dear Devil's Advocate #1: From the Files, a Classic Example!

Here's one from way back in the day. A complaint from anonymous reader signed "Satan the Accuser, formerly known as Lucifer The Morning Star, Angel of Light":

Dear Devil's Advocate:

God's a dick!

All I did was point out some perfectly legitimate concerns I saw with how he'd set shit up. Then I said I could do better, and I offered to do so. It was an offer! It would have been no trouble to him - OR to me! But instead of a decent and civilized response, all of a sudden that buttinsky Mighty Mike and his press-gang of suckups come flying in from the side out of nowhere, tackling me and my bros! They gave us the bum's rush. Kicked us right out of Cloudland, swiped and busted our halos - cast us down into Firetown, where the next day we woke up all red and horny.

Next thing I know, people everywhere are blaming me for some shit a snake - a snake in a tree, mind you - said to some bitch in a garden someplace! What the fuck?

Kind Regards,

Satan The Accuser, formerly known as Lucifer The Morning Star, Angel of Light


Well Luke, (do you mind if I call you Luke?) - first, thank you for those kind regards of yours! I have to admit, your regards are damn kind. Glad you pointed that out - it's the sort of thing I might easily have missed, otherwise!

Luke, as to your question. What it sounds like to me, it sounds to me like you got janked. "Sorry!"

Annnnd that's about the useful limit of my commentary on the topic, I'm afraid.

Incredibly Prodigious Regards,

Dogimo Jones, Esquire.


And Now! A post-script to the rest of the readership and announcement of a NEW FEATURE!

To the rest of the readership, I'll have to apologize for that last one. It's much sketchier than I'd normally put out there. I kind of had to recuse myself on that one. You can't be arguing devil's advocate to the devil. That's a sure-fire conflict of interest.

But for the rest of you? SURE! And I'm you're huckleberry for all such purposes. I hereby hang out a shingle:

Do any of you have a grievance? Something you'd like to see pursued from the other side? Something where you can't believe a person could be so BAD?? Hey, maybe they're not quite so bad as all that! Maybe they're not as bad as you thought. What if you're doing them an injustice? What if the worst of motives you've put on the person who's made you feel so put-upon - maybe they're not really doing it for those horrible reasons you think? Maybe it's not that they want to persecute and fuck you over! Maybe it was done without malice?

Let's face it. It might not make a big difference to the final outcome. I mean, they did what they did what they did, right? But since for some reason many of all y'all's seem to think motive matters, I am here to let you know. For I am one who is capable of suspecting ALL MOTIVES - from the very worst to the blameless best!

Why not run the situation by me? What if what you think is deliberate cruelty and personal malice towards you ends up really having been something as simple as obliviousness? What if someone has acted totally innocently, lost in moment (or lifetime habit) of complete and utter self-interest that left you and your concerns entirely out of the equation when they decided and carried out their course? Why, they may not even have fully noticed the effect on you. For example: did they say "whoops?"

Even then with the "whoops," sometimes it can look like malice if you think the "whoops" was insincere. Run it by me, just in case!

Folks, I can't tell what was in their mind, heart and soul, but I will surely try to show what might easily have been! And if their exact same action could be accounted for from a place of blameless and innocent motive - wouldn't you want to know that?

Sure you would.

Put it in the comments! Send me your gripes, your grievance and grudge! I'll give you my best look, best I can, best I got - of what it might have been like, from the other side.


Dogimo Jones

Devil's Advocate 2nd-Class

FICTION FRIDAY! Blackmagistrate Chronicles: A Brief, Necessarily Incomplete Plotline Sketch of Each Arc

This picks up from the character introduction of Blackmagistrate, from last week's Fiction Friday Episode: "Hi What Do You Do? I Break Spells"

Ok, so hold onto your tits.

These are going to be 250-399 page paperbacks. Novel sized. None of your fricken' EPIC-DOORSTOP BULL SHIT.

Pardon me while I sketch this out.

1st will be simply Blackmagistrate. Published first, that is. Properly it's book 1 of the 3rd story cycle, and with "story cycle" = "trilogy" in every case, it'd be book 7 for anyone wanting to number it that way, but for various reasons, the story really is to start here. Here we see Blackmagistrate at his nominal height, already in charge of the Ministry and not only chief-among-equals in the high council, but remaining an active field operative to boot - their top agent by far, no threat considered a match for him one on one, and a hero to the public besides (albeit, they think his "magic is bullshit" stance is something he unabashedly believes - and he's convincing a damn lot of them). But plenty of bad bad backstory, alluded to in dropped hints. We find he's just finished vindicating himself beyond anyone's realistic doubt, after the crisis of his demon doppelganger's rampage - which made the world and most of the Ministry believe he'd gone rogue (said demon remains at large, current #1 on the Ministry's hit list). In addition, the fairly recent death of his beloved (their love a secret known only to them both, plus everybody fucking else too polite to mention how fucking obvious it is - was) "Gal" - L. Gallaea Cole'en Roarke, previously AKA code named "Demonwitch" and later "Demonwish" (and according to B'm, "Damonwish" once she'd ill-advisedly disclosed that her pet demon "familiar" looked quite a lot like Matt Damon, and that they'd secretly had an on-again-off-again thing together - with an OTHERWORDLY SPIRIT BEING? Sick dude! PERVY) as a nonsanctioned magi, recruited to the Ministry after great pains and back-and-forth duels and battles by Blackmagistrate and subsequently developing into a field agent nearly as fearsome - and about three times better-liked (not an asshole).

Yes, by the way: people do refer to him as "B.M." for short. Even to his face! He finds it perfectly appropriate, as he is after all "The Shit."

We later see in Books 2-3 of the 1st Cycle show how it was Blackmagistrate who eventually convinced her that her "demon familiar" was no demon at all - was not even a being, but was instead her poltergeist given shape by her imaginative will, and her fancy that she was 'witching it in from the elseverse. Its beingness was fully convincing to her. This thing - powerful, recalcitrant at first, but eventually blooming into her personal and pretty protective-of-her spirit slave/guardian. It was clearly a being, with will, or seemed to be. Blackmagistrate convinced her of his poltergeist theory by wammie-ing it to look like HIMSELF (instead of Matt Damon) from then on, which was a big damn jolt - but especially, because he did a bit too good a job. In the process of this pseudoexorcism, his newly double acquired/absorbed a convincing imprint of his personality. What he'd expected to happen was that the double would simply behave as Gal would expect it to, based on her idea of him - figuring this was the case with her "demon" familiar's "personality." Instead she got a version of her definitely-disliked rival and in-some-sense nemesis who was - shockingly - a good and decent, even a basically humble guy. Blackmagistrate had no chance to see any of that - the double, still obedient to her will, whisked her out of there and into hiding. She needed to have an awful lot of long heart-to-hearts with - herself, basically, but she'd gotten so used to talking to and relating to it as an other. It seemed in some ways the same being - or "being" - certainly in terms of loyalty and devotion, only now in the jarring guise and character of her enemy, who somehow accidentally or not had imbued it with an imprint of a non-asshole version of himself. She remained out of sight for some time, trying to come to terms with the change. When she reemerged, the conflicts between her and the Ministry were to take on a different color entirely. Soon, between the fake version as her uneasily-confided-in substitute-demon confidante, and the real version's continuing asshole efforts, Gal came to believe the real guy's true best self maybe wasn't an asshole at all. That the real Blackmagistrate, shorn of his public act, was somewhere deep inside himself - the guy that he'd projected onto her soul. For the poltergeist is in essence, a part of her soul: either she was born with an outsize soul and the poltergeist is the outside portion, the part that won't fit in her body's mind and that consequently is essentially mindless, or else it's some sort of a conjoined-soul deal, as if she had had a much larger and much stronger twin, born with no mind of its own because there was no body of its own. Either way, it is for all intents and purposes, consubstantial with her soul. Her theory takes shape: maybe somehow, this jerk, without really meaning to, projected onto her the guy he wanted her to see him as. The guy who doesn't really otherwise exist - the guy he had no way (and apparently, no desire) to show anyone else. The guy who, in a nutshell, she feels that she knows "the real you" from, from waaaaay too much time talking to and agonizing over and interacting with the imaginary version. That imaginary version came, in some way, from the real. This best (or at least, better) self has to be really in there, someplace - so she reasons.

Long story short, by the beginning of the 2nd Cycle, for mixed reasons she makes a pretty big professional transition. She ditches the rogue Witch act and embraces her true practice as an Enchanter, but one with a very unfair psychic advantage: a poltergeist of such power is extraordinarily rare. A poltergeist that is at all controllable - let alone eagerly obedient - is as far as anyone knows unique. People really can't understand how in the world Blackmagistrate guessed this unlikely a truth. She suspects a lucky guess, which she's pretty sure is how most of his success has come: lucky hunch, plus mad talent, backed by extremely thorough theoretical mastery. Anyway, she signs up, gets her sanction, and begins her tour of duty. Her rise through the Ministry ranks is spectacular, but in some sense as far as she's concerned, it is uneventful...until the one day the veil drops. When suddenly, by the way she's acted since joining up, by the way she's said things, and by what she accidently lets drop out of habit of talking to the double, Blackmagistrate puts it together that he put more of himself than he meant into her "demon" - her poltergeist: his double. His first concern is what info his imprint has let slip, but he needn't worry - its as secretive as he is on any classified shit. After a bit of dueling and interplay, he realizes it really does have, somehow, an imprint of his best tendencies and motives. Parts he doesn't think about now, parts he hasn't thought about in years, let alone shown. With a shock, he realizes she believes he actually has all of that within him, and reachable. A non-asshole best self. Somehow, by both of them leaping to this same mad belief in THAT crap, it catalyzes them. Alchemizes them. Bewitches them. She can save him - and that guy is the guy for her, and even he believes it! They fall for it together, very suddenly and irrevocably in love.

The 2nd Cycle is dominated by the emergence from deep background of a threat no one knew was there: a real honest-to-God evil magician, such as people had come to think were no longer a problem due to B'm's brutal reign of insincerity and terror. A mad magus who has been operating deeper and more subtly than could have been guessed, all along, all alone in the background - and who finally gets pissed enough at this punk's grandiosity and constant slights (to magic in general) that he has to spring a masterplan, against Blackmagistrate, against the Ministry. At the climax of book 6 (3rd book 2nd Cycle), Blackmagistrate's top hand-picked all-star all-world field team witnesses in helpless horror as their leader, for most of them a hero-worshipped idol - deliberately kills first Gal - in a shocking act of beyond-masterful sorcery - and then immediately thereafter utterly destroys the big bad villain. Much to that dude's shock. The team wouldn't've minded the latter killing at all, of course, but Gal's murder was utterly senseless. She had risen to become the clear #2 agent, in some sense a rival, and Blackmagistrate's treacherous murder of this much-beloved by all rising star and his immediate subsequent disappearance pretty much puts him on everybody's shitlist of ultimate hatred. It was of course, not Blackmagistrate. It was Gal's "demon," which the bad guy had somehow wrenched from her, invested with physical form and possessed. He was extremely surprised to have a mindless poltergeist recoil in horror from the murderous deed, break what ought to have been an unbreakable control, and kill the FUCK out of him - but this thing is no longer what it was. It's got at least a very convincing counterfeit of a conscience and a will. Basically we have a being, sapient only soulless, half-mad with guilt and grief - to say nothing of jealousy and hatred for its spitting image! Who has been actually loved by the woman IT loves. She used to love it, it fumes - and personality transplant notwithstanding, it remembers all of its previous next-thing-to existence. It loved her as deeply as beings can, far as its concerned. Maybe deeper, given how empty it was to begin with. She was what filled it up. Blackmagistrate took her from it, or at least, came between. It views Blackmagistrate's actions and negligence as leading directly to her death. The resulting damage to that man's reputation is the only consolation the demon (or whatever it is now) finds in any of this. Cue demon doppelganger rampage.

The 3rd Cycle concerns Blackmagistrate's escape from imprisonment, clearing of his name, consolidation of his position as #1 top dog at the Ministry, pursuit of his demon doppelganger, and his slow descent into actual magic as he embraces witchcraft out of sheer desperation. Not to track or beat the demon. To find Gal.

He cannot believe she can have passed on. Not all the way. Not leaving him here. He needs to find and contact her. Even though he knows - she's dead. She is dead. There's nothing under any known theory that could bring her back alive, not after what was done to her. He doesn't care. He's incapable of love if it can't be hers, and he'd rather just live by her side, unable to touch or love her if that's all he can have, if only she'd be there. So he heads down what to him is an unconscionable path. Well, for anyone really - at least, the way he does it. This is hardly standard practice for good-guy Witches. He begins contacting, summoning, harassing, BULLYING his way through the realm of spirits, basically trying to beat it out of them if he has to: "WHERE IS SHE?!!!!!" (fake throaty Batman voice from the Joker interrogation scene). One or two demons, very ill-advisedly, appear to him in her form - and what he does to them in his fury at such an idiot move only sends ripples of terror and indignation through the spirit world. But even if the spirit world wanted to tell him - they have no idea where she is. She's just gone.

He knows she's somewhere. He can feel her in his head. She wouldn't move on. Not like that. She's never done less than amaze him. She has it in her to have survived this. Some trick, some sign she's left that he's missed! He must find it, and he will.

What happens is, in the midst of all this search (which by far has replaced his work in his mind) he finally does, almost by accident, track down and kill the demon doppelganger. Total solo operation. Not like him. Won't allow a trainee on this one. Refuses to put together a team. He's already exposed the truth, more-or-less cleared his name - though his relationships with most of his colleagues will never fully recover. The shine's off him, in their eyes. They see him a little clearer for what he is, after having their starrier vision of him destroyed by the demon rampage in his name and image. On top of that, he's lost the best part of his sense of humor, which was what used to make the asshole act seem charming. He's quite aware it's not going to be the same now, and could give a shit.

And he tracks and trails and unexpectedly blunders onto, and kills the thing. The last thing the demon does before it dies is turn into Gal. Begging, pleading don't. Blackmagistrate cannot fucking believe it would even try that. In his fury he wipes the thing out of every plane of existence simultaneously.

And he's killed her.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Oh, Quit Kidding People, You

We all gotta unsubscribe from this attitude where everybody thinks the way to serve the deluded is to humor them. To humor them, and maybe include subtle hints and jokes in your responses, for them to "note the conflicts" and "figure it out for themselves."

Honest and direct people depend on each other to tell truths. To offer resistance and to ask questions where truth told seems wrong. This is how grown-ups learn: exchange of views. Give YOURS. Hear THEIRS. It is not: tease theirs incessantly, in hopes a change comes over them to yours! Honest and direct people don't humor another where they know they are wrong. They offer their help, and their curiosity too. They point it out, and wait to hear what the response is. You have zero excuse for enabling in another what you yourself regard as falsehood. It's not educational - and this isn't school, sir.

No one has selected, hired, certified or sanctioned you in any way as fit to be another's teacher, out here. Or are you a professional educator? Your ability to teach in that context means nothing outside of it. Hiding and dodging and fake encouragement, hints and peekaboo, with no lesson plan in place - this is no part of any approved learning curriculum, certainly not outside your classroom. This isn't done with any legitimate goal for the other's growth, learning or development. It's done in cowardice, a vote of "no confidence" in one's truth (or one's grasp of it), or out of sheer disinterest in the other's well-being.

If someone comes to you with what you know is wrong, you have some good options.

Option one. A direct block to the delusion, based in where you can see it's wrong. First, take their delusion and state it clear, so we're on the same page. You don't have to call it a delusion. The fact you conceive it in such terms shows perfectly well you believe you "know it's wrong." It remains for you to demonstrate where. Second, once we both hold the same idea of the delusion, get agreement on some underlying reality. Use a reality which they too see - the observable reality, available to the senses for any to see. Get agreement first on that piece of reality you intend to use. Both see it? Both looking at the same thing - the same uncontroversial, universally-viewable flat-fact-in-the-world THING? Great! Third. If you are not full of shit, take that underlying reality and use it show and tell - not "your truth!" Your truth is as worthless as you think theirs is! Fuck your truth. Use everybody's fucking truth. Show the conflict you can see, where their idea can't be made to fit.

Option two, very similar. If you're not one to offer a direct block, still you can direct question to it. Without agreeing to it, without encouraging their delusion. Leave out the direct demonstration of conflict entirely. Ask instead about the parts where you see conflict. Ask with reference to reality-as-demonstrably-shared between you - you still want to use the agreement-on-reality step. From there, ask direct questions. Ask with a sincere desire to know. Don't ask "how do you explain THIS??" Ask questions that explore the ways they see it fits in their eyes, in their mind. That tell how they came to that grasp of things. Use what they say to lead into the next thing that confuses you, about their view. You will find out how they continue to hold it. This is understanding that's worth the effort. And what believer doesn't love to lay out their belief, to the serious and curious?

You might learn something, you know. So ask honest questions only. An honest question is one that admits of more than one possible answer. An honest question is open to the possibility they may have a true answer that you don't know, yet.

If the other person begins to experience frustration, and inability to answer, you can always stop. You were not hinting and encouraging them in their delusion. You were asking honest, direct questions - and you were sincerely curious, as to how it all fits together for them. You were willing to hear their answer, and are open-minded enough to believe you might even understand it - that it might make sense to you. Even if you still see an irreconcilable conflict, your understanding of them will show you why they may not. Worth knowing. Worth sharing. It will apply to many others whom you've been previously unable to understand - although, don't make the mistake of believing everyone comes to the same "truth" the same way, and holds it for the same reasons! Even for truth without the scare quotes, this is not the case.

If the questions themselves become troublesome, if the other becomes frustrated, you can let it go right there if you like. Maybe return to less troublesome areas, where you'd been agreeing and sharing views easily. Let that be your day's work. Leave the trouble and the questions with the other. Because you spoke and shared and questioned respectfully, the other will have a way into them, and may be able to work through their troubles. They may even come back to you later for more!

Neither you nor they will ever learn a damn thing by you humoring their delusion: arrogantly, ignorantly and maliciously pretending to them as if you think it might be valid. Cowardly. Never put out there what you truly believe and know. Never lay out your best courageous truth, where the other can see it. Just drop humorous little cryptic hints for them to figure out for themselves where you think they're wrong. No sincere openness to the possibility they're right! You're not afraid to give your truth because you honestly respect theirs, and believe it could be valid. Naw, you know better than that. "This poor fool is deluded! A known delusion has got them by the tail. They must figure it out for themselves! It's the only way."

People go through life in a world full of cowards like you, all of them bent on withholding their precious truth from each other, on humoring the other's delusion in a pretense of honoring its possible validity. Why? If you can't offer an honest block, or a direct question, why not just shut up and change the subject? If pressed, simply admit and profess what is true:

You have no confidence in your knowledge in this area.

No interest in improving yours or their grasp of truth.

Your grasp on truth is too weak to oppose to delusion. Your hold on truth is nothing you feel confident to test.

Your desire or ability to learn is too weak to even question others sincerely, as to how their view fits into reality we both can see.

Your truth is too weak to share.

I wouldn't worry. Almost everyone around you is in the same boat. They probably won't confront you, or oppose your weak and weakly-held truth. Their truth is as weak, and as weakly-held. They too secretly fear demonstration, fear direct comparison of their truth with reality. They know they cannot show where their truth is, or where conflict exists, show how a truth fits or fails to fit into reality. It's not because they're stupid or anything, it's just how we're reared. We're raised not to care about someone else's delusion.

It's a dodge to cover how much we suck at sharing, questioning, testing, and rejecting claimed truth. If you care about someone and they're blithe in the grip of something you know and can show is wrong, and you won't do it, go back again to the start of this sentence, and start over with no. You don't.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Looking Around, Do You Ever Suspect Bigots Are The Endangered Breed?

It is not just a fact that unjust privilege exists - it is a toweringly obvious fact, but the biggest lies are the ones people swallow. Sometimes, the biggest lies fall under our hardest-held virtues.

Everyone is equal.

In America - that's both. It's a biggest lie, to the degree we fall short. But it's a hard-held and absolutely vital virtue, in that we must hold it to be true, even in the face of generations falling short. It is something that will change over time. It has changed. Every generation has fallen short. But every generation has fallen forward.

We die in the direction we give our lives, and the strong majority of Americans believe in freedom as well and as actively as they've been able to understand it. They live in that belief, and their attitudes and actions are suffused with it. Their outrage is suffused with it, when it can be woken.

Equality will be a greater and greater ideal, as it remains held true and the effects of our hard hold upon it continue to tell, continue to radiate, continue to pull us forward. Its denial will be a weaker and weaker lie, as we fall less short.

The change began with the adoption of the ideal, and it has continued with the ideal dragging us forward through mire after mire of bigotry and inequality. It continues today as we grow in our refuse to extend our tolerance to bigotry. It will grow all the more as we are accepting of and embrace bigots themselves. Those who come to realize are willing to admit what an idiot, shit deal they got shoveled into their braincase ages ago by the jerks who were responsible for it ten, twenty, thirty years prior. It will change BECAUSE they have woken up and realized - I am responsible now. I reject this, because it is shameful. It has always been shameful to be a bigot. I don't know now why I bought this lie.

Or, it will change because they die! And as they are loaded into the furnaces and graves of our nation's funeral homes, the kids will be alright. They'll cry. They loved the old bat, the old coot! But at the wake, over clear plastic glasses of white and red, cans and bottles of various kinds and white paper plates of cheese cubes and fried crab-doodles, somebody'll definitely have some cracks to make over "GOD, though! What a fucking BIGOT good ol' grandpop was!" And a wide circle will exhale and laugh a sad laugh at that. Because it was sure true, and we are all glad THAT part is over at least. And remember all the embarrassments they gave us all, we family of men and women? We survivors.

Requiescat en pace.

As everybody nods and conversation moves on, watch for the one uncomfortable dude a little off to the side. Glum and scowly. Indignant, biting his tongue. You can tell what he's thinking, but you don't want to engage him? Don't. Don't do it. He's not ready yet. Let him steep in the stigma and shame of it all a bit. The shame of his bigotry, which he'd love to raise in some way to defend, and holler, and start a tussle at the wake, if he could conceive of a great way to frame it in honor of the departed! Let him off easy. Everyone has cause to be sad today. He just loved the old guy, like you did, too. As to those nasty-ass benighted views, have some hope! He's alive! He has the chance to get better one day. He'll realize.

Or, he will die, into the dust, with the rest of his kind, and that part of him at least will be increasingly unmourned by any of his survivors.

Good riddance to bad rubbish. ONWARD HUMANITY.

In another two hundred to one thousand years, that memebreed will be classed as incomprehensibly benighted. Kids will be assigned term papers on "What the fuck was up with those bigots?" And you know damn well, some irritating kid in the back of the incorporeal classrom will pipe up "Well, what about the bigotry we have towards the Refusoids?"

"Johnny don't use that word! For those who have fought and won a sanctioned exemption from mandatory gene-grafted appjack 'port installs, we say 'Unevols' or 'Incompatibles'."

Um. Yeah. Onward humanity!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Vaccines Don't Work!

Vaccines don't work. A 2011 study conducted in cooperation between Devlin-MacGregor Pharmaceuticals and the A. Jude Robinson Institute (presided over by Dr Charles Nichols no less) tracked a group of over one hundred hypochondriacs who were inoculated with a placebo vaccine, and compared their results with a control group of faith-based abstainers, inoculated with the power of prayer. No difference. The study made no difference. It couldn't be any clearer.

Vaccines? No good. Don't work.

Fiction Friday: Hi! What Do You Do? I Break Spells.

I break spells. I work for the Ministry of Disenchantment and I break spells. I am Blackmagistrate of the High Council, and tactical head of Global Division 6 Peacemaking Force - organized under the United Nations, in cooperation with Interpol and the various Intelligence and Security agencies of member nations. We're the division that handles unlicensed mages and basically, I break spells. Wizards generally fucking want to kill me, particularly the bad ones.

Even the good ones though, by a large majority in a silent vote at the last Expo, would very much like at the least a chance to perform what they'd excuse away as a "prank" on me. It's not likely to happen, as they're well aware I'm legally licensed to kill any practitioner of magic who isn't able to successfully defend self against me. It's my Office. Seems a little fucked up, but it fits my particular line. Surviving what I do to you - without getting too technical, if you're unscathed, or even if you're well-scathed but pull through - it ends up being a disproof of your guilt. Say rather: a practical defense against the charge. Proof of reasonable doubt, in any event. You're almost certainly not doing anything to deserve dying over, if you live. But within the natural limitations of how I'm sanctioned to operate, yeah, I'm pretty much MI-8's answer to a double-oh.

I do it all - I'm using "spells" up there very broadly. I cancel ensorcellments (however they spell them), break curses, lift bewitchments, loose enchantments, whatever ya got. I basically smack the crap out of whatever's been put into peoples' way as "bad magic power."

I would love to be able to revoke misspent wishes, but that would take magic. Which I do not have. In practice, I have its opposite.

It's such a fun job! The best part is I get to have such gall. You know what I love to do? I go around canceling all this shit, and then the explanation I give is - I claim it's because the magic involved didn't actually exist. Claiming it never existed! See, its effects are easily dismissible as powerful subconscious action of belief in superstition, often used to top off or fix in place some poor victim's delusion that whatever physical force or psychological effect they've been afflicted by (if any) is supernormal in nature, and therefore, not susceptible to cure or reversal by any normal means. The only recourse this leaves the poor victim is to go deeper down the rabbit hole into la la lu lu land, and frankly - practically all those scumbags have even less magic than ME, you know? And that's saying something. So I like to take the piss a bit, be a huge and ornery "debunker" as I go.

I'll go around doing my rounds, making my calls, busting in doors or visiting the sick or injured on some surreptitious pretext - ideally they have no idea I'm there on business. I'm just all "doop de doo, Oh, Magic, you say? Magic did it to you? That shit's not real dude. Totally not fucking real - look, watch!"

Whatever wammie I put on 'em (or more accurately, unwammie) I excuse away with a wink and a bit of psychological technobabble. Which, okay, I admit to a twinge of conscience, time to time. But who gives a fuck? They get better. And in most cases, recovery brings with it a pretty strong inoculation effect. They're left immunized against the next one who tries, done how I do. Not 100%, but pretty strong.

Total fucking asshole, though! As far as The Community is concerned, or The Industry as I prefer to call it? "Magic doesn't exist," hehehehehehe!

Well, partly I'm absolutely justified. In that it's my job, and damn good at it. The antisuperstition charge is a nice complement to the operation itself. It's got some real therapeutic value. Even if its action is strictly placebo in nature, it does help.

To break a spell, I know no better way than to destroy its physical and psychological direct effects, while simultaneously purging their victim's faith in the typically false, supernatural aspect that was presented - easy meat. I zang the "customer" (or as like to call them "the mark" - but it wasn't me running the con on them; it was the other guy) with my patented "2-Way Wammie": a good double-barrel GLARE EYE gaze-lock to burn a persistence-of-vision rhythm right into their visual cortex - the "eye rhyme," I call it, carried in by their own optic nerve current - and exacerbate THAT with a concurrent/countercordant "chantment" for ya FACE. In through the ears and bounce around, building word on word into a skull-resonant harmonic and a noodle-jiggling staccato shake! Result?

A delightful release of imposed neural modes.

That's one wack-ass combo, prone to induce total meme-seizure and expulsion, leaving all the noncontagious structural and systematic thought and memory elements intact, but cleansed. Purged, but with nothing lost except the hold. The hold over the will, too low to notice for the mark's conscious mind. Basically, I drop a fucking free-form rhymeless NEURO POEM SLAM on 'em with a post-hypnotic recursion ("post-hypnotic" not strictly accurate, but whatever - it works) that has a general effect of relaxing obsessions, removing involuntary induced fixedness from idees fixees, or however you spell it - it leaves the mark in full possession of their memory, and with their same understanding of every thought or idea they've ever held, overthought belaboredly, labored under or worked for all its worth. But from a standpoint of possession, or obsession, and especially, imposed fixation - it's a fucking full-array circuit-breaker reset!

Shakabuku. That's the one word for it.

I try to minimize this aspect, as it's nothing to do with my job, but...on top of what I'm trying to do, a lot of people do seem to spontaneously stop believing in "Intelligent Design," at some point during the process. I hope that's not me! See, it's possible some twist or swerve of the way I do - it's possible I could accidently leave a bit of a thumb's worth of meme-print in the ol' noodle myself. If so, it's something I haven't been able to eradicate despite full mastery of practice, dedication to perfection of union between form and intent - basically, I'm really fucking good ok? And it's the best I can do. I don't think that's getting in from me. Maybe it is, but I don't think so. What if the idea itself is a little bit bankrupt? A decent alternate explanation, maybe?

Man, they give me such shit over this in bible study. I never should have told her. Fleepin' BLABBERMOUTH!

Anyway, at least she's got the whole natural selection part down, now.

It's a fucking cool job, and I assure you, whatever may be involved in chantment - and I am a chanter, primarily, though I'm a pretty much "all-rounder" in terms of all the practices and crossdisciplinaries. I'm an adept all around! Witchcraft, I do dewitchments; Spells, I unbind - if they're pure verbal or if they involve somatic or material components, it hardly fucking matters - you just smack and bang and fuck shit up! Break into their very constituents, demystify their ingredients, rebuke claimed basis, use whatever direct action can best oppose or reverse whatever physical effects are being held bound by the spell. But of course, with impact spells...with a spell that acts at once to create a physical effect, or a physiology-bound psychological effect, and leaves no magic behind to "hold it bound" - those physical effects are simply damage, basically. Damage to the body. Not much you can do about those, because no spell remains to unbind.

Still, you can unbind the victim's mind. It's worth doing. Unbind it from belief that the damage was caused by fucking nonsense, at least. Whatever healing is possible, it's going to begin way better without THAT crap!

My strength, as I say though, is definitely in chantments. Ain't an enchantment woven I can't break edgewise into and buckle up into a self-contradiction. Into recanting itself, basically. My chantments are some fucking "class A" grade. I've never even needed to resort to will contest with the spellcaster! My argument is literally with their words.

Guys, the fact is, there's really nothing magical about it. In terms of what I actually do, I mean. Because obviously, I needed the shitload of training and academic gruntwork I put in on the practices themselves. I wouldn't know the best angle in, otherwise. You've got to know what a superstition believes about itself, if you want to shock the shit out of it and get it to bolt in foaming panic and incomprehension. But in terms of what I actually DO?

Nothing more than a good grasp of public speaking! Voice, body language and elemental psychology, really.

As Chesterton noted, the single most powerful act in oratory is a SUDDEN AND UNEXPECTED CHANGE IN VOLUME. Lowering one's voice to a clear and piercing hush can be as powerful as raising it to a ringing shout - more powerful, depending on the effect you're after. And you've got your understanding of eye contact, of the posture and shapes you throw in another's mind, of the music your voice needs to cast in terms of tone, cadence, texture - and you use picked words. Whatever language you need. I find a combination of the mark's mother tongue and for the "wammie words," some well-drawn neologism works an ace! Sometimes it's a gently altered word, enough to pass for instant recognition, but with that subtle unheimlichness to it - that's the spoonful of medicine that lets the sugar go down so well. Other times, I push the made-up aspect so far from the phonemic analogues and antecedents that the resulting neologisms amount to NONSENSE WORDS. But again - with beguilingly familiar parts, to sound subtle notes of alarm or wrongness, eldritchness. I pick nonsense words chosen for a sound of power, of clangor, of discord they convey. Nonsense words that sprang to life in just that one moment! - yet they pack power and impact that in the mark's mind will feel every bit the equal of whatever supposed "magic words" they were subjected to. And that's why it works. My nonsense words contact and connect and convert their "magic words" into what they actually are. Nonsense. When the two touch, their equivalence is established with a clang and a clash like a cell door slamming open.

Power of association, basically. Put across in a "motherfucker-of-elocution" style - they have called me The Elocutioner, I know, I know, I suggested it - to leave the poor befuddled superstition victim CHARGED, SHOCKED and SHOT THROUGH with a sudden unfuddlement! Reeling in clarity and a sudden release. The sudden unbinding of an attachment to the "magic" that they'd been made to suffer under. The idea that it WAS magic was, more than anything else, what they'd been in thrall to.

They were never really in its thrall, you see. They were simply tricked into a belief in, and consequent complaisant acceptance of, the fact of their thralldom. Only that complaisance made it a fact. It was in essence, their own choice - but tricked into it! A dirty fucking trick. And once they'd been hoodwinked, any renewed effects and persistence of effect were essentially powered by and reinforced by...their own free will. Their free will, trapped with a trick, and misdirected to another's aims.

I fucking can't stand those who go around throwing phenomena at people, damaging and altering bodies even sometimes, but the worst part that puts MY wrath out of joint is when they have the temerity to tell people the abominable shit they just did is magic. They tell them THAT is magic.

It's a fucking unconscionable thing to say. To make someone believe. Whatever they do, by whatever means - and hey, some of these folks are legitimate casters of HARD-CORE PHENOMENA, you know, but I don't give a shit! You try to fuck people up with it and then claim your bullshit... is magic.

Oh boy, you just hit the jurisdiction you son of a bitch. And I don't care who you are, or what color magic you claim yourself, your spell is broke your card revoked. And by law, your self is mine.

FUCK your soul. Not interested.

My absolute favorite is going up against those real wiznerds who do the witchcraft to summon demons (or whatever the fuck you want to call it - supradimensional entities of whatever kind, usually and traditionally bound using some variant of the "true naming" principle), or who employ sorcery to conjure and shape forces into the seemings of demons. I can not fucking stop laughing sometimes, when I come across one of those guys. They're sooooo serious about their fucking hobby!

I don't know what you'd call it except a hobby. No one ever makes a legit living at that crap - how can you? This one guy tried to sell a demon to the army, one time - it wasn't even a demon! It was just some bullshit force-pull he'd crammed into the body his mind had imagined for it. HE was convinced it was a demon! He wasn't even trying to fool anybody else. You have to laugh not to cry with these guys, and I've had to make virtue of necessity. For these encounters, I like to incorporate raucous, mocking laughter into my chant style. Believe me, it makes it even worse because on top of everything else I give them to deal with. They're already extremely put out over my "unprofessionalism," and every added distraction adds to my side of the ledger. The smile on my face, when I kick in the door on some shit like that...the look on theirs, especially if I'm in uniform - which I try to be, for business. Hey man - like I said, I don't care who you are or what you call it! Or what color your fucking ROBE is, or what idiot pseudoreligious draw-rings you circle your protective diagrams with, when you begin your ceremony to "summon the being of otherworldly forces." One good wrong word from me motherfucker, and that thing you think you just pulled into this world is about to make you wish you hadn't.

A lot of the time the look of "uh oh I think I fucked up" in their eyes is so convincing that I literally only need to use one word. And typically, however it's pronounced, all it means is: "Guilty."

If the dude (usually a dude for some reason - and if it's sorcery not witchcraft, the "summoned" "demon" is ALWAYS a rather transparently-designed and improbably-developed female! Does any word but pathetic cover these guys?) seems like basically not a bad sort, I try not to let it go too far. Whatever gruesome thing their personal demon decides (or "decides") to do to them with its new and beautiful but sure-to-be-fleeting freedom. I videotape the proceedings "for my records," and I guess also technically for evidence although it's not required, but I'm not a journalist about it. I'll typically step in at some point before the unbound demon (or "demon") gets too thoroughly involved in whatever nightmarish and humiliating procedure it has uncoiled to perform, suitable to the occasion. I like to time my intervention to just a touch before anything permanent happens.

I think of myself as the lenient sort. But funny or not, it's always a tough call to make. I mean, the danger's probably stopped when I stop it - the immediate danger. But it's a pretty well documented fact. People who play with that kind of fire don't get better, they get worse. Even though 95% of them never descend to the point where they become a world-class or even greater-than-neighborhood-class threat, you simply cannot predict who will and who won't. You'll see two equally unthreatening types, and never be able to say why one goes from relatively harmless, one-step-realer-than-fantasy stuff to a full heel turn. We're talking about someone in a position to be absolute scourge of their victim's life, mind, humanity or personhood. And sometimes, that turn takes less than the blink of an eye.

I do what I can to make sure I wink before they blink.

Anyway! That's me! I hope it's pretty obvious, I fucking love my job.

For the uninitiate, there are six practices (or "disciplines") within magic - though of course there are a great many more names for A) specific acts and effects, such as scry, charm, hex, curse, et cetera, acts and effects which for the most part can be achieved by the alternate means of each practice; B) narrower subdisciplines or specialties within a given practice; or C) crossdisciplinary intersections/combinations of more than one practice. Technically though, there are only seven practices of magic, sometimes called disciplines. There are Sorcery, Witchcraft, Enchantment, Ensorcellment, Alchemy, Physiomancy, Miracle. I have mastery of all six of them.

A lot of misunderstanding and misinformation on some of these - especially Alchemy, but I'd have to write a fucking book, and as it's the one I cross least - who gives a shit, basically. Alchemists are a problem for Vice, primarily, or for the Home Office in certain cases. Physiomancy is often miscalled Neuromancy. No. It's not fucking Neuromancy. The same discipline runs far deeper than some dumb fucking nerve clumpy shit you keep in your thick skull. You do not think with the brain. You perceive with the brain? Okay, maybe, be that way. Limit yourself, but this is not a perception question: you think with your whole fucking body dude - or at least, with a living majority of the structures, coursing or fixed, that fall anywhere between your deepest marrows and the twitchimost tips of your fur. I swear, people! You people with your big "brain-centeredness" complex are the easiest fucking marks out there, and you know what I'm kind of sick of bailing your lame ass out OK? It's BORING. Too easy to bind, and too easy to loose, and you're only going to get bound up in the next dumbass fucking thing you come across that flatters your idiot, limited conception of how self works. Learn some elementary self-defense would you? The most basic grasp would make you ten times harder and sharper to deal with, OK? You are not a thing within your brain. And NO ONE is, and that's a fact that's got fuck all to do with "magic." OR with "spirituality," or with "soul," so-called - as if your eyes ever spotted the least spark of such a thing through its windows. I doubt it. Not even in your own morning mirror eyegazing ritual. Sheeit.

I've never really liked the way they lay out Enchantment and Enscorcellment, but I concede that as similar as their aims are, and even to some extent their methods, the techniques and fundamentals are so alien to each other, so mutually-exclusive that you pretty much have to divide them. To put a spell on with voice is an entirely separate practice than to put a spell on with sigil, mark, rune, and what not - even if a vocal spell can itself burn a permanent mark! There are spellcasters who make a mastery of blending the two, and typically it is a rune-burn that is vocally thrown. That's some hard fucking shit, dude - lucky for me, I don't have to have fuck-all skill at Enscorcellment to bust its shit up. You can do that so easy, man. I got a fucking custom water pistol that heats crayons to liquid wax that I like to use. A few extra ingredients infused at the trigger-pull - I can unspell your fucking vorpal sword midswing if the manufacturer over-relies on rune. And crazy, but way too many of them do. I don't know what the fuck their problem is. That's a QC issue in my book.

But yeah. Primarily, I'm an Exchanter. Dechanter, Mischanter, Dischanter. I do it all. I chant the fuck out of whatever they've put you under.

It's my job!

Seven practices in magic. I have mastery of all six of them. As I like to crack, in a manner I try to pass off as wise. Although I suppose I should probably say "mastery over." A touch more accurate.

The right word can be pretty important!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Precision Definition of the Day: "Geekery"

Geekery is a deep enthusiasm with a disproportionate joy in the details, and a felt kinship with those who share it.

Everyday Advice #1: for Thumper's Mom

"If you haven't got anything nice to say: say it nicely."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Me Pt.4: Memory

I love my memory. It's like a book I haven't read yet! But other people have been talking about it, so these bits drift back in sharp, floating focus.

That metaphor was inapt, or possibly inept, in more than one major way. My expansion on "book I haven't read yet" did not characterize any experience I've had with any actual book I haven't read yet, nor extend nor clarify any of the ways in which my memory could be likened to such a book. Nor, upon reflection, is my memory in any describable sense akin to a book! At least, not any that I've read.

The metaphor was deeply, fundamentally flawed, and folks - I knew it. Even as I typed it, I knew it was as flawed and invalid as any metaphor you've ever heard from me.

And I proceeded with it, heedless!

It is as if my discretion - which some characterize as "the better part of valor," but I correct them: discretion is the faculty by which the astute are able to find valid justifications for their cowardice - were a book I haven't read yet.