Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sometimes you can be too honest...

Trying to write in his journal for school, Joe (age 9, for you newbies) asked me what I would wish for if a Djini gave me 3 wishes. As always, I answered honestly the first thought off my head, which was "mind-controlling fart gas." Luckily, he knew enough to just back away & ask his mother...


PS- In all honesty, if I was given one wish, it would be for happiness. Think about it. Whatever you wish for, you want it to make you happy- right? I mean, the whole point of every goddamn three wishes story is to be happy with what you have or who you are. So I guess happiness is the trump card.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

String's Theory

String (Creative Alchemy) has taken one of my little ideas and expounded on it much more than I could have. Check her out- her blog as a lot more to offer besides!


Free Dream Analysis Needed

I'm in Shamu the Wonder-Wagon, (my parents' old sky-blue station wagon,) at what is- in my dream- my childhood friend Bob Eberly's house. (When I woke up, I realized it was my parents' house.) It's in the middle of the night. I'm in the front seat with Wendy (another old friend) arguing about something. We each get angry, get out of the car, & walk away.

I walk down the street & make a left. It's a rainy night & the street is wet, but in the street I see chalk outlines of horses- as if horses have been murdered here. A horse snorts & begins clopping forward through the drizzle. Steam is coming from its nostrils & its eyes are glowing red. I slowly back away & run back to Bob's (dream) house.

At some point while I was gone, a black BMW convertible has parked behind Shamu, its top down despite the rain. I get in Shamu & realize it's already running, though the key is still in my pocket. I'm angry that someone has obviously hot-wired my car. I try to k-turn around the BMW but for some reason I can't control my car & smash it into the other. I drive behind the house to turn around. When I come back to the driveway, another identical black BMW has parked next to the first, blocking my exit. What's more, Shamu has somehow become my deceased (sniff) red Lebaron convertible. The gas gauge is hovering above E & I remember that I have to get to work. I drive up on the lawn & out into the street. I glance at the front door & see a young Asian woman peeking out the window.

I make a left again. Demonic horses are at war with policemen & firefighters- both dressed in early twentieth century uniforms. A hundred years seem to have turned back. The men gape in wonder at my car while the horses begin to chase it.
At this point- unfortunately- I woke up.


Coming Soon: Jesus' Bones on E-Bay

As you may or may not know, there is soon to be a documentary on the Discovery channel claiming that Jesus' remains may have been found. Not to offend Christians everywhere, but does the Church have any better arguments against the possibility than, "'Cause the Bible tells me so"?

How come Mayor Bloomberg can tax and fine every last penny out of the citizens of New York, but he won't lift a finger against businesses- like restaurants full of rats? Oh, wait, now I remember; the restaurants are full of rats because Bloomberg cut back garbage pickups across the city years ago. Never mind.


Monday, February 26, 2007

The Lost Art of Communication

Illustration Friday: Communication

I'm having fun seeing what explanations people come up with for what they see here. Last week, my illustration depicted Gravity ripping off the wings of Man, keeping us bound to the Earth. I think this week's illustration is a little more self-explanatory.

I'm on the bus. I'm cold, wet & tired. A friend's father died a few weeks ago, shoveling snow. Another friend is getting married in a few weeks, now that NJ is allowing same-sex unions. I’ve been having dreams about friends I’ll probably never see again. A cousin is having a party for her son's first birthday.

Life goes on.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sick to My Stomach- or whatever the chiche is.

Um... excuse me... could someone explain to me why- when we are at war, when we have soldiers dying in Iraq- why is Criminal Minds doing an episode about a rampaging, murderous vet with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? (Once known as shell-shocked, back before the English language was sanitized.) Is this something that happens every day? In fact, has there been even ONE "crazy vet" news story in the past decade? Two decades?

I know people's eyes glaze over when you mention the "Liberal Media" and their vendetta against the military, but consider the following, all in the past year, while we are at war:

The Simpsons & Family Guy have both recently portrayed unscrupulous recruiters signing up children. Now, I really don't have too much of a problem with this satire (although it wasn't even funny,) because recruiters have recently been caught on tape lying through their teeth about the war. However, Peter's comment on Family Guy that a U.S. soldier gets "all the brown women you can rape" has almost made me swear off the show forever.

Or how about The Unit? One episode had a Military Police Officer attempting to rape another soldier's pregnant wife (she was saved, of course, by a civilian employee.) They had another episode where a mother implores her daughter not to enlist, because she might be raped. Yes, sadly, some soldiers are rapists, (as are some doctors, teachers, stockbrokers, actors, and teddy-bear stuffers.) But would you see a mother on TV telling her daughter not to go to high school or college because there's a possibility she might be raped? I don't think so.

Of course, there are plenty examples before 9/11. How many 90's movies can you think of where U.S. Soldiers become terrorists because the cold war is over & there was no one else to kill? (Die Hard 2, Mission Impossible, & The Rock are just a few that come to mind. Or how about Crimson Tide, when the old-school sub captain played by Gene Hackman is so intent on following protocol that he holds a gun to his own officer's head so he can start a nuclear war? Watch the pilot episode of Star Trek, TNG, & pay attention to the horror on Cpt. Picard's face at the sight of a 20th century U.S. Army uniform, apologizing for a time when humans wore, "costumes like that."

OK, those are old wounds, but the vendetta goes on. Of course, there are exceptions: There is an outcry on IMDB's message boards because the upcoming Transformers film (which I will refuse to see if it doesn't have Frank Welker voicing Megatron- pay attention Michael Bay,) actually will portray the U.S. Military in a good light. You want to write a TV episode about the military to enlighten the youth of America (and by that I mean program them not to serve their country- which is obviously your real agenda?) Write about how badly the Bush administration has fucked America's soldiers- refusing to give them necessary armor, and dragging them down in endless war without any plan on how to end it. Write about soldiers who have been discharged because they've lost arms and legs fighting in Iraq- and then are told they have to give back their signing bonus before they can leave. Tell about how recovering wounded solders at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC (where I was stationed, once upon a time) are being housed in a building infested with mice and roaches, how the funds for the Medical Family Assistance Center there were allowed to be siphoned off. Tell about what's happening to those who have given up their everyday freedoms, rather than making villains out of them. I've said it before- I'm sick of living in a society that demands more and more freedoms but damns all those who fight for them.


Self Fulfilling Prophets

The following is a thought experiment, and not an refutation of personal responsibility:

Most people's outlooks are defined by their upbringing: love in childhood might make them strong, abuse & tragedy may shatter them. Then there is the balance of nature vs. nurture: Some people go through lives with ease; they seem to be born with confidence, and glide through life, despite how they were raised. Others seem to be born with a sense of misery, and their lives are lived accordingly so. We are told that it's all in the outlook. If these depressed & anxious people would only take control of their miserable lives, they would stop being shit upon, because it's always so simple- right? But perhaps that syndrome labeled with the latest pop-psychology term, "self-fulfilling prophecy," is really an indication of the next step in evolution: future memory.

If we live in a 4(+)-dimensional universe that exists in past present and future, the phenomenon of time as a dimension flowing in a singular direction is a limitation of our brains' ability to perceive it, not a representation of reality itself. What if these people who are born with an unshakable outlook of life are actually developing a memory of the future? Although they don't know the details, perhaps they feel the emotions of their future selves, and live their lives accordingly. Maybe in another few thousand years, we will be able to remember the future as clearly as we remember the past. And after we have memories of the past and the future, perhaps perception will stop being limited to a moment in the present, and we will exist in all directions simultaneously. After perception, perhaps, will come movement. Imagine being able to simultaneously act throughout every moment in your life.

If this thought of a predetermined universe depresses you, keep in mind that at the subatomic level, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle reigns. Perhaps once we move about in four dimensions as easily as three, we will evolve awareness of a fifth, and so on, and so on...

Something to think about at 3am.


Monday, February 12, 2007

A Plea for Sanity

Why does it seem like Anna Nichole Smith's death is receiving more ink- and less sympathy- than Saddam Hussein's hanging? Let the poor woman rest in peace, already!


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Behold, the Power of CHEESE

Mandy sings a song about her favorite food. Sorry about the low quality- my apartment isn't equipped with movie lights.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Transfusion transfusion/ My red corpsucles are in mass confusion/ Never never never gonna speed again/ Pass the crimson to me Jimson

Illustration Friday: Crash

One of these days, my brain will crash, and produce the Blue Screen of Death.

Seriously- what does it mean if you try to meditate & clear your mind, but instead of peace & clarity you're filled with a burning, murderous rage accompanied by a desire to bite the heads off small animals? Is that how Ozzy Osborne started?


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Forced Blogging & Unnatural Laws

First of all, a sarcastic thank you to Blogger for no longer giving me a choice about switching to the "new" Blogger. The old one worked just fine. Schmucks.

The first to play is the beautiful & multi-talented Knitting Painter Woman, who asks, "If you could change some natural law, what would you change? What would be the intended (and un-intended) consequences?”

If I could change a natural law, it would be Robert Anton Wilson's SNAFU (ask your father) Principle of Communication: Communication is only possible between equals. In every relationship there is a superior & an inferior. The superiors will only tell the inferiors as much as they want them to know, & inferiors will only tell their superiors what they think the superiors want to hear. This works in any social situation- boss to employee, parent to child, student to teacher, etc. In short, I would make it impossible for people to lie or exaggerate. If what was said was a work of fiction, it would clearly have to be defined as such. Privacy could be protected by the simple phrase, "I'm not going to answer that," or, "Why do you ask?" (Try saying that instead of a brush-off white lie the next time someone is nosy. You'll laugh at how chagrined they become.) A possible difficulty is that some people may be convinced they are right no matter what- i.e. a spouse who is sure of infidelity, or a president convinced that another nation is stockpiling WMDs.

Every day, we are forced to swallow so much shit out of fear & exaggeration. My current favorite is that if we buy knock-off goods, like designer bags & pirated movies, we are supporting terrorism & child labor- as opposed to buying an official DVD from a movie making industry that does nothing but insult & demoralize our military, or buying something off the Kathy Lee Gifford clothing line. This idiotic attempt at social programing is almost as good as the PSAs of 2002 that claimed that marijuana use paid for the terrorism of 9/11, or those goddamn obnoxious anti-tobacco ads that FOX feels compelled to show during every commercial break on the Simpsons. I haven't smoked cigarettes regularly in 9 years- but those commercials make me want to start up again just to be an asshole.

Thanks again, Knitting Painter Woman. If anyone else wants to play, please feel free to post your questions or topics.


PS- ISay- I just read your email, so you're next- I promise.

PPS- As I'm typing this, the "New Blogger's" word processor is being extremely erratic, pausing at every space-bar press, & putting extra spaces when I hit Enter. I've also been waiting for hours for a verification email so I can post comments. (I can make entries on my blog without having to verify my account THAT WORKED JUST FINE THE WAY IT WAS FOR 2 FUCKING YEARS, but I can't post comments. That makes sense.) Thanks again.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sprout, Sprout, Let It All Out, These Are the Things I Can Do Without...

Illustration Friday: Sprout

There are some awesomely cool ruins, just out of camera shot...

A year ago, I played a game where I tried to answer everyone's questions (here & here.) I'd love to play that again, with a slight variation. I'd like everyone to give me a question, or a blogging topic you'd like to see me rant about.

I'll start it off:

Last week, with just a few days warning, 165 public school bus routes (not children- 165 ENTIRE ROUTES) were slashed in New York City. Imagine that. Children as young as five were given Metro Cards and their parents were told they had to take public transportation. Mayor Mike Bloomberg has admitted that the change was handled very badly and shouldn't have been done in the middle of winter- but tough doodies, we're stuck with it. The city needs to slash $5 million from the school budget, and this is where they've decided to do it. Other children were re-routed, making some wait as early as 5:45 am for a bus. Some are told to change buses in mid route, crossing six-lane avenues in the process.

Now, in reality, the government doesn't expect five-year-olds to take public transportation, nor do they expect them to spend the entire morning & afternoon on the bus. They're just telling the parents- without coming out and telling them- that transportation to and from school is suddenly their responsibility. What if they work? How the hell are they expected to get their kids too and from school? This change doesn't affect Joe, but what if it did? What if next year they decide to pull the same routine? I don't understand how the mayor & the governor let this happen, and how they have basically said that the victims of their penny pinching are simply screwed. What the hell do we pay the highest taxes in the country for? Obviously, our politicians simply do not care- not about the students or their families. I understand that Sen. Hillary Clinton is too busy campaigning for president to care about her constituents, but what's Sen. Chuck Schumer's excuse? Where are the lawyers, itching for a class-action suit?

If there is one thing that disgusts me about this country, it's how education seems to be the lowest of our priorities. A passage from Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea's Illuminatus Trilogy come to mind:

"What would you think of a man who not only kept an arsenal in his home, but was collecting at enormous financial sacrifice a second arsenal to protect the first one? What would you say if this man so frightened his neighbors that they in turn were collecting weapons to protect themselves from him? What if this man spent ten times as much money on his expensive weapons as he did on the education of his children? What if one of his children criticized his hobby and he called that child a traitor and a bum and disowned it? And he took another child who had obeyed him faithfully and armed that child and sent it out into the world to attack neighbors? What would you say about a man who introduces poisons into the water he drinks and the air he breathes? What if this man not only is feuding with the people on his block but involves himself in the quarrels of others in distant parts of the city and even in the suburbs? Such a man would clearly be a paranoid schizophrenic, Mr. Flanagan, with homicidal tendencies. This is the man who should be on trial, though under our modern, enlightened system of jurisprudence we would attempt to cure and rehabilitate him rather than merely punish.
"Speaking as a judge," he continued, "I dismiss this case on several grounds. The State is clinically insane as a corporate entity and is absolutely unfit to arrest, try and incarcerate those who disagree with its policies."

Chew on that little nugget for a while.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Does this Look Like a Bomb to You?

"Some would say that the Earth is OUR moon
...But that would belittle the name of our moon-
which is, 'The Moon.'"

Illuminated images of Ignignokt & Err, the Atari-2600-Space-Invader-esqe Mooninites from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, were mistakenly thought to be bombs, causing terror in Boston & Manhattan. Honestly. I think the problem is not enough people are watching good cartoons. If they did, they might lighten up a little.


PS- Adult Swim Fix (the "good cartoons" link above) appears to have wussed out & taken ATHF off the web site until this all blows over. I can understand them not wanting to be seen using the controversy for publicity, but why screw the fans over? (If you still want to go there, I heartily recomend The Venture Brothers.) Ah well, that's what YouTube is for. (Such as this, one of my favorite episodes, Video Ouija.)

PPS Though educational rather than animated, may I also suggest checking out The Crack Spider