Archive for the 'Life' Category

Fuck, What Now?

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
Everyone is wondering what we’re going to do? I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. We’re going to trust in the fact that Donald J. Trump is a lazy, disinterested asshole more infatuated with being President than with actually Presidenting. We’re going to pitch the rest of his party against him. And we’re going to accept the fact that a portion of our countrymen – certainly not all of his supporters, but some of them – are Nazis. And I don’t mean that hyperbolically. I mean flag waving, goose stepping, swastika wearing, Hitler saluting, I have seen this with my own damn eyes Nazis.
 
The thing is, he’s going to fail in the end. He promised impossible things and he can’t actually accomplish most of it. He can’t magic up a steel industry or make Mexico pay for an imaginary wall. Like always, his mouth wrote a check his ass cannot cash. The people who do business with him all end up hating him. So will America. We just have to get there in one piece.
 
A lot of things are going to change soon and, yes, they are going to be for the worse. But they will not be forever. If he does what he has done at every stage of his life, we can mid term him into the oblivion of gridlock in 2018 and put an actual leader in his place in 2020. That’s just four years away. Nine months if you count from the start of the political race.
 
Humanity has marched, heels dragging in the dirt, for the duration of its existence towards unity over nationalism. Towards openness over bigotry. Towards loving each other over hating each other. Most of you know I’m a terrible cynic, but even so I believe that. Our progress has been charted, albeit often far too slowly, over thousands of years. It is the inexorable march of civilization and it will not be derailed by one sausage fingered hate muppet.
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22 Replies

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

So, over the past day or so, this link has been making the rounds. It is a series of photographs of self described creationists who, in response to the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham over creationism, intelligent design, evolution, and science in general, thought it’d be amusing to make one of those, “We’re real people and our words are important!” picture feeds where they all hold up pieces of paper with witty phrases on them. There were a lot of these going around when Occupy was at its height, and I guess they’re still a thing.

Anyway, the questions are insipidly thick, and generally either contain some sort of pithy bumper-sticker worthy turn of phrase or a gross, almost criminal misunderstanding of basic scientific principle. A few of the true gems contain both! Now, when I say basic? I’m not saying that they don’t quite grasp the intricacies of unified field theory. I’m saying that I don’t think they know what the word “science” means. At first, I thought I should just leave it alone. It’s just a bunch of people expressing their opinions on the internet, and fuck knows I believe in the right to do that.

But the more I thought about it, the more annoyed I got. Because these were smarmy, self satisfied, stupid questions being asked in a format that allows for no genuine response or explanation. And they were “ordinary folks” asking questions of a celebrity. Quite frankly, Bill Nye is too classy a guy to individually tear these inane messages apart. I, on the other hand, am pretty much a huge prick. I’m also just another “ordinary guy” on the internet. Hell, without Buzzfeed pimping my replies, I’m practically the underdog! So when you stick your head in front of a camera and decide you want to run down a chunk of your fifteen minutes being a smug asshole? Well, that makes you fair game.

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Click For Imgur Gallery

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A Hell of a Run

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

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Unquestionably The Future

Monday, April 18th, 2011

While conversing with a friend about how addictive and clever cell phones have become over the past few years, I sent her (as I often do) a link to a particular Three Panel Soul that I feel really speaks to the heart of the matter. I’ve loved that particular comic (and the work that Matt and Ian do in general) for years. But looking at it this morning, for maybe the hundredth time, I started to think on the deeper implications of those words.

And not in a bad way, either. Some people would look at that comic and lament for how small and introspective the human race has become as a result of technology. They’d conjure up cliche imagery of throngs of people, standing shoulder to shoulder, eyes locked on tiny little screens as the wonder of blah blah blah. You know the rest. A hundred dark horse critics could paint a thousand pictures of dystopian isolationism and I’d have seen it all before.

They’re full of it, by the way. They’re thoroughly missing the point. But I’ll get to that later.

Behind the clever flying-cars trope is a much more meaningful comparison of what we expected the future to be like versus what the future will actually be like. It touches on some of the same themes that Scott Ramsoomair played with recently over at VGCats (where flying cars were also mentioned). But while Scott laments the future that will never be, Ian and Matt suggest that that future was silly anyway. That it was the product of overly simplistic expectations – humanity’s attempt to imagine the future by looking at the present and assuming that the future would just be more of that, only slightly different.

Would we really ever have imagined flying cars without the invention of flying planes? The flying car, my friends, is Put A Clock On It imagination. Take two things that already exist and mush them together. It’s only the prospect of personal freedom (and probably the Back to the Future movies) that makes the idea appealing. And maybe it’d even be totally sweet. But it’s not a brilliant or really, even a clever idea.

Now, you could argue that smart phones are really just the same thing. Take an idea that already exists (the computer) and apply it to another medium. But the difference is far vaster. Because it’s not just the computer aspect, or just the internet aspect of the device that makes it amazing. It’s the information and the connectivity. It is the ability, from almost anywhere on the planet (insert snarky cell phone coverage joke here) to call up any piece of information known to mankind.

That sort of communicative power most certainly is addictive and is amazing. I’ve had what most people would call a modern phone for less than a month. And in that time, I’ve deposited checks right from my camera, arranged and organized airline tickets and rental cars, found obscure eateries, reconnected with two old friends, purchased birthday presents, researched technical specifications (ironically, for an accessory for said phone), recorded moments of hilarity both impromptu and deliberate. . . the list is staggering. More staggering is that I was able to do this from anywhere I happened to be at the very moment those situations arose.

But most staggering of all is that the technology that is going to change the world (hell, is already changing the world) is tiny, portable and more than anything else, is designed to allow one person to talk to another. It isn’t propulsion or destruction that is changing human culture. It’s communication. I tell you, it almost makes my cynical heart flutter.

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Nobody Goes To Jail

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail.

It’s one of those things that we’ve just come to accept in America. That the entire country, hell, the entire world lurched towards complete financial meltdown a few years ago, and apparently it was no one’s fault. No blame was placed (can’t play the blame game), no responsibility was shouldered, no one was prosecuted or even really investigated. It was a collective fraud on a scale too massive and too diffuse for most people to contemplate. But still. Nobody went to jail.

And it’s not like there’s no evidence. Banks were taking junk assets, wrapping them up in a pretty bow and selling them off as good investments. Investments that got passed around like a jacket flask at a senior prom. Everyone traded them and re-traded them, everyone gave them completely bogus ratings, all pretending that they were anything but a steaming bag of bullshit. And no one went to jail for that.

It was recently revealed that Bank of America was intentionally manipulating people’s mortgages to cause them to default. Then they were demanding that their borrowers buy insurance to cover the bank’s liability (from a company either owned by or partnered with BofA). And if their customers couldn’t shoulder the increased burden? Oh well. Free house for the bank. And no one’s going to go to jail for that shit, either. Mark my words.

Now, most of that information came out because of stolen emails. So the government suddenly has a bug up its ass about “cyber security” (someone needs to tell them that no one uses the word “cyber” anymore). But if you’re going to go after the hackers that stole the email, you damn sure better go after the banks that stole people’s homes right out from under them. But they won’t. Someone needs to tell these idiots that there’s no point in making the trains run on time if no one can afford to buy a ticket.

Just about the only guy that went to jail for any of this is Bernie Madoff. And fine, lock the crook up. I don’t disagree. But don’t tell me that was some honest pursuit of justice. Madoff committed the one immutable sin in this world. He stole from the rich. You don’t do that, see. You don’t dick over the folks holding the reigns. Single moms, the elderly, brand new homeowners? Sure, take them to the cleaners. Bleed ’em dry. But you go after other rich folks and the hammer comes down.

Am I the only one that’s sick and tired of this bullshit? Am I the only person who gets a little vomit backed up in my throat when I see a CEO wearing a suit that costs more than most of his employees clear in a month get up in front of a microphone and talk about impending layoffs? That’s usually right after I’m told that those same CEOs should be running the country because they know a lot about creating jobs. No, they don’t. They know about creating profit. And any decent CEO will tell you that unless your company is already highly profitable, the best way to create profit is to cut jobs. Lay off the pleebs, ship their jobs overseas, and watch that stock price climb, baby.

And for that matter, am I the only person who can actually hear the fabric of the universe tearing whenever one of these Ayn Rand fellating jackoffs says that lowering tax rates will spurn job growth? Really? We’ve had the second lowest tax rate this country has ever seen for over a decade now. Where are the fucking jobs? No one ever asks them that. Not the timid, limp-dick quasi-liberals debating them. Not the journalists who have long since abdicated their responsibility to reality and turned into daytime talk show hosts with over-inflated senses of self worth. Somehow it never actually comes up. Funny, that.

These are the same guys that tell us that we all have to give up some of our Social Security benefits because they borrowed from the fund to pay for other things. That’s one of those tidbits that hardly ever gets mentioned. If you spend an entire day listening to all of these Very Serious Cocksuckers, you’d think that Social Security wasn’t able to cover its own costs. Bullshit. In fact, the program has run a surplus for years. It’s so successful that the government routinely raids the fund to pay for other crap they want to spend money on. Usually tax cuts for the upper 1%. Instead, they leave a great big honking IOU where our retirement money should be. And then they make their Very Serious Cocksucker Faces and tell us that we’re just going to have to retire on less because all of the money is gone. And most journalists report that as fact because, well, most journalists are dumber than a box of hair.

Look, kids. I know I’ve been MIA for a while. And the truth is I spent the winter hibernating, stewing in my own juices. I did the very thing I rail against. I let the bastiches burn me out.

It won’t happen again.

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So I Hear

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

A lot of people ask me what smart phone they should buy, and to be honest, I’m getting tired of answering them individually. Thankfully, I don’t really have to.

Feel free to print that out and hand it to your relatives, neighbors, and cubicle dwellers when they task you with this same inquiry.

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The Good Doctor

Friday, February 20th, 2009


Hunter S. Thompson
 
Never turn your back on fear.
It should always be in front of you,
like a thing that might have to be killed.
 
Hunter Stockton Thompson
7/18/37 – 2/20/05



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I’m Sick

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

I’m sick of being told that America is an inert nation – a desperate scrabble-clawed lunge, the clouding breath of men who realize that the trouncing they took two weeks ago makes naked the lie that we are a nation unwilling to progress. I’m sick of hearing that a President who wins the American people by nine million votes must be cautious, but a President who wins by three million – after losing by a handful – has a mandate. I’m sick of these feckless, shallow men in empty grey suits manifesting on my television to tell me how bloody relevant their perpetually wrong opinions are. I’m sick of being told that America is a nation of limitations. Of small-mindedness. Of petty, knuckle wringing, back stabbing never-ran leaders living in infinite disconnect with the people they have promised to serve.

I’m sick of being ashamed of the things that my country does in the equatorial shadows of jingoism and false bravado. Of a government that should not, will not, and does not. Of empty smiles and tremendous egos asking me to tighten my belt because the yowling maw of imperious corruption knows no abatement. I’m sick of the very suggestion that the wholesale pillaging of my generation’s future is in our own best interest. Of the terms of our indenturement being draped in the flag of patriotism. Of being told that the bootprint on the back of my neck is some violet badge of courage.

I’m sick of the status quo being a benchmark instead of the minimum. Of the shrill chorus of hollow voices that have told us about all the things America cannot do out of one side of their mouths while attacking my love of my country out of the other. Of the audacity to mourn the passing of our darkest hours. Of the scalpel-mouthed minority staking out a surreal survival on the ragged edges of self delusion that tells me my America isn’t possible because theirs has failed them. Because theirs has failed us all.

I’m sick of being told that America cannot come together. That we are divided, sequestered by our beliefs. That the trivialities that separate us are insurmountable by the dreams that unite us. That fear of the “other” is a family value. That some damn fool ideological jigsaw puzzle version of our country, sliced along artificial borders, carved by ancient rivers, and sundered by the non-corporeal unreality of an electoral college makes us foreign to our brothers and sisters. That America must always be viewed as a Jackson Pollock in reds and blues. That I didn’t watch Americans – not liberals or conservatives, but Americans – carry their shared sorrow in buckets and their unbreakable resolve in their souls under the ghastly plumes of a mutual heartbreak.

I’m sick of being told that we cannot.

Yes we can.

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Child’s Play Oh Eight

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Although my posting this is kind of like the echo of an echo of an echo, I figured I’d let everyone know that Penny Arcade has officially launched Child’s Play for this year. I figure since the non-gamer contingent of my readership is likely much larger than it used to be, I’d give everyone a heads up. And rather than some mishmashed explanation of what Child’s Play is, I’ll just give you the blurb right from their website.

Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child’s Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over two million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.

This year, we have continued expanding across the country and the globe. With over 45 partner hospitals and more arriving every month, you can be sure to find one from the map above that needs your help! You can choose to purchase requested items from their online retailer wish lists, or make a cash donation that helps out Child’s Play hospitals everywhere. Any items purchased through Amazon will be shipped directly to your hospital of choice, so please be sure to select their shipping address rather than your own.

When gamers give back, it makes a difference!

This charity event has always hit home for me because, when I was in Kindergarten, I was one of those kids. Now, I was incredibly lucky that my stay was brief, I made a complete recovery, and I had two amazing parents who were there for me as often as I could want. Not every kid is that lucky. And even with those advantages, I remember what it was like sitting in that bloody hospital bed day after day. So Child’s Play is important to me.

To that end, I’m asking everyone who reads and enjoys my site to consider giving something to the charity. It doesn’t have to be an expensive purchase, and if you have a personal preference against video games, there are plenty of other toys, movies and incidentals to choose from – I usually go in for at least one set of Leggos in addition to whatever games I buy. Or you can make a straight donation. What’s great about Child’s Play is that Gabe and Tycho don’t have any sort of real overhead. Anything you donate will go right to the kids – about the closest thing they have do to overhead is paying to ship the donations to the various hospitals.

Last year they shattered the $1 million mark, which is pretty exciting on its own. I know everyone’s budget is a bit smaller this year, so we’re not all going to be ponying up for 360 Elites. But please consider giving something. And for all of you political wonks and malcontents out there, if this Presidential election has taught us anything, it’s that the small contributions of a large number of people can make all the difference in the world. Though really, if you have a heart at all, these letters should more or less put you on notice.

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George Carlin

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

George Carlin – Comedian. Rebel. Hero.

May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008

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