December 19, 2007

Ltd. DAN!

Ltd. DAN up on a billboard, looking all sharp, selling me a high-end time piece? I liked him better with his long hippie hair, hitting on a couple of freaky honeys who like dudes with no legs.

have your cake and eat it too

I was just reading this thing about the Golden Compass and the thing mentions "have your cake and eat it too". I have never understood this proverb. And excuse me but the reason I don't get it is not because I am ESL. Faithful online dictionary proclaims it to mean "to do or get two good things at the same time". But if you have a cake, you would be eating it, and if you eat a cake, you would be having it. So how is this two good things at the same time? At least give me some coffee or something.

Two good things at the same time would be:
  • Lobster and Cake - for my cube mate Rie, don't ask
  • Or TV, Food & Sex - George Castanza; but that proverb equivalent would have to be "baking, having and eating the cake"
  • Or never having to work but still having an interesting life - thats me

December 18, 2007

marx vs. tits = O : 1

Right now I feel like a very small Galilei who apparently told the inquisition "...und sie bewegt sich doch!" (Stamos, this quote is for you). Yes, I enjoy being right. Please forgive me. In exchange I aim to please with this here lovely piece of news.

This is for all you people who think that somehow the USA is lacking in certain cultured aspects, which the EU on the other hand supposedly breast feeds its lucky little ones. Apparently 2000 years of history, the museum at Bilbao, periodic Darwinian culling via disease, classical music, the Alhambra, Shakespeare, and finally a blessedly progressive union can not quiet Vox Populi. Which in this case screams so loud that even the institutions (sorry statisticians/accountants everywhere) which you think are genetically incapable of knowing of such things have to acknowledge what is important to the proletariat: Tits and Ass

The welfare of the masses doth not arise from backbreaking work in garment factories any longer. Neither does repairing of such humble devices such as your microwave count. Marx has finally been overtaken... by the breast implant. I know, we all expected the dictatorship of the proletariat after Capitalism and exploitation of the masses got hammered by Socialism. Sorry, the nose job beat them all to it.

As funny as this is, and it is way funnier then a crutch, it should give pause. Does the proletariat really need either the
intelligentsia's protection or the trickle down economics?

December 12, 2007

say it aint so

I am astounded. Labeling me flabbergasted would be an understatement. To tell me that I am phlegmatic in the face of this would be like calling a T-Rex a cuddly lapdog. You could say that I am ticked off. Blogotherapy in full blown action. Here it goes:

Did you know that analog TV is headed for the trash-heap of forgotten technologies? That’s right, like vinyl and landlines (my personal choice) analog TV is out and digital is in. This is great, I think, although except for what Rupert Murdoch tells me, I know little about why analog is suddenly uncool. But what about all those poor hard-working 21 million citizens of the USA who will come home one night (January 1st 2009) and their TV does not provide them with their games anymore because their antenna waits for a none-existent signal? Not to worry; our free-market loving govnmint will provide them with a voucher that our hard-working compatriots can take to any big boxers (Circuit City Stores Inc., Target Corp., Sears Holdings Corp. and its Kmart outlets and RadioShack Corp. and Wal-Mart's Sam's Club) who will only be too willing to give them the converter box for free. Isn’t it great? You get a converter box for free, except, oh wait, that’s right - I AM PAYING FOR IT!!!

You lazy, no-good, pizza-eating, couch-slouching, soda-gulping waste of space. Get your bloody own box and stop mooching! I don’t ask you to pay for my RAM upgrade or to provide me with a free fiber optics link so that I can download porn faster. I don’t ask you to pay for my new high-performance break pads, or for the fridge with the cool ice maker in the door, and certainly you would laugh at me if I would ask you to hook me up with a wireless router because the wires in my house are just so analog.

This voucher program costs 1.5 billion dollar. And dear Uncle Sam is so sensitive to our entertainment addiction that he goes out of his way (it’s really not that far, the media lobby is just across the road from Constitution Ave, aptly named and also known as the place where they sell your rights for cold hard cash) to get everyone their converter box. Ain't it sweet? I was going to get all mad about how our dear leaders think that it is completely American to supply you with your digital TV enabling devices, but completely un-American to do the same for your health insurance. But then again I am kinda glad because I realize who would be paying for the diabetes treatments of those lazy, no-good, pizza-eating, couch-slouching, soda-gulping space wasters if there would be a universal health care system.

Understanding this makes it alright for me to accept that you will not have health insurance. But it certainly doesn’t make it alright that I have to pay for your converter box so you can watch more mind bogglingly mindless programming brought to you in digital. I think I would nearly prefer to
buy cluster bombs for Israel to drop on Lebanon with my Tax Dollars… nearly.

Except that this really motivates me to try out that urban myth of income taxes not being an actual law, what can we learn from this?
  • The media lobby is as sneaky as they are powerful. They get you to pay for upgrading their system.
  • The media lobby is so incredibly desperate to keep you glued to their product that they will do the above to assure themselves of your continued patronage/addiction.
  • The government would hate to have a population that does not watch TV 8 hours a day. Those 21 million antenna viewing bastards might actually get of their fat asses and go for a walk or even, heresy, read a bloody book.
  • Because taking away TV from 21 million citizens of the USA is the only reason left that would lead to a revolution in this country.
  • TV is American
  • Universal Health Coverage is un-American
  • The strategy is working

December 7, 2007

a green life

Most of you who know me are probably tired of listening to me ranting about 7 years this and Armageddon that. I don't do it to make you feel bad or scare you of the future that we will all live in. It comes across like that though, right? You must understand that I come from a family of green party book holders, if there were such a thing. My parents have driven their car less then 1000 KM in each of the last 10 years. Every year they report to me how low their mileage was. You ask how they get around? They ride their bicycles.

So you see, it's not my fault, but neither my achievement, that I urge my friends in my clumsy unconvincing way to green their lives. I simply am a product of my environment. Which puts me on a continuous guilt trip because I feel like I am not green enough. Currently, I am examining how I can put my money where my mouth is in regards to the house that I own. And I discover that there are many sites out there that promote and disseminate these ideas. In fact there is even a green housing standard LEED. I like this site very much, because it puts it into simple terms how I can do a few simple and painless measures that reduce my cost of living and increase my green of living.

At the moment I am deciding if it would be better to put solar on my roof or to get better insulated windows. What do you think? Windows make more sense because before I create more energy I should use less. I also just remembered, the first thing I am going to do is buy a couple of clothes hangers. Maybe I will even throw out my dryer because it is the most energy hungry appliance, because I remember that it never used to bother me hanging my family's clothes up by hand (well not more then other chores), and because drying clothes in the dryer is hard on the material and makes you buy new shirts every three years.

December 2, 2007

moral relativism’s ugly stepchild , or how to catch a flip-flopper

You may believe that the sun rotates around the earth. You may believe in a phallic symbol of your ultimate release from the human body’s shackles. You may howl at the moon and drink its shine. You may believe that the earth is four thousand odd years old and that Aliens built the pyramids ten thousand years ago. You may believe that god put all those little critter bones into the ground to test our free will. You may believe that it is wrong to eat Pig, Cow and/or bananas on Wednesdays. If you want to stick voodoo needles in The Brain’s Puppet, be our guest.

Here is what you may not do – never, ever, never: You may not ever change your mind. You may not believe in one thing one day and something else the next. Changing your opinion is passé. It is gauche. It is so Enlightenment – and we don’t do that anymore. We choose one side out of our multitudinous options and we nail ourselves to it. Imagine life like a wheel of fortune. That wheel can keep turning, as long as we are nailed to one spot we don’t care whether we end up at the bottom or at the top. We are not afraid of being at the bottom because at least we remain consistent. But we are scared to death of getting flung of that wheel while changing positions.

Anything less than righteous inflexibility will make us ridiculous, make us loose face and let other people accuse us of the dreaded double standard. If you think today that it would be a good idea to give starving people a fish to eat, but tomorrow you want to give them a fishing net because you changed your mind and you think teaching them to feed themselves is better than feeding them ad infinitum, then you have committed the last remaining real faux pas in public life. You will have to wait for another chance in your next life, except that you will be reborn as a mollusk. You have proven beyond a doubt that you are not trustworthy. Really, who can trust a person who says one thing one day and another the next? Telling the truth may demand such mind acrobatics, but that is too complicated. Let us rather banish the truth and instead welcome the last remaining universal human sin onto our stage – Hypocrisy. There is hoping that it is the last act in this farce.

Taking a stand, any stand, gets you ahead. Inflexibility wins the day. Nothing else matters because everything is acceptable and nothing may be criticized. If you think drinking your own blood on summer solstice brings you closer to your own personal hippy god you may do so. Just don’t confuse your neighbor by giving her a bible next Easter. For hypocrisy is the one supreme sin left in our world. No, it is not the sin of being wrong or misguided or fallible or just plain old dumb that bothers us anymore. That stuff is all good. But if you want to bring your opponent down, if you want to win that election, get that multinational CEO post or run that religious outfit there is only one way to leave the other gal in the dust. You must catch him in a spider web of conflicting statements. You must dig through her background and find that deliciously salacious piece of contradiction. It’s ok that he snorted coke or drove his kids to school drunk as a skunk. That’s not what you are after. It is fine that she keeps switching jobs back and forth between government armament buyers and offense contractors, all the while taking bribes from both. That’s just the way things are. But when you find that statement, when you find that nugget of flipfloperism you have hit pay dirt, yes Siree. Joe Blow will explode in self-righteous fury, betrayed and hurt by the duplicity of another elitist: “What? First she voted for it, and now she is against it? How dare she?!?! That freaking whore. I will never vote for her again. I don’t care what she says, just keep it straight!” I guess we are just too stupid to hold two competing concepts in our minds at the same time. We can not fathom that a situation will change, that new facts will come to light. Since every opinion is justified by little more but its existence it is impossible to criticize it. Since everything is permissible it has become acceptable that political debates are nothing more than litanies of 30 second statements about a candidate’s position. It’s like watching a campaign add marathon. Nothing gets debated or argued over. Nobody is wrong anymore; everybody just has a different way of looking at things.

But if you are not allowed to change your mind on an issue how would you ever stay married, raise kids or hold a job? Some things are wrong and some things are right. The sun doesn’t come up in the east for example (gotcha). But we are not fed the truth by the spoonful at birth, and most of the time we need to find out by trial and error what is right and wrong. Usually that means we have to change our minds in the process at least somewhat. One of the great balancing acts of human history is how religions of the world constantly change their positions, usually only after years of burning heretics at the stake, while at the same time preaching a stark conservatism for their followers that does not allow for flexibility of thought. I still don’t get how they pull it of, but I guess that’s why they have shrines built in their honor, and I don’t.

I know the following cliché has been overtaxed, as opposed to the filthy rich, but remember how we used to have to eat our mammoth raw? Back before that fortuitous lighting set a Bush on fire (God, if you have any mercy, do it again) and the first steak was cooked up by accident. Well, that lightening sure would have looked dangerous as all the furies of hell to me. And that bush that it set on fire sure would have seemed like it was about to consume my mammoth fur tent in which the next 50 generations of my descendants were supposed to be born. So why should I get anywhere near the fire, just so that I can cook piece of meat that I and my forbearers have been eating raw all our lives? I guess something would have changed my mind – probably the better taste. It sure would have been funny though to see the two rival shamans of the tribe accuse each other of hypocrisy because they started liking the cooked meat better then the raw meat.

Since hypocrisy is the last remaining weapon in our public discourse it has become impossible to change one’s mind. So let me put down my vote for some contention in our public lives. Not just bipartisanship. Let’s call each other idiots a little bit more and let’s accept each other’s fallacies a little less. Let us be ok with someone changing their minds, we can still call them stupid if what they say is actually dumb. Let us light a torch for flexibility.

In the end, if everything becomes acceptable, nothing remains unacceptable. This in essence means that nothing is wrong. The sun rises in the west – somebody please challenge me! We need to fight over some real issues instead of over who said what when, and how they are now saying something else. That way what we say will be meaningful again.