Monday, July 30, 2007

If you see this guy on the street....

Don't punch him. Don't hit him with your car. Don't give him money. Don't make eye contact. Don't run. Don't walk. Don't dance. Just nod politely and he'll lose interest.

I know that they say you shouldn't post pictures of yourself in your blog, but I just couldn't resist. I'm not quite as "Homeresque" as depicted, but I'm working on it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

More late night TV thoughts

I get up a couple of times a night to let the dogs out, and while I'm waiting for them to do their business, I usually switch on the TV, and blearily scan through a few of the nearly infinite number of info-mercials that play on the regular channels when no one is watching, in the middle of the night. Last night, the instant I switched on, a smiling woman told me "I couldn't say this on TV if it wasn't true!" my first reaction was "Why the heck not?", but actually, it goes further than that. You couldn't say it on TV if it WAS true. TV is all about lies. Everything on TV is a lie, or at least a story, and that's why we love TV. It tells us what we want to hear, or just comforts us with entertaining stories. I occasionally see the bumper sticker "Kill your TV", and to me, that takes it too far, following the usual human habit of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. (I love that phrase.) My favorite of TV's lies are the Science Fiction Lies, which can be as un-grounded in reality as you care for. I have to catch myself when I get sucked into a story, trying to logically analyze it, and tell myself "It's just a show, I should really just relax." Also, when TV is at it's best, it's about surprising you. The best lies surprise you the most. My favorite surprise was in the final episode of "Ally McBeal" when it turned out that she was just a robot. Maybe I just dreamed that one. Maybe it's just another lie.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A short short story.


Laika was dying. She was doomed to die, slowly, of asphyxiation and heat exhaustion, and the visitors had seen it all. Their ship had scanned earth for lifeforms, and found the surface teeming with life, almost everywhere, but only one life form was detected in orbit, and her life force was rapidly weakening. Her craft seemed to have little purpose, other than the slow death of the inhabitant, and the hearts of the watchers went out to her, and cursed the beings who had done this to her. Occasionally, the capsule would send out a radio signal of her fading life signs, mockingly. There was nothing to be done. Well, almost nothing. While the watchers were forbidden to interfere, no one was watching them, so they thought they’d have a little fun. Universal laws were made to be broken, or so they said. Once Laika was most certainly dead, they brought her craft onboard theirs. Reviving her was no great task, but, of course she would never be who she had been again, which was probably a good thing. They proceeded to improve her, and her craft, making it capable of safe re-entry, and making her, shall we say, formidable. They would trace her back to where she had been sent to her doom from, and return her there safely. When she was sent up she weighed around 13 pounds, and was a quadruped canine. When they sent her back she weighed 85 pounds, and could choose between quadrupedal and bipedal locomotion, and she was strong, fast, and smart. Very, very smart. Although she was not really who she had been, they implanted one thought in her new consciousness. Revenge. Her now glowing white eyes shone with joy for her task. Laika would be avenged by her own reanimated body.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

da Vinci, schma Vinci.

I’m reading “The da Vinci Code”, which isn’t so much a novel as a string of bizarre, mostly mistaken or at least misinterpreted assertions strung together within a vaguely engaging, though thin, plot. The main character, Robert Langdon, does not speak to anyone so much as lecture, constantly. Every time he talks, or even thinks to himself, he seems to find a way to expound a hidden truth. He seldom makes it through a sentence without using the term "The Sacred Feminine".

In the forward of the book, Dan Brown asserts:

“FACT: The Priory of Scion – a European secret society founded in 1099 – is a real organization. In 1975 Paris’s Bibliotheque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Scion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci."

By now everybody knows the central secrets at the center of the book.

1 - The church has spent the last two thousand plus years repressing the importance of women in the church, and by extension, repressing women in general.

2 - Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, and had children, whose descendants walk among us today.

These assertions are made based on the author having read, and believed every single word of a book called “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, which is based on the assertions of the document mentioned in the forward to The da Vinci Code. The Priory of Scion is supposedly devoted to protecting the bloodline of Jesus, whose descendants include most European royalty. It’s all pretty tenuous to begin with.

Unfortunately, the document that all of this is based on has been conclusively proven to be a total fraud, perpetrated so the actual author could claim to be the legitimate King of France. Even more unfortunately, exposure of this fraud tends to discount these actual secrets:

1 -The church actually HAS spent the last two thousand plus years repressing the importance of women in the church, and by extension, repressing women in general. This isn’t actually a secret, anyway, so much as POLICY.

2 - Although Jesus and Mary Magdalene were probably not married, she was a very important disciple of Jesus.(She even wrote her own gospel.) Her not being noted as an actual apostle is a very clear indication that the churches repression of women started very, very early. And, yes, her being generally cast by the church as a prostitute sure does confirm the whole repression thing, doesn’t it?

So, although Dan Brown’s intentions were actually very noble, basing his assertions on fraud, rather than facts just serves to bolster the repression of the actual facts by obscuring them in a haze of nonsense and paranoia.

And on top of all that, the book is actually pretty awful. Not Stephen King awful, or even Michael Crichton awful, but pretty awful nonetheless. I hope the book I am waiting for at the library comes in soon, so I can read it instead. It’s about String Theory. Don’t get me started on String Theory. I’ll probably blog on it later.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Something made me think of "Alice in Wonderland", which reminded me that I simply don't GET "Alice in Wonderland", and I don't see what the big deal is, considering "Alice in Wonderland". Sure, it's strange and sort of hallucinatory, but most of the references are of a time long gone, an ocean away as well. It's sort of like "Hey, let's make fun of a Vicar.", which, in context, might be hilariously funny, but I wager that the vast majority of people who read "A in W", have no hint of the joke, or why it is supposed to be funny in the first place. I feel like MOST of the jokes in AinW are the same way. Is just being goofy enough? I don't think so. But it's not just Alice, I think some other, less popular but well known cultural milestones are the same way. For example, the musicals of Gilbert and Sullivan. I like the music, and the words, but I just don't get any of the references that are being made. I can still enjoy "The Mikado", but since I can't understand what is being satirized, I feel somehow left out, not in on the joke. I can't help but feel the same way whenever I read the Bible. In all of these cases, and many more, these are not my times, or my people, and I have a very hard time understanding them. There may be universal truths to be had in studying all three, but I just don't have the energy.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Don't fall for it (again)!

I'm the last, the very last person to believe in conspiracy theories. Who killed JFK? LHO. Who was behind 9/11? AL Q. Did we really go to the moon. Of course we did. But sometimes, when you execute a plan, which under normal circumstances would seem ludicrous, in plain sight, without benefit of an organized conspiracy, you can get away with metaphorical murder. For example, before the invasion of Iraq, plenty of reasonable people saw that the justification for going there was at best, extremely tenuous. But panic prevailed, and thousands of deaths later, the same people who signed on to the lies, are saying "Oops, sorry." Well, another scary road is looming ahead, not an invasion, per se, but just as eventful.
The Vice President's increasingly bizarre behavior (I'm not a member of the executive branch because I'm president pro tem of the Senate, yet I can withhold anything I want from the senate because of privileges granted to me as a member of the executive branch.) hint to his being on the way out. So, many trial balloons are going up on conservative blogs to the effect of: "This summer, when Dick Cheney resigns due to health concerns, he should be replaced by the common sense candidate, Fred Thompson." I like to call it the "Reagan: The Sequel" scenario. If Thompson is appointed Vice President, he will most certainly get the republican nomination, and possibly even be elected the next president. (People will vote for him based on his charismatic personality and that warm grandfatherly feeling they get from him, you know, the same one they got from Ronnie.) The conservatives will get kudos for cutting Dick loose. (But he will still get away with all of his crimes Scott Free.) And he will be replaced by someone who the cabal of ultra-conservatives will be able to control every action of, just like they did with Ronnie. Which would be the final nail in the coffin of the Constitution. I'm sure KKKarl Rove is wetting his pants in anticipation of this one. Please don't let them roll the clock back again.