Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Other Blog

I'm going to do something that I don't know has ever been done on the Internet. In fact, I'm afraid that it might make the Internet blink out of existence, but I'm an essentially selfish person so I'm not too afraid that I won't actually try it.

On my blog here I am going to link to another blog that I wrote for another website. Linking one of my blogs to another one of my blogs seems crazy and impossible, but I think it is going to work. Anyway, check it out, and let me know if it worked or not. If the Internet has disappeared then I'll know that I screwed up.

http://taprootchurch.org/blog/2008/11/26/impromptu-apologetics/

p.s. A ton of people have been asking me why in the hell I think the Internet could possibly disappear. Just so you know it is not something that I came up with on my own so don't blame me. I am drawing on a film that I saw where Doc was running the very real possibility of creating a paradox and subsequent rippage in the space-time continuum if he happened to see himself when he went back in time. Marty also ran the same risk later in the film and it is a very real possibility that people need to take seriously.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rethinking Democracy

The other day I was weaving in and out of what can only be best described as a minefield of crap. I mean, technically it was described as a "blogs comment page," but honestly you really couldn't tell the difference. My frustration with the prurient and banal nature of 95 percent of the comments sent me careening into tittering self-induced pseudo-seizures. After emerging from the morass thoughts began to bubble to the surface, many of which are recorded below:

It is on the Internet that the worst aspects of democracy are on full display. The Internet suffers from the fact that any two brain cells that are able to connect themselves to a keyboard are given an equal playing field among all the others.

This leads to a lot of wasted time on my part. Much of my hard to come by free time is lost to morons posing as people with something intelligent to say. Usually it only takes less than a minute, but sometimes much longer, to realize that I'm better off reading the crap-patterns of a grizzly bear than this guy's opinion on Protestantism. And it's not always obvious. People, sometimes regardless of their intelligence level, are persuasive, so sometimes it takes a day or two for their crap to wear off. I'll be about my tasks the next day and it will hit me, "Oh, that's why that guy was completely full of crap."

Despite the insistence of the brainless popular notion, there are stupid questions, there are stupid answers and there are stupid people.

I'm a case in point, there is no reason why i should be listened to. My words are probably a waste of time for many; I'm not altogether convinced they're not a waste of time for myself, but I'm still here and queer (except I'm not, see earlier post) so I just say "screw it, lets rock and roll."

The sad fact is that it shouldn't be any other way. It is temporarily unfortunate that anyone can say anything, but long term I regretfully state publicly that I wouldn't want it any other way.

Now, that's not what I'll state privately. Privately I will berate the general human mind to such a degree that you'll think me a misanthrope. Privately I'll rant endlessly about how we should all have to get licenses in order to issue a valid opinion and this license should be reevaluated bi-monthly by myself or a group of my like minded peers. Behind closed doors I drop to one knee, place my head in my hands and just openly weep for a sustained period of time. Then I spend some time longing for government censorship as long as it senors out only the crap and leaves all the good stuff.

But publicly I think democracy is great.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This Nonsense Has To Stop

You know what, I'm calling bullcrap on this kind of stuff:

Japanese Are Irked by U.S. Interest in Pitcher
Sam Yeh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Excuse me, the Japanese are irked by American interest?! I could roll out the obvious, and, actually, I think I will. Japanese, you would be nothing if it wasn't for big brother America and our hankering for kindness, restraint and nation building. Secondly, the Japanese being annoyed by Major League interest is like high school players telling big league agents to bug off—it would never happen in a million years. And I know what they're thinking. They're generally a timid people, but they wanted to get in while the gettings good because we're a little down and away, to borrow a phrase. Yep, everyone loves to pile on when the big dog is down, so Japan thought they'd get a few good kicks in when they figured no one was looking. America is in a recession, America is bogged down by two wars...Well not so fast.

I guess they weren't counting on me. Japan, I call on you to renounce your ill-selected arrogance. Is this whole thing about Ichiro? If so you can have him, he's just about dried up as it is, but we appreciated it while it lasted.

Ok. I'm sorry. I didn't really mean that last paragraph, I just let my anger get the best of me. I actually have a an Ichiro bobblehead doll, so of course I don't mean it. Just ease up, would ya, Japan?

Anyway, in the end I guess I'm willing to call the whole thing a draw in light of the fact that they did give us Domo:


http://technabob.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/domo_kun.jpg

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pieces of Bits

I just found out a startling fact today: Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" is the number one most downloaded song on iTunes. Immediately upon learning this my initial action was to think, "Don't stop believing" in a sing songy voice in my head. Then the first thing I did when I got home was download the song.

Then I got to thinking. What if this is just some kind of self-perpetuating kind of a deal? What if every dumbass out there did exactly what I did when they heard, "Hey, you know that Journey song?" "Yeah." "Well it's the number one download on iTunes." "Holy crap." And the rest is history. What if the song was never the number one song, but some genius just started telling everyone that it was and the money began to flood in?

And what's bullcrap about the whole thing is that I don't even like the song. I assumed I would like it, and I like that part where they say "Don't Stop Believing," but other than that it's lamesville. They don't even say those three words, which are the best part of the song, until the last fifth of the song—what the hell is that all about? Bottom line, if you want a quirky 80's song then I think "Goodbye Stranger" by Supertramp is a way better bang for your buck; in fact, it's the number one download on iTunes.

In other news, I want to invite you to take a dangerous peek into the very heart and guts of American democracy. I'm speaking, of course, about the voting ballot. I found this awesome website that has actual pictures of challenged ballots. If stupidity can make you sick then you should probably stay away. Note to self: Don't write in "lizard people" if you've also cast a vote for an actual candidate. Also, when they say choose one candidate they're apparently not kidding.

Also, there was this author that I was interested in getting into until I found out he looks like this:


http://www.messiah.edu/offices/publications/the_bridge/summer07/feature_yancey/yancey.jpg

I mean, I know this makes me a jerkwad and everything, but can I get an anonymous amen? As the saying goes, he's a got a face for radio, and I think I really will be putting his books on the back burner. Then again, when I first started listening to Phil Hendrie I pictured a sexy guy in his late 30's, and when I saw this I almost quit listening to him, but that would have been a mistake because I would have had 60 percent less funny in my life for the last four years.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Precious FAQs

I get quite a few FAQs (that's Frequently Asked Questions to the layperson) here at We Need the Eggs, but I've never shared those with you. There are a few reasons why I haven't. First of all, for a long time I've had a moral issue with the term FAQ. I know that it isn't technically "wrong," but I feel insulted every time someone says it to me. And if there happens to be a child in the trailor then I usually instinctively cover their ears.

Despite my initial objections, I spent three an a half days of nonstop pondering on this issue, and in the end I decided to share my FAQs with you. You may find them enlightening, intriguing and/or helpful, and if that's the case then you probably find this picture quite wonderful. Why? Because you get me, and I thank you for that.

Here are the questions, in a coded order of importance:

1. I really like how journalists refer to their schooling as "J-School." Why don't doctors and lawyers do that?

That's a good question. It really is a mystery that sociologists have tried to explain for years. It just sounds so cool, why wouldn't more professions want to get in on that? One theory is that "M" and "L-School" just don't sound as good as the euphonious "J." I tend towards liking that explanation. I also think there is some professional snobbery going on. Doctors would never settle for referring to their school as a letter because they want to be able to namedrop the prestigious school they went to. Obviously the same goes for lawyers.

2. What is the best picture on the internet?

This one:

http://www.itescapee.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/gay-peter-pan.jpg

3. "This one is a two parter," they usually say. A) How many Americans, as a percentage of the population, have danced in the rain?, and B) How many of them do it because of various songs in multiple genres that reference the act?

Now, the numbers for this answer are quite interesting. 70 percent of Americans report that at some point in their life they have danced, or at least "shuffled" in the rain. The strange thing about that figure is that it breaks along gender lines disproportionately. 20 percent of the 70 are women, and 80 percent are men! What this means is one of an infinite amount of things. One possibility is that we have a lot of female dance-sluts in this country, in which case the parents of America will need to take a long hard look in the mirror. The other, and I think more likely answer, is that we have a whole lot of men dancing, alone, in the rain. This answer flies in the face of a lot of preconceived notions about men and their level of emotional sensitivity, but when faced with facts it is better to embrace them than to flee from them.

The answer to part B of the question is that a staggering 100 percent of people who have danced in the rain said they did it because they got the idea from a song (Note: all respondents who said they danced in the rain for "religious reasons" were stricken from the record because a requirement invalidates free will; if they would have been counted the numbers would have shifted to only 68 percent dancing in the rain because of a song). That means that if the myriad songs out there had not made that obnoxious reference we wouldn't have to deal with this indulgent and insufferable practice.

4. Have you ever danced in the rain?

Yes I have. Next question.

5. Is smoking bad for your health?

No. People smoke every day and it does not age them one bit. What people try to say is that it give you wrinkles and it rots your teeth and your organs, but do you know what else does that? Time. So if time, sorry time, has the same exact side effects as smoking...wouldn't you agree there is something they are not telling us? The truth is that if you smoke a cigarette, or even a pack, you will look exactly the same as if you didn't smoke it. You will only age 24 hours no matter how many cigarettes are smoked in one day. But I know you won't believe me, so I have photographic, documentary evidence. Observe these boys, they're smoking and yet they are in perfect health, their looks still betray their true age, and they are happy. Immediately the defender will want to go to the time argument, but I have already invalidated that, so case closed.

6. Is it a good idea to have these guys at the front line of border security?

No. I don't know why people keep asking that and I don't know why it would occur to them that that might be a good idea.

7. Is the Bible's depiction of Adam and Eve and the fall meant to be taken literally, or is it just a story?

Does this answer your question?

Well, I've already said a lot. There are tons more questions, like seriously four dozen, so maybe I'll do some more somewhere down the line.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Money To Stop Being Printed

******From the Pienman Newswire******** (and just to be clear, you understand that I am the Pienman Newswire, correct? I mean, I figured it was clear, but I just wanted to make sure.)

Washington DC--Never has there been a worse thing to happen to Mother America than what has just taken place in the nation's official capitol: It has now become more expensive to print money than money is actually worth.

"This is something that we've worried about for decades, and now it has finally come to pass," said a well known economist who only wanted to be identified as "Hambone." Economists refer to this doomsday scenario as Zero-Sum Cash Balloon Syndrome, (ZSCBS). In this situation printing U.S. Treasury notes is effectively pointless because a net debt would be created by even trying to undertake the transaction.

"Do you understand what this means?" asked Hambone to the general American public. "It means that Uncle Sam would actually have to take money from your account to make more."

No one knows how much time is left. The average shelf life for U.S. American dollars is three and a half weeks, and then they are taken from circulation and sent to Africa where the cash is used for toilet paper and bubblegum wrappers.

From this point the pictures becomes even gloomer. No plan has ever been devised to deal with a situation such as this.

"Well, the thing is, we just figured we'd all be radiated into turnips, or our heads would be on sticks or something at this point," said a nervous president Bush.

Trying to find a straight answer to who is responsible for resolving the issue is next to impossible. The Treasury Department says that it is the State Department's job to figure out what we do next. They argue that, in a post-9/11 world it is now a matter of national security how we create our money.

But the State Dept. says the Treasury Dept. can blow it out their ass because they know the Treasury Dept. is being lazy and they just don’t want to come up with a solution, “as usual,” they said.

So we find ourselves in a stalemate, with no conceivable way forward.

President-elect Barack Obama was quoted as saying, “I don’t know, maybe it means we go back to a barter and trade situation for awhile, maybe that will work.” This scenario, though, does not seem likely as it would require the loosening of child labor laws, which is damn near impossible with this congress.

But a sign now hangs in the window of the White House, which is perhaps a metaphorical manifestation of the psychological distress that grips the capitol, or maybe it's for real: "If anyone has a good idea of how to save ourselves from ourselves, please email it to us."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On Being a Nerd

Sometimes I read something so good that I'm filled with an insatiable need to plaster it all over the cities walls and email it to better than half the email addresses that I've collected since the advent of the Internet.

The universal reaction is that of a sigh, yawn or raise of the eyebrows. Nobody gives crap one, but interestingly this has no deterrent effect on me whatsoever. I still want to proclaim the religious/political/social insight from the busiest street corner. This pathology to share these bits of wisdom definitely qualifies me for nerd status. All I can say in my defense is at least it is not animae, World of Warcraft, Gandolf, hobbit affairs, Nascar, weird insider comics or porn.

All that to share with you this:

Thomas Freidman, columnist for the New York Times, is wicked smart and he wrote an awesome-ass rebuke of the morons who run the U.S. auto industries here. But the best part was his last paragraph:

"Lastly, somebody ought to call Steve Jobs, who doesn’t need to be bribed to do innovation, and ask him if he’d like to do national service and run a car company for a year. I’d bet it wouldn’t take him much longer than that to come up with the G.M. iCar."

How insightful and righteous is that?! Friedman, layin' it down, tellin' it like it is.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mix & Match: Gays and Mistaken Emails

Wow. I just spent the last 45 minutes composing a missive on gay marriage and I'm probably not even halfway done. I was talking about how Christians are so narrow-minded and bigoted when it comes to the issue. Now keep in mind that I am a Christian. Now keep in mind that I oppose same-sex marriage. It's not as bad as you think, I said things like "We're all bigoted," and all of that, but it just...got...so...long! And I couldn't take it anymore! And I thought, "No sane American is going to want to read this toilet-paper-roll-long screed about one man's humble opinion on this contentious subject." And I think I was right. But on the off chance that I'm wrong then the potential post can be revived, but only by popular demand—and it has to be decisive, none of that year 2000 happy crappy. And, as a bonus, if the post is resurected by popular demand then I will pen the remainder of it in the nude, because that is how strongly I beleive the public doesn't have the stomach to take my meanderings on the subject. (No, it will not be web-cammed. My wife and dog may wander in and out of the room as I clack, but that is the most anyone is getting.)

I'm going to hit one other subject before I bang out of here: Question?

Do you ever finish composing an email, say, maybe late one Friday nite? Sorry, I shouldn't have ended that sentence there, it isn't quite complete (I mean technically it's a complete sentence, but it isn't the idea exactly as I wanted it expressed).

To rephrase: Have you ever finished typing a heated, passionate email, stopped to review it, and then moved y0ur mouse ever so slowly down to the delete button, because you would basically die if you accidentally sent the thing? That happens to me fairly frequently. Combine that with the fact that I have definitely misfired a few emails from time to time, as in accidently hit the send button, and it can all get pretty scary. I thank the God of my parents choice that these have never been socially sensitive emails, but I fear one day it will happen. I wonder what the worst instance of that has ever been? I wonder if the president ever started to compose a joke email to another world leader on a sensitive issue, and the next thing you know, oops. We're lucky our president is a dry drunk, it's so much less possible for something like that to happen when you're not benefiting yourself with alcohol.

Please tell me if you have ever misfired an email that ended up being embarassing or hurtful. I'll try to remember if I have ever done it, and if I come up with one then I will post it as a comment to this post, so stay posted.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What Obama Can Do To Earn My Support

I have a confession to make. In case you haven't noticed, I'm a conservative. And because I'm a conservative, I'm not exactly excited that Obama won. I know that in some parts of the country saying that can get me killed, but I am morally bound to spit the truth.

While I am not happy about an Obama win, neither do I want to be a crabby-apple sour poose who has to make everyone and his analyst miserable for the next four to eight years. Since I have intellectual standards, I can't just give in and support Obama. So I decided to put together a list. If he is able to achieve all or at least 83% of the following then I think it will be reasonable for us conservatives to gaze upon his visage in a favorable way:

  1. He needs to become a Republican (keep in mind he doesn't have to achieve all of these things, only at least 83%, and I know this ones a long shot, so he can skip this one if he wants to).
  2. He needs to consider others more highly than he considers himself. If the Republicans seem to have a good idea, then he needs to defer to them.
  3. He needs to ride a horse on a semi-regular basis. I understand that this is a very strange and seemingly arbitrary request. Let me explain. For better or worse we've elected our first black president. This is uncharted territory for all of us and we're left unsure about how we should feel towards him. We just have no past with which to base how we treat a black president. We don't know what black American presidents do. But if he were to ride a horse once in awhile, it would help to make him more comprehensible to every day Americans. Our presidents have been diverse (besides being white or secretly Jewish), but the one common thread that seems to tie them all together is that they've spent their fair share of time on a horse. Obama could go a long way in making himself accessible to us in this manner.
  4. He needs to find Osama bin Laden. Bush has given him an eight year head start—if Obama is not able to find him with all of the help that Bush has so graciously provided then he will go down in history as one of the most incompetent buffoons we've ever had kick up his dogs on the desk of the oval office.
  5. He needs to erase the national debt. I can't remember what it's up to, something like 9 trillion. I'm sure that McCain would have had a plan to get rid of it within two to four years because he is a fiscal conservative. If Obama wants to show the world that he can be taken seriously then he will eliminate our debt to the nations of the world.
  6. He needs to convert to a more moderate form of Christianity. Most Americans like their Jesus subdued and orderly. I know that I can't assume everything the dishonorable Reverend Wright said Obama believes, but some of us are skeptical because he sat under that, or a form of that, for 20 years. Obama would do well to become a Presbyterian, or an Episcopalian, and only sit under pastors that can barely get it up past a low whisper.
  7. Obama needs to homeschool his children. Look, there are a lot of whites out there in a lot of denim jumpers that need to be convinced that Obama is the real deal. If he wants a shot at identifying with a large part of the American electorate then he will take several hours out of his day to teach Sasha and Malia their reading, writing and arithmetic. To put his children in an actual school will be taken as an act of unabashed elitism—it's just not a move he can afford to make.
  8. Obama needs to put up or shut up. I don't quite know what that means in this context, but if he's wise he'll figure it out, fast.
  9. Obama needs to use it or lose it. Again, refer to the second sentence of number 8.
  10. Obama needs to change his own oil on the presidential limo. He is the first northern liberal to be elected in the last 70 or so years. Most Americans think of northern liberals as femmy, tepid milquetoasts that would get their asses kicked in a bar fight by their own daughters. If Obama wants to identify with mainstream American, then he is going to have to get his hands dirty. He needs to change the oil, plunge the toilet, mow the lawn, all that stuff.
I also decided that if he achieves 100% of my list then I will start capitalizing the pronouns that are used in reference to him. For example, "Did you hear about Obama? Well, it turns out He is a lot better than we thought." Typically this type of grammatical reverence is only reserved for those held in the highest regard, so he should feel honored.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What Will Obama Supporters Do?

America's finest news source hits it on the head, again. The only problem with the onion, like the Simpsons, is that you can't laugh for too long, because pretty soon it is your candidate or your religion that they are coming after.


Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A New Worldview for You To Consider

I will now commence with getting philosophical on or all over you. I live my life through a "We're here, we're queer" paradigm, and I think it would be best if you did as well.

Now, first of all, that takes some explaining. There is no truth in the words themselves. I am neither here (as in inside the Internet), nor queer (in the common parlance of our times, but certainly otherwise). But the "We're here, we're queer" (henceforth referred to as WHWQ) statement is indicative of the open-minded mentality that says, "Ok, let's just do it."

I believe it started in high school. I know I first heard it from Sean. And he probably got it from his dad, who was apt to utter strange and generally crude but funny adages ("American Honky Tonk Bar of Masturbation," for you Garth Brooks fans, "Do I have a sign that says ef with me on my forehead?" for you frustrated drivers). At some point I noticed that it had become a general war cry for the way that we were floating through life.

To embrace a WHWQ mentality means that you accept whatever life hands you. You don't do a lot of bitching and complaining about where you find yourself on any given day. Instead you say, "You know what, WHWQ, why don't we just do it?" Yeah, this may not have been my first choice, but what the hell, I can't change the present, now, can I?

It can also be a motivator. "You know what, we came all the way out here, WHWQ, let's do it!" I think it reminds us that we are generally small creatures composed of a plethora of mostly inconsequential choices. Knowing that, why don't we just jump into the vast stream of humanity and stop wasting our time? It is a shortcut to taking stock of your situation before you make your decision. WHWQ, what else do we really have going on?

I really do find that it is a tool that allows me more freedom in my life. At the same time, truly living out the WHWQ lifestyle can be difficult. The truth is that we all feel like slowing down and complaining about the lot we've been handed. It can give us a strange feeling of comfort, to be able to tell it like it is and feel sorry for ourselves. But once you grab a hold of WHWQ, that part of you is dead to the world now. When you say, "WHWQ", and you actually understand what it is that you're saying, you realize that you've given up all rights to pity yourself. "Yeah, some people got it better, some people got it worse, but I'm here and I'm queer, so what have I got to lose?"

Another advantage that many people appreciate is the communal, community-building nature of the WHWQ phenomenon. Most of the time it is WE are here, WE are queer (as opposed to I am here...). It's lumping all of ourselves together in common purpose, pursuing a common destiny. We are all sharing a trait (being queer, except that we're not), that makes us feel more like one organism with many parts, rather than a clump of separate people.

I suppose the only disadvantage would be that, if you're gay, you might not want to embrace WHWQ because you'll just end up confusing people all the time. "Ok, he just said it, is some sort of gay act now going to flow from this situation, or was he being philosophical?" But maybe it's worth a shot, you have to decide that for yourself, Travis.

Please let me know how WHWQ works for you. I'd love the feedback. Maybe you find that it works a bit differently for you. Don't be shy, I want to hear about it.

An Ode to Caffeine

I thank God that he didn't make me a Mormon. Now, even saying that brings up a whole host of theological issues that I just wasn't planning on addressing at this time. It could even be construed as offensive, me saying such a thing. So if you're a MoMo, then cool out, I wasn't trying to dog your pseudo religion.

No, but there is a serious point to be made. A sage at my work says: "Before profits, caffeine." I think there is a lot of truth to that. I don't think that you can find it in the pages of Proverbs, but you can certainly make a case for the idea of grafting it in and pretending like it was always there. Truth is what it is, and if it's true now then it was true when Solomon was tooling around and doing the things that grabbed him a page in the history books.

I've reached a point where I don't think I can achieve anything meaningful in my life without the aid of caffeine, and its necessary vehicle, coffee. If I were a Mormon, and therefore couldn't imbibe the stated benefits of the wonderdrug, then I would be capable of nothing. Caffeine sharpens my senses; I can feel it make my brain function on a higher plane. Before profits, caffeine. Yes. I think the Mormon's need a reformation, just like Christianity had. They need to go back to Smith, or Gabriel, Meroni or upstate New York, and do a little revision. I want you guys to know the joy that I know. I want you guys to be more productive, and therefore benefit me economically. I want you to caffinate and know thyself, and live in the truth that Greg who sits next to me at work has made clear: Before profits, caffeine.