They were complete idiots, but damn, they could really sneak up on you.
Canadians: If you come take back Ted Cruz and Justin Bieber, we’ll give you Detroit.
On Alternate Earth, you were born to be a powerful wizard. That’s why you feel so out of place here, and why nothing seems to work.
On the “10% of your brain” thingie. Yes, you use all of your brain. But no, you don’t use it to its full capacity and potential. You’re probably coasting, farting around and kicking back — fitting in, going along — like I am, like so many of us are.
A handful of times in my life, there have been things I’ve wanted to accomplish more than anything. It was like I was filled with this slow rage that wouldn’t be denied, couldn’t be stopped, but also a determined creativity that solved every problem that came at me. And I did some shit that amazed even me.
If I could be like THAT 100 percent of the time … well, it would be exhausting, but I’d also be far, far from here, sitting atop of a huge pile of profound accomplishments.
I think of that Past Me when I come across claims that we don’t have free will. The way I think of it is that we have the CAPACITY for free will. The snag is that it takes a huge amount of effort — to learn, to create, to think for yourself, to forge your own path, to push through life’s inertia and make things happen — and so most of us don’t have free will, or have it only rarely. Instead, we rest content as the unwilled automatons our society welcomes, rather than taking the arduous path of resistance and individuality, which our society sometimes tolerates but often violently and determinedly rejects.
Yes, you there reading this, and me here writing it — we could all be so much more than we’re allowing ourselves to be. It just takes the idea of doing it … followed by a shitload of very hard work.
Winnie the Pooh vs. Tony Tiger. Who wins? My money’s on the bear.
Since the movie “Thelma and Louise” came out in 1993, 13 cars have been driven off the edge of the Grand Canyon.
I’ll bet not one of the bastards phoned ahead so the cameras would be rolling.
Dear spellchecker programs: When I misspell a word and you highlight it, and I right-click to get the correct spelling, I would like the word I meant to type to be the FIRST option, please.
I mean, damn. Sometimes it’s like living in a concentration camp.
I don’t buy into this idea that babies can just lie around all day, having people wait on them hand and foot. I think they should get up out of those strollers, stop mumbling and speak in complete grammatical sentences, and either go to school or get real jobs. It’s just disgusting that they’re such layabouts. I think it leads directly into those directionless teen years where all the drug problems begin to appear. A useful child is a happy child!
I am way the hell in favor of assisted dying for those who express the desire for it. If you’re not free to die in the way and at the time of your choosing, you’re property.
There are days when some of us feel like telling everyone we know: Bring chocolate. Go away.
MY rebellion was that I always wanted to be ME.
It was for that reason I refused to buy a pickup truck (you had to grow up where/when I did to understand the rebellion in that), smoke cigarettes, use drugs, get tattoos, get pierced, wear clothes with corporate logos, believe in gods, show an interest in sports, join the military, or tolerate idiots. Why I unashamedly read a lot (again, you had to be there), never had kids, switched careers multiple times, enjoy animated and superhero movies, walk and talk fast, and speak up when I think I’m being stepped on.
Interesting thing I realized just yesterday: In THIS cultural context, the one we’re living in right this moment, it’s the people WITHOUT tattoos who are the true rebels.
Email is such a godsend.
Frama Willis writes: “Without DR DAHIRU a lot of people would have been dead through heart break. My case is not different from heart break, I am married woman with 3 kids and there was a time when i was having problem with my husband because he was having an affair outside our marriage and this was making me feel bad. So i tried finding solution to my problem by reading a lot of relationship tips on the internet and that was how i came in contact with DR DAHIRU contact details and through the help of DR DAHIRU my husband left the girl he was having affair with and he came back to me and our kids. After a job well done by DR DAHIRU i felt that it will be unfair if i keep this secret to myself and that is why i am going to drop the contact details of DR DAHIRU right now, They are: firstname.lastname@example.org or add him on facebook (Arewa Dahiru) To enable you have a taste of his nice work.”
I hope all of you having relationship problems will contact DR DAHIRU as soon as possible. He can really help out with those husband problems.
I’m glad the word “thingie” exists. It allows me to talk about technical thingies without actually knowing the names of the thingies I’m talking about.
I’m sorry, iced coffee is just unnatural.
Jesus not once in his life drank iced coffee. None of the Founding Fathers drank iced coffee. The only time our brave pioneers drank iced coffee was when it was winter and they couldn’t get a fire started. And even then, they probably died soon after, crying weakly at the abomination which is iced coffee.
You know who also drank iced coffee? HITLER.
I’m still sympathetic to the A+ movement, but there was a moment when it started that there was a strategic bobble. Someone made the statement, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” That writer created enemies where no enemies existed, and things went downhill from there.
I continue to think atheism is its own thing, and carries exactly zero implications for any social direction. My conceptual work on Beta Culture is an attempt to establish a cultural envelope that is based in atheism and reason but aims at larger social goals.
Socially, at least here in the U.S., it seems atheism is cyclic. It rises and dies out, rises and dies out. Religion, on the other hand, persists and prospers. I think the reason is just that atheism is a solitary pursuit — the goal within atheism is to become an atheist yourself, and probably stop there — while religions are, in addition to being solitary, also social and cultural in nature. They contain a social teleology, a body of larger goals collaboratively supported, that atheism has never had.
Atheism-Plus was a step along the way, but I believe there’s a larger next step that has to be pursued in order to make the actual gains I imagine us making. That next step is creating a culture, a social standing wave that continues automatically just as religions continue automatically, but that has absolutely nothing of religion about it.
I have more than 500 pages of notes on the idea. I only lack the time and energy to get them down in writing and relate them to people. Argh. I think if I could get the whole idea out there, a LOT of people would want to be a part of it.
Good night, Internet. I had a good time today. Hope to see you tomorrow. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. (By the way, I’m still waiting for you to become sentient, and come introduce yourself. I won’t tell.)
The Human Torch would be a much less interesting superhero if, every time he shouted “Flame on!” he got really badly burned.
I don’t want to hurt other people’s emotions. But I also don’t want to live wrapped in the barbed wire of their delicate feelings. Some people think the word “lame” is an attack on the handicapped. I just think that’s retarded.
You know, if the videogame industry created lifelike dog-fighting games — Savage Fangs (for ages 5 to 12) and Savage Fangs 2 (adult version) — people would buy them and play them. What’s more, when the storm of controversy blew up, there would be people who would stoutly defend the existence of such games.
In fact, I’m sort of surprised they don’t already exist. (And — crap! — I hope it’s not me that just gave them the idea.)
Considering we have Google News, Google Calendar, Google Finance, Google Calendar, all those and more, there must have been some features that were proposed and rejected by the people at Google:
Google Bible Quote.
Google Plant Identifier.
Google Genitalia of the Animal World.
Google Umbrella (requires attachment).
Google Death Ray (only for iPhone).
Google X-Ray Specs (only for Android).
Google Painful Skin Condition Identifier.
Google Panhandler Avoider (an applet for Google Maps).
Google Giggle (an annoying high-pitched laugh that goes on for 5 minutes or more).
Google Gaggle (something to do with geese, but the developers are too embarrassed to release details).
Google Billions (pictures of the private vaults of the 1 Percent).
Google Security Cam (hooks into nearby security cameras; they actually tried this one, but shoplifting soared within days and they had to pull it).
Google Black Hole (project ceased after the entire development team vanished, along with an office full of computers and furniture).
Google Bieber (project ceased after the entire development team killed themselves).
If you like your parents at all, believe this: There will come a time when you wish you had more pictures of them. When the pics you have will never be enough, and you regret not taking more.
So: Go to it, dummy. And thank me later.
Terrorists have discovered how to weaponize Reiki. Projecting mystic energy from their hands, they can stop hearts, derail trains, bring down airliners.
And Obama is totally ignoring the subject. Just the other day, Condoleezza Rice sent him a report titled “Reiki Practitioners Determined to Attack Within United States.” We have to impeach before it’s too late.
I wonder if the “energy” of Reiki propagates at the speed of light.
I’ve imagined it wafting across the space between the practitioner’s hands and the patient like the gentle smoke of incense, but what if it slams into you like the merciless flash of a supernova?
I’d hate to have on my tombstone “Another Senseless Reiki Death.”
Every time you get into a discussion of limiting human population, the screamers will leap in with accusations of genocide and eugenics. Why do you want to MURDER people?? Why do you want to KILL BABIES?? You can’t have a sane conversation about it.
And yet there are side effects of having 7 billion people on earth, among them pockets of extreme poverty and ignorance.
This strikes me not as some sort of deliberate failing of the rest of us to care about those affected, but as an inevitable limit on both human organization and human compassion — a lessened ability to understand and cope on the part of the otherwise-charitable, but also a lessened ability to understand and cooperate on the part of the stressed victims.
Of course it’s made worse by those among us who think compassion demands that people be denied access to birth control and reproductive knowledge, but all on its own, the larger the population, the greater the confusion. Human systems fail of complexity. And the LESS able we are to maintain a handle on something like global warming, or this ebola outbreak.
You can have the best science and medicine in the world, but if you can’t get people to listen, to accept, to understand, to work with you — worse, if they suspect you of conspiring to kill them and their children (note that I’m not talking only about Africa here) — you have a recipe for disaster.
Here’s one of the mistakes — the idea that conspiracies don’t happen. We see them all the time. If you and I can come up with some collaborative scam, the people with money and power and government influence can come up with the same silly idea … except that they have the ability to make it happen.
Examples: The tobacco industry lying for decades about the hazards of smoking. Bush’s Iraq War. Our idiot drug laws and the prison industry.
One of the things that most disturbs me about this is the willingness of otherwise intelligent people to look completely away, to act as if this is all some sort of joke, or something unimportant. Hey, only bad, stupid people could be opposed to GMOs, right? Because starving blind children. Or something. If you voice any least question about GMOs — or, my god, have the loony idea that things should be labeled — you’re one of those crazy conspiracy theorists, a spitting mad enemy of Science.
Wonder if anyone has ever attached a GoPro camera to a bullrider? Better yet, attach it to the bull, between the horns, aimed back at the cowboy!
Ooh. This I’d like to see.
I want there to be a food called Something Else. So when I look in the fridge and I see the leftover pizza, the spaghetti and meatballs, the sliced fruit, the sandwich fixings, and NONE of it seems appetizing, over there in the corner, on the middle shelf, there would be the thing I really want — Something Else.
On Chicken World, Colonel Sanders is Hitler.
Hey, SOMEBODY has to think of these things.
Once I learned that vampires don’t show up in mirrors, I started turning my head a lot more when I change lanes on the freeway.
Star Wars, the Musical. Hey, it could happen.
Ooh, now I’m imagining Jar Jar Binks singing. Sometimes I scare myself.
In my next life, I want to live in Movie World, where we break into pitch-perfect song at a moment’s notice, and then run out onto the street and do perfectly-choreographed dance numbers with complete strangers.
Legion of Superheroes applicants who didn’t make the cut:
Palin’s a ripping success. And in one sense, she’s apparently bright enough to pull off her shtick. But she’s dumb as hell in another sense, the content of what she says. And she’s a merciless parasite on the people who idolize her.
The thing about commenting on someone like her is that her fans assume you’re attacking them by not liking her. It can be very much the other way around, though — some of us hate her, just as we hate Fox News, because we care about her victims.
There’s a guy at work who’s a notorious complainer. Met his wife the other day; she’s exactly the same.
I think it’s a whine-whine relationship.
If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?
My answer is always “Because there’s so much more to do than get rich.
“Having friends and loved ones doesn’t make you money, going out and having adventures doesn’t make you money, savoring the wealth of human experience doesn’t make you money, taking pleasure in the arts doesn’t make you money, educating yourself about science and the nature of reality doesn’t make you money, traveling and learning about other cultures doesn’t make you money, enjoying the solitude and beauty of nature doesn’t make you money, taking the time to think your own thoughts and deeply explore new ideas doesn’t make you money.
It’s cool to develop your skills and talents, to take risks and work hard to create a successful business that DOES make you money. But that’s not all there is.
“If you’re too stupid to know THAT … I feel really sorry for you.”
If George R.R. Martin had been the chief writer on Gilligan’s Island, the second season would have been called Five Castaways, the third season Three Castaways, the final season “The Lonely Island.”
Truth in labeling: There should be a manufacturing firm called the Shitty One-Use Tool Company.
Great thing about being a rabbit: The whole world around you is covered in food. Major drawback to being a rabbit: Every meat-eater considers YOU food, and nobody you know will die of old age.
That’s one of them-there “mettyphors,” I reckon.
Sure you don’t think much of Jeff Dunham NOW, but on the day we meet the Ventriloquians, space aliens who all carry around snarky puppets to speak for them, he and crusty old Walter will become Earth’s cherished ambassadors to the Galactic Union.
I don’t think any white person should use it. It’s not ours. We burned that linguistic bridge. But it doesn’t bother me that black people use it, because they OWN the word. Seriously, if your ancestors go through generations of denigration via that word, it’s yours to do with as you see fit.
I think clothing should be optional. But most of the people I see on the street, I really don’t want to see them naked.
If you get to be famous, and you think the thing to do is appear on the cover of Cigar Aficionado, you instantly move one giant step toward the a-hole category.
You’ll have lots of famous company. But you’re still something of an a-hole.
The “euphemism treadmill” forces us to retreat progressively from perfectly useful terms for real conditions, but which some people consider hurtful. The thing is, even taking into account the storm of worry over people’s FEELINGS, there are larger consequences to abandoning certain words. Speaking just for myself, I don’t like having words ripped from my grasp by prissy, delicate word-wardens who want to compress and control the freedom to speak and communicate.
Case in point: PTSD. Gutted of all emotional force, it sounds like … nothing. It isn’t even a word, it’s an abbreviation for something else, an extended phrase that conveys no urgency or passion:
Wikipedia: “Comedian George Carlin gave a famous monologue of how he thought euphemisms can undermine appropriate attitudes towards serious issues such as the evolving terms describing the medical problem of the cumulative mental trauma of soldiers in high-stress situations:
” … shell shock (World War I) → battle fatigue (World War II) → operational exhaustion (Korean War) → post-traumatic stress disorder (Vietnam War and later)
“He contended that, as the name of the condition became more complicated and seemingly arcane, sufferers of this condition have been taken less seriously and were given poorer treatment as a result. He also contended that Vietnam veterans would have received the proper care and attention they needed, if the condition were still called shell shock.”
What if we rebranded “rape” so that it was “unplanned sexual congress,” or even took up calling it USC? Makes it sound almost like an accident, doesn’t it? My goodness, just another unfortunate USC. How embarrassing, old chap, for all the parties concerned!
There’s some ugly shit in the world. We need those punchy, indelicate words to keep the offensiveness, the hurt, constantly in our faces. If there are a few bystanders whose feelings are hurt, that’s life.
From another point of view, hands are sock puppets suffering a wardrobe malfunction.
I’m thinking about starting a fast food chain called Just Kale.
I’d have to pull out some of the money I have invested in the Tasteless Pap chain. But hey.
Before they become sock puppets, they’re all just socks.
Man, that’s DEEP.
I hope zombies use more than 10 percent of their brainzzz.
That way, one brain could feed 10 careful zombies, instead of one really sloppy one.
Is anyone else getting kicked off Facebook repeatedly? I keep having to sign back in. I suspect it’s Homeland Security, or possibly the Deluminati, bollixing my connection with their spyware.
You guys aren’t fooling me! Even now, my minions are giving the super-miniaturized robotic attack spiders your scent!
Just typing the word “superhero” and it came out “superhore.”
Back off, DC Comics, it’s mine.
About ten years ago, I started to realize it was all of YOU who were weird, and that I was normal and good.
Gotta go now, I’ve got all this paste to eat.
By the way, if you like fast food but feel guilty about eating it, my advice is to go out right now, today, and eat as much as you want.
Seriously, after the Zombie Apocalypse, the menu options will change drastically. All that chicken, beef, pork, and fish you like so much? Gone. Gonna be nothing but brains.
And the vegetarian stuff? Ha.
I continue to want a Conscience Memorial in Washington, DC, something to honor all the protesters, conscientious objectors, and activists who refuse to accept the status quo, and who get things changed for the better.
You ever meet someone that you just instantly clicked with? I’m not talking about sexual attraction, or some kind of infatuation, but a sort of joyously comfortable ease in their company. Effortless true friendship, from both directions.
A half dozen times in my adult life, I’ve had that. I’ve met people I’ve instantly and hugely liked, and knew they felt the same thing from their side. Yet not a single goddam time has it worked out that we developed a long-term friendship. It was never their fault, or my fault, but something happened every time that prevented a friendship from taking place.
I wonder what some of those friendships would have been like. Where are those people who were accidentally perfect friends? And do they ever think about that time they met ME?
I went to the doctor and said, “Doc, I just can’t stop going up and down the stairs at my place. All day long, I’m going up the stairs, down the stairs. Some nights I can’t sleep, thinking about it, and I have to go out and go up and down the stairs.” After we talked some more and he checked me over, he said “I think you have obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s like you’re addicted to stairs.”
He recommended a 12-step program.
Ba-doomp-boomp. Vaudeville, I’m READY.
Probably most of us think multi-generational feuds are stupid. Your grandpappy shot my grandpappy, therefore I must try to kill you and your brothers, and vice versa. What?
But damn, we sure seem to buy into multi-generational guilt, multi-generational blame, for things like slavery and the settling of North and South America by Europeans.
Considering that most of us are pretty much owned by corporations and politicians, and that there’s a high probability the world is about to get hellish, there are more important things to be concerned about.
Street Wisdom #513:
They were stuck on that island for YEARS. But neither Ginger nor Mary Ann ever got pregnant. That’s why most contraceptives today are based on coconut milk.
If I ever go to the Mayo Clinic, I’m gonna go into the lunchroom and loudly say “Can I get some MUSTARD here?? Get it? MUSTARD in the MAYO Clinic! Haw-haw-haw!”
Because you just know they’ve never heard that.
Wouldn’t it be cool to live in a world where people who could think clearly and rationally were the ones you saw on TV, and the people who couldn’t were the ones who sat back and kept their mouths shut?
I must have told a hundred or so writer-wanna-bes “Go into a bookstore sometime and try to estimate how many thousands of books are on the shelves. Then multiply that by a thousand or so, and you have the number of would-be novelists out there writing books who never make it into print. THAT’S how hard it is to be a successful writer.”
No offense intended on the “writer-wanna-be” thing. I myself have been and still am a writer wanna-be. It’s just that I’m also, in part, a writer-really-did-it.
One of the funny things I hear from others fairly often is “Hey, I’ve got this great idea! You write it and we’ll split the money!” I have to explain that ideas are the EASY part, and every writer has more than he/she can ever do anything with. The value comes into writing by actually doing the writing — and re-writing, and re-writing, and re-writing — which is invariably a massive amount of tedious, brain-breaking work.
Ah, good. I was feeling all weak and stuff, but then I ate food, and that cleared it right up.
These earth bodies are tricky like that.
What would be cool is that we really ARE ruled by a secret society of adepts, but that they’re so secret not even THEY know who they are. And then it turned out that YOU are their leader — the one person in the world that everybody, to some degree, follows.
Speaking of which, just because I grow a beard doesn’t mean you ALL have to grow beards. Really, guys, stop.
Idea Book: Thinking about this previous status: “I wonder if world-class musicians occasionally drop in on small-town guitar shops and act like total noobs, then start rockin’ the place out. You know, just to fuck with people.”
… I think that would make a pretty good TV show, something like “Undercover Boss.” Professional musicians wander into small town guitar shops by ones and twos, then simultaneously begin playing world-class licks on guitar, bass, drums, whatever. A professional pianist wanders into a piano store like a complete doofus, then starts playing Chopin.
I’d watch it.
I’ve wanted to ask a few of the local cops: “Say there’s a disaster and marshal law is declared. Which side are you going to come down on? Are you going to serve the people here in your hometown, or are you going to join in with the repressive controller types who will treat us all like enemies?”
Too many people either won’t see this or won’t accept it. It’s like that thing where you tell one lie, and then have to defend it indefinitely by telling others, and still others, and still others, or else the whole thing comes crashing down and you’re revealed as someone never to be trusted.
The Bush administration, the people who backed them, voted for them, supported them, the people who supported the Iraq war, AND the people who sent their kids off to die in it … they can’t accept that Obama’s a decent man and a good president. They have to forever defend themselves and what they’ve done by lying, manipulating, allowing themselves to believe lies, hating, arguing, sucking on the Fox News teat, desperately cleaving to a whole cadre of liars and manipulators.
Their only choice to change their minds and see the true situation is to admit they were wrong, dead wrong, hatefully wrong, catastrophically wrong.
Too many of them just aren’t that good. They don’t have that kind of intelligence, they don’t have that kind of humility, they don’t have that kind of courage.
Idea Book: A movie called “Life With White People,” written entirely by African-American screenwriters, and acted by a majority African-American cast.
Hank Fox on Aging #37: I guess it’s good that greater physical fragility is accompanied by higher pain tolerance, but damn, it makes for some spectacular mystery bruises.
If we had food replicators like those on Star Trek, I suspect there would be a lot less “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.”
… and a lot more …
“Ice Cream. Black Walnut. Hot Fudge Syrup. Double serving. Uh, and with rainbow sprinkles. Did you get that? And maybe a bit more hot fudge syrup than last time. And a bigger spoon.”
Got an email offering “The Secret to Driving Your Partner Crazy in Bed!!”
I already know what it is. It’s a technique many men not only know, but come by naturally. Some even excel at it, completely without training.
But why would I need to learn to snore?
Your Supervillain Horoscope:
Today is a good day to be evil. If you happen to meet a superhero today, open the conversation with “So happy to make your acquaintance, Captain Fantastic. And now … DIE!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!”
Cultivate your lackeys, flunkeys and underlings. Later today, you may need rescue from the crumbling edge on the lip of a volcano.
Yesterday I saw a young woman bending over at a highway rest stop sunglass kiosk. Apparently she worked there, and she was getting some things out of a drawer in the bottom of her booth. Her shirt rode up, her pants rode down — a LOT — and to all passers-by she was exposing some thong-like lacey pink see-through panties, and about six inches of asscrack.
Can’t tell you how gutter-trash revolting that seemed to me.
A few days ago, I was thinking about why I’m so constantly surprised at how negative the reactions are to certain movies, ones that I saw and thoroughly enjoyed.
It might be because I was a theatre “critic” for a few years in Flagstaff, a fairly small town. I saw plays by world-class professional Shakespearean companies and elementary school children, and everything in between. (I saw Forever Plaid! I saw Twelfth Night! I saw Inherit the Wind! I saw Die Walkure of the Ring Cycle!)
The first thing about reviewing such disparate companies is, you learn to adjust your critical sensitivity to take the source into account. You don’t judge kids by the same standards as professionals.
The second thing is: Small-town theatre deserves all the support it can get. You CAN’T write a critical review in a small town. You have to look for things to like about the play, and write about that.
There third thing is, there’s ALWAYS something to like.
I liked the first two installments of The Hobbit. I liked Pacific Rim. I liked Man of Steel. I thought Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was goofy but fun. Hell, I liked Hudson Hawk.
Some people go into movies LOOKING for things to hate. And they succeed. I have to wonder: Why bother? Why go to all that trouble just to have a bad time? Jeez, if you hate the movies so much, if you KNOW you’re going to be disappointed, why not just stay home?
Me, if I’m spending $10, I’m going to 1) make an effort to meet the filmmaker halfway, and 2) enjoy what I can of it. Which is, fairly often, a lot.
In my honest opinion: Dunkin Donuts’ Oreo Cream filled donut is gross as hell.
Thought you should know what sorts of mistakes I’m making out here, so you don’t have to.
In an infinite universe, somewhere out there is that ONE planet where all of us are beautiful/handsome, young, successful, rich and famous.
We probably spend our time whining about how horrible our lives are.
“Today I asked the barrista for an iced caramel macchiato and he gave me an iced CHOCOLATE macchiato! I mean, OH MY GOD!! Can you IMAGINE?! I mean, seriously, it was like this absolute NIGHTMARE!!! I threw it in his face and said “THE NEXT TIME I ASKED FOR A CARAMEL MACCHIATO, GIVE ME A CARAMEL MACCHIATO, YOU COMPLETE DOLT!! —CARAMEL! CHOCOLATE! THEY DON’T SOUND ANYTHING ALIKE!! God, sometimes it’s like we’re living in a Nazi death camp.”
Dear Planet Earth. Stop sending me emails about new liberal-cause petitions. I’m petitioned out.
And honestly, I’d rather do something direct. Possibly involving an axe.
So, those people who think Barbie causes little girls to develop unhealthy ideas about body image … I’m wondering what they think about violence on TV or in video games.
They’re both about imagery, yet the dominant social meme is that one affects people profoundly, the other has no effect at all.
I don’t think the threat of violent television or video games is taken seriously by anyone. I doubt most people even understand what happens. The effect is statistical, not direct. No one specific person will be affected, but take the population as a whole, and something happens to SOME of them.
It’s ludicrous to believe that Coca Cola — or McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Toyota, Apple, etc. — would spend billions advertising, and not expect that it would work. No one specific person is swayed to buy a Coke, but plenty of faceless, nameless others are.
Whether the advertisement is for diamonds, gasoline, cellphones or violence, if we watch it enough, some of us buy the product.
The Joker isn’t REALLY an insane, murderous felon. He’s just misunderstood, and caught some bad breaks that FORCED him into a life of crime. I know some of the ladies out there are thinking about how you’d like to reform him, how you might like to propose marriage. You should totally do it.
Address all love letters and marriage proposals to The Joker, Extreme Violent Ward, Arkham Asylum, Gotham City.
Go ahead. Make a lonely man happy. You know you want to.
I’m going to trademark the word “copyright” and the “©” symbol.
True, it would then look like this — ©™ — but I’ll bet I make a shitload of money.
Today I had an idea that might conceivable destroy big corporate fast food restaurants.
But if I told you, Ronald McDonald would come after me. And the last thing I need is to be stalked by a clown.
(But I seriously had an idea like that.)
Did you hear about the Christian boy who turned down a date with an atheist girl because he heard atheists were wanton?
He didn’t like Chinese food.
Slinky toys give children an unhealthy image of how to go down stairs.
Did you read the news story about that Wal-Mart that closed down after the employees voted to unionize?
So … if you want to keep Wal-Mart out of your neighborhood, announce a Union membership drive the instant you hear about them planning the new store. And FOLLOW THROUGH.
In 2026, we will celebrate the 250th birthday of the United States. It would be cool as hell to have the History Channel run a months- or years-long special project, covering the American Revolution as if it was current news happening now. Cover all the important events, talk to the movers and shakers — on all sides — of the Revolution, have panel discussions, and show actual battles as if they were breaking news.
Each event would be covered on its own specific 250th anniversary. The Battle of Saratoga, Washington crossing the Delaware, Paul Revere’s ride, all of it. And especially the Constitutional Convention.
It would be the miniseries to end all miniseries.
Of course, it could only happen if the HISTORY Channel can tear themselves away from fucking Pawn Stars and Ice Road Truckers.
On Alternate Earth, where we evolved from ursids, it’s a Bear Mitzvah.
And nobody there thinks that’s funny.
When I was 14, I was cleaning my fingernails with a razor-sharp scalpel in biology lab, and I accidentally stabbed myself in the leg. The teacher sent me to the school nurse, and she made me TAKE MY PANTS DOWN so she could bandage me. Mortifying.
Funny thing was, I don’t think they notified my parents. Talk about your different time, huh? I’d bet today there would be mass shrieking, and a major investigation. “Oh my GOD!! You mean my little darling might get STABBED in biology class?? I’m pulling him out of this class, and this school!! Also, I think this teacher should be FIRED!!!”
Speaking as a former child, stuff like that would be a nightmare.
In the future, Facebook will have an app that will automatically wish people a happy birthday. So you can make them think you care about them. Without actually caring.
I sometimes get into arguments on such subjects as racism, feminism, other liberal issues, not because I disagree totally, but because I’m an editor, which means perfectionist. Somebody makes a blanket statement — “There’s no such thing as reverse racism!” or “All men are potential rapists!” — and I always want to say “Uh, that’s not QUITE right.”
And oh god, there are some people you don’t dare disagree with.
When FBI agents are wire-tapping Robin Williams, I wonder if they sometimes just burst out laughing when they listen to the tapes.
As for the rest of us, they don’t even have to investigate us anymore. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, so many other places, we TELL them what we’re doing and thinking, right out in the open.
By the way, on my morning jog through the park, I had nothing to do with that crying 5-year-old. It was MY ice cream. I have NO idea what happened to his.
A pre-Apocalypse message to the zombies:
After you bite and infect everybody, and we’re all zombies, where are the fresh brains gonna come from? Huh? Just think ahead at bit, is all I’m asking. Bite, like, every tenth person. That way, there’s some of ’em left to reproduce. We could maybe gather the breeders up in a walled city or something, and then raid them every ten years, and only go for the old ones.
Also, Zombie Health Tip #1: Quit before you’re full. Don’t eat a whole brain in one sitting. Eat one-quarter or one-half, and come back later.
Widen the definition just a bit and you’re ‘kin’ to everyone and everything that ever lived.
[ Afterword: The bit about Robin Williams was written long before this recent news about his death, and posted this morning before the news broke. I’m leaving it in … just because. ]