Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Dose of Matrimony?

Think I should do it?

It'd be a nice fuck you! to The Man, but . . . marriage is as much of a tool of The Man as religion.

Maybe I should do one of those pros/cons tables:


--A nice fuck you! to The Man
--Power (of a sort) . . . sweet, sweet power. . . .
--Receptions, free food, free booze
--Three hundred clams just to say some words that don't mean anything
--Don't have license or car, but can probably bum rides to and from with friends
--I can make people call me "Your Ministership" . . . and get out of work for religious reasons?
--Marrying gay atheists.
--Meet interesting people
--Some new clothes that can also double as "job interview" togs, because I am this close at work
--Might help me drag the big stick out of my ass re: marriage.


--Marriage . . . a tool of The Man?
--Responsibility (not being late to weddings, not flubbing lines, not giggling or being sarcastic)
--Receptions, crappy free food, watered down free booze
--Possible loss of the occasional night or weekend
--My dirtbag friends--not likely to be welcome on a solemn occasion.
--Ministership, meh. I'd prefer to be called Her Awesomeness. Not likely to happen. Plus, time off for religious reasons would still cut into my PTO.
--Putting the shackles of matrimony on (probably) nice people.
--I hate people.
--Will probably have to get something fancy and not riddled with holes to wear, which would cut into my steampunk wardrobe budget.
--Hypocritical of me to usher others into something I couldn't imagine doing (unless I was getting paid to help someone stay in the country)?

Any insight from the public at large would be appreciated.

Freshly back from the dentist, where to my delight, not only was cavity Number Six close to the nerve, but they didn't give me enough novocaine (sp?), and so had to stop halfway through due to me thrashing and mewling like a throat-cut lamb due to the intense fucking waves of pain.

Curse my cavity-prone genes.

Found this, and am instantly in love with it, hope the rest of the blog is as interesting.

PhillyChief mentioned RuPaul's Drag Race in a post or comment somewhere, so I gave it a look-see over the weekend. Watched the marathon. I actually can't wait for season two, if there is one. I still think Nina Flowers should've won.

I love the Man of La Mancha soundtrack. One of the best operas ever.

The reading up on arguments and apologetics slogs on. Not sure how much I've internalized, but, well, I'm soon to find out.

Tempted to start Practical Ethics, but I own that. Once I've made more headway on the skillion library books I've had out since forever, then I'll start on Mr. Singer.

More to say, none of it important. After a restless night and pain-filled morning I'm achy, woozy, and ready to take some acetaminophen and crash till Judge Judy comes on. Or maybe till Olbermann comes on, the way I feel.

Gotta love a day off from work.

"No horror can be more terrible than the daily torture of the commonplace." --HP Lovecraft

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ah, me . . . logic. . . ?

Up to my ass and then some in illogical fallacies, arguments, premise, conclusion, deductive and inductive reasoning, and my personal fave, PhillyChief's Better Moments. Trying to teach myself how to argue gooder, and beat back the theistic hordes battering the gates of reason.

I dunno how much of the dry fact-y type stuff is sticking, but I've read and reread it so much that hopefully, as I apply it to more things, it'll become second nature. What I can't understand is why every student, in either junior high or high school, isn't made to take a mandatory class on critical thinking. Well, I have an idea. Let's see if I can turn it into an sound inductive argument:

Premise 1: Since critical thinking is the careful, deliberate determination of whether we should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim and the degree of confidence with which we accept or reject it--

Premise 2: It's implicit that it's more difficult to mislead and/or distract someone who is accustomed to thinking critically, and examining everything. Therefore,

Conclusion: It is my conclusion that those in authority, whether parent, teacher, or government, are unlikely to push for mandatory critical thinking classes in public schools.

Hmm. I think Premise 2 might actually be a conclusion. And the Conclusion's probably an appeal to emotion (cynicism) . . . meh. It's my maiden voyage--sue me.

Back to the mines. . . .

"No horror can be more terrible than the daily torture of the commonplace." --HP Lovecraft

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mixed Doses.

Sometimes . . . I come across something that makes me want to vomit 'til I die.

Which I then have to follow up with something a bit lighter.

And then there's a bit of backslide. . . .

"No horror can be more terrible than the daily torture of the commonplace." --HP Lovecraft

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Dose of Condell. . . .

And what a refreshing elixir, it is:

"Long, old beard-y faces" . . . oh, Pat. I think I love that bit most of all. . . .

"No horror can be more terrible than the daily torture of the commonplace." --HP Lovecraft

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Book-ramble, and some other stuff

Argh, Kingston's holding its St Pat's Day parade today, and the drumming is really getting on my nerves. St. Pat's is only fun for me when I'm drunk. When I'm not, it's obnoxious and pointless. (See George Carlin's take on Irish/ Whatevs Pride in It's Bad For Ya.)

Recently finished reading Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely, and Jeebus, but human beings are predictably irrational. Some of the experiments detailed in the book--why expensive medicine works better than modestly priced or even cheap medicine--come to conclusions I've drawn on my own. But it also made me think about other irrationalities humans are prone to: why people can enjoy a beer with balsamic vinegar in it . . . unless you tell them there's vinegar in it beforehand. Why the word "free" short circuits what passes for rational thought in many people, making us more likely to grab three of something crappy and free, at the expense of one that's better and with a price tag. Going bid-crazy on eBay.

More importantly, it raises serious questions about the use of placebos and the ethics of keeping patients in the dark about their use. About doctors doing things like prescribing anti-biotics for viral infections, or the medical establishment as a whole being unwilling to really find out if so many of the surgeries performed on patients are necessary, when so many show improvement just from thinking they've been operated on.

So, not only are most people susceptible to practical jokes of all sorts, but they're sometimes better for being deceived. (I'd mention how it reminds me exactly of what Ozymandias says near the end of Watchmen, but I think I've established my geek-cred beyond question, as it is.)

I suppose that this power of positive placebo is hardly surprising or mystifying. If psychosomatic symptoms can make people feel pain--if men can experience "sympathetic pregnancies"--then the reverse certainly ought to hold water. Which naturally makes one wonder (and if one doesn't wonder naturally, the book will helpfully prompt you to forward) if human so-called reasoning is even less reasonable than the pessimists among us imagine.

How marvelous and frightening is it that not only is the human brain immensely powerful and subtle, but that at the reins of this complex difference engine is a frightened, stupid, occasionally gibbering madman, prone to mood swings and susceptible to a mish-mash of hormones?

How humbling and steadying it is that we don't yet truly understand the feats our brains are capable of, let alone have the ability to use its resources fully.

Also finished David Sedaris's When You Are Engulfed In Flames. Touching, amusing, and insightful, as always. He makes me think that, if my life was more interesting, I could try my hand at being an essayist. And at learning to speak French and Japanese.

About to start Tom Paine, by John Keane, and I'm sooper siked (also wanna get his Vaclav Havel), and will likely reread The Stranger and The End of Faith.

Got a hair cut. I literally told the barber I wanted an "Obama", something short, neat and presidential. Bye-bye kooky, spiral-curly afro, hello blessed androgyny. The hair cut's caused so many double-takes, it's amazing. This one guy nearly broke his neck doing an unprecedented quadruple-take, trying to figure out if I was a dude or a chick. At least I assume that's what caused the look, as opposed to my ICP t-shirt or the armload of massively overdue library books.

Downside of the hair cut--I re-found that grey hair I first encountered back in August, and it almost totally resisted the clipper. It was still long and now way visible. Except to the barber who missed it. So I cut it myself. I'm now thirty percent more able pretend I'm not one step closer to my own personal underground sabbatical.

My Rorschach collectible figurine? Still in the unopened, original packaging. My will to power is heretofore unparalleled in human history. Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.

And now, I present Indian Thriller, and what it sounds like in English . . . just because I feel like it (by now, it hopefully goes without saying that nothing with a youtube logo is 'mine' in any sense of the word):

"No horror can be more terrible than the daily torture of the commonplace." --HP Lovecraft

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Pretty solid film. Streamlined and unwieldy simultaneously. Delightful and dark, like the devil in a tutu.

Standout player? Jack Haley as Rorschach. Phe-fucking-nomenal.

Jeffrey Morgan was a surprise in the film--a solid actor, but he showed some nice range. Matthew Goode and Billy Crudup acquitted themselves particularly well. I'm gonna have to see it a few more times before I can dissect it with any skill . . . no snickers from the peanut gallery, I can, too, dissect a film. As opposed to squeeing maniacally like a psychotic fangrrl.

A few people walked out--really old and fairly young. The oldsters were, I think offended by some of the, er, grit. Can't remember whenabouts they left, but I doubt they even made it to the mile-high sex scene. The youngsters probably were having trouble following the storyline.

("Who's this . . . Richard Nixon-dude, and what is this Soviet Union you speak of?")

Was it as well put together as V For Vendetta? I don't think so. V For Vendetta was, imho, damn near perfect. But it had similar themes. As to whether or not the ending is happy . . . well, it's debatable. Hope, abounds at the end, in more than one sense, for more than one side. It's water in the desert and a knife in the gut.

Strong deist overtones, with atheist leanings. And even the deist-y bits exuded a healthy and skeptical distrust of anything akin to a god. Especially the ones in human form. One premise I walked away with is: gods don't do anything because it's the right thing to do. Anything they do is right because they're gods. To borrow from a great sage and eminent madman, they're not final because they're right, they're right because they're final.

There's something perfectly terrible and admirable about one person with the power, ambition, willpower and sheer chutzpah to impose his will on the world without regard for consequences beyond his own specific agenda.

I highly recommend this movie. I've been hearing it gets mixed reviews--and I can see that it would if anyone was expecting a brainless summer-style blockbuster. Smart marketing, that, not throwing this in the summer melee. It would've flopped next to something sleeker, prettier and emptier. This movie would've been a painted lead balloon next to glitz, and fluff and stuff. This is not light fare, nor is it kiddie fare. I mean, the movie group agreed that we've all seen more than enough blue cock to last us six lifetimes. But. . . .

I've gotta see it again later today.


Saw it again, still love it. Still can't say anything other than I love you, Rorschach, you psychotic little fuck! I love you!

Ah, and The Comedian. Ably played, and the only character as interestingly drawn as Rorschach.

In other related news . . .

I'd comment on the site, but . . . it hardly seems worth it. I dunno, maybe tomorrow. Now, I'm too fried. Haven't gotten much sleep over the past few days and when I do, I have weird dreams.

Hah, on the way to see Watchmen again--dragged my poor mom to see it, since the movie group was Watchman-ed out--this cute, boyish guy, thirty-eight or forty, on the bus, who I thought was high . . . was actually just high on Jeebus. On some kinda Xtianity-new Age-bullshit mongrel mix of theism.

He was in stealth mode or something, at first. Talking about how awesome the ride to the mall was--that shoulda been my first clue he was a little off--and just chatting with everyone around him. He was clean, laidback, not creepy. Started talking with me, which I should've discouraged, but didn't because he was middling fuckable and said I gave off such "coolness". he could tell I was just a really cool person.


Then he asked me if I read the bible. I said no, not really, as alarm bells went off in my head. Tried to deflect the convo to other areas that wouldn't result in me telling him to shut the fuck up.

Then, after I've let him draw me into another half-assed (on my part) convo, he starts talking about faith and how god provides, and how even though it sometimes seems like those without faith get everything, we still have to have faith the big G-D will provide.

"Well, maybe one of the reasons the faithless get more stuff, is because they're willing to work and fight for it," I ventured dryly, thinking: point. Set. Match, bitch. Then I went in for the kill. "They don't, you know, wait for anyone to hand them something, they go after what they want."

(Ala Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias. Seriously, I've got Watchmen on the brain, and probably will for the next two months.)

"YES!" he says, the first flash of excitement he's dispalyed. Not Zeal, but just happy that we were on the same--he thought--wavelength. Me, well, I just though: I converted one! Score! I should find a way to bring up the ritualistic, celebratory welcome-to-the-dark-side!sex that comes free with every rejection of a belief system.

But then he had to go and ruin it by adding, "only a person with faith could grasp that so perfectly! You may not read the bible but I can tell you have such pure faith! The faithless are very grabby and always trying to take stuff because they just don't get--you know?--that God, you know, will provide."

My gobsmacked response? A very dignified ::headdesk::

They really only hear what they want to hear. In his case, possibly because he's just completely oblivious--he didn't notice I wasn't on the bus alone, that once we got to the mall, I was walking with my mother. Didn't notice iit was time for us to part ways. He got all nervous and cutely flustered. Either in a I'd-like-to-ask-you-to-the-spring-formal way or an I-find-your-ambiguity-regarding-faith-an-interesting-challenge-and-I-aim-to-make-you-a-trophy-for-Jeebus way. Who can tell with people--especially Jeebus-freaks?

He said he didn't wanna horn in on my mom-time any more than he had--and it only took five minutes of my impatient hinting--but that he'd like to hang out with me more.

So we exchanged emails. (I almost gave him my blogger address, but my desire to shock the Jeebus out of him isn't as great as my desire to fuck the Jeebus out of him. God sure wouldn't want him after I was done with him, hah.) I don't normally give out contact info, basically inviting conversation and circular debates with a New-Age Jeebus freak, but he was do-able--it's not what passes for his mind that I'm interested in--and I don't often say that about guys. Especially guys with imaginary friends who grant wishes and live on clouds. . . .

Still, though. He totally twisted what I said to make it fit his world view. I don't know what I wanna do more: fuck him or kidney punch him till he shits blood. How dare he? How dare he alter the meaning behind my words to suit his delusions? Was he even conscious of doing it? If not, how does someone get to the point where they can't see a person for what they are, even when the person flat out says it?

Why are some Jeebus freaks so damn hot? Why do I find insanity so hot?

Why does my "I'm really enjoying this stupid fucking conversation" smile look so much like my "there's a snuff film going on behind my eyes and you're the star" smile.

When can I see Watchmen again?

And why the hell is that thing in there with my beef jerky if it isn't edible? Who puts inedible plastic packets in bags of beef jerky?

Well . . . beef jerky manufacturers, obviously. But why?

I need sleep.

"No horror can be more terrible than the daily torture of the commonplace." --HP Lovecraft

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Opinions. . . ? Suggestions. . . ?

My friend commissioned a tattoo design from me--I'm not gonna recount the long, philosophical conversation that led to it, but, she wanted some animal, preferably a mammal, humping a penguin.

We both agreed that this would be a fine tattoo for children of all ages, and so I've been trying, for months, to settle on a mammal. I finally decided on an aardvark as the hump-er.

Pictured are the preliminary sketches of both animals, then my two finalist "styles" for tidying up:

The choppier, messier one (pictured directly below the aardvark) has all this cool, implied motion--bow chicka wow wow--and is my favorite. But the neater one (sorta below the penguin) is, well, neater. And looks more like lame modern dance as executed by animals, as opposed to a penguin taking it fast and hard.

That fifth thing, about the lovely bunch of coconuts (deedle-dee-dee) is just me being an ass.

I'll probably wind up showing both to Ari and letting her decide for herself, but still. An objective opinion couldn't hurt. She says it's going low on her calf or high on her arm. I'm thinking I'll go cartoon-ish is the movement-y one. If it's modern dance one . . . stark lines/abstract.

And if I can get the former the way I like it, I'm gonna get it tattooed on my shoulder :D

"No horror can be more terrible than the daily torture of the commonplace." --HP Lovecraft