Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blog resurrection, Part VIII

Wow, still a good bit to go, I was hoping for a 10 part series but it may come to be 12 or more.

This segment contains my most controversial post about church Marquees and how inane and utterly ridiculous they all are.


So I am looking through some old stuff i've written and came across the beginning of a Short Story I started. Read it and let me know what you think. Its still in the 'alpha' stage so look at content not presentation.

Best Served Cold

Drawn out of hiding, the dagger hissed with deadly intent through the cool night air. The super-cooled form flashed naked into the moonless starlight and ended its abrupt mission in the neck of an evil man. Behind the blade stood a black-clad and miserable youth. At the other end a premier murderer was paralyzed with fear.
With all the finesse of a hung-over butcher, the youth cut off the index finger of his left glove and poked it inside the dying killer. A flicker of a smile darted across his lips as he plugged the steaming blood as it escaped. Overwhelming warmth enclosed on numb fingers as he shoved aside muscle and tendon until he touched larynx. The few droplets that managed to fall to earth were already frozen when they hit.
The boy slashed dispassionately through lower thighs and let gravity force his victim earthward. Now, incapable of flight or speech, S was already a dead man. Crouching ever so patiently, the boy hunched forward and whispered “Before I decided exactly how to kill you, I thought of removing your vocal chords and making an instrument to play, so you might speak again. But I decided something altogether more fitting for you.”
Holding the knife at arms length, both men watched it slowly and impossibly melting.
“No one will ever find this murder weapon my friend, it’s ice. Colder than Dante’s nightmare and sharper than Excalibur it disappears like a crysknife into plain old water.”
S simply gurgled in abject fury.
“Perhaps you know who I am, perhaps not. My name is Wyllder Heyling, and you stole someone very dear to me. Think back, about say nine months ago, way back in Washington. That girl, the blonde outside the courthouse, was my sister. What you don’t know is that I saw the security tapes of what you did to her, everything you did to her will be revisited on you tenfold.
S tried to wriggle away but only succeeded in cutting his hands and face on the frozen ground. Heyling looked on him with all the pity of scorched earth, no love lingered in his eyes.
“Total erasure of your existence is what my destiny seems to be. I don’t mind so much, cutting off a cancer like you is a service to humanity. Now, you just think about that until we get back to my place.”
With that he dragged S’s body onto a stretcher hidden by some trashcans and lashed him into immobility. Muffled screams went unheeded until Wyllder put an oxygen mask on him. Now he could safely ignore any whimpering and pleading. Before leaving, Wyllder blasted the bloody part of alley with steam and covered the ground with hasty handfuls of salt. After the skirmish the water reformed leaving no trace of the blood, the knife, or the tire tracks from Wyllder Heyling’s rental van.

posted by Seth # 4:31 PM

Man, the highlight of my day so far has been getting out of my SOC 205 (jobs and work) test. This happened through no virtue of mine but in a crucial and catastrophic error by the teacher. He passed out the tests not realizing that the answers were bolded and stood out like hell. There were some admirable efforts to contain this info (and hence secure a 100% 100 grade distribution) but to many fucking retards snickered and giggled and he caught on.

Those dumb motherfuckers, now we have to take the test for real. Good thing its an easy class. My one regret is not keeping my copy so I’d have a badass study guide to go by but I was close to the door and he took mine back before I could bolt.

So I picked up some lil dino’s and my paycheck then headed to the LRL to kill some time before swimming. Food has to digest you know. And ironically that’s the topic of today’s entry. There is just one thing I have to say first.

Kim Getty, my adolescent psych teacher, is fucking hot and she was in the LRL today. Cue the slurpy noise following ‘fava beans and a nice chianti…’

Ok, so we talked in bio psych today about something that I have written about before and now learned that there is a biological precedent for it! Basically it involves the relationship between how we act based on what we desire and what desires have been fulfilled.

Any guy that’s boned a ho that he didn’t really like (except for her having a vagina and or a mouth) knows that sinking feeling afterwards of ‘ah fuck, now she’s gonna want to cuddle.’ It’s a bad feeling, because you really don’t care about the girl, you just wanted to bust a dirty nut in her hair.

This brings up an interesting point and another crucial aspect of the Grand Design. For your refreshment the Grand Design is just the skeleton of truths that make up the philosophy I go by for the most part. (Since I can’t know everything I have to be content with a good outline that can be filled in and modified easily)

Let’s call it ‘The Test.’ Specifically this is the test for affection. Pretend you’re a horny guy, or if you are a horny guy just muse along with this. There’s a girl you really like and really wanna be with or date or whatever…but how do you really know its real attraction or you’re just being a lonely bitch. Well, do the test.

Its very simple. Just follow the steps.

A: Think about the girl you like
B: Jerk Off
C: Reevaluate and see if she’s still kosher or not.

If so, give her a call and make a date, good luck. If not, keep her on a tight leash IN THE SPANK BANK but don’t let her out. There have been to many Kelly’s and Sara’s (ie one of each) to risk your time and money on sub par pussy.

But lets say affection prevails over testosterone…oh wait, it doesn’t. Moving on…

The test is genius because of its simplicity. If you just want a nicely shaped hole to dump cum in, then when sexually satisfied you have no further desire to pump up the jam, or the gas grill or whatever. Lets say you have a craving for chocolate, but maybe you’re just hungry. Eat something, if you still want chocolate then get some for desert. If not, then go do something else (like anything else.)

More over, the initial situation (viz post coital nausea) illustrates an important point of desire. Once satisfied, these cravings often seem vile and useless. Seinfeld talks about how upset you are when you get the bill ‘why am I buying all this food, I’m not hungry.’ Now you are sickened by the thought of eating, whereas before you couldn’t stop yourself from being the emperor of the table.

Maybe this means robots will find all human desires disgusting or base. Or perhaps this is why religion shuns all material things. I mean, God doesn’t need anything, so why shouldn’t he find giving in to temptation revolting. But then again the holocaust happened so lets not put anything past God.

On perhaps a stranger note this goes back to my biological precedent and the role of insulin. As we all know, insulin is what regulates getting glucose from the bloodstream to the cells. If we increase our insulin we get hungry and we also use and store more from our food. One of the criticisms people give for overweight types is that they’re lazy or something. Well with higher insulin levels eating the same amount will STILL MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT. Take THAT law of conservation of energy. Actually the law holds it’s just a matter of how much gets used and how much gets stored. Low insulin means glucose in the blood stream has a hard time getting either used or stored. Then, even eating more will not help you gain weight or feed your cells.

It does seem strange that such a thing would happen, eating the same and gaining weight. Though not really all that strange when you compare low insulin behavior and starving people behavior (they are very similar.)

Oh, and there is something else I have to address. If you saw the Matrix Reloaded you probably remember a line by agent smith that is something like ‘for without purpose, we would not exist.’

Now I can see how some people could take that many ways. Some would use it as an argument in favor of God. After all, if there is a creator then there is probably some purpose to the universe (maybe he just got bored?) However, someone abused the notion and tried to apply it to evolution and for that I must countermand the short sightedness of that comment.
Consider their point of view, things that evolve fulfill some purpose and therefore they would not exist unless that purpose is useful and helps the animal survive. True enough except for one crucial detail: Nothing in biology exists solely for one purpose alone.

Lets look at a bird first of all. What makes a bird a bird? Feathers, wings, hollow bones, eggs? Whatever your criteria, lets look at these adaptations and see just what purpose they serve.

Ok, feathers, that’s easy right? They help a bird fly…but not all birds fly! Why the hell does an ostrich need feathers? Oh, for temperature regulation. So that’s at least two purposes. Now how about peacocks, do all the gaudy feathers and crap make them tougher or smarter or more agile in any way? The answer is of course ‘hell no, they are there so the blinged out birds get laid and the drab ones don’t, no problem.

What about wings…ok, THOSE definitely help a bird fly. They definitely don’t help all birds fly though. What they can help with is lift. Even birds that don’t fly extend their wings to the side when they run. To what end? To make them lighter and therefore faster. More energy can be devoted to moving forwards rather than resisting gravity as we bound forward and sink down.

You can see where this is going. The problem with most people’s understanding about evolution is that animals have traits that have pluses and minuses according to their environment. Wings may help one bird fly in a calm area, but if its always windy then they probably won’t do so well. Being bigger or stronger carries similar consequences. If you’re huge, then you can be faster or stronger than everyone else and get more food. But if there’s a shortage and you need more food to survive then you are fucked.

So here’s a much better version of said statement. “Evolution gives us no purpose, only potential.” And that’s why people are at the top of every food chain. We are some cunning motherfuckers.

Just take a look at the human body, its not the fastest, strongest, most agile or best at really anything that’s purely physical. But couple a mediocre body with a stellar brain and you get a scary bunch of shaved apes stomping around the jungle with spears, and fire and music. The rest of the animals didn’t stand a chance.

Look at your hands! You evolved to fucking kill antelope and eat seeds, nuts, fruit and berries. And you’re communicating behind a flashing screen and typing with the same set of hands that other people cook, clean, fight, and use for every tool and purpose on the earth. Now giving something smart an empty hand with an opposable thumb is what I call adaptability! We can make purpose just as readily as we make bread.

posted by Seth # 10:48 AM

So its been another long gap, almost a week in fact since my last entry. But rest assured I’ve not been so idle in the other areas of my life. In fact, the real writing project (aka the novel, Fair Coin) has been going splendidly. Chapters 1-15 are done! That’s more than the half of the story line that I’ve written. Add that to the near complete histories and the nonexistant side story and it averages to an idealistic place I call the draft halfway point.

It’s a fucking miracle that this has gotten done. I don’t wanna rant or rave about my own accomplishments but I’ll relate something I thought of during my writing marathon last night (meaning it added up to 26 miles of text.)

Ok it didn’t really add up to 26 miles...but maybe one or two at least.

If you’re familiar with the storyline at all you should understand this but if not I’ll give it some background. The protagonist (Maynard Cassidy, aka M) in chapter 14 just found out a girl that he loved and lost is taken by a whiny, conniving bootlick. Needless to say it’s a sickeningly autobiographical chapter of my life condensed into about a day of the book time.

I wonder first of all why I chose the story line I did.

The theme of course is a look into the danger of dark spaces and what goes on under the noses and behind the backs of ‘normal’ people. I could have chosen several ways to go about this or many conflicts for my characters to face. Beyond the little details I find the very edges of my idealogy sticking out into space.

Some chance to exercise my wit on paper is good, but there is more. Archetypes and figures of legend litter the landscape and nearly every character has some sort of piece of me to them. Is it some grandiose rationalization of my own internal struggles. It could almost work, the various extremes that composite my personality are illustrated so blatantly I shudder to think of how naked my mind’s workings will be should this ever be published.

But then I remember that subtlety is so easily lost on most people and outside my immediate friends the allusions and tone will be lost on them. Which made me ponder if its just a great big way of saying ‘hey, fuck you I wrote a book!’ to the world at large.

What if strangers read it!?

Holy crap that’s a sobering thought. And worse, what if they think I’m an asshole or hate everyone. Well fuck them then! Besides, apparently enough strangers talk shit for me to not be bothered by it. And if you’re reading this, have a negative opinion of me and haven’t actually met me consider this my justification for not liking you either.

The real point of this entry is to talk about dreams. Its one of those things that happen, dreaming that is, that people take for granted but no one really knows about.

Forgive my immediate dismissal of supernatural or metaphysical communication, cuz visions and prophecy can lick my left nut for all I care. Biologically there is a measureable difference between dreams that occur during sleep and REM sleep. REM sleep is the special sleep where your eyes flitter back and forth and brain activity is increased. Most dreams, but not all, occur during this part of the sleep cycle.

Why? God I wish I knew so I could write a book about it and retire with my thumb up my butt. But opinions vary. One such theory I think holds promise as a ‘part of the picture’ type situation.
Your cornea, a key feature of your eye, gets most of its oxygen from simple exposure to the air. Now when you sleep with eyes closed it can’t do that. This hypothesis supposes that the brain activity during REM sleep is just to make sure the eyes get enough oxygen to avoid corneal damage.

Its not a very sexy hypothesis, but it did give me an idea into what is perhaps a better (or closer to the truth) description. Consider the implications...your brain does not need to be as active as it is during REM sleep just to wiggle the eye around. Hell that could be a reflex if it was that important.

What do we do with our eyes during daytime. We see! Now since we remember visual data and sound primarily (basing this on its easier to picture someone you know then vividly recall a smell) this could be a clue. As we absorb information our eyes jump from point to point and analyze as they do. Perhaps there is something going on in our brains that REM is just a symptom of.

Consider this analogy. If you were going to predict where the curve of a function was going to intersect a line at a certain point you have two options. One, you could plot out every point the curve will follow until you reach the intercept. Or, you could bust that into an equation and arrive at the correct answer without all that tedium between. The difference between these two methods is important to remember. Consider the first animation, and the second calculation.

Now stick this into the mix. When you are awake and thinking your mind jumps violently around for past data and insight. Images, sights, sounds, smells and tastes are all easily recalled and messages remembered and sent to their appropriate response activators. Think of imagining cake and see if the mouth waters. Now a lot of the data being kicked around is sensory and motor and very little is actually devoted to memory.

I hope I haven’t lost you, but here goes the punchline. When sleeping the brain has mechanisms which manipulate data and help sort things into long term memory. Not just regular long term memory, but ultra long term memory. Think of defragging your hard drive. You’d do it overnight when you don’t need processing power for seeing or moving around or watching porn yes? Same thing with the brain, its just taking advantage of the inactivity to do whatever the hell its doing.

I suspect some kind of organization process is going on. Consider the content of dreams. Some are longer, more vivid and more realistic than others. Many are involved with recent or current events mixed with stuff from the past and outright strange instances. If true, and the brain is trying to better organize your ideas on the matter then dreams could be when leaks or misfires occur. Every library misplaces things or stuff gets lost and stolen, why not the biological one inside your brain?

The reduction in brain activity could be interpreted as less activity. It seems obvious, less = less. But maybe not. Perhaps when we are awake there is a general heightened level of response to the environment. Just as a car idles whether its being driven or not, the brain has to keep running. Now when you’re asleep it stands to reason you only need the involuntary functions to keep you breathing and whatnot since you aren’t moving and doing very little sensory processing.

I wish I knew how much you should be using to see, think and all that jazz of being awake so I could subtract it from a relaxed state. If I got less than REM sleep’s value we would have good evidence that the brain is doing something fun that it doesn’t do normally when we’re awake.

Or maybe its God talking to you.
posted by Seth # 12:00 PM
It occurred to me today that I have long neglected a topic I need to light on in my weblog. This topic? All the fucking religious billboards, advertisements and church marquees strewn about Concord like so many pungee sticks dipped in human fecal matter.


Here are some repulsive examples. I will address the most heinous among them.

Let's meet at my house Sunday before the game. -God

Translation: Jesus has to compete with football.

C'mon over and bring the kids. -God

Indoctrination and fun for the whole family!

What part of "Thou Shalt Not..." didn't you understand? -God

They apparently didn't catch the whole 'don't take the lord's name in vain thing.

We need to talk. -God

Shut up God.

Keep using my name in vain, I'll make rush hour longer. -God

Some witty little christian (and I do not capitalize for fear of lumping them into an actual religious group) actually thinks this is funny and clever. What a low brow jackass.

Loved the wedding, invite me to the marriage. -God

Cuz you know, sex with your wife is supposed to be a threesome with God. So, since Jesus is a man, its really OK to be gay or bi.

That "Love Thy Neighbor" thing ... I meant it. -God

What if she's ugly, then can she just be a friend?

I love you and you and you and you and ... -God

Thanks God.

Will the road you're on get you to my place? -God

Will anything get our hedonist asses into heaven? That's a good question, its like the whole 'a rich man may enter heaven but its as difficult as threading a camel through the eye of a needle. We're a relatively rich country in terms of consumption and overt spending, so does that mean we're screwed. And also, does the translation mean 'camel' as in the big animal with infamous toes or 'camel' as in thick twine. Also, since both would be impossible with a modern thread needle...can we make a fat needle, thread a piece of twine through it and be guaranteed a place in eternal bliss? Or do we have to make one big enough to shove a camel's ass through it?

Follow me. -God

But don't look at anything else, ask directions, check a map, stop to piss or consider going somewhere else. Do bring everyone with you though, whether they want to or not.

Big bang theory, you've got to be kidding. -God

The only joke here is that people laugh at that statement and are so blind to their ignorance its makes me shriek with horrified laughter.

My way is the highway. -God

So there is tar in heaven? Thanks david cross.

Need directions? -God

Shouldn't all the ones that are phrased as questions be kind of suspect...i mean, God knows if he exists...lets not belittle his/her/its intelligence.

You think it's hot here? -God

Threats, that's GOOD psychology there. Nice try Jerry Falwell.

Have you read my #1 best seller? There will be a test. -God

Because popularity is always the best measure of validity...this brings up an interesting point which i will address after my gratuitous slandering comes to an end.

Do you have any idea where you're going? -God

Worm food is my final destination, I can only hope that someday my component particles will be part of your daughter's abortion and that my last breath will carry a speck of dust into your eye.

Don't make me come down there. –God

PLEASE DO. I am not strong enough to smite every hypocrite off the face of this fucking planet. God could do a lot of good down here. First, solving all of people's problems would be nice, terraforming venus and mars for us and allowing everyone to flourish and be free of the torture, mutilation and persecution visited upon us through all of history. Of course we would have to ask why he let not one but dozens of holocausts happen. And then we could end the debate on whether or not 'god' really said all these cheesy ass expressions or if they are just MARKETING for the faith. Christ that sickens me.

The church marquees aren't much better and they are far to numerous to mention, I will however include some examples before smashing the idea behind them to little pieces of quark plasma.

"The best vitamin for a Christian is B1"
"Under same management for over 2000 years"
"Soul food served here"
"Tithe if you love Jesus! Anyone can honk!"
"You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving"
"Beat the Christmas rush, come to church this Sabbath!"
"Don't wait for the hearse to take you to church"
"We should be more concerned with the Rock Of Ages, instead of the age of rocks"
"Don't give up. Moses was once a basket case!"
"Come early for a good Back-seat"
"Life has many choices, Eternity has two. What's yours?"
"Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due"
"A man's character is like a fence. It cannot be strengthened by whitewash"
"Wal-Mart isn't the only saving place!"
"Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary"
"Delay is preferable to error"
"It's hard to stumble when you're down on your knees"
"What part of "THOU SHALT NOT" don't you understand?"
"A clear conscience makes a soft pillow"
"The wages of sin is death. Repent before payday"
"Never give the devil a ride. He will always want to drive"
"Can't sleep? Try counting your blessings"
"Forbidden fruit creates many jams"
"May is God's apology for February"
"To belittle is to be little"
"Don't let the littleness in others bring out the littleness in you"
"God answers knee mail"
"Try Jesus. If you don't like Him, the devil will always take you back"

Wow, there is more than just a little bit of wit tucked away in these gems of sage like advice. There's a good bit of semi-corporate advertising tactic #1...Bullshit sells!

It's a pretty sorry state of affairs when eternal salvation actually has to come with a pitch like the showtime rotisserie oven with flavor injector. Last time I checked, the whole going to heaven thing was the collection of ginsu knives, not the bagel slicer they throw in for free (19.95 value)

With very few notable exceptions these aren't even good slogans. I fear and begrudge the day when someone who is business savvy enough to realize that they could make a fortune off the hopes and sadnesses of others. Oh wait, that happened say, several thousand years ago. This is shitty because at first the guys knew (and i bet it was males not females that kicked this into motion) they were full of shit but somehow things got lost and we end up with Gary the brickyard preacher telling my ex that she's a lesbian for having short hair.

Two recent examples make me smile because they are kind of funny.

Stop, Drop and Roll won't work in hell.


A dam holds water back. It's not my last name.

But this is also a worrisome change. Eventually people become so enamored with the idea of turning religion into another service then it loses even more of its potency and actual value to the participants with no apparent lessening of nuisance value and nincompoopery to non-goers. Church shouldn't be boring, but its just another form of entertainment these days.

Now some will criticise my accusation of their idea of 'God' as being a pathetically short-sighted fountain of oppression and bigotry. But the crucial difference between them and me is that I am right, and they are wrong. They probably believe the opposite is true but they are wrong there also.

Now for a radical departure from that and the timely return to my comments on the billboard about the bible being the best seller of all time. It really is, the book has sold more copies than any other book ever. Good job, Christians. Of course that's taking the fact that the church ruled most of europe for say 1,000 years between the fall of the roman empire and the renaissance and it was practically the ONLY book being produced and reproduced. Popularity...when you come down even to art, science and literature it is almost always the worst measure of something's worth.

Implications of our government being founded on the collective mass of opinions swayed by corporate and governmental interests aside, this is a pretty steadfast statement. Ever heard the expression '26 million frenchmen can't be wrong?" I am going to have to call bullshit on that one.

6 billion+ people can be wrong. Everyone on the planet is wrong about at least one thing, and i don't doubt that there are some things that everyone is wrong about. Greg once asked if I thought that since the majority of people are religious they must all be wrong. And yeah I do, people are fucking idiots.

I don't mean all people, but when you consider the clear-headed types how many of your friends can you even include in that? Probably not many, and if you can than probably not yourself.

Is religion a giant mass delusion that has somehow infected all of human culture? I would say perhaps, the idea of religion does not bother me, it's the application that makes me grind my teeth in frustrated and often justified anger.

Why don't I just come right out and condemn the shit out of everyone to claim ownership to some sort of vision or rights that only a bonafide deity ought to? Umm, because of my own supposed superiority over my fellows. There isn't much biological difference between people biologically, but culturally we are some diverse sons of guns. One thing every person, and therefore every mind has in common is imperfection.

Consider the obvious, every living thing that moves needs energy to move, it also needs to detect usuable energy in its environment (hence, the purpose of moving at all). Every living thing that moves needs a brain, and things that don't move do not have brains. Now since everything with a brain needs energy, everything with a brain can be killed. If something has needs to sustain itself and the desire to stay alive it can be bought, coerced or tricked into doing something to satisfy whatever energy needs it may have.

Throw culture into that plane and you get the 3d mass of chaos that human history falls into. But if you've read Robinson Crusoe you can relate to this next point.

Stranded on a desert island, Robinson has to fight and salvage everything he can to survive. At some point he discovers that the easiest way to tame a goat is to let it starve for a few days then feed it. The animal will like you for feeding it. Guess what, people are animals and if you don't believe so just look at how Hitler came to power (by taming his people then harnassing their industrial skills and desire for revenge.) Religion works on the same basis for more of a cultural 'need.'

Damn it, I have strayed far off course. Ok, so it's a need, but religion isn't the only way to fill that need. Belonging, purpose, acceptance, all these things people want and need and in some cases will do anything to get them. What if we considered the pursuit of this fulfillment fundamentally evil?

Don't think its implausible, consider the other natural desires religion has tried to stuff into the evil box...sex, drunkeness, and curiosity are only a few. In fact, there is precedent to do just that. Rape is the terrible and unfortunate result of suppressing sexuality in men expected to follow with this degrading and vile practice. What is the result of suppressing fulfillment of belonging? Umm, school shootings, certain pearl jam videos, sarcasm en masse...there are many more.

Here's a radical concept though. What if more people followed my example and took the stance that if you weren't popular you wouldn't be much value as a person. Oh people claim not to, but any movie or show you watch is fucking loaded with cultural norms. If losers were really valueless, it would be ok to beat the fuck out of them, rape and pillage would be Aok.

And we do this! People have always kicked around their unders, just because they can or someone higher with a bigger boot kicks them around. The traditional model of good praises these people for their suffering and promises salvation 'after' life because they sure aren't going to find it in life.

Now, pardon my cynicism, but in this respect Religion is the ultimate boot to the fucking skull. Not only will it not help you raise your status, your happiness isn't even worthy of this world. You shouldn't seek it because you'll only be worth something when you're dead. What a criminal organization!

But I don't suppose you can be totally against religion in every form. Some people just need hope, or they grew up with it and its a comforting source of strength. And its not like people know if they are wrong or right, they just do what the believe. Now whether you are Atheist, Christian, Jewish or Muslim doesn't matter, people will almost always follow their emotions in spite of logic or reason.

posted by Seth # 3:47 PM

No comments: