Monday, January 30, 2006

Hire Force

While it is certain we would be hundreds of years behind without the onset of rationality and the breakdown in influence of the church, what would a hardcoded rationalist world be like? Is it a case where there is a need to balance with some semblance of spirituality? I suspect so, and given that the average person isn't going to conduct their own investigations into Truth (it's exhausting; I'm just glad it's behind me), that probably means adopting some mainstream tenet. I don't see a day when any of the major religions are abandoned. I'm particularly interested in the papal lineage as, according to the prophet who specialised in pontiffs, we're onto the second last one before the whole lot goes ka-blooie. Of course if the prophet is right then God is wrong (!!!) for His whole "No man may know the day" spiel. Unless of course the prophet was actually an angel or demon in disguise. Technicalities.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Boxed in

Because I was boarding away and had yet to discover the joys of premarital sex and illicit drug use, I got involved in a number of different things during high school. Boxing wasn't particularly enjoyable and I really don't know what I was thinking of, taking it up. Apart from the inherent hazards there was also the memorable time when we were jogging round the block to warm up and I - shortsighted and not wearing glasses - thought the guy in front of me was going a bit slow. I promptly ran straight into a lamppost!

Whether it was the humiliation of being endlessly ragged about this, or just the fact that there was a more than adequate supply of biffo in our daily lives without going looking for it, but I didn't last long in that pursuit. So I switched to karate!!! At first I was taking instruction from Dean Bullock, who had a reputation as a bit of a bullshit artist so I don't know if I was getting the good oil or not, but I looked for more professional instruction when the punching bag I was laying into at the pavilion came off and the hook went into my hand (yes it's funny that I managed to hurt myself in fighting arts without even going toe to toe with anyone) The instructor in town was only a blue belt but that was fine as I didn't last long there either.
I think the only things I did stick with, besides hockey, were arty in nature.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bags on seats

I notice there's a lot of grumbling going on in the blogging world (including mine)so allow me to add yet one more whinge: what possesses commuters to publicly display their ignorance by putting their bags on the seat next to them? It wouldn't be an issue on a train in the middle of the day when there's plenty of seats but passengers do it in peak hour.

I shouldn't have to ask someone to move stuff off the seat when it's not supposed to be there in the first place. I suspect that they just don't want people sitting next to them but that doesn't work when the train is crowded. Other possibilities are that they have a loved one or friend getting on at a later stop and they are reserving the seat for them (I was actually scowled at once because I wouldn't move from my window seat so a couple could sit together) but this can't apply to half a carriage of people on a limited stops train. Or maybe they view it as a way to start a conversation but it's doubtful that their intended communicee would be kindly disposed toward them given their apparent lack of consideration.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What's in a name?

I am operating on a 'guest' computer at the moment at work as the IT boys haven't been over to install my new machine yet (it's only been a month and a bit)so I had to look up this blog. It occurred to me scrolling through the google entries (mine was the first) that a lot of people actually use this term with no trace of irony.

No, folks, 'touched by the son' doesn't mean I've found God! It's a play on words. Seems like I get most of my jollies for wordplay, when it comes to that. Poets all stake out different territory but mine is in wordplay. If I can make one line mean five different things then I'm happy. If the next line doubles and quadruples the meaning then I'm happier still.

But then I'm an upbeat person. I very rarely get angry or despondent and maybe that's because I can outargue anyone I disagree with on central concerns. I used to make a sport of inviting Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons inside so that I could whup them with my theology. Turn about is fair play and I didn't pore through all those apologetics for nothing.
But religion doesn't push my buttons the way it once did. I rung it dry I guess. Now I just get annoyed at the way it influences public policy and personal politics. Try to imagine a secular world having any kind of beef with homosexuality, for example. I doubt there'd be many that would care if the holy books didn't condemn it. And the notion of keeping people with no quality of life alive just because you can - actually I think that's a serious misreading of God's intent. If someone would die of natural causes without our intervention (and has no quality of life) then I'd suggest we were going full tilt AGAINST God's wishes by keeping them on drips and the like.

Really, my needs are simple. They boil down to two wishes:
  1. If my song lyrics were adopted by recording artists and being sung in the public square and;
  2. if I had a gf
then I'd be deliriously well content.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Get it, right

Well it's a new year and I'm feeling peppy so let's dive into the lair. If you scroll down down down through the murk of privelege and patriotic pugilism you'll find The 3rd Annual 10 Worst Quotes From The Democratic Underground For 2005 wherein the Republicans and conservatives attempt to show how the liberals are foolish paranoid muddleheads. Of course they don't have the luxury we have of just quoting the actual guy they installed into office from speeches and press clippings so they have to search out stupidos and, as there is not shortage of those in any political quadrant, they have produced some beauties but I'm willing to go into bat for our dummies over their dummies any day:

Honorable Mention: C_U_L8R: (Republicans are) Pure Concentrated Evil. false christians filled with hate and fear who desire to put the world in bondage and extract all the value and profit they can from their spoils of their pillage. May they all suffer unfortunate doom.

If the phony christian fucks are to suffer doom that wouldn't, presumably, be all that unfortunate so the usage is unfortunate but the official agenda is very much fear-driven and diversionary. I haven't seen a convincing argument from the Right as to why the neocon agenda is NOT a successful mix of greed and scaremongering. Anyone who has seen a David Bradbury documentary can attest to what degree corporate America has long had an agenda of intervening in sovereign affairs in order to extract profits; usually at the expense of the citizens of their target country. The Iraq invasion is just the most barefaced example of this.

Bush's grandfather was a buddy of Hitler.

I guess by quoting this - along with the other more colourful insinuations about the JFK assassination - the objective is to ridicule the assertion that the Bush patriach was an active Nazi sympathiser. The problem is that Prescott Bush was an admirer of Hitler. Sure, so were Walt Disney and Henry Ford but that doesn't change the fact.

The Bush family are cold-blooded murderers.

Well Dubya had more people put to death in Texas than any previous governor and the Iraq "war" has resulted in thousands being killed so it depends on interpretation. It isn't a wilfully false assertion.

In my opinion, the big-wigs in the Republican party are really, seriously dangerous. I worry about our guy.

Maybe a little OTT but why doesn't the Right understand that years of persecution from the Right has made them paranoid? Think McCarthy witch hunts, Hoover's illegal wiretaps and profiling, Nixon's hate list, the Kennedy and King assassinations,... Compare the current administration's heavyhanded behaviour and tell me what right they have to scoff at the Left's fears.

And we have to be clear who these reich-wing creeps get their power from: Oligarchs and big corporate CEOs from particular industries.

That seems like a perfectly justifiable statement to make. Or put it this way, in what sense does the Bush administration's actions not advantage big oil and so forth. These chaps need to watch a few other documentaries than their own to see to what extent corporations actively inform and shape public policy to their own ends - but then I'm sure they're quite aware of this.

Also, if a man without any qualifications as a statesman can reach the highest office in the land just how did he get there?

Will Karl Rove have to be suicided?

I think this stems from the disappearance of previous insiders but I can't find the references right now so I guess we'll have to go along with the gag. Oh and speaking of gags.

The've participated in a war of aggression that mocks international law. They've murdered untold numbers of innocent civilians. Their occupation has created an insurgency that threatens to consume Iraq in civil war, and causes the deaths of additional innocents. They have destroyed homes and lives for no good purpose whatsoever.

There's nothing farfetched in this analysis whatsoever. I'm surprised they even quoted this one since it goes to the truth of the matter so succintly. The invasion of Iraq was widely opposed and did not have the international support of previous conflicts for the precise reason that it was an attack on Iraq's sovereignty and was conducted on the basis of a proven lie. The troops have killed countless civilians. The occupancy has created insurgency, just as it always has. This might be because the Iraqis involved don't understand the ultimately benevolent intent of their invaders but it does not change the fact that this is the reason. Of course seeing your livelihood destroyed or your family killed won't make you too kindly disposed to those involved, whatever their intention.

This country is a tinder box of discontent and angst

It does look that way from this distance.

I actually marked it on a map so when I return someday I could go spit on his grave

Not something I'd do but an identical sentiment to Elvis Costello's Tramp The Dirt Down where he looks to the day when he can say a 'fond' farewell to the Baroness Thatcher and her warmongering ways

I don't know much about William Rehnquist but it appears that there were others who didn't like him much either

i refuse and tell my children i refuse to allow them to be dumb down. they had better use their brain to follow me. i have high expectation,. i will not feed into the dumbing down of america.

OK well I do appreciate the irony of this one. Score one for the bad guys.

Well if that's the best they can come up with in proving the left wrongheaded then I hope my quoting of the quotes has put them under the spot