Failure As An Option
Prove to me you are a human, and then we'll talk.
Most People won't try stuff that they know they will totally suck at.
For me it's dancing. Dance like so many other human endeavors seem to be well simulated by A.I. now, (on-screen at least) but dance used to be considered an exclusively human sport. It's fair to say that A.I. likely danced better than me well before A.I. was even a thing; But if you live in the simulation, do we need real dancers anymore?
Pleading with the A.I. right before it replaces you on the dancefloor seems a tad bit foolish. We should feel a touch ashamed when we can no longer generate an original thought, or pop a move glued to our screens. The new robot beats us to the Discotheque to spin off some sweet moves. Today, writing a Dear John Letter to a GPT may be the wrong way reconcile your right to dance. (See also Kevin Bacon).
Shouldn't we just let the machines decide?
It turns out human proof is getting tougher to find. Petitions, are generally penned to convince people of something which one could not be taken for at their word. Whether you consider yourself well informed, or are a generic sceptic, There is a maddening emergence of gullible fucks in this world. They run parallel to smarter and smarter artificial intelligence, so it's no wonder we were duped by tech to stay home and stare at screens, buy stuff, and forfeit our fancy moves for an occasional twerk.
Most people will buy any story and buy any product if influenced to do so (on-line). This is largely owed to aspiring to be something which we are not -- While The same baseline humans may require convincing to just try a new food. Meanwhile the flotsam and jetsam of mediocrity merely clutter our path to extinction? It would seem the game has already been lost, before we woke to protest.
Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us?
One rung up the listless ladder, clings the self-described sentient humans, who may have tired of fast-fashion, botox, Ozempic., and the corollary Social Media pressure to "be like" someone else. In the 0.0 cult, we won't despair our dashed aspirations, because they were simply unrealistic., e.g. 0.0.
This second tier species still subscribe to Magazines, and (gasp) Newspapers, They may have season tickets to theater, opera, and may even read hard-cover books before bed. The latter complain about the same shit as the former, but believe that their complaints are well reasoned and self evident. The tide of blasé beige who we swim against daily, are standard issue skeptics. Whereas both groups seem to await an extinction event, which nobody wants to discuss; The third group thinks they can outsmart the monster -- Don't they always (See also Jeff Goldblum)
Mid course Refresher of irrationally simplified even nasty General Categories:
A. The zombie army cleaning their AR's awaiting instructions from their Orange-In-Chief.
B. The other half is reading the paper, and Considering their environmental harm.
C. A splinter tech faction writes a rhetorical letter to their own Computer for mercy.
Pop Quiz: Are we prepared to fail magnificently?
Most of us seem unfazed by the hot topic of Advanced A.I.'s new world order, except of course for those who wrote the code. So is this like Oppenheimer and the "A" Bomb? one of history's holy shit moments. Meanwhile, Today's Most over-worked media catch-word is: "Unprecedented". (See also Trumps first indictment, tra-la-la!)
Should we risk loss of control of our civilization?
Me, I'm ready, (I think) for cleverly written A.I. Dramas, and Books, and Jokes, and Blogs, and News. No screenwriter will ever get bored, or get writer's block; so episodes will go on forever, and ever. Fade to "White Lotus" 2035 in Space.
A.I. driven wall street bets, and A.I. fueled political fires have been burning for a long time. Sure, nobody loves when A.I. hacks their Email, their identity, nor their bank account, but nobody will need email if friendly A.I. fields every question, and replies to every text.
Self assured dictators will soon consult A.I., to make their next strategic move, as the ancient Oracle of Delphi once used Facebook to plan your weekend?
"Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth? "
Ok Wait! Stop! What?... This was actually written in the "Open Letter" signed by Elon Musk.
You can conserve water while our common ground smolders, but shouldering the blame to date for a divisive split falls largely upon a Gen-1 A.I. called Social media. Sorting people into silos is what social media billionaires got rich from. Perhaps we will all be played against each other by our smarter A.I., as we have since the ancient times when Google and Facebook ran amok with our shopping lists, venomous Twitter rants, and tasteless Take-out food. But there is also a chance that better A.I. would consider a broader swath of data, than the captive format it uses now which keeps America blindfolded & bickering.
There is a human element missing from our Selfish-America-Game which makes people seem so despicable, yet is it really Group A's fault that they lack free will?
From the first flick of a pinball, sinking past both flippers without a bounce -- You know.
By the third swallowed ball, holding your quarter you think, 'Bad luck', 'The table isn't level'?..
'Both'? Dastardly! -- The dark art of predictable placement is the handmaid of Social Media. Hell, choice left the building circa 2002. What makes a country of has-been celebrity-crazed narcissists so un-appealing, and un-inspired? It's not our collective inability to enjoy ourselves as built, -- But not knowing why we are miserable that is concerning. (coveting what we don't have is A.I. v.1).
...And perhaps it's our reticence to change our minds which keeps us hovering over the abyss of human entropy. For our acute void of free thought, we can blame our laziness and the "information age". Today, some of the same people who have testified to Congress that their Platforms are "safe", and "fair", are warning us against a smarter version of the game they built... the one unshaped by them.
"Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones?"
Today the Musk-siah, and The Venerable Woz, wrote a petition asking if we would all mind just pumping the brakes on this treacherous new road to A.I. Their "Open Letter" (a petition) claims that the world is just not quite ready for full frontal robot, at least without some curbs built-in to stay the course, and to keep us out of the gutter. Psssshh! Paaleeeze!
"Implement a set of "shared safety protocols for AI development", which would be overseen by "independent experts".
Me, I was an average bowler, I drive like a teenager, I'm likely a bad kisser, and a far worse dancer, and yet I have no interest in dating an A.I. (as yet), so I think I'm safe.
A few months ago, I got a Roomba mis-delivered to my house, and I promptly sold it unopened on Ebay. I'm not ready for robots in my home, and I think I'm also not ready to be pen-pals with the GPT thingy, let alone tantric machine-language android love. (see also Cobol aka (/ˈkoʊbɒl, -bɔːl/; an acronym for "common business-oriented language")) My utter lack of technical expertise further underscores why I'm not yet a signatory of the "Open Letter" to the great and Powerful A.I.
Failure has always been one of your options, perhaps not your Plan B, but always lurking.
I really don't know, but it is a real lark to hear pundits preach around the A.I. crisis, at schools and universities. Last week a dumb-shit cosigner said that advanced A.I. is nothing more than "Word Processing Program", or "... um-like Spell Check", or perhaps like that One HP12c Calculator you used in Trig, and Calculus in the 90's
The funny thing that Androids, Advanced A.I., and Narcissists all have in common is a complete lack of shame. This is why one should peek under the hood of lord Tesla, to find what Musk's ulterior motive may be to petition all of Humanity against advancing A.I. right at this moment. I am of course a bad judge of people, and I don't know much about anything else... But as sure as squirrels enjoy pizza, I know that Musk could give two shits about your particular robot love affair with Chat GPTxxx, or about Google doing your Math Homework. There is something deeper in his code, which should be sniffed out. Like Pizza?
Is it that his Car's Autopilot, Bitcoin Farm, and several of his startups are about to be hacked by a nearly sentient server with evil urges somewhere in New Zealand?
The letter accuses AI labs of being "locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy" powerful tech.
Remember that game where we taunted "Bloody Mary" in a dark bathroom vanity, where kids frothed up a flash of evil by chanting some spooky words over and over and over..? Well, This is how I view Open Letters to Artificial Intelligence.
You get all prickly and spooked when you hit send, because you are still unsure as you let it fly, whether this thing is real. You are also a bit frightened, all cooped up in the WC, whether you will get out alive. Bloody Mary as a conjuring of evil is quite pagan, and so is the Internet. Neither give a shit about you, nor your well being... But then neither do parties to this petition to slow Advanced A.I. So... Why did you bring 'it' to the party?
When billionaire bad boys riding through tik-tok on fantasy-fiction unicorns warn you against "That Other Firm's Product"... I'd have to be skeptical too.
Shall We Slow the Fuck Down, or Is that Even Possible? And what about Adversaries?
Not another fucking digital pandemic.
My A.I. would prefer that we all just sit back, relax, and enjoy pathetic English dubbed selections from your Netflix Queue, (these btw have bum-fuck nothing to do with your actual film tastes). While we wait for V.5 to work out its own bugs. (Currently my A.I. thinks I'm a heavier white, diabetic, female, whose into cats -- and at least three criteria are wrong). Could toxic A.I. (I said that first BTW "Toxic A.I.) push us all closer, and away from our stupid fucking silos?
GPT Generative Pre-trained Transformers. (your welcome)
Objectors to an "Open Letter" against Advanced A.I & GPT, say that (perhaps) there is nothing to be concerned about , except (perhaps) fear itself.
One professor says we should teach around this technology, and learn to embrace it, and we see it in our rearview like the lightbulb, or the word processor.
The very same day someone shot up yet another school. We cannot blame madness or rage directly on advanced A.I. We can lay a bit of the blame upon our information age's antisocial media fertilizing people with the other form of bullshit. The Older version of A.I. alienated generations from dialog, contact, and humanism. Exchanging a tribal reward for civic selfless, with the selfish gene of vengeance and despair.
Should we risk loss of control of our civilization?
So what's to be scared of? In light of how things have been running, a bit of regulation, or the whiff of it seems reasonable, right. I'm not sure how you get on such a star-studded guest list of brilliant signatories to a document written like a 9th grade business pitch (or is it a poignant talisman of dread...) -- Most of these co-signers being bellicose, narcissistic, and filthy rich -- I'm sure I don't fit this cliché -- But it smells like a hail-mary ("I believe in bloody mary [repeat]") from a wealthy pageant whose last breaths fought tooth & nail to keep regulators out of their books, their projects, and their taxes, until it was too fucking late!
And now for some dance music... Please do not watch me dance to this.
Josh Edelson//Getty Image
Donald Trump Is Going to Burn It All Down to Save Himself
Even an objective press should recognize that, objectively, he is a true threat who has flipped his lid.
By Charles P. Pierce
PUBLISHED: MAR 24, 2023 Esquire Magazine
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the former president* of the United States is a dangerous fcking lunatic and he's decompensating quickly. Read this goddamn thing, it's the kind of stuff that makes people change subway cars.
It no longer matters whether or not he's playing a role or playing everyone for fools. He knows what his more dangerous devotees actually hear when he starts raving like this. It no longer matters whether or not he's doing all this out of abject terror of being hauled before the bar in two states and the District of Columbia. Even quaking on his golden throne, he can still bring the temple down on his own head. Especially since the entire Republican Party is lending him its support. And he knows it, too, because he won't shut his digital gob.
Trump post on Truth Social on March 23.
"What kind of person can charge another person, in this case a former President of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting President in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a Crime, when it is known by all that NO Crime has been committed, & also known that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our Country?...Why & who would do such a thing? Only a degenerate psychopath that truely hates the USA!"
Not even the fundamental incoherence, the random capitalization, or the laughably bad spelling matter any more. An ungrammatical death threat is still a death threat. Not all dangerous lunatics can write like Ted Kaczynski.
If it wishes to save itself, the entire system must devote itself to the task of getting this guy out of public life forever. Every criminal prosecution should hit the afterburners. Every civil suit must proceed apace. The Democratic Party should dedicate itself, body and soul, to hanging this decrepit bag of poison around the neck of every Republican, local and national.
If you have Republicans on your town council, they must answer for him as surely as his congressional acolytes and enablers must. His name should be a political curse for generations to come. This is going to require people in my business to unshackle themselves from some of the more staid norms and customs of the tribe. This is a time for plain-speaking, with as much contempt and derision as we can muster. All the chips are falling, and we should take as a guide-star the principles articulated by William Lloyd Garrison when he launched The Liberator in 1831.
I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.The time for moderate alarms is long past.
CHARLES P. PIERCECharles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976. He lives near Boston and has three children.
A Good Egg
Today I got a note taped to my door. It said simply, "No one will love you like Jesus".
And... of all of our friends, and strange neighbors -- I couldn't place who the sender may have been. I pocketed the mystery, and told my wife later that evening that I thought I should begin to refer to myself in the third person like the great detective Hercule Poirot, who often describes overlooked facts at the Scene of the Crime with phrases like, "Poirot could plainly see that our killer would miss the detail of the letter in a dwindling fire". Naturally my wife thought I was nuts, and begrudgingly but indulgently asked me hyperbolically, "(and),...Why will you be referring to yourself in the Third Person forthgoing?" So, I explained that, "With all the lunacy of pronouns these days, taking back sovereign command of language was tasked to every story teller, and that It may also make me seem more interesting. (I also was thinking about the mystery of the "Jesus Note" And wondered if perhaps thinking like one of literature's best detectives, couldn't hurt to uncover the sender). So from now on, I could use my own name instead of saying "I would like to order the Walleye", I would say, "Monsieur will have the Walleye"... Perhaps this snazzy literary convention would command authority, sharpen my language skills, and even help to expose the mystery of the Person who'd taped the note to my door.
What is the Messiah's Favorite sport?
In spite to the smoldering intellectual fire I've surely become -- From today forward I will identify as a compelling (smart) Belgian Detective, and solve these mysteries.
There was of course the possibility that Jesus him<them>self placed that note -- But to what end? Was I to find this phrase inspirational? I mean if Jesus wanted to reach out, could they not have texted, rang the bell, or just shown themself in?
I thought about the mystery phrase "No One will love you like Jesus", its holy type font, plain paper, and even their choice of cellophane tape -- And I thought this was all standard issue Jesus-grade office supplies. (modest, efficient, effective). Whereas in my heart, I thought the better of this note having been the hand of God -- I knew that deep fakes were everywhere, and that the Lord being quite clever, needn't troll "Truth Social" with A.I. generated deep fake clips to reach me. Jesus does after all identify as the Messiah right?
As a kid I thought it odd each time someone at Church would mention "The Mystery of Life". I recall contemplating this strange "mystery" phrase repeated throughout a service as antithetical. What was "the mystery", when will it be solved. We all seemed quite textural, and tangible. Does this "mystery" make the Pastor, Priest, or Rabbi, a detective?
If everyone sees Life as a mystery, then aren't we all detectives like Scooby and Shaggy, or Fred and Daphne? What about Velma?
What of the Mystery Machine? Was this slick Custom Van, the vessel of the big mystery of life? A Tardis? I coveted a carpeted custom van when I was a kid, but we drove a rusty station wagon. Today I still covet a Chrysler Pacifica, but cant afford one.
Today I thought that while it may be true that Jesus could 'love me the best'..., I'm sure he says that to everyone, by way of encouragement -- but it's a nice thought.
Jesus. #TheRealMessiah, has a shit-ton of Instagram followers.
So the very next day, I'd considered what Agatha Christie's great detective Poirot would say on the matter, "The Little Grey Cells" ...and I began to think like I was a smart detective, while keeping a Shaggy self-image affixed in my head.
"No one will love you like Jesus" ...At least those girls in college would leave me alone the next morning.
As far as great minds go, I knew that mine had already fizzled, and could use a resurrection. But this is why I soon drifted off topic to thinking about God, The Lord's favorite food, (should he be dropping by again), The Messiah's favorite book, beverage, game -- And even contemplated Jesus' favorite sport -- which segued me to an obvious, serene, and even sleepy sport one could command atop fluffy cloudscapes, and I arrived at Golf.
I thought that If Jesus were hanging around just before the holiday, wouldn't he be out Golfing, rather than dropping hints at my door?
"The Messiah Prefers to golf".
And what about this sport, Golf? Would it be one of his proudest accomplishments, or recanted as a wasteful backdrop for non-church weddings, sipping bourbon, smoking cigars, and generally running out the clock on humanity at large?
Popular as it may be, Golf is a rather elitist sport, meant to burn up time away from family, and so it follows that Jesus may have preferred a more condensed common-place sport such as Soccer or Surfing. Which is why I then tried to think a bit harder like the Great Detective to reason what sport Jesus would be hungry for, when he rolled away the stone.
Hunters: 96.4% white 55.7% male
PGA Golfers: 91% white 96% male
Popes: 99.99999% white 100% male
By the numbers More women Hunt, than men that Golf, but women don't factor much in the liturgy. In spite of our less advantaged population finding 140 acres per Golf course to be an abhorrent waste of land and resources... only 5,440,960 acres of nitrogen dumping algae blooming closely cropped grass is dedicated to Golf.
Golfers do blow nearly 2.81 Billion on new clubs and shoes each year, when they all know in their heart that practice & fitness would shrink their strokes, literally, and caring for themselves would please Jesus. What will not save a mediocre golfer's soul is a fatter sweet-spot on a new driver the size of a cantaloupe.
Americans alone spent $902,356,259. just for "legal" hunting tags in 2020. And although I doubt that Jesus would have completed the Colorado Hunter safety course, he is also not likely an avid hunter. One may assume shooting all the shit your Dad invented would be bad press.
Jesus, (the one who left me the nice note) shared lessons of love, and reconciliation, Jesus invented so many modern conveniences like: "Reply All" "Gender Neutral Bathrooms" (Thanks Velma), and as many mysteries, like "Marshmallow Peeps" "NA Beer", and "Line Dancing".
So as amateur detective, in the "Mystery of Life" I feel it fair to assume that the Jesus wrote me that note, ...likely not be a Gun Owner -- but would perhaps prefer a line caught trout with pasta when he next visits.
Myself, not being an avid Golfer, and being clumsy on the pitch, I'd prefer to imagine my own personal Jesus (who is prolly pretty good at every sport BTW), was reaching out just to let me know that with Easter break right around the corner... he'd make time for me, should I wish to hook up in Morocco, or Nicaragua for a long weekend with some tasty waves.
"The Mystery of Life" and "The Good News" (strange concepts when I was young) -- Later unsurprisingly I'd learned that major mythology, fables, leaders, & religions regularly repurposed resurrections to re-kindle their base. History shows that just as modern churches are often built upon pagan temples, (good real-estate will always be changing hands in dispute driven by religion) -- Pagan-esque fables also proudly featured resurrections throughout history, but the award for The Most Staying Power goes to Christians for using Resurrection as "good news" for millennia. I'd have to say that if you are ever really tanking on social media, you should be super careful how you and your friends arrange your resurrection stunt.
The Easter Bunny seems to also come and go, and I'm sure Jesus Knows that I am not a practicing Catholic, and a shit detective... but because I do live beside a massive Basilica -- I've checked my door several times for notes. I've compulsively combed through the mail, and still... nothing more from Jesus.
I may never solve the "Mystery of Life", nor even this simple note; ...so I scrounged up some paper, a pen, and tape, and Today I left a note on the front door of the neighboring church, that said,
"J.C., Thanks for your note, P.S. Monsieur has Good Friday off, if you're free to surf."
He's Going the Distance...
Leave your 44 cm bar at home and No one gets hurt.
If I were to say that I am "All for Inclusion" -- That would be a lie. I do (of course) always welcome a good argument on "diverse" topics, but I generally draw the line on Biology.
More specifically the Biodiversity of Bullshit. In cycling events there are a few hard rules we agree to follow to keep things safe, and 'fair'. When athletes sign up for amateur races, they have to sign a waiver, stating that they won't sue the sponsors if they crash. They also generally tell the truth about their age, and gender so they can compete somewhat fairly against other people in far better physical condition, but with similar birthdates and chromosomes.
And May the Better Man Win
These are reasonable social constructs which make participation in an event exciting, and worth the entry fee.
Wherever you reside on the totem pole of ability -- It is generally only your fault that you didn't medal, or (gasp) didn't finish (DNF).
What happens when you sign up for the men's elite category 46-55, and with a reasonable chance of success in your age range, you are beaten outright? No trophy, No medal, No prize money... Just roll your bike off the course, and onto your hitch-rack -- Start your engine, and seek consolation in a cheeseburger.
"He's Going the distance... He's going for Speed"
It is fine to feel upset. It's understandable to feel disappointment..., but it's your own dumb-shit fault for thinking you could ever win against a woman, right?
You are 5-foot 2-inches, 101 lbs, of lean muscle, who worked the better of two years training for this race. Two weeks ago the race organizers mailed you your race number, and today it's pinned and ready to get filthy. You signed up for this Elite Women's race 6 months ago, having tracked great successes winning 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, and 1st in your last five races, and you know statistically that you stand a great chance of winning this one. Before the gun goes off, you sweat the starters at the line whom you have raced against many times, but now (today) beside you is a 219 lb, 6-foot 2-inch 40-something man in a pink bunny-skull body-suit smiling coyly at you like a gay bartender from the love-boat, and smelling quite ripe.
Your pulse quickens, and your ears get hot... Your initial thought is to second guess you are in the right race time. It's 2:00. This is the right slot.
Then you blush, and your mouth goes dry. You are surrounded by your people, true... you know many of them, and you have raced against several you see now, and then there is this dude who's nut-sack is straddling a 58 centimeter bike beside you. He is sporting a Three-o'clock shadow, adjusting a barrette before adjusting his helmet.
Cheater's Pre-Race Checklist:
'He won', is all that repeats in your pounding head. Your eyes go to pin-holes, your heart throbs, and your face heats crimson. A dark mute tunnel-vision besets as you stand beneath this fucker at the podium. Second Place. Your family and friends in front of you fractal into a kaleidoscope of broken shards.
"He Won the Women's race today"
" Thomas went from “a total beginner to the elite level in just 5 years.”
In response to the criticism, Thomas wrote on Instagram on Thursday that “my two best friends are just as strong as me, I just happened to have a better day on that particular day. They will assuredly beat me at future races.”
Last week, Hannah Arensman, a 35-time winner on the national cyclocross circuit, said in an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court that she retired from her sport when she finished in fourth place between two male-bodied “transgender” athletes at a competition (via the Supreme Court of the United States):
I have decided to end my cycling career. At my last race at the recent UCI Cyclocross National Championships in the elite women’s category in December 2022, I came in 4th place, flanked on either side by male riders awarded 3rd and 5th places. My sister and family sobbed as they watched a man finish in front of me, having witnessed several physical interactions with him throughout the race.
Additionally, it is difficult for me to think about the very real possibility I was overlooked for an international selection on the US team at Cyclocross Worlds in February 2023 because of a male competitor.
Moving forward, I feel for young girls learning to compete and who are growing up in a day when they no longer have a fair chance at being the new record 20 holders and champions in cycling because men want to compete in our division. I have felt deeply angered, disappointed, overlooked, and humiliated that the rule makers of women’s sports do not feel it is necessary to protect women’s sports to ensure fair competition for women anymore.
Tastes Like: Authenticity
Grape Cola Stone-Fruit Wheat
Bright Sweet Caramel Cacao
Cherry Grassy Flannel Lilac
Toasted Bourbon Cream-Soda Lactic
Floral Dish-Soap Anger Panic
It would seem that everyone is adding "Tasting Notes" to each & every otherwise ordinary experience I may have today. This I dare say will only set me up for disappointment.
Wine Store People seem to be retired Blockbuster Video clerks, who in truth were working at Comic Book stores in the 80's, and later graduated to Record Sales (c.1992) -- In each of these hallowed spaces, their vaunted careers issued them carte' blanche to berate clientele for not having refined enough tastes in Graphic Novels, Music, and in Film. So what was obviously going to happen at some point, was (is) that 'they' (my friend Nathan for short) now work at the local liquor store in the wine department, (As In they get to place their name like so): "Nathan's Favorite Pizza-Wine Value" 92 pts". Under which the subtext reads: "If you have only Twelve Dollars, and need something for a friend's Pizza and a Movie Party, you could do far worse than to pick this Nebbiolo". But our boy "Nathan" has far larger plans for your Movie Night... Doesn't he?
Way Back when records were cool the first time around, (an era which lasted nearly half a century) we will recall this same guy, (our archetypal) "Nathan" raising his voice at a supplicant man-child for selecting "the wrong fucking" pressing of, or "the wrong blasted" issue of: Maus, X-Men, Replacements, Metallica, Husker Du, and cetera.
Now I'm pretty sure "Nathan" works at my local Coffee Shop, projecting heirs like he owns the whole Fair-trade roasting cartel, and "Nathan" wants to set us up with Coffee, whilst using the same Bullshit Confusing linguistic circus he'd applied in his last four Big-Top Careers: Comics, Records, Video Cassettes, and Wine. We all know the collective "Nathan" and yet "Nathan" will never learn your name, and so... he'll call you Dude, Bro, and Dude-Man... Or just Man-man, hey!
It was Nathan's Idea anyway, (wasn't it) to highlight his favorite Picks in each genre, whether it be: Amazing Spider-Man #14 (The First Green Goblin mag), or The 1957 Classic "The Throne of Blood". Back then, "Nathan" may have thought Kurosawa was a God, but We, (the lay public), may have thought 'Kurosawa' was a HiFi Stereo brand -- And Nathan a dick.
Thankfully, Today The collective "Nathan" has brought us a whole new linguistic apparatus called "Tasting Notes", and thank god we have them so we know how to feel in advance of every experience.
This week I discovered Nathan meddling in my Bot generated A.I. Movie Pix, e.g. "We think you may like", or Because you Watched..." whereby we would have formerly relied upon a small laminated card below the tattered stack of VHS Cassettes at the Family Video -- Herein Nathan states with a flourish of fine point sharpie, that, "Reservoir Dogs is a decent violent 1992 plagiarism of the Hong Kong Action Flick, "City On Fire", but it's entertaining and has a fun, if loathsome soundtrack, and some wry humor by Stephen Wright. If you'd bothered to ask Nathan, he'd confirm [that], "basically every Tarantino Film is blatant plagiarism."
Today, (meaning actually today), I discovered that the Bot we now Call Netflix, which replaced "Nathan" professionally during the pandemic, (handing him payroll protection funds, and then and sending him packing into a career spiral), is also using succinct if wholly exaggerated single word adjectives such as:
Witty | Irreverent | Dramedy | Parenthood | Danish --
Ominous | Suspenseful | Thriller | Slow-Burn | Ensemble.
Taking queues from 'The Sommelier Nathan' which my Netflix AI is certainly not, (nor is Nathan for than matter)... We should not let it pass without scrutiny that "Dramedy" is NOT a camel Like Mammal with a Hump to store reserve liquids, Nor is that Camel "Danish"... But you may find the need for subtitles, which is basically what this charade is promising, along with some "Slow-Burn", and some other bull shit tasting notes.
I know now that IF, I pick-up a bottle of White Bordeaux I can expect, "Freshly Cut lawn-grass, Honey, Minerality, Spice and Butterscotch" -- Just before selecting a film to watch, (Deadpan, Offbeat, Thriller, Addictive, Anthology). In selecting early, let's say round 12:15pm, I may still be sipping from a Pink Bourbon Single Origin, Shade Grown, Fair-Trade, Light-Roasted, 1300m ASL, Washed, and Fermented on raised beds Columbian Pour-over, with a tasting profile as follows: Tangerine, Caramel, Blueberry, Fruity, Acidic, White peach, and Lavender. Or just plain Caramel, Bread Yeast, and Raisin, if it be over-roasted, (frowny face).
Ultimately Nathan is now hard at work again in the shadows of my A.I. lifestyle, to bring me a pre-conscious agenda and the sophomoric tools with which to converse loosely about Coffee, Wine, and Film like a total twat, at any given event.
Nathan, (my personal A.I, formerly my roommate) who never washed dishes nor his clothes; Is now successful in setting me up for both failure, and disappointment.
Almost suddenly, (as in, a moment) after taking a spot in queue to order a simple pastry from this profanely overpriced local take-out Bakery window, I'd realized that this was perhaps the wrong way to waste 18-22 minutes of mid-morning. Masked Gen-ZZZ's sleep-walked forwards, strolling prams, and ill-behaved pandemic puppies, tethered by Burberry leads, muzzled mouths recited news feeds. Our cherished post modern posers posted profanely about their dinner and drinks the evening prior. Personal shopping A.I.'s plague their giant iPhone margins with banners waving suggestions for scandalously banal precious things they'd "for sure need to be buying" today... Murmured masked dialog seemed inescapably blasé, if churchlike. Amateur parents inched the line forward with infantile conversations, about the re-release of some new retro trainers, from a resuscitated brand. Conceit, & consumerism have replaced our ability to choose, and we are lost without banner ads, & the fucking tasting notes. In our digital temple God will deliver us the curated post which tells us how to behave. followers pass the basket whilst buying all the same shit as that other fuck-wit beside you.
Yelp is your north star. Unmoored and inauthentic.
It's not that I'd have made better use of this time, per se', nor made a better breakfast -- But I did know what the fuck I wanted to order in advance of arriving at the head of the line. Today, It would seem that every other person, had no fucking clue, and so the line's pace was how I'd imagine early Scuba Divers walked along the bottom of the sea, in Metal and Tarred Cotton apparatus. So, I kept my money out in my hand, in the chance the next person may say, "Go ahead, we haven't decided yet" .
A smarter me, the one I was now cursing to in my inner dialog, may have at least spared himself the embarrassment of spending (was it) Sixteen dollars, and twice as many minutes, lined up for a slice of quiche. Blissful baby steps like a Tiny Tim Conway moving forward beside people I cannot stand.
Yes, I'd just spent that much on a slice of quiche...? It's Eggs right? Quiche IS EGGS after-all, right?
So the day didn't begin here, but it seems like this day could now stray from comfortably numb -- to wondering what else may piss me off. It wasn't the money thing -- Nor the smug fucking glances through throw-back dorky RayBans. I'd endured far worse, but today it felt raw... like I was being led into a gas chamber where my final moments would be endured beside adult children, who were themselves still nursing pacifiers, but somehow drove Range Rovers the three blocks to disembark with strollers, blankets, leash the dog, and then stand in line for hipster abuse, before reversing the process back home to have a nosh. Today felt like Tailgating sober, waiting for Morrissey to show up, only to find he never boarded his plane at Heathrow. Just before the Gas valves would be opened, I'd have to watch politely while people in full view of all these delicious offerings, "decided" like chess-masters whether to have the Bialy, or the Fucking Brioche. (because they couldn't make this check-mate move until the cashier actually greeted them). Alas we peel away another adult child from the line as prickly venom from a smug-fuck cashier flips the iPad back from it's default opportunity to add 28% to an already scandalous tab.
Tasting Notes... Perhaps this line would move if they'd only had some tasting notes to tell them what emotions were packed into their sticky-buns.
Tongs, waxed paper, and a bag... Exotic Tools which required very little of this staff member's post-baccalaureate, in "Communications". Yet, adoring fans lavish praise, voting "Yes", "Smiley-Face" and "Thumbs-UP" adding gobs of gratuity with their chip cards, Instagramming that shit, while biting into the other CCP mind-suck tik tok charade.
Todays Tasting Notes... (sigh)
Somehow this line felt engineered by the same "Childish Consultant" who brought us the toothpaste aisle where every last tube is locked behind a Lexan vault, beside a "press for help" button that simply chimes an alarm sound until pissed-off yawning staff come to douse the fucking racket just before blowing their brains out. ...And please don't get me started with Deodorant.
What if you'd just wanted a bagel, or a slice of Quiche?, Is it mandatory to suffer so?
Then, there is the cost for this ride; Roughly Twenty-Four Bucks for a bagel and such. No foamy hot beverage, just a biscuit in a fucking brown bag. I wonder if the Bagel, and the Bag have their own clever tasting notes, or if the Bagel may actually use the tasting note: "Brown-Bag" as an adjective.
Money is pretend anyway, so why not pay the employees directly for this food and the tasting notes they bring?.., this way the company doesn't have to pay them. My inner dialog with the rational me, recites the job interview: "...Um-like, the tips are pooled, and everybody gets some, Also you get to eat anything that falls, or is broken", "And you get free coffee, and this cool selvage blue apron ...here" -- "Oh, But.., um like, we don't actually pay wages or anything, and so, here is a 1099."
What I'd realized in that line was that whether it be Larry, or Nathan who'd be judging me today at the check-out line, chiding me for not quite getting the most out of what was on offer, It was perhaps their moral duty to assist by being a bit less judgmental, and a bit more authentic. I'm not saying that Tasting Notes should (necessarily) be ascribed to each and every pastry, (Leeky | Cheesy | Flavorful | Fucking Good) but, perhaps if "we" were to exchange the tasting note-card for an authentic interaction, I'd like that.
Today I pull away from a sneering purse-lipped flaming gender-ambivalent person, whom we'd all knew as Larry. Now perhaps pejoratively "Lipstick Larry" or more fondly "Lonna"... But 'they' (Larry) are nevertheless not flattered by crimson lips and purple eyeshadow. It's really still just Larry, so we all go along with the transformation each morning.
And so, I am straddling my bike, awaiting my brown-bag flavored breakfast. Combined in said sack, is a smashed quiche, and basic bagel for ~$24 dollars with tax. It was now 8:04 AM, and the day was well underway.
I'd soon need coffee to come to grips with my reality. This morning's routine flatland half-century took me barely two and a quarter hours, to earn the bonus bagel. Head now cleared by a few hundred thousand breaths, unrelenting runny nose, chapped lips, freezing toes..., and a long humiliating line devoid of tasting notes, I'd head home to grind the beans & make my own fucking coffee. (as if people still did that).
In my fridge were of course some fresh eggs, butter, ham, cheese, shallot, garlic, assorted micro-greens, and even crème-fraiche, but the fridge seemed to lack the motivation to make it's own fucking quiche, so I'd have to warm the oven for this brown-bag breakfast, and it's accompaniment, the bagel.
But why the bagel? Did I even want one? I'd burnt about a billion calories, and grabbed that on Impulse -- like one may grab the Inquirer, chap-stick, condoms. Perhaps never to read nor enjoy. Comfort often arrives through trivial shit, so I'd had it with lines and bought the bagel too. But bagels are all beige and empty, and acting as metaphor for my morning. Bagels are the Dockers of the breakfast world. Maybe there is a balance between the beige inauthenticity of this line I'd escaped from, and the eccentricity of Nathan, or Larry for that matter. They were all just lined up there were they not?. But in spite of the saturation of my own saltiness, Nathan and Even Larry were somewhat authentic, because they had their own opinions. And there is noting beige about glittery teal eyeshadow.
Nobody really pushes the bagel, right? -- And perhaps they are the last to sell out because of their beige nature. Nobody publishes the price for these. (nor anything for that matter) Quick maths, prove the bagel to have cost roughly two-seventy-five. As I recall, the slice of quiche was delicious, The Bagel, completely inauthentic -- but the Beige-Bagel, while disingenuous was as close as I'd come that day to pulling on a pair of dockers, and using those condoms with a long lost "MPLS Friend". Dare I say that the Bagel may just as well have tasted like 'Nathan'.
I’ll bet Vampires and Vampire bats often bite their tongues. I know I do, even when I'm supposed to be resting. But most often when I'm deliberately thinking about chewing on something.
The medical definition of “Long COVID” is: A post viral "Condition" wherein people would rather reminisce about real or imagined suffering, and other sucky stuff, than getting the fuck on with it.
Symptoms may include malaise, headaches, shortness of breath, anosmia, parosmia, ageusia, muscle weakness, low-grade fever, cognitive dysfunction, and behaving like a total dumbass twat. Estimates of the prevalence of long COVID vary based upon definition, but are somewhere between nil, and everyone in the whole world.
The hard science demonstrates that what ends when you "recover", is different for everyone, but mostly split down party lines. e.g. Those who like to party, and those who still spray Lysol all over the fucking place.
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, which translates as "Entities (like a virus) must not be multiplied beyond necessity" - William of Ockham (not the beer brand, but a monk, beer brewer, and avid beer drinker just the same)
Or better paraphrased: The philosophical razor advocates that when presented with competing hypotheses about the same prediction, one should prefer the one that requires the fewest assumptions. Which of course means that all else being equal, having a cold beer, may be the better plan; Or, when trying to decide why you just can't clear your head long enough to say something clever, it could be the beer. Or... That when looking for people to blame for your incapacity to get free of 24 months of self imposed captivity, it may not be COVID, but you.
Have a beer.
Some feel that the real effects of long COVID are primarily psychological — that it is cognitive in nature. Whilst other experts, (and your dumb-shit friend) estimate that true long COVID symptoms include a whole host of enduring physical maladies, including laying about in dark interiors, weak pupillary dilation from Netflix legal weed, & profusely sweating out spicy takeout under a California-king-size Snuggie, sporting a filthy tracksuit.
And so I suppose "Long Covid" is why so many people still say, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"
Most experts agree that while definitions of all these medical complications are difficult to pinpoint — Long COVID doesn’t tend to adversely affect otherwise cheerful effective, healthy individuals, who maintain a real social calendar, and who seek treatment in the great outdoors.
In Chicago, where Polish is a native tongue, and Polack is still a venomous pejorative... there is a ready remedy which comes recommended by prudent Polish physicians and philosophers alike, and that is simply a pale lager, called Okacim. Although when people say, "less is more" they are totally mis-quoting William Of Ockham and Okacim, (both beer dynasties). Because we all know that's not a law or anything.
This is not to diminish the true seriousness of medically ascribable symptoms to that ominous bat inspired Chinese lab diamond 💎, which upended our otherwise miserable lives -- But well… if you've got that shit, survived that shit, and pushed past that dreadful shit - wellness should be your next milestone. Should it not.
Or... Perhaps it will elude you, while you wax nostalgic about federal handouts, napkin ass-wipe, mask-acne, and that piquant stench of isopropyl substitutes.
Correcting for the prior chaos, where we were extorted for so many daily use items, like tissues & coffee... should we not desist the habit of exhorting payroll funding from the lay public in an un-subtle touch-screen paywall beginning at 22%. Quick! how much was that coffee? $4., plus default tip = $9.50. Dreadful, and so the Long COVID remains as we are gouged to pay the "Cost of living tax" and even the millennial crowd ponies up for this lunatic tip rate. ??
Sure, I get the whole “critical employee” concept. And we really appreciate those “Essential Workers” who risked life and limb to pour coffee, scan my Funyuns, and pass my crumbling scone through a prison food slot. But while these “essential beings” were postponing their viral baptism and subsequent deliverance, all that masking (which seemed sensible at the time), merely delayed 'our' inexorable exit through the COVID gift shop.
The thing is… as everyone will agree — once you've had that shit, you just didn’t give two shits any longer, and this lead to the greatest amount of contagion.
Once you’d gathered your own precious antibodies like postcards from the kiosk on the way out of that ludicrous exhibit — you’d no longer felt the same urgency, panic, dread, and isolation — Which being a "COVID virgin" had brought. And a great green globular sigh of relief was fully expressed as you tipped everyone something like twenty-eight percent for two years..
In light of the bullyism which surrounded being chastised for masking incorrectly, coughing into one's hand, and touching the grab-bar on public transit, IS still rather fucked-up. But today, having just recovered from what is best described as a "Good Ol' Fashioned Head-Cold" -- (the lunatic long covid v.2.0 version of me) enjoys thinking back to the precise moment when "that one fucker" coughed directly upon me, and my unwitting mucous membranes. Of course I don't know his name, Let's Call patient zero, "Typhoid Jerry" and as random strangers go, Jerry, (not his real name) deserves my full affection, and rage. Of course It's not a Bronson Film, where I get to drive long nails through a baseball bat, and seek revenge. It is an elegant study in 2.0 humility to recollect my thoughts at the moment, with Jerry that went something like this, "Oh Fucking Great Man!, you fucking child... What tha?!" ...And so the clock began to chime the hours and days until my nose and eyes would become as crimson, and tattered as this Jerry guy. And for what it's worth, the entire incubation period for the latest strain of 'C-dat1FkR' virus to become fully vested, and mess up my month is about 3 full days. Then the fun begins.
Once again it goes without saying that I'm no medical professional, nor an "Essential Cafe-Worker" but I do know that I'd have preferred a third blast of "COVID19" Formerly known as "The Wuhan Virus" to "C-dat1FKR".
Anyway, cheers to all those woke fuckers, who's names I'm forgetting in my thank you speech, (perhaps because they no longer exist), who'd chastised people for not properly wearing a mask, or for berating barbarians believing a bandana was adequate, or those half-moon sniffly fuckers who needed to be reminded to wear them things over their "NOSE AND MOUTH". Today, everyone is just sneezing, coughing and spitting on every fucking surface, ...and so I suppose we are back in the wild west of cave bats and loose mask protocol.
Now would be a great time to peel up all those "Stand Here" foot prints, scrape off all those "Mask Required" signs, and roll back that digital tip-jar to something reasonable, such as 5, 10, 15, 20%. Or better still, round up to the next dollar. It's Coffee after-all. It has gotten to the point where finding the text line called "Custom Tip" behind the back pressure of a line of coffee-crazed zombies, is almost as difficult as finding the micro-font to opt out of an email.
Oh, hey! and While we are at it... could we not make a sign which states clearly what Occam so cleverly intended by the mis-quoted "less is more" anachronism:
"Kindly Stop Coughing Into that Guys Face".
Long COVID is real, and I know because I have these spells when I write the stupidest of trash, and even say things which are medically unfounded, morally unbridled, and wholly irreverent -- All of which are (of course) attributable to "Long COVID". And while I try to receive federal money to offset my "illness", I also have not been able to smell in earnest since Mid-May 2020, which certainly helps on public transit. I understand that others may not appreciate the lark of laughing at "Long COVID" nor it's sustaining effects or upside accomplishments. In deference of anyone grieving a loss, and I know it's raw, and too soon to say, but, Perhaps we could make a list of all the fuckwits, whom we'd wished would have been euthanized by COVID, and lament those sucky persons who are still with us.
And then get on with the fun.
What to do with Dad?
"First, we kill all the lawyers"... -Shakespeare
If we Killed all the old Politicians would Wars end?
What may come, is the end of aging dogmatic war fetishists. Oh, and you'd have to apply a little common sense pre-cog shake-down for would-be dictators too, like lil' Elon. He is after all, seemingly unhinged. If one madman merely combined his broken auto-pilot, his corrupted A.I., with a few of his erstwhile Rockets... fuel that with a twitter-tirade — well, you can see where that may land. Thinking outside the box here, really... anyone over 63 cannot really represent e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y right? So maybe we nip that bud early with a fresh law against old fellas running shit? Let's just start with a 26-58 range, and see where it gets us, no?
Surely a $BB$-Bitcoin hit out on warmongering daddy-o would do the trick, right?
It's fact that true leaders are generally chosen for wisdom — (one may envision a noble 'Village Elder', settling disputes) But Politicians are not ipso-facto leaders, even if popularly chosen. This is because of what it takes to be ordained. You begin with helicopter parents, and never being told "No", perhaps you were told NO, but you did it anyway. Apply some "Hard Knocks", but more likely a school where everyone passes, lectured by a pedigree of bad and ancient ideology and then starve them of any meaningful friendships, (the peers who would tell them they are being stupid) Douse them in bad faith and whack religion such that they choose to napoleon-up towards political aspirations "just to show them"..., and then course correct them by letting them off for a few minor offenses which would land a peaceable person of color in prison — Then stir this mixture until you get the penultimate petulant prick man-child— what you end up with is Well... Putin, Ping, Trump, Jong Un...
In fact the reason that everyone wants to open their homes, wallets, and minds up to Ukraine is because their humble leader isn't a total D-bag, and their people are not represented by a dickhead. Now think back to travelling internationally under Trump's Reign. Canada Flag patches were out of stock, and I couldn't cop a believable New Zealand Accent. Whoa, Just woe.
"When Two Tribes go to war, one is all that you can score" -Frankie
The choice between two entitled douche-bags with bad-money fueled agendas, always leads to the lay-public being squeezed, and the clash of their single ideology "To Win at any cost" is the same B.S. dogma that wrapped us all in that stinking wet blanket we called the Cold War.
Actual Leaders in fact, are most often those who rail against the system which is clogged like a fiery bowel with sand and bile
History Lesson A ' La Wiki: Ketchup or catsup is a table condiment with a sweet and sour flavor. The unmodified term ("ketchup") now typically refers to tomato ketchup, although early recipes used egg whites, mushrooms, oysters, grapes, mussels, or walnuts, among other ingredients.
Main article: Mushroom ketchup
In the United Kingdom, ketchup was historically prepared with mushrooms as a primary ingredient, rather than tomatoes. Ketchup recipes began to appear in British and then American cookbooks in the 18th century. The term ketchup first appeared in 1682. In the United States, mushroom ketchup dates back to at least 1770, and was prepared by British colonists in the Thirteen Colonies. Excerpt c.o. -Wikipedia
So you see that Ketchup was basically invented by imperialist white conquerors, and needs to be put down alongside dad, as precisely what it is... A vegetable with a penchant toward bloodshed (fake blood anyways) and diabetes.
The idea of sitting through yet another real-life Cold War fire-drill, is asinine. I Mean Reagan, and Ketchup, and School Lunch, and Under the desk drills, and all this could end, if we only put our heads together and found something else to do with Dad.
And now we have Roger Waters (the geezer) hanging out with Vlad (the Impaler) Putin?
Regardless of one's political POV, it would seem that we are heading for a collision of one to one headstrong ideology, again....
The fallout shelter will most assuredly stock plenty of tomato ketchup (the vegetable and the condiment) -- Alas, the red stuff spewing from peoples eyes and shrapnel wounds isn't the tomato version. ...And yet, it is so simple to imagine a Billion Dollar Bitcoin ransom wired to anyone who "takes care of" any aging fellas who look not unlike my dad, and are still in office.
Ding! Ding! What does it really take to oust a dictator, such as Dad?
Ping, Putin, DeSantis, all have been in the game too long. agreed?
Find me a young fresh idealistic (if ineffectually nubile, and inexperienced) College grad and I'll Give you good odds on your future.
The trouble with rich zealots and their inseparable kinfolk — (world leaders) is not (necessarily) their differences, it's their fucking age, and their affinity for the red sticky stuff. (are we talking ketchup?)
Factoring for the entire age skew of the world population is it not fair to say that a leader closer to say 28, is more aligned with the interests of the whole?
We dwell in a patently different world than any of these old fucks comes from, so tell me why we are all walking in their Orthopedic inserts.
Instead of proposing term limits, should we not simply call a spade a spade and impose an ageist limit for who can serve as leaders? The ransom by the way would be far cheaper albeit less sexy than another 300 Tom Cruise Missiles.
Squabbles about bitcoin, being bad, and Daddy's Dollars being good, or Mayo vs Ketchup on your fries, are fair arguments within a sub-set of this broad age pool, but for many reasons, I don't want to swim in that adult pool with Putin nor Biden nor Xi. So it's fundamental that while they don't understand "our" snacking future -- We can find another task for them.
Being Old and privileged doesn't make you wise, nor a good leader, just like mum and dad answering the question "Why do we do it this way?" (Ketchup on our Meatloaf?)
Comes an answer like, "Because we always do it this way" ..." This way" is fucked!
Ketchup anyone? Reagan said Ketchup was a vegetable when served for school lunch, and this explains a lot about his foreign policy. And Reagan basically hosted MTV and the Cold War for the Martha Quinn years right?
I'm no anarchist, nor a historian but I can find a bit of space in my heart for a new condiment currency, (cheese fries) even a new sauce to dip my french-fries in, but I can't help but think that if we don't gather up every old fart who hasn't had an original thought since they learned to ride a bike, and remove them from office..., then we will of course be talking War Games for another generation.
Forward thinking the world's next existential condiment threat, Some hearty ideas which you could throw the kitchen sink at, (even if the aioli is merely mayonnaise), help to lubricate the mechanism for change. Railing against the establishment of old fucks, and the ketchup they invented is only natural.
Poutine is that deep-learning Lycée Français pool I'd dive my progressive French-Fry into, and the other Putin is that foggy circular thinking which keeps us at ketchup. Some generic off-label catsup with a shared spoon. ... Or worse still the British mushroom version in a tub.
Kiddie Pool anyone?
Perhaps, We really do need to kill all the lawyers for defending these ancients.
Then we need to oust the aged from pretending to "lead", and put them out in the garden with a basket and a spade.
Fuck Man, what do we do with dad? "Kiddie Pool indeed"
UFO's and Barbie Dolls
A shimmering silver pool-floatie passes overhead and by dumb chance two in two hundred and fifty million children happened to be looking up, as its shadow darkens a patch of grass and then over a garage. There is never enough time in the day to look up from one's glowing screen, and who the fuck cares really if a higher intelligence from a far away galaxy were to pay a lunch visit whilst you were thumbing ranch-dressing on your display. Who the fuck gives a shit, if this was really an angel? -- Or if angels and aliens were both made by god. Then, well -- they would look sexy as shit, and not have bulbous heads, and elongated hands and such. If Aliens & the CCP were smart, they'd send some glowing round-yon-virgin angel shit over the Midwest, then over Montana & Nevada, where all them crazy fuckers live, and and perhaps be on its way down to Brazil where the Pope still calls the shots..., and then really get to inspiring people with some grace, and awe. Nothing gets people in line like religious expletives, such as "Holy Fucking Shit" "Did you see that?" "Fucking Miracle Man!"
I suppose that actual angels come in many forms, from thin and sexy to John Travolta. They say that we all need a bit more "AWE" in our lives, to humble us, to center us, and to inspire. They, also say that cathedrals were built to blow the average Bronze-age minds. This is why there are so fucking many Christians, So goes the same with the Mosques, and with the Mormons. It turns out that fancy fables of romantic encounters with sacred stones, housed under big tall domes, (also made of stone) have a way of awakening our stoner imaginations. We all get stoned far more than we'd intended. Just like Meeting space aliens in Brazil, these "close encounters" are the perfect opportunity for tiny earthling brains to have their spongy untapped mind's blown... But, sadly we all happened to be looking down at snap-chat the very moment of inspiration.
What do they call this 'Close Encounter' of divine inspiration? Epiphany?
So it comes as no surprise that the Extra-terrestrials and the Angels (or whatever) -- Come and go freely now and again, and NORAD don't seem to care much whether it be Santa or research Inflatables, (pronounced: Weather balloon) -- lest we miss another episode of "Survivor".
In 1999 Avon, (a pyramid beauty distributor with a waning grip on the middle-class feminine beauty market) Introduced a 'limited edition' angelic Barbie complete with a white dove boomerang. Whether this slender vapid alien-esque figure could toss her dove companion like a scimitar and make magic happen, is anyone's guess -- But her sliding grasp on a core market of insecure Christian zealots sold a crapload of idyllic beauty queens to inspire the next gen house-wife to be subservient to a male mono-culture whose invention hoped to keep her in check for another millennia or so. Much like beauty conventions and most other organized religions.
If you woke up in your AirBnB, and saw this Angelic Barbie on the nightstand, would you do a double take?
So it doesn't surprise me that the "Angels" we occasionally do encounter, whether they appear as Bobble-headed aliens, with impossibly pale and frail features, or vapid coke fueled fashion models, resembling these aliens -- is of little importance.
So we spot yet another UFO floating in our stratosphere, all shimmery and silky, and say something like, "Holy Fucking Shit!" "Is that a UFO?"..., "Or an angel?" No, sorry it's not Space-Alien Nicole Kidman, the holy virgin huntress -- It's just another Chinese Spy Balloon taking some pix of Mormon Tabernacles, Baptist Churches, and oh... Military Missile Bases. Aliens, Like the Chinese Communist Party Elite seem to be asking, "What do we do with all the white people when alas we take over the planet? and do we even want to take over this shit? Do we keep the NBA?, the NFL?, and Hollywood? -- And what about Jay Z?
Waaaay back in 2018 China tested a spy balloon with Hypersonic Glide Missiles that floated on a similar lazy (Oops, My bad!) 'weather balloon trajectory', and then dropped some warheads, like candybars.
Rapture?, please! I mean... What more could the Chinese need to learn about us. don't they ship us all our personal surveillance devices anyway? We are emphatically cool as Fonzie, as a cultural meme, True! -- But "Americans" (besides R Kelly, and our former racist-in-chief who we offer as an olive branch) offer what?, in terms of intel?
It seems like 'Knowing' too much about another person or culture is what leads to envy or resentment, and both tend to be deleterious to the marriage when one becomes tired with what the other has become. So what could an Angelic Barbie, a shimmering Inflatable Pool-floatie, and the Rapture do to juice the agenda of a foreign state actor / actress?
OK, so everything tends to appear similar, (if alien) beyond 40,000 feet, and dirigibles floating over ones enemies is so 1640; but can we all agree that being able to criticize our dickhead leaders (here in the US), is a birthright? Aren't we all silver tongued children playing with beach-toys in full awe of nothing whatsoever anyway? So, pretend you are 80 years old, and I showed you a real alien at a distance of say two blocks away, Could you identify it correctly?, or would you think it was an angel, or a fucking "weather balloon". No pressure man!
Any given 20-something stands a 1 and 4 chance of answering a yes or no question correctly, and when wrong, a 1% chance of accepting they're wrong. Fairy-Tales, and Foreign Actors, may all be disguised Angels delivering a message, but imagination is often blind. This confirms that, just because you can imagine it, or "think you saw something", doesn't make it real.
Oh, and by the way, there is no such thing as French Vanilla, because the French don't give a shit about tasteless crap, and a bit less about the Barbie affair.
Anyway, espionage is such a loaded term, and in the end gathering intel about the weather is cool, right? So why worry about a hovering pool-toy? What is there to gather about Americans?
What we have to offer is rather cool music, crappy TV dramas, shittier take-out food, two kinds of diabetes, and first person shooter drills. Oh, And lame-ass twerking stripper fashion, falling beltless hip-hop pants, sexy Halloween tropes... and Racist Cops. But in truth the majority of our list comes from China, so could they not cut to the chase, and start dropping our Amazon blimp orders from 68,000 feet? And what of the trail that went cold as I tried to track my package somewhere off the Carolinas?
You're right Marjorie... Shame on Biden for shooting down my Jordan's.
"On February 17th 2023, high above Canada’s Yukon territory, the pilot of a $150 million U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, acting on orders from the leaders of both Canada and the U.S., fired a $472,000 AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at a small unidentified cylindrical object flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet, resulting in a confirmed air-to-air “kill.” What NORAD still hasn’t been able to confirm, almost a week later, is what exactly was blown out of the sky on February 11.
Since then, members of the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade, a club of high-altitude-balloon hobbyists, have been waiting to hear from K9YO-15, the group’s $100 silver mylar “pico” balloon.
Pico balloons are small antenna-and-tracker-equipped circumnavigational balloons that typically cost less than $200 to build. K9YO-15, which had been airborne nearly 124 days and was in the middle of its seventh circumnavigation of the globe, sent its last signal on February 10, just southwest of Alaska, as Aviation Week reports:
The club’s silver-coated, party-style “pico balloon” reported its last position on Feb. 10 at 38,910 ft. off the west coast of Alaska, and a popular forecasting tool — the HYSPLIT model provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — projected the cylindrically shaped object would be floating high over the central part of the Yukon Territory on Feb. 11."
NIBBB said in a blog post that, as of Tuesday, K9YO-15 was officially “missing in action.”
Full News Credit for this Excerpt comes from the brilliant Chas Danner of the Intelligencer:
Titled, SPY BALLOONS UPDATED FEB. 17, 2023 Did an F-22 Blow Up an Illinois Club’s Hobby Balloon? https://nymag.com/intelligencer
Ezekiel 25:17 -- "The Path of the righteous is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men"
My Friend John Says that I'm old, and this is why I cannot get over the "Best Times" (the course record) on my bicycle trainer. Not to feel outdone by younger stronger faster cyclists -- But, as far as that goes, it is absolutely true that no legitimate rider has finished that Passo Valparola Climb in 26 minutes. Especially if my best time is 42.51 minutes.
John 20:22 -- also says that I shouldn't be embarrassed if I can no longer clean an Ollie Kick-flip. (largely citing my advanced age) I've decided that instead of dismissing his blaspheme outright -- That it may be good advice to give up on some things which in principle are impractical or empirically un-useful.
I cannot ask my apostolic friend Paul for his (always expert) advice, because I'm pretty sure he has moved away, and never mentioned it to me. The true cost of Covid's spiky wrecking ball is to dismantle established relationships.
Today, (These Days), the subtle interstice between moving away, and crawling deeper into one's more comfortable cave-dwelling relations, is indistinguishable, save the moving expense. One has to ask oneself lots these days, and unfortunately the first question seems to be, "Who can you save?, and should you even try"?
I shaved 11 minutes off of my best time for Passo Pordoi summit in Italy, and 4 minutes from my best time climbing out of Nice up to Col d' Eze -- But this doesn't make any damn difference to anyone but me, as an antidote for gray January Blahs. What IS kind of important is one's sovereign right to imagining one's best self, still striving toward goals both real and imagined. One goal I had this year, (and the year is yet young) is to get back some friends long taken by Covid (Excuses). Friendships once punctuated with nuanced dialogs diminish from Sartre, Aristotle, and Vinyl Collections, to the discourse of Netflix, shitty Take-out food, or even Jell-O. Wherever your line was drawn, you are likely clinging to the myth that it's not worth contacting some of those you feel you have lost to "Covid" (Excuses). It's likely not your friend Paul's Fault that you are a dickhead, or was (at least) at some point behaving badly, c. 2020-2021. Laying about in your PJ's well past midday, and staying home both Friday and Saturday night... But those you've lost to Covid, wont return your calls because they have re-shaped their new efficient lifestyle, and there is no room in top pander to brats, and home-bodies.
So-what, if the weekend is no longer a real tangible distinguished part of your week? So-what if you don't go out to the bar to catch a band with a few friends... anymore? What IS most important is that you are right most of the time. You are of course always right and this seems to be where "we" (The collective post-pandemic "WE") have landed.
'Being right all the fucking time is legitimately exhausting, mostly because it forces one into isolation where friends matter less, and doing shit went down the toilet. All of that alone time at home bracketed by stale air, bad carryout, and loathing contemplation, built a tunnel so long that emergence from your igloo is a far away goal, not worth endeavoring. You probably never noticed your confines so much in say 2006, when you didn't spend more than sleeping-time at home. But its not as though you became neater and tidier for it.
Last week, you said to yourself after a walk by the lake, "Wow!, I should do this more often"... And then (sadly) -- you don't.
It's OK to no longer be able to pull of some sweet skating tricks from your youth, but it is not OK to say you can't pull off those sweaty nacho-cheese coated Pajamas and giving it a try.
My Friend John is also embarrassed by my "Track-Stand". He says that old dudes who cling to such youthful balancing acts to prove they are "less old" is an affront to those with the dignity to not try. This indignant boasting is a tough distinction to thread. I mean -- If I can be forgiven for not pulling off a clean Ollie-Kick-flip... but I've been at it for a few weeks on and off, blaming the trucks, or the wheel durometer, or some such... Then it cannot also be true what they are telling me, that I should give up the self effacing Track-Stand, for the benefit of those who can no longer pull them off gracefully at every stop-light.
...And I get the whole potential embarrassment of a broken hip, like this one old dude in my neighborhood who at fifty, hangs out at the school playground cursing each time his shove-it or manual lands with a clack!, and his maple ply skates away solo. Afterall, If one cannot land a good clean ollie, One has no business doing a track-stand right? Well...
It IS however, incumbent that one who attempts to do a track-stand at every fucking stop-light, should not be that shaky tree. Because dipping left, leaning right, and on a fixie no less..., with flat pedals is not "Pulling It Off" gracefully -- Wheel cocked sideways, with two full sleeve tattoos that began whilst working for a messenger service in the early 90's? Gracefully, or in the least graciously pulling this off is imperative. The ink may have dried, and the slogans improved, but the fixie track-stand on flat pedals, is bullshit. ...Because, why?
A clean track-stand is not done for an audience; Rather it is a holdover from a by-gone era of chrome toe-clips with leather straps which when pulled tightly wrapped the whole foot against a slot in the sole such that getting one's foot free required reaching down to pop the buckle whilst raising the foot to step out. Just as it has taken 30 years for the Snow board to begin to engineer a real clipless option, the legs remain attached for most of one's sport. A clean track-stand is not wandering about an intersection edging into traffic, because one drank too much the evening prior, and now is justifiably off kilter. Doing a track-stand involves no more or less than 1/4 bike length to maintain uprightness. A sense of pride of ownership, comes with staying put, but should not be attempted glibly as one may attempt an Ollie Kick-Flip. Because a skate trick is a 'trick,' and a Track-stand is just part of growing up.
Late this fall, I was hit whilst riding home from the typical 50 mile loop, to some shitty coffee shop with mandatory tipping, bad staff, and overpriced drinks served by smug shade-grown children. I was only 3'ish minutes from my garage coming upon an emerging green light when a bike shot through his stop-sign and there was no room to stop. I veered, and he veered, but I hit him just the same broad-side at about 21 miles per hour. He flew from his Hybrid, spilling into the street, before a busy intersection, backpack landing somewhere near his bike, while he slid the other direction. No Helmet.
The typical potent chemistry flashed through my brain, Bike OK?, Wheel OK? Bars Straight?, Tire Sealed? Holy Fucking Shit! Everything seems fine. What was particularly unusual was not the fact that No rage welled up in me as would have certainly frothed were this a "car's fault". What was uncanny, was that I was still standing on my pedals, in a track-stand, more or less lording over the lesser lucky rider, before casually unclipping and reaching down to help gather the unlucky person I'd struck.
I leaned his bike, and mine against two trees, and helped my fellow cyclist to rest on a porch step, while I gathered the items spilled from his backpack. No helmet, just a knit winter cap -- seemingly no concussion, just a bit off balance, and the quick onset of some stiff aches.
"Track-Stands", I'd thought... I was standing fully upright, and attached, with meaningful balance above the victim of circumstance whose bad choice to run the stop-sign, would make him later still for work today. I never unclipped. I was unharmed, and my bike was undamaged. I stood in this track-stand winding down my heartrate from a roll to a subtle back- beat. I was lucky -- He..., less so.
We all know that scene from Pulp Fiction when the cowering kid with the pistol springs from the bathroom as Vincent and Jules wax philosophically with his cheeseburger -- Bullets fly, as he unloads the clip into the wall behind his un-scathed adversaries.
"Unscathed", I thought... "A Miracle, perhaps?" "the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men doing track-stands.
I got to wondering about Biz, lately -- (actual business, not this guy), I considered climate change, the universe, and possible nuclear annihilation.
...Any way I decided that if one could endure this entire video, That we'd all be fine.
We just need the right protective pendant necklace.
Anyway, Good Luck.
Age and Treachery will overcome youth and skill.