February 27, 2008


I have a recurring dream where I'm in a moving vehicle (definitely a convertible) that goes over a series of ups/downs in the road. Each time a peak is reached I levitate a little bit and then plunk back into the car. The dream feels just like the hollowness I've experienced in my waking life when driving over a rise, that lifting/dropping sensation. In the dream I hold on so I won't drift up (no seatbelts on this ride). Eventually I hit the big bump, and I can't hold on, my seat escapes below me, and I'm floating up and over the road... distinctly aware of the eminent impact.

One variation: being in a train that goes through the same process – lifting off the rails at the top of a big rise and floating upward and out of control. Free from the tracks for a moment, but ultimately under the influence of gravity.

It's numbingly terrifying. Speaking of dropping... Jerrrrrsey!

On the plus side, there's Duckman:

"And a pedigreed golden retriever. Because pedigreed is good."
Check out the full episodes on YouTube, this show rocks.

February 20, 2008

Fear is a Renewable Resource

"America was founded by men who understood that the threat of domestic tyranny is as great as any threat from abroad. If we want to be worthy of their legacy, we must resist the rush toward ever-increasing state control of our society. Otherwise, our own government will become a greater threat to our freedoms than any foreign terrorist."

– Ron Paul, from Freedom vs. Security: A False Choice

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

– John "Q-Tip" Adams

Perhaps the application of the second quote is to do the right thing even (especially) when the wall of opposition seems insurmountable. Now, where did I put my "The Good and You" reference guide? Often it is speciously simple to ossify what the right thing is. In many situations it becomes a matter of perspective. An example is the spectrum of viewpoints on current military action by the United States.

I have encountered, and at times been a self-contained example of, an array of conflicting beliefs held by the highest conviction as being right. I find it epistemologically problematic when people hold contradictory, irreconcilable absolutes. If, as Lennon/McCartney placed in addled words, "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together," then I feel a shared culpability for others' absolutes, as they could easily have been my own. This affliction of empathy is uncommon amongst the highly polarized/politicized compartments of Democrats and Republicans. The team-mentality of election time in the U.S. is a playful outcropping of a deep need for "Us and Them," a deadly way of alleviating our personal fear and guilt by clinging to a group dependent on each other for survival.

I think we are each imbued with an innate sense or intuition for the good, although that intuition requires empirical honing. That honing should include drawing on the collective experience of history to augment our individual lens for the world. My personal intuition about implementing the good has been very haze-y in recent years, but some developments have emerged. "Revolution is dead." "Why bother?" "There is nothing new under the sun." Lazy pessimism. The battle of wills that has raged for the millennia is a race toward death, but there is, perhaps, another way. It involves withdrawal and self-sacrifice, not revivalist coercion or militant fascism. Thomas Jefferson wrote:

"To preserve the freedom of the human mind and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will, and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement."

It's all about Freeeedom, man. Liberty. Not the vacuous hedonism of self-destruction and dogmatic nihilism. Nor the false construct of mystical superstition. I appreciate the inclusion of "freedom of the press" as a sibling to "freedom of the human mind." The communication of ideas, education by a variety of perspectives, is the best hope for the improvement of the condition of man.

I was looking for a clip from King of the Hill where Dale Gribble (a cartoon hero of mine) is using bookstore basement as a firing range.

"And so we say farewell to A Farewell to Arms."
[Blasts a giant hole through the dangling book.]

Copyright-infringement-free YouTube has failed me, but I did come across this, which seemed relevant (and priggishly obscure) enough:

The Minute Men perform "King of the Hill" – I checked out some more of their stuff. Don't really care for the sound, a kind of frantic, strained, ska-punk-pop. And thought the production value of this video was pretty childish (ok, I like the part where the big dude rolls down the hill). But their counterculture appeal against modern feudalism is cool.

February 08, 2008

Out of Time, Out of the Muck

"Out of the muck" is derivative poker terminology for off the ground or up to speed (i.e. – "Finally, this game is out of the muck"). Which is odd, because muck refers to the discard pile at a poker table. Maybe it is slightly pejorative, muck, since it also can be used as a verb; to fold. And folding is lame.

a·nach·ro·nism - noun
  1. Something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time.

  2. An error in chronology in which a person, object, event, etc., is assigned a date or period other than the correct one.

February 06, 2008

The Grand!

Yes, Gabe Kaplan is in this movie. And David Cross:
How did you learn to play poker?
"By playing darts."


I'm seeing a lot of questionable exclamation points recently.
What about exclamatory question marks – Who's on stage?

Cheers, YouTube, for being so conducive to lazy blogging.