Monthly Archives: December 2008

Free Novel

I won’t be blogging again until next year so, as a Christmas gift to all my readers, here is a free novel. It’s called “The Interview.” 5 years ago I felt the urge to try my hand at writing some pulp fiction. The virtual dust jacket would read:

Hired assassins, corrupt cops, sex slaves, world class poker cheats, serial killers, drug kingpins, gang wars, Vegas whores, and Elvis impersonators paint an unforgettable piece of pulp fiction that would make Quentin Tarantino proud. In less than four days Lauren Bradford will witness the murder of over thirty men, cheat her way into winning the World Series of Poker, and plans to break at least three Pulitzer prize winning stories, if she can stay alive. For the aging assassin Clark Reynolds, it’s just another day at the office.

Enjoy. Click here for the .pdf file: The Interview

It’s just a ride. . . .

Another day, living outside of oneness

I haven’t been much for blogging lately. For over a week I’ve been plagued by petite seizures, . . . again. For the most part I rarely have them any more. A couple of weeks every year they arrived like a shrimp fork poking my balls, leaving me disoriented, disturbed and petulant. Bah, humbug.

Grand-mal seizures

For those of you unaware, petite seizures are quite different from Grand-mals. Grand-mal seizures kick my ass, beat the snot out me, and leave me emotionally and physically drained. I fall head first, usually lacerating my scalp. (I’ve been lucky not to suffer from many concussions.) As I convulse, every muscle in my body flexes to its limit for nearly 5 minutes. When I awaken, the pain from the head wound is barely noticeable compared to torrential agony of my muscles as they scream from the forced work-out. I’ve bitten thru my tongue so many times the scars across my taste buds are only outdone by the cris-cross pattern of scars on my scalp. Even a short grand-mal seizure severely stresses my body. I am forced to drag myself home and sleep for 24 hours and then putter around the house for two days as my brain fully re-boots and my cognitive powers return. If that wasn’t enough, I receive a bill from the hospital as an souvenir of the experience. With that in mind, believe me when I write, petite seizures are much, much worse.

“Why me? What could God possibly gain my tormenting me?” – – – I hate it when people say things like this. Blaming a horrible experience on God is weak. My answer?: What? You’re too good to have the shit kicked out of you? Not hardly. Life isn’t suppose to be never ending bliss. What fun would that be? I like to imagine that we all knew the perils of suffering going in and we were ecstatic to get the chance.

2B R NOT 2B or, Death is easy, life is hard.

If we live forever, even terrible moments will be remembered as fleeting orgasms compared to the entirety of our existence. If we take the perspective that our time on earth as only a speck on the time-line of our future lives, then we can easily equate the sorrow and grief we feel from losing a loved one with that of a toddler when he’s left with a baby sitter. Two hours away from mommy is a serious percentage of life time for the kid.

Dying isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s terrifying.

Next year I plan on trying my hand at stand-up comedy. I know that dying on stage will kill me emotionally, but my desire to enjoy that rare experience easily outweighs the humiliation and suffering involved. Patton Oswald spoke to my fear when he said how uber-cool it would be to die in the Apocalypse. He’s right, that would be a great way to die. So I thought I should learn how dying feels before my last day.

Back to petite seizures. Zap. Now, where was I?

Petite seizures slap me around like a Bangkok whore who’s been holding out on her transvestite pimp, Dick Cheney. (I have no idea what that means.) Usually lasting less than a second, petite seizures zap my consciousness, forcing me to re-boot my thoughts, over and over and over again. As an extra side dish of bitch slap, I am rewarded by annoying the hell out of anyone who is talking to me. Try losing an entire second, four or five times during a conversation. With no way to let the person know I’m being tortured by electricity, I am continually being regarded as a jerk for not listening. Ahh, good times.

It’s not all bad. Frustration from this predicament has given birth to a weird and fun sense of humor. I find myself laughing at the stupidest things. Schadenfreude forces absurdity to any kind of self-congratulatory dignified conventions. I’ve already written an award acceptance speech: “I’m drunk. But I’m not too drunk to notice this is the biggest circle jerk I’ve ever been a part of.”

I have faith in the ride.

What is faith?

Faith is throwing off the desire to interpret reality. I am convinced that this desire is instinctual. We do it all the time without thinking about it. Distressing, uneasy thoughts like, ‘What am I?’, ‘What am I experiencing?’, ‘Who am I?’, ‘Why do I suffer?’ is easily capable of stressing the psyche beyond reason. Desire for these unanswerable questions rises exponentially with the amount of suffering involved in our lives. It’s not hard to understand why. Even without intense suffering, questions like these can quickly become an obsession.

Ultimately, thoughts like these are self defeating. For the most part, they are unanswerable. The desire for faith comes from our desire to enjoy life without these god-damn nagging questions. It’s a form of personal torment to bring these thoughts to the forefront, making it a relief to believe these sufferings comes as part of a grand reason. Life is soooo much easier when organized religion dresses up all these sufferings as “God’s will.” Job done. Let’s go home.

I have faith in the ride. Irrationality can be invited along for the ride, but why would you want to obscure the view?

I asked and I received.

“Who am I?” was my question to God. Now, I’m not so sure I should have asked. But, since I did, and since I got an answer, I thought I’d pass it along.

You are not static

Ask yourself – – – Who are you if a serious blow to your brain can quickly re-define your thinking? It’s not uncommon for brain injury to result in changes in character, demeanor, and personality. A nice guy turning into an asshole is common in the world of brain trauma. Aaggressive extroverts suddenly becoming recluse introverts happens all the time. You are not who you think you are because you are not static. We are today who we were yesterday is a false impression. Try thinking in terms of who you were at 18. Is that you now? Who will you be ten years from now? Is that you then or is that you now?

On many occasions I have experienced parts of my brain corrupted and non-functioning. For instance, after waking up after a grand-mal seizure the language part of my brain is unavailable. I have thoughts, but without the ability to give them context or description. It’s a strange world, but it has happened to me so often the experience has become almost enjoyable. Are we nothing more than thoughts without words? Not hardly. But it’s important to understand that language is as subjective as anything else we experience.

With parts of my brain corrupted, rational thought becomes impaired. Sometimes the brain can recognize this. I can attest that, for brief periods, yes means no, up means down, monkeys are typewriters. And then I stop myself. Recognition of these incongruities forces re-examination. Yes doesn’t mean no. Up is not down. Who am I? What am I?

For me, this is part of the re-booting process.

Who are you?

You are everything. When you die your ego is stripped away. To understand you must ask yourself who you are without your individuality or even language. As part of everything, you are no longer an individual. – – – – Which makes living outside of oneness so very, very, precious. Enjoy the ride.

How do I know this? Read

Also, the ride isn’t as fun if you know how it ends.
_________________

Sing Along to the Galaxy Song:

Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That’s orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it’s reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the ‘Milky Way’.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It’s a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it’s just three thousand light years wide.
We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go ’round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that’s the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space,
‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth.
_______________

On another note: My aggravation with the right-wing nonsense spewed regarding the coming Apocalypse has been pushing my buttons for years. And if it’s not the Apocalypse it’s something else. These delusional wackos are irritating the rationality right out of my existence. As far as I’m concerned their theories about God is mental masturbation. Forever my hero, Jacob over at Contextual Criticism has been keeping me sane. I need guys like him. Jacob reports from his heart about his objection to the hypocrisy birthed from the myriad of organized religions. (So many I have a hard time keeping track.) Contextual Criticism is a pleasure. If you have the chance, give him a read at: http://mythandhope.blogspot.com/

My Jihad on Christmas 2008 – The Reconing 2, un-Celebrate Jesus or die trying

I can smell it coming. Jingle fucking bells! It’s that time of year again. The time of year when I morph into Scrooge McDuck and curse this holiday from hell. It’s forced merriment! Forced jolly. Forced glad tidings. I’ve had enough. I’m calling on free people everywhere to stand up to this damn holiday. Help me fight back against the yule tide. We must fight against the holiday that will never, ever die.

You can’t kill Christmas. Christmas is like a Mummy that just keeps coming. You can easily elude it, but it’s back, every year, and it will never stop. Ever! Until you’re fucking merry.

Granted, last year’s jihad didn’t get very far. So let me reiterate, it’s not the celebration of Jesus’s birthday for which I have a problem. I enjoy the Christmas spirit. But this surreal cultural celebration has morphed into a lawn decorating nightmare filled with 1950’s cartoon characters that have NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS. Thus, forcing me to explain each one as we drive around looking at Christmas lights. When my son was 7 it went kind of went like this:
_______________

My Son: Who’s that?

Me: That’s Yogi Bear.

Who’s Yogi Bear?

Uh, he was just this cartoon bear that stole picnic baskets from campers at Yosemite National Park.

Who’s that?

That’s uh, that’s Betty Boop.

Who’s Betty Boop?

Son, I couldn’t even tell you.

Boop, that’s a funny name. What did Boop do for Christmas?

I’m not sure. . .

What’s wrong with her head?

It’s a big Christmas head. Sometimes that happens to baseball players.

Who’s that?

That’s a storm trooper from Star Wars.

What’s a storm trooper?

Don’t worry about it. He’s from the movie, Star Wars.

Who’s that?

Uh, that’s Heckle and Jeckle.

What are they?

Magpies.

Magpies? You’re just making up that word. What is a magpie?

It’s a kind of bird.

Ugly black birds.

Yeah. Check out the Santa on the roof.

He’s on every roof. What’s so Christmas-ee about magpies?

Nothing really.

What’s that?

That’s Wonder Woman and Aqua Man.

Are they friends of Santa?

Not really. They’re super heros that fight crime.

What? Like someone that steals Christmas presents?

Sure. Why not?

What does Wonder Woman do?

She can knock bullets out of the way with her bracelets.

Nuh-uh.

I know, it sounds kind of stupid. But did I ever tell you the time Superman and Batman fought against Santa Clause for domination of the galaxy? It all started when Chris Cringle started a feud with the Village People.

Which village?

No, the Village People was a homosexual disco group from the 70’s. They’re right over there on the roof across the street.

What’s that?

That’s a life size cut out of Dolemite. Before you ask, I don’t know.

_______________

Also on my list of grievances – Christmas music is forcing me to buy an IPOD. I can’t go shopping and listen to the same litany of crappy Christmas music. The little drummer boy and jingle bells have become like fingernails on a blackboard. My only defense is to plug an IPOD into my head. And, I don’t want to be like my son. Every conversation starts with “HEY!” followed by annoyed derision as he pulls off headphones, that have, no doubt, grown into his head. My son the Borg. Resistence is futile. “WHAT?!?” is always the response, followed by “Jeeeezzzze, you don’t have to yell.” I answer, “Shaaaa.” I’m not sure what that “shaaa,” means but it seems to end most inane teenage blather.

This year I’ll be conducting my Jihad on Christmas in my one-of-a-kind Christmas-proof War Bunker, (my home office.) (My bathroom is known as the “Situation Room.”)

Woe is the caroler that wanders into the domain of my Christmas-proof war bunker. They shall receive gladdest tidings of redemption and lamentations harrowing the new word of God’s glory. Oh, wait. That’s not what will happen.

Santa, who does he work for?

I’ve been picking on the Santa Clause scab since I was born. Who appointed this fat cracker to decide who’s naughty and who’s nice?!? He sounds like the Fidel Castro of the north. And what happens is five years when the north pole melts? Do we really want his kind in the Americas? I vote we push him into Siberian territory. There’s no reason he can’t be productive with his midget slave labor camp in Russia. Honestly, who buys wooden toys anymore?

If Jesus was alive today, do you think he’d want to see another cross? – (Bill Hicks)

I’m not really against Christmas, but for God’s sake we must consider the rigidity of the rules regarding celebrating the holidays. Maybe we should try Festivas. I especially like the “airing of grievances.”

Traditional Christmas television specials demand our attention. Last year I went on a rant against certain Christmas television shows, but there are a few I like:

Lets not forget, Rudolph the Omen

Explain to me how the Pee-Wee Christmas Special doesn’t involve LSD?

I’m looking forward to the Aunt Barbara Christmas Special. He/She had me at Shields and Yarnell.

The Night the Reindeer Died. Starring Lee Majors, in color.

I should point out that I love the movie Bad Santa. Next year I plan to set up a Bad Santa franchise here in Austin. I will play the drunk bad Santa as cars full of kids drive up. I’ll ask them what they want for Christmas and then feign sickness, vomitting icicles into a bucket before they can speak. My assistant, an over-medicated daytime whore with too much makeup and under-dressed as an elf, will ask if anyone wants a $5 picture while holding a cigarette with a long line of ashes just about to fall, but never does.

The ground around my Christmas throne will be littered with beer cans. Jingle Bells and other Christmas favorites will be blaring on the loudspeaker, but the tunes are full of mistakes, as if played by someone just learning. Old, broken plastic Christmas decorations will litter Santa’s village. Strings of lights will be haphazardly covering everything.

For those of you who don’t know this, most Mexican nativity scenes include a GIANT baby Jesus. The scale of the baby Jesus can be as small as a bale of hay or as big as the live animals standing around. My nativity scene will be Mexican friendly by featuring an oversized Jesus, played by Austin’s own transvestite celebrity Leslie Cockran in a diaper. The live animals will be restricted to a small herd of sheep with bad Christmas slogans spray painted onto their sides.

As the car pulls away, my super stoked, 6 foot Will Ferrill elf, will wish serious fucking Christmas joy unto them through a blow horn as I light up another cigarette. “Santa can’t talk right now. Keep moving. Santa is feeling a little sick right now, but Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!! Right now! Have a merry Christmas! Hey! You’re not having a merry Christmas! Do it! Now! Right now! Have a merry Christmas or Santa will fart in your bed and pull the comforter up over your head. It’s called a Christmas Dutch oven.”

If your ears are tender and you are easily offended, don’t watch this. It makes me laugh.

Investing in Democracy – Rasing the Level of Transparency

Every time I hear the pundits describe America as red vs. blue, or liberal vs. conservative, I feel myself wanting to yell at the T.V., it’s about DEMOCRACY! As a nation, democracy is our shared faith. Democracy is what unites us. Without democracy, our fate is never our own. If there was a bumper sticker it would say: Democracy, the anti-Cheney.

Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made. — Otto von Bismarck.

But what if you own a meat processing plant? Wouldn’t you be better off if you knew how you make sausages? After all, that would be your business. Unless we forget, the American public owns this government. We should have ever right of ownership.

For the first time in human civilization we have the ability to raise democracy to become what was desired from the outset. All men are created equal.

Can there be a better government? Can every man be represented? Now they can.

We could require our federal elected officials to stay in the district they represent 24/7/365. What does that do?

For the first time in history of civilizations we can create a truly transparent government. What if our representatives could only communicate with their fellow elected officials on the record? Thousands of Americans already work from home. Why can’t my Congressman? All that’s needed is a high bandwidth, internet connection. All Congressional committee meetings would be on the record. All meetings of any kind would be on the record. Let the Library of Congress manage the whole thing. The technology isn’t exactly cutting edge. We’ve had it for a while. All communications can now be recorded and available to the public, instantly.

What if a big nasty oil lobbyist wants to speak to a representative from your district? We have free speech in the country. There is no reason the oil industry shouldn’t be allowed access to our elected officials. But as part owner, I demand that any and all communications to my employee be formally recorded and available instantly over the internet. This also goes for anyone entering the Congressman’s office/home.

As a part owner of this government, I would like to see how these sausages are made. The public shouldn’t give up their rights, our elected officials should. By law we need to require that all communications with the public be on-the-record.

Privacy isn’t a right guaranteed to an employee and employees should not be the ones defining their own jobs. If you work for me, I make the rules.

At the same time I’d love to see a new kind of politician. Could we ever get that without revamping the campaign finance system?

How about raising the level of transparency to include the election process?

If television churches can afford their own channel, I can’t imagine why the government can’t. It will just be an extension of what C-SPAN is doing.

TV.GOV would not only be on the internet and cable, it could also be broadcast on local VHF band frequencies now available after the change over to digital. The only thing the public would need is a T.V. with rabbit ears. TV.GOV-1: National; TV.GOV-2 Statewide Candidates; TV.GOV-3 County; etc. . .

TV.GOV should be about the fairness required to allow ANYONE the ability to speak to everyone. Everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law. Everyone should be heard. For the first time in history, they can be. I’m absolutely positive that no one will listen, but that’s not the point. If we desire a government that is responsive to the people, access to the public should be free.

It’s an investment in Democracy. The only thing to fear is fear itself.

If we don’t change, we’ll just get another Will Ferrell for President. It’s only a matter of time.