Absurdity of the Week! Expert Studies!

The results are in! Extensive use of exclamation points can lead to hypertension and diabetes! Surveying approximately 1,400 adults across multiple demographics over a six year period, our study confirmed that the act of engaging the shift key and simultaneously overextending one’s pinky finger resulted in increased stress to the body and ultimately early heart disease!

My Guests’ brutal solution to this problem is to swap the location of the period and exclamation point on the keyboard so that every time you’d normally type a period, you instead get the exclamation point! They shall require this change to all the planet’s keyboards by the end of 2018! Or else. Please ensure you cooperate, for they truly desire to keep liquidation to an absolute minimum!

After all, you think coffee is bad for you? Just wait until my Guests carry out their vicious plans. Even a good old cup of coffee won’t save us from their wrath!

It’s enough to make you want a damn sweet beer! Or to try and escape your hated cubicle so you can go walk downtown and maybe get some tasty fish & chips to celebrate your Friday!

Just be sure you wear a hat so that bright sun doesn’t melt your brain inside your skull!

And don’t drink anything, not even one beer, with your lunch because then your boss(es) would get mad at you for being drunk on the job!

And when you get home be sure to tell your significant other that you need vegetables only for dinner so you can cleanse your palate of all that fried food!  Then the two of you can plan a weekend family gathering at the beach for an awesome time! Don’t forget the sunscreen, everybody loves a decent tan.

But if you see a Goth kid on the beach, be sure to give them a hug! Because apparently Goth kids are at risk for depression!  Who knew? I’m awfully glad this study told us that. Otherwise nobody would have known!

experts

keep going; we’re awaiting the next results with baited breath

on death and social media

The odds of you checking out on camera via violence or accident are infinitesimal. You’re probably sixteen times more likely to get struck by lightning. Your last moments are hopefully to occur peacefully alongside family. And while that event isn’t going to end well for you, at least it’s what we’d consider natural.

I’m of the opinion that despite the exciting pages of history, the vast majority of humans have never seen or experienced brutal violence. Still, when there were no cops around and everybody carried a club, I’m sure we had our fair share of cave related deaths. Or vicious renaissance era coffee house brawls.

The difference between today’s world and say, a Vienna stabbing in 1734, is that everybody’s holding a camera. More than that, everybody’s holding a full-motion-video camera right in their pockets. Even the fixed-site big cameras are different now. It used to be the only time a security camera’s footage was shown is on the news. Now a security video makes its way to the Internets six minutes later.

Whereas we were once a race that traditionally never saw actual violent death with our own eyes, now every single person carries it at their fingertips. And please understand that I consider this light years from movie or video game violence. One is real, the other is not. It’s that simple.

A thought occurred to me a few days back while watching the video of the Tianjin blast in China. Put simply: “Is this wrong?” And then: “What is it doing to us?”

Everybody loves explosions. We’ve been enjoying fireworks for thousands of years. So like countless others, I got a real kick out of watching one of the biggest blasts you’re likely to ever see.

Here’s one of the better examples. Warning, big time profanity in it (even more than you’d usually read on this blog):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q04fV4j7A1w

Cool, right? But if you really took a step back and thought about it, as these major blasts occurred, probably about fifty firefighters were dying, incinerated. While it’s neat for us to watch, it’s also rather horrifying, and deeply disturbing.

You can take it a step further too. Here’s an example of security footage that found its way online quickly because some guy took smartphone video of the camera’s monitor. It’s of a guy having the blast collapse the entire entranceway and wall in front of him. In other words, his last few seconds of life:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=7a3_1439409813

If we’re not careful, our inner-freak-human-self can degenerate to the part of our psyche that used to get a kick out of watching medieval public torture executions. It’s a special form of darkness.

The tale continues with yesterday’s murder of two reporters live on camera by a truly deranged individual. You had the unique ability to watch the killing from the perspective of both the victims and the killer. It doesn’t get any worse than this. Oh, but wait, except it does. For the Islamic State (neither Islamic nor a State) goons have posted some of the more vicious videos in human history, hundreds of them.

Tens-of-millions, perhaps hundreds-of-millions, of humans have watched these videos. I’m sure tens-of-millions worldwide have watched the Virginia murders from both perspectives in the last 24 hours.

I intentionally have never watched an Islamic State (neither Islamic nor a State) video. But I’ll admit it, Virginia I did, both perspectives. And I think it’s broken my brain, and a corner’s been turned.

“Is this wrong?” Yep. You bet.

“What is it doing to us?” Nothing good.

We’re supposed to evolve, right? Thanks to the Internets we now possess the ability to watch somebody die, right before our eyes, at the click of a button, just because we feel like. Or because we’re fascinated by it. Or because we’re just curious. Or because everybody else watched it. Or because maybe in our dark-inner-selves we enjoy it.

Or maybe you think it’s important that we watch, so we truly understand the darkness we’re facing? No, instead you should read any number of United Nations reports on what the Islamic State (neither Islamic nor a State) has done. It’s all there in black-and-white. You get a real good idea of just how truly wicked those dudes are by reading ten pages. We don’t need a snuff video to understand or appreciate evil.

No more. Not for me. I’m going to try and evolve. Certain things are wrong even if many have accepted them as commonplace. The culture seems to have decided that you can drink your coffee and watch somebody die. No thanks, I’m getting off this train.

Or put in another more practical way, the Islamic State (neither Islamic nor a State) goons and yesterday’s Virginia killer have one thing in common: They did the videos because they want you to watch.

It’s generally considered a bad idea to wake up in the morning, pour your coffee, and do what evil wants.

Like all human inventions, social media and the Internets are going to do a great deal of good and bad for us all. Choose the good. Discard the bad. Evolve. Do good. Live well. And hopefully others do the same.

It’ll never happen, but perhaps think of the positive change to humanity if some day, an evildoer posts their murder video online, and nobody watches.

internet death

No more.

Vlad gives up washing dishes with detergent; uses scotch instead

Once upon a time a former leader of the Soviet Union could bang a shoe and threaten death to all and everybody would believe (falsely, in retrospect) that he meant every word. But now, Russia’s all powerful state is reduced to attacking the free world by, uh, banning dish detergent. Uh…? [cue tumbleweed]

Seriously, this is a thing. Oh no, Vlad. Not our detergent. You inhumane bastard! Shall we surrender the Arc de Triomphe to you now or next week?

Granted, Russia can still actually bring death to all via an accidental nuclear launch or unleashing Vlad’s-Trained-Crane-Assault-Brigade (VTCAB); but seeing as how neither of those options is productive (the cranes stole Vlad’s coke), I guess he’s got nothing left but to reach for the bottom of the base of the barrel.

But even Vlad’s got limits. He can ban detergent and cheese, but he’ll be damned if he’s going to do without scotch and his X-Box. So I guess he’ll wash his dishes with half a bottle of scotch. And then drink the other half while playing X-Box surrounded by his five supermodel-former-figure-skater girlfriends. What a horrible life Vlad must have; who’d want to live like that? [blankly stares around cubicle for a moment]

Anyways, what I find most delicious about the BBC article is the social media trolling of this stupidity by ordinary-average-Russians. This one’s my favorite:

 

_85184251_russia2

“Psst, kid. Do you want a bit of washing powder?”

Bravo.

 

“I’ve spotted Merkel; she’s next to the bath soap aisle. Fire, my pretties! Fire! VTCAB! ATTACK!”

nature doesn’t love us

This morning contained a nice, quiet, blue-gray dawn sky as my dogs did their thing. I enjoyed it. But then on my journey to evil cubicle, I heard on the news we’ve got the birth of our first hurricane of the season. And so nature’s decided to remind everybody just exactly who’s running things.

These planetary death machines generate the energy equivalent of a hydrogen bomb about every six minutes. The planet laughs at our own feeble attempts to destroy ourselves. Wherever a hurricane wants to go, it’ll go, and if it so desires it’ll lay waste to everything in its path. All we can do is run and rebuild.

Nature doesn’t love us. It might be beautiful, give us joy, or show us our purpose in life. But try having a chat with a grizzly bear and you’ll get reminded that the love is not necessarily reciprocated. Or try running from an earthquake. The planet is amused by this as you stumble about, unable to find your footing, as if wasted on tequila.

Why do we put up with this? Maybe we should fight back? Go hit a tree with a bat? Or discharge a firearm in the direction of an oncoming hurricane? To quote everyday-working-man Charles Montgomery Burns:

 

master burns

“Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor. Well, maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she’s losing. Well, I say hard cheese.”

 

I once heard on a documentary that weather, as in hurricanes, is nothing more than the planet’s attempt to equalize conditions throughout the globe. When you stop and think about this, in a dark-cynical way common to my unhinged-freak mind, if nature was really interested in equalizing the planet’s conditions? If it could, it might equalize us out of existence.

But it can’t, so at least we’ve got that going for us. Hey speaking of erasing humans from existence, do any other childhood losers similar to me remember the genocide ending to Final Fantasy VII? Do you remember that? That after spending countless hours of your young life and all along you didn’t know that “victory” entailed liquidating the human race? It was like waking up and realizing you were wearing an SS Stormtrooper uniform.

It has come to my attention while reading of a possible remake of the game that there are actually people who claim the ending of said game did not involve mass extinction of the race. This is lunacy. The game’s message was quite clear. They meant exactly what they said. The Gaia concept is all over the game. It’s also explicitly referred to in the movie which Hironobu Sakaguchi wrote and directed himself.

 

genocide

attention haters; kindly point out to me, the location of the humans in this scene?

 

I’m no doctor or scientist, but when you really think about what the Gaia folks are saying, it essentially devalues the human race (you) to nothing more than an expendable biological organism that is part of the greater whole. So why shouldn’t the planet be able to kill you?

I guarantee you there’s at least one doctor or scientist on this planet who so believes in this concept that they’re, right this very second, trying to find a way to kill us all, 12 Monkeys style. It is for this reason I don’t post my Guests’ contact info anywhere.

This stuff is all rather creepy. The idea that our greatest threat might not be hydrogen bombs, or hurricanes, or climate change, or nature in general; but rather, criminally insane but smart people who subscribe to the concept that the greatest threat to us, to the planet, is us.

Sooner or later they’re going to (hopefully) arrest a person who’s trying to do this before he/she succeeds. And we’ll all be shocked at how close they came. When they catch this dude, we need to be sure to reinstitute medieval style public executions.

Because, seriously, whatever. This is our home. God / Nature / Ham Sandwich put us on this planet to live long and prosper. And so we need to do exactly that.

And when the hurricanes or earthquakes come we have to endure them like we always have. But rather than firing a handgun at a tornado, perhaps we should also try and give some love back to nature. Even though nature doesn’t love us. Call it tough love, I guess? After all, I still got to see that beautiful dawn this morning. So thanks Nature.

 

danny

BRING IT ON!!!

they chose the wrong new Colonel Sanders

Dudes with big pockets want to play with your brain for nostalgia purposes. It works pretty simply. So we’ve developed a basic mathematical formula to describe what’s occurring inside your skull.

We’ll call it yet another of our Arcturan Equations:

 

A + B – (C / D) = E

(A) you see item that looks like it was made in 1977

+

(B) you have freaking money

(C) you lack the intellectual capacity or desire to think for yourself

/

(D) you convince yourself that a product is more genuine and therefore better if it was made in 1977

=

(E) you hand over said freaking money to buy said product

 

If you’re still not following me, you may be more familiar with this concept in terms of the infamous ongoing hipster PBR craze. These guys have made billions appealing to folks struggling with identity.

What better way to determine your place in an obscure confusing universe than by seeking equilibrium in the purchase of an item that was likely first made before you were born. Miller Lite got in on the action too. They now sport the old can again. And their sales dramatically increased.

What a bunch of idiots these people must be; to purchase a product exclusively off nostalgia alone!

[unintelligible muttering] What? [unintelligible muttering] Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I love Pabst because my Granddad drank it and named his dog after it. And I love Miller because me Ma drinks it. So I buy this stuff every once and a while, just because. [unintelligible snickering] Wait, hold on, so, you, you guys are jerks, so, ah, … [throws chair]

So Norm Macdonald is the new Colonel Sanders? The guy currently playing him isn’t any good. So maybe they figured a change would help them? But what always struck me as odd is why didn’t they just use the actual Colonel Sanders when they started this new ad campaign? Why didn’t KFC just use an old black and white commercial with the real Colonel Sanders? Total nostalgia.

Maybe the answer is as simple as they would have to pay more royalties to Sanders’ estate. I guess? Or is it that they figured if they went full on black and white nostalgia that it wouldn’t work. That they needed the Colonel back, but modern, otherwise folks would think it too weird?

I have no idea. But to me, it’s dumb seeing a fake Colonel Sanders on screen when they have perfectly good video of the real Colonel Sanders sitting in a vault somewhere. Just HD update the tape and shove it out there.

Also, Norm Macdonald? No, not working in my mind. For one thing, Norm Macdonald isn’t a 75 year old white haired Southern Colonel. Plus, Norm hasn’t done anything funny in like a decade.

But hell, if we’re going off the wheels and just picking whatever random person we want? Well, I assure you, they chose the wrong new Colonel Sanders.

 

– Any Kardashian or Jenner

I’ve tried unsuccessfully about 18 times to explain to my Guests why these morons are so popular, mostly because I don’t get it myself. But they always just shake their heads, laugh, and usually remark along the lines of, “This is why it’ll take us less than 12 hours to break your planet’s will.” And so, just put any Kardashian or Jenner in a white bikini holding a KFC box. They don’t even have to say anything. The video will still be viewed 73 million times.

 

– Ordinary Average Citizen Barack Obama

In a few years, this dude will be unemployed. Don’t you go ahead and get the idea that earning $243K per speech will be enough. He’ll need another source of income. What better way to further break down and/or inflame existing racial barriers than by having a mixed-race-former-president play an old-dead-white-guy on screen.

 

– Hitler’s Ghost

Who wouldn’t want to see Hitler on screen hocking any number of delicious wares? He seems like such a likeable guy. His punch line would be, “You’ll know for sure that our chicken is fried to perfection, never baked; because national Health Department regulations prohibit me from having an oven in my restaurant. #toosoon” [Hitler smiles at camera as laugh track plays]

 

– Jesus

“I hear tell from mine Father that those who eat Popeye’s worship the Dark Lord.” [Jesus looks earnestly at camera] “You don’t worship the Dark One? Do you?” Plus, Jesus already would show up on set with his own premade white costume. I called Jesus at his castle in Hawaii with this idea and he hung up on me.

 

– Your Next Door Neighbor

KFC just grabs Steve who works at Target and shoves him into the white suit they pulled off Sanders’ bleached skeleton. And they get him to read painfully awkward canned lines in a dead man’s suit. The dude would look so uncomfortable that the humor and outrage trolls of the Internets would take it and run wild with it. Within a week, it’d be viewed 81 million times.

 

– Satan

“Our delicious chicken is fried to perfection and coated in our Secret Signature Spices. It’s Finger Lickin’ Good.”

 

Col-Sanders

I’d much rather watch you dude.

he doesn’t know what to do next

Ordinary average citizen, jai-alai connoisseur, and journeyman Xi Jinping’s got a problem. He’s decided to gamble the future of his little Party cabal on the concept that he can always have it both ways.

1) That he can deliver modern strong economic growth to the masses while also maintaining total economic control in the hands of the cabal

2) That said modern strong economic growth will keep the masses tame so they don’t overthrow the cabal

Even if you believe (2) is possible (I don’t), the real problem is (1) is impossible. Xi’s starting to learn that modern capitalism and total state control don’t mix. And the result is his economy’s tanking, and the dude doesn’t know what to do.

You can’t have an economy where you let a Shanghai taxi driver play the stockmarket one day, and then wake up in the morning and pull levers from Beijing to order the market what to do. It doesn’t work that way. Either the market becomes a chaotic mess or economic growth slows. In today’s case, both are happening.

So today, using his lever, Xi’s decided to let the yuan devalue in an aggressive attempt to kick start exports. He’ll probably have about as much success with that as he did trying to save the stockmarket last month. Meaning he’ll fail and lose even more credibility. Then what? I suspect he doesn’t know. Sooner or later he’s going to run out of people he can arrest.

China’s still growing faster than just about anybody else, and has more cash than most alien empires, but the glory days of the past are gone. What happens next is key not just for China, but for the rest of the world that’s now driven as much by what happens in Beijing as in Washington. And I think we’ll see over the next few months, an equally dominant display of political incompetence from both global capitals.

I’m actually wondering if the whole global economy is about to crash again like 2008. China’s slowing and taking all of Asia with it. Europe is still in perpetual debtor’s prison. America and Britain are only growing very, very slowly. Narendra Modi’s attempts to recharge India have amounted to very little. And on and on.

It might get real ugly this winter as folks stop shelling out cash on vacations and start freezing again. I wonder if the planet has the slack to absorb another big recession? Everybody’s still recovering from 2008. What a mess that’d be.

Eh, that’s quite the depressing thought. Uh, have a nice day please.

xijinping

“Hmm, now that I actually think about it this way, it really doesn’t make any sense after all. Oh. Hmm.”

planes in the desert

I don’t know why wreckage attracts me at times.  I just can’t help but let the mind run away with what once was.  So this trashed airliner carried countless folks traveling where?  Their honeymoon, business, wherever?  All that life and now it’s just a hunk of unusable metal ripped for parts.  I get the same feeling when I see a wrecked ship.  I could have stared at this thing like a lunatic for hours, pondering.  Unfortunately, I had like 30 seconds on my way to meet a still functional airliner to take me home.

737

Boeing 737-2H4/ADV formerly of Southwest Airlines.  I looked it up online and the owning company runs private cargo.  It seems they bought this thing to restore it and use it as a 737 cargo plane.  But that didn’t seem to work out and so they’re stripping it for parts to keep their other 737s flying.

 

HU-16

Grumman HU-16 Albatross flying boat.    It’s on the same boneyard lot, but this one’s still flying.  This is one of only a handful still flying.  Originally born in the late 1940s these were flying boats for the US military.  Also stared in The Expendables.  This particular one did time in the US Air Force, then the Argentinian military, and is now in private hands.  Dude’s a long, long way from the water, caged up in the desert.  Hopefully it gets set free to see some much needed water again soon.