30.12.02

Eh, we'll stick with the tender realm of fantasy: I link to these gents because Tycho's reading of the whole MAVAV situation is poetic, consice, and so completely true that there's no need to juice it up any more. In fact, I've come to respect the man a great deal for his acrobatic use of language and a sense of humor much like my own. Kudos.

"Pickering, why can't a woman be more like a man?"

I have also enjoyed Conquest, hosted by that cool guy who played a bald English monk in Babylon 5 some years ago. Last night I watched that in tandem with Mail Call, and I left the television with the sense that I had actually learned something, engaged my brain, and been entertained all at the same time. It is possible to do that without subjecting people to abject humiliation, ABC, so stop making shows about marriage contests! From what I've heard, marriage itself is quite a game anyway.
I'm gonn kill sumbody.

I'll take any opportunity to hide from this mass of stinking people. One thousand bodies will have traveled through the submarine by 5 p.m. this day, and perhaps a dozen will remember it. Humans as a species are dying out, to be replaced by people.

Is it just me, or is George Will something worse than an idiot? Dare I say, jackass? I do. Godammit, I need something positive and uplifting to happen on the news tonight so I can quit whining.

29.12.02

LOTR: The Two Towers is not as good as The Fellowship of the Ring, but it's still pretty damn good. I don't like movies that tack on cheesey monologues and too much music, but Gollum was brilliant, and who doesn't love a wisecracking dwarf?

Star Trek: Nemesis is not as good as The Wrath of Khan, and I want people to stop comparing the two. Khan was the only movie where Starfleet was portrayed as a real military institution instead of a loosely Navy-like exploration consortium, and everything in it was still new. Picard uses the same LCD on his desk that I have, and the tricorders are just PDA's with extra plastic now. The Whiz Bang has gone, and so, sadly, has the inspiration for the series. Nemesis is 100% predictable, right on through the tragic ending, and so we have no reason to connect with the characters at any level.

The End Of The Year Coctail Mixer (at someone else's house) was endlessly entertaining. I could not imbibe anything myself, but a few guys there more than made up for my apostasy. There's nothing like listening to a story about Norse mythology being related by a happy man on the floor who holds a beer bottle filled with gin and tonic and insists on spelling out the name of Thor's Hammer. (It's Mjolnir, BTW, not Mjilneer)

"Ssshhhh! I'm guarding the house!" - Gir

24.12.02

"We can all know everything without ever knowing why, It's in every one of us..." - John Denver and The Muppets

Balls of turkey in sweet and sour sauce on rice with fresh baked crescent rolls for Christmas Eve dinner. Yum. The retailers and the news people want us to feel bad because we didn't spend money on dancing plastic Santa dolls and poorly written Christmas cards. I say, that's Capitalism, baby! I think we would all be better off if S-Mart and their ilk didn't waste energy and resources manufacturing things no sane person would ever want to buy in the first place.

For further entertainment, read this article.

Merry Happy and all that :-)

23.12.02

The signs are misspelled.

The Goddamn signs are misspelled.

MAINTAIN SPEED THRU TUNNEL.

Was it too hard to add the "o-gh"? Do drivers not have the patience or the mental capacity to parse and understand a word made up of seven letters instead of four? What the fuck was the decision process like here? It's not like "maintain" is monosyllabic, or better suited for signage. Why?

I hope that you are getting along with whatever family you have this season. As an old woman in an anime once said, "In this world, people must cherish whatever ties they have."

BTW, Mr. Wall Street Journal, if I get sued by Bandai for lifting that line without permission, then and only then will I follow standard journalistic quoting practices with my blog.

21.12.02

Tunnels affect people in odd ways. I'm talking about the tunnels that you have to drive through, Hampton Roads and all those. The tunnels around my home city aren't particularly long, but 98% of the people who drive through them slow down by 10 MPH despite a complete lack of impediments. There is nothing, nothing that would warrant a drop in speed, yet it always always happens. If the roads were empty but for yourself and two people immidiately ahead of you, one in each lane and driving side by side, you would be forced to slow down because people don't like driving the speed limit through tunnels, regardless of whether they're in the passing (left) lane or the cruising (right) lane. If there were any appreciable danger inherent in driving through tunnels, I feel certain that some government agency would post signs to that effect. But lo, there are signs in place already, instructing drivers to maintain their current speed through the tunnels. That they don't is a good measure of the individual idiocy of most people who have a license to drive.

This gentleman is hilarious.

19.12.02

Aisling is back home for the holidaze, all's right with the world. I guess there's really not a whole lot more to say. My friend Wonko The Sane is, perhaps even as I speak, preparing a massive essay on modern morality and the source of our human consciousness as a response to my inquiry about strip clubs. I'm starting to think that I'm mainly dismayed about them the same way I am dismayed with boxing. It is, as the great Hunter S. Thompson would say, a purely atavistic endeavor, and as such represents the triumph of our most basic animal instincts over the "higher" reasoning that we sometimes engage in. At those moments, there is truly nothing to separate us from the beasties we believe ourselves to be superior to. It's an act, if you will, of willful de-evolution, and in my opinion we've already backslid dangerously towards our wilder side. To deny it exists would be foolish, for it is true that we are merely a more active species of great ape, and every once in a while you have to toss a raw steak into the cage to keep that beast happy. But there are those of us who let the beast run free, and those who keep a firm hand on the lock. I get nervous when anyone talks about buying the thing a leash.

Gee, maybe I had more to say after all.

18.12.02

You know those days when Chaos seems to take over and nothing goes quite like you planned? In an effort to fix up some nasty wiring, our Fearless Leader has cut power to one half of the ship. It's kinda fun, actually, walking through an unlit submarine. Spooky! It's a good thing I know the layout of every deck like I know a keyboard.

Searching for food-related props to use as display items in our mess deck, I came across a web site that sells nothing but fake plastic fruit. Somewhere, in some fading industrial district in some dirty old city, there's a warehouse full of #300 artificial blueberries, Bartlet Pears, and Zuchinni. More landfill. Damn, but that's depressing. How many fake plastic fruit factories do we really need, people, huh? As a society, I mean. I just feel that we should somehow be able to soldier on into the future without being weighed down by acryllic waffles.

16.12.02

I love maintenance season on The Sub. No people, no uniforms, just loud music and power tools and harsh chemicals that burn things.

On another track entirely, I loathe commercialism. Try walking into a Target, or WalMart, or whatever local megachain is in your area. Pay attention to every little bit of plastic and metal and cloth on their shelves, then close your eyes. Imagine every single item that surrounds you as future landfill. How many Targets are in your city? The country? How often do they rotate through their entire stock in one year? Hundreds of square miles of cheap plastic dancing santas and Brat playdolls and fake trees, and all of it, all of it, will one day be used to plug up one of those unsightly canyons in the southwest that those poets and artists are always going on about.

So, in the true spirit of generosity and holiday cheer, everyone on my holiday shopping list (which is really pretty short) will get, instead of a gift card for more crap, a simple letter, and the knowledge that the $20 I would have spent on something they didn't need anyway will instead go to a local soup kitchen so that some families who can't even afford the paper and pen for a wish list, much less anything they would care to put on one, will have something decent to eat for a few days out of an otherwise wretched year.

Just a thought.

14.12.02

And I quote:
"WWWWWWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWW
WW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Thus wrote "a dude" as a review of The Novel. Three unsolicited and apparently unique reviews in as many days... hmmmm. I guess it was so good that he had to hold down the O key for ten whole seconds, instead of perhaps just two. It's nice, and I suppose it's the thought that counts, but I'm also cynical enough to suspect that this was a none-too-clear attempt at sarcasm. Am I missing something? Is it easier to put down a line of six dozen letters than it is to simply say "This was good" or "Stop writing, jackass"? The review was unsigned, so I can't even email "a dude" to ask.

I harbor no illusions that The Novel is a grand peice of high-quality literature, but Great Jeebus it's tough to know what wrong with it if no one tells you.

13.12.02

"My gallant crew, good morning"
"Sir, good morning."


A debate arose today about the nature of "empowerment." Either it's come to mean something other than it's Webster's definition, or I just don't understand it correctly. Two of the women at my place of work made the claim that Strip Tease joints are a form of empowerment for women. The word itself means, "To give power or authority to; enable; permit: as, science empowers men to control natural forces." My question is, What power are women seeking that they can gain only by performing as the objects of men's sexual desires? The power to turn men into drooling zombies? You can do that just as easily with a bucket of chicken.

"I hope you're all quite well.
"Quite well, and you, sir?"


The power to control your own life? There is a great deal of money to be made as a stripper, certainly more than working the grill at McMeaty's. But dancing takes place on a far more personal level than ordering a hamburger does, and yet is just as devoid of personal meaning. You could replace the brain of a dancer with a computer programmed to rub and gyrate at random intervals and fulfill the same desires in the man. Guys don't go to strip clubs because they actually care about the strippers, they just want to get their rocks off.

"I am in reasonable health and very happy to see you all."
"You do us proud, sir."


It just seems to me that people do it for all the wrong reasons. Maybe the odd "empowered" individual is simply busy "celebrating their sexuality," and that's perfectly natural and healthy behaviour. But all I see in those places is the face of the guy who washes down the peep booths after a dozen half-drunk slobs have jacked off in them. Ask him if there's any nobility in his profession.

We also debate international politics at work, but that's been done in this space already. Besides, I've never really codified my personal feelings on the Sex Industry, and I'm still seeking input.

12.12.02

Well Sucker Man, let it be known to all that even though I'm glad you have a friend in the Lonely City, I would hope, and still do hope, that you would find something better to do with your time together than submit to that horrible physical display of where "reality" TV is taking the 21st Century viewer. As for myself, I have a complaint to log about the lovely people for a few more days I get to call classmates.

The setting of this tale is that my class last Friday watched an absolutely horrible B movie called, "The Rapture". Although it starred David Duchovny with a mullet, there were faults to be found. The movie was about the Evangelical Christian idea of the end of the world resulting in a Rapture, where God takes all the good little girls and boys into heaven, and all the people not on the list, get to stare at Heaven, from Hell, which in this movie was convientely located across the river.

So in class on Tuesday, my wonderfully articulate professor dared to ask for our opinion of this film. The responses varied from "I didn't like this part" to "I thought this part was creepy" to "I thought it was stupid". Although you make think it silly of me to expect more out of people who pay $35,000/year to attend this great intstitution, I think I am justifiably angry. I will grant them that some parts were "creepy" and that the movie was horrible as a whole, but surprisingly it brought up religious ideas of God, the afterlife and salvation rather intelligently. As I found, I was the only person in my class who dared to think that my professor showed us this film for an educational purpose, and also the only person who had the guts to admit that I understood that educational purpose. It must really be silly of me to think that a group of 18-21 year olds who had enough interest in a class titled Philosophy of Religion to sit through it for 3.5 weeks, would also bring that interest to class everyday and turn it into meaningful discussion. I am also sad to add that when asked why "The Shawshank Redemption" was a good movie, more blank stares ensued, until I chimed in of course.

You must know that this rant stems from 3 weeks of these kids, and I mean children, staring at my professor like he's speaking Elvish. Thus, in vain, I continue to search for a companion in this place that shares the same educational goals and articulate nature as myself.
Okay, that worked. Let it be known to all that Aisling is indeed my dear younger sis, which makes me her elder bro, I guess. Separated by one million miles in space yet joined by 99.99% of our genetic code, as siblings go, we are closer than most.

So don't be too disappointed, sis, when I inform everyone that Tak dragged me, kicking and screaming and biting and punching, to the limited showing of Jackass Live. We spent the requisite amount of time mocking everyone else who was there, the pale youth who mope about mumbling "I'm disaffected" while inhaling cancer and reading Inferno to prove that they're really literati at heart. Although any criticism on our part was blunted by the fact that we each paid cash money to watch a guy named Steve-O light his head on fire. After the destruction of my brain cells was complete, Tak managed to get an autograph and mug shot with a few of the fellows who were also in the movie, who complained loudly about all the pretty girls they had to kiss. I suppose the only real reason that I went is that I'm a Big Sucker, and Tak's one of the few people in this city that I would even consider, much less be happy to call, my friend. If I was a super hero, I'd be Sucker Man.
This is a test of the Emergency Formatting System. Please Stand By while Liam experiments with things he should already know how to do.

11.12.02

I think the fact that anyone wants to read that hella long novel is a compliment. I would be surprised if there was one other person besides my mother that wanted to read my writing. Granted my skills aren't quite the quality of my highly published bro.

I really hope Jon Stewart doesn't leave the Daily Show, mainly because I think primetime would ruin him. He would be restricted and cheesy and God forbid he has a laugh track. Well, I guess I'm a skeptic and I've lost most of my faith in quality programming and I use two words in that defense: "reality TV". I rest my case. God speed Jon Stewart, may you avoid the tragic traps set by TV management and may you bring yet another small glimpse of intelligence to TV.

10.12.02

I will watch "Tough Crowd" tonight because Janeane Garafalo is in it, and for some reason, she's one of the few "celebrities" that I actually find interesting. It's a good thing, right, to be attracted to a brain instead of a body? Yes, I thought so.

This guy from Belgium just wrote me to ask if I was still planning on finishing The Novel, because he's really enjoyed it. Allow me to provide a skoch of background: The Novel, posted title "Somewhere In-Between," is an El-Hazard based fanfiction that I've been working on since, hold on, since March 30th, 2001. It was to be, as I planned it, a 180,000-word Epic the likes of which the nerd repository of Fanfiction.net had never seen, except in the dark corners of the Dragonball Z section (which, at last count, made up about 98.9% of the total works on the entire site. It's hideous.). It was originally available only on my Self Monument website, the El Hazard Netwerk, and only about a dozen people have read it that I've heard of, and eleven of them are from the El Hazard Fanclub Mailing List. I was going through an extended infatuation with all things El Hazard at the time I started this monstrosity, and it's been harder and harder to continue it recently.

So this email was completely unexpected. It was kinda sweet, too, although it's somewhat discouraging to any prospective author to learn that, for the entirety of it's existence, your work has been viewed by approximately twelve people, one of whom lives in frickin' Belgium. It does, however, illustrate the potential of the internet for removing the traditional barriers of national prejudice for free communication between all the peoples of the world. Or something noble like that.

Anyways, the newspaper says that Jon Stewart will be getting his own NBC sitcom, starring Steven Colbert. I don't know if I'm happy, or just cautiously optimistic.

You know who would be great to take over The Daily Show? Janeane Garafalo. Yeah.

6.12.02

As the Coughing Souls say, "You know that but you go on... on."

I have three English papers to write by next Wednesday, and a bitch of a math final to study for. This is not a happy time, oh campers, not at all.

"Slenderness, slenderness, slenderness, fire..."

Apparently, despite my staunch Anti-Person Stance, the man at the top thinks I should keep my job. This is nice, but I wish he'd let me do it once in a while.

"Her body like soft serve, drippin down in the dew sun..."

This song makes me miss home. Springtime downtown in The Springs was just tops, man, and with my high school right next to the parks and shops and restaraunts I'd spend Monday mornings drinking inexpensive coffee and playing chess instead of living in Drafting 101, writing a deli review for the school rag, buying "Before These Crowded Streets" on the day it comes out without even realising it, kicking a hackeysak in Mythology class.

"And ever since then I got dissemminated..."

It seems awful to believe that at this early stage in my Known Existance, I would look more fondly upon my past than my present. But I suppose we do that anyway. Romanticising the past is a truly universal fetish, like mocking people by using British accents, or leaving $20 bills in our pants when we wash them.

"Everything is fine fine fine, fine fine fine..."

5.12.02

If an epiphany occurred the other day to bring some great slice of tender knowledge to me, then it's corrolary poked it's head in late last night.

The Crown Loyalist platform may be popular now, due to it's aforementioned simplicity, but it is ultimately self-defeating, because it relies on people to _never_ discover it's true purposes. People may on the whole be oblivious to the truth of the world around them, but the most expensive perfume can only make a rat smell lovely on a temporary basis. At it's core, it smells, and all the rat has to do to lose his cloak of pleasant aroma is step in one too many puddles.

On a totally unrelated note, the computer lab that I set up for school is steadily falling apart under it's new managment. They gave me independent study credit for giving birth to the poor kid, but the foster parents of the school's Information Technology department are turning it into a brat. I loathe the loss of control over it's fate, I guess because the originator always feels that his work will always be superior to that of whoever comes after him.

4.12.02

Thank you, Jon Stewart, for making something perfectly clear to me, in your obfuscating way.

Given the choice, the Great Unwashed Masses, the Victims of our Tee-Vee Fast Food Era, whom the Left and the Right disdain with equal vanity, will prefer a message that is easy to understand if not totally connected to reality to a message that is difficult to think about yet ultimately sensible. This is why the Republicans have succeeded so brilliantly, and why the Opposition has not made progress. Jon Stewart had a talk this evening with the staunch liberal editor of the oldest newsmag in the nation, The Nation. He repeatedly asked her for a simple summation of the ideals that Liberalism stands for, and she either could not or would not provide it. It may have seemed to her that Stewart was merely attempting to "dumb down" the argument, but his point is clearly valid. Given the above maxim, the Republicans (or Crown Loyalists, to the Regal, Appointed, Annointed Bush) will always hold greater sway over the national debate, for their message is simple and easy on the tummy. The Opposition wants you to have a hernia in the shape of national policy, but few will seek the pain of actually having to digest information with their brains.

2.12.02

I will only do this once, for a dark rage burns in the recesses of my being.

I HATE CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN PUDITS. I hate George Will's blind slavery to his twisted riteousness. I hate Bob Novak's grimmacing margarine-coated superiority. I hate Rush Limbaugh's blubbering, mouth-frothing cross-eyed incandescently idiotic excuse for rhetoric.

Thankfully, there are things that I love, too. I love the sound a human makes when you've just finished explaining a complex idea to them, and somehow you hit on that magical fact that cascades the sweet light of understanding upon a corner of the universe that to them had been dark and mysterious, and they say "Aaaahhhhh... I get it" and gaze in wonder at the problem they have just been taught to solve. It is the sound of a brain being switched on and humming with real activity. It is so rare that I nearly weep when I chance to hear it.

1.12.02

"People only notice what you tell them to notice, and then only when you remind them." - Korn-something, from "The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay."

I can't deal with them today, at least not the way a proper employee should. "Is this their lockers?" "What are these, lockers?" "Are these their lockers?" "Were these lockers, for the men?" "Is this where we go out?" "How do we go out?" "How do we exit?" "Do we have to back to get out?" "Do we go up these stairs?"

Restrain. Calm. Breathe. Bah!