“Realists of a Larger Reality”

At 86, sci-fi literary high priestess Ursula Le Guin speaks
her mind and crystallizes some New Year’s inspiration.

“We will need writers who can remember freedom.”

It’s a Comedy Club Thing

...alcohol is prominently featured but doesn’t fully explain it

Banned! Got That? BANNED.

Graham Hancock just checked in to see what condition your condition is in and got BANNED.
Graham’s TED talk was banned for being pseudo science. Meanwhile, real scientists claim that Felix, under that box over there is both dead and alive. And particles are waves and vice-versa—and experiments depend on who’s doing it as much as its physical criteria, e.g., data are both objective and subjective. But Graham talks about stuff everybody sees plain as their nose and he’s unscientific because, you know—hallucinogens. Brother.

American Medical

Disease is an inconvenient but necessary actuarial element in the business of taking gobs of money from patients and withholding it from doctors.

If you’re sick, you’ll be diagnosed by accountants, bearing in mind that the human system’s material commodity value, adjusted for inflation is $1.47.

That Feminine Mystique Thing

Photojournalist Ruth Orkin was on assignment for Life magazine in 1951 and snapped her pal Jinx Allen walking down a Florence street to show what it was like being a single woman traveling alone... something Orkin knew plenty about, having bicycled and hitched across America alone at age 17.

Sixty-some years later, a PR agency video crew surreptitiously followed a young woman around Harlem, adding audio and subtitles to the essential concept. Unsurprisingly, the males offered no useful examples of Byronesque seduction nor did the hysterical online discussion offer any new mating insights. But there’s also a video with a woman traipsing around wearing just a g-string and body-painted jeans who supposedly goes completely unnoticed.
A poll of women on which option they prefer is forthcoming.

Awake from a 30-Year Coma

If I awoke from a thirty-year coma and learned that mobile telephones have free TV while actual TV is 100 bucks a month, 100 times stupider with 100 times more ads so people watch cats and genitals on their phones which they don’t use to talk on but instead type illiterate, rancorous text-bursts; that Times Square is friendlier than Disneyland and DC is farther right than Texas since the Trade Towers is the new Alamo and Muslims are the new Mexicans; that tobacco is the devil’s weed but marijuana’s a modern medical miracle; that Mick Jagger got a knighthood but the first elected black President forced the Supreme Court to mandate corporate appointment for all future Presidents, that science isn’t legitimate but sponsored pitchmen are and so is gay marriage and since KGB spying is 100% American, Russia is where we correctly exiled the leak; that a national health program that threatens the profits of genocidal insurers forced career politicians into such frenzies they filibustered themselves—if I woke up and saw all that, I’d say, “So Mitch McConnell must be the Senate Majority Leader, right?”

Honey Badger DOES Care

Claws longer than a Grizzly’s
Okay, she dines on scorpions and cobras, steals that namesake honey by ignoring hundreds of killer bee stings, she rips off leopard kills and backs down everything from porcupines to lions but don’t say she doesn’t care.

Being inoculated to poisons and venom and never running from a fight (she declines combat with a terrifying back-up move) doesn’t make her not care. Being fearlessly inquisitive, thick-skinned and relentless in pursuit of meals does not make her uncaring.

Because the Honey Badger routinely trots into danger and shrugs off hurt that would kill animals ten times her size is actually evidence she cares way, way more than any other critter going.

Here is somebody who gets Honey Badgers. She was the lone voice of understanding among so much “Honey Badgers Don’t Care” crap on the internet.

I am an instant fan of Ursula since she is so hilariously on the mark it makes all this other stuff pretty superfluous because cartoons.


The can and the ad are made up, but the actual individual-batch chili I’m pretty proud of. I cooked up some and presented it to my godson’s dad. This is actually what he wrote back:
 “Your chili was...was...ambrosia— the adjective, not the dessert, which we know is made with tangerines and marshmallows and is another conversation. 
Your chili was so good I ate it with only a crumb of cornbread and a few shreds of cheddar for color. 
Your chili was so good, I lost track of how many servings I had had.  
Your chili was so good the gas it was to produce passed so quickly through my system that its first exit came as I stood to clear my plate. It was one of those low volume, high intensity evacuations that invaded my entire personal space in half a breath. A sickly-sweet smell that I thought might actually change the color of my clothes, an aroma I could only deduce had come from at least six exotic plants, spiced and pressure-cooked to peak efficiency. As I walked to the kitchen I took very small steps, bending only at the knees, but it was no use. In just three steps the chorus of "Daaaaaaads" rained on me. I ran.
After washing my plate I moved to the farthest corner of the house to enjoy my chili afterglow, but as you know it’s a small place, so whenever I felt wind about to break, depending on whether I was wearing shoes or not, I would immediately leave through the nearest exit and briskly walk the perimeter of the house twice. Or, sans shoes, head to the john, strip naked and stand under the bathroom fan for 10 minutes. This worked pretty well until about 3AM when I fell asleep in the tub.
Your chili was that good.”

Lone Protester Undaunted

Sally Sara Sherkheim has picketed the Austin campus by herself daily for three weeks with a sign protesting the “rape” of electoral politics.

“I put too many words on the sign. I’m kinda sick of the blond jokes asking if I know what they all mean, so that’s the answer I give. Democracy’s getting raped. A bunch of over-grown rich fratboys are raping our country’s elections.”

Sally said she was inspired by Teddy Roosevelt. “He rocked,” was her complete explanation. “Read some damn history!” she shouted at a rowdy group of hecklers on their way to a pep rally.

“My father threatened to stop paying my tuition,” she complained. “He’s a doctor, so I told him this cause was the orphan drug. Nobody sees the benefit of curing a national addiction to greed.”

Handcart Handbook to Hell

Largely unwarranted bad news

Columbus, Feh.

There’s a lot of moral and historical doubt about Columbus Day, despite the indisputable advantage it’s a national day of loafing and hanging out at parades.

Depending on who’s telling the tale, anybody from Leif Ericson to some 15th century Chinese pirates discovered America, neither of which trumps the idea that indigenous natives were already here raiding each other and taking scalps and territory from each other on a regular basis.

The thinking goes that we should celebrate accordingly, expressing the proper measure of annoyance and superiority at other people behaving badly.

New Ditty

Agnes and Saul were so rude
they paraded the park in the nude.
The cops were called in
from the consequent din
and legal proceedings ensued.

In his brief, their lawyer inveighed
that no laws had been disobeyed.
“Punish au naturel at your peril,
plaintiffs betray only impulses feral;
claims my clients aspire to indecent attire
impugn the Almighty’s apparel!”

Capitol Offenses

Thomas Nast was a world-changing illustrator who every starry-eyed Christmas child can thank for his depiction of the Santa Claus we all recognize today, and NYC owes him a debt of gratitude for his political cartoons which helped catapult notoriously corrupt Boss Tweed from Tammany Hall. It is that effigy seen in the moving picture below.

The Second Coming of Steve Jobs?

The lines are forming again—Apple has a new
top-secret reveal.
This could be IT. This could be the ONE.

Steve Jobs, reaching through the veil, bequeathing
to the faithful the final answer, the epitomized 
essence and miraculous manifestation of that
one cosmic gadget to end all gadgets.

Old Case Files: Gabfellas

Doin’ time vs. makin’ time.

Untold mob wife stories
between the tabloid lines.

First, Do LOTS of Harm

Doctors have a sacred Hippocratic oath. Two legendary ones interpreted “First, do no harm” as “Let’s improve human carnage!” These esteemed, educated men give proof to the adage “The first casualty of war is truth.” Or, at any rate, sanity.

Dr. Joseph Guillotin lamented the messy beheadings of the French revolution and conjured an automated method which expedited fourteen thousand decapitations in record time. All his descendants disowned their surname.

About a hundred years later, an American doctor was aghast at the carnage of the Civil War and logically reasoned that improving weaponry was the remedy. This was Dr. Richard Gatling, who patented the first machine gun. His descendants are presumably sainted by the NRA and living quiet, prosperous lives.

Closet Theist: House, MD

The eponymous character of “House” recurrently, vehemently rants about religion and faith.

Nothing a little Oxycontin won’t fix
The bad doctor’s atheism is so adamant we perceive the doubt in it. Occasionally an episode pits him against a “miracle” that thwarts his wizardry, giving us a glimpse into his tortured, brilliant heart; a small, satisfying insight into the limits of empirical logic. We like seeing his cynical god-like fa├žade peeled back and the possibility of an upper-case God being suggested.

House’s unspoken gift and dirty secret is intuition. On strict percentages, there’s a one in a trillion chance of him consistently zeroing in among near-infinite causalities to find a cure every damn show. There’s always that tinkling music moment when he connects disparate, inspired puzzle parts.

The breakthrough is always the supra-logic of intuition. It’s his shadow ally, his unacknowledged partner, it’s his M.O. and S.O. It attends him faithfully, but while he’ll own to Vicodin addiction, he’d sooner shoot his piano than admit dependence upon something so ineffable as a higher power. That could lead to eleven other steps; that could lead to liberation from his addiction, that could result in the show being lame.

House is cool because he is lame on his own resolute terms. God love him.

The Real Immigration Problem

We booted them out 230 years ago, but Brits resurface with annoying frequency. They have no proper sense of having been conquered, least so in the past century having their asses saved from being conquered—they just keep showing up and interfering.

The 60s British Invasion was cute until the Beatles got the whole country on pot, playing sitars, marching on Birmingham and protesting our war. That other goat-worshiping Brit band refuses to die despite decomposing, thanks botox. What’s even more irritating, they freely admit that they got their music from our negroes. Ours.

Recently, Brits interfered with national security— that guy from the Guardian lands a nice young NSA employee in exile by revealing surveillance secrets no respectable US publication would touch, since obviously spying on everyone is the only way to prevent totalitarian doom and the paranoia it breeds...a limey comedian on Comedy Central goes on fierce, comprehensible rants explaining finely crafted American propaganda—how is that funny?—and this hairy, feral tattooed one with an accent thicker than Eliza Doolittle on thorazine picks fights with Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly since obviously the Irish must be suppressed if they can afford 25-hundred dollar suits. Why the hell aren’t they over in their own damn country giving Maggie Thatcher a hard time?

It just doesn’t figure why Congress is obsessed with immigrants on the wrong border.

Physicist Knows What Matters

Richard Feynman, father of quantum mechanics, describes how 
to elude complexity in order to understand it. Or something.


Learning curve shortcut:

How To Hypnotize Sea Monkeys

You’re nine and you’ve figured out there’s a lot of stuff being kept secret from you. There’s also a ton of stuff you know for an absolute fact that everybody else is ignoring. You’re surrounded by so much mystery, opportunity and stupidity it’s maddening.
Like a map to Narnia via a suburb of Hades
You know they’re awesome
Your first subject is that girl with the braids

Nine is the threshold of metaphysical awakening, and into your desperate need for mystical knowledge comes the Johnson Smith Company. Their novelty catalog ads are in the back of every super hero comic; unimpugnable proof of honorable business dealings.

The ads have teasers for x-ray glasses and radio pens and your head knows this stuff’s shit but your heart senses there’s something deeper going on. After some brief soul-searching you spring for the fifty cents and wait by the mailbox.

When the catalog arrives, you know you’ve found a map to the grail. On each page of deep, rich, studied chaos are gadgets, gizmos, books and lore that stir profound feelings. You still know the stuff is shit, but it is so forthrightly declared, vastly varied, lavishly illustrated and reasonably priced it’s like an obligation to reward them with your patronage.

Of COURSE they won’t work. That’s not the point.
In so doing, you enter the revealed world of consumerism. Transactional awareness is born; each dime has a newly distinct meaning and each carefully chosen purchase is weighed against the complicit bullshit that commanded your attention versus the intrinsic value of the object itself. Full awareness you’re being gulled is measured in token for the materialized evidence of your need to be gulled. Johnson Smith and Company knew every inch of the gullibility terrain, and they took you straight to it, like Oz cheerfully yanking open the curtain.

It’s good to see the Johnson Smith Company still thriving, with a robust website and a Better Business Bureau A+ rating. They still carry stuff they had 50 years ago but have shed their formerly demure prurient offerings for borderline porn and feature the like of infomercial gadgetry and Star Trek phasers. “Live long and prosper” suits this iconic company. Metaphysics of this order shouldn’t be left to amateurs.

Oh, No He Dih-int.

This doesn’t seem to fall into the fiction category.
Grisham writes law fictions.
Since it doesn’t look like fiction, the author attribution must be a hoax.
And anyway, if it’s factual, it’s probably just a yawn.

Art Imitates Death

The gallery was a makeshift affair on a desolate lower west side block; the enormous paintings had been craned in through the loft building’s half demolished roof and no provisions had been made for their subsequent removal after roof repairs were hastily completed and the interior prepped for the opening. The paintings were effectively entombed.
The artist’s will had stipulated the works for display, all with prices so obscene that their purchase and need for removal was remote anyway. But the will also landed a upon the noted promoter a sum commensurate with his formidable guest list.
Gallery opening prior to evacuation and destruction
The opening announcement’s absurd scheduled seance attracted a crowd of young trust fund goths but less predictable were small groups of outlaw bikers, glitterati and inscrutable Silicon Alley billionaire types who smirked their respective amusement when the cheesy occult proceedings were busted by an obviously staged raid.
Then the whole cast was suddenly busted by what appeared to be an actual raid by NYPD undercover cops, simultaneous with urgent demands to immediately evacuate the premises. Doubtful stragglers were caught desperately racing for exits when the place shuddered with the first explosions.
Only when the adjacent building’s wall collapsed onto it in a grim cloud of dust did the gallery’s last lights fade on its huge doomed canvases.
The stunned crowd was ordered back and cordoned off, eventually dispersing into the night, away from the flashing emergency lights and sirens.
No one later interviewed had any recollection of the artist’s name or cause of death. No paintings were reported sold.
The promoter, following legal machinations and fines was besieged by pleas for representation, predominantly by a new wave of suicidal deconstructionists.

Chuck Croll — Internet Jedi

Found a chat site for beleaguered bloggers and a dude named “nitecruzr,” aka Chuck Croll posted a remedy that seemed to fix my pirate problem.

He just came out of nowhere and fixed it.

So I’m putting a link here to Chuck the internet Jedi. Because whitehat heroes are good to know.
Plus he’s a nut for cats. I borrowed the gif from his site.

Google Blogspot Harbors Hackers

Blogspot runs this site and about a million others, for free. At those prices, get in line if your blog is overrun by pirate sites. This site has been hacked into for months—if you’re even reading this, it’s likely because you pushed “back” a dozen times until this pirate phishing site stopped force- loading over the real page.
There are a couple other competing cockroach URL redirects that force-load over this blog... including, predictably, porn stuff. Since Blogspot is for code-illiterate laymen, surely Google has remedies for such cyber evil-doing?

Google’s “Send Feedback” is supposed to help bloggers with problems. It doesn’t. Dozens of problem reports= zero responses. Zero help, zero support, zero concern.
 Zero precisely correlates to my cost (absent countless hours of content creation)—but it also sums up Google’s value to customers—unless you count hackers, pirates and porn purveyors.

Meanwhile, Just Use Some Spit

Humans had a fourteen hundred year brainfart.

R.D. Laing Walks Into a Bar with Ayn Rand

“Palavers?” said the skeptical bartender.

Cattle Mutilation? Wasn’t Me.

Some mornings are touch and go.

Another Puntoon

The clever self-taught might know what this awful visual pun is scratching at.
(click picture in its own window and answer is revealed)

Moore’s the Pity Law

Gordon Moore predicted that every 18 months or so machines get twice as fast—and get cheaper.

More—for less! It’s worked since Moore made his prediction in 1965. Our labors are fewer, our burdens lighter and our productivity greater than ever in human history.

The power of mind and technology has eclipsed all advancements since the dawn of civilization in 40 short years!

Vast, unstressed leisure time makes for flourishing arts and culture and the charitable milk of human kindness is evident everywhere.

Because we have more! And there is more still—exponentially more!

See Attle

Seattle is a state of don’t mind. It’s where you don’t mind spectacular unseen scenery, don’t mind mossy socks and knickers, don’t mind shaving around prehensile gills and don’t mind perpetual seasonal affect disorder expressed as genial optimism. It is the ultimate getaway for the delusional, with highest per capita sales of sunglasses and your choice of medical or recreational marijuana dispensaries. Catch the buzz. The buzz is Seattle.

And The Poop Disappears, Too!

Family gag—7th grade woodshop—don’t ask.

A Star, a Script— And Funding Cratered

Couldn’t make our Kickstarter nut.