11/26/2008

Annual Thanksgiving post

Howdy, folks.  And Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you're all spending it healthy, happy and in good fortune.

I can't believe Iwrote this post 4 years ago.  Since then I've been reposting it every year at Thanksgiving.  That makes it a tradition, so I can't stop now!

Before I cut-and-paste the text, I should take a few minutes to consider what I'm thankful for.  Let's see.  I'm thankful for my wonderful family and friends.  Also, I'm thankful for discovering Facebook!  I'm thankful for first-shooter games, my new 24" Samsung montior, David Hasselhoff, The Silversun Pickups, my sweet-ass Casio G-Shock, my newly remodeled home, and not least of all, my readers -- some of whom go back 4 years now! 


Some Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Every Thanksgiving I get to thinking about the Indians. I wonder if they celebrate Thanksgiving. I don’t imagine so. The way I see it, Thanksgiving is like theirPearl Harbor Day -- nothing to celebrate. Let’s just hope Indians don’t retaliate with an atomic bomb like we did! Ah, why worry? They’re way to poluted with "fire water" to split an atom. Good luck, Chief Tumbling Dice!

Being a paleface, I love Thanksgiving. I enjoy the way we celebrate with lots of food. Thanksgiving is the time of year I wish I had 4 stomachs, like a cow. That would be great. As long as I had a crapper near by, I could eat non-stop by circulating my four stomachs. Come to think of it, better throw in a couple extra poop shoots. You don’t want to bottleneck the system. If I break off the bigger part of the wishbone, I’m going to wish for that -- and for my enemies to be in pain, and a bigger penis if the wishbone can get around to it.

I love the kinds of food you find at a Thanksgiving feast. Turkey is traditional fare. Cooked correctly, it’s lean, tender and juicy meat. Some people claim an ingredient in turkey acts as a sedative and induces slumber. I’m skeptical. I account the after-meal drowsiness to stuffing one’s gullet with a lawn bag-full of food, and all the hooch in the egg nog. Here’s a tip for this year’s feast: marinating the turkey in Rock Star and seasoning with crushed No-Doze offsets the drowsiness. After all, you’ll need your wits for those inevitable family fights -- another Thanksgiving staple. I always pocket a shard of wishbone in case I have to stab my drunk uncle in the neck and make a quick getaway. That’s another tip I’d like to share.

I love egg nog, too. Eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and your favorite liquor. It’s chock full of calories. I drank two glasses of egg nog last Thanksgiving and didn’t recover my appetite until Cinco De Mayo. It’s filling stuff. We could nourish the entire continent of Africa with a few pints of egg nog. Happy Kwanza, Kunta Kinte. Drink up. Incidentally, I pride myself on being a non-judgmental person. But if Africans celebrated Christmas instead of Kwanza, God wouldn’t let them starve.

After a huge meal, the family has to unbutton their pants to accommodate full bellies, all except my uncle, a Class 2 sex-offender who remains under court-order not to unbutton his pants within 50 feet of a minor. Unbuttoned pants are the hallmark of a good meal, aren’t they? That, or a really good adult website. I can barely move by Thanksgiving evening on account of my alimentary canal being full of food. But who needs to ambulate when you’ve got all those wonderful Christmas specials on TV? Every time I watch Macaulay Culkin get his genitals caught in the food processor while watching himself in the mirror, I laugh my ass off. “Agggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” It just keeps getting funnier every year. Some people think it’s the cologne he applies to his face. Not true. This year, pause your TiVo and look at the bottom of the screen. Freggin’ pervert is copulating with a Proctor Silex Salad Pro.

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. Enjoy, Turkey.
  




11/21/2008

The New Bush

I remember with nostalgia the George Bush bashing.  It was cute in its naivety.  People rolling in $40k SUVs, zoning out on an iPod or whatever new gadget they blew a wad on, drinking a $5 cup of Starbucks, going home to their Ikea remodeled homes and custom entertainment centers – all the while decrying the sad state of the economy.  You know, the one with the dismal 4.5% average real growth, skyrocketing worker productivity, 4-5% unemployment and virtually non-existent inflation, year after year.  That whole mess.

And oh, how they hated the war.  That was all Bush's fault.  The other 30 nations came along because they heard the Jonas Brothers were playing Baghdad.  And Saddam wasn't such a bad guy.  That mustard gas on the Kurds and Iranians was just party gag gone amok.  The very notion of terrorism offended his humanitarian sensibilities.  I wish we had him back so we could do away with that damn fledgling democracy.  What's with all the noise, Iraq?  Keep it down, over there.  They're fighting and killing each other for something so trivial as freedom.  What a drag.

So we chanted, “I support the troops, not the war.”  Hey, is it possible to support AIDS victims, but not a cure for AIDS?

I always figured Bush bashing was just a strain of wishful thinking. What a tempting thought to attribute all our problems to just one man. It makes the fix so easy: get rid of the man, get rid of the problems.   Millions of Muslims hate us and thirst for our demise – don't worry, they just hate Bush.  Europe has lost respect for our nation and holds our culture in contempt – not really, they just hate Bush.  OPEC is fleecing us – it's just Bush and his oil buddies. Healthcare is too expensive – Bush.   Another war is jolting us out of our feel-good buzz for 5 minutes on the evening news – that damn Bush!

I wonder if Barack's national healthcare system covers cognitive dissonance therapy? Because we've got a bad case of CD brewing: Bush is gone, but the problems endure.  Where will we pin the blame now?  I suggest David Hasselhoff.  I kid, I kid.  I love The 'Hoff.  I wish I could be half of Hasselhoff. Then I would be twice as cool.  Anyway, now that the elections are over, we need a new scapegoat.  We don't dare choose Barack Obama.  He's brilliant.  He's flawless.  He's the messiah incarnate.   He's equal parts Einstein, Mother Theresa, Bill Cosby and Snickerdoodle.   Besides, the ladies on The View find him sexy.  That's reason enough for me!

Obama's out. So who's the lucky guy? Who do we blame?*  Who do we hate?*  Who's the cause of all our problems? I'm afraid we've made our choice:

Capitalism.



*Yeah, yeah.  I know it's "whom."  But "whom" always sounds so pretentious. 

11/14/2008

Some thoughts

*I founded my model for explaining and predicting human behavior on the presumption that we are all the same.  I figured those who hated Americans and yearned for our demise simply needed access to a local Walmart, a drive-thru McDonald's and an occasional blow job from a busty blond American floozy.  Once they traded cave dwelling for mall shopping, they'd see the virtue in American life Then I read about affluent terrorists with iPhones, stripper girlfriends and Neiman Marcus decorated condos.  My model broke down.   I'm perplexed.

*My handwriting is much nicer in pencil than in pen.  I think it's because I trained in pencil.  It's my native medium.

*Whenever I take pains to remember something by writing it down, setting my wristwatch alarm, tying a string around my finger, or some other device, I find that the act itself makes an indelible mark on memory, so that I don't need the reminder.  The thought stays fresh in mind.  Knowing this, I can't force myself to write the note or employ whatever trick for reminding myself of important things.  It seems such a waste: once I do it, I won't need it!  But because I skip it, I don't mark my memory and sure enough, I forget whatever the hell it was I needed to remember.  Paradox.

*Never make an important decision when you're hungry, horny, frightened or angry -- unless, of course, you're always at least one of those things at any given time, in which case, do the opposite of what you think you should do.

*I have a get-rich quick scheme: slight-of-hand trickery.  First, I enroll in the David Copperfield Junior College of Magic and Illusion.  I take every slight-of-hand course offered, practice relentlessly and perfect the techniques.   Then I get a job at Circle K.  Why Circle K?  Because that puts me in charge of a cash register.  Now I put my plan into action by shortchanging unsuspecting patrons. Some poor chump buys a pack of smokes and a six pack with a 20-dollar bill he earned by selling a 100 dollars' worth of food stamps.  I hand him back what appears to be 7 dollars and 25 cents in change.  He pockets the change and leaves.  Later at the titty bar, he reaches into his pocket for a dollar where he instead finds a soiled napkin, a condom wrapper and a Sucrets throat lozenge – my calling card.  Hey, that Circle K clerk ripped me off!  Too late pal – you've been had.

*The president-elect is considering Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State.   Fine, just as long as he doesn't make her a White House intern.  With her big mouth and pension for revenge, we could have another imbroglio brewing in no time.

*I miss having enemies.   I don't miss the enemies, per se.   In fact I hope they die or go away forever.  I miss having enemies.  We're no long allowed to have enemies.  Now that we've accepted the absurd notion that all religions are equally correct (and equally worthless!) and that all cultures are equally virtuous, we can't have enemies anymore.  Sure, some people thirst for our destruction and express it with any number of hostile acts, but as these people are equally worthy of consideration, they're simply unaccommodated special interest groups trying to have their voices heard, or to overcome oppression and bigotry.  I remember the good old days when antisemitism, terrorism, despotism, and genocide were evil acts and the people who practiced them were bad guys.

*Linda Tripp of Monica-gate fame recently praised Barack Obama's “purity of soul.”  Congratulations, Barack!  The woman who betrayed a friend and confidante, eavesdropped an affair and published the damming information to the entire planet, whereupon a friendship, a marriage, a political system and several people's lives hung in the balance – has identified you as a man pure of soul.  High praise, indeed!   But wait, there's more.  I hear Mel Tillis has praised Obama for his remarkably smooth speech.

11/07/2008

Bad boys need spankings

A note to the reader

Don't get the wrong idea. I love blogging as much as ever. A bombastic big-mouth by nature, I always have something to type. The problem is this damn time-sucker, Call of Duty 4. It is a black hole and I'm a helpless beam of light. I can't escape the gravity. How many times I've began writing a post only for the following thought to seduce me: “You could be killing ex-soviet bloc terrorists right now.” I succumb to temptation. And consider this particle of irony: the same egoism that drives me to blog, drives me to practice my skills at the first-person shooter, Call of Duty 4.

And even as I type, my PS3 is downloading SOCOM 5: Confrontation (released 15 Oct.). Long-time readers may remember that SOCOM is where my devotion to first-person shooter games began. Non-gamers won't understand the pull of COD4, just as non-drinkers fail to understand the gravity of alcohol. And after all, it isn't “Call of When-I-Feel-Like-It” or “Call-of-Just- a-Video-Game.” It's Call of DUTY.” Alas, it's my duty to kill.

*************************************************************************

Today's post is about punishment. I find it a fitting theme given the results of the presidential election.

Our Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Yet ironically, the punishments courts apply in lieu of cruel and unusual punishment are crueler and more unusual. Consider what we do to criminals: prison -- we lock them in a cage. Often we don't let them out for years. Serving time, inmates ward off abuse from the guards, violence from other inmates, and an occasional lunging hot dog. I can't think of too many penalties crueler than that. Look at what 10 minutes of “time-out” will do to a youngster. Now imagine 10 years. Most of us wouldn't lock our pets in a cage.

As cruel as prison is, it proves to be a dismal deterrent. Recidivism rates among criminals are high. Prison lacks something important. To be effective, punishment must have an element of humiliation. Many convicts wear their prison sentence as a badge of honor. Prison is a criminal's Valhalla. This is counterproductive. That's why I'm an exponent of public flogging. You can't beat a flogging in terms of cost-effectiveness and expediency. And it humiliates the subject just as an effective deterrent requires. One must understand the machismo that so often occasions the criminal mind. Criminals' minds don't work like ours. Sensible, law-abiding people imagine having to serve a lengthy prison sentence and consider committing hari kari. But criminals, ipso facto, don't consider the future; they don't think in terms of “quality of life.” Instead their thoughts never stretch beyond intoxicants, mixed martial arts broadcasts and women of absent virtue. That's why we need public floggings. Flogging is a here-and-now thing. It's a language thugs understand. A few years in prison makes little impression on a hardened criminal. But bind his wrists, pull his pants down to his ankles and spank him in front of every lady in town, and he gets the message. He's scarred for life. It's tough to pull off the whole bad-ass criminal image once you've received a bare-bottomed spanking before the public you aim to terrorize. That'll learn ya, macho man.

Do you remember years ago when an 18-year-old American punk named Michael Fay embarrassed our nation by vandalizing cars in Singapore? Authorities caught the “Spray Paint Picasso” and promptly sentenced him to half a dozen canings. Predictably, Americans were up in arms over it. I guess locking him up in a cage for 2-3 years was the “humane” thing to do. But Singaporean justice called for an ass-whipping. And that's what our precious Michael got. I personally supported Singapore's notion of justice. During the 1994 controversy, I wrote my congressman requesting that America lend, as a conciliatory gesture, professional athlete Jose Conseco to administer the flogging. Strike one, strike two, strike three – you're out, you little bitch.

American objections notwithstanding, Singapore gave Michael his comeuppance. How effective was the public flogging? Fourteen years later, Michael not only hasn't vandalized another vehicle, he's afraid to paint the aluminum siding on his house. He doesn't dare to click the icon for Microsoft Paint. Recently, Michael suffered an anxiety attack while attempting to spray Pam in the frying pan before cooking eggs. No thanks, man. I've got a spatula. I'll just scrape the shit off afterward.

That's effective punishment.

Consider the gamut of inexpensive and effective punishments we pissed away because Dr. Spock wrote a couple of books. Flogging, tarring and feathering, the stockade, eye-for-an-eye sentencing, ostracism, bombarding with rotten fruit – all wasted resources. Dr. Spock has a lot of explaining to do. Regarding the “time-out” craze sweeping child psychology literature. It's bunk. What is a time-out? It's making the kid remain quiet and motionless for a spell. Do you see the error in that? If we could quiet and still the child, we wouldn't need the time-out! Kids occasionally spin out of control. When it happens, adults need to escalate punishment to bring them back under control. Even when you can force a kid to submit to a time-out, what's the punishment? What's the message? Now that you've exhausted yourself with your tantrums, antics, hijinks and conniptions, I'm going to force you to rest in peace and quiet! Deterrence, indeed.

When it comes to raising children, our brains have taken a time-out. Don't get me wrong, the intent is admirable: mold kids' behavior without traumatizing them. But logically, the center doesn't hold. And ironically, limiting our kids to time-out deterrence sets them up for that big house of time-outs with the grey bars and metal toilets.

I digressed into child rearing. Let me return to public floggings. Some may still not be convinced that public floggings are worthwhile. Corporal punishment offends their sensibilities. I ask these people to consider Catholic schools. I know Catholics for whom corporal punishment was part of daily life. Two choice punishments come to mind. The first involved an architect's scale ruler. It's a three-sided ruler that stands on two base sides while the third points upward. Imagine a ninja star for nerds. Anyway, when you misbehaved, the teacher had you kneel on your scale ruler for several minutes, so that the edge of the ruler gouged into your knee caps. How's that for good measure?

Should that fail to bring the student's behavior back into code, he or she would make a mandatory visit to the gymnasium, where he was outfitted in boxing gloves and deposited in a boxing ring. His opponent was Father Pommeling, the gym teacher and amateur boxing champ, who would kick the holy crap out of the unruly student. That's how we used to deal with kids who dared to backtalk or chew gum in class. Pain.

If schools were to administer such punishments today, Einstein's theory that matter cannot travel faster than the speed of light would be disproved by child welfare agents and tort lawyers zooming toward the superintendent's office at Star Trek Warp 10 speed. Do you suppose we could put lawsuit-abusing lawyers in time-out for a couple of decades?

The time to honor our Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment is now. Contact your congressman and ask him to introduce public flogging into the criminal code. If time and resources permit, ask him to see about tarring and feathering, the stockade and ostracism. Remind him how much money we'll save by keeping prisons virtually empty. Also, give him a slogan. All political movements need a good slogan. Here's one for starters:  Break the Law and Your Ass is Raw. That would fit nicely on a bumper sticker!

9/26/2008

Hola, lectoros!

My absence owes to some household remodeling. I've installed a laminate floor. I uttered surprisingly few cuss words and kept all 10 of my fingers. LBB:1 Life: 0

Just a few thoughts:

*If "you get what you pay for," why do we "let the buyer beware?" If the former cliche is true, why bother to "shop around?"

*The mission statement on my insurance company's wall reads in part: "to make our clients whole again." Most of the time I feel like I'm being made in the hole again.

*Tonight I watched John McCain unleash a brutal discipline of verbal jujitsu on that empty suit, Barack Obama. John must have paid attention when the "gooks" where beating him, just like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' sensei, Splinter, learned ninja fighting by watching from his cage the Master Hamato Yoshi.

*Earlier today I ordered a pizza for lunch. I called in and showed about 20 minutes later. I paid the bill. Then I moved down the counter to the kitchen window. The youth behind the window asked, "Do you have a large sausage?" Why yes, I'd like to think I do. I know it's juvenile, but I replayed that sound bite in my mind's ear and laughed the entire drive home.

9/16/2008

The lost Bible verses

Behold, readers! LBB has consulted with Biblical scholars whose joint research has unearthed many lost verses.

First, from the book of Genesis:

"And God observed in His creation that fellatio was the habit of wives unto husbands. And He had made this the natural order of things. And the Lord smiled."


"The Lord applied abundant fur to the genitals of both Man and Woman. And He instilled in His posterity the burning desire to place one's mouth upon these regions of the opposing sex, and also to thy orifices which excrete the bodily humors. And so the Lord revealed His sense of humor."


And these verses belonging to the book of Job:

"He who suckles at the teat of the Welfare state, or who refuses to work thy trade, or to take labor of any kind, shall get a holy kick in the loins; for he runneth over with sin. All who walk with the Lord shall shun and ridicule he who suckles."


"Youths whose garbs hang low and reveal the gluteal cleft are sacks filled with douching humors. Let us pray and entreat our dear Lord to strike them in thy cleft with a lightning bolt."


And from the great book of Proverbs:

"The commode which man uses to deposit his bodily humors shall remain upright and pointing to the heavens above. So is God's will."


"Those who imbibe intoxicating spirits will walk with the Lord, and know the bliss of His Grace, and the Lord's plan shall reveal itself in dreams and hallucinations. Yet drink not to excess, lest thy altar be not the Lord's, but a false porcelain goddess."


From Isaiah:

"When such time passes that iron beasts reign supreme on the world, and man drives them on flat and hardened stone, the virtuous will take the path farthest right, except for when passing a slothful iron beast, and the sinful will hog the left path and know His wrath in the afterlife."


"Troubadours who strum the lyre and go by the name, Creed, shall bear God's name yet offend thy ear, so that His word stinks in the ear. Believe not they speak the word of God. For they are Satan's musicians."


"And she revealed her abundant loins and midriff where gluttony reigned, and undergarment twine traced her ample haunches, and this sight so appalled beholders that they be sick in the gut upon beholding. And the Lord said this should not be."


And finally, from Revelations:

You shall know the mark of the beast not by three 6's, but by colored design across the lower hide of the female. Posterity, know this by its true name, Tramp Stamp. Be not tempted by this sluttery; for it is the mark of Satan.

9/12/2008

Topical ointment

Barack Obama told an audience at Colombia University that he plans to “make government cool again.” Bolstering his claim, he quickly added that he plans to appoint Arthur Fonzarelli his Secretary of State.







"Ayyyyyyyyy! Let me tell ya sumthin'. You need to vote this moulinyan into the White House so The Fonz can be the Secretary of State and the Ambassador of Cool. Ayyyyyyyy."

8/29/2008

Hot off the LBB news wires...

29 August, 2008. 1350 hrs...

The environmental activist group Busybodies For Earth-Mother (B-Fem) has filed a lawsuit in federal court for an injunction against Sun, Inc. after learning that the Sun is generating its energy by means of nuclear reaction. Sun, Inc. was 93 million miles away and unavailable for comment.

Nuclear energy has been a political bone of contention, intensifying after the 1979 Three-Mile-Island incident. Branded into America's conscience 30 ago, the accident at Three Mile Island was the most significant in the nuclear power industry. More recently, the threat of terrorism has further escalated opposition to nuclear power.

B-fem is furious after learning the Sun, which enjoyed the status of an “alternative” energy source, is in fact using massive nuclear reactions to fuel itself.

Protesters in B-fem and other environmental activist groups chimed in. “We need to explore alternative forms of energy like wind, geothermal, tidal and sol... uh, well, we need alternative fuels.”

Protesters held signs reading, “Hell no, hell no. Big-Solar has got to go” and “Big-Solar shines on George Bush and his cronies.”

Senior executives at Sun, Inc. are major contributors to the RNC. In the 2000 and 2004 elections, Sun, Inc. donated over 3 million kilowatt hours to the George W. Bush election campaigns. It also is believed to be shining a little stronger over the state of Texas – a possible kickback to former Texas Gov. George Bush.

Scientists estimate that the Sun is polluting the solar system with billions of joules of radioactivity, and that while the Sun imparts only a minute portion of its total output on the Earth – some 93 million miles away -- the consequences are devastating to the ecosystem.

Dr. Eugene Black, an ecologist employed with B-fem, had this to share during a press release following the lawsuit filing:

While we stand by like typical American bovines, the Sun is gobbling up the universe's limited resources of hydrogen. Then it belches out radioactivity spanning the electromagnetic spectrum. These energies interact with the Earth, causing dire consequences. Much of the plant life here on earth is the result of the Sun's nuclear byproducts such as light and heat. Scientists have reached a consensus that plant life levels have been steadily rising over hundreds of centuries. Most believe that if we don't act now, we'll go beyond the point of no return and that in 10 years the planet will be overrun with vegetation.

Perhaps even more alarming, growing evidence links the Sun's output to global warming. Also, unwanted tan lines.


Sun, Inc. could not be reached for comment. But a statement on its website assures visitors that the Sun is committed to universal hydrogen conservation. It claims its energy products are 15% recycled helium. It also boasts its financial commitments to ultraviolet, gamma and particulate radiation reduction – an effort colloquially known as “Going Yellow.”

Politicians are revving up to respond to concerned constituents. Democrats are weighing the idea of a sunlight tax. The targeted taxes would burn those who use solar cells, those with excessive windows and solar tubes in their roofing, and those with “really killer suntans.” People residing in the Southwest, Florida and in beach towns around the coasts may also have to pay their “fair share” of the sunlight tax.

Economic policy adviser Justin Timer explains that the sunlight tax has a twofold benefit: “One, it dissuades people from using or enjoying sunlight. Two, it gives us the funding to invest in alternative technologies for blocking out and eventually destroying the sun. Our vision is to build a rocket that will shoot the the sun and blow it up by 2025.”

Sen. John McCain, a victim of the sun's radiation as a melanoma survivor, revealed in a town hall meeting that he hates the Sun “almost as much as the gooks.”

Not surprisingly, America is mostly to blame for the Sun's greedy profiteering and environmental destruction. The International Panel on Solar Awareness has cited the fact that while America comprises roughly 3% of the Earth's total landmass, it consumes about 6.1% of the Sun's incidental energy – twice its fair share.

8/27/2008

Some thoughts on this and that

*I recently applied at NASA for the position of Astronaut Trainee. One of the questions on the application was, “Are you willing to crap in a plastic bag?”

*Another NASA application question: “Can you tolerate 3 weeks of that 'tingly balls' sensation you get in a weightless environment?”

*You know, NASA is awfully informal for a bunch of scientists. You'd think they'd use terms like “defecation receptacle” and “scrotal nerve plexus kinesthesis syndrome.” But no. It's crap-in-a-bag and tingly-balls. And don't get me started on question #3, which asks whether you could fill a “piss-jar” while Mission Control watches on a closed-circuit monitor.

*Nothing comforts like abundance. Food, money, love, leisure – if you have just enough of these, you tend to worry. But if you have more than enough, you can put that worry to bed and move on to a new one. One exception where one enjoys having just enough, is body fat. And I suppose you could add body hair to the list of exceptions as well.

*Nobody is more evolved and together than they first appear. Given enough time, even the people you once revered devolve into mere humans with their own bag of foibles. I guess what I'm trying to say is that for every David Hasselhoff, there's a Wendy's Hamburger. So don't take anybody too seriously. Huh?

*Traffic jams can turn Mother Teresa into a homicidal maniac. I've often wondered why we're so prone to rage while driving. Maybe the scad of rules is to blame. We expect each other to follow so many rules while driving. We're bound to break a few. Then comes other drivers' indignation. Sometimes, I'll make a mistake behind the wheel, and some cranky fucker will toot. And the weird thing is, I get angry – even though I'm in the wrong. It think I know why. This thought flashes in my head: I've dealt with a thousand asshole drivers – gracefully, I might add. Therefore, I've got a few free driving boners coming to me. So blow it out your ass, Louis Armstrong.

*Yes, I just used the term “driving boners.” I meant a blunder committed while operating a motor vehicle. But feel free to retort with an innuendo.

*The best measure of a vocation's worth is the compensation-to-bullshit ratio. The formula holds at the extremes. That is, if your job is chock full of bullshit, then no matter what they pay you, it's crap. Conversely, if your job has no bullshit – it's invaluable, even if they pay squat.

*How does a bank get its start? You figure it's got to be one guy who rents a building and who basically says, “Hey, I'll hold on to all your money for you and give it back when you want.” You've got to be one charming fuckin' guy to sell that idea! I'm talking Ryan-Seacrest-wearing-Hai-Karate-cologne-charming.

8/19/2008

Bullet-ins

*George Bush could cure cancer tomorrow and Thursday's headlines would read: “New Healthcare Crisis on Horizon: Thousands of doctors and nurses face unemployment.”

*When I was in high school, we dined at local fast food and pizza shops on our lunch break. I ordered my food and made a bee line to the nearest booth. So did many others. But a rare few thought ahead; they took the time to grab condiments and napkins, items we realized we needed once it was too late. I could always tell who was going to be successful by those students who remembered napkins. Isn't that the essence of success? Postponing gratification, a little extra time and effort to prepare for the future.

*I think our most profound loves are pre-wired into our brains – archetypes for the sublime. Those songs you fell in love with in the first few seconds, the face you fell in love with in the first few milliseconds: It's as if the template already existed in your mind, so that the song with the intriguing tension and melody, or the face with the perfect geometry and features, registered in your mind as the quintessence of beauty. Ping. Cue the bliss. This is what I've always loved and yet never known.

*Chat rooms and their descendants, the instant messenger and text messenger services, are the byproducts of multitasking applied to personal relationships. Don't limit yourself to one friend or lover at a time...Subscribe to Corporation X's new InstaChat Service – only $12.95 per month! Incidentally, isn't a menage-a-trois merely a form of multitasking?

*Any sensible person can see the futility of materialism. It's easy, for example, to recall the item that was going to make you happy and did – for a little while, and then failed. It's obvious to see those who have wealth and all the goodies we want, yet who are unfulfilled or even miserable, despite their good fortunes. The diminishing returns of increased wealth, the temporary satisfaction from acquiring new things, these are easy principles to grasp if you make the effort. The difficulty is keeping your resolve as you thumb through the Best Buy and Circuit City ads. Oh, man, that 50” plasma would be sweet!

*Sometimes I feel like I'm a Phillips screwdriver in a world full of flathead screws. I guess that's why I drink so many screwdrivers. Because I'm screwed.

8/12/2008

Where are you, Mom?

When you're a kid, you spend a lot of time waiting for your mom to pick you up. School, the roller rink, the arcade, baseball practice – all are outside biking distance. So Mom has to drop you off and pick you up. But Mom's taxi is a double-edged sword: It's free and it's usually available, but it's always running late.

Time spent waiting for a ride sucks the life energy out of kids. They morph into zombies. Hands tucked into their pockets and heads lowered, they rock and pace in disquietude. Aside from becoming undead, kids find the waiting an embarrassment. Everybody sees you at your most helpless and pathetic. Luckier kids disappear as their moms finally show. You hate to see that. The sight of fellow zombies is comforting. There's an unspoken friendship among abandoned children. Each takes comfort in the other's desperation. But the other moms arrive. One by one, pint-sized zombies are reborn and drink the elixir of mother's love as they climb into station wagons with siblings and poodles with wagging tails. Viva life!

After the other moms rescue their kids, you stand alone. The wind howls. The sun sinks and wanes. Cars rip by. Their passengers look at you and think, “Looks like that poor little bastard's mom forgot him. He'll probably be on a milk carton by Wednesday.”

During those waiting spells, I found kicking stones a good way to pass the time. It keeps you sane. If you're lucky, you'll find a crushed beer can. You can use it as a makeshift hockey puck. So you kick road debris here and there, scoring imaginary goals. This is your existence now. You kick stuff and watch it ricochet down the street, listen to it scratch the asphalt. Every so often you take time out because you spot a car approaching in the distance. It looks like Mom's car. It's Mom...It's Mom...Looks like our car..looks like it... Ah, Damn! It turned off.

Where the hell are you, Mom?

I'd wonder what my mom was doing instead of tending to me. What was keeping her? Hey, here's a pleasant thought: maybe she was running late because she stopped at McDonald's for me. It was compensation for the hell she's put me through, or just because I'm such a good kid. Oh, man. I was in for treat. Sure, I had to stand around for a while, but it was worth it. Soon I'd be riding home, basking in the aroma of a Happy Meal.

That never happened. Forgotten kids everywhere will tell you that the last-minute McDonald's trip is a mirage. Once enough time passed, you realized this was no McDonald's trip. It was more likely a shopping excursion. Mom was probably shopping for all kinds of mom crap: pot holders and Tupperware and gardening gloves and other crap. Hey Mom, why don't you stop by the jewelry department and buy a freaking watch? I'm dying out here!

Fifteen minutes have come and gone. By now I'd resigned to the worst scenarios. I'll either be the victim of homicide or I'll succumb to the rigors of homelessness -- starvation, hypothermia, street violence, whichever. Just wait until Mom discovers my fate. That'll teach her. She'll feel awful and the guilt will plague her for the remainder of her life. I take solace in that. She'll deserve it, too. After all, isn't that the guilt trip she laid on me when I'm late? “Richie, I thought you'd been kidnapped. I have half the neighborhood looking for you.” Jeez, Mom. I'm late because John's mom made a plate of nachos, not because I decided to go shopping for stupid mom stuff. Jeez!

Too bad they didn't have cell phones when I was young. When my mom forgot to pick me up, I could text her: “Mom. Im stranded. U R L8. Remember U have a kid. U R stupid. Come get me.” Kids today will never know the anguish of waiting without explanation. All they have to do is download Mom's position on their cell phone GPS for a live, up-to-date briefing. I wonder if they know how easy they have it.

I should give Mom credit. She always showed eventually. To be fair, she was often on time. She usually had a pretty good reason for being late. And a few times she felt so bad that I did indeed parlay the transgression into a trip to McDonald's. Thanks, Mom.

7/17/2008

Bullets

  • I wonder how spiders don't get stuck to their own webs. The webs must have the same ingredient as Super Glue or Magic Shell – they don't harden until they sit in the air for a spell. Incidentally, a warning about Magic Shell: it retains its “magic” through the alimentary canal, so prepare yourself for some shrapnel on the back end.
  • I can't enjoy myself at company picnics. It's not that I don't like the people, barbecue or softball. I just can't help thinking, I usually get paid to hang out with you people, but now I'm doing it for free. Also, I don't like seeing my coworkers' family members. They're delightful. But seeing them humanizes my colleagues, and I'm usually plotting their termination. It vexes me.
  • What Einstein did for physics, Mexicans did for food.
  • Why does gum stick to the sole of your shoe more than the sidewalk? This is the kind of thing that makes me a pessimist.
  • This would be a cute name for a dog groomer shop: Canine Casanova.
  • Even if you women do break through the glass ceiling, you'll still have perverts looking through it and up your dress.
  • A recent trend in labor law is to fine employers who hire illegal aliens. Why don't we fine the Border Patrol instead? Better yet, let's fine the alien's home country. That'll teach the country to keep those little vatos where they belong! Hell, we could probably get a year's worth of free oil from Arabia just by raiding all our 7-Elevens.
  • Imagine a homosexual married couple. They're out and about, and an attractive member of the same sex passes by. When this happens to hetero couples, one looks at the other and waits for him/her to foolishly steal a glance at the attractive passer-by. Then a fight ensues. But what do gays do? Do they look at each other and ask “Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Threesome! [high-five]”

7/11/2008

Failure to Coexist at WalMart

Coexist


I saw a bumper sticker with the motto “Coexist.” The letters doubled as symbols for the world's major religions. It's cute. But it's wrongheaded. One thing I know for sure is, only one religion can be correct. The rest, by necessity, are wrong. Religions dictate the absolute truths of the universe. Therefore, they can't all be equally right (my condolences to the PC crowd). Given that, I don't want us to “coexist.” Instead, I want everybody to duke it out -- fisticuffs. Bring on the rage. Let's go mono(theist)-a-mano in a religious steel cage match. I want to see who the winner is so that I know what to believe in. Then, I'll have a convenient Rulebook for Life, be it a Bible or a Qu'ran a Tora, and I can consult it with all my ethical quandaries -- instead of Dr. Phil paperbacks.

Don't worry about the wrong team winning. Whoever fights for the one true religion will have Divine Intervention catapult him to victory. Just imagine the clash of the titans. The Christians have God. The Islams have Allah. The Jews have Jerry Seinfeld. The Hindus have that 8-armed fella, who I imagine would be a badass in a fight, what with half a dozen switchblades and a pair of nunchucks. Whatever you do, don't lay any money on the Taoists; they don't give a shit who wins. Personally, I'm rooting for whichever religion forgives gluttony, lust, intemperance and swearing.

Let the best religion win. Then we can all stop bickering, join the winners' religion and go back to falling short of its ideals.



On WalMart


Everybody's joked about the “chromosome-challenged” shoppers at WalMart. It's cliché. I always figured it was an exaggeration for comedic effect. But after shopping at WalMart last week, I discovered that it's not an exaggeration. It's an understatement! Were these people exposed to radiation or something? What a cesspool of human genetic cataclysm. Every other person stank of Marlboros. And I suspect WalMart applies a 10% discount to those weighing over 300 pounds because the place was chock full of fatties! I transversed contrails of body oder and Brut cologne as I fought my way to the electronics department. Yuck. I'm not the judgmental type. I live and let live. But when you concentrate that many genetic misfires into one area, it's like achieving critical mass for a hatred explosion. Sam Walton is the Robert Oppenheimer of discount shopping rubes.

I'm confused: there aren't any trailer parks near my WalMart, yet the patronage was entirely composed of the species Anthroparkus Trailerius. I wonder if WalMart installed magical teleportation machines in trailer park outhouses that beam fatties into the chip and pretzel aisle.

It is the irony of our time that as people get fatter and fatter, the aisles at Walmart get narrower and narrower. I walked 2 extra miles detouring chunky, polyester-wearing, Marlboro-smoking mothers chastising their kids in public. And why do these people believe the store entryway is a fine place to stop for a chat or to browse the WalMart sales ad? Tell me good sir, On which aisle might I find cattle prods?

Acting on a spell of morbid curiosity, I visited the WalMart clothing section. The shirts and pants never quite match. Do they do that intentionally? Or are those slave-wage Pacific Rim children in the factories all colorblind? All the clothes at WalMart have that 1970's charity bulk-sale look to them.

Oh, man. I wish you could have seen the ghoul who greeted me at the door. This guy looked like he moonlighted at Disney's Haunted Mansion. I knew I'd have to pass him on the way out, so I stopped by Aisle 8 and picked up a crucifix. “Thanks for shopping. Have a good day, sir.” “And you have yourself a good afterlife, you freak of nature.”

6/19/2008

Poor timing

I picked a bad time to resurface. I forgot I'm leaving on a week-long vacation in California. I depart tonight. I'm spending a week on a beach house. Luckily I've got my new sweet-ass sweet Blackberry Pearl to keep in touch with the Internet. Maybe I'll post a joke or two. I'll probably be too intoxicated to press the little keys. I ask in advance that you forgive any typos, grammatical errors and offensive posting. Come to think of it, you've all been doing that for years.

Anyway, I'm glad to be blogging again and I'm delighted to see you're all as witty and entertaining as ever. I'll be back the Monday after next.

PeaceOutLBB

6/13/2008

Management

Have you striven for a promotion to management? We all have, at one time or another, imagined ourselves in charge of the office, shop, restaurant, or wherever we go to work. It's natural to look upward. When we were kids, we imagined ourselves as the boss behind the big oak desk, not the lowly worker bee. In college, we fantasized about climbing the corporate ladder to a prestigious management position. It happens for some. Congratulations, you're the manager! Is it every little thing you hoped for? Or, is it a daily 10-hour Mr. Toad's Wild Ride with a detour into Dante's 9 Circles of Hell?

I'll never take a job in management. The way I see it, management looks a lot better in the brochure. In real life, management sucks. Just the word “management” evokes dread. “Hi Steve. How are you doing?” “Well, I guess I'm managing.” Gosh, it sounds like Steve is ready to commit hari-kari. “So Betty, what are you and Herb going to do now?” “We'll manage somehow.”

The only thing I want to manage is a way to do less work while making more money. I can barely manage my own problems, let alone those of a restaurant or office. Hell, I'm often one of the problems that needs managing, what with my attitude problem and all! Promoted to management, I'd have to fire myself, post haste, on the grounds of poor work ethic and incompetence. Irony.

Basically, a management job is 10% higher pay for 110% more headaches. In economics, this is called diminishing returns. In psychology, this is called insanity.

Here's another bad thing about being the manager: you're the subject of the employees' ridicule. The minute you leave the room the employees take to mocking you. There's always one guy at the office who's a crackerjack impersonator. He's been practicing you in his bathroom mirror for a few weeks and he's got you to a tee. Oh, how they laugh at him doing you in the most absurd scenarios. And the ladies at the office make detailed mental notes on anything gross you've ever done. Particles of lunch lodged in your teeth? A stray booger at the last meeting. An accidental fart in the break room. Spontaneous boner tent-polling your slacks? Rest assured that the girls will disseminate all your bad habits and embarrassing foibles like bagels in the break room. Women are like that.

Think about management for a minute. Look at the big picture. Meditate for a moment on what they ask managers to do. Every manager's job description should read as follows:

To management candidate: I've got a hot little money machine going here, but it's a pain in the ass to run. It consumes all my free time and I can't get to the golf course with my ridiculously expensive clubs and brag to all my golfing buddies how well my business is doing. So, I'm keeping all the profits for myself -- and leaving you with all the headaches. This job typically requires 45-60 hours of your week, so my organization is pretty much your life. Multitasking a must. There are no limits on your duties. If it's a problem, it's your problem. Either fix it or make it work. They only time I want to hear from you is when it's time to deposit the money in the bank. Feel free to exploit employees as you wish. Just remember, their fuck-ups are your fuck-ups. Always be near your cell phone for when there's a problem.

Do any of you managers out there have anything to add? Please share.

6/11/2008

Call of Duty

Greetings, dear readers. It's been too long since we last read each other. I'm delighted to be back. Where have I been? I've been balls-deep in Call of Duty 4 – a modern warfare video game. I bought a PS3 back in April and I've been mastering COD4 ever since. Discovering more effective ways to blast holes in the enemy's torso has consumed all my free time. I'm a soldier now. I've been ridding the world of hostile terrorist sects so that you people can continue living your cushy lifestyles free from foreign threats. The least you could have done was send me a thank you on Veterans Day! Jeez. You're welcome for your freedom.


COD4 gamers have many things to consider: which gun to carry, what perks to select (more grenades, or faster running, for example) whether to charge the enemy or dig in and wait, camp on a rooftop or capture a battle flag, take aim or bust a hip shot. Where should I deliver the air strike? Where should I plant the explosives? Why is a 37 year-old man playing video games 5 hours per day? As you can imagine, COD4 is a science and an art. Strategy aside, one must develop cat-like reflexes and master the gunfight. COD4 battles are settled in milliseconds. Often the one who pulls the trigger first is the one who stays alive. In any case, you can't panic. Stray bullets don't get the job done.


I've paid my COD4 dues. I'm pretty good with an M60 and I'm downright deadly with an MP5 submachine gun. Give me my MP5 in Chinatown and I'll kill more men than Genghis Khan and the hantavirus combined. Yoh foochun cookie read, “You git shot in ass by LBB.” Tap, tap. You're dead, bitch. The point is, now that I'm a soldier and a highly trained killing machine, I can reallocate some time to blogging.


To kick things off, and to stay with the COD4 theme, let's shoot off some bullets:


  • I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Be an organ donor.” Lady, they way you're driving, I might get the chance to donate my organs very soon – you know, once you run me off the road! Here's an idea. How about I donate half of my brain to you so you can learn to fucking drive?

  • Senator Obama keeps talking about “change.” How appropriate. Change is the only thing we'll have left after he takes all the dollars out of our wallets.

  • I saw Sex and the City on opening night with three lovely ladies, including my wife. Later, at dinner, one of the ladies I was with complained that her husband looked at too much Internet pornography. I took this opportunity to remind her that an hour ago she was ogling Dante's schlong on the silver screen. She did everything but give it a standing ovation. Women and their double standards!

  • I use the automatic car wash. At 4 dollars, it's a great deal. Anyway, I saw a “help wanted” sign and had to wonder why. The car wash is automatic. The way I see it, they need three guys. The first guy takes your money. The second guy points at you and guides you into the automatic track thing. The third guy works the mop and pre-washes your bumper and windshield (what a thorough worker he is, by the way. Regular James Brown.) Hey buddy, you missed some fly shit. Anyway, I finally start the automatic car wash cycle. This is a great time to take a little nap. When I wake up, there are three guys signaling me to pull into a little detailing area. I'm thinking, my car's already clean. Get the fuck out of my way. I'm leaving. But they persist. So I park. A couple of them rub towels on my car. Gee, thank goodness you guys were here, otherwise I'd have to hope the wind dried those 4 drops of water. Anyway, now the car wash hoodlums want a tip. So I reached underneath my seat, pulled out a bottle of motor oil and handed it to the one kid and said, “Here, go give this to the robot who did all the fucking work.”

  • FM radio has gotten so bad that I was considering just listening to my tires roll across the asphalt. I scanned the stations. Bad, bad, worse. I finally found a song with a decent beat – until I realized it wasn't a song at all. I was plowing through a Mexican fruit stand at 65 mph. Perdon, Alejandro.

  • I wonder if after MacGyver was canceled, he opened his own handyman business.

4/09/2008

CAT-astrophic immigration solutions

Are you tired of our immigration problem? Angry at your politicians, their political dodges and wishy washy half-solutions? Fret no longer. With great excitement I relay to you a solution to America's immigration problem. I'm also mailing an executive summary to my congressmen so he can write it into law. I invite you to contact your representatives, too, with a copy of this surefire policy, below. The more politicians on-board with this idea, the quicker it'll get done.


So what's my big idea? Two words: Mountain lions.


Inspiration stuck me a while ago when I stepped into my backyard to pull weeds. A couple steps out the door, I spotted motion in my periphery. I turned and looked and discerned a figure. Terror struck. My heart thumped. My limbs trembled with a fresh shot of adrenaline. The sight of the creature in my yard rendered me apoplectic. There it was: Amy Winehouse after an all-night desert keg party, looking for a place to crash. I kid, I kid. It was actually a mountain lion! I'm not kidding. In my yard was a freaking mountain lion, a champion killer, a hunting cat.


You don't know terror until you've stared into the eyes of a mountain lion, or some other kind of lion, without a cage or an inch of Plexiglas between you and the beast. This wasn't on television, or some caged beast you can mock while you're drunk at the zoo. I was face to face with a killer cat. Petrified, I couldn't muster a twitch. I was immobilized with fright. I was only a few feet from the safety of my back door, but it may as well have been a light-year. Had the mountain lion had designs on me, I'd be in ribbons. As it was, the cat took only a passing interest in me as he trotted along the perimeter of my yard and then cleared my 6-foot fence with a casual leap. Ferocity meets grace – with a dose of mercy thrown in for my sake.


Once I composed myself I reflected on the experience. That cat had a dramatic effect on me. And as I often do, I got to thinking. Before long, my mind settled on America's immigration problem. I'm a problem-solver by nature, so it didn't take me long to put the two together, like when the one guy accidentally dipped his chocolate in the other guy's peanut butter. The result – Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. That was it! Let's have mountain lions patrol and enforce our borders. They love the desert. They instill fear in man. They have a knack for hunting and killing. They can cover large areas with their keen senses, speed, stealth and cunning. They'll work for next to nothing. They don't need benefits or a retirement package. And you can't accuse of mountain lion of being racist, a rouge, abusive or corrupt, even if they're working for George Bush.


All we need to do, then, is teach these highly trainable cats to patrol the US border and terrorize the riffraff fixing to cross from the south. Should an illegal alien get too close, that's when Simba pounces. How do we train them to attack? Simple. Every time the mountain lion bites a Mexican, he gets a steak. Every time he bites a white fella, we squirt him with a water bottle. Roger, dodger.


This is more practical and less absurd than it sounds. How hard can it be to train a mountain lion? I saw Siegfried and Roy train a tiger to ride a unicycle. That stunt couldn't be further than what nature had in mind for a four-legged, 700-pound predator. But the tiger delivered. Don't be a Doubting Thomas and remind me that that same tiger later attacked and nearly killed Siegfried. I'm aware of that. But the mountain lions won't be biting into sexually ambiguous circus performers. They're biting illegal aliens. Much different. Plus, they're not working in the chaos of a circus. The mountain lion must do only what comes naturally: patrol, stalk, chase, savage the downtrodden would-be immigrant, then eat a steak.


Environmentalists will eat this idea up (much like the mountain lions will eat up the slower-moving illegals...rimshot!) Environmentalists love it when we solve our problems by using nature. Natural foods, natural medicine, natural energy sources, natural boobs -- they can't get enough of the romantic notion of Nature alleviating our ills. Well, what can be more natural than mountain lions patrolling their territory? Plus, it's a built-in conservation effort for the mountain lions. We're tossing them steaks and foreigners; might as well scratch them off the endangered species list right now. It's a win/win.


Here's another bonus. By installing video cameras at 10-mile intervals along the border, Immigration can sell footage to the Discovery Channel. They'll make a fortune! That means less of the federal pie going to border patrol agencies. People love watching hunting cats tear the crap out of animals who can't run as fast. Let the advertisement revenues flow!


I can already hear protests from the humanitarian crowd: “LBB, are you suggesting we sic savage beasts on people trying to escape abject poverty and strive for a better life?”


Pipe down, hippie. Of course I'm not. I just want to seal the border. And this brings me to the genius of using mountain lions. You see, mountain lions are the runts of the hunting cat world. They're not so tough. The vast majority of mountain lion attacks are non-fatal. They're not human killers so much as human deterrents. I know this from firsthand observation. I frequent an Irish-themed bar whose patronage, naturally, is mostly drunken Irish guys with shaved heads, goatees and shamrock tattoos. These guys fear nothing and fight anything. Things get pretty rowdy at the bar after a few rounds. Often quarrels are settled with wagers of physical prowess. Not so often, yet once in a while, the wager involves strolling into the desert covered in steak sauce and fighting whatever wild animal the poor bastard lures. If you're lucky, fortune will bring you a pack of coyotes, which the more intimidating guys can unnerve by kicking sand in their faces. Other times, a herd of javelinas will try their luck. The secret there is to identify the pack leader and punch him in the ribs. Once he goes down, morale plummets and the herd retreats into the desert. But sometimes a mountain lion shows up looking for an easy meal. Well, the jokes on you, mountain lion. The Irish hoodlum has been sucking back whiskey most of the night. And sure enough, Liam or Sean or Tyrone -- or whoever accepted the wager this evening -- makes quick work of the wild animal. The two fuse into a whirlwind of scratches, bites and Irish uppercuts. From the dust cloud ejects one disheartened mountain lion. Off you go, little fella. Better tell all your lion buddies the next time one of you feels frisky, stalk the gay bar on 9th Street. Easy pickin's. Anyway, the point is, mountain lions aren't deadly – just wicked scary.


Once my plan squeaks through Congress and becomes law, you'll have me to thank for our impregnable borders and clean living. Also, the mountain lions will owe me a thanks, too. But I won't hold my breath. Mountain lions are ungrateful bastards.

4/04/2008

April 4th and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Warning: Re-post.

Hot off the LBB wires...

The ACLU has entreated US Congress to repudiate the collective works of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. after discovering King was a deeply religious man whose philosophies derive from Judeo-Christian doctrine.

Wolfgang Lipshitz, an American history scholar who researched King for a dozen years and has recently published a comprehensive paper of his work, unearthed compelling evidence linking the civil rights champion Dr. King to the Christian faith. Among the most shocking assertions Lipshitz makes is that King was a Reverend. Lipshitz details King’s proclivity for Christian teachings and his habit of daily prayer. The paper also postulates that King sought God for His guidance on matters of public policy. Subsequent to Lipshitz's publication, civil lawsuits against King's estate are pending. Plaintiffs remain anonymous.

Commenting on his findings, Lipshitz said, “I was shocked and appalled to learn such a revered civil rights leader would be so religious. I’d expect this from a dolt like George Bush, but the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King? What a shame we in academia must now renounce everything King stood for.”

Already college campuses across the nation are mourning the loss of the crux of their social science curricula. A sophomore student at U.C. Berkeley expressed dismay for Lipshitz’s findings:

“Martin Luther King was, like, and idol of mine. I’ve got, like, 9 songs in my I-Pod that celebrate the work of MLK. They’re pretty good tunes, too. Now I have to find them shuffled in 9 Gigs of Coldplay and Dave Mathews and delete those f***ers. This is an outrage. Hey man, is this, like, for real. Did Kurt Loder report this? Or is it just another Fox News scam?”

Several students are organizing protests. Picket signs reading, “Separation of Church and State,” and “Keep your Bible off of my body, MLK!” are popping up on Berkeley’s campus and several other forward-thinking colleges. On one such sign, a student drew a likeness of King with the formula “King + Bible = OPPRESSION.”

The NAACP has declined comment, but anonymous inside sources have leaked a covert strategy to segregate MLK’s teachings from the organization’s agenda.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Anti-Defamation League has embraced Lipshitz’s work. Said its spokesperson, “We celebrate this discovery and look forward to the peace MLK’s religious teachings impart on public policy. Perhaps America will one day know the peace the Arab world enjoys thanks to its religious convictions.”

3/31/2008

Bullet-ins

  • I'm waiting for the class action lawsuit in which convicted sex offenders sue Apple, Inc. to discontinue using the name iTouch for their products.
  • Back when gas was $1.30/gallon, I sometimes opted for the higher octane to give my car a special treat, like drinking premium tequila instead of my usual Walgreen's brand (I call it Walgrila). But now that a tank of gas costs about as much as a date with Ashley Dupré, I'm looking for the cheapest gas I can buy. I wish they had a lower grade than 87-octane. Can't they dilute the gas with something cheap? Because I'd buy it. How about a 50-octane fuel cut with Jolt Cola? Or, how about I spray a couple cans of Aqua Net down the tube and start it up with a Bic lighter?
  • I was driving down the express way when I read a road sign: “Do Not Follow Trucks.” What am I supposed to do instead? Turn around and go home? What if the trucks are going to the same place I'm headed? Come to think of it, we're all headed the same place: down the fucking road. I'm not just following some of the trucks; I'm following all of them! Up yours, Mr. Road Sign Guy.
  • Can you language buffs help me out? Is it coincidental or ironic that Christian rock is my personal version of Hell? I always confuse those two words.
  • How strange that we love our cars but hate driving. Or that we love having sex, but that kids annoy us.
  • I wish liberals were as obsessed with economic efficiency as much as fuel efficiency.
  • In life, you have to go the extra mile to get ahead. For example, most guys merely masturbate. I make love to my hand.
  • It's neat how the Bible has names for the chapters instead of numbers. For instance, it's not Chapter 1. It's “Genesis,” like the rock band, only not as boring. Also, the Bible has chapters like Joshua, Mark, Luke and Titus. Other books should do this. Jurassic Park, for example, could have chapter titles like T Rex and Dr. Malcolm and Hot Scientist Chick. And Ted Kennedy's memoirs would be a more endearing read with Chapters like John, Robert, and Joe. One chapter that you wouldn't find in Kennedy's memoirs – Lifeguard.
  • I read in the news that citizens of Cuba will be allowed to buy toasters and air conditioners starting in 2010. Before then, these items are contraband. The government prohibits them because they use too much electricity. Let me get this straight. You can get first-rate health care in Cuba. You just you can't toast bread. I guess they power all those hospitals and clinics by burning tobacco.

3/25/2008

Three for the road

It's funny when people with dirty last names try to change them by contriving some absurd, foreign pronunciation. For example, take the surname, Buttram. It's pure, undiluted vulgarity, and also funny. Yet Mr. Buttram will correct you and explain that it's pronounced “boo-TRAHM.” Nice try, dude. Why not just face it? You're named after a gay sex act. Here's another example: the surname, Fuchs. Mr. Fuchs will have you believe that you pronounce his name “FYOOKS” (rhymes with REBUKES). Bullcrap! Your last name, sir, as you well know, is pronounced FUCKS. And know that I'll will be addressing your as Mr. FUCKS at every opportunity, especially when I must have you paged overhead at a local pharmacy or a public sporting event. Come on, dude. How do you get FYUKES from Fuchs? Where does the “Y” come from? Best possible scenario, your name is FUCH (rhymes with “such”). And that sounds kinda gay.


When you accidentally bump your keyboard, how do you manage to press the most disastrous key or combination thereof? It's never just a couple of numbers or a semicolon or a harmless Caps Lock. It's always a permutation of computing chaos. I'm usually running a word processing program at the time. I accidentally graze the keyboard while eating or something. Crikey! The colors change. The display inverts. It highlights and deletes blocks of text. Pull-down menus I've never seen before appear – and they never have X-out, quit buttons. You can't get rid of them. They just hang out uninvited and with no plans of leaving, ever, like a drunk uncle at holiday dinner. And I can never figure out what the hell buttons I pressed so that I might undo whatever I've done. Meanwhile, I know my computer's up to something sinister because I can hear the hard drive grinding. I'm scrambling to click the save button before my work flushes into cyberspace. Also, when I accidentally typed those keys, I somehow agreed to install an Internet-based virus and order a 1000-count pack of party favors on eBay. Dammit! What the hell did I press?


Those of you who've been hating on the economy for the last 7 and ½ years, good news! A recession is finally on the way (you won't have to make-believe anymore). I don't base my prediction on macroeconomic facts and figures, unemployment or inflation rates, commodities prices or currency strength. I forecast the economy with my LBB Starbucks Macroeconomic Indicator. LBB's SMI measures how many SUV-driving, Apple Powerbook-toting, George Bush-haters are drinking $5 cups of coffee (often while decrying the economy). The SMI assumes that the more middle class people walking around with $5 cups of coffee, the better the economy. Bad news, folks. Starbucks reports flattening sales and revenues. The coffee peddler's stock is down. And they've stopped building a new store every 45 minutes! This, I'm afraid, is the precursor to a recession.

3/18/2008

Manifestation of the subconscious mind

I'm an empiricist. That means I believe that if you can't observe it and measure it, it's balderdash. This is why I scoff at things like “global warming” and yoga. The only people who lose weight and get fit doing yoga are those who were already thin and fit, and queer. Empiricism, by the way, is why I don't believe in the subconscious mind.


Psychologists theorize a subconscious mind resides in each of us. Operating below our awareness, the subconscious mind exacts tremendous influence over our feelings, behaviors and perceptions. The subconscious is ubiquitous. It's part of our every mental operation. It composes the crux of personality (habits, likes and dislikes, temperament, etc). Indeed, some psychologist put mastery of the patient's subconscious as the goal of therapy and the touchstone of mental health. If you can reprogram the subconscious, psychologist explain, you can reinvent yourself into the person you want to be. Via the subconscious, you can tap into a cornucopia of knowledge and power. You can control your emotions, lose weight, learn the piano, lower your blood pressure, heal your body. You can even win on American Idol or pick the right suitcase on Deal or No Deal – all by tapping into your subconscious mind. Or you can just “program” yourself to actually enjoy watching those crappy shows. It's that powerful.


Psychologist explain that the subconscious mind works like a computer. You have to program it. Most people operate according to the default programs installed in our subconscious by parents, schools, society and beer commercials. But with effort we can delete all the bad programs and reprogram it with stuff we want. To that end, the sleeping person's subconscious is primed for programming. Sleeping people's conscious mind, the “gatekeeper,” is shut down (this is the goal of hypnosis, by the way). But sleeping people can still hear. Therefore, the ears are a ladder straight into the subconscious mind. I saw huge potential in this back in 1993. I had this girlfriend who was into naps. I waited until my girlfriend fell asleep and played a tape recording I'd made. It repeated the following: “You want to have sex all the time, and you love giving blow-jobs.” Three weeks later I caught her in my apartment's laundromat, in a trance, sucking off my landlord while still wearing her night shirt and her mineral mask. It wasn't all bad, though. I got my security deposit back without a fuss.


I abandoned the theory of the subconscious mind because I couldn't observe or measure predictable results after tinkering with it. Like the physics theory of aether, it withered away from lack of proof. My girlfriend's escapade notwithstanding, I was never able to influence my or anybody else's subconscious mind. I tried affirmations, hypnosis, positive thinking, self-suggestion. Nothing worked. No matter what I told my subconscious, I was still a pathetic douche bag.



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John Paul Satre declared, “Hell is other people.” If I may borrow the great philosopher's phrase, Hell is old people. What's my point? The point is, I hate old people. I don't really hate them. "Hate" is too strong a word. I just don't like them. Why am I an misagethope? One reason: they take an inordinate amount of time to do everything. Old people steal several minutes of your every day. Especially if there's machinery involved, like a car or a vending machine or something, old people distort time worse than a bad acid trip under a strobe light.


Most old people today were mesmerized by the locomotive engine, the phonograph and nickelodeon pornography. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that today's mechanical doodads perplex seniors. They need several minutes to apprehend the intricacies of say, the soda vending machine at Carl's Jr. Look at all those choices, Mildred. They've got half a dozen flavors of soda pop. There's lemonade. And then there's this damn “Gatorade.” Hell's Bells, Mildred. When did these kids start juicing alligators?


An old person will spend a minute and a half contemplating their senior-discounted beverage at the soda fountain. Such was the case when I dined at my local Carl's Jr. I purchased my Number 9 combo, grabbed my value-sized cup and beelined for the soda fountain. I spotted an old lady who, given her speed and trajectory, would make it to the fountain a moment before me. I had to act fast. The problem was, I injured my lower back earlier in the week. I couldn't bob and weave the way I usually do. My back was too sore to pounce ahead of Betsy Ross. This meant I'd be stuck behind her and have to wait until I was about her age before I could gun-up on Diet Coke. So, I queued up behind her. Sure enough, sure eh-goddamn-nuff, she stares in confusion at the fountain. Also, she's blocking access to the Diet Coke. Five, ten seconds pass. No movement, no signs of life. Was she having a stroke? Had the Good Lord seen fit to take both her and me out of our misery? No such luck. After a couple ice ages came and went, she raised her glass at a glacier's pace to the ice tea spigot. She tentatively shimmied her cup against the lever. Each spurt from the soda gun startled her, and so she recoiled. Imagine a teenager learning to drive a clutch. Come on, Betsy. You're not taming a cobra. You're filling a cup. Don't you have a few dozen pills to take with that iced tea?


I'd had enough. I conceived a plan that just might work. It had to work. I'd slip aside her, stretch my arm out and maneuver the glass underneath the Diet Coke spigot. She'd never know. Her glaucoma obscured her peripheral vision. As long as I loitered in the periphery, my breach of etiquette would go undetected. I could fill up, make my escape and hope she'd be done before I returned for a refill about 20 minutes later.


I executed my plan with success. Slipping aside her, I filled a 44-ounce glass to the brim with nectar of the gods, aka, Diet Coke. Now for my escape...


Just then, disaster struck. Or was it cosmic justice? I'll let the reader decide. You see, the awkwardness of my stance and the spasm in my back conspired to exact revenge/exact justice. I dropped my drink on the beverage bar and sprayed the old broad with soda. Yahtzee! The moisture liberated from her polyester pants the smell of mothballs and Bengay. My first instinct was embarrassment. But milliseconds later, an odd, unfamiliar satisfaction fizzed inside me. It foamed over into ecstatic joy, contemptuous mirth. It was that beautiful feeling you get when you witness someone taking a dose of their own medicine. Elation. The old bat paid the price for her indolence. And as it was an accident, I was blameless.


Still, prudence required the pretext of regret. I apologized several times: “Sorry. I'm sorry. That one got away from me.” The Coke-soaked old lady said nothing. She just sneered at me. I remember thinking, If only it were piping hot coffee instead.


As I ate my meal, I contemplated things. I reexamined my opinion of the subconscious. I'd ruled out its existence long ago. But now I had a big, steaming pile of empirical evidence substantiating subconscious behavior! What had happened was obvious. I internalized my anger. It settled in my subconscious where it fermented into malice. At the conscious level, my sense of civility prevailed; I simply endured the old lady's imposition. I remained calm, even stoic. Even the keenest eye couldn't discern my frustration. Meanwhile, my subconscious mind contrived an “accident” which it staged at the Carl's Jr. beverage bar, sniping the stimulus of my discord, namely, the slowpoke senior citizen.


Readers might attribute the dropped soda to chance: maybe it was just an accident. What readers don't know is, I don't drop soda. I've been drinking 7 sodas a day for 20 years. Haven't spilled one yet. I'd drop a newborn baby before I drop a soda. It's uncanny. The better explanation is, the subconscious mind rose and asserted its will.


What does this all mean? It means the subconscious mind is alive and well. The possibilities are endless. Now that I have a subconscious mind, I have to start programming it, posthaste. I'm no longer using my digital audio recorder for blog ideas. I'm recording affirmations to play while I sleep. To wit:


  1. “I'm a kick-ass guitar player and a rock star. Attention: subconscious mind – I don't mean the video game craze, Guitar Hero. I mean the actual six stringed instrument. And don't forget to make me an actual rock star like Bono or someone like that.”

  2. “I'm a kick-ass professional athlete. I'm super fast and strong, too. I'm like those UFC guys who can kick anybody's ass. In fact, I am a UFC Pride Fighter. Undefeated. And I've invented my own patented choke hold with a cool name that you, subconscious, will implant in my brain when I wake up.”

  3. “I'm wealthy. I have tons of cash and a gold-plated house and a sweet-ass sports car. Imagine that Donald Trump fucked Bill Gates in the ass and then Bill got pregnant and had a kid. That kid is me. I'm every bit the entrepreneur, but I don't have a train wreck of a hairdo and also I'm not a dork.”

  4. “I'm a graceful dancer. I'm even better than that Riverdance guy.”

  5. “I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight. My body thrives on frozen pizzas, Mexican food and candy. My metabolism takes care of all that stuff so that I always look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club.”

  6. “All the guys envy my savoir faire manner and the ladies, too, who all want my phone number because they can't resist me what on account of me being a wealthy rock star and UFC champ and because I'm a great dancer who looks like Brad Pitt, as I mentioned above.”


Goodbye for now, dear reader. I have a nap to take.

3/12/2008

I told you so!

On 6/13/2005 I made the following predictions, below. I've highlighted those that have come to pass in bold font. I stand by those that that to date have not yet become reality. Give them time.

  • Hawkish Pentagon officials clamor for more of federal pie to go to defense. Doves in Congress agree as long as military actions are humanitarian efforts having no discernible American interest.
  • If you smoke, drive an SUV, go to church, eat meat, own property, spank your kids, eat fast food, or display an American flag by your doorstep -- there will be a new group who hates you and is currently appealing to the ACLU to sue or prosecute you out of existence. They’re just looking out for your rights.
  • A few more nations will decide they hate the United States.
  • Crude oil prices will climb, OPEC will claim its hands are tied. The government will raise taxes on fuel. American consumer will take it in the shorts.
  • Stock prices will stagnate; average business executive salaries and bonus packages will surge 55%.
  • A government program fails to deliver on promises. Washington insists it needs more funding. Republicans and Democrats will clash on how much more.
  • Israeli-Palestine talks will result in peace. No, I’m just kidding. They still hate each other.
  • Shortening and jawbreakers will be the new health foods.
  • B-list bimbo will “accidentally” lose pornographic recording of her sexing some has-been low-life. The performance will be uploaded to the Internet. B-list bimbo will become A-list bimbo. [Gene Simmons]
  • School grades prove that kids keep getting dumber and more violent, but they’re even better at using computers than they are today.
  • An evil genius will take over the world by installing hypnotic marching orders into I-pod circuitry.
  • A revolutionary new diet fad will grip America and everybody will get 10 pounds fatter [What Would Jesus Eat? A little pussy, if the mood struck him right.].
  • There will be a bunch more crappy-sitcoms and yet another CSI crime drama series.
  • Millions of women will develop dark-purple smudges on their lower backs where tattoos used to be. Men will have a similar discolored ring around their upper biceps.
Nostradamus ain't got shit on me.