Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial day weekend in the U.S. is beginning. There shall be buckets and barrels and bushels of praise, glory, etc. heaped on war, war veterans, violence as a means to peace, etc. etc. Meanwhile U.S. vets shall continue to kill and torture people abroad, and shall continue to commit suicide at double the rate of others, and shall continue to struggle for the rest of their lives with combat related PTSD, depression, and a host of other problems. It's our annual culture-wide homage to the (caca de vaca) myth of redemptive violence. Here's to the country that spends 60% of the entire planet's violence budget.


Suppose that the universe is actually set up in such a way that you don't necessarily get the best possible outcome for you.


Suppose that the universe is actually set up in such a way that you necessarily get the best possible outcome for you.

AND suppose that (regardless of the above) you choose to believe that the universe is set up in such a way that you necessarily get the best possible outcome for you. Then:

1. Are there any downsides to such a choice?

2. And if so, what are they?

3. And if not, then ... are you going to make such a choice?

4. And if not, why?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Chuck Colson is a dork

I mean that in the nicest possible way. This is hilarious. He should try out stand up comedy.

Words/phrases from this commentary:

  • a savage, covered head to toe in tattoos.
  • the continuing applicability of Old Testament law (especially re: shellfish) (note: parenthetical comment is my own)
  • pagans
  • gentiles
  • raw material on which we simply carve graffiti.
  • Even young women who mark their bodies with flowers or butterflies
  • Tattoos last a lifetime—unless they are painfully removed.
  • the higher and the lower, the superior and the inferior
  • a tattoo or, even worse, a body piercing

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Full of yes

What would it feel like, I wonder, if I were able to arrange my life, thoughts, and words in such a way that if a person were to follow me around 24/7 and record every time I said "yes" or "no", the ratio of "yes"s to "no"s were 100 to 1? I wonder what my current ratio is? My guess is that it's around 5 to 1. How about you?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is Autism the greatest gift for your [autistic] child?

In response to this question, my awesome friend Avak said today:

"YES ABSOLUTELY, coz he is perfect the way he is and happy the way he is, he IS making his own choices, he is not yelling out to us saying "please help me, i am struggling with autism" and his choices are fine with us, our effort and energy is now spent on showing him that he can make other choices that we typically make...loving & accepting him the way he is, has been the NUMBER 1 FACTOR for Nicholas growing and developing over the last 14 months, especially in the areas of eye contact, interactive attention span, & fleixibility...verbal communication is a working progress too...after having met many, many parents over the last 3 years with children with ASD...the major stumbling block that they all had in relation to their child (including my wife and I) was that they had a tough time accepting, REALLY accepting their child as they are, they are very uncomfortable that their child is not "normal" like all other kids...once you LET GO of that, your child's potential is limitless...;))))"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Things I used to believe

A partial list

I am designed by God with a melancholic personality.
Not getting what I wanted makes me unhappy.
I can't get what I want.
It's not okay to be unhappy (Damn these last three are sort of a deadly trifecta).
My misery is both inevitable and my own fault.
Getting angry helps me get what I want.
When people are frightened of or repulsed by me, it's about me.
Masturbating is bad.
There is an objective reality more real than what I believe or don't believe.
I'm not very good at relating to people.
The world is a generally dark place--there is way more bad news than good news.
I should feel guilty if people are starving while I have plenty to eat. etc.
People are inherently bad.
I'm naturally good at spotting the things that are bad in other people and organizations.
If I negatively criticize myself out loud, that will help other people like me.
Other people are disgusted by my body, and that matters.
I can't draw very well.
The best way to not feel a negative emotion is to avoid touching it or looking at it.

Wow. I am so glad I don't believe any of those anymore. Wooohooooot!!!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

She will not go behind her father's saying.

Sarah Palin is quoted today as saying "We're all Arizonians now" and "Mr. President, do your job--secure our border!".

I say Frost understood better. In "Mending Wall", he describes Palin perfectly:

He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What I miss in Seattle

Bag End. Thornton Creek. The Floating Meadow. Meadowbrook Community Center. A certain Bar on Lake City Way. Russell.

Chris, Laurel, Eric, Tony, Diana, Jennie, Jay, Mike, Ted, Renee, James B., Kindlings Muse, Seth, Russell.

Jim, Kat, Dad, Tracy, Saeid, Lily, Travis, Heather, Aliya, Sofi, Russell.

Knowing that pretty much anyone I met is going to think George Bush was a ******* of the worst sort. Seattle Weekly. Nathalie. Knowing automatically which way the cars would come from when I crossed the street. Knowing I could be in a foreign country in two hours. Knowing the city council would never actually do anything. Getting to watch Dino Rossi get squashed again =). Russell.

Christmas in winter. Spring in late May. Real Mountains on both sides. Alpine lakes. Shitty rocky "beaches". The generally awesome people selling Real Change for only a buck. Being able to find anything I wanted super cheap locally on craigslist. Chou Chou. Not paying international shipping from Amazon. Russell.

Knowing MHGS was just over there, in case I ever decided to go. A rain forest within a 2 hour drive. A natural hot springs in the snow within an hours drive, plus another one within a 2 hour drive. Knowing there was a town up that way called "Concrete". Knowing there was a horrifying thing over that way called "the gum wall". the waterfront. The terrifying Alaskan Way Viaduct, with the view northbound unbeatable. The Bat Tunnel. Floating Bridges. Russell.

Unlimited Internet downloading and uploading for a reasonable monthly fee. Knowing if anything went slightly or badly wrong there were at least 5 people who could and would come and help me in the next hour. Knowing where the good dumpsters were. Having a car. Knowing how to get out of a speeding ticket. Knowing how to avoid a speeding ticket in the first place. Being able to talk like other people talked. Knowing the local second language. Knowing the librarians. Knowing the University campus, and where the Pastafarians met, and knowing of a reasonably safe, postmodernish church (or two (or three)) that I could attend if I ever wanted too. Knowing where to go to buy something if I wanted to buy it. Having a multilayered full map of the city and surrounding areas instantly at my mental fingertips. Russell.

There. Done it--what I set out to do with this blog post. Having a good old cry, I am. Excellent.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rather be in Seattle?

These two are doing their annual crossover, as Melbuourne temps drop and Seattle temps rise.

All temps are degrees C (as civilized people use).

Forecast for St Kilda Vic this week:

Day, Min, Max

Tue, 9, 14
Wed, 8, 14
Thurs, 9, 15
Fri, 10, 18
Sat, 8, 18

Day, Min, Max

Tue, 8, 17
Wed, 9, 19
Thurs, 10, 20
Fri, 9, 18
Sat, 9, 17

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

My mother is dead. Nearly 2 years ago, some technicians burned her body, and the ashes got put in Salmon Creek near Oriole Campground and in a nasty cold box at Tahoma National Cemetery.

Please indulge me as I choose to link to the eulogy I wrote for her.

One of my internal voices says that for Mother's Day I should be instead writing about Megan. This voice, when questioned about the "should", appeals to principles with which I mostly agree. And yet ...

Call it a sort of closure with regards to the death of my mother.

I feel sad and happy. Awesome.

The Diary of Tristram Shandy

Tristram Shandy, the hero of a novel by Laurence Sterne, writes his autobiography so conscientiously that it takes him one year to lay down the events of one day. If he is mortal he can never terminate; but if he lived forever then no part of his diary would remain unwritten, for to each day of his life a year devoted to that day's description would correspond.

Coming Soon

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fill in the blank

This headline caught my eye today:

Arizona deputy shot by alleged undocumented immigrant

Other variations of the headline in today's news:

  • Arizona Pinal county deputy shot by suspected illegal
  • Arizona Deputy Shot By Alleged Illegal Immigrants
My first thought--what other labels could we put in, in place of "illegal immigrant", "undocumented immigrant" or the more evocative "illegal"

Arizona Pinal county deputy shot by suspected __________

Here's a few:

African American
Native American
rock climber
formula one driver
airline pilot

Gotta watch out for those alleged shrubbers.