Archive for the ‘Human stuff’ Category

The End of “The Glorious Age of TP”

Friday, July 6th, 2007

The USS Hubbert, a small transport ship bound for the Trillby Islands, encountered a large storm and ran aground. Twenty people were onboard. The ship’s passengers found themselves hopelessly stranded on a quintessential, uncharted-dessert island.

Due to a snafu at FEMA, the crew was incorrectly determined to be composed entirely of ethnic minorities, so no rescue effort was ever made. Luckily, the passengers of the Hubbert found that the island was quite hospitable. It had ample shelter, sparkling fresh-water streams and plenty to eat. In spite of this, there was a glaring problem:

On the entire island, there was nothing suitable for the purpose of wiping one’s behind.

All of the island’s plant life was covered with needle-like, venomous-thistles or vicious serrations, nothing one would want to touch, let alone rub on unmentionable sensitive areas. The survivors became panicked.

Serendipitously, the ship’s passengers included two toilet-paper industrialists from Flatbraggen, Texas: Leo Durci and Peter Tatum Leislloid. They alone knew that in the ship’s hold resided fifty enormous crates, hundreds of thousands of rolls, of their product: MiracleWipe Toilet Tissue. Under the cover of night, they ventured out to the wrecked ship, and discovered to their delight and amazement that their precious cargo was intact. Once their property was secured, they announced to their comrades the following:

“Our good friends, we have terrific news! We have at our disposal enough toilet paper to last ten lifetimes, which we will happily share with you all! Since we own it, we will take up the responsibility of preparing it and distributing it to you. It is on the ship, and damp from the crash, but we will do all of the work of transporting it, drying it and delivering it to your dwellings, so long as you share with us the food and water you gather, so we can perform our important task without distraction.”

This met with uproarious enthusiasm. There was plenty of food and resources to share with their TP delivering saviors in return for a share of the precious tissue.

And so it went.

After a time, as always happens, the people took their TP as granted. It was always there, ready for their use. Nobody worried about where it was coming from or how much there was, so long as it was waiting for them beside their latrine when they needed it. Durci & Leislloid’s TP Service made delivers daily, collected their payment, and everyone was happy.

Without further set back, the island’s new inhabitants created a small civilization with a population steadily growing into the hundreds. The tiny civilization advanced, Labor was divided, and specialists worked to construct homes, market places and monuments worthy of praise. Farmers harvested edible berries, fisherman fished, and people busied themselves making and selling all kinds of goods. The most profitable business of all turned out to be that of Durci and Leuslloid. Their commodity, used by everyone on a daily basis, made them extravagantly wealthy. They hired employees to do all the work they had once dutifully done for the betterment of their fellow islanders. Their employees too, became very well to do, all of them holding a place of prestige in the community.

As time progressed, new leaders were elected, and Durci & Leislloid fathered heirs to take over their Toilet Paper Empire. These heirs, raised in the lap of luxury, felt disdain for their fellow islanders, and recognized their own power and importance to the society. They often used their tremendous influence to sway political processes, eventually lobbying and bribing everyone involved in the governing of the island. All the while, the supply of TP was as strong as ever. Nobody complained as long as they could prosper economically…. and wipe their rears.

The fisherman of the island were especially apt at catching a certain kind of bright-red fish, which they called the Cherry-Apple Redfish. This fish was incredibly spicy, and upset the stomach accordingly. The TP industry recognized the possibility for a partnership between the Cherry-Apple Redfishermen and themselves, and worked tirelessly to convince the population to switch to a diet comprised exclusively of Cherry-Apple Redfish. The taste of the fish was incredibly addictive and the meat had amazing benefits for one’s vitality. People instantly loved the new food, and quickly learned to deal with the indigestion, so long as they had ample TP around… Eventually, ALL of the island’s diet consisted of Cherry-Apple Redfish. TP profits exploded. Everyone was overwhelmingly happy.

Then, one day, an inquisitive young man asked publicly:

“Where has all this toilet paper been coming from? How much is there? Won’t we run out of it eventually?”

The TP Industrialists were quick to respond:

“Good people, we have an enormous supply, easily enough to last us for the next 50 years. There is no need to worry.”

The busy people of the island were satisfied with this answer. Of course they’d eventually run out, but not for a long, long time. When the time came, they knew, they’d find an alternative, but there was no sense worrying about that now.

The years past and the population grew and grew, fed on a steady diet of Cherry-Apple Redfish, which gave them the super-human energy to grow and prosper as never before. Each new mouth to feed meant another behind to wipe. TP consumption grew staggeringly, but the supply continued to meet demand. A small portion of the population grew weary of the situation. Nobody knew how much TP there was, even the TP industry didn’t know for sure.
TP executives silenced such cautionary voices of dissent, and made politics a very profitable endeavor for politicians that upheld the position of the TP industry. Some citizens attempted to devise viable alternatives to TP, and encourage the population to switch to diets with less spicy food to lessen their rampant TP consumption. These activities threatened to cut into the TP industry’s soaring profits, and were crushed. People were encouraged not to worry, and to continue to consume as much Cherry-Apple Redfish as they desired in the meantime.

People started to notice… TP was getting more and more expensive. TP executives blamed the aquatic creatures which surrounded the ship that were making retrieval difficult. Outraged, the people sent their children to fight the vilified sea life, many young people drowned attempting to keep fish from swimming.

Supply continued to lag, population continued to grow, and TP prices became astronomically unreasonable. Fingers were pointed every which way. People panicked. Only the wealthiest could afford the few rolls that were making it to market. Top government officials and wealthy TP-Executives realized the jig was up, they horded what TP was left for themselves in their enormous private estates, then publicly announced:

“Sorry, there’s no more toilet paper.”

At this announcement, the population suddenly realized the horrible mess they were in, and instantly reverted to a state which could hardly be considered civilized. They had a huge, densely-packed population fed on nothing but Cherry-Apple Redfish, and they had absolutely no toilet paper alternatives.

Together in one colossal sigh, the population of the island muttered their immortal words, marking the end of the “Glorious Age of TP”:

“Aww…s#!%.”

~n

Behind the scenes: Capt. Sunshine’s Rainbow Gang

Friday, February 16th, 2007

“Captain Sunshine’s Smile-Time Rainbow-Hour” was among the top-rated children’s programs for nearly a decade, and an entire generation of children delighted to the sunday-morning antics of Captain Sunshine and his ever-dancing “Rainbow Gang.” However, behind the smiles, the laughter, and the drugs… was a seedy underbelly of syndicated crime, moral depravity, and drugs.

What few realize, even to this day, is that Dewdrop, Twinkle-Bootys, Angel-O-Death and Teddy, the so-called “rainbow gang,” were in fact actual gang members of the ruthless SoCo Stabtackle-Squad. Watching the old reruns with this in mind, the gang undertones become obvious. “The Smile Sign,” the hand gesture used to greet friends in the series appears to be identical to the ‘flashing’ of a known west-coast gang sign. Additionally, cast members frequently made strange references in Ebonics to respect, allegiances and ‘promiscuous women’. Even more conspicuous, it is now obvious that the “Smile-Time Pistol” was an actual colt .45, and the “Rainbow-Gang Jolly-Jump-In”, where new members were ruthlessly beaten prior to entry into the “Funderful Smile Society,” were actual gang initiations. Several episodes featured visits from “HateBone da Bag-Man,” the show’s resident mail-man, who routinely delivered cocaine, pcp and angel dust. Even Smiley-Time Fortress was later determined to be located in an abandoned warehouse in the condemned St. Walburton shipyard 15 miles south of central LA.

Despite these subtle warning signs, the show remained enormously popular with children, and their parents happily shelled-out an estimated sixty-million dollars a year on Capt. Sunshine merchandising. Clothing, toys, videos, lunchboxes and 40oz Malt Liquor. Parents took their children to stand in line for hours in hopes of getting them on the show. Auditions were held regularly in parking garages all over Lower Los Angeles. Children were selected for the show based on their ability to blend in with a crowd, their ability to travel long distances wearing back-packs weighted with sandbags, and their ability to keep their cool when confronted with casting directors dressed as inquisitive police officers.

Few parents realized then the danger they were subjecting their children to. Most children who were cast ended up as coke-mules, and many met tragic deaths in the service of Capt. Sunshine. Hindsight is 20/20, of course. Today it is easy to recognize the show as unapologetic, televised gang-activity. Watching now, one realizes that there are no sets, no costumes, no story-lines, and no scripted dialog or music. In fact, if one watches very carefully these days, they will notice that nobody on the show actually mentions the words “Sunshine,” “Rainbow,” or even “Smile” in any of the 105 episodes that aired between 1982 and 1991. Looking back now, it’s hard to imagine just what the f*** people were thinking.

“I think we all just wanted to believe.” Rev. Timothy Cracken told SLAG magazine in 1995. “I think that deep down, all of us just wants to believe in a place where smiles are currency, and rainbows light our path to happiness.”

~n

The END of the WORLD

Monday, February 12th, 2007

General Tesnic surveyed his war-weary troops.

“LISTEN UP, MEN!” He shouted.
“This is it! We’re going toe to toe with those RED BASTARDS! President Kanting has ordered this strike, one which will be seared into history as the most IMPORTANT MOMENT of ALL TIME!!! You have the support of your people, you REPRESENT them ALL! OUR way of life! Are we going to lie down and let those RED BASTARDS beat US? NO F***ING CHANCE!!!”

The army platoon erupted in roaring confirmation of their absolute commitment to victory.

“This is the fate of the world we’re talking about here, men! The FATE of THE WORLD!!!”

Indeed it was. Nobody in the platoon argued with that statement. With all the incredible events of the past days, most of them were sure they were teetering on the brink of the long prophesized “End of Days.” The end of all time. All over the land, priests stood at pulpits and confirmed the necessity of this feeling to a hysterical populace. War was upon the earth. Total War. The “Final battle for Good against Evil” was how it was portrayed by all, on both sides.

In the “Red” camps, the same rhetoric resounded, albeit in a different language. They too were planning their offensive. They too were sure this was the beginning of Armageddon.

“THE END OF THE WORLD”

The two armies amassed on the battlefield. Every one of them knew this was the last battle history would EVER record. Their two armies were the most powerful forces ever before seen in their long, war-torn history. Then, the two opponents struck out at each other simultaneously.

Armageddon, the End of the World, had begun.

High in a tree, a bird sang out.
A baby doe made its way through the tall grass.

It did not notice the swirling excitement of the red and black ant colonies ferociously battling for the remains of a dead grasshopper below.

~n

The Institute for the Decidedly Not-Funny (interview)

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

My guest today is Hillary Chuckleton, who has been heading the Institute for the Decidedly Not-Funny (or “IDNF” as it is most commonly referred to), for the past five decades. The science of what is, and what is decidedly-not funny has a rich history full of colorful characters who helped advance this obscure but important science. The following is an excerpt from an interview I had with Ms. Chuckleton in the winter of ‘Ot-six, as we toured a portion of the institute, which is situated on 1,500 forested acres in Hobbcleff, VT.
(The names are abbreviated M, form “me”, and G, for “Hillary”)

M: Thank you for speaking with me, Hill, I can call you “Hill,” can’t I?
G: I think that’d be just dandy. Many of my associates call me many things. “Hill” is certainly a new one, but it doesn’t bother me.

M: Great. So, Hill… this is quite a remarkable institution! Most people only hear about the IDNF when something tragic happens, but obviously there is much more to the IDNF than that. What can you tell us about the daily activities of this institution? What does your institution actually DO?
G: Well, that’s quite a broad question, a lot goes on here as you can see. However, much of our activities involve research. Every time a new product is released, for example, our institute has to test it for its HQ, or “Hilarity Quotient.” This is not as easy as it seems. Many things that are apparently not-funny can become funny in different contexts.

M: Can you think of an example?
G: Well, for example… take a pencil. Pencils aren’t terribly funny objects, right? But jam one in a ninja’s eye or give one to a monster and, well… you see my point. And objects are just one aspect of our research. Ideally, we are trying to analyze every object, location, event, situation, idea… everything… until we end up with a finalized list of those things which are decidedly not funny. We think this knowledge benefits all humanity.

M: That’s an incredible undertaking! How long has this institution been at it?
G: Well, the institution was established in 1874 by Lord Pompermeyer Fannigus Gillbert IV in London. He had a long standing disagreement with his bitter rival, Sir Norrius Tobbleton Scott of Wankchester, over whether or not blasphemy was funny. This was a widely publicized argument, and many of the leading scholars and theologians became heatedly engaged in the debate. When Lord Pompermeyer lost the argument, he was enraged, and disbanded the institute, which fled to safety in the new world, where it has been ever since.

M: Well… what happened with the argument??? Is blasphemy funny or not?
G: Yeah. It’s pretty funny.

M: Well… I’m sure my readers would love to know: How exactly do you test to see whether something is “decidedly not-funny”?
G: Well, we mostly use “the PLOP,” or the “Progressive Laughing-Omission Protocol” for our tests. Basically, we draw a picture of the object, situation, idea etc. to be tested. Then we look at it. If we don’t laugh, we show it to children. If they don’t laugh, we show it to stoned teenagers. Finally, if the stoned teenagers don’t think it’s funny, we show it to stoned children. Most things can be found to be at least partially funny in this way. Cucumbers, for example, always pass as not funny down to the stoned teenagers, and then they’re instantly hilarious. Gets em’ everytime.

M: So if it makes it passed the stoned children it’s not funny?
G: No…no…no… That’s preliminary. The same method is employed again, using contextual combinations. Lets say a plane crash is being tested. This will usually make it past the preliminaries. We then include accessory knowledge to the context. For example, with the contextual knowledge that humans are primates, it is easy to interpret the incident as one involving “a jet-propelled, winged-metal-tube of monkeys plummeting from the stratosphere, the tube-confined primates all the while muttering in symbolic-monkey-speak to a monkey-shaped deity.” That is decidedly funny.

M: How many things have been tested so far?
G: Many hundreds of millions.

M: How many things have been found to be decidedly not-funny?
G: Well…… including all the ones discovered prior to our records becoming digital…..none so far… there have been many dozens of false negatives, though. Many times something will be maintained as not-funny for decades before a new interpretation or physical context reveals its funnitude. Presently, nothing holds the Decidedly Not-Funny (DNF) designation.

M: Not one?
G: So far, no. But we are still looking.

M: That’s hard to believe! There are many things which jump to mind as terribly not-funny. Mass-murder, viral epidemics, nuclear warfare, drowning bunnies… you can’t tell me these things are funny!?
G: That’s the remarkable thing. The universe is tragically hilarious, and all “things” are completely temporary, in any sense we’d recognize. We repeatedly encounter the same problem: Taken to a deep enough context, it’s hard to draw distinct lines between any-thing, so that if any-thing is funny, Everything is funny. The physics of it are as seemingly complex as they are elegant, but that’s what we do here.

M: Then why do you bother calling this place The Institute for the Decidedly NOT-Funny???
G: Because we think it’s funny.

~n

The Eve of the ADM (“Age of Dancing Monkeys”) [part I]

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Consider: You’re dead.

Your life is already lived, and it took place many millions of years ago. The Earth is still here, beautiful and pristine. Condominiums and Chryslers weather out of sedimentary strata deposited during “The Age of the Dancing Monkeys.” The globe is still a super-organism of unfathomable complexity. All is in perfect harmony. All is seeking thermodynamic equilibrium. “Life” continues to dance under and through cycling matter, as a process of preferential-pattern perpetuation.

Presently, no living creature is aware that at one point, billions of monkeys spread across the globe in a vast network of footpaths and villages, highways and cities.

The dancing monkey was a peculiar creature. Unbeknownst to them, they were among the most whimsical and tragically-entertaining patterns the universe had ever brought forth. They were skilled at material re-arrangement. They experimented relentlessly with different configurations of the matter they found around them. Building nests, tools, weapons and transportation. They would dig, stack, fasten, thread, mix, heat, cool, hydrate and dry, combust, microwave and titrate whatever they found in their enviornment. The energy gradients produced by different configurations of matter varied from relatively minimal to relatively extreme.

Sometimes, monkeys found gradients that would release many billions of joules of energy over small spatial expanses. Whenever a particularly potent configuration of macroscopic or molecular matter was recognized, the Dancing Monkeys would immediately make use of it to obliterate a portion of their population. They elated in the cleaving of meat from one another’s bones, puncturing each others vital organs and detonating chemicals in close proximity to high-density monkey habitats.

Eventually, the Monkeys found an amazing way to produce food, erect structures and hurtle themselves across the surface and atmosphere at many hundreds of kilometers per hour by collecting and combusting energy from ancient sunshine. To the best of anything’s knowledge, the monkeys refereed to this fossilized sunshine as “Magic Monkey-Motion Matter,” and they assumed the supply was inexhaustible. With it they grew in spatial extent and complexity, their activities rearranging unfathomable quantities of matter, ensnaring vast arrays of individual atoms- recognizing reactions and exploiting them where possible.

To be continued

Hiatus Maximus

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Well, it’s hard to keep up with this thing. It’s hard enough to find time to write in my journal, so this blog has few prospects for serious attention. Sitting here at my desk is rather uninspiring… I dislike this room. It’s not a center for creative incubation like rooms past. Once this uber video project is finished I’ll make it a point to get back to reconnect with my favored mindset, the one conducive to creativity. I feel intellectually neutered when I am forced to sit in this room for eight hours straight staring at a final cut timeline.

…I’ll be back later…

sack in the baddle

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

After a miserable weekend spent in flatirons mall, I have a new hard drive in my machine, and a steaming pile of files that somewhat resembles their original, now departed ancestors. Looks like things will work out, afterall.

I will start writing things worth reading shortly!

digital breakdown

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

Well, my hard drive crashed today, taking with it untold hours of my time and the products of it. Sigh… I can still blog since this is done over the internet, but all the most recent files for thinayr.com are lost. Luckily copies exist on the server, but the files used to create the graphics and such are gone. So, it will probably be a while before I can update anything on the site.

Yup, fun day. I’m dead in the water as far as work is concerned. Maybe I’ll take it as a sign that I’m supposed to go riding every day this week. Yeah, that must be what this is… Hmmm….

In my obvious need to visit the Apple store, I did enjoy a spirited outing to flatirons mall: adrift in the swirling vortex of massive material consummation. Thousands of primates expending tens of thousands of hours time, terra-joules of energy and millions of dollars in an orgy of capitalistic crap-aquisition…sending money to asia with every beep of the cash registers. Fascinating, no?

Tis’ the season! Welcome to the largest annual heartbeat of the north american chapter of the human super-organism.

blissful ignore-ance

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

Since I found out definitively that 911 was orchestrated by our government, that our oil resources have peaked, that global conflict is inevitable, that our climate is changing and that the internet is a never ending well of information on said matters… I have been dwelling on said matters for the last six months or so. Many a night I spent delving into the deep, dark truth about our situation as a culture, species and planet. 2006 was a frightening year, with many frightening developments. Just writing this, and remembering the feelings of anxiousness as I mentally prepared myself for aspects of life I have only read about… I wonder if the title of this post will remain applicable… Basically, since the midterm elections swung in a way I never would have predicted (although suspiciously so…), I have walled myself off from the ugliness of our present situations. Only a few weeks ago, if the aide to the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia got a paper cut, I was among the first to know. Digg, shoutwire and thinkprogress all provided a saturation bombing of current events. Current-current events have been trending in clear and disturbing directions. I spontaneously wrote a number of farewells to the world. Whether such feelings were justified, I can’t say right now. I’m now swimming in blissful ignorance.

Maybe “nurtured acceptance” is a more accurate description. I have come to terms with my/our present situation, but so long as I close the floodgates of my information inundation. I would rather spend my time focusing on other things, while that is still an option. We will all have plenty to worry about soon enough, why rush in? The fact of the matter is, no matter how grim the prognostications made by those seriously engaged in the hearts of the most important issues, with meditation I can change fear and dread into excited hopefulness. Everything I hold most deeply tells me with confidence that fear is a choice. Fear is a mindset. Fear is a product of missing the bigger picture. I have no fear.

Hopefully these pages will soon be filled with lengthier explanations as to why this is the case. A systematic analysis of us, the organism, in terms which blur the line between physical science and spiritually-derived existentialism. My own philosophy.

In the meantime, this entry should serve as adequate preface to what I hope to do here. I have too much good stuff to share outside of the temporal box of humanity’s present predicaments. I have closed myself off from it, once again embracing the glorious mindset of alienated objectivity. You can come along too if you’d like.