Thursday, June 26, 2008

This Week's Bavarian Fire Drill

Now here's our government at work: I got an e-mail alert at work today. Someone wanted me to protest the elimination of the Team Decision Making process at Child Protective Services, which would leave life-shattering decisions about removing children from their homes to, I dunno, the janitor or something. They want to cut off TDM funding because we can no longer afford that sort of wasteful state spending.
Yesterday, in the mail, I got a letter from the Feds joyously announcing that my economic stimulus check would arrive any day now. I'm guessing, with an average 3 people per household in this country, that they designed, printed up and mailed out 100 million of these at God knows what cost. Not to mention sending out 100 million checks the following week, each of them made out for $600 or more. I wonder how many battered infants you could save with that kind of money?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Quote Of The Day

“Everybody's a mad scientist, and life is their lab. We're all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos.” -- David Cronenberg

Speak for yourself, Dave.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jello Biafra: Good Saint Material

What makes this man GOOD SAINT MATERIAL?

1. He sticks by his principles no matter what's going on.
2. He leads by example.
3. He doesn't seem to tie himself up in knots about what the competition is up to.
4. Hard as he tries, he can't seem to get fame to go to his head. That's good, saintly behavior, there.
5. There appears to have been at least one clear attempt to martyr him.
5. He's spent his entire adult life belching forth one inspiring hymn after another DEDICATED TO THE CAUSES WE HOLD DEAR. Like this one:

"Enchanted Thoughtfist"

I am a product of the television age
Zoom in on what's important
Get the point right away
A modern lack of patience
Is it a virtue?
Hardly ever read books
Devour 'zines and reviews

I say it again
We all believe what we want to believe
Don't just question authority
Question everything

Felt I had to confess
In Ginsberg's apartment
My literary background's mostly songs and cartoons
He said 'Oh, that's just fine'
I sort of felt relieved
But when I hurl my word bombs
How much should be believed?

I say it again
We all believe what we want to believe
Don't just question authority
Don't forget to question me!
Oh yeah, that's right
Take flight with insight

The pressure of being taken seriously
Breathing down on me
To keep up with my extremes
And keep on planting seeds
Joyous sabotage
So far so good
Now where do we go from here?
It always feels weird
When people come up to me
And say I changed their lives
I say 'Now it's your turn to start a fire!
'Start your own fire
Break the world fire (? )

I need hardly point out that the lyrics to Jello's tender ballad contain EVERYTHING YOU COULD WANT in a Discordian hymn. Guy even challenges the listener to question what he's saying. This is the real deal.

An Erisian Mantra

"The imaginary is what tends
to become real, and when it does
There's no paint black enough
to cover it up."
-- Maggie Nelson, in Jane: A Murder
Copyrighted 2005, Maggie Nelson
Published by Soft Skull Press

An Erisian Mandala

A Sub-Genius of my acquaintance sent me this. I have no idea where he scared it up -- he certainly has the nose for the offbeat image -- and I really apologize to the image's creator for not being able to give proper credit.
(Feel free to add it via the the Comments link!)
Self-important adolescent types, confronted with an image like this, are quick to point out that it is no proof of talent to be able to create a trompe l'oeil like this. OK, maybe, but A) who cares and B) you only said that because you resent not having come up with it yourself, you snot-nosed kid, proving that someone who's not talented can still manage to make you feel dumb.
This has all the important elements of a good, spiritually-focused mandala. It seems to change, or move, as you look at it, the way an Escher print does, or the way a corpse laid out in its coffin seems to breathe. It makes you wonder who the funk that is in the picture, and whether they are actually above or below the pavement, or if they only exist in the thin layer of water on the asphalt. Or maybe they are Shoe Genies that can ghost up out of the insoles at their whim, becoming visible under the right lighting conditions, or on a wet day like this one, or in a way that makes only their reflections visible, like Count Dracula in reverse. It makes you think, in a flickering-past way, how photography works and how someone can twiddle a photo to make this look so real...and so unreal at the same time.
So, pretty cool, Mystery Photographer.