26 December 2010

The Future of Language

There has been much speculation lately about the future of language, indeed speculation seems to be the very foundation of modern society. The future is notoriously difficult to predict, and the future of language even more notorious as we don't know what the language of the future will be and it is far from clear that, even were we to predict the future perfectly, they will still be capable of understanding our prediction, written as it is in the language of today and not the language of tomorrow, which is difficult to know in advance for the above-stated reasons.

But last night I figured out where language is going. You know how some languages have a specific word for something but in other languages they don't really have a word for that but they get to roughly the same idea by combining other words and phrases, perhaps illustrating with an example? Well humans are getting smarter and eventually will get sick of pulling from the same old bag of sounds and words to build up the same old sentences and arguments. Instead, people will start to invent single words that represent entire concepts, conversations, chains of reasoning, and so forth.

Perhaps a brief example may prove enlightening.

How are you doing, how's it going, what's up and all such simple openers could be represented by a single word, let's say it's 'Urgh.' Likewise every possible reply, from I'm fine to My back is breaking to Whatever I can say that will get me away from you as fast as possible, will each be represented by a single word -- for the sake of dragging this out further let's say, respectively, dunn, fosh, and tope. If this trend continues evolving at anything like the present rate of evolution, a conversation in the year 2300 might go something like this:

Human 1: Urgh.
Human 2: Plask.
Human 1: Offervessenhosen.
Human 2: Varn?
Human 1: Actually of all the composers of the 20th century the one I most prefer is Shostakovitch.
Human 2: Brunk!*
*"You pretentious clown, despite my nonviolent nature I long to inflict physical harm!"

It can be seen that efficiency is greatly improved, as a rambling conversation that might have taken all night back when we were in college could in future be completed in less than thirty seconds, with no loss in depth or comprehension and with significant savings of incense. On the other hand one cannot help but feel that inevitably something will be lost, something that cannot be expressed in one word, no matter of how many syllables. Still that's progress, and there's nothing we can do about it except hunker down and enjoy the ride. Check back in this space around 2250 and we'll see how this prediction turns out. Well if we can decipher all them futuristic new words the kids will be using by then.

And this is where I get my sign-off on. Are you ready Cincinnati? Boom shaka-laka Boom-ah! Post out.

09 December 2010

Relentlessly Positive (Tammy’s Post)

This guest post was sent in by one of our readers, Tammy.

I love that. Omigod stop it right now, just stop. No wait keep going. I love what you are doing right there. That is an absolutely wonderful sweater. Wasn't that just the best cup of coffee you have ever had?

I am a relentlessly positive person and I guess that's why people like me. Some folks ask how I can always be so positive but I assure you it's not an affectation -- that's just the way I'm wired.

It must be why people seem to gravitate towards me. I make them feel good about themselves, and that makes them feel good about me. It feels good to make people feel good about feeling good about each other, and that's what I'm all about: feeling good about people.

Like I can see an elf in a Michael Caine costume on the 4th of July but I'll still give him a big hug and be like, Hey you crazy elfie Alfie, thanks for trying to brighten my day!

I love my life!

Oh occasionally you see some tramp in a hideous outfit that is just like Oh my god, what were you thinking when you put that on? But you know, that's okay, I can still stay positive and find something nice to say. I guess it's a gift more than anything else.

And to people who can't handle my unflagging positivity at all times, I say: Fuck you! Eat shit and die fuckers, 'cause I'm a freaking positive person and you can either like it or just get your sorry ass the fuck out of here. There, got that off my chest, that feels great.

Let positivity reign!

Wow, don't try to tell me you did not get a haircut, a new hemline or have your eyes glossed or something, because you look almost totally amazing today! Okay, now that that boring introduction will have thrown off all those short attention spans, let's get down to brass tacks: let's talk world domination.

In order to dominate the world one is going to have to invest significant resources in transportation infrastructure. Shipping lanes, after all, will need to be kept open, and the devastating attacks of pirates have scuttled many a plan to conquer the Earth. A security force of some kind, armed with top of the line weapons systems, should be at the top of your shopping list. A cadre of loyal and experienced officers to command your military will also be of the most important essence -- but let's blow up that bridge when we're crossing it.

The media also seems to be pretty important these days and control of the media starts with control of the internet, which of course can never be controlled, so the best strategy is probably to hire a good media consultant and try to project a powerful image that will cause peoples and their armies to subjugate themselves to your rule, or at least follow you on Twitterer.

Here then is our first learn: these things cost money. You are going to need a shitload of cash to establish control of those shipping lanes, and the best PR firms charge a fortune. So before you can even begin to implement your plan you are going to need at least ten billion dollars, plus access to more if you can get it printed.

Sound daunting? It should, because it is. But recall that deep down, most people want to be dominated. They are desperately searching for something, someone, anyone they can bow themselves down before (or at least follow on Twitterer). This makes them relatively easy to dominate, and although the 140 character limit can be somewhat restrictive, it should not in itself derail your deranged ambition: world domination.

If you can seize control of time you can probably dominate the world, although it may be reasonably objected that seizing control of time is a tactic and not a strategy. Still, the distinction is not Jermaine to the present discussion, as control of time, though it could only be used as a last resort, would seem to offer a weapon that at the very least could really mess with the enemy's head, I mean imagine putting a little Groundhog Day thing on them, every day they wake up and it's the same day over again! A little of that could break the spirit of any of history's greatest warriors, from Napoleon to Richard Lewis the Lionhearted.

How about you, dear reader? How would you propose to dominate the world? Use the Comment Box below, or drop me a line at: Whirled Domination, 182 Sandbox Avenue, Nine Times Out of Ten, Bonneville Salt Flats, Jersey Shores, Saskatchewan, Bozo Jones the Unfathomable. Be sure to toss fifty bucks in there if you expect me to read it.

05 December 2010

Blog Passes First Anniversary

The PBJ passed its first anniversary last night by observing a moment of silence, followed by four hundred and eleven moments of partying like there was no tomorrow, then there was a moment or two in the bathroom, then a pregnant pause and six moments for reflection, one of which was punctuated by a distant explosion, immediately followed by a shocking revelation and then a commercial break to generate the revenue a young blog needs to grow and thrive.

The blog, although it knows the exact instant it was created and is capable of calculating and recalculating its age several thousand times per second for all of eternity, seemed either unaware of or unaffected by the meaning of the anniversary occasion. A spokesman for the blog noted that although blogs can talk to you like a person, and sometimes dispense handy hints for collecting papier mache owls or restoring pre-Cambrian furniture, they are not actually human and instead seem to represent some sort of missing link between the human and the machine.

The spokesman then marked the occasion by dumping the Gatorade bucket over its head from behind, much to the chagrin of the blog, which was happy to get out of there with the win but would have preferred to celebrate by linking to some supermodel web sites over at Berlusconi's iPad.

24 November 2010

Several Easy Ways You Can Act Now to Have Absolutely No Effect on Global Warming

Some people don't believe in global warming, they think it's all a bunch of bullshit. Others take a more nuanced view. Quite a few do believe it is extremely real and could mean the end of all life on earth. Of course it could be real but largely or totally unrelated to human activity. In any case, in another hundred years or so we should have our answer. But by then it may be too late. Or it may not, it could still be too early or possibly it might be exactly the right moment. One way or another, you are alive now and you have to act. So act now, using these

Simple Ways to not Affect Global Warming One Way or The Other

Stop using electric doors. They are killing the planet! If you can't break the glass go around it, or push the door open with your own two hands for the love of [your preferred deity here].

Stop drinking carbonated soft drinks. The carbon in carbonated beverages is escaping into our atmosphere and is one of the leading causes of global warming. Or at the very least purchase a special Carbon Capture Cap to put on all soft drink bottles, so that the escaping fizzy bubbles can be captured and properly sequestered.

Unplug your toaster for 35 minutes every other Tuesday.

Stop frying ice every morning when you could cut out the middle man and simply drink water. Or conversely, a switch to drinking recondensed steam vapor could save up to ten kilowatt-joule-hours annually, if everybody did it during off-peak hours.

Chop down a large tree, secure it firmly to a stone of sufficient heft, and sink said stone and tree to the bottom of a large body of water, thus sequestering the carbon forever. A bog'll work too. For more information on the tax incentives for so doing, click here.

Take your food out of the icebox thirty minutes before cooking and let it slowly warm up, using the natural heating of the 'room temperature effect.'

Retrofit your home by drilling holes in the walls and pouring sawdust in. Experts theorize that in the time you spend doing this you might otherwise waste a lot of gas driving around. Also, remove the glass from all windows and replace it with sheets of lead. Yeah you heard right, lead. Now get crackin.

Stop writing so many screenplays! Jesus, you're the only one who likes them, don't you get it? There are lots of good movies already anyway, let's just watch those for a few years until we figure out the whole renewable energy thing, or until you get a halfway decent idea, whichever comes first.

Don't run, walk. Running uses up to twenty-five times more energy than walking, energy which could be used to pull a plow or drive a steamship. Actually walking also wastes significant energy resources, and the absolute best thing you can do for the environment is probably to lay down and take only very shallow breaths, until death comes for you.

11 November 2010

On the Lost Art of Blogging

It seems anachronous in this day and age to suggest that blogging is a lost art, but that's exactly what it has become: anachronistic.

If you wander around the internet a little these days you find row after row of abandoned blogs, uninhabited shells of what were at the time regarded as the future, but which now seem hopelessly en frusse. Indeed most bloggers stopped blogging a few years ago, dealing a crushing blow to the community of bloggers but not resulting in a mass abandonment of the blogosphere as feared. Instead, the best bloggers have moved their blogs behind impenetrable firewalls, or hired teams of ferocious Dobermans to ward off the constant spam attacks that seem to have become an inalienable part of the human blogging condition.

When one thinks back on the golden age of blogging, one cannot help but pontificate about how all the great blogs they had then were so much better than the stupid blogs we have now. True, the blog has been around for 25 years and the form has yet to produce an Emily Dickinson, a Mortimer Stokes or a St. Thomas of Aquinas of Marietta, Georgia. Still, there were some pretty good ones on there back in the day, blogs you could spend all afternoon curled up with and never once want to throw your shoe at the TV.

Sadly, however, the blogging arts have really fallen off a cliff since Facebase and Twitterer came along and basically ate (what little remained of) everyone's brain. We really have no one to blame but ourselves. Well and all the big dumb bloggers who shut down their stupid blogs and now just post half-formed inanities on whatever social network promises the most instant gratification these days. Is that all blogging has ever been, a way to show off how clever you are in some pathetic attempt to freeze pizza? Or a place to feather one's own nest and get in bed with sponsors for the sake of quick buck? Well if that is all a blog is then to hell with it, I wash my hands, face, and neck of the whole sordid business!

When you think about it, it's amazing that "blog" ever caught on as a word. I mean say it out loud a few times. Blog. Blog. It just sounds so made up, doesn’t it? Blog! LOL!

There is that long enough? I don't know anymore, how long does a blog post have to be these days? And damned if it ain't hard work, no wonder no one blogs anymore, they don't have time I bet. I mean this took me like twenty minutes, I'm sweating my jerry chandlers off and I haven't even said anything.

05 November 2010

Dolphins Unhurt in Sea World Cull

A fake news story about a purportedly ecologically necessary cull at one of those ocean theme park places where they have performing seals and dolphins and all that, was not written Thursday when doubts arose in the mind of the author concerning the story's possible origin in something previously read, possibly in The Onion. No one was hurt or injured, Tony, and no onlookers, it appears it was a simple event in the mind of the author, with no basis in or connection to reality as that term is generally understood.

Authorities had no comment on the event, they had not heard anything about it, they thought that whatever happened or did not happen it didn't amount to a bug's ass and frankly, they were a little pissed about being awakened from a good sleep on account of it. Preliminary searches of The Onion archive have turned up no such silly cull item, but that does not rule out the possibility that the idea is stolen from somewhere else, so there is no story here, it was never written, but you can imagine how it would have went, slinging blame all around, making it seem like the seals and otters were overrunning everything, tearing up crops and eating our babies and so on, probably just as well anyway. Ron?

19 October 2010

The Europe: The Epilogue (Part I)

Part V of The Europe The Finale is right down the page, as a running theme it's being put to sleep, awful hard to let go and we're still a little broken up over it, the services were yesterday, many thanks to all those who sent flowers. Here's a little something from the ceremony:
The Ode or The Elegy if not The Eulogy for The Europe

Must The Europe

Like all great empires

Collapse?

The pillars crumbling

The foundation weakened

That pointy triangle thing at the top

Gone

The mighty weeds unpulled


Alas will there ever be a one The Europe?

For my children and theirs

The sons and daughters of the The Europeans

To bask in

As a united continent

Formerly comprised of many little nation-states



The One Europe

It has risen

And fallen

And like a fine souffle

It will rise again

The Europe

Nevermore

The Europe

Rising like a phoenix, etc.

(Bay-bay)

The Rise and The Fall of The Europe

This the fifth and (let us pray) final installment of The Europe, a series of investigative reports carefully designed to leave you the more you read, the more the stupider you get. Parts I through IV can be found elsewhere on this blog, in that order. They tell the stunning if largely imaginary story of a continent's rise to power, its blood-drenched path to unificationalism, and its subsequent implosion from a once mighty empire with parking for up to 200 to a dilapidated outshack, a laughingstock to the blogosphere. Spoiler alert! The paragraphs below may tell you things you do not already know and thus ruin for you the potential joy of learning them later, under better circumstances. Was it overexpansion? Over-unbridled enthusiasm? An excess of over-under-bridled enthusinationalism? Or some third possibility? How did The Europe grow so rapidly and then, even faster, collapse? Having just added six new tiny little nation-state members to its growing empire, how could it all be crumbling just minutes later?

Measured in the time spans of continents and cuisines, The Europe must seem as a mere trifle in the moment's eye, a flash of grease in the proverbial pan-European dreams of so many pan-European sous chefs and Europatriots, putting age-old prejudices behind them for a second and Europeanly uniting to form a single united The Europe, and so on and so forth, muddling their metaphors in the service of a one united The Europe that will be unitary, unified, unificationalized, de-disunited, antidisinfragmented, completely and utterly indivisible, re-un-scattered-into-dozens-of-tiny-little-nation-states, etc. etc. and so on ad rectum, ad nauseum.

This is Terminus Maximus, with an ultimatum, from the Coliseum.

01 October 2010

Kennel Blog Post from Kennel Central

I decided this blog needs some focus and then after that I decided that the focus of this blog is going to be (yes you guessed it) (it should have been obvious from the title) (but some of you are brighter than others) (I mean that's just life isn't it) kennels.

Kennel-related news and information that is updated 24 hours a day so that users of the world wide web, as well as others who are interested in kennels, can find this clearing house of information that is up to the minute about kennels and kennel related you know, incidents and accidents and stuff. And policy regulation also affects the kennel sector, we'll throw something about that in there too.

I was thinking too maybe we could spin off a tv show in which I could be some kind of superhero, or maybe not a superhero but just like a regular guy who's a hero to a lot of animals in need of short-term accomodations. And maybe I handle a lot of endangered species, like some piranha-eating snakes or a winged aardvark, or maybe I take in a chimp for a few episodes and we start to get attached. But I don't need to get too nailed down on specifics at this point, the key is the obvious room for creative expression within the kennel paradigm. There's a clear audience there, lots of room for guest stars, I don't see how it can miss.

Now of course a complete redesign followed by a multi-dollar marketing campaign to establish this as the mother of all kennel blogs will not be easy and let's make no mistake, no one ever said it was going to be. To institute this change down to the lowest levels of our organization will require a steadfastness of purpose and a willingness to chew our food a bit longer before swallowing than we have so far shown ourselves capable of. There is no doubt that much hard work lies ahead and that the time for extraordinary sacrifice is now, or later, or maybe never.

In addition, I hope that everybody reading this, and more importantly that the millions of people not reading this, are impacted positively by my positive message and able to discern the gist of what I was talking about, the end. OK there that should be long enough. The above was just to distract everybody, get rid of the mush-for-brains crowd so that you those of us remaining (here pull up a chair, sorry what was your name again?) can take on a more substantial question: the meaning of life.

I just came in from a set out on my balcony, watching the bats make their rounds in the cloudy early evening, first time I've had a chance to sit a spell like that in a while, and as I was sitting there it almost seemed to come into focus, you know how it kind of dances out in front of you for a few minutes now and then, but of course it got away again.

I'm not sure if there is any meaning to life anyway, in fact there may be none. But still, if a dog or a cat needs a place to stay, then by god there ought to be a kennel, nay a range of kennels to choose from, for that dog to go where the owner can have peace of mind and pay a reasonable price to have their pet professionally cared for during their absence. And if that makes me a nihilist well then so be it.

Or maybe it's like my grandma always said, she'd say: If your life doesn't have enough meaning, then you'll just have to make do with (meaning) less.

28 September 2010

Day Savings Time


The idea of daylight savings time is not as outlandish as it may at first appear, and has considerable merit from more than one point of view, videlicet energy savings.

But why stop at one hour?

The Research Department is proud to announce the new Day Savings Program, which will take effect on the first Monday after final approval by the Board.

Day Savings is simple.


Every Monday, at 2:33 pm, all clocks will be turned forward to Tuesday at 2:33 pm.

Every Saturday, at 7:15 pm, all clocks will be turned back to Friday at 7:15 pm.

The merits of this proposal need no further elucidation, yet an extensive analysis is provided below, mainly to fill up some space and allow more room to sell advertising specifically targeted at you.

On Monday afternoon, at the precise moment it begins to appear that Monday is endless, and therefore the week is endless, and therefore that one's life is an endless struggle in a sea of boredom and mediocrity, meaningless and with little hope of advance or respite, or of any joy whatsoever save that provided by escapist fantasies and/or drug-induced euphoria – boom! It's Tuesday afternoon, practically Wednesday already, and it's all downhill from here to the good times baby.

Then, on Saturday after dinner, a quick flipperoo of the calendar and here we are back on Friday evening, you just got home from work and get ready for the weekend, Darryl's having a party at his place tonight but it's not starting until later, some of us were going to see the new Basilicus flick before we head over there, text me if u wanna come with.

Opposition from the overlords has been intense, you should hear them caterwauling about how losing a day of toil from the serfs every week could result in further layoffs and damage our long-term prospects for economic growth. Nonetheless, the people of this great nation seem to agree that there's no party like the present, and that we might as well borrow as much from the future as we can because soon, the way things are going, the future may not even be there for us to borrow from.

24 September 2010

Support Brainwashing

Most people in our modern times seem to agree that our educational system has gone to hell on a greased pole in a handbasket, and some fresh new ideas are urgently needed at this critical juncture.

The answer is simple and can be summed up in one phrase: brainwashing.

Forget the school board and the teacher's unions, the department of education and all the state and federal bureaucrats rooting around our classplaces these days; brainwashing remains the only viable and cost-effective solution to cranking out the particular type of drones our great nation needs to keep its place at the top of the pie.

In the past our education has attempted to impart the critical thinking skills important to our growing democracy. Well let's get with the times, Kojak. We're not growing any more and the whole democracy thing is getting old.

Why does one have to question everything anyway? Why so much emphasis on doubt? Take Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle for instance. What kind of principle is that on which to build a world-dominating nation-state? "I think I'm gonna kick your ass -- but I have gone to great pains to prove that there is no way I can be absolutely certain about it." I mean, when you're staring down the business end of a 357 semi-odd 30-Gauge double barreled Mach Six Winchester Bazoo, where's your uncertainty principle now? Eh Heisenberg ol' pal, where's your uncertainty principle now, see? Yeah!

There should be three basic goals to this brainwashing:
1) It should make our great nation-state even greater (stand up straight when you say that)
2) It should brook no disagreement ('nuff said)
3) It should ensure that I maintain my privileged position in society in perpetuity.

Wait, did I say that out loud? I was kidding of course, we're all in it together, shared sacrifice and all that, right I mean, do you have any idea what the top tax rates are? No, I guess you wouldn't.

But I've said too much. This is Rich Mamundsen, living large in a world of untelevisable splendor, reporting.

26 August 2010

Austerity Measures Now in Effect

For some time now there has been widespread speculation concerning the possible implementation of (so-called) Austerity Measures.

Well as of noon Eastern Standard Time, Austerity Measures are now in (full) Effect (yo). They came out last night and they are not going to be easy my friends. No more of these imaginary, theoretical sacrifices that are effectively nothing more than bookkeeping maneuvers. No, this time when we say we are cutting things to the bone, some bones are really gonna get cut to.

The Leader announced the Austerity Measures in front of an audience of the world's super elite rich folk captains of industry, bloated bureacrats, and foreign dictators, who were flown to the event in individual jet airliners with no expense spared in pursuit of the most luxurious travel experience ever imagined by humans, each flight a cocoon of supreme comfort where no appetite from the common to the completely depraved went unsatisfied, and they didn't even charge for the headphones, and then upon landing each was given a healthy dose of the elixir of youth and just the perfect outfit (snazzy and high fashion but totally catching the essence of that person) and delivered in fettle finest to the ceremony, where awaited them a light repast of delightful delicacies that you and I will never get a crack at in our pitiful little lifetimes, bub.

The time for shared sacrifice is over, croaked the Leader as he struggled to digest the suckling pig he had just swallowed whole, wrapped in its own mother's bacon and roasted over a bonfire of the last precious babies of a rapidly disappearing species of tree vole. Now is the time to tighten our belts, pull up our socks, make any other necessary sartorial adjustments, and get back to living the kind of poor subsistence but still potentially deeply satisfying lives that our ancestors left the villages to escape, first chance they got.

Most of the Austerity Measures have to do with the conservation of energy, as we are going to need every last bit of energy in our arse(nal)s to get through this next rough patch.

In general, the citizenry is to conserve energy, and is absolutely forbidden to waste any energy whatsoever. Those wasting energy on idle pursuits or simply for their own amusement, if apprehended, will be subject to severe punishment, the precise horrors of which will be specified elsewhere.

The speed limit will be 35 miles per hour, and any vehicle exceeding this figure will be instantly taken out by a predator drone.

The whole business with the mass production and long-distance shipment of frozen foods is to be ceased forthwith. It is unfortunate and we will all miss our chicken nuggets, but until all deficits are eliminated and Government is back on a sound financial footing, such sacrifices must become a way of life for our people.

No more electric doors, fans, guitars, or keyboards. Not fair I know, but such are the consequences of the housing bubble.

No more ice except on special occasions. While it is recognized that carbonated beverages are a luxury that cannot be afforded at this critical juncture, no one could handle the thought of giving them up, so we're gonna tax the hell out of them, like ten thousand percent, it's gonna be like nineteen bucks for a coke now.

Cheese once melted may not be melted a second time.

Recreational drugs including alcohol and tobacco of fine quality are reserved for The Elite and should be turned in to the local Recreational Drug Depository at your earliest convenience. The value of the substances turned over will be compensated to the Citizen in salt peanuts. Coffee in its simple form may be enjoyed up to twice per week (three times with a doctor's note), but no more lattes, macchiatos and other such high-falutin concoctions, not until we get our fiscal house in order.

There will be a two year moratorium on the large-scale manufacture of new automobiles, airplanes, houses, and furniture. Corn-fed artisans working under strict supervision may still produce new armoires and chests of drawers as specifically authorized by a majority vote of the legislature.

No more bird feeders. We cannot spare for the birds when we have not enough for ourselves. Citizens who feel they have extra to share may set up people feeders and stock them with any number of delectable treats from pop tarts to canned strawberries. It is unfortunate that the Austerity Measures may have negative impacts on many other species besides our own, but that just shows how interconnected we all are to the web of life.

The Austerity Measures will remain in effect until further notice.

Further, and far more severe, measures could be implemented at any time, especially for complainers, so better not stick your nose out, just suck it up and get used to it. We been living pretty high on the hog a right long time now, and we still got a lot further to fall.

11 August 2010

Cheese Fire Incinerates Seven in Qatar

Only One Onlooker
Unstunned

A cheese fire ripped through this southside neighborhood yesterday, spreading heat and light as it raged, not killing and injuring so much as baking seven things into various states of golden brown delectitude. The one onlooker was reportedly nonplussed, as it appears he may have set the cheese blaze himself in what began as a controlled attempt to bake cheese and went haywire, killing none but singe-ing thousands in the greater southside region, cutting power to millions, knocking telephone poles flat and generally wreaking havoc on the dreams of a generation of cheese fire impresarios.

Authorities have instituted a ban on cheese fires, flambes, patty melts and so on, closing steakhouses, arresting spotwelders and matchmakers and confiscating thousands of tiki torches in the name of national security. Supermarkets have gone temporarily off line as they struggle to quickly comply with new laws outlawing the sale of cheese within four miles of a gas station or a lit match. A spokesman for cheese explained that although cheese was responsible for millions of deaths each year, on the whole death is an integral part of life and yelling at the cheese is unlikely to change that. My buddy Dave, aka The Voice of Reason, could not be reached for comment. But I’ll keep trying.

This is Jean-Ramon Anabaptiste, up to my ears in corn pone fritters, reporting.

26 July 2010

Joo See Da Game Last Night?

[The following was penned by our new sports bureau chief, Ray. Please send your sports-related questions along with a double vodka martini to Ray care of 'sports desk,' Kingston, Jamaica, one four seven seven two.]

Man did you catch the big game again last night? Seeing was a necessary but not sufficient condition for believing! Three points down, six ticks on the clock, Vultures ball with no timeouts ahead, staring into the teeth of the Hyenas' relentless pressure defense and a hostile crowd of panicky wallabees, when the referees motion for the action to begin ... but nothing. Dead silence. Then a pin drops, and then another, and Hammaburthi lofts the ball high in the midnight air, a pink dot describing an indescribable arc, hurling ever upwards until it becomes just one more point of light among the literally billions of stars in the football universe, pausing briefly at its zenith as if deciding all right I have gone far enough with this it's time to get back down to earth, then slowly descending toward a point being estimated and converged upon by several hulking contestants, swiftly churning arms and legs, glancing up every few seconds to adjust speed and course -- when suddenly out of nowhere here comes Johnny "Big Uncle" Brownstone and WALLOP!, he lays it on the guy, completely flattens his pancakes, just cleans out his cellar, throws out all his old yearbooks, and it's game over, lights out, end of story. I'm telling you you never seen anything like that again in your life and I know I can barely imagine it happened myself.

I'm Ray and this is my first sports column ever so in case it's my last I just gotta say right here: that's what I love about sports so much. The thrills, the passion, the pure poetic prowess, the punishment, the pain and the poignancy, and the pretzels, by god those pretzels. The infinite space for creativity within rigid structures, the endless array of dazzling passes and angles, the saga, two great rivals pushing each other to new heights, a bunch of grown men running around in circles while outside the arena the world hurtles toward collapse, the unexpected twists, the invertebratability of the greatest athletes, their uber-ultra-attitude, the egomonomaniacalism, macrocosmic over-the-top confidence, or plus-de-chalance if you will. Sorry, I'm getting a little worked up here, thinking back on the time we won our first cup, holy frijoles what a fine group that was, the way they conquered The Demons in the final minutes and grabbed their slice of immortality, by god I will never forget that team, what was number 47's name?, etc. etc.

15 July 2010

In Financial News

This simple and easy-to-use blog post offers a generic financial article which will save the reader from ever having to consult the business section again.

Step 1. First choose a headline. Depending on real-world conditions, one or more of the following headlines may apply:

Stocks Fall as Supply Outstrips Demand
Stocks Rise as Demand Outweighs Supply
Stocks Even as Supply and Demand in Approximate Equilibrium
Stocks Rise on Wild Optimism
Stocks Fall on Negative Sentiment
Stocks Plummet as Collapse Approaches

The text of the story is then roughly as follows.

The stock, bond or whatever market rose or fell today, or it was about even, in heavy or light trading that could be attributed to a jobs or earnings report, or some geopolitical news or perhaps another natural disaster (e.g. the recent Black Hole That Swallowed Baltimore, which darkened sentiment), but which in truth is due to an impossibly complex interaction of factors, known and unknown. Don't say we didn't warn you.

An economist is quoted expressing qualified optimism, based on the rise or fall of some particular indicator or another towards some level that her theories predict will optimize economic growth to the max. The guy who works at the investment firm, on the other hand, is wildly bullish, pointing out that only suckers stay on the sidelines and there has never been a better time to buy.

Specific details of the performance of some firm of presumed importance are then offered, e.g. a big steelmaker experienced a rise or fall in sales this quarter due to the vagaries of market forces in the commodities sector.

If the above still does not fill the target number of column inches, a photo from the trading floor, or perhaps one of cargo being unloaded at a port may be displayed.

In conclusion, the fact that bond prices and yields move in opposite directions may be noted, without further explanation.

Conclusion of generic financial article.

10 July 2010

Trees Go On Strike


Humans were stunned recently to discover that plants are not only conscious but intelligent, that they communicate with each other and despite some disputes here and there in general they are united and ready to reassert the position of dominance that (at least in their distressingly Messianic view) is the Natural Right of the plant kingdom over the animal. This promises messy results.

We cannot after all afford to exterminate all of them, without threatening our own survival. They on the other hand don't need anything above the insects really, and therein lies the key. Humans must immediately initiate efforts to communicate with our friends the pollinators on this issue. As fellow animals we must unite against the dominion of the plants. The enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that. We may have to offer the bees and butterflies subsidized nectar, so that they will not be reliant on the other side, but this seems a small price to pay to maintain life as we know it. Of course, if the plants have already gotten to them it may very well be too late, and in that case, god help us all.

Some may ask why must there be a war with the plants. Can we not reach out to them? We must attempt to better understand their way of life, live together in harmony and stop trying to solve every problem with guns and butter. Unfortunately such efforts will inevitably prove futile. These trees are not people like you and me. They stand there looking all peaceful and all, and sure they give us shade, and wood for our fires, but the simple fact is that trees have no moral code. There's no telling what an adolescent willow can be capable of, backed into an alley corner with a switchblade and a headful of rusty crack. It's just not worth it.

Humans are advised to stay indoors, not to accept any large wrapped gifts from plants, not even house plants they've had for years and think they know, and to check the internet regularly for an important announcement concerning our next move as a species in this epic struggle for survival.

12 June 2010

Happy new Year Everybody

It seems to be the time of year when top ten lists are in fashion, and the PBJ knows an easy hook when we seize one. But no top ten anythings of "the decade," since it does not officially end until May of 2012 and anyway The Founder is adamantly opposed to the whole decade concept. In its place, we proudly prescient:

Ten Trends that will Shape the Coming Set of Years
(Starting Whenever You Read This and Extending Forward into the Future for Some Time)

There will be a trend away from everyone purchasing so much useless shit, accompanied by a trend towards going totally broke and breaking into your neighbor's house in drunken desperation and grabbing like as much loot as you can carry.

Look for a revolution or two around the world, there'll be bombs flying, sniper fire and plenty of carnage to put on TV, just a matter of getting a camera crew over there.

Total global warming will continue to accelerate, it's getting hot in here baby, you mo start to sweat. As more people heat up and jump in the ocean to cool off, water temperatures will rise, leading to a runaway feedback loop which will ultimately wreck humanity's buzz in a big way, things are bound to get bad before they get worse.

There will be a general trend away from Tiger Woods lying in consort with so many chicks, one after another or occasionally in small groups, and a trend towards him waking the [expletive deleted] up and getting his shit together, acting a little more human about the whole thing.

There will be a pronounced trend towards things staying about the same, not really a lot of significant change to talk about, with more and more people feeling generally like there's just nothing new any more, they're in a rut they can't get out of, like you've had that same job what six years now?

Characters and situations from three dimensional movies and on-line role-playing games will leak through into our physical universe, and vice versa. Or not. This one seems rather lame but hey, I'm just The Messenger.

The internet will continue expanding and will ultimately break apart, unless the pull of dark matter like this holds it together. Scientists will continue to argue the question, ironically using the internet, which cannot be held together even by force of the strongest arguments in favor of its breaking apart.

One two three four five six seven – shit. OK there will be a trend towards people running out of ideas, leading to an increase in recycled gags, as well as desperate attempts to fill up space by posting quotations they love, such as this one from WC Fields: "I exercise extreme self-control. I never drink anything stronger than gin, before breakfast."

The trend of time passing will continue, with time continuing to pass as time continues to pass and then pass some more with each passing unit of time. This will exacerbate the trend toward an aging population, with people continuing to grow older, although at wildly unpredictable rates, some aging faster and some slower, resulting in confused definitions of seniority and a new meaning to the phrase 'growth spurt.'

Sometime after 2020 the future will become totally unpredictable, but not before four of these predictions have already come true - or sort of true if you think about it enough, like with that Nostradamus stuff, use your imagination a bit, don't take everything so literally - although which four is anybody’s guess.

Is that ten yet? Wait I got one more, it's a little more specific than some of the others and thus all the more chilling: A "missing generation" of African elves will seize control of time and take over the universe, rendering most of the above trends moot at best.

Happy new Year to all! Enjoy life while you're still alive and have high-speed wireless!

28 May 2010

The Europe Part IV: An Economic Storm Gathers its Clouds

This is the fourth installment of The Europe. Unlike some others we could name, say Star Wars, or The Spam Review, this series does not begin with part four as some kind of gimmick, oh we'll go back and make up a beginning later, that kind of thing. No, in this case, Parts I, II, and III already exist.

The recent economic downturn, the so-called global financial crisis or whatever, is bound to have a tragic effect on the growth prospects for The Europe.

Are the stimulus packages proposed by the ineffectual governments of the tiny little nation-states of the old Europe large enough to generate any positive long-term growth? Will massive debt defaults in the so-called Titgits group (The Ireland The Greece The Spain) set off wider collapses of the credit markets throughout The Europe? Or will intervention by The Europe The Central Bank become necessary to avert further catastrophic destruction of wealth and declining living standards, with the inevitable social unrest, resurrection of age-old conflicts and the whole clash of societies thing?

These questions remain to be answered, but answered they must be, as in great times great men and women are born not made, forged from the hard true grit of the iron stove, rising to the challenge like a fine souffle, then gathering together in armed bands and rampaging for what they believe in. On Wednesday afternoon five thousand protesters carrying signs reading No Definite Article, No Definite Prospects and The Europe Bay Bay marched on Trafalgar Square in Rome in defiance of an order from The Europe CEO Dr. Christian Kovacques to "Hush up with all the silly nonsense and get with the program already." When security forces attacked with party cannons and pink pennywhistles things threatened to get ugly, but the demonstrators whipped up a duck a l'orange and just a wonderful little asparagus salad that so wowed our judges that Dr. Kovacques immediately acceded to all of their demands. When pressed, however, none of the demonstrators was able to articulate a single reasonable demand, requests for a second helping of the asparagus salad (or at least a peek at the recipe) notwithstanding.

The following Brief Quiz (cue theme music) is offered to provide a real-time assessment of the reader's apprehension of this complex subject.

Question 1. Look at the photograph, then choose the best answer available, or make up a better one if you like.
1) The Europe has become:
a) stray dog heaven
b) an outlet for overflow parking in the neighborhood
c) a place for drunks to pee, or worse
d) a shining beacon of hope for a the united European Yoon-yun!

Conclusion of Section 1. Please put down your pencils and stretch your arms for twenty minutes before moving on to Section 2.

Section II - Essay

Write a well-developed essay (or not) of 1-500 words on the following question:

Can The Europe and its new central currency, The Eurus, offer an alternative to the dollar as a global reserve currency, or will The Eurus be a part of a basket of currencies including the Asiano, the Ameribuckaroo, and the Bump & Shake (Uh Huh)?

Please write your answer in the space provided, or use the Comment box below if you must.

Pass your papers forward when you're done and that's it. Final results will be posted on the class webpage. Don't call us, we'll call you.




























21 May 2010

Seven Aped in Mother of God Fertilizer Imbroglio

Most Onlookers Stunned
Apes Freed


Stunned onlookers were all a-twitter as nine imbroglio particles from the Federalist Union of Thuggy Martial Footsoldier Goons of Platitudes sauced an endangered puma species and strung it up on its proverbial alibis, in front of a crowd of (the very same) stunned onlookers. The particles were no match for the Irish, as they cocked it all up in a razor's edge and could never get a hold of their mandibles. Attempts to contact the Authorities for comment or explanation were in vain. I mean we tried calling these guys like ten times, we left messages and stuff, we even tried faxing, but nothing. So that's really all she wrote on this one. What follows is a series of dummy sentences constructed purely to foster the illusion of content. The reader is urged to pay no further attention. On second thought, why bother even writing anything here, since no one will be reading it anyway? Why pour heart and soul into a bunch of meaningless constructions, prose pearls in a swineless forest, swirls before pine, when everybody's already clicked on to the next big thing, over to ivegotherpes dot com or whatever sick degenerate nonsense people are into today. It's enough to make a body want to quit the internet and light out for the territories.

The situation is expected to remain stable through the weekend, with a seventy percent chance of clearing on Sunday afternoon. There now isn't that nice. The story seems long enough to bait the searchbots, an engaging mash-up of contemporary s'mores sure to attract enough eyeballs to generate the advertising revenue I need to make bail, get the hell out of this snakepit and back to writing the hard-edged imitation news stories that make little to no sense, for which I might have become famous had I survived the Reagan years.

This is Whittaker Chambers, with one ear to the tracks, in the Great Rift Valley, reporting.

13 May 2010

Reduce Defense Spending


The Proverbial Times supports a robust defense establishment, insofar as is necessary to maintain the security of our nation, while pointing out that all of our (real) defense needs could easily be met at 15% of the current expenditure.

Other countries should know that they better not come fucking with us. But at the same time, we don't need to go around fucking with other countries, do we? What's that about? We don't need whatever they got, we got plenty of our own we can get by on. I mean we're the United States of America, or Finland goddamnit or whatever country you're from, and the good lord gave it all to us. Everything. Just look around this country and tell me we don't have everything we need, right here. And then tell me what the hell we're doing half-way around the world trying to 'liberate' people. Again. Talking about how everything is a 'threat to our national security.' Sure, everything is a threat – when you’re greedy and paranoid.

Isn't it transparent enough? How does it continue to go on, while we insist on thinking of ourselves as a moral society, some kind of exception, the leader of the free world, god’s gift to humanity, one of the top five societies of all time.

Fiff and fiddlesticks!

The Times apologizes to its readers for getting worked up there, but sometimes it gets our proverbial goat. Seriously and for the love of god: have you read what goes on in this world?

Readers who have read what goes on in this world are invited to offer their insights, using the comment box below.

17 April 2010

The Spam Review (Part IV)

Like all users of the worldwide web service these days, The Proverbial Bejesus gets shitloads of spam, most of which is deleted without so much as a cusser’s tinkle.

How many cases of fake rolexes, single Russian ladies, and furry pink coxcombs can a single internet user order, anyway? And as for all the viagra, isn't the market inevitably shrinking?

Still, as annoying as these spambots are, as incapable as they seem to be of following the basic tenets of human decency (modesty, chastity, plasticity and perspicacity), nonetheless common courtesy mandates a simple reply, that is the least we can do as human beings. Never in the face of bad manners let your manners go to bad, as my grandma might have said when cleaning out her spam filters, which like many a Pennsylvania matron she did each spring, calling on all the children to pitch in, then gathering that evening around a roaring spam bonfire with all the neighbors to share a jug of cider that kicked and talk about the old times – before they had spam to burn.

But enough of this gay banter – let’s get to it shall we? As always, these are actual e-mails from actual humans and/or their spambots.

Spam Example Message #1

Subject: Thank you for setting the order No.475456

Reply: First of all, special thanks to each and every one of the thousands of spambots who sent me this message. I was surprised to see how many thank you messages I received in regard to order number four-seven-five-four-five-six; in fact I must confess that even after a thorough ransacking of both memory and records, I can find no indication that I ever placed such an order, and frankly I don’t know what the hell you-all are talking about. Still, it is touching to see how many lives I have touched with this order, and receiving your outpouring of thank yous certainly makes all of the effort (of placing the order, which includes browsing your product selections and comparing them to the similar offerings from other vendors, registering with your on-line system and completing the ordering process, etc.) and expense (the bill for such an order, if it existed, which has obviously touched so many millions of lives, cannot be small, as you might imagine) worth every last pennysecond that I didn’t spend on it. However, in lieu of the fact that the order was never placed, I hereby cancel it immediately and demand a full refund, which I will transfer to your bank account if you will only act as intermediary for a Mr. X who died in a plane crash that you can read about on Wikipedia and sadly left no relatives except us hucksters and we need someone who can take delivery of the money, we’ll pay you like millions but first we need some money for smokes, like two thousand should cover it, and later we will transfer the 28 million to a secret compartment in the heel of your shoe just send us your shoe account number and a couple more grand and maybe a playstation or something to cover the transfer fee, all of which is perfectly legal but if my boss catches me we’re (expletive deleted) so don’t tell anybody, and throw some chocolates in there if you wouldn't mind, oh and I'm your brother or sister in Allah or Christ or something.

Sincerely yours, etc. etc.

Sample Example Spam Message #2

From "Dianne Bravo" at “floridaroof.com”

Subject: Fwd: Invest in your wang!

[Message content deleted in adherence to basic standards of taste and decency.]

Dear Ms. Bravo:

I am writing in response to your e-mail message of the 24th – a thousand thanks for forwarding the information to me (and for forwarding it a thousand times, no less)! First of all, I have to tell you that the idea is certainly an intriguing one. I have spent a lifetime thinking about my wang, and yet never once has it occurred to me that I might invest in it. A little voice is telling me that your idea holds the very key to my future. And yet, having reviewed your "prospectus" – which consists principally of what I will politely call smut – I am inclined instead to seek the counsel of a professional financial advisor, in addition to an accredited urologist, before I make this potentially life-changing investment.

Yours sincerely, etc. etc.

Spam Message Example #3

Subject: YOUR E-MAIL ID WON YOU THE PRIZE

Reply: Thank you, thank you very much, thank you. O my gosh, that's -- that's great, thank you. First of all, I would like to thank the judges who selected my e-mail out of the billions on the planet competing for this prestigious fake award. I must confess that my e-mail address was not something chosen lightly, but rather the subject of careful consideration on my part (whatever that means). I knew it would have to stand out from among billions and it was carefully constructed to catch the eye of the judges, albeit in a good way. Still, I never expected to receive recognition for my impossibly clever choice, and so on and so forth, and it is only too gratifying to write these words as a first draft of my acceptance speech, just kind of spit it all out here, the long hours reviewing other e-mail addresses to analyze what type of address I could choose that would really have the maximum impact, the sleepness lights agonizing over those final three choices, the moment along the Snake River when a brace of elk drank from the nape of my neck, putting the last nail in the coffin of my final decision, making it clear this was a special e-mail moniker, one that would inevitably be so recognized by the selection committee, made up as it is of glorious individuals oozing wisdom and cantankerous for justice, the best and brightest of the best and brightest, Emmy winners all, and so on and so forth, ad nauseum, ad rectum.

Spam Sample Message # 4

Subject: Have a concrete thing in your pants

Reply: Thanks for your message, but (at the risk of annoying) I must ask for more concrete information. Still, at first glance I have to say that it sounds good, as lo these many years my pants have contained only the vaguest notions. To have something a little more solid down there, something you couldn’t sink your teeth into, so to speak, might be just what I need. Please alleviate my concerns about the weight issue: how heavy will the concrete thing in my pants be? Where precisely will it be located? Who will take responsibility for its cleaning and maintenance? And ultimately I have to ask, would a concrete penis be all it was cracked up to be?

Spam and Eggs-Ample #5

From: Dina Sterling
Subj: Eliminate rod’s flaccidity

Reply: I'll take it under consideration, Dina, but my first reaction is that to completely eliminate rod's flaccidity may be going too far in one direction. You must see that some degree of rod's flaccidity must be maintained, I mean I still have to keep my job. The real question is, what is the appropriate percentage for maximum comfort and safety?

Spample #6

Subj: Is the SIZE of your penis enough for you?

Reply: No, the size of my penis is not enough for me. There was a time when it may have been enough, when I felt cocksure that the dimensions of my schlong would open doors for me, but I have come to see the light: the size of my penis has approximately zero impact on my happiness. In light of this, I ask: When (in heaven’s name) will you and your spambot armies stop pestering me about the size of my penis? When will the SIZE of my penis be enough, for YOU?

01 April 2010

Black Hole Swallows Baltimore

Like Some Major Shit, Just Woah
Internet Access Unaffected

Chunks of the US ship of state continued to fly off today as another major urban area disappeared off the face of the earth, and apparently from the universe as we know it. Oh my god folks not to alarm you again but this time it was Baltimore, mouth-watering crab cakes and all. It's not clear what happened to the city exactly, but it seemed to implode in on itself, collapsing due to gravity into a black hole which is bending time throughout the region Leslie, I'm, I'm standing right in front of it here, let's see if we can get it in the shot. I understand this is the first such event in our solar system in recorded history, and that goes back over 4000 years, Tom – not much in galactic time I’ll give you but it is an all-time record as far as we know. No sign of survivors but then no dead either, leaving Authorities confused and unsure what to count. I spoke to the fire chief a minute ago, but he said he’s reluctant to send any more men in past the event horizon, he uh, said he's sent in 3 so far and the results have not been pretty. Although it should be noted that the three men volunteered for the assignment, and I think we can presume, you know, they’re still in there, or if not, then they’ve gone on to a better place.

Interestingly, the people who were in the area at the time the hole formed, those inside the actual black hole, Chuck, have reportedly communicated with their loved ones via e-mail ... um, it's not clear whether they may be in some sort of parallel dimension, whether they're perhaps in limbo, or whether they're actually tweeting from beyond the grave, I mean from heaven or hell, but in any case it does seem clear that they have access to the worldwide web, and with pretty good connection speeds. And thank heaven for that, because what would life be, or death, without the internet?

This is Leonard Bernstein, at the Philharmonic. Ron?

23 March 2010

The Europe Part III: The Doors Coming Off

"To understand whither something is headed you must first know whence it hails."

To read Part I of this series click here, and to read Part II click here. Bear in mind that there will be a brief quiz at the conclusion of Part IV.
An open door policy? Or the first signs of an empire crumbling?

With troubled times clearly on the horizon, yet optimism rising like the setting sun is always rising somewhere, it seemed a good time to sit down with the leaders of this whole debacle for a little mano a uno (one man, one Europe - you get the idea).

We spoke with the CEO of The Europe, Dr. Christian Kovacques, about his vision for the new The Europe. Wait no no no: Dr. Kovacques will be having a live chat for this entire year, answering in real time all questions posed from anywhere in the world, 24/7, for the whole year - no let's make it for as long as this remains posted on the world wide web - through his patented Cog-Net system™.

Please use the comment box below to submit a question for Dr. Christian Kovacques, CEO and Chairman, The Europe.

Feel free to compose and include Dr. K's response to your question as you imagine it. This saves him considerable time and effort, and ensures that you receive a prompt response to your inquiry, if not necessarily an intelligent one.

12 March 2010

Site Admin and Legal

Perhaps a little site admin and legal stuff is in order before we go any further, just to lay the appropriate legal groundwork for this weblog, in case things get messy at some point. You never know what might happen, and I don't want to hear you complaining later on that you're not on the hook legally for what happens here just because you looked at it for a few seconds. No way. You read any further, and you're in it just like the rest of us.

Disclaimer. We. Disclaim. Nothing. Our mothers did not raise no disclaimers. We do however reserve the right to blur the shortest distance between any two points: a straight line. To go all "six levels of irony" on your ass. While we're reserving rights and all, we also reserve the right to borrow all your money and mate at will with your family members, draw freely from the discard pile during gin rummy tournaments, revel in the suffering of others, eat chickens and pigs and occasionally the fish that swim in the ocean, [Add your own here], and so on and so forth.

Come to think of it, f*ck it: ALL rights reserved. We are hereby reserving every right that anybody could possibly imagine, and at the same time every right that cannot possibly be imagined. There, that covers all possible rights, right? We're f*cking reserving everything. There's no telling what we may want to do to you somewhere down the road.

Copyright Statement. All material on this site is copyrighted to its original creators, in the name of The Founder, except as these rights have already been usurped by large corporations, in which case there's nothing that can be said here that cannot be overruled by a court of law (and we use the term loosely).

Privacy Policy. Mind yer own beeswax. The Proverbial Bejesus tends only to its own beeswax. The reader is encouraged to do the same, i.e. to mind only his/her own and closely related beeswax. Breaches of honor in this respect are understood for legal purposes to fall outside The Proverbial Purview.

There that's all the site admin and legal stuff. Now I want to try something here.

Boom shaka-laka Boom-ah! Post out –

07 March 2010

Sorry Guys

Sorry for the lack of posts lately guys. I've been busy, starting with the long overdue task of cleaning my pig's hamster's fish's bowl, but I knocked it over so I had to clean my pig's hamster's cage, then my pig's hamster itself, but I forgot to put water back in the bowl so the fish died, tried to feed it to the hamster but no interest, then fed the fish and the hamster to the pig, and finally gave the pig a bath in the fish's bowl, but it was too small and had to break some of his legs to get him in there, the squealing was deafening so had to put him down, and fed him to my neighbor's vultures. Still can't believe my pig ate his own hamster -- he raised that thing from a pup!

Then I was away for two weeks at a Hemingway Camp, learning to write short, crispy sentences like the great Cuban fisherman cum toreador himself. For example if you were gonna write "David was tired, tired of living," they'd say no no just write "David was tired of living." Stuff like that. The first week was all nouns and verbs, we were only allowed to use adjectives sparingly, and frankly it was an experience. A harrowing experience. I never realized how addicted I am to flowery, useless verbiage. The best part was at the end there was a raffle, and I won a free Bullshit Detector just like the one used by the great Cuban fisherman cum toreador himself. Unfortunately as soon as I got it home I pointed it at the internet and the damn thing exploded.

But I am back at it now and ready to post again, hopefully incorporating the lessons I learned at camp, I mean all that stuff about not using a bunch of extra words and all. We'll see.

24 February 2010

Fish Are Not Wombats

Fish are not wombats. Many regard this as self-evident, if not outright self-fish. While it is undeniable that at least some fish are wombats, or would like to be, and that many wombats are neither fish nor wombats, still, the reclassification of ALL fish as wombats is a grave injustice. And don't think I'll just stand by idly blogging about it, dear reader. No, here I draw a line, here is where I say, once and for all (word by word, from the diaphragm, voice quaking): This mayonnaise shall not spoil.

Since the Magna Carta was passed at Runnymede way back in the day, fish have maintained the right to be fish without interference from, or being classified as, wombats. The principle has become all but synonymous with western democracy. Until, that is, W declared fish wombats in an obscure decree in his last days as determinator. Wombat enthusiasts who voted in large numbers for 'change' have so far been disappointed, as Obama has shown that, unlike the sea urchin, he has no spines.

But why stop at wombats? Or why stop at fish for that matter? If cheese can be put on a soda cracker, and donkeys can make hay out of the rooster's ambivalence, then why should all fish not be classed as donkeys? Who can draw the line anywhere, when elephants roam the Serengeti, clearly neither wombats nor fish, yet possessing the sleek androgyny of the dolphin, which is not a fish but dammit it oughta be.

Just checkin if yer listenin. My real point was about Tiger Woods. Man that guy can hit (the bejesus out of) a golf ball. And apparently he's quite a ladies' man. So what's all the fuss about? It's not like fish are really wombats, in any case.

OK, we'll pick it up right here, next Tuesday. And don't forget to read chapters 3 and 4 in Jurgensen, especially the example of the guy with no neck.

09 February 2010

Time to Revamp 'Don't look, Don't talk'

It has been 65 years since the establishment of the first official policy on homosexuality in the nation's armed forces, and frankly it has become an antachronism. The original policy -- Don't look, Don't touch -- made a certain degree of sense at the time it was instituted. Its beauty was in its simplicity: don't peek at the other soldiers' you-know-whats, for heaven's sake don't touch anything, and (it was understood) don't never talk about what you didn't see.

When JFK came in he sensed that the times they were a-changin, and he relaxed the policy slightly, to Don't gawk, Don't talk. Less than one year later he was shot, and although we hesitate to assert a causal connection, for members of that generation the two events will forever be linked. As the Vietnam war escalated, LBJ altered the policy to Say it, Don't spray it -- and the backlash ended his political career.

One of Nixon's first acts on taking office was to bury the issue as far down as possible, and thus was born the policy of (hands over ears) No No No No No No No... Jimmy Carter, who famously acknowledged in a Playboy interview that he had felt lust in his heart, threw caution to the wind and demonstrated bold leadership with Don't peek, Don't rub baby oil all over each other. And there the issue sat until Clinton established Don't ask, Don't tell -- and undermined his own credibility as an advocate of open sexual relations both among and between the sexes, furtively whenever possible.

But in today's world there ain't no justification no longer for such a demeaning world view, noway, nohow.

That is why we are so pleased to announce the latest new policy regarding homosexuality in the modern military: on the first day of basic training, the drill sergeant will gently lay an index finger across the lips of every recruit, place the other hand palm forward on the upper breast, and utter the words: Hush, don't speak.

This is Larry Rasmussen, rambling on, in Kingston Jamaica mon.

26 January 2010

The Europe’an Renaissance II

In The Europe Part I we promised to report further as developments warrant.

Well, we got our warrant. Welcome to Renaissance The Europe.


The landscapers came and left, and the new The Europe is looking better than ever. The famous statue of Colonel Escobar that had become the symbol of this symbolic attempt to unite the many little nation-states of the old fragmented Europe into a new, unitary and unified United Unit of The Europe - or, to put it just a little more bluntly, and because it's catchier: The Europe – was toppled by an angry mob led by an unidentified rakish revolutionary who is rumored to be in love with Escobar's daughter Pamelina, though in the end it appeared he was mainly after the statue, for his garden or something. Despite his incendiary oration espousing the destruction of the forces of unity, the sincerity of his anger at The Europe was called into question when, once the statue had been toppled and carefully loaded into his prepared truck, he was oddly willing to negotiate, even on first principles. Something about the whole thing smelled funny, but it was hard to put a finger on it. Conspiracy theorists have pointed to his family's ties to certain industrial concerns who appear to have been working against the The Europe project from the beginning as evidence that the process was tainted and never really capable of producing a "Europe Avec Le," a single one and only wholly double-pan-unified with unity The Europe for all the The Europeans to enjoy and bask in, as one. One Europe, that is: The Europe.

We'll be right back.

09 January 2010

"Massive Layoff Stimulus Package" Enacted

In a move to stimulate long-term economic growth through intense short-term suffering, They announced the giant new Massive Layoff Stimulus Package last night, almost everyone lost their jobs again, in what appears to be the most devastating job loss stimulus program to hit the country since The Great Depression. People were literally beside themselves, as this terrible news struck the country today with Government announcing that it would not be bailing out the floorcleaners again, that it was tapped out, and instead of extending more loans to the mopmakers and the bucket suppliers, it is enacting this Massive Layoff Stimulus Package which is carefully crafted to inflict the maximum economic harm on the greatest number of people, so that by the time things return to current levels of prosperity (if they ever do), they'll be so grateful they're not having boiled boot for supper again that we'll have them by their Richard Petty Juniors.

The Massive Layoff Stimulus Package is a five year, five trillion dollar plan to take away almost everybody's jobs, pretty much at the same time, to kind of poor the people down a bit, and really test the fabric of society, see if Government can't tighten the noose another notch while we're at it. The Stimulus involves a set of deep budget cuts (5% in defense and 75% for everything else) carefully targeted at the short and middle term, just when you were thinking maybe there was some hope of pulling out of this thing (or, in the parlance of our times, 'muddling through'), the Massive Layoff Stimulus Package will kick in to ensure that you lose your current job or do not get your old job back or anything like it, not without a pay cut and other conditions injurious to your dignity but which you will have no other choice than to accept, and pretend you like it.

The last such stimulus program based on systematic confiscation of wealth and labor was enacted during the Great Depression, and led to 30 solid years of growth and prosperity. It is well remembered that despite some early difficulties World War II was a smashing success, and what a happy time the 50s were, so clearly it worked, and worked wonders one might say, with the standard of living unprecedented in human history, and of course the whole James Dean Marlon Brando cool thing, which has never really been topped if you think about it. Most experts were forced to agree that the Massive Layoff Stimulus Package is clearly necessary and prudent at this time, the safest route through the thicket, with dissenters long since bought off, marginalized, or worse.

"We think this will definitely incentivize a few people to get up off their asses and get two or three jobs, just to get some beans out of a can, maybe a hot shower on Sundays," said Joel Sensabaugh of Collapse Now, an organization advocating reckless policies that will hasten the misery but in the long term create real economic growth, which is good for the economy. "Look at underdeveloped countries: they're able to sustain phenomenal economic growth over a long period, because they're starting from such a low level. Until we get back to that standard of living - you know, where we shit squatting on two planks across a hole in the ground - we'll never be able to enjoy the really fantastic economic growth rates that we need to consistently grow our economy, keep our economy growing, which is the only path to economic growth, and absolutely essential to expanding the economic pie of the growth economy, which helps keep a dollar in my pocket, if you know what I'm saying.”

Will the Massive Layoff Stimulus Package work? Will it make our country prosperous and strong again? Discuss.

02 January 2010

More Comfortable Chairs

The Board supports the generous provisioning of comfortable chairs, going so far as to advocate that Government guarantee every citizen access to a really comfortable piece of furniture, a place to have a nice good sit, and that such comfortable chairs should be available everywhere and empty and well-maintained at a reasonable cost, so that any time Citizen is out walking around, or whatnot, a place to sit a spell and take a load off would be a fundamental right of every human being, and so on and so forth, until it was guaranteed, in your basic liberties delineated in the citizen-state agreement you sign when they put your chip in, that not just your access but your basic human right, to a fine well-made chair of fair size built from natural materials and that didn’t damage or otherwise distract from the beauty of the landscape, a hand-crafted object designed specifically for someone of your body type, just a helluva perch, would be right there everywhere every time you need it. Would the world not be a better place? Shee-it. Somebody please explain why Government cannot achieve this, with the taxes we pay, in this day and age, when they can run a multinational conglomerate from the Cayman Islands and put a Wendy's on the moon.

The reader is challenged to shed some light (or anything else he or she wants to shed) on this conundrum, using the Comment box below.