Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013 New Year's Catchphrases:




  1. 2013: Really? We're gonna do this?
  2. 2013: If you insist.
  3. 2013: I got a bad feeling about this. 
  4. 2013: Wait. Let's think this over before doing anything rash.
  5. 2013: Didn't we just do this last year?
  6. 2013: Again?
  7. 2013: Do we have to?
  8. 2013: This looks dubious.
  9. 2013: Sure, Why not?
  10. 2013: This is a bad idea.

Friday, December 21, 2012

THE MEANING OF LIFE (close enough anyway)


There is none, but there is a close, close approximation.

On this, the end of the world (?) {December 21, 2012} I am writing that yesterday, the day before the end of the world, I watched Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life" (1983).

I have watched this movie many time throughout my 46 years, because I am that way.  I think it is hilarious, and I have always thought, that at the end of the movie, they summed it up in an offhand way with this quote, which I had memorized for along time, being a Monty Python fan.  It goes like this:
M-hmm. Well, it's nothing very special. Uh, try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations. 
And for years, I thought this was a great summary of some good advice, but it isn't, of course the MEANING OF LIFE, as the movie title suggests, but just some sound advice, and it's funny because it is basically saying, "there isn't any meaning of life, just be nice."

But last night, watching the movie again, I finally found, after close to thirty years of loving this movie, the true nugget of the film.  It happens in a board meeting of otherwise douchebag executives.  One of them starts off asking about "item six" on the agenda.
Exec #1: Item six on the agenda: "The Meaning of Life" Now uh, Harry, you've had some thoughts on this.

Exec #2: Yeah, I've had a team working on this over the past few weeks, and what we've come up with can be reduced to two fundamental concepts. One: People aren't wearing enough hats. Two: . . . this "soul" does not exist ab initio as orthodox Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved owing to man's unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia. 

Exec #3: What was that about hats again?
This is the entire crux of the movie, and I have been missing it for thirty years.

Now this isn't the "meaning of life" as there is no intrinsic "meaning of life" but it is so close, it bears discussion . . .  { there's more, but this is a book excerpt from the book I'm working on.}

here's the clip:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Simple Rules for American Problem Solving


As Americans, whenever we face dire, complicated, and urgent problems, we must remember to follow a few simple rules:


  1. Slogans: Yell short, catchy slogans at anyone who might disagree with your worldview. Repeat talking points. Eye rolling should begin as soon as the other side responds with their own canned responses. 
  2. Simplicity: Offer simple, easy to understand solutions that only address the symptoms of the problem.  While imperfect, this bolsters the worldview of your "side".  Use hypothetical situations to explain why these imaginary situations bolster your own arguments.Insist that there is only ONE cause, and therefore, only ONE solution.  If the problem involves many causes, it is too complicated for America to solve.  
  3. Anger: Be angry. Be very angry that someone fails to see the genius of your solution, or the solution that your "side" offers.
  4. Derision: Make sure to discount any idea from the other "side." Admitting that they might have good ideas is a sign of weakness.  The other "side" is full of idiots.  Obviously.  No one from the other "side" will ever have a good idea, no matter how reasonable it sounds.
  5. Victory: Always make sure that your "side" wins, at all costs.
  6. Stubbornness: Reject nuanced positions or complicated ideas that might require compromise.  Compromise is for the weak.
  7. Emotion: Appeal to emotion when making an argument.
  8. Win: Every problem is a contest that must be "won" at all cost.  The other "side" must lose.  And they are wrong. They must be reminded how wrong they are. Even if you don't know the answer to the problem, be absolutely positive that "their" answer is 100% wrong. Point out the weaknesses in their solution, demanding an absolute perfect solution.  Offer no solutions.
  9. Criticism: Point out the weaknesses of the other side's arguments, while obfuscating the weaknesses of your own side.
  10. Accusations: Demonize the other "side." Blame them.  Use terms like "blood on their hands."  Point out the worst examples of people on their "side," and claim that these bad examples represent the entire group, while simultaneously ignoring the lunatics on your own side.  Generalize.  Make straw-man arguments. 


I think with these simple rules in mind, America's future will be better, brighter, and more civil.  Freedom.

Monday, December 10, 2012

#71 Electric Light!


Electric Light!
Electric Light!
Without you,
It would be quite Night.

Display our Clutter
Very Bright!
Without you,
We would have no Sight!

Electric Light!
Electric Light!
Without you,
Dark would be the Night!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

#72 SMALL MAN FROZEN IN BLACK AND WHITE


Edgar Allen Poe
Curled up in the street.
The winds of Baltimore
Cooping election day.
"In great Distress."
Baltimore Poet.

Threadbare ankles
Dirt and grime
An alcoholic's pounding brain
In someone else's clothes.

Fevered Baltimore Poet
Curled on the street
Beside a dingy wall.

In a stranger's clothes

Taken to hospital
Barred windows.

Dead in less than a week,
Delirious:
Talking to spirits,
To a cruel Father,
To Ravens, to Eleonora,
To The Lost Lenore,
To Death in the City in The Sea.
Dead in less than a week,
Five in the Morning.
Who was Reynolds?

Griswold was not amused.
False obituaries, false memoirs.
Defended by Baudelaire,
A Raven made famous.
Small man
Now frozen in Black and White.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

concerning Facebook and "privacy":


ehem:

When you post something on the Internet, you have POSTED SOMETHING ON THE INTERNET, so it isn't private anymore, you don't own it, and you probably should have kept it on the hard drive, or in your head, or somewhere that isn't ON THE INTERNET, formerly known as THE WORLD WIDE WEB, which doesn't sound private at all, really, seeing as it is WORLD WIDE, monitored by every marketing firm, government "security" agency, corporation, troll, voyeur, plagiarist, and human with an Internet connection, which is just about everyone. So, don't post stuff. Freedom.

Friday, November 23, 2012

#73 This Turkey is Delicious


This turkey is delicious.
Did it ever fall in love?
Did it ever pray to Turkey God,
That looks down from above?

Did it hope?
Did it dream?
When they killed it,
Did it scream?

This turkey is delicious.
I wonder who it was.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

#7 THREE HOLIDAY SINGULARITY

Halloween pumpkins,
On porches, Thanksgiving Eve,
And Christmas-tree sales.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Authors mentioned in Herman Wouk's novel, Aurora Dawn

"Spinoza rubbed bindings with Mark Twain, Jane Austen with La Rochefoucauld, James Joyce with Lord Chesterfield, Keats with Clarence Darrow..."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

stuff


Bureaucracies and committees have a much firmer grasp on "reality" because they sometimes have expensive, authoritative looking letterhead on which to send "facts" to "citizens" (read consumers) to accept as true without question.

Bureaucrats can conceptualize things in such a way as to get around certain details that might otherwise hamper a program or initiative. (programs and initiatives which must be implemented, regardless of usefulness) They have ground away the edges of constricting parameters like logic, common sense, and practicality to such a degree that redefining the meaning of words in order to fit pliable, optional "facts" into rigid, logic-like policies is not only an option, it is the ONLY option.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

MUZAK MOMENT:


Joe Jackson's 1982 hit, "Steppin' Out" at 1:08PM at the O'Reilly auto parts store while purchasing motor oil.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

# 74 BOUND ONE TOWN FOR A THOUSAND YEARS




Bound one town
For a thousand years
For a thousand years
For a thousand years

Bound one spine
One heart, one head
With the only ones
That we get 'til dead

In the blue and red
Color blind instead
For a thousand years
For a thousand years

Bound one town
And then walk around
For a thousand years
For a thousand years

It's been said
That until you're dead
For a thousand years
For a thousand years

Cut the lights
And draw the shades
You're the only one 
That was ever made

For a thousand years
For a thousand years
Bound one town
For a thousand years

I just heard a voice 
In the cricket dark 
For a thousand years
For a thousand years

Pinpoint light
And the wicked moon
For a thousand years
For a thousand years

Sit and write
For a thousand years
Random monkey words
For a thousand years

Bound one town 
For a thousand years
In the cricket dark
For a thousand years


Friday, August 10, 2012

Earth, Jupiter and Venus (as seen from Mars)

Earth, Jupiter and Venus (listed from top to bottom) seen from Mars.  How cool is that? Go Science!

update: turns out this picture is fake.  not so much a hoax as a representation from some software that has been passed around (like I did at first) as real. See the comment below by Justin for a link to the explanation.

boo science that makes fake pics looks so real...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

#75 SPRINKLE A MIGHTY LAWN


Trapped by our Nice Things,
We soldier on.
The indomitable spirit of a
Set Schedule.
We look at the numbers and sigh.
It must get better, if only
We soldier on.

Trapped in our Conditioned Air,
The automatic sprinklers
Mock your tiny lawns.

Trapped in our Conditioned Air,
Staring at bumpered
Tail lights.

We sit in our Churches
And pat ourselves on the back.
We hang pictures of our penniless
God
In our Mortgaged McMansions.

On the rolling lawns of our
Golf Courses, we feel the
Mob
Closing in.

We built this.
You cannot take it from us.
It is ours.
"Blessed be the meek,"
But I got MINE.

I deserve this because
My grandfather beat Hitler.
This old house belongs to
ME.

The bad luck of my brothers
Is not my problem.
My automatic sprinklers
Sprinkle a MIGHTY LAWN.
A lawn decreed by God.

That I would go to a good
College
That my job be deemed
Important enough to keep (for now).

That my evaluations would be sufficient.
Here, and in the Hereafter.

*  *  *

My father's money,
And his father's money before him,
Says I get to gamble
With your money.

My car's leather interior,
The space-aged dashboard,
My commute to work,
My eventual comfortable retirement.

Light beer.
High definition sports.
Hardwood floors.
Wife in yoga pants.
Pacified children.
Peace.

These are the promises
Made to ME by a successful
Chain of theme restaurants
That are sprinkled
Among the strip malls and
Malls Proper.

Places themselves in their
Rightful places across the
Six Lane Avenues from such places
As PF Chang's and
Applebee's.

I have earned this.
I worked in a vacuumed.
It is I who chose to be born
To a woman who chose to be married
To a rich man.
That is my wisdom.

I drink a refined combination of
Craft Beers and watch
The Right College Sports.
On magnificent, wall mounted
Screens.

My yoga panted wife
Works hard also, and
Our Children play
Video games on the biggest
Screens
And go with us on the biggest
Vacations.

And this stuff is OURS,
And one day this stuff with be
THEIRS.

How dare you blame us
For having nice stuff?
But think:
If our positions were switched,
You'd want to keep your stuff too.

Same as me.

But I would never feel like you.
Outside Looking In.
I would never want the system
Changed,
Even if it worked only
For a Lucky Few.

We all get the
SAME EXACT OPPORTUNITIES
(to spring from the loins
of the rich)
It has to be that way.

Otherwise, the story I
Tell myself
Doesn't work.

A system that works for some
But not for others
WORKS (for some).

I got mine.
Screw you.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

#85 THE PISSED OFF WITH GUNS SONG

Pissed off white guys with guns,
Pissed off white guys with guns,
Pissed off white guys with guns,
Oh yeah, Oh yeah.

Pissed off Muslims with guns,
Pissed off Muslims with guns,
Pissed off Muslims with guns,
Oh yeah, Oh yeah.

Pissed off soldiers with guns,
Pissed off soldiers with guns,
Pissed off soldiers with guns,
Oh yeah Oh yeah.

Pissed off police with guns,
Pissed off police with guns,
Pissed off police with guns,
Oh yeah, Oh yeah.

Pissed off humans with guns,
Pissed off humans with guns,
Pissed off humans with guns,
Oh yeah, Oh yeah.

{repeat, ad infinitum}

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien (1955)

5 out of 5, of course.  So much has already been said about this book.  I've read it 4 or 5 times now, and I won't read it again until I'm 65.

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath (1963)

The Bell Jar: 4 out of 5.

Well built scenes.  Tragedy with understatement.  No self-pity in it, although the subject matter calls for it.  Shock therapy is pretty shocking!

More BS about the universe


The question of the origin of the universe is simple, if you ignore one of the assumptions people seem to have:

Whenever people talk about the beginning of the universe, there always seems to be the assumption that there was a point previous to the "beginning of the universe" when there was "nothing."

What if the universe was just always there?

There is no "origin of the universe" if it simply always existed.

Why do we assume it had a "beginning" point?

*  *  *

Everything we see seems to have a beginning, middle, and end; but those things are just combinations of other things.  Things are composed of atoms and molecules for awhile, and then they decompose.  They are made of "universe" stuff.

But the universe might be a special case:

The universe itself, since it encompasses "everything" cannot be a composite thing.  It has no beginning, middle, or end.  It cannot be put together, since it is already "together" as the set of all things.

And it cannot "decompose," because where would its individual parts go?  Its parts must always be "in" the universe.

*  *  *

The things we see are all part of a subset of the set of all things; they are composed of other things, and they have beginnings, middles, and ends.

But the universe is the "set of all things."

There is only one "set of all things" so what applies to subsets may not apply to the single "set of all things."



Saturday, August 04, 2012

bla bla bla-dee bla


Public discourse today seems like an endless current of stupid things said by overly serious, moneyed people. The flow of stupid is ever increasing in its frequency and amplitude.

It is polarizing, harmful, cynical, and crude. It gets us nowhere, solves nothing, and tears us apart.

There is a story about King Solomon, who, when two women were arguing over who should keep a baby (for whatever reason), King Solomon suggested cutting the baby in half. He suggested this not as an actual solution, but to find out which woman really loved the baby.

Our political sides, both of them, would not only always insist on cutting the baby in half, (they've already cut America in half) they would claim to have the better solution on HOW to cut the baby in half. Then they would fight over who gets to cut the baby in half. They would form committees to discern the most wasteful way to cut the baby in half. They would fight over who got to keep what half, and once that was decided, they would try to cheat the other side out of the other half.

All that is left is satire, irony, and the vague hope that when the wheels come off, the rich and powerful will suffer along with the rest of us.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

#8 TACOS

We're making tacos.
Hamburger in the skillet,
Seasoning Packet.

#9 Distant Leaf Blower

Creeping afternoon
I feel my bones settling
Distant leaf-blower.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#76 Magnificent Portulaca Oleracea


Magnificent Purslane, 
So thick and so green 
The most flourishing plant 
In my yard to be seen. 

My yard is so brittle, 
My yard is quite dead 
But Magnificent Purslane
Will thrive in its stead. 


Magnificent Pigweed
Portulaca Oleracea
Are you Pigweed?
Are you Hogweed?

They say you're a weed
But pull you I shan't
Cause I'll grow you on purpose
And I say you're a plant.


#77 Trash Day

Some obscure Talking Heads
   track.
The pre-dawn gloaming
   Wednesday Morning.
I need to take the trash
   to the curb.
But I haven't. It is so early.
   Another weekday.

The very core of my existence
   In the pale living room walls.
Weak light, headphones, bare feet.

Guess I'll go take out the
   trash.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Class warfare stuff I thought of while running:


~ The problem the rich have with class warfare is, they know they will lose it.  Otherwise they would embrace it. (Their version of class warfare is manipulating the tax code through an intricate application of bribery.)

~ The nice thing about gated communities is that when the bottom drops out of this bitch, the rest of us will know where to get all the good stuff.

~ The problem the rich have with class warfare is they know they have the most to lose.

Monday, July 23, 2012

#78 I'LL CONTINUE PILING WORDS


Would that I could bring you here,
Saturday afternoon,
To listen to the neighbor's air
Conditioning the moon.

The distant highway murmurs
It's uninteresting way,
And a starling and a robin
Take turns bathing anyway.

I could get a pizza
Or a soda
Or some beers
But I'll sit here typing bullshit
Until something good appears.

I'll continue piling words on
Until plots and stories happen
And I'll do this while Pandora
Streams me Bach and Eric Clapton

A thousand unread words
Will filter out from whence they came
And the characters will follow
And I'll give each of them a name.

There is Benner,
He's a psycho,
There is Amy,
She's his date.
There goes Collin,
He's a homeless man
Who will pontificate.

There will be a
Wild kerfuffle
In a house
Without a phone
Even though the page
is crowded
Every writer writes alone.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

#10 Sunday Morning

Potable water,
    Conditioned air.
I make the coffee.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

# Amateur Philosophy (now with audio!)



The idea that there is a beginning of the universe is insane because it would have to come from somewhere else but there is nowhere else because the universe is ... everywhere.  So there's nowhere for it to "come from" in the first place.

So the idea of like, "oh, well where did it come from?" it can't "come from" anywhere because it's everywhere.

So all the things in the universe can't come from somewhere else because there IS nowhere else (is what I'm trying to say).

So the whole argument of like, "Where did the universe come from, and where did it begin" is meaningless.

Cause we can observe everything on the planet, but everything on the planet is just a subset of everything. But we don't see everything.  So when scientists claim to know the beginning of the universe, it's impossible. Cause you can't know about every thing, every object, in an infinite universe, cause it's infinite. Even if you found 99% of it, there's always 1 more percent of it, cause it's infinite.

So, (sigh) the idea that you can find the beginning of the universe,-that's another thing—if there's nowhere for everything to come from, then it can't possibly have had a beginning because it has to have always been there. Cause everything in the universe all the objects, all the matter, that makes up the things that we observe has to have always been there because there's nowhere for it to have not been.

Uh, if that doesn't make sense, then the whole beginning of time thing, that's the other thing "Oh, what's the beginning of time?" There is no beginning of time because there's always that one second right before that. No matter what point you point at and say, "Oh, there's the beginning of time," there's always ... the moment right before that. So, the whole idea of like, "Oh, well there's gotta be a God because otherwise the universe wouldn't exist," Well that doesn't make any sense; the universe always existed because it's got nowhere to go. It can't not exist. Cause it exists. At least we think it does.

So I dunno. That's my rant about all these theological and scientific questions about the beginning of time. There isn't any. You're looking for something that's not there. Because it has to have always been here because there's nowhere for it to have come from.

All right, I'm done.

And the point I forgot to make (I was driving as I babbled this into my cheesy microphone) is this:  Although everything we see seems to have a beginning, middle, and end, those things are just temporary arrangements of atoms that eventually decompose.  But nothing (observable at least) is made or unmade.  Atoms and parts (subsets of the set of all atoms and things) just temporarily arrange themselves and fall apart.  But the universe is not an observable thing; it is not a subset of anything else, so it doesn't have a beginning or an end, since it can't fall apart (there's no way for it to become separated from itself, since it is everywhere).
Since we see everything begin and end around us, we think this attribute applies to the universe, but it doesn't. 
So the "where did the universe come from" and "how did it begin" questions don't apply to the universe itself, although these questions apply to all the stuff IN the universe. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

#79 THEY TELL US WHAT TO THINK

There are photogenic, sonorous people with cameras and microphones, and they tell us what to think.
They claim to tell us what is happening, but they tell us what to think.
They might be on the Left, and they might be on the Right, but they tell us what to think.
 They tell us what to buy and wear and drink and they tell us what to think.
Right and the Left work together to tell us what to think.
 If we think for ourselves we are told we are wrong and they tell us what to think.
They "inform" us by forming us and they tell us what to think.
 The news is not the news because they tell us what to think.
 By tone of voice and innuendo and background music they hide that they are telling us what to think while they tell us what to think.

In school they tell us what to think. In church they tell us what to think.
At work they tell us what to think.
On the campaign trail and in office they tell us what to think.
Rebellious groups are still groups and they tell us what to think.
In press releases and written statements they tell us what to think.
 In history books and police reports they tell us what to think.
Our families and friends tell us what to think.
 Commercials tell us we shrink and slink and stink and they tell us what to eat and drink and think.
Everywhere you turn people tell us what to think.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

# GOD'S SPECIAL PURPOSE FOR MANKIND



(Excerpt from my widely unread book of essays, Booze and News!)

One day, a little boy was saying his prayers, and he asked, "God, why did you make humans the way you did?"

And low and behold, God appeared to the boy as a glowing light outside the boy's window.

"That's a great question Timmy, and I've been waiting for someone to ask.  There seems to be some confusion down here, and I'd like to clear that up."

"Is it really you God?"

"Yes Timmy, now pay attention.  The reason I made humans is because when I created the world, I made it about ten degrees too cold.  I created humans and their hideously large brains so they could create simple tools, which would lead to more complex things, which would eventually lead to factories and cars that would affect the atmosphere in such a way that the earth would warm up to a specific temperature, give or take a couple of degrees."

"But why does the earth have to warm up?"

"Well, you see Timmy, God loves the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina Portentosa) so much.  Much more than all the other creatures on the earth.  That's why I made the world, for this beautiful creature."

"But I thought humans--"

"Yes Timmy, I know what you are going to say, but that's a common misconception humans have, and I'd like you to clear that up right now.  No, the only reason I made you humans is for the benefit of the Hissing Cockroach.  No, you guys are slated for extinction when you have served your purpose.  The beauty of this system is that as you make the world more hospitable for the wonderful  Gromphadorhina Portentosa, you'll be making it less hospitable for your own freakish species, so you will be out of the way."

"But that's horrible!"

"Hmm? Oh, yes, I suppose for humans, but you guys are just here to pollute and spread trash all over the place.  Cockroaches love trash and high temperatures.  By the way, stop recycling."

"But--"

"Okay Timmy, I'm out.  Make sure you spread the word.  I guess this makes you a prophet or whatever.  And another thing: electric cars are the devil's work.  See ya!"

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

# THE NEW SPEEDWAY IS OPEN! FREEDOM!

The Speedway near our house has been closed for a couple of months.  They tore it down to build a new one.  It is just a few blocks from our house.  Oh how we took it for granted.  

So it opened today, just three hours ago, and despite the 98 degree heat, Deb and I walked there to check it out.

As we walked toward the future, to that grand spaceship that was the new Speedway, I dreamed of all the magical things that would be there: lotto, beer, meat-like things, snacks, donuts, pizza-adjacent foodlike items, candy, chips, an ATM, gasoline... everything my American Freedoms allow me to enjoy.

Old Glory flew high and proud above the car lot next to the Speedway.  The New Speedway was open! It was open! Oh the Freedom to exchange American currency for products and scratch-off tickets.  I was like Charlie, and I had a Golden Ticket to the Wonka Factory, only the tickets were green, and the Wonka Factory was a convenience store.

We strode in as though striding through the very gates of heaven.  If Elvis Presley himself was behind the counter, I would not have been shocked, for this was heaven on earth.  Lite Beer and Lotto!  Breath Mints and those brown gloves with red lining!

Wide eyed with innocent wonder, we walked the candy isles.  There were HUGE bags of sunflower seeds!

Everything was new and shiny.  The employees, yet to die from the inside out, gave the impression of actually being alive inside.  Their spirits were yet to be broken!!  There was a WALK IN BEER COOLER which I walked into. It was very cool in there.  I didn't want to leave.

They had Coca-Cola in GLASS BOTTLES.

Oh to be Free and American in this great land.  To buy lotto tickets and a 40oz. Lite Beer in the same place!  Hunting magazines and car magazines!  5 Hour Energy and Snickers bars!

My first Muzak Moment in the new Speedway?  Kansas's 1977 smash hit, "Dust in The Wind."

I stood there a moment, serenaded by a 35 year old recording of soft guitar, and pondered what this all meant as four flavors of Slushies slushed around in their American Freedom Slushy machines.

In conclusion, Freedom.

Monday, July 16, 2012

#80 THESE OLD CDs ARE STACKING UP

Windows 95 disk,
Why are you still there?
I should throw you out but for some reason, 
I don't dare.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Haiku heard on THE BUGLE podcast:

The American
Rides jet skis and eats eagles
'Cause salad is weak.

I recommend this podcast for everyone, always.  Freedom.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

#81 WITH THE ANGRY SUN


Humans love their frozen treats,
As they drive along
On the sizzling streets.
Packed at the light,
Their engines run,
And they wonder what's up
With the Angry Sun.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

# IMPOSSIBLE INDEX OF FORGOTTEN THINGS


I wandered the forgotten corners of foreclosed yards, where rabbit pellets whiten in the sun, and I saw a vision of these things:

The formal names of every individual crack in every for-lease parking lot, named as lovingly and thoughtfully as a mother naming her own precious children.

Book length descriptions of every telephone pole. Poles that tower unnoticed along squalid strip-malls and stand unappreciated along crowded, fume-spewing highways.

The forgotten inhabitants of abandoned Burger King Parking Lots  - each parking lot weed, indexed and numbered and registered in the timeless database of unimportant things.

Alas! The cast off ends of zip ties languishing unclaimed in the dusty gravel of convenience store construction sites. No more! Each zip tie is unique, and each has a name and history, written in marble, illuminated at all times, and revered as heroes by all!

A map of every track of every wheel of every absconded shopping cart. Records of the tracks in the dirt at the crumbled ends of sidewalks in dilapidated, half empty commercial districts. The details of the voyages of every cart that ever buoyed the worldly goods in plastic bags belonging to homeless, mumbling men.  The maps, detailed inventories of those belongings, and biographies of the men who pushed those shopping carts are stamped into plates of gold and launched into space to represent mankind.

A caligraphy scroll of the lost forgotten thoughts of slack-jawed, Kool-Aid stained children with plastic toy guns before the time of the Internet. The thoughts they had when they had thousand-mile stares with visions of half-imagined, unseen, unnamed idealized cities. All dreamt while standing motionless at the end of driveways on summer afternoons.

The indexed surnames of every individual pine needle from every discarded Christmas tree in 1972. Where is that list? Does it exist? It does now.

A ledger of the exact moment of the fifteenth rotation of every tricycle wheel in Bangladesh.

A coffee table book of every piece of school kid's artwork ever created, one picture per page, and the name and weight of every hand silhouette turkey ever made.

Every stick that was ever an imaginary weapon in the mind of a child at play (playing cops-n-robbers or playing WAR), displayed in a museum. A separate, full length motion picture (directed by Ken Burns and narrated by Morgan Freeman) about every pretend battle each stick was involved in, and a three volume hardback compendium about all the pretend wars and battles. A museum dedicated to these sticks, and a separate room in that museum dedicated exclusively to each stick and an artist's rendition (acrylic on canvas) of what the weapon looked like in the child's mind.

The tenth text sent on every Tuesday in Taiwan, each carved into an individual marble monolith planted twenty feet deep beneath the dark side of the surface of the moon.

The first, middle and last name of every blade of fescue grass that has ever existed, their dates of birth/death, their political leanings, a brief biography and a photo, and a serialized commemorative plate from the Franklin Mint for each one.

The secret dream of every hog slaughtered for its meat throughout all of history. An oil painting of each dream on a 72" x 24" canvas. The individual name of each bristle of each brush used to paint those pictures. A play by play description of every brushstroke, given by Joe Buck and Bob Costas, at the renovated Koševo Stadium in Sarajevo, where all of the homeless men from East St. Louise (1963-1992) will paint those pictures before a packed crowd of delirious spectators, and each artist is paid one-million one dollar bills for their troubles.

The serial numbers of each of the dollars mentioned above, in numerical order, each written in Roman Numerals on a single grain of rice.

#83 EAT THE CHEESE OF REASON

Eat the Cold Beans of Inequity.
Devour the Giblets of Inhumanity!
The Herniated Disk of Base Corruption!
The Cold Beans of Mephistopheles.
 We reject your Terror Blankets!
Terror Beans!
You must eat the Cheese of Reason!
HIDE THE FIVE CHIVES OF DECEPTION
The Five Chives of The Apocalypse!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Sam's First Take On War

"It was Sam's first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man's name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace--" Sam's first view of a battle in The Lord of The Rings

somebody's gonna be happy to find a dollar

Today walking back from the bank, I found a child's wallet by the sidewalk.  I checked it for cash, of course.  There wasn't any.  So I put a dollar in it and put it where I found it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

# 95 My Wife Does Not Like Haikus

"I don't like haikus,"
She said as she sipped her beer.
She doesn't get it.

Monday, July 02, 2012

#82 A SHORT POEM

I am a line of thoughts,
Written on a page.
Squint real hard
Between the lines
And I can guess your age.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

#12 While waiting for the DVR to queue the baseball game

Cat in cardboard box,
She ignores the baseball game.
I take her picture.

Reading LOTR for the upteenth time

The Lord of the RingsThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



View all my reviews

"The moon, now waxing round, filled the eastern sky with a pale cold sheen. The shoulders of the mountain to their right sloped down to bare hills. The wide plains opened grey before them."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rejected "Vampire Hunter" Movie Ideas


Hellen Keller: Vampire Hunter
Charles Nelson Reilly: Vampire Hunter
Stephen Hawking: Vampire Hunter
Abe Vigoda: Vampire Hunter
Tinky Winky: Vampire Hunter
Condoleezza Rice: Vampire Hunter
Gary Coleman: Vampire Hunter
Rosa Parks: Vampire Hunter
Hervé Villechaize: Vampire Hunter
Phyllis Diller: Vampire Hunter


Sunday, June 24, 2012

# The Return of the Elvi and the Return of American Exceptionalism

When the hologram of Fat Elvis arrives to heal this once great nation of ours, only then can we move on and be the America we once dreamed of becoming.

Since the death of the Last Incarnation of Fat Elvis in 1977, all leading indicators show a decline in American dominance, the standard of living, and the quality of Network Christmas Specials.

I predict three Hologram Incarnations of the Holy Trinity of the Elvi: 1950s Army Elvis, 1968 Comeback Elvis, and Fat Vegas Jumpsuit Elvis, all on stage together, singing "In the Gheto".

When the Three Incarnations of The Elvi appear, our economy will heal, jumpsuit factories and Percodan labs will spring up. Velvet paintings of the Elvi will spur economic growth throughout the land.  Eight-Track tapes will make a comeback.

Hologram Richard Nixon will appear unlooked for, unshaven, paranoid, and surly, grousing about the Hippies.  Hologram Nixon, in alliance with the Three Incarnations of the Elvi, will set our foundering ship of state aright.

Woolfenstein. :)


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Zombies


There are zombies.  There are not zombies.
Why are zombies so popular?  They represent something.  They represent our fear of other people.  Other people are scary.  Other people are running out of jobs, dreams, and reasons to behave in a civilized fashion. Zombies represent our fear of what is going to happen when the bottom drops out. Zombies represent our fear of overpopulation.  Our society is fracturing into a thousand little groups. Zombies are a replacement thought. We can't go around with a baseball bat bashing people's heads in. It would be easier than dealing with all of these people. People in traffic, people at the store, people we work with, people in the hallways at school or college.

There are so many people; if the bottom dropped out of this thing we call ordered society, the problem won't be fixable with baseball bats and shotguns.

But we will be surrounded by angry, frightened people.  People who gotta eat.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#84 SEVEN SILENCE TOWNS AGO


Seven silence towns ago,
We shopped the Quick Stop,
Row by row
We bought some jerky, and some beers,
We are Ninety-Four Chrysler charioteers.

Seven silence towns ago,
Around midnight,
We drove real slow
We saw a cop harass a drunk
On a broken sidewalk near the dump.

Seven silence towns ago,
The strip malls lit, with space to lease,
The triangle flags festooned the lots
Of used cars holding down balloons
That in the night were all dark gray.
(Our business shuns the light of day.)

The body is wrapped in carpet old,
We diligently did as we were told,
'Dump him Seven towns away,'
(The Boss likes business done that way.)
He did not pay: away away,
He cried and begged, but the carpet he stains,
And police dogs will find his stinking remains
Seven silence towns away.



Monday, May 28, 2012

#13 DRIVER'S TEST

Parallel parking
In empty church parking lot.
Two trash cans for cones.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

#14 CHEAP GROUND COVERING

Outside Firestone
They use painted chewed-up tires
Instead of wood chips.

#15 I WASN'T TEXTING IN KMART

Phone calculator,
How much are these baseball cards?
Thirteen cents a piece.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

#16 THREE SODAS AND A BANANA

Nineteen to zero
Vuvuzela argument
Why can't I shut up?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

#17 ONE POPEYE-ARMED MAN AT THE COFFEE SHOP

Popeye-armed grandpa,
Why was your arm so bloated,
Man from U.P.?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Night Shift!

Muzak Moment: The Commodore's 1985 hit, "Night Shift" @ 11:02 A.M. while making a pit stop at the McDonald's on Walker Avenue.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Muzak Moment: Duran Duran

Muzak Moment, Duran Duran's 1993 hit, "Ordinary World" at supermarket checkout 8:10PM. Bonus: Crying child accompaniment.

Friday, May 11, 2012

#18 POWER SURGE

False accusations:
I let them get me upset.
Just fix the guide wire.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

muzak moment

5/4: Janet Jackson's 1986 hit, "When I Think of You" from her Control album, while using the facilities at the 44th ST Burger King.  That hit was followed by Steve Miller's "Rock'n Me".

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I may not have come up with this first, but I came up with it myself.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Let's Dance

Muzak Moment: David Bowie's 1983 hit "Let's Dance" while buying coffee at the supermarket.  Wednesday 5/3/12 @ 1522.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Jim Croce makes a call

(ring ring ring) Directory Assistance.  How may I help you?  Look Mr. Croce, I'm sure everyone at Southwestern Bell is very sorry for your romantic difficulties, but other people would also like to use directory assistance, and the information you are providing is unnecessary.  We can place the call without it.  Can you just read the numbers that are legible on the matchbook?  That would be more helpful. Yes. Yes Mr. Croce, that IS the way they say it goes, but if you could just read--.  Well wipe your eyes and I'll read the number again. So you no longer wish to make the call?  Hello? Mr. Croce?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Muzak Moment: Marc Cohn's 1991 hit "Walking in Memphis" followed by Asia's 1982 hit "Heat of The Moment" (from their debut album) while buying motor oil, an oil filter, coffee, tea, sugar and cat litter. On or about 9:54 AM.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

#19 SATURDAY NIGHT DATE NIGHT

Cottage hamburger
Later we watched Dr. Who
Netflix and champagne

Saturday, March 17, 2012

oil pan

At the mechanic's
Early by half an hour.
Saturday Sunrise.

Friday, March 16, 2012

#20 FRIDAY HAIKU

The dense fog lingers.
Trash truck roaring round the block.
Bought milk at Speedway.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

#21 It was not a tornado warning

Car horn two A. M
No one in the black pickup
Slumped against the wheel

Saturday, March 10, 2012

#22 WINDOW BLINDS

Shadow of the blinds
Grid of unreality
Creeps across the wall.

#23 The Most Perfect Haiku?

Your entire life
Has led up to this moment:
Reading this Haiku.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

#24 picking up the car from the shop

Telephone poles stand
On a windy half-school day
I pick up the car.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

#25 It's still nice to be outside

First warm March spring day
A winter's worth of dog poop
Shovel and small rake.

Monday, March 05, 2012

#1 131 backed up

The highway is jammed
No left turn on Burton Street
The pasta is cold.

#2 You are welcome

I don't fix Xbox
But I Googled the number
For you on the phone.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

#3 Recipe from Newspaper

At the grocery store,
They have no arugula.
We will use spinach.

#4 icy roads

There was nothing wrong,
Yet I fixed the computer.
Husband slamming doors.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

#6 Ice and curb

The rear wheel broken,
We drove fifteen miles an hour
All the way through town.

Monday, February 20, 2012

#34 HELICOPTER OVERHEAD

I hear a helicopter overhead
I feel no dread
I always get my daily bread
At night a warm safe bed
There's nothing in my head.

There's nothing in my head
But stale day-old facts
About slacks and super PACS
And phantom terrorist attacks
And lying network hacks
Pack propaganda facts
Into the Ex-Lax artifacts
For the slack-jawed NASCAR
Grandma see-saw sweat pant
Tally-whacks.

The left- right food fight
Just don't feel right tonight
The flap-jaw hee-haw
Presidential hoo-haw
Pander-dander flip flop
Liars poker drawer drop
Panty swap homophobic
Podium-hump dipshit
Shit-storm robocalling
Bullshit's gotta stop
Wall street drop stop
Roll your own
Photoshop anorexic
Empty headed booty
Call of Cthulhu brainstorm

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Book in the works

My newest book, "Booze and News" is at the printers right now.  I'll order a proof later, and it should be available later this month.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

random

A grown man who laughed too hard at a video clip from one of the Jackass movies.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Read

Franz Kafka, The Invisible Writing by Arthur Koestler

Sunday, January 01, 2012

four seals:


1. all composite phenomena are impermanent
2. all contaminated things and events are unsatisfactory
3. all phenomena are empty and selfless
4. nirvana is true peace

Man on a wire

Watching MAN ON A WIRE on Netflix.

About Me

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I am the author of 8 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, Brain Giblets, The Cubicles of Madness, Booze and News, Get Your Zen On, Zen Happens, and most recently, Robot Stories. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at danmanning.com

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danmanning.com

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