Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Aliens, Ghosts, and God... oh my!...

So, there's this new study that says that more people believe in aliens and ghosts than God.

Now, listen, I'm no big believer in God... at all, but I'm equally not a believer in ghosts or aliens...

Wait. Let me rephrase that.

It's not that I don't believe in God. It's that any God who may exist is completely irrelevant.

Ghosts, on the other hand, are just goofy bullshit. Come on! The spirits of the dead? Really? Are we five?

When it comes to aliens, it's a matter of defining your terms. Do I believe that life could exist elsewhere in the universe? Absolutely. Do I think they're interested in our anuses? No! And it's just fucked up that some people spend their time obsessing on that.

Seriously, people, pack up your aliens and your ghosts away with your Gods and pop your religion in there, too.

Grow up.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wherein I make my triumphant return...

There were no horns sounded, no banners... actually, it wasn't all that triumphant, really.

But Eric introduced me as "Author, Actor, Director, and Playwright: Ken La Salle" and that was pretty cool. For those of you who don't know, "Ken La Salle" is a pseudonym; he is my better alter-ego. And it's nice to be him sometimes, not just the guy with the dead-end job going nowhere in life with far too few friends... It's nice to retreat back to Ken La Salle now and then.

So, who is Eric? He's the ringleader of the Orange County Playwright's Alliance. Yes, I've rejoined OCPA. Figured it was time. I've got plays and they've got connections - their connections are about as dicey as my plays. Still, it's nice to be living as Ken La Salle again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Car loans...

I was just wondering... what do you think it does to an economy to have $700 billion just lying around? To have a Congress with a pile on money say, "Gee... whatever will we do with all of this cash?"

You think it might encourage people - like, say, automobile manufacturers - to want it? To come up with reasons they gotta have it? To fly their private jets out and get it?

Yeah, that's what I thought. This is turning into a great object lesson of what NOT to do in a financial crisis...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's not like I'm asking for the world...

So, today I came up with a possible topic for my philosohpy paper: Constructing a Theory of Free Will on Newton's Laws of Motion.

Eclectic yet applicable, I figured I had a winner that could not help but impress.

My co-worker, Kathy, an attractive, young thing, asked me if I'd come up with a topic. I said, "Yes, I'm going to write about constructing a workable theory of free will from Newton's Laws of Motion."

"Oh," she said. "Well, good luck." And how did she sound? Bored. She sounded bored.

Free will! You know, that thing nobody knows if we have or not. I'm going to construct a workable theory about it based on Newtonian physics, which is like using a paper clip and bubble gum!

... seriously, I’m like the black hole of impressive…

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Special Comment on Proposition 8 ~ Keith Olbermann...

If these words have moved you, if you're a decent human being who does not wish to have the rights of others removed through hate - and if you're a citizen of California - sign this petition to stop Prop 8.



Richard Schiff has written a thing or two about what comes next and how we move forward over at Huffington Post. (And I'm too busy to actually write anything myself...)

"The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."

Still euphoric from the night before, I opened the newspaper to soak up the world's reaction to America's triumph. I enjoyed that. Buried on a page deep inside and below the fold was a story of sobering force. A girl, Aisha, thirteen years old had been raped by three men in Somalia . Her parents brought the girl to the authorities to report the crime. The Muslim elders ruled that the girl had committed adultery and should be stoned to death. That happened. On the same day Americans elected as their president a man whose sometimes silent middle name is Hussein, that happened. I stayed stuck reading and rereading this story. Aisha feels like that story you hear or read about the soldier who died after the war was over because word had not yet reached that battlefield. Of course the rest of the world is not as dumb as me. Nor am I really that dumb. Of course Aisha won't be the last. Of course.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Newsweek reflects on the race...

I'm not usually the biggest fan of Newsweek's writing but they've started printing a retrospective on the campaign that I think is just terrific. I wish I could tell you who the writer is but I can't find the byline... I'm lazy...

But give it a read. I think you'll find it very interesting. It's a bit Democrat-centric but McCain gets his due in future installments and it's certainly worth it for some insight into a truly historic race.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Darkness on the Edge of Town...

I can never pass up an opportunity to make a blatant reference to the Boss...

Looks like my days of riding my bike to work are over for a while.

Mind you, I had to stop for a while there because it was just getting too dark in the morning. Wait for the time change, I thought, and so I did.

"But then it'll be too dark at night," Vicky warned me. Hush now, woman! Let not your tiny mind blind you to my master pl...

Huh? Oh, lookie there. It's kinda dark.

Well, shit.

So, now I just have to wait for February or March. Maybe then, it'll be light enough at night to let me ride home in some relative non-darkness... maybe...

You know, I keep losing opportunities to ride and it's driving me crazy. Here in Southern California, I'm not used to having things like weather affect my life. Dammit. So, I'll keep hitting the gym during the week for my weekend rides... and look forward to spring...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Not buying the big lie...

John Cusack... yes, that one... Joan's brother - has my admiration for the exceptionally well-written piece posted today on Huffington Post. A portion follows but reading of its entirety is mandatory:

In the pre-capitalist reality, James Madison said when he put power in the hands of the business elite, he would be entrusting "enlightened statesmen and benevolent philosophers who would devote themselves to the welfare of all."

Clearly, he believed this statement in the way I guess some modern Republicans do. The only problem was that he eventually realized this didn't work and in 1792, disillusioned and worried about the democratic experiment, condemned what he called "the daring depravity of the times." He went on to denounce the business elites who, given ultimate power, "become tools and tyrants of government...they overwhelm government with their powers and combinations and are bribed by its largesse." That's how he perceived the system he had helped design. In 2008, this is an apt description of the Republican relationship to government and power.

Finally, some blue light, tectonic plate shifts, a sea change, we hear... a wave of despair carrying us to a new place. The bastards are finally meeting their grisly ends and will be discarded and abandoned as men come to power who will actually try to govern. I know we're supposed to be civil but I'm not a real believer in this method when dealing with crimes.

What does the sea change mean? How can we help people understand what is happening and help them contextualize it?

First the past: Senator McCain, Governor Palin and assorted surrogates are delusional and breathtakingly corrupt. They disgrace themselves and their country as they lie, smear, slur and write it off as political manner.

Yet the creeping truth must frighten them late at night: there is no currency left to buy the big lies.

There is no more money left to loan or borrow the big lies or to sell them. No more money left to pay off the debt, the wreckage in the wake. The orgy of excess has drained every bottle, smashed the furniture and left the cupboards bare. All that's left is derivative debts -- bets between liars and lies. Trillions of dollars. Turned capitalism into a Ponzi scheme for trading worthless paper. No real value anywhere. No matter how much money Ben Bernanke prints.

We are asked to stand over the abyss and experience our own destruction as another political game show -- just another surreal horse race. We watch millionaires and paid Republican hacks appear on television yelling "Socialist!" at Obama as if the Bolsheviks are coming to rape our daughters. These are the same people who oversaw the greatest upward redistribution of wealth in the history of this country. The same people who, through general lawlessness and a privatization frenzy, succeeded in shredding the Constitution, turning war, illegal domestic spying, security, border patrol, interrogation, and even torture into profitable industries gorging on the state.