7.31.2003

I love the new movement:
Property Damage for Social Justice!

Protesters who clamoured for Nikes two years ago are now fighting "capitalism". Right...

Mankind is greedy. It is simply not enough to have enough. It is not even enough to have more. If everyone gets more, well, I haven't come out ahead, have I? That's the problem. People need to have more than you. Is this the instinct that allowed us to survive the beasts and storms of our early days of sentience? Well, that's great because, while it might have been useful when we were trying not to freeze or starve to death, we're royally screwed now that there's so many of us that we live hundreds of feet in the air.

Communism won't fly because a) mankind is too greedy and b) communism requires direction and those in charge are greedy. Capitalism doesn't fly because it creates two classes, those who have and those who have not. The have-nots will always outnumber the haves and then we return to the familiar riots in the streets, M. Guillotine and New World Order. New World Order, by the way, is just a reset. The cycle of redistribution is only an initial condition that results, eventually, in New World Order II.

Socialism seems to be the best bet. My definition of socialism is this: We all agree to a basic, minimum standard. Everyone has a right to meet that standard. However, you have the right to surpass that standard as far as you are able. We each have a duty to contribute to that standard. People are taken care of but greed still has its outlet. Any system that fails to take into account the selfish and short-sighted nature of people is doomed to failure a priori.

The real fight is for transparency. The Freedom of Information Act is one of the greatest innovations in modern history. America has some brilliant political ideas from time to time. It's a shame they get lost in the muddle of the nasty, brutish and short lives of politicians. Decisions must be brought to light. Only the foulest deeds seek the cloak of shadows.

For those of you who play Diplomacy, think on this: imagine if all talks were to be made public. The first person to speak of crushing (naturally, someone who can do the crushing) will spark a rush of "get you before you get me". That's because the goal of Diplomacy is not to live in peace but rather to crush your "opponents".

If only every one else was not an opponent.

7.28.2003

Never mind.

I Hope he enjoyed himself.

7.24.2003

Two more thoughts for you today:

1) Is anyone else anticipating the "Paul is Dead" headlines?

2) I've always wanted to start a website called "Hope or Pope" (hopeorpope.com?). There you could vote online on who would slough their bodies first. As far as I'm concerned, it's a dead heat.

7.23.2003

When I go to bed, I try to determine if I've wasted my finite allotment of time. Somedays are damn productive, others are simply a step closer to death. Here are some of the things that let me live with the ticking clock:

-Quality time with the wifey
-Spending time with friends
-Reading a book or zine
-Writing something
-Eating/drinking something very tasty
-Travel
-Museums
-Planning
-Fighting entropy
-Listening to music
-Watching a movie

I guess this isn't a complete list. I just started writing it out but those are the big ones, I suspect. Somedays I do none of those. On the days when I'm recharging, that's fine. Sometimes you gotta put some gas in the tank.

And yet. And yet. There are days where I am worn down by the futility of trying to do something. It is infinitely preferable to do rather than simply to be.

7.22.2003

Two things today:

1) Falling asleep next to someone you love, someone that you trust so much that the concept of trust is for other people, someone who is funny and laughs easily, someone who loves to kiss, hug and caress; falling asleep next to that person is the sweetest feeling in the world.

2) A friend of mine realised that if you (as a male) were to have sex with an invisible woman, you would be able to see yourself inside of her as you were having sex.

7.14.2003

Perhaps the worst in all of us can be summed up in two words: Not Me.

7.08.2003

I just realised that I never followed up my lumpy forearm post. Thankfully, it ends happily so I'll be brief.

I made the appointment. Received explanation that some people get random lumps of fat that grow into solid clumps all over their body. They can appear anywhere on the body. I have two bigger ones that aren't a nuisance but might grow to be one. At that point I can have them removed but for now, they are too small to make it worth it. I probably have other, smaller ones I haven't found yet. Not cancer. Extra fat.

Fine by me!

Anyways, I figured I'd temper that anecdote with my review of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

It's a dog and pony show. With no dog. But the pony kicked serious ASS! Very entertaining.

7.07.2003

"I want to believe." That poster was fairly emblematic of the X-Files TV Show. It's also fairly emblematic of my hope for an afterlife.

Of course, I want to believe in an afterlife. Who doesn't? It's hard to reconcile with experience and our limited ability to perceive ourselves but what would I have against an afterlife. I like being me. I'm a happy camper here and wouldn't mind continuing being one into infinity. But unless something unprecedented happens, I'm a finite being with a mind and conception of the universe destined to evaporated and be lost to the merciless march of time. That's cool. It's the way the world works and tough beans if you can't hack it.

I frequently fly into a panicked rage at the injustice of it all. But if it was good enough for countless billions before me, hell, I'll swallow it, too. Maybe one day in the future we'll be able to store our brains in a glass jar indefinitely. That's pretty cool. I can one day see a world where people are born, aged to 25 and then lobotomized into a glass jar that effectively replaces this impermanent raiment. We will someday be able to slough off this fleshy prison that dooms us to transience. It would be weird to live in a world where people only died by freak accidents. "Oh crap, I knocked Bill over last night. His jar shattered and his brain went soggy. My bad."

But not in my lifetime. To be sure, my expected 80 years will be way more than most people have had the over the previous millenia of evolution. Maybe by the time I reach 80, I might get a couple extra decades of quality living out of modern medicine. Dammit, kids are dying in gun battles the world over or passing on for lack of a bowl of rice and a glass of juice. Who am I to complain? I've had way more than my fair share already, to be frank. Impossibly, I've found someone to share my life with and, for that alone, I count myself lucky beyond measure. However, I've got myself convinced that I can accept this. It's a done deal, baby. When the time comes, I'm gone with no more permanent trace than a few words tossed to the aether. The pyramids are wearing down, the ink is fading, the chiselled inscriptions are fading to wind, sun and rain.

Enter religion. For everyone who wants to believe, there's twenty ways to "dodge the bullet". Religion has many, many roles and to reduce it to a simple afterlife scam does it a disservice. It genuinely has helped people through some rough times. It provides shelter in times of need, rules for those who haven't given them much thought and the support, love and sense of community that we all require as our daily bread. The afterlife is just one aspect of most major religions, likely due to the necessity of such a meme to thrive in the heated competition for numbers. The vast majority of people don't go overboard about it. They follow the set rules when it suits them and hope its enough to get past the bouncers. Not admirable but not despicable either.

Then there's the perverts. The people who harm others for their big shot at the afterlife. You know what? It's enough to make me glad that I believe in no afterlife.