Friday, September 5th, 2003 10:04 pm
". . .the HOLY
"Jesus cradled the shotgun on his lap and tried to ignore the suffocating pressure of the cardboard and fake sugar-glass cake surrounding him as he waited for his cue.
"It wouldn't be long now. Five minutes and he would pop out of this cake and show those Roman bastards what being the Son of God was all about.
"He thought about the lingering soreness in his hands and his feets. Those bastards he thought. They thought they'd finished me off. They crucified me, tried to get rid of me because I was 'dangerous.'
"They don;t know what dangerous is, he thought. But they'll know soon."
(Excerpted from "The Bible Part 2: This Time, It's Personal.")
Today, we're gonna talk about religion, spirituality, and other forms of mind control that don't involve big-ass hair-dryer contraptions that go over your head and make you think you;re a chicken.
Now, before you all get the impression I'm against God, forget it. I am fine with God. God's a good guy. It's his fan club that chafes my ass lately, and the same goes for most of teh other religions--beleive me, I'm harder on Allah's rah-rah squad than I am even on the Catholics, and I know most longtime reader's gasped at that admission.
My problem is when people use God as a crutch, rather than turning to more acceptable crutches for what's really wrong with them--say, a $5000 a month cocaine habit. For the purposes of discussion however, let's talking about people being born-again, because anything lower than that means dealing with those minor deities whose entire church consists of 3 white kids in the suburbs, and really, who cares about them?
Basically, religion has become another commodified acoutrement, a item of fasion like lowrider jeans, platinum crosses, flag stickers and other merit badges of the Scum Scouts.
Here's how it usually works. Usually someone will fuck up their life in ever spiraling higher magnitudes and then turn to Jesus and get a clean slate. Somehow this means a "get out of Hell free" card because everything you've done wrong is sponged away when you go to play outfield for the J-man.
Now, the original intent of this was (I beleive) that peopl;e would get a second chance to live their life right and be a better person with the guidance of God.
In practice, it seems like all they get is the excuse to pepper their speeches with God and Jesus and used them to justify every harebrained becision they make.
Before you think this is a gross over-simplification, consider this: the current Presdident thinks he's appointed by God, and so far as I know, I think God's probaby a registered Green from the literature I've read *waves Bible.*
So, if it's not to make a positive change, where does this urge to get religion come from? As I've said before, it's just another shiny thing--something to kill the pain of all that nothing inside. People can't handle the head-on glare of what they know they are (empty, soulless, assholes) so they try to wrap a big Jesus blanket around what they do in the hopes it'll disguise the fact that their spirit is just as blank as everything else about them.
Is it always that way? No. I know some people who live right and with total integrity who are Christians. But there aren't many of them. I think it comes down to a simple disagreement that being a true Christian goes beyond Sunday morning before football and that asinine fish decal.
It's a little harder than the road most people take, but even as someone on the outside looking in, it's a hell of a lot more rewarding. And they're far better people.
This is your cranky sensei knocking you upside the head with a kendo stick, Ten Sticks.
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: "Overkill," Motorhead
Friday, September 12th, 2003 9:30 pm
How To Deal With
Stupid People Without a Resultant Murder Charge, part 9 of 2
"Samson held his severed ponytail in his hands. He felt weak already, and more than a little lost.
"Had those Philistine cocksuckers given ANY thought to how long it took to GROW this mullet?
"Nevertheless he knocked the man in the tuxedo aside and yelled with all his might. Enough was enough and it was time for a change, and so the lone (and now bald) strongman marshaled the last of his strength and called out the Philistines' god.
"DAGON!" Samson shouted. "I WANT YOU . . .IN THE *STEEL CAGE!!!!*"
(*Excerpted from "The Bible 2: This Time, It's Personal")
A lot of people have asked me for hints and tips on how to deal with difficult people. I understand the impulse--so much of our life daily is putting with cretins, jackasses, and other screwheads that in a better world you wouldn't feed to a starving goat. Also, for some reason there's some legal issues about beating the howling fuck out of people who anger you, which means the screwheads own the legal system.
What to do? Well, since your buddy Ten Sticks is a man of peace in all ways & in all things, I'm here to help. I'm going to give you a quick rundown of ways to deal with stupid people that don't involve the direct approach, that being to smash a beer bottle against the edge of the table and drive the jagged shards into their face.
PASSIVE RESISTANCE: As made popular by men of peace like Jesus, Martin Luther King and Ghandi, there's always the option of sitting there stoically and weathering the storm while creating a force field out of your own sense of smug superiority.
There is a drawback, however, that being I'm not always possessed of the patience to stoically take it. I find existence tends to rebound with even more stupid people who go one for hours and hours with shit like, "I ate a pickle. I like pickles. Sometimes I put my hand in a whale's rectum just to see what'll happen." And then I usually end up throwing them out of a high-rise window and running downstairs to run over the remains with my car.
Clearly, passive resistance is not for the timid.
THE DRINKING BIRD: Not a Kung Fu style but it oughta be, the Drinking Bird takes its name from the old desktop standard that used to hold people rapt for hours--tip it gently and watch the bird nod over and over and over again.
This is a sort of passive-aggressive weapon--a step up from passive resistance because it calls upon you to do something without really doing anything. Basically, all that's required of you is to occasionally grunt or make some other affirmative-sounding noise in an effort to perpetuate the noise discharge long enough to where the person involved will eventually get tired of essentially hearing themselves go on and on & either go away or (and this is rare but so beautiful, because it's tangible proof the world is getting better) soak themselves in gasoline and set themselves on fire.
Either way, it gets you out of the conversation.
INSANITY: My favorite of the three. Basically a more active version of the Drinking Bird, it involves inserting something completely insane into dead spots in the conversation in the vague hope that the moron who's wasting your time will decide you are dangerously unstable and maybe they shouldn't be wasting your time.
A similar theory was used by Nixon when be bombed Cambodia in the 70s, but don't worry. This won't get you tossed in front of the World Court. At least I think it won't.
How do you do it? Very easily. Say a stupid person is going on startlingly long about their inconsequential problems and there's no blunt instrument to smash them in. Well, even morons breathe, so when they gasp for air, strike back by saying one of the following:
"You know, one of my testicles hangs lower than the other. I think aliens my be responsible."
"I think there's a squid-brain in my head."
"OH MY GOD! I just realized you're not only stupid, you're full of shit and dangerously mentally disturbed. Excuse me while I build a time machine and kill you in the past."
"HOOOOOOO DADDY! YUP! YUP! YUP!"
And a personal favorite, "EXCUSE ME, BUT I THINK I HAVE TO EXPLODE NOW."
Three options open to you, ladies and gentlemen.
Because when you say "man of peace" you say "Ten Sticks."
Current Music: "Oompa Loompa Song--12" Murder Mix"
Monday, September 15th, 2003 9:00 pm
Life During Wartime
"David held his sling in his hand as Goliath started doing stupid sword tricks--passing it back and forth, whirling it around, and generally showing off.
"Clearly the Philistines didn't like being made fun of.
"David raised the sling, weighed his options and pulled out his .357 and shot Goliath dead. Immediately the rest of the Philistines cheered for no good reason at all.
"But David couldn't enjoy their adulation. Not when Bathsheba was in one of those baskets and that Nazi monkey was even now ratting her out to its flea-bitten masters."
(Excerpted from "The Bible 2: This Time it's Personal)
Hi kids, Ten Sticks here with a short little entry on the eve of what could be trouble. As mentioned before, it's hurricane season and we have one coming here.
For this has been the worst-predicted hurricane in my recent memory. Usually, hurricanes lock into a particular route and it's all just a waiting game from that moment on.
Not so Isabel, which has been out there for nearly a week solid now and the only place that's been totally ruled out as a target is the fucking moon. Seriously, if you ever wanted a glaring example of how with all the technology they have the science of meteorology is not so very far removed from the days of the Farmer's Almanac when an entire year's weather could be determined by a farmer shoving his hand up a cow's ass.
Or maybe that was just what they did for fun. Hasn't been SO long since they invented TV, you know.
So, with a few days warning, NCers have decided to get ready instead of getting into a panic with Z-minus 2 days. For a change. Meanwhile, stress accrues when every time you tune in the Hurricane is on a new track is stronger or weaker and they're beating the doom drumbeat at various intensities.
Or they don't mention the hurricane except for two minutes and spend the rest of the hour talking about what the weather's gonna be like for the Sunday football games. As football is played in any weather, (American football, for you international readers) this is basically a fucking stupid waste of time, especially when you're relying on this news to make evacuation plans.
This is why we're getting stupid as a country, I'm convinced. One minute we're saying "My god! Armageddon comes on the wings of a hurricane! You must do all you can to prepare to be wiped off the map!
"But first . . .here's what conditions you can expect while golfing."
We SO do not take life seriously.
Anyways, now everyone's on guard and the waiting game has begun. . .this time Thursday we'll know for sure where it's going because it'll finally BE here.
The waiting, as Tom Petty said, is the hardest part.
And that's where I am now. Waiting. Hopefully once all this is over with I'll be back to regale you with a new installment of "The Bible 2: This Time, It's Personal" and my usual witless observations.
Cross your fingers kids, I could use all the luck I can borrow.
This is Ten Sticks, the tide is high, and I'm holding on.
Current Music: "Closer to the Edge"
Monday, September 22nd, 2003 8:55 pm
Once You Pull The Pin,
Mr. Grenade Is No Longer Your Friend
"They spotted the man on the donkey at the head of the pack about noon. The news went through the town like the first sounds of thunder on a clear day.
"Panicky merchants, homeowners, and especially the damn money changers started packing up and making for the hills. They knew once the man at the head of that pack of 12 got here, they'd be the first people hassled. Especially the damn money changers.
"He HATED money changers most of all.
"On the outskirts of town, the silhouette of a man on adonkey came into view. Some in the village reacted with fear, but there was no denying one inescapable fact:
"Jesus was here, and he was bringing the Christians with him."
(Excerpted from "The Bible 2: This Time, It's Personal.")
Returning by popular demand (and also because my brain hasn't started functioning again yet since the whole hurricane fooferah) here's a few Stripcreator comics of recent vintage to chew on. It's a cheap, place-holding way to run a railroad but hey.
First up, I return to the mystifyingly successful Captain Gruntass while he muses on the existential questions such as why seafaring is a lot like swimming in a fat woman's navel in the wholly unnecessary comedy that is Captain Gruntass in "The Old Man and the Sea"
Now, a lot of you think my total disregard for religion of any stripe is a recent thing, and you would be wrong. Entering the third year of a parody that will only run out of steam when I run out of drama, behold as I combine the shared faith of millions with one of the great classics of anime in a comic that I call (often speaking in tongues as I do) The Latter Day Christ Luv Players In "Akira"
As I have often said, one of the dreariest inventions in recent memory is the "reality" comic. Much like "reality" TV it has about as much relationship to real life as having your finger up your ass is like anal sex. I read comics to escape my ordinary average life, I definitely don't want to read anyone else's. Watch as I take what's broken, fix it and break it all over again in a little backyard barbecue I call "Rality Comics: Sammy Wizzleteats--a life"
It's only three but I like to think 3 instances of raw agony is enough for a monday.
Until next time, this is your Cool Rider, Ten Sticks, and I'll see you in the steel cage.
Current Music: "Rock You Like A Hurricane"
Wednesday, September 24th, 2003 7:15 pm
Give My Regards To
"Cain raised up the rock and split Abel's head open with it.
"OOOOWWWW! You fucker!" Abel responded, holding the bloody wound that took up a quarter of his skull. He raised a hatchet and hacked off one of Cain's arms. "How do you like it, you asshole!"
"Cain stood there dumbfounded. "Uhm," he began. "Why aren't you dead?"
"Abel bent down and showed him the caved in portion of his head. "This?" He said. "This is just a flesh wound. What about you? I've just hacked off one of your arms?"
""Oh that," Cain said. "Just a scratch. Had worse."
"Oh yeah?" Abel said, lopping his head off with the hatchet? "What about now?"
"Cain's head sailed like a homer smacked into deep right a few feet away. His body however, continued to function normally.
""This is nothing," Cain replied. "I got worse falling off my bike."
""That right?" Abel asked. "You DO know that the only reason you're surviving right now is due to your own belief in your continued existence, right?"
""How do you mean?"
""Well, c'mon," Abel said. "How can you breathe or talk without a body? I mean, you have no functional connectivity between your head and your body. By rights, neither should be working."
""Oh, I hadn't thought of that," Cain said, and promptly died.
"Abel watched the remains of his brother for awhile, then walked back home, whistling a happy tune, and remembering a lesson he'd learned early on:
"When violence fails, use logic."
(Excerpted from "The Bible 2: This Time, It's Personal)
Well, as longtime readers of my LJ know I'm in somewhat of a cold war with stupid people trying to waste my time, and have taken matters into my own hands on more than one occasion. Because God knows you can't really expect societal uprisings about it when people would rather see the first episode of a new "Survivor" than learn about the hurricane that might possibly be plowing through their homes at the selfsame moment.
But when it DOES happen, it's heartening. Such was the case with the national Do Not Call List. For those who live outside the US, it's a federally registered list wherein telemarketers who call one of the numbers on the list get fined a sweet $11,000 per violation.
It was created because people like to eat, they like to take baths and they like to have sex and don't have time to fuck around with a bunch of idiots trying to get them to change their long distance plan and won't take "no," or "Fuck off and die" for an answer.
Now, for a organism that claims to constantly be controlled "Only by the whims of the market" and "The will of the consumer," when millions of people signed up for this service, what did the major telemarketing companies do?
They got a federal judge to block implementation base don nothing more or less than a technicality, which would bounce it to the more business-friendly FCC, who managed to get exposed in June as being in the pockets of the major TV networks in their plan to let them grab up every single thing they could seize, a plan that once exposed manage to get a coalition of political interest together not seen since WW2.
To say this flies in the face of all logical sense is a gross understatement--people have said over and over they DON'T want this, they resent it and would beat the snot out of these people en masse if they only knew where they were, and yet, flying in the face of democracy and every tenet thereof.
So what's left?
Well, clearly the only way to give it back is to resort to guerilla tactics. And so, here's a few handy sayings you can use to break the backs of the Telephone Idiots.
"I'm sorry, I don't believe in telephones."
"The Master would not approve."
"Sir, you'll have to excuse me, I have to finish inflating my date for tonight."
"AAARRRGH! I'VE BEEN SHOT!"
"Help me. I'm a bug."
"I'm sorry sir. I was expecting a phone call from a heavy-breathing woman. Could you clear the line, please?"
"HOOOOOOO DADDY! YUP! YUP! YUP!"
". . .really? So do you think Bobby likes me?"
"I'm sorry I couldn't buy anything from you, because you touch yourself at night."
True, some of them are mean but it's the only way they learn. Tough times demand tough hearts, demand tough talk, etc.
This is your man in the box, Ten Sticks
Current Music: "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"
Monday, September 29th, 2003 5:55 pm
". . .It's DELICIOUS!"
"Outside the city of Jericho, the angel set up is amp
as the man watch on nervously.
""I'm sorry," Joshua said. "I mean, aren't you supposed to have a horn or something?"
""Do I look like Herb Alpert to you?" The angel replied, brushing back his golden mullet. He hoisted his guitar pick high in the air, faced the walls of Jericho, and let loose:
""SAY-HEY MOMMA! SEE THE WAY YOU MOOOVE! GON' MAKE YOU SWEAT, GON' MAKE YOU GROOOOOVE!"
"The walls thundered and buckled and finally crashed under the pounding bars of "Black Dog." By the time the classic Zeppelin song had gotten to the bridge, Jericho lay in ruins.
"The angel handed the man his guitar. "Ok dude, it's all yours now."
""Well, what the hell am I supposed to do with this?" Joshua asked. "I didn't understand a word of . . .whatever that was."
""It's a gift from God," the angel replied.
""A gift?" Joshua repeated.
""Well yeah," the Angel said. "Haven't you heard? God gave rock and roll to you."
(Excerpted from "The Bible 2: This Time It's Personal")
You may not know it, but you are, at this very moment, in danger. There is an epidemic roaming the lands like a horde of zombies. I don't mean SARS or anthrax or terrorism.
That's right--I'm talking about fat people.
There is, according to the news, an "epidemic of obesity" afoot among kids and adults, one that apparently threatens to strange our very way of life and make us all fatties, despite the fact that you can't catch it from a toilet seat or anything, nor will it immediately cause you to swell up and burst like some sort of overinflated Christmas Santa.
Heavens no. If it were THAT kind of epidemic, it would be somewhat cool and less stupid.
And like most "epidemics," it's utter bullshit, fed in by one narrow-minded interest group, filtered through a sensationalizing media, and is as totally divorced from reality as Adam Warlock.
The refrain goes something like this: "We're feeding our kids super-size meals and all they do is sit in front of the TV and get fatter and fatter. Likewise, the parents sit in their cubicles at work all day and eat super-size meals of greasy food and don't exercise."
Taken at face value, both points are true. But calling it an epidemic assumes it's happening in a vacuum. Because there's a reason most people are sitting around getting fatter--we don't have any fucking time left to go outside and when we do we're too exhausted to capitalize on it.
Here's a couple f'rinstances:
"Billy is a student in 3rd grade. His school day consists of constantly being prepared to take a battery of high stakes standardized tests spaced throughout the year, lest he be forced to repeat a grade and make the school look bad. To prepare for these tastes takes little to know actual learning--save how to take tests and fill in goddamned dots and hour and hours of memorizing tedious facts from older copies of the tests which will be immediately forgotten. Sometimes he looks out the window at the kindergarten kids on the playground and wants to kill them--they took away HIS recess period for more test time. When he goes home all he wants to do is turn his brain off and do something, ANYTHING, other than look at more words on paper. Fortunately, the TV is right there."
"Bob is a mid-level functionary at The Suckass Company. His working life is a battle between looking busy and being totally swamped. When he has time to eat, which is rare because he usually ends up working through his lunch hour (though he can't report it as work time) he has to go to Mickey D's and grab whatever's cheap, which is usually slimed with grease, including the napkins. On the few days when he doesn't have to work late he comes home exhausted and tries in vain to connect with his family despite the kind of exhaustion that would result in his being shot if he were a horse."
So, as we see now, it's a little harder to blame it on some formless "epidemic" with a little of the background filled in, isn't it?
I'm virtually certain people don't WANT to be overweight. Despite the stereotype I know very few people who are tipping the 250-lb line and are a barrel of laughs. It's probably from being the butt of so many jokes and so many BS news stories about how their lifestyle is endangering thin people.
That and the TV constantly blaring that most everyone should be as physically fit as the chics in the Charlie's Angel's movies, two of whom are skeletons with a thin membrane of skin pulled over them and are in desperate need of either something to eat, or Drew Barrymore to hurry up and devour them to satiate her unholy hunger and put them out of their misery.
Anything but more movies.
Neither are the malicious by nature. I've never seen someone so pissed at his neighbor that he eats Krispy Kreme Donuts for breakfast lunch and dinner until he's fat enough to trap him in a fold of body-lard and suffocate him.
"So," I hear you saying, as I suspect I'm losing you the longer this goes on. "What does all this really mean?"
What it means, dear reader is that it's an attempt by health nuts, emboldened by how they've done against Big Tobacco (which WAS amazing, especially considering their one bit of heavy ammunition was "secondhand smoke," has never EVER been proven a significant danger in any study I'm aware of) want to tell you how to live. Just like the people who want everyone everywhere to carpool and Live Right With The Planet.
Body fascism, in other words. They just want less people around that they look at and go "eww" at. Not that THEY'RE any closer to the supermodel archetype either. Then again if I kept having to run to the can because my colon was well-greased with granola, I'd look distressed and uncomfortable all the time too.
The point is--it's hard enough to be happy in this world as it is, what with all the forces pushing human expression downward and inward already. So for fuck's sake, fight for your right to party and make no apologies about it. If you don't mind the extra weight, have your glazed donut and tell the skinny pale asshole with the Nature Bar to come back when she has some hair on her balls.
But take responsibility for what you do. It's not genetics, it's not a disease, it's all you.
Just as this is all me, the King of the Impossible, Ten Sticks.
Current Music: "Good Times, Bad Times"
Monday, October 6th, 2003 8:49 pm
A Flute With No Holes
Is A Reed, A Donut With No Holes Is A Danish
"Jonah crouched on the prow of the ship. The fish was only a few feet away, chewing through his boat to beat the band. Quint was fish-food, mauled before his eyes. Hooper he didn't know about.
"All he knew was that he was going to be next if he didn't come up with something fast. The fish snapped it's jaws and out of the corner of his eye he saw his salvation caught in the fish's mouth.
"If only he could hit it. He raised his service revolver and aimed, praying to God not because he thought it would help, but because it couldn't hurt.
""Smile, you son of a BITCH!" Jonah yelled, pulling the trigger. The bullet hit the oxygen tank in the fish's moth and blew him sky high in an egregious defiance of the laws of both chemistry and physics.
"Jonah took a deep breath and balanced on the remains of the ship. He felt good, despite the amount of fish matter covering his body as if the Chicken of the Sea has just done a money-shot.
"He turned his head to the sound of an outboard motor in the distance. A small, thin boat carrying a uniformed officer of the law sidled up beside the remains of his boat and took one look at the carnage.
""Excuse me sir," he said. "Do you realise you've bagged your limit?""
(From "The Bible 2: This Time, It's Personal")
Dedicated followers of this LJ may think the only interesting thing I learned in college was the full spectrum of sexual deviancy (and Bellevue me, the colours on that scale rival the Pantone colour system)but in this entry I'll debunk that.
Because I learned a useful tactic for the world of business.
And all from a crank call.
It started innocently enough--I was in the lobby with the boys, playing some cards, when the phone rang. The pay phone in my dorm was a ready target for crank calls, and it was on this one, unfortunate occasion that my friend Steve picked up the phone.
I wasn't listening to most of the call, just this from Steve:
"Who? Benchley? . . .WANT ME TO TELL YOU WHAT YOUR MOTHER DID LAST NIGHT?!?!?"
And he slammed the phone down, both of us laughing hysterically at this. Maybe it was just the name "Benchley" that did it.
How was I to know how useful it'd be as a business model?
And yet I did. When I worked at a local ad agency we had a problem--at any given time, one of our two lines would be tied up by people trying to sell us stuff, and no matter how I tried to dissuade them, they would never shut up.
And this being 1999, there wasn't any Do Not Call list to save us.
So I decided to make up a person to handle it. Guess what his name was?
So by inventing a Purchasing manager by the name of Benchley, it was like I'd added a tag to every douchebag call and I could invent any excuse to explain why he wasn't there ("I'm sorry, he accidentally cut his hand off on an outboard motor, he'll be out of the office until it grows back") or, to use my preferred method, tell them to hold and hang up on them.
It worked like magic.
The moral of this tale? There is none--considering I did this mostly out of anger because I hate telephone salesmen, morality was sorta the last thing on my mind. *L*
Don't tell me you're surprised by this.
This is, Ten Sticks, and my occupation? I get paid to rock the nation.
Current Music: "Perfect Strangers"