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lol, srsly?!

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I have to say I’m a late-comer to the whole “lolcat” phenomenon. However, after taking a peek at it and such, I came across this gem: The LOLCat Bible Translation Project. I’m not sure what I’m more amazed at: the concept itself or the fact that there’s actual work being done on it. Talk about revelations, right?

Okay… Stopping all sacrilegious, or otherwise, puns and jokes. I love the world we live in. The possibilities are endlessly surprising and head-shakingly wonderful.

Written by 2ndhandsoul

October 8, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Inner Monologue #3

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Why is everything a gimmick nowadays?

“Oh hey, I hardly noticed that you’re back again. Is it Bitching Time? I’m in a pretty good mood, so let’s get this going… What do you mean?”

Well, obviously you know what I mean, so no need to effect a real dialogue here.

“Stop ruining the magic, spoil-sport. That’s my job.”

Right, sorry. Anyway, why does everything that people find interesting need to be dressed up with some sort of hook, catch, or gimmick?

“You are making pretty sweeping and generalizing statements, you do realize, right?”

I suppose, but I read in magazines for writers that the first few pages really have to hook a reader in to be effective. If you really want to get “made” somehow, you have to grab attention. When do you run out of tricks? Everything gets recycled. A different face on the same person. A new way to say the same old things. Why bother, right? Seems that you lose something out of the expression in the fight to seem original, edgy, interesting.

“Are we going to bring up lipstick and pigs again?”

No, we already did that, and the context for that metaphor is a little off-base for this topic.

“Ah, point taken. So what do you expect to do? Are you just going to give up because you don’t think you have a gimmick or premise or voice that you think people won’t like or notice?”

I’m not sure. Perhaps I haven’t found it yet. I’m not sure I’ve got enough experience to rightfully say. I think I’m just overwhelmed with the task that may lay ahead, swimming against the current of such a powerful stream.

“The MAINstream, eh?”

That’s pretty corny, but I suppose you’re pretty close. Maybe I can hope for a cult following or something.

“Well, I think you’re getting ahead of yourself again. However, I enjoy putting your perspective back to ground level. You haven’t got the material or following here to begin fantasizing about that, I think, right? How about you just worry about writing something, THEN you can start worrying about the other stuff? Don’t worry about having or not having a gimmick. If you are concerned about finding your niche, maybe you should consider that the niche should just find you. Just do stuff and stuff will happen the way it happens.”

Thanks for that bit of ambiguity.

“Hey, that’s just how it is. Deal with it and quit bitching about it.”

But then I wouldn’t have anything to practice this little gimmick we’re partaking in, would I?

“Good point.”

Written by 2ndhandsoul

September 30, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Traffic.

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Traffic. You hate it, I hate it. Almost simultaneous with the invention of the car came terrible drivers. This is not anything new to most people out there. However, what I’d like anyone to realize, to remember, to consider, is this:

A car is, for most intents and purposes, a moving room with wheels. It is also several thousand pounds of metallic-death-and-destruction-waiting-to-happen. If we pause to consider the fact that we’re driving a really large bullet, we might not take the act of driving for granted, so much. It’s somewhat sobering to contemplate just the danger one can cause or be placed in, while at the mercy of a few tons of steel speeding at many miles per hour. One wrong turn, one distraction, one bad decision, can destroy lives forever.

What is also taken for granted is the fact that there are rules governing the operation of traffic. One has to realize that these rules – and perhaps any rules at all – are pretty arbitrary. They are words and ideas that everyone expects the other people out there will follow. But we don’t have to, that’s the thing. There is literally nothing stopping you from veering off the road and onto a sidewalk to decimate all the yielding and weak, fleshy people presumably kept safe by “traffic laws.”

We stop at red lights and stop signs. We yield to the right of way and pedestrians. We use our turn signals, check both ways, go the listed speed limit, etc. At least, we should, and we expect (and I guess, hope) that everyone else zipping around in their death-machines will as well.

I have news though: there is no one watching to see if we misbehave. Sure, there’s the police, but they are not everywhere at all times. The only thing keeping us from really doing the possibly terrible things we so easily could is some sort of “tattletale” complex. If I do something bad, someone else is going to tell on me – that sort of thing. (Of course, that presumes anyone is really watching or cares. It also presumes that there’s anyone left alive afterward to be a tattletale.)

I guess I just find it fascinating the way traffic functions without the need for constant, overbearing enforcement and regulation. Operating the lethal metal boxes at breakneck speeds assuming our safety and that everything will remain just fine. That’s right Mr. Pedestrian, you may cross the street now. Don’t mind the growl of the combustion engine churning, controlling and channeling the energy of miniature explosions within, empowering this machine that could so entirely obliterate you without even slowing down, should I decide to switch from the brake pedal to the accelerator. You’re life is safe and sound and unthreatened.

I guess that’s what cheeses me off about reckless or rude drivers. So they think they can get away with shit? The rules are able to bend for them, because…what? They’re special exceptions? What’s stopping me from snapping and forgetting the rules, myself? This made me consider making a little list…

THINGS I WOULD DO IN A VEHICLE, IF THERE WERE NO CONSEQUENCES FOR MY ACTIONS:

– Jump into the lane with oncoming traffic and see how long I can last before getting hit.
– Drive along a sidewalk, preferably downtown.
– Drive a car off a parking ramp, hopefully from the top floor. Also hopefully onto a crowded street and sidewalk below.
– Smash through the front door of a shopping mall or office building or bank; whichever has nice, big glass doors. Then I would park and continue my business there. Fuck parking lots, right? That’d be the closest spot, I think.
– Always go as fast as the car can go, even if it’s just down the street. Without heeding crosswalks, stop signs, or traffic lights, of course.
– Do some donuts in the middle of a cemetery or public park.
– Instead of the horn, I’d just ram people to get their attention.
– Straddle the lane-dividing lines.
– Side-swipe people that try to pass me. Slam on my brakes if someone is tail-gating me.

Well, that’s just some. I’m sure to think of more.

Written by 2ndhandsoul

September 19, 2008 at 4:05 pm

The Fringe: Friend or Foe?

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Have you watched this new show: The Fringe? No, I haven’t yet. I probably will watch at least an episode or two, just to make sure my knee-jerk reaction is either justified or not.

What is this knee-jerk reaction? Well, it comes about the premise of this show, primarily. These are X-File-like stories about federal agents policing “dangerous science” of some form or another. Stuff like re-animation of the dead (I wonder if they’ll be making references to any H.P. Lovecraft material?) or nanotechnology or whatever. I think the idea is that they ensure that such science doesn’t damage society and civilization as we know it, by any unethical or reckless experimentation and so forth. Fine. That seems reasonable enough. But does the popularity of the show bespeak of another, underlying current of sentiment in our society today? As always, I think I am reading into things a little too deeply.

What worries me is how this show can be seen as a manifestation of our latent fears toward anything we don’t understand. Instead of magic, warlocks, sorcerors, demons, and whatnot, we’ve replaced these fears with “science run amok” — these monsters and dark practitioners have been exchanged for scientists, mutations, aliens, etc. I suppose we’ve just switched one set of superstitions for another, continuing to fear and dig our heels in against evolution.

Am I saying that careful monitoring and the emplacement of ethics for proper research is a bad thing? No, of course not. I just think it’s a little bit of an over-reaction, perhaps like the whole hadron collider scare. Perhaps it’s a little arrogant to think we have the power, even accidently, to destroy our race or our planet. I don’t want to start getting religious or far-out-there, but I have to consider that other forces out there might not let us get that far. Sort of like how all the world’s banks are helping businesses out of the hole they dug themselves in, lately… Okay, maybe that’s a bad example. The connotations either way imply too many more connotations.

Anyway, before I bunny-trail any further, I guess I’m going to have to check the show out and see what’s up. I love horror and disaster films, if only because they are so outrageous and I enjoy seeing how the authors and creators believe mankind will get done in. The more fantastical the better, since I really don’t believe in it. It is more of an expose on our own basic human natures; the survival instinct, the … “noble-izing” of the human spirit against horrible odds, etc. Wonderful human drama of the most extreme possible type. Just how this show supposes to give a cultural critique will determine the worth of this show to me. Will they really play off science as the new evil to be kept in check, or will it be the evil in our own human nature, where science is the tool, that will need saving? Are they trying to open our eyes and teach us a lesson? Or are they going for the cheap thrill and prey on our human fears and prejudices?

Yeah, so that’s what I think, so far. I predict an avalanche of similar sorts of shows. We’ll see if “Heroes” will take a similar tactic, or veer off onto its own course. You can be sure I’ll be back with something to say about it, sometime.

Written by 2ndhandsoul

September 19, 2008 at 12:53 pm

A Baby Formula Best Served Cold

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How was Chinese baby formula chemically tainted?

I’ll tell you: it was a secret revenge tactic taken by the Olympic Oversight Committee at being cornered into allowing a bunch of obviously underaged atheletes into the ’08 Summer Olympic Games.

The conversation went a little something like this:

“Hey d’ya see the news about what that hacker found about them gymnasts?”

“Yeah. Damn, we’re kinda left with our pants down. We look pretty stupid for allowing it. Yet, it’d be almost as much hassle, if not more, if we penalize them or something. Especially considering the Olympics are being held there. I don’t wanna get knifed like that poor bastard, do you? What do we do?”

“Well, I suggest we keep things rolling, but we even the score later. I have a great idea: we’ll sabotage their infant formula!”

“Yeah, there won’t be any more underage athletes or, if we’re lucky, a China left, if we wipe them out early!”

And thus the plan was put into action, shortly thereafter…

Written by 2ndhandsoul

September 18, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Calamity is funny.

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Am I the only one that finds this whole economy/Wall Street/stock market/whatever-the-fuck thing amusing? You can’t make this shit up. I really don’t have the inclination to make a headlong delve into the subject, with links and any editorial — a) because I’m lazy and b) I’m lazy — but I think anyone wanting a good belly-chuckle ought to read as much into the story as they can.

I’ve just gotten this impression of these bankers shovelling mounds of cash into this big firey pit:

“We can’t put the fire out! It just keeps growing!” one sweating, breath-laboring banker says to another working beside him.

“I know, it’s like…fuel for the fire or something,” the other responds with perplexity.

“Perhaps we should start using other people’s money to do this,” the first one suggests.

“Excellent idea! We’re not meant for this kind of labor! We’re meant to fleece the one’s meant for this kind of labor, hello!”

At this they both drop their shovels and clap each other on the back, having a good-natured laugh.

(It’s probably nothing like this at all, so I’ll have to come up with a better visual metaphor image thing.)

Written by 2ndhandsoul

September 18, 2008 at 8:31 pm

On The Job

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Shit, the stuff people get away with and get paid for astounds me sometimes. What do we consider “honest work” nowadays? I’m sure everyone can agree there just happens to be jobs created out of the very nature of our civilization: its culture, its technology, its desires, its whims. Some of these, one has to pause and wonder what need or want warranted the creation of a job to fill it, and get paid in filling it. Somebody somewhere got the notion and put it into practice, while others have the notion in spending their dollars earned from other jobs created by other needs and desires. Round and round the merry-go-round spins in the wonderful world of the economy.

In particular, sports falls into this category, in my opinion. Here are people, atheletes of varying degrees, paid and endorsed to play in…a game. A game which many of us may have played in while growing up, with the same vigor and involvement, but without the bucks, of course. There cannot be any illusion among the public that these games *do* anything for us in any meaningful, life-improving manner, right? Perhaps it is vicarious wish-fulfillment, where a largely non-atheletic audience watches from the comfort of their couch and dreams longingly. The pay involved for these sports stars seems ludicrous to the benefit they give to mankind…which is virtually nothing. I know it’s “entertainment” which provides a distraction from the humdrum lives of everyone, but man… Why don’t all kids strive a little harder to get one of those jobs? Although, I have some modicum of respect for any celebrity whom redistributes their wealth or uses their fame to garner revenue for charities and worthy causes. This seems like a worthy method of getting around man’s inherent lack of alturism. We just need to make sure that all celebrities are philanothropist humanitarians, from now on. Yeah…right.

This umbrella also covers over such jobs as: actors, politicians, writers, and the clergy. Of course, there is a whole spectrum within each of those jobs that have more or less validity to exist than others. Some writers write technical manuals and instruction booklets, for example, which is certainly a little more “practical” than, say, fiction. I know, as well, that the *technical* function of any politician is to represent the people and their needs, to enact legal and civil functions to facilitate these things for everyone. Actors, though, seem rather pointless, other than to distract from our surrounding mundania. However, whatever play or story or whatever they portray may have its own point, for which the actor is an essential element to its expression. We may gain greater awareness of important issues and topics through that medium, if we’re lucky. The clergy is more of a sustainer of tradition than a harbinger of spiritual progress, in many ways. They glue together the frayed bits of the status quo, trying to keep things on an even keal, more often than not.

So what am I trying to get at? Well, I guess it revolves around from what I understand during biblical times, particularly in the New Testament when Christ and his disciplines roamed, as well as the time of the Apostles (particularly Paul). These guys performed various vocations, such as fishing, tent-making, and so forth, while going about their spiritual duties. It seemed inconceivable for them to perform spiritual duties without also attending to mundane and practical matters. They wouldn’t have dreamed of being paid for prosyletizing or preaching or performing such functions. They were people, like you and me, that also had a calling to be spiritual leaders. It seems almost ludicrous to me that someone can make a career as a pastor or senator or motivational speaker or whatever. Sure, these people help in their way in their field, but they don’t…*do* anything.

Maybe I’m bitching for no reason. If people make money doing nothing worthwhile, so what? I suppose I am just jealous that I’m not and they are. Fuckers. Perhaps it’s time to start boycotting…stuff. Hahaha, that’ll get them! Take that Corporate America! Take that Hollywood! Take that…sports! YEAH!

Don’t worry, folks. I’ll still be here. I promise not to garner a profit from anyone’s affection, interest, or attention. Well, unless I actually can, of course.

Written by 2ndhandsoul

September 15, 2008 at 8:26 pm

Posted in anti-society, rant, soapbox