Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

First, read this.

Then, if you have time, read the very long: http://dearthey.com/2010/07/29/government-assasinates-ninjas-to-catch-pirates-its-not-stealing-if-it-isnt-real/ which was my eulogy of sorts for Ninjavideo last year.

I’ve been meaning to come back to this for a while. The very real consequence of internet piracy, as we’ve  learned from Ninjavideo, and now Mega Upload,  is that they’re not just going to shut your website down. You’re going to go to jail.

This, much like the reality of mandatory minimum sentencing for drug convictions, is both a laughable twisting of the concept of justice, as well as cold glass of water thrown in the face of anyone who still believes that the US government is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

I’m not American so, in theory, I shouldn’t care. But I do because, even though file sharing is still legal in my country, the RCMP (our horse riding, hat loving equivalent to the FBI) were complicit and instrumental in the arrest and shutdown of Mega Upload; at least so far as their presence extended into our borders.

This, to me, is unacceptable.  For a number of reasons. (more…)

We don’t live in Camelot; that is abundantly clear.

The sky is falling upon us as the fruits of forty years of financial idiocy ripen and an entire generation of would be oligarchs and imperialists burn the evidence of their culpability. People have begun to riot (as they tend to do right before starving) and governments have reacted by suspending civil liberties.

And the people…

The people have polarized so completely that we may as well be living in a world of Eloi and Morlocks; neither side recognizing the humanity or worth of the other. And how could they? Each philosophy is anathema to the other. Freedom through anarchy (which is really what a world without taxes would become; without revenue there cannot be government or rule of law) or freedom through destruction of the elite. (a proposition that can only be made possible by placing power back in the hands of the people and solidifying that power by crushing the rich under equalization taxes)

The question that I, and  many of those of us caught in the middle and dwarfed by the designation ” the 99%”, have is, “Freedom to do what?” (more…)

First, let me get something out-of-the-way. I put the word “Gestapo” up in the title, and that kind of thing tends to make people cranky. Any comparison between what a couple of immature, power-mad security guards can get up to, and the evils perpetrated by that noxious stain on human history would be demented at best, insensitive and ignorant at worst. But I’m not being hyperbolic, I promise.

The idea of Gestapo, the Platonic ideal (if something that horrific can be said to have such a thing) has become synonymous in our culture with a kind of institutionalized corruption. The word defines (in our current context and removed by decades from the men who birthed the term) any person who, with a measure of authority granted to them by a higher body, uses that power to impose their will on those who have none. Kids think of their parents and teachers in these terms; adults their employers. One day, the memory of where the word comes from will be purely academic, but the use of it will mean, fundamentally, the exact same thing; Gestapo are those who prey on the weak and whom the weak are afforded no protection from.

I’m not, in general, stupid. I understand that bus stations aren’t the most savory places to spend one’s time, free or otherwise. Especially not at midnight, in the murder capital of Canada. I can see how working there might incline one to a bit of terseness perhaps; a certain degree of tension.

What I can’t understand, ever, is the idea that working in a bus station could ever translate in a person’s mind into a justification for abusing the people they’re meant to protect. (more…)

An Open Break-Up Letter*

It’s no secret, to the five people who occasionally land on this site before moving on to better things (like The Oatmeal) that I don’t like you, Facebook.

In the beginning, I wanted you, but couldn’t have you. You made me your bitch by staying exclusive; exclusive to everyone but me, it seemed. Then the invites began. I opened my email one day and there you were:

Oh thou deadly beast! What hast thou started-eth-eth?

Ah, youth. How innocent we all were back then. See profiles? I don’t know what that means**, but it sure sounds nice. Share photos? Hey that’ll give me an excuse to use that digital camera I bought last year.^ Connect with friends? You know, I’m awfully busy and, for the most part, if I’ve lost connection with someone, there’s probably a good rea…ah, what the hell. Could be fun.

Do you notice what’s not in that description? HEY! Don’t you walk away from me! I’m not done. What’s missing? (more…)

My grandfather is dying.

Cheery, I know.

I’ve had a…problematic relationship with family during my life. I moved out when I was fifteen due to a near fatal combination of my teenage rebellion and my mother’s hellish and sadistic early menopause. My brother and I have different fathers; his tried to be a parent to me when mine wouldn’t and, for reasons so clichéd they sometimes make me ashamed to have not been written by Dan Brown, I wouldn’t let him and so he lost interest.

I have had slightly more meaningful relationships with a couple of my favorite hotdog vendors than I have had with some members of my immediate family. And the guys at my local comic shop? They are dear to me in a way that the people who bought me birthday presents when I was six simply aren’t anymore.

I am not, in some cases, without regret in these matters. I’m sure some of the family I’ve distanced myself from are far more complex and nuanced as human beings than I ever gave them credit for when I was younger. And, to be fair, I have redeveloped some of those connections over the last few years; it’s amazing how quickly baby photos on Facebook will incentivize people to call you out of the blue.

But nothing fills me with more regret than the distance that grew between my grandfather and I.
(more…)

I’ve been trying to figure out lately just what is exactly that makes me happy.

Not, as you’d probably guess, because I’m terribly unhappy (read emo), I’ve already shaved off my beard and Emo Jules is long gone. And not (and if you’ve read my last few posts you’ve definitely had enough of this) because I’m doing more self aggrandizing soul searching.

No, I’m trying to figure out happiness because so many of my friends are struggling to find some of their own. Watching them flounder around hopelessly while making mind numbingly stupid life decisions is starting to drive me batshit.

Let me state here for those of you who may be wondering; SELF HELP BOOKS ARE NOT THE FUCKING ANSWER! (more…)

So, my biggest pet peeve in the last couple of weeks has been me.

Why, Jeebus, can’t I just fucking listen to what people tell me? Do I really need to be hit in the face with a sledgehammer before I get it?

I think that people tend to mythologize their own lives in ways that can ultimately prove dangerous when the veil is pulled back. We have a habit of trying to bend the universe and everyone in it to our will, which, while great for us, doesn’t do a whole lot for the people we claim to care about. I personally have an issue with trying to shove people into boxes that they have no chance of fitting in and then convincing them that it’s not really tight in there, they just need to lose some weight.

I had a dream last night; one I haven’t had since the last time I decided I was Master of the Universe in about 2001. It involves a friend dying in front of me in a variety of scenarios, each one seemingly preventable, but life saving solutions eluding me until it’s too late. Anyone who knows me knows I have a bit of a complex for saving people, when you start having dreams like this one though, it’s time to hang up the cape and little red booties.

All right Universe, I get it. My ends of June/Canada Day resolutions are these:

I WILL ONLY SURROUND MYSELF WITH PEOPLE I DON’T HAVE TO LIMIT OR STRETCH MYSELF TO GET ON WITH.

I WILL NOT, WILL NOT, TRY TO SAVE ANYONE BUT MYSELF.

I WILL STOP CARRYING ONE-SIZE FITS ALL PERSONALITY BOXES AROUND IN MY BACK POCKET.

I WILL EAT WAFFLES.

I sure hope I get this shit down before I turn 70.

Up, up and away.

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If you are a person who flinches at the mere mention of Descartes or who genuinely didn’t understand that Animal Farm wasn’t just a novelization of Loony Toons, I have some serious advice for you.

STOP

READING

THIS

RIGHT

FUCKING

NOW

For the rest of you, you’ve been warned. Yar, here there be philosophically pretentious mind fuckery.

So this weekend I smoked some great fucking pot with a really good friend and had one of those cliched conversations endlessly maligned in every movie or t.v. show ever made about stoners. Sadly, the fact that we were high didn’t, in any way, diminish the truth of what we talked about. In fact, two days later, my brain still feels like it’s being tickled in the clitoris. I am AWAKE people, and, for the first time in a long time, it almost feels like it’s on purpose. (more…)

So, (cracks knuckles) where to start?

THE WEEK IN REVIEW (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!)

There were only a few things that happened this week that really stood out as truly fundamentally retarded bullshit. First and foremost was, of course, the evil of censorship on the internet, brought to you by Live Journal. My blog is still here though, so I can assume that most of us are safe for the time being.

The second thing, and I really should devote more space to this but I already did a piece on the evil oppressive non-smoker regime this month, was the arrival of the Gov’t of Alberta’s new Smoking Legislation. This glorious piece of morally presumptuous horse shit seems to be adopting the strategy of, “If we hide the cigarettes from the smokers, they’ll all die of withdrawal.” (sic)

I can assure you, PTBs, that forcing stores to hide the smokes behind a pretty curtain will not fool us. It will only make us angry. And-as anyone who has ever woken up beside one of us as we’re discovering that there is, in fact, no tobacco in the house has discovered-you wouldn’t like us when we’re angry.

No, as long as smoking is legal, we’ll find a way to get our fix, even it means rounding up every non smoker who’s recently quit, carving the still nicotine stained skin from their sanctimonious bodies and rolling it up in torn out Bible pages, then standing out in the cold smoking while we swear painful revenge against those who came up with this new doctrine of De-normalization. De-normalization being, of course, the idea that if you do everything in your power to sweep a group of people to the fringes of society they’ll eventually just disappear. We used to do this with gay people, it is now, apparently, more socially acceptable for me to get fucked in the ass by a tattooed midget while drunk on Absinthe (legal in Canada), then it is for me to enjoy my perfectly legal drug of choice.

Anyway, time enough for that later. My real beef this week was at the screening of Pirates 3 I attended Friday night. (more…)

So it looks like we all have to start backing up our posts for fear that corporate interests and fear of liability will rear their ugly heads and bite our thoughts in two.

Here is the link to a story on the glorious skull-fuckery perpetrated by the folks who run Live Journal against those who mistakenly believed that free speech still meant something. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that anyone who writes gratuitous pornography about pre-sexual humans or gophers or itty bitty kitty cats deserves to have their “art” expunged and their chest hair set on fire. But, and this is a big but, stories that feature pedophilia, murder, rape, or various forms of really funny violence in support of the artistic thrust of the piece, do not a ringing endorsement of criminal acts make. (Really funny violence is sometimes an exception to this rule, but fuck, no one’s advocating the elimination of pro wrestling!)

 

The folks who run Live Journal are citing “fear of liability” as an excuse but really, can you honestly tell me you’re worried about the kind of liability that could attach as a result of someone rolling 2d6 and kicking someone else in the nuts in an RPG? More importantly do you realize the damage you’ve done to the poor bastards who were playing the game you just unceremoniously tipped over? Do you have any idea how much time, imagination and opportunities for sex with real live people gets thrown on the altar of sacrifice to RPG’s? What’s wrong, did the geek down the street not let you play D&D with him when you were growing up?

I said it when Indigo bought Chapters and all of a sudden books started disappearing from the shelves because they weren’t “appropriate” for a family oriented establishment. I said it the first time I walked into a Blockbuster and realized that (gasp) I wouldn’t be renting Anal Nurses 9 tonight. I said it the first time I read an HR package that outlined exactly how many times I could say tits (0 times) in front of a female coworker without being fired.

Censorship is for Pussies. (more…)