Sunday, March 26, 2006

And My Brother Makes Me Laugh

From Mike's website; he a funny monkey.

The Sky is (Not) Falling
Saturday, March 11, 2006

Government: "Oh my God! They're attacking our country!"

Public: "Oh my God!"

Government: "We must identify and root out all terror!"

Public: "Yes! Save us!"

Government: "We shall set laws to make it easier to search your records and determine if you are a terrorist!"

Public: "Please, do so freely! I love what you do for me!"

Government: "We will meticulously search your carry-on baggage and make you endure careful shoe examinations --especially if you're decidedly ethnic!"

Public:
"Search everything immediately for I am so very frightened for my life!"

Government: "We will invade a country full of people whose culture you don't understand, thus making it easier for you to accept as a direct threat to America despite having absolutely nothing to do with the attack!"

Public:
"I'm sure they weren't innocent...Freedom isn't Free!"

Government:
"Look! There goes a bronze-skinned American citizen lingering his gaze at a building behind you...we must lock him up for months on end without charging him!"

Public: "Of course! No true American would grow a beard like that!"

Government:
"Ah! Anthrax!"

Public:
"Acckkkk!"

Government: "Oh no! Bird flu!"

Public: "Eeeeek!"

Government:
"We have another credible threat of terrorists attacking your local supermarket!"

Public:
"Raise the threat level, RAISE THE THREAT LEVEL!"

Public: "Look! The Arabs are trying to control our ports, creating a huge threat to our security!"

Government:
"Huh?"

Public:
"The Arabs! Look! The UAE are going to control our ports!"

Government: "I'm not following what you're saying."

Public:
"They used to bed with Al Qaeda and the Taliban!"

Government: "That's the most irrational, racist thing I've ever heard."

Public: "But we must fight the terrorists! YOU taught us that!"

Government: "You're twisting my words. This deal WILL proceed as planned."

Public:
"What?!? Are you crazy? Not just no, but HELL NO!"

Government: "I assure you everything will be fine."

Public:
"Don't you remember 9/11? Don't you remember when the towers fell?"

Government:
"What does that have to with the port deal?"

Public: "You buffoon! Are you daft? We're AT WAR! If you're not with us, you're against us!"

Government: "Look, I don't mean to offend you but..."

Public: "Did I mention I'm a registered voter and you're a lame duck?"

Government: "Okay, okay, we'll call off the deal."

Public: "Hurray! All is well in the land! We're saved!"

Government:
"Wait! We just received a threat of an attack on college basketball tournaments..."

Public: "Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Help me!!!!"

Mike

Light the Corners of My Mind

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

Walt Whitman


I've been studying memory a lot lately because to me, one of the things that makes life the most interesting is to remember it in the most objective way possible. There are tricks to doing this correctly. It's hard and takes time and I devote at least one day out of the month to getting it right. I like to know what is motivating me to do the things that I do and I know for sure that the past, while not a place that I like to revist too terribly often, can tell me a lot about who I was and who I am now. There are things that I've done that no one will ever know about that were some of the best moments in my life: total shining examples of humanity. Then again, some of the shit I've done makes me cringe. I realized at some point (actually at an airport in Atlanta) that there really never is an excuse for being as selfish as I was, so I decided that my choices were to do better or die sucking. Now, I never stop wanting to do better, I never stop wanting people to do their best, and I rarely stop expecting that to happen.

I’ve seen some serious hypocrisy in my life. The kind of hypocrisy that made me fear that the person(s) guilty of it would reach some kind of hypocritical mass and explode in a fury of self-congratulatory confetti. I mean, hell, I've yet to be attacked by anyone who didn't throw out my past for target practice and have never, ever been attacked by anyone who wasn't guilty of the same shit that I did. It is because I saw this and the types of people who were very much into it that I forced myself to be as honest as possible without either embellishment or self-deprecation. I was like, "Oh fuck is that what happens when you become too firmly cemented in your own bullshit??!!" Maybe not the finest excuse for an epiphany but it worked. It scared the bejesus out of me and taught me the important lesson of being responsible without feeling guilty. Well, that and G√ľnter Grass.

Our memories unfortunately, tend to reflect an egocentric bias. We want to remember ourselves in the best possible light. We also tend to want to think that our self-serving deeds or failures were simply a reaction to something in our environment. If we're not patting ourselves on the back we're making everything out to be worse than it was so that we can take comfort in self-pity. The truth is that no matter what the provocation, being unkind (even to oneself) is simply wrong. There is no excuse, no provocation that can justify cruelty or smirking indifference to the suffering of another. There is no real excuse for being glad if someone else fails and the only reason we do it is so that we can nod our self-satisfied heads with the knowledge that we were right all along. Good for us. The prize? We lose some perspective because the moment we stop admitting our own failures or excusing our failures for any reason whatsoever, we take the first steps in becoming willfully ignorant. That, to me, is the absolute worst possible fate I can imagine.

True character probably exists in all people, and its strength within us is based on how much we are willing to accept who we are. This is the only way to fully realize who we can be. There are no real martyrs, no heroes, and certainly no saints. There are only those who sleep and those who refuse to eat the lotus. The prize? The sometimes painful but always interesting truth and I like the truth more than I like being right.

Also, if you're going to contradict yourself, change your behavior to reflect your beliefs. Otherwise, you're silly. You're just silly.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hard for a Pimp

"You should have seen how some of them were dressed," Bridges said. "Sometimes troopers would wrap them up in one of those yellow blankets used to cover dead bodies."

Magistrate Roy Bridges, describing the appearance of the child prostitutes he had recently arrested.

What a creepy, yet appropriate image. Story is here.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Anne

Civil rights activist Anne Braden died in Louisville last Monday at the age of 81. I was fortunate enough to have taken a class taught by Mrs. Braden my sophomore year at NKU. At first, it seemed like the coolest thing ever to take a class taught by a friend and contemporary of Martin Luther King. Later, I thought it was much cooler to have taken a class taught by a person who actually worked to help people get a fair break instead of lamenting and waiting for someone else to do it.

If you didn't know her, take my word for it, she was one hella cool chick. No wait, don't take my word for anything! Read all about her!

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Right Way

And so it begins.

We ladies should take a moment and consider that if abortion becomes illegal across the United States, women who engage in any activity that could endanger a developing organism (human, of course) could be considered attempted murderers. This means that under the right circumstances (pun intended), women could be imprisoned for driving, walking up stairs, taking aspirin, or eating unhealthy foods.

Yes, that's an extreme point of view, probably just as extreme as pharmacists denying women their birth control prescriptions or their emergency contraception. We live in extreme times.

More than "I can't believe this is happening", I've been thinking, "I wonder what will happen next?" Interestingly, I've found that more and more often, as long as it's a convenient anal rape, most people bleat maybe a vague semblance of protest before they simply lay down and spread their trotters. Give me my gas and my valu-menu or give me death. As long as I'm not ensconced in someone's abdomen.

**Update: Hee, wow, The Great 62-2 Ports Deal Rebellion. Bush must be wearing one of those cone thingies around his neck to keep him from gnawing his wounds over this one...

***And then I was all like...Comedy. Fucking. Gold.