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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rusted Philosophies

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For example,

If ghosts could really cause any damage, they wouldn’t mess around with measly ole’ spooking, but instead they’d go straight to creating bona fide ghostly havoc. We should have learned this lesson from watching Scooby-Doo, which is that ghosts always must rely on good special effects to be successful. But they’re phonies… merely ghosts of their former selves.

I don’t know what that has to do with this next point, but I just thought I’d bring it up. Life is so serendipitous that the serendipity seems to many of us to be normal. Some say the mere fact that we’re here presents a bias to try to think it would be unlikely to be in this situation… firmly ensconced in 2012 writing in English over the Internet via light-emitted diodes into each of our respective corneas. Who knew? I mean, I never expected to have an influence on other people’s corneas. Technology is nothing if not a wonderment.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I do believe everything I read. But fortunately I don't believe everything I write. A man's got to have some scruples, after all.

When you hear someone apologize for any inconvenience that they’re anticipating, they don’t really mean it, because if they meant it, they wouldn’t have caused the whole inconvenience in the first place. They make it sound as if they have no control over it. “We apologize that we are intentionally making your life harder.” They’re purposely doing something that they know in advance is going to make things more difficult for you, and then they want to get off the hook to try to place the blame elsewhere. It just happened, and nobody knows why. Apologizing means you didn’t mean to, even though it was still premeditated. Danged apologists… who needs ‘em?

People ask me where I get my ideas. I find that the mind is often a good repository for ideas, but that’s just me. My whole curiosity on the topic lies in where else they think I might get them. Perchance they posit I cultivated them out back in the garden?

I'm going to wait six years to buy a new phone because I want to make absolutely sure I have the latest model. And then nobody will have one newer than me, and I’ll be the one they “ooh” and “ahh” about when I pass by. “Look at that amazingly new phone,” they’ll say. “He must be an amazing person to have such an amazing phone. We suddenly have this strange urge to heap endless amounts of praise on him and offer him copious sums of money.” Then people won’t be laughing that I waited so long. I’ve got it all scoped out in my planner. Oct. 24, 2018, at an undisclosed location that will only be revealed when I open the sealed envelope the day before, which is also at an undisclosed location.

The lesson of history is clear: Don't become an assassin or else they'll tell everybody your middle name. Either that, or be wary of James Earl Jones.

Myself, I wasn’t so much concerned about whether Leonardo DiCaprio survived the Titanic or not, but what I really want to know is if the cameraman made it out alive. They’re always so unappreciated.

For every human being* on Earth, there are over 1 billion insects. (*-not counting zombies) This is an underutilized opportunity for the pet industry. If we fed and trained these insects right, they might think we're the queens. We could play pet wars on the weekends. My army of fire ants against your cockroach regiment (all domesticated, of course). Heck with ant farms. I want colonies, swarms, and veritable insect metropoli. I want my billion-critter allotment, dang it.

People ask me what I’m like in real life. You mean as opposed to online life, where I role-play my actual persona? I’m fairly normal, as far as unconventional people go. By the way, what is real life anyway?

This is the NBC Nightly News, I'm Rusty Southwick... Our top story: Cavemen protest in front of Geico headquarters. But first, a look at breaking news... Somebody threw a brick through a window somewhere, and we'll have more later. But first, our on-the-spot reporter, Tim… Oh Tim? .... Um, Tim had to go get a bite to eat, and he'll be back soon. ........ And in case you're wondering, I'm not wearing contacts, either......

Tim, can you at least tell us what you're ordering? .... Oh. Oh really? It would appear he's also going to catch a movie, so we'll be waiting just a smidgen longer for his always fine report. Thank you, Tim, and now back in the studios... I've got some really shiny lights all around me. I should tell you that they're bright too. And now I'm straightening out my tie. Am I squinting too much? In case you didn’t realize it already, you're watching the NBC Nightly News.... And I’m still Rusty Southwick. We’ll keep you up-to-date on any new developments in my name.

I like to do random Google searches and then after all the results come up, laugh at cyberspace by saying, "Ha, ha! Fooled you! I didn’t really need to find that!" Entertainment doesn’t really need to cost all that much if you think hard enough.

Lost track of time today, but the funny thing is it didn't care and it did just fine without me. Turns out I don't need to be timekeeper. Lousy $30 watches!

What's everybody else talking about? That's what I want to talk about... Because I'd like to conform to whatever else is being talked about. If I tried talking about anything different, I might be left in my own discussion, and outside of the active circle of discussion. No, that’s way too risky…

I just came from the future, by the way. It's got lots of interesting plot twists and the acting is decent, but I kept running out of popcorn.

I've got this idea for a new video game... You run and jump over things, and then hit them or shoot at them. And when you make contact with them, they blow up. But if they make contact with you, then you blow up. It would almost be like a war simulation, but only different. And then you get bonus points for collecting valuable shiny glowing items. The object of the game is to amass as many points as possible before you blow up. I think this could catch on if it were marketed right.

All I need is a semblance of order, a false sense of security, and a modicum of sanity. After that, I'm in my comfort zone.

This is me at this moment in time, typing letters from an alphabet I didn't invent or even approve of. What more do you want from me?! I’m a victim of my circumstances!

All I need is a semblance of order, a false sense of security, and a modicum of sanity. After that, I'm in my comfort zone. Oh wait, I said that already.

Don't hate me because I'm imperfect. Hate me because I have no redeeming qualities to speak of and I set your lawn on fire.

After the "oops", whatever comes next can't be all that great. Oops means brace yourself for something doubleplus ungood. Oops, a telephone pole jumped out in front of my car. Oops, Britney Spears released another album. Oops, it's morning again. Oops, someone ordered olives on the pizza. Oops, you're completely surrounded by army ants.

I don't think, therefore I am not Descartes.

I’m working on country metal lyrics about a medieval pickup truck that haunted a hick town and made my dog possessed. So far, "Rarrrr! Rarrrr!" It’s a work in progress. I always hate the kind of works that are not in progress.

Kids know better than adults how to pronounce words. Adults want to complicate issues by attempting to negotiate all the sounds in a word, even if they aren’t conducive to one another. The layman speaking colloquially (my favorite way, incidentally) will often wisely forego the formalities, however the syllable-of-the-law narrator-types will attempt to piece together the –st sound at the end of a word in the plural, producing the awkward “sts”, which is one of those things that’s better left unsaid. Kids instinctively realize that if you run into an –st with a plural, you add a separate syllable to keep them from melding anachronistically. “Ghosts” is therefore properly pronounced by a four-year-old as “ghost-ez”. I like it. Much less maintenance. It’s not perfect, but it surely beats the wildly grown-up “ghostststsss” as one elongated syllable reminiscent of a well-worn tire unceremoniously going flat on a sweltering hot day in July. Or possibly even August. You see, the adult relies more on logic, and the child relies more on instinct. This is also why children are happier, less apt to get institutionalized, and have a longer life expectancy than adults. The child’s system being less formal, with less overhead, less paperwork, less bureaucracy, less process, and more results-oriented instead of method-oriented. Ergo, kids know more than we do, because we forgot what they know after we were their age. That’s why we feel obligated to attach impressive titles to our names to remind everyone how smart and important the grown-ups are, the PhD’s, the LLC’s, the M.D.’s. Look at me! I’ve got lots of letters after my name!

100 [blanks] to do/see/eat before you die... First of all, that's your list, not mine. And secondly, my life doesn't consist of check boxes. I’ll graciously pass. Only a hundred??

Just think if Henry Heimlich had instead pursued his deep-rooted love of ballet... We might have a whole different perspective on the Heimlich maneuver.

My motto, slogan, mission statement, credo, philosophy, outlook, creed and perspective... are unfortunately all different things, so I imagine they're usually battling it out for top billing. I currently don't have a maxim or an axiom, so I'm taking applications for those. I could also be swayed on another mission statement, which is presently a rather unambitious "I'll get to it when I get to it." I use it to inspire me when I don't even think I'll get to it. I'm quite resourceful that way. For example, if someone tells me to take a hike, I interpret that to mean that they are concerned about my well-being and want me to exercise and keep myself in tip-top shape. My outlook likewise needs work, which is simply the anticlimactic "ugh". Generally three good "ughs" and I'm all motivated for the day.

I always thought it would be fun to invade a country without using weapons just as a flash mob, and then run back out and see the looks on all their faces.

I wish aliens would come down just to abduct everyone who uses ringtones. All the while utilizing the soundtrack from Close Encounters, no less. This would be poetic justice of the fourth kind.

I continually come across hundreds of people every day who are completely oblivious to anyone else around them, unaware that I'm the one who's important.

Were horoscopes truly realistic, they'd acknowledge there are some days when it's just better to cut your losses and not get out of bed. While they often say to beware of something, they then proceed to open the floodgates and let you out into the very situation that you need to beware of. How reckless of them! I don’t have any need for such vague “beware” statements. I need to know specifically where the “beware” objects exist so I can deliberately “not” go there. All Virgos hide in your basement until the coast is clear, which may be next week. That's the kind of horoscope I'd like to hear.

I finally discovered the meaning of life. It’s on page 473 of Merriam-Webster's. Turns out I'd been looking under the H's all this time by mistake. I thought it was rather odd for the meaning of life to be “a function between two topological spaces that is continuous, one-to-one, and the inverse of which is continuous.” Man, that was really messing me up.

I thought technology was supposed to be all about convenience... Why on earth would I want to stir the mashed potatoes halfway through cooking my frozen dinner?

I don't know what's so special about the whole vaunted time-space continuum. Whoever said it was necessarily supposed to turn out that way the first time around anyway? Tinkering with it a little here and there might even spice it up a bit... give it more of a rustic or genteel look that it's sorely missing. Existentialists just need to be a little less rigid about their hobbies, that's all.

The Enlightenment began shortly after the Trojan Horse incident, at which point people started realizing that the enemy doesn't give you gifts.

I'd like to order a sense of accomplishment, contentment, satisfaction, appreciation, comfort, security, stability, continuity, serenity, peace, simplicity, hope, solace, relief, carefreeness, karma, bliss, upliftment, enlightenment, fulfillment, wonder, awe, intrigue, enthrallment, passion, transcendence, rejuvenation, harmony, unity, purpose, identity, balance, symmetry, variety, well-being, wholeness, and closure. And that's all I need. And this chair... And that's all I need. I don't need anything else.

It's hard to whistle and stay sad at the same time. Unless another sad person punches you in the mouth for whistling, then that would probably make you sad again.

I need to make a decision today. Or rather about 7000 or so decisions, while also weighing and measuring the alternatives, and then sort between the conscious decisions and the subconscious ones. And then I have to break them down further into subcategories of conscientious and incidental, simultaneously recognizing that what not to do is just as significant as what to do, and then not forget what I've already decided so I can base some of my decisions on previous decisions and/or legal precedent. But before finalizing them, I have to prioritize them and put them in order, in which case some get pushed back to 2017 for further review. So if you ask me a question and I give you a blank stare, know that there's an underlying method to it.

Don't argue with me... It gives the impression that you don't realize I'm right.

The lost and found is for things that were lost but not found by the right person. If the lost item was found by the person who wanted to find it, then it wouldn't be at the lost and found. It would just be at the found. To me, it would be more meaningful to call the lost and found simply “the lost”. Finding that it was lost is differentiated from looking for it and then finding it, because even after the surrogate finder "finds" it, notice that it continues to be lost. I would maintain that the qualities of lost and found are mutually exclusive, so they can't exist at the same time. I suppose you could make it an optimistic conditional, so that it could be referred to as the "lost to be found," which also gives it more sense of purpose.

I don't care about my 15 minutes of fame. It's my 2 minutes of being Batman that I'm most looking forward to. And I’ll be ready, mark my word.

While it’s true that stupid people technically don't make me smarter, they do help me recognize I'm not nearly as dumb as I originally thought I was.

You're about a hundred times more likely to die on the way to buying a lottery ticket than to win the lottery. The lottery is dangerous!

If someone's sneeze actually comes out pronounced "atchoo", then it's got to be a contrived sound from a learned response, because what are the odds that a purely natural sneeze would produce that canned sound? This is worthy of a study. Do bushmen sneeze like that? I think around age 2 we begin mimicking the sneezes of other people. Some parents even push the issue by helping their child sound it out. This is clearly sneezing indoctrination. But this isn't all. One would think the "atchoo" mutation would have died off after a few thousand generations. But no... The only rational explanation as to why it persists would have to be zombies. Just be a little suspicious of how people sneeze from now on.

"That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger"... Practical translation: "As long as you don't fall off the cliff to meet your demise, it will turn out to be very good exercise." And this helps me how? They might as well cut to the chase and just say “don’t die.” Was that so hard?

It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong, but it takes an even bigger man to never be wrong in the first place.

Watching a Christopher Hitchens vs. God debate on YouTube. Hitchens isn't giving any ground.

A photo can always be cropped further, and so I continually wonder if I should crop it even more. I do this with every photo, until it gets all the way down to 1 pixel, at which point it’s physically impossible to crop it any longer. Although, for some strange reason I’m still in pursuit of the dream to crop the uncroppable picture. I’m looking for a support group for this, but so far no luck.

That moment when you're washing a plastic spoon and it breaks. For that split second, time stops and you come to the silly realization that what you’re doing now has no appreciable value anymore.

This reminds me of a battle-hardened sergeant losing his hard-earned money to a good-for-nothing swindler. It’s hyphenation wars…

Picture for a moment Elvis impersonators spinning yo-yo’s during the running of the bulls. Not only within the realm of plausabilities, this one would be worth the price of admission. Whoa, a whole hunk o’ love there.

I won the Megamillions lottery and stored the winning ticket in my dresser drawer. Now, if I can only remember where I lived…

We haven't evolved as far as we think we have when a wreck on a divided highway causes a traffic jam in the other direction. All the world’s a stage, and we’re a bunch of gawkers.

There are only two letters in the alphabet that constitute a full regular word. We’ve been wasting the other 24. At least the texters are trying.

Listening to the Beach Boys when you're melancholy just makes you want to kill the Beach Boys.

We’ve come so far with computer programming, we’re at the point where if you type in two w’s for a web address instead of three, it won’t know what you mean. It can’t divine the idea that because two w’s doesn’t exist in most universes, you probably — just probably — meant three w’s. After all, we wouldn’t want to jump to conclusions and try to read your mind. This is so intuitive it’s scary and stuff. Yeah, we’re real close to artificial intelligence. We’re practically swimming in it as we speak.

I was up three nights in a row trying to decipher the distinctions between approved and pre-approved. I got stuck on the “pre-” part for some reason.

I’d like to go to Venice, if only to find out how they deal with jaywalkers there. They probably just let them drown.

Most figurative gluttons are so for punishment, but there are also some who are gluttons for other worthy causes too, like gluttons for amnesty, gluttons for martial law, gluttons for hedonism, gluttons for the equal treatment of Anglo-Saxons (GETA), gluttons for ventriloquism, gluttons for palindromes, gluttons for the elimination of the faux pas, and gluttons for bad hair days. All things we can rally behind and become a glutton for.

There are days when you wonder how you’ll get through it all. I’ve been there myself on occasion, and it can really get to you. Sometimes I just feel like curling up in a corner and going to Mazatlan.

I know some things you don't, but I'm not going to say them all right here because then I wouldn't have things to write about later.

I don't trust anyone with a beard. There's way too much temptation for them to run off with it.

I can't solve all of the world's problems by myself. Sometimes I need to delegate.

People occasionally ask me how I write blogs*. First I get some ideas. Then I scrap them. Then I think of what I shouldn’t write about, and consider what’s left. And approach it from roughly seven different angles in order to hone in on it. In other words, I wing it.
(*-it may happen in their sleep)

Snopes has verified that the Internet is a hoax perpetuated by Tibetan monks who were just trying to play online blackjack.

You get out of life what you put in. But then I start wondering: why not just keep it in the first place?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

An Open Letter to Mama Kat, Who I Knew in Another Life

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Dearest erstwhile Mama Kat (or Ma-Ka for short, which is Swahili for ‘One who scrawls with mighty pen and cuts through chaff with incisive levity’):

Let us pause to reminisce about a bygone forgotten time, waxing so nostalgic that one could place a wick on me and start a flame. Like a faint voice from a distant past, yours echoes through the catacombs...

We met during the Mesozoic Era, as it was, so you’re certainly forgiven if that has slipped from your memory. Sometimes I mistake a few details from that period as well, like confusing Cro-Magnon with Magnum P.I. ... it could happen. But ah, those were the days, weren’t they? There certainly aren’t many good volcanoes these days anymore, but back then you couldn’t walk three steps without bumping into one.

Your ponytail was so much in vogue back then that the other Neanderthals were envious enough to become what was later known as kopykats. I remember how you used to blog on the cave walls, and even back then you could charm people with your rapier wit, not to mention hunt prey — curiously all with the same writing tools. Pontificate via hieroglyphics by morning, then gouge a sabertooth in the afternoon. Piece of cake for a maestro. Modern day blogherama has got nothing on its predecessors, you being chief bloghero among them in the classical sense.

Historians will likewise note that while proper video had not yet been invented at the time, you improvised by simply carving out a square in the cave wall and then placed an arrow on your nose for people to push whenever they wanted to watch. Cave dwelling moms from all over the western hemisphere were intrigued by your live stoic delivery coupled with random spurts of funneled energy, a phenomenon which has carried on in perpetuity. This was the Ma-Ka they came to know and love, the stuff of prehistoric legends. You were promptly inducted into the cave wall of fame, alongside the likes of Olaf, Og, and Thag. Talk of a possible Mt. Blogmore monument goes on even today. Chiseling your heightened eyebrows has apparently set the project back numerous times, unfortunately. But then what do they know, eh?

It was you and you alone who adopted the signature maneuvers of the swoosh, the twirl, the consigned smirk, the industrial deadpan, the sideways glance, the tomahawk handshake/death grip (later banned in thirteen territories), of course the patented lip pursing, the nonchalant gandering, finger on the chin, and a host of other machinations that have gone down in primitive lore. Indeed, at the primordial museum of fine arts they have more wings for you than pterodactyl takeout.

Through your inspired shenanigans, we hearken back to a time when all was simple, when a person’s duties were well defined, when people otherwise respected your basic deft hunter-blogger extraordinaire. A time when you didn't have to lock your dinosaur when you parked it for fear of it being stolen... Essentially it was the Kat's meow as far as epochs go.

For old time’s sake, a re-enacting hush over the savannah as all observe the mama with the Kat name, in her element as we see her take down big game Kat. Watch her as she expertly uses neon wig decoys to distract the hapless woolly mammoth and lulls it unassumingly into her very snares, much the way she captures her readers. Unparalleled tactical subterfuge from the master right before our very eyes. No one could do it with such finesse before or since.

A tribute to you as the prototypical blogactress par excellence, evolving over generations into the consummate cyber scribe. And through this missive, the hope is to bridge the gap between the two worlds of the past and the just past, so that they occur in virtual unison, so that we appreciate origins of the classic Kat aura, so that the universe forever maintains its equilibrium.

And so I know that I knew you then because I still know you now, and those familiar upturned eyes were engraven as if in stone. Your ruling charismatic air that bushmen would trade in their spears for all speaks for itself. Thankfully for us, volumes and volumes in every post. In the end, the ancient cosmic deck dealt a one-of-a-kind, and as a consequence everybody won. Translation: I paper. They scissors. You rock.

Rusted in Ruminations

Editor's Note: To see the real Mama Kat in action, go here:

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

Philosophy Soccer