Wednesday, December 31, 2014

If we make the solution illegal, the actual problem magically goes away, right? - It's Class Warfare, Bitches

Apparently, asshat politicians are at it again. This time, according to the petition, the asshat philosophy is that "If we make it illegal to feed homeless people, then homeless people will go away, right?"

Okay, let's cut thru the smoke-and-mirrors.
  1. The only goal of a program like this is to Look Like Something Is Being Done. It's a smokescreen;
  2. To starve homeless people into going anywhere else and becoming somebody else's problem. Note that under this model, "dead" is a legitimate form of "somewhere else,";
  3. Reality Calling: If homeless people had an alternative option to being homeless, they would take it. Ignore what O'Reilly, Limbaugh and their buddies try selling you: there is nothing glamorous about having no food, nor shelter, and being at chronic risk of violent assault every day from gangs, other starving people, or even just middle-class assholes with a hard-on to kick someone who can't fight back.
There you go: classic political "fuck those who can't fight back, because I can trample them in order to gain power and prestige."

It's class warfare, bitches.

#ItsClassWarfareBitches #IdiotsOfTheWorld


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Humans are Tribal - or - Why I Bitch About the USA

The world is a tiny little place. It looks big, but it isn't. I understand that better than most people (you don't need to know why).

The truth is that within my lifetime, the Chinese and Indians will become the economic superpowers, and then white people - who have dominated history and treated everyone else as second-class citizens - will be painfully surprised to find the situation reversed and themselves as the trod-upon (q.v. novel White Lotus by John Hersey). Well, when I say "white people," I mostly mean "white men," since even white women have plenty of experience being treated like dirt by all men.

Anyway, humans are tribal. We divvy ourselves into "us" and "them," because our brains are small and we can only handle so much input and we need to know whom to trust. We also need to feel special - we are emotionally hard-wired to try to be big fish in small ponds.

Simply put, that's why I bitch so much about the USofA - I live here. It shapes my daily life much more than events anywhere else (even when those events cause the Rich White Men to Get Excitable). It's not as if I get all wet for the USofA. If I lived in Australia, France or Nigeria, then those would be the places I'd bitch about most. It's call "being human."

So, while I'm blessed to be getting hits from all over the world - and I mean nearly everywhere!! Woot!! - I'm not intentionally neglecting the human failings in Italy, Russia, Thailand or India - I just don't live there, so lack the first hand knowledge of the dumb things people do there. I mean, we're all idiots part of the time - welcome to the human condition.

But, like I said, humans are tribal, and we bitch most about what we know most about :)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Musical Monday: SAIL by AWOLnation - A.D.D. Sucks Rocks

When a fan-made video gets 146M views (at the time of this writing, in December, 2014), and no one even knows how to find your official video (a paltry 3M views), it's time to throw in the towel and license the fan video as your official video. In fact, I thought this fan-made video was the official video until I read the Wikipedia page for the song, and learned otherwise.

One of the funniest lines in the whole song is "blame it on my A.D.D., baby."

Except that Attention Deficit Disorder is actually not very funny. Oh, sure everyone jokes about it, whenever people seem flighty or flakey, or simply not paying attention, or because they're too busy listening to the noise in their own heads, but it's not funny. Hell, as I said, they even make a joke of it in this song, which is why I'm talking about it in this rant.

Adult Attention Deficit Disorder creates unnecessary conflict and misery. It can - quite literally - make it impossible to focus, or to remember things. It can - quite literally - make it impossible to remember a conversation from five minutes ago.  The person suffering the disorder of ADD can be fully engaged in said conversation, participate, contribute, and come to accord on important decisions - and then five minutes later the entire thing is gone from memory. I shit you not. A.D.D. SUCKS ROCKS BIG TIME.

For someone afflicted with ADD, her brain is her enemy. Recent studies using brain-scan technology have discovered the real problem isn't that the brain is over-stimulated, but that the damn thing keeps falling asleep, and so craves external stimulation to keep itself awake. That's why the eyes dart around, and the ears constantly pick up background sounds, and the thoughts race like hamsters in a wheel, and the body is always moving and touching things.  A person with ADD might desperately want to hold still, or to remember things, but the enemy in her skull won't do its damn job and ignores her wishes.

How do I know the ADD brain is the enemy and it's not just some personality deficiency or character flaw?

What's the old joke? "Give you three guesses, and the first two don't count."

Concerta (TM) is my second best friend in the world (after a human being with the patience of a saint, and piles of unconditional love).

Concerta is anti-ADD medication. Concerta makes it possible for me to focus. It makes it possible for me to remember things at all. Concerta enables me to exercise my considerable willpower over my poor impulse control. Concerta transforms my brain into my friend and ally , instead of my enemy.

I learned about Concerta less than a decade ago. The saint in my life parked my ass down and said "Watch this video." It was a clip from the Today show, where a doctor talked about ADD and new treatments available.

When it was over, I made him play it again.
Then I said "I really don't have to be like this, anymore?"
Then I cried.

Then I saw a doctor, and I got medication. Then my brain became my ally, instead of my enemy, and I could hold still, sit quietly, hold a train of thought or a memory in my head for longer than two minutes, and I discovered who I am (and I mean that literally, that's not even a metaphor).

Now, I panic if I forget to take my afternoon pill with me, and my "crash stash" has run out.   I will break your arm if you try to take my Concerta away. Kinda sad, I know, that the idea of a few hours with my old brain freaks me out so much. But that tells you how miserable I was being that way; I won't go back.

My brain still isn't perfect. As I have to remind my man every so often "tired trumps Concerta," so sometimes I have to focus hard to focus at all. But, now I've learned how I can act, and think and behave when my brain is working like a normal brain, and so I know how to modify my behavior for when the medication wears off.

"Blame it on my A.D.D., baby," is still part of my life, but at least it's not very often, and I can enjoy - and remember(!) - the other moments.

April, 2015, Edit:  It looks like the original video has been made private, and I can't find a new link to it.  I left the code embedded, below, just in case it gets unlocked.  I'm going to hazard a guess the AWOLNATION guys got it yanked, because it was kicking their ass all over the playground in page views (see my remarks above) (Also, in the comments section of this behind the scenes vid, someone remarks that Nanalew said on her FB page there was a problem with the record label.)

Okay, so here is the official video.  (I know, right?  Just that image screams "Ugh!")

I did find what looks like a copy of the Nanalew video, and the quality isn't quite as good.

And here is my original embedded link to Nanalew's tribute video.  I include it here, just in case it gets unlocked at some future point, and you can watch it again.


Friday, December 26, 2014

It's a gun, not a condom 4: National Defense against whom?? Canada??

Just a reminder: I'm not anti-gun; I'm anti-stupid. It's a VERY important distinction, and will prevent you from jumping to the wrong assumptions about my message.


Guarding the Borders

One of the tired old yarns I hear about why every American "needs" to own a gun is "national defense."

To which I always reply "Against whom? Canada?"

Sadly, it gets even funnier (in the absurd sense of the word), because the Canadians can't even protect themselves, let alone invade the United States.

The truth is that Americans do not "need" to own guns. No, really - once penis compensation, paranoia, and mental disorders are put aside - they don't. "Want" is an entirely different  issue.

The Military Option

We're NOT going to be invaded!!

The United States has the world's most over-developed military to prevent invasion (and/or go off and invade other countries). Not to even mention the nightmare logistics of trying to launch a meaningful invasion. Hello! Satellites and spyplanes and anyone with an Internet connection will spot the buildup and mobilization months in advance, and the US has missiles and submarines-with-missiles and planes-with-missiles to blow the fuck out of any invasion force long before homeboy-with-a-pistol needs to worry about protecting his homestead.

Civil (and Civilian) Defense

Also, even if the police were not being militarized by the corportist elitists (who push old military equipment out of the military in order to siphon taxpayer money to themselves via the military buying new shit), then we still have some of the best trained civil public safety people in the world. Seriously, the US police academies are a bitch to get into, and a bigger bitch to graduate from. Yeah, there are law enforcement people who make really bad decisions (cough, Ferguson, cough), but armed vigilantes are sure as shit the wrong answer (cough, George Zimmerman, cough).

The civil defense forces become important, because the truth of having a gun in your home simply means someone in your home is more likely to get killed by a gun. Imagine that - bit like saying you're risk of being bitten by a dog goes way up by having a dog in your house: it's a no-brainer. I talked to a guy who bitched about having a gun stolen from his car twice. I asked "was it in a lock box?" Answer: "Hell, no." Okay, so, the question I didn't get to ask was: did they break into your car because they saw a free gun sitting out, or did they break in and discovered "hey, free gun"? And I didn't get to ask: "Where the fuck are you parking that your car keeps getting broken into, and why are you still there?"

Call 911 and let the guys paid to get shot at take the risks of getting shot at. Carrying a gun won't stop you from getting attacked; it merely gives you a chance to escalate the violence level and hope the other guy dies first (and hope there aren't a dozen whackjob vigilante-wannabes nearby ready to run in and shoot you, simply because they have a hard-on to shoot someone and won't stop to ask pesky questions like "which one of you started it?"). Your best plan remains to be smart, avoid risky areas, and make sure your phone can autodial 911. (Of course, with assholes across the country gutting funding for services like 911, fire department, and police department, and even road maintenance, it won't be long before calling 911 gets an automated message, because we can no longer afford to actually staff those services either).

Who Put The Bug Up Your Ass?

If you still have a bug up your ass thinking Americans "need" guns, then ask yourself who put the bug there? Was it the NRA? Was it Fox News? The local Republican candidate? Was it the guy running the local gun shop? Was it anyone at all who benefits from getting you to spend money buying guns, or benefits from you being a frightened, paranoid, distrustful bastard? Gosh, imagine they might have an agenda to feed you shit and screw with your head by stuffing that bug up your ass?

I don't care if you want to own a gun. Just don't be naïve or stupid about it, and definitely don't be an ignorant dick about it.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Today is Christmas day, and also Thursday

Whether you celebrate Christmas, or not, as either a religious holiday, or maybe just a work holiday, or as a day to give people presents, or as the day to eat Chinese take-out (the old saw about Jewish people eating Chinese take-out on Christmas day, because other restaurants were closed), or even just for today being Thursday...

In the spirit of love, friendship, and the well-wishing of peace and goodwill towards all...

Happy Kwanzahanamas!!

And Merry Christmas, too! :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holy crap: I'm a global phenomenon!

Well, okay, so "phenomenon" is probably giving myself airs, but half of celebrity is self-promotion and acting like a celebrity, so I'll use the flashy words. Perception is reality, so if I repeat the mantra that I'm famous, then eventually people will wonder who this "famous Icarus person is," and then it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy, right?

What was my point? Oh, yes, yes. Check this out: I'm getting hits from all over the world! Even the United Arab Emirates, of all places! I mean, that's so unlikely that it becomes super-cool.

Now, I understand the reality is that the Internet really shrinks the world, since it becomes possible to touch anything, anywhere, and borders are meaningless and boundaries only barely have meaning. 

So, maybe it's more about time zones and culture. I think it's awesome that I could write something which would appeal to people all over the planet, even just for the few seconds to view a couple of my pages.  

Ripples on the pond, as I touch them, and they touch me. I mean, you just know that person in Australia never once thought "Hey, I bet my clicking here will make some woman on the other side of the planet giggle with child-like glee, and spur her to write about it." 

Funny thing,  life :)


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Corporations are not people; stop talking like they are

Language is important. Phrases like "Koch Industries would not talk to us" are logically invalid, since "Koch Industries" does not actually exist, except as a consensus acceptance of a body of laws, and therefore cannot make decisions, nor speak.

"Representatives from Koch Industries would not talk to us" is a logical construction, because people who are members of an organization can choose to talk or not talk.

By using the phrases "Bane Capital fired 1600 people today" we perpetuate the idea that non-existent entities can think logically, and we allow the human beings who make the decisions - and execute the decisions - to throw 1600 people to the wind, generally as a way of making a handful of people at the top of the food chain even more rich to hide behind a paper shield, operate without repercussions, as they hide behind shields made of smoke and mirrors.

Therefore, if we are ever to hold responsible - or give credit to, e.g. "Engineers at Apple have unveiled the iPhone XIV"  - the human beings that make decisions and accomplish things - for better and worse - we must reintroduce those few little words into the sentences we use. 

If we are ever going to escape the fallacy of "Corporations as people" and recover our civil rights - as HUMAN BEINGS - then we must demand that other human beings be called out. 

You can do this by telling the human beings that write news stories or press releases that you expect them to stop being lazy, and use proper sentences. Send an email to the humans at your news station that says "Microsoft cannot make decisions, because it does not really exist, but representatives of Microsoft made decisions, and by-the-way, those representatives have names, and who were they, exactly, so they can be held accountable for their decisions?"

Perception is Reality, and as long as we buy into the fiction that non-existent entities are real, then they are real. And we - as real people - have the power to reject this false reality and demand accountability of the humans behind the curtains.

Here is the litmus test: If the ZomPoc happened tomorrow, who could help you rebuild? "Puget Sound Energy" or "The engineers with skills and equipment who have pieces of plastic identifying a tribal entity (PSE) that doesn't fucking matter anymore, because the zombies are coming!"  I mean, really: In the ZomPoc, there is no "Microsoft," there is no "Fox News," there is no "Koch Industries," because the laws have changed, and anything that requires a law to exist doesn't really exist at all.

Change the language, change the reality, reclaim the world.

Edit: Here is a fantastic article on NPR which discusses how this bullshit came about, and reinforces that the class  warfare party line decision by the Supreme Court justices in 2010 threw out a century of legal precedent to further their neo-feudalist agenda.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Musical Monday: "Come With Me Now" by Kongos - Value of a Soul

Anyone who would buy a soul, isn't worth selling to.

In addition to the moral bankruptcy of the buyer, you know the bastard is going to be a skinflint and leech. Play you along with promises and temptation, toy with you, confuse you, get you to make stupid choices until you've burned your bridges and become desperate to sell for nothing. At which point you've become nothing, and are worthless, so no reason to buy your sorry ass, since you'll give yourself away for free.

Don't try to sell your soul. It's always a losing bargain.

Anyone who can buy a soul has more cunning than you, and knows how to bargain better. You'll get screwed on the deal, because you won't understand the fine print, even if you can find the fine print. Being mortal and short-lived, you also won't grasp - not for an instant - the consequences of selling your soul. Even if it turns out the soul isn't immortal, and exists only in this lifetime, you think the buyer won't compensate for that and arrange to shorten the time in your body in order to exploit time out of body, or just plain corrupt everything about your mortal existence to gain the benefits of the new purchase?

Anyway, it's a fun song with great sounds - especially the slide guitar. I'm always amazed when people can work an accordian into anything and make it sound good.

I love the "dead soul" look of the black-and-white underwater footage. The technique is practically trope, but it works really well for the intended imagery, and fits the story well.

I also love the stop-motion (or stutter-motion, or whatever it's called) scenes, where only one or two elements are actually moving. I don't think these serve any function other than being fun to look at, but they certainly achieve that without detraction, and therefore add to the whole.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

People fascinate me: inflatable latex beetle costume found on eBay

People fascinate me.

I mean, look at the fascinating things you can find on eBay, even without actually trying to find fascinating things. I was looking at clothing and costumes, and this came up.

Somewhere, someone thought it would be worthwhile to spend many, many hours designing and constructing this costume, and then debugging the inflation mechanism that would 1) inflate it, 2) keep it that way, 3) allow the wearer to breathe.

I leave it to your own deranged imagination all the mundane (or not so mundane) reasons this exists. Reasons which drive a complete array of fascinating behaviors - I mean, I bet toddlers would think this is the most awesome dinosaur costume ever! (And that's only one of the "mundane" possibilities, you pervert.)

People fascinate me.

Friday, December 19, 2014

You guys like ME! Yay! Now, pay attention to the words coming out of my mouth...!

I have long maintained the secret of success on the Internet is "Be A Personality." It's not enough to be damn good at something anymore. If you're going to gain and retain an audience, you have to be interesting. You have to be a personality. People have to give a crap about you as an individual, and have a reason to want to return again and again to see what your antics are.

That's why "reality television" does so well. That's why a chicken farmer can win a Las Vegas singing contract. (Let's face it, the guy was decent, but those concert promoters were screwed, because he wasn't good enough to retain an audience, especially since his core fanbase was in the Bible Belt back East.)

Anyway, this 16-Dec-2014 snapshot of my all-time most popular posts only supports my premise that Being A Personality is the way to go - you guys are more interested in ME - and how many bottles of wine I went thru on election night* - than any of my Very Important public service messages.

Need more examples? Okay, how about MadeYewLook by Lex, Jessica Nigri and Starfucked. They didn't score that many followers on looks alone. Jessica does some really fun "fan mail" vids, in which she tries to hide how much some of them creep her out, but doesn't quite hide it completely (and the fact she left that in tells me it is intentional and part of the show). And, okay, so maybe Alexandra "Starfucked" isn't quite in the same league as Lex and Jessica for sheer size of fanbase, but she knows how to Be A Personality, and the name has great double-take value (and I totally want that green dress; I'd probably hate wearing  it, but it would be fun to find out)  :)

Obviously, I'm doing something right ;-)  Now, I just need to keep being interesting, and slowly my subversive message of "Use Your Damn Brain" will get out there....

* I'm pretty sure it was 1.5 bottles. He kept trying to cut me off, but a friend was hosting, and friends don't let friends suffer sober and all that... ;-)


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Theological Thursday: How to Discuss Religion Like A Grown-Up

This is an extremely well-written and thoughtful piece, by Jack Butler. Very intelligent and insightful. As the author says up front, I think if more Christians (or anyone of any faith) followed this advice when discussing faith and religion, there would be many useful discussions about theology and philosophy, and that would make the world a better place, if only because - as the author wrote - "they'll see you as a different breed" i.e. a reasonable human being and not some kind of fairy-tale lunatic. I love that line - "just don't be stupid" :)

To extend the model, I think the best way to discuss religion with anyone of a different religion (or non-religion) is to shrug and say "It works for me, and I'm happy to share with you why it does," and leave it at that. Find the common ground - treating people with dignity is good, feeding the poor is good, being nice to people is good, don't be a jerk, etc. ("Jerk," like "Stupid," is a condition ubiquitous across the spectrum of humankind, and not limited to religious people.)

Heck, I find different branches of Christianity differ so much that this could be written for Christians talking to other Christians (or Muslims talking to Muslims, or Hindus talking to Hindus, whatever, since the root problem is that People Are Insane).

I mean, hardcore Creationists look like idiots to anyone who knows (and doesn't childishly reject) any science at all (or has even read Genesis 1 and 2, ever), and understands the simple concept that God is smart enough to have spun up an infinite universe 15 billion years ago with the exact plan that human beings would someday be here to fight about what God was thinking (which I think would show a sense of humor on God's part).

Evolution might look random, or it might have been all part of the Master Plan. (Personally, I prefer random, because the micro-management required for it not to be random - while easily within God's scope - means there ain't really any free will at all.)

So, basically it all comes back to "Be Cool, Don't Be a Tool."


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Money Sex: How easily we become confused

It's class warfare, bitches. It's time we woke up and smelled the reality burning.

My household has some money invested. It's small potatoes compared even to millionaires, let alone the fantasy-world of multi-millionaires or billionaires.

I looked this morning, just out of curiosity, and my numbers were 3% lower than a few days ago. Which means they're still higher than six months ago.

But, I confess, despite my constant efforts to remind myself what reality is, there was a part of me that panicked and felt like I'd lost something

Now, for perspective, the number is still 30% higher than the sum total of all the money I have put into it.

Yep, if I'd stuffed all that money in my mattress, I'd have only about 2/3 of what I have now - and all I had to do was let a bunch of money pimps whore it around and magically produce more money out of nothing.

That's a pretty sweet deal, when you really think about it. I do nothing at all, and magically people give me money for it.

Damn, how sweet it would be to have a $million$ to hand over to these money pervs for 20 years and see what sick magic they would work.

Now, here's where I get to the other point: humans are easily confused. We tend to think whatever we care about is what is really important, regardless of whether or not that is an illusion.

So, let's say I did have $5 million in investments. That 3% would be $150,000 - Hell, that would really feel like a lot of money "lost" in a few days (remember, that it never actually exists when the money pimps are working it - it remains potential money until cashed out). That kind of money would buy a really nice vintage car, or two, or be a down payment for a mega-mansion, or even be enough to finance an entire indie feature film (yes, really, I know indie filmmakers who could make some sweet screen candy for $150K).

I can see how the 1% can easily get confused when the orgy-masters on Wall Street pull these shenanigans.

If I were a Trust Fund Kid - living life based on the output of that money sex rather than living life based on working my ass off every day, then I'd really freak out, because my candy lifestyle could be in danger, especially if I made bad choices and overspent.

Now, just because I can see how the 1% and 0.1% can become confused over their value compasses, and make idiotic choices about how to exert control over their treasures, doesn't mean I won't punch them in the face for being greedy and stupid, and buying politicians who shit on the rest of us by playing feudalism with the economy - funneling wealth from the poor to the rich in order to harden the privileged class of wealthy and rich, who live by climbing on the backs of the new peasantry.

Once we, the peasantry, understand how the slimy house of cards is built, then we can 1) play the game to exploit the bastards right back, 2) press our elected officials on the right buttons to establish legislation - such as taxation - that says "congrats on the fruits of doing nothing, now you get to share your free largess with everyone else by helping pay for the roads you drive on."

It's class warfare, bitches. We outnumber the fucks, and our sheer numbers provide unlimited raw power, if only we can get our shit together.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's a Gun, Not a Condom 3: Your Penis is Small, Unless You Own a Gun

"Be a Man. Get a Gun."

WTF? does that even mean?

Oh, I see - it means you're not a Real Man unless you've got a big gun in your pocket. 
Being able to hold down a job doesn't make you a Real Man. 
Being able to fix a car doesn't count.
Being a decent father doesn't count.
Being a mature human being capable of holding decent conversation doesn't count.

Nope. Only if you have a bang-bang stick in your pocket, and you're prepared to commit murder with your bang-bang stick, and possibly spend the rest of your life in jail, or the rest of your life as That Murderer, are you a Real Man. (Ask George Zimmerman, Manly Vigilante Hero, how that's working out.)

And, just to repeat the obvious - but Very Important point: it's a gun, not a condom! It's a device meant to kill humans. It's not Iron Man's power armor, or Captain America's mighty shield, or even Wonder Woman's magic bracelets. It can't "protect you" - it only let's you shoot back.

(And boys, do you really want to date this woman? If she really gets wet for your Big Gun, how long before she uses it on someone, and it's her ass of to jail, leaving you to raise the kids by yourself?)

Oh, for fuck's sake, can we get some fucking basic intelligence in this conversation?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Musical Monday: MadeYewLook by Lex - Passion and Body Paint

Okay, so Lex isn't technically doing music videos, unless you consider her voice, which is just crazy sexy (and no, I can't tell you precisely why I think that; it all comes down to harmonics and the energy she exudes).

I'm a sucker for superheroes, and she does some really cool makeup tutorials for superhero/supervillain like characters.

Anyway, she's done a ton of these - and she's also done other video log entries, for example apparently she has diabetes, so she talks about that a bit, and has even set up an Instagram feed for her dog. Woman knows how Be A Personality and sell herself as the product.

She's also managed to turn this video hobby into a way to make money, since she now has her own Lex-branded line of products, and has worked vendor booths at conventions (she's done vids showing those, which is how I know). I appreciate that she works her plugs for her products into the vids without over-doing it (it's all in the deadpan matter-of-fact delivery).

So, let's see - this post is all about sharing something fun with you, and I think you'll enjoy it.

It's about supporting someone who has found her passion and has fun with it, and that is very cool.

And diabetes is a serious illness that can be treated by diet, exercise and medication. (I don't know, I just felt like this post needed some gravitas, and a PSA fit both the criteria for gravitas while still being light-hearted).

Friday, December 12, 2014

Batting 1000!

My blog passed 1000 views!

I've only been posting for 94 days, so that's more than 10 views per day.

This post is number 86 - so that's an average of 12 views per post!

Okay, yes, I've been watching it every hour for the last two days, waiting for this moment!

As much fun as I'm having playing the Google game of "chasing the numbers" - I'm a long way from conquering the world, but I'm feeling very encouraged that I'm finding my voice, and my audience is finding me - and THAT is the part that is really exciting me.


Fiction Friday: The Origin of NORAD Tracks Santa

You can never be quite sure how the small decisions you make might leave your mark on history. In 1955, Colonel Harry Shoup had a choice to make - play along for the children, or tell them to fob off. He, and his staff, played along - probably just laughing and working hard to one-up the tall tales they tell on each phone call - and spawned a tradition that has put smiles on the faces of children and adults around the globe for almost six decades. That’s the kind of legacy I would love to leave behind.


“The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations ‘hotline.’ The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.”

From the FAQ at


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Theological Thursday: Jesus Loves Fags

Two important messages here:
  1. Just as you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink. So, too, you can try to teach the ignorant, but you cannot force them to learn. It has to be a two-way effort;
  2. Jesus loves everybody. Everyone says so, there are even songs about it.

Right-O. So, we've established that Jesus Loves Everybody, right? That includes homosexuals.  And black people. And Muslims. Yeah, see, Jesus was Jewish, but he said "everyone is a child of God, and God loves all His children," right?  Yeah, see that includes Muslims, even  those black Muslims, and you just know those are the worst kind, right?  I mean "dark" and "Muslim."  I shudder to imagine it.

Jesus Loves Everybody. Even the fuckwits who insist on being ignorant, petty, selfish, bigots.

Yep, Jesus even loves them.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hey, Faceborg! It's my shit, because I say so! Right?

The delightful, witty, and above all - sarcastic - text below came from the mind of my beloved Legendary David Shepheard. I have altered his madcap work only to insert my own name. I wish to extend the sentiments to the bastards at Google (bless them. For giving me free blog space), the bastards at Clear Channel and Fox (for being bastards), and any of you perverts ogling my icon, which is a photomanip of Amber Heard, and thinking naughty thoughts (although I expect naughty thoughts about Miss Heard are unavoidable, especially when she's wearing boob armor).


Due to the Fact that Facebook has installed software that will allow Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates to look at photos of me (while they are sitting on the toilet) I, Icarus Anne Riley, aka Icarus Loofem, do declare the following: on this day 3rd December 2014: in response to the new Facebook guidelines and under articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that any sexual pleasure gained by looking at photos of me (while sitting on the toilet) REQUIRES MY WRITTEN CONSENT IN LARGE CAPITAL LETTERS CARVED OUT OF YUKON GOLD POTATOES. In the event that Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates or anyone they allow to look at my photos is up to any sort of naughtiness, I will require my standard fee of $10 Million CAN ($8.8 Million US) to be delivered to my house on the back of dragons within 30 days.

Those reading this message can copy and paste this message onto their own Timelines. This will have no effect whatsoever, except to make the trolls that started this BS chain-letter-rant laugh at your gullibility and make your friends think that you believe everything you read and do not know how to search for scams on Snopes.

By this release, I tell Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to think naughty thoughts about me, while looking at my photos.

The contents of my profile include nerdy information. The violation of my privacy is punished under Federation law (NCC1701).

‪#‎CheckSnopesFirst‬ ‪#‎DYSWIDT‬ ‪#‎DidYouActuallyReadAllOfThis‬?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Rush Limbaugh is a Socialist Commie Pig

Communism and socialism are philosophical ideas which operate on two core premises:  
  1. Wouldn't it - as Jesus said- be such a great world if we all just tried being nice to each other for a change? Or parsed more eloquently, wouldn't it be nice if we had a world where people could selflessly contribute what they can, and take only what they need? And,
  2. That humans could possibly stop being the most selfish fucking creatures ever to infest God's own playground.
See, its that second point where all falls apart, not the first part.

This is important for two reasons: 
  • Humans are selfish - as a genetic survival mechanism, this is good. As a social pack animal survival mechanism, this is bad, because it means that humans will shit on each other and tell themselves it's justified;
  • Very Selfish humans, e.g. Rush Limbaugh, steal your money by convincing you that the natural order is to be selfish, and that being anything other than selfish is foolish, and that it's good and proper to be selfish, "Now buy my book telling you how to screw your selfish neighbor, you naïve little tit, hahahaha."  
In the real world, any government that called itself "communist" or "socialist" may have started out as a naïve ideal to force humans to be self-LESS, but the machinery was quickly corrupted by self-ISH bastards willing to lie, cheat, steal, shit on other humans, and do so all for selfish purposes (that's what makes them selfish bastards, after all).

In the real world, "communist" and "socialist" governments never existed. Instead, there were right-wing totalitarian dictatorships and fascist governments marketing themselves as left-wing philosophies, which is not the same thing, no matter what any greedElitist Opportunistic Pig says.

Let me rephrase that last point, because it's crucial: When asshats like Rush Limbaugh scream against the evils of "communism" and "socialism," they're actually screaming against the evils of their own right-wing agendas of fascism and totalitarianism. It's all smoke and mirrors.

See, left-wingers don't do death squads, which is kind of the ultimate benchmark of right-wing world, because "bleeding heart libdems" are all about having empathy towards other humans, and you can't put people into concentration camps, or cut their heads off with chainsaws, when you can feel their pain (i.e. empathize). It takes cold-hearted, selfish, narrow-minded right-wing bastards to do that kind of shit. This is also proof that in the real world, the "communist" governments of North Korea and China aren't, because they pull the same shit that Saddam Hussein, the Shahs of Iran, and those psychopaths of ISIL and the Taliban pull - e.g. concentration camps, disappearances, bloody murders, and torture.

It is true the United States is being aggressively dragged toward fascism - by the GOP lap-monkeys of the uber-rich elitist scum (who are scum, independent of being rich, although the pampered privilege of being rich lends to becoming scum). For example, we've established that right-wing asshats advocate torture, e.g. President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney saying "strapping people to boards, humiliating them, and hurting them - like the Vietnamese did to Sen. John McCain (which is why he can't raise his arms above his shoulders, i.e. his bones were broken too many times by his torturers) is okay." Yeah, see, right-wingers dragging us to the right, i.e. fascism.

And, in the real world, the bastards running these right-wing-governments-in-"socialist"-clothing were driven by their greed for power and privilege. They created laws that enabled them to gain (or "steal," whichever) more power and privilege (like the GOP are doing, prodded onward by people like Rush Limbaugh). They dominated the media with their message of how they were justified, and righteous and how everyone else was The Evil Bad Guy.

...exactly the same as Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, the bastards behind the Tea Party, the Walton (Wal-Mart) family, and pretty much everyone working in the Rupert Murdoch Media Empire (you know, Fox "news"), etc., etc.

In other words, Rush Limbaugh is secretly a Socialist Commie Pig.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Musical Monday: "Chop Suey!" by System of a Down - Why I Never Committed Suicide

"Chop Suey!" directed by Thomas Mignone for the rock band System of a Down.

I love the sound of this song. It has such an awesome blend of loud and soft volumes, slow melodic tunes juxtaposed against raging speed metal, and easy to sing lyrics. Who cares if the lyrics don't necessarily make sense, or if no god (or God) is really going to care about a "self-righteous suicide."

The song has an awesome sound :)

I love the video, too. The mashup of the three guys blurring together is cool, and the constant motion, and I love the shot of rolling beneath the guitar guy only to come back up looking at the lead singer.

The use of the SnorriCam (camera mounted on the performer making him appear still while everything else moves)  just adds to the sense of surreal already conveyed by the lyrics and other visuals.

On a more philosophical tangent, suicide sucks. There is a reason the Catholic church ascribes it as a sin - it is ultimately selfish, brutally wounds those who survive, and is fatal (duh).

Now, in juxtaposition (see what I did there?), I understand why people commit suicide. PAIN HURTS. Look, I've been in that hole. I've contemplated death as the only way to make the pain stop. I got lucky and counseling and medication got me through until things changed and I no longer live in that black hole.  But, it's still selfish.

The song sings of a self-righteous suicide, as if killing oneself will somehow punish God for the loneliness and suffering the subject feels. It won't. God cares, and will take the dead soul into His embrace, and the pain ends, but the survivors - friends, family, anyone the deceased took out in a blaze of glory - suffer like fuck.

The best revenge against an uncaring Universe is to live anyway. If you feel like the Universe is trying to grind you underfoot, then tell it to fuck off every morning by waking up, and going through the motions and fighting to make things change. Stay stubborn long enough and eventually you either climb out of the hole, or - more likely - someone helps you out, and then you can really put your life to meaning something. Instead of a "self-righteous suicide" make it a "self-righteous life."

It's easy to die. It's living that's the hard part. Making a life that leaves the world a better place is the best revenge ever.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Suck it God, I own a Gun

I see a number of "pro gun" memes where the basic subtext (for anyone who knows how to think) is: "I own a gun, and I would be proud to kill another human being." For example, "Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out."

Really? Would you also be proud to beat your wife? To kick a dog? To steal food from the mouth of a child? To knife a soldier? To chainsaw a cheerleader? To tell God to "suck it"? Bet you would, you bloodthirsty murderer-wannabe.

I think the best meme to make my point is the one that went something like "Guns and God. Trespass and meet both of them." I think that person needs to add "And when you meet God, you can tell him I said 'Suck Your Sixth Commandment!' - because, that's what this little sign says, right up there for anyone who knows how to think.

I'm prepared to allow that this person doesn't really mean it, but just as actions speak louder than words, so words speak louder than intentions. But, in the case of a bumper sticker that says "Screw the Sixth Commandment," (by any other words) actions have already spoken: bumper stickers don't put themselves on bumpers. Someone bought that sticker, carried it home, stuck it on that bumper, and left it there, to show the entire world how proud that person is to say "Suck it God, I own a gun."


Friday, December 5, 2014

Money Sex at its Finest - Exchange Traded Funds may generate tax-free revenue

So, I had YouTube running in the background, one of those mashups of songs from Within Temptation and whomever else the mashup maker thought fit (I was pleased to find Amaranthe in the mix, so I'm not the only one that mashes those bands together).

Anyway, this guy from Wisdom Tree comes on and starts talking about Exchange-Traded Funds and makes the comment "they can take very efficient use of tax structures, and may often generate returns with no tax impact at all, which, of course, has a huge benefit on growth over time."

Well, no shit. It also means the rich trust-fund kids have found a way to totally dodge having to pay taxes.

Okay, maybe that's not quite true, but even so, the capital gains tax caps out at 15%, which is great for the uber-rich who have all that money in the market doing the money sex thing (i.e. "making" money by rubbing money together, without actually doing anything dirty like make roads or cars, or anything in any way useful). And there is constantly legislation being pushed by the lapdogs of the greedElitists to entirely wipe out taxes on capital gains under the tired old "tinkle-down" economic premise that giving money to the rich has any impact whatsoever on making the rest of the world a shinier place (pro-tip: it has far less impact on economic growth than taxing the shit out of the rich and spending the money on things like roads, or cars, or anything useful).

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Theological Thursday: Go preach crazy somewhere else; I've already got Cthulhu

Just so we're clear: "Cthulhu," by any other spelling, is fictitious. Well, at least as fictitious as all the other divine entities concocted, invented, "contacted" and "discovered" by humanity over the years. Hell, I once had a conversation with someone ten years younger than me who was telling me all about the "Religion of the Twelve Dragons" and was baffled when I told her to read "Dragons of Autumn Twilight." I mean, the shit people will adopt as dogma and gospel....

Damnit, I wasn't going to trap this post as a "Theological Thursday," but I went there, so now it goes there.

Ah, well, at least theology guarantees months of material :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The fallacy of "rational" thinking

Getting thru the day is much easier when you always remember that people are insane.

No, no, we like to believe we are all "rational actors," but the truth is that we're all insane.

Every "rational" decision is just a bundle package of emotions, thoughts, expectations, brain chemistry, poor overhead lighting, and breakfast.

"Rational" is a goal, not a reality.


Zitpoppers? Ew! Why am I still watching??

In the general category of "What The Hell Is Wrong With People?" I recently discovered all the horrible, disgusting, and wretchedly fascinating videos on YouTube about things like "World's Largest Blackhead," and "Biggest Tonsil Stone," and "Puppy's Skin Infested With Maggots," and "Insect Extracted From Ear Canal." (No, I'm not providing links - if you really want to traumatize yourself, then you have to take full ownership and find these horrors yourself.)

So, what the Hell is wrong with people that these videos have so many viewings? Why the Hell did I watch them (yes, all four of those)? Why the Hell did I watch more?

It's only a bit healthier than watching video of a medical amputation or an actual beheading. (Hello! Real People feeling real horror and pain and carnagey death, and they don't get to laugh about it and go home when the camera stops, because they're really dead!) As a species we seem fascinated by the bizarre and horrific. I mean - "Human Centipede" wasn't horrible enough in every literal and artistic way, people actually auditioned to be part of a sequel?? (Ditto you don't get to blame me if you look it up.)

Oh, and to come back around to the starting point - turns out the "world's largest blackhead" was just a clogged bellybutton. W.T.F.?? Man spends 20 years and never once cleans his bellybutton until some doctor (okay, some person wearing latex gloves) gives it a squeeze and out pops this gunkwad the size of a marble? What the Hell is wrong with that guy? I mean... doesn't a bath once a year prevent something like that... never squeezed it once, ever, himself to clear it out...? Inexcusably ewwwwwwww!

I don't actually have any answers to why people are so fascinated by the disgusting and grotesque (darkly, it's easier to explain why people are so disgusting and grotesque). I just needed to share my trauma at how screwed up we are as a species.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Microsoft: You Will Do It Our Way, And Like It

The people at Microsoft have changed the terms of service agreement, and it's to their benefit, not your's.  Not that this has any practical impact on most people, but the new clause amounts to you agreeing to sign away your rights and options, should you get screwed by the people at Microsoft.

I mean, really, the entire ToS is written by lawyers to protect the interests of the people who own the legal entity known as Microsoft.  It is written by really smart people, with really expensive college educations, to ensure that they have as many advantages as possible - as allow ed by the laws they can buy from politicians. (Note again I said they have college educations - a college education is expensive, and there are lots of trade-craft jobs that pay really great wages, but the only guaranteed way to escape poverty is by getting an education, so even if you do become an industrial welder in your 20s, stick with the part-time college work, because that's how you can move into management in your 40s).

Here are the two key parts of the latest revision of the Microsoft Terms of Service (as of July, 2014)

Effective July 31, 2014


10.4. Class action waiver. Any proceedings to resolve or litigate any dispute in any forum will be conducted solely on an individual basis. Neither you nor Microsoft will seek to have any dispute heard as a class action, private attorney general action, or in any other proceeding in which either party acts or proposes to act in a representative capacity. No arbitration or other proceeding will be combined with another without the prior written consent of all parties to all affected arbitrations or proceedings.

Most of you are asking: So what?

Class Action is a way of helping the little guy - you and me - share the unbelievably huge cost of lawsuits. Microsoft Corporation has the money to fight a legal battle between now and Armageddon, but you and I are lucky if we can afford to pay a lawyer to talk to us about whether or not we even have legal standing to sue Microsoft Corporation, let alone actually plunge into the costs of that lawsuit.

By this contractual clause, we agree to surrender an important legal opportunity.  It's a bit like saying "Oh, yes, I agree that if you throw me over a barrel and butt rape me, that I can't change my mind later and decide I regret it."

Seriously. It's like the rights of privacy you surrender to the asshats at Faceborg or Googleborg when you agree to use their services (technically, I've surrendered the Copyright to what I'm writing here, and I've accepted that).

There are website entities where you can agree to let them abuse you and treat you like shit, including what amounts to rape, or injury, then sell the videos of them doing it to you, typically in exchange for a one-time payment of money (but they make piles by selling the video again and again), and you've surrendered you right to ever stop them (short of murder or vandalism). (This entire paragraph is literal, not figurative. It's freaky shit people do.)

It's a bit like that - you want what Microsoft or Faceborg offers? You agree to surrender everything in order to have it.

It's all about money, power and privilege. It's class warfare, bitches. Welcome to the digital age.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Musical Monday: "Freak Like Me" by Halestorm - I've Found My Anthem

Going to try a new theme day. I've trying to curb some of the anger in my soul with other things. Mostly, because it's not good for me to only be angry, but also because people get bored of a one-note talking head. Even Rush Limbaugh changes it up from time to time by acting like he cares about people, or getting himself caught in a drug scandal-of-his-own-making, and whatever.

So, anyway, let's try "Musical Monday."

I've got a grrl-crush on Lzzy Hale. I love her voice, and her delivery and her energy.  You can love her body; she's hot. (Her brother has yummy abs, too.)

It's not likely any kind of stretch why I identify with Halestorm's "Freak Like Me." I mean, talk about angry and embracing it. :)