Tag Archives: humour

There Are Times…

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   ]

There are times when, as I read stuff, I wish I was an Android with a hard drive instead of a leaky human brain so I could store all the information and have it “there” at my fingertips (so to speak) when I think about something, or quote something I’ve read, with full ability to regain the context of it.  “Sigh!” – it doesn’t seem to be happening.  Oh well, at least I have learned to speed things up in collecting information; to turn my email program (that wonderful Microsoft Outlook 2002 which nothing can touch for clarity and efficiency) into a library of congress sort of filing system…

Here are a few “odds ‘n ends” from my eclectic collection of thoughts and ideas and word imagery.

CRONY CAPITALISM is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism.

THEREMIN:  electronic musical instrument played without touching, invented by a Russian physicist, Leon Theremin circa 1919 (patented in 1928).  Used in popular music of many movie soundtracks.

ANODYNE PHRASE is a weak statement intended to hide an ugly truth. Another name for that would be political correctness.

UTILITARIANISM: Doctrine that the useful is the good; especially as elaborated by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill; the aim was said to be the greatest happiness for the greatest number. (Imagine that!  The more you slave for your elites, the happier you will be!)

THE EASIEST WAY to solve a problem is to deny its existence (Isaac Asimov)

ELECTRICITY is NOT an energy SOURCE.

IF THE CIA ever told the truth, it would genetically implode (David Icke)

THE GREAT PYRAMID weighs 6 million tons; covers 13 acres; is 750’ per side; 481’ tall and contains over 2.5 million individual blocks of stone.  None of this answers my question: why was it built, and by whom?

AMERICAN EXEPTIONALISM:  the US’s power to make and break deals world-wide with no accountability to results.

I AM WRITING the book of human sins.  When I’m done I’ll cast it into the fire and all their sins will be gone. (The Island – Russian movie)

THE UNTIED NATIONS – once known as the United Nations…

BRICS nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China, S. Africa.

IDIOCRACY:  It’s hard to be smart with so many dopamine-producing distractions and so much online approval for our uneducated opinions. (from a Joel Stein article in Times magazine)

DONALD TRUMP, proud President of Saudi America.

EGREGIOUS:  conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible (and didn’t I just mention Donald Trump?)

ECONOMICS is not a science, it’s a set of values pretending to be science.

IT’S DISCOURAGING to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit (Noel Coward)

IT IS MY OPINION, subject to change only under extreme duress, that mankind (Earthians as my Teachers call them) were genetically engineered and remain unnaturally so.  That tends to explain a few ridiculous things the species clings to as if its survival depended on them, like Religion, Politics and Money. 

SOME WORDS that need re-defining:  salacious means lust or moral looseness whereas pulchritude means a physically beautiful woman.  I would turn those definitions around.  Salacious sounds so much nicer than pulchritude, I mean, really…

PRECARIAT: the growing majority population whose lives are marked by precariousness, lack, anxiety and fear.

USSA, acronym for United Slave States of America.  Another acronym that needs no interpretation: UKKKA.

PSYCHIATRY is the science of lies. (Thomas Szaz)

FEDERAL RESERVES is a parasite.

THE SUREST SIGN that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us. (Bill Waterson)

WHY THE MILITARY needs so much money to accomplish so little is explained by this military description of a screwdriver – “rotational torque-adjustable fastener applicator.” 

WHEN FACTS don’t fit preconceptions, deny the facts.

US DIPLOMACY can be fully explained in three words: Convert, Co-opt, Conquer.  

A FORTNIGHT is 14 consecutive days, or two weeks.  (Go figure that one out!)

DEMOCRACY is a chimera invented to keep the bottom dwellers in their place without having to resort to police state brutality or chancing violent revolutions.  Democracy and Capitalism are diametrical opposites, but who notices these little things?

PEOPLE in general have an innate need to find something larger than themselves to be a part of. (Matthew Quirk)

CANT: stock phrases become nonsense through endless repetition.

AD HOMINEM: appealing to personal considerations rather than to facts or reason.

TUGAREZ VRAS means “Thank you” in Breton.  (That should be my mother tongue but my parents didn’t use it so defaulted to French.  Life can be so unfair…)

… and finally, let’s give full credit to computerization when it is due.  In looking up the word “eclectic” in my Wordweb dictionary using the control-right click sequence, this was the result: word not found:  “Lrzlililfiwlectiifrzlfilnrs”  – I couldn’t make that up!  (Maybe I should re-think that android brain?) 

 

Touching Base

Hello to all, and to all a hello!

Some of you may have noticed less comments from me, and less posts… well there are a couple of simple explanations.  The most obvious, which I can make public without fear of being investigated is that I’m suddenly very busy in the other real world, working on jobs, ones that actually pay, can you believe it?  So that means long hours in Daylight Saving Time pretending I’m enjoying myself as Spring very reluctantly begins to show his face and the snow line hems are rising up the side of those hills that surround this area.

The second reason (which of course I can’t make public, or tell anyone for fear of serious reprisals by the powers that be) is that I’ve become aware that I am a Russian agent, and that means I’ve awakened to my pre-birth training in some Siberian camp where I was indoctrinated in the doctrine of Putinism and trained in demagoguery (Heck I couldn’t even spell that!)  So now I have to spend time reviewing.

I don’t know yet what they’re going to ask me to do, but I have to be ready.  This is serious business and the competition is truly  fierce.  According to mainstream media, just about everybody (in North American at least) is now a Russian Agent, or claiming to be one because the scuttlebutt is that all awakened agents get free credit cards with very high spending limits, and as Jon Rappoport says, when the cards are maxed, the Russians pay the balance.  So you see, I’m motivated.

Of course, I didn’t write the above paragraph, didn’t post it on this blog and if you receive it, it’s your own fault for downloading it.  And by the way, that’s not me in those CCTV shots and in that video dancing with a bear.  It’s a look alike trained by my enemies to make my Russian masters disown me and refuse to give me my free credit cards.  Dirty pool but what can you expect with so much rampant corruption?  That bear isn’t even real: it’s a Sasquatch in a bear suit.

Sorry, the dishes need washing, tomorrow’s lunch needs putting together (or thinking about) and… and… something else…

 

 

Maybe life isn’t meant to be taken seriously?

              [thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

I’ll start with a few chosen quotes…which I may use later to illustrate some points.

“Propagandists are experts at convincing clueless dolts it’s raining when their government is actually pissing down their backs.” (1EarthUnited-WordPress)

“It is not good for man to cherish a solitary ambition. Unless there be those around him, by whose example he may regulate himself, his thoughts, desires, and hopes will become extravagant, and he the semblance, perhaps the reality, of a madman.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Modern anxiety is expressed in the longing for what most people fear, even as modern grief is expressed in the unconsummated mourning for what they never really had.” ― Joseph Roach

There are connections between those quotes.  Who, for example, listens to propagandists?  Well, people who feel a terrible need to take everything seriously, like me, for example.  Only I go a step further: I go to all the trouble of rejecting their propaganda, which means that I had to first, listen to them, then make the effort to realize they are liars, then tell myself I was filling my mind with lies and I needed to exert extra energy to cleanse my mind of their lies.  Stupid.

Who but someone who takes things too seriously, particularly herself, would cherish a solitary ambition?  What’s the point of practicing the art of abnegation; of extreme unselfishness; of giving and giving until nothing remains but a husk when you know at the beginning of the exercise the more you give, the more you go along, the more you clean after, the more will be expected and demanded until a plantation field hand slave is richer and better cared for than you?

Let me paraphrase something I read in the Bible a long time ago.  In the King James version it said, “be anxious for nothing… your father in heaven knows your needs and as he takes care of the birds of the air, so he’ll take care of you when you serve him.”  I said, paraphrase, remember?  But that’s the gist of what I was taught.  I believed it too – I wanted to believe it, and as I was raised in relative poverty, often in a kind of hand-to-mouth existence, I needed to believe it because even as a child I saw many people much worse off than I, or my family, ever were.  Being raised very religious I thought I needed to understand God.  I never did – for the record. 

So I thought, well, maybe I’m supposed to be “god” – not in the fabulous (blasphemous) sense taught by all false religions, but in the giving, caring, understanding, helping and also the warning sense.  I should have written, to be “like” God – and that didn’t pan out either because the more serious I got, and the more ways I sought to maximize my personal efforts on behalf of the less fortunate, the less like God I became because the more I actually cared about justice and the less I cared about what people believed.

That brings me to writing about the greatest loss of my life: when I lost “God.”  As I quoted above, Joseph Roach said, “modern grief is expressed in the unconsummated mourning for what they never really had.”  That’s how it was: I grieved for the loss of something I never had, I just imagined (powerfully so) that I’d had it.  The mourning I experienced lasted years, and it returns time and again and I have to make a huge and deliberate effort to shake it off, send it away.  

You see, this loss I experienced was that of a comfort that gave no comfort, just the idea of it.  I had faith in an idea; my love was for an idea; an idea I idealized to the point where I expected “it” to empower me to live a good, righteous, selfless, basically “sinless” life and this ideal would make this life short enough that I could see it to the end without ever having time to doubt.  

That’s taking life seriously. 

In all likelihood I will continue to take life seriously… but not today.  Not right now.  I’ve been following the antics of “the world” as they spin off from Washington, the Pentagon, Wall Street and the very same “trinity of bull shit” in every other nation on the planet, trying desperately to make sense of something, and well, it would take even greater faith than I poured into “God” in the first half of my life to believe that in all this “information” pouring into my brain, any of it matters.

As of right now, until whenever, I’m saying yes, I’ve been taking life way too seriously.  Humanity is a joke.  A very bad joke, but a joke nevertheless.  It’s an orgy of dysfunction that is in love with itself and seeks to expand itself exponentially – and does. 

But listen, it isn’t just man that’s gone off the reservation.  All of life on earth is nuts – certifiable.  It’s not immediately obvious to most people because they don’t look at the tapestry from a certain distance, they look at it piecemeal.  They don’t see the dysfunction of a predatory system that rules everything here.  Were it not for the massive and on-going killing, everything would have been overrun long ago and earth would be massive dead swamps and deserts.  That’s the legacy of this world if its modus operandi doesn’t change.

Did it start as a massive joke from some long-gone “creators” for their entertainment, or did some programming go wrong?  Either way, it’s now laugh or cry, and today, I’m laughing!  A dysfunction of such massive proportions dwarfs the shenanigans of the Greek, Roman and Nordic gods.  Man doesn’t need gods, man is the gods.  Everyone is a participant in the final playoffs.  Whether it’s the Hunger Games or The Price is Right… enjoy the game.  Give yourself a great, loud belly laugh, today.  As Robert DeNiro so famously said, “Let’s worry about next time, next time.”

 A couple more quotes, to close.

“My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; it’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.” ― Alan Moore

  “We are not idealized wild things.  We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.” ― Joan Didion

The Story Teller

 

                                                       [a short story—by Sha’Tara]

So, as I was saying, I crewed with Abraham, on the old Windsong, you know, and as luck would have it…

“Hey, wait a minute, did you say Abraham? I thought the Wandering Jew died when his ship’s hull was breached by a meteor and the computers failed to sound the warning in time.  They found the records in the wreckage.”

Well, obviously he hadn’t yet eh?  Can I get on with this? As I was saying, the Old Man called his commanders to his cabin one day, that is, those of us temporarily out of fugue, and he said, “You dogs listen, and listen good.   I don’t have a lot of time left, no matter how much fugue I take, and with rats like this crew to command, not much of that allowed me or I’ll find my ship boosted and me shackled in the hole or looking at the stars without a face visor. Here’s the deal, and it will explain why I felt the need to hire a pack of criminals like you for this trip. Our manifest states we are hauling arka-brite to the smelters on Ita. You know this. What you don’t know is, we’re going renegade. Are you hearing me?”

We all nodded silently, looking at the floor, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“What, no argument from you pirates?   Fine. A couple of sleeps ago, I had a dream. There was an ancestor of mine with the same name I have. He too was a wanderer. Seems he was looking for his home and his god, so the dream said, spoke to him and promised him this home if he would do whatever he was told to do.   Fugue dreams can get very detailed, and often very boring, since you can’t get out of them. This one was interesting. This Abraham turned from his ways and began to follow the directions given him by his god and messengers, or angels or whatever you call them.   We’ve seen enough of these in our travels, not a problem to accept this possibility is it?  Still no comments?  Very well.  

“What I found interesting is that my ancestor stopped questioning everything. He basically did as he was told and he had a pretty good and interesting life all around. Women, battles, hobnobbing with some king in a place they called “Egypt” or so it sounded.   Then he had cattle that grazed on rolling green lands—I saw these in the dream—and he lived in tents that billowed in the wind. It’s my understanding that the god wanted Abraham to have children who would inherit the world they were on at the time and didn’t much care how those kids were “begotten” as the saying went, if you get my drift.”  

Old scar-face actually winked as he said that. Must’ve been a pretty exciting dream for him to demonstrate feelings!  He continued:  

“I couldn’t make out whether these people had ships, but it seems they actually didn’t. I know, sounds far-fetched but who knows the kinds of events that happen to worlds over time? In fact, if I understand the dream, they walked, yes, with their own legs, from place to place. They didn’t even use exoskeletons. Gravity must’ve been pretty low to be able to do that. Didn’t mention equipment either, so best guess, they were able to survive on it without suits. What else… oh, yes, in what I saw of it, this world had biological life all over it: things like live animals, plants, and open water, lots of open water in some places. I saw the sky: it was colored a light-blue. Now that makes for an interesting kind of world.  Best guess, I had a dream about Old Earth.”

Somebody chuckled a bit too loud.  Old scarface looked around until everbody stood rigidly at attention, stone-faced.

“Well, you rats, I have a mind to find that ancient world of my ancestors and if I can black-market our manifest to my smuggler friend Hino the Zealous for a half-decent payoff, we head out.”

I remember then saying, “Uh, cap’n, apart from the fact that if we’re arrested after high-jacking a load of arka-brite from Arka Corp we’ll all hang so to speak, do you have coordinates for this planet of yours?”

“I will have. I intend to do exactly what my ancestor did. Not for nothing they sneeringly label me the Wandering Jew. I am Jewish, not that it means anything anymore, but it did in those times, apparently.   My plan is simple: I intend to enter into fugue shortly and return to the dream. I intend to contact that god and get the coordinates from him. Since the planet was given to my ancestors, then it’s also mine.   Logical. If my people are already on it, then I’ll retire there and you can have the old Windsong. Lots of parsecs left in her yet. We’ll give her a facelift, change her name, registration, and off you’ll go boys.”

“Sorry to interrupt cap’n,” our computer analyst and programmer Bryxt cut in, “but you intend to enter fugue while connected to a brain scan?”

And as you space dogs know, it’s the only way to reconnect to the dream sequence, and totally illegal because in most cases, it induces what has come to be known as “gap” sickness, an incurable condition of acute paranoia caused by jumps.  Jumps is the only way to get around in space unless you want to spend eternity looking at the same stars.

“That’s what I mean to do, damn space admin’s rules or the consequences. If I come out addled, the ship is yours that much sooner, so what’s the worry? Toss my body out and we’ll be square.”

So, to make a long story short, the cap’n entered fugue connected; came out apparently sane and sound with a smile on his scarred leathery face that spread from ear to ear.

“All right you useless worms, contact Hino. The coordinates are in the computer. As soon as we’re cleaned-out and paid, we head out. A little adventure, that’s what a man needs at the end of his journey.   Space can get so damned boring after a while.”

We sold our cargo to the smugglers and entered worm hole TF-068 using a pirated ship’s signature from one of the smuggler’s barges and after some unexpected and bone-jarring jolting came out among the weirdest groupings of solar bodies I’d ever seen. Our computations had wiped out in the boost—hell, old Windsong was never meant for that kind of torture: she was a freighter, for Ajax sake! Of course we should have realized our cap’n had lost it when he gave us his plan, but you know, the captain is the man and if you want to survive space, there is but one rule: do what the man says once you’ve had your say.

We scoured that area with what was left of the ship’s computers working, found nothing, nothing at all. We were years looking, scanning, probing, sending surface craft to promising worlds until enough didn’t come back we couldn’t risk that anymore. We used up all our surface probes, most of which never responded. Those that did only increased our despair. This system we had tumbled into refused to make the least allowances for biological life, let alone human life.

Sanity was the first and greatest victim in our situation. We argued and fought with what little energy we had left. Most wanted to mass-launch the last jumpers and sling-boost equipment or crash land WindSong even to take their chances upon a particular world that seemed quasi-adequate for some sort of survival. Radioactivity was high but they argued they could beat it. Anything to get off what had become our prison on dying Windsong.   Anything to get away from the totally mad Wandering Jew who now spent his days hooked up to the brain scan that didn’t work, trying to recall his stupid dream. When he disconnected to walk among us, he had tears in his eyes, but they weren’t for us, for having stranded us. He didn’t see us, or hear us either. His tears were for his damnable dream. He began to talk to his ancestor’s god out loud and we shuddered, giving him wide berth whenever we heard him pleading, demanding, cursing, sighing. Off the chart, he was, poor bastard. We even felt sorry enough for him not to boost him out the air-lock.

From a healthy and happy crew of 68 men, we were whittled down to 31 emaciated ghosts wandering through the ship’s corridors when the damned angels appeared.  

“So that’s how you got back?”

That’s what’s so sick about the whole thing. I woke up here, right here, in this pub. Alone. No crew, no ship, nothing to my name, just old memories.

“What did space admin have to say about your story, man?”

Just a story, home boy. Bar tender, did that earn me another round before I return to the Heritage II?

“You from the Heritage? Hell’s bells, I should’ve known! We’ve been had, he’s one of those story tellers.   “

And all of you so sure you could spot a storyteller, eh? And also a shape-shifter, friends. That old man you made your little bets with before I joined your group was none other than myself and it’s time to pay up.   Better luck next time boys.

I could have been anything.  I could captain my own cruiser.  I came out of the Academy with top ratings, family money, prospects, offers, the works. Space is infinite. The number of ships that move through this one universe alone would be considered infinite. Possibilities endless. But despite the less than glamorous conditions of spacing around from galaxy to galaxy as a story-teller, you can’t beat it. It’s not only that we exist as double-agents, spying for corporations or this and that tin pot dictator or emperor searching for traitors, princes hunting for concubines and wives belonging to opponents; even indulging in sleuthing on the side—you know, to relieve the boredom between gigs—but there are other compensations.

I even had me a date with a blue-skinned Andromedan dancer last time through there and it didn’t cost me anything but a little story I made up on the spot. It would have been worth it just to watch her purple eyes dilate and hear that universally renowned laughter. I might tell you about that sometimes, but not this trip. My feelings are still too closely associated with it, especially the part where I was caught with her “in fragrante delicto” and trying to explain to the *Genoba that I had imbibed a bit too much Andy beer and was under the delusion she was an Andy goddess I had come to propitiate. He almost bought it… almost.  

Anyway, next time is next time. I have to board now, before my pub acquaintances discover the old man I claimed to have shape-shifted into was an old wino I found outside the bar and bought for a bottle of cheap rot-gut. So, I live my life on the edge. Why not? I’m young, not even 150 years old, galactic standard time, with a whole life, and more if I play my cards right, ahead of me begging for adventure.  Crazy?  Maybe, but if I stayed out of all the illegal, banned or dangerous places, where would I get my stories, and my money?  My very first commander, Light Leeta, would remind us at each enemy encounter, “OK people, remember, move to kill, move to win.  Live hard, live fast, live to live another day.  Go!” As the last surviving member of that motley crew, I can say this: it worked for me.

*Genoba, for those of you not familiar with the two or more dozen major Andromedan lexicons is the owner of a very high class, very exclusive Andy brothel, the kind that unless you’re royalty, or a member of the Family, you want to be sure you steer clear of.  The name itself isn’t originally Andromedan but followed an ancient family from Old Earth.  I know, nobody believes such a place did exist once upon a time but I have stories about it.  Another time.  I’ve got to board my ship, my actual destination to be given while in fugue.   They never give your destination until secured on board in case you get scanned and your coordinates lifted from your brain – everybody knows that, right?  OK wild and weird, here I come ready to live another day!   

 

 

Ah well, why not some Fred Reed?

Now don’t go quoting and saying that Sha’Tara indorses (the dictionary claims that’s a variant, but I think it’s an indoor form of endorsement) Fred Reed.  I just think that he’s sometimes a Good Read.  But I do think the following is pretty accurate.  Enjoy, and please, don’t go posting it as if it came from me. It does not, did not, will not.  I just copied and pasted.  Last and final disclaimer.  Ok I did add a couple of comments.  It’s what I do, comment.  I think my entire life is a comment… or a series of comments.   

Also, and for good measure, this was written in 2010, which is like saying, Oh boy, ancient history already!  You think so?  You could write the same article today, about today’s situation wherever in the world and come up with the same conclusions and reactions. Even the tapeworm-brained senator Lindsey Graham is still at it, in fact even worse.  Now he wants the ethics committee done away with.  Well, I’m sure he’s got a good reason, if a tapeworm brain could reason, which it cannot since, as Fred remarks, a tapeworm doesn’t have a brain. Also note that Israel’s “Bibi Nut-and-Yahoo” is also still at it, and much, much worse than in 2010.  His bad everything days are coming closer and closer together.  

Back when in prehistory, my history teacher would say, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  If I were in his class today, I’d venture a correction: “Uh, Mr. Andres?  Shouldn’t it be, ‘The more things change, the worse they get’?”  Predictably he’d give me “the look” and I’d be telling myself why can’t I just shut up, just shut the hell up?  

Brain as an App-start using it-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Let’s Attack Iran!     by Fred Reed

Senator Graham has the brains of a tapeworm, making him eminently qualified for the senate. Tapeworms, I note, do not have brains. It is characteristic of warlike innocents, to include the Pentagon, to believe that if you destroy navies and air forces, you win wars. This worked well in Vietnam, you will recall, and as soon as we destroy the Taliban’s navy, Afghanistan will be a cakewalk.  Oh good. I see that Senator Lindsey Graham wants to attack Iran. The US, he says, should “sink their navy, destroy their air force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard.”

Now, I understand that practicality and realism are alien concepts in American politics, to be approached with trepidation, but maybe, just once, we should think before sticking our private parts into a wood-chipper. Just once. I do not propose consistent rationality, forethought, or intelligent behavior. I profoundly respect my country’s traditions.

However, folk wisdom from West Virginia: Before you say, “I can whip any man in the bar!” it is well to scout the bar.

Some will find the thought of American martial incapacity outrageous. Can’t beat Iran? Buncha towel monkeys? Among grrr-bowwow-woof patriots, there exists a heady delusion of American potency, that the US has “the greatest military power the world has ever seen.” Ah. And when did it last win a war? In Afghanistan, for ten years the gloriousest military ever known, the expensivist, and whoosh-bangiest, hasn’t managed to defeat a bunch of pissed-off illiterates with AKs and RPGs.  Note that the United States cannot defeat Iran militarily, short of using nuclear weapons. It is easy to start a war. Finishing one is harder. I could punch out Mike Tyson. Things thereafter might not go as well as hoped.

At this point Lindsey of Persia will doubtless allude to the wonders of air power, of “precision-guided weapons,” of smart bombs that presumably read Kant on the way down. Those pitiable Iranians would have no hope of stopping our mighty bombers. True.

Implicit in this Thomistic fantasy (Clancy, I mean, not Aquinas) is that Iran wouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t dare fight back without a navy, etc. Lindsey had better be very sure that Iran couldn’t block the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation. Enough of the world’s petroleum comes from the Gulf that the price would rise drastically if the Straits were blocked. Some economies would simply stop.

How many supertankers going up in flames would be tolerated before operators of tankers refused to risk it?

The Air Force, to include Naval Air, may be confident that it can destroy all of Iran’s missiles. The Air Force always believes that air power can do anything and everything – make coffee, win at marbles, everything. After all, don’t its airplanes say “Vrooom!” and “Swoosh!”? Don’t cockpits have lots of portentous buttons and spiffy little screens? Unfortunately the Air Force is regularly wrong. Iran recently began serial production of the Nasr 1, an anti-ship cruise missile. Tankers are thin-skinned and highly flammable. The Nasr 1 can be fired from the back of a truck. Trucks by their nature are mobile. They are easy to hide.

In fact the entire military is regularly wrong about the ease and duration of its adventures. For example, it had no idea that Viet Nam would turn into an endless war ending in defeat (if that makes sense). Iraq notoriously was going to be a walk in the park. That the war on Afghanistan would last ten years with a distinct possibility of defeat…this never occurred to the soldiers.

It is barely conceivable that the Five-Sided Wind Box could do what Field Marshal Graham thinks it could do. The unexpected is always a possibility. But, the stakes being what they would be in Hormuz, hoo-boy….

Another possibility is that Israel will attack Iran, as it has threatened. I would like to think that even Bibi Nut-and-Yahoo has better sense but, if the US can produce gibbering wingnuts, why not Israel? The practical effects of an Israeli attack would be indistinguishable from those of an American attack: America would have to solve the problem. Which it probably couldn’t. Israel can bomb Iran’s nuclear codpieces, but it can’t defeat Iran. And if the Strait were blocked after an Israeli attack, the entire globe would holler, “Israel did it!” which would be true.

The distance from “Israel did it” to “The Jews did it,” though logically great, is emotionally short. People think in collective terms. Remember that after some Saudis dropped the Towers, the alleged war on terror morphed almost instantly into intense hostility for Moslems. It doesn’t make sense, but what has that got to do with anything?

Congress doesn’t support Israel because it likes Israel, but from political expediency. If the wind blows the other way, so will Congress. Gasoline at twelve dollars is a lot of wind in a commuting country.I know a lot of Jews, who are all over the place politically and intellectually. They have in common a complete lack of resemblance to the scheming, hand-rubbing, heh-heh-heh Jews of Neo-nazi imagination. Few sacrifice Christian children (a temptation strongest, I can attest, among Christian parents). But…people think collectively.

Things worsen for America, yet we really don’t know where the country is going or how it will react. The last domestic catastrophe was the Great Depression, when America was a very different place. How bad can things get, economically, politically, internationally? How does a pampered population incapable of planting a garden respond to genuinely hard times? “It can’t happen here,” one hears. What can’t? I suspect that all sorts of things could happen, given sufficiently hard times.

The United States is today an edgy, unhappy country, sliding toward poverty, increasingly dictatorial, inchoately angry, hostile to blacks, the French, Mexicans, Moslems and, creepingly, the Chinese.  (Jews, perhaps to their surprise, don’t make the enemies list.) Americans don’t do cosmopolitan. The federal pressure for diversity exists because otherwise no one would associate with anyone else. The Persian Gulf is one of few places that plausibly might wreck the industrial world. There would have to be someone to blame. And Israel can’t survive without American support.

Maybe I’m crazy. But if I were an Israeli, I’d find a nice café on Diesengoff and enjoy a double cappuccino, watch the girls, and keep my bombs in my pocket. Let somebody else take the fall.

{OK, so he forgot to include the Russians in the list of hostiles but then in 2010 they were relatively quiet, watching the latest Pentagon production in wide screen: “Our Troops Conquer Afghanistan” – a sequel to “Our Troops Conquer Iraq” which was a late sequel to “Our Troops Conquer Grenada” which was a sequel to “Our Troops Conquer Vietnam” which was a sequel to “Our Troops Conquer Korea” … OK, so it’s a bit redundant but as long as the sheeple keep watching and paying, just keep the reels spinning, and keep ’em coming. My comment here}

November 9, 2010

Fred Reed is author of Nekkid in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well and A Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Be. His latest book is Curmudgeing Through Paradise: Reports from a Fractal Dung Beetle. Visit his blog.

Copyright © 2010 Fred Reed

The Best of Fred Reed

God’s Dilemma Resolved

[off the cuff   by Sha’Tara]

One day on earth, it so happened that two people were praying. 

One was in a Christian chapel, on his knees.  He was praying for God to destroy all Muslims.  He was very sincere, as sincere as he knew how; as sincere as he’d seen his preacher being sincere the Sunday before when asking the faithful to pray to God for the destruction of Islam.

Almost at opposite points on the planet, another man was praying on his mat, careful to kneel down and bow all the way to the floor from his prayer mat, careful to face Mecca.  He even had his GPS on to make sure.  His request to Allah was much in line with the Christian’s request, that God should destroy all the enemies of Islam, particularly all Christians. 

God, to that point, on that day, was having a great time.  He’d scored, not one, but two, holes in one on the Great Divine House lawn golf course.  He’d beaten both Michael and Jesus.  As I am saying, a great, great day.  Then he opened his iphone to check on the incoming requests – he didn’t always trust his staff to deal properly with the more difficult ones.  Try to imagine his chagrin to see the two aforementioned prayers flashing on the screen in front of his eyes.  They had a priority one rating. 

As you probably assume, God isn’t given to profanity; he doesn’t care that much for it even in lesser beings though he tolerates the odd infraction from the earth creatures.  He knows them well and if he didn’t make allowances for them, he also knows only too well that his arch enemy, the guy with the endless fracking and endless spills that burn forever, would get all of them for himself.  But in this instance, God let out a typical Earthian swear, a rather common one, “Ah shit!  How stupid can these people be, huh?”

“What’s up dad?” asks Jesus, who’d just parked the divine cart and had ambled over.  “I haven’t heard you swear in public in a long time.  It’s from earth, right?  What’d they do now?”

“Have a look!” And he hands the phone over to the Son.  “I really shouldn’t pay any attention to this crap, really.  But if I don’t do something, this is going to be more spam and I can’t very well block, like, five billion people from that planet now, can I?  There’s the odd tweet in there that is actually legitimate.

“I see what you mean, dad,”  says Jesus handing the phone back.  “What would a person have to do to teach them the rudimentary lessons of life on a tiny world with no place to go?  I dunno, I did my part back when and I’m not going back there, read my lips.  I think your really fucked up when you made those critters, dad.  What were you on, anyway?”

“Hey, son, watch the language.  Reality check!”  and the old man slaps his son across the left cheek.  “This is heaven, not earth. Remember one of the cardinal rules, at least: honour your father and mother.  Well, at least honour your father.  And you’re not too old for the soap treatment.” 

“Sorry dad.  I know it’s a touchy subject.  So whatcha gonna do about those tweets?”

“What am I gonna do?  I’ll tell ya.  I’m of a mind to answer both their requests, on the spot.” 

“Really?  On the spot?  How do you plan on doing it?”  Jesus looks very excited at the prospect of finally getting his revenge. 

“Well, maybe not on the spot.  I have to think.  What’s the main concern down there now?  War?  Genocide?  What?”

“Climate change!  They’re all mostly focused on that at the moment.  Their doomsday prophets are faking for, the reactionaries faking against.  It’s big overtime on the Internet, poised to go viral any day.”

“OK, climate change it is.  I’m going to throw the works at them: earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, lightning storms, floods, droughts, cave-ins, volcanos, golf-ball-size hail, meteorites, sun flares, and I’m going to kill everything in the oceans this time.  I want to see world wide plagues from rotting fish.  And I want to see some real famine, not this piddly African stuff.  I want to see Mexico City, Riyadh, Jeddah and New York totally starved out and overrun by rats and cockroaches.”

“But what about those that aren’t claiming to be ours, like those social Darwinists, communists, atheists, agnostics, pagans and all the others with their ancient religions?  What happens to them?”

“I should care about those?  They were all going to hell anyway, and they were all going to die, right?  That changes nothing for them.  Just a change of direction for those that call on my Name with their ignorant tweets.  I’m fed up to here with ‘em.”

“Who’s going to be in charge of the fireworks, dad?”

“You seem a mite eager boy. I dunno… I am thinking of teaming up Raphael, Gabriel and of course, Michael.”  Jesus pouts.  “OK, I hate to see a grown man cry.  The show is yours.  You have one earth year to get everything ready for the big launch.  And don’t forget, I want a pavilion on the moon with all amenities.  Slave girls; ambrosian ales.  And I want to see everything to the end, however long it takes.”

“Won’t they wonder why you’re not answering their tweets, I mean prayers, in the meantime?”

“Why should they?  You know as well as I they’re used to that.  But this time, oh yeah baby I’m going to answer their prayers, and they’ll know it’s me doing it. 

“We need an impromptu meeting.  Get some people together.  Don’t forget those earth physicists, you know the ones who invented those weapons of mass destruction?  Bring in a couple genocidal maniacs too.  Their ideas will come in handy. 

Sushi anyone?”

 

The Case of the Crucifixion Report

(Disclaimer:  Ready for some satirically historical or historically hysterical, anecdotes?  I do hope you remembered to leave your sensitivities on the “Welcome” mat at the door as they would be somewhat of an impediment in this reading room.)

(breaking news by Sha’Tara-for immediate release)  

The following, as you may remember from your second year of Bible college history, is but a synopsis of what actually happened following the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.  As you all know, a report was filed by Pilate and sent to Rome to be entered in the legal archives on Iron Mountain.  The report, however, never got to Rome and this raised some questions. Was there even a report?

After a great deal of trouble on my part, some bribing of priests and assorted officials, I finally got to the truth of the report’s disappearance.  Having already spent a great deal of time and money learning about this event, I thought it behooved me to fill you in on a few missing details.  I think you really want to know what actually happened, not just to the report itself, but to the changes wrought upon our history as a result of its loss.

The following document is certified true by the local “born again” member of parliament, the Catholic priest, academia and the local chapter of global main stream media.  It also passed muster on Facebook, going viral with over 956 thousand “Likes” and counting, so you know it can’t be false.

According to the revealed documents, it was well known to all that Pilate and Herod (the two “principals” involved in the controversial event known as The Crucifixion) were not only enemies, but cheapskates.  Pilate actually invented Romanomics by privatizing all Roman shipping within his area of control.  In this case, Publishus Bullshitus, the corporate owner of all mainstream media in Palestine, Persia and twenty-six and a half Greek islands linked by a Central Economic Union and the Trans-Greece Trade Agreement or TGTA, authorized a third page editorial in the Jerusalem Times that addresses this very issue: Pilate’s official report on the crucifixion of Jesus intended for the Roman Curia. (They called these jurists “the Curia” because they were insatiably curious, no other reason to go look under rocks here, so let’s move on.)

According to the editorial which glowingly endorses Pilate’s privatization schemes, the report was duly written up, scrolled up as per custom, sealed in an earthen jar, also as per custom, then handed over to a Carthaginian trader who sailed a trireme loaded with sweet potatoes.  The ship’s manifest says it was destined for Bari which, as you all know, or Googled you cheaters, is on the east coast of the Roman peninsula – a peninsula that would not become Italian for quite a few years hence – and basically across from Rome, which is on the west coast of same said peninsula.

Once duly received by port officials, the scroll would be taken across the peninsula to Rome by official horseback mail, not to be confused with the rider who also wore mail in the distant, seldom successful hope of thwarting terrorist arrows.  So unlike today, remember that terrorists were everywhere in those days.

The trireme, and this is also on record, was named “The Unsinkable” and until that trip had earned its name by reputation on many occasions.  The editorial, praising the fact that it cost Pilate about a third of normal government fees to ship privately, since the owners of private shipping exclusively used slave labour for rowers, mentions that “The Unsinkable” never made it to its destination.  As usual terrorists are blamed for this in the MSM (Main Stream Media) press editorials, but it is well known that non-official sources from a host of social media and the hated “Esseneleaks” sources mention a storm of massive proportions sweeping across the Mediterranean sea at that time, with waves over a hundred elbows in height.

These social media sources lumped in with some New Age predictions, go on at length about “climate change,” earthquakes and suddenly erupting volcanoes that will toss the entire Mediterranean sea into the “Great Ocean” then close the entry at Gibraltar; and finally a total global cooling due to the darkening of the skies.  A Western mage named Alexus Jonesephus declares, “It’s the end of the world as we’ve known it folks! It’s become prey to demonic forces gathering in the Sahara desert for an invasion of the northern continent!  When the sirocco begins to blow they will fly across the Atlas mountains and over the dry bed of the Mediterranean.  Now look here at my drawing:  when you look in the faces of those Saharans, you can see the demonic in them: they are black!  This is it!   This is it!  These are not conspiracy theories, people, it’s happening, right now!  Just look at my drawings, read my lips, buy my scrolls!”

More alt-right conservative sources attribute the storm to Jesus who knew, of course, that the report falsely accused him of sedition.

Jesus, having painfully raised himself from the dead over a period of two and a half days,and blown open the cave that held his body captive, stunning the guards with a Tazer which Mary Magdalene “the mad” and his mom “Mary the virgin” had secreted under his burial shroud, was by then re-installed in his office in his heavenly high-rise, two floors below that of his Father, with whom he wasn’t on speaking terms at the moment due to the fact that the old fart had left him to die on that cross, considering it a double-cross on the part of the old man who worried that Jesus would depose him with the help of his Earthian legions.  (I hope you weren’t trying to hold your breath while reading that sentence.  I could, of course, have broken it up but I thought it funny to watch some of you turn blue as you tried to read it to the end without stopping.)

At the moment however, Jesus was busy plotting the overthrow of the Roman Empire by designing a new religion that would simply take it over from within, then turn everybody on everybody else in an endless wave of bloodshed purportedly intended to defeat the terrorists.  “There WILL always be terrorists; there MUST always be terrorists!” He’d thundered, pointing at his major-domo, since it was dinner time and there was nobody else to thunder at.

Back in the office, then.  “Sedition?” he thundered (it is the prerogative of all top echelon male deities to thunder) at his cowering scribes,  “I’ll show them some truly god-damned sedition!”  Then he drove his fist, which had lost much sensitivity due to an incurable infection from a rusty nail, through the oak desk. He looked as his shaking scribes and laughed uproariously: “Don’t you hate it when that happens?  Get me a new desk, and this time I want an abacus with it.  And bring me a tall busty blonde Nordic slave girl in some gauzy outfit, no chains.  And teach her to work the thing.  I need some entertainment and some bang for my Drachma.

“Damn Chinese think they can calculate faster than us, do they? I’ll show them.  I’ll teach them to refuse to believe in me.  I’ll invade them with my religion, that’s what I’ll do, and I’ll corrupt them completely by bringing Roman depravity right into their temples and hovels. I’ll have my disciples show them how to use opium illegally.  Such a sweet deal: we all know that if you deny an Earthian anything he’ll want it ten times to a hundred times more.  They’ll go soft, stop growing their own food and starve.  Oh yes, they’ll understand what we mean when we say, “We come, we see, you die!”

God, (I should have used the expletive “Christ” that’s to become so common on earth, since I mean me, not the old fart in the penthouse) I feel so much better already.  I’m ready for my game of squash, where the hell is Rufix the Red?  Red!?  If he’s late one more time, I’m having him branded.  No, I’ll have him sent to hell as a gift to my bro and instruct Sate to chain him to a gridiron over a very slow flame.”

The rest, as they say, is history, and that ain’t over until the fat lady sings, they also say, however incorrectly political, or is that politically incorrect, the line now is.  I don’t make these things up, I just report the facts,  just the facts, ma’am.

As you can readily see by my short article on this rather well-worn piece of pre-Romanesque history, things were a lot different in those days.

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