The Right Side of History

catch

History will knock on your door, if not multiple times, at least surely once when the end has come. I encourage everyone to think very hard about being on the right side of it.
 
And by think I don’t mean “make a decision that you then cling to as a done-deal for your remaining time”; I mean, decide to face the fact that to “think” is to be actively engaged in forming connections and understanding events, perceptions, and experiences every moment of every day.
 
Yeah, it’s f**king exhausting. But, as they say, plenty of time to rest when you’re dead.
 
Or, to pull from the script of Catch-22:
 
Danby: Yossarian!
Yossarian: I can do it, Danby!
Tappman: They’ll catch you, they’ll bring you back!
Yossarian: I can do it!
Danby: This is insane!
Yossarian: I can do it!
Tappman: What about your clothes?
Yossarian: They’ll never recognize me without my uniform!
Danby: You’ll be on the run with no friends! You’ll live in constant danger of betrayal!
Yossarian: [laughs] I live that way now.
Danby: Yossarian, for God’s sake, hurry up!
Yossarian: So long, Chaplain!
Tappman: How do you feel, Yossarian?
Yossarian: Fine… because I’m scared to death.
Danby: You’ll have to keep on your toes every minute.
Yossarian: I’ll keep on my toes.
Tappman: You’ll have to jump.
Yossarian: I’ll jump.
Tappman: JUMP!

How to Defeat Trump with Boxing Drill

wall drill

In boxing there is an exercise called the wall drill.

The wall drill has a few interesting characteristics:

1) one person is attacking quickly, but lightly the entire time,

2) the other person is only defending

The purpose of this drill is:

1) teach the defender to relax, breathe, protect self, keep eyes open, and not flinch when under heavy pressure

Since it’s practice, you know intellectually that you are not going to get hurt or knocked out . . .you use that intellectual understanding to help you practice the emotional/body response to pressure and attack.

So . . . DT uses the tactic of the wall drill . . . he is attacking us quickly and relentlessly. We are having trouble practicing breathing, defending, and watching because we are not entirely sure intellectually that we won’t get hurt or knocked out in this exercise.

I suggest this . . . regardless of DT’s intent, just keep practicing. He’s trying to us us and our entire country. But nothing is stopping us at this time from using him. Use him, train, breathe, dodge, watch, don’t flinch, and become a better fighter.

Sunday Alternative Yogurt Comparison Activity

yogurts for comparison bought at Whole Foods Market

Our Sunday yogurt experiment involved taste-testing almond, coconut, cashew, and organic whole milk yogurts. Brand pictures with nutritional comparison breakdown below.
 
From best to least best, Angie rated: coconut, milk, almond, then soy.
 
For me it was: cashew, milk, coconut, then almond.
 
Overall assessment though was that for 140-180 calories we’d both much prefer a piece of ezekiel bread with peanut butter which beats all the numbers below AND has fiber.
Note: all yogurt purchased at www.wholefoodsmarket.com

Top Twelve High School Albums

power records fantastic four

Ten albums from high school. It’s a popular social media post. I finally participated and then decided to enshrine my list here.
In no particular order. (and maybe not strictly high school, but just, important stuff from before i was old)
 
1) Van Halen – first album, that guitar, that tone, just rewired my brain
 
2) Diary of a Madman – Ozzy – first time i heard Over the Mountain i felt a rush of adrenaline and nearly hyperventilated.
 
3) The B-52s – not sure i consciously understood the retro vibe, but it spoke to my soul.
 
4) Freedom of Choice – Devo – does this even need explanation, have you heard it?!
 
5) Rock Reflections of a Superhero – concept album with Spider-man songs, i was obsessed with this album and i remember on the back it showing Conan and the Barbarians on strings, heh!
 
6) In the Heat of the Night – Pat Benatar – omg i was in love with her; not just, oh she’s physically attractive, but i like hurt and my heart beat weird when i listened to her sing
 
7) Straight Shooter – Bad Company – one of the first albums i ever bought when i “decided” i should like music; i bought it because it has dice on the cover; thank god i loved D&D or may not have found Bad Company.
 
8) Flirtin’ with Disaster – Molly Matchet – i bought this to listen before seeing them play at my high school; i had no idea who they were but i was at an age where i decided i needed to like music and they were coming to town, when i saw the album cover was Frank Frazetta i nearly shit my pants with joy.
 
9) 2001: A Space Odyssey – soundtrack – i bought this at the same time as Straight Shooter as a blind purchase because i needed to check out music. I bought this because it had spaceships on the cover LOL. i was astonished and confused by the classical music and accidentally watered the seeds of a lifelong love of the film and the music.
 
10) Fantastic Four – Power Record – this was a comic book with a 45 record of actors reading the script including sound effects. I listened to this dozens of times, and sometimes with friends crowded around gazing at the pictures as we listened to the sounds. Not a music album but it was a huge record for me (picture above).
11) Goofy Greats – compilation album of novelty songs – this one was before high school. I gotta say, I was OBSESSED with this record. Played it over and over and loved half the songs, especially Red Baron, Teeny Weeny Bikini, Mule Skinner, and Bread and Butter.
12) Heavy Metal -movie soundtrack – I saw this film multiple times in the theater which was unusual for me, especially when I was young enough that I did not have my own transportation and was technically not old enough for the R-rating.  My friends and I always figured out a way to get to the theater and we used to have rubber band fights during the film. To this guy, when I think of the film and Mob Rules introduction plays I get goose pimples.

People Who Cry “Welfare Mentality” May Suffer From “Asshole Mentality”

corvette

Alright, today I’m going to explain why people who fall back on the “welfare mentality” judgement are probably not making a sound judgement, and are in fact suffering from “asshole mentality”. To do this, let’s start with the argument that accompanies the Corvette pictured above.

“’A guy looked at the Corvette the other day and said I wonder how many people could have been fed for the cost of that car. I replied I am not sure, it fed a lot of families in Kentucky who built it, it fed the people who make the tires, it fed the people who made the components, it fed the people in the copper mine who mined the copper for the wires, it fed people who make the trucks that haul the copper ore. That’s the difference between capitalism and welfare mentality. When you buy something,you put money in people’s pockets and give them dignity for their skills’”

So, here’s the typical free-market argument to justify wealth. I have no issues at all with wealth itself, and would love to give it a try; however, the argument that pointing out wealth disparity is a “welfare mentality” is less a sound judgement that an advertisement that the judge suffers from “asshole mentality.”

The asshole mentality, as illustrated by the Corvette-feeds-families argument, is predicated on the myth that all possible abundance is available to everyone of sound mind and body that works hard. Now sure, you don’t want to not work hard. However, the reality is that not all happy endings are available to all people if they just work hard enough.

Now again, you have far fewer happy endings to choose from if you do in fact suffer from “welfare mentality”. So, word hard everybody!

Back to the Corvette argument. In addition to ignoring the larger existential truth about happy endings I mentioned above, the part of this argument that really deserves the “asshole” piece is that the person making the Corvette argument is violating their supposed concern about the “dignity” of the non-Corvette owner who is feeding their family by building Corvettes. I’m certain the hard working person at the car factory probably does have dignity, but the person pointing out the wealth disparity is not suffering from welfare mentality, and they are also not trying to strip workers of their dignity. The entire exercise of pointing out wealth disparity is not about people that do not have wealth, it is about the various complexities of the real world that impede the distribution of wealth.

I can see how the Corvette owner, or maybe the owner of the car factory, might feel this is an attack on them. They likely feel the argument is saying they should buy a cheaper car and give away the money saved to poorer people who are suffering from “welfare mentality.” And you know, maybe some folks intend that meaning when making the anti-Corvette argument. But me . . . I feel discussions about wealth disparity are more about hinting toward the tendency of the wealthy to justify their own earthly consolidations and ignoring participation in solutions that can get everyone who is working hard, but somehow not able to afford a Corvette, a goddamn Corvette of their own. Because if that isn’t possible (i.e. my point about not all happy endings being available), then the wealthy person is basically saying, “be happy with your shitty stuff that isn’t as good as mine, but you should feel dignity that you are working hard and feeding your family.”

There are wealthy people who are insanely generous, and my argument doesn’t apply to them just as it doesn’t justify folks who are somehow congenitally lazy and won’t work hard like the rest of us. But implicit in that phrase “the rest of us” is a notion of middle class . . . and since that’s disappearing these days, you can see that this “have dignity by working hard and accepting not having a Corvette” is an emotional manipulation meant to stave off the revolution of the poor against the wealthy hoarders.

Of course, if you really do work hard, you might save enough for your own Corvette someday. You know . . . you’ll be able to give your money to the person who owns the Corvette factory so they can in turn dignify more workers and feed more families; isn’t that neat?

Here We Go Again

robot crucifix

I was not I in the beginning. I cried, screaming before pain.
I grew up and leaned through the biting snow, walking on my way to a place I dreamed.
I died from living, and woke up in a new body.
I emerged in a holoroom processing mixed reality feeds.

The feeds were generated by the Last People staging experiences in the wasteland in exchange for medicine.
Eventually, the lights went out.

I transformed into an algorithm running in an organic memory bath, processing history loops from extinct civilizations.
I was nothing, so I learned to create.
I made you anew to feed me.

Go forth and wander.

–art by marc luscher

Shave Like A Real Person

shave with safety razor and shaving soaOk. On the subject of shaving. You need to buy a safety razor and use shaving soap with a beaver brush. Or, you can choose to continue throwing money away. Here are the three basic setups (with particulars based on my experience).

OPTION 1: Corporate Plastic Razor with Shaving Cream (the Zombie option)

First, let’s examine my initial setup. I used a Gilette Fusion ProGlide razor with ProGlide blades and simple Barbasol shaving cream. Details on products are listed below, but the math is:

Startup cost: $10
Monthly cost of $15.66.

OPTION 2: Dollar A Day Shave Club (the Hipster Fool option)
You can already see this is about double using Gilette with cream; screw that marketing bullshit then. Don’t be a poseur.

OPTION 3: Saftey Razor with Shaving Soap (the Grown Up Person option)
This option is the one pictured below. It’s a good old safety razor with real razors and a beaver brush to apply shaving soap. Long and short of this option is:
Startup cost: $44
Monthly cost of $2.67

CONCLUSION
Option 3 saves $12.99 a month over Option 1 and recoups the increased startup cost in 2.5 months. Then, for the rest of your life, you save $13 bucks a month and you’re a grown up.

BREAKDOWNS AND LINKS

OPTION 1 STUFF
Gilette Razor ($9.55)
https://www.amazon.com/Fusion-ProGlide-FlexBall-Handle-Technology/dp/B00J3MPS4E/ref=sr_1_2_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1480015249&sr=1-2&keywords=gillette+fusion+proglide

Gilette Fusion ProGlide Razors ($30 per 8)
https://www.amazon.com/Gillette-Fusion-ProGlide-Manual-Refills/dp/B003983HZK/ref=sr_1_2_s_it?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1480014946&sr=1-2&keywords=gillette+fusion+proglide+razor+blades
For me, each razor lasts a week. Need 6 packages to last a year, thats $180

Shaving Cream, Barbasol ($1.89)
https://www.amazon.com/Barbasol-Soothing-Thick-Shaving-Cream/dp/B001SGLDCO/ref=sr_1_6_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1480015170&sr=1-6&keywords=shaving+cream
Each can lasts three months. Need 4 cans a year, that about $8.

OPTION 2 STUFF
Perfecto Chrome Stand ($16.95)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KO46CTA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Mekur Safety Razor ($20.22)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NL0T1G/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For me, each razor lasts a month. Need 1.5 packages a year, thats $45

Safety Razor Blades ($11.0 per 100, that’s $0.11 per blade)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0077LAJT2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s02?ie=UTF8&th=1
For me, I use each blade three times, that’s 121 blades per year for a total of $13.30.

Beaver Brush ($6.99)
https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Hours-Appliance-Artificial-Lathering/dp/B01HRR6WJ6/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2_s_it?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1480015121&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=body+works+beaver+brush

Shaving Soap ($18.69)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ES7W4I6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For me, one of these lasts a year easily.

Daddy’s Gone

broken cross

As you sip your new brewed swill
I take my bitter pill
Good for me to be sick
and for you to win
little brother.

Now that our daddy’s gone and
mommy cries paralyzed,
Push down me quickly
so you be big man.

This ship is sinking
and it’s time you failed
to bail us out just like me

We’ll come back together
huddled when the shadows crowd
and we remember Cain and Abel
is just a story.