Archive for August, 2012

Water and Jazz

Friday, August 31st, 2012

I’ve been spending a week in Yellowstone National Park, taking in nature’s wonders. Of course, one man’s wonder is another man’s waste of real estate, or, as I’ve seen plenty of times, another man’s trash can.

Anyway, I’ve got more geysers, trees and wildlife to go look at, so I’ll be brief today.

One thing I did ask God this week is why he created Yellowstone. He told me it was from one of his jazz phases. He was just doing variations on a theme, seeing what he could do by mixing water and heat with various other things. Then he confided in me that really one of the better things to with water and heat is to brew coffee. He wishes he’d thought of that one.

Inner Like

Friday, August 24th, 2012

God tells me that humans are funny creatures. For many of us our biggest fear is that other people are just like us inside, yet for others our biggest fear is that no one else is really like us inside. And those two positions are irrespective of whether or not we like our inner selves.

So today’s lesson is: Learn to like yourself on the inside, work to like yourself on the outside, and strive to make your outer self better than your inner self in every way that you can.

Oh, and God says I should add a note to self-loathing, closeted, non-heterosexual preachers: God loves you the way he made you, so quit taking out your own issues on the rest of us.

Selling Short

Friday, August 17th, 2012

I was complaining to God about the twin evils of sales and advertising, how they manipulate the human psyche to create useless needs and frivolous wants. He let me go on for a while I pointed out how they sow the seeds of endless dissatisfaction, just so they can make their quotas at any cost, heedless of the carnage they leave in people’s minds and the toll that takes on society as a whole.

But God told me, by way of analogy, that I was complaining that a starving dog will steal scraps of food from the table without bothering to look at why the dog was starving in the first place. He told me that advertising can let us know about things that will make our lives better, sometimes in frivolous ways but sometimes in ways both deep and meaningful. He pointed out how much I love to watch the trailers before movies, and yet those are just advertising. He told me that sales, that selling, can aspire to match us with the right solution to our problems, sifting through myriad possibilities to find the product that best fits our mental and fiscal needs, that will make our lives both better and easier.

In short, sales and advertising are noble pursuits.

It’s just that they get polluted and poisoned by our broken system of capitalism, which leaves some dogs fat and lazy and others diseased and starving.

Total Rehash

Friday, August 10th, 2012

I’ve figured out what Hollywood and Washington D.C. have in common.

God and I went to see the new remake of Total Recall this week. Like any big budget Hollywood special effects extravaganza these days, it looks amazing. The craftsmanship that goes into blockbuster movies today is incredible. In every way but one. And that one is what God and I figured out this week that they have in common with most of our nation’s politicians, especially the conservatives: Hollywood does not believe in, or at least has no respect for, intelligence. Most filmmakers have really bought in to the old saying seeing is believing. If they can put the image of a tunnel through the center of the Earth in front of us, they assume we’ll believe that it is possible. They don’t care that a middle school level of science education can expose the lack of science in their science fiction. And politicians don’t care that basic fact checking shows that they lie, over and over again they flat out lie and just assume we’re too stupid to notice.

I’m a better audience than most of my friends. Have I mentioned that most of my friends are smart? I do buy into the believability of the absurd; at least through to the credits. The better the film, the longer past the credits I can hold on to my belief. Also, the more the filmmaker’s make it clear that they don’t themselves believe in their own absurdities, the longer I can hold on to my belief. In the Harry Potter movies and other fantasies, I know that the people in charge know that it’s all make believe, so I don’t mind making believe. But with something like Total Recall, I’m not sure that they don’t know that chemicals in the air don’t respect zone borders, so it makes it hard for me to believe not just that people are safe in the zone, but that there really can be a woman with three breasts.

Oh, and speaking of multiple breasts, Hollywood, if you’re going to have two female leads, could you do something to make it easy to tell them apart?

And politicians? Well, they’re not going to change so long as the system means we really only get to choose between two of them at a time.

If Porn Grew on Trees

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

So God popped by while I was looking at porn again. You can apply that “again” to just about any part of that sentence and you’ll be right, by the way. I’m not going to bother to permute it for you here, though.

Anyway, she did it this time because she wanted to show me an amusing article on the military trying to urge soldiers to not spend their time looking at porn. The article kicked off by talking about not having them do it on the work systems at a missile watch site and it makes perfect sense to me that you don’t want people surfing sleaze while working. Not that all, or even most, porn is sleazy, but, well, you get my drift. It went on though to talk about some religious crusader that was trying to make sure that stores on army bases in Afghanistan didn’t carry magazines of a prurient nature, even things as mild as Playboy, because soldiers would look, compare the airbrushed models to what they had waiting at home, and find their own relationships lacking, thus, somehow, guaranteeing marital infidelity.

So I told God what I think of that. Now I like porn as much as the next guy (well, as much as some next guys, probably more than some next guys but also probably less than some next guys, too) but the only porn that I’ve been able to find embraces only two of our many senses, sight and sound. Even the dumpiest, least interesting person that I’ve been lucky enough to have sex with had things going for them that appealed to more senses. There’s a kind of warmth to touching another person, skin-to-skin, that can neither be faked nor recorded. There’s myriad smells and tastes that come along with engaging in sexual play, not all of them pleasant, but all part of the richness. So, yeah, porn may be pretty good, and occasionally parts of it are even aspire to perfection, but it still comes up lacking when compared to the real thing, in the same way that some artificial flavors are pretty good, but still don’t compare to what you can pull off of a tree.