Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Physicians do no harm. What do you do?

“I lived in this beautiful glass ignorance, that allowed in the shining light of humor, but kept comedians out. It was a cathedral of not getting the point. I think I was reading Terry Pratchett when the first crack ran down the first wall, but realization made them spread quickly, and in poured a torrent of bile and cynicism. All those years I’d never known the glass walls sheltered an Atlantis under a sea of hate. I treaded in realizations that Mark Twain and Douglas Adams had really hated a great deal of the things they’d mocked, and that hateless writers had hate filled in by others. I remember one splash in the face from a journalist explaining Garrison Keilor’s ‘all the children are above average’ was a criticism of child self-esteem propaganda. And I earnestly mean I was drowning. I could feel my psyche lose its breath – lose the very ability to inspire, as Jonathan Swift once pointed out in one of the few times he wasn’t hating anybody. For all those years the glass cathedral had protected me under an ocean of nastiness, of hate for my fellow man and his every occupation, from prayer to napalm to car commercials, inculcating a belief that everyone should be at ease with everything and ought to express it through general humor. At the center, on the top floor of this glass palace was a cherished table where all friends would sit, true friends amongst whom no difference created spite, and all was mediated by tolerance and the love found in laughter. I’d never thought these satirists hated half of what they lampooned, and that they could never sit at this table. Beyond the walls of the cathedral, they merely looked like they were easing the world to place of amiable tolerance in which real scorn was unnecessary. To realize that so many things in books and stand-up albums weren’t jokes between friends I’d taken them as, but were supposed to be coercive… I could barely bring myself to joke anymore. It gave laughter a pathetic dimension that I’d never wish on anyone, let alone my favorite pastime. However, the belief was not drowned. It merely became a little soggy.”

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: “The South will rise again!” –Bumper sticker

It was the most interesting Tuesday in a while. Residents of Texas woke up to find they bordered Canada, turned on the news and found someone had flipped the entire country. The cause was uncertain, but had something to do with now-banned rubix cubes.

Some states handled it better. South Dakota liked being above “the other” for once, while North Dakotans enjoyed amazing returns on real estate investments, as what was once frosty wilderness became beach-front property along the Gulf of Mexico.

People were surprisingly nonplussed by their geographic catastrophe, feeling the move was odd, but livable so long as the local Wal-Mart had come with them. When approached by the National Weather Service to prepare for the upcoming Nor-Easter season, the citizens of Louisiana laughed hysterically.

Despite having swapped positions, New York City and Atlanta report having almost identical terrible airport service. Ticket holders for all international flights have been informed to arrive an hour early, but to expect, “to board about as delayed as usual.”

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Names that spam bots have used to e-mail me, OR, Names that may soon be used to populate a novel

-Agamemnon Castro
-Banham Mi
-Merlin C. Hardy
-Aginualdo Dean
-Kym Latarsha
-Mr. Johnson Tsvangrai
-Abel Bowman (awesome, awesome, awesome)
-Alfonso McManus
-Natalia Fountain
-Phebe Chau
-Albrecht Cunningham
-Berry Livingston
-Afton Lilla
-Interpol John Brown (they’re onto me!)
-Florene Shawanda
-Aguie Cobb
-Albatros Bowen
-Anisa Un
-Aleksandr Black (supervillain if I’ve ever heard of one)
-Concepcion Dalila (his sidekick?)
-Alva Slaughter (a team of supervillains?)
-Orville Rossi
-Kristy Pike
-Alisander Day
-Sage Jesusa (sadly, not selling Bibles)
-Alisia Giuseppina
-Dawn Becki
-Efren Boone
-me (I don’t recall signing up as a spammer service, but darn I got busy)
-Addison Atkins
-Tessa Dye
-Lacy Wu
-Brooks Crow
-Horace Kramer
-Mitzi Meade (a superheroine alter ego if I’ve ever heard one – Black’s nemesis?)
-Christian Timothy (but no Zoroastrian Timothy)
-Ava Maldonado
-Brandi Kilgore
-Roscoe Schneider
-Augusta Berry
-Ace Banks
-Terra Ali
-Fern Sellers (not sure if this is a store name or a person)
-Alf Delgado
-Chieko Gisele
-Yvette C. Sawyer
-me (this time it’s a “Failure Of Delivery Notice,” meaning this time I managed to fail hanging myself a dubious advertisement)
-Aldrich Diaz
-Thad Bolden
-Ade Butler
-Devorah Willodean (I believe she’ll be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts next year)
-Eve Cash

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: “Why are you a Democrat in 2008?” –Howard Dean, beginning a youtube challenge

Well, it began with a promise of mechs. I specifically remember Bill Clinton saying I’d get some sort of giant robot armor out of this, during one of the later visits to Camp David. And since they were promising robots of mass destruction, I punched that chad on my registration card. I continue to be one because it carries no requirement to vote for the party, because I can vote in state primaries for the party, and because that means I can throw my vote behind whatever candidate mentions Gundams.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Venn-Shades-of-Grey

“A monologue about Anthony Venn-Brown? Okay, but I don’t know if there’s anything funny I can say about a gay guy who tried so hard to be heterosexual that he wound up with kids. He lived the punch line, and any joke after that is much less funny. But I do admire Mr. Venn-Brown for being such an advocate of alternative lifestyles. The world could use more openly gay evangelists. There’s a missionary position joke there, but I won’t make it, out of my respect to this man. It’s people like him who have made me quit calling myself ‘straight,’ because is a lesbian really crooked? We both bend to get our work done.”

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The ball is in your court, Hemingway

For sale: baby booties. Worn a bunch. Really like ‘em, but don’t fit anymore.

Bathroom Monologue: Chapter Ksvee, OR, Chapter 18

No, it is Rambo 2. It is Final Fantasy 12, not Final Fantasy XII (and really, twelve final things in a series?). I use numbers instead of numerals because when in Rome, do as the Romans do, and I live in New York. I do not write Mao Zedong in Simplified Chinese Characters or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the Arabic alphabet. We already have a written language system with perfectly good letters and numbers. They work very nicely and take half the ink to write “18” instead of “XVIII.” In other cultures, I think something like Vatican II is just fine (even liberal and forward thinking), but here it’s going to be Saw 4.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: The Best of Netflix Recommendations (all 100% true)

-Because you enjoyed Stand By Me: Lord of the Flies
-Because you enjoyed The Queen: March of the Penguins
-Because you enjoyed The Network: I, Claudius
-Because you enjoyed My Neighbor Totoro: Jackson Pollock - Love and Death
-Because you enjoyed The Host: Through Deaf Eyes (PBS Home Video)
-Because you enjoyed Godzilla Vs. Gigan: Spongebob for Hire
-Because you enjoyed Hotel Rwanda: Finding Neverland
-Because you enjoyed Gandhi: BBC Presents – The Life of Birds (3-Disc Series)
-Because you enjoyed Young Frankenstein: Legacy: The Origin of Civilizations (3-Disc Series)
-Because you enjoyed Seven Samurai: The Red Balloon
-Because you enjoyed 12 Angry Men: Hamlet – Special Edition
-Because you enjoyed Zatoichi – The Blind Swordsman: Abominable
-Because you enjoyed Rope: The King of Kong

To clarify for those people who don’t watch a lot of crap, the joke is that Netflix is using an algorithm to guess which movies I’d like to watch based on what movies I’ve told it I already like, and its suggestions are wildly inappropriate. For instance, I liked Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman, a quirky Japanese drama about a blind swordsman at the end of the period of the samurai, coming into conflict with a town mob that is alternately grave, such as his encounters with a mercenary who serves the mob only to pay for medicine for his dying lover, and hilarious, such as the closing dance scene. Based on whatever preferences other people had registered for the film, the algorithm decided the movie I’d most like next was Abominable, an American B-horror movie about a guy stuck in a wheelchair who watches in terror through his window as a bunch of bimbos next door get mauled by a guy in the single worst yeti costume I’ve ever seen. Similarly it saw that I liked The Network, a classic indictment of television news and media culture, and decided I would like the I, Claudius miniseries, about a hunchback who watches various ancient Roman politicians get assassinated. It saw that I liked Hotel Rwanda, the largely true story about a hotel runner who hid targeted minorities in his rooms during ethnic cleansing in the hopes of saving their lives, and decided I would like Finding Neverland, the largely embellished story about the guy who wrote Peter Pan falling in love.
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