The American Pledge of Appliance

Let’s face it, the American Pledge of Allegiance…Great idea, rotten execution. Yet, it sounds so good we like to say it anyway.

The problem is, every time we recite it we end up lying through our teeth. I’ve decided to solve this problem, so I’ve come up with a new pledge which I would like to introduce to you all today.

I give you, the American Pledge of Appliance.

I pledge allegiance when I feel like it,
To the flag which I may now burn.
Of the Two Nations of America that switch places every 4-8 years,
And to the Fake Democracy for which it never stood,
Two Nations;
We are gods;
Affectible;
With stupidity and tolerance for all.

So now that you won…What are you going to do?

We all know the Democrats took the House…but does anybody know what they want to do? Because I’m thinking about it, and I can’t really figure it out. Maybe I’m just stupid, but I sure as hell can’t find a plan anywhere other than “change what’s already working and keep complaining about what we can’t fix.”

Here’s what I’m seeing:

  • For the past two years, the Democrats’ main goal has been to complain as much as possible so that maybe by election time somebody will be annoyed enough to vote for them (sort of the telemarketer approach).
  • The economy has been record high, so they focus on Bush’s foreign policy–mainly by using the point that he hasn’t shared much of a plan.
  • They complain enough and win the mid-term elections.
  • They still don’t have any control over foreign policy, and the economy is already record high.

So let me get this straight…They won on the basis that they’re going to change things, but the only things that they can change are already higher than they’ve been for years?

And just curious…has anybody here actually heard their plan?

Just a Little Detour

Scott Adams’s blog writings are kind of off-and-on, so every once in a while he nails it. This time, I gotta say that The Most Obscene Letter is brilliant. Who would’ve thought that the asterisk could be so **** evil?

Using asterisks is kind of like saying “dang” instead of “damn” and “heck” instead of “hell.” It means the same thing, you mean the same thing, yet somehow switching around a few letters makes it all so much more acceptable.

For example, if you’re still reading this, then you must be pretty damn bored because this post is just a half-ass excuse for me to bitch about random shit that nobody cares about. I don’t even know what the hell I’m talking about.

Did I offend you?

Now let’s try this: If you’re still reading this, then you must be pretty dang bored because this post is just a dumb excuse for me to whine about random crap that nobody cares about. I don’t even know what the heck I’m talking about.

How about now? Did I even say anything different?

Some things I just don’t understand. Then again, perhaps it’s best this way–it certainly is much funnier.

I’ve Conquered The Genies

You know how in Aladdin and all those other stories, genies only give you three wishes, but somehow it’s against the rules to wish for more wishes? Well, I’d like to get my hands on whoever made up that rule, because that has got to be the stupidest rule in the history of stupid rules.

Is this the genie’s doing, just making up extra rules knowing that any crack head stupid enough to rub a lamp would most certainly believe this crap? Or is there perhaps a Genie Union in which all professional genies take part, and they’ve decided to boycott this wish after experiencing too many nut jobs asking for unlimited wishes then accidentally killing themselves on the 4th wish?

Doesn’t matter though. Because you might not be able to wish for more wishes, but nobody ever said anything about more genies.

The Nature of Comedy

With the recent outcry over South Park’s latest episode in which apparently (I haven’t actually watched it) Steve Irwin attends Satan’s Halloween dress up party with a stingray sticking through him, I’ve been thinking about the nature of comedy. What is comedy, what makes it up, are there places that comedy shouldn’t be taken, are there ways that comedy shouldn’t be tackled, and are there answers to any of these questions?

While comedy is normally funny, it oftentimes gives insights and shows the holes in our society. Comedians such as George Carlin often attack subjects with a certain anger, yet worded and timed so perfectly nobody can help but to laugh (“But [God] loves you. He loves you, and He NEEDS MONEY! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Ho-ly Shit!“). Meanwhile, Jerry Seinfeld attempts to show you the humor in everyday things (“Have you ever had milk the day after the date? Scares the hell out of you, doesn’t it? The spoon is trembling as it comes out of the bowl. ‘It’s after the day! I’m taking a big chance! I smelled it, you smelled it, what is it supposed to smell like?'”).

Are there places comedy shouldn’t go, and are there ways it shouldn’t be treated? While George Carlin is famous for his 7 Words routine and believes that comedy is about finding where the line is drawn then crossing it, Seinfeld says that while there are no subjects that he will not tackle, there are ways in which he will not tackle them. In Jerry Seinfeld On Comedy, he also calls heavy profanity the “great shortcut” of comedy and as such won’t use it. Are shortcuts be avoided, or should they be used when appropriate? Are they ever appropriate?

While I don’t mind a few choice words here and there to spice up the overall effect as someone like Demetri Martin will do, somebody like Dane Cook just gets annoying. After a few minutes you realize that he’s not actually saying anything funny, but it’s so laced with well-timed profanity that you’re tricked into believing that it actually is. You can only stand so much of that.

Is it the comedian’s job to filter out overly offensive material? Or should it just be saved for the right audience? Most comedy, on some level or another, is offensive to somebody. All comedy makes fun of something or somebody on some level, but are there levels that are too high?

And will I ever stop asking questions without providing answers?

To Dream of Never-Ending Things…

What if we actually cared?

What if “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” was more than a catchphrase?

What if we really tried to love our neighbors as ourselves?

What if we learned to love ourselves?

What if we desired to change what isn’t right?

What if we took the unjust and fixed it?

What if passion became the norm?

What if hate didn’t exist?

What if everybody lived each day like their last?

What if everybody lived each moment as their last?

What if we believed in ourselves even when nobody else did?

What if failure wasn’t feared?

What if time wasn’t an issue?

What if we were willing to sacrifice?

What if we kept trying?

What if we followed what we believed?

What if we dreamed the impossible, but tried anyway?

The (un)Natural Dehydration Process of Brilliance

A couple items that have really been catching my eye lately are hair products, mostly shampoos and hair dyes. In particular, these ones run at about 40 bucks a bottle and apparently will give you natural-looking hair.

This is great news for me, because lately I’ve been just washing my hair with soap and water and have been noticing my hair getting more and more unnatural. I also have a 73 year-old friend who’s hair has been getting a little gray, which has apparently been freaking some people out.

Though, sometimes it’s best not to have things the natural way. For example, I’d much rather eat many of my foods dehydrated–especially if it’s something disgusting. And the choices for dehydrated food are endless, you can get bananas, apples, vegetables…The list goes on, and they’re always working on new ones.

Though, the one I’m really looking forward to is dehydrated water.

I thought about trying to make some myself, but when I went through the whole mental process I realized that I might not have anything left over to consume and/or sell. I also realized that I’d have a bunch of useless H2O leftover from the process.

Then I was hit with another brilliant idea: The next best thing–water extract.

A New Kind of Justice

As I established in Justice, everybody cries for justice, but nobody seems to want real justice. We cheer when Saddam Hussein is captured then fight million dollar battles when the RIAA cracks down. We bitch and whine when things aren’t fair for us, and we at least pretend to want things fair for others. Or we pretend as long as we don’t have to do anything about them, anyway–at least until life is perfect for us.

That’s not justice. Yet, we still cry for it.

Around 2000 years ago, this carpenter showed up claiming to be sent by God. Nobody really knew what He was doing, but the general consensus seemed to be that He was the Messiah, here to kick Rome’s ass.

In short, this guy was finally bringing the justice that Israel had been crying for. Finally, He was bringing the justice they deserved. The dream, the prophecy, the fall of Rome that kept them living was finally coming true.

But it didn’t.

He didn’t save them from the Romans; He just said some bizarre things then got himself killed. What kind of Justice is that?

Or maybe, if anybody listened to what He actually said, somebody would’ve realized that this guy didn’t come to fulfill their sense of justice at all.

I mean, come on…”Turn the other cheek”? What’s up with that? That’s not just.

“If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.” That’s not just.

“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” I say whoever compels you to go one mile, jump on his back and ride the rest of the way. THAT’S justice.

Matthew 5:43-44

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…”

If that’s God’s sense of justice, He has to have the crappiest sense of justice I’ve ever heard.

Unless the same, and more, has already been done for us.

Because let’s face it, if true justice was given, we’d be damned in an instant. God, of course, knew this. Jesus knew that for true justice to happen (and it would happen), somebody had to pay. Somebody was going to pay. Jesus was willing to pay.

He was willing to sacrifice the fairness that was due to Him. He was willing to forfeit all of that, and He did.

I wonder, what would happen if we were willing to forget about the fairness due to us?

Justice.

The word on our tongues, the 9/11 cry, the curse others deserve.

Let them have it; just don’t touch me.
Free the oppressed; but find somebody else to do it.
Feed the poor; but somebody else pay for it. I can’t–I’m still paying for my HDTV.
Convict the criminals; just keep away from BitTorrent and my radar detector.
Let Bono fix the African kids; I don’t have the time.

I can’t afford to help out my neighbor; it wouldn’t be fair to me.
I don’t have time for your justice; I’m too busy with mine.

Lawyers, Judges, Senators.
Money, Political Agendas, Power.
Hell for you, fair for me.

May you be brought to justice. Perhaps then the damn thing will steer clear of me.

To the oppressed, the poor, the AIDS-inflicted, the bums of the street:
Don’t worry, I’ll help you out once it’s fair for me.

The Cost of Honesty (Or, “Why I Never Lie and Why the Truth is Overrated”)

Lately I’ve come to realize that in our society, the worst possible thing that I can do for myself is tell somebody what I really think. Most of us understand this. We’re masters of creative distortion, persuasive evasion, and selective truthfulness. But we never lie–no, we’d never steep as low as that–we’re just not honest.

See, lies are way too fragile. It takes a George Costanza to really pull those off. Hell, even Clinton had trouble eventually. However, with selective truthfulness, even amateurs can fool the polygraph. It’s simple: We tell the truth but leave out the parts we’d like to live without.

I’m sure you already know how to do it. Without this technique, most of us would be dead by now.

For example, say somebody shows you some of their artwork:

“So, what do you think?”

What is it? Looks like a train wreck. “Very interesting…Really makes the mind wonder.”

Told absolute truth. How they interpret this truth is completely up to them. As Costanza himself would say, “Jerry, just remember: It’s not a lie… if you believe it.” That’s why this works so well. You get out of trouble, don’t have to lie (guilt free!), and even better…it’s so easy.

Picture the scene. Somebody important invites you over for dinner; this is your big chance.

“So, did you like the dinner?”

Holy crap…I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep this down for the next hour. Or if I do, I’m definitely going to die.
“I’ve never had anything like it! That meat was really interesting.”
I didn’t even know there was such a thing as blue pork…

Tricks like these can save lives. Not just vague, other-side-of-the-world, somebody else “lives,” either…we’re talking yours and mine.

“Does this make me look fat?”

Hey, it’s not the clothes’ fault. “No, nothing makes you look fat.”

But in order to use this technique, there is a certain pride issue that one has to get over. Namely, one needs to convince him or herself that their personal thoughts and opinions 1) aren’t worth telling and 2) aren’t funny.

But this I just cannot do. They’re good, and I don’t aim to waste them. Which is also why I don’t have a girlfriend yet two moderately successful blogs.