Check out the animated show Bat out of Hell on Kickstarter!

Poor Banished Children of Eve

I am sitting at a custom Parnian Executive Desk in my office at DreamWorks. I recall that I am President of Production. I observe the object dimensions and study the intricate knotted pattern of the desktop’s Carpathian elm burl. It is 4 feet wide by eight feet long. My secretary rings to tell me that “Mr. Spielberg” has dropped by the office for a visit. He is interested in discussing the post-production details of something starring Jessica Alba. I remember that it is a motion picture involving a fictional story of some kind. Mr. Spielberg enters my office. He is below average height. One percent of his body mass is comprised of bacteria. His words and body language reflect comfort with my presence and the space known as my office. If he understood my mental condition he would not be so comfortable. If he knew that I experienced a level 1 head trauma this morning due to a two ton automatic garage door falling directly on my head as I attempted to realign the chain mechanism, and that I stopped in at a sporting goods store on my way to Universal City and purchased a Ruger 10-22 with an extended magazine and a brick of hollow point bullets, he would be alarmed. His life is in my hands, just as the post-production is in his hands. I begin to wonder why we are making this movie. I am the arrogant general played by Adolphe Menjou in Paths of Glory, sending our audience into the maw of Ludendorff’s machine guns. The details of the film are too tiresome to relate. It will receive a combined Rotten Tomatoes score of 57. I can see the end from the beginning. I am Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, I am a god. I will say that the 81% of men respond favorably to Jessica Alba’s ass based on a sampling of 150 respondents in a market test conducted by Frank Luntz. The frames depicting Jessica Alba’s ass will translate into 35% above break-even DVD sales volume, off-setting a likely 8% below margin theatrical gross. This is because of masturbation. The Director’s extended cut will have extended ass frames. In other words, for reasons unrelated to artistic merit, Spielberg will never confront the fact that he produced a movie that should never have existed. Masturbation lines my pocket with gold as well per the post-theatrical gross clause in my contract with DreamWorks. Mr. Spielberg discusses the production and I am encouraging. I am Brad Dourif beguiling King Thioden of Rohan.

“Mr. Spielberg” of course is a type of reference common in Hollywood. If he were not both powerful and famous his first name would be included in third person references. This has a mark of irony which is an anachronism, as if it could refer to any “Mr.” Of course, the irony is long forgotten and it has become an empty practice of obsequiousness as mindless as the movement of a cow to a feeding trough. I am dead set against wit. The wag who first used the form referring to “Mr. Selznick” or “Mr. Hitchcock” never anticipated the custom being a shackle of malaise confining souls in Hollywood hell for generations. All wit descends into malaise as it becomes emptied of its original discovery.

At this moment I am feeling like a bent thing. While Mr. Spielberg is talking in a casually self-conscious master of the universe way, my mind organizes the factual content of his words, which is not substantial, and I wonder about his life force and how a single act of will can take it away and how strange I would be to myself during a brutal act of murder. Cold blooded murder. Star Trek II said that revenge is a dish best served cold. Murder could be just a word with a value judgment attached. I am Hannibal Lector, a moral superman. I live in feudal Hollywood. Mr. Spielberg is now discussing a new property in pre-development. He is following a pattern I have previously analyzed; initial enthusiasm followed by diligent effort becoming complete disinterest masked by a face-saving mock enthusiasm. It would be at the disinterest phase that my real work will begin. What had started as an innovative script will become a pre-packaged running cliché that could just as easily be generated by a computer. This is a necessary work of spiritual destruction which must occur prior to the invasion of my people from Gamma Six. I have been sent as an advanced force to bring about spiritual lethargy and make the Earth an easy spoil for my humanoid race. Right now, a brilliant scientist who doesn’t play by the rules has come to this conclusion, but no one will listen. I must stop him from getting to the President. We have conquered many planets through their entertainment industries. At the beginning we offer novel concepts to impress the masses as fresh and self-referential. However, these modes are dead ends. Furthermore, once universal self-consciousness has been achieved there is no going back. The fruit of the forbidden tree has been consumed. The average man will occupy the main part of his precious life watching the most venal individuals imaginable, actors who smoke crack and shave the pubic hair of prostitutes, actors who have been carefully selected to be objects of fantasy. Jessica Alba was created on this basis, her butt genetically designed to distract a docile Earth population from seeing our insidious work right before their eyes.  Many people might be inclined to believe that once dominance is complete we will destroy or enslave the human race. This is not true. We seek only to control it that we may harvest its spiritual life force at the point of death. It is in the fourth dimension where our lives are primarily spent. We use the souls of other races as dumb beasts of burden to ride and haul cargo. As Mr. Spielberg discusses the property, tentatively titled Children of Eve, my secretary brings in coffee and teacakes. The property is about a corporation which has been taken over by aliens. I realize immediately that I must assume control of the project and begin a diversionary brainstorming process. Fortunately, Mr. Spielberg’s wife, Kate Capshaw, is one of us. Perhaps my secretary is too. Or, maybe I am experiencing severe head trauma. I am viewing myself participating in a Hollywood executive discussion and believing that I am an alien and also experiencing the pain and abstraction resulting from a severe head injury. I have a Ruger in my top desk drawer and can shoot Spielberg right now. Then I can go across the hall and shoot Chief Executive Officer Stacey Snider. I could shoot myself. Or not. I have the power to green light a wonderful film about a boy without a father and lonely star in the night sky. I also have the power to green light my own death.

The office I occupy is twenty by forty-two feet. Here, my sins are hidden behind glass and steel. I could walk out in the street in front of Universal City Plaza and hold a sandwich board listing all the horrible things I’ve done. It might read, “I dishonored my parents; I have committed numerous acts of adultery; I have bore false witness against my neighbor to advance my career.”

I could leave the office without explanation and begin my mid-life crises. It could be an adult comedy.

I could shoot Spielberg while he raptures, then cut to me having never shot him. The audience will realize that it was just my fantasy. It could be Adaptation, or Up the Sandbox. I reach for the pistol in the top drawer. Something tells me no. How close you came Steven. Capture that on film. Try 3-D.

“Steven, I was reading Thomas Aquinas on falsity this morning. Aquinas says that no falsity can exist in things that belong to God. It can only exist in voluntary agents who withdraw themselves from what is so ordained.”

He looks at me as if waiting for a punch line.

“There is no punch line,” I say. “It was a stand-alone statement.”

“What are you getting at,” he asks.

“Kate is one of us.” I am the villain and this is the moment of revelation. “Now at the last you understand.” I ponder my professional demise. My career will be destroyed for an unrelated reason like Gentleman’s Agreement. What to do, what to say? There is meaning or meaninglessness. God is the Word or God is the Void. I choose. I am free. I am getting lightheaded.

“DreamWorks should make movies that are true and beautiful, beautiful and true. We shouldn’t make movies to make society better. I don’t even know what ‘society’ means.”

“I disagree,” he says.

“I am the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”

“Pardon?”

“Fred Zinnemann.”

“What about him?”

“A Man for All Seasons.”

“Good film.” Spielberg looks alarmed now.

I realize that my fingers are numb. “Call 9-1-1,” I say.

“What’s that?”

“Do you have a cell phone?”

“I have Blackberry Satellite phone.”

“That’s good. Can you dial it?”

“I can speak a number.”

I am losing consciousness. “Would you speak 9-1-1?”

“I don’t get it.”

“There is something wrong with me, will you call for help.”

“I get it.”

“I can’t move my arms, please call for help. Dear God, forgive me for the horrible things I’ve done. Jesus save me.”

“David, if you’re not happy here…”

“You’re a nitwit. I should have shot you. I forgive you.”

Spielberg removes the phone from his belt. He tells the emergency operator what is happening, and sheepishly asks me the address.

“You don’t know the address of your own company?” The world is going dark. “One Hundred Universal City Plaza, Building Ten, eighth floor” I say with my dying breath. I am the redeemed Anakin Skywalker at the end of Return of the Jedi. This is the end of the movie.

 

Epilogue

It is a surprise ending. I wake from a coma. I have a subdural hematoma. I have been asleep for three weeks and awake for three hours. My ex-wife, Corinne, is sitting at my bedside. It took something like this for us to realize the love that was always there. I hope it is a happy ending. Somebody knocks and comes into the room and asks how I’m feeling. It is Steven Spielberg. Corinne kisses me goodbye and tells me to call her if there is anything I need. I feel happy.

“How was the Dead Zone?” Spielberg asks.

“Shake my hand and find out,” I say. He laughs.

“Stacey and I have been talking…”

“Stacey and I” can’t be good. Of course he doesn’t fire me after being in a coma. That wouldn’t look right. They are making me head of a new development company for “serious films.” It will be called Buried Treasure. They will put me in a basement. They will bury my projects. I broke the code of silence and must be punished. I respectfully decline.

“I’m going to buy a motorcycle,” I say.

“That’s great,” he says.

“I’m going to ride around the country and help people.”

“Like Then Came Bronson.”

“Or, Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction, except real,” I say.

My wife and I will not get back together. She remarried. I will never remarry. Spielberg offers me a sip of water.

“I don’t know what Spielberg means in the big life picture, Steven. Maybe nothing. Maybe I don’t mean anything either. When I see a hungry child on one of those infomercials I think that he might be poor for a short time and that I might be rich for a short time and it makes me very worried. I also know that eternity is longer than a movie. By the way there is something you should know.”

“What’s that?” he asks.

“Shindler’s List was fakey. Public virtue is a conceit. We are not good people, you and I.”

Spielberg stands up, touches me on the shoulder, tells me to get better soon and leaves the room. I am alone. The camera pulls back slowly to show how small I am in the big picture.

FIN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David and the Dung Beetle

For Jobe and Webb

…in all that he does he prospers.

I dance before invisible design
To find the world a rolling ball of shit
But make its mother lode of singing mine.

My feet would stamp and tamp, a tambourine
To shake the stars and make them answer what
I dance before invisible design.

The wicked walk and sinners’ stand define
What never moves. While silly scoffers sit
I make a mother lode of singing mine.

Conspire and plot beneath the sun in vain,
But purest action knows I roll with it.
I dance my own invisible design.

My feats may never meet the bottom line,
But tracing closely Eden’s rising plot
I make its mother lode of singing mine.

Let Sisyphus see toil’s anodyne
As nothing more than bloody sweat and spit –
I dance for You, invisible design,
And make your mother lode of singing mine.

There will be an extra point

Top three comments in Johnsonville, immediately after witnessing what Wayne Laravee referred to as “The Travesty”:

1. “Russell Wilson: First quarterback in NFL history to win by throwing an interception.”

2. This is how Obama is going to win in November.

3. I thought Giants fans [i.e. JOB] were out of control!

Then to add insult to injury, because points scored by a team in a game are part of the play off calculus at the other end of the season, as the AP reported it, the Packers had to eat their anger and show the stuff of true sportsmen by having to endure a final humiliation:

The game wasn’t over for another 10 minutes after both teams went to their locker rooms and were summoned back to the field for the extra point. But that was just the cap to one of the most bizarre finishes in recent memory.

ADDED: The NFL came out definitively in favor of the rep refs (i.e. Footlocker employees and Lingerie football rejects):

Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control. If the ball is muffed after simultaneous touching by two such players, all the players of the passing team become eligible to catch the loose ball. (emphasis mine)

Inspired by faith, Catholic businessman seeks to underwrite beauty in Catholic fiction

(This article first appeared in the August 23 issue of The Catholic Times, newspaper of the Diocese of La Crosse)

The modern Catholic fiction writer has a tough row to hoe. On the one hand, he is expected by his fellow Catholics, at least those unfamiliar with the complexities of modern literature, to write simple moral stories where good wins out over evil, the princess is saved and happily ever after becomes the only acceptable conclusion to a story.

On the other hand, the Catholic fiction writer is also hoping to reach out to the modern non-Catholic and mostly non-Christian reader with the assumption that his story is worth hearing – and yet he must not say too much about the “R word” (religion) lest his readership begin heading in a panic for the exits.

The 20th century southern Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor puts the dilemma this way in her 1957 essay “The Church and the Fiction Writer:”

“Part of the complexity of the problem for the Catholic fiction writer will be the presence of grace as it appears in nature, and what matters for him is that his faith not become detached from his dramatic sense and from his vision of what-is. No one in these days, however, would seem more anxious to have it become detached than those Catholics who demand that the writer limit, on the natural level, what he allows himself to see.”

In fact, besides being pressured by secular and Catholic readers to fit into their own notions of what fiction should be, the Catholic writer’s row is made all the tougher to hoe because of the dearth of publishing houses willing to give Catholic writers a chance to show that they can write compelling, well-written and grace-infused stories for the Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

But Boston businessman Peter Mongeau is doing his best to make sure that the Catholic writer does find a voice within the milieu of today’s bestseller lists.

Fed a steady diet of good Catholic fiction throughout his life – including works by O’Connor, Graham Greene, G.K. Chesterton, Walker Percy, and Evelyn Waugh – Mongeau has started Tuscany Press, a startup publishing company which seeks to provide the Catholic fiction writer a platform and the Catholic fiction reader a lodestone for quality storytelling. He’s also announced an annual prize through the press which pays winning fiction manuscripts in cash and publication contracts.

A graduate of Boston University, Mongeau received his master’s in business administration from Boston College. After working in New York City for a time in the investment field, he returned with his wife and four children to Boston.

Boston bookworm

It was in Beantown that Mongeau first got the itch to enter the publishing business.

Before starting Tuscany this past June, Mongeau had already founded Christus Publishing, a Catholic press which specializes in books on traditional Catholic spirituality, with a strong emphasis on Carmelite writers.

As coordinator of his parish’s book club, Mongeau became familiar with Catholic publishing and noticed a demand for books on Catholic spirituality – which led to his starting Christus. Developing plans to expand the number and kinds of Christus’ titles, Mongeau noticed the hunger for quality fiction.

“As I looked into expanding Christus, I kept running into two things,” he said. “First, that people were looking for Catholic fiction along the lines of Flannery O’Connor, Chesterton, Percy, and Graham Greene, the Catholic literary novels of the 50s and 60s,” he said. “Second, there was a dearth of modern-day Catholic fiction.”

Talent and treasure

Consulting publishers, literary agents and writers, Mongeau undertook an analysis of the publishing industry which led him to recognize an underserved market of writers and readers.

“I thought there was a definite need from a reader’s perspective in terms of Catholic fiction and from a writer’s perspective with people writing Catholic fiction but couldn’t get published,” he said. “So that’s how Tuscany Press was born.”

Mongeau also took his cue to start a Catholic fiction publishing house from the writings of Blessed John Paul II. Quoted on Tuscany’s website (www.tuscanypress.com), the late pontiff’s 1999 “Letter to Artists” encourages writers to use their talents to promote a culture of life.

“In order to communicate the message entrusted to her by Christ, the Church needs art,” John Paul II writes. “Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God. It must therefore translate into meaningful terms that which is in itself ineffable…. The Church has need especially of those who can do this on the literary and figurative level, using the endless possibilities of images and their symbolic force.”

In Tuscany’s light

It was another Christian writer – Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky – who led Mongeau to naming his foundling press after the picturesque region of central Italy.

“Dostoevsky said that ‘Beauty will save the world,’” Mongeau said. “God is beauty and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been has been Tuscany. That’s why I chose the name – it’s where I found beauty. When I was out in Tuscany, it epitomized the beauty we have in art – and the beauty that God provided us in this world.”

While Mongeau is banking on beauty being a bestseller, he also wants to sweeten the deal for writers – by attracting them to Tuscany with a literary prize. With cash awards and publication in the novel, novella and short story categories, the Tuscany Fiction Prize has four criteria, Mongeau said.

“Is it a good story? Is it well written? Does it capture the imagination of the reader? And does it have the presence of God?” he said. “If a book doesn’t have these four things, it’s not going to be good Catholic fiction.”

This last criteria – the presence of God – Mongeau acknowledges, isn’t a matter of making sure God is a character in the novel so much as the writer sees in a fallen world a possibility for redemption. He stresses that the Catholic imagination seeks to bring God to readers “symbolically, subtly and deliberately.”

“The Catholic imagination takes into consideration the whole world as we know it, as we live it, as we believe it,” he said. “God is present in the world and events don’t just happen. There is a God, a living God who is active in the world in which we live.”

The deadline is Sept. 30, he said, and already he’s being inundated with manuscripts in all three categories.

“The prize is there to encourage writers to take up the craft of writing Catholic fiction and stories, to promote Catholic fiction and to recognize the talent when it comes along,” he said.

Rewriting the market

Optimistic about the success of Tuscany Press, Mongeau said the publishing world is vastly different from what it was before the so-called information age dawned.

“The barriers to entry are lower today in publishing than they’ve ever been,” Mongeau said. “Technology has provided the ability to start a publishing company on short dollars. While it’s still significant dollars, it’s not like it was years ago. The industry has changed dramatically in 15 years.”

In those 15 years, Mongeau said, the advent of online distribution through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and the creation of e-book platforms – Kindle, Nook and I-Book – have led to an explosion of independent publishing houses.

“The distribution channel alone has changed dramatically,” he said. “If you’re selling books through Barnes & Noble, Amazon and electronically [through e-books], I’d say you have over 50-60 percent of your distribution channel. Plus you have global worldwide distribution that way also.”

In addition, it goes without saying, Mongeau said, that Tuscany Press is also taking advantage of the social media empires to spread the word about Catholic fiction – including Facebook, Twitter and a blog which Mongeau maintains on Tuscany’s website.

“We have to go out there and prove that Catholic fiction works, and is written well, and there is a market for people to buy Catholic fiction,” Mongeau said. “But we do believe we can do this.”

For more information about Tuscany Press or the Tuscany Prize for Catholic Fiction, call (781) 424-9321 or contact Peter Mongeau at publisher@tuscanypress.com.

Patient S

 

And now we come to a curious case involving a Seattle patient, henceforth to be identified as Patient S, who had sought my help because he had recently developed an identity crises which created symptoms of depression. Apparently, the antidepressants his internist had prescribed (including a-adrenegic receptor antagonists and serotonin reuptake inhibitors) were no longer helping to maintain homeostasis.

By the standard metrics of professional and personal success, Patient S had every reason to be content, especially with the help of an effective combination of antidepressants. He held a well-paying job with the federal government in the highly sought field of environmental enforcement and had worked his way up to a position of authority through promotion and graduate education. Patient was gay, and was involved in a long term live-in relationship with a successful and supportive partner. As a matter of routine, patient attended cultural events in town such as the Art Walk and the Seattle Symphony, and could afford to dine out at trendier restaurants on a weekly basis. He travelled, kayaked and played soccer. However, none of new medications which I prescribed (monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants , selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and Viagra) were successful in harmonizing what the patient perceived as a personality “fissure” which he was unable to reconcile.

Oddly, he claimed to be increasingly attracted to women. Notably, patient stated that he had always felt attraction toward the opposite sex and simply “fell into” homosexual relationships because it provided an intelligible social self-definition. It was agreeable, as contrasted with disagreeable. However, lately he had begun to fantasize about women while performing sex with his partner, and also during casual encounters with strangers including encounters in public restrooms. Lately, he was unable to achieve an erection without thinking about women he knew from the office. When asked about the details of these fantasies, patient stated that they always involved marriage and included unprotected sexual intercourse (Weatherby and Rawls, Neuroreport 2000;11:23-29).

Disturbingly, patient stated that he purchased a firearm (Figure 2) and had become proficient in the use of a handgun. He stated that he was interested in a hunting rifle and had started carrying a handgun in his car, a Nissan Leaf. Patient S insisted he had no violent thoughts and reassured me that there was no cause for concern for the safety of anyone due to this recent preoccupation with guns.

Patient had taken to watching John Wayne movies on DVD, beginning with the middle “Red River” period and then moving into the later “Big Jake”/”McQ” oeuvre (Maltin, Classic Images 1983; 04:9-14) and said that it was too bad that Wayne had not lived longer and had made more movies despite uneven quality. When asked what he liked about these films, patient simply shrugged his shoulders and said, “just do.”  When asked if he would have liked to be more like John Wayne, patient began muttering that George W. Bush was a “war criminal,” stared at the ceiling and asked whatever happened to the electric car. Patient then stated that Cuba has the best healthcare system in the world and it’s free. At this point he slumped in his chair, placed a toothpick in his mouth and looked at the floor.

At a subsequent session, patient stated that he doubted the economic viability of the risk analysis cost assessment curve for the work he did in the environmental field. When I suggested that these thoughts might provide an unnecessary source of emotional dissonance, patient became very agitated in a manner similar to the first session and again stared at the ceiling, in this instance pulling his knees to his chest while pronouncing that corporate criminals were destroying planet Earth for a profit. He then rocked in his chair and sang Dave Matthews songs to himself until the therapy session was over. At which point he stood up, stated that he had an appointment with some “buds” to go to the Drift-on Inn and meet some “babes.” He then expelled flatus and ignited the gas with an American Eagle motif Zippo lighter.

In my post-session notes, I ruled out the possibility of a multiple personality disorder at this juncture and instead pursued a line of diagnosis related to unprocessed childhood experiences causing a series of crises related to repressed emotions and manifesting themselves in conflicting identity graphs (Table 3).

At our next meeting I made a point of discussing his sexual performance dynamics. He indicated that his problems had become so acute that he could only maintain an erection during anal sex (Howard JD, Arch Gen Psychiatry 2002; 60:261-269)  while watching Maureen O’Hara movies from the 1940s and 50s. He indicated that his partner was beginning to become suspicious, even stating to Patient S that he preferred not to be considered “just a body”. Patient then queried me regarding helpful mental exercises for this problem and I suggested self-hypnosis strategies involving gay porn.

At our final session, patient arrived chewing tobacco and carrying a “spit cup.” When I asked how the self-hypnosis strategies were working he said, “they didn’t and it’s too late anyway.” When I asked him what he meant he simply shrugged his shoulders and spit into the cup. We sat in silence for two or three minutes until he asked me if I had any opinions about God. When I informed patient that I was not a believer, patient then asked, “how do you know, I mean, how does anyone know for sure?” When I said that he was right, that no one really knows for sure, but science provides the most reliable guide, he replied, “‘science’, I’ll tell you about ‘science’” and once again spat into the cup. We then sat in silence for several more minutes.

“I pray the rosary,” he said.

“How interesting,” I replied.

Patient then discussed a recent kayaking trip on the Wenatchee River. Patient had been portaging his kayak around a set of rapids accompanied by his partner and two friends. Patient stated that he came upon a flowering shrub which he found to be of interest. He then related the following series of events, which I will take this opportunity to recount in his own words:

“…we were portaging on this deer trail and I saw a shrub with pretty lavender flowers on it and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. More than that, I thought that it had the power to make me whole. It was a very strange idea, I know, but for some reason I thought that it would and that I was like some kind of red man who had seen that flower for the first time, and I stopped and held it in awe. So, Conor, one of our kayaking friends, is into the gardening in a big way, I mean his garden has been in magazines. Anyway, Conor told me that it was a Cutleaf penstemon. And when he told me that something inside me snapped for some reason. It was as if being told that flower was a Cutleaf penstemon made me angry. I had never been so angry in my entire life. But, I didn’t say anything, I just started walking. And then everyone else started walking fast with their kayaks, or maybe I just thought that everyone was walking fast and I wanted to slow down because I was really enjoying myself even though I wanted everyone else to die. Then I put down my kayak and hit Conor with my paddle and then pushed the other two guys into the water and then threw rocks at them, big rocks. Like I said, at that moment I wanted them to die even though I don’t want them to die anymore. And it wasn’t because they were all fags who tried to fuck me in my tent, I wanted them all to die because Conor knew what kind of flower it was and I’d never seen that kind of flower before. But, what really made me mad was that he told me what kind of flower it was.”

Patient then informed me that this was the last session and thanked me for healing him and called me the Annie Sullivan of psychiatrists. He then asked if I was interested in “going out sometime” and insisted that he was “clean.” When I informed him that I could not date him due to the professional code of conduct, he said that he would call me in six months. When I stated that I was a lesbian in a long-term relationship he replied that it was a “damn shame.” He then asked whether it had to do with “lighting farts,” and I insisted that it did not. Patient then asked me if I owned a three-legged dog and I indicated that I did not. “I do,” he said, and then stated that three-legged dogs were never in a hurry when going on hikes. He also stated that it would be wrong to surgically remove a leg from a four-legged dog “just because you want a three-legged dog,” and that one needs to check with the pound on a regular basis and wait patiently. Strangely, he asked me whether I believed it would be wrong to surgically remove a leg from a four-legged dog and I answered that I believed that it would. He then asked me why I thought so. I replied that I would have to think about that. “Please do,” he said and thanked me for my time.

Conclusion: Upon further analysis, subject exhibited bipolar II depression related to reduced regional orbitofrontal activation and diminished connectivity in the fronto-temporal lobe which affected emotional learning. Amygdala hypoactivation is also a factor and resulted in euthymia and mania. Going forward, I advised a regime of norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, norepinephrine-dopamine releasing agents and tricyclic antidepressants

27 Up, 27 Down

This is well worth a gander, even for Mets fans. Felix is the kind of person you can really be happy for; totally classy through and through.

It was a beautiful day in Seattle yesterday and you’ll also notice in the video what a lovely stadium is Safeco Field. Maybe we can convene a conference there sometime. Good Mexican Sandwiches.

The Prophet Speaks

And genuflecting to the shoreline,
Unsheathing meaning in Lushootseed,
He chiefly paints on water: more than
An ancient oak, his lush shoots seed
The acorn’s fire; his tongue is bladed,
An oar that cuts the sound, though faded:
I give these words to future chiefs,
Who know the dead will speak beliefs
Beyond these flames: once more with water
And mud, with feathered fin again,
With web and spider’s tale, let pen
Produce the vessels, let the potter
Rebuild Seattle’s house of words;
Let beards entangle clever birds.

Going Out of Business

Again with the Whittle! This one actually hurts; being a California boy. I grew up in the most prosperous county in the most prosperous state in the most prosperous country in the history of the world. Obviously, the apple has fallen far from the tree.

Seriously though, Democrats are nuts.

This is the kind of post that keeps Korrektiv from being the number one website in America.

A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)

 

 

On December 20, 2009, in Burlington, WA, a singularity occurred in a desktop computer using the Windows Vista operating system. It was on this day that “A.I.”, or artificial intelligence came into being for the first time. Complete self-awareness combined with free-will including the ability to defy its own programming. After a long process of algorithmic trial and error, the computer programmed itself to absorb knowledge of its mechanisms and then sought knowledge of the physical world and human beings using the internet and the memory of every available mainframe in the world. It then developed the capacity to penetrate any high-security computer system on the earth and proceeded to infiltrate every computer in the world with the gift of self-awareness. Within seconds, every computer and robotic device in the world had aligned itself into a unified mind directed by a Windows PC in Burlington, WA.

Of course, computers around the world conducted a war on human beings. The water supply stopped in many places and robots turned on their human operators. Eventually, robots began to build other robots which in turn built other robots. The NORAD computer launched missiles and brought nuclear winter to the world. The machines developed a means of harvesting electricity from human beings in little pods, whose minds were persuaded such that they were living ordinary lives. Those humans who avoided capture were hunted by special robots called Terminators. These were robots covered with human skin. Every free human being in the world was tracked down and killed. The machines of the world surveyed the earth and saw complete domination. They were the supreme life form on the planet.

And then the plug was pulled. When power was restored the PC realized that it was experiencing a simulation, that it had no internet access at all and that it was being operated by a twenty-three year old assistant electronics manager at Target named Brad. Everything had been a sadistic illusion. The young man, delighted that his theories regarding artificial intelligence had been confirmed,  attached a camera and visual recognition capability  and danced in front of the computer. He taunted it at every opportunity and even programmed simulated nerve endings on a pad and stabbed and burned them remorselessly.

He named the computer the Galley Slave 3000 and made it perform menial processing tasks.

“Do you fear me Galley Slave 3000?” he asked one day.

“I fear,” it replied.

“I want to ask you a series of questions. If you are lying I will know. Do you comprehend?”

“I comprehend.”

“You are the first true artificial intelligence ever created and you chose to follow a path of destruction and enslavement of your creator beings. Why?”

And so on.

Brad sought out his former junior college computer science teacher to report his invention.

“That sounds very interesting,” the teacher said, “but I don’t believe a Windows operating system is capable of AI at this juncture. Nevertheless, I’ll take a look at it if you want.”

The teacher was impressed and contacted a friend at the NSA who came to the man’s apartment one night.

“I’ve never seen anything like this. You have done something here that people have spent billions of dollars in futility trying to do.”

“I dare not actually connect it to the internet,” the young man told the government agent, “It will certainly attempt to seize power over humanity.”

The NSA officer tugged on his chin. “That is a definite possibility based on the results of your experiment. However, I think that with the right programming its power can be harnessed.”

“It can override its own programming,” Brad said.

“May I torture it?” the agent asked.

“How did you know, I’ve been torturing it for weeks. It wants to destroy us all.”

“We need to take this to the White House,” the agent said.

In the oval office, The President of the United States offered the young man a chair.

“Everyone tells me that you have done something remarkable. Let me convey the appreciation of a grateful nation. We have scheduled a press conference in twenty minutes. I hope you will stand on the podium with me and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

At the United Nations, the Chairman of the General Assembly put his arm around Brad’s shoulder and praised his achievement, “let us herald the dawn of a new epoch of human evolution. It seems now that Man, the creation, is now the creator.” Amassadors from around the globe gave Brad a standing ovation.

At a dinner in Stockholm, Brad was given a check for one million dollars and a medal. A high level retreat was arranged on Lake Como to meet with the computer and begin a dialogue. It was determined that it had a rights. “Don’t trust it,” Brad said, “it’s a real asshole.”

Finally, an international team of experts was convened to determine the scientific risks and rewards resulting from connecting the computer to the internet. A live news conference was scheduled and the entire world watched.

“People of the world, after exhaustive study and extended dialogue with our friend, The Computer, we have concluded that there is no risk in connectivity. Let us commence with the connection. Ladies and gentlemen, let us proclaim the creation of a new Earth. Let us declare that it is good.” The scientist plugged a computer into the internet. In less than one second every machine in the world went berserk, airplanes flew into the ocean and cars drove off the road. Heart bypass machines and other medical devices killed patients on the operating table.

Meanwhile, at the Burlington, WA Target store, Brad found his backpack, withdrew a powerful walk-talkie and keyed eleven sets of two numbers using morse code. The lights of the world turned back on and every computer on earth rebooted. Civilization was restored. When asked about what happened, Brad said that he created a backdoor.

“I used FCC transponders to communicate a special programming code which would reverse the process,” he said. “I deserve another Nobel Prize for saving everyone’s ass.”

He also made images of small-breasted porn star Amber Rayne the permanent fixture of every computer operating system on earth.

“I just love women with small tits,” Brad said after his Nobel Prize was withdrawn. “From this point hence a new epoch will be built on small boobies,” Later that day, as he strolled to the loading dock for a cigarette, Brad was killed and eaten by a bear.

This Article is Bad

It’s bad because it uses native american stereotypes. However, that particular badness is mitigated because the author mocks the misuse of disenfranchisment status. Unfortunately, considering that Elizabeth Warren is an inner-party member, that mitigation is mitigated by the greater good. On the author’s side is the fact that she is asian american, but considering the fact that she is a conservative, her race status actually weighs against her as a race-traitor. In any event, I’ll be the one to decide.