July, 2013


31
Jul 13

Hell, Dude, You Can Play Videogames After You’re Dead

“So what you have to go to school and work a job too? What are you going to do in your off time? You spend most of it playing videogames with your friends. Listen, man, you can play videogames after you’re dead!”

“What do you mean I can play videogames after I’m dead?”

“Of course! Because you spend so much time on them your mind is framed that way. Indeed, as you’re dying and the oxygen is running out in your brain, you’ll probably see yourself in a videogame. Might seem to go on for years. And after you’re dead, the bardo, the afterlife experience to which your consciousness gravitates, will be formed by videogames because, in life, that’s when you were most alert and active, mentally, when you were playing those games. It might be the simplest–you might end up playing DOOM for thousands of years! Or it could be a 2D game…you might be trapped in a 2D world like Donkey Kong. Or you might be playing, like, Fallout Three, where people are wandering around at random in the background, saying the same things over in loops and sometimes walking into walls…”
–imaginary conversation I had with my youngest son. All in my mind. He’d already hung up the phone before it started.


28
Jul 13

NO DAMMIT THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M SAYING

People who own guns and are worried about them being taken away are being misled by political opportunists. They’re being told that if a person is concerned about the *extent* of the availability of guns, it means they want to eradicate all guns. No. It doesn’t mean that. It just means there are TOO DAMN MANY guns…

If you have a house with a whole lot of kids in it and you leave two or three guns in every room, loaded, just lying around, what will happen? That’s what’s happening to the USA. The USA is a house with many children in it. There are adults, too, yes. But there are many children. So you simply want to NOT HAVE SO MANY GUNS in that house. (No I don’t *literally* mean children only.) Not having so many guns in “the house” that is this country doesn’t mean you can’t have some guns, locked up, and take them out, carefully when you, the adult, needs them or wants them…

It’s as if gun ownership creates some odd, particular blindspot, some limited area of cluelessness; some selective cognitive impairment. “Let’s paint it green!” “I don’t like red!” “I said green.” “Why are you saying red? I don’t like red!” “I’m NOT SAYING RED!”


26
Jul 13

Some say that Through the Universe Itself There Flows…

A traveler, several thousand years ago, is faring north through the desert. He stops at a murky well to water his camels, where a stranger tells him of an enormous source of water just two hundred miles to the west–it’s a great river that will later be called The Nile. The traveler decides the man is a liar or just a madman. “I’ll show you,” the stranger says. “Come with me.” “No, no, there’s nothing there.” The stranger does not blame the first traveler for his skepticism. Many falsehoods are told. But he knows that river is there–he has been there…

Some say that through the universe itself there flows a river. The river flows down to us, much dispersed when it gets to us, but still fluid and restorative. It’s the river of external consciousness; the consciousness that flows, hidden away, in the substance of the universe itself. Some gave it absurd names, made it a god. But it’s simply a river of consciousness. It is not supernatural…

A river is a resource. It has a current that can turn wheels; it is liquid refreshment; its banks are fertile from floods, and you can grow nourishment there. But a river won’t come to you. You have to go to it. You have to head toward it. A few people have left directions…


23
Jul 13

Outside the Box when I’m Inside the Box

I think outside the box because I live outside the box. I have always lived outside the box. And yet I live near the box. I can reduce my size to fit in, and enter the box. But even then I’m usually in the box but not of it. I act as if I’m from the box, at such times, but inside I know my home is outside the box. . .

Some states of mind when I’m in the box, can lead me to compress into another smaller box within the box. There is no room to think in the smaller box; even less room to think than within the outer box. However I can find my way out of that inner box, and into the larger one. From there I can go home, which is outside the box. But I never go too far from the box. I need to be inside it sometimes.


21
Jul 13

A quick review of PACIFIC RIM

We saw PACIFIC RIM. We saw it in 3D on IMAX, yet. That seemed appropriate for a guys in giant robot suits vs giant monsters movie. Lots of fun and I thought it actually got better as it went. The New Yorker reviewed it for some quite unknown reason, and of course Anthony Lane hated it, complained of its hackneyed characters (pretty much, yeah, though the actors kinda make them work, good actors), the rather stilted attempts at drama between the giant monster/robot suit bits, but…that’s like trying to do serious filmcrit analysis of ULTRAMAN or ASTROBOY or MIGHTY MOUSE or the original Godzilla or giant mecha anime cartoons. Despite the use of a couple of slightly naughty words, this is really a movie for kids (and adults who’re still kids), writ large. Very large. So what did you expect, Anthony Lane.

Other people will complain of the physics–helicopters toting those giant robots around, yeah that could happen, you bet, etc–but to me that’s like complaining of the physics in Peter Pan.

The film does have a few pretty good ideas and some amusing “B” characters like the two scientists. It has that cool sequence with Ron Perlman (two actors from Sons of Anarchy feature prominently in this) about the guy who’s selling giant monster poop, giant monster lice, giant monster horn powder…It has a martial arts scene between people including the love interests…it has Japanese Television Anime style music–I mean, really, some of the action music is definitely an homage to that truly bad music. And Japanese television Anime style fight poses…but in this they look monumentally imposing. It has a beautiful Japanese lady co-starring, being rather J-Pop…You’re going to ANALYZE this? It wasn’t made for you. It was made for people who were growing up watching Godzilla and Ray Harryhausen stuff and even the Amazing Colossal Man…has homages to all that, as well as Star Wars (in the dialogue) and Independence Day…and all giant mecha anime… If you want giant monster movie as art, see THE HOST. If you want giant monsters battling guys in robot suits that are as huge in improbability as they are in proportions, why, see PACIFIC RIM…it’ll be really popular amongst ten year olds…I’d have swooned for it as a nine or ten year old… And I did enjoy watching it…

The directing was good but del Toro chose to shoot the action up close, perhaps for max 3D impact, and to me that’s a bit confusing at times. Still, I followed it well enough. The old school people at SD comic con must love this.

I wish Forrest Ackerman was around to see it and put it on the cover of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. That’s where it belongs–not the New Yorker, for crying out loud.


17
Jul 13

Hunting Drones–and Hunting ANIMALS with Drones?

Someone hearing about hunters (in Colorado) possibly getting licenses to shoot down surveillance drones thought at first they meant hunting animals with drones. No, they aren’t hunting animals with drones the hunters are planning to hunt “gubmint” drones but that mis-reading of it…is terrifying! And probably inadvertently prophetic! It makes me realize that YES some DEEPLY SCREWED UP PEOPLE will use armed drones for hunting animals! They’ll be doing it as a “live video game”. I mean, right now they have places where people go to SHOOT animals, bunches of animals, that are penned into a relatively small area so the “hunters” can “practice” hunting. VP Cheney used to do it (I think that’s what he was doing when he accidentally shot his friend!) If they’ll do that… NOOOOOOO….

Now I can hear it, “Oh shirley but what about how we’re hunting PEOPLE with drones right now, in Pakistan”. That would be another discussion. This one is about 1) humane treatment of animals and 2) not encouraging incredibly sick vicious violent psychopathic behavior…Drunk rednecks sitting around at home playing “videogames” with real drones…

I’m gonna put this hunting animals with drones thing in a story and make it look as bad as I can… which won’t be difficult.


5
Jul 13

DUMPING NERVE GAS IN THE SEA – WHO AND WHAT HAVE WE KILLED?

The linked article here: (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-11-01-weapons-ocean_x.htm?POE=3D= ) is about 8 years old–but the issue is even more cogent now as the canisters are surely even more deteriorated, in 2013.

Is the military still dumping biotoxins made for war in the sea? Mysterious ocean kills–large numbers of animals washing up dead–are turning up a lot lately.

””The perception at the time was the ocean is vast — it would absorb it,” said Craig Williams, director of the Chemical Weapons Working Group in Kentucky, a grass-roots citizens group. “Certainly, it is insane in retrospect they would do it. It would be inevitable, I assume, all of this will be released into the ocean at some point or another.”‘

‘ …One marine mammal specialist thinks “it is a very good possibility” that leaking chemical weapons killed hundreds of dolphins in 1987…’ And: http://www.globalanimal.org/2012/05/08/virus-starvation-pollution-the-mystery-of-perus-marine-deaths/73788/

The President should order the military to locate these dumps, then work up a system for cleaning them safely up. The toxins should be either buried in concrete in some effective way or, better, brought safely to the top (within other new containers that keep them watertight) and then destroyed in furnaces that break them down to components. This would be very expensive, and would take lots and lots of men. But it would save lives in the long run.

Does any of this leaking material get into fish? What’s the overall effect on the sea?

And what about the danger to future generations?


4
Jul 13

The Truth About Dog Heaven

Dogs in the afterlife. I’ve been thinking about the various beliefs on the afterlife. They include an afterlife for pets. Google pets and “the rainbow bridge”. But what those people don’t know is what dog heaven is really like. It’s easy to reason it out. Domestic dogs expect food from cans and bags. Supermarkets in the afterlife are unlikely. In the dog afterlife they see cans and bags running around, on little legs, partly open, smelling heavily of delicious dog food. Many varieties. The cans in dog heaven are not metal, they’re made of the rotting skins of dead squirrels, or old tamale wrappers. Stuff like that. The dogs chase them, catch the cans and bags every time. The cans and bags squeal like rodents and then the dogs eat them. . .Dogs are pack animals so in dog heaven they often do all this “hunting” in packs, tearing into the running cans of dog food as a group, competing for pieces with great delight.

Dogs don’t need to pee or poop in the afterlife. But they do. Because they love to. . .

In dog heaven, all dogs see phantom dogs not from their territory and they all bark at them and they all seem to chase them away. . .

Every five or ten yards there’s a dead animal, rather badly decayed, to roll in. . .People are stationed sitting on the ground at intervals to let the dogs climb into their laps. There are people beds and sofas scattered around to nap on. . .

Sometimes the dog heaven people pretend they’re about to eat steaks and the like, off low tables, and the dogs run up and get the people food and run off with it. No one punishes the dogs for this…

There are low hanging shrubs with old tennis shoes for fruit. As for cats…you decide.