Thursday, May 26, 2005

Reflections on a Day

Okay, so I know I said I wouldn't do this (well, I didn't say it, but I thought it very loudly to myself), but I'm going to put up a post about work. Consider this fair warning.

So as you may or may not know, I'm currently working in a photo lab. I do lots there -- post production stuff (making buttons, magnets, shirts, keychains, etc.), order entry, shipping -- I also do photo shoots and Photoshop work, but that's beside the point. I like working at a photo lab, because, as corny as it may sound, photographs are records of our live's moments. You may be saying "Jeremy, you sentimental piece of shit, when did you sell out?" Bear with me for a few minutes here.

Dude comes into the store yesterday asking about having a statue made. With a statue, we essentially take a photo, stick it to a piece of acrylic board, and trace the outline with a really powerful jigsaw. I know, it sounds easy, but the only way I can really express the difficulty of running the cutter is like this -- try putting a pen tip on the end of a vibrator, turn that vibrator to high, and then try to trace something with it. See how well that works for you.

So anyways, point is, this guy asks about getting a statue made. The girl who works the front desk comes to the back to ask me about getting it done by Friday, since I'm one of only two people who does statues. I have a look at the photos and say sure we can do it, then decide to head to the front to talk to him, because he has some issues about where it will be cut, etc. The guy's photo is a shot of him and three friends at their senior prom, and the photographers who did it put a border on it, which means there's a white line over some things at the edge of the photo. We discuss the issue.

Dude: "I'm really pissed at those photographers right now because they never said they were going to do this. I can't believe it, it's going to look really weird now."
Okay, yeah. I can see this. Of course maybe if you had said that you wanted these made into statues, they'd have made an exception, but okay.
Dude: "Graduation is on Saturday, so I need to have these by then, because I'm getting these as graduation presents for these guys, and I may never see them after graduation."
Wo. Okay, one: You will see them, trust me. Unless the very next day you're flying to Siberia, you have a whole summer before you leave for college, so let it go. Two: You're sounding just a little too much needy here, a little more attached to these group of guys than you should.

So I'm looking at this guy, with a little bit of disbelief registering in my mind but not my face, and thinking: "You're a stupid shit, man. I remember high school, and when it came time for graduation, I was thinking almost the same thing... only difference was my thought went more like this: 'Holy shit, I may never see these people again... YES!' "

So I tell him I'll do them, despite desperately wanting to shake him and tell him to wake the fuck up, and that it's really not that important. Keep in mind he's spending like 80 bucks to get these four statues made.

Now, what's great about this is that in about five years, he's going to wish he was right. He's going to wish he never saw them again. He's going to wish they'd gone there seperate ways after graduation and that was the end of it. Maybe not, because apparently they're his "friends," but I'd say it's likely this will happen. Don't get me wrong, I still keep in touch with a few friends from high school, and I care about them, but for the most part the people I knew in high school are as insignificant to me as a bug on the sole of someone else's shoe. Not even my own shoe.

But more importantly...
This photo is of these four guys doing a pseudo - Backstreet boys pose. One has sunglasses and his head is tilted down. The other is pointing at the camera in a very Justin Timberlake way. Another is running his hand through his hair. The dude who bought them has a Scott Stapp pose going, head tilted back and raised, with his arms spread out in the "who you gonna fuck with" style.

So, the way I see it, here's how this will play out:
15, 20, maybe 30 years from now, this guy is going to be depressed. He's going to be bitter about the fact that he marriad a woman he doesn't love and has three kids who absolutely hate him. Because of Jenna Bush's policies, he's not allowed to come out of the closet, so he hides his gay intentions with a wife and family and pretends to be an upstanding member of the community. He's going to go into the attic of his suburban home, to get away from the noise of the screaming kids and the constantly bitching wife, and he's going to start looking through the boxes of stuff his wife made him put up there. In the bottom of one of the boxes, he's going to come across this statue, scrtached and dusty but still there, still recognizable, and the memories are going to come flooding back. He's going to remember life then, carefree and fresh, with his three best friends, who he cared for more than anyone else in the world, cruising the town and cracking jokes. He's going to remember losing touch with them over the years, and not seeing any of them until Donnie killed himself back in June 2009, and not seeing them since. He's going to remember getting older, graduating from college, working in shitty jobs, and marrying a woman he never cared about, because everyone said that since he's overweight and getting older, he should just settle for someone with "a nice personality." Right about here is when the tears start to flow, but the story isn't over yet. He's balling his eyes out, so hard he can't even see the photo now, and he's remembering the nights of passionless sexy with his frumpy wife, and the nights when he faked a headache or being too tired so she wouldn't mock him for being impotent. He wasn't really impotent, he just never found women attractive. He's going to think about how every time he could get it up and "please" his wife, it was because he had been thinking about Donnie. Donnie, his friend. Donnie, the cute one. Donnie, the one running his hand through his hair in that old photo. God, he looks so good there, so youthful, so young, not like he did 4 year later just before he killed himself. Not like he did after he got hooked on heroin. Not like he did after he was selling his ass to rich guys to score some money for his next fix. In that photo, he was still the Donnie eveyone wanted to think about. Unconsciously, his dick starts to grow hard in his pants as he thinks about Donnie back in those days. He's sobbing so hard, the statue is lying on the floor now, he's curled into a ball, stroking himself through his pants and thinking about Donnie and what happened to his life. It's all over now, it's nothing like it used to be, everything is changed, everything is wrong, everything is so fucked up. In desperation, he fumbles around and finds an old kitchen knife from one of the boxes. He clumsily wraps his hands around the blade, and curled into a ball on the floor, crying over what once was, he plunges the knife deep into his stomach and rips it sideways. Blood is pouring out everywhere, his intestines are spilling on the floor, and he can feel the warmth leaving his body. His wife and kids are still downstairs, he can still hear the screaming and the bitching, and he knows he'll never have to hear it again. Finally, he's found peace.

I know that I'm not the one that made all this possible for him. But by doing my job, I was able to affect this guy's life. I was able to make a little change, able to push him further towards that pit of despair. Because of a few minutes work on my part, I was able to provide him with something he'll get enjoyment out of for years and that will help him to remember all those times past. If that's not magical, than I don't know what is.

Have a nice day, kids.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Irony abounds

Well, I couldn't help but notice some strange ironies and coincidences as I was reading over some of the today's news articles, so I decided to post up some of these things...

So, Laura Bush was protested while she was in Israel. Big surprise. Ironically, on the same day, Ariel Sharon was protested during his visit to NYC. Interesting little juxtaposition, there. On the other hand, Sharon was protested for his proposal to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and partially withdraw from the West Bank. Whoo, way to go dude! Bitch Bush, on the other hand, was protested because... well, think about it. She's married to W, what further reason do you need?

It was great, though, because the Israelis protested her in some locations because of Jonathan Pollard being sentenced to life imprisonment for being a spy, and then in other locations she was protested by Palestinians because... well, her husband killed a bunch of Muslims. Not much more to say than that.

I sometimes wonder if these AP writers intentionally throw in a bunch of ironic juxtapositions, or whether it's just purely coincidental. Either way, they sure throw me some gold. Check out this quotation from the AP article about LB in Israel:

At her stop nearby at the Dome of the Rock, she faced heckling from angry Palestinians. One man yelled, "How dare you come in here! Why your husband kill Muslim?"

As she moved into the Palestinian territory, she said the both sides in the conflict sent her the same message. "We're reminded again of what we all want, what every one of us pray for," she said. "What we all want is peace."

Seriously, I can't make up shit like this.
"Your husband kills people all the time!"
"All we want is peace."

Well, while LB was working to show just how much we care about brining peace to the world and all you poor little brown people, the US Army was out backing up her claim. A joint U.S. - Iraqi force of about 2,500 launched a major offensive in Baghdad to eliminate the continued insurgency that's been claiming so many lives in recent ... okay, not recent, exactly. Here's the thing. Okay, we want peace. Okay, we're rounding up and killing a bunch of people to achieve that peace. I can accept that, that's pretty much our modus operandi at this point, and honestly I'm not sure what the fuck else we could be doing to work for peace, other than building a time machine and going back a few decades to kick Barbara Bush in the stomach, but that's probably not a reasonable request.

My point, however, is this. A major offensive. Against insurgents. In Baghdad.

Remember "Mission Accomplished"? GHA YOU STUPID FUCKERS.
If we're still fighting major offensives against insurgents in the CAPITAL FUCKING CITY OF THE COUNTRY WE FUCKING INVADED....

Fuck it.

Now, for a little more levity. Apparently, dermatologists and cancer experts are now starting to say that in fact, sunshine is good for you and is likely to prevent cancer. They're saying that being out in the sun a few times a week without sunscreen is now good for you, and in fact wearing sunscreen all the time increases your likelihood of cancer.

Anyone listen to Lewis Black? The White Album? Crisco? Okay, just checking.

So anyway, apparently Vitamin D just happens to be the most important Vitamin in fighting and preventing cancer, and lo and behold the best way to get D is from sunlight. In fact, the milk that you drink and oily fish you eat adds only miniscule levels of D to your bloodstream, so sunlight is the most important way of getting some D in your blood. Not only that, but those multivitamin supplements you take usually only have trace amounts of D in them, and they're the [much] less potent form of it, and really the Vitamin A in them almost completely off-sets the benefits of the little bit of D you get.

"First eggs were good, then bad, then good, then bad, now the yolks are good but the whites are --- AAAAAAHHH! SHUT THE FUCK UP!" --Lewis Black

Now, the whole skin cancer thing -- apparently melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer (a very relative term in this case) only causes less than 8,000 deaths a year, while the lack of Vitamin D cause by never getting any natural sunlight without sunscreen probably accounts for a lot more deaths than that. HA! And the forms of cancer most associated with tanning are even less deadly than melanoma! HAHAHA!

Seriously though, next time a doctor tells you something is bad for you, kick him in the junk. If it seems like they're telling you something's bad for you, and it seems to you like it's good for you, more and more it's looking like you're probably going to win that bet.

And, final item of the day, the last little amusing story, comes from Germany. You know how funny Germans are, right?
Shuddup.

This story is going to get filed under the "Goddamit I wish our politicians were like that" column.

Gerhard Schroeder is calling for early elections because his party didn't do very well in the local elections held in their area of strongest support. Schroeder had this to say: "With the bitter election results for my party in North Rhine-Westphalia, the political basis for the continuation of our work has been called into question ... For the continuation of the reforms, I believe clear support by the majority of Germans is essential." (Source: AP)

I seriously can't fucking believe that. I really, seriously, can't fucking believe it. Seriously. For real.
Maybe I've been jaded and turned bitter because of the state of American politics, but can you believe this? "Hey, looks like you guys don't like me. Lets hold an election to see about it." Whereas here, whatever you can do to avoid having a [real] election is fair game.

Fuck, man. If only things were a little bit different....


Okay, a lot bit different.

That's it for now. Ciao till next time, kids.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Haha, suck that Koran!

Hey, real quick, see if you can figure out who this impersonation is of:

[Un-researched comment highly detrimental to West-Muslim relations

[Half assed apology]

Ooooh, you said the Bush Administration? Well, I suppose I can give you half credit, because that's true but not the answer we were looking for.

That's right, Newsweek!

For those of you who don't know, Newsweek claimed that torturers army officials were flushing the Koran down the toilet to outrage torture victims interrogation detainees.

What more can I say, really?

Hmm.

Let me think.

DUMBFUCKS!

Seriously, let's think about this. If you were to say something that directly resulted in hundreds of deaths across a whole region of the world, what would you do?

"Umm. Yeah, our bad. Ooops."

I'm seriously thinking ritual suicide is a very underrated aspect of Japanese culture.

And for those Newsweek people that are too dumb to figure out what that means -- KIL YOURSELF, YOU STUPID FUCKS! You should be ashamed enough that you write for "News"week anyway, but then to fuck up that bad? Oh, man, that's gotta sting. Sting like a short sword through the abdomen. I guess "gotta" should've been "should" instead.

Fuckers.

Another year, another tear.

Yeah, so I used to not care about birthdays. Nowadays, however, they mean a lot. A whole lot more. So much so, in fact, that I completely forgot about my birthday up until about 5 days ago. Considering that it's now May 17th, and my birthday is... uh... like 3 days away... well, I sooo care about birthdays, obviously.

Still, buy me some fucking presents, bitches.

Fuck, now I'm supposed to write some clever shit in here about the state of American politics, right?

Well, fine. But I'm making it short.
Let me say this:

Listen up, you dumb motherfuckers, stop fucking with China. No, seriously. Ohhhhh, waaaah, China, you need to change your currency practices. SHUT THE FUCK UP, jackass! China owns 16% of the U.S. economy by straigh-out loans to the US government, not to mention the fact that the biggest companies in the world are based in fucking China. They've got more people in their army than we do in our entire country. They're a bigger global force than the Soviet Union ever was, and they're really fucking good at what they do. STOP FUCKING WITH THEM!

Are you SERIOUSLY threatening economic sanctions against China? CHINA? Dude, you're a fucking retard. Knock that shit off. No, seriously, stop it.

Okay, that's it for tonight...


Stupid fuckers, I mean seriously, who fucks with China? They're the biggest fucking dog on the block, by far, and we look like a poodle compared to that Rott-fucking-weiler. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumbshit.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

img2txt

I just hopped over to the GIF2TXT site and found that they've updated their code, which is good because one of the features they added was something I was planning on adding myself after breaking the code, and now I don't have to go through all that work. Way to be one step ahead, dudes!

So the two new changes are the code are for the following features:
1. You can now load from image types other than .gif. .jpg and .png are now supported, which is sweet since I don't have to convert my .jpgs to .gifs anymore.
2. You can now choose the text used for the colorized HTML version. This is what I was going to try to work on. Ironically, I was going to grab the code today and start working on that, but when I went to the site to do that found they'd already done it. Seriously, timing. Awesome.

For those of you unfamiliar with it, GIF2TXT (Now call IMG2TXT since they support more than just .gifs) takes an image file and converts it to either ASCII art or a colorized HTML art. So basically you input the location of an image file, choose your options, and then hit the ASCIIFY button and it generates a .html of the image in this crazy text format. I highly recommend it, y'all should definitely check it out.

Here's the link.

Have fun ASCIIfying all your favorite images, kiddies!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Do my balls look big in this flight suit?

So, really, I'm never searching long for amusement when it comes to the White House. I don't know that there's ever been anyone with so much power who's been so amusingly incompetent.

Okay, well, maybe it's not funny, per se, but if I weren't laughing I'd either be crying or pulling. (The trigger of an AK as I sprayed it into a playground full of children to save them from the horrors that they will inherit from our greed and selfishness)

So anyways, even though Shrub didn't give any sort of address or press conference today (Wo, that's a surprise, he normally holds a press conference every day, right? I've met chili-addicted bulimics that were more regular...) So instead of picking on his ignorant, incompetent, incapable, intractable, in-something else in-sulting to his in-tensely poor character and purse in-ality, (Personality. I don't think that worked as well as in-tended.) So instead, let's pick on White House spokesman Trent Duffy. First off, if your surname isn't Reznor, you shouldn't be named Trent. I know this isn't your fault, Trent, old buddy, but you're of great assistance in proving the point about being careful what you name your children. Think, folks, if you're a product of your environment, then wouldn't your name effect you? Nothing exists until it is named, so says the Enlightenment, correct? Like quantum physics, the observation affects the observed.

Consider, for example, the effect of being named Trent. Consider what it would be like to grow up with the name Trent. Consider being called Trent every day by your parents. Your parents referring to you as Trent. Even your friends would call you Trent. You would hear the word Trent more than any other word, and it would almost always be in reference to you. Trent, every day, over and over, all the time. You would sign yourself over to the government, to a bank, to a job, to a life, and all using the name Trent. Self identified as Trent. Trent becomes you. You are Trent. Trent is your very soul.

And then one day, asked about Robert Wexler's proposed alternative plan to "fix" Social Security, you say "I would be surprised if the president were anything but pleased there is another voice with the courage to stand up and put a proposal on the table." Hey Wexler - you got balls, buddy. I like you, you got cajones. Im-a wreck you faster than a Mustang driven by a woman, but I lke that you got the balls, buddy. Props. Now bend over, and prepare for the anal-raping which will soon ensue."

Dumb motherfucker.

Trent.
Trent
Trent

Seriously, think about that for a minute. And if you have kids, before you choose a name, walk around for a day telling everyone your name is Trent. Trust me, you'll think better then.

Whores, adounding.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

HAHA!

Fucking motherfuck what the fuck!

Goddamit, I hate hippies. No seriously, I do. Not peace-lovers. Not liberals. Not even progressives. I'm all of those. Hippies, though, I fucking despise.

Smelly - I know you don't believe in deoderant, but what about showers? Don't tell me about the natural bullshit of only showering once every few days. If you smell by the second day, you shouldn't wait until the third for a shower. Motherfuckers, learn to clean yourselves!

Slow - I know you smoke weed and drop acid all the time, but have you heard of speed limits? Well, there's a minimum too! Obey it, bitch! You can learn to read faster than 5 words a minute while you're reading those Phish lyrics, right? Maybe I need to feed you something more challenging to stimulate your POS "brain" - pseudobrain - so you can catch up to a 3rd grade reading level. Dumbfucks.

Hippy mentality - Sunroofs? In a fuckin darkroom? (Inside story) Are you fucking joking me? How bout, while we're at it, we should put a live rat in the pest control center lobby. Oh, or maybe we could drink authentic Colombian coffee out of a styrofoam Whole Foods cup? Better idea! Let's kill all you dumbfuckers who buy into this bullshit!

Thanks for your time, you dirty, smelly, hippy freak.

Heh heh heh

Jeremy

P.S. You suck, hippie.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sweetness, Always

Why such harsh machinery?
Why to write down the stuff
and people of every day,
must poems be dressed up in gold
in old and fearful stone?
I want verses of felt or feather
which scarcely weigh, mild verses
with the intimacy of beds
where people have loved and dreamed.
I want poems stained
by hands and everydayness.
Verses of pastry which melt
into milk and sugar in the mouth,
air and water to drink,
the bites and kisses of love.
I long for eatable sonnets,
poems of honey and flour.

Vanity keeps prodding us
to lift ourselves skyward
or to make deep and useless
tunnels underground.
So we forget the joyous
love-needs of our bodies.
We forget about pastries.
We are not feeding the world.

In Madras a long time since,
I saw a sugary pyramid,
a tower of confectionary-
one level after another,
and in the construction, rubies,
and other blushing delights,
medieval and yellow.

Someone dirtied his hands
to cook up so much sweetness.
Brother poets from here
and there, from earth and sky,
from Medellin, from Vera Cruz,
Abyssinia, Antofagasta,
do you know the recipe for honeycombs?

Let's forget all about that stone.

Let your poetry fill up
The equinoctial pastry shop
our mouths long to devour-
all the children's mouths
and the poor adults' also.
Don't go on without seeing,
relishing, understanding
all these hearts of sugar.

Don't be afraid of sweetness.
With us or without us,
Sweetness will go on living
and is infinitely alive,
forever being revived,
for it's in a man's mouth,
whether he's eating or singing,
the sweetness has its place.

"Sweetness, Always"
-Pablo Neruda-

Welcome to Texas, FUCKER!

Yeah, so I've been here for... what, less than two months now, right?

Motherfuckers just passed a smoking ban for downtown Austin.


Ghaaa! Liberal whore fuckers!

Okay, so the Daily Show has featured coverage of Texas several times in the last couple weeks, which really should be worth commenting on, I suppose. So, here we go:

1. Welcome to Texas. Are you a fag? Don't plan on adopting anytime soon!
Yeah, awesome move, Texas Congress. So it's a baaad idea for "the homosexuals" to be adopting foster kids, eh? That makes sense, yeah. Because CPS (Child Protective Services) isn't already underfunded, understaffed, and overworked as it is, so now it would be a good idea to eliminate a large percentage of possible candidates for adoption. Ah, fuck 'em! It's not like those kids would be better off under the pseudo-parental care and guidance of a stable couple with a steady income, would they? I mean, we all know that homosexuals are inherently violent and heathenistic Bacchanists, and that's no situation for a child to be raised in. Would you really want your kids to be raised in a household where the parental figures aren't even married? (I know, I know, we passed a bill a couple weeks ago expanding the ban on homosexual marraiges to include a ban on civil unions for ANY couples, gay or straight, but that just proves the point!) Wouldn't it be much better for children to grow up in a CPS facility, with no parents whatsoever, and the only parental influence coming from state workers paid to supervise them for 8 to 10 hours shifts? Now THAT is the kind of stability a young child needs, not the queer kind!
Riiiiiight.
My favorite was the Senator saying that he waouldn't want his children raised in that type of environment.
Senator Dumbfuck, a question from the constituency, if you'll allow it?
Yes, constituent?
Yes, Senator Dumbfuck, I was just wondering, do you beat your children a lot? Do you have an unstable home? Is it unsafe for your children to be around you?
Why, no, constituent, my children are perfectly safe and happy in their home.
Ah, Senator Dumbfuck, a quick followup, if you will?
Certainly, constituent.
Yes, Senator Dumbfuck, I was just wondering, do you understand what foster-care means? Because the whole reason children are placed into FOSTER CARE is to get them out of situations where they're being abused, etc. Therefore, you are a dumb motherfucker, and don't understand what you're talking about.
Why, yes, constituent, I believe you are right. I shall proceed to go chop off my testicles in a sincere act of contrition!

GHA! Idiots!
2. Welcome to Texas. Are you an aspiring slut? Well, for the love of God, don't plan on becoming a fucking cheerleader!
Yes, a Democrat in the Texas House recently proposed a bill banning cheerleading of an overtly sexual nature. Cheerleading. Of a sexual nature. In Texas. Home of the Dallas Cowboys, and more importantly, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.
Question 1: Are you fucking kidding me?
Question 2: A DEMOCRAT? WHAT THE FUCK? Let me back up for a second. Hmmm, yes... mmm-hmmm. Yes. Okay. Yep, well I see. A FUCKING DEMOCRAT? WHAT THE FUCK?
So, yes, this "Democrat" proposed a bill banning overtly sexual cheerleading, so high school girls across the state will now have to save their bump and grind moves for after the football game, and creepy old men will have to go back to downloading child porn (Seriously, whatever happened to Pete Townsend?) And the real kicker is, the fucking thing passed. Oh well, it won't even get to the point of being voted on when it comes to the State Senate anyways, so what's it matter, right?
Oh, oh, oh! I remember now why it matters! BECAUSE YOU'RE MY FUCKING ELECTED OFFICIALS AND YOU HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO THAN PROPOSE VAGUELY WORDED LEGISLATURE WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE THAT IT HAS NO CHANCE OF BEING ENACTED INTO LAW, AND YOU'RE BEING PAID TO DO THAT INSTEAD OF DOING YOUR ACTUAL FUCKING JOB! Yeah, I guess that's why it matters. You leeching whores.

Alright, that's enough for now, time for me to go to work.
Later, kids.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

God's Children

I stand outside on a cigarette break, inhaling a mixture of cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes. The temperature here, a few scant feet from the road, is approximately five degrees hotter than it is at the store-front twenty feet back from the road. My amusement at the effect of humanity is ever-increasing. Oh, but we are important, are we not? We matter. We can pollute, we can destroy, we can do these things, detrimental to our own health and that of the rest of the planet, for we are important. We are not like the other animals. We are above. We are the dominant species on the planet. We are God’s Children. We are special.
Watch the traffic crawling by, the mid-day rush. I’ve never understood the phrase “rush hour traffic;” for I have never seen traffic during this hour in anything resembling a rush. Oh, perhaps the people inside the vehicles are. Sitting in their Hummers and Hondas, their Toyotas and trucks, complaining about the heat, about their job, about their spouse, about the traffic, talking on their cell phone to someone ten cars ahead who responds with further complaints. Yes, these people are in a rush. In a rush to get to the job they complain about, home to the spouse they moan about, perhaps to stop by a park instead and bask in the heat they despise. These people are in a hurry, these people are important, these people are special. They should not be sitting in traffic waiting because some idiot can’t drive. So they change lanes and cut someone off. They are important. They are special. They are God’s Children.
I take a drag from my cigarette and stare down the lines of cars. I do not stare down the line. I stare it down. I glare, I glower, I put the weight of my power upon stopping it, upon halting it, upon freezing their people where they sit and forcing them to think aloud, forcing them to speak their thoughts aloud, allowing me to hear them. I hear them, each and everyone. They speak loudly, they speak in agitated tones. They speak of their lives, of their occupations, of the traffic, of the dreams they had; the ones that have died and the ones one their deathbed. They speak of settling, of compromising, of giving in. They are comfortable, now. In their youth they longed for change, for importance, for something bigger than themselves. Now, they know that desire was foolish and misplaced. They have comfort, now. They have a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, and two nice cars that they got a pretty decent deal on. No money down. No interest for the first year. They are set. They are comfortable. They are God’s Children.
Their voices, raised at once, drowning out the creak and churn of the car movements, come to me, and I hear their cries. I hear their despair, their calls, their disappointments and pride. To those around me, it seems a cacophony, a discordant, overwhelming saturation of unintelligible noise. The cries, at once raised like this, seem so different, so strange, purely chaos. I close my eyes, holding the noise in my mind, and it flutters about me, butterfly wings bristling the hair on my neck and the fine bits on my ear. I feel the flow of the noise, rather than hearing the sound, and I search within it, without it, then step back. There it is, the thread of the song, the orchestra. I find it dancing amongst the complaints, amongst the cries for help, amongst the crushed dreams. I feel it rising, like a Mozart, I feel the crescendo, the climax, the dénouement, the conclusion. The violin strings strumming out the final notes. This is the orchestra. These are the notes. These are the a-flats, the c-sharps. These are God’s Children.
I let the symphony die from my ears and open my eyes once more. The traffic has begun to move again, a few feet at a time, and the voices are again silent, save those on their cell phones, and they are merely noise, not voices. I look out across the sea of cars, and see the ants scurrying home to their hole. I see them rushing out to do their work, picking up this and that for the queen, returning to the anthole. I see the drones, picking up the little bits, the bits of food they carry not for themselves, but for another. For someone above them, someone more important, some queen. They carry these bits for someone else in the hope that after a day of carrying them, they might get part of one for themselves. They carry them with this in mind, blind to the bit already in their talons. The bit in their mouth. It holds them, it pulls them, it burns them, and they obey. And if they do not carry enough bits, if they do not work hard enough or are unlucky enough, at the end of the day, they get no bit, but instead a beating. And waking the next day, hungry and sore, they search again for bits for the queen. These are the ants. These are the drones. These are God’s Children.
I wonder, then, if all ants delude themselves. If all ants believe them to be special, to be unique, to be important. Do all ants think themselves above the throng, above the chaos, above the planet, or is it merely the two-legged breed that suffers from such delusions? I long for the day of flying cars, the day the future comes as was promised in movies and fantasy novels, the day they shall rise above the ground, above being ants, above that rush hour traffic. I long for the day when they will fly to and from work instead, seeking out pollen for the queen, returning to the hive, being beaten for their misfortune, being beheaded for their decreased production. I long for the days when we might be bees rather than ants. The delusions are no different; the technology serves further only to make us believe in something special, something unique, something individual, floating magically within ourselves somewhere. These are the delusions. These are the self-denials. These are the betrayals of reality. These are God’s Children.

Irony of the Day

This alone makes the mark for Irony of the year. Ghaaaaa, make me sick, please!

Shrub, speaking in Latvia, says that the US played a role in the division of Europe following WWII, laying the groundworks for the expansion of the Soviet Empire into Central and Eastern Europe. Okay, so yeah, I was a student of Central and Eastern Europe. Okay, so yeah, he's right. The whole dividing up East/Central/South Europe on a napkin wasn't really helpful in the whole "United Europe" thing, and the countries of the former USSR are still struggling in the European and larger global market because of the years of "Communism."

Buuuuuuuut... Bush? What the fuck, man? Do you even remember last year? Do you remember the dis to the EU? How about ignoring the UN? Do you remember insulting and degrading the leaders of Europe who dared to question you? Promoting those that supported you? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, all the anti-French propaganda that you and your administration propagated might have hurt inter-European relations a sconch?

Okay, how's about this: remember when you said that Old Europe was losing its foothold in the modern world and called upon the democracies of New (East) Europe to support you and your illegal invasion of Iraq? Think maybe that hurt inter-European relations any?

Bush also lectured Putin, saying that "no good purpose is served by stirring up fears and exploition old rivalries in this region." GODDAMIT! Have you NO sense of irony?

Okay, let me clarify: Global terrorism. Social Security's imminent collapse in 50 years. Homosexuals. Unelected activist judges. Is this stirring up fear? Christians versus secular liberals. Blue states and red states. Pro-lifers versus baby killers. Is this stirring up old rivalries?

I can't even explain how pissed off this guy makes me.