digitaldiscipline: (f*ck [by fireba11])
I have nothing to say that's going to be pleasant for most folks to hear, so most of it has been typed out, sworn at, and deleted.

Now, I'm going to get the fuck away from the jingoistic bullshit spewing from my coworker's radio before I perform a terrorist act of my own.

The unpleasant stuff I can't leave unsaid. )
http://www.salon.com/opinion/kamiya/2007/09/11/911_lessons/ - Live and learn. Or not.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/09/04/addington/ - Proud of our government, who wants -more- terrorist attacks, which it can use as an excuse to further fuck over freedom?
digitaldiscipline: (Lumberg)
Funnily enough, there was a cranky thread over on [livejournal.com profile] metaquotes on this overnight, but NPR planted the seed for this earlier in the week.

The widespread panic (or "uncertainty" if you're an economist or a pussy) that has come in the aftermath of several mortgage investment funds/firms getting caught by their own bald avarice is actually pretty funny. Everyone talks about how well "the market" self-corrects and all that; what we're seeing here is a large-print edition of what that looks like.

Get a good fucking look. This is what happens when The Market takes the unscrupulous out behind the woodshed with Junior's Louisville Slugger and a roll of duct tape. Shit gets fucked up, because it had that fucking coming to it; had, can you dig this, been asking for it, by flaunting how edgy and high-risk (and high-reward, maybe) a fund it could cobble together and sucker somebody into buying.

It worked for the Pet Rock and Paris Hilton, it can work for sub-prime loan funds!

Greed and culpability make for a powerful tonic for stupidity.

But it's funny, listening to talking heads very narrowly pussyfoot around assigning blame - "It's the fault of Moody's and Standard & Poor's rating services, which gave these shitty instruments glowing marks! They told the banks that put them together exactly how many insect legs and rat testicles were safe in that pound of broccoli!"

There's well-deserved blame there, to be certain, but that is NOT where the shit needs to stop splattering.

How about those lenders who built the questionable instruments in the first place? Anybody believe they didn't know how sketchy these things were? You know when you're making a bucket of jungle punch when you've substituted Mr. Boston for Absolut, and shouldn't be surprised when somebody yarks in the linen closet or tells you the next afternoon about the army of pickaxe-wielding garden gnomes infesting their skull.

Greed and culpability make for a powerful tonic for stupidity.

But, going back even further (after all, we're sub-priming this pump from end to beginning); what about all those banks that made loans to folks with lower credit scores? Now, let me be clear - having a credit score over or under 650, or whatever the sub-prime threshold is, isn't the end-all, be-all determinant for somebody's ability to pay a mortgage... but in the interest of making a quick and easy buck, lenders stopped doing their due diligence - finding out if Mr. Homebuyer was actually making that $55k he claimed, or Ms. Homebuyer was hiding some student loans. Nope, they just wanted that signature on the dotted line so they could start earning interest on principal and escrow. "Why would they lie to us about their income and financial situation?"

Greed and culpability make for a powerful tonic for stupidity.

Adjustable-rate, interest-only, and the litany of other "entice you now, fuck you later" mortgages were just a symptom of this; the fact that they are made of fail is practically beside the point.

Which brings us to the folks getting the mortgages themselves - READ THE FUCKING PAPERWORK. This is the single biggest purchase in your life. Don't embellish your earnings and assets to compensate for having an undersized cock just so you can store it in an oversized foreclosure waiting to happen.

I've said it before, and I'll say it one last time:

Greed and culpability make for a powerful tonic for stupidity.
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digitaldiscipline: (f*ck [by fireba11])
Ann Coulter is so cute when she's a raging hypocrite..

No, wait... she's an emaciated harpy who needs to have her hands and tongue torn away before she is fed to fire ants.

Ann, news flash for ya. Your ilk made words like "liberal," "activist," "secular," and "progressive" epithets.

Have a nice big game of hide and go fuck yourself, on me.
digitaldiscipline: (bitter)
I'd love to be more upbeat, and continue to post the trivial victories and setbacks of my personal life and nothing more, but there are people actively ruining the fucking world, and, more to the point, destroying the America I believe in.

That was almost typed as "believe(d)", but the small kernel of optimism that hasn't yet been extinguished by my own innate cynicism, pragmatism, or snuffed out by the large forces of stupidity and evil steering and staying the course (and, yes, I do wholeheartedly believe that the sitting administration is evil, with whatever size E you care to use).

Keith Olberman Eulogizes: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15321167/

Where is the outrage? Will people vote quietly, and hope the Democrats make enough hay from the incessant scandals and poor policy of the current crop of government assholes to nudge things in a slightly less onerous direction?

I am done tarring and feathering Republicans; the actual Republican Oath is a list of ideas that, basically, I agree with.

"I've also discovered an unfortunate tendency in myself toward facile labelling. I've been conflating the terms 'conservative' and 'Republican,' using them interchangeably, when in fact I mean neither of those, not in their larger senses." - [livejournal.com profile] jaylake, here.

No, the problem isn't that these people are Republicans, the problem is that they were given and brought to power by people who thought they were. The Republicans are to blame only insofar as they had the brand recognition under which the current regime stole to power in front of our eyes, and under whose flag they continue to operate.

Republicans, real Republicans, should be outraged that they are being defamed and dragged through the mud by these people.

Throw them out. You don't need to vote Democrat, but they're the only alternative out there right now.

I'll be making a few hours' worth of phone calls on behalf of MoveOn.org over the next couple of weeks. It's a pittance compared to "give me liberty, or give me death," or, as Billmon puts it today:

I opposed the invasion -- and the regime that launched it -- but I didn't do everything I could have done. Very few did. We may have put our words and our wallets on the line, but not our bodies. Not when it might have made a difference. In the end, we were all good little Germans.

My question to myself, in other words, is like Thoreau's famous question to Ralph Waldo Emerson when Emerson came to visit him in jail after he was arrested for not paying his poll tax as a protest against slavery:

Emerson: What are you doing in there, Henry?

Thoreau: No, Waldo, the question is: What are you doing out there?

It's easy to think up excuses now -- we were in the minority, the media was against us, the country was against us. We didn't know how bad it would be.

But we knew, or should have known, that what Bush was planning was an illegal act of aggression, based on a warmongering campaign of deception and ginned-up hysteria. And we knew, or should have known, what our moral and legal obligations were:

"Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law."

We were all complicit. I was complicit. Because I was afraid -- afraid to sacrifice my comfortable middle class lifestyle, afraid to lose my job and my house, afraid of the IRS, afraid to go to jail.

But not nearly as afraid, of course, as the thousands of Iraqis who have been tortured or murdered, or who, like Riverbend, are forced to live in bloody chaos, day after day. Which is why, reading her post today, I couldn't help but feel deeply, bitterly ashamed -- not just of my country, but of myself.


What are you doing to save America? Or are we all simply going to be witnesses... or pallbearers?
digitaldiscipline: (f*ck [by fireba11])
After all the bullshit is flensed off and boiled away, there really is only one basic difference between people who want to legalize everything a person can do to themself, and those who want to criminalize everything they don't like.

The difference is between two simple statements.

"You shouldn't do that," and "You can't do that."

The difference between "should not" and "can not" is that, with the former, the option "to" still exists, rather than being obliterated.

Everything else is semantics, bullshit, politics, bullshit, politics, and bullshit.

Responsible people should be allowed to live with the former, not be bullied, cowed, and browbeaten by the latter.

To everyone who deigns to say what I can and cannot do, I say, "You should watch your ass."
digitaldiscipline: (Default)
New Orleans is the Big Easy because she has to be.  She's tired.  She's down at the heels.  She forgets to bathe.  But she gets liquored up and puts out, and isn't afraid to dress and act like a tart (or, dare I say it, a cheap whore) to get that love and attention she craves.  She's got a reputation, Nola does.  Bonhomie with a risque flair; but do be polite and not ask what's beyond the receiving room, please.

Don't get me wrong - she knows how to party (or at least used to), and the old girl knows more ways to feed you well than just about anyone else.  There's the warm, cloying caress of the thick air (she's good for the skin, but it's a little sweaty, her embrace) and the long, warm, quiet walks where she can show off a little of her old-world voluptuousness; the kind that make the youths with their Victorian pretentions swoon, and the lifers glow subtly with something like pride.

But underneath her flowered and jeweled mask, Nola's not feeling so well.  She doesn't eat right, and all that partying wears on a body.  It weakens the defenses against parasites and calcium loss.  She doesn't sleep well, or enough, and it shows in the lines around her eyes and the way her back stoops (despite the gaudy corset).  She doesn't look ravaged, but she's more than a little care-worn.

Her eyes have a tendency to dart suspiciously, looking for her next score, the next excuse to get dolled up. But she's in no hurry; nobody there is so gauche as to rush anything.  She knows that her next companion will come calling, and soon, because they know her number, and what she'll do for their ducats and attentions.

A gentleman will buy the lady a drink, you see, but there are obligations.  They both know.  It's polite of him not to ask, and proper of her not to seem bored with the whole affair.  The pleasure is real, to be certain, but thin after so many times, like a favorite camisole that the thrill has worn off of but remains comfortable, retaining the barest ghost of happier, more novel times.

It's almost all paste and costume jewelery.  Nola scrapes to get by, and that gratuity the gentleman leaves is barely enough to keep her going.

=====================

Seattle seems stark and prudish by comparison; people buttoned up and buttoned down, everyone in a hurry to Be Somewhere.  The crisp grey air doesn't catch the light and glow romantically like it does in the deep south (Spanish Moss, nature's gothic eyeliner); instead, it fills in the shadows with an austerity that denies public secrets. 

She's got money, in the same way the young executive in the BMW that's stuck in traffic does; a useful abstraction that provides a measure of comfort, but which might not be appreciated because it seems like it's always been there.  Socializing by the numbers is the order of the day, if you overlook the places around the next corner where there are people going about things the old-fashioned, organic way (but maybe feeling a little furtive about it).

=====================

S-K: Speaking as a former resident, New Orleans is the epitome of the "Great place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there" city.  The mellow, ornate glow of decadence is a patina over a poor, corrupt, and struggling city, and unless you can find work to finance a visitor's lifestyle, it's little different from anywhere else.
digitaldiscipline: (Default)
I'm afraid my continuing silence around the palace will persist; I'm entirely too critical of what I see as a corrupt Executive Branch, and am apparently too left-leaning to do anything but cross swords with the other contributors [basically, if Liz says it, I'm saying or thinking the opposite, like two polarized lenses 90 degrees out of phase; Fran and I, at least half the time, are only about thirty degrees OOP].

It's disappointing and personally nauseating for me to be able to more readily believe the truth of the Tinfoil Hat stuff than the emanations of the White House; President Bush has, for me and many of the folks I converse about such things with, done such a comprehensive job of eroding the public trust in the Administration that no amount of NaCl seems sufficient.

I love my country and hate the administration. I'm one of those "Anybody But Bush" voters these days.

Nic Berg was a friend of a friend, and some link-chasing turned up entirely too many items that seem both more plausible and more monstrous than anything the Pentagon or White House has stated. It feels the same way anywhere I look at the govenment; it's fractally corrupt (examining any issue in detail seems to lead to an endless recursion of obfuscation, omission, or outright duplicity).

I used to trust our government not to be egregiously evil to its own citizens, and justifiably harsh to those who would do us ill. But now. . . all I see are an increasingly aloof and contemptuous cadre within the administration doing whatever the fuck they want, damn the foreigners, and, more troubling still, damn the American public and their rights, thoughts, and opinions.

Maybe I can conjure up a review of "Van Helsing" or something. *sigh*
digitaldiscipline: (rafepark)
[inspired by a question asked by [livejournal.com profile] gavinsca]

Are the world's religious text all merely obsolete instruction manuals, mean to guide children through the forest but outtasked by the problems facing people today?

They're all overblown rationalizations for justifying entrenched power structures. Really, all anyone needs is a distillation of the golden rule:

Don't be an asshat.



I mean, really - you don't need parables, or gospel, or to make an exact copy of the Torah in long-grain rice. . . you just need not be a dick to the next guy. It covers all the Commandments, other than the one that has no bearing on Life In General, the paranoid mutterings of an insecure deity ["have no gods before me" - and, if you believe in the deity in question, not being an asshat to them means doing this anyways, wouldn't it?]

Antiasshatism means starting no holy wars, no persecution, none of the lovely stuff that we get from the established spiritual structures that are so hell-bent on telling each other to go fuck themselves.

Inconveniently, there's already something similar to Antiasshatism in circulation, and it's gotten a bad rap because the idea man went after the wrong kind of PR. . . "So long as it harm none, do as thou wilt."

"Don't be an asshat. Amen."
digitaldiscipline: (Default)
I've been a frequent proponent of looking out for you and yours as being at, if not near, the top of the ol' priority heap. I've also been known to express the sentiment that it's not necessary to be an asshole to do this.

I tend to view ignoring, or at least not interfering with, someone else's efforts to look out for them and theirs as slightly positive to neutral.

I won't belabor my financial frustrations to the stubborn folks who continue to read my tripe. Let's just say that my household is far from being in an ideal or comfortable situation and leave it at that.

I'm sure many of you may have heard rumblings about the Powerball jackpot reaching dizzying heights.

I'm aware of the arguments for and against playing, at least in lieu of holding down a steady job. I've often used that bit of bumper-sticker wisdom: "Lottery: a tax on the math-impaired" myself - I think it's both clever and accurate.

At present, the jackpot is in the MLB/NBA-contract vicinity of $170 million - which is enough to get most people's attention, and even open the wallets of non-regular participants [including Your Humble Scribe]. It may or may not get the attention of distant love interests, but would probably work very well at drumming old acquaintences and unsavory familial types out of the woodwork.

However, this brings me to my pit-stop on the way back to the office after lunch, where I was politely idled behind as I strolled the parking lot to pick up a handful of hope and a pint of Cran/Raz, by a woman driving this.

I certainly don't begrudge the wealthy the trinkets that go with it - other than it being pearlescent white, it's a really nice f*cking car. But it seems that the entire raison d` etre for this particular errand was. . . to buy a quintet of Powerball tickets.

As someone who's lately been giving serious consideration to the idea of home ownership, it's more convenient to ignore the fact that a simple two-seat conveyance costs approximately what my current pre-approval for a mortgage would pay for than dwell on it. Hearing the frustrations of friends with well-paying jobs in inconveniently expensive locations detail the trouble of finding even moderately-sized housing under three hundred and fifty grand hasn't done much to buoy my spirits. Our discussionary foil, Missuz Mercedes, lives in a nice development that meets these criteria. Those of you who enjoy watching golf may well have seen her neighborhood this past weekend, since the HP Classic is held just down the way, in posh English Turn. It's nice, if a bit stuffy, and inconvenient to get into and out of, but very clearly an enclave for wealth.

But I am left to wonder - with poverty so locally prevalent (one of the singular features of New Orleans is the lack of zoning, so that affluent developments are cheek-by-jowl with rent-controlled row housing). . . Missuz Mercedes and her inferred husband (or at least her lucrative half of a pre-nup) obviously aren't hurting financially. . . so why go out of their way to take a shot at the lotto? Statistically, most lottery participants are not nearly so high on the hog; is "financially disadvantaged" still the correct term?

But for someone who seemingly doesn't -need- a financial windfall put their hat in the ring, either to win the whole enchilada outright, or split the prize with someone who will almost certainly have been starting off a lot further down the economic curve. . . it troubles me.

Those of you who frequent blogspace or any of the myriad online communities that are rife with the occasional Twenty Questions polls (or any of their iterations) have probably seen some variant of "What would you do if you won the lottery?" as a topic. I've spun that hypothetical junket a time or three myself.

But I'm left to wonder how different Mrs. Mercedes' answers might be from someone who lives a block away from the gas station, in the projects. Or how different mine are from either of theirs.

I can say, however, that it's only the kind of question I'd answer once.
digitaldiscipline: (Default)
No matter how good the SF I'm reading is, if it's realistic enough and drops some hard science clues, it's a tent to me.

Tents - you look at the outside and see a useful shelter, a fabric shell. You get inside and have a cozy place to sleep.

I read SF, and wonder about the research the author did to drop a casual reference to some odd little tidbit.

Others see a tent - I see an armature and the driving of stakes.

I will continue to blame [livejournal.com profile] deviathan for making me think about the craft of writing until I actually get paid for it, then I can inconveniently blame myself. ;-)
digitaldiscipline: (rafepark)
Okay, the black cloud of angsty-angst from this morning has lifted somewhat, and, while not feeling up to inflicting the full Taiko-assault experience that is my rampant, unchecked ego:

I fucking well rule. )
digitaldiscipline: (rafepark)
Dear Unlicensed Breeders:

I was raised in a household where children were given freedom to have fun with the understanding that the parents were to be told when, where, and with whom, and if that was deviated from, a call home was de rigeur.

You did what your parents told you, Or Else. Why? Because They Said So. Failure to comply earned you an all-expenses-paid trip to your room. Grounding was a valid punishment. Allowances were given or earned or withheld. If you did something wrong, you were punished - and this included getting your ass tanned with a hand or a wooden spoon or a rolled up newspaper if you really fucked up.

You respected your parents. You called your friends' parents "Mr." and "Mrs." even when they said you could use their first name. You said "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me" and "I'm sorry" and fucking well meant them.

You didn't throw firecrackers at people's heads. You didn't try and zap strangers in the eye with a laser pointer - if your parents caught you doing this, they'd scold you at the very least and make you apologize. . . or spank you right in public, then make you apologize.

So don't look at me like I'm reciting Klingon opera when, the third time I catch your gurbby little urchin doing both of these things and proclaim loudly, "Look, you little fuck, knock that shit off right now," because, I'm gonna snap your little pissant's arms off, shove him up your ass, and then beat your husband into remoulade, because you're incapable of doing your job as a fucking parent.

If you and your ill-mannered spawn bother me again, hear me when I say I have no patience for you and your l'aissez faire "parenting" - the instant one of your little shitspawn breaches the personal boundaries of me or those I deem worth standing up for, I -will- forcibly intrude and impose some fucking responsiblity on you.

I've said it before and I say it again now - we require people to get a license to cut hair, but any yahoo with working genitalia can become a parent.

I'm not going to raise your fucking kids, but I will instill in them the idea that someone else might disapprove of their asocial caperings, even if you're incapable. So when you need Junior to help you pick up your teeth, remember. . . you may not be the only one teaching them the way the world works.
digitaldiscipline: (Default)
In her column of September 29, Palace contributor Liz Pavek expressed her sentiments on the homosexual and a-religious thusly:

The atheists of the world are in need of a new name, they say.
I've never met any of these atheists. I suspect that these are some breed of ivory-tower asshole, common in academia, and bearing approximately as much resemblance to real people as I do to Britney Spears or the Pope.

Daniel Dennett, one of the leading lights of this group of believers in the negative
Hold it, Liz. If you want to proselytize [and, if I recall correctly, the directive to convert non-believers of any stripe, is a core tenet of Christianity, which I suspect may either color the objectivity of this argument, or at least makes for an interesting counterpoint], slagging an alternative viewpoint right off doesn't build a strong rhetorical foundation.

If you want a more objective view or phrase, I suggest "group of folks who'd like to see objective proof of Divinity, rather than using a reliance on faith (blind or otherwise)."

The term "atheist" is too negative, and should be replaced by something more positive
In this, I think Mr. Dennett has been gazing at his navel a bit too hard, and has moved his head too far astern. "Atheist" is a pleasingly neutral term - the only folks who get bent out of shape by its utterance are people who are rather fervent in their faith.

If you're secure in your belief system, someone who harbors doubts about it shouldn't ruffle your feathers nearly this egregiously. The squawking and denigration that ensues when someone dares to maintain a differing opinion seems, to this participant, to be more indicative of the frailty of that faith on the part of the believers, rather than any intellectual, spiritual, or other failing on the part of the cynic. Maybe I'm an abrasive grain of sand, but it's your paroxyms that accrete about it that make the pearl bigger.

-- something along the lines of term "gay," the word co-opted by the homosexuals in the West to describe their destructive, negative, and unattractive lifestyle.
"Hey, let's slap the queers, as long as we're going to denigrate everyone I don't agree with!" That will improve the ol' rhetoric.

I'm not sure what's so "negative" about being gay, or, nine million remodeling shows aside, what's destructive about it, either. I mean, other than the whole "abomination in the eyes of God" thing, but so is eating shellfish, I think. Maybe this is a broad intepretation of the whole "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's ass," commandment. At least it rules out that whole "Coveting thy neighbor's wife" thing, huh?

As far as being unattractive - I know a lot of fuck-ugly straight folks, too.

The term Dennett thinks will describe his fellow unbelievers and himself is "bright."
*wipes coffee off monitor* After an assertion like that, the -last- thing I'd call Mr. Dennett is "bright." Danny boy, you sound like a fucking idiot, trying to co-opt a perfectly serviceable term from normal use to push your agenda. Sorry, thanks for playing, you don't get to come back tomorrow, you don't even get a lousy copy of our home game.

But is it really descriptive of people who not only refuse to believe in a Creator, but refuse to look at any evidence that might lead to belief in such a Creator?
When "evidence" consists of the testimonials of faith that established practitioners recount, then, no, that's really not worth looking at. I'm amused by the bumper stickers that read "Jesus, save me from your followers," because, on the off chance that you, as Christians are -right,- a lot of you are being real assholes about it without any substantial evidence to back you up.

The burden of proof is solidly with those who assert a thing to be true. "I've got a million dollars" (show me the bank statement). "My wife is a Playboy model" (whip out the issue). "God created the universe" (did he keep the receipts for materials?) There's no way to prove that, is there? There are some pretty strong scientific theories that go a long way towards explaining where the universe came from, and they're subjected to rigorous peer review and objective testing, but faith. . . ahh, that's a personal belief, subjective in the extreme. You'll have to pardon my skepticism that your faith, whether it works for you or not, will stand up in the cold light of day for -everyone-.

"Those of us who subscribe to no religion; those of us who rejoice in the real and scorn the false comfort of the unreal, we need a word of our own, a word like 'gay'," says Richard Dawkins, another "bright" light of atheism.
Apparently, Mr. Dawkins needs to get out of his office more often. I would strongly recommend a weekend spent playing video games, consuming mind-altering substances, and enjoying the company of a professional escort - there's some damn fine enjoyment to be had when you're not hell-bent on being an obsteporous dork. We don't need a word any more than Michael Jordan needs another pair of sneakers.

A simple lack of animosity from folks like Ms. Pavek is plenty good, thanks.

Atheists, by their own choice, are believers in a negative.
Note the word "choice." I'd be interested in seeing the statistics of how many people choose to eschew religion after being raised with it compared to those who choose to pursue it after being raised without. I'd quibble with the semantics of Christians' belief in something that doesn't exist [vis a vis, the proof of God's existence] as being essentially the same thing.

Maybe I should pursue an agenda of militant agnosticism - "I don't know if God exists, and neither do you." Nahhh, that's proseltyzing, and that's too much like work.

[to be continued]
digitaldiscipline: (rafepark)
Holy bleeding fuck, people.

Humility, Fasting, and Prayer, Oh My!

[not to be confused, one presumes, with Lions, Tigers, or Ursine Mammals (which may or may not defecate in federally-protected woodland areas)]

Jumping the gun is a fine and aerobic tradition, much like the faked orgasm. I've gotten pretty good at the former and am not at all adept at the latter. (*Fweet!* Ten yards, roughing the listener! Repeat second down." Sorry about that.)

But some seriously double-clutched gun jumping was in order as I perused this Salon niblet.

The process goes something like this:

* Rev up to napalm the idea of national prayer, citing idealized secularization of government, separation of church and state, and the whole "My Ghod can beat up your Ghod" flavor that casts on the war.
* Ease back when the cited Democrats express similar concerns.
* Resume annoyance and bafflement at the 7-to-1 ratio the resolution was passed by yesterday

The resolution, passed 346-49, says Americans should use the day of prayer "to seek guidance from God to achieve a greater understanding of our own failings and to learn how we can do better in our everyday activities, and to gain resolve in meeting the challenges that confront our nation."

First and foremost, I'm prone to stubborn refusal when anyone, especially the government, tells me I "should" do anything. When that particular something is an activity I find baffling at best and offensive at worst, well. . . I think we can all see how likely my participation is going to be. Ain't freedom grand?

I'm wondering, in my own particular fashion, which God Congress recommends praying to? I'd be far more likely to cast some warm, supplicating thoughts towards Bacchus or Aphrodite than the Judeo-Christian deity I suspect they've got in mind. What about Allah? He's a God, right?

I have my doubts that Cthulhu or Nyarlathotep are on the "approved" list. [Remember, kids - Cthulhu Saves! (He might be hungry later.)]

I mean, it's not like we have an RDA for devotion or anything. Are we talking a good, hard, fifteen minutes (an hour after eating - don't want to cramp up!)? Should we take a serene, all-afternoon introspective spiritual jaunt?

My more cynical side wants to take a practical view of things - isn't someone weakened by fasting, distracted by hunger, and penitent in supplication easier to do away with? Perhaps we should suggest our foes in Iraq engage in a national day of prayer, humility, and fasting . . . the better to eat them with.
digitaldiscipline: (rafepark)
Obviously, a lot of people are unhappy with the [potential/beginning] activity in Iraq, the mideast, and the Oval Office in general. To you I make a suggestion [how far my tongue may or may not be in my cheek is left as an exercize for the reader]:

Let President Bush have his campaign, or at least get it well underway, then assassinate him, if he's that onerous.

[Note: This statement could, in theory, be considered seditious, were it not hypothetical. Don't say I never go out on a limb for y'all. :-/]
digitaldiscipline: (rafepark)
[I may or may not be The Science Guy]

Well, it's time to begin the ritual sulking.

Why does Rafe hate New Year's Eve? )
digitaldiscipline: (Default)
. . . . Next, on Ricki Lake.

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/terrifica021105.html

I want to find the editor who commissioned and/or OK'd this piece and shove a postage meter up their ass.

Suggestion for Terrifica: Get some Cuervo 1800 and a Sybian and lighten the fuck up

I'm glad I didn't run into her while I was in town. I wonder how many couples she's interrupted who were out enjoying one another in public. Kim would have kicked her ass, and I'd have encouraged her to do so.

Aside to Fantastico: Deflator Mouse called, he's suing your ass.
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digitaldiscipline: (gibberish)
As is typical of my increasingly-infrequent self-improvement kicks, I'm cataloging the ideas in my buffer that might make decent stories, and have once again run up against the ever-present realization that, while I can pretty much knock my own socks off in a short scene, stringing anything much more than a couple thousand words into something coherent, much less remaining above an internal waterline of "None of this completely sucks," is somehow eluding me.

What do the other writers among you do in this case? Presented with an idea sans characters or even a distinguishing collection of plot elements, is there a place to start? Do you jump into writing something wholly unrelated in hopes that inspiration will strike? Do you slog in and just try to pull the right words out through brute force?

(I find this lattermost idea to be anathema to me, and it always ends up in my worst writing, because -I- know there's a good idea behind it, horribly disfigured, emaciated, and swathed in buckets of pink Bondo, which I am unable to extricate from the atrocity I first imprisoned it with.)

I either get something right or wrong on the first pass. I cut hair with a machete. I don't seem to have it in me to have any substantial second chances with my writing - it comes from the hip, the gut, the Muse, whatever, for better or worse the first time it's committed to whatever media.

I can only ever write anything once. After it leaves my fingers, it either exists or collapses, but I can't write the same story, or even the same long letter, twice.

Anything over 1000 keystrokes has to breathe on its own, because I can't reassimilate it.

I hate making dead children.
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I believe that driving anything less than eight cylinders is like getting emascualted, that rear drive is the way god intended cars to be propelled, and that automatic transmissions are a crutch for the uncoordinated. I believe in four on the floor and three on the tree. I believe in the carbureator, the dual exhaust, and the Flowmaster. I believe in ten second quarters at one oh five, independent rear suspensions, and that Nitrous is for cheaters who can't develop real horsepower.