Wild Directions

Some interesting news the last couple days:
 

With New E-Cigarette Rules, FDA Hopes To Tame A ‘Wild, Wild West’

by –April 24, 2014–NPR

 

The Wild West, eh?  Hyperbole like this is the surest sign of fear mongering.

In the real West, an anti-government darling of people like myself apparently feels a nostalgia for the Old South:

Politicians denounce Bundy’s racist remarks

Posted by –4.24.2014

 
In the contemporary South, some pols want a real “Wild West”: 
Ga. governor signs ‘guns everywhere’ into law
Larry Copeland and Doug Richards, USA TODAY–April 23, 2014
 
Arm law-abiding citizens?  I think it would certainly be a good idea here in the mid-Atlantic city of Baltimore:

14-Year-Old Shot In The Head Was Son Of ‘Stop Snitching’ DVDs Creator

April 23, 2014–CBS Baltimore
 
Around the world, East-West clashes again seem Imminent:

Obama says more sanctions against North Korea possible

Associated Press–April 25, 2014
 
Ukraine crisis: West wants to ‘seize control’ – Russia
BBC–25 April 2014

 

While everyone in the Mideast always seems to be ginning for a fight:
Israel quits Mideast peace talks in protest
 

Palestinian deal involving Hamas riles Netanyahu

Josef Federman–Associated Press–April 24, 2014
 

Our best hope?

NASA chief defends Mars mission, colonization of Red Planet necessary for human survival

By Alexander Saltarin–Tech Times–April 24, 2014

Good Thing the Show Wasn’t SURVIVOR

Kit Daniels
Infowars.com; April 21, 2014

“A British woman has decided to have an abortion in order to increase her chances of appearing on a TV show, a decision which highlights the misplaced priorities associated with collapsing societies…”

She regretted ending the life, but said it was to honor the rules requiring one competitor per slot.

The fetus gave his/her approval:

 

 

Not Even a Blow-Up Doll

I’ve been doing side work summarizing sociological criminology research for a guy who works for the US DOC.  His PhD in social psychology makes him better qualified to digest the material than me, who has a background in philosophy and religion.  But he’s got money and I’ve got time.  Timewise, the trick for me is to proportionally direct my attention to several other things at once.  I’ve been doing this work, at my own pace, since August.
 
Even though the federal prison system does not deal with minors, the work has all been focused on the nature of juvenile delinquency, with an emphasis on preventing such behavior from escalating into full-blown adult criminality.  I recently finished a book on religious terrorism that I was reading for leisure.  It might seem difficult to transition seamlessly from these two topics to my individual contributions to the world of humor, but I did so rather easily.  A good waiter for three years and a bad cook for one, I am a natural multi-tasker who does everything half-assed.
 
Maybe I’ll start another blog about multi-tasking.  And then a couple more.
 
I naturally compared the criminological work with what I was reading about ideological murder.  I could personally relate to the juvenile delinquency work because I dabbled in such behavior extensively.  As an adult, I have broken many laws many times.  I haven’t stolen anything since I was 25, and I haven’t done anything violent since elementary school.  I’m talking about minor stuff like drunken hijinks.  And I haven’t endangered anyone’s life by drunk driving since the last time I drove. 
 
Since I am also very religious, I am intrigued by the zealous fervor that leads others with similar mindsets to kill others and even themselves in the name of God.  And since my books are in the genre of “humorous memoir,” it’s all quite interconnected. 
 
One similarity I found between terrorists and certain criminals was a concern for one’s legacy.  “Better to die fighting than to live as a coward” is a mentality common to both.  Where I grew up, most premature deaths were from car accidents.  Here in (C)harm City, they’re by murder.  In both cases, the sites frequently become memorials to the dead. 
 
One incongruous thing I’ve noticed in the rougher parts of Baltimore is the presence of teddy bears and related items at such shrines.  Maybe a toddler choked to death there, but it’s far more likely that some gangsta’ got gunned down at the spot.  Blow yourself up in the Palestinian Territories and you become a martyr, perhaps your face plastered on a billboard.  Get shot during a crack deal gone awry in the city, and some asshole leaves a fucking Teddy Ruxpin there.  Not exactly bad-ass nor glorious.  The jihadist gets his reward of 72 virgins; you’re mourned by your babies’ mamas.
 
I don’t sling much crack anymore.  I haven’t pimped in ages.  And I’m pretty sure the Bloods whom I called a bunch of faggy pussies on funnygangster.wordpress.com knew I was kidding.  But, just in case, I’ve instructed a trusted confidante that if I get shot and anyone so much as thinks of putting any toy at the scene of the killing, they are to take action.  They are to burn down the donor’s housing unit, laugh as it burns, and then immolate himself at the scene.
 
Respect, beatches!

All of the Family

Because of my current socioeconomic status (SES), virtually any woman I would desire would regard me as out of their league.  Because of my outsized ego, I feel that very few women of any SES are worthy of me.  I’m only moderately concerned with physicality, but I can relate to Jim Morrison when he wrote “Build Me a Woman.”  Several times, after being rebuffed when I was in a better SES, I have said to the girl/lady, “Your loss, baby.”  If there’s any karmic justice, such women have seen me piss drunk and passed out on a sidewalk somewhere. “Yeah,” they will have thought, “what a loss!”
Not that SES is everything.
 
Living near Three Mile Island–Happy Meltdown 35th Anniversary!–for a couple years, not to mention my extensive partying over the years, has probably killed off most of my healthy sperm.  At 38, I will probably never procreate.
 
The worldly benefit of that should be evident by the recent conversation I had with my sister Janelle:
 
Me:  …So how’s Tyler [her 5.5 year-old son] doing?
 
Janelle:  He’s doing good.
 
[She recently told me that he’s been asking questions about her parents, who died before he was born.  In spite of earning her undergrad degree in psychology and doing social work with messed up kids, she’s been at a loss as to what to tell him.  I, a master of avoidance and denial, have urged her to explain the issue posthaste.]
 
M:  Did you have that talk with him yet?
 
J:  [sighing]  No.  But I will the next time he asks.  I’ll use the advice you gave me and some of the stuff I’ve been reading about the subject.  I’ll tell him that my Mommy and Daddy got old [they didn’t] and their bodies stopped working.  But now they’re in a wonderful place called “Heaven.”
 
M:  No talk of reincarnation?
 
J:  Uh, I think that’s definitely beyond his comprehension level now.  And I don’t know if I believe in it.  I know you do.  Brett [her husband] doesn’t.
 
M:  You’re never too young for a good old-fashioned existential crisis.  “You mean you’re going to die someday?  More importantly, I’m going to die someday?!”  That shit freaked me out as a kid.
 
J:  Me too.  And it’s not like we had church or anything.
 
M:  When I heard about hell, that really freaked me out.  I even cut down on my masturbation by 7%. 
 
[Cum to think of it, I might not have any sperm left.]
 
J:  Thanks for the mental image.
 
M:  Well, I don’t know what Piaget would say.  And don’t care.  Who would trust a Frenchy Frenchman anyway?
 
[We are part French, and I proudly tout our Huguenot background.]
 
J:  Or a German?  Or an English or Welsh guy?
 
M:  Yeah, we are just a couple mutts, aren’t we?  But you could tell him that you almost died at birth, and then his soul would be in another body now.  Or what if Dad had died at birth instead of his twin sister?  Where in the fuck would we be?
 
J:  True that.  And who would Mom have married?  And Brett?
 
M:  Here’s what I’d do:  have Tyler watch as Brett kills a deer.  Then tell him that the deer’s spirit is going elsewhere, but we’re eating that bastard’s body for a couple good meals.  Because all animals except humans are literally bastards.
 
J:  I swear, Brian.
 
M:  Better yet, kill one of your pets, because that’s something he loves.  Tell him, “Yes, Fluffy did some bad things, like not using the litter box or some shit, but overall he was a good cat with good karma.”
 
J:  We don’t have to eat the cat, do we?  I mean, it’s not like we’re part-Chinese or anything.
 
M:  Unless it’s done in self-defense, you have to eat whatever you kill. 
 
J:  So you ate all those bugs and bats and mice you killed in some of the hellholes you lived in?
 
M:  You forgot about the hobo, but I was on a four-day crystal meth binge.  “Youthful indiscretion,” you know, all that jazz.  But 1-2% of bats are rabid–I know you’ve read or seen Cujo–so that was self-defense.  The bugs threatened my peace of mind.  And the mice threatened my cheese.  Which we Frenchy Frenchmen love as much as we hate showering.  [I affect the stereotypical French laugh.]
 
J:  Don’t forget your stupid cooking wine!
 
M:  [I hum the McDonald’s tune]  I’m loving it!
 
J:  Tyler wants to talk to you.
 
[My nephew always gets excited when I’m on the phone.  Frankly, he doesn’t impress me that much.  Janelle told me he has an imaginary brother.  Early sign of schizophrenia?]
 
Tyler:  Hi!
 
M:  [I instinctively adopt the softer pitch one uses when speaking with children]  Hey there, buddy!  How are you doing?
 
T:  Fine.
 
M:  You’ve got a birthday coming up soon, don’t you?  How old are you going to be?
 
T:  Five!
 
[Might need some math tutoring there, young man.  You’re already five.  I then realized I had confused Brett’s May birthday with his in October.]
 
M:  Keep on playing that soccer and learn as much as fast as you can.
 
[I assume my sister never followed my direction to tell him that his soccer coach, a former classmate of mine, was a coke-snorting woman-beater.]
 
T:  Okay.  Bye!
 
[I do not see a future in broadcasting for this kid.]
 
J:  He’s into t-ball now, aren’t you Tyler?
 
M:  Are you fucking serious?  That shit’s a joke.  You’ve got to have the ball thrown at you.  It’s like when I see newbie skate fags trying to learn to ollie while stationary.  I tell them, “Dude, you’ve got to learn that basic trick while moving.”  I then try to give a demonstration but usually end up falling anymore.
 
J:  Gee, Brian.  Maybe you should have been a kids’ gym teacher.
 
[She knows I think I would have made a good one, because I love teaching kids basic motions like how to throw a ball or a Frisbee, how to hacky sack, etc.  Perhaps I could have incorporated philosophy into the curriculum and produced classes of young superior Spartan Supermen.  Shit; I’m starting to sound a little Nietzschean and Hitlerian, aren’t I?]
 
J:  He does want a skateboard.
 
M:  That’s great!  I mean, “Rad!”  Is it because of that [early Jason Lee] video I sent you.
 
J:  Maybe.  He did love it.  I probably won’t let him watch Earl, though, until he’s older.
 
M:  Bad karma, Janelle.  But then again, the show does feature race-mixing.
 
J:  Oh shut up!
 
[My mom’s best friend and our babysitter growing up was one of maybe a dozen blacks in our half-horse town.  The rumor started that she was my mom.]
 
M:  Shit, take him back to our old house [at the top of a hill] so he can do the downhill to the river.  I’ll coach him under two conditions:  he has to not be afraid of getting hit by cars, and he has to accept that pads and helmets are for pussies.  I never broke a bone.  Well, not from skating, anyway.
 
[Full disclosure:  I sucked at Little League baseball, was a below average skateboarder for nine years–with the exception of downhills–and found my true athletic passion with tennis and racquetball.  I was average at best at these activities.  My best sport, not including the non-sport of dancing, was ping pong, i. e., one of the least manly sports imaginable.]
 
J:  You know, maybe I should place a restraining order on you on Tyler’s behalf.  No offense; I just have to look out for his well-being.  You can see him when he’s 18.
 
M:  Which is right when he’ll need an “old head” to buy him beer and who has the knowhow to score pot.  I’ll get him acid and ‘shrooms a couple times, but I’ll have to set limits at that.  I’ll even make up shit about you and Brett.  “Did you know your mom was a stripper in college?  Or that your old man used to run a cock-fighting ring?”
 
J:  Jesus Christ, Brian.  It’s a wonder you didn’t corrupt me–not much, at least–and that your friends turned out well.
 
M:  Don’t forget all those times I almost killed you and your friends when I was a crazy driver, like the bad kid on The Afternoon Special.
 
J:  I tried to repress those memories.
 
M:  Ashley, though; I remember she was a trooper.  She laughed herself silly when we did that icy 270 degree slide, then a 180 in the other direction.
 
J:  She was probably delirious because she hadn’t eaten in three days.  And it’s stuff like that that probably led her to law enforcement.
 
M:  And hey; when I did that day in jail, she hooked me up with extra trays.  All the other criminals were probably wondering why the hot C.O. was giving me preferential treatment.  Bought me some cell cred.
 
J:  So it’s like, full circle, you’re saying?
 
M:  Speaking of which, I’ll try to find this one clip you can show to Tyler about life…
[This Buddhist-like lesson on the nature of existence is sans video, but I’m sure my nephew would find it informative]:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HjGbjbsrP0

Try a chill pill, dude

Saudi Arabia bans energy drinks at public facilities, outlaws advertising

Habib Toumi
Gulf News
March 4, 2014

Everyone knows that women shouldn’t drive, vote, or expose so much as an elbow without threatening social comity, so I don’t question the wisdom of this law.  And, of course, Saudis are such good friends of ours.  It’s a pure friendship with no ulterior motives.

Front Cover

But I wish this law would spread like the Arab Spring to places where this kind of carnage is commonplace:

They’re kind of wound up to begin with.

Rodney King himself wouldn’t even suggest getting along in such places.  He’d just be like, “What the fuck, bro?!”

Pick Your Death

Special Report: Japan’s homeless recruited for murky Fukushima clean-up

Reuters

By Mari Saito and Antoni Slodkowski
SENDAI, Japan (Reuters) – Seiji Sasa hits the train station in this northern Japanese city before dawn most mornings to prowl for homeless men.

“He isn’t a social worker. He’s a recruiter. The men in Sendai Station are potential laborers that Sasa can dispatch to contractors in Japan’s nuclear disaster zone for a bounty of $100 a head.

“‘This is how labor recruiters like me come in every day,’ Sasa says, as he strides past men sleeping on cardboard and clutching at their coats against the early winter cold.

“It’s also how Japan finds people willing to accept minimum wage for one of the most undesirable jobs in the industrialized world: working on the $35 billion, taxpayer-funded effort to clean up radioactive fallout across an area of northern Japan larger than Hong Kong…”

Hmm, either

or
 
 
 

Shark Tweet

Sharks in Australia begin using Twitter to warn surfers and swimmers of their presence

More than 300 tagged sharks automatically send tweets when they swim within a kilometer of beaches on country’s the dangerous west coast

December 27, 2013 by

gws

“Large sharks off Western Australia are now doing their part to keep surfers and swimmers safe–by sending tweets warning of their presence.

“Scientists have fitted 320 sharks, many of them great whites, with transmitters that automatically issue warnings to the Surf Life Saving Western Australia’s Twitter feed when the tagged sharks approach within a kilometer of the coast’s popular beaches…”

Because people need to spend more time on the grid.  I fear people don’t use their cell gizmos enough.  Who needs to just chill in nature? 

More Suicidal Deer

White-tailed deer dies after jumping into cheetah enclosure at National Zoo
By , Published: December 27 The Washington Post 

“A white-tailed deer did not survive an encounter with two cheetahs after apparently jumping into their enclosure Friday at the National Zoo, authorities said.

“It was the most recent of the   violent confrontations in the Washington region involving deer, which have been proliferating…”

What is causing so much self-destructive behavior among deer?  (See yesterday’s post.)  Bees and bats have had their die-off crises in recent years, but they’re scary and gross.  Whales and dolphins have their beachings, but their plight is remote to me because I’ve only seen them in person at the aquarium.

Deer, however, were abundant where I grew up.  Perhaps it’s PTSD caused by the pain in the ass of getting shot at and almost hit by cars.  And it must be stressful that this former threat causes such a brief mating act.  (But none of my former lovers has ever attempted suicide.)  Maybe they need a feel-good pick-me-up.  Perhaps an effort to capture them and have all such creatures watch Bambi.  Up until the end, of course.

Or, as last resort, perhaps this chick can help: