Fuck the environment


What’s the environment ever done for you, really? It’s aided plagues and infectious disease. If you drink its seawater, you dehydrate and die. Drink its inland water and you get malaria, or merely walk on its soil for tetanus. Invisible murderousness. It gives you lightning. It tries to electrify you from the sky. It gives you quicksand and sinkholes, the earth disappears before your feet. It gives you strong winds and tornadoes to blow away the houses you built to deal with strong rains and hurricanes. If that doesn’t work you get floods, landslides, and tsunamis to wash away any human progress. It corrodes, rusts, and quakes to destroy any attempt to coexist. It gives you large deserts and extreme colds, impossible to traverse. Even the peaceful trees suffer mass extinction by immolation for no good reason.

Nature gets a lot of credit as the arena for life, but it’s also the number one culprit in making it unlivable. Nature is overrated. It’s synonymous with all that is good. When something’s good, it’s all-natural. When you need to impress a date, you act natural. But the word is judged only on its positive merits. People go on and on about the environment from their climate-controlled rooms with artificial lighting, in buildings constructed with the bones of the same trees they aim to protect. Nature isn’t kind to humans, certainly less so to animals. It’s a brutal legacy of scavenging, famine, and barely survival. The entire term is misused to begin with. We are part of nature, and everything comes from nature, by extension anything we do can be considered natural. Now have a swig of some All-Natural Battery Acid™.

Nature worship needs to end. We should, yes, live in equilibrium with the environment. But, nature makes living very difficult for everyone, and it’s another case of The House Always Wins. Are the polar ice caps melting? Probably. But so what, stop victim-blaming. Industry exists to meet the demands of population. Sure, someone sees dollar signs, and there’s excess need, but generally speaking there’s utility and functionality at the core of most enterprise. Nature is not above us because it occasionally gives us a beautiful vista. Nor is it below us for the natural disasters and brutal living conditions. If this is a battle, nature is far, far ahead.

It would be downright, fullstop immoral not to curtail and subjugate mother nature in every realistic and conceivable way possible. Environmentalism and science go hand-in-hand, and scientists don’t just study human effects, but nature’s innately self-destructive habitat. There’s no case not to try to predict and manipulate a volatile system. We do this with farming, housing, and weather systems all in defiance of nature. These are basic measures of safety. That’s how you “save the environment,” not some misguided notion of letting nature “do her thing” because you don’t like human nature.

Are water bottles wasteful? Yes. But who would need them if the outside world was convenient, predictable, and inhabitable. It would be nice if the weather was always 72°, and the ground was comfortable to sleep on, and fresh water was everywhere instead of relegated to a few, specific areas. It would be nice if we could drink without the chance of disease, or have built-in sanitation systems, or a biology impervious to sickness, that was not an option afforded to anyone. I’ll stop using plastic when nature stops having a monsoon on my parade.

The Future of Gun Control

I’m tolerant of the freedom and gun control law we have in place, because democracy is the best reflection of the collective will. But can we end the intellectual dishonesty? Guns are less about tyranny, they’re about fantasy. Guns are a lightweight’s way to romanticize power. You get a peashooter and your impotence gets a physical representation. No one ever poses for a cool photo with two cans of mace. Doesn’t matter if it’s a large assault rifle. People stand guard with them in inconsequential villages in the Congo, possibly feeling empowered as they control over natural resources. Meanwhile I’m just a weak, feeble guy living in suburbia with access to WiFi. I know my preference. Weapons are too often a sad externalization of powerlessness, paraded as the very opposite. It’s not about fear of government. It’s not in the name of the Constitution. It’s rarely even in the name of defense.

The most dangerous weapons legally available I can’t imagine having anything on drones, the weapons, information technology, and unprecedented data intelligence of the deep state. Sure guns have a basic amount of utility. For the most part they are a large part of America’s only grasp over their mortality. Guns provide the illusion of control while people with pens decide whether they can cross a street or drink in public. People of that power and political influence, don’t generally conceal carry or open carry. Their bodyguards do, and still they have no fear because they wrote the rules of the game, and even managed to convince people jumping in front of a bullet was in their best interest. That’s power, not a little gunpowder, or the empty shells for the people they represent.

For too much of the American population, the gun is a pacifier for adults. All that residual teenage angst can finally be sedated. “No one fucks with me, man. Well except the taxes I don’t totally agree with, five times the amount we started the Revolutionary War over. And the ticket on my windshield. And the permit I need for a fire or to go fishing. Or if I’m acting disorderly, according to the individual discretion of a police officer. Or if I eat or smoke a plant. Or maybe my landlord, managers, wife, the court system, and the DHS. Aside from them, I do whatever the fuck I want. Oh, and airport security. But God forbid anybody ever fucks with me, man. I’m the wrong motherfucker.”

I’m fine with it. Freedom is too important. I don’t like large crowds, anyhow. I only leave to work or eat. Freedom is not only a virtue. It’s the freedom to fail, it’s the freedom to learn things the hard way. It’s the freedom to determine what price we put on life. For a country constantly extolling “We’re number one!” our price is pretty low. We must have collective low self-esteem, with a superiority complex as cover. People will argue, “If you make certain firearms illegal you’re not getting to the root of the problem!” Violence will probably always be with us. There’s no cure for the common cold either, but there are things you can do to reduce the pain. There’s a reason we can’t just set up our own little missile silo in our backyards or get access to weapons-grade plutonium.

Still, under a democracy we have the freedom to vote and personal choice. Being in control of your own destiny is as beautiful as it is potentially vicious. I don’t feel fully comfortable opining on how others should live, let alone dictating it. The fact is freedoms will be encroached regardless whether further gun control is pursued or not. If it isn’t weapons, it’ll be TSA lines every time you enter a hotel. What good is a semi-automatic weapon when you’re naked and neutered before the state, under constant legal and illegal surveillance, with your social habits volunteered for convenience, and your finances exposed under the IRS? You can stroke your shotgun in a rocking chair and scream, “Get off my lawn!” and yet local municipalities can legislate the types of grass you grow on it.

The response to gun control the majority of the country desires is always shot down by the same bad arguments:

“Knives and cars kill people, why don’t we ban them!”

Because they have utilities other than murder. There is no semi-automatic knife that can stab 30 times in seven seconds.

“People who kill will find ways to kill.”

It’s about making it more difficult to do so.

“It doesn’t address the root of the problem!”

No, it doesn’t. It’s a start. It’s a stopgap measure. The alternative is to do nothing and put your hands in your pockets and wait for the next season of mass murder.

“3D printed guns will eventually exist!”

A hypothetical scenario involving a primitive technology does nothing to address a modern issue.

“More people die in backyard swimming pools!”

You can address more than one issue.

“Drugs are illegal, and look how good we are at stopping them!”

For one, drugs primarily harm the user. They are much easier to conceal. You don’t often hear of the influx of illegal firearms smuggled into prisons.

“Bad guys don't follow laws!”

Manufacturers and distributors do. The idea that consequence of law has never stopped crime is asinine.

“Black markets!”

It will exist, but does already. It’s a matter of ease of access. External pressures won’t make things worse.

“Way more people die as the result of handguns!”

This one actually requires a complex answer and it reveals what I believe to be a central point in acts of terrorism. The majority of gun deaths are suicide, over 60% of 34K per year. We’re left with 11.5K homicides per year in the U.S. Comparatively, mass murders are a drop in the bucket. A major difference is most of these people are shooting at each other. Drug dealers can’t go to the police if they’re robbed. The violence we easily associate with alcohol prohibition we remain blind to with drug prohibition. Economist Milton Friedman suggests drug laws account for an additional 10K deaths a year.

The central point is terrorism is a completely different animal. It’s not turf war or cops and robbers, it’s an assault on innocent civilians that demoralizes societies on whole. There’s no calculable measure I could trust to gauge the psychic effects of violence waged against society at large. Yet they are more devastating. There’s a reason the response is so visceral.

A natural instinct might be to shy away from painful problems and look the other way, out of sight and out of mind. But problem is, the pain’s coming either way. You can stare now or be blind-sided and unprepared later. You might even be able to influence the outcome. The absolute worst that can happen is a slightly better solution is found. The Orwellian nightmare is here. It was not stopped by guns. It was encouraged by the illusion of their security.

To reiterate, guns are not a symbol of power, they’re a symbol of weakness. They were not invented with the highest ideals of man in mind. They were not meant as an impetus for diplomacy, they are a cheap trick to avoid it. Their only decent purpose is defense, and not in the kind of movie-inspired hysteria. Largely, guns are needed to mediate the existence of guns, an element once introduced that can’t be removed. To fight against finely-tuned regulation at this point is to act against your own self-preservation and mental health.

What amount of avoidable tragedy will be enough? Now, I’m going reference the Port Arthur massacre. Not because it lead to bans and restrictions that all but stopped mass killings in Australia. I’m going to reference it because there’s video of the aftermath online. Forget the cute rap phrases or your favorite scene from Goodfellas or level from Grand Theft Auto. Look at the aftermath of an actual mass murder. Force yourself through the revulsion you might feel as you see corpses scattered around tables in a restaurant, and pale, lifeless children left in a field. Their lives are owed that much.

Most sane people don’t want a full ban on guns, because there are equally revolting images and stories from The Holocaust which was eased along by a lack of an armed resistance. If you’re reading this you never paid the price. Pay a relatively small fee and stare at the actual hideousness of this hate and violence. See if maybe it doesn’t sway your perspective a bit. Consider that fighting reform might be a meager hill to die on.

Note: Naturally this is in part inspired by the mass shooting in Las Vegas. I will try to respond to any comments and concede any points more acute than my own.

‘People of Color’ Isn’t a Great Phrase

I am a “person of color.” It’s a great term, because it’s a blanket way to separate people with the highest level of polarization. In India, apparently, racial classes are divided by shades of brown, lighter is better and darker, well, isn’t. In American we have the more simple, or perhaps sophisticated form of racism: anything that isn’t black is “white,” though certainly a generalization.

But race is no longer a matter of objective reality, now it’s the personality trait we weren’t supposed to be judged by. Anything that makes you different isn’t a characteristic, it’s a claim to victimhood and another raffle ticket in the Oppression Lottery. Non-white? Social disorder? Disease? Sexual orientation? Gender identity? These are all tokens that can be exchanged for social cash or in other words, social value.

There seems to be a pathological desire to define yourself by faults and what you’re not. I don’t see the merit in playing the victim card by these parameters. It’s too easy and manipulative, if anything it should be used to highlight your paradoxical opinions that don’t fit your cultural stereotype. Apparently, as a “POC,” I’ve got to feel a certain way and fit into a box, and support liberal values, the suppression of free speech, and political violence so long as “the other” can be defined in any light as my oppressors.

This is a paternalistic attitude, most often held by left-leaning liberal white Americans. Not every minority person or opinion needs to be “taught the way.” Sure, some “POCs” may be more vulnerable to exploitation, but this technicolor attribute may, as well, give me the perspective to understand, and immunity, and the ability not to be frightened or hysterical over racial tensions.

Without specific references, just by words or demeanor, I’m unmistakably American. Despite a few cultural leanings I’ve never felt anything but. Speaking of political correctness and offense, you can take all the stereotypes and name them, and there’s still nothing worse than a paternalistic attitude that denies your basic agency as a human and the ability to discern your own opinions regardless of your race.

I don’t know when “people of color” became the go-to phrase, or what the fault was with “minority,” or “immigrant,” or calling the person by their ethnic background. Is it a sincere attempt at political correctness, or an attempt among the already P.C. out-virtue each other? It basically is long-hand for “colored,” certainly a politically incorrect term. And it’s been shortened to three letters (“POC”), the least you can have for a word, like all the other short-hand terms for cultures we care so much about: wop, fob, dot, jap, etc.

But this is only a personal opinion, there’s not going to be any alarmist, click-bait title such as: “It’s Time to Stop Using People of Color,” or “Saying Person of Color Is Racist!” I do find it ludicrous and condescending. Whether you’re marginalizing things for “evil” or “good,” it becomes indistinguishable. All that’s left after that is fighting for scraps on how you generalize identities to create your own.

Jeremy Is the Villain - Peep Show Theory

Jez: Now pass me the Doritos or I'll blow my brains out.
There is much talk on online Peep Show forms about who the real "villain" of the show is. The easy answer is Jeff, but if you remember it's a POV show and look at it objectively, he's one of the most normal characters. Lots of people consider others from Alan Johnson to Sophie Chapman for being the source of everyone's misery. Thoroughly underrepresented is Jez.

Having painstakingly combed through every episode I've tried to account for every wrong and sociopathic action Jeremy has been responsible for:
  • Sabotages his interview at Mark's work.
  • Sabotages Mark so he won't leave with Johnson.
  • destroys Mark's laptop.
  • Maces Superhans.
  • Tries to kiss Sophie during their trip.
  • Pretends to have terminal illness to get a handjob.
  • Threatens Gog with a bat.
  • Rips up a homeless man's forms.
  • Steals from Mr Rasheed.
  • Cheats on Nancy.
  • Punches lovely Stu in a church.
  • Tries taking an insane woman's pub.
  • Tries to get two friends sectioned.
  • Locks Mark in his room after drugging him.
  • Sleeps with Mark's sister.
  • Sleeps with Mark's fiance's mother.
  • Tries to sell his girlfriend for sex.
  • Snogs Sophie.
  • Traps a woman in a flotation tank.
  • Does a poo in a pool.
  • Says a personal trainer sexually assaulted Mark.
  • Drives pissed and stoned.
  • Eats a dog in front of its owner.
  • Doesn't mention to Suze he has chlamydia.
  • Steals thousands on Johnson's credit.
  • Tries to put a gun in his mom's bag.
  • Ruins Mark's chances with the war diaries.
  • Destroys Cally's RV and blames it on Mark.
  • Sleeps with Mark's wife.
  • Continues his affair with Elena.
  • Tries to drink drive during Sophie's labor.
  • Begins an affair with Zahra.
  • Makes Mark lose his job by grifting.
  • Ruins Mark's proposal and relationship with Dobby.
  • Forcibly removes Jerry and waterboards him.
  • Begins an affair with each side of the couple he's life coaching.
  • Steals Mark's key for the Pub Man.
  • Causes Mark to lose his job again, at the bank.
  • Kills a fish.
  • Leaves a snake in a kids soft play area.
  • Helps kidnap Angus.
Food for thought. Now to be fair, the Peep Show world is degenerative and any character, given enough screen time, would show fault. Jeremy is still up there, showing the psychopathic lack of remorse ("I've been having this really weird feeling in my brain..." "It's call guilt, Jeremy, most people feel it quite a lot.") and an indifference to the consequences of his actions.

If you were to rank Peep Show characters as villains in accordance to their screen on-time, the list would be roughly:
  1. Natalie - for raping Mark
  2. Sophie - for forcing a pregnancy
  3. Gregory - physical violence
  4. Jeremy - for reasons listed above
A final alternative theory for the villain of Peep show is... "The Boiler." It's got an idiosyncratic control panel, can't maintain an adequate temperature, it's the most boring purchase as it only provides the resumption of an equitable temperature, it's too hot, can't be tricked, ruins Mark's sex life, explodes on the day his son is born, and eventually leads to the damp in the wall that means Dobby can't move in.

In Defense of Dobby - Peep Show Theory

This was originally written in response to the hate lobbed at the Dobb. Like cilantro, with a very specific, small part of the Peep Show population she leaves an unpleasant taste. It's within understanding. Her part was basically designed to be malleable and fit any arc to keep the show going.

Mark: (I need thermal imaging of her brain cortex.)
Dobby's a great character with a good character arc. She has wanderlust and is struggling with self-identity: She's Debbie but everyone calls her Dobby. She's "The (Wo)Man With No Name. In and out, Kettering, Croydon, Aberdeen." Seeking is at the core of her person, which is why she's constantly changing. This is outlined clear at our first introduction to her.

Because she's also awkward she immediately sees through Mark's facade, "You're not trying to get away with pretending you're a normal human being are you?" And she is attracted to that, which justifies her actions in the stationery cupboard. Although she doesn't yet know the extent of Mark's pathology, so she's understandably confused when Mark doesn't want to stay for a snog and didn't mention having a wife, and when he rejects her after she basically asks him out to his birthday party.

Mark continues to ruin things for himself and reject Dobby and cause her to change when he gets Sophie pregnant and lies about it. Despite this she's surprisingly tolerant and tries to get him his dream job. She starts her spiral into hipsterdom temping with the young people, that's when she starts dating Simon and the Dobby Club is formed. Still, she sees the good in him with his son and gives him another "pop." Things go smoothly here despite Mark's determination towards self-doom. Mark's actions at Christmas would be the nail in the coffin for any reasonable woman but she forgives him and decides to give settling down a try.

This all changes with the death of Gerard. She becomes more unsure about moving in and settling down, and wants to go interrailing instead of eating lamb pasanda and watching TV like a pair of zombies. Then she's granted the opportunity of a lifetime to go to New York and again Mark ruins things with his inability to be honest. The detonation of his mad paranoid bomb vest is complete. He didn't watch himself like a hawk.

The last time we see her she's in a leather jacket because of course, she moved to New York and found a bearded blogger and became a full-on hipster. They wanted each other to be different and that was their essential problem. Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong actually commented that there are several different types of nerds, seldom portrayed correctly in media, and their relationship encapsulates that.

If you're going to hate Dobby, fine. I don't get it. She's a great and essential character. And any meanness or reservation she displayed toward Mark was completely deserved.

Jeff's Inferiority Complex - Peep Show Theory

Instead of starting a separate blog no one visits as well, I'm going to throw in seemingly unrelated opinions and content here for posterity. They're examinations of a television comedy show that I think represents the height of the medium.

Mark: (Yeah, you won't be so cocky, Jeff, when I come into the office with a Kalashnikov and 200 rounds of ammunition.)
He was no doubt a king of the schoolyard type in high school, but eventually reality hit and he had to mature and ends up in the corporate world. He's leashed up by a suit and tie and thrown into a world where intellect matters more. He is intellectually intimidated by Mark. Notice, after he and Mark verbally or otherwise compete he looks down or is nervous with embarrassment.

A few examples:
  • Jeff's reaction after Mark calls him a trendsetter for photocopying his ass.
  • Jeff's reaction to Mark's stare after he dances with Sophie in Dance Class.
  • When Jeff is shot with a bullet made of Scottish finance regulations.
  • Jeff makes a joke about Sophie keeping other guys up and Mark takes it in stride, causing Jeff to cower and look around for approval.
  • Mark's reaction to Jeff's 3-department merger leaves him stunned.
His subtle facial twitches wouldn't have been noticed by the layman but to me, he might as well have been sobbing. Even Dobby gets a pop at his self-consciousness with her Jeff's Doing a Joke bit. His secret sensitivity is shown when he cries into Sophie's dress. It's further displayed still, helping Sophie during her pregnancy and with baby Ian, a child who isn't his, but perhaps he wishes was.

†Oh, looky, you spotted the Watchmen quote.

Raimi Did It Better (Spider-Man Homecoming review)

This writing was finished within days of release and never published. Likely because it's about an okay movie with a middling amount of staying power.


Sure, Raimi did it better, but situations change and the show must go on. This is a fun re-imagining of the franchise that was needed after the two consecutive duds of the "The Amazing Spider-Man" series.

As a testament to how good his acting is, Keaton is good enough to where I didn't realize the irony of a main villain played by the man who re-invented the film superhero until about 2/3rds in.

Thankfully, this film strays a bit from the design-by-committee, paint-by-numbers Marvel fare that's plagued most of their movies since Iron Man. It's good to have the characterization of an enemy instead of some random aliens, and the shoe-horning of the Avengers franchise isn't too overbearing here.

It still has problems. Spider-Man's suit has been updated to, basically, Iron Man's infinite-knowledge-in-his-eyes operating system, with a magic drone that flies out of his chest for even more of an edge. The comedy is very welcome, but sometimes it's so much so, it affects what might be most best and plausible for the storyline. The saving of an ocean-liner with Spidey's silly string was a bit much, as well. The racial diversity of the cast sometimes feels forced rather than realistic.

Overall a solid film, with perhaps a better Spider-Man than before seen, but not as good of a dramatic character arc for its good guys and bad guys. You don't get the sense of turmoil and great responsibility Spider-Man has in his new role like you did with Tobey. Still, if they can manage this quality in the next two films it'll have to be the best Spidey series, as anything usurps Spider-Man 3.

I'm Not Political, But...

The right is irrelevant, but the left is dead. Like a country rid of its fascist dictator there's only a power vacuum left to be filled with extremists. The right is toxic. The right is largely old and obsolete. And yet their opponents are politically charged, dying on hills to defend the right to give prepubescent children experimental hormone therapy, and ascribe their own gender or race. When you're fighting an opponent that idiotic all you do is let them protest and wave their arms and pickets until they tire themselves out, and push them over for collapse. The exhaustion of leftist hysteria has boiled over in such a relatively short span of time. They were given the reins to control the culture war and with all that extra slack hanged themselves.

Coming from a liberal lean, I don't understand what has become a complete role reversal of both parties, mixed in with some cognitive dissonance and perhaps ideological schizophrenia. Classical liberalism was always for free speech and laissez-faire attitudes and do what thou wilt and shock value and controversy and anything goes, so long as it was in their image of the Greater Good. Now the left doesn't like free speech or hate speech yet promotes political violence, against detestable, yet nonviolent protest. Perhaps they are punching out of love or indifference, hey a fist isn't really a speech or a statement, after all. Conservatives betrayed the implication of their name by being quite liberal when it came to moderating big corporate entities, banks, and stock markets. Older liberals have grown up to be quite judgemental and intolerant of behaviors beyond their status quo. Conservatives unconsciously have spread a clear message of simply... fuck it. Deny everything, vote in a demagogue, while promoting no actual solutions.

I'm not sure which party to like less. This is a race to the bottom of epic proportions. It's a sick version of American Idol based on populism: "Which political maneuver can outdo last week's attack on the Republic?" In an increasingly secular environment, as someone suggested: politics are the new religion. This is a stage of stunted development sprouted by the internet era. Now everyone has all the information. But as Lawrence Strauss points out, now everyone has all the misinformation as well. So the playing field isn't necessarily evened, it's just everything's getting a lot weirder and more incestuous. Your average politician is a misfiring robot full of hyperbole and contradictory values. It is exhausting.

What's going to replace the power vacuum left on the left? The lunatics of the libertarian party? A group of self-righteous, would-be tyrants that can't even lead their own party, let alone a state? They die on equally mediocre hills such as "taxation is theft." They combine the right's utilitarianism with the left's idealism and double down on it without any eye for practicality. I'm not political, but. I'm not political, but.

It's a popular opinion to espouse hatred of extremists. That's not the case. People love extremists, right or left. They just love extremists they agree with. There was Lincoln and Martin Luther King and others on the good side. Then you learn the history of politicians who owned slaves and the truth about Columbus. Then you learn Nelson Mandela signed off on bombing innocent civilians. Che Guevara is idolized by misguided youth he would have hated, when he's a poor man's Stalin or Mao or any other great dictator. If you're going to pick evil, at least pick the winners. These extremists are only loud minorities. By them we are being led. Pick a better extreme.

I'm not political, but. I'm not racist, but. I'm not transphobic, but. I'm not anti-islam, but. Forget the identity politics. This walking on eggshells verbal limbo is doing everyone a disservice. Forget wasteful distractions like gender fluidity. Let's have political fluidity. This cognitive dissonance implies we are, or should be, beyond generalizations. Both parties basically have wanted the same thing for 70 years and have bickered over how to go about it the best way. Everyone wants the governmental God-like father-figure f├╝hrer to take care of everything for them. It's a nice idea but it never works in reality. Liberals were known to hate government, but they want to expand it. The Grand Old Party would want bigger government tomorrow if liberals wanted smaller government today. There's so much overlap, rhetoric, and nonsense, when we generally agree on the end-goals. Still, all of government's input goes into mediating details and gerrymandering, and filibustering or otherwise stalling.

Any sane person rejects both political parties. You judge issues on an individual basis. If you are ignorant on an issue you reserve judgment. We're on the same team. Everyone wins. But that's never going to happen because we have this silly representative democracy presiding over 300 million people. Ideally they would focus on the big issues that effect everyone, like fairness in justice and law. Instead, its personal attacks and tweets at other politicians. The solution is simple: stop looking to others for solutions. Put less input and faith into politics. 500 or so elected officials are going to get it right for the 3rd biggest and most populated country? They never have, and never will.

You want “free” healthcare for all? Make a fucking Kickstarter. Hand out cash to any hospital that follows your guidebook of ethics and pricing and pre-existing conditions. From there, face the challenges and lawsuits you'll inevitably receive, and stay one pace in front of the backlash. Put your money where your mouth is. Don't wait for the government. Cut out the middle men who sit at the top from a place of perceived power. The masses hold the actual power, and this silent majority needs to speak up for themselves, not to quietly ask to be spoken for. And if your idea fails, it's on you, and you have no one to scapegoat.

Use that model for any government program. Make them request donations like PBS or Wikipedia and I'm sure you will see how quickly bad government programs dry up and good ideas prosper. There is no top-down solution that is sustainable long-term. Like biodiversity in farming methods, there needs to be a ground-up group effort of trials and failures. We expect government to be a god, perfect, when failures are so integral to success. Failure and success are part of a symbiotic process, and the greatest failure is failure to try. This advice is so good, I'm considering taking it myself.

Consolidation of power is never a good thing, it's a weakness. I believe the most base, predictable human emotions are fear and greed. Liberals lean towards helping others. Republicans towards self-preservation. They're both the same thing if you think unilaterally, helping others is self-preservation by proxy. The healthier the species, the better chance of your individual survival. We all want the same thing. The only question left is if we'll ever agree on it. But fear can make you feel your fellow man just wants a free ride. And greed provides the intoxicating illusion of power.

Instead, we've opted for intellectual posturing and personal attacks and revenge on our opponents. Petty behaviors. It's not enough to win an argument. And that's all that modern politics boil down to, the sensation of winning. It's not enough to be right. You have to put the knife in your opponent's side and give it a twist. The subtle and more satisfactory form of victory might be class and character. We need to get over the idea of vengeance and punishment as a solution, as opposed to something that causes more problems than it solves. It's not a deterrent, it's just an ode to the cathartic release of ego, that is admittedly a hard characteristic to shake.

And if you want to be a contentious son-of-a-bitch, that's fine, too. But own it. Don't use politics and your supposed virtues, when you care less about peace and coexistence than you do stroking your ego. Don't masquerade under the umbrella of unity when you really just want the coolest quip, the hippest hashtag, or to virtue-signal and increase social status among your peer group. Find some other outlet of grandeur and get out of the way of people trying to do good.

Morality defines us as human beings. Passion is alright, but hyper-polarization isn't helping. We're caught in a collective toxic continuum. I'm not sure I care. I'm not political. I'm only writing because the topic has become a bore, and the arguments are transparently misaligned and self-defeating. Picking sides doesn't work in a country that literally starts with United. A world forced and coerced into compliance, by authority, government, OR bullying professional victims won't work for long before it relapses. Tyranny in any form never works. A society bred on hate won't last, procreation requires touch. Anything awe-inspiring humans have created required finesse, it can all be destroyed relatively quickly. Think of the level of privilege required where this needs to be said.

We are being led by insecure extremists jockeying for position in the upper echelons who belong nowhere near it. Meanwhile the more level-headed middle who keep society balanced refuse to acknowledge their worth, as modern times promote flare and sensation, when they are lucky and unfortunate enough, to live in a place where basic decency won't turn any heads. We need the grass roots utilitarianism of the right as much as the creative artistic output of the left. The difference is negligible. It's the difference between saving a life versus giving someone a reason to live. If we're going to let some of the best Western progress reach the verge of collapse for no other reason than pride or indifference, we deserve the freedom to do so. But what a waste.

What About BLACK Privilege? - HEIL EMPEROR TRUMP

Last known photo of Stephen Chaplain
The following is a non-racially charged guest contribution by Stephen Chaplain, a mysterious man with a questionable past.

TRUMP IS GONNA MAKE AMERICA GOOD AGAIN. AMERICA HASN'T BE GOOD SINCE COLUMBUS CAME AND RAN THE INDIANS OUT OF IT. COLUMBUS WAS THE BEST PRESIDENT SINCE TRUMP WILL BE, WHEN HE IS. HE SENT THOSE NATIVE AMERICAN HINDUS BACK TO HINDIA AND GOOD RIDDANCE. SO GLAD COLUMBUS DEPORTED THE INDIAN SAVAGES. IT WASN'T "GENOCIDE," HE AND OUR STATESMEN AND FOUNDING FATHERS MADE SURE THEY WERE DEPORTED TO PURGATORY, TO FACE THE SUPREME COURT OF GOD'S JUSTICE.

THIS NATION WAS ONCE GREAT, I WILL ADMIT SLAVERY WAS A BIT OF A KERFUFFLE, BUT OTHER THAN THAT WE BE NOTHING BUT GOOD TO THE NEGRO. INDENTURED SERVITUDE WAS NOT SLAVERY! IT WAS LIKE WORKING AN INTERNSHIP. ONCE LINCOLN --A REPUBLICAN!!-- FREED THE SLAVES RACISM ENDED, THAT IS WHEN AMERICA WAS GREAT. THE ORIENTALS LAID DOWN THE GROUND WORK FOR OUR RAILROAD SYSTEM. YES, THEY WERE DYING A LOT, BUT THAT'S BECAUSE THEY WERE LIKE RAILROAD SOLDIERS WHO DIED FOR THEIR COUNTRY.

WHITES DID NOT FEAR REPRISAL FOR HAVING ENSLAVED, BEATEN, AND RAPED NEGROS. WHITES ONLY UNDERSTOOD THE NEGRO IS INNATELY VIOLENT, ESPECIALLY AFTER SMOKING A MARIJUANA CIGARETTE. WITH THEIR SATANIC JAZZ MUSIC, IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME. THAT'S WHY WE NEEDED DRUG PROHIBITION, CAUSE IT WORKED WELL WITH ALCOHOL. EVENTUALLY THE COLOREDS WANTED MORE AND MORE, WAS "SEPARATE BUT EQUAL" NOT ENOUGH? BUT THESE UPPITY FOLK EXHIBITED THEIR TYPICAL VIOLENT BEHAVIOR BY PEACEFUL PROTEST AND INSPIRING GOOD, CIVIL, LAW-ABIDING/WHITE PEOPLE TO HIT THEM. AS YOU CAN SEE, WHEREVER THE BLACK MAN GO, VIOLENCE FOLLOWS.

CIVIL RIGHTS MADE AMERICA BAD AGAIN. THEN JUST BY COINCIDENCE NIXON CREATED THE WAR ON DRUGS THAT DISPROPROITIONATLY TARGETED THE LOWER CLASS AND MINORITIES. IT'S BECAUSE THE POOR AND MINORITIES ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY EVIL. THANKFULLY WE WAS ABLE TO STRIP A LOT OF THOSE FELONS OF THEIR VOTING RIGHTS, JOB PROSPECTS, AND ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT AID, WHICH ALL HELPED TO MAKE AMERICA BETTER AGAIN. BUT IT HASN'T BEEN ENOUGH.

WHY DOES NO ONE WANNA TALK ABOUT BLACK PRIVILEGE? WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT ONLY BLACKS EVER HAD AN ADVANTAGE IN THIS COUNTRY. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION RING A BELL? WELFARE? THEY GET FREE FOOD AND SHELTER IN PRISON. WHAT'S LEFT FOR US WHITE NATIVE AMERICANS? THE BLACK CEOS HAVE SENT OUR JOBS OVERSEAS TO AFRICA TO SPITE US, AND NOW THERE'S NARY A THING FOR A WHITE MAN TO GAIN ADVANTAGE OVER HIS FELLOW INFERIOR NEIGHBOR. BLACK CEOS CRIPPLED THE MIDDLE CLASS AND WERE BAILED OUT BY OUR MOSTLY AFRICAN-AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. NOW I KNOW THEY LOOK WHITE, BUT WE'RE ALL DESCENDENTS FROM AFRICA SO THE LOGIC CHECKS OUT.

HOW ABOUT THEM MEXICANS? I CAN ALREADY HEAR THE MISGUIDED BEAN-STOCK SAYING, "WELL, IF YOU DIDN'T CREATE A DRUG PROHIBITION SO POWERFUL GANGS OWN THE POLITICIANS IN THIS COUNTRY, MEXICO WOULD BE BETTER OFF," OR "IF AMERICAN POLICY DIDN'T EXPLOIT MEXICAN RESOURCES WE WOULDN'T HAVE TO MOVE THERE" OR "YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN CALIFORNIA AND THE REST OF OUR COUNTRY." IT'S ALL A PINATA OF NONSENSE. WE NEED TO BUILD A WALL RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE OF EL RIO GRANDE. WE WILL TAKE A CENSUS OF THE ILLEGAL MEXICANS VIA AN ARMED SQUAD, CALLED THE "BEAN-COUNTERS."

NOW IT'S TIME. MAKE AMERICAN GOOD AGAIN, WITH OUR FIRST "LAW AND ORDER" PRESIDENT SINCE NIXON. CRACKDOWN ON THE MUSLIMS. MURDER THE FAMILIES OF TERRORISTS UNTIL THEY LEARN TO BE CIVIL HUMAN BEINGS AGAIN. HEIL TRUMP, THE MASTER OF ECONOMICS AND FOREIGN POLICY, A MAN OF INTRICATE UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR. A HUMBLE MAN FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS WHO CARES ABOUT THE COMMON MAN. HE WILL SECURE OUR BORDERS, AND OUR DEMOCRACY, AND SAVE US FROM OURSELVES.

World-Class Poetry

Two poetry books I've written over many years. The content is vulgar and intentionally immature in quality, mostly on the subjects of feigned melodrama and ridiculing poetry. A few serious works are thrown in, if you can spot them.

They are both currently available free to download via .epub at the provided links, as well as many other popular sites including B&N, Nook, and iTunes. Perhaps not Amazon, as they make things confusing.

The Poet's Poet

Juvenile Takes on Adult Themes

To mark this momentous occasion of writing two poetry books and lacking the patience to even post a link until years after the fact, this post will end on a poem:

Explaining Why I’m the Best Poet of the 21st Century in the Form of a Poem

Like it’s been said
With 90s existentialism
“Everything’s in quotations”
Or a self-reference
It’s the way of the new world, pig
Let’s bleed, pig
In my world
Everything’s a Cobra reference
That’s how I’m the realist
Realism isn’t real
It’s real with an ism
Real is phony is real again
There it is
Your moment of zen
Real is freedom
Not your constraints
Real is human nature
Like Napoleon perched upon a peacock
Bossing around your in-laws
Walking through your fields
With that slow duck walk
Musket at my hip
You can’t stop this irreverence
You can’t pull the plug on fun
Sure the poems suck
But Andrew Dice Clay’s were worse
You gave him the 80s
You low-brow twits
You Alanis Morrisette-championing
Never-seeing-good-art
Always-looking-for-a-way-out
Wanting-to-seem-deep
Pretending
Pretentious-fans-of-pigs-shitting
Staring-into-the-eyes-of-death-blindly
Couldn’t-find-the-tornado’s-eye-you’re-in
Van-Gogh,-seriously
No-one-could-realize-he-was-alright
Starry-Night-and-shite
50-years-from-now
It’ll-be-just-me-and-Denver-the-Last-Dinosaur
Enjoying-the-company-of-Playboy-bunnies
Keeping-warm-by-a-fire
Of-burning-Mark-Rothko-paintings
At-age-80
Reveling-in-late-blooming-success
Popping-Cialis-and-Percocets
And-you-will-still-believe
In-a-creator
And-Jewel’s-poetry

Atheist Arguments For Religion

Merely believing in right and justice won’t make someone effective. Most people do and act on the desire to do right—it’s just when they get it wrong they’re often all the more wrong for it. Even intellectuals at the highest level are not immune to the bitter, insecurity-driven desire to make their opponents look like imbeciles. It’s not enough to be scientifically correct, they’re often compelled to twist the knife while they do it. That’s why some of these people love to debate theologians or anyone who they feel is their intellectual inferior. It’s not a sharing of ideas, it’s an attempt to win versus an attempt to save face. Even if the secular, scientific person is right, it’s often more about wit, applause, and punchlines. Otherwise, religious and scientific communities might have found some common ground by now.

I have little doubt fables, myths, and religion were original forms of philosophy and science. Where a word doesn’t exist, there’s a metaphor. If you believe in evolution, it’s not a stretch to assume eventually after consciousness, creating a creator soon followed. Religious dogma helped create and maintain the moral universe we live in. It’s unfortunately that same dogma that keeps it shackled to the past. The absolute, divine, sacred laws are ideas beyond reproach, beyond challenge, and beyond thought.

“There are no atheist soup kitchens.” — Marc Maron, comedian

Some intellectual figures would choose to do away with religion entirely in one fell swoop if possible. It’s a naive idea, if only at the base level that implies religion provides no good in the world. Furthermore, there’s the reality you would have a majority global society with their fundamental method of morality, philosophy, and reasoning stripped from them. If modern science and philosophy can’t inform them now, I can’t imagine how awful that world might play out. People with moral failings and no outlet to scrutinize or reflect on them is a bad mix. You would have nations founded on religious ideals suddenly stripped of their synergies and identities, with a vacuum to go unfilled, or filled with who-knows-what, nihilism, general malaise.

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” — Karl Marx (often quoted out of context, read properly there is an overt sympathy toward religion)

The power of religion is undeniable. It gives you the Euphoria of Knowing. I believe it can operate as a drug, with the placating effect of faith-based answers, and the real world communal benefits. The former way, it’s especially toxic, akin to drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, food, prescription meds, gambling, video games, whatever the vice might be. The difference is most of these vices, however problematic, don’t lead to the harming of others. Bad religion does. That same fundamentalist appeal that can make it so powerful in influencing people's lives is the same thing that can make it so destructive.

“A symbol is only as worthy of respect as the values of the people who appropriate it.” — Stewart Lee, comedian

Currently, there’s only one belief system on Earth that would allow you to drive a truck full of explosives into an area populated with innocent civilians with a smile on your face—it’s Islam. It’s not the smile of evil, it’s the smile of following a self-righteous mandate your book of worship deems correct; it’s the smile of 1000 years of modernity that cast your ancient coping mechanisms aside, and brought the frustration of social and economic disparity. Claims of a silent majority of peaceful Muslims don’t absolve this, with simple reasoning: if the problem is as small as implied, there’s no reason to be silent, and remaining silent isn’t very peaceful; or, the silent majority is frightened into silence by a capable and violent minority. Either way it spells trouble and peaceful Muslims passively propagate jihadist ideology. It works no different with Islamic terrorism than with Christian child sexual abuse scandals. These are the kinds of issues that need exposure, the last thing that should be tolerated is silence.

Now to get back to the compliments.

Take a look at the animal kingdom to see how far we’ve come. Most animal life is met with violence, murder, starvation, and famine. We’ve navigated as a species from that chaos to what soon could become a relatively unrivaled peace. We’ve farmed the Earth, mined its resources, and manipulated it to our advantage to deal with problems of scarcity and population. In a world born from murder and moral deficiencies, religion and other methods of articulation and interpretation have had an immeasurable contribution to theory and attaining knowledge.


Often when talking to religious people in this Western country, the basic tenets of religion could apply to anyone. Many are religious, but revolted by the idea of actually attending church. So what is often cited? People believe in “a greater power.” People wish to believe in “something outside themselves.” Who could look down on that? When people pay to see a superhero film they’re reflecting on the perfect idealization of a greater power. When people “look outside themselves” that is the very basis of empathy, the single greatest force pushing away from our stone-age ancestry.

Religion requires reform, not calls for its eradication. Churches perhaps could be a place where a person of any belief could come to reflect, do charity, do theory and philosophize, or more importantly be challenged. Or it could stay on the same course and suffer from the law of diminishing returns. I don’t see reform happening, however. I instead see a continuance of a religious and non-religious tug-of-war, with secular views winning, and a once-purposeful institution left with nothing to replace it but cynicism.


When not actively-practicing religious people speak of a vague “greater power,” who knows what they mean. It seems as though God’s most resonating verses are also vague. Other meanings can be just as easily ascribed. If you replaced “God” with “love” in a lot of popular biblical quotes, a good deal of them would fit 1:1. I know any God worth worshiping wouldn’t mind foregoing credit in lieu of spreading its essential message. Some things are worth struggling for and semantics aren’t one of them.

There’s a simplicity to ten commandments as the basis of moral teaching, but life is a little more nuanced than that. No one would fault someone for lying to a psychopath, or killing in self-defense. An interesting irony is the religious command for honesty. Even the most devout aren’t free of skepticism when it comes to some of religion’s more fantastical claims. There’s burning bushes, large boats, talking snakes. But there’s nothing innately bad about a lie that causes no harm. A lie is the first step in the element of surprise or telling a good joke, and most reasonable people enjoy them. A lie is the platform for great books and movies and art. I can’t find a logical flaw with benevolent dishonesty. If someone is tricked into doing the right thing, that’s not ideal, but it’s better than the alternative.

Street signage with unintentional political commentary
It doesn’t surprise me many believers have doubts, and it wouldn’t surprise me if many secretly didn’t believe at all. It could be what influences the reluctant way in which some people talk about their faith. It’s often “personal” or “private.” Their reasons for pursing faith can be deeply entwined with intimate issues and heavy personal experiences that deserve the consideration they request. Whether it’s secret shame, a moral failing, or the simple desire avoid an abstract conversation, it deserves respect.

Many seem to find religion after having children. They are born-again conveniently right alongside them. Is it the cosmic trickery of the moment, the levity changing the situation from awe to the supernatural? Is it the vulnerability of life and the threat of loss causing someone to redefine the way they empathize? Or, could it be the subconscious realization that while we live in a world of many answers, we don’t always live in a world of good ones. Sometimes our answers are frightening, and sometimes even majorities are too afraid to ask.

Sad, beautiful, both, neither
For all its conceits, as right as the scientific approach may be, generations pass without change. If all the rationale and the philosophy, the books and the intellectual prowess can’t make a definitive leap over a talking snake, maybe it, too, is a flawed belief system. Maybe it, too, is inspired by an Old Testament sense of wrath and justice. Maybe science, too, is inclined to use its finding in a self-righteous way, as a sword instead of a surgical instrument.

Every intellectual rests their elbow on objective truth as the gold standard. Here’s an observation: people can be misguided, delusional, lie to others and lie to themselves. Those are objective truths, those are minds that exist in and influence objective reality. The irrational don’t react to reason, or heavy-handed declarative statements. Others are sick, some aren’t smart, some are unimaginative, some are uninterested. Some are harmless and merely want to live with an innate feeling of closeness and trust to their surroundings, with the most rudimentary backdrop for a value-system they can find. There's no more thought to it, and scorn and derision rarely work. If fundamentalism is part of the ideological problem it can’t be part of the solution.

It’s a waste of effort and time, and potentially more detrimental, to attack institutions at large, instead of trying to excise any toxic elements and let them be. It’s a waste of breath to wax poetic about the whims of the irrational—something no human is beyond. By trying to dismiss and dismantle, otherwise smart people do a disservice to themselves. Instead they could engage more with people they disagree with, even if only vaccinate themselves from it, by taking in the perceived poison and dispelling it with empathy and understanding.

A Model For American Success

Walter Moxon, guest contributor
I work hard 90 hours a week to support my beautiful wife, four beautiful young boys, and a mortgage. I don’t expect no handouts, you know why? Because as an upstanding member of American society, I am driven to success by the natural high of maintaining an illusion of control over a frightening world with more questions than answers.

I am a natural-born winner, carried by the golden chariot of destiny by a subconscious need to quiet the insecure voices in my psyche that question my faith, the purpose of existence, and the nagging sense I could be wrong about anything. The three cars in my garage confirm this.

The disenfranchised are merely will-less quitters. WILL finds a way to win. I don’t care if I was born without legs, I’d still pick myself up by my bootstraps that same day. When I think I may be a failure, I remember the vitriolic hate in my heart, and my superiority complex pulls at my heartstrings like a pullstart on a lawnmower and I’m cranked and ready to run.

Whenever faced with adversity I make a target of any subgroup I can stereotype, and marginalize them with self-righteous rhetoric until they feel small and my ego re-animates. That’s MY version of coffee, fuck Folgers. Drug-addict junkie-losers need their fix just to “cope.” As a real man, all I need is the sublime release you get when you hold dominion over another human or animal life. That and my painkillers, and the occassional bottle of whiskey.

If there’s one thing I know for sure in this world it’s that my hearts in the right place and my social priorities are properly aligned. And I will fight against EVERYONE!—the weak, the meek, the tired, the poor, the wretched refuse, the homeless, the huddled masses—until I can breathe free. And on my deathbed if I know because of me just one baby born poor was denied a single free lunch, I will die smiling as I ascend to Heaven.