Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Placeholder Text

This is placeholder text. It doesn't actually say anything, so there is no point in reading it. Seriously, if you are reading this, you should just stop. There is absolutely no point in reading this at all, none whatsoever. Not a single word herein is substantive in any way. These are, essentially, non-words, filling, or rather, emptying this non-message into the ether, word after word of non-information taking up space, wasting valuable pixels, toner, and/or ink depending on what medium it's been output. At some point, actual copy written by an actual copywriter will be here, where this non-copy currently resides, at which time studious attention will be welcome, encouraged even, nay demanded! But that will be then and not now. Now the correct thing to do is simply glance across this non-text and imagine that it says something terribly useful, whatever might be appropriate. For instance, if this is an ad for forbezider valves, you should imagine a concise and engrossing paragraph or two, or three, of pertinent and provocative forbezider valve information. This information will be so craftily written you, a mere mortal, will, very likely, be completely powerless to resist its siren call and will rush directly to the nearest forbezider valve retailer and purchase a gross, even if you have absolutely no use for forbezider valves, even if you don't know what a forbezider valve is or what sort of things it's responsible for valving. Gosh, that will be fine when that happens. But for now just pretend this is the actual, legitimate copy. Don't read it. This vapid, hollow, substanceless copy that just drones on and on without regard for the burden it is placing on you, gentle reader, is, to be sure, a poor substitute for the glorious language to come. It almost seems criminal to allow such frivolous nattering to inform even a single sentence, much less a great, sprawling paragraph that defies intelligibility with its hugeness and gratuitous lack of page breaks. Surely, if an appropriate body of enforcement existed, a "Grammar Gestapo" if you will, they would apprehend this egregious block and throw it in the literary brig with no hope of parole. And there it would rot, never again to harm the unsuspecting eye, out for a read where it assumed it would be, and jolly-well should have been, safe from this sort of injurious screed. Surely you've stopped reading by now. Haven't you? Why? Look, with great emphasis, I told you to stop reading in the first few sentences, but you kept on. Didn't you? Over and over I warned you, tried to protect you, but you've ignored me. Well, that's just great. Very well, you have brought this on yourself. Are you happy now? Hmm? Are you? Children in third world countries have to walk bare-footed for miles over uneven road surfaces, many of which are not even paved properly, just for a glimpse of a 2-color pamphlet on VCR repair with hideous registration and hickies all over it because it was printed on a faulty ABDick with the rollers practically falling out of it on a day when the press operator wasn't feeling very well at all and the inks were poorly mixed and the T-Head was completely out of whack, and here you are engrossed in something that doesn't have any substance or message at all. It's an outrage! You should be ashamed of yourself! I demand that you stop reading right now! I mean it. Absolutely stop right this very minute. Do not read one more word. You're still reading, aren't you. I knew it. You make me sad. I weep. No, don't try to console me. No. I know you don't mean it. You always do this. My mother told me you were no good. If only I had listened... Blast you. No matter how hard I try, I can't stop loving you. You beast.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Change Is Scary

I know why the teeming millions are so reluctant to give up their gods. It's because they're chicken. And why shouldn't they be? The world is a scary place, and it just gets scarier when you realize no one is going to save us.

Poor babies.

Of course, the thought of simply failing to be "the chosen" species, simply not being any longer the one thing that made us(*) special for all those long centuries, is pretty hard as well.

Too bad.

And that whole "living forever in paradise" thing is probably pretty hard to let go of.

The god concept is a literary tool designed to cow and comfort frightened savages who didn't know any better. That human beings are a blight upon this planet should be obvious to anyone who takes so much as a fleeting glance at the wreckage we've strewn about at every available opportunity. And nothing lasts forever. You don't have to be very smart to recognize these simple truths.

So buck up, theist folks. Even if you like to point at the so-called "extremists" and tell yourself that you're better than them, you're not. You're still choosing to believe things that are completely and utterly indefensible. On top of which, you are enabling the extremists because your so-called "progressive" beliefs share the same foundation as their dynamite fueld rampages. You are all, in a word, insane. The sooner you snap out of it, the better.

As an added bonus, when you choose to think for yourself, you get to be a moral creature. Maybe that doesn't sound like much, but it's actually quite cool. You see, as long as you make decisions based on the fear of punishment or hope of reward, you are essentially a coward. It's actually *way* cooler when someone chooses to do the right thing even when they know damn well that being a complete dick is always an option.

(*)Us, of course, is a highly subjective term. Perhaps many "progressive" theists sing the song of embracing diversity, but throughout the ages theists have largely sought to restrict membership to their exclusive club, "the chosen," based on such trivia as skin color or wealth. But as soon as one stops clinging pathetically to the big, strong god fantasy, one truly does get to embrace diversity. It goes without saying. Once you realize you're not special, you're no longer condescending to every other living organism on the planet that we all share. Truly beautiful things can happen then.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I'm An Excellent Driver

Really, I am.

I resisted getting a driver's license until I was nineteen because I so loved my bicycle, and because I had to be a rebel. All my friends had gotten theirs years earlier. But since that day when I finally gave in and took the test, I have enjoyed a nearly spotless record.

Genuinely spotless, that is, until just a few weeks ago. That was when I lost control for, maybe, less than a second; and that's all it takes. I was parking (I can parallel park like a demon.) and I was tired. I could probably have done it, but I changed my mind and, when I was pretty much all the way in, I decided: screw it. I'm gonna' park somewhere else, where it's easier. So I turned my head around and stepped on the gas, completely forgetting to put my white 2004 Dakota Quad-Cab with the V8 into drive.

The truck jerked back and I immediately jumped on the brake. I did not feel an impact with the truck behind me, but when I pulled away its owner, who just happened to be watching from his driveway, came out and told me that I had dented his bumper. My desire at that time was to be responsible for my actions, so despite not being able to see any damage on my truck at all, I presented my insurance information.

The thing is, I'm not sure I actually hit his truck. The dent he pointed to was about the size of a quarter and, looking back, I can't really see how my truck at the angle it was could have even touched his car where the dent was. But I didn't think of this at the time. I was pretty much at the mercy of my personal code of responsibility, and simply, stupidly resigned myself to the marring of my perfect record.

The guy started out talking to me like a man. We discussed simply taking care of it. I told him that I would pay for a new bumper, and he said he would see how much it cost and get back to me, which he did. $607 and change, I told him to go ahead and get it fixed and, in exchange for the receipt, I would pay him back. He said he would do that. But he didn't.

That was when he started talking like a weasel. Instead of being good to his word, he got the price from the dealer and expected me to be happy with something other than a receipt. He hadn't replaced the bumper. He stammered when he was talking to me. He started speaking bullshit. "It's a receipt. It's printed from a computer and everything." he said.

"Sounds like what you've got there is a quote." Honestly, why do people have to do this? If he had said that he simply wanted the cash in the first place, I wouldn't have gone there, but at least he would still have his self-respect. So that's when I called my insurance company.

The insurance company explained to me that in California the "victim" of an at-fault car crash is entitled to the insurance payout even if the "perpetrator" has made any other kind of deal. So if I had paid him he could have been paid again by my insurance company. So California drivers be warned: dealing with this sort of thing off the record could easily turn into something too nice for the "victim." And if there's anything that I've learned it's that it doesn't pay to be too nice.

Fast forward two weeks. My lovely, white, spotless, 2004 Quad-Cab Dodge Dakota with the V8 is parked, quietly minding its own business, not bothering anyone, in a public parking lot while I'm at work. I parked it there at noon on a Friday.

I left work around 7:00 pm to find this. Nice, eh? There's a brewery nearby, so the best that anyone can figure is that some drunk asshole lost control of his (or her) vehicle while trying to park (or leave), smashed my truck, and drove away. You can see the tire track in the grass. It's a little burnt, probably because the jackass spun the tires in his (or her) haste to get away. And wow, what a lesson: now I know how it's done! None of this "leaving a tiny dent" bullshit. When you wreck something, wreck it like you mean it!

So, how about that? Ironic, no? I guess I'd be even more bummed if this $500 gift (that's my deductible) had happened after paying the weasel six bills for his stupid bumper, but it's not as though I'm jumping for joy.

I will try to remember that weasels and jackasses are actually the predominant breed of creatures in human society and not assume by default that the person I'm dealing with is trustworthy. It's not as if I didn't already have plenty of evidence. This really is an obvious lesson I should have learned long ago, but sometimes I'm just a dope that way.

But I am an excellent driver.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Black Petroleum Stain Take 2

Picture a room filled with sexy women, naked and undulating in a way that indicates they are hot and ready for love. The women are beautiful in a diverse way. Whatever your ideal of female beauty is, she's there. They look nice, they smell nice, you're sure they'll feel nice, too. Some of the women have name tags (it's not clear how the tags are attached). You see Civil Rights, Integrity, Diversity, Truth, Compassion, Tolerance, Education, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Freedom, and Social Welfare, just to name a few. Aside from the name tags, it looks like your basic porn shoot, just absent the dicks.

Suddenly, a small band of naked, grossly overweight old men barge in, their bleached white, corpulent bodies rippling as they charge. The women, who are clearly startled, try to maintain the composure and the passion they had been feeling just moments before, while trying to contain the dismay and horror inspired by these trolls.

The trolls have dicks that are so tiny they are nearly invisible beneath the revolting folds of flesh that cascade like great tubes of grease around each of their disgusting frames. Instead, all that can be seen where their balls should be is inflamed skin, a rash of bubbling sores oozing poisonous green and yellow puss, reeking of death. Their faces contorted in a shark-like rictus of unchecked indulgence, they launch themselves at the women, groping and fucking any part they can lay their greedy little hands upon, smearing their diseases all over the untouched beauty of the women in a feeding frenzy. Fat fingers still sticky and dirty from whatever they had been rolling in just before grasp the soft, clean limbs, pulling them into uncomfortable positions, soiling them, making the women wince and cry out.

The trolls are a paradox. Despite an obvious lack of good health and well being, many showing obvious signs of horrific diseases in full bloom and evidence of multiple surgeries, they have limitless energy when it comes to despoiling. They are relentless. You can hear them barking and swearing what alternately sounds like racoons growling and angry old men saying, "Go fuck yourself!"

The women suffer, and cannot move away. Their cries are muffled and they soon begin to fade. Their beauty slips away and their energy ebbs. These pinnacles of desirability slowly succumb to the diseases and the abuses the trolls have thrust upon them. They have no chance. No one comes to save them. They are abandoned.

Other women appear now. In addition to the wonderful ladies that were there before, you now see name-tags that read Iraq, Rita, Katrina, and 911. These ladies are far from beautiful, but the trolls show no reluctance in taking advantage of them. Indeed, it would seem their tragic nature spurs the trolls to even greater acts of indulgent, opportunistic greed.

In time, all the ladies are dead and the trolls reluctantly pull away, seemingly satiated. They lazily wipe the congealed drool from their chins, absentmindedly scratch at the running sores and festering boils that blanket their bodies, their bald heads shining with the sweat of their ill-efforts. They look at one another and then gaze upon the corpses, flies buzzing around the dead that have already begun to decay.

For a moment, something like a glimmer of recognition seems to pass behind their eyes, almost as if they can see the horrible waste that they are and that they've caused in their disgusting rape of all that they see. They look at each other. They look back at all the destruction they've wrecked. They look at one another again, chuckle, and get right back to fucking things up, high-fiving and glad-handing each other as they return to the horrible results of their terrible industry, those decomposing bodies that were once pregnant with potential, now wasted. They jump on and start fucking like there's no tomorrow, casting up a tangible cloud of horrific stink, enveloping them and blanketing everything they touch with a slippery, black petroleum stain.