December 28, 2004

This IS A Joke, Right?

Just got the whackiest piece of spam I've ever found in my inbox. This comes from one under the title of "Terrorists hosting integration and partnership".

Since Nigerian-style scams may have finally outlived their novelty, is the new generation of scam-spam a scam to pretend to be one who lets you in on the ground floor of said scam?

Get a load...:

We are glad to greet you on our site, we've opened recently, but we can offer you stolen data about credit cards of Europe and USA inhabitants and also of Asian countries. Here and just here you'll be able to find out all about your boss, how much does he earn, his SSN and a lot of other info. We accept orders for DDOS-attacks of any servers and also we offer spam-services. Visit us today and probably tomorrow you'll be a real hacker and will receive a respect of your contemporaries.Best credit cards, cashing of dirty money, stolen paypal accounts, access to the bank accounts of UK and USA residents - all this you will find only on or or or

Come now and you will receive 10 credit cards with cvv2 code for free.And also you can find the data about USA residents, starting from the bank accounts and ending with their pants size.
All this and many other things - only on our company sites
Also we have our Dutch-based shop where you can buy some drugs to make your life more wonderful and funny. We have wide selection of Ganzha, Crack, both synthetic and natural Heroin.
And our prices are affordables for everyone.

Thanks to our hosting companies

They give us hosting not paying attention to FBI and SS calls. Theplanet is the best hosting provider if you want to host sites with child porno, weapon sales etc. and a lot of other stuff.

P.S.Happy Holidays from EV1.NET
We were, we are and we will be the best hosting for all the terrorists, about our program for hosting of the terrorists in details you can read here:

Merry Christmas

Okay. Which one of you whackadoodles sent me this? [*tapping foot with arms akimbo*]

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:28 PM | Comments (1)

December 27, 2004

The Future Is Now! (and so is the past...)

For the purpose of this post I'm going to presume that the hypothesis presented in my previous post is correct. So, to sum up:

All moments in time that are, have been, or will be experienced as "now" are all equally now.

Thomas Jefferson is sitting in room in Philidelphia in 1776 writing the Declaration of Independence; bombs are dropping on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941; and I am sitting here now writing this post. You will be reading this some time later, for me, which will also happen to be now.

If we take it as true that, in order for time to be a dimension, the past exists just as much as the present, then we also must hold that the future exists. Notice that I didn't say "the future already exists", just that it exists. The word "already" would make it an observation from a certain time, a specific now. That would just be wrong.

Obviously, this brings to the fore the age old debate about whether or not we have a free will to make decisions and take actions. If the future exists, doesn't that preclude us from having any say in how it turns out?
(I'm gonna leave aside the entire debate about our physical, bio-chemical and evironmental histories controlling our actions and just look at the subject at hand.)

Let's take an example of free will in action:

We're watching Game 6 of the 1986 World Series being broadcast on TV. It's the bottom of the 10th inning. After being two runs down with two out and nobody on, and three base hits later, Gary Carter and Kevin Mitchell have already scored to tie the game, Ray Knight is on 2nd base and Mookie Wilson is batting. The Red Sox pitcher is Mike Stanley (as I recall), the cather is Rich Gedman, and Bill Buckner is playing 1st base.

Gedman is deciding which pitches to call. Stanley is either shaking them off or accepting them, and then doing his best to strike out Wilson. Mookie is deciding, in split second intervals, whether to take a pitch or swing at it. He is fouling off tough pitch after tough pitch from Stanley. The Red Sox fielders have already decided what they're going to do if the ball is hit to them.
Gedman, Stanley and Wilson are locked in a battle, and there is no doubt that they are making decisions about what actions to take, and then taking those actions freely and deliberately.

Oh! Mookie hits a slow bouncer down the first base line and Bill Buckner positions himself to snag it. But wait! Buckner took his eye off the ball, either to look at Wilson's progress or to see if Stanley was running over to cover 1st base. The ball scoots under Buckner's glove and between his legs! Bill turns around and begins to chase it but realizes that he'll never catch up to it -- he decides to stop running. He looks at Ray Knight rounding third and heading home and knows that Darrell Evans in right field will never get that ball to Gedman in time.

Buckner's face says it all. Standing still as a sea of white uniforms pours out of the Mets dugout behind him, he is thinking "I blew it. I took my eye off the ball for a moment and lost it. Bad decision."

The celebration at home plate is for what was just accomplished by Carter, Mitchell, Knight and Wilson. Against staggering odds they won in a triumph of the will. We just saw it happen!

No, we didn't. That was a videotape of a game that happened over 18 years ago. [Holy crap, that was 18 years ago?!] But, even though we were watching the past and knew the outcome, we still witnessed Rich Gedman, Mike Stanley, Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner making decisions of their own free will. It was the past for us, but it was now for them. The outcome being certain (from the perspective of the future) doesn't change the fact that they were making their decisions and taking their actions freely from their perspective of the present.

In a world where the future doesn't exist yet it's easy to conclude that our actions control the future. But, if we accept that the future exists then we'd naturally tend to think that the future controls our actions. I submit that that's a fallacy.
The future didn't cause Bill Buckner to make that error. It's just that, in the future, he had already done it. All nows exist equally, and it's only our experience of nowness that hides that fact.

So, what of Causality? If all "nows" are equally now then how in the world can there be cause and effect? A chain of events?

A chain of events is certain from a perspective of the future, but uncertain from a perspective of the past. Any difference in whether or not a chain of events has occurred, is occurring or will occur, is only due to an observer's perspective. Causality exists -- and it exists over time -- but it doesn't exist outside of the passage of time. In other words, it is in the experience of the passing of time that causality plays out, but, in the larger wholeness of spacetime, it's a complete event. (Which is not to say: a completed event.)

Why on earth would I take this silly idea seriously? Is there any evidence in the universe of time and causality acting in weird, nearly contradictory, ways? Yes.

Let's take the Big Bang. For years and years I've been suspicious about whether or not the Big Bang ever happened. Why? Because it's backward!

If you've ever read, or seen a scholarly TV program, about the beginning moments of the universe then you may have noticed something: They always tell the story backward. They tell us that the heat and density of the energy could not allow various types of matter to exist yet. "At eighty-five seconds these particles are not formed yet; at twenty-two seconds these baryons were did not exist; at three-tenths of a second there was none of that going on..." They tell it like that for one reason: Telling the story forward makes no sense.

"At three seconds electrons were formed" Huh? The causality is not there. Running the opening seconds of the universe after the Big Bang would be like showing a film of shards of ceramic suddenly leaping up from the floor to assemble on a tabletop as a coffee mug. Rediculous.

So, if the beginning looks like an ending, why not surmise that, perspective aside, they are the same thing? Why not explore the idea that causality (seeing the cause before the effect) is as half-understood as time itself is half-seen (seeing the past but not the future)?

Think outside the clocks!

Okay, okay, it's a hard concept to accept, and even harder to explain. But I'm going to keep exploring it because (as I just wrote in a comment to the previous post) it just might lead to some breakthrough in expanding my theory of space-time/matter-energy's playground: gravity. It may just get curiouser and curiouser, or it may eventually make perfect sense. Time will tell! ;)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:38 PM | Comments (3)

December 22, 2004

Why Is It Always Now?

You are beginning to read this sentence two seconds ago, and you will not be finishing it until now.

I knew that missing that bus by thirty seconds would cost me an hour and a half getting into work this morning. (I sure wish they'd let me write the schedule.) As I stood at the corner waiting for the next bus, and about to light a cigarette, a funeral procession passed by. I'd never done it before, but, I took off my hat.

After the line of cars had passed I started to think about something. I realize now that, normally, I probably would have started pondering life and death, or death by cigarettes. But, this time, something else piqued my whimsy: the procession itself. First it began to pass by; then it was passing by; then it had finished passing by. But, it all happened at the same time: now.

I've thought about it from time to time before -- the nowness of our experiences. But not like I did today. (I jotted down a few notes at work and I'll try to make this as coherent as possible -- though I may just end up talking to myself.)

Is Thomas Jefferson sitting in a room in Philidelphia in 1776 writing the Declaration of Independence just as much as I'm sitting in a room right now writing this post? And I don't mean in some parallel universe, I mean in this one.

But, Thomas Jefferson is dead. Yeah, now he is. But when 1776 was "now" he wasn't dead. Well, that was then, and this is now. But, then it was now, and this is only "now" now. Can one now be anymore "now" than any other now?

Okay, lemme try again.

Hypothesis: Our experience of time is like watching a parade. We see one bit of it at a time. The majorettes are in front of us now, but the elephants have already passed and we can't see what's still to come yet.

But the parade itself, as a whole, is intact already. The paraders will pass in one particular order. Even though we don't know yet what the future of this parade will hold, it is already there. Not here now, but there just as much as the here and now are here now.

Question: Does the past exist?

That's a weird question. Of course the past exists. We were there. We took pictures.
But, wait. Does the past exist, or, did it used to exist, only formerly, as the present?
And what in blazes is the difference?

If I ask myself if Maine exists then I have no problem answering "yes". (And, just in case my memory might be playing tricks on me, I have the photos to prove it.)
If I'm certain that places I've been to still exist even though I'm not there anymore, why am I not so certain that moments still exist even when I'm not then anymore? What can possibly be so special about our now now that isn't also special about all of our previous nows?

Spacetime. Space and time are like male and female. They're two distinct things only until you realize that without each other there's neither. Space can change over time, but it doesn't disappear. By the same token, I submit, time doesn't disappear; moments in time don't cease to exist.

Spacial dimensions are infinite. Time is also a dimension. Question: Would time being a dimension require that there be a past, not that there was a past?

Maybe it's a subtle distinction, or none at all. Could this just be rhetorical nonsense?
Maybe. But, if the past is not as real as the present, would time still be a dimension?

But, how can Thomas Jefferson be writing the Declaration of Independence in 1776 when, clearly, it's now 2004?
He wont be writing it in the future, and he isn't writing it "now". He'll always be writing it in 1776.
But it'll never be 1776 again.
No, but it's always 1776 in 1776.
But 1776 is gone. Outta here. Kaput. The money's on the dresser, we're done with it.
No, it's just in the past, for us.
It's in the past...
For US.
Okay, fine. In 1776 it was 1776...
No, in 1776 it IS 1776. It's the past for us now, but, for the people of 1775, it hasn't happened yet.
Do you know that you're speaking of the people of 1775 in the present tense?
Do you know that you're not supposed to eat mushrooms that you find outside?
Shut up.

So, even though my grandfather died several years ago, somewhere he's chopping wood in 1972?
Well, we know where... and we obviously know when. Yes.
It didn't just happen then, it is happening then. Now and then are like here and there: There is not just one "now" any more than there is only one "here".

So, from where we stand, bombs fell on Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7th, 1941. But, in the complete picture, bombs also are falling on Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7th, 1941.

Is our now more real than their now?

If so: how and why? Please be specific.

Past, present and future -- and here and there -- are how we experience time and space. But spacetime itself is whole and complete, and "nowness" is experienced only by the matter-energy in it.


Next time (maybe): Does the future already exist just as much (and unchangably) as the past?.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:33 PM | Comments (10)

December 20, 2004

Overheard at the bus terminal:

"Well, my wife and I go out to dinner twice a week."


"Yeah. She goes on Tuesdays, I go on Thursdays."

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2004

Intermural Handshakes

How can a man properly and politely shake a woman's hand?
Long ago I decided to adopt the Kennedy-half-shake where ya grab her fingers and coddle them in your palm with an earnest closeness bestowed upon only those whose hands you wanna shake.

It's worked out great so far.

But, I wonder:

What do you gals think about shaking hands with a man?

Do you want him to squeeze with firm resolve -- like a man shaking hands with a man?

Or, would you rather he take you gently into his own hand -- like a man shaking hands with a woman?

Am I the only man left that finds shaking hands with a woman to be kinda wwiieerrdd?


Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:12 PM | Comments (13)

Another Kinsley Fisking!

It's been almost two years since I undertook my first full-scale fisking. It was of a Michael Kinsley column in late January, 2003 that I wrote as an email to my ol' buddy ol' pal Freedom's Slave. Shortly afterward I started Blather Review on blogspot and made that fisking my first post.

I wasn't on line at all on Friday, and had little time yesterday to read much or to write anything. So, I've spent a lazy Sunday surfing blogs, news sites and stuff, and just found the new Michael Kinsley column via the Instapuppy blenderer.

I haven't read it yet, so this will be a Live FiskingTM! Hang on, folks, I'm going in blind!

Blogged Down

By Michael Kinsley
Sunday, December 19, 2004; Page B07

Yeah, but you obviously didn't write this today, didja Mikey? I publish my crappy works of artifice just after I finish rewriting them!

Okay, maybe I'm jumping into this too fast. Let's see what Michael the K has to say first before I presume that it's gonna torque me off... ;)

If you're going to peddle opinions for a living, self-assurance is essential. If you don't have it, you need to bluff.

Aah, yes. Opinion-making is just an intellectual poker game. The truth may be that all I've got to back up an argument is a pair of sevens. But why admit that when I can convince you that I've got aces backed with eights... as long as I don't blink...

People don't want to read a lot of "Oh dear, this is so terribly complicated, I just can't make up my poor little mind . . . ." Many's the pundit who has retired on full disability after developing a tragic tendency to see both sides of the issue.

Well, it'd certainly make for dull reading for an op-ed column and, I guess, and a columnist might lose readers if he or she couldn't get a rise out of either the pros and cons.
But are you telling me that if you ever found yourself so vexed for lack of certainty, you'd bluff to avoid your column's "retirement"?!

Of course, you didn't say that you'd resort to bluffing. But, beginning a column with this observation makes me wonder if you're projecting. On the other hand, I have no idea where you're going with this, so maybe I'll just wait and see.

Hey, I never promised that live fisking was a good idea. But let's trudge on...

Rarely, though, does even the most self-assured commentator on public affairs (i.e., George Will) inflate certainty to the level of a mathematical proof.

Hey! Why are you picking on George Will?! Is he any more "self-assured" than Maureen Dowd? Walter WIlliams? Jonathan Alter? Okay, Jonathan Alter suffers from acute self-assurance envy (ASAE), so nevermind that one.

So, what's this about a "mathematical proof" now? Persuasion is best achieved through air-tight, rock-solid argument. While logic and fact-based argumentation is not as exact a science as mathematics, it's at least a second cousin one removed.

Premise 1: All green bananas are unripe.
Premise 2: All of these bananas are green.
Conclusion: All of these bananas are unripe.

That's pretty damn near "mathematical" f'yask me. So I'm not sure what you mean by "rarely...does even the the most self-assured commentator...inflate [their] certainty to the level of a mathematical proof." Persuasion itself is the art of presenting a near-mathematically provable argument. Except that it's logic and deduction. We'll call it mathematics of the mind. The trick trick is to keep it from becoming heuristics of the heart or, worse, sophistry of the soul.

But let's find out where Michael is going with this, shall we already...?

It's happened to me only once,

BWAHAHAHA!!! You wrote "only"! You're bluffing!!!

on the subject (unfortunately) of Social Security privatization. Not, perhaps, the most glamorous topic on which to waste the gift of certitude. But, to borrow philosophically from our secretary of defense, you make do with the epiphany you have, not with the epiphany you might wish or want to have.

Way t' blahbiddy blah yer way into a dig at Rumsfeld! Well played!

I won't bore you with my mathematical proof that Social Security privatization can't work. Not quite true: I will bore you with it, but not until next week. Right now I have something more exciting to bore you with.

Aah, that rare "mathematical proof" that only hacks like George Will ever provide is coming. Is there a point to this column other than to dazzle us with your penchant for dry self-assurance?

Like you, I'm sure, I try to be a good sport about the inexplicable fact that other people sometimes disagree with me. What other choice is there? The nonsense that other people think is often amazing and always disappointing -- but at this late date it's not really surprising, is it?

"this late date"? Feeling a little long in the tooth are we? :P

And other people are disappointing in so many ways. What's one more? For all I know, you yourself may even disagree with me about this or that, and I may disagree with you about the other. It's everywhere.

Golly, surely not!

Okay, what have we got so far? We have a Michael Kinsley column that seems to be about disagreement and argumentation and how not to let it destroy your ability to argue and disagree forever, or, how to make a living by shrugging off them pesky, annoying disagree'ersTM. When the $#@& do blogs finally get mentioned?!

And other people are so stubborn! Possibly unlike you, I actually get paid to try to convince people that I am right and they are wrong, and thank goodness I'm not paid on the basis of results. It's almost enough to make you consider the possibility that other people are right and you are wrong. Merely considering this possibility is therapeutic, if you don't make a habit of it.

*yawn* Other than trying to purposefully wrangle yourself into a fetal knot of would-be willful uncertainty, what the fark is your point?! Get to it already!!

But when you're sure of something to a mathematical certainty, everything changes. It becomes supremely irritating that other people continue to debate the issue as if there were some doubt. It is enraging that some people even act as if certainty belonged to the other side. This general failure to acknowledge that the issue is settled and the argument over is even more irritating when you have explained it all in columns and editorials over the years. Nor does it help when the president himself passes up every opportunity to accept your airtight logic, as Bush did in pushing partial privatization yet again at his White House economic conference this past week. The gentle explanation that the president may be unfamiliar with you and your logic is, oddly, not comforting.

Wow! And thank you!

This column isn't about logic or argument or truth or sophistry or social security or, apparently, not even blogs. Nope. It's about Michael Kinsley fretting about why he's not the center of everyone else's universe, too.

Is this something we all are s'posed to be just as angst-ridden over, Mike? "I talk and talk and it seems like I can't change everyone else who talks and talks and so I'm feeling sad and lonely and wondering if maybe I should just go home, feed the cats and withdraw to quiescent uncertainty."
Buck up, man! We're never strangers when we agree to disagree. More sugar in yer coffee...?

That conference was the last straw. Last week, to vent my frustration, I sent an e-mail to some economists and privatizing buffs saying, look, either show me my mistake or drop this issue. Refute me or salute me. Disprove it or move it. Or words to that effect.

As an afterthought, I sent copies to a couple of blogs (kausfiles.comand What hap- pened next was unnerving.

Ooo, this is getting good...

A few days later, most of the big shots hadn't replied. But overnight I had dozens of responses from the blogosphere. They're still pouring in. And that's just direct e-mail to me. Within hours, there were discussions going on in a dozen blogs, all hyperlinking to one another like rabbits.

Erm.. "hyperlinking to one another like rabbits"? Now this is just plain vulgar, Mikey. I thought you were better than this.

Just so I don't sound too naive: I am familiar with the blog phenomenon, and I worked at a Web site for eight years.Some of my best friends are bloggers.

Oh, dear. The "present company excepted" disclaimer rears it's ugly head...

Still, it's different when you purposely drop an idea into this bubbling cauldron and watch the reaction. What floored me was not just the volume and speed of the feedback but its seriousness and sophistication. Sure, there were some simpletons and some name-calling nasties echoing rote-learned propa- ganda. But we get those in letters to the editor. What we don't get, nearly as much, is smart and sincere intellectual engagement -- mostly from people who are not intellectuals by profession -- with obscure and tedious, but important, issues.

Wow! People who aren't actually paid to think actually think anyways?! What a surfuckingprise, Mikey! Next thing you know yer butler might recall his own first name! Maybe gonna hafta rethink the whole pardigm yet again?

Why the difference? Length, for one. I'll be hard-put, next week, even to summarize my own argument, let alone discuss those of others, in the space available to a columnist. Letters get even less space, if they are published at all. Certainty that what you write will get posted is surely another factor. It's nice to know you're not wasting your time. Ease is important, too. You can send your views electronically to a blog in less time than it takes to find a stamp, let alone type a letter.


What f@&$#!*ng world are you living in? I mean, we're at the end and I'm sure you thought you had a point but clearly your well is as dry as mine.

I'd hoped that fisking a Michael Kinsley column could inspire a post worthy of my readers' patience and loyalty. I know now that I was wrong.

Michael, if I may call ya Michael,

You get paid for this; I don't. If I click on yer name then it's because I want to read a salient column, not a wanton slope-shouldered poutfest.

I'm very disappointed, Michael. I've just live-blogged a piece of crap.

Buck up, man. Inspiration is only one less donut away. Just, next time, gimmee something worth arguing about to argue about!


Oh, wait, there's more:...!

Most interesting, though, is how the Web enables people who are scattered physically around the globe, who share an interest in a topic as naturally uninteresting as the economic theory behind Social Security privatization, to find one another and enjoy a gabfest. Webheads like to call this phenomenon "community." I used to think that was a little grand and a little misleading. Populist electronic conversation mech- anisms like blogs and Web bulletin boards are more about the opportunity to talk than about the opportunity to listen. But that may be true of physical communities as well.


The writer is editorial and opinion editor of the Los Angeles Times.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:30 PM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2004

*sigh* They Just Refuuuuuse t'Get It....

Just read this over at DailyKos:

Oh my god (3.81 / 16 )

"I don't want to be a daddy because daddies die,"
That is one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever, ever read in my life. And I've read a lot of them.
Of all the tens of thousands of heartbreaking storeis out there, one thinks they get inured to it, and then something like this slips through and hits you like a freight train.
More and more, all I hear is the end of Bridge On the River Kwai: "Madness! Madness...madness!"
The worst thing is that 60 million Americans were callous and hateful enough to vote for the architect of that father's death. And the deaths of hundreds of other fathers and mothers. And thousands of Iraqi fathers and mothers.
Why. Dammit, dammmit, fuck fuck fuck, why.

"We will fight them, sir, until hell freezes over. And then, sir, we will fight them on the ice."
by Raybin on Wed Dec 15th, 2004 at 16:48:44 PST

Howdy, Raybin.

First thing first.

"I don't want to be a daddy because daddies die,"

You're so heartbroken at reading these words because you think they mean "I wish my daddy wasn't dead." Read it again. He's just saying "I don't wanna die." These are the words of of a 4-year-old..

Second things second: He probably said them after his not-so-4-year-old mother told him that "Sometimes daddies die for reasons that you'll only understand when you're older".

But, let's get to the meat of this bony issue, eh?

"The worst thing is that 60 million Americans were callous and hateful enough to vote for the architect of that father's death.

Why. Dammit, dammmit, fuck fuck fuck, why."

I don't know you and you don't know me. Maybe you get your news from DailyKos and Bartcop and a few others because they, to you, tell it like it is But, if that's all your seeking then that's all you'll get.

I was tempted to write a very vitriolic response to your question "Why?". But, on further reflection, I sense that you are an honest broker and deserve, at the very least, my feeble attempt to answer the question as a fellow honest broker.


Saddam Hussien may or may not have been a direct threat to the United States of America. It doesn't matter.
Nu 'UH!
Uh Huh!

.The freedom of Iraqis shouldn't matter to us, right? After-all, they aren't Americans and only other Americans should matter to Americans.

So, I ask you, my friend: What is an American?

Maybre you think that "Americanism" is no different than some kind of Euro-fuedal, colonialist my-country-right-or-wrong . I simply ask you to think harder.

Do you know what Freedom is? Of course you do.

Do you know what a lack of Freedom is?

A lack of Freedom is getting arrested for walking down the street reading an open Bible or Torah or some sanskrit text. A lack of Freedom is speaking your peace against the government.and then watching your children killed and bulldozed into a mass grave for your transgression against your precious tyrant.

Get it so far? Good.


We're in Iraq because it's our way into the gut of the Middle East.

The Middle East is the place where theocrats think they'll rule for time immemorial. They teach their children to hate Jews just 'cause they, Jews, want to live freely in the Middle East without being subject to torture chambers and rape rooms. We support Israel because they are a democracy that want to protect the right of a muslim who merely wants to walk down the street reading the Koran. Freedom, my friend. It's what's for dinner and I can smell something cooking.


The only campaign I ever worked on as Jerry Brown's in 1992. I knew then that Bill Clinton was a meely-mouthed piece o' shit.

I supported Bill Bradley and John McCain in 2000, so you can imagine my horror when Bush and Gore, the Annointed Ones, had actually been choen by the media.
I actually liked Al Gore until he ran for President and revealed himself to be a meely-mouthed piece o' shit. And I even liked John Kerry! Until he ran for President and became a meely-mouthed piece o' shit... But, I digress.


September 11, 2001. Remember that morning? 3,000 men, women and children on their way to do something for someone else and never got there 'cause daddies, mommies and kids had to die?

Do you remember how you knew how fucking fucked-up the Middle East was when those fucking theofucks gloriously killed thousands and themselves for their fucked-up fantasies of glory and killing?

You wonder if there's a national interest somewhere in all of this, do ya? If you don't consider the wanton death of bystanders to be evil then, I fear, you are lost in a search for a greyness that even the most jaded ethics professors would find repulsively alien.
If you don't consider Iraq, centrally located, to be a major strategic inroad to the reformation and modernizatoion of the entire Middle East, then you might as well say that you just don't understand the war on terror. .

Okay, enough tweaking. Time for bed.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:40 AM | Comments (0)

December 15, 2004

Rocketing around Erotica: A Fisking

Has a Munuvian ever fisked another Munuvian? I doubt it. It'd be kinda like a democracy battling another democracy. T'ain't never happened and t'ain't gonna happen, right?


Welcome to the future. Ted has posted a post of his post about:

25 Things Men Shouldn't Find Sexy, But Do

...and I'm just gonna suck on a cigarette and chime in and out with my own canardical observations.

Their primary purpose is to be straddled. Is it any wonder we want to be reincarnated as one?

Okay, I can see this one. But it's best fitted on a bike wherein you can choose just the right speed.
Cursing, crying, pulling hair, throwing drinks, abusing bathroom attendants and being convicted of assault: sexy. A mug shot with a tear-streaked face: even sexier.

Nah. Violent girls are even scarier than violent guys. At least guys tell you they're gonna hit you before they hit you.
Girl on girl violence is sexy? Don't get it.
"I think you said, 'Spank me hard.' Is this correct? To confirm, press 1 or say yes."

Y-y-y-ye-s-s-s! The mechanical geisha! "I think you said, 'I like to watch.' Is that correct?"
Ted, yer golden on that one.
Very serious matter, seven years of training, blah, blah, blah...We just want a set of those stirrup things. Think they can be rented for private parties?

Er... trying... Nope, not quite there. Maybe it's my aversion to the smell of a doctor's office. "Playing doctor" has always meant painful misguided needles to the bone t' me...
Because they say, "I really do not care." Just add vodka and Bon Jovi for a down-and-dirty good time.

Maybe it's just 'cuz o'my days as an early punk rocker, but leopard-skin went passe sometime in '78.

Now, mid-'80s printed pants... that's sexy!

6. OUR FRIENDS' MOMS They were hot when we were 13 and didn't know any better. Then we grew out of it - only to grow back into it. We were right the first time.
The older I/she get/s, the more I think I was right the second time.

But we'll always have Parents the First Time.

Look! Their nipples are almost touching! Damn those blouses!

Hmmm, never thought of that one before. I'll pay closer attention next time. ;)
Either lolling around in our shirts the morning after or doing the full drawn-on-mustache cigar-suit thing. It's like Groucho Marx with a vagina.

Walking around in our shirts the next morning is sexy. Drawn-on mustache is not sexy. I've never had a desiren to fuck Groucho Marx.
It was the most mind-blowingly erotic experience of our young lives. Now we have to buy $500 shoes for the pleasure. At least we're smart enough to ask for double knots.

Wowee, a winner! Just a kid watching and feeling the tugs as that pretty 20-yr-old older woman tied my laces was a thrill beyond belief! Luckily I wasn't old enough to accidentally let it show!
If we passed them on the street, we wouldn't look twice. But put them in a dark room and in charge of beer and suddenly we're babbling idiots. And not just because we're wasted out of our mind. Well, it's not totally because we're wasted out of our mind.

Yes! So many downright homely women that looked quite fetching behind the bar. It was never about beauty, it was about service. Service that includes beer. And harmless risgue banter. And tips. Crikey, what in the world are we describing....?!
Beneath the stern expression, starched shirt and firearm is the soft, yielding, lightly scented flesh of a woman. A woman who could shoot us if we looked at her the wrong way. Ideally, while we're handcuffed to the headboard.

I know what you mean, but, nope. The female oficrers I've had contact with all reminded me of that female drill sargeant I had briefly. Shemale to the bone. Female police officers have struck me as seeming to be looking for a fight.

Female officers: You may need to extra-specially establish dominance in a given situation due to your fairer countenance. We know that. But, geeze, can you not be such a bitch about it?!

Because their boobs get even bigger. And because they're broadcasting to the entire world that they just had sex.

Wow. Again, I never thought of it that way.

Maybe it's just my upbringing telling me that a mother is (paradixically) virginal.
Or maybe I just can't find a good reason to have a thing for women whose walking around carrying another man's son or daughter.

Nope. Pregnant women are the opposite of sexy. I think you're just being wierd on this one! :P

We come for the cleavage. We stay for the sex. We leave in shame - satiated shame.

I'll never understand "the booty call". I like a tight round butt. I like curvey firmly softness: a well-toned sponge.
FAT GIRLS? They were the ones who followed me around in school. They were good girls, and even cute sometimes. But, erm, I might've liked 'em better if they'd stopped following me around.
Especially when worn by Japanese girls. White socks optional. Pigtails essential. It's not a fetish if 100 percent of men like it - it's a law of nature.

Aah, highschool fantasies can yet come to life!

Remember your first love? How sweet and magical it seemed?

Funk that! Remember your first hard-on?! That's what school was all about, eh?!

If she lets a stuttering bunny take a crack at her, it means we might actually have a chance. But unfortunately, we're not a cartoon. Hear that, Lucy Van Pelt? There's no way that's our baby!

Sorry. Saw the movie and can't even meet ya halfway there. "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way". That line was just as drawn as she was. "Jessica"'s a 'toon and a 'toon will never be anything but a cartoonist's attempt to draw a woman.

Fun but dumb.

Yes, a monkey girl. Is that so wrong? Know what? Watch a female ape eat a banana and get back to us.

Her director told her that her role was to be "incredibly beautiful and incredibly stupid." No wonder we still love her!
Not that we need instruction, but the detailed language and explicit diagrams make us want to try it right now. (And don't think we won't.) They're also good for a little light bathroom reading.!
Particularly if they've belittled us in front of our friends, called us ugly and/or gay and are going out with much better-looking, manlier men than us. Those girls are as hot as our confidence is shattered.

Nope. Don't understand that bantar at all.....
She's like a female cop, but with an extra dash of fascism.

Never saw the show. Next!

Not the lingerie itself, but rather the notion that we might get a sales girl so wildly turned on by our blithely fingering the same undies she's wearing that she has to enact her fantasy of raunchy sex with a total stranger in the nearest dressing room. (Preferably, that stranger would be us.)

Okay, now you're just projecting.

Or not.

I wouldn't know... ;)

We hear that women who wear them also sport ultrasexy lingerie underneath, reserved for the eyes of their husbands. Now that's all we can think about. Allah, please forgive us! And angry husbands, don't stone us!

Again: I wouldn't know.
The pale parts look even more naked next to the tanned parts. This also works with sock marks and bra indentations.

Darn it. Gotta disagree again. Tan lines, to me, signal only otherly-indulgence; a world that I'm not a part of. Look the same all over and at least I know that I just might be the only one seeing everything!
You respect her. She respects you. Then you stare at her ass crack like it's the Grand Canyon.

To this day I'll never understand why women still bnd over when they oughtta just squat.

Because they're visible! And they're panties!

Yet another that I'm sure I don't get. I don't want women wearing panties! I want them nekkid! "Panty lines" are the opposite of what I want, and I find them to be tacky; carelessly unbeautiful.
Expert thighs clamped around hard, quivering muscle? Ass-whipping? Steamy snorting? Notorious for giving young women their first orgasms? Bareback and mounting? If that's not sublimated sex, then neither is Kathy Bates' nude hot-tub scene in About Schmidt.

Now there's something we can agree on!
Gals on horseback are as sexy as whipped cream and cherries... on horseback with gals.

That's all, folks. Except that there's more!

And as an added bonus, in the extended entry are Five Things We Should Find Sexy...But Don't.

The only thing she should be squirting is perfume. Or mace.

I've heard term term "female ejaculation" and still, for the life o' me, don't know what the $#%^@ it means.

One's an actual lesbian, and they don't even work it in? We wuz robbed!

Never saw the show.
Next thing you know, they'll be farting and stealing our Cheetos.

I kinda like women who aren't afraid to fart. I'd never wanna fuck one of 'em of course...
Cuddling is only hot when penetration is involved.

I have no farkin' idea of what "spooning" is. Dare I ask?

5. JULIA ROBERTS Unless you have a horse fetish.
Julia Roberts? Oh, she seemed pretty way back when. But I still have no clue about what she looks like from the neck down. There's probably a reason for that. She's an "act-tresss..."

Let's just agree (however painful it might be) to look at the women in Vogue and then to look at the women in Penthouse. They're different. The women in Penthouse have curves and boobs and butts!
Which mag would Julia Roberts most likely be featured in?!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:13 AM | Comments (4)

December 14, 2004

Blog News

I'm gonna do something I haven't done in a while: Actually link to stuff that I find elsewhere!

The Duchess has her new blog up and running and she's piiiiiissed. WARNING: The heretofore "asshatted" may just henceforth be shown to be utterly assmasked, if you catch my drift but hopefully not theirs. You have been warned.

Also, I won an award. YAY! Yep, the results of the 1st annual JenLars Windy Awards are in and I won Top Commenter. If yer a JenniFan, click the link. There just might be something there for you, too. ;)

FrankJ has stubbled upon a goldmine of comic brilliance: inviting readers to find reall headlines and supplying the gaglines a la Weekend Update.
Some of 'em are brilliant so check 'em out!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2004

Cellphone: The Black Hole Of Peripheral Awareness

I'm not long for this world.

Not because I'm beset with extraordinary trials, nor because I've lost any desire to see what in the world will happen next. I'm not long for this world because I walk a lot.

Walking is cool. It gets the heart pumping, the legs jamming, the beat bringing favorite old tunes to mind. But, when you have to cross a lot of street corners, walking can be hazardous to your health.

Once a week, for the past month, I've come this close to being slaughtered by a car or truck. Wha..?! No! Uh huh.

So, let me just say this in the most politically wrong terms that I must:

Hang up and drive!

I single out you ladies only because, in my experience, you're the only culprits. You watch for other cars, but not for pedestrians. I'm a pedestrian. Do not question me.

If you want to argue that men and women aren't any better or worse than the other at different tasks then we'll have no argument because I refuse to debate that point. I've seen enough.

I know that you think that talking on the phone is no different than talking to someone sitting next to you, but you're wrong. I'm not sure why, but I know you're wrong.

Okay, enough with the male/female dynamic. Let's just deal with the big picture, shall we?

People often like to protest that they'd oh so much prefer to talk face to face rather than on the phone. BULLSHIT. The telephone is more intimate and we all know it. I've said things to people on the telephone that I'd never have said to them face to face. The "lack of intimacy" of a voice vs face is a lie that we tell ourselves for who knows what reason. Maybe we're just dumb.

The telephone is the black hole of peripheral awareness. I learned this back in high school when my friend was on the phone with someone... who cares who. I tried to show him a drawing and he fidgetted and brushed me aside intent on preserving the integrity of the phone conversation.

Not long ago my friend Tex stood in my kitchen on his cellphone and practically goose-stepped around the room as he was talking on his cellphone. Try interupting someone who's on the phone and then tell me that it's the same as talking to someone standing beside you.

When you're talking to someone next to you you can still watch TV, work on whatever project you're working on and even monitor other conversations going on around you. But when you're on the phone you're doing only one thing: talking on the phone.

Like I said: I don't know why it's so different, but it is.

So, word to the wise: If you're driving and want to make or take a call: pull over. You think you can drive and talk on the phone at the same time, I know, I know. But, trust me, to do one effectively you're gonna have to do the other haphazardly.

Choose one or the other 'cause Hey, I'm walkin' here...!!!.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2004

Say It Ain't So, Bernie!

Welp, looks like 9-11 hero and Baghdad Police Department saviour Bernie Kerik has withdrawn his name from conderation to be the next Director of Homeland Security.

Bernard Kerik apologized to President Bush on Saturday after questions about the immigration status of a housekeeper-nanny he employed led the former New York City police commissioner to withdraw his nomination as homeland security chief.

Aah, remember Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood? They each had to be de-considered for Attorney General back in '92-'93 for the same reason. Then Hillary found Miss Janet Reno and at least we didn't have to worry about low-wage earning childcare specialists anymore.
"I owe the president an enormous amount of gratitude for this consideration. I owe him a great apology that this may have caused him and his administration a big distraction," Kerik said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from his home in Franklin Lakes, N.J.

Yep, sure do, Bernie. Remember when you were asked, prior to the public announcement of your nomination, if you had any skeletons in your closet? That was the time to chime in about the illegal alien you're harboring.
"I am convinced that, for personal reasons, moving forward would not be in the best interests of your administration, the Department of Homeland Security or the American people," Kerik said in a letter to Bush.

For personal reasons? What does that mean? Oh, right....:
While assembling paperwork for his Senate confirmation, Kerik said he uncovered questions about the immigration status of a housekeeper-nanny that he employed. As homeland security secretary, Kerik would oversee the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Oopsie! Kinda sucks when you gotta obey the rules that you're enforcing for others.
Hey, wasn't it the NYPD that announced a few years ago that it wasn't going to help to enforce federal immigration laws? I wonder what really inspired that policy?

I love ya, Bernie. You led the NYPD through 9-11 and it's aftermath and were the picture of strength and competence through it all. I give you three cheers and a huzzah for leading the rebuilding of the Baghdad police force. And when I first read that you were tapped to be the next Director of Homeland Security I'm sure I must grinned from ear to ear.

But, geeze! Did you simply forget about that lady who takes care of your kids all day, and why it is that you can skimp on her pay and her payroll taxes?

In the AP interview, Kerik said that on Wednesday he discovered financial records "that led me to question the tax filings regarding a housekeeper and nanny that was employed by me in my house, a very nice woman, a very good woman, someone who loves my children and they love her."

By Friday afternoon, Kerik said, "I came to realize that that there was not only a problem with the filings, there may have been a question with regard to her legal status in the country."

And not only is there a trail of crumbs leading from the kitchen to the kids' room, but the cookie jar may be a little light. But they're completely unrelated!

Well. they're obvious not unrelated because if they were you'd still be in the running for the post.

Democrats...were focusing on Kerik's recent financial windfall from exercising stock options in a stun gun company that does business with the Department of Homeland Security. He earned $6.2 million from the options received from Taser International.

You stuck to your guns. And those "Dems" were torquing me off, too. If you'd been running the Department of Homeland Security at the time then there'd be a conflict. But, sheesh, Taser International makes frickin' TasersTM. And who more than a former Chief of Police would see the company as a good investment.
As recently as midday Friday, the White House had defended Kerik against questions of conflict of interest involving his relationship with Taser. Now, Bush is turning his attention to finding a replacement.

As well he should. Busted.
Kerik's first anti-terrorism work was as a paid private security worker in Saudi Arabia. He joined the New York Police Department in 1986, first walking a beat in Times Square.

In 2003, he took on a temporary assignment in Iraq to help rebuild the country's police force. Most recently, he has been a consultant for Giuliani Partners, working to rebuild Baghdad's police force.

Great work, too. You're the top, Bernie, and what a shame this is. When it comes to law enforcement you're the bells of Saint Peter's in Rome and tissue paper on a comb. Just don't forget to obey the laws, too... all of 'em.

There's a lot of work yet to be done and we're gonna need you there. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)

Message for Freedom's Slave

Yo, Slave.

Send me an email! I lost all my emails and, therefore, email addresses six months ago when I had to reformat my harddrive. I know it's something like yourname@pillsburydoughboy.something but not sure exactly.

I also don't have your work and home numbers anymore. I don't know what happened to my list of numbers that I kept handy at work, but it's been missing for quite some time.

I have your home address now because I just got your Christmas card. The girls just get more and more beautiful, don't they?!
But I have no other way of contacting you, so email me!

Oh, and Happy Birthday! :)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2004

Week From Hell Finally Over!

I was able to finish all but one of the jobs that had been sitting around for up to a month because it took three weeks to get a new moisture form roller for the 1360. WOO HOO!!! Hopefilly the late nights at work are finally over for a while and I can get home at a reasonable hour and have time to actually blog.

Right now I'm... I'm just too... I think I'm gonna... zzzzzzzzzzzzz......

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2004

Michael and Me

[Sorry. Been working late all week because it took three frickin' weeks to get a new moisture form roller for the 1360 press. But here's a snapshot of banter between me and my moonbat friend Mike whom I love like a brother but sometimes.....>:]

Look at that. Re-dic-ulous!
That angel on that lampost...
What of it?
That's paid for for by our tax dollars.
What is this "our" stuff,?
Well... it's public property.
So it's an establishment of religion using public funds!
Well, it's an acknowledgement of religion...
You're not gonna go into that whole "free exercize clause" crap, are ya? 'Cuz this ain't free. This is bought and piad for by you and me.
What exactly is your problem with pretty Christmas decorations?
They offend me... as an athiest.
Why in the world do Christmas decorations offend you?
They're ramming Christianity down my frickin' throat here!
You seem to be ventilating just fine...
I should be able to walk down the dang street without being accosted by symbols of right wing fascist symbolism.
I think it's cute. The horn really makes it! Inspiring thing, i'n't it...?...
Well yer just a religious fanatic, aren't you?!
No, I'm an athiest who appreciates the value of faith.
Bah! Anyone who believes in God is an ass.
Well, what do you believe in, eh? Do you believe in good and evil?
I belive in the capability of man to do evil...
So, you believe in good and evil?
This is such black-and-white-world stuff. Life isn't black and white.
So what is it?
Gray, man. Real gray......
Sounds pretty dark gray from yer voice.
I just don't want this religious crap in my face, that's all.
Why not?
Because I don't believe in it! God! Can't I just be able to walk down the street without having other peoples' silly beliefs shoved in my face?!
No. Not in America. You're just gonna hafta deal with other peoples' beliefs if you want them to listen to yours, man.
But that crap offends me!
Because I'm an athiest!
Is today Wednesday?
Hey, Massino's Pizza has that buy-one-get-one-half-price special going!
We're so there!!!

[At least we seem to agree that sometimes it's best to leave an argument and keep your friend.] :)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:48 PM | Comments (1)

December 04, 2004

Bob Dylan on 60 Minutes

Tune in tomorrow night to see Dylan's first TV interview in 19 years -- according to this article. (I remember that, too! I think it was on ABC's 20/20, just after the release of the album Empire Burlesque.)

Here's a quote:

"I never wanted to be a prophet or a savior. Elvis maybe. I could see myself becoming him. But prophet? No."

He's using the term "prophet" loosely, of course, as in "social prophet".

And he mentions something that I've always found interesting about his early "protest" songs:

"My stuff -- (they) were songs, they weren't sermons. If you examine the songs I don't believe you're going to find anything in there that says that I'm a spokesman for anybody or anything really."

And there never was. Unlike say... George Harrison or Phil Ochs, Dylan never presented himself as an instructor, but as a storyteller. The message of the song was transmitted through the story, not with a preachy "shut up and listen while I tell ya what t' think...".

Well, there is an exception. It's on 1979's Slow Train Coming:

"When you gonna wake up?
When you gonna wake up?!
When you gonna wake up....
and strengthen the thiiiiiiings that remain?!!"

Back in high school I used to write socio-political lyrics in the most obvious and preachy terms. Hey, I was a punk rocker, and that's what we did.
Then that easy, angry style of writing was epitomized in the songs of a bands like The Circle Jerks and Black Flag. I heard them and I ha-a-a-a-a-ted them! (This was at the dawn of the early '80s "hardcore" era.)

I gave up on the future of punk and decided to look backwards, discovering, among others, Bob Dylan. The more I listened to Dylan the more I realized that I was doing it all wrong. Don't give a sermon, tell a story! It's much more effective, non-obnoxious and rewarding. DUH!!!

Anywho, tune into 60 Minutes Sunday night at 7pm EST to see an interview with the supreme prophet storyteller of the 20th century. He's pumping a memoir: Chronicles, Vol. I. Hopefully it'll be a more engaging read than Tarantula (1966).

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

Servant vs. Slave

Hey, anybody out there read Hebrew? 'Cuz I'd to know the difference between the words that are translated as "servant" and "slave" in the New Revised Standard Bible vs the New International Version.

F'rinstance: As noted in my previous post, in Genesis 24:35 the NIV has "manservants and maidservants" where the NRSB reads "male slaves and female slaves". What are the Hebrew words, and are they the same as the words in Exodus 20:17, the 10th commandment?

Also, what is the word in Job 1:3 and 1:8 that is translated in both Bibles as "servant"? That word refers both to Job's "servants" (same as the word for "slaves"?) and to Job himself as God's "servant" (different word in Hebrew?).

But, here's where the crow gets served to me on a cold plate:

Exodus 21:2
(NIV): "If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But, in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything."

(NRSB: "When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years, but in the seventh he shall go out a free person, without debt."

Question: Is the Hebrew word used here the same as one or both of the ezamples from Job 1:3 and 1:8 -- which was/were translated in the NRSB as "servant" each time, but as "slave" in this instance?

I've got more questions, but I think I can get answers to those by exploring the internet.

Now where's that leftover cranberry relish....


Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2004

Words Still Mean Things

So anyway, I was reading Mad Mikey the other day and happened upon his post about that California grade school principle who banned the Declaration Of Independence because it mentions a "Creator".

A commenter named "scroff" left, among other things, this brain dropping:

btw, according to the bible, it's ok to own slaves ;), even god handed out slaves as a reward...

"The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys."
Genesis 24:34[sic]

Posted by scroff at November 26, 2004 07:17 PM

So I grabbed my trusty Bible (which I keep handy for moments like this) and looked up the scripture. I then wrote in the comments:

Scroff, which translation is that from? The New International Version (most widely read after the King James Version) says it differently.

A servant of Abraham is sent to find a wife for his son Isaac. He tells Rebekah and Laban in Genesis 24:34-35:

34"So he said, 'I am Abraham's servant. 35The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, manservants and maidservants, and camels and donkeys.'"

These were not slaves in that they were not stolen from their families and forced into involuntary servitude.
They were assistants, maids, etc, who served the wealthy Abraham because it was a way of life that was better than scrounging for crumbs in a ditch somewhere.
They served willingly, and were free to leave at any time. It was a kind of patronage, not slavery.

Moses brought his people OUT of slavery, and Abraham did not then turn around enslave them.

Posted by Tuning Spork at November 28, 2004 02:22 PM

Scroff was kind enough to email me the source. "That would be the New Revised Standard Bible," he wrote.

So I googled it. Turns out that this is a version of the Bible "translated" by the National Council of Churches in Christ. Ever heard of them? No? Allow me to introduce them.

The National Council of Churches acts as if they're a communist sympathizing organization. I first heard of them during the Senate hearings concerning President Clinton pardoning of those FALN terrorists.
The FALN is/was a Puerto Rican "nationalist" Castro-backed communist insurgency group. The panal before that Senate committee (chaired by Sen. Orrin Hatch and co-chaired, I believe, by Sen. Dianne Feinstein) consisted of police officers and relatives who were direct victims or witnesses of the horror perpetrated by the FALN convicts.

But the last panalist was different. She was an Asian-American (judging from her speech she was definately native all-American) garbed a Catholic priest's robe and collar. "What denomination is SHE with?" I wondered.

She was a representative of the National Council of Churches, and defended the organizations efforts to secure pardons for Castro-backed killers who'd made no effort to apply for pardons on their own.

Many, at the time, thought that the pardons were a cynical attempt by President Clinton to try to garner Puerto Ricans' support for Hillary in the 2000 election. But I began to suspect that something else was going on.

Flash forward some number of months and we're dealing with the Elian Gonzales case: a Cuban boy whose mother died getting him to America.

Elian's father, Juan, is brought/sent to America to bring his son back to Cuba. Juan Gonzales's attorney is Clinton-friend Greg Craig. But how can Juan afford a high-powered attorney like Greg Craig, ye ask? Craig is being paid for by none other than *drumroll* the National Council of Churches.

Now, why in the world, you may well ask, would a "National Council of Churches in Christ" have ties with a religeon-banning statist tyrant commie like Uncle Fidel?
And, just as importantly, why on earth would a "National Council of Churches" want to write their own "new" "revised" "standard" version of the Bible?

Again, Scroff wrote:

btw, according to the bible, it's ok to own slaves ;), even god handed out slaves as a reward...
"The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys."
Genesis 24:34[sic]

If the National Council of Churches isn't a communist Castro-backed cabal of anti-religion statists who are attempting to poison the language of scripture in order to discredit it in a very long-term effort to undermine faith in any religion other than government, then why do they act like it?.

You think I'm nuts, eh? Maybe so, I wouldn't know. But I'm going to get to the bottom of this one way or another!

The King James and New International versions of the Bible were written by Hebrew scholars. This "New Revised Standard Bible" was written, I suggest for the sake of argument, by theophobes in priests' garb while dripping fraud onto the pages all the whilst trying to tell me that my grandmother's Bible says that Abraham owned slaves.

bbl. Pardon me while I go do some research into what else these woolen-clad wolverines might be trying to pull over us..... ;)

UPDATE: Oooookay, time to eat some crow. I'm gonna surf the web for a decent recipe, then post about how just a cursory perusal of the Old Testament (after decades of neglect) can reveal to me that you I don't know/recall a fraction of what I should about it.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2004

In A World Without 'B's

Welp, my hiatus is officially over. Unfortuanately, I got home from work at a quarter to 9. So, I read a little, made dinner (yummy), and tried to build a post on an idea that's been rackin' 'round my brain today.

I've been trying to turn this into a poem with, like, rhyme and meter and everything. But it ain't workin'. So I'll just post this as it is, more or less, in my notes right this now:

In A World Without Bs

In a world without Bs, if I may be so old, girlfriends would raid each others' hair, you would eat your eggs afore ya fried 'em, and kids would construct castles out of locks.

In a world without Bs, an eagle would be a kind of dog, and he would merely arf in the hallway after a disagreeable dish of Cycle.

In this world you would carry your lushing ride over the threshhold. And cheating on her would be a reach of faith.

The locals would line the pier fishing for freshwater ass as the flowers loom in the shadows. Some people would be itchy, but, luckily, that'd be only their concern.
Your employer would hand you a Christmas onus -- perhaps a pint of ooze -- and the roach on your wife's louse would be latantly obvious.

In a world without Bs others might rag on and on about their rats but that wouldn't compare to driving the car over the ridge. Or, to the doctor sending you the ill.

On the right side, cripples would have full-length races! And, this winter, at worst, you might get caught in a lizzard. (That doesn't even make sense nevermind.)

Of course, in a world without Bs, a logger could just go ahead and post silly entries at Lather Review without so much as linking.

Oy, oh, oy. Sorry, I'll stop now... :)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:44 PM | Comments (1)

December 01, 2004


MARE2 copy.JPG

Her name was Mary, but I always called her Mare. I never told her why, though.
I'm sure she just assumed it was a shortening of Mary, but, really, it was because I always thought she resembled a horse.

I never told her that because I was afraid that she'd take it as an insult even though she was beautiful.

It wasn't just her facial features or the nearly expressionless way she looked at what was all around her. It was her entire form that seemed to be full with an inner peace. It was the way she moved. And the way she stood still. With a grace and quiet that comes from a nearly equine-like strength and majesty.

And she needed every ounce of that strength.

She'd been in and out of hospitals and mental health clinics since she was a teenager. Medications helped to stave off the panic, alleviate that crippling worry, and to quiet the voices that scream at her telling her that she'll never be anything - including loved.

We met at college and have been friends ever since. Sometimes we'd go for several years without so much as a phone call between us. But, inevitably, one of us would call the other and we'd get together with some measure of frequency for a couple of years only to fall away from each other again.

We never actually "dated". But, back in college, we'd often wind up in bed together just to lie there in each others arms and relax. Maybe even, often, doze off.

One time she was laying on top of me. I thought she was asleep. She lifted her head, kissed me on the chin, and put her head back down on my chest. Neither one of us ever made a move on the other toward a sexual relationship. We were just very close friends.


Recently, my friend Sid and I went over to help her and her father move some plywood that her father had piled in their backyard. It had been sitting there for decades and he wanted to finally take it to the Asylum Street dump. Sid and I were in his pickup truck heading over to Mary and her dad's house when he asked me a question:

"What's sex?" he blurted as he turned onto I-95's exit 42 off-ramp.

"Well..." I began, shaking my warm Dunkin' Donuts coffee. "It's how we procreate." That was the easiest answer, though I knew that that's not what he was asking.

"No, besides that. I mean, is it for love? For fun? How do we know the difference?" he implored me to answer.
"Is it just whatever it seems to be at the time? If it's just for making babies then why do we fuck with condoms? But it can't be just for FUCKING, can it? It's gotta have a profound meaning other than making babies -- a spiritual meaning that isn't completely subjective -- that we're missing here. So, I mean... What's sex?"

"Well..." I muttered as I stared out the window at nothing. "Some people treat it as a cheap thrill, and others treat it as a sacrament. I don't know that there's a certain meaning to it beyond that which we believe it has."
Sid shook his head in disamy.

"No deeper meaning? I dunno," he exhaled as he turned to back into Mary's father's driveway. "Yeah, maybe it's all just an accident. But, there's gotta be an answer, I think."


Unfortunately, it was a very windy Saturday and moving large sheets of plywood through that windy yard was proving to be somewhat hazardous.
We talked about rescheduling the dump-run 'til the following weekend, but no one really wanted to. We'll just get this overwith while we're all here. It'll be fine, we all thought.

Sid grabbed one end, and I the other, of a sheet that probably measured 4' x 6'. Fighting to get it as level to the wind as possible to minimize it's effect on our maneuvering the sheet of wood, we turned toward Sid's pickup truck.

Then it happened. The wind had caught a sheet that was not laying flat in the truck's bed, and it send the sheet of wood flying directly toward Mary as she and her father were walking back toward the wood pile. It clocked her, edgewise, in the back of the head. She went down.

"Mare!" I shouted as Sid and I ran over to her with the plywood still in our hands.

Mary was on her hands and knees, staring straight ahead at nothing in particular and gasping for breath. Sid and I put the wood sheet on the truck and went back to Mary.

"Mare, talk to me," I said as I knealt down beside her and put my hand on her shoulder. "Are you all right?!"

She didn't answer me. She just looked straight ahead with her eyes wide and her mouth agape -- gasping for air with shallow, rapid breaths. She was shivering uncontrollably. She looked confused and frightened.

"Can you get her to the hospital, guys?" her father asked calmly.

Sid secured the wood in the truck with bungie chords as I helped Mary into the front seat. With her hands out in front of her (as if still hanging onto the grass in the yard) she climbed in. I sat beside her and put my arm around her. She turned to me and put her arms around me and leaned her chin into my shoulder. As if holding onto me for dear life, she sounded her staccato breaths in my ear as she shivered.

"It's okay, Mare. You're going to be fine," I said as I rubbed her back as if trying to keep her warm. Sid got in and drove us to the hospital.


"She's calmed down considerably," the doctor told us. "I gave her an elephant's dose of Motrin. We need to run some tests for concussion, but I'd like to ask her some questions first, and find out anything about what medications she might be currently taking. The thing is; she hasn't said a word yet."

"I'd like to try talking to her again," I said, and the doctor led me to the small room where Mary was being attended to.

She was lying on her back on an examination table when I walked in -- staring at the ceiling. I stood beside the table and looked down at her and she turned to face me and gave just the hint of a smile. I smiled right back at her, took her hand and asked, "How are you feeling?" She didn't answer.

I asked a few more inane questions. "How's your noggin?" "Are you worried?" "You don't have amnesia, do you?" She just looked up at me, smiling calmly, but giving no verbal response.

Then I said, "Well, is there anything you'd like to say?"

She moved her lips. I could hear her whispering something. I leaned in closer asking "What's that again...?"

Then I heard her. Into my ear she whispered, "I love you."

I snapped back up, held her hand tighter and said "I love you, too, Mare. I love you, too. The doctor wants to talk to you now. Will you talk to him?"
She smiled as she started to speak again, and I leaned in to hear.

"I love you" she repeated.

Okay. This was starting to feel like an Edgar Allen Poe poem. Only, instead of a raven who can say nothing but "nevermore", we've got a woman who can only repeat the words "I love you". I began to wonder about amnesia. Frankly, I was never sure if amnesia was real, or just something professional writers invented as a plot device. I tried to get an answer out of her that was something, anything, other than "I love you"

"Your first name is Mary. What is your last name?" I quizzed. She got a puzzled look on her face as she seemed to search for an answer.

"Ch--" she began, looking directly at me as for a sign that she was on the right track. "Ch--... Chain...".
Interesting response. Nope, Mary's last name is not Chain. She must have connected it to Mary because of the band Jesus And Mary Chain. I knew she was a fan of theirs. I asked her to try again.

"Ch--... Christmas..."
She pronounced it like "Tchrismas", not "Krismas". I said simply, "No, not TCHRISmas..."
I meant that it was neither Tchrismas nor Krismas (nor even Christmas), but apparantly she thought I was refering to her pronunciation as she focused on an alternate C sound:

"Srwiss Miss..." she said carefully. Yep, she went for the long S sound of the letter C and wound up remembering a popular brand of hot cocoa mix. I decided to ask a different question.

"What's MY name, Mare? Do you know who I am?"
She let out a chuckle as she took her hand from mine and pointed up at me.

"You're me!" she giggled.

Trying to wrap my head around that one, I wondered if she thought that I'd asked her for my name as a clue to hers, and that we had the same name.
"We don't have the same name," I said, but she just smiled and shrugged as if saying "So what?"

"Well, now," I said, taking her hand again. "How can I be you when, clearly, YOU'RE you and I'm ME?"
She looked at me with a seriousness to her smile as she squeezed my hand a little tighter.

"I love you," she replied.

I was almost certain by then that she wasn't talking about a platonic love. But, still, after 22 years of friendship I still wasn't ready to presume that she felt a romantic kind of love for me. Maybe I was just being stubborn, but I really resisted the conclusions I was coming to.

She began to speak in a whisper again, so I leaned in to hear. Into my ear she slowly and deliberately recited a poem:

"They race on and wrangle their way to the gate
but she'll allow only one, ever, to penetrate.
He, bursting, inside her, they tangle, unite
for only together can either survive."

She put her arms around me. After a moment I put mine around her and we stayed that way, in silence, for what must have been 3 or 4 minutes while I thought about what she'd just said.

"Of course," I thought. Sex is the desire to become One with the other. Not neccessarily just in the form of a different person, a child, but in the act itself. It's the macrocosm of the microcosm. It's the same event at both levels. It always felt that way, but I'd never thought of it that way. Even if it's done purely out of lust, that's still the motivation. A physical melding of two bodies for a desired melding of two spirits. It's so fucking simple!

I let go of Mary, smacked myself in the forehead, hard, and walked to the door of the examination room. I looked out at the doctor, Sid and a nurse. The three of them looked at me questioningly.

"Sid," I said. "I know the answer to your question."
I winked at them and closed the door.

Mare and I came together then. And at the time of our melding I held onto her for dear life; stared wide-eyed at nothing; gasped with shallow, rapid breaths, and; for a moment, I swear I could not remember my own name.

[This was a fictional representation of an actual relationship. Call it, erm... an allegory. Yeah, that'll do...! ;]

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:28 PM | Comments (9)
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