Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Hello, Okay? #2


Monday, February 21, 2005

Hello, Okay?


The greatest Message Board in the history of the Interweb, The Repubic of Palsidia, is back! You can join it, and then post messages, and await replies! It's fantastic!

The Republic of Palsidia

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Apple.

No matter what you're doing, nothing is worth the effort unless you are bringing it to its end in the process of enjoying it. For this, I will call myself an apple. In such a mundane image as the task of eating an apple you will find the same truth as in making love to your special somebody: you do it until it’s over, and then you haven’t got a lot of choice in the matter. You love with everything you have until you run out of it, and then it’s done. There is no more love here -- try the next castle.

Eventually even you will come to an end. You'll bite into your core, regardless of if you’ve been having a good time or not. Not everybody loves apples. You end -- so long. You take for granted that you won’t end today, but it’s going to happen eventually. Sometimes you will feel like it's fast approaching, because the weight of the world can be tremendous. Your life is impossible to comprehend.

Four minutes left to enjoy life -- hurry up or you’re going to die a failure. I can’t even finish this apple in four minutes; I’ll try, but that’s not enough. You’ve got to play to win. Nothing takes your place after this, so you have to do everything now that you were ever meant to. You finished too soon and it's your own damn fault. Four minutes to finish loving everyone and everything.

Three minutes left now. The universe is all out of whack and it may never right itself. You always took too much time in the bathroom -- think of the time you've wasted in the goddamn bathroom when you could have been living a fulfilling life! There’s nothing left now. Taking a shit isn’t going to cut it, at this point, it's all so unimportant.

Two minutes until you lose the greatest and only game of your life. Life is a game. Quit thinking about it and make something happen. You’re wasting time worrying about how many minutes you have left. Go, boy! Do it now.

You've only got a minute remaining. Grab on to something and tell it everything you know. Do it now.

Thirty seconds and counting. Don’t stop talking.

Five seconds.

Here we go, back inside and tucked away where nobody can see.

Three..

Two..

You've just wasted your entire life.

Monday, February 14, 2005

My Burning Hot V.D.

Really, when you look at the actual history of Valentine's Day, you really that Western civilization is ultimately doomed to stupidity.

Basically, it is named after St. Valentine, or at least one of the three men named St. Valentine.

The one that it is named after was a Catholic martyr. Ostensibly, he passed a friendly little goodbye note on the last day of his life to the jailer's daughter. He was being killed for refusing to give up Christianity. He signed the note "from your Valentine" because, you know, his name was Valentine. Had his name been, I don't know, Smedley, everyone would be seeking out their Smedley on this day.

However, this is something of an urban legend, albeit an old one, as even the Catholics acknowledge that February 14 was thought to be the day on which birds starting pairing off.

So, in essence, because birds have sex around the middle of February in some parts of world, and because, coincidentally, this happened to be St. Valentine's Day, we have this holiday celebrating the innocence of non-demoninational love.

How is this evidence that Western society will fall? Because of George Bush. Simple as that.

I kid. He is just a sympton - like a single herpes sore is not the entire infection. Yes, I liken him to a single herpes sore.

No, the evidence is that we get everything wrong. We forget why we do the things we do and then make up reasons to explain why we do them.

It is like the monkey and the firehose thing. If you get four monkeys and put them in a room, you can place a red button in the room. Everytime one of the monkeys presses the red button, you can blast them with water from a hose. Monkeys hate that. If you do this enough, the monkeys won't press thr red button.

Now, take one of the monkeys away and replace him with a new monkey. Should that monkey reach for the red button, the other three monkeys will freak out and stop him from pressing it. You can then continue to replace each of the original monkeys until you have four entirely different monkeys than the four you started with.

Whenever a new monkey is introduced, all the monkeys will freak out when it tries to push the red button even if none of them were ever blasted with water.

This is sort of how traditions develop in the real world, too. They were once things that existed for a perfectly good reason, but that reason is now lost to time. Sometimes they contradict the contemporary world but, because they are traditions, many people will not want to abandon them.

We are doomed because we, as a culture, forget why we do things but keep on doing them anyways ever when better ways of doing things come around.

For example, a better way to do Valentine's day would be to just be good to the people you love every day instead of being extranice to them on one day. Call me a lunatic.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Computer Science Magic

Would the world be any cooler if absolutely everybody was an enigma? If we hid absolutely everything from everyone then nobody would give a rat's ass about anybody else. It would be great because nobody would care to ask you what you were up to squatting behind the monkey bars at the school. Sometimes we might let a juicy detail slip just to fuck with somebody. Because if you knew nothing about nobody, then it would totally blow your mind for me to whisper in your ear, "I jerked off to Ariel in The Little Mermaid."

I'm a nut and if you tried to stop me I'd hit you in the nose with a water bottle. I don’t know what I’m doing, I guess. I should probably get on Amazon and buy a book on being cool. It's too late, though. I should have done that a long time ago. Now I’ll need a book on desperately hoping to retain an air of mystery. Nobody uses paper journals anymore because they don't come with comments pages. What's the point of having a thought if there's nobody around to validate it for you? What if it’s not good enough? I need to stop writing in fragments, or it won’t be good enough.

If all else fails I’ll just create a series of users like “christophrocks” and “ilovemcfloss” to post flattering comments about myself. When that time comes you’ll probably bring up how I flat-out told you in this entry that I would do that, but I’ll just deny it. Even when you present me with a link to this entry, I will blame it on the Blaster@Master computer virus. “It’s out to get me, The Christoph. Those damned Iraqis.”

At least I'm slightly less cynical than before. If there is one thing the Internet is responsible for that I can't claim to thoroughly love, it's the ability for everyone and their dog to bitch about everybody else's dogs. When exactly did cynicism become cool, anyhow? Who made that decision? I think we’re all to blame -- every last one of us. You’re desensitized and you’re not quite sure what to do with it. If you do know what to do, it probably isn’t the greatest thought you’ve ever had. There’s always another corner to careen around at a thousand light years per second. Some day you’re going to wonder why you didn’t just ask for directions. The look on your face at that moment, man. Beautiful.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

GIGO

I spent two days last week watching a bunch of different motivational speakers trying to convince my students that drugs are, in fact, bad.

Those are not the exact words they choose. Since they've apparently done some research into the matter, they've discovered that actually "drugs are bad" is ineffective. Instead, they use the phrase "make good choices."

As a result of this, the anti-drug speakers usually take the time to discuss how kids make all sorts of bad choices, like getting pregnant or burning houses down - both of which were discussed during this two days of drug free education/propaganda.

The arson thing was particularly cool. This college football player discussed how, as a kid, he made a "bad choice" and burned down a person's house. He was convicted of felony arson. He had a hard time finding a school that would let him play football when he got out of jail, but he finally did. Now, he has turned his life around by - ready? - not committing any more acts of arson.

See kids? Making a good choice is easy! If this guy can choose to hold back his urge to burn down houses, surely you can choose not to have sex unless God says it is ok.

We had an hour-long motivational talk on "garbage in, garbage out." During this one, the speaker explained how when you listen to Eminem or watch a movie with bad values, it changes the way you think and behave. Thus, if you would be careful to only listen to and watch nice, good things, you will never do a bad thing in your life, like swear or smoke ice.

Immediately after this, we had a speaker who explained that one good way to keep yourself from doing ice when you get the urge is to listen to an album you like or to watch a film you like. He said, "for example, if you like Eminem, you should listen to Eminem."

I was hoping that he and the previous motivational speaker would get into a fistfight, but apparently I was the only one who noticed that the programs were starting to send the kids mixed messages because the previous motivational speaker kept nodding in enthusiastic agreement. It was almost like watching stand up comedians supporting each other - like the guy was saying, "I don't agree with a word you are saying, but I will enthusiastically support your right to contradict everything I just said because you, like me, ended up as a motivational speaker."

We had a kid - probably about 20 - come in to speak to the students about the dangers of drunk driving. He had severe brain damage from - yes - drunk driving. Apparently, he had gotten really drunk and slammed into a tree while driving. He walked on crutches and spoke with a stutter. The problem was, when he spoke about his accident, for some reason, he kept talking about how much he had liked drinking and how great drinking was and how many beers he would drink and how much fun he would have when he was drunk. He concluded by talking about how some of his friends drank and drove as much as he did and had never gotten so much as a ticket.

I could see some of the kids in the audience thinking about this. One said to me afterwards, "Mr. Michaels, I figure he was probably 1 out 20 people in his group of friends who drank regularly, and he is the only one who this happened to. That means that there is really only a 5% chance that that will happen to me. I figure the odds are in my favor. So why shouldn't I drink and drive?"

All I could say was what I was taught which was, "drinking is bad."

"Oh, all right. In that case, I won't do it."

He rolled his eye and walked away, but at least if he does die in a car accident, I can say "I told him drinking was bad... and the whole school told him that good choices are better than bad choices."

We might not be saving any kids, but, damn, our asses are covered. Yes!

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

track headed home

note: any resemblance to any real life person or situation is purely confidential and for the purposes of this fiction only. Thank you.

-Sophie I.

---

I wonder what would have happened if I'd have made it on the train. I hesitated at the bottom of the escalator, caught my breath, wondered what car you were on. And in that second, the doors snapped shut. Next stop, Renfrew. The train whooshed by as I ran to the platform, dropped my book, bent to pick it up. You were in the very last car when I looked up, standing among empty seats. I knew you saw me and I knew you were hurt.

So yes, I wonder, what if I had made it onto the train looked for you at the next stop? Or going back further, what if I just hadn't lost my temper to start with?

But this isn't about that one decisive moment; this isn't the kind of story that will take you down the path of what could have been. Not every hesitation is meaningful. This is simply about what happened.

We were talking about how we're never going to grow up. Twenty-six is the new eighteen. I always liked to push your boundaries, so when I slapped you and you walked away, I though, "He'll come back." But you didn't, did you, and I followed too late.

I left the station and dug the last $1.59 from my pocket and I went to the McDonalds that we went to when we first met. Bought a coke. I wondered if you’d call me, if you'd burst through the door, if this was over. I wondered if it was simply hurt on your face as I saw you speed away on that track headed home. Or were you just pushing MY boundaries, wondering how much I really loved you?

I'll never know, I guess. We never talked. And two weeks from now I'll lay this letter on your freshly dug grave. Tonight I'll try to read it to you, but you won’t be listening, you won’t talk back. Hum of the breathing machine, eyes that will never open again.

You didn’t grow up, you were right. Unless you did, right before it happened. Tell me, did that stupid drunk motherfucker mature you? When he ran that red light, when he skidded on that ice, did he kill a boy or did he kill a man? Maybe I'll ask him what you looked like when the light went out of your eyes, and what you looked like seconds before. But nobody will ever know how you FELT. I hope you know now, wherever you are, that even through all the bullshit, I loved you. And I'm sorry.