Tuesday, May 22, 2001
It says something about Americans that falls are no longer the most common cause of accidents in the home; no, the most common household accident now results from... slicing bagels. Seriously. I'm not sure WHAT it says about Americans, though; I'm a two-bit philosopher, not a sociologist. Anyway.
I'm rather embarrassed to admit that tonight, I joined the ranks of people damaged in vicious bread-slicing incidents. It wasn't a bagel, though. It was a kaiser roll for my sandwich. Stopping paying attention for two seconds and dragged the bread knife across my left thumb and forefinger. Bread knives are serrated, and that hurts like a BITCH.
So I'm sitting in front of my computer, typing a little awkwardly, because I have bloody band-aids strapped to my thumb and forefinger. But at the same time, I'm proud of my little contribution to statistics.
We're not going to let those silly household falls beat OUR record!
Saturday, May 19, 2001
Geez, my third blog in two days. I must be insane.
Anyway, I just wanted to shamelessly plug a new BBS that I contribute to (and may eventually help moderate if the owner will let me, crazy cow that I am).
That BBS is Flammable, and it's devoted to calm and intelligent debate and discussion on pretty much any topic. The point being that neither badly mispelled drivel nor flaming is acceptable, and the moderators will be draconian on this point. Perhaps we ought to call it 'The Last Refuge Of The Web-Intelligent'.
I tend to write blog-like rants there and get disagreed with. Works for me!
Friday, May 18, 2001
Does everyone remember a few weeks ago, when I first documented the mental disorder known as 'Munchausen's Syndrome by Internet'? I find that I have recently disagnosed a second, related disorder, and I hereby document it here.
'Munchausen's Syndrome by Internet Proxy'.
While people who suffer from Munchausen's Syndrome by Internet often firmly believe in their own suffering/depression, those who suffer from Proxy are coldly, calmly deceiving the world to garner attention and, possibly, material gain. MSbI sufferers need never invent anything. MSbIP sufferers must invent everything.
People who suffer from MSbIP create and 'roleplay' a second, imaginary internet personality, which then suffers horribly to garner sympathy from deceived 'friends'. The proxy suffers from drug abuse, depression, crippling/life-threatening illness, self-mutilation, suicide attempts, abusive parents, abusive boyfriends, or just plain angst. Duped 'friends' then shower the proxy with advice and sympathy, fulfilling the actor's need for attention without the pesky need to do the actual suffering. Sometimes the imaginary proxy dies or kills itself to fulfill the creator's needs.
What's sad about this, of course, is that when a real person with Internet presence dies, people who might otherwise be sympathetic find themselves suspicious instead. MSbIP sufferers (and, by extension, MSbI sufferers), by playing on the sympathies of the unwary, are creating MORE pain for people who genuinely need sympathy and attention by denying them a large amount of that sympathy.
THIRTEEN LESSER-KNOWN ANIMATIONS THAT YOU REALLY OUGHT TO CHECK OUT
These range from 'everybody's heard of this' to 'what the hell?'. These are all animations (or contain animated segments) that I, personally, really really like. I can't say that they're all important, or even terribly GOOD, but they make for one heck of a strange filmography...
1). THE WALL, BY PINK FLOYD
Wednesday, May 16, 2001
I went to see The Mummy Returns a couple of days ago. While the movie itself was a perfectly enjoyable waste of two hours, it was the stupid little slide show that got me thinking. They mentioned, in passing, the movie Thirteen Days, about the Cuban Missile Crisis, a period in time that I'm quite glad I didn't have to live through. Anyway. What it reminded me of was a story of my mother's.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, my parents lived in Washington DC. And, as the crisis heated up, one night at about 2am my parents got this urge to get into the car and drive into town. At the White House, they encountered what is apparently a fairly common sight during times of national crisis: there was a ring of cars, driving ceaselessly and silently around and around the White House in the darkness, trying to let the President know that the people were with him. And my parents merged into the ring and drove around for half an hour or so, following the taillights in front of them; then went home and slept soundly for the first time in days.
Can you see people doing this for President George W. Bush, though? Neither can I. If they did circle the White House now, it would be less of a silent gesture of support and more of a pack of vultures circling a dying animal...
Friday, May 11, 2001
WARNING: DEAR GOD, THIS BLOG ATTEMPTS TO SOUND 'DEEP', AS IF I WAS SIXTEEN AND THOUGHT I WAS 'DIFFERENT'. FLEE THE FAUX-DEEPNESS WHILE YOU CAN. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. ANGST AHEAD, ONE HUNDRED FEET.
You know, I think it's highly ironic, really. I had the laser eye surgery done to eliminate my dependence on glasses. And now I find that I am dependent on TWO pairs of glasses instead of just one: I have to wear reading glasses for upclose work, AND sunglasses, because the laser eye surgery rendered me sensitive to bright light.
The other thing is much, much stranger. It used to be that, whenever I wanted to tune out the world (when I was reading, eating, drawing, sleeping), I would just take off my glasses. Then, isolated from the world by a gentle fuzzing of details, I could concentrate on the matter at hand without much distraction. My close vision was excellent without my glasses, and the rest of the world could just... fade away.
Tuesday, May 08, 2001
I never could use the stairs in the normal manner when I was a kid. When I had to go downstairs, I'd sit on the top step and slide bumpily down to the bottom. Usually yelling loudly all the way down so that I could hear my voice bounce whenever my butt hit another step. My mother probably got really, really tired of hearing this four-year-old's voice going 'WUH! WUH! WUH! WUH!' all the time.
When I had to go UPstairs, by contrast, I always did it on all fours. It's actually a lot easier to go upstairs like that, although it's pretty hard to maintain any dignity while doing so. You just lean forward and put your hands two or three steps up, and race up the stairs like a dog. Faster AND easier.
Of course, you only do this on your own private home stairs. There's always really scary stuff smeared all over public stairs, plus there's a good chance that someone might see you going upstairs on all fours, with your butt waving in the air. Remember what I said about 'dignity' earlier?
But, you know. Right now I'm living in a three-story townhouse (finished basement), so there are two sets of stairs living with me... and I still go up the stairs on all fours, at least when I'm not carrying anything. Forget bouncing downstairs on my butt, though. After about age fifteen, that hurts your back like hell.
Tuesday, May 01, 2001
I love Stephen King. Unrequitedly, of course. It's a one-sided love affair, and he hasn't the faintest idea it exists, unless he reads my blog. Which I doubt. But if he does, hi Steve, I'm terribly flattered, mind if I gaze at you slack-jawed for a few hours?
No, he's not the most talented writer on the face of the planet. Who is? But he does have immense talent (particularly for characterization), and an even larger grasp of craft. His works are eminently readable, enjoyable, genuinely creepy in many cases, and more or less deserving of the fame they've won. Which brings me, eventually, to my point.
I've never understood why people love to denigrate Stephen King's work so much. Well, actually, I do understand. He's so popular, so well-known, so widely read, so profilic, and so well-compensated for his work that a lot of people reject him just for his trendiness. You know, the same kind of people who automatically reject bands that have 'sold out' (signed an actual record deal) or stand around loudly complaining about how their particular fashion statement has 'just become trendy' and now all the 'brainless fashion slaves' are wearing it. I've noticed that a lot of the people who like to run down his stuff are failed or amateur writers, desperately trying to appear avant-garde by rejecting the mainstream. Hooray for them.
Listen carefully, boys and girls. I'll only say this once, and then I'll viciously deny I ever said it.
PEOPLE ARE NOT AS STUPID AS YOU THINK.
Actually, two caveats. Both are major.
I had a point somewhere.
Shut up about the reading public. We're a lot less sheeplike than obsessive TV viewers. (Wow, there's MY intellectual bias right there.) If a lot of readers like an author, well, it's partially because the publishing company put a lot of effort into getting them interested. That might work once, twice, a handful of times. But with Stephen King: if so many people go back for more so many times, there's something there that speaks to them. Maybe it's not 'art', that incredibly selective hussy who cultivates her mysterious demeanor and reveals her hidden meanings to only a select intellectual few. But it's good writing. In some cases (Wizard and Glass), it's great writing.
While I'm not going to stand on my soapbox and proclaim that every single work he's ever sneezed near is godly, I WILL say that most of them are impressively readable, many of them are very well-written, and a few of them are brilliant. So they're not immortal works of literature destined to echo through the halls of human consciousness until the end of time. Or are they?
After all, what is immortality other than having people remember your works after you're dead? Have you seen his sales figures? Can you imagine how many people have read his books? Eat your hearts out, intellectuals.
Because that sounds pretty fucking immortal to ME.