Thursday, July 28, 2011

You will take what I give you and like it!

So, Ive pickled my liver tonight with a bottle of Skyy and a jug-o-juice, and now its time for me to repeatedly bash my face against the keyboard in an attempt to meet my goal of posting every day.

Well, guess what? Im too full of fermented potatoey goodness to finish a serious article. And honestly, why would I try to write in this state anyway?

Oh well, shit sucks and then you live with it...or something like that.

I fully intend to go have another tasty beverage even though I must go to work tomorrow and it's past my bedtime. I dont care; I live my life against the grain.

I will do my best not to be an irresponsible asshole and post something worthwhile tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Randomizer

The Randomizer is another tasty morsel I've decided to roll around on my tongue to see if it turns out to have a bitter center, or a core of nougaty goodness. A bunch of quick-hit thoughts that occur to me and get jotted down with some smartass--and hopefully amusing--commentary.

Kit Fisto:  Adult Jedi Film Star?
Kit Fisto may be a Jedi, but with a name like that he needs to start doing porn. Seriously, wouldn’t you pay to see Kit flip those Cthulhu-beard dreadlocks back over his shoulder, fix the camera with his empty gaze, and then force-punch some tattooed crackwhore right in her quivering labia *whump-splurch*? I know I would.

Either that, or he should be a proctologist. Though, I imagine he would walk into a lot of recently vacated examination rooms.

Nurse: “OK Sir, please remove your pants and Dr. Fisto will be in to see­­—Sir? Sir?! Where are you going?!”

Left 4 Dead 2: Digital Crack Rocks.
I play a lot of L4D2 versus on the PC, and honestly, I can’t get enough of this game. It’s like the developers figured out a way to distill the most addictive parts of crack and heroin into a digital format and then have it pumped through my monitor directly into my eyeholes. I’ve got over 450 hours logged on this game, and it never gets boring. I seriously think the FDA needs to investigate.

Whole Grains: I Don’t Give A Shit.
When did everyone in the country get a hard-on for whole grains?

(If they were talking about Hole Grains, which is a term describing the striations along the inside walls of a vagina, I could understand. I mean, that always gives me a hard-on.)

I can watch a commercial, and if the product they're advertising is even remotely wheat related, guess what? They’re pimping the shit out of their whole grains. Cereal? Whole grains. Bread? Whole grains. Dog food? Whole mothafuckin grains. It’s to the point where I fully expect Everclear to start up its Whole Grain Alcohol ad campaign any day now.

Mike: “What are you drinking Bob?”

Bob: “Everclear.”

Mike: “Woah, isn’t that a bit unhealthy? It is 9 am after all.”

Bob: “No way. Everclear is made from 100% whole grain alcohol. Studies show that people who consume whole grains dramatically reduce their risk of heart disease. Just one eight ounce glass of Everclear gives me a full day’s supply of the whole grains my body needs to stay healthy.”

Mike: “Thanks for the tip, Bob. Well, looks like we better get back to work. That brain isn’t going to operate on itself!”

You know what, I’m a rebel. I don’t need that whole grain shit. You know why? Because I won’t conform to your imperialist nutritional agenda; I live my life against the grain.

Jim Butcher: New Dresden Book Out Today!
Aww yeah, $240 worth a puddin’. I plan on getting my geek on later this evening with my favorite wizard-detective. I foresee a new Book Think in the near future…

The Debt Ceiling: Seriously, WTF?
We are about a week away from default. The S&P has already stated that it will drop the US credit rating from AAA, where it has been since 1917, to...whatever is less than that (AA? AAA-?) on the Scale-O-Arbitrary Lettering that makes up the S&P's rating system if this happens.

Congress has been unable to resolve the issue.

This is mainly our fault for letting them get together in the first place. Bringing that many dense individuals into such close proximity has created a singularity, sucking them into a dimension where compromise involves putting your pants on your head and yelling, "do it our way or we'll fuck everybody!"

I happen to agree with the President on this one. Take a balanced approach. End the Bush tax cuts, cut some entitlements, the pendulum will swing in the other direction. Unfortunately, we cannot escape physics, and every time congress gets together it will all collapse into another sucking vortex of a black hole and nothing will get done.

I'm starting to think that Dan Simmons owns a time machine.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Think: Flashback

I have decided to try doing some book “reviews” here. I use the term “review” loosely as these posts will mainly deal with my thoughts and feelings about the book/author, and are more of an articulation of my state of mind rather than a breakdown of plot, style, or technique. Therefore, these "reviews" should be taken with a boulder-sized grain of sodium (try your local Costco!).

Flashback
By Dan Simmons

Oh, how I love me some Dan Simmons. The man is a badass author and a wonderful source of information on the craft of writing. If you haven’t been to his website and checked out the “Writing Well” essays there, I suggest you strap on your rocket-shoes, light the fuse, and go peruse the news straight from the muse. What have you got to lose? (Ok, I’m done now. But seriously, go check it out: http://www.dansimmons.com/writing_welll/archive/writing_index.htm, lots of scholarly goodness there.)

First things first, I really liked the novel. I wanted to love it, but there was one major element that prevented me from being able to give my heart, freshly excised and still beating, to the story.

The setting.

Well, not so much the setting as the explanation for the setting. Stay with me here…

Flashback is a dystopian novel set in an America ripped straight from one of Glenn Beck’s masturbatory fantasies. And therein, for me, lies the problem. You see, America isn’t all double-rainbows and LOLCats anymore. It’s a fucked up place where Islam is the dominant religion (the Qur’an is taught in public schools), Japan has “advisors” governing different areas of the country, Israel has been reduced to a radioactive slurry (mainly because the USA failed, or was unable, to act), the US army has been pimped out to fight for the highest bidder (this is the only steady source of income for the country and service is mandatory upon reaching the age of 17), and most major American cities resemble downtown Baghdad circa 2003.

The reason for the sorry state of the States? America has defaulted on its debt—which is kind of eerie considering the subject matter of the national dialogue right now—because, A) China, who owns most of our debt, collapsed into civil war and called in all of the outstanding loans, and B) Liberals!

Point B is what kept tripping me up throughout the book, and honestly, it probably had more to do with me than the story. It was like getting a piece of gristle stuck in my molars on the first bite of an otherwise delicious steak. It's only a small part, and if it had gone down with the rest of the medium-rare goodness I wouldn’t be complaining, but it didn’t. It got stuck there. And the fact that I was being distracted the entire time by that one annoying bit detracted from the whole experience.

There are two sections in the novel that go into detail explaining the reasons for the financial collapse. Both of them stress the American people’s dependence on entitlement programs (welfare, social security, unemployment, universal health care…) as the reason for the USA’s monetary bed-shitting. That coupled with a few other premises (border security, Islamaphobia, nuclear arms reduction, renewable energy…) made me feel like the book was saying to me, “See, see! Look what your bleeding-heart-liberal-agenda did to our great and powerful nation!”

All of the terrible shit that happened to America seems to be filtered through this lens of right wing, worse-case-scenario talking points, which is why I say it’s set in some sort of Glenn Beckian post-apocalyptic masturbatory fantasy. Not because I believe that Glen spanks it to visions of a country in ruins due to every paranoid racist thought that enters his brain, but because he would probably blow ten loads into the front of his Ronald Reagan Underoos at the thought of cavorting around such a landscape gleefully shouting “I told you so!”

I guess what I’m saying is, it bothered me that the circumstances surrounding America’s demise seemed like an affirmation of all the fire and brimstone, scare-the-shit-out-of-you, doomsday scenarios coming from ├╝ber-conservatives these days. Because, you know, fuck them*.

This is also why I say the problem isn’t with the book, it’s with me. It’s not the author’s fault that I can’t get off my ideological hobby horse long enough to let that shit go and love the story for the story. Noo. I have to get all butt-hurt because in this fictional world the people I disagree with were right all along. Ye gods, I am pathetic.

My own personal bullshit aside, Flashback is a really good read. Nestled within this wonderfully realized, third-world America is a well crafted mystery/thriller, with lots of intrigue, car chases, gunfights, double-crosses, and a pretty sweet ending-within-an-ending (of which I choose to believe the more tragic because, to me, it just felt more right).

I give Flashback by Dan Simmons three George Taylors and half a Statue of Liberty.


*Seriously, fuck em. Right in the ear.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What's in a name?

I laid in bed last night, thinking about this blog. It was out there. Where anyone could see it. Just lying there, sprawled in the effluvia of it's graceless exit from the interwomb, and I began to wonder what exactly I was trying to accomplish by creating it.

Was it some kind of monumental ego trip? Now, I'm no slouch when it comes to self-appreciation—I self-appreciate daily—but I certainly don't believe what I have to say is so entertaining that the world needs a special place they can check in and get the steady updates of smart/witty/funny wordmurder straight from my diseased, scrotum-shaped brain. Except, maybe I do.

I do know that I want to use this space as a big ass sandbox where I can build word-castles and frolic through the dunes, hunting sandsharks with my rabid pet panda, Pho Ming. I want to write ridiculous shit that makes me laugh, but I also want to say something more important than, “Fart, fart, ass, fart, pthbbbbbt!”

Aren't those worthwhile reasons to write a blog? It's not a totally ego driven endeavor, right?  Wrong. It's still just me self-appreciating all over the web; thinking my shit belongs out there, baking in the sun, for everyone to get a good whiff of so they can savor the complexity. “I do believe I'm picking up a hint of bourbon mixed with the delicate spice notes of a Taco Bell seven layer burrito.”

So, lying in bed, having determined that this is all one big masturbatory euphemism, I thought about article ideas. I realized I have no good ones. I shat myself.

I had no idea what I was going to write about, but as I stripped the sheets off the bed it came to me in a rush of inspiration(panic!). The beginning. I should start at the beginning! And what could be more beginning than the title? Besides, what the flying football does Latent Ambiguity mean anyway? I know what I wanted it to mean, but I admit to having thought of those two words while staring at a blank box demanding that I name my blog. I didn't know. What did I want to call it? The Limburger Chronicles? Nah, too cheesy. Ethereal Musings? Nuh-uh, not enough substance. The Gyno-Chair? Ehhhh, seems kinda cold and uninviting. Shitty Puns? Hey! That just might wor—no, no, its all shit. IT'S ALL SHIT!!

Then, in a moment of inspiration(panic!) a random word combination entered my mind and I jabbed at the keyboard with my thumbless mitts until I had titled my blog.

Latent Ambiguity. Sure, why not? It makes me think of chaos coated in a thin veneer of order. Like a patch of thin ice. Everything looks nice and solid, so you take a step, and now you're in over your head, thrashing around in the frozen dark. And there are things down there. And they have teeth.

Or, maybe its like some kind of social disorder. Thousands of people every year, stricken with Latent Ambiguity; never knowing when it will rear its sort-of-not-so-great-looking head. I think Schrodinger had it.

Schrodinger: “And so you see, we place the cat in the box and close the lid. We then pump a deadly neurotoxin into the box.” *presses button*

Observer: “So, you just killed a cat?”

Schrodinger: “Not exactly.”

Observer: “So it's still alive?”

Schrodinger: “Sort of.”

Observer: "Riiight."

Still, I had no idea. For all I knew I could have just named my blog after some kind of shitty homosexual vampire fan-fic. So, I Googled it. Turns out, my subconscious is a seriously boring motherfucker.

Here's the definition:
A latent ambiguity at first appears to be an unambiguous statement, but the ambiguity becomes apparent in the light of knowledge gained other than from the document.

Apparently, Latent Ambiguity is a legal term. More specifically, it's a legal term pertaining to contract law. Contract. Law. The most boring, sterile, and convoluted style of writing in existence. The one thing no one on the planet will voluntarily read, unless you pay them a metric fuck-ton of money, and I name my happy-go-lucky literary sandbox after it. Sheesh.

I would like to take this time to welcome all of the paralegals and contract lawyers who have found this blog. Tell your friends!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Naked, Blind, and Screaming, I Stand Before You

I have done it. I've joined the multitudes squawking into the Void. I have birthed myself, fetid and squirming, out of the mother-hole of the internet directly onto the blogosphere's crusty bosom. And like most horribly disfigured and genetically malformed newborns, this blog will probably end up in a dumpster with a plastic bag over its head.

Until then, I plan to scream into these cavernous depths; my throat raw and bleeding, the cords on my neck standing out, taut like high-tension cables, and my fists raised to a cold, uncaring, Godless sky.

So, lets get started, shall we?

I decided to write this blog out of some perverse need to continue to heap unwanted responsibility on myself. Also, I want to hone my writing skills. I've been told that as an amateur writer, its a good idea to have a blog because it provides you with a place to create your “platform”. I plan to construct mine from cynicism and disappointment since I have so much of it lying around.

Waste not, want not.

A second, more tangible, benefit to creating a blog is that people will have an opportunity to hear my voice—yes, I realize my voice is competing with every other nitwit adding to the cacophony of random shit on the net, but it's really the opportunity I'm stressing here—and that is the main reason I'm giving it a shot.

So here's the deal, I couldn't give two left handed reach-arounds about building a platform right now. What I am going to do, is throw out some different writing projects: short stories, game reviews, grocery lists, unintelligible gibberish masquerading as prose, and see what works, what I should improve on, and whether or not I can yell loud and long enough into the vast and terrifying bunghole of the internet for anyone to hear me.