Saturday, June 22, 2013

Phyllis


The more you have, the more you want. The more you want, the more you'll do to get it. 

The wealthy maneuver in such icy circles of politeness.  

Daggers wrapped in lace.
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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ultimate Harelip


We are addicted to the macabre. Proportionally, more of us seek films, games, and stories about malady and mortality.  Post YouTube footage of a sunrise, and you'll get some views. Post a clip of a rugby player losing a knee, and it'll go viral.

This fascination with the gruesome has long been part of us. Like the inborn forces that compel my cat to revel in a struggling bug, there’s that part in many of us that wants―even needs, if only for a half second through slitted fingers―to see the world's largest testicle zit.

What is wrong with us?  Why do we rubberneck after the ice cream man collides with a dump truck?  How come Joseph Merrick was the headliner in the 1880s carnival circuit?  Was it his singing voice?  (Actually, I would’ve paid to see the Elephant Man as an opera lead.)  What makes people do online image searches like, "most squashed goop-filled horse eyeball ever"? 

Maybe we possess a touch of masochism that finds dark, tickly pleasure in a fleeting dose of unpleasantness, as when an already sore lip compels us to keep biting it. Perhaps it gives morbid comfort to witness a fate worse than our own.  Whatever the reason, we just can't look away.

If not the source, media has certainly encouraged and intensified our desire for dark spectacle. We have game shows themed around failing violently, endless news interviews with victims of every sort, videogames that assign victory to the one who perpetuates the most carnage... A parade of misfortune. 

First prize to the most grotesque!

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tater Tots

Potatoes.

Vegetable oil.

World domination.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Square Root of Pookey


Math cannot account for everything. Numbers certainly describe the physical universe in exponential detail, but they don't directly capture the aesthetic, spiritual essence of things.

So much of our personal experience has been quantified, though. Food as we calculate calories. Play as we accumulate points. Community as we collect online "friends." Thinking itself as we scribble in standardized-test ovals. 

The main influence is the pervasive computer technology that mediates our reality, technology that's numerical by definition. The more time we spend around machines, the more we act like them.

But enlightenment can't be counted. Solving for x won't explain the concept of honor. A barcode is incapable of translating the bitter disdain of a drunken midget at a tall party.  We need discourse to unlock quality, whether the subject is sports, cuisine, relationships,  education, or Pookey, whatever he is.

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