Monthly Archives: March 2019

Greetings, dear reader.  Coming to you this evening via my new Acer Chromebook 15.  If I can’t write it on this thing, then it probably can’t be written.  Goddamn right.

The notification that the thing had been delivered was what woke me up this morning, and I’ll admit I spent almost all of today in this chair, noodling around with the new tech and getting things set up.  The computer works great, nice big screen, and better speaker placement than ASUS.

In a separate but related note, I’m trying to become if not proficient, at least functional in Notion, but it’s not going well.  Part of it is that Notion is, to me anyway, a very involved app as far as learning its “language” and setting it up to look and function just how you want it to, which is fine, but I’m not at all convinced that the app is necessary to my work flow.  Am I just burning a lot of time setting up an extra and unnecessary step?  I think at this point I need to commit and really sink my teeth into it, or abandon it totally.  Because what’s been happening is that I’ll spend an hour or two on it, learn a couple of rudimentary things, and then not touch it again for three months, forgetting anything I might have learned from before.  And that’s just dumb.

N.P.: “The Saint” – Orbital

I saw a headline recently that I misread to say that astronauts were getting herpes from extended space travel.  I had visions of these multi-month orgies going on up in the International Space Station, astronauts banging cosmonauts and taikonauts and whatever other species of nauts they have up there, then screaming back to earth with a raging case of the herp, all talking to each other and trying to settle on a plan to explain to the spouses and loved ones why there probably shouldn’t be any unprotected Welcome Back To Earth nookie just yet because, well…you;re never gonna believe this but…space gave me herpes.”

Alas, that;s  not what the article actually said.  It would have been so much better if it had, though.

Taking delivery of a new laptop tomorrow, finally.  I’ve been limping along on this busted-ass laptop for three or four months.  Looking forward to beating the hell out of a new machine for a while.

N.P.: “Lotion” – Greenskeepers

Today was mostly a sort of prep day for a five-day push on the book (and a couple of other projects on which I am behind schedule.  And apparently  the clock has gone crazy again…it’s telling me that it’s 21:37 with a completely straight face.  It must be true.  The first project that I’m behind on that I intend to catch up on is sleep, so I’m going to get to it.  A medically induced coma would be perfect right now.  Anybody with Propofol in-box me.

N.P.: “Soma” – The Smashing Pumpkins

If today were a movie, about two minutes would have been worth watching…the rest of it was crap.  Those two minutes, though…pretty decent.  Almost worth sitting through the rest of that nonsense.

N.P.: “Don’t Change” – INXS

There were two raccoons fucking next to the recycling bin when I took out the trash. But they weren’t fucking each other: they appeared to be tag-teaming a dead possum.  Or at least the possum appeared to be dead. He could have been acting. Playing possum is an especially appropriate behavior if one is a possum and one is being violated by multiple members of an entirely different species.
I wasn’t expecting them when I came around the corner, and they clearly weren’t expecting me.  But what I was expecting even less was their reaction to my sudden presence.  Rather than scamper away like a fuzzy little woodland creature should, these arrogant little bastards squared off, assume aggressive fight postures, and hissed contemptuously.
“You little fucker.” I actually spoke out loud, which, though totally natural and spontaneous when I did it, seemed like a strange thing to be doing, talking to a raccoon.  The larger one hissed again and took two quick steps toward me.  “How dare you!  I’m not gonna take any shit off of some goddamn raccoon in my own goddamn alley,” and I reflexively kicked the shit out of him.  The kick launched him solidly into the liquor store’s big blue dumpster.  He sat there, sort of stunned, and his little friend suddenly understood the gravity of the situation.  He knew better than to try to fight, but didn’t want to run away and abandon his postmortem-possum-poking partner, so he froze.
“My God.  How did it come to this, Mr. Raccoon?” Since I’d already spoken to him, I figured  what the hell, we might as well have a conversation. “How is it that you, a nocturnal garbage eater, possess the unmitigated gall, testicular wherewithal, and general chutzpah to get sassy with and show teeth to an apex predator?   I have to blame my fellow humans for being soft and falling for the cute masked bandit act and letting you get away with this nonsense.  I guess most people just run away when you hiss at them…”
The raccoon got to his paws unsteadily, his companion ran to him.  They cautiously started backing out of the alley.  I contemplated capturing them, putting them in them in a cage with a sign that says, “We violate the dead,” and leaving them in front of the liquor store to be shamed by the good people of Fecal Creek and their fellow raccoons.  But once they were halfway down the alley, they turned and ran.  I decided to let them go.
The moral of this story is to avoid messing with apex predators who are several times your size and I.Q.  And also stay the hell out of my alley when I’m taking out the trash.  And also  don’t violate the dead, whatever species you may be.  It will always be unseemly across the entirely of the animal kingdom.
“Lightning Man” – Nitzer Ebb

Dealing with rather a lot today, dearest reader.  Changing plans and altering timelines…good stuff, but a bit intense, and leaving me rather bereft of clever thought for you this evening.  Yesterday was good…must have been a recent record for word counts.  I was still going when I was falling asleep.  During the last half hour or so of consciousness, I was typing on my phone.  I’d start to type a sentence, fall asleep halfway through, wake up, re-read the first half I’d written, write the last half, then go back to sleep.  Then wake up, read that completed sentence, start another one, and fell asleep.  It was actually kind of cool.  I felt pretty good about being exhausted this morning.

N.P.: “Like a Virgin” – Motley Crue

So the President has been totally cleared of any collusion with Russia.  Several friends have pointed out with interest/disgust that much of the public and most of the media are not reacting to this good news as one might expect one to react, but rather, they are reacting with anger.  One might question the priorities at work here.  But I’m not going to discuss that.
Far and away, my biggest issue with all of this has nothing to do with the President, or Russia, or even the election.  My problem is with the American public.  Not you, of course, dear reader, if you happen to be a citizen of the U.S., I k ow your critical thinking skills are fine (you’re here reading this, aren’t you) but the rest of these  bastards…holy shit.  Okay, let me back up…this has been eating at me for years, so let’s catch you up.
In the aftermath of what for some of us was a very predictable election, a significant chunk of the electorate seemed to find themselves in shock.  It was a shock so profound as to demand things like denial and a sort of paranoia as coping mechanisms.  When allegations of direct interference by foreign powers in the elections began being bandied about, I assumed it was indeed “direct” interference…I was thinking that some Russian or Chinese hacker had accessed the electoral computers and altered the numbers, like added a “1” to the front, changing whichever candidates, 6 million votes to 16 million.  THAT would have been not only direct interference, but the sort of egregious direct interference that would have legitimately triggered alarm bells immediately after the election.
But that’s not what happened.  Not even close.  In the weeks the followed, it became clear that the nefarious and insidious “direct” interference was the suspicion that a non- American entity had created numerous fake ads and “news stories” on Facebook.   That’s it.  I was flabbergasted.  It’s been two years and I still don’t know where to start.  so in no particular order:
  • If you get your news or form your political opinions or really base anything at all on what you see in Facebook, you will absolutely get what you deserve.  Surely you must know that 100% of Facebook exists to sell advertising in one form or another.  By voluntarily filling in all the blanks it offers you about who you are, you are providing Facebook and it’s advertisers unbelievably precise and detailed information about who you are, your political and religious  beliefs, and your spending habits.  This information is invaluable to Facebook as it can now sell surgically targeted demographics lists. Knowing that, one should not be at all surprised when it seems like the advertisements you get on Facebook feel almost like they know you.  There is no almost about it…they do know you.  You’ve spent years telling them exactly who, where, what, and why you are.
  • Advertisements have always, always, always, on television and in print, long before the World Wide Web was conceived, been designed solely to manipulate people and their behavior and are therefore not to be trusted.  It does not matter who is paying for the advertising. Take any of the “legitimate,” American-based non-political ads that you see everyday: you you really think that Pepsi, Dodge, or AT&T have your best interests in mind?  Nope.  Your well being could not matter less to them: they are trying to get you to do or buy something.  Charities, no different: Sarah McLachlan with her late-night parade of abused and shivering dogs does not care about you.  They may not care about those dogs.  The purpose of that commercial is, like the ones from GMC or Hershey’s, to get you to send money.  The NFL, MLB, and NBA…all commercials.   You think you’re watching a game that somehow matters in the real world (it does not), but you are really voluntarily exposing yourself to several thousand  branded messages per hour.  All reality shows: commercials.  Glorified infomercials.   Some are more blatant than others, but still, all of them.  But anything you see on the website is going to be far more dangerous than anything on TV because it is so specifically targeted to you.
  • Due to the ad-funded nature of the web, the line between journalism/news and advertising get so perversely blurred 20 years ago, all news sites and stories need to viewed as gloried ad campaigns trying to yes, get your money but also often trying to get your vote through any means necessary.
  • Political ad campaigns are always abhorrent and it has long been common knowledge that candidates  and private organizations associated with those candidates run smear campaigns designed to play on the emotional s or feelings of voters rather than deal with objective facts. Why would we suddenly be upset if the party paying for the smear campaign is Russian? A critical thinker will discount all advertising and conduct their own research.
I could rail against this shit all night, but I don’t have all night. So I’ll cut to the business: you have a responsibility to yourself, your loved ones, and your bank account to develop rigorous and ruthless critical thinking skills.
If I had been super by such a clear and pimp attempt at manipulation, I wouldn’t go around telling anybody about it.  But apparently several million of my fellow Americans were so duped and their reaction was to be aggrieved and blame Russia and the President and anybody else who’s stand still long enough to get a target painted on them.
N.P.: “I’m Not Afraid” – Emigrate, Cardinal Copia

I got to go to a reading of my good friend Mark Steensland’s play “The Deception of Kathryn Vance” today.  Amazing.

I’ve known Mark since God was a boy, and he and his writing have been influential and inspirational to me.  We tend to do very different things, which may be why he is the only other writer I can hang out with.  His style (to me) a brilliant blend of Rod Serling and Clive Barker.  Mark’s got some plays making the rounds, some novels and collections on the shelves…I honestly can’t keep up with his published output, especially the last few years.  IF you able to pick up any of his stuff, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you do.

N.P.: “Burning Up” – Ladytron

So I was working on something to post here, but it’s not done yet and I don’t want to be premature, particularly with a subject such as this.  So I’m just saying hello tonight.
Hello tonight.
N.P.: “Thieves” – Ministry

I identify as a gay black woman who was born into the body of a straight white man who lives a lie for about 30 years and then begins to transition to his… sorry…her true best authentic self and through a series of surgeries and hormone therapies actually became a gay black woman but then about 10 years later almost spontaneously and suspiciously coincidentally was stricken with late onset vitiligo and spontaneous penis regrowth and an awfully painful sounding breast implant explosion and then decided aw to hell with it and surrendered to the overwhelming power of a cruel universe and set the intention to just live his life in quiet resignation as a heterosexual white male in a heterosexual white male body.
My preferred pronoun remains He.  With a capital fucking H.
N.P.: “On Earth” – Samael