Last night I had what can only be described as a very catheteric experience. (I’m trying to use big words in this movie review post.)
On Netflix streaming (no less) I caught a little flick entitled God Bless America. For once Netflix was useful. Who knew?
Have you ever had something tap directly into your soul? That nakedly stark moment of reality, “Somebody out there knows exactly how I feel.” Watching this film was depressing, unique, euphoric, inspiring and so much more. I don’t typically go for fantasy but this was 100 minutes of sublime bliss.
THE FOLLOWING REVIEW (and the enclosed trailer video) HAS BEEN APPROVED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY BY THE LOTION BITCHER ASSOCIATION OF THE ABYSS, INC.
You have been warned.
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An entity that was/is/will be known as Wuleghu phased into what humans might call existence across the infinite reaches of the space time continuum.
Simultaneously, everywhere else, an incorporeal form comprised of pure energy and consciousness was doing exactly the same thing. This being was known by the name of Otomib.
Each was aware of the other. It was the now of The Meeting of the Universe. Although they existed across all space and time, for the purpose of limited understanding by primitive human brains, you can describe The Meeting as taking place in a construct known as a Control Room, if it brings you comfort to think of it so. A plaque on the door read, “Universe Control Room #2.”
Over a trillion Earth years ago, Wuleghu had created a mote of energy in preparation for the moment. That energy manifested itself in the form of an opening to a conversation.
“Good morning, Otomib.”
The construct of an Earth day is used here to help with understanding.
The Meeting had begun.
“How are you?” asked Wuleghu.
“Meh. I’ve been better.”
Wuleghu shrugged and somewhere by his big toe a black hole was created.
“We better get started,” it said. “Is The Report ready?”
Otomib nodded, causing a star to go supernova and spiral into Wuleghu’s black hole, and handed over The Report.
“Let’s get this business over with,” Wuleghu said as he began to read from The Report.
GALAXY: Milky Way
LOCATION: Third Orbital named “Earth”
GEOGRAPHY: Northern hemisphere, continent named “North America”
Wuleghu grunted in disgust. “Earth? Really?”
“It happens sometimes,” said Otomib, cleverly and knowingly employing a variation on a shit joke.
Wuleghu continued to read.
LIFE FORM DESIGNATION: Tom B. Taker
“Good God,” said Wuleghu. “What have we done to deserve this?”
“It comes with the job. It’s best to get this done then we can move on to something else.”
“Well, I’m skipping ahead to the summary.”
Subject is mostly harmless. Has been employed all of his life since age 16. Obeys the law. Arrests: 1. Convictions: 0. Does not dissemble on taxes. Ethical, moral, and tries to live by the Golden Rule. Does not cause pain.
Universe gifts bestowed: None.
Status: Low income, no access to health care, various ailments including destroyed spine, stabbing pain in heart, and psychosomatic vision problems. Null values in power, influence, and desirability schema.
Energy condition: Nominal but failing. Termination eminent.
Wuleghu tossed The Report aside. “That’s enough, dammit. I’m ready. You?”
“We now render The Recommendation.”
“Let’s do it.”
A knowing look was exchanged. They both nodded. An understanding was shared and grokked. Otomib took the report and, using a rubber stamp, embossed upon The Decision of The Meeting.
Freshly adorned with the text – MAINTAIN/NO CHANGE – Otomib shoved The Report down The Slot where it would wait for eternity to never be reviewed again.
Bonus image: Wanna feel small?
Shouts to the Alien Names generator for the proper names of the protagonists used in this post.
Since I usually try to go in a direction other than what is expected, take that road less traveled, today I thought I would do the opposite. Rather than go for the unusual I’m going to do exactly what everyone expected. And that is what’s so tricky about it. I just went another level deep into the metegame. Suckers!
This is my “N” post for the A-Z Blogging Challenge. That makes this sort of a Holy day here in the Abyss. Henceforth, April 16th shall be known as our only official holyday.
This post will fail. Miserably. But the beauty of negativity is that I’m allowed the freedom to explore that failure. My ninja negativity philosophy is simple:
Not only is failure an option, it is inevitable.
There’s such a negative connotation swirling around the word “failure,” yet so many try to convince us that failure is a stepping stone to success. Hell, sticky notes were initially an accident. The dude was trying to invent something else and failed! But that sort of turnout is like winning the lotto. It is the stuff of legend. It is something that just doesn’t happen to the rest of us.
Even as the self-appointed “guru” on the topic, I still have so much to learn about negativity. I utterly lack the ability to grasp the true meanings or communicate much about the subject to anyone else. Yet it is precisely those failures make me perfectly suited for the job.
Let us start by considering an expression like this: “We take responsibilities for our successes and attribute failures to external causes.” (Miller & Rose, 1975.)
It’s a nice insight into the foibles of the human condition, eh? But I maintain that the exact opposite is true. We actively cause our failures because that is what we are wired to do. It is, deep down inside, what we want. Any success is usually just shit ass luck, and probably a mistake. (Intended for someone else.) Sometimes good shit will happen, even to the worst of us. During those trying times we need to shake it off, realize that’s not who we are, and continue to move forward with our failures as best we can. With focus you can get over your successes.
Since I’m so lacking in the mysteries of negativity, I thought instead I’d merely share some tips with you today. The first one is a little something I’ve learned that can help make you appear more negative than you really are. Don’t worry. Your time will still come, but at least you can look the part while still on the journey.
The tip is this little phrase:
I can’t stand __________! That’s the one thing I fucking hate the most!
This little phrase works wonders and will help make you appear more negative than you really are. Here’s a couple examples:
“I can’t stand people who overfill their bowls at the Mongolian BBQ! That’s the one thing I fucking hate the most!”
“I can’t stand Pottery Barn catalogs in my mailbox. That’s the one thing I fucking hate the most!”
Of course, if you use this phrase too often, you might get called on it. That is what happened to me. “Gee, Tom. It seems like everything is the ‘one’ thing you hate the most. That can’t always be true, can it? Hahaha!”
Luckily I was able to weasel out of that observation with my negativity intact. I can’t explain how I did it, but it worked. I guess that’s where the guru kicks in.
There is one tactic that works out well simply due to basic human nature. It is the universal desire to say “hello” in the form of a question. For example, “How are you?”
In my experience no one really wants the answer to that question. “How am I? Do you really wanna know? I’m slowly dying, I’m miserable, a failure, and I’m pissed off about it. That is how I am doing. Aren’t you glad you asked.”
Some people who know me well simply say, “morning,” as a method of greeting. Note: The word “good” is not part of that greeting. Otherwise they get another earful along the lines of, “What the fuck is so good about it?”
Another fantastic phrase for maintaining your appearance of negativity is: “This is the worst day of my life.”
The quintessential example of this phrase comes from the movie Office Space:
Peter Gibbons: So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.
Dr. Swanson: What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Dr. Swanson: Wow, that’s messed up.
God, that movie is brilliant.
Use this phrase and use it often. When it comes to negativity you simply can’t go too far. There is no limit.
One last piece of advice before I close the broadcast for today. If you found the previous examples and tips too advanced, you’re in luck. I saved the best for last. Let’s call the closing of this post “Negativity for Beginners.” You are about to be rewarded for your perseverance. Only the few who read this whole steaming pile of poop will ever see this parting advice hidden at the bottom. It’s like fruit in a yogurt cup!
When all else fails (a joyous time), just remember to keep it simple. Stick to the basics and go with the time-honored classics. Rotate through these few phrases every chance you get and you’ll do just fine:
“We will fail.”
“This will never work.”
If you ever feel that negativity eludes you, just think back on your own personal life experiences for inspiration. If your life has been shitty, draw on that for the strength and power to go on. If you life has been great, remember that all good things must come to an end. Try to imagine how you will feel when everything invariably goes sideways. Remember, it is inevitable. That is your special place where you must go. Sadly, those of you with good lives will have the harder time getting there, but be strong. It can be done!
Time’s up. I gotta go. I’m about to subject myself to the worst thing that has ever happened to me and it’s going to suck. Bad. If I’m lucky, I won’t live through it, but the reality is the Universe won’t be satisfied with that, so I’ll be back here tomorrow. It’s time to go experience the worst day of my life. During which I will miserably fail.
This is my “N” post for the April 2011 “A to Z Blogging Challenge.”
Hello blankity-blank blank “add new post” function. You sure look blank.
How are you?
Me? Oh, I’m fine. Thanks for asking.
So yeah, here I am, about 22 hours behind on posting, and I got nothing. Nothing! Argh.
Oh, I got me some words. I always have lots of those. I just pumped out 1,000 of them into what might as well have been a bit bucket. They are words but they are not useable words.
It has been a rough week. I feel like death warmed over. Can’t sleep and can’t breathe. Try it, you’ll like it. I think you will find it to be an effective combination.
Hopefully my posts of late have made it clear how I feel. Bad. Dark. Grim. Negative.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel better. Oops. A hopeful thought.
In case you missed it, there was a wee bit o’ the snafu at this year’s Super Bowl. Yeah, something to cheer about!
First, how does a city get selected to host a Super Bowl?
Officially, there is a bidding process. Cities place bids and are evaluated on factors like “stadium renovation” and “the ability to host.” Traditionally cities must also currently be home to an NFL franchise. NFL owners then meet and make their selection.
Unofficially? Well, there is a lot of scrilla on the line. So there is probably a lot of “lobbying” involved. And by “lobbying” I mean, of course, bribes and prostitutes. (Coincidentally the name of my upcoming album.)
A prime consideration is no doubt seating capacity. The NFL wants lots of seats and lots of asses in those seats. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was especially excited by this:
I think we’ve got a good chance to break the record without counting anything outside. The stadium is certified for 111,700. When we built this stadium, I had in mind being able to reach those kinds of numbers.
–Jerry Jones, prior to Super Bowl XLV
Any crowd that consists of 11.2% of a million people is one I want to avoid. But suffice it to say that the ability to have seats is a prime factor of being selected as a host city.
The Cowboys did lead the NFL in the 2011 season with average attendance of 87,047 per game. But that’s a far cry from 111,700. How in the world would they get there?
Oooh, goodie! A ticket to the Super Bowl and it is in one of Jerry Jones’ temporary seats. What an exciting win-win!
As I live-blogged on Twitter prior to kick off on game day:
“Breaking news: Super Bowl overbooked. Not enough plastic lawn chairs for all fans. Some will be bumped to the next flight. #nfl #fail”
The Cowboys – and not the NFL as is traditional – hired contractors to install the temporary seats. The City of Arlington was faced with the responsibility of enforcing building codes to ensure public safety. And not just going along with what crybaby Jerry Jones wanted.
By game time the proper decision was made. Not all fans with tickets would be allowed into the game because the seating wasn’t ready.
The Super Bowl had been overbooked.
It has been reported that the NFL knew of the problem as early as December 2010 but didn’t take action. Tickets were still allowed to be sold based on the inflated seat count. Fans were kept uninformed. Fans who made travel plans and arrangements. Fans that spent money to be part of the “NFL experience.” Presumably, in order to get the full “NFL experience,” many of those fans must have resorted to beating their women, shooting up bars, and destroying hotel rooms. That’s probably the best way for average folks to the full NFL “experience.” That and a jail stay.
I listened carefully but I never heard one hint of the fiasco from FOX Sports, the broadcaster of Super Bowl XLV. Apparently they didn’t want to make waves with the NFL. Other news media didn’t hold back, though.
The NFL offered displaced fans a refund equal to three times the printed ticket price and the opportunity to watch the game on television with a seven-second broadcasting delay. Compensation offered to fans did not, however, include travel expenses.
The NFL claimed that 850 of 1,250 displaced fans were seated in comparable or better seats. But some in that group of 850 have disputed that claim.
I love the smell of negativity in the morning! Invigorating! Perhaps I’ll be feeling better soon after all!
How about you? Had you heard about the Super Bowl Seating Crisis or no?