Thoughts of the Month – September 2013

9/31/2013: I used to think that bottled water was for pompous jerks. Nowadays, I’m forced to calculate my ounce/cost ratio because Cokes don’t sustain life and tap water is fit to flush a toilet with. Standards seem to have dropped if my taste buds weren’t awakened in the last 5 years. The pair of us blow through a pack of 32 every week (5 bucks a package), so it’s a toss-up between bankruptcy and hauling 5 gallon tubs for dollar-refills at an HEB, which is still steep for someone else’s purified tap.

9/30/2013: To expound on time travel and dimensions as plot devices: they’re boring. They’re easy. It’s as entertaining as a “kill everything forever” button in a game and wielded just as lazily. By its very nature, these devices trump any narrative coherence by a simple and repeated explanation. “Oh, Time Travel did it. Think no further.” Unless used in comedic settings, these “twists” stoicly defeat their own logic and remain artistically bankrupt. And I hate those stupid self-assassination “twists”….

9/29/2013: After beating Bioshock Infinite (an acceptable experience), I’m now utterly convinced that plotlines centered on (not just including) parallel universes and time travel are flimsy constructs best excluded from serious discussion and on the cultural verge of defining a narrative cop-out. Intended as thought-shatteringly profound, this game fell prey to predictable circumstance punctuated by uneven FPS shooting, all hung on a gorgeous presentation. Quantum Mechanics is not sturdy as source material.

9/28/2013: A San Antonio “boardwalk” in my neighborhood violates not only the literal definition, but also contradicts quality entertainment if one is expecting something other than a defensive perimeter of Christmas-lighted taco trucks propping up a chain link barrier. (The haven is exceeded in popularity only by the flash mob that descends upon a local Whataburger on harvest moons.) Because the gypsy fortress squats on my front porch, I have proof that crowds attract though we might agree that lines are repulsive.

9/27/2013: Multi-ply toilet paper never increases the roll’s diameter, so I question my scrupulously extravagant options with ass-wiping expenditures when all products can be folded. Alas, crushed wood pulp is crushed wood pulp. Furthermore, I’ve never experienced anything close to (Aphrodite forbid) splinters or papercuts, so it’s evident that off-brands are the bagged cereal equivalent of quality bargains. Toilet paper barons must play a dull game of hair-splitting, since all rolls charge you 50 cents a pop.

9/26/2013: I’ve wired hundreds of bucks towards “borrowed privileges” in playing digital titles on Steam, and been denied self-sustaining rights for independent access, the standard for most other markets. So, what happens if Valve goes bankrupt? If a 3rd party doesn’t scoop up hosting rights, it’s been suggested that Steam could release the chokehold on authentication, allowing indiscriminate play with no multiplayer support. Barring that, us junkies might be cut off cold-turkey. [insert appropriate emoticon here]

9/25/2013: The Continental Congress declared its right to secede from Great Britain on moral/financial grounds, won a war, and became a nation. When the slave-driving South attempted to distance themselves from bagels and lobster tails, however, they lost both the Revolutionary War and the remaining control over “3/5 men” fractioned to better tend the lemonade fields…. or something. So the lesson is: There are no quiet secessions and countries’ hypocrisy know no bounds in justifying predication.

9/24/2013: In walking between rooms, I overheard snippets from the ridiculous resurrection of the headless horseman story (EVERYTHING can become a show)! In it, a reanimated Ichabod Crane is flabbergasted at the exhorbitant 10% tax imposed on his fast food, which -of course- sparked me to research why America declared independence from England in the first place. So…. did we ever resolve those “injustices” regarding tea, taxes, and representation? I sincerely hope so.

9/23/2013: Cool weather washed over San Antonio, prompting my bedroom windows to fly open to enjoy a lower bill. Unfortunately, this action leaves me at the mercy of whatever nocturnal audio feels compelled to waft into my sleeping ear: a chorus line of blenders filled with igneous rocks, a trumpeting elephant stampede, and (more commonly) rowdy neighbors hosting a shindig of shouting matches. Although the transition away from apartments reduced the offenses, you can never escape the noise.

9/22/2013: On TedTalks, I witnessed the most advanced (and promising) cooperative robots in existence. Reminding me of Buzzbots from Half Life 2 or the laser mapping drones in Prometheus, these little guys make up for size with mind-blowingly accurate flight patterns and meticulous teamwork, relying on each other to accomplish larger tasks. Modeled after ant behavior, “Quadrotors” are a frighteningly versatile solution to all manner of applications. The working models on YouTube are astonishing.

9/21/2013: I didn’t realize until like my 10th Atlus-developed game purchase, but the Shin Megami Tensei series is almost literally an adult-themed Pokemon. If Pikachu was deeply rooted in obscure multi-cultural mythology, required extortion seduction and intimidation to recruit her, if the Pokemon had [evil] personalities/tactics of their own, and were molecularly fused with your own freak menagerie to acquire over-powered abilities, you’d approach something in the realm of Strange Journey and Soul Hackers.

9/20/2013: Although I later heard it blaring on tv that same day, Sue got blank looks and “kind-spirited” teasing at the hands of friends whom scoffed her use of “comeuppance”. Language is oddly broad in that it oddly possesses an oddly specific phrasing for nearly all occasions. In lieu of dumbing your facade down, try raising the coherence level of society. Without purposeful circulation, speech would likely reduce to the commonly known 30% of the grand total. Universal solution? Word-of-the-wipe toilet paper.

9/19/2013: If it makes your day any more exciting, we do live in a “post-apocalypse”. Considering the mass extinctions Mother Earth endured in the throes of birthing us, it’s amazing anything exists after catastrophic events at the hands of asteroids and volcanoes that took potshots at genocide. During our Moon’s inception, even, the molten furnace we call “home” suffered at the impact of a stellar body, which bit off a chunk, spitting it into orbit around our planet (a whole 20x closer than it is now).

9/18/2013: I laugh at detractors of inter-racial marriages and the musty concept of “keeping bloodlines pure”. Some form of Eugenics might keep us fit and healthy through targeting faulty genetic links in the code, but bannermen of the “bloodlines” argument are dead-set on inbreeding us back to homo erectus. Generations later, the world is a trans-continental mix that still identifies by color: “dark-skinned hispanic” or “light african”. Just wait until our entire “human race” blends to the same color of brown.

9/17/2013: has an article titled Designer Abductions, an undeniably accurate portrayal of a service offered by “artist” Brock Enright. For the low, low cost of a couple Gs, you too can fill out a form revealing your biggest fears and be ambushed at an undisclosed time, kept in solitary confinement, or bound gagged and left on a rooftop. Are our modern lives so easy and devoid of natural violence that we must orchestrate our own fetishist sense of danger to feel alive? Pathetic.

9/16/2013: I’m sitting here totally engrossed with the anachronistic accomplishment of 14,000 year old Gobekli Tepe, the engineering marvel of the Khufu Pyramid, and the hundreds of sprawling Cappadocian cave-cities while simultaneously slogging through a barely-coherent phone call with the missing link whom took residence in good ol’ Georgia, USA. Expressed in half-uttered vernacular, this modern moron can’t spot the blue button on a stark white web page. “Oh wai. Der it eeyuz.” Took ten minutes to find.

9/15/2013: Search engines wield incredible powers over the dissemination of info and if they had their way, speeds and the scope at which individual websites are accessed would come pre-bought. Many consumers don’t acknowledge that a form of censorship pervades the query retrieval (I mean, the internet is totally transparent right?), but one has to question how free webwares like Facebook and Google are lucrative. Differing versions of Google even ban sites selectively based on the user’s nationality.

9/14/2013: So…. Robocop 2013. I see it’s a period piece from when Detroit was considered a functional city? If I didn’t realize how long production teams spent hammering out polished trailers, I’d say that the IP was resurrected in ill taste as it rides the coat-tails of financial disaster. I’m not a fan of nostalgic rehashes anyhoo so my Skeptical Sense is on full alert. I did enjoy the “emotional” conflict woven into his mechanical programming as depicted in the trailer. Might be too early to write this off.

9/13/2013: “We should be Putin Assad our differences.” -a punster via interwebz.

9/12/2013: Is it a cold day in hell when a homophobic ex-KGB presidential bully commands the moral highground over our condescending Commander In Chief? Comrade Putin would certainly antagonize us over any topic (we’re Cold War buddies afterall), but his New York Times article illuminates my favorite point: the US can’t afford to separate from the UN and paint targets on our backs. The military-based economy will suffer but I can’t stomach more blood shed in my name, or the reciprocation.

9/11/2013: If the goal was to bankrupt America, to mire its people with umitigatable fear, to hinder our self-policing infrastructure, to inspire the sacrifice of freedoms, to invoke a national witch-hunt and sow the seeds of mistrust in our officials, to divert our focus, to dig chasms between caste and class, to neuter our respectability, and to manipulate our anger to the point of provocation…. then I guess Terrorism, in fact, won the war 12 years ago. We’ve become what we claim to hate and must rethink our collective future.

9/10/2013: Communes and cults get a lot of flack (read as: they weird us the hell out) but I don’t derive issue with people consensually worshipping a ponytailed asshat as they dance naked in the moonlight and sacrifice chickens. A) Catholicism has men in white skirts on elevated podiums B) we’re all nude under these clothes C) someone has to sacrifice chickens or The Colonel would be flat broke. If the cult isn’t drinking poisonous koolaid I don’t see the harm, and even then I hesitate to make it my problem.

9/9/2013: It’s a fucked up world where the most relevant of tv’s diatribe is the psych-analysis fetched at the paws of Wilfred, a pot-smoking Australian man in a dog-suit. Seriously, Elijah Wood has starred in four things as far as I’m concerned: the Lord of the Rings 3-logy and this. The nauseating parallel of a canine’s attempts to artificially inseminate a human’s sister is but an example of this dark comedy, which routinely conveys morals and introspect through eerie, uncomfortable dementia.

9/8/2013: “A slight deformity” otherwise known as No Effin’ Feet! I’m repulsed by Fire Emblem: Awakening’s unintentional amputeeism. What might strike you as an orangutan clomping about in medieval armor, their legs clipping the geometry like a spirit passing unphased through our physical world, it is obviously the developers’ budgetary concern to fund grandiose cinematics and engrossing 3D that supercedes my expectations of unpruned limbs. Hooved ghost simians. Think about it.

9/7/2013: For the first time in history, I had a banana go putridly liquefied on my kitchen counter, torrents of greasy oil dripping across cabinets, sticky potassium-rich goo delaying my morning routine of: 1) wake up, 2) DON’T be horrified by a gelatinous mess, 3) go to work. All this after only three days! I chucked it and its firm siblings as offering to the invisible civilization living in my backyard wilderness, the fruit equivalent of prejudiced genocide. Those fraternal twins can rot together.

9/6/2013: “Thou shalt not kill”…. unless your Commanding Officer tells you to of course.

9/5/2013: Shaolin Monks are the most impressive humans on the planet. That is all. Nowhere have I seen bear-crawling down a mountain face-first and hanging by one’s own neck for two hours meander its way into someone’s daily routine. It’s shocking enough that sex is considered sinful, but they can throw needles through glass, break spears poised at their necks (without bleeding), and execute endless somersaults using only feet and the bit of bone you or I might use to cradle our brain. And speed….

9/4/2013: What IS originality? I’ve listened to an argument that Avatar is invalid as a movie because it is quote, “Space Pocahontas”. Personally, I actually feel it brought more to the table beyond Native Love: stunning CG, crazy multi-limbed creatures, and I just can’t recall the last time I heard the trope about NBA-styled anthropomorphic panthers vat-grown from our DNA. Actually, that statement reeks of Ferngully….

9/3/2013: Plagiarism is the highest form of flattery…. or was that Mimicry? My own topics are inevitably pulled from life experiences, interesting shit I stumbled across, or a repressed cultural memory, all redigested into a tasty morsel in the flavor of Mike. The same process that any of us learn anything. Ever. Unless you handle a thing with your own limbs without supervision or a preconceived notion of what to expect (and you survive), each bit of media/phrasing exists in your brain because someone put it there.

9/2/2013: In a world so adversely repulsed by straight-up stalking, celebrities encourage this damaged brand of perversion in the form of collecting Twitter followers. I’m privy to the “video game violence” explanation where an alternative can diminish the actual offense, but this degree of personal “communication” could swing the other way. Then again, this egocentric generation might actually be less likely to misappropriate the importance of (pffft!) another human being. I’m curious. Do we have less stalkers now?

9/1/2013: Six Flags is raising its rates when I was certain that attendance would skyrocket with the piss-poor performance of SA’s “other” park, Sea World. In the wake of a public pummeling at the mercy of the “Blackfish” film, revelations of a blacker, fishier side of animal confinement seemed a boon for Iron Rattlers and the Scooby-Doo crew. Regardless, $100 spent on a day of thrills is a much better return than the limited interactivity of an aquatic zoo. The ectoplasm of Astroworld’s ghost still lingers.

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