At the Fashion Square Starbucks yesterday waiting for my soy hot chocolate, as I was busy checking out a hot chick who was waiting for her vanilla latte…I was approached by a 50 something gay man who proceeded with the dreaded intro “Do you mind if I ask you something?” At first I though I had been staring too obviously at the girl and he was going to call me out for it, but then I figured it was just going to be a typical homosexual proposition…of which I have received thousands in my short lifetime. To my surprise though, he pointed toward three middle aged, ordinary looking guys who were in line and busted out with his question, “So who do you think dresses those 3 guys?” I looked back at him with a lighthearted smile and shrugged “I don’t know..Walmart maybe?” To which he replied “I’m thinking Mesa.” As he was headed out the door we gave each other a wave goodbye, and I said “Take it easy, pal.” A cool dude, but at the same time I kinda felt bad for the three guys. They just didn’t care about fashion or Scottsdale style..so what? As I gave them a another look I noticed one of them had an “Oklahoma Sooners” sweatshirt. Sure enough. Of course! Indeed the mall was packed with people from Oklahoma and Connecticut in town for the Fiesta Bowl to watch and cheer on their respective teams.
The first thing the incident brought to mind was that this is my home. That I in fact, belong here and this guy singled me out as being one of his kind was his way of saying “You and me, this is our territory. Who the hell are these guys and what are they doing here?” He saw me as one of his own, a fashion conscious, mild mannered, style oriented person of the East Phoenix/Scottsdale persuasion. Some people might find that disgusting, and maybe I do on some level. But as someone who has been on the other end of the equation, the stranger from out of town who draws peculiar stares and prompts cliche “Rebel Without a Cause” or “The Wraith” type questions like “You ain’t from around here are you?”(you should have seen the looks that I got from people while wandering through the Pittsburgh bar scene a few years ago) it was nice to for once be one of the “us” and not “them.” And of course, deep down I am like that 50 something Scottsdale gay guy…judgmental about people’s styles and often superficially able to dismiss “folks” out of hand, embarrassed to be seen with people who are unattractive or wack…too busy to take the time to get entangled in people’s troubles and too laid back to care about them. Rightly or wrongly…I must admit those characteristics manifest themselves in my personality and have for as long as I can remember. They can be kept in check but not eliminated.
The second thing this incident made me think of was the 1987 Fiesta Bowl between Miami and Penn State, the most memorable college football game of my childhood and a classic battle between “good and evil.” I watched this game in my grandparents living room in Phoenix on the evening of January 2, 1987. It was actually played at Sun Devil stadium in Tempe. I wanted Penn State to win in the worst way, since they were the underdog. Miami was heavily favored, and I never really expected Penn State to win(how I was able to draw up scenarios in my head and attempt to predict the outcome of football games at that young of age is a mystery to me.)
In Chuck Klosterman’s book “Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs” he devotes a chapter to the 1980′s NBA rivalry between the “Lakers and Celtics” as being a microcosm for almost everything in life:
“As I have grown older, it’s become clear that the Lakers-Celtics rivalry represents absolutely everything: race, religion, politics, mathematics, the reason I’m still not married, the Challenger explosion, Man vs. Beast, and everything else. There is no relationship that isn’t a Lakers-Celtics relationship.”
Indeed, the same could be said of the 1987 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl(incidentally the first major bowl game ever to have a corporate sponsor in the title.) In fact, it was originally hyped as being good vs. evil before the game was even played. The slicked back hair of Miami coach Jimmy Johnson and his Heisman trophy quarterback Vinny Testaverde along with all the arrogant, suntanned, too cool for school, flashy Miami Hurricanes vs. old stalwart Joe Paterno and some blue collar, steeltown, god and country boys from Pennsylvania. The fast paced, showy, light up the scoreboard passing game of Miami vs the disciplined defense and fundamentals oriented Penn State. Looking back at that game, it’s clear that while Penn State may have won the battle..our side lost the war. Most of today’s sports teams resemble the Miami Hurricanes of 1987, and sports and society in general have long since adopted Miami’s as the dominant ethos. The steel mills and factories in Pittsburgh and all along the rust belt have all but disappeared now. College players skip their senior year to go pro for big bucks to spend on goods made in China and Japanese cars which they drive around with one the endless amount of trashy women they cheat on their spouses with. It’s difficult to reconcile the measured temperament and suit and tie demeanor of the 1987 Penn State Nittany Lions with the inarticulate, roided out, foul mouthed, gold toothed pimp athlete/monsters of today. Not only that, but nearly all college bowl games now have some sort of major corporate sponsorship. Heck, a crapload of the modern bowl games are straight up named for corporations: (Insight Bowl, Godaddy.com Bowl, The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl…no I’m not making these up.) In fact, my once favorite bowl game “The Citrus Bowl”(I thought it had a cool logo) is now called “The Capital One Bowl.” Sigh…named after a fucking credit card! Oh I forgot we import more of our fruits from Canada and Central America now while our main industries are finance, real estate, retail clothing and fast food. No more need for a citrus bowl! It’s obsolete. Maybe not quite yet, but soon….
“While growth in U.S. fruit exports has been strong, the United States has remained a net fruit importer. U.S. fruit imports grew during the last two decades and through the mid- to late-2000s, due in part to the growing minority ethnic populations in the United States and to an increased demand for new products. Not only have imports expanded for commodities already produced domestically, creating competition for U.S. producers, but imports have also increased for nontraditional fruits, especially many tropical fruits.”
Anyway enough about all that. One memory that stands out for me is that almost immediately after the game was over, they cut to local news which upset my uncle because they interrupted a shot of the cheerleaders. He actually got so angry that he called the television station to complain! To this day I’m still not sure whether he was joking or not, but I’m pretty sure that he wasn’t.
It ended up being the most watched college football game ever, and I will never forget it. The thing I always wonder though, is whether I grew up to be a Miami Hurricanes person. The 1987 Fiesta Bowl was a seesaw game that frequently plays out in my head as I make decisions. It was a close game. It is still a very close game.
“Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first” was a saying that my late grandfather frequently used, mainly to deflate the unrealistic, cartoon-like, magical balloons that would float out of the dreamy heads of his young children. Such a phrase comes to mind (or goes hand in hand if you prefer) when thinking about John Derbyshire’s terrific new(now a year old) book, “We Are Doomed, Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism.”
Like many other young contraricons, I first became acquainted with the writings of John Derbyshire sometime around 2002-2003 via Andrew Sullivan’s blog. Andrew Sullivan achieved fame as an HIV positive, gay, conservative (who is still to this day HIV positive and gay, but no longer seems reliably conservative.) Sullivan used to have a “John Derbyshire Award” on his site for “egregious and outlandish comments on gays, women and minorities.” This award ironically had the effect of propelling Derb further into the limelight… and I’ve often wondered just how many others discovered John Derbyshire through Sullivan’s cheapjack attacks on him and subsequently went on to admire Derb and ditch Sully. It’s really a testament to Derbyshire’s writing that he can emerge through the negatively tinted prism he’s almost always presented through and make you think “Gee, I actually think I like this guy more than I care for the people who are talking trash about him.”
I had the unique experience of reading “We Are Doomed” while recovering from scrotum surgery last year. I was high on vicodin and my wound was draining at the time, yet I found the book somewhat comforting. I’m not going to give a complete rehash of every chapter, but Derb’s basic premise is that the prospects for any kind of meaningful conservatism are bleak, and things will only get much worse in our lifetimes. The idea being that only through a stoic acceptance of this and other inescapable truths can conservatives begin to muster the intellectual honesty required to face the issues of our time(but we’re still likely to lose anyway.) Probably the standout chapter of the book is “Culture: Pooped Out” which chronicles the deterioration of pop culture in Western Civilization. As a prime example, he revisits the film “Saturday Night Fever” which he hails as “one of the dozen or so best movies of all time.”
His original review of the film can be found here.
Can we really have gone downhill from disco? Downhill? From disco? I would add something here about pop music, except that I haven’t voluntarily listened to any for a couple decades. The main story seems to be one of fragmentation. The last time I really paid much attention, there was rock, R&B, soft rock, folk, jazz, and lounge singers. Nowadays, well…What are “Techno,” “Electro,” “Chillout,” and “House”? What’s the difference between “Emo” and “Screamo”? I remember Reggae, but what’s “Ragga”? How do “Nu Metal,” “Black Metal,” “Alternative Metal,” and “Death Metal” differ? Does anybody know? Would having a degree in metallurgy help? Is this like having forty-five different kinds of breakfast cereal that all taste the same?
I can certainly identify with this. I haven’t watched much television since about the early 2000′s, and even then I restricted myself to reruns of shows like “M*A*S*H*”(which seemed to air at least 10 times a day.) My TV is not even rigged to be able to watch basic channels(rabbit ear antennas don’t even work anymore…it’s all digital now.) Occasionally I get roped into watching television for a few minutes at a friends house waiting for them to get ready…or at the insistence of someone that I’m dating(I sat through an entire season of Project Runway on Bravo with my ex-girlfriend.) To me, most modern tv shows resemble the television programs depicted in dystopian future films like “The Running Man.” Remember “Climbing for Dollars?” It doesn’t seem too far removed from programs like “Fear Factor” or UFC and MMA fighting. In any case, Derb’s “Downhill from Disco?” ponderings are similar to my own recent assertion that there’s nothing on tv today that even rises to the level of campy late 70′s shows like “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”(one of my favorites.) “The Rockford Files” and “Charlie’s Angels” are far superior than anything that’s on tv today…and these are the cheesy 70′s we’re talking about, which speaks nothing of even much greater shows of the 60′s like the highly imaginative “Twilight Zone” and “The Fugitive.” Indeed, one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, “The 7th is Made up of Phantoms” would cause an uproar if it aired in today’s world of pc revisionism.
As a response to this, critics I’m sure would predictably point to modern shows like “The Wire” or “Arrested Development” as examples of so called high quality contemporary television. Indeed, the “The American Conservative” mentioned “The Wire” in it’s mildly critical review of Derb’s book. I don’t think “The Wire” is such a great show personally. In fact I would go as far as to say that I hate it. It’s typically phony sense of social high mindedness along with the repackaging of long ago discredited ideas, and the fact that it features ebonics and other aspects of modern ghetto and political culture that I go through great pains to avoid in my daily life…all make it unwatchably depressing for me. In particular it brings back annoying memories of what it’s like to ride the city bus, or of when I had to take driver’s ed at an urban public high school. Steve Sailer wrote an excellent review of “The Wire” last year, titled “It’s SO Authentic!”. Indeed, the touted authentic situational subject matter itself is what makes these shows so horrible. Plots related to sexual harassment, school shootings, outsourcing all serve as a reminder of everything one doesn’t like about contemporary culture and society. So how can you enjoy shows that prominently feature those “realities” of today’s world that you would prefer to see rolled back, or at the very least might be content to ignore?… as they are presented as part of permanent everyday life and entertainment, no less.
Downhill from disco? Downhill from “Buck Rogers?” I thought all cultural change and technological advancement was supposed to be progress! The 12th frame of R Crumb’s “Short History of America” (where he poses the question ‘What Next!?”) comes to mind.
The only complaint I have over “We Are Doomed” is that at around 300 some odd pages…it almost seems too short. A book with such a foreboding title, could have easily contained twice that many pages and stretched into the size one of Ayn Rand’s epic volumes. I certainly would have kept reading.
So, out of nowhere a friend(Director Steven Christopher Wallace) showed up at my house randomly and wanted me to go with him to Venue of Scottsdale to see some “magic show” or something. He had an extra ticket, and it was free so I went. Turned out it was Andrew W.K. someone whom I had never heard of(I am out of the loop as far as modern music, I listen to as little of it as I can get away with) but is apparently super famous. It was billed somewhat outrageously as “The Most Interesting Show in the World” (which brought to mind some of Nietzsche’s presumptuous titles like “Why I am So Wise,””Why I Write Such Good Books” etc) but in actuality was only interesting in that there was free beer. Not to mention everyone knows the most interesting show in the world was The Twilight Zone. When we got there, there was an illusionist called “The Great Merlini” who was in an underwater tank supposedly holding his breath for 20 minutes. I don’t quite know how he did it exactly, but I’m guessing it wasn’t the old fashioned way. This episode was followed by Andrew WK and his band complete with skanky looking dancing girls. Andrew WK has one of those annoying Michigan accents, similar to ICP, or one of those WWF wrestlers. The show is tacky, but not good tacky like old Las Vegas style or 70′s game shows. It was very entertaining in spite of it being completely nuked. The real stars of the show were the dancers, who performed some fairly dangerous maneuvers without much clothing and probably for not much money.
The highlight of the evening for me was when we were walking up toward the Venue there was a guy outside talking on the phone, and he was like “yeah there’s a lot of hipsters here. I see a couple of them walking in now.” My friend turned to me and said “Ha! Isn’t it funny how dudes can be balding
and in their 30′s and still be considered hipster?” Yep.
The plane landed rather hard and kind of awkwardly swerved a few times on the runway. The pilot even joked about it over the loudspeaker “And after that crash landing… welcome to L.A!”
I caught a cab to Mark Schoenecker’s place on Sunset and LaCienega. It’s hard to believe he’s lived there 10 years, but swoosh! Just like that, there they went. I hopped the fence, and the first thing I noticed was that it’s not as sturdy as it used to be. The thing is held together by like twist ties now, and feels as though it could collapse at any moment while you’re climbing it. Old habits be damned, I’ve decided to use the gate code from now on.
When I got into his apartment, Mark wasn’t home… naturally. I attempted to play a 45 record, “Turn Down Day” by The Cyrkle. It played the song at a slightly slower speed, and then the record player died. Apparently the motor is bad but every three months or so you can turn it on, and it will manage to play half of a song. I had dinner at Poquito Mas(studio plate) and wandered around Sunset for a bit. Drank a tall can of Pabst blue ribbon and fell asleep in the mustard yellow living room chair, until Mark got home and woke me up.
Saturday was the party at VJA’s house in Malibu that I flew in for. I got to see some people I hadn’t seen in a long time. I met some new people I’m not likely to see for quite a while and wish I could see more of. Sitting on the deck, overlooking the beach I thought to myself “There are worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.” I love old friends. I never forget them, and the ones who never forget me are the ones I love the most.
Sunday, after riding around in their Volvo listening to “Sounds of the 70′s,” (whoa-ho it’s magic…you knowwww”) I had lunch at the Beverly Center with Greg and Mark. We talked about that rapper dude “Dolla” that got shot there, and Schoenecker floated some of his own theories about the unresolved death. We walked around Melrose for bit, went into some stores but didn’t buy anything. Sunday evening we were lucky enough to have dinner with Alex Berg at Cafe Med. She discussed her dating misadventures, and we listened attentively and occasionally chimed in with some bad advice or the sort of useless insight you’d expect out of the type of guy she’s probably never been involved with. She wanted us to go with her to The Darkroom, but Mark absolutely would not go. I really did actually want to go, but it just didn’t materialize.
Monday I met up with Kathy and we walked for a long time and then had brunch somewhere on Melrose before she drove me to the airport. I tried to wake Mark up to say goodbye, but he didn’t awaken. So I left him a note on his fridge that said something like “Thanks Mark! Be sure and go down on someone on my behalf love, b.a.” Knowing him that note will probably fossilize itself there for several years.
I can think of worse ways to spend a saturday afternoon…
Schoenecker casts his eyes upon the briny deep
“Dispersion” art exhibit at LAX by Meeson Pae Yang
Probably the closest I’ll ever get to experiencing space travel in my lifetime.
“The Longest Road is the Road to Redemption”, read the
caption of a car advertisement that caught my eye
as I was flipping through the pages of an airline magazine
while flying high at one of the low points in my life.
It really runs true.
Often times the road to redemption, with time and experience,
gets longer, lonelier, and more difficult to navigate
than it ever was in the beginning.
Like the cell of a little white lie that divides and multiplies,
the path back off the beaten,
leads to ever more and more complicated math.
While in the process of attempting to redeem yourself, you end up
creating seemingly even more reasons to redeem, as you make the next
mistakes in trying to redeem yourself for past mistakes, and must then
redeem yourself for failure to redeem yourself for failing to redeem
for trying and failing miserably in the first place!
Make no mistake, it’s
like a mechanic who breaks something while trying to fix
something that he broke while trying to fix something
and so on, the road goes on and on,
until it’s just a bridge too far and you feel like giving up
enough to make you dizzy, enough to make a man off and jump.
When you’re beyond redemption,
it seems the only redemption is beyond.
From a first kiss to a lost cause,
you find yourself trapped,
caught in your own private episode of the twilight zone.
The story of redemption is the story that always works,
but hardly ever does.
The road to my own redemption
for failures and past mistakes
is indeed a long one, so wish for me safety in this unpleasant journey.
The veracity of a tenacity,
an ability to stubbornly persist and foolishly proceed
in the face of futility, but really,
absolving myself of all the guilt of the self absorbing,
amidst the broken bits of machinery
behold, an eye still gleaming,
perhaps the only redeeming quality(if any).
Quite often times
people who say you’re really creepy
come to find themselves
cavorting with the real creeps
A lot of people find this blog while searching for the darndest things like “comeback if someone calls you creepy” or “fear of heights, ball tingle”(an actual phenomenon I am actually quite familiar with.) All right, I can’t do anything about ball tingle from fear of heights…as far as I know there is no cure for that except maybe castration which isn’t all that bad of an idea anyway.
However. i have been called creepy by my fair share of girls in my day, so if you want comebacks for when some unimaginative nervous nelly calls you creepy I will give them to you….
For one thing, you can tell her straight up that if she’s dumb enough to mistake your well intentioned originality for creepiness, it can only mean that she must completely lack any viable form of women’s intuition.
Or if you want to try another approach, which actually ties in with the first one somewhat: This is the technical response, but which I would prefer to call the “twilight zone” response…because if they have any brains it might make them think. It’s also the more honest and disarming answer as you actually have to be willing to acknowledge a bit of your creepiness. It basically goes something like this:
“Look, maybe you think I’m creepy, but that’s not as bad as actually being a creep. After all, I’m merely creepy, not really a true creep. Most of the girls who thought I was creepy ended up later getting involved with actual creeps. Because some guys don’t seem creepy…you never see it coming when you find out they are a creep because you won’t know until the dude’s already nailed you and turned you into an angro for life(angro is a term for an “angry bimbo” meaning a slutty girl that has become an angry slutty girl as a result of being jaded from their bad decision making and being bamboozled by worthless guys. You can spot angros at bars usually. They are slutty looking girls that have a chip on their shoulder and are often drunk and grouchy. They sometimes get thrown out while yelling about how men are assholes. They are still bimbos though.) How often do you hear about some guy that a girl thought was so great, and was allsurprised when he turned out to be a piece of shit? So next time you end up all distraught over your bedazzling nightmare scenario with some full blown creep, baby you’re gonna wish you were with someone as creepy as me.”
So the “Stuff White People Like,” Ikea throwpillow crowd and their new found multinational corporate allies, are all up in arms over the reactionary Arizona immigration bill, SB1070. They are appalled at the prospect that *gasp* the police can ask for your drivers license or ID when they pull you over. Wait don’t they already do that now? Next time I get stopped by a cop who asks to see my license, registration, and proof of insurance I’m going to go to the ACLU and ask why my rights are being violated. The new immigration law will lead to racial profiling, they say. Hellooo Mcfly, anybody home? There are zillions of people of Hispanic ancestry in Phoenix, and the police are not going to be messing with anyone who speaks fluent English and has an ID card just because they look brown. Sure, cops can be assholes…but most of them are already awash in “sensitivity training” and generally would prefer not to bother with anything that’s going to create annoying paperwork for them unless it’s for a valid reason. I mentioned a couple weeks ago, that we found a Mexican dude passed out in the bushes in our backyard. The guy spoke almost no English, had no identification, and was carrying in his possession nothing but a weed pipe and a pair of women’s underwear. And I’m pretty sure the cops let that guy go and even gave him a ride home. In the cases of some of the officers who were murdered by illegal aliens, the suspects had previously been arrested dozens of times. They should have been deported long before but were allowed to remain because federal authorities never bothered to do anything. Thus a state law was passed, which simply mirrors the already existing federal law.
Who doesn’t have an ID card anyway? How backward do you have to be to be a naturalized citizen of a country and not carry any ID whatsoever?….which leads us to the unintended victims of the Immigration bill:
That’s right, prehistoric cavemen living in the mountains of the Arizona desert, and misc backwoodsmen lurking about in the deep forests of Flagstaff.
The notion that if you’re opposed to illegal immigration and favor a pro-low immigration policy similar to(by today’s standards) the almost complete moratorium on immigration we had from 1924-1965(which ushered in the golden age of America 1945-1965) …the idea that that’s somehow racist is nothing but a red herring and the product of a generation which lacks critical thinking skills and can’t appreciate historical context of anything that happened prior to 1980. People who oppose illegal immigration are not racist and not anti-immigrant. We merely support a pro-low immigration policy. Mass immigration from specific countries leads to a sort of neo-segregation as it deprives people of the need to adapt to their new country, and so they form cities within cities. They often live in completely self segregated Spanish speaking neighborhoods and have their own separate newspapers and television stations. Even the fact that so many people self identify themselves as Hispanic or Mexican is in itself a form of racialism and proof that attempts to integrate them into our society have largely been a failure.
The reason why the racism charge is also B.S. is that it fails to take into account the fact that many Hispanics are opposed to illegal immigration and support the new law. When an initiative passed a few years ago making English the official language of the state, it’s worth noting (but rarely mentioned) that 50% of Hispanics voted for it! They don’t want to self identify with a specific race. I’m of mostly Scandinavian and German ancestry, but feel no allegiance toward those nations and do not partake in any ancient grievance mongering related to their historical conflicts. The mere mention of my ancestry is generally limited to the context of complaining about how my skin can’t handle being exposed to sunlight for more than a few minutes.
And what happened to localism? Why are liberals allying themselves with transnational big businesses like Walmart and Mcdonalds? Lately it seems the left are giving Mitt Romney a run for his money in terms of how much big business cock they can suck. Ah the times they are a changin’ again. Just because some CEOs are getting rich by selling out their culture and countrymen’s standard of living, doesn’t mean that it’s better for the community as a whole. Funny how you never see the people who profit off these folks living among them in the slummy environments that they’ve created. Sure, it all looks great now when you just cash your check from a gated community, but slowly(or perhaps rapidly) the demographics are changing and the children of these folks are coming of age and voting themselves into power. It’s not because conservatives oppose illegal immigration that Hispanics vote against them(okay so maybe it pushed it from like 70% to 80%). It’s because impoverished Hispanics simply vote overwhelmingly socialist and liberal as is evident in almost all of South America. Sure, so they are conservative a on a few religious issues like abortion. Great, so we’ll have a socialist espanol speaking suprawelfare state, but with abortion finally illegal, and a resurgence in usage of the term “Christmas Tree” (as opposed to the secular Holiday Tree”). No thanks, that’s a shitty tradeoff. Liberals and gays should also not dismiss the fact that illegal immigration is often counter-productive toward many of their political goals. Poor immigrants are generally religious, culturally conservative, traditionalist chauvinists who vote against gay rights and women’s rights.
Conservative libertarians should take note that the intention of having a “free-er” market may suicidally result in just the opposite. It’s worth mentioning that southern California was once a bastion of Goldwater conservatism. Now Los Angeles is heavily democratic, and Orange County barely leans moderate republican save a few pockets of resistance. Much of this can be traced to the changes in demographics in the region as opposed to the “changing of minds.” Thus ironically. libertarianism without borders actually leads to statism.
Here is a photo of Maryvale developer “John F Long” with Ronald Reagan in 1958, selling new homes to World War II veterans.
Now Maryvale is a third world scumtown. Gee, those World War II vets must have really made a mess of the place…or could there possibly have been another culprit in Maryvale’s demise? Hmmm…
There’s something else, too. Many of these southwestern states: California, Arizona and Nevada have severe water shortages on the horizon, and yet we’re being told we need to take in hundreds of thousands of new people every year. What sort of effect is this going to have on the price of utilities let alone the actual physical problems associated with these shortages? Is this cost factored into the equation of how much money we are supposedly saving with cheap labor? And what about the environment? Just how much sense does it make to import millions of impoverished people from rag-tag third world countries into a vast metropolis in the middle of the desert? Continued population growth in these places will lead to more land development, more urban sprawl, more crummy condos and ghetto apartments, more Walmarts and Food Citys, or to paraphrase Peter Cook as the devil in the film “Bedazzled” (1967 version)
“All right, you great git, you’ve asked for it. I’ll cover the world in Tastee-Freez and Wimpy Burgers. I’ll fill it with concrete runways, motorways, aircraft, television, automobiles, advertising, plastic flowers, frozen food and supersonic bangs. I’ll make it so noisy and disgusting that even you’ll be ashamed of yourself! No wonder you’ve so few friends; you’re unbelievable!”
When a civilization becomes highly advanced it begins to take polite society for granted, forgetting about the inevitably irrepressible monsters from the id, which still exist in all of us. And the Id of course, is the part of the psychic apparatus which impoverished people, including immigrants from third world countries, most often live by.
“The Romans conquered the barbarians—and the barbarians conquered Rome. Colonization of the mother countries by subject peoples is the last chapter in the history of empires—and the next chapter in the history of the West—that is now coming to a close. -Pat Buchanan, Paris Burning
When I was in about 5th grade I got really into Greek Mythology…so much so that I began to tell people it was my religion, and it became sort of a “problem.” This intense phase was brought on by 3 distinct things: the cool looking artwork in D’aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, fond memories of the original “Clash of the Titans” and a fascination with the Nintendo game “Kid Icarus.” But let all this talk of bizarre childhood obsessions stop there (for this entry anyway!) While I was going through my Greek myths era, my mother informed me of a book called “Chariots of the Gods” by Erich Von Daniken which claimed that ancient gods and goddesses were actually space aliens whose advanced technology was interpreted as supernatural power by primitive peoples. “This is heresy!” I thought to myself, and I remember actually not liking the idea of my gods not really being true gods, but merely creepy aliens.
Fast forward to a couple years ago, and as a dude who has seen a lot of Twilight Zone episodes, I began to get interested in the Ancient Astronaut Theory for all its imagination.So I finally picked up a copy of “Chariots of the Gods” to examine the “evidence” for myself.The crux of Von Daniken’s argument seems to be that many ancient civilizations had produced artifacts and monuments which were uniquely more advanced than the era from which they were were constructed, and therefore may have originated with the assistance of visitors from outer space. The obvious problem with this theory, is that in order for long-distance interplanetary space travel to occur, the aliens would have to be thousands if not millions of years more advanced than we are today. Thus, finding an artifact that appears a few hundred or thousand years ahead of it’s time in say 5000 BC, would not be sufficient. We would have to find artifacts that are well in advance of anything even in today’s current technology. Perhaps such objects do exist, and we are as yet still too dumb to recognize them (think of the monolith in 2001 A Space Odyssey.) But I doubt it. All of this would of course be highly insulting to the wisemen of the primitive civilizations who busted their (and their slaves’) asses to build and figure out these early breakthroughs in scientific achievement.
The book offers all sorts of other superficial and subjective “proof” such as ancient drawings which may or may not depict astronauts and vague biblical and mythological references to spacecrafts…all of which are obscure and open to interpretation. It’s somewhat telling when the most “compelling” evidence is all the least tangible stuff. To me, the only eerily curious thing in the book is how some ancient peoples seemed to have knowledge of how the Earth looked from an aerial view when no form of flight existed.
And here is where “Chariots of The Gods” finally shines. Whereas it flunks the evidence test badly, it does not fail to set the wheels of curiosity and imagination in motion. When Lowell claimed to have observed canals on Mars through his telescope (I have been to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff a few times now) he turned out to be completely wrong. But such claims sparked wild interest in Mars, and among those who became interested spawned many other theories about Mars, which led to their scientific investigation and subsequently a deeper understanding of the red planet.
Such is exactly what Von Daniken achieves with his imaginative pseudoscientific ramblings. Based on the scant evidence he provides, it’s highly unlikely that we’ve ever been visited by beings from other planets. But it begs a deeper question, which is this: If small insects and micro organisms have little or no capacity to comprehend the world of higher intelligence lifeforms like humans, then what advanced lifeforms and fantastic realities out there do we as humans lack the capacity to understand, with our relatively primitive minds?
In other words, ants are to humans as humans are to ?
One of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes is called “5 Characters in Search of an Exit,” which tells the story of a group of people trapped in a giant room. They don’t know how they got there, who they are, or even what they are. And they spend their time trying trying to find a way out, in order to understand what they are. I won’t give away the ending, but one of them manages to climb out at the end, and it’s revealed who and what they are. They are a microcosm for us though. Perhaps if someday we travel far enough into space, and climb high enough into scientific understanding we may find ourselves on the tip of the tiny spoon of some gargantuan creature the size of which is larger than anything we can fathom at the present time, with our universe being but a mere morsel. Until then, I shall remain skeptically curious.
And just who the F is Robert Sutherland Telfer you must be wondering? Robert Sutherland Telfer played Scott Erickson in the 1st season of “Saved By the Bell: The New Class.” He was supposed to play a sort of next generation “Zack Morris.” According to Dustin Diamond in his book “Behind the Bell,” RST apparently was removed from the show and promptly replaced when it was learned he was a “radical conservative” and his views were discovered by all on the set. I found it a bit hard to believe that he would have been removed for this reason given that Saved By The Bell producer Peter Engel served as a dean at Pat Robertson’s(of all people!) school, but perhaps these decisions were made at lower levels. Not to mention Hollywood people, probably Peter Engel included, are quick to dump anyone or sell them out at the first sign of controversy/confrontation. And this was NBC after all… So if anyone knows what happened to the evil right wing reincarnation of Zack Morris and what he is up to now, let me know. IMDB indicates he never worked in that town again.
The difference between Scottsdale girls and Tempe girls is that Scottsdale girls are interested in money, brand names and image. They tend not to give you the time of day unless you can fulfill their expectations in these areas, which is not to say that they have good taste as far as these things go(some “gaud awful” stuff appeals to them as money rarely equates to good taste… with the atrocious downtown Scottsdale condo architecture being a perfect example) Tempe girls usually come from traumatic backgrounds and are merely interested in love and attention. In a way they care about image too, but much less so and having what would be considered a quality image(stable job, grooming habits, cool clothes, reasonably intelligent etc) actually works against you. With Tempe girls, you basically can be some heavily tattooed doofus slob who just drunkenly stumbles into them and mumbles some shit…and odds are you can have your way with them for an evening or two(a long term Tempe relationship is like 2 months, average is a couple weeks.) This may seem like it would be more advantageous to go for Tempe girls, but it can be frustrating since if you’re a guy who does care even slightly about intellect, image, goals etc….these things will not benefit you in your pursuit of said girls, and you will likely frequently lose out on these girls to many drunken, ugly, listless, worthless, morons. You will short every circuit in your body trying to compute how it happened and what adaptations will be required for future attempts. Such thoughts are futile. If you want to score a make out sesh with a Tempe girl, just say “Hey, ladies… I’m a tattoo artist, my band’s playing at Yucca Tap Room, sometimes I bartend at the Rogue and oh I’ve got some pills.” It doesn’t even matter if none of these things are true as the relationship will likely be over before she finds out, and lying about it makes you into a scumbag which will push you even further into the demographic of the Tempe girl, thus opening up all sorts of new opportunities with her friends and acquaintances.