7:15 – Alarm goes off. Lie on sofa-cum-bed-cum-home while contemplating calling out of work with bad hangover or plague. Used both excuses this month. Get up.

7:25 – Shower. Sit under hot water while ruminating on the emergence of the white-collar wage slave as a new underclass. Brush teeth in the shower in an attempt to shave valuable seconds off morning routine.

7:40 – Out of shower too late. Scour room for correct black belt. Upon failure put on brown belt and wear glasses with unfashionably thin black rims in an attempt to make up for it. Curse my choice of lightly-stained shirt and third-wear pants out of single twitching eye.

7:43 – Miss L2 bus as I exit building.

7:45 – Stare at bus schedule pensively while deciding if the additional $.95 to take the metro is worth getting to work on time. Do this until the next bus in fact arrives. Congratulate myself on being so decisive.

8:30 – Work starts. Just now changing buses at Lafayette Square. Think bitchy comments about political elites on issues of the day I don’t understand. (Oil spill, financial services reform, Armenian genocide etc.) Hope no one sits next to me on the X2.

8:40 – Stew all the way through Chinatown about crushed hopes.

9:00 – Arrive 30 minutes late. Check e-mail, Facebook, news.

9:30 – Check work e-mail. Examine paperwork for jobsites I didn’t know existed.

9:32 – Close work e-mail.

9:40 – Leave to get coffee and bacon egg and cheese croissant.

10:10 – Return with coffee and bacon egg and cheese croissant. Uncap coffee and blow on it. Try to save portions of croissant to go with coffee. Fail.

10:35 – Take impudent phone call from person interested in free labor. Engage in second bitter anti-capitalist mindrant while explaining that twelve hour days, while economically desirable, contravene guidelines and goals of program, law, Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

11:00 – Tab between Facebook, gmail and YouTube as I stare into the distance. Imagine that I look very thoughtful, penetrating and majestic. Fantasize about leading potential future dictatorship with accompanying fashionable clothing paid for by other people. (Masses recently released from capitalist oppression?) Wonder if all Communist regimes must have the same color red. Prefer burnt orange. Unsure of the symbolism of burnt orange. Research.

11:40 – Begin processing paperwork from yesterday.

11:42 – Someone trips over dangerous extension cord hooking my computer up to inconveniently distant electrical outlet as the outlet under my desk continues to be mysteriously non-vital. (T+ 3 months, 1 week, 2 business days.) Dangerous extension cord finally breaks and is rendered unusable.

11:44 – Complain to superiors about dangerous extension cord and continuing outlet injustice.

11:50 – Accuse co-worker of stealing back-up extension cord. Co-worker uncomprehending and incredulous. Coded passive-aggressive conversation about missing cord, general job performance, life and family history. Resolve to satisfaction of neither.

12:00 – Look for new extension cord.

12:04 – Grow frustrated and steal extension cord from unoccupied computer.

12:24 – Unoccupied computer apparently not so unoccupied. Convince myself that I am a more important part of the organization. Play dumb.

12:30 – Restart paperwork.

12:35 – All paperwork done improperly. Return to original senders with questions. Confident this will be the last I hear of it.

1:00 – Seethe over Michael Lynche being voted off American Idol.

1:05 – Co-worker calls with work question. Spend 30 seconds on this. Spend subsequent conversation on injustice of Michael Lynche expulsion. Expound theory of ethnogeographic voting patterns preferring contestants from the rural Midwest and South living in economically depressed and racially homogenous areas. Complain about my hometown’s lack of spirit. (Think better re. economic depression and racial homogeneity.)

1:20 – Corrected paperwork returns. Horrified.

1:40 – Relief as corrected paperwork evinces further errors. Return to sender.

1:47 – Someone has come into the office and begins to sing in a suggestive fashion. Co-workers are applauding. Subsequently they begin a heated discussion about the taxation of prostitutes.

1:55 – Angry participant misdirected to my desk as a result of colleagues’ sex worker summit. She is seduced by obsequious apologies and officious civil-servanty manner into thinking the mistake was hers.

2:10 – Another call. Mother. Witness and reflect mutual anger about Michael Lynche. Offer unqualified legal opinions about defaulted mortgage.

2:43 – Get mother off the phone in time for kickoff of major soccer match.

3:03 – French team highly disappointing. Begin sorting backlog of other paperwork.

3:05 – Papercut requires immediate emergency medical attention.

3:10 – Convalesce. Write a blog post as part of healing.

3:13 – Abandon blog post. Begin desultory Gchat conversation with infrequently-seen friend. Conversation fails as weather, job and future plans occupies barely five minutes including typing time and friend does not watch American Idol. Fail to muster passion for philosophy, international relations and all other topics.

3:30 – Go for a walk.

4:00 – Missed three goals and a red card.

4:10 – Angry phone call about site visit. Say calm, reassuring things to complainant while I scribble increasingly vile profanities on my notepad. Caller placated by the time I reach the lower intestine.

4:30 – Frantic e-mail from superior regarding statistics for which no one has the necessary information. Write 300 words explaining this in lieu of “No.”

4:50 – Concerned about increasing backlog of work, initiate time and motion study of my working day. Determine that most productivity lost is a result of repetitive attempts to placate angry callers. Resolve to cease answering phone.

4:52 – Decide I am a servant of the people and time and motion studies are in any event part of the edifice of capitalist oppression leading to escalating white collar wage slavery.

5:15 – Inadvertantly stay past closing time, missing parade of punctually-departing employees past my desk. Angry at continued exploitation by bureaucratic capitalist superstructure, resolve to come in late tomorrow as a retaliatory gesture. Congratulate myself for being fearless standard-bearer of the revolutionary vanguard.

5:16 – Leave.

Lady Gaga: 1337 h4X0r

20 April 2010

We all know that Lady Gaga is talented, bizarre and beloved by homosexuals and my mother alike. But did you know that she was also a total video game nerd?

Check this from her new video with Beyonce, “Telephone”:

ph33r my paint sk1llz.

Astute video game connoisseurs will recognize tiberium as the sinister evil-inducing credit-creating seriously creepy element that drives the Command and Conquer franchise. My friend Rich thinks it was probably inserted by a rogue nerd, which is possible despite the arty faux-Tarantino feel of the video. But I prefer to think Lady Gaga, the Chad Ochocinco of music, enjoys a chance to sit at home and get her h4x on – and wants us all to know it.

UPDATE: From fat friend Rich:

meta-cyanide is a Dune reference. it was totally a rogue geek. she’s our age and dune is before our time

Maybe – but he knows it, so why shouldn’t Lady Gaga? I get the sense she might have had a lot of time to watch TV in high school.

Adult illiteracy.

Courtesy of the denizens of 12th and Franklin.

At least somebody’s got their eye on the ball.

A happy holiday to you and yours.

That’s right. Buses. Buses for sale. All kinds of buses. On the internet. You can buy a bus on the internet.

Now I don’t know about you. But I find it next to impossible to see a billboard reading “Busesforsale.com” and not go to it. So I did. To spare you, a screenshot:

You can buy school buses. You can buy transit buses. You can even buy Van Hool buses. I don’t know what a Van Hool bus is – but why wouldn’t I buy one? Maybe I’ve always wanted a Van Hool bus. Maybe that’s what been missing from my life and I’ve never known it. Busesforsale.com sure thinks so.

Actually they have Van Hool buses available started at $89,900. Which is quite reasonable. For a Van Hool.

Of course there is a little gainsayer inside me. “Why would you need a Van Hool bus?” it asks. “Wouldn’t you want to see the bus first? Wouldn’t you want to buy it from someone with a face and a name?”

The answer, naturally, is no. I find dealing with people firsthand detestable. Not to mention that I cannot imagine a bus salesman having a particularly commendable deportment.

But of course now I wonder. What else can I buy online? Snakes?

Too easy. Reptilesncritters.com lets me buy snakes, lizards, frogs, salamanders, and spiders online. And I’m talking some obscure shit. Albino banana Cal king snake? Check. Giant desert hairy scorpions? Check. Bumblebee poison arrow frog? Oh yeah. And they have a a very helpful FAQ section explaining what happens if a shipment arrives “DOA” and why it’s “very difficult, if not impossible, to sex baby reptiles or amphibians.”

That got me thinking. I do so much of my banking online: could I do my sperm banking too?

Why yes. Yes we can.

The California Cryobank is one of several American institutions that allows you to order sperm online from the comfort of your very own home. They walk you through the entire process from account creation through the “insemination countdown,” which sounds enjoyable. You can profile and select donors recruited from graduates of some of the country’s top universities. You can even comparison shop!

Too institutionalized for you? There are of course freelancers aplenty on the World Wide Web. They even include actor, musician and raconteur Vincent Gallo, otherwise famous for being fellated on camera by Chloe Sevigny in a movie everybody but the French hated. For $1,000,000 US, Gallo will “will supply sperm for as many attempts as it takes to complete a successful fertilization and successful delivery,” though he seems keen on a few, shall we say, racial restrictions. Of course one cannot be totally sure this is a good faith offer (and it certainly would require some offline preparations), but nothing else about the man’s web presence appears to be funny and the Internet, as we all know, is a deadly serious enterprise.

There are restrictions, of course. In the UK rules were introduced in 2006 to forbid “fresh sperm” sales and require six months of freezing prior to sale, largely in response to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State being bored at work. In the Netherlands sperm donation is no longer anonymous. But this is no real obstacle to my impulse buying as America has not yet fallen to European commufascism.

Every four year-old who watches GI Joe, of course, knows that freedom is not just the ability to create life. It’s the ability to destroy it. The internet will show me the way here, too.

This is the website of the Iranian Defense Industries Organization. On this website you can register and place orders. What kind of orders? Oh. Well. How about a Taftan Mine Cleaner? But you’ll need to protect it. We have T-72S main battle tanks for that. You’re going to want to clear the area first, so a RAAD-2 155mm self-propelled artillery piece is in order, as are some nuclear-biological-chemical protective gear and a patrol boat for water transport. Missiles optional.

In case you’re wondering, they do accept Visa.

But what will I do with all of this? I’ll tell you. I have to because that’s how movies work.

Not necessarily representative

I am going to splice the sperm of our nation’s best and brightest with the poison arrow frogs. I will create a super-race of poisonous, super-intelligent frog people capable of jumping twenty feet in the air, living off flies, doing long division and loving me just the way I am. Of course the government will try to stop me, but with the help of my super-soldiers/new best friends and the finest munitions Islamic theocracy has to offer, I will fight them off – and eventually, take over the world.

And then?

Then I’m going to buy a specially-modified Van Hool bus. My frogpeople and I will start a family band. We’ll do covers of Journey and Raffi’s greatest hits. Everyone will have to watch us. It’ll be awesome.

And I will live happily ever after. On the Internet.

Et'whoa

This weekend the tiny (tiny?  I don’t really have much point of reference) African nation of Cameroon completed its World Cup qualifying run, thanks in large part to the efforts of world-class player Samuel Eto’o.  But the team-spirited Eto’o didn’t want his team to feel overshadowed.  So he bought them watches.

$50,000 watches.

From his own line of specialty watches.

I think the world here is – baller.

Microsoft blows hard

1 October 2009

My friend Amy sent me an article by the indefatigable Charlie Brooker today.  To be honest, I’m not sure what it is he does, other than that I’d rather like it, thanks.

The topic of his opprobrium this week were Apple users and their pathological, borderline sexual relationship with their computers, contrasted with the hateful battered-wife feeling anyone with Windows Vista (or XP or that giant chocolatey fudge dragon ME) knows all too well.  While bemoaning the constant evangelism of Apple users he does point out that, for better or worse, they do honestly believe.  Microsoft has been forced to resort to a series of propaganda videos in an attempt to promote their new OS, the cryptofascistically-named Windows 7.

(As an aside, maybe the problem is that Windows keeps trying all these crappy names.  I don’t know who would want anything called XP, much less 7.  I think they’re trying to subliminally appeal to Star Trek fans.)

Microsoft: resistance is futile

Microsoft: resistance is futile

Nerditry aside, upon reading Brooker I actually tried to watch the Windows 7 video he talked about. It depicts a group of people – a group Microsoft unsubtly suggests you should emulate – throwing a party.  But it’s not just any house party.  It’s a Windows 7 launch party.  In it, explained the bespectacled hipster, you and your friends who have the opportunity to get together and try out all the new features of the Windows 7 OS in a safe, fun and it’s implied consequence-free environment.  And they were here to help.

I got about a minute in.  It was insufferable.  It was awful.  If the Apple people are the kids who always got the Tamogatchi or Airwalks or Nintendo DS before you did, then this Microsoft ad featured your parents, six months later, ostentatiously showing off whatever bauble it was that vaguely tingles your memory as having been cool back before it was so downmarket even old people could have them.  But it was something else, too, somehow more sinister.  Like your bachelor uncle has the Tamogatchi, but he has no idea what it is, he’s just using it to get close to you even though your parents privately warn you to stay away from him for reasons that were never clear until now.

I shut off the video.  I think maybe I was sweating.  But then my long-suppressed Nixonian tendencies creeped in.  I’m no quitter, no matter how sadistic and reprobate the subject matter.  I have a college education.  I took a class in propaganda with a guy who kills people for the Shin Bet. I know who Derrida is.  I can handle this.

Gettin’ this party started (I’m comin’ out)

Pink?  Anybody?  No?  Okay.

I go first to Microsoft’s designated YouTube page, cleverly titled LaunchParties.  True to form, it has nearly 120 videos, all of them titled in that spastic mashed-together way thatadmitsabsolutelynospacesorpunctuationwhichhasbeenMicrosoft’sspecialtyforsomanyyears. I’m surprised they let us have capital letters to differentiate the titles.  This must be the kinder, gentler Microsoft.

HostingYourParty

The screen starts all blurry with the caption “Hosting Your Party” in big white letters, because all social interactions generally begin with both title card and a load time.  (Mine do, anyway.)  After a few seconds, it fades away, and we have a scene of four people in a kitchen.

H-ey!  Welcome to the party,” says a young blonde-haired woman holding a cutting board with what looks like cheese.  Right off the bat, I’m not sure about this.  Cheese Lady welcomes me kind of like you do when you’re expecting someone and you realize someone arrives but you’re turned around and you start to greet them as you’re turning to face them and only realize about halfway through that not only isn’t it who you expected but it’s also no one you’re happy to see.  I, the viewer, am a door-to-door insurance salesman who happened to stumble into this party.

But that won’t stop the kinder, gentler Microsoft from shoe-horning me in anyway.  Gee thanks.

After what looks like a moment’s hesitation Cheese Lady decides what-the-Hell-he’s-here-anyway and the camera pans out to show Cheese Lady’s friends: Old Lady, Hipster and Colorful-Polo-Wearing-Therefore-Both-Hip-and-Respectable-Black-Guy.  For short I’ll call him Kanye.

My new friends

My new friends

Now instantly I’m put at ease by Kanye.  These people have black friends, and as someone who has black friends himself this is crucial to me.  I don’t want to be involved with some racist operating system.  I really don’t want to be involved in an operating system that isn’t cool.  So Kanye serves two crucial purposes.  His is a comforting presence.

Cheese Lady tells me all about how they’re launching Windows 7 with house parties and how you can actually use Windows 7 to organize it.  Metaphysically I have a problem with this, as I thought the purpose of a launch party was that you didn’t have something before and now you do.  I think Ocean’s Thirteen dealt with this issue.  Anyway I can organize it with some special software, upload pictures – “That’s his favorite,” she says, placing a suggestive hand on the Hipster’s arm.  He kind of mumbles “That’s my favorite” and they all laugh at him, even the Old Lady, whose relationship to this group of “friends” is not yet clear.

“In a lot of ways, you’re just throwing a party with Windows 7 as an honored guest,” Kanye says.  “Sounds easy – and it is!”  But I thought this was supposed to tell me how to throw the party, Kanye.  If it were so easy, I’d know how to throw a party without Windows 7.  And I don’t.  That’s why you’re here.  Kanye’s getting on my nerves.

He redeems himself a moment later, though: maybe I want to know “how some hosts want their party to flow.”  Oooh!  Flow.  That’s a cool word that’s generationally-appropriate.  I’ve seen it on TV!

The camera is panning back and forth and zooming wildly at this point and I start to feel an epileptic seizure coming on.  It’s not helped when Hipster says, “Now the first thing you want to do is install Windows 7,” prompting a series of ‘D’uhs’ from the other guests.  Man, they really don’t like him.  He’s so put down by this that he had to go back and redub his next couple lines afterwords to edit out the sobbing.  Other guests appear unaffected.

Old Lady says we should choose the activities that are the most fun.  You’d know, Grandma.  She starts going on about some “host notes” that have bonus activities on them.  “Right?” says Cheese Lady enthusiastically-sarcastically.  You know?  I didn’t know.  I feel a little stupid.  In fact I feel bad for Hipster now.  I totally know how he feels.

Hipster’s party started out “like any good party,” with drinks and mingling.  And Sir Harold Pinter showed up.  I love his plays.  I’ve never seen any of them, but I like the idea of his plays.  I can’t believe Hipster got him to show up.  “And you know what was great?” Cheese Lady says, plowing nervously through my digression about Sir Harold.  “It was totally informal, like, everyone just kind of crowded around the computer in the kitchen.”  Wow!  Just like us now!  I’m a part of something.

But Cheese Lady still seems to have had an excessively authoritarian style to her party.  When she says she led everyone in an activity immediately after producing the computer (which she stole?  How she got it isn’t clear), Old Lady is taken aback.  “Oh well I let everyone fool around with a Snap for a little while.”  “Me too!” Kanye shouts.  What’s Snap?  Is that a thing?  This is getting tense and I feel stupid again.  I’m getting the sneaking feeling these people aren’t going to buy any insurance.

Now there’s a cockfight over how many activities we did.  “I did three!” Hipster shouts pompously.  No wonder they don’t like you.  “When you’re close to the end -” Cheese Lady begins, only for Grandma to but-in with “Wanting everybody to leave,” provoking general laughter and shushing now that she’s got drunk on her Long Island Iced Tea and telling our secrets.  When you’re close to the end,” Cheese Lady grits her teeth, we should go to Help. It’s a great way to tie everything together.  So is a call to the emergency services, which I am placing now.

“Make something you’re doing personal to someone at the Party,” Kanye enjoins me.  “Like the way I made Chip’s files get transferred by Windows Easy Transfer.”  Ooo there, Kanye.  Too personal.  Way over the line. “I also found it really helped to name the first person to be first with the hands-on activity, and have them pick the next person.”  Oh, like you did with poor Chip?  So we can all join in on the torture, and dip our hands in the blood?  You’re sick.  You’re a sick fuck.

Everybody thinks this is all sunshine and raindrops, though.  “On a more serious note,” Grandma says with a mock frown – this Edward Albee horror show apparently not being serious enough – “Decide what activities you want to do a day or two in advance.  Some activities require -”

She stumbles for a word here.  Is she lying to me?  What does she want?  “Modest set-up.”  Phew.  Thought it was serious.  “Like you need two computers to do the webchat,” says Kanye.  Hahahaha say all.  Obvi.  “None of the set-up is too hard.”

“It helped me to remember that I’m not a salesman,” Kanye chips in.  But I am a salesman.  Northwestern Mutual Li – “And part of the fun of a launch party is seeing what you already know.”  I know how to use Vista.  I knew how to use XP.  Why are you replacing them, again?  For that matter why is no one answering my questions?

“Can you believe that they put the launch of Microsoft 7 in our hands?” Kanye asks.  “They must be crazy!”

“Crazy to let you be involved, maybe,” Hipster shoots back.  He gives an all-in-good-fun smile.  But they’re totally gonna have it out in the parking lot afterwards.

“Well it does make sense,” Cheese Lady intervenes, trying to save her shitty party from the indignity of violence.  “Windows 7 is all about the computer user!”  I think they used to call us people.

“It ought to be a party!  Have fun out there!”  They’re letting me leave?  Oh my God.  I rush to grab my bag and brochures and bolt out the house as Hipster makes some trendy devil-symbol at me with his hands.  Or maybe it’s “call me”.  Does he want insurance after all?  Was he hitting on me?

Win7AcceleratorAndSlices

All right, fine.  Let’s see how your parties actually went.  Here Hipster is hosting in a party in his dingy little apartment with his hipster friends.  All the men are in open-necked collared shirts; all the women are minorities.  So far, so good.

He wants to show me something new about Internet Explorer 8.  He turns to “Frank” – “Hi-iii,” he crows.  He’s probably related to Cheese Lady.  Or maybe he just wants the Cheetos coming around the room, which have been seized by the interracial girlfriend perched on his lap.  This is called web slices.  Now I can keep in touch of websites on my favorites all day long.

“Oh yeah,” Frank says like LL Cool J.  I think the guy sitting in the chair backwards has a mustache.  How passé.

Frank shops for t-shirts on “auction sites” a lot.  Do they mean Ebay?  It’s the only one I know.  And then we cut to the screen – I’m sorry, I move over to see the screen better at the house party – and it has Ebay on it.  Frank wants a Van Halen 1984 t-shirt.  Wow.  Van Halen.  Maybe time to move on, man.

Frank decides not to buy it and delete the page from his “slice,” which looks exactly like a favorites page.  (An AC/DC poster won out – a dubious choice, but whatever.)  Now Hipster takes me to show me the “Accelerator,” which clicks directly from an address that doesn’t include a map to a mapping system, shaving literally seconds off of my web time and conveniently avoiding the use of certain heretical websites which I could have just put in my “slices” anyway.  Phew.

“I want the rest of you to pick a word or phrase and accelerate it, leaving a new page for the next guest.”  You can do the stupid map thing here, too, apparently.  I’m nervously fingering the life insurance brochures in my pocket.  This doesn’t feel right.  The guy sitting behind Hipster just gasped with amazement at his electronic version of telephone.  “Is that a hamster?” he asks.  I’m outta here.

MyMicrosoftWindows7HouseParty

I try to watch a couple more but – oh, what the hay, I’m so excited to have my own house party I can’t stand it.  Let’s go!

(doorbell rings)

Me: Oh h-ey, welcome to my Microsoft Windows 7 launch party!

Doritos Girl: Thanks!  I brought Doritos!

Me: Awesome!  Everybody’s just inside!

We enter a room with Old Man from Bus Stop, My Mom, and Environmentally-Conscious Co-Workers and Drinking Buddies.

Me: Everybody, this is *voice trails off*

All: Oh hi!

Me: I’m super-excited to introduce Windows 7 to you.  This is, like, totally a killer app.

All: Yeah!  All right!

Drinking buddies high five.

Me: And what’s best about it is it’s designed for us computer users!

Co-Workers: It’s almost like we’re people again!

Me: That’s right.

(looks around)

Me: There’s something wrong.

My Mom: What, honey?

Me: There’s, uh… there’s no black people here.

My Mom: Well I didn’t know you knew any –

Me: That’s not the point, Mom!  God, nobody wants to use some racist operating system.

Co-Workers: That’s right!  Yeah!

Me: Look, I’ll just go online and e-mail some.

Old Man: Don’t use that!

Me: Why not?

Old Man: That’s the search engine whose name must not be spoken!

Me: Oh, right.  I’ll use accelerator – what the fuck is that?

My Mom: Honey, language.

Me: My computer’s shaking.

Co-workers: Why, that’s Aero Shake, the feature that let’s you clear away all your clutter!

Drinking buddies: YEAH!

Me: You mean like minimizing?

(they frown)

Co-workers: No.

Me: Well why won’t it stop?

Old man: Charlies!  In the trees!

Me: That’s irrelevant.  Stop it old man, or you won’t get your $20.

My Mom: Honey, respect your elders!

Me: The computer’s on fire!

My Mom: Why that’s Windows 7’s new Burn feature.  It’s designed to detect awkward social situations and start a distraction!

Me: Somebody call the fire department!

Doritos Girl: My hair’s on fire!

Drinking buddies: YEAHHHHHH!!!!

(they urinate on the rapidly-advancing flames)

My Mom: Oh, I’ll get some paper towels.

Co-workers: You know, this is really irresponsible.  Fires like this contribute to the greenhouse effect, which is killing our Earth.

Doritos Girl: AAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

(she runs away, chased by Drinking Buddies and my Mom with a paper towel)

Me: But – my launch party!

Drinking buddies (outside): The roof!  The roof!  The roof is on fire!

Me: You guys better stay here.  I’ll get help.

Two hours later.

Me: Whelp… Windows 7 burned my house down.

My Mom: Oh honey, I’m sorry.

Me: Too bad about my co-workers.

My Mom: Oh you’ll make new ones.

Me: Yeah. But so will Microsoft.

The poetry of Harry Reid

1 October 2009

From Politico:

“Remember, a public option is a relative term,” Reid said. “There’s a public option, there’s a public option, and there’s a public option. And we’re going to look at each of them.”

Uh… no.  There’s a public option, there’s a public option, and there’s a public option.  And they’re all the public option.  But thanks for that.

Though I suppose he’s right in the sense that no matter what a public option looks like he’s perfectly incapable of preventing any of these children from being devoured by Cronus, especially when there’s a half-billion dollar effort afoot to defeat the public option (and keep the bill, now that includes a mandate to buy health insurance at perhaps the worst possible time since World War II).

Of course this appeared in a British, not American, paper.  I don’t think it’s a cover up.  I think we’re just deadened to the influence of this money in the legislative process.  Given the expense of electoral politics these days, why not?

Perhaps processes like these would be a mite easier, if not more civil if we asked the question “Why not?” – and forbade mention of Hitler, or Stalin, or anybody wanting anyone else dead, in the answers.

If you live in the Western world and have at any point crossed paths with a television set, you’ve probably seen, heard or rioted against this classic Kanye West moment:

(N.b. In order to prop up Viacom’s flagging market share this grainy, shitty video will probably be removed in fairly short order. This means you’ll have to do their own research. I trust you.)

Now it would be easy to simply dismiss Kanye as a gay fish, but I won’t.  I’m a sensitive man who understands the soul of the frustrated, lonely multi-platinum recording artist.  Indeed, I dare say Kanye’s story is not as  superficial as it seems. He’s not just some nutty overpaid radio star. Oh no, my friends. Kanye’s doing something here. Something big. Something, dare I say it, historic?

I must tell you first about a favorite philosopher of mine.  His name is Soren Kierkegaard.  His first name is spelt with that fucked-up Danish ‘o’ and I don’t have the patience to look up the alt-code.  But you get the idea.untitledLittle Soren was a strange child – needless to say.  There was a sense of brilliance to him, tinged distinctly with creepiness, perhaps inspired by his selfish siblings who insisted on dying of unpleasant 19th century diseases while Soren was young.  Except his brother. He became a bishop. It’s enough to fuck anybody up.

But eventually little Soren’s parents died and he now had both a solidly middle class upbringing and enough disposable income to avoid real work – as any true philosophical genius must.  And so he set off to make his great works, which challenged the assumptions of his society – and eventually all the world.

Starting to sound familiar?

Try this on for size:

“He writes because for him it is a luxury that becomes all the more enjoyable and conspicuous the fewer who buy and read what he writes.” – Kierkegaard, Either/Or

“I wanna make popular music, but I want less fans.” – Kanye West, Vibe Magazine

Kanye helpfully said that quote while I was in the middle of a second reading of Kierkegaard. It was thoughtful of him. I think it might have been fate.

Because you see, it got me thinking. The work from which that quote was taken, Kierkegaard’s Either/Or, was a really obscure attack on the philosophical mores of the time. He charged that it allowed only two ways of living life: engaged “aesthetically” in drinking, carousing, whoring and other assorted douchebaggeries; or “ethically,” which consists of getting married, being bourgeois and dying old with children. But Kierkegaard said no!  There is a third option. In his case it consisted of Jesus, but this was the sort of Jesus in whom belief and love are accepted as absurd and cherished for it. Kind of a bad ass Jesus.

Both you and Coach Carr need to step away from the underage girls.

Both you and Coach Carr need to step away from the underage girls.

In order to communicate this point Kierkegaard wrote stories, not works of philosophy, and made his point through characters of his own creation – all of whom were thinly-veiled puppets himself, buried deep within still more obscure twists and turns. The person referenced by the quote above was one of these, Johannes the Seducer, who busies himself by trotting around Copenhagen stalking, meeting and then seducing underage girls before he unceremoniously dumps them at the end of a six-month period. (Consumer protections have always been strong in Denmark, even if statuatory rape laws have not.) The book is about Johannes’ relationship with Cordelia, a 16 year-old girl. You might be forgiven for mistaking this character for Kierkegaard, who had his heart broken by… a 16 year-old girl.

Johannes the Seducer, Kierkegaard’s doppelganger, acts a lot like Kanye does. Kierkegaard did, too, at least in his youth. Both were devil-may-care; both stirred unending controversy in the media for their public comments; both, despite protesting about wanting fewer readers, could barely contain their word vomit. (Kanye shouts in that blog of his; Kierkegaard published constantly, including a postscript five times longer than the book it followed.)  Both have issues with their treatment of young girls. And both, of course, are deeply concerned about finding their place in a world in which they don’t quite fit, a world with nothing to believe in. Kierkegaard was never really accepted by anybody, or read outside of Denmark before 1900; as for Kanye,  as late as 2005 some of his plastics still said Kayne.

This is how I cracked the code, you see. Kanye is not just an out-of-control narcissistic superstar. He is not just the out-of-control narcissistic superstar. But he’s not doing it simply because he has everything a person could ever want and still finds himself empty, unsatisfied and alone. I mean, he’s not Michael Jackson. (Too soon?)

No. Kanye is in fact out to teach us all a grand lesson. Kanye is in the process of creating from his very own self a living embodiment of the philosophy of Kierkegaard, one that will make Kierkegaard’s own seem petty and silly and in the process shake our very world to its core.

First he attains his greatest success and greatest controversy. He’s young, insecure, desperate to set his place in the world. (Why else his madcap declarations about already being in the history books?) He does everything wrong and nobody likes him even as they recognize his brilliance. But it can’t go on forever, can it?

Him... or Kanye?

West 52, Monkey 48

He’ll have a change of heart, settles down. Pumps out some kids, maybe gets himself elected to Congress? (Don’t you even tut like it’s at all improbable. People in England elected a monkey.) He’s calmed down, got respectable. But he’ll still be missing something, as will we all, deprived of random outbursts of his lyrical genius and social insanity.

That’s when he reaches the third stage – the religious stage. But this isn’t the 1900s, is it? Maybe this isn’t anything like what Kierkegaard wrote. Maybe it won’t involve Jesus at all. I don’t know. Who can know what a genius like Kanye, who has by now transformed his entire life into a very living a work of philosophy and art, the greatest of all time, will develop when the glorious climax of his life explodes into our consciousness? Will he bring upon us an entirely new philosophy? A new religion? Will he, indeed, reveal himself as the Promised Return of Christ himself?

None of us can know where this onrushing epiphany will lead, or indeed when it will happen. None of us can dare to predict. But we can have faith – dear friends, we can know that it will someday come! Because the sheer tonnage of excellence that Kanye revealed last night, the depth and breadth of his long and tortured road into our very souls, cannot be foreseen any more than it can be denied. He is doing something great – just as he has always said. And we’ve never listened!

Kanye will teach us. He will teach us because he loves us… and he loves us because he loves himself.

Amen.