Shrimp on a Treadmill. Is that not one of the coolest things ever?
I usually don’t publicly post my replies to site feedback, but if the mood strikes me and I feel I’ve written a response thoughtful enough to be shared, and I’ve been lax in updates for over a month, I just might. In retrospect, considering the tone of his letter, I don’t think I should’ve bothered, but I noticed it at about five in the morning, and I’d been unable to sleep, and my judgment in the matter really ought to be called into question. But anyway, it exists, so let’s deal with what is, instead of what should or might have been.
Now, I’m not sure why this guy was replying to a post that predates the last presidential election, or what led him there in the first place. Perhaps there are people who do nothing but search for “Bush flight record AWOL” on Google and go through replying to every single hit that comes up. I honestly have no idea.
Name: paul schauss
Date: Tuesday, 24th October 2006 06:06:03 AM
Comments: Before you continue ‘thinking’ Bush is a dumb dumb and coming to a conclusion that Bush went AWOL in the Air National Guard, then maybe the following facts below might clear your head:
gwbush joined the guard in 1968. He entered six weeks of basic training, fifty-three weeks of flight training, and twenty-one weeks of fighter-interceptor training. That is 80 weeks to begin with. This was service in and of two years. Not two years of weekends, two years. After training, Bush kept flying getting hundreds of hours in the air in F-102 jets. At the time he was in the air guard, guardsmen were required to have a minimum of 50 points to meet their year-end obligation. Bush earned 253 points his first year may 68- may 69. Bush earned 340 points in 1969-1970. He earned 137 points in 1970-1971; and he earned 112 points in 1971-1972. These numbers show that, in his first four years, Bush not only showed up, he showed up a lot. Did you know that?
Now we come to the story of May 1972, the time of so many news reports of him going AWOL. Here is the truth:
Bush asked to go to Alabama to work on a senate campaign. His superior officers said OK. Want a witness to this, Col. William Campenni flew with Bush in 1970 and 71. In 1972 there was a huge amount of pilots. The Vietnam War was in it’s closing days and the Air Force was putting pilots in desk jobs. In 1972-73, if you were a pilot, either active or Guard, and you had an obligation and wanted to get out, no problem. In truth, you were helping the Air Guard solve their problem. So, Bush stopped flying. From May 1972-73, he earned 56 points, enough to meet requirements. In 1973, as Bush made plans to leave the Guard and go to Harvard Business School, he again started showing up frequently. In June and July of 1973, he accumulated 56 points, enough to meet the minimum requirement for the 1973-1974 year. Then, at his request, he was given to permission to go. Bush received an honorable discharge after serving five years, four months and five days of his original six-year commitment. By that time, though, Bush had earned enough points in each year to cover six years of service.
A 1970 evaluation said Bush Ã¢â‚¬Å“clearly stands out as a top notch fighter interceptor pilotÃ¢â‚¬? and was Ã¢â‚¬Å“a natural leader whom his contemporaries look to for leadership.Ã¢â‚¬?
A 1971 evaluation called Bush Ã¢â‚¬Å“an exceptionally fine young officer and pilotÃ¢â‚¬? who Ã¢â‚¬Å“continually flies intercept missions with the unit to increase his proficiency even further.Ã¢â‚¬? And a 1972 evaluation called Bush Ã¢â‚¬Å“an exceptional fighter interceptor pilot and officer.Ã¢â‚¬?
On a final note; Bush scored a 1206 on his SAT. If one converts SAT scores into IQ, using the IQ default of peers of GW Bush, Bush has an IQ between 125 and 129, the 95th percentile. Only 1 out of 20 would score higher.
Here is a quote by a guy named Charles Murray: “I think you’re safe in saying that Dubya’s IQ, based on his SAT score, is in excess of 120, which puts him in the top 10 percent of the distribution, but I wouldn’t try to be more precise than that.”
And my response: (In defense of the somewhat exaggerated nature of the tone of this letter, in particular near the end, and in fact in defense of its existence at all, it was 5:00 AM and I was whirling down the tail end of a small burst of insomnia.)
Oh, wow, are you replying to a post from, like, two years ago?
Sorry, I’m not poking fun or anything–I’m just curious as to what brought you there, and why you felt you needed to reply to something so old. So, how did you find it? Search engine? Link from another site?
Anyway, please read through this, as I put a lot of thought and effort into it, and it’s not just some stock response that I copy-pasted from some prepared document or something:
I don’t think Bush is “a dumb dumb”. I think he’s very good at appealing to the American anti-intellectual sentiment that has taken
hold in our society. He’s certainly come across numerous times as incompetent and moronic, and for a while (yes, about two years ago, which I’m sensing is circa the time of the post you’re replying to–opinions and people do, in fact, change), he did have me convinced that maybe he was genuinely a doofus, but events and information have changed my mind in the time since.
I.Q. scores are rather meaningless a representation of intelligence. What they measure is “mental age” over “chronological age”, meaning that someone with an I.Q. of 150 at age 20 would be thinking at the age level of a 30-year-old. This is far more meaningful in children, as the rate of development is far more rapid than in adults. For instance, a person learns a lot more between the ages of 5 and 7 than between the ages of 28 and 30. If we’re going to be playing some kind of number competition pissing game, the last I.Q. score I received was 149, if I recall correctly. And I don’t consider it to mean a damn thing, really.
Honestly, I don’t care whether he went AWOL in the National Guard. Compared to everything else going on in the world, it’s like worrying about a droplet of ink that spilled onto and stained your floor while the carpet on the other side of the room is in flames.
And that’s the thing, and conservative and liberal leaders are all guilty of this: Distraction from the important by the overblown
inconsequential. Did Kerry actually get seriously wounded, or did he scrape his knee in a Vietnamese whore house? Did Bush actually ever fly a fighter jet, or did he wander off base and get drunk? Who cares? None of it really matters. It all just serves to distract us from the fundamental problems with everything that’s screwed up in the world. If we get caught up in these trivial little issues, we’re less likely to question why there are so many disjointed planks in the platforms of both major political parties in this country, and why our choices seem to always be limited to a “lesser of two evils”, typically a frat boy rich kid interested in power for power’s sake who’s completely detached from real American problems and concerns.
In other words, there’s this car, and some of the people are saying that the car is turning left, and some of the people are saying that the car is turning right, but what REALLY needs to be pointed out is that, hey, that’s a radio-controlled toy car, and it’s being operated by that kid over there on the corner.
I have something to ask you: When 9/11 first happened, what was it you were afraid of the most? What potential outcome did you think was going to happen that you feared we needed to defend against? I remember many people were saying “man, after what happened, I really don’t feel like going to work today. But you know, if I don’t go into work and keep living my life, the terrorists have won.” In other words, if we start changing the way we’re living because of what happened, then the terrorists have won.
So what do you call the Patriot Act? What do you call banning all fluids from flights? What do you call effectively getting rid of
Habeus Corpus and turning the Geneva Convention into a “please don’t do any of this outlawed ‘torture’ stuff to our soldiers, but we’re going to do it to anyone we declare deserving” policy? What about classifying any of the following as “an act of terror”, as per the new Military Commissions Act of 2006 that was recently signed:
- Destruction of any property, which is deemed punishable by any means of the military tribunal’s choosing.
- Any violent activity whatsoever if it takes place near a designated protected building, such as a charity building.
- A change of the definition of “pillaging” which turns all illegal occupation of property and all theft into terrorism. This makes
squatters and petty thieves enemy combatants.
? What about the arrest of Greg Palast for supposedly potentially giving terrorists “key information” about U.S. “critical
infrastructure” when he was filming the Exxon refinery in Baton Rouge–clear photos of which were publicly available via Google Maps?
Wouldn’t you agree that we seem to be changing our lives pretty dramatically in response to what the terrorists did to us five years
ago? Which raises the question: Which is the greater threat to American freedom: 9/11 or our response to it?
Yes, yes, I know you think Bush is a great guy, and we both know that I think he’s somewhere between “tragic” and “catostrophic”, but let’s set aside leaders and political affiliations right now and see the changes that are taking place in our lives without any attachment to any particular perceived political ideology.
The thing I found the saddest about 9/11 is that nothing really changed, other than these new laws which essentally strip away more
and more of our rights as time progresses. There was a doorway that was open, a doorway of American trust and cooperation, a doorway into a future where we could’ve set aside our differences and worked together toward a safer, freer tomorrow. Instead, we’re worse off than we were before the attacks, prodded around by fear. Neither side, Democrats nor Republicans, could cast off personal politics for long enough to make a real difference. Instead, we’re being terrorized by our own leaders, who are capitalizing on our vulnerability in order to crush more and more the idea that our elected leadership is at all representational and to free themselves from their responsibility to the people.
Believe it or not, we do indeed have a state-established religion in this country. And it’s not Christianity, as the liberals might claim,
and it’s not Atheism, as the conservatives might claim. (Or, “Liberalism”, as that nutcase Ann Coulter might claim.) No, the
state-established religion is Worship of Government. The liberals pray to it, hoping it will see fit to grant their wishes. And as much
as they claim to be for “smaller government” (though, the current administration sure doesn’t seem to be scaling anything down in any way, if you’ve noticed), the conservatives, too, pray just as much, hoping it will see fit to grant THEIR wishes. In our country, the government becomes more and more like a god, with people constantly deferring to it and hoping it will use its powers in a manner consistent with what they find favorable, implying that they feel it’s some kind of omnipotent entity, or at the very least superior to humans and capable of more than humans can accomplish. But we forget that it was constructed by man, and is intended to be nothing more than a collective effort to accomplish the things we feel will make the world better, or at least benefit us on a personal level.
Now, you can continue to debate small, insignificant points from years ago regarding whether Bush served in the military or not, or you can join me right here in a conversation of more pressing issues, debating ideas that bear far greater importance than the trifles that the leaders and the media swarm around our heads to blind us from seeing the real problems and to keep us from threatening their rich boy games of power and corruption.
I understand if you decline, but I hope you’ll choose to cast off the irons they’ve bound around your wrists and ankles, and to follow me into the future, to set aside partisan politics and loyalty to any party or leader, and to work to correct the problems with the
government itself. Such change, such repair, cannot happen unless we’re all working together. Instead of concerning ourselves with the direction of the car, let us instead figure out its mechanics and operation and who’s piloting it and how. It makes for far more interesting conversation, I assure you.
As sincerely as is possible via e-mail,
(Context: There are two different kinds of tags for potentially inappropriate content: [NSFW] (Not Safe For Work) and [TMBO] (This Might Be Offensive). The user who uploads the image can tag content as such; if they don’t catch it, other users can flag it as they feel appropriate. The image in question was a surgeon’s hands and a bloody embryo. It was unclear whether it was an abortion or a mid-pregnancy surgery of some sort.)
squeevey: i would say anything with an amount of blood should be tagged offensive.
Me: Why is blood offensive? (Or, alternatively: Why should blood be considered offensive?)
squeevey: it should be considered Not Safe For Work at least,and offensive because some people may pass out from the sight of blood. Also usually when seeing blood in the context that you KNOW it’s blood, i’m guesssing something a little gross is on your screen. I don’t personally find it offensive, but more like a fair warning to the light of heart. That’s all.
Me: I’m not a huge fan of the idea of considering any part of the body “offensive”, for that way lies lunacy.
For instance (and now I’m turning the focus away from you, squeevey, because I know this isn’t your position but I’m in a ranting mood): Some people might go all morally aflutter over the sight of a dong or a set of tits, but that doesn’t mean that parts of the human body are actually “offensive”, it just means that people have been brainwashed by arbitrary cultural or religious taboos that have very little applicability to reality and are merely self-perpetuating superstitions that people like to call “obscenity” or “inappropriateness”. Really, it’s just a personal uncomfortability that people end up projecting onto others, especially children (their own or others), and those children grow up feeling like there’s something they ought to be ashamed of sticking out/into their bodies, and then they pass it on, and then they tell two friends, and so on and so on and so on.
Which is ironic, really: If these people believe that one of the effects of being “thrown out of Eden” or whatever is that we realized that we should be ashamed of our bodies, then isn’t one of the steps in regaining our closeness to God actually accepting ourselves and not being ashamed of our penises and vaginas and whatnot? But hey, easier to be a moron. IRONY is DIFFICULT to WRAP my LITTLE BRAIN AROUND.
I say fuck “safe for work”. If a company is going to fire you for looking at a picture of a human breast, they might as well fire you for not honoring the Sabbath or for saying “Jesus Christ” in frustration. There need to come some dramatic changes in Business As Usual, lest we just become this baby-shitting, perpetuating, useless fucking cycle of a self-destructive species, capable of nothing more than OBEYING THE RULES and PERPETUATING THE SPECIES.
Eureka: Not all uptight people are Christians and not all Christians are uptight. *starts to draw venn diagram*
I’ve worked for companies that frown of surfing regardes of the content because they aren’t paying their employees to surf. (It’s quite simple, really).
Me: Yeah, I know, I know. It’s just that I’d say most of the “put cloth on your filthy, awful titties” crowd is comprised of people who feel that way on account of religious taboos. And it’s a reasonable wager that the cultural attitude toward human anatomy – though it’s a separate thing now – probably stems from the religious attitude.
And, see, that’s the thing: I understand frowning on web surfing in general if it’s a productivity issue, but I don’t think that the content should really matter. Whether you’re looking at the latest Dilbert or a big ol’ set of tits, there really shouldn’t be a difference. Banning “obscene” content (a.k.a. boobs) keeps us in this absurd state of arbitrary shame that really has no applicable use but continues to be propagated on account of nobody being able to actually think ever because thinking is just WAY TOO HARD and THE IDEA OF CHANGE IS UNFATHOMABLE AND SCARY
Fortunately, the idea of “obscene” seems to be fading more and more away. However, you still have a small group of very vocal fascist dipshits who are clinging to it more desperately than ever, never really questioning why it is, exactly, that they feel such a powerful need to retain that particular set of views and classifications.
Eureka: You kinda missed my point (or part of it), I think: not all religious taboos are CHRISTIAN. There are other religions out there, you know … many of them have certain taboos (as you call them).
Could you define exactly what you mean by the Ã¢â‚¬Å“idea of Ã¢â‚¬ËœobsceneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬?? How do we know if its fading a bad or a good thing? In my limited time on this planet (swiftly approaching 4 decades), I have found that EVERYONE has limits … the debate is over where those boundaries lie.
Me: Ah, sorry. I don’t think I ever said Christian, which is probably why I missed the point of what you were saying. I totally agree with you, re: that there are plenty of other religions with their own customs and beliefs.
What I’m referring to with regard to “obscene” are things like nudity, “foul language”, sexual depictions, et cetera. Given that the restrictions on and general attitudes toward broadcast of such things seem to have been loosening over the last few decades, especially post-internet, it seems safe to assume that this is a reflection of the sentiment of society in general.
Offense is all in the reception. By being offended by anything, you’re just giving it the power to instill in you that kind of a reaction. This even extends to hateful insults – if you don’t like it, don’t let it bother you, and its meaning in that respect will, over the course of time, diminish. Often, offense can also be overcome by “reclamation” of the words that were intended for insult. I agree that these words need a certain kind of power in order to have the impact one is trying to express, but attempting to ban them or legally restrict their use only serves to amplify the power one would be trying to suppress. In other words, the emphasis of sentiment comes from the reaction, not the other way around.
I believe that it’s a good thing to detach arbitrary stigma from things. There is nothing inherently “wrong” with genitals, or the word “fuck”, or a penis going into a vagina, or any of that. It is the symbolism and additional (sometimes random) meaning that we attach to these things wherein the problems lie. Janet and I have this little joke ironic absurdist religiony thing that we aren’t all that orthodox about where the law is that the woman must handle the milk purchased from the grocery store until it has crossed the threshold of the home. Now, there’s no inherent property of milk that warrants this kind of a necessity, but if we made it a custom and taught it to our kids, and then maybe we got some friends involved and they taught it to their kids – even if it remained a joke – there would be this arbitrary and useless meaning attached to milk that unnecessarily restricted the behavior of a group of people.
Now, if there’s some kind of logical reason behind something (e.g. wear clothes because they will keep you warm and protect you from the elements), then the meaning has applicability to the observable world. If there isn’t (e.g. wear clothes because your genitals are shameful and you ought to be ashamed of yourself for even thinking about them), then it’s a good thing if that arbitrarily attached meaning (a.k.a. the “taboo”) is dissolved because there’s no real reason to restrict the actions of a group of people when there’s no applicable use in their being restricted.
And I’m sure, to circle this back around to religion, that a sane and just God wouldn’t want people to bind themselves to symbolic actions with invisible (that is, not apparent in the observable world) meanings of which they could really only guess the ethereal applicability, like some kind of game of spiritual Hide and Seek where you only ever find out where everything’s hidden after you’re dead. Seems like a great big cruel trick to play on everyone, and if that’s the way God works, then he’s kind of a dick.
I urge you all to head over and read This Hilarious Post over at Sadly, No! if you haven’t already. It’s amusing.
Though, it seems Coach Dave Daubenmire is trapped within the limitations of his metaphor. Why, there are countless things one can do with spaghetti! Why limit yourself to simply pushing and pulling? You can twirl it around a fork, cut it, sprinkle cheese on it, toss it at a wall to see if it sticks, eat it, wear it as a hat, dangle it over a bridge, maybe pee on it if you’re so inclined, drop it into a mine shaft, take a blowtorch to it, get a ball of lard and squish it into it like a big disgusting Koosh ball, impersonate it, feed it to a wild dog, scream at it… the possibilities are endless.
What’s wrong with being a spaghetti tosser, wearer, eater, et cetera, anyway? Why aren’t any of them even considered in this little world of his?
Why stop at spaghetti? I want to know how I should move other food products as well. How should I get a sliced ham from one end of the table to the other? Should I push it or pull it? Throw it? How about ketchup? What’s the proper way, in his opinion, to move ketchup? Worcestershire sauce? Baby carrots? Oatmeal? Come on, don’t leave me hanging, coach! Should I punt this casserole? COME ON!
And why would you even have to worry about whether to push or pull spaghetti that’s on the counter? How would the spaghetti get there in the first place? If you’re finding huge wads of spaghetti on your counter, you have bigger problems than figuring out whether you’re going to tug or shove. Are you that uncoordinated that you miss the plate entirely? Did you just cook it to play around with it? Are you a retarded kid whose parents accidentally left the kitchen unlocked?
But most importantly, who the hell wants to sit there dicking around with wads of spaghetti? Fuck, there are WARS going on and people STARVING TO DEATH and it’s GETTING TO BE WINTER and FUEL COSTS ARE HIGH.
Finally, some fresh content! Really, really sorry for not having updated in so long. I’ve just been really busy and really lazy. It happens.
Anyway, recently I was reading through the old Leisuretown Archives, and it inspired me to turn Horus, temporarily, into a Leisuretown tribute. The illustration styles are entirely different, of course, but I tried to match the thematic elements and dialogue style. Sure, it pales miserably in comparison to the real thing (which I urge you to click over and read), but I kind of like how it all turned out.
I’m still working on the design for the gallery, so bear with me. Firefox users can hover over the folder icon in the upper left corner for more directories. (Right now, there’s really only all the Horus up to this point, which I’ve clustered together and labeled “Season One”.)
Anyway, if you’ll just click the following image, you’ll be taken there.
(This thing, RIGHT HERE)
Comments are welcome.
And recently they called Foley (R), the dude who fucked the sixteen-year-old boy, a Democrat as well. (Which, I mean, can’t the Democratic Party sue for, like, defamation or something?)
“Fair and Balanced”, eh? How many more fucking times can anyone say it, and what in fuck physical evidence is it going to take to convince the remaining idiots who still view these assholes as an objective news source? Anyone who takes Fox News seriously is willfully acknowledging that they ought to be rounded up and fenced into a grassy area, occasionally milked, and eventually sliced into thick, juicy slabs of meat for food. Come on, people! Thinking isn’t as hard as it looks!
For anyone who can, please follow this link for information on how to donate to Robert Anton Wilson, author of such books as the Illuminatus! Trilogy and just a generally brilliant man. Apparently he’s fallen on some hard times and could use our help.
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