Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes.

Gross on thousands of levels. My advice to Katie is get out while you can before the Scientologists remove your brain and replace it with a copy of Dianetics.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Only the Sith deal in absolutes...

K-rock and I saw Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith last night, and loved every minute of it. Star Wars is so ingrained in the culture, and it is truly an epic, modern myth.

Revenge of the Sith is, perhaps, "deeper" than any of the others. There is more depth in that we see a darker side of the Jedi, we understand and have sympathy for Darth Vader, and we realize that there are many sides to the story of how the war evolved. I think they did a good job showing Anakin's shift to the Dark Side (given they have to do it in two and a half hours, not counting the previous two movies) and the rise of Emperor Palpatine. They also do a great job illustrating the chaos and confusion of politics and militarism. Whereas in all the other films we were fairly certain who were the good guys and who were the bad guys--we saw a clear dileniation between the two sides of the force--in this movie things are not so clear cut, and there is always confusion about who is good, who is bad, and how quickly our perceptions of such things can change.

It reflects our times.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Yet another mask.
Another mask.

We are the Borg.

Resistance is futile: "An ultra-liberal technophile, Naam gushes that “we are the prospective parents of new and unimaginable creatures”. He is at his best when indulging his futurological visions, skipping through some of the trickier moral and social questions. He prophesies a revolution in human interaction whereby we can send pictures or even feelings direct into each other’s brains and can read the thoughts of those too young, stubborn or sulky to communicate. Extrapolating from technologies that are already being developed, he argues that there will come a time when we are all linked together through a single worldwide mind."

This woman in my class did a presentation on transhumanism and artifical intelligence, and she referred to that book in the article, Our Posthuman Future, extensively. I held my tounge from commenting that her presentation read like the screenplay for the Terminator movies. She described the possibility of artificial intelligence accessing the big computer network and taking over the world in the exact same way Skynet is described.

On that note, I'm off to do the very human task of laundry.

Friday, May 27, 2005

It's always something...

My cousin/roomate has had this heinous thing on his back. It is a huge welt-like thing, an abcess of sorts, that is turning black down the middle as if it is rotting. It is enormous and disgusting, and was starting to become painful. So yesterday as I was finishing the day of work here at the World Church of Assimilation, he called me to say that his doctor had recommended he go to the emergency room about it.

I made some calls to his friends, who I have to say are really good friends, the kind of which I wish I had a few. Then I headed down to the hospital in Brooklyn where he had been admitted. Eventually they did some bloodwork and put an antibiotic drip in his arm, and then we waited. And waited. And waited. We were waiting on them to move him to a room upstairs. There were a few times they would kick all the visitors out, seemingly arbitrarily, and when I was leaving I asked the doctor what was up. He said, "Oh, I have no idea how long it will be, there aren't a lot of beds and the hospital is pretty full upstairs too." Very helpful, not.

Hours later, he had had enough. I went to the doctor and said that my cousin just wanted to leave, rather than just lay there being ignored. The emergency room was busy, but it was getting a little rediculous. The doctor, who I will heretofor refer to as Doctor Ass, said that he could sign out "against medical advice" but the thing on his back was "really bad" and he should stay overnight. I told him I agreed, and would try to convince him. But he is the kind of person who likes to do what he likes to do. He then decided that he just wanted to walk around a little and go outside and smoke. I asked the doctor if it were okay if he put his clothes on and moved around a little. He said, "yeah, yeah," and so I said someone needed to remove the thing from his arm. To which Doctor Ass replied: "Just give me a minute, we're very backlogged right now. You just have to be very patient sir."

Now, my cousin and I both were the fucking MODEL of patience in there. I hate, hate, hate being told that I have to be patient when I am being patient. My inquiries where not insisting immediate action and attention, just inquiries of concern. So that really pissed me off. We then broke him free from the drip, with the tube still hanging out of his arm, and went out and smoked a cig.

There were some crazy things going on in there. One man had been shot in the leg. He was pissed. There was a crazy woman who was holding her vagina tight and racking back and forth moaning and screaming obnoxiously at anyone who walked by. Then she would just stop, and be content and peaceful. Then she'd start up again. Another man was handcuffed to a chair with police escorts around him. I have no idea what his medical need was. Then there was a clearly crazy man who had a gauze wrapped around his head. He was yelling at anybody who walked by. They had him strapped into the bed in a strait-jacket-like thing, which he, after careful consideration of his situation, figured out how to break free from. Then he marched his ass right out of there, and only when he was nearly out of the hospital did the security guards even realize that this man in a gown with gauze on his head probably should not be leaving. But they let him go out to smoke at least.

Then there was more resistance to letting me back into the emergency room -- and there was resistance to letting him back in until he showed the fucking needle in his arm and the armbands. So I eventually snuck back, put him back in, and after about eight hours of nothing happening, I told him I was going to go home to feed the starving cat, call his mother, and get some sleep before I had to come to work in the morning.

When I got up this morning, he was there in bed. I woke him up to ask what was going on and he said he waited 'till 3 a.m. and just left. He didn't sign out or anything, just left, and no one noticed. Today he is going to go back to his doctor and he is not going to go to the hospital again until they have arrangments made rather than wait in the emergency room with all the cooks and crazies, and medical professionals throwing their power around.

Like the other assholic doctor who was telling the woman whose daughter was beside my cousing that "everything's fine, you can just leave" and then being pissy when the woman insisted that she would not leave her daughter. HELLO, she's a MOTHER, she's not going to just go home while her daughter is in the EMERGENCY ROOM. And for the doctor to even act like he can't understand WHY she won't do that ... give me a break.

I am writing my thesis on the doctor/patient relationship and autonomy in the coming semester, and I am going to draw on this, which is one of countless experiences I've had with the medical institution, and I'm going to read them to filth. I am beginning to side with sociologists on the issue of medicine being abusive more than caring.

In other news, I'm glad someone is reading Andrea Peyser to filth because I really can't stand her.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

This is an example of why I have often said that I can't really relate to my fellow gay people: Paris Hilton and her mom are to be the grand marshalls at the LA Gay Pride parade.

The article is right on, and when she writes, in regards to Paris's being misunderstood, "Cry me a fucking river," I can't agree more. Furthermore, "The first thing that pops into my mind is, are there no gay people that could possibly grand marshal our own parade?" Exactly. And it's not like Paris, bless her heart, has done anything of note for The Gay Cause, ever.
This is a better article about the previous post's subject. :)

Consent, Killing, and Respect

This article from Catholic World News is about Robert Veatch (Georgetown University) and his visit to Seoul. The article quotes him as saying, "being an expert in medical science does not make one an expert in medical morality" which is, I think, pretty universally accepted as true by ethicists.

The article concludes: "Veatch suggested that in the field of bioethics, research should be barred if it is done without the subject's consent, if it kills a human being, or if it shows disrespect for human life." Fair enough, but what bioethics is for is figuring out when there is true consent, what constitutes a human being, and how to show "respect" for human life.

I'm sure he said a lot more, but the article makes it seem like his speech was about a lot of nothing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Stem Cells.

The whole debate over the stem cell bill is, from the "pro-life" side (Bush's side), about having a consistent pro-life ethic. I find it so apparent that this president's initiation of war in Iraq contradicts his pro-life rhetoric about embryonic stem cells. When he says this bill will "create new incentives for the destruction of emerging human life", I really can't help but wonder how he can be so concerned about "emerging human life" without the same ethical considerations for established human life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I hope Elton John feels like a schmuck for that horrendous "duet" he did with Eminem a while back, when Emenim's song comes out in which he makes fun of Elton.

I am having a bad morning. I have too much on my mind all the time and it's starting to drive me crazy. I am tired of people being full of shit and needing to examine why they are hypocrites. I'm tired of being the only person with any sense. I'm tired of rejection. I'm tired of my neck and shoulders hurtintired of being tired!

I need to have some fun. I have this free plane ticket burning a hole in my pocket.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Before one can write the thesis, one must have a topic about which to write. Those are harder to come by than one might think. I've been emailing with Prof. Big Name and think I have something good. I of course as usual think I come off all wierd and worshipful--I have fucking social retardation disorder even on the internet.

I read something recently about how belief isn't required of an author of scholarly works. While it is a different sort of thing than what the poster is talking about, it made me think about how I have in my schoolwork certainly taken positions that I don't really hold because one position is easier to get a paper done about than the other. So in the name of time, I've gone with an easy position to defend when I in fact hold a position that is much harder to defend. But I kind of hate doing that. On another note, I have found that going with a professor's view rather than criticizing it leads to better grades granted by the professor. I don't think this is because professors are intentionally biased, but it is clearly bias--of course they are biased towards their own position, because it is there position! So they're going to think that their position holds more water even if you argue against it pretty well.

For my thesis I really want to believe in what I'm writing. It is all of my education wrapped up in an ugly, cheap little blue hardback binding that will forever remain in the university's library. I want to be able to turn back to it years from now and think, "I am proud of my 75 to 100 pages that no one will ever read."

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Those pictures of Saddam keep coming from London's The Sun.

This Reuter's article (sorry, don't know how long that link will remain current) courtesy of Yahoo, quotes The Sun's defense editor as saying, "The evil brute -- and his cruel henchmen -- deserve no one's sympathy for anything," and that he is "hardly entitled to a single human courtesy".

Now the first of those two statements, I think, are true. He was, I think, pretty universally known to be cruel. And despite my feelings about going to war on him as the president of Iraq, I don't feel sorry for him being removed. But the second statement is kind of outrageous to me, as a human being, and someone who wishes I could think of "the civilized world" as really very civilized. Because, you know what? We don't want our troops tortured, so we shouldn't torture, even when the other guys do. Similarly, we don't want humiliating pictures of our boys and girls in captivity (or being beheaded as it were), so we shouldn't accept humiliating pictures of the bad guy's leader, just because he is "the modern day Hitler," to quote another story I read this morning on the subject.

It's about principles. If we have principles, we ("The Western World" including the media of the UK and the USA) will uphold them. If we say we have principles and yet we violate them, well, then how can we blame our enemies for pointing out our hypocricy?!
Empire State Phallus

Friday, May 20, 2005

I See Paris, I See France, I See Saddam Hussein's Underpants.

That both the Sun and the NY Post ran these pictures of Saddam in captivity is nearly as bad as the Newsweek thing. But the Saddam "exclusive" comes to us from unabashadly right wing publications.

The White House is condeming this (but of course there those who think the "condemnation" is fake -- that it was, in fact, the White House that released them). The story in the Post goes that someone on the inside sent the pictures to London's The Sun in hopes that "the insurgency" would be crushed seeing Saddam reduced to a tighty-whitey wearing object of humiliation and ridicule.

This is, in my opinion, a case of hypocricy. And our government in this country is right--whether they're faking us out or not on their "stance" about the "leak"--this is a violation of the Geneva Convention. If the U.S.A. is going to continue waging this war, and have any success in winning the "hearts and minds" of Iraqis (and others for that matter), it is going to have to play by the rules, even though the insurgents don't. Yes, showing a former dictator imprisoned in his drawers is not the same thing as showing a beheading, but we have to "be the bigger person", or country, as it were. Besides, these pictures are not going to wound the insurgents--if anything they are going to fuel their anger and hatred.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Today after work I paid K a visit. K and I used to work together at the World Church of Assimilation, but she was fired. We became very close friends, so when she was fired my whole dynamic up there kind of changed. (That day she went home and overdosed on pills and beer and woke up five days later in St. Lukes with tubes in her, but that is another story for another time...)

Anyway, we got fucked up.

There was so much I was going to write about the World Church but I'm fading fast now. More later.

Now I'm going to watch Star Wars. I want to watch all five before I see the new one.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Professor replied to thesis idea; either "too vague or idiosyncratic". Will revise, resubmit. Slayed 'em in class last night -- still not confident about paper but happy with presentation and glad it's all over and turned the eff in. Currently eating a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with chocolate milk.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Busy City Streets
"And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying..."

Sharpening the Claws

In an attempt to effectively procrastinate, I have been contemplating the use of my fingernails. Clearly, they are not just something that has long lost its function, like the hair of the head, for example, because I use them an awful lot for a variety of things, and when I cut them (as I recently did), I notice that certain things are harder. There are labels to peel, flat things to pick up, itches to scratch, and enemies' faces from which to draw blood. Evolution was kind in the gift of the fingernail.

There are things on me that grow very quickly, which I wish did not, and things that grow slowly that I wish grew more quickly. For example, the hair on my head. It does not grow fast at all. I had worked for a long time to achieve a Jesus-like coif. My hair had finally gotten very long! I had it trimmed and my long mane was exactly how I wanted it. Of course no one liked my hair long but I did not care. It was what I wanted it to be. Then I went home for the funeral and my mother freaked. But she made her point. I may be almost 30 years old, but she still has veto power on certain things, like the hairdo. So I cut it down to the scalp. I felt like I was mourning two things--my uncle, and the loss of my hair.

On the other hand, I'm not so into having a beard but my facial hair grows at an alarming rate. I can sneaze and have a full beard. It is course, thick hair so it is not easy to shave--so sometimes I just trim it up and shape it out and let my biological nature have its way. When I go through the intense process of removing it from my sensitive skin, it is always a big relief.

Fingernails and toenails--quick growers. Most women would envy how fast I can grow those bitches out from the tips of my extremeties. I'm indifferent, though, as I mentioned above, they are useful. Sometimes you have to bare your teeth, sometimes you gotta show show your claws. There has been more than one occasion where they have literally been used as a weapon (of self defense of course) but more often than not they function in the modern world to pick at things that are not otherwise easily picked at. I cut them recently and they have that "in the quick" feeling. A squirt of antibacterial non-water hand wash is a little tiny bit painful.

Now I turn to my paper that is due tomorrow, about which I must also present. I think it is ok, though my problem in philosophy is ever taking a firm position one way or the other. I like to lay out all sides of the debate, and then at the end of the day I'm not convinced either way. In my last attempt at the paper/presentation episode, I laid out the "good" side of a market for human organs so well that when I got down to concluding that we should not allow such a thing, I wasn't convinced myself and had barely made an argument for it. Score one for the opponents of my heartfelt position!

Here is where I try to lure Professor Rob Helpy Chalk in via his referral log, rather than being ballsy and emailing him directly, who judging by his paper on the subject (.pdf) of the ethics of genetic engineering is something of an expert on the subject. I am sure that there is nothing that he would rather do with his free time, now that the semester is over for him, than read a mediocre paper by a student who is not only not enrolled in any of his courses, but not even at his university. Wouldn't that excite you, too? That he is cited a few times therein might be additional incentive.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

It has been kind of a nice day outside, but I have not yet made it out of doors. This is pitiful. But I have accomplished a lot on my paper. Posted by Hello

More on Raising and Begging

Maverick Philosopher has posted an excellent example of a "common usage" of language that we should not accept: the figurative bashing of the word "literally". Just as we shouldn't allow "literally" to come to be an intensifier, we shouldn't allow "begging the question" to come to mean "raising the question" because it takes away our ability to convey a certain something with the former expression.

Then he goes on to give a simple refutation of materialism. Speaking of which, there's a little "quiz" going around that tells me I'm a materialist. (I am not a materialist.)

My favorite statement with which to agree or disagree was, "Our modern society has been plagued by an absence of emotion." If anything, "our modern society" is hyper-emotional, in my opinion.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

A beautiful day in the neigh-borhood...

Friday, May 13, 2005

Hats in the Subway

Each coincides with some name, but I didn't get them all.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Most people do not know that I often have delusions that Dave Chappelle is my lover, so maybe I should go join him in the loony bin.

DAVE?! Comedy Central never meant it to be this way...
I remember when I was in college and worked for a cell phone company. The "big idea" around there was that, in the future, people would get all their telecommunications services--phone, internet, cell phone, etc--from one company. That has kind of come to pass.

Now, I hereby prophecize that people will have all their technology in one device. This kind of heralds it.

Begging Questions vs. Raising Them

This guy's defense of using the expression "beg the question" when you really mean "raise the question" is maddening--especially when he claims that "common usage on this one has long since changed." This is a case of one claiming "common usage" to get out of being wrong. In fact most of the common know what beg the question really means. For those who do not here is the distinction between the two.

Any kidney will do...

"Animal rights" is its own can of worms, but seeing as we have a huge meat-for-food industry around the world, most people (right or wrong) clearly think that animals are not on moral par with human beings. We eat them, after all.

So, aside from objections regarding the animal's rights, and given that it would work, I don't see any moral problem with xenotransplantation (animal-to-human organ transplant). I understand the discomfort about human-animal chimeras, but just as we don't become the person who donates his or her organ to us, we won't become pigs if we happen to have a pig's kidney. For example.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I want to clear something up.

I want to clear something up, as it has been coming up (for some reason) a lot lately.

I am not Catholic but it really bothers me how widely a particular doctrine of the Catholic Church is misunderstood (even by Catholics). "The Immaculate Conception" does not--repeat, does not--refer to Mary's pregnancy with Jesus. It does refer to Mary being conceived in the womb of her mother, Anne, the old-fashioned way (the ole in-out, in-out), albeit without the stain of original sin. Is this clear...? Mary was immaculately conceived. Jesus was, of course, born without original sin as well, but He was God, so that's kind of a given.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

STD's Darth Vader, and Blogger Logo

This is an excellent post about STD's. Though I don't think we should really emphasize how "uncommon" HIV and Syphillis are. But I think for the most part she's right on.

She also has an interview with Darth Vader of The Darth Side, which is in and of itself and awesome blog. It reminds me of Grendel by Joseph Gardner in many ways.

In other news, knowing that many of us are posting on Blogger from work, why do they insist on having the HUGE and HIGHLY RECOGNIZEABLE logo at the top of everypage?

Monday, May 09, 2005

The building is the former "YMCA" of Village People fame, for goodness sake...

The NY Post reports that there is gay gym-sex happening at the David Barton Gym in Chelsea, to which I remind the shocked and appalled, it's Chelsea. Your lucky if you don't see gay men fucking on street corners.

The man that is suing the gym for "emotional distress" (what a sissy) has a lawyer who says the goings on in the gym are akin to "ancient Roman baths." Um, I would say that it's more likely akin to modern day bath houses.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Street Trash


Call your mothers!!

I told my aunt yesterday: "You're the mother of the mother!" in honor of her grandmother status. I don't think she got the reference (Patsy to Edina, before they snatched Saphie's baby for a photo shoot). In fact, I'm sure she didn't get the reference.

Anyway, the history of a Mother's Day for Peace is interesting.

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Friday, May 06, 2005

My uncle died recently.

I've been keeping in touch with the family a lot better since then, including my aunt, who is now a widow, and my cousins.

She doesn't mean to do it, but my mom fills me with guilt about a) me and my brother not getting along too well and b) the fact that my gay ass will never provide her with a daughter-in-law or reproduce.

So I'm sitting here in the cube on this dreary Friday, not doing much of anything, and I get to thinking about death, the inevitability thereof, what it's going to be like when my parents die, how my brother and I are going to come together or not, how the family is so far away, how in many ways I've disappointed them or shamed them, how I'm in the last year of my twenties, how I still don't know what I am supposed to be doing with my life, how I'm so lonely and how it's just me only and how this world is covered in shit and going to hell in a handbasket that's already engulfed in flames...

You know, light stuff.

And for some reason The Braids' cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been making me lose my shit lately.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I left work early today in anticipation of my doctor's appointment. I have had these appointments for a long time, since 2000 even, and they involve a heinous condition that afflicts my anus. I'm not even kidding you.

So, having been through a research study on this rare condition, and still having follow up visits and procedures every few months, the ole "telescope up the ass" is old hat for me. The ole "laser beams shot into the rectum" isn't that bad either. The new little assistant was baffled. She said, "Are you asleep?" I said, "No, I'm wiiiide awake. I have done this 7,000 times, it's just a little mind over matter trick now."

Though I appear comfortable, it is still pretty horendous and, as the n.p. who handles all my visits now said to my gown-clad ass when he entered the room, "Ready for a little torture?"

What struck me funny today though is that the main doctor--the World Famous, Big Authority on the Subject--who I have thought was rather cold sometimes and impatient with questions and concerns, made a special point to stick his head in to say hello. "I havn't seen you in ages!" he said. "How are you? You look great!"

It was sweet.

So I left and did a little bit of shopping in the area, and lo and behold I suddenly had to pop a squat, pinch a loaf, whatever you want to call it. The fact that I had just had a light surgery performed on my ass hole probably had something to do with the sudden, uncontrollable urge. So I took the subway a couple stops up headed to my university, but before I made it there I spotted a Starbucks.

There are few feelings less horrible than the feeling that you are going to shit in you pants. I thank the good Lord I made it to an acceptable place.
I splashed some coffee on this girl's leg on the bus today. It was the most embarrassing thing I've done in a while. She was really nice about it, but I'm sure she was thinking "you fucking moron!" and rightfully so. All I could say was, "I am soo sorry..."

Then, this man was coming through and FLIPPED OUT on this other man who was standing in his way. He started yelling at him, and a whirlwind of cussing and threats spewed forth as he worked his way to the back and exited in the rear. I think he might have even said something about hating white people. I can't blame him for losin' it though. People not moving out of the way: I fucking hate that.

Then, I was really into this very nice looking man with a salt and pepper beard and beautiful brown complexion who smiled at me. Then I realized, as they were getting off the bus, the two little girls sitting next to me were his.

My boss just said to me: "Don't file that stuff in the filing box yet, because I need to look through it for something." It's pretty much stuffed, as I've pretty much not done it in days. Then she walks off and says, "Cause I know you were getting ready to jump right up and do that."

I have to rush down to my doctor's office after work today--hope I can make it in time--because they are "squeezing me in" for another treatment/checkup on a heinous condition that involves looking inside my anus. Yes, my anus. The whole explanation is for another entry, another day... Anyway, I'm even more anxious about it than usual because I have been unable to move my bowels since Friday. No telling what kind of "treasures" they will find.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

It has been a long time, and it has been a lot of fun. But sometime in 2006, I'm headed back to the land of milk and honey. I have some things to take care of down there...things that take precedence over the obligations I have here.

I'm listening to Kelly Clarkson's song "Break Away" and it is making me nostalgiac for the days leading up to when I first moved to New York City. I still have a long stretch here but there have been moments lately, when I look down the street and see all that humanity has done to this place, both good and bad, I get a proufound wave of depression at the realization that one day soon it will not be my home.

There are so many places I've been, so many proverbial mountains I've climbed, but I'm standing still. The future is a scary ass place.

My uncle died recently, which is the catalyst to all this emotion. But the emotion has been there anyway. I went home and saw the family, and all the intricate branches and off-shoots from the family tree, and I realized that in the midst of sadness and death, I was back in my little slot in the tree. I love those people, my family, dearly, but not a one of them ever fully caught on to why I wanted to break away. I've been a lot of places. Didn't accomplish much but collecting fabulous stories to tell. And it was worth it. Was it worth it?