Just a little something from my days in San Diego with the band.
Just a little something from my days in San Diego with the band.
Sorry folks, it appears that I posted my last article a little too early. I wrote it this morning, slept for a few hours and then woke up and read it again. I noticed a few errors, so I fixed them. I can’t remember what they were, but they weren’t huge errors. In any case, I just wanted to let you know. It’s now in its final form.
Here we are yet again at the precipice of war.
Some may not fully remember that we’d been here not too long before, that the narrative is almost exactly the same, and that we’ve been lied to by our “angels” holding the reins of state power ad infinitum for time immemorial.
Will Americans fall for it once more?
The war drums beating, the speeches and punditries spoken, and every fashion of ridiculous justifications and moral reasonings having been proffered, all being flashed in front of your eyes in the blue-light sparkle of your big-screen television; and all of this by the tiding media whose only life-support is the very government establishment that wishes to propagandize and impose its powerful influence upon the minds of each and every one of us, all in order to gain the political support to destroy those “evil” inhabitants of the other side … the enemy. How truly collectivist of them.
However this –like so many other wars and aggressions that have occurred before it– is being sold as a “humanitarian” effort; one to save the children, the mothers and fathers, and indeed the people of Syria.
“We’re only here to help, we mean you no harm”. Right?
There could be nothing further from the truth, and I am here to tell you why.
Of Bombs and Men
There simply does not exist any such thing as a “humanitarian war”, it’s a contradiction in terms. It’s much like saying “humanitarian murder” or “slavery freedom”. War is exactly what it says it is: nothing more than one state’s inhabitants (or military powers) killing the inhabitants that live within another state’s monopolistic region of power, or vice versa. You can tidy it up with soft language such as “conflict” or “engagement” as well as many other fanciful terms, but it all means the same thing: War!
Of what value is the reasoning of humanitarianism when innocent people are amongst the dead and killed by such “humanitarian” actions? I say none.
A bomb is an indiscriminate weapon of terror, a true “weapon of mass destruction”. There simply is no way to control who exactly it is that will be killed by such a weapon.
Sure, you may kill a “bad guy”, but you also may (and probably will) kill a lot of innocent people along with him. In fact, this is often the case, as the statistics of the US government’s drone war, and indeed all of its wars and aggressions over the past century, have proven all too poignantly.
To put things into perspective, those few that are supporting this military action in Syria are essentially saying this:
Person A: “They’re killing innocent people over there, we must do something”
Person B: “What do you suppose to do?”
Person A: “Kill innocent people over there”
Clearly, this is not a cogent argument in favor of humanitarianism (the supposed justification for US military intervention in this conflict).
The Gaseous State
The world is being told that Assad is using chemical weapons against his own people (sound familiar?), but to be sure, there has yet to have been any proof of this.
Yes, we do know that such weapons have been used (by whom?), but as Justin Raimondo has shown in his recent reporting, there is much ambiguity with regard to who has been using them. Further, the inspections by the UN had initially been curtailed, all in an effort to rush to another war without ample evidence of wrongdoing (or any evidence at all). Recently the inspectors were in the region, but were only there to establish that chemical weapons were released, not to assign blame, and the US is hinting that it will ignore the UN Security Council regardless.
The appeal by the President for Congressional support, I think, is far more of a political than a legal move. He’s essentially doing nothing more than spreading out the blame and putting on a show to convince the people that he’s consistent with US jurisprudence. He’s already indicated that it is his belief that he does not need to consult the Congress on these matters, so it only makes sense that his motives are entirely political in nature.
If they want war, then war is what they will have.
Indeed, many have been speculating that it is the US-supported “Rebels”, not Assad, who had a “gas”. In fact, some have even been suggesting that this is a “false flag” event; though I certainly cannot verify this any more than I can verify that it was Assad or the Rebels that used chemical weapons. But it is well-known that the US government has been supporting the Rebels (who are affiliated with the US government’s bogeyman “Al Qaeda”) both financially and militarily, that it is the US government that imposed the “red line” ultimatum on the use of chemical weapons about a year ago, and that due to this it is the US that has the most to gain by such a chemical attack by Assad’s government. Cui Bono?
While I do not discount any of the possibilities presented, I still cannot help but question whether any of these things are even relevant at all when considering the supposed particulars of the US government’s “war plans”. They are much more worrying.
Reign of Terror
So what is the US government’s strategic military play? Why, it’s to bomb the snot out of the Assad government’s supposed chemical weapons regiments (if we are to take their word on it). And of course, it will last “hours not days“, just as we’ve been told before in the case of Iraq.
This seems pretty straight forward in many people’s minds, until they think about the consequences of such a thing. If you bomb a chemical weapons facility or the Syrian military forces used in chemical weapons warfare, would that not release the same chemicals that were supposedly used by Assad’s government “against his own people”? Indeed it would!.
So we are left with a situation where the proposed military plan of the US government is to release into the air the same chemical toxins in which they are accusing the Assad government of perpetrating, but the US government is declaring it as a matter of foreign policy (they deny it, but it is unavoidable if what they say is true). Yet the justification of such an action is based upon a synonymous case. This justification is not much different than saying, “well, they’re killing each other, so why can’t we kill people, too?”. It seems that US “humanitarianism” has come full circle (which is to say it is no humanitarianism at all).
However, what if the US government’s military bombs these supposed chemical weapons regiments, and then no fallout happens at all? I would say that this is the smoking gun that this whole story was a claptrap fabrication to begin with.
“Hey, maybe the WMD’s are over there? Nope. How about over here? Nope.”
What if it is true what we are being told, that Assad really did use chemical weapons against his people? Does this give any justification for US involvement?
I say no. The only justification for violence is in the case of self-defense. In this case, Syria represents no danger to the United States, and especially not to the subjects that live within its (the US government’s) borders.
To interfere in Syria would certainly result in civilian deaths, there simply is no way of avoiding that. Since that is the case, then the US government would then have innocent blood on its hands, and there is simply no justification for that, because that is supposedly the very thing that it purports to avoid (or protect from).
Ah, but what of US interests? This is a question always bandied about by no other than those within the halls of power. I never hear any of those who are subject to the rule of US politicians and bureaucrats worrying much about interests abroad of which they have no real interest.
Instead, they’re far more worried about how to feed their family, have a good life, raise their children, and do what all of us wish to do in this life. You know, just like your regular, everyday Syrian is.
Whenever you hear the term “US interests”, that means only one thing: the interests of the ruling class, the elites. Trust me, you aren’t part of that club, nor will you be (unless you can become a sociopath in good speed).
The World Gone Insane, US Style
I don’t know if you have noticed, but the US and Israel have been pretty keen on getting into a war with Iran. Whether it be sanctions, or in the case of Israel, actual bombings and network viruses. So it comes as no surprise to me that Iran just so happens to have a mutual defense treaty with Syria.
I cannot say for sure, but if I were to guess, I’d say that this whole Syria fiasco is premeditated. That the entire purpose of striking Syria is to get Iran to make a move, that way the US government can say, “see, the Iranians are crazy, they attacked us in Damascus when all we were doing was trying to help the Syrian people”.
Syria is today essentially the breeding ground of WWIII, and it couldn’t have been better-calculated considering the state of the world’s central powers (“after all, WWII got us out of the depression”, they so ignorantly repeat, ad nauseam). The Western nations are essentially trying to live out a new world war based upon a false belief that the victor will be the US and it’s allies (just like in the old days), and can thus sustain its hegemony both politically and economically, and move toward a more centralized world state.
What they never counted on was the fact that their lies are like paper flies to the flame. Nobody is buying what they’re selling anymore. Much of the world has finally slipped the reins of the gatekeepers, information flows like hot butter, and all statements are now documented and shared for all to see. There is nowhere to hide in the digital world of information.
Of True Humanity
The true humanitarian position on any question of war is to reject it entirely: war is nothing more than the creation of the collective state, not the individual constituents thereof. US military involvement in Syria will do nothing more than complicate matters not just in Syria, but also the entire region. Indeed, the same politicians who speak so proudly of “democracy” have no problem imposing it upon others (through death and destruction), but when it comes to their own countrymen, it is but a whisper.
Today, only 9% of Americans support any intervention in Syria, and this number is low for good reason: Americans simply do not trust their government anymore. They’ve been through Iraq, they’ve seen Afghanistan, they saw what their political “leaders” did in Libya when Hillary Clinton declared, “we came, we saw, he died”, and every other boondoggle since 9/11. Americans know deep down in their hearts that their rulers are all “full of it”, that they’re only out for their own interests at the detriment to all, and all of this through the power of the state (their ruling nest).
America’s rulers don’t care about what they preach, they only care about themselves and their own.
The simple fact is that most regular folks know true humanity and most Americans are just regular folks. Even in this world of propaganda and false truths, people can see the inhumanity espoused by their statist overlords. Further, due to the lies and distortions spoken by their rulers over time, they’ve all seen time and time again how they’ve been played: the “seeing through the fog” is becoming all the more common in this world of free-flowing information.
Americans are finally finding their humanity, if only at the final hour. I can only hope that it is not too late.
* * *
While it is said that the only justification for violence is self-defense, this might lead one to question whether of not it is justified to come to another’s defense. Indeed it is justified, but one must understand the difference between doing so within a specific case and doing so within the realm of warfare. So in order to avoid confusions of what I meant when talking about the justifiable use of force, I must be more specific.
State warfare always kills uninvolved third-parties, those who have nothing directly to do with the decisions and actions of their respective state.
For instance, in the case of interpersonal conflict we might come across a case such as this: Person C witnesses a situation in which person A is aggressing toward person B (he’s holding a gun to his head, or something similar). It is entirely justified for person C to come to person B’s defense (but he is not obligated to do so). We can easily identify the aggressor (person A), the victim (person B), and the defender (person C).
However, in state warfare, these lines are blurred to the point of illogic. There is simply no way of identifying the particulars of each case, because warfare is indiscriminate. The actions of states are both collectivist and nationalist in nature, thus the individual is erased from the equation. There simply is no way to determine the merits of an individual case, instead we are left with rationalizations of why it is okay to kill innocents. It’s really horrible and twisted when you really give it some thought.
Obviously, one cannot claim a humanitarian position if their actions must ultimately result in the deaths of uninvolved third-parties (innocents). That’s an absurd position.
To take an opposing position is akin to saying that just because I live in the same apartment building as my neighbor, and my neighbor kills somebody’s sister, then the brother of that woman is entirely justified in leveling the entire apartment building (along with all of its contents and inhabitants).
But many actually up the ante, because their position ultimately says that ANYBODY that takes issue with my neighbor killing that women, they (anybody) also now have justification to bomb my apartment building (along with all of its contents and inhabitants).
The issue of Intellectual Property (IP) is a very contentious one in libertarian circles and indeed between differing political philosophies, not all parties seem to agree on whether such a system could exist in a free society or whether such a system is just in the first place. Admittedly, it wasn’t an issue that I had put much thought into until I began reading some of Stephan Kinsella’s work, which eventually converted me to being an anti-IP advocate. While it is great to study and to understand the theoretical positions for or against IP, it is quite another thing to actually experience such a system first hand in the practical sense. Fortunately or unfortunately, I recently had the privilege of that experience.
I am a multi-instrumentalist who also has a love and knack for production. My idea was simple: I’m going to produce something. So I decided that I would perform and record a full cover of a song and also produce an original video to accompany it, and then I would post the whole thing on the internet. Since I am not planning on monetizing this project I figured that I wouldn’t need to worry about copyright or licensing, but I soon realized that I was being quite naive.
Rather than spending time actually recording and producing my music video I instead found myself searching through the labyrinth of copyright laws to figure out just how I could go about completing my project without either being sued or thrown into a cage. As it turns out, there is a licensing scheme that exists and all people must comply with it in order to do anything creative with a work written by somebody else.
There are four basic licenses dealing with music copyrights, they are:
Performance License- This license deals with performing a work in a public place or venue. It could be a bar, a club, on television, a street corner, an aerobics class, on the internet, or any other situation in which multiple people will be hearing the music. This license applies both to cases where one is actually performing the piece, as well as when they are simply playing a previous recording of the piece (such as on a jukebox). The licensing agencies that deal with this area are ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. The fees are varied, depending upon the venue and the song(s) being performed (i.e. the class of license being issued), as well the fees can be based upon a per song basis or a blanket license that covers a particular period of time.
Mechanical License- This license deals with all cases where a work will either be recorded (as in the case of a cover) or simply copied to a medium. Essentially, any time a work is put onto a medium other than the original medium, even if they are of the same type (CD, hard drive, website, etc), one must get this license. The licensing agencies that deal with this area are Harry Fox Agency and Limelight. The fees are 10¢ per physical copy or download, and 1¢ per online stream (for songs up to five minutes in length), as well as processing fees.
Synchronization License- This license deals with all cases where a song will be synchronized to a visual media output (such as a film, commercial, website,etc). There are no agencies that issue this license, it must be obtained directly from the publisher and/or songwriters. The fees vary from no charge at all up to $200,000 or more, per instance or into perpetuity.
Print License- This license is pretty straight forward. Any time you wish to reprint the lyrics or music of a song (words, notation, or tablature), you must obtain this license. The fees vary, as do the issuing agencies and the conditions of the license.
Now one might say to themselves, “that seems pretty straight-forward and simple”, but au contraire, this is where it starts to get interesting. To keep things simple, I’ll just run through some of the considerations and complications that I encountered with each license.
At first I was considering hosting my work on my own blog, but then I realized that in order to do this I would have to get a performance license. After inquiring about what this would cost, I soon decided that this probably would not be a good idea, and that I would be better off using Youtube instead. The reason is that Youtube already has a blanket performance license that covers everything, if they didn’t, then their business model of user-created content would crumble very quickly.
Almost all online media websites with user-created content have these licenses, which is very helpful to those who wish to do what I am doing, but it only shows how very insidious this license is. The owners of these websites are not the creators of the content, yet they are still required to purchase the license as if they were. The logical implication here is that one party is being held accountable for the actions of another party, and that they are also being held legally liable for any “damages” caused to the copyright holder. It is sort of like if you had a party at your house, and one guest punched another guest, yet you’re the one that is hauled off to jail for assault (this isn’t a perfect analogy because it deals with actual property, whereas in the case of copyrights, there is no real property under discussion).
The one license that I knew I must purchase is the mechanical license. This allows me to record my own version of the song and to release it to the public (or even sell CDs or digital downloads). However, things get a little tricky when it comes to the copyrights of the songwriter(s). If there is more than one songwriter, then they can either own all portions of the song equally or each person owns only their contribution to the song (i.e. the guitar part, the bass part, the vocal, etc), or some combination of the two. Unless the songwriter(s) have their own publishing firm, they will most likely be dealing with another party as the publisher, who in turn will own a portion of the rights to the work (usually 50%). The kicker here is that the only purpose of having a publisher at all is for it to be the sole issuer of licenses of a copyrighted work, but rather than accepting a fee for this service, the publisher instead acquires actual ownership of a portion of the copyright. Hmm?
In the case of my project, the song in question has three songwriters who each own their respective contributions, but since they contracted with a publisher, the publisher owns a portion of each songwriter’s copyright to the song. So even if I got the permission to record the song from all three songwriters, I’d still have to go through the publisher for final clearance. Even more, I would still have to pay the licensing fees regardless of whether the songwriters demand me to do so or not, because the publisher will always demand a fee.
As I’ve mentioned above, I also wish to make an original video to accompany my cover of the song, so one would think that I must get a synchronization license in addition to the mechanical license. This is not necessarily true and it is the portion of this story that gets a little vague and non-exact.
If I were to host my project on my own blog I would have to not only get a synchronization license, but also the mechanical and performance licenses, as well. Luckily, due to the shear number of people who post videos of themselves doing covers of songs and posting the original recordings of songs, Youtube has gone to great lengths to secure agreements with music publishers, such that so long as the person doing the posting of the song is not doing so for monetary gain, then they cannot be held liable for any “damages” inflicted upon the songwriters and publishers. However, the video can still be taken down without notice.
One problem that I encountered when becoming aware of the agreements that Youtube has with music publishers is that almost none of these agreements are made public, so most people have no way of knowing whether they are breaking the law or not when they post copyrighted material on Youtube. Some of the publishers do post small blurbs about posting such covers on Youtube, but they are very vague.
In my case, the song that I am recording is published by Warner Music Group (WMG), and they do post their policy on their site (you can read it here). Clearly WMG is not granting any real rights or licenses in this agreement, rather they are saying that they won’t sue so long as you are only posting WMG content in a “personal, non-profit” manner. Further, it states that they –as well as any other party that holds a copyright claim to the work– can decide to remove the content, or to simply monetize it.
If you have ever wondered why there are so many ads before seemingly personal videos on Youtube, this is why.
Essentially, the publishers realize that they cannot pursue every copyright infringement due to the shear number of people posting. Further, they realize that in many cases it is in their best interest to monetize the video for their own benefit rather than take it down. While this is a trend toward a loosening of the restraints on those who post covers on Youtube, it also hinders the spread of information by having an advertisement before the video (which may cause some to simply skip the video altogether).
With my project I did purchase the mechanical license, but I have decided to forego purchasing the synchronization license (due to the prohibitive cost). This is actually taking a very big risk on my part. While I will be free from liability for posting the video, there is no guarantee that it won’t be taken down, in which case all of my efforts would have been wasted. Further, I cannot monetize the video at all, but due to the particular mechanical license that I obtained, I will have to pay 1¢ for every view of the video. While I don’t expect to get a ton of views, this still means that if the video where to, say, get 100,000 views, then I will owe WMG $1000 for something that I can make zero money on. That’s a pretty scary proposition, one that makes me question whether I should complete this project at all.
While a print license has nothing directly to do with my project, it bears discussing because it is very much related to my musical journey of learning.
Back in the 1990s when I was first learning how to play the guitar and bass, there was a great online resource hosted by UNLV servers called the On-line Guitar Archive (OLGA). Essentially, it was a massive library of guitar and bass tablature for just about any song imaginable, and it worked very much like Wikipedia does, with all content being user generated. Even better, these tablatures (or tabs) were extremely accurate and of good quality, because users would consistently correct and update the tabs.
Note that tablature does not contain any time, rhythm, or pitch information (the most important aspects of music), so one cannot use tablature effectively unless they already know the timing and pitches of the notes in the song, or they have a recording of the song to use for reference. Absent this, tablature is nothing more than lines and numbers, with no practical use.
One of the most important ways that musicians learn their craft is by learning and playing songs written by others, so it is no surprise that OLGA was a very popular website and was a boon for budding musicians the world over. However, beginning in 1996 the copyright complaints began to come in. The first was by EMI Publishing, who did not sue, but was able to persuade UNLV to kick the archive off of their servers. Two years later, the site came back up on a different server only to receive complaints from Harry Fox Agency, and thus disappeared again for a short period. Finally, in 2006 OLGA met its death as the National Music Publishers Association and the Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA and MPA respectively) issued an official take-down letter.
The result –other than me having to get better at ear training– is that now musicians would have to purchase tablature from the music notation industry. The problem here is that many of these pieces of sheet music and tablature are very expensive, as well they are very limited in what songs are offered. Further, the tablature websites that exist today are horribly inaccurate and are far less encompassing (I don’t know for sure, but my speculation is that this inaccuracy is a means of getting around copyright laws). While OLGA had accurate tabs for just about every song under the sun, and was continually updated with new material, instead we now live in a world where there are less resources for the beginning musician to learn their craft.
This journey through the world of copyrights has been an eye-opening experience for me. I already had a theoretical basis to justify my position against copyright, but having gone through this process, it has only further cemented my opposition to it.
It is said by the supporters of copyrights that it fosters the arts and protects artists. This is false. Clearly, as I have shown, the system of copyright kills the arts and exploits artists. The entire system is nothing more than a mechanism to make the publishers, copyright organizations and associations, and record labels a lot of money, all at the expense of the artist’s efforts. Luckily, in today’s world of digital technology, the internet, cheap recording gear, social networking, online media venues, etc; it is becoming much easier for artists to not only collaborate and produce their own material, but also to get their art out to the world without having to contend with the dictates of a third-party rent-seeker.
The great irony here is that while the proponents of IP falsely claim to promote innovation, it is innovation that is going to eventually kill IP. I think that this aptly explains the motive behind their lies.
In 2007 I moved back to Ohio. During this time I became re-acquainted with my father, and it is amazing how well we were getting along and how we seemed to realize that we were very much alike. He even asked me to teach him how to play the guitar and he bought a cheap Fender acoustic for his studies (he always had a sort of resentment with regard to my love of music when I was growing up, he was logical/scientific rather than artistic, so this new turn of his left me with nothing but optimistism for the future of our realtionship). Unfortunately, my father died in October of 2008.
When he died, I of course got his cheap Fender acoustic. I was very depressed at this time, so I almost never touched or even looked at that guitar. Then I picked it up one day and was just fiddling around, and eventually wrote a song. It’s a very simple song because I was mostly playing from emotion: seriously, the entirety of it can be played in a single position. I never did put any effort into polishing it. However, today I was digging around my past recordings and when I heard this song, I automatically fell into memories of my father.
One never knows how much they truly love a person until they are gone, and I can say without any doubt that my father was the most important man to ever be in my life. Everything that I am today came from him and his guidance, I am essentially his clone. I only wish that he and I had gotten to know each other better as equals, and I also wish that I had produced a better song in his memory.
This song is called Depro for obvious reasons: I was very depressed at the time. It was played on his guitar, my Les Paul, and my Fender bass. The drums are simple drum-loops, which I often use to help myself keep time while recording. I did consider recording myself playing live drums to replace the drum-loops, but the day is almost done, and I don’t wish to ruin what is already there. Further, this song has not gone through a final mix, instead it is the standard mix that I use when recording, so there isn’t as much separation as I would like. Obviously, there are also no lyrics, both because I would not know what to say, and the fact that I absolutely suck at writing lyrics.
In any case, here is what I’ve got. Depro, recorded sometime in the autumn of 2008 …
Facebook decided to change their whole format and wouldn’t you know it that I found something that I had erased years ago. Apparently when you delete something on Facebook it never truly gets deleted; this little story is proof. It was posted on March 13, 2009, but as you can see from the introduction, it was written sometime in 2008 or 2009. I won’t take full responsibility for its content because … well … just read the intro, you’ll get the idea.
This is a little short story that I wrote while I was in a drunken stupor about a year or so ago. It is funny (I think, anyway), but in a really twisted way. But, then again, I am not really that far off from the psych ward anyhow. Just a little disclaimer: There is plenty of offensive words and subjects in here. But, it isn’t to be taken seriously. God knows I wasn’t in a serious mood when I wrote it. And, no. It isn’t about me. It is just random, drunken writing. So, here goes.
Beep, beep, beep!
I cry awake for a new day. I shutter at the feeling that my dreams were only a far away place. Fantasy! Reality sets in like a stack of bricks; heavy and cold. How much I’d love to flick the shutter and make it all go away. Back into the slumberous dreamworld of the alternate reality. Very much like a slow-still, dreams are funny like that. They make reality bend while you slumber. You can be whatever you want or whatever you dream to be… So to speak.
But, now is the reality.
And, I must face it.
How many times I have done it before, like a true stallion I face it… Life. It really begs, “show me the way”. But, that way is a wanton failure. Not quite failed. Very much still existent. However, it will always end in failure. Death=Failure. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it.
So, with that happy thought of true optimism I heave myself out of my medicated slumber and throw myself about as if I know what I am doing. I brush my teeth with a gag and wonder how many years my incisors have left; Two? Three? Ten? Who really knows? But, such is life. That of the careless of heart and of mind. I take a gander at the chronograph only to realize that I am falling behind. Not in life. But, definitely on the day. Ten minutes pass like a blur and all I can say to myself is “hurry up”!
“Sure buddy. That’ll happen”. (5 seconds is a lifetime)
And, I do just that; hurry. With that “hurry” comes the absence of mind that often sets one behind. You may forget only one thing in a hungover hurry. But, it is that ONE thing. That thing that cannot be done without. That banana. Oh, that banana. That drink of water to sooth that reservoir that the liquor has syphoned dry. Maybe your coat or just maybe that three hours of sleep that has put you into this confused stupor. I’d put my money on the sleep if I were a betting man.
I step out the door and it is quite brisk. I have nothing to shield the goose pimples on my flesh from the biting wind. Not adequate. But, it will do. As I take a hard B-line stride to my car I see a fat clump of feline quadruped furriness cross my path and circle behind. This mammal takes solace at the nape of my ankles and purrs. Normally, I would swing my foot at extremely high velocity at the humped and arched spine of this meowing creature. However, this fucking thing has some heat left in it, godammit. So, I pick him up and toss him into the auto.
I name him Otto. He is freaking out due to the fact that he is not used to his entire world moving at 70 MPH. Let alone doing so in a vehicle that shudders at the whim of the out-of-round tires that it rests upon. I stroke this feline creature so that I can sooth him and let him know that he has a friend in this world. He just hisses at me and tries to attack me with paws that hold no talons.
“Otto, you silly little cunt”, I say under a whisper.
To be sure, this cat is really starting to piss me off! He/she is meowing incessantly. I imagine my eardrums to be a flag flapping to the wind that is the noises coming out of Otto’s gaping orifice. There is no give to this mobile kitty cat torture machine. Each minute seems to last a screeching hour. This fucking animal is really beginning to bring out a beast in me. This beast usually starts out pretty quiet and gentle. But, this ball of fur is really pushing my buttons. The heater of the auto is blowing strong now, so strong that my eyes are as dry as the sands of time.
I ask myself, “why did I bring this fucking meowbox into my car”?
Good question. Why? Ah yes. Lack of sleep, lack of sense. That would be it, Franky.
I decide I need a smoke so a pop a cigarette into my mouth and push the lighter into its socket. Otto stops his annoying meow and stares straight at me. He senses a change of mood. A slight change of feelings. Maybe it is the fact that I have been staring at him now for the last 10 miles. Sure, I have been a courteous driver of the motorways. But, I have had an eye peeled at this furry fuck.
He knows. It is bone to bone and his probability of loss is exponentially great. So, what does this furry, hairball fuck do but spring straight for my eyeballs with his talonless tufts of fur that he likes to call paws. Sure, my eyes aren’t being torn to shreds. But, a cat boxing your eyelids is no laughing matter. Like Evander Hollifield in his heyday, Otto gives me a left cross and a right hook. Meanwhile, the motorists on the freeway are being less than congenial. I have to give it to that feline fuck. “Otto, you got me on round one”.
The bell rings in a new round. Rather, a fellow morning commuter on the roadway honks his pussy-horn at me.
So much like Bruce Willis reaching for the pistol in ‘Die Hard’, I reach for the automatic window button. I get the window half cracked and give Otto a good crack to his kitty jaw.
Holy Shit! It has only pissed him off more. This fucking cat is the Terminator. So, I decide to go completely hands free at the wheel and really handle this pussy. Just then I feel a tear of flesh in my lap.. Hind claws.
“You wise little fuck, You”.
Otto has punctured my cajones with the talons that reside in his hind quarter appendages.
“Oh, it’s ON now. Kitty”, I scream at the end of my breath. “Oh, it is definitely on”.
With both hands free of any other responsibilities I grab Otto’s head and start to smash it on the dash. I can see in his eyes that he is thoroughly dazed. He gives me a look that begs to say “what the fuck” as I hear “et tu, Brute” from some distant part of my imagination. Except he isn’t Ceaser and I ain’t Brutus. He’s Otto and I am Franky. But, he knows. His days, if not minutes, are numbered. I continue this motion until I am sure that I can overcome this pestilence and rid myself of it. Just as I see his eyelids start to close I toss him out of my half-open window. And, just in time, too. I look up to see that I have arrived at my exit.
I take the exit and have the feeling of a warrior that has taken on the entire Roman Army. I have battled and I have overcome. Veni, vidi, vici. I take a left and then a right and reflect.
“Man, I really kicked some kitty ass”, I say aloud heartily. “Fucked that pussy up, I did”, I declare to the morning darkness. As I pull into the parking lot I cannot wait to tell the guys in the office about this one. It’s a real zinger.
My friend Bob often likes to dedicate his blog posts to religious topics on Sundays, so I figured that I would follow suit (at least for this Sunday).
Admittedly, I am not much of a religious fellow, however I am not one of those who consistently attacks those who are religious. To each their own, I say.
However, I have read quite an array of religious texts and many of the philosophers that I admire come from the Christian and Muslim traditions (though, the works that I enjoy weren’t dealing with primarily religious issues). Needless to say, I am very tolerant of other people’s views on this subject, because while I don’t necessarily subscribe to them, I also know that most everybody around me does subscribe to one religious belief or another.
In any case, I recently came upon a Book of Mormon while staying in a hotel over the course of a two week cross-country road trip, and as is the case with such books that set in the nightstands of hotels, they are there for you to take (that actually is why they are there, if you didn’t know already). I don’t often pick up books that I will not read, so I swiped that one up without much thought … let me explain.
About 6 years ago I was living in a small condo in the college town of Kent, Ohio. When hanging out with friends I would often see a commercial from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints showing a phone number to call in order to “receive your free Book of Mormon“. Obviously, I had heard about the magic underwear and Jesus living in the Americas and all of that, and I had seen their churches in many cities in the US and countries around the world, so I was quite intrigued. Mind you, this intrigue has nothing to do with any sort of feeling of belief or intellectual magnetism toward such things, but rather it was an undying curiosity in knowing what it is all about (for my own reference).
Anyhow, I decided to give this number a ring, and they took down my info and promised that a book would be forthcoming.
About a week or two later I heard a knock at my door. When I opened it I saw two 19 or 20 year old girls who were super-hot. I don’t mean pretty, I mean smoking hot. They told me that they were from the church and they confirmed that it was me that had shown an interest in reading this book. However, they would not give me the book unless they were allowed to regularly enter my home on numerous occasions over time to teach me “how the book is supposed to be read”.
I must admit, given their beauty and my carnal nature, they almost talked me into it (it was a very tough decision, to be sure). But my more logical thinking-tool luckily took precedence and I refused them. I knew exactly what they were doing. I almost regret not seeing just how far it would go.
Needless to say, I never did receive the book that was promised by that TV ad. However, I now have that book sitting before me, so I have no choice but to read it (it did, after all, take many years to finally get it). I look forward to it almost like a man who’s remained abstinent until marriage, only I doubt that the payoff will be quite as pleasing.