Sunday, December 21, 2008
Expect to see a few random thoughts as I clear out the brain and my notebook for 2009. Some I may bundle together, but I think most will deem their own post.
First a question:
Why are dogs the pets of choice for the homeless? Why don't homeless people wander the country with cats, lizards, turtles, or fish? Where do homeless people get these dogs? Does the humane society let homeless people have dogs? Or are there that many stray dogs out there that strays and the homeless make a natural match, like peanut butter and chocolate?
Now another question:
Is the rate of spousal abuse lower in polygamist households? Could that be an advantage to polygamy, that perhaps one wife can talk the husband out of assaulting another wife? I would think that if there was someone to diffuse the situation or even come to the physical defense of the assaulted, there would be less violence. Unless of course there is wife-on-wife violence, or one wife convinces the husband to assault another wife, or perhaps the husband assaults all his wives.
A third question:
What is the proper method of disposing of non-U.S. flags in the United States? There is rules and protocol for the destruction of an American flag, but what about flags of other nations? Does the American Legion or VFW take foreign flags? Do these organizations know flag destruction protocol for all 200+ nations? Are there any countries that require the owner to mail the flag to the U.S. embassy in that respective country? What about countries that don't have a U.S. embassy, such as Iran? This is why I don't own any foreign flags.
(About the image: way back in April, someone in Seattle was shooting darts at pigeons. I thought the picture was interesting in a Steve Martin-wild-and-crazy-guy sort of way.)
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Archeology, Anthropology, and Breast Implants
Something I have always wondered is what happens to breast implants when the implantee dies. Do breast implants follow a person into the crematorium?
According to this website, implants do get cremated. But there might be environmental consequences. That's not good.
But can breast implants be kept by the surviving as a memento?
I hate to sound too materialistic, but there are women who are best known for their breasts. Dolly Pardon, Pamela Anderson, and a wide array of artificially enhanced porn stars comes to mind. What if a husband wants to keep them as a way to remember his wife? Or what if a museum is willing to pay an exorbitant amount to display them? Depending on the amount, that money could help pay for burial services or help the inheritance of future generations.
Can breast implants be buried with the person?
Something about burying people with artificially enhanced body parts just seems weird to me. Not that someone shouldn't be buried with a fake leg or an artificial arm; those are essential body parts. But I would think cosmetic pieces such as fake teeth, fake breasts, or hair extensions should be removed.
Imagine a time 10,000 years from now, a time when the human race has died off due to any one of many catastrophes (war, famine, etc). Imagine a race of aliens comes to Earth and discovers there was at one point a dominant species on our planet. Imagine they start alien archaeological digs to find out who this species was and what their culture was like. Along the way, a few of the graves they open have two silicone orbs among the bones of the deceased. How are they to ever imagine that these orbs were attached to the breast area? What conclusions will they come to on the orbs' place in human culture?
This is the type of stuff that worries me. Not because I have a fascination with death or boobs, but because I care about humankind's image 10,000 years from now. Even after we are all gone, I still think we should put our best foot forward. I wouldn't want an alien race thinking those with breast implants were some sort of royal elite ruling class. That would be weird.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
'Tis the season for cliches. It is the time of year when we spout overused sayings promoting feelings that should permeate year-round. Yet for some reason only around the holidays do we recall stories of the perils of loneliness and claim to make an effort to increase general goodwill.
Or is it all grandstanding?
Do we really believe what we are saying? "Peace on Earth"? "Goodwill towards Man"? "God bless us, everyone"? Unfortunately, I think it's all a bunch of malarkey.
We don't really want peace on Earth, do we? Do you realize how many people would be out of a job if everyone on Earth instantly got along? We wouldn't have threats to our person, to our resources, or to our nation. That means no Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines. No need for a Department of Defense either. Everyone knows war is good for business. Where would these people work if peace broke out tomorrow?
Nothing represents the hypocrisy of the holiday season more than Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. We all know the story: grumpy old loner transforms overnight into celebrated philanthropist. Nice, neat, and packaged for our consumption.
According to the Blogger News Network, last year the Chicago Sun-Times claimed that Dickens' protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, was at first some sort of evil early Republican monster. This of course, set off the political blogosphere, with each claiming that the Scrooge of the end of the story represented their point of view. Because for whatever reason no one wants to be associated with the early Scrooge character.
The problem is that Scrooge is misunderstood. In defense of the Chicago Sun-Times, Scrooge was absolutely a social conservative. He worked within the system and succeeded. He saw nothing wrong with the socio-economic system as it was. The system didn't need changing, the people in it needed to change. That's the definition of conservativism.
Early in the book, Dickens portrays Scrooge as a miser, unwilling to put another piece of coal on the fire. But, as we know now, burning coal is bad for the environment. Scrooge was merely ahead of his time in his attempt to minimize the use of unrenewable resources.
Dickens also depicts Scrooge's desire to succeed as a bad thing. Today we would call him a workaholic. In a world where people are pulling Ponzi schemes to get rich quick, is working hard really such a bad thing? What Dickens doesn't mention is that Scrooge was honest. As far we know, he made his own money and never swindled anyone. Yet he is looked down upon.
Third and most importantly, Scrooge stayed within his limits. Since the days of Dickens' England, people have been bombarded with industrialized manufacturing. This uber-production is only now beginning to slow down. In its wake, we have millions owing credit companies and a trillion dollar national debt. My guess is that Scrooge never bought anything on credit, nor did he have outstanding debt. He was recession-proof, which in today's society is quite enviable.
So why shouldn't we emulate Ebenezer Scrooge? Remember, we are told not to be Scrooge-like by the same machine that tells us to buy more cars and eat more casseroles. The same machine that publishes Dickens's works every year and broadcasts his story between commercials on cable TV.
This year, fight the power. Stay real year-round. Embrace your inner Ebenezer and be like Scrooge.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
After last week's legal decision to allow personal evidence in the trial of former astronaut Lisa Nowak, the manufacturer of Nowak's diapers has decided to unveil a new campaign highlighting the product's role in the NASA love drama.
According to Claude Beefro, CEO of Globalpu, Inc, producer of the Homies line of diapers, the company couldn't turn down the free press.
"We knew our name would eventually be in the headlines," Beefro said. "We decided to pre-empt the late night jokes and maybe move some product in the process. After all, that's what it's all about, right?"
Besides putting Nowak on the latest line of diapers, Globalpu is also in negotiations to use Nowak in commercials and other public appearances.
"We tried to get her to wear another pair if or when she goes to trail," claims Beefro. "She balked at that. But we will have her signing diapers at the next ComicCon."
Although small, and a minor player in diapers and other products, Globalpu is used to thinking out of the box. Back in 2005, the company attempted to capitalize on the Terry Schiavo case by briefly putting her name on their line of produce.
"We had her promotion angle all lined up before her people pulled the plug, literally" said Beefro. "Who would people trust more about veggies than a vegetable?"
Time will tell if the Homies line will continue to use Nowak's name on the product, or whether a resulting stink could mandate the diapers be changed.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Four years ago today, Darrell Abbott, better known as Dimebag Darrell, was heinously murdered on stage by a deranged fan. Dimebag's murder was immediately compared to that of prominent jazz musician Lee Morgan, also killed on stage during a performance.
The difference between Dimebag Darrell and Lee Morgan however, was that I never saw Lee Morgan in concert. I did see Dime. Five weeks before his murder, I saw Dimebag play in Tallahassee as a member of Damageplan. Without a doubt, Dimebag was one of the best guitar players I have ever seen.
I still regret not grabbing a shot or two with Dime. That would have been one hell of a memory.
One of the weird things about the Dimebag Darrell murder was how close I was to it, timewise. Following a Rhode Island nightclub fire during a Great White show in 2003, a friend of mine commented that had the show happened in Tallahassee, he and I probably would have been there. The same is true with the killing of Dimebag Darrell. I would have been at that show had I lived in Columbus, Ohio. No doubt about it.
Rest in peace, Dimebag Darrell.
Oh yeah, John Lennon was also murdered on December 8th, in 1980. Dare we call this day the worst in rock'n'roll history?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Most sports fans have heard about the plight of New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress. According to the "mainstream media", Burress shot himself in the leg with a firearm last weekend.
Fortunately for those of us who seek the truth, the Weekly World News, the "best damn investigative reporting on the planet", tells us a completely different story. According to the WWN, Burress was actually firing at an Irishman named Seamus O’Shaughnessy.
A quick google search of this mysterious "Seamus O'Shaughnessy" brings us to the web site of a WWE pro wrestler, aptly nicknamed "The Irish Curse". Could this be the man Burress intended to fire at? Was there a tiff between the WWE prospect and the disgruntled Giants star?
According to the NY Daily News, Burress needed the firearm due to his possession of "expensive jewelry". This maybe the missing link.
Perhaps it is too stereotypical, but maybe, just maybe Mr. O'Shaughnessy confronted Mr. Burress over the ownership of a certain piece of gold. According to reports, the WWE was in Albany, NY just days prior to the night of Burress's shooting. Could Burress have taken O'Shaughnessy's Florida Championship Title and brought it back to New York City? Anyone who has seen any of the Leprechaun movies knows the Irish get sensitive when their gold is missing. Especially if the Irish gentleman in question claims to have been involved in conflicts against "Viking tribes of the North, Germanic, Norman and Anglo-Saxon armies from the East, and The Moors and The Romans from The South".
No offense, Mr. Burress, but if the Weekly World News is to be believed, and I don't see why they wouldn't be, stealing from Mr. O'Shaughnessy was not a wise move. Be glad you escaped with only a self-inflicted wound.
Of course, curious readers might question why the Weekly World News did not make the appropriate connections, and why did they claim O'Shaughnessy was a leprechaun? My answer to this is that we should never underestimate the power and influence of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. Could Plaxico Burress merely be a pawn in a Vince McMahon attempt to finally avenge the failed XFL? Will we see more pro wrestler "hits" on NFL players?
(Note: Brad Curran of Pulsewrestling.com also made the Seamus O'Shaughnessy connection. Unfortunately, he dismisses the Weekly World News investigation.)