Things that do not make Franklin happy

There is a list of things that make me happy.

It’s not actually a literal, physical list. It’s more of an abstract idea of a list; a Platonic list, if you will. It is to a physical list of things that make me happy with the Platonic ideal of a chair is to a chair; and just as one can measure the chair-ness of an object by how far it deviates from that Platonic ideal, and conclude that a well-worn La-Z-Boy has more chair-ness than, say, a hacksaw blade, or Dick Cheney, or the TV show “Friends,” so can one look at an activity and tell how happy it makes me by seeing how closely it resembles things on that Platonic ideal of a list of that which makes me happy.

There are many things that make me happy. Science fiction conventions make me happy; flogging people makes me happy; taking pictures makes me happy; pictures of me flogging people at science fiction conventions make me triply happy.

Root canals, on the other hand, not so much. Dick Cheney, either. And mornings. Mornings do not make me happy.

Being awakened early in the morning never makes me happy. Being awakened early in the morning by one of the principals of the company with which I work, telling me that the Web ecommerce system is down and angry customers are calling the toll-free number to complain that they can’t buy the company’s products, definitely doesn’t make me happy.


Ceci n’est pas une LiveJournal update

First, because the one thing LiveJournal needs more of is pictures of cats, I give you Molly, perched regally atop the new loft in my apartment. The loft has definitely become her space; Snow Crash has not once climbed on top of it, so it’s the place she goes when she gets fed up with him.

Click here and go Awwwww…

The Altar of Hideousness

Last month, Shelly and I and her partner and his wife went to Disney. We stayed a couple of days at a Disney “economy hotel,” the All Star Music Hotel (translation: a Motel 6 with a theme and a different brand name on the sign), a music-themed place whose various buildings were all dedicated to different kinds of pop music. The buildings ad gigantic sculptures in front of eac one–a huge guitar for the Rock and Roll building, a burning cross in front of the Country Music building–you get the idea.

Each room had artwork on the wall.

I’ve been meaning to post about the artwork for some time, but only now have I been able to muster the courage and the strength to do so. For this is no ordinary bland, corporate motel artwork, oh my no.

I photographed the artwork on our wall, which was apparently the same as the artwork in every room throughout the motel–a thought that to this day keeps me up at night.

The theme of the artwork is deceptively simple: children, three of them to be precise, one playing a banjo for the entertainment of the other two. Such a simple description, however, utterly fails to communicate the true ghastly horror of this artwork.

Good art has the power to move. This art has the power to crush the viewer’s very soul.

The artwork is untitled. I speculate that this is because “Hideously Deformed Children of the Post-Apocalypse” is too large to fit on a corner of the painting; Shelly’s sweetie suggested that perhaps the true title of this art is “You Should Have Paid More and Stayed in a Different Hotel.”

Since misery loves company, I have placed a photograph of this artwork beneath this cut, thus ensuring the eternal damnation of my soul.

All hope abandon, ye who enter here

“Skinny with razor stubble and glasses”

Last weekend, the St. Petersburg Times ran a story on polyamory called A Love Triangle? Try A Hexagon about smoocherie and her relationships. We sat and talked to the reporter for a couple of hours, and she did followup interviews with smoocherie and radven. She even did a followup interview via email with me, the skinny guy with razor stubble and glasses.

Fortunately, she didn’t mention the kuru. When we got to the restaurant where we were to meet her for the interview, james_the_evil1 and radven and I were talking about kuru, the prion-based sickness transmitted only by eating the brain of an infected person. (Kinda scary, really, that the Fore tribesmen have been practicing ritual cannibalism for long enough that a pathology developed to take advantage of that transmission vector…but I digress.)

Overall the article is positive and balanced, even if I am the skinny guy with glasses and razor stubble.

How to Tie a Rope Harness, Part II

As promised, part II of the rope harness tutorial, in which the reason Tacit likes using longer pieces of rope is revealed.

As before, unless you work in a place where women in bondage is considered passé, this link is totally not even close to being work-safe. IT Morlocks, cave behind the server room, dragging you down never to see the light of day again…you know the drill.

Read on, if you dare…

Americanism vs. Worldism

When I was in high school, back in the ancient bygone days of the Cold War, Ronald Reagan was in office in the White House, America was sending money and weapons to a tiny band of Islamic extremists called the “Taliban” in Afghanistan, and a young wealthy Saudi by the name of Osama bin Laden was using American money to help recruit Islamic Jihadist fighters to repel the Soviets from Afghanistan.

During that time, I was living in Florida, which had a law on its books requiring all high school students to take a state-mandated course called “Americanism vs. Communism” before they could graduate.

“Americanism vs. Communism” was pure indoctrination, straight out of George Orwell. The purpose of the class, which counted as a “history” credit on high-school transcripts, was to show students how the American way of life was superior to the brutal Communists; the man who developed the state-mandated curriculum, Fred Turner, won a Freedoms Foundation Award for his efforts.

The premise and conclusion of the Americanism vs. Communism class was that the Russians were evil, baby-killing monsters who lived under the bed seeking the time to devour the United States and all that we hold dear, and that anything we do to stop these evil fiends was justified. To be fair, this pretty much summed up the politics of the time; America committed quite an astonishing number of atrocities, and supported quite a number of impressively brutal dictators (men like Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, Augusto Pinochet, and Alfredo Cristiani), all because Americanism Is Good and Communism Is Bad.

My teacher for Americanism vs. Communism was a very interesting man. He was a World War II veteran who saw combat in the Philippines and was captured by the Japanese. He survived the Bataan Death March and spent time as a Japanese POW in the Japan mainland, where he was transported in the cargo hold of a hell ship. As an American POW, he was tortured and used for forced labor, before the end of WWII brought his release and that of the other people who survived.

These experiences made a true believer out of him; he was quite passionate about his love for this country, but not in the mindless, tribalistic “My country, right or wrong, love it or leave it, you pinko punk!” kind of way. He did not become a jingoist; instead, he internalized the core values he believed made this country better than others.

And he was appalled by the state-developed “Americanism vs. Communism” class he was told to teach.

On the first day of class, he made it very, very clear that he despised the curriculum and everything it stood for, and that he would not be teaching from the textbook the state required. Instead, he said, as far as he was concerned, this class was a class in Russian history, period. Almost everything I know about Russian history, I learned in that high school class.

So, fast forward a few decades. Communism fizzled like a damp firecracker, and our former allies in the Taliban and our former friend (in the sense of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”) Osama have turned into rather more of a problem than we’d anticipated. Today, the idea of teaching a state-developed class in “Americanism vs. Communism” seems quaintly retro, like those 1950s-era books on home economics telling women that the highest duty they could serve was making sure that dinner was on the table promptly when their husbands came home from work, and making sure they had a smile on their face and subservience in their heart at all times.

And yet, I wonder…

…when do you suppose we will see the first state-mandated class in “Americanism vs. Islam”? Anyone care to make any bets as to what state will be the first to impose this requirement?

The Face of American Evangelical Christianity

Ganked from various places on my friends list. First up, this charming little gem, where a woman asks for the divine blessings of the all-powerful, supreme creator of the Universe upon her PowerPoint presentation, because Satan wants to screw it up:

Look, lady, if you actually had the direct, immediate, and personal attention of Satan, I rather think you’d have bigger problems than PowerPoint crashing. Read the book of Job.

Next up: Evangelical Christians teach young children to worship idols of George W. Bush:

I’m reasonably sure the ancient Israelites wrote something about idol worship. What was it again? I forget. No matter; at least when you worship an idol, you’re praying over something you can actually see and feel and touch, which is three benefits over worshipping an invisible abstract thing up in the sky somewhere…

I habe a code

I spedt bost of the weekebd id bed wid a stuffy dose, ad ab still feelibd a little crubby, though dot as bad as I have beed. Od the good side, though, I spedt a lot of the rest of the weekebd workig od by dew tutorials for rope bodage ad BDSM, ad I’b baking good progress od getting theb dode.

Toborrow is Valedtibe’s Day, ad I’b lookig forward to speding sobe quality tibe with by sweetie figment_j. Ad dayo is cobig down frob Chicago for adother visit id two weeks, so I guess I did’t scare her off!


I bill be happy whed the trolls that have taked up residets id by dose have boved out.

So apparently…

…the preceding post on “how to make a rope harness” ended up linked to on yesterday, which caused a pretty sharp spike in the number of people reading the entry. As a result, the images were slow to load for a couple hours yesterday afternoon.

Wow. First time I made Reddit. Does that mean I’m officially a net.celebrity now?