Monday, October 31, 2005

A Million Dollar Idea. Please don't steal this idea.

You all have heard the saying that everyone comes up with at least three "million dollar ideas" a year.

Well here is my second one this year. For Halloween I came up with a change from the ordinary costumes I might normally wear. From now on I will add "ASS GRABBIN" to my costume no matter what it is.

This year I was the "Ass Grabbin" Devil and my friend was an 'ASS Grabbin' Elvis.

I want to come up with an entire "line" of costumes that feature the Ass Grabbin moniker. I could just buy a buch of costumes and add a cardboard Ass Grabbin sign for an extra 10 bucks.

Don't even think about gettin' that Trademark of mine. Think of it , you can be an ass grabbin clown or an ass grabbin hobo (like there is some other kind?)

Of course, no idea, no matter how great it is comes without baggage. I am not sure how an idea so pure as "Ass Grabbin" could be corrupted, but corrupted it became as my friend Foxxylove and Card Shark got into it over the whole Ass Grabbin thing.

I guess Foxxy didn't get the Memo. Ass grabbin and slutty pumkins are what Americans have come to expect about a holiday designed by the "Crest Foundation to Rot Teeth."

Ass Grabbin is a division of Ass Grabber Inc. "For the ass grabber in you."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

5 Things About the Future that Make Me Uneasy!

#5 Super computers take over the world.

Supercomputers are getting smarter everyday. Do I think something on the order of The Next Dominant Species or Colossus is coming? Probably not. My guess is we won't let the computers get that smart, and I have little faith in the sudden "It's alive!" paranoia that feeds the Matrix or Terminator Movies. My guess is we will become indistinguishable from our computer friends.

But I do worry, I mean it is possible that HAL may be out there ready to kick our ass. And that would be bad.

#4 Hybrids or Chimeras

The Humanzee is real. And I am not just talking about that obnoxious fake Oliver "documentary" either (by the way I saw a second waste of time on that fucker just a few days ago on Discovery-those Fuckers owe me 1 hour of my life back.)

Like the Bionic Man, we have the technology to do it. We can put human brains cells in mice. Wouldn't it be nice to have a parrot that just didn't parrot. Fuck it , bring on the "Planet of the Apes!" I always liked that Rodney Mc Dowell anyways.

#3 Eugenics/the end of men/genetic manipulation

The future will give us a world of designer babies, thank god. JezebelsRiot will finally no longer have to pretend your baby is cute. My baby will be fast, and spit venom on its enemies from 16 feet.

But future lesbians (and all modern girls are) will get rid of men. Apparently we will not be needed as sperm donors and as all we can do otherwise is provide date rape, domestic abuse, the opening of jars and lids, and sweeps of World Series games (fucking Astros) we are not of much use to the "clitorally" centered orgasm seekers. I ask only what's wrong with trying the old fashioned way, it works for me.

It will be strange to be human in the future, we will have genes that allow us instant and total recall of memory (another reason most men will be glad not to be around), genes to change our color, and genes that will no longer require us to eat.

Mark my words though ladies, your gonna miss us. Have you ever caught an episode of America's Next Top Model? YEah. An estrogen rich world is not without its faults. Because "bitches" [I mean this in the hip-hop sense of the word] never face the "fear" of exploding male rage, they will never develop the desire to keep the fucking mouths shut.

#2 Mad COW Disease turns out to be real. We Can't eat real food!

That would really suck, if you own McDonald's stock think about chucking it in the next century. For one even if they don't find a cure for Mad Cow, through the magic of genetics they will be talking to you. That's fucking creepy. Plus with my luck, eating meat really will "fuck up your brain." Man I love animals, they taste great. In the future its all gonna be veggies and air. Air sucks.

#1 Cyborgs

I have already discussed this , but all paranoids delusions and fears get mixed up. In the future we are all gonna be Cyborgs. There is no getting around this. Even if you don't want to (unless of course you want to be a Humanzee.) The only good thing about this is you won't have to find a computer to google something. Conversations will be a combination of reading Wikpedia and viewing a MySpace page. Yep that's right. Unicorns. Everywhere.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

In defense of insanity. Tom Cruise is.

Science, like all human endeavors, has a long history of causing unintended suffering. If you knew the wrong doings of surgery, you would surely condemn it to the dustbin of history. For instance in the beginning of surgery (according to Wikpedia: )

" and before advent of anesthesia, surgery was a traumatic painful procedure and surgeons were encouraged to be as swift as possible to minimize patient suffering. This also meant that operations were largely restricted to amputating and external growth removals. In addition, the need for strict hygiene during procedures was little understood, which often resulted in life threatening post-of infections in patients."

But it is not without regard to your safety that today when your hernia hurts or when your appendix ruptures we suggest surgery as a sensible and sane option.

A just case against the practice of surgery could have been made in ancient times, the same case made against medical surgery can be made about psychiatry and those practitioners who attempt to soothe and comfort those who suffer from mental disease.

It is true that Psychology is a new Science and we may not be very far removed from the times of out right barbarism. But the contention that the mental sciences have not progressed is false.

There may very well be validity to criticisms that we are an over medicated society. And I must completely agree with the notion that we must be careful with the labeling of "deviant" behaviors as mental illness. That said, much suffering has been eliminated and a greater understanding of the mind and it's operations has occurred over the last 40 years.

Critics of psychology like Tom Cruise do not have this in mind when when they suggest that psychologists cannot tell the difference between sane persons and the insane. The critics of insanity would suggest that there are no mind illnesses just the labeling of behavior; however, even the most strident critic of psychology must admit to the reality of "damaged brains" leading to mental and behavioral abnormalities.

In a famous experiment in 1973, sociologist David Rosenhan, designed a study to examine the the social construction of the "mentally ill" label. I will use this experiment because it is purported to disprove the notion that psychiartrists can tell the difference between the mentally ill and normal people.

Rosenhan's experiment used eight healthy "pseudopatients" who were admitted to twelve psychiatric inpatient units in five states by feigning psychotic auditory hallucinations — hearing unfamiliar voices of the same sex saying "empty", "hollow" and "thud". None had a history of mental illness. After being admitted, the experimental subjects acted normally and did not display any obvious psychopathology. Subjects were to remain as inpatients until they were discharged by the staff at their hospitals, who were not privy to the experiment and believed the subjects to be real psychiatric patients. Their stays ranged from 7 to 52 days and the average was 19 days, all being discharged as schizophrenic "in remission."

That sounds terrible right? But the truth is that schizoid cases only rarely remit(about 1% of the time). The fact that all of these patients were "hearing" things is unusual in itself and and it's not at all that odd to rely on patient complaints and self reports to help diagnose disease. Doctors are taught that people know when something is wrong about their bodies or feeings and take these reports seriously. Doctors in general are more likely to find something wrong with you than find you healthy regardless of whether they look at your body or mind.

When you think about it, who wouldn't want people, who were so alarmed by the fact that they are "hearing voices" they checked themselves into a clinic, to be "looked at" a while? But the critics of psychology and the sociologists who ran this study thought it odd that patient complaints would be validated so easily.

The suggestion that the doctors do not distinguish between sanity and insanity does not bear out. If a person came to you complaining of voices in his head you would take it as a sign that all is not well. So quite prudently the medical profession investigated. And all of the patients where released, most after just a brief stay.

And all of them were found to be sane again (though in remission.) Of course this does bring us in to issues that go beyond the scope of this blog entry like
malingering and the stigma of mental illness labels, but these issues have nothing to do with the correspodence of mental illness as phenomenon to reality. The Rosenhan experiment in no way invalidates mental illness as a reality, but rather provides a cautionary tale about expectations and the consequences of medical practice.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

An ethical dilemma.

Recently a friend and I faced down probably one of the toughest and dumbest kitties in the world.

On a return trip home from a casino (where I pocketed 131 dollars in winnings) Card Shark swerved to avoid what he thought was a plastic bag. It turned out to be a kitten. The swerving didn't quite work and we heard the ghastly sound of tiny bones being ground to a fine powder.

"Should we go back?"

He's asking a misanthrope. I would have kept going. But then he asked "Do I have an ethical obligation here?" "Oh, that you might have." I replied. "To run it over again if it's still in pain." Neither of us looked forward to that option as we are both a bit squeamish.

Upon close up inspection the cat appeared fine and I suggested we return to the vehicle. Card Shark was not quite convinced and wanted to find a "stick" to poke it.

"It might scratch me." He rationalized.

I well understood his concern as the kitten could have been weighed in grams and possibly had been incapacitated after being run over by a 3000 pound car.

But the sheer ferocity of this animal was reinforced when a second car appeared, and rather than head for safer ground on the curb the feral being bared forth it's teeth and slashed at the oncoming tire.

"It's legs must be broke, why else would it not move?"

So Card Shark threw a plastic bottle to frighten it off the roadway and the damn thing took off like a cheetah on the Sahara.

"That cat ain't hurt." I cried. "It's just the stupidest cat ever. It actually thinks it can take on moving cars."

Card Shark will be taking in the truck to a local Goodyear store to determine what damage this bionic kitten must have done to his tires.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Why I hate Wolf Blitzer and Why Tyra Banks Scares the Shit out of me.

I am certainly not the first guy to insult Wolf Blitzer's "Situation Room."

But I just can't understand how any grown man can stand and deliver lines like "We are getting live feeds in now on that overturned bus ..." it's beyond me.

Especially since live feeds means nothing more than television feeds from other networks.

Do we really need a stituationon room to inform us that Paris Hilton's new TV show has been cancelled?

"We are getting reports now that Paris Hilton has had a Tuna Sandwich."

The Situation Room is always "just getting reports." Stealing live feeds from Shobiz Today or that insufferable upbeat program entitled The Insider with former football guy Pat "Oh Your so fucking Hot!" Brien.

Which naturally leads me to this awkward segue, Tyra Banks scares the shit out of me!!

In her new program she plays big sister with attitude to a stunned and cattle prodded audience. Not that you would dare to fuck with Tyra. That's one sister who will put the beat down on you.

Tyra leans in to her guests who have some rather serious problems and fixes their mascara, she's a girls best friend. But all this good natured advice from a women who could snap any second and throw an alarm clock at you is unnerving to watch.

Trya Banks cares? She is like a rabid dog bringing back a dead canary to her master. You're sure you don't want to thank the dog, you're darn sure you didn't want a dead cananry, but the fucking grin on her face demands some kind of aknowledgement.

Careful where you pet boys and girls, careful where you pet.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Why I Hate Oprah. An Open letter.

Yesterday Oprah had Anderson 'I swear I am not gay' Cooper on her TV show talking about Poverty in America.

A host of different TV celebrities were shown ringing their hands over the poor. Oprah even made sure we knew she was down with the Kanye Westian notion that "it would have been different if it were white folks in New Orleans."

Meanwhile it was Anderson Cooper who tried to reassure all those anxious Soccer Moms who watch Oprah religiously that there "might have been a different response" if New Orleans was filled with minivans and Born Again's in trouble, but he wasn't "quite sure how it would have different. "

"I am grateful for Anderson Cooper. He took away my gnawing sense of guilt, and replaced it with something I am more comfortable with... ambiguity."

As always a Kennedy was in tow. Though this time it was only Maria Shriver. She was there to pay homage to rural Appalachia. What's a report on the poor in America without a hillbilly or two?

So what did we discover about these "Unseen Americans"?

Like us most of them make bad decisions, they just don't have any safety net to catch them. Then they are caught in the self defeating catch 22 of the culture of poverty.

"You know, lots of people make mistakes in their lives," Oprah says. "They get a break, and you get another chance, and you get another chance. But when you're poor, one strike, and you're out. "

When you don't have money in the bank, and when you don't have a family who loves you or who can care for you, the only place to fall back on is the street," Anderson says. "And the street is pretty damn hard."

So even when Oprah gets it "right," poor people make mistakes, she goes about asking her questions all wrong.

When you attack the problem of poverty from an Individualist Perspective you will always find causes and solutions for that particular individual. But does it really account for the widespread distribution of poverty?

Why not ask serious questions about lack of social services, education, jobs, rather than view the poor from the microscope of morality. Once you attempt to view the locus of decisions, you notice that they are all contingent.

Poor decision makers are made not born. If the alternative where true, then what could we do as society? Throw away persons won't make for a stable and secure future.

In their final analysis Cooper and Oprah hope to provide the answer to why poverty exists in the U.S. They claim poor people lack "drive."

When Oprah tells the poor they don't have the "drive of the middle class and other successful people" her incorrect analysis hurts poor peoples chances to find favor with the middle classes.

Because Oprah is supposed to be from the 'hood. She represents the rags to riches story. If she places the blame for poverty squarely on the backs of the poor themselves , everyone else will. They will say "If Oprah can rise up to be a billionaire, anyone can do it!"

It wasn't so long ago that Oprah herself was dirt poor so when she forgets it it's a crying shame and hypocritical.

To be fair, during her report Oprah didn't completely forget about her roots. She remembered them when saw herself in the personage of small poor black girl.

"This little girl has star quality." She oozed.

Oprah should realize that just like that little girl, the vast majority of poor are poor through no fault of their own. Most poor are children. Oprah should stop telling children they don't have the heart to be rich. Oprah lost your billion dollar heart a long time ago.

I hate to say this, but Oprah is different. She has a power over millions of people, the power to make them think.

Few people in America are viewed as an intellectual. Because so many people view you that way, you have the power to engage the intellect of the American psyche.

Instead you allow your contradictions to control you. Didn't I see a "tease" about an upcoming show where you will "beautify" ugly women? Don't you profess to hate the beauty industry and the male chauvinists who objectify women? Oprah, haven't you fallen into the same trap? Do you really need supermodels to show "average" people how they should really look?

Oprah you had a chance to correct the sad stereotypes of the poor, but you failed to do so. You had a chance to explain in depth and identify the structural problems which prevent wealth creation at the bottom of the rung, but you chose not to. You could have explained why the gap between the rich and poor is increasing, but you preferred emotional tales of imorality.

The poor don't need your misplaced pity, what we need is for you to engage the anger of the righteous middle classes into class warfare. The rich are at war everyday with the poor of this country. It's too bad their strongest defender hasn't joined with them in the trenches.

Upcoming posts:

A defense of Insanity.--with my apologies to Tom Cruise I do know the history of Psychiatry.

Why I hate Wolf Blitzer and Why Tyra Banks scares the Shit out of me.
The Case for Race in Science.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I don't recall putting advertising on my blog.

What the Fuck?

Did I fall asleep at the wheel? Yes, I have been kidnapped and dragged to more casinos in the last 3 weeks than Stu Unger visited before he keeled over.

And yes spending 17 hours at a casino to earn a grand total of 40 dollars puts me way behind minimum wage, but that's another story.

But did blogger go and force advertising on us all and I missed their call? Or do all the blogs I visit get dumped on by the same spammer?

Turns out it is Ok, I guess MCC has viruses on half the computers.