Writing For Adrian: It’s Harder Than It Looks

oh_dear_i.PNG

If you haven’t noticed, updates to The Luigiian have been getting sparse lately. This is due to an epidemic of boring in Albuquerque. Boring is a disease that can infect Internet bloggers at an alarming rate, claiming entire communities within minutes and turning them into forums on non-issues like the Railrunner Express Train, which is quickly becoming locally known as the “Deathrunner” due to its stalking helpless women and children, following them into their homes and eating them. The phenomenon has left many functionally retarded and unable to read the entire content of blog posts, a local example of which is forum poster Adrian, who commented on my Railrunner page (Why Did the Railrunner Kill Again? It’s the Horn’s Fault!!!1) as follows:

well the rail runner is not to blame in this disaster, the horn can not be changed cause it would be illegal to do that and it would be against the FRA. also to add to that the cars and the drivers are at blame, i went to the same crossing and i counted 50 cars that did not look both ways on the tracks and just spead through and some saw that train coming and did not wait for it and they were almost paint on the train, DRIVERS NEED TO WAIT FOR ALL TRAINS, AND LOOK BOTH WAYS WHEN CROSSING, NO EVEN THE TRAIN ENGINNER OR ANYONE CAN NOT STOP A 79 MPH MOVING TRAIN JUST TO LET A CAR PASS………. IT TAKES 2 TO 5 MILES TO STOP A MOVING TRAIN GOING BETWEEN 79 TO 100 MPH ON A DIME. SO DRIVERS ARE A T FAULT AND THE RAIL RUNNER IS NOT TO BLAME.

The problem with this argument is that I never actually said that the horn was to blame; I said that the state needs to erect a railroad crossing at the gate whether it’s on private property or not, because it’s the state’s train. My point was that the state, like any entity, has a legal obligation to make the train safe, and that if the train hits somebody or something, it’s the state’s fault. If I’m the state, and the RailRunner is my dog, and I’m walking my dog on your property with your permission, I still have an obligation to make sure that my dog doesn’t trample on your children, whether they’re in his path or not. Or something like that. Since you can’t stop a train like you can restrain a dog, the obvious solution is to erect a gate to allow the owner’s kids through at certain times when the dog isn’t being walked; hence, a crossing gate. But the state won’t pay for that because it doesn’t want to, which in my opinion is retarded, since they were perfectly willing to spend upwards of 400 million dollars on the system so far.

Obviously, however, the writer of this commentary didn’t read the post, and as a blog owner it is my job to make sure that my posts are interesting, so that you won’t feel it necessary to comment on my work by saying “tl;dr” (that’s Too Long Didn’t Read in Internet shorthand) or looking like idiots by writing something that shows that you didn’t even read the damn article. I have failed at this, and I apologize.

Yeah fucking right.

woofie_railrunner_i.PNG

I put this comic at THE TOP OF THE DAMN PAGE, DUMBASS. That’s seven sentences. It basically contains every single argument from the entire article, mentions the horn argument zero times, and its argument runs entirely against the title of the page, which was meant to be ironic. I suppose that it could be difficult to read for some considering that long quote bubble at the top, but I would think that even a trained monkey could get the basic idea. But I guess that would’ve taken too long for our friend Adrian. Unbelievable.

I don’t mind if you disagree with me on most of these points. Look, the people who got owned by the RailRunner were dipshits. They didn’t pay attention, didn’t listen to the horns, didn’t look both ways, and got killed for being so foolish and complacent. In short, they deserved it. So I understand if you feel that the state shouldn’t pay for a crossing on their property, using taxpayers’ money, because a few people got killed due to their own actions alone. I disagree, primarily because of the money situation involved in this debate, but I understand. However, I didn’t realize that a short three-panel cartoon would take too much effort to read for your refined tastes, O wise and intelligent Adrian. How silly of me.

Of course, I’ve seen this before. The Something Awful Sycophant Squad recently put up a forum thread about one of my articles on Richard Kyanka (who is, of course, the owner of the website Something Awful). In the article, I basically said that Kyanka should stop writing about furries, stop writing that they should be put into concentration camps and gassed, and stop writing in general because he sucks at it. To put it another way, I think that the vast majority of Internet users would be happier not having to see “OMG FURFAG” posts on every site they come to, and that the ones who want links for trolling them and argue that furries need to die are probably also the same people who would jump at the proposition of having sex in an animal costume if it meant that they could finally lose their virginity.

However, my chronic Boring Disease came back to haunt me, and they didn’t read many of my points clearly. For example, I wrote

Clearly, you are right about furries not being “the new gay”, even if you solidify their argument that they are by calling them “furfags”; in fact, they are their own religion, with clear principles and morals and rites of passage, in your forum members’ minds.

A forum member of Something Awful wrote that furries constituted an animal worship cult, apparently because some of them have “totem animals” or take it far too seriously (i.e. religiously), and I was insinuating that this argument is stupid. I also stealthily included an attack on the word “furfag” by saying that it allowed furries to describe themselves as being “fursecuted”, as they put it, like gay people are.

The commentary I got back was

The writer is an ultra-PC faggot. As shit as SA can get sometimes, this is the stupidest thing i have read in my whole life. Saying ‘Furry is the new gay’ when the truth is that it’s really the new retarded.

I will take the “ultra-PC faggot” part. I will take the “YIFF IN HELL FURFAG” I got in the end for the page, especially after admitting that “I like a lot of their art”. But come on. Misreading a quote that badly is pretty much admitting that you’re a retard.

I will work to correct my horrible Boring Disease, and so should you. 99.9% of bloggers suffer from it, the .1% remaining being Maddox and omgjeremy.com (pre-myspace). Here’s what you should do:

  1. Don’t write more than three sentences, because any more than that and today’s enlightened Internet user will not be able to understand what you are saying and will use any one of a number of witty responses, from the versatile “stupid fuck” to the powerful “nigger faggot Weeaboo”, to attack you.
  2. Today’s enlightened Internet user won’t read your website unless you lavish affection on his favorite subjects. Be sure especially not to attack mass transit systems or animal rights activists, lest hippies should feel offended by your personal opinion.
  3. Disregard everything I just said.

If you don’t like what I write, you can kiss my ass.

Why Did The Railrunner Kill Again? It’s the Horn’s Fault!!!!1

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 19, 2007 LOS CHAVEZ, N.M. — The Rail Runner commuter train collided with a vehicle Wednesday, killing one person, state police said.The collision occurred just after 6 p.m. at a private crossing midway between Los Lunas and Belen. It was about a quarter of a mile from where the train struck a sport utility vehicle last month, killing two people.Augusta Meyers, a spokeswoman for Mid-Region Council of Governments, which operates the Rail Runner, said the crossing did not have any lights or guards.The Rail Runner was traveling south when it crossed paths with the eastbound red Subaru wagon, said State Police Sgt. Andrew Tingwall.The remains of the car could be seen smashed at the front of the train as authorities secured the scene and escorted the train passengers onto buses headed for the Rail Runner station in Belen. State police did not allow any of the passengers to be picked up at the crash scene.Meyers said there were no injuries among the 84 people aboard the train.

(Courtesy the Santa Fe New Mexican)

My argument?

 

Finally, the state of New Mexico agrees with me that we need some serious population control mechanisms. I say we need wolves to eat people, and maybe an H-bomb here or there (i.e. New Jersey) to really finish off those last remaining ones. But apparently Governor Bill Richardson disagrees with me on the “how to” part of the equation. His $400 million RailRunner project has now killed three people, which may well be more than the number of people killed by wolves for all I know.

(Currently, I am trying to refocus my mind after going batshit insane reading this article trying to figure out how many confirmed wolf killings there have been. Excuse me.)

All right, so the train’s killed three people. Big deal, it happens all the time. If Amtrak trains aren’t exploding, then the commuter rail system in LA is, or a Santa Fe in Wisconsin is dropping toxic waste on an orphanage or elementary school.

Problem is, this is the third death in two months. And it happened in two accidents, both of which occurred at private crossings, at least one of which has no flagmen, bells, or crossing gates (I can’t find any information on the other; your help here would be appreciated).

Now, whenever I heard on Eyewitness News 4 that there were absolutely no safety devices placed at the crossing where (at least this one) tragedy occurred, my first reaction was, of course, “Then install crossing gates! People are dying here!”

Naturally, of course, I was wrong. Apparently the state of New Mexico isn’t going to fix the problem for two reasons:

  1. The state doesn’t have to do anything to fix the problem, since it’s a private crossing.
  2. In the same link: The problem was, apparently, that “the horns weren’t loud enough.”

Because, of course, 129 decibels just isn’t enough. Nor is 95. No, it’s definitely the horn’s fault, not the fact that the state won’t contribute any money to erecting a crossing.

And would it seriously hurt them? Even if it doesn’t have to, the state could easily pay the extra cost. Look again at that figure. $400 million for the Railrunner. How much would it seriously cost to install a damn crossing gate at one of the few places on the train where it’s necessary? Crossing gates in, say Chicago or Florida require about $300,000 initial cost to install, and maybe $1000 a year to maintain. Or about a tenth of a percent of the initial cost of buying six trains with cars and special roadrunner graphics. Maybe next time they should spend the paint job funds on making sure that the train doesn’t kill people. Or maybe they could just keep the cool paint job and instead spend a little bit more on this crossing gate. It’s the state’s train, so the state should pay to keep it safe. If it can’t pay, it shouldn’t have the train. It’s that simple.

And I think it should keep the train. Of all of the mass-transit projects employed in New Mexico, the Railrunner is the one that sucks the least. Lots of people can use it to travel the incredibly long distance between Santa Fe and Albuquerque easily, with less traffic accidents. There is definitely an improvement in commute times, unlike in many bus systems where bus lines are so far apart that you’d be better off riding in a car. Like Albuquerque’s Rapid Ride program, which connects UNM with the east side of Albuquerque, this can seriously reduce commutes. But they gotta install the gate. If they don’t, I say it’s time for euthanasia. Nobody wants a killer bird-train and I don’t blame them.

The Chinese Food Bowl

woofie_chopsticks.jpg

I wait in line, savoring the cacophony of smells from all six of the restaurants in the cafeteria. The odor of chicken wings tangles with the sweeter odor of burritos, hamburger clashes with bacon, onion rings make my stomach turn as the crisp, refreshing smell of fresh salad greens rights it yet again. Yet none of these are to be my lunch. I have decided long beforehand on this, before my architecture class, before realizing as I had licked the roof of my mouth this morning that I had a sore throat, that I would be taking classes from eight to five into the afternoon in an annoying kind of light torture, the kind that China was so damn famous for. I step forward in line, again, again.

I’ll be having Chinese food today.

fried_rice_champions_ninjas.pngThe line slowly lurches forward towards the men in costume making sushi. The man behind me begains to tell me about his day, especially concentrating on how very slow this line is, on how much better it is to be in line at some other time, in the off time, he’s got thirty minutes to get back to his office hours, he’s got to get OUT OF HERE, and as he carries on I watch and attempt to understand how this line works, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to be getting cold raw fish as a main entree today. The sign says, “Hot Bowls–Sushi–Wraps”, but I know these tricks of the mind. It may say “Hot Bowls”, but nobody ever leaves with a “Hot Bowl.” They leave with sushi.

I begin to contemplate the hopelessness of my struggle in this line. I begin to panic, watching others leave with strange beverages I’ve never seen before and hope never to see again. Green tea, raw fish, chop… Oh dear God, chopsticks. I begin to become even more nervous. It is becoming quite clear to me that the sushi bar is a den of evil, one where strange souls go to order their bizarre Asian beverages of death and raw fish of inescapable weirdness.

And yet it is not. I order my Pepsi, and a little rice bowl with chicken and peas, and the spicy Chinese mustard that isn’t spicy, and duck sauce.

And, I leave with chopsticks.

I do not know why I take these bizarre instruments. Their history is as storied as the stories of the chosen samurai and Hayao Miyasaki. The former weapons of trained ninjas, chopsticks were once used the way guillotines were in Europe, only naturally being Asian-designed, they were smaller and more efficient, and thus could be portable and therefore used by ninjas. However, white people venturing to Asia, unaware of this storied past, believed that they were eating utensils, and used them as such. As a result of this, Asian people believe that Americans are stupid, and this is of course not helped at all by the fact that many of our teenagers watch Hello Kitty on a regular basis, a show that not even Japanese infants watch.

I know this history, yet I still take these wooden sticks. They are in a paper sheathe with inscrutable Japanese characters on it (they only need a paper sheathe to contain their killing power because, like all things Asian, they are beautifully designed so that they are only deadly whenever used as such; the inscrutable Japanese characters act as a special ancient Shinto spell that keeps the sharp parts from injuring the user while in the sheathe). I break them apart, thus unleashing their magical spells.

“DAMMIT”, I say. I say this, of course, because I do not know how to use these damned things. I first try putting one between my first two fingers, the second between my index and ring finger; they cross each other, and in this position I find them impossible to use. I try to separate the two, but like two lovers found by an angry gun-wielding spouse in a shady motel in a bad part of town, they cannot be separated but by themselves. I try to use them as a fork, trying to scoop the rice with only these two wooden tines, but they cannot scoop. In desperation I begin to stab angrily at the chicken pieces, grinding them to pieces, but still these sticks of wood are not working.

I begin to study others in my predicament. There are five Asian people, three women, two men, who sit down and begin eating with the things. They all know how to do this. They make it seem so easy. They simply take them with one hand and begin to use them like a fork. They do not struggle with keeping them straight or stab at their food in anguish like a bee at the man carrying a can of Raid and not enough common sense; they know how to use these agents of magic and mystery.

So, I resign myself to my fate and get a fork. As I eat, I contemplate the mysteries of the chopstick. Why is it still used? Does it not seem that a fork can do the same things chopsticks can? I supposed, of course, that it was beyond my powers of simple calculation to understand the chopstick. Or Chinese food, for that matter, because the syrupy sweetness of the glaze dripping off the chicken onto the rice intrigued me. Was syrup not intended for pancakes? What was so magical, so unique, about Chinese food that it could break all these rules, its syrupy, stomach-wrenching sweetness, its raw salmon and cooked pork, its strange rice and questionable meats striking such a discordant note with the conventions of modern American culture? What was the magic of chopsticks? Surely they must be better than American utensils, better in some fundamental way, from our own spoons and forks. Perhaps, because they can be used as a stabbing device, a trait reserved in American cuisine for our knife. Perhaps, because there is only one of them, while there are two of the knife and fork, two instruments that, it would seem, cannot be combined.

And then, I remembered the spork. And I realized how proud I am to be an American.

My First Weeks of School: Scars and Batmobiles

lucy_the_lobo.png

my_lunch.pngIt’s difficult to post to a website like The Luigiian at times, especially when you’re going through school. Getting all those images to link and writing out something coherent is a difficult task when you’re being asked to find meaning in a movie showing a naked woman fondling herself.

I know that this sounds odd, but it’s true. The movie is entitled “Birthday Suit: Scars and Defects” or something, and they make us watch it in “Experiencing the Arts”, one of the wonderful courses you can get in the University of New Mexico. Basically, some scrawny Canadian woman from 1974 woke up on one of her birthdays, and apparently decided that she was going to spend that day taking off her clothes and detailing every scar that she had ever gotten from every source it is possible to get a scar from, in front of a camera. It also appears that she was very clumsy, because the movie goes on for twenty-five minutes, wherein she lifts up her big toe, or some other random body part, and starts caressing it gently. “1950”, she gently intones into the camera. “Opened the door onto my foot. Permanently changed toenail color. Age three.” This, again, goes on for like twenty minutes. In the end, she sings “Happy Birthday” to herself, and then puts on her clothes, possibly because she is cold. Then the camera goes off. My teacher says that this is his favoritest movie EVER.

And they say Americans don’t appreciate real art.

And I am certainly not saying that this isn’t real art. For one thing, I understand quite well that artists are essentially people who act like deranged lunatics for money; if a normal, God-fearing human being were to take off all their clothes and sing “Happy Birthday” to themselves, ESPECIALLY in front of a camera, we would not hesitate to send them to a mental institution. But whenever an artist acts like this, we simply assume that we do not understand their depth, and thus just assume that they’re acting like they should, and slowly back away from them, never turning our backs, for fear of encountering the Artist’s Temper.

batmobile.jpgThis is just one of the many things I have learned in my first weeks at UNM, the “Harvard of the West” as proclaimed by its accomplished faculty and absolutely not one of its students. I also learned that the female wolf mascot leads the parade, and the Batmobile is accompaniment at the student orientation. I did not snap a picture of the mascot for fear that she would attempt to hug me. I say this because I don’t want you to expect a picture or anything.

Anyway, I thought we’d discuss the great University with a little Q&A. Let’s begin.

Q: Why are you such a hateful asshole to everybody?

A: I’m not. You just need to develop a sense of humor. I would not have spent three thousand dollars of scholarship money to enter a school I hated.

Q: Where can I get the video of the naked woman fondling her scars? I have a scar fetish.

A: I have no idea.

Q: Do I get to howl like a wolf at basketball games if I go to UNM?

A: Unfortunately, no. I learned this by experience. A person once asked, “Why is it that we can’t howl?” He was told some answer that I don’t remember. Instead, they force us to go around chanting “woof woof woof” like cretins. Wolves don’t “woof.” They howl, and then they eat people. That is why they are awesome. That is why we love wolves, for God’s sake. But no. UNM won’t let you, at least I don’t think so. I want to try and do it, though, so I’ll go to a basketball game and see.

Q: Will you stop being a nerd if you go to a basketball game?

A: Not if it’s to see if they kick you out if you howl at the team when everyone else is chanting “woof woof woof”. That is a sufficiently badass reason.

Q: Doesn’t that make you a furry faggot retard, though?

A: No.

Q: Do you think that your architecture teacher’s name, Efthimios Maniatis, is the most awesome teacher’s name ever?

A: Absolutely. I guarantee you at least half of the class will never learn how to pronounce his name correctly.

Q: Have you made any new friends since starting your career in higher education to become a bright hope for a better tomorrow?

A: No, but I have some ideas.

Q: Did you have any complaints at LobOrientation, the orientation program for new freshman students at UNM, whenever they made the Wall of Predjudice wherein people were forced to write down all the horrible racist terms they could think of?

A: Yes. Everybody at LobOrientation was a total pussy. I mean, seriously, how are we going to get to the bottom of racism and predjudice when people are afraid to write down horrible racist terms?

predjudice_fairy.gifQ: Frankly, how is writing down horrible racist terms on paper beneficial to ending racism in any way?

A: I don’t know. I think it has something to do with the “Predjudice Fairy”, a bigendered hermaphrodite bisexual of indeterminate race who puts money under people’s pillows if they refrain from using racism and predjudice in their everyday lives.

Q: When was the last time she… uh… he… uh… the fox thing to the left, uh, when did it last give out any money?

A: 1963. The fetus the fairy thing gave the money to died shortly thereafter and was sent to live with the Care Bears. Or something.

That’s it for today. Next time, we deal with Labor Day, and ask important questions, like the name of the artist who fondled her scars while naked. Stay tuned.