Presidency 2008: Flip Flops, Froot-Loops and Freedom Fighters, And Possibly some Guns Too

Today we are going to discuss the upcoming Presidential elections. Yes, I know. This is a difficult thing to discuss, seeing as how we already have at least 99% of all available television air time going in to airing political advertisements, and 100% of all blogs running at full force to discuss why Obama will steal all our guns and McCain is going to atomize the planet Earth and anybody who votes otherwise is throwing their vote away. I realize that the vast majority of you, by now, have not read or checked a damned thing about either of the candidates, seeing as how you have seen enough of them already on television and if you see one more damn political advertisement you are going to flagrantly disobey the ban on automatic weapons and take out an entire city block in Washington, or possibly Illinois, or Arizona, depending on your candidate of choice.

However, there are issues in this election that need to be discussed. For example, flip flops. Now, I tend to take the view that flip flops are basically something that you wear at home, specifically when it is hot and you do not have the Pope coming over for dinner. My viewpoint on this is that it is sometimes OK for women to wear flip flops in public, assuming that they have worked on their feet in some way at least once in the past decade, and it is OK for men to as well, even if it proves that they are certifiable Froot-Loops who will likely get a gay marriage in Taxachusetts and then participate in a rousing show tune with the San Francisco Boys’ Choir. In order to offend conservatives, therefore, I wear flip flops as often as I can.

Some people, however, take a radicalist viewpoint regarding flip flops, such as the man who runs the website ihateflipflops.blogspot.com. What this man does is, he says he is disgusted by feet and then spends the rest of the day staring at peoples’ feet and taking pictures of peoples’ feet and then, after he is done looking at feet all day long, he writes a post about how he does not want to look at feet anymore and will kill the next bastard that shows him their feet. He has done this until 2006. I am not certain if his computer account is registered at Healthpoint Mental Hospital or not, but I will be certain to alert you as I get more information. What I do know is that he has a large group of supporting radicalists regarding the flip flop issue, who are now working to keep hatred of flip flops alive and well. Be very afraid, flip flop wearers! There are people out there who hate you and want to kill you!

The next major issue that needs to be discussed in this Presidential election is what to do with Israel. Now, I take the viewpoint that the Israeli people need to move from Israel to a nicer place, perhaps a previously-uninhabited island in the Caribbean, and be given unlimited access to marijuana and rum drinks so that they can try to get over the Holocaust and forget about the fact that random groups of people hate them and their entire culture for no apparent reason. Because what we have going on right now, regardless of whether Jesus lived there or not, is not helping. I am uncertain what person believed the current state of Israel was the right thing to do after the Holocaust, but I’m assuming it had something to do with the aforementioned marijuana and rum:

“Gee, Jacob, I think it would be great to find a new home after the Holocaust where people don’t hate us!”

“Of course, Gabriel, but where do you propose we go?”

“Hmmm…. Wait! I’ve got it! We’ll move back to the Promised Land!”

“Yes, that’s perfect! That way we can be sure our neighbors will hate us and attempt to kill us all!”

“And there could even be a nuclear Holocaust next, once the Arabs get nuclear weapons! This is the greatest idea we’ve ever had! Pass me the joint.”

We have two options regarding Israel: The first option, of course, is that we can evacuate the Israelis from the area, and deposit them in an exact replica of the Promised Land, possibly in Jamaica, or perhaps California, where there are mostly nonthreatening hippies, assuming that we first move Mel Gibson out. Our second option is to protect them, using the focii of our next major issue, namely, guns.

Guns are dangerous things which you point at people and press a little trigger on, and when you do this, a metallic object will shoot out one end, at high speed, and insert itself into other people and some animal species, often causing death. As with most issues, two sides have taken their stand and are now fighting to see who can yell the loudest and most obnoxiously. The Republicans, having been cursed to walk the earth as Republicans, wish to ensure that anybody, including Bobby Jim Bob Bakker of Swamp City, Arkansas, has the ability to legally own an Arab-Killer Super Duper Patriot 9000 Assault Rifle; and the Democrats, being the Party of Liberty and Freedom and Democracy, want to make sure that the Second Amendment is cut out of the Constitution and set on fire. Both sides will continue to yell and scream and make hooting noises until approximately the end of time.

As for the election: Nothing of importance will happen regardless of who is elected, except that America will collapse and everybody will go bankrupt and get molested by the Chinese and then die from infection and AIDS and cancer and lead paint and certain types of broccoli. And it’s all because I chose to buy flip flops because I am no longer sexually insecure. I’m so disillusioned, I’m going to vote for Eisenhower. Hey, something has to be done.

Also: Yes, I am aware at this point that standard protocol on any “humorous” website is to include Barackroll somehow. I will not do that, because I am tired of it. Instead, you get this:

Nihao from the Village that Time Forgot, Namely, Corrales, New Mexico

Beyond the hills of Jemez, down to the heights of the Sandia valleys, just south of Bernalillo, New Mexico, United States of America, lies the famed Village that Time Forgot. Here is the vortex which stops and reverses time, depriving all others of their ability to achieve progress, the pinnacle of Farcical Astrophysics. And out of this vortex shoots only one substance of importance for the people of Spaceship Earth, namely: Speeding tickets.

The land that time forgot.

Corrales: The land that time forgot. Hey, I didn't say it was all bad.

Here, time stands still. While many cities have such things as running water, sewer systems, a working electrical system, stoplights, and rainy days when the air is not filled with the smell of horse manure, the people of Corrales have elected for a town atmosphere that can be most succinctly described as “colonial Spanish village, with Internet access.” Many residents in this tiny region still live on dirt roads, by their own choice, because they want to ride horses while simultaneously allowing their cars to jiggle over rocks like Jell-O in an earthquake. Here is the city which was told that traffic would be so bad on its main road that it would need a traffic light at a certain intersection, but refused to build it because it said a traffic light would make the intersection more dangerous. However, they did remove stop signs at another of their busiest intersections because they wanted people to use it more than the main road, and as such experienced a rash of traffic accidents; and refused to take down a stop sign at another point on the same road they wanted people to use because they were afraid it would create more school bus accidents, and because, of course, the Mayor lived on that street, and you can’t have the Exalted, Mighty Leader of the Village of Corrales, Established Nineteen Seventy-Something, having to watch out for plebians racing past at thirty miles an hour in their Toyota Corollas, unless they opposed the thirty-mile-per-hour speed limit when it was enacted, in which case they will be driving past at twenty-miles an hour for the entire stretch of the road, less if you’re in a hurry to get to work on time, just because they wish to watch you squirm.

To the extent of my knowledge, Corrales has also added fences to keep people from coming in from other cities next door, and has had its government reject skate parks, a Krispy Kreme donut shop, and various other things. Apparently, Krispy Kreme didn’t want to build in a town that didn’t have a water or sewage system, and Corrales didn’t want a place that used newfangled electronics technology like lightbulbs and telephones to distract from its “special flavor.” Corrales people, it should be mentioned, call themselves “Corraleños”, pronounced “COH-Rahl-Yehnyohs”, like you would talk if you were a drunken Spanish person who was inventing Spanish words as part of a surreal bar bet (“Hey, Lopez, let’s come up with a word to describe retarded people!”).

As you might have guessed by now, Corrales is one of those snoot-ass pretentious little flowers where everybody lives right next to a major metropolitan area but wants to pretend like they live in colonial Massachusetts or whatever the hell they think New Mexico is.

These towns are always right next to a Whole Foods market or a similar hippie-food supermarket, because the vast majority of the towns’ citizens are hippies or “flower children” who require special nutrition, such as tofu, which most people would not use for dog food. In Corrales’ case, the supermarket is named “Sunflower Market”. However, because Sunflower Market is the only place in Albuquerque that still offers custard-filled Long John donuts, which I should not have to state is awesome, Sunflower Market gets a free pass.

Regardless of “special flavor”, I don’t understand why my hometown has to act like this. For one thing, these people seem to be against making Corrales feel big and modern, as if somehow things like stoplights and buses would make Corrales a major metropolis overnight. I don’t get it. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never seen stoplights and paved roads as what makes living in cities terrible. Y’know, I always kinda thought it had more to do with the fact that cities are festering hellholes of corruption and crime and violence that are overpopulated and beset with pollution and noise. And, ironically enough, the one thing that has kept Corrales from becoming overpopulated–its lack of a water and sewer system, which means that each house must have at least one acre surrounding it–is under attack from the same merchants and shopkeepers that want to keep Corrales rural. Apparently, stoplights make a city modern, but sewers and a municipal water system do not.

Or at least that’s my understanding. Since we got excluded from a vote to decide what we would do with our own road, my family has kept out of Corrales politics. My neighborhood road was a dirt road, with houses on only the south side of the street. A developer wanted to build new houses on the opposite side of the street.

Here’s the thing; each person on our street owns the portion of the road directly in front of their house. This meant that the incoming neighbors would share our road. The developer offered to pave the road for free in exchange for our giving up the portion of our property we used for a road, as well as creating a neighborhood association with the new neighbors.

People on our side of the road–everybody on our side of the road, except my family and a couple of hardy holdouts who supported the developer because they didn’t want to live on a dirt road for the rest of their lives–disliked this plan. They had several reasons:

  1. They wanted to ride their horses up and down the road, and paved roads hurt horses’ feet.
  2. The developer was an asshole.
  3. The new people coming in would be snooty Damn Rich White People–a sensible concern for anybody, as they might be driving Subaru Bajas, Toyota Prii, or those little ugly “Smart” cars that look like a Mini Cooper got in a fight with a can-crushing machine and lost.
  4. They would have to give up something.
  5. NEENER NEENER NEENER YOU DING-DONGS

When it came time to meet to decide what was to be done with our road, those who supported letting the developer pave the road were not informed, and thus the road would remain unpaved.

The developer, at this point apparently figuring that the residents of our road were beyond reasoning, wisely decided to give up, and build a paved road right next to the dirt one. However, as I already said, he was an asshole, and thus whenever people on our side of the road began using the new, paved road, he installed fences so that nobody on our side of the street could use the road.

Thus, in my neighborhood, we have two roads; one, made of dirt, which the Village of Corrales will not pave because it assigns the task of paving roads to housing developers; and another, right next to the dirt one, which is fenced off with barbed wire so that the people who own the land on the dirt road can’t use it either. If we were to pave our road, at a tremendous cost, they would have a four-lane road, made of two two-lane roads, both paved, one paved at the expense of its residents, with a brick wall in between so neither side of our street can use the road the other side made. Our side–I swear I am not making any of this up–now wants to turn our dirt road into a road for riding horses on. They are trying to get an injunction by the Village of Corrales to force our new neighbors into sharing their paved road with us, which the new neighbors helped pay for by buying the new houses their developer built the new road for.

I have no hatred of Corrales. I want to make this quite clear. It is nice to live in a place where you generally do not have to worry about meth labs, noise, violent criminals, or inept police officers, except for when our neighbor next door operated a meth lab out of his house and operated semi trucks at three in the morning and invited crack addicts to his house and shot off guns in the middle of the night and the police refused to intervene because Corrales is a rural community. Corrales also has a large population of coyotes, which kill off annoying dogs who would otherwise yap loudly into the night; and a large population of rabbits, which my dog used to eat and get tapeworms from.

Nevermind. Truly, I don’t hate Corrales. For all its problems, it’s no different than any other city. But, then, that’s exactly my point. The reason I wrote this article is to illustrate that every person’s community in the United States of America is, ahem, unique*. If you live in a major city, you can be certain that your community is unique*. And if you live in a small village, well, it’s probably like Corrales and that means that your community is unique* in its own special way, too. And if you live in a normal town, well, that splits the difference between what makes a village and a city unique*, so your town is unique* too. And my community is unique*, and my cousin’s town recently got hit by a hurricane, and my other cousin’s town is a festering hellhole of violence and crime and stupidity. Don’t worry, your community is as unique* as mine is, and so is your neighbor’s, your brother’s, your cousin’s, and my cousin’s. Isn’t that what makes America great? United we are unique*, divided we are unique*, but united we are unique* together. And I can think of no greater thing on earth than that.

And so, as I finish writing this, I think to myself about one truth, separated from all the other truths I have discussed with you, and, as I mull over the merits and the truthiness of this truth, I come to but one conclusion: Hey, all that money that went into building a new paved road for the rich white kids going to the new private school north of here could easily have covered paving my road! And then some! And I think that truth describes Corrales most succinctly.

*Stupid approaching mildly retarded.

Damn You Newton, Damn You Einstein, And Damn Your Intergalactic Space Trampolines Too: An Editorial on Astrophysics

(John Mayer, Gravity, Continuum)

Gravity–defined as “Something that makes balls drop, sometimes onto peoples’ heads”–is not something normal people think about. Normal people, as a general rule, just accept gravity. Whenever a normal person asks themselves why a lightbulb falls to the floor, they just shrug and go, “because that’s how things are.” They do not wonder why the lightbulb just all of a sudden decided to start moving on its own, directly into the path of the floor. No. Like Republicans, they just say “It’s the law.” Frankly, it disgusts me.

Gravity does not make sense. It’s all ridiculous laws crafted by The Man (Republicans) to keep us poor defenseless liberals down.

Let me put it this way: So you’ve got a ball, right? It’s right there in your hand. You’re holding on to it, and you’re waiting to hear what I’m going to say about Einstein, a famous person who worked with gravity and who is now, let’s face it, completely dead. You are shocked to hear that he is dead, so much so that you let go of the ball.

Now, in a sensible universe that ball would just stay there. You have not done anything remotely abusive or motion-inducing to this ball. You have not commanded the ball to move, and neither has the Earth. There is no good reason for this ball to move. It should remain motionless, like Terri Schiavo, suspended in air due to the laws of inertia, which state that “an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion.”

But no. The ball decides, by no fault on your part, to move. And it moves exactly the way you don’t want it to move, like a disobedient child. You didn’t want it to hit the Earth, but no, it wouldn’t listen, and look at it now. It hit the Earth. Poor stupid ball. And now it can’t move, unless you pick it up again. And when you do, you’d better hold on to it, or else it will just stupidly fall right onto the Earth again.

“But, don’t you see, Lupe the Lobo? It’s gravity! The gravity made it move towards the Earth! It makes perfect sense!”

No it does not. Gravity does not make any damn sense.

Gravity makes moons go around planets and forces us to go around the Sun, and it makes space capsules catch fire on their way down to Earth, along with its mean little friend the air molecule, and it makes the tides with help from the Moon, which I might add is evil. Gravity is preposterous. It is ridiculous. It should not exist. That damn ball should not move.

But it does. Einstein tells us it’s caused by the impressions made on the fabric of space-time. Einstein, supposedly, discovered how gravity works with his concept of space time. Remember space time? Remember all that crap about the fabric of the universe? Basically, Einstein said that you’ve got a big invisible cloth sheet–the Toilet Paper of the Universe–that all the planets and everything sits on, and these various objects make impressions in the TP. Like, if you were to get a trampoline, and put a bowling ball on it, and then you put a golf ball on the trampoline the impression of the bowling ball makes the trampoline sag, and when it sags it creates a vortex shape that sucks objects down into it, and that’s how gravity works. Try it yourself! I’ll be waiting here for you.

This is nonsense. For one thing, there is no giant invisible trampoline in space. To illustrate this: The Apollo astronauts did not crash through a giant invisible trampoline. The Challenger astronauts did, but that’s because they had a woman on board, and you know those woman drivers, they can crash into something even if it doesn’t actually exist. The “fabric of space time” is just a fabrication of the human mind. It’s like an imaginary friend, or Santa Claus.

Why do objects tug on each other? There is no magic tether between objects that makes them pull on each other, right? I mean, if you sweep your arm underneath a ball as it falls toward Earth, there is no string pulling on the ball that just all of a sudden slices your arm off, right? Try it! Sweep your arm under a ball as it falls towards Earth and see if the magical gravity tether slices your arm off! I’ll be waiting here for you.

(long pause)

This is nonsense. For one thing, there is no magical gravity tether. Gravity is called a “force.” What the hell is a “force”, anyway? A form of energy? An irritating Star Wars reference? I’ll tell you what it is. It’s nonsense.

The Moon is not connected by a magical tether to the Earth. So why does the Moon revolve around the Earth? Gravity? Inertia? Forces? When did the Earth and Moon suddenly get the ability to pull on one another? What caused the Moon to start moving? The Big Bang? Hell if I know. Unless there is some kind of connection between gravity and time, that is. Too bad time doesn’t really exist either. Think about it. Have you ever seen time? I mean, other than on your clock? No, because it doesn’t really exist.

And another thing. Why haven’t we gotten anywhere on the whole entropy thing? I’ve written about it at least two times, and I’d expect someone to care about the plight of the poor defenseless Boltzmann Brains by now. Since the time I wrote about them, I’ll bet at least three, if not more, of the poor dears has been sucked into a black hole. Just think, all those brains gone to waste, just because they aren’t carbon-based organisms. Sentient consciousnesses born into chaos in the infinite blackness of space, and you don’t care, you sickos.

One more thing. I want to give black holes a piece of my mind. I think that black holes have gotten a bad rap, simply because they suck in matter and possibly interplanetary civilizations. This is wrong. I understand that, you black holes out there. Prejudice is never the answer, and I just want to say I would never support persecuting you or your religious beliefs or sexual preferences. Once you go black, you never go back, yadda yadda yadda. But that does not give you black holes the right to suck in anything you want, OK? At least not without doing something useful. Why don’t you reverse some entropy, or something? Y’know, we have all this energy lying around, obeying the Laws of Thermodynamics like sheep. Why don’t you rearrange it and give us some more useful energy? Just a thought.

(P.S. Also, black holes, I meant “give you a piece of my mind” figuratively, not literally; please do not take my remarks as an excuse to suck out my brains.)

Anyway, I hope I’ve given you, my loyal readers, something deep and moving to think about while you’re sitting on the toilet or whatever. And remember, if you ever hear of someone crashing into the Invisible Trampoline in Space, it’s probably a woman driver. Good luck, and God bless America, and no place else.

Piet Mondrian, Computer Geek? Masculine!

Whenever you are propositioned by another man on a bus, it is usually a sign of times to come. Often, it means that the other man is gay. Sometimes it leads to Barbara Streisand. It occasionally leads to Judy Garland. Today, it led to black squares.

Today was a fairly typical day for me. I boarded the bus as usual, so I could go to school. This is important to me. School, in fact, is the only way that I can get a job in the future, assuming that by then I will be under the control of a 13-year-old boy named Xi Juangdi who currently lives in China. I will likely be making gruel for lonely coal miners, just so you know.

The thing about a bus is that it is full of people, many of whom are clearly “out of their gourd”, in that they are the type of people who would want to go out with me. This right here is one of the many criteria I use to find potential mates. If a person likes me, it is a sure sign that they would also like things like Van Halen, and might even vote for John McCain, or (God forbid) Ralph Nader, and this is something I cannot tolerate.

Today, though, I will not talk about being propositioned by a man on the bus, because he was joking, as far as I know. What I will talk about is the aftermath, which was much worse.

My first class on Tuesdays is Macroeconomics. For those of you who don’t know, macroeconomics entails dealing with lots and lots of money, which is why I chose to take the class in the first place. The name comes from two words: Macro, meaning “the study of”, and “Economics,” meaning “lots of nations with names like China and India that are going to take all of our jobs and women and eventually roast General Motors President Rick Wagoner on an unusually large spit.” As is usual in this class, there was an argument between the teacher and a student who I will refer to as “Obnoxious Orange Sherbet Man.” I call him this because he always wears a bright orange striped T-shirt, so that his overall fashion statement appears to be “I wish I were a Creamsicle”. The conversation, as far as I remember it, went as follows:

  • Teacher: Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah I’m an economist and I don’t use morals to make economic decisions, SLAVERY MAKES SENSE FROM AN ECONOMIC blah blah
  • Obnoxious Orange Sherbet Man: Blah blah taking our jobs blah blah poor Maytag workers in blah blah Chinese blah blah Third World blah blah

This conversation only lasted until the end of class, which in macroeconomics is something of a huge success. Unfortunately for me, the bigger challenge was only to begin.

My next class was Art Studio 2D, which involves looking at a great many pictures of colored rectangles and trying to figure out whether you like the rectangles or not. This does not sound difficult (“The orange one disgusts me, as it reminds me of orange sherbet”), but it is in fact quite the challenge, according to our art teacher, who I am obliged to mention is from San Francisco. Our art teacher discussed, as just one example, Piet Mondrian, whose paintings all look as if a laboratory scientist was magnifying circuit boards five thousand times their actual size, but small colorful insects that just happened to be square kept getting in the way of his lens.

Challenge: See if you can find information on Piet Mondrian. Pay special attention to any time he spent in a microprocessor lab, and whether the French government was investing in genetically engineering geometrically-square mosquitoes. This would have to occur around 1919. If so, you might have what it takes to write a bestselling exposé on great Dutch artists.

The real challenge for me, today, was after the teacher was done with showing us pictures of magnified graph paper. Now, she expected us to make our own little paintings. She called them “Four Black Square” paintings.

-The Concept of a Four Black Squares painting-

1. First, you must make four black squares of equal size.

2. Then, you have to arrange them to illustrate certain artistic concepts. For example, to illustrate congestion,

With tension, you might use a different approach:

And, of course, to illustrate a concept like playfulness, you would

You should take into account proper perspective and line qualities, of course.

Now, that all seems well and good, but I would end up, as usual, unable to finish the entire project in class, and that meant I’d have to take my unfinished drawings on the bus with me. Now, we are not dealing with notebook paper here. We are dealing with at least medium grade drawing paper, which is therefore by my estimate the most expensive paper I have ever used in my entire life. Excepting, of course, the special paper I needed for an architecture project, which would only have been justified in price had it been imported via first-class mail from Taiwan, but this was close. Plus, it had the collective scribblings of an entire Sharpie pen on it, which is at least four dollars and several exhausting minutes of labor.

So, basically, if I got anything on these pictures, I would be left with no choice but to commit ritual seppuku. I did not want to do this. But I knew I might have to.

I almost felt like I was in a video game. The screen would go black, and a single phrase would appear on screen:

MISSION OBJECTIVE I: GET PAINTINGS HOME WITHOUT SPILLING STUFF ON THEM

This would prove difficult, as I was dealing with Albuquerque buses here, which are notorious for erupting into spontaneous bloody gunfights and projectile-vomiting wars. I tried to figure out what I could do in case of an emergency, and finally came up with solution I saw another person at the bus stop use, namely, take off my shirt, sit back and roll a cigarette. That would solve my anxiety problem. Then I’d commit ritual seppuku.

And then the screen would go black, and two phrases would appear:

MISSION COMPLETE. YOU ARE NOW DEAD.

Unfortunately, I wound up getting all the way home alive, and that meant I’d wind up playing Super Smash Brothers Brawl with my cousin, Josh, and this would mean I would have to kill him, because he would end up winning every match. Although I am good at many video games (such as Wii Bowling) I am very bad at fighting, whether in real life or in a video game. Whenever my uncle comes over and pretends as if he’s about to hit me on the shoulder, as just one example, I jump and crawl into a fetal position and scream like a little girl and start whimpering unintelligibly for the next minute or so. This is what is known as a “Fight or flight” response by psychologists. In my case, it is more like “Fight or scream like a little Japanese schoolgirl in a horror movie”, but whatever. Same difference.

Anyway, in the end, we all laughed at me for being so wussy, and for using the word “masculine” as an interjection, and my cousin left to celebrate the rest of his birthday, because I had not killed him, because I was afraid of having to see blood. And thus does another day begin. One in which I will learn how the solar system was formed. I’m assuming it involves flatulence.