Sunday, September 28, 2008

UPDATE: Jesus Isn't On My Side

So Jesus is mad at me. My fantasy team is getting absolutely crushed, and since I'm so arrogant and obviously incapable of admitting culpability in the matter, it must be someone else's fault: Jesus. Oh, and Jon's a D-Bag.


The Game of Kings

My brother, Jon, thinks he's going to beat me this week in our fantasy football league. I beat him the first week and since then he's gone 1-1 and I haven't lost, yet. But he thinks he's going win, he thinks this is his week to win by 40 (my margin of victory in the first week). Little does he know...


Friday, September 26, 2008

John McCain will attend tonight's debate with Barack Obama. He changed his mind, his campaign said, citing "progress in the bailout negotiations." Hmmm. Every single news outlet in the world was aware yesterday that the talks had broken down into chaos and luncheons. Members of Congress were on TV all day describing the pandemonium; they said it hasn't been this bad since they got rid of French Toast in the cafeteria. But here's how John MCain's mind works:

1. If Congress devolves into absolute bedlam, then important work is being accomplished.
2. If important work is being accomplished, then progress is being achieved.
3. Congress devolves into absolute bedlam.
4. Therefore, important work is being achieved.
5. Therefore, progress is being achived.



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Helped Someone Today

An internet user who identified himself as W. Easttom II started a thread on a message board about why he became a conservative after spending his youth as a “raging liberal.” Other users, of course, began responding and “discussing” the issue (if one can call the mess of comments a discussion). After one particular user attacked Easttom’s position, the author responded; his response merited a response from The Filthy Logician. For your enjoyment:

(For the record: I am not attacking nor defending any of the positions mentioned by either party. Such a discussion, while full of amusement, will come much later, when I’m feeling violently cynical.)

W. Easttom II says:

“Before I start let me state that G. W. Bush was an embaressment to the GOP and I will never fogive them for supporting him.

with that said, what happened to me? I was a left leaning liberal in college, now I am fairly conservative (though not that religious). How did this happen?

1. First of all financially I learned as the years went buy that while anyone can have hard times, those who are chronically poor are really that way due to some flaw of theirs. Usually stuipidity or laziness. It is harsh, but it is real.

2. Social programs: I could not find one that actually worked. I could not find one that did not do more harm than good.

3. Morality: Yes a two parent family with a father and mother actually IS better for the kids.

After many years of clinging to it, I realizes liberalism was simply wrong.”

Josey_rick says:

“Let me tell you why I became a conservative.

I like invading countries for no reason and killing thousands of my own people.
I like turning a surplus into a record deficit in record time.
I like not caring about the environment and that "green house thing" those hippies conjoured up.
I like not letting those who are in love not get married because their bodies dont interjoin.
I like making women bring children into this world so that I can refuse to give then money in 20 years when they are sitting out front of the supermarket begging for a "forty"

That is why I love my party. Cause we are better than everyone, and richer too...”

W. Easttom II says:

“Wow, more totally unbased rhetoric. I guess I was naive expecting someone from the left to ever actually discuss facts.”

The Filthy Logician says:

“I agree with your assessment of Josey_rick’s post as 'unbased rhetoric.' While I’m not sure what you exactly mean by 'unbased,' for it is not, contrary to your belief, a real word, I can, through context, assume your general position.

However, I suggest you cease pointing out that other people’s posts are 'unbased rhetoric' for your original post was also 'unbased rhetoric.' It would be to your advantage to resist the temptation to point out the faults of your creative products.

And another piece of advice: I suggest you refrain from asking others to discuss facts, insinuating that you, all along, have been doing just that. 'Discussing facts' normally consists of stating propositions, supporting them with meaningful arguments, and then letting someone else do the same. You, however, have simply stated facts, all of them unsubstantiated. So, again, it’s in your best interest to not point out the faults of your own post and, presumably, your own intellect.

Hopefully, this has been helpful.”

Ah, it feels good to help other people.

And now, some manlove. Rasheed Wallace is helping Richard Hamilton double team what appears to be a very confused Manu Ginobli.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Should We Be Suspicious?

So after telling the American people for 18 months that the economy was "sound" and that the housing crisis wouldn't last past December; after claiming that economic growth would be rising by the end of the year; after ignoring the pleas of economic experts the world over: now Henry Paulson wants us to give him three things: unbelievable and unprecedented power, absolute and immovable immunity, and a SHITLOAD of money. Even if we don't give him these things, he's still taking our firstborn child. That's not negotiable.

My first reaction after hearing these demands? Admiral Ackbar!

Clearly, Paulson wants to formalize his control over the nation's economy, which would grant him control over the world economy, and thus the world. He'll officially adopt the title Caesar Little Dick at a later date, to be announced. George Bush will assume he's still President of the Earth, and Dick Cheney will finally murder him, outright, something he's clearly wanted to do for years. When the Republican party forced him to play second fiddle to "The Great Decider," he wasn't smiling. So once patricide is committed and Paulson assumes command, we'll be left to wonder why we didn't heed the warning...oh Ackbar. Here's a moral tribute to you, the modern Oracle at Delphi:

Thank you, Ackbar. Hopefully, we heed your prescient warnings.


Manlove...Sooooooooo Good

Who doesn't love manlove? Especially when the men involved are incredibly sweaty and pumped full of adrenaline. It's a beautiful moment. Enjoy.


Monday, September 22, 2008

"Everyone else is doing it, so I mise well..."

David Foster Wallace: An Apparently Epic (and Unknown) Figure in Literature

I’m a well-read, intelligent 20-something who is preparing for a career in academia (through humanities, of course), and I had never heard of David Foster Wallace until he killed himself about a week ago. When he showed up on the bottom of front pages across the nation, I had no idea who the hell he was. Because of that, I didn’t bother to read any articles about him. But then there came the Great Barrage: every Op-Ed page in every newspaper, whether it was The New York Times or the college press, began receiving and publishing moving, vibrant, incredibly fascinating eulogies of the man. At this point, I had to figure just who the hell this guy was and why he took up so much space everywhere.

Well, turns out he’s considered the “most brilliant mind of his generation” and is widely considered a top 5 writer of his era, and he’s near the top of that 5. So just who is this guy, and why have I never heard of him?

It got me thinking about writers and how we come to know them. If it’s not through some novel that really tears it up on The Times bestseller list (say, Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code), then it’s because his writing has gone through the “system,” whereby it takes years, even decades, for the books to matriculate down into the realm of high school and college reading lists and curriculum. This process, though, seems to take forever. What the fuck? If this guy is really so brilliant, then why have all these intelligent college students never heard of him? It makes sense to say that it’s because he was only 46, he was a postmodern postmodernist (don't question; it makes sense), and his stuff has yet to earn the right to sit next to Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway. It could take decades before a writer’s work secures that apparent “privilege.” So in that sense, it seems plausible that someone so brilliant has gone unnoticed by the multiple generations that came after him.

But then I wondered: by hanging himself, Wallace sprayed every newspaper, blog, and information-giving medium with eulogies on his behalf, articles detailing his life and times, and now thousands of 20-somethings all over the nation are putting his epic and monumental masterpiece (so I've been told) Infinite Jest on their reading lists. I know I did, and so did some of my friends. So, by ending his own life, in perfect concert with the themes that haunt his work, he has, possibly, skipped the normal waiting period for a writer of his caliber to merit that place next to Hemingway et al.

What if he planned this?

Yeah, I doubt it, though it would make for a good modern (postmodern?) update of The Death of a Salesman. Wallace, in his finest hour, achieved that part of the American Dream concerned with immortality by killing himself. How ironic. He achieved immortality by taking advantage of his own mortality. Genius.

Wallace committing suicide and therefore becoming immortal (logic!), along with possible premeditation, fits perfectly into the drama of literary rEVOLUTION. You had the moderns in the early 20th century doing all kinds of wacky things that defied convention (Ezra Pound! e.e. cummings!). And it only made sense that they should call themselves “modern” so as to make it even more clear that all that 19th century shit was obsolete and outdated.

Then, you had a rolling broil of movements, prominent especially in the 60’s; eventually they all got together and called themselves postmodern. They were a reaction against the reaction. The moderns reacted against the predominating view of things (19th century shit), and now the postmoderns were reacting against the predominating view of things (modernism; getting all this?).

Then came the 80’s and 90’s where people like David Foster Wallace and the other children of postmodernism needed something to react against. Initially, they couldn’t find anything, because it’s hard to react against the guys reacting against the guys making the original reaction. There’s so much reacting going on that it’s kind of hard to find your niche, your place in all that mess. But, being human, they found a way. They reacted against whatever was there, which happened to be the postmoderns. But they needed a name! Unfortunately, it seems they were too busy reacting against stuff to think of something good. Besides, you already had moderns and postmoderns, so what else is left? Thus was born what can only be described as postmodern postmodernism. Yes, that’s correct. A group of younger, cooler, postmoderns reacting against the older, more dead postmoderns.

When the triviality and nonsensical nature of all this becomes clear, it is easy to see that Wallace’s suicide fits right in. Nothing makes sense, life is bullshit; fuck it, I’m out of here.

So the question arises: was David Foster Wallace merely fulfilling his post-postmodern destiny of saying, definitively, that life is absolute trash? Possibly, for when he killed himself, he made his point a little better than all the other guys who just wrote about it. It’s like the difference between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau: Emerson talked a lot of crap about living in nature and being one with the transcendental oversoul, but Thoreau went out in the woods and fucking did that shit. He lived in nature and attempted to communicate with the oversoul. He had no idea how to do that, but he fucking tried, alright? Obviously, he failed, and more often than not he came into town to steal food from people, but at least he gave it a go. And so, while all the other post-postmoderns were relaxing in their tenured professorships, David Foster Wallace was out there, on the front lines, committing suicide. That’s real, man.

In any case, Wallace was a nobody to me nine days ago and now he’s famous. I imagine this event doesn't help the cause of those trying to persuade others that suicide is not the path to immortality. "Fuck that," Wallace says, "I’m dead and famous. Immortality, bitches."

And that right there is logic, folks. I would say Rest in Peace, Dave, but I'm sure if he could, he'd punch me right in the mouth.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

The First Post...That's Intense.

There's a certain feeling you get when you create a blog, whether you're just starting out or you're a seasoned veteran working on number 27. Obviously, you're excited, because you wouldn't be starting a blog if you didn't want to write shit, send it into Teh Internets, and hope someone reads it. The idea of producing something and someone reading and responding to it is just too good. There's certainly an egoism to it; when people read and respond, you feel you have been successful. Feeling successful can lead to emotions that are very much the opposite of modest. Being read is, simply, a great feeling.

The second feeling you get is dread: you fear, quite viscerally, that no one will care what you're saying. And that hurts. Clearly, there's no reason to assume anyone should care one bit about whatever it is you're writing about, but you still feel lame inside if no one reads it. It's like dressing up all crazy style for a Halloween party and then the whole night goes by and no one really notices how much effort you put into that Joker makeup and green jacket, and whatever. It's sad, and you feel unappreciated. Not cool.

But let's be honest: why should anyone care what you're saying? Who are you? No one, that's who. The superficial assumption is that you live in your parent's basement/guest house and you have nothing better to do but criticize other people/detail the trivialities of your life. And that can be pretty damn boring, I have to admit. Hell, this is probably boring. And so initially the incentive to spend five minutes reading the random thoughts of person X is incredibly weak. Why read a new blog when you could go to YouTube and type in "fat people falling" and spend 30 minutes on the floor, dying of laughter?

So in the beginning there is excitement and trepidation. You want to write, you need that feeling of being read, being wanted, but you're scared shitless that no one is going to care and you're afraid of what that will do to your psyche. So what do you do? You write and write and don't give a shit. And if no one reads you, the question arises: am I any good?

Here's an appropriate deductive syllogism to illustrate the answer to this question:

1. If you write shit and no one reads it, then you suck.
2. You write shit and no one reads it.
3. Ergo, you suck.*

That's logic, bitches.

*I clearly suck. Check it.