- "Hi Kagen! Here is your Daily Chinese Horoscope for Thursday, November 25 - Your fire-breathing personality might be overbearing to some. While you certainly don't intend to be intimidating, you have a powerful demeanor that can overwhelm even strong personalities. Take it down a notch and you'll still get your point across."

................What, I don't intend to be intimidating....?

Oh, and what was it that Rob Breszny had for me most lately.....

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): British engineer John Reid wants to translate
dolphins' speech into human language. For years, he has been working on
the Cymascope, a machine that will help him analyze the basic patterns of
dolphin grammar and vocabulary. I encourage you to be inspired by his
efforts, Libra. It is now an excellent time for you to devote your ingenuity
to improving the way you communicate with alien species like black
sheep, fallen angels, feral mavericks, your mother-in-law, odd ducks, co-
workers who resemble raccoons and bears, and zombies who don't share
your political views.

Hmm....I really don't consider black sheep and fallen angels to be alien species per se.....nor feral mavericks, for that matter.  Zombies who don't share my political views - now that is a challenge....

This just added while checking my email before dinner.  We decided not to go with a tablecloth afterall, but I did take out my tall amber pressed-glass goblets from storage, seeing as we have no full set of eight conventional wineglasses.  And I don't care what nature of beverage gets put in them - it's for the inevitable Thanksgiving toasting, and we are damn well going to have a set of glasses that match for once.

My cousin Josh is in town with us - he's a theatrical lighting designer, so we've been talking a bit of shop - I just had to run and get out my set design models for Medea (set in late 19th-century London with Medea as an Irish firebrand) and The Chalky White Substance (little-performed post-apocalyptic Tennessee Williams), not to mention my "nightmare" concept assignment of a completely surreal and absurdist 'bathroom at the end of the universe'...hmm, that almost bears some philosophising, now that I think about it, but I'll save that for its own topic.

As I was commenting on Facebook, I'm extremely pragmatic about holidays, and Thanksgiving is something that requires a lot of gleaning the positive social+interpersonal wheat from the religious and self-centered nationalist/cultural chauvinist crap...I mean, chaff.  It's bloody arrogant to assume that everyone in this country ought to be thankful to their (assumed) deity on one official day, when this nation is not even supposed to have an established state religion.  And apart from that - Turkey Day?  Seriously?  Stuff-yourselves-like-gluttons-and-watch-football day followed by go-out-and-consume-mass-commercial-quantities-as-offering-to-the-Almighty-Economy day?  It's disgusting....and the only justification for it lies simply in whether it actually serves a positive social purpose, humanistically and without regard to either conventional or capitalistic relligion.  Is it good for the heart and soul, or is it stress and sanctimoniousness?  Are you truly glad to be in present company, or is it a trial or a war?  One should not have to lie and profess thankfulness for what is friction or oppression or ill-fortune - at the same time, sorting out what is good in one's life...is good.  But it should be true - and to have it assumed as a duty compromises truth.  So as an official national holiday, it is a topic where I have a great deal of ambivalency - especially since I can't stand Puritans and was fed up at a very early with extolling the "stern impassioned tread" of the Pilgrims as any rightful part of the beauty of this land - I'd much rather they'd left the wilderness alone and kept their fanaticism to themselves, without any compulsion on nonbelievers or internal dissenters.  Because anything else is really unethical - and the internal force of orthodoxy exerted to maintain social cohesion is a matter of politics that pollutes through its coercion the still-desired/demanded authenticity of faith. 

And that is my diatribe for the nonce....though be assured, I will get vocal later on regarding the pernicious and outright murderous atrocity known as "Black Friday"....

Or shall we call this one simply "American Idol"...?

I put these together a couple weeks ago, actually (shortly after the 3-parter with Bush and the improperly-functioning market), but am just posting them now....anyhow, do feel free to gank, disseminate and backlink if you like 'em (I know, they're kinda hot pink/magenta, but it's a supersaturatedly lurid magenta):
MOLOCH!!!! )

I have to admit, I'm fairly fond of mock-screaming that myself these days. Doesn't go over too well with people who haven't the faintest idea what I'm raving about, though....

Anyhoo.....enjoy.   I'll probably add larger-sized versions in a bit, as for some reason I think these'd make really kickass posters on a bedroom wall. 

This just in today:

'Cause if you just have true faith in the market economy, it won't feel like you're gettin' screwed over a monumental barrel...


So, this is what's got the politicos' panties in a bunch lately.....

Admittedly, it was awkwardly said and then hastily clarified....but then, it's really talking about two different things if you look at it closely enough, and neither side quite seems to grasp that. Failure to navigate the country's education system, regardless of actual intelligence, may very well lead to military enlistment as the most-likely way to gain financial stability.....and lack of practical intelligence, regardless of the amount of "education" that one has bought (navigating the educational system by money), can lead to some plenty stupid policy decisions -- like "getting stuck in Iraq."

I don't think that Senator Kerry meant anything against the actual intelligence of the average American soldier, but it is thin-skinned defensiveness/denial on the part of his attackers to ignore the fact that lack of successful formal education and the career paths it opens is a well-known reason why people join the military -- because what they've gotten so far hasn't worked for them and they want a better chance via training experience and college funding through the G.I. Bill. That's hardly unintelligent as a motivation, but it is exploited to cover over the risks and compromises, and it is a situation that makes educational and socioeconomic inequity highly advantageous to recruitment efforts, because it means they have leverage. Lack of opportunity = "hungry' recruits (remember The Firm?) = soldiers who will not question orders or make trouble, because they know they're both beholden and under the thumb of the DOD. Which is no fault of their own, but it is an insult to them that they are so obviously used.

That's one point in favour of universal socio-military service....not only would the rich not be able to buy their [kids'] way out of it, but it would desegregate the military services from being a bloc apart from civilians, desegregate the social assumptions of who can and does serve their country, and involve all citizens in the decisions (rights, training discipline, obligations, benefits, risks, rehabilitation) that go into such service -- and making sure that it is service, and not slavery, that is being practiced.

Oh, and make us think a lot more carefully about going to war, 'cause we'd know that it was all of our asses on the line. Something to think about the next time, eh?



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