Archive for March, 2008

For the American People

Posted in Sunday Sermon on March 30, 2008 by Mas Younon

In the interest of sparking a move forward/can do attitude, I’d like to take some time to explore some lifestyles that need to make a comeback.

The first is Mad Science. It has been far too long, and we’ve been too conditioned by film/television/literature to embrace a progressive, albeit slightly dangerous occupation. We’re too compliant to let “progress” be turned into “treatment(in the case of medicine)” and “upgrades(regarding technology).” Mad Scientists leap and bound when corporations are exploiting small steps for profit over and over and over. There are so many brilliant minds in existence and we are wasting them by not embracing the ancient art of humiliating the genius. This is how drastic advances in science are made…through debasement. Find the best minds working on cancer(for example), and cut their funding. Link them to the least helpful aspect of society(a photo-shop of them partying with Paris Hilton should do it), thereby destroying any credibility they might have had, and in three years…cure for cancer. Granted we’ll have to find a way to subdue the super wolf-human hybrid that sniffs out and then rips out cancerous cells, but in that creature’s sweat glands, we’ll also find and later synthetically reproduce(so as not to harm the creature) the vaccination for all cancer. You can apply this technique to almost any of humanity’s problems, though I wouldn’t go this route for E.D.(no need for a hyper-ferret that consumes floppy frankfurters).

“Volunteers,” and “Test Subjects,” totally needs to be rethought. Not to mention that Mad Scientists need them, we need to rethink this “qualified” status being held in high regard. If I’m going to be taxed to keep Manson alive, do something with him. Graft a tail on, expose him to gamma rays(but not too much, I’ve seen The Hulk), heck just see how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. We’ve too many untapped(un/underemployed) resources watching Springer reruns not to put them to use and make a better tomorrow. True, we might have to mobilize the national guard and “contain” a few of the more unexpected results with a nuclear cleansing, but isn’t progress worth the risk?

Speaking of test humans, what ever happened to DAREDEVILS? When did we as a species lose our collective sack? Are all of us too scared to miss the next season of “America’s Next Piece of Hackneyed Crap” to risk the glory in throwing up a humongous middle finger to the “almighty” by jumping 18 buses full of burning nuns and orphans whilst drinking a martini and texting the Dali Lama(big hitter, the Lama…)? In an age of the douche-tube “stunt-people” whose idea of a risk is jumping off a roof on the awaiting groin of their friend, or simply just inflicting minor pain onto themselves, where is the one who has the, “eff it all, go for it!” attitude to jump in a rocket built by teenagers and see if he can warp to Mars and back with a protein bar and a liter of water(bonus points for the nickname, “Evel,” and a last name that rhymes with it)?

“The Anti-Christ/Bringer of Doom/Whatever,” people, listen up. You’ve been warning/spouting off about this for too long. Embrace someone as it/make one up/whatever. If you deity relies on another character for it to conquer, well get on with it. I seriously do not understand why you wouldn’t rejoice in the appearance of your enemy. Wouldn’t that mean that you are that much closer to being in your cloud city that is paved with gold and molesting virginal cherubs? Remember, every step towards earthly doom is another step closer to fictional bliss. So lighten up and let the great Satan(progress) make an advance or two(that you’ll later embrace and call your god’s will). Besides, nothing stimulates economy like an enemy. The draw back is that it also stimulates stupidity, -isms, and Dr. Phil.

Natural Twenty…Huzzah!!

Posted in Hope on March 26, 2008 by Mas Younon

Two decades ago, when I was, oh…about two decades shorter, I was given the opportunity to corrupt a soul.

Every day I am closer to unleashing it upon the world…but not yet…

For those who can’t…

Posted in Hope on March 23, 2008 by Mas Younon

Sure, it’s all fine and well if you have magical powers and can beat death. Good for you. What about those that might lack that skill set?

Well, thankfully, there is an organization that is trying to help.

If you haven’t, you should watch the entire film. It’s old and dated at times, but so am I.

Play Me a Dirge…

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2008 by Mas Younon

As I have stated before, I’m stunted in my musical growth. That said, I’ve come to some conclusions as to the state of “popular” music:

  • Most of it sucks, but this is a numbers issue(throw enough ess at the wall and see if anything sticks).
  • The “Kidz Bop” CDs are evil incarnate(for so many reasons, it demands another post that, probably will never happen).
  • Downloads will kill the “album.”

Just so we’re on the same page(in terminology), and for the purpose of this post, an album will be defined as a collected release by an artist so as to tell a story or journey through music.

An opera, or an orchestral work is designed for such purposes, but so are more recent offerings. And from them there are favored movements or pieces that fans wish to revisit. Now, however with the instant gratification/OCD culture, a large musical “work” appears(to me) to be on it last legs.

With the downloadability of today, there’s no reason to experience the journey from song to song of the artist(even if it’s just once), and that, to me is a bit sad.

Not from a business standpoint, I totally understand the need to crank out hit after top forty boring and absolutely the same song hit. But there is(as I am led to understand and occasionally find), an artist that tells a story through an album, and that is what downloads are truly killing.

When you’re told to only listen to/download “x” song, there exists the possibility that you might miss the point that the artist was getting to on the album. There are some, though most assuredly not all, artists that want to take you on a journey. With what I’m going to call a, “one song, move on,” mentality, I doubt many recording artists will want to put forth the effort needed to make a long musical statement or journey(and yes I do realize that there will be exceptions).

There’s also the loss of the arts of both liner notes and album art that will continue to fade. I’ve enough tree rings to recall what vinyl is and maybe its my failing eyesight or perhaps I’m just embracing grumpy coot syndrome, but those two things seemed to add to the whole album experience for true fans.

I am, of course, aware that this is a specialized problem that effects music geeks and the masses are content to happily fill their iTunes folder with the song o’ the week and move along to the next download required for societal acceptance. I do however find interesting that these aspects of musical experience are fading away. Then again, given huge piles of cash involved and since those that would care are the smaller group, not too many people will notice or care.

On the b side, it may be time to scavenge what you can and invest in what might be a new or heightened level of collectibles. Plus, like I said before, I’m not an expert on the issue in any way shape or form. There are many positives to downloading as it’s eco-friendly(less energy used and less waste produced), easier to share, and it is easier to find that hard to find song. Perhaps that’s worth the loss of the tactile sensation and a broad musical story.

It is going to be one of those generational things that old people bore children with when they begin, “You know, in my day…”

Very much like what I’m doing right now.

…Fred Rogers, Spike Lee, and…

Posted in Lacking Social Graces on March 20, 2008 by Mas Younon

Payback is a…dish best stewed upon for a couple of months, then reheated in the microwave on high for two to three minutes(remove the bag when the kernel pops are more than a second apart).

Someone I know has a birthday today. No, not Rick Berman, nor William Hurt or even Holly Hunter(yes it’s their day too, but I don’t know them).

As you may or may not recall, this friend of mine set me up for public ridicule at a time when I was fragile and feeling the effects of the aging process. After a short, but fun e-slapfest, we made up but…well I thought a bit of poking the fun stick(minds out of the gutter) in the other direction was in order.

The problem facing me is that it would be…immature of me to reveal things that could cause embarrassment. At least, outright…I couldn’t just say, “X-years and a gestation period ago, her parents had sex.” That would be rude to not only reveal her age, but to burn into her mind the image of her mother and father engaged in carnal relations.

How then to snicker at someone without revealing their darkness? Make stuff up? Say, “To hell with it,” and release the hounds? Be the bigger person and let it go?

Hell to the NO.

Seeing as it is an election year, her occasional need to do a Thursday Thirteen, and my own petty nature…I’ve decided to list 13 alleged facts about the enigma wrapped in a whiskey filled, question mark shaped flask that is, Mr. Lady.

No particular order, and at least one of these is true(allegedly):

  1. She’s (mostly)a lady: In all my years of knowing her, she’s only broke wind(audibly) once in my presence. Now granted, even if it sounded like someone starting a chainsaw with added reverb and echo, it was hilarious, human, and the only time I can recall.
  2. She’s a freak(on paper): She has no middle name. Her name is X Z, no Y at all. I think she may have since compensated for this deficiency by moving her maiden name to the middle but really, we’re supposed to be a superpower, someone with only a first and last name should raise a flag or two…and she emigrated to Canada, Hmmm…
  3. She’s kind and nurturing: I was having a bad day, and after confiding my pain and frustration to her, she gave me what she later referred to as a, “knuckle hug,” to my left temple. Upon regaining consciousness she suggested I, “walk it off,” and then insisted I was a tiny cat.
  4. She has a weight problem: It would be rude of me to disclose any woman’s weight, in pounds, yet I can assure you that(though I was never able to confirm it on my larger scales) she is roughly equivalent to that of a duck.
  5. She’s a strong influence: So strong, I’m willing to bet ten of my rapidly declining in value American dollars that, at least one of her boy’s will dress up as Dr. Frank-N-Furter before the age of 18(and after reading this, I lay two to one odds it’s the middle child), even if none of his friends know what Rocky Horror is(though if they spend any time at her house, they will). Another ten says she takes the boy to the store and helps him pick out the correct lingerie(just to make the people at Victoria’s Secret do a triple take).
  6. She’s no slave Leia: But she did have this chain metal top/dress/renaissance festival type thing…
  7. She’s a black magic woman: Like Mola Ram, she has the ability to pluck the still beating heart from your chest. I’ve seen it, and it is grim. This kid got off easy, trust me, and I’ll put another five bucks on the fact that she’s manipulating my astrological chart so that an asteroid hits me within the week.
  8. She’s musically gifted: At one point in her life she claims to have been able to play the sad, walking away music from the end of every episode of “The Incredible Hulk.”
  9. She’s a film connoisseur: Her favorite film is the science fiction classic, “Fortress,” it effected her greatly. True friends of hers would be wise to buy this film for her in every format available. Personally, I think her dream is to have this film running on a loop 24 hours a day.
  10. She’s a freak(genetically): Writes with the right, bats lefty, allergic to red dye #40…Not to go all conspiracy on you, but there were rumors that our(U.S.) government was working on a genetically engineered, female, ambidextrous super-spy during the end cold war, whose only kryptonite was red
  11. She likes to stick it to herself: Most of her piercings(that I know of…) were done by her. Why? “Because I’m hardcore like that emmeffer!” she once said to me before embracing me with yet another knuckle hug. And the tattoos, what was the last count? Two full sleeves of characters from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” the names of her children, the entire battle of Helm’s Deep across her back, a Tron identity disc “tramp stamp,” and two marshmallow peeps battling to the death in Thunderdome(and no, I won’t go into where that one is).
  12. She’s kind to animals: Unless she takes care of them. R.I.P., Yoda.
  13. She’s Got a Laugh About Her(apologies to Billy Joel): The best, most beautiful sound she makes is her laugh. Even when pretending to laugh at my stupid jokes(which I’m hoping she still does). Better than a choir of angels, that laugh.

I could go on but, she may already be plotting my doom and it’s best I don’t press my luck.

So I raise my glass and drink(heavily), in honour of…

Too much(time on my hands)…

Posted in Lacking Social Graces, Umm...yeah...okay... on March 18, 2008 by Mas Younon
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Olde Time Religion

Posted in Lacking Social Graces on March 14, 2008 by Mas Younon

It’s been an age since I’ve categorized myself as anything in the religious category, and I couldn’t be more pleased with that aspect of myself. I’m a skeptic and I’ve got commitment issues so I won’t even claim atheist or agnostic status. I am, happily, a non-religious person(which is its own discussion unto itself). I did, once upon a time, try to believe that I was a believer of a sect of Christianity. And even if that didn’t work out for me in real life, I realize that there are some aspects of that “life” that I do actually miss. So, in an attempt to reconcile my past/be deeper than I am, I’m going to list the things that I miss about religion(in no particular order):

  • Music: Granted, not all of it makes a joyful noise unto the lord(in fact a great deal is quite depressing), but some truly amazing, haunting and beautiful music has been born from the need to worship/appease/create for the almighty. Plus I enjoy sining and church offers a once a week indulgence.
  • Stained Glass: I don’t know why, but the only place I find stained glass to be appropriate is a church. Something about the sacred ground and light through colored glass that only works(for me), as a combination.
  • Questioning Authority: In Sunday School, I was always asking too many, “what if/why not/how come” questions. I was curious. I wanted to explore these topics and stories. To find truth and meaning. I wasn’t aware that church was a, “because I said so,” kind of thing and as a child, this kind of questioning and making adults squirm in their uncertainty is written off as precocious. As an adult they just call you a jerk.
  • A Scapegoat: Though I never bought it, it was always fun to see what Satan’s tool for corruption of the week was pulled out of the magic hat. Oh we had all the great classics: Playing metal records backwards, D&D and other role-playing games, credit cards(no kidding, and I still laugh about it). That kind of finger pointing logic still exists, but it was fun to see the “thought process” first hand, now I just read about it and shake my head.
  • Christmas: I’m not a fan of the holiday now, and I am sure if I did believe I would still be against the commercialism of the holiday but, when I was young Jesus was the reason for the season. It was so theatrical: the nativity, the songs, the service…It all added a bit of extra…something more to the holiday and as a child it was comforting and magical.
  • My Sunday Best: it was a pain in the ass then and it still is now, but sometimes(just sometimes) it’s nice to look good in the daytime.
  • Lunch: After the service, we would go to one of the grandparent’s homes for a meal. As a child, I will admit, I despised the food and yet, looking back…it’s all comfort food now, no matter how good or bad it actually is.
  • My Sunday Best, part 2: Changing out of the stiff “dress clothes” and getting into something comfortable to play in. Glorious relief.
  • Grandparents: Once a week, a chance to be with amazing people(though I did not know it at the time), who had stories(that I never took the time to learn), and be with them.