Shogun Star Warrior

Now this is art! Nerd millionaires should fund artists who can produce this quality of fanart. And then hang it on their expensive, tacky walls. Culture!
It seems this scene - Cloud City Father Confessional - has become myth to a large portion of humanity. It's wonderful to see it happen before my eyes, mythmaking in action. How long it lasts is anyone's guess, but the Star Wars mythology is going strong for now.
As a nerd, I must insist on pointing out Vader really had little to do with the various Death Stars - which are central to the entire storyline, including the prequels. He was just a lackey; everything was all about the Emperor.


Art du Vader

The Prequels in many ways ruined the character of Darth Vader. Whereas before the Prequels there was an evil villain who still possessed a core of good, after the Prequels there's a whiny brat who just doesn't like being told what to do.

That said, like most things with the Prequels, the concept is good: The corruption of a Savior. The execution, OTOH, well, it was lacking. Alas!

Maybe someone else can remake the prequels in 2040 or so, after Lucas has become one with the Force. A good story never truly dies, nor is it ever owned by its author.
Indeed. If you hit the right mythological notes, your story will become common human currency. Who doesn't know all three characters in this painting, for example?


Why not call it the "Peace Star"?

Sure, the name "Death Star" conjures up fear and dread, and while that is ultimately the point, of course, why not use Orwellian language to tart it up a bit, make it more "brand" friendly? That is, the "GALACTIC EMPIRE" is not a force for evil, but rather peace and order, and justice. You can still be cold rollin' around blasting planets, but it plays way better in the Space Media to hear "And meanwhile in other Space News, the "Peace Star" was forced to neutralize the TERRORIST planet of Alderaan in order to prevent their immanent launch of deadly Space Missiles. Now, over to Bill with Space Sports."

Also, it's not really so much a star as a moon, ironically. So why not "Peace Moon"? Who could object to a Peace Moon?


Driven by War

Premise: Most if not all technological advances in human history have been driven by war and/or the threat of violence. Stone tools, the bow and arrow, the sword, the wheel, gunpowder, you name it. Everything advances or disappears according to a Darwinian beat: Eat or be eaten, even if it be metaphorical.
Without violence or the threat thereof, how else to keep the Regional Governors in line?


Sometimes a Giant Cannon

Is just a giant cannon, and cannons need cannonballs, since otherwise, what's the point? Cool statue? Sure, but that's not why you make a cannon, especially a giant one. And this one here - in Russia - might be the biggest cannon in the world, meaning of course Russia has the biggest gun, ergo, the biggest dick in the world.

But really, not phallic!

Also, nice work on Vlad's part picking his puppet. You've got to have some real confidence - and leverage - to appoint someone to your rightful role as ruler of the Empire, and let them know they're just keeping the seat warm. They could, after all, get a bit hooked on the POWER and then make a move on you. Wonder what the deal was? Doubt we'll ever know, though I assume violence and murder is implicit in it. Isn't it always, ultimately?


Putin Fetish


You're a fish, living your fish life deep in the sea, swimming in the inky black, darting amongst rock and debris, and then a light! What is this? The sun, come down to the bottom of the ocean?!

PUTIN! Under the sea.

So you know, there's an insignificant yet interesting group of people who live on the internet that enjoy sharing pictures of the world's coolest puppetmaster, Vladmir Putin. Why? Probably some deep psychological damage. Anyways, here's some more pics!
Shifty looking, even as a youngin'. Great things lay ahead, but Communism posed a serious threat to young Vlad's awesomeness.
But yay! Communism was defeated, personally, by Saint Ronaldus Reaganus the Greastest, and Vlad bloomed into the loveable tyrant we know today. Puppy loving badass:
Just chillin' on his super yacht, cold building Orthodox Churches, y'all.


George and Vlad

Now, you see, I'm the leader of the Free World. And that means I don't have to answer any questions. Now, watch me drive. Heheh.
You listen to me. I look good in this ridiculous blouse. You, on the other hand, look like a fool.
Ha ha. Stupid American.


Mainstreaming the Fringe

Most of our current problems with the traitorous Republican party started here, with Richard Milhouse Nixon. Don't forget that Nixon started his pro Pol career as a Commie Hunter during the fun time McCarthy red scare era. Nixon was the prototypical neo con - paranoid, power hungry, and ruthless. His "Southern Strategy" set the current political map with the wholesale switch of the racist South from Democrat to Republican. His many crimes - both International and Domestic - are now badges of honor for the craven and blood thirsty "Conservatives". FSM help us all if this ever comes to pass:
Anywho, Nixon also began the ruinous mainstreaming of the fringe nut jobs that have always existed in America, but were for the most part marginalized and excluded from the political process. The Wing Nuts:
Have you ever heard of these guys before? Check 'em out, at the Wiki. They got their start viciously attacking Dwight Eisenhower, of all people, and have only revved it up since then. But they used to be mocked, scorned, ignored by all corners of power. Till Nixon. Till the Right Wing resentment machine got cranked up. Creating monsters like:
Tucson, AZ, January 2011. Rush has been spewing poison and bile for decades now, emboldening guys like this, filling his head with hate:
And all too often these days, some truly disturbed individual actually puts down the marker and construction paper and picks up some of his FREEDOM guns:
Where oh where would this guy get the idea to shoot up a small political event in front of a store?

Naw, just a co-incidence, right? Also too, I find this amusing, not in the sense that there's anything funny or wrong with some Saudi's sitting on the Board of Directors of a major multinational. But when it's Newscorp?
Funny, right? Fox News, your 24/7 source for Muslim bashing and fear mongering, is 7% owned (good enough to be the 2nd largest shareholder) by Saudi royalty. I wonder if Glenn Beck ever drew that up on his Chalkboard?

Fun times!


We create our own reality

Remember "Baghdad Bob"? HAHA we kicked Iraq's ass and this dude's all like:

Faltering forces of infidels cannot just enter a country of 26 million people and lay besiege to them! They are the ones who will find themselves under siege. Therefore, in reality whatever this miserable Rumsfeld has been saying, he was talking about his own forces. Now even the American command is under siege.- Baghdad Bob
HA amirite? Oh wait.... Anyways, these days, the truth is what you make it. What you get on heavy rotation on Fox News. Talking points disseminated from on high and repeated incessantly by the legions of Dittoheads and Wingnuts. Here's some sweet Pentagon Don quotes from back in the halcyon days of 2002-2003:

I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that.
Interview with Steve Croft, Infinity CBS Radio Connect, November 14, 2002 [4]

And it is not knowable if force will be used, but if it is to be used, it is not knowable how long that conflict would last. It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.
TownHall Meeting At Aviano Air Base in Italy, February 7, 2003 [5]
- Don Rumsfeld

And of course, the king of the new rethuglican reality, Mr. Karl Rove:
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do. - Karl Rove

I think technically, also too, that this might be true from a quantum perspective.



What is clear is this: Anytime you read or have heard about demon possession, know that it is in fact one of the following situations:

A. A person suffering from some form of mental and/or health issue, and/or under the influence of a substance which causes the same behaviors.

B. Someone is using the label "demon possession" (or "Witch") in order to persecute and/or otherwise control someone else. This can range from sincere (that is, they believe the person is possessed by demons, because they're dumb) to outright insincere (witch hunts were often politically or socially targeted).

Newsflash if you don't know: There's no such thing as mythical demons. There are metaphorical demons of course, but that's just a flourish of words to describe actual human conditions.

And certainly, metaphorical demons would never cry.


Are there Monsters?

Are there such things as Monsters? Depends on your definition of "monster", of course. Mythological beast of horn and fire? Probably not. Folks with malice in their hearts and evil in their deeds? Knowing evil? Probably - hard to argue against. Not that many of course - a very small percentage of the overall population. But their terror is so vile that their influence far outweighs their numbers - we all live in fear of less than 10% of any given population.

These are all Level 3 sex offenders, by the way. I can think of few things more evil than sexual predation on children. Which of course leads me to the disturbing events at Penn State revealed over the last week - which ruined sports radio for me over the weekend, thanks! Anyways, the similarity between the events at Penn State and the various Catholic Churches struck me as interesting - large, respected organizations actively covering up the heinous crimes of monsters lurking in their midst, all the while portraying an image of sanctity and moral respect. What's interesting to me is not the monsters - they're monsters after all. You can count on their predations. But rather, the complicity of otherwise "good" people who are aware of these horrors but actively choose to cover them up for the good of the Institution. Showing the power of the Institution. And it's all about Power, always (one way or another).


God Loves You

Clearly, once you've decided to get some forehead tattoos, God truly loves you. You especially, way more than other people. God is also paying attention to your Fantasy team.



A Kurt Vonnegut tattoo, obviously worn by a Vonnegut devotee. As am I, though I have no tattoos. Vonnegut rocked my 20 year old mind back in the day, as I'm sure he's done to many others. One of the handful of people in this world I can without hesitation say his work changed my life. This passage stood out for me, for personal reasons. I quote again from "Breakfast of Champions":
I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Armistice Day has become Veterans' Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans' Day is not.
So I will throw Veterans' Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don't want to throw away any sacred things.
What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.
And all music is.

Now, for personal reasons, 11/11 was an important day for me too, and after I read this passage, I decided - way back when - to commemorate it every year. And Lo! I have done so, by starving. Fasting it's called, and I'm doing it right now, and believe you me, it sucks. Go 24 hours without eating and find out. No fun.

But fun is not the point. Rather, it's the suffering. Temporary suffering. Chosen suffering - I could eat at any time, but choose not to. I choose not to in order to keep this day apart, special. And like any holiday or commemoration, this is done in order to lift yourself out of the day to day, step back, and look at your life. Look at what you take for granted. What you do and don't appreciate - for instance, can you honestly say you appreciate the food you ate today? Or was it part of the overall mundane day to day existence you live everyday, and since you live it everyday, you take it for granted?

And that's the point. Taking things for granted is a curse, and the only way to break it is to force yourself to appreciate even the most mundane aspect of life. Breathing. Eating. Sleeping. Warmth. Friends. Love. Etc. All of these things and so much more could be taken from you at a moment's notice, maybe never to return, and then - and usually only then - will you appreciate that which you've lost. So, start appreciating these things now, while you have them, before you lose them. Because you will lose everything, eventually. It's only a matter of time.


Pioneer, our immortality

Say hello to the piece of art - the poem, the story, the epic of us - that will last the longest of any piece of art. In fact, it's likely to last far longer than humanity itself. The Pioneer Plaque, conceived and implemented by Carl Sagan and Frank Drake (of the famous Drake Equation:
N = R^{\ast} \cdot f_p \cdot n_e \cdot f_{\ell} \cdot f_i \cdot f_c \cdot L \!
It looks wicked complicated, doesn't it? But it's not really - look it up. This is not the place for equations!).

Anyways, look:
The plaque is made of solid gold, and was mounted on the inside of Pioneer's legs, in order to protect it from the solar wind and space dust. For reals - it's abrasive! Anything is, really, over millions of years.
There's the story, by the way. Designed to relay as much information about humanity and Earth as possible in such a small space. Also to note - the size of the spacecraft on the right is proportional to the size of the naked humans.

Imagine! Can you imagine NASA trying to send an image of naked people to space today? Ah, how we've progressed. Anywho:
Mr. Sagan with the actual plaque, in front of Boston City Hall, beautiful monstrosity that it is. I used to smoke cigarettes to the way back right there, and I've previously posted this picture:
This wondrous display of FREEDOM! takes place on the right of City Hall above, and that's the Old State Building at the end of this corridor, which, hilariously, was the scene of the BOSTON MASSACRE, featuring the wonderfully named Crispus Attucks - the first "martyr" of the Revolution. Ironic, right?

Anyways, now that I type this all up - nicely, I think :) - I realize I might have done a similar post many, many years ago. And while I certainly strive not to repeat any pictures, ever, unless for effect, in this case, what the heck! Behold the glory that is dialectic free association. Man.


Sagan Day '11

Carl Sagan was born today in 1934, and I'll try and note it till the end of my days, for he was a great man, with many great things to say to all of humanity. I hope a thousand years hence the world still knows of the Carl. Above is Carl and son Nick.
Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself. - Carl Sagan
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. - Carl Sagan
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. - Carl Sagan
Sagan Rules!


Sex Trek 2: Star Sexier

So - apparently - this Star Trek porn homage is taking off. Here's a cast pic from one of the latest. Pretty impressive, actually. I haven't seen the "movie", so I can't speak to that.

It's funny they chose The Next Generation because it's without a doubt the least sexy Trek. The Original Series is clearly the sexiest.
Hey! That's Olivia Munn, beloved of nerds everywhere. But truly, the original fashions rocked:
That's right, ladies - it's a working retro tricorder! Ready to be scanned?

TNG and DS9 were both unsexy, as was Voyager when it started. But then ratings sagged, the network execs stepped in, and we got 7 of 9. The same crew that brought us the sexiest Borg ever also gave us the super-extreme amped to the max sexy Enterprise!
Even though it was the future, it wasn't the super future, so in order to remain free of alien bacteria and space germs, anyone returning from a planet would have to lather up in the Decon Chamber. Preferably, hot chicks and dudes and a dog. Imagine the creative team behind Enterprise creating this "set" - "OK, we got to show more T&A, and we don't have a holodeck. What to do... what to do... DECON!"

Enterprise was a transparent attempt to "Sex up" Trek after the supposed blandness of TNG through 1/2 Voyager. It failed, equally transparently. But that won't stop those slick Hollywood execs from trying to make the next Trek sexier still.

To be fair, at times, few and far between, Enterprise had some cool moments. Check out this segue!

No doubt pandering to nerds like me, but I can't begrudge any mainstream reference to Sagan.


Family Hostage Syndrome

Let's guess who's the number one Trek fan here: One of the kids? Mom? Dad?

The answer's probably Dad, of course, because who else could command such a thing? Dad is BOSS of the family and whatever whims or fancies strike him become the reality for the rest of the family. If that be Trek costumes for all, so be it. Perhaps you could only be so lucky. Bible Thumpin' Dad's are usually super fun!

These folks seem mostly happy. Mom seems a bit chagrined, but alas, such is the curse of telepathy.  If it makes you happy, go for it. If you have to go along because it makes others happy, that's a choice you have to make.