My Utopian Manifesto

I had some free time at work, as I ponder my current job ending I find an angry little man deep inside me forced to live in a world of rules I don’t like.

Such frustration is an illusion, right? The world is a concoction in our brains and the ultimate conversation. I think the world should change. It doesn’t need to. What will happen will happen and so it goes. But wouldn’t it be more fun to actively seek a paradise, to explore how beautiful society can be?

Here’s how I would start changing the world to create better home for the human race. Warning: Rantings of a 35 year old man who thinks he has it all figured out.

Reform Property Ownership
People shouldn’t own property for the sole purpose of charging other people to live there. People pay a ridiculous amount of their income just to live in an apartment or spot of land. These prices are based on bogus social contracts that evolved from violent land claims. Let’s liberate this real estate money.

Teach Health Care in High School
We should teach basic health care in high school and create a sort of first-responder with the ability to prescribe anti-biotics and other medications. Infuse communities with more medical workers by creating “town medics.” This should take some of the burden off of the U.S.’s bogus health care system.

Create a Culture of Communication to Match Technology
I think we need to communicate better. I keep seeing arguments where people take disagreements personally and vilify people of opposing views. Not only that, but conversations seem to consist of borrowed phrases. I think we need to teach people to put their thoughts in their own words. Not just for my sake. I believe if we lay the groundwork for a culture that prizes conversation we will develop better solutions to problems as well as a deeper appreciation for each other. Bring language back!

Sustainable Lifestyles vs. Jobs
Sooner or later (or even sooner) the world’s resources are going to come up short. We can’t afford to go on consuming like we do. We’ll be far better off if we alter our habits before we are forced to do so. We keeping hearing that jobs are the solution to many of our problems. I think a shift of lifestyle is a better solution. More jobs increases the amount of consumption. Pretty soon we’re going to run out of things to consume.  Also, we keep developing labor saving machines then instead of taking advantage of the saved labor insist on increasing output (and thus consumption of resources). Let’s come together and teach each other how to provide our own food, shelter, and health care. This could easily be accomplished in cities (with creative ideas such as vertical farming). This isn’t a cry to return to a life of farming, a simpler life of day consuming chores. I think if we all come together and work on building sustainable communities, it will free up all sorts of time. The forty hour work week is a parasite to the market of ideas and human energy, deceiving many people they have to devote their waking hours in a fully mechanized world to providing life’s basic needs. If we all come together we can produce a sustainable quality of life and free up time for enterprise, art, and exploration.

Less Reliance on Regulation
Democracy will not be possible in a society that relies on government to be a hulk of power. Government should be a tool, not an authoritative entity, to help in providing education, quality of life, and aid during disaster. Everyone should participate or at least be heard. Government should be a conversation. Reliance on regulation for structure ignores the emotional and mental maturity many of us are granted in adulthood. We should have more confidence in ourselves to make decisions and government should reflect the abilties of the human adult (and people should act accordingly, a paradox I know). Rules and laws shouldn’t be abandonned, a reliance on a fictional “legislative god” should. False gods are not only scary because of the devotion they demand but more so because of the chaos that manifests when they crumble. 

Legalize Drugs
We should stop treating health issues as criminal behavior, as that very approach creates worse criminals.

Sitcom Houses Creep Me Out

When watching a sitcom like Charles in Charge or Who’s The Boss, I often get an eerie chill down my spine. What bothers me is the houses. The clean, never changing houses. There’s something about them that says, “This is all there is to the universe. This house is all. You shall not pass.” I find those sitcom house sets revolting but not on a critical level (I’ll laugh at a good Who’s The Boss with the rest of you) but on some sort of “my existence is now questioned” level.

It’s almost as if the sitcom house is showing us what normal living looks like. How we must behave, what we must have. I don’t believe this is the intent of these programs (although they are pretty much made to sell advertising) but these artificial families and their environments threaten me. It’s almost as if I’m told to write a book and the sitcom tells me what the final chapter must entail. It’s creepy.

Strangely, I don’t get this feeling with The Brady Bunch house. Maybe because it’s so big? Maybe because The Brady Bunch had such an expansive universe (The Grand Canyon, Hawaii, the driveway where they did that play, the phone booth George Glass called from)? Maybe it’s because I felt the Brady’s had serious flaws that were obvious and comforting. Cousin Oliver’s cold sore being a prime example.

Fever Dreams of Space

I had a fever dream of being in a space craft orbiting earth. It was made out of a rigid, fibrous plant based material. I was nervous of its ability to remain pressurized and airtight but was told that this was a prototype for a craft to Mars. Perhaps the plant technology could provide a source of oxygen. Perhaps I had a really high fever.

I am feeling better today. I always seem to get sick around the changing of the seasons. What is up with that? I have to admit it doesn’t fell all that unpleasant, almost like dipping into a hot tub of warm blood circulating through your body. Was that too gross?

Since I’ve been feeling ill, I’ve been trying to steer clear of dairy, sugar, and spicy food. I think it’s working.

The body’s a machine, I think, and every so often it gives itself a tune-up by taking the immune system for a spin. That’s my theory.

 

President Obama, Gas Mileage, and Using Your Feet

I think President Obama says a lot of good things here about taking a look at energy companies, but he doesn’t say much on reducing car use, carpooling, and public transportation, three obvious solutions to help with the current energy crisis. A lot of people just use cars because of laziness or snobbery of the bus. If more of us used our two good feet, bicycles hanging in the garage, or bus passes we might not need to hop in a car as much. “Convenience,” as Eddie McOwskey says, “breeds negligences.”

And the President mentions a goal of 55 MPG for a car in the middle of the next decade, while impressive compared to the current average mileage, I think we might be low-balling it when people like Tom Ogle (in the 1970s!) have claimed engine modifications yielding 100mpg.  To me, engine modifications on existing cars seem a much better route than simply focussing on producing newer, better cars since we already have so many cars on the road wasting gas.

I recommend the documentary Gas Hole, (not for those with allergic reactions to conspiracy videos) here’s a clip:

Holiday Party Games

Holiday Greetings!

You know the holidays are among my favorite times of the year: the country hillside covered with fresh snow, crisp sunsets reaching their amber arms over the tree tops, and office workers pushing free sweets to the point of harassment.  It makes life seem like a storybook filled with the greatest of pictures.

What could possibly make the season any better you may ask? Holiday Party Games. Here are some of my favorites:

Emotional Charades: One person tries to display an emotion that the rest have to guess. Whoever successfully guesses the emotion wins. If no one guesses the correct emotion the person must continue to act that emotion for the rest of the holiday. Prizes include catharitic release and therapy. If the spouse of the person displaying the emotion fails to identify it, the couple must sit down and discuss their future as well as whether or not their past together has been a waste of time.

Family Name Concentration: Try to remember everyone’s name and two interesting things about them. The winner recieves a prize of a pleasant holiday. The loser must live with shame.

Connect Poor Mouthing: Discuss your finances aloud and to no one in particular. Also suggest what the Holiday would have been like if you hadn’t had such a rough year. Bonus points for remarking how expensive every one else’s gifts are.

Sorry! Whoever apologizes the most wins. No subject is taboo, the only rule is that it must have occurred within your lifespan. Beginners usually apologize for the basics such as forgetting to send thank you notes, not making it to weddings, and that “it’s been so long.” Advanced players will apologize for allowing certain couples to be wed, certain children to be born, and certain allergy inducing foods to be abundantly present in the holiday casserole.

Big Whoop: Everyone partners up. Whenever your partner says something pleasant or optimisitic you must reply “Big Whoop.”

Questions for Kenneth Branagh, regarding the movie THOR

I was curious to read some interviews with Mr. Branagh regarding the forthcoming movie Thor. I have to admit, I’m excited to see this one. As I was stumbling around the internet, I found this interesting blog post of a Norse Mythology Professor’s questions for the director.

I was inspired to come up with my own questions for Mr. Branagh:

Questions I would ask Kenneth Branagh about the forthcoming Movie Thor

Who would win in a fight, Thor or Superman? Please cite three examples.

What do you like better, comic books or Shakepeare? Be honest.

Do you think movies are better than books?

I really liked that reincarnation thriller you made a while back. The only thing that bothered me was how wobbly the big scissors were at the end. Please elaborate on that choice.

Have you ever thrown a hammer at anyone?

What do Frost Giants do in between jobs?

Have you ever given scratch tickets a shot?

What’s Chris Hemsworth really like?

Anxiety is An Addiction

“Anxiety is an addiction,” popped into my head the other day as I was riding the bus.  I started thinking of the anxiety I feel when I’m late or when I’m not where I’m supposed to be and how anxiety fuels me to get to one place to another.  I think I, and a lot of other folks, use anxiety as a fuel, pushed by fear from point A to B.  Just like the United States has a fixation petroleum based fuels to zip our cars around, we also have an addiction to anxiety.  I know I worry a lot and sometimes anxiety makes a lot of decisions for me.

I don’t know what the solution is but it’s probably very relaxing.

My Thought of The Day

Does the Tea Party really exist? Or is this some media stunt? Like a scare of the week? I just watched the news for the first time in around 6 months. I’m afraid to go out the door. I might be swept up in some partisan politics gang knife fight. Hey, I think we should have a flat tax, that there’s some sort of coverup with 9/11 (Mohamed Atta’s passport found, seriously, y’all?), less or more efficient government (w/employees who are allowed some judgment instead of clinging to every regulation), we should end our wars, legalize drugs, have national health care, and more personal liberties. I believe the state is a tool of the citizen not a manager of the people. I vote for Independents, Greens, and Libertarians. I don’t believe anybody has any right to tell someone they can not live somewhere. I think people should believe in themselves before a system and help each other out. I think things get bad when people go along with precedent without taking time to examine situations due to convenience, fear, and mindless obedience. Why are things unfair? I think, because we go along with the unfairness. I believe in the concept of a Christian Nation as one that helps people in need and seeks an end to war. Which side am I on? Which label do I get? I’d like to get one label for my thoughts to save a little time and be able to easily identify friends and foes.

Captain America: Reimagined!

I have reimagined the character of Captain America.  Enjoy.

patterson_bigfoot_lg1 copy

In the middle of World War 2, Steve Rogers, a young, scrawny, army recruit was ordered to a secret military lab in Montauk, New York where he was reluctantly strapped into a strange, alien looking chair.  While immobilized, Rogers was injected with an experimental top secret “super soldier” serum.  The serum transformed Rogers’ meek body and endowed him with almost superhuman strength.  Unfortunately, A Nazi spy infiltrated the experiment, causing the fiery destruction of the lab.  Only Rogers survived.

The newly modified recruit was immediately commissioned and sent into battle, with an indestructable shield, as Captain America! During many morale boosting victories, Captain America blazed through the war… until he sacrificed his life to thwart a Nazi rocket attack… Or did he?

Time passes.  New wars replace old wars.  Enemies rotate in and out of the American cross-hairs. Society gets better.  Things get worse.  People change.  Human-influenced climate change kicks up the temperature and the arctic circle begins to melt at a steady clip… By the year 2050 people start reporting seeing something roaming the Alaskan wilderness, something human-like but carrying a familiar looking shield.

Rogers was last seen falling into the Atlantic.  Could the super-soldier serum in combination with the ocean’s cool temperature render Rogers into a state of suspended animation?  Could he slowly have been transforming into something… strange?

Radio Reporter Benjamin Grimmles, host of WFFF’s The Thing with Benjamin Grimmles, is used to telling people his rock hard opinions.  What he isn’t used to is waiting for his dopey college friend Reed Pritchard, his wife, and her hotshot brother.  So instead of hanging around hoping they show up for a decent night of Chinese, he takes off in his brand new, very pricey, space car.  The radio station had just given him a lead: a retired Park Ranger saw an “Abominable Snowman” wandering around the woods by his cabin, an Abominable Snowman with a Captain America shield!

Grimmles’ space car shoots into space as he circumvents the globe towards his next big story.  Unfortunately Grimmles’s expensive shortcut lands him right in the middle of a solar flare!  He is bombarded with cosmic rays!  The space car tumbles to Earth and Grimmles spills his coffee all over his lap.  Since starting radio, Grimmles had gone up to around ten cups a day. A real problem… that just landed in his lap!

As Grimmles lies in his wrecked space car, thankful for its Volvo inspired cage-like internal frame, he spews, angry, whispered curses.  But then he notices he doesn’t feel any pain from the spilled coffee on his lap.  He just fell from space and doesn’t feel any pain at all… For the cosmic rays had made Grimmles some brutish creature with rock-like skin. He is no longer human, he has become… some THING!

Filled with rage over his newfound monstrousity, Grimmles goes on a rampage in Alaska, but is stopped by a mysterious figure baring the Captain America shield.  The figure manages to strangely calm Grimmles before his rampage leads to murder but then disappears…

Meanwhile, Grimmles uses the last of his frequent flyer miles to get back to New York and scream at Reed Pritchard.  If Reed, his wife, and her hotshot brother had made it on time, he would have spent the night burping up some decent Lo Mein and not have become this… THING!

Grimmles’s new, unstoppable quest for this “Captain America Sasquatch” makes the WFFF station owners skeptical of his integrity.  Gradually his broadcast presence is reduced to a sixty second rundown of the headlines. Those poor stone lips can hardly move fast enough to say more than a sentence in a minute.  To save his job, he enlists the help of  David Bruce Bandato, a nuclear physicist specializing in gamma rays.

Bandato takes Grimmles to the Nevada Desert and drops a gamma ray bomb on the poor sap.  The objective of this mad science is to wash out the cosmic radiation and restore Grimmles’ genome.  The bomb drops.  The gamma rays mutate Grimmles further.  His skin is now rocky and GREEN!  The poor bastard is twice as hideous.  And Bandato?  He isn’t going to win any beauty pageants either.  He hadn’t shielded himself properly and got hit by the harsh gamma rays.  He turns into a large, hulking, green skinned monster.  With increased strength and size, Bandato’s genius falls victim to his insecurity about his appearance.  Seeing no place for someone of his ugliness on Earth, he leaves for Mars to become a migrant worker.  The new Martian infrastructure is a boom economy and employers don’t care what you look like, especially if you can bench a couple tons.

After Grimmles screams at Pritchard some more about that fateful night, he decides to finally file the insurance claim on his space car.  The space car insurance company sends an insurance adjuster to Alaska to document the claim.  This insurance adjuster is Peter Pacjenko, a starving newspaper photographer trying to earn his rent (in 2050 newspaper journalists are a step below struggling actors).  The photographs he captures of the space car’s last registered GPS coordinates show nothing but burn marks from a crash… and/or a take-off!

Grimmles has had it!  That car cost more than a few paychecks!  He demands to meet the young Pacjenko.  He isn’t going to let some wannabe rag-photographer keep him from his hard earned cash.  Pacjenko suggests they investigate the story further, he’s curious about these claims of an abominable snowman.  “It’s Captain America!” Grimmles’ gravely voice insists.

After seeing the pain in Grimmles’ eyes, locked behind mutant green pebbles, Pacjenko suggests a new health treatment he had photographed for the paper.  Apparently people were getting bitten by radioactive spiders and it was curing everything from psoriasis to depression.  “I got both of those!”  Grimmles squeaks and off they go.

Grimmles drops a wad of cash at a spooky looking lab by Columbia.  Then Pacjenko and Grimmles are ushered into a  strange sauna type room and told to allow spiders to crawl all over them. “I’ve paid for worse things to be done to me,” Grimmles jokes as the tiny arachnids do their work.

When Grimmles emerges he feels a definite change in mood.  He is happy again.  But he also mutates further developing the powers of a spider, which can hardly be expressed through his rock hard, green shell.

The young Peter Pacjenko also goes through some mysterious changes, the least of which is a cure to his life long problem with psoriasis.  At night the formerly shy Pacjenko jumps around the city, looking for trouble until one night he finds it on Staten Island! He stumbles across a dark figure carrying a shield in a Staten Island park.  A dark figure who keeps mumbling about protecting U.S. shores from Nazi subs!

Meanwhile, Pritchard, feeling vaguely responsible for Grimmles medical problems after showing up late for Chinese that fateful night puts Grimmles in contact with “Acupuncturist Supreme,” Stephen Strangelli.  Using this ancient medicine, over eight pricey weeks, Grimmles is cured… in a manner of speaking! For Dr. Strangelli has left but one capillary tube in Grimmles that if removed will revert him back to his mutated self!

After hearing about Pacjenko’s encounter on Staten Island, Grimmles vows to go back into radio full force.  But unfortunately due to events on Mars, Earth enters into a space recession.  WFFF goes out of business and Grimmles files for unemployment with the assistance of Peter Pacjenko who frequents the dole.

Grimmles turns to the cheap life of an avant garde print journalist to document the Captain America sightings.  But to make money he pursues the baking business where one night in a cooking class at the Yancey Street Community Center he meets Chef Chuck Xavier who’s discovered a strange, naturally occuring mutant strain of baking yeast at his school for gifted cooks.

One whiff of the mutant yeast sends a tremor of transformation through Grimmles but Dr. Strangelli’s capillary tube remains, fulfilling the ancient promise of acupuncture.  Grimmles writes of the strange yeast in the underground paper where he and Pacjenko now pursue their passion.

The article attracts the attention of the U.S. government who in 2050 relies heavily on regulating genetically modified foods to feed the entire population, causing Chef X to take his operation off the grid.

The article also attracts the attention of Doctor Duma, a mysterious man from overseas who claims to be a big fan of Grimmles work.  He would like to join Pacjenko and Grimmles on their quest for Captain America.  For Duma believes Captain America is the lost key to reconstructing the legendary Montauk Chair, a chair rumored to be the remains of an alien space craft.  Duma claims that Rogers was strapped into this chair when he was injected with the Super Soldier Serum.

Grimmles and Pacjenko have little trust of Doctor Duma, but they have even less of a choice, for Duma’s overseas cash is the only thing keeping them afloat in this time of economic collapse.

However Doctor Duma’s cash might soon be gone as the Galactus Corporation orchestrates machinations to purchase all of Earth’s assets as a means of reclaiming unpaid debt to satisfy its enormous hunger for profits.  The Galactus Corporation’s VP in Charge of Aquisitions, Norton Radd, the silver tongued surfer, might be having a change of heart.  But the Galactus Corporation is fiercely hungry for money.

Will Captain America emerge from Staten Island with the answer?  Will Ben Grimmles have to remove the capillary tube that stands between him and his life as a walking nightmare? What is the Montauk Chair?

Idea

If I opened a comic book store, I’d call it “Superman’s Fortress of Savings.”

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