Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Friday, July 11, 2003
Fishrush Is Crazy
...but we already knew that.

-----Original Message-----
From: Fishrush [mailto:kent@fishrush.com] 
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2003 11:57 PM
To: clocke@panix.com
Subject: Size Does Matter: TRUE, ME OH MY BUT HOW...

Size does Matter
The  superstring-related physics phrase "size does matter"
is just like the phrase found in the old classic movie title
"Debbie Does Dallas." SuperString Theory tells us that "All 
Energy/Mass/Matter is made from the same 'stuff' and
SuperString Theory is an attempt to analyze deeply all the
reactions and interactions of Energy/Mass/Matter within the
context of this standard type of substance. The Strings in
this Theory, which make up all Energy/Mass/Matter, are
loops of pure substance, and the Fundamental Particles we
are aware of are examples of different vibrations of these
loops. One important feature of SuperString Theory is that
it reveals that SpaceTime is inextricably involved in the
interactions of Energy/Mass/Matter." 

Once we grasp physics lingo, i.e., the use of words like
"deep reactions" and "vibrating loops," it becomes easy for
us to understand the transformative process used by the
academic community to remake the phrase "Mass Energy
Matter" into the now commonly accepted shibboleth, "Size
Does Matter."

The underlying math is a little more difficult, but I'll
attempt to provide an understandable example:

If we consider the variables and functions:

   Matter = Matter, and
   Does = Energy, and
   Mass = Size

when we solve for the variable "Debbie," we get,

   Size Does Matter

Hope you find this explanation helpful.

4:15 AM | link |

For Whom the Bell Tolle

Of Eckhart Tolle's latest spew, one Amazon reader-reviewer writes: "I sensed I was in trouble with this book when I read an endorsement from Deepak Chopra, the Martha Stewart of enlightenment." For lots more fun, try reading some of the one-star reviews. I find they're often the most amusing (and often the smartest) when the subject matter is this stupid.

2:46 AM | link |

Try This Instead of M. Scott Peckerwood *

Library Journal says: "The connections he draws between the current state of exorcism and the therapeutic zeitgeist in American culture are compelling." Booklist says: "Written at an ironic distance that permits laughter at some of the more absurd exorcisms (e.g., a man exorcised because he sometimes disagrees with his girlfriend), the book reads like a novel..."

Publishers Weekly writes: "Cuneo, an intrepid sociologist based at Fordham University, explores the bizarre subculture of renegade priests, rough-and-tumble preachers, shady psychiatrists and tormented souls.... The rise of a new therapeutic ethos... has something to do with it. Aimed at curing addiction, compulsion and other psychological problems, exorcism has become "a recovery program with a supernatural twist." Lucidly written and riveting as any horror novel, Cuneo's excursion into the darker paths of American faith offers a deeply disturbing, ironic vision of what he sees as the unintended consequences of popular culture for the modern religious imagination."

from the book description...

"Oprah, Diane Sawyer, and Barbara Walters have featured exorcists on their shows. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Time, and other publications have charted the proliferation of exorcisms across the United States.... Cuneo dissects... the arguments of such well-known exorcism advocates as Malachi Martin, author of the controversial Hostage to the Devil, self-help guru M. Scott Peck, and self-professed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren of Amityville Horror fame. As he explores this netherworld of American life, Cuneo reflects on the meaning of exorcism in the twenty-first century and on the relationship between religious ritual and popular culture." [emphasis added. duh.]

2:10 AM | link |

Cultural Anorexia?

At the end of yesterday's session with my analyst (think of the Herculean job he's taken on!), I mentioned that my first New Age book club order had arrived, including: Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out (I figure my life is inside out; but I like it that way) by that smarmy fuck, Dr. Phil (you don't agree? just take a look at his cover photo!); also The Power Of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by mental dwarf Eckhart Tolle; also Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness, and Making Miracles by Marianne Williamson (the miracle I hope for is that she chokes on her "forgiveness," as she also wrote A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles" -- ACIM being a primary reference in the ever-growing library of spiritual fascism); also There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem by Wayne Dyer ("A psychotherapist, Dyer received his doctorate in counseling psychology from Wayne State University and the University of Michigan"; he looks like a football coach; I wonder...; he says "Creativity means believing you have greatness."; doesn't that sound like Vince Lombardi?); also How to Know God: The Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries (which is: how can he suck your Visa card dry) by Deepak "BadAss RapMaster" Chopra; and finally, The Road Less Traveled, 25th Anniversary Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck (who bills himself as a "psychoanalyst"; the "psycho" part is on the money, but the "analysis" is weak, to say the least.)

So as I'm leaving, Don reminds me that Peck wrote another book right after Road. He says there's some stuff in it about narcissism. As I despise Peck -- he's a total guilt vampire -- I decide I must get my hands on this book as soon as possible. As it turned out, it didn't take long at all. I go to Red Letter Books and ask if they have People of the Lie. The guy points me to the back of the store. It's in the self-help section, he says. But it isn't. Shit. Because this is a pretty cheap used book shop, and if I can't get it here, I'm gonna have to pay real money, of which I have precious little these days. (The books I got from the New Age book club cost me 40 cents a piece -- in hardback.)

But then the owner comes back about 10 minutes later and says another customer heard me asking and found the book I'm looking for in the cutout bin on the sidewalk in front of the store. He hands it to me. Cost: one (1) dollar. So I'm back in Synchronicity City. Far out. The guy says well look, the spine is broken, but I can glue it if you like. That's OK, I tell him, I fucking hate this guy and I'm planning to rip him a new asshole, so don't worry about it -- I plan to flush this puppy down the toilet when I'm done with it. He looks at me funny and backs away.

Later that evening (this would be yesterday, I guess), I opened People of the Lie and hunted around for anything about narcissism. Of course there's no index. These fucking hosers! None of these New Agey pieces of shit have indexes. Not to mention bibliographies. Don't get me started! I find the bit on narcissism on page 77, but it's not quite like anything I've found in the other psychiatric literature on the subject -- and I must have looked at about 25/32nds of it by now. (Which reminds me of a cartoon I once sent to The New Yorker. It was titled "32nds Over Tokyo." They never wrote back.) Anyway, here, in a nutshell -- rather more like a nutcase, if you ask me -- is M. Scott Peck's penetrating insight into narcissism...

"Malignant narcissism is characterized by an unsubmitted will. All adults who are mentally healthy submit themselves one way or another to something higher than themselves, be it God or truth or love or some other ideal. They do what God wants them to do..."
Notice the allowance for "ideals" other than God, which is cleverly bypassed in the next breath. But forget narcissism. What Peck mostly talks about here is EVIL. He finds that some -- not all, mind you, but some -- of his patients are evil. Yes, and why is this, class? It's because they have been possessed. That's right, Johnny. By Satan! In special cases of this sort, Peck (the "psychoanalyst," remember?) joins with a team to exorcise the Evil One from the "patient." Yeah, this is good. Imagine you're an advanced borderline case -- say, like me -- and some fucking shrink tells you the reason you've gone mental is really because you're BAD-BAD-BAD and he needs to drive the Devil out of you. No wonder BPD gets a lousy rap in this stinking "culture" of ours. Can we bring back martyrdom for these Christians? Think of all the zoo lions going hungry tonight all over Amerika. Letting people like this walk around free -- not to mention continuing to write the sort of shit he writes -- is such a waste of perfectly good protein. Peck especially likes Malachi Martin, who wrote Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans. What can I say? More Purina Lion Chow.

Peck gets right down to brass tacks and tells us how it's done. Here's a clip from the chapter "On Possession and Exorsism" (p. 195)...

"Once the exorcism proper was begun, with appropriate prayer and ritual, in both these cases silence seemed the most effective of the many means used for the final penetration of the Pretense. The team would speak either with the patient's healthy core personality or the demon(s) but would refuse to speak with some unclear mixture of the two. It took some time before the team in each case became adept at doing this. For the demon itself seemed to have a marked ability to draw the exorcist or team into confusing conversation that went nowhere. But as the team became more perceptive and steadfastly refused to be sucked in, both these patients began to alternate between a progressively more healthy-appearing core personality and a progressively more ugly secondary personality, until suddenly the secondary personality took on inhuman features and the Pretense was broken."
F-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-ck, huh? But that's not the best of it. No. The best is when he says, immediately following the paragraph quoted above...
"As a hardheaded scientist -- which I assume myself to be -- I can explain expalin 95 percent of what went on in these two cases by traditional psychiatric dynamics."

If you're not sure what's so odd about that statement, you need to have your head examined. And not by M. Scott Peck or any of his weirdball Christian faux "psychiatric" ilk.

In an earlier footnote, Peck explains what he calls, in the main text, the "Oedipus dilemma" (p. 155)...

"Among the reasons that the Oedipus complex is so important in psychiatry is that adults who have failed to resolve it usually have great difficulty in accomplishing many of the renunciations required for successful adult adjustments. They still have not learned that they cannot have their cake and eat it too."
This brings me, finally, back to the inspiration for this particular blog item. And it's title. Let's do a little gedanken experiment here, shall we? OK, so you've gone into some x-random Starbucks and ordered a quad espresso and a piece of carrot cake, which looks pretty good because you're fucking starving. When the coffee's up, you bring your stuff over to a table, sit down and take a sip. Ah! The old drug-of-choice never fails to hit the spot. You pick up your fork and are about to dig in, when suddenly you realize the error of your ways. Sure, you have your cake. But now you want to eat it too. What is WRONG with you?

Maybe it's an unresolved Oedipus complex. You never got to fuck Mom because you were afraid that, if you tried, Dad would cut your balls off (my explanation is both more cogent than Peck's, and less prolix). Or maybe it's that YOU ARE POSSESSED BY BEELZEBUB! Yeah, that's probably it. God, I'm was so glad to hear this, I almost cried. All the fucking meds I've been taking, all the fucking pain, all the loathsome fucking narcissist calligraphers! All so unnecessary. All I needed all along was someone to drive out the evil spirits that have taken me over and who use me as their unwitting pawn in the never ending War Against Jesus.


Hey, M. Scott...
This li'l devil girl is all for you!

(Frank, you can clik-the-pic to see her -- slightly more -- angelic side)

12:03 AM | link |

Thursday, July 10, 2003
Author Query

For a book I'm currently writing, would appreciate any information on the proposition: "Size Does Matter." If any reader knows what this refers to, please contact me. Thanks.

1:25 AM | link |

Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Why I Blog. And They Don't.

I'm giving a talk tonight here in Boulder. As the subject of the talk is blogging, I thought -- duh! -- that I'd blog it. So this is my blog entry on my talk about blogging, which I plan to read as my talk about blogging. Recursive enough for you? Good. Let's proceed then.

For those of you from other countries, Boulder is in Colorado, which is one of those big square states slightly to the left-of-center on the U.S. map. There is no political significance to this remark. Except as it applies to Boulder. However, Boulder isn't really "left" in the political sense. It's more like "Left Behind," as in that series of popular books about The Rapture. So, rather than left-of-center, perhaps it's more accurate to say that Boulder is basically off-center, in the sense of being "skewed," "out of kilter," or what we would technically term "totally fucking whacked."

Be that as it may, I'll be speaking to the Rocky Mountain Internet User Group, a wonderfully eclectic band of technoid whackos in their own right, though skewed in a critically different direction than the targets... uh, that is to say, the subject matter of my presentation. At least I hope that's the case, or I'll be run out of town on a rail even before the book I'm working on is published. "And which book is that?" you may ask. I'm glad you asked that! It's tentatively titled Marketing the Sacred: How New Age "Spirituality" and Band-Aid "Therapies" Play to Pathological Narcissism. The title is still tentative because of that subtitle, which is almost long enough to be the first chapter. I may put the book outline online sometime soon so you can get some idea of what it's about. I think I know. At this point I think I can say I'm almost pretty sure.

One thing it's about is Boulder. More specifically, Boulder provides so many fine examples of the book's focus, pathological narcissism, which actually is a technical term from psychoanalysis. The reason the "pathological" qualifier is necessary is that this shrink named Heinz Kohut came up with the pernicious idea of "healthy narcissism." In the book, I point out that this is like, you know, that dry heat.

But never mind all that. For our purposes, narcissism simply refers to those passive-aggressive individuals you are all unfortunately familiar with, who think they're better than you for reasons impossible to determine from a close examination of the facts, and who, moreover, believe that this unqualified and highly mysterious "betterness" entitles them to your full and undivided attention.

[No talking in the back there!!!]

At any rate, Boulder is crawling with these loathsome asswipes, and this has inspired the outline of Chapter Two, which I have titled: "Boulder, Colorado - Down the Rabbit Hole." Here are some of the subsections:

  • Your author: through the looking glass and then some
  • Naropa "University": the white knight is talking backwards
  • JonBenet Ramsey: the red queen lost her head
  • Rocky Flats: atomics vs. organics
  • Celestial Seasonings makes a mint
  • Free Tibet through aromatherapy!
  • Trance & Dental Medication
  • "Why don't you move to Russia?"

Now the reason I'm describing all this -- aside from free advance advertising -- is that it occurred to me over my morning coffee how diametrically opposed are the interests and inclinations of narcissists and bloggers. And I realized that these differences would make for a highly relevant and possibly amusing HTML table, which are always lots of fun to hack up. Before presenting my [ahem] critical research data, I should hasten to say that narcissists and bloggers do not constitute mutually exclusive categories. There are plenty of narcissistic bloggers -- I could name names, but being an essentially Nice Person, and in the interests of time, I will forego (for the present) this little indulgence. Curiously, however, there are very few genuine narcissists who blog. Or if they do, they give up on it pretty quickly when they realize that their every post will not go to Number 1 on Daypop, Technorati and Blogdex. Enraged by this cruel lack of empathy on the part of the human race at large, they go off to sulk, resolving to henceforth engage in something, you know, "more artistic."

I should also say that the bloggers I describe here are not neceesarily typical. There may be others who diverge from my characterization. Therefore, further research may be warranted.

OK then, enough preamble. Here's my table comparing these two strange species.

New Age Narcissists Old Aged Bloggers
Sincere: Narcissists always present themselves as serious, open to new ideas, and caring. This is extremely important to them, as they are none of the above. Thus, their apparent dedication to, and demand for, Total Honesty is a highly evolved form of lying through their teeth. They do tend to have beautiful teeth, however, and would therefore rather that you focus more on those than on whatever they have to say, which usually turns out to be not that much. Spoofing: Bloggers -- real bloggers, that is-- are always fucking around. They refuse to be serious. Or when they try to, they are mercilessly laughed at by other, less serious bloggers. Also, they are highly opinionated. On any given subject or point of debate, they deeply believe that they're right and you're wrong. And they don't give a crap what you think. It's not that they're particularly nasty people. Usually. It's more the principle of the thing.
Spiritual: Narcissists often seek to develop a deep relationship with God. This comes naturally, since God, once found, seems so familiar. For them, it's almost as if they're looking in a mirror. This feeling of unity with the Godhead gives these individuals a Special Glow, which can often be seen at night, even under fluorescent lighting. They are strongly attracted to the Teachings of the East. E.g., as the Dalai Lama said to the hotdog vendor: Make me one with everything. Irreverent: In contrast, bloggers tend to snicker a lot and make fun of people who are apparently inclined to believe in any old weirdass shit they happen to stumble across. For instance, blond "shaman goddesses" who look uncannily like Dolly Parton, or dweeby anorexic-looking guys with vaguely Nazi-sounding names who claim to have discovered The Secrets of the Universe. Bloggers tend to have a field day with sites that promote such looney-tunes grandiosity.
Passive-Aggressive: Narcissists are never mean. At least not to your face. Not so you'd notice right away. Or so they think. The reason for this is that they think you're stupid, as no one could be more intelligent or subtly perceptive than themselves. If you happen to have offended one -- which is easier than breathing -- you might get a face-full of shit that somehow smells like yellow roses. Do not be deceived. You've been dumped on. Active-Aggressive: Bloggers play no such head games. They will flame your ass without a moment's hesitation in language that would peel the paint off a rusty boat hull. For obvious reasons, asbestos underwear is popular among this crowd. While you won't usually be savaged for simply breathing, failure to validate your markup can lead to severe tongue lashings. As can incorrect use of the semicolon. When a blogger doesn't like you, you know it. Fast.
Peaceful: Narcissists place a high premium on "peacefulness," whatever this means to them, precisely. More often than not, it means you should shut the fuck up because you're annoying them. They would never tell you this, however, as it would be too negative -- negativity being one of the cardinal sins to the New Age narcissist. Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, they tend to interpret anything other than praise and overt adoration as -- you guessed it -- negativity. As you might also have guessed, this makes for some terrific relationships! Irritated: Bloggers have little interest in maintaining the peace. Peace is boring. What bloggers love is a flat-out firefight. This may be the result, in some cases, of having watched Animal House too many times. Or my own personal favorite, From Dusk Till Dawn. There is nothing that satisfies quite so much as dismembering an overwhelming horde of bloodthirsty vampires. In fact, this predilection for driving wooden stakes through the hearts of the undead is possibly what scares narcissists most about bloggers.
Asexual: While narcissists often claim to be passionate about this and that, their "passion" rarely extends to other human beings, which are generally beneath their notice. While sex with a narcissist can be exciting, so can sex with a Dalmatian. Under the right conditions, that is. Say, with the entire fire department looking on. In contrast, when you are in bed with a narcissist, you are basically in bed alone. Necrophiliacs seem to enjoy the experience more than most. Horny: Bloggers on the other hand are some of the randiest people you will never meet. This is where the medium offers built in protection. If you did meet some of them, your hard-won virtue would be instantly up for grabs -- and I don't mean that metaphorically. Women bloggers who have received one-too-many penis enlargement spams are particularly dangerous in this regard. And the guys, forget it. They were already pervs or they wouldn't be blogging.
Well Dressed: Narcissists take special care of, and pride in, their appearance. They like "nice things," which, if you're smart, you will provide them with. Their taste in clothes is impeccable, with price tags to match. So don't scrimp if you're trying to make a good impression (see Horny, above). They tend to favor diaphanous earth tones and precious gems. The latter they believe to have magical powers. They never wear sapphires, rubies and diamonds merely to impress lesser mortals like yourself. That would be unforgivably tacky and unspiritual. Undressed: Bloggers often forget about clothes altogether. Right now, to be honest, I'm writing this naked at the keyboard. Who cares? It's not like I have a webcam. Or if I did, that anyone would pay to see me this way. I don't think. Though maybe I should check it out. Because the fact is, I've blogged so much in the last couple years that I can't afford clothes, diaphanous or otherwise. Are you kidding? I can't even afford soap! Bloggers want you to admire them not for their bejeweled fingers and earth-toned looks, but for their sterling words and earthy smell.
Foreign Flicks: Let's face it, New Age Narcissists groove on subtitles. How else would you explain their going all orgasmic over grainy films from places you've never even heard of. Like, say, France. What gets them off most about these movies, though, is that they're so obscure. They aren't the kind of ART that ordinary people (that's you) can relate to. And it's not the watching or relating that really counts. It's all about sitting around in expensive cafes one-upping other narcissists. If you ask them, you'll realize they have no idea what these movies are about. In fact, tailored to the narcissist market to begin with, most aren't about anything anyway. Domestic Violence: Disney sucks. PG 13? Who needs it? Real bloggers (that is to say, bloggers like myself) want gratuitous car bombings, unprovoked gunfights with high-tech firearms, train wrecks, nuclear "accidents," bio-terror plagues, flaming death in all its myriad forms. For bloggers, "domestic violence" doesn't conjure up images of battered women. It means movies starring Bruce Willis, Steven Segal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Antonio Banderas. And of course, Angelina Jolie. To us, "battered women" are women dipped in Bisquick and deep-fryed like corn dogs. It's the way we are. Don't hate us just because we're beautiful.
Organics: New Age Narcissists are highly aware about what they eat. No pesticides for them. No way. No chemical fertilizers. They demand only the purest bullshit. Do you realize a carrot can kill you? That a wrongly raised rutabaga can give you Alzheimer's? Shopping at Whole Foods isn't a chore. It's a way of life. Atomics: Hold the Brie. We can eat when we're dead. What bloggers want are nukes. Tactical thermonuclear devices that will fit in a laptop, pass invisibly through airport scanners, take out entire cities with a single keystroke. Shopping third-world arms marts isn't a chore. It's like jumpin' Jack Flash.
Wine & Cheese: Mellowness is back in fashion. Or hadn't you noticed? The women are beautiful. The talk is refined. The money is in ample evidence, but so discreet. "Ah, Giselle! And tell us, how was the Riviera?" If you can't pronounce the vineyard's name, don't even think about accepting the invitation. But oh that's right. You didn't get one, did you? Poor dear. Now you'll have to eat your pate de fois gras all by yourself. Vegetarian, naturally. Espresso & Ding-Dongs: Bloggers don't eat no fuckin' cheese! And wine? A little Mad Dog 20-20 maybe, on a bad day. What we want is speed! 300 words a minute is nothing to these people. Mountain Dew, Jolt Cola, French Roast boiled down to tar and shot intravenously. Now that's living! And when the munchies set in, there's nothing like a pile of snack cakes and cheese doritos. Lots of sugar, lots of salt. What? You think you're gonna live forever?
Feng Shui: New Age Narcissists pick up on the subtle vibrations in their surroundings. Sort of like the Princess and the Pea. Balance and space. Space and balance. It's all in the arrangement. Which is not to imply any sort of manipulation. Oh no, they would never do that! Except maybe with you. "You know, you'd look so much better next to that potted palm over there. You don't mind, do you?" Pause. Breathe. Feel into the cosmic energies. Go with the flow. Dong Schwing: Bloggers have no sense of space that doesn't come pre-cyberized. They tend to throw shit everywhere. Make stacks and piles. Of books, of clothes, of half-eaten food and unopened bills. And yet, they have developed their own practice of environmental attunement. At present, Dong Schwing (see HORNY, above) is little known outside of a few esoteric blogging communities, but, like Bikram Yoga, its popularity is growing fast.
Art Exhibits: Narcissists love art. You can't keep them away from the stuff! And they love, even more, to congregate where other narcissists gather to appreciate the finer things in life -- namely, themselves. Because what's on display are not the paintings and sculptures and -- oooh! -- Native American pots. No, it's the narcissist's own personal ass. Figuratively speaking. "Now here's a fine piece, Roger. Don't you think?" Exhibitionism: Bloggers could care less about arts & crafts. They had plenty of that at the Institution. Now that they're free, or have graduated to out-patient status, what they really care about is shameless self-promotion. "You should see how many hits I got when Instapundit blogged me!" Or, "My referer logs overflowed when RageBoy posted that nude picture of my wife!" Maybe it ain't art, but I know what I like.
I Messages: New Age Narcissists like to pretend they're not dissing you when they really are. To pull this off, they use "I messages" that refer to their own feelings, thereby not blaming you for anything, and definitely not threatening you. For instance: "I feel uncertain about our relationship when you look at other women that way." Isn't that more mature than yelling? This way you can talk about it like adults -- who'll keep the house, who'll get the kids... Ad Hominem Attacks: When bloggers are upset with each other, or feel they haven't been given a fair hearing, they will often attempt to remedy the situation by saying something like "Fuck you, asshole! You're full of shit!" (See Active-Aggressive, Irritated, and Atomics, above.) While this often fails to accomplish their aim -- or anything, really -- it's lots of fun to watch. This may have originated with the famous Saturday Night Live line: "Jane, you ignorant slut!
Nature: New Age narcissists are refreshed and rejuvenated by "being in nature," as they like to say. They find themselves there. (Of course, they find themselves everywhere, since, cosmically speaking, they are all that exists.) Unsullied by the works of man, nature is healing. Healing is a big word for New Age narcissists, possibly because they do so much damage to other people, which they are then forced to pretend is their own. A virgin forest is a good place to pretend this. Or a nice white-sand beach in Tahiti. "Oh, waiter!" The Unnatural: Bloggers don't hold with nature. "That dog won't hunt," many say. For one thing, nature is generally outside, and unless you've got one hell of a Wi-Fi channel running, this means nature had better not be too far from the bunkhouse. Also, nature is not much to blog about. What? Like: "I saw some nice trees today, and a bird." Oh wow. Sure it's soothing. But it won't exactly set your hit-counter spinning. In addition, there are very few vending machines and no Starbucks in nature. Last time I checked, anyway.
Solitude: The company you keep says a lot about you. Narcissists like to be alone, as they're their own best friends. Without external distractions, they can contemplate their perfection without being interrupted by crass reality. Also, solitude builds character and character bespeaks integrity. These are also big words for narcissists. Through constant positive affirmation, they have deluded themselves into believing they possess these admirable qualities. Emphasis on admirable. Linking: Bloggers don't go in for solitude much. They like to hook up with their pals. Or their enemies. They like to mix it up a bit. They like distractions. After all, when you're by yourself, look who you've chosen to hang with! Not very encouraging, is it? I mean, sure, maybe it's validating as hell for The Perfected. But not for known losers like us. We need a little stimulation, you know what I mean? A little action! -- however the religion-of-your-choice inclines you to interpret that.
Meditation: The wellsprings of the spirit are fed by meditation. The answers to all questions lie within. In the Great Light of Unlimited Being narcissists bask and revel in their own reflected glory. Candles help. Perhaps a little shrine, or a simple circle of stones. Maybe some organic grapes, or a watermelon. Who knows. All God's creation sings to them of how cool they are. How sensitive. How unique. Medication: We've found that there is, indeed, an easier, softer way. That's right: drugs! The same old "reality" every goddam day is enough to drive anyone crazy, so what's different with us? And what's your excuse? In my own experience, deeply believing that telepathic orange lobsters from Mars have just landed in the adjoining cubicle makes the workday go so much faster. Now that's unique.
Aromatherapy: Lilac, lavender, juniper, jasmine, so many pretty smells to choose from! New Age narcissists avail themselves of nature's sweet bounty, not forgetting the crucial role of the nose in affirming their personal wonderfulness. Beautiful fragrances are healing to the beleaguered spirit , faced as we all are today with things we can't fathom. Like those "T-Mobile" signs at Starbucks. "Huh?" Aromatherapy: This is one point on which narcissists and bloggers appear to agree. But don't be deceived by appearances. To bloggers, "aromatherapy" connotes the all-important monthly bath, without which, life support systems would fail catastrophically. As I have often noted -- not exempting myself from the charge -- bloggers are a bunch of dirty bastards!
Self: By definition, narcissists love themselves. Exclusively. Discounting that dry-heat "healthy narcissism" hogwash -- and I warmly invite you to -- they give not the proverbial shit about anyone else. Therefore, with all due respect and with boundless compassion, they are, in my considered, unbiased estimation, the lowest form of life. Microsoft is more "caring." Pond scum is infinitely more interesting. Others: Bloggers are social animals. Emphasis on animals. They basically like each other -- except for the ones we all hate. And even them sometimes. Benefit of the doubt. Bloggers don't focus on their own navels. Or if they do, they write about it. "I have been keeping a close eye on my navel all day, and I have just one question. Why do people do this? So far, nothing has happened worth reporting."
And who knows if all this has been worth reporting. But I'm sure you'll let me know.

That's blogging, folks!

5:53 PM | link |

Monday, July 07, 2003
Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News...
We get lots of email here at EGR HQ, as you can imagine. Of course, 99.44% of it is spam. Still, here's something that arrived yesterday.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hanan Cohen [suppressed] 
> Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2003 12:00 AM
> To: clocke@panix.com
> Subject: See this doctor for a second opinion
> http://www.drmenlo.com/home.html
> Enjoy,
> Hanan Cohen
> ***Love and Peace***
So we go there and I find this, from the Wooster Collective (a very cool site street-art site)...

Yes, very tasty indeed! We're not sure it would work, but we're willing to give it a try. We also liked Dr. Menlo's logo:

Thanks Hanan, you made our day.

10:50 AM | link |

Sunday, July 06, 2003
Gary Turner, Ye Are'n Evil Man!

But fer all yer bad ways, ah still love ya. Ya dirt-y fuck.

6:05 PM | link |

At EGR HQ, the Research Department Never Sleeps
About to go crank this puppy up right now. Later: JESUS, what a depressing movie! Do not watch this if you're contemplating suicide. Also, do not go here. Ever.

5:55 PM | link |

Ah, To Be Young & Spiritual Again!

An Amazon reader-reviewer writes: "Young and aspiring Witches and Pagans will find within these pages a lot of personal stories, rituals, spells and meaningful points about what it means to be young and spiritual." Yeah, and check out the cleavage!

5:33 PM | link |

Thoughts Over Sunday Morning Coffee

Psychological fascism. Think Fritz Perls, think Werner Erhard, and since them an innumerable host of replicants. In times of radical uncertainty, times of fundamental sweeping change, the authoritarian "voice," the hyper-certain prescriptive judgmental command attracts the weak and broken, hungry for worship, lost without direction. Psychological -- so smoothly transiting to "spiritual" -- fascism is an inevitable stage in the breakdown of the Judeo-Christian ontology. The real questions are how long this stage will last, and what it will mutate into.

Despair spawns the urge to control. And into this breach step opportunists who intuitively grasp their advantage in believing nothing. They promise joy because it conceals the pain that is the one truth that could unmask and undermine their power. Because despair is a misreading of hopeless longing.

As without, so within. We are looking for something, and when we do not find it -- that which we have longed to find -- we lose hope. Radio telescopes in Aricebo, if pointed at the human heart, would reveal the same: endless galaxies unfolding to infinity. And no voice of God in either direction.

What we miss in despair too-fast passed over is that we are ourselves the already spoken. Learning to live with this loneliness and sorrow for the "death of God" is our situation now, our challenge and unsigned invitation. Knowing or not, we are all of us abandoned by this loss. Choosing to love without reason is true power. Love is the voice we have so long longed to hear. It is our own voice.

The rock&rollers always get it right, eventually. As Steve Winwood said: talking back to the night.

So thus...

Mere Anarchy

in the widening gyre
the falcon free.
it's not that I can't hear you
it's that you whom I loved
did not love me,
but proffered dead offal
for my living prey
from your iron-studded glove.

these vistas you have never seen
nor will, your earthbound yearning
to possess my eyes, my flight
now ended, done, enough,
I enter now forever, disappear.

by night I will shelter
in this ancient forest.
by morning light
take flight to hunt.

chris locke / Sunday, July 6, 2003

9:16 AM | link |

"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
~D. Weinberger
28 October 2004

Chris Locke's photos More of Chris Locke's photos

Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of. I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos." It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.

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