Updates from September, 2015 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 1:18 pm on September 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Stalin, , , William James   

    Needed ASAP: Western Equivalent of ISIL, Moral Equivalent of War 

    We scratch our heads and wonder what is the big attraction with ISIL, like why would anybody in their right minds go halfway around the world to join this band of misfits and miscreants in their bid to destroy the world by creating it in their image and likeness, especially when it’s white fighters who aren’t—or weren’t—necessarily even Muslims in the first place?

    The answer is simple, of course: people are looking for something in their lives, something besides SNL and MDMA, which is about the best that the West has to offer: America, at least. Or, as Mel Gibson’s character in ‘Air America’ said: “I was fighting to defend… chicken BBQs and weinee roasts, and Ray Charles songs and drinkin’ Southern Comfort till you passed out behind the bar.”

    There you go. He said it better than I. That’s what we’re trying to cram down the rest of the world’s throat—weenies—lest they mistake unleavened (pita) bread and other Mideast specialties as the food of prophets, with the strict understanding that unless they change their ‘evil ways’, then the wrath of God will be visited upon them, many kilotons of wrath. Unfortunately for some of us, that just is not enough. Weenies are wretched food, a desecration of all that is sacred and holy, and Southern Comfort isn’t much better. (More …)

  • hardie karges 12:21 pm on September 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholic, gluttony, Il Papa, , ,   

    Il Papa Got a Brand-New Bag (and it’s not Gucci)… 

    popeEven if you’re not Catholic, it’s hard not to enjoy the Pope’s current visit to the good ol’ USA, home of Original Sin, the more original the better. The fact that we don’t even know that speaks volumes. The fact that the most righteous church-goers are the worst offenders speaks even louder. After all, our national ‘tude is the least holy of all the developed countries, and most of the undeveloped ones, too…

    On the one hand we shoot up happiness into the main vein, like something from the corner drug store, available in pill form or capsule, cherry-flavored or chocolate surprise, the “pursuit of happiness” enshrined in our national Constitution, while the lesser happiness of pursuit goes unnoticed, the striving and the challenge inherent to survival superior in every way to the actual engorgement of carbohydrates and hydrocarbons into systems limited by design… (More …)

  • hardie karges 9:33 am on September 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Papa, Papal States, , salsa   

    Papal State of Mind… 

    popeMe: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned”

    Him: “When was your last confession?”

    Me: “About two weeks ago.”

    Him: “Oh, right, the thing about being a contrary S-O-B. I remember now. That was good.” Chuckles.  And what is it now, my son?”

    Me:“It’s my diet, father.”

    Him: “Diet? That doesn’t sound very sinful.”

    Me: “I have eaten peach salsa.”

    Him: “Ouch. Hot, medium, or mild?”

    Me: “Medium—or so it says. Frankly, I don’t think any self-respecting taco would allow itself to be slathered with such a sauce.”

    Him: “Started with the pineapple salsa, didn’t you?”

    Me: “Yes, father. I have sinned.”

    Him: “Well, don’t be consumed by it. Get it—consumed?”

    Me: “Yes, father.”

    Him: “Say ten ‘Hail Marys’ and promise to never sin again—and maybe try some fresh jalapenos in that peach stuff; you never know, try it over rice…”

    Me: “Yes, father…”

  • hardie karges 9:55 am on September 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Michelangelo   

    Pictures of God—Faces and Places… 

    Michelangelo’s God…

    God’s face is a concept best left in the textbooks, suggesting as it does Michelangelo’s Charlton Heston, mugging for the cameras and getting all wrathful, railing at the Ishmaelites and rooting for the Jews; it’s better to talk about Nature, and Love, and Heaven up above, than God-heads with silver hair and yellow teeth…

    So I can understand why people are put off by the pictures of God, early on depicted by Renaissance painters as harsh and warlike, playing headlong into the notion of ‘God-fearingness’ as the proper basis of religion, AND…

    …even later depictions of Jesus with the bedroom eyes and the doe-like gaze do little to mitigate the sneaking feeling that, in effect, we’re doing exactly what the Bible enjoins against, i.e. worshiping graven images, whether graven in stone, oil pigments, silver nitrate, or bits and bytes, BUT… (More …)

  • hardie karges 3:39 pm on September 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , grammar,   

    English Language on the Half-Shell; Season to Taste… 

    Image result for english language funny pics

    Those of us who study foreign languages often delight and frustrate ourselves with some of the absurdities of other languages, without ever looking objectively at those of our own. I mean: famous are the spelling absurdities of the English language as well we all know, easily seen in the incongruities of such similarly spelled words as, “Bough coughs dough enough; nought ploughs rough slough tough.”

    But those spelling quirks are but the tip of the iceberg, ramming the sides of the Titanic until sinking. The absurdities go much deeper and fundamental. “Used to” is a commonly accepted and full-fledged auxiliary verb to denote past tense in uses such as, “I used to go to ballgames,” in fact an ‘imperfect tense’ implying past continuous action, more than just once. But where did such a use come from? What exactly did you use to go to these games—time? It’s ridiculous, BUT… if you say it often enough, then it makes sense, even long after the original context has long since changed.

    How come? Now that’s a good phrase, sometimes shortened into the single word, “Why?” But “how come” certainly has a folksy feel, now, doesn’t it? “Kind of” and “sort of” are good ones, two of a kind, that must have started off as a very specific idiomatic expression featuring categorizing nouns that eventually came into general adverbially use. That’s pretty likely, I’d say, considering the general shortage of adverbs, “pretty” itself being one of the more common loaners for this purpose, an adjective drafted into service and converted.

    The incongruities go still deeper, though, right into the small selections of auxiliary verbs in common use, and ever more important as verbal conjugations have lost favor. Variations on the verb “to have” are most prominent, of course, in their use for the perfect tenses, and make general sense to indicate completed actions, as do “will” and “go” to indicate future actions, the former a common noun if little used nowadays as a stand-alone verb, the latter used in many languages in its many equivalents for the same purpose.

    But what about “might” and “must” as auxiliary verbs? The former is a strange noun to draft into service as auxiliary verb, until you consider the role of ‘poder’ in Spanish, both noun and fully inflected verb in common use, a role “might” might have played before “can” and “may” came into common use. “Must” is a strange verb, though, so no wonder it’s falling into misuse.

    Maybe my favorite English-language conundrum, though, is the word “business”, the act of being otherwise occupied, somehow transformed into the roles of trade and commerce, “busy-ness”, likely originating more in the sense of “occupation” or “profession”, strange enough word meanings, themselves, if you stop to think about them, which I do. Do you?

    But what I really want to know is: How come Ed Koch got a splotch on his crotch, but the brothers Koch can’t even get a smoke from a bloke? I guess it depends who you know… I can’t figure this language out! (But I’m trying)…

  • hardie karges 12:07 pm on September 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dislike, , Like, , Zuckerberg   

    The End is Near… 

    Image result for zuckerberg picsYesterday 15 September 2015 just may go down in history as the beginning of the New Dark Ages…

    …for this is the day when Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, Inc, announced that from here on out…

    …soon to be revealed…

    …in addition to the iconic ubiquitous ‘Like’ symbol for comments, there will also be a ‘Dislike’ symbol…

    The fact that this was breaking news on national TV in the year 2015 says more than I could ever say. The end is near…

    Be afraid. Be very afraid…

  • hardie karges 2:11 pm on September 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Putin’s Gambit, Syria’s Gamble… 

    Vladimir Putin

    Vladimir Putin

    I don’t know why the US is harassing Russia and neighboring states about Russia’s entry into the Syrian conflict. In fact, I’d say they should be welcomed as potential saviors, if not suitors.

    That means that not only can we America GTF outta’ there, but they might even come up with a reasonable solution, albeit with Assad’s chinless presence still presiding over the former and current war zone. Do you prefer ISIL?

    Those are the two options, and Russia’s sponsorship of Assad means that we don’t have to do it, thus saving face…

    But Russia is neither as altruistic nor as sneaky as it might sound. Look at the map. The Russian border is closer to Syria than Istanbul. If there’s one thing that Russia doesn’t want in their Caucasus region, it’s a half-million Muslims with nothing to do. Remember Dagestan? Do the math…

  • hardie karges 10:43 am on September 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Elon Musk, Protestantism, Richard Branson   

    Religio-Politics 101: Buddhism and Bizniz, best to leave your trump card unplayed… 

    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    I hate to get all holier-than-thou, but I may just be getting all holier-than-me, my transient former self, at least. It’s scary. I think maybe I’ve had an epiphany, a revelation, a religious whatchamacallit, in which I may have actually enhanced my status as a spiritual being, while hopefully not sacrificing too much as a human in this material world.

    That is: I’m finding it difficult to talk sh*t on people, this in a social-media era in which to tell-all is a paramount virtue, often the nastier the better, and in intimate detail—what you were wearing when you said what you said as you did something else in the middle of the Event Horizon. There’s only one problem: I can’t do it. (More …)

  • hardie karges 10:55 am on September 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Carly Fiorina, , FLOTUS, POTUS, , Topo Gigio,   

    What Donald Trump Didn’t Say… 

    Image result for carly fiorina…is that not only is Carly Fiorina cute, but she might be TOO cute.  Cuteness does NOT imply belligerence, and that is currency for the Donald, his Trump card, if you will.  Margaret Thatcher wasn’t cute, ditto Indira Gandhi.  Angela (pronounced with a hard ‘G’–NOT soft) Merkel is not cute.  Corazon Aquino was only slightly cute, age appropriate, and Hillary–meh, not so much any more.  The ex-PM of Thailand, Yinglak Shinawatra, little sister of another banished former PM, Big Bro Taksin–now SHE was cute, and popular.  Maybe that’s what Donald fears.  So iCarly is basically being punished for being attractive…

    What he didn’t say is that she’s not only cute, but she’s Italian Mouse cute, as in Topo Gigio of another era.  Some of us even find it hard not to flash on little Topo every time we see iCarly, with her prominent upturned nose and lopsided grin.  Italian mice don’t run countries.  Italian mice cower in fear at the over-sized chin of Ed Sullivan.  The irony, of course, is that Fiorina is her surname by marriage, nee Sneed; doesn’t sound very Italian to me…

    Image result for topo gigioWhat Trump didn’t say is that he has women issues, and his own nude-model wife only underscores that. To use his own words, substituting FLOTUS for POTUS: “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next (fill in the blank)…?” I think we can all agree that the Donald goes too far in his insulting behavior.  But what did iCarly herself mean when she told Megyn Kelley, “Honestly, Megyn, I’m not going to spend a single cycle wondering what Donald Trump means.”  I mean: what kind of cycle are we talking about here?  Nevertheless, I vote No-Trump…

    (The preceding is intended as satire and comedy ONLY; please don’t sue me. I’m broke.)

  • hardie karges 2:15 pm on September 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , entropy, ,   

    Language Genome Project, to Order and Disorder… 

    DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA

    DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA

    Isn’t it lovely and wonderful how language works: spinning out new words that reflect our life and times, just like ringing a bell, just like speed-dialing GMO’s? A prominent scientist once remarked that language evolution works ‘just like DNA, for no special reason; it just does.’ That includes the creation of high-tech-related words like ‘google, crowdfund, declutter, photobomb, sext, retweet,’ etc., all newly minted in the OED, and still many others, not so high-tech, and maybe not yet ready for prime-time, like ‘twerk, bitch-slap, slut-shame, shit-show, and one I just read up on about the lovely Miss Minaj: ‘tone-police’.

    What does this say about us as a people? I’m not sure that I want to know. Then there are many new words which merely reflect the evolving structure of language itself, in which grammatical inflections are deemphasized from their original purposes, and nouns are recast as verbs, adjectives, etc. and vice-versa, hence: decisioning, decidualize, Christianist, etc. Isn’t it great? They say SAT scores are at their lowest point in a decade; I wonder why. Riffing on that scientist’s previous point of language imitating life, maybe it’s time to discuss the law of entropy as it pertains to language…

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