Archive for September, 2008

Explaining the Watchman
Isaac Sampson

As this is the first print run of the Watchman, we should cover what’s going to appear — in the future. This is not your typical newspaper (more of a magazine, really) — but it goes by the standard conventions of magazines or journalism. However, it containing editorials and reports will be the only thing it has in common with the farces of journalism, such as the White Post, which I wrote for for a great while. The difference between the Watchman and those phony newspapers is like the difference between counterfeit and real, tangible money: one gives you the illusion of wealth, but is worthless; the other does not cast such a facade. We will present the facts, and nothing but — we will not refuse to call out a politician or a businessman or a celebrity who flat out lies. We won’t print their lies because of the false rule of journalism that we have to print “both sides of the argument” — to do so is to give credence to and a volume with which they can express their lies. Why should we be forced to show both sides, when one is fact, and one is fiction? We don’t want to be complicit in the delusion of the masses (though, they’re probably still reading the Post), so we simply will let you, the reader, know when somebody newsworthy lies.

The Watchman is a biased publication, sure: biased towards truth.

By mentioning bias, I should say, we’re not going to be inherently biased towards the left or right; the individual writers on staff have to make their own objective decision on who they like or dislike. As for me, I support the policies that I think are right, and will be good, with a vehement dislike for those who lie. Even though I may disagree with certain politicians, I will give “airtime” here for those who have integrity, and believe themselves that their policies are right, not because their advisers think so. Those who are honest and admit when they make mistakes are the kind of people we should be supporting here, and that’s my dying wish: to have a newspaper which focuses on those with integrity, and refuses to praise those that are incompetent or are liars. For, if we, as members of the media, sanction lies, dishonesty, and corruption, people will begin to think that it is acceptable to do that themselves.

I have invited those who are the greatest models of proper journalism to join this magazine, and a great majority have accepted. They, politically, range from the right to the left, but none of them are advocates of the authoritarianism that so suffocates society today: they are believers in freedom, much more than the posturing liars that get up on their soapboxes, plead that they’re passing all these laws to defend our freedoms, all the while driving freedom away. It’s akin to throwing you in prison, while saying you’ll be safer there.

So, my readers: will you run away because this isn’t the stuff you’ll see on television and certainly isn’t anything resembling what you read in newspapers nowadays? Make your decision: pick up our magazine and read, whether you agree with us or not, or go with the sheep, go with what the government supports, go with the frauds and scammers. It just depends how much you truly value honesty.

What we’re really doing is defending what is most important to us — and what we think should be defended in this country: freedom of speech and personal integrity. And that’s what the Watchman is all about.

Alex Whister placed his copy of the Watchman on his impossibly immaculate desk — though it had endured his 3 years of work and some other poor sap’s years, lost to the black hole of the past, it looked as if it were assembled that day, having a nice, even sheen. Its cleanliness could be attributed to the lost hours of the day where Alex, sitting, decidedly bored and apathetic, waiting for the clock to strike quarter of 6, would simply clean his desk with whatever means he had at his disposal. Between 4 and 5, Monday through Friday — especially Friday — Alex would be sitting there, paper towels in one hand, bottle of Windex in the other, wiping off his desk with punctilious precision, taking extra care to wipe the stains that had accumulated on his desk: stains that were only visible to his eyes. What made his desk’s spotless condition even more astounding was that he ate lunch there every day, without fail. At noon, he’d be at his desk, eating a sandwich, or an apple, drinking green tea always — decaffeinated. Always decaffeinated.

He raised his head to view his computer monitor deliberately, as to appear lazy or simply uninterested in what it had to hold for him. The clock read 5:31. He wheeled his chair out to the entrance to his cubicle, scanned the area for signs of life, found none, and retreated back inside, thinking aloud, “Well, 4 more minutes until you have to do it. 4 more minutes. What are you going to say? What are you going to do? What –” a man walked by, cast an inquisitive glance at Alex, then walked away indifferently. After the man walked by, Alex whirled around, faced his computer, and decided to think in his head.

5:32.

Just seem confident. That’s all you have to do. Seem bloody confident. Don’t stutter, don’t look down, just be smooth, like James Bond. Look her in the eye, put on a smile, and just ask her to get a cup of coffee with you. Simple’s that. Confidence. Confidence. Confidence. Oh, relax too. Don’t get too emotional, just relax, and have fun with her. Relax. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Relax.

5:33.

He repeated these little mantras for the next two minutes, staring up at the clock every few seconds, desperately wishing that the clock wouldn’t advance; if he had his way, the clock would remain frozen perpetually at 5:33, and he’d never have to take action. He pleaded with the clock — please, please, don’t move to 5:34, not 5:34! — to no avail: the clock, surely enough, ticked ahead to 5:34, which left him with under a minute to work up the courage to ask her out.

He looked at his cubicle wall, focusing his eyes on the one and only quote he himself coined. He cracked a wry smile at the sight of it, and viewed it with contempt:

“He who takes action and fails has, in fact, succeeded; he who takes no action, expecting failure, has failed.”

His mouth contorted into a smile, and then a full-blown grin, his lips forming a slight parabola on his face, and, for the first time today, Alex Whister laughed. He laughed at the sheer absurdity of his seriousness, and he laughed at the fact that he actually was laughing. He noted, quite joyously, that to laugh is to live, and he’d been missing, well, life this entire time, committed entirely to his work, religiously cleaning his desk. He laughed at himself, at the quotes on his cubicle wall, and grimly noted that he knew he was going to be rejected, but for this minute, between 5:34 and 5:35, that he didn’t fear it. When the clock struck 5:35, he knew this instance of happiness would descend into myth, into legend, into blackness.

5:35.

“Showtime,” Alex said, and, much to his surprise, the elatedness he felt at the sheer action of laughing did not, in fact, fall away. He rose out of his seat, carrying himself with energetic purpose, like that of a man who rises from bed in the morning and is genuinely excited about what a new day will have in store for him. He smiled again, and chuckled at himself. Alex thought he was in some sort of alternate reality — a place with positivity, a place where things are of no consequence, a place where he can live — and marched down to Erica Apels’s desk, the woman he was going to ask out. Whether she refused or not, he didn’t care. He felt as though the feeling of taking a risk was a good enough feeling, though this risk didn’t mean anything at all. It meant nothing at all, though, he noted, it meant everything. It gave his life color and darks and lights; his action erased the drab gray that so permeated the world around him.

This is how that guy Isaac must’ve felt, rebelling against those liars and crooks of the corporate media. By taking a risk, by standing up for what he and only he wanted, he gave himself freedom and… self-satisfaction. He didn’t quit at the last minute, did he? He saw it through, and he was proud of himself at the end. He had to be, because he had accomplished what he ultimately wanted — a newspaper with integrity. But… that’s only the beginning, isn’t it? He has to fulfill his promise; he has to keep writing, keep challenging the status quo. He has only gained a little victory.

He turned the corner, mechanically, without effort, and stood at the entrance of Erica’s cubicle, and was taken aback at how good she looked. He gazed at her wavy, almost metallic, blond hair, which descended in little curves down her neck and shoulders, her pale, but flawless skin, her slightly rounded face, and her small, dainty nose, which was a perfect fit on her face. She turned to him, and oh my God, her eyes are unbelievable! looked at him with inquisitive, green eyes. Despite her beauty, her demeanor seemed lethargic, almost as if she had worked too hard during the day — and stayed up late the night previous.

“Yes?” she said, with an undertone of annoyance.

“Hi Erica… I’m — uh — Alex. Listen, I was wondering whether you’d like to –” Alex managed to eek out, but he could already tell that he was losing confidence. He wasn’t helped by Erica’s careless smile — which was probably hiding contempt for him. He’d dealt with politically correct people before, and he couldn’t stand that blank smile they all put on, the one that masqueraded as caring and sympathy, but concealed annoyance and hate. He spotted that little smile, that face that told him you know, I’m trying to act nice to you even though I really am not in the mood, so cut me some slack. Go away.

Her lips were still stiffly contorted into something resembling a smile. She said, “Not particularly, but… I’m sure if you asked me, say, Monday, I’d give you a better answer. That’s fine, right?”

“No, no, it’s fine! I’ll just… Just…” Alex jerked his thumb in the direction of the nearest exit. “I’ll — I’ll get going now,” he sputtered, hardly caring to conceal his embarrassment, and, what’s more, his humiliation at getting shot down. Thoughts blaming himself, himself and only himself, entered his mind, invading and conquering his brain with ease. It was his fault that he had been shot down, it was his inadequacies that made him undeserving of having a cup of coffee with such a woman, and it was he who was unworthy of being even her slave. He cursed himself a thousand times over, knowing that it was a decision akin to a man jumping into a river knowing full well that he can’t swim, desiring only to get wet. Alex was swept away by the self destructive rapids that were now his own thoughts, drowning in them, wallowing in them.

During this time, he was marching toward the door, without thought; his face displayed no emotion, cloaking the bitterness raging inside of him. He accidentally ran into a coworker, who dropped the newsmagazine he was holding. Alex muttered remorsefully, saying something about him having a long day and being stressed out from work, but they were rushed words, whose memory — and meaning — would vanish as soon as they were spoken. The man said something to the effect of, “that’s alright, mate,” and things carried on as if nothing ever happened: both men knew the futility of even issuing an apology and an acceptance of said apology, as they knew the collision was a mere accident. But, in helping the man pick up his fallen magazine, Alex was struck: he forgot the copy of The Watchman on his desk. He rushed saying a blatantly extraneous “Goodbye” and jogged to his desk, zigzagging through cubicle aisles and coworkers with surprising agility. He picked up his copy of the Watchman, and ran back out to the nearest exit, nearly crashing into more coworkers on his way.

God, I need a coffee. Alex thought, and, yet again, let his control of his body fade, transferring it to the force of habit — he was traveling a route that he had taken so many times that he could go there even if his eyes were gouged out of their sockets (assuming there was no traffic, of course).

Come on, pick yourself up — every single time something goes wrong, you take the opposite approach of everyone else by blaming yourself. Their approach is to blame everyone but themselves, and you blame yourself only; both approaches are wrong. Hell, you’re good at everything you do, especially your job, and you do have a bit of charm — when you’re not looking like you’re going to puke because you’re so nervous. You need to relax and feel comfortable, even when you know your “performance” isn’t going too well; when the crowd gets antsy, step up your game. But that just makes you more nervous.

It’s like… Like… I’m desperate to find a girlfriend. Tone that down. You don’t need them to survive, that’s for sure — you’ve been without one since my got out of college and… Mary. Let’s not mention her. I know it’s been tough rebuilding my confidence, but hey: I’d much rather be doing well at I job and enjoying yourself at home than having success with the ladies and being incompetent, right?

Uh, sure.

But, most of all, the thing that’s killing me is that I need someone to talk to. I don’t care who, I just need someone to bounce my ideas off of — someone to acknowledge my existence as something more than another guy stuck in that awful cube farm. And someone who’s competent. And someone who loves me, not for the six figures I somehow make crunching numbers, but for my ideas, for my thoughts, for my accomplishments. And someone — here’s the important part — who has compelling ideas themselves, someone who creates things I would’ve never thought of myself. I want someone to look in the eye as an equal. That’s what I want. Not these politically correct buffoons who are a dime a trillion nowadays, who have nothing to offer but altruistic bullshit that they don’t even believe in themselves.

By now, Alex had already received his coffee, and sat down at a table, reading the Watchman, reading as slowly as he could to kill whatever time remained in his day.

* * * * *

Eric Lansing walked, energetically, toward Madeleine Schaffer’s desk, carrying a paper in his hand. He walked with a smile on his handsome face, but his thoughts betrayed what the smile seemed to convey. He plopped the paper down on Madeleine’s desk, forcefully, as if angry, and said, in a tone that was, ironically, lighthearted, “So, Mad, what do you call this?” He winked at her, injecting the conversation with some deliberate faux-cheeriness.

She responded as he had predicted, sarcastically saying, “A newspaper article, Eric.” She didn’t bother to wink back, knowing full well that Eric was not really happy with it — as he usually was. For whatever reason, she mused, he never thought her work was up to par, and criticized it, but on everything else, she (or so he said) was wonderful. She just was not as good as him at their job; he outclassed her, and to her, he asserted his superiority far too often.

“No. I call it trash. Or something like it,” Eric’s voice turned grave. “Why are you reporting on this — why are you printing what uneducated buffoons say as fact? Because they’re the ‘common people’, is it? Because they’re the voters? The ‘common taxpayer’? Some bloke is going to see that article and think, ‘Gee whiz, Nancy, if Mark Smith from Toledo thinks that we should demand leaders that we can identify with, we damn well should.’ That’s not good. Print your own thoughts, man.”

“Excuse me Eric, but at least I haven’t been warned by management to keep my trap shut at all yet, unlike you, who can’t suppress your radical political beliefs. I’m doing my job as an objective journalist, by reporting on the facts and not giving my opinion. I only give the facts that are available at the time. And, indeed, Mark Smith from Toledo did say that we should vote for our leaders based on how we identify with them. That’s a fact. That’s what a voter thinks, so the statement that ‘common voters choose their leaders based on how they identify with them on a personal level’ is a fact. The press should be as close to transparent as it can be — acting as a seamless conduit between information and the people. I’m not allowing personal emotion into this, so aren’t I doing a good job?”

“It seems we have different ideas and ideals about what the press should be. I think the press should be the separation of right and wrong, the people who can report on the facts and not show the spin doctors as truth-tellers — of course, within reason. I mean, we’ve still got to be as transparent as possible, and report for what the people want because… Well, they’re paying for our paychecks, by buying these newspapers. And, maybe — maybe you’re right. We’ve got to cater to the common man because he’s the one who feeds us. I still… Still think that we need to have honesty in our reporting, but not so much that it drives away customers: to do so is to flush money down the toilet, so to speak. I’m sorry, Madeleine. I have been accused of being too idealistic, and it seems my critics,” — he motioned toward her — “might be half-right,” he said, in a sardonic tone, with an accompanying sarcastic smile donning his face. Anyone else would’ve thought that he was just being devilishly sarcastic in saying that, but Madeleine knew that was his way of admitting defeat in the way that would damage his ego the least.

“Hey, at least you get where I’m coming from,” she said, matching her tone of voice to accompany his. “Let’s… drop it, okay? Go earn your paycheck or something.”

They both laughed for a reason they couldn’t quite identify, but were happy to find that they finally were distracted from the impact — and the eeriness — of their disagreement. It was a rare thing to see, for both of them, and it burdened their consciences, for they each viewed the other as a glimmer of light in the human race, a person that they could admit as a positive influence on their lives: a person worth remembering. But, yet, a disagreement could make the illusion of symmetry between them disappear, and made the instigator (or the rebel) prone to conceding their argument, trying to keep the illusion alive as much as possible. To lose faith, to lose confidence in the other person, was, truly, to lose self-esteem. To punch a mirror because the reflection looked sinister would be an accurate way to describe it — after all, the mirror image, despite all appearances to support it, is not the object itself. It is an illusion of being — and this is exactly what Eric and Madeleine knew their relationship to be: a struggle to keep their souls afloat in a world that hated their being. And so, like the good friends they were, they clung to each other in support, in celebration that the other person made them feel good to be themselves. It didn’t matter that it was all a mirage.

Eric sighed and picked up the article swiftly, saying, “I’ll go back to work. For a moment,” and turned and walked away, back to his desk. He read the article again, put it back on his desk, and shook his head in disbelief. His head was in civil war; his ego was against itself. He picked up the article, turned to his left to go throw it in the trash, and thought better of it, placing it softly on the desk. He smiled at himself, and knew that it was okay to disagree with Madeleine, that it was fine to go against their little similarities. But, at the same time — he wondered how she was taking it, as he knew their feelings mirrored each other well on matters of this kind. Would she think that he was a lost cause by disagreeing for once? Would she think ways were on the way down between them, even though they weren’t even involved romantically?

“Maybe it’s my responsibility to fix it,” he whispered, answering the questions in his mind. “Maybe I’ve gotta do it.”

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The Sensation of Living

It’s really a shame that people don’t really think about the living. Or, rather, not think about, but appreciate what it is to live. Okay, maybe appreciate isn’t the right word, since that implies gratitude to a higher being, so I won’t even go there. Maybe, I’m just thinking, I wish we all could take a step back from everyday life and appreciate how bloody awesome it is to just… be.

There are things we take for granted — our senses, for instance. And out of all the things anything, anybody can do, just using our senses are the biggest testaments to just how wondrous life is. Just seeing, for instance, is unbelievable; think about how special it is just to see. Same goes for hearing. Same goes for touch, taste, and smell. It’s just, frankly, unbelievable that we can do such things. Again: I wish people would take a step back and analyze and just think about how extraordinary it is to live. To be able to taste. To be able to move. To be able to think!

And what about language? It’s amazing that we, as humans, have created infinite vocabularies of joined sounds and symbols (for the written word) just so we can communicate with each other and think. Imagine how you would think without language; you’d just be reduced to feelings like “hungry” or “thirsty” or “tired”, except you wouldn’t label it like that.

Go play some of your favorite music, tap your foot to the beat, and sing along. While you’re doing so, just think of how effortless it is to do so — how amazing that you can do that without thinking.

I felt like having more fun, so I figured I’d give you guys something to laugh about.

1) The first is last Tuesday’s episode of the Daily Show. Includes an absolutely priceless quote from Dubya… Seriously. I laughed so hard I cried during this one.

2) I have to plug the Chaser here, as I’ve plugged them before — just with many more hilarious videos. Check ’em out — they’re all hilarious.

APEC security stunt video — the most brazen stunt I’ve ever seen by a group of comedians.
Trojan Horses! — Again, a bloody hilarious video.
Sex Offender Shirts — What happens when people wear questionable t-shirts?

3) Frank Caliendo is one of my favorite comedians ever, with hilarious impressions
of Bush, John Madden, Clinton, Pacino, and so on. Watch this.. Filled with his usual smattering of spot-on impressions.

4) I have to plug New Zealands fourth most popular folk parody duo — the Flight of the Conchords. Out of everything I’ve linked, they are DEFINITELY my favorite, just because they’re good musicians with excellent, excellent wit and smart lines. The following three are my favorites:
Business Time — the king of Flight’s songs in terms of comedic value. I laugh every single time I see it, even though I’ve watched it at least 20 times by now.
The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room) — One of their most underrated songs, but I think it’s awesome. You’re a legend, Dave!
Robots — Again, this is unspeakably hilarious. With Flight, you must listen to it before you can say whether it’s funny or not. Obviously, I think this one’s hilarious. The solo is crazy too — they are really top-notch musicians ;)!

5) I had to include one of the most famous youtube videos ever!

Enjoy the laughs, folks.

Well, since I haven’t gotten good enough writing done for Project Atlas, I’ll have to postpone the real debut for a week. It’s not that I didn’t finish the episode, it’s just that it doesn’t meet my standards — it’s not my best writing and I need some extra time to edit it.

The “real” content of this post will be the meme which Muse posted on his (her?) blog today. Since I needed some filler content, and I genuinely thought it’d be fun, I decided to indulge! It’s no Project Atlas, but it’s good enough for today — and I might be able to post new content every day this week! Amazing!

So, this meme’s this little questionnaire on life and love and all of that stuff.

The rules of the game:

RULE #1 : People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

RULE #2 : Tag 6 people to do this quiz and they cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by continue this game by sending it to other people.
(I have not replaced any questions, because it’s hard to imagine not liking a question. After all, it’s just a question, right? I don’t like rules.)

1. If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?
Talk to her, tell her that lost all of my trust, and kick her out. Not necessarily in that order.
2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
Anarchy. Just kidding. Having a job I love and having a girlfriend/wife I really really love would be wonderful.
3. Whose butt would you like to kick?
Chuck Norris’s. Just because it’d be legendary.
4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Travel the world, learn new languages, and just kick back, relax, and enjoy life.
5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be — your “lover” being your best friend? I dunno, that’s how I’ve always viewed it.
6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
Loving yourself — you kill two birds with one stone 😉
7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you really love?
As long as it takes, if I’m 10^100% sure that they’re the absolute love of my life and they are absolutely perfect for my tastes. If not, I won’t wait at all.
8. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do?
I would continue to live a life of integrity, whatever that entailed. (Muse said this, and I can’t agree more!)
9. If you like to act with someone, who will it be? your gf/bf or an actress/actor?
Uh what?
10. What takes you down the fastest?
People who dislike me for my strengths.
11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
The same person.
12. What’s your fear?
Death. Or, never getting a job I’m happy in. Or, that I’ll never meet someone I’m really pleased with.
13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
How can words describe Muse…?
14. Would you rather be single and rich or married but poor?
Depends what on the quality of my job/marriage is. If I’m married to someone I really really love, then I’d rather be married and in the lower-middle class.
15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Splash cold water on my face. Then I like looking out the bathroom window and try to contemplate just how COOL the ability to see is.
16. Would you give all in a relationship?
Nah!
17. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously, who would you pick?
I wouldn’t.
18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing the someone has done?
Not at all. I hold people to what they’ve done in the past.
19. Do you prefer being single or having a relationship?
Right now, being single. Later… who knows?
20. List 6 people to tag
I only have one: Will Rhodes. Go ahead, buddy, engage in this love crap even though your blog is political and you’re a married man!

Yeah, yeah, again, I’m picking on the Governor of Alaska though I promised not to… But this was too good of a story to pass up.

As we all know, Sarah “Bush” Palin’s e-mail inbox was leaked, and, man did it have some earth-shattering revelations inside. Example:

From: Rick Davis (dickyd@POW.com)
Subject: Charlie Gibson Interview

Sarah,

We’ve received word from ABC news that, in your interview with Charlie Gibson, you’ll be called on to answer a question about the “Bush Doctrine”. Now, what the “Bush doctrine” means to them and what it means to nice, hard-working, God-loving, people with traditional values, like you and me, are totally different. One refers to George W. Bush’s policies in office, and the other refers to how much we let our daughters shave down there. If you are asked the question and respond with WHAT you think the Bush Doctrine is, we’re going to lose to a Black Muslim dude who thinks he’s Mohammed. Just stall if you’re too tempted to explain yourself.

Sincerely,
Rick

P.S. Threesome with you and Cindy tonight?

Not much needs to be said about that one… But it turns out that Palin might have some foreign policy experience after all:

From: Vladimir Putin (RootinTootinPutin@kagaba.ru)
Subject: Foreign Policy

Sarah,

Please shut up about your foreign policy qualifications just because you can see us from one of your little islands. It insults us here in the Kremlin that you’d have the gall to say you have had dealings with us when you really haven’t. Lies aren’t treated well here, and it’d be unfortunate if you ended up having an accident like Alexander Litvinenko did a couple years ago. It really would be a shame to see you fall conveniently after you try to make us look like an enemy. Remember: In Soviet Russia, RUSSIA SEES YOU!

Putin emailing Palin? Palin getting poisoned by the KGB? I love intrigue! It’s too bad that Putin and his ex-KGB friends actually would be doing us a service by, erm… helping Palin’s death a long like that. Actually, scratch that — that would probably drive us to war with Russia, which we’d eventually lose.

There was an email from Bristol Palin to her mother, but, unfortunately, I lost that one. It had something to do with the son that she already has: the Down’s Syndrome baby.

Editor’s Note: this is all a satire, and if you perceive these statements to be factual, please contact your local mental health clinic

Spread the Word!

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One of the greatest ironies ever — ever — is that, despite many ancient civilizations having well established religions (see Greeks/Romans, Egyptians, etc.), our modern culture labels their religions, in a loving touch, as “mythologies” — like they’re somehow less feasible than the monotheist (excluding hinduism, of course) religions that dominate the world today. The point is: what makes them sure that, say, Greek mythology is less valid, and thus earning the tag of “mythology”, than, say, Islam or Christianity? Is it because people believe in those things today and aren’t worshipping Zeus or Thor or Osiris? Whether people believe in something or not is not necessarily a good metric for the validity of a belief — shouldn’t they be lumped in the same category of “myth” because they’re based around things that cannot be proved to be true?

Now, now, I’m betting someone will probably get where I’m going with this and say, “Well, the Bible isn’t to be taken literally, so there!” Well, there are two things I’d like to say about that: the first being that, if certain things in the Bible aren’t valid and are figurative, who’s to say that anything within is valid at all, and, secondly, Greek myths were created to teach — they were parables in their own right. Again, who’s to say Jesus actually DID do all he did, and all the parables are true? They could be made up, which challenges the Bible as an ignorant man’s guide to human life and death.

So, again, what separates “modern” religions from the defunct ones? The fact that dead men tell no tales. A Christian society has dominated the West for centuries and centuries, which explains why ancient Greek religion, the main precursor to Christianity (I’m equating Greek religion with Roman religion here) has been labeled as mythology — don’t get me wrong, it deserves the tag of “myth”, but I’m simply making a point that Christianity does too. So what’s next? Will the big, bad West conquer the Middle East and, over time, label Islam a “mythology” as well?

Here’s the scary thing: I’d bet that if another religion sprang up and conquered the monotheistically dominated society we live in now, over the course of 4-5 generations, that too would be labeled as “myth” in an effort to persuade people to join the one “true” religion.

By Isaac Sampson:

I am writing this to be saying that I am quitting my job. Or, to be more precise, I am writing to quit my job with my current employer. I will continue to be a journalist, but not one that is forced to omit the truth because of the corporate powers that be — the ones that currently own this newspaper. For my dedicated readers, this is nothing new; but for those who don’t regularly check this column, you may be surprised to learn that The White Post is indeed owned by a massive corporation. These folks — Petracorp — own sports teams, own television networks, have their own thinktank in Washington, own publishing companies, telecommunications companies, and have their own senator. Yes, folks, you heard me: their own senator. Regardless of their representation in government, these media conglomerates acquiring newspapers disrupt journalistic process like you wouldn’t believe — I’ve been told many times to edit my anti-corporate stance from my articles, and have had to comply, or risk losing my job. I’ve tried, time and time again, to get the word out to people that these media giants are dominating our culture, but have been shut down — I’ve had to edit those paragraphs into pro-corporate statements. What does that make me? A shoddy journalist, for sure, working in a corrupt system. The basic premise when you come to work for any of these so-called “news agencies” is that, if your views don’t reflect that of the corporation, they won’t get published.

At the same time, we’re forced to report on whatever will generate the biggest influx of readers or viewers — and, consequently, the biggest influx of money. I’m still shaking my head over the 3 mind-numbingly boring days that I had to spend covering the murder of a 10 year old girl in Kelso, Oregon (yes, I’m preparing for the ridiculous amount of hate mail that I’ll get for saying that) while, on the other hand, the government passed a bill that violated the rights of the honest man once again — deeming it necessary that we can be searched legally without a court order if there’s “probable cause” that we’re an anarchist, or a socialist, a communist, a fascist, an anti-war advocate, a libertarian, or whatever other bunk they lump other the label “enemy [sic] of the country”. Yes, they can now lawfully seize (read: arrest) you based on evidence that you don’t like where this country is going they gathered while unlawfully watching you at your job. Yes, I feel bad for little Polly Opham, but her death, no matter how brutal it was, took our attention away from something much bigger and worse: the erosion of our rights, all in the name of preventing another attack like the famed 44 attacks in London, and the wave of “terrorism” that’s spread throughout Britain. Any rational citizen would rather listen to a story on the government’s corruption, but we can’t call it that due to our corporate ties and the corporations’ ties to the government. What do you think would appeal more to the psyche of the country: the awful, wretched story of a girl brutally murdered by her brother, or some random “security bill”? Of course, the former. And instead of doing my job and telling the people that that bill is an outright threat to our security, ironically, these guys make me collect evidence at a crime scene like all those stupid crime dramas on TV, trying to be Sherlock Holmes, without the cool factor. (continued on page A5)

“Can you believe this guy, Maddy? He’s such a liar: he chose to work on the Polly Opham case, and didn’t tell us about –” a young man, probably in his late 20’s, pen in an ear obscured by his shaggy brown hair said, a slightly tired look on his face.

A woman, about the same age, with a sharp, straight nose accompanying an equally sharp and straight jaw, turned to him, and finished his sentence, “…that hopeless paper, The Watchman?”

Both their eyes lit up, his dark brown, hers a brilliant, sparkling blue, saying at the same time, with wry smiles spread on their faces, “Ah! Power! Again!” as if they were expecting each other to know exactly what and when they would say something. They, after long companionship, had found themselves to be equal in mind — and would consistently agree with each other so often that one could probably win the lottery before observing a conflict of opinion between these two. Both had long aspired to be journalists, both had went to the same college, both had went to the same graduate school, both got a job at the same newspaper. An onlooker could surmise that simply by living their own life, that person was living vicariously through the other. Eric was Madeleine; Madeleine was Eric. They went through life as if they were connected by an invisible rope — whenever someone did or said or thought something, the other would surely follow in the footsteps of the first.

“And this bit about being an honest journalist! Hah! This man lied more than any I know, to us, to Sam, and there he declares his little crusade for truth in journalism? He was a jerk to us — putting us down, saying that we were always in our little bubble, while he did nothing but stay in bubble and put on his tinfoil hat and cry government conspiracy at every turn? And when he wasn’t doing that, he was criticizing anyone who held a higher post than he did — just because they had power.” Madeleine said in a tone of condemnation, taking a swig of her latté, and placed it back on the conference room table with a sigh of satisfaction. She absentmindedly put her hand in her great curly mass of shimmering brown hair, and twisted her hair around her finger, going, and going, without a care, without focus.

Eric broke the silence, saying in a quiet and dejected tone, as to not let Madeleine hear him — but still looking in her direction, convinced that she’d hear him anyway, “Don’t you think it’s a bit ironic though — I know of a few people who pick up the Post just to read Isaac’s column and reports, thus raking in the cash for the corporate demons that Isaac so hates. His looney brand of political opinion clearly resonates with the insane — I mean, that bill requires that those who are going to search people have probable cause, so why distort it — and Petracorp has to appeal to those people in an effort to make cash. So, Isaac was probably not fired due to his… interesting demographic, we’ll say, that he appealed to. But, now that he’s off writing for his own newspaper that’s doomed to fail, maybe he’ll realize that the corporations are a huge help for getting a readership. Now everyone’s just going to dismiss him as a looney.”

Madeleine looked at him, studied him for a moment in indifference, and wryly said, with an arrogant tone of self-assurance, “Does it need to be said?”

Eric responded in kind, smiling at her, “No. Of course you agree.”

* * * *

Alex Whister, a brilliant, if idiosyncratic 29 year old, looked up from his newspaper and saw a person standing at the entrance to his cubicle. He was lean, with constantly moving — and fearful — eyes, and probably weighed too little for his 6 foot tall frame. The lines that made up his face were rounded, and, somehow, lacked definition, making him seem extremely plain, though the workings of his mind were anything but. He finished his work two hours early every day, but didn’t clock out then — he liked to go home when everyone else went home, at 5:45, so as to not draw attention to himself. He sat at his computer, looking up quotes of famous authors and philosophers. In fact, his only decorations around his cubicle were handwritten quotes that were attached to the cubicle wall via thumbtack. His favorites, to be sure, were the famed “proverbs for paranoids” coined by Thomas Pynchon in Gravity’s Rainbow. They were pinned on the ‘cube’ wall, penned in bold permanent marker directly to his left:

“1. You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.
2. The innocence of the creatures is in inverse proportion to the immorality of the Master.
3. If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.
4. You hide, they seek.
5. Paranoids are not paranoid because they’re paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations.”

He regarded them with irony, wondering whether he was paranoid just because he identified with every single one of the quotes. He heard a sound, off in the distance, and turned to fact the person who was speaking to him.

“Alex, I was erm — reading your analysis of our profits of the quarter and it appears as though you’re missing page 13?” the speaker said with both pity and contempt. She focused her eyes on him, as if trying to see into his mind, guessing what his excuse would be.

“I — I -I’m… sorry. I’ll… get that fixed straightaway. Sorry for being a failure…” Alex said, with not a hint of the self-pity that she expected to find in him — but a trace of self-loathing. His body language told the tale: he seemed extremely angry at himself — his shoulders were raised tightly, and his fists were clenched. He took a deep breath, paused for a second, and met her gaze as reluctantly as one would accept an order to stare straight into the sun. He said nothing, as if telling her to move on, to spend her lucky time on earth talking to someone who was worth something. She looked him back as if she understood, and proceeded back to her cubicle.

He subconsciously knew that he was very good at his job — that’s why he was still employed — but he equated every misstep he made with a massive failure, something that would get him fired. Quite simply: he disliked himself because he wasn’t perfect. Though he did everything with gusto 97% of the time, he spent his life as though he expected that imperfect 3% to shine through every single time, without fail. This made him avoid taking any risks for fear of rejection: he was so sure that he’d fail that he refused to do anything other than what he got paid for, and even then, he thought he should be unemployed.

He looked back at the proverbs for paranoids. He read the fifth one again, and laughed. You fucking idiot, he thought to himself. You deliberately put yourself in these situations where you can fail. If you stop doing anything, you won’t fail…

I’m breaking the oath I made to stop talking about Sarah Palin altogether in the name of writer’s block. The undoing of all writers and artists has crept into me, and I haven’t been able to shake it — I have no new ideas, it seems. My fountain has run dry, my mind has refused to produce any new ideas and it’s killing me. Maybe it’s the stress of writing Project Atlas. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m being squeezed by life and have less time to think about anything. Maybe… I don’t know what’s causing this — less sleep may be the thing at work here. I’m getting desperate, which is precisely the reason why I had to resort to posting a video.

For the past week, blogging has felt more of an obligation to me, and less fun for me to bounce my ideas off the wall. As a result, I feel like my content has been watered down in the pressure I feel for me to produce content every day. But that content hasn’t been very productive or insightful: look at yesterday’s Dihydrogen Monoxide post if you need an example of something that was shallow and ill-written. Maybe it’s just because (depressing) politics has gotten in the way the past few weeks — especially McCain’s veep pick who shan’t be named — which tires me out and lends me a sort of cynicism (though, to be sarcastic is my nature, I don’t like to be the most negative person ever — I ride my wave of confidence). To get over my writer’s block, I feel like I’ll have to stop providing daily content, and focus on quality, not quantity. That’s what I’ll really have to do — plan out every post and give myself enough time to edit and think about my writing, because I’m not really doing that enough now.

So, with that out of the way, here’s Matthew Damon lambasting McCain’s VP pick.
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It has come to my attention that CO2 is being blamed for the current state of Global Warming the planet is undergoing at the moment and won’t be breaking out of unless our government prevents us from emitting any more “death gas”, also known as carbon dioxide. But, I can’t let poor little CO2 take the blame for the greenhouse effect any longer: a much more evil substance, operating by the name of dihydrogen monoxide, which contributes to global warming at 3 times the rate of carbon dioxide! Whereas CO2 is absorbed by trees and used for photosynthesis, all this dihydrogen monoxide stuff does is harm people. It:

— Kills thousands of people each year after they accidentally inhale it;
— Is used in pesticides and nuclear power plants;
— Is responsible for the killings of thousands in the wake of Hurricane Katrina;
— Contributes largely to acid rain;
— Causes burns;
— Short circuits electronics;
— Erodes the soil, contributing to mud slides;
— Used in explosives;
— Used by our troops in Guantanmo to torture prisoners (yet another thing the MSM won’t tell us!);
— And many more destructive uses…

And, to add to its awful capabilities, as I’ve stated, in contributes to the “greenhouse effect” three times more than CO2 does!

Yet again, though, our government is too focused on the failed wars in Iraq and catching the invisible man, Osama Bin Laden. They’d rather watch our planet rot while going on a wild goose chase for some guy who doesn’t exist. And get this: not one of the candidates supports the ban on dihydrogen monoxide, and the mainstream media, time and time again, fails the American people in informing them about the real dangers of the world. Well, my friends, spread the word about it and make sure it gets banned! We can’t afford for our planet to be destroyed!

Spread the word using the buttons below!

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Except one: the refusal to think.

How is it that we have the largest database of information ever constructed by man — and there are those who fail to use it (or just plain can’t)?

How is it that we have a presidential candidate who can’t access said information, and encourages incompetent, rash, decision making? And brings down an educated, thinking man like Barack Obama as an elitist? Why do we have to bring down the great to make the small feel larger in our society? Why are so many people refusing to think?