Change, belief, etc. Archives

June 11, 2008

Start working on your stoicism

Are we ready for a good emperor, maybe a great one, a philosopher emperor -- Baracus Aurelius?

My quondam companion, the dearly departed J Alva Scruggs, once wrote me on the subject of philosopher emperors. It thundered and it flashed, it filled the page with deep insight, and I was in awe and dazzled for days after.

I've misplaced it, and its perfected phrasing may be lost for all time, but I remember he was... agin' 'em.

There are no good emperors. They all turn into Nosferatu once the door's shut -- it goes with the office.

* * *

Here's another man from Illinois who struck a decidedly Aurelian pose while running for emperor of the open-market world. Similarly, he was up against a man of military distinction.

The purple prose egghead against the knuckle-mouthed general. Of course the egghead lost in a landslide. And Ike wasn't even a war hero like Johnny. Ike wasn't shot down on a daring raid into enemy territory. Ike wasn't tortured and twisted by his enemies. Nope, Ike stayed back and made his enemies surrender.

* * *

Old Marcus is supposed to have written his rather smug and self-congratulatory Meditations during short intervals of leisure from his day job, which was mostly spent on the battlefield, trying to shore up the Empire against "barbarians" in the East. The Romans seem to have used the word "barbarian" much the same way we use "terrorist", as a portmanteau term for anybody who doesn't enjoy our benign and civilized rule.

March 9, 2009

Striving to be less reliable than ever

[Obama] said he did not find blogs to be reliable, citing the economy as one example. “Part of the reason we don’t spend a lot of time looking at blogs,” he said, “is because if you haven’t looked at it very carefully, then you may be under the impression that somehow there’s a clean answer one way or another — well, you just nationalize all the banks, or you just leave them alone and they’ll be fine.”

Via Joe Weisenthal

If he's looking for ways to reinforce those false dichotomies, I'd think turning to the court intellectual wannabes is his best bet. He's made their job difficult, but it's not impossible. There are bound to be a few that are "reliable". I also think he protests too much. Narcissism and solipsism know no satiety. A million cheerleading blogs wouldn't be enough. Fortunately, there's a clean answer: resign. He should hand this off to Joe Biden (bear with me). In three months, his supporters would be begging him to come back.

Constructive criticism

September 17, 2009

Probing for market share

One of the most recent suicide attacks was the Aug. 28 attempt by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to assassinate Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. In that attack, a suicide operative smuggled an assembled IED containing approximately one pound of high explosives from Yemen to Saudi Arabia concealed in his rectum. While in a meeting with Mohammed, the bomber placed a telephone call and the device hidden inside him detonated.

Excerpt from a Stratfor report, via Blood & Treasure.

The Republican consumer is a hardy, easy to please soul when it comes to random anal violations, but the Democratic consumer is much fussier. And, oddly, more socially conservative, even when the state is performing the violations. A focus group study revealed that a cell phone-activated colorectal explosive device would make "national security" legislation — for example further entrenching the Patriot Act — more palatable to them. Stratfor pounced and the rest will be Transportation Safety Authority history.

On the bright side, liberals who can afford airfare stand a good chance of being gratuitously humiliated in a way that flatters their ideological convictions. Off shoes, drop trou, assume the ghastly position and praise God that Obama defeated McCain. That should be very consoling.

January 19, 2010

The National Insecurity State

Professor Sunstein was kind enough to send a staffer to help us with a cognitive infiltration. In the interests of full disclosure, as forward-thinking compensation for posting this I was given an opportunity to purchase a discounted voucher that gives me points towards a genuine DNC logo mousepad... So, without further ado, Dr. Benweigh.

Are you unhappy? You might be a bad person. Ha, ha! Just kidding. You might think you're a bad person. But that's just crippled epistemology. What's needed is a nudge. And access-related program activities. It's all about self-esteem. This is where the science of psychometrics can help. Once you find your place in the social darwinist shakeout nurturing dynamics of liberal capitalist democracy, you will know what you have to work with and institutional guidance professionals will know what they can get away with will know how to help.

Here's a sample question to get going.

When good people are systemically blocked from doing the good things they want to do, and the things they actually do look like bad things, do you:

1) Become an empirical sourpuss and ruin everyone's day
2) Blame the wingnuts
3) Blame the filibuster
4) See the ponies
5) Blame Ralph
6) Recite your affirmations

You can pick more than one, by the way, but if one of the ones you pick is Number 1, then you might have low self-esteem. If you have low self-esteem, there's a chance you're going to shoot everyone at work, school, whatever.

Here's another helpful question.

When you and your peer consumer group vote for a positively progressive person who is less than perfect and the wingnuts eat the pony, do you:

1) Wonder what hell this question came from
2) Blame the wingnuts, who are stupid
3) Blame Joe Lieberman, the human filibuster
4) Mourn the pony and pull up your socks
5) Blame Ralph
6) Buckle down to an honorable effort to take back the country

It's important to remember than in a system based on vindictive irrationality, you only get one answer. Here, you get more than one. You can even pick answer Number 1, you negative nellie you, and people will put up with your low self-esteem. You might get a nudge, but no one is going to hate you or punish you savagely, with pepper spray and tasers when you're hogtied in jail. You can still look for work, too, and when opportunity knocks—it sounds like the clatter of pony hooves—you can get financing for the high quality personal appurtenances you'll need if you want to give the correct impression to potential employers. If, however, you're a self-loathing nudge-resistant epistemological cripple...

September 1, 2010

A disappointing speech

I expected bromides and I received bromides, but I was still disappointed by the president's speech. It was a wasted opportunity. He should have entered the oval office carrying a fake turkey and wearing a codpiece. This would have lent dignity to the rebranding of the occupation. But he blew it. What a dipshit.

September 3, 2011

It stands to reason

Through a ghastly error, I wound up in a place where premises that should be hidden for decency's sake are shoved into forced labor syllogisms. But for the fun of it, it stands to reason that better politicians with better values will enact better policies. From there, and given that better people elect better politicians, the lack of good politicians with good values can be attributed to the lack of good voters with good values. Clearly, then, we need more and better voters.

About Change, belief, etc.

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in the Change, belief, etc. category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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