Hating Your Name

It’s telling that more people have “Alan / Allen” as a last name than as a first. Because your parents can’t choose your last name.

Yes, Alan means courage in French (élan) but only in French and French courage just isn’t the same.

Two soft vowels and two soft consonants? No wonder I’m fat.

Alan da Vinci? Alan Einstein? Alan Patton? No fucking way!

The list of great and famous Alans is as short as the list of Dwaynes.

I’d legally change it but I’m too spiteful. And it gives me the safety net of having something to blame.

If I were named Albert or Alfred or Alphonse I would never let myself be called Al lest someone suspect it was short for Alan.

You can judge the dude-liness of a man’s name by how many words it rhymes with. Mark, Jack, Fred, Bill, Mike and Joe rhyme with everything. All I’ve got is gallon. Big deal–Peter rhymes with liter and Mort rhymes with quart. No name rhymes with pint but then nothing rhymes with pint.

On the bright side, I don’t have to say it as much as the people who know me. That’s one good thing.

And it’s not a gay name, not that there’s anything wrong with gay names. And it’s not a criminal’s name, not that there’s anything wrong with crime.

It’s just a good-natured, fat nerd’s name, that’s all. I can take it.

alan_name

Popularity of the name Alan; from http://www.behindthename.com

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Stealing Our Points of View

Body cams for cops? Of course!

And then it’s body cams for teachers, body cams for security guards, and wrist cams for surgeons.

Soon every company will want body cams on its employees. And then the stockholders will want body cams on management. “Why are we paying them so much anyway?”

All our vehicles, even bicycles, will be fully cammed. Not protecting your child with a body cam will be considered negligence if not abuse.

Life will be one big non-selfie.

Our very points of view will be accessible by government or management. It will no longer be ours.

(Granted, most people have stupid points of view anyway, but hey, you gotta have some personality!)

We will all become walking Big Brother cams.

The Luckiest Generation is that which grows up during the flowering of technology right before it outgrows us.

To this generation I say “You lucky bastards!”

To the next generation I say “You poor fucking saps…”

The Real Meaning Behind the Things They Say

They say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, meaning the purely good can never accomplish anything since they have no power.  Those do-nothings you despise might actually be saints.

They say the past is a foreign country because the future will always be American.

They say you only live once and most of them are dead–anything to prove a point, I guess.

They say history is written by the victors–Victor Borge, Victor Hugo, Victor Mature, Victor Kiam. Case closed.

They say it’s just a coincidence that my social security number equals the population of China in 1970, but I mean what are the odds of that?!

They say pets are more sensitive to spiritual entities that we can’t see, and that’s why my cat hisses at the unplugged vacuum cleaner every time he walks by it. Yes, it’s a Dust Devil.

They say you only live once and yet the same people keep popping up at different times and places.  I know I’ve seen that dude before! You’re all the same!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words because a thousand words ain’t worth shit. Check the latest commodity prices if you don’t believe me. And when you factor in inflation, words actually cost you–they have negative value.  Dump them if you can.

Most people say beauty comes from inside, but most surgeons don’t.

They say the early bird gets the worm, meaning the real winners are the late worms. Given enough evolutionary time, you’ll be lucky to get a worm to show up for anything.

Speaking of time, they say it heals everything only because the lack of time never healed anything. Not a fair contest.

They say a rolling stone gathers no moss but what’s wrong with moss?  I’ve never heard “We had to rush him to the hospital after he contracted moss” or “Tell your doctor if you’ve been rolling in moss lately” or “Avoid exposure to sunlight, cool breezes, and moss.” Moss is harmless, soft, and pretty!  What a rolling stone does gather are the blood stains of the creatures it runs over. Moss is better.

Alan Brech 2012

These are my scams

Whenever I see a new ad for a pharmaceutical medicine I immediately start taking it just so I can join the inevitable class-action lawsuit that follows. Side effects may include a butt-load of money.

I deliberately don’t have a cell phone or tools in my car so I never have to stop and help stranded motorists. In fact, if I did stop and offer my useless condolences, my parked car would only dissuade good Samaritans from stopping to provide real help.  I’m doing them a huge favor by speeding by.

In third grade I found a dollar on the floor and kept it even after there was a public announcement saying that this poor kid had lost his lunch money.  Later they brought him into our gym class crying and I still didn’t come forward.  The irony is he turned out to be a dick and I’m a helluva guy.

So you never know with kids.

I’ve billed for bathroom time.  Because it’s nice to have your shit paid for.  Especially if it’s a big firm or client that you see advertised everywhere:  “TransAmerica? I took a dump for them once.”

I’ve read very few of the documents I’ve signed.  On the internet, I’ve “agreed” to all sorts of shit I have no idea about.  So take my conflicting loyalty oaths to the Kurdish PKK and the government of Turkey with a grain of salt.

Whenever I make a charitable pledge, I only pay half of the amount I pledged.  The rest is my profit.

That way, the more you give, the more you make.

Alan Brech 2012

Gerontocracy Now! (Now that I’m Old)

More Modest Proposals: repress the young!

All political systems are repressive, some more than others. But repression is inevitable. Politics is the distribution of repression, so let us not evaluate political systems in terms of how they distribute “rights” but rather how they distribute pain.

“Rights” are aspirational but pain is all too real. “Rights” are fuzzy around the edges, and often conflict with each other. But Pain is clear, distinct, quantifiable, and all-too-cumulative. Very rarely does one form of suffering get in the way of another form.

Humankind has tried different repressive schemes. We’ve repressed the poor. We’ve repressed the rich. We’ve repressed the merchants, the intelligentsia, the religious. We’re repressed minorities, silent majorities, even veterans and whiskey distillers. You name ’em, we’ve repressed ’em.

And yet, we don’t seem to have gotten it quite right. Our recipes for repression are not optimal. Those who might object on behalf of democracy’s alleged greatness are often the first to bewail the imminent demise of the system. Freedom and Democracy, it seems, are always in peril, embodying in reality the oxymoron of “eternal peril” invented in jest by Monty Python.

So even if freedom and democracy are the best of the worst, at the very least they deserve to be relieved of their absurdly eternal peril.

The answer I propose is that we have not repressed the right people. If we repress the right people in the right way for the right period of time, the rest of us can live in the most splendid, un-imperilled freedom the world has never known.

Humankind’s political choices are this: all of the people can be free some of the time, or some of the people can be free most of the time. Democracy chooses the first option. I modestly propose the second.

The reason the second option has a bad name now is because of its unfortunate association with kings, dictators, military juntas, aristocracies and police states. They all made the same mistake—they allotted freedom and repression in pretty much the same measure for the entire lifetimeof the individual subject/citizen—born to the manor, buried in the mausoleum.

Big mistake! What we need is a system of freedom and repressions attuned to the demographic age group of its citizens. Forget privilege and power based in any way on birth. Rather, privilege and power based on birth plus forty laps around the sun!

The obvious solution which has so far eluded us is to harshly repress the young, especially young men. If young people, especially men, lived under a police state the rest of us could live in a wildly free neo-hippie paradise. It wouldn’t even have to be “neo-hippie” it would be that chill.

Who commits crimes? Who commits terrorism? Who drives like shit? Young people, young people, young people. Especially men. The radical feminists are right, there’s no point arguing with them–insurance companies don’t, so neither should you. (In fact, there’s no point arguing with any radical system of thought—simply give in and submit to its critique and it goes away, like the Viet Cong, but that’s a digression…)

Male violence is the fundamental problem of every society. Fraud and corruption are secondary, and only slightly less male-dominated.

Whoring may be the oldest profession, but at least it was a profession. All in all, it seems like honest work. Male violence, however, is the oldest racket, and it has been perpetuating itself like a useless computer virus for much too long now. How long must we pay men to protect us from other men?

The radical feminists make only one mistake—they do not distinguish between “men” and men who have had their scalps disappear and dicks soften. In addition to lower testosterone (the world’s most dangerous drug), the latter tend have extensive family and social obligations which simply do not restrain the deluded thinking of 18-year-olds.

Eighteen year old men have a mindset designed for charging machine-gun nests: I’m special and I’ll live forever and the rules of common sense don’t apply to me.

Whereas the wisdom of age tells the senior conscript that adversaries become allies when the war ends, even Nazis and Commies, so why not just spray bullets around until each side runs out of ammo and the commanders are forced to withdraw?

This wisdom must be kept from the young (sh!), lest they fail to charge machine guns nests when we really really need them to, so already we’re talking about a police state in terms of information and censorship.

The mentality of 18 year olds is a wild resource which society must occasionally deploy and therefore must perpetually control. Like a pit bull. It is not something to be emulated by the broader culture, nor, given its admitted recklessness, does it seem particularly eligible for the so-called Rights of Man.

We should recast the Rights of Man as the Rights of Quadragenaria—forty laps around the sun (thirty for women, sorry, too bad dudes) and you’re in—full inalienable rights and participation with near-diplomatic immunity and with very little juridical supervision or surveillance, much less anything even resembling the Patriot Act.

Until then, make darn sure you’re papers are in order! Especially after curfew…

And don’t worry about any organized resistance from the youth to this proposed gerontocracy. They don’t vote, they don’t care. They don’t even read important things like this. Even if they did, you could still enact an Enlightened Gerontocracy without much protest because they would delude themselves by thinking:

I’m special, so I don’t need to worry about the upcoming harsh rules of gerontocracy because they won’t be applied to me like they will to other young people…

Previous revolutions have been costly and bloody and often fail to achieve lasting reforms. Establishing an Enlightened Gerontocracy, however, requires only the mellowest of revolutions against the world’s most privileged caste of people, so privileged they don’t even know it—the young and healthy.

Alan Brech 2012

Bud and Lou Go to Grad School for Cognitive Psychology

Background information:  In October 2010, Professor Jeanine Hoo espoused a new psychological theory of cognition called What Theory (i.e., cognition as primarily interrogatory in nature). Its detractors were led by Professor Ronald Hizz, many of whom subscribed to alternative views referred to as That Theory (knowledge as primarily indicative), of which Hizz Theory, as it was called, was one of the leading doctrines.

Needless to say, this made for some unfortunate misunderstandings when the unprepared Lou tried to study with his more well-read friend Bud.

“Now let me get this straight—what is his theory?”

“No, What is Hoo’s theory.”

“Who?”

“Exactly.”

“Exactly what?”

“Yes, that’s Hoo.”

“Who is who?”

“Of course Hoo is Hoo, and What is the theory.”

“That’s what I’m asking!”

“And I’m telling you.”

“So what is his theory?”

“No, That is Hizz Theory.”

What?”

“No, That!  Look, all you have to remember is: That is Hizz Theory and What is Hoo’s Theory. Ok?”

“…. OK, so what is ‘that theory?’”

“No, now you’re mixing it all up. That Theory is not What Theory!”

“What?”

“No!!!”

“–And who’s ‘he’ in all this?”

“Hoo’s a she.’ ”

“’She?’  You said ‘his theory.’ ”

“And I meant Hizz Theory.”

“So who’s ‘she?’ ”

“Exactly!”

“What???”

“Yes! I think you’re finally getting it! Like I said, Hoo’s she, Hoo’s What, and That’s Hizz.”

“What is ‘his?’”

“No, now you’ve lost it—What is not Hizz and Hoo’s is not That.”

“I guess I’ll never understand psychology.”

Waaahhhhh-waahhhh!

Alan Brech 2012

Viagra’s Side Effects

Call your doctor if you experience loss of vision–

“Doc, I can’t see anything and I still wanna fuck it!”

Deafness–

“‘No’ looks a lot like ‘now’ when you’re lip-reading”

Shits and giggles–

Plop-plop hee-hee-hee

Or an erection lasting more than three hours.

Starting now, or when I first wanted it to go away?

Viagra is not for everyone–

Like this loser [picture of loser] or this douche-bag [picture: douche-bag] and all you fuckin’ chicks [picture: all chicks]

–But if you’re a young teenager who doesn’t pop wood while riding on a vibrating school bus early in the morning, you might wanna discuss Viagra with your cock doctor and your Mom.

When I was fifteen, Doc, I used to get hard every hour and semi-hard every half hour. But now I only get involuntaries first thing in the morning…right Mom?

[insert bonor joke here]

AB2012

Big Book and High Education

Always pay special attention to the first third of a non-fiction book. The middle is in the middle for a reason and by the end the author wants it over as bad as you do. In the beginning is all the stuff the author actually enjoys dwelling on.

Western medicine is all pathology.  Pretty soon we’ll know the how and why of all the ways the body can fail. Treatment will remain symptomatic.

So let’s raise America’s education levels–only test Asian kids. And Jews. On Christmas.

Does this sound like a good investment?  Let’s pay for a kid to spend four or five years writing book reports. Think it’ll pay off? So why invest in higher education?

Everything I really needed to know I still haven’t learned yet. So obviously I didn’t need to learn that either.

Memorize the colorful anecdotes and digressions of history and culture. Ignore the main points of discussion because you will never get to discuss them yourself without sounding like a poser-dick.

Read everything as if there’s a 40% chance it’s total bullshit, that way you’ll end up retaining almost 60% of what you read.

Half of what we know cannot be quantified anyway.

And just because you can write an essay when you’re drunk means we’re probably gonna wanna read it when we’re sober. So develop your talents.

School teaches the awesome amazing power of the Last Minute. Huge, semi-monumental B+ quality work can be achieved in that “frantastic” stretch of space-time called the last minute.

Before that, 10 pages seem like 20. With one hour left, they only seem like 8 1/2 with wide margins.

Lawyers get the most schooling and that’s why they do all their work at the last minute. And so paralegals spend their days doing nothing and their nights working late.

Have you ever done nothing all day and then worked late?

Then you haven’t worked for a highly educated boss.

Alan Brech 2012

The Meaning of Funny is the Fun of Meaning Less Ness Full ish

What is funny?  What is the meaning of funny?

Is this funny?  🙂

No, so why is this funny?  ♥ + ♥ − $ x T (time) =   😦  + 😦

It’s not?!  Do you even know what the heck you’re talking about?

If two different groups of Aliens came to Earth, one that didn’t laugh, and one that didn’t cry, which group would you trust the most?

Which group would you hang out with?

Can an entire “article” be written solely in the interrogatory, with no declarative statements at all?

How long would you keep reading if you sensed–suspected–knew! that the author was probably not going to state anything, but keep asking fucking questions?

At what point would you stop and DEMAND content?

“Stop asking me all this bullshit!”

Does our need for content imply a preexisting lack of it inside us?

Would a world without questions be better than a world without statements? And if so, how could you possibly communicate that preference?

Funny is incronguity. Funny means that two or more systems of thought or perspective are in conflict with each other with nearly equal appearances of plausibility, facts notwithstanding. The King who slips on the banana peel is, for that moment, both King and Fool. And that’s funny. Right until he stands up and looks in your direction. Then, years later, it gets funny again.

If the two (+) equipoised perspectives are equally reasonable, the result is called “amusing.”

If the perspective you already agree with is favored by the connotations and biases of the joke, the result is called “funny.”

If the perspective you disagree with is favored, the result is called “offensive.”

But if one of the perspectives is obviously stupid and yet can be twisted into making “more sense” than the obviously sensible perspective, the result is called “hilarious” and “comic genius.”

Funny equals enjoyable cognitive dissonance.

There’s your frikkin’ bald-statement content. Or do you now prefer the questions?

Alan Brech 2012

PILFs replace NILFs as America’s Sexiest Cultural Icons

I used to think newswomen were the sexiest (see February 6th post below–The Last Wholesome Perversion: NILF Leching).

Robin Meade (former Miss Ohio), Brooke Baldwin, and Brooke Baldwin again

But not anymore.  The libidinous reign of the NILFs is ending.

The new sexiest cultural position has got to be the Female Paranormal Investigator (PILFs).

Kris Williams (Ghost Hunters) and Jael de Pardo (Fact or Faked)

I just love it when they walk around in the dark in infrared-invisible white shirts looking for EVPs–ectoplasmic virtual penetrations or something.

These are like NILFs from beyond the grave–no way a normal newswoman could compete with those sexy credentials!

Jael de Pardo getting to the bottom of the mermaid mystery

My favorite episode is the one in the Haunted Hooters restaurant from Daytona Beach. Mysterious nipple-hardening breezes keep wafting down from out-of-control air-conditioning ducts. And it’s all caught on tape!

The Haunted Sorority House Slumber Party is another great episode–especially the part where Kris Williams gets a scalp-full of ecto-jizz wearing a re-enactment nightie.

Kris Williams of Ghost Hunters reenacting a haunted sorority slumber party

Or when Jael de Pardo got goosed by the Shadow Figure in some weird tropical ruins where heat and humidity preclude all modesty.

Jael de Pardo (Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files) getting goosed by an unseen entity

Face it, it’s comforting to know that there’s something beyond the grave, and that even when you’re dead hot women still might wanna talk to you even though you are definitely creepy by that point if you weren’t already.

NILF-appeal, as discussed in February (see below), is the pleasing incongruity of important current information delivered with visual hotness.  But PILF-appeal is the further incongruity of philosophically-significant information delivered via hotness.

In the dark.

Alan Brech 2012