Six Degrees of Adam Lanza? aka Where’s My Xanax

Very serious and important people are more shocked and horrified than you are  at what Adam Lanza did because their outrage is official. Their grief is so profound they get paid to bluster about it on live TV.

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Forget about gun control. Gun control discussion have reached an
elevated level, which is probably a good thing, even though people are buying guns like the freaks they are and Wayne Lapierre wants a gun in the hand of every child, which is probably a bad thing.

But back to Adam Lanza and mental illness. Serious people are doing serious investigations into his life. His DNA is being investigated. Maybe they can put his genetic material into a hamster and see how it responds in captivity.

Case studies will be conducted. Test subjects will go on the Adam Lanza diet to see how that affects their homicidal desires towards children.

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I, for one, will volunteer to play violent video games and watch Hollywood movies all day long, but ONLY if I get paid $10/hour.

But I don’t want to watch the Human Centipede 2. That movie scares me.

Amazingly Adam Lanza didn’t leave any crazy shit around for people to read after he died, and yet this is actually a BAD thing. Maybe because the media has even less to present in their 24/7 attempt to raise your blood pressure.

Anyway, lost in all this is the very probable fact that you are not Adam Lanza.  Your neighbors are not Adam Lanza. Even that psycho at work is not Adam Lanza. You don’t know anybody like Adam Lanza.

Adam Lanza was Adam Lanza. And even Adam Lanza wasn’t ADAM LANZA until that day this month. Human beings aren’t deterministic and society is a complex system, so while you can maybe work backward, you can’t study Adam Lanza’s DNA and then move forward, as if that would mean anything.

If you cloned a dozen Adam Lanzas, or even a million, I bet they all turn out okay. If you copy the exact circumstances in which he lived for twenty years, maybe 1 or 2 out of the million Adam Lanzas makes the same mistake. That’s what I think, anyway.

You won’t see the results of the study that are honest, though, that confirm this. Uninteresting results will be ignored and bogus hysterical results will have those serious and important media people shrieking again.

Why is this bad, besides a failure on the part of the media? Because now the burden of proof is on mentally ill people, or anyone with a history of anything, to demonstrate that they are not the next Adam Lanza.

Instead society should have to prove that there is not something rotten within which makes it conducive to generating the occasional Adam Lanza (hint: maybe it has something to do with the CHEAP AND AVAILABLE PROLIFERATION OF GUNS).

Preempting killing sprees would certainly be a grand thing, but not at the Minority-Report style cost of red flagging hundreds of thousands of people. Isn’t that what the point of that movie was?

Finally, I will repeat what I said on facebook, which is that I believe all attempts to understand Adam Lanza on some kind of logical or moral level is absurd. There is no rational for shooting up a school. No healthy thought process. Adam Lanza woke up that day and 2 +2 = 7. He was crazy, not just “omg you’re wearing that color pants you so crazy” crazy but “your brain is shutting down” crazy. This is not just my idea either. Many intelligent people have written about this recently (Sarah Palin is not one of them).

So turn off the TV and take a deep breath. And sell your guns.

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Post Les Mis Reactions: Jean Val-Jean and Wolverine

Wolverine and Jean Val-Jean: The Eerie Similarities

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Both must start a new life after a dark past. Precious metal (silver and adamantium) becomes the key for both to forge a new identity.

Um. JVJ sings angry. Wolverine…screams angry.

Wolverine has claws. JVJ doesn’t have claws.

Hmmm… maybe not so uncanny after all.

Conspiracy Theories for a New Age of Doom

Conspiracy Theories for a New Age of Doom

By Aaron Dorman

On December 21, those in the know were ABSOLUTELY certain that, as predicted by the Mayans, the world was going to end.

A giant rogue planet hiding behind the sun was going to collide into the Earth. Or the magnetic poles would reverse, causing Biblical climatic mayhem and destruction. Or the entire Milky Way Galaxy would explode.

Whatever it was, it was obvious to anyone who was enough of a free thinker to see the truth that the government and Big Science were hiding this from us. Their denial/silence on the issue only confirmed the fact.

But something even crazier happened: absolutely nothing.

Understandably, many people will be traumatized by lack of destruction. It will be hard for them to comprehend the continuation of our historical narrative. Many people will be unsure how to live out the rest of their lives, unprepared for business as usual. They will need some way to cope with the absence of tragedy on a massive scale.

There is a way to help them. December 22 can indeed start a new era, but it time for some changes. Since our continued existence puts to shame many of our old notions of conspiracy and pseudo-scientific beliefs.

It is time for a new list of facts and cover-ups. The governments are still hiding the truth from us, of course. But I offer up the following possibilities, any one of which has the chance to be true, if we allow ourselves to embrace our future as reborn skeptics:

  • JFK…shot himself!
  • a-few-seconds-before-the-jfk-assassination

(photo clearly shows his fake hands)

  •  Marylin Monroe and Princess Diana…were the same person!
  • 9279731_2

(before and after surgery photo)

  • The REAL first mooning landing?… The Chinese! In 1431, with their fleet of eunuch astronauts.
  • China-Moon-Mission

(a picture the US government will keep out of our history textbook)

  • Area 51 is actually a Jewish weather control center, where they control the weather.
  • shalom_alien_postcard-p239730196108920669trah_210

(proof that Jews came from outer space)

  • More new Jew-truths: they killed Santa Claus. That’s why he doesn’t come down the chimney anymore and your parents have to buy gifts instead.
  • fuck-you-santa

(reenactment of possible murder)

  • Even more Jewish conspiracies: Exactly one week before Hurricane Sandy, all the Jews on the New Jersey shore left to visit relatives in Florida. All of them.
  • ACES_Services_New_York_to_Florida

(secret document stolen from Area-51 reveals exit strategy)

  • The Loch Ness Monster is retired and now lives in Lake Okeechobee, Florida.
  • ar120112302238734

(monster, with palm trees clearly in the background)

  • Each corner of the Pentagon…corresponds exactly to the coordinates on the celestial sphere of a black hole in outer space.
  • 0

(the outline of the pentagon depicted in the night sky? See anything at the intersections of the walls? Exactly!)

  • A new number with strange, sinister “coincidental” repetition: It turns out there are actually twenty-FIVE evil Nazis, 25 days of Christmas, 25 man rosters in baseball, 25 planes that hit the world trade center 25 times, 25 famous people from Arkansas, the 25th state, and 25 hours in the day before you are to be incarcerated for drug possession. The Interstate that is most frequented by aliens? I-25, running through New Mexico. Al Gore lost the 2000 election by 25 votes. In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, he may find….
  • zagera

(Zager and Evans, possibly when they were 25)

  • Shakespeare wrote all of his own plays…as well as the scripts for the original STAR WARS (“And I thought they smelled bad on the outside.”-Shakespeare)
  • 4092293526_a5014338f3_o

Shakespeare, Star Trek, Little Boys, and Jackie Robinson

I have a phobia of Shakespeare professors. I think they are a cult.

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There is ample evidence to support this. Both of my Shakespeare teachers were creepy, lecherous (in a creepy way you see), had lots of facial hair, and wore purple.

They also were intellectual snobs and didn’t read much beyond Shakespeare, but that’s off-topic.

The wearing purple seals the deal. Shakespeare Nazis are born, not made. They are like a race unto themselves.

One thing that always bothered me about my Shakespeare course I took in senior year is that the Prof-we shall call him Mr. Y because I forget his name-spent a ridiculous amount of time emphasizing the fact that little boys played the parts of the ladies in ye olden tymes.

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He drew lots of conclusions from this, and although no doubt some of it is based on evidence of some sort, such as the fact that the plays were popular in Shakespeare’s time, etc, his main point was: we are all naturally attracted to little boys.

According to Mr. Y, the audience would watch these boys play girls and then would ‘realize’ that there is no difference between a lovely lady and these young men. Also, Shakespeare liked little boys, says Mr. Y, because his sonnets are about them and so that makes it okay too.

Mr. Y said he was trying to open up our eyes to the possibility that cultural progress is a myth and that the social mores of different time periods MAY IN FACT BE more tolerant and open-minded than even our own time (hint hint hint Elizabethan England hint hint hint).

Anyway, this always bothered me for many reasons. The sonnets thing can be easily dismissed, first because its a little specious to assume that any possible fetishes of Mr. Shakespeare informed his talent as an artist, and second, because I fucking hate the sonnets.

But this thing about the actual performance always bothered me. Because I am willing to accept that the shows in Shakespeare’s time were indeed successful, and popular, and appreciated, in spite of the lack of women, other than Gwyneth Paltrow, but nobody knew she was a woman.

And there sure is a lot of gender-bending in his comedies.

So did these audiences really fall for these boys and men and apes from the zoo dressed as Juliet?

I guess, according to Mr. Y, there were a couple boys in particular who were great at playing women and famous fancy parts were written for them, like Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing” and stuff.

I think part of what Mr. Y thought was so intriguing was that a boy dressed a woman could most easily accomplish the same thing as a woman dressed as a woman (ergo, a woman). So the plays you see today are no better than the old ones, and maybe even worse, since they were not written to be played be actual women.

But then I remembered: the negro leagues!

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Yes, in our history, we have had institutions that exclude qualified people for things.

Let us remember that in Shakespeare’s time women COULD NOT be in the theater.

Just like eligible white males could not play baseball in the negro leagues which unfairly prevented them from playing with such legends as Josh Gibson and Cool Papa Bell.

It was only when Jackie Robinson begrudgingly consented to play for the Dodgers that African-Americans saw white folks as equal enough to join them in one major league for our great pastime.

Slightly more seriously, the equally significant influx of Latin-American baseball stars, and now even Asians like Ichiro Suzuki and Hdeki Matsui continue to add talent to the game, and many say that players who came before such changes to the landscape of baseball had a tremendous advantage in the inferior talent pool.

Yet nobody takes away Babe Ruth’s accomplishments, or Ty Cobb (even though he was a racist) or “The Big Train” Walter Johnson. Segregated baseball is still considered ok baseball, even though everyone agrees now things are done better.

Anyway, this is a terrible example. Nobody was ‘posing’ in black face in the pre-1940s MLB, it was simply a smaller talent pool. It would be as if Shakespeare wrote plays WITH NOT FEMALE ROLES AT ALL.

But then I thought of an even better example: STAR TREK. This is a perfect example because Mr. Y was also a huuuuuge Trekkie, maybe because of the Patrick Stewart Shakespeare connection.

Anyway, the original Star Trek series was made before space exploration and alien conquest, so they could not use real Klingons. The actors playing Klingons were just very obvious human actors with shitty makeup on their forehead. They looked vaguely ethnic, but not alien.

But by the time they made the Next Generation series, and the Star Trek movies, they found actual Klingons to play the roles. A Klingon named “Worf” was cast as one of the new crew-members of the Enterprise D, and other Klingons were able to perform as well.

Compare:

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You see, people still appreciate the old Star Trek series, because of the fun plot-lines and hippy sensibility, and they did work, in a campy sort of way, but would anyone argue that the series might not be better served by having real Klingons playing Klingon roles?

All of this is just an attempt to satisfy myself that the sexiest women are still women and not little boys. And that Shakespeare plays are probably better now than they were so many years ago.

 

Ten Great Grovers

Top Ten Grovers

By Aaron Dorman

The budget crisis is a big issue in the news today, and one of the most prominent players is tax reform lobbyist Grover Norquist.

Is Gover’s tax pledge good or  bad for the country? Erroneous! His name is Grover. That is the important thing.

The name Grover means “the great teacher” in Sanskrit. In England, however, the name refers to people who work in groves. It is a cognate with the German “Gruber.”

Here are ten of the most prominent Grovers in modern history.

10.Grover Underwood- A satyr and comic sidekick in the “Percy Jackson” young adult series of novels, none of which I have read.

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9.Grover Lowdermilk- baseball pitcher who played nine seasons and won 23 games for 5 different teams from 1909-1920. In 1919, he was traded straight up for Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, a much more famous and interesting player.

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8.Grover Krantz- a professor of anthropology at Washington State University, and a proud believer in Bigfoot. Co-subject of the never-published, nonexistent play “Grover Krantz and Guildenstern are Dead.” By the way, Bigfoot is also nonexistent. Sorry Grover.

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7. Grover Norquist- leader of Americans for Tax Reform. He’s also an amateur comedian, having participated in the charity event “funniest celebrities in Washington.” Whether that speaks to his surprising sense of humor, or Washington’s surprising lack of comedians, is up for others to determine.

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6. Grover’s Bar and Grill- cash only and kid friendly.

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5. Grover Washington Jr.- A pioneer of the smooth jazz genre. That makes him cool.

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4. Hans Gruber- Not quite a Grover, not quite a terrorist. But definitely a memorable villain. He had a good sense of humor. Just like actor Alan Rickman moved from stage to screen, Gruber moved from theft to kidnapping just in time to fall to his death. “A Good Day to Die Hard”, coming soon to a theater near you.

Hans-Gruber

3. Grover Cleveland- Our 22nd and 24th President of the United States. Amazingly, this was the same person both times. He was President at a time of our nation’s history that nobody really knows much about. Wikipedia says he was head of the “Bourbon Democrats”, and in fact he was the only Democrat, Bourbon or otherwise, to be President from 1861 to 1913. An accomplishment Grovers worldwide can take pride in.

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2. Grover Cleveland Alexander- A baseball legend, pitcher Grover Alexander won 373 games (third all-time) and lead the league in ERA five times. He did this largely for two teams, the Phillies and Cubs, who have historically been terrible. I only mention this because I have a personal bias against the Ph illies.

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1. Grover Monster- Adorable blue puppet given life by Frank Oz. The lovable monster educates kids and sings songs, including a famous psychological reflection about his reflection. Whether “Super Grover” counts as a different Grover entirely is open to debate.

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The “Fiscal Cliff”-Lessons From Sim City 4 (and Dakota’s Brain)

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Aaron says:

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I’ve been playing a lot of Sim City 4 doing a lot of job hunting and applying to schools lately, but every now and then my mind wanders to fun times gone by, and the current fiscal crisis triggers within my mind fond memories of an urban planning strategy game I played last night many years ago called Sim City.

This game taught me a lot of things about taxation and budget-crisis management which may be useful for Congress to know.

I understand our Congress’ dilemna. The issue is overwhelming, as well as the lengths to which they must go to compromise, considering the House majority’s position is “we will do anything but compromise.” They made a pledge to their constituents, or to a fat guy named Grover, or to themselves. And so their natural inclination is to walk away, which I totally get, since when I have too much work I am more likely to take a nap than I am to accomplish anything.

But I think Sim City can help. Here are some important lessons I learned from the game, and how they can apply to the budget crisis in Washington.

1. You can’t balance a budget by just cutting shit:

In Sim City, there are a lot of social services you can provide, and they are expensive: education, health, etc. But these services are the only reason people are in your city in the first place. Get rid of them, and people just start to leave your city. Your roads suck. Fires start all the time and there’s nobody to put them out.

This makes your cutting useless because then the property taxes go down as the population goes down.

So basically, no matter what most people say about deficits, they don’t actually want you to cut programs.

Now, people can’t just up and leave the United States like they can Dormanville II, but they CAN not get a job, or a good education, and then have no skills so they can make enough money to pay enough taxes to generate revenue.

So you can’t just cut things.

2. Taxing industry is easier than taxing commerce or individual income.

Ironically, Sim City is conservative in that it really punishes mayors who put high taxes on rich people, as individuals. They just up and leave your city, “Atlas Shrugged” style.

HOWEVER, if you tax corporations, who Mitt Romney says are “people” but are really not people, things don’t really change much. Obviously, if you do something crazy, like double or triple the tax rate for industry, they can’t afford to stay in your city. Many new businesses are discouraged. But if you raise it slightly, it has a much smaller affect. And if you have a lot of industry, it really helps to balance the budget.

What does this mean for the real world USA? Well, Sim City makes a big distinction between commercial enterprises (like a mall) and dirty industry (like a factory). The Sim City gods seem to be saying that heavy or dirty industry is too large and/or too entrenched to be affected by small swings in the tax rates, at least EXISTING COMPANIES.

But there is a big environmental relationship to this as well. Heavy industry in Sim City is very costly as it destroys the land value around it and forces you to pay for things like water treatment plants to help offset the cost of the environmental degradation. Heavy taxation of industry in the game is seen not only as a way to offset such destruction, but also to encourage cleaner companies, like high-tech, instead of the former.

This is a great thing to remember as we try to look to the future. It might be helpful to remind our Congressmen that for any number of reasons (unnecessary to recite here) we should be trying to move away from fossil fuels, particularly in our energy sector, and heavy-polluting industries. They should have to pay for the hidden costs that often they can put on future generations, and more importantly, that in turn should cause us, as a nation, to more seriously consider moving towards a future that values sustainability and efficiency.

That means, hey douchebags, stop fantasizing about a giant pipeline, or horizontal gas drilling, or any of these short-sighted homoerotic nods to the oil and gas industry.

Instead, how about a carbon tax?

3. Balancing the budget takes a long time. 

In Sim City, the only way to cut costs AND maintain a good city is to start general trends, and not try to fix the budget in one cycle. In Sim City, that means slogging through, say, an hour or more of play, waiting to finally finish paying off loans and having your city on financially sound footing again.

In real-time, that might mean trying to figure out deals that work on time scales of more than a decade.

The shrill, apocalyptic nature of the budget talks, which the media eats up, is disingenuous and unproductive.

Fiscal cliff? How about “opportunity to gently reduce the bottomless pit of debt so we are fiscally solvent by the year 2172”?

I don’t think I have anything else to add here.

4. If you are responsible for fucking up the budget, you pay the price.

That’s right, Paul Ryan. And friends. Obama inherited a deficit, it’s not HIS fault he’s stuck with one. You guys were around when there was a surplus, and YOU created a deficit. YOU and YOU and YOU!!!! You are the assholes who caused the crisis, you should do the honorable thing and admit that it’s time for new leadership on the issue.

The Democrats, in large part, HAVE paid the price of their complicity in the matter. So many of them lost their jobs in 2010 because of spending issues, among other things.

But a really neat trick was pulled by many politicians, where all the problems of the Bush years were placed on the shoulders of Bush and only Bush, and when he disappeared, so did any responsibility for those issues. The Iraq war? The deficit? All on Obama. It was as if the people in Congress who authorized such things have no responsibility to run on their record.

Sure, many conservatives are new to Congress, the Tea Party, etc, but their leaders aren’t. John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, basically everybody with visibility on this issue over the past month has blood on their hands. Or just red ink.

So my humble recommendation: do the right thing, admit you suck and raise taxes on the rich again, then allow yourself to be primaried out by a more conservative or more ethnic Republican next election cycle, and live out your life in shame.

Is that such a difficult request?

Dakota says:

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It’s simple. Cut everything. Or at least, everything that isn’t the military.

Just think about it.

Why do we need public education? I barely attended school, I sure didn’t learn nothing, and I sure didn’t need to go to some fancy college to not-learn some more. Although the women’s colleges are a good place to hang out and sit on a bench and have a smoke for a few hours.

All the education you need is in the fields. In your daddy’s fireside wisdom. In the thrill of the hunt.

Okay, so maybe you need a rifle. The government should probably provide free guns. But that’s about it.

If we educated ourselves with the wisdom of the outdoors, if we finally embraced our internal intuition, our understanding of good old American know-how, we wouldn’t need fire departments or police because we would know how to put out our own fires.

We wouldn’t get sick because we’d eat the right amount of meat and not this tofu shit in the stores and we’d know the right herbs and spices to stay alive in case of cardiac arrest. We’d be able to police ourselves with our guns and our guts.