Space Force Monsters 8: The BK Originalist Chicken

Background: A successful product of space monster labs, The BK Chicken, aka “BK Chicken Whopper”, aka “BK Chickenshit Sandwich”, was formed from clay by the Space Monsters for the Constitution, a group dedicated to destroying America. The BK Chicken doesn’t want to be known for demolishing skyscrapers; he insists he’s just a regular family space monster who likes to kick back at the space lounge and throw down a few million space bucks on “baseball tickets”.

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The BK Originalist Chicken was appointed to mediate the rules of war between the space monsters and Space Force. He considers himself an impartial “umpire” who will consider “established precedent” such as Independence Day or Battlefield EarthCritics point out that this is meaningless and does nothing to calm rumors that the BK Chicken wants to enslave human women for “research”. Other critics point out that these movies haven’t aged well, but they are a different kind of critic whose work is tangential to space force.

Evil Monster Superpowers: Selective memory. Can clear $$$ millions of space bucks debt in under a few hours. BK Chicken is armed with a giant pair of space scissors, and he says human women don’t need abortions from licensed human doctors because he can operate on the women himself (in case of emergencies). The scissors also are used to cut through tall buildings, regulatory tape, and can rip a hole in the dimensional fabric of space-time. So buyer beware.vlcsnap-00546

But that’s not all. The BK Chicken loves baseball so much–guess who owns an entire spaceship full of frozen Ted Williams clones?– he has the power to possess the four Presidents of Mt. Rushmore and turn them into city-crushing monsters. There is nothing more terrifying than seeing a 50-foot Teddy Roosevelt punch a hole through an office window and grab a screaming lady. But this is the future we have to look forward to.

Supervillain Catchphrase: “Space Force is an abortion inducing drug.”

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Space Force Monsters 7: OPEN LETTER FROM AN ANONYMOUS SPACE FORCE MONSTER

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I received an anonymous e-mail this morning and have decided to publish it in full:

“Dear Dakota McKee,

I am writing to you because I noticed you recently began a series of profiles about space monsters with the intent of rallying support for a human Space Force. Implicit is the concern that the alien space monsters’ mothership presence in your solar system represents an existential crisis for Mother Earth, and by proxy, America.

I share with you this concern. However, I want to emphasize, as a space monster myself, I am not at odds with the space monster agenda. I believe that leveling cities and burying bodies alive in the rubble has overall been good for both space monsters and humans alike. But unlike those who control the mothership, I do not believe that their methods are sound. I believe Lord Zrumpf to be an amoral and overzealous alien overlord. Rest assured, there are some space monsters including myself who have endeavored to reign in his most space-monstrous impulses.

It is important for humans to recognize that the best way to resist the space monsters is not through radical means such as creating a Space Force, which would damper the sympathies of space monsters such as myself towards your Earthly plight. But rather I implore the humans, during the upcoming truce negotiations, to instead seek a more galactic consensus, one that temporarily ignores grievances by human against space monster, in favor of a more pragmatic and deferential approach that is likely to garner support from the ranks of both space monsters and humans alike.

Feel free to reference this anonymous message on twitter with the hashtag: #notallspacemonsters.

Sincerely, ___________________”

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Which space monster do you think wrote to me? Was it Jared from Starway? One of the Cohnheads? Two-headed mothership mainstay John-Kellyann-Neoconway? Number 2 Pence Ill? Let the Speculation Begin!

 

Space Force Monsters 6: Pruitticorn

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Background: Before the space monsters declared war on America, Pruitticorn actually sued Planet Earth for not letting space monsters kill humans fast enough. Therefore, as a bit of an in-joke, Pruitticorn was briefly in charge of the “Space Monsters Human Protection Program”, before an unfortunate incident with hand lotion forced him into temporary retirement.

Evil Superpowers: Do not be fooled by his handsome torso-face. Pruitticorn is a formidable enemy for any Space Force. He has the power to turn the very instruments of our planetary defense against us, to become weapons of space monster destruction. He can turn solar panels into mountains of coal. Pristine beaches into crude oil slicks. When Pruitticorn is feeling particularly monstrous, he tempts human children with cans of insecticide, or asbestos mysteriously purchased from Russia.

Evil Catchphrase: None. Pruitticorn only issues statements through subordinate space monsters. All direct conversations with Pruitticorn take place inside his new soundproof spaceship.

 

Space Force Monsters 5: Lady #MAGA

Background: The daughter of powerful space monsters, Lady #MAGA doesn’t believe anyone can read her poker face … but nobody interprets her photogenic smiling, while space monsters destroy our cities, as inscrutable, so much as tone-deaf.

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Space monsters separate human children from their parents at the atmospheric boundary layer? Lady #MAGA poses with her alien spawn.

Monstrous space weapons blasting toilet paper at a defenseless Puerto Rico? Lady #MAGA promises “we come in peace, Alejandro.”

And just when space monsters start singling out specific humans as crooked, slippery and dumb, Lady #MAGA tells Earth to “ignore the trolls, just dance.”

Don’t be fooled. Lady #MAGA doesn’t want to destroy the Earth … but that’s because she wants to rule it. Lest you think a benevolent space monster overlord wouldn’t be such a bad idea, here is a photo of Lady #MAGA in her true, 50-foot space monster form:

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She is married to #J/K-LOL, who was once a human but was willingly transformed into a space monster to pursue his intergalactic ambitions. They may be living in a bad romance.

Evil Superpowers: None, really. But, like Lucy with the football, she’ll agree to peace summits with important humans like Al Gore or Planned Parenthood … only to stand back and do nothing when space monsters go on the attack.

Evil Catchphrase: “Pessimists are toxic. Space monsters are also toxic, when they spray alien venom on their enemies. But at least they’re not pessimists. What I’m trying to say is: we’re solution oriented. #MAGA u-la-la.”

 

Space Force Monsters 4: No. 2 Pence ill

Background: No. 2 Pence Ill doesn’t call the shots, okay? He’s not No. 1 Pence ill. That’s somebody else. He’ll always be No. 2. Even though appointing Yacht Syndrome as Space Monster of Education was his idea. Appointing Pruitticorn as the Space Monster of Littering was also his idea. The Mnuchin Massacre? The Zinke Deficiency? No. 2. again!

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But threatening Planet Earth and world leaders like Rosie O’Donnell with “quantum plasma radiation and extraterrestrial umbrage the likes of which this galaxy has never seen before”? That was probably not No. 2’s recommendation.

No. 2. Pence ill comes from a planet with an atypical atmospheric composition and thus does not believe in the carbon-greenhouse effect that occurs on Planet Earth.

As for his own personal goals, No. 2. Pence ill hopes to vaporize the rings of Saturn, which he believes promotes homosexuality, and awaits the coming of the second Big Bang, during which all space monsters will be raptured into the Dark Universe.

Evil Superweakness: If in the same room with two females (or more) at a time, No. 2. Pence Ill can’t remember which one is his mother and will devolve into an aborted fetus.

Evil Catchphrase: “Frankly, condoms are a very very poor protection against the vacuum of space. Go Hoosiers!”

Space Force Monsters 3: Bolt-Goat

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Background: Bolt-Goat is an inventor. The giant steampunk mailbox (see above)? That was his idea. Bolt-Goat is a thought leader.  He’s also been characterized by his peers as evil, hyper-aggressive and all-around batshit insane.

This is incorrect.

Bolt-Goat is goatshit insane.

Special Powers: Harassing U.N. representatives. Growing out evil mustaches. Scaring people. Seriously, Bolt-Goat is scary. He scares me.

Bolt-Goat likes to plan preemptive military campaigns involving liberal use of nuclear weapons while molding clay sculptures. The sculptures never get finished. Nobody except Bolt-Goat knows what it means. It’s possible he just enjoys being creepy.

Evil Catchphrase: “I don’t do carrots.”

Space Force Monsters 2: Blueberry Poopface and Vampire Monkey Man

Background: These fools are in the background of every photo of every space monster-sponsored event. Speeches, cocktail parties … there they are, on the left or on the right, looking clueless and yet only too appropriate. Just because they won’t come down to Earth and become giant-sized to destroy skyscrapers doesn’t mean they aren’t space monsters. Usually, they take on the role of feckless cheerleading during a particularly vile space monster attack.

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Blueberry Poopface used to leave juicy “presents” in other people’s beds during space monster college. He’s now dating someone at Fox’s Space Channel.

Vampire Monkey Man prefers to work behind the scenes LinkedIn page says he works in “potions”, which is totally vague. There was that one-time Vampire Monkey man made a space monster of his own but it didn’t do much damage.

Verdict: these two are annoying but pretty easy to dismiss, unless Blueberry Poopface decides to run for President, which would be a disaster. And yet this seems inevitable.

Special Powers: Derp face. Disappointing father. “Secret” negotiations with foreign governments.

Evil Catchphrase: “I’m going to feed my daughter candy, fatten her up, throw her into the oven and consume her delicious corpse. It’s never too early to teach her about socialism.”

Space Force Monsters 1: Melania Repulsa

 

The year was 1994. Donald Trump hadn’t even entered the picture yet.

You might say the current political crisis in outer space, that which necessitates a space force to protect America, began when Melania Repulsa first emerged from a thousand-year slumber inside a dumpster in Slovenia on the moon:

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While nominally in a position of power to inflict maximum damage on the American experiment in democracy the downtown commercial sectors of our great metropolises–City Grove, Springtown, Albanyville–Melania is mostly just a figurehead. As we shall see later in this series, others in the space monster hierarchy supply the brains, the muscle, the useless-descendant hijinks, etc. She just kind of stands around looking strangely alien. It’s still no excuse, and I hope she is pulverized by the space force.

Special Powers: stealing quotes from famous black women. Can morph into a mannequin at will. A garish sense of personal and interior Christmas decoration. Surprisingly powerful hand slap. Most recently: ironic chain migration.

Evil Catchphrase: “At last! It’s time to conquer…meh. I don’t really care, do you?”

 

Are Editorial Columnists Parasites?

Opinions are a lot juicier than “just the facts”, and a lot more fun to write (see: what I am typing right now?).

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Misha at several weeks old.

Although the internet has exponentially expanded and power and prevalence of opinionated “journalism”, the op-ed section of newspapers (or news outlets) remains the most glorified space for such pontification.

The NY Times has recently received a lot of much-deserved flack for its stuffing the editorial section with “controversial” Never-Trumpers. The Wall Street Journal has become notorious for its right-wing columns. For some reason, we have simply come to accept that this word vomit from very important people is separate but equal to the hard news sections of papers. And what’s wrong with a little provocation?

Tonight I came across an op-ed so mean-spirited and bad that it helped me remember that just because an editorial is an opinion, that doesn’t mean real news publications should make them adhere to real standards of journalism. If the question(s) that an article provokes are difficult or uncomfortable, that is fine. But they must not be questions that have already been answered. 

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Misha parasitically snoozing on my lap.

We should not confuse a columnist’s hot-take as contributing to “the conversation” when it is derived from their ignorance or even mendacity.

Especially when science is involved (such as climate change), “opinions” are of significantly less value when there is readily available evidence and/or logical reasoning to explain or counteract whatever uneducated claims are being made.

And it bothers me because there is a lot of malice behind the challenging of conventions and learned wisdom in the Trump Era, not solely limited to the political sphere. Take, for instance, the article that inspired me to write this blog post at three in the morning: Chris Reed’s screed that dogs are actually parasites.

Not only does Chris Reed attack both dog owners and their dogs in an underhanded manner, but he smugly asserts he will be attacked online for his radical truth bomb or whatever he thinks it is that he wrote, most likely in under an hour to meet a deadline (see, anyone can sucker punch, but these people, not the Mexicans, are the people I’ll be competing against in the journalism job market).

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Misha parasitically posing for teatime.

I will now assert that Chris Reed is 100% wrong, and that is not an opinion, that is an established fact of science, one he should have researched before he wrote his piece.

The question Chris Reed is asking, underneath the nastiness, is actually a good one, or would be if it hadn’t already been studied comprehensively: when dogs, or any animals, form a relationship with humans, are we just projecting emotions onto them, or is there a shared intention and understanding between us?

The scientific answer has slowly but surely moved from “non-human animals are organic automatons without a soul and whose actions and reactions are hardwired, instinctual behavior that is completely different from the self-aware human experience” to “yes, many animals, especially mammals or those whose intelligence it is easy to recognize (octopuses), do in fact have objective emotional lives” and, even if the process is not yet complete, we are now able to more fully understand other animals perceptions of themselves and the world around them.

Advances in neuroscience, and arguably science ethics as well, mean scientists can study and observe brain function and development to prove that our dogs do not merely play-act companionship, but feel an attachment to their owner/parent.

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Misha parasitically eating my slipper.

Yes, Mr. Shitsnack cites some articles and books in his diatribe (although he links an article, not the book, in the embedded link for the book). No, they do not prove “dogs are parasites” nor do they offer a substantive refutation of the latest scientific consensus, nor do they try (the book he cites is from 2001 yet may already be anachronistic).

I mention he is underhanded in his argument: knowing that it’s somewhat shaky ground to argue against dogs in the year 2018, he devotes some sentences to condemning the extremes some dog owners will go to, including plastic surgery, designer meals and other luxury excesses. See, people who love their dogs are crazy!

Except this really has nothing to do with dog-ownership at all. These complaints about absurd pet pampering are about material status, fetishism and attention-seeking.

There is not a slippery slope from spending “too much” time with your dog to buying it a dream doghouse in Majorca. In fact, the people who go to such dumb lengths demonstrate a misunderstanding of their pet and its emotional needs, similar to how parents who obnoxiously spoil their child (this was never the case with me, pay no attention to the crates of LEGOs in the family basement) are hurting, not fostering, love and socialization.

Of course, I am “biased” and like many others am lucky enough to have had some wonderful dogs in my life, include two family pets, some slobbery flatmates and one pupper who I rescued in Korea. I have also wondered in the past if, in letting them sleep on the bed or whine for treats or take the lead on walks, I am ceding “alpha male” territory or letting myself be taken advantage of.

On some level, it doesn’t matter, especially since pets often provide a necessary therapeutic role in our lives. This is definitely the case with me. Also, I have been curious enough to want to know ‘the truth’, not go with my first instinct or last instinct or pick a fun affectation with which I can harass pet-owners at parties. I am sure there are local libraries in San Diego where this mansplaining moron can educate himself with some free book-learning.

To wrap this all up as an appeal to better journalism, yes, even op-ed writers have a responsibility to use their platform with knowledge and integrity. A big-city paper should not be printing half-baked arguments that are merely better-worded versions of what you can find in the comments section. If the writer cannot hold himself up that modest standard of competency, then their superiors should replace them with someone else who is up to the challenge.

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I foolishly interpreted this tongue wag as affection. It could just as easily be parasitic indifference.

I Made A Four-Dimensional Portal Out of Artichokes

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Just kidding. I don’t even eat artichokes!

But I wanted a clickbait title.

I’m reading a science fiction book about space. It’s a fun book–so far–but for the frustrating trite trope that aliens achieve > light-speed travel through “bending” space or utilizing hidden dimensions to find shortcuts over otherwise impossibly distant locations. EVERY STORY THAT EXPLAINS THIS USES THE EXAMPLE OF FOLDING A PIECE OF PAPER SO 2D “FLATLAND” PEOPLE CAN QUICKLY GET TO EACH OTHER ON A MAP.

I have given much thought to this and come to the irrefutably correct conclusion that THIS KIND OF TRAVEL IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!

Try to imagine the fourth dimension for a moment. Or at least, try to imagine the fourth dimension as a SPACIAL dimension. Since it’s slightly easier to conceive of the fourth dimension as time (TEMPORAL).

Spoiler alert: you can’t. It’s impossible. The fourth dimension is infinitely greater than our 3D world, just as our 3D world expands infinitely off from a 2D surface. We can very crudely describe 4D shapes just as we can draw 3D shapes in 2D. Tesseracts, or “hypercubes”, are fascinating for their hints of a world ‘beyond’ our own, a glimpse into the next frontier.

But accessing this fourth dimension as a means of circumventing the rules of e=mc2? I am skeptical!

Let us turn again to the oft-used analogy of the folded piece of paper. As you can see from the picture below, the conventional wisdom is that when the folded sections “touch”, they form a connection to one another.

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This is only superficial. In truth, we have no way of knowing whether two-dimensional beings could travel in such a manner. The paper trick is actually a poor analogy because as this thin as it is, there is still ‘depth’ to the sheet. The two sheets “touch” but they don’t actually become ‘one.’ I don’t think there’s any way a two-dimensional plane with ZERO depth could be linked by a 3D mechanism. Imagine being a “2d” being on this piece of paper, which we will call “flatland” because everybody does because it was the title of the Edwin Abbott book. annotatedflatlandcover

As the other side of Flatland was folded towards your side, you would not be able to see any of this happening (I suppose if you could look far enough and the view was unobstructed you would notice your 2d universe bended back on itself). The descending portion of Flatland is unlikely to affect the other half of Flatland in any way, until it actually touches. But  I still don’t understand how they might ‘join’ together in a way that you can travel between the two parts of Flatland. Because Flatland has no third dimensions, the two halves of their universe could be infinitely close and yet have no affect on one another, nor a way to bring the two together. The two sides of Flatland could somehow “join” together in some crazy cataclysmic scenario; or one side could actually fold ‘into’ the other. But in that case, the two halves of Flatland are connected via an infinitely small portion of 2d space. No matter what the case, whatever contortion of Flatland that allows such tricky travelling requires the aid of an extra-dimensional “force”, for which we currently have no analogy.

We envision a helper mechanism in a “wormhole”, some kind of tunnel between two portions of 3D space that allow one to circumvent the rules of sublight travel. hLZYNSc

It’s some awesome, heady stuff. Perhaps there are 4d aliens who can not only see 3d beings but for some benevolent urge decide to “help” us by construction such connections.

As of yet, however, there’s nothing in OUR technology or even understand of physics that would allow for such a thing to exist. We’ve never seen one and we don’t even really know what one would look like (although the most interesting guesses in fiction involve a spherical “portal” through which you can see the other side, as in the film “Interstellar”. I think it’s wonderful to imagine such a device and it would be foolish to say such things cannot exist, after black holes exist and they don’t make a lick of sense, either.

But as of now I still view extra dimensions as things that are inaccessible, possibly even non-existent except as mathematical concepts. Or they may be beyond the grasp of three-dimensional humans (or other aliens/animals).