Were I born a more introspective sort, it might be given me to wonder why as many an evening's entertainment as has, in my short life, ended with me alone in the shower, at 4 a.m., washing large areas of my body with lighter fluid. At least the cops got called. Another one for the scrapbook.
30th of May, 1431, Jeanne d'Arc was executed for the crime of heresy by burning. Her preceding interrogation was thoroughly documented and provides posterity with a richer account of her early years than any other person living at that time. Funny things that happen when you make a martyr. Well documented as well is 19-year-old Jeanne's extreme piety, up to the moment of her immolation. It's this evidence that led Pope Callexitus III to reopen her case and overturn her conviction, 24 years too late. 509 years after the fact, Pope Benedict XV canonized her. I cannot pretend to know what was in St. Joan's mind as the flames reached to hold her. It would be absurd to literally compare anything befalling me in my life to date with the incredible waste of the passionate young woman. But, as I am fired from my comfortably unsatisfying job on her death-day, I feel a kinship with the patron saint of all of us who were useful and then cast aside.
This image is intended as a preview and, hopefully, appetite-whetter for an on-line comic I'd like to start serializing on my ComicSpace page this summer. It's a sensitive tale of a young girl and a Skunk-Ape beating the crap out of each other. Huge shout-out to Durable Danny Green for all of his able assistance on coloring this image and his tireless tutorial in Photoshop basics.
Monday begins the first ever, Fist-a-cuffs Round 3 Pre-Tournament Rumble Royale. First ever, Round 3? I'll admit, that's awkward phrasing. This will be the 3rd FACA Fighting Tournament. Due to the number of participants, this tournament will be divided into two events. Before the regular tournament, eleven fighters will square off at once in the brand-new, Rumble Royale free-for-all format battle. A fighter I trained, (NOT PICTURED ABOVE) will be competing in the Rumble, so I am very excited. The winner is decided by audience votes, so I want everyone who loves me to check this thing out. The tournament rules prohibit me disclosing which fighter I am sponsoring, which is right and fair, so don't ask. Once again: NEITHER FIGHTER PICTURED ABOVE IS COMPETING FOR ME IN THE FACA3 TOURNAMENT OR RUMBLE ROYALE!
Happy Birthday to Richard P. Feynman! He passed away February 15th, 1988, leaving the rest of us a little stupider. "Physics is like sex; it may give some practical results, but that isn't why we do it."
This is my new hairstyle. For people who might read this who have not met me in person, or who have not known me long, it is likely not all that impressive. Let me just say, though; at age 14, in the summer between my high-school freshman and sophomore years, having decided that NJ ROTC wasn't really doing it for me, I grew my hair out past my shoulders. So it has been, with only the briefest and most minor interruptions, (Mohawk here, sides and back shaved there, all of it just barely short enough to spike up for half a summer...) ever since. I kind of assumed I'd keep it long for as long as I could keep it. Many different colors, sometimes in corn-rows, once in micro-braids, mostly in a pony-tail, I think I understand now that I kept it out of laziness. I have the straightest, finest hair. It almost never tangles. It also never stays styled. When I could tie it up behind my head, that was it, I could ignore it. I'm impressed now with how bizarre it is to be acutely aware, at all times, of the exact position of every hair on my head. OK, maybe not the exact position, but I'm certainly aware when any hair is not in the position I had assigned it. How does anyone accomplish anything? It is incredible that civilization has not collapsed around people's hairstyles. From now on, I'm only trusting pony-tails, dreadlocks, and bald heads to get anything done.
"The goal of IQ2 US is to raise the level of public discourse on our most challenging issues. To provide a new forum for intelligent discussion, grounded in facts and informed by reasoned analysis. To transcend the toxically emotional and the reflexively ideological. To encourage recognition that the opposing side has intellectually respectable views. To engage the live audience as active participants who will ask questions and decide which speakers have carried the day by voting on the motions both before and after the debate. "
I admire the ideal of engaging intellectual interaction, but really, what I love is chuckling to myself at how far they fall short of "transcend(ing) the toxically emotional and the reflexively ideological." The debates are aired on NPR stations and archived at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6263392.
They had a hot one on today; "Better more domestic surveillance than another 9/11". In a refreshing turn, the audience, which polled for the motion before the debate, decisively polled against at the end of arguments. Mind, I don't believe any of the "fors" converted, but most of the initially "undecideds" moved to the "against" camp. Small victories.
I am struck, in this debate, by the obvious uselessness and futility embodied in the quest for the chimera "security". So little of certainty in our mysterious existence, and I am finally coming to the stage in my life that I can really appreciate the lack of certainty. Because: what is certain? We can reasonably assume, based on give-or-take two thousand years of okay record keeping, as well as ever-improving archaeological evidence, that most everything living will die. As living things, humans have not in large part developed an ability, (technological or innate) to determine our individual spans with any accuracy, short of opting for an arbitrary and immediate end. So far, I'm thinking, certainty sucks.
In my opinion, any attempt to forcefully increase quantity of life for any individual or group of individuals only definitely serves to adversely affect quality of life, not only for the test group, but for all lives in oscillation around them. Ask the Fisher King. Self-preservation is an absolutely understandable and relateabledrive in individuals. And completely valid when applied in instances such as; not stepping into oncoming traffic, or not continually reminding your girlfriend how hot you think her sister is. I do not believe that the will to live is reasonably exercised in groups the size of nations. Individual desire to continue corporeal existence will contribute very little of any use to relations between 7 billion souls. Not everyone can be guaranteed the freedom to live forever. But, if enough people could reexamine their priorities, everyone could be afforded a freedom to really live.