Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Science is whatever we want it to be.

OK, after listening to my friend Ira Glass' two part radio program on health care, I think I've got a pretty good handle on things. When I am king, one of the first decrees I shall make is, "Fix health care." Even though the problems are old and convoluted, they'll be easily whisked away in a way that no president can whisk. Not even Obama, that charming motherfucker.

If you haven't listened to the This American Life special on health care, you should. But for now I'll give you the Reader's Digest Condensed version without the evil Christian angle. Here it is in a nutshell: Everyone wants to be wealthy and live forever.

That's it. The crux of all our problems. If we all had our way we'd be immortal versions of Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. Now while that would be awesome, like too much of anything there would be problems. Problem number one would be, who'd do math? Problem number two would be, who'd play the sidekick? As you can see, society would quickly break down if this were the case. So it is breaking down now. How can we resist the dream of looking good in an eye patch?

First thing. Everyone wants to be wealthy. Doctors want money from helping people. That's a noble cause, isn't it? But what if they help too much? People want to be wealthy by not having to spend money on being helped, though they want the help to be limitless. Insurance companies want to become wealthy being a middle man between the helpers and the helpees. Now we've got a serious case of helpees. (I just couldn't help typing that even though it has nothing to do with my point.)

So what do we do? Easy. We need to decouple money and health care, and couple money with health. Here's my plan. Every single person will pay a tax that will be the premium for health care insurance. The insurance will be a large oligarchy run coop that will be 100% non profit. Doctors will get paid a modest salary based on their specialty and amount of training and experience. Here's the kicker: they'll be a bonus for having really healthy patients. So for example, if you're a General Practitioner with your patients only coming in for basic checkups and vaccinations and stuff, you'll make more than if you have a lot of repeat business for the same issues. It'll be in your best interest to keep your people as healthy as possible before they come to see you with a problem. So maybe during your check-ups you'll spend a little time going over what a healthy diet is with your patients and how important exercise is, and less time treating type 2 diabetes.

Now don't worry. Doctors won't be penalized for treating their patients with problems. Shit happens and when it does they need to be ready to do what ever it takes. However, if you can treat a condition with a generic drug or a less complicated procedure and get a great result, there's some extra cash in it for you. Do you know that back surgeons currently do a more complicated back operation that involves plates and pins when an older more effective version of the operation exists? Why? Because if they do more they get paid more. Plain and simple.

Of course, if you skimp and refuse to treat issues to try and get some bonus money and the result is a patient's condition worsens or they even die, you'll be tried and convicted of neglect and you could face jail time and at the very least become a janitor at a penitentiary. Not needing big insurance companies I'll have some money left over to do reviews of all doctors to make sure things are being done correctly. Honestly, I'm not that worried about it. Doctors go into health care because they enjoy helping people be healthy. I truly believe that. I think it only goes bad when there's a big drug company waving a lot of cash in front of them so they prescribe the $600 drug instead of the $50 generic drug. Who could resist that temptation when the patient has insurance and will never even see the real price of the drug? When I am king that temptation will be gone.

Now if you want to be a doctor outside the system, that's fine but you will only be able to charge the patient directly for services. This way when a person goes in for a Pitt pectoral implant or a Jolie lip job, they can but will have to pay what ever the market rate is. Hypochondriac and want a CAT scan ever month? Sure, on your dime. I'll make sure my system creates the healthiest population in the world, but if you're looking for something above and beyond, then it's only fitting that you pay for that extra service.

Now there's the issue of the drug companies. Of course I think it's a good idea to incentivize the development of new useful drugs. So does the current U.S. Government and they do it by taking your tax money and giving it to companies to help fund their research. I'll continue this practice, but the double pay day will not be there any more. What business gets subsidized and then gets to charge enormous amounts of money for the product they make? It's one or the other. If you want to develop a drug using private investors' money, charge what ever the market will pay. If you want a hand out from the king, you'll make a reasonable mark up that takes into consideration how much it truly cost the company to develop and manufacture it. Basically I'm saying if the people pay for it, it's theirs already.

I'll also form a non-profit drug company. Sounds crazy? I think nay. I know scientists. They love to do science, and they hate to deal with keeping a company's stock prices high. I bet I could attract a large number of scientists from all over the world who'd jump at the chance to do pure science. They'd also get special bonuses for working on really effective drugs, and I'll also put their pictures on the drug bottles and have their World of Warcraft characters level up a few levels for each break through. Don't tell me I don't know how to motivate nerds.

So that's my plan. I know I left out a bunch of details, and of course horrible things will happen until the bugs get worked out of the plan, but I think it'll all work out in the end.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Path to the Dark Side.

Well, it's close to Halloween and yet again half of me wants to do something cool like build a Half Life 2 safety suit and be Gordon Freeman, and half of me could not care less about the holiday at all. OK, it's more like 60% of me not giving a shit, and that is why I end up doing pretty much nothing. Also, I know that it will be another year of disappointment as I rediscover that candy corn's stripes are all the same flavor.

Maybe it's because deep down I know that Halloween is a holiday for people who are too wimpy to be what they want to be all year round. A fake light saber and tunic do not make you a Jedi. Waiting at a traffic light and using your mind to make the light turn green quicker is what makes you a Jedi. You don't have to wait until October 31st for this. You can do it every day. I do! Can you imagine how much better everything would be if "sexy nurse" was something women (and I guess men) could dress like every day? How much easier life would be if the criminally insane wore hockey masks at times other than when playing hockey?

Now the goths kind of get this, and I applaud them. Sure, Hot Topic starts advertising their stuff as "costumes" some autumn, but let's face it. We all know the store is exactly the same on November first minus the Halloween Sale signs. OK, maybe they put their fake fangs away for the rest of the year, but I bet they leave a few out all the time. Don't fool yourself Goths, we all know you play Sookie/Bill all year round. (In bed.)

Another aspect of the holiday that bums me out is the emphasis on quantity and not the quality of the treat. Pink and yellow sugar dots on a strip of wax paper? What? Did we lose a war? Oh right, we did, but still... Even your store bought name brand stuff like Snickers is really just crap. Wouldn't you want a nice home made brownie instead of a bag full of crap? Oh, and you apple/toothbrush givers, I have one thing to say to you. Fuck you. When I am king they'll be a special holiday called St. Lame-o day where you can give out things that are good for people.

So, when I am king, this is how it will go. There will be no store bought costumes of any kind. That kind of misses the point, doesn't it? A rayon smock with the name and picture of your favorite Transformer on it is really just a way of saying, "My parents don't care about me." You're not fooling anyone. Go out and make your own costume. It's not that hard. Some green tights, a feather in your hat, compound bow and viola: you're Robin Hood. Get a bathrobe a white wig, broom handle and you're Gandalf. This goes for the wealthy too. Yeah, your dad owns most of Microsoft and got you an original Banana Splits costume. Screw you.

Also wandering around asking for things is begging and that's a slippery slope to socialism. So none of that. Families will be required to make their own treats. If you can't get a box of Quaker Oats, a pound of sugar and some butter and make an Oatmeal cookie than you're not fit for life anyway. They'll be festivals in local parks for people to show off their costumes where people with good costumes will get high praise and people dressed as hobos will be spanked while in a stockade.

But here's the good part. People who make the finals will get the most wondrous prize of all: A license to wear their costume all year round when ever they feel like it. Can you imagine the awesomeness of this world? The Grand Prize winners? Traffic lights will be programmed to change to green when they're in front of one. That is how it will be when I am king.

Friday, May 22, 2009

On a routine expedition...

OK, it's been a while. Not really sure why. I'm as ranty as ever, I've just been more focused on work and when I get home, fun times with the wife and, of course, my little electro-music-laboratory (pronounced la-boar-a-tory, like a west European mad scientist would say it)

But a little nice little reply to an older post (thanks Jill!) got me thinking I should release another rant to the universe. Something has been irking me too. It's the regurgitation of my craptastic childhood TV shows into bad new movies.

You might say, well they were bad in the first place... and you'd be right... but they were crappy in a special way. The way Sid and Marty Krofft intended them to be... hastily made schlock to fill up time between Lucky Charms commercials. They knew we had nothing else, so we sat hypnotized as each week, grown men in rubber suits pretended to be sea monsters, proto-man, dragons and, of course hats. Hats? What the fuck were Sid and Marty smoking? Let's just hope that all those shows were the result of a psychedelic infused drug stupor, greed and laziness. All I can say is, if they were actually trying to make quality programs and the notion that Ruth Buzzy in space would be an awesome idea for a show, these guys need to be punished severely for their creations....

... but I loved them so. The love that can really only be called nostalgia for a time when work meant getting beaten up at school and dodging stupid arithmetic homework. Times were simple and the TV that filled up our brains was even simpler. Oh I have a great idea for a TV show! We'll make a cartoon about an ape... that's purple. He only says, "Grape Ape." Awesome.

So now, we've got Will Ferrell pooping all over one of the best of the crappy shows from my childhood: Land Of The Lost. Don't get me wrong, when he played the character Marshall Willenholly in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, I "got it." Now it has gone too far. Booby jokes in my Land Of The Lost? FUCK YOU WILL FERRELL!

So hear ye, hear ye. When I am king all my subjects will be required to respect the tone and soul of the crap they're recreating (like the expertly done recent Speed Racer movie) or prove to me that an update will be an improvement, like the latest take on Battlestar Galactica. You can't just take a campy crap 70s TV show and make it into a formulaic "Oh look it's Will Ferrell in another impossible role" piece of shit. When I'm king, if he does this again I'm going to make him play different take on Edward Scissorhands where he's got hammers instead of scissors and he beats himself about the head all through the movie. Yes, he will do his own stunts too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Up all night!

Last night I had an odd thing happen to me. I'm calling it PAIS. That stands for phantom ankle itch syndrome. I have no idea why, but it feels like I got some sort of bug bite, but with no swelling or redness at all. Actually no visible signs what so ever. Just an itch that can't be ignored and will not let me sleep. It sucks. I'm betting it's mental in origin, but I really have no idea.

This happened one before and I emptied a benedryl into some hand cream and viola, topical medicine ala McGiver! Last night I wasn't so lucky. Out of benedryl. Sad. I tried like hell to ignore it, but then I got the bright idea to swing over to the ol' Pac-n-save and get me some sweet, sweet, pharmaceuticals. OH NO! Pac-n-save was closed!

Thus began my hour long drug search odyssey in the east bay. My report back to you is this: I could not find a single instance of open retail of any kind at 1:00 AM on a Tuesday morning. If you were thinking I was going to decree away bizarre afflictions that are probably psychologically based, you're wrong. If my power was that strong I'd be way more than king, let me tell you. No, my decree will go like this: If you are a chain convenience store (I'm looking at you 7/11) you WILL BE OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK INCLUDING HOLIDAYS. Why? Because if you're going to charge 400% more for beef jerky for the privilege of getting to stand behind the loser old guy who takes 74 minutes to pick out lottery tickets, I'm going to say that's not "convenience."

Now, I won't have to do this in places like New York, because they already get it. They know the value of being open during times that aren't fun to be open, but are a service to your customers. How did Californians get so damn lazy about this? Hell, I've worked all night making a god damn video game that no one really needed, but we can't have all night retail? Also, if you are going to call yourself a diner, you need to never close and have a waitress that will call me "hun."

I know this isn't one of those society changing decrees, but frankly, I'm god damn tired. You never need a lawnmower, ice skate, or sundial at 1:00 AM, but things like beef jerky and over the counter allergy medicine are things that every Marklarian will have available to them as a Mark given right.

Oh yeah, Slurpees too!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Smell ya later Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp!

So, I'm checking out my pal (one day in charge of my kingdom's press core) Jon the other day and he had a little commentary about the mass infestation of pythons due to the proliferation of escaped pets in Florida.

Well well well, don't think I'll be forgetting that when I am king, little Florida. Don't think I won't revoke your statehood and give it to Purto Rico, because I will. But this debacle points to a bigger problem facing my kingdom-to-be. That problem is white trash ass holes who think wild animals make great pets. You know the people I'm talking about. They're the ones who go to street fairs with snakes draped around their unshirted shoulders. You can see them gloating about how cool they think their snake looks against their barbed-wire-arm-band tattoo. Well poser jerk-off-white-trash dude, you're days as wildlife tormentor will be over as soon as I'm in power. ENOUGH.

...and if you bird people are snickering at the snake dudes, you can wipe that smile right off your face. Birds too will be illegal in my regime. As a matter of fact, I am making a decree:

If an animal can, and would rather live in the wild, it will be illegal to keep it as a pet.

Hear this crazy chimp owners: you won't be grandfathered in either, even though I enjoyed many episodes of Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp. I will have teams of animal protection people patrolling the land making sure your cute little chimp won't have a chance to rip your friend's face off.

Yes, this will have far reaching implications. It will include hamsters, fish, lizards, ferrets... the whole shebang. I'm not sure what we'll do with all the reclaimed critters, but I'm toying around with tasking the royal chefs to get working on some new dishes. Does ferret taste like chicken? We'll find out! Oh and people who think it's weird to eat a ferret but not a cow or chicken, what are you thinking? They somehow have better souls or something? Zoos could be another possibility, but I'm not sure how much draw a hamster exhibit will have. I guess if you had a cage with a couple of thousand gerbils in it that could be interesting to see. It may just be better to keep the snakes in the zoo and use the rodents and birds as food for the snakes, since that's how it's all set up to work in the first place. Can you neuter a snake? Eventually they'll die of old age or something, I'm sure... OR AM I?

Sure, some will call me a monster for separating loving pets from their owners, but guess what? Your pets hate you. You know how you can tell? YOU KEEP THEM IN A CAGE. I know my dog loves us because she won't even wander too far when she's off leash at a dog park. My cat wants out, but she'd be just as happy to have the birds she sees outside come in. Plus there are TONS of perfectly great dogs and cats wasting away in shelters. They're being denied a home because you think a python is a better pet?

P.S. Buzzy, if you're reading this don't worry, when I put a wall around Florida and turn it into a penile colony I'll give you ample notice.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We don't have time! You're just going to have to trust me!

So Mark Danner is all up in arms about US torture. I've been thinking a lot about torture lately as it's a really entertaining part of my weekly TV viewing. Whether it's Jack Bauer holding a stun gun to some one's neck, Sayid having fun with a pair of pliers or Admiral Adama flushing someone out an airlock, it all adds up to exciting times. So what's Danner's beef? Oh right. Human rights. Geneva convention. Seems so quaint, doesn't it? Remember when our foes had nice discernible armies and their tendency to want to commit genocide made them the guys you loved to hate? Ah the good old days...

To further blur things, I started to think about things I consider torture. I consider being put in prison pretty torturous. Other forms of light torture include being behind someone driving 50 in the fast lane and having neighbors walk their dogs in front of your house and not pick up after their pets. Oddly my dog likes the smell of these presents, though she seems to hate her own when it's bagged up and in danger of getting near her. Some might consider being forced to eat a pulled pork sandwich torture, yet I consider it one of god's greatest gifts. Being put in a pile of naked men would make me tell the location of a bomb even if I didn't know where it was, but I have friends who go to clubs to freely engage in such behavior for fun. Having buildings that were a part of my world destroyed for no reason by airliners sent me into torturous panic attacks for quite some time and I didn't even lose anyone I knew in the attacks. Other people thought these attacks were a fun good idea.

So if torture is so subjective how do you define it? I guess when I'm king I'm going to have to define it case by case. Like if we found a child's body buried in your back yard and the kid across the street is missing and there's bits of his hair in your house, I think a great idea to pull out the dental instruments and have at it. I'm going to say they'll like it because I know people who do like similar stuff. They pay to go into crazy clubs where all sorts of shenanigans go on! How can something be considered torture if perfectly reasonable people like it? OK, in my version you might end up missing bits and you won't be dressed in black vinyl, but it's all good!

Then there are those who ask, "What if the information you get from the child killer isn't good?" I don't really care. I hope it's good, but in the end I want to create some information of my own. That information is pretty simple. Fuck with my kingdom and the people in it and the gloves will come off. It will happen in broad daylight. Now, I'm not talking about situations where "We suspect" a person did it. Of course all of those situations will have actual investigations and will play out more like an episode of Law and Order. I'm talking about those special times when you're caught red handed and getting a little extra info out of you will actually serve to save lives.

Now, about what happens in war situations? I think we're really ignorant to think that torture ever stopped because of some treaty. I think it's going on right now and will continue. I hear people say it doesn't yield usable info... but then why are they still doing it? It can't be all that fun... could it? I think that no matter what Obama tells his generals and what the generals tell the people below them, if it seems necessary they're just going to do it. Think about this. A guy is seen running away from a car. He's caught. The car explodes blowing your friend's legs off. What happens next? A civil conversation with the guy and his legal council? We're just forcing them to keep it deeper in the dark, that's all. I'd love to believe we'd never do it, but as long as people do fucked up things, other people will step up and do fucked up things back.

I think the U.S. is having a nice time pretending this is behind us, but when I'm king I'll always have Jack Bauer's phone number in my back pocket for when the shit hits the fan. I won't be able to tell you why because we won't have the time and you're just going to have to trust him.

(note: I would never have started a conflict in Iraq and instead I would have spent every dime on funding Compressed Natural Gas, Nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and other OPEC fuel alternatives.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kick'n it new skool!

On my way to work this week I caught Michael Krasny and pals bitching about the horrible state of California schools. They're right. The schools suck. I'll go one step further and say school sucks. We dump a ton of money in this system that was fine for Laura Engles, but makes little sense in today's topsy turvy world. When I am king the focus will be taken off of making schools better and on to making education better.

Think about it. What do you remember from school? Yeah, it was pretty good at teaching you how to read, do basic math and getting made fun of, but after that... do most people get anything out of it? I've learned more about history from The History channel than I ever did in a class room. I'm currently taking a class in Flash Actionscripting and I've come way farther than anything that was taught to me at a good public university. The only reason I know what a bill is comes from a Saturday morning cartoon about our country's law making process. Most of what I learned about physics comes from Peter Ustinov and guys riding around blue and red motorcycles. It's a sad fact but I remember more about what happened in Gabe Kotter's classroom than what actually happened to me in a classroom.

I don't think I'm unique. I bet I'm in the majority. They say TV rots your brain, but does it have to? Why can't it enhance your brain? Sure it taught me some things that didn't actually pan out, like beared men who wear black Members Only jackets are the evil twin of a good person, but it taught me tons of great stuff too, like how a guy could get hauled to this continent against his will and forced into slavery would eventually teach children the joys of reading and piloting a starship. Using that as an example, surely we could sneak in some world history into an episode of Thundercats. (that's still on... right?) We know television mesmerizes kids, why are we using it to tell them they like Captain Crunch and not a little something about the French Revolution? Hell we could kill two birds with one stone and just have Captain Crunch tell how he recaptured the HMS Alexander in 1778?

That brings up another point. I didn't now about the HMS Alexander or the date it was captured by the French, but I looked it up on Wikipedia. It's only a matter of time before Wikipedia access will be implanted in your head at birth. Let's get on that. We don't need to be so critical on the specific dates and names but we should focus more on eras and why things happened. How it effected people at the time and how it effects people now. Have I retained a single date that I learned in school? Nope, like everyone else I learned it for a test and then purged it. Information is no longer a commodity thanks to the internet. Let's shift the focus off teaching information and more on learning what to do with information when you get it. Let's get kids to learn how to think.

Another thing I've mentioned is this silly idea of free school. No one really benefits from something that's free. Ultimately they just resent it like government cheese. I'm thinking that after 8th grade if you want to go to high school you'll have to pay for it. It'll be much cheaper because the people who are going to end up putting up sheet rock or selling car stereos can just get right to it. Why are we forcing algebra on people? If we make it special people will appreciate it more and they'll work to get it if they want it. Because it'll be privatized you can always decide after a couple of years of filling pot holes to go back and see about that high school deploma. You'll do better because you'll have real world motivation.

Anyway, I could go on and on about how to fix schools... like my idea of giving weaker kids TASERS and the nerdiest kids b-b guns to even the playing field against bullies, but before we can work on that, we've got to get the basics right. My number one priorty is trying to figure out how Fred Flintstone can do a better job telling the story of early man... WILMA!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Diamond Age

Dear Amazon,

I'm quite cross with you.  I am what I imagine would be your target market for your new electronic book product, the Kindle 2.  Even as I write this, part of me screams "must get this!"

But I spank that part of me like an petulant child.   "NO," I say, "because I'm the boss of me!" Sometimes I spank too hard.  Sometimes I cry.  Sometimes I imagine myself so small I will go away and live among the electrons flying around inside a magical electronic book.  But my book is nano-tech and will get to know me and be my friend.  It will help me develop into a person who'll bring down THE MAN and free my people from the impoverished life the new economy has created for them. 

Oh wait, that's the plot of one of my favorite books, Diamond Age.  If you click on that link, you'll get brought right to the Amazon page where you can buy it.  New for $11!  Used for $.89! or you can come over and barrow it from me for free if you promise to bring it back or lend it to someone else when you're done.  I don't really lend books out any more because we all know no one, including myself, ever gives them back.  Not out of malice, it's just the way people are.  There's something about books that beg to be passed around again and again and again until they end up in a used book store or recycled into pulp that will become the books of the future or toilet paper.   Instead I give my old books away.  If they come back it's like I got a little gift!  If not, they become part of paperback karma.   It's really nice.

So along comes the Kindle 2.   I really want to like this but frankly there's no way I'm going to drop 9.99 on something I can't lend or sell to a used book store.   Diamond Age is an old book.  I can get it from Amazon used in hard cover for $5.48.  Used paperback for $3.33.  Yeah, they are going to take up some space on my book shelf and destroy some trees, but the cost savings and flexibility of the dead tree editions makes them arguably superior.   The fact that they sit side by side on the Amazon page make me think that not even Amazon cares that much for their new toy.

So, here's what I would do if I were king.  I would make all ebooks $3.  That's fair right?  I might have to do some more research on the average cost of a used paperback, but that's how much I think it would be fair to charge for a bit of data streamed to you.  Especially considering the cost of the Kindle itself is way more than I spend on books in a year.  If Amazon really wants this thing to work, they had better trim down that cost, or give some crazy deal where if you buy one you get a year of free book downloads.   That's a lot of simolians to plunk down on something that has no content at all.  Think about it, you could buy a TV and get free content, an iSomething and get access to tons of free podcasts and music or Satellite radio and and get a few hundred channels of music and talk.  Yeah, the Kindle had a basic web browser, but the web is interactive and you're barely human these days unless you can post a picture of your friends doing something embarrassing or letting the world know you're happy it's friday. 

So, for the time being there will be no ebook in my life.  Sad, as it's one of my top dreams, next to having a robot friend or piloting a Battlestar Galactica Viper.   I predict any similar device will fail until someone finds a way to make one that's similar in function for under $100 that comes with a bunch of book credits... oh yeah, and a vast library of books that can be purchased for less than $3.  Maybe this day will never come... maybe I'll have to wait for my cybernetically enhanced eParrot that can download books and read them too me.  Now that will kick ass.   Fuck ear buds, imagine how cool we'd look if we had a parrot on our shoulders reading to us. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Get your whites quieter!

OK, the queen to be made a great point last night and, although it may seem small, I'm going to devote a single post just to it.

When I am king commercials will be at a lower volume than the show it's being shown in or before.

While that may not seem like something worth lifting a decree finger for, I say nay, it is perhaps going to lead to one of the most important quality of life improvements we've seen since microwavable mini pizzas (and yes, I'm talking about the ones with the silvery cardboard part that make it vaguely crispy).

How much of my precious hearing have I lost due to blaring commercials telling me the government has tons of grant money waiting for me? When will the callus on my remote control thumb go away from frantically lunging for the mute button after Hurley looks intensely distressed about something? It's fucking ridiculous. The FCC is supposed to be protecting us from things and we've got iron clad protection against seeing a iron clad nipple, yet they're OK with the equivalent of someone jumping out from behind your couch with a bull horn yelling at you about how cool everything is at Target. Which causes more damage?

So.. when I am king I will have no greater fun than dismantling the retarded FCC. It will be mandatory for shows to contain nudity and cursing after 10:00 PM. Satellite radio will be subsidized and will be known as "Adult Radio" where as what they're calling terrestrial radio now will be called "Simpleton radio." and will more or less stay like it is. More importantly all of it will have nice and quiet commercials. Oh yeah, and NPR will get all the money they need because if I ever hear another pledge drive again I'm going to have a stroke.

What's the matter? Afraid your kid is going to break into your satellite radio and hear Howard Stern taking about High Pitch Eric getting teabagged? Tough shit. Do a better job of parenting, because I am not your kid's parent. I'm their king.

Monday, March 2, 2009

So depressing...

OK, I'm calling it: It's officially a depression and I'm depressed. Today a good friend of mine got let go because a giant corporation decided to tighten it's belt a bit. The fact that the thing he's working on had nothing to do with that deal, and even that deal was not going to actually produce a product for at least a couple of years was meaningless.  He's not the only one.  A third of the company got the heave ho.  I've worked with these people and they're amazingly talented, bright and some of the hardest working mother-fuckers you'll ever meet.  Monday they'll have no work to do. 

To make matters worse, last night I accidentally got sucked into watching Rob Lowe have a heart attack and boy did it make Ally McBeal and the Flying Nun sad. Perhaps someone stronger than I could hold back tears when the Flying Nun is crying, but I'm not that guy. On top of all that, I'm pretty much constantly bombarded with news telling me reasons I should be depressed. Gloom and doom galore seems to be stomping on Obama's audacious hope. I'm sick of it and it's really pissing me off!

GET A GRIP PEOPLE. These news outlets are the same people who told us to duct tape our windows closed in case of gas attacks. Rob Lowe is far to good looking for god to take from us and next weekend the Watchmen movie is coming out! There's lots to look forward to! Life isn't all that bad. What about not having anything to fear but fear itself do we not get? I know years of Jose and the Pussy Cats and Space Ghost rotted out brains a bit, but surely we can understand this, can't we?

The media loves drama and so do a lot of us, but I'm OK with cutting it off with a remote control. This doom and gloom stuff has got to stop, because it's pissing me off. I'm not hoping for a return to the granite boardroom table dotcom times, but we all might feel a bit better after a game of foosball. We're all sitting here on a huge chunk of land that's chock full of cool stuff. Dirt with all kinds of useful plants growing in it, flamable gas just pouring out of the ground, people who can type little words on a keyboard and have it turn into Killzone 2 or  Can you imagine a world without Youtube?  I don't want to live in that world.

So what the fuck is the problem? We've got raw materials, stuff and smart people who can do stuff. When I'm king I'll connect these three things to make sure that all the people who can do stuff have a chance to do it to stuff. Why the hell are we waiting for banks? I'm going to nationalize the bank system because I don't like the idea of an organization being able to make money from people who don't have much money just by having money. It even sounds dangerous and I guess we're finding out that it is. When your job is making money by having money then you're not really doing anything.  Citibank, you're broke after taking $2 from everyone who took $20 our of their own bank account by using one of your little cash machines? Where the hell is that money? Judging by the tie of the teller in your branch, it's not going to employees.

So houses got built. Loans were made. People got that money, right?  Where is that money? I know many people paid more than their homes were worth because the banks artificially inflated housing costs by telling everyone they could buy a house. But someone got paid. We need someone to find where the hell all that money went and get it back.  Most of all, we need to remember that, in the end, money is just bits of paper and data in a data bank.  The real worth of my kingdom is you, my loyal subjects.  Now go and make the flying nun proud.  She'll be so happy if you like her.  I mean really like her. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Photograph,,, I don't want your...

On the way to work this morning I heard something that made my little cold heart melt. Obama lifted the ban on publishing photographs of those killed in war.

This is exactly why I said, and still say, that when I'm king Obama will still be president. It might seem a minor thing, but this kind of transparency is what this little country is supposed to be based on. Let freedom fucking ring. I don't think we should know everything about matters of national security. That would stymie any law enforcement. Just look at all the crap Jack Bauer has to go though in a single day. But Bush's ban on telling the public anything that did not support his tyranny is not how I'll run things WHEN I AM KING. Good job, B.O. Just for that you get an automatic pardon for your first sexual transgression while president. Just try and keep it on the D.L.

This type of reporting will be especially important in the future. Even now we've got guys with XBOX controllers piloting drones with the firepower of The Battlestar Galactica. We're so far removed from war that it's becoming like a friendly session of Call of Duty. I've never been hit with a bullet, but I imagine it hurts a lot more than the XBOX's rumble feedback and the penalty isn't you just end up slightly earlier in time. I bet it sucks hard.

So not only will families of those killed in battle get extra compensation for allowing their loved ones to be photographed for news purposes, wounded will also get extra compensation for this type of open communication about the suckiness of war. Your king's web page will feature those photographs prominently on the home page each day a conflict goes on. Not only so we can see what's happening to our people, but so that everyone can see what happens when you use a laser guided missile to remove people who are seriously considering weapons of mass destruction. Yeah, I know I may have one hell of an ugly web page, but isn't that a little incentive?

P.S. during times of peace the official king's web page will depict baby bunnies and videos from this web page.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stop and smell my wrath!

One of my first decrees I'll be making as king will be a simple one, but I hope will have very far reaching effects: GET A MOVE ON! That's right slow people. Your days are numbered. If you're reading this and don't think that you're slow, here are a few simple techniques to see if you have this horrible disorder. Do you often hear the sound of sighs coming from behind you? Are they often accompanied by muttering under breath "Oh... come... on..." Is there someone on the highway behind you that's up your ass with their brights on? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you, in fact, may be slow.

Just stop right there if you're going to tell me I need to slow down and smell the roses. This is precisely why I'm making dawdling and lallygagging and meandering against the law. I DON'T HAVE ANY FUCKING TIME LEFT TO SMELL ANY FLOWERS BECAUSE I JUST SPENT A HALF HOUR BEHIND YOU AT WALGREENS WHILE YOU PONDERED KOOL MENTHOLS.

This isn't about not taking quality time, this is about putting a little hustle in your step when you are doing horrible mundane things like buying toilet paper and commuting to work. Think about it. We're only here for a short time. The more of it we spend doing fun and relaxing stuff the better. No? Trust me slow people, this is for your own good. You're really not having fun that extra 20 minutes in your car because you're driving 48 mph. Shuffling across a crosswalk like a turtle on methadone can't be something you enjoy devoting time to, yet you do it. Perhaps you're avoiding something you don't like, such as your job. Then think about this: Maybe if you showed up to work a little early and did your work a little quicker, you'd get promoted to a position that's got more pay and vacation time. You might even enjoy the job more!

So, I propose that we stop pulling people over for speeding (unless they're driving like an idiot) and start pulling people over for slowing. Just read that word "slowing." Hurts to say! Regardless if you're in a car or blocking my access to Wired magazine at the book store because you think it's OK to read the entire issue of Ped-a-cute monthly while you stand there, prepare to face stiff fines and jail time if you do not start burning a little flip-flop.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Martin Landau, you're in BIG trouble!

Well, we've gone and done it again. We've schmutzed up the oceans, the land and the air and now we've achieved human kind's greatest accomplishment: Space Pollution. It's no surprise, but I'm still stunned that for as much as we talk about fixing the problems of our ignorant past, we're making exactly the same problems all over again. It's not like we don't have fair warning either. In 1975 ITC made it abundantly clear that if we load up space (in this case our moon) with garbage (radioactive waste) it's only a matter of time before some drunk space redneck crashes a ship into it propelling the moon on a madcap race though the galaxy full of adventure and wonderment.

What they failed to illustrate in this awesome show was that the people Martin Landau and Barbara Bain left behind, here on earth, were not only probably much more attractive people, but doomed to extinction. I bet the moon's good for a lot more than just regulating menstrual cycles and tides. The moon does all sorts of good stuff. Turning humans into werewolves, if they're so inclined, and more importantly giving us an already too short 24 hour day. Without the moon to help slow us down who knows how fast we may go? The gravitational pull of the moon getting ripped out of orbit may send us on a crazy orbit with effects we can only guess at. Well, only I can guess at. Katrin, if you're reading this could you write a physics simulation on what would happen if an Eagle space craft smashed into a radioactive dump on the moon? Thanks!

Whatever the results of actual scientific exploration on this topic may be, I'm going to cut to the chase and say it'll suck. Surely if an explosion would be strong enough to propel the moon through 2 and a half seasons of adventure would scatter debris the size of a Buick around space and some of those chunks would smash into us and there would be nothing that Bruce Willis could do about it.

So. We should already know that garbage in space is bad. We were clearly showed this in the 70 at a time when people used slide rules to figure out stuff and men wore mustaches. Yet here we are fucking it up. What the hell is wrong with us? When I'm king I will not stand for space pollution! I'm already working on a commercial that will depict a wise alien watching China blow up a satellite with a missile. The alien will turn orange, but they'll be subtitles letting us know that that's how beings from their planet show sadness due to lack of anything like tear ducts.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Phasers on KILL!

Many of you have probably figured out by now that I've got a soft spot in my heart for THE FUTURE. I've been obsessed with it ever since I was a baby. My mom says one of my first words was "spaceman." I could never get enough. Star Trek, Lost In Space, Battlestar Galactica, Space 1999, etc. If there were aliens or robots to befriend/defeat, I'm in.

This is why I'm currently so distressed. It's a solid decade after John Koenig and his pals got their moon base blasted out of orbit on a madcap'd romp around the galaxy and this happens.

HOW THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO GET TO THE FUTURE IF WE CAN'T EVEN UPGRADE OUR TV!? I've been hearing about the change from analog to digital broadcast for years now and I don't even have an antenna for my TV. How the hell can so many be unable to figure this simple thing out. More importantly: why do we care?

Broadcast TV is a pretty simple business model. You get it for free in exchange for being force fed commercials of how you can get your whites whiter and that the break you so rightfully deserve will involve meat from cows that spend their entire adult life in a 3 by 6 pen standing in their own shit. Easy! This is why I have a hard time believing that someone with the capability of using Tide and a McDonald's drive though can not figure out how to get a simple converter box for their TV set. I'll venture to say that the people who are unable to figure this out don't deserve to see network TV. Why? Because they are holding me back from living in the FUTURE. These are the same people who probably have rotary phones and cars that need leaded gas. They're voting against stem cell research and are probably angry that we've got a black guy in the white house. Scratch that... these people aren't voting at all. That requires effort.

Many say in jest, "Where is my flying car?" "Where is my jetpack?" Why no robots?" I'll tell you why. It's because every time we try and make an incremental change we've got ma and pa Kettle sitting on their porch yelling about the good old days. You know those days! The ones where your kids were crippled because they couldn't get enough vitamin D. Now we live in a world deprived of the cuteness of the rickets sufferer!

When I'm king there will be no pity for these people. They would have woken up on the analog TV cut off date with a TV screen full of snow. They may even have to deal with no TV for weeks until they can figure out how to go to Best Buy and get one. Many will call me cruel, but I think of it as tough love. If they don't learn that they're going to have to be on their toes about such developments they're going to have an awfully hard time the day the Machine show up to connect them to the Matrix.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Love, love, love...

So, yesterday I was listening to the Valentine's Day edition of This American Life. It was super awesome, as usual, regaling me with bittersweet tales of unrequited love, transgendered children and the grim reality that no matter how your love starts, sometimes is is going to be a grind. I felt super good about myself afterward as I am deeply in love with your queen to be, and she loves me. Our relationship is in no way a grind and we're both firmly heterosexual... well except my wife watches the L Word with an interest that I reserve for shows that depict robots taking their revenge on mankind. I think I have a fairly good chance that my queen-to-be will not become a lesbian and my Roomba won't go on a murderous rage and try and kill me. (even though both of those things are kind of hot)

Anyway, we had an awesome Valentine's day. Not the kind of text book perfect Valentine's day depicted on the front of Hallmark cards, but actually a lot better. I got a homemade card with a robot and Cake tickets! We celebrated our good friend's birthday at a really good mexican restaurant and even got to be a witness of the family type of love that's equally important in the whole Valentine's Day scheme. It was a day of LOVE!

This is why when I'm king I will be banning Valentine's Day.

Yup. BANNED. Why? Because Valentine's is really a horrible holiday. Every other holiday is for anyone who drinks the Kool-Aid. Want presents under a tree? Just say you believe that a woman got knocked up without ever having sex. Want a Chocolate Bunny? Just believe that woman's child got killed and then rose from the dead a few days later. Want presents for 8 solid days? Believe that child never really existed. Easy!

But Valentine's day is totally different. You can 100% believe in love and have absolutly no one give you a card or box of See's Candy. You can want to be loved more than anything else and not have a single person give you one of those Nekko hearts that says, "Hubba Hubba." It plain and simply just is not fair. Yes, I had a great Valentine's day THIS TIME, but what about the time I got my kindergarten sweet-heart as special card (all the other kids got the standard generic bulk pack cards) only to get NOTHING back from her? What about the next 12 Valentine's days, where you might as well have just mailed me a card that said, "You're unloveable zitface." What kind of a crappy holiday is this? The only people who really are guarenteed to have a good Valentine's day are the florests.

You're probably thinking, "But king Mark, will your kingdom be one without love, as if based on a Tim Burton movie?" NO! My kingdom will be all about love! Public schools will all have condom machines in every classroom! Religioius bigotry will be banned so all people can enjoy relationships regardless of race, or sexual orientation. It's going to be great...

...maybe I won't have to ban Valentine's say. Maybe I can go another route. Make it more like Christmas with days off and presents. Tell children that Cupid will come and shoot them with magic arrows and other such tales. Make it a holiday where public kissing is all the rage (unless you're having a herpies outbreak) A parade where porn stars ride on floats naked! This way, even if you don't have a romantic love going on, at least you'll have a day off with free porn, and that's something.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eight is too much!

One thing that's nice about humans is that crazy and scientist usually don't go together. Hollywood would like you to think that there are a bunch of mad scientist running around, but in truth, it takes a lot of mental rigor to be a good scientist and being bat shit crazy is very detracting.

Trust me, I know.

However, sometimes a perfect storm of retardation happens and the scientist hooks up with the bat shit crazy person.

Hitler had his Dr. Josef Mengele and I guess Suleman has her Dr. Michael Kamrava. You've heard the phrase "It takes a village to raise a child" but then what does it take to raise a village of children? When I do the math the answer I get is a city of people. Suleman is a single mother who's lived on disability since 2004 and already had 6 artificially induced children when she heaped on 8 more. My guess is the city of people she'll need to take care of her 14 children are us.

But surprisingly, I'm not all that mad at Suleman. She's insane and it's really not her fault. Just like I'm mad at the rabies bacteria and not cute little Cujo, I hate the game, not the playah. Who knows what trauma Miss McCrazington went though that made her think it was a good idea to risk her life having 8 embryos implanted.

When I'm king, the moment a woman said, "I haven't been able to keep a long term relationship going and I'm incapable of working, but I'm willing to risk my life to produce octuplets" a 911 call will be made and the proper mental health workers will be deployed.  5150 her ass. Instead we do nothing and instead interview the woman. Now she's a minor celebrity. What about "risk to yourself or others" is unclear to the authorities?  Is everyone asleep?

So, while Suleman was getting the proper healthcare she so desperately needs (not for her back, which was the reason for her disability), Dr. Kamrava will be sentenced to life without parole. The end.  Oh yeah, as part of his life sentence I will have a plastic surgeon implant the total weight of the octuplets (and placenta) into his gut so he will carry that weight for the remainder of his days.   Boobs too.  Big ones.  At least an E cup. If the technology exists they will have milk receptacles installed in them and he will have to nurse any fellow inmate who asks. 

I love science. I love scientists. I will funnel so much money into stem cell research Bush's head will explode (*if he actually cared and wasn't just pandering to religious nut jobs). It would probably even make Obama woosey. I wouldn't stop until there was a bubbling vat full of organs with my DNA in them. There would be no reason that a couple (same sex included) would have to go childless in my kingdom... but if you're a single person on disability for a fake back injury and you think it's a good idea to raise her brood on our dime you will be promptly locked up until a team of board certified psychologists deem you ready to return to society. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

You'd better be on your best behavior!

Dear King Mark,
Can you PLEASE outlaw weird downstairs neighbors killing roosters for dinner in my backyard?

If I had a dime every time I heard that phrase I'd have enough money to feed the meter in San Francisco for at least 20 minutes. It does bring up a few good points, the first being I probably would not have to change a law at all. I'd just have to enforce laws we currently have on the books. This begs the question, "What the hell are our police doing?" They're collecting taxes via tickets, that's what. Coming over to stop your neighbors from having a home slaughter house costs them money. No real motivation to do it. Same holds true if your car is stolen. "We don't have the manpower to find your car." What that really means is, "We're so busy ticketing cars for being in a parking space for 62 minutes that we couldn't possibly be bothered dealing with your pain in the ass crime that will have no net monetary gain for us."

When I'm king all the meter maids will be recommissioned to look for stolen cars. If they get called by someone who's mad that a car has been taking up a spot all day, sure write a ticket. To dedicate a force of people just for this is really just a way get some extra cash out of people. I think a bit more of my subjects to subject them to that kind of petty crap. I remember the time my friend's car was stolen and the way she found it was she started getting notices that it was parked illegally. Hilarious! In today's world a car that's obviously abandoned can only be ticketed? Can't be bothered to run its plates to see if it's been stolen? Oddly the money that citizens pay for that parking ticket may have gone to a small business and stimulated the economy. WOAH! I just figured out a way to stimulate the economy without raising taxes or spending more money!

(note: The Emeryville Police have been super good so far. They're quick to respond and they seem to have little care for hassling the people of Emeryville.)

Now, there are those that will say, "But King Mark, those people slaughtering livestock in their back yard are just preserving their culture!" Well, when I'm king the free pass for bad behavior posing as "culture" will be OVER. Hey Muslims, like to treat your women like crap? Get the hell out. Catholics, can't take the idea of same sex marriage? TOO BAD. Mexicans, want to fight cocks in your back yard? BYE-BYE. Japanese, want to buy dirty panties from vending machines? WELL... uh... whaaa? Huh. OK, I'll give you a pass on that because I like watching Super Milk Chan and Sony products.

Anyway, Marklandia will be a melting pot, but it will only use the best ingredients. If you left your country because it's crappy but then brought all your crappy behavior here you can just get right back on that boat because I demand we all be on our best behavior WHEN I AM KING.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Billy, don't be a hero!

You know what today is? Garbage day! But now garbage day is a lot different than it was when I was a child. Back in the day, garbage was garbage and recycling wasn't something that got picked up, but something that you brought to someone else... and they gave you cash for it!

I guess it kind of works like that now... except you don't get the cash. The homeless guy who goes though your recycling making a mess tossing bits around to find the juicy nuggets, gets the money. Like the good citizens they are they take that money and spend it on drugs and lessons on how to curse at invisible people and poop yourself.

I'm going to keep it short today, but here it is (ye) When I am king it will be illegal to go though people's garbage or recycling. It will be illegal to have a shopping cart to.. just like now! Except when I'm king that cop that's pulling you over for doing a rolling right when no one is around won't be pulling you over, they'll be arresting people for stealing shopping carts.

I know this all sounds draconian, and maybe it is, but I'm sick of it. When I didn't have money for drugs I did what every kid would do, I got a paper route. I even walked it and made sure all the papers when in mailboxes. I'd collect my $1.35 a week and with my cut I'd buy Tastey Kakes French Apple Pies (west coast, you don't known what you're missing) Cherry Slurpees and LSD. The point is, I wasn't a mentally ill person (except for the times I was tripping) who hadn't showered since Carter was president pushing around a shopping cart though quite neighborhoods at 6:00 AM. It's so damn depressing.

Also, when I'm king there won't be any homeless. Does anyone believe that the homeless people wandering around are just down on their luck? If you're angry at me now, please read this.

Are you back yet? I lived near NYC though that controversy and here we are 20 plus years later still at the same place. Billy just wanted the right to act bat shit crazy on the streets of NYC, that's all. How dare we lock her up for her life choices! HOW DARE WE!?

Well I dare. Reagan thought it was a great idea to empty the mental health facilities here in California. Way to go Gipper. Why weren't we outraged? These people aren't bad, and they're not eccentric hobos of the depression era. They are mentally ill citizens of the richest country of the world and we're pretending to grant them liberties so we can use the money it takes to properly care for them on secret government departments who are developing superhuman soldiers. I'm not calling for Victorian asylums. My guess is that with the money we get from all the bottle deposits they're stealing we can afford decent hospitals like the one that Hurley goes to when he's feeling a bit off. We are letting people who need help the most down. When I'm king, this will not do.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The end of slavery!

So, we ended slavery in this country. Good for us! We even gave those slaves the right to vote (...eventually). Now look at us! We elected a black guy (I'll change when you do, BET!) president! (not a decedent of any domestic slaves though) AWESOME. How the hell can we possibly pat ourselves on the back enough? Our arms and shoulders won't be able to withstand the punishment that that the kind of back patting needs! Nay! I say DEMANDS!

Well, I have some bad news. It's all a LIE! A sweet, sweet lie! We didn't end slavery. We EXPORTED IT. It got a little too gross to see in our own back yard, what with the whipping and the chopping off of the toes, so we shipped it off to Asia and south of our boarders. When we feel magnanimous (and lazy), we let some sneak back in to take care of the work that "Americans won't do."

Who says? Do other races have less inherent dislike for menial labor? I've had jobs washing dishes, frying chicken and doing general construction labor. Is it because I'm part Italian? No one would say that because that's racist.

Well when I'm king racism like this will be OVER. We've got plenty of uneducated people of all ethnicities right here that are prime candidates for crappy jobs... but wait...

Are those jobs actually crappy? Or do the people who do them just get crappy money?

I actually had some fun flick'n chicken for the man. There's nothing really wrong with a simple job that doesn't require much brain power. You don't take that work home with you, that's for sure. In Japan I saw lots of fast food workers and they seemed proud of their work no matter what they were doing. The only bad part was I made $3.35 an hour doing it... oh and the fact that your hair smells like the Colonel's secret recipe even after a good shower. Many yell, "If they paid workers more the business would not be viable!" To those people I yell back, "Fuck you, jerks!"

We have a system that makes sure wages are low, not so a business is viable or even profitable, but so that some shareholder's stock value will remain high and yield a good dividend. What will they do with that dividend money? They'll have illegal immigrants build them an addition to their homes and pay them $5 an hour to do it. They will then furnish those homes with things made in Chinese sweat shops to people who make $5 a month. Then, to wrap it all up, they will complain that they're taxes are too high because they have to pay welfare and unemployment benefits.

Am I the only person who finds this totally idiotic?

Many will call me a protectionist, but to them I say "screw you." I'm da king! It's the job of a king to protect his people! I won't do it by things like willy nilly tax benefits to companies in my kingdom, I'll do it by making people all over the world free again. Want to trade with Markolia? Then your companies will have to provide their workers with a standard of life that allows them to live and work with dignity. I'll have really smart people (if you're reading this you may be one!) police companies like Nike to make sure that all workers conform to what I'll call my USI. (Universal Standard of Living). This will make imported goods more expensive, because shipping isn't free, but that's OK because people working for Nike may now be able to afford to buy the shoes they make. Wait, what will happen if they can use the stuff they're making? We may have to actually make our own!

When the dust settles (and there's always dust) The only people who'll be worse off are the 19 super wealthy guys running the conglomerates. They'll still be rich, just not as rich. Maybe just very well off. I don't want to remove incentive for people to start business, in fact, if they know they won't get trampled by a deluge of cheap foreign imports a lot more people will start their own business. The idea isn't to stop people from being able to become super rich, it's to create an environment where more people can become somewhat rich and most people can afford to feed themselves and see a movie from time to time. Oh, and if you start complaining about the lack of inexpensive animatronic Big Mouth Billy Bass wall plaques that sing "Don't Worry Be Happy." I'm going to smack you.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Six Million Dollar Man!

When I'm king, I'm pretty sure I'm going to move into the house that they used as Tony Stark's house in Iron Man. I know all the robotics and computer stuff is fake, but I'll have it made for me. I'll spare no expense! We need to start living in the future, god damn it! If it turns out to be impossible, I'll hire a full time person to pretend they're a computer so I can say into any room, "What's the average weight of an Ostrich?" The person, in a secret room somewhere with an Internet connection and a vocoder will reply, "250 standard American Pounds your highness." I'll have the house moved to the San Francisco Bay area. Maybe Marin. Our friends are here. What can I say?

Regardless of where the palace ends up, there sure won't be this <--in front of it This abomination is what's often parked in front of where I live now. Interestingly, it's owned by an adult. Another point of interest is, this adult has 2 of them with slightly different graphics. (one has an evil jester on the tailgate proclaiming that he likes to kill children) The most interesting fact of all is that this adult keeps their normal car in their garage and parks these beauties around the corner from his home next to mine. If you're wondering if I fantasize about using my stomach acid to remove the vinyl graphics by continuously vomiting on these vehicles, the answer is yes, I do every single day of my life. So when I'm king, what shall I do? Well I want to state right off that his has nothing to do with my childhood obsession with the real Lee Majors, aka The Six Million Dollar Man. Nor does it have anything to do with an anti rap music stance. I enjoy a little ol' school Fat Boys or Chuck D. as much as the next guy. What this has to do with is the uglification of our world, and I'm taking a hard stance against it. WHEN I AM KING ALL VEHICLE ADVERTISING OF ANY KIND WILL BE BANNED. I'll only make exceptions for blimps (which are super cool and will be called zeppelins in my kingdom) and small 1"x1" company logos on commercial vehicles.

Places already have regulations about where you can or can't put billboards, why the hell can anyone slap some vinyl covering on their crappy truck and become a billboard that goes anywhere? Does Lee think that someone is going to look at that truck and go run to his myspace page and start listening to his music? Oh shit! I did! Hey Lee: why not put energy in actually getting better at what you do instead of thinking that coating a truck with orange vinyl will bring you some degree of fame?

Trust me, I love a good advertisement. I still quote my favorites from my youth. "Thanks for the gumball Mickey!" But isn't TV, movies (oh wait, I'm going to ban pre movie ads as well), Internet banners, product placement and sport arenas enough? I think YES.

I will also have my scientists create a bionic bigfoot with a good design detection algorithm built in to wander my kingdom and make sure that horrifically ugly graphic design never reaches the public eye. Forget to adjust the kerning on your logotype and you'll find his cybernetic big foot up your ass. Some may say I'm censoring free speech, but so be it. In the end I think we'll all be a lot better off not being reminded how good Red Bull is every time we see a Mini Cooper.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What say ye?

I just wanted to take a short moment and say how great every one's been so far with the Facebook posts and the feedback. I'm having a blast writing this and if you click on "follow this blog" there will be a position of note for you in my kingdom. If you comment, there may be some land in your future! I was hoping to get a bit of a dialog going on some of these topics, but i need the help of my people. So listen to that town crier when he says, "Hear ye, hear ye, what say ye?" How can I be a good king if I'm blind to the plights of my people?!

So if you have a topic, pet peeve or thoughts in general, comment! It's easy, fun and will make you part of the Web 2.0! Remember, every time we don't communicate via technology Marshall McLuhan cries.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's all too much...

My kingdom-to-be is far too cluttered. Not only with the never ending pallets of junk brought over from China to be sold at Walgreen's, discarded as trash or donated to thrift stores, but with media. There are far too many movies, tv shows, songs, pod casts, blogs, and web sites (especially social networking sites) to keep track of. Thank god for the last writer's strike we had, or I would have never caught up on Lost! How the hell am I going to keep up with the rascally antics of John Locke when JJ's going on and making Fringe? It's getting to be ridiculous.

My point is that even with the extra free time that a king must enjoy, how will I be able to lead my people and keep up on what my friends are doing via Facebook, find out what Ira Glass finds interesting, see what robots are pissed off at humans and laugh at the drollery of Jon Stewart and Steve Cobert? Plus, I still want to keep playing my electronic music. It's too much!

How do you think the pyramids got built? No TV! No Web 2.0. Can you imagine getting that much work done on a long term project in today's iWorld? Impossible. I'm not saying I want a pyramid built for me, but we could clearly do with a little more focus. (note: instead of a pyramid I want my brian put into a clone body or uploaded into a massive computer network). Don't worry, we didn't develop all these industrial robots so we could have out of work auto workers with nothing to watch on TV. There will be plenty of TV and movies when I'm in charge.

However, what we need to do is consolidate things. Let's face it, did we really need the Cobert Report? The Get Smart movie? NO. It was far better when both Stevens were by Jon's side. Greedy execs figured they could spread things out and make more money, but in the end we're left with watered down crap. (note: I really love both The Daily Show and the Cobert Report) The Matrix ruled, but did we really need both those sequels? NO! Edit out a few hours of pointless fighting and Keanu staring thoughtlessly into space and you'd have one zippy little Matrix 2. Now that I think of it, we could probably take all the good parts of all the Keanu action movies and edit them into a couple of really awesome films. Viya con dios!

Not only will this save the viewer tons of time it'll be fun. Just think, what if you replaced all the slow moving boring stuff from 2001 A Space Odyssey with the cool light saber stuff from The Return of the Jedi? You'd have one amazing movie, that's what. Sorry Ewoks, you're going to get spliced into a Sunday morning religious kid's show. Imagine if you took all the good parts out of all the Hulk movies. You'd have one amazing Chevy truck commercial.

While I'm at it, I'll enact laws limiting the length of an action movie. If you can not tell a Batman story in 90 minutes you have no right to make a Batman movie. Was it my imagination that The Dark Knight actually ended yet kept on going for another hour... and then ended again and sputtered about for a while like turning off a car with crappy gas?

Same holds true for cable TV in general. Now I have 900 channels of... what? Do I really need a dedicated Korean soap opera channel? I'd force cable companies to offer ala carte service so you could pick and choose what you get. Channels (aside from my kingly protected ones) would drop like flies.

I'd also initiate tax incentives for the producers of good TV, books, etc. Get a thumbs up from the king: you're in a lower tax bracket. Make crap and you get a tax penalty. There clearly needs to be some incentive to keep New Line Cinema from making Wedding Crasher's II. This way 98% of the profit of Mamma Mia would end up in the King's coffers!

A lot of consolidation could also happen on the www. If a company comes out with a webpage that's obviously just a flushed out feature, we'd merge them with an appropriate site. I'm looking at you, Twitter. I'm sure we can also merge Fandango, IMDB and

Don't be afraid. It'll seem strange at first, but after a short while you'll really start to appreciate the quality that results when people making media have some incentive to get to the point. You'll love when they stop trying to make ponderous bloated crap designed to appeal to the masses. I have really great taste, you'll see. Yes, you're going to see more movies like American Beauty take place in deep space, but once you see Kate Winslet in a silver space suit, you'll thank me. (note: thanking me will be mandatory.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm so sorry!

Wow. A few days into Obamatime and already he's apologizing. I'm talking about his apology for nominating Tom Daschle as health and human services secretary.

Pretty amazing, eh? Well, that's one thing you won't have to worry about when I'm king. Apologizing. Yeah, I'll change my mind as my mood suits me, but beyond the occasional "oops" you're not going to hear a lot of sorrys out of me... well, perhaps if I screw things up a lot I may do a mia culpa tour, possibly even appear on Oprah. I don't want a revolt or anything.

Here's how I'd handle the Tom Daschle thing. I'd walk right up to him during his appointment ceremony and say, "What the fuck?" I'd remove one of my gloves and whap him right on the face with it. A light smattering of tar and feathers and out the door he'd go. Have at him public.

His punishment wouldn't be for the false reporting of charitable income. What-ever. Tell me one of you never actually put down that your old hoodies and chipped coffee mugs dropped off at the Salvation Army were worth $500. So he borrowed a car and driver for a bit. Big deal. I don't even think the senate should have to pay to get to and from their homes and DC (note: I'm moving the capital). The bitch slap wouldn't even be for failing to report $80,000 worth of lobbying income. It would be for making money for lobbying AT ALL. My decree of the day is this: WHEN I AM KING ALL THE LOBBYISTS WILL BE EXILED TO ELIZABETH NJ. Not a stiff enough punishment? Go there for a weekend and get back to me. Oh, and no, they would not be able to promote books on The Daily Show.

I understand that in 1780 farmers had to pay someone to hitch up a team of horses and make their way across the great plains to tell their elected officials how things were going and what might be good ideas for making sure things went well in the heartland. But hello people. It's the future. Welcome to the information age! Obama's got a Blackberry. I bet Daschle had an iPhone or two. Regardless, I'm sure our lawmakers have about a billion different ways to get information on how to legislate without having to have a single lobbyist buy them a seventeen thousand dollar dinner or a Swiss watch with a small chalet around it. Enough of it! Why are we pretending that the lobby system is anything other than state sanctioned corruption?

None of this will really matter, as I'll make sure my people are well taken care of and... well as king I'd be beyond corruption anyway. Don't worry, I hate gold and diamonds and aside from an exotic car or two, I'll probably be a bargain as rulers go. That whapping glove? I'll reuse it. No need to waste money every time I need to administer a good whap, and frankly, the feel of a broken in whapping glove.... mmmm. Like buttah.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Let's roll HONDO!

Today I had a great realization! I realized that so many parts of a working infrastructure are “predators” (lie in wait for the time to attack) as opposed to “pray” (||:chew, chew, chew, poop, chew, chew, chew, poop:||). An example of a predator would be firefighter. Patiently wait until a fire happens and then a flurry of activity in a short amount of time. An example of pray would be a street sweeper or soft ice cream maker. While this works for nature, it’s a bit unfair in our brave new world. Sure, I want my firefighter to be well rested for when a fire happens, but does it make sense to pay them to shoot pool and tell fire fighting stories?

But my idea doesn’t actually utilize the fire department. (though, it could…) It involves the S.W.A.T. teams. You know your community must have one, but have you ever seen it? Luckily for you, the need to rappel down the side of a building, smash though a window and sharp shoot some terrorists is a pretty rare one. So they must spend a huge amount of time in those awesome black outfits just waiting for their chance to show how the regular uniformed cops are a bunch of cannon fodder for the bad guys …until Bruce Willis shows up and makes monkeys out of all of them.

So what shall we do with these super cops during their down time? I have a perfect idea. Dog Poop Patrol. S.W.A.T. teams will set up covert ops. in areas like my current neighborhood where people, like the guy this morning walking his unleashed dogs next to my house, let their dogs poop away and never bother to even think about picking up after them. This might seem trivial, but it is literally making our world shitty. When you’re in a shitty world you’re more likely to behave like a shit head, and the cycle of shit continues. We need to nip this one in the ass.

I’m not condoning deadly force (for first infractions at least) by out S.W.A.T. teams, but merely the use of non-lethal weapons like rubber bullets, TASERS and tear gas to resolve this problem. No citations will need to be made, as the moment the dog owner takes a single step away from the package, BAM! He’ll be riddled with welts from the rain of rubber projectiles emanating from our boys in black. No paperwork and an awesome deterrent. Leave the house without a poop bag? Not likely, knowing that the punishment may be you on the business end of a TASER.
So not only will this not cost the tax payers any additional money, as we’re paying the SWAT teams anyway, but an additional benefit will be that S.W.A.T. teams skill set won’t get rusty sitting around the S.W.A.T. station talking about the girls who want to/have had sex with them.

Dog walkers, don’t think you’re safe if you know that Hondo and his S.W.A.T. team is somewhere else in the city. Trust me, you do not want to be opposite a fire hose when that steamer hits the pavement.

Friday, January 30, 2009

You're awesome!

All right. Recently, I made a big mistake. Someone on a music forum posted a question that asked, "My music is really good and I'm a super talented musician. I can't get motivated to make music because I feel the music industry is evil."

Admiral Ackbar told me it was a trap, but sometimes you have to fire up the Falcon and zoom in. I listened to the guy's music and it was just as I feared: Horrible. Not horrible in the way that the guy couldn't play or hold a tune, horrible in the Huey Lewis and the News kind of bad, but not even that good... actually quite a bit less good. A lot lamer than Huey Lewis. That's bad.

My response was "The world is glutted with people like Aimee Mann doing exactly what you're doing but having a hard time selling albums. If commercial gain has to be a motivation for you you might want to consider dropping music. If you can do it for the love of doing it then maybe you'll find success and if not at least you'll have artistic fulfillment."

Of course I got attacked. I was obviously a "wet blanket" and pissing all over this guy's dream. Actually the response was about 50/50 with those yelling at me and those commending me. It did get me to thinking:

How the hell did this piece of crap get the idea that he was awesome?

It's a pandemic. Hoards of idiots with no self awareness line up to audition for American Idol. People walk around thinking they're special for no reason at all. It's like some zombie movie. NIGHT OF THE LIVING ENTITLED. "Put me on TV! I'm AWESOME!"

Where the hell did this all get started? One could blame Paris Hilton, someone famous for nothing, but I fear that she's a symptom of a bigger problem like a sore on your genitals. There's a deeper issue at hand.

When I was in high school, I started to see it happening. Teachers like Anita Dowd were openly telling students that they're horrible work was amazing. I was stunned that it seemed like no one could do any wrong. I got up and left a senior level English class after being handed a ditto (yeah, I'm that old) about the difference between "good" and "well." I got up, handed the teacher the ditto back and said, "If you're a senior in high school and you do not know the difference between good and well you should kill yourself." A few months later I dropped out of high school. (that teacher never sent a single cut slip down for me) I'm really glad I did. It got worse. My mom, a public school teacher has been reprimanded for raising her voice to students who would not quiet down in class. Now everyone gets a participation trophy. We're all special little snowflakes! Unique and beautiful in the world!

... and this is why the idiot in front of me at the grocery store is taking 15 minutes to decide what kind of cigarettes she should get, because she is super awesome and everyone should just wait in quiet reverence. She knows she's awesome because her mom told her so (probably to make up for the fact that her dad cut out on them before she was born) and her teachers continued to tell her that. She's also angry because employers can't see the blinding light of awesome she is. She will go home and tell her friends how she should be on American Idol and they'd all agree that they'd all win if they could figure out when the auditions were.

So here we are in America having our butts handed to us by countries like Korea and India who actually have standards. HERE YE HERE YE! When I am KING this shit's gonna CHANGE. School won't be mandatory, but if you attend you'll find yourself out on your ass if you're not school material. Until robot technology is up to par we could use to to pick crops and all the other jobs that we currently use imported slave labor to do. Think you're too good for menial labor? Think again. The king's got floors to clean so my message to people who do not know the difference between "good" and "well" is that those floors have your name on it so get ready to mop. Don't like the mop? Start hitting the books.

Oh yeah, and if I ever come across someone performing with less talent than Huey Lewis I shall force them to perform the entire Huey Lewis and the News catalog with kazoos.. out of their asses. On live national TV! Now that'll be an awesome show...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Look at my circumstance.. and the bulge in my big, big big...

When I am king I shall dismantle all the Walmarts, Costcos and the like. Why? They're too big. As far as I can see they just encourage you to buy way more than you need. I'll always remember the glazed over look of joy on the Queen to be's face when she walked toward me with a pallet of strawberries big enough to feed a small battalion. She swore we'd use them all... mumbled something about smoothies and started to swoon. It was too much for her. I had to rip the pallet of strawberries out of her trembling hands and put it down. I lovingly stroked her sweaty brow as she shivered "Mark... is that you? I'm... so cold""- the loss of potential smoothies was devastating.

I admit it! I wanted them too! I don't even like strawberries that much!

The truth is there was no way we could get though even 2 of them before they became a pile of mold. I'm not even sure we could have fit them in our fridge. Yet she wanted them so bad. They were such a good price. Same thing could be said about all the items at the Costco. Toilet paper, razors... TVs... All so big... and cheap...


Well first we'd have to get a bigger fridge to store the strawberries. I place with bigger closets to house the toilet paper bargains and of course, we'd need nothing smaller than a Lincoln Navigator to get it all home. Better have some more kids to help use up all those bargains. They won't cost much to feed at those prices!

I've heard that buying in bulk is environmental as you spend less money in gas making small trips, but as far as I can tell it's at least 3 miles from the end of the parking lot to the store entrance of an average Costco. With the gas mileage of your SUV that's going to cost you. Let's not even talk about the average length of the check out line. I'm sure one could be seen from space if it weren't for the roof.

What I'm proposing (woops, I mean decreeing!) is that we have many smaller shops. Maybe a few in each neighborhood. You could go there more often for smaller loads of just what you need. This may seem a waste of time, but guess what? You could walk there! You could cancel your gym membership because your workout would be to actually mimic what we're designed to do: Hunt and gather. You'll save money not having to pay that Bally's membership! Then something else will happen. You'll meet up with other people in your neighborhood and you'll start to become a community. Look at me! Bringing the people of my kingdom together! It's getting so god damn touchy feely I think I'm going to cry.