What to say about Robin Williams


Just like most of you, I knew Robin Williams from his long-lived career in motion picture. I didn’t know him personally. But sometimes celebrities are so familiar, you consider them close.

At times, he made me laugh harder than anyone could. At others, he annoyed me. There was a TV show that he starred in over the last few years that didn’t last long. Damn, it was awful.

Tina was a huge fan of Mork and Mindy. I was a big fan of his performances in Dead Poets, Good Will, Aladdin, The Final Cut, Hook, The Fisher King, The Birdcage and (Oh god) Mrs. Doubtfire.

The Birdcage is a movie that I could watch every time it’s on TV. It likely was a large proponent for helping me get over the homophobia engrained in my noggin from youth.

In case you didn’t know, Tina was the influence for Nathan Lane’s performance in Birdcage.

He made local headlines in Asheville when he shot Patch Adams, which was a heart warmer. My college roommate was an extra and shows up in a bus in the opening scene.

I don’t really care about his depression. I know people are talking about that. And I’m not a big fan of associating him so much with his dialogue as the ways he performed.

I’m not a fan of the term Rest in Peace. It seems to me that we’re all hoping his spirit doesn’t come back and haunt us. That’s weird.

I can’t say goodbye to him, because his immortality will live with us for as long as we have his movies and TV appearances. That’s the only way I know the guy anyway. So in a way, he’s not really all that dead except for the fact that we won’t see much new content from him. Although, there will be a huge Academy Award segment devoted to him, I’m sure.

Kottke posted the video on his blog below, and I couldn’t help but repost it here.

Seize today, guys. Seize it.

 

New hashtag recommendation: #DGB (Did Google Break?)


In case you didn’t know, we live in a connected world with connected devices. If you have a phone that flips out and texting the letter F means tapping the number three three times, pinch yourself. You probably don’t exist.

In conversations, if you can’t remember something, type it in your phone and the question you’re asking will likely auto insert into your browser and you can have an answer within seconds, pending your location and signal strength.

Just last night, a friend was over and she’s beating her brains out over the minutiae of some actors name in a movie. She can’t move on with her goddamn story until she remembers that goddamn name … ugh, it’s on the tip of my tongue!

In the middle of cooking burgers, corn and rushing around the kitchen, I type in the title of the movie and say, “Mark Ruffalo!”

She pointed at me and said, “Yes! Gosh. I was about to die trying to remember.”

Did Google Break?

No.

#DGB

Hashtag. DEE GEE BEE.

Write it. Learn it. Use it.

Last night, I met Bill up at the bar. We were talking to a 20-something female friend of ours and the topic of kinky sex came up. “What have you done?” “Well, what have you done? That’s when I learned, from the 20-something, the term “Pegging.” I can’t unlearn that. And Googling it brought me to a wiki page for it, and now I really can’t unlearn it.

Not only is it a true term, Google wasn’t broke and I can’t find a reason to not talk about it more often from here on out at every party I go to.

Hashtag, IWGB = #Iwishgooglebroke.

This morning, I received a message from a friend. She did some nicey nice and then asked, “So I need your expertise. I want to do a movie night outside on the cheap. What projector should I buy to do this? Is this one good enough?”

#DGFB.

Hashtag DEE GEE EFF BEE.

Did Google fucking break?

I mean for fuck’s sake. I’m not an expert. Nobody’s an expert anymore. All you need for almost every question in the universe right now is a computer or smart phone, a browser, and a finger to tap your questions.

Wondering about what camera to buy. Google’s not broken. Type it in.

Wondering about a topic to write about. Google’s not broken. Type it in.

Wondering about a religious question. Google’s not broken. Type it in.

How about cars? #DGB

No! Google’s not broken.

Wondering about that red dot on your stomach that just appeared …

You better hope your Google’s broken, because in two minutes, you’re going to self diagnose yourself with cancer.

 

George Takei: Why I love a country that once betrayed me


Published on Jul 4, 2014

When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a “security” measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.

Explaining away ghosts and gods is easy, unless you’re somehow unable to do so


Me? I don’t believe in ghosts, goblins, gods or anything supernatural.

I just don’t.

I read this article recently in The Raw Story titled: Our ancient caveman instincts may explain our belief in gods or ghosts.

The article’s author, Steve Kelly, writes essentially that we believe in ghosts because we survived human history by giving supernatural rationale for a rustling of leaves or a volcano. Science hasn’t yet infiltrated the evolution of the human mind enough to make a dent in the irrationality of pervading religious thoughts.

Kelly writes:

Notions of gods arise in all human societies, from all powerful and all-knowing deities to simple forest spirits. A recent method of examining religious thought and behaviour links their ubiquity and the similarity of our beliefs to the ways in which human mental processes were adapted for survival in prehistoric times.

It rests on a couple of observations about human psychology. First, when an event happens, we tend to assume that a living thing caused it. In other words, we assume agency behind that event. If you think of the sorts of events that might have happened in prehistoric times, it’s easy to see why a bias towards agency would be useful. A rustling of a bush or the snapping of a twig could be due to wind. But far better to assume it’s a lion and run away.

Oddly enough, the information wasn’t that big of a mystery revealed. It’s a late arrival to a party that’s already been packed up.

Ain’t nobody who’s religious going to read that article and think, “Man, this has convinced me that my religion is based on a weakness generated by evolution …”

Why?

Because evolution itself is a pejorative evoking negative thoughts immediately.

An article like this is only good for the kids who subscribe to the idea that there aren’t ghosts and goblins.

In Louis C.K.’s SNL opening monologue a couple weeks ago, he talked about religion and God saying:

I’m not religious. I don’t know if there’s a God. That’s all I can say, honestly, is “I don’t know.” Some people think that they know that there isn’t. That’s a weird thing to think you can know. “Yeah, there’s no God.” Are you sure? “Yeah, no, there’s no God.” How do you know? “Cause I didn’t see Him.” There’s a vast universe! You can see for about 100 yards — when there’s not a building in the way. How could you possibly… Did you look everywhere? Did you look in the downstairs bathroom? Where did you look so far? “No, I didn’t see Him yet.” I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave yet; it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I’m just waiting until it comes on cable.

And, no, I have not looked under the stairs, either. Nor have I looked behind every planet or star.

A god, gods, ghosts or goblins do an amazing job at hiding, though. They do it so well that there’s absolutely no, not one shred of evidence to indicate that the bump in the night is anything other than something natural with natural causes.

The evidence points to science, and when something seems unnatural, it’s likely something that is explanative and you didn’t wait for the explanation and made up your own conclusion or the explanation hasn’t been conceived yet.

In sum, I don’t know there’s nothing else as Louis C.K. so boldly pointed out. But I don’t know there is either. And that difference makes me happy to have a natural understanding of natural worldly events.

Thank goodness.

Yesterday, it snowed in Chicago


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Okay, okay. This photo isn’t from yesterday. But I came across it while archiving old photos.

Yesterday there were also many eye-witness accounts of white stuff falling from the sky in and around the Chicago area.

In case you haven’t noticed your calendar lately, it’s May. Fucking May.

And it snowed.

This winter there was more snow than I’ve ever seen in Chicago. It started long ago … in November. I was able to shoot our Christmas card after a few inches in December.

This photo above was from January 3 or so. And it snowed, at least a little all the way to May.

The 2013-2014  season was the weirdest months of winter we’ve ever seen.

And you may ask yourself, why, oh why is all this weird weather happening? Why is it so cold and the scientists — those liberal, immoral scientists — screaming that there’s global warming?

It blows my mind that this weather is all been predicted … by the bible … and by science.

The bible reads that an increase in earthquakes and weather phenomenon will call forth the end times.

But the bible also reads:

The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to where it sets.

And you can insert images of sunsets and flowers with a soft glow. Or you could insert the soft warm glow of a setting sun cast across the bloated belly of a starving child covered in flies in Africa or Detroit.

These kinds of vague references are so tarot card reader slash fortune cookie like.

So when we are all arguing about climate change and global warming, everybody feels right as rain and self congratulatory. The bible is the astronaut jamming a flag into the moon of so many things … and it’s a little annoying at times.

Just a tad.

I was very appreciative of this video (below) from John Oliver that I saw yesterday. But I don’t think it will help things. It’ll just make people who disagree look for more disagreement. It’ll make them blame liberalism and thank the dusty old book that they think they love, but not the parts that they choose not to. And those who agree, will agree.

And the sun will rise and fall.

Oh, wait. We’ll actually do all the moving — we here on this spec of dust called the Earth — and the sun will sit relatively still. But we’ll all be moving through space with billions and billions and billions of stars and planets. And science will continue to answer questions. And ignorance will still win out in the end!