AUGUST 21, 2020
My latest random thoughts ... and not nearly as verbose as usual! Go me!

I am not a Christian, per se ... but when I'm at any type of event that includes a religious tone, it does me no harm whatsoever to bow my head in respect, recite the 'Lord's Prayer,' hold hands while a group says a prayer before dinner, or utter an "Amen" along with everyone else. Common courtesy costs nothing.

I am not religious ... but when I'm interacting with my friends who are, I respect their beliefs and the comfort it provides them ... and if they are feeling the sorrow of a loss, the pain of suffering, or the fear of uncertainty, it does me no harm whatsoever to say "My prayers are with you." Common decency costs nothing.

I am not one who feels the need to express my personal beliefs at the expense of another's discomfort or feelings, particularly if expressing my 'non-belief' ... wearing it like some silly badge ... would be construed as inappropriate at the given time. It does me no harm whatsoever to set aside my philosophies for the greater good of human solidarity. Common respect costs nothing.

So ... if I, or you, can set aside personal beliefs for the sake of propriety and respect in the above regard ... why not in other matters that test or challenge our beliefs, opinions, or mindsets? Are we not all tested and challenged on a daily basis about matters of every kind ... waiting for inarguable truths to reveal themselves unto us? Matters of politics, race, religion, gender, heritage, personal identity, philosophy, governance, equality, justice, peace, or love.

In times of despair or celebration, loss or prosperity, deaths or births, dreams broken or hopes realized, bad news or good ... it does none of us any harm whatsoever, to simply set aside differences of opinion or beliefs for the greater good of our collective future and a sense of compassion toward our fellow humans. Sympathy, empathy, and sharing in another's joy costs nothing. We are truly all in this together, as people ... not only in this country, but around our beautiful, little globe ... and there are no "sides" to humanity.

Sides. Always, and ever, so absolutely two-dimensional. A direction on a personal map that someone else handed you, a hard line in the sand, or a comfortable stance leaning toward the left, right, middle, or behind. Sides. Always, and ever, thinking there should be a fence or a wall between the sides ... and as if, then, sitting atop that fence provides a better vantage point from which to assess both sides, and determine their fate ... which you would wish to impose upon them ... because your view is better.

Sides. Always, and ever, so absolutely two-dimensional in thinking that one of the chosen sides represents, defends, or battles against what is right or wrong, good or bad, fair or unjust, humane or inhumane.

Why not consider choosing 'UP' as a direction?  Choose that third dimension ... one of elevation. Choose to be above ... for it is only on the higher grounds of common courtesy, decency, and respect that we will ever find a path ... and find it together. It is only on the higher grounds of understanding, enlightened thinking, compassion, and tolerance that we will find that seemingly elusive road leading us back to our humanity. The 'higher grounds' are where we'll find the answers to our questions, and the solutions to our problems. They're the grounds upon which real peace, prosperity, charity, equality, and our very survival are cultivated ... and can flourish.

"What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?" - The Other Super-Cool Elvis

HOW you came to be may not have been by choice ... but WHO you choose to be, and how you think and behave, is exactly how you will be remembered. Choose wisely.

AUGUST 17, 2020
Hidee-ho, my delightful dudes & dudettes!

So, I've been taking a wee break from FacePlank for a while, whether or not anyone noticed ... although I stealthfully popped in for a brief moment here and there (I'm like a digi-ninja, yo) ... and then I promptly sneakeded back off to the land of the living. My sincere apologies for missing any monumental occurrences ... like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, squirting out mini-peoples, getting a new job at the adult bookstore, or giving a cute marsupial a 'forever home.' I hope everyone's everythings in the everywheres have been nifty-neato.

Then again, why would you notice that I haven't been around here much? Truth be told, you shouldn't miss my presence here ... because there are mucho better and morest importanter thingies to pay attention to out in the 'real' world. I certainly haven't missed being here, and that's for certain. No offense meant, real friends.

But, hey ... as long as I'm here for the moment today, I may as well ramble on a bit, eh? Geeee, I almost NEVER do THAT, huh?!  Actually, I kinda-sorta hope you don't spend too much of your otherwise valuable time reading this ... because, ultimately, who really gives a hot-holy-dinglebutton?  I pretty much only write for the sake of my own fleeting sanity, anyway. Since you asked so politely, though ... I'ma tell y'all what I've been up to lately! Promise ... no real ranting ahead ... just really boring stuff, if you're bored enough to be interested in such uninteresting, boring stuff.

Over the course of the past two weeks or so ... hmmm ... let's see? I had some really fun gigs, very thankfully, with my beloved melodic comrades. Slayed a few yummy Park pizzas and Newberry Sub Shop cheese-steaks. Lots of quality time on the Zen Deck. Listened to music and did a lot of writing. Decided on some paint colors for my hallway and soon-to-be "music room." I mean, c'mon ... who really needs a dining room, when you live alone and don't host dinner parties for royalty? I avoided the social cybernets almost completely. Did a little yardwork stuff (legit therapy). Noodled around on my drums (another fave therapy). Talked and texted with my sister a bunch, like usual (the bestest therapy - she's my hero). In fact, "The Seestor" just gifted me with an uber-comfy, new desk chair for my cyber-command center! It's bright orange (yay!), and has that cool lumbar-huggy thing going on.

I enjoyably wasted hours & hours watching my menagerie of various jungle-yard critters frolic around (my squirrels are decidedly all assholes, by the way). Good friends popped by here-and-there to enjoy a few laughs and conversation on the Zen Deck. In fact, my beloved pal Jeramy and I solved ALL of the world's problems one evening over a few beers ... and we'll soon be announcing our election bid for 2024. Even had a long-overdue and heartwarming visit from my cherished "wife," Jenna! Funny, though ... how we've been married for 8 years, and it's the first time she ever came to 'our' house.

And, yes ... as my ill-gotten reputation might suggest ... I sit around in my underwear a lot. My house, my comfort zone. Don't judge me, though ... 'cuz when company shows up, I do at LEAST have the decency to put on my Skechers and a questionably laundered t-shirt. I'm SO thankful for the invention of Febreze.

Speaking of fun gigs ... one that stands out was a private show up in Canandaigua, NY (we LOVE playing in upstate New York and in the Finger Lakes region) ... and we shared the stage with our good buddies 'David Miller & The Other Sinners.' A phenomenal band, awesome bunch of dudes, and consummate musicians all ... and you should check them out whenever you get a chance. You'll be glad you did, and you're welcome. Word to yo mutha.

Anyhoo ... we FINALLY got to enjoy an actual road gig ... as in, spending "hotel time" together. First time that's happened, actually, since late January down in Memphis ... but then, a week after that sojourn ... the music biz completely collapsed. Thanks a lot, Rona. Now, mind you ... nothin' weird usually occurs on our "mom-approved band sleep-overs" ... no fire trucks, exotic dancers, broken furniture, shooting bottle rockets down the hall out of our butt cracks, or otherwise-expected musician-type debauchery. Hint: That's not really what happens on the road ... although I've been known to moon people just for giggles. It may actually sound odd to some, but one of things I miss the most about touring is the post-show quality time with my bandmates. Just chillin' ... talking about music, friends, memories, laughing about our mistakes or miscues during the show, and generally busting on each other big-time ... while also not paying much attention to the late-night 'Archer' marathon on the TV in the background. That's what we usually fall asleep, too, by the way. Yeah, we're total party animals, man. Cray-cray stuff happens out there on the road, I tell ya. Hotel clerks probably think that we're just a bunch of dorks on our way to a UFO convention. And, of course, it's always assumed that I'm Gabe and Colin's dad ... even though they act way-more grown up than I ever do.

What else? About a week ago, I also sadly learned of the tragic and senseless death of one of my fraternity brothers ... killed while riding his motorcycle, by someone who perplexingly swerved into the oncoming lane and hit him head-on. My friend's name is Dean Michael Dorman (a.k.a. "Roach," back in our frat days). A lovely human, super-smart dude, proud military veteran, loving father and husband, talented photographer, and more. My heart breaks for his wonderful wife Andrea and their children ... but because of my avoidance of the interwebs and being preoccupied by gigs that weekend, it seems I missed the memorial service ... and that hurts. I should have been there, especially considering that we only lived 30-or-so miles apart. Hey, Dean? I hope you know that I respected and loved you bunches ... despite not keeping in touch more, the way we would have both liked to. YITB always, my brother. I'll see you again soon.

For the love of God, my friends ... please pay more attention when you're "behind the wheel." Put down your damn phones and gadgets. Focus on your responsibility, and especially focus on those around you ... particularly those on motorcycles. You're in a huge, potentially-deadly hunk of metal hurtling down the road, and often breaking the sensible speed limit or other "rules of the road" in the process. Across the globe, thousands of beautiful humans die EVERY DAY in completely avoidable traffic accidents. A text or phone call can wait. Noodling with your iPod or putting on makeup while chugging your latte is simply mindless and stupid. NOTHING that would otherwise distract you while driving is that important, ever. I've lost far too many friends (or have seen them terribly injured and/or mentally traumatized), because other people are too self-important and oblivious while driving ... or far worse, choose to drive after drinking too much or partaking of other "substances." Stop it. I don't want you to die, any more than I want you to kill someone else, and have to live with that on your conscience for the rest of your life.

Woopsie!! I promised not to rant earlier. Humble apologies. Digression over. Just be safe and mindful.

On a lighter note, however (sorry - I really, really didn't intend to get all 'dark' there) ... but during my digi-hiatus, I finally binge-watched the BBC series 'Sherlock Holmes' with Benedict Cumberbatch (a.k.a. Bandicoot Campingtent or Bumbershoot Cumberbund). The show is absolutely amazeballs, and I can't believe I've never watched it before now. One thing I found particularly funny, though, was that in the opening credits ... it also states that the show is rated "R" and contains "Nudity, Adult Language, Violence, and Smoking." Smoking? I literally did all of the 'LOLs.' I was blissfully unaware that we now have to mentally prepare ourselves for the traumatic sight of seeing someone smoke, as much as we must mentally prepare for (or eagerly await) the sight of someone's "naughty bits." I must say, however, that Bubblebath Crampysnatch has an awfully cute, naked butt for a guy in his mid-40s.

Now, as for my self-imposed exile from the cyberspaces ... I believe I'll return to it for even longer this time around. Maybe? Within one hour of catching up a bit on FacePlant the other day (and scrolling past dozens of contemptuous, angry yelpings), perusing some so-called news-of-the-day, and Googling "Easy & Effective Butt-Tightening Exercises for the Almost Elderly" ... I felt something rather unpleasant ... a feeling ... not only creeping in, but consuming me.

It was anxiety. Raw, unadulterated anxiety.

As someone who has long-suffered from severe anxiety and depression ... often overwhelming and debilitating ... I know all of "the signs." I know when "it" is happening again. And, all it took was an hour online. I'm neither alone nor immune here, either, like so many others.

Anxiety ... born of frustration, befuddlement, anger, sorrow, and despair. Anxiety ... born of a ridiculous (if not selfish) need to react or respond to every comment or message sent my way (oh, the tragic consequences of not responding to something within 90 seconds!). Anxiety ... born of incendiary posts or comments made by others, of falsified news and outright lies being ignorantly spread around, or video clips of brutality, bigotry, racism, or reprehensible behavior that raise my hackles or that spawn actual, physical nausea. Anxiety ... born of continuously confusing digital interaction with 'real life.' Anxiety ... that is as easily and simply avoided, as it is morbidly welcomed out of a self-destructive sense of (or worse, addiction to) needing to win an unwinnable argument, or needing digital affirmation from otherwise unconcerned (i.e. self-absorbed) people who think they're proving their friendship or feigning support by tossing about hug emojis.

As moths, to a flame.

Granted, social media indeed has it's up-sides. For me, it's mostly giggling like a 12-year-old at silly memes. I'd try to mention all of y'all that crack me up regularly because of our shared and warped senses of humor, but that would be a fruitlless endeavor. I love not having the only twisted mind out there, though. I also like sharing announcements about upcoming gigs (my own and others'), posting pictures of my 'adult toy' collection (drums & cymbals, yo), enjoying musical or comedic entertainment on The EweTubes, and so on. I love staying in touch with cherished friends and musical compadres from all over. I enjoy keeping tabs on real friends posting about their adventures in real life ... day trips to breweries, the antics of their pets, or making more baby-lings. Which, by the by, most of your babies aren't really all that cute. They all look like Winston Churchill to me.

Butt, in the end (see what I did there?) ... social media is most assuredly not informing or enlightening any of us anymore, as we frantically grasp at straws of self-righteous vindication and cling to dubious "higher ground." Like Camelot (it's only a model) ... FacePoke 'tis a silly place.

Anyhoo, friends & friendettes ... I'll pop in from time-to-time, but only for fun and friendship, or maybe to bore you with yet another verbose diatribe about, say, the dangers of drunk manscaping or "Dolph Lundgren Is NOT Expendable!"

Now go forth and have yourselves a splendiferous day ... and get the hell off of the interwebs for a while.
PS - I'd like to humbly request that some of y'all PLEASE stop sending me anything other than a personal note on Faceless Messenger. No links to this or that (I won't follow links to questionable external sites, ever). No "look at this quick before it's removed" nonsense. No "chain-letter" dumbness or "share this with 10 friends" stuff. And, I do not want to see political crap or conspiracy theory drivel, any more than I want to see some tart's boobsicles exploding out of a tenuously-buttoned sweater. How old ARE some of you guys, anyway? If I really want to see boobs, I'll just look in the mirror. Thanks in advance, y'all.
PS PS - Can some of you stop posting pictures of your injuries and surgical scars, please. For realz. It's just ... well ... freakin' gross.
PS PS PS - I believe my next rambling babble-bloggage will be about the mind-numbing offensiveness and depravity of sexual exploitation. It should be a real doozy. Don't hold your breath, though ... it'll happen when it happens.

AUGUST 2, 2020
I'm here to tell ya, my peeps & peepettes ... I go back and forth on a daily basis about whether I should continue to speak my mind on FacePoke, keep my mouth shut and just go about my business of making up funny stuff, or leave The Book Of Faces altogether.

Let's face it. In all honesty, the only people who will agree with me (or you) are people of like minds ... and they're mostly personal friends or social media acquaintances. People of opposite mindsets, however, will not be swayed by my words or yours ... nor swayed or edified by actual facts, proven science, or obvious truths.

But, ahhh ... therein lies the crux of the matter. 'Obvious truth' is in the eye of the beholder (or the beer-holder, in my case), and it's in our perception of the truth that we all find ourselves at odds with each other. It's in our comprehension of facts and science that we also find ourselves at odds with those sharing said facts and scientific knowledge.

So ... I often question why I, or anyone, should even bother to step up to the podium here and say "Listen to me, good people of the planet, for I hold the truth in my hands, and I will deliver you from the dreadful grips of ignorance, you silly person!!" The only ones listening are, again, those of like mind (or the ones waiting to pounce upon your beliefs like hungry jackals) ... and I don't necessarily need legions of those in agreement with me to validate my beliefs. I'm extremely comfortable in my beliefs ... although, yes ... of course I'm happy that others share in my beliefs or opinions.

What I'm not comfortable with is my decided impatience for "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" to become crystal clear to all. I impatiently await many truths, myself. I, unlike some, can willingly and openly admit that there is much truth that has yet to reveal itself to me. I'll keep looking, until then.

However, there IS at least one good reason to openly express one's beliefs ... and that is for the sake of solidarity. Solidarity with my brothers and sisters in letting them know that I'm on their side, I'm with them, and I have their backs ... just as I know they are with me.

And yet again ... the crux of the matter remains. Who's right, and who's wrong? The answer, folks, is not remotely as simple as identifying the source of one's perceived truths. The answer lies much, much deeper ... in peeling back the layers of misinformation, conspiracy, controlled and blatantly biased news, instilled fear, willful ignorance, generationally-trained bigotry, or self-serving political or corporate agendas ... that lead to one's perception of the truth. Most of the time, I think that we're all tragically misinformed in one way or another.

I'd honestly like to believe that much of the truth resides in our hearts, but we're all too often afraid to look that deeply within ourselves ... for we may not like what we see. The truth will also not reveal itself to us by childishly bickering amongst ourselves, either, because we're distracted from our responsibility to comprehend and accept truth by our argumentative, inflammatory words of intolerance, hatred, insult, or scorn.

If I may, I'd like to share a comment from a cherished friend, in response to a previous and admittedly semi-incendiary post (rant) of mine ... because it completely reflects how I wish people would interact, especially on social media, in respectful dialogue or discourse.

"Ah, Joel, my friend. So hard to read these things, but these are the times, I s’pose. We’re on polar opposite sides of the world on politics, but I’d fight for your right to maintain your stance. Be well is all." I smiled, and was reminded of how thankful I am for such a friendship.

See? How hard is that, to just be kind ... to be respectful in agreeing to disagree? I respond the same way to others, when confronted with a heated comment or refute of my stance. It's not hard, but it does require "biting one's tongue" for the sake of being considerate ... a trait sorely lacking in our society anymore ... even among the best of friends. I've certainly offended friends' sensibilities along the way ... but in responding, I've tried to remember what my beloved mother always told me. "Count to ten before you say something you can't take back and will regret." Indeed, words to live by. Miss you every day, Mom.

Moving forward, and whatever I end up deciding about how I'll spend my time here on FacePlant ... I will make you this promise. I'll do my very best to be more kind and considerate, and to refrain from words that would incite anger, offense, or contempt. I'll ask for you to try and do the same. Anymore ... we're ALL angry, confused, frightened, and frustrated ... and rightfully so.

The answers lie not in our contempt for each other, but our compassion. The answers lie not in our evisceration of each others' beliefs, but in our empathy. The solutions to our problems lie not in our differences, but absolutely in our similarities as human beings and our desires for a better world.

Sooooo, hey ... did you notice that I didn't remotely mention what I personally believe to be the actual truth? That's right ... I didn't. Because, when it all comes down to it ... and in the immortal words of 'The Dude' ... "Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

Just be kind, be better, be human. The real answers, my friends & friendettes, exist in our humanity toward each other as we strive to find the elusive path to peace, equality, prosperity, love, and enlightenment. We ain't gettin' outta here alive, anyway, so we should probably make the best of it while we're here ... for the sake of our great-grandchildren's happiness and our future as a species.

JULY 30, 2020
So, I'm perplexed and would like some answers. HA! Totally kidding! Me no want your speakings ... I'm talking here now ... so it's "quiet-time" for you. Hush yo mouf.

How and why are some of you folks, especially the supposedly smart ones, buying into the absolute lies about mail-in voting being dangerous or "evil incarnate?" I hate to be so blunt, kinda sorta ... not really ... but, well ... you are just plain wrong. I surely hope you don't believe it's bad just because Donnie Dingleberry told you so, because he's wrong, too.

First, think about mail in general. In this country, both people and the government have been jauntily mailing things to-and-fro since the U.S. Postal Service was established ... a whole year before the Declaration of Independence was signed, sealed, and delivered, so to speak. They could have even mailed it if they wanted to ... because it's perfectly safe, and, in fact, crimes involving mail under the sacrosanct purview of the U.S. Postal Service come with some of the more severe penalties in the world of fraud.

Second, it's been perfectly safe and acceptable all along to mail tax returns, tax refunds, election ballots, social security checks, pension checks, stimulus checks, prescription drugs, voter registration cards, credit cards, debit cards, job applications, resumes, vehicle registrations, driver licenses or registrations, census surveys, legal documents, personal documents, every shippable product known to humankind (including Chinese seeds), pictures of your pets without clothes on (eww, naked cats!) ... and even cold, hard cash in a birthday card to your ugly nephew. Millions and millions of people rely on mail, not only because it's inexpensive, safe, and effective ... but also because many don't have Internet or don't understand how to navigate the cyberspaces and "take care of business" digitally. And now, suddenly, mail-in ballots will be a huge problem and ruin the coming election? Puh-leeeez.

You DO realize that your precious Prezzie (and most of his family) have voted by mail numerous times ... including this year's primary election, right? Hmm, I wonder who he voted for? I'm kinda guessing that he probably wrote me in. He knows that I have a really big, huge, tremendous brain, yo.

Voting-by-mail has been safely and securely done for a loooong time, and there have been very few cases of attempted fraud. I say "attempted," because the attempts simply aren't successful ... and it's because of balloting methods and the decentralized nature of U.S. elections, that make it exceptionally difficult to interfere with mailed ballots. The implausibility of fraud with mailed ballots is confirmed by countless experts, the FEC (Federal Election Commission), and the EAC (Election Assistance Commission).

Nearly 1 in 4 voters cast mail-in ballots in the 2016 presidential election, and there is zero evidence of any successful fraud. In Oregon, for example, where voting has been done by mail since the late 90s ... only 14 cases of attempted mail fraud were discovered (and, of course, discarded) ... out of roughly 15.5 million ballots cast. In fact, mail-in ballots are given more scrutiny than those cast in-person at the polling places, practically guaranteeing the validity of mailed ballots.

And, mail-in ballots count and matter every bit as much as ballots cast in person. In the last presidential election, states rejected only 1% of mailed ballots ... mostly because they simply arrived late or were missing signatures or important verification info. Even one of Trumpy-Frumpy's own mailed ballots was discarded, because he put his wrong birth date on it. Good lawdy-lawd. As the kids' say, you can't make this shit up.

Are there problems with mail-in ballots? Yes ... but not the kind you may erroneously assume. Mail ballots can pose barriers to those who don’t speak English or have disabilities, and delivery of ballots to U.S. residents that don't have street addresses can be extremely problematic ... particularly on Native American reservations.

Do you know where voting fraud and error (accidental and intentional both) REALLY occurs? At the polling stations ... with faulty, tampered-with, or new machines that staffers don't even understand. Hello? Anyone remember those pesky "pregnant chads" in the 2000 election? Then, there are real people attempting real fraud, and sometimes successful at pulling one over on stressed, over-worked poll volunteers or there's corrupt interference by political parties saturating the polling stations.

Do you know where actual mail fraud has occurred often, though? In campaigns and campaigning, by the parties themselves ... Dumbocrats and Repugnicans both ... but not by voters.

And, hey now ... sorry there, kids & kidettes ... I figured I should at least TRY to be an equal-opportunity offender. You know I'm just playin' whicha. ;) My beloved friends (love you all!!) are Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Christian, Atheist, hetero, LGBTQ, Muslim, Buddhist, Chinese, Indian, Croatian, Native American, Canadian, Australian, Sri Lankan, British, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Japanese ... and they're all every beautiful color of the "human rainbow." Well, okay ... I don't actually know any green people. I was going to say purple at first, but I've actually seen some friends turn purple right before they do the vomitings. Why did you need to know that?

By the by, friendsesses ... I really dislike the term "straight" to describe heterosexuals. As if any other sexual orientation or gender identity is somehow wavy, oval, jagged, triangular, or ellipsical? Jeebus Fuckin' Crockpot, already. So, if I'm "straight," does that mean I should "plank" all the time to show how straighty-straight I am? Always stand perfectly erect or sit with perfect posture? Yeah, I know ... I said "erect." :P Am I not straight in your eyes, if I welcome a gay, male friend greeting me with hug and a kiss on the cheek? Fuck you. Am I not straight in your eyes, if I cheer on a cross-dressing friend putting on an amazing performance at a burlesque show? Fuck you. Am I not straight in your eyes, if I greet my lesbian friends with giddy joy and hugs and kisses? Fuck you. Am I not straight in your eyes, if I say that Johnny Depp or Hugh Jackman are some sexy mother-fuckers? Fuck you.

I'm designated as "straight," but really ... at my 'seasoned' age ... I'm actually quite curvy. I am also, however, straight-up whack-a-doodle sometimes ... as evidenced by my ridiculous digression here. Sorry. Oh, look ... squirrel!!

From now on, I'd like be identified as "Heterocurvalicious." Tankee velly mush. ;) Huge high-fives to my LGBTQ friends. I guess I just get really angry about living in a time when people can't just say or comprehend why "Black Lives Matter" ... and then seeing ALL of my friends under an intolerant, ignorant microscope as a result. I want the hate to stop ... and I want the stupidity to stop.

Holy crap! I was talking about lickin' stamps and voting by mail, wasn't I? Back to my semi-point here about political bullshit interfering with peoples' ability to see and grasp actual truth. As for my derogatory remarks about the Trumpetulant One ... yes, I unequivocally admit that I abhor and despise Donald Trump with every fiber of my being ... he's a noxious, putrid creature and an embarrassment to our country and the office, and almost every other nation in the world now pities us because of his vitriolic, mindless, petulant, and frightful behavior ... but I don't dislike Republicans, any more than I identify as a Democrat. For my Republican friends ... I actually feel really bad for you (especially these days), because your once-honorable party was completely hijacked away from you a long time ago. You deserve much better than Trumpelthinskin.

Oh, yeah ... voting by mail works!! It's safe, secure, and hunky-dory-okee-dokee. PLEASE VOTE, however you choose to do so ... but as for me? I'll be mailing my vote in, because I surely don't want to stand in a line full of unmasked, mouth-breathing, selfish, inconsiderate Sleestaks.

Go forth and have yourselves a lovely weekend.

JULY 28, 2020
Hello, friends & friendettes! This is my first "official" blog entry here in my little corner of the Interwebs. I've posted many other bumbling mumblings on my FacePlant page, but I'm working on consolidating them all here on my website for your reading pleasure (or disdain). I'll get back to you on that daunting process one of these days. Anyhoo, and for now ... awaaayyy we go!

DISCLAIMER : This product is intended only for external use only as a mental stimulant. Do not take internally. If swallowed, contact a psychiatric professional immediately. Do not attempt home shock therapy, although consumption of alcohol has been proven to dull momentary feelings of discomfort.

I occasionally like to paint pretty pictures with words ... with all of the nifty rainbow colors of snark, knowledge, common sense, disdain, science, philosophication, irreverent humor, historical perspective, unicorn poop, and a few splashes of fuckery. Think of me as the illegitimate (and strikingly handsome) love-child of Bob Ross, George Carlin, and Aristotle ... here for your fleeting entertainment (although mostly for my own catharsis). Crikey ... I'll bet that was one freaky, uncomfortable threesome. They could have at least thought to invite Ayn Rand, Maya Angelou, and Marie Curie to even-out that 'cool people orgy' just a smidge. Personally, I would have also invited Hugh Jackman and Gal Gadot ... but that's just me and my appreciation of really pretty human-type peoples. Oh, wait ... that couldn't happen, actually. Hugh and Gal are from two different universes. That's a "no fly zone" ... well, unless you're Ryan Reynolds, but I know he still regrets that ... and I'll forgive him, 'cuz he's kinda pretty, too.

My buddy Oren suggested that I may actually be the spawn of Hunter S. Thompson and Dr. Seuss. I kind of like that complimentary notion, but I don't think the world is ready for "gonzo" childrens' books quite yet. Hmmm ... or maybe it is! Things on this planet can't get much more fucked up, eh?

And, sheesh ... just like that, I made it weird before I even got to any kind of vague point. You'll question what the point of the following is soon enough ... and many, many times along the way. It's that whole 'stream of consciousness' writing thing that I do ... it's my voodoo I do, yo. This will undoubtedly be my longest tirade yet, and I'ma be somewhat mean, dark, unforgiving, cynical, and mostly unapologetic ... if not bleakly fatalistic.

Then again, as with most of my verbose, questionably-coherent ramblings ... I'm guessing that only four or five people, at most (love yooz guyz!) will actually read this whole thing anway. I can almost hear it now.

"It's too long! It has too many of the words! My brain haz the hurtings! There's, like, facts and stuff! I just want another edition of 'Humping Weekly!' What in the hot-holy-hell does "fatalistic" mean?!?!" What-everrrrr, dude.

I must, however, apologize for any accidentally arrogant comparison to my man, George Carlin. I'd never remotely come close to that kind of insight or comedic genius. He was, and always will be, my favorite comedian ... an intuitive 'social voyeur' and an enlightened yet darkly-humorous voice of reason in unreasonable times. I can almost hear him offering up the synopsis for this particular, forthcoming babbling of mine, by saying "Things went to shit before I got here, and they'll go deeper into shit after I'm gone. We're all fucked, and it's your fault, people."

I do think I'm pretty-much done with investing any more valuable, personal time in offering opinion or commentary on social media for the sake of attempting cordial discourse about crucially relevant world issues ... which is both desperately optimistic and clearly impossible any longer. I may ocasionally post little (err, long) blog entries on my personal website for their own cathartic value to me ... but I probably won't even announce such here on FacePlant. Besides, most grunion-people can't read very well (most don't want to), they can't spell, don't understand grammar or 'big college words,' or have the ability to consciously grasp anything beyond the scope of a brainless, poorly-conceived meme that emboldens their already-flawed thought processes. No one listens anymore ... they only like the sound of their own voice.

Methinks my time on social media will be spent, from here on out (as it was in the beginning), just staying in touch with my cherished friends, making silly posts, inserting risque comments (yeah, I said "insert"), and posting pictures of my adult toy collection. Oh, c'mon! I'm talkin' about my drums and cymbals, you pervs & pervettes! Geez.

Great. Juuust great. Now I'm stuck on having said "in the beginning" ... and I'm over here conjuring up images of a heftily-bearded deity-dude pulling apart some nimbus clouds and imparting divine words of wisdom and purpose ... with lots of reverberation and boomy-boomy thunder.

Genesis: Verse 34; The Book Of Invisible Touching In The Land Of Confusion (King Phil Version) --- And in the beginning, the clouds parted, and Him spake unto the scantily-clad Prophet Joel of Billtownia. Him bellowed at Joel, who was trembling in awe and fear and a need to really go pee ... that he, Joel, must go forth and make up the Stupid Shit ... and to tell the people of the world that The Lord-Unit Him fucked up and made too many assholes ... and that Him's, like, sorry and stuff. Him granted Joel the Power of Ridiculous Braining, so that he might impart the meanings of the lifes upon the easily-amused like a philosophical Ninja on the Cracks. And Him also granted Joel the Power of The Grey Hair, to make him appear much smarter than he really is ... for Him's reluctantly-chosen Prophet was born with too many of The Issues. Yet the people rejoiced. Yay. Him even sent down to the Earth, Him's Son ... Jeebus Cocoa-Puffs ... to turn water into Beer, and thus sustain Joel on his journey deep into the peoples' Nether Regions. And then, Him ... the Lord Almighty-Righty-Then, revealed Himself unto the Prophet Joel ... and Him was none other than Samuel L. Jackson ... who shouted unto Joel, with fuurrrrious anger, "Put your fuckin' pants on, mother fucker!!"

This is why I shouldn't have a laptop.

For realz ... fuck faux-humans. It's like being stuck in the movie 'They Live' alongside Rowdy Roddy Piper ... being one of the few rebels that has those cool sunglasses that let me us the 'lizard people' among us. Damn, do I ever love John Carpenter movies. ;)

The vast majority of humans are distressing, feeble-minded, sociopathic, heaping piles of mental excrement, delivered to our doorstep in oleaginous skin-bags covered in warts ... intellectually-infected pustules ... putrid pimples that people pop at each other in the hopes of spreading their toxic mindsets among the all-too-willing and countless human vacuums of idiocy.

Ewww!! That sounds kinda disgusting right there. Yeah, well ... people are inarguably disgusting.

And yes, the word all of you numbskulls were looking for is 'inarguable.' NOT 'arguable,' as is being incorrectly used on a daily basis, even by allegedly 'professional' journalists, writers, newscasters, and public speakers. Words have meanings, folks ... and when you use the wrong words (or misspelled written words), you appear very, very dumb. Sadly, most people don't even care anymore ... they'll even openly admit so. Shame on you.

I'd really like to see the best in people ... honest & true ... and I do see it in my friends, colleagues, and a handful of others. But, I rarely (if ever) see it online anymore. Then again, I also don't see much resembling 'the best' in people on television, in magazines or newspapers, or even at the grocery store ... so why fight my inevitable disappointment and disdain? For gosh-golly's sake, even when I DO see good-hearted people ... especially those supporting righteous human causes or trying to edify the tragically misled ... it's only a matter of minutes before the locusts of contempt relentlessly swarm them and suck out their marrow for breakfast.

So to speak, we've collectively made our big bed, and now we have to lie in it. Granted, it's a comfy bed of 'Febrezed' squalor with downy-soft pillows of ignorance and apathy ... and most sleep just fine every night.

"To sleep, perchance to dream ... ay, there's the rub, for in this sleep of death, what dreams may come."

Ooohh, I know! I know! Pick me! It's dreams of possession, privilege, power, and self-righteous indignation, because other people aren't worthy of my dreams! Life is all about ME! Wait, what do you mean I'm not paying attention to some bigger picture? But, like, I have an 12-foot flatscreen TV!

The human race will, most decidedly and one day very soon, be extinct ... just like the dinosaurs, long before us. I say "before," as in, cavemen didn't even show up until about 60 million years after the dinosaurs met their icy armageddon-ish fate. Damn you, Bruce Willis, for not going back in time and saving those adorable Brontosaurusseses! Countless genera have gone extinct over time, before the dinosaurs and after ... and there have been no less than five extinction events that have altered the course of planetary evolution. Well, okay ... six ... if you'd be so considerate and intellectually-inclined as to include the current, ongoing one ... i.e. the 'Holocene Extinction' ... the one that started about 10,000 years ago, give or take a millenia here or there. Because, ya know ... people showed up.

The difference, this time around, is that humans will be directly responsible for their own extinction ... and we've become quite adept at speeding up the process. Go on with your bad selves, human people-types! Mother Nature says "thanks," by the way. In the past two centuries alone, roughly, the number of species becoming extinct is 1,000 times greater than the natural (or 'background') extinction rate over time eternal. Right now, as we speak, it's estimated that out of the known 8+ million species of critters and plants on our planet ... over 1 million of them are currently threatened with imminent extinction. For perspective's sake ... over the course of your binge-watching a season of 'Tiger King' or 'Kim Kardashian's Bombastic Buttcheeks Vs. Snooki's Black-Hole Brain' (ugh, the lunacy astounds me) ... somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 species went extinct. While you were 'tweeting' about some celebrity's new haircut ... the Western Black Rhino was effectively declared extinct. An actual ancestor of dinosaurs ... like crocodiles or penguins (yes, penguins). They've both been around a long time and watched, in disbelief, as we've systematically decimated our planet, our fellow humans, and their innocent critter buddies.

As I cruise along here ... it will become evident that I have no compunction in referencing (and thereby insulting) certain celebrities, politicians, or pundits. A moron is a moron ... "stupid is as stupid does" ... and Honey Badger doesn't give a shit. You either have some modicum of artistic or intellectual value to our world, or you don't. Otherwise, if you're only contributing to the "dumbing down" of society ... get off of my lawn.

I've heard folks say inane things like "It's just evolution ... those sea minks or Eastern pumas would have gone extinct anyway," or worse, "Humans were designed to be the dominant species." You couldn't be more mistaken and uneducated. I shall soon(ish) regale you with cautionary tales, evolutionary fables, historical proofingses, and all the sciencings.

Climate change? Yeah, it's a real thing. Once semi-erroneously referred to as "global warming" ... climate change is occurring, and it's something that has happened countless times over Earth's evolution as a planet. But, what was once a naturally-occurring event on a more gradual scale over, say, a hundred-thousand years ... it's now an accelerated event directly attributable to humankind's existence. Holes in our ozone layer have occurred over time, but have more recently (in the grand scheme of time) been exacerbated by humans fucking up our atmosphere as a result of fossil fuel emissions, chemically-unsafe aerosols, and general over-population. Ever notice how uncomfortably warm it is, in a room filled with 200 people ... but a room that was intended to only fit 70? Such ozone holes typically end up occurring at our poles (you know, those North and South ones) by default of planetary rotation, gravity, and atmospheric friction. Santa Claus must be really fuckin' pissed right about now.

Yeah, I know ... I said "poles." I'll refrain from any jokes about Peter North's pole.

As the polar "caps" melt away (including Greenland, in our northern hemisphere) ... so melts away the walrus, polar bear, seals, Arctic fox, penguins, Orcas (and other whales), bunnies, mousies, some nifty sharks, and hundreds of other species of cool (actually, quite chilly) bird-critters that are integral and critical to those beautiful environments. Antarctica is one of the largest continents on the planet, though mostly uninhabited ... except for a couple of dozen countries that send unsuspecting teams there ... to research that alien spaceship Kurt Russell discovered under the ice back in 1982. It's a thing ... for realz.

See what I did there?

Don't get me wrong, folks & folkettes. This isn't necessarily going to become a rant about "animal lives matter," to implore you to send all of your ice cubes to Greenland, or to yell "Stop eating Koalas!" I'm not really sure why anyone would want to eat a Koala, though ... except to maybe save some endangered Eucalyptus trees. Gee, now there's an ethical quandary! Do we save the Koalas or do we save the Eucalyptus trees? Anyhoo ... more on critters, smarmy Vegans, hot wings, and disgusting human gluttony later.

Holy crap! I just "Googled" Antarctica's size to confirm my memory's notions ... and while I'm correct (it's the 5th largest continent, though more important in a geographical sense because it's, you know, the South Pole) ... Google suggested other 'relevant' search questions based upon supposedly popular queries, as they do. One such question was "Can you smoke in Antarctica?" Da fuck? Really? People out there wonder if they can smoke when they visit a sub-zero land that would kill them within minutes of walking outside without a shawl? Jeebus Fuckin' Crankshaft. I smoke, but if I found myself stranded in Antarctica, the last thing I'd be thinking about is a fuckin' cigarette while my testicles instantly froze and fell off while waving at a penguin.

And here I go again! (No, do NOT cue up that 'Whitesnake' tune, please). I mentioned "sub-zero" ... and now I'm picturing that character (the bad-ass Professor Toru Tanaka, yo! RIP, big man) from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "The Running Man." After doing away with Tanaka's bad guy, Ahnuld proclaimed "Sub-Zero? Now plain zero!" Oh, those wonderfully silly Arnie lines! The late, great Richard Dawson was a truly delightful dick in that one, by the way. And, Paul Michael Glaser directed it ... you know ... fuckin' Starsky, dude! See? This is how my mind works.

Should the polar ice all completely melt at the hands of our environmental apathy ... the sea level would rise by more than 200+ feet. Yep ... Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Tahiti, Bermuda, Bora Bora ... pretty much all of the islands in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans ... they're all gone. No more tropical island vacations for you, bitch! For that matter, no more Los Angeles, Baltimore, New York City, Boston, Sicily, London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Miami, Capetown, most of the Philippines, Singapore, New Orleans, Sri Lanka, Israel, Morocco, San Diego, San Francisco, half of Central America, and on and on. But, hey ... Tibet, Nepal, Kilimanjaro, Denali, or the Chilean Andes are lookin' pretty good! Road trip, anyone? And do those mountains have an EZ-Glide chair-lift or something?

I must admit that I'm perfectly fine with Washington, D.C. going under ... as long as the cool people safely evacuate and reluctantly take the politicians, lobbyists, and war-mongers with them. Fuck all of those grandiose, pretentious buildings and monuments to 'American greatness.' Let 'em fall, like it was a scene from the movies 'Independence Day,' 'Deep Impact,' or 'Geostorm.'

Hang on, now ... I'm talking about the buildings that represent our innately corrupt, self-serving government. Get everything out of the various Smithsonian and other great museums and galleries in America's capitol before the watery deluge. Let our politicians work out of unadorned offices in a strip mall in Nebraska, and then prove their worth to us. Save all of the "stuff" for the sake of human history, for better or worse. In fact, take down all of the monuments everywhere to people who represent anything and everything in our collective American history ... the good, the bad, and the Rocky Balboa. Put them all somewhere where they can be viewed by those interested down the line. Trust me ... once someone or something is enshrined in a museum, most people wouldn't care anymore, anyway ... and they'd become as easily forgotten as chariots, Civil War cannons, Elvis' jump-suits, or Justin Bieber. It would be for the best.

What should truly last, however ... in our hearts, minds, and deeds ... is any legacy of action or intent to further the cause of humanity, peace, and civilization. None of the truly worthy people from our past ever wanted or expected a monument to them ... they only wanted good in their time, and for us to follow their lead. But we, in our selfish need to immortalize people that espouse our sundry beliefs ... we build statues and grand edifices to those that we've held upon high. Our saviors, our leaders, our messiahs, our deliverers from evil! It makes us feel better ... as if by erecting a monument, we are somehow following their lead or living up to their dreams ... when all along, we are not. We gaze upon the magnificence of old 'Honest Abe' Lincoln, sitting on his big marble Barca-lounger and praise his contributions to our country's growth and progress, and then we turn around and ignore the continued injustices to black Americans while we go for ice cream. Vanilla ice cream.

As I alluded to above, I don't remotely wish harm upon any fellow human. I don't want anyone to perish at the hands of man or Mother Nature. The difference between me (maybe you) and far too many people, is that I don't want another, single person to die for any reason other than old age after a life well-lived. For those that would actually wish physical harm or death upon another, for any reason whatsoever ... well, you are what's commonly referred to as a "psycopath."

Okay, okay ... back to my little bubble of perceived reality. We are, quite literally, living in a time of ongoing, mass extinction ... and it is unequivocally the direct result of human activity in the form of population growth, over-consumption of natural resources, deforestation, and environmental encroachment. Our days are numbered, yet we keep "upping the ante." Our end is not that far off, in the overall scheme of life on Earth ... and oddly enough (if not morbidly gratifying), I honestly think that I would like to see it happen within my own lifetime. When the flower of humankind withers and dies, I'll be the guy sitting quietly off to the side ... drinking a beer, snickering, and toasting everyone with a hearty "told ya so!" cheer. Feel free to pop over and have a beer with me, and bring along some Funyuns, if ya would.

I'm not very keen about the fact that my fate has been signed, sealed, and delivered by billions of clueless, fellow (*cough*) 'human' beings ... but what can ya do, eh? Humans are typically petty, disgusting, insignificant, self-important, mindless creatures. For the most part, I abhor so-called 'human' beings ... from litterbugs to leeches, from racists to raving lunatics, from the obsequious to the oblivious, from mysogynists to malcontents, from the ungrateful to the uneducated, from bigots to bullies, from the complacent to the compliant, from grifters to gangsters, from the abusers to the apathetic, from the violent to the vile, and from conspirators to cowards.

We vainly tout 'humanity' as a virtue ... that lofty and gracious trait of 'spiritual' benevolence. Yet, we continue to ignore or discard this seemingly unattainable aspiration ... because it's inconvenient or counter-productive to our greed and delusions of superiority, and in our blind covetousness ... we are capable of the most inhumane acts and heinous mindsets. We vainly tout 'humanity' ... as in, our species ... as omniscient and omnipotent, and yet we ignore or discard both the capacity and responsibility that comes with such perceived greatness in lieu of coins and castles.

We are mean, hateful, willfully ignorant, vindictive, narcissistic, greedy, inconsiderate, violent, intolerant, myopic, petulent, distrustful, and most often ... just plain foolish and stupid. We intentionally inflict pain, suffering, injustice, death, and despair upon ourselves ... upon our fellow humans. All along, "we" callously believe that there is somewhere a "them" in the equation of peaceful existence ... only to become "them" by default of our egotistic ignorance and reprehensible actions (or inaction). There is only 'us' ... there is only "we."

Humans rally and revolt against perceived oppression, by attempting to oppress those who would appear to be our oppressors. The irony is mind-boggling. Humans commit atrocities against each other, only to decry those who would commit atrocious acts against each other. Humans blame each other for their woes, yet forever fail to accept the responsibility of being complicit.

We, as a species, have granted ourselves and marvelously earned the means, knowledge, science, technology, historical insight, and prowess to achieve an enlightened, harmonious existence ... and yet, we apathetically cast such gifts aside for possession, power, and pride. We, as a species, have developed the incredible and awesome ability to look billions of years back into our own planet's evolutionary history, and have developed the equally incredible ability to look billions of light years into the universe around us, past and present ... and yet, we flippantly disregard the lessons of our own delicate and tenuous existence and mortality. We, as a species, have been granted intellect, logic, sensibility, and a cognizance of ethics, morality, and propriety ... and yet, we eschew such glorious 'human' virtues for money and dominion. Even worse ... we just go about our daily business of killing each other in the name of religion, politics, and racial superiority, all the while desecrating our planet ... inherently incapable of grasping our own faults and failures as purportedly sentient beings.

We forged the Internet ... offering ourselves global, instant access to every bit of information and knowledge amassed over the millenia of human existence and beyond, and we're more ghastly uninformed than ever before.

We ignore truth in lieu of convenient rhetoric. We avoid self-education in lieu of propagandizing falsehoods. We evade knowledge in lieu of comfortable ignorance. We discard science in lieu of fairy tales and conspiracy theories.

For Heaven's sake, we even created religion for ourselves (I did a thing, there) ... long, long before anybody wearing sandals showed up to comb the deserts in search of good-natured, open-minded peeps to teach the 'meaning of life' to. I am totally beside myself now, trying not to ramble on about my accidental references to a Monty Python movie or that hilarious scene "Comb the desert!" from Spaceballs.'

Prehistoric man (cave-dudes & cave-dudettes) seemingly worshipped big lizards and volcano 'money-shots' ... and although there is legit proof of early practices of human burial ... scientists are torn between whether that was a result of established religious beliefs, or just because dead Neanderthals stunk-up their caves something awful and attracted famished, previously docile marsupials. There is also evidence of early humans weighting down their dead to submerse them in nearby, deep waters. This is known as the beginning of the La Cosa Nostra Era, ruled by Vinnie 'The Fish' Corleolini and Paulie '8-Toes' Parmigianopecorino.

I adore and lovingly respect you, my Italian friends. Please don't invite me over for a party-of-one in the garage with a tarp on the floor. This is just me being silly, while straying way off-topic. Saluti!

Buddha and Confucious pre-dated Jesus by hundreds of years ... while perplexingly unbeknownst to most, the Aztecs and Mayans didn't show up until well after Jesus wandered around and made wine coolers and had a fish-fry. Granted, and in defense of the Aztecs and Mayans, they were separated from the religious enlightenment of the Middle East, Europe, and Asia by big oceans and, you know, time ... so how could they know that they were wrong by worshipping a sun god in the daytime, a night god when they couldn't see anything anymore and started tripping over logs, or sacrificing virgins to the god of 'this will make my pee-pee much bigger.' Give 'em a break, already.

And, sheesh!! Where in the heck would we be without the other old, polytheistic religions the world over ... the countless gods & goddesses of the Greeks, Romans, Africans, sooth-saying Mayans, or those mighty, mighty Norse Viking folks? Crikey ... the cinematic 'Marvel Universe' would only be left with Ant-Dude, Wanda Maximumcleavage, and War Machine (sorry, 'Iron Patriot'). We needed those various and sundry gods or goddesses of War, Fight Club (Shit! I'm not supposed to mention that!), Fertility, Thunder & Lightning (the way I love them is frightening - I better knock on wood), Mischief (fuckin' Loki), Love, Wetness, Dirt, Bloodshed, Earth Wind & Fire (let's groove tonight!), Shenanigans, Baby-Squirting, Soybean Production, Bows & Arrows, Sex, Incontinence, Diarrhea ... and, umm ... sorry ... I'm getting way off-point again, aren't I? I'm actually still worried about the mob comin' after me, quite honestly.

But, and sincerely ... humans created religion to hopefully answer the unanswerable questions ... or to grant us hope, guidance, purpose, or peace ... only for too many of us to become the antithesis of such supposedly steadfast beliefs. We perverted sacred texts, blasphemed our dieties, commited sins under the eyes of our gods and fellow man, and we broke all of the rules that were set forth for us as a gospel, tenet, or moral doctrine for all humankind ... without compunction or shame in the consequence of such shallow duplicity.

Peaceful and honorable servants of God or the will of God, Yahweh (or Jehovah) ... they are too often tragically misled by zealots who would pervert the Bible (or for Hebrews or modern Jews, the Tanakh) for nefarious purposes ... be it petty financial gain, hideously fueling a hatred of those who worship differently, or waging wars against supposed heathens or infidels ... justifying atrocities like stoning, lynching, beheading, torture, genocide or 'ethnic cleansing,' rape, pillaging ... erroneously condoning the desecration or theft of cherished and significant artifacts from another culture ... and employing segregation, internment, oppression, and murder as weapons of some 'holy' purpose. Yet, these are not the true teachings of these sacred texts.

The prophet Jesus (and the prophets Abraham and Isaac before him) only wanted our understanding and acceptance of compassion and love for our fellow humans ... to live in peace ... free of hatred, intolerance, and the evil that men do ... to serve a better and higher purpose in the name of God or Yahweh.

Peaceful and honorable servants of Allah and his will ... they are too often tragically misled by zealots who would pervert the Qur'an for nefarious purposes ... be it petty financial gain, hideously fueling a hatred of those who worship differently, or waging wars against supposed heathens or infidels ... justifying atrocities like stoning, lynching, beheading, torture, genocide or 'ethnic cleansing,' rape, pillaging ... erroneously condoning the desecration or theft of cherished and significant artifacts from another culture ... and employing segregation, internment, oppression, and murder as weapons of some 'holy' purpose. Yet, these are not the true teachings of this sacred text.

The prophet Muhammad (and the prophets Ibrahim and Ishmael before him) only wanted our understanding and acceptance of compassion and love for our fellow humans ... to live in peace ... free of hatred, intolerance, and the evil that men do ... to serve a better and higher purpose in the name of Allah.

Notice a theme there? Notice that I didn't "call out" other religious beliefs such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Jainism, or even Zoroastrianism? Well ... that's for two reasons. One, is that the two most predominant religions on the planet are currently Christianity and Islam. But, two ... because none of those other 'religious' peoples (with occasional exceptions) ever waged massive war campaigns against their fellow humans to snuff them out to declare moral victory in the name of their dicks and dollars.

Ravenous faux-Christians build massive churches to cajole their sadly gullible, yet desperately hopeful, parishioners out of their very last dollar. Hint, hint ... God neither needs nor wants your money, but your deceptive pastor, priest, or minister does ... to afford a fancy suit or car, or to fund more edifices or even terroristic acts against your own neighbors. The KKK cowers beind a veil of Christianity to extend a legacy of hate, and they are indeed cowardly people. Israelites bomb their neighbors over scraps of land and fear of oppression, and their neighbors bomb them over being oppressed by them and questioning the validity of their land. Sunnis murder Shiites. Christians murder Muslims. Muslims murder Hindus. Asians murder presumed 'lesser' Asians. Africans murder presumed 'lesser Africans.

The Irish murder entire kegs of Guinness on a daily basis. It's sheer madness.

In the after-life, heaven, or paradise ... we may all be judged ... not by being sent to hell, purgatory, or eternal damnation, but by history. Our deeds and actions left behind us. Whether you believe in a 'higher power' or not ... you WILL be judged by the memory of who you were. Tread carefully, humans, lest ye be judged very harshly. Then again, we ain't gonna be around all that long anyway ... so why not act like savages toward each other? Get that last dollar to take with you to your grave! Kill that other guy for lookin' different ... he's clearly inferior in the eyes of Crom!! You know ... Ahnuld's god in 'Conan The Barbarian?'

There's also that rather distinct possibility that when we die ... that's it. Just 'lights out,' and nothing more. I would personally that prefer that scenario, so I can stop thinking about how awful humans are to each other or worrying about when the next Avengers movie will come out. Cue Tom Petty (RIP) ... "the way-ay-ting is the harrrdest part."

We are a race of deliberate hypocrites and devious miscreants ... dreadfully tolerant of each other's inhumanity toward each other. We are a race willingly ruled by maniacal tyrants, genocidal despots, war-mongers, money-hoarders ... methodically zealous, self-proclaimed messiahs ... and we are fatally tolerant of their diabolical, malicious, and relentless schemes and designs against us under the guise of 'righteous' superiority. We no more comprehend honest leadership than we do our own subservience. As lambs to the slaughter and lemmings to the sea, we prostrate ourselves before our autocratic demi-gods in the name of politics, religion, and allegiance ... clamoring for the scraps they hand down ... scraps we perceive to be somehow valuable, because the powers-that-be told us so.

We are the epitome and personification of a glaringly inferior race of 'mammal critters' ... blessed with thought and cursed by what we think ... and we're apparently no more enlightened than the Babylonians, or the Neanderthals before them. We are doomed by our own indifference, and we'll continue to drink every flavor of Kool-Aid to stay hydrated until the reckoning, apocalypse, or rapture arrives ... whilst we wallow in the misery that we've created with our very own hands ... refusing to relinquish our self-appointed superiority, lest we perish at the hands of those 'other' infidels or ne'er-do-wells.

We use our skewed 'moral compasses' to debate the virtues of capital punishment, assisted suicide, and abortion ... yet we created these things. We use skewed logic to rationalize warfare. We use our powers of intellect and technological advancement to create more weapons than we do cures for disease. But, in the end ... we'll simply be the weapons of our own destruction.

Newsflash, chirping crickets ...

There will be no massive, organized uprising of Antifa armadillos. Orangutans won't learn to use our pew-pew guns and ride horsies. There will be no zombie apocalypse, any more than there will be swarms of saber-toothed butterflies, irradiated warthogs, or even just mildly annoyed mollusks. No need to call Bruce Willis (he never picks up the phone anymore, anyway) ... because it won't be an asteroid the size of Donald Trump's ego (or his boy-toy Kanye West's, for that matter) hurtling toward us.

Although, it would seem that the ass-terhemorrhoid Trumpetulence Inflatus has already struck the planet, and covered and blinded half of the population in billowing clouds of stupidity and bullshit.

No ... it'll just be us ... killing off ourselves and the other innocent inhabitants of Earth through war, plague, violence, environmental rape, and brainless behavior. And, it'll come with the willing and giddy help of Ol' Mama Nature, who's just kickin' back sippin' a Mai Tai ... waiting to finally say "enough is enough" and brush us off this once-serene and pristine planet like we were nothing more than embarrassing dandruff.

We're an embarrassment. We all hate each other, and it may never end. Worse ... most 'enlightened' humans know what's wrong and what should be done if we are to survive ... but it's just so damn inconvenient. We have to go to work and stuff. That new SUV ain't gonna pay for itself!

Of course, there's always that age-old comparison of humans to ants ... scurrying around building little houses, feeding our royal queens, mindlessly working as slaves to our own petty causes, and swarming like noble warriors to kill those pesky beetles trying to steal our stuff.

That's a terribly unfair and disrespectful comparison, because ants are pretty cool critters ... whereas humans are a uniquely flawed and ruthless species unfit to be the masters of this planet. Other animals live in a harmonious, mutually-beneficial 'circle of life' ... whereas we intentionally choose blissful ignorance and petulent small-mindedness, over our obligation to use our humanity and gift of consciousness to survive, evolve, and prosper as one of but millions of species.

We won't 'win' by coveting money over mankind. We won't survive, by continuing down a twisted path of warfare, hatred, intolerance, and delusions of grandeur. We won't prosper, by stealing prosperity from our fellow humans. We surely won't evolve, ignoring a catastrophic destiny that we're securing by our own ambivalence and apathy.

While you're mindlessly bickering about your government on social media, your government is systematically dismantling the very fabric of your beloved democracy ... on both so-called "sides." The very democracy that affords you the right to speak freely, and you use that precious right to instead cast insults, divisiveness, and hatred.

While you're arguing about race, religion, masks, politics, gender, flags, sexual orientation, pandemics, monuments, lawlessness, bra-lessness, people who like Nickelback, or the value of kale ... most of you are missing the point (or having your points made for you by other idiots) ... blinded by willful ignorance and intolerance.

And, now ... I believe I'll go "there" for a minute or seven ...

Black lives matter ... and until they do in this country, with absolute equality in justice, fairness, opportunity, perception, and treatment ... you don't get to scream "all lives matter." Fuck you. Yeah ... I'm talkin' to you, white-bread. You're ignoring a pervasive problem that has plagued this country since it's founding, and willfully ignoring the responsibility we have to each other ... to live up to this country's once-cherished ideals, as a nation, of freedom from oppression or subjugation. And, the Black Lives Matter Movement isn't the only issue tearing us apart in this country right now. We are caught in a "perfect storm." Yet still, above all else and now more than ever ... the cries and rightful demands of blacks and people of color in this country must be heard and answered.

I read a lot, especially online. More than most, it would seem. All kinds of websites, all kinds of news sources ... including the ones that offer nauseating lies and misinformation ... so that I know exactly what's happening out there in the world. Most articles I find for myself, and others are brought to my attention by lovely, like-minded friends. While I normally prefer to use my own words (or just make words up), I can't help but offer a snippet from a recent op-ed, written by a gentleman named Mark Wingfield, and posted on the website BaptistNews.com.

Stop right there. Don't even start. I'm not a devout Christian, and I don't go knockin' on doors to sell salvation with a free toaster included. I READ. I LEARN. You should try it yourself sometime. Anyhoo, Mr. Wingfield sums up, quite nicely, some of my own thoughts right now.

And, I quote; "We must see the images of federal law enforcement beating citizens in Portland. We must see children held in cages at the Texas-Mexico border. We must hear the stories of families ravaged by COVID-19. We must hear the stories of businesses going under because there is no business. We must listen to teachers who fear for their lives by entering their classrooms. We must feel the pain of children kept outside hospitals while their parents are dying inside. We must watch the videos of Black men and women being violently assaulted and murdered by overzealous police officers. We cannot — we must not — avert our eyes. It is the ultimate expression of privilege — and usually white privilege, at that — to be able to say, “I’m not going to pay attention to this horrible thing going on because it makes me sad.” Only those of us safely out of harm’s way could make such choices. Only those of us living above the poverty line, outside the racial isolation zone, beyond the border, free of coronavirus could dare say we’re just going to avert our eyes. This is an arrogant, insensitive thing to say."

As long I'm quoting others ... and along the same lines ... I'd like to quote the late, great, and supremely honorable Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; "There comes a time when silence is betrayal. Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about things that matter. And in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

So that's that. Black lives matter. If you can't say it, you remain an obstacle in the path toward equality and our progress as human beings. Right now, most can't even seem to comprehend why black lives matter ... as if acknowledging that they matter somehow diminishes anyone else's personal value. It's not a "battle of the bands" here, folks. It's simple, and it is paramount to ending the loathsome scourge of racism. Until we recognize that the suppression of equality and justice for 'one of us' isn't acceptable ... we will never achieve equality and justice for 'all of us.'

Be better, think better, and behave better ... for otherwise, you will surely and directly be responsible for the bitter end of the human race. This is neither naivete nor misguided idealism. It is the unadulterated truth.

But, hey ... what the hell. We'll be extinct soon anyway, thank Gourd.

Oh, crap! I forgot that I promised a whole thingie about critters, smarmy Vegans, hot wings, and disgusting human gluttony. We'll get to that. But now for something completely different ... I'm going to spare you from the second half (or other two-thirds, maybe) of this massive missive. Yep, that's right ... there's a LOT more to come.

Political Pop-Tarts! Konspiracy Kangaroos! Congressional Reach-Arounds! Antifa Yelled At My Chipmunks! Revolution: Take 639! Gullible Yoga Pants! Dolph Lundgren Is Not Expendable! Snarky Pancakes! And more!
Joel B Vincent  ©  1962 by Patricia Vincent
Miss you every, single day, Mom