Thomas Ligotti

conspiracy-aganst-the-human-race

Thomas Ligotti is my kind of guy, sorta.  He always expects the worst.  He spends all his time worrying about how he’s going to suffer and die and expects that everyone else is just the same, except some of us are better at fooling ourselves about the outcome.  That makes him mad.  He thinks all the folks that don’t worry about dying and suffering are deceiving themselves and just distracting themselves with ideas of afterlives or just having a good time, you know, trying not to think about it.  And he’s right, but these other folks are a whole lot happier than he is.  Now we can see the real problem, sorta.

Thomas_Ligotti

Ligotti has a big head, a really big head and that’s why he thinks about all these dreary things all the time instead of watching television or playing golf.  He’s always talking about how consciousness and self awareness are a tragedy and a curse on humankind; a crappy adaptation that evolution sneaked in there.  The thing he forgets is most people are really unconscious most of the time anyway, even when they’re not sleeping; they’re clueless about this kind of stuff, so why does he want to remind them and take them into his pity party?  Leave them alone with their fairy tale lives.  Don’t bring ’em down.  Don’t rain on their parade.  Not enough hobbies I guess.  Not enough television.  Not enough high speed internet downloading those “short films.”

baby

Well what’s Ligotti’s answer?  Don’t have any kids.  That’s it.  What, you say?  That makes him feel better about things?  Yeah, his basic argument is that by having kids we doom all the future generations to the suffering and death we have so we shouldn’t have any:  antinatalism they call it.  Let the species die out.  Well if Ligotti had any kids he wouldn’t be worrying about his great grandbaby’s suffering, he’d be worrying about his own suffering trying to deal with his own kids, getting them through college and boyfriends, etc.  I bet his parents suffered plenty with him.  Forget about future generation’s suffering.  Besides his kids would be the kind that would suffer because all the bullies would rag them about their egghead dad.

I think his problem maybe is really low testosterone and therefore low sperm count.  He isn’t gettin’ it on enough.  Only those coffin chicks would even consider hangin’ out with him he’s so dreary and down.  He needs to jerk it more too, take some of the tension and pressure off it.  He can’t have kids so he wants us to join him.  Sour grapes.

936271_10151393897207477_197412770_n

Ligotti writes a horror story about once every decade or so, when he isn’t feeling sorry for himself and the rest of us.  They’re pretty good, but enigmatic.  Now I don’t expect you to understand a word like that, nor a story like that, because you are correctly spending your time feeling good and not worrying about future generation’s suffering or how the joke’s on us.  Stay away from funerals.  Hide the razorblades.

Sure, we’re all going to step off the pier sometime, but why waste any time thinking about that?  Remember I told you to always expect the worst, so now that that’s over let’s move on to feelin’ good.

vintagetelevision

I’ve given you all the prescription you need in this blog to quit thinking about that dirt nap:  TV, NCIS, loud music, giant monster movies, malt liquor.  So, mix up some cocktails and turn on the wide screen to some NCIS and put a Chuck Berry record on that stereo set ’cause we’re goin’ out with a buzz in our heads and a smile on our faces.

What’s so bad about feelin’ good for the rest of your miserable little life?

9137-summer-happy-sun

Walpurgisnacht

borgo pass

When we used to live in the Borgo Pass Walpurgisnacht was way more important than All Hallows Eve.  Children would come from all over the countryside for the unwrapped sweets and plum brandy we would give out.  You better have a lot of both otherwise your house would burn down, your cat would die, or your firstborn would disappear, but it was all in good fun. Talk about your tricks or treats!

candy-tampering-chThen we moved to the United States for the economic opportunity.  Jobs other than chauffeur were scarce in the Borgo Pass so if you didn’t have your drivers license you were pretty much screwed.  Even if you did have a license getting a taxi through the Pass was a pretty treacherous undertaking.  Then there were the European wars, a boom and a bust for us at the same time with so many corpses all around but still no jobs.

Trick_or_treat_by_RadojavorAnyway the day before yesterday a whole bunch of kids showed up at the old schloss here and demanded treats.  Well the brandy ran out in a few minutes and the leftover candy from Walpurgisnacht last April didn’t last long either.  We had eaten most of it ourselves.  On top of that I couldn’t find a needle or razor blade in the whole house.  We had some Vicodin around but you wouldn’t want to give that to little kids, it might hurt them and think about the parents that just steal their kids’ candy.

walpurgisnacht2To make a short story longer, last April we had the whole house decked out with booby traps for Walpurgisnacht and we were ready with our unwrapped sweets and cakes.  I’d laid in a good supply of razor blades and Mama had a whole pin cushion of needles just waiting for the little darlings.  I also had literally a barrel of slivovitz shipped in from the old country.  Well guess what happened?  Nobody came.  Nobody used the knocker.  Nobody rang the bell.  You would think people were dead or afraid of us.

razor blades

When we carefully asked around people said that nobody made a big deal about Walpurgisnacht in the United States; stupid Halloween was the macabre holiday.  This is simply ridiculous.  This was hard to believe.  When the children surprised us on Halloween many didn’t dress as corpses or revenants at all.  Some dressed as so-called super heroes and princesses!  I didn’t see a single sword, razor, or dagger.  What’s up with that?  America is a very strange place.

Well somebody told me about something called a “trunk or treat” which is some sort of alternative to the Halloween “trick or treat” experience.  It must be trick or treat for lazy people, and heaven knows there are too many of them around.  The other big difference is you invite children to the trunk or treat event not wait for them to just show up.  This got me to thinking, why not host a trunk or treat at the old château on Walpurgisnacht next April 30!

walpurgisnachtI know it is a long time to wait but we sleep most of the winter anyway so that makes the time fly.  A benefit is the candy is super cheap around Walpurgisnacht, unlike Halloween, Christmas, or St. Valentine’s Day.  The dollar stores are the best place to buy.  In the US there still is the problem of most of the candy being individually wrapped, unlike Eastern Europe, so getting the wrappers back on the candy, so many individual pieces, is a real pain but still worth the effort.

Dookie

?????????????????????When did it become a big deal to pick up dog crap?  When I was a kid nobody picked up dog poop, never, anywhere.    Nobody gave a crap, so to speak.  You just got a shovel and flung whatever ended up in your piece of God’s little acre into the street or in the hedgerow.  No big deal, good fertilizer.  Nobody went berserk if a person walking a dog left a crap in your yard.  After all we just looked after each other;  I put some in your yard and you put some in mine and we’re all cool.  If I didn’t have a dog, no big deal, after all I wasn’t actually picking it up like they do now.

sidewalk01

Civilization

One thing that was different is we lived in a civilized world years ago unlike suburbs and cities today.  We had sidewalks.  Everyplace had sidewalks not just the rich neighborhoods and they were on both sides of the street.  Even houses without driveways had sidewalks.  Big cities, little cities, suburbs you name it all had sidewalks.  The only place that didn’t have sidewalks was when you got out into the rural areas and nobody cares if a dog craps next to a cornfield.

8593980

Doin’ the Business

Generally dogs only took a dump and peed on the easement especially since that’s where the trees and fire hydrants were.  As long as you later walked on the sidewalk and not on the easement between the sidewalk and curb you were immune from stepping in doggie-do.  Now all the housing developments are cheap, cheap, cheap and nobody has zoning laws anymore so there aren’t any sidewalks in newer places and therefore no easements.

Still what’s the big deal?  I think arguments about unsanitariness are bogus.  Once Fido blows corn in the park the grass in that general vicinity is now a no fly zone even if the turd gets removed.  Personally I like the missiles above ground since now I can see where the no fly zone is.  I have no idea if I’m sitting in Spot’s toidy if there aren’t any warning signs.

dog-poop

Well what about the sewers?  What about them?  Aren’t they for, well, sewage.  Oh you mean the storm sewers.  They drain into creeks and lakes and rivers.  So?  Everything else does too.  Listen in the good ol’ days there were a lot of buffalo, wolf, coyote, dear, raccoon leavings washing into the creek so what’s a little more dog doo?  You want to swim in that river!  Whoa, are you putting e. coli on the menu?  Even before Fido relieved himself there was still all that “natural” dookie we talked about in the pond plus whatever sewage washed in from the streets and highways and yards after the last storm even without some dog feces.  What about that?  Not to mention that Junior just let go as soon as you dipped him in that “clean” lake.  I just don’t swim in anything but a chlorinated pool because I’m civilized not like you cave dwellers that wanna play Tom Sawyer in the Mississippi.

So I don’t care if your dog craps in my yard even if I don’t own a dog (and never will, I hate dogs), but I’m not telling you where I live either…

il_fullxfull.122915941

Physical Fitness

imageBy now you’ve probably started to model your life around this blog. That’s what I’m here for. Between my Grandfather and myself, we know pretty much everything there is to know, so relying on this blog when making big life decisions is a good thing for you to do. That’s what I’m here for. Ooops, already said that. Well you know what they say about repetition being the…

132_oval_decalLet’s now turn our weary heads to look at something I’ve begun to notice: those little oval stickers on cars that say “13.2” or “26.4.” It’s a secret code between a secret society of fitness nuts that we, the slovenly, are not supposed to know. Except they really do want us to figure this out so we can ask them: “When did you run your last half-marathon?” or something like that. For some stupid reason these people put this magic number on their car or t-shirt and we are supposed to be clever enough to break their code and realize that 13.2 is how many miles are in a half-marathon. So what? Why didn’t they just put a sticker on their car that said “Ask me about how I ran my last half-marathon?” No, I’m supposed to play dumb and say: “Hey, What’s that 13.2 sticker for?”

First, yours truly has zero interest in your current jag of ego-stretching self-torture that you like to call fitness. Second, I know nothing about it. I don’t know or want to know anything about your shoes, your special running shorts, your iPhone running app, your running social network, your training regimen. Remember you are talking to someone who has zero interest already in spectator sports where they actually keep score, so watching, hearing, thinking about a little thing like running faster has no appeal; especially listening to your self-torture sagas, isn’t on today’s to-do list.

I used to try to run. Actually ran a few races but I found I hated it. I have some physical debilities which we won’t go into here that makes running a pretty painful and unrewarding experience anyway. Let’s call it a physical limitation. That got me thinking about exercise and physical fitness in general.

Exercise is always painful. It is always harder to do than not do, as Hamlet or Yoda would say. I mean what’s so bad about being lazy? Why are we so crazy about exercise? We take the idea of a pleasant walk hither and yon to some extreme painful sweating, pounding, breathing, agonizing speed obsession. There you have it. “I can run a Marathon just like some Greek messenger with a Post-it Note did a coupla thousand years ago.” Big deal! They didn’t have cell phones back then so this was pretty much the only form of speedy communication. Pick up the phone! Why do we imitate this poor sucker who probably had to do this or he wasn’t getting any dinner?

It makes me feel better…

What? You felt better while you were trying to come up that steep hill at 10 mph than you would have if you had been sitting with me having a few watching Spongebob Squarepants? I don’t think so. Oh you meant afterwards, like when you puke your gravy at the finish line and have to drink only Gatorade for two days straight to get rid of that headache and the trots. That feelin’ better. I tell you what, I feel a little winded when I get up to get another cold one from the fridge, so why don’t you put on those fancy shoes you just bought and get me a brew and then we’ll both be feelin’ a whole lot better.

SpongeBob_main_charactersSo now we have established the universal rule that all exercise that’s going to be “good” for you is also going to be painful and boring while you are doing it.

Our next hurdle:

You’ll live longer…

Yeah, so you can torture yourself with more marathons. Here I introduce the science of the “life extension equation.” The principle is simple: exercise effort time (feelin’ bad time) has to be less than life extension time for exercise to be a net gain in life. So, say I run a marathon in four hours (what is a reasonable time? doesn’t matter just for example), if my life is extended by only four more hours I want my money back. See 4 hours of pain = four hours longer life is the game breaker. If I can’t at least get more life extension than time I’ve spent in exercise hell then I’m a loser.

Well this is easy, sure you’re gonna get more than four hours of life back for running that marathon (versus Spongebob + Beer). Now wait a minute. The devil is in the details. How do we define the feelin’ bad time, the torture time? Is it only the actual exercise time, or is it something else? Maybe we should include the training time, or the warmup time, or the time it took to drive, fly, bike to the event. But hey, those were all “feel good time” life wasters, weren’t they. Yeah sure. But were they as good as they could have been? (Spongebob + Beer) To be fair you’ve gotta include all the time you spent jogging, preparing, training, shopping, etc. for the marathon as bad feelin’ time. No way were they as fun as Spongebob+Beer time.

beer%20can%20genericI’m pretty sure when you total it all up you would have been better off in the old life extension equation spending your time with me watching Spongebob and drinkin’ beer.

So I don’t run, I don’t go to any gym, I don’t own any exercise equipment (=clothes racks). When I go for a walk it’s to get somewhere, or listen to the tweet tweets (Mother Nature), or an excuse to listen to an audiobook or some loud music my family hates. I don’t wanna live longer if it includes some self flagellation ritual I have to exchange daily for my life to be extended.

Because I figure when I go there are going to be three options: nada, Spongebob+Beer, or a Treadmill machine and I won’t get to pick when the so-called inevitable comes at whatever time of life. I’ll know when I get there if I’ve been good.

Lighten Up

steve-martin_banjoSome people have taken umbrage at my musings about Bluegrass Music. Apparently these folks take life so seriously that they think my opinion 1) matters to anyone, 2) is to be taken as 100% at face value. Now seriously folks, the operative term here should be sarcasm. Bluegrass musicians are some of the most accomplished folk musicians in the world. I can appreciate their talent while at the same time I cannot bear to listen to them. It just isn’t my gig. I hate it. My apparently feeble attempt at humor in the piece was so lame that it was misconstrued as the ravings of a hydrophobic dog on Bluegrass music. Either I didn’t write things very well or you are not the sharpest tool in the shed. I know which one I’m going to bet on.

atmosphere_testing_nuclear_weapons.jpeNow seriously, how can anyone take life so damn, well, seriously? Daily life is usually the most humorous thing imaginable.  I mean unless the current situation in front of you involves death or you losing everything then it’s not fodder for tears. Make a joke. Have a laugh. Lighten up. People are always running up to me saying: “It’s a nightmare.” “We’re doomed.” “We’re porked.” I always ask: did anyone die? Did anyone go out of business. Did the ground just open up and swallow someone?  No.  I say: “Well this is just the first sign that the apocalypse is imminent.” The conference room goes quiet. Everyone in the immediate group is dead serious. About what?  The world’s going to end!  Again, I don’t think so.  Lighten up.

tsunami2There is enough grim news in the real world so your sorry insignificant little problems are a source of laughter for me and they should be for you.  See the humor in the everyday occurrences.  See the humor in your useless job.  See the humor in your whacked out family, see the humor in the fact that you have no idea why you do 95% of the things you do, see the humor in that driver texting and fixing her hair at the same time.  Bill Monroe (rest his soul) will still be there when you get back.  In all seriousness folks, lighten up!

main_tornado_0519