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15

Aug

Heaven is depressing

I recently watched a movie about the end of the world and it got me thinking. First of all, fuck that movie for making me think. Secondly, I know heaven is supposed to be the big goal when you die or the apocalypse hits or whatever, but I don’t think getting there is the great outcome it’s made out to be. Just for the record, I am going with the heaven presented in every cartoon and comedy - you stay you, maybe become an angel, and heaven is just pure awesome. 

Let’s break this down. Heaven is good because it’s… ummm, good? There’s really no other word. It’s just all awesome all the time. When I die, I want there to be fountains of Mountain Dew, reruns of The Raccoons and bitches everywhere. And I don’t mean women, I mean like actual bitches. I want Ms. Lemieux from grade 3 there so I can punch her. For eternity. It sounds awful, but that’s the fun of heaven. It’s everything that is awesome to you. At least it should be. If I have to play by someone else’s rules and do what’s awesome to them, that would suck. What if God was a nevernude? What if the angels hated Gordon Ramsey shows? I would go out of my mind! Let’s assume heaven is a free-for-all once you’re in because otherwise everyone would opt for hell where there’s dirty glasses and dirtier sex.

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Remember kids, you don’t want this.

The other cool thing about heaven is you get to do stuff. You might get to watch over your family, or maybe even use the whole world as your own giant soap opera. It would be fun to watch all the drama and joy unfolding in realtime. Hell (oops!), you might even be able to influence stuff around you or take on a low responsibility clerical role in the universe. There is stuff to be done!

Sounds awesome, right? Sure, but here’s the problem with going to/being in heaven at the end of the world: it’s pointless. Let’s say you have gained a spot in the clouds and everything bottom-side is kaput. There’s nothing to watch, nothing to intervene in, nothing to manage. Now all of reality is heaven. Even evil might be wiped out because, really, evil only mattered in so far that it affected humans. If demons are evil to demons, no one cares.

So what do you do for eternity? Hang out and punch Ms. Lemieux’s stupid face? Sure, but how long until that gets old? A day? A week maybe? The thing is, according to most of these accounts, you’re still kind of you when you get to the golden gates. But we were human which means we get bored of consistency, even if it’s consistent goodness, pretty quick. We need adversity and without the giant mixer that is Earth, we would be bereft of that. Really, the only thing heaven does not have, by definition, is hardship and suffering. Within a year, every human in heaven after the end of the world would fall into an absolute existential crises of which there is no return.

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And at the end of days, heaven shall overflow with emo kids and bad poetry

And then what, you ask. It’s not like you can commit suicide if you’re dead. True, but you can revolt. It happened once (according to the foremost authority on God, Milton) and it kind of makes you wonder that it didn’t happen earlier. Pretty soon, heaven would be covered in graffiti and people would be holding rallies demanding that a new Earth be created. It would be anarchy and we, at least, would be a twisted kind of happier.

All this blathering to say this: the utility of heaven (or hell) depends on the existence of a conflicted and, consequently, interesting Earth. Once all that ends, so does the purpose of heaven. The kicker is, this means the more religiously you hold to biblical accounts for things, actually the MORE meaningless existence becomes, because it all ends up in a big fluffy mass of nothing. Le sad.

Man I wish I was THAT guy. Give me a year

30

Jul

USA! USA!

Give me a break, Gideons

What’s the first thing you do when you enter a hotel room? Well, okay, after the masturbation. Check the bathroom for cleanliness? Turn on the TV? Unpack? Me, I check all the drawers until I find that one thing that a hotel room cannot be without: a bible. I search for the bible, not for the enlightenment it may provide, nor for the engaging tales of valour and adventure? No, I search for the bible to see if anyone has yet realized that there is a lot of the world that is not Christian.

 I don’t know who the Gideons are but it seems their only mission is to place God’s word precariously close to the very places where we do the nasty stuff it explicitly says not to. The bible does say not to pee on people right? R. Kelly’s big on gospel. Maybe I’ll ask him. The problem I have is that our world is diverse and, if hotels are to be believed, only Christianity warrants a plug from the tourism industry.

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And God said: Thou shalt not donkey punch unless she is red haired and it is a Monday.

 I have a few solutions that I think might even this out a bit.

1)   Have a library of ALL the religious texts you can find. Maybe I’m bored of the bible and want a little more action. Mahabharat it is. Maybe I’m feeling like something a little more thoughtful. I’ll grab me some Tao Te Ching. If I’m feeling suicidal or absolutely meaningless as an individual, I can read The Trial or The Origin of Species, respectively. This way, not only can I find my own religious material, but I can expand my mind and learn about another culture, too.

2) Provide only one text, but combine the best parts of all the religions. We could have Moses and Sita running away from Gogmagog and Muhammad and Guan Yu fighting through hordes of Pandavas to escape from Mecca. It would be epic, and probably lend itself to a Paramount Pictures contract. Or, if we’re really stuck on the whole Abrahamic thing since North America was founded on its principles, at least the Torah, Bible and Quran. We could call it, “The Honest Truth: the Legacy of Abraham,” though the whole Honest Abe thing has already been copyrighted by some douche with a big hat and stupid beard. Another idea would be, “GOD: from A(braham) to Z(akariah).” Now I don’t know if this is in actual alphabetical order of religious figures, but that is my ONLY misgiving about this one.

3) Get rid of the books altogether and just make available the movie adaptations of everything. Everyone has made a movie about their religion and it has got to be more engaging than any old book you could leave behind. I have personally seen a number of them and let me tell you, religion is awesome (especially when Charleton Heston is teaching it). Hell they even have movies for the kiddies.

Whatever you do, hotels, please give us some choice. Towels and soap I can keep using, but what am I going to do with 22 Bibles from the Gideons?

Cultural sensitivity? When pigs fly

For those of you who know me, I am by no means a terribly religious person. For those of you who don’t know me, now you know that I am by no means a terribly religious person. However, I do abide by certain principles of behavior in order to maintain my status as an official member of my given religio-cultural group.

Now then, in my particular community, it appears to be tolerable to cheat on your wife, beat your children, drink and partake in other unsavoury acts so long as you do not publicize the fact. I don’t know if that’s anything official, but I know at least one “religious” person who figures it’s passable. Real role models, these guys. One thing,  however, that is never EVER acceptable is eating pork or pork products. Why this has become the cardinal sin of our people, God only knows. Seriously, he knows everything. A really good resource that God.

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Probably because they roll in shit. But then so does Russell Brand and he’s doing okay.

All this background so you can understand my consternation while taking an Alaskan Airlines flight back from the centre of all things evil and abominable, Los Angeles. It was one of those unfortunate flights that are late at night but just short enough to disqualify a meal without making the staff feel overly guilty about it. Fortunately for some, there was one meal made available onboard for purchase: a pork pasta dish. Aside from my issues with the word pork sounding inedible – it sounds alien and can also mean fuck – I felt this an astoundingly short-sighted menu choice for a large company.

Here, let’s count all the people that don’t eat pork: Muslims, Jews, many Hindus, many Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, vegetarians/vegans, pescetarians, health nuts. That seems like a lot of people. Now, let’s count the groups that have absolutely no issues with eating pork: Christians, atheists, various indigenous religious groups. Oh, well that seems balanced. It would seem that Alaskan Airlines decided at some point that, on Wednesdays only mind you, non-pork eaters’ metabolisms go on hiatus. We don’t need food. Why would we? It’s not like we’re human or anything. Classy move Alaska. I hope you all experience a particularly nasty bout of SAD this snowy season.

14

Mar

Oh God. Grade 4 makes so much sense now

Social networks, socially, do not work.

A friend of mine recently did the impossible. She defied the natural laws of the universe and found herself a normal, successful, devilishly handsome fellow. Online. I actually admire her moxie: she risked becoming a human lamp shade for sex. And love, I suppose. But mostly sex. This got me to thinking about how we do things nowadays. It seems more and more of our social interactions are happening online, but is this a good thing? (No. The answer is no.)

Nothing is official unless it’s on Facebook

Here’s an ugly truth: we define ourselves by someone else’s standards. We determine who we are by what others think of us. Why else do we have bumper stickers and “official member cards” for things as pointless as being a member of the snail liberation front? This has always been true, but at least we could pretend we were doing it for our own benefit before Facebook, etc. Now, we are obsessed with showing people the places we visit, how many levels we’ve passed in a videogame or whether we are in a relationship. The fact that we have done these things means nothing unless everyone knows. I’m the mayor of my bathroom! You know who cares? Absolutely no one.

Social interaction has no value

The first principle in business is location, location, location. The second is know your demographic. The third is sex sells. Somewhere down the line we have this whole supply and demand thing, The value of a given item is dependent on its availability (or lack thereof). Now that we can talk to everyone all the time, we don’t really care to. Gone are the days where we would lovingly craft a letter to convey our love. This morning I texted my girlfriend “wanna bone?” She was beside me. And said no. The sad thing is that being with one another isn’t special anymore and, really, does a face-to-face have that much more to offer when we can shoot the shit all day long? Socialization is easy now. Too easy.

Making friends is a process

Remember when we were kids? I would ask a girl for her number and, after continual badgering, sometimes I would even get it. Then I would call her and get to know her. Now we say “add me to facebook” with the hidden addendum “so I can ignore you, block you, or judge your character based on your profile.” My friend met this guy online and he called her. He CALLED her. How personal is that? Voice to voice contact? Jesus this guy is clingy. We’ve effectively made hooking up a more bureaucratic process. Please fill this k-38 form in triplicate and submit to our mutual friends before contacting me.

They hate you for you

So there are websites out there for dating. I know, right? Anyways, in order to get up and running and find the love of your life, you first have to create a profile, decide what you want in a partner, and fill out a comprehensive survey outlining your complete sexual history. Oh ya, and you have to upload photos. The sad part is, after all is said and done, no one gives a shit about you as a person. It’s your face that’ll get you results. While this is absolutely NO different from a real life social situation, it is just  a little more painful. When I’m at the club, that girl who just dry heaved at the sight of me might just not know about all my wonderful qualities. However, sexy_miss6969@whoremail.bitch knows exactly how awesome I am because I told her. Hell, I probably spent a solid two hours lovingly crafting my autobiography. That’s what makes it hurt so bad when I’m shot down. She knows what she’s saying no to. Fuck.

So all in all, our new socialization, our digital socialization is doing little more than moving us apart and setting us up for rejection. I applaud the lucky few that can find someone, however, for those less well-adjusted, I would suggest sticking with the underage bars, cougar haunts and redlight districts that have always been a sanctuary for romantics like us.

07

Oct

If you gotta go down, you might as well take em with ya

Parenting Tips from a Sadistic Psych Student

I would like to start this article by pointing out that I do not have children. However, my friend is about to have one so I feel I am about as well poised to write parenting advice as anyone. Dubious? Not at all. Each of the following principles are based entirely in psychological science. True, this is my first crack at the (vicarious) parenting thing, but if Dr. Lipschitz can be an expert, so can I.

1.     Build in a failsafe 

We have all been children at least once (here’s lookin’ at you, Hindus), so I think it’s fair to say that we are all aware how much of an asshole a kid can be if he/she tries. Your little munchkin can go from mogwai to gremlin in the blink of an eye, so it’s best to be prepared.

Considering the monumental task disarming the nuke that is your child can be, it is best to be proactive and build in a “failsafe.” This is to be distinguished from the oft used “killswitch” method, where you near kill an annoying child with a switch. However, it should be noted that the latter method should always be employed with red-headed stepchildren.

Now, when I speak about failsafes, I do not refer to buttons or switches or anything so silly. What I refer to is a series of booby traps set in the child’s mind that  will ward off any thought of mutiny or self-determination. Consider yourself the Dutch to their Predator. Get empowered!

                                

                                  I’ll teach you to leave your legos on the stairs

Step 1: Select your failsafe.

The easiest of these to “install” would be the conditioned phobia. As Pavlov demonstrated with his dog and, better yet, Watson with Little Albert, if you associate something with something else you can make magic happen. Make sure this is something that your child will not come across easily in daily life, else they may become a complete wreck and ruin your chances of cashing in on their future success as a television star. My personal choice would be something absolutely useless that will never have any impact anyone ever.

                                           

                                            Yes, I’m talking about Paris Hilton

Step 2: Install.

Show them the item frequently paired with loud noises, violent images and, depending on how well-behaved you want your children to be, cigarette burns.

Step 3: Parent!

Now that the hard part is done, it is time to enjoy the fruits of your labours. Whenever your little bundle of pinkeye and measles begins to go Christian Bale on your ass, just whip out your (monocle/California Raisins commemorative plate/Eddie Murphy cassette) and watch them cower in pants-crapping fear.

2.     Save your money

Children hate doing chores. Well guess what kids, we all love it so fucking much. I love spending my weekend doing laundry and vacuuming. My life is so blessed. Wrong. Everyone hates chores you egotistical little facehuggers. Unfortunately, this lesson is rarely learned by our newer generation because they are continually provided with incentives to do what they should already be doing. Great Grandpappy Kanuck would have never stood for it and neither will!

Here’s the thing: the more allowance you give a kid, the more they will hate their chores. Seriously. If you pay well, they’ll figure they’re only in it for the money. Now if you give a kid, say, a dollar and a swift kick in the ass, their brain will say, “there is no way I’m doing this for the pay. I must LOVE making my bed.” Basically, you can use your kid’s own denial against him. This Festinger guy figured it all out. Now I don’t want to hear any of these stereotypes about cheap Jewish people. That’s racist and unfair -he was cheap because academia pays about as well as being an overweight, male, midget prostitute who won’t do “weird stuff.” That is to say, not very well. 

                               

              Raising future happy Wal-Mart employees one degradation at a time

The beauty of this is that it works for everything (theoretically)! If your kid does well at something, by all means reward them with iced cream. But make sure it’s maple-flavoured or something equally shitty so they a) stop asking for it and b) keep doing what they were doing before you poisoned them with patriotic confections. If you keep track, you’ll save on all sorts of things (i.e. allowances, snacks, toys, graduation presents, vacations, meals, soap, you name it!).

So treat your kids like they work in a Cambodian sock factory and save your money for the things that matter…like porn.

3.     Don’t miss a moment

Your child will only be this young once. Best to take advantage of the opportunity while you have it. The opportunity to enjoy each moment of their upbringing: joy, tears and the whole shebang? Hell no! Seize this opportunity to solve some of life’s greatest mysteries, you jerk.

Is homosexuality learned? I don’t know. Maybe you could try to make your kid gay. If it works, there’s a chance you have stumbled across something. 

Can a kid learn every language in the world if exposed to enough international TV? You can find out.

If you convince your child that he/she has latent superpowers, would that make them better or worse at tetherball? Try it!

The thing is, we still have no idea how a lot of stuff works and experimenting on (your own) children has a long a noble history in science. Coincidentally, I stumbled across this most enlightening article today. Further, most of what we know about kids is from this Swiss dude, Piaget. He did all sorts of crap to his kids to figure out what makes them tick. Circadian rhythms? Ya that was some dude who had watched too much Exo Squad wiring his kid up to a machine night after night. Aside from all the secrets of the universe which can be unlocked by fucking with your kid, aside from all the fame that will shower down on you as a result of solving the world’s problems, it’s just plain fun too.

                                   

                                                         My daddy loves me

Feed your kid ten bags of hickory sticks, put them in a maze and have your kid find a bottle of water. Or put them in a cage with exactly one precise way to get out. The best part is, you can actually use this later. All the small successes over monumental obstacles will actually make your job easier and your kid a total badass.

Timmy: “Shucks Dad. Fractions sure are hard.”

You: “Shut the fuck up, Timmy. Remember that time in the maze? Remember the cage? It took you a couple months in that last one, but you figured it out, didn’t you?”

Timmy: “Gee Dad. I guess you’re right. I just have to keep trying.”

25 years later:

Timmy: “They told me I would never be able to raise an army of killer ostriches who play bagpipes, but I showed them!” Bow down to your leader!!”

Ostrich army: “Whoo Whoo Whooooooo!” (to the tune of Sgt. Mackenzie)

                            

                                                    GARG ‘N UAIR DHUISGEAR!!!

See that people. That is parenting.

04

Oct

That would have saved me 10 years...