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Topics - Doktor Howl

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...after reading one too many shaming threads in a group of otherwise intelligent people.

Let's just face a few facts here. If you have kids, you are a breeder who is overpopulating the planet. If you don't have kids, you are selfish and you'll regret it when it's too late, and you'll start popping out damaged kids like Sarah Palin does.

If you like to have sex, you're a slut, and if you don't like to have sex you're a prude. If you're a woman, you're either a slut or you're a ball-buster who is out to oppress men. If you're a guy, you're either a rapist or a beta.

If you like to drink, you're a lush, and if you don't, you're a square and probably a crypto-theist. If you smoke pot you're a useless lop of shit, and if you don't, you've betrayed the cause and are no longer cool.

If you are fat, you're what's wrong with America. If you're skinny, you must be anorexic. If you're in between, don't worry, the skinny people will call you fat and the fat people will call you bulimic.

If you're poor, it's because you choose to live that way. If you're rich, you're a monster. If you're middle class, you don't exist at all.

If you're THIS, you reek of privilege, and if you're THAT you're a slactivist, and if you're DEAD, it's because you wore a hoodie and couldn't obey the police.

You can't win. You can't break even. You can't even quit the game.

 You should be ashamed of yourself, you awful person.

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Dirtbags, part 4
« on: Yesterday at 04:11:21 pm »
Unplugged Wine Bar, a little while later...

"So," I said, "As it stands, Ed has not been disciplined, the racist only had to make an apology, and everyone's avoiding this like the plague."  I did not know, that evening, that the EEOC retaliation complaint I had made had been spiked at the top of the HR food chain.

"What do you plan to do?"

"Cause a bunch of havoc, leave for another company."

"You never seemed to me to be the kind of guy to get run off," Katie replied.

"I'm not, not really.  The entire situation is hopeless, and the plant is doomed.  While I'm stubborn, I'm not stupid.  I'm getting out while the getting is good."

She looked at, in the owlish manner of the half-smashed, over her glass.  "I keep forgetting that you're more than a goon."

"And I keep forgetting that you are a goon.  I keep thinking of you as a botanist or whatever it is, a sweet and harmless academic."

Katie laughed out loud.  I was more than a little buzzed, and was slightly dizzy.  I don't get drunk very often at all anymore, so my pacing was off.  This also of course meant no sleeping pills, but so far the evening was worth giving up sleep for a day.

"Well," she said, "I'm sorry your dreams of building the future didn't last.  So allow me to present an alternative."


She killed her drink and leaned across the table, leering at me.  "Let's go fuck some shit up."

"I'm down."

I swallowed the last of my drink, and stood.  Katie lit a smoke, and we headed for the door.  The bartender hollered out "There's no smoking in here!"

"I smoke where I want," she hollered back, "Killing and burning plants is my BUSINESS."

Walking down Congress Street, she looked at me.  "You know, most botanists want to go work for Monsanto or some shit, make a pile."

"I take it that's not your plan?"

"Fuck no.  I don't have a plan yet, but it sure as fuck won't be somewhere like that.  It's not just the corporate culture, either.  You know what I'd really like to do?"


"I'd like to genetically modify kudzu."

"What, to finally kill it off?"

"HAW!  No, to make it drought-resistant and faster-growing."

"What?  That will kill off agriculture in the Deep South completely."

"Exactly.  I'm not a world-saver.  I'm more of a super-villain.  I want to laugh maniacally and explain my entire plan to the hero."

"Short career."

"But FUN.  All I need is a name.  All the good ones are taken."

"I dunno.  How about Doktor Killenplantz?"

"Oh, I LIKE that.  Hey check out what's coming."  A half-block away, a man of about 35 wearing sandals & socks was heading towards us.  He was wearing ratty cut offs and a shirt with food babe's picture on it, and was walking head-down, fucking with a smartphone.  Hell, I didn't know food babe shirts were even a thing, though I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Katie stepped into his path, and he ploughed straight into her.

Oh, dear.

to be continued

He's standing in James Hetfield's rectum while playing, to teach him a lesson.

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Dirtbags, part 3
« on: May 20, 2015, 05:58:57 pm »
Unplugged Wine Bar

The moment we walked in, I could tell Katie had made a mistake.  In her absence, the place had gone from angry pool-playing Hispanics to a joint full of identical people.  I mean identical.  All the men had Captain Haddock beards, all dyed the same color of black, over their identical checked flannel shirts.  All the women had that deliberately frumpy hairdo, thick-framed glasses, and sweaters that were totally inappropriate for the weather.  I felt as if we'd walked into a Tintin story co-starring Velma from Scooby Doo.

Katie looked at me, with an almost apologetic look on her face.

"We're good," I said, "Let's study them."  The gleam in her eye told me I had just made a mistake. 

She grabbed the last table in the place, and I went to the bar.

"Give me a bourbon neat and a vodka gears."

The bartender looked at me like I was speaking Russian.  "Sir, this is a wine bar.  We have wine and we have coffee."

"Do you have PBR?"  I didn't want PBR, I just wanted to see what would happen.

He sneered.  "PBR is SO first term."

"First term?"

Another sneer.  "As in, Obama's first term.  A million years ago."

I smiled, and pointed behind the bar.  "There are well drinks down there.  I can see them."

"Wine and coffee only, sir."  At this point, I could open a beer bottle with his sneer.  I didn't feel that Katie should do all the heavy lifting tonight.  I leaned in close.

"Listen, Trevor or Blake or whatever the name is this week, I am here with the world's meanest lesbian, and we are going to have our drinks.  In addition, I advise you to adjust your face, because it's hard to sneer with no fucking teeth.  Now, you can choose to throw me out of here, and we'll go, but you'll see us at closing time.  Or you can shut your pie hole and do your damn job and serve us some fucking drinks."

The sneer was gone, but he hated me.  I could sense it.

"You're a fucking fascist," he said.

"You don't know the half of it, son.  I am Mussolini's great grand-nephew and there is NOTHING I like more than stomping on writers and artists and other sensitive types.  But she," I jerked a thumb over my shoulder, "says I have to try being NICE first, instead of going straight to the horrible beating.  This offends my sense of order, but what can I do?  Now, you may feel like we do not fit in at this bar.  You are more right than you know.  But we will sit here and tell stories to each other while we drink PROPER DRINKS, even if we stand out like the inappropriate arse of a dead walrus while we do so."

I suddenly realized my voice wasn't as low as I thought it was.  The whole place was silent.  I looked around.

"Sorry folks, this is what happens when a bar changes hands while you're out of town."  Surprisingly enough, there was general laughter.  I turned back to the bartender, who was sullenly lining up the drinks.

"Ten bucks", he said. 

I dropped a twenty.  "Keep it, and let's just forget our little misunderstanding."

I walked to the table with the drinks.  On the table in front of Katie was a napkin with a number written in it on eyebrow pencil.  I raised my eyebrows.

"Well," she said, "since you were busy sweet talking the bartender, I got the number of the little Korean girl over there.

I laughed, sat down, and resumed my story.

to be continued

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Dirtbags, part 2
« on: May 19, 2015, 04:25:45 pm »
Club Congress

I took sip of my drink.  "Well, it's like this, Katie...Until a couple of months ago, I had the dream job.  Then my boss was caught schtupping the scheduler, by his wife.  They were both given a chance to retire.  Jim did, Lillie - the scheduler - did not, thinking she'd tough it out.  She's clearly doomed, but in the meantime, she's making life hell on everyone.  Then, a week ago, one of her direct reports made an insanely racist comment in mixed company.  I called him on it, and he thought it was funny.  Lillie had not been present, so I reported it to her per the rules. "

"Sounds reasonable so far."

"Yeah, well, the next day she tried to fire my best employee."

"Retaliation?  Really?"

"Yep.  And the racist got 'punished' by having to make an apology.  That's it.  In any case, I wound up getting a call from HR, who had not heard of the racism thing, and I called it retaliation."

"So, they're going to fire her?"

I keep forgetting how young Katie is.  She still has smooth curves that haven't been smashed into jagged edges.

"No.  In fact, I was called back by HR after I'd submitted a written statement, and very improperly asked to remove the word 'retaliation', and told there was no indication that such was taking place.  I refused to remove the word.  I haven't heard from them since, and Lillie has after a few days of quiet, stepped up her game."

"That's bullshit."

"Damn right it is.  But the boss's boss has postponed his visit, the HR department all took sick days, then vacations, and neither the boss's complaint against my employee nor my complaint of retaliation has been acted on.  Nor, for that matter, has the racism issue.  It's like there's this huge ball of flaming shit just hovering in the sky, and there's no way to tell where it's going to land.  Nobody wants to go near it."

"So what are you going to do?"

"I'm going to make it worse, of course.  There's no reason I should feel anxiety if nobody else has to."

Katie laughed.  "You have a habit of doing that."

"Well, I don't LIKE to..."



I got up to go to the men's room, and to grab another round on the way back.  When I came back out, some guy with a beard and deliberately crappy Italian shoes was standing next to the table, talking to Katie.  Shrug.  I walked on over and set the drinks down.  Beardo looks at me and says "Do you mind?"

"Yeah, actually, I do."

"What, are you her dad or something?"

Katie and I laughed.  I looked at Katie.

"This stud doesn't seem to be communicating well," she said, "He would like to buy me a drink, but I do not want one of his drinks.  He would like to get me out of here and into something more comfortable, but doesn't seem to understand that 'I'm Gay' doesn't mean 'come cure me, big daddy'."

I snorted laughter.  "Fuck off, kid, before something bad happens."

"What are you gonna do about it, grandpa?"

Okay, that's a first.  It had to happen eventually.  Still, it could have waited a few more years.

"What makes you think HE will do something about it, kid?" Katie asked, lighting a cigarette.

"Oh, now the dyke is going to beat me up?"

"Oh, dear.  Something bad just happened,"  I said, leaning back in my chair.

"What?"  Bearded guy looked at us, with a suspicion going through his drunken head that maybe someone WAS going to get fucked tonight.  Just not the way he planned.

Katie leaned forward and burned his face with her cigarette, right through the beard.  The smell was ungodly.  He screamed, and put his hands to his face.  Oh, look, his balls are right there, undefended.  What could I do?  I punched him in the junk.  He staggered backward, into the arms of the bouncer, who hustled him to the gate and heaved him out onto the pavement.

He turned to us.  "You two get to go out the front door, under your own power.   First, last, and only warning."

"We're reasonable people," I said, standing up.

"Yes, no trouble at all," Katie agreed.

The bouncer relaxed, and said, "You guys can come back some other time.  Only it's our policy that anyone involved in trouble is out for the night."

We slammed out drinks, nodded at him, and headed for the door.  The people at the surrounding tables were looking at us like we were animals.  Of course, the young lady's outburst earlier didn't help matters.

As we walked down the sidewalk, still giggling, Katie said "Let's go down a few blocks.  There's a corner bar that serves truly cheap liquor to truly cheap people.  You can finish your story there."

I shrugged, thinking that the night's insanity wasn't over.

I was right.

to be continued

The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Dirtbags, part 1
« on: May 18, 2015, 06:14:12 pm »
Saturday Night™

No rest for the wicked, they say, so I was wandering around down in the legal district.  It's a good place for people-watching late at night on the weekends, as everyone from the crazies to your garden-variety drunken college student is out on the street, moving from bar to bar or vomiting or preaching the word.  Or, in some cases, a combination thereof.  My last trip down here led to the brutal beating of 2 male college students who were busy tormenting - and perhaps planning worse things - for a young female college student, over in the roofed-off sidewalk area in the construction zone.  I wasn't being a hero, I just wanted something to beat on that wouldn't cause moral qualms.  And those kids were Bad News.  I could feel it, right through the toes and heels of my engineer boots.

I have a stressful job, especially right now, and I believe exceptions to the moral compact should be made accordingly.

I have noticed that I have gone through a distinct shift in values over the last couple of years.  Some of this may be mere age, some may be association with the Science Gestapo.  I am unsure.  In any case, I was feeling like rolling in some filth...Though it's hard to do Tom Waits properly if you don't smoke anymore, and if there is a practical limit to the number of bourbon neats you can pour down your throat.  But being a dirtbag isn't just about cigs and alcohol, you know.  There's also drugs and poor behavior.

"Hey, Dok!"

I turned around, and saw a leggy young brunette lady smiling at me.  Slightly pocked face.  Very familiar...Just when it was becoming awkward, I remembered her.  A young student I knew from around the way.  One of those kids that are born at age 40 in terms of maturity, and permanently 22 in terms of having a good time, and who will spend their life from 18 to 60 looking like they're 30.

"Hey, Katie, how's things?  You graduate yet?"

"Years ago, old man.  Almost done with my doctorate, as a matter of fact."

I offered to buy her a drink so we could catch up, and she agreed.  We walked down to the Hotel Congress, past all the brand new actual clubs that I am too old for, and Katie wouldn't be seen dead in.  I rounded up a bourbon for myself, and a whiskey sour for Katie, and we went out back.  The weather had been threatening, so there wasn't the usual horrible hipster act/band, but hadn't actually started raining.  Perfect.

We sat down, and she started telling me about her graduate work, something concerning botany that I couldn't have understood stone cold sober.  I nodded and made agreeable noises when she seemed to want feedback.  It never fails to dismay me how far behind I've fallen in the sciences, really, though I'd always been hopeless in messy sciences involving life.

A woman screamed, very near by.  Everyone in the area froze up, looking around like dormice that have just heard a coyote.  The scream broke into smaller screams, and continued.

I looked toward the sound of the scream, and two tables away I saw a young lady screaming and pointing.  At me.

"OHGODHESTHEGUYHESTHEGUY..."  The young lady dashed out of the Hotel Congress enclosure via the wrought iron gate opposite from the main drag.  Her companion, a skinny guy with a ridiculous attempt at a beard, glared at me, looked after his fleeing date, glared a bit more, and then chased after her.

I knew that young lady.  She was in fact the young lady that had been bothered by the two male students a few weeks ago.

Katie was staring at me, so I told her the backstory, and expressed puzzlement as to why I terrified her.

"Men are dumb," she said, "You say she hid behind you, rather than running away?"

"Yeah, which was kinda silly on her part.  If I'd lost, she'd have still been in arm's reach of them."

"Yeah, but she stayed.  So her memory of the trauma probably wound up focusing on you.  She had felt that she might be raped.  Violence did in fact occur, and you did it.  Quite thoroughly, according to your description of events.  So you became the monster."

"That hardly seems fair."

"What's fair got to do with it?  In the front of her brain, she knows that you came between her and those goons.  In the back of her brain, you were the promised violence.  There's no logic to it, and for what it's worth, she probably doesn't hate you.  You're just the trigger now, the reminder to access those memories of being terrorized not once but twice."

"Story of my life, Katie.  I bring this on myself."

"Naw.  You're just a trouble magnet.  You're the kind of guy the world happens to."

"You ain't ever lying.  You should see what's happening at my job, these days."

She ordered two more drinks, and looked across the table at me.

To be continued.

I'm actually a little LATE getting this started, come to think of it.

Jeb Bush slathered himself in the family glory some more, by which I mean nobody knows what the fuck he's saying:

Quote from: Jeb
If we want to create a right-to-rise society, where people, particularly children born in poverty, if we want to have them have a chance we should be—a core American value, we have to restore committed, loving family life with a mom and a dad loving their children with their heart and soul.

Toronto shares with Tucson it's lack of color.  Both cities are in Black & White, like old movies.  Tucson because the sun leaches all the color out of the fabric, and Toronto because the people that live there just aren't having it.  They are not about allowing people to run around doing stuff, and not because they're mean or anything.  No.  It's a matter of public safety.  Color allows camouflage, and Hoopla blends in enough already.

He is built for speed.  His head is aerodynamic.  In a sprint, he has been clocked at 100 KPH.

He hits like a battering ram, and no man-made object can withstand him.  Then when the dust settles and the screams run down to moans, he extrudes pseudopods that worm through the wreckage, finding trapped victims and horribly draining them of all fluids.  Then, when sated, he flows down into the wreckage, poses as a survivor, and waits for "rescue".  Rinse, repeat.

He does this all the time.  The Canadian government is certain something is going on, but they label it as earthquakes or the results of fracking, because nobody wants to get close.  Even the Mounties won't go near Toronto when the meat sickness is on Hoopla.

Hoopla has an extra adrenal gland engineered into him, which explains his bursts of speed and hysterical strength.  He wears a piece of rebar as a bow tie, immaculately formed, as if he were attending a wedding, or perhaps replicating Tucker Carlson.

Because that's just how he rolls. 

The lady don't mind.  No, no, the lady don't mind.  Here he comes again, Northern Europe's response to Ron Jeremy.  Mostly naked, far too much hair, and doing a bouncy dance that would be disturbing when done by regular people.  But again, the lady don't mind.  He's dancing for HER, and everyone else is "collateral damage".  The government of his tiny nation not only permits this, but encourages it, because it scares the hell out of the German government when he slams next to the border, with a non-regulation faux hawk, a kilt, and a pair of Cornish stomping boots.

The lady don't mind.  No, no, the lady don't mind.  He's misbehaving musically again, and won't that show the Swiss a thing or two?  Or was that the Swedes?  Anyway, there'll be no more lip from Abba and Nilsson.  She kinda likes that style.  There is stomping by the fire pit, the one man who doesn't give a fuck about "authenticity" because he DEFINES authenticity, and when you do THAT, everyone asks why you aren't doing what the Americans are doing.  Or the Japanese.

The lady don't mind.  No, no, the lady don't mind.  He's crammed his bulk and his hair into HALF a mini-cooper (leaving room for her), so that he looks like a high-speed and very angry can of haggis.  He gearshifts with his dick.  He has no choice.  He goes roaring down the tiny lanes they call roads, while she sits on the passenger side, putting La Roux CDs in, and singing along.  Eventually, they get to the restaurant and enjoy a nice dinner of frozen butter.  He declines two duels as under his station, and accepts 3 more, scheduling them into his tablet.

And she kinda likes that style.

Here's what I have so far.

"T'was a cold night, and the moonlight
Danced upon the quay

Stuck right there.

Most of you know Faust as the guy who owns the servers upon which PD is run.  This is incorrect.  Faust IS the server upon which PD is run.  Faust is the last surviving device from the Roswell Incident.  The incident wasn't "visitors", it was a lifeboat.  The last surviving member of a species that build a galactic civilization, somewhere else entirely.  They were destroyed by war machines designed to bombard any planet that had right angles on the surface, on the premise that intelligent life will build structures with 90 degree angles.

He ran all the way to Earth, with a computer designed to guide a species into a star-faring civilization.  Of course, nobody in their right minds would ever have considered primates as intelligent, or even for a moment considered letting them loose on the universe, so Faust just lets the weirder, less violent specimens jabber, so he can learn their psychology enough to fix them, to prepare them to be good neighbors.

It doesn't seem to be working.

Demosquid is the sole survivor of the rescue team from Earth 5.  They've been trying to save us for a long time, you see.  A very long time.  In their world, Hypatia of Alexandria wasn't murdered by religious fanatics, and we had calculus 1200 years early.  And with calculus, we had an amazing burst of science...Math, chemistry, engineering.  Due to steam engines, the Roman empire never fell.  Due to spreading education, the empire was reformed to some degree.

There were no dark ages, thus no 30 years war, thus no 20th century wars.  They fly to the stars on a regular basis, and collection devices remove greenhouse gasses from the air for use elsewhere.

Their scientists learned of us.  The Tunguska explosion was an early attempt to beat their way through to us, to help us.  It failed.  They're not Gods, they're just advanced.

A later attempt partially succeeded.  Demosquid, their archivist, got through; the rest were lost in the in-between spaces, which are best not discussed.  They will try again, they are just that concerned with their fellow primates.  Demosquid waits for that, because he can't quite remember what he was supposed to say.  It got lost out there in the darkness, I guess.

So he waits, while the atmosphere fills up with methane and carbon dioxide, and the seas turn acid, and he wonders how such an intelligent species got everything so utterly wrong.

Everything is great in this best of all possible worlds.  The blue bird is singing as he sits on the birdfeeder.  The sun is out, the neighbors all wave and say "hello", before they get into their identical Priuses.  The temperature is perfect.  It's awesome.

And then at some point, QG runs out of color film, and we learn what Paul Simon tried to tell us..."Everything is worse in Black & White."

The joy sort of leaks out of everything, things begin to look like the gilded age (noticed that, have you?), or maybe even something worse  One neighbor calls another in to child protective services...Not because the mom did anything wrong with the kid, but because the mom stole her parking space.  Two cops roar up and shoot the Black guy who lives upstairs, while he's on his way to buy some smokes.  Lawyers jam writs under your door telling you your rent control has been abolished.  Donald Trump runs for president again.  All of this in monochrome.  Bad people can hide their deeds in monochrome far easier.

The cabbies intentionally back over house pets.  The meter maids have lighting flashes on their collars.  Wait?  Really?  Yes, really.  The police have swastika arm bands and carry Schmiessers.  The boy scouts goose step down the road.  Workers unfurl a picture of Dear Leader, and you don't recognize him. 

The food riots are in gray scale.  So is the blood.  The blood everywhere, looking almost black in the primitive film she has loaded.

The teabaggers assassinated the president and his cabinet.  Nobody's sure who's in charge.  The military steps in with their grey tanks, to restore order.  A dozen states secede.  There's open fighting in the street.  A small child's doll, soaked in gray (blood?) washes past you in the stream flowing from the broken water main.  The fires burn unchecked,

"Need another roll of film?" her husband asks.

"No, no this is doing nicely, she says, watching through her camera as Newspapermen are rounded up and sent to the waiting trains.

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