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Messages - Manta Obscura

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1
Apple Talk / Re: Tell me about your job
« on: April 03, 2014, 01:19:26 am »
I work in a bank which is more bureaucratic than a Vogon tax collector convention, so I have about a dozen titles depending on which internal department is requisitioning my assistance. My favorite of the titles, just for general length and inability to easily articulate, is "Senior Merchant and Client Review Specialist." I basically perform audits on merchant practices for all merchant institutions utilizing our credit products. If I find deceptive or fraudulent practices going on I unleash financial hellfire of biblical proportions upon the offenders via account termination, seizure of funds and property, calling their mommas fat, and other time-honored banking practices.

My favorite part of the job is being able to exercise the aforementioned powers, because anyone who defrauds, cheats and steals from people, especially their customers who trust them, deserves a bit of wrath. In day-to-day interactions I tend to be pretty mellow and polite, so it's also cool being able to play the part of an officious hard-ass when I get to deliver the verdict. Balances out the personality, it does.

My least favorite part of the job is the monotony. For every 1 honest-to-Cthulu DOO (Deceptive Owner/Operator) that I find, I usually wade through about 300 accounts that are perfectly upstanding. The sales draft forms, demographic reports, law enforcement summaries and financial statement review drafts blend together into a never-ending parade of black and white ink that makes you want to give the middle finger to society and go farm avocados wherever avocados are farmed.

2
Apple Talk / Re: I Write Like....
« on: April 03, 2014, 12:59:47 am »
David Foster Wallace

That's awesome, I got David Foster Wallace, too.

3
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 01, 2014, 02:17:53 am »
Here's a few:

1) The exact plot of Twilight, but all the vampires are actually monstrous, the way God intended.

2) A scientist discovers luck to be an real, physical/mechanical process or property akin to magnetism, and develops a prototype method of controlling it (preferably with an awesome raygun or something with "tron-lines"). She wishes to use it to help right the failed experiments with cancer curing, perpetual energy, etc, but her greedy boyfriend/husband steals the technology to go gambling. He is, in turn, robbed by a mafia-esque criminal organization that wishes to use it to become the most powerful and rich criminal organization in the world. They, in turn, lose the device to a terrorist group intent on destroying all of Western civilization. The plot escalates, the device's short-yet-bloody history unfolds as double and triple-crosses overflow, governments war, and rational society is brought to its knees, all in the pursuit of luck. The astute viewer/reader, midway through, begins to wonder: is there some force behind the force of luck causing these events to unfold?

3) "Jaws," except with a killer whale rather than a shark. The whale turns out to be the whale that the little kid freed in "Free Willy," demonstrating that little kids are shortsighted assholes.

4) The time is 104 septillion years after the Christian Rapture has occurred. Richard Les has experienced every possible experience, state of mind, mental nuance, and method of being possible in the known universe. He confronts his creator and is given a choice: Hell, oblivion, or his own universe to mold as he pleases . . .

5) An amateur science enthusiast and tinkerer inadvertently builds a time machine and uses it to go back in time. What he doesn't realize, however, is that since the earth revolves around the sun, when he goes back in time the earth is no longer where he is, for he does not take the earth with him; he ends up floating in deep space, his device damaged by the cold and radiation of the void, slowly dying. That is, until he is picked up by a starship, circling the void one half-cycle around the sun from earth, ever-eclipsed from Earth's view by the sun. He thus becomes the first to learn of Earth's sister planet, and he encounters the beautiful and terrible beings that live there. Why, though so technologically sophisticated, do they maintain such strict radio silence from their celestial neighbor? What long designs have they planned, stalking the Earth for millennia in the shadow of the sun?

4
Literate Chaotic / Re: Insightful Post Dump
« on: April 01, 2014, 01:39:04 am »
Did Manta say whether he was ever coming back?

He didn't. He's sort of an enigmatic asshole like that, sometimes, which is a quality his confessor constantly berates him for.

Sinning aside, how are you doing, Iptuous?

Iptuous hasn't been around in a while.  Not sure why.

Oh, that's a shame. I suspect LMNO is right; his moustache was glorious, and 'twould be a fitting end.

How you hanging in there, Roger?

Oh, tolerable.  I have advanced the science of DUMBASS by leaps and bounds in your absence.

I expected nothing less. Any day now I hope to hear your announced discovery of the DUMBASS equivalent of the Higgs Boson.

5
Literate Chaotic / Re: Insightful Post Dump
« on: April 01, 2014, 01:14:08 am »
Did Manta say whether he was ever coming back?

He didn't. He's sort of an enigmatic asshole like that, sometimes, which is a quality his confessor constantly berates him for.

Sinning aside, how are you doing, Iptuous?

Iptuous hasn't been around in a while.  Not sure why.

Oh, that's a shame. I suspect LMNO is right; his moustache was glorious, and 'twould be a fitting end.

How you hanging in there, Roger?

6
After years of tireless research, soul-breaking effort, and far too little recuperative intoxication, I present to you the foolproof steps to transforming any base, meager meal into taste-bud gold. Steps must be followed exactly for best effect.

1) Become ill eating questionable beef tacos at a party thrown by a dude who, despite being 24, still uses the childish nickname "Chucky."

2) Swear off meat forever and ever (amen). Become a vegetarian for 1 year.

3) Eat a spicy jalapeno burger in a roadside stand in Needles, California. Repeat step 2.

4) Discover, at hungry o'clock, that your refrigerator is empty because you foolishly decided to spend your money on heat and electricity rather than sustenance. Hear your stomach grumble, and wonder why the human stomach has an alarm clock. Break open your piggy bank and loot money from its innards. Call your bookie and ask him to please not send Mongo around to break your knees, 'cuz you're totally good for the money this time, and you'll probably have it by next Tuesday.

5) Take your pork loot to your nearest supermarket, preferably one with bars in the windows (that probably indicates that it's safer than other, lesser grocers' institutions).

6) Find meat in cooler shelf for $1 per pound. Spend 5 minutes wondering what type of meat it is. Give up in despair, and pick up 3 units.

7) Randomly choose items from other aisles whose prices do not exceed the remaining $3.42 you have in your pocket. Leave store with (2) shrimp ramen, (1) Croco-crunch cereal box, (1) package block American cheese, (1) tub salt, (1) pack gum. Return home.

8) Heat water on stove to boiling (preferably in a pot or other cookware). Cook ramen and drain, because why the hell not? Return pot to stove.

9) Empty contents of meat pack into pot. Cook until meat turns brown. Wonder if meat was supposed to turn brown. Apply salt and pepper. Consider applying crumbled Croco-crunch, but decide against it.

10) Empty contents of meat mixture over ramen. Mix.

11) Ingest. Decide it is the most delicious item of food ever.

7
Principia Discussion / Re: What the shit is all of this?
« on: March 31, 2014, 01:23:19 am »
Serious question: is the whole point just that discordia is nonsense, or is there something more to it?  I've been into the eastern religions for a while now, as well as the conspiracy/23 stuff, for a while now.  So, what's up with discordianism?

Sarcastic answer: Eastern religions concern themselves with unraveling the riddle of one hand clapping. Discordia concerns itself with tightening the knot of the concept of one hand fapping.

Egghead answer: Discordianism arose as a conscious attempt for a certain breed of person to break themselves and others out of conditioned, (self) destructive, narcissistic, painful, degrading, and self-defeating states of mind, seeing such states of mind as arising as the end-product of logic (the science of finding inner consistencies among concepts) applied against untested or unknowable - and therefore assumed - axioms. Discordia uses absurdity and "nonsense" as a way of breaking the links in the aforementioned states and allowing the user to transform his or her personal thoughtspace and affect their life with a scope of artistry that they feel brings greater wellness to themselves and others.

Example: Theo-logic told me, for the first two decades of my life, that I would burn in Hell unless I made my personality congruent with its proscription of a godly follower. Politico-logic told and continues to tell me that the world consists of bands of adversaries against my nation-tribe, and I must pick sub-tribes (political parties) and tune my spirits to love the accidental formulations of my nation-state (patriotism). Econo-logic tells me that I must work and toil and scrape a third of my waking hours every day until decrepitude, that consumption of pre-fabricated and pre-packaged sets of goods and information make up the whole of existence and purpose. As a result I, and some others like me, spent far too long feeling guilty, fearful, and stress-broken, before deciding to take an alternative path. Now I make dick jokes about the Holy Spirit, mail boxes of rocks to my Congressman, and plaster my office with felt-cutouts of Kirby.

All problems solved with Discordia? Hell no. The game's still crooked, but at least I have a better hand.

8
God's asking a lot of information here. From humans. God. Is asking. Humans. To fill him in on information he should already know.

Or he's doing the "you got something you want to tell me?" schtick.

I lean towards this assumption; it seems a common shaming or guilt-tripping trait among people. I suspect God, upon recognizing what has happened, was treating A&E the way an aggressive pet-owner treats their pet: "Did you shit on the rug, Fido?!?!" The owner knows that the pet did it and needn't ask, but does so through ingrained habit to bring the sub-creature's attention to its wrongdoing.

9
Literate Chaotic / Re: Insightful Post Dump
« on: March 31, 2014, 12:53:04 am »
Did Manta say whether he was ever coming back?

He didn't. He's sort of an enigmatic asshole like that, sometimes, which is a quality his confessor constantly berates him for.

Sinning aside, how are you doing, Iptuous?

10
Apple Talk / Re: Shameless whoring
« on: June 09, 2009, 02:54:34 pm »
:mittens:

Seconded.

My wedding anniversary is coming up here soon, and now I think I might know what to get Mrs. Obscura. Save one for me while I scrounge up fund-age, okay Nigel?

11
Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: January 17, 2009, 03:37:59 pm »
I just finished reading "The Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy" by R.A.W., "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman, "Santa vs. Satan" by Jake Kalish, and "The Lost Sayings of Abraham Nopfziger" by Dallas Wiebe. They were interesting (but unnecessarily self-referential), fun (but juvenile), funny (but crude), and inspiring (but dogmatic), respectively.

I am now reading "Skyblue's Essays" by Dallas Wiebe, "Everything is Under Control" by R.A.W., and a collection of stories by Lovecraft titled "Waking Up Screaming." So far I like "Skyblue" the best.

12
Principia Discussion / Re: What do you REALLY believe?
« on: January 17, 2009, 03:27:38 pm »
everything is a stage

Consider, then, that not everyone is a star. Some of us are the William Hungs.

13
Literate Chaotic / Re: Raymond Smullyan
« on: December 30, 2008, 04:19:29 pm »
Thanks Manta!

You're welcome, Rat.  :)

14
Literate Chaotic / Raymond Smullyan
« on: December 30, 2008, 03:35:50 pm »
I got a new book case from my brother for Xmas, which means that I've been going through the arduous process of sorting, organizing, labelling, and putting all of my mountainous piles of books into their respective places. In so doing, I came across some of my old Raymond Smullyan books, which I think might be a pretty interesting read for some of you, if you've never read him.

For a quick background: Smullyan is a professor of mathematics and logic at Indiana University. He describes himself as a "Taoist," although his life philosophy seems to me to be more like Zen, especially the absurdist aspects in some parts of it.

Most of his works are philosophical or logical essays, puzzles, and dialogue papers, and they're almost always fun to read, despite being sort of rudimentary. Most of his philosophical and logical arguments are aimed against dogmatic persons, moralists, fundamentalists and the like, so some of what he says will be old hat to anyone used to "thinking outside the box," but still . . . good writing. Back when I was a fundie, his essays helped to break me out of the mindnumbing traps, so I guess I have a bit of a soft spot for them.

Anywho, here are some links to some of the essays that I like by him. They are from his books titled "The Tao is Silent," "5000 B.C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies," and "This Book Needs No Title: A Budget of Living Paradoxes," all of which are really good:

http://www.skepticfiles.org/mys5/taomoral.htm
From "The Tao is Silent," Ch. 21: "Taoism vs. Morality". This one reminds me of the ethics bit from the PD.

http://www.mit.edu/people/dpolicar/writing/prose/text/godTaoist.html
From "The Tao is Silent," an essay called "Is God a Taoist?". This is a really good anti-fundie essay.

http://home.sprynet.com/~owl1/refutation.htm
A short excerpt from "5000 B.C. and Other Philosophical Fantasies"

http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/smullyan.html
From "This Book Needs No Title: A Budget of Living Paradoxes," a short story entitled "The Planet Without Laughter."

15
Propaganda Depository / Re: TGRR Podcasts
« on: December 30, 2008, 02:09:20 pm »
Roger, you're a grade A natural! The laughpain is exquisite. :lol: :mittens: I can has no video camera. How much does that suck?

Thanks.

Now taking further questions, requests, etc.

I don't have a video camera either, but I have a request:

Roger, would you please do a soliloquy in which you utilize the "Art of the Brag"? I know I'm not alone in wanting to hear the verbalized stream-of-consciousness of the great and angry Rain God.

Thanks, Rog. These podcasts are great.

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