Yes we're horrible toxic people, because this is 2020's Mental Illness Olympics, and the winners get a free pass on giving life-threatening advice with the bonus of having zero accountability for their shit behaviour.

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Topics - hooplala

#1, we hardly knew ye...
So I started playing a Sorcerer recently. I am trying to think of ways to really push the uses of the cantrip of prestidigitation. All suggestions are welcome. I also have Minor Illusion, and my staff has Major Illusion.

Some methods I have come up with so far:

-lighting the strings on the bows of archers

-making water in opaque mugs taste like beer or wine

-making a copper piece appear to be gold

-cleaning clothing in market squares for money

Any other devious uses?
Literate Chaotic / Haunting of Hill House
October 26, 2018, 04:26:12 PM
Anyone who has read the book check out the Netflix series yet?
what part of Canada are you in?
Aneristic Illusions / Rights, Schmights
September 11, 2018, 12:39:23 PM
Premiere Doug "Chuckles" Ford has revoked the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Ontario so that he can slash the Toronto City Council during an election period.

Seems like something a good person would do.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / The Age of Eris
August 21, 2018, 02:05:15 PM
2 guys in a bowling alley tried to reclassify a god 60 years ago. They wanted to invent their own religion, using a relatively obscure member of the greek pantheon, a religion which preached thinking for yourself, and breaking the bonds of normalcy, of noticing your own almost invisible thought processes - all admirable ideas. The problem is, they picked Eris to be this god. They decided Eris was a fun-loving hippie witch interested in the betterment of humanity. They could have picked any obscure member, but they chose Eris.

Eris will not be redefined.

This is Her time, this is Her age. She is behind the red pill and her visage is green and laughing. She whispered to the Russians to play both sides. She runs Tumblr. Twitter. Facebook. She does fund Uncle BadTouch's activities. Her favorite avatar is a slumlord reality tv star everyone hated BEFORE he was on tv, now he ostensibly runs the world, tweeting from his golden toilet as he munches on symbols of American Imperialism.

She won, folks.

The beatniks woke her, and now she runs the world. This is Eris's world, we just live in it.

Hail Eris?
Track service was delayed as clean up crews had considerable difficulty differentiating between the two cargos.

I kid, I kid.

But holy crap you should see the comments on Twitter. It's a deep state coup, folks!!
Literate Chaotic / Consistently Overcast Skies
June 12, 2017, 03:44:58 PM
This is a question for a writing project... anyone know how feasible it would be to grow crops in an environment where it is ALWAYS completely overcast? You know, almost as if the gods willed it, or it was magic or some shit. Could stuff be grown? Its a hard question to google answers for...

All help is appreciated.
RPG Ghetto / Players Trouncing Foes
February 01, 2017, 02:48:17 PM
So I have been running a Pathfinder D&D campaign for 6 friends (now recently 7), and find that most of the time my party trounces the foes I out up against them very easily. I budget my battles pretty carefully, and add an extra CR level to level out the size of the team, but they still make mince meat of the foes I send in.

Some back story: we mostly play online on Roll20, and only one of the players is very versed in using their system to create character sheets... so while everyone has done the bulk of the work creating their own characters, the one player had gone in to "clean up" their sheets. I don't believe he has cheated at all but I think he has maximized every character to their fullest potential and outfitted them with bells and whistles I don't fully understand. Full disclosure, this campaign had only been going on since September and is the first game I have run. I was always a little wishy-washy on the fills rules as it was... but I now have a gnome alchemist who seems ridiculously overpowered. I mean the little fucker can throw his concoctions 80 FEET! How can that be possible? I've also got a Druid who always (always!) sickens at least one of the foes. And if she doesn't do that, she entangling them.

The only time I've had an encounter which gave them any real trouble was when they once stumbled upon 3 ogres with classes. I actually never intended the party to fight these ogres, I assumed they would realize they were outclassed and flee. They didn't. They almost got TPK'd.

So, my question is... how do I put together scenarios which will be more challenging? Is it a matter of outnumbering the party slightly? Upping the CR even more?

Any advice is appreciated.

So, the Tucson Saguaros are looking for a name for their mascot.

I believe the only appropriate name for him would be Prick.

If anyone agrees, let's make this happen.
Yo peeps, I will be in New York City next Monday (the 16th). I have no plans.

If anyone in the area wants to grab a drink, at any point in the day, please let me know.

I promise I am less annoying in person (Roger can likely attest to this).
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / David Bowie died
January 11, 2016, 07:30:31 AM
I honestly thought he would live forever.
Anyone remember the original avatar they used on the forum? Even if only briefly?

I'm pretty sure this was mine:

A crappy old man beer bottle cap... I used it for at least a month.  Oh, and also, my original name was Pope Christ Raw V... so, yeah, I sucked pretty hard.

What about you?
Sir Christopher Lee, actor, secret agent, opera and metal singer, descendant of Charlemagne... has died at 93. Not a bad run, but I was starting to think he might live forever.

How do you know if you're clinically depressed, or its just that your life is a shitty shambles, and you have every reason to be depressed?
So, have we had the discussion as to whether the mindset of trans folks could be classified as a mental disorder? The Caitlyn Jenner thing makes this as good a time as any to bring it up, I suppose, if it hasn't been brought up before.

My cards on the table: I don't believe it is a mental disorder, in fact I'm arguing about it on Twitter with Gavin "King Douchebag" McInnis right now, but I started realizing I don't have any really solid reasons that I don't believe that, apart from wanting to support people I know are already in a tremendous amount of pain, and persecuted by so many. Also, I know seriously little about psychology in general. So, I'm not really a terrific person to be arguing this matter, but I'm doing it anyway, because I'm like that.

So... what are people's takes on this matter? And if this has been discussed, mods please either merge with the correct thread or delete as needed.
High Weirdness / Operation Jade Helm 15
April 29, 2015, 05:15:59 AM
What the shit is this shit?

QuoteFrom July 15th to September 15th of 2015, the U.S. military will be conducting a massive military drill throughout 9 states in an operation entitled Jade Helm.

This rather alarming drill across the entire American Southwest will include the US Army's Green Berets, US Marines Special Ops Command, US Navy Seals, and US Air Force Special Ops Command.

The stated purpose of the drill contradicts how this unprecedented exercise will actually be carried out.

Combine this with the document labeling entire U.S. states as 'hostile' leaves one with a sinking feeling.


Is there anything to this story?
Literate Chaotic / Blood under Red Light
April 14, 2015, 04:21:15 AM
Asking this in Lit because its for a work of fiction, and also seems too random and stupid even for Apple Talk.

Anyone know what blood would look like under red light light?  I tried googling, but it doesn't seem to be something lots of people are dying to know.  I could find out in... other ways... but this seems most legal.

Anyone already know?  I won't ask how you know, if you don't want me to.

I suspect it would look black, or possibly just sort of blend in, but knowing for certain would help me a lot.  Thanks folks.
Literate Chaotic / Shred Hoopla's Story
January 06, 2015, 09:42:05 PM
I was about to begin rewriting an older story, when the Wiser Joe thread from Apple Talk popped into my mind.  I realized that I could use that sort of story shredding for this troublesome little tale, which I have hammered out about six times over twelve years.  It started off as a very very short story, then I rewrote it into a long verbose story nobody would ever want to read.  I eventually ended up with what follows, but I've never been happy with it.  Here's what I'm going to do... I'm going to post it, then respond with what I think some of the problems are.  Please feel free to be as direct as everyone was in the Wiser Joe story... I have no darlings in this race anymore; it's all possible fodder for the chopping block.  Maybe the whole story is.  We shall see.  Also, formatting on this forum doesn't really jive with how fiction looks, but here's the best approximation.  if you are able, just ignore the formatting as much as possible.

PS: "OHIP" is Canadian health care.
PPS: This story has nothing to do with discordianism.


           Lou had told Gerard several times that surely it must be a very small thing and could be easily corrected.
           His desk backed onto Gerard's desk so that they faced each other all day, every day.  Lou had stared across the desks at him for hours on his first day in the office; still, it had taken months for him to finally mention Gerard's mouth.  Gerard, used to polite silence, had mumbled it away.  He fell into an old habit: rubbing the bottom of his nose to surreptitiously hide it.
           The problem was this: from the nose down, Gerard always appeared to have just started melting.  His mouth was a soft crumple.
­­           –In my country, Lou said one day, –my aunts would have taken you to the islands in the south.  They would have taken you to see the witches.  Here, you don't need witches.  You should talk to your doctor.  Fix it.  You're young!
           –It's complicated, Gerard said.  He stared at his monitor, trying to concentrate on the page he was reviewing.  QC was a serious work.  These documents would be used in courts of law, and should be treated with respect.
           He could feel Lou staring at his mouth.
           –You are so young, Lou continued. –if I was your age I wouldn't want to be wasting my time blaming something like that for all my problems.
           Gerard looked up at Lou, opened his mouth, then closed it.  After a minute he looked up again.  –It's a.  It's a complicated issue, that's all.  There are.  There are factors to consider.
           –What factors?
           –A smile is an extremely complex procedure, Gerard said.  He mumbled and slurred ever so slightly as he spoke, due to the limited motor activity he could perform with his lips.  He spoke very little at work, very little in transit.  He spoke little at the doctor's office.  He spoke very little in general.  Only when he needed to.  –There are lots of elements to a genuine smile, he finished.
           –What elements?  A smile is a smile.  Women like a good smile.
           –No, there are many elements involved.  Anyway, I can't afford it.
           – OHIP would not cover it?
           –No.  he said.  When his coworker continued to stare, he added:  –It's considered a cosmetic procedure.
           Lou blinked, smiling slightly.  This was beginning to annoy Gerard.  He turned back to his monitor.
           After a few moments, Lou asked: –Is it name?
           Gerard looked at him.
           –Is it name?  Lou repeated.
           –Is what named?  Gerard asked.
           –The problem.
           Gerard looked back up at Lou.  He still had that look on his face. –It isn't a problem.  he said, slowly. –For me.
           –But, is it name?
           Gerard sighed loudly.  He picked up a pen and looked at it. –They don't really know what it is.  But my doctors call it Acute Idiopathic Facial Palsy.
           –Idiopath . . .
           –Yes.  Gerard said, and turned back to his monitor.
           Daisy, another coworker, approached their desks and asked Lou a question about the order of the pages in the current document being set up.  She was from the same home country as Lou, which seemed to make him think this made the two of them friends.  Before she could walk away, Lou asked her:  –What do you think of Gerard's mouth?
           Gerard stared at Lou, then at Daisy.  His face went hot.  He could feel his pulse beating in his ears.
           Daisy scratched at her cheek. –What do you mean?  she asked. –It's fine.  she said.
           –Fine, but could be better, right?  Lou said.  He was smiling at Gerard.
           –Lou,  Gerard said, but could think of nothing further to add.  He wasn't certain what the company policy was, pertaining to arguments between co–workers.  He didn't want to get into trouble over this.
           –No, he's fine, don't be so mean Lou, Daisy said, laughing slightly.  She made brief eye contact with Gerard, he rubbed his nose again.  Daisy smacked Lou on the shoulder softly and returned to her desk.
           –See?  said Lou. –It isn't hard to talk to girls.
           Gerard pushed out his chair and left the office.  He walked into the men's restroom in the hallway, entered a stall, and sat down with his pants up.  He rested his face in his hands.  His face was throbbing heat.
           Gerard sighed through his crumpled mouth.
            There was a vent on the upper wall of the men's restroom, connecting it to the women's restroom.  Through this vent everything on the other side of the wall could be heard, sometimes to a somewhat disconcerting degree.
           Gerard became aware of two female voices chatting on the other side of the wall.  –Lou was making fun of his mouth, the poor guy.  You should have seen his face, he looked like he wanted to curl up and die.
           Another voice, probably Sherri from marketing, said: –That's so sad.  I've always wondered if it was a condition, or if he was just . . . you know . . .
           –Lou says it's a condition.
           –The poor guy.
           Gerard flushed, and left the restroom quickly.  He didn't want to be seen in the hall.  Back in the office, he briefly visited the break room, stood nervously for a half a minute, then grabbed his coat and told the receptionist he was not feeling well and was going home.  She told him she would pass it along to Carol, staring at his mouth the entire time she spoke.

           Dr Galambos sat across from him, his fingers resting on his clipboard.  –Well, Gerard, I have to admit, this is something of a surprise.  A pleasant surprise, of course.  I've been trying to convince you to pursue some therapy to try to correct the problem for so long that I'd almost given up hope that you would try it, and now . . .  He looked up at Gerard and shrugged.
           –I want an operation to fix this.  Gerard said firmly.
           –Well, Galambos said.  –I don't know if an operation is the way we want to go about this.  There are excersises, and–
           –No.  No excersises.  I'm sick of looking like this.  I want an operation.  I can afford it.
           Dr Galambos took off his glasses. –Gerard, the situation isn't any different than it's ever been.  Without knowing exactly what the problem is I think we would be doing you a grave disservice by being overly hasty and jumping into any sort of operation.  Bell's Palsy has a way of working itself out, and–
           –But this isn't Bell's Palsy, Gerard corrected.
           –No, strictly speaking, it isn't Bell's Palsy.  But it's something very similar, and for the time being I think it's safer to treat it as if it were Bell's Palsy.  The conditions are almost identical.  Bell's Palsy is an idiopathic unilateral facial nerve paralysis, and so is whatever we're dealing with here.  Except in this case, unilateral means the upper and lower halves of the face, rather than the left and the right.  It may very well still be the same condition, Gerard.
           –But we don't know.
           –No, we don't.
           –And it may be permanent.
           Golambos sighed.  –Quite possibly.
           –Doctor, has it ever occurred to you that I'm not getting any younger?
           Dr Galambos looked up at him from the clipboard, but said nothing.
           –This condition doesn't make getting to know girls easy you know.  I've already had it for twenty years.  I think its time to try other options.
           Dr Galambos looked at his hands. –Then, you've gotten over . . .
           –Yes.  I have.  It's nonsense.
           –You said so yourself, after all.
           –Yes, I did.  You, on the other hand, were quite emphatic that you thought it was some sort of–
           –Well.  That seems silly at this age.  I would like to try the operation.
           –All right, Galambos said, somewhat wearily. –I have to tell you, of course, that the operation doesn't promise what most would consider a genuine smile.  A true smile is an extremely complex procedure.  The human face has fifty-three muscles and a smile utilizes almost every single one to some degree.  We cannot even begin to compete with that, even with modern medicine what it currently is.  We will, however, be able to manipulate the Zygomaticus major and minor muscles into simulating the rictus movement commonly associated with smiling, but it will not be, in truth, a genuine smile.
           –Doctor, Gerard said in a warning tone.
           –I just want you to be aware of the limitations.  This isn't a miracle cure.
           –I'm aware.  How soon can I get it?

           Gerard stood looking into his bathroom mirror.  He was smiling at himself.  There was still no feeling in his cheeks or lips, but now when he ordered his face to smile, it smiled.  His lips pulled back away from his teeth and stood at attention.  Now, with practice, his lips didn't twitch much anymore.  He was really smiling.  It was strange seeing so many teeth.
           Looking at his teeth in the mirror, he thought back on his childhood dentist, Dr Botner.  At the age of nine his two front teeth had already been missing for over a year, but no adult teeth had moved down to replace them.  The dentist could see them up there, but for whatever reason, they weren't budging.  He had suggested that they lance the gums, so that the movement could begin.  Gerard was opposed to the idea; he hated the idea of surgery.
           "But, Gerard," his mother had said.  "the dentist thinks the space in your teeth might adversely affect your speech, honey, and you don't want to lisp like one of those fairies your whole life, do you?"
           Gerard had stomped out of the house, despite the fact that he was supposed to be helping his mother wallpaper his room in a Star Wars theme, to go to the playground.  On the way, he took glee in chanting to himself "Step on a CRACK . . .  break your mother's BACK!" over and over as he stomped on every crack in the sidewalk.  He ran images of his mother's back being broken in various ways over and over through his mind.
           In the playground, sitting in a tire swing, Gerard heard sirens but didn't pay any attention to them.  They were clearly quite far away.  Someone else's concern.
           On his way home, Gerard again indulged in stepping on many sidewalk cracks, thus, in some manner, encouraging the paralysis of his mother.
           He didn't get to see his mother when he arrived home, but his father was there, weeping into his sister's shoulder.  Gerard's mother had already been taken away to the hospital.  Million to one chance, he had overheard an ambulance attendant say.
           His mother was doped up when he got to see her.  She was sitting up in bed, her head lolling around; her hair was ratty.  She smiled when her eyes focused in on him, giggling like a child and began to sing "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, my two front teeth, my two front teeth . . ." then reached out, caressed his face with her cold fingertips, and squeezed his cheek.  A sharp stabbing pain, a flash of light before his eyes, and a brisk popping sound accompanied the squeeze, then Gerard couldn't feel the bottom half of his face anymore.
           His mother's smile faded slowly.  "Gerard?"  she asked, slurring slightly.  "Gerard, what's wrong with your face?  What's wrong with your mouth?"
           He shrugged.  She began whimpering.  The whimper slowly and horribly gurgled into a shriek.
           Afterward, they forgot all about his two front teeth; they eventually grew in on their own, but by that point it was useless to argue whether the lisp was from the missing teeth or from other matters.
           Gerard smiled now, staring at his two front teeth in the mirror, smiling, finally smiling.  If only his mother could see him now.

           He was quiet until almost noon, then finally he cleared his throat and said:   –Lou . . . do you have a pen?
           –Hm?  Lou asked, not taking his eyes from his own monitor.
           –A pen.  Do you have a pen?
           –Uh . . .  Lou said, in a distant dreamy voice.
           He continued to stare at his screen.
           Gerard waited.  He licked his teeth.  He wet his lips.
           Lou finally turned to him. –Sorry.  What?
           –Pen.  Gerard said, making a writing motion with one hand.  –Got an extra pen?
           Lou fished under some pages, and pulled out two pens, both with the caps excessively chewed. –Black or blue?  he asked.
           –Mm, black.  Gerard said.
           Lou tossed him the pen, then turned back to his work.
           –Hey.  said Gerard, on a whim.
           Lou looked back at him. –Hm?
           Gerard couldn't think of anything to say. –Hey.  Did you watch anything funny on tv last night?
           –Mm, no.  he said.  His eyes were beginning to be pulled back toward his screen again.
           –I did.  Gerard offered.
           –Oh?  Lou asked, offhandedly. –What was it?
           –What was it . . .  Gerard pondered.  He couldn't think of anything.  –Hmm.  I can't remember the name.  God, it was funny though.  Just thinking about it.  Ha.
           Lou looked up.  –You don't remember what it was? he asked.
           –No.  Can't remember the name.  Still: Ha ha.
           Lou stared at him, then turned back to his monitor.
           Gerard returned to his work.  It was difficult to concentrate.  After some time had passed he said to Lou: –I guess you were probably wondering why I was away from work . . .
           –Vacation? Lou asked, without looking up.

           In the men's restroom, Gerard stared at his face.  Nobody had said a word about his new mouth. He tried to imitate what his old mouth used to look like.  His old sad crumpled little mouth.  Then, in a flash, he would spring open his new improved smile.  It was utterly dazzling.
           He heard a toilet flush on the other side of the wall, in the women's restroom.  As the roar of rushing water through old pipes died down, he became aware of female voices drifting through the vent.  The first words he caught were: –mouth was the most horrific thing I've ever seen.
           His heart stopped.
           –I know I know I know . . . came the voice of Sherri.
           –It's so sad.  said Daisy.
           –I know. It's haunting.
           Gerard turned taps on.  Full force.  He couldn't hear the voices on the other side of the wall.  Looking in the mirror again he pulled his lips back and smiled.  He stared at his mouth.  Witches, he thought.  Cold water ran over his wrists.  He smiled.

So, as some might recall, RAW in one of his books talks about some nut going around tranquilizing gorillas, and then dressing them as clowns. 

I thought of that story this morning, and decided to dig around on the internet a bit.  Most references were back to RAW himself, except for one I found... in the Weekly World News.  Which, for those who are too young to remember, was a ridiculous tabloid: the one which invented Bat Boy.

So, now, my question is... did RAW use this story, not knowing it was likely 100% jive?  Did he use it, knowing it was 100% jive, but not anticipating search engines in the future?  Or, did he use this patently false story as a lesson in gullibility?

Or... none of the above?

Here's the link to the Weekly World News story, btw.
Has anyone heard about the recent Shia LaBeouf incident?

In a nutshell, less than a year ago he ripped off an art installation by Marina Abramovic, wherein he invited people to sit across from him while he did nothing in response.

He now says a woman raped him during this art piece. He did nothing to ward her off, as that was the point of the show. 

I'm not saying it wasn't rape, and I am loathe to victim blame in most cases, but... at what point do you just say "fuck art" and ward off the rapist?

(edited for title trigger warning)
...that when it snows, my eyes become large, and the light that you shine can be seen?
...according to "Weird Al" Yankovic:

The first part is amusing in your standard "Weird Al" sorta way, but he ramps it up a notch in the second half.  I could have just added this to the Youtube thread, but c'mon, it's "Weird Al", and... other things.  :wink:
Make sure to read the reviews too.
Why are there two of you?
High Weirdness / Deer Have Close Encounter with UFO
April 07, 2014, 04:50:29 PM
"A Mississippi couple may have captured photographic evidence of a UFO on their infra-red trail cameras.

Edith and Rainer Shattles have trail cameras set up all around their 150-acre property in the Cumbest Bluff area of Jackson County, MS. Usually the cameras pick up images of deer, bugs, or nocturnal wildlife, but in February this year, the couple were shocked to discover footage of strange lights hovering above the trees.

The footage shows dim lights gradually appearing above the deer. The lights are high up, above ground level, and at an area where they is no road. The lights appear very bright, and then suddenly fly off."
Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary. ~Mark Twain

The emotions aren't always immediately subject to reason, but they are always immediately subject to action. ~William James

You are, of course, a robot. Don't bother denying it. If you weren't, you would have complete control of your entire body at all times, both physical aspects and mental. But, you do not. You are governed to varying degrees by a strange group we call 'Emotions'.

These emotions sit inside your skull watching everything you do and edit the information before processing it through your brain. No information reaches you unaltered.

For this reason all intelligence you receive from the outside world is skewed in some direction away from what we often refer to as 'objective truth'. The old adage 'garbage in, garbage out' is especially relevant in this situation, and because of this skewed view we always react to situations in a slightly off-kilter manner; some more inaccurately than others, but none are immune.

"Is there any hope of eradicating this disease and becoming like Vulcans?" I hear you ask. Probably not. In fact, I don't think I would want to live in a world completely devoid of emotions. Complete lack of emotion is just as dangerous as being completely controlled by emotion.

"So what can we do?" I hear you ask. Become aware of your emotions. Observe your emotions and how they manipulate you. Go out and get in an argument. Get into a fist fight. See how you react when a fist comes into contact with your jaw. Were you able to think clearly afterwards?

The more you observe your emotions and become familiar with them the easier it will be to identify them in a hostile situation. Once you are keenly aware of your emotions it is much easier to observe them with something close to objectivity. Once you can observe the emotions with something close to objectivity it will be much harder for them to completely take over your mind and become blinded by them.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / The Fires
March 31, 2014, 03:22:43 PM
The funeral was over.  I staggered down the aisle of the bus, trying to keep my balance as the drunk driver lurched from one side of the highway to the other.  Outside the windows, the dank orange glow of the forest fires bathed the asphalt in sickening light.  Every seat was filled tight with flabby frog-like folk: each with bulbous watery eyes protruding from slack-jawed, wide-mouthed faces, wigs sitting askew at corrupt angles: they were alive, you could hear their quivering choking gasps, but their eyes.  Their eyes were dead.  Those bulging eyes.  The bus was full of them, was it some sort of family reunion? 

One seat was left open.  In the back, the very back - next to the toilet.  The door of which, slapped open with each lurch of the bus, a putrid stench wafting up the aisle: it caused the inhabitants to choke and gasp again, their dewy eyes twitching blindly with the effort.  A wig slipped from one of their heads.  Pushing toward the back, toward the one empty seat, I tried to keep my pressed black suit clean as I shoved through.  A squat white haired dwarf occupied the other seat, and turned its face toward me as I approached.  The face was different: not frog-like: inky eyes full of life: a horse-like mouth overstuffed with teeth. 

I knew that face.

I knew that face: it was Mickey fucking Rooney.

He smiled up at me.  Smile, in fact, is not an accurate description.  He leered up at me: he grimaced up at me.  The grin twisted all his features, which appeared to be fashioned from chewed caramel.  "Pull up a seat, junior!" he called out in a voice hoarse from eighty years of show business, patting the empty seat with a gnarled spotted hand.

Maybe it was the grin; maybe it was the glow from the forest fires outside the bus: he looked absolutely ghoulish.  The frog folk had been unnerving, but Mickey Rooney in bad light was the sort of shit nightmares are made from.

"Pull up a seat, junior." he growled.  All threat.  But the smile never cracked.

I sat down, the teeth now less than a foot and a half from my face.  Swallowing thickly (how had I always swallowed so simply before? suddenly everything was set to manual), I tried to smile.  "Pleasure." I heard someone say.  It sounded like me.  "Pleasure to meet you.  Mr Rooney."

There was no point pretending I didn't recognize him.

"Mickey." he purred.  "Call me Mickey.  I'm Hollywood folk, which means everyone is my friend.  You understand, junior?"

I nodded.  I could feel the breeze in my beard.

"Enjoying the forest fires?" he asked, turning his perfectly round head, his inky black eyes moving toward the flames which licked up into the sky, fifty feet tall.  They raged on both sides of the highway.

"It's a spectacle." I remember saying in response.

Mickey threw back his head and barked laughter at the roof of the bus.  The frog folk all twitched and quivered around me.  Were they people?  Or jello molds?  Mickey seemed hesitant to turn from the fires back to me: and it occurred to me: he was proud of them.  They were his handiwork.

"You did this." I said, suddenly.  I didn't mean to.

"I had to, junior." he said, but there was glee in his voice.  Naked, ugly, glee.  "Like putting down Trigger.  I helped Roy Rogers put down Trigger, did you know that?"  He nodded, his features now suddenly melting into melancholy.  "That was Nineteen Hundred and Sixty-Five, the year old LBJ proclaimed the Great Society.  I put down Trigger..." he said in a low growl.  "...and then I sent the first 3500 troops to slap down the Viet Cong."  His shining black eyes turned to me.  "You see... it HAD to be DONE."

My mouth was stuck in a smile.  My teeth were dry, and my lips wouldn't move.

"And this." he said, as the smile melted back onto his round face, white hair standing up above his ears, glowing in the fire light.  "And THIS." he repeated.  "This had to be done as well.  You know that, don't you, junior?"

I didn't want to answer.  I tried not to. 

"Everyone has their pet addictions today, junior.  Don't you know that?"

I tried not to answer.

"In my day, we had piss and vinegar."  He grinned.  "Oh sure, Judy mainlined amphetamine, but you have to understand, there was a war going on and she needed to stay awake.  She had to keep it all together, junior, and to do that she needed to STAY AWAKE.  You're a friend of Judy's aren't you, junior?"

I tried not to answer.

The fire was licking at the sides of the asphalt.

"This had to be done." he laughed.  His eyes were black, and he laughed.  "This is a keening.  Do you know what that is, junior?"

I tried not to answer.

"This is a goddam keening.  You should know.  You were at the funeral."  Mickey Rooney laughed.  "This is a keening, it is part of the grieving process.  And it HAS TO BE DONE."  He laughed.

Mickey Rooney laughed, and I started to scream.  I started to scream, and I never stopped.
Discordian Recipes / Cold Mush
March 25, 2014, 01:37:19 PM
Bring and Brag / My Rock Posters
January 17, 2014, 05:43:09 PM
Sometimes rock bands get me to draw up posters for them.  Or, more specifically, THIS band did:

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / My New Hero
January 17, 2014, 03:34:42 PM
80 year old man hasn't bathed in 60 years... eats only rotten porcupine meat, drinks only water from a rusty can.  He smokes shit.  He doesn't cut his hair, he BURNS it.

I'm not making this up.

Now, mind you, I don't know how reliable "Oddity Central" is as a source, and my intuition suggest 'not very'... but I can't bear to dig any deeper.  I might find out it's not true.
Do you despise someone greatly?  Do you wish to cause them great discomfort, and possibly some pain?

Not sure how to do it without being arrested?  Try Haribo Gummy Candy.

You're welcome.
"When I was young there were beatniks. Hippies. Punks. Gangsters. Now you're a hacktivist. Which I would probably be if I was 20. Shuttin' down MasterCard. But there's no look to that lifestyle! Besides just wearing a bad outfit with bad posture. Has WikiLeaks caused a look? No! I'm mad about that. If your kid comes out of the bedroom and says he just shut down the government, it seems to me he should at least have an outfit for that."  -John Waters

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Toilet Teeth
January 08, 2014, 11:40:06 PM
"There's certain parts about being a man that one just has to experience... so, like my father before me, you're going to watch your dad... get pathetically drunk."

I wish my father had done this... a ritualistic invitation to view him as a fellow human being with faults, rather than my idealized image of "father" would have been less traumatic than discovering the same person, by mistake, as he vomited his false teeth down the toilet on New Years Day morning.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Dian Fossey
January 07, 2014, 05:15:33 PM
I recall someone recently saying something about Diane Fossey having done more harm than good... I don't know a lot about her, except she apparently looked a lot like Ellen Ripley... can someone point me toward the bad stuff?
High Weirdness / Cicada 3301
December 19, 2013, 04:55:15 PM
I looked around and didn't see a thread for this, which just came to my attention, so I thought I would bring it up here.

Cicada 3301 is a name given to a set of complex Internet puzzles. The first Internet puzzle started on January 5, 2012 and ran for approximately one month. A second round began exactly one year later on January 5, 2013, and is possibly still ongoing. The stated intent was to recruit "intelligent individuals" by presenting a series of puzzles which were to be solved, each in order, to find the next. The puzzles focused heavily on data security, cryptography, and steganography.

Some think its CIA, or NSA... others just think its a mindfuck.

So... I'm wondering what y'all make of this, and in addition I'm wondering how hard it might be for US to put something like this together. I know we have lots of computery peoples here.
So says Megyn Kelly from Fox News... because you know, there were so many honkies hanging out in the Middle East 2000 years ago...

Has everyone heard about Macaulay Culkin's pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band?

My wife told me about this first, but initially she only knew about the name.  I recall saying: "I wish all their songs were about pizza too."

Turns out, they are!


Please check your privilege.
Does anyone know what fresh human blood looks like under black light?
So, full disclosure up front... I like Penn Jillette.  And, I've read one novel of Ayn Rand's I enjoyed.

However, having said that, I think Ayn was a nutjob, and Objectivism is whack.  I could expand on that thought, but I doubt that's very necessary in these parts.

So, here's the thing:  Penn Jillette self identifies as an Objectivist, and yet is asking for money on to pay for a horror film he wants to make.  Let's just put aside the fact that Penn is yet another celebrity asking your for money to fund their pet project, despite the fact that he likely swims in his squillions of dollars nightly, à la Scrooge McDuck.  Let's just put that aside for the moment.

Instead, let's revel in an Objectivist asking for fucking money.  Did he read Atlas Shrugged?  I didn't, I had to put it down about a third of the way through, because it was drying my eyeballs out.  But, in that third, I got the point.  In fact, I got the point in the first chapter, it's not exactly a subtle book for those who plan to never read it.  The crux is: MOOCHERS ARE BAD.

Penn seems to have missed, oh I don't know... the POINT of his chosen world view.

Perhaps I'm being ungenerous... would anyone care to counter my point?

Rex Bologna
The Handsome Devil of Discordia
Or Kill Me / I Am A Nihilist
November 27, 2013, 04:11:51 PM
I Am a Nihilist, and I'm Ok With That


How I Learned to Stop Worrying, and Love the Lack of Intrinsic Meaning or Value in Life

"Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."  -Walter Sobchak

My name is Rex Bologna, and I am an existential nihilist.

[crowd: "Hi Rex."]

I first suspected I was a nihilist in my mid-teens, though I probably would have denied it at that time.  I was only just coming to terms with accepting that I didn't think it was likely that gods existed, I didn't need the added burden of grappling with the meaning, or lack thereof, of life.  But, once you toss the idea of an omniscient creator out of the mix, the idea that the universe is devoid of objective meaning pops up as a reasonable option fair quickly. 

Science classes offered interesting possibilities which might answer such a question... procreation, for instance.  It occurred to me that observation of nature seemed to indicate that the continued presence of your DNA in the future was a viable meaning of life for most creatures, but to what end?  Replication for the sake of replication seemed as devoid of meaning as the nihilism which loomed behind it.  And then, to further the angst, as I learned more about how life began on this mudball, the arbitrary randomness of the process filled me with dread.  And so, I did what any teen would do: I avoided the question altogether.

But, eventually, teenage high school science experiments gave way to experiments of a more psychedelic nature.  However, a deeply introspective state, with life's usual filters taken away, is not the best place to hide from questions of an existential nature.  The horrible gaping cold blackness of nothing seemed to surround me.  Life was without meaning, we were the end result of blind mistakes, and when we fucked it all up it would matter to nobody.  I could scream, but my voice would be lost in the void.

These conclusions followed me into the crashed sober state which inevitably follows.  A period of mourning set in, where I missed the innocence of my youthful naivety, when I could believe things happened for a reason, even if I didn't agree with them.  A scornful misanthropy replaced my formerly playful outlook, as so many people around me seemed to parrot empty useless phrases like "everything happens for a reason", or spoke of karma, and cosmic justice.  Those sad deluded fools stared into the inky nothingness with their rose-tinted glasses on, the joke would be on them in the end.

But, I eventually stumbled upon the biggest joke of all, which was a silly religion, or maybe a philosophy, or maybe just a joke... called Discordianism.  This... whatever it was... seemed to confirm my nihilism, but at the same time described it in a manner which could be amusing... dare I say, even fun?  Suddenly the lack of meaning in the universe seemed not only freeing, but hugely hilarious.  And the meaning others found in the universe was even funnier, but now not in a mean-spirited manner, but instead with an awed glee.  To me humanity was still a strange mistake, but also a fantastic mistake.  The argument made by theists about the wind blowing scrap metal and turning it into a roller coaster suddenly made perfect sense to me, but not in the way they likely intended.  Yes, it was a perfect analogy for humanity.  Not because it implied a creator, but because it was completely batshit insane... which we clearly are.

I am Rex Bologna, the Handsome Devil of Discordia, and I believe life has no intrinsic meaning. 

And, I am ok with that.
...unless you're ready for a rambling stream of consciousness monologue worthy of the end of a RAW novel.

And yes, he's likely mentally I'll, but I hope when I finally go around the bend some day, I go like this guy.
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Mellowing Sadly
November 20, 2013, 04:55:55 PM
I just read that when Reservoir Dogs was released, Wes Craven walked out during the "Stuck In The Middle With You" scene.  Wes Craven.

WES CRAVEN.  The man who made Last House on the Left, couldn't take an offscreen ear being cut off to a Stealers Wheel song.

What the fuck happens to people when they grow old?
Literate Chaotic / Any Hackers?
November 05, 2013, 08:36:34 PM
I'm working on a story at the moment which includes a minor character who is a "hacker" (for lack of a better word)... problem is, I'm not so computer savvy.  I know we have some people on the board who are knowledgable with matters such as this, and was wondering if anyone wanted to volunteer to allow me to PM them occasionally with a search for a proper word or method on this topic?
Study conducted on chimps and children... chimps think for themselves, more often than not, whereas human children follow the rules like good little soldiers:
So, I'm at a bar right now... Why I'm posting at a bar will soon become evident... There is a one man band on stage right now and he is pretty damn bad. I mean, don't get me wrong, he can "technically" play the instruments he's playing (all at once, mind you) but they don't sound "good".

Now here's the thing... I sort of love him. I don't know what it is. I'm not ironically liking him because he's bad, though it may sound like that.

There's a gusto to being able to get up in front of a crowd and show your naked ass, but it's not that either. Or not exactly. It's something about how goddam human it all is... Also, keep in mind, yes, I've been drinking, but I also don't think it's THAT. I've felt this way before stone sober.

I realize simply saying "the music is bad" doesn't describe it much, but this thread isn't as much about how awful he is, so much as me soliciting opinions of why I sort of love him and hate him at the  same moment.

If none of this made sense, I apologize. Happy Friday night, folks!