Do You Ever Feel Your Brain Is Being Chopped Up Into Bite-Sized Bits?

Why worry about the future when you can regret the past instead?  That question is a tribute to my favorite generator of jokes, Mr. Mark Peters.  In case you haven’t caught his Twitter feed yet, Google “mark peters wordlust.” His link is the first one on the list.  Click it and feast your eyes (pardon the cliche) on the endless smorgasbord of jokes.  To date, he’s come up with over thirty thousand of them.  I don’t know how he does it.

You may be wondering about the provocative nature of the title of this post.  Welp (another Petersism–call me Captain Plagiarism), the repetitive, depressingly ridiculous nature of my life of late has cast me into a less than funky funk.  I’m suffering from a case of writer’s block the size of the former World Trade Center, God rest its rectangular soul.  (If only I could make it the same size it became on September 11th, 2001–call it the writer’s blockbuster.)

My great aunt used to say, “If you rest, you rust.”  She was right.  I’ve done both.  The only problem is that it’s hard to keep up with the frenetic pace of silly city life.  The older I get, and the longer I live here, and the longer I keep pursuing the same career and maintaining the same marriage and attending the same stupid Sunday school services, the more absurd the whole shebang becomes.

(Say, isn’t that a song?  Shebang, shebang, da dadadadadadadadada.  Music notes sold separately.)

Like many other bloggers–at least I assume some of you may share this affliction with me–I suffer from delusions of grandeur (again, I’m always happy to provide you with cliches; they’re my life blood–see?  There’s another one).  In fact, that may well be the source of the writer’s block–hey, stop flying airplanes into my tummy!  Mommy, help me dig this black box out of my belly button.

Luckily, I’ve been humbled by the sustained relative lack of attention.  And writing that just makes me feel like an ingrate.  After all, I’m lucky to have the readers I do, many of whom I respect and even envy for their many creative contributions.  (I’m looking at you, Menomama, Robert Okaji, Sweettenorbull, and Smirkpretty!)

I just wish there were a way we could get paid.  Shucks, I’ve been writing for forty years and haven’t made beans off the effort yet.  Then again, that’s not what I’m supposed to be doing it for anyway–is it?

One thing that makes it hard to write is the assault on the senses the news provides.  I’m a glutton for punishment (cliche, si vous plait), so I tend to pick at these festering wounds more than a mentally healthier person would, even though I do nothing to solve the problems engulfing the world except complain about them and hector other people to do something about them with hypocritical panache.

It’s purdy frickin’ retarded (in the figurative sense), if you ask me.

What do you do to stay sane?  Is sanity overrated?  Maybe being crazy is where it’s out.  Or else you can be retro.  That’s far out.  From where I’m sitting the future looks bleak.  Maybe because it’s filtered through what I can glimpse of my own future, replete with its seemingly unsolvable health problems and the vicious cycle of marriage’s sparky buzz saw.

Yesterday I taught three different classes in three different places, working a grand total of three and a half hours.  My commute came out to the same time.  It’s nuts.  Luckily I only have to do it once a week.  The other work days are more measured.

A couple of weeks ago my wife Jina and I joined her family for three days to celebrate the Chinese–or Lunar–New Year’s holiday, feasting shamelessly on the carcasses of lovingly prepared livestock.  I think that was after–versus before–I’d read Chris Hedges’s piece on about the suffering all animals prepared for food  undergo.  It’s an eloquent argument for veganism.  Cognitive dissonance enables me to carry on consuming these poor victims of the bloodthirsty economic food chain instead of renouncing meat altogether and repenting the error of my ways (if that’s the right cliche).

Finally, as a way to escape the tedium of uneventful domestic life and the loneliness of unrequited lust, I’ve been reading a lot of books lately.  Usually they fire me up to write, but for some reason the books I’ve gone for recently haven’t breathed life into the comatose Muse.  She remains supine.  I hope she’s not dead.

In fact, I was so impressed by one book in particular I wanted to review it for you.  Sadly, I proved unequal to the task.  I also didn’t want to give away too much and ruin the story.  I hate it when people do that.

The book is Dave Eggers’s The Circle.  Let me know if you need any more information about it.  I’m a slow reader, but it’s just shy of five hundred pages long and I plowed through it in four days.  Granted, a lot of the pages consisted of dialogue.  Still, it’s a page turner.

So is Douglas Coupland’s The Gum Thief.  And Thomas Berger’s Meeting Evil.  Max Barry’s Lexicon, not so much.  I preferred his Machine Man and Jennifer Government. 

If you prefer nonfiction, check out Jack El-Hai’s The Nazi and the Psychiatrist, or Andy Warhol:  Prince of Pop by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan.

I don’t bother with movies anymore and have essentially stopped listening to music, except once in a while while hanging up laundry.  I need silence to recover from the onslaught of K-pop, Korean ballads, and K-rap (or “krap”) I hear every time I leave my apartment.

Modern Korean music is almost as bad as the unbreathable waves of yellow dust, the toxic miasma blowing in from China and Mongolia and the growing Gobi Desert that heralds the advent of spring.  This rich formula of lead, mercury, cadmium, and assorted other goodies makes a mockery of spring fever, taunting those who are willing to boldly go where no generation has gone before to risk cultivating an unholy host of malignant tumors.

Go for it, kids!


Earth’s Love Song To Humanity

Boil my heart in your tears.

Break me open like an egg

on the hardened edge

of your hate for one another.

Teach me the ways of your

technology.  Subdue me

with the logic of your

abominable God.

I have tried my hardest

to love you with all my

poison-riddled heart

but now my arteries

are clogged with your lies.

You’ve ripped out my bones,

replaced them with plastic,

invested the sinews of my

landscape with your ridiculously

insistent buildings, invaded my

perfect, starlit darkness with your

bristling electricity.

I can’t say I’ll miss you

too much when you’re gone.

Don’t bother closing the door

behind you when you leave.

The whole house will fall down

in the earthquake of my

implacable, inscrutable rebirth

as you and your narrow-minded

ways are finally ground to dust

like a cigarette crushed

in an ashtray by a gnarled

and dried-out hand

clutched from within

by your incurable cancer.

I Shop, Therefore I Am Not

Is shopping fun?  It’s certainly a ridiculously popular activity all around the world.  I wonder why so many people love it.  Are we crazy?  Or just crazy about buying stuff?  At least we know that everything gets recycled and doesn’t end up in the dump or the ocean–

–or does it?

Hmmm. . . Well, according to the December 12, 2014 issue of The Korea Herald (the world’s greatest newspaper), “269,000 tons of plastic litter chokes the world’s oceans.”

“There are plastic shopping bags, bottles, toys, action figures, bottle caps, pacifiers, toothbrushes, boots, buckets, deodorant roller balls, umbrella handles, fishing gear, toilet seats, and so much more.”

It’s nice to know we can share mass production’s never-ending bounty with all the fish, octopi, sea turtles, terns, manta rays, sharks, whales, dolphins, and the rest of our aquatic brethren and sistren.  How magnanimous of us that we deign to do so in light of these poor creatures’ inability to drive down to the local strip mall or department store and stock up on clothes and robotic toys paid for with a credit card.

(In Korea there’s a store called Plastic Island.  They know how to plan ahead here.)

Anyway, my wife Jina compelled me to go to the combination supermarket-department store yesterday for what she said would be a short visit.  We ended up spending four hours farting around in the damn place.

Lately she’d gotten out of the habit of dragging me to the supermarket, but must have remembered how effective it is as a torture device after forcing me to go to church with her all these years (when will I see the goddamned light?  Does it always have to be so dark in here?  I can’t even see my beer).

Then again, I should be grateful, as she immediately asked me to try on several parkas to help survive Seoul’s brutal winter.  I’ve lived in a lot of places, and this one has to have the most inhospitable climate of any.  No wonder so many of the people who live here are so grumpy (including me, in case you hadn’t noticed).

The clerk who helped us was a tall, elegant woman who wore lots of jewelry and too much make-up, but she had an engaging smile that made us open our wallets.

The funny thing is that Jina has been on my case about not having had enough teaching hours over the past several months, implying that we’ll soon have to acquire a taste for cat food if we want to survive, but as soon as she enters one of these places, frugality goes out the window.

Jina made me try on about five different coats before helping me make a decision, then tried on several herself.  I was pleased to see her buy something for herself for a change; she usually just spoils me (maybe to compensate for the lack of other kinds of affection I receive from her) and martyrs herself like her hero, J.C. (Hello there, birthday boy!  And what would you like for Christmas?  “Anything, Santa.  Just please don’t nail me to a cross.”)

While I was holding the coat she’d worn into the store, a few objects fell from one of the pockets into a box of packaged T-shirts arranged vertically at my feet.  I hunched over to pick up what had fallen out–her phone and a set of keys to her school.  When I handed them to her and asked if there was anything else, she said no.

Meanwhile, adventurous shoppers filled their carts with shoes and Transformer toys and Leggos for their semi-Americanized kids, who accompanied them on their heroic mission.

Jina and I went downstairs to the supermarket region, where she bought several boxes of cookies, and also some muffins, to distribute to her students on Christmas Eve.  We jockeyed past the hungry young couples to grab a plastic container of sushi; Jina persuaded a nearby clerk to mark it down for us.  I wanted to get some sashimi instead, but Jina said it was too expensive, and I couldn’t argue with that.

Maybe we’ll win a prize if we eat the last bluefin tuna ever caught!

She found a box of mandarin oranges she liked and put them in the shopping basket.  We went to the cashier’s lane where the one of the store’s humble representatives tallied up our goods, then Jina found she’d lost one of her credit cards (she has several; I have none).  She panicked and started to freak out.  The clerk kindly told her to just type in her phone number on the device provided for the customers instead of using her store card, so she did.

Afterwards, she told me to go and wait for her in the food court while she tried to track down the missing card.  I found an empty table and parked my butt on one of the plastic chairs next to it after putting all the groceries down, heaving a mighty sigh.  I unwrapped the box of sushi and filled one of the little wells built into the shiny speckled black plastic base of the box with soy sauce, emptying a packet of ginger into the other.

There were several pretty young women roaming about, and I suddenly had a craving for a burger from the fast food joint in the corner (not that I connected the two types of cravings).  I decided to wait till Jina returned so I could get clearance from her.  I also figured it would be wiser to buy something from one of the other counters, since they sold more healthful, traditional Korean food.

So that I wouldn’t be too obvious about ogling the breathtaking beauties and mistaken for a slightly younger, white version of Bill Cosby, I closed my eyes, sat up straight, and breathed.  When I opened my eyes a few minutes later, the bright colors of red, yellow, and green filled my perspective–not so much a vision of Christ as an artificial epiphany.  Thank God there are so many fetching, beautiful colors in our world that don’t exist in boring old nature.

Jina appeared, empty-handed, and ate a few pieces of sushi.  When I asked her about getting a burger, she frowned.

“We had a big lunch–remember?” she said.

She had a point.  We’d eaten spaghetti and pizza at an Italian restaurant.

I asked her if she wanted me to go look for the credit card, but she went instead.  She re-emerged several minutes later, saying she’d decided to cancel it.

Back upstairs, she asked me what had happened with the other key.  I didn’t know what she was talking about, but suggested we go look at the place where I’d dropped the stuff from her pocket earlier.  Sure enough, I found it tucked between the T-shirts.  She chewed me out for being so careless, evidently unable to see how hypocritical that was, considering she’d just lost her credit card.

(The key she’d been referring to was the one to the locker where she’d left her pocket book.)

I sat down in a massage chair that refused to be activated by the remote control while Jina went to pick out a winter cap for me.  She returned with several caps, none of which I was crazy about, then asked a store clerk for the time.  Since it was nearly 10:30 pm, Jina said we could buy some discounted sashimi.  She told me to go back and wait for her again.

When she returned, she asked me to come with her to check out the rest of the display.  I went and tried a few on, quickly making a choice, but she wanted to continue, as if we had all the time in the world and weren’t mortals subjected to the laws of dissolution and decay.

She directed me to the bus stop, and I suggested daftly we walk down the median strip of the busy street along the tapered white stripes that indicated where the buses went, between the two lanes of car traffic going in either direction.  A driver honked at Jina on her side and a bus driver nearly made road pizza out of me.

We stopped at Jina’s school to eat the sashimi.  She dropped off the cookies and muffins and brought the new clothes and oranges with us on our bus ride home.

As we were walking towards our apartment, Jina asked me to put on my new cap, which had a pompom at the top she’d offered to cut off for me.

“You look cute!” she said.

“So you like it better with the nipple on top?”

“You’re bad man!”

I burped sonorously in reply to prove her point.

By the way, when I wrote yesterday’s entry, I forgot that there were several female guests at Stephen Colbert’s sing-along, including legendary feminist Gloria Steinem, Arianna Huffington, and Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Pardon the oversight.  And apologies to those male celebrities I neglected to mention (nothing is sadder than a neglected celebrity), including, but not limited to:  Dave Barry, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Clinton, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and–and–I forget who else.  I was going to go back and watch the clip again, but life is too short, as I’m sure you’ll agree, unlike this long-winded blog post.

I appreciate your patience.

Still Human After All These Years

You may have noticed that our species is the most neato bunch of creatures of all time.  In case you doubt this is true, consider scientists’ recent discovery that in the past forty years, good ol’ homo ignoramus–er, sapiens–has wiped out fifty-two percent of all invertebrates on earth.  Asteroids destroyed the dinosaurs.  This time, we’re the asteroid.

The funny thing about this story is that it’s already passed by like a blip on the radar screen.  We’re all too busy driving in our sleep to notice that we’ve got the rapacious tenacity of Captain Ahab when it comes to our PacMan-like relationship to the food chain.

“Oh, so in the course of making ourselves more comfortable and making the world safe for the mass-consumption of processed food and plastic shoes, we’ve managed to extinguish over half of all the backboned critters on earth in just forty years.  No biggie–carry on.”

It’s astonishing, our capacity to continue on our happily destructive course despite the interdependence and interconnectedness of all living creatures.  Granted, most of us aren’t deliberately going out of our way to slaughter the rest of our fellow mortal animals, but the way a lot of us live is so obnoxiously disconnected from nature and indifferent to our impact upon it–whether individual or collective–that we might as well be.

The problem is that if you start yelling and screaming in public about how stupid and suicidal it is for us to be vigorously sawing away at the branch we’re all sitting on as the tree it belongs to teeters over the edge of a cliff high above a valley of miscellaneous scattered bones, people will think you’re nuts.  In some places, you might even get locked up, shot, or at least teased by a bully who robs you of your lunch money.

So what do you do?  Carry on blindly going about your business day by day with the rest of the lemmings, wondering how much more time we’ve got before the hurricane of shit hits the mushroom cloud-sized fan.

What makes life even more absurd these days is that those of us who are shielded–at least for the time being–from the horrible consequences of our blithely oblivious actions–have the luxury of being able to follow it all in real time on our hand-held gadgets or while parked on our butts in front of our computers at home.  The great thing about being a mouse potato or a sofa spud is you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the downfall of nature along with civilization, or an amazing facsimile thereof provided by your creative friends in the Pentagon-approved branch of Hollywood.

Last night I went out and ate way too much dead cow with a few friends, one of whom defended our decision to eat meat, saying that’s what we have incisors for.  But, he pointed out, whereas most animals are slaughtered in a humane fashion (not that I’m sure that that’s always true), he’s opposed to eating dog meat not in principle–he said he tried it before and it was good, as God and Hemingway would say–but because the people who prepare this particular delicacy do it by beating the dog to death.  The reason for this barbaric approach to canine-based cuisine is that the agony the dogs suffer apparently raises their adrenaline levels and makes the meat taste better.

Ah, but of course.

And tiger-penis tea can give you a hard-on.  (Correction:  Drink tiger-penis tea and you are a hard-on.)

I got weepy when I watched the video on the New York Times website a few weeks ago about the Congolese park ranger who works to protect endangered mountain gorillas (there are only 800 left in the wild).  These majestic yet gentle creatures, orphaned by poachers and the crossfire of the ongoing civil war, soon will have no place left to go.  The narrator of the film said something like 150 park rangers have been killed in the course of trying to protect the gorillas.  The hero of the story talks about how his father taught him to love animals, and says how his dad would be happy to know of his son’s work if he were alive today.  (He, too, was killed in the crossfire of the wonderful war.)

A more recent story from the same website describes how vultures are able to eat decaying corpses and fecal matter without getting sick (hey, I’ve never been to a Taylor Swift concert, but I’ve heard that’s carrion worth consuming), which suggests that their immune systems must be out of this world.

Of course, poachers are helping matters by making sure to poison the vultures, since the scavengers’ presence alerts park rangers to the poachers’ shenanigans and interferes with these fine men’s altruistic attempts to eradicate all the rhinos and elephants before it’s too late.

Thanks, fellas!  You’re awful swell.  (Then again, I’m sure a lot of them resort to poaching out of desperation.  I confess that I myself have poached an egg before.  God, if you’re up there, please forgive me.  If not, I forgive you for not existing.)

Anyway, I’ve probably already depressed you enough.  I hope I didn’t interfere with your digestion.  I’ve still got a bit of a stomachache from last night, unless it’s just my guilty conscience trying to change my course of action.

Dick Cheney Awaits The Grim Reaper In His Hospital Bed

A woman named Julia Butterfly Hill

tried to save a sequoia I wanted to kill.

Goddamned tree-huggers are always cramping my style;

I’m such a good person, so why can’t I smile?

So I took out my chain saw with a thirst for revenge,

tossed it into the Hummer, said, “Goodbye, garage.”

I drove from Wyoming to Olympic rain forest,

spewing carbon emissions o’er the land of the free

to bring down great Luna, the thousand-year tree

where Julia lived for two years–and for free!

But I had a mishap when I slipped and I fell

and I lopped off my leg as the saw dropped from hell.

Young Miss Hill was on hand to give me a lift

to the clinic where nurses were ending their shift.

As I lie here in bed wondering where I went wrong,

if you strike up the band, I will sing you a song

of a man who gave all for the country he loved

and developed the world with bombs dropped from above

Yet it’s clear to this hero God’s not on his game;

if He wants my devotion, his approach is real lame.

After gaining new life from a second-hand heart,

I must perish alone here, an abandoned old fart.

A Nuclear Waste of Time

It’s always a mistake to enter a movie theater with high expectations.  Who’s going to get you high in a movie theater?  (Cue rimshot drummer.)  But seriously, folks.  I hadn’t seen a flick in the theater since Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt as the money and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the ball.  That was a boring movie, but at least I got to see it with my parents, so it was quality time with the family misspent.  And the last movie I’d seen in the theater before that was The Artist, which was brilliant.  Like anything else, going to the movies is always hit or miss.  There’s an Elliot Rodger joke buried in there somewhere in that last phrase, but that cat is already yesterday’s news.  At least he reminded everyone that America has a serious gun problem, and that men are pathetic losers, especially when we take ourselves too seriously.

To return to Mr. Godzilla.  I was swayed to see the movie by a review I’d read by Andrew O’Hehir, who writes for Salon, as it was reproduced on Alternet.  He(hir) promised in the title that Godzilla was the greatest action movie since Jaws.  Now I don’t know about you, but Jaws scared the hell out of me when I was a kid and did make swimming in the ocean a harrowing experience for several summers thereafter, not that that stopped me from seeing it three times and continuing to immerse myself in the briny depths on a regular, masochistic, paranoid basis.

I now lament Jaws‘ power, not on account of hydrophobia but because the movie and the Peter Benchley book it was based on compelled a lot of people to hate and fear sharks, and now there aren’t many of them left.  Our species turns out to be a lot scarier than theirs, especially from their points of view.

One nice thing about living in Seoul is you can see movies in the morning.  I had a few hours to slaughter after teaching my first class, and I was curious to see if Godzilla lived up to its promise.  I hadn’t seen the director’s first film, Monsters, which I’ve heard cats describe as their pajamas.  And I wouldn’t be caught dead swimming in the Pajama Canal, unless I somehow ended up in the maw of a finless Great White shark (whose mother suffered from low self-esteem and considered herself merely a Pretty Good White shark, while she felt her husband was Not Bad and her other son was No Great Shakes).

(Did you see the story on Yahoo News about a month ago about some yahoo in Florida who caught a mako shark whose carcass got photographed in the bed of his pickup truck while he was filling up for gas?  This isn’t called the Anthropocene Era for nothing.  Pretty soon we’ll be the only species left, but not for long. . .)

In case you haven’t guessed by now, I don’t have much to say about the goddamned Godzilla movie except that it was far from the greatest action movie since Jaws.  I wish I’d read Anthony Lane’s review of it for the New Yorker beforehand, then I wouldn’t have bothered seeing it.   Then again, I’m kind of glad I did, because it’s good to keep at least one finger on the cultural pulse so you can see what all the hoopla’s all about, or at least try to.

The talented actors in the film were forced to deliver cardboard performances (although Bryan Cranston really hammed it up, reprising Walter White at his most emotional moments), letting the monsters have all the fun.  The “bad” critters reminded me of the Geiger-generated space reptiles in the Alien series, although they were more bug-like, and of course a lot larger.

Godzilla himself was charismatic and he read his lines well.

There was very little humor in the film and few surprises. 

Okay, SPOILER ALERT time.  Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know what happens at the end of the movie.  Predictably, the military man played by David Strathairn orders his men to blow up the creatures with the most powerful nuclear weapon at their disposal against the advice of wise pagan Ken Watanabe.  Happily, Godzilla, after dispatching the bad critters, survives the blast, despite a rough hangover, and lumbers back into the ocean, his work completed for the time being.  Ho hum, just another catastrophic nuclear blast; nothing to text home about.  There’s a scene near the end of Roland Emmerich’s movie True Lies in which Arnold Schwarzenegger and his girlfriend (played by Jamie Lee Curtis, if I’m not mistaken) embrace while watching a mushroom cloud bloom on the horizon.  How quaint.  And how harmless.  Just a little fireworks display to keep the children happy.

I’ve never watched the show 24, but I saw a series of clips in which Jack Bauer, the character portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland, tortured his captured terrorist antagonist to get him to cough up where he’d hidden the ticking time bomb.  It was a gut-wrenching display.  Nonetheless, too many Americans consider torture a price worth paying in order to defend ourselves (even though the real terrorists are usually too elusive to get caught until after they’ve done their dirty work).  Torture has been practiced in various unseemly situations, probably since the beginning of human history.  But this is the first time in a long time where it’s gotten the thumbs-up from a large percentage of U.S. citizens.  Could they have been brainwashed by the riveting Fox TV series?  Or Dubya’s charm offensive?

The reason I mention it is I’m queasy about casual displays of nuclear explosions in Hollywood films.  There are few survivors left of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but I doubt they’d qualify such inflammable fare as entertainment.  Legitimizing the use of nukes in a fictional setting numbs people to the consequences of their use in real life, and makes such use that much more likely.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

By the way, I did a Google search yesterday on whether it was necessary for the U.S. to nuke Japan in order to end the war and came up with some illuminating facts.  It turns out that Japan was already pretty well wiped out, especially from the incendiary bombs used on Tokyo that roasted 100,000 people in six hours, along with all the other devastated cities.  Their air force and navy were toast.  The only real excuse Truman had to use the bomb was Japan’s unwillingness to accept his terms of unconditional surrender, since they didn’t want Emperor Hirohito to lose his post as a divine figurehead.  (Too bad they didn’t decide to give him the old heave-ho instead; not that I’m blaming them for my country’s doubtful role as a pioneer in the field of nuclear terrorism.)  The irony was that the U.S. decided to keep the emperor in place after taking a nuclear dump on the two cities after all (make that two dumps–the first from the tail of the Enola Gay, a cuddly, genocidal fellow named Little Boy; his successor was designated Fat Man–gotta love those euphemistic military nicknames) in order to keep the natives from getting restless.

I was disappointed to read in Jonathan Fetter-Vorm’s Trinity:  A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb, an otherwise excellent account of the history of the Manhattan Project with some invaluable insights into the mind of J. Robert Oppenheimer, that “the Japanese showed no willingness to surrender.”  (That’s actually a paraphrase; I put it in quotes to distance the words from my own view, based on the evidence alluded to in the previous paragraph.)  To be fair, they did refuse to bite the bullet, although one online source claims the emperor himself beseeched the Truman administration for a truce back in January 1945, as long as he could hang onto his gig.  But because Fetter-Vorm doesn’t take any time to delve into the nuances of the matter, he lends the bombings an air of inevitability they evidently didn’t have.  Who said the truth wasn’t complicated?

We need to get rid of all the nukes right away, before they get rid of us.  

And we will, just as soon as we finish watching this really cool movie (christened by both the Pentagon and the U.S. Air Force, whose cooperation in providing high-tech props is much appreciated by the deep-pocketed producers).

By the way, despite its tired predictability and dazzling special effects, Godzilla did have a nice message, which was to be nice to nature for a change.  

Roger Wilco.

The Bargain of Eden

Beauty bleeds from the battlefield of the body,

Everyone locked in a personal apocalypse.


One day I went shopping and chopped down a forest.

Do you think it was shellfish to scrape clean the seafloor?

A triple-decker burger’s reward for my efforts:

A thousand cows in every bite.

Before you go pointing the finger at me–

Gods, Guns, and Guts:  Let’s Keep All Three

(Thus spoke the bumper sticker on the back of a pickup truck)–

Recall it’s my instinct to extinguish every living thing,

Including myself.  I’m only human.  How could any

Creature capable of such an utterance

Have anything but low self-esteem?

In a world once teeming with great and proud beasts

And beautiful creatures rendered irrelevant

By technology’s gadgetry, replaced by adorable

And harmless cartoons, the dominating species

That’s run by tycoons and other buffoons,

We computer-animated animals who threaten

Ourselves to become Animatronic

Cannot help behaving in a way that’s moronic,

Much to the sorrow of disappointed friends,

Gorillas and elephants we slay with dismay,

So upset with ourselves for being propelled

By something so trivial as wealth, that we fire off

A barrage of petitions as penance, signed

With a carpal tunnel-inducing series of clicks,

Then feast on a couple of video clips,

Glad we can chuckle or grin like a cat

Who holds his tail high as he strolls

With sinuous menace, proud of himself

For murdering so many birds

And having such a clean coat

That gleams in the sun as he lies down

In the luxury of an afternoon nap

Next to a mouse who will never

Wake up again or move without help.