Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I am whining to you from a strange, strange land...

Thanks for the warm intro, Hans. You realize that many Portlanders may be offended by your description of Stumptown as “the always sad and misery city.” Some may think that you meant they are stingy, although they are no more miserly than folks in Scroogetown or Tightwadington. Portlanders pride themselves on living in a place that is almost like all the really important places in the world without any of the less than desirable consequences that come with actually being an important place.


For instance, there is no crime in Portland, and they have a gay mayor who didn't swap cigars with Monica Lewinsky and waited until Beau Breedlove was 18 to do the old in-out in-out. Thought crime is only a misdemeanor, and it still isn't illegal to install a Web cam in a portable toilet and stream video of the backsides of unsuspecting crappers to the Internet. Homeless people in Portland self-organize into Dignity Villages and Joyous Sheltervilles, and panhandlers will actually do your dishes for spare change. All you have to do is bring them to the transit mall or Old Town, which is an American landmark which served as the basis for Skid Row.


The truth is, I was run out of Portland twenty years ago for conduct unbecoming a caring citizen. I’m writing this post from the Portland Pataphysical Outpatient Clinic, Lounge, and Laundromat secret headquarters just down the road from Idiotville, Oregon. It's a ghost town now, but perfect for hiding out from enraged gaggles of Portlanders. Google it, if you don’t believe me.


Dear readers, unlike Hans and the other Internation authors, I only speak and write in English, and some say I don’t do that very well either. When Hans first approached me about co-blogging last September 11 (the eighth anniversary of another day of infamy that apparently changed absolutely nothing), I was skeptical, particularly when he wrote these words: It took me more than one year to find a sane USA citizen, brave and courage, familiar with Faust his Greatness until I found this blog....I had received a similar letter from a fanboy at the CIA last year asking me if I wanted to become an airborne underwear model for the chance to win a free one-way ticket to Detroit.


I'm not only a proud Faustian, people. Equally important to the demonic bloodline is the troll ancestry on my mother’s side. I bet you didn’t know that most civilized native North American Indians are descended from trolls. Well, now you do. Some people call us Cherokees, because white people kept sneaking up behind us, but we’re trolls in our hearts, and in our underpants.


Hans has given me complete freedom to write about anything I want as long as I don’t get any more obscene than Pope Eggs Benedict when he puts down homos, which (knowing the Pope personally from his Hitler Youth days) does not specifically refer to limp-wristed same-sex butt-buddies but to homosapiens in general. I have promised not to use overly use my favorite four-letter expletive that begins with f and ends with k, because I'm a flexible doctor, you see.


I also agreed to refrain from insulting Muslims, Christians, and Jews, because I have free rein to go after Agnostics, Atheists, Stoics, Mormons, Yazidis, Bahaå'i's, Sikhs, Hindus, Shintos, Scientologists, Zoroastrians, Confucians, Janes, Epicureans, Transcendal Meditationists, and Stoogists, not to mention Americans, many of whom I know well, some more intimately than I would have liked, having survived more than 60 years among their proud idiocy without apprehension, detention, and harsh interrogation. Lucky me.


I have worked as a writer and editor for years, often involved with translation and localization to support heavy equipment, computer hardware, software, and services for release into the wild in the EU, South America, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. In that capacity, I have always been told that humor does not translate well, and it is unwise to instruct non-English speaking people not to stick their tongues on the electrodes on a computer power supply because damage to the equipment may result. Apparently non-English speaking people are always serious, suicidal, and will go out of their way to stick their tongues on power supply electrodes simply to show any American who's boss around here.


In my own work, however, I only write humor, satire, and invective, because I don't believe in anything and was born with a surplus of funny bones but little sense, common or otherwise. If you really want to be insulted and offended, visit my blogs by clicking on the title of this post. My nickname is More Brains and Than Balls, and the only tool I have to express the fierce laceration inflicted upon my heart by dealing with the lunacy of my fellow citizens is Swiftian English.


In the United States, we claim to believe that all people are created equal and should have equal opportunity to justice, fairness, health, and happiness. This is horse exhaust, of course, but it sounds nice and keeps people from other countries that are more honest about reality trying to get over here to glom up on all the wonderful things that America has to offer, most of which involve fast foods and ephemeral services.


Kurt Vonnegut realized that the only way to make all people equal is to create a Handicapper General to level the playing field and have everyone struggle to achieve the lowest level of manageable mediocrity, a concept John Cougar Mellancamp immortalized in Little Pink Houses. He sang this song with a straight face at the party to celebrate the election of Barrack Hussein Obama and nobody noticed, except the Republicans who said the party sent the wrong message to terrorists.


So if I write something that offends you, take heart in the realization that it probably also offends thousands, maybe millions and possibly billions of other people with whom you and I have nothing in common, except the secrets we don’t want to talk about and the obvious facts that seem too depressing to even point out. Consider me an equal opportunity offender who has yet to find a country, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, economic theory, philosophy, political system, ideology, or fraternal order to feel at home with. In fact, I recently changed my fingerprints because the old ones kept smudging the screen on my iPod.


I’ll try to focus only Hegelian energy in my posts here and refrain from the annoying positions I take when dealing optimists (who believe the glass is half full) and pessimists (who prefer it half empty). Instead, I ask you to put aside your preconceived notions of how stupid and mean-spirited Americans are, and let me show you how much less intelligent and more vicious they really are. As another of Vonnegut's dying characters once said on a freight car on his way to a concentration camp: You think this is bad? This ain't so bad.


If you are looking for cynicism, go elsewhere. Cyncism is entirely too positive a world view, embraced only by wimps and pollyannas, and the whole half-full/half-empty debate is wasting precious energy when we should be trying to keep the planet from dissolving. Do you realize that if the planet continues to dissolve at the current rate, billions of people will be sucked through the surface and spewed into space? Trust me. I heard it in an old Steppenwolf song.


So, my solution for the new year is to dispense with these bothersome glasses and drink straight from the bottle. Care to join me?

Day Opening - January 6


Some wisdom.