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Alex Baer

Wake Me When We're Star Trek

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Every once in a while, I want to write a note,  roll it up, and jam it into a old milk bottle.  The scribbling part is easy.  The tough part comes when trying to decide where to deliver it.  There are not many outlets around willing to accept delivery on such a thing, and even fewer staff people able or interested enough to pay much attention to such a note, especially for one beginning this way:

"I see by the clock on the clubhouse wall, and by the full-faced frown on the burly, white-uniformed orderly I can't seem to shake, that it's time for a nice, hot cup of Thorazine and some phosphene therapy, staring off into space, my eyes shut tight..."

Such lightless light shows like this, like life, are sometimes called "prisoner's cinema."  This seems fitting.  I often feel like a prisoner of my era, of this historical cycle in which we are now treading water, waiting for the next chapter to start, the next shoe to drop, the next shot from the starter's pistol, the next tick of the clock...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 23:20 Read more...

Dying for More Life: Skinny-Dipping in the Fountain of Youth

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Most of us get used to living in clusters of contradictions.  Hypocrisy is part of the human condition, and irony is Nature's way of trying to lure us toward more introspection and humility.  And, once those forces are in play, we gain perspective and are able to laugh at ourselves and the absurdities of life.

This is healthy and is supposed to work that way -- at least, once the laughing finally dies down a little.  But, you know, difficult truths that fuel our recognition and laughter can sometimes linger and fester.  I fell over another one of these today.  I am still not certain how I feel about any of it.  Still thinking on it.

The conflict and conundrum of the moment starts out being an easy one:  All life is sacred.  Then, gravity goes bonkers while we form the question:  So, why are we such a death cult of a society?  There are side branches to this stuff, and it runs off in all directions, once you get started on it.

For example, if life is so precious to us, as we espouse, why the endless fascination with murder and killing?  Count the number of times in just one day in which death and dying keep us entertained:  TeeVee shows, movies, books, news shows, and so on.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 February 2014 20:26 Read more...

Chomping on Food for Thought vs. Just Deserts

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It's nice of the universe to cut me some slack now and again.  Usually, life serves up swarms of fastballs quicker than a bank of berserk robo-pitchers in a major league batting practice, making me the unwitting mole in the Whac-A-Mole game, getting bonked witless, and scared, um,  excretion-less.

Whatever.  Life is probably quite good at throwing racetrack walls at you, too, just as you're punching out of the turn, just in time to catch sight of the slippery, surprise pool of motor oil now under your racing slicks -- apparently and simultaneously, according to your vision, both beneath and above your cartwheeling car frame as it bash-dances on the track.

Yeah, I've hit that same wall, on fire, and at a high rate of speed, as it is said.  Life has no compunctions about such things.  I try to not take things personally, even when it is damn personal and completely unpersonable.

Usually, The News is the instigating propellant in this mad equation of consciousness.  I have no idea what 9 out of 10 doctors may make of things, but, for me, The News makes me foamingly loco about 479 times out of 10, not to put too fine a point on it.

The plan here:  Impossible math counters insane developments -- I hope -- or, at least provides some sort of interim shield, like zombies passing up unhealthy hosts.  The more I stroke out at The News, the universe provides more counterbalancing fluff pieces.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 20:21 Read more...

It's Good to Be Sane. Mostly.

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Here is a question for you:  Is America worth your personal investment of a couple hours and some medium-to-moderate thought?  No, it's OK -- this is not a disguised recruitment tool of any kind, nor is this an attempt to sell you aluminum siding.  Your long-distance carrier or digital service plan provider is not involved here, honest.

Although, to be fair, I think this is a pretty good experiment of a couple different kinds.  The primary one is whether you would be willing to spend a couple hours to see if you are sane -- if you're operating on good information that makes sense to you and to some others who are accomplished in such matters.

Put it this way:  I spent the two hours and I have to say, you know, that I'm relieved about a lot of things, and yet troubled about some others.  Maybe I should start at the beginning.

Let's say this were possible:  Out of the blue and without warning, and with no time for preparation, you are given 10 seconds to determine the kind of America you want to live in, and the kind of America that you want your friends and family to live in, too.  Whatever you say goes -- it will be done.

OK, based on average reading speed in this country:  Time's up.  So:  What kind of America do you want?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 22:26 Read more...

The Heady, Hempy Joys of Laughter

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Sometimes, even in the face of cruel and absurd realities, I find myself reaching down to retrieve my buttocks, having laughed them clean off me, and onto the floor.

Hard-working professionals are sometimes responsible for any lingering twitches I may harbor to create LMAO messages that I may still feel inclined, even now, when I know better, to send anywhere:  comedians, screenwriters, authors, actors, and the like.  Other times, it's the accidental, amateur all-stars from the wobbly, wearisome, warlike planets of politics, monetary systems, religious beliefs, and the ongoing unrest over Crockpot chili recipes.

Sometimes, though, it's the innocent, unplanned happenstance of the hapless, of people going about their lives, doing the best they can, pratfalling and deadfalling their way from one stretch of black ice to Crsico patch, only to make their escape jump onto a long slick of axle grease, shooting right into Vaseline Lake.

Machiavellian schadenfreude, random bursts of deus ex machina surprises, and other semi-sadistic skullduggery aside, it's good to take your endorphins out for a spin now and then, to get them, and you, some air.  It helps to flex the muscles that work the corners of your mouth, to test the hinges on the ol' head meat -- the ones that open and close the mind.

Last Updated on Sunday, 16 February 2014 23:34 Read more...

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