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12/11: Santa Claus is Coming...for You!
That's not a threat...it's the name of a hard rock parody of the swing era Christmas classic that I just roughed out in my home studio. December 20 cuts it a bit fine for holiday listening, but I just didn't have the idea until a couple of days ago. No page for this yet...here's the mp3, and here's a soundcloud page with the song in case you can't download mp3's.
08/11: Solving the problem of human misery...again.
Not many people anywhere give a damn about what I have to say about anything. If you're one of those people, move along, please...nothing of interest here. I made another stab at attracting attention this year and apparently have asserted nothing more than my own mediocrity. You wouldn't want your browser history suggesting that you waste your time on mediocre websites, would you? Hey, look over there...free mobile apps!
Listening to George Carlin the other night, a concert of his from the early '00's, it hit me like a rock in the gut when I heard him say somwthing to the effect of "You can't look around at the suffering and misery and hunger and torture in this world...without coming to the conclusion that something here is seriously fucked up." You don't hear that nearly as often these days as you did oh, say, 40 years ago. The fact is that in spite of all of our efforts to create a fair, just and tolerable world, the sum total of human suffering today is greater than it has ever been, and shows no sign of a reduction in the near future. People blame religion, money, war, evolutionary quirks (i.e. these are the normal growing pains of species' which develop self-awareness) and nothing gets solved. And I think I know why.
I don't have a solution yet...suspicions, but no solution. But I do think I have something significant to add to the conversation. Why is it that after all of our solutions to this primal dilemma have failed (and they have...without exception) that we haven't examined our questions? I don't profess to have the right question, but I have a couple of suggestions that could provide clues to the right question. First, let's look at civilization. Quality of life suffers dramatically when tribal cultures make the shift to fixed "civilized" settlements. What causes a species capable of reflective thought not just to make this choice, but to stand by this choice even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it's harmful and counterproductive? I'll bet that even a partial solution to this riddle would go a long way toward pointing to solutions to human misery that really work. (Interested in following up? Here's a hint: mammals typically do not volunteer to be domesticated. They become domesticated through forcible confinement, Pavlovian conditioning and selective breeding.) Second question: How can a universe as finely tuned and balanced as physics suggests this one is allow for planetary ecosystems to develop sentient beings willing to kill or die for abstract ideals (e.g. religion, patriotism; as opposed to genetic imperatives, e.g. protection of family) and simultaneously capable of annihilating that ecosystem? (Interested in following up this one? Try this clue on for size: When our children face comparable dilemmas, we don't consider it cruel to deny them information pertinent to their dilemma. More often, we consider it cruel to even validate the actual severity of that dilemma. And if alien species or "spiritual entities" were aware of the human paradox that I just posed, how would they treat a less-developed species facing such a paradox? But wait...hasn't withholding information from the young proven more likely to be detrimental to their long-term wellbeing?) Third question: There have been few occasions since the dawn of civilization when oppressed cultures have been physically incapable of overthrowing their oppressors. Such an act requires a critical mass of humanity (a different percentage in every case) to identify and acknowledge their oppression. Why, then, has oppressive government been practically the norm, not the exception, since the dawn of civilization? Fourth and final question (for now): Why is it that we favor focussing our intellectual energies on the external physical world over the internal non-physical world of information, ideas, experience and perception? Our knowledge of information and psychology have always lagged far, far behind our knowledge of nature, natural law and the behavior of the universe.The answers to only one or two of these questions will likely prove to be useful in solving human misery, but they all have a strong connection to the problem. And in my opinion, they all represent very important questions which seem to be receiving very little attention these days.
Here's the closest thing I have to something more meaningful to add to this discussion: when you add all this up, something doesn't make sense. At present, we're a species bred for thousands of years to accept and even thrive in oppressive, repressive cultures. That's our legacy for choosing civilization over tribal life. We don't coexist with tribal humans who refuse to choose our way of life. Instead, we either seduce them or force them into joining us. Considering the cost in terms of quality of life, it seems pretty clear that we know far too little today about what really caused us to make that devil's bargain. .
10 Best Captions for This Photo:
(It was a really slow day...)
- "Cute but impractical...all show and no balls."
- "Overcompensating? Me?"
- "Of course this isn't me! You don't think I'd use my real face, do you?"
- "Laugh if you want, but you'll wish you looked this good at 45. "
- "Buzzing on the afterglow of being fucked in the head...." (my personal fav)
- "I've gotten more fun out of this photo than almost anything I've done in the last ten years...
but preparing for the shoot was a bitch!"
- "The one thing I hope I never need to say here is 'Hi, Mom'."
- "There were three other bits that I wanted add here, but I don't know where they've gotten to..."
08/11: "Candy Story" gets a nod from the artist who inspired it
In July of 2010, I gave two performances of an original comedy setpiece entitled Dubble Bubble Trubble at the Mars Bar in the Cranbrook area, and posted a video capture of one of the performances. The piece was inspired by a similarly-constructed setpiece by Canadian comic-slash-musician Todd Butler of the Butler Brothers called Jimmy Durango Meets Savannah Isuzu. Where Butler plays on car names, I chose to play on candy names. Todd finally wrote me back this week when he found time to watch the Flash video of the performance, and he had high praise for the piece. Man...talk about making someone's day!
08/11: Affordable light therapy
I''ve needed a light therapy box for a long time, but it's only within the last couple of years or so that sufficiently-accurate full-spectrum fluorescent spiral lamps have become cheap enough to bring the cost of a homemade lightbox within my price range. I made this one for a little over $50; you might be able to do even better. It takes a couple of hours, it's extremely safe if built with even modest care, and I'll put it up against purpose-built light-therapy boxes costing six to eight times this much for effectiveness. Here's a teeth-grindingly detailed guide to building your own...hey, if I can build this in an afternoon, Just about anyone else could put one together in a couple of hours.
08/11: Twenty breathtaking photos taken through my front window
A number of people have commented on the occasional photos I've posted of the area where I live. I decided to post a handful of the most compelling of the several hundred photos I've snapped over the last seven years through the front window of my mobile home. This page contains 20 300x400 "snaps" linked to 1200x900-pixel "wallpaper-sized" jpegs of about 100kb each. My desk faces this view every day...imagine having this to go to work to. And come home to. And wake up to. And sleep to. Just don't imagine having to leave it. I didn't know what actual homesickness felt like until I moved here...you actually do feel nauseous in the pit of your stomach!
08/11: The how's and why's of brand-blacking: how to stop being an unpaid corporate shill for the products in your home
Ten years after its first publication on this site, I still can't find another article anywhere on the web on the subject of "brand-blacking" or "black-taping", the practice of covering up corporate logos on products for which you were never paid to advertise. As long as we allow brand logotypes to remain visible on the products we buy, we act as willing, ignorant spokespeople for the products in our homes and on our persons, and the worst of it is that we're not even paid for it. There are real benefits, measurable in the pocket as well as the psyche, to covering up brand markings on the products you use every day. Here's how I came to be an "anticorporate passivist" and how easily you can join me.
08/11: A Dissertation on the Social Implications of the Bare Crotch Phenomenon
A pop culture commentary by Cub Lea. Setting aside issues of hygiene, visual esthetics, grooming and fashion, just what are our primary motivations for participating in this fad? And by the way, if you have any doubts that this is less than a sweeping cultural phenomenon, just ask an EMT.
A brief warning: you probably won't like my conclusions, and I could hardly blame you for that, but I've offered a simple social experiment to prove them to yourself, and even provided an excuse for what you're likely to discover. What more could you want...aside from a painless depilatory that doesn't leave you with itchy stubble, of course?
08/11: Two types of sprouters from "found containers" for pennies on the dollar
What health food stores ask for sprouters is beyond obscene. Sixty bucks for a cheap plastic box that grows less than half a square foot of barley grass? An eight-inch tube with four plastic caps for $30? Not long ago, I figured out how to make an exceptional-quality cannister-type sprouter from a discarded "as-seen-on-TV" pasta soaker. It worked so well that I even developed a fundraising program for the local food bank offering these sprouters as raffle-card prizes, or for outright sale. Complete details and pics are found on this page.
08/11: A homemade tether-tennis system that really works, now explained for those not on mushrooms
It's a simple idea and I'm amazed that I can't find a ton of examples of this on Google. Perhaps now I know why...the first-generation page describing this project was so poorly written that I had to rebuild it from scratch. It's now complete, offers much more compact video demos, and is structured in a readable format...finally. Here's the long and short strokes on how it works and how to build one in your yard, plus some new information on how to turn abandoned playground poles into community tethersports toys with nothing more than a junked car spring, a foot of five-inch steel or PVC pipe and three feet of discarded re-bar. Check out the videos and ask yourself this question while watching: how could someone 25 pounds underweight look so dumpy?
08/11: The offbeat goes on: simultaneous re-posting of The Sonora Model and Trailer Park Sex Party
In the interest of balance, I decided to revive the two pulled sections of this website that have meant the most to me over the years, and simultaneoulsy reopen them both on August 6.
The first section restored is the Sonora Model web, a deadly-serious effort spanning several years' worth of effort which attempts to present and explain a compelling PTSD-based theory of addiction that promises the hope of real mass cure - not just abstinence but cure - in the foreseeable future. I've issued an open challenge to disprove the theory, and in the three year span in which it was publicly viewable, no such claim emerged.
The second revived-and-improved section is the one I'm most excited about, and the one that is the most likely to excite you as well: my sex section, including the infamous Trailer Park Sex Party sub-section that lasted only ten weeks online when first posted in 2005. One-quarter serious, seven-eighths tongue-in-cheek, and 110% dedicated to eroticism (as opposed to "mature sexuality" or "porn" or "math"...100%? That's pre-9/11 thinking, buddy!), I had more fun putting this web together than anything I've published in twenty years. Hey, it's supposed to be fun, isn't it?
And so, with the reposting of these two sub-sites, a grand tradition is revived...cublea.net is once again not merely one of the most interesting and diverse personal sites on the web, but also one of the weirdest, a description it has justly earned since its first free-website days in 1995 on the now-legendary Volant Turnpike. How weird? Well, I dare you...I dare you to name a site where you can find a complete new theory on a major disease, 2,000 Hot Wheels photos, exclusive free Windows software and 50 different sex toys you can buy for under a dollar. You can't find a site with three of these. And as of this date, only one other site on the web sports both a major new disease theory and 1,000-plus images of diecast toy cars.
07/11: Reclaiming the Other N-word: A nerd call-to-arms-and-other-anatomical-features
Here's my case for reclaiming and reframing nerd as a term of respect and potency. (Non-nerds be aware: it is not a term of endearment...and if you don't believe it, just ask any chick or darkie.) From now on, the only acceptable use of nerd by a non-nerd is in reference to a single testicle. Here's the manifesto as it was prepared at the request of The Nervous Breakdown...and promptly trashed without explanation...I don't even know why TNB rejected it. (Fuckin' nerd-exploiting bigots....)
(Logo scanned from a watercolor original by an unknown Shanghai street artist)