Monday, February 22, 2010

A story about a badger...

Many months ago, I got into a debate with an office mate over the virtues of the American language. Essentially, having grown up outside of this fine country, she was extremely frustrated by the intricacies of the dialect. And often by what she viewed as the absurdities of English. My office mate was born across the western ocean, and while she has been in the US for nearly two decade, the subtleties of English elude her much of the time.

In one case, particularly frustrated with a phrase that I had to explain five times to her, break down and away from all cultural idioms and strip of all implied humor. She expressed grief over how some verbs  become a noun by adding an "er" to the end of them; for example, run becomes runner. She then expressed more grief when certain nouns possessed an "er" suffix, but yet never became verbs or never seemed to make sense in her realm of logic.

She help up her ID badge and shouted at me, "I can have a flag and then if I have a flag and have it in the air, I am a flagger. But why is it that when I ad an 'e-r' to my badge it doesn't make me a badger?" Shaking her badge at me and spitting out her hatred toward the English language, she prattled on about how English was extremely stupid. She also had a difficult time understanding how an animal could keep its face white when it lived in a hole in the ground.

Seeing this as an apt time to have fun with a culturally confused individual, I decided that it was wise to turn to the Oxford English Dictionary and to Wikipedia to find pictures of badgers. It was here that I informed my office mate that the badger takes its name from the shield like shape of the marking on its face. I also told her that because it was a cute mammal, it defied her logic and did not need to conform to her silly ways of understanding the English language.  I then informed her than this animal was extremely smart and that is why it kept its face clean while living in the dirt.

She then hit me.

So I printed out a picture of a badger and placed it on her desk.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 15, 2010

When Life is Overwhelming...

When faced with stress the body can turn toward its natural reserves and begin operating on numerous unique factors.  Before pure exhaustion sets in and the body depletes all reserves of glucose and completely runs out of all energy, neurotransmitters release mild stimulants providing a mild sense of euphoria to the body. This response to stress can be broken down into three different components which will allow the body to persevere.

For instance, the body can run on Endorphins.


The body can run on dolphins...

It can run on Dolph Lundgren.


Think about it...
Posted by Picasa

Dead Presidents' Day...sort of...

To honor the birthdays of a couple of President's, I think it Burr and McKinley, or something like that, I wanted to point out something I noticed when looking at comic books recently.

Actually, the recently issued Blackest Night Superman Figure is what captured my attention. A little back story first, all deceased characters of the DC comic universe are coming back as "zombie-like" super-beings devouring the hearts of their peers. Since this version of Superman died a few years back, well, he is back, and he is mean, and wanting your heart.

But now to the actual toy and why I am looking at this figure on Presidents' day and not out trying to buy a mattress or some other type of useless junk. This figure looks like a creepy, evil, heart-eating  zombie Ronald Reagan...and by creepy, I guess I should and the caveat creepier than normal. And by Zombie I mean that he was actually resurrected from the dead and not what we had to endure from 1980-1988. I have no proof that Ronald Reagan never ate hearts at either an alive or dead re-animated state, so I will leave the heart eating descriptor part out.

The close-up of the face probably shows the undead parallel even more. I would like to think that when great super-heroes go to die, they don't come back looking like Ronald Reagan. But sometimes rot and rigor do weird things.

And if you didn't know this already, Franklin was not a President...But we should have a Benjamin Franklin Day. To hell with some denture wearing man who lies to his dad about cutting down trees.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Candy Hearts? Gimme a Severed Head...

Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950-1960Image via Wikipedia
History Lesson: Saint Valentine, there were a whole hell of a lot of them. There was the one who was a bishop, there was the one who was a priest, the was the one who went around talking about Jesus when the Emperor Claudius was hanging out in Rome when the Christians when Christians were about as popular as  rational thought at a Tea Party Rally...but I digress. 

Saint Valentine (plural), they all loved god more than anything else. So much so that flowers for girlfriends would never take priority. In fact, if one of these Valentines had a girlfriend, he probably never gave her any nookie, because, well, fornicating is a sin. And these Valentines had some serious bromance going for the G-man and Holy Baby J. In fact, the Valentine that we most associate with this upcoming holiday and this who love letter thing, wrote long love letters to god. Not only were these really long love letters, they also instructed all of us heathen plebeians how we should love the G-Man and Holy Baby J more than everything else.  Girls, does that just make you hot?

Well, in the end Valentine (actually a couple of Valentines) got their heads chopped off for being to gaga of God. And probably for being ultra annoying. 

So how do we honor this Saint? We buy chocolates. We buy silly cards. We paint everything pink...which isn't too far off given that red is the Catholic color for martyred saints. But in reality we should be sending less charming.

Is there a moral to this post? Not really. But perhaps we should mail little cut-outs of severed heads inscribed with biblical passages. Or perhaps you should ignore this recovering non-Catholic who attended a purgatories worth of Catholic education.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Long Time No Evil Monkey

Why would the matronly looking Proboscis Monkey be considered evil? Portrayed here, it seems docile, holding its young as it suckles simian milk of hair teat. But we have to think of societies' evils when we encounter this particular evil monkey--the evils of rhinoplasty and cocaine use. For this monkey fuels this billion dollar industry by its mere existence.

The little known secret life of the proboscis monkey will shock and disgust you. For unlike most monkeys, born with normal evil noses, this specimen actually pays high priced surgeons to enlarge the features of its face for vainglorious purposes. The proboscis monkey believes that by having a larger nose, they will be able to consume more more cocaine and thus become more fashionable. They will undergo the nose enlargement procedure up to four times  until their nose is so large, red, and painful, that only cocaine will call the chronic discomfort of being permanently disfigured. Fueled by this irrational sense of pride and dependency, this beast then hits the streets of Beverly Hills looking for the finest cocaine sold by Catholic school dropouts hoping to break into the movie industry.

The cycle of exploitation continues for months until the inevitable cocaine fueled burnout that comes with seeking fame and beauty. It is then that these monkeys seek the more insidious elements of the Home Depot Kabal, and illegal trade in beauty products. And for those of you who don't realize, each time you buy a bootleg dvd, you are actually supplying funds for the dirty drug habits of plastic surgery addicted monkeys.

Now, when you look at this picture, do you see the true face of evil? Do you? It's a vicious cycle of evil. 
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

For future reference...

There is no easy way to photograph a walrus head. Especially one that is hanging on a wall.

In past pots, I believe I have mentioned my own personal white whale, a photograph of me when I was three-years-old standing the walrus enclosure at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma Washington with E.T. the walrus.

I have been searching for this photograph for a number of years now and have yet to find it. Somewhere buried in the basement clutter of my parent's home is a box of photographs I failed to search and it will be in there. I have believe that my encounter with the walrus is something that can't be easily paralleled. Toddlers are not allowed around megafauna. Hell, only a handful of privileged few are allowed into the enclosures of the large beasts of the world. Think of the people who swim with orcas at Seaworld...

The contrast between mounted trophy and live specimen (even if confined to a zoo) is blatantly obvious to me. But the awkwardness of the walrus, the bulk, the tusk, the impossible shape and muscle mass, both alive rendered are terrific in the classical sense of the word.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ride the Bronze Buffalo: Ride the Bronze Trout

Westward young trout...

We will swim to fast and swiftly through the rapids and into the hallowed clear waters of the Bitterroot River. 
Swim strongly, young trout...
Swim like a porpoise...ummmm...I mean like a salmon...or like a bigger trout.

We shall dodge bear and anglers. And dine on caddis fly...

When we reach the spawning grounds, we shall rest and die. For that is what the brave trout do...For freedom.

And to think, people spent like twenty dollars a pop to go see some blue alien ride some dragon in Avatar...Hell, I climbed on a bronze statue in Montana and I think I got just about the same experience. Then again, I haven't seen that movie yet, so what the hell am I talking about anyway.

As always, if you have a picture of yourself riding a bronze animal, please send me a message. You will be forever immortalized in the "Ride the Bronze Buffalo" section of the Wonderful World of Clutter riding a bronze statue of an animal.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cure alls...

Advertisements for old nostrums always amuse me. ANGL-SALVE is a fine example of some strange compound that cures pretty much everything synonymous with having a cold...and sun burns.

La-grippe and cattarah (sic) have both become somewhat forgotten terms from the medical vernacular--bygone terms from the era when hospitals were built on hills so the "good air" could fill the lungs of the victims of consumption. 

As to what this concoction actually held, I have no idea. My guess is that it had a mix of herbs and chemicals and some alcohol. And by some, I mean lots. 

What puzzles me , however, about this particular medication is the name. Is the first part of the name to be pronounced as Angel or shall it be Angel? Either way, it doesn't quite explain the Native American on the display. 

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On Good Intentions...

I am trying to write a non-bitter and non-bile-filled post about how utterly awful the collection of musicians gathered together for the new super-single rehashing of We are the World will be. But when writing about people trying to do good things, even when it is a disastrous folly, it's a guaranteed way to sound like an instant asshole.

So here is something a little different...and considerably dated. Artists United Against Apartheid sings against well, apartheid. For those who don't remember apartheid, it was kind of like the movie District 9, but with people instead of aliens. And of course, Bono is in it.

I believe that it is a prerequisite that Bono appear in every charity video ever made. Kind of frightening when you think about it.