[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Thursday, 2017-03-30

In the event of my death

Filed under: About Me,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 16:32

My death is inevitable, and there is a reasonable chance that someone I know will outlive me and have some interest in my passing. As such, these are my wishes for the treatment of my remains and memory upon my death and for a short time thereafter.

First and most importantly, I won’t be there, so it really doesn’t matter what I want. Take my corpse to Nags Head and parade me around like Terry Kiser, and I won’t know any different. But if you care what I wanted, here you go.

  1. No viewing. Don’t bother putting my dead body on display. I wasn’t all that great to look at when I was alive, and I seriously doubt I got better looking afterward. Personally, I think putting dead bodies on display is grotesque.
  2. No prayers, no platitudes, no religious balderdash. I’m not in a better place. My death wasn’t part of some divine plan. That’s all bullshit. As far as the universe is concerned, my death matters as much as a light bulb burning out. I was alive. Now I’m not.
  3. No obituaries. Don’t waste money announcing my death in the newspaper or anywhere else. Anyone who cares if I’m dead already knows.
  4. Keep things cheap. My remains don’t need a fancy headstone, casket, funeral service, or anything else. Dispose of them in the cheapest, simplest way possible. Use my bones, skin, corneas, and various organs if you can, and toss the rest in a landfill, for all I care. Cremation and resomation (alkaline hydrolysis) are probably the most cost-effective means of disposal. And for pete’s sake, don’t keep the leftovers. Throw them away.
  5. Throw a party, preferably somewhere you don’t have to clean up afterward. Have an open bar, and invite the handful of people who actually care that I’m dead. I doubt it would be more than a dozen people, plus my family.
  6. No eulogy. I’m gone, and any chance for my life to have mattered has come and gone. If you feel an uncontrollable desire to hear yourselves talk, here’s an activity for you: each person raises a toast to my memory, says one good thing about me, and one bad thing about me, and then everyone drinks. Both the good thing and the bad thing have to be sincere, and they have to be something no one else has said yet. If the person whose turn it is can’t think of one good thing and one bad thing, then they just say, “To Brandon!”, and everyone drinks.
  7. Try to find a place for my various pet projects before my web sites expire. I hereby declare everything I wrote during my life to be given to the public domain after my death, not that I think anyone actually cares about a word of it.
  8. If Susan’s dead, find a loving home for our cat. Use as much money as needed.

Friday, 2017-03-17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 09:01

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Much like Columbus Day, this day has very little to do with the actual historical St. Patrick. What we are actually celebrating are the good things that we Americans have gained thanks to Irish immigrants and (if we’re lucky) our Irish ancestors: an appreciation of good food, good friends, and good beer. These are things worth celebrating. If you want to go deeper with it, and celebrate more complex aspects of Irish culture and what we’ve gained from it, that’s great, too.

If you use this as an excuse to complain about St. Patrick, the Catholic Church, or cultural stereotypes, you are missing the point.

Sunday, 2017-02-05

Happy birthday to William S. Burroughs

Filed under: Books,Philosophy,Poetry — bblackmoor @ 21:04

Happy Birthday to William S. Burroughs — American novelist, short story writer, satirist, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer.

William S. Burroughs

Tuesday, 2016-11-22

This guy, on the other hand, is an actual Nazi

Filed under: Journalism,Philosophy,Politics — bblackmoor @ 09:33

I’ve written a bit lately, urging my similarly-aligned friends and acquaintances to refrain from insulting half the country because they voted differently, or didn’t vote. I’ve urged my allies not to call people “Nazis” or “white supremacists” unless those people actually are such.

This is an example where calling someone a “Nazi” or a “white supremacist” is appropriate, because that’s exactly what this guy is: his words make that clear. Now, is everyone in the audience also a white supremacist and/or Nazi? We can’t know that, and we should not assume that. But it’s reasonable to assume that the people cheering and giving the Nazi salute are. Or think they are (I suspect that a lot of these people would be surprised to find themselves taking a train ride in actual Nazi Germany).

So the question is, how do we get people who didn’t vote, or who voted for Trump, to see that this is the result of their actions? If we want a better future, we need them to realize what a terrible mistake they’ve made. The future depends on us working together. We simply can’t afford to hold grudges.

P.S. That was kind of a clever word-play there, comparing “leftists and cucks” to the golem, a figure from Jewish mythology. He’s not explicitly saying that he’s referring to Jewish people when he asks “if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem”. Not explicitly.

P.P.S. What the heck is a “cuck”? Is he calling non-Nazis chickens?

P.P.P.S. I use the phrase “taking a train ride” in the second paragraph. As far as I know, I came up with that allusion myself — I don’t think I borrowed it from anywhere. However, on proof-reading this, I was reminded of another reference to taking a train… man. That’s dark, Dalton.

P.P.P.P.S. “Cuck“. So, that’s a thing, I guess. Ugh.

Tuesday, 2016-11-15

I hate them because they hate me

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics — bblackmoor @ 11:31

If you want to see someone as an enemy, there will always be an excellent reason for it. Hatred is the easiest thing in the world. “I hate them because they hate me” is the easiest excuse of all. How many times must we re-learn that “They hate me because they do not know me” is usually much closer to the truth? Shakespeare told us. Twain told us. Roddenberry told us. But we keep forgetting.

But we have grievances, do we not? Of course. We always do. And our grievances are just, while theirs are petty and childish. Our fears are based on reality, while theirs are based on delusion. Our leaders may be imperfect, but theirs are monstrous, and want nothing less than the complete destruction of what we value most. So we will elevate someone to leadership despite their flaws, because to do otherwise is to surrender to annihilation. This is no time for idealism.

And how dare anyone on our side suggest anything less than seeking their complete annihilation, in the face of such an existential threat? How can anyone even suggest compromise with such savages?

After all, genocides have happened. Holocausts have happened. Must we not strike first, to prevent it from happening again, to us? How can we ever live in peace unless we first exterminate those who threaten that peace?

How indeed.

Friday, 2016-11-11

The age of fear

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics — bblackmoor @ 09:41

I was just asked by an acquaintance — a friendly acquaintance — not to respond to fear-mongering with facts, “because it send[s] a message that their fears aren’t warranted.”

When one side spends the better part of a year building up their opponent into a bogeyman of epic proportions, and then goes into hysterics when the bogeyman wins, I can’t help but see the resulting terror as anything but self-inflicted.

They’ve spent the last eight years mocking the fears of their opponents, only to be devoured by their own fear-mongering. And the irony of it is lost on them. And by “them”, of course I mean “us”. Because these are my friends and allies to whom I refer.

It is disappointing.

I hope the coleopterans will be better people than we were.

Thursday, 2016-09-29

Arguments against drug testing of welfare recipients

Filed under: Philosophy,Privacy,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:58

I am putting this here so I can find it later (and not have to write it from scratch every time).

Moral argument: NO ONE should have their privacy invaded to earn an honest living, much less to receive assistance when they are struggling. The only time it’s even remotely defensible is when someone is operating heavy machinery or otherwise directly responsible for the safety of others, and at those times the test should be for the person’s ability to operate that machinery — and that should include the effects of ALL drugs and illnesses which impair motor function. Until that happens, “drug testing” is no more than an excuse to exert power over others just for the sake of doing it.

Practical argument: Several states have enacted laws requiring drug testing of those receiving public assistance. In those states, the evidence is overwhelming: more money is spent on drug testing than is saved by withholding support from people who test positive for the substances being tested. The only purpose for drug testing recipients of public assistance is to pay extra in order to treat them like shit.

Pragmatic argument: The surpassing historical ignorance of those who would deprive the poor of food never ceases to amaze me. Even if there were no other arguments for keeping the poorest among us fed — if chubby bourgeoisie like me were all heartless, rapacious narcissists — the simple fact is that when the poor are kept hungry, we chubby bourgeoisie tend to find our heads in baskets. I like my head where it is, thank you very much.

Tuesday, 2016-09-13

The enmity of previous generations

Filed under: History,Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 15:27

There nothing as destructive to humanity as the preservation of the enmity of previous generations, long since dead.

(This might not be literally true. There may be more destructive things. But this one really irks me.)

fossil_skull

Monday, 2016-08-29

So shines a good deed in a weary world…

Filed under: Movies,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 16:04

This is my favourite scene from Willy Wonka. Because it’s not how others treat us that matters, but how we treat others… even if they are crooks, and even if we don’t win a lifetime supply of chocolate as a reward. The world is overflowing with vengeance and pettiness and bitterness: when has that made anything better? It’s better to be true and kind and forgiving, even if your only reward is that you are true and kind and forgiving.

R.I.P., Gene Wilder.

Friday, 2016-06-24

So you want to make the world safer, part 2

Filed under: Civil Rights,Firearms,Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 09:08

From time to time, people who either don’t own firearms themselves, or who are protected by armed guards, call for “reasonable gun control”: licensing, registration, training requirements, and other bureaucratic hurdles. These calls usually follow highly publicized but statistically rare incidents of mass murder.

There is no criminological evidence to support the idea that registering firearms or licensing the people who buy them would prevent murders. Nor would requiring training.

And really, think about it: the Orlando mass-murderer had no criminal convictions. If he could legally buy a firearm, then he could also legally obtain a license. And registering his firearms would not have prevented any of his murders — we know very well who killed his victims. As for training, his marksmanship appears to have been excellent. None of the measures introduced under the banner of “reasonable gun control” would have reduced the body count in Orlando.

Who would be impacted by “reasonable gun control”? The poor. Who would not be impacted? Murderers, and the wealthy.

Consider this: about two-thirds of the intentional homicides in the USA are committed with firearms. If 100% of those were prevented (and not committed using some other weapon), the USA’s intentional homicide rate would still be higher than Denmark’s, Ireland’s, the UK’s, Norway’s, Sweden’s, Italy’s, Australia’s…

That fact might lead one to suspect that our problems have a deeper cause than merely the weapon most murderers choose. One might even think that our intentional homicide rate might be a symptom of a serious sickness in our society. People who complain about firearms and blame them for our intentional homicide rate make as much sense as medieval peasants who thought a pleasant smell would combat the black death.

But no one cares about that. Everyone wants easy answers that don’t cost them anything. People with guns want more. People without guns want less.

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

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