There’s just too much shit going on and I’ve never wanted to be a productive person. I like the idea of being lazy. But that, ironically, takes work. Between a family, starting a new career, having a book coming out, and managing my crippling gambling addiction, I’m just not feeling it anymore.
In times like these, I like to think back to the time when I was leaving a Halloween party somewhere in San Francisco…dressed as Captain Kirk…and a dude was tripping balls on a street corner. His arms were extended. “I just want to grow here, like a tree,” he proclaimed, “but they won’t let me.”
“How many times do I have to explain to you,” Jack stated while blindfolded and strapped to a chair, “I don’t understand the gibberish you are saying. I’m an American. And as an American, it is my goddamn right to only speak English. So you better get to speaking my language or you will be facing the wrath of God which won’t be seen again until the final days.”
Jack heard a loud guffaw then his blindfold was lifted. Before him stood an old, scarred up gentleman covered in tattoos. His teeth were rotted out and his breath reeked of tequila. “I am Jose Altuve and in this country we speak Spanish,” the man said.
Jack looked around and noticed a ragtag gang of Mexican bikers. Then he spat on the ground. “So what do you want from me?” Jack asked, “Are you the cartel?”
Following Jack’s lead, Jose and his gang all spat on the ground. “We are no cartel,” Jose ominously declared.
“Then why the abduction? What do you want with me?”
Jose ordered Jack to be cut free. The old tattered man then opened a bottle of tequila, took a swig and handed it to Jack. “The cartel runs this town,” Jose explained. “They killed my family. They’ve killed everyone I loved. The Federales do nothing! We are ones that stand in their way.”
“Cool story bro,” Jack said, “but what does that have to do with me? I’m in Juárez for one reason and one reason only: to rescue my father from this godforsaken place.”
“I know,” Jose said. Then he picked up an M16 and placed it in Jack’s lap. “We’re going to help you.”
Jack glanced at the weapon and looked back at Jose. “Why?” he asked.
“Because Rod Hardcock was one of us.”
Jack was shocked. “But…but how could that be?” he asked, “my father is a mule! I thought he worked with the cartel!”
Jose laughed. “That’s what he wanted you to believe,” he explained, “he wanted to keep you out of danger. If you believed that he worked with the cartel, Senior Hardcock thought you would stay away from here.”
“My father thought wrong. I can never escape danger. He should have told me this a long time ago!”
Jose popped a magazine into an M16 then placed a Desert Eagle and a Bowie knife under his belt. “Thank the Heavenly Father for sending you here,” he said, “because we’re hitting the cartel tonight. You’re one of us.”
Jack took a big gulp from the tequila bottle and picked up an M16. “Hand me my .38,” he ordered, “and do you guys have AKs? These things are pieces of shit.”
Infamous sex pervert Woody Allen once said “life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering. And it’s all over much too soon.”
He also said “80 percent of success is showing up.”
I’m a living testament of that.
The boss man tells me to show up at such n’ such time and I’m there. Suddenly I’m treated like a goddamn genius. When the boss man explains something absurdly complicated, I just nod and say “yes sir.” Nevermind that I’m undermining the Man at every opportunity, for in that moment I’m able to convince him I’m halfway competent.
So if you ever get that nagging sense of imposter syndrome, just know that that feeling is totally valid: You are an imposter; you totally got to where you are in life because you are a fake, a phony, and absolutely full of shit.
The good news is that’s the truth for every successful person that has ever walked the earth. We’re all lying and that’s okay. Because lies is what makes the world go round.
So go ahead and empty out your bank account, put it all in crypto, and watch it instantly lose value. Then you can live on the streets, smoke crack, and gain it all back by using your last $100 to buy a .45 to set the world right again.
According to the two oldest sources on the life of Jesus…the Gospel of Mark and the hypothetical Q Source(s) theoretically preserved in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke…the very first thing that happens is Jesus’s baptism by John the Baptist. The existence of this apocalyptic preacher, often thought of as the forerunner of Jesus, is independently confirmed by Josephus later in the first century.
This has led many scholars to believe that Jesus was a disciple of the Baptizer before starting his own ministry. The baptism by John is also considered one of only two events that nearly every scholar believes actually happened in Jesus’s life (the other being the crucifixion). Reasons for believing this is simple: if followers of Jesus really believed he was god, why would early Christians have included stories that made him appear subservient to John?
However, if the synoptic Gospels are any indication, Jesus’s theology would have differed significantly from John’s. John seemingly advocated for an ascetic lifestyle that lacked any hint of universalism that characterized Jesus’s ministry. At some point, it would appear, there was a philosophical break between John and Jesus, possibly caused by John’s execution by Herod Antipas (an event also recorded by Josephus). This break could have been the impetus for Jesus’s ministry.
In my view, Jesus’s connections to John’s movement would have been too well known for early Christian writers to conceal. Therefore (much like the crucifixion) John the Baptist was integrated into Christian theology…as a “forerunner” to Jesus…to cover up what would have otherwise been an embarrassment.
The above link is from biblical scholar James Tabor, formerly of UNC Charlotte. I’ve mentioned previously that I sometimes find him a little gullible, but he usually makes interesting arguments. In the article, looking at a Hebrew translation of the Gospel of Matthew, Tabor observes that Jesus is, in fact, seen as lesser than John the Baptist. While ancient historians did state that Matthew was originally composed in Hebrew, insofar as I am aware, the Gospels that we have today were seemingly written entirely in Greek, meaning that these historians were mistaken in their belief. For this reason, I don’t put too much weight into Tabor’s claims. BUT, I add it here to highlight how early Christianity was far from uniform in its theology. In fact, it would look quite alien compared to contemporary Christianity.
Pablo Santora pushed a shot glass across the bar. Jack picked up the glass and took one look at the liquid. “Tequila is piss water,” Jack said, “fortunately I like piss.”
After he swallowed the drink, Jack asked for another. Pablo laughed as he unscrewed the bottle. “I know why you’re in Juarez, Jack,” he said.
“Why am I in Juarez, Pablo?”
Pablo poured the tequila and leaned forward. “The cartel the coming for you,” he warned, “you’re gonna need more than a gun that’s smaller than your dick.”
Jack reached for his .38 special and grabbed Pablo by the shirt. “How would YOU know how big my dick is?” he asked, “I know you are with the cartel. So give them a message for me: release my father or I’m coming for ALL OF YOU!”
“Estas loco Jack!” Pablo yelled.
Maria quickly broke up the fight. “Come to your senses Jack!” she pleaded. Jack released Pablo and placed .38 back in its holster. “I stopped by La Casa de La Muerte to deliver that message,” he said, “I’ll be back in a few days to see if that message was received.”
Jack straitened himself out and walked out the front doors. Maria rushed out after him. “I’m so sorry Jack,” she said, “but I couldn’t wait on you forever!”
Jack stopped in his tracks. “But why Pablo?” he asked.
She said nothing.
“What Pablo wants, Pablo gets,” Jack said, “and if it’s death he wants, then I’m happy to deliver.”
Jack walked away and a few blocks later he was kidnapped by some desperados in a pedo van.
I hope that every network television show employs AI to generate its shitty content. And, if Paul “Shredder” Schrader is correct, I hope those network producers pay me to take credit for writing it.
But more importantly, if an artist is serious about creating something, the competition from AI will force us to lean into originality. So I say accept the challenge (and the free labor) presented by AI.
The 2000s were a strange time. We knew the music we were listening to sucked ass but we listened anyway.
Of course I have fond memories of it all. Whenever Shinedown, Hinder, or Three Doors Down come on the radio, I think back to the days of sitting on someone’s dirty floor in their shitty apartment while playing Halo. It was godawful music, I knew it, but it always held a special place in my heart.
Then there’s Nickelback. Obviously they’re a punchline nowadays, but it’s hard to believe just how big they were. It’s embarrassing to be honest. No one in their right mind…even then…would have considered them a great (or even GOOD) band, but somehow All the Right Reasons became one of the best selling albums of all time.
Upon reflection, it pisses me off. Because Nickelback is now considered “classic” rock, they’re still trying to shove this bullshit down our throats. No one wants to listen to this crap on their morning commute. We’d be better off sitting in rush hour traffic sulking in our own despair.
Just read these shitty lyrics from Rockstar:
I want a brand new house on an episode of Cribs And a bathroom I can play baseball in And a king-size tub, big enough for ten plus me (Uh, so what you need?)
I’ll need a credit card that’s got no limit And a big black jet with a bedroom in it Gonna join the mile high club at 37, 000 feet (Been there, done that)
I want a new tour bus full of old guitars My own star on Hollywood Boulevard Somewhere between Cher and James Dean is fine for me (So how you gonna do it?)
I’m gonna trade this life for fortune and fame I’d even cut my hair and changed my name
‘Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars And live in hilltop houses, driving 15 cars The girls come easy, and the drugs come cheap We’ll all stay skinny, ’cause we just won’t eat
And we’ll hang out in the coolest bars In the V.I.P. with the movie stars Every good gold digger’s gonna wind up there Every Playboy Bunny with her bleached blond hair and, well
Hey, hey, I wanna be a rockstar Hmm, hey, hey, I wanna be a rockstar
I wanna be great like Elvis without the tassels Hire eight body guards that love to beat up assholes Sign a couple autographs, so I can eat my meals for free (I’ll have the quesadilla, haha!)
(Full credit, of course, goes to Nickelback for writing this monstrosity)
Did the trauma from 9/11 knock our shared belief in good taste? How was this possible?
We need answers before zoomers try to convince us that this was actually good music.
What a time we live in. I don’t even have to write anymore. I just let AI do it!
I asked ChatGPT to rewrite certain television shows in the style of Cormac McCarthy. What it proposed was alright: Frasier contemplates suicide, Raymond finally tells Debra to fuck off, and Friends get mugged. Nothing spectacular.
But I was confused when I typed in “The Office in the style of Cormac McCarthy”, mostly because I’ve never watched the show. I did see that episode where James Spader becomes the boss and asked everyone if they were happy with their lives. But that was the only time I laughed.
Yet AI proposed an episode where Michael announces in a meeting that Jim and Pam are dating, and then out of pure rage, Dwight pulls out a gun and starts shooting. Honestly it wasn’t a very good script. But I think I reached the limits of AI’s capabilities: it wrote just a regular episode of The Office.
So I don’t know why everyone is afraid of AI. It seems pretty lazy to me. I mean, I don’t need ChatGPT to halfass its writing on my behalf. I can do that myself.