Jason Porath

has a website, i guess

Month: October 2005 (page 1 of 2)

Set phasers to fabulous

George Takei has come out of the closet.

We love you, Mr. Sulu!

52245

I never take these things, but this amused me. I’m equal parts Wash and Kaylee (it even had me do a tie breaker question), which I think is fitting.

You scored as Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne. The Pilot. You are a leaf on the wind, see how you soar. You have a good job, and a stunning wife who loves you (and can kill people). Life is good, which is why you can’t help smiling. Now if you can just get people to actually listen to your opinion things would be perfect.

Kaylee Frye

69%

Hoban 'Wash' Washburne

69%

Zoe Alleyne Washburne

56%

The Operative

50%

River Tam

50%

Simon Tam

50%

Capt. Mal Reynolds

38%

Inara Serra

38%

Shepherd Derrial Book

38%

Jayne Cobb

19%

Which Serenity character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

51985

Twisted fanfic thought of the day:

What if Billy Batson (the youthful secret identity of Captain Marvel/Shazam) was brought on as a new Robin for Batman? Would he be Batzam? Shabin?

51881

I don’t like my last entry. Instead of editing or deleting it, I’ll tell you why.

– It’s self-congratulating, arrogant, and hypocritical.
– It could easily be construed as an attack at many around me.
– It doesn’t get to the heart of what I wanted to talk about.

Why write it? To set down roots. Establish footing. Define me. But instead of defining who I am, I am defining who I am not. Show my virtues by showing others’ vices. It’s easier to destroy than create. But why do something easy when you can do something hard?

So, apologies.

The last part denotes a minor mania of mine. Victimhood. This miniscule madness stems from my childhood. I attended a very Jewish school. How Jewish? If you didn’t wear a yarmulke, you were counted as absent. Every morning, we sang the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Israel’s natural anthem, the Hatikvah. In Hebrew. For homework in fifth grade, I had to draw a political cartoon of Saddam Hussein. Instead of dioramas, I created models of the Ark of the Covenant and Noah’s Ark. We addressed our teachers as “Mora” — hebrew for “teacher.” Pretty Jewish.

Several of my teachers, who are fortunately long gone from that school, felt it appropriate to fill my head with a xenophobia and fear I came to associate with Judaism. The Germans hate us and want to kill us. The Egyptians hate us and want to kill us. The Ancient Greeks hate us and want to kill us. The Syrians hate us and want to kill us. The Iraqis hate us and want to kill us. So on and so forth. Libyans, Saudis, Klansmen, some Christians, the list went on. They taught me about Amalek, an ancient tribe that hated the tribes of Israel, and sought to kill us. All of Judaism’s greatest enemies — Haman, the Pharaoh, even Hitler and Saddam — were Amalek. We are the eternal victims of the world. But we have an ace in the hole. We are the chosen people, and we will prevail, for god is on our side.

This education was atypical, I’ve found.

I grew uneasy with this victimhood because of mental illness. Since we never did anything wrong, merely were unwitting victims of unfortunate circumstance, we could not possibly have been irresponsible, careless, or trying. Not us. The disorder did it. The imbalance. The behavior. Those pesky gremlins. Probably set upon us by Amalek. Through the years, I saw those around me grow more and more distant from responsibility and reality, seeing flaws only in others, a long string of you-a-culpas.

Out of this grew most of the difficulties and heartache that marked my childhood. This attitude lathered more hurt on me and mine than any combination of disorders, imbalances, and behaviors before or since.

Modern day. I’m more than willing to accept responsibility. I live for it. I avoid relationships where one person has the upper hand over another, even if that person is me. I let things slide off me. I don’t take offense. I am a teflon man. I will not be a victim, and I will not be a victimizer.

Contrary to convention and wisdom

Just fall asleep but make sure you’re always frowning
It shows the world you’ve got substance and depth
You know that life is an impossible scheme
And love an imperceptible dream

-Pet Shop Boys, Miserabalism

I take the stairs when there’s an escalator. Order in person instead of on the phone. Abstain from medicine when I’ve got the flu. Walk when I could drive. Stand when I could sit. I do these things because they are hard. Sanitizing your life destroys your immune system.

This contrarian self has made an optimist of me. I’m sunny merely by the ease of turning cloudy. I have become the albino panda, the animal nearly hunted to extinction by the weight of the world. Scars, rage, regrets, laments, guilt, jealousy, losses, they are all of them albatrosses, and I will not have them ring my neck. These are flighty things. I keep them alive with me for a time, and let them go when it is their time. I will not let tragedy write my dictionary entry. I will not let the footnote read “See: Victim“.

Phantom insults!

My latest diatribe has started my brain spinning with fictional slurs:

1) Atlantean-level slut — she’ll go down on someone with a quickness
2) Pompeii penis — premature ejaculator

Fuck you

I was going to write this as a reply to a comment in my last post, but this diatribe deserves its own post.

As far as I can recall, no matter how callous, no statement has ever offended me. Sheer stupidity, blind arrogance, and willing ignorance often raise my temperature, but I have no memory of ire roused by lines crossed. While the lines of public oppobrium have blurred significantly in recent decades, for most, nestled at the pale of off-color possibilities, rests a push for the conceivable shove. Over the years, somehow mine seems to have moved to warmer climes.

Why is that? Out of a “revolving cheek” policy? An apathy seated so deep its buttocks are below sea level? Morals flexible enough to join the Cirque du Soleil? Entirely probable, but the little voice-over at the back of my head suggests something else.

First, understand this. Hatred is like fire: fierce, fickle, finite. Ephemeral as a passing scent, fed on the most transient of comestibles. It exudes an aura fell, beautiful, and magnetic, and therein lies the difficulty. Proximity. Hold it at arms length and it can light your way for a time. Clasp it to your chest and you immolate. Hatred turns your insides to ash, devours your feelings, destroys your memories, boils your very blood. Worse still, it becomes a genetic disease. You pass it to your children. They pass it to theirs. This is the nature of violence. This is the nature of history.

Now, understand that the power of words exists only within one’s brain. In solitude, the three lines comprising the letter A contain no inherent meaning. Language makes meaning. History makes language. Do you see where I am heading with this?

The modern conception of table etiquette is a holdout from the 17th century. Upon his accession to the throne, King Louis XIV of France was in many ways bereft of power, a powerless figurehead at the mercy of the French nobility. Throughout his reign, he entrapped the noblemen in a complex, arbitrary set of mannerisms at his lavish court banquets, distracting them as he built his power up via other means. Hundreds of years later, some still express umbrage at the broaching of the Sun King’s rules.

Put another way, nobody will write a letter to the editor were I to say that King Sargon of Akkad was a child-raping, shit-smoking cock jockey. Why? Nobody knows who he is. Nobody cares.

If I get offended, it is because I let myself get offended. I let words have that power over me. I accepted that history into myself. I gave someone that access to my brain. Offense is an ember of conflict. I will not stoke that flame.

Awful thing of the month: October

“Fetal alcohol syndrome babies taste the best, they come already beer-battered.”
-Me, Today, around 6 pm

I relinquish my crown

This man has out-nerded me in his scope, in his ambition, in his magnitude:

He has begun a thorough analyzing of font usage in major movies. I can accept his interest in Wes Anderson’s Futura fetish, but he does venture into extreme nerd territory. For example, did you know that Titanic makes historical faux pas by using Helvetica SEVERAL DECADES before it was invented (1959)? The shame! The ignominy!

The Trap

John C. Lilly invented the sensory deprivation tank as an experiment to see how much stimulation one needed in one’s life. The question — what happens to us if we are cut off from the world? The answer — zen-in-a-box, a marketable nirvana, a substanceless drug. He created an arena to unleash one’s mind from the moorings of the world and let it float on a sea of free association. Yet, no matter how aimless, how lost one becomes, how far one travels, residing everywhere and nowhere is the ace-in-the-hole. The brain. A motor which can speed you back to port in an instant. A get out of jail free card. A save point.

The brain speaks quietly, infrequently, and subtly. The world drowns it out.

This is the Trap.

The Trap lives in a perfectly white smile. The Trap thrives in a world that never arrives, a universe of Coming Up Next and After The Break. The Trap lays its snares in tanned bodies and sparkling metals. The Trap distills the most beautiful things in the world into a reward that never comes. The Trap is a rust eating away at your rudder, a kudzu choking your engine, a bright, false constellation leading you astray.

Until you cannot start that boat anymore. Your captors will not accept your bargains. You have no more old games to go back to.

To write, you turn yourself inside out. I pulled my innards round like pants pockets, and found only butterflies. How can I make things up if nothing makes me up? I will find out. I will fill out. This may be a bad start. But it is a start nonetheless.

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