The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!


When Rape Isn’t Rape – The Strange Case of Julian Assange

I have no fondness for Julian Assange.  I suspect (based on little but what's come across of his personality) that he's motivated more by celebrity and a desire to be relevant than by absolute moral conviction.  I find it terribly ironic that he (or anyone on his side) express outrage that the detailed reports related to the interviews of him and the women involved were leaked; turnabout being fair play and all.  Nonetheless, with the details that have come out thus far related to the allegations against him I find it hard it very hard to take the victims, and thus his prosecution, seriously.  To suggest his actions approach what anyone would reasonably consider rape or molestation seems to greatly erode the horrendous outrage we should feel when we hear those words.  He's an asshole, he's a cad, and he's likely a lousy lover, but beyond recognizing those things publicly I'm not sure what we can expect the law to do after the fact when  these women did so little to vet him prior to bedding him.

Here are a few observations which I haven't seen discussed in the popular media:

Observation #1:Condoms Aren't Fool Proof

The primary crime Julian Assange appears to have committed in the eyes of Swedish law enforcement is that he did not wear a condom though the women had requested and expected it.  The specifics appear to be that with one woman a condom failed and they apparently continued with consensual sex anyway; she suspects he induced the condom failure.  And with the other woman she awoke to them having sex without a condom.  While I certainly believe each party in a sexual encounter can set rules for their participation, I think some of my otherwise absolute support for this as a black and white matter is lost when I remember that condoms are nowhere near 100% effective, making the purpose of the women's stipulations very potentially moot.

Condoms do not protect you from all STDs therefore it is illogical to act or encourage the law to act as though they do.  The women in this case could have required Julian Assange (JA) to get STD testing before they engaged in sex with him, if they were so concerned about STDs.  But, they did not.  Their sole concern as it relates to condom usage appears to be STDs, not pregnancy (no mention has been made of pregnancy concerns and surely it would have been were they not on some form of reliable hormonal birth control).  Too many people seem unaware that while condoms are highly effective in preventing STDs related to seminal discharge (notably HIV, bacterial infections, etc.), they provide relatively little protection against other STDs such as HPV (genital warts or cancer causing strains) and herpes (HSV-1 and HSV-2).  Little discussed is the fact that condoms "mechanically" fail 5% of the time they are used, through slippage and breakage (see article), and in those moments of failure provide no protection at all.  Have sex four or five times over a couple days, as could easily have happened in the JA case, and the odds are 20-25% that one of the condoms would fail.  The women would have been accepting that failure rate and its consequences; they were either in knowledge or ignorance acting as though they were perfectly fine accepting the risks of certain STDs, but not fine accepting the risks of others.

The women accepted a significant risk that the condom would fail, they accepted a significant risk that a condom would not protect them from HPV (which could lead to cancer), they accepted a significant risk that they could get herpes, and so their entire position seems to rest on their unwillingness to accept the risk they might acquire HIV from unprotected sex with JA (ignoring the not insignificant possibility that the condom could fail and make their act unprotected regardless of anyone's intent).

But how likely were they to acquire HIV from unprotected sex with JA of unknown HIV status?  This is important because if the likelihood was very, very high then few would support the soundness of these women deciding to have sex with him when his HIV status was unknown, regardless of condom usage (because condoms fail).  And if the likelihood was very, very low then JA using a condom becomes an utterly moot point, and not something the law should be used to enforce (no more than if he had violated an agreement before sex to wear a party hat on his head throughout).  There would seem a very narrow prosecutable range for probabilities where the law would seem an appropriate remedy.

The reality is that Julian Assange, though he appears to be a tremendous man-whore, remains (by all accounts) rather unlikely to have HIV.  JA is not known to be gay, bisexual, IV an drug user, or a hemophiliac.  While his heterosexual promiscuity in the Western world elevates his risk I can find no definition of high risk group in the HIV context which would actually include him.  The risk JA presented was therefore vanishingly small, even through several unprotected sex acts:

...the odds of a heterosexual becoming infected with AIDS after one episode of penile-vaginal intercourse with someone in a non-high-risk group without a condom are one in 5 million. ...  with a member of a high-risk group, e.g., a gay or bisexual male or IV drug user from a major metro area, or a hemophiliac ... [the] chances of getting AIDS from one such encounter range as high as ... 1 in 1,000 unprotected. - From The Straight Dope

Allowing for several sex events, and for JA's first world heterosexual whore-ishness, JA has therefore been arrested and is being prosecuted for a threat of HIV he posed these women which was something on the order of one in many hundreds of thousands.  That minuscule degree of threat he posed is the what the law is effectively seeking to prosecute.  The truth is, of course, that prosecutors are trying to make the statement:  Women (in this case) can make stipulations in a sex contract which cannot be violated by men without serious legal penalty.  But that premise is flawed because it requires that this stipulation be major, because minor stipulations are violated constantly in all forms of interpersonal contracts without any penalty.  An example of which is: A couple has been together for years.  One afternoon they  have sex.  Half an hour later the man mentions that he had received and responded to a harmless, friendly e-mail from an old flame.  The woman is outraged because she had made previously made quite a point that he was not to contact any ex-girlfriends.  Had she known he had responded earlier that day they surely would not have had sex that afternoon.  Did this man effectively rape her by having withheld (intentionally or unintentionally) information which may have caused her to refuse sex on that occasion?  Whatever the temporarily heightened emotion involved for both parties, I am confident the courts would not elect to intervene over such a "minor" stipulation in this particular sex contract.  But in the case of JA, where the probability of actual threat is one in many hundreds of thousands, where the women have demonstrated the acceptance of risk associated with condom failure, with HPV (and the potential for cancer), with herpes (and the potential for social stigma), the legal system chose to prosecute.  The law does no one any favors when it is used without reason, to prosecute on whims, to prosecute feelings, bad science, or false perceptions.

I think Julian Assange is an uncaring and unconcerned lover, a rotten human being, and no one I'd want my sister to end up in bed with, but selectively prosecuting him for selectively chosen (and vanishingly small) risks helps no one take responsibility for their actions, before or during these incidents.  Responsibilities in sex are to be shared, among both women and men.  Condoms are not safe, merely safer; and sex is therefore inherently risky.  You cannot hide your responsibilities behind reliance on false and misleading comforts; and you cannot choose to prosecute as a result.

If there is any good that comes out of this it is that all women have fair warning about JA, and I hope they do listen because he seems just the sort of man who will likely not alter his behavior one iota; and not because I think he is likely to spread HIV, but because of all the other diseases he may carry and spread, condom or no.

Observation #2: The Complexity of Consent

In none of the reports I've seen has it been made clear that either woman in the case said clearly communicated a "No!" to him.  There's mention of one woman being partly undressed by him then partly redressing only to have him undress her again.  She then proceeded to assent and have sex with him, continued to let him stay with her in her home for days, etc.  In this context, with this being one-night-stand-ish intimacy, with him being a "celebrity" of sorts, it is hard to see this as a rape or molestation in any reasonable sense.  Surely there are horrific situations in which humans can be psychologically manipulated by captors and such to behave in ways which seem illogical (e.g., Stockholm Syndrome, or abused individuals being afraid to flee or alert others).  And there are also monstrous acts of date rape occurring every minute of every day.  But if JA is prosecuted for this then surely there should be prosecutions lodged against almost every popular and unpopular rock band in the world, because surely many young groupies also find elements of regret and anxiety after making staggeringly poor choices and participating in sexual situations which mimic this JA situation.  Sex is hideously complicated, and most people's sex lives include numerous seemingly unavoidable mistakes in judgment that no country's criminal codes will ever eradicate.  The best the law can do is create rules that are clear, instructive, and are ready to be used with equal efficiency against all who would disobey them.

There has always been, and arguably always will be, a push-pull dynamic involving men being the sexually aggressive partner, pushing the woman's limits.  It is a dynamic which, like it or not, appears to be enforced and encouraged by both men and women.  Clearly "No means no."; clearly there are very real and absolutely unquestionable limits, but unless force or strong mental coercion occurs it's dangerous to assume JA's twice removing a woman's shirt aggressively is outside the bounds of generally accepted sexual aggression, or that it signals a clear "NO!" from her.

One other point that was made related to JA's initiation of sex while his partner was sleeping or just waking up.  This an interesting issue, because sex clearly must be consensual.  But there surely is often implied consent.  Couples routinely have sex when one or both members is at a diminished capacity.  Perhaps one or both partners is sleepy, drunk, high, or it is early in the morning and one party begins to "sex up" the other party.  This goes on all the time, and I find it hard to believe there is anything fundamentally immoral or wrong about it, presuming there is significant reason to believe the other party would and does want it.  I am no expert in the etiquette of promiscuity, so I am not clear what behavior is appropriate or inappropriate for those who would have sex within a few days of knowing each other.  It seems to me a person's willingness to immediately have sex with someone they barely know suggests on their part some level of openness to advanced/accelerated intimacy, and thus I find it hard to argue that he should have known he cannot grope or initiate sex with his sleeping lover as seems to have been suggested here.  And if he was supposed to know this, what would be the mechanism by which this would be communicated/inferred?  Is it acceptable on the third morning they are together?  The tenth?  Do they need to have a conversation about it?  I cannot imagine this issue is so clear that a prosecution case could be built upon it.

Observation #3: Post Hoc Reasoning

Neither woman appeared to have had any intention of prosecuting the matter until they discovered they had both been sexual with him in an overlapping time-frame, and that he had behaved similarly both times (refusing to wear a condom and having sex, by accident or intention, without a condom).  Both had separately intended to continue a friendship/relationship with him at least until they discovered their mutual sexual experience with him.  Reports suggest that neither would have prosecuted him had he not refused to get the STD testing they requested after their sexual liaison, that was supposedly their intent in going to the police, to learn how to get him to comply with their request.  One would hope that these women would have been able to independently decide that his behavior was so egregious that it warranted an accusation or rape or molestation, that they would have seen fit to immediately cut off their relationships with him, that they would not have been willing to settle for an STD test.  While I understand that date rape is very real we surely must find some better distinguishing characteristics to separate prosecutable date rape from icky, scorn-worthy date pushiness.  JA's behavior and the women's responses does not sound to me as though the incidents rose to anything a majority would say could be described as rape or molestation.


Julian Assange deserves karma's penalty, not a criminal one, for the sexual incidents that have been revealed.  The law was not meant to be used against people through selective prosecution.  The coverage in the press may be the karmic revenge he deserves, may curb his wanton ways.

My view is my own, and it is fluid.  I may not have adequately considered some very salient points that only someone who has been confronted with the experience of coercive sex can share.  My frustration is that too often when people attempt to discuss these complicated topics, so that we might attempt to reach a general understanding which can be the basis of new law or new social understandings between the sexes, things devolve into an emotionally charged conflict of wills not rights.  We cannot afford to be politically correct, we must be correct.  We cannot afford to be overly emotional when it comes time to reasoning out solutions.  Just as authors and playwrights request our "Willing suspension of disbelief." when we observe the worlds they create, I wish it were possible for all people to achieve a "Willing suspension of opposition animus."  The opposing side is rarely so wrong as we believe them to be.  Their house is as solid as ours, and built upon the same foundation as ours, but somewhere between its foundation and its roof there are differences in the supporting members that we can more calmly explore.  It is those structural elements we must explore to settle ourselves into true and relaxed comfort in our own position; and more often than we'd like, it is in that analysis we find the need to modify our own positions to correct for defects, to move both parties closer to common understanding.


Words Are Typed Flowers

Sometimes a collection of words elevate themselves from the mundane blather of a day, and approach forgotten beauty.  Once in too long a while I find myself in a mental state where my words coalesce in ways I like.  Tonight was such a night.  To a friend I wrote:

sorry i didn't see your text until now.  i was fast asleeping when it came in.  and if i don't see it right away it gets lost in the other bings, whirs, rings, and overlapping prompts of my phone...  at least until i stumble upon it while investigating some other more recent vibration.

i can't do friday, sorry.  I've been meaning to check out that first friday thing, too.  I tried to go a few months ago, walked down there, went about a block into the teeming sea only to lose my will and head back to safe harbor.  it just wasn't a night when i felt like pushing, and instead preferred to pull.  too many people and things trying to be seen, making the ordinarily pleasurable act of observation taxing.  but there are other nights when the challenge is part of the fun.  sadly this friday can't be one.  if you go, hope you have fun, it looks like good sport.

hope you're well, and that you continue to enjoy the love of jesus, buddha, allah, and all the heavenly voyeurs. 😉


They are not the greatest words ever written, but they are enjoyably forgettable, and that is sometimes, monstrously the most we can hope to achieve.


Filed under: Personal, Prose 1 Comment

My worst date… with Mel Gibson

This happened quite a while ago but something recently reminded me of it.

I was set up on a date with a friend of a friend.  We'd exchanged a few emails and seemed to enjoy a similar turn of phrase.  I picked her up at her place, and the descent into lunacy began.

A few miles down the road we were at a light and this car pulls up next to us, some relatively ordinary car that had clearly been suped (sp?) up because it was louder than hell and the guy kept revving it as though inviting me to a race I would ultimately decline.  My date says, "I think fast cars are really sexy."  I laughed, thinking she was being facetious.  She was not, and she was now angry at me for laughing at her not with her.  I tried to apologize and explain my laughter was meant in support of what I thought her position was, but she was not mollified.  Oops.

We headed to Quincy Market in Boston, I'd never been.  As we approached an older woman approaches selling flowers.  I very politely declined.  We looked around, and in the course of wandering see several other similarly attired older ladies at some distance selling flowers.  We ended up heading a few blocks away to get some dinner.  A few minutes into dinner she pauses, looks directly at me indicating she was about to say something significant, and says to me, "I thought you were a jerk for not buying a flower from that woman.  Don't you care about old people?"  Ouch.  I was pretty stunned.  I remember some weak attempts to provide sudden proof that I did care about old people, and people in general, and that that incident really didn't seem like a fair way to judge my character.  The conversation limped along and eventually the check came.  She now announced her brand new philosophy, which I was apparently the first to experience...  She said, "I've been treated really badly by guys in the past, so from now on I'm requiring that anyone I date pay for all our dates."  Wow.  I don't mind paying for others, I'm a bit of a communist when it comes to mealtimes, from each according to his means, to each according to his needs.  I'll pay for friends, coworkers, dates, pets, whatever.  Different people often offer at different times, and I figure it all evens out in the end (monetarily or karmic-ly).  And I would have gladly paid for her portion out of kindness, need, chivalry, simplicity, whatever.  I usually make the attempt and if someone stops me (as usually happens) then we figure it out from there.  But the notion that I was being required to make up the debt (in cash) created by her previous poor choices in men hardly seemed a fair or inviting situation.  I kindly explained that I didn't mind paying tonight, but in general I really couldn't go along with the idea that I who had never wronged her was somehow supposed to compensate for those who had.  She took in the argument and seemed to see it had some merit.

At this point I was pretty well tired, it just seemed we were very poorly matched despite some initial clever email banter and mutual admiration of stories we'd each written.  We began the 15 minute walk back to the car, and I mentioned a camping trip I was going on.  She spent the next 10 minutes telling me far too much information about how she can't go camping because there can be swarms of bugs and the bugs remind her of all these bad LSD trips she's had as well as reminding her of the horrible withdrawal symptoms she's experienced detoxing from heroin.  I, who have never done any drugs, let along hard core ones, was really ready for the night to be over.  While I am certainly sympathetic to her discomfort with swarms of bugs and all they mean to her, it was just way too soon and too contextless to be sharing that sort of information.  (I've dated people who've used drugs, seems like most people have used or tried them, and it's not been a problem, but that's probably because they didn't insist I know so much graphic detail about their experiences, and certainly not on date one.)

The date ended a few minutes later, but not before she explained to me that she was obsessed (literally) with Mel Gibson, that her recovery from the drugs involved watching all of Mel Gibson's movies over and over again and that now she was in a very real way obsessed with him, because he was there for her when no one else was.  She said the walls of her room were covered in Mel Gibson posters, she watched at least parts his movies every day, and that if she ever met him she would have sex with him, even if she was already in a relationship, that the other person (I felt implied) would just have to deal with that absolute and unarguable reality.

I dropped her off at her place, we had a little hug (no kiss), and I went on my way with no small amount of relief.  I felt quite comfortable that the date was as awful for me as it was for her, since I couldn't relate to and didn't resemble much of what she wanted or liked.  Being a nice guy and not fond of ambiguity, I planned to write her the next day and very politely make it clear that I enjoyed her friendship and would be happy to see where that went while acknowledging that dating was really not in our best interests.

Before I had a chance, however, I was shown just how wrong my perception of events had apparently been...  she wrote me the next morning to let me know how great a time she had had and how much she looked forward to another date.  Ugh.

It took me quite a few hours to come up with just the right way to thank her while politely declining additional dating.  She seemed to take it well.  We did hang out a couple of times as friends before she found distraction in someone with a far larger engine than mine.

She was actually quite a nice girl, the original connection we had was simply not viable for anything more than friendship, and on that level it worked quite well (however briefly).  She was not quite so intense as a friend, seemed less intent on requiring me to be anything other than who I was.  Still, doesn't change the fact that it was the worst first date I ever had.



Yin Yang

My day. Yin. Yang. The first half saw my better self, triumphantly in command of my life, amidst noble activities, pressed by people who variously care for, respect, and seek me out. The latter half saw my worser self, a soul periodically lost in self-analysis, striving for someone and something different (yet doing little more than cowardly navel gazing). We are the happily resigned marriage of our perfections and our flaws. Humans. Meh. If the aliens come I won't be overly upset if they make hamburgers of us all. (I don't really mean that, it just seemed a marvelous thing to say, would that I had the time to craft the sentence better and work the word 'ketchup' in there.) Sometimes I say things which are more beautiful than true, but I always indicate as much (even if not everyone realizes).



The Meaning of Pizza

My tummy hurts.  I just ate too much of a pizza, a pizza I had delivered from Chicago.  From the best authentic Chicago pizzeria in Chicago, Lou Malnati's Pizzeria.  Shipped overnight, packed in dry ice.  Hard not to eat too much of it.  I bought it to craft a moment.  But, the moment came and went, unhappened.

I met a harmless girl at the cafe a few weeks back.  We had a perfect, orchestrated social interaction.  I was like a conductor leading the interaction.  It was one of my finest social moments ever.  I hate the humans, a little bit.  Which is to say I love them like God did back in the day.  Back when they pissed him off and didn't do what he wanted and he didn't understand why, so he smote them all except for that Noah fella and all them critters.  I don't plan on smiting anything, besides the grievous ethical problems, I'm just not that energetic.  But I suffer God's misunderstanding of humans, from time to time.  So, these little perfect moments mean something to me, when everything sings with a harmony that feels like it was always and forever just unheard.  And I get excited thinking I found my groove.

And so I bought the pizza.  She was a recent transplant from Chicago, weeks recent. And I smoothly asked her to join me on the weekend for the Hollywood Forever Cemetery movie with some friends.  And she eagerly accepted.  And I got the pizza because in the course of our conversation she'd recommended it, and told me you could get it online, and so I did after some initial considerable confusion with me thinking she said "Illuminati's Pizza" and "Lou Minati's Pizza".  Because it's been years since I had a decent Chicago pizza, and there's only once place in the whole of Los Angeles that does a Chicago style pizza, and it's in Silverlake, and I wasn't sure how authentic it really was (it resembled not at all the Armand's Chicago-style pizzeria of my Washingtonian youth).  And we talked a few times leading up to that Saturday, but then the day came, I called, and she suddenly had other plans.  She flaked, but asked me to ask her again.  Humans.  I don't know what to make of them.  I should make it clear my intentions were not unusual or extreme.  This wasn't meant to be a date, I had no specific interest in her beyond her being interesting, the banter being fun, so let's pal around.  I didn't find her attractive, but she was not necessarily particularly unattractive either.  (All this I say relative to me, I have no idea what the rest of the world thinks of her.  They probably found her prettier than I did, my tastes being a few degrees off the norm.)  She was in that gray area where given the right interactions I may have come to find her prettier, but I had no such ambitions, my interest was purely platonic.  And she flaked, and even though she very pointedly said she hoped I'd ask her again, when I did, I got a similar result.  She was busy again with work, and her brother, and she is now traveling about the country on work errands.  And, to my way of thinking, and I think the world's thinking as well, if she'd had any significant interest in hanging out, it would have happened by now.  Ah well.

I don't mind that nothing came of it.  I don't mind perhaps not being her cup of tea.  I have no expectations that I be anyone's (though am grateful that I am some people's).  And perhaps her new job is demanding, and her new apartment requires setting up, and her brother...  but I just wish society didn't so much rely on subtleties and subtexts.  Because I drown in the excess of available cues.  And I miss out on quite a few friendships and dates as I always err on the side of caution.  It's like if you know your sense of smell isn't so good, it's better to be safe than sorry and scream "Fire!" when you think you smell even the slightest hint of smoke; it's like the identical opposite, actually.   I won't call her again.  Two attempts on my part was enough.  Who needs the bother?
I should perhaps stick with the people who make more native sense to me (though there are few).

The pizza was good.  Some people (like my dad) have this charming notion that everything happens for a reason.  Ah, pretty, lucky little imbeciles.  If I believed them I would say, "I met her solely so that she could introduce me to Lou Minati's pizza."



The Me of Hidden Variables

On a handful of occasions it has been suggested that I am complicated.

While I think that may be a reasonable impression formed, I am of a somewhat contradictory view.  My complexity is merely the illusion created by the hiding of the variables which govern me.

One alternate notion about quantum mechanics that I believed before I knew other more intelligent and PhDed fellows already came up with it (my life is filled with devastating cleverness I exhibit only to find that someone got there 50 years before, it's very frustrating) is the notion that the randomness we think we see at the subatomic level is not randomness but are the unpredictable effects of intrusions from energy/matters/forces in higher dimensional space-time.  And I don't mean the words energy or forces in the new agey sense!  I mean it in the literal sciencey, non-paranormal sense!  These intrusions are hidden variables, we can't directly know what's going on in these higher dimensions, all we see is their effect on our own, and to us the effect appears random, but really had we omniscience enough to know the goings on of the higher dimensions, it'd be just as deterministic as Newton's apple.  So, my theory of myself is that I'm as simple as cheddar cheese, but my cheese is simply being twisted through a biased filter of social whateverthehell and so appears complex.  I hate the sorts of people who intentionally complicate themselves, who crave and craft a view of themselves as different.  Hopefully I'm not one of them.



Does a dog have Buddha nature?

Zen Buddhism includes a koan which asks the question, "Does a dog have Buddha nature?"

From what I gather, their answer is, "No."

But, I say, "YES!"

If I was a sculptor or a painter/drawer of any merit I would redraw Buddha as a dog and construct some vast and believable conspiracy which explained that the real Buddha was in fact a dog who wandered into a Hindu temple, lay beneath a Bo tree for 20 dog years and attained enlightenment, which he demonstrated by being released from desire; he longer reacted when the people of the temple offered him treats.  And everyone began to transcribe the dog's lesson, and reinterpret his meditative behaviors, and his glorious liberation from suffering, and want, and see him only as living in the perfect now.  But their first book of his teachings sold very poorly, so they made a few minor edits and Siddhartha Gautama turned from dog to a man.  And the rest is history.



Odious Small Talk

I must breathe, and drink water, and sup, and excrete, and Society (the grand They) seem to expect small talk.  And that's fine.  I think for me it's when it lingers over the small and you realize the small is all there will be that I feel a bit frustrated.  Which isn't to say I don't care about the small stuff.  I ask my friends how was their day because I care and even their minor incidents are pieces of their larger puzzle.  But it's also the depth of my awareness of them that makes those small things important to me.

What is awfully hard for me to suffer through is when you get dragged to a bar by a friend...  And you spend the next three hours briefly conversing with slightly drunk people about the most superficial aspects of themselves.  I come away knowing a human named Cindy exists and she is an account rep at a pharmaceutical company, that she went to Northwestern, that she has a thing for Gucci bags, she likes Hawaii, and she thinks Robert Downey, Jr.T is super sexy.  Ugh.  I want to know what Cindy feels when she first sits at her desk in the morning.  Excitement? Dread?  Why does she seem to have this palpable sadness about her?   Is this really who she thought she'd become five years ago?  What secrets is she keeping from her friend, Jen, who's sitting right next to her.  Does she secretly lust after Jen's husband?

That's what I want to ask, what I want to know.  Anyone can ask me anything any time any place.  I may choose not to answer but I won't be offended.  I don't have rules about you can't ask me this or that until some whenever.  Obviously if you ask me and also seem odd I'll assume you're a few bricks shy of a load, and may keep myself to myself.  But that's just sensible.  To the mostly sane I would bare my soul at the drop of hat.



Peanuts (the comic): An Analysis of My Hatred

Peanuts (the comic) is the perfect storm of all my core hatreds.  I detest things which get grossly disproportionate attention.  I detest things which have no characters I can relate to.  I detest swishy jazz music (love dixie land, love Satchmo, like Ellington, hate those free form make-it-up-as-we-go stoned-out-of-our-gourd-but-our-audience-won't-notice).  Peanuts has wasted god knows how much printed page space for god knows how many years and elicited in its entire run sixteen and one half chuckles, four of those were from drunk people who were reading it upside down.  Charles Schultz made millions upon millions.  Newspapers paid millions upon millions.  And have you seen that "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" play?  I was forced to see it twice as a kid.  You know what happens in it?  Nothing.  You know what costumes they are wearing?  None!  Snoopy is just a dude, wearing a white shirt.  No dog mask.  No tail.  No barking.  And Charlie Brown is just a dude with that stupid yellow shirt with the zig zag.  Oh my god.  Make an effort, people.  That's what that sort of jazz does to you, that's who goes to see it!  And everyone on Peanuts sucks.  I love dogs.  But if Snoopy was a real dog I'd euthanize him with extreme prejudice.  I hate him worse than Scrappy Doo, and thinking about Scrappy Doo churns bile in my belly.  And who else is on that show? Bunch of little shits. You've got smelly guy, piano guy, psychiatrist girl, pull the football bitch.  I mean Linus was the only major character I didn't absolutely hate, but he was still pretty god damn smug about his smarts.  And all it is is swishy jazz, swishy jazz, swishy jazz.  When adults talk, when stuff happens, etc.  And what the fuck is with the WWI Snoopy cousin flashbacks with the flying doghouse?  Mother of god, get the damn dog some PTSD medication and treatment, he's been suffering for 90 freaking years now.  Anyway, that's the gist of why I hate it.  I could go on for hours, especially if I got drunk at a Peanuts-themed bar.  Ohhh..  And WTF is the name Peanuts for?  Name it Snoopy for god sake.  The good people of Hanna-Barbara didn't name their show Cashews when it was really about Scooby Doo.  What a pretensious asshole Charles Schultz was.  He and Hitler are the only good reasons I can think of for not curing mortality.  To think of an infinitude of time and space stuck with those two...  Ugh.



Das Nihilist

I'm 84.6% nihilist, but not in the anarchist's co-opted blow-stuff-up sense.  Rather, I neither believe nor disbelieve most things I don't directly experience.  I used to drive my last ex-girlfriend nuts by doubting her every celebrity sighting claim. Once a week she would say, "I just saw [insert celebrity name here] on 3rd Street."  And it just seemed like the frequency was impossible, and that she was mixing in people who just happened to bear resemblances.  In fairness, I discovered later I had prosopagnosia, a mild case, and so I really was in no position to deny her claims.  I can have difficulty recognizing people I only know (though only those I know slightly).  Whatever the excuse, it was slightly obnoxious of me.  I meant it in jest, but that doesn't mean it was forever funny.