Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Paralleladox


I recently had a conversation with someone who asked, “In times of darkness, do you ever consider turning to God.”

“No,” I responded,   ”However, I have considered turning for God.  Spinning I call it.   But the act seems to make me dizzy, and does little to help the darkness.”

He said, “ I’m going to pray for you.”

“Okay, I will pray against you.  We can have the prayoffs, see who comes out on top.  You have 2 God, I have 4 God, we will know the winner because they will have 8 God.  Delicious.”

“But that doesn’t make any sense.”

“Yes, but I know that doesn’t make any sense.  That is the difference between me and you.”

“Okay.  Well then, what do you believe? What does your religion look like?”

“If I had to draw my religion, I would have to create a new shape that captures both its parallel sides and its paradoxical nature: a paralleladox.  A paralleladox has sides that seem to be parallel, but actually are not parallel at all.  In fact, they are not even there.  Yet, strangely, somehow they are.  And parallel at that.

“The paralleladox is big in the mime community.  It vanishes in the dark, and appears again in the light.  So, if ever I find myself in a dark place, I turn on a lamp. The Paralleladox appears.  On a unicorn.  What about your religion?  Does your religion ride a unicorn?”

“Of course not,” he replied.  “That would be ridiculous.”

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Decider


Sometimes I think I am indecisive.  And then I think, nah.  Then I think, “Hey, I wonder if this Chinese in the fridge is still edible?”

“Here, babe, what do you think?  Can I eat this?”

The answer is regularly no, it is not edible, and I should take it outside right away.

Later on in the day I might shout from the couch, “Hey, Honey, what am I going to do?”    

“Today? Or Forever?” She might clarify. 

“I don’t know.  Maybe today?”

Usually, a response comes. But recently, doubts have been creeping into her answers.  She is less definitive.   Questions are sometimes met with questions; sometimes answers are met with questions; sometimes my silence is met with questions.  Or, sometimes she just pokes my head with a stick.

Perhaps I have evolved.  Like a student approaching calculus, perhaps I am becoming more sophisticated than what the keeper can answer.    While pondering the aforementioned thought, I was struck by a both a stick and a thought.  Like two atoms colliding, the smack left behind a radical solution to one of life’s riddles, and a welt.   

We, as a couple, needed a third.  We needed a decider. 

The decider can be anyone who, under normal circumstances, would never be part of a relationship.  Essentially, one’s disability can be put to use for once.  Autism, poor hygiene, physical handicaps,  homelessness or criminal records, all of which are barriers that ordinarily would prevent one from coupling, can now be utilized by normal people who are a couple.  The decider can finally be part of a couple.

How do you choose a good decider?  Well, in my experience, perhaps it is more appropriate to say, “You do not so much choose a decider as a decider chooses you.”  This addition to the coupling process occurs at something called “meetings”, which are great spectacles, like circuses from the 1920s.  The deciders are kept in their cages or pens by handlers, and couples get to wander around, holding hands.  It can even be a date. 
“Oh, look honey, that one looks interesting.  Can we get him?”

“I don’t know.  He looks a little unstable.  Can we please see his teeth?”  The handler will rattle the decider’s cage with a nightstick, prying open their mouth in some disparaging fashion.  However, this is the opportunity for the decider to do their thing.  A special trick, or a song, or perhaps a simple yet decisive stare that says, “You really need me.”

The decider is great for passive aggressive couples who never make a decision.  We bring ours everywhere.  What movie will you and your honey bunch watch? Boom!  The decider chooses Batman (again).  Do we want desert?  Quick-Smart: The decider has already ordered!  Should we have kids?  Bam!  Twins are on the way.  Our shifty little guy already has me investing heavily into accounts overseas for retirement.  I don’t do anything, just turn my finances over to him.  Apparently, I’m going to retire quite wealthy.

Better than a robot, better than an app, better than an old-fashioned algorithm consisting of complex mathematical equations.  Is a decider absolutely necessary?   Mine says yes.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Best Canberra Conclusions ever?
by Matt Bulman

(This next essay is in the form of a character. It raises unpopular sentiments, which is why I have a character say it. And to complicate matters, I am going to have the character speak in the first person...So in your minds, just substitute 3rd person for the personal pronouns of I, me and my. Regards, The Author)

During my time in scenic Canberra, I have for some reason been inspired to contemplate death and suicide to no small degree. My ideas remain unpopular. Was I hoping to find the lighter side of the subject? Perhaps. Or, as is more likely, has God chosen me as some type of modern day messenger on a hitherto under discussed topic? An Angel of Death, no doubt. Or, perhaps, an Angle of Death. The reasons, labels and spellings are yet unclear, however, time will tell. My conclusions follow.

CONCLUSION 1: No one under 75 should be able to commit suicide. We are all in this thing together, and it is not fair that you should get to check out early when I still have student loans to repay. It is cheating. Sure, reach 75, and the choice for sweet release is yours. Perhaps some sort of chair could be invented, and there is a mass celebration where septuagenarians sit with sceptre and crown, and then go to sleep never to wake. Spectators chant like Tibetan Monks. Ah, at last. All of these years, and there is now a socially acceptable way out.

CONCLUSION 1a: Also, you should be able to elect this procedure for someone else, but only one person, and you must really hate them. They can be any age. The procedure is permanent, and takes place in a random basement of your choosing. And you only get one choice, so please choose wisely the person for the sleepy-never-wake-upy chair.

CONCLUSION 2: Clearly, awakening from an attempted suicide must be the worst feeling in the world. Not only did you get caught trying to cheat life, but just when you think things cannot possibly get any worse, this happens. You really can not seem to do anything right these days, can you. Worst day ever? Well, try to think of it, instead, as the worst day of the rest of your life.
Also, you lose your shot at electing someone else for suicide. Sorry, but those are the rules.

CONCLUSION 3: Everyone really must start to plan their funeral from grade 10. Essays in English class will be on the duel subjects of what you want to do with your life, and your death.
Teens would say the cutest things about death. I have asked around Canberra. A few examples of their ideas follow:

The Most non-Traditional Funeral Ever?

When I die...I want a non-traditional funeral. For example, I want my remains scattered, but not cremated. Then, each of my relatives will be inherit a limb to dispose of as is their want. It will be weird, logistically, too. For example, if they get stopped by a police officer driving back from the funeral, they might find themselves saying things such as, “What’s that officer? Oh, that’s nothing. Well, it was my brother’s arm. But he’s dead now. It’s okay, officer, it belongs to me now. “ They will have to take it home and put it on the mantle, store it in an aquarium like some sort of post-modern relic. Then, when the kids get unruly, the parents will be like, “Behave yourselves! Don’t make me get down the arm from the relic-tank!”

The Cutest, most Creative Funeral Ever?

I want my funeral to be a public event. Memorable. I want to surprise people, borrow from the ancient Navaho tradition: be drawn and quartered by a thousand squirrels set off in a thousand directions. People will get the metaphor, and be torn between tears and tenderness, just like I was literally torn by such cute creatures. Because while they will be disgusted by the gore, they will also have to admit to themselves that it’s okay. I was already dead after all, and it was very entertaining. Perhaps the cutest mutilation ever.

The Most Funny Funeral Ever?

As a comedian, I want my funeral to be very funny. “Did you see his funeral? How was it?” they will say.
“Yes I did, and too bad you missed it,” Attendees will respond. “It was hilarious.”
Even other comedians and my detractors will say, “Man, that funeral was fucking funny. His magnum opus, really. It’s not even my type of humour, but I respected it, creatively...it’s certainly not how I want to go. But I sure did laugh.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Higgs' Turtle at the Particle Accelerator and Other Acts of Love that Sometimes Went Wrong


Hi, I’m Doctor Clive Peters, Physicist.  And I’m here to talk to you today about the amazing world of science.

Now, many of you will be wondering, no doubt, about the most recent discovery of the elusive Higgs Boson particle, also known as the God particle.  Science has done some amazing things in recent years, but capturing God has been a breakthrough that many could not have predicted.

You see, God is like this trickster wizard with magical powers.  And he’s good at hide and seek.  Science has now captured, beaten, and forced God to tell us the secrets he holds...and we have finally unlocked these powers through chemical bonds.  Those bonds, it turns out are made up of smaller particles, which in turn, are made up of yet smaller still particles.  These are known as Bosons, after the beautiful Princess Bose, a scientist-princess of amazing abilities.  Bose was the brains.  Dr. Higgs, he just tacked his name on to the front of the particle, because he used to drive Dr Bose to the Lab every day, and do little favours like bake Bose some cupcakes, buy her coffee, or once, he bought Bose a turtle.  They got drunk and put the turtle in the particle accelerator...it went badly. 

Anyway, they became friends, and, much to everyone’s astonishment, lovers.  And then Dr. Bose caught consumption, and on her deathbed extended an unprecedented act of friendship and love hitherto unknown on this planet.  She was like, “COUGH, COUGH,  HIGGS, COME HERE.”

“What is it Bose?”

“Take this.”

“What is it?”

“ It is a particle.”  Cough, cough.

And he took it, kept it to himself for years because he didn’t really know what he had.  Honestly, Higgs was just a party guy more than a physicist.  He couldn’t tell you a gluon from a quark from a charm...let alone the elusive Boson that he kept in a jar at home in his refrigerator.

Then, one day last week, he ran out of sugar for his coffee and started wondering if he had anything else that might be a substitute, when he opened the jar once again.  He went to work, showed it to some colleagues, and they were like, “Hey guys, come over here, guess what Higgs found.”

Sure enough, it was the elusive God particle.  It was hidden in Higgs’ fridge all of these years.

What does this mean for you?  Well, it turns out that God is a lot smaller than originally hypothesized.  But there is more of him than we ever could have imagined. 

Take this jug of milk for example.   Inside this jug there are approximately 4x10^200 mol of God, or Higgs-Boson, particles.  That’s a lot of God.  Did you ever want to drink God?  Well, now you can.  A lot of him, so drink your milk. 

Or, try water.  There are more God particles in water than in milk because milk has some proteins, which prevent some God particles from bonding.  Especially if you are lactose intolerant.  Who would have thought that God was a unipolar molecule with hydrophilic properties?  HA, HA, HA...

So, I hope you found today’s explanation useful boys and girls.  And remember, if you like God in you, drink your milk.  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Canberra's Multicultural Stand

Scene: The Canberra Multicultural Festival, Iraqi stand

American (wearing a red hat, shouting): Hi, I’m an American. Name’s matt.
Iraqi Woman (startled): Oh. What brings you here? Weren’t you just at the Afghanistan Stand?
American: Actually, it’s pronounced Afghanistan. Not Afghanistan-stan.
Iraqi Woman: Yes. That’s what I said. Afghanistan Stand.
American: Stan. Afghanistan. There is only one stan in Afghanistan. Yes, I just came from it.
Iraqi Woman (confused, looks over to see Afghanistan stand on fire, suspiciously nods): Okay?
American: I just wanted to thank you for today, the food here is excellent. This is for you (presents an American flag, full sized on a pole placed in front of the Iraq stand).
Iraqi Woman: Thank you. We have an ancient heritage. Would you like some reading material to take with you?
American: No, I don’t really like to read about history very much. But I wanted to demonstrate my thanks.
Iraqi Woman: Demonstrate?
American: Yes, you see (2 large, intimidating friends gather around), we didn’t have a stand in the multicultural festival today. America that is. So, we decided to...how can I put this...well we wanted to help liberate someone else’s stand. Take some pressure off...That could be our contribution.
Iraqi Woman (confused): Liberate?
American (Walking uninvited behind the stand with two muscle bound intimidators): Yes, you see you have all of these wonderful resources behind the stand here...Food, oil, a great position in the middle of the Festival (sweeps arm around to rest of festival, Afghanistan Stand has been reduced to cinders). We have nothing. Perhaps we could help you to distribute these more efficiently?...more democratically.
Iraqi Woman (being pushed to sideline, seated): But I don’t want you to.
American: Nonsense. (Shouting to the crowd, Step right up, Step right up Get your genu-ine Iraqi cuisine. Enjoy your mezze, Bamia, and kebab...Limited time offer of Two Dollars.
Iraqi Woman: But they cost ten dollars.
American: (addressing Iraqi) We figure you’ve been inflating the price unnaturally. Besides, look at the hype we are creating...people want to get into this Iranian stand now.
Iraqi Woman: But we are Iraq.
American: Whatever...We’re getting the wheels turning again. (Addressing crowd now) Get you’re kebab. Here, that looks dry...enjoy some oil with that (splashes olive oil on the dish, then removes spout and douses the oil all over the dish. Topples remainder of bottle, says, “Whoops,” and opens a second without batting an eye).
Iraqi Woman: We only have a limited supply of that oil. Be careful.
American: You got plenty. Look at the reserves under here (many boxes of olive oil under the table)
Iraqi Woman: But that must last us the whole festival.
American: You got plenty. Whoops. Hold on...Sorry, I’m being replaced.
Iraqi Woman: Replaced?
American: Yes, my term has ended. So long. (Grabs and gathers five jars of oil as he leaves the stand)
Iraqi Woman: What is happening?
American (same American wearing blue hat): Hi, we can’t afford to stay here. We will be leaving soon.
Iraqi Woman: Won’t you clean up? You have made a mess here.
American (counting money from food takings): Who votes that we leave (Two muscle bound men put up their hands) And stay? No one? There you have it. Today, you are independent. You are now able to stand on your own, though if you ever need our services again, we will be right behind you.
Iraqi Woman: You have brought only destruction here. What about our money that you collected.
American (counting money...) No, no, no...I’m afraid this is China’s money. We really couldn’t afford to bring all of our help with you...had to fly in from overseas and whatnot...so we borrowed it from them. China funded our exhibition here. We are off to their stand now to repay our debt. Where is their stand?
Iraqi woman: It’s the one over there. Past the Afghanistan stand.
American: Who’s Stan? Oh, right, the one with all of the little children. So long (grabs several jars of oil as he departs and leaves the flag behind).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Homoburgers

Canberra is not known for its warmth or friendliness, and I must warn you that if you move here everyone will assume you are gay.

No one asks you directly. It is considered rude. Instead, the local custom is to ask friends, acquaintances and employers of the newly arrived, and then filter the information through as many people as possible, before finally passing it on to you via the grapevine.

I have not yet been in town long enough to meet a new person and mutter rumours about their sexual preferences with the townsmen. I assume I will have been accepted as one of the locals when this happens. For now, I can only take what facts I do have and attempt to reconstruct the following, likely scenario.

“Is he gay?” a person might say. “Is his name Ray?”

“No,” my friends say. “He’s not gay. He’s not Ray.”

“Since he’s not a gay, since he’s not Ray, I will say G’day and be on my way.”

“Yes don't stay go straight away.”

As is the local custom, the townsmen then shake hands with a double pump, stare each other down, and walk away. They may spit after touching hands to get any possible man love out of their system.

Clearly, Dr. Seuss has had a major influence on Canberra’s culture, as have wizards, dragons and jousting knights, all of whom the Canberrans assume are copulating with one another. The locals have a limited imagination, and they are almost always creating childish rhymes about whatever pops into it.

I will point out that I am not gay, I am American and educated, but I can understand how Canberrans could easily confuse these qualities. And it would not bother me if I were gay. It is 2012, people are gay and proud. I have many friends who may or may not be gay, but the point is that I do not spend my time making rhymes about it like Canberrans are probably doing.

I explained this situation to some gay friends, who said, “All of this is good, it will help you get over your homophobia.”

Homophobia means fear of or hatred of homosexuals. However, this really is not the right word for what has unfolded here. I am not afraid of, nor do I hate, gay people. Gay: Go for it! I am happy for you, and it certainly does not bother me. Therefore, homophobic does not describe me. I am, however, afraid of people who are afraid of gay people.

Here is my phobia: Phobo-homophobia.

Phobohomophobia is like a fear sandwich, with homo in the middle.

And if ever I attend a barbecue, I might walk into the kitchen and meet the host or their family, and the fear sandwich is right there, prepared on a plate. Canberrans see the same sandwich, but they call it by a different name: homosandwich. Or, sometimes, a homoburger.

And because of my lack of punching and spitting, tattoos, scars and Hepatitis C, along with a stubborn refusal to don the local uniform of sweatpants, Nike Shox and a T-Shirt with a misogynistic caption, Canberrans assume that I am after a homosandwich and would enjoy eating it.

This is usually when someone’s mother, drunk, will let it slip. “And there is a special sandwich for our visitor. Go ahead, we made you this to make you feel at home: it’s a homosandwich.”

"Awww, Ma,” one of the kids will convey disapproval for her letting the cat out of the bag.

“No, thanks. I don’t want the sandwich.”

“It’s okay. Everyone knows you’re a homosexual. Eat it!” Pause.

“No, really. That’s very thoughtful and confused, but I’d rather not.”

Then, during the awkward silence, one of the men folk will become righteous. “Mate, Ma went to a lot of trouble to make that. You got something against homoburgers?”

“Well, no, it’s just that-“

“Then eat.” Pause. “I said eat the fucking homosandwich.“ And they usually pull a knife, as is the local custom.

Once, to be polite, I did take a bite. I am not sure if it was so that I didn’t seem rude, or because everyone had gathered around, or to avoid being knifed. But it didn't help having everyone shout and clap in unison, "EAT, EAT, EAT, EAT, EAT."

I ended up gagging, spitting the contents out, shouting, “This tastes like dick.”

'Ha, Ha," The host announced, “Well, it’s a homoburger. What did you expect?”

“That’s right, 100% Aussie dick meat. Born and bred!” Ma seemed proud.

And someone else said, “Well he is spitting more these days. Perhaps he isn’t gay after all?”

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ideas

By Matt Bulman

This essay contains many, many ideas (fourteen). While these are hardly novel ideas, and have been tried by countless people in the past, most of these particular ideas have been collected and gathered here, in this essay, because they are unique in one outstanding capacity: they are bad ideas.

I use the vernacular version of bad, for the ideas themselves are not morally wrong, nor have they been naughty. We are not going to spank out the bad from these ideas, nor send them off to a corner to think about what they have done, nor burn them with a lighter to teach them a lesson.

Instead, I use a pedestrian version of bad, hoping to convey that the ideas herein are poorly thought out and underdeveloped. Clearly, you will see they are flawed right away. Or, if you do not, it is because you are not very clever. In such a case, it is probably best that you then discontinue reading this essay, or, as is more likely, you discontinue having someone read it to you.

Many letters of the alphabet have been rearranged into a unique order and structure to write this essay. I would like to thank these letters, and their origins, for their vital contribution, mainly that of words. This essay on bad ideas simply could not have happened without their pivotal role, and, at times, support.

Yours truly,
Matt Bulman
Bad Ideas Champion, Canberra 2012

1: Become an amateur scientist: Science is not going to be around forever, folks. In fact, there is evidence to suggest it is on the decline. If you aren’t already in the science game, probably best to stay out.

2: Put yourself out there. Bad move. Putting yourself out there just welcomes failure and ridicule, especially from friends. Double it or family. Do you like being pointed at? What about poked, tickled or laughed at? What about having oranges thrown at you? Unless you like being pelted by fruit, best to stay far away from putting yourself out there.

3: Slam your poetry, publicly, if you are over 35 and white. Jeepers, fire your therapist if this ever becomes your reality.

4: Start a Game: Most games have been around for a long time now, and they are fairly well established as far as their rule and traditions are concerned. Consider joining an established game rather than trying to invent your own. Walking up to street people, flicking their ears and saying, "You're it," is not a game.

5: Design a robot: So, you got a hold of some wire and a mannequin, huh? Well, it will take more than connecting these items intricately together during an electrical storm in order for that robot to start dancing. I tried this several times, only to melt each potential robot into a pile of burnt rubber. Take it from me: until we harness the lightening bolt’s true power, robots are fantasy.

6: Whittling: Are you serious? You want to whittle? Pussy.

7: Getting Even: If someone has one-upped you, it’s likely that they did so because they are better than you. Genetically. Do not try to get even with them. Instead, buy them a barbecued chicken, and present them with it. Do so earnestly and sincerely, presenting the barbecue chicken whilst saying, “Congratulations,” as though they have won an award. And then quickly walk away.

8: Go after your dreams: Unless you have mastered lucid dreaming, you better stay out of your dreams. Dreams are messages from God, filtered through LSD. Do you want to fall out of a window and land on the street because you think you can fly? No? Well, then stay the hell away from muddling around in your dreams.

9: Try injecting smack “Just this once”.

10: If already on smack, trying to give up again. Too late! You might as well enjoy it.

11: “Having a system” at the Casino. Good luck, schmuck.

12: Walk right up to him and tell him exactly how you feel: Tsss. If you are a dude, just punch him. If you are a chick, slice his Achilles tendon. Feelings are not facts. Violence is a fact.

13: Invest in a child: children are really not that clever an investment. Oil is a clever investment. Or robots, but only if designed by someone who knows where to put the wires (refer to number 5).

14: This one is for you: I have left this clich├ęd line for your best ideas, like the home brewed beer, or the time you cut your hair, or that tattoo you so desperately needed, or that puppy you place in the refrigerator... ad infinitum...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

On Emoticons

Emoticons are stupid. The argument for using emoticons is that one is unable to express tone without them. This is a strange argument because many of us use words for this exact purpose. Then, we simply combine the words into a specific order and add punctuation. No pictures required.

Is it clear what I have done above?

Ironically, if one simply learned how to use the building blocks of emoticons, namely punctuation marks, correctly, then there would be no need to rearrange them into simple shapes, winks and smiley faces.

I like to imagine the driving force behind the emoticon, the spark of genius who created it. And in order to do so, I recall a familiar memory from chemistry class. Remember the dangerous classmate who started out in high school chemistry class, but no one expected him to finish. Most people expected him to be removed at some point within the first month, once the teacher figured out that he was far too unpredictable to use the Bunsen burner? And remember the first Practical, where we had to build molecules, joining atoms and making chemical bonds from colour coded golf-balls with black sticks to represent the bonds? All of the years of scientific progress, this fascinating science that mathematical geniuses would have worked out over centuries, simplified in a wonderful model, but this is lost on the dangerous kid, who sits there and makes a cock-and-balls from the H2O compound. It as if information entering his brain has only one destination, whereby everything eventually is channelled towards penis, or a representation of his penis.

The penis hypothesis suggests that emoticons likely developed from this same classmate, whose talents for not being able to pay attention in Chemistry class were also applicable to English class. Mindlessly going through his phone one day, he realizes that there are symbols in there that cannot be explained: comas, hyphens, colons, semicolons. All of this grammar, meanwhile, is being explained by the teacher at the front of the room. And as the teacher has drawn the symbols up on the blackboard in chalk, the stupid kid looks up from his phone and neuro-molecular connections happen in his brain, unbeknownst to him of course. He looks from phone to blackboard to colon to hyphon when, boom. :- Colon combined with hyphen equals cock-and-balls.

Then he sends it to all of his friends, a cock-and-balls and a happy face emotion.
It is unlikely that the stupid kid is studying anything useful, like science. That kid, who is probably college age, is very likely now studying to become an English teacher. And, in a few years time, he will likely teach emoticons as legitimate punctuation.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Happyness


I want happiness, but only enough for me. I certainly do not want to share it with anyone. I can’t afford to. It is mine, after all, and I got started late in life on it. So please keep your greedy mitts away and find your own.

I am saving my happiness for later. If I get a good thought, the urge to giggle or smile, I immediately stifle it and stuff it deep down in my body. The way I like to think of it is that I currently place much of my happiness into a high interest account, growing, away from others who might spoil it. I do not withdraw it, share it, or waste it on little coffees or puppies, because I am being responsible and saving all of my happiness for when I retire. And, when I do retire and have all of the happiness that I need, I will carefully distribute it in measured amounts amongst servants in Bali. Here, my happiness will go much further, relatively, and I will be able to afford protection from those who might ruin it.

I have given up laughter. Incidentally, playing, whistling and humming have also in been shelved. I surrendered hobbies, too. Go ahead, try to tickle me or tell me a joke. You will get nowhere. I have 14 people at work randomly tickling me throughout the day. Nothing. I save it all.

There is an argument that happiness can be found more economically in prostitutes and illicit street drugs. I am investigating these possibilities.

I have found several ways to grow my happiness. What are my secrets? I’m not telling you. Not the best ones at least. If I were to share with you the best wells from which I draw upon, you might try to go there yourself and deplete the rich source and purity of happiness. I will, however, share with you a few examples from further down the list.

Monkey Research: monkey-based research in the field of scientific inquiry is where a great deal of happiness can be found. “Twelve macaque monkey’s were the caged, tickled and destroyed to see if the happy centres in their brain had grown.” By focusing my attention on monkeys, monkey brains, and monkey happiness, my own happiness grows. In fact, I like to count every dead monkey as a little happy trophy. Try it yourself.

Shake it from children: Sometimes, around a child who is naturally happy, I have the urge to steal and bottle it. The happiness, not the child. This happiness is clearly wasted on the child. So, grabbing a jar, I figure, “Why not try to bottle the joy?” Shaking the joy from the happy child, I then take a jar and clasp wildly at the air, hoping to grab some molecule, some vibe, something invisible to the eye, but very present in the ether. Then, a few hours later, I open the jar and imagine myself drinking this elixir.

Repeat the above process with a wild squirrel: Squirrels are naturally happy, and one can be held in each hand to double the return on your investment. Contrary to popular belief, their tails do have muscle, allowing them to double back on you and bite you upon the wrist. For this reason, only one squirrel per hand, and grasp it firmly around the waist when shaking.

Lastly, consider using your thumbs more often. Really thumb elaborately around people, sometimes in eccentric fashions. Point at things with your thumb, or insist on picking up pieces of paper with your thumbs only. Repeat the process, but try painting your thumbs up like little people. If you find this successful, try tattoos. I tattooed figurines onto my thumbs years ago, and it has provided untold measures of happiness. My fingers are next. I look forward to when my hands get to dance, tangle and wrestle with one another. Countless stories of their amazing adventures are about to unfold. Happy bank, get ready to expand. I for one plan to make quite the deposit with this little scheme.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Notable Problems in the Metric System

by Matt Bulman

Admittedly, Metric has covered some things well. I’ll give you the metric units for length, mass, time...but what about shoe size? The Metre, Kilogram and Second were innovative, no doubt, however, a consistent unit for shoe measurement we clearly lack.

Might I suggest the “Ped” or the “Pod”, and its definition should render shoe measurements as both precise and accurate. Shoe technicians should be heard to yell, “4 pods high, 6 pods long, 2 pods deep.” Or, perhaps, “2 pods double deep...we’ve got a fatty,” for the obese.

The original base unit for pod is derived from the length of the big toe of Nike Founder Bill Bowerman. This toe, the original pod, will be placed in the Parisian International Museum of Weights and Measures, next to the Kilogram.

Another strength of the Metric system is practicality in the field of science. It kicks the pants off of the Imperial system of weights and measures for precision and accuracy, especially when considering its simplicity to work with quantity using a base of 10. But here is a conundrum: How much better is the Metric system than the Imperial System? 10 Metres? 10 Kilograms? 10 Seconds?

No, the Metric system has once again failed us completely.

Here we must return to a much more primitive system of weights and measures to draw comparison. In fact, we must invoke the work of an American pragmatist, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, in order to find a unit to describe comparative, quantitative “amounts of better” between systems of weights and measures. My extensive research has uncovered the unit,” Ish”, which, when applied to the formula of:

Quantity of betterness = (Number x Ish)x Better/1

will answer any debate stirred up from what Metric lacks.

And, applying Dr. Franklin’s formula of Quantity of Betterness (which, incidentally was originally used during the invention of the bifocal) we can clearly demonstrate that the Metric System is 4ish times better than the Imperial system; Not coincidentally, the International System of weights and measures is only 2ish times better than the Metric System, which is consistent with Newton’s Third Law of diminishing returns in improvements to Future Measures.

The “ish” has applications outside of the realm of comparison (known to scientists as the field of betterness). Though we are lacking a mathematical unification model, it is likely that ish is somehow related to time, as in the oft heard question, “What time will the orgy start?"

Answer, “11ish.”

What about, Magic or how much you hate someone? Could you have 10 metres more magic than your evil wizard nemesis, or have 10 kilograms of hate or love for someone? Unlikely. Clearly, the metric system, if not all of science, has yet again failed us.

In conclusion, the “pod” and the “ish” are two useful units of measure which modern day society can harldly go without. Several areas of magic, hatred,love and betterness lack standardization, as does footwear sizing. While this proposal raises more questions than answers, both the” ish” and the “pod” are put forward as useful solutions. I propose that the next meeting of International Bureau of Weights and Measures consider these matters, and their implications, in the name of science. We will finally answer, in number, how much better we are than our neighbours, and we be able to poke fun at their massive, ugly feet in a much more precise and accurate fashion.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Human Statues

By Matt Bulman

If I created a piece of art, it would be in the post-ordinary school, and it would include several painted “Human Statues”.

Blue Man: The first human statue is a man posing on a crowded street, dressed all in blue, with a blue hat, blue coat, and blue suit, blue briefcase, standing still on a blue box. He looks sad.

Yellow Man: The second human statue is a yellow man, looking somewhat more drug-addled, wild eyed, and shifty. He is dressed in yellow, with a yellow hat, yellow T-shirt, yellow jeans that are torn and yellow boots that look very worn. He also has a yellow squeegee, and stands on a yellow box that he props up two metres in front of the blue man. You do not trust the yellow man, but you give him money just the same.

Yellow man has a second trick. When the car traffic comes to a stop, he hops off of his yellow box and offers to squeegee the cars in front of him, and then returns to his yellow box to perch when traffic begins to flow.
Green man: Here we have a human statue who is asleep in a corner behind the first two. He sleeps there peacefully, with a sign that reads: Real human statue of drug addict.

The actions of yellow man really upset blue man. Blue man changes from sad to angry. The second time yellow man returns to perch blue man jumps off of his blue box. He breaks his character, and assaults yellow man on the head with his blue brief case. Yellow man parries with his squeegee. They fight and crash and smash each other, and fall into traffic, landing on the windshield and hood of a car. Paint comes off of the colour men, all over the windshield, which yellow man tries to squeegee while simultaneously taking a punch. Jimmy, a little boy eating an ice cream cone, starts to cry.

At this point in time, passers-by give green man their loose change out of despair. They choose green man because of his honesty and integrity. They think to themselves, “At least green man doesn’t upset little Jimmy and his ice cream cone.”
But what the crowd does not realise is that it's all an act, and the colour human statue men are in cahoots with one another. They are in a Gang, called the Gang of 3, and later on that afternoon they will split up their takings in a dark alleyway.

But what the Gang of 3 fail to realise is that they have stepped on the turf of another set of street performers, another gang, who also dress in colour: Red man and White man. They are a stoplight gang, who imitate the characters on stop lights, making strange beeps and using body language to tell you when to walk or to stop. And the stoplight gang say things like, “We don’t take kindly to strangers.”

So, while the human statues, a.k.a.Gang of 3, are splitting up their takings in the dark alleyway, we observe the stoplight gang at the end of the alleyway, and they cut off the colour human statue gang at the pass.

“There they are: Get ‘em,” the Red man and White Man shout.
A chase ensues. Red Man and White Man carry paint guns, and they start shooting. The Gang of 3 make a run for it.

And the only reason the human statues colour gang gets away is because at the stop lights, the stoplight gang gets confused and, out of habit, go into character, each imitating the picture of the man at the stop light, emitting little beeps and blurts that sound like the noises that come from traffic lights designed for blind people.
The human statues, or Gang of 3, laugh and high five each other. Later, they go off to try to score some Chrystal Meth, but none of the drug dealers will sell to them because they think it looks too conspicuous to sell drugs to the men dressed like colourful human statues.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

H20, Yo!

Two advertising agents walk into a very dry and boring board room, attempting to sell a bottled water commercial to executives: Real stiff, dry accounting type guys. The product is called “H2O yo” and is targeted at urban youth. The two advertising agents begin to act out the product after setting the scene as such:
“ Imagine a modern day, urban street corner, where crack-rock, crystal meth, heroin are all being slung...that means sold... at a premium. The question I hear you ask yourself is: What are these guys drinking with their drugs? The answer goes something like this...(The advertising agents get into character and begin to act out the commercial).”
1: Hey Dawg, what you drinking? Ice tea, cocacola, gatoraid, purple stuff?
2: Naw, Cuz. It’s a new thing, yo.
1: New thing?
2: Yeah. H2O, yo.
1: For real for real?
2: Yeah. This shorty had some and turned me on to it.
1: Sounds all high and mighty to me.
2: Naw, son. It’s just Two Hydrogen with one Oxygen. A little chemistry for the soul.
1: Awe, look at you dropping science!!
2: That’s right son. It’s responsible for both hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties, and is somewhat charged as a molecule.
1: Oh, no he didn’t.... Oh, snap. My man is a chemistry professa yo.
2: It’s what creates those hydrogen bonds, yo! (HANDS IN THE AIR)
1: DAYEMMMM! (Covering mouth, leaning backward) Say it again.
2: It’s those Hydrogen Bonds, Yo! (Hands Higher in the air, building in excitement.)
1: What do I need H20 for, yo?
2: You kidding me, cuz? Osmosis.
1: Oz, smoke dis?
2: (getting serious) Osmosis. It’s one of the principles for life! Probably the most important one.
1: (happy and playful) My man is totally dropping science like gravity drops titties. Thanks for schooling me yo! Give me some rock and some H20, yo!
2: Naw, son. Ain't no thang. It’s a pleasure doing business with you.
And scene...(turning to face account executives)

One account executive starts to clap slowly and stand, but the other executives don’t join in. “Sit down Smith,” says an old executive.

Another executive says, “It’s good. I’ll have you that. But it lacks...a certain. Will urban youth get it?”

Old executive who told Smith to sit down says, “I don’t like that they use the word titties.”

Another executive says, “My question is this: will the black kids get it?"

Number one advertising agent interrupts, offended, “Black kids? Black kids? Who said ANYTHING about race?”

Number two interrupts, “Wow. Wow. All I have to say is wow.”

Number one adds, “Are you suggesting Black kids don’t know chemistry? What, can’t black kids relate to hydrogen bonds? I’ll have you know many of my friends are black, and they drop hydrogen bonds all the time.”

Number two, still angry, “All the time.”

Number one, beginning to pack up, “Fine. If your company wants to be branded as racist, say no to this commercial. That’s your racist problem. “

The big boss interrupts: “No one will be going anywhere. And no one calls me a racist...not after all the money I paid on our fair-work campaign about equal rights in the work place. You guys just sold some H2O, yo!”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

When I Dance

When I dance, you better watch out. For I am a force of nature, though not a creative one; I am terror on the dance floor. And though you will recognize me, like a star, I am no pop star, I am not Micheal Jackson; but rather I am akin to a celestial star, where if you get too close to me, your face, arms and chest could melt right off of your skeleton, and you would be sucked into the gravity of my star-belly, bursting in flames.
When I dance, you better hope I am caged, like a tiger or a monkey who is really angry because you keep poking him with a long stick. For my dance is one of genuine, monkey-prodded anger. It should remain pent up, and shared only by accident, like an undercover segment on the news.
Sometimes I dance only with a leash around my neck and tied to a pole. God help us if ever I am unleashed in a public space from that pole. God help everyone if this ever happens. For I will dance my dance of monkey rage, and at this point, protective measures should be taken, not just by me, but by participants around me. Helmets are of particular importance. Set up a perimeter. Firearms will be useless. Do not use them on me, for they only feed the fury. Just let me dance it out, and know that it shall pass.
“Dance, monkey! Dance!” I hear them say. At this point, I know I am vicious. I am at the height of my powers. This is the eye of the storm. I will often times just stand there, present but motionless, and absorb the chants.
“Dance, Monkey! Dance!” they say. And some hipster will scream, “Corrupt the speakers that boom,” and then the second half of the storm begins, my arms and legs flail in permutations hitherto captured only by cartoons. But my dance is a raging monkey cartoon brought to life. And set on fire. This mesmerising abhorrence and curiosity is somehow glorious to watch. Although equally disgusted and intrigued, you find that you cannot turn away. And while I encourage you to look, do not stare, and certainly do not make eye contact. You could get sucked in. Before long, you, too, could be dancing.
And your dance is dangerous, but for a different reason. Your dance is dangerous because you are a bad dancer. You will probably salsa, or cabbage patch, or attempt to do the robot. Please do not dance, for the sake of the children. Stick to tennis, or ice skating, or other activities for white people. Leave the dance to those who have already lost their soul to the Devil of the Dance. All I am saying is this: that when I dance, you better watch out.


Friday, June 1, 2012

On Chickens

On Chickens

By Matt Bulman

I overheard a conversation recently in a cafe, where a man said, “I don’t eat chicken in restaurants, because I’m not sure if they serve happy chicken, or sad chicken.”

I comprehend what the man was saying: the foods we eat today are part of moral choice, and he wants to be part of “The Good”.

But what he is also saying is that if there is a caged-chicken out there, suffering, completely miserable and being pecked at by the other chickens in crowded conditions, then let it live. Let it suffer, and let all the sad chickens suffer.

However, if there is a chicken out there on a farm, just flying around free and happy, kill it. Kill it and serve it to me on a plate. Because a happy chicken is a tasty chicken. And good people eat happy chickens. Delicious.

And you see this moral relativism in advertising by the chicken corporations, the big chicken conglomerates, chicken magnates. Those who deal in the trade of chickens and chicken products, which sometimes becomes chicken-like products. They now advertise: Hormone Free, grain fed, cage free chickens.

Or, put another way, “Our company is proud to say, we no longer torture chickens. We learned that lesson the hard way. We’re not feeding chicklets the remains of their dead parents, nor are we experimenting with untested science to see whether we can force chickens to grow faster in a cages that are too small for them. We even had one experiment go horribly wrong where the chickens were grown through razor edged cages that pre-filletted them. HA HA...Not any more. We are taking a stance. Chicken torture is no longer acceptable.”

“And today, we also only support cage making companies that come free from any chickens, or chicken products. Simply put, cages should not come with chickens in them. I for one am happy to pay a little more for a cage that is built with the morally right ideas in mind. So if you’re in need of a cage, the chicken-free cage company is the company of choice.”

Friday, May 18, 2012

Born to Sleep

Born to Sleep
Girl: Hey you, come here...(Girl brings Man to bedroom.  Holds hands and smiles.)
Man: Babe, what’s this?
Girl: (Proud)  It’s a new mattress.  The guy at the store sold it to me.  It’s an air mattress; Like Nike Air.  Softest technology there is...Most advanced materials to date.  Some use springs and coils, others use foam, others use gel.  This one uses air.  (Kicks it.  It moves, obviously flimsy) Light as air.  And the most expensive on the market.  Want to give it a try?
Man: (Repulsed) Oh, dear.  God no.  I’d never sleep in that coffin.
Girl: Coffin?
Man: That’s right, coffin.  I used to be like you and sleep on a mattress.  I’d spend thousands of dollars on mattress after mattress, but I kept injuring myself.
Girl: Injuring?
Man: Yes, injuring.  But then I read Born to Sleep.  Learned about Blanco-Blanco and his sleeping ways.
Girl: Sleep?  Blanco-Blanco?
Man: Yes,  Blanco-Blanco. Born to Sleep. It’s this great sciencey book about a tribe in Mexico, and a great white man who joined them because he loved sleeping.  He sought them out...For they are ultra sleepers.  Perhaps the greatest sleepers there are.  They can sometimes have sleep for 2, 3, 4 days in a row.  And they don’t have any mattresses whatsoever.  Just a thin strip of leather on the ground to prevent rocks from digging into them.   The tribe deemed him capable of great feets of sleep, too, so they adopted him, and bestowed the name Blanco-Blanco upon him.
Girl: No mattresses?  Don’t they get hurt sleeping like that?
Man: No, that’s the most amazing part.  They can sleep days at a time and then awaken refreshed and completely injury-free.
Girl: I don’t believe it.  No mattress whatsoever?  Sounds a little dangerous.
Man: NO!  That’s the whole thing.  It’s actually much safer.   In fact, it turns out we evolved to sleep like that!   Then, in modern times, someone invented the modern mattress and completely changed our sleeping rhythms. 
Girl: Really?

Man: YES!  We were a sleeping pack animal that evolved from monkeys.  Look at a pack of monkeys, look at how they sleep.  Do you see monkey’s sleeping on mattresses?
Girl: Well, no, but...
Man: Blanco-blanco is a great man.
Girl: okay.
Man: Or primitive tribes...  Do they have mattresses?  No.  Of course not.  They just sleep wherever it pleases them.  Most of them are very lazy, too, which is why they sleep all of the time, and why they are still primitive. 

Girl: I don’t think I agree with that.
Man: Well they are.  Science.  Blanco-Blanco.  Born to sleep and all...So now you can now clearly see that a tribe in Mexico sleeps without bedding, and primitive tribes in Africa sleep without bedding, and monkeys sleep without bedding...and so does Blanco-Blanco.  And none of them has cancer, modern disease or injury.
Girl: Okay.  So, what.  Should we just sleep here on the ground? 
Man: No, no, no.  You’re going to need to buy a modern piece of ground to protect yourself from shards of glass or syringes that could be anywhere in here.  A minimalist mattress.  Fibrum Vive Vingers.
Girl: Oh, like those gloves for your feet, but it’s a mattress.
Man: No, completely different concept!
Girl: Oh.  Sounds very similar.
Man: Totally different.
Girl: Okay.  Shrugs shoulders. So, I guess I won’t be needing this expensive injury maker (pulls a knife from under the bed, stabs the air mattress).  Should we try sleeping...naturally?
Man: That’s right babe.  Call me Blanco-Blanco.