I am Jack's Smirking Revenge

little, yappy dogs

Monday, February 20, 2006


No, this isn't dirty.

So, a while back, whilst thinking about all the different religions in the world I realized I didn't like many of them.

It then occured to me that I ought to come up with my own religion.

The problem I had with my current selections was that I had to worship someone else.

I wanted a religion where I worshipped myself.

So I set off trying to think up a reason for this. It was pretty simple.

The god who created our universe, way back with the big bang, broke itself into bits and imbued every particle in existence with its being, so that it did not exist anymore save for the particles in the universe. This god was challenging itself. It was saying "I am so powerful and great, that I will eventually return to being somehow."

And that, simply, is it: every one of us is a little piece of that god, and it is our job on this planet to figure out how to become that original god once again. Whoever does wins, and yaay for them.

The window-dressing you attach to the process by which this happens is up to you. I lean towards, strangely, the ten commandments, with a slight modification- you put the phrase "... or cause others to do so." at the end of each one. Not a bad set of rules to live by.

The Nature of Matter

So, some ideas.

Stephen Hawking has talked about a theory called Quantum Vacuum. This theory says that constantly, in the nothingness between what exists here in our universe, pairs of particles and matching anti-particles poof into and then immediately out of existence. This is of course, only a theory. Hawking suggests that our current concept of "matter is never created or destroyed" could be incorrect- if two particles appeared in just the right position near a black hole, they could be pulled apart before destroying each other, and leave the universe at X+1 particles, X being how many were already here.

The Big Bang, a cosmic event and the suggested beginning of our universe, has yet to be fully explained, and is also only a theory.


There was much to do over knowing whether the universe was expanding or, would eventually contract upon itself. The thinkng here being that the inital force of the Big Bang was not enough to push everything far enough apart to escape the common gravitational force of all the matter, and woe-is-us if it's contracting, as we'll eventually be all smashed to bits when it all comes back together again.

I've learned I'm not the first to think this, but, my thinking is that before the Big Bang that created our universe, there were a fantastic number of others. And as time progressed, with each step the Bangs got larger and larger due to the increased mass from black hole + quantum vacuum.

We know that we have atoms of certain types, that below that we have subatiomic particles such as quarks, bosons, hadrons, etc, and that these particles all behave in an extremely orderly fashion.

What we also know is that given the correct environment, say, cubic light years of space, and the right conditions, say, the cooling off after an explosion, that certain things will occur. That is to say, in the space we all exist in, the particles which make up everything will tend to do certain things. Stars, planets, comets, and many other forms of stellar bodies will form.

It is the nature of these tiny particles to group together in a grand and orderly fashion.

And if we are lucky, some of the planets will have atmosphere, and there may be snow, volcanoes, fantastically complicated weather patterns- all aspects of the interaction of these tiny particles in space, over time, combined with the effects of gravity.

It is the nature of these tiny particles to behave in complex and often unpredictable ways once grouped together in their grand and orderly fashion.

Furthermore, if we believe in the theory of evolution, then these tiny particles, so grouped and so behaving, can possibly become part of what we call life, and it is possible for this life to evolve over time.

We know all of this. SO?

Well, my conclusion, perhaps not so vast and astounding, is that despite the lack of the information being coded within any atom anywhere, it is the nature of this tiny and unthinking speck to become a complex thinking entity, such as ourselves.

Just as there is much matter in the universe, only some of it is a planet or a star.

Just as there are many planets, only some of them can support life.

Just as there is a vast amount of water, only some of it is a unique and beautiful snowflake-

There are uncountable atoms in the universe, and only some of them are us.

We are the pinnacle of existence in the universe.

My question is: if you can handle the idea that god started the whole Big-Bang process off with the intent being for us to eventually figure this out, what were we supposed to do when we figured it out? Is it that we're here to happily exist as little extensions of the nature of atomic matter? The highest capacity of intellectual being in the universe ought to be content with extended hunter-gatherer behavior? Is there yet some higher level to be reached, and if so, are we the ones to get there, or just stepping stones on the way there?

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I was just at the video store.

Since I am not working, lately I have been watching a lot of movies. Last night, for example, I watched 3 movies. I don't often do this, but I was in a funny mood and decided to distract myself.

I've got the all-you-can-rent for $15/month at Hollywood video, all of 1 block away, so I take full advantage of it.

Now, first, I like to think of a movie as a present. Do you want to know what your present is before you open it? No. Sure, it'd be scary to not know anything about a present- like who it was from, or why you were getting it, and of course, I'm fine with knowing who directed, wrote, starred in, etc, a movie I plan to watch. But that's all I want to know- and of course, if someone I trust said I should watch it, well, that's good enough for me.

For historical reference, I saw the previews for both Fight Club and the Matrix, and though I was trying not to watch them, I decided they both looked crappy and promptly forgot about them. Thus, when I finally watched them, I was completely blown away.

This is as it should be.

Now, back to Oldboy.

See, as with my movie-watching philosophy, I cannot tell others about movies, as I cannot understand the idea of ruining a good surprise. For example, "Orwellian future" movie features hints on the box that the future is actually a lie, and the people in the movie find out. Well, viola, major pivotal point of the movie, right there on the box, betrayed perhaps only by a photo of someone on a beach, or a particular character holding a gun.


So I avoid. Anyway. This is all a long way to say I recommend the Korean movie Oldboy. It is quite graphically violent, which is just a warning, but it is really well done and perplexing.

Another movie I can recommend highly is the original Japanese version of "The Grudge", which is entitled "Ju-On". Some major changes were made to the story for the dumber USA audience- likely to make sure that highschool kids would like it too.

I do have one case where I am allowed to tell people about a movie: if they will certainly never see it. So, if you hate horror movies, then I can tell you this thing about one I saw, etc.

I am rambling.

Yes, so I was in the video store, and I saw Oldboy on the shelf, and I remembered how much I liked it. That doesn't happen a lot. Watch it. It's good.

Friday, February 10, 2006


So, while I like to keep the content here within the realm of things I thought up on my own- that is to say, not necessarily revolutionary, but at least fascinating to or made by me- some things really need to be shared.

The following, compiled by a Dr. Lawrence Britt and posted widely across the internet, are 14 defining characteristics of fascism. I won't say anything more about these points, it's just funny that information compiled while referencing leaders such as Mussolini, Franco, Suharto, and Hitler can sound so eerily familiar.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Pride in America

I was driving along yesterday, and in front of me was a big pickup truck full of construction equipment. The second detail I noticed about this pickup truck was a cigarette butt being flung out the window into the street.

And the third detail was an 11" x 3" sticker, affixed to the bumper, with a flowing United States flag and the words "Pride in America".

Well yee-ha.

That made me so mad I nearly got out of my car at the next traffic light to check and see if the guy was driving a borrowed car, or if, perhaps, he had been the victim of a prank and he was unaware the sticker was there.

Even a child can tell you that you're not supposed to litter, yet I watch fully grown humans chuck their cigarette butts everywhere on a regular basis, and do you know the rationale behind this behavior?

"There was nowhere to put it." - often with the strong implication that society is doing them wrong by not having ashtrays installed every fifteen feet.

If you ate at Burger King, and then had a big bag of trash to get rid of, would that same argument hold true? Couldn't find a damn garbage can, so the world owes it to me to let me chuck this wherever?

The reasoning is flimsy to begin with, and seems tied the ridiculous concept of "smoker's rights". Smokers feel they have a right to smoke in public, which is essentially pollution. I guess it follows that if I can pollute, then I can litter.

Imagine a pristine city street. Beautifully manicured hedges, immaculate sidewalks with ornate lampposts, shopkeeps who take pride in sweeping the sidewalk in front of their shops each morning, citizens who enjoy this cleanliness and try to maintain it.

What kind of dirtbag would chuck a cigarette butt on the sidewalk here? Well, I promise, someone would.

But initially there is a tension there- wow, it's sure nice and clean here, I feel pressure not to litter.

And now, the broken window theory. This says that where people see a broken window, they are mor likely to follow suit, that is, decay and degredation are self-escalating. The more beat up and dirty somewhere is, the more likely a person is to contribute to it, given the need/inclination to do so.

And now back to my pristine sidewalk. Our perfect jerk has broken the 'clean' barrier, and now a cigarette butt lies there, inviting company. Soon another lout happens along, and from there it escalates until one of our heroic shopkeeps comes out and sweeps the mess all up.

But after the first few butts, the people who followed along were not of the same inclination to litter as our first quality specimen.

If that was you on the sidewalk, would you want to follow in the footsteps of the asshole who littered on the immaculate sidewalk because mommy didn't put an ashtray there for him?