Mulholland Drive

Blue Velvet - huffer.jpg
I just watched Mulholland Drive, and David Lynch has once again pleasantly nobbled my brain. Recently re-read David Foster Wallace’s piece on Lynch from his anthology “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”, which got me all het up about Lynch again. Eraserhead and Blue Velvet were big faves of that ol’ gang of mine, back in my university days, but I still haven’t seen Twin Peaks or Lost Highway.

Just wanted to mention that this thread at Metafilter is of great assistance if you’re trying to puzzle out exactly what the hell was going on in the movie…

Real or Parody?

You decide.

The real operating system hiding under the newest version of the Macintosh operating system (MacOS X) is called… Darwin! That’s right, new Macs are based on Darwinism! While they currently don’t advertise this fact to consumers, it is well known among the computer elite, who are mostly Atheists and Pagans. Furthermore, the Darwin OS is released under an “Open Source” license, which is just another name for Communism. They try to hide all of this under a facade of shiny, “lickable” buttons, but the truth has finally come out: Apple Computers promote Godless Darwinism and Communism.

The look on the face of the ‘baby Jesus’ here is truly classic.
Also : ‘Man and dinosaur lived together peacefully around 2000 BC.’
Update : Ah crap. This link is #1 in the Daypoop Top Forty today. I am now officially Not Worth Reading.

Balloon Hats For Joy

“In 1996, Addi Somekh and Charlie Eckert began traveling to different places in the world to make balloon hats for people and take photos of them. The goal was to show people all over the world laughing and having fun, and to emphasize the fact that all human beings are born with the ability to experience joy. In total, they visited 34 countries and have over 10,000 pictures.”
Yes! Dammit, yes! I love these guys.
[via Everlasting Blort]

Those Wacky Kids

Learn something every day : the number 420 is freighted with significance for dope smokers.
I’ve always been aware of pervasive networks of signals and signs, not conspiracies or the illuminati or anything of the kind, mind you, just a background hum of information being passed between people who know how to decode that information, on the streets and in the bars, everywhere. Communication indecipherable, silent, to those who don’t know of its existence. These things have always fascinated me, I think because I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with personas, talking to people from other tribes and taking on protective colouring that exploits those secret signs and passwords. When someone thinks you share at least some elements of the secret language of their tribe, they open up to you in a way they cannot do when you’re the outsider. It’s a way to learn more about people, and something I’ve always instinctively done.
This 420 stuff is an example of that context-hijacking dialogue that goes on constantly under the noses of the uninitiated. Fascinating stuff.

Capitalism Gone Mad!

I’m mercifully free of hangovers lately, as I’m on some Chinese herbal medicine, and I’m not supposed to drink while taking it. This is good, for a change of pace, and I find my brain is ticking over quite nicely.
Spent a couple hours today designing a few logos and putting up a Cafe Press shop. Why the hell not, eh? I noticed Oliver’s recent post about having one, and figured I might as well give it a blast.
The three logos are here, here, and here (large images, popups). The shop is here. I make a buck from each item sold. Support the wonderchicken! Buy neat stuff!
Or not, I don’t really mind too much…

Ad Absurdum

This latest semi-coherent rambling comes in response to the comments at BurningBird’s place here, and some comments made by AKMA here. I apologize if it is facile – I just wanted to get some partly-formed ideas off my chest.
In the comments at ‘Bird’s place, Mike Golby mentions something about Mike Sanders redubbing ‘warbloggers’ ‘lifebloggers’. I couldn’t find any reference to this phrase at Mike Sanders’ blog, so I won’t pursue the dissonance of that equivalence (*ting* the tiny echoes of the phrase ‘moral equivalence’ might now be playing about your mental shell-likes) any further. It may have just been a brainfart on Mike Golby’s part. (But if a warblogger is somehow a ‘lifeblogger’, then mark me down as a deathblogger. Tangentially, does anyone else notice the slow shift of the meaning of the neologism ‘warblogger’ to mean a blogger who supports and cheerleads military killing, by someone or anyone, rather than just someone whose main topic of blogging is things to do with the current American War on Terra? Or maybe that’s just me…)
I don’t say ‘deathblogger’ simply to be contrarian, though such is my tendency. I regard death as less of a Nemesis than many, for reasons stemming from experiences in my young life rather than religious faith, and I do think that some large component of the irrational, deeply-felt response people have to things like the current sh-tstorm over in the eastern mediterranean comes directly from a horror and fear of Death. Isn’t that odd?
Apologies to AKMA may be in order, but : if these people, in the middle east and Ireland and elsewhere, who are killing one another as much because of their religious beliefs as mundane matters of territory and bloody revenge, if they are indeed so devout…well, it strikes me then that their respective religions teach them that their bloodthirsty righteousness will be rewarded in an afterlife of some kind, no?
AKMA says :

..those who adhere to the Way of Jesus have been not just advised, but commanded not to kill–not even to contemplate killing (nor even losing one’s temper at another); those who adhere to the Torah have the prophets’ word that the Eternal summons us to lives of justice and peace, where nation no longer lifts up sword against nation.

This may indeed be the case, but it seems to me in practice that the ‘thou shalt not kill’ edict has often been, and still is relaxed, by the man (and woman) on the street, is it not, when it comes to killing in the name of God? Leaders both religious and secular invoke the name of whichever almighty they imagine to be their benefactor, to strike down the enemy, to lend strength to their killers out on the bloody plain. The people who listen to these leaders take up their guns and cudgels secure in the knowledge that smashing the skulls of their enemies or putting bullets through their hearts are actions mandated and approved by their deity and his representatives on Earth. We’re talking about the reality of belief here, not the ideal. I assume this is somehow mystically reconciled in their minds with the ‘God is Love’ mantra of more peaceful times – call it Tough Love, I guess.
I say this not to ridicule Christian belief. I find the metaphors embedded in the faith, as in others, to be rich and rewarding. Though countless lives have been lost in the name of God and Christ, Mohammed and Allah, countless deeds of mercy and kindness have been performed, as well.
But back to the Fear of Death. I’ve always thought it odd, and it’s always been one of the things that I couldn’t really get my head around, when it came to Christianity : it seems hard for a devout Christian to justify anything other than feelings of joy when a presumably heaven-bound relative makes the Big Swan Dive into the abyss. There’s self-pity, of course, or fear for a more lonely, or poorer, future here amongst the living. These grief-triggers I understand. But I have a little difficulty understanding grief unleavened with what should be happiness for the deceased, for the spirit drawn unto the bosom of the Lord, among the devout.
The ritual wailing and moaning, the tearing out of hair, the sackcloth and ashes that some cultures indulge in as a ritual response to death : these, I understand, too, as catharsis, as closure. Ritual response to events of great magnitude in our lives help us to cope with those events without thinking too much about them, and help to incorporate those events in the fabric of our community.
I catch a scent of the ritual response to death in the response to the killing in the Middle East at the moment.
There is, as always, division into camps amongst the not-very-clever : Side A is right! No, you bastard, Side B is right! Amongst others, there is a weary acceptance that both warring sides are right, and amongst a subgroup of those, an awareness that both sides are also equally wrong. But even within this camp, there are those who call for warfare and those who call for ‘peace’. There are also a large number who, through laziness or bodhisattva-like equanimity, through utter misanthropy or through dirt-stick-stone stupidity, via ‘good’ or ‘evil’ intention, modulate their outrage, or accept what is as inevitable and thus good.
There are some who believe that the raging, naked ape in us will keep the tribes at each other’s throats for a good long time, if not until the last of our species stands over the lifeless body of the unlucky penultimate one, triumphant. There are some who would welcome ‘peace’, who would work for it each day of their lives, who are also certain that it is a chimera.
There are those who see the arguments among the observers as fractal, self-similar meta-examples of the bloodletting amongst the combatants, and grow more pessimistic about there ever being an end to warfare.
The question is this, perhaps : whether a life spent working for this idea of ‘peace’, always aware that such a goal may never be reached, in one’s own lifetime or beyond, is a life well-spent.


I remembered this Emo Phillips joke the other day, which was the only thing that he’s ever done that amused me, and it fit in fairly well with my thoughts today, so I made a little Flash thing here. It sucks a bit, but I hope you find it amusing.

Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!

Some more proof that Korea is changing. This would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Of course, I suspect that I wouldn’t have seen the ad for it on the subway this afternoon if more people actually knew what ‘vagina’ means in english.
I also quite like the fact that the first heading on the site’s top navigation bar is ‘Vagina’, with sub-entries ‘intro’, ‘synopsis’ and ‘original’. Sophomoric, I know, but hey, anything for a giggle.
[It will be amusing in a slightly depressing way to see the Googlehits I get after posting the words ‘vagina’ and ‘Korea’ in such close proximity.]

The New 7 Wonders

For someone who’s inordinately proud of his ‘random footsore dogsh-t wanderings’ around the planet, I find it a little distressing in light of my advancing years and growing domesticity that of the 25 candidates here (almost 6 million people have voted on the choices, apparently) for the new 7 wonders of the world, I’ve only visited 8 so far:

    Perhaps there is time enough yet for the rest before they lay me down. I can hope.

  • Enron explained : Now this, I like.

    Cunningly crafted to appeal to the refined, erudite Wonderchicken sensibilities : monkeys, poop, humping, and random violence, all at the service of sticking it to the corporates. Heavy with goodness.

    …What, in layman’s terms, actually happened at Enron?
    Perhaps the best way to explain to the average reader (one without an economics degree) is to use a metaphor. Say there is a troop of monkeys and their day consists of seeking out bananas. The head monkey orders all the other monkeys to collect their bananas in a pile, which will be eaten at the end of the day and not a moment before.
    Only not many bananas are found.
    One of the monkeys starts screeching, voids his bowels and flings his excrement at another monkey. Soon all the monkeys are flinging monkeysh-t at each other and smearing it all over themselves. This arouses one monkey, who begins masturbating frantically. Other monkeys start mounting each other and a sh-t-stained orgy ensues. Monkeys hump violently, crushing those on the bottom of the pile. The head monkey grabs a stick and flails around at random, whacking his compatriots. He bares his teeth and screams a defiant message.
    While this analogy is perhaps simplistic, it contains the essence of the problem posed by Enron.


    Being John Googlovich

    A huge number of Googly-searches showing up here lately have been for bottle+f–k, which I assume is a niche-porno thang. It’s all good, if nasty and pathetic.
    What amused me when I clicked one of the referrers for the ‘bottle f–k’ search in the recent-referrer gadget over on the right there, was that as of the latest GoogleBot index of the EmptyBottle, not only was I hit #4 for ‘bottle f–k’ but the quoted text was ‘footsore random dogsh-t wandering’ which I don’t even remember writing, but is Pure WonderChicken Poetry in my mind. Sums up the last decade and a half of my life, by criminy-cheesetoast!
    And really, since I (when I’m in my right mind) write most of this sh-t for myself for the most part, the fact that that amuses me a whole bunch is all that counts, ain’t it?

    And I won't grind my teeth or anything?

    Not that this won’t be everywhere soon, or isn’t already for all I f–king know, as I really don’t do terribly well at the mental-smooth-muscle-flexing, but I WANT SOME†.
    † This should not be taken to indicate that I have any tendency or desire to, or history of or plans to, experiment with medications, legal or otherwise. I deny something similar to that, categorically. [Mr. Kissinger? Steve Felton, Sesame Street Gazette. If you could be any animal…] I deny engineering the bombings of small east Asian countries. I deny that, categorically.
    What the hell was I talking about?