...This ties in with my deranged thesis of a couple of days ago - even if a superb sociopolitical system existed, it would be like spinning plates. You can't just set the plates off and expect them to stay aloft; it takes sustained concentration and honed skill from an expert to keep them spinning.

So I suppose your first step in creating a perfect society would be to create plate-spinners. To make everybody a plate-spinner. That's also very hard and also takes skill.

As I see it governments generally attempt three strategies to keep the plates up:
1. Glue them to the poles. They all stay up, but they don't move.
2. Reward somebody for keeping up some of the plates. The ones that fail, they were weak and deserved to die.
3. Stand back and let all the plates fall, and spend time and money convincing people that broken plates are fantastic and that we should get used to them.

Who is to say what is right? My personal perception of a well-adjusted, decent person is that of a bookish, enthusiastic intellectual who is nice to his mum. But what makes this person intrinsically better than a sociopathic thug? Judging by the the CIPU Report and the US State Department Report the people in Mogadishu live terrible lives and are dominated by bastards, but they thrive and reproduce and are extremely trendy. They are more likely than me to receive a government grant. Different strategies of survival.

Are there any good people in the world? Where are they? Why aren't we helping them? We can't tell, or we aren't allowed to say who is good and who is bad, and we're ground down from an early age to a state where we accept that things are bad. And some of the people who think they're doing good are doing nothing worthwhile. I want to live in a hut on a small island in the Arctic sea, ringed by missiles, with a button implanted in one of my molars that, when pressed, would end the world.

Only then would I be happy.

I am finally getting around to cleaning up old, old nodes for the Ten Commandments. Way back when, it seemed like a good idea to node the Commandments individually by number. Years later I discovered it wasn't, because there is no universally agreed-upon method of numbering them. So I'm retitling them and beefing up the content. They're still not going to be terribly lengthy or in-depth because I likes me some brevity, but they're going to be a lot better than they were. Last night I did the First and Second.

Have I mentioned I love Target? I do. I love going there, I love the way they make cool design affordable to shmucks like me, I even love their generic Target brand products. I worked there one summer when I was a teenager and they were good people to work for. I hope for my birthday I'm buried in a pile of Target gift certificates.

With a pair of vintage goggles on top of the pile. 'Cause I'd really dig those. I understand Chiiusta has a pair!

My mom emailed me to let us know that B.D. Wong will be appearing at the Borders in Las Vegas the weekend we're going to be there. I was very excited because for some reason I thought he appeared in Big Trouble In Little China, one of my favorite movies. Tragically I was mistaken. He played Howard Weinstein in Father of the Bride, and Li Shang in Mulan. Anyway, the bachelor party's that night.

What I really want to know is, who was the tough-looking Wing Kong with the high forehead, long hair, and Fu Manchu moustache in Big Trouble? I've seen him in all sorts of movies, always playing Evil Asian Henchman, and am convinced I glimpsed him in a bookstore once. He rocks.

By the way! If yer interested, I've uploaded a bit of Neon Blood to my Web page. You can find it at http://members.surfbest.net/wader@surfbest.net/index.htm

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