Friday, October 23, 2020

Fourth Annual Halloween Dance Party


Okay, I know I haven't been around much lately, but dammit, I am at least going to keep up this one tradition. Welcome to Professor Chaos's 4th annual Halloween Dance Party!
Ready? Let's dance!

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/48/9c/e2/489ce2cf25ea80bf454fe0b589a2b67e.gif


















The Addams Family Dancing GIF















The Addams Family Television GIF


(cw foor this next one: mention of attempted rape)














https://imnotatoy.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/new-orleans-bounce.gif?w=500
















Addams Family Dance GIF















http://mrwgifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Morticia-and-Gomez-Dancing-On-The-Haunting-House-On-Addams-Family.gif











http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/39700000/Lurch-dancing-animated-gif-the-addams-family-1964-39772239-300-200.gif















Related image























Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Can't we have one nice thing?

 

God Is Dead. So Is the Office. These People Want to Save Both



Oaky. . . . first of all, how are you gonna save something that is already dead? 

Also, you say God is dead, but irrespective of whether a god exists or not, do you have any idea how many people pack the churches on Sunday mornings? Not to mention the mosques, synagogues, temples etc. on the various days they hold services. It's been the conventional wisdom for the last few decades to say that religion is didappearing because all the major denominations are hemorrhaging members, but what no one ever seemed to take into account was the rise of the non-denominational mega-churches whose memberships tend to be in the thousands. And it's not just the Creflo Dollars and Kenneth Copelands of the world, just try to drive down Peachtree Street in Atlanta on a Sunday morning. You'll see why the intersection of Peachtree and West Wesley is referred to as "Jesus Junction."


The Cathedral of Christ the King, Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church and the Cathedral of St. Philip have Peachtree Road addresses and are all within a block of each other. Sunday usually draws about 20,000 people to the intersection of Peachtree and East Wesley roads and Andrews Drive.

This is just one block of one city, a city that also contains the 13,000 member Mount Paran Church, the Northpoint Community Church who see an average of 30,000 people attend services each week at its seven different metro Atlanta locations, the Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral, which meets in a former Sam's Club building, etc etc etc.
 
So, I'm not really sure that "God" needs saving. Seems like he's doing just fine. He has what, like three different cable channels devoted soleley to seperating the faithful from their money? He's fine.


Aaaaaanyway. . . .

Let's see what this article is all about, shall we?

God Is Dead. So Is the Office. These People Want to Save Both

Divinity consultants are designing sacred rituals for corporations








"Divinity Consultants."
That can not possibly be a thing.
Can it?
Please tell me that's not a real thing. 


Also, who the Hell wants "sacred rituals" in their corporations?


In the beginning there was Covid-19, and the tribe of the white collars rent their garments, for their workdays were a formless void, and all their rituals were gone.


Okay, you're already veering off into fantasyland. You really think people miss going in to the office? You think people are working on their laptops in their homes thinking "I wish I had to put pants on and endure the asinine small-talk of my dull-witted co-workers?"


The adrift may yet find purpose, for a new corporate clergy has arisen to formalize the remote work life. 


Yeah, that's what people want. They want their work-from-home experience to be more "formalized." 


They go by different names: ritual consultants, sacred designers, soul-centered advertisers. They have degrees from divinity schools. 



Any Divinity School graduate who enters into the fieled of  "ritual consulting" or "soul-centered advertising" should immediately have their degree revoked.


Imagine you were a professor of theology and you look up some of your former students on Facebook and you see oh, Bill Smith is preaching at First Baptist, good for him. And Mary Jones is teaching at St. Andrews. That's nice, she always did like kids. And John Weaselman is. . . bringing sacred ritual to the corporate boardroom? What the FU---






In simpler times, divinity schools sent their graduates out to lead congregations or conduct academic research. Now there is a more office-bound calling: the spiritual consultant. Those who have chosen this path have founded agencies — some for-profit, some not — with similar-sounding names: Sacred Design LabRitual Design LabRitualist. They blend the obscure language of the sacred with the also obscure language of management consulting to provide clients with a range of spiritually inflected services, from architecture to employee training to ritual design.





Their larger goal is to soften cruel capitalism, making space for the soul, and to encourage employees to ask if what they are doing is good in a higher sense.


Do you really waant your employees asking that? Because there is almost no one who could honestly answer "yes" to the question "is what you do in your non-to-five job 'good' in a higher sense?" Do you want half your staff to realize how meaningless their work really is and quit to go backpacking through Tibet or join the Peace Corps or something?


Having watched social justice get readily absorbed into corporate culture, they want to see if more American businesses are ready for faith.


Where on Earth do you get the idea that "social justice" has been "reradily absorbed" into corporate culture? Just because sensitivity training exists? Because companies a re worried about lawsuits so they have to teach their male employees not to comment on their female co-workers' bustlines or their white employees not to assume that new hire Jamal is the new janitor when he's the new regional vice president of sales? I'm sure some of the language of "social justice" has been co-opted by corporate America, so sure, there might be money to be made by helping companies co-opt spiritualism or rewligion or whatever.


“We’ve seen brands enter the political space,” said Casper ter Kuile, a co-founder of Sacred Design Lab. Citing a Vice report, he added: “The next white space in advertising and brands is spirituality.”






Spirituality is the next "white space" for "advertising and brands." Can't we have anything nice? Can't we have one single solitary aspect of our lives that isn't turned into a revenue stream by some rapacious ghouls?


Ezra Bookman founded Ritualist, which describes itself as “a boutique consultancy transforming companies and communities through the art of ritual,” last year in Brooklyn. He has come up with rituals for small firms for events like the successful completion of a project — or, if one fails, a funeral.



NO!
No, you do not have a fucking funeral for a business project. Funerals are for people. And sometimes for beloved pets. But fuck you, they are not for having lost the Schmenckman account.

And you sure as fuck don't need a ritual for the successful completion of a project either. You order pizza. You maybe hand out bonuses if you're that kind of company. You give everyone a pat on the back a hearty "well done" and a celebratory thumbs up.


Companies have been doing this shit for years, no need to re-invent the wheel. Especially not by cheapening religious rituals.


“How do we help people process the grief when a project fails and help them to move on from it?” Mr. Bookman said.

Employees really should not be so personally invested in the company's projects. Most of us get paid the same whether the company meets its arbitrary goals or not. It's only natural to feel a bit disappointed if something you worked hard on fails, but if you need help processing grief and moving on from a failed sales pitch, you should seek professional help, not a creepy charlatan with a made-up ritual.

Messages on the start-up’s Instagram feed read like a kind of menu for companies who want to buy operational rites a la carte: “A ritual for purchasing your domain name (aka your little plot of virtual land up in the clouds).”





Why would you think you need a ritual to purchase a domain name? Don't you just . . . purchase one? I had a website briefly and I purchased a domain name and I did it without calling in a priest or rabbi or shaman. I just typed in the name I wanted and when it said it was taken, I typed in something else. It's not hard. Is rthere some kind of voodoo that this company can do to ensure you get your first choice? Because otherwise this seems like a pointless waste of everyone's time.


The sacred consultant trend might be led by the co-founders of Sacred Design Lab — Mr. ter Kuile [sic], Angie Thurston and Sue Phillips. They met at Harvard Divinity School, where they remain affiliated as inaugural Ministry Innovation Fellows, and founded their organization as a nonprofit in 2019.

Their backgrounds vary. Mr. ter Kuile [sic], who lives in Brooklyn and co-hosts a popular Harry Potter podcast,


 

Oh, a Harry Potter podcast! Oh well then you know he's a very serious person.
A guy who has that much time to dedicate to the discussion of a series of children's books is obviously someone whom you'd want to consult about important things like your spritual development!


Mr. ter Kuile [sic], who lives in Brooklyn and co-hosts a popular Harry Potter podcast, wrote a book on how to “transform common, everyday practices — yoga, reading, walking the dog — into sacred rituals.”
 


Yoga. Transforming yoga into a "sacred ritual." Didn't yoga begin as a sacred Hindu ritual?  Isn't that why fundamentalist Christians are so afraid of it? This is the worst kind of whitesplaining colonizer mentality I think I've seen since an Englishman said to my wife that yes, they had tea in India before the British arrived, but they didn't know how to drink it properly.


“The question we ask is: ‘How do you translate the ancient traditions that have given people access to meaning-making practices, but in a context that is not centered around the congregation?’” Mr. ter Kuile said.

The nonprofit says it has been thinking of sacred designs for companies like Pinterest, IDEO and the Obama Foundation.


You know, it's bad enough that they want us to think of the company as a "team." It's worse that they want us to think of our co-workers and bosses as a "family." Now they want us to derive religious meaning from the soulless corporations that siphon our life-force into their profit-making machinery? Can't we have anything to ourselves?

Ms. Phillips doesn’t see corporations replacing organized religion — but, she said, she does see an opportunity for companies to bring people some of the meaning that they used to derive from churches, temples, mosques and the like.

She talks about her work like a pastor would. “We spend a lot of time doing witness and accompaniment of our clients,” she said. “We listen to their stories. We want to understand their lives. We want to understand their passion and their longing.”




You want to understand their passion and their longing? They passionately long not to be there. They long passionately to be home with their families, out with their friends
 anywhere but in a god damn office.. And if they want a spiritual experience, they will go to church. Or they'll take up meditation or qi gong or study theology or philosophyor do anything other than participate in some sort of soul-crushing corporate ritual.


Evan Sharp, the co-founder of Pinterest, hired Sacred Design Lab to categorize all major religious practices and think of ways to apply them to the office. They made him a spreadsheet.


A spreadsheet.
They reduced all the religious traditions of the world into a spreadsheet. 
Wow. Now that's a metaphor!


Workers have achieved measured success recently in pressuring employers to address systemic racism — some companies are making Juneteenth a paid holiday, for example, and investing in Black- and minority-owned ventures — and the sacred design consultants are wondering if employees might also begin to demand spiritual goodness.






No no no, look. There are things that people want from life. That doesn't mean they want to get them from their employer. Sure, some things like hey could you maybe be less racist? you might ask your employer for, but others. . . like, for instance, people want love and romance in their lives, right? But they sure as hell don't want to come into work and see candlelight and hear soft music and have their creepy lecherous boss present them with a single red rose. 
Likwise for "spiritual goodness." If people want that they'll go to church. Or read sacred texts. Or do peyote or I don't know, anything but demand it from their bosses. Work is work. There is nothing you can do to make it spiritually fulfilling or psychologically uplifting or not soul-crushing. It's what we do to finance the good parts of our lives. And we don't want our employers trying to co-opt those good parts. Can't we just have one nice thing?









Friday, September 4, 2020

Freakwater



I just recently stumbled on to Louisville, KY's Freakwater on Spotify. I would very much reccomend finding them there, as most of the viseos I have been able to find are live recordings and the sound quality isn't so great on a=most of them. But here are the best samples I could find. Check 'em out!



















Sunday, August 30, 2020

Pickers


So posting is going to be even more infrequent than it has been. Not only does it seem like I will continue to be working a lot of overtime for the foreseeable future, I have started taking guitar lessons, something I have been promising myself I would do for years now, but my anti-depressants were never working well enough for me to actually follow through. Until now. (thank you, Abilify!) Anyway, I took guitar lessons briefly when I was around 12 years old but I never krpt up with them, and I'm trying to re-start from scratch (the Carter Scratch that is. Ha! See what I did there?)Anyway, I signed up with the Frank Hamilton School of Folk Music right here in Decatur, GA. (If you're not familiar with Frank Hamilton - and I wasn't until recently - He is a guy who has lived a pretty interesting life. He traveled the country with Pete Seeger, taught Roger McGuinn how to play guitar and toured with Rambli' Jack Elliot among other notable acheivements. You can check out his bio here: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/frank-hamilton-mn0000794028/biography
Anyway, on that note, I thought I would present a brief collection of some of my favorite guitar pickers and folks I would like to emulate. Here in no particular order.




































Wednesday, August 12, 2020

How the Republican Party Became the Party of Trump

 






By 

Opinion Columnist

The Revolt of the Republican Strategists

What the Trump era has revealed about the people who used to run Republican campaigns.


Best Horshack GIFs | Gfycat

Ooh, Ooh, I know! Is it "that they have no morals, principles or human decency?"


Last week I found myself reading “It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump,” the new book by Stuart Stevens, the longtime Republican operative



Oh, man I could've saved you some time there. The Republican Party has always been Trump. It was just waiting for him to ascend the throne. If you need a book to show you the through-line from


Liberals now love Barry Goldwater, but his 1964 loss won the GOP's ...  to

 Christian Nightmares a Twitter: "Video: Never forget what assholes ...  to


Ronald Reagan - Quotes, Death & Movies - Biography



to  The man behind the golden EIB microphone - YouTube

 to Fox & Friends' Makes New Bid for TV's Morning-Show Ad Dollars ... 


to  Business Insider


to  President Trump bear hugs Old Glory - CNN Video


then I don't think any book is going to really give you a lot of insight.


Stevens belongs to one of the notable sects in the church of NeverTrump, consisting of figures who once held prominent posts in Republican campaigns — Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson, most notably — and now have reinvented themselves as the Trump-era party’s would-be scourges. 


Yeah , that's the only "sect" of "Never-Trumpers."  The people known as "never-Trumpers" are Republican operatives and pundits who mis-read the room. They assumed, as did most of us, that if Trump were the nominee, he would go down in flames and take the party with him. Then he won the nomination. Once that happened, they had two choices, either grovel back to Trump on their hands and knees and try to attach themselves to him like a Remora (also known as "going full Lindsey) and hope he won't be too petty and spiteful (ha!) or stay the course hoping to be proven right in the general election. Once Trump won the general, they were pretty much in permanent exile from the party (or at least until 2024) so their next move was to wave the "never-Trump banner and try to sucker centrist Democrats into welcoming them into the Dem's oversized tent. Hence the Lincoln Project.


I turned to Stevens’s book because I thought it might supply an answer, since it’s billed as an examination of conscience, in which the author takes responsibility for various moral compromises that led to Trump’s rise. But the book only deepens the mystery, because “It Was All a Lie” doesn’t give you any sense of why its author spent his entire adult life (Stevens is in his 60s) in the service of a party whose supporters he mostly depicts as rotten frauds and hypocrites and racists, just as bad as liberals always suspected, if not worse.



You Know Why GIFs | Tenor

Why indeed? I mean, it's almost as if money, power and prestige were more important to Stevens than any moral or ethical consideration. Quell surprise! He's a political operative, he has no conscience!



Stevens would probably reply that he was led astray by the fact that the Republicans he tried to get elected, from Tom Ridge to George W. Bush to Mitt Romney, were good and decent public servants who tried to rescue conservatism from its own worst impulses. 



Did The Danny Thomas Show really invent the spit take?

Whaaaaat?!?!?

George W. Bush a "good and decent public servant?" 


Are You Kidding Me Another Period GIF by Comedy Central - Find ...

George W. Bush, the man who illegally bombed invaded and occupied a country that had never done anything to us, a good and decent yada yada something. . .? 
The man who authorized the use of torture and indefinite detention? The man who along with Tom Ridge (another good and decent blah blah blah) ushered in the surveilance state with the Department of Homeland Security? The man who let the city of New Orleans drown? That's thew man you think "tried to rescue conservatism from its own worst impulses?"The man who created ICE? That's what you consider "good and decent?" 



And one could imagine a more interesting version of this book that leaned into this narrative, portraying an American right torn between its better angels and its devils, and Trump’s rise as a defeat in a battle that could have easily gone another away.
Are You Kidding Me GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY


There are no better angels in the American right! It's a battle between evil devils and more evil devils.

What if Trump had been defeated? Do you think the GOP was going to nominate a Teddy Roosevelt? Or even a Bob Dole or Gerald Ford? It would have been a sociopathic  right-wing nutjob like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or even Ben Carson. This is what the Republican Party is. They have purged every halfway-decent human being from their ranks. The entire party is dedicated to using the power of government to further enrich the already wealthy and to make people they don't like suffer. 


But Stevens is so determined to emphasize his party’s total depravity that his only answer to the hard question of why Republicans swung from Romney’s technocratic decency to Trump’s know-nothing flamboyance is that Trumpism was the beating heart of conservatism all along



Do you think he's wrong? Look at the three previous Republican presidents.


Ronald Reagan - WikipediaGeorge H. W. Bush - WikipediaConfused Bush by William-Black on DeviantArt



See any intellectuals in there?

This is the party that has embraced Louie Gohmert, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, and Rand Paul. Anti-intellectualism has been one of the major tent-poles of the Republican Party since they invited the evangelicals into their ranks.


“What does a center-right party in America stand for?” Stevens asks, in the closest thing to an ideological statement his book contains. “Once this was easy to answer: fiscal sanity, free trade, being strong on Russia, personal responsibility, the Constitution.”




Well, since the closest thing to a center-right party this country has would be the Democrats, I'm not sure why this question is germane to the subject at hand. But okay, let's look at this. "Fiscal sanity?" In my lifetime, the REpublican Party has presided over nothing but outlandish defecits which they keep claiming can be cured by having the government collect LESS revenue while shoveling unimaginable amounts of our money into the Pentagon sinkhole. What about that would be considered "fiscal sanity?"

Most Debt Growth Came Under Republican Presidents, But ...



Free trade? Well, other than free trade deals being the legacy of the Clinton Administration, I guess I won't argue that Republicans also favor so-called "free trade."

Being "strong on Russia?" I mean, that's just stupid. Who gives a shit about Russia anymore? The Cold War has been over for 30 years.

"Personal responsibility?" Only for the little people. Certainly not for the crooks at Enron or Arthur Anderson or Tyco or AIG or any of the banks, savings & loans, mutual funds and anyone else who helped crash the world's economy.

And "the Constitution?"
Do you not remember George W. Bush? Warrantless wiretapping? Scrapping habeus corpus? Torture?

Republicans/conservatives never believed in any of those things. That's why they can spend 8 years of a Democratic administration howling about the imminent doom being brought down on us by the National Debt, then switch directions on a dime once a Republican is in the Oval Office. That's why they can spend 8 years accusing Bill Clinton of every crime under the sun from drug trafficking to murder, insult him, insult his wife, even insult hos daughter, then the moment W is inaugurated start insisting that the President is owed respect and loyalty eben if you don't like the man, you have to respect the office. Then turn right around and spend 8 years calling Barack Obama a secret Muslim who pals around with terrorists who is weak and ineffectual but also an iron-fisted fascist whose wife is really a man and whose children were not fathered by him.

That's really all you need to know about how the Republican party "became" the party of Trump. They have always been this party. Much as Jack Torrance has always been the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Donald Trump has always been the leader of the Republican Party. A party of nihilists run by a sociopath for the benefit of oligarchs. Trump just took the mask off.