Thursday, December 27, 2007

I'm not dead (yet)

Ack, sorry about that. Between Christmas preparations, my siblings coming to visit, and generally trying to enjoy the holiday instead of simply survive it, I had to let a few things drop by the wayside. This blog was one of them.

Not that I'm apologizing for taking the time off; no, that was a good and necessary thing. But I really should have said something about before a week went past.

So, to that end: I hope everyone had /is having /will have a happy seasonal festivity of their choice. Mine was good, and Lurking Rhythmically will return in January (hopefully with new content).

Have a wonderfully Khaotic New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WNW: Submitted Without Comment, Part 2

I apologize for missing the last few days... things have been so hectic and tense for me (despite my best Khaotica efforts) that a chipped nail will result in a killing spree.

And on that note, I give you this movie.

I know I have a few Finnish readers... can anyone tell me what the hunters are saying?

Expect a new Khaotica post either tonight or tomorrow.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Executive Summary Movie Reviews


I've been meaning to do these reviews since last weekend, but... well, middles of the month are hard for me. I'm tired all the time, cranky, frequently depressed... sucks all around.

But I owe you guys a blog entry. Therefore, you get my patented Executive Summaries for two movies. Yarr, here there be spoilers and suchlike.

The Mist: A tersely-plotted story of survival horror which ends with a gigantic "Fuck you!" to both the main character and the entire audience. If you are depressive, do not see this movie. The ending acted as a trigger for me. I didn't want to drive home feeling like shit, so I went into another theater and saw...

The Golden Compass: I wanted to like this movie, but it is pure marzipan: all surface and no substance. It's exceptionally pretty, and the fight scenes are excellent, but not even the presence of Sam Elliott as a balloonist cowboy and Sir Ian McKellen as a talking, armor-clad polar bear can save this movie. It's not bad; it's just "meh". It's also obvious that the book it was based upon was gutted by Hollywood to make it more accessible to the general public.

Executive Summary: Don't bother seeing either of these.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Second Monday of Khaotica: Khaotica Presence

Having done the decorations, you should now be sufficiently warmed up for performing greater acts of Khaotic giddyness. The first step was your house... your friends are next!

Khaotica Presence

Rush, rush, rush. All around you, people are rushing about, making themselves crazy, or sick, or crazy sick trying to find the perfect gifts AND get all the cooking done AND make time for family AND AND AND!!! This is when the groundwork is laid for those really nasty Christmas Eve/Day fights that make land wars in Asia look like an ice cream social.

What people need most during this time of year is a good strong dose of Chill The Fuck Out. Unfortunately, they're so wrapped up in their agendas that they've lost all perspective on their mental health. That's where we come in, by giving Khaotica Presence.

No, that's not a misspelling: this isn't a tangible gift, but rather, a gift of "face time", a time-out, a moment of respite that returns a modicum of presence of mind to the recipient. Your assignment is to find a friend, family member or co-worker that is stressing out over the holiday season and give them a much-needed moment of clarity. Some suggestions:
  • "Kidnap" a friend on your lunch hour, preferably if said friend intends to spend that time shopping. Whisk them away to someplace peaceful -- a hole-in-the-wall bistro; a tranquil park with soothing white noise; perhaps even go on a picnic, weather permitting -- and simply be there for them. Let them vent, scream, quietly fall to pieces, whatever they need. Allow them to be "off" for a while, if that's what they need. Give them your undivided attention and really listen to what they need to say.
  • If you're very brave, offer to babysit.
  • If you can't give a gift of your time, gift a gift of "me time". For a woman, schedule some pampering: a manicure, a facial, a soothing hot bath with scented oils. For a man -- assuming it wouldn't be taken out of context (or make things far too weird), pornography is always good: a dirty video or magazine, or a trip to a strip club, will probably raise his spirits (among other things!)

Got it? Good! Now go give away some Khaotica Presence!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Behold, the Yule-Jim!

Over at his blog, Salem gets into the spirit of Khaotica and completely sticks the landing.

This is exactly what I was looking for. It's simple, it's beautiful, it's surprisingly heartwarming.

Now go snap into a Slim-Jim, which I declare to be the official processed meat snack of Khaotica.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Kwestions about Khaotica

Why is it spelled "Khaotica"?

Because spelling it "Roderick Buttocktrundle" would be problematic.

All right, there are a few reasons why.
  • This time of year is chock full of K's: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Kris Kringle, Julebukking.
  • Eris has a longstanding association with the letter K, specifically Kallisti and Kopyleft (K).
  • It looks better than "Chaotica" and calling it "Khaotika" would be pretentious.

Doesn't the name suggest vandalism and/or anarchy from the participants?

I dunno. Do games like Grand Theft Auto suggest that the players should steal cars and kill people? Seriously, if people are inclined to do that kind of thing, they'll do it regardless of what I say or do. I am not a role model, and I am not your conscience.

However, if you vandalize Christmas decorations or churches, or otherwise act like an asshole, you deserve everything you get when people flip out and beat the fa-la-la out of you.

I'm just saying.

What are YOU going to do for Khaotica's Firstweek Festivities?

I'm not sure just yet.

What I had originally planned was to buy a manger, put it in my front yard, and decorate it with lights and outdoor ornaments and maybe some fake boxy presents around it. While I don't expect people to grasp the scathing commentary on the commercialization of the season and the lost intent behind the original exchanging of gifts, I figured I could get at least a few people to go, "A manger with lights on it? WTF?"

But according to Grem, who lives in Louisiana, he sees these kind of things all the time. So either Louisiana is far more Discordian than I expected, or this idea has been thought of before and is, therefore, lame.

So now I don't know what I'll do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

WNW: Silver lamé bodysuits for everyone!

Sayeth Eddie Izzard:
"It's a big circle. There are a lot of circles in the world. Things join up in the back in a bizarre way. Madness and genius, extreme right wing and extreme left wing politics, and fashion. [makes a circle with his hand] Over here on this side of the circle you've got looking like a dickhead. On the other part [going around the circle] you've got kind of average looking, and then cool... Cool, hip and groovy... Looking like a dickhead. The cutting edge of cool, hip and groovy is right at looking like a dickhead. But the looking like a dickhead people don't realize they're right next to cool, hip and groovy. It's very hard to back into cool, hip and groovy. I personally cruise that back corner..."
(From his Definite Article album)

With that in mind, I give you Sarah Brightman & Hot Gossip singing
I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper.

Make no mistake about it: this is awful. So awful, in fact, that it somehow manages the impossible and backs into being cool, hip, and groovy again. It's still awful, of course, but at the same time it manages to be hilarious and awesome. I believe the proper term for this is "campy".

I refuse to apologize for my love of this video, because it has:
  1. Bare-chested men tossing glitter;
  2. Women doing the "Egyptian";
  3. Both genders doing the "Robot" (badly);
  4. A fully-clothed woman doing the shimmy on a half-naked man with no reaction from him whatsoever;
  5. Clumsy attempts at suggested lesbianism;
  6. Spastic dancing which isn't quite disco and isn't quite tap, and for all the world looks like an epileptic seizure;
  7. A cast full of bored-looking people when the song is about sex in space;
  8. Reasonably realistic pilot chatter when the rest of the lyrics are utter twaddle;
  9. Sarah Brightman in perhaps her worst role ever, complete with "sexy" hair pulling, extreme close-ups, and bendy-ness;
  10. Those things they carry during their robotic parade. Are they small barbells? Are they maracas? Are they microphones? Or are they in fact space-age dildoes?
And Sweet Buttery Eris, they're being completely serious the whole time.

This video is everything that was great about 1978, in 4 minutes 17 seconds.

Now I have a hankering to run a science fiction RPG (like Traveller) using all this wonderfully crazy stuff. Silver lamé bodysuits for everyone!

Monday, December 3, 2007

First Monday of Khaotica

The First Monday of Khaotica: Dock the Hills with Trouts of Folly
On the first Monday after the first Sunday in December of 2007, Palette announced: "Today marketh the advent of Khaotica! Go thou, and giveth a trout to thine neighbor, that he/she/it/they/them may become enlightened to the true meaning of the season."

And the people did groan, and ask, "What the fuck are you on about, Palette?" And Palette did grin, and smirk, and jape, and generally make an ass of herself, until the people got fed up and pelted her with rancid vegetables until she relented and explained.
Khaotica is an ancient Discordian holiday that I just invented. It begins on the first Monday after Advent, and continues for the next four Mondays after that. The purpose of this holiday is to spread the joy of chaos by ensuring that things are wacky and surreal.

Now I'm sure that some of you are saying, "But Palette, surely this is a mockery of Christmas and, by extension, all of Christianity?" And I reply, Where did I say we were mocking anything? There is no meanness of spirit in Khaotica. In fact, I shall make it expressly clear:
Thou shalt Not harsh anyone's good vibe during Khaotica.
Bad vibes, however, are fair game.
You see, it goes something like this: during the month-long buildup to Christmas, people tend to forget the real reasons for the season -- goodwill, charity, love for all -- and instead focus on the purely mundane: shopping, cooking, decorations, and enforced familial "fun times" that must be perfect or else it's all ruined. RUINED!

Christmas should be fun. But regimented planning != fun, unless you're a soulless bureaucrat. What is supposed to be a glorious season of giving and sharing turns into a rigid, mirthless endeavor that has all the spiritual meaning of a forced march.

Now think of all the wonderful memories you have of Christmases past. Do any of them even remotely resemble an event of clockwork precision? No, Christmas is a loud, messy, and gloriously chaotic affair, filled with children shrieking gleefully as they rip into their presents. It's your living room awash in torn wrapping paper. It's carols sung at full volume, and off-key. It's nativity plays full of flubbed lines and bad acting that nonetheless pulls at the heartstrings. It's the dog taking a whiz on the tree.

So every Monday, I'm going to give you a Khaotica assignment for the week. The point of these exercises is to get people to lighten up and enjoy the holiday for what it was meant to be, not what modern materialist society has turned it into. After you perform your homework, I want you to report back and tell me the following:
  1. What you did.
  2. How people reacted.
  3. How that made you feel.
Simple, no? Now here's what you DON'T DO:
  1. DON'T do anything illegal, or encourage anyone to do so.
  2. DON'T mock people's beliefs.
  3. DON'T be a jackass. Making a fool of yourself is fine; making fools of other people is not.
Are we clear? Fabulous.

Okay, here is your first assignment:

Dock the Hills with Trouts of Folly

The first week of Khaotica is usually when people start putting up their Christmas decorations. Usually this is all good and fine, but often people go too far: they cover every inch of their houses, or have a rivalry with their neighbors that borders on the obsessive and sometimes turns ugly. Your assignment is to inject a little positive chaos into this order. Some suggestions:
  1. Invite the neighborhood kids over to help you string your lights/put up decorations/etc... but don't tell them where to put things. Instead, have them tell you where stuff should go. (Naturally, don't let them go up on the roof.) In all likelihood, you will have a gloriously jumbled mass of lights/tinsel/etc that boggles the mind. If it bothers you, remember the joy that the children had in letting their imaginations run wild as they set it up.
  2. Instead of fruitcake, go to the market and buy a nice fish. Wrap it in a bow and give it to your neighbors. Enjoy their baffled expressions. If they ask why, tell them that this year you're docking the hills with trouts of folly, and you'd like them to have one so they can dock their own hill if they desire. If they ask why they would want to do that, tell them "Just for the halibut."
  3. Recycle your old Valentines as Christmas cards. Explain that the holiday season is about love, and you love your friends very much. Jesus came to Earth to be humanity's Valentine, after all.
Got it? Okay! Go out there and celebrate Khaotica!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Why Palette Didn't Post Yesterday


Because Morgan Freeman, THAT'S why!

Like a velvet glove...

... cast in iron.

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