IPA My Ass

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Pretty cool, two April Fool’s jokes on the same blog?  Woot helped me out, but I did most of the heavy lifting.  You saps went for it hook, line, and, sinker!  All around the world even!  Did that make my day, or what?  I told you I’m putting in 110% for you and there you are, proof positive.  Your dreary world got that much brighter because I put down the US government spies in a daft way and slipped (pun intended!) that Rhonda Shear bra thing in as well.  Wasn’t that a hoot?  I even thought about buying one myself just to show Woot my appreciation, but I’m not that dumb or wealthy.

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No May Day posts though.  It’s a communist pagan holiday like Labor Day.  We don’t go for that here.  Communism is like an enforced D minus effort and Liberty is what we are about; even if everyone would be better off in a D minus world.  If you are stupid enough to not follow my easy, I mean easy, like no effort at all, life principles, well that’s your problem and I’ll defend your right to choose that desperate way of life all the way to the point where I have to use you as a human shield to defend that principle.  Like I’ve said before, I’ve got your back even if you choose to be a human sandbag for me.

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Whoa, steady in the boat there boy.  I got a little worked up.  Someday I’ll tell you why communism is the only thing worse than rampant capitalism as a world system (I know one is economic and the other is political, I’m not a ‘tard).  Some other day when you are ready for it.  Not now.  All things in good time.

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Okay here is another heads up and on-target essay so pay attention, no napping. The swill we used to call Malt Liquor is now referred to as Ale.  Yeah, the high alcohol content brew that was for low-down drinking is now being foisted off on the public under designer and “craft” brew labels as India Pale Ale.  Now I don’t drink anymore ’cause it interferes with my ability to try to make your life better, but I used to drink, a lot, and you can make of that what you want but right now today it makes me better than a swill-head like you so listen up.

When I used to buy a case of Mickey’s in college people gave me a hard time.  They said I was going downscale ethnically.  Being a man who ignored the bigot, I bought it anyway, better buzz, better value.

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Well some bootleggers keen on evading government taxes got the bright idea if they could convince lawmakers to waive the tax on “amateur” brewing for “home” use it would be a good idea, for them.  No doubt some grease was applied.  ‘Nuff said.

Then these so-called home brewers wanted to share some of their 20 proof bathtub jack with their “friends,” and maybe serve some ribs on the side, so voila, the brewpub was born, again tax free with a little more lubricant applied. Now these clever entrepreneurs figured if they could convince the gullible, ie you, that this brew pub thing was upscale, then they could pick 5 bucks off you for a glass of their hooch.  They quit calling it just beer and created the craft lager and ale market.

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From there it was just a matter of scaling things up and signing up more rubes (with some more grease, of course) to buy their dishwater basement brau in the supermarket or gas station.  All that for what we used to call cheap malt liquor. The stuff is nasty, bitter and sweet flavored at the same time.  Then they started throwing apples, blueberries, oranges, and similar adulterants in to get the ladies onboard.  Chumps and snobs.

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Now you can’t get a Budweiser in a bar for all the taps that are dedicated to these and other “imported” (from Canada) bathtub gray water beverages. Well, you can just drink this overpriced crap with dead rats in it if you want.  If I want a malt liquor, I’m getting a Mickey’s or a Cobra, something that burns going down, not something that gives you a sinus headache and makes my breath smell like Chanel No. 5.  Go for it, it’s not my money.

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I’m working up a Wiccan article for Walpurgisnacht, April 30, so just be patient, and if I don’t give you one, well if you are following this blog you are also used to being disappointed, and you expected as much, so it can’t get any worse now, can it? Have a Nice Day!  Go pop one for me.

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Life

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I know a lot of you have been waiting with baited breath for my next post, but I’ve been busy; unlike you I’ve been busy with this thing called Life.  Oh sure, I’m still putting in 110% for you but now I have to put in 210% just to keep up with life too.  And unlike you I don’t have a lot of “free time” on my hands jerking at work on your computer while you should be working on that spreadsheet and graph to make your boss look better.  I also don’t want to waste your time with posts that are about nothing at all, although I happen to know you have a lot of time and something else on your hands.  Unlike other bloggers my posts are always full of useful and important content, not just me blabbing about how I was constipated yesterday but now I’m okay.  Who wants to read something like that?  Other bloggers think you want to know whenever they pick their nose.  Nobody wants that.  Even somebody as important as the President of the United States, you wouldn’t want to know when he picks his nose, now would you?  So I don’t waste your already worthless life with things that are not relevant to it and are all about me.

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Be patient, as it says in Ecclesiastes:  there is a time for everything, or something like that.

That International Feel post wasn’t that great.  I’m a big man, in more ways than one, so I’m big enough to admit it was a D minus effort, but that’s water under the bridge, as they say.  Unlike most of you I don’t make the same mistake twice so you don’t have to wait for another opportunity to poke your finger in my eye.  Ain’t gonna happen.  Get over it.

 

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NSA Liberty

Hey, I bought this NSA t-shirt from Woot.com.  The folks over there know about real patriotism.  It says “NSA” but if you look really close it has all these little quotes from The Constitution,  Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine, and their ilk, about freedom that makes up the NSA letters.  I don’t expect many of you to know much about this or these guys but they are the true patriots of history and said way back then (18th century) that the NSA was bad and was going to spy on American citizens if somebody wasn’t vigilant and rat out the “Organization.”  Back then the NSA just peeped in your window and opened your mail, but now it’s way more sophisticated as I’ve pointed out in previous posts.  Pretty cool, huh?  I suppose if I wear it in Washington “somebody” will just stick a microscopic poison pellets in my leg and that’ll be it.  One of those cardboard box campers will end up wearing my shirt.  The price of freedom.

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Well I just wanted you to know I wasn’t dead but I’m also not one of those bloggers to put up a long post about nothing at all just so I can see my name in print.  So until the muse calls again, I’ll be silent.

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The International Feel

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No, I’m not talking about groping foreigners so all you NSA peepers can leave now.

What I want to talk about is the increase and predominance of non-US hits this blog is getting.  Either I’ve managed to thoroughly piss off the OUS community or people outside the United States are starting to now do what you in the US have only been able to do up ’til now:  apply my life-changing formulas to your lives.  I know which one I’m voting for.

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Unlike people in the US, Europeans have long embraced my concept of a D-minus effort. Europeans enjoy months of vacation annually along with a holiday practically every-other week.  In addition, work weeks are often legislated to be less than 40 hours and nobody has to worry about health insurance, so I’m surprised any Europeans or Canadians work at all since this lack is what primarily entices many Americans into the workforce in the first place. On top of this, scandalous unemployment has made, by comparison, the US look like the land of milk and honey it most certainly isn’t.

It is also clear that most foreigners embrace the concept of always making sure somebody else is that last guy.

Hey, now that I think of it, maybe I’m just preaching to the choir here.  Perhaps most OUS hits are just losers affirming their lifestyle.  Sometimes people just like to be reassured of things they already knew deep down inside.

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What Foreigners Do for Fun

The worst thing about traveling internationally is television.  Except for imported US programs, the fare produced and broadcast overseas is distinctly inferior.  Britain is particularly bad with endless parlor dramas and talking heads all produced by the government.  The fact that some of these shows are actually imported to America is beyond me.  Most of them end up on public television, in other words US socialist TV.  Hardly anyone except a few really old people watch public TV in the US so these imports hardly make a dent in the A+ prime US television offerings.  The programs are mostly old so you get elderly US tourists to the UK going on about episodes of Eastenders from decades ago.  East Germany had the worst TV I ever saw.  France was the best with triple-X programs on the cable late at night that made Skinemax look like Mr. Rogers.  In Japan the only thing going was the seemingly endless pop music programs.

I digress…

Finally I urge all my international fans to embrace the concept of always expecting the worst. This will leave you never disappointed.  I especially recommend this for people in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and any countries afflicted in the “Arab Spring.” Countries like Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal should take heed also.

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Anyway, I just wanted to thank all the international readers that support my jingoistic American rants, er, essential essays.

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Shunned

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It seems I’ve been shunned, cast into the dust bin of the blogoshphere.  This isn’t to be unexpected.  Great minds have always been unrecognized in their lifetimes and the fact that I warn you, the 50% that are below average, off the most important and mind expanding posts, for your own good I might add, just makes it harder to be heard and appreciated.

Maybe it is because so many of you have taken my advice and devoted your life to not caring about anything, always expecting the worst, and a D minus effort.  Maybe your spouse is pushing cheeseburgers under your locked bedroom door as you watch endless reruns of NCIS from your 11 season BluRay DVD collection.  Perhaps you’ve discarded your cell phone and landline and your internet connection to take yourself off the grid so the NSA cannot peep on your miserable little life.  You’ve given up that daily torture ritual you called fitness and sold your Nautilus machine and stationary bike and canceled your gym membership.  This means you’ve taken my advice to heart.  Maybe I should be glad I get so few hits and that your apathy is a testament to my persuasiveness.

I should have expected this; taken my own advice and expected the worst (for me personally).  At least you have lightened my load and I can quit doing all the heavy lifting here as you tell the friends that wonder what happened to you, why they never see you, about your new, better, lifestyle.  Perhaps this whole thing has gone viral but in a non-digital way, by old fashioned word of mouth.

I feel better now knowing that you have ceased to care that the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges never work or that another government shutdown is looming in a few months, or that the Philippines are under water .  This means I’ve done my job making your life just a little better and that in turn makes my life just a little better as well.

Keep up the D minus effort and we’ll all make it to the grave just a little bit less stressed out.

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I’m Here For You

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A lot of people blog because they have a big ego and think tens of thousands of people out there are going to hang on their every word.  They want people to nod their heads for every opinion they write about.  They want comments about how brilliant and how oh so right they are.  They think everyone wants to look into their private psychoses and their dreary website and affirm their useless digital scribblings.  It’s all about me, me, me…

I-love-youWell this blog is different, it’s all about you, you, you.  I’m here for you.  I’ve got your back.  What other blogger warns you off some posts while putting others out there that you know will improve your life?  Don’t some posts seem to have been written just for you personally?  Huh?  Do you think I’d sit here punching this keyboard if I didn’t feel an urgent social responsibility?  I’ve got tons of episodes of NCIS on the DVR and I could be parking my lazy ass on the divan and enjoying the best TV program ever made.  But no, I’m here trying to improve your miserable life, a complete stranger.  That’s how big I am; a giving person, a servant.

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Where You’ll End Up

Oh sure I have to use tough love sometimes and point out the deficiencies in you and your world but you know it’s for your own good.  I don’t like doing it but somebody has to or you are going to end up on the trash heap of humanity.  I worry about you all the time, especially the 50% of you that are below average.  I stay up late trying to think of something that is going to stick in your little pea brain, that can pull you up from the desperate and hopeless state you are currently in.

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Fairies and Rainbows

I try to temper these intense self-improvement posts with other posts of whimsy and carefree fun that will brighten your otherwise dreary day.  I add the occasional important current event because I know you haven’t touched a newspaper in years and when you did all you cared about was what the Kardashians were doing.  See these are all for your own good too.  I spend a lot of time each and every day thinking about how to get through to you and improve your life just a little.  I put all my needs aside to serve you, dear reader.

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I’m Here for You!

Well I just wanted you to know that when the chips are down, like they always are for you, you can count on me.  I wanted you to know I’m making more than a D minus effort for you.  Whatever disaster comes into your world I’ll be putting all my resources into how best to deal with it and keep you from circling the drain.  Think of me as the FEMA of bloggers, but in a better way that actually arrives in time and helps the afflicted.

Remember I’m here if you need me and I’m ready to make time for you day or night.  Oh, and like I’ve told you before, lowered expectations are the key to a less than miserable life so just expect the worst and everything will be all right.

Pessimism

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As I said in my next to last post you are probably becoming by now the poster boy or girl for this blog. If you can send a picture of you in your new carefree, and most of all, leisurely lifestyle I might feature it here, anonymously of course (see below for what you should really expect to happen).

I really struggled with the title for this post.  Should I call it pessimism, optimism, hope, or despair because we’re going to hit all of these here?  I decided on the straight forward approach instead of the facetious one, again for reasons that will become evident.

But onward in our journey to nirvana. The subject for this day is Pessimism, pure and simple, and I’m going to show you how to apply this little word to your outlook about everything. It’s so simple: always expect the worst. That’s it, see what I mean? We’re trending towards the Zen of life. Life is so simple really that the truths about it are almost self-evident, but really expect life to be so complicated that you are never going to understand anything. There, we’ve already applied it.  Always expect to be disappointed. This is the only way to never be let down: always expect to be disappointed, then in the rare circumstance that something good does happen, you’ll be ecstatic, however when the more probable opposite occurs you won’t EVER be disappointed.

What a great way to live. If you can apply this along with the Dminus principle (see my earlier post) then life will become unbearable but essentially worry free.

Let’s see if we can find how you can apply this to a more practical situation. At work, always assume, even with a lack of evidence, that your co-workers are sniveling, back stabbing, over-ambitious weasels who are going to take the credit for all your work and get promoted a lot faster although they never deserved it. Now you cannot imagine a day when you are going to be let down in your expectations by the behavior of your co-workers. In the rare event that you are in a meeting and someone says: “Oh no, I didn’t do all this Shirley did some of it,” you are going to be on cloud nine. I would say happy enough to take the rest of the day off, go to a bar, and call in sick the next morning (again, see the Dminus principle). If the opposite happens and they take all the credit for what was mostly your work, well you expected as much and can’t really be disappointed. Either way, you weren’t disappointed. Voilà, life is actually the dreary drudge you thought it would be.  This applies to everything in your pathetic life:  your spouse, your job, your physical fitness plan (again, see earlier posts), your health, your finances, your family, your so-called friends and on and on.  The areas for application are endless.

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However, there are a number of hazards in this lifestyle: optimists and an attitude of hopefulness. Optimists are to be avoided at all costs. Assume they are possessed by a demon that wants to knock you off your currently successful downward slide and take advantage of you at the same time. They are never to be trusted. They will get you to read books by Norman Vincent Peale, Tony Robbins, and their ilk. They will tell you about the failed philosophy of positive thinking and that you are a good person with talents that are yet untapped, and we all know none of this is true as shown by past experience. What you do know is that they are waiting to swindle you and put you on a path that will leave you circling the drain without hope.

Which brings me to my second hazard: hope. Never ever hope for anything to get better. It won’t and you already know this. Hope leads to the ultimate disappointment unless it is hope for the worst to happen. If anything gives you even an inkling that things are going to work out, get as far away from it as possible, mentally and physically.  Again, avoid at all costs.

I apply this principle of unbroken pessimism as often as possible in my own life. If you look at some of my earlier posts, I expected the worst outcome in both the Dunbar and stock market situations. Was I disappointed? No way the worst outcome I had expected happened. I could go along in my already depressed state knowing that only something worse could still happen.  There you have it.

Oh, and have a lousy day.

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In my next to last post I told you I was going to tell you about Chicago Nice. Well I didn’t and you were on the edge of your seat waiting for what I was going to say. Now you’re disappointed. See how it would have been so much better to assume I was lying or forgetful and not have anticipated that I would reveal this other principle of a nirvana-like life.  I promise I’ll get to it in a later post, but you know what?  Don’t be disappointed if I don’t.

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Having worked for The Man for most of my life and always attempting to get/do the best I can while not working too too hard, I started to think about the positive aspects of underachieving. Since life has a finite span, why not take it easy and get as much leisure time in as possible? Why work so hard for anything except what you like to do? And if someone’s gettin’ paid to do it, it ain’t called a hobby but another four-letter word that starts with a “w”, and I do not want to have to do it. Besides lowered expectations are the key to never getting disappointed and a happier life in the first place. Aren’t they?

Let me tell you a little, absolutely true story. When I was in High School I knew a guy who was our Zen master. He didn’t know it, but we did. His name was Rob A., but that’s not important. We called him The Dead Man. On a certain day and at a certain time that he could tell you, when roll call for the day was being called, the Dead Man decided not to care anymore. He decided the key to a happy life was not caring. Why this time? Just luck sorta. At roll call or attendance the teachers would always get Rob’s last name wrong. He heard Anders, Anderson, Anthony, Andrews, etc. but never the correct last name. He tried to correct whoever was taking attendance each and every time, to no avail. On this particular morning though Rob decided to become the Dead Man. He just said “Okay” when his name was called incorrectly and life was beautiful, if somewhat more planar in elevations.

The Dead Man had all sorts of interesting consequences to his changes in outlook. He only ever had one new pencil and one sheet of blank paper for that day and if either was lost or stolen would not finish anything else for the day, even tests. When asked why he was turning in a blank test he would reply: “I lost my pencil.” The teacher of course asked him why he didn’t ask to borrow a writing instrument and he would reply: “I lost my pencil and I don’t care.” If this useless train went on for too long the Dead Man would inevitably finish it by saying: “Alright, okay,” and that was it. He was done. He would not speak again on it. He had ceased to care about it or answering the useless question again. Once again a happy Dead Man.

But this is not what made him our Zen Master. I remember the day another friend said we were going to be in the class block with The Dead Man. He said it was going to be great. We couldn’t wait for next Fall (actually we hated school so next Fall could be a millennium away even with the Dead Man in our classes and it wouldn’t be far enough off). Well next Fall came of course and during the first week the teachers were sorting out how things were going to work. The teacher told us and showed us clearly what was going to be necessary to get an A, a B, or a C. Normal stuff except the Dead Man raised his hand. Now this in itself signaled an event of earth shattering importance. The Dead Man never raised his hand. He answers if called upon, but he never volunteers. Never. If he gets things wrong it is the usual “alright, okay.” Anyway, the teacher asks the Dead Man, “Do you have a question, Rob?” And the Dead Man replies with the single most important question you could ask in your life: “How much do you have to do to get a D-minus?” This of course brought the house down, but he was clearly serious. And he was right. He had captured the essence of a fulfilled life: not caring and a D-minus effort.

We were the snooty kids; the “gifted” children in our school so we were in all the “advanced” classes. The Dead Man had figured it out. All he had to do to graduate high school and go to college was get a report card peppered with C’s D’s, and D-minuses. They had to graduate him as long as he didn’t fail, get an “F.” Brilliant! He had perfected, in the academic world anyway, the art of getting by with just the minimum. Just squeaking by. He was going to college no matter what since he was smart. His SAT’s were going to be outstanding (as long as he didn’t lose that pencil) so grades were a non-issue. He was going to the big in-state college anyway. He had two full years ahead of not caring rack time sewn up.

It turned out that actually getting a D-minus was one of the hardest things imaginable. Harder than getting an A. You had to beg for it and that required at least C effort. Teachers loved giving out B’s and C’s and D’s and even F’s but a D-minus was almost impossible to get. The Dead Man actually graduated without getting a single D-minus. It was unattainable. This proves how little a D-minus effort takes. The Dead Man was a pretty smart guy really and even though he never took notes or did any homework he did well above average in school. Tests cinched it for him, unless he lost that damn pencil. However, he had clarified for all of us, for the rest of our lives, the philosophy to follow to maximize happiness: do the absolute minimum to get by, get a D-minus.

So, to make my already long story even longer I began thinking recently how you could apply this principle to every part of your life: work, yard maintenance, car repair, and on and on. The amount of free time it opens up is incredible. I’ve even found a way to solve the unemployment problem in the world. If everyone could embrace the concepts of not caring and just getting by, what I call the D-minus Principle, everyone will be happy, or as happy as someone without cares can be. See what I mean? The other beauty of my system is it’s totally dependent on you alone. You are now pretty much your own boss because instead of putting in all the time and effort to do an A+ job, you are now going to do just enough to do a D-minus job, just enough to not get fired. It has no dependence on your coworkers, your spouse, your church, or anyone else. Whatever they do doesn’t reflect on your D-minus performance. The only effort is the little bit it requires to find out how you can get a D-minus instead of an F. The benefit of the doubt is usually all it takes. In fact, it is to your benefit if only a few people take my advice, but once they see the benefits everyone will want to slouch on board.

Now think about it. If everyone embraced this principle then everything in the world will tend toward a D-minus, just good enough not to fail. This means actually more workers will be needed to do even a substandard job just to get by. You’ll need tons of them to get even the smallest complex task accomplished. Voila, no unemployment. Sure things will get crappier in general, kind of like they used to be in those good ol’ days you’ve been pining for anyway, but hey it doesn’t matter. Example: your car breaks down more because now everything is based on just getting by on the minimum. Where’s the problem? You already don’t care right? That was the first part of the principle. But on top of that you’re trying to do a D-minus job at work and that means weaseling out of the maximum number of days at work without getting fired. You call in, late of course, ’cause you’re sleepin’ in today, and say “Hey my car’s broken I won’t be in today.” Benefit of the doubt remember? In addition your boss is doing a D-minus job so that involves not reporting how many workers are laying out each day and firing you to hire anyone else is going to take at least a C-level effort. The system reinforces itself. Full employment – maximum leisure time for everyone. Perfect.

You know what? I’m not going to even proofread this before I post it and I’m not attaching any photos or links or anything. You know what, I’m going to push the “Publish” button right now. Know why? I wanna watch WWE Raw and kill a few brews. Because I’ve got better things, more fun things, to do now and I’ve already put in a D-minus effort.