Category Archives: Blog

General observations of events in the news or daily happenings.

An Almost Complete Picture…

Friends,

A thing occurred to me.

It’s one of those incredibly circumstantial things with multiple avenues pointing in the same direction, but where the final (key) piece still eludes me. In a word, Moscow.

Moscow is the political capital of the Russian Federation.
Moscow is the home of St. Basil’s Cathedral (The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed)

St. Basil’s towers resemble (to me) mushrooms, like Amanita Muscaria.

The active ingredient in A. Muscaria is Muscimol.
Something of Moscow is Muscovite.
There is more than one St. Basil.
The St. Basil who lent his name to the aforementioned cathedral was a holy fool.
I suspect there is a yet-to-be-discovered connection between mushrooms and holy fools.
(I myself have considered devoting myself to the mushrooms and forsaking all else…like heroin, I’m waiting ’til I’m in my 70s)
There is a connection between A. Muscaria and Santa Claus. Said connection is also HERE.

This is what a connection looks like.

The second St. Basil I mentioned is considered an inspiration for Santa Claus (#mushroomsanta).
St. Nicholas, the name often ascribed to Santa Claus, is the patron saint of (drug-haven) Amsterdam and (gasp!) Moscow!!
**********Secondary Connections************
The mineral, Muscovite is named after Moscow (duh!)
Muscovite is the most common mica (tenuous, I know)
Muscovite was first mentioned as a name for the mineral in letters to Ivan the Terrible in 1568.
Ivan the terrible was a contemporary and pallbearer for **dum dum dum* drumroll please!)….. ST. BASIL!?!

Conclusion

BASIL AGAIN!!

Short answer: I don’t know what it all means but I do have a hunch which I trust that there was oodles of mushroom fuckery in Imperial Russia. Furthermore, I’m just crazy and smart enough to believe that my noticing these connections means there is something to them.

Still, there is a key-piece missing, isn’t there? It seems like there is heaps of peripheral information but that something central to tie it up still eludes us. I’m going to keep researching this with priority placed on shedding light on the St. Basil’s cathedral mushroom connection as there is a work project I wish to write based on that.

In the meantime, can anyone help me get to the bottom of this and find the missing piece that ties it all together?

Best,
-Dre

P.S. There is only one other person aside from myself whom I know that has managed to trip off of A. Muscaria. If anyone else has managed to trip on it I would love to hear about it. My trip can be found HERE.

 

 

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Fuck Hater Bitches!

Friends,

Back in early 2010 I was 25 years old, almost a year back from Afghanistan, in my second semester of my third year of university, and dating a really pretty and sweet young girl named Chelsea. Chelsea was 18. We got along well and bonded over our love of the gym. We ended staying together for 5 years -it was a beautiful thing.

This post isn’t about Chelsea; this post is about sticking it to hater-ass bitches.

At this time, 2010, Chelsea was still living on campus in a residence. I would come visit her and often spend the night. Coming by after a certain time however, especially on the weekend, meant that I would have to get signed in. This was typically never a problem but one night I came in a little drunk from a party on a Friday night and hilarity ensued.

What went wrong?

First off, I suppose I looked like a shady defiler of barely legal girls in a vintage red leather jacket holding a couple of peacock feathers; feathers which, even now, I’m not quite sure how I obtained so late in Canadian winter (God, I used to be so cool!). Now at the time I could swear that the jacket made me look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club, but it’s also possible I was delusional.

Yeah, it was definitely the latter.

Second, my attitude probably didn’t help either: I am typically defiant when I need to show identification and the entitled attitude of student volunteers always came off as particularly irksome to me, as I had seen a modicum of authority take otherwise insignificant people for the worst in the military. In any event, the lobby sign-in was being staffed by some sophomore girls and guys who had turned their shift into a party with music and such. The lead girl had gotten quite the case of runaway self-esteem, taking the piss out of people who wanted to get signed in. I had texted Chelsea as I walked up to the building and as it usually took her a moment or two to reach the lobby, I walked over to the table.

The mother hen gazed inquiringly at me.

I gazed back.

She blushed a little, gave me the googly-eyes and then complimented my peacock feathers.

I thanked her and offered her one.

She took it and asked me who I was here to see.

I told her.

She asked to see my ID.

I obliged.

She looked at my ID, then up at me, then at the 1984 birthdate.

“You’re?…twentyyy….”

“Five!” I responded with a benevolent, though drunken grin.

“How old is Chelsea?” she asked.

“18.” I responded, just as good-naturedly.

“You’re …seven years older than her?!

“Awesome, right?”

She turned to her friend and I overheard her expressing concern to her friend that I was 25 and Chelsea was only 18, but just then Chelsea walked up looking as petite and sweet as ever. She smiled at my ridiculous outfit, and also because she knew I was a little drunk and this might have been her first time seeing that.

As Chelsea was a bit of a head-turner, the guys in the group started to take notice of me also. I don’t think they (the dudes) had a problem with me beyond the fact that I was an off-campus interloper coming into their house and having a slumber-party with one of theirs, but the girls were a little indignant.

The mother hen turned to Chelsea: “He’s your guest?”

She acknowledged this was so.

The mother hen screwed her face up a little as I walked by hands up, not guilty, free like OJ all day.

What could she do? I was an invited guest with ID, and a full-time student to boot. I told her to enjoy her feather and I walked past the ‘doorman’, having, to the best of my recollection, a wonderful rest of the evening.

Fuck hater bitches!

Best,
-Dre

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Children of Mandalorians

Friends,

I just finished Chapter 3 of Prince Oberyn in Space and (SPOILERS!) something occurred to me as I watched its Mandalorian protagonist eavesdrop on Werner Herzog’s “Client” character before rescuing baby Yoda: The Client, it seems, wants something extracted from the infant and he doesn’t seem particularly concerned with the its survival. Right off the bat this reminded me of harvesting ADAM from little sisters in the Bioshock series…

this is four panels show how a little sister is harvested in bioshock

…and ADAM was essentially stem cells.

Chapter 4 of The Mandalorian has not dropped yet, but I would hazard a guess that the Client wanted Midi-chlorians. MCs are not stem cells per se, but they do some pretty incredible things and I think it’s significant that the client wants to extract them from an infant, as it makes the stem cell comparisons inescapable.

So now we have two assumptions:
1) The Client wants Midi-chlorians from baby Yoda, and…
2) Midi-chlorians are an allegory for fetal stem cells
Let’s run with these assumptions, taking them all the way to their ultimate conclusion and see what Disney is trying to tell us about stem cells through coded messaging.

Harvesting Stem Cells From Babies is Bad

If you listened to Alex Jones’ most recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience (and you definitely should), and if you furthermore believed even half of what he talked about, you would know that harvesting terminated pregnancies is very lucrative in the United States, and agencies like Planned Parenthood are bravely leading the charge. In our little allegory, the Client (a German eugenicist who employs a mad scientist) and his Imperial Remnant faction could be said to be Planned Parenthood insofar as they intend to profit from what they harvest from Yoda.

“You could harvest these nuts, nukka!”

In the scene where the Mandalorian rescues Yoda we even see him dispatch one of those floating “abortion orbs” which extracted something from Leia (information, but still…) in Episode IV.

In retrospect, this makes me wonder about how many abortion references I missed in the original trilogy. Probably millions…

Yoda for his part seems drugged up and oblivious to the fact that they are about to steal his mojo…

….and this only reinforces his lamb-like innocence.

Man(dalorian) the Fuck Up!

I know the word Mandalorian has been around in Star Wars lore forever, but it’s nonetheless fitting that this male character with such a manly appellation (he’s even called, ‘Mando’ by no less a man than Apollo Creed himself aka Carl Weathers aka Greef) would be the one to rescue the helpless child from the abortionists. After all, protecting the family -born and unborn alike- is a father’s job, and Mando is very heavy-handedly established as a surrogate father.

the mandalorian and yoda imprinting pn each other and establishing a father child dynamic

However there is more than one Mando, and collectively they, the Mandalorians, have been forced underground since the abortionists (a term herein being used interchangeably with ‘the empire’) did away with them in The Great Purge. In their exile they have retained their warrior ways, their honour, and (a few personal flourishes on their armour notwithstanding) a high-standard of uniformity in dress and deportment.

this image shows that all of the mandalorians have unique flourished to their armor but there is nonetheless a consistent them

In fact, The Mandalorian’s rebuilding of his armour is a fairly prominent plot point of the first three episodes, and the other, non-Mandalorian bounty hunters seem to resent his highly-visible self-improvement when he walks into a bar in his new threads (more on that in a moment).

“I’m here to rescue fetuses and chew bubblegum…”

But before you reductively think that Disney is making a statement that men are based and all women are abortionists, it bears mention that the Mandalorians are led by a matriarch, and she, as well as being their blacksmith and authority, also seems to be their keeper of traditions, stories and children -or foundlings at least.

Wretched Hives and the Scum & Villainy Therein

Remember how I said that the other bounty hunters all looked like bums compared to Mando in his new dipped threads? A large part of it has to do with their individual deportment; nobody looks particularly well-armoured or strong.

More importantly, they all seem very ragtag -there is no uniformity, just a bunch of poorly-dressed, self-interested individuals about as organized as atheist, godless protestors who have no higher principle to organize behind than a desire to tear down what is good –fashion slaves protestin’ to get in a fuckin’ lookbook as it were (word to Killer Mike!).

Contrast that to the Mandalorians, a tightly-knit, albeit quarrelsome, family who have a higher ethos than self-interest; a higher calling than mere bounty hunting. Specifically, the Mandalorians have a religion referred to as “The Way,” and for better or worse, it keeps them cohesive while underground, it places priority on continuity through the sponsoring of foundlings, and it leads the tribe to come to Mando’s rescue when he is ambushed by the (pro-choice?) bounty hunters attempting to steal the baby away from its newfound father for a reward. And all of this while comporting themselves with a high-degree of uniformity.

So what does it mean? Well I think how we put ourselves out in the world matters. Guy Richie talked about how a man’s suit is his suit of armour -it’s how he openly and honourably shows how he’s part of the game, it shows which game he’s playing, and it furthermore shows how he invites all challenges. Mando does no less, making no apologies for what he is all about, walking into Greef’s hangout, wholly unafraid of making a statement.

That Statement?: “I’m better than you.”

And that is how the righteous must always be -nay, that is the only way they can be.

the path of the righteous man“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.”

Don’t be virtuous unless you are well comfortable with being hated and schemed on by others.

B A S E D Favreau?

So is the show’s writer and EP, Jon Favreau consciously trying to make an anti-abortion statement? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was his sub-conscious feelings peeking through; as a father, this is his story. Still, it’s important to remember that we’re operating on two assumptions: The unconfirmed assumption that the Client wants Midi-chlorians from Yoda; and the poetically licentious assumption that Midi-chlorians are allegorical for stem cells. However, even if both of these assumptions are incorrect, the fact remains that the Client wishes to harvest something from Yoda and cares little if he survives. This dynamic has real world parallels and I find it difficult to believe that Favreau was not cognizant of those parallels.

On it’s own, I don’t find this story outrageous in light of said parallels -on the contrary, fathers protecting children is about as old and traditional as stories get. That said, I was nonetheless surprised to notice such an allegory in a Star Wars program, as the Star Wars franchise since the Disney takeover seems to have prioritized progressivism and female empowerment. Meanwhile The Mandalorian is at the very least a celebration of older values, and at most, a condemnation of the progressive values which have led the franchise astray.

Still, maybe I’m seeing something that’s not there, but I studied English literature so can you really blame me?

Looking forward to Episode 4: The Abortionists Strike Back!

Best,
-Dre

 

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Cold Servings

Friends,

I got betrayed by someone whom I offered to help. Helping this person would have helped me too. Helping this person would have required solidarity, ruthlessness, and a long memory for how we had both been transgressed against by a third party.

Her memory wasn’t adequately long and she took pity on the third party, breaking solidarity with me.

I saw it coming, and should not have put my faith in her.

Still, I’m having trouble not hating her in this moment. I wanted to win. I should have won. But winning in this case hinged upon the weakness, the inadequacy of another.

That weakness / inadequacy in question?: Her compassion and forgiveness in this misplaced context.

Her weakness is going tp cost me time and money, and it’s hard for me in this moment to wish the best for her; to hope that the third party doesn’t continue to transgress against her once I’m gone. Part of me wants things to degenerate further once I’m gone so she’ll realize that virtue misplaced is tantamount to sin. So that she’ll realize that she messed up.

The only thing which softens my current feelings toward her is thinking that perhaps things played out like this for a reason; perhaps this is a part of some larger-order plan -everything is after all.

For now I will simply be patient and take things as they come, making the appropriate adjustments as necessary and acting accordingly.

I don’t intend to forgive her precisely, but in time I will come to be grateful to her.

The wheel keeps on turning. Let us never be so prideful as to think we know where it should stop or that it should stop.

-Dre

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The Sweetest Self-Sacrifice

Friends,

I got a little drunk last night. I hadn’t intended to, but I got to having drinks at the campus bar with new friends, it got good to me, and, well… we all know this story ends. It didn’t help that the campus bar, tlc, was a little dead and so the entire weight of making a night of it rested on our shoulders. Karl aptly referred to the drinks as dance juice and by my third drink I was lubricated enough to tear it up to whatever came on, although I was most affected by the 90s hip-hop.

Oh alcohol -you are always there.

Last night and many nights before, libations have given me the wings and energy I needed to be the life of the party. At what cost though?

Well, my mental faculties, the shape of my body and my feelings of health and wellness the next day. What am I sacrificing these things for? Well to bond with people socially; to feel connected.

Is the sacrifice worth it? Depends on the people for sure. Depends on the frequency too, as bonding with people is one of those things which has a place, but it also must be kept in bounds. In the Japanese salaryman culture for example, I have anecdotally heard stories of over-worked high-achievers having breakdowns after weeks, months and years of prolonged workdays, extended by unpaid overtime, and not actually finished until after a full evening of drinking with workmates.

On the other hand, Gavin McInnes aptly described the breakdown of his relationship with Shane Smith as “we stopped going out for beers together.” -There’s something to that.

There’s this idea I’ve heard too about alcohol consumption not just being a sacrifice we make of a little bit of our health to the social gods, but also a way to demonstrate status, like “look how hard I can go and still keep it together.” This was certainly me 15 years ago, hitting the bars 3 nights a week and going for a run every morning -although my grades were in the B range so I’m not sure how together I was actually keeping it that balance.

On one episode of Mark Manson’s podcast -a complex, poetic analysis of romance- romance is compared to alcohol among other things and the following stuck in my brain: “Romance is like alcohol. None is healthier than too much. And a little is healthier than none.”

Alcohol consumption, drug use, partying -these things are sacrifice; they are status symbol; they are incredibly easy to overdo.

Yet, if life was just about avoiding clearly “bad” things, it would be too easy. To be appropriately, optimally challenged we need to be beset on all sides by potentially bad things which start out so good.

I’ve been here before and I know where this road leads. I know all about the diminishing returns of once in a while becoming  every night. We all do, and so we all must act accordingly.

Best,
-Dre

PS Pics to follow 😛

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Fractals in Nature

Friends,

Some years back while living in Berlin I ate some poisonous mushrooms in Tiergarten and saw, among other things, the kaleidoscopic nature of the universe. It wasn’t my first time seeing the rainbow spectacle of a gyrating, polygonal vortex (nor is this my first time describing it), but I remember laying there and being underwhelmed by the stained-glass majesty of it all. And that’s what it was: stained glass writ large, bearing no biblical scene, but something profoundly religious nonetheless. And still, I was underwhelmedWhy?  Thinking back now I remember waiting for something expectantly, but I do wish I could have a glimpse of it in this moment because I feel that it has been too long since I saw the kaleidoscopic nature of things and I feel like perspective is an easy thing to lose, particularly when beset on all sides by comparatively trivial day-to-day concerns and the frustrations attendant upon living in a small town and trying to make a go of things as a responsible, conscientious citizen. I am dealing with stuff now that I’ve not had to deal with for some time because my existence has been so fluid. Things like getting caught up on taxes, politicking with roommates, fucking snow! Getting bogged down in these things makes it easy to lose perspective and spend too much time in one microcosmic matrix when there are many more to choose from. The kaleidoscope shows us this. In it, we see all possible matrices. It’s like opening the aperture W I D E and letting all the light in. The formerly dark tunnel you were heading down is now illuminated and in the light you see myriad doors and passages branching off and branching back. The reality is that it is only darkness which makes a tunnel so. I need some light.

-Dre

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A Blog Well Typed

Friends,

As I continually intensify and improve my mastery of my craft, it occurs to me that it might do to improve my writing at the most mechanical level: typing. I’m regrettably still largely a two-finger typer, and although I have moments of inspiration where I can finish off entire words without looking at the keyboard,  I still struggle when I need to transcribe from a screen. Also, even though my current two-finger speed greatly outpaces my “proper technique speed,” I know that there is a much lower top end speed on the former, and this is unacceptable.

Any idea how long it took to write that last sentence? Too long. Yet I nonetheless notice improvement since I first began this endeavour this morning. Two-finger typing technique notwithstanding, I do essentially know where all the keys are, so now it’s just a matter of re-training the individual fingers and developing muscle memory. Incidentally this finger-training isn’t as novel an endeavour as I initially felt it to be as I slowly slogged through a list of SEO keywords this morning; I have been playing guitar for two years now and over the past couple of weeks I have really been devoting myself to sophisticated finger-picking techniques. First was On my One by Jake Bugg (which I’m actually listening to on repeat right now), then House of the Rising Sun by The Animals, and today was Grandma’s Hands by Bill Withers. What’s great about the latter in particular is that it’s also the melody from No Diggity, and as I have been endeavouring to work on my ‘rapping while singing’ faculties I’m essentially getting two birds stoned at once.

I really think intelligence is closely tied to finger dexterity -this was one of the reasons I enrolled in massage therapy- and so I see it as imperative to develop said dexterity in order to embrace that latent intelligence which currently exists in my brain only as an unlockable. It’s actually a little funny, but as I have been entertaining the idea of switching my major to paralegal and even taking the LSAT, these overtures toward masterful typing make me think that I could have a calling in the exciting world of court stenography. Imagine me being he who is tasked with transcribing the goings-on of the courtroom –so much potential for hilarity.

Well that about does it for typing practice tonight. See you in the funny papers!

Best,
-Dre

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