Ebola – What Happens in Vegas, has a 70% chance of killing and a larger chance of spreading…

It was Mike’s bachelor party and he brought in his best mates from all over the country. Guys he’d grown up with in your state, his Army buddies from all over the country, college friends from NYU and UCLA Medical school, and some colleagues from Boston General and his internship in Seattle. In short, it was a great party and guys from all over the country came. It was a classic Vegas party even inculding the incredibly dirty pair of strippers doing a lesbian sex show in the suite of the hotel – which was ruined when one of them started puking blood all over the place. They all thought she was a drunk druggie whore – but no, the truth was simpler. She had Ebola.
(Note for clarity: Ebola is a virus which is passed via bodily fluids, not an STD but of course bodily fluids are often shared during sex)
To be fair, she was a drunk druggie whore – and she’d gotten Ebola from a John who had fucked a stripper who worked in a bar where a guy from Iowa had come after he found out the nurse he was engaged to had been diagnosed in Dallas with Ebola after she was assured she was safe taking care of the guy who had brought Ebola to the United States from Liberia where he had helped an Ebola victim who was pregnant go to the hospital only to have her be turned away and how she got it was a whole ‘nother story. She was married to a guy who helped pick a woman up off the street when she collapsed and was thrown from a bus and she’d gotten the disease by taking care of her son who was a hard working student in a poor school, who got it from a girl that had come from the country because her whole family was ill, who got it because they were nice people who took care of a guy they knew…and it goes on and on…to a guy in the Congo eating meat he killed in the forest back in 1974 or so…oops.

But back to John’s awesome party ( oh wait, it was Mike’s but guess what, John’s party had the same thing happen but with different people…trippy) – so they all went home and only half of them passed the disease on – so it goes like this:

10 at the party
5 get the disease and interact with 200 people
only 500 get the disease and interact 200 people
50,000 get the disease and interact with 200 people
5 million get the disease and interact with 200 people
1 Billion get the disease and interact with 200 people
Everyone gets Ebola and 5.7 billion people die….the rest survive and the world is suddenly super cool and filled with infinite possibilities. Life is awesome. Everything is awesome. Ebola is awesome. Ebola makes life worth living. Awesome.

Ebola is awesome … at least for the people 500 years from now. For everyone else, it pretty much sucks.

#vagothinks

I have strong opinions and good ideas – I’m tired of keeping them to myself. I’m going to be sharing them from now on on twitter using the hashtag #vagothinks – I’m still a week out from completing my 99 day fast from Facebook – I may do another 99 day break from it after I check messages, check up on friends, etc.

Here are the first of my #vagothinks:

#vagothinks The USA should offer Syria to Turkey if they go in and kick ISIS out – just give it to the Turks.

#vagothinks the US economy is failing miserably for everyone who is not already middleclass or higher – I propose locialism as a solution…

@vagothinks locialism is a universal safety net including free medical, food, and housing assistance for anyone earning less than $40k/year

#vagothinks #locialism should be free and available for anyone who asks for it – no proof necessary – those who opt out get special benefits

#vagothinks taxes should be paid by employers before wages – flatly – every employee gets taxes withheld – not an employee=no taxes !

#vagothinks Trash trucks should have scales on them – every household gets charged by weight – less garbage=lower bill, more garbage=higher

#vagothinks No one (including corps) should be allowed to own more than two residences but no limit on commercial or industrial properties

#vagothinks There should be a children’s judicial system where children can safely appeal unfair treatment from adults with no consequences

#vagothinks a person’s record should only reflect judgments against them -everything else should be expunged – including credit data

#vagothinks The US government should wipe out student loans and make all Universities public and free of charge – funded by taxes, resources

#vagothinks the US government should use (and disclose) alternative funding for maintenance of parks, universities, schools, highways, etc

#vagothinks the sale of raw materials to other countries should be outlawed. The USA should export finished products only.

The Astounding Way I Earn a Living These Days…and more

America is awash in stuff, things, shit, and treasure…

It’s fucking astounding. It blows my mind. Always has. Probably always will. This country has such an amazing glut of material goods that it struggles with what to do with them – but at the same time – the citizens here are constantly buying shit, stuff, new things…to replace perfectly good old things…

My friend owns a second hand shop down the street from me – every time I step in her shop I realize that my high minded ideals and cultured aesthetic have fucked me again – she is selling the shit out of stuff I wouldn’t have thought would sell- Seriously…get this…I can buy a fine set of hand made, Danish, mid century modern end tables by a known designer and maker and price them at $50 each – and I’ll get a dozen people that come in and look at them and then tell me “Oh, I can’t pay that, I want to resell them” – pickers and dealers coming into an ANTIQUE SHOP – they need meat on the bone.

…oh yeah baby, I’ve made the big mistake – Cater to the classes and dine with the masses and meanwhile she is Catering to the masses and dining with the classes – Yeah, I’m an idiot. I have a store filled with things I appreciate after visiting the greatest museums in the world, traveling to 50 countries and 49 states, and studying art, history, and culture – in a town where most people have at best a 12th grade education and might have visited a couple of cities nearby..or maybe had a trip to California a few years ago….meanwhile my friend is selling them the same things their neighbors bought and they admired…for a fraction of the cost –

I earn a living doing this- we pay our bills and the people that appreciate this stuff find me – which is cool – but meanwhile she is employing two people, making more money, and has the opportunity to buy far more new inventory than I do (let alone expand)- so, the moral of the story is – don’t focus on what you like, focus on what people need – the Warren Buffet investment strategy – it works and my friend is proof of that –

I’m not complaining, mind you – like I said – I earn a living buying and selling really cool things, beautiful art, and interesting things – but the question I should have asked at the beginning was “Do I want to deal in cool interesting things or make money?” The answer, I thought was both, but what I didn’t realize was that I’d much rather make money selling crapola than scrape by selling art…it’s time to do some evaluation and figure out how to reshape my business…

The Three Zombie Herds of America

Coming back to the USA has been traumatic in many ways, but perhaps the biggest trauma has been in recognizing that most Americans have been zombified and then, once their minds have been erased, they have migrated to one of the three great zombie herds which roam the highways and biways of this once great land.

Herd #1: These are the ones that my new friend Get Back Jack described as being so fucked up on meth they just circle around the Best Western in Kelso, WA – or somewhere else. No explanation needed. Tweaker herd. Crankster herd. Meth herd. Ice herd. No coming back and so fucked up they won’t care when they die herd.

Herd #2: The Narcisistic Selfie herd. At one point in my life when technology still seemed cool and new and benign – I was enthusiastic to be a member of this herd. Then I left the country for five years. Like not looking in a mirror for half a decade, I returned to see people eating dinner while looking at their phones, riding the bus with phones, driving and texting having become a big crime, and somehow thinking that nude pics on their cellphones are secure. This was the culture of burners and techies and Boingboing podcasters and cool maker techno awesome which somehow devolved into selfie culture. People who are so cuaght up in what others are thinking of them that they have no room to actually think about who they are or should want to be. No self awareness only awareness of how others see their self. No self development – like a car with a perfect paintjob but an engine that is falling apart.

Herd #3: The pissed off patriot herd ready to blame all the problems on someone else. If it’s not the Mexicans, it’s the Arabs, if not the Arabs, it’s the Californians, or the Mushroom pickers, or the Democrats or the Republicans or the Libertarians, or the people down the street. I feel for the people in this herd – I agree with them sometimes which I guess puts me in the herd sometimes, but the problem is they never look at the rest of the world – they only listen to the American view of things.

Then there are the rest of us – the retirees, the screwed, the spit on, the over regulated, the under served, the tired, the poor, the restless souls, the hungry, the few who perhaps could do it better if not for the over regulation, and the community minded.

Fuck it, I’m not innocent. I don’t have the answers. I do see the problems pretty clearly though. It all comes down to two issues – 1) Too much technology and 2) Too much government – unfortunately, those are two of the most powerful forces to ever exist – Government automagically encroaches on the freedom of it’s citizens to protect itself – Technology is the same and worse because it forces all to use it or be left behind. There are no more payphones in my town – if you don’t have a cellphone, you can’t make a call. Government is savvy and uses technology to control and inform on its citizenry. Technology is savvy and uses it’s power to control government, citizens, and to gather information.

I may have the freedom to write this but I can only have that freedom if I pay for a laptop, a connection, electricity, a place to sit, and do that by earning money, spending money, and using technology. Freedom is gone. I could tell you a million freedoms I don’t have
– to disappear
– to live in the woods (without a permit)
– to stop paying bills or taxes
– to be free

All of it is clear in America, but only if you have taken some time to not look in the mirror.

One Man, No Plan, uhhhhh-ohhhhh

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