Monthly Archives: June 2013

Exquisite Corpse

In which Carrie, Steven and Kariessa play a game of Exquisite Corpse … 

ROUND 1

Seed: It was a dark and stormy night at

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always

It was a dark and stormy night at

the circus and the clowns were restless. It had

neva occurred to Smithey that for once

he had gone a whole month without drinking water.

But that wasn’t important now, because the

water was there, in his four-tentacled hand.

He took a deep drink of the salty brine, savoring the

burn of it as it went down his esophagus. “Oh how

much better this would taste with a twinkie!”

So, he made a twinkie out of rotting wood and slime.

But somehow it lacked that je nais sai qua, like

the way dust motes dulled vision in wind.

He sighed and realized that he was forever

restless, forever a clown, and it would always be dark and raining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bella’s Addiction, Edward’s Reform

It was a dark and stormy night at

the end of a pencil when Bella snorted when

she was taking drugs. Then, Edward came

and pointed out that sugar wasn’t really a drug.

She looked up at him with dulled visage

as he hadn’t fed in weeks. His eyes gleamed

in a satisfied, easygoing sort of way, as he contemplated

the slimy snot running down her lips and

the gaping rents in his face, from which pus

had dripped. “You look good tonight,” he said with

Victorian charm. “Your earlobes look pale

and your scent…” He lunged forwards, crosses bared

and then changed his mind. There was a better way-which

involved vegetarians, and their little dogs, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conquest of the Eyeballs: A History of Their Victories and Pulsating Ways

It was a dark and stormy night

at the haunted restaurant. Eyeballs floated

nervously, unsure of themselves, but confident

of their ultimate design. Dawkins appeared

and the zombers wondered who he was. Then,

he pointed out how clever he really was, so much more than

the evil scientist so many had thought

was going to be the first to make ants dance.

But the eyeballs had a new though, that perhaps

they could evolve, or devolve from high rank.

So, their floating changed. Each started to pulsate

and stared intently, daring Dawkins and the zombers

to do what they might, but knowing how

they would eventually pulsate their way into victory!

ROUND 2

Seed: She was a bad cat, really, if you

How Kitty’s Heart Turned to Ice: A Cautionary Tail

She was a bad cat, really, if you

weren’t paying close attention. “Once,” I said,

“She walked all the way across the field, carrying a

mountain on her back (dwarves included).

And the next day, she lounged around all day,

weary and sore, but tender in her affections.” Then,

everyone realized that the last sentence didn’t

follow from the first. But a cat has its tail

tucked underneath, and like the every flexible feline

she could produce round droplets of slime from her

ears or her… But wait! She has some

other things she cared about besides slime and genes.

She also loved to eat slime, which was totally

divine to cat kind, the Opiate of Meow.

So she became content. No more mountains, no

more affections. Her heart became cold and desolate forever.

Bad Cat I

She was a bad cat, really, if you

looked at it from the bird’s point of view. But

who cared about the bird, anyway? He was just

“endangered.” All those hippies need to come to

realize that there was an easy solution. Penguins

just needed to be genetically modified so that

they stopped the tux act and blend in.

And the cat knew that – knew that in a way that

made the world make sense. So, her evil plot

started edging up the plot pyramid, vying

for Evil Plot Victory. The first step was to get rid of

the lesser plots. She did this by suffocating them with

furball clots. The penguins paled. They

knew they had just one chance. They had to get

the Dark Lord Voldemort to help them. So they did. The

Dark Lord gave free tux rentals & she was finished.

Bad Cat 2

She was a bad cat, really, if you

thought about how she had drunk dog vomit and

then vomited that up, and drank that, too.

But that wasn’t the worst thing. Not at all – for

she also loved to roll around in her scat, and

then cat skat at the local club where all

the kool cats sat, chewing the fat on the mat eating

their own flesh. After all, they could make

more! The gene-squencing cats at Washington

had found a way to power cats with nuclear energy,

turning them into warheads. Technically, it was the plutonium,

but, when used effectively, those suckers

really roll round ranking, rhyming, running, and

eating each other. What no one knew was that

Edward and Bella never kissed or ate

cats, after all. So she was finally able to sleep, purring contentedly to herself.

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Necessary and Sufficient Cause: On Evil and Anger

In which we examine if evil is real, and, while assuming it is, what it’s causes and expressions are…

A wise man told us once “it is easier to make it worse than to make it better.”  We wonder if this is true, and if making it worse is merely an expression of mere laziness or full-blow corruption and insanity, while, conversely, if making it better is the product of pure Good.  We have to assume a theory of human nature in this and, for time’s sake, we’ll plug in the concept of Evil.

Question: By believing Evil is a necessity of human nature, does this excuse “evil” acts?

This question makes several assumptions, for instance, the one which implies a universal human nature.  We will assume there is something like a biological unity tying us to one another, and perhaps a social one as well which shows us that certain things like a smile, can exist across cultures to mean something “about happiness.”

The excusing “evil acts” is loaded as a prescription, in the end, but it takes an ethical form first.  To excuse is value-laden – one makes excuses, at least in the the culture we are part of.  But it ultimately asks, should one attempt to control one’s evil nature so that it does not harm others or self?

Well, how do we do that?

But first, what are examples of evil behavior?  Many would consider homicide and dishonesty classic examples of the worst possible of evils.  We have heard once or twice that these may be universals among human culture, and when presented with a dilemma of having to choose murder over lying or visa versa, it is difficult to do.  We presently consider the quality (in humans) of anger which exists in most or all of us, as a cause of much evil in the world.

And now to the metaphysics.  We have proposed that Evil does absolutely exit.  This is in direct contrast to a friend’s metaphysics which denies the existence of evil outright, as nonsense. While this certainly needs its due in this argument, we will only briefly use it for contrast.

We looked at the concept of causation this morning in preparation for this question.  Aristotle’s classical four Four Causes were considered.

Material: The physical nature of a thing determines its behavior (assumes that our physiology, neurochemistry, or wiring determines how we will be in the world – deterministic view).

Formal : A thing’s form (human or plant or mineral) determines its nature or role (assumes that because we have the shape and constitution of humanness we will act fitting to that structure – might involve social features).

Efficient: The agency of the thing imparts change (so humans have some will over their actions independent of their material make up or human structure in body or society).

Final: is the ultimate end for which the thing exists, perhaps unknown (a human may believe there is some greater purpose to its existence, though may not be able to pinpoint it exactly).

The Material Cause and Formal Cause interpretations show us that Evil (and anger) are somewhat pre-determined either by brain structure or the structure of our human life in society by virtue of our place on the food chain.  (This deserves a much richer analysis than what we are giving at present.)

The Efficient Cause interpretations place much greater weight on human choice, action, will –  or agency.  We can think first and then act, or, we have some, if not all control over our inherent evils, such as anger.

The Final Cause interpretation might likely be deterministic if one believes in a God or it might be a mix of will and determinism given our propensity to reflect of past and imagine future.  It also involves a sort of self-creation (i.e. if I believe i am evil I will perform evil acts, if I believe I am good, it follows I will perform good acts).

The last bit we wish to put forth are the concepts of Necessary and Sufficient Causes.  Necessary means something must exist for an outcome to happen, though it won’t necessarily happen.  Sufficient cause relies on a Necessary condition to be there, but certain key variables must also for the necessary cause to be realized.

The example provided by Robert Chadwill Williams from The Historian’s Toolbox: A Student’s Guide to the Theory and Craft of History, is excellent for demonstrating Necessary and Sufficient conditions:

“Causation is like an explosion.  Necessary causes are like dynamite, plutonium, or hydrogen – that is, the fuel.  Sufficient causes are like the fuse, match, implosion lenses, or atomic trigger – that is, the ignition device.

Ignition causes explosion – but only because the fuel is present.”

What causes someone to explode in an expression of evil may have many causes.  It might be controlled to an extent, and with a lot of practice, but the metaphysics here pose (without sufficient analysis, granted) it will not go away from the human form, so long as we continue to exist.  Much of these causes imply determinism and therefore excuse evil acts as simply part of human life.

But it is easier to make life worse, than better, said the wise person.  Don;t we owe it to pride to overcome evil, to control it through some kind of self-determinism?