TMCG: It’s Pronounced “Spaghetti”

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S3EP5-13Oct2008-The Amazing Maze Race/The Color of Monkey

 

The demeaning Italian stereotype that runs the local restaurant in Curious George’s universe is named Chef Pisghetti.

He too, is certifiably insane.

MYH, Professor Wiseman, and Pisghetti the racist caricature decide to go birdwatching.

They leave the restaurant, Pisghetti’s livelihood and raison d’etre, in the charge of two idiot children, Curious George, and a hyperactive black dog named Charkie because why tf not.

Buckets of paint are in the kitchen. As the birdwatchers stalk their quarry, MYH remarks that he is glad he left George at the restaurant, where he can stay clean.

Foreshadowing.

Curious George paints himself bright orange. Charkie paints himself blue and goes running through the restaurant splashing blue paint everywhere. George chases him, making the restaurant look like Carrie White loved the Gators.

When they return, nobody is mad. Curious George remains unbeaten and unkilled. Pisghetti lets George eat cake. They then have the great idea to paint George red and put him on the cover of a birdwatching magazine.

Because the bird they went looking for is red.

Why can’t I stop this?

 

-Professor Zac Showers

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TMCG: Mammon

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S3EP7-01Dec2008-George Digs Worms/Everything Old Is New Again

 

Today I noticed that the building in which Curious George lives has at least ten stories, and is painted bright yellow.

The Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) is not the only resident. There are perhaps dozens of other tenants, the existence of whom I had not considered before. They flit about offscreen, intangible as shadows, whispering, circling.

I have a new theory. Much like the Rugrats and the three Eddies, everyone in this building is already dead.

In the Hotel season of American Horror Story, the Hotel Cortez was built by a serial killer named James March. It is filled with the restless shades of his victims and the damned souls of his co-conspirators, plus some vampires and the prudish wife from Big Love. It is hell, or at least some aspect of it, and March is its Prince. Perhaps he is Belial, demon of foul desire, and thus the diversions offered in his hotel are nothing but kids playing video games, old people smoking weed, and Lady Gaga having threesomes that sometimes include Rudolph Valentino.

But I digress. There is another hell. For, you see, MYH is Mammon, the Golden One, Bringer of Wealth, Caecodemon of the Purse, and his building is a nexus of avarice. Those who reside there are forever punished for their selfishness.

It was all made clear to me when Curious George discovered recycling.

The Doorman (Charon) and his loyal dachshund Hundley (Cerberus), are taking out the trash. They mention to Curious George that trash must be separated as wheat from chaff, “real trash” from that which may be resurrected and used again. The Doorman says there is to be a contest among the buildings to see who can collect the most recycling, and the winner will receive a fabulous gilded MacGuffin.

George knows good and damn well what recycling is. He knows what trash is. He knows that empty containers and finished meals go in the trash, the old things, not the new. But desire for the gold overwhelms all, and George is determined to fill the bins for the Doorman.

He begins to steal.

MYH’s refrigerator is ransacked. Half-empty containers are melded together with little regard for taste or nourishment. The jar of olives is combined with peanut butter, so that the peanut butter jar may be recycled. Salt is poured in the cereal, and the salt shaker is recycled. From there, George moves throughout the building. All newspapers disappear. Paint buckets are emptied, their contents combined with the groceries of a dozen apartments, so that empty vessels may be placed in the dumpster to be measured, and others may be filled in the unholy union of bubble bath and orange juice, or Windex and hummus.

In short, Curious George befouls the sustenance of every apartment as expertly as a flight of Harpies.

Literally no one suspects George is the culprit. It is as if every day in hell is fresh, and all memory is wiped, so that each torment is without peer and Sisyphus himself cannot remember why the rock keeps rolling back. Curious George has gleefully tortured the inhabitants of this city for three seasons so far, and yet no one remembers.

Instead, they blame the Doorman and accuse him of taking the stuff in order to artificially inflate his recycling count and cheat his way to the MacGuffin. Had they access to a Wicker Man, the angry mob that forms around the Doorman would surely have burnt him alive.

And his little dog too.

But alas! MYH appears at the last moment and tells everyone that George did it. Is George burnt alive? Is he beaten or killed?

No, for who can stand against the power of Hell? Who dares injure the familiar of Mammon? The tortured souls melt away back to their cells. George dances triumphant, because MYH’s power is absolute in the realm of Mammon. We are left with Curious George and the Doorman inspecting their recycling trophy and laughing.

Laughing.
Laughing at what has been wrought.

 

-Professor Zac Showers

TMCG: Taking the Bus

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S3EP8-16Feb2009-Wheels on the Bus/Seed Trouble

 

Why does the Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) ride the bus?

He has a car–I’ve seen it. He drives out to his country house in it.

He has a country house. He owns a bright yellow apartment building. Why does he not have a limousine on retainer, complete with an angry but deferential driver who bows and scrapes dutifully, but dreams of squandering his dead father’s life insurance on a liquor store scam?

Perhaps he wishes to save the environment. Perhaps he likes to pretend to give a shit about the hoi polloi, to rub elbows with the less fortunate and share with them the savage joy of a monkey who ruins lives with the kind of reckless abandon normally reserved for Ponzi-schemers and East African dictators.

Perhaps.

But today, MYH was late for a very important presentation. He had scribbled some drawings, childish representations of pigs and horses and smiling snakes, of which he was proud and about which Curious George was…curious. Professor Wiseman wanted a distinguished colleague–from Paris–to see these drawings, and so she sent word to MYH to meet them at a swanky restaurant.

MYH had ten minutes–the length of an episode–to make it to this restaurant and show off his art.

This bitch decides to take the dadgum bus. Even better, he gives the route map to Curious George and trusts him to plot their journey.

MYH makes it onto the bus. Curious George does not. At the last second, he drops the map and it blows away, so he goes scampering after it.

Nine minutes until presentation. MYH does not stay on the bus. He does not ask the driver for route information. He panics and gets off, shouting for George.

He leaves his bullshit drawings on the bus and it drives away. Seven minutes.

Curious George catches up with the map. Some kid on a bicycle, who is inexplicably fine with a monkey clutching his head and screaming in his ear, takes him on a quest to find the bus, on which MYH most certainly is not.

It is at this point I meet the most put-upon and pathetic creature in George’s universe, a man who did not expect his day to go this way, a man who is simply trying to make a living, a man who managed to live his entire life without tangling himself up with MYH. He is a taxi driver. Brown, because all taxi drivers are brown, but blessed with the kind of Brooklyn accent that dwells upon phrases like “Hey buddy” and “Listen, Mac” as if they were part of a rosary.

MYH gets in his cab. He demands that the taxi driver follow that bus, find a monkey on a bicycle, find his pictures, and get him to a specific downtown restaurant.

Wat. Hey buddy, five minutes.

Taxi driver is confused. “Where to, Mac?” did not produce the desired answer. Instead, taxi driver now has to listen to a diatribe about monkeys and bicycles from a guy that looks like a pencil.

He asks what we are all thinking, “Hey buddy, you want me to follow a bus? Why didn’t you just ride the bus?”

MYH does not wish to give a coherent answer. Three minutes.

Cutscene to Professor Wiseman, sitting with distinguished guy from France in the restaurant. She remarks that MYH has NEVER been THIS LATE for ANYTHING before.

I now believe Professor Wiseman is not at the restaurant. Such an asinine claim could have only been made by a replicant of Professor Wiseman that was built that very morning and did not know what monkeys were.

One minute.

George finds the pictures. He gleefully brachiates through Central Park with the pictures clutched in his feet. He knows he will beat MYH to the restaurant, and he has a few minutes to kill, so he briefly drops down from the trees into a buggy pulled by two horses. The horses freak out and stampede away through the park. The man in charge of the buggy watches his livelihood thunder away, and no doubt wonders how long he will be in prison when the horses accidentally trample somebody.

George returns to the trees, unbeaten and unkilled. Zero minutes, time is up.

Guy from France says he cannot wait any longer, because he has a plane to catch. He leaves. He runs into Curious George outside on the sidewalk. Curious George shows him the pictures.

He loves them. He praises them effusively, especially the one of a spotted snake which is smiling as it contorts itself into the shape of a staircase. They are brilliant and inspired. Matisse should have chopped his hands off. And etc.

MYH comes running up. Taxi driver probably goes off to an AA meeting or something.

“Oh. So YOU’RE the artist who painted these wonderful pictures? Amazing. Stupendous. I absolutely need these pictures to be displayed in a children’s hospital in Paris. Do you and your monkey want to come to Paris?”

Yes. Yes they do.

 

-Professor Zac Showers

Young Fat Stupid Cops are Poor

 

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The standards to become a Law Enforcement officer are entirely too low. This is a problem in my opinion. The dangerous nature of the job makes it an unappealing one to most people who are qualified to do it. Although being higher in rank within the chain of command at any specific agency brings a more desired salary, the demanding schedule and workload of a rookie officer comes with sub-par wages and benefits. There is a clear correlation between standards and pay. There is a problem, at least locally, where departments are understaffed, because no one wants to be a cop. People don’t want to become a police officer because they don’t get paid enough, but I don’t know what to do about it.

 

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Maybe cops should get paid more. I’ve heard it said that military, law enforcement, teachers etc. should be paid like football players. Essentially swapping income between public servants/first responders and professional athletes. That would be dope. I’d love to make as much as Russell Westbrook, just cruising around arresting people. I’d get sued more often that’s for sure. Meth heads would be lining up to sue me for “violating their constitutional rights”. A more logical thing would just be to raise the pay in a way that is proper reciprocation for putting your life in danger. Maybe make all law enforcement a federal or state job with a pay scale like the GS (General Schedule). For sure needs to be a universal pay, regardless of location. I know cops who make $10/hr. and that is SAD. Those cops could get hurt or killed doing their job, obviously the chances are lower in less densely populated areas, but it doesn’t matter. The job we do is dangerous.

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Until the standards are raised to become a police officer the low pay will probably not change. Most police departments in the US have a minimum education requirement of a diploma or GED. I have a diploma and some college, and I sometimes still have trouble with constitutional law. Further education would obviously only help you in any career, but maybe the minimum requirement should be higher. As far as the fitness requirements those should absolutely be raised. In the state of Alabama the standard is a 1.5 mile run in 15:28 or faster, 22 push-ups in a minute, and 25 sit-ups in a minute. I am certain that my 3 year old niece could complete that with ease. There is also an agility portion of the test that involves; pushing a car, climbing a 6ft fence, walking on a balance beam, climbing through a window, and dragging a 165lb dummy. Most agencies don’t even test yearly to make sure that those standards are being kept up with after completing your certification. Some people think of cops as fat doughnut eating slobs who sit around and BS, only working when they are ruining your day by writing you a speeding ticket. I’ll tell you that there are absolutely some cops who fit that description perfectly. That will always be the case though, but the physical fitness part can be changed by raising the standards. Most agencies require a minimum age of 21 by the time you complete your POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification. Maybe make that age 25? I became a police officer when I was 23 and will admit that I wasn’t mature enough for the job, but thanks to competent and caring supervisors I quickly changed.

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I don’t know how to change the standards, but they need to be higher that’s for sure. Until then I’ll keep doing my job, trying to affect change in people’s heart to do better, for less than desired wages.

 

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Guns + Mental Disorders = Our Problem

I realize that “being kind” and “mass shootings” have been common themes in my blogs here lately, and if that bores you, I’m sorry. I just think that they are important things to talk about. 

“Death is inevitable on this earth, live as long as the good lord will let you, and leave behind a legacy of love and kindness that will be cherished and remembered by all”

 

14 Nov. 2017 – Corning, CA – 6 dead 10 injured

12 Nov. 2017 – Atlanta, GA – 2 dead 2 injured

5 Nov. 2017 – Sutherland Springs, TX – 27 dead 20 injured

18 Oct. 2017 – Edgewood, MD – 3 dead 3 injured

1 Oct. 2017 – Las Vegas NV – 59 dead 441 injured

 

Mass acts of violence like shootings and just gun violence alone have unfortunately become normal in our world. So normal that I bet you didn’t even know the two above not in bold happened. I didn’t. Those are just 5 of the 46 “Mass Shootings”, according to this, to happen since the 1st of October this year. These horrible events have become so common that we’re almost numb to it. So numb that we just over look it with almost no emotion.

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I saw the above meme the other day on FB. It is an obvious shot at bleeding heart liberals with no knowledge of firearms who rant about gun control. My first reaction was “Awesome, I want that gun, sign me up”. My second reaction was “LOL stupid ass liberals”. My third thought was to share the post. Not until I “liked” it and looked at some comments did I realize that it was wrong in so many ways. I immediately felt queasy, and dirty, because I got amusement from it. It was terrible that I didn’t immediately feel bad about the shooting, but instead chuckled and said “badass”. Now I know most people who make these memes or share them or even like them don’t do it to make light of such a horrific thing. I surely don’t. It is just a true showing of how normal this is. And it’s sad.

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The people who died are gone and never coming back. The people injured will be scarred for life. The people close to both will be affected as well. Why do these things happen? Motive in most of these cases is left unfound because the person responsible either takes their own life, or leaves it up to a police officer or armed civilian. The surviving offenders rarely give an actual reason that is logically understood by anyone. People still give their theories though. The solution is almost always either; more strict gun control laws or better mental health care. The problem with this is that people are relying on the Government to fix it. These gunmen are and were citizens of the United States, in communities all around the country, and our neighbors. So, I guess I can understand people wanting the Governments help. I obviously don’t know the answer to the looming question, “What can be done about it?”. With that being said, I certainly don’t think the Government can be the cure-all and I think we as individual citizens in this country can do more.

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As far as gun control, gun prevalence levels generally have no net positive effect on total violence rates. A rise in homicide and gun assault rates increase gun prevalence. Gun control restrictions have no net effect on gun prevalence levels. Lastly, most gun control restrictions generally have a rising effect on violence rates. Simply put; people are gonna do what they want regardless of what rules or laws are put in place. Furthermore, Banning or criminalizing things has shown in many cases to create, or grow, an illegal, or “black”, market for those things. Illicit drugs are illegal in most states, yet they continue to be used and abused. Prohibition is a perfect example of what happens when something is criminalized, or in this example, made harder to obtain.

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I would suggest getting trained up on marksmanship with all weapons readily available for you to use. In addition, I think everyone should carry a weapon with them, legally and confidently, always. If guns scare you or you are unable to obtain one; learn a martial art. You would be surprised what you could do with your hands if you try. The point is; learn how to protect yourself and the people you care for by whatever means necessary.

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When it comes to mental health, I don’t know what people are expecting the Government to do about it. I am less than qualified to speak on it, but I’ll try. Often, the word “Evil” is used when describing these acts of violence. Evil is a word that has a religious connotation and is not scientific. Since I know that there are people who do not believe in any God or devil it is easier to say that the people who commit these awful acts have an absence of empathy. Which is exacerbated by negative environments, either parental or societal, and/or a genetic component. These are human conditions, mental disorders like; borderline personality disorder, narcissism, and psychopathology. People with Autism fall into the same category. With a lack of empathy one may do something as horrible as kill 30 people in a church, but in other cases it could simply be a difference in how the person views the world and nothing bad ever happens. I suggest reading “The Science of Evil on Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty” by Simon Baron-Cohen. At the very least it is an interesting book even if you don’t take anything from it. The point is that whatever mental disorder someone is suffering from, their environment greatly affects their actions and the diverse ways their condition makes them think. People who are in that person’s life not only can help, but also can hurt.

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It is always my opinion that a sound relationship with the Lord and savior, Jesus Christ is beneficial for all. This world is worse now, and people need help, more than ever before I’d say, and that’s been an ongoing theme for most of my life at least. We should spread love everywhere we go and act on kindness every chance we get. If you have a loved one who is going through something or has a mental disorder, it is your duty to help them however you can. Although you may not believe it, people want help. Before someone chooses to take their life or a number of others, in many instances, there are signs, and they reach out for help. Pay attention, look and listen for signs. In addition, eating healthy and having a consistent fitness routine is always helpful with general health and has been shown to help with anxiety, depression, and many other symptoms of mental disorders.

Life is small and fast, and the Government is a large and slow aspect of our world. Don’t solely rely on it to fix a problem that you could potentially change for the better.

Monkey Business

An experimenter puts 5 monkeys in a large cage. High up at the top of the cage, well beyond the reach of the monkeys, is a bunch of bananas. Underneath the bananas is a ladder.

The monkeys immediately spot the bananas and one begins to climb the ladder. As he does, however, the experimenter sprays him with a stream of cold water. Then, he proceeds to spray each of the other monkeys.

The monkey on the ladder scrambles off. And all 5 sit for a time on the floor, wet, cold, and bewildered. Soon, though, the temptation of the bananas is too great, and another monkey begins to climb the ladder. Again, the experimenter sprays the ambitious monkey with cold water and all the other monkeys as well. When a third monkey tries to climb the ladder, the other monkeys, wanting to avoid the cold spray, pull him off the ladder and beat him.

Now one monkey is removed and a new monkey is introduced to the cage. Spotting the bananas, he naively begins to climb the ladder. The other monkeys pull him off and beat him.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The experimenter removes a second one of the original monkeys from the cage and replaces him with a new monkey. Again, the new monkey begins to climb the ladder and, again, the other monkeys pull him off and beat him – including the monkey who had never been sprayed.

By the end of the experiment, none of the original monkeys were left and yet, despite none of them ever experiencing the cold, wet, spray, they had all learned never to try and go for the bananas.

This metaphor is used to discuss how upper management could control the atmosphere at work by shooting down any new ideas. Possibly this could cause your coworkers to join in to hinder your chances at trying something new to achieve a goal or bring new results.

Now I don’t have a way to relate to this at work. But, I think we all can relate to this experiment with the way things are in everyday life.

We’ve seen so many people get beat up about their choices to try something different. Have you ever seen someone try something new? Almost every time people can’t wait to jump onboard to gossip or talk bad about them. That’s nothing more than people showing they have insecurities. If you want someone else to fail whether it’s at work, or in their life, it’s 99.9% of the time because you feel so bad about your own performance or your own life, you don’t want anyone else to succeed.

When was it we stopped supporting people? I can’t think of a time someone else’s success made me look bad. Can you? Imagine how much we could do if we supported each other. How we could live with less stress, how things could become so much easier for everyone. How success could be taken to all new levels by having so much support behind it.

We’ve got to do something different. We’ve got to support each other.

The problem is, who’s going to try and climb the ladder first?

Class Reunion

The room was filled with a nostalgic fog. It was as if the people present weren’t actually sure if it was real. Their sight was hindered by a rush of memory that wasn’t consistent with what they witnessed. Things have changed substantially, for some it was good change. Most everyone in attendance had advanced and achieved great things. You could almost smell the success in the room, and you could certainly hear it. The pride was deafening, bragging and boasting of the fortunate silenced any attempt at normal conversation. One man stood isolated, in the corner, propped up by a push broom. The atmosphere for him was similar, it was repetitive, he had been there before. It was different this time though, he knew them all. As he waited for the room to clear and prepped his tools for work, he saw her. A fond memory of kindness pierced the vengeful haze that clouded his direction. Understood by no one else but her, he thought. He began to question himself as he walked into the hallway. Could he complete his task and go home to sleep knowing that she was involved in the misery? Did the past matter enough to halt his meticulous planning? A familiar sound echoed in the distance. Her laugh. The moment his ears were reminded of that sound, he knew. With a fresh grin across his lips and the confidence of his decision he pulled the crimson lever and made his way out of the building. As the rain cascaded from the ceiling he couldn’t help but to think.

Would he have initiated the sequence of anthrax and napalm if he hadn’t seen Ophelia?

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