Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Alive 2099

The ship’s unpreparable, but rescue’s on the way.

Yes, without our communications grid we can’t contact Mission Control. And yes, since this sector’s uncharted they won’t know this moon exists.

But I’ve talked to the crew, and we agree there’s hope. Mission Control knows what sector we’re charting, and when we don’t return, they’ll scramble a search party.

Not great odds, but far from insignificant, so we need to hold it together as long as we can, and there’s no use blubbering about it.

Now; draw a straw. We’ll need to eat if we’re going to keep our strength up…

Monday, November 29, 2010

The "Learning" Channel

I bought Hoarders on DVD, and another player, in case mine breaks. Love the show.

Ripped the DVDs to my computer, backing them up on four external hard drives in case it crashed.

Then, at a yard sale, I found the series taped, on both VHS and Betamax! I grabbed both the tapes and appropriate players.

But now there’s too many chords for my TV. I’ll need another TV.

Not sure where I’ll put it, my house is so cluttered with tapes, but it’s worth it to watch those horrible people and their terrifying homes.

Gotta run! Hoarders is on…

A Poorly Conceived Love Story

You believe yourself a person with hopes, dreams and desires. But if you are, nobody will ever know what they are.

Because ’til now, you didn’t exist.

You’re immortal, ageless, forever beautiful. Always swept up in danger, never truly endangered.

You’re a beautiful empty suit, the cipher into which the world pours hopes and dreams, symbolizing everything to everyone and nothing of weight.

Yet they barely tolerate your presence.

For you are the romantic female lead in an action film. And while I do love you, deeply and truly, I have to go. There are people who need killing now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I’ve recently sold myself to Monsanto.

It’s not slavery, the representative making the offer explained to me, simply the purchase of the rights to my DNA, which are then leased back to me for 15% of any earnings my DNA and it’s derivatives might someday accrue. These earnings include wages, royalties, or the sale of creative material, as well as the wages, royalties or creativity of any offspring I may someday have. The rights to my DNA are held by Monsanto in perpetuity.

For these rights I received a one time, lump sum payment of $200 million.


Monsanto is unlikely to make any significant profit from this transaction, but profit isn’t what the purchase was about. It was about setting a legal precedent of DNA as an intellectual property that can be copyrighted, bought, and sold. I got $200 million for the rights to my genetic code, but all they’ll need from you is a blood sample and a good lawyer.

Monsanto has VERY good lawyers.

Because now that, legally speaking, DNA is an intellectual property, when you don’t copyright your own nothing stops them from filing the necessary paperwork.

The morally questionable nature of this transaction is by no means lost on me. But you have to see it from my point of view. There are seven billion people on Earth. If I hadn’t agreed to this, someone else would have. And one person agreeing to be the legal test case for a contract like this is all it takes.

So, although it does pain me, sometimes you just gotta take the money and run.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I wanted a Werewolf to guard my castle.

But that’s impossible, because this isn’t fantasy.

It’s science fiction, and nothing changes that. And I try not to delude myself about my limitations.

So in my lab, I designed self-replicating nanobots that rewrite human DNA, transforming their host into a human-wolf hybrid of the desired ferocity.

The toughest part was ensuring they’d never spread. I don’t want a plague, after all. They only function in the bloodstream, and in wine.

How is the wine?

Anyway, you’re probably wondering why I called you. Just wondering: Would you like to guard my castle?

Monday, November 22, 2010


I had the most horrible nightmare.

I dreamed the Zombies became self aware, learned to communicate and plan. And they’d used this ability, in addition to superior numbers, to breech the stone walls of our compound. I dreamed they swarmed in before we realized what they’d done, and were devouring our band of terrified survivors.

I dreamed there was nothing we could do.

But when I awoke and ran to the window, I was relieved to find it was just a dream.

Still outside, the same mindless, ravenous hoard that’d killed and eaten everyone I’d ever cared about.

So… good?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Crazy in Wonderland

The white rabbit sprinted by, as though late for an important date, and I knew I had to follow.

So across the yard we ran, the two of us, chasing one another. Until it disappeared into it’s burrow. I followed him partway, and inside saw a world unlike any I’d known…

“Sparky,” called the masters voice behind me, “back inside!”

I spun, to tell what I’d discovered, but before I could bark my tale, she wanged my ball across the room.

And I was off like a shot, what I’d witnessed gone from my mind, sprinting joyously toward new adventures…

Friday, November 19, 2010


Which is why I had electrodes implanted in my brain.

Wait, have I told the story yet? Sorry, I’m distracted…

I’ll start from the start. I’ve had small electrodes implanted in my brain, and when I push this button they stimulate…

I’m not sure what parts of my brain they stimulate, but that’s irrelevant. They were installed because I believe that, good or bad, the intensity of experiences is what makes them memorable.

And pushing this button is certainly memorable.

Which is why I had electrodes implanted in my brain.

Wait, have I told the story yet? Sorry, I’m distracted…

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Love Potion #8

She drank my love potion, and loved.

You could see it in her face, brighter, more vivid. As though worlds of possibility had opened up. Possibilities she’d never known or, perhaps, simply perspective on what she’d known forever.

She ran to the open window, screaming affirmations into the street below, at people who stared up as though she were a lunatic.

But she didn’t care, too filled was she with joy at being alive.

She’d developed perfect, undying love for the universe, in all it’s wonders and complexity, and for everything within it.

Yet still, she did not love ME….

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

By The Time I Got to Work...

…I was a wreck. Dishevelled, hair barely combed, unshaven. Pushing open the door, my hands were trembling. I saw this, but couldn’t control it.

I’d learned a lot about losing control.

Arriving at my cubicle, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t cry. Small victories.

Brian was staring, naturally shocked at my appearance. But what could I say? “I didn’t sleep last night. I was washing blood off the grill of my car, weeping.”

Sometimes honesty’s NOT the best policy.

So I mumbled about coming down with something, and turned toward my computer.

It was going to be a long day…

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

End of an Empire

The trouble began when we, as a nation, decided we were no longer capable of doing things.

The time of advancement, we agreed, was over, and the best we could hope was to preserve the traditions and accomplishments of previous generations.

But at what cost? If society doesn’t do anything, why should we pay our share of what is, ultimately, simple maintenance?

So we paid less and less, and had less and less to work with.

And in this way we cut ourselves apart, bit by bit, and cannibalized the pieces, leaving the future for younger, fitter empires to control…

Monday, November 15, 2010

Musings on Reali-TV (not my usual thing on here)

It's been a few days since I've updated due to the fact that I'm working too many hours at the moment, and the fact that everything I'm writing winds up being long enough to shop around to other markets. So, as a stopgap to tide you over until I'm back into the short, punchy, cruncy hundred-word swing of things, I thought I'd post my standup set from five or six years ago. I think you'll find it preachy and overly verbose, and it frequently went down very poorly at open-mic nights. And I assure you, my style of standup has not changed significantly since and I do not intend to learn from the lack of success I've had with it. Because I think I'm funny as hell. Enjoy!

Once, in a hotel room in Winnipeg, I saw the greatest thing on television I'd ever seen in my life. The hosts of a program took photographs of two overweight, unattractive children, observed their lifestyle for a week, then took their parents into a room and computer aged the overweight, unattractive children through their overweight, unattractive adolescence, into their overweight, unattractive adulthood, finally stopping the process when the nine and eleven year old children reached their obese, ugly fourtieth birthday.

The mother cried. The father struggled to be strong, but you could tell it was a struggle.

I can only imagine that this was a preamble to some sort of health program where the kids were encouraged to eat better, exercise more and lead a more healthy lifestyle in general. However, I'll never know this for certain, as once I saw those poor parents looks of shock and despair, I switched channels. I saw no reason to continue watching, as I'd already seen the money shot. I can't imagine I'm the only one to approach the show in this sort of cruel, dehumanizing way, and certainly this isn't the first show of this type to have it's principal appeal be the scorn it heaps upon the people who agree to appear on it, but it is, to date, the most vicious in the contempt it has for the people it attempts to claim it's trying to help.

And I, for one, am in favour of this. Because frankly, fuck those guys. I'm long on record as hating the sorts of people who willingly sign up for this sort of exploitive, voyeuristic nonsense, and the more we can make them suffer the happier I‘ll be. Previous to this most recent program, I was a long standing fan of the first half of every episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. You know, the half where they arrive unannounced at some poor unsuspecting victims home, tear the place apart, mock his taste in clothes, the decor of his home and his personal hygiene, and then throw out/destroy/burn his clothes and furniture. The second half, where they try to "fix" the guy, I could never get into as easily, but the first act was always enjoyable.

And the queen of them all, of course, was and is, although if shows like the above keep going may not always be, The Swan.

The Swan, for the uninitiated, was a program where two young women with terminally low self esteem sign on to undergo a rigorous boot camp where they punished their bodies to insane limits, starving themselves, spending most of their days in what basically amounted to physiotherapy, occasionally receiving surgical operations in the pursuit of some vague beauty myth. And at the end of each episode, the two young women descended a staircase in gowns that appear to have been designed by a team of six year olds who were asked what a fairy princess might wear, and one of them is told that she STILL ISN'T PRETTY ENOUGH, AND SHE NEVER WILL BE. The other girl, the "Winner", I'm told goes on to the final round at the season finale, where she is ALSO TOLD, MORE LIKELY THAN NOT, THAT SHE STILL ISN'T PRETTY ENOUGH. Fantastic. Top notch entertainment. Because they deserve it.

Perhaps that sounds cruel, and that’s because it definitely is. But it's true if you think about it. They don't deserve it because they can't learn to love themselves, that's tragic and it's a shame that they appear to have nobody in their lives willing to help them address it. However, they do deserve it for the sort of greedy narcissistic compulsion that drives people to reality TV in the first place. These people don't honestly believe that a six week boot camp will change their life, they believe that being on TV will. They seem in a very genuine way to believe that the simple act of having their personal ordeal witnessed by millions will make their troubles in life magically disappear, and that they'll then be reborn, beautiful and whole, rising like the phoenix from the ashes of their most public of humiliations. It's the same principal that drives people to eat insects on an island, or be buried in snakes to overcome the factor of fear, and when they return to their former lives, perhaps slightly wealthier or slightly thinner, to find that they are still, in a fundamental way, themselves, I can only imagine the tears they weep. And they deserve every tear, for putting the pursuit of celebrity above any other more rational consideration. It is for this reason that I feel no pity for the crying parents, or the girl sent along the road to bulimia on national television, or the man on Survivor who fell into the flames, christening himself the first and to date only contestant on the show to run the risk of not actually surviving, and it is for this reason that I always shall laugh at them.

Because Warhol said that we'd all be famous for 15 minutes. But if we don't use that time to DO anything of interest or importance then we consent to whatever is done to us instead.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Story

It was, it will surprise nobody with working knowledge of how I lived, Cancer.

Inoperable, incurable. But hopeless? Perhaps not.

My body, the recruiter for the project told me, would die no matter what I did. But he was looking for test subjects for a new process by which the consciousness could be transferred from brain to computer code. An imprint of my memories and personality could be taken and saved online or, if It was my preferred, shot into space in a small pod such that my spirit could explore the universe forever.

I’d always wondered what was out there. Never thought I’d have the opportunity to go, though…

Sharing the mainframe with me would be an AI sufficiently advanced to qualify as sentient. It would operate the workings of the pod as well as performing the even more vital duty of keeping me company. Without the body, you see, the mind needs constant company to stop it going mad from isolation.

It was an extreme solution, granted. An act of desperation. But I had no other options I could see. So, after saying my goodbyes to my family and friends, I signed the recruiters contract, was taken to their laboratory, and the process began.

Or maybe I’ve got that wrong, maybe it’s not my story. Maybe it’s yours.


Sometime after the third century, I admit, the distinction between the two of us became somewhat fuzzy….

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Some dreams aren’t meant to come true.

I dream of power, and it’s exercise unburdened by conventional morality. I dream of bending the world to my will, of having it’s “leaders” bow before me as their rightful master. Of uniting humankind, if only to serve at my pleasure.

Cody Jamison has simpler dreams. Dreams of growing old with his wife, of watching his newborn son graduate, of weddings, grandkids and life’s simple pleasures.

Dreams of a world in which giant robots don’t rampage through the streets of major cities.

But, as I said, some dreams aren’t meant to come true.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Riff on Free Will

“It is clear,” the Logician argued confidently, “that regardless of the existence of a supreme creator free will, as we understand it at least, is an illusion.”

“Positing a God figure, we must assume an infinitely powerful being controls, either by actions or inaction, everything. With the existence of such a being, the idea that we could “choose” to do or not do a thing is ridiculous on it’s face.”

“But without this being, and the eternal selfness some call “Soul” supposedly granted us by it, all we are is meat and chemicals, automata existing solely to propagate genes. We may well respond to stimuli in a way such that the illusion of sentience is created, but it is precisely that. An illusion.”

“We are nothing more than biology. And biology is chemistry, chemistry is physics, and physics an unbroken chain of causes and effects stretching all the way back to the birth of the universe itself.”

“In this way, everything we do was predestined billions of years before our birth, and quite beyond any type of control.”

“So you see, Your Honour, although my wife is dead, and my hand plunged the knife into her, I could not possibly have killed her. Either God did or, more likely to my mind, a firing of neurons triggered by a chain of events more ancient than is fathomable. Thus; it is your duty as an officer of this court to find me innocent of all charges.”

The judge, from his bench, pondered this a while, and when he was done delivered this verdict.

“Your reasoning, Professor, seems perfectly sound, and I shall find you not-guilty. And moreover shall I instruct the executioner that, when he hangs an innocent man in the morning, he should do so without remorse. He is, after all, no more in charge of his actions than you are. Is this not true?”

Friday, November 5, 2010

No Such Thing as Zombies

The walking corpse outside your door isn’t a zombie.

There’s no such thing as zombies.

It’s simply a corpse I’ve rigged with remote-controlled animatronics, and which I control the movements of from the safety and comfort of my nearby van.

I’m watching you now, through miniature cameras behind it’s eyes.

But, in spite of there being no such thing as zombies, it is a walking corpse. And that’s all you’ll see.

That’s what makes this so great!

This may, I admit, be crossing a line.

It may end our friendship.

Yet, here in my van, I’m laughing my head off.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Night at Work

Work was dead this afternoon. So I watched Discovery.

Specifically, a documentary on Hubble and the search for inhabitable worlds.

It was, I admit, fantastic. Though I didn’t catch the end.

We got a rush, you see. And before long Humpteys was packed.

Although the crowd was quieter than expected.

When I had the time, I saw why. They were transfixed, lost in the idea of worlds outside ours, life upon them, and the possibility we might go there.

…the wonderful thing about this story is; it’s true.

The next time I’m disappointed in humanity, I’ll try to remember it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Visitors

Tonight, I was startled by a frantic pounding on my door.

In robe and slippers I, grumbling about the time, went to see who it could be. And there they were. Fifty-five million of them, crowded around my home…

“Hi,” one said shyly, “we’re liberals. American liberals. Could we crash on your couch for the next two years?

“You’re American liberals?”


“And you want to crash here?”


“Like, all of you?”


“For two years? I mean, I feel bad for you and everything, but come on! My place is pretty small!”

A sheepish grin; “We brought beer?”

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Munsi Paw

You missed my hands on your body, so I’ve cut off a hand and sent it to you.

You may think a disembodied hand couldn’t trace fingers gently along your spine properly, but rest assured it can. A visit to a gypsy after surgery saw to that.

I’m told there’s a slim, but not nonexistent, chance that reanimating the hand made it evil. DO NOT fall asleep in it’s presence.

I hope you enjoy my gift, and look forward to seeing you again.

…also, the hand grants wishes. But I’d urge you not to make any. It never ends well.