Sam Spade flips the bird.
I got a chain letter in my spam queue. I fixed it up. Made it better. I had the technology.
This was sent to me from an 11 year old girl. It really is beautiful. Really. I especially like #4, 9, 22 and 24. I need a little luck in my life now, as I’ve run into a bad streak playing the ponies. Please pass it onto others.
This Tantra Totem has been sent to you for good luck. It has been sent around the world exactly one million times so far. You will receive good luck and/or ice cream within four days of relaying this Tantra Totem. Send copies to people you think need good luck and/or ice cream. Don’t send money as fate has no price, although ice cream can cost a pretty penny these days. Do not keep this message unless you want to.
The Tantra Totem must leave your hands in 96 hours. Send copies and see what happens in four days (that’s 96 hours for the lay people out there). You will get a very pleasant surprise. Or maybe you won’t, I don’t know. I’m just an 11 year old girl, what the hell do you want?
INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE
1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully, even if you hate them.
2. Memorize your favorite poem and repeat it out loud at all times.
3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have, sleep all you want, or smoke all your crack.
4. When you say, “I love you”, mean it, unless it’s not true and you want to fool the other person.
5. When you say, “I’m sorry”, look the person in the eye and dare them to make your day.
6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married, unless you’re pregnant or your visa is running out.
7. Believe in love at first sight. All that crap about beauty being skin deep is nonsense.
8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams, unless their dreams are really stupid.
9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely. I should know, I am an 11 year old girl.
10. In disagreements, fight fairly until you start to lose.
11. Don’t judge people by their relatives. Judge them by how stupid they are themselves.
12. Talk slowly, stutter a lot, and pretend you can’t hear what the other person is saying.
13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and say, “You must be awfully dumb not to know that.”
14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
15. Call your mum. Pretend you’re English. Mum’s love that.
16. Say “bless you” when you hear someone sneeze, even if they’re on television.
17. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. Of course, if the lesson is what you lost to begin with, that doesn’t apply.
18. Remember the three R’s: Redi-Whip non-dairy topping; Rutabagas; Rosicrucians.
19. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you can always laugh at other people.
20. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, quickly hide the evidence and roundly deny everything.
21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice, assuming it’s one of those futuristic TV phones.
22. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. Remember that rich people usually make the best conversationalists.
23. Spend some time alone, plotting.
24. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values, because you might drop them on your foot. Values are often heavy and you could end up hurting yourself.
25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer, especially when the question was silence as well.
26. Read more books with pictures and watch less public television.
27. Live a good, honorable life. Then, when you get older, you can get away with anything because people won’t suspect you.
28. Trust in God but lock your car if you own a model that God really likes.
29. A loving atmosphere at home is so important. If your home isn’t tranquil, hang out in one that is.
30. In disagreements with loved ones, put them off guard by dredging up dirt from their past. Go for the jugular! You want to win, don’t you?
31. Read between the lines. There are tiny messages written there from extra-terrestrials. They tell me to do things. Bad things.
32. Share your knowledge. It won’t take long.
33. Be gentle with the earth, but firm with the sky.
34. Pray. It won’t do anything, but it makes you look all spiritual and stuff.
35. Never interrupt when you are being pleasured orally.
36. Mind your own business or I will kick your ass.
37. Don’t trust a man/woman who doesn’t close his/her eyes when you kiss. This does not apply if that person has no eyelids.
38. Once a year, go to a busy street corner and shout proclamations to the passers-by. Don’t stop until the police come.
39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. Many people can take comfort by watching you live a lavish, pampered lifestyle.
40. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck, but that is very rare. Usually it just sucks.
41. Learn the rules then break some. But don’t blame me when you go to jail.
42. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other and where you have sex, like, all the time.
43. Judge your success by how many people you had to crush in order to get it. (More is better)
44. Remember that your character is your destiny. Or your future. Or maybe just your fate. Fuck, I don’t know.
45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon, but always use protection when you eat shellfish.
Now, here’s the FUN part, although I’m using ‘FUN’ pretty loosely here.
Send this message to at least 5,000 people and your life will improve.
0-4,999 people: You will grow horrible boils all over your body.
5,000-9,000 people: Your life will improve and animals will love you.
9,000-14,999 people: You will have at least 5 surprises and/or orgasms in the next 3 weeks.
15,000 and above: You will ascend to Nirvana on a rainbow-colored escalator. The people of the world will make statues of you and sing your praises. You will get free Internet access.
the lyrical qualities
of logical quandaries
keep me awake
as I dream
and I see
the shapes of peo
ple in my mind
they stuff a god
a meal divine
without much work
a song erupts
a virulent hip
po pot a mus!
a card-carrying member of world-watchers anonymous
my brain won’t stop
my brain won’t stop
my brain won’t stop
I can’t go to sleep
Ok, yes, two books in a row with ‘Brave New World’ in the title. Amazon knows me well. This one is about the future of work and takes as its premise the death of the implicit contract of full-time employment for most everyone (at least everyone white and male) that existed in the US and much of Western Europe in the middle twentieth century.
There are some interesting ideas here about what might take its place, centered around the idea of ‘civil labor’, a sort of activist, publicly-funded but privately-organized community volunteerism. At least I think that’s what it is. The writing is the dull and opaque sort of academese that makes for hard reading.