Civil Court

Idea for a new sport:

Competitive theater in which two illusionists present contrasting versions of reality and require the audience to give power of absolute truth to one.

Following, the illusionists explain their attempts to deceive in a joyous manner and mock the commissioners of their illusions, who have invested themselves significantly in the illusionists abilities to deceive the audience.

Dog and Santa

Okay guys. This is a weird one. Please tell me someone gets it:

Dog and Santa

Nick was an average 8 year old Pataran. His parents, Edward and Joanna, were very well off, as were most Patarans. Nick had every toy he could ask for. As much as they provided for Nick, he was never satisfied. A picky eater, Nick often refused to eat his mother’s cooking, generally on Wednesdays and Fridays (meatloaf and tuna casserole night, respectively). When Edward attempted to insist Nick eat his mother’s cooking, Nick would often throw tantrums, rolling around on the kitchen floor, screaming. One day, while walking along the shore, Nick spotted the body of a canid in the tall weeds near the sand. Nick approached the animal with disregard. Flies buzzed around the its face. Nick pulled a long weed from the ground and poked the animal with it. The canid’s body lay there motionless. Nick then struck the animal with the weed 3 times before the animal let out a quiet growl. Delighted by this, Nick struck the canid harder. In response to this, the canid sprung to its feet and dove at Nick, pinning him to the ground. Nick wept, afraid to move as the canid’s jaws clenched his throat.

Nick awoke the next morning to find the canid sleeping on the floor near his bed. Joanna called out, “Nick, it’s time to get out of bed!”. Nick looked to his door, in the direction of his mother’s voice and then turned over to face the wall. The canid let out a loud bark and Nick sprang to his feet. Nick looked, angrily at the canid as the canid growled, his head low, as though he would pounce any second. Nick walked guardedly toward the door and the canid’s growling ceased.

The canid followed Nick and his parents through the streets of Pataran. It sat quietly outside as Nick and his parents attended a church service. Nick hated church. It was boring. As the congregation bowed their heads in prayer, Nick attempted to slip out the front door. As he opened the door, he came face to face with the great beast as it sat just outside. The canid reared his teeth and growled. Nick closed the door in retreat and took his seat next to his father in the pew.

As the service ended, Nick felt a great sense of apprehension. Would the canid be waiting? Edward and Joanna exited in front of Nick. The door was held wide open for Nick. As Nick exited the dark church, the canid came into view. It sat attentively by as Nick’s mother and father passed. Nick followed carefully, never taking his eyes off the canid. The canid followed, cheerfully behind.

Years later, Nick and the canid had taken on new names. Santa and Dog lived alone in large empty house. Santa loved and simultaneously loathed Dog. Although Dog was reason for many interactions with children, Dog was the reason Santa came home to an empty house. Santa had wanted children of his own, but never conceived a child as a result of Dog’s threat of bite any time Santa approached a female with less than pure intent.

One evening, Santa sat at his dinning room table as Dog lay quietly resting near the door. Santa’s anger grew as he stared at Dog. The fat, disgusting beast. It never ate, and somehow, it was fat. Santa was no longer a small child. He would end the torment Dog put him through once and for all. He stood quickly, his chair slamming to the wooden floor. Startled, Dog looked up quickly from his nap and growled. He was older, weaker. Santa walked intently across the dinning room, every step pounding against the wooden floor. He grabbed Dog by the scruff of his neck and flung him into the next room, Dog’s nails dragged across the floor. Santa grabbed a broom from the stairwell leading to the basement. He would finish this the way it started. When he turned around, Dog stood before him. The canid seemed bigger, somehow. As Santa raised the broom handle, Dog leapt forward, pushing Santa back toward the stairs. Santa grabbed for the door atop the stairs, pulling it closed as he fell.

And so it was for the remainder of their days that Dog lived above, attempting to inspire others to do good, and Santa lived below, as a result of his refusal to do good.

What Alternate Uses for Slang Terms for Genitalia Say About How We View Gender Roles in Our Society

First, if one is said to be a slang word for female genitalia, he or she is viewed as weak. He or she may be seen as cowardice or even lacking in conviction. These ideas align with negative stereotypes of the female gender. Perhaps it is the fact that genitalia are the most easily recognizable characteristics of the genders that inspires our willingness to attribute the names of genitalia with social characteristics associated with the genders. Still, our continued use of this slang would seem to only further instill negative stereotypes. The fact that this term is often used to insult men and rarely women would seem to imply that these undesirable stereotype are still very active in our society. After all, it is not an insult to imply one is what he or she is supposed to be. It is society’s double standard that says men are not supposed to be sensitive and women are.

If one is said to be a part of the male genitalia, he or she is said to be rude, mean, and callous. Oddly enough, this insult is often delivered to men and rarely to women. This would seem to be rather telling of the human male’s place in society. Although, men have taken leading roles when it comes to many aspects of our society over most of documented history, recent history shows a push for balance between the genders when it comes to income and power. Perhaps this is the root cause for the negative stereotypes associated with men and the term for part of men’s genitalia discussed here. The fact that men are often the recipients of such an insult only says that men are not what they should be. When a man is on the receiving end of such an insult, it is being said that he is guilty of embodying what is wrong with the male gender.

Lastly, if one is said to have two specific parts of the male anatomy, he or she is said to be brave and unwavering. The use of this slang in this way utilizes a positive stereotype of the male species. It says men are generally less cowards than women. But even positive stereotypes, especially when applied to one of two varieties, can be detrimental to our society. Not only does this stereotype set the expectation that all males behave in a fearless way, it also implies a lack of male genitalia requires one to be fearful.

Peace Be Upon You

A long time ago in the land of Egypt, a tribe of llamas lived deep within the Cave of Swimmers. Afraid of offending the great fire in the sky, the tribe of llamas only ventured from the cave at night to search for food. One evening, while searching for food, a young llama by the name of Dolly Assa came across a rather pungent plant. Moments after consuming several leaves from the plant, she began feeling rather funny. The stars above her felt like giant glowing orbs. Overcome by the beauty in the sky above her, she collapsed to the ground. In awe of the great show in the sky, she lay there for hours before drifting off to sleep.

Dolly awoke several hours later as the great fire in the sky was just peering over the horizon. Dolly panicked. She was far from home and there would not be enough time to find shelter before the great fire was fully awake. Dolly sprang to her feet and began running. The great fire chased her, slowly creeping over the horizon. She knew the elders would decree she be delivered to the great body of water under the Sahara for disrespecting the sky fire.

When she arrived at the cave’s entrance, the fire in the sky was directly overhead. The guard stopped Dolly just inside the mouth of the cave.
“Where have you been?!”, he demanded.
“I’m so sorry. I found this incredible plant and… and I fell asleep.”
“You know it is forbidden to sleep outside the cave.”
“Yes, I know. I j j just…” Dolly began to tear up, “You have to try this plant. then you’ll understand.”
“Tonight”, the guard smiled.
Relieved, Dolly made her way to her family quarters.

Dolly waited eagerly for the sky fire to go to sleep. Time inside the cave seemed to pass at an increasingly slow pace. Finally, the guard came to Dolly’s family quarters. It was time to go. Dolly followed the guard, feeling simultaneously anxious and excited. Dolly led the guard to the large, pungent plant which had inspired such wild visions the night before. The guard sniffed the plant and pulled off a leaf to chew. Dolly grabbed a leaf for herself and began chewing. After a few moments, Dolly began laughing uncontrollably. The guard scoffed at her apparent madness. What was wrong with this deviant, bizarre, funny… very funny… child? The guard began laughing.

The two walked hysterically back to the Cave of Swimmers. The king of llamas met them at the cave’s mouth. “Where have you been?!”, he demanded. The two, startled by the king’s voice, stopped laughing. The guard attempted to answer, “We were just… this plant…” The two burst into laughter. “Enough!”, the king demanded. who has brought this evil to our cave? The guard, regretfully gestured toward Dolly. “Dolly Assa, you have brought shame to your family!”, the king proclaimed, “You will now take your place in the great body of water!”

The contrite Dolly followed the guard to a hole deep in the belly of the cave. Scores of llamas followed as they made their way down. standing next to the hole, Dolly pleaded, “You don’t have to do this”. Her voice echoed in the emptiness below. The guard looked to the king and then back to Dolly and stared at her blankly. Dolly sighed and prepared for the inevitable push to come. The guard thrust his body into Dolly, causing her to fall into the deep hole. With the sound of a splash, the guard began to quietly weep.

The king turned to the crowd of onlookers and announced, “All llamas who partake in this evil plant shall be, from this day forward, known as “Assa llamas” and will suffer the same fate as the original “Assa llama”. As days turned into weeks, rumor of this magical plant spread throughout the cave. Many young llamas went out in search of this plant only to, in the end, suffer the same fate as Dolly.

Unable to relieve himself of the remorse he felt for Dolly, the guard set out one night with the intent of eating enough of the plant to end his life. The guard awoke the next morning with memories of a phantasmic light show in the sky. The great fire in the sky would be fully awake soon. The guard ran quickly toward the cave, but stopped just shy of it’s entry. Two larger llamas stood just inside the cave. One called out to the darkness of the cave, “King?”. The king replied, “Assa llama? Lake him.”

Looking down the deep hole in the floor of the cave, the guard saw specks of color dancing below. Stunned by the beauty buried deep beneath their home, the guard gazed downward as a larger llama kicked him off into the hole. The guard panicked as his body submerged in the dark body of water. Gasping for air as his head sprang from the water, he saw a large opening in the cave. And standing just at the end of the water was Dolly, wearing a huge smile.

Dear 12-year Old Phil

Dear 12-year old Phil,
I know life is hard right now. The adults in your life just want you to follow the rules and do well in school. But it’s been so long since you really tried to do well in school, you wouldn’t know where to begin. Besides, you can’t fail if you don’t try. You are a square peg they continuously try to jam into a round hole. Why devote so much effort to attempt to succeed in a system that would seem to be working against you, a system seemingly made for people who are unlike you?

The simple truth is that it is unfair. This system, as futile as it may seem, is the system on which our society functions. The try to fill your brain with facts you will never need to recall after they have quizzed you on your retention. All of this in an effort to grade you, to prove your value as a person, to prove whether you deserve a nice car, a house, and a wife, these things they’ve told you you need to be happy. And who are they to say whether you deserve to be happy?

Well, here are two secrets about life it took me 20 something years to discover:

First, happiness is within you. It is not something you earn or something someone else can bestow upon you. Happiness is all about how you react to the happenings in the world around you. If you fail a test, it is up to you whether you want be upset about it. Your father makes you feel as though you are not enough. You only have to be enough for you. Your standards are the only ones that matter. Your peers make you feel as though you are too weird to belong anywhere. Weird is the best thing you can be. Be proud of your uniqueness. Others will accept you for who you are once you’ve accepted yourself.

Second, you should set your standards really high. Because you are capable of so much more. This system that would seem to work against you, this system of grades and test and social groups that would seem to reject you without giving you a chance is only a game. You never volunteered for it. But you were born into it. Continuing to not play the game will cause you pain. But, if you choose to try, to give a considerable amount of effort to winning this game, you will succeed. You cannot fail to try as a result of your fear of failing. If you fail to try, you have already failed. Keep pushing. You will never fit into that round hole. But you may make it a slightly more square shape.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You are freaking brilliant! That doesn’t mean you have all the answers. It only means that you can succeed at anything you try, if you try hard enough. It will not be easy. Ask for the answers. If you don’t understand, ask again. It is not your fault the system was made for people unlike you. There is not something wrong with you. There is something wrong with the system. So use this broken system to your advantage. Play the game as hard as you can. And, when you are old enough, change the system, so children like you have a better chance.

31-year old Phil

P.S. You will always be different. You always have been. Some people will try to make you feel bad for being different. They are wrong. They are afraid. Different is the best thing you can be.