Free Beer!

Free Beer!


Today, I need your help.

Please copy the following text:

In a moment I will ask you to click on a link that will take you to the website of The North Coast Journal’s “Best of Humboldt” Page. When you get there, scroll down to the bottom of the page.  There you will find a link to the official ballot.  Click that link.  Then skim past all of the categories until you get to “local media” then scroll down to the blank labeled “Best Blog”. Then, paste the text you just copied, into that blank. When you see the text appear in the blank, click through the rest of the pages til you get to the end of the ballot.  Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and press “Submit Ballot” or whatever the button is that submits your vote.

Ok, now click on this link and get started!

Thank you, you just voted for this blog as the “Best Blog in Humboldt Co.” I really appreciate your support.

Of course if you live here in Humboldt Co., you probably like other blogs more than this one. You probably rely on Kym Kemp’s excellent Redheaded Blackbelt for breaking news and the pot farmers perspective. If you follow the machinations of our county government or the bland platitudes that pass for national debate, you might read Eric Kirk’s SoHum Parlance2. Lots of people read Hank Sims blog now that he no longer edits the NCJ. I’ve never read it, but I bet a lot of people vote for it, just to say “in your face” to the NCJ. The 70Heaven blog is always good for a laugh, but they publish that strip in the NCJ, and those NCJ bloggers really should be disqualified from this contest anyway.

Everyone knows about those blogs because they’ve all gotten ink in newspapers around here dozens of times. So, why waste your vote on any of them? But, if you vote for this fresh, young upstart blog, and it wins, or even places, it will be the first time a newspaper has ever mentioned this blog. This will raise the profile of this little endeavor greatly. So, put your vote where it can actually do some good. Vote for for “Best Blog in Humboldt Co.” in the NCJ readers poll.

If you live outside of Humboldt Co., say in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, New York, or Ohio, you probably don’t read any other Humboldt based blogs. So really is your favorite Humboldt Co. blog. Tell those guys at the NCJ so, by voting for as “Best Blog” in the “Best of Humboldt” contest!

And why shouldn’t this be your favorite blog. I mean, besides the fact that I kind of led you on about the beer. Look at all you get at this blog. You get comedy, poetry, philosophy, financial advice, local commentary, international events, interviews and reviews, and it improves your language skills.

So, go ahead, copy the text, go to the link, and paste the text into the blank next to “Best Blog”. Then scroll to the end, and press “submit ballot” Don’t forget to press “submit ballot”. Be sure to do this at least once before Sept. 7, 2011.

Now, if wins the NCJ’s Best Blog in Humboldt award. I will throw a party in Garberville, for readers, where there will really be FREE BEER.

Thank you very much for your help and support.

On The Money, Why Can’t We All Just Get Along

On The Money

Financial Advice for the Working Class

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?


Of course we all know that capitalism only works because the coercive nature of capital, and that it only survives by destroying and enslaving everything in its path, but do you ever wonder why communism never works either?


Humans have a peculiar survival adaptation. We don’t survive in the world for very long as individuals. Instead, we rely on a cohesive group, with an inherited culture to survive. This is not unique in the animal world. Many creatures, from honeybees to prairie dogs share this trait. Like honeybees and prairie dogs themselves, honeybee and prairie dog culture, or group behavior, has evolved over millions of years, shaped by the physical needs and abilities of the creatures themselves, and the challenges of their environment. The fact that we see honeybees and prairie dogs alive today, testify to the time-tested success of honeybee and prairie dog culture.


So it goes with humans. We rely on our culture for survival at least as much as we rely on our large brains or dextrous fingers. Without a cohesive group, and an inherited culture, you have no humans, and that inherited culture makes humans possible. Much as we pride ourselves as “bold individualists” we’re much more like honeybees and prairie dogs in this regard, than say, tapeworms or mountain lions.


As human beings evolved and spread around the world, human culture evolved and adapted to the new environments in which they found themselves. This lead to the tremendous diversity of indigenous human cultures, and explain why the Inuit people, of the arctic north live very differently from !Kung Bushmen of the African Kalahari desert. This tremendous diversity of cultures has allowed humans to spread all over the world and adapt to nearly every ecosystem on the planet.


One characteristic of human beings, that we do not share with honeybees or prairie dogs, has driven all of this cultural diversity. That is, the fact that human beings really don’t get along with each other very well. While many thousands of honeybees share a hive, and many hundreds of prairie dogs share a colony, you generally (not always, but generally) find indigenous humans in groups of 15-40, with occasional large gatherings of several groups. When groups get larger than this, disagreements and fights become more common, leading groups to split up.

These separated groups tend to keep their distance. So, the newly split off group has an inherited culture, but will find a new territory, not that far away generally, and will adapt to the subtle differences of this new environment. In this way, our inability to get along with each other, fuels cultural diversity.


At the same time, as human children grow up, they tend to fall in love with people from other groups, because they get kind of sick of the people in their own group. Thus, humans produced a strong gene-pool of bright, healthy, disagreeable people, rich with cultural diversity, and continued to spread out and inhabit the world.

Yes, our natural tendency to be stubborn, petty, and to not speak to each other has made human beings successful as a species. Far from being a character flaw, our inability to get along with each other has been our saving grace.

While we need to get along with each other well enough to form the groups we need to survive, not getting along with each other has served us equally well, by keeping us strong, and teaching us to survive, and thrive, under all kinds of conditions. It testifies to the genius of evolution, that we have evolved to get along with each other just well enough, but not too well, and that this delicate balance has produced the thousands of distinct indigenous human cultures around the world.


As “civilized” humans, we don’t really value that rich cultural heritage. We should! We have an astounding indigenous heritage that we should be proud of, and fascinated with. In fact, we mostly seek to obliterate it, in favor of a mass culture of mass production, mass media, educational standards and a “standard of living”.


We “civilized people” either believe that everything beautiful, useful and good on the planet should be happily sacrificed for the completely unsustainable, hegemonic homogeneity of the “global economy”, or we believe that the only way to stop the completely unsustainable, hegemonic homogeneity of the “global economy” is with an equally hegemonic and homogeneous “global movement”. So, we “civilized people” are always asking this same silly question: Why can’t we all just get along?


The truth is, not getting along with each other made us who we are. Not getting along with each other made us successful as a species, and not getting along with each other makes us strong. That’s why we all can’t just get along, you idiot! And if you don’t agree with me, then just go fuck yourself!

What’s the Point?

What’s the Point?

The Professor asked me a question recently. It’s something I’ve wondered about myself, and I even posed the same question to him. Perhaps you’ve wondered about this yourself.

What’s the point? Specifically, what’s the point of this blog?


The point is the sharp end of a thumbtack, placed upward on teacher’s chair. I put it there for cheap laughs, and to disrupt class. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not very funny. Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not very funny. But, I have a tack, and I try to put it where it will be most effective.

While I’m not particularly funny, I am one to notice abundant free resources.  I make a good living by turning discarded tin cans into lamps and chandeliers. Today I see an even more abundant resource that piles up in great heaps everywhere I look. Absurdity. Our world has become so thick with absurdity that it chokes out the light. Its time to cut it down and make something out of it.


Our economic system strikes me as little more than a very cruel joke, and yet people take it so seriously. Everyone is so afraid that the economy will collapse. I’m afraid it will survive. Our global economy destroys habitat, enslaves people and constantly expands, consuming everything in its path. Its only going to make life worse for everybody, but god forbid that it should ever slow down by even a percent or two. That’s a crisis.


Climate change, not a crisis. Ecosystem collapse, not a crisis. Nuclear power plant meltdown, not a crisis. A 2% slowdown in the destruction of the planet for profit, now that’s a crisis.


They tell us that environmental regulations are really holding back production, and that wages, benefits and pensions make them less competitive. Then they want to stop the people they hurt and kill, from suing them. If we just make these concessions, they promise they can return the economy to strong growth.


In return, they offer us what? Jobs, maybe, but no paychecks, no health coverage, no retirement, no workman’s comp, just something to occupy our time until we die. Are we really that fucking bored? Don’t we have something better to do?


So, that’s why I sarcastically titled the blog “Like You’ve got Something Better To Do”, and why I offer financial advice to people who have no money. We inhabit a bubble of absurdity where nothing makes any sense anymore, it should at least be good for a few laughs.


And now I pose a question for the Professor:

What’s the Deal?

Word Power, Zymurgy

Word Power

Building Your Vocabulary One Word at a Time


 zy mur gy (‘zi mer gee) n, the branch of organic chemistry dealing with the study of fermentation.

I propose a toast:

To fermentation, the science of zymurgy, and to the yeast who make it all possible.

For without them, we’d have no toast at all. Cheers!