Well, there it is – an underwater anomaly that has caught the attention of a number of people.
- The Ill and the Odd
The subject of aerial phenomenon, more popularly referred to as UFOs, is not at all unworthy of some serious study but… that’s not going to happen. Here’s a basic rundown of the state of the subject as it exists today:
The US Government (since that is the one we are most familiar with) claims to have NO interest in the matter. This means that regardless of available funding (or the lack thereof), there likely will not be any official investigation of the subject in our lifetimes.
Mainstream science rigorously ignores this subject. Despite the credibility of thousands of witnesses, astronauts, pilots, police, high ranking military officers, etc. whose word would be accepted as expert testimony in most any court on the planet, there is no effort being made to determine the nature or validity of the subject matter.
Our beloved mainscream media, formerly known as the ‘press’, regularly engages in ridicule of the subject and, more disturbingly, those people who give honest accounting of their experiences. For daring to speak out, they often lose their jobs and are forced to hide from the circus atmosphere that is sent their way.
There are NO experts on this subject. Since the government denies interest, science ignores it and the media ridicules it, we have no benchmarks, no gold standards, no established framework for determining what is genuine and what is a hoax. Simply put, one cannot claim expert status on a subject that is by its very definition, an unknown.
Another factor in addition to those listed above, is there there is a very active community of militant skeptics who have forsaken a normal life to devote themselves to the cause of taking a crap on the interests of others.
There is just no other way to define it. It would be like if you decided to open a lawnmower repair shop and then, just next door, a complete stranger opened up a kiosk to drive away your customer base by insulting your work and even slandering you on a personal level. Beyond that, this kind of behavior only legitimizes so many conspiratorial concepts, almost wet-nursing them into a more widespread acceptance.
But before we wrap this up, we should also note that we’re not trying to take a stand here in favor of this object, or any other for that matter, as being anything in particular. We would just far prefer that people keep an open mind and allow the process of human curiosity to follow its natural course. It is by this avenue that so many truths have been affirmed.
And lastly, if you really need to disagree with someone, try constructive criticism instead of creating an acidic atmosphere.
In a nutshell, live and let live.
Sometime in the future, we here in the US will wake to news that our government has finally arrived at some kind of solution to solving the nation debt ceiling.
For those who have been hog tied to a cactus in the desert for the last month, this story has become a media darling itself, not unlike the Casey Anthony trial has been before wrapping up and morphing into a lynch party. The information we are fed from this media varies from source to source, website to website and writer to writer. This is an undeniable fact due to the existence of another undeniable fact; our news media is no longer either reliable or trustworthy for pure information that is not untainted with politics and/or sensationalism.
So, under Ill Media, we first address those offenders of the humans senses, namely the domestic news media, more namely ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and CNN. And of these, the worst offender is… (envelope please), Fox News.
Now, let’s be sure to get this much clear – Fox News is undoubtedly a tool of the right wing political establishment, but so are other networks the same for the left. Fox News doesn’t get this dubious recognition because of its politics but rather, for inventing the ‘Fair and Balanced’ disease that now infects nearly every quarter of our culture.
The hard truth is never fair and if you are honest about it, it is never balanced. Life just does not happen that way. There is that truth, whatever it may be, and then there is the sugar coated, Government approved, USDA inspected, AMA sanctioned, CDC sniffed, DHS watched, TSA groped versions, that really can’t be counted as anything but hard core porn… er, propaganda. And if it was only Fox news doing this, we could isolate the contagion and prevent it from spreading.
But… it’s just wayyyy too late for that now.
Now then let’s move on and have a look at their current slice of buttered bread.
Under the header of Ill Government, there are two main bodies that each have a number of satellites. We all know these two as the glorious pimps of the red and blue, the Republican and Democratic parties. (Audience boos and hisses!)
On capital hill, there is a building with a dome… but if it could take on its proper appearance, it would be the Roman Arena and our elected representation would be the Roman elite and nobility sitting in special, laurelled sections of the stands. From there, they cast curses across at each other while being amused by the gladiators doing battle, in their honor, on the floor below.
If you haven’t figured out the next part already, those gladiators doing combat represent those Americans who have so blindly devoted themselves to a partisan cause or warlord, that they will strike down any challenger.
So, under the header of Ill People, we salute the political warrior-turds on the web, who light of the lives of the Ill Media and Ill Government with their daily clashes. For the glory of the party, they slash and hack each other to pieces in ways you can’t even kill a rat or rabid dog.
Finally, we have to offer some recognition of the Odd because… you simply cannot have this much Illness in a nation without their being some degree of Oddity.
The Odd History speaks to us from generations of how these same two foes have arrived here and why we have followed them. I mean, how do you get millions of people to follow a single person or concept except by lying? Short of Jesus Christ, who paid dearly for His honesty, most political leaders are also celebrities who gain fame by putting on one helluva a stage performance.
Just buy a ticket and you will see and hear exactly what you want to see and hear. You will be told that, yes, you are one of only a few people smart enough to follow this person or concept and so you are also blessed, gifted… in a state of holy political grace!
Once you are dazzled by this magical kiss, you should be looking for an old, rusty hook in your mouth… but most of the time, the kiss is enough to make the hook seem unimportant.
So, there you are now, awaiting your turn in the arena, to impress those who have blessed and kissed and graced your nappy ass to the point where you would fall upon your own sword for them.
Anyway, by the time our heroic political types get through with our economy, all the Social Security recipients will be dead from not getting the program they paid for, and all the wealthy will be red dirt poor from being taxed to death. That will create a huge surplus in the national coffers and lead to a wondrous recovery.
The political pimps and the gladiators will be heroes.
Yeah, that’s Ill but, somewhere it has to be very Odd, too.
The Ill and the Odd are often mutually dependent upon each other to a point where one really must wonder whether either could exist without the other.
This came to mind after following a link to a self-announced science blog called, rather surprisingly, scienceblogs.com. The article we landed on is authored by someone named PZ Myers and the title of his little doodle is… (drumroll, please) “I thought Iceland was more rational than this”.
The town of Bolungarvik, Iceland has been engaged in a lot of public works construction projects, like a new road and building a barrier to protect them from avalanches. Unfortunately, there have been delays and accidents, and they’ve decided what’s causing the problem: Elves. Pissed-off, cranky elves.…I recommend a true New Atheist solution, using the practical tools at hand. Dynamite the elves. Let’s have none of this silly accommodationist nonsense with agents of superstition.
Okay, so first, there’s not a lot of imagination in the title. It’s not going to, say, grab you from your daily surf and wash you up on some exotic beach where potential discovery is only a footstep away.
And next, the content lying underneath this gravestone header is not really all that inspiring either. I mean, the mere concept of killing elves is not going to give atheists, new, old or otherwise, much of anything but a black eye. The whole thing comes off as angry, intolerant and boorish.
In fact, the reason there is any mention of it at all is because of that aforementioned, quasi-symbiotic relationship between the Ill and the Odd… and because there really is a place in Iceland where they do apparently buy into the elfin saboteurs thing.
It is outwardly silly but at the same time, really quite harmless.
But, we did want to be disgustingly fair and balanced about the whole affair so… we contacted Deputy UN Ambassador to Icelandic Gnomes, Elves and Wee Folk, Ingvar Hallvardur Falkor, and requested a brief interview to discuss the article by PZ Myers.
IaO.com: Good morning Mr. Deputy Ambassador. Thank you for joining us here at Ill and Odd dot come. If I may say so, you look somewhat familiar. Have we met?
IH Falkor: Good morning to you as well and thank you for the invite! No, I don’t really exist, remember?
IaO.com: Sir, may I then presume you have read the article by PZ Myers located at scienceblogs dot com?
IH Falkor: Yes. In fact, I had found the link on another website I often visit. [The Daily Grail]
IaO.com: Great. So, would you care to comment about how it feels to be a nonexistent agent of superstition or the danger of being dynamited out of your houses and homes?
IH Falkor: I must confess that I am a bit concerned about Mr. Myers’ health. His attitude is so negative, so bleak. He applies his beliefs… or in this case, disbeliefs, in much the same way the Spanish Inquisition applied the rack.
IaO.com: So, are you in anyway concerned this man may really seek to blow you out of the mountains of Iceland?
IH Falkor: No, not really. His type is basically harmless unless they are allowed access to things like computers and keyboards…
IaO.com: That much seems certain. Would you care to convey any personal message to Mr. Myers?
IH Falkor: Yeah… live and let live. Mind your own business. Get your nose out of other people’s lives. If you want to believe in nothing, that’s fine. Just do us the courtesy of pretending we’re not here.
IaO.com: Um… (whispering:) I don’t think he believes in elves to begin with.
IH Falkor: Oh! So he spent his time nagging the whole world about something that he doesn’t believe to exist and then threatened to blow up this nothing? This guy is whacko! Somebody call the TSA and have him groped thoroughly!
IaO.com: Thank you for stopping by. Deputy UN Ambassador to Icelandic Gnomes, Elves and Wee Folk, Ingvar Hallvardur Falkor, folks!
We don’t generally accept or acknowledge it but, America is really still quite provincial. While outwardly a modern and sophisticated culture, our roots still cling to those early days of frontiering where justice was most often dispensed at the point of a gun or the end of a noose.
One recent and very good example is the Casey Anthony trial. This high profile case got some really up-close and personal attention by one of the media’s most celebrated rabble-rousers, Nancy Grace. She led the national mob that was, apparently, preparing for a big necktie party after an assured verdict of ‘guilty’. The mood was almost celebratory in advance of the jury’s return. Beer, popcorn and cotton candy may have been hawked on the street corner.
But, the final say was ‘not guilty’ and this sent the crowd into a frenzy.
The excuse most often applied was that of justice unrealized. You know, the ‘poor Caylee, her death was not avenged’ kind of thing. But for the most part, those who went on verbal rampages across the web, just seemed more disappointed that there was no death sentence for her mother. They had assumed upon themselves the part of both judge and jury and then, from a distance, could not accept that their findings did not match those of the actual trial jury.
In truth, there is little doubt that Casey Anthony was at least in part guilty for her daughter’s death. There is absolutely no doubt at all that she was an unfit parent. And just as certain, this woman got away with far more than she was convicted of.
But we are a nation of laws and one of those says that if a juror has a reasonable doubt as to guilt, they must find the defendant not guilty. Once more, that is the law. If there was a conviction that should have happened, but did not, then the blame should be placed squarely on those responsible for driving the point home; the state or district attorney’s office. It is their failure, not the judge’s, not the jury’s.
In the land of the Ill, we have this case and all its particulars: the mainstream media, Nancy Grace, Casey Anthony and last but not least, the Oddly reluctant people residing in the nation of laws.
*If I had a hammer
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening
All over this land
Freedom to express oneself without fear of retribution or retaliation.
Items of life that we so often take for granted, expecting that law and constitution will protect us and our rights from predatory people and organizations, regardless of whether our idealism or our words meet with immediate, popular acceptance.
*I’d hammer out danger
I’d hammer out a warning
I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land
The innate, human ability to imagine that things could be different, or better, than they are in our current lives.
These are but a few aspects… of life as we imagine here in the United States of America. And yes, the word is imagine because, freedom from the predator and the freedom to express one’s belief and ideal, no longer comes without a price tag…
The Federal Trade Commission has approved a controversial firm which scours social media sites to check on job applicants.
It means anything you’ve ever said in public on sites including Facebook, Twitter and even Craigslist could be seen by your would-be employer.
The Washington-based commission has ruled the firm, Social Intelligence Corporation, complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act – even though it keeps the results of its searches on file for seven years.
- How anything you’ve EVER said on the internet could be seen by employers as Feds approve firm that dishes dirt on applicants (dailymail.co.uk)
The day we wake up and find that our very words, whether spoken from a point of personal belief or idealism, have been cultivated and ransomed to someone who wanted to know what color underwear we put on… to those who would scratch and sniff our bedsheets, that would follow us into our churches and civic organizations like prosecutors of some horrid inquisition.
Of course, the web is quite the public common. There should be no more expectation of privacy here than in a city park or sports arena. But, even here in this great, open expanse of cyber space, there is still decency. There are still concepts of honor and respect. But now, directly beneath these, are the slithering ruttweavils who sift all of our words… everything we say, to be sold and held against us, not in a court of law, but to the highest bidder.
So here before you, there is this Illness… and a despicable one it certainly is.
As the administrator of this website and the author of this post that links back to their septic tank, there is probably some degree of chance that there will be a new file now created on our behalf.
I mean, it’s not at all unlike walking up to a loaded toilet and cursing the poop inside. It may well go off in your face.
But, in this case, it needed to be said.
*IF I HAD A HAMMER (The Hammer Song)
words and music by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger
It’s often depressing to begin your day by reading the news. Right now, there’s just not a lot of good happening… at least, not that’s making the headlines. A combination of wretched economics and increasing tensions in a world that seems hell-bent at bloodshed, is enough to make what might otherwise be another pleasant sunrise, as dark as the blackest of nights.
Sometimes you look on as a spectator to it all while wondering why so many people are investing so much of their lives into causing pain for others. There is really not much sense to be gained from any of it… and in this particular instance, there is absolutely none at all.
Zilch. Nothing. Zero.
There are walls everywhere in Belfast. They criss-cross residential districts, they cut off roads and they abut backyards. Known officially as “peace lines,” they are not designed to keep people in or out. Rather, they are there to keep Catholics and Protestants in the city separated.…Tuesday night saw the second straight night of rioting in east Belfast in what some are calling the worst flare-up of sectarian violence in the area in a decade. Police say 700 people took part in the melee on Tuesday night with police coming under a barrage of Molotov cocktails and other projectiles. Several shots were also fired and a photojournalist was hit by a bullet in the leg. A local politician told the BBC that another man suffered a fractured skull after being hit by a brick.…Many had thought that the visit to Ireland last month by Queen Elizabeth II could serve to further reduce tensions in Northern Ireland, particularly given her numerous gestures of reconciliation. Now, however, officials and police are preparing for the worst. There are still three weeks to go before annual July 12 Protestant marches across Northern Ireland, a high point of the marching season, which is traditionally a time full of sectarian tension.- Sectarian Tensions Flare in Northern Ireland (www.spiegel.de)
They call it ‘sectarian violence’ – Catholics (Christians) vs. Protestants (Christians)…
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you.
Luke 6 (NIV)
… but, this little war isn’t about religion. It is an ancient hatred between the English and the Irish that goes back many centuries. In fact, it is not at all unlike the case of Muslims (Palestinians) vs. Jews (Israelis). There is simply no self respect or adherence to their proclaimed faiths.
An Odd historical institution built from politics, nationalism and a tribalism masked by a faux sectarianism, that refuses to evolve above itself. It’s nurtured on by an Ill, uncaring government and an Ill, prejudiced culture that thrives on designer division and senseless violence.
And the battle’s just begun
There’s many lost but tell me who has won
The trench is dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters torn apart
– Excerpted from Sunday, Bloody Sunday – U2 (1983)
This is something of a multitasking post because there are just so many layers of both the Ill and the Odd. So, to keep things as organized as possible, we’re going to try and define each segment while still making sure that the lines of connectivity are clearly visible.
- Odd History, Odd People
Love is a very powerful emotion and the devotion between two people who genuinely love one another can seem as eternal as the very concept of eternity itself.
That is where we will begin…
Jonathan Reed was the most famous permanent resident of the Evergreens even before his death. After his wife Mary E. Gould Reed was laid to rest in the Brooklyn cemetery in the 1893, Jonathan Reed began to live the now legendary story of supreme devotion to the memory of his wife.
Initially, Mary was laid to rest inside her father’s vault on March 19, 1893. Jonathan, a retired merchant in his sixties, began to visit her regularly. His father-in-law’s objections stopped that, but after he died in 1895, Reed purchased another vault for his deceased wife in the Whispering Grove section. Reed had his Mary’s casket transferred to the vault, where he installed an empty casket in which he would eventually lie. He then settled into what became his second home. Domestic furniture stood in the vestibule, a wood stove provided heat, and scattered about the vault were a clock, some urns filled with flowers, photographs, paintings on the wall, a deck of playing cards, Mary’s half-finished knitting, and the family’s pet parrot (first alive, later stuffed). As word of Reed’s story spread, company began stopping by. Around 7,000 people stopped by in the first year alone.
Witnesses said he ate all of his meals there and held imaginary conversations with his wife. According to the New York Times article, published in March of 1905, “Mr. Reed could never be made to believe that his wife was really dead, his explanation of her condition being that the warmth had simply left her body and that if he kept the mausoleum warm she would continue to sleep peacefully in the costly metallic casket in which her remains were put.” The article also states, “According to his friends, he really believed that his wife could understand what he was saying to her.”
In May 1905 Reed was found unconscious on the tomb’s floor with his arms stretched out toward Mary. After he was laid to rest a few weeks later, the vault door was closed for the last time. It remains locked to this day.- Reed’s Tomb (theevergreencemetery.com)
Some people will spend their entire lives searching for one, true love and never find it. It is indeed a rare thing and something to treasure if ever realized. It is also one reason why our concept of hate is today so very abused. We often accuse those who disagree with us… or our views of culturally correct issues, as ‘haters’. But, the fact that true hate is as rare as true love, means that most of us will, thankfully, never even know the feeling.
Jonathan Reed’s love for his wife is apparent and was for him, perhaps, a more comfortable path to follow to some degree of madness. But again, true love is rare and so also, something of an Oddity. As such, the story of Mr. and Mrs. Reed certainly merits a place here on this website.
- Ill Media
It now must be confessed that we did not stumble upon the story just above by accident.
While we were out on our daily constitutional, which takes in a number of stops that offer multiple story links, we found our way to the io9.com website where the Reed story has a place. But, this was quite unintentional because we have an abiding dislike for elitist media and io9 definitely fits into that Ill category.
Hey, don’t take our word for it. Try them for yourself by clicking over their from THIS LINK and after browsing their shelves, try commenting on a story or two. Go ahead, we’ll wait for you.
(Cue: Jeopardy theme)
Okay, you’re back! How’d it go?
While your thoughts may find their way onto their site, chances are pretty fair that it will be apprehended, taken to a small room where it will be examined by people who don’t care to hear anything but what they want to hear.
Anyone who has auditioned successfully to become a commenter (see below) or anyone who has received an invitation. The comment system is approval-based, and depends on the quality of your contribution. Site staff and members of the community take an active role in reviewing commentary.
– Who can leave comments on these sites?
Now, it probably should be noted here (as it has in other posts) that websites are like private property. The owners have the right to allow and disallow content as they see fit. Simply because you may be a resident of a democratic nation with free-speech laws, this does not extend into these small kingdoms. They pay for their cyber space so their right to that final say is not in question.
But all that being said… having been on the web since 1997, we have NEVER seen any website, regardless of how strict they were regarding guest commentary, ever require an “audition”. The very term lends itself to our view of an elitist geekery pulling the levers behind the curtain.
If there is a basic Illness in censorship, this has to be one of the more advanced strains. So, excuse us but… gak.
- Ill Culture
We do now feel obligated to close this post recognizing that the problem with comments on the web becoming more and more restricted is, at least in part, our own fault. A decade and a half of web flamers and trolls turning message boards and comment threads into raging shambles pretty much speaks for itself. People simply cannot be trusted to behave when they are not eyeball-to-eyeball with those whom they are addressing.
Though juvenile flamery and mean-spiritedness do not make such arrogant snobbery acceptable, it does certainly make it harder to argue against. This combined with those recognized rights of the website owner to run his/her property as they see fit, means that commenting will likely become even more difficult in the future.
It’s a shame but… what can you do?
Hot Damn __/|\__Cold Beer