New Friskies, Now With LSD!

So Friskies has a new ad out, one that’s quite “colorful,” to say the least:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q4JLsNtDsM

I’m used to Friskies advertising based on its taste and health benefits for cats, but here they seem to be taking an entirely different route. As the caption for the video says, “Discover Adventureland! A Journey to delicious and beyond. FRISKIES wet cat food unlocks a magical world of sensory stimulation for your cat.” It should read “Catnip’s got nothin on this shit!,” since apparently it makes your cat trip balls. I think it would be awesome if that were actually true, like some disgruntled Friskies employee dumped a bunch of LSD in a batch of cat food and the company just decided to run with it.

It probably wouldn’t be too bad for the cats; cats are too high strung as it is. With the new “Special” Friskies, you’d see kitties making peace with the house’s resident mice, digging up your old Pink Floyd albums and laying them suggestively at your feet, trying to meow to you their oneness with the universe, etc. Much better than how most cats act normally. Like my cousin’s old cat; a fatter and more melancholy feline I have never seen. It legitimately had a death wish; besides trying to eat itself to death, it kept trying to jump out windows and wedge itself in inescapable places, and when you saved its life it repaid you by peeing on the furniture. Now that’s a cat that could use some mind-altering substances, let me tell you. Plus, I’m sure every “look at my cat LOL” video out there would be doubly hilarious with tripped out kitties. So Friskies, I eagerly await the day you actually do make a cat food of the freaky variety.

Global Warming’s Here, Might as Well Enjoy it Before it Gets All Apocalyptic

How about this weather, huh? For the past couple of weeks, Chicago has been enjoying some incredibly nice weather. Some years we’d still be having snow and -10 temperatures around this time, and most years it’d be consistently miserable between now and May. Not this year; we’ve come off one of the warmest Chicago winters in history, and according to my friend the warmest Oct. 1st – Mar. 1st in Chicago’s history. It was above freezing more often than not, or at least it felt like it, and we never got anything resembling a normal Chicago winter (many, many weeks of -30F with wind chill).

The lines between seasons have always been somewhat blurred here, with “Spring” and “Fall” really just being periods of palsied fluctuation between blazing hot and bitter cold, and such periods never abiding by the three-month periods convention has set aside for them. But even this, what we’ve been having recently, is abnormal. Weather nationwide has been erratic for the past couple years, with Tornado Alley moving further South and East, the Northeast experiencing Midwest-style ice storms and blizzards, and the Pacific Northwest starting to get actual snow. It’s climactic change on a grand scale, no doubt about it.

No self-respecting scientist can say that the climate isn’t changing. Some scientists say it can’t be proven whether mankind is causing it, even if the evidence suggests it is. Well, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, you can’t prove that a fart on a crowded elevator is caused by mankind either. Most people are going to assume the culprit is an inconsiderate fellow passenger. Said passenger will never admit to it of course; that passenger would most likely be the one to bring up alternative theories (“Could be a mechanical problem with the elevator”), or to sow mistrust and blame the other passengers (“It could have been any of us!”), or even to pay hush money to the passengers behind them (the most directly affected) to avoid public ridicule. Or maybe said passenger is in an astronomically higher socio-economic strata than the other passengers, possibly being their boss, and thus doesn’t give a damn about them or their discomfort and unabashedly lets rip at every opportunity. We can call that last one “Bad Passenger,” or “BP” for short.

Replace “elevator” with “world,” and the culprit with a polluting industry and, well, you get the idea. The politics behind the Global Warming “debate” don’t really get any more advanced or mature than that, at least from what I can see. People are probably going to waste time with the “debate” until our coasts flood and our crops wither, at which time the parties/corporations most heavily in denial will magically (hopefully) have on hand the products and technology we need to save our asses, for a price we can’t afford not to pay. Until then, though, I’ll at least be able to enjoy the mild winters up here on the Chicago Riviera; there’ll be less frozen beards, less claiming my shoveled-out parking space with lawn chairs, and maybe less potholes in the summer. There’s always a silver lining, eh?

Andrew Breitbart is Dead

This was pretty much the last thing I expected to read yesterday when I was browsing the news. I figured he would be around for a while, long enough for me to possibly get more conservative with age and actually want to read his stuff. I haven’t really read anything he wrote, haven’t patronized his websites, and haven’t had the highest opinion of those things that I did happen to read in passing. I definitely didn’t like what he did to Shirley Sherrod. However, people of all political persuasions say he was a devoted husband and father, and I don’t doubt it. Just like all the other vocal, opinionated, antagonistic pundits that dominate political commentary in American media, once he leaves the political media arena he’s pretty much just a normal guy.

It’s far too easy to forget that fact in the American political climate; people on both sides of the spectrum want to paint their political rivals as not just politically flawed, but personally flawed. And not just the pundits; that particular poison has spread far and wide, and I personally have seen too many reasonable and rational people fall into that trap.

In today’s political media, too many are content to go beyond political discussion and do this, personally attacking their opponents; Conservatives are labeled as “Greedy Heartless Racists,” and Liberals are “Godless Communist Traitors.” It’s the same inflammatory tactic that’s been used all throughout history to shore up one’s cause with a minimum of proof and evidence; make one side out to be moral and the other side to be the opposite and you have an easily understandable and attractive paradigm:  “Right” vs “Wrong,” “Righteous” vs “Wicked,” “Patriot” vs “Outsider,” etc.

It seems to me that Americans buy into this because, honestly, which way is easier? A: Putting in the work to objectively prove one’s viewpoint and discussing it reasonably with one’s political opponents, or B: Saying one’s political opponents are evil and crazy and have to be stopped, and parroting the loudest voices of one’s “side” to prove the point? I wish A were easier. But since it’s not, we have almost all the most vocal and opinionated figures on both sides of the aisle choosing option B. I get the impression that Breitbart was one of the big players fanning these partisan flames. However, I haven’t read enough of Breitbart’s stuff to really know, and in my opinion his political antics are not the most important thing when discussing his death. Whether loved or hated in the political arena, he was loved by his family and friends, and personally important to them. At the end of the day, he’s a guy who died young and left behind a lot of sad folks, just like most other people dying young will do, and that’s what’s most important to remember.

The sad thing is that this savage political culture is going to keep on going, and his passing will be just more fodder for the political flame wars. What I’ve tried to read of Conservative news coverage has pretty much confirmed this. Liberals apparently can do no right when it comes to his passing, being portrayed as celebrating his passing, only sarcastically memorializing him, or being disrespectful if they even mention anything about the controversies he created during his career. Conservative and Liberal news sources will appropriate his death for any number of agendas, and any mention of the kind of man he was outside of political media will quickly fade into the background.

So RIP Andrew Breitbart, my heart goes out to your friends and loved ones. While some are celebrating, and some are already attributing your passing to a Liberal conspiracy, the rest of us are just shaking our heads… The monster that is American political media, a monster you probably helped to create and did nothing to hinder, is already feeding on your bones, quicker and more thoroughly than any Vulture could.

Hmmm, Could it Be… Seitan?

I honestly don’t know what the stuff is. I think it has something to do with wheat. Today I took a dietary detour and had an entirely vegan dinner consisting of: a BBQ Seitan sandwich with vegan cheese, vegan chili w/vegan cheese, and a vegan milkshake. Almost immediately, my system voiced a, well, “formal protest” to say the least. I wasn’t expecting that; I thought if anything my GI tract would be thanking me for eating healthier. I had to take it all to go. Once I had the chance to recover and think about it, I know why it happened; for the past couple months, I’ve been eating a practically Mongolian diet. A plenitude of meat, animal fat, and animal fat-absorbing vegetables. It’s what my housemates cook, every day. It’s what I’m generously allowed to eat for free. I can see now what the problem is; I may actually have become physically dependent on meat.

It’s supposed to be a luxury, meat; it’s how we evolved. We’re supposed to be able to go without it, for very long periods if need be. Now the US food cartels make meat cheaply and readily available, and just too damn tasty on top of that. It could also be that I’d become dependent on the wonderful cocktail of drugs and steroids found in mass-produced meat, that my system’s come to expect those in every meal and was left wanting. In any case, I’m not about to completely Kick the Herd. I just need to get back to a meat/non-meat dietary yin-yang, a balance, instead of an overbearing and dogmatic meat monotheism. Once I can safely let Seitan back into my life, I can reheat those leftovers and finish what I started.