Try this one on for size.
Over the past couple of decades, a Las Vegas man taught himself everything he needed to know about summoning UFOs from reading the Bible. He's kept this a secret all of this time. However, just recently, he started to hear voices in his head that told him to go public. The local television news in Las Vegas got wind of this, uh, news
and picked the time and place for him to summon a UFO.
A camera crew was dispatched.
I tore into a container of Trader Joes All Butter Shortbread Cookies with apricot and raspberry filling as I clicked the link to the news piece. I started gobbling, thinking, man, this is going to be a good one. I fully expected the poor, old slob to make an ass out of himself on the 11 o'clock news... except for one thing.Some kind of weird craft showed up in the sky!
Oh yeah, did I mention that it was roughly in the area over Area 51?
I nearly choked on my cookies.
I can't let myself believe that They're actually going to play the "Alien" card. That theory has been out there for decades, and it's always been a source of a few laughs in the alt research community... And the next thing you know, an overweight man in a white t-shirt hears voices in his head and then "summons" a UFO that appears in the general vicinity of Area 51. And the entire episode runs on the 11 o'clock news in Las Vegas.
Jeff Wells sums it up nicely:Whatever happens, and however weird it gets, don't let yourself be too astonished.Update: Add War of the Worlds Into the Mix
I was looking at the dates for the big Las Vegas show
, you know, the one where the ship will hover for days for all to see:
For only 45 days, starting June 1st until July 15, 2005, Prophet Yahweh, Seer of Yahweh, will be calling down UFOs and spaceships for the news media to film and photograph. During this time, a spaceship will descend, on Prophet's signal, and sit in the skies over Las Vegas, Nevada for almost two days.
Guess which movie will be released on June 29th? That's right.
I CAN'T MAKE IT UP!More: Several Yahweh "Summoning" Videos
It's a slow news day, so...
Even though I've wanted a portable MP3 player since 1999, I never bought one. No matter how well I was doing, financially, I never succumbed to what is probably the basest consumer desire of all: The Portable MP3 Player.
The whole Apple iPod thing, I'm convinced, is the work of da Debil. Yes friends, six months ago, I wandered into an Apple store and fondled an iPod. A kind looking salesgirl walked up to me and asked if she could be of any assistance. I shook my head 'NO' emphatically. "Man, this stuff is all crack," I said. "If Steve Jobs offers you a cup of KoolAid, I'd politely decline."
The girl laughed uncomfortably, not really getting my attempt at humor, but at the same time knowing that taking the KoolAid sounded ominous for some reason
I set the iPod down and walked out of the store. I cunningly and intentionally left my wallet in the car. If the urge to buy an iPod became overwhelming, I would have to leave the store to get my wallet. Hopefully, I would manage to gather my senses and strength in the intervening minutes.
I drove away without incident! I can resist these crack peddlers, no problem!
While eating lunch with a co-worker last Friday, I saw a Fry's newspaper ad offering this 1GB Creative Labs MP3 player/FM tuner/voice recorder/USB flashdrive for $109 (after all BS, hateful, soul-sucking rebates are applied).
It's not quite a naked girl offering a delicious apple in a beautiful garden, but it's still very tempting. (I wonder if they used that alluring, deep red color on purpose...) And I don't remember an Omnipotent Being telling me not to partake of a portable MP3 player, so how bad could it be??? ;)
Work let us out early on Friday, so I beat the Friday evening crush of troglodyte knuckle draggers to the crack dealer. In case you've never heard of Fry's... Hmm. How does one describe Fry's???
Do you need to build a server on a Sunday night? Do you need to buy just a CPU fan---right NOW? How about a $15,000 HDTV? Do you like to look at 99 pound Vietnamese women with fake breasts, wearing four inch thick platform shoes? Sometimes with dyed blond hair and blue contact lenses? Perhaps you'd like to buy some condoms and aspirin as you make your way to the checkout aisle. Don't forget the yummy dehydrated ice cream and beer nuts.
In short, Fry's is the finish line of the race to the bottom of consumer Hell. The Apocalypse never seems closer at hand than it does on Friday night at Fry's. These aren't WalMart-style of knuckledraggers. This is where the overclocked-gamers go. And on Friday, they're tanking up on soda and grabbing the sh*t they'll need to fire up LAN parties, or worse. You know, the people with potato chip particles spilled down the front of their torn, smelly black t-shirts. Grey-green complexions. Blood shot eyes... (How do I know so much about gamers? Never mind!)
Just gaze upon it, marvel at it, if you dare: Several acres of rubber dog sh*t, video game gear, refrigerators, OEM hard drives, generic motherboards, electronic gadgets of every description; most of it Made in China, all of it eventually headed for a landfill.
Why are Indians buying power strips by the grocery-cart-full?
Can a 50 pack spindle of CD-Rs really be free after rebate?
What's that smell?
These are typical questions I have when visiting Fry's. (Oh yeah! Never take your girlfriend to Fry's for any reason. I learned this long ago. She won't appreciate it. Even if you preface the visit with, "This place is frightening, but I just need to pick something up really quick," it won't matter. Guys, go alone and don't subject your significant other to that
The dangerous part about Fry's is mission creep. I was there to buy the MP3 player. THAT'S IT. By design, my local Fry's has MP3 players scattered in FOUR different places throughout the store. As I was making the rounds, trying to find the one mentioned in the newspaper ad, I noticed a Pioneer dual layer DVD burner for $69 (after all BS, hateful, soul-sucking rebates are applied). Well, I'm here. Let's roll around in the slop. Made in China. Made in China. Made in China. WooHoo! I grabbed a DVD burner and a spindle of blank DVDs (also on sale). Why not!?
I mumbled to myself, "I can't believe this system is still up at all."
I knew I'd found the section with the advertised MP3 player because close to a dozen Chinese boat people were standing there, many with the same newspaper ad I was holding in my hot little hand. (Were they really boat people? I don't know. Yeah, probably.) Their hands were stained orange from decades of smoking. One guy had grease splattered on his shirt, probably from running a wok somewhere like the "food" court I ate lunch at earlier in the day. They were holding up the shiny, glimmering MP3 players (each sealed in an indestructible, tamper proof, anti-theft module).
One of these guys was looking at the 512MB version of the player.
I said, "You probably want this one." I gestured at the one I was holding. He looked. "One gig," I said, "Better than 512. Not much more money."
He looked at it. "That not right one. That not right one."
"It is, look at the newspaper." I handed over the ad. He looked at it.
He pointed an orange, cigarette-stained finger at the 1gig player I was holding, "That not right one. Different. Not on sale."
"Ok, whatever," I was just trying to help the guy, I didn't want to argue about it. I'd obviously selected the right player. I put my hand out to get my newspaper back.
The five foot tall man looked at me, "Mine."
"Uh, yours? No. Not yours. Mine."
In the blink on an eye, I ripped it out of his hand.
"Mine, sport. Go find your own damn paper." If I wasn't in a public place, I would have been dead for sure. Oh well, all par for the course in Fry's on Friday evening.
Now, why bother keeping the ad, since I'd already found the right item?
Fry's is a slimy company. They routinely sell goods that are defective, have been returned and repackaged.... and they also seem to make a point of having stuff ring up for the wrong price when you go to check out. When you demand the price from the ad, having the paper with you can make the inevitable national security situation, involving at least three Pakistani assistant managers, go smoother. So, I hope I didn't startle the Chinese man when I snatched back MY OWN GODDAMN NEWSPAPER, but this was a really good deal, and I wasn't about to go mano-a-mano with those three Pakistani assistant managers without it.
I'm the worst kind of consumer. I show up and buy nothing but the loss leader items. Fry's makes money on this stuff because they know that A) most people will buy something else at full retail when they're in the store and B) most people won't ultimately go through the BS, hateful, soul-sucking rebate process in order to get their cigarette butts and bottle caps back in the mail.
If Fry's thinks I'm not going to get the rebates back on both the MP3 player and the DVD burner, they've got another thing coming. You don't put off buying this sh*t for years only to be tempted with the offer of succulent rebates... and then not get the rebates! Totally unthinkable. I'm going to win this bum fight.
So, after all of that, was it worth it?
The Creative MuVo 1GB is definitely dazzling. If you've been living the tech-ascetic lifestyle for a long time and are waiting for an excuse to fall off the wagon, it's tough to think of a more appealing gadget. It's the size of a large cigarette lighter, and I've never heard my MP3s sound "that" good before.
Of course, the purpose of devices like this is to help you forget the fact that you are a slave. I mean, look at that thing! Only rugged, X-treme, individualists would own something like that. Right? People who are sexy and cool and command their own destiny... (There must be an ad for this thing that involves a woman in a bikini or someone jumping off a cliff on a snowboard.) Don't breathe the air or drink the water, but go ahead and store a few hundred MP3s on a thing the size of a pack of gum.
Now, is there a way to have your crack and smoke it too? Is there a way to re-purpose technology like this in a way that's liberating, rather than repressive?
Ultimately... probably not, BUT, it does ease the pain a bit on the dark, long slog.
For example, I sit in a cube all day and I need to exercise more. The problem is that I find exercise to be as boring as watching TV. In the past, I've listened to a portable radio to try to pass the time on the treadmill, etc. I'm not really able to listen to most commercial media anymore. (In my opinion, Indie 103.1's Passport Approved and KCRW's New Ground are the only shows worth listening to on the radio in Southern California. For people in other areas, you may listen online if you wish.) My new MP3 player will allow me to get some much needed exercise while bathing my brain in material that is much more amenable to my world view and tastes.
Just yesterday, a Cryptogon reader sent me a 30 minute Alex Jones interview with Daniel Estulin about the 2005 Bilderberg meeting. I downloaded the file, copied it to my tiny MP3 player and went for a walk as I listened to the interview. Ahh, the outdoors. Sunshine. Global depopulation agendas. Man. Life in the so-called information age. This is great!
Maybe it is possible to have your crack and smoke it too.