Hold the Glimmer

Archive for the ‘Duke and the Future’ Category

Maybe I’m off my hinges, but it seems like our generation is really into this concept of “no regrets.”  It’s a nice idea – covering up the fact that certain events in your life have left you emotionally and physically scarred by insisting they made you the person you are today, and that you’re happy with who that person is.  It’s good to lie to other people about your internal satisfaction, for the same reason the Joker took a knife to his mouth – because a smile tells the world everything is okay.  But let’s cut the shit, because the clock is ticking and there’s a heck of a lot we missed out on.  We missed our big chance to ask Susie Peppercorn to the 8th grade formal.  We wish we had been more trusting of the nice guy who promised us candy in his van around the corner (Jolly Ranchers would have been worth the risk, in retrospect).  We should have thought of a game plan instead of letting the words flow out of our mouth like syrup mixed with desperation when we talked to that pretty blond at the bar last Friday.  I’m just being straight up – the magic book has scientifically proven that the world is ending in a few days.  So we can either get busy living, or get busy wishing we had lived more.  Since I still can’t bring myself to believe in magic – I’m going to pour myself a drink, and get busy regretting all the stuff I didn’t do with this life…

  • I didn’t get to escape from prison.  Why would I want to go to prison?  Come on, didn’t you ever watch OZ?  It’s awesome.  Rick Fox was on it.  And yes, I realize one has to be arrested, tried, and convicted before such a possibility can arise – and I certainly have no regret in failing to participate in these endeavors (although in all honestly, I’ve come closer than I’d like to admit).  I just always wanted to start a riot in the mess hall to create a diversion, dig through a concrete wall with a rock hammer, crawl through grinding turbines of power generators, sneak up on guards and stealthily break their necks with my bare hands, climb on the roof of a compound with flood lights searching as the helicopter flies in through darkness just in time for me to grab its dangling ladder, and pull myself to safety with machine gun bullets whizzing past my head.  It might be the claustrophobia caused by my crackerjack box of a cubicle that has me jonesing for an epic jailbreak, or perhaps I’ve seen Shawshank Redemption one too many times.  But for once, I would have liked to be the one who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side…
  • I regret not building that kick ass fort every kid dreams of.  I’m talking about a fort built of pillows and plywood, forged out of blankets and brawn.  Three stories of no-girls-allowed-big-boys-only fortliness, with a secret stash of playboys under a loose floorboard, a system of string-and-tin-can telephones connecting all the other forts in the neighborhood, trip wires surrounding the premises to warn us of approaching adults, a bar, pool table, jacuzzi, fly maids, a butler, a tricked out stage setup with automated light shows, huge plasma television, a kitchen with a chef, stripper p…  What?  Too much?  Hey, ask any guy – we all wanted one (as kids, and still today as adults), and if you were one of the lucky few who actually had it – I hope Jesus condemns you first.  You don’t deserve heaven, because you’ve already been there.    
  • I wish I had performed stand-up.  I think of comedians as class clowns who were never forced to grow up and get real jobs like the rest of us.  They live the dream, drunkenly offending and badgering their audience while occasionally sharing a gem or two about life – kind of like what we do here at HTG, but on stage… for money.  I’m not trying to say I’d be particularly good at it, because in truth I stumble over my words when struggling to make awkward conversation with the cashier at Vons (she’s only known me 20 years).  I guess for starters (is it late for starters?) I wish I had the nerve and comedic prowess to do it, but that’s neither here nor there.  It would have validated my existence on this Earth to be one of the few people to ever command a microphone and make people laugh, on purpose. 
  • I really wanted to hold a public office.  Even the city councilman from Bumfuck, AR gets his own parking spot and his name immortalized in some registry log for having voted to remove the stop light next to Art’s Barbershop on 6th Street.  It’s history, man, and I wanted to be a part of it – even a small one.  Getting elected to a public office validates your existence because lesser beings agree you’re more qualified to lead than they are (seriously, that’s what you’re saying by voting instead of running – if you think you can do better, you should).  Anyway, just like comedy, I’m not saying I’d be any good at it – but there’s just something appealing about wearing a power suit, and accepting briefcases full of money and free weekends in Laughlin as payment for allowing untreated waste from the local power plant to be rerouted through the city’s drinking water facility.  
  • I never got published!  I know it’s a pipe dream, but all I ever wanted was for someone to stumble across my facebook page, read my status and say, “give that man a book deal!”  I guess Shit Duke Says wasn’t as big a draw as I’d hoped.  And cocktail napkin musings aren’t taken too seriously, regardless of how nicely they’re bound together when shipped to Random House.  So, instead, I’ve kept my day job – sneaking over to our blog whenever nobody is looking (like right now, for instance) to put together wild gibberish with the intention of entertaining my fellow working men and women – who want, just as much as I, to creep out the window of reality and puff on the magical dragon of procrastination.  The intention was always to use this as a stepping stone – a practice ground to develop my skill (or lack, thereof) until it was worthy of sharing on a professional level; at which time I could execute my blogger-in-crime’s method of quitting with a bang, and move on with my rockstar writer lifestyle…  

But, that’s all in the past.  Like a spiteful bitch mother who blames her children for the loss of her dancer’s figure, I have nothing left but regrets and broken dreams.  “And now, the end is near, and so I face, the final curtain…”  Here’s hoping they read books in Hell.  Say goodnight Tracy.
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(Editor’s note: We aim to entertain, amuse, frighten, and offend. The blue font means you’re about to read something borderline insane… By Duke.  Got that glimmerheads?  Duke blogs in blue.)

 

“I don’t know how many of you people believe in astrology… Yeah, that’s right.  That’s right baby.  I am a sagittarius… the most philosophical of all the signs…  But anyway, I don’t believe in it. I think it’s a bunch of bullshit, myself. But I’ll tell you this, man, I’ll tell you this… I don’t know what’s gonna happen, man, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shit house goes up in flames…”
-Jim Morrison
 
He was the Lizard King – the great prince of cosmic philosophy and mystic wisdom.  I’m just the chameleon trying to blend in – the kid with my head down in the back of class, hoping the cruel sadist of a teacher won’t call me up to the chalkboard.  But having my kicks has always been a top priority in life, especially now that I know the shit house goes up in flames in just a few days…  WHAT?!
 
Pull a little closer, because it’s about to get real…  Harold Camping, a ministry leader and retired civil engineer from Oakland, CA, has decisively calculated the date of The End based on prophecies from the Book of Revelations, and claims that “beyond a shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment.”  Ho-ly shit.  TIME, NPR, Huffington Post, and even ABC News are running with this story like it’s the birth of Mariah’s twins!  After all, what does the media love more than celebrity offspring?  Right – death, destruction, and mayhem – ratings, baby!  Now, as a sinner and total non-Christian, I admit that this “Rapture” is a new concept to me.  So I did some googling, as any young man does when he’s searching for God… and came across the official website for the End of Days, www.wecanknow.com (pronounced “we can know, dot com”).  Go ahead, check it out, I’ll wait…
 
Back?  So, 9 days from today, approximately 200 million good little boys and girls will magically ascend into heaven, leaving the rest of us miscreants to suffer wars, plagues, fire and brimstone here on Earth until the end of the world… which will take place on October 21st (looks like there really won’t be a basketball season next year).  But wait, hasn’t almost every generation believed it would be the one to see the apocalypse?  I mean, every time the tribulations of mankind become seemingly insurmountable, isn’t there someone standing on a soapbox crying that the end is near?  Are things so bad these days?  I know the economy sucks, and we’re still in Afghanistan even though Bin Laden is dead, but come on – in 1914 the whole world went to war.  Then in 1929 the stock market crashed so hard they named the shanty towns built on broken dreams of investors after a poor schmuck who wasn’t even a year into his presidency (Hoovervilles, you don’t have to look it up).  THEN, in 1939, the world went back to war… AGAIN!  Man, that would have been a pretty climactic way for the Almighty to draw the curtains – He is one for showmanship and pageantry, let’s be honest.
 
“But Duke,” you exclaim, “nobody has ever mathematically predicted the end of the world based on the actual word of God!”  Oh no?  Harold Camping (yup, same guy) originally predicted that the Rapture would occur on September 6th, 1994.  Hmm… well… human error can get the best of anyone, so he went back to the drawing board with his Bible and his calculator until finally he grew a media empire large enough to spread his doomsday message.  Err… I mean, until he got the date right.  His “non-profit” broadcasting company, Family Radio, currently has a net worth of $122 million which is used to control radio and television stations across the globe.  The man has a following, so you may want to check if your surgeon really thinks you’ll need more than a few months to live before you go under the knife anytime soon.
 
My real problem with this whole notion of a fully calculated doomsday… is that he came up with the algorithm based on numbers he assigned, out of his ass, to occurrences referenced in a fairy tale.  Yes, I said it, fairy tale.  Religion is fine, faith is great, belief keeps hope alive – I’m totally with you, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.  But, like all fairy tales, they were written by human beings as a means of convincing children and simpletons that there are rewards for being a good person, and consequences for being a bad one.  You know, because being a good person for the sole purpose of doing the right thing just isn’t enough.  People need incentives, which was especially true thousands of years ago when it wasn’t common knowledge that murder, rape, theft, and dishonesty are counterproductive to societal advancement.  I do believe in God in the sense that there’s some force tending the light at the end of the tunnel.  I do not believe He’s ever written a book – men wrote those books to control the behavior of brutes and barbarians, and they’ve served that purpose well – not counting the wars that have been fought over their claims.
 
It’s almost comical the responses some of these back peddling yokels come up with to cover their bases.  MSNBC spoke to one of Camping’s followers from North Carolina who claimed, “If May 21 passes and I’m still here, that means I wasn’t saved.  Does that mean God’s word is inaccurate or untrue?  Not at all.”  Alright, fair enough, if you’re still here then you weren’t saved.  But the assertion still stands that 200 million people, or roughly three percent of the world’s population, will ascend to the Pearly Gates.  So, if there isn’t an astronomical hike in the number of missing persons, and nobody is seen floating into the sky by the 22nd, then can we agree God’s word is inaccurate?  How about when we’re still around to celebrate Halloween?  Do we get a public apology?  Will Family Radio sell off its assets and give $122 million to science, or better yet… the poor?  Shit, I probably have a better shot at 4 foot 10 inch White Jesus coming down from the heavens and choosing me as the first person to join him in the kingdom of glory and uneventfulness.  Say your prayers, kids.  I’ll stay behind for the five month blowout orgy before we all meet again in Hell.


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