Tag: Subjective

Day 991: The Subjective Science of Getting Friendly With Your Water


Good morning, water. You look lovely today. The way you have meticulously extracted the energizing essence of those crumbly brown nuggets of Sumatra in my coffee maker really brings out the glimmer in your droplets. Look, I’m a married man, but if I wasn’t, I would totally be gettin’ up in dat aqua, you feel me?

According to Dr. Masaru Emoto, I may have just created a more healthy and vibrant cup of coffee. Dr. Emoto is a revolutionary oracle of scientific knowledge, inasmuch as he has concocted his own definitions of the words “scientific” and “knowledge”. Dr. Emoto has “proven” (and it’s hard to find a source for his work that doesn’t nestle that word between the comforting pillows of quotation marks) that positive energy makes water better.

Not better-tasting, not more nutritious or refreshing… just better. Happier. More wholly fulfilled. Dr. Emoto unearthed that line where metaphysics and alternative medicine cross over into crazed Lynchian fiction, then leaped across it like a doped-up Olympian. He landed among the Technicolor bobbles of the absurd, cultivated his own particular brew of ludicrous reasoning and slapped a price tag on it.

And we bought in. Oh, how we bought in.

How could we not trust that sincere face?

How could we not trust that sincere face?

Masaru Emoto earned his doctorate at the Open University for Alternative Medicine in India, though I feel “earned” should be yet another resident of Quotes-Marks Manor, as I have unearthed a couple of sources which claim that such a degree can be bought for around $500. But Dr. Emoto’s doctorness is relatively moot, as he immediately set out to sail the vague ocean of alternative medicine, which contains far more fetid flotsam than it does navigable current. Read more…

Day 644: Unwrapping The Unwanted – Worst Candy Part 1


When it comes to candy, taste is truly in the tongue of the beholder. There is no Wikipedian compendium of the world’s worst candy, as there is for the worst movies, TV shows and music. My daughter, my own flesh and blood turns up her nose at the coveted Coffee Crisp bar, yet she can make an afternoon out of eating Sour Soothers and watching Nickelodeon. Does that make her wrong and me right? Well, in this case yes, but that’s not my point.

Due to the utter subjectivity of such a list, I understand I must open myself up to criticism and dissent. When I penned a piece about the fetid strip of film celluloid known as From Justin To Kelly, no one disagreed. When I bemoaned the asinine choice to put the Mini-Pops on TV, nary a soul came to its defense. I expect no such kindnesses today.

To be clear, I’m forgoing the obvious choices that I have not tried, like candied cockroaches or Buttered Potato Kit Kat. These are the drippings from my own 39 years of wisdom, collected in a pool of unappetizing dessert. Feel free to shout me down if you feel it’s necessary to do so.


Here’s one so obscure I couldn’t find a decent photo of its packaging online. I remember as a hungry child, immune to metabolic slow-down and tooth decay, every item on the candy bar shelf looked tempting. Except for the Cuban Lunch. Sure, it was an innocuous slab of peanut-laden chocolate, but the only thing I knew about Cuba back then was that they made my dad’s cigars. I didn’t want a treat that tasted like that. Read more…

Day 633: Cue The Laughs


It is not the trait of which I am most proud, however it would be dishonest of me to deny the fact that I am a humor snob. Not to say I cull my giggles solely from the droll and waggish cartoons in the New Yorker – I’ll admit it, I re-watched the shit-hits-the-fan gag in Airplane! a few dozen times on my dad’s Betamax copy when I was a kid, and would do so again today. Humor shouldn’t have to be highbrow (a credo that shouldn’t surprise any regular readers of this site), but it should be funny.

So what the hell is ‘funny’? Why do people keep tuning in to shows like Two And A Half Men? Why did According To Jim endure a successful 8-season run? Why did a show like Arrested Development, which I would argue is the funniest show in the history of the medium, only last two and a half seasons?

I’ve gone on record as being one of those people who doesn’t consider himself to be a Monty Python fan, and I’ve taken some heat for that. And humor is subjective, so I’m okay with plucking my laughs from a different steam-tray of the buffet than many of my friends and family. But surely someone has looked into the nitty-gritty of why funny is funny.

Yes they have. And don't call me Sh... oh come on, that's too easy.

Yes they have. And don’t call me Sh… oh come on, that’s too easy.

Explaining the specific biological and psychological motivations behind laughter might be the least funny thing a person can do. Anyone who has had to explain a joke to someone whose hair was mussed by the whoosh of air when the punchline flew over their head knows this. Deconstruction of comedy kills the comedy. Read more…

Day 597: That Damn Falling Tree


If a writer posts a thousand words and no one is there to read them, does he make a point? As a person who faces that possibility every morning – usually before consuming that first cup of coffee that could potentially render the answer easier to digest – I prefer not to dwell on such riddles. These unanswerable questions are nothing more than mental self-wankery anyway, right?

Actually, as that very same internet would be quick to remind us, people enjoy self-wankery. Drivin’ the ol’ floppy jalopy might be the most common leisure activity in the known world, and when the physical act is not on the table, we’ll happily slap some brain-lube on our think-wang and try to find a logical release.

If a writer posts a rambling tirade of masturbation puns and no one is there to tell him to cut it out, should he still feel shame?

It’s all a twisted variant of the tree question, and I won’t be the first to run head-first into that problematic brick wall.


George Berkeley, noted double-cravatist and gang-sign originator, proposes in his 1710 Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge that objects only exist when we are there to perceive them. William Fossett agreed in 1730, asserting that a tree falling in the park with no one around would be silent, invisible and nameless. In fact, if all of humanity were to disappear, there would be no more tree, no more park, and no more anything because all meaning would disappear with us. Well, except for what cats perceive. Fossett would never be so bold as to discount the sensory experience of his beloved Mittens. Read more…