Friday, March 28, 2014

ex tempore

An obviously concerned reader writes in:

Dear Mr Redweld,

As a rhetorical mercenary who has recently suggested in a comment thread that he is not political, I wonder if you could comment on this comment that I read at --
How does Creationism conflict with biology, exactly?

When does Evolution factor into how organic chemistry work? Or medicine? It doesn't have any factor at all.

It's just an explanation of why we exist in the first place, as opposed to the universe just happening to appear due to random chance somehow...

Meanwhile AGW threatens to cripple the economy of the world, if believers have their way.

I do not know your views on Creationism, religion, or AGW. I am simply asking you to tell me whether this comment is soundly reasoned, in your view.


Veriya N'Ruliple


Dear VN'R:

The first sentence is a good question in the context of the thread above it, where most of the comments attack Creationism from a conclusive basis where they assume that Creationism is not science. The field of science literally is the field of knowledge. The academic discipline is a bit narrower and generally tends toward the subjects of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics. Does Creationism belong among those 4 sub-disciplines? The question posed examines the conclusion's viability. If it's viable then nothing is lost and more explanation is gained. If it's not viable we've gained both the explanation and the more well-reasoned elimination of the concept from the academic world of science. It's a fair question. A person whose stance is well-grounded should feel no threat in having to answer it.

The second sentence, or rather pair of rhetorical questions and then a conclusion, really only requires examining the conclusion. Is it true? I'm not an expert on evolution, but I seem to recall having evolutionary thoughts related to organic chemistry when studying comparative anatomy and physiology. Comparative anatomy and physiology is a component of undergraduate biology and medicine studies alike, and also is found in some areas of M.S. and Ph.D. level studies in biology.

The third sentence seems in a mindless read to be a fair statement, but if you're paying attention you may notice it poses a false dichotomy through the phrase "as opposed to," which limits the reader's examination to only two options when there others.

The last sentence is the most interesting of all. Even if we grant the accuser's conclusion that AGW poses a global economic threat "if believers have their way," doesn't the global economy depend on a healthy oikos? And therefore shouldn't preserving the oikos be primary, else there is no way to build a system of commerce and exchange on it? It seems the accuser doesn't understand things deeper than the man-made commercial level, and should perhaps inform himself/herself on matters of biology.

Your humble correspondent,

Chet Redweld

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

exes and ohs, the end

part 1 here

part 2 here

part 3 here


PBH:  It's now 1:15pm and I'm resuming the diagnostic interview of Harold Caidagh at the Neuwestia State Mental Hospital.  Is everyone prepared?

HC:  I've been ready since before 1 pm, but I'm sure Lyspe had to swallow some semen during lunch, which put him out of mind for timeliness.  Can't those buttfucking poochies keep their cocks in their pants for one hour?

LSL:  OBJECTION!  My glorious sexuality, which obviously causes Caidagh great envy, it is not the focus of this interview nor our occasion for gathering here today.  Besides, it was my partner doing the swallowing, not me.  Stop oppressing gays, Caidagh.  You are such a bigot homophobe misogynist reactionary!  Why don't you just go play with your friends in the Tea Party and spend all your time worshiping Ron Paul and Sarah Palin?  So tacky.

CBR:  As usual, Lyspe is using this forum to try to build an indirect argument which supposedly will destroy my client's reputation, and is showboating with his sad cries of "objection."  Doctor, would you please resume the interview? 

LSL:  OBJECTION!  I OBJECT to Redweld's highly objectionable comments!  Plus he's ordering my expert around again, and moreover, he's prejudiced against gays.  HOMOPHOBE!

CBR:  Lyspe, how would you know my attitude about homosexuality and people who practice it for carnal pleasure?


CBR:  Is that some kind of hidden inside joke?

LSL:  OMIGOD!  LOL!  ROFL!  I think Redweld is jelly.

CBR:  Did you actually just scream "loll" and "roffel" as if they are words we should respect and use?


CBR:  Doctor, please resume the interview.  Lyspe can go practice his supposedly funny, observational alleged humor at some other time.  My client and I have more on our plates than practice sessions for Lyspe's strange stand-up un-comedy routine.

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, let's talk about your blog.

HC:  I don't have a blog.

PBH:  I mean the universal non-stick formula blog.

HC:  Okay.

PBH:  Your entries seemed to spend a lot of time being angry, and making fun of people.

HC:  What seems is not what is.  The whole concept of something "seeming" a certain way has nothing to do with what actually is happening.

PBH:  You were not making fun of people?

HC:  Oh I was.  I do that all the time. 

PBH:  Doesn't that make you an elitist?

HC:  Define elitist for me.

PBH:  One who thinks he is superior, and thus in a tiny minority of superior people.  One who insists everyone must be superior as he is.  One who looks down on others, and doesn't find commonality with others.

HC:  So -- you don't have a dictionary handy? 

PBH:  Excuse me please, but what does that mean?

LSL:  OBJECTION!  Caidagh the homophobic bigot reactionary misogynist is making fun of my expert and trying to undercut her self-assurance.

CBR:  I'm sure we've heard enough of your characterizations of my client, Lyspe. 

HC:  I don't care what Lyspe calls me or alleges to be my person, my perspective or my set of beliefs.  Lyspe doesn't know me and never has, so whatever he calls me is just made-up fiction that is serving some ulterior motive he harbors.


HC:  You're the most un-funny comedian there is, Lyspe. 


HC:  You are trying to convince yourself with those assertions, aren't you?


HC:  Keep telling yourself that.  Remember, if you say it, it has to be true.  You are the source of all wisdom and honesty.

CBR:  This is going nowhere.  Doctor, please -- you have 30 minutes to wrap up this interview.  Lyspe said it would take no more than 2 hours.  We've now been here for five hours and nothing substantive has been developed in your interview.  This is a complete waste of time.  Lyspe, I'm going to file a motion to disqualify Doctor Houle-Eaton and render inadmissible the substance of this interview. 

LSL:  OBJECTION!  You are being obnoxiously objectionably homophobic!  And misogynistic!  And reactionary!  And, worst of all, BORING!

PBH:  Mister Redweld, I apologize for this interview taking so long.  I'll try to wrap it up.

LSL:  OBJECTION!  This interview isn't over until I SAY IT'S OVER.

CBR:  Doctor, please -- continue.

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, are you a bigot?

HC:  About what?

PBH:  It's a simple question.  Are you a bigot?

HC:  About what?

PBH:  Yes or no.  Are you a bigot?

HC:  About what?

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, are you a reactionary?

HC:  About what?

PBH:  In general.  As an outlook.  Do you favor keeping things the same as they are now, regardless of how much progress you block with that perspective?

HC:  My perspective blocks progress?

PBH:  Yes.

HC:  How?

PBH:  Because you don't want things to change.

HC:  You mean kinda like how you don't want to accept that I'm not what your theories allege, because that would require you to change?

LSL:  OBJECTION!  Caidagh is not here to ask questions of my expert!

HC:  If she asks me a supposed question but her alleged question contains numerous assumptions which do not apply to me, I feel entitled to qualify what she is asking, if for no reason other than finding the truth.


HC:  Excuse me?


HC:  What?

CBR:  Doctor, please resume.

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, are you a misogynist?

HC:  Define misogynist for me.

PBH:  One who hates women.  One who doesn't respect women. 

HC:  This is funny.  So your theories assume that I hate and disrespect women, eh?

PBH:  Yes.  My forensic dissection of your blog posts indicates that you are a homophobic bigot reactionary misogynist.

HC:  And yet none of those important points is true.

PBH:  Only because I forgot to add one more qualifier -- you are a liar.

HC:  Really?  I'm a liar?  About what?

PBH:  When you say you're not a misogynist you're lying.  When you say you're not a homophobe you're lying.  When you say you're not a reactionary you're lying.  When you say you're not a bigot you're lying.

HC:  I see.  And how do you know this?  You are somehow able to read my mind and learn my innermost thoughts?

PBH:  Yes.  That's what my 3 degrees prove.  They prove I'm able to discern your most secret, embarrassing beliefs -- even the ones you're not aware of yourself.

HC:  Really?  I thought they proved only that you were able to pay for all the coursework necessary to satisfy an institution's recipe for degree issuance.

PBH:  Oh no.  I had to pass the courses, not just pay for them.

HC:  So there was a high failure rate at each institution that granted a degree to you, in the same fields in which you earned your degrees?

PBH:  I graduated in the top 25% of my class at every step of the way.

HC:  I didn't really expect you to answer honestly. 

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, I think we've established today that you are a bigot, a reactionary, a homophobe, and a misogynist -- and most of all, a manipulative liar who has definite anger management issues and quite possibly a streak of sociopathic impulsivity.

HC:  You sure do like to think things that aren't so.

PBH:  And I think we've established that your activity at universal non-stick formula was and is designed to produce sociopathic, homophobic, bigoted and reactionary results in Neuwestian society as well as the larger society of the USA, and therefore GRH's lawsuit will succeed.

HC:  I'm impressed by the power of your delusions.

PBH:  And lastly, I think this interview has established my professionalism, my competence, and my fairmindedness.

LSL:  Amen to that!

HC:  Walter Mitty.


CBR:  Well, this has been an interesting day.  Are you finished Doctor?

LSL:  OBJECTION!  Redweld is trying to force my expert to end the interview!

PBH:  Nearly finished.  In conclusion, it is my professional opinion that Harold Caidagh is a sociopathic misogynist bigot reactionary homophobe who is a pathological liar, and it is my further professional opinion that universal non-stick formula is the nerve center of all misogyny, homophobia, mendacity, reactionary thought, bigotry and sociopathic destruction of all good civility and sophistication found in modern society.

HC:  That's a swell speech.  Terrific use of projection!


CBR:  So we're finished now?

PBH:  This is Doctor Priscilla Houle-Eaton and it is now 1:45 PM and I am concluding the diagnostic interview of the clearly sociopathic homophobe Harold Caidagh.  I hope the transcript of this interview promotes justice and protects oppressed gays everywhere.

HC:  It's a shame Prissy couldn't come up with a single question that was useful, and I guess that's why she is speechifying now.


CBR:  That's it.  Stenographer, please close the transcript now.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

exes and ohs, part 3

part 1 here

part 2 here


PBH:  Can we resume the interview?

HC:  Sure.  What do you want to talk about?

PBH:  I'd like to know what sources you use for current events in the USA.

HC:  How do you want to define current events?

PBH:  Whatever you watch, read or listen to on a regular basis.

HC:  For what subjects?

PBH:  Political subjects.  Social issues.  Economic concerns.

HC:  I'm not sure I follow you.

PBH:  For example.  Maybe you subscribe to The New York Times, or The Economist.  Or maybe you visit Huffington Post.  Or you listen to NPR.

HC:  Does this imply some set of standards?  Do those sources you listed qualify as some kinds of placeholders?

PBH:  I was thinking about the kinds of sources I use myself.

HC:  Gotcha.  Is it okay if I use other sources?

PBH:  As long as you list them.

HC:  Well, I talk to my friends.  See what they are talking about.  Who they listen to, what they read.

PBH:  And do you use the same sources as your friends?

HC:  There was a time when I did.  Sometimes I do now.  Not often.

PBH:  What does that mean?

HC:  Around 25 years ago, I used sources similar to what most of my friends use now.

PBH:  But you don't now.

HC:  Not really.

PBH:  And why is that?

HC:  With each source I reached a point where their bias was tangible and once I noticed that bias, I would get a bad vibe on further encounters with the source.  Like they were lecturing me.  Politely, but still telling me what's good and what's not good, through the slant and tone and tenor of their presentation.  Like they're saying, "these are the good sources and/or experts, the ones we're citing or using in our broadcast, and those other ones are baaaaaad."

PBH:  This was a problem?

HC:  The bias I suppose is inevitable in a partisan society like ours, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with something Team A says is good, or disagree with something that Team B says is good.  I kinda quit peer pressure games around 7th grade.  Maybe 6th.  I like to look at things from a will it work? perspective.  I find the tribalist view ultimately is doing -- what was that phrase from the late 80s era, the soft bigotry of low expectations? -- it's doing that.  It's settling for the A vs B without seeing that A vs B is not dealing with what happens to us peons down here at the XYZ end of things.

PBH:  What does that mean?

HC:  Unless you are working at the level of a US Senator or a cabinet head, or are one of the toybox donors for a fed politician's campaign, or are one of the well-connected businesses who benefit from porky pig slaughters in the congressional mess hall's killing room, it really doesn't matter whether A or B is the good team or the hero or the well-intended one or the more progressive one.  It really doesn't.  I don't know how someone can watch Bush/Cheney swap out, and Obama/Biden swap in, in the most seamless manner imaginable -- and actually with more effectiveness in the worst areas -- and still think it's about A vs B and your team being superior to their team.

PBH:  You don't think we have to stick with the system we have, warts and all?  You sound like an anarchist.  What was your response to the Boston Marathon bombing?

CBR:  Doctor, I just want to interrupt because that's actually three separate questions.  Can you ask them sequentially, as separate questions?

LSL:  OBJECTION!  You're ordering around my expert again!

CBR:  Lyspe, seriously.  That's enough.

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, do you think we should stick with the system we have?

HC:  You mean that whole change from within idea?  That system?

PBH:  Yes.  Using the system we have, and trying to improve it.

HC:  I don't see the point.  Well.  That's not exactly correct.  I guess if I think about it as an addiction, something you crave even though wanting and using it is bad for you, and deluding yourself on how it's going to work out in the end -- yeah, if we use that metaphor, it starts to make sense.  In fact it's a lot like heroin addiction.  Yep.

PBH:  You have been addicted to heroin?

HC:  No.

PBH:  So your metaphor isn't that good.  Is it?

HC:  Have you ever been a member of Congress?

PBH:  No.

HC:  Then you really shouldn't be talking about whether Team A vs Team B is working out well for you, should you?

PBH:  I don't understand.

HC:  Exactly.  The addict's dilemma.  I want this.  I want this outcome after doing this.  I want it to keep going on, forever and ever, like that.  Every buzz better than the last.  Every memory of a buzz making me want a bigger buzz next time.  Yeah.  It really is a solid metaphor.  I'm going with that.

PBH:  You seem to be off on a tangent here.

HC:  The pull of believing in the likely success of change from within politically, that's a lot like the pull of the ultimate buzz from whatever substance or act or psychodrama you're addicted to.

PBH:  You're really out there.

HC:  I'm sorry.   In about ten years, the people on your team will have accepted the truth I just shared, but as their history shows, that acceptance will be ten years too late.  But still, your team's supporters will say, "better late than never."  That, or the other variety, "the terrifying person on the other team really was horrible in his public statement on the issue, and we don't want that reality!"

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, I'm not really following your answers very well.

HC:  It's that metaphor block, isn't it?

PBH:  What does anything you said in the past 7 or 8 answers mean?  Are you a Republican, or are you a Democrat?

HC:  I choose C.  Or maybe D.  Possible I'd go with E, F, G or any other one.

PBH:  We're back to the rugged individualist again, aren't we?

HC:  No.  Maybe this time you'll believe me when I say the word rugged doesn't apply.

PBH:  Did you read Ayn Rand ever?

HC:  I did.  I read The Fountainhead and I read Atlas Shrugged.  In 1991, 92 era.

PBH:  Did they inspire you?

HC:  What?

PBH:  Did they make you want to do things differently?  Did they change your viewpoint?

HC:  They only changed my viewpoint on what each book was about, actually, as compared to what others had told me each was about.

PBH:  They didn't influence your political views?

HC:  No.  I can't imagine a political manifesto based on her views as implied through the two books I read.  She's kinda black-and-white about things.  I remember thinking she simplified a lot of things just to create an us-vs-them dynamic in her tales.  I wasn't impressed by her social theories about government vs business, and wasn't really convinced by the extent to which highly individualized people seem to succeed almost cartoonishly in her two books I read.  On the other hand I think she's correct about how bureaucracy and corruption make people prone to want an opt-out like Galt's Gulch -- if you accept her cartoonish world, that is.  I don't think a Galt's Gulch could arise in America today, even if you could put together a cluster of rich people interested in something like that.  I also don't think that businessmen, if left alone with their will-to-profit, are going to be wise about resource use and other social impacts and costs related to their operation.  So I don't really have a lot of respect for her view as a scheme.  I think she had some points right.  I think she got a lot wrong.  But I think she's correct about individualism being important, at least for people who are driven toward an indiosyncratic end.  I think what bugs people about her views is that a lot of humans just want to belong to one big happy family, and to those kinds of people, individuals are somehow threatening.

PBH:  So you're not a libertarian?

HC:  Huh?  I'm surprised someone's suggesting that category for me.  What's it based on?

PBH: Your blog entries seem like they are Republican but you say you're not following Democrat vs Republican, so that leaves only libertarian.

HC:  Really?  I have only 3 choices?

PBH:  I suppose there's also the Greens and the Communists and the Socialists on the Democrat side, and on the Republican side they have the God Squad too.  But those all seem like versions of Democrat and Republican.  Nobody ever votes for any of them.

HC:  So if you were the owner of a Baskin-Robbins franchise, and most of your customers bought either chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry, would you ditch all the other flavors because most didn't want them?

PBH:  That's different.  Baskin-Robbins created a business model around 32 flavors.  We don't have an American Democracy model built around a large number of party flavors.  What we really have is a model built around Democrat vs Republican.

HC:  That's my point.  Well, one of my points, at least.

PBH:  You're confusing me now.

HC:  Americans ignore every choice except Their Team against the Enemy Team.  And when doing this, they force themselves to choose between two versions of the same system.  And the versions are not really meaningfully different.  It would be like being at Baskin-Robbins and having a choice between a vanilla that is 60% vanilla 40% chocolate, and a chocolate that is 60% chocolate 40% vanilla.  And you could argue over whether that little 10% flavor split difference from 50-50 is actually meaningful.

PBH:  Now you're really confusing me.

HC:  To make it extra palatable, you'd have to call the 60% vanilla version something like UberVanilla, or The UnChocolate.

PBH:  I don't really like chocolate ice cream.  It seems so -- I don't know -- working class.

HC:  Most of those who choose the 60% vanilla version would agree with you.

PBH:  I'm very hungry.  Could we possibly break for lunch now?

HC:  Ask Lyspe if his poppers contact is ready to meet.

LSL:  OBJECTION!  I'm going to The Gringo Cantina for jalapeño poppers, and I object rather strenuously to Caidagh's continued efforts at impugning my habits and preferences.

CBR:  Let's take an hour for lunch.  It's obvious this is going to take all day, and possibly longer.  Lyspe, please try to be back here by 1 PM.

Friday, March 14, 2014

table tennis

Gays R Heroes, LLC
2697-B Peter Aste Way
Rimmington, Neuwestia 50196

March 1, 2014

Chester B. Redweld, Esq.
Law Offices of Chester B. Redweld
5291 Scheperdeis Court
McBoulder, Neuwestia 50189

Dear Mr. Redweld:

It has come to our attention that you are publishing the transcript of our expert's diagnostic interview of Harold Caidagh. While we have reached out to our lawyer Lewis S. Lyspe, Esq. for his input on the matter, we wanted to contact you directly during this interim period which coexists with our anticipation toward your hearing from Mr. Lyspe and perhaps Judge Flappe on the subject.

By posting the transcript and soliciting public comments regarding the transcript and the overall interview itself, we believe you are poisoning the jury pool against our cause, our expert, and our attorney. We also believe you are trying to further damage our overall mission, even though Judge Flappe ordered Caidagh to be banished from the internet for doing that very thing.

It is clear that Judge Flappe and the State of Neuwestia believe in the mission of Gays R Heroes, LLC and therefore we expect you will remove the Caidagh interview transcript from the universal non-stick formula blog and remove all comments which make reference to the interview. If you persist in publishing this material, we will have no other course available to us besides a full-scale litigation assault against your client.

You have been warned.

Very truly yours,

Gays R Heroes, LLC

By:  Byggr Klyvlen Stiemer
Public Affairs Coordinator


Law Offices of Chester B. Redweld
5291 Scheperdeis Court
McBoulder, Neuwestia 50189
(555) 431-8902

March 2, 2014

Mr/Ms Byggr Klyvlen Stiemer
Gays R Heroes, LLC
2697-B Peter Aste Way
Rimmington, Neuwestia 50196

care of

Lewis S. Lyspe, Esq.
Butz, Cox & Dynia P.C.
2697 Peter Aste Way
Rimmington, Neuwestia 50196

RE: Gays R Heroes, LLC vs. Universal Non-Stick Formula and Harold Caidagh, Neuwestia District Court, Docket No. 2014-01485.

Dear Mr/Ms Stiemer:

Thank you for your March 1, 2014 letter, a copy of which is enclosed.

Kindly consult your counsel Mr. Lyspe for an explanation of why litigants must use their counsel as conduit for all contact with their adversary(ies) and/or their adversary's(ies') counsel.



Chet Redweld

cc:  Hon. Manus Rist Flappe

Saturday, March 8, 2014

exes and ohs, part 2

continued from part 1


PBH:  It's now 10:15 AM and we are resuming the diagnostic interview of Harold Caidagh at the Neuwestia State Mental Hospital.  Mister Caidagh, are you ready to continue?

HC:  Yes, of course.  I've been waiting here for 20 minutes, waiting for that hack lawyer Lyspe to finish his round-robin of phone calls spent trying to score some amyl nitrate for his amorous adventures tonight.  I've been ready the whole time.  It's Lyspe that you may want to ask.

LRL:  Objection!  I object to being called a hack lawyer, and I've never used my cell phone to find poppers.

CBR:  Enough already, Lyspe.  Let's get back to the interview.

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, can you explain the perspective you used when writing at the universal non-stick formula blog?

HC:  I just want to make clear that during the break, I heard Lyspe talk into his phone saying something about poppers.  He practically shouts into his phone, like he wants everyone to think he's important.  But anyway -- what do you mean, "explain the perspective"?

LRL:  Objection!  Caidagh is not here to ask questions and I'm getting tired of having to reiterate that fact.  Plus he has no right to boss around my expert.  Plus, and moreover, I was talking to my partner about jalapeño poppers.  He asked me what I was going to eat for lunch.

CBR:  Lyspe, one more interruption and I'll telephone the judge's chambers to get a ruling on your obstructions and detours.

LRL:  Fine.  I welcome it.  Judge Flappe will probably laugh at you.

CBR:  Please continue, Doctor.

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, what I'm asking is, what are you --or were you-- trying to accomplish with your posts at the blog?

HC:  What do you mean, "trying to accomplish"?  What are you trying to accomplish with these questions?

PBH:  I'm trying to conduct a diagnostic interview for the purpose of assessing your mental state, for the purpose of the lawsuit brought by Mr Lyspe on behalf of his client.

HC:  Well, my writing at the blog had no such high-minded purpose.

PBH:  What purpose would you say it tried to advance?

HC:  I'm not really in a position to answer that accurately.  It's not my blog and never was my blog.  I was just someone invited to write entries there.  Maybe you could call Walt Greenglen and ask him if he had a purpose or objective in mind when he called to invite me to contribute?

LRL:  Objection!  He's ordering my expert around again!  Caidagh, she's my expert!

PBH:  Let me try something simpler.  Mister Caidagh, were you trying for comedy?

HC:  When?  Was I trying for comedy when?

PBH:  While writing at universal non-stick formula.

HC:  I'm not really sure I could honestly say I was trying for comedy.  Maybe comedy happened unintentionally?

PBH:  I notice that in the upper-right corner of the blog is a quote attributed to "Jack Crow."  Can you tell me anything about that quote?

HC:  I can tell you it's placed in the upper right corner.  But you knew that already.

PBH:  Do you know who this "Jack Crow" is?

HC:  No idea.

PBH:  Do you know if it's a real quote?

HC:  No idea.

PBH:  How does the quote read to you?  Do you think it may be real?

HC:  No idea.

CBR:  Doctor, could we please avoid hypotheticals and stick to my client's concrete acts and confident knowledge?

PBH:  I'm trying, Mister Redweld.  Mister Caidagh is proving to be an evasive subject.

HC:  I think it's more that your questions don't really point toward anything concrete.  I find you're asking about things that are more imagined than actual.

PBH:  Let me try a different approach.  Mister Caidagh, I notice that several of your entries reference gay men.  Are you gay yourself?

HC:  No.  I mean, not if you are referring to my sexual tastes and habits.  If you revert 100 years and mean "gay" is the same as "happy," there are times in my day when I feel happy.  But they have nothing to do with sexual desires aimed at sex with men.

PBH:  So your constant references to gay men are not your way of seeking a mate or sex partner who is a gay man?

HC:  What?

PBH:  In my experience, bloggers use their blogs to find a mate.

HC:  What?

PBH:  When I say "mate" I don't mean someone to marry.  I mean a sex partner.

HC:  What?

PBH:  So your blog is not designed to entice and court potential sex partners?

HC:  Jesus.  (laughing)  You're serious here, aren't you?

PBH:  Quite serious.

HC:  Well excuse me for laughing at you.  I think using a blog to find sex partners is a pathetic way to go about things.

PBH:  So you've never used a blog for mate-finding?

HC:  No.  Maybe you have, but I haven't.

PBH:  So your entries are not about comedy, and they're not about finding a sex partner.  What, then, are they about?

HC:  Writing.

PBH:  Writing what?

HC:  On a computer keyboard, as opposed to pen or pencil and paper.

PBH:  And?

HC:  Writing things that can be published without using a traditional publication route.

PBH:  Is there any more to it than that?

HC:  Well, sure.  I didn't just type random characters.  It wasn't like an untrained chimpanzee was left alone with a keyboard to see if he could produce something legible.

PBH:  Meaning?

HC:  I tended to follow common American English styles of communication.

PBH:  Does that include slang?

HC:  I'm sure it did.  I use a lot of slang myself in everyday communication.

PBH:  Isn't that uncouth?

HC:  Might be.

PBH:  Rough, unrefined, and poorly educated?

HC:  You seem to be, yes.

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, are you familiar with the device known as satire?

HC:  Can you give me an example?

PBH:  Jon Stewart.  Stephen Colbert.

HC:  Who are they?

PBH:  Famous satirists.

HC:  I must be living under a rock.  More famous than Jonathan Swift?

PBH:  So you are familiar with Swift?

HC:  Maybe.  I know The Adventures of Gulliver.

PBH:  You mean Gulliver's Travels, don't you?

HC:  No, I mean the old TV cartoon.

PBH:  Oh my.  You watch television, don't you?  This may explain everything.

HC:  I watched a lot of TV in my youth.  A lot.  As did most of my peers in my neighborhoods where I lived while growing up.

LRL:  Objection!  That's hearsay!

CBR:  Lyspe, we're not in court here, and his answers are not being offered as evidence.  Please -- stop the showboating.  There's no audience for your antics.

LRL:  Objection!  Your remarks are objectionable!  You are trying to distract the court reporter.

CBR:  Interesting.  Please let the interview continue.

PBH:  So when you watch TV, do you prefer Fox News?

HC:  I don't watch TV news.

PBH:  What sources do you rely on for news, then?

HC:  What kind of news?

PBH:  National and global political events?

HC:  I don't follow those things.  They are irrelevant to me.

PBH:  Irrelevant?  You mean they don't affect you?

HC:  Not usually.  Not on a day-to-day, what I'm doing now sort of way.

PBH:  So you don't think oppression of women and gays in Russia affects you in any way?

HC:  Nope.

PBH:  So you don't think China freely polluting its lands in order to build its industrial power base quickly and cheaply affects you in any way?

HC:  Nope.

PBH:  So you don't think a wedding photographer refusing to work at a gay couple's wedding affects you in any way?

HC:  Nope.

PBH:  So you don't think a Chick-fil-A franchise manager's public vocalization of an anti-gay, anti-lesbian viewpoint affects you in any way?

HC:  Nope.

PBH:  So you don't think Republican mouthpieces challenging President Obama's citizenship status affects you in any way?

HC:  Nope.

PBH:  So you don't think a state's legislature working to pass a law mandating that all marriages be a union of a man and a woman could affect you in any way?

HC:  Nope.

PBH:  You don't take any of the issues I just listed seriously in any way?

HC:  No.  Why would I?

PBH:  To be informed on the state of affairs in your world, as a start.

HC:  Doesn't sound like a start toward any useful end point.

PBH:  What about the Tea Party and Ron Paul?

HC:  What about them?

PBH:  Do they affect you in any way?

HC:  Nope.

PBH:  Aren't you incensed when you hear that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are saying things that some people find misogynist, homophobic, bigoted, racist, or elitist?

HC:  Nope.  I don't see how that would affect me.  I'm sure my neighbors say things to each other in the confines of their house, things that I may not agree with.  I don't know why that would be my business.  Everyone's got a right to an opinion.  Free thought, and all that.

PBH:  You haven't ever heard someone voice an opinion that sounded dangerous to you?

HC:  An opinion?  Dangerous?  To me?

PBH:  Yes.  Like inciting people to riot, or behave sociopathically.

HC:  I'm having a Tipper Gore flashback here.  Concerned Junior Leaguers are rallying today at the state capitol to protest the dire threat to childhood found in video games and other aspects of childhood popular culture!

PBH:  So you don't think it's a problem that the major entertainment vehicles in America are insufficiently diversified in their presentations?  You don't have a problem with entertainment that includes only white male characters who are heterosexual? 

HC:  What?

PBH:  You don't think Jason Collins is a hero for coming out of the closet?  You don't think it's important that a professional basketball player admits he's homosexual?

HC:  I don't know why I would care what gender an athlete prefers when it comes time for sex.  I definitely don't think it's heroic to tell the world you like having sex with Gender A rather than Gender B.  I don't know why anyone would care.

PBH:  What if you were a young man in 8th grade, a blossoming talent in basketball, but you've just figured out that you might be gay.  Wouldn't hearing Jason Collins admit he's gay be some kind of inspiration to you?

HC:  Nope.  I think if I were an 8th grade basketball player, I would look to the best players in the world for their basketball prowess, and not for their sexuality preferences.

PBH:  You sound extremely selfish and insensitive toward young gay men.

HC:  I don't imagine it would be a problem for me if you told me that Random Gay Dude in Anywhereville, USA didn't really care to learn about what kinds of women I am attracted to.  I would not call him insensitive and would not think him selfish for feeling that way.

PBH:  It seems we are back to your rugged individualism again.

HC:  Not really.  I don't use the word rugged.

PBH:  So you don't look to other humans to get a sense of what kinds of thought and behavior are socially acceptable?

HC:  Nope.  I pretty much work toward the principle of Do No Harm as the only limit to personal freedoms.

PBH:  What if someone found your entries at universal non-stick formula to be harmful?

HC:  Harmful in what way?

PBH:  Hurting someone's feelings.

HC:  Seriously? 

PBH:  Quite serious.  Don't you think people should try to not hurt others' feelings?

HC:  You must be kidding.  Some humans look for reasons to be offended.  If a person were to live his life by the principle of offend nobody, he'd be paralyzed.

PBH:  Not if he was able to get a sense of what is offensive by examining the behavior of other humans in his society.

HC:  So instead of living my own life, I should live the life that I somehow vaguely predict others want me to live, because I always check what others think or feel before doing something?

PBH:  That might be a good start for you.

HC:  Good start toward what end?  Being a robot?

PBH:  Not at all.  Not robotic.  The emphasis is on feelings here.

HC:  I can see that.  

CBR:  Let's take a 10 minute break here.

LRL:  No way, Redweld.  My expert was just tearing your client to shreds.  You're trying to stop that from happening.

CBR:  Well, unfortunately I have to piss, Mr Lyspe, and so we're going to have to take a break here.  We were more than accommodating for your overlong break earlier today.  Kindly show us the same courtesy now.

LRL:  Well, as long as the record reflects that I object to your interruption of the productive line of questioning we were just having.

CBR:  Let's start back up at 11 AM sharp.


to be continued

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ned ludd

The undersigned was schooled and mentored in an era well before smartphones.  Cell phones were found among high-dollar lawyers and/or showoffs (no, that's not a redundancy hiding behind an and/or), not the ubiquitous things they are today.  People used land lines and paper diaries and rolodexes.  A few young mavericks were using their work PCs for something other than word processors, and they had the temerity to skip the rolodex in favor of a computer-based directory of contacts.

On this background, the undersigned is familiar with the landscape of people not obsessing over their smartphone's wondrous capacities, and finds disturbing the widespread obsessive attention-tethering to one's smartphone -- which trait is not limited to first-world Asian nations' peoples, the following image notwithstanding.

In fact, in truly indelible fact, the undersigned is not using a smartphone to manage the telecommunication side of the defense of this blog and Mr Caidagh, and further toward that fact's point, the undersigned does not even own a smartphone.

Nonetheless, the undersigned is neither blind nor deaf, even if dumb; and the undersigned remains well aware of the techno-umbilicus-obsessive qualities regularly on display among all classes of Americans, including those filthy proles.  And so, the undersigned pleads with you, good ladies and gentlemen of the jury, to consider amending the caption below by inserting "/tablet" after the word "phone."


Like a good dog, you will require some empathetic training to keep you from scratching that itchy hotspot on your four-legged corpus. The training may involve temporary prostheses, inasmuch as your willpower can only take you so far, and that destination is far short of where you need to be when you finally arrive.

Yes, there's a treat waiting for you when you master this new habit.

Good dog!  30 minutes without a peek at your iPhone/iPad!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

exes and ohs


conducted by


February 26, 2014


Is this mic turned on?  It is?  How do I know?  Oh.  I see.  Okay.  The little red light.  So if the little red light is on, the mic is on?  And if the light is off?

Very well then.

PRISCILLA B. HOULE-EATON (PBH):  Good morning.  This is Doctor Priscilla Houle-Eaton speaking.  It's February 26, 2014 and it's now eight-forty-five in the morning.  I'm here at the Neuwestia State Mental Hospital to interview a temporary resident named Harold Caidagh for the purpose of establishing his mental fitness regarding his activities which have become the subject of a lawsuit filed in the Neuwestia District Court under the docket number and title... wait... give me a moment here... I've got it right here in my valise... just a second... oh darn, what's my combination again? 

HAROLD CAIDAGH (HC):  Prissy, the caption is "Gays R Heroes, LLC v. Universal Non-Stick Formula and Harold Caidagh" and the docket number is 2014-01485. 

PBH:  Oh.  Thank you.  I'm so bad at remembering things like combinations.

HC:  Maybe you shouldn't use the locks on your briefcase, then.  It's not like this is top secret or anything, the lawsuit is part of the public record.

PBH:  Yes but this is my first time as an interviewing mental health expert and I don't want to mess things up.  Oh gosh.  Drat.  That mic's on isn't it?

HC:  Your first time?  How long have you been working in mental health?

PBH:  Since two thousand twelve.  December of two thousand twelve.

HC:  Isn't that sorta insubstantial?  Fourteen months experience?  You're still a rookie.  How can you have enough experience to sort out what you learned academically and sift chaff from wheat?

PBH:  I went to the finest schools in America and graduated in the top twenty five percent of my class at each phase of my schooling after twelfth grade.

HC:  That's swell.  Keen, even.  So you're a grinder, then?

PBH:  A grinder?  Isn't that what they call submarine sandwiches in Connecticut?  I'm not a submarine sandwich.  I'm pate fois gras on an exquisite slice of an artisanal baguette.  I'm refined, tasteful, and of the highest class.

HC:  We'll see about that.

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, as you know, I'm here to interview you for the lawsuit brought against you and your blog.

HC:  That's nice and all, but you need to get something straight.  The blog isn't just mine.  In fact, there's been a long succession of authors since the blog was first established.

PBH:  I'm sorry.  I was under the impression that it's been yours from the beginning.

HC:  You may want to talk to that incompetent hack lawyer Lyspe about getting his facts straight.  Though I'm sure facts are irrelevant to someone who practices law as he does.

PBH:  What does that mean?

HC:  I think I'll let Redweld's handling of the case establish what that meant.

PBH:   Mister Caidagh, I'm sure you're aware of the lawsuit.

HC:  Which lawsuit?

PBH:  The one we were just talking about.  Brought against you.  And your blog.

HC:  As I said, it's not really my blog, and as my presence at this fine establishment suggests, I'm not even running the blog now.

PBH:  So for how long was it your blog?

HC:  Well, the blog itself will show which post I started with, but I'm pretty sure I started writing on October 26, 2013 with a post called "eerie unsubversive bull."

PBH:  Okay.  Let the record reflect that I've got my laptop here and it's connected via Wi-Fi to the facility's own internet connection, and I'm pulling up the October 26, 2013 entry called "eerie unsubversive bull."  Okay.  I've got that pulled up and it it's on the screen now.  And I'm turning the laptop around so that Mr Caidagh can see it.  Mr Caidagh, is this the entry you're talking about?

HC:  Yep.  That's it.

PBH:  So that's when you started writing for the blog?

HC:  Pretty sure, yeah.  Though the blog itself is the best record of when.

PBH:  And you wrote from that point until when, exactly?

HC:  Again, the blog will show when it ended, but I'm pretty sure it was February 18, 2014 that Redweld took over under the court's order.

PBH:  So that means you wrote for about four months?

HC:  Give or take a week or two.

PBH:  Can you tell us how you came to write for the blog?

HC:  I was invited.

PBH:  How were you invited?

HC:  I received a telephone call from a man who identified himself as Walt Greenglen.  He said he was a famous writer, political analyst, and constitutional law expert.

PBH:  And?

HC:  Well, I hadn't ever heard of him, so I doubted his claim to being famous, but I guess it's possible he hangs around people who think he's something special, and for that reason he considers himself famous.  Also I'd never heard his name spoken among writers, among political analysts, or among lawyers.

PBH:  You know writers, political analysts and lawyers?

HC:  Of course.

PBH:  How did you come to know those groups of people?

HC:  Being alive for several decades, meeting people, working different jobs, having many interests.  That sort of thing.

PBH:  Why don't you tell us about your background?

CHESTER B. REDWELD, ESQ (CBR):  Objection.  Mister Caidagh's background is privileged information that is currently sealed and not part of the public record here.

PBH:  Would you please identify yourself, sir, for the record?

CBR:  Chet Redweld, attorney for Mister Caidagh.

PBH:  What do you mean his background is privileged and sealed?

CBR:  Just what I said.  It's not public knowledge and will not be made such.  It's protected.  It's secret.

PBH:  Why is that?

CBR:  I suggest you talk to Mr Lyspe about that.

LEWIS S. LYSPE, ESQ (LSL):  I'm afraid he's correct, Doctor Houle-Eaton.

PBH:  So what am I allowed to ask about?

CBR:  The blog and its contents.

LSL:  The blog and its contents.

PBH:  Well this changes everything!  I had an outline prepared and now it's worthless.

HC:  Now you see what's so tough about being an inexperienced rookie, eh?

LSL:  Objection.  That's uncalled for, Caidagh.

CBR:  What do you mean, objection?  Lyspe, this isn't an episode of LA Law or Law and Order.  You can't object to the deponent's comments given in response to your expert's interrogation.  That's just showboating nonsense.  Stop interrupting the flow.  I know what you're trying to do here.  You're trying to rehabilitate your expert, who thus far looks incompetent.

LSL:  Objection! (shouted)

CBR:  Listen, Lyspe.  I know you would imagine yourself an actor of the highest calibre, but seriously, just stop this cockamamie showboating.  You're going to make this simple interview take all day when it should be concluded within a couple hours.  Just stop.  Please.

LSL:  Objection! (shouted)

CBR:  Mizz Houle-Eaton, please continue with your questions.

PBH:  Doctor.  It's Doctor Houle-Eaton.

CBR:  Yes, well then, please continue Doctor.

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, in that October 26, 2013 entry you began with a reference to a movie by Gaspar Noe.  Why did you raise that reference?

HC:  Did you read the entry?

PBH:  I'm reading it now.

HC:  Why don't you read the entry before you ask me about it?  Can you do that?  I think it will help you make sense of things.

LSL:  Objection!  You can't command my expert, Caidagh.  She's not your slave.  She's not here to take orders from you.  She takes orders from me.

CBR:  Thanks for clarifying, Lyspe.  Can we get back to the interview?

LSL:  As long as it's clear that Caidagh can't boss around my expert.

CBR:  Please continue, Doctor.

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, what is the relevance of the french poodle images?

HC:  They're fancy dogs, owned by people who think themselves fancy.

PBH:  What does that mean, though?

HC:  You'll have to use your imagination here.

PBH:  And what is the meaning of this apparently made-up name "Ben Vereensballs"?  Is that a reference to the African-American entertainer, Ben Vereen? 

HC:  I'm not following you.  Who is Ben Vereen?

PBH:  I thought that's who you were talking about.  Ben Vereen.  And his testicles, apparently.

HC:  What?

PBH:  You mean the name "Ben Vereensballs" is not an anti-Black, anti-homosexual slur?

HC:  What?  I don't know what you're talking about.

PBH:  Isn't it true that by using the name "Ben Vereensballs," you are suggesting Ben Vereen is gay, and his testicles are something other gay men may want to play with?

HC:  Honestly, I can't understand where that's coming from.  Seems to me you're loading a lot of baggage into my simple choice of a name for fictional purposes.

PBH:  So it's not true?

HC:  Not even close.

PBH:  Let me quote something.  I'm going to quote something, and I'd like you to explain what it means.

HC:  Okay.  Go ahead.

PBH:  Here's the quote:   "In 2013, the only thing you need to be taken seriously as a "dissident" is to be a gay man."

HC:  Yes, I typed that.  What would you like to know?

PBH:  What does it mean?  Does it mean you hate gay men?

HC:  Again, I'm not following you, and it seems you are loading a lot of implications onto my writing when I never intended anything like what you have suggested.

PBH:  Are you homophobic, Mister Caidagh?

HC:  Define homophobic for me.

PBH:  Afraid of gay men, and probably due to being a gay but closeted man yourself.

HC:  Using that definition, the answer is no.

PBH:  Is there another definition you'd like me to use?  One that would change your answer?

HC:  If you use the literal definition via etymology, with "homo" meaning "same" and "phobia" meaning "fear," and thus you use "fear of sameness," I might agree with a qualification.

PBH:  So you are a homophobe?

HC:  I am somewhat anxious about lacking an individual identity, and therefore a bit reluctant to be the same as everyone else.  In other words, I'm not much of a follower and not much of a "me, too" kind of person.  That's what I mean.

PBH:  So you are an individualist?  Would you say you're a rugged individualist?

HC:  That's not a phrase I would use.  It's a cliche, and besides, there's always someone more rugged, no matter how rugged you may imagine yourself.

PBH:  So you're not a socialist, then?

HC:  What?  I'm sorry, where does that come from?  I haven't been considering socialism thus far during the interview.  In what context are you asking about socialism?

PBH:  Well, if you are an individualist, and if you take it to an extreme, you might be so individualized as to be violently opposed to socialism.

HC:  What?

CBR:  Objection.  Doctor, Mister Caidagh is not here to have to guess along the lines of your creative interpretations of social theory or political alignment.  Can we please have some questions that bear relevance to the blog that is at issue in this lawsuit?

LSL:  Objection to your objection!  I object!  This is an objectionable comment from Redweld and my expert should not be taking orders from Redweld.  As I said, she takes orders from me.

CBR:  Very well then, thanks for clarification Lyspe.  Doctor, please continue.

PBH:  Mister Caidagh, what is your view on socialism?

HC:  In what context?

PBH:  In the context of American politics.  Do you support a socialist agenda for improving America?

HC:  Socialist in what way?

PBH:  The very best ways.  Progressive.  Leftist, but still Democrat.

HC:  I'm sorry.  Are you trying to suggest that a person needs to be a Democrat in order to be judged as mentally competent in your view?

LSL:  Objection! (shouted)  Caidagh is here to answer questions, not ask them!

CBR:  Calm down, Lyspe.  It's obvious the Doctor's question wasn't clear to Mister Caidagh.  Please continue, Doctor, but please rephrase the question so that Mister Caidagh isn't as confused on its implications.  Perhaps break it down into components.

LSL:  Objection! (shouted)  She's my expert, not yours. 

CBR:  I think we need a break here.  Can we please take a 10 minute break for bathroom and coffee?

PBH:  That's fine, I could use a visit to the ladies' room.

CBR:  Why don't we reconvene at nine-forty-five?

LSL:  Let's make it ten, I have a few calls to make.

CBR:  As long as we're actually starting by ten, that's fine.  I don't want to take any longer than is necessary to finish this interview.


 to be continued