So Alex Jones’ Life is in Your Hands…

Alex Jones has collapsed in the produce section. What do you do?

Oh, shit. What do I do? What do I do?

Hey punkass!

You! You son of a bitch! What are you doing here?

As your moral compass, I’m here to help you make an important decision.

Oh really?

Why, yes. After all, Alex Jones’ life is literally in your hands right now.

Oh, right. *drops Jones to floor*

Quick question though. How did we get here?

Well, to make a long story short, I stopped into this store to pick up bread and he was here, screaming about a New World Order to some pineapples–

That checks.

–when he just fell down clutching the right side of his chest.

Funny how there’s a bunch of people here.

Isn’t it?

They’re giving us overtime today.

Huh?

Everyone here is failing to act because they’re talking to themselves the same way you are.

So that means?

Yes, John Nash. You’re not the only one who talks to themselves whenever faced with some kind of crisis.

So, what do I do?

I’ll tell you what you do. You go out and buy Kiss’ Psycho Circus. It’s a much better album than people remember.

What the fuck, man? What do I do about Alex Jones?!

Oh! Right. Fuck that guy. Let him die.

Are you kidding me? I’m not just gonna let him die?

Why not?

Because he’s a human being who needs help and I’m a good person who helps people when they need it!

But how do we know he’s a real person? He could be a crisis actor playing Alex Jones.

What?!

Yeah, or this is an Alex Jones clone manufactured by the United States government in partnership with Mattel.

The toy company? Who did Barbie and that green dinosaur from Toy Story?

The former only, but yes.

Wait! You don’t buy any of this conspiratorial crap, do you?

I prefer to use the term — what is it the kids say these days? — “woke.”

Woke? Really?

Yeah. I mean, I’m onto a lot of things, man. Like did you know that the government controls the weather for nefarious purposes? And Hilary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of a pizza place?

What the fuck?!

Yeah, and here’s another doozy. There’s a child slavery colony on Mars.

No there’s not! NASA came out and actually had to assure everyone there wasn’t!

But they’re the government. Of course they won’t own up to something like that.

What the fuck, man! You’re supposed to be my moral compass!

Exactly! That’s my whole point. This fuckwit actually buys into this shit and is convincing other people of it as well. Let him fucking die, man.

So, let me get this straight. You want me to let him die?

Yes. See all those people? Their moral compasses are telling them the same thing.

Just let him die of a heart attack in the produce section of H-E-B?

Or, you could be the better man and help him.

Now we’re back at square one.

Indeed. This is why I’m here.

You’re not really helping me, conscience. We’ve more or less arrived back at square one and, wait, buy Kiss’ Psycho Circus?

Yup. If you do anything else with your day, find that album.

You’re joking, right?

Nope. I’m as serious as Alex Jones is going to be if you don’t act quickly. *beat* You know, dead serious?

You’re an idiot.

I manifest from your brain.

Point taken.

So, what are you gonna do?

I’m gonna call an ambulance. He may be batshit and partially responsible for how intellectually-stunted America has become, but he’s still a person and no person deserves to die in a produce section with an audience.

If you must.

I must.

*muttering* There goes the world, I guess…

What?

There’s an opportunity here. If Alex Jones dies, then he can’t poison the minds of the less-than-educated anymore. The country will have one less purveyor of horseshit to contend with. You could be doing the world a favor here.

But if I fail to act, am I not complicit in his death?

Well, sure, but think of everyone you’d be saving in the process. Throw that switch. You know you should.

Stop trying to tempt me with the Trolley Problem!

It makes sense, doesn’t it? Think of the capacity for damage inherent in Alex Jones. Think of the people who are worse-off because he exists. After all, does he not deserve this? Screaming at pineapples about shadow governments and shit…

He may be a loon, but he’s still a person.

Who brought this myocardial infarction on himself. Anyone who’s that pissed off all the time brings it on themselves.

But I can still help him! Show him kindness and shit! It’s the human thing to do and–

Out of the way! Move out!

Well, someone beat you too it, I guess. Someone else made the human decision and helped a dying man in need.

Fuck… now I’m that guy.

Yup. The guy who did nothing.

*sigh* Fine.

Now what are you going to do?

*typing on phone* Psssyyyccchhooo Ciiirrrcccuusss…

Featured image by Sean P. Anderson, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Ayn Rand: Sociopathic Bitch Queen of Conservative America

What happens when you’re on a date and The Fountainhead is brought up…

TEXT MESSAGE SCREEN

*Vibrate, cell phone stock ringtone*

Dude, Jimmy.

This had better be important–

It is.

— because I have some good bud and good betty on my couch right–

I’m serious, Jimmy. This is important.

— now.

You’re the only person I can talk to about this.

Why?

Because you’re the only person I know who is even remotely familiar with philosophy.

Dude. Seriously? This is why you’re calling me? To talk fucking Plato?

No, man. Just listen to me for a second.

Fine.

Okay. So, I’m on this date with this really hot chick I met at school.

How hot?

Gimme a sec. *pause*

pexels-photo-10988
Image via Pexels.com

Holy shitballs, man! Noyce.

Right?

So, what the hell is the problem?

Well, you see, we were talking about literary works that had a profound effect on our lives.

Okay…?

I told her about how after reading Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, we drove around the country.

Naturally.

Then she told me that her entire worldview changed after reading Atlas Shrugged.

What?!

She told me her entire worldview changed after reading–

I fucking heard you, man.

So, what do I do?

You dump the bitch. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

I mean, I know Atlas Shrugged is one of those books that have ruined American society, but do you really think that’s just cause to–?

Dump. Her. Man.

I don’t know, Jimmy.

Look, you called me because you consider me an authority on all things pertaining to philosophy, right?

Right.

If Atlas Shrugged “changed her worldview,” that means she found merit in the selfish bullshit Ayn Rand passed off as a legitimate view of modern society.

Is it that bad?

Is it that bad?! Have you ever heard me say anything positive about it?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard you mention Atlas Shrugged at all, if I’m being honest.

Fuck, man. Okay. Let me break it down for you.

Sure.

Ayn Rand is the sociopathic bitch queen of American conservatism. Specifically, the ideas she passed off as philosophically significant to the betterment of modern society have become the very backbone of many conservative ideas, ranging from economics to social programs. Her influence is astonishing.

How influential is she?

Rand Paul once said he “cut [his] teeth on Ayn Rand in high school.” Paul Ryan once said Ayn Rand was “the reason [he] got involved in public service.” Of course, that was before he changed his tune when people with the capacity to think rationally about Ayn Rand’s self-entitled horseshit began calling him out on it. Fuck man, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court — you know, the one who’s likely now without a voice because Scalia died — has privately screened The-Fucking-Fountainhead, the 1949 film version with Gary Cooper, for his new clerks every year.

Wow.

She’s the L. Ron Hubbard of dytopic fiction, man. Her writings are pedestrian, at best, in terms of wordsmithing, and they’ve become influential to the degree in which people are enslaved to these ideas. Much like how Scientology is a batshit religion for batshit people who can’t see their batshit beliefs as batshit, Ayn Rand-inspired conservatism is a batshit sociopolitical philosophy for batshit people who can’t see their batshit beliefs as batshit.

You’re pretty certain there, Jimmy.

I haven’t even started yet, man. Ayn Rand’s books are more than just crackpot fiction. There is an entire philosophy at work here. She calls it “objectivism” and it’s the dumbest fucking pseudo-intellectual bullshit since Pascal’s Wager.

Explain?

In the early 1960’s, Rand penned a column for the Los Angeles Times called “Introducing Objectivism,” in which she laid out the tenets of her philosophy. She states that reality is “objective” — meaning that it is what it is and is not subject to speculation. Reality is objectively absolute. The ethical component of Randian philosophy is self-interest. Effectively, she says that the wants and needs of the I are more important than even the needs of society. Do you follow?

Yes.

Okay, she said in the article that man “is an end in himself” and that man exists not “as the means to the ends of others.” She also said altruism is the destroyer of America’s implicit moral code, because apparently, society is ultimately crippled by charity and well-intentioned acts of kindness.

Okay.

So, the problem with believing a fucking word Skeletor, sorry, Ayn Rand says is that the belief is invested in a philosophical idea that is flawed and easily defeated by its own logic. If man “is an end in himself,” each man is ultimately responsible for their own happiness. Real quick, though, keep in mind that I am using the word man as shorthand for mankind. Women are not excluded from this scenario. I’m not Donald-fucking-misogynist-Trump.

Right on.

Okay, so back on point. If each man is ultimately responsible for his own happiness and altruism is the destroyer of America’s implicit moral code, as she so bluntly states, then what of the people who find happiness in altruistic acts? What of the people whose rational self-interest, as Ayn Rand put it, is tied to acts of prosocial kindness and charity?

Well, what of them?

Therein lies the conflict. The pursuit of rational self-interest is something that Ayn Rand promotes as morally good, but it is tied to an act that Ayn Rand considers to be bad.

Then wouldn’t it be justified that the person’s destructive act, altruism, is in fact, not rational self-interest?

I’m certain Rand would argue that, but she cannot defend it. Rational self-interest is basically egoism and egoism is the theory that the “I” is or should be the motivation and goal for one’s own action.

But their action is altruistic, yes?

It is, but it’s also selfish. This is why Rand’s view is paradoxical. Even an altruistic act can carry a selfish motive. If someone gives money to the homeless and feel good as a result, then their motivation, at least in part, is for that feeling. Even though it is charitable and altruistic, it is still self-motivated behavior.  At least part of the reason this hypothetical person commits an altruistic act is because of how it makes them feel. It strokes their ego. It appeased the “I.”

I see that.

So, in this case, Ayn Rand’s views on rational self-interest and the moral backbone of “objectivism” are in conflict. Because of that conflict, a significant part of her philosophical doctrine is flawed.

I think I follow. 

There are plenty more instances where Ayn Rand’s objectivist philosophy gloriously falls on its face. You can go to The Zephyr Lounge and read more. I’m pretty sure I’ve kept you for a long time though. You should get back to your date… and I mine.

Agreed. Thanks, Jimmy.

No problem. Just try to steer the conversation–

OH SHIT!

What?

Well, she’s gone.

That figures. Sketchy as shit, just like Ayn Rand’s logic.

Featured image by HKDP, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

So You’re At The Bottom Of The Sea

Hello?

What’s up?

Oh, shit! Who the fuck are you?!

I think the better question is who the fuck are you?

I’m… I’m… I’m at the bottom of the sea… somehow…

That’s brilliant, Sherlock.

Hey, man, I don’t want to be down here…

Sounds like you have a problem, then.

Well, do you know how I can get back to the surface?

Umm… let me think. *thinks*

I mean, I really need to–

*thinks*

I only have a–

*thinks*

I DON’T HAVE MUCH OXYGEN LEFT!!!

Fuck, man. Can’t you see I’m trying to come up with a solution to your dilemma. Fucking fuck, you fucker.

Anything?

Well, I thought you could probably swim to the top, but you don’t have the anatomical superiority needed to do so.

Hey! I probably could–

Is your name Michael Phelps?

Well no.

Then, you can’t. Which really sucks, because…

Because what?!

Well, let’s just say that your lack of oxygen is not the only factor at play here.

WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?

Are you feeling any joint pain?

No…

Incontinence?

What? No!

Are you having a seizure?

I don’t know… am I?!

A sensation that bugs are crawling over your body?

No! I mean… NO!!!

Well, that’s interesting, considering you have a giant isopod crawling on your back.

*flailing* What the fuck is that?!

This…

Bathynomus_giganteus
Image by friend of User:Borgx, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

… Isn’t she pretty?

What in the actual fuck is that thing?!

One of the great many denizens of this dark abyss called, well, the abyssal zone.

I’m that far down?! How?

You know, that’s a very good question. I can’t for the life of me understand how you’re not being crushed right now.

Maybe it’s my special suit?

Could be. I mean, science and shit.

How are you here?

Oh, I’ve been here.

That doesn’t answer my question.

LOOK OUT!

667px-Giant_squid
Image by Stephanemartin, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

*flailing* What’s going on now?

Giant squid.

The Kraken?!

No, that’s the colossal squid and it’s not as big as pirates made it out to be. LOOK OUT!

*faliling, sobbing* What the hell now…?

Oh, nothing. Just keeping you on your toes.

That’s so fucked.

No, what’s fucked is that you’re down here in the first place. You’re going to die, man.

Not if you help me figure a way out of here! You know what? Fuck you, dude. I’m going to figure this out on my own.

Good luck with that. It’s really fucking dark down here.

Whatever. I have a light. I’ll just turn it on and– *click* AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! WHAT IN THE NAME OF GOD’S WRATH IS THAT?!

Humpback_Anglerfish_(Melanocetus_Johnsonii)
Image by Javontaevious, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

That would be an anglerfish.

It’s fucking teeth…!

Yep.

It could…!

Most likely.

Holy shit!

Protect your balls, sir.

It’s getting harder to breathe…

How much oxygen do you have left?

Umm… *examines oxygen indicator* … shit.

Okay, well, how did you get down here? Perhaps that would give us a clue as to how you can get back to the surface.

I guess I just sank. I mean, I was studying some marine life, slipped, and just plummeted downward. I may have blacked out for a bit, because I don’t remember anything that happened after I began my descent and before I woke up in total darkness.

That sounds like quite the pickle.

If I’m being honest, and this may sound crazy, but it felt like something pulled me down here.

Really? That’s weird. *whistles innocently*

What?

*shakes head* Nothing. That’s just weird is all.

Why are you whistling innocently?

No reason. HEY, LOOK OUT!

Fuck you.

*laughs*

Hmm… Maybe I can scale a cliff face or something?

Perhaps. You’d have to find one first. Also, man, you’re going to have to accept that you are at the bottom of the fucking ocean. Like, two-and-a-half miles down. You’re not going to make it. You’re just going to have to come to terms with the fact you are going to die here.

You make it sound so absolute.

It is. I mean, unless James Cameron is doing another deep sea dive at this exact spot.

What’s the likelihood of that?

About as likely as the NFL finally awarding the 1925 league championship to the Pottsville Maroons.

Huh?

Or about as likely as the Chicago Cubs winning another World Series.

Oh, come on.

Or about as likely as Kim Kardashian imploding under the weight of her own ass.

Seriously, dude.

Or about as likely Wal-Mart paying their employees a living wage.

COME ON, MAN! GIVE ME SOME HOPE!

Well, I suppose it’s more likely James Cameron will be diving in this exact spot at this exact moment than it is for you to be struck by lightning down here…

*glare*

… *chuckle* because, you know, you can’t get struck by–

I FUCKING KNOW I CAN’T GET STRUCK BY LIGHTNING DOWN HERE!

Chill out, man. You wanted some hope.

Some realistic hope, asshole.

*snaps* Oh, shit! I don’t know why I didn’t think about it before!

Think about what?

You could ask Poseidon!

0036MAN_Poseidon
Image by Ricardo Andre Frantz, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Poseidon? Seriously, dude, stop fucking with me.

Dude! Poseidon is real.

No, he’s not.

Uh, yeah, he fucking is.

Shenanigans! I’m calling shenanigans! There is no way Poseidon is real. The Greek gods are myths. All. Of. Them.

What and the Abrahamic God isn’t? That bearded, angry, egotistical fucker?

Well, no. I don’t think he–

I’ll prove it to you.

Seriously, man. I have very little oxygen left and I would like to spend my last few minutes extending them as long as possible. That requires me to stop playing this fucking game with you. Do you understand?

Alright, fine. If you want to die, then fucking die. I just figured out a way to possibly save your life and you’re just going to sit there and be a fucking asshole about it? Whatever, man. Enjoy your stay on the abyssal plain. If you’re cold, there’s a fucking hydrothermal vent over there. Watch out, though, because there may be some giant tube worms over there.

Fine! Fuck you too, buddy!

I’m not your buddy, guy!

I’m not your guy, friend!

I’m not your friend, buddy!

I’m not your buddy, guy!

I’m not your guy, friend!

*silence*

I’m not your guy, friend!

*silence*

I’M NOT YOUR GUY, FRIEND!

*silence*

*shrug* Huh. Well, then.

MEGALODON
Screengrab from YouTube.

*chomp*

Good idea, Megalodon. I could use a meal myself. I wonder if I can get Papa John’s to deliver here…

Featured image is in the public domain and available via Wikimedia Commons.