Originally created 2/9/2008
Big Daddy Drew brought up an intriguing scenario from the Jambaroo a couple of weeks ago during a larger comment concerning Busch Beer:
“When I die, I’m very curious to see if Satan will answer many of the questions I have about my life. For one thing, I’d the opportunity to sit in a private room and watch all the sex scenes from my life, so that I can masturbate to them. I would also like to know which girls would have been willing to have sex with me that I didn’t know about. There’s gotta be one shocker in that batch. I think. I hope. Eh, probably not. Then, what I would like to do is watch scenes from an alternate reality in which I would have had sex with those ladies that would have had sex with me if I had known they wanted to have sex with me. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”
Now that sentiment got me thinking (a process which usually leads to tits, which usually leads to me checking the mail), would anyone actually want to see that? In fact, I’m going to bring this into the showcase showdown: you are not just seeing the sex scenes to knock one out too, you are living them in THE DANGER ZONE. The Danger Zone is like a combination between the holodeck and the danger room for all you nerds out there. Basically, the situation seems real to all sensory receptors despite being completely fake. Actually, this is the same principle as the Matrix. This is THE SEX MATRIX (a name which avoids embarrassing Kenny Logins overtones).
The Sexual Matrix…like Total Recall! Without the Chick with three breasts…
According to Big Daddy’s rules, this had to be a member of the opposite sex and they had to have been willing to have sex with him at some point in the real world but did not for whatever reason. But come on, this is Satan right? He’s got to throw a M. Night Shyamalan type twist on you doesn’t he (without all the overwrought tedium)? So I foresee the three permutations of this devilish exercise:
First of the all, the ground rules has to be an active fantasy about you. It can’t be someone whom you might have hooked up with had the cards been dealt differently. Why? Because of Billy Bob Thornton. Billy Bob is in my pantheon of heroes. The man not only banged Angelina Jolie but was married to her and the woman carried around a vial of his blood. This was not some drunken romp that Jolie went through years of therapy to forget, this was a long-standing relationship.
Now I’m not knocking Billy Bob. Like I said he’s one of my heroes (in no small part because he’s a huge StL Cardinals fan and narrated their World Series DVD). But let’s take a look at Billy Bob.
Now let’s look at Angelina Jolie:
Are you fucking kidding me? Billy Bob looks like the meth addict who robs convenience stores while dodging child support (side note: Metallica? YES). There are a significant number of women (prior to Jolie robbing Jennifer Aniston) who would have banged Angelina Jolie or at least made-out-with-her-while-drunk. And fucking Slingblade has decidedly freaky sex with her for the better part of four years? Granted, it may have been a rebound marriage, but so the fuck what?
My point is, if someone like Bad Santa, who is admittedly pretty awesome, can rail Laura Croft in real life, that provides hope to pretty much every average (or even subpar) male in America, doesn’t it? Thus, going in either direction, if “the cards had been dealt differently” could led to a sex scene with every human on the planet if we’re including every probability above zero (and for PETA members, probably a llama or two as well). So the most basic rule is that the person had to have “been willing to bang you and knew you by name” or had a fantasy concerning you. For celebrities, this is probably a shitload of people. But for the rest of us, it’s probably somewhere in the low double digits.
The Devil himself is going to give you two options: Number #1, which we will call “Show and Tell”, is that you see a picture of the person who fantasized about you, their name and a brief description of their relationship to you (i.e., “the barfly whose tits were swinging low sweet chariot and would have spread them for ‘Hep Lou’, the guy who plays ‘Sweet Caroline’ on the pub juke and dances with himself”). But that’s all you get: no SEX MATRIX, no actual experience, just a list. So if the girl you worked with that was a cheerleader for a professional football team was willing and able? Yeah, you’re not going to know what that was like. Number #2, which we will call the “the Danger Zone”: you have to experience sexual congress with everyone on the list. That means even if you draw “Crystal the Daytime Hooker”, you are sadly Boba Fetting that Saarlac pit. For the ladies: think of the human equivalent of Jaba the Hut, but only sleazier.
Old Scratch is going to have to make some further choices around these two options, namely:
1) Anyone who has ever fantasized about you in a sexual situation
2) Anyone who would have been consensual and of age at the time of the fantasy
3) Only members of the opposite sex who would have been consensual and of age at the time of the fantasy
Now honestly, I don’t think anyone is taking the Danger Zone on (1). But I wonder how much would take Show and Tell. I’m thinking a fair percentage, perhaps more than we would expect. Granted there may be some disturbing revelations on there, like Uncle Ricky romping through your nethers in his dreams. But remember this is hell we’re talking about: if waking up in hades after cashing out to the house while succumbing to a heart attack as you were touching yourself on the toilet is less startling than the realization that the lifeguard at the swimming pool would have fisted you when you were ten, then Beelzebub may not be making the underworld shocking enough. And anways, you could hunt down that sick molester who is in hell beside you and throw hot coals at him or something.
(2) is a somewhat harder choice. For hetero or homosexual males, the lines in our society have been pretty fairly drawn. I’m thinking most here are taking Show and Tell, if anything at all. For the ladies, I’m less sure. Lipstick lesbianism has become somewhat of a culturally acceptable, if still whispered, undercurrent. As I noted, I’ve heard of enough women who would have tagged Ms. Jolie in her prime; I wonder how many aren’t thinking of what the next best thing would be like. All right, fine, we hetero males all just hope this true because we want girls to be making out with each other. This pretty much sums up our mentality (the best part about this video may be the haymaker to the moosehead):
For the record, according to wikipedia, “a 2002 survey in the United States by National Center for Health Statistics found that 1.8 percent of men ages 18–44 considered themselves bisexual, 2.3% homosexual, and 3.9% as ‘something else’. The same study found that 2.8% of women ages 18–44 considered themselves bisexual, 1.3% homosexual, and 3.8% as “something else”. The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior, published in 1993, showed that 5% of men and 3% of women consider themselves bisexual and 4% of men and 2% of women considered themselves homosexual.”
Finally there is (3). In terms of raw percentages, one wonders how it would break down, male vs. female. If you recall, even the Danger Zone (3) still includes the hag in the cafeteria you made moist freshman year in college (or vice versa for the ladies – which I guess is the old dirty professor you gave half a stack in English 101). If I was a betting man, I would be playing the over on the fellas at 80% while the ladies might fall as low as 50%. Regardless of my previous sentiment regarding how many ladies would want to try out scissoring, I feel like the full swath of women generally feel comfortable with those they choose to sleep with in the real world, while the fellas will fornicate animal, mineral or vegetable (hey, as Clerks noted, paraplegics put up less of a fight).
Special Comment for the Married Folks or Those In Long-Term Relationships:
Let’s say we have Big Daddy’s original situation where you’re in the movie theater like the one in A Clockwork Orange being shown who would have shook your tree during the course of your life. But, Satan’s stipulation is that your significant other must watch along with you. Moreover, every sexual encounter you actually had is in there. I think the final dealbreaker for pretty much anybody would be also including anyone you fantasized about during any point in your life. Would you take a hot poker to the ass instead of this? Would you enter the Danger Zone with option #1 rather than this? These are the questions that keep me up at night. That and “why did Bert and Ernie sleep in the same bed?”
Libertarians, Socialists, and the Whiskey Rebellion: “In the summer and fall of 1794, President George Washington, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, and General Henry Lee began making mass arrests of American citizens. Authorized neither by warrants nor by any resolution of Congress, federal troops rousted from beds, rounded up, and detained on no charge hundreds of people against whom the executive branch knew it had no evidence. Officers administered warrantless searches and seizures of property and subjected detainees to harsh conditions and terrorizing interrogation. Some victims were told they’d be hanged unless they gave false testimony against the elected officials who had vainly opposed this and other executive-branch policies and operations.
“After spending various lengths of time in privation and fear, most of the detainees were released. Detachments of troops meanwhile arrived at every home, in a region defined solely for the purposes of this operation, and required every male over the age of eighteen to sign an oath of loyalty to the government. Not surprisingly, most people complied.
“Then, in the winter, the few remaining detainees were marched almost 400 miles to the capital, poorly shod and clothed, under the authority of an officer well-known by his superiors for the pleasure he took in denigrating prisoners. On arrival, the suspects were paraded in the streets as victory trophies, then imprisoned under conditions that were even more extreme than normal. Some still hadn’t been charged with a crime. Others had been charged only because the presiding federal judge – whom President Washington’s orders explicitly subordinated to an ad hoc military authority – himself felt intimidated by the federal troops and allowed indictments on what he later said he considered insufficient evidence.
“In the end, therefore, juries indicted few and convicted almost none of the prisoners, many of whom had been left in jail for many months. Failure to prosecute didn’t inhibit the president from stationing federal troops indefinitely in the region where he’d rounded up those and so many others. The military occupied the area, directing and assisting the civil judiciary. In that process, the sovereignty of the United States was at last established.”
Forget Lincoln, the constitutional republic didn’t last two decades.
THE EMPIRE HAS FALLEN
I have never rooted so hard for a New York team in my life as I did a week ago in the Super Bowl. This highlight is just about the greatest fucking thing ever. Sadly, I now have to buy an Eli Manning jersey as per my promise from the week previous. But I’ll fucking take it, now that the Faustian bargain Boston made (and not like the previous sex-related faustian bargains) has crumbled. Let’s see they won three Super Bowls, two World Series (after 86 years of futility), one by staging one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, and last but not least, Martin Scorsese won an Academy for the defining Boston movie since Good Will Hunting while being shafted for all his New York movies like Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, After Hours, and Gangs of New York. Honestly, though, this is one of the few people who are more excited than I am:Vodpod videos no longer available.
However, in terms of actual Giants’ fans, this might be the ballsiest story I’ve yet heard in my life. Honestly, in this era of terrorist paranoia, and in NEW YORK CITY, what kind of rocks do you have to have to sneak into the victory parade and celebration? That’s almost like asking to get tasered.
In The Undercover Economist, Tim Harford highly praised the health care policies of Singapore. But it wasn’t until I read the section on health care in Ghesquiere’s Singapore’s Success that I realized how amazing the official numbers are. If the following is true, all the comparisons showing that the U.S. greatly outspends Europe without getting better health are beside the point, because Singapore makes Europe look like the U.S.:
The Singapore government spent only 1.3 percent of GDP on healthcare in 2002, whereas the combined public and private expenditure on healthcare amounted to a low 4.3 percent of GDP. By contrast, the United States spent 14.6 percent of its GDP on healthcare that year, up from 7 percent in 1970… Yet, indicators such as infant mortality rates or years of average healthy life expectancy are slightly more favorable in Singapore than in the United States… It is true that such indicators are also related to the overall living environment and not only to healthcare spending. Nonetheless, international experts rank Singapore’s healthcare system among the most successful in the world in terms of cost-effectiveness and community health results.
How does Singapore do it? Singapore is no libertarian health care paradise, but it does self-consciously try to maintain good incentives by narrowly tailoring its departures from laissez-faire:
The price mechanism and keen attention to incentives facing individuals are relied upon to discourage excessive consumption and to keep waste and costs in check by requiring co-payment by users.
The state recovers 20-100 percent of its public healthcare outlay through user fees. A patient in a government hospital who chooses the open ward is subsidized by the government at 80 percent. Better-off patients choose more comfortable wards with lower or no government subsidy, in a self-administered means test.
I’ve heard a lot of smart people warn that co-payments are penny-wise but pound-foolish, because people cut back on high-benefit preventive care. Unless someone is willing to dispute Singapore’s budgetary and health data, it looks like we’ve got strong counter-evidence to this view: Either Singaporeans don’t skimp on preventive care when you raise the price, or preventive care isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
More details on how Singapore’s system works:
- There are mandatory health savings accounts: “Individuals pre-save for medical expenses through mandatory deductions from their paychecks and employer contributions… Only approved categories of medical treatment can be paid for by deducting one’s Medisave account, for oneself, grandparents, parents, spouse or children: consultations with private practitioners for minor ailments must be paid from out-of-pocket cash…”
- “The private healthcare system competes with the public healthcare, which helps contain prices in both directions. Private medical insurance is also available.”
- Private healthcare providers are required to publish price lists to encourage comparison shopping.
- The government pays for “basic healthcare services… subject to tight expenditure control.” Bottom line: The government pays 80% of “basic public healthcare services.”
- Government plays a big role with contagious disease, and adds some paternalism on top: “Preventing diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tobacco-related illnesses by ensuring good health conditions takes a high priority.”
- The government provides optional low-cost catatrophic health insurance, plus a safety net “subject to stringent means-testing.”
This Week’s Stephen Colbert’s Guitarmageddon Toss of the Gauntlet:
THE CLASSICS, Rage Against the Machine, “Bulls On Parade”. How much more a propos would Rage be now than in the relatively warless 1990s (despite Clinton’s many interventions)? Despite their rampant socialism, no recent band has had quite the same mainstream appeal coupled with almost exclusively political lyrics. Guitarist Tom Morello’s distinctive and almost atonal riffs, never better displayed than in this live clip from Woodstock in 1999, was a defining sound during the decade:
Obligatory Jimi Jam – Going back to the original Woodstock, here’s Jimi with a likewise fairly atonal improvisation branching off of “Purple Haze”. Good Christ:
Double Black Diamond: Canon D on electric guitar has made the rounds, but this rather poor quality video clip of Jerry C live (he’s the one in the middle) seems to explicate how rock this could be. Granted, it is the Asians, so it gets a little weird at times. Gotta love people jumping off the stage though. For a more subdued and extravagantly produced version is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Canon D”. I can’t say I would ever buy the TSO’s CDs or listen to them apart from a concert. But seeing them live or being in the band itself looks like it would be awesome:
For acoustic guitar fun: “Bohemain Rhapsody” on acoustic guitar. Our instrumentalist even offers a tutorial on how to play it!:
Though for my money, you’re never beating Elton John, Axel Rose, and the remaining members of Queen playing the original together in 1992. I dare you to come up with a more realistic acid nightmare. Axel Rose appears to be some sort of Scottish transvestite Raiders fan in this video:
This If You Don’t Like This Video, I Don’t Like You:
The King of Glory:Vodpod videos no longer available.
SIGNED: MCWOP, FAIT A ST. LOUIS, 2/08/08