The Abstruse Weed

Covid Weed Covid Weed Covid Weed Covid Weed Covid Weed Covid Weed Covid WeedWhat Is the Abstruse Weed

As we muddle our way through ever more protests and convoys of paranoid motorized morons, I decided to reflect on things that are shall we say, abstruse, which is a fancy way of saying difficult to understand. Why did I choose the word abstruse when I could have said it more simply?

To be brutally honest, I was thinking of eating some apple strudel, and somehow my brain came up up with ‘abstruse strudel’ because it sounded good in my head. And I had slept poorly. I couldn’t for the life of me remember what abstruse meant, so I looked it up and realized it has nothing to do with strudel. In fact strudel is not difficult to comprehend, apple or otherwise. Well, maybe cherry-peach strudel is a little difficult to comprehend. Terrible combo. Or dare I say, that would be an abstruse strudel riddle.

Have I Lost You Yet?

Clearly, the previous two paragraphs are the rantings of a lunatic. I should know. I wrote them.  Furthermore, what does this have to do with anything related to the title of this post, The Abstruse Weed? Oddly, it comes from a news article about experiments done to see how cannabis could affect or potentially inhibit Covid from replicating. Apparently it may work.

My mind raced at the thought of weed potentially being beneficial to the fight against a virus that has laid bare economies, societies and supply chains. Who would have ever come up with the idea of using weed to combat a virus?

Dopehead stoner students, that’s who.

Which is indirectly how I came up with the series of drawings for this episode of the comic, once referred to by Jacques Cousteau as ‘merde de poisson’. He was a harsh critic.

It dawned on me, as I was on a Mount Everest sugar high from eating too many industrial cookies that were on sale, that it is just this type of abstruse thinking that is at the heart of human creativity. I am also relatively sure weed may play a role in creative thinking, but in my humble and under-informed opinion it pales when compared to chocolate danish-fueled synapse-triggering creativity.

Totally Out There

So I decided to use the cross-pollination method of creative thinking to come up with some questions that humanity could ponder while waiting for the next government edict on the Covid situation or while waiting in traffic behind some trucker or Confederate flag-waiving bigot who has decided his rights to spreading bellicose stupidity outweighs your rights to fetch a bagel in peace and quiet.

Potential Ponderable #1

Why do we use the word ‘lady’ when referring to  a cleaning lady? Do you know any cleaning gentlemen? Is is it because a proper cleaning lady keeps her legs crossed while scrubbing your filthy floors and food encrusted counters, and  always with a smile and good humour? Would you call Lady Diana a cleaning lady? How about Lady Gaga? Or the Lady of the Lake? I didn’t think so. Conversely, I know of no cleaning men. Unless you count my brother-in-law who keeps a damn tidy house. But he’s not compensated adequately for his services. Bless his hairy soul.

Potential Ponderable #2

Recyclable ammunition. Why hasn’t anyone invented recyclable bullets? Such a waste. Talk about our disposable culture. One-time use of bullets and missiles is so passé! Reuse and recycle, I say. (We are not good as reducing our use of ammunition however. Witness the state of the world over the last 26 minutes and you’ll know what I mean.) At least make bullets and bombs biodegradable or recyclable. I bet you if there was a deposit on ammunition, let’s say  1$ on every bullet casing and $20 on every shell or bomb casing you bring back to the supermarket, you’d have a line-up out the door.

Potential Ponderable #3

If prostitution is the oldest profession as the saying goes, who does the accreditation exams? is there a Prostitute Academy in the Netherlands I am unaware of? Who judges if you’re qualified and have passed the exams? More importantly HOW do they determine if you’re a professional? Do you need a website? Are there amateur and professional prostitutes? Is there a minor league? Or relegation to a lower tier? If you’re not designated a professional, then isn’t it more like a pastime or a side hustle?

Now it’s time for a shower.

Sincerely,
King Panda Druker

He’s Dead, Jim

Spider DiesSpider DiesSpider DiesSpider DiesSpider DiesSpider DiesA Dead Spider?

This is not a Start Trek-related rant. Although the person who inspired me for this instalment of the blog no one reads, or at least admits to reading, unless they are in a confessional or on death’s door, genuinely is a Trekkie. Let’s just call him Jim.

It is winter and the holiday season is here in full swing with conflicting messages from all manner of outlets – continued materialistic consumption ad nauseum vs Papal demands for humility and spending caps on gifts. And of course Omicron (who many people thought was a character on the Transformers TV series from when I was a kid). It’s a confusing time.

How this all relates to a dead spider is a bit of a long-winded tale that I should shorten for those with short attention spans, namely all literate earthlings with an internet connection and a pulse.

New Age Spider Tolerance

Where I live, it has been a dry winter, with little snow. Warmer than usual and ever the sounds of birds that usually migrate, hanging around asking for directions south and to the nearest bird feeder.

Stories of climate change, climate crises, climate-controlled chip factories and sexy climatologists have dominated much of the news this year (if you discount the January 6th attack on American democracy by small-brained lunatics).  Frequently, the message has been we need to do something about this before Mother Nature actually locks us out of the house.

In my bumbling, uninformed opinion, Mother Nature isn’t trying to tell us something. She’s already told us a thousand times to clean up our rooms and we ignored her. So now, like any parent who’s given up hope, she’s focusing on her life and taking time to go the spa and letting the house fall apart while she’s out drinking tequila slammers and having casual sex.

But I digress. (It’s my best skill.)

Countless studies and reports have shown us how we have irreparably disturbed animal habitats, while human-induced climate change  has forced animals of all species to move to where they can survive. Lobsters are migrating north. Sharks too. Beavers are now in the arctic. (Funny, no animals are moving south to Florida or Texas. They must fear for their lives given there’s no gun control.)  Even hairy, loathsome, fear-inducing spiders too are adversely affected by climate change.

Wishing or Squishing Your Enemies Dead

Yet most people I know want spiders dead. Not maimed, not incapacitated, not neutered, not even resettled — but dead. Even the kindest, sweetest people want them dead.

Famed humanitarian Albert Schweitzer was quoted as saying, “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. Spiders, however, should be crushed mercilessly with an iron boot!” Likewise Mother Theresa was quoted as saying “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things. Like killing every last spider in this village with an iron boot!”

Even noted psychopathic expansionist and part-time flower shop owner Attila the Hun was quoted as saying “If I find one more damn spider in my yurt, so help me god, I will rampage across Asia and Europe and lay waste to the Romans too! Man, I wish had an iron boot.”

What happened to new age spider tolerance? What has the arachnid ever done to you to warrant death? They just want to eat bugs and freak you out when you run into their widely strewn webs. Is that so wrong?

Holiday Mirth and Death

If, during this time of holidays and short sunlit days in the northern hemisphere, you have a chance to ruminate, meditate, cogitate or pontificate on Nature and all forms of life, take pleasure in all those around you, human and animal. But if you need to crush a spider that lands on your table while you eat, don’t tell anyone I said it was ok.

Mirthfully manic,
Mundzuk Of the Huns Druker

Bad Choices Are Easy To Make

Bad Choices StewBad Choices StewBad Choices StewBad Choices StewBad Choices StewBad Choice StewBad Choice StewBad Choice StewBad Choice StewBad Choice StewBad Choices – I Have Made Many

Not long ago I read a report trying to explain the environmental impact based on the foods we buy. Yet another attempt to make me feel bad for the numerous poor choices I have made in my life time. The gist of the article made me think about how many trees I have indirectly deforested, rivers polluted, and CO2 emitted by choosing specific foods and not thinking about the consequences.

Given the number of burgers, sausages, industrial cookies and of course chocolate and cinnamon danish* I have consumed in my 5+ decades on this planet, one could roughly calculate that I personally have led to 3% of global forests being destroyed. Which is approximately the weight of 100,000 male African savanna elephants. Trust me.

Furthermore, by my rough, sleep-deprived calculations, I have emitted more tons of CO2 — and especially methane — than most central American countries have in the same period of time. Which I consider quite the accomplishment, however it doesn’t sound good on a job application nor does it make for a great conversation starter on blind dates. Trust me.

(*Note to reader: danish usually doesn’t have a plural form, it’s like water or beer or air – it’s an uncountable ethereal and tasty substance that defies logic, and supports rampant diabetes.)

Wired for Bad Choices

So many many of my bad choices to eat meats and danish, as opposed to locally grown leafy greens, are notionally based on the principle that we have free will. I chose to ingest delectable baked sugary delights that led either directly or indirectly to an oil well being drilled (what? you think petro-sugar comes from real sugar? who’s being naive now?) and I felt no guilt. Coincidentally, I also immediately felt a numbness in my left arm and a difficulty breathing for a bit, but I can’t imagine the two are related.

Was it a question of poor education or a lack of facts that led me to choose the clearly evil foodstuff? Is there a little devil over my shoulder cackling with evil laughter knowing that mother earth has descended that much closer to the abyss? Of course not. We are wired for bad choices.

Our human DNA and electrolyte-fuelled mushy gray matter lead us to seek out what we want, not always what we need. Look at poor Socrates – he wilfully drank a chalice of poison as opposed to being forced to eat a kale salad with dried cranberries and low-cal dressing, knowing the former would be far more pleasurable than the inevitable bloating and gas he would get from the meal of greens.  Granted, drinking poison impacted his dating life and earning potential, but frankly, if you had to eat a kale salad or choose death, the great hereafter isn’t a bad option.

Bad Choices Built Civilization

I am not getting into a discussion of free will versus determinism, mostly because I am not smart enough to discern the difference and it is a mood killer on first dates. Trust me.

Rather I make the argument that if we didn’t make bad choices, civilization wouldn’t have evolved as far as it has. If humans didn’t make bad choices, we wouldn’t need police, the fire department, emergency medicine doctors and nurses,  lawyers, self-help gurus, or dietitians.

Bad decisions are the cornerstone of learning and growth. How many times have you said “Oh another drink couldn’t hurt. Make it a double!” only to find yourself lying in bed the next day reaching for a painkiller that was invented because someone saw a need to reduce the searing pain of a hangover. Your bad decision led to the modern pharma industry’s feeding you meds.

Think of all the lawyers that we need because people decided to submerge toasters in water or all the prosthetics that were invented because some humans decided to stick their hands into a spinning blade? Where would personal injury lawyers be without poor decision-making? They’d be flipping burgers instead of driving Porsche SUVs.

Inescapable

Since we are bound to make bad choices, either due to faulty genetics, poor lighting, poor education, poor parental modeling, a lack of sleep, or a significant other telling us we always do the laundry wrong, I say screw it. I am going to have another danish.

Pontifically challenged and perpetually perturbed,
Augustus Johann Sebastian Druker, 16th waterboy of the Earl of Sheepshire

To Vax or Not – The Idiot’s Question

The Idiot's QuestionThe Idiots Question The Idiots QuestionsThe Idiot’s Question

Modern day reality TV shows know no depth to which they will not sink in order to attract viewers. They’re aimed at idiots. It’s why people still love Big Brother that’s now translated into 3000 languages and is broadcast in every country and planet in the Milky Way. Turns out there’s unintelligent life in other parts of the galaxy. Idiots outnumber us, dear readers. Big time.

Same goes for competitive cooking shows. They exploit people who truly love to cook only to be yelled at and belittled for an international audience. Maybe even an intergalactic audience. And worse, they’re hosted by arrogant idiots who give their willing cooks ingredients like old socks, fermented goat anuses and mineral oil and expect them to come up with a delicious meal in a TV-timed 22 minutes.

Given that the-idiots-to-not-idiots ratio is about 6 billion to 1, I decided that I too could come up with an idea for a reality show that would be a smash hit. Switch the governments of the Taliban and Haiti to run each other’s country for 6 months and see which one explodes first.  But it would have to be hosted by an arrogant, self-important and stupid host from CNN. There are many to choose from.

So what does the world of idiot TV shows have to do with sub-mental people who question whether to vax or not to vax?

Idiots & Questions

It’s a tenuous argument at best, given that I haven’t had a chocolate danish in over 3 weeks. However, I think that the global pervasiveness of stupidity has infected humanity, which has led to anti-vaxxers. What else could explain why a sane person would refuse a vaccination against a virus that has killed more than 4 million people?

You’d rather take horse de-worming medicine and potentially lose your sight than take a vaccine? You’d rather listen to anti-vaxxers who have died because of COVID than take your medicine? You’d rather tell people you’re firmly anti-science and think drinking bleach will solve the problem? This can only mean one thing – idiocy must be a side effect of being an anti-vaxxer. Or is it the other way around?

I’d bet you that if you gave people free pornography and beer you’d convince more people to get the vaccine than lotteries, guilt-trips, cash incentives and celebrity endorsements combined.

Greater Threat

Now I am concerned. Maybe a genetic trait of anti-vaxxers is an expressive idiot gene They become not just half-wits, but full-on morons! They’ll procreate even more and spread not just their flawed mental traits, but they’ll spread rumours like dogs having two noses (One dog does, actually.  I couldn’t resist that wildly gratuitous non-sequitur. I stumbled on it while surfing on Flipboard).

Obviously more education isn’t the answer. We’ve tried that. Neither is coercion, nor threats, endorsements, financial incentives or even people actually dying from the virus.

My suggestion is this: Have the secret shadow world government run by Marion Dawson and Disney Corp. activate the microchip given to us in the COVID vaccine and instruct us to gather all the anti-vaxxers, put them on ships and send them to live with the Taliban for one year on an isolated island with no food or clothing.

Now there’s a great idea for a reality TV show.

Disturbingly disturbed and full of grilled pork,
Dalai Lama Trinley Gyatso

Artificial Intelligence for the Stupid

Artificial Intelligence Artificial Intelligence Artificial Intelligence Artificial Intelligence Artificial Intelligence Artificial Intelligence Artificial Intelligence Artificial IntelligenceArtificial Intelligence Isn’t As Smart As You Think It Is

Who is more stupid? Humans or is artificial intelligence? I read a little while ago that there’s a list of 403 forbidden words used to filter search and website results. The AI program in some search engines uses this list to keep ‘bad’ words from showing up in search results and potentially offending viewers of the global cesspit that is the Internet.

I didn’t look at this list (yet) and I’m sure it’s missing entries that my father used to curse me and others at random points in his life when he was brought powdered sugar donuts that His Royal Highness didn’t deem to be fresh enough. But I digress.

Using AI to detect meaning and context in language is very difficult. With artificial intelligence you need to give it to a developer who understands computer languages. That very faulty human has to somehow figure out a way to have an algorithm understand, recognize and learn about those bits of vocabulary, usually without context, and then get it to figure out you are indeed searching for, let’s say, “feckless hairy pinatas” and not “recipes with cherries and bananas.”

It’s pretty darn complicated.

Logic, Language and Context

Let’s say you’re wildly passionate about metal fastening devices and you type in the word “screw” – you may not want to be led to a website that shall we say is chiefly concerned with advancing carnal knowledge (via credit card) and shows off heavily tattooed and physics-defying intimate body interactions. Or maybe you do. I am not here to judge. Yet.

You see human language has nothing to do with logic. Let alone artificial intelligence. Or animal intelligence. It’s about conveying an idea or information for many interesting reasons. Sometimes it’s to show dominance, display accumulated knowledge, make people laugh, or to purchase a fresh chocolate danish, and not the one that’s been dropped by the ham-fisted teenager behind the counter.

In numerous studies done by a guy named Manny in a remote fishing village, he determined that most often language is used to get another person to pay attention to you so you can fish through their pockets for valuables while they’re not looking. This sounds quite credible to me.

Have We Learned Anything?

Absolutely nothing. All we can really assume after this short rant is that I doubt that the masters of this list of forbidden words can ever teach and create algorithms that can handle the breadth, depth and ferocity of dirty words I know I have used in the past week since I stubbed my toe. Let alone the stuff that my father used to say to the tv. And me.

Terribly tired and fed up waiting for his COVID vaccination,
Dr. Philmore Blemish III

Am I Off Trend Again?

Stanko and Tibor TrendsStanko and Tibor TrendsStanko and Tibor TrendsStanko and Tibor TrendsStanko and Tibor TrendsStanko and Tibor TrendsOff Trend Again

Having just devoured a scrumptious dinner with my daughter, which involved lively conversation about her schooling and her school mates (all remote and visible via a computer screen only), I was reminded for the 6,793rd time this month that I am not only old, but wildly out of touch with the latest trends.

In addition to teaching me the term “insta-baddie” and a few other choice terms teens use to explain what passes for human communication these days, my mind wandered to the subject of this instalment of the comic blog that Arch Duke Ferdinand once said he’d rather be assassinated than to have to read again: The Brazilian Butt Lift (or BBL for those in the know). It’s not just a trend, it’s a way of spending stupid money.

I readily accept that the last time I was on trend, or even within a city block of a trend, I was probably 17 when I wore red leather bowling shoes. They were cool. Yes, I was frequently ostracized from main stream society. And my family. And branded a heretic. The subsequent re-programming using shock therapy didn’t fix me, but it sure made my dad laugh. But I digress.

The short version of the BBL: They suck fat out of one part of your body and stick it in and around your buttock area so men, women, your dog and hermaphrodites can have a body shape like Kim Kardashian. Honestly, I thought this was a joke when I heard about it, but this trend is real.

People will spend (oh I can’t resist writing  this) big-ass money to have themselves intentionally mauled by a Porsche-driving cosmetic surgeon to look like someone who has all the societal value of the residue at the bottom of a locker room soap dish.

And you wonder why Trump got elected…

The thing with trends is that they take so much effort to follow and stay on top of. Or close enough to hold hands with. Which is why youth are so good at following trends slavishly. It takes time and energy, two things I am officially out, along with money, danish, self-respect and hair on the top of my head. When you’re young you can use your boundless energy to hunt for and chase down the latest thing. Google or Twitter will help you find what’s trending. Instant gratification.

What else do the youth of today have to do but be on social media and see what’s hot, what’s not and make sure they latch on desperately, because social media makes them feel like crap for not being famous every minute of every day and are thus worthless members of society.

Same goes for more than a few adults I know. But many of them are hitting a point in their lives where not even a BBL would help them look cool. Only a sports car of German origin might work. Or a profligate SUV, but those are more for people who are “adult trendy.” It’s different from those youth trends. You have way more debt and body fat to use for an eventual BBL.

Infuriatingly insolent – and proud of it,
Ishmael of the Caves Druker

The Stupid Force

The Force The Force The Force The Force The ForceThe Force Stupidity – A Force for Change

There’s a force for change spreading through the world. It’s not what you think it is. It’s not positive thinking, or low carb diets, or even drug-induced cross-dressing. It’s the force of stupidity.

Think of it as the low-normal relative of  The Force except too many people use it to guide their daily existence. Like Trump believers.

You have heard me expound at length about the depth of human idiocy. My father, the realist/cynic salesman who could spot the force of stupidity at a distance, clued me in this force of nature when I was 12 years old. It’s only some 40 years later that I have seen it come to brutal fruition in the year of COVID.

Anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, anti-matter and other antis have proven to me repeatedly that stupidity, probably like the Corona virus, is like a force of nature and as plentiful as oxygen. Likewise, it mutates and adapts almost as fast as Corona does.

Tap That Force

I’d like to know how we can harness and tap this force. Think of what we could do if we could control stupid energy, distill it and use it as an energy source. Screw oil, coal, natural gas and solar panels! And best of all, because stupid humans outnumber smart ones 7,799,999,943 to 17, it’s an almost limitless supply.

Come to think of it, it’s probably pretty easy to tap this stupid force. All you really need is a media outlet, people with smartphones or internet-enabled devices, and a lot of free time spent mostly trapped indoors.

Now how could I arrange that…? I bet if I developed a bio-weapon in a secret lab in a country under a dictatorial regime with evil global ambitions, I think I could pull this off.

What? It has been done already? Shit. [Note to readers: that last paragraph was for the stupid.]

Mentally stunned and emotionally stunted,
King Pho Khun Bang Klang Hao Druker

Bye Bye 2020, Hi 2021


2021

Bye Bye 2020

From the creators of Stanko & Tibor, we bring you a formal good riddance to the annus rottenus and give proper welcome to the new year. A year of transition, promise, and most likely questionable fashion choices.

You may notice I used the plural when I said “creators” — it’s partially because I want to make this online rag sound much bigger than it is. And partially because all the time I have spent alone and indoors has made me develop multiple personalities just so I could hold a conversation with someone other than myself.  And maybe finally win that argument about which kind of danish is superior.

May your vaccination be painless and come quickly. And while you’re at it, have a few shots of booze or whatever makes you happy until it’s your turn.

Time for bed.

 

Gord The Bard – Not

Gord (a.k.a Dad) The Bard

Gord The Bard - NotGord The Bard - NotGord The Bard - NotGord The Bard - NotGord The Bard - NotGord The Bard - Not


So as some or most of you readers may know my dad passed away a little while ago, and as you guessed it, this post of the comic is dedicated to him, and his many, many pearls of near savant-like wisdom. (My mom once referred to him as an idiot savant, but that may have been after he bought her a golf shirt for her birthday, despite having asked for something entirely different.)

One of the many things that went through my head when dad’s life energies were ebbing was “I’m losing maybe my biggest fan.” He was one of the few people who always praised, always read (yet not always grasping the comic part of the blog) and always responded to the comic. I’d get a short email that would usually say “Fantastic! Quit your job and do this for a living!”

Dad wasn’t too aware of the financial realities of embarking on an anti-lucrative career as a writer/comic doodler. He never let reality stand in the way of a questionable employment choice. But he certainly did support me and champion my writing skills and creativity. That’s what great fathers do. They’re champions for their kids. He was a repeat champion.

As for the richly profanity-laced pearls of wisdom he would utter in front of impressionable children, religious people, the elderly, the infirm, more sensitive souls, the vast majority of his family, and of course his long-suffering life partner a.k.a. Binnie, or My wife, they were a part of his near-genius. I can’t say absolute genius because he bought a lot of crappy American cars when he really shouldn’t have.

Also, dad was a man of science, if you discount climate change. What do you want? He came from a different generation, and when he hit 70 or so, he faithfully adopted the mantra and position of many old men his age, which can be succinctly boiled down to “Ah, it’s all bullshit.” Yet he was a genuine scientific skeptic. He believed in scientific proof where any claim, medical, chemical, commercial or otherwise was made. (Except for the human-induced climate change thing. Go figure.)

As an active dad, he took us skiing, golfing, cycling and made sure we had fun doing it (excluding golf — I still bear the psychological scars). He made sure we had a balance of activity, to counter the laying around watching TV or listening to music we did.

I could go on at length about his habit of eating bagels in the nude at 1:00 in the morning but I’ll let you get back to your Covid-enforced TV streaming and overeating.

Stay strong, stay sane-ish, and give someone you love a hug. Preferable with a mask.

Achingly hairy and twice as isolated,
Koko Druker

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