Sunday, October 11, 2009

Goat's Heart Soup for your Soul (where the Wild Things Aren't)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm really looking forward to the Spike Jonze take on Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. Now that its almost upon us, I'm taken back again to my youth when books really captured my imagination.

To be sure, I still love to read; however, nowhere near as much as I did when I first became aware of seemingly unending world of adventures to be found on the written page. And it was picture books like Where the Wild Things Are that led me to that world.

There's a good write up this morning on the LA Times page, not so much on the movie as on Sendak's groundbreaking work (it's not exactly "family friendly," which was scandalous for a children's book circa 1963).

I certainly dig the visuals I've seen of the flick - they're arresting but still quite faithful to the originals in the book. I'll be lining up to revisit that world come next weekend, for sure.

Speaking of reading, last night I got through a couple chapters of The Men Who Stare at Goats and it's a page turner. Man, have we got some batshit crazy programs - and people - cooking away in the DOD. I guess I knew that, having worked first in the DOD proper as a member of Navy Intelligence and then 14 years thereafter for a company that suckled on its lucrative teet (I know, I know - I'm a hypocrite, but one who's made peace with that now for the most part).

Still, most of the wacky things I was exposed to were generally comprehensible idiocy. The shit in Goats is simply baffling madness, with generals believing people can learn to walk through walls and numerous long running programs training intelligence operatives to be psychic just two of the perhaps more reasonable examples.

I guess none of this is, in the end, all that surprising. But it still shocks the sensibilities and raises my ire when I put the taxpayer hat on. We can invest millions (and indeed over the years, billions) into this sort of thing but public healthcare scares people!?!?!!?

Apparently the "Goat Lab" is still in operation down at Fort Bragg, in a seemingly deserted building filled with de-bleated Billy the Kids (loose lips sink ships or more accurately, 'if a goat bleats word'll leak to the streets'). These goats are then brought into a special room where they are placed in front of men who stare back at them intently, attempting to stop their hearts with the power of thought and the evil eye.

Goats! Huh! What are they good for!?! Absolutely nothing. Good God, y'all!

If successful, these brave operatives will be humanity's only hope come the inevitable war with our goat overlords. We wouldn't want Moses cursing our lack of foresight in some distant future: "You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you all to hell! Baaaahhhh!"

I'd much prefer: "Get your stinking hooves off me, you damn dirty goat! Or I'll stop your heart with my stink eye!"

You think this merely fantasy?

Google has this year introduced upwards of one hundred goats to its 'payroll.' They're now grazing the property of their Mountain View corporate headquarters, officially as a greener alternative to lawnmowers.

Yeah, right.

Google controls access to the world's information and now is itself controlled by these crafty four-legged devils. They chew and Sergey, Larry and Eric jump. The kids are calling the shots these days and I don't mean the younger generation. Bleating will overtake Tweeting as the Social Media craze with the Google name behind it.

Perhaps the "Goat Lab" budget is money well spent after all. You just need to look at things from the (far) right angle.

Maybe the boys at the Pentagon should form a task force to befriend the Wild Things. Bring them into the fold as part of the 'coalition of the imaginary' against this growing petting zoo axis of evil. A couple hundred million to research the idea ought to start things off on the right foot.

No? Baaahhh!