Hi, my name is D and this is my writings on subjects. I'm no rapscallion or anything at all. If you want to you can read my writings on subjects if you have free time. If you want to argue with me or call me names then please comment. Negative feedback is very welcome...I love dat shit. Me? I'm not even a noun, I'm a fucking verb, dude.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Dogs. Are they in Revo, Evo, or Devo?

I've been looking into a rather odd subject over the last 12 years or so. I've been carefully looking into the possibilities of dogs achieving total evolution and cognitive skills on par with humans. Doggie-volution, you'd call it...I guess.

I became interested in this field of study in the year 2000, after coming across a song called Where are Your Dogs? Show us Your Ugly on the internet. Well, maybe it is not exactly a "song" but more like an audio story tune, or an audio story dirge...or something.

It's an audio story tune about this dog who escapes from a plastic surgery test lab on Christmas Day (and is thus referred to as The Santa Dog). While he was in the lab, the Santa Dog got injected with human growth hormone and soon after his escape he began walking around town on his hind legs...and the "ugly humans start staying home in record numbers" in fear of the Santa Dog.

This whole concept of dogs evolving was something I found really interesting, and after being introduced to the concept, I naturally began a thorough investigation soon afterward.

From Wolves to Dogs: The Birth of the Dog

Dogs back in the day...used to be feral, vicious, ravaging beasts who traveled in packs who killed and ate all kinds of birds and deers. No one called them "doggies" back then, they were called "wolves" and everyone was dirt scared of them. You had to be scared of wolves because a pack of wolves would fuck you up back then.

It is theorized that humans thousands of years ago, in different spots of the globe, came upon wolf packs where the all the old wolves were dead and the only survivors were wolf cubs who could not fend for themselves. Humans adopted these wolf cubs and raised them and the wolves grew up to consider humans as friends and not food. Soon the wolves bred more baby wolves and the humans kept the friendliest ones in the human tribe and kicked out the ones who were too violent and feral. Basically, thanks to human influence, only the friendliest and least violent wolves got to breed and pass on their genes. Scientists call this phenomenon artificial selection.

After humans and doggies became fast and bestest friends, humans began to breed doggies more methodically. They got the dogs with the maddest skills (like hunting, smelling, running, seeing, etc.) and mated them with other dogs who displayed the maddest of skills in hopes that the puppies would be born with even madder skills. Often the puppies were indeed born with the sought after mad skills (as such).

Now we have huntin' dogs, seein' eye dogs, smellin' dogs (bloodhounds), racing dogs (greyhounds), and all kinds of skilled dogs. We even have funky dogs and nasty dogs and Dogs...woooooo!

These bad boys were being selectively pushed by humans to get better and better and in only about 100 years of breeding (1750-1850) dogs were gaining skills at alarmingly bad ass rates. In fact, with human help dogs were evolving super fast. You might go as far to say that dogs were not going through evolution...but revolution. 

The Decline of the Dog in the Victorian Era

The British Empire's Victorian Era and its legacy was notoriously bad. The English Royal Family applied all kinds of silly and odd rules to speech, writing, diction, fashion, manner, behavior, and everything else you could possibly think of. For example the measuring system they created (the imperial system) measured a unit of length known as a "rod" in regard to "the length of the left feet of 16 men lined up heel to toe as they emerged from church." It's almost as if the dumbest people in society were running it.

The field of dog breeding had the same silly and odd rules applied to it in the Victoria Era. Dogs stopped being bred in hopes of getting puppies with mad-ass skills, but instead dogs started to be bred in hopes of getting a dog who's teeth were 0.01 "rods" apart, or who's eyes looked really funny, or in hopes of getting a dog who's hair looked retarded. Basically, they bred dogs for novelty and social status reasons. It was really in style to have a dog with little beady eyes who's legs didn't work...it meant you were richer than your friends.

Another huge factor that helped the decline of the dog in the Victorian Era was the notion of "pure breeding" which was big in all of Europe back then. It's not a secret that Royal Families in Europe engaged in incest and brothers, sister, mothers, and fathers all mated with each other (I'm talking about humans now, not dogs by the way). Incest in the British Royal Family is the reason they all have fucked up teeth and are morons.

Charles: a Pure Bred creature.
The current Queen Elizabeth and her husband (Phil) are both descended from Queen Victoria. They have the same blood (source). It is said Royals have to inbreed because their blood is pure and better than commoner's blood but let's be sane for a moment...inbreeding makes fucked up kids.

Take Liz's son Prince Charles for example, that's what "pure breeding" does to offsprings...it makes them look awful and have the intelligence of a peanut.

Pure Breeding when applied to dogs was not a good idea (just like it wasn't a good idea for humans). The Victorian Era bred dogs with their sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers in order to keep their genetic features "pure" and fashionable and in accordance with the silly rules they invented for dog breeding. Pure bred dogs are dumber, and far less healthy (they have all sorts of genetic problems which lead to health problems and shorter lives) than dogs who were bred for mad skills.

British and other Euro-Trash Royalty stopped the Doggie-volution (which I may remind you was no longer an evolution but a revolution) and turned it backwards. You might even say that the Euro-Royals selectively de-evolved our canines.

Oh shit. Wait a sec, that would mean we have a concrete example that devolution actually is possible and is not just a theory! AHHHHHHH! BOOGIE BOY WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG! IT'S TRUE GENERAL DAD! WE REALLY ARE ALL DEVO!!!! IT'S POSSIBLE FOR EVERYONE TO D-EVOLVE!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!!


Poor Doggies...What did we do to em' ?

To sum it up so far, humans put dogs into selective Revo, and then as quickly as we did we snapped them back and put them into selective Devo...and all these poor little puppy wuppies ever really wanted was just to naturally Evo.

100% De-Evolution Completed...
Poor Doggies, now that the Doggie-Volution is over, they have been reduced to pulling our sleds or being fashion accessories for skinny blonde bimbos.

The purse dog (as they are known) is a dog who is 100% de-evolved thanks to selective human breeding. It's sad, it really is. I hate seeing purse dogs, it's so stupid and it really represents the hallmark example of how humans have fucked up our doggie pals.

Dogs had no choice to team up with us. Humans are mean creatures, we would have just killed all the wolves if none of them agreed to befriend us. I wonder, on a hypothetical alternate time line, one which humans didn't survive the ice age and died out...how wolves/dogs would have faired. If humans didn't make it out of the ice age, but if every other animal did...I bet things would have been different for wolves/dogs.

Wolves would have continued hunting, foraging, and ravaging in their ecosystem for aeons and would eventually have evolved naturally with no human aid. They would have lived proud lives as warrior dogs, tailor dogs, doctor dogs, and other noble lives.

My Bias

Me (Left) and Cubby (Right)
At this point in the article, I must admit that I have a personal bias in favor or doggies. When I was a young boy, my best friend was a dog named Cubby. Me and him was tight, he was like my little brother, I even nicknamed him "Little Brutha." Me and him used to be together all the time, running all around town pulling all sorts of hoodrat stuff. Me and him played ball together and all those things. I grew up with that dog (I had him from the age of 5 to 19), he was a good dog.

So when I look at what humans are doing to our dog pals, I take it seriously because my best pal as a child unit was a dog.

What if Dogs Manage to Evolve Despite Our Efforts to Stop Them?

What if dogs are just one or two positive random mutations away from hitting a massive evolutionary growth spurt? Walking on their hinds legs, opposable thumbs, vocal chords for speech, brain development. What if dogs who display and excel in those traits manage to breed with each other for a hundred years or so? Wouldn't they gradually keep building on those mad skill sets?

Say by the year 2400, despite human efforts to make them our sled pullers, sheep herders, and purses...doggies still manage to level up a few evolutionary echelons. Would they still be our friends?

Would the dogs look at what we are doing the planet and approve of it? Would they approve of us doing everything in our power to pollute and ruin up our home? Would evolved dogs band together in tribes and launch a rebellion against humans? I dunno, but that would make a really good movie though (anyone readin' this can steal my idea if they want, I don't care).

Should we be living in fear of the inevitable doggie-volution, and their righteous and justified rebellion against human-kind? Should we ugly humans lock ourselves in our homes in record numbers? Is Santa Dog really out there waiting.....biding his/her time....for the Doggie Revolution?


(This dog is walking on its hind legs because she was born without her other two...so, it's not like they can't already figure out how to walk on their hind legs. Maybe it is just a  fleeting and a sleeting scene of snowness and of sleeves. Will dogs have a presence in the future? More importantly will these highly evolved Santa Dogs have presents in the future? I dunno.)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Comparison and Contrast of two Baseball Owners: Bill Veeck (the legend) and Bud Selig (the bum)

Veeck as in Wreck (or Cheque)
I've read a lot of books over the years, I like to throw in a baseball biography book every so often. I recently read Bill Veeck's "Veeck as in Wreck." In it, Veeck states that he began reading at a young age and by his teenage years until his late years he read at least five books per week. Judging by his insight, I believe that Veeck did indeed read five books a week throughout his life. This guy was a real renegade and it's too bad that all real renegades brains operate 20 to 50 years ahead of their time.

Backstory on Veeck

Veeck's father (Bill Veeck Sr.) was a sportswriter who in 1919 wrote a critical article of how the owner of the Chicago Cubs (Phil Wrigley Jr.) was operating his club, the article was poignant and sharp-cutting to the bone, enough so, to land him a phone call from Wrigley stating that if Veeck Sr. thought he could do a better job than why doesn't he come down and do it. Veeck Sr. did, and Wrigley hired Veeck Sr. to be president of the Cubs.

Eddie walked on 4 pitches...
Veeck Sr. gave his son (our protagonist Bill Veeck) a job counting tickets. After the years Veeck Jr. was promoted by Phil Wrigley into higher and higher posts with the Cubs. Veeck was in charge of all concession operations at Wrigley. According to Veeck, he was the one who had the idea of putting the now-iconic vines on the Wrigley Field brick outfield wall.

In 1942 (five years prior to the fall of segregation in baseball), Veeck had a great idea, he wanted to gather up some investors and pool up money to purchase the struggling Philadelphia Phillies. The team was horrible, posting only 43 wins and 111 losses in the previous 1941 campaign, and only drawing 231,401 fans for the entire season. Veeck knew he could get the club cheap and had a brilliant idea to turn a last place club drawing only 0.2 million fans into a first place club who could draw 2.0 million fans. What was his brilliant idea? After he purchased the club, he planned on stocking it with superstars from the Negro Leagues (Paige, Doby, Robinson, etc.).

Now, the color line in baseball was never written in any rule books. Black players were playing in baseball leagues with other white players with no problem in the late 1800's. The color barrier arose in 1884, when the premier white star player Cap Anson refused to take the field when his team signed a black catcher named Moses Fleetwood Walker. The league responded to Cap's protest by forming a "gentlemanly agreement" made between all the owners to not sign black players. The owners, being very racist but also men of their word it seems, kept their "gentlemanly agreement" in effect for over 60 years.

So, in 1942 as stated above, Veeck (who was also the midwest promoter for the all-black Harlem Globetrotters basketball club) wanted to buy a Major League Baseball club and load it with superstar black players from the negro leagues. How do you think the stuffy, conservative, old boys club, owners felt about this suggestion?

Charlie "Tokohama"
The only previous attempt to break the "gentlemanly" agreed upon color barrier, was in 1901 (as written about in Robert Peterson's book "Only the Ball was White") when Baltimore manager John McGraw tried to sneak a quick one by baseball's stuffy owners. He wanted to get second baseman Charlie Grant onto the Baltimore roster and his plan was to tell the owners Grant was a Cherokee Native American. Other Native American players were on rosters in that era (including Chief Bender, Bill Phyle, and Louis Sockalexis), only players of African decent were systematically kept out of baseball. McGraw listed Grant on his roster as "Charlie Tokohama" and hoped he could sneak him past the league officials and onto the Orioles. Unfortunately, McGraw's guile didn't slip past the stuffy owners, and his clever ruse ultimately failed.

Larry Doby
The same end met Veeck's attempt to sign black players. Since black Americans were fighting for their country in World War II, Veeck felt that times had changed and the owners wouldn't mind if baseball's 60 year color barrier was broken. He was confident enough to let the cat out of the bag too early, by letting the owners in on his plan. The crusty old commissioner of baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, and the owners took over the Phillies before Veeck could buy the club. The owners jointly owned the club running at a loss until a new interested owner could be found (one who wouldn't sign black players). Eventually they found a stuffy old businessman named William D. Cox to purchase the league owned club and Cox surely did not sign any black dudes.

Max Patkin
Veeck eventually did purchase a team, the Cleveland Indians. After Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 with Branch Rickey and the Dodgers, Veeck was able to sign black players and did so by adding hard hitting lefty Larry Doby and 50 year old legend Satchel Paige to the Indians roster.

Veeck went on to stints operating the Browns, and White Sox as well. He did not have an inherited family fortune like all the other owners, he had to keep his clubs afloat the old fashioned way, by giving his customers entertainment and satisfaction. Over the years he sent a midget to pinch hit, he hired colorful ball players like Max Patkin and others to play or coach bases, installed a fire works spouting "exploding" scoreboard, and accidently caused a punk rock riot at Comiskey Park by holding "Disco Demolition Night," where the blowing up of disco records turned a little unruly (as shown in the video below)...

With all due respect, credit for this idea should go to Canada's own punk rock icon Joey "Shithead" Keithley of D.O.A. who one year prior in 1978 held a "Disco Sucks" rally in Vancouver, Canada...

Ahead of his Time

Veeck brought up all kinds of things at owners meetings that were laughed at and scorned at by the stuffy shirted and cranky pantsed owners.

He had the foresight to see that the reserve clause (which kept players as being owned by their team) was not right and wanted to take it out of baseball. He even testified at Curt Flood's Supreme Court hearing when Flood challenged the reserve clause (Flood called the clause similar to slavery).

(newspaper article on Veeck's testimony at Flood's anti-trust suit)

Veeck proposed things from alterations to the minor league system, inter league play, and a slew of other things which were adopted by baseball 20 to 50 years later but at the time he proposed them they were considered as the ridiculous ravings of a jerk.

At the end of Veeck's book, "Veeck as in Wreck", there is a very omnious portion which sheds light on present day problems in baseball. After being out of baseball for years and finally returning as owner of the White Sox in the 70's, Veeck held a press conference in a hotel lobby and let in all the fans to chill and sell wares and whatnot. The new owner of the Milwaukee Brewers (a city where Veeck operated his first club, the minor league Brewers back in the early 40's and laid the ground work for baseball there), one Bud Selig, a young ugly punk, told Veeck that he is ruining baseball and turning it into a "meat market." Veeck knew that baseball may have had some new younger owners, but he realized that they were as stuffy and narrow minded as the old ones.

20 to 50 Years Later

Fast forward to the year 1997, and Bud Selig unvails the revolutionary concept of Interleague Play and the orthodox fundamentalist owners faction proclaims him a renegade genius who's "outside the box mousy radical" thinking is saving the game. Gee, I wonder where he got that idea from? 

Selig has been the commissioner for over over twenty years now, and the last twenty years is where baseball has gotten out of control. Salaries are out of control, steroids are out of control, the inequities between small and large markets are out of control, a World Series (1994) was cancelled, and a slew of other nonsense. He is the first owner to be commissioner which is an obvious total conflict of interest. Baseball really is a "meat market" now, but it wasn't Bill Veeck who made it this way, it was that bum Selig.

I think Bill Veeck is still alive somewhere having a beer with Elvis Presley, Andy Kaufman, and Bigfoot. I think he's taking cabs around whatever town he's in, hitting all the local bars, trying to drum up support from investors to buy a club. I hope he's telling them it's all in debentures and they'll get half their returns next quarter and the other half when "they can catch him." 

Who Selig? Yeah, we should jerk the bum.
Here's an ending quote to conclude this article from Mr. Bill Veeck himself,

"And who knows, the status quo of baseball might just look at the track record the next time I push for something like interleague play and say, 'alright let's humor this jerk for once.' And you know something? That's when it's time to start worrying. When they listen to your ravings with indulgence and, heaven help me, affection, you know you've joined the herd". 

-Bill Veeck