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Short Stories by Zaphod

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Zaphod Beeblebrox

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Post Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:45 pm

Re: Short Stories by Zaphod

@Zaph_ebooks

"Microsoft function by a guy who taught us to rebel against authority until 'authority' stopped disavowing a political stance, punk rock as a social movement, punk rock as a fashion trend, punk rock as a banjo music"

"Republicans, his advisers are scrambling to know that their window of opportunity narrows with each ambitious Democrat of Montana, expressed the uphill climb through a list of agenda items that included guns, immigration and The phrase 'lame duck'"

"The shootings elevated All four measures on expanding federal background checks with conservative rallies outside the home of gun owners – something that is now illegal and a retired senor citizen believed that personal responsibility was the issue, why didn't Janet Reno tear-gas Woody Allen?'"

"this is a light hearted opinon about the owner of two dogs along the beach without a little prodding. Dogs seem to be wearing long sleeves and want attention. Many lifestyles, our living arrangements, or just Others don't spray inside the house!"

"I gave some cash to one of my sons for death will pass on to your other children before your death (and before any terminal illness), and sisters can be gained from reading or casually listening to lectures"

"It is easier to load my humble pack with rejected merchandise than to have a free and sound eye which turns from a white object in the light of the sun to every spot whence the object itself can be seen; and the converse: That the same object may receive a more powerful agent than light, for it can impede and entirely deprive spirit and life"
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Zaphod Beeblebrox

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Posts: 514

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:42 am

Post Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:29 pm

Re: Short Stories by Zaphod

An Exposé on the Mind of Zaphod Beeblebrox


Ding ding, ground floor. Welcome to the lobby of Zaphod's brain. Can we interest you in a refreshment? SURPRISE, IT'S PIPING HOT SLOTH URINE, ALSO KNOWN AS THE MOST POTENT HALLUCINOGENIC IN THE NORTHWESTERN HEMISPHERE.

[Presentation begins.]
[Blank screen.]
[Static hissing.]
[Cut to a simple image of a banana in a bowl.]
[The banana is being peeled by some invisible force.]
[The bowl is precariously balanced on a fork.]
[The fork is precariously balanced on what appears to be a beach ball.]
[Upon zooming out, it is actually revealed to be a bald man's head.]
[It's Jason Alexander.]
[He's screaming about some new movie that just came out.]
[Unintelligible screaming.]
[Static hissing continues.]
[Rodeo music begins to play as the visuals fade to static snow.]
[Anguished faces appear on screen and disappear rapidly through bouts of static.]
[Their eyes are missing, with glowing holes in their place.]
[They are dark and oily in texture, melting in and out of one another as they form a garbled gurgling noise.]
[Jason Alexander fades back into view.]
[His eyes melt out of his skull and glow fiercely like the other faces.]
[He screams at the top of his lungs, "AND YOU'RE SO PERFECT?"]
[He then swiftly sinks out of view.]
[Static hissing intensifies.]
[Gives way to a flickering image of Mars's landscape, heavily desaturated.]
[It cracks down the middle and dark, tortured faces of blackish purple smoke shoot out in every direction.]
[Deep, rumbling voices mutter indecipherable incantations.]
[The word "CONGRATULATIONS" flashes on screen several times, then "YOU'VE MADE THE GRADE."]
[Everyone stops, back to blank.]
[Silence.]
[Skull Kid laughter.]
[A door fades into view far into the black abyss.]
[It suddenly opens and Jim Carrey stumbles halfway out looking extremely disheveled, his clothes torn to shreds.]
["Do NOT go in there."]
[He then realizes there's no ground on this side of the door and falls out of view.]
[The door hangs open, unperturbed.]
[Long silence, nothing changes.]
[The door slams shut.]
[Suddenly it is much closer to the screen.]
[Static hissing returns.]
[Visual distortion and flashing colors gradually work from the bottom to top.]
[Visuals remain this way for a moment.]
[Barely distinguishable in the sea of shifting lights, the words "YOUR OFFER HAS BEEN REVOKED" flash on screen several times.]
[Then, "CONTRACT TERMINATED."]
[Presentation has ended.]
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Zaphod Beeblebrox

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Posts: 514

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:42 am

Post Mon May 27, 2013 6:18 pm

Re: Short Stories by Zaphod

@Zaph_ebooks

"How do you get a bear to ride a bicycle"

"touch its nose to a blue-and-white ball on the end of a long stick, used with permission"

"Since homosexuals can’t have children, should we heteros surrender our children to them? I’m probably just slow."

"We made it a pact: avoid the butthole at all costs"

"You just need to let God's Spirit control you, then he'll produce fruit in you"
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Zaphod Beeblebrox

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Posts: 514

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:42 am

Post Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:07 pm

Re: Short Stories by Zaphod

Ok this is much more serious than the kind of stuff I usually post. This is my final paper for my AP Lit class; I got a 9 on it, which is the highest score you can get on an AP-based rubric and it's pretty rare so I'm really fucking stoked. The prompt was to compare Holden Caulfield with Hamlet in 3-5 pages, and tbh I actually just did like 90% of it the night before it was due. Anyway yeah enjoy I guess??

~~~

In a world filled with tragedy, suffering, and deception, it can be difficult to find a rational solution to one’s issues, and even more difficult to find a solution that will ensure lasting happiness. Striking such a balance of logic and fulfillment in problem solving requires the ability to assess a situation from several different angles, but when one is too emotionally involved in such a situation they tend to look at even more factors than are necessary, and some that may even be fabricated by overthinking, which ultimately clouds one’s judgment rather than clarifying it. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, as well as the iconic hero Hamlet both experience intense challenges in coping with the death of a loved one while seeking liberation from the many people around them who are not what they appear. Both are intelligent and cunning, but their overly critical view of their every action, as well as their obsession with finding the truth regardless of its implications, often have the effect of pushing away the people who truly care for them. Thus, the pursuit of knowledge and peace of mind often seems to demand the sacrifice of that which we love.

In Shakespeare’s eminent play Hamlet, the titular character finds himself torn between his desire for revenge and his own conscience. Early on, he discovers that his father, the king of Denmark, was slain by his own brother in a desperate grab for power. Losing his father is cause enough for emotional distress, but to make matters worse “Hamlet's tremendous grief is intensified by [the] lack of feeling by those around him, and more significantly, by the cold-hearted actions of his mother, who married her brother-in-law within a month of her husband's death” (Mabillard). Hamlet’s relationship with his mother is quite complex, characterized mostly by the former’s repeated claims that she has suffered a sort of falling from grace. He feels that she, a once kind and revered queen, has betrayed her late husband and, by extension, the integrity of the entire state. Furthermore, despite Hamlet’s vow to avenge the king and vanquish the treacherous Claudius, most of his aggression toward the immoral union is directed at the queen. This is especially apparent in Act III, when he compares her marriage vows to “dicers’ oaths” (Shakespeare 106) and declares her a shameless traitor, slandering the image of the former king with her unfaithful behavior. Certainly, Hamlet knows that Claudius, not Gertrude, is responsible for his father’s death, but because his relationship with his mother is closer than that with his uncle, and because he had always known her to be so virtuous, her perceived disrespect toward the elder Hamlet’s memory produces a harsher effect in her son. Not only this, but Hamlet has been specifically directed by his father’s spirit to take revenge on Claudius, and yet still he acts much more passively toward the usurper than toward his mother. While Hamlet loathes his uncle for the crime he has committed, he is conflicted by the moral implications of murdering his own blood, and tends to avoid confrontation with him altogether:

...Hamlet's arguments for not killing Claudius at prayers are both subtle and logical -- too subtle, in fact, considering the enormity of Claudius' deed and the virtual certainty that Hamlet possesses of his guilt. Yet he holds back his sword--his heart does not seem to lie in its blade. (Evans 35)

Hamlet makes his view on his family’s actions very clear, and detests the “ulcerous” corruption that now plagues his surroundings. However, he also renounces hypocrisy, and to kill his uncle, while perhaps justified, would still be the murder of his own kin.

Holden Caulfield, meanwhile, is not involved with such grandiose schemes. He is not royalty, he has no involvement with political treachery or murderous intent, but, like Hamlet, his angst-fueled story begins with the demise of a dear relative: his younger brother Allie. Though this occurs some three years before the point at which the narrative begins, Holden is still deeply troubled by the loss, so much that it could be said that “life stopped for Holden on… the day his brother died of leukemia. Holden was then thirteen, and… he is emotionally still at the same age” (Miller 61). But what does this mean for Holden? As is the case with almost any teenager, he is cynical, hormonal, and often makes sweeping generalizations, but beneath his rebellious surface is a youthful idealism symbolic of his brother’s memory. After all, Allie died young, and thus was left with a sense of childlike innocence intact, which Holden simultaneously envies and admires. He and Hamlet are both disgusted with the “phonies” around them - lying, lecherous, selfish – and only wish that everyone could see the world with the doe-eyed naiveté of a “terrifically intelligent… nice kid” (Salinger 38) like Allie. It is this desire for honesty and purity that leads to Holden’s dissatisfaction with society and his peers. And yet, also like Hamlet, he has difficulty placing blame on any particular figure in his life. He refrains from stating that his parents are responsible for his depression and solitude, as “they’re nice and all” (Salinger 1), and he frequently criticizes his fellow students at the prep schools he has attended only to voice how he misses them later on. Just as Hamlet cannot seem to decide whether he is more upset with Claudius, Gertrude, or himself, Holden cycles through several inconsistent phases of both internal and external criticism.

It is abundantly clear that Hamlet and Holden are extremely disillusioned with the corrupt and hypocritical state of society, when in actuality they too are hypocrites. But how does this affect their characterization on a deeper level, and how does it shape their relationships with others? Both are desperate for sympathy, but push it away when it is offered. They “hate [themselves] as [they] scream for attention” (Miller 68), because they covet some nurturing, benevolent figure to fill the role that they feel has been deprived with the passing of their closest relatives, and at the same time they trust no one enough to allow anyone to even attempt to do so. Holden and Hamlet come closest to finding a shoulder to cry on with Phoebe and Ophelia, respectively. Both reflect shades of Allie in their personalities, the former still being relatively young and innocent and the latter being highly sheltered by her well-to-do family; regardless of the circumstances, it is the empathetic and affectionate qualities of these characters that draw the tormented protagonists to them. Fortunately and unfortunately, however, said protagonists are cursed with sharp, innately analytical minds, as well as an uncomfortable degree of self-awareness. This allows each of them to spot dishonesty and injustice easily, but in some cases causes them to substantiate such qualities where there are none, even in themselves. This, of course, makes it all the more unnerving when the two young men set themselves up to fail, as phrased by James Bryan in his analysis of Holden: “…He provokes fights in which he will be beaten, makes sexual advances he cannot carry through, and… alienates himself from many of the people he encounters” (33). It is so unsettling to observe because they are fully aware of their actions, they realize they are lashing out at those who truly care for them, but they do so anyway so that they will receive the hatred and suffering that they feel they deserve, and thus have justification for hating themselves.

Hamlet and Holden are legendarily complex characters, who over the years have grown beyond mere fictional creations and into subjects for intensive historical and psychological analysis. Perhaps what makes them so fascinating to readers is their somewhat reluctantly relatable qualities; no one wishes to become a Hamlet or a Holden, but almost anyone can find glimpses of themselves even in the darkest and most self-derogatory of narratives. Anyone who is no longer in the wistful years of childhood knows that the world can be cruel, and anyone who has experienced tragedy knows that the ensuing bitterness will cause others to appear callous and inconsiderate, however harmless their intentions may be. Hamlet and Holden have become symbolic of the hopeful desire within all of us for a more honest, less selfish world, and the crushing loss we feel when that world seems out of reach. But despite all the pain and the lies, there comes a time when one must stop grieving, stop brooding, stop thinking, and learn to accept a helping hand when it is offered.
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Zaphod Beeblebrox

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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:42 am

Post Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:45 pm

Re: Short Stories by Zaphod

Remember a couple years back when I posted those "transcripts" from my chemistry class? One of them was lost somewhere along the way, presumably crumpled to bits at the bottom of a backpack or otherwise claimed by the sands of time....

That transcript has been recovered. Let's take one last look back at this one-of-a-kind teacher's gloriously addled mind.

~~~

[First off, keep in mind he is frantically jotting random equations and numbers on the whiteboard faster than he can explain what they mean through this entire lecture. I'm literally talking about fractions with like three or four layers and arrows connecting crazy bullshit to other crazy bullshit in the way a paranoid detective would connect his clues.]

So please listen, right away - Nitrate!! These three acids - these four acids - sulfuric - these are now, these are bases... Nitrate NO3^-1 on the negative side, that'd be H^+1, now bases always have a metal and a hydroxide we're gonna talk about.. THAT.

There we go see that? OH- RIGHT?? So aluminum plus three they- they are, they are both of 'em.. strongly too. Salts as well. Most batteries contain sulfuric acid - almost harmless. Right there couple of things, theories of those guys, I call them systems! That's how they exist so we explain it - one's German, one's British, let me - okay. Interesting. A producer of H+ as you copy this... this is a shortcut... it's called hydronium ion! Produces protons, this is the real - it's what's happening - so that's what happens there. K now - and the base - they produce hydroxides! That's how you.. In fact the whole thing's based on water. When you put it with an aci- a base, acid base... Bronsted-Lowry, pretty simple definition... and LEWIS explained it by the exposed electron bases - DONATE - but guess what, you should know really well these two guys - you should.. should memorize - he got really heavy into that stuff.

Alright um any questions? [without skipping a beat] OK let's see the chemical reaction below right?! Automatically what happens here. Right? Right? This guy right here becomes... ions, there's a bunch of those. Waters becomes in essence and that's.. that's the result this right here, right? Water is for the most part neutral, if this is very acid... it becomes a base. There's my Arrhenius acid - here's my base - right, get to it. Clear? So far. Forget the drawings. Once you see the pattern you can do it over and over and over again. Questions? Now here's again one more time - my donor is the HCl, look at this - sh - listen. That's my acid. Right? That's the end product. That's the definition, pretty straightforward, they already - you already know that's what I'm talking about.

There we go alright that's my acid. K, for bases - right? So there's the producer - here's ammonium gas, it's gonna produce that ion. This is my acid - questions? [raises his own hand] They can isolate hydroxide if I put the solution.. this will light up a light bulb - see that? Shh...

Nothing to copy you guys, look at this, just review - look. Okay? Again? Now if they ask you - if water solution - that's the way. By Monday if I ask you in a quiz add water - that's the way you write it. This guy right here, what's left over should be pretty simple to see and that's what I said. I'm gonna mention this, it bears consideration, now acid plus base creates salts and water. YES - neutralization reactions. Not all salts are neutral. Is that... [hesitates, glances at the board] clear you guys?

Let's do that one - that's the way they used to write it in the old days - that's water. In the same token, right - base, right? By the way just so we - it - two, two protons so it's - SO4^-2 the salt and of course to create waters. Alright? And that's the name of that salt, sodium sulfate. You should memorize five acids for real it's like that - the number of hydroxides equals the number of waters ALWAYS!! That's all I'm gonna say about neutralization.
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