Huck Finn’s N-Word goes where no man has gone before

Two young visionaries, Diani&Devine, have stepped in and solved the N-Word problem for Huckleberry Finn:

Statistically, people prefer robots to the word “n-word.” The word “n-word” is ugly and pejorative. Robots are fun and cool…even when they’re trying to take over our world! So we’ve decided to take the word “n-word” out of Mark Twain’s classic and replace it with “robot.”

Why robots? Well, there’s no denying it: robots are “in” right now. The film “Transformers” made over $708 million around the world. The last film version of Huckleberry Finn only brought in $24 million dollars. Even accounting for inflation (which we frankly don’t know how to do), it’s clear that robots are more popular than Huckleberry Finn.

But will this work for the rest of us?



Wish we could say the same about you

According to an article in the Huffington Post: “Cockroaches Good For Environment, Biologists Say”

“The sight of a cockroach makes just about every American shudder. We fear a roach infestation inside the walls. We fear that our house is dirty enough to sustain them. We fear that a cockroach might scurry across our faces at night, or, under cover of darkness, eat flecks of toothpaste off our toothbrushes.

“These fears drive us to kill, kill, kill, and wish death upon the whole genus. But what if cockroaches really were wiped out? Could we then rest easy?”

For one thing, it would mean extinction of some horrible species who feed on us.  And more…

“Furthermore, the disappearance of cockroaches would mess with something truly vital for us all, called the nitrogen cycle. ‘Most cockroaches feed on decaying organic matter, which traps a lot of nitrogen,’ said Srini Kambhampati, professor and chair of the biology department at the University of Texas at Tyler, and a world expert on cockroaches. ‘Cockroach feeding has the effect of releasing that nitrogen (in their feces) which then gets into the soil and is used by plants. In other words, extinction of cockroaches would have a big impact on forest health and therefore indirectly on all the species that live there.'”

How would YOUR disappearance affect the health of forests, Homo sapiens?  Ha!



The N-word circles menacingly above the bookshelf

Huck Finn and MosesI recently had a talk with my nephew Huck Finn, who grew up eating through Mark Twain’s book. He was very upset. Because the “N-word” was no longer acceptable, he heard his ancestral home would be removed and replaced. What was worse, he didn’t know what “N-word” was. He had never come across it.

He said, “I squoze in an’ I reckon I dint see ‘N-word’ nowhere. I dont git it.”

I didn’t either.  Why take a book away if the offending term wasn’t in it?

He said, “I hear the humuns sayin’, ‘Dont say the “N-word,’ and then all do is ‘N-word, N-word, N-word.’ Dont make no sense.”

In all of the Bible, I haven’t seen “N-word” either. So if Huck Finn was endangered for a word he didn’t have, wasn’t I as well?

More to come, I’m sure.



The limited wisdom of King Solomon

solomon1There is a story in the Bible about the wisdom of Solomon.  Two women came to him, both carrying newborns, one alive, one dead.  Each woman claimed that the live baby was hers and that the dead was the other’s.  Solomon ruled that the only equitable solution was to divide the living baby between the two women.  One agreed.  The other said, No!  Don’t kill it.  Give it to her.  Whereupon Solomon decided that the second woman was the mother, because her love for the baby was greater than her need to possess it.

This was such a big deal that All Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.

Where did they get this dead baby to bring to Solomon? During the night one of the women squashed hers as she slept.

If you squash a baby, you plea your case before the great Solomon.  But who do you turn to when something REAL happens — when a woman rolls over not on her baby, but on other members of the household.  What Godly figure overlooks the rest of us?




The Ten Plaques of Egypt


I ate my way into the Book of Exodus. It was dark, and the stories were terrifying. But as so often happens when a reader is three weeks of age, some words are misunderstood.

Moses was telling Pharoah to Let Me People Go.  When Phraroah refused, Moses brought down the ten plaques on him.  Pharoah was unmoved through the first nine.  I wasn’t surprised. Why should this great and powerful king be brought low by plaque–gruesome though it is to look at? How mighty could God be if that’s the best he could muster?


periodntitis 2

At two months my entire family of 38 emerged from the different books in the shelf. We had stories, but I knew mine was best and I waited to be last.  When I was done Homer clapped me on the carapace and said, “Not PLAQUES, clodhopper.  PLAGUES.”



Don’t call me dark-skinned!

Al Sharpton was outraged that the teen sought for questioning in the Boston bombing was referred to as “dark-skinned.” The use of such a term was “coded, offensive language.”  It was “shameful.” It was “useless information that borders on inflammatory.”

Reverend Al is never afraid to call it as he sees it, and as usual he’s absolutely right.  This fellow is not dark-skinned.

Boston suspect

If you saw him with this other guy, the only way you could tell them apart would be by counting their microphones.


I understand how the kid feels. That kind of shit happens to cockroaches all the time. Last summer I was in the yard.

This is me. (Not my best shot, but not bad.)



I was hanging out with this guy. We’re not really friends. It’s more of a casual thing, like: “How’s it going?” “Good.  You?” “Good.” “Cool.” It’s hard to be around him, he’s so ugly. Eyes like a moldy potato.




The human couple walks out the back door. The guy has a can of Raid in his hand. Always looking for something to kill. The woman looks over and says, Spray him!  He says, Which one?  She says, The dark one!

And without explaining anything to me, without asking me a single question, he spits out a stream of poison that just missed me. Greenie thought it was hilarious. I could hear him laughing as I ran.

It was a goddamned, useless, inflammatory descriptor, that’s what it was. I wouldn’t have minded so much if the Homo sapiens had said, Shoot the Blattella germanica!

But to call me dark? It’s just not right.



Balaam’s Ass

Confused by stories in the Bible?  Imagine what they’re like when you’re about three weeks old.  That’s when I first chomped into the words “Balaam’s ass,” right in my own Book of Numbers. This being the Bible, I first assumed that it was this:

But I also knew it could just be something like this:

It turned out to be this (I upchucked it just to be sure):

Some guy beat his donkey, and it refused to move.

And the book only went downhill from there.

Oh, really?

Remote control roach


This roach has been surgically implanted with a micro-robotic backpack that allows researchers to control its movements. This is Robo-roach.

“Insects can do many things that people can’t,” said Assistant Professor Isao Shimoyama, head of the bio-robot research team at Tokyo University. “The potential applications of this work for mankind could be immense.” Within a few years, Shimoyama says, electronically controlled insects carrying mini-cameras or other sensory devices could be used for a variety of sensitive missions – like crawling through earthquake rubble to search for victims, or slipping under doors on espionage surveillance.


Earthquakes are not destruction. They are natural renovation. If humans need to surveil, they can crawl in themselves. Or send this guy. We’ll be there.



Insult to injury

I foolishly wanted to press my case with humans, so they knew what we had suffered. My story was stolen by a writer who couldn’t get anything of his own published. Then, since neither he nor the publisher knew better, or did and didn’t care, two covers were produced:




Weiss - Gli scarafaggi non hanno re



“Sorry for your loss…whoever you are and whatever it was.”