I’m Carl King, And I’m Always Right About Everything!

I’m not a Republican or Democrat.

As an artist and businessman, I take a scientific approach to understanding my work. For instance, when a guitar has a problem with its intonation, video footage looks bad, or my vacuum cleaner shits itself, I do my homework. I gather empirical evidence and integrate it with theoretical knowledge before I come to a conclusion. Rather than accepting a popular belief, I like to be certain.

I state all of this because I am not certain when it comes to politics.

But I would like to share some thoughts on last week’s Presidential Debate.

Obama got caught up in what my old sales boss would call Intellectual B.S. To avoid breaking Godwin’s Law, I won’t give credit to the author who wrote: “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.” The point is, people who care about checking their work are easy to confuse when presented with data. Obama froze up in a state of “analysis paralysis.” Or what actors call, “Getting in your head.” Was it intentional? I don’t know.

Romney established himself as Alpha Male by breaking the rules, horsing around, walking all over the moderator, and doing his best impersonation of Fonzie. What Romney has on his side is called “illusory superiority” — or the deeply rooted premise that he is right no matter what. Just look at those scary eyes. It’s known as the Dunning-Kruger effect, and is popular behavior among Republicans.

There was very little debate beyond, “I’m right and you’re wrong.” Pointless on the surface. All of the action was in the subtext, as a revelation of character.

I thought, I’m back in High School: Obama is the nerd. Romney is the jock.

It’s an “evolutionary psychology” thing. As Osama Bin Laden said, “when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.”

It’s sad that our society hasn’t grown up. We’re still easily tricked by our own tribal survival mechanisms. We have an automatic urge to divide ourselves into teams and fight. My team is good, your team is bad. Everything we say is true, everything you say is false. We will win, you will lose.

It’s childish.

And with the increasing power granted to the executive branch these days, I’d prefer not to have an abusive bully as my dictator. I imagine his unrepentant choices, how many world leaders he would piss off, how many wars he would start.

On that basis alone, I’ll take the weak horse.

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A Rare Personal Blog About My Life.

Photo: me petting an emu named Yoda, who has since passed away.

I haven’t posted a “personal” blog here in a long time. I’ve kept the audience at a distance, maybe. Or only shared information that seem relevant to strangers.

I have nothing life-changing to report, but I feel like writing. And this is my website, and I can do what I want, so here goes.

I’ve been under a ridiculous amount of stress for the past few weeks. Overwhelmed with projects and work. I’m not proud of it. I say ‘yes’ to an inhuman amount of things. Running the studio has taken all of my energy. As much as I’ve never wanted to have a child, the studio is like a screaming creature that needs to be fed and paid attention to 24/7. Several wise sources have advised that I should hire more people. But it’s just not the right timing for that. Maybe in 2013.

It’s Saturday and I’m exhausted. As an irrational coping mechanism for the stress, I’ve been eating bad food that tastes good. I’ve gained weight. When I look in the mirror, I think my body is saying, “I really want to be in shape, but you’re pushing it, buddy. I can only take so much.” I saw some overweight guys yesterday when I was out on errands, and I felt better, knowing I am NOWHERE near that. In fact, I could probably just drop 10 pounds and look great, and a lot of people would wonder what the hell I’m complaining about. I overestimate how bad I look just because I feel so bad, physically. And I’m definitely not depressed, just fucking tired.

(For those who’d say I’m a hypocrite for not following the advice I wrote in my book, let me remind you that it originated as a list of things I wanted to make sure I’d remember. I don’t think I even have my own copy of the book, so I guess I’m screwed.)

My wife, Belén, has been extremely supportive. I come home at the end of the day a total zombie, and collapse. She takes care of everything, gives me a peaceful place to return to, a feeling of safety and home-ness.

Good news in the Morgan Ågren Documentary department. Morgan is coming back September 10-15, and everything is falling into place. Well, not that easily — I’m FORCING IT into place. But that’s my job as producer. There’s a *tiny* voice in my head that says, “You’re going to ruin this whole thing, it’s going to fail!” But looking at the evidence at hand, it’s a pretty spectacular success so far. I’m not even sure how it could be better than it already is, because I’m achieving everything I’ve set out to do. Morgan is, as Mike Keneally says, a total “sweetheart.” He goes along with almost every idea I have. And what makes it better: he has a million ideas of his own, and emails me probably 10 times a day, making sure everything is taken care of. I couldn’t ask for a better creative / business parter for such a project.

Tomorrow, I turn 37, I think. It’s a prime number, and I like those. I don’t feel old, but I feel mature. For most of my 20s I wondered what it would even mean to become an adult. I think acquiring so many responsibilities has done it. With so much going on, I have no choice. And it’s a welcome change from the days of being a musician and living with my mom, where all I had to do was stay up all night, record weird songs, and eat fast food. I look back at those days and just shake my head. Fear kept me in a tiny box, and I’m glad I broke out of it and grew.

I sometimes think about my old friends from Florida, and I have to admit I don’t feel like I relate to them at all. I’m not saying I’m an ideal model of humanity now, but in the old days I was a traumatized kid who desperately wanted to escape what he was born into. I can’t entirely blame my old friends for it, because they were just playing into a game that I subconsciously set up. They reinforced my own lack of confidence and obsession with failure. But they helped me through dark times, just by being there. They played the role of parents, which they weren’t capable of doing at such a young age. It truly backfired! We were a bunch of kids, and we tortured each other, because that’s what kids do. My 20s were a huge delusion of preparedness. We were idiots. Still, I’m glad I found a few people at that time in my life who could somehow inspire and influence me. Through all the bad, there was a willpower in me, and I made the right choices (even if they seemed insane at the time) that got me to where I am now. And there are some things about me that haven’t changed, and I’m proud of holding onto those things.

Friendship has taken on a new form. It’s no longer based on having grown up in the same stupid place. It’s about sharing a sort of “peace” in the midst of responsibilities. We no longer have energy to waste.

Speaking of which, some kids gathered outside my window by the lake last night and screamed horrible young-person-songs and banged on an acoustic guitar. They were just teenagers doing what teenagers do, probably feeling great that they were out there in the dark on the weekend and having fun. My first reaction was anger, as I was trying to relax in peace and quiet. Then I tried to be thankful for and respectful of their youthful energy. I spent maybe a minute on that. Didn’t work, so I shut the window and watched Community.

Side story: back when I lived in Florida in 2004, I was a fan of a personal blog of an extremely negative and funny guy. No one else I’d show it to thought it was funny. At all. He had a story about a sick kitten he brought home, and various blog entries about getting dumped by his girlfriend / fiance / whatever. (Edit: Holy Shit, I found it on Archive.org!) I’d laugh forever at that thing. The site eventually broke and disappeared. The following year, Will Maier took me to a party when I moved to Los Angeles. It was there that he introduced me to a drunk guy hanging out by himself in the kitchen, who happened to be Dan Harmon. I still had no idea who he was, (in L.A. terms, that means how famous he was going to be) but I shook his hand and told him how much I loved his website, and that I wish it was still up. He was really nice to me, and seemed so happy that anyone had even read it. In my mind, if Dan Harmon is a writer, then no one else deserves the title. He’s honestly a virtuoso. A few years later, I saw him eating at a restaurant, and was star struck. Of course, the person I was with had never heard of him. My point of all this is, I’m pleased to finally watch a TV show he made. It makes me laugh! It’s good natured and smart, lifts my spirit. It doesn’t make me feel that there’s no hope for the human race. I don’t feel insulted watching it.

Back to what friendship is about these days, at least for me: maybe the people I identify with most have lots of responsibilities, and maybe they’ve run into some inevitable health problems. Maybe we realize life isn’t all about entertainment or chasing a fantasy. And instead of being preoccupied with making symbols to represent who we are, we just live.

What’s next for me? For the first time in my life, I don’t know, and I’m pretty OK with it. I have no 10-year grand scheme of “becoming.” There’s nowhere I’m trying to reach, no vague goal of “making it.” Maybe that will change, and if so, fine.

I’d like to spend more time with the family at home. I think I’ve already done so much creative work / art in my life that I’ve learned it’s an endless cycle, a treadmill I’d run on to avoid committing to being alive in society. Yet I feel every day that I don’t get to play with my dog or spend time with my wife (or get attacked by my bird) is a day lost.

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What Is A Friend In Los Angeles?

How do you define friendship?

If you’re a creative-type working in Los Angeles, this can be tricky.

The problem is, everybody out here is after something. They gave up their family and friends and moved here for a reason.

That reason is, they wanna take one or more of these things from you:

1.) Inside information
2.) Career advice
3.) Ideas
4.) An introduction to someone else you know
5.) Credits / fame by association
6.) Gambling opportunities
7.) Favors / free help on their project
8.) Access to your gear / studio
9.) Sex
10.) And in its most pure form: Money.

The Ambition Addiction in this Imaginary City is out of control — it’s like a big ladder, on which everyone only wants to be “friends” with those on a higher rung.

If someone is smiling and talking to you, you’ve gotta ask yourself: why?

Because more often than not, if you don’t have any of those things to offer, you’re invisible.

Run through the above checklist. Do you still have any friends?

(Sure, you can be friends with someone you work with. Those are called Work Friends. And often the only thing you have in common is hating your boss.)

Maybe, if you really try… you can think of someone that calls you for no reason, stops by for the heck of it, and just enjoys being in the same room with you. Someone who celebrates your existence — not as a Chess-Piece or Industry Designation (Producer, Actor, Musician) — but as a Human.

If so, consider yourself lucky to have a friend, buddy bro pal.

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Dr. Zoltan: "Normal Humans" Have Invaded The Internet

According to a recent Anti-Sociology Study conducted by Dr. Zoltan Øbelisk, Normal Humans have invaded The Internet, a place which has, until recently, been a sanctuary for non-conformists, hackers, social outcasts, phreaks, SubGenii, and all other flavors of Intelligentsia (a 19th century Russian term meaning, “a social class of people engaged in complex mental and creative labor directed to the development and dissemination of culture).

“There is an astronomical increase in Normal Content on The Internet,” reports Dr. Øbelisk. “Photos of Normals posing with alcoholic beverages in restaurants, photos of Normals wearing bathing suits and smiling on the beach, photos of Normals smashing their faces together and sticking their tongues out.”

Professional Colleague, Dr. Whilton Popple, who boasts a Ph.D. in Social Metaphysics, noted that, “As of August 2009, thanks to Facebook, photos of infants now outnumber photos of female breasts on The Internet, which is… remarkable and disturbing.”

Twitter, an easy-to-use social networking tool, has been flooded with meaningless minute-to-minute messages chronicling the lives of The Normals, such as, “watching TV” and “so sleeeeeeeeeeeeepy!”

“The cost of this new breed of spam is immeasurable. Billions of dollars are spent on high-speed web servers in the Pacific Northwest and this is the best data you can create for them to store? No one cares if you just dropped off your rent check, are now on your way to the bank, and then picking up some pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, tinned tuna and a bit of mayo for tomorrow’s lunch,” hissed Popple.

Up until the late 1990′s, Internet Technology was primarily used to connect networks of computers for the purposes of processing and sharing important data.

“Yeah, we mostly used it to study science, but we had some fun, too. We had all read The Anarchist’s Cookbook by the time we were 12. I mean, come on,” says Dan Silverman, a high school chemistry teacher in Fairbury, Nebraska. “I remember… once a year we’d meet up for what we called a Con. All five Boards from our region banded together and put on PentaCon. We stayed up all night eating pretzels… writing disgusting poems and feeding the text into Dr. Sbaitso. I think this was 1991 or so. Back before The Normals took over.”

But the Normals didn’t stop with The Internet. They’ve desecrated other once-sacred annual cultural events that were previous only exciting to Mutants.

“It’s a big post-modern mess. First we had The Invasion of the Normals on the Internet, and now they’ve watched The Matrix, broken through the veil between the worlds, and they’re Invading our Cons,” added Silverman, reluctantly.

Theodore Lipton, a member of MENSA and late-night restaurant cook from Ash Fork, AZ reports: “In 1970 my friends and I saved up all summer and drove across the Mojave in my mom’s station wagon to the very first San Diego ComicCon. It was uncanny, no pun intended, to see 300 people that liked comic books. It changed my life. It became a yearly pilgrimage, until 2008, when I couldn’t even get a pass because of the glut of Normals and Slutty Goth Girls. In 2009 it sold out 11 months in advance. I barely got in for one day, but 140,000 Alpha-Betas were there in 2009. How does that make any sense?”

“The end of THAC0 is like Year Zero, the apocalypse for all of us. Once they switched it all over to D20 to accommodate people who can’t do math and read charts, it was over,” says Sally Thompson owner of a used book store in Boise, Idaho.

Never fear, Sally. A non-profit organization called The War On Fun will be launching a campaign to promote Normalopolis, a Sports Complex Dome twenty-times the size of the San Diego Sports Area, with a capacity of 250,000. Sponsored by Disney / Marvel, ComicCon will act as a Decoy Convention, attracting Jocks, Lawyers, Rich Kids With Nice Haircuts And Cars, and entire families of Pinks.

According to the War On Fun website, “The Normals will be lured into paying $425 for a 4 day fun pass (also valid at Disneyland, which will be connected via high-speed rail). From there, they can walk around, get drunk, and buy overpriced, fake Marvel comic books (specially printed with blank pages) without disturbing The Mutants and their Important Intellectual Activities.

Theodore Lipton is hopeful.

“There’s no safe place left for us. Let’s pray that giant Roach Motel gets built.”

• • •

This article by Dr. Zoltan was not accepted in accordance with The Onion’s Editorial Policy.

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Dr. Zoltan Goes To Court

Dr. Zoltan recently visited a relatively permanent enclosed structure where justice is administered. He perhaps incurred the dissatisfaction, dislike, and disapproval of the public officer charged with the administration of justice. 

To find out more, visit Dr. Zoltan Dot Com!

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Lakers Vs. Dragonforce

Dr. Zoltan was prevented from escaping a fancy Hollywood bowling alley for several hours last night, while on a routine anti-social data-gathering mission. There, he discovered many large projection screens at the end of the lanes — through which, several youth-creatures were admitting as legal and acceptable data to stream directly into their subconscious minds. On one screen, The L.A. Lakers. On another, the rock band, Dragonforce. Since Dr. Zoltan was in robot configuration and unable to properly have and be able to use a bowling ball, he allowed sports and rock music to compete for his attention. Here are his findings:

• Dragonforce required fancy camera angles, video effects, and wind-fans blowing their hair around in order to impress the viewer — their primary discipline (music) does not stand on its own.
• The Lakers do not require special effects. Their abilities are judged objectively, in real time, according to statistics.
• Dragonforce can pretend to be “amazing.”
• The Lakers do not have to pretend.

Ask yourself: Is it art or entertainment?

The Winners: The Los Angeles Lakers! True artists of the impossible!

The above content contained therein and herein is made public by Dr. Zoltan and must be read with scrutiny by the intended recipient in perpetuity throughout the universe. This blog entry is not meta-philosophical advice or an investment recommendation and should not be construed as such.

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How I Started, By Andrew W.K.

From http://www.awkarchive.com/text.php?id=14

I have a room that I rent in Florida. I was a real serious kid, real intense, and there were a lot of things that I was doing by myself I took seriously, like organizing little pieces of paper, cutting out things from magazines, and filing them away. I’d set up these huge spread-out projects on my floor. I’d cut out those ads in comic books for, like, a million different T-shirts. I’d cut out each one of those designs and line them up. Stuff like that. Really intense, very serious, lots of drawing and planning things and working on things and looking forward to things. I lived in my own world, all the while taking piano lessons.

Dr. Zoltan loves Logical Fallacies. Visit http://www.drzoltan.com/blog to learn a few every week.

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Dr. Zoltan on getFreshMinds!

Katie Konrath at getFreshMinds has written a blog about Dr. Zoltan’s 81 Ideas On Creative Career

Her site was recently named one of the top Innovation Blogs by Guy Kawasaki’s site, AllTop

Subscribe to getFreshMinds in your favorite RSS Reader!

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Dr. Zoltan's Ideas Applied To Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The Northern California Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy have applied some of Dr. Zoltan’s “81 Ideas On Creative Career” to their training.

{ This post was written and approved by Dr. Zoltan! If your pectoral muscles are good for pushing other people down, visit http://www.drzoltan.com/blog. Speak loudly and carry a heavy backpack. }

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How To Launch Nuclear Weapons By Whistling Into A Payphone!

According to myth, Kevin Mitnick (social engineer and hacker) was so powerful that he was able “to launch nuclear weapons by whistling into a payphone.”

In 2001, Emmanuel Goldstein, editor of 2600 Magazine (The Hacker Quarterly) produced a documentary called Freedom Downtime. It is a documentary on their Free Kevin Protests, in which a crew travels across the entire U.S., independently investigating this controversial figure. At the time that this documentary was created, Mitnick had been in prison for over 3 years without a trial.

This is a 12-part YouTube video.

For more information about Kevin, visit the Wikipedia page about him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_mitnick

{ This post was written and approved by Dr. Zoltan! If you believe that free things should be free, visit http://www.drzoltan.com/blog. Otherwise, convert all of your possessions into money, and watch the money get bigger and bigger. }

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