Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Conversation With HamsterFueledRocket

I've been having a nice dialogue with HFR on my YouTube page, but the format is far too limiting for an interesting talk. Hopefully he'll accept my invitation to move the conversation over this way. Here's what we have so far...

HFR: Wow, you must be a sad, depressed character. Imagine the only creatures lucky enough to have developed consciousness using it to decide that consciousness is immoral and must be eradicated! My friend, you may not be greatful for having a chance at life but many people, all around the world are. If you really don't see a point to it you can always kill yourself , but don't go telling other people that creating life or having families is immoral.

Jim: Firstly, creating life is first and foremost a selfish act, especially considering there is no 'pre-life' from which anyone is waiting to be delivered. Secondly, some people ARE more or less happy to be alive, although self assessment in such an area is often understandably skewed. Even so, many others are thoroughly UNhappy, and when we procreate, we take the risk that our offspring might be one of those. Thirdly, everybody dies. Birth carries with it an automatic death sentence.

HFR: First,being concerned with your self interest, or selfishness, is not immoral. I direct you to a book entitled "The Virtue of Selfishness" by the late and great Ayn Rand. Second, yes there is a risk at unhappiness in life, but thats what makes success and pleasure have a meaning, you wouldn't play a game where everyone won every time. Third, yes we will all die, but without mortality life is meaningless.

Jim: Self interest at the expense of others IS immoral in most peoples' books. As far as your game analogy, what gives anyone the right to play a game of life and death with people who never agreed to the rules beforehand? In procreation's case, we're playing a game of Russian roulette with each new life, only the chamber's fully loaded. Finally, your statement that life without mortality is meaningless is, in my eyes, an unsupported euphemism, and might surprise those waiting for an eternal heaven.

HFR: Your philosophy is anti-life, anti-consciousness, anti-humanity. I suggest you leave your computer for a while and pursue your own personal happiness. Get back to me after you have fallen in love, seen a smile on a child's face and found a purpose in life. Then see if you still want humanity to end.

Jim: My philosophy is anti-suffering, and anti-death. I have loved, and do love, and have witnessed the birth of my two children. I don't want to see humanity end, but the fact is that it does, precious life at a time. Look at what you've said. Fall in love. Do things that will make me happy. In short, pursue MY personal happiness. Can you see how all these are selfish pursuits used as a justification for continuing a process that includes suffering and ends in death?

HFR: Don't you see the beauty in duality? If we all lived forever in a permanent state of happiness, how could we know what happiness was? Why would we appreciate life, if we knew it couldn't end? Why would we enjoy pleasure if we never felt pain? Conscious life is the most beautiful thing in the universe, and the only thing that can even appreciate beauty. How can you wish for it to end permanently?

Jim: I don't see the beauty in genocide, or pancreatic cancer, or starvation, or torture, or depression, or emphysema, or rape, or any number of aspects of this experiential 'duality' you speak of. In fact, many people live their whole lives experiencing mostly the negative pole of your 'duality'. Seeking to cast suffering in a positive light is understandable given the circumstances, but simplistic, and ultimately dreadful. Can you not see that? It's simply a way to rationalize the way things are.

Continued (hopefully) in the comments section...

UPDATE: I'd just like to add that it's great to be back discussing this very important subject. I sort of got derailed for a while, trying to sort out my thoughts on religion on another blog, getting involved with trolls and flamewars et al (although I DID also meet some frightfully nice people along the way). Hopefully I'm done with all that for a while. Lately, I've been getting some really heartfelt responses via YouTube and my Wordpress blog (, and I'm feeling the urgency again. You are, by and large, a very encouraging bunch of people, and I appreciate your various thoughtful approaches. Thanks much!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Is the Door to Negative Bliss Painted Green?

I see that Marilyn Chambers has recently passed on (man, I don't keep up with the news for shit!). The woman who singlehandedly(sic) kept several major tissue manufacturers afloat during the 1970's recession, and who also answered the perennial conundrum of 'How much wood...?' in her own, singular (or should I say, multiple) fashion. RIP, babycakes. You finally achieved that final 56/100% you were shooting for. And if there IS an afterlife, I'm sure everybody's really happy to see you!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


A few hours ago, a 15 year old boy was hit by a train a block from the local high school. The body was still on the tracks when my daughter and her mother passed through. Of course, such catastrophes in their thousand permutations will be repeated every few seconds on this planet. I mention this fact not to minimize the horror of this particular incident, but to heighten the reader's awareness of the universality of tragedy both in essence, and in the concomitant reverberations that will assuredly fan out and engulf those who love and care. Even now I await with dread the release of the child's name for fear that I knew him, or that my daughter knew him. But why should that matter? I know for a fact that for several people today, the sun has fallen from the sky, and may never return. That is enough, and too much.

To the parents and others with close emotional ties, I'm sorry. I wish I could make it better, but I can't. The best I can offer is my belief that he is now at peace. He's returned to where he came from, as all of us do, eventually. It may seem that his life was unfairly cut short; but remember, that's only from our perspective. For the child, all worry, all fear and pain have ceased to exist. He sleeps the most pleasant of all sleeps, untroubled by bad dreams, schedules, and anxiety about the future. His peace is pure, and will last forever.

Rest in peace, young man. I hope your short sojourn here was relatively pleasant.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Occasionally when reading back over your comments, I find myself getting all schmaltzy and shit, and feeling the need to reach out and give everybody a big group hug. I've never learned the trick of swallowing my cynicism whole, and often find myself moved by the passion I sense behind your missives. It resonates with my own. Hang in there, my friends, and spread the message each in your own way. Different ears respond to different voices, and each of us has something relevant to say on the matter. Thank you for your efforts born out of empathy, and an understanding of the stakes.

So, there you go.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ending Suffering One Snip at a Time

CNN reports that, in the face of our deepening economic crisis, more men are deciding to have vasectomies....

"They realize they don't have the financial security long-term with what's going on," Jones said. "Several of them have mentioned, 'We can't afford to have any more children in this economy.' My perception is that it's more of the concept of raising children in an uncertain economic future."

This should come as welcome news to antinatalists on two fronts. Of course, the obvious and immediate benefit is that for each man sterilized, the gross number of lives being dragged into this suffering existence goes down; that is, unless other poor, misguided souls take it upon their shoulders to take up the slack.

But what REALLY encourages me is that this news flies in the face of those who would make the 'hard-wired-to-breed' argument the be-all and end-all demurrer of the debate. Evidence like this proves that human beings, at least partly rational some of the time, are able to override visceral yearnings and aspirations with an eye towards the bigger picture. Unfortunately, for many people the nimbus of empathetic concern rarely encompasses more than direct descendants, and maybe a few others. At least, that's the case when it comes to deferring or denying the wants of the self. So the perceived danger has to be of the immediate sort, such as a threat to one's future prospects. In this case, it's a loss of 'faith' in the economy.

All this may, of course, be over-spoken, not to mention temporary. Still, there are other promising signs that some societies are slowly finding their way onto the long-term consequentialist bandwagon. In both Europe and Japan, the birth dearth trend seems to be holding steady, even in the face of government intervention. Russian and Eastern Europeans have seen dramatic downturns in population replenishment, which is scaring the hell out of all those who only seem to recognize progress in terms of growth, growth, GROWTH!

It's all about the consequences, people. We're generally pretty good about accepting and dealing with those consequences when it comes to day-by-day activity. But when it comes down to issues like our own mortality, the facts become just too hard to face, so we construct fantasy worlds to hide our rationality away in. We begin to have 'faith' in things. In gods who promise to put all into an understandable context...SOME day. In our fellow know, the ones we see killing each other every day on the news. In our, the ones we're always bitching about. And of course, we must have faith in our economies, because THAT'S where the money is!

Only, gods don't exist, many of our fellow men would stab us to steal our shoes, our governments are made at least partly of such men (and women too...sorry to forget you, ladies), and economies; well, you've seen the news. And a little well-placed truth, especially when it hits close to home, sometimes opens eyes to the real state of affairs here in good ol' Mortalsville, population...well, it varies, but the graveyard keeps growing and growing and growing and growing and growing and..............................................................................

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Unspoken Truths

I remember the first time I made the statement "I hate life!" out loud. I won't go into the details, other than to say it was in front of my then-wife. Her eyes opened wide, and she cried, "Jim, NO!" as if I were revealing some deeply hidden family secret. But the cat was out of the bag, and we both knew it. I had committed irreparable treason against the mythology that upholds human existence. I actually remember thinking the words, but trying to hold them in behind clenched teeth. Of course, once spoken I knew that I'd felt this way for an awfully long time. Hell, I even knew that I knew. But speaking the words, that open acknowledgment in front of someone I, it was devastating, and our world was never the same again.

Do I regret it? Not really. I've always been sort of a truth hound, and after all this was just a minor component of existence's generalized suffering. Not nearly as bad as getting one's fingernails pulled out, or passing out from near starvation every night, like so many millions around the world do. The marriage had been on the rocks for quite a while, anyway, mainly upheld by another bevy of lies, and hopes for brighter tomorrows. Life goes on.

On another note, I found this comment on a blog today-

"There's not a great deal of suffering in life. The odd break-up, the odd death. But there's a world times a lifetime of pleasure to be had."

I surely wish I could find this planet these people are beaming their opinions down to Earth from. I know a lot of people who'd be willing to re-locate.

Request From Compoverde

I thought this was worth moving up from the comments section...

Hello everyone again. I'm sorry, I forgot to actually put the link of the antinatalism philosophy thread. Here it is: anyone would like to add their thoughts, opinions, arguments, or responses to this thread, it would be greatly appreciated. This is a thread a created on a philosophy forum. It has gotten a lot of responses. I essentially proposed that it is immoral to procreate. There is a lot of opponents and some advocates; both sides giving their reasoning behind why they agree or disagree. If someone from this blog has already responded and given their input, thank you, it is much appreciated. If you haven't checked it out, I implore you to go on there and look at some of the comments made and give a good argument for the antinatalist cause. You have to register on the forum first with a username and password. But once you do that you can comment on any of the threads.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Suicide Ponderings

I was doing some reading about suicide this afternoon, and came across this screed over at

Suicide is Never an Option

by Kevin Caruso

I have talked with several suicidal people who have said something like this: "If things don't work out I can always kill myself. I always have that option."

Suicide is not an option. And the type of mindset that accompanies this type of statement needs to be changed immediately.

People who make that type of statement would never say: "If so-and-so doesn't shape up, I'll just kill him. I always have that option." Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? So, why is it so easy for some people to believe that taking their own life is okay? That suicide is an option?

Because of a mental disorder--People with depression, or a similar disorder, cannot think straight because they have a chemical imbalance in their brain. And almost everyone who is suicidal has a mental disorder.

So it is critical that people get treatment so their thinking will change.

If you need help because you have a similar mindset, then get help now.

Do not delay.

Take a step back and analyze your thinking. What is really going on in your mind? What kind of self-talk do you engage in?

Do you say to yourself: "Suicide is always an option"? or "I can always kill myself if I need to"? or "If things don't get better, I'll kill myself"?

If your thinking is even close to that, then please get help. Call 1-800-SUICUDE now if you need to. The sooner you get help, the better.

Be honest with yourself. If you need help, get it. And get it now.

And remember that suicide is never, under any circumstances, an option.

Note the blatantly paternalistic assertions based on...what? Personal preference? Cultural indoctrination? Unconsidered presuppositionalism? God’s moving finger? And what’s with the 1-800-SUICUDE? LOL! Anyhow, all this got me to thinking- since we’re all destined to die anyway, what’s all the fuss? Why is tomorrow better than today, or next year better than next week? Isn’t an appropriate analogy one where we’ve been pushed out of an airplane, and are being impassionately admonished to flap our arms until we hit the ground? What is there, if anything, that sets this attitude apart from fundamental denialism? Oh, and I love the way the guy equates suicide with murder! One can only wonder if he typed this with a straight face.

Of course, there IS the argument that our deaths cause others to suffer, but that’s the case regardless of WHEN we die. I suppose it could be argued that it’s worse if young children are involved, but that’s only saying that death stings less the more people grow inured to the realities of life, and what does THAT say about the realities of life? Isn’t this just another justification for suicide? There’s the matter of foisting the ‘suicide stigma’ upon surviving loved ones; but again, isn’t that stigma a result of societal reinforcement, making the negative attitude towards suicide the real perversity, and not the suicide itself? It all seems twisted somehow, an attempt to displace our own selfishness, and to anchor it to the object of our selfishness. And there’s this whole air of self-righteousness about the matter, as if delaying the inevitable amounts to the fulfillment of some holy mandate...all done for the potential suicide’s own good, of course. And if that potential suicide goes on to live another 3 or 4 or 5 decades in misery, why, it’s just a work in progress, is all, because NOTHING is worse than suicide, because...well...well...because there’s always hope, and death never solves anything. Well, until it comes, and it does solve everything. At least, it solves everything for the one who dies. And we all die. Every fucking one of us.

Of course, solutions are only necessary as far as problems are concerned. When life ends, the need for solutions vanishes. And if we stopped bringing life into the world, we’d never need those solutions in the first place. Life is like an unhealable wound that just keeps bleeding, and bleeding, and bleeding, but we’re too stupid, or stubborn, or afraid to stop administering transfusions, though all of us know we’re dealing with an ultimately hopeless case. Because it’s all about us, you see, our own fears of mortality, and the way we fend it off through fantasies of vicarious continuity through succeeding generations of little girls and boys, to whom we teach the very same lesson. It’ll be alright. Everything works out for the best. The sun’ll come out tomorrow. And my personal favorite, we’re all God’s chilluns. What a royal crock of shit.

P.S. I ESPECIALLY love the assertion that suicidal thoughts are always the result of some kind of mental disorder. Couldn't it be just as possible that depression is often the result of too much truth burning out the coping mechanisms that keep the wheels turning? I've written about some of this here.

P.S.S. You know, this guy is really starting to piss me off. After equating thoughts of suicide with thoughts of murder, he goes on in another place to assure us that suicide is nothing like murder. I often run into this sort of compartmentalized thinking with religious apologists. Offer whatever answer happens to fit a particular situation, or discussion, and to hell with consistency or a coherent philosophical position. There should be a name for this sort of thing. How's 'situational pontification' sound?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Who May Be Sterlized?

Here's an interesting thread concerning the unwillingness of some in the medical establishment to perform voluntary sterilization on childless women (and in some cases, men). Here's a sample comment-

I have been arguing for years that I never want children and it took me threatening to do self surgery with “a kitchen knife and a copy of Grey’s anatomy” to finally get referred to an OB. And then I had some anti-choicer offer to ‘adopt’ if anything happens between now and my waiting list. I assured her that there was no way I was giving birth by any means necessary, be it a clinic, a coat hanger or a jump in front of a fast moving train. I also reminded another anti-choicer that by getting my tubes tied I could suffer a tubal pregnancy that will kill me and thereby made every possible pregnancy a life threatening one just to make damn sure I will have it terminated. What sort of society makes you have to threaten yourself with self-mutilation and possible death because you choose not to have children?

It seems the issue also extends into the right to have IUDs implanted. Think about it- these are adults in their twenties and thirties being denied contraception based on a naive pronatalist notion that someday they'll 'come around to the right way of thinking'. Societal paternalism runs deep.

It's also interesting to note how many women reject the idea of the so-called 'nurturing instinct', at least as a universal female attribute. Makes one wonder how much is simply culturally ingrained mythology, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Better Never To Have Mentioned...

Here's some interesting commentary on one blogger's encounter with David Benatar's 'Better Never To Have Been', and the subsequent visceral reactions of those he tried to discuss the book with. Not surprising; once I saw a reviewer actually suggest not opening the book, I knew it would be an uphill battle. Meanwhile, suffering and death continue, unabated.

And this from another article by the same blogger:

I'll tell you what's depressing: that social and psychological urge that compels us to deny our own states of pain and suffering, to pretend in some asinine charade that happiness is the default state of human existence. There is no evidence whatsoever that this is the case. It's the most widespread illogical assumption among contemporary Americans, more pervasive even than the existence of God. Benatar deals with this delusion extensively in one chapter of his book, citing a multitude of psychological studies that suggest the happiest people are those least in touch with the reality of their own lives and prospects.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Video Commentary

I found a couple places featuring my YouTube efforts here and here.

"Any film, even the worst, is better than real life."

Quentin Crisp

Thursday, March 5, 2009

David Benatar Radio Interview

To listen, go here. All in all, a very fair interview, I thought. Near the end, the interviewer remarks on the surprising number of emails sympathetic to Benatar's position. This further supports my belief that the inherent logic of the argument strikes a chord with more people than one might imagine, given the sometimes vociferous reactions issuing from the pro-natalist camp. As with religion, I think there are lots of people who passively accept the culturally embedded notion that 'the species must endure', simply because they've never been exposed to a coherent expression of the alternative. But once they hear it, bells go off. Seems promising.

Thanks to Chip for the ref.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No Thanks, Axlotl Tanks

Over at TheViewFromHell, Curator has posted a story about an Italian woman, Eluana Englaro, who's been in a vegetative state for 17 years following a car accident. Her father would like to pull the plug, but after CONSULTING WITH THE VATICAN, the prime minister of that country has seen fit to disallow Eluana's right to die through removal of her artificial feeding apparatus. Here's some of the 'reasoning' behind his decision...

"Justifying his campaign to save Englaro's life, the prime minister added that, physically at least, she was "in the condition to have babies...".

Reading this got me to thinking about the technological side of the transhumanist movement, and about the fact that, while biotechnology seems to be advancing by leaps and bounds, the same can't necessarily be said regarding the moral state of the human animal, by whose hands this technology will be wielded. To tell you the truth, the idea that the state might one day have the ability to prolong my life indefinitely, and against my will, scares the bejesus out of me. And now there's this new little sci-fi twist to add to my nightmares.

I'm terribly afraid that at some point in the not-so-distant future, a window of opportunity is going to close on humankind's chances for extinction; barring, of course, some cataclysmic event, like a comet slamming into the earth. Or a much better scenario- some kind of viral or other sort of natural intercession that renders men and/or women sterile. Or, each of us can simply choose not to play the game of dystopian risk with our progeny. And if all of us did THAT, then there'd be nothing to worry about at all, now would there?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This post is mostly meant as a bookmark for myself as I seek to fine-tune my understanding and expression of the fundamental Benatar asymmetry. Good reading, though.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


The reasons I love life are the reasons I hate it. The lies within the truths within the Lie.


It may be true that a picture speaks a thousand words; and a song, perhaps, even more. But consider all the other words that get left out.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Per 'This Conversation'

First this disclaimer, aimed at those in the mental health establishment who think they know better than me what to do with MY life:

I, James Crawford, have not experienced suicidal ideation in several years, nor have I EVER attempted suicide either by active or passive means (Christ, look what we've come to!).

Now to the post proper:

I just wandered downstairs a few minutes ago, and on my way outside to have a smoke (yes, I know...coffin nails), I happened to catch a few minutes of the new episode of 'House' (apologies to fans of the show, but I find the protagonist a trifle too glib). It seems the patient of the week made a suicide attempt, and there followed a conversation between two of the doctors about the 'morality' of the attempt. Doctor #1 seemed somewhat sympathetic, while doctor #2 saw fit to chastise the man for what he perceived to be an act of selfishness.

"The guy had no right! What about his wife and kids?" (paraphrase)

Now, here's my question- what's the difference between this attitude, and the following situational statement?

"We're holding you hostage until you pay up; however, we'll try to make your stay as comfortable as we can."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Treatment and Autonomy

Though it’s not the subject of this blog, certainly the philosophies of antinatalism and legalized suicide share SOME common ground, intersecting at the point of human suffering. Sister Y has posted an article over at The View From Hell; and her thoughts on personality vis-a-vis decision making, along with some others in the corresponding comments section, have me thinking about practical answers to the dilemma as outlined in her post. Here’s my solution:

First of all, we set up regional, user friendly suicide centers ala ‘Soylent Green’, to which any potential self-terminator can freely apply. The only requirements are that the applicant must endure a pre-established waiting period. I suggest 6 months to a year. During this time, the subject will be required to undergo ‘counseling’...but NOT the kind established merely to be a coercive obstacle. I’m thinking more along the lines of a ‘friendly ear’, with no mind towards thwarting the subject’s ostensible wishes. This method offers the subject a chance to talk everything out with no fear of moral judgment or sanctions, with the ‘counselor’ serving the function of soundingboard. I’ve found that sometimes the best way for sorting out feelings is to hear yourself talking about them. Of course, during these interviews concerns can be expressed, and alternative solutions offered, INCLUDING the medicinal sort...but all done with the understanding that the final decisions are left WHOLLY up to the subject, thus retaining the sense of the individual’s autonomy. It seems to me that such a pressure-free environment can itself offer a mode of healing and clarity, if indeed there are resolvable issues on the side of life.

If at the end of the waiting period the applicant is still resolved to suicide, so be it. They’re assisted in tidying up their affairs (IF they request assistance), delivered to the local euthanasia center, where they receive a nice last meal in a comfortable, non-threatening atmosphere, then led into a room filled with their favorite art, or music, or whatever they request within reason, and are administered an overdose of barbiturates. Fini.

Of course, if at any time during the waiting period the subject opts out of the plan, they are released from any further obligations, and allowed to go on their way. Later on down the road if they again choose to end their lives, the process starts over from scratch. All in all, this is the most humane solution I can think of. It addresses the concerns of those who fear hasty decisions made under the influence of temporary emotional duress, or anomalous farts in the brain chemistry, or what have you, while still maintaining a bottom line personal autonomy.

So, any flaws in my thinking here?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Greatest Taboo

When I'm not trying to convince people to abstain from breeding, I tend to start fights on fundamentalist Christian websites. I don't go in with that intention, but that seems to be the way the conversations always end up. One commenter had this to say to me, after reading some of my posts on this blog:

"Congratulations, Jim, you have reached a new benchmark in arrogance. Not content to just shake your fist at God like most atheists, now you ARE god, deciding what is best for ALL of mankind. No more live and let live, now it’s die and let die.
We have gone from: children are a blessing from the Lord, to: they’re my little tax deductions, to: get rid of your baby if it’s just not convenient, to: forced abortions in China (and elsewhere), to: people cooking and eating babies in China. Now, it’s everybody just stop having babies! I, Jim, declare that that is what is best for everybody. Listen to the mighty Jim!
How “civilized” we are!! But, guess what? All those things are in the Bible! Except maybe for the tax deductions. And the abortions in the Bible didn’t let the mother live, they just cut the mother open to kill the baby.
This is a perfect example of Satan taking control of the heart and mind of man in order to steal, kill, and destroy. The story never changes, just the characters names’ change.
Yay, Jim! You have given me and others more evidence of the truth of scripture than I could have ever hoped to."

In my original introduction to this blog, I posited what I perceive to be the three major taboos of humankind which should not be questioned. God. Free will. Life is good. I invite you to follow the descending hierarchy into substantive evil as outlined by the commenter-

1. No more live and let live.
2. Utilitarian attitudes towards children (I agree with that little irony).
3. Legal abortion
4. Forced abortions in China.
5. People cooking and eating children in China (I'll betcha in Japan they'd be served raw!).
6. Persuade people to stop having children.

So, antinatalism (which is merely a call for voluntary cessation of breeding; at least, my kind) is worse than forced abortion, female mutilation, murder and cannibalism.

Sigh...why do I bother?

NOTE: Rum and Dr. Pepper tastes an awful lot like cough medicine.

If anyone's interested, I started another blog here.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Approaching 10,000

I just noticed I'm fast approaching 10,000 hits to this blog. Admittedly a pittance compared to some of the big guys in this neighborhood, but still...I'm gratified. Antinatalism is far from becoming a movement, admittedly. At least in an overt way, though I sense an undertone of tacit support amongst those who dare question the rubber stamped attitude of the procreative set, if only on a personal level. And I like to think my readers make up in quality what they lack in quantity.

I'm working on a book, trying to convince myself that sentences can indeed contain less than fifty words each and still convey salient information. I'm not wholly convinced, but through the discipline of burning myself with cigarettes, succinctness has been grudgingly forthcoming. And I'm contemplating my next video, maybe this time including actual pictures and stuff. You! Stay tuned.

I wish everyone a happy and fruitful 2009, knowing full well my wishes mean nothing, and that all of us will continue to suffer under the auspices of the luck of the draw. But I think my heart's in the right place. I've already cheated on all my resolutions, so I guess that's a wash. Better luck next year?

I wish!

P.S. I'll try to get back to the Benatar book soon. I mean to finish it...I promise!