Friday, October 29, 2004

This Can't Be Real

I have nothing to say on this except, "wow."


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Unleash the Vile Hippos of Wrath (For Hell Hath Frozen Over)

I'd like to see a movie with that title. I don't know what it would be about (aside from the Vile Hippos of Wrath, prefferably with real hippos), but it would be sweet to see that title on screen. I saw a live hippo once, I wouldn't want to mess with one of those; they're like a dinosaur that dodged the extinction, they're huge!

Which brings me to my subject - well not really, but it looked better than a sudden transistion, like this one:


Which is besides the point since I just did it anyway.

Perception and reality are one of things that I've always loved to compare. Taking the hippo example: whenever I saw footage/pictures of hippos, they didn't look that big; maybe like a big fat deer. However, when I saw one at a zoo in China I was blown away by huge the thing was; I mean , we're talking small truck here.

In my experience, a lot of things are like this. You have expectations and beliefs on what something is like, but more often than not, this preception is wrong. It happens all the time with things you buy, people you meer, parties you go to, and so on. We precieve something one way and there's often a great diconect from what it actually is.

I guess that's why I've never agreed with Kant. Preception, once widely accepted, may become considered fact, but that doesn't make it so. Maybe I've just read Kant wrong all these years, but one of the central points I picked up was how preception can shape reality.

Maybe he's right, and it can shape how you preceive reality, but does that really change reality? I mean, Kant seems to be saying to me that if I just think on my bicycle enough I'll be able to have a better one. That said, it would be better in my reality, but what about the people around me who see me riding it and still see an ugly bicycle.

Like I said, I've never really been able to get into Kant.

Then again, I like Spinoza so take it as you will.


Monday, October 25, 2004

Gore and Bones

"...I’m relying on your common decency/ So far it hasn’t surfaced/ But I’m sure it exists/ It just takes a while to travel/ From your head to your fist..."
-Martin Gore

I've always been fascinated by this lyric. I mean, is he saying that your fist hasn't got the message from your head to stop punching for the sake of common decency or is he saying it ironically, as though to say you lack common decency. It's probably the former, but I've always liked to think of it as the latter.

Now then, onto the real reason I started this.

A good friend of mine, Jack, used to break a bone in one of his arms or legs every year or so. It was ridiculously consistent; one of the signs of Spring was Jack in a cast. Eventually he didn't break things as often - whether due to an increase in coordination or his bones just got stronger bones, I was never sure - and life went on.

Jack is now one of my favorite guitar players, partially because I made a lot of music with him, but mostly because he's good and I like his style.

So, I've always wondered whether the repeat breaks of his arm(s) had a factor in how his arm(s) were shaped, and if so, would he be a better or worse guitar player if he hadn't broken his arms.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Sharp and Shiny: How to Make Someone Happy They're Being Stabbed

I've been reading Thomas Frank's What's the Matter With Kansas and it's a pretty convincing case all on its own, but nothing draws things into focus like hard reality.

I was reading an opinion peice in a local paper discussing how W was the best for the country. Now, my political views aside, what made the article stand out was this quote from Gregory Scoblete, conservative economic hack:

"core, irreducible function is the physical security of its citizens from external harm, as opposed to their material security, the responsibility for the latter must be shifted to the citizen. The nation-state must give way to the market-state,"

Now, I blinked at this, twice. The colmunist and Scoblete are saying that nations need to serve as giant markets and never mind that whole, "society," bullshit, just protect our bodies from bullets and bombs. What's startling about this is that it is a boldface summary of what Backlash is all about; vote for security, get corporate empowerment. What amazes me the fact that Backlash has become so standard, so accepted that columnists can just come out and essentially say,

"We're here to support moneyed elite, but we need you, the now-union worker to vote for us to make it work. So here's your intellectual alibai: you're voting to feel safe. See, now you can vote for us and feel good about it."

This is so preposterous, so directly contrary to most workers' best interests, that it seems ludicrous. Yet, look across the country: the rust belt continues to vote for those that would be their undoing, people feel outrage over CEO banditry, but vote for those who would loosen the regulations on them, people that are angry they're jobs don't pay as much anymore vote for people working to undo labor reforms, and the list goes on and on.

All because of fear and hatred. People get fired up over abortion, gay rights, and the liberal elite (conservative elites are fine, though), and systematically vote against their interests despite the fact that nothing will be done about the issues they votes on. Look at the recent partial-birth abortion ban here in the 'States, it was written to be overturned, to get people angry.

To make it worse, I see very little that can be done.

How do we convice people to look at the outcomes, when they can't sit through a ten-second steady camera shot?


Friday, October 22, 2004

Keep Those Nasty Ass Headphones Away From Me

Someone offered to let me hear a song off of their MP3 player, which was cool, but they got cranky when I pulled out my own headphones.

Now first off, this wasn't to show off my headphones or say that their headphones sucked, it was a matter of public health. People are dirty, not a bad thing, just how it is, and those inner-ear headphones (you know, the ones that actually go into your ear) are not clean. It doens't matter how often you bathe, you get crud in your ears and that then goes onto your headphones, and, personally speaking, I don't want that in my ears (I've got my own crap to worry about, thank you very much).

Now, that said, headphones that are big and go over your ears are probably okay to share. I mean they, like anything you touch, will be covered in germs, but at least they haven't been in someone else's ears. I'm not trying to be a huge hypochondriac, but sharing inner-ear headphones is like shring q-tips, it just shouldn't be done.

I apologize to all those who share q-tips, I support your life style, but do not wish to emulate it.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Just Some Pictures

Limited availability, removed for overall quality.


Germany Souls

Germany has (or at least had) the potential of being a perfectly isolated nation. Like Poland, it has a good share of natural resources and has a beautiful scenery and climate. Yet, despite this, or perhaps because of this, Germany has been in more than a fair number of conflicts. So a country that could feasibly be self-sustaining is instead viewed by a lot of people as a big violent deal that goes out into the world to cause havoc.

//The fact that Germans aren't excessively violoent has nothing to do with my point (which I'm getting to), but the preception of them as such is based on a pretty solid historical context (i.e. it's unfair, but not hard to understand). That doesnt excuse the stereotype, but it isn't hard to see where it comes from (Teutonic Knights, anyone?). I'm not even going to get into the whole Kantian preception to reality thing here.//

So, where am I going with this? Well here you go:

I've met a lot of people (and I'm probably one of them, but I won't claim enough arrogance to believe I can truly interpret myself without bias) who could be said to have a personality/soul like Germany. They're fairly introverted, but they can't help but reach out to other people in some form or another, desperatly and enternally seeking human contact. The results may be explosive or beautiful (much like German history, just to push the metaphor further.

I suppose blogging is like that in a way. No one really reads them, but people still write them and they go on and on and on ando nandon andona ndon andonandonandonandonandonandonandon as an outlet for those Germany Souls. Says something to our fear of new people doesn't it?


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Invention and madness

"Bear bravely and proudly the smear of, 'madness,' with which they try to gag all innovators."

I've always wondered about how many wanabe-innovators are really just crazy and just manage to convice people that they're just afraid of change and the innovator is perfectly sane. It seems like an excellent rationalization to me.

I mean, a certain amount of madness is to be associated with, so how many crazy people are just trying to pass as brilliant folk? That would explain a lot actualy.

Monday, October 18, 2004

So, I Succumbed to Peer Pressure

Title speaks for itself. I'll do stuff here when I remember, or feel like ranting. Thus, the mumbling title. You know me, or, if you don't, hi.