Monday, March 22, 2010

This is the Wisdom of Sci-Fi: Part 1

This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

This quote - if you didn't know - is from the infinitely famous and enjoyable Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and can be found under the section regarding the planet Earth. Douglas Adams is a genius. In so few words he has embodied one of the biggest problems with humanity: our obsession with money and our dependence on it for happiness.

As a species, we have evolved to survive. And the way we do it is by straining and straining and, at last, every few generations, giving birth to genius. The one who invents the wheel. And light. And flight. The one who builds a city, a nation, an empire.... Human beings are free except when humanity needs them. Maybe humanity needs you. To do something.

This quote -again if you didn't know - is from Ender's Game. This amazingly intense, liberating, and deep piece of art... is a children's book. Go into any B&N or Borders and look for it. You'll find it somewhere between Franklin the Turtle and The Berenstain Bears. I mean it's a rather empowering tale about just what people can do if they put their minds to it and even more so about how genius, when co-opted by others, can be used to the worst ends possible and in doing so pushes us to think for ourselves.

So next time you take your little brother or sister (niece or nephew or cousin, hell even your grandfather or yourself), to a place where these books can be found pick them up and give them a shot... you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I just thought everyone in the world should know this is the beginning of the end.

More later... but for now I have to go help correct this injustice by educating the youth.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What makes music music?

So last night I went to the Philosophy club meeting at UK and learned two very important things.

1) Just because a guy looks like a total tool when he walks into the room doesn't mean he is.

2)Music isn't music without people.

What i mean in point 2 it that if there weren't any people there wouldn't be any music. I know that seems like such an inane and completely obvious point. But it leads me to another conclusion. There is no objective standard in music.

Music is something that can't, and shouldn't, be thought of as having some objective quality which separates it from the noises all around us. Just because things aren't repetitive or repeatable doesn't mean they're not music. For instance, 4'33" is a piece which is made of nothing more than ambient noise. (And if August Rush has taught us anything it's that the music is everywhere all we have to do is listen.) It's a piece that is music simply because there are other people present. This brings me to another subpoint about music: Music is inherently communal.

What that means is that music, while it can be an intimate and private thing that you can enjoy on your own, is best used when you're sharing it with others. As a friend of mine has said, "Music is like bottled emotion" And in this bottled form it becomes easy to share with others. Like poetry or theatre or film or books or blogs or essays or things written on the bathroom walls, music is a dish best served to someone else. It's a way for us to take the passions of another and express them as our own. Or, for us as musicians, to bottle those emotions and share them whenever we'd like.

If you really think about it what's the point of making music if no one but you hears it?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Have you heard these men!

Well have you heard them, just in case hear them again.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The White Messiah

So have you realized the most recent growing trend in movies today?

It's something that started with movie like Dances with Wolves and Kevin Costner. Then it shifted over to things like The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise. In it's latest incarnation it has come to settle with Sam Worthington in his starring role in the recent hit Avatar.

This is what I'd like to call The White Messiah Complex.

Essentially, the complex folds out as follows.

1) Native peoples/creatures/humanoids, that aren't white, are living peacefully... usually in harmony with nature or an astounding sense of honor - or both.

2) Natives come into contact with white people.

3) White people fuck everything up. This is usually accomplished by trying to achieve some machismo filled ideal of ruling over nature or that guns and shooting people are better than honorable martial arts style combat - or both.

4) Semi-random and slightly important white person comes into contact with native population. This is usually someone who's already an outsider in the white community, supposedly, adding to his ability to relate to the natives.

5a) This white person eventually becomes better at EVERYTHING that these native people have been doing in a far far shorter time span than any of them ever could. In the process he normally pisses off either the guy in charge or the guy who's next in line to be in charge - or both.

5b) If there is any female of any importance to the native people in pretty much anyway, then she starts to fall crazily in love with the white guy.

6) White guy becomes leader, or at the very least on equal footing with the leader, of the natives and helps them to rebel against the other white people. Therefore, solidifying his place as the hero of the people.

7) (This is sort of a sub-clause) If the leader hasn't already died, then the leader dies. In this case the white person becomes the new leader.

Essentially, this narrative sets up a story in which people of color, not just black people, literally cannot fend for themselves against the big white menace without the help of a white person. More than that, this white person is simply better at everything they've even attempted to do and takes to it all far faster than any of them. So in helping to overthrow the white dominance that these people are being subjected to he instead subjects them to a new kind. A sort of white dominance lite if you will.

Thank goodness though there are certain old movies being remade which are essentially spitting in the face of this idea. One of which is the "The Karate Kid" remake with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. In this film it shows a person of color being helped by another person of color in order to beat up other persons of color... if only it was white people then maybe I'd be a little more happy.

Not mine, but awesome all the same

Happy Meals.

Happy meat in a happy bun with happy potato dipped in happy boiling oil in a happy as fuck box. Take the depression of inhumanely farmed cattle and small children working in third world plastic toy factories and feed on their souls for pleasure. I recently replaced my wallet with a Happy Meal.

Just some food for thought...

Hello Internets

Hi there,

I suppose since you're reading this you have some interest in discovering how it is to radicalize your viewpoints on life, love, culture, philosophy, music, movies, mass media, the pop culture scene, journalism, books, pretension, food, and well pretty much everything all delivered with a sarcastic and, at times, sardonic point of view that just might expand and possibly break your mind. I'm just a little fish in a big pond with lots of ideas swimming around me. I'm not necessarily going to post things willy nilly, but at sometimes it may seem as though my thoughts are pretty scatter brained, and for that I apologize - it's just how I think. Feel free to discuss anything with me and if you have any awesome ideas share them as comments. I'm always up for staying plugged into what's around me.

Cordially yours,