July 30, 2007

I try not to judge
people for not struggling.
More struggle for me.

~ From Did I Wake You: Haikus for Modern Living by Beth Lapides


This is RandomCool

July 28, 2007

Every time I watch TV with some of my friends, we can’t help but comment on how weird some of the commercials are. I mean, I don’t know if I just notice it now because I’m not a kid anymore, but some of the commercials are really outlandish. To the point of absurdity. And annoyingness.

But here’s a little spot on a the 12 Kinds of Ads. It’s actually really insightful. Plus, the adds are pretty kick-ass on the whole. I especially like the Volkswagen one.

Sometimes commercials can be mini masterpieces. And then you want to watch them.

And then there’s Head-On.

It takes all kinds.

Stuart Davis = Funny

July 26, 2007

This stuff is brilliant. Davis creates like nothing else I’ve seen. Musically, lyrically, linguistically, movie-ly, he’s just brilliant.

My favorite solo artist. Now on ‘tv.’

Well, here I am, writing at the computer. Typing away.

Okay, let me get started. I’ve been reading ‘one of those books’ that I have a tendency to do. The thoroughly unscientific kind. The kind that if I saw someone else reading, I would huff in disapproval. But so it is. To err is human. The be a hypocrite, even more so.

The book I’m currently reading is called The Intention Experiment, and it’s by Journalist Lynne McTaggart. She’s the same lady that wrote The Field, a book I went about reading, er, I want to say, three summers ago or so. Anyway, the entire premise of both books is that we don’t know nearly enough about the universe, and the more we find out, the more we realize how weird things get.

You know, quantum entanglement, the Observer Effect, Zero Point energy, yadda yadda yadda. The stuff that’s become standard fare for New Age movies like What the Bleep Do We Know and The Secret. Stuff that I wouldn’t usually shake a stick at. At least, not in public.

Truth be told, in reality, I’m a big psi-fanatic. I would love for all that stuff, like telekinesis, telepathy, etc to be true. That’s half the reason I’m so into Transhumanism. With technology, soon enough all that stuff will be true. But beside that, these folks do make some valid points: quantum physics is pretty crazy, and we really don’t know that much about the universe, at least in any real objective sense.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about today! That was just to wet your appetite and get you thinking that maybe I’m a little off my rocker. But wait, there’s more! [I could totally be a used car salesman].

In The Intention Experiment, there’s a whole section about how to get ‘fired up’ to intend things into existence [okay, I told you it was hippie dippie. But just wait a little longer, I swear it gets more down to earth]. One of the exercises for this involves being more ‘mindful.’ Now, that’s a word up there on the list of giant modern cliches. But it has it’s value. One of the exercises involves not only paying attention to what you’re doing, but also mentally making a note of it. If you’re opening a door, say to yourself [preferably mentally, because otherwise you won’t only be crazy, but the rest of the world will know it too!], “I’m opening the door. I’m turning the knob. I’m walking through the doorway.” Perhaps now the beginning of this post makes a little more sense.

Anyway, that’s something that I started thinking about back in January of this year [wow, was it THAT long ago], when I planned on talking about taking control of your internal monologue. The idea was that thoughts will arise whether we want them to or not [that’s just the nature of the beast], but what we can do is direct them. So, basically, you become your own personal guide, telling yourself to do that one thing that you really don’t want to do. Like, say, homework. Or asking that girl out. Okay, well, let’s stick with the homework.

Now I see another use for the internal monologue: relaxation and concentration. Let me tell you, nothing is more relaxing than taking note of everything you’re doing. You wouldn’t think so. I mean, it seems like that would really blow. That’s why stories about people [well, by people, I really mean hard-core meditators {which usually means Buddhist monks}] that can remain completely aware during deep sleep. I look forward to blacking out during sleep. And these Mo Fo’s go out of there way to pay attention during that stage [supposedly prepares you for the stage right before death when you have to choose what you’re next life is going to be like. Might be worth it in order to come back as, say, a fuzzy dog instead of a dung beetle.]!

But this little exercise gives me a glimpse of why it ain’t so bad. When you stop the chatter [well, the automatic chatter, anyway], the burden lifts. All the mental noise clears up and you just have emptiness in your noggin’. And let me tell you, that’s a sound to be heard! Just having things go on, without any real sense of doing them: it’s great!

At the same time, it’s a sort of game, as you have to make sure that you’re paying attention at all times. Which is hard. Meditation type hard. But it’s fun too. Keeping constant check on yourself. And somehow the internal monologue doesn’t really get in the way. In fact, it feels like it enhances it.

Now, all these observations are after just an evenings worth of trying this out. Maybe after doing it for a while, I’ll get sick of the little commentator in my head, playing out the scenes like I’m in a movie. Or maybe it’ll somehow become transverbal, to the point that I still notice with as much attention as possible, but I don’t literally need the words.

And now, to drone on a little longer, this also makes me wonder about our overstimulated society. I’m just as guilty as everyone else, even though I hem and haw when others do it: I like to smother my thinking mind with material 24/7 as to not have to think for myself. Music in the car. A podcast while I eat. Random rush of thoughts while the computer loads up. I justify it as ‘multitasking.’ I want to get more stuff done, so I do more stuff at once. But I wonder if I’m not just trying to fill up my noggin’ with attention so that the stream of thoughts will go away. Which I can do just as easily by just playing this little monologue game. And much more cost effectively, too.

Hm, well, this post wrote itself. That hasn’t happened in a while. Makes me happy. Now I’m going to go off and read more about the human animal. [Seriously, though. Check out this book, The Naked Ape, at your local library. Totally an awesome read!]


[Pushes “Publish” button.]

This is a mash up of a whole bunch of funny, anti-Fox News skits from The Simpsons. But a great deal of it is from one episode earlier this summer where the “liberal media” attempts to unearth certain truths which leads to the firing of Kent Brochman.

Well, just watch and enjoy.

Stupid Me

July 22, 2007

I find that it’s best to assume that I’ll be an idiot in the future. That I’ll somehow manage to screw up the best laid plans of mice and men. That in the brief intermission between point A and point B, I’ll manage to travel the full way around the alphabet and end up at Zed.

I don’t know how we manage to get up in the morning. And remember all the stories that we have to keep locked in our head. I don’t know how we manage to interact with the world when we’re constantly assaulted by so many different sources of confusion. Inside and outside.

So, I find it’s best to treat all future selves as blind men in the dark. As deaf men in the silence.

But didn’t I say that about this self? At some previous time?

I wonder if there’s a way to break this cycle. To step outside of the roller coaster of emotion and narcissism and just let it all go.

I suppose the most expedient path would be to just stop trying.

Everyone is a little insane. It would be insane for them not to be.

Luke is the Master

July 22, 2007

Luke Smith is truly the master of funny. Man, if that picture doesn’t bring me back.

July 22, 2007

So when Bush triumphed, his people triumphed. When Bush confounded his legions of high brow critics — the tenured radicals, the effete Frenchmen, African diplomats with thousand-dollar suits and Oxbridge accents — all those masters of the gray nuance, weaving their paralyzing webs out of distant causes and obscure consequences, when Bush the Bold confounded them all with simple words and simpler deeds, well, his people naturally rejoiced, for they were themselves vindicated, they were right all along, right to be ignorant, right to be parochial — right, by God, just to be American.

~ From Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It by Thomas De Zengotita

Another thought

July 21, 2007

Or maybe it’s all a matter of…

Oh, nevermind.

Don’t mess with [im]perfection.

WTF [What tasty fruit?]

July 21, 2007

Wow, I was just reading through some of my thoughts on Ruminations. And I had so many more interesting ones than I have now.

I don’t know if it’s the sterility of being home [as opposed to the hustle and bustle of high school life]. Or maybe I’ve just used up all my good ideas. That doesn’t seem likely either.

I mean, I wanted to plan out a list of topics to talk about for the next week. With the premise that this would make writing posts for the next week that much easier. And then I couldn’t think of anything to talk about. Well, that’s not true. I couldn’t think of anything that I really wanted to talk about. Truth be told, I’m sick of regurgitating the things that I read. No matter how cool they may be. Like the fact that the breasts and lips of a woman are designed to mimic the buttocks and labia so that dudes will look a girl in the eyes [well, at least in the boobs] instead of just mounting her, doggy style [for more, go here and search for “Naked Ape”]. Or that this may be the best short story I’ve read in, like, forever. Or that my shins are killing me and I’m scared shitless that I’m not going to be able to run for a week and will then fall behind on my XC training.

No, I don’t really want to talk about any of those things. Or the fact that I’ve fallen in love with Switchfoot again. And that they strangely remind me of what I have in common with Fundamentalist Christians. That maybe I’m a bit of a fundamentalist myself, and that maybe that’s okay. Or maybe it’s not.

Or the fact that the universe can really suck sometimes. Like when it screws a friend over. Or when I should have done something so that friend didn’t get screwed over. Or maybe…

Maybe I do have things to say. But maybe I don’t want to say them.

Maybe this world isn’t so bad. But it doesn’t want to seem that way.

And maybe now I know the trick to having something to write. Pretend that life sucks. And then forget about that for just a moment and write about it.

It may make things right. Or it might not.

Maybe. Maybe not.

That’s life.