Monday, April 28, 2008

Too Weird and Too True to Not Be Good

Let us now behold the grandeur of the bizarre and the sublime:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Forwarding Thinkingness or Just Avoiding the Obvious

My days as a sub have been half-full, at best, whether you are an optimist or a pessimist. The up-side of this lies in all the time I have to read news and essays and articles of all sorts—-football, hockey, cycling, politics, literary, whatever current of interest I find myself on in my surfing. Like most things, there is a good side and bad side and both can be found in the same place. After all, just how much does one want to consider the current financial woes and throes the country and thereby the world is in? True enough, I do want to remain wide-eyed and sober when shit hits the fan, so that I won't rage into a hysteria which large numbers of us are bound to be doing. Yet I also don't want sink into the mire of information glut. As a result, I find myself dodging here and there, as if to avoid the stuff that may sink me beneath my feet.

I came upon one article that discusses the detriment to health that my recent favorite breakfast does to one's body: Why the great British breakfast is a killer. I happen to enjoy a good English breakfast, but like many things we want, it is not may not be good to us in return. The calorie intake alone should send off alarm bells. Yet I don't care. I'm still gonna have one now and again. Yet I'm also not going to be what I eat, and life does have a smörgåsbord of offerings. I want them all!

The forward-thinking Dutch continue to take a progressive stance on cycling; however, this may be a bit much. An out-side car airbag for cyclists that the car may potentially hit. I don't know if this is an invitation to hit cyclists or an "OK" for having done so. The picture is good for a laugh if nothing else. I do know I wouldn't give it a test drive.

Finally, there is Russia, the once-Cold War enemy who since having taken a dip in the world-wide Super Power Standings, has resurfaced due to their mercurial leader Putin and his sham-election which placed another face in front of the camera for him to speak through as puppet master. In hard times like these, we want an enemy; they provide us with a point of focus which allows us to concentrate on competing and thus improve ourselves in relation to them. Russia served as this during the cold war and they are rising to the occasion again, as China, despite so much discussion of being the next Super Power, seems feeble at times, with their quasi-comic dominance of Tibet and embarrassing environmental problems. Russia, on the other hand, has shown a resurgent economy and nationalism that has bordered on the fascist. Somehow my father has instilled in me a distrust of Russians; having been raised in WW II Sweden, it makes sense, and their mafia's encroaching on Finland and Sweden with their prostitutes and stolen car rings confirms their contemporary shiftiness/shadiness. Yet consider this video as presented by the New York Times. Not only do their thugs bully the surrounding countries (i.e. Estonia, Finland, Poland, etc) but their own society conforms in ways that could make any American go, Say what? I thought that we, as species, had surpasses this on some level. I guess I thought wrong. I'll not forget this, nor get bogged down all the obviously depressing and pressing issues we all need to consider, but I'll also try not to forget that no matter how much I overlook the obvious, the obvious remains where it always was, right under our noses. There's a delicate balance there.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pragmatic Wisdom on the Recession

1) Beans are an excellent sources of protein

2) Life goes on even when Rome is burning

3) Maybe Rome is better after it has been burned

See the article here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Are we the turners or the turnings?

"No matter through whatever turnings nor how many of them. Till our turns comes at last and our turn passes."

--Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, p. 231.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Three Feet High and Rising, Or That Sinking Feeling

I have to start with a potentially annoying meta-thought about why I have titled this entry. I have to do this because my indecision in titling this entry serves as a metaphor for a general lack of certainty, which is what this whole entry is really about. So there's a clue.

I first wanted to write an entry titled "Three Feet High and Rising" because it is that time of year (spring) and I like that Johnny Cash song of the very same title. The other day I took a ride through the forest preserves near my dad's house and took a right and headed down the hill to pass under a bridge that I normally pass under while on this path and found that I couldn't because of this:

The path once sidled along the river there!

So that's the one half of the entry's title.

But then I started to do some mental feng shui with that title at the center of my mind's room and realized that when the river is rising and it's hard to see the rising but it's fascinating because you know what's coming and so you can't turn away because our natural desire to watch destruction (perverse, but true), and when you have "that sinking feeling," it is in fact nearly the same feeling. Even if the river is rising and your feeling is sinking. (Weird paradox there.) Both of these experiences say, "You know it's gonna happen but you can't do a thing about it."

There are two reasons why this pertains to the here and now.

1) The full thrall of Spring is on it's way and it will soon be whipping us out of our collective frozen stasis.

2) More importantly, I really enjoyed George Saunder's essay "The Braindead Microphone," an essay that covers our mass media and their collective ability to shut down compassionate and ethical reportage by drowning out any thoughtful voices like an idiot with a megaphone at a cocktail party of otherwise intelligent sentient beings. As much as I liked this essay, it, too, brought on this sense of not being able to do anything about something you know is happening and can't really do a damn thing about. In fact, if you were to try and struggle with it and really attack it and set your foot down and scream out boldly, "No more!" you'd have that feeling more than ever. That problem is of course the media and it's compulsion to entertain rather than inform and obfuscate instead of clarify. Saunders' whole argument stands on the premise that the media inundates us with bits of information so meaningless we feel stupid for not saying anything about its aptitude after recognizing how banal and useless it is. As a result of this, we give up our own thoughts because the status quo has eviscerated their relevance by shouting them to shreds. Brute force. This got me thinking...

3) (Yes, I know I only said two reasons earlier, but this is more of a continuation of #2 really anyways.) ...about how there are whole chunks of our personal time (and by this I mean the quality time that allows our internal lives to flourish) that get dedicated to equally numbing and meaningless tasks (and modern life has a boat load should you think you're going to sneak away), which steal away not only our minds, but by extension, our senses of selves. After all, if we are not voicing forth our minds, are not our minds--the very casks of our selves--in turn not pouring forth us to the world, to the very people we know and speak to intimately and cherish? This is a dark alley to go down, I admit, so get out your flashlight. Yet here we go: If then we accept that ourselves are not presented in their true form to the world, then aren't we also saying that we are not in fact free to be ourselves on some fundamental level?

Now you tell me, what's the better title for this entry?


On a completely unrelated note: now that Liverpool have defeated Arsenal in the Champions League on a fluke penalty call, Go Liverpool. First they must crack the robotics of Chelsea and with the soul and resiliency they showed yesterday against Arsenal, they should do it. Then they bust pick one of two more difficult and complicated locks, either Manchester United or Barcelona (hopefully the later as opposed to the former). Then the will have unlocked their rightful victory and their place at the top of Europe again, which for some mysterious reason, they keep achieving.

Why Are You So Angry, Senator McCain?

I have watched this video a few times now. It leaves me with two questions: Why are you so angry? If you're that hard of hearing, broken-down, befuddled and incoherent, should you be in office?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools

I thought this article must surely be some sort of April Fool's joke, but there are no further indicators that it in fact is. The site hasn't retracted it nor has there been a spoiler. It seems as if this would be a bigger deal, if it were real. No other football sites seem to be publishing it, including the official site of Euro 2008. If this is in fact an April Fool's joke, then it has failed because it caused no stir in the media. If it is in fact real, then it is a shame that sports in Europe are also buckling due to financial reasons. This move simply puts money before good competition and no real football fan should stand for it. There's only power in numbers, people!

Update: this has been revealed to be an April Fool's joke. Ho hum. Aren't these supposed to be funny or entertaining?