Archive for the 'philosophy' Category

In a world…

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In a world dominated by preoccupation of the past, chaos was ruled by those who didn’t care. Mystery was knowledge while fact was religion, as speculation was denial.

In this world, there was doubt. Doubt that didn’t yet exist but plagued the minds of every being.

Those who knew of the truth had no option, and those who didn’t cherished their apathetic rule. There seemed to be no hope in this world, not inside nor out…

But change was on its way, rushing in on the wings of a number that symbolized a day in the near future…

CA to Legalize Marijuana? Why?

As a lawsuit threat letter from Marlboro proves, something like these cig joints were around for a while–until Marlboro got pissed.

There have been stoner rumors for years about how Marlboro has “Marlboro Greens” already patented and tested for the day the green dope is  finally legal, and since it’ll be on the California ballot in a scant half-year, it looks like that day is close since every one and their mother (and in many cases, their grandmother) smokes and advocates marijuana usage.

But I don’t get it. I don’t understand why everyone’s so stoked on it. Look past the whole “it’s about time the government gets with the times” or the “it was never legalized because they couldn’t figure out how to economize it but now we need it to combat the budget deficit” shit, let’s look at it like any other crop (i.e. tobacco) or any other substance (i.e. alcohol) or other food (i.e. beef) law.

Let’s think about it with a few questions I’d like to raise:

  1. Do we as a general public really have any issues with it’s legality right now? Let’s face it, it’s not simply illegal: it’s decriminalized. Meaning get caught with over an ounce and then you’re fucked with something more than a fine that would be like you picking up three sacs from the dude across the 7-11. An ounce is a lot of dope, a lot more than the average consumer smokes–and even then, to the average consumer that does purchase in that high a quantity, how often are they leaving their house with ALL OF IT (aside to deal it). We still smoke our jays in our houses and backyards and balconies, free of heavy worry for adults, and even for kids they know that they’ll be gone by the time the smell is, by the time the cop could possibly catch a whiff of it. At this point a good percentage of cops–I have no evidence for this–are cool with it and won’t even bother if you’re caught with a dub sack. Think about it. No one who wants to smoke marijuana is scared because it’s illegal.
  2. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s free of restrictions. Like tobacco and being 18 to smoke outside only, or like alcohol and being 21 to only drink indoors, or like being in Amsterdam and being unaware of the laws behind the legal dope: technically it’s still against the law to smoke it outside in public, outside of the coffeeshop establishments. The simple case-in-point being that in continental Europe no one generally gives a shit as long as you’re not blowing it in kid’s faces and talking shit to everyone. Plus you still can only buy 5 grams per coffeeshop. Relate it to the ten-foot-pole-up-the-ass United States: you won’t be able to smoke in public, you’ll have to be twenty-one, insert something else here. Think about it.
  3. Tobacco’s legal too. But can you buy pure tobacco anywhere? Of course not, because it’s full of preservatives/chemicals/god-knows-what in whatever form you buy it. Cigarettes, pipe, rolling tobacco… It all has some kind of shit in it, even if it claims organic there’s still some type of regulation on the farming of the crop or the seed the farmer uses… So let’s hypothetically place marijuana in the same category: we may be able to grow x amount of plants in our own backyard and not fret, but where will the seed have to come from? Or where will it come from the easiest? Think about it.
  4. Marijuana cigarettes. Literally. Like that image above, fucking Marlboro greens. Why the fuck wouldn’t this happen– we’d rather smoke a fag than roll one, why would we want to keep rolling our own fat jays if they came pre-rolled? And Big Tobacco companies, as they put it, are one of the biggest in the nation/world… Gods know how much herb would actually be inside one of these cigarettes, and the government wouldn’t require them to tell us either–just like with tobacco. We buy a pack of greens for $10 (taxed for another $3) then smoke one every hour to get our small dosage of THC and nico-chemicals… Then somehow crave a real cigarette. Think about it.
  5. Bye bye dealers. Sure, maybe for a few years there would still remain the same dealers we all knew, but with new restrictions being placed on the cultivation and marketing of marijuana (for economic/monopoly reasons, as we’ve been saying for forty years against its illegality), without the proper papers based on its growing or proper license to sell, dealers would still remain just as underground as before–with their prices going up just like in the now-legalized cannabis clubs. They’ll have to work harder to produce and maintain their crop as well as their sales, how could any price just remain steady? Everything will change. Think about it.

I’ll continue to this list as I get more time, but it seems so clear that this isn’t just to make us happy–they would’ve done that twenty years ago if that were the case. False consciousness, people. Look it up.

My opinion is VOTE NO to this proposition on the ballot in November. It’ll just contribute to making rich companies richer, infecting our bodies further with even more chemicals (through something we all trusted and loved and let our lives change for so long), pleasing the working class by making us all think we “achieved” a victory with democracy, disillusioning us even further. It’ll destroy any hope we have left of our flailing generation to make a change, and completely obliterate our children’s generation.

If you read this and have a discrepancy, or valid research to disprove what I’m trying to say somewhere here, PLEASE don’t hesitate to tell me.

Couchsurfing

While I should be studying marine biology right now and all it’s diatoms and phytoplankton and glacial drinking water, I instead of course find other things to do. While it’s not precisely blog material, I feel it necessary to convey who I am as far as a hospitable host and pull this from my “About the Couch” section on my couchsurfing profile (click that link to see it):

Deep in the heart of Long Beach lies a little apartment where two people wait everyday for the next couchsurfing request, praying and hoping to the gods of the ‘surf that soon the chosen couchsurfer will arrive to sleep on our couch….

Cool introduction, eh? I don’t see why Couchsurfing can’t be a mythical fantasy.

READ CAREFULLY: so we had an exchange student (alonso) move in and he lives on the couch. there is room for a second person on the couch, and he is comfortable with that. we also have an extra mattress that could squeeze a couple, either in my room or the living room. what this means: you will be sleeping next to someone–whether it’s me or good old alonso, you will be in my room or the living room. meaning please understand this in advance and don’t act weird when i bring it up.

we do walk around naked at times, also.

This means that I/we don’t care anymore: there are so many goddam people coming and going it seems that I’ve decided to scrap social/gender/respectable constructs and in the case of a full house just tell you your scant options–which very well may be in my bed–and tell you to deal with it. Yes, this continues with the fantasy.

you will leave a rule (if english isn’t your first language). on the kitchen wall we have the rules of the house in all sorts of languages, and you will add to them. you will also leave a note telling us how wonderful your stay was (in fact, you can write it in advance, as this will help define how wonderful your stay will be!–actually, you should do a rough draft before you come and then revise it before you leave).

I need to take a picture of our rules and post it for you few visitors to see. We have “1) Don’t cry in the living room and 2) Don’t call Jordan a big stupid.” in English, but that’s all. Little Lauren who stayed for a week or two looking for a place came up with these two as she said she was going to cry from all the spicy food I’d made her eat, and I told her no, crying in the living room is breaking rule #1. Then she called me a big stupid, so naturally things went from there. And we wrote them on the wall.

Following, we have “Respect the cunt” in Hebrew, “Don’t drink Jordan’s wine” in Serbian, “Clean up your shit” in Arabic, “Leave a note” in Swedish, and “Don’t walk around in your underwear in front of Christa” in German. It’s fun to have some ironic cultural twists in there, as saying “clean up your shit” in Arabic in Arabic-speaking cultures would probably get you kicked out of your family and ostricized from society and exiled to live in the Sahara until you die. Maybe. And “Respect the cunt” goes without saying. Israel is [essentially] America, as they grow up with the same music and movies and fast-food shit and we can understand each other’s pop culture jokes… and of course ‘that shit ain’t nothin but pussy.’

We drink a lot, I smoke outside because they make me, and we drink a lot. We also like to paint on the walls and play music inside the walls. I don’t really hit the ganj anymore but no problems here.

I smoke cigarettes inside when no one’s home, because I like to feel at home. No one fucking notices because it doesn’t stick to a goddam thing, but the principle means it just isn’t okay to smoke inside. I miss Europe. And windows.

The neighbors hate us because of my music. I say fuck them, too bad. Come tell me and I will turn it down and apologize. Since Alonso moved in, however, we play the radio mainly as opposed to my eclectic shit. It’s refreshing, actually, though commercials are just terrible.

We also don’t paint on the walls anymore.

I don’t hit the ganj anymore because I’m beginning to feel it’s just another way to keep a people complacent and stupid. Not that every stoner is lazy and stupid (quite the contrary in cases), but I feel the common proletariat who smokes because they enjoy it (plus it’s cool because it’s contraband) doesn’t give a shit about the problems we as the common peasants need to begin giving a shit about–and never will. So there’s that, plus just the fact that my mind thinks a lot more without it in my life. Perhaps too much, it’s driving me in malicious circles.

And I like it.

I used to be down with indefinite, longer stays but the problem is space now. If you’re one person you’re more welcome to be unsure of how long you’ll stay, two people we can handle 3 nights max unless things are going smoothly somehow, but generally- things get hectic.

I used to be all “travelers are travelers, we’ll make it work!” But now I’m like fuck it, it’s just inconvenient. This is SoCal bitch, there ain’t no patience for that shit.

I live with Christa, another student/couchsurfer who is a bit busier than I is busy like me, and Alonso (no profile), and we will welcome you. We already love you. We both have school and work so we can’t show you around all the time (but gods know i’ll try!), but if you’re cool with it you can come see California State University Long Beach, or even come with me to Hollywood while I work… Or you can just hang out and finish your novel. And of course, we’ll be around at night to watch the minutes slip by.. we normally keep it pretty cool.

I’d say this is a pretty large lie. I’m wrapped up in my routine. I don’t mind them adding them into my evenings and my usual deal, but I’m not sure if I’d sacrifice my free moments to go show a tourist the city or a good time, if it didn’t benefit me or offer me some sort of way to get something done. I am selfish, and I am proud of that.

Enlightening, genuine conversation nearly every night 100% GUARANTEED. I wish this weren’t true, it’s kind of making my head hurt. But you will hear about my homework and some era of French Literature and/or some esoteric parallels to society today and why it’s bullshit, rest assured.

Actually, my mind hurts and I think many think I’m a little loco at times because these conversations don’t fucking stop, in some weird way, and they never got a chance to get to know me before hearing all my ludicrous bullshit.

Please bring toilet paper if you’ll be a few nights–that shit goes fast (ba dum ch). Don’t feel awkward about bringing food and cooking, and know that when we cook we cook for everyone in the house–so please contribute as we are not as financially fearless as we’d like to be. If you can bring your own shampoo/conditioner/soap we’d appreciate that as well, it seems to disappear a lot faster these days.

Why the fuck is toilet paper ten dollars for 24 rolls?

Okay, so that’s my couch information. I won’t bother talking about the program and my experience with it, that’s a book in it’s goddam self. Maybe I’ll analyze/comment on my profile next time (isn’t the Facebook/Myspace/Internet 2.0 concept of making a profile about yourself an interesting one?).

Have fantastic weeks everyone. I’m enjoying nicotine withdrawals–no, I’m not “quitting”–it’s interesting to see how I deal with it and whether that’s the reason or not I end up smoking a cigarette at night.

Another Phase: A-Trak’s Fabriclive 45

Day eight of no-more-marijuana, though I do think no-more-marijuana means just-a-little-marijuana.

Talk shit all you want about Wikipedia, but the fact is when you want information, that’s where you start. Apparently the FabricLive series was started by the London nightclub FABRIC and thus it only makes sense it’s titled FabricLive 45, as this is the forty-fifth in the series. Props that they gave it to A-trak, as his DJ name sounds like a goddam gun. Thank you WordPress for not giving me shit about the word goddam. Nitin Sawhney did 15 and Simian Mobile Disco did 41, so thank you for all the others 40+ artists that I’ve never heard of that did the others I’ll someday find the time to listen to.

I’m basically writing this right now because it’s been non-stop iPod play for the last week. And that week has now ended. So I’m reviewing it?

This is more or less the same playlist I heard A-trak make on the November 11, 2008 mix with Erol Alkan. Cool that 1+ years later his playlist remains the same, with more grooves (obviously) and a little more style. His personal copy of his own “Say Whoa” is of course much sexier than the original Nike Running man shit, with his own apple macintosh voices saying WE hear the bass and YOU hear the bass as opposed to simply THEY hear the bass and say whoa. The starting groovy bass line (is that from the DJ Sneak song mixed with it?) and putting his own twist on the lead synth… In fact, it’s nothing like the version every other wannabe DJ has in his collection, with his own little additions such as BASSSS from Public Enemy’s classic and a little John’s WHAATT thrown in there.

To be honest, I’m not sure why I wanted to write this little review. His remix of Boys Noize’ Oh! has made it a classic, and of course this is a brilliant track to follow Say Whoa. The next tracks keep the groove going, and Skepta’s Sweet Mother thrown in with some funky house sounds is pretty cool. But why the FUCK is it followed with I’m the Ish? I can only imagine this is one of those commercial tracks that any artist like A-Trak would find amusing and cool for a few weeks… Though of course he does know he truly is the shit. So who knows.

Metronomy’s Heartbreaker sucks, but Peep Thong follows perfectly the style of that beginning half of the mix, and I am very bummed about the lack of Van Helden’s Funk Phenomenon missing from the 2008 live version from which I recognize so much of this.

And actually, that’s about when I stop listening. Call it my music add (hahhh), but I get over his 4 or 8 bar repeats leading up to every goddam break. It’s cool for a few tracks (like Oh!), but it’s just old by track 9. His spinning and MC (I guess?) skills are obviously over the top and incredible, but

So there’s my shitty review, and here’s the tracklisting (thanks to Wikipedia):

 A-Trak/DJ Sneak - Say Whoa/You Can't Hide From Your Bud - Fool's Gold/Classic
 Boys Noize - Oh! (A-Trak Remix) - Boysnoize Records
 Scott Grooves ft. Parliament Funkadelic - Mothership Reconnection (Daft Punk Remix) - Soma
 Voodoo Chilli - Get On Down - Cheap Thrills
 Skepta - Sweet Mother (House Version) - Boy Better Know
 DJ Class - I'm The Ish - Unruly
 Metronomy - Heartbreaker (Diskjokke Remix) - Because
 His Majesty Andre - Peep Thong - Cheap Thrills
 Zombie Nation - Forza (Original) - UKW
 Alex Gopher - Aurora - Go 4 Music
 Dance Area - AA 24-7 - Phantasy
 Robbie Rivera - Move Move (DJ Observer & Daniel Heathcliff Remix) - Juicy
 Daniele Papini - Church of Nonsense - Media
 Laidback Luke & A-Trak - Shake It Down - Fool's Gold
 Nacho Lovers - Acid Life (Nachos 909 Dub) - Fool's Gold
 Rob Threezy - The Chase - Rob Threezy
 Friendly Fires - Paris (Aeroplane Remix) - XL
 Fan Death - Veronica's Veil (Erol Alkan's Extended Re-Edit) - Phantasy
 Simon Baker - Plastik (Todd Terje's Turkatech Remix) - Ongaku
 The Martian - Tobacco Ties - Red Planet
 DJ Gant-Man - Juke Dat Girl From The Back - Fool's Gold
 DJ MP4 - The Book Is On The Table - Musics Net
 Jamie Anderson & Content - Body Jackin' - IDG
 Raffertie - Do Dat - On The Brink
 DJ Zinc - 138 Trek - Bingo Beats

Three Interesting Facts

Hey zero readers, sorry things have been slow. My life’s been consumed by research for a paper I’m writing and turning in a month and a half late, based on how the Nazi occupation of France parallels our lives today in the United States. Interesting shit.

I’d thought I’d share some facts I came about, since that’s what’s up in my life:

Fluoride in our water makes us stupider:

Fluoride can produce detrimental biochemical and functional changes in the developing human brain. Exposure may commence with fluoride in the maternal blood passing through the placenta to the fetus and continues during childhood from fluoride in food and drinking water. In the present study, a High-fluoride level in drinking water resulted in a greater intake of fluoride which was confirmed by higher urinary fluoride levels. Intelligence was, in turn, inversely related to the level of fluoride in both drinking water and urine. No confounding factors such as population size or differences in social, educational, or economic background explained the relationship.” (http://www.fluoride-journal.com/00-33-2/332-74.pdf)

There is fluoride in our water, in all our toothpaste. We’re told its good for our tooth strength; this may be true, however that development ends essentially with adolescence. After that, it just deteriorates our bodies. And our minds, apparently. Also funny? Fluoride-infested water exists primarily in the English speaking world. Interesting.

France was ready to blame the Jews anyway

“…the defeat of June 1940 provided them with an historical opportunity to eliminate the republican system, which many of them had always opposed. The president of the republic was replaced by a chief of state. All political organizations were banned, as were the freemasonic lodges. The new rulers did not wait long to name those they had long held to be the enemies of ‘traditional’ France and present them as responsible for the catastrophic defeat. Foremost among those considered guilty were the communists, the socialists, the trade unions, the freemasons, and, of course, their bête noire: the Jews. Believing that a majority of French were anti-Semites, and that they would support the restrictive measures, the Vichy authorities blamed the defeat on the Jews.” (http://www.jstor.org/pss/3133551)

Pre Nazi-occupied France had a lot to take care of, including restricting immigration of foreigners (who we can guess are Jews, given that no one seemed to like them all over Europe). The Nazi invasion took care of more than we realize not just for anti-Semitic France but for the United States too; when you think about our fear of communism, we liked the ideas of the Third Reich…

There is no longer such thing as [American] public broadcasting… Basically.

“A comparison between spending on public broadcasting in the US and several other countries shows how marginalized everything but the commercial media are in the US. In the late 1980’s, Japan was spending $14 per person per year on public broadcasting, Canada $23.60, Great Britain $24.52, while the US was spending only 77 cents.  And the near total commercialization of the media is in no way confined to television. Newspapers’ practices and coverage have become more and more driven by commercial considerations, as has the publishing industry’s decisions. To take just one example, the Book-of-the-Month Club, which used to make its choices of which books to promote on the basis of at least some level of merit, now considers only potential profit. What can be concluded is that unless it would be commercially advantageous to address issues of political violence, there is no reason to suppose that the media will do so.” (http://philpapers.org/rec/HELTMA)

The media and news is run by corporations. Tell us something we don’t know, jayurbzz. Sorry, I just found this little statistic really fucking interesting. 77 cents? Really? We’re that consumed by consumerism and consumption and advertising… Wow.

My mom just arrived at the coffeeshop, so I’ll post more soon. Wow, I’m so stimulated by research I’m doing! How exciting! Stay tuned.

New Years of Irony

New Year’s resolutions are bullshit, so instead I’ll explain the irony of my new year’s eve.

I’m painting for you. I had one image in mind, and by chance it turned into another. That image soon turned into several more, as the oil paints shaped how it would turn out; one bowl and two soon-to-be old habits later I sat content staring at it, wondering why I was so involved in this love. Did you cast a spell on me?

Let’s interrupt that. I just had to get up and vomit, and I’m only on my fourth beer in two hours. Just one joint and one real cigarette after how many days? and look at me. Another point of climax for the synchronistic peak that’s been growing like a fresh-sprouting mountain in the last week. The last two weeks, maybe. What’s to say it started to peak started only a week ago, two weeks? It may not even be climaxing, here. Technically things would have to peak up until that point, and once there it could plateau or continue onwards; one never knows when events have truly reached a climax.

In that sense I could say it’s been two years. Twenty-one years.  Does it ever end?

I tried not going out on New Year’s Eve. I wanted to set an ironic precedent on the new year by not going out the one night the country parties hardest: I party every night as it is, after all, so what’s the difference in one night?

I failed. French_poet and his friend, Swede_friend, came by and pulled me from my piece and my peace. We stopped at Tommies and grabbed some chili burgers; we got to the pre-party at around 10:45. I’d imaginatively attributed the champagne to thinking I was actually in the mood, but the truth was none of us were.  The pre-party headed to the real-party. The real-party was not only horribly boring for us newcomers, but it looked even more boring for the people there with their $5 house party booze wristbands.

We said fuck this and left, French_poet cursing in two languages about how much he hates that crowd now. I told him to deal with it, meanwhile Swede_friend made fun of his French passport and began speaking English with his Swedish trying-to-be French accent as he complained how bored he was.

We were going to stop at Iguana Kelly’s, but the crowd was having too much fun. We called asian_poetess, she was at a party on Redondo and Seventh. She met us outside at the AM/PM with a Bud Light in her hand at 11:44. How do people drink that shit, asian_poetess? The party was full of lesbians and gay guys. I was excited, except that lesbians generally don’t want to talk to me, and gay guys generally all want to fuck me.

I left at 11:52 to go to Bull Bar across the street. They had their own party going on, I couldn’t join in like the depressed youngster I knew I looked like. If I only I truly were him, I’d have sat down and enjoyed a beer, completely lacking any interest in what they thought. So instead, I walked home. I was around two-thirds the distance when the town blew up. I asked myself if that really could have been less than twenty minutes as I looked at my Nokia.

I laughed as I got inside with the pint of Newcastle I’d just purchased—I’m glad the 7-11 clerks don’t give a shit about the holiday either—and smiled at my apartment. My loving, homey, wonderful home. I laughed harder when accidently spilled Tequila in my eye as it left the little Mexican gizmo too fast and dripped out the top.  I smoked a bowl.

And I smiled and smiled, then I chuckled and chuckled, and then I almost laughed and laughed. My holiday of personally-wrought irony was a failure only to succeed itself in being the most ironic in the greatest sense. The Swedes came back over with a six pack of Corona Light—yes, they make that—and we were content. Asian_poetess came over, drunk and the most emotional I’ve ever seen her (which was still not very). I made some music.

They all crashed on the couch.

I woke them up to the Quantic Soul Orchestra’s Feeling Good as loud as it went, as the water for the coffee boiled. They got up. We played piano, French_poet tried to write a poem. Swede_friend played some game on Facebook. He was always bored.

I drove them home, I went shopping. I bought paper towels and toilet paper and sponges but I couldn’t find answers anywhere. I went home and cleaned the house. I waited for spirit_girl to call me.

We had a date, me and spirit_girl. I wondered why she was actually available to hang out on New Year’s day…

Why start a blog? My Internet creativity story.

Why start a blog? When I typed this question into Google during my French Literature After 1945 course a few weeks ago, a variety of themes were found in the results, but reflecting back this morning here on the train to work, I smirk at the realization that the only thing I really remember seeing was the word money: how to make it, why it’ll work, what to do, when to do it, where to focus.

There were also some results on topic: how to choose a topic for your blog? Make sure readers will find it interesting in two or three years, and before you forget to pause and think about it, make sure you’ll find it interesting in two or three years. These rules help narrow one’s scope, but of course there are the other types of blogs that don’t exactly focus on a certain theme or topic: the journal/diary blogs. Those are the fun ones, the LiveJournals (the LJs!) where the emo kids in high school spent time posting their half-assed poetry (and now the hipsters post their half-assed music); where you could stumble upon (no pun intended) a random junior high school girl in Vermont’s diary of her desire for suicide, her concentrated need to be understood…

Today, these blog-journals are but journals. Exciting? Not really, but what intrigues us about blogs anyway? Something keeps us as Americans (dare I generalize and use the word humans instead?) interested in what someone has to say about their personal lives, day after day. I have been reading some sort of “blog” or another since before the term was officially coined by UrbanDictionary or Wikipedia; in fact, before these websites even existed. I’ve read online comics for nearing a decade (oh god, really?), and before that I spent my time in the junior high video game Maxpages/Angelfire web “designing” community. Two things these two branches of websites will always have in common is a blog normally entitled something simple along the lines of “News & Updates,” where the ‘webmaster’ would post updates about what was going on with the website (new design, new pages, new annoying MIDI or enlarged GIF in the background, etc), while posting news going on in the Pokémon or Nintendo world as it arrived (or after IGN wrote about the E3 expo). Not only did I follow my friends and random websites, I had my own!

I loved to update my website, yet never really had a reason to as I rarely wanted to create new pages and search the Internet for CuteFTP 3.0, which was one of those quality pieces of free software that “used- to-be-on-my-old-computer-but-haven’t-found-since-I-got-a-new-one-with-a-whole-128-megs-of-ram.” The day I discovered that I was actually capable of installing Newspro on my Perl based website (Newspro was what us professional seventh graders used for a browser based method of updating our websites, completely modifiable and template-able). I was overjoyed; yet still found nothing to write about, petting my little kitten and watching Toy Story 2 fresh on VHS. I kept my traffic flowing in through my forums, which eventually evolved into something solely for webmasters in my little click.

Sometime after the joysticks and during the online comic phase, I found The Best Page in the Universe and Tucker Max (I found the website of that Real Ultimate Power book too, inspiring me to buy the book, yet I never enjoyed browsing the site itself). They gave me some laughs as I could NEVER imagine either of them possibly being real people (yes, me tucked away in my suburban cave I couldn’t imagine such follies with felatio, or such hatred with preschooler’s artwork).

When BlogSpot and Blogger and WordPress blogs started popping up all over the place—again, emo kids and depressed Goth girls made name to this new fad— I did little besides purposely ignore it—I’ve been using this Internet thing here for YEARS, assholes, and you kids come in here and act like you know it, with your everyday journal? No one wants to read that shit. Why the hell would I, when I could keep refreshing my Hotmail inbox or chat away on AIM, browsing the Fat Wreck Chords catalog searching for a Strung Out shirt I didn’t have and couldn’t afford?

As you will soon read, this plays a vital role in explaining the point I’m trying to reach.
And then Mitch Clem moved all his comics over to his domain, where I discovered that it would be a lot simpler to read the scarcely updated Nothing Nice to Say and Coffee Achievers just by checking his blog, where he would announce if there were a new comic. It was through said blog that I began to understand what this no-longer-new phenomenon was. Mitch Clem was not just a funny-as-punk cartoonist, but an artist who had a LIFE of which he would share intimate details (okay, not so intimate, but I learned that he was moving from Minnesota to Texas) alongside showing his fans his artwork and his comedic standpoint on the whole punk scene that I was so into.

Okay, that last part may have been misleading. I learned what was a blog through the rain of bastards, but I didn’t start reading them. Least I Could Do and PVP kept me coming back for their random words as well as comics, but Penny Arcade or Ctrl-Alt-Del couldn’t do it for me—Tycho’s words were just too extreme for my little brain (ADULTS aren’t actually on the Internet posting COMICS are they?).

I started my own blog—Jordan’s Blog Abroad: France—in fall of 2007 when I moved to France for my sophomore year of college. I began by updating it twice or thrice a week, excited to share my pictures and cultural mishaps and random experiences abroad… Slowly this trickled down to once a week, and by January, after I’d discovered cheap round trip flights to the Netherlands, it turned into a scant once per month—and only because my father’s intercultural communications class was obligated to read and report on it once a month. It was a great way to keep my family updated; plus I got to design and re-design a website again. And then re-design it again. I always loved designing, and I always hated creating content. I’ll go out on a limb and say I’m still the same way in many facets of my life: I love cooking but I hate learning recipes, I love playing music but I hate writing it out and organizing it. I love getting to know a girl through all that special hazy romance but I normally can’t stand her after.

Abstract examples, yes. Valid, maybe.

I never made this blog abroad for the public, however; and this is where I realized I’d fucked up during all those years in high school by ignoring BlogSpot and Blogger and all those who I thought to be but mere depressed folk intruding on my Internet. Had I any idea what I were doing, I could have easily—and I mean easily: what’s not to want to read about a confused twenty-year old virgin wannabe bodybuilder deciding to go study in France with a group of forty girls and seven guys (three of which homosexual), who ended up playing American Football, hitchhiking around France, and taking mushrooms on both Christmas in Amsterdam and his birthday in Den Bosch; all the while forgetting about his girlfriend, his strict diets, college, career? I’m not sure—written and created stimulating content that kept visitors coming back..

Point in case, I could have capitalized. By using one of these free blog services to make an anonymous blog with a name unrelated to my own—so the folks wouldn’t find out, of course—I could have talked about all my smoking sessions in almost ten Western European countries (note to self: write something on this topic), the different bar scenes, the near-sex encounters (note to self: stop kicking yourself over it), the missed planes, and the PEOPLE.

Think about that: hundreds, thousands of visitors coming to see how awesome my life abroad for a year was, seeing pictures of my exploits, and wishing they had the money to do the same thing. Then, at some point, I’d bring up the fact that I had no money, and I did this all on a student loan I have yet to pay back. Does that bum me out? No. Has that affected my life whatsoever? No. Does that change the amazing year I experienced before even turning twenty-one that I’ll never forget?

Of course not.

Now hopefully I’ve made my point somewhat clear: I could have influenced people (positively, mind you). I could have inspired someone—and even if it were solely one person, that would have made it all worthwhile—to go abroad themselves and meet the other people outside the walls that are our borders, immersing themselves in cultures so familiar yet so strange outside of a Disney movie.

Bummer, yes, but I’m not one to mourn. Moving on: so why start a blog, why am I writing right now? You’ve just read my reasoning. I missed out when the pan was hot and now my crêpe batter is sitting in a bowl next to the sink getting moldy and gross. Bad analogy, but if I can’t go back in the past and re-live that year (sometimes I wish I do, sometimes I’m glad I can’t) so I could blog it, the next best thing I can do is start from where I am now: right here. I can only hope I can write words that do anything from inspire to make think to make do…

There you have it: my topic will be to inspire, to make think, and to make do. Everyone can be inspired, so I can only hope some words here and there will do the trick; there’s not much more I can do on that part.

Everyone’s a thinker, but not so many realize how constricted we’re taught—molded— to think, and thus too many thoughts are purely naïve, repetitive and pointless, not contributing to positive change. With any luck, an odd perspective (I label it ‘illusioned’) can spark a few crossed wires and do some untangling.

Not everyone is a doer (this is actually a word, see how odd these letters look next to each other?), but with enough cause and a hint of passion, anyone can be stimulated despite confidence, thought, or justification.

Thus there you have it, welcome to the curse.


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jayurbzz


Another twenty some odd young adult who believes he sees things from a unique perspective. Here be my poetry & prose, short stories, favored school papers, rantings, and "blogs." Comment, critique, and profit.