Starting off slow

I'm undergoing a creative depression. My blog entries have been disproportionately sparse lately, and I'm not exactly sure why.  The sentences aren't stringing together as easily as they have in the past.  The words don't flow out as fluidly.  I guess it's because I've become an active participator in my life, rather than a passive observer.  I literally told myself about six months ago that I wanted to give up on living, and take a backseat to just watch.  Surrender myself over to the mercy of humanity and try to understand it.  I was content with listening and watching.  It caused me to go temporarily insane.  I stopped trying to open my eyes and started trying to sew them shut with every needle and thread that existence would throw at me.  I've found my place, now.  I've found my 16-year-old self, and I don't hate what I see.  That's a Godsend.  The side effect is that I don't have an urge to crank out my inner workings onto paper (or web log) so it's less interesting for you.  I think I'll start taking a more extroverted approach to whatever I write.  

When you hit a cold spot in basketball, a quick fix is to start close to the basket and shoot a few lay-ups until you get the hang of it.  I'm going to restart with a writer's lay-up --- lists.  I love lists.  They're quick, easy, and to the point.  No excess, just the way it should be.  Being that it is the end of the decade, I'm going to make some lists of my favorite things from the 00's.  It's more of a warm up for me.  Oh well.  For now, my top 10 favorite movies of the last 10 years, in alphabetical order

Almost Famous
Before Sunset
Inglourious Basterds
Into the Wild
Lost in Translation
There Will Be Blood
Waking Life

Honorable Mention:
The Aviator
The Departed
Mulholland Dr.
Paranoid Park
Synecdoche, NY


Book Review/Rant : Invisible Monsters

Chuck Palahniuk churns pseudo-intellectual and badly thought out stories all the time, but, after reading his Invisible Monsters, I can attest that it's his worst.  It's supposedly a quick-witted satire on America's obsession with looks and their short attention span, but I had to stretch mine farther that I did when watching Transformers 2 just to finish this piece of pretentious garbage.

It's offensive just to be offensive, shocking just to be shocking.  Maybe Palahniuk is under the false impression that when he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about he can just throw in an explicit and usually disgusting sex reference just to wake the reader up.

Even his picture on the back cover is pretentious.  He stands in a deep brood, pondering about the darkness of the world that he's been forced into.  Please.  He cashed in on the Fight Club movie deal years ago, so now he writes like he's some modern visionary.  Even the adaption of that book, somehow named one of the top 10 movies of the 90's by some, is horribly overrated.  It's over two hours of sadistic beatings shown almost pornographically followed by a a broad social statement that barely makes sense.  Wait, what did I just watch? An allegory to society's obsession with violence and man's need for primal activity to break out of the Establishment's cage? Oh, I was under the impression that I was watching Brad Pitt and Edward Norton kick people in the face for 120 minutes and then attempt to justify it with a half thought out philosophy.  Maybe that's just me, though.

Back to Invisible Monsters.  It centers around a model whose jaw is brutally shotgunned off, and her transsexual friend who's about to become a "fully woman."  At least I think that's what it's about.  Palahniuk makes sure to gimmick it up, like always.  Here, the book will be "just like a fashion magazine."  In other words, instead of attempting to (God forbid) write a coherent novel, he's going to jump around and tell you whatever he wants, whenever he wants.  It's quite a cop-out, and does absolutely nothing to help the story.   I'm actually a big fan of non-linear story telling when it's done correctly (Pulp Fiction and Magnolia are two of my favorite movies), but here there's no emotional arc, either.  It's just go here, watch this, go there, watch that.  It has no meaning besides a pathetic speech on materialism that Palahniuk has to tack on the last page so that the Nietzsche college kids will call it another post-modern masterpiece.  Stick with brooding, Palahniuk.  You're better at mysteriously staring off into the distance than writing anything worthwhile.


Look at me, I'm brooding

Synesthesia-  a neurologically-based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.

The smell of the air changes when the trees go bare and the grass turns tan. It has a synesthesiac effect on me. It's cold and energetic, and it sets off this chain reaction of memories that I would never think of in the summer when the air is thick. It flashes red and blue. It has a prickly smell. Christmases and winters from the past pop into my head. The earliest ones are the happiest. The cul-de-sac I used to live in would be completely covered in snow, and I would wake up as early as possible so that I could see the pureness of it before all of the footprints smashed in their steep depressions. I covered up and put my boots on and stepped one foot into the street and listened to the crunch of wetness and backed up so that I could see my single mark in the whiteness. The older the memory, the purer it is. I distinctly remember doing that. Nothing else was there. Only the snow and I and the houses. 

Christmas has lost so much of it's wonder. I can't actually think about it without thinking of the marketing ploy that it so obviously is. That's so depressing. The word Christmas is flashes of money, cash registers, the sound of  a completed transaction. Three foot long receipts and rolled up lights. I cling on to Christmas because it's the only day of the year that never changes. It's a ritual of innocence. Every year a little of it is chipped away by some new experience.

The smell of cigarette smoke reminds me of Christmas morning at my grandparents' house. It flashes white and gold. A Marlboro carton. Their house is musty and warm and everything seems to be coated with dog slobber. Cigarette smoke never held a negative connotation to me because I've been around it my whole life. It's actually calming to me. The oldest smells are still the purest.

The smell of church incense reminds me of Hell. Or at least the descriptions of it. In the seventh grade, when I was twelve years old, I distinctly remember a day at my Catholic school. We went to an early morning mass, and the homily was on the pains of Hell. When we got back to the classroom, our religion teacher decided to make a lesson out of the sermon. He smiled and in his usual energetic voice said "Hell is a scary place to be! The writer Dante once wrote about the several layers of hell. The physical torment of it is unimaginable to a human being! In one layer, people are lined up along a rotating platform. Every few feet lies a demon that cuts off tiny parts of your body until you're nothing, and then you are regenerated so that the process can go on for eternity! Another layer of Hell forces the sinner to wear a golden cloak, unbearably heavy, while they try futilely to push a rock to the top of a mountain. Repent for your sins in the sacrament of Reconciliation so that you can spend a lifetime in paradise rather than eternal damnation."

The class was petrified. Most twelve year olds let lessons such as these imprint deep into their psyche, just like they let early Christmas mornings creep into their consciousness. That lesson has never left me. Even when I grow further away from religion as a whole, there's something deep, deep down in me that reaches back to the church. It isn't love. It isn't hate. It's cowardice. Fearful, pathetic cowardice that was instilled in me from the earliest Religion class. The only reason I would resort back to the Catholic Church is because of Pascal's wager, that believing in God is safer than not believing in him, because if he does exist, I can get to heaven. How pathetic. This obsessions for an eternal paradise also breeds an egocentricity. That's what the Church is based on. I am special. God created me in his image. If I'm a good boy here on earth, I can go on vacation for eternity. Christmas mornings and Mass. I stopped believing in Santa Claus because I realized it was a ridiculous tradition. Would I be so quick to disregard old Kris Kringle if I was threatened with being shot? Take me back to before religion. When the whiteness of the cul-de-sac was all that was the only thing on my mind. The purest memories I have have nothing to do with being "pure."


The Big Suit Philosopher

I love the Talking Heads. At first glance, they look like a prototypical 80's band, complete with synthesizers, ridiculous outfits, and up-tempo beats. David Byrne's voice encompasses all of the shitty music that goes with, in my mind, the worst decade for music of all time. For some reason, I decided to give them a chance. Dear God I'm glad I did. They transcend the cheesiness. It's unlike anything I've ever heard. They thrive off of Byrne's energy, lyrics, and overall uniqueness. Watch the following video and just try to tell me you aren't interested.

(Skip to 1:03 if you don't want to watch the credits)


Cheesy? Maybe. It's also concert perfection.
This is all besides the point I originally had in mind for this blog post.

I was listening to a specific song from them, "Heaven." And the lyrics really stuck out to me.

Everyone is trying to get to the bar.
The name of the bar, the bar is called Heaven.
The band in Heaven, they play my favorite song.
They play it once again, play it all night long.

Heaven, Heaven is a place
a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.
Heaven, Heaven is a place
a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.

There is a party, everyone is there.
Everyone will leave at exactly the same time.
Its hard to imagine that nothing at all
could be so exciting, could be so much fun.

Heaven, Heaven is a place
a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.
Heaven, Heaven is a place
a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.

When this kiss is over it will start again.
It will not be any different, it will be exactly
the same.
It's hard to imagine that nothing at all
could be so exciting, could be this much fun.

Heaven, Heaven is a place
a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.
Heaven, Heaven is a place
a place where nothing, nothing ever happens. 

It's so thought provoking. So direct. Definitely not your typical 80's band lyrics. Is heaven boring? It seems in my "human and mortal" mind it would be. The impurities of an imperfect world provide most of the excitement that gets me through the day. Imagine spending eternity at a church picnic. I can't wait! It seems that the only fun of parish functions is when they break out the beer and say things they know they shouldn't. Or think of the perfect person in your class. Funny, smart, nice, and perfect. How long could you stand being stuck in a room with them? Imperfection is excitement, so, by definition, perfection is boredom. I think I just cracked the case on why girls like douche bags. And I did it with my own logic. Damnit.


Southern Gentlemen

Frat. It's the Catholic High lifestyle. In short, it's polo shirts, Sperries, wearing backwards hats, golfing, drinking a lot of beer, and being generally obnoxious. The actual word pertains to the fraternities found in colleges, but it has morphed into its own sect of humanity. It's like the opposite of indie. What does it mean to really be "frat", though? I decided to observe a select group of individuals in their natural habitat of an all-male institution to dig deep into their inner workings. Not surprisingly, there isn't much to it. These findings are proven scientifically.

First, if you yourself wanted to see what it was like to be a frat, there are a few pointers to tell about before you're on your way. Obviously, you would stop reading this blog. Conveyance of any kind of individual opinion or emotion will get you kicked out immediately. It's the equivalent of murder. Now, these are a few ways to mask yourself in the proper frat way.

1.) Dress like you just received a large inheritance from your father, who is presumably some sort of oil tycoon or major league baseball owner. Make sure everyone realizes how wealthy you are.

2.) Pretend you're on the way to play 9 holes all the time. It doesn't really matter if you've ever played golf.  You need to always have a few clubs in your car, just in case.

3.) Speaking of cars, only the following are acceptable: 4 Runners, Range Rovers, Sports Cars, Denalis, and really loud and/or tall pick up trucks. There are a few exceptions. If you have any kind of truck, take the muffler off and it will be fratified. Or a few "Ducks Unlimited" stickers will usually suffice. If you have a car, make it obnoxious somehow. Get creative (but not too creative. That's frowned upon.)

4.) Everything you say should be seemingly nonchalant, but in reality so over the top that it seems that you're trying to compensate for something (and if you're wanting to be frat, then you probably are).

5.) This is probably the most important.  Make sure you carry yourself with an unearned sense of accomplishment. Flaunt your pink polos, your Oakleys, your mounted ducks, your golf clubs, your money clip, and the keys to your speed boat.

6.) If you find yourself getting out fratted in a conversation, there are a few fall back phrases that are always acceptable, these include "Bro", "I heaaaaard that", "What it do", "That's so frat", "What a bitch!", "You gettin' your dick wet?", and "Dude, 30 pack, this weekend." Or, you can just incorporate the word frat into the sentence. This helps if you just said something really "faggy".


Guy #1: Bro, you goin to Fay Town this weekend?

Guy #2: I might, but there's this film festival I may go to upstate.

Guy #1: Hahaha what the fuck dude? Just come out of the closet now.

Guy #2: Uhhh no it'll be frat, trust me. The girls there have huge tits.

Guy #2 has just saved himself from looking like a fool with that second sentence.

I'll finish collecting my findings and post part 2 later, but there's one more thing. If ever you find yourself looking for a Christmas present for a frat person, I have found, undeniably, the greatest frat present ever. Go get a six foot aquarium, cover it in Camouflage, and put it under said frat person's tree. It's large, unnecessary, expensive, and, most importantly, completely void of substance. What's more frat than that?


Cosmo vs. Columbine

I will never be the best. At anything, ever. Not at writing, or writing blogs, or writing about writing blogs, or writing about not being the best at anything ever. Someone has written what I'm writing now in a much clearer, more profound way. This is such a depressing thought to me. What's the point of living if I'm always in the middle of the pack? It really takes the insignificance of me as a person and shoves it back in my face. I'm insignificant in my community, the only reason I try to achieve something is to prove my worth to myself.  I'm insignificant in your life. Don't deny it, it's alright. You might not know me, except through my writing. You might know me really well. Either way, I'm just a fleeting, peripheral character in a life that will have thousands of them. The only life that I'm not insignificant in is my own. So the point of my own existence is to prove to myself that I have proven my own existence. I need proof. Proof I was here, so I can be set free of a mortal time frame. For my grandma, the proof is a tombstone on a mossy, rundown field. For Janis Joplin, it's the music that I'm listening to right now. We think our lives are a contest to see how long we can go without being forgotten. It's that artistic entropy that makes me go crazy. Why would you remember me? This isn't the best thing you've read today. Not by a long shot. Why wouldn't it leave your head the second you finish the last sentence?

I have to realize that my life will be forgotten in a nanosecond. So what does that leave me? A life turns into a Cosmopolitan magazine. Superficial. Empty of substance, but full of the in-your-face, important-in-an-embarrassing-way material that you look at underneath the covers and realize that this might be the only thing you have to live by.

Spot a Man Who Wants to Be Approached

 *He [wants to be approached if] he flaunts his junk.
   When a guy wants to meet a woman, he'll unknowingly position his body so that his package is as visible as possible. Often, he'll rest his foot on an elevated surface, like the rung of a bar stool, and point his knee out to let his crotch take center stage.
---Cosmopolitan Magazine, page 68

Does anyone really need to know that bit of information? Obviously not. It's entertaining, humorous, and might make a few girls try it out. Cosmopolitan is a filth magazine for women, but you can't help but snicker at what's on it's pages. You love to look down on it. We love to look down on things that scare us. Is Cosmo the one that has it right, though? Maybe the emptiness is importance. Maybe the dumb redneck knows what he's doing. Maybe numbing the pain of existence is the only thing that will help you forget that it's going to end and it's never going to be remembered again.

Exhibit A. The Columbine Massacre. Reality. No one knows what went through the heads of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold when they killed 13 bystanders and then themselves. Analysts upon Psychologists upon Pundits blamed the massacre on everything from childhood trauma to videogames. Maybe these kids knew that the news would be analyzing them. The first day of journalism class I heard the phrase "If it bleeds, it leads". God Damnit if that story didn't lead for a year straight. I still know their names. Morality thrown out the window, I still know their names. Does that make them more successful than me? In a way I think it does.

Cosmopolitan, and magazines like it, help us focus on the superficiality of sex or drugs or anything else without "salvific" characteristics. They help us stay in a bubble so that we don't end up like Dylan and Eric. That's alright with me. Superficiality becomes reality when reality is superficial.


Four years of Catholic High summarized in one exchange

why so happy?
haha i dont really know
just in a good mood i guess


The Savage Decision

I don't know what's wrong with me lately. I usually just like writing about my opinions but lately I've been taking my thoughts and putting them in the form of a story.  I'm sorry if this is too pretentious for you, but I really thought it out so I thought I'd share.  Comment and tell me if I should trash it.

The Savage Decision

Beneath and among the scratchy branches and lacerative blades of leaves lay a man who was content with laying there.  He was hardly a man, more of a primate who needed no esteem nor belonging nor any other necessity of societal existence.  As he awoke, he stood awkwardly and ran towards the nearest pond and drank some murky water and sat down and looked ahead.  The thoughts in his head weren't the thoughts that could be translated into any kind of communicative noises, but instead were the thoughts of an orangutan or dog.  How will he eat, what will today entail, how will he survive until he lays again amongst the trees.  His purpose was not purposeful. It was the purpose of someone not shadowed by the darkness of a need for purpose.  His purpose was to live as long as possible before he naturally aided the food chain of the other equal animals.  He was content with this, but, then, he was content with everything.  Everything was natural, everything had a purpose in itself and it's purpose was to survive.  The ants, trees, clouds, air, rain, it all just survived.

So the routine came and came again, and he was content.  It didn't wear him, because there was no alternative to survival.  Everyday meant something in that it was another victory of life.  He didn't know any others like him, he was the lone man in a wooded place inhabited by food and predators, not friends or enemies, just other survivors.  He was content without having companions.  He didn't know how he came into existence, nor did the question ever cross his mind.  If the question did come into his thoughts, he probably wouldn't care.  He was content with survival, content with the dirt, content with his natural place in this savage society.  Savage in its activities, but civil in its reasoning.  Murders become necessary predatory captures when the murder can't be avoided.  He wasn't happy because emotions were useless.  He wasn't a drone, though.  He was alive, at least for the day that he thought.

One day he woke up to a piercing scream in his brain and looked down and saw that his three biggest toes were being ripped off.  He knew he was finished.  He had survived and won for a long time, but this is when he would finally be the fertilizer and food for the scavengers.  The man was content with this.  The beast made his way up towards his heart and ripped it out violently, and the man saw it and smiled.  The second he died his soul rose out of his body.  He looked down at the scene in confusion.

Nevertheless, his eternal and sacred soul continued to rise, and his thoughts became more concrete and more understandable to him.  He glided past the clouds and the stars and the moon and the rain and the other things he never took for granted, until he screeched and stopped.

Above and beyond the world and its people stood a man who was not content with standing.  He looked around, for the first time in his life looking at something he had never seen before. An industrial gate on top of a cloud not full of rain.  Other people, with glowing faces and smiles walking forward.  One man on a pedestal standing before the pearly metal gate.  Stand before me and kneel and let me check your sins, He barked. The man understood him in his glorified state and obliged. The man on the pedestal began again:

Murder after murder after murder.  Masturbation, raping the earth, and bestiality of all things! Despicable! You are not worthy to enter the kingdom of Yahweh!  How could you be so inhuman? The Lord Almighty has died for your sins and this is how you pay your dues?  

Then again. You are an uneducated man.  A poor, desolate soul not deserving of such harsh judgement.  How will you defend yourself? What have you to say to gain entrance into Eden?

The savage man stood up.  He stared at this man for a long second.  He frowned and stared at the ground and began to speak for the first time.

I am not ashamed of what I have done.  I was content.  At peace with myself and my surroundings.  I don't need to prove my worth by receiving the reward of this place.  What is it's purpose? To have eternal life?  Selfishness!  I was content with the dirt and the trees and the harmony of my home.  It was a home.  A Godless, beautiful home.  And I wish that I could stay there, dead body and dead soul forever.  This place is useless to me.

The judge became enraged and curious.  He looked the savage beast up and down several times before banging his gavel and saying.

Then you are not sorry for the crimes you have committed?  Heresy!  You are a goat if I have ever seen one! The ultimate paradise is no place for a beast like you.  God accepts you with open arms and you deny him!  That is the quintessential factor of sin, don't you see?  Jesus Christ might have passion, but I know where men like you belong.  Gehenna!  For eternity!

The man continued staring at his feet.  He fell into a lake of fire that burned his toes and heart.  He stared up towards his home.  And wished.  Wished that he could just be dead, because he was no longer content.  He could never be content again.


Sorry in advance

I'm sorry.... I couldn't think of anything to write so I continued my last post. This is the last one, I promise.

Chapter 2

On the corner of Yale and Second is a school with four hundred students. Ninth through twelfth grade, none of them can stand it for one second. It's one of those schools that, in the sixties when the Usuals built it for two hundred thousand dollars, must have looked futuristic. Now it looks dated and dusty, like a science exhibit from nineteen fifty six. The students share a similar sentiment. The teaching techniques were trendy when the school was brought up. Backhand rap-pings, public embarrassment, and other corporal punishment that only a school with a reputation for discipline can possibly justify. Uniforms, punishment, a mass of masks disguising the very individuality that threatens to poison the foundation. Here is where a hero is born, that rises above the toxic air of oppression and stands with chest puffed and gawks at the authority that attempts to enslave him. No such hero is bred in this place. No such hero is needed for the lives of all four hundred students to run smoothly and slyly, slipping between the gaps of their pencils and their ears, studiously awaiting the next weekend so they can get consume whatever they can find and escape for a few hours. Monday morning is back to business, though. No questions asked. No such questions are needed for the lives of the 16-1 ratio faculty members to smoothly run through their job. Why complicate things. Twenty ruler taps train the slobs for society. Twenty ruler taps to save the world.

Tuesday, the drizzle dampens the decks where the masses wait for the bell to puncture their ears and hopes. Nihilism is instilled subconsciously in every wanderer there. They just have to reach the end. Just have to finish to Friday. No heroes, few people, but some remain, some resilient residents remain intact. They don't stand under the cover of the pathway between the two corridors. They stand in the cool rain and let their clothes get wet. They look up into the sky and curse God and let the rain fall on their faces and let it sting their eyes and let it make them uncomfortable. They smile a smile that is hard to define. A smile that tells the masses that they are ali
ve and they don't wait for Friday to live. No heroes, no questions, just people. People are a necessity


I hate being grounded

Soft rainy overcast. That day where the car ahead's brake lights blur six inches past the bumper through the window in the haze. Little droplets and their red borders creeping down those glass eyes like tears until they're wiped away. The red. It's good. It's the only color in a somber palette of gray. It's that winter rain, where the air smells like evergreen. The city sedated, the music quiet, something happens. The Usuals with their eyes on their three-stripe adidas tennis shoes look up.  The Usuals, who have never played tennis, look around. At puddles on the ground and the walls that shield the crawling cars. Lack of shadows that make everything blend into a utopia of melancholy. The Usuals perk up for some reason. The world is changing pace, so should they, they think, they know, they act. Generics playing in the Usuals stereo. They turn it down. They think, they figure, they listen. They listen to the road. To the cars driving by them. How their cars bend like elastic back and forth every time a van goes speeding by. Today, they think. Today is the day that they break away, they think. They know. They wish. The gray is too much. Eyes, half open, the Usuals sip their Folgers and think. They look around, maybe for the first time in a week. Maybe a year. Maybe a lifetime. Foot alternating, pedal to pedal, stop go, stop go, they look, they hope. They hope for a car accident. Maybe something graphic. Today, it's the day. Pretty soon the sun comes out and the brake lights damper, the droplets evaporate, the red is thrown back into the palette of supposed brightness. The Usuals, their half horizontal lips fold into the pissed off crescendo that they enjoy so much. The worms who lacked oxygen find their way to the sidewalk. They fry. The Usuals didn't notice. The worms, whose lives ended so that the Usuals could see. They did, for a minute. They saw, they noticed, they hoped. They forgot. And then there will come soft rains.

The first chapter of a book I'll never write. I sat down and forced myself to write something because I'm so bored. Oh my God I'm so bored.


Four letter words

You know that split second when nothing matters? When the immediate present is the only thing that exists? I love that moment. I'm in one. I'm sitting outside, reading The Grapes of Wrath for school (oh my god it's so good), and listening to the radio. It's that hole in time where every thought comes with "Fuck it." I love that the best moments in my life are the moments where the only thing that matters to me is the scene that I'm in. It's the only time we can see through all of the bullshit of routine.

Fuck routine. Fuck everything except John Steinbeck's descriptions of dirt. Fuck everything except George Harrison's guitar and John Lennon's voice. Fuck everything except the tires of the car that drives by, and the sound they make smashing the pebbles of leftover bricks from the construction site next door. Fuck everything but the conspicuously open door of the house across the street. Fuck everything except for this damp lawn chair that makes everything more uncomfortable. Fuck everything except the TV I can see through the window playing "The Brady Bunch". Fuck everything except the spider getting a few inches too close to my leg. Fuck it. Fuck you. Fuck everything except the pretentious keystrokes that are channeling out my fingers. Fuck everything except my porch light that's a little too bright for a night like this. Fuck everything except the sweltering humidity, making breathing just hard enough to notice that it's harder than it normally is. Fuck everything that I'm not experiencing right now. The second I start caring, the second I snap out of it.So I just won't care. Fuck caring.

And most of all, fuck chemistry.
Shit. The moment is over.


High Plains Drifter

Well, I'm grounded. It's interesting. It takes me back to my childhood, because the "stern" punishment that is stricken down on me reminds me of the innocence that it usually coincides with it. Like being sent to time out. Or being sent to my room. After a certain point, punishment ceases to actually punish you, and instead fuels rebellion. Punishment is to program your brain that a certain action causes a certain negative effect. Like the experiment where one door knob is electrified. After a certain point, punishment is pointless. If someone's morals aren't up to the standards of parents now, making them stay in a room for a week isn't going to change that. It's going to inflame it.

Not to say that I'm mad. I probably deserve it. Having people over and letting them drink all of my parents' alcohol probably wasn't the smartest idea. I'm okay with the fact that my parents think they have an inherent need to correct my misstep. Whatever. It's more so that they can feel that they're doing a good job as guardians than it is to teach me a lesson, but I understand that completely.

I'm getting off topic.

Innocence. That's what I'm reminded of. What is it? Is it ignorance or wisdom? It feels like every step away from it is one step closer to the end, and one farther from the beginning. It's a mixed feeling. My life is episodic depending on moods and impulse. I can be quixotic one day, and introverted the next. I'm always going after innocence, in one way or another, though. It's subconscious most of the time.  Apparently there's a pattern. It goes innocence, then sin and experiences, then higher innocence. I think that concept is interesting. I guess it means that we have to spend our lives trying to figure out what makes us happy before we finally get to some final truth. If only it could all tie up that nicely.

What am I going to do for the next week of imprisonment? Probably let the computer and TV numb my sense of time. Zone out every day. Become really apathetic. I don't know what good will actually come of it.

 I need a project that will be productive. Maybe try to make some non-pretentious blog posts for once? Nah, being pretentious is too much fun.


A ridiculous observation

People aren't always what they seem. You've heard that a thousand times, I'm sure. I figure a cliche is a good way to open up a discussion on one of the most un-PC pop singers in the last few years. Lady Gaga. That's right. I'm writing about Lady Gaga. I have despised her for several months, ever since Poker Face. She was the next step down, following Soulja Boy, on the death of popular music. Her videos are slutty in a robotic way, she never blinks, and begs to be objectified. She thrives on objectivity. The supposed ambiguity of her sex adds to this. It's almost if she isn't a real person. It's almost as if she doesn't want to be.

Then comes her bizarre performances on the VMA's. There's something about her. She's being weird for weird's sake. Why else would she wear something like this?

Something caught me as strange, and it wasn't the strangeness of her. It was her reasoning. Why is she doing this? It's obvious. That's the only way anyone will remember her. The Britney Spears era has come and gone. Lady Gaga tried something new. And it's working. Does it make me like Poker Face more? Not at all. She could be iconic, though.

This was all going through my head when me and Lindsey were watching her performance on Saturday Night Live. She started her second song in usual Lady Gaga-form. She pretty much wore underwear, with a rotating, metal orb thing surrounding her. It was pretty intimidating. Then, something happened that I didn't expect. She sat down (awkwardly, she still had a giant metal orb surrounding her) at a piano. And just started playing. Belting these blues that I had no idea she was capable of. It wasn't about "disco sticks" or anything else ridiculous either. It was heartfelt. Autobiographical. Epic. It went on for what seemed like 10 minutes. She was slapping the world in the face, as if to say "Look at me. I am a real musician, and this is the only way I can be heard." It's tragic that this is what people have to do to be recognized in today's ADD society. Her piano playing was pretty amazing, but all people remember her for is her fucking hat that looked like an animal eating her head. Lady Gaga is parodying an extreme image that people today love to point at and laugh and say "that's fucked up". It's fucked up, all right. Just not in the way you think. She's playing you. Lady Gaga might just be a genius.

That's right. I came to the conclusion that Lady Gaga is a genius. She's destroying pop music, but making millions doing it. Good for her. It's too long gone to be saved, anyways.

And yes, I did just spend several paragraphs obnoxiously psycho-analyzing Lady Gaga.

The performance that changed my mind.


Too many topics....

I always have little spurts of inspiration for blog post ideas. I can never find a way to flesh them out to a whole story, and have no way to string them together coherently, so I've decided to cheat. Here are a few mini-blogs.

Sin and The Scarlet Letter

I'm reading The Scarlet Letter for my themes class. It's really getting to me. Hawthorne does this whole examination of sin exercise, and I find myself feeling for Reverend Dimmesdale. He committed adultery, but that's the just the first step of his descent. His guilt gets greater and greater until he despises himself, and that's what finally throws him overboard. Is everything I do just another floor down the elevator of Hell? Am I fooling myself? I think that, and then I end up despising religion for making me feel that way. And then I think that maybe me despising religion is the whole point of sin in the first place. And on it goes.

I go to CYM at my church for a variety of reasons. I don't see myself as a Christian, or anything else, but I like to go there because the people want to do good. Also, I like listening to speakers and discussions as a skeptic. With a "Okay, let's see what you can do to change my mind" mentality. It's interesting. My mind is still unchanged. I'll probably always be gravitating to one side or the other. I can't think of anything that anyone could say to have me sold either way. Whether that's open mindedness or eternal damnation, I won't know until I die.

The Generation Gap

Ask anyone who knows me, and they'll attest to how much I love Roger Ebert's writing. He's an inspiration to me. I read his blog, movie reviews, and books regularly. So imagine my surprise last week, when I went to his blog, and saw that he mentioned me. Roger-fucking-Ebert. I was ecstatic. I'll post the link, in case you want to look. Anyways, I needed to show someone. Maybe I'd let my mom in on a tiny piece of my life, because sometimes I feel bad for pretty much shutting her out from everything. I showed her, not knowing what she would say.

This is almost verbatim.

"Wow!" Silence-reading the paragraph, and excerpt- "Well.... what you wrote is pretty scary. Do you need to talk to me about something? That's cool, though."

Really? I come to show her, obviously excited, and the first thing she does is ostracize me for writing a paragraph about me having a thought process? I'm not sure what to say about that. I don't have a point. I was just downtrodden about it. Do people lose their curiosity after they hit 40? If so, then my worst fears have been confirmed.

 Link to Ebert's blog (it's got my picture and everything!)

Writing on a happy day

I'm not nearly as good at writing when I'm in a good mood, like today. I don't have the same fervor or vividness that I have when I'm pissed off or sad. So what does that mean? I don't think I want to know.

I have to start writing this newspaper story soon. I'm working on a communist newspaper. The only way they'll put something I write in is if it makes my school look like some world-class institution. They always have to be the number one something in the state. Now I'm rambling. Then again, this entire thing is me rambling. Here's a quote from a song that I'm addicted to:

"And when we break, we'll wait for our miracle
God is a place where some holy spectacle lies 
And when we break, we'll wait for our miracle
God is a place you will wait for the rest of your life"  -Neutral Milk Hotel


My first robbery, my first guilt, and my first life goal.

I'm in a reminiscent mood. It rarely happens. Yesterday when I wrote a few memories I had from years ago, it felt good. I think I've kept those years locked up in some spider web-by part of my brain because I don't like to remember it. I always say "I never was really alive until I was 13, because that's when I learned to think for myself." That's not entirely true, but it helps give me a reason to not revisit the earliest remembrances I have. I think I'll rifle off a few other ones therapeutically. You can be my counselor.

When I was probably 5, I had a dentist's appointment. I couldn't stand the dentist. He was always drilling and giving me gross tooth paste. This time was different, though. After the routine cavity-checking and teeth-cleaning, I was introduced to the treasure chest. It was glorious. It was a new addition at musty Dr. Cloud's office, which, looking back, seems huge. The lobby must have had a capacity of at least 400. And there were clouds on the walls. I think. The place later burned down. It probably wasn't all that big, anyways.

Back to the treasure chest. It really looked like a treasure chest. In my head, it was about four feet long, three feet tall, and locked tight. The dentist unlocked it, just for me, because I was so good obviously. The contents were as breathtaking as their container. Stuffed animals, action figures, candy bars, and every other reward I could imagine was in there. After much deciphering, I narrowed it down to either one of those shitty Styrofoam airplanes that you have to put together (the ones that are ridiculously flimsy, then when you finally wedge the pieces together and throw it, it hits the ground with such a huge impact that it breaks in two) and a little sticky blue figurine (the kind that you're supposed to throw at the window, and it 'climbs' down. It usually gets dirt particles on it by the third throw, though). How was I supposed to pick between two gifts of such great quality? I simply couldn't. I put the blue-guy in my back pocket and told the dentist I had chosen the one-throw airplane.

We got in the car, I buckled myself in my booster seat, and we left. I think we were still in the parking lot when I pulled the blue-guy out of my pocket, and my mom realized I took both.

"Do you know what you just did?" She asked.
"Uhhhh. Lied?"
"No. You stole. You took something that wasn't yours."

I knew what stealing was, but it hadn't dawned on me that that was the crime I had just committed. I had lied before, sure, but stealing was something in an entirely different vein. People who stole wore ski masks and black and white striped shirts. They broke into good guy's houses and took their money. I didn't want to be one of them.

"Am I a bad guy now?" I questioned.
"Well, you're not a bad guy, but you did something that wasn't good."
"Oh. So I'm both? Like The Incredible Hulk?"
"No. Just apologize."

I like that when I was small, everything was so black and white. You were either good or bad. That's all everything was. You could describe something as "good" or as "bad" and that's all you needed.

We went back, I apologized and gave back the plane (which I had opened. I'm pretty sure one of the wings was ripped). I felt terrible. It was a silent car ride home, I think. I just sat in my room when we got back to the old house. I buried my head in the pillow, and repeated "I don't want to be the bad guy. I don't want to be the bad guy. I don't want to be the bad guy." That's all I did that day, just pounded those words into my head until they were the root of every thought I had. Ideally, I like to think they still are.


My aspirations, my first rebellion, and the sound track from a dull childhood.

Either my memory is terrible, or my childhood was fairly empty. I'm leaning towards the latter. In my brain, I have 15-20 vivid, random memories, and the rest are fragmented pictures or emptiness. I guess I would still technically be in my "childhood", but I don't really want to dwell on that. The strange thing is that each of these memories has a certain song that's super-glued to it. Maybe I heard it on the radio while the event happened, but whatever the reason, they go hand and hand. I didn't choose the songs, this is just how my brain works.

The first conversation I remember is one with my mom. She asked me playfully what I wanted to be when I grew up. Probably to her disappointment, I answered, "A clown!" She said "A clown? They don't make much money. How about a doctor?" A doctor? How boring, I thought. I pondered the idea for a bit, and when she asked me again, I replied "I want to be a clown doctor!" Was this a clown dressed up as a doctor, a doctor who worked as a clown part time, or literally a doctor with a specialty for treating clowns? I'm not sure why, but the memory coincides with "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf

A memory that keeps coming back to me is of a specific day in first grade. I barely had any friends at this time, and my best one didn't go to school with me. I remember having the worst day possible in Mrs. Blair's class (At the time she was Miss Love-no. I don't remember the spelling, just the pronunciation. I hated her so much at the time). It was recess, and there was no way I was going outside to face those damn kids, so I went to the library and just started reading. I was really into Shel Silverstein. I think I was reading "Falling Up". It felt like I stayed for hours. I got in one of those book trances, where time slows down and you don't even seem to be reading the words, instead they're jumping out into this place in your sub conscience specifically meant for reading. That place that realizes that the words beaming up into your head are more important than any ritualistic, bull shit mechanical task you're going to be forced to do during the day. I think this is the first time I felt a genuine disregard for authority. It was the first time in a long while that I was happy. That's right, I was a depressed first grader. How is that even possible? Anyways, the next thing I remember is Miss Love-no's screeching twenty-something year old voice in my ear. Apparently I needed permission to go to the library, and I had stayed for there 30 minutes after recess had ended. The song that goes with it? "With a Little Help from My Friends" by Joe Cocker. How ironic.

Later that day, my friend at home, Aaron, introduced me to the concept of 'bad words'. I knew they existed, but never dared say one. He, being a big fourth grader, suggested that we do something called the 'bad word of the day', where we were allowed to whisper a sentence with a bad word in it, as long as it was just once a day and we kept it a secret. Aaron started: "Shit!" he said with a little too much excitement. He let it linger for a second. It was like he had been thinking for days about how he would contort his lips to get the full effect of the word when he was finally able to whisper it.

I giggled for a few moments, then decided I'd give it a shot. "Fuck Miss Love-no!".  I've never seen Aaron's eyes open as wide as they did after I said it.


An introvert's lament

I am in the most introverted state I've been in since... probably ever.  The last few days I've been in this existential funk like I've never been in before. I like to think of myself as thoughtful, but never like this.  It's gotten to the point where I'm annoyed with myself.  I can't get out of my own head.  My head physically feels like it's compressed. Like it's about to explode.  The world around me is inconsequential.  This is a dangerous state to be in, obviously, but I'm embracing it because I think it's just a stage.

I'm trying to sort things out.  Every doubt I have comes with a thought, and every thought comes with doubt, and so on and so on in this never ending cycle of confusion, paradoxes, and contradictions.  I want to be one thing one day, and one thing the next. Is that wrong? Or maybe I am nothing. Maybe I want to be nothing.  Is that cowardly?  I don't think so.  It's not atheistic, anarchist, or any other 'ist'. That's the point. I ridicule the "Fuck Authority" crowd, and ridicule authority itself. Where do I fall? Religion has been on my mind a lot lately, but I think it needs to take a back seat.  There are so many other things that I have to find out about myself before religion comes into play.  I don't know who I want to be.

And this is how it goes.  I ask myself questions, give myself answers, question those answers, answer those questions, and question the answers of the questions to the original answer of the original question.  Dear God.  I really need to chill out..... Or do I?

Shit. And the cycle continues.


What's the most universal characteristic-- fear or laziness?

I had a terrible day today.  I'm still half-sick, but I don't think that's the only reason.  I had a realization-or maybe a reminder- that every day is the same.  It's so easy to drone, or "be an ant" as one of the videos I'm going to post puts it.  I get up, get dressed, drink a cup of coffee, get to school, and zone out.  Chemistry, Algebra, History, Music Survey, American English history, it's all so left-brain, so dead.  I couldn't care less about any of it.  I always look forward to the last class of the day, though, my Themes of Literature class.  It's the only class that's alive, where kids are actually interested, and where the teacher doesn't just stare at a book and lecture.

It's the only class that I leave with a headache, in a good way.  Like my brain is throbbing with new information.  I never really learn anything, but I think.  Today, I thought.

There's a certain guy in my class- let's call him Heath- that thinks he has the answers.  The answers to everything (I'm sure he'd deny this if I asked him, though).  He's extremely and rigidly Catholic, to the point of annoyance.  Good for him, whatever, but it's so trite, so boring to answer every question with "faith in God, it's in the bible, it's in the Catechism, look at the Church teachings, ask a priest".  I don't want to know everything.  How depressing is the thought that we already have all of the answers? What's the point of living?  I'd much rather think that there are things to explore.  That I have something to learn.  That I can form how I want to believe, and go off of the beaten path without 'sinning' or having to go ask forgiveness for being fucking curious.  I'm tired of it.  I'm Catholic, sure, but not to the point that I think it's the tried and true religion.  There might be something else out there, and I'm open to it.  To not be is a complete waste of a mind.

So I go home annoyed and bored.  I feel terrible, so I turn on the TV and find a movie on that I haven't seen in a couple years called Waking Life. It's a movie that's a dream, full of conversations of different people (or, I guess, parts of one person) inside of it.  I love this movie.  It's pretentious, full of itself, and knows that it doesn't have any answers.  Just thoughts.  And that's what I want.  It's definitely awake, and in an hour and a half of watching it I undid all of the frustration that came out of listening to people like Heath.

Knowing nothing is thrilling.

I'll post a few of my favorite scenes, but I definitely don't know everything that goes on in this movie.  It's confusing, surrealistic, and obscure.  Isn't this a little more interesting than Transformers, though?


This is what I get for thinking

Warning: I'm about to go political.

I try not to pretend I know what I'm talking about when it comes to the state of America. I follow the news and form my own opinions. How trustworthy the opinions of a 16-year-old high school student is, I'm not sure. There just seems to be something wrong about the way we're handling things. It just seems nonsensical to me.

Friday was the eighth anniversary of 9/11. It's hard not to reflect when every flag in town is at half mast. I looked up the videos on Youtube of the news reports when the planes first hit. To say the footage was horrific would be an understatement. The reporters were stunned to silence. Words couldn't describe it. People soon turned from melancholy to anger. A tragedy unlike anything in American history had happened, and we wanted revenge.

We obviously handled it wrong, but that isn't what this post is about. It's about our perception of that day now, in 2009. I heard numerous times on Friday something along the lines of

"If only our country could be as united as it was the weeks after 9/11. That's when our country really knew what it was doing. Now we're divided."

I get the idea, but people were talking about it with nostalgia. Like those were the good old days. Partisanship is as bad now as it always has been, and it took a tragedy to make us realize that it just doesn't work. We're split in half. I wish I could have seen my face when I was watching Pres. Obama's speech to congress and hearing "You lie!" from Rep. Joe Wilson. Ridiculous. Disgraceful. And that isn't the worst part. The Republicans are embracing it. They're literally selling bumper stickers with "You lie" written on them. This isn't right. It's common sense.

I won't pretend like I have an answer. Obama needs to realize that he and the Democrats have majority in every major section of the White House and stop trying to play to bipartisanship. We can't have it. The Right simply won't let us. Dissenting opinions is one thing, but flat out anger isn't going to solve anything, especially as senseless as it has become.

They don't need reasons anymore. Glenn Beck will call the president a racist, a socialist, not an American citizen, a supporter of "Death Panels" and whatever else he wants. O'Reilly will yell at some senator about the decay of America and what a monstrosity this administration is. Rednecks will bring their high caliber rifles to Obama functions to show their belief in the second amendment. Crying extremists will scream about the end of the world at town hall meetings. These are obviously the kind of people who won't change their minds. Whatever he does, they'll make sure to dig in their vault of Obama fallacies and find something to charge him with. Fox News is, by far, the number 1 news station in America. These aren't the kind of people who want solutions. They want impeachment. And I think they know that all they're doing is ripping us apart. Hopefully it doesn't take another 9/11 to make them realize that we need to stick together now, more than ever.