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Archive for the ‘My Life’ Category

I used to absolutely LOVE music videos. Loved them. Watched TRL, MTV2, MuchMusic (later known as Fuse, I think), even VH1. And now I never watch them and couldn’t care less. I don’t know why either. Maybe they lost their allure when they all became instantly available on the internet. Maybe it’s because I stopped watching any music television. Maybe I’m just a soggy old lurmp. Whatever, I just don’t do it. BUT! A week or two ago I was on stumbleupon and I stumbled upon (see how that works) a new video by MIA. Now, I know, Paper Planes was the shit and all, but some of her other stuff was a little too wacky. But her new video was apparently like 10 minutes long, had nudity and violence, and was banned from youtube for a bit (it’s up again now). So I watched it, and BAM! I love music videos again.

Check it (oh and this is NSFW, unless you have your some privacy or a freaky-ass job):

See what I’m saying? That shit is WILD! I mean, that’s a pretty powerful video to put out there. It’s like the complete opposite of dumb party videos that get mondo play. And it got be thinking about some of the other videos that I really, really loved and hadn’t watched in years.

The first music video I remember really intriguing me was Rabbit In Your Headlight by UNKLE. Moby had a little show on MTV2 when I was a kid and although he mostly played godawful international house music, one time he closed the show with this video:

Cool right? I remember the climax sending chills through me. It still does.

The last video I’ll share with you is Paranoid Android by Radiohead. The only thing I’ll say about it is once when I tried to describe it to someone they repeatedly accused me of making it up as I went along, and said something to the effect of “Well if you’re not making all this up that sounds like the most preposterous, ridiculous, outrageous sequence of events anyone could ever dream up!”. Agreed.

So now I’m back on the wagon (or off the wagon? never understood that phrase) and it feels oh-so-good. If anyone has a video they really like shoot me a link and I’ll post the best ones later in the week.

Thanks for reading (and watching)!

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Religion is complicated. I’ve never been a particularly religious person. Like lots of people, I’ve always struggled to find the strength and courage to put my faith in that which will always be unknowable. Someday I will post my own manifesto on religion, but not today. Instead, I would like to give a shout-out to an institution that has constantly brought me back from the edge of atheism. It is the church I was brought up in, and I am honored to share it with you.

All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, OK is one of those rare institutions that I really believe in. I know it’s cheesy, but it is truly a place of love, tolerance, and inclusiveness. In a time when more and more people are moving away from institutionalized religion, and often for very legitimate reasons, All Souls is a shining beacon for what, in my opinion, religion should be.

I rarely attend services there, but like most God-fearing Americans, I was present for the Easter Sunday service. I’ll admit, the night before I was still conflicted over whether or not I would go or just sleep in. I thought, I’ve been to Easter service, and like Christmas Eve service, if you’ve been to one you’ve been to them all. Blah blah blah resurrection blah blah Amen. Luckily, my better half gave me the ol’ kick in the butt and told me to suck it up and go. So I went (thanks Sweetie), and it was beautiful. It was as if they knew what I felt and tailored the service specifically for me. I know everyone is super busy right now, but if you can spare 17 minutes please listen to the service so you can appreciate what I’m talking about.

Listen here.

Religion does not have to be what we see in the media everyday. It doesn’t need to be some man saying “Believe what I believe or you’ll be punished”. It needs to be something that makes you feel good and makes you want to be a better person. All Souls says that all souls eventually make it to heaven, and to all those that think this is foolish, you’re missing the point. I mean, think about how petty it sounds to say that people not like you should be subjected to eternal damnation. The point is, at least from my limited perspective, that if you can look for the good in everyone, if you can love your neighbor like you love yourself, and if you can achieve a peace in your own life and be a light of happiness shining unto the world, than it really doesn’t matter what you believe in.

I love you all, and thank you for reading.

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Something to Ponder

I happen to possess a three-ring binder. It’s not a very nice binder, at least not aesthetically (personality-wise it’s charming, to say the least), but there are nice things inside of it. I tend to dick around a lot on the internet, hell I even have a blog, and in this dicking around I occasionally come across cool things. I print out these things and I place them in my binder. And this binder has lots of dumb stuff in it; I mean lots of dumb stuff. But every time I open it up, I read the very first entry, the entry that inspired me to start the binder because there are some things you just can’t cast aside. It is an entry that I think everyone should be exposed to, so I’ll share it with you.

Something to ponder

If you woke you this morning with more health than illness, you are more

blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of

imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are

ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest,

torture, or death, you are more blessed than

three billion people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead,

and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish

someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If your parents are alive and married, you are very rare.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful,

you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder,

you are blessed because you can offer a healing touch

If you can read this message you’ve just received a double blessing in that

someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over

two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings, and pass this along to remind

everyone else how blessed we all are.

There is this massive undercurrent of cynicism rambling through our current existence, and it’s present every time you turn on the news, or visit your websites, or talk current events with your peers. We all tend to revel in how shitty everything is. We bitch and bitch and bitch about everything: politics, religions, work, personal relationships, family drama, money, and my personal reason for starting this blog, boredom. Do you know what a luxury it is to be able to be bored? It means all of my big problems are so taken care of that I get to focus all of my energy on things that after reading that list seem wholly insignificant and selfish. And we should all be so lucky.

Please, after reading this post, count your blessings. Don’t stress about the possible repercussions of passing or not passing health care or whatever is in vogue. Think about how good we all have it before demonizing anyone and anything that doesn’t agree with you. Because we all have problems, and problems admittedly really suck. I don’t mean to say that we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the world around us, but you can’t let yourself be defined by what worries you. If we’re able to step back and contemplate how fantastic things are for us, right now, in what’s supposedly the most perilous time we’ll ever see, versus how much worse they are right now for billions of people, we’ll see that yes, we are truly blessed. If you’re not happy now, will you ever really ever be happy? Embrace what you can control, don’t worry about what you can’t, and never forget that we live in the most comfortable time and place in the history of human existence.

Thank for reading, and have a wonderful day.

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Generation When

I like short and sweet, so I’ll hit you with the crux before I let loose with the lyricism. This blog really boils down to one question: “With all the privilege and opportunity in the world, in history even, why would we not be the happiest folks ever?”

And no I can’t really answer it, but I’ll sure build a bog around it.

My generation, like probably all modern generations, has run the gamut of labels, most intended to apply some sort of characteristics that strive to define who we are and what we’re about.

We’ve been dubbed “Generation Y”, the Millennial Generation, Generation Next, Net Generation, hell even The Echo Boomers (which actually sounds like a sweet band name). And I’m not saying these labels are bad or anything, despite the lack of creativity in naming the generation after generation x generation y. There are a lot of attributes attached to these labels that make sense.

But I’m not really interested in going through all of the labels and their characteristics, arguing for some and against others, based on personal experience or whatever. No, that would be too insightful, and so I’ll tread in the opposite direction. To further clutter the playing field, I’ll throw a label into the ring that’s sort of a symptom of being a member of this generation.

Lately, I’ve felt I’m a member of generation when. Like my peers, I’ve been coddled a bit, both by my upbringing and by the media, to truly believe that the world is my oyster. That I can do anything I want, be anybody I want, do whatever my little heart desires and no one can stop me. And it’s true, we have unprecedented opportunities to decide for ourselves what we want to make of our lives. And while it would seem that these opportunities would be extremely liberating, more often than not they prove debilitating. Our excess of freedom can feel overwhelming, because if you can do whatever you want with your life the pressure is fucking on to do something great…or you’ll have wasted your chance. That’s a lot of pressure, and it can lead to massive indecision. Every decision, whether it’s where to go to school, what to study, how to dress, how to act, where to live, where to work, what to do with your spare time, etc., is all suddenly imbued with a ridiculous amount of pressure. A decision like what to major in seems to have huge repercussions, because once you choose, you tell yourself you’re giving up on tons of other options. So I’m supposed to make these decisions that in my mind will severely limit my ability to do whatever I want with my life. But I don’t want to limit my decisions; I want to be able to do whatever I want, because that’s what we’ve been raised to know. So we put off making these decisions, and when we do, often our hearts aren’t really in them. We feel forced into things, and we tell ourselves “Well…I’ll just do this for right now while I figure out what I really want to be doing”. We wonder:
•    When will I find my dream job?
•    When will I feel happy with what I’m doing?
•    When will I know what I want out of this life?
•    When will I be an adult?
•    When will I get off my ass and start doing what I know needs to be done?

That, is generation when. We live in a funk, overly concerned with plans for the future while doing nothing about the present. obsessed with keeping our options open. Wondering when, when. When.

It’s a weird, existential funk, and it’s what this blog will try to address. Sounds fun right? Actually no, it sounds like a smoothie made with pretentiousness, lack of self-awareness, mid-life crisis and shitty emo music. And honestly, no one wants to read, or drink, that shit.

Instead, my goal is to make something fun. Something in the present, not the future. Something that forces me to address who I am and what I want, without having to explicitly write about it. This post will hopefully be the first and last of it’s kind, I just want to justify more to myself than to anyone else what I’m doing. I want to make something, and I would love it if my readers help me out. I want comments, I want contributors, hell I’ll be happy with readers. So come along for the ride and see where it ends up.

And if the pressure ever gets too great, and you feel like you’re losing your direction, take a page out of the late great Kurt Vonnegut’s book:

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