I weep for the future.

July 31, 2007

I just read the following article in USA Today:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/webguide/internetlife/2007-07-30-cruel-web_N.htm

Now, if I’m going to make any comments in an article in USA Today, then I’m obviously behind the times, in terms of relevancy.

Kindof like saying, “I’m a huge fan of the Rolling Stones.  I bought their greatest hits album last year, and they’re really good!”

But I barely understand the need for needless over-criticsm, and I completely don’t understand the need for someone to devote any minutia of their life on it. 

On Sunday, my wife was watching the True Hollywood Story on Rachael Ray.  Suze loves Rachel Ray, because she got her interested in cooking. She knew Rachael Ray waaaaaay before most people did.  She was talking about her back in 2002. 

They mentioned on the show that there is a ‘Rachael Ray Sucks’ website, where a woman (who agreed to be interviewed for the piece) posts how annoying Rachael Ray makes her. She created a web site just to do this.

Now, normally I might say ‘WHY!’, but this woman just got her face on cable television, and got to speak for 2-3 minutes. But it’s soooo stupid. I mean we aren’t even talking taking a critical view of a genre. Like if this woman reviewed daytime television and just slammed Rachael Ray each time, that’d be fine. 

Everyone has a beef.  If I was writing a weekly wrestling column, I’d be telling about how Hulk Hogan has crippled the sport, almost every time. If I wrote a comic book column, I’d be the lone voice who says that Grant Morrison’s plots (even the standard stuff like X-Men and JLA) make me think that drugs have taken Mr. Morrison’s last brain cells into the ether or out his ass. 

But, there’s a difference between a critical eye and an attack.

Personally, other than the fact that she’s fairly cute, Rachael Ray holds little interest for me. Sometimes I hear her speak on her show and think she really needs medication to stop the voices in her head who she is laughing with.

I mean anyone who has ever leant their voice to the nebula of discourse and uninformed opinions that is the Internet, has had this happen to them. 

The first experience I remember is when I posted the results from an ECW wrestling card on rec.sport.pro-wrestling.  The next day I received a the response of “Yoo are stoopid.  ECW sux!”

And I sat their, stunned by it. Not that someone had insulted me. But that I had simply provided information (with some commentary), and someone took the time to reply and tell me that ECW “sux”.

If I had written a post saying “ECW is the BEST Wrestling Promotion, and Here’s Why!”, then that is inviting comments such as ones from my esteemed internet colleague, mentioned above.

Now, we can just turn this into, “People are just stupid fuckheads, all looking to promote themselves at the expense of anyone else.”  But I think it’s even worse than that, to be honest.  I think this speaks as to the divisiveness of the culture today.  I think this speaks as to the “me first, fuck everyone else” culture of today. And even to the underlying culture of violence of the country.

And this isn’t me.  These aren’t my beliefs.  I don’t believe that the world is worse than it was ‘back in the day’.  I don’t think that people care less about each other than they used to.  But stuff like this really makes me question it.

Anyway, I’m being pulled in fifty directions with ideas of what more to say.  So time to stop.

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NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 24, 2007

I just can’t even imagine a world without this:

 http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/newspapers/weekly_world_news_killed_by_aliens_declining_circulation_63587.asp

But what about Bat Boy?


Chaos Wave

July 23, 2007

Not sure this will make any sense… it’s not intended to…. Nor is it any sort of cry for help or portent for things to come… Just general feeling/state-of-mind/current perception.

Chaos… I really don’t know if other people’s brains go chaotic like mine does. It’s nothing that is bad, really. Just a temporary state of mind. The left side of the brain repeating a familiar song over-and-over, while the right side of the brain is able to perform basic functions. But the alignment of both sides towards a task cannot easily take place. Usually brought on by a sense of malaise, lack of sleep, and general low-level stressors.

It’s interesting. It’s like feeling drunk or high when you are perfectly straight and sober. The sides of the eyes are slightly fuzzy. You can concentrate on the minute details, but the overall picture remains out of reach. It’s zoning, but being aware of the zone.

But, there is no pleasure of the experience, like being drunk. There is no pain of the experience, like a complete lack of sleep or another dazed like condition.

And you get lost. Or can get lost. I can feel the way to totally lose oneself in the chaos and wonder what that would be like. To concentrate on the “losing one’s self” brings on fear or as philosophers refer to as Nasuea, and that fear ‘wakes’ me up from the zone. But while in the zone, there is no fear, because no action is required.

I am now on the outskirts of the chaos. The chaos tide laps against the corners of my mind, reminding me of it, but I am too aware of it to fully experience it. Writing about it, has made my head clearer, almost automatically. I am in the state where you actively try to completely clear your mind of thoughts, even clearing your mind of the thoughts that entail clearing your mind. (In other words, if your thoughts are simply that of the words/idea of “Clear Your Thoughts”, then your mind may be empty of your daily stressors, the things that you need to do later that evening, your desires, and your fears, but your mind is rarely ’empty’.)

For me, the chaos is most interesting and scary during the light sleep, where you are aware that you are lying in bed trying to sleep, yet your mind is working in multiple directions, focusing on the unfocusable. I have woken, lying in bed, hearing the voices of a dream that is completely unclear to me. The movie is playing in my head, but it is in a foreign language, spliced full of images and ideas that do not connect, and the soundtrack is repeating in an endless loop.

Mostly awake now. Reminiscent of the chaos. But am out of it, where I am ‘rubbing my eyes’ having just woken up from too long of sleep. I am still sleepy, but sleep would not be the answer at this point.

Okay, now I’ve moved. Went to the bathroom (more info than you wanted I’m sure), got a coke, and some chocolately cakey goodness. And the chaos is gone. Now, I’m just tired and slightly absentminded. Typical monday behavior.

Not sure the purpose, other than capturing a feeling or a moment.

Anyway, let me go gland something else.

Cheers


The Dilemna of the Deathly Hallows

July 18, 2007

The arrival of the latest Harry Potter book on Friday causes a real issue here.  How to read the book.  Should I devour it, or should I savor it?

Anyone who has read a highly anticipated book understands this issue.  However, when you are dealing with a limited series, it is even greater, especially when you come to the end of that series.

I mean it’s the last book.  The last time that you will hang out with these characters.  The last time you will have any insights into their personality. 

However, the Harry Potter series has an even bigger wrinkle…  And that is spoilage. I mean think of the biggest ‘highly anticipated’ novel other than Harry Potter that has recurring characters.  The best example I can think of is when the book Hannibal, the sequel to Silence of the Lambs was released.  I mean some spoilers did take place with this book… but they really took place when the movie came out and there were to be differences.

The difference is that millions of people will be reading this book in the next few weeks, and even more significant, millions of parents and news outlets will be reading the book. 

So, there’s the true spoilage of the book, and this can be avoided with some care, but fairly easily… These are things like:

  • Is Snape good or evil?
  • Does Dumbledore help Harry from beyond the grave?
  • Who is R.A.B.?
  • What are the Deathly Hallows?
  • Who wins the final battle/war?
  • Does Hogwarts reopen at the beginning of the book?  At the end of the book?

But then there’s the front page spoilage of the book.  These things are few and far between, but include:

  • Harry dies at the end of the book.
  • Hermione dies at the end of the book.
  • Ron dies at the end of the book.
  • Snape dies at the end of the book.
  • Hagrid/Neville/Ginny/Lupin/Tonks/Luna/McGonagall/Draco dies at the end of the book.
  • Who kills Voldemort.

The things that can be dropped as a joke in a comedian’s monologue.  The details that can be referenced in articles.  I mean can’t you see it in one of the newspapers:

“Last night the New York Yankees lost their fifth game in a row, leaving them 20 games behind the Boston Red Sox.  Like Harry Potter, the 2007 season is dead”

or…

“Another one of Senator McCain’s advisor’s has resigned, I haven’t seen death and destruction like this since I read the latest Harry Potter book”

You get the idea. 

Although, I don’t imagine we’ll see “Harry Lives” spraypainted on the New York City Subway or on the bumper stickers of VW Bugs.