Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Essentially Pop Art

The beginnings of Renaissance are splashed across unexpected canvas.

Brick and mortar. Aerial architecture. Subcultural iconography. Over-populated. Under-developed. Colorcombinations seizureinducing. [blank] vs. [blank]. Urban jungles. Suburban wastelands. The last resorts of originality-deprived masses past-saturated with subverted cliche marketing advertised civilization down our choking raw throats.

The United States of America Bleeds Neon.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Critical Race Theory

Is it racist to criticize Black people?

Let me repeat: is it racist to criticize Black people?

Simple question. Difficult answer.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Stupid Shit People Do For Christmas

(And other holidays.)

1. Car Antlers

Your car doesn't look like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You just look like a tool.

2. Dress their pets up

Animal cruelty anybody? Where's PETA when you actually need them?

3. Buy stupid things

Somehow, I think we're fetishizing Obama just a little too much... It's getting creepy. Seriously.

4. Buying Insanity

Cleanup in aisle 57. Mom down! People we have a mother down, and she has a heart condition. Scram intercept sale assistants and get that mop from the storage-closet. I'm sure there's blood.

No humanity for the holidaze.

5. Get into silly faux-religious disputes

Found [this article] through a little googling. It seems people can't put their differences aside even for the holidays... Forget what you believe or whether you believe. Just fucking celebrate people. Or GTFO and DIAF.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Daily Slice of Webjunk

Culled from the best fruits of the internets, served fresh with commentary.

Old-writer's social-club. Complete with esoteric obscura and socially acceptable alcoholism. Goatee optional.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Immoveable Object Meets Unstoppable Force

I'm talking, of course, about my Chauvinism meeting the Feminism of a friend over Google instant-chat.

Here's the (edited) transcript:

"... me: but seriously, don't sleep with your roommates, most people tell me they've regrettedit
regretted it*

daisy: i'll keep that in mind
i decided i am going to be smarter about who i sleep with

me: you mean you weren't before?

daisy: like i havent slept with anyone in over 10 months now, so obviously the next person i do sleep with i want it to be somewhat meaningful

me: obviously...
because after ten months, you can't just jump back on the pogo-stick?

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Craigslist: For The Win

Yet another awesome inspiring CL Best-Of.

Totally captures the zeitgeist of my romantic melancholy.

"a cartoon for all the girls i see everyday - m4w

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Start / Stop / Pause / Play / Repeat

What does it mean to love someone, but not be in love with them?

Is it some sort of emotional consolation prize? "Oh, I really like you... but not that much. I mean, you're great and all -- just don't get your hopes up."

The sheer condescension is insulting. As if a person needs the reassurance that it was a close tie between them and... whoever else you're fucking. And it doesn't even make sense! What's the difference between Love and being in love? Is it that little modifier which changes an action to a state of mind, like Love is some philosophical persuasion you can just put on to wear at any time.

Sometimes the cracks between relationship definitions contain more people who've slipped through a long time ago than anyone previously thought.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stuck in my head

This song:

Call it a late-night melancholic indulgence, or some kind of chronic insomniac sadness. Maybe it's just the memories splashed around like paint on the inside of my skull, dripping down from vertebra to vertebra -- a slow steady drip-drop of color and synapses.

There's always something to keep me awake when I know I should be asleep.

For some reason, I never liked Macy Gray till recently rediscovering her. I always thought of her voice as kinda weird, like drunk, or drugged-up. But now, I really enjoy it, and this song's music is pretty damn accurate to what the lyrics describe.

Enjoy the slur-singing.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Student's Perception of the Occupation

For those of you who are aware, just this past Wednesday around dawn, a group of San Francisco State University students rushed the Business Building and occupied it for nearly twenty-four hours till being forcibly evicted at about 4 AM after police broke a window to get in. Numerous arrests were made the story has begun circulating across the news-channels, bringing attention to the current situation of California education.

This was not a good thing.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Creative Journaling

Despite my commitment to revealing less intimate details of my personal-life, I can't help but relate this particularly interesting Friday. It was during the art-walk/pub-crawl in lower-Haight. Such nights are a rarity, and luckily I brought my writer's blackbook along, just in case. These are the scribbles I took.

Keep in mind - by the by - that even though this all really happened, it's still purely fiction.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Trends in Prejudice

For those of you reading this blog on the daily, clearly the experiences of my life are hardly normal enough to warrant calling them out as proof of widespread problems, but nonetheless, sometimes things just really piss me off and should be ranted on/about -- for the duration of several pages, at least.

For those of you not reading on a daily basis... well, first of all shame on you! Second of all, this post may alternatively be titled:

Evidence of Unique Situations.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

To Give Is To Receive

In preparation for the upcoming holidaze, I have compiled a list of my top-ten Hanukkah gifts wishlist. Feel free to post your own, or any suggestions.

Happy shopping consumers!

1. Book. Rage Against the Meshugenah. Danny Evans.
2. iPod Nano. 16 GB.
3. Electronics cable. Connector. 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch.
4. Internet capable phone device. G Phone preferred.
5. Long underwear. Style: skinny. Waist: 29. Color: black or white.
6. Shoes. Vans. Classics. Size: 9.5. Style: authentic. Color: navy canvas.
7. Custom writing journal. Soft-cover. Preferrably leather or high quality canvas.
8. Pen. Ballpoint. Zebra F-402 Stainless Steel Retractable.
9. Fancy steak dinner.
10. Socks. Crew length. Color: black.
11. Computer program. Rosetta Stone. Spanish language edition.

Hope ya'll get the gifts you want to receive! Just don't forget that you reciprocate. In these tough economic times, it's even more important to exchange gifts. It's when you can't afford to give a gift that the gift has meaning. Because as The Prophet says, "it is when you give of yourself that you truly give. So don't be niggardly with your generosity, and it will be returned in kind.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Poetry from People-Watching

This is a new piece I would like to post for ya'll. It's still relatively newish, so be gentle. I wrote it while sitting on campus watching this old black man walking around the quad. He reminded me of a Hasid, only with cooler hair. The poem itself reflects an interior dialogue on the nature of unexpected combinations of socio-cultural-religious backgrounds. Specifically, the whole debate on, "Who is a Jew?" I thought a lot about the myriad sides, as well as my own personal opinion. And from that came this.

***Please note, this work is not intended to be offensive, but it does contain some offensive language.***

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Masculism: An Introduction

Besides racial issues, I also find myself involved in intense discussions regarding gender dynamics, particularly as they apply to our current cultural values. Often these debates quickly devolve into accusations of bigotry (much the same as with racial issues) that don't really accomplish much other than solidifying the opinions of the other person in opposition.

However, at the risk of being perceived as a chauvinist-pig, I would like to introduce many of you to a movement that isn't as well known as it's female counterpart, Feminism. This movement is concerned with the advocacy of men's rights and the promotion of male equality in the context of changing gender roles. This movement is little known outside of the blogosphere and esoteric academia. It is - I think - an important concern in these modern times.

That is, Masculism.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Writer as Character

Frequently when writing of/about/from personal experience, people tend to assume that they are the subjects of my stories. They find coincidence and naturally assume it must be directed at them. There seems to be a unique kind of arrogance in a person who can read the words of another and think, "Is he talking about me?"

Let me elucidate the unique characteristics of most writers.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

New Works In Progress

Ever since the publication of my book, I've been somewhat lazy about doing any serious poetical work. But I'm making up for that by writing way better poems than I used to. (Not that the ones in my book aren't amazing also, mind you.)

This is a new piece that I'm adding to my ever-growing collection of "Love Poems."

(I'm starting to turn into Lord Byron, E.E. Cummings, or Stephen Dunn.)


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Friday, November 20, 2009


Is when your inner-critic tells you that something needs to be edited.

If you look around (carefully look around) you'll notice there's something missing from my blog...

A whole mess of posts.

That's because I have quietly been going around and removing every one that mentions too much about my personal-life - my dating history, women I've known, friends I've had, anecdotes, happysad moments, and other things of a sensitive, personal nature. I reread, copied, pasted, saved every entry to my eJournal. Then I deleted them from my blog.


Because I have finally realized that maybe this catharsis via full-disclosure isn't a good thing.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Muni Acoustics

The Humble Request of a Poorly Mannered Municipal Transportation Participant to the General Public.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Recommendations Via Past-Tense

 I found this as a comment while browsing through the bowels of my blog. (There's a lot of interesting stuff in there, actually.) It was such a good piece that I thought I'd share it with all of you. It's a Stephen Dunn poem. He is a great writer, definitely worth checking out.

Anyways, hope ya'll enjoy it!

Courtesy to my good friend M. Tansy Gibbles for sending it to me.

"Each From Different Heights
by S.D.

That time I thought I was in love
and calmly said so
was not so much different from the time
I was truly in love
and slept poorly and spoke out loud
to the wall
and discovered the hidden genius
of my hands.
And the times I felt less in love,
less than someone,
were, to be honest, not so different
Each was ridiculous in its own way
and each was tender, yes,
sometimes even the false is tender.
I am astounded
by the various kisses we're capable of.
Each from different heights
diminished, which is simply the law.
And the big bruise
from the longer fall looked perfectly white
in a few years.
That astounded me most of all."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sexploitational Depravity

In Saboteur Academica's quest to bring you the latest - and greatest - in Alternative Knowledge, we have prepared a list of Sexually Exploitative Acts that will have you rolling on the floor laughing. (Also known as ROFL, roflcopter, roflobster, roflmao, roflmaobbqkthx and other 1337 abbreviations.) These examples of depraved sexploitation have been culled from the bowels of chauvinistic glory and internet misogyny.

You've heard of the Kama Sutra? Well, this is the Smuta Sutra.



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Monday, November 9, 2009


I have a new fetish for frankenwords, fusionwords, words made by the combination of two other wordlings into something both and yet, different. It's quite lovely to compound language into layers of layers that taste like an especially good cake in your mouth when you say them. Maybe it's just the writer in me, or maybe it's just the wit, the joy of punning. Something like that. Either way, I like 'em, and here's more of 'em.

- Sarcastic + Caustic = Sarcaustic

- Human + Animal = Humanimal

- Pessimist + Optimist = Pessoptimist

- Blacks + Exploitation = Blaxploitation

- Zebra + Donkey = Zedonk

- Bro + Hipster = Broster

- Friend + Enemy = Frenemy

- Academic + Amateur = Acateur

- Slang + Language = Slanguage

- Holidays + Daze = Holidaze

- Video + Idiots = Videots

- Sex + Texting = Sexting

- Ambidextrous + Sex = Ambisextrous

- California - Fornication = Californication

- Inbred + Redneck = Inbredneck

- Happiness + Mess = Happimess

- Information + Apocalypse = Infocalypse

- Surreal + Reality = Surreality

- Melancholy + Alcoholic  = Melancholic

Those are all the ones I can think of for now. Feel free to submit your own.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Important Things To Do

I don't appreciate my education.

But the rhythms of my life are measured by it.

School schedules are the boundaries of work schedules, semesters are the silhouettes to vacations, and the perimeter of my life is the college campus.

I am partially defined by my student-status. Who I am is an amateur academic; an acateur.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Naming Musical Instruments

Something interesting that happened while I was giving my music student his lesson today. He pulled out his saxophone and said, "alright Judy, time for exercises."

Is isn't just me; everyone names their instruments!

Famous musicians do it all the time, but rarely do I hear about regular people naming theirs. A friend of mine named his drums, and I know my old bandmates named theirs on occasion. (Though they changed the names every so often, which was kinda funny. "This is Shannon." "Wasn't it Mary before?" "No, I think it was Gloria... or maybe Margaret. Whatever. It doesn't matter." "Okay.")

The point is, in all my years as a musician, nobody has ever really talked about this random little thing.

Some famous examples of named musical instruments:

1. Lucille, the name given by B.B. King to every single one of his guitars
2. Blue & Floyd, the names Billie Joe from Greenday gave to some of his guitars
3. Trigger, the name of Willie Nelson's guitar
4. Dolphin, a rare Stradivarius violin, originally by George Hart who named it
5. Davidov, another Stradivarius instrument, a cello, currently owned by Yo-Yo Ma

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Just finished watching this movie on Netflix. The film was a recommendation. It confirms my obsession with Audrey Tautou.

Seriously, is there anyone on the planet who doesn't want to bone this lil' French honey-dripper? She's got more cuteness in one eyelash than all the college co-eds at Arizona State put together. Her performance in the movie was not just AMAZING, but it was also FUCKING SPECTACULAR. She was so wonderfully feminine - vulnerable but beautiful - playing all the guys, yet fooling only herself in the end as Love turns her practiced existence upsidedown.

Yes, I love me some Audrey. In fact, I'd like to take the time to tanget here and speak to Miss Tautou personally:

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Authorial Spotlight

Favorite poet of all time?

E.E. Cummings.


Because - unlike the bigguns of Yeats, or Eliot, or Ginsberg, those cheap, paper-back, dimestore fairies - Cummings writes like a true poet. He writes about love and loving, about life and living. He writes so uniquely that you'll never mistake his work for another's. He plays with grammar and structure and font and display on the page. Unfortunately, he is also relatively obscure. Nobody teaches him all that much. Nobody in my entire college career has devoted half the time to Double-E Cummings as they have to boring foghorns like Keats or Longfellow or Robert Fucking Frost.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat or Another Lame Holiday

The classic "I got a rock" scene from Charlie Brown. The ultimate demonstration of Halloween letdowns. Really, this holiday isn't much more than ghouls and ghosts and girls dressed like some version of hookers. (Oh my!)

For me, Halloween equals movie night.

I don't do costumes. I don't do tricks (or treats). And I don't do smashing pumpkins - the band or the semi-rebellious activity. Maybe it's because I'm lazy? Maybe I'm just not interested. Maybe it's because I like people-watching? Maybe I'm just a voyeur. Seriously, I love Halloween, but can't ever really seem to "get in to it" in any meaningful way. Most of the time I just like to ignore the well-dressed people and do my own thing... which in this case involves copious amounts of pseudo-scary movies and snack-food. Sometimes I like to spice it up and go out for a jaunt, pretending I'm in a conceptual costume. An existential crisis version of myself. Being John Malkovich. An alien pretending to be human. (Which would make me a human pretending to be an alien pretending to be human...) Or my personal favorite, as a writer.

Yeaaaaah, I'm kinda lame. Whatever, I know. DBJ (don't be jealous) of my vastly superior skills at bypassing any sort of serious holidaze through the judicious use of what I like to call: Laissez-I-Don't-Care.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Of Women (This Is My Poetry)

This fancy new Blogger text-editor lets me copy+paste my poems as they appear on the page. It's fucking nifty as all hell, and so I thought I'd share a new piece that I'm still working on. It's supposed to be an assignment for my Independent Studies class, but I doubt it'll impress my professors.

This piece is one of ten that I'm compiling into a short collection, entitled, "Of Women". (Although, I'm thinking I might add a catchier subtitle, since they're all the rage these days.) As you'll be able to tell, the piece is highly misogynistic, chauvinistic, and otherwise angry, sad bastard poetry. Many of the pieces in this small series detail similar perspectives, which derive from my own experiences dealing with women. I like to think of them as so-called "Masculist Poetry", as opposed to your typical Sapphoesque, feminist poetry from Anne Sexton or Sylvia Plath, writing about their fathers and husbands and botched suicide attempts. No, instead I'm writing about heartbreak and love sickness and ruinous affection as it applied to over/under-sexed post-teen male college students.

Hope ya'll enjoy it!

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Thursday, October 29, 2009


Was browsing through my music-collection when I came upon a slew of Cal-themed songs. It put me in that bragging mood.

Call me biased, but I do so love this great state of ours, the golden place where chill doesn't mean temperature but a way of life.

Things to love about being a Californian:

1. Seasonaless weather
2. The Governator
3. The California Roll (driving maneuver and the sushi)
4. Ambiguous legality of marijuana
5. Our sense of direction is always in relation to where the ocean is
6. Real, fresh Mexican food 24 hours a day
7. High population density of physically attractive women
8. Amusement parks like: Six Flags, Knotts Berry Farm, Disneyland, Sea World, Legoland, Universal Studios
9. Happy Cows

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This past Monday was a good day for dialogue.

Have you ever had that happen before? Just everything anybody says comes off really witty and awesome, like it was written beforehand instead of randomly spoken... So many great lines. Sometimes I think my life would be better if someone captured all this on camera and sold it to a television station for the next big reality television show.

Anyhoo, some of the awesome things I heard (or said) today were:

"Are those models?" "Well, they're tall, and skinny, and slutty." "Yeah, but their faces make them look sixteen." "Must be their shoes." "Huh?"

"Look at that one." "Yeah, she's good. Skinny, but curvy in the right places. Great behind." "I think she's... I don't wanna say older, but she looks way better and more mature." "She's more seasoned." "Seasoned?" "Yeah." "What, like steak?"

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Cinematic Revelations

As I was flipping through the movie-queue on Netflix I realized there was an unusually large amount of movies featuring a certain actor. As I investigated this curious frequency, I discovered a hirtherto unknown facet of my filmic palette.

Let me demonstrate with the list of said wicked-awesome movies.

1. Say Anything
2. High Fidelity
3. Grosse Pointe Blank
4. Better Off Dead
5. America's Sweethearts
6. Runaway Jury
7. War, Inc.

Can you guess what they all have in common? The discovery spotlight shines on this awesome actor...

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Come See Me

Hey guys! So, today I'm doing a little cross-self-promotion here, by informing you of my upcoming show on Sunday the 1st of November.

I'll be playing at the Gestalt Haus, which is unfortunately one of THE MOST hipstery places on the face of San Francisco. Shame upon my house and yet... so it goes.

The line-up is Lizzie Karr, a close personal friend of mine who is an amazing singer-songwriter; Tyler Gordon with his band Coexist, who are pretty frickin sweet; Bob Pierce, who is some guy that I've never met or heard of - but I'm sure he'll be good!; Dan Eagan, the promoter who organized this whole showcase; and of course, myself, your lovely blog-host with the most, Zek J Evets, AKA Steve Tow, AKA Sexy Stevie & His Saxophone, AKA The Jew, AKA Cosmonaut, AKA... ahhh fuck it, just come see the show.

I'll be playing an eclectic mix of Jazz, Blues, Funk, and Middle-Eastern tunes for ya'll, backed by a self-mixed soundtrack of Hip-Hop beats and pianoesque flourishes. Expect to hear my horn scream like a dying hooker in the street at the dead of night as some hobo wields his shanker in the flickering lamp-light. Which is actually supposed to be a good thing, in this case.

No, but seriously, come out and hear some good tunes. The show starts at 7-7:30 (PM). Gestalt Haus is located at 3159 16th St., between Valencia & Guerrero in The Mission. They've got beer and sausage. So, I mean, what else do you need to have an awesome after-Halloween bash?

See ya in the city!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009


 Been trolling the depths of my blog recently. I reread all the old posts - comments too even - and realized that I needed to do a best-of section. Some of these entries are just too good to stay locked in the bottom of my blogroll.

Here are the links to some of my top blog-posts. I'll be adding more best-of collections as I go along. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Sickness Unto Death

 Been getting over yet another cold recently, which is why I haven't been updating the blog daily per usual. I'm not sure what's wrong with me, but I seem to be getting sick A LOT lately, and it's really interferring with my schedule.

The roomies jokingly say my immune system must be malfunctioning from AIDS. Personally, I blame other people. I never used to get sick - maybe once a year, if that - but if I hang around someone with the slightest cough or sniffle, I know the next morning my own nose will be dripping, my own throat constricted. It's really annoying... I just want to get better as soon as possible so I can get back to my usual flow.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Public Transportation Throwdown Showdown

So, let me give ya'll a little background to what happened before the guy started filming this. The Chinese lady wanted to sit down, but the Black woman had her bag on the other seat and would not move it. When the Chinese lady started getting upset at not being able to sit, asking more forcefully for the Black woman to move her bag (and her fat ass, because all Black woman have fat-asses, apparently) that's when the yelling started, which is about where the video picks-up.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hiding Behind My Life

there's a tingling at the tips of my fingers, keeping me to the keyboard despite the fading light, laptop screen burning brightly into my bloodshot eyes. i haven't slept right in weeks, but i feel like i've been passed-out for days. rip van winkle and i, living past the present by sleeping through it. and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to mind. guess that's the luck of living, to get by, and get by, and get by some little bit at a time. do you ever wonder what's enough compared to too much? do you ever wonder what's enough compared to too little? some people's standards remind me of depressing things, like kites stuck in a tree, keys that don't turn the lock, and puppies that don't give picked from the pound.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Slice of Webcomic

 Sometimes I like to reread old comic strips to see how I've changed since I first started them. It's like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. The nostalgia and introspection hum deep inside of me beautifully.

Besides, the comics themselves are just awesome.

So! Here's a small selection of XKCD panels. This webcomic reminds me of myself in high school... and now.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Human Accessories

I think I've finally found the reason why the world is so screwed up.

Our children are being raised by a bunch of fucking dumbasses, thus becoming dumbasses themselves to grow up and make even more kids who'll also become dumbasses because they're the dumbass children of dumbass parents of dumbass grandparents. It's a vicious cycle.

What's happened to kids and parents? Not so long ago when I was growing up - in the 90's - we had regular childhoods. Childhoods filled with divorce, spanking, mouth-washing, emotionally traumatic birthdays, and evil siblings who steal your mother's breast milk...

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Veganism: Starvation

or Dietary Morality?

 This post is inspired by a conversation I had with a friend of mine, and a friend of hers, at Golden Harvest in the TL a few weeks ago.

You're damn sure I'm not going to feel some moral dilemma about cracking the aborted infertile fetus of a chicken in the frying pan. Runny, sunny-side up or scrambled; I'll eat it however. Also, I definitely enjoy cheese, milk, and honey. Better yet, give me all three with a hearty helping of steak wrapped in bacon.

See, I'm a carnivore. I eat meat. I like it, love it, can't get enough of it! Every time I make a meal, it doesn't seem complete without some version - chicken, fish, beef, or veal (yes even veal) - and whenever I don't have any, my body keenly feels the lack. It's like being slowly starved. It's like going outside with no shoes on. Sure, you can walk, but there's something missing...

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lazy Bones Jones jonesing for a fix

Just a small bit of random today. Been a long week, and while there are many posts prepared, none are quite yet finished. So, you'll have to suffer awhile longer with my attempts at procrastination.

I give you... (queue: drum roll)

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Friday, September 25, 2009

What it means to comfort someone

The question has always been for me, how do you care? How do you show it? How do you express it? How does compassion work in this fucked-up world of ours?

How do stop a person's hurt when they come to your shoulder with tears on their cheeks? How do you make that pain lessen, stopper the sadness in its slow trickle down the face to hang from their chin? The tears-drops just waiting to fall, like small pieces of a person's heart that have given up and only want to end it... they remind me of so many little suicides.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

19th & Holloway

(figure with bicycle) DISMOUNT

Unnoticed, unheeded, signage for the safety of pedestrians and automobiles from reckless cyclists smoothly cruising between sidewalk & street like it's all the same lane to them.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The New Superpower

Anyone taking bets?

The old powers are dying a slow, agonizing, painfully pathetic death. England, France, Germany, Russia, and even the US... they've fallen, we've fallen. We've become incompetent in the comfort we were born to be used to. Like Rome, the ineffectual rule the country. The sun is setting in the West, casting small men's shadows. Now light rises in the East, out of Third World waters.

China is, merely in terms of sheer population, HUGE. They own most of America's debt, and therefore, in many ways, own America. With a growing economy of coal, outsourcing factories, sweatshop labor, and a highly controlled society - from what information gets in to what information gets out - the country is one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

They make our clothes, our computers, our television sets, and even our shoes. Their manufacturing-based economy of outsourced labor is reminiscent of the United States circa 1900 that led to its international domination throughout the century. And the sheer growth that has happened in the last ten years shows that they're not stopping there; from science and technology (mostly software, energy, and bio-research) to its cultural image, which was especially obvious after recently hosting the 2008 Olympic games, winning a total of 51 gold medals! More than any other country.

However, with all its achievements, China is still lacking in entrepreneurial spirit due to cultural, and government restraints on individualism. Information is tightly controlled. The society is force-fed propaganda, and behind a thick wall of political smiles the PRC keeps all secrets to themselves. Also, human rights abuses from their occupation of Tibet to their population control policies that advocate widespread infanticide, mire the country in controversy.

But even so, the sheer economic domination exhibited by China coupled with its large population and military neutrality, has shown it poised to overtake the US as the chief power in the world.

Then, on the other hand, we have... India, the largest democracy on the planet (albeit a crooked, corrupt one.) They've got our outsourced call centers, literally running the country from behind a wall of long-distance cell-towers and satellites. They've got their own Bollywood that rivals the popularity of Western film markets. Their slew of socio-cultural achievements from Ghandi's ahimsa to the Vedas to the Taj Mahal, highlight a rich cultural history that can be seen in the stunning growth of their cities, as slums become the new breeding grounds for an international zeitgeist of globalization.

But India has a lot of problems too. Cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Calcutta have high rates of poverty, corruption, pollution, disease, illiteracy, malnutrition, all packed together in the slums. The country's most famous river, the Ganges, is filthy, and much of the rural area in India is devoid of the progress being made in the country, which is heavily concentrated in the cities (and even then not equally distributed).

Still, the pluralistic, multilingual, multiethnic, multireligious nature of India is one of its greatest strengths. The country is just goddamn diverse, and shows capitalistic spirit. Businesses in cities like Bangalore, or Hyderabad, highlight this entrepreneurial growth, with IT start-ups, and even established corporations like Microsoft or HP setting up shop.

All of this actually was inspired by a book I recently finished, The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga. It chronicles the story of a character named Balram Halwai, as he writes a series of letters to visiting Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao. The book really shows the changing international scene, from West to East, from White to Yellow & Brown. The whole book reeks of the impending shift coming to world power dynamics.

And also, it's just interesting as all hell. Like Slumdog Millionaire, only crazier, nastier, and much, much better. Aravind Adiga is definitely a new literary voice to watch for in the coming years.

Along with the new world superpower.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bored In Class

This is what I do while I'm sitting at my desk, listening to another lecture on hominids, Pre-Colombian culture, fossil striations, or World War I poetry. It's a strange, eclectic mix of information swirling around me head, and this is what I crap out: