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Sunday, August 30, 2009

2600 Block Ocean Avenue




FREE TIBET loturf CK

San Francisco has a lot of immigrant and displaced Chinese residents. Many are Buddhist, many are actually from Tibet, and many just don't like the PRC. Tibet has been occupied since the 1950's. Even the Dalai Lama is in exile. Apparently the struggle goes on... via backyard graffiti slogans.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Where's Waldo?


Someone sent me my recent press cuttings from a semi-glamorous party-event I attended.

Can you spot Yours Truly?



(Hint: look in one of the circles, provided by aforementioned sender someone.)

Looks like I'm moving on up... Aaaall right!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Double Standards


We've all got 'em.

The assumption that certain sets of behaviors and words mean differently depending on who's doing it, and who's saying it. We expect - or approve even - one thing from one group, but should another group do it, well... we tend to go ballistic like an ICBM.



Myself, for instance, feel that when a woman wears reaaally tight jeans, she looks sexy; but when a man wears reaaally tight jeans, he's probably gay. Or when a kid chases pigeons, I think that's cute; but if an adult did it, then I'd probably be worried about their mental state of mind. Or if a Japanese person confuses me with the difference between "lip and "rip", they're just having pronunciation difficulties; but if some regular person did that, I'd get pissed before realizing they have a speech impediment.

There's always been the double standard of linguistic privilege. A black man can say "Nigger/Nigga/Nikka/Nyukeh" and other homophones thereof, but should anyone else, whether they be white, yellow or brown use it, they can be called a racist. Same for a Jew who can say "hey you kike bastard," but if any blonde-haired blue-eyed should try, they'd be invisibly tattooed [Facist Nazi] before you knew it. A man can't call a woman a "cunt," but a woman can call a man, "cock, prick, dick" and other phallic slurs. The list of offensive nomenclature goes on: "beaner, chink, coolie, cracker, gook, gweilo, jap, jerry, kaffir, paki, spic, wetback, wop, and zipperhead."

Now, I'm all for reappropriation, "taking it back" as a personal attempt to even the historical score, but sometimes people take it too far. They glory in the perverse reversal of power that comes from using words forbidden to their originators/creators. In fact, I've always felt that if you use a word, then fair game for another to use it too, and that's just intellectual consistency. But your own linguistic hypocrisy aside, language belongs to everyone and not just to you. Sure, certain words have a bad reputation due to previous usage, but at the same time, those connotations - even denotations - don't have to be yours. Language is constantly evolving, and you should too. What's offensive doesn't have to be if you refuse to let it get to you.



There are other double standards besides those made with words. There are behaviors expected or condoned for one group that are suddenly inappropriate for another. Take the inter-relations between Man and Woman.

If a man rapes a woman, he is justly branded a sex-offender for the rest of his life, and punished accordingly. However, when a woman rapes a man, this as seen as some sort of impossibility. As if there's no way a woman could ever rape a man. And even if it could happen, the man is ridiculed - even though he's the victim - for not fulfilling the cultural stereotype of guys always being ready for sex and always being stronger than any female sexual predator.

This is not the case. Mothers rape their sons, daughters their brothers, grandmothers their grandchildren, and so on. Random women will rape random men, but nobody will ever blame them, because what guy wouldn't want to get laid, right? Wrong. It's a sad thing when we assume that men can't be as easily preyed upon, and then when they make their substantiated claims, they're met with derision and suspicion, while any woman can make the wildest accusation of rape or molestation and she'll be believed (because for some reason, nobody remembers "innocent till proven guilty" in these cases).

(For more information on male abuse and other related topics, check out these blogs: [Toy Soldiers] and [The False Rape Society])



But the main inspiration for this blog was something I noticed while watching a 90's teen romantic-comedy. You might've heard of it. 10 Things I Hate About You.

In one scene, the guy, Patrick (played by Heath Ledger, RIP) is sitting in the car, having a moment with the girl, Kat (played by Julia Stiles) and they're sharing a particularly good moment together. This has come after a long night at a party where Kat got outrageously drunk and Patrick gentlemanly looked after her, even driving her home and making encouraging conversation. Then, Kat moves in to kiss Patrick, but he turns his cheek. This angers Kat, who gets out of the car in a rage of romantic rejection and goes back to her character's original stand-offish temperament.

Now, the thing I'd like to ask is: why is it when a guy tries to kiss a girl, and is rejected, this is seen (by society as a whole, not just other men) as being coy, or merely an obstacle, and that she just needs more time to realize her feelings for said prince charming, to get comfortable before taking that "next step" - but when a girl tries to kiss a guy and is rejected, this is seen as an insult?

Isn't it possible for a man to be genuinely interested in a person but just not ready to be physically intimate yet? What if he's really not comfortable, but could be, given enough time to get to know the person. I ask my female followers, would you feel insulted if a man refused to accept your advances? And if being rejected from a kiss (or other physical advances) is really an insult, then why don't more men take that as a sign and storm out of their cars when a woman does this?

Ahh, and there's the double standard. Because if a guy did this, he'd be seen as someone only interested in sex, rather than a heartbroken man who just got dissed after putting himself out there. Rejection hurts. But rejection of women by men is discouraged, whereas the converse seems to be acceptable. Why? The power of sex. When a guy violates that long-held advantage by rising above it, seems like - in some subconscious way - a woman just can't take it.

Or maybe I'm over-analyzing.



The funny thing is, later in the movie, Patrick states he didn't do it because he was uncomfortable with the situation of Kat being totally drunk (although under the surface there is his own developing feelings for her juxtaposed with the situation under which he originally decided to pursue her, which is for the benefit of a different character - I'm trying not to spoil the movie for ya'll who haven't seen it).

Yet, Kat is the one who gets to be justifiably upset, while Patrick has to feel guilty and "make it up" to her. Why should he? He was simply being emotionally - and intimately - honest with himself, and with her. Shouldn't it rather be that Kat needs to give him more time, as men are so very used to doing with women? It certainly is a role-reversal, but brings up important questions about gender equality, and the assumptions even so-called "feminists" take for granted in men-women relations.

Double standards are ugly things, because they work on assumptions reinforced by ignorance. I feel like we should abandon our attempts at stratifying acceptable behaviors or approved language between disparate groups. This is not equality. This is not even a facade of it. This is blatantly discriminatory. This is socially acceptable prejudice.

As far as humanity has come, our culture still needs to evolve, because there's so much more for us become besides a reversal of reactionary hatred and unbalanced power.



Well, okay. Maybe double standards aren't always a bad thing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Glory, Glory / Hallelujah




I'm not a religious person. Never had much use for it, because I always seen the world as being between heaven or hell. God don't have no place here, and neither does the devil. They both just old ghosts. You can worship them, and you can conjure them, but in the end they're just a superstition...

And that I am, superstitious, certainly curious enough to reckon there's more out there than I can or ever will understand. Maybe not meant to, but maybe I don't want to either.

That's exactly it. I'm not religious, but I am superstitious. I don't believe in God, but I do believe in something. Whatever it is that brushed up against me in the night, a silent passenger in my passenger's seat through the mountains, la llorona y kookooey my nanny spoke of, or the voices coming down my old high school's science court after that teacher died.

I do believe in something. And I'll never know why.

It draws me to the songs of faith: gospel, choir, hymn, and others. I find beauty in the hopeless hope of all true believers, giving up their fate to ambiguous powers, praying for redemption, salvation and protection. The music reminds me of a time when men feared what they did not understand, and by that fear they learned to respect their uncertainty, instead of hate it as they do now. Yet, at the same time, the music holds promises of love and hope, that we have come so far to erase the contempt from our hearts for those we see as different. These songs speak of our humanity commonality. The equal parts nostalgia and optimism appeal to my idealistic sensibilities and hopeless romanticism.

My top five "religious songs"

5. Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen, performed by Rufus Wainright

4. Glory, Glory, by black Americans, performed by the North Mississippi Allstars

3. Battle Hymn of the Republic, by Julia Ward Howe, performed by Eef Barzelay

2. Precious Lord, by Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey, performed by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band

1. Amazing Grace, by John Newton, performed by Judy Collins and the choir

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Asian Fetish




In case you're wondering, yes, that IS ice-cream shaped like a penis.

This is why I love Asian cultures. Because they just don't realize how fucking crazy hilarious some shit is.

Viva la peen-cream-cone!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Unsung Political Commentator




Ever notice when you're watching the news (whether that be CNN, MSNBC, BBC, ABC, or god forbid, Fox News) that many to most of the politicians, commentators, and all sorts of so-called "experts" make tons of declarative statements supposedly backed-up by facts, flow-charts, statistic and graphs. But I always wonder, is this true? Where are they getting their information from? Anybody can say something that sounds right, but I wanna know for sure. Let me see your sources.

Seems like in politics, the game is about being critical as opposed to being correct. It's not about compromising so much as it is about condemning. They focus on being reelected instead of focus on being responsible. It'd be sad if I weren't so used to it. Cynical pessimism comes from naivete meeting disappointment.

When I watch these political games, it doesn't look like anyone is trying to actually do what's right, but to be as convincing as they can to their audience - their constituents - and make them feel good about what they already believe to be true. Nobody wants to learn or grow really. They'd rather just be there already. It's a little intellectually dishonest, but even more so, it's dangerous. Bad ideas are reinforced by making the public comfortable. Bad decisions are glorified because they were made with good intentions. Completely terrible, utterly horrible consequences are ignored for the greater good that actually only really helps a powerful few.

And nobody realizes this. Nobody ever notices (but in reality everybody does and doesn't care) except to blame it on somebody else instead of the horse they bet on. Escaping responsibility through exterior circumstances is just a cop-out, like a child blaming the gnarled tree-root for tripping them - when really they should've been watching where they were going.

Then comes the fall, and like our reality TV induced culture of rubbernecking voyeurs, we watch the train-wreck with a hungry look in our eyes. Frightening proof that the world isn't as boring as our lives.



We're all so damned impotent. Letting idiots rule the world because we're too fucking busy. Rather be an office-worker than president. Oh, but we so love to watch those powerful players we secretly adore and despise. Obsess over their mistakes, but never dare to make any of our own... which is the biggest mistake of all.

Where's Hope these days?

She's at the bottom of the bell-jar.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Blues




Description: was a cold and tired day, so decided I'd sit in my chair and just mess around on the guitar a little bit. Yes, it is left-handed. Yes, I am left-handed. And yes, this entire song is improvised. Hope ya'll don't hate on me too much, because I'm not a supergood guitarist, but didn't really feel like talking. Maybe next time/sometime I'll break out the saxophone.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cat Cafe


What a good idea.


Courtesy of Wikipedia.

"A cat cafe is a theme cafe whose attraction is many cats, which can be watched and played with. Patrons pay a cover fee, generally hourly, and hence cat cafes can be seen as a form of supervised indoor pet rental.

Cat cafes are quite popular in Japan, with Tokyo being home to at least 39 cat cafes. A pioneer is Cat store (猫の店, Neko no Mise?), by HANADA Norimasa, which opened in 2005. The popularity of cat cafes in Japan is attributed to many apartments forbidding pets, and to cats providing relaxing companionship in what may otherwise be a stressful and lonesome urban life; other forms of pet rental are also common in Japan.


Japanese cat cafes feature strict rules to ensure cleanliness and animal welfare, in particular seeking to ensure that the cats are not disturbed by excessive and unwanted attention, such as by young children or when sleeping. Many cat cafes also seek to raise awareness of cat welfare issues, such as abandoned and stray cats."

Y'know, this is something I'd actually go to, but only if it was, like, a puppy cafe. How fucking cute would that be? Shit, I'd take every first date there and get laid all the time... But seriously, it's nice to see some entrepreneur finding a profitable niche market that also does a little good in the world - both for humans, and animals.

This is definitely Saboteur Academia Approved Content.


Me. Ow.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A religious conversation at Union Square

This really happened.



Between me and a Christian Fundamentalist, hanging with his posse, preaching the "good word". Y'know, all that thinly-veiled conversion bullshit. "Believe me/my religion/this old dude who I kind of work for that needs your faith, and, more importantly, all of your life-savings for his mega-church in Colorado (because mega-churches are always in Colorado, aren't they?) or you'll go to HELL! Because God is one vindictive sonofabitch when you don't join His fan-club."

Anyways, here's the dialogue.

[jump to continue - click header]

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Market & Seventh




{LOVE WILL SOLVE ALL YOUR PROBLEMS / LOVE WILL ONLY LET YOU DOWN}

The two contesting theories. The two sides of the coin. Joy or pain. Despair or hope. Neatly illuminates this juxtaposition, this dichotomy of feeling (or ability). To love, lovers, loving, etc and so on.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Other: a film-inspired reflection


Thursday night / Friday morning. District 9, 12:01 showing.



[SPOILER ALERT]

Basic plot summary is aliens crash-land on our planet and can't get home. Humanity puts them into a camp/slum called District 9. (Hence the movie title.) Tensions ensue as the alien population rises, conditions worsen inside District 9, and human to non-human relations depreciate rapidly in parallel to said gross-poverty. Various illegal trades have sprung-up as myriad power-factions try to gain control of both the alien's technology, and District 9 itself.

What is notable about the movie is that the setting is not some major Western city like New York, Los Angeles, London, or Paris even - but Johannesburg, South Africa. This background only heightens the obviously prejudicial atmosphere between humans and non-humans. The correlation of the separation between the species and Apartheid is quite clear as the human character makes various ignorant, generalizing statements about the "Prawns" - a derogatory nickname based on their appearance (much as Africans were called "monkeys" by the Boers).

In the end though, similar to other science-fiction films such as Minority Report or The Island, our naive - hapless even - but otherwise normal protagonist is somehow changed in such a way as to pose a significant threat to the status-quo. Through acts of selfish interest, self-preservation, and eventual altruism based on understanding gained through the movement of plot, said John Q Protagonist saves the day by destroying the corrupt structures involved, though at the cost of sacrificing his own goals.

Altogether, this was a damned good movie, and I am glad Blomkamp had Peter Jackson around to help expand his original short, "Alive in Joburg", into a full-length feature.

After getting home, I couldn't help but think back to the first time I read "Speaker for the Dead" by Orson Scott Card. The presentation of prejudice & ignorance prevalent in the world of District 9 is remarkably similar to the concept seen throughout literature known as "The Other". And this led me to OSC's Hierarchy of Exclusion, from "Speaker for the Dead" where it was first espoused.

Let me break down the concept [paraphrased from source-book and Wikipedia]:

1. Utlanning: outlanders/foreigners of one's own species and one's own world (i.e. community or culture). An utlanning is a person who shares the observer's cultural identity. For example, if one were to meet a stranger who lived in another city, state, or province, this person would be considered utlanning.

2. Framling: members of one's own species but from another world or culture. (Literal "strangers.") This is a person who is both substantially similar to and significantly different from ourselves. For example, if one met another human who lived on Mars, this person would be a framling.

3. Ramen: strangers from another species who are capable of communication and peaceful coexistence with Homosapiens, though that does not guarantee they will pursue the latter. While ramen can share ideas with other ramen, they may not have common ground, at least not initially.

4. Varelse: strangers from another species who are not able to communicate with us. They are true aliens, completely incapable of common ground with humanity. One character also describes all animals as being varelse, since with them "no conversation is possible. They live, but we cannot guess what purposes or causes makes them act. They might be intelligent, they might be self-aware, but we cannot know it."

5. Djur: are the monsters. "The dire beast that comes in the night with slavering jaws." They are completely unaware and feral, perceiving only instinctually.

This is the Hierarchy of Exclusion. In District 9, the aliens are clearly Ramen, being able to communicate (in fact many of the human characters speak their insectoid "clicking" language) but having different standards and modes of behavior.

The funny thing is though, that what determines a group's category in the Hierarchy is not any qualities they inherently posses, but rather our understanding of them. This is most obvious in the differences between Ramen and Varelse. Obviously if no one spoke the alien's language, they would be considered the latter, but due to learning their language (a change in us) we can communicate and find common-ground for mutual interactions, thus making them the former.

And the really funny thing is that what District 9 proposes by addressing the fluidity of these concepts via narrative is that in the end, we are ALL living entities possessed of the same qualities. (Albeit in unique, minute variations.) There is no exclusion, only skewed perception. Basically, by illustrating all the perceived differences between living beings as mere ignorance, Blomkamp has completely removed the need for any Hierarchy of Exclusion, not to mention fundamentally challenging the concept of "The Other". There is no "other"; there is only understanding or lack thereof. There is only "us".

I like that. It makes me hopeful for humanity's ability to grow, intellectually and emotionally.



***TANGENT***

After the movie, as I was walking through the parking garage on the way to my car , there was a long line of other people in their cars waiting to get out. A big black SUV was nearby me, and underneath the back-tire I saw a kitten, rolling along. It hadn't been run-over, but the fucking thing must've had a death-wish (or maybe it was just being a kitten) because it nearly did get crushed by the back-tire!

The kitten had a weird way of walking, like one - or both - of its back-legs were broken. Yet it wasn't mewing in pain... just flopping around on the ground. I almost walked off, leaving it to whatever fate the parking-garage had for lil' kits. But, goddamn, the cute-factor. It pulled my heart-strings... And apparently other people's too, because just as I went back, some random guy ran by me and grabbed the thing. He asked everyone in their cars in the line if it belonged to them. Nobody seemed to own it, so he took the thing into his car with his friends, and they left.

I hope they adopt it, or at least take it to an animal shelter.

You had to be there, but the whole thing was SO SAD!



Times like those almost make consider vegan/vegetarianism... Almost.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fashion [does not equal] Beauty



Description: a self-indulgent rant about Fashion, Beauty, and the perceptions people seem to have about them, both publicly and personally. An unfashionable outsider's questioning of a world seemingly populated with impossible-looking creatures called "beautiful". My somewhat condescending take on how I view fashion and those who love it. This video was done with very few takes, in order to capture my entire opinion - both good points, and bad.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Urbania Picturesque




Photography and Me. We get along alright. Never had much of a love connection. Never exactly "hit it off", but we chill on the weekends sometimes. Got some mutual friends. Got some mutual interests.

Now we've got mutual occupations.

As part of my guerrilla urban explorer artistic experience - and subcultural anthropological studies - I will be starting a new mini-series here at Saboteur Academia (Zeitgeist of). Essentially, combing the city of San Fran Cis for likely photo-ops. Want to capture free-standing moments of poignancy, hypocrisy, irony, beauty, and whatever else expressive I can discover.

Unfortunately, my photographic skills are minimal. Limited. Not exactly my strong point.

(Usually left such things to my friend, and co-artistic-conspirator, Senor G-money, fellow road-roaming cosmonaut and anti-suburbanite Mr. Jawesome, or occasionally my hopeless romanticism and blogging compatriot Andurba the Tuba.)

However, armed with a digital-camera that includes a whole host of "reverse fuck-up technology", I think maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to pull this off adequately enough for ya'll to enjoy.

Expect the format to be: blog title as location of picture; picture (or pictures, if I can't fit the whole thing into one-shot - though I hope not); and then a short blurb at the bottom.

Simple, yes? Good!

Are you excited? I'm excited. I hope you're excited!



Cheers

Friday, August 14, 2009

A-pop


It's a damn shame to admit, but I love pop music recycled through an Asian culture (any Asian culture) and then spewed right back in my face.



J-pop, K-pop, C-pop (both cantopop & mandopop) P-pop... no, it's all fucking Asian pop music. This is A-pop [trademarked]. It's all over-produced imitations of Michael Jackson meets Britney Spears meets Techno, and I can't get enough of it! Inject that shit right into my eardrums.

There's some about how that whole region reinterprets their influences, coming up with such strange versions of what would normally be a rather easy parody. They enjoy it so completely, naively, so unironically, that when they make music like it, their strange love for it is tangible in such a way as to make the music almost... good, albeit highly randomized.

Current favorite A-pop artists of mine include:

Yoko Kanno.
Hikaru Utada.
Jewelry.
Sammi Cheng.
Kapampangans.

And here's a video clip of "Passion" by Hikaru Utada. Because her work for the Kingdom Hearts series is AMAZAZING.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

When Writers Fight


Shit gets ugly. The language, the verbiage, the artistic vocabulary turns from poetical and pretty into a variety of creatively drawn out narratives showing the other person as, put simply, a douchebag. A fight between writers is the worst sort of contest next to arguing with someone on the internet. Sure, you might win, but nobody will remember. All that sticks is the bullshit.



Okay, remember my old post about an ex-love interest of mine? [Romance to Socio-Cultural Representation] We'll seems like she's gotten tired - bored? - of leaving anonymous & negative blog comments. Decided to more directly throw a hissy-fit.

And goddamn if I can't help myself to post it right here for all ya'll to see.

"a short foray into mean-land

some of you may be aware of a certain person i used to be casual friends with who unexpectedly posted a hideously insulting blog about me (which i posted a few weeks ago).

i've occasionally pondered this individual/the things he said about me/why i always had this weird awful feeling whenever i talked to/hung out with him. some conclusions:

1. he had a crush on me (which was apparent from the start, i.e. in the shakespeare class we were both in last semester where he stared at me unabashedly for an entire class period and then approached me on the train home ... also, when he wrote me a missed connection during spring break saying he wanted to hang out). i was flattered, i admit, but somehow never had a romantic interest. however, guys who have a crush on you usually make great friends, so i tried to strike up a friendship. i thought things would be ok that way. i think, instead, he let resentment boil in his little heart until it exploded in a nasty, unprovoked blog post, hence ending the friendship completely.

2. he is one of those people who hates hipsters because he will never be one. not even saying i'm a hipster, because i don't consider myself one even though i do have an affinity for their style. however, he very pointedly labelled me as such in his blog and OBVIOUSLY has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to hipsters. i think he wishes he could be that cool (which is stupid) but secretly feels he never will be (which might be true). therefore, me = hipster = evil (in his muddled little brain, anyway).

3. he's not ugly, and he doesn't have bad style (mostly american apparel hoodies, tight pants, and leather converse), but there was always something about him that made me just think ... ugh. i couldn't really figure out why, but i suppose there are just some people you really aren't attracted to even though there's nothing specifically wrong with them. then i learn a few things about his love life. i see pictures of a nsa friend of his. i throw up a little in my mouth. i think i instinctively realized he was the type of guy who would sleep with anything. somehow, knowing that someone you are hooking up with will hook up with anything with the right parts is just kind of disgusting. who wants to be the exception in a string of yucky-looking sexual partners? i don't, even though it would probably ensure that i lived on favorably in memory as the hot girl. and i'm not even that hot.

4. he falls in love with everyone he sleeps with. can you imagine how annoying it would be?

5. i think he's jealous that i have a much more casual, rational, well-adjusted attitude toward relationships and sex. but he has to defend his weird hyper-romantic philosophy because it's all he has - and it protects him from his feelings of inadequacy when he repeatedly gets rejected by girls who don't really like him that much.

ouch. now departing mean-land. sorry if it was a scary ride.

going to the rite spot now to see my friend alexandria's boyfriend's band. and probably duane's house later. :D"

Here's the [link that will probably be useless after reading] directly to her homepage, if you're interested. Probably gonna be made private - or not? - after she conceivably reads this post, but so it goes.



Now on to deconstructing this obviously angry little rant.

First let me say I really can't contest anything she said. It's all true, though not for the reasons specified.

Yes, I do hate hipsters, but actually it's because I often feel like one myself. It's sort of a self-hating mechanism - an intellectual masochism - and despite my issues with the subculture, that doesn't really prevent you from being one yourself. Or from being a scenester along with it.

Oh, and for the record: they aren't cool.

Also, who's going to call me the type of person to "sleep with anything" when they get drunk and fuck their customers? Or even better yet, say I fall in love with everyone I sleep with when they bask in the afterglow of sex and do the same thing themselves? However, the girl's got her points. I don't really need to only sleep with super-attractive people. I'd just rather sleep with people who I genuinely like instead. Glad to know it'd make you happy to be the best-looking person I'd ever have had sex with though... Way to not be as shallow as I described you. (By the by, you'd only be the 3rd hottest person I've fucked. Good try though.)

I certainly did like her, very much even at one point. But as you get to know a person, sometimes you realize they weren't who you thought they were. And it definitely left an impression on me that someone so beautiful could be so ugly inside. It's interesting to note that she'd be so willing to let me hang around to fluff up her ego, knowing I had a crush on her, yet pretending to ignore it. Seems a bit manipulative and one-sided... doesn't it?

Lastly, after thinking about her essentially unhappy approach to life in the context of how easy it is in comparison to most of the world, it made me question her not only as a friend, but as a person; which was why I wrote the blog post I did, deliberately keeping her anonymous until she decided to reveal herself anyways. (Kudos to that by the way, for manning-up.)

While her personal philosophy definitely is "casual", I really can't say whether it's more "rational" or "well-adjusted". It certainly is less emotional, less compassionate, and far less beautiful. I guess that's the trade-off though? I may get to look like an idiot, but at least I don't get to look like a bitch...

Yes, honey, it hurts when I know you so well and choose to actually be mean, as opposed to just disappointed.

Anyways, it's good to know I can still be an asshole, because most of the time people tell me I'm too nice with all these women I write about. Still, this is why you should never tell a good-looking girl the truth about herself. She's not used to it, because most of time everyone just tells her how amazing she is, because who would have the balls to ruin their chances with an attractive, seemingly cool person?

Apparently, me.

Conclusion & Implications: Drama sucks. Women are crazy. I still have poor choice in them. And hope to gawd I don't see her around next semester. This girl has a shanker with a picture of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the hilt. Really.

I don't think I'd like being stabbed.

***EDIT/BONUS***

Thought I'd include this fun little post-script.

"wtf?
so i just have to mention this little blog war that i somehow got involved in, which has become so hilarious i'm not even really mad anymore.
i posted my rebuttal for steve (original blog-war-starter) to read and he so COMPLETELY overreacted and upped-the-ante that i'm totally at a loss as to why this has even continued. needless to say, it's pointless to respond any further.
i do find it a little sad that he chose to publicize the comment i made about his nsa friend so that she would read it and identify herself. i didn't want to hurt her feelings, just .. uhh .. his. haha. but seriously, i'm sorry she had to read that. god knows it sucks reading insults about yourself. i guess we've all gotten a little taste of shit now, haven't we?
anyway, he's quite the arguer and i could totally get into it with him, and probably have some sick fun with it too, but i think he's taking it all very seriously, and at this point, i'm just laughing.

blogs are sticky things. i tend to limit mine to daily events, drunken rants, and fashion pictures in order to avoid this sort of thing. i will definitely stay the course in the future.

in other news, a really cute boy with a mustache and tight pants smiled at me as he got off the bus tonight. :D"

1. She posted the "nsa friend" comments/insults here before my post even self-published to my blog.
2. Natalye isn't the "nsa friend" she saw.
3. This has continued because she decided to write another rebuttal a few weeks after this whole thing seemingly blew over.
4. Would she still have felt as good if a regular-looking boy had smiled at her?

However, like she (claims) I do find this whole thing completely hilarious. But also makes me a little sad, because even as I laugh about her - and she laughs at me - I still feel genuinely bad for her.



So it goes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Offensive & Craigslist


Posted an ad. It's about people who ride bicycles. Originally in Missed-Connections, but got flagged so I moved it to Rant & Raves. Allow me to repost it here for ya, along with some of the responses (and my response to one of them).

"To all the cyclists in the city & county of San Francisco

Okay, I get it. You like to ride a bike - a bicycle. Cool beans, man! Good for you, seriously. You're getting a work-out, reducing use of fossil-fuels, and looking really spiff in front of all the hipster chicks with your fixie's neon-colored frame. Congratulations! I mean it. I used to ride a bike too... in high school. It's fun jumping off curbs (oh but your skinny tires can't do that can they?) or spinning in the air off a ramp (oh, the frame is too big? sorry) and even braking real fast to pop my back tires (wait, you can't do that because your only brake is to pedal backwards? wow, how old school is that! like 18th century dude!) No, really, I appreciate my two-wheeled roadside companions.

Now, can you just return the favor of me NOT running you over with my big freaking car by following a few simple rules of the road.

Here's a list of HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS and POINTERS to avoid me getting JAILED for MANSLAUGHTER when your precious bicycle gets caught in my tires like spinach in someone's teeth.

1. Stop signs. They mean stop. See that red thing there? It's to let you know. I'm sorry if you can't read English, but the color should help, right? And if you happen to be color-blind, well... sorry. (Learn to read.) If you want to share the road with cars then you need to stop at a stop sign. Don't blow by like a train. You didn't have the right of way. Don't wave at me when I look at you like you're crazy. Would you like me to give ya a "love-tap" with my front-bumper? Or will you play nice and stop like YOU'RE LEGALLY SUPPOSED TO. Unless you have a death wish. In which case, may I suggest the Golden Gate Bridge?

2. Signal. Your lame blinking light attached to the seat-back does not count. When you're going to turn, you need to let me know, because I can't read minds. Sorry, my mutant super-power is growing my nails really really long. So we'll just have to settle for you LEARNING to COMMUNICATE to the other people on the road as to what insanely random intentions you have regarding turns and stuff. If you don't know your hand-signals, please bring up the main-page at Wikipedia. Type in "retard." See that picture of your face? Now let me explain: left-arm straight out means LEFT, left-arm bent up at the elbow (but still out) means RIGHT, left-arm bent down at the elbow (and again, still out) means STOP. Got it? Good. Please use it.

3. Speed Limits. I understand you're not the Bionic Man (or woman). You can only pedal so fast before you begin to have a heart-attack, okay. But, again, if you're going to share the road, then you need to NOT GO FIVE MILES PER HOUR IN A FORTY ZONE. See me driving really close behind you? (It's okay, you can use your head and look around, that's what a neck is for.) That's me saying you're going too slow. Get into a higher gear and pedal faster or move out of the way! I wish I had all day to just trail behind you and watch how good you can ride your bicycle with all your friends! But I don't. I have a life. (I know, amazing isn't it?) So follow the speed-limit, or stay off of those streets.

4. Lanes. They're kind of a big deal. They distinguish the space you're allowed to be in. See that bus? Even though he's SOOOO BIG, he still only takes up one lane. (With maybe some change.) You need to do the same. Don't swerve around in a big group and take up every possible one. Leave room for people going faster to get through. It's polite, and less likely to cause ill-advised road-rage to end your ignorant little life. I know you want to all get together and ride your bikes together, making sure everybody sees you biking together - that's great really - but you can't take up THE ENTIRE ROAD with you and all your friends, and then start playing hot-potato with your lane choices. Typically there's a fast lane, and a slow lane. Pick one! Oh, also, if you see a bike lane... STAY THERE! THAT LANE IS FOR YOU!

5. This is probably the most important. Don't, and I mean Do Not Ever run into my car, then pedal off like it's no big deal. Sorry guy, but you just got into a traffic accident. Sure, my car ain't no Rolls Royce, but it's still MINE, and you broke it. Get off the transportation-toy and gimme your info because now you gotta pay for it. If I see you trying to escape, I will take drastic measures to ensure you act like a responsible person. For instance, I might just chase you with my car. Or perhaps a tazer, air-soft gun, maybe even take an honest-to-gawd rope from my trunk and lasso you. You WILL pay for that scratch/dent/broken tail-light. And if you do manage to get away, guess what? That's called HIT AND RUN. Try pulling that too much and you're likely to end up in court, jail... or with my fist in your face.

Those are the basics. Follow them, and you will likely survive to ride again.

Sorry if this offends any good, decent, traffic-law fearing cyclists who actually respect the rules of the road, and their smaller mass in it compared to us four-wheeled types. This is not for you. I only wish to avoid accidentally killing someone because they weren't smart enough to be aware of the world beyond their handle-bars. Also, I do this for every motorist who has ever sat behind a group of bicycles, had their side-mirror torn off, or been scared nigh to bloody hell by some reckless bicycle douche who seems to have a death wish. You are not alone, my friend.

Thanks! See ya on the road!

***Author's Note: thanks for whoever flagged my post from missed-connections... You really don't have a lot of time on your hands, now do ya? I guess I should've posted a missed-connections between my foot in your [expletive deleted]? Anyways, at least my post is in the "right place" even though I really did have a missed-connection with all the cyclists. Please enjoy the readings and have a good day.***

-- Your complete stranger"

Here was a particularly juicy response of anger & virulence.

"[...] Uh... a speed limit is meant to be an UPPER limit, not a lower limit - the only place where you're legally obliged to maintain a certain speed is on the freeway. You'll not see many cyclists on the freeway.

It's a shame - I am (obviously) a cyclist and I found myself agreeing with a great deal of your post until we got to this part. Sadly, your 'point #3' reveals that all you really are is just another frustrated ass sitting behind the wheel of a ton or so of metal death and thinking how the fifteen seconds of your life that it would take until it was safe to pass me is far more valuable than the rest of my life that would be lost should I end up under your wheels.

Yes, bicycles generally travel slower than cars. So do pedestrians but you don't take aim at them if they don't get out of the crosswalk quickly enough, do you? Do you?

Quit being so entitled and just accept that there are other human beings in this world and they aren't all going to part like the Red Sea for Moses every time you have a hot date to get to or you're late for work or you have to get home in time to watch the new episode of Mad Men.

See you driving really close behind me? That's you telling me that you think you're better than me and that I should bow down to your superiority and let you pass unhindered - but, let me tell you, I view that as you acting like a moron, and anyone rolling right up to inches behind my rear wheel is going to find me making damn sure they can't get past as I deliberately slow my speed to walking pace for a couple of blocks. Maybe one day I'll do this to you and you can man (or woman) up and get out of that safe little cocoon of yours and discuss it with me."

I responded with:

"You seem to have me confused with a 35 year-old Financial district douchebag, when in fact, I'm just a 23 year-old SFSU student. I watch Dexter - not Mad Men.

The speed-limit IS an upper-limit. It is to tell you how fast you should be going, and also how slow you shouldn't be going. You can't go five miles in a forty because that creates unsafe driving conditions as drivers have to suddenly slow down which leaves a trail, which causes traffic, fender-benders, rear-enders, etc. I guess as a cyclist, this might escape you, but it happens. A lot.

Your life actually DOES matter to me. As I explain in the post, I don't want to kill you. Manslaughter = bad. Running over someone with my car = very very bad. Essentially, I care about you because I care about me. Make sense? You're a stranger; it doesn't go much beyond that.

Pedestrians are a different story. They have a sidewalk to be on. When they're in the cross-walk, that's shared territory, and in California they have the right of way ALWAYS. But you don't. You're like a car in this case. You need follow those rules that we all do.

It's funny because in my post, I was talking about how cyclists need to stop acting like they're the only ones on the street, and then you turn it around and say I'm the one being "entitled". I mean, fair game I guess as far as arguments go, but it doesn't really do much other than show you don't have much imagination. I'd be happy to get out of my "cocoon" and discuss it with you, anytime, except that when I choose to drive, I'm actually busy, as opposed to fifteen seconds late for a television show. Remember that people sometimes are legitimately in a hurry. For instance, my roommate had to go to the hospital a few months ago, and unfortunately it took an extra ten minutes because a group of cyclists decided to have a party on Market street at 3 AM. I guess that's as good a time as any to mess around, and maybe I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but should my roommate have to suffer for that while I try honking my way through to the emergency room?

Instead of making me out to be this narrow-minded asshole, try being a decent broad-minded person. See my genuine, rational point. See my completely ridiculous angry tirade. And maybe be a little more aware next time you're out for a ride? If not, then I guess I'll see you on the streets. I'll be the one slamming my car door on your back-tire.

Cheers"

And here's my favorite response, from this sweet lady who must be the most bitchass oldster I've ever had the pleasure of getting email from.

"I loved reading your article, which I wish I had written myself. Not too long ago I ran into about 100 of them going through Sausalito with three of them as "guides" or "protectors" of the large group, in GREEN tops with "BICYCLERIDERS" (or some other innocuous phrase) written across the back of their shirts in white capital letters. They led the group (which stayed in the bike lane) by riding in both lanes in front of the cars. One car had stopped already to tell them to get in their own lane, and an argument ensued. I was stuck behind them, and so, at age 71, I opened my door and hollered, "The light's green. Stop arguing. There's traffic. Move on now!"

Like the spoiled brats they are, they were looking for an encounter, so when we came to the next light, seeing me motioning them to get in the bike lane with the BIG GROUP OF FOLLOWERS that they were LEADING... (clearly they wanted everyone to know they were the LEADERS (hence the green shirts with BIKERIDERS —or some other innocuous phrase printed on only their backs!). One of them threw his bike down in the middle of the right car lane, directly in front of me, and came to where I was forced to stop, grabbed my window, (which was half way down and started cursing and berating me). I didn't think fast enough to roll up the window, and was afraid I'd hurt his fingers, but I had a good look at his spoiled brat face, distorted face, high on adrenelin or (?)whatever it was, and definitely in a RAGE). I watched his face in the window thinking if this little spoiled brat creep was leading the group, what must the rest of the followers—all the other bicycle-sheep be like!)

I vote to capture them all and give them 30 days at hard labor, to see what it feels like to exercise. I did report the incident to the Sausalito Police, but I never heard if they ever caught the little twerp in the GREEN shirt with the white letters indicating his position among the huge group of tourist-timid-slow-minded bikers who followed like stupid sheep. And please no offense to the sheep is meant. But really what can be said about human beings so decidedly out of whack with their environment, that they think they are filled with the power of GOD almighty!

May we all be saved from such jacked up, whacked out hubris!

And hopefully some of the same young spoiled brats will learn to say "You're welcome" when people say thank you, instead of "No problem" . . .

Amen.

An older stranger stranger!"

Gotta love the randomness of internet interactions.

Cheers ya'll.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Underground Music Makes Good


There comes a time in my life where I shamelessly promote my friends.

That time is nigh - nay, that time is now!



HAH is an alamgamation of low-fi post-punk garage/thrash that you could imagine playing amongst performance artists in some New York gallery while fashionistas smoke Newports and literary critics sip their bitter red wine. In short, these guys are fucking legit.

The duo consists of Daniel Foster on bass and Jasper Ostrom on drums/vocals. They mesh the seemingly lost angst of grunge with the danceability of post-punk and funnel it through a void in the semblance of a black-hole/worm-hole leading from our universe to some alternate musical dimension. One where chordal instruments are strictly prohibited.

I enjoy their artistic direction as much as I have trouble understanding their music. Perhaps they are linked? Perhaps I'm not meant to "get it" anymore than I am meant to really appreciate a Charlie Parker solo...

Anyways, check 'em out and listen for yourself.



[Habitat Against Humanity]

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Psychotic Suicidal Killers




Description: pseudo-rant/self-discussion about the recent incident where a man, George Sodini, killed three women and injured fifteen other people at an LA Fitness before killing himself. I talk about his motivations, the implications, society's responsibility, and my personal reaction to the incident.

***Author's Note: all vlogs will now contain my YouTube video description to help frame content and provide background. Also, I realized that I can't count - this is actually my seventh vlog. Thanks.***

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ponderosa



 Musings of a general multitude fill the crackles between my neurons, soaked in randomized factoids, grounded by memories, jumping from end to cellular end. The myriad philosophies I've been exposed to: nihilistic, naive, cynical, romantic, idealistic, optimist, pessimist, pessoptimist, the undefined nomenclature to describe a person who thinks this way then and that way some other time.

Want to understand better than I do. Want to have answers before they're really necessary. Want to know, actually know, what the fuck I'm doing with my life. This two-step from a ten-story high-rise isn't fun anymore. The excitement of falling to my metaphorical death has lost its charm. Now I just want a woman's soft arms around my ribs, squeeze me tight in bed as we fall asleep together. This would make me feel like everything's (gonna be) alright.

But these thoughts keep tossing - blanket, sheets, pillows out of pillow-cases, until I'm naked on the mattress, uncovered amongst the nighttime as the sweat of unstoppable concerns slip down my skin, drop by uncertain drop. I'm scared so much of the time for what I don't know. And what I do is frightening too.

There are such things in my head... I wish I could forget. The memories I have are so painful, so vivid, I want to claw my eyes out like Oedipus, blind myself for all the world to never see these horrible images again. But I can't. Even then, to take those final, irrevocable steps are beyond me. I'm such a coward, can't even kill myself (if I wanted to) but at least maim? Nope, still such a pussy piece of shit.

Yet mixed with the sins and regrets of my own life are those from the people I've met. The drug addicts, the alcoholics, the borderline personality disorder women, the anorexics, bulimics, schizophrenics, depressed, chronically dissatisfied, homeless, hopeless, dazed, confused, the complete and utter spectrum of humanity's darker sides, even murderers, rapists, thugs of every kind. They all tell me their stories, as if I can help. As if I know some shit!

Gawd, how much I wish... How much I wish for the power to quiet the raging torrent of thoughts you're reading now. How much I want to hold them back, push them back, beat them and break them until even their ripples have dissipated into quiet, into calm, into serenity. The silence of sleep inside my head, all stray madness aside, gone like it never was.

But won't happen. This is my surreality. My daily struggle continues, stretches cross every landscape from my life, desert to forest to mountain peak to deep blue sea. Gonna be fighting to just live for the rest of my life.



Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Melancholical Musical Wishitude




Sondre Lerche & Lillian Samdal.

Would like to dance with a beautiful woman to this song... Someday, maybe someday.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Comics continue to amaze me




Picked this up at a book-shop along Haight-Ashbury.

It has given me hope in the hopeless of all things. And let me preclude my posting of favored selections by saying that I have never been diagnosed with depression (as the author, Andre Jordan has) but I have been depressed. All of these I share with you are true for me.











***Author's Note: I used my spiffy new HP printer/scanner to get these selections for ya'll to read. Said technology was a birthday gift, and I'm glad it's already useful. Also, isn't it strange that most of what I liked from the book are the pure typographical passages as opposed to the dual picture and text? Guess I'm either a weirdo who is missing the message, or Andre Jordan should've been a writer, instead of a comic-designer... Yeah, right.***

Monday, August 3, 2009

I fought the Law / and the Law won


Over the course of my life so far, I've had my fair share of run-ins with the fuzz, With the heat, the pigs, cops, boys in blue - the police.



Maybe it's just my luck, my experience, but I've never gotten on with them. Call it tragic destiny, to be on opposite sides of these legal matters. All I know is that whenever I see a cop, I don't feel safe, or suddenly protected. In fact, NOBODY I know does. Most people I've met, when they see a black & white roll up, they turn their backs, mutter under their breath, and wait anxiously for them to move along.

Guilty conscious? Nope. We don't like being reminded of the laws we've broken, but more importantly, we don't like being reminded of someone watching us to make sure. Who wants navy-colored suits determining your every move as either legal or ill? Who wants to to be judged by some anonymous authority?

Can't say I ever met a cop I genuinely liked. Sure, I've had nice cops - meaning they decided to only give me ONE ticket - but for the most part, they've all been a bunch of douchebags tied together with silly-string. Gotten the bald headed, the fat gutted, the overly militaristic, and even the blatantly homosexual masquerading as homophobic.

The thing I really don't like about cops - and the law enforcement establishment in general - is the whole ticket quota thing. Dunno how it is in other states, but in California, our police officers are expected to give out a certain number of tickets (for traffic violations and such) otherwise they get into trouble.

How fucked-up is that? Cops aren't being encouraged to find people breaking serious laws. No, instead they're being arm-twisted into passing on the hassle of their superiors to the citizenry. What if they don't find enough speeders??? Do they have to just grab some innocent person and trick them into getting a ticket? Are they gonna have to cite people for ever more ridiculous things, like j-walking, or spitting on the sidewalk?



I understand why I get in trouble. I'm speeding, trespassing, changing lanes quickly, making noise at random hours of the night, and generally doing things just a teensy outside the comfort-zone of blase society. But is the state of California really so deep in debt they've got fine me all the time like this? Is my dollar really going to bring us out of the red?

Also, why in the unholy FUCK are you pulling kids over for not wearing a helmet while riding their bike? Don't you have anything better to do? Like eat more donuts. Seriously, eat more donuts you fat porker fucks. And while you're at it, beat up some minorities too.

Kidding! I kid the police. (Please don't arrest me.)

Still, why is it that people don't feel safe when they see the police? Why do the ones we trust to "protect and serve" us make us nervous? Why are the police we see so ineffectual? I can guess that the ones we don't are those who actually DO something, but shouldn't the sad bastard on patrol still set a good example? Seems like I'm asking naively again for better job performance. Silly me!

Sure, you could probably argue that I have no idea what I'm talking about. That the world would be chaotic without cops around to keep tabs. You could make a fairly good point that law enforcement is a necessary thing, and all I'm doing is bitchin', moanin' only because they're hassling me.



Except then why do you slow down whenever they show up?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Return: part 2



*Author's Note: I apologize for the poor subject matter, but I was in a hurry and didn't have a lot of time to plan this video. Hope you enjoy it anyway!*