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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Even More Religious Conversations!

I've been talking a lot about religion lately. I apologize. Can't seem to help it recently, what with all the RANDOM IDIOTS COMING UP TO ME AT 6 AM SELLING GOD/JESUS/BIBLES/HEAVEN/MORMONISM/JEHOVAH'S WITNESS.


It was upon one such lovely conversation with some cycling religious salesmen that I let out this retort:

"Why do you guys wear those crosses all the time? Y'know, if Jesus comes back I'm not sure he's really gonna want to see another cross... I mean, that'd be like going up to Jackie Onassis with a rifle. Maybe you could come back when you're dressed less hypocritical and offensive? I'm Jewish see, and Jesus is a brother, and it's very fucking early, so don't wave around the instrument of my man's torture and death, and then speak to me about salvation because, frankly, ya'll are going to hell before I am. Cheers."

Sometimes, I'm fucking brilliant.

Monday, March 29, 2010

On Being [Called A Racist]


This blog was cautioned against being written/posted by my girlfriend, who it bears mentioning, is often right about many things. However, my own thoughts run ahead of themselves and bear repeating. Though born a Leo, my ascendant sign is Cancer, the crab; I simply can't let things go so easily.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Musical Self-Promotion

Hi,

Just thought I'd share some recently posted YouTube videos of me playing saxophone at my Friday night open-mic at the Cafe International. Videos obtained courtesy of my girlfriend (who makes an excellent camerawoman) and one from a friend of a friend of a stranger.







Cheers

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Academic Feel-Good Metanarratives


This past Tuesday my Postcolonial Literature class had another round of presentations. The group scheduled was illustrating the term, "Hegemony".

It was another sad display of almost-academics applauding themselves for feats of (un)intelligence.

The discussion revolved around the idea of "agency". That is, how certain groups -- particularly dominant groups -- will present things differently than minority groups, and how who is showing what changes how that information is disseminated.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reinterpreting Parables of Theology


A common contention between the philosopher and the priest, by Robert Jastrow:

"For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

This is a false metaphor.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Concerning Jews


"If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in the world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?" — Mark Twain, from Harper's Magazine, September 1899

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Class versus Race


A common intersection in typically educated conversations about these two topics tend to debate the importance of one over the other. While one side argues for a race-based interpretation of the world, the other stresses that is due to class.

The funny thing about both of these concepts is the ambiguity that comes from even defining them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Alternative World


What is it, you ask?

It is the world without normal. It is the world without what everyone else is that you are not. It is the world as it could be, should be, and is: strange, diverse, beautiful.

Aspects of the alternative world range from Rage Against The Machine to SuicideGirls; from DIY to Banksy; from Miyazaki to Zinn; from reconstructed cultural identity to radical militant political-economic philosophy. The alternative world lives as the true third option in this Donkey/or/Elephant existence.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Songs you can't find on iTunes


With the advent of piracy, mp3, iPods, and other techno-cultural changes, music these days hardly resembles the honest gigs of concert's past

Ya'll ever actually go to the record-store anymore? Actually, are there even record-stores left?

With the expansion of iTunes, Pandora, music-blogs, etc, it seems like music has become so far removed from community that the only way to hear it is by chance (probably because it was in a commercial).

Where do people even find music nowadays?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Things I Wish They Taught Me In School


As I'm going on my fifth year of college, I've experienced a myriad of problems with university-level education. From too-large classes to crap professors, standardized general education waste-of-my-time tests to inaccessible facilities, fee hikes, strikes, financial aid idiocy, and various attempts at exclusivity-aimed reform, my time as a student has taught me really only one viable skill for life outside the academy:

How to bullshit.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Reluctant Revolutionary


I am the ultimate product of Western Civilization.

White-collar raised, consumer fed, liberal educated, culturally appropriating, politically apathetic, and spiritually dead.

These are the issues confronting me: neoliberalism, fundamentalism, commodification, climate change, nuclear holocaust, subtle racism, misandry, recession, democratic imperialism, The Middle East/Far East/Global South/Africa/anywhere Dick Cheney can shoot quail and hit a lawyer without anyone asking about the right to bear arms.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fashion Faux Pas

Okay, so clothes aren't really my thing. I'm not a fashionisto, or even particularly well-dressed. My style consists of jeans and a t-shirt. Sweaters when it's cold. Jackets over that for when it's really cold. And then sometimes a collared shirt when I need to look spiffy for a hot date! (With my girlfriend, of course.)


The closest I ever got to legitimately authoritative on fashion advice was during an 8-month stint working at a local Tilly's in Costa Mesa. (For those of you not familiar, Tilly's is a surf & skate clothing shop.) I pushed product like a drug-dealer, selling camis and dickeys better than a bond-broker at Charles Schwab. My average day's work was worth well over 6,000 dollars!

(Not bad, huh? I don't credit it to my knowledge of clothes and/or fashion, but to my rather good salesmanship. However, it did educate me somewhat on the subject.)

Anyways, after that brief stint of a job, I decided that I was something of an expert in the area of "what looks good" versus "what looks really really bad" on women -- emphasis on what looks bad.

Here's a small selection of my personal Fashion Faux Pas.

(Alternatively titled, Annoying Clothes People Wear.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Atheists Against the World


I'm thinking there's a secret organization of uber-intelligentsia who participate in clandestine meetings debating the nature of religion and how it reflects on the collective IQ of humanity.

And they call it!

The AAW.

Seriously, I was in class a few days ago when someone was talking about indigenous cultures and their religion. Somehow the person managed to get off-topic into some random statement about how, "I personally think anyone who believes in God is an idiot."

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Thoughts of a Formerly Single Man in a Relationship

Well, my fellow saboteurs, here's the official announcement (in case you missed all the subtle unofficial ones):

I'M IN A RELATIONSHIP.

Yes, I know! Four years of blogging various dating experiences, myriad women of intimate persuasion and, of course, the not-so-occasional tragic happenstance of being dumped. But now, I finally found, to quote Bill Hicks, "one very special woman... or a bunch of average ones" (we're still not sure about that split-personality disorder) that has made me a very happy, and very... discombobulated man.