Monday, July 26, 2010

Assert Your Truth

"I respect myself for going after my dream."

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Astronomy, Mythology & Metal.

2060 Chiron (pronounced "ky'-rahn," not "cheer-un") is a planetoid in the outer Solar System. Discovered in 1977 by Charles T. Kowal,it was the first known member of a new class of objects now known as "centaurs," which have orbits between the giant planets, such as Saturn and Uranus, and have lifetimes of a few million years.

Although it was initially classified as an asteroid, Chiron was later found to exhibit behaviour typical of a comet. Today it is classified as both (one of three found to display a coma) and accordingly it is also known by the cometary designation 95P.

Chiron is named after the centaur in Greek mythology, and should not be confused with the Plutonian moon Charon, discovered in 1978. No centaur has been photographed up close, although there is evidence that Saturn's moon Phoebe, imaged by the Cassini probe in 2004, may be a captured centaur. In addition, the Hubble Space Telescope has gleaned some information about the surface features of 8405 Asbolus.

Chiron has an unstable and eccentric orbit as seen in this gravity simulated animation. I think this kind of thing is cool, and am amazed how astronomers can figure this stuff out from 746 million miles away.

In Greek mythology, Chiron was the superlative Centaur; he was more intelligent than most of the others, and also much kinder. Whereas most of the other centaurs were savage warriors, Chiron was a teacher and a doctor, as well as immortal. The wound of Chiron's perpetual suffering was accidentally inflicted by Hercules' poisoned arrow. Because Chiron could not die, he lived out each day in agony. Zeus, however, agreed that Chiron could exchange places with the rebellious Prometheus, who had been chained to a rock for stealing fire and giving it to mankind. Chiron took his place so that humanity could keep the fire and Promethous could be freed from his eternal punishment of having his liver eaten by eagles everyday. Having chosen death to end his suffering, Chiron was honoured in the sky as the constellation of Sagittarius.

Popularly called "The Wounded Healer," Chiron (a near anagram of "chronic") is said to represent one's constant burden and pain that ultimately becomes wisdom and a capacity to help others. Chiron represents the nexus between experience, education, and change.

The glyph of Chiron resembles a key, symbolic of that which unlocks doors to different dimensions. Personally, the first dimension I'd like to unlock is the one called "A Better Life." Having faithfully served my sentence in hell doesn't mean they'll let me out early for good behavior. All prisoners dream about life on the outside. For me it's a creative place where I can express my identity.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Place of Exile

An Absurd Reasoning: Absurdity and Suicide

"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide." If we judge the importance of a philosophical problem by the consequences it entails, the problem of the meaning of life is certainly the most important. Someone who judges that life is not worth living will commit suicide, and those who feel they have found some meaning to life may be inclined to die or kill to defend that meaning. Other philosophical problems do not entail such drastic consequences.

Camus suggests that suicide amounts to a confession that life is not worth living. He links this confession to what he calls the "feeling of absurdity." On the whole, we go through life with a sense of meaning and purpose, with a sense that we do things for good and profound reasons. Occasionally, however, we might come to see our daily actions and interactions as dictated primarily by the force of habit. We cease to see ourselves as free agents and come to see ourselves almost as machine-like drones. From this perspective, all our actions, desires, and reasons seem absurd and pointless. The feeling of absurdity is closely linked to the feeling that life is meaningless.

Camus also associates the feeling of absurdity with the feeling of exile, a theme that is important not just in this essay but also in much of his fiction. As rational members of human society, we instinctively feel that life has some sort of meaning or purpose. When we act under this assumption, we feel at home. As a result, absurdists feel like strangers in a world divested of reason. The feeling of absurdity exiles us from the homelike comforts of a meaningful existence.

The feeling of absurdity is linked to the idea that life is meaningless, and the act of suicide is linked to the idea that life is not worth living. The pressing question of this essay, then, is whether the idea that life is meaningless necessarily implies that life is not worth living. Is suicide a solution to the absurd? We should not be fooled, Camus suggests, by the fact that there are only two possible outcomes (life or suicide)—that there are only two possible answers to this question. Most of us continue living largely because we have not reached a definitive answer to this question. Further, there are plenty of contradictions between people's judgments and their actions. Those who commit suicide might be assured life has meaning, and many who feel that life is not worth living still continue to live.

Face to face with the meaninglessness of existence, what keeps us from suicide? To a large extent, Camus suggests that our instinct for life is much stronger than our reasons for suicide: "We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking." We instinctively avoid facing the full consequences of the meaningless nature of life, through what Camus calls an "act of eluding." This act of eluding most frequently manifests itself as hope. By hoping for another life, or hoping to find some meaning in this life, we put off facing the consequences of the absurd, of the meaninglessness of life.

In this essay, Camus hopes to face the consequences of the absurd. Rather than accept fully the idea that life has no meaning, he wants to take it as a starting point to see what logically follows from this idea. Rather than run away from the feeling of absurdity, either through suicide or hope, he wants to dwell with it and see if one can live with this feeling.

As his starting point, Camus takes up the question of whether, on the one hand, we are free agents with souls and values, or if, on the other hand, we are just matter that moves about with mindless regularity. Reconciling these two equally undeniable perspectives is one of the great projects of religion and philosophy.

One of the most obvious—and on reflection, one of the most puzzling—facts about human existence is that we have values. Having values is more than simply having desires: if I desire something, I quite simply want it and will try to get it. My values go beyond my desires in that by valuing something, I do not simply desire it, but I also somehow judge that that something ought to be desired. In saying that something ought to be desired, I am assuming that the world ought to be a certain way. Further, I only feel the world ought to be a certain way if it is not entirely that way already: if there was no such thing as murder it would not make sense for me to say that people should not commit murder. Thus, having values implies that we feel the world ought to be different from the way it is.

Our capacity to see the world both as it is and as it ought to be allows us to look at ourselves in two very different lights. Most frequently, we see others and ourselves as willing, free agents, people who can deliberate and make choices, who can decide what's best and pursue certain ends. Because we have values it only makes sense that we should also see ourselves as capable of embodying those values. There would be no point in valuing certain qualities if we were incapable of acting to realize those qualities.

While we generally take this outlook, there is also the outlook of the scientist, of trying to see the world quite simply as it is. Scientifically speaking, this is a world divested of values, made up simply of matter and energy, where mindless particles interact in predetermined ways. There is no reason to think that humans are any exception to the laws of science. Just as we observe the behavior of ants milling about, mindlessly following some sort of mechanical routine, we can imagine alien scientists might also observe us milling about, and conclude that our behavior is equally predictable and routine-oriented.

The feeling of absurdity is effectively the feeling we get when we come to see ourselves in the second of these two alternative perspectives. This is a strictly objective worldview that looks at things quite simply as they are. Values are irrelevant to this worldview, and without values there seems to be no meaning and no purpose to anything we do. Without values, life has no meaning and there is nothing to motivate us to do one thing rather than another.

Though we may never have tried to rationalize this feeling philosophically, the feeling of absurdity is one that we have all experienced at some point in our life. In moments of depression or uncertainty, we might shrug and ask, "what's the point of doing anything?" This question is essentially a recognition of absurdity, a recognition that, from at least one perspective, there is no point in doing anything.

Camus often refers metaphorically to the feeling of absurdity as a place of exile. Once we have acknowledged the validity of the perspective of a world without values, of a life without meaning, there is no turning back. We cannot simply forget or ignore this perspective. The absurd is a shadow cast over everything we do. And even if we choose to live as if life has a meaning, as if there are reasons for doing things, the absurd will linger in the back of our minds as a nagging doubt that perhaps there is no point.

It is generally supposed that this place of exile—the absurd—is uninhabitable. If there is no reason for doing anything, how can we ever do anything? The two main ways of escaping the feeling of absurdity are suicide and hope. Suicide concludes that if life is meaningless then it is not worth living. Hope denies that life is meaningless by means of blind faith.

Camus is interested in finding a third alternative. Can we acknowledge that life is meaningless without committing suicide? Do we have to at least hope that life has a meaning in order to live? Can we have values if we acknowledge that values are meaningless? Essentially, Camus is asking if the second of the two worldviews sketched above is livable.


Monday, July 19, 2010

New Rule

Creative work first, reactive work second.

Either start the day on your creative work, or make sure you block out time for it later in the day – preferably at a time when you typically feel energized and productive. 

~ from the article "The Key to Creating Remarkable Things" by Mark McGuinness

The Buddha

Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Quaoar (pronounced [qʷɑoɑr] in Tongva) is the name of a creation deity of the Native American Tongva people, native to the area around Los Angeles, California. According to Tongva mythology, Quaoar sings and dances the world and other deities into existence.

Like in most other creation myths, at first there was Chaos. Then along came Quaoar. He was sorrowed by the emptiness in existence and began to dance, whirl, and twirl all about while he sang the Song of Creation. God of the Sky, Weywot, was first to be formed of the creation melody. Next came Chehooit, who became Goddess of the Earth. These two new deities joined in the dance and created the sun and moon (Tamit and Moar, respectively).

Together these five sang and danced everything else into existence: animals, plants, people, and the other gods as well. His work finished, Quaoar faded into obscurity, perhaps returning to wherever it was he came from originally.

In 2002, a large Trans-Neptunian object, discovered when it was imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope, was named Quaoar after the Tongva deity. It is a small icy body approximately half the size of Pluto, and at the time it was the largest object to be discovered in the solar system since the ninth planet. It has a comet-like composition, but it is 100 million times greater in volume. It also has an almost perfectly circular orbit

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Story of Your Enslavement

Ticket to the Freak Show

Guerrilla Gardening

Guerilla Gardener from Mathieu Young on Vimeo.

Lots more photos of cool people making formerly shitty looking places look great...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Got Resources?

Afghanistan does.

This, from wikipedia...

According to the U.S. Geological Survey and the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Industry, Afghanistan may be possessing up to 36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 3.6 billion barrels of petroleum and up to 1,325 million barrels of natural gas liquids. This could mark the turning point in Afghanistan's reconstruction efforts. Energy exports could generate the revenue that Afghan officials need to modernize the country's infrastructure and expand economic opportunities for the beleaguered and fractious population. Other recent reports show that the country has huge amounts of gold, copper, coal, iron ore and "other minerals." (Among them,  lithium.)

In 2010, U.S. Pentagon officials along with American geologists revealed the discovery of nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan. Afghan officials assert that "this will become the backbone of the Afghan economy" and a memo from the Pentagon stated that Afghanistan could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium". Some believe, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai, that the untapped minerals could be as high as $3 trillion. The government of Afghanistan is preparing deals to extract its copper and iron reserves, which will earn billions of dollars in royalties and taxes every year for the next 100 years.

Billions of dollars in royalties for whom?

Let's not forget that Chile's government was covertly overthrown by the US in 1973 (on September 11th, no less). Also subject to decades of US intervention is Bolivia, another country rich in natural gas and estimated to have 50%-70% of the world's lithium.

Enjoy your batteries. They're paid for in blood.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Better Form of Fuel

Top Gear - Honda Clarity

Simon Atkinson | MySpace Video

Energy & Vision

So I was checking out Tesla (the guy, not the band or the car) and wound up on a completely different site reading about the reasons the US invaded Iraq...

"Iraq was not about ordinary chemical or even nuclear weapons of mass destruction. The ‘weapon of mass destruction’ was the threat that others would follow Iraq and shift to euros out of dollars, creating mass destruction of the United States’ hegemonic economic role in the world." ~ F. William Engdal

(hegemony: predominant influence exercised by one nation)

"The fate of the dollar and hence its use as an international reserve currency is largely in the hands of the United States—budget and trade deficits and low savings pose a greater threat to the use of the dollar as a reserve currency than any actions the EU or OPEC could undertake with regard to oil pricing." ~ Robert E. Looney, PhD

I agree that poor money habits threaten our well being (individually and as a nation), but is it coincidence that the US invaded Iraq after Saddam threatened to switch to Euros? I don't think so. After all, we did kill the guy. Whether the US is in Iraq for oil, oil-dollars, or simply because we like to fight wars doesn't matter. It's wrong for us to be there.

It's not okay for me to break into my neighbor's house, kill his family, steal his stuff, and keep armed soldiers quartered in his home for as long as I want. The idea that I'd take these actions in the name of his "liberation" or "freedom" is ludicrous.

Our government is full of shit and can never be trusted. Just ask any Indian. All humans have the right of revolution; the right to alter or abolish their governments. How much suffering needs to occur before we get motivated to push for a new system?

In the system envisioned by Tesla, there would be limitless, free energy everywhere, for everybody. What's so wrong about that? Do we want to uplift the condition of humanity or not?

Monday, July 12, 2010


This isn't a political statement on my part, just a bad-ass song with cool rhymes and a few photos purposely chosen for their anonymity and artistic appeal. I've never been in the military or in a gang, nor do I rap, but I think Eminem's poetry and delivery is undeniable.

This one is for all the warriors out there.

Yo', never was a thug, just infatuated with guns,
never was a gangsta, 'til I graduated to one,
and got the rep of a villain, for weapon concealin',
took the image of a thug, kept shit appealin',
willin' to stick out my neck, for respect if it meant life or death,
never live to regret what I said,
when you're me, people just want to see,
if it's true, if it's you, what you say in your rap's, what you do,
so they feel, as part of your obligation to fulfill,
when they see you on the streets, face to face, are you for real,
in confrontation ain't no conversation, if you feel you're in violation,
any hesitation'll get you killed, if you feel it, kill it,
if you conceal it, reveal it, being reasonable will leave you full of bullets, pull it, squeeze it, till it's empty, tempt me, push me, pussies, I need a good reason to give this trigger a good squeeze...

I'm a soldier, these shoulder's hold up so much, they won't budge,
i'll never fall or fold up,
i'm a soldier,
even if my collar bone's crush or crumble,
I will never slip or stumble,
i'm a soldier,
these shoulder's hold up so much, they won't budge,
i'll never fall or fold up,
i'm a soldier,
even if my collar bone's crush or crumble,
I will never stumble...

I love pissin' you off, it get's me off,
like my lawyer's, when the fuckin' judge let's me off,
all you motherfuckers gotta do is set me off,
i'll violate and all the motherfuckin' bet's be off,
i'm a lit fuse, anything I do bitch, it's news,
pistol whippin' motherfuckin' bouncers, six-two,
who needs bullets, soon as I pull it, you sweat bullets,
an excellent method to get rid of the next bully,
it's actually better cause instead you murderin',
you can hurt em' and come back again and kick dirt at 'em,
Mr. pourin' salt in the wounds, assault and get sued,
you can smell the lawsuits soon as I waltz in the room,
everybody halts and stops, calls the cops,
all you see is bitches comin' out their halter tops,
runnin' and duckin' out the Hard Rocks parking lot,
you'll all get shot whether its your fault or not, cause...

I spit it slow so these kids know that i'm talkin' to 'em,
give it back to these damn critics and sock it to em,
i'm like a thug, with a little bit of Pac influence,
I spew it, and look how I got you bitches rockin' to it,
you motherfuckers could never do it like I could do it,
don't even try it, you'll look stupid, do not pursue it,
don't ever in your life, try to knock the truest,
I spit the illest shit, ever been dropped to two inch,
so ticky-tock listen as the sound ticks on the clock,
listen to the sound of Kim as she licks on a cock,
listen to the sound of me spillin' my heart through this pen,
motherfuckers know that i'll never be Marshall again,
full of controversy until I retire my jersey,
'til the fire inside dies and expires at thirty, and
Lord have mercy on any more of these rappers that verse me,
and put a curse on authorities in the face of adversity, i'm a...

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Art by Sunny Williams.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Jacque Fresco

Jacque Fresco NZ Television Interview from john smith on Vimeo.

Thrash Piano

Where's The Exit?

Why was I ever looking for anything in this world to make sense? I live in an insane asylum.

Earth: Planet of way too many fucked up people deciding how the rest of us live.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Virtue & Failure

Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more.

~ Nikola Tesla


"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." ~ Amendment X

The federal government's lawsuit against Arizona is retarded. In essence they're trying to sue that which they've sworn to uphold. This country is supposed to be based on the rights of the individual (the least defended minority on earth) and that includes the rights of individual states.

Fuck you, Uncle Sam.

Iraqi Paraglider Pilots

Thermaling over Mosul...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Final Storm

I watched this film last night. If you're into movies such as "The Road," you'll find purchase here. What I like about director Uwe Boll is that in June 2006, he challenged each of his five harshest critics to a 10-round boxing match and beat them all. I've never seen any of his other movies, but "The Final Storm" is good work. More shit talking critics should get punched anyway.

Uwe said knock you out...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Riff Factory & The Art of Zhun

I will always be a Dino fan. His playing had a huge influence on me in the mid-90s. While I like this, you have to admit it's a bit comical calling it "music." Evidently this is the finished product, the kind of thing I could spend 8 hours a day practicing to perfection, thus driving everyone around me insane. It's easy to see why some people don't get it. Sometimes I don't either. Nonetheless, chaos metal is awesome. Horns up to Dino. Artificial harmonics rule!

And now for a fun-filled holocaust of burning beans drilled to perfection... By the way, it takes a lot of practice and dedication to become an awesome shredder. Metal musicians deserve more money and should be paid by the note. They've earned every one of them.

...followed by a slow, melodic soul-crusher. Enjoy...

* Notice the use of 6/8 in this song. Composers use it when they want to evoke the feeling of the sea. With a primary pulse on 1 and a secondary pulse on 4, there's a rocking-back-and-forth feel like waves. Water being the symbol of emotion, its effect is two-fold. Add a minor key to it and you have the equivalent of something sad moving in the depths. Songs like this are cool because they are like the ocean -- strong, powerful, and somehow able to speak to the soul.

Through The Wormhole

This is just a teaser, which I hope will pique your interest to watch more. "Through The Wormhole" appears on the Science Channel, which I don't have, but can access from Comcast after the show has aired. I recently saw this first episode (also available on YouTube) and it resonated. This is the type of show I've been waiting for my entire life. It's high time for science and spirituality to meet on the summit of truth, and I appreciate that it's trying to be done rather than spun. Enough lies, let there be clarity. I love that Morgan Freeman is the host. Ever since he played "Red" in "The Shawshank Redemption" I've been a fan. Some people are cool and do cool things. This is one of them...

Happy Birthday, America

I had the good fortune of seeing a Los Lonely Boys concert in New Mexico a few years back and they put on a great performance. Despite our national anthem being written to the tune of a British drinking song, I've always liked it, especially with harmonized vocals. This is one of the better versions I've found, courtesy of LLB, who are a top notch act. Thanks guys.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

From the Columbia River To The End Of The World

"As of 2008, 1 million US gallons of highly radioactive waste is traveling through groundwater toward the Columbia River. This waste is expected to reach the river in 12 to 50 years if cleanup does not proceed on schedule." ~ wikipedia

Fuck us. We have ruined everything. I'm so tired of all our shit. Native American people would never have done this or allowed it to happen. What are we? Monsters from another planet? It's like a mad experiment: "What happens when when you take one hostile universe, add one beautiful planet, and seed it with something of extraterrestrial origin?" Do we not seem as a disease? Something that possibly arrived here on an incoming meteor or an alien ship? During the Lewis & Clark expedition, one of the tribes they encountered told them, "You are from the sky, you are not men."

Why did the Indians say that? What did they mean by it? Two hundred odd years later it gives me pause to wonder, because today I can turn on the History Channel and watch professors discuss the same idea -- that maybe we're not really from here. They take it a step further, asking if aliens visited this planet in the distant past. Let's say they did, and brought a technology with them that initiated evolution, or at the very least influenced it. Fast forward to the present and we've reached the point where that same ancient alien technology is now us, just in an advanced form. So we look around and see we have un-made the planet. We can't ignore it. Forced to confront the consequences of our actions, we see our real selves. Isn't it time to take a hard look at what the true purpose, source and sustenance of life might be? Is it all an accident, or is it by design? Where are we from? Why are we the way we are? What are we doing? Where are we going?

We need to figure these things out and choose the right path, because I don't like that my beautiful river is full of radiation. I'm not looking forward to a future of more nuclear energy, and suffering the idiots who contend that it's "sustainable." One of the definitions of "sustain" is "to supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life." I don't recall nuclear waste supplying any food, drink, or "necessities" for oh, I don't know, about four billion years. I guess the definition they're thinking of is "to suffer without yielding." We humans seem to like suffering (as personified by the icon Jesus, champion of misery), regardless of the philosophical, spiritual, and consequently environmental consequences for civilization. I think to myself, "You think the BP oil spill is bad? Imagine the future." At some point you have to ask yourself what the last survivable disaster will be. I guess all you can do is be thankful it's not another Chernobyl.

The human population has been growing continuously for the past 600 years. We are projected to be 9 billion somewhere between 2040 and 2050. Based on the results thus far, that doesn't look very promising to me. What I see is a sustained human march toward total self-destruction. In answer to the question "What are humans for?", I inevitably start thinking that the reason is to carry out an already established objective. Maybe in the long run, that is humanity's purpose: not to destroy the Earth, but to destroy just enough of it that we ensure our own extinction. Okay. Why?

Because this planet deserves better than us.

Maybe that's been the plan all along. Perhaps we are merely the pioneers, paving the way for those who will come after us -- our future selves from the distant past. From animal to human to machine... What's next? What if there's a civilization somewhere in the universe that got their start 5000 or 50,000 years before us? Is it not likely, if they evolved in a similar way to us, that they would have solved the problems of intergalactic travel and the origin of life already? Having acquired that knowledge, isn't it conceivable they'd want to apply it elsewhere? What better laboratory than another planet?

I see three potential sources of life here: Water from meteors that hit the Earth, aliens who seeded the Earth long ago, and from the Earth itself, as it formed. Native Americans strike me as having come from a terrestrial source, and it's interesting that many of them cite this in their religions, as with the Pueblo People, whose "sipapu" represents the portal through which their ancient ancestors emerged. In contrast, those of us descended from Europeans (in my case English, Irish, and German) have generally subscribed to religions based on gods or a god from somewhere "up there." Why is there a difference? Somehow the Indians sensed it. How did they know?

There is a war between us and the planet we live on, and I want to know why. Is our species a race of suicide-bombers in a terror campaign against every living thing? What I see us doing doesn't make sense to me. What is the explanation for it? What drives us along this path? I think we've done enough damage already. If we are really from the sky, then it's time to return and leave this place alone.

Earth: a formerly pristine world...

Solar Messiahs Need Not Apply

I just got an email from a guy who wrote, "You're invited to follow my blog." I checked it out and his primary focus was on Jesus and the Bible. Cool, but listen, I don't believe in the white man's god. Thanks for the invitation, but no, I will not follow.

The Gladiator Waltz

Do you have nine minutes? Can you turn off your monitor, turn on your ears and practice assertive listening? What do you hear? This exercise may be more useful if you've never seen Gladiator, but if you have, forget it. As I've said before, the problem with music today is that too many people are listening with their eyes. Open your mind's eye instead. What do you see? It is said that music makes up 75% of the emotional impact of a movie. What do you feel? If I was blind, I would still go to movies just to experience the soundtrack while watching the movie in my head. Imagine your life as a movie... how would it sound? Better yet, how should it sound? What is epic in you? Can you capture it? Can you express it? Can you bring it to life?

I want my life to be awesome. For right-brain disciples like me, I celebrate what words cannot express. There is a purity to instrumental music that words can never limit, allowing each listener to have his own unique and personal experience. Ayn Rand called it "a sense of life." It's an important concept. It is something you are born with and bring into the world, similar to a song not yet touched by language.

Ayn Rand defined it thus: "A sense of life is a pre-conceptual equivalent of metaphysics, an emotional, subconsciously integrated appraisal of man and of existence. It sets the nature of a man’s emotional responses and the essence of his character."

I remember having a sense of life, an emotional response to it. It was a vision that I could hear, that called to me and felt like my future. I could never articulate it though so I never knew what it was. Sometimes I catch glimpses of it in the work of others, and it reveals that we are of the same heart, the same essence of character.

My favorite part of "The Gladiator Waltz" is between 1:51 and 2:27.  It's so courageous, and what I see there is a place of beautiful and victorious struggle. An equally choice section is between 7:14 and 7:48. You can feel the buildup. It's like a wild tiger about to break out of his cage. He smashes through the bars, bounds fast and free across the open plain, captures his oppressors and thrashes the shit out of them. The climactic finale makes certain that a lot of ass just got soundly kicked.

"What we do in life echoes in eternity." ~ Maximus

The Forgotten Rule

I recently watched a show about the War of 1812 on the History Channel. Okay, so the British were oppressive dickheads, and we didn't like that, so we kicked them out (again). But we speak English too, so we think in a similar way, and now we've become the oppressive dickheads who invade other countries. I guess if you think enough like your enemy, you eventually become him.

Historically, America's foreign policy bears this out time and again. The only wars I'm certain of are the ones waged in self-defense. Like the British before us, might tries to makes right, but "insurgents" who are resisting our troops aren't really doing anything different than what we'd do if the shoe was on the other foot, such as it was when the British invaded New Orleans. (Unlike Bush, Madison actually helped the city.) It's too bad that Andrew Jackson, the hero of the conflict, then turned around as President and crushed the American Indians with as much cruelty as the British had inflicted upon him.

In the war of 1812, the British bombarded Fort McHenry in Baltimore for 25 hours straight. Reminds me of "shock and awe" in Baghdad, strongly opposed by France, Germany, New Zealand and Canada, but noticeably not Great Britain. Why not? Why are we doing the same shit to other countries that they did to us? Have we learned nothing? And why are they on our side? They couldn't beat us, so they joined us?  Somehow after 234 years of "independence," I don't think we ever really broke free of England. I wouldn't be surprised to discover it's still some old white banker fucks in London who are calling our shots. At least in this country, we can fire back. That's the difference between being a citizen and being a subject. However, it does nothing to change an American foreign policy that I can't stand. All of us need to stop fucking fighting. Period.

"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible."

~ George Washington, farewell address

(No offense, England. I got no problem with you or your people. One of my great friends is English and I've always loved the Beatles. My government just pisses me off. Yours probably pisses you off too. That's even more reason for us to be friends.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1

I have a question: Do we have the right to exist as free, equal, and independent individuals, or not? What is the point of civilization if not to gain that end?