Archive for April, 2011

Kate and William: Britain’s Re-emergance Into American Culture

April 28, 2011

Something amazing is happening in America today: Ricky Gervais is the funniest man alive, two people are having the biggest wedding (apparently) of all time, and Britain has turned into the hottest topic.

Some of my favorite things come from the jolly (often cartoon like) land of England. My favorite band, The Clash, (also the best band ever) hailed from England. Ricky Gervais is possibly the funniest man alive (as I stated before). Frank Turner is one of the best, if not the best, singer-songwriter in music today. The hats that the Royal Guard wear are consistently in style and pretty much inspire all fashion that is found in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Seeing that there at least four things that make Britain an awesome place I should be fine with with the country getting giddy over a wedding. Afterall, this is a royal wedding. And everyone knows that royalty should never be questioned. But something recently bothered me with all this royal wedding hoopla; coverage of it replaced my favorite program on TV.

I believe I’ve said before that Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld is my favorite show. It’s topical, witty, and on at the perfect time for insomniacs (3 am). It’s become something of a comfort of mine, a shimmering light in the darkness of night. Which is why I was quite perturbed when the show wasn’t on.

Because the show airs at such an un-Godly hour, it is sometimes displaced because of breaking news stories during the day. Considering that FOX News is a news organization, I understand that this breaking coverage takes precedent. This brings me to the coverage of the wedding of the royals.

The channel has decided that in build-up to the big day that the late night programming (which includes replays of shows that have already aired during the day) they would go to their sister-station, Sky News, for coverage.  I sort of understand this since the London based channel would have better coverage regarding an event that is taking place in England. But instead of having programming revolving solely around the wedding, they are just showing a liv feed of the station. This means, you’re basically watching a British news orginization talk about Libya and other world affairs. Which really amounts to watching the BBC, which anyone with digital cable can already do.

I know this isn’t really something to get annoyed with. There are things going on in the world that should require more of my attention than my favorite TV show not being on for a week. But it’s the little things in life where you find the most enjoyment. And let’s be honest, the British are pretty damn goofy.

I Fell In Love Once Too

April 28, 2011

And it was great. So, for all those who are in the process of falling in love or who still consider themselves in love, congrats: It’s only going to get worse.

I should probably preface this particular post by saying how I am slightly drunk and therefore in that mindset where love is both wonderful and awful. To be fair, the wonderful part outweighs the awful part by a heavy margin, but I can still find substantial flaws with the latter.

According to Dictionary.com (my favorite place to go if I don’t know how to spell certain words) love is defined as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. With this definition being the one that I use for the duration of this post, I will disect the idea of love and the things it entails.

I’ve written before about love and how love exists and is felt because of the absence of it. Basically, you don’t know love (or at least don’t appreciate it) unless you’ve known heart break. On the other side, you’ve never experienced heart break if you’ve never loved someone or something. But what constitutes love?

Many young people (considering I’m pretty young I feel odd talking about the merits of youth) find themselves “in love”. But is that love really love? Is love something that comes naturally or is it an emotion that is learned?

We as humans can sometimes be very forgetful, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. I’ll use myself as an example. I loved a girl once. Nothing came of us and because of this fact I was devastated. But then something happened; I met someone else and I fell in love with them. When this relationship went to hell I found myself devestate again. This blow to my self-esteem was absolutely the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I spent a good two months chasing the bottle and trying to fill the “void” that this person left when they left. But then something else happened; I met someone else. And with this new person taking up the space in my heart the girl who had left me didn’t seem like that big of a deal. I was sure that I had lvoed her, but I didn’t think it could match up with the new love I felt.

This makes me wonder if the love I had felt for this particular girl was all that real. I’m sure at the time I meant it when I said I love you, butI wonder now if that was actually something I felt. My memory tells me that I should have loved her because we were together, but when she comes up in random conversations I will remark our love because…well, I’m not sure why. It kind of seems that I only recall the love we shared it seems like the right thing to say. Sort of like my memory of this supposed love is more than the actual feelings I had for this person. That I feel like I should say it because it sounds like the thing to say.

Part of me definately believes that there was love in the relationship. You only stay with someone (for the most part) if you enjoy their company. This enjoyment can (and usually) will evolve into love. So, I don’t really doubt that I did love the person, but I do find myself doubting if this feeling I had was the real thing or if it was just the right thing to say at the moment.

For instance, the first time that you tell someone you love them, do you really mean it? Or is this statement simply a way of saying “I like you being around and we’ve been together for a few months so I should probably say this”. This makes me wonder if love is really just being incredibly comfortable with someone. That the only thing behind it is not minding having this person around you, the societal pressures that come with being in a relationship, and working parts that fit.

After looking at this it seems a bit sad for someone in his early twenties to be making these statements. Surely my ideas regarding love aren’t that jaded. To be honest, they’re really not. I believe in love and I believe that when people tell someone they love them they mostly mean it. But it also seems like a word that gets thrown around a lot and has lost it’s signifigance. And that kind of sucks.

East Coast, West Coast: Better Than No Coast?

April 27, 2011

I love New Jersey. I’ve lived in the Garden State my enitre life and for whatever reason I have a certain sense of pride because of that. In fact, because I’m from New Jersey I have a certain pride in New York City. To me it’s the best city in the world (it doesn’t matter that there are thousands of citiesI have not been too). I say this confidently and I’m not sure why.

For whatever reason, if you were born on a coast of the United States you feel as if you’re a bit better than those of the population who didn’t have the privilege of having been. I’ve tried to reason why this is and I’ve come up with a few thoughts.

The film industry is primarily attributed to the coasts. Hollywood (which I thought was in New Mexico) is of course located in California. The allure that surrounds the slum of a city is incredible and it’s thought of us this amazing thing where anything can happen. Dreams can be made in Hollywood (or left to ferment as you sell self-help tapes on Sunset Boulevard just to make rent for your awful apartment).

New York City is the economic capital of the world. Wall Street is there. The most known sports teams (minus for Chicago) call New York City and California their home. The most famous buildings in the United States are all featured on the coast (minus the Alamo of course). The most famous arena in professional sports (the awful Madison Square Garden) calls New York home. Broadway is one of the most iconic roads in the world (definately in America).

Everyone from a small town in the middle of nowhere has dreams of moving to the either New York or Hollywood to realize their dreams. This makes sense considering if you really want to be in media you need to go these hot spots. But that kind of sucks too, because people on the coasts can get really arrogant when it comes to this. Are they really entitled to this arrogance? I say no.

Look, I have already expressed my bias when it comes to my love of New Jersey and the east coast in general. But we’re really not all that great. Have you ever driven on the Turnpike? It’s awful. What about RT. 22? It’s just as bad if not worse. What about the city of Philadelphia? It’s not that good at all. I think it’s the kind of place that’s history is more enjoyable than its current state (which in fairness can be said about a lot of things).

So I’ve given you about four examples why the east coast isn’t all that great. There are many more I could give but I’ve grown disinterested with this. Probably because I hate myself for saying bad things about the coast that I live on. But that’s OK. At least I don’t live in Houston.

The Only People Not Worried About Death are Dead People

April 25, 2011

You can say that you’re not afraid of the great beyond and I promise you that I won’t be the one to to try to make you realize that you are. I won’t do that because I really don’t want you to be afraid of the there-after. Mostly because you shouldn’t be afraid, but also because someone being a fraid of death is pointless. We all get there eventually.

People are terrified of the unknown. The fear of change comes along with that. The biggest change a person can expeience is death. The idea of no longer being, whether it be that you simply cease to be (something mind numblingly difficult to comprehend even if you’re ego is very small) or go to a heavenly afterlife, can mae you uneasy. Which is kind of interesting when you think about it.

See, I’m a Christian. I was baptised Catholic and grew up in a non denominational church till I was 18 years old. I’m not really sure why I left the church considering that I never lost my faith in God. But more or not I found myself sleeping in on sundays as the rest of my family took their short trip a few blocks away to go to the white building with the big white steepl and worship.

It could have been that my feeling of salivation seemed to be fading. I wasn’t sure why, I did all the motions, confussed the right sings and all that. I guess that something in me just didn’t feel like I really deserved this salvation that I was getting just for believing in someone. It seemed real symbol for me and really screwed up for Jesus. This seems really unfair for Jesus.So with these thoughts lingering in my mind I sometimes wonder if I’m really deserving of the salvation that comes from the cross. Cause a lot of times I don’t really feel like I deserve paradise. And it’s a crappy feeling, but it’s an honest one. Well, I hope  I get out of this feeling and realize I’m worth the boards, the crown, the nails, and the acceptance to the pearly gates. After all, that’s where we all want to get too eventually.

Anyway, I really hope all of you had a happy Easter and the kind of Easter where you just celebrated with families and friends and that you thought of them as an extension of God. And I hope you really did have an amazing day. I’m pretty sure Jesus would want you have an amazing day too.

Things NOT to Do When Under The Influence of Anything

April 22, 2011

If you’ve taken a substance that has the possibility to impair your ability to make sound decisions, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t drive. So with that being said, I will go onto less dangerous activities you shouldn’t do when you find yourself under the influence of whatever.

While you may get hungry, think before you decide to cook something. Eating something already prepared for consumption is a good idea if a pang of hunger hits you (like chips or cereal). Food that you actually have to cook is probably not the best idea. It’s easy to forget that you left the oven on when you’re on a bender and just need your personal sized pizza. To a lesser degree, you could wind up wasting perfectly good food. Like I did once after I microwaved a Hot Pocket. I went to bed and left the darn thing in the microwave. Come morning it was no good anymore. Well, it probably was still good. It’s a Hot Pocket. But I didn’t want to risk it though.

You should probably not talk to anyone. Although your phone call seems like the perfect thing to bestow upon someone, you should probably refrain. It’s not because the person who you’re calling doesn’t want to speak to you. It’s that you don’t have anything to say even if you think you do. Really. You’re basically being me but drunk or high. Or both.

You probably shouldn’t write anything. A lot of what I write here is a great example of that. If you would also like to see a great example of just how awful writing can be when under the influence of something, read lyrics by Jim Morrison. I believe Craig Finn, lead singer/lyricist of The Hold Steady. said it best.

The music meanders, and Morrison was more like a drunk asshole than an intelligent poet. The worst of the worst is the last song, Riders on the Storm: ‘There’s a killer on the road/ His brain is squirming like a toad’ – that’s surely the worst line in rock’n’roll history. He gave the green light to generations of pseuds.

He’s full on right with this assertion. And I’ve found that when writing “poetry” and not being of sound mind it’s just pretty awful. So, don’t do it.

You definately shouldn’t try to whisper to a horse. Horses can sense when you’re not sober and they will act all angry. Mostly because horses are mostly straight edge (as everyone knows). I say God bless them for their ability to turn down the temptations that fill everyday life. If only we all had the same convictions that these horses do.

Don’t try to domesticate wild animals. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s really not. You’ll end up with rabies and and a sadness since you have failed at your endeavor. Sure, you may walk (or limp) away with a story to tell, but the story will end badly. Because wild animals don’t like to have madmade rules thrust upon them. Ask any fox. They’ll tell you the same.

So there you have it. A few things that you shouldn’t do when your under the influence of pretty much anything. Whether it be drugs, alcohol, over the counter allergy medicine, love or anger you should probably wait for these things to run their course before you do things you wouldn’t normaly do. It’s for the best.

Music Everyone Likes

April 21, 2011

Like many people do when they find themselves in bed struggling with falling asleep I started to run lists in my mind. You know, something that would tire me out and allow me to drift off into the wonderfulness that is the realm of slumber.

They started out simple enough. I tried to think of all the states. My desert island book list. I recited lyrics I had written in my head. Presidents of the united states. Teams in various professional sports leagues. Things like that.

That’s when I thought about music. To be specific, I thought about bands or performers that are universaly liked. This meaning that aside from a few people (who are most likely pretentious assholes) they receive praise pretty from pretty much everyone. You can usually hear some of this music at any bar that has a jukebox. Drunk people usually play songs that they think everyone at the bar will like (unless you’re me). I have never seen someone upset that Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing is playing.

Anyway, here’s 5 bands/performers that I rarely hear negative things about. Feel free to yell at me if you disagree.

Frank Sinatra

Old blue eyes reminds me of a simpler time. And damn it, if you listen to New York, New York you feel slightly empowered. And feeling empowered is generaly a good feeling.

The Hold Steady

Music that is fun written by some guys who just want you to have fun. I would submit that The Hold Steady are writing the soundtrack of a generation with honest, heartfelt lyrics dealing with love, loss, drugs, heartbreak, innocence, and trying to balance all these things and come out clean on the other end.

The Eagles

Hotel California is the best song ever written dealing with overindulgence and addiction. It also happens to be one of the best rock and roll songs ever. In fact, going through the bands catalogue of music shows few weaknesses. They have a sound that is easy to like and they’re pretty damn good at getting you to like it.

The Gaslight Anthem

It’s rare that a band like The Gaslight Anthem comes around. All the music is executed flawlessly. The lyrics are based on universal themes and anyone can relate. And it’s all delivered with such passion. You lsiten to the band and you realize that they really enjoy what they do and they want to pass that feeling of enjoyment onto the listener. The 59′ Sound is one of the best albums that I have ever heard and is just something that everyone can enjoy.

Johnny Cash

I’m sure you’ve heard this before: “I don’t like country music but I like Johnny Cash”. The man in black has been able to garner fans from every walk of music. You rarely hear anything negative about the guy and his music. He’s simply enjoyable to everyone.

There are other bands that could fit this list as well. So if you don’t see a band that you think should be there feel free to set me in the right direction.

My Killing of a Fly

April 19, 2011

I was sitting in my house today when I noticed a buzzing flying object soar past my head. My eyes focused on the dark little dot that was on my wall and I knew that it was a fly. Feeling that a fly would just anger me as the day went on I retrieved a paper towel and proceeded to kill it. This act of murder (instead of death by negligence) got me thinking.

What was the fly thinking before my “mighty” hand decided his time on the planet was done? What gave me the right to take this fly’s life? Do I play the role of God in the fly world? Or perhaps more correctly, do humans assume the role of Gods? Do the flys simply live moment to moment and don’t have time to think about the complexities of an “all-knowing” being or an afterlife (I’m pretty sure all flies go to hell so it’s probably best if they don’t think about it)?

Upon writing this, I understand that many people will say that flys don’t think and therefore these questions I ask are just nonsense. I see what they mean considering that the fly was an incredibly easy kill and anything with a brain would have saw my slow Bounty filled hand coming towards it. But haven’t you, at some point in your life, wondered what it would be like to be a fly? OK, maybe you never thought of yourself as a fly, but I bet you have at some point thought that you’re not the biggest most enlightened thing on this planet. And if you think that then you can maybe understand the plight of a fly. They are small things. Nothing of value. But is that true?

It’s not. Flies are actually a valued member of the ecosystem. While they are annoying, grotesque creatures they do have good qualities. For instance, flies feed off of other insects. So they provide pest control to a certain degree. They also feed off of decaying food and animals. Hell, they eat shit. Straight up dung. In a way, that’s kind of noble. Think about it.

Without these flies a whole bunch of dead animals would be sitting around in the woods ruining your weekend camping trip (I’m still waiting for my invite). That stupid field mouse that got into your home and called the space behind your walls it’s own? Well, when he died flies went and made sure he wouldn’t just be sitting there stinking up your house.

And do you know who is the enemy of flies? Spiders. And spiders are a whole lot creepier than a house fly.

At the same time, if you really hate flies I suppose you could invite spiders into your home. They would take care of the problem fairly well.

Or you could be like me and kill them both. Cause in the insect world, I’m God. And God knows I need the ego boost.

Can America Survive: Thoughts on Pastor John C. Hagee’s New Book and the Middle East

April 18, 2011

I didn’t read this book. The only reason I know anything about this is because I briefly saw an interview with him on ome news program. Basically, he wrote a book about the current state of America and our handling of Israel, how Iran is evil and a threat, how the cost of healthcare legislation will further destroy the value of the US dollar, how Christianity is being criminalized around the world and how the Bible predicted all of this.

Being that I am not a Biblical scholar I really don’t have the information to refute his claims. With that being said, I kind of think that if you want to you can back up any claim using scripture. My line of thinking comes from the understanding that people will use a subject that is dear to others for their own purposes. I’m not saying the Mr. Hagee is doing that. I fully believe that he believes in what he’s saying. But the subject matter of his book are all things that anyone can see. Sure, he’s backing it up using the Bible, but you don’t need the Bible to see what he’s trying to say.

I’m pretty sure everyone is in agreement that the Middle East is an incredibly messed up (putting it lightly) place. The government of Iran is evil and they’ve shown this through the treatment of their citizens and neighbors as well as by the things that they have said. Especially when it comes to America and Israel.

Regarding Israel, our support has seemingly decreased a bit as of late. Israel is not a perfect country. But they are the closest thing in the Middle East to America. And we should probably support a country that resembles us. I think so anyway.

I guess that’s my problem with this book; it’s just repeating things that everyone who watches any news already knows. Regardless of your political leanings (except fringe politics anyway) you’ll find that everyone agrees that the government of Iran is composed of crazy people. People’s views on Israel do vary but even someone who doesn’t really care about the safety of the country has to admit that it is constantly living in the shadow of people who want it to be eliminated.

And as for the healthcare stuff, well, you will find people who disagree with that. A lot of times people just follow party lines when it comes to this subject. That’s pretty sad too considering that healthcare is an issue that should be addressed. Perhaps not the way that we are (in my opinion anyway) but definately in someway.

I guess my main problem with the good pastor’s book is that he’s drawing conclusions that have already been shown to be true. That all this turmoil in the Middle East is a very real threat to the United States. I don’t think we need the Bible to show us that. But then again, that’s just me.

And as for the question he poses? Well, I think America can, so everyone should rest their troubled mind.

Love Song

April 16, 2011

No, not the famous Cure song that can be found on their incredibly depressing album, Disintegration (though I guess it could fit in the overall theme).

I was watching an infomercial on channel 2 tonight (you know, instead of being productive or something). It was Timelife music collection focusing in on sensual love songs. The kind that Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson sang. The kind that, according to this particular paid advertisement, white people don’t really enjoy. I say this in jest of course. The commercial had a predominantly black cast and I’m pretty sure everyone featured on the CD was also black. This makes sense though considering that I’ve never heard a white person sing the way Smokey Robinson can. But I digress.

There were four things that came to mind during my viewing. The first was that I really enjoyed the music. The second was that I really wish I could sing like the people on the CD and that it would be humorus if I attempted to with my awful yelping. The third was that despite my enjoyment of the music I would never spend the money on this CD, and the fourth being that these songs bummed me out.

See, love songs have an ability to do several things. If you happen to be in a relationship with someone they can sound like the perfect soundtrack and the words that you could never quite figure out how to say in a coherant way.

They can make you hopeful that one day you’ll find someone and that you’ll be able to hear this song and think of that person that at the moment you don’t know.

Or you can feel, as I did tonight, awful.

I don’t want this to come off like I’m feeling sorry for myself or anything like that because I’m really not. I was just really surprised at how much a few well placed words and an overall jovial tune could make me feel alone. I guess it could also be because along with hearing about love and all the joy that comes from that emotion they showed people being all couplely. And when a lonely person sees a couple happy together it’s going to evoke an emotion.

You can get angry or jealous or just sad. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten mad at a couple for being a couple (unless it’s an ex or something where it’s understandable to be angry). Tonight I just felt kind of bad. Especially when it comes to the dumb perks of being in a relationship that you sometimes overlook. For instance, holding hands or having an inside joke that only the two of you can understand or the feeling you get as you’re driving to their house or the dumb way you say good night to each other or how your pillow has the faint scent of them. All those things are better than sex. And it sucks because by the time you realize this it’s probably after they have left and found someone new. And you wonder about their stupid little things and if the person who has taken your place is noticing those dumb things and if they’re better than the dumb things you had. Those thoughts keep you up at night and make you feel like Marvin Gaye is poking you with a sharpened stick.

But the sex part is pretty swell too.

Random Questions Answered

April 16, 2011

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

A: The big problem with this question is that no one knows what kind of life the chicken lived. No one knows if the chicken has crossed this road many times before or if this is the first time. No one even knows if the road the chicken is crossing is a real road or metaphorical road that could symbolize some kind of journey that this chicken needs to take. It’s pretty much impossible to answer this question. Even if you were there and witnessed the crossing of the road you wouldn’t know the real objective of the chicken’s action.

Or it could be that the chicken needed to go across the street to pick up it’s Chinese take out.

Q: If you had to be an animal which animal would you be?

A: People often answer this question by naming their favorite animal. If I used this logic I would say that I would want to be an elephant or a manatee. Clearly, these are not good answers. As much as I love elephants, elephants never forget (thanks peta). As someone who already lives in the past too much I think that becoming an elephant would only make things worse.

As far as the manatee goes, they aren’t very good at avoiding trouble. They always find themselves in shallow water and being beaten up by boats and other things. It’s sad. But they do have a baseball team (albeit a minor league team) named after them. So there’s that.

So I guess I’d be a cockapoo. They’re adorable and tons of fun. And their name is silly but their hearts are not.

Q: Why is there something rather than nothing?

A: The void that the term creates in the mind of nothing is one that is hard for many people to grasp. Look at how humans deal with death; the big nothing. We have religion which allows us to have a grasp that life doesn’t end with our final breath. We leave behind the things we’ve done so in a way we live on through death.

Nothing is empty while something seems like a tangible thing. And plus, have you ever felt an emotion? How could that be considered nothing?

And have you ever seen Lord of the Rings? Boy, wasn’t that something?

Q: Can the existence of God be proven or disproven?

A: No. This is where the concept of faith enters the equation.

Q: Is there a purpose to us as humans?

A: Yes. If you take away humans the world would change. Some would say it would be better, but I got a feeling that the earth would find a way to mess things up on its on.

And have you ever made someone smile? There you go. That’s your purpose.

Q: Why are all question about the universe as a whole undecidable?

A: Questions are formed with various thoughts in mind. Likewise, an answer is formed with different thoughts in mind. Each of these thoughts are different for each person and this is why we often find that discussions turn into debates. When looking at a concept as vast as the universe it is hard to find an answer that will satisfy everyone. This is why questions about the universe seem to be undecidable.

Q: Keith, why did you start with two fairly silly questions and spiral into the philosophical?

A: While I wanted this to be something with stupid questions with wordy but still stupid answers, I was lured into doing an internet search for philosophical questions. I used one site, http://able2know.org/topic/148090-1, mostly because some of the questions made me mad and also because I was lazy and didn’t want to go to another site with pseudo-intellectuals asking questions only to be answered by more questions.

See, while I think there is definately a place for philosophy I also think that some of these mysterious/tough questions aren’t really that difficult to answer. Yes some of them are completely reliant on someone’s personal experience or prior beliefs, but that doesn’t make the question anymore difficult to answer. It’s just that the answers are all different. No mystery, just different views on life.