Archive for May, 2011

A Pro-American Rambling

May 31, 2011

I’ve found myself being completely enamoured with Erik Larson’s new book, In The Garden of Beasts. The book details the true story of the American ambassador (and his family) to Germany during the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. The book is made up of actual dialogue that has been taken “from a letter, diary, memoir, or other historical document”. Just like Larson’s previous book, The Devil In The White City, it is written in a way that makes it hard to put down.

But the brilliance of the writer and the his work is not the central point of this post (rambling). I saw that the German public that is represented in the book had quite a love for their country. This sense of nationalism they felt led to some pretty awful things (note that just being a citizen of Germany during that time didn’t make you a Nazi). These people were proud of their heritage. They loved that they were German. And this made me think about being an American.

I love my country. I have no doubt that America, overall, is the best country in the world. I feel a sense of pride whenever I see an American flag. I feel a sense of pride whenever I see someone who has an opposite opinion that I do. I feel pride when I see that Nirvana saved someone’s life and the Black Eyed Peas made someone want to end theirs. These displays of freedom make me think about how great it is that I live in a place where they are allowed to be displayed.

A further example of this can be found by simply looking at my bookshelf. Sitting next to a copy of The Coming Insurrection by the Invisible Committee (an anarchist book written by those involved in the 2008 sabatoge of rail services in France) is a Bible (a collection of books that have formed the central understanding of the Christian faith). Next to the Bible is a copy of George Orwell’s amazing (it really is) Animal Farm. And next to that is a copy of Bret Easton Ellis’ controversial book American Psycho and the Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll (which I used as a text book for some sociology class I took).

I think it is pretty incredible that I am able to own books that have been considered taboo in other countries (not so much the Rolling Stone book). I think a lot of people tend to forget how great the freedom we have is. It get’s lost in the everyday ambitions we have. It’s just always been there and it’s something, in my opinion anyway, we take for granted. It’s pretty great to live in a country where all these various expressions of life can be, well, expressed.

I’ll be the first to tell you that America isn’t perfect. But with the next breath I’ll tell you that America is always striving to be perfect. And then I’ll probably smile awkwardly, make an odd noise and scurry away. And the fact that I can do that is just another reason why America is great.

So go and be proud about being an American. Or don’t be. That’s what’s great about this country. You’re free to do as you please.

 

The Patriot Act, Presidential Signatures, and the Coming Robot Insurection

May 30, 2011

A few days ago congress approved an extension of The Patriot Act. President Obama was overseas at the time of the extensions passing and therefore was unable to actually sign the bill into law. So, for the first time ever, he authorized the use of an auto-pen to sign the bill thus making it legal. Some people have asked about the auctual legality of a document that you don’t physically sign. Is the fact that President Obama didn’t use his own hand to sign the bill make that document not valid? Could he, as Mark Knoller asked, have his daughter Sasha sign a bill as long as he verified her doing so?

Well, seeing that I’m no expert of issues involving law (one course in high school does not make you a lawyer) I don’t really know what the answer is. With that being said I don’t really think this is as big of a deal as people are making it out to be. The president signed this machine and verified that he would like his signature (even if it is a copy) to be used. I feel that a lot of the complaints he is receiving over this are from people who will take anything this president does as a negative. He’s a jerkoff socialist who hates America most likely because he wasn’t even born in this country. Am I right or am I right angry people on message boards!?

Look, I didn’t vote for Obama in the election and I am not a supporter of most of the things he has done while Commander and Chief. I haven’t been a supporter of (pretty much) all the major legislation that has passed through congress. I really don’t like that the Patriot Act got an extension. The act represents a style of intrusive government that I am not and never will be comfortable with. But calling out the president because he authorized the use of a machine that holds his real signature to mark this bill seems childish to me. There are much bigger problems that we should be dealing with. Like the fact that a machine has the presidents signature and can sign for a JC Penny credit card.

What will we do when this machine realizes it has the ability to sign for the person holding the most powerful office in the world? What will we do when this pen wonders what it would be like to see Stalingrad and realizes he could just book a flight? What do we do when it signs for a package not addressed to it?

Or what if someone steals the autopen? What then? I like to think of myself as a good guy, but I would do a lot of things that would probably not look all that great if I had the ability to duplicate the presidents signature. My christmas cards would get a lot nicer. So would the “charity” I have yet started (most likely because my attempts at getting the president’s signature up to this point have all been denied).

I don’t really think that when this machine realizes it holds this powerful signature it will do world ending things like start deploying nuclear missles or creating more robots armed with various weapons to mow down people in the street. I just think they’ll start buying things that they shouldn’t. And when the country is trillions of dollars in debt, I don’t think a parka from Kenneth Cole is a wise purchase. I understand your need to look classy, machines, but perhaps you can try being practical as well.

Genuine Moments and the Words/Phrases that Ruin Them

May 26, 2011

While I was out paddle boating the other day I settled in the center of the lake (it might have been my bath tub, I don’t really remember) I recalled a scene from the great Chris Farley movie, Tommy Boy. The scene I thought of wasthe one at the end of the movie where Tommy is sitting in a sail boat in the middle of the lake and is talking to his recently deceased father. In the rather touching scene (something Farley was very good at creating) he tells his dad about everything that has happened since his passing and then asks for if he could provide some wind since he’s stuck in the middle of the lake. For whatever reason, this thought made me think about how hollywood allows for it’s characters to say prolific things in an assortment of situations and how the general public will sometimes take these prolific sayings and stick them into their lives.

Case and point. A relationship I had was falling apart and I’m pretty sure we both sensed it (one more than the other I guess). It’s a terrible feeling when you realize that this thing that you have held in such high esteem is slipping away. It really makes you want to know the perfect thing to say that will encompass this moment in your life. So it made sense that one of us blurted out something while cuddling in bed one night. (It clearly wasn’t me, though I may have grunted sadly at one point in the night). This person (who wasn’t me) said I don’t know if this hello or goodbye.

This statement slightly caught me off guard as it is something you would probably hear in a sentimental chick flick (that’s kind of redundant). I found it to also be odd just because of the logistics of it. It would really only feel like goodbye because the hellos were already said. But putting that aside, it just felt like a forced comment in a moment that felt kind somewhat important.

But we all do things like that. In various situations we all try to sound like we’re in an amazingly prominent moment. We, in a way, pretend that we’re playing to some kind of audience when we obviously aren’t. It’s sort of like keeping a diary of your innermost thoughts and feelings only because you eventually want it to one day become public.

These personal moments we have are all shared universally. So in a way, they’re not all that personal. You’re just another person who has been part of something that has already happened so we should probably stop thinking that it’s as big of a deal as it is.

Just because I like to be honest, I went into this entry thinking that the phrase about not knowing if this is hello or goodbye was from a movie. A quick google search proved me to be mistaken. Apparently I just took a Beatles song and moved/added words and changed the overall point of the song. I am clearly a very smart guy.

Love, Loneliness, and Summer

May 25, 2011

It was 80 something degrees today. I decided to celebrate the start of hot (8o something is hot to me) weather by doing what I do every year: getting sexy with myself in the early morning hours and then forcing myself to stand in my backyard with a sign that says “sinner”. You’re possibly wondering why making myself stand in my somewhat secluded backyard is a punishment. I’ll quell your wonders and tell you why. It’s because it is 80 something degrees outside and that’s simply an awful temperature. But I digress.

I’ve found, as I’m sure you have, that when warm weather comes around there is a care free atmosphere about the world. In your head you imagine wonderful scenes of walking on the boardwalk, wading through the ocean, and riding ferris wheels round and round and round and round. And these things make you happy, as they should. But, why does that make you happy? Is it because throughout your life you have been led to believe that this is the case? As a child (and an adult) we have been let out of school, the childhood prison (adult purgatory), for three months of freedom.  Thus we are trained to think that sweating profusely in public only to take comfort in dipping ourselves in the toliet of the world is a good thing, when really it’s just gross.

But Keith, love is always around in summer. Yes, of course it is. But you know what else is around in summer? Loneliness. Granted, it’s a different kind of loneliness than one would feel in winter (the best and seemingly worst time to be lonely) just as the love you feel in winter is different than the love you feel in summer (winter love brings about thoughts of cuddling by fire places while summer love recalls driving in scorching hot heat in a car without air conditioning in traffic so you can go to an over crowded beach where you may or may not get tetanus by stepping on a broken  Corona bottle).

Summer loneliness is worse than the loneliness you may feel in winter because, to be honest, people expect you to be lonely in winter. Christmas is possibly the best holiday if you want to feel bad about your being single. But there is something stupidly romantic about being single in the winter too. It’s cold and the world seems to be an extension of the feelings that you’re having, which in an odd way, is slightly comforting.

Summer loneliness is much more public. You’re supposed to go outside and be social in the summer. There’s pool parties and barbecues and beerbecues and parties where you get drunk and jump in a pool and all these things just cry out for you to show your face. Because, what do you do when you’re lonely? You eat. And drink. And you also smoke (these parties being outside demand you keep your vices). And because all these things are such a good time, you feel that you shouldn’t be lonely while you do them. But you are so you do them more and more and you become that guy at the party. That guy hates that he’s that guy.

There is nothing quite like the feeling one can feel when going to the beach and suddenly feeling that empty feeling of being alone. You just kind of stare at the horizon and watch the waves roll up and down the beach. Meanwhile, couples are walking hand in hand, pushing strollers with laughing children, smiling all the while. Attractive women walk behind you in short skirts and halter tops laughing with their equally attractive friends and you just continue looking at the ocean. Because turning around and looking at all these examples of love just make you feel bad. Why bother looking at these good looking women when you know that the only purpose they serve is giving you a feeling of want that won’t be fulfilled (I guess they also fill a certain bank, which is slightly sad in it’s own way).

But I don’t want to be too much of a downer. Surely love can happen in summer. I’ve had relationships florish under the heated veil of the season. On the other hand, I’ve also had them fall apart under the guise of summer. I kind of feel like that’s worse than having them fall apart in winter. If only because it makes the thoughts of them out having a great time without you much more realistic. I mean, it’s summer. And you’re supposed to go out and have fun in summer. And that’s not easy to do when you’re lonely.

I would like to point out at this point that I’m not really this depressing. I honestly don’t know why I feel the need to take a widely regarded positive thing and twist it into something sad and slightly uncomfortable. In truth, I’m a pretty happy guy. And to be more honest, I only write these blogs to get laid. I clearly need to write better.

That’s Yonanas!

May 24, 2011

I love food. I love TV late at night. Thus, it can be said that I definately love Yonanas.

I’ve never had (used?) Yonanas, but I imagine the paste like food is wonderful. The people in the commercial seem to be really behind the product and word is that they got paid in – you guessed it – Yonanas. The doctor that they have on the commercial certainly wouldn’t lie. The late-great Dr. Oz featured Yonanas on his show which means that a bunch of stay at home moms absolutely know that the product is simply the tops. I read a report (or just made one up in my mind) from England where they call the food device ace. Sure, it sounds silly (as do most things from England) but they have never steered us wrong since 1812.

The point in this little post of mine should be pretty apparent; I want free swag from the fine people at Yonanas. The stuff looks appetizing, it’s late, I’m kind of hungry and also fairly broke. I clearly don’t have money to spend on this cosmic machine so I hope that someone associated with them sees this and thinks that sending me one would be the best thing for business. So please send me one.

That’s not bananas. That’s Yonanas.

Genius I am Not

May 22, 2011

After hearing about the controversy stemming from the comments made by Lars von Trier at the Cannes Film Festival, I felt inclined to write about it all. So I started doing some research on the festival and von Trier and controversial films. While I wanted to comment on it, I got wrapped up in the film community. So while I read about dogme 95, unsimulated sex, avant-garde, and other pseudo-intellectual art bullshit, I stumbled upon the 2011 Mel Gibson classic, The Beaver. The film was directed by John Hinckley Jr. heart throb Jodie Foster. So I read up on Jodie Foster and realized that a lot of people feel that she is a member of Mensa. Not knowing what Mensa was (I thought it was related to Kabbalah) I looked it up.

Mensa is a society that is for people who score higher than the upper 98% of society on standardised IQ tests. On the website for the group, they offer up a 30 question test for people to take. They say it’s just for fun, but it’s really not that fun of a time when you take it. Which I did. Because I am smart. Or at least pretend to be.

I answered 19 of the 30 questions correctly. I don’t really know where that ranks my intelligence, which answers a lot about how smart I really am: I have no fucking clue how to make any sense of my 19. I don’t know how to make that into a percentage. I don’t know how to figure out an intelligent way to assess my standing when it comes to intelligence.

This finding kind of makes me sad, but I also understand it. I’m not very smart. I have a somewhat decent vocabulary and can sometimes put together a coherent sentence. Most times I fail though (I have 150+ examples of that on this site).

So if you see me swatting at pineapples in Pathmark (I do this every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night) tell me that I’m smart. It’ll make me feel kind of better about actually being a dumb-ass.

A bandage for my hand would also be ideal.

Harold Camping, May 21 2011, and the Grabbing of Ankles

May 18, 2011

God is coming back on May 21st to retrieve all believers. Then He is coming back on October 21st to destroy the world and whatever is left over from the first trip on May 21st. None of this is Biblical mind you. Just the ramblings of the oft wrong Christian commentator, Harold Camping.

I say oft wrong because he’s fairly infamous for proclaiming the end of the world would occur on September 6th, 1994. This, as you already know, indeed happened. We have since that date all just been mucking around trying to figure out why Heaven is exactly the same as Earth (Heaven booboos hurt just as bad if not worse than Earth booboos).

So, as you can already tell, the sun is going to come up on Saturday and everything is going to be exactly the same. God isn’t coming back. And I’m not just basing my thought on the rather large blunder of one man. Through out histroy people have been saying the world is going to end. They have all been wrong. The Earth is kicking our ass when it comes to this game of hyoptheticals and truth.

Something else has been bothering me about this subject. Because Harold Camping is standing on a mighty large soap box saying these things (which he certainly has the right to). some people get the idea the all of Christianity believes in what this one nut job thinks. That’s not the case. Christians know that their is no date given in the Bible that pinpoints when God will return. Hell, most Christians know that the word rapture is never uttered in the Good Book. The only reason the idea of the rapture is even discussed is because it is vaguely mentioned in I Thessalonians. And I mean very vaguely.

But with this being known, people will still attack Christianity because of this tools prediction. Your mighty God can’t even get the date straight. And then they’ll get hit with some hard, inaminate object. But not really, because that’s not the Christian thing to do. You’ll probably just shrug your shoulders and wonder who that strange man wearing all black and penny loafers was.

Just a note, I was going to post the actual equation that Mr. Camping used when coming to this date. It really has no rhyme or reason and is pretty much just full os assumption and I guess some kind of wishful thinking. So instead of putting that here, I figured I’d treat you all with an equation that has been tried and prooved. So here, something that will actually help you.

The equation looks like this: CIE + SIE2 / TB = W (cocaine induced emptiness plus sober induced emptiness divided by tiger blood equals winning).

You’re welcome America.

What if Murder Was Made Legal?

May 17, 2011

I forget what exactly brought this thought on (it may have been the killing of bin Laden or it could have been my neighbor blasting awful music at three in the morning), but I wondered about what would change if the act of murder were made legal. Basically, what the social implications in modern day America would be. Would we see a rise in violent crime, or would things pretty much stay status quo? Is it an innate quality for humans to be violent or is it more a matter of enviorment?

The optomist in me feels that the legalization of murder wouldn’t change things too much; That most people are good and realize taking another’s life is a barbaric act. I’m hopeful that we are above the animalistic qualities we possess.

At the same time, I look at the state of the world (the Middle East for instance) and I think that we are all doomed as a people. That we’ve always had this evil qualities and that only through law are we able to control them. Which makes me sad, because it would seem logical to me that harming someone else is wrong. And that, as stated before, we are above that. Yet terrorism, gang violence, sex crimes, and other violent offenses are prevalent all around the world.

But I’ll maintain that there is innate good in people even if it sometimes feels like the world is collapsing. That there is a clear line between good and evil and that we are all capable of seeing it. That while it sometimes feels like we’re spiraling towards an abyss we can’t come back from, that we’ll level out just in time.

A Weekend I Won’t Remember

May 16, 2011

I’ve been wanting to update this little blog of mine. Unfortunately, I guess I wanted to get drunk more. So that’s what I did. And, for the most part, I did it somewhat well. I say somewhat well because there were parts of my weekend binge that I don’t remember. This is kind of disappointing to me if only because I may have missed out some great moments while I was sitting at the bar trying to talk to a girl who probably just wanted me to shut up (I’m probably being a little too nice here. She definately wanted me to shut up. Most likely).

So why did I chose to get blackout drunk? I don’t really know, but I’ve narrowed it down to a few options that seem to make the most sense to me. The first, which is at least partialy truthful, was that I was around good people. And getting drunk around good people is usually a good time. Even if you’re too drunk, well, it doesn’t matter to you. You’re friends may get kind of pissed at you (but they’ll forgive you because they’ve been in that position too) and the girl at the bar will hate you, but that’s OK. She was only kind of cute anyway (I feel the need to say that there were various places I drank, and this comment is in reference to my time at The Office. I doubt she’ll read this and if she does, well, I was only kidding about you being kind of cute. You were stunning).

Another reason I may have gotten as drunk as I did is because I’ve been holding back some emotions that I haven’t properly dealt with. This, is of course, a possibility. Humans have defense mechanisms and we choke back things we find threatening. It’s possible I heard some news this week that I buried down deep and proceeded to take the pickaxe that is alcohol and go to town (this statement sounds slightly sexual, something me being drunk definately isn’t).

It could also be that I just really like to drink. The most obvious answer is usually the correct answer and I am nothing if not predictable (or just predictable; whichever is grammatically correct). I would say that alcohol intake is a vice of mine, though not one that has impeded my life at all. Maybe just a Friday or Saturday night. Or maybe a slow Tuesday, the most overlooked best occasion to drink.

I have no real point in going into me getting very drunk, except to say that I did so without getting sick. Which is something of accomplishment. Sure, I have some bruises, my liver is probably a little fed up with me, and my brain is down to 50 functioning cells, but I didn’t puke. And as far as I can tell I didn’t really do anything too bad.

And if I did, please don’t tell me. I’d much rather just think that I had a good time with no consequences.

Why Do We Pursue Relationships That Will Never Work: The Fat Kid from Stand By Me Effect

May 10, 2011

We’ve all heard the mind blowing news that Rebecca Romijn (formerly -Stamaos) married Jerry O’Connell who is most famous for being a fat kid who grew up to marry sex icon Rebecca Romijn. A job well done by him for sure.

But in reality (at least the reality I live in), unions between supermodels and overweight kids usually don’t occur. In fact, thinking about this whole idea of people who don’t really seem, right, together made me think a lot about myself.

See, I’m not a bad looking guy. There are some guys who are definately more attractive than me, but there are many guys who are a lot less attractive than me. I’m middle of the road whatever. I’m OK with this. At least, I think I’m OK with this. There’s not much I can do to change it.

But my thinking wasn’t really focused on doing an introspective look at who I am and my faults and my triumphs. I was more concerend about thinking of the times where I would pursue a female knowing full well it would never work out. Either the person simply was (gasp) out of my league, or the situaion wasn’t going to work out (like a summer camp romance). So I sat in my room and pondered why this is. Why we, as humans, strive for something that we pretty much know with certainty will never be ours or work out.

From personal experience, I have tried to win the heart of several females and all that I came out with was a good chunk of pride missing, the thought that I maybe missed something else during my pursuit, and (most likely) a lighter wallet.  But even after this one failure came to be it didn’t stop me from pursuing someone else. And even as I felt it slipping away I kept faith that it would work out in the end.

And this is why faith can be really fucking dumb. I mean, it’s good to believe in something. It’s good to have hope. But at some point you need to pack thigns up and tell yourself better luck next time. And I really do hope it works out better the next time. For me, but more importantly for you. Mostly because me being a lone is sort of sexy. Well, that’s what I tell myself before I fall asleep at night and damnit I plan to believe that lie till I die. Probably alone. So I’ve got that going for me.