Archive for June, 2011

TV, The Internet, and Happiness

June 29, 2011

A report came out of the other day from Great Britain that showed that people are happier and more energetic when they listen to the radio as compared to when they watch TV or surf the internet. There are basically three conclusions that I drew from this study: 1) People from Great Britain are refered to as Britons (something I honestly didn’t know), 2) pornography is incredibly depressing, and 3) Ke$ha doesn’t get much airplay in Britain.

The first point about Britons being called Britons is just an observatin I had. I had no idea they weren’t called Britains (yes I knoww it’s said the same way but the spelling slightly threw, me mostly because I’m dumb).

The third conclusion (yes I’m skipping the second for the moment) is pretty obvious. Ke$ha, while having possibly being the only person I know of to spell their name with a dollar sign, is pretty awful to listen to. Now before you ask me what I’m talkin’ bout, I enjoy radio-friendly pop music. While Ke$ha falls into this her music still doesn’t really interest me at all.

Now to the second (though the third I talk about) conclusion I’ve drawn from this report is that porn makes people sad. The internet has made porn accessible to anyone and everyone and it seems since this has become a reality that people are more bummed. I’m not sure why this is. Actually, I am sure why this is.

I am completely for freedom of expression and thus I am for pornography. Sex between two consenting adults on film is just swell. But watching porn is kind of depressing when you get down to it. You’re watching these two people you’ll never meet (most likely) getting off as you’re getting off alone (most likely). There’s nothing inherently wrong with solo masturbation. In fact, there’s been studies that show that masturbation is beneficial for humans. But never getting off with an actually living person is not beneficial. So there’s a ying/yang kind of thing going on here (don’t try to overthink that sentence).

I would say that most people who frequently view pornography are very horny. I would also say that they are probably pretty lonely as well. Porn is usually enjoyed in a dimly lit room on a tiny little screen, possibly with the aid of KY Lube. It’s an exciting endeavor right up until you finally reach climax and feel just terrible about the mess you made and knowing you have to clean up that very mess. Thoughts go into your head such as “why am I doing this?”, “I should have had a maid clean my mess”, and “wow I could have been at a Red Sox/Yankees game but intstead I stayed home and made a mess on my stomach and now realize that this emptiness I feel at the moment feels like it is prophecy as to what the rest of my life will entail. As if this moment will just be one of many. That eventually the lonliness that comes from masturbating and cleaning up your mess will drive you to be an unhappy person.

So, the Brits kind of got this study right. I don’t think anyone wanted to swallow a bullet because of A Little Orphan Anni radio show. I hope so anyway. That red headed orphan was not all that sexy.

 

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No Privates: Gender In Sweden

June 27, 2011

A pre-school in Sweden has introduced a policy to eliminate gender in their curriculum. This means that they aren’t addressing the kids who attend as him or her. Instead, they will all be refered to as friends.

This seems really stupid to me. Not because elimating gender is a dumb “all encomppasing” pseudo intellectual idea, but because they refer to these kids as friends. Bullshit I say. Not all of these little runts are friends and saying that they are is making them believe it’s not right to dislike someone. But the truth is, it’s fine to dislike someone. You don’t need to begrudgingly attend birthday parties just because you get a class wide inviation to see Cars 2 and eat fruit snacks and drink warm soda from cans someones mom smuggled into the theater. Maybe you weren’t very fond of the first Cars film and don’t want to waste a saturday after noon going to the second edition of it. And the amazing thing when it comes to this line of thinking is that it probably has something to do with the gender they’re trying to eliminate in the first place. W

Fact is, boys will be more attracted to movies about talking cars and girls will we more attracted to gnomes that can sing in harmony. And neither of these things are wrong. It’s just the way things are. This isn’t to say that you won’t find boys enjoying the little lawn decorations. Nor will you be completely surprised to have a girl who would like to go see Cars 2. Both of these things ahve nothing to do with gender though. They are fucking kids. You grow into stuff and then grow out of it. We need to stop making out that a boy being a boy or a girl being a girl is somewoe infriging on their rights. It’s nit. It’s who they are and how life happens to play out.

So relax people. Let the kids be kid. They’ll have a lot more to wory about when they get older. Let’s let them have this one time in their life where they can just be kids and have fun. Sheesh.

200 Uncontacted Tribal People

June 26, 2011

The other day 200 tribal people were found living in a rainforest in Brazil. If you’re anything like me then you’re thinking what the fuck does someone have to do for a little bit of privacy? These people have hidden away from the outside world and, seemingly, have done pretty well for themselves. Actually, I bet life is pretty sough for them, but it’s all they know. And hey, they’re much better at building things than I am. I can’t make a hut. They have four of them. I don’t even have one. Though I guess streaming internet pornography kind of trumps that.

If you ask people about indigenous people you’ll usually find two schools of thought. The first is that these people of our past were so much more enlightened than we are. They understood how to coexist with the planet and followed the stars to find out what the future held for them. They were wise, though apparently not wise enough to not be eliminated from the very earth they worshipped (life is full of irony)

The other mindset seems to feel these ancient relatives of ours were complete morons. Sure they got by, but not with any real success. We are much smarter than they ever were and we show it every night we take the PATH train home after a bender in the city. What did they do when they had too much barley? Sacrifice someone? What idiots, right?

Of course, as pretty much everything tends to be, the truth lies somehere in the middle. They weren’t idiots but they weren’t brilliant either (not in every sense anyway). But we feel that we need to either criticize them for their lack of knowledge or marvel at how advanced they are for how they manage to live without being advanced. Both of these things seem dumb. To me, it seems rather simple when realizing that these “unknown” people are brilliant. And the reason they are brilliant is because they live life without wearing pants.

When was the last time you didn’t wear pants in a public setting? How many times did you wish you could just kick off your shoes and tear off your pants while waiting in line at Stop & Shop?I have this thought all the time. Hell, I even spent a night in the clink because of this desire. And I know you’re wondering what I did with the stride gum I bought. Well let me just say that shopping nude is exactly why lube was invented.

So let’s leave these pantless wonders alone. Let them have their huts and their clothless butts. They’re pretty much living the American dream.

 

The Silent Majority and Giving a Shit When It’s Trendy

June 25, 2011

I have a feeling that what I’m going to say here is going to cause people to not like me (assuming it’s possible to dislike me more than they already do). I would also like to say that while I’m saying what I’m about to say my actual feelings on the issue should be apparent and I’m also pretty much in the same boat as the people I’m slightly bashing (in a loving way though).

Today Anthony Cuomo, the governor of New York, signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage and all over the east coast people rejoiced via their facebook and twitter accounts. Which actually seems nice. You know, people supporting love and stuff. And it is nice, but it’s also seems like some sort of cry for attention by showcasing your amazingly big heart. You support love regardless of sex and because of this you’re a better person than others. Which, I guess you kind of are if you’re comparing yourself to someone who thinks that marriage is only for male/female relationships.

But this begs the question: are you really a great person because you stand up and make known your support for an issue that has just gained a big victory? Would it be more genuine if you made your support known while the thing you support was experiencing various defeats? It seems easy to throw up a fist when you’re winning, but should you really throw up anything if you were silent during the battle?

I won’t lie to you, while I am in full support of same-sex marriage, I never voiced my opinion in any clear definitive way. Having conversations in the safety of your home doesn’t really seem like the best way to affirm your beliefs. I’m not saying that just because you didn’t go to a march and support the issue like that means that you’re someone who doesn’t want to approve gay marriage. I know many people who agree with the bill that was passed today and don’t show that they really care at all. It is possible to care and not be active. But if you’re promoting your happiness on something that has happened you should probably have something slightly invested into the actual issue. If you don’t and just randomly throw up a status/tweet that screams happiness and support you should probably have been in the trenches a bit. Otherwise it just kind of sounds like you’re getting involved in something to just say that you were a part of it. It feels good to be able to look back on your past and tell your grandkids that you helped make this happen, even if you did it. You at least have that facebook status that will show that you did care, even though it seems like you care for all the wrong reasons.

But go on New York. Good for you. Show how to get people to be ok with one another. Hell, just to tolerate something different to them. You’re not going to be affected at all because of this bill if your straight. So just sit tight and let the people it really matters makes the most noise.

The Pros and Cons of Lucid Dreaming: The Ambien Epidemic*

June 21, 2011

As I am typing this I have realized I haven’t taken the wonder drug ambien in over a month. This month has been a pretty awful month (though my trip to Boston was really nice). I don’t think there is any correllation between my lack of ambien consumption and my upsetting month, but it still felt nice when I refilled my prescription today. I’d also like to point out that I am in no way addicted to ambien, but I really hate not being able to fall asleep. But none of this really matters in regards to this post. What does matter to this entry is the blissful, although sometimes frightening, realm of dreams. Or more correctly, the world of lucid dreaming.

Explained in a piss poor way by someone who has never studied the science behind sleep (though as of late I have found myself kind of interested in disecting sleep patterns and the various countries that have some type of foklore involving dreams and the wonders of dreams), a lucid dream state is a state of dreaming where you know that you are dreaming. This pretty much leads to you doing anything you want to do in the confines of your dream world.

It happened to me out of the blue one night. I had taken ambien and that night I had felt some odd feelings that I just couldn’t really grasp. But I went to bed anyway, Because I probably had something to do in the morning. Or maybe just because you sleep after you have odd effects when it comes to ambien. Most of them is fun anyway.  So no worries.

So I’ve finally made my way to my bed and I slip into sleep. And I am out. But my dreaming has been taken to a level of incredibleness, I had the ability to actively participate in the dream world that I had just stumbled into. After a brief moment of getting used to how things were I quickly remembered hearing about how you could somehow put yourself right into the dream. And that you could control what was happening in the dream. And it feels pretty awesome to have this ability. To make dreams otherwise forgotten turned into something always memoroble.

And to be quite honest, after taken some ambien myself fuck I can barely put together any logic that makes sense right now. I was trying to get to some point but it got lost in haze of sleep. I swear I’ll write something we can all understand soon. I promise.

Friends

June 16, 2011

No. Not that wonderful New York City coffee shop/apartment based NBC sitcom. But real friends rather. The kind that you all of a sudden just have. The kind where when thinking back to how this person became part of your life you can’t really recall how it happened. And while thinking of friendships that I have I honestly found myself not remembering how this friendship came about. They always just were.

So how do people make friends? I really have no idea. I have friends. I have made several new friends just recently. But I don’t know how this process really happens, especially as you get older.

When you’re young you’re able to create friendships by just going to school. If a kid in your class has a birthday you may get invited just because you are a part of the student body. Add in the fact that when you’re young you’re not as self-conscious and you most likely haven’t held a good understanding of cliques and social circles. So you go about your dayand feel more free to create social interactions which allow you to find fellow people with common interests. Or hell, just someone you don’t mind being around (and maybe who has that really cool toy that you don’t have).

But when you get older you’re more likely to have your guard up a bit. You’ve also probably learned that people can really suck and because of this acquired knowledge you would rather not deal with more people than you have to. You also get complacent with your current situation and don’t have the energy or desire to expand your social circle. You’re just fine the way you are. And for the most part, you are. Thus you just stay stagnant in your position and that’s that.

This way of thinking kind of sucks. Mostly because you don’t know what memorable moments you could be having if you only increased your friends or even just attempted to.

To be fair though, drinking alone has it’s perks too.

Anthony Weiner: I Wrote a Song About This Perv*

June 14, 2011

*A kind of intoxicated post.

And none of you will ever read or hear it. And that’s OK. Because I bet those of you (not including me) who saw this fine mans under regions regret doing so. I know I would. Though I’m slightly biased being a male, even though I’ve heard from a lot of women that male genitalia is not an attractive thing. Which is why most females become aroused based on more sensual things rather than visual things. At least this is what I’m told as I begin to remove my pants on a third date (the date that I always equated to sex).

This all makes me think about the logic behind showing your member if you’re a member of congress (or any male at all). I say this with full hope that no pictures of me will surface on the internet, mostly because I am basically a nobody and I have never shown a picture of my, pardon my french, dick before. It’s not any commentary on my nether regions, but rather a commentary on how things should be left to the imagination. Less is more they say. Which is why that girl who lives next door to you who jogs occasionally past your house is sexier than the porn star who spreads eagle for chuckles.

Now, let me say that I sort of understand why the congressman did this. Actually, there are a few reasons that I can think of. One of them, possibly the most prominent, is that he feels he is someone with power who is entitles to this behavior. He’s a congressman from a district of hipster Brooklyn and damnit, if he wants to talk sexy to various females via social media networks he damn well deserves to. (This makes me wonder about dirty talk in general. When taken out of the context of a sexually tinged discussion, it is all so stupid sounding. Which is why all the sex I have is done quietly, and usally by oneself. It’s clearly the way God intended it to be.) Another reason Anthony Weiner felt the need to do this is because he was not very good at courting before he became someone of fame. Sure, this goes hand in hand with the first reason, but I am trying to vouch for the d-bag.

The guy could also be a sex addict. You know, a male who always feels the need to have sex with females. Which I always thought was simply evolution at work. You know, rather than a sickness or something. Sex feels good and given the oppurtunity people tend to allow themselves the pleasure of the experience.

Which leads me into my next theory. The congressman was simply a man who wanted to get his rocks off, so to speak. Sure it’s the simplest and the least dramatic of the reasons, but as is usually the case, it’s usually the simplest reasons that are those full of the most truth. So he was just being a sexually competent male. And no one should fault him for this, even he is a member (haha!) of the government. 

What they should fault him for is the fact that he is married. And regardless of how attractive his wife is (she happens to be quite beautiful) you don’t indulge in sexually laced discussions with other women when you’re married. Yes, he didn’t act upon these urges with actually seeking a female to be physically intimate with (that we know of anyway) but he did cheat on his wife when it comes to matters of trust and the heart. And love without trust is like a clean mouth without flossing; It’s just not going to work (really, I hated flossing but the last dentist appointment I had I was cavity free largely because I started sliding a thin strip of string between my teeth).

Add into the fact that he treated his wife like complete shit, he also developed various schemes regarding the whole thing. First it was that he was hacked for a manner of minutes while he enjoyed a hockey game (I can’t fault him for liking hockey especially because these playoffs have been great. Especially the finals between Boston and Vnacouver). He got angry with the media when they asked him questions and proded to get him to not dodge it with weird answers involving hecklers and pies (something is oddly kinky which makes sense in context of the scandal at hand). He even hinted that this whole hacking could have been done by terrorits. Yes, the guy honestly stated that al-Qaeda (or al-Qaida if that fits your spelling preference) hacked into his account and sent a dirty picture of him to some college student in the state of Washington all to destroy the American ideal of freedom. Which makes sense considering that sending a picture of yourself in a compromising position could result in you being stoned to death (if you’re a female anyway). And I’m sure that a group bent on killing “infidels” would subject thesmelves on pulling a schoolyard prank on someone, regardless of who the person happens to be.

So in the end there is only one thing to get after gathering information on this story. And that thing that you should get is that Congressman Weiner is nothing but a complete jackass, and considering how he attempted to cover up the whole thing makes him seem like a bit of sociopath (though not quite up to a Patrick Bateman style of disregard to the rules of being a well functioning human being).

If he would have just admitted to his pattern of smut I would have respected the guy a little more. But instead he tried to weasel his way out of the situation and tried to make hiself believe the lie, which he obviously (by now anyway) wasn’t capable of doing. And this is the only thing that Anthony Weiner and myself have as a common bond: We’re both awful liars.

Note To Self: You Can’t “Sexy” Dance

June 12, 2011

So tonight I got home from my vacation in Boston (I’ll provide an overall synopsis of that experience in a coming post) and found out that some friends of mine were going to a local bar and wanted me to join. Being a sucker for attractive girls and good company, I quickly said yes (apparently four nights of drinking in Boston wasn’t enough for me). So these previously stated atrratctive/good company gals swooped by my house and picked me up and we went to the aformentioned local bar. It was a good time had by all. Laughs were had, smiles were shown, and pride was still intact.

After an hour or so (I could be off in my keeping of time) a group of people decided to go to a different bar where dancing was allowed and encouraged (as could be seen by the DJ, large speakers, dimly lit dance floor, and countless people rubbing up against each other like they had an itch they just couldn’t quite scratch). I decided to go because one of the attractive girls I’ve already mentioned said she would gladly dance with me. God bless her soul…

So we arrive at this bar and the music is thumping (as are clothed genitals) and the drinks are flowing (as is a portion of the male clientele’s saliva) and before you know it I am on the dance floor dancing with this very attractive girl and I look like I’m clearly deaf. Which is actually unfair to deaf people because while they can’t hear the beat they can feel it and I simply couldn’t do either of these things. But as any man with any sort of pride (I still had it at this point) I pressed on. And I danced awkwardly. And my female companion did her very best to make the best out of the situation. And I felt horrible.

Which is an odd feeling. Here I am, dancing with a female who I find to be very appealing, and yet I feel so awful that she is wasting her, in my opinion, wonderful body movements on someone who would be better off impersonating FDR. So as I move my body out of sync with the beat fully realizing that I am possibly the worst person probably to ever live who has ever danced, my kind partner also continues. And she smiles. And she laughs in a good natured way that only a genuine person can laugh. The song ends (but really just goes into another song where some fellow on a mic yells something about New Jersey bitches) and I apologize for my lack of any rhythm. And she smiles again and says that she had fun. And I smile and tell her to basically run along and play with the people who know what they’re doing. And so of course, she stands next to me on the side of the dance floor. Because this is what honest, nice people do. And terrible dancers who know they’ve slightly made a good night a little worse for a lovely female, write blogs dedicated to the person who was kind enough to give them a shot. And kind enough to smile at them when they felt like they were the worst dancer in the room.

So thanks. If I ever get the chance to dance with you again I’ll study the moves of Ricky Martin. Maybe it will work better that time.

Pride and Other Things With a Rainbow Tinge (but mainly Pride)

June 7, 2011

Yesterday I found myself square in the middle of a gay pride rally in beautiful Asbury Park New Jersey. I’ not sure how exactly I found myself there, though I’m pretty sure it has to do with the my heavy alcohol intake the night before and agreeing with three attractive females that I would go. Which sounds like I’m making this rally out to be something I sort of backed into (please pardon the pun. I have a feelingthere will be a lot of them in this post).

The truth is, while I felt very out of place (check my blood alcohol level and you’ll realize my first instinct was to get drunk), it felt nice to be supporting something that I had said I was supportive of. You know, without really doing anything to prove that support. So it felt kind of good to actually be in a place supporting gay rights, even though I am a heterosexual male.

Which made me think. By me going to this rally I could pretty easily be perceived as being a gay male. Which doesn’t upset me really. Because I don’t think that people who happen to be gay have anything that they should be ashamed of. It’s how they were born. It’s who they are. And accepting who you are is the most important thing tht a person can discover about themselves. For instance, I have realized that when I go to a gay pride rally that my chance of finding a female companion isn’t very good. But you know what? I’ll still try. Because I’m, dumb and sometimes the world likes to be equally dumb with me.

But my not finding love from a female at a gay rights march isn’t the point of this blog. The point is that if you believe in something, you should stand up for it. Regardless of how it makes you appear. The truth is people who were white marched with Matin Luther King Jr. People who weren’t involded in India and colonialism in anyway still sided with the message of Ghandi. People who disagreed with the way Germany treated Jews during Hitler’s reign of terror and hid Jewish citizens, or spoke out openly against the incredibly racist laws that the regime spewed forth should appear like amazing individuals who care about the rights of others. Regardless of what mainstream politics or thought says. We all have a voice, and we should use that voice to support something positive.

You won’t change who you are because of this support. You’ll just be someone who is speaking out for something good, regardless of what others say.

Best Albums of the Year as of Yet

June 4, 2011

It’s almost 6 months into the new year (let’s pretend that it’s later in June so this statement is more accurate), and to be honest with you I don’t feel like talking politics or world events tonight. It could be the few beers (though the buzz has worn off) but I feel like writing about music and the albums that, thus far, have made me fall in love with music all over again.

I don’t really want to put any order to this since I feel that, while I have an idea (already) what my favorite album/albums of 2011 are/will be, there is still a lot of time left for these opinions to change. So instead, here are 5 albums that I would very much recommend you listen to. They deserve your attention.

Manchester Orchesta-Simple Math

The boys from Georgia have done it again. Their 2009 offering, Mean Everything to Nothing, was my favorite album of that respective year. To be honest, that album is still without a doubt in my top 10 favorite records of all time. Simple Math is a telling of age tale, so to speak. It follows the relizations of lead singer/frontman Andy Hull’s growing up. Being a 23 year old, only a few months younger than Hull, I have found myself in a similar situation of pondering my place in the world. Hull questions pretty much everything that he held sacred and he does so in such a universal and brilliant way. Something that makes you wonder just how someone who is 23 is able to have such a grasp of the such significant subjects such as love, faith, sex, God, and everything that goes along with it. So, so, so good.

The Mountain Goats-All Eternals Deck

If I had to pick out the most prolific singer/songwriter in music today, it would definately be John Darniele of The Mountain Goats. Their previous record, 2009’s The Life of the World To Come was a tour de force of brilliance. If I wasn’t so blown away by Manchester Orchestra’s 2009 release, this record would have been the one that no one could surpass. With All Eternals Deck, the group continues to change it’s sound and yet stays familiar. Being someone who likes when a band experiments with their sound (see The Clash, Thrice, Brand New…), I like knowing that when I pick up a Mountain Goats record that I’m going to be in for something slightly different. They don’t fail to disappoint me with this venture of theirs either. I can also say with certainty (or certitude if you’re a certain New York congressman who likes to show his weiner) that the one-two punch that closes this record is the best you’ll find this year.

Bayside-Killing Time

Bayside just may be the best punk band out there today. They, to me, are a band that gets better with each release and with their fifth full length they have crafted their best record. It’s hard not to be taken aback by the sheer verocity that you hear in the albums first two tracks, Already Gone and Sick, Sick, Sick. It recalls their first record, Sirens and Condolences, but with a much more polished and confident sound. The record never loses it’s replay value either. Months later I am still finding new things that I love about this album.

Sharks-The Joys of Living 2008-2010

Fair enough. This release is actually a compilation of the Royal Leamington Spa, UK foursomes first two EPs, a seven inch and the inclusion of two newly released tracks. As a review on the site punknews.org says, it’s hard not to listen to this release and not be reminded of the brilliant Gaslight Anthem debut Sink Or Swim. The music is infectious and just makes you want to dance. It’s life affirming and in a time where there is so much bleakness being portrayed in the news and various other media outlets, it’s nice to put on a record and get caught up in a band putting out really great tunes. It’s hard to also not hear a slight resemblance to the great Joe Strummer of The Clash (and later the wonderful Mescaleros). Sure, it could be because both hail from England, but it’s more than just the accent that draws this comparison. Both singers show such emotion in the words they spit out that one can’t help but feel that they mean every single syllable that flows forward.

The Get Up Kids-There Are Rules

The Get Up Kids put out one of the most important records when it comes to defining what “emo” is, or what is was, when they released Something To Write Home About back in 1999. After recording Guilt Show in 2004 the band went on an indefinate hiatus, not counting the final live CD they put out in 2005. The members of the band went their separate ways (some recorded a few childrens albums, (The Terrible Twos), while others went on to record/ tour with main stream acts (My Chemical Romance, New Found Glory, Spoon…). Most rumors of the band coming back for reunion shows fell flat, but eventually these predictions did come true. In 2010 the band went into the studio and recorded a 4 song EP entitled Simple Science. It wasn’t the usual sound of the band, but it was The Get Up Kids and fans would take it (except those who felt somehow alienated by the band moving on from their 90’s emo sound that gained them such notoriety in the first place). So along came 2011 and the band released their first proper full length since 2004. And There Are Rules, while not winning back those aformentioned jaded fans, is a reminder that The Get Up Kids still know how to write some solid music. It took a few spins for me to fully appreciate the album, but songs like Tithe, the opening track will have you wanting to jump into a pit, while songs like Automatic will just make you want to move your head and sway to the groove it offers up.

With the annoucnement of new albums coming from Thrice, Weezer, as well as a remixed version of Alkaline Trio songs, there is plenty of good music to look forward to. If I missed something great, please feel free to let me know. I’m always searching for new music and if it’s as good as you say, it may just end up getting plugged on this little blog of mine. So keep your ears open and your body moving.