Monday, June 15, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
oh how you are filled with debauchery
filled with joy and sadness
filled with wonder and despair
we must now leave you to journey to college
the land of the free, or so we think
yet when we arrive we will find the same
more kids, more classes, more teachers
Parties will be abundant, oh yes, but what will they accomplish?
drunken nights spend abroad? Hang overs that torment our mornings?
Choices will need to be made, but are we ready to make them?
In the end we are left with ourselves
why dwell on the past/embrace the future
Perhaps you have been wronged by high school
you have been cheated on?
Cheated of grades?
Cheated of college, of social life, of a "real" experience
we cannot change what has happened, but only change what will happen
Yet growing up is so hard
because maturity cannot be created over night
only developed over a lifetime
so as the summer begins we must look back upon high school to remember
remember the good times and bad
remember the pain and joy that was had
remember the friends and enemies, the loves lost
the warmness that came over you with your first kiss
the pain felt when you saw them together
the hatred felt of others
the friendships that will never be broken
the experiences never to be had again
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The other day I watched Speed Racer and all I have to say is WOW. The movie is definitely not amazingly faithful to the original series, but the visuals are what you would get from mixing the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the adrenaline of Fast and the Furious minus the hot girls of course. The visuals are cartoony and yet still maintain a slight realism with the characters. Overall I felt that it was a decent movie, despite the large changes in plot, but it brought to mind some very important aspects of new film making.
There are tons of movies out there like Speed Racer now that require millions of dollars in special effects, yet seem to be lacking in other elements. Many elements of the greatest movies of all time have been vanquished from the mix of these Hollywood marvels. We no longer have the slow, but meticulously constructed plots, the deep acting that can only be shown in those long shots, or the painstakingly constructed sets. Instead today we seem to rely on basically all the elements that can be shown in films like Speed Racer. The fast cuts, the simplistic plot, the acting that is cut up into chunks by the editing, and especially the computer generated effects that allow us to modify nearly everything.
Of course trying to rationalize Speed Racer as a mature movie would be unfair, due to the fact that it was specifically designed to cater to the younger audiences too and was basically a homage the the Wachowski's past influences. Yet can you honestly not say that you haven't seen a movie that falls into those general categories. Watchmen, 300, X-Men, Spiderman, Wanted, The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions. I'm not saying these are bad movies, but simply that they lack the complexity that a movie should have. Most become a mere visual eye candy contest, yet lack the human elements that allow people to connect to the characters, rather than come out of the theater yelling about how they want to kick people into never ending pits.
Of course sometimes the movies are meant to be the visual eye candy, and that is fine for that genre. It is when they mix special effects and a movie that is meant to be taken as a serious work of art that the special effects often falls short. Take for example I Am Legend. The special effects do add to the movie's desolate setting, but don't the CG vampires seem too video gamey? Also Pirates of the Carribean 2 seems to have this problem because all the CG took away from all the physical acting of Johnny Depp and instead immersed us into a world of squid monsters. Though of course this is not bad for visuals, the emotion and often the acting is lacking when an actor is rendered in a different form. Of course there are some exceptions as I must admit I was quite surprised with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which relies heavily on CG to allow Brad Pitt to play all stages of a character's life.
Though these new advances in technology are all good and provide us with some good amusement from time to time are they really necessary to make a truly riveting film? I mean think about Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. That film is now considered a classic and was made with pocket change basically. I guess what I really think we as a society should think about is whether or not these extravagant computer movies really satisfy us? Because the movies have come to reflect our society that has evolved, or should I say degraded into a kind of voyeuristic, thrill seeking, and fast paced adrenaline junkies. The movies nowadays move so fast that nothing can happen. Nothing can truly develop before something else comes and hits you in the face and diverts your attention. I mean it really makes one think what will happen years from now. Maybe the youth will think our movies move way too slow and will be even more wired up than we?
Deep thoughts for another time. Sleep is needed now that APs have begun. Peace.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
(Update: Casey finally is uploading it. The video will be up today hopefully)
I find this to be quite interesting because our generation has been force fed information. We are biproducts of a system based on teaching for tests and judging teachers by their student’s test scores. On a system more obsessed with the little numbers by one's name on an application than by their skills. How do we teach a generation that is labeled immediately by their standardized tests, by the SATs, by the GPA they got in high school?
I figure the only way to engage our generation of spoiled, video game playing, technophile, Ipod wielding, text messaging, adrenaline junkies is by adopting new forms of interaction. Those old 1980s education movies are great entertainment, but fail as sources of education. We should question the use of text books and writing exams because as shown by the great standardized testing of our generation they don't always work. How can we judge a person by their SAT score, or by their GPA? Some of the most talented people can't test well, or simply hate school.
What seems to be need to be done is the implementation of different types of schools. Not everyone is meant to go and become a CEO of a major company. Though we need our doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. We also need hardworking people who want to make things. Of course America doesn't really make anything anymore, but we need to try to start again unless we want to be China's glutonous #1 customer forever. Because many of our social problems stem from the social classes that we have generated. All the major issues about drugs and violence emerge from the forgotten. Those poor souls that America has abandoned to live in their ghettos and fight for scraps.
So instead of pushing our standardized schools on everyone, why don't we create more schools or programs that aim at providing job training. Why would a lower class citizen want to learn about Calculus or Biology if they knew that they would just end up fighting for a low paying job later in life? We need to establish solid programs that offer alternatives to these people who know that school is giving them nothing. Because this despair often turns people to bringing entering the drug trade, or becoming a criminal. Hell I'm sure they might make better money that minimum wage like that and though I don't endorse their actions, it is hard not to understand why that path might be taken.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Why should we pay for what we can get for free? I always ask myself this whenever I log onto a friend's computer and they have tons of bloatware and inefficient programs pop up on login. Of course not that many people seem to know about the various Open Source programs that exist on the internet as effective alternatives to the big corporate programs that find themselves in the limelight. When I bring these up, most just bring out derogatory terms like computer geek or nerd, while refusing to realize that I am basically an average user, just an incredibly cheap average user. If only many were to realize that these programs existed millions could be saved just getting the most basic computer running.
Of course reading this you may be wondering what exactly open source is. The name implies that the source code of the program is viewable/editable but that is not exactly all it is. Open source programs are programs designed and released under licenses (the most popular seeming to be GPU-General Public Use) often developed in a very public manner with the developers interacting with their target audience. These programs do not cost anything for the average user and must be released in a way so that it is modifiable by the users and legally redistributed/repackageable. This method of distribution usually relies on internet downloads, rather than actual physical copies. Because of this, these programs are ideal for students, schools, corporations (who may have to pay for a business license), and also any average users.
Because of this I am always surprised by how many people tend to see these options as "dangerous" or too much of a hassle to learn about. While there are large communities that seem to embrace the freedom from the mainstream companies, a large majority of the populace seems to reject the ideas of free software, often feeling way about the legitimacy of the programs. What this seems to indicate is a relative shift in the social structure of the world. The world is becoming more web literate obviously and its shift into the new internet age has spawned a internet culture that no longer listens to the Big Business figures. Of course the average user is still lost in a world of big business brainwashing that has existed for the past two decades. This open source alternative may never fully replace proprietary software, but it certainly will increase competition and may eventually offer a viable alternative to the those less technologically knowledgeable and light computer users.
Check for alternatives to mainstream programs with this site (Not all are open source): http://alternativeto.net/
I would recommend these good Open Source Programs:
Open Office- Microsoft Word/Powerpoint/Excel replacement
7zip- Winzip/WinRar replacements
Firefox- Internet Explorer replacement
Pidgin- Facebook, Aim, Yahoo, etc messenger replacements
Mozilla Thunderbird- Outlook Express replacement
VLC- Windows Media Player replacement
Handbrake- DVD Ripper
Audacity- Recording Software
Gimp- Photo editing
Inkscape- Vector Image creation
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Besides being incredibly creepy, and slightly stalkerish, Twitter has a nice service going. It allows people to follow people who want to know stuff about these people, including their mundane tasks/thoughts that they just feel like posting. However, it does bring up many questions about the ethics of privacy and also whether what these twitters really are.
I bring this up because I just recently saw an article about how some coach is getting sued by referees about his comments on their calls. Twitter does not have the privacy of Facebook and allows anyone who has a link to a user's page to view their twitters. So this basically makes any comments on the site public and easily accessible. However, does it make it right to sue someone based on their one off opinion? The site is meant to express random thoughts and that is exactly what the coach did. Of course the comments may have broken some kind of contract about sportsmanship, but this brings up a whole new idea on what can and cannot be used against oneself. Much like the Facebook and Myspace scandals involving comments, where people have been prosecuted for mere cheeky comments against someone else, these new lawsuits are bringing forth a big question for our generation of web junkies: What is private anymore?
In the pre-internet world, privacy was a much more black and white thing. We could do what we wanted and say things to others that were often not correct, but didn't hurt anyone and were often just stupid comments. In our new age, we leave a trail on the internet. Anything we say to others through our new online social lives are recorded in some way. We all leave some sort of path, whether it is through the pictures we post online, the blogs we write on ever so diligently, or even instant message conversations.
What this seems to suggest is that our society needs to shift. Though we already often insanely overly politically safe in our words we still seem to see some places as private, or at least not serious. However, recent cases, such as the ones mentioned earlier, seem to destroy this idea. Should the internet be a place where every statement becomes like a public statement? Or is it still just opinions that have no meaning? Because in most cases, the prosecution attacks opinions that were based on messages that seemed quite serious to the receiving audience. They were not posted news articles or serious blogs, but mere posts on a social networking site.
Just thought I would put that out there. Wondering what you think.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Alfred Hitchcock made many films in his long career that spanned decades, from the early days of silent films to later movies that were uncensored by the association. He covered many topics, however his dark humor always seemed to go back to crime, corruption, voyeurism, and especially murder. In Rope Hitchcock seems to take a overwhelming joy in using many themes that brings one to question their own morals.
Rope is a story about two university students who commit murder. However, their murder is not for revenge or over a girl, but to prove a point. The smarter and more composed of the two, whose name is Brandon, kills merely to kill and assert his authority over a lesser being. As with all movies that tend to follow the higher road, the two students are caught in the end. However, their actions bring up a very interesting idea.
Can man really judge others? Who is to say that one is superior to the other? In the movie the idea that the superior man could kill off the lesser man is brought up as a discussion topic, which is good food for thought. Should we limit those who can live and those who cannot? Our current populations are all progressing towards a median due to our government which seems to stress passing tests which are designed for the middle road. Should we try to progress our nation by allowing the gap between the lower levels of intelligence to be pushed even farther away from those elitists? Personally I find this concept incredibly difficult to think of. I mean more smart people would always be nice because without people who have that drive to learn how can we remain a powerful nation? On the other hand, I know many people who are far more brilliant than any elitist I have ever met. They lack the memorized knowledge that many of the "smarter" people, but are more mentally sharp.
This brings up questions such as how can we measure worth? Is worth based on wealth? Is worth based on social class? Is worth based on influence? I mean I personally think we cannot truly measure worth because every person has their own special talents. I know that sounds cheesey, but is it not true? I mean no one can be amazing at everything. Every person is able to contribute something to the sick, twisted society that we live in. Whether that be through physical labor, mental labor, or some other form we all have some worth. Even the man who sits and does nothing, but get yelled at helped our overall society. Is he not acting as a target for the yelling man? Perhaps his nothing that allows the man to yell is essential for that man's day and it stops him from committing horrible crimes or giving into the pointlessness of his existence that he sees.
Hitchcock's Rope may cause none of this speculation in you, but it is certainly worth the watch. If you are not one for the "deeper meaning" stuff, I suggest you give it a watch anyway.
(One can see the scene that created these thoughts at about 6:30)
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Overall, it was decently written. I would have to admit that the emotionalness of the drama could be incredibly awkward for those of the male sex, but girls (especially Japanese ones) will love it most likely. It does help that what I have heard described as the perfect Japanese male is in it (Mokomichi). Plus it is based around LOVE LOVE LOVE and BOYS BOYS BOYS. On a more positive note, for those who aren't into love or boys, they do have this whole plotline about COOKING and not just cooking, but DESSERTS, such as the most excellent creme puff. Though this serves as nothing more than a mcguffin, it certainly does make watching 7 hours of a J-Drama more bearable (worked for me at least).
What this really brings up though as a question is what is human. Because over time the robot appliance that the girl ordered managed to learn to love and became humanlike in both nature. Could we technically consider man's creation human? Though it was made of mechanical parts, it held may characteristics which we associate with humanity: the ability to love; emotions; jealously; rage; revenge; sadness; and a helluva lot more caring than most of the world. I know of course that this was part of the whole innocence healing people plot that many tend to use, but it still brings out many questions that I cannot even begin to write about because I could go on forever about it.
What is life anyway? How do we define it? Are we really one to judge? All seem to be legitamate questions that I cannot even begin to answer in this one blog about a little J-Drama that haunted my Saturday. What I can do, however is let you decide by posting this link. However, I must warn you. For many of you internet addicts this is basically like crack cocaine. Click and begin watching the emotionfest at your own discretion.
Because of the book and the cheesy but decently written drama, my mind seems to be on android overload. Both tend to bring up the ideas of life and love, shamelessly ripping at one's emotions (especially female ones). What really constitutes life? In both of my sources for inspiration life seems to be less black and white, and more gray. While the androids are technically mere pieces of human creation, they too seem to be on the border of life. Their self awareness pushes the idea that they are indeed living and basically human, but their construction seems to work against them. However, who are we to judge life? Humanity in both cases seems to judge the very existence of a human in anything we create.
Its way too late to think about these ideas more and I really should probably go read more of my android literature, so I bid you farewell. Go watch Zettai Kareshi if you want a good cry or something.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Lonely Island Dudes:
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Why are they the source of all evil you may ask? Well I am here to explain. Periods are a uncomfortable part of female life. They come at assigned times often bringing with it destruction and chaos, as well as emotional explosions. What man, or woman, cannot say that a period has not ruined some occasion. Everything will be going great then BAM, chaos, screaming, tears, beatings, etc etc. The scariest part of all this is that the PMSing is in fact a lie. Women do not PMS, so periods are a mere excuse for all the women out there to be as bitchy as possible. This bitchiness is passed onto their spouses, kids, students, and all those who come in contact with the affected. No longer is one's day filled with happy smiling glee. No longer can you eat that food with a smile on your face knowing that all is well. No longer can you sleep at night, no not with the affected roaming. We must all hide in corners, fearing for when the rage will come.
In order to simplify this idea I have come up with an equation one can use, a mathematical proof if you will, to prove this idea:
So, Period= Woman Bitchiness
Woman Bitchiness= Time x Gifts
$=Root of all Evil
. . Period= Evil
This equation can be further expanded upon if one were also to consider that babies are in fact nourished by the evil nutrients of the period. Though periods do not in fact fuel the baby, a woman is most likely to get pregnant right after having her period. Thus a period can be seen as a foreshadowing of doom. It is like a red river of death that warns the males of their impending slavery to the female. If one were to consider this, then babies could also be considered evil. Because babies arise from the evil, they are in fact evil incarnate. However, people are not pure evil because evil has a half life. This is because as one grows, one weans itself off of the evil nutrients. However, evil always exists in people in some form due to the trace amounts that remain inside. This explains many human actions such as the formation of the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and High School Musical.
I hope this has been an informative post.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
This of course brings up the question of if Bang Camaro can make it in the music scene of today. Though bands like Avenged Sevenfold have brought back some of the shred, the music scene in America is still very hip hop and poppy. I suggest checking this band out because though some may find its sound a bit dated for the modern airwaves, it does seem to successfully revive a lot of the rock and roll spirit.
Lucid dreams are dreams in which the dreamer is in fact aware of what is occurring and often can have some influence on the dream. Supposedly these dreams are usually incredibly realistic and can even cause one to be deceived into believing its a reality. With this in mind I began to think about life in general. I mean what is life? Could this all be some sort of illusion like a lucid dream? Of course one could argue that this is impossible as there are many different individuals in this dream. I thought of a few different scenarios where this could be true though.
Take for instance the Tom Cruise Vanilla Sky scenario which not only shows us that Tom Cruise was a pretty damn good actor before his Scientology craziness, but also that in his lucid dream state set upon him by a cryogenic company in a futuristic world makes the world seem incredibly real. The people in his dream even believe they are real. So could we all be figments of some random person's imagination? Though this could be incredibly interesting to pursue, I doubt this could be true. We are a much to diverse world for one man and his mind. There is always a chance for this to be true if a person were in fact one with many different personalities, but still very implausible. These thoughts of course led me to theories more like The Matrix.
The Matrix of course had a sort of illusion like a lucid dream set up. They had a giant network of human batteries hooked to a central computer system that projected a sort of dream into one's mind to create a new reality. The only flaw in this logic is that we lack the flying people/random transforming agents. But what if our reality is in fact a similar creation? What if we are all sleeping and our dreams are projecting into some sort of giant dream catcher that drives us to share dreams with others who are dreaming. We only remember our dreams because when we wake up for those six hours or so every night, we are in fact experiencing a drugged up reality where we are in fact adapting to drugs used on us to keep us as batteries or whatever else some alien force or magical being is using us for? Or what if we are mere spiritual beings floating in infinite space projecting our thoughts to a giant spiritual being, our "world", which then translates our thoughts and such into the rules of the world? ARE WE MERELY FLOATING BLOBS PLAYING A GIANT MMORPG?!?!?!? If this were the case, so many new questions would arise. Like do we have levels like in World of Warcraft and how the hell do you get to level 70?
I will now stop my crazy thought post, but will probably follow up on this in a more focused manner once all my thoughts begin to clear up. I hope you enjoys a tired man's rant on life as a dream.
Friday, January 9, 2009
To give life form.
A child's sand boat facing
Plastic soldiers in the miniature
dirt war. Forts.
Garage Rocket Ships
Ceremonies, theatre, dances
To reassert Tribal needs & memories
a call to worship, uniting
above all, a reversion,
a longing for family & the
safety magic of childhood"
If you think about it, what is humanity without it's leaders? Would we be like rats, scurrying around in anarchy? Would we be destroying ourselves for the very rush of destruction? Is a solid leader the only thing that unites us? America isn't like anywhere else in the world. It is a large, powerful nation that has somehow managed to remain united. So are Obama fanatics in a way very correct about Obama saving the world (or at least the world as they know it)?
Obama could be considered a key. A political figure that is in touch with the shifting community that demands something fresh. He connects with our nation. We see traits that we know and love. His blackberry addiction, basketball skills, and kids. This is his true power. True power is merely an extension of the people's power. Look at all the most powerful leaders. Though many of them may be considered poor leaders, or led in ways which are controversial they did in fact have given power. I think the best examples would be Hitler, Andrew Jackson, and Chairman Mao. These leaders led in very diverse ways, but all had one thing in common. They had the support of the up and coming generations.
The way they achieved this power seemed to vary, but they all seemed to be hip and with it. Pushing new agendas and pleasing the people was their main strategy. With a bunch of content people, anything can be pushed into law. Look at Hitler and Mao. Though not considered the best leaders by today's standards, they did create a sort of legacy. Hitler was even elected into this position of power. Mao on the other hand was very popular with the youth's for part of his tenure and was given power through their participation.
I'm not saying Obama is going to plunge us into a era of socialism, but that he holds potential for being the key thing America seems to be lacking. Obama can represent a more present America, motivate progress, and improve the overall American image. Because think about it, what do people most identify objects with? Figureheads sit above all else. Think Britain:The Queen. Think Terrorism: Al Qaeda. Think Guitar: Jimi Hendrix. Think Reggae: Bob Marley. Think WMDs: Bush Admin.
Think America: Barack Obama.