Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ALIEN TOUR GUIDE



This is the Library. This is where we go to study, research papers, print stuff out, come to hang out between classes.

ASSUMPTIONS:

That 'Library' would mean anything to an alien (or a member of an idigenous people, for that matter). That studying, papers, printing, classes or hanging out would have meaning at all. That the alien came from a culture or context that had equivalencies at all. If not, it would be confusing as to why we would spend our time in this way instead of, say, hunting space game.

1.)
Why?

A:

Just because it's quiet here, and they have a good collection of reference books that you can't check out, so you have to use them here. We have printers at home, but this is convenient for printing stuff out because it's right here on campus, and we hang out here between classes because that way we don't have to go all the way home.

ASSUMPTIONS:

That quiet is a condition for all people to accomplish something. That it is obvious that reference books must be kept in one place. That students would not be able to be trusted to return something of value. The assumption that convenience is a major value. The assumption that it is perfectly normal that we should have the convenience of having printers at home but still are not convenienced ENOUGH.

2.)
Why?

A:

Well, Libraries are supposed to be quiet, it's a rule we have here on Earth. The reference books are here and can't really be checked out because they're really expensive and can't be easily replaced, so the rule is they stay here on lockdown. We have printers at home because most of us do our studying and paper writing and everything at home, and since this is Prescott, we don't have 24 hour printshops or Kinko's that we can go to if we need to print out stuff in the middle of the night. The printers on campus are here for our convenience so we can do work while we're at school. We try to avoid going home between classes because going all the way home is an unneccessary trip, and as soon as we got home we'd have to turn right around and come back.

ASSUMPTIONS:

That something is logical to someone if you tell them it's a rule. That being in Prescott gives a context to an alien. Assumption that convenience is meaningful (again).

3.)
Why?

A:

Because most people study better if they don't have noise going on around them. Reference books are expensive, and printers are cheap, therefore reference books are rarer, and printers are common. Rarity often indicates value, such as in the case of antiques- you can't duplicate age, and they're not making it anymore.

ASSUMPTIONS:

That majority needs should be accomodated at the possible expense of the minority (rather than accomodating everyone). Concept of rarity equating with value. Concept of something old and maybe broken down and less functional being more valuble than something new, fully functional, and durable- this idea hints at sentimentality being able to trump pragmatism, which would also not necessarily make sense to an alien.

4.)
Why?

A:

Human beings don't focus very well if there is a lot of stimulus vying for their attention. It's like horses you're going to race- it's better to put their blinders on and keep their focus on the task. Rarity indicates value- like, how much money something is worth- because once all of something are gone, that's it. That's why the price of oil and everything goes up and up- we've realized that we're coming to the bottom of the barrell here pretty soon, and so the price goes up.

ESSAY (Written under the assumption that this exercise was meant to serve as a paralell for different, far removed cultures on earth):

I would like to write about just one major assumption, but that one assumption is a BIG umbrella that covers a lot of ground, so I think that it will be permissible: Assumptions about values.

We largely walk around in the United States and in first-world white cultures with a strong sense that our way is the best way. Even more culturally aware people who give lip service to the validity of other cultures far-removed from our own would very rarely be inclined to actually live in a new and different way, with new and different perspectives, customs, standards of living- all of which come under the heading of VALUES. Often when we talk about the legitimacy of a culture not similar to our own, even when attempting to do so in a positive manner, we end up being condescending: "Tribal cultures are of value, in their own way," is either pretty much directly asserted, or that's the take-away.

Other times, components of a culture are taken out of context to devalue that culture as a whole: in Africa, female circumcision is still relatively commonplace in some regions, and even though this is a culturally accepted practice there, to them, and has various significances that are of value to them, in the context of their culture and even though it doesn't effect white men or women in the United States, it is still taken as a stand-alone fact that is then used to devalue that entire culture.

When people talk about female circumcision, which, I admit, sounds like a gruesome, archaic practice that I wouldn't want for my own hypothetical daughter, nobody ever says "Well, what about circumcision? More than 90% of boys are circumsized in the United States, how come that's ok?"

Nobody says that because it is a given- an ASSUMPTION- that we do it, and therefore it's ok. It's the same with religion- people make fun of Scientology, and rightfully so, BUT to look closely at any religion that I am familiar with is to run into the same problems- if you look at them logically, and pretend that you're NOT used to the ideas set forth, they sound unilaterally insane. It's all about conditioning. I remember when I was nine or ten and they started marketing bottled water, and the ENTIRE WORLD collectively laughed their asses off. It wouldn't surprise me if 85% or more of the kids in our HUM101 class drank the majority of the water they consumed from plastic bottles.

Pavlov all over again.




Stalking the Wild Argument

For 'We're All Doomed: Stalking the Wild Argument,' I chose to analyze an op-ed piece from the late film critic Roger Ebert's online journal at RogerEbert.com titled 'The Anger of the Festering Fringe.' In this piece, published in October of 2009, Ebert discusses the anti-Obama climate in the United States among both the right and the 'extreme' right, or, as he terms it, the "lunatic fringe." He draws various comparisons between absurd historical rumours, ie Kennedy being rumoured to be a communist, Johnson being rumoured to have arranged the Kennedy assassinations, that Edward (Ted) Kennedy was a Soviet agent, and current meme-tastic, forwarded political email, tea-party endorsed abortions of reason along the same non-linear lines:

"Obama is a Muslim. Obama was born in Kenya. Obama was a terrorist. Obama will destroy Medicare. Obama will kill your grandmother. Obama is a racist. Obama wants atheism taught in the schools. Obama wants us to pay for the health care of illegal immigrants."


Ebert's thesis statement comes in the third formal paragraph after the italicized text above. After establishing his subject- modern domestic extremeism and slanderous paranoia in the national polical arena- precedent and paralell- the Kennedys- and citing the background noise crazy that we've all heard about the president, he talks briefly about their clear-cut logical shortcomings, several reasons why these ideas are presented and latched onto the first place, before arriving at his point: the common denominator, intention-wise, is simply to "fan irrational hatred" against the president.

After issuing his primary point, he immediately cites what was a recent example at the time of his post. One of the more respected right-wing internet news outlets, newsmax.com had a story suggesting that it might ultimately be beneficial if the United States military were to stage a coup and take over the government rather than allow Obama to govern. After significant public outcry, the news item was removed, but it is still available online in it's entirety. This appeal is intended to be effective by virtue of the fact that it came from a more moderate news source, yet is clearly very extreme and very hostile toward Obama- suggesting that a military overthrow of the government is less insane than allowing a recently elected president to govern is severe by any standard.

Later on in the piece, Ebert goes on to discuss common sense by way of health care, citing the virtues of famously bipartisan Republican moderate, Olympia Snowe, and lamenting how rare her ilk is anymore. It is worth noting that Snowe, of Maine, opted not to seek reelection in November 2013, due to 'hyper-partisanship,' which dovetails nicely with Ebert's thesis, even four years after the fact.


.............................

Please note that I used hyperlinks to verify the sources Ebert cited that I mentioned in my analysis.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pop Culture Tour




The noble Dove campaign for REAL beauty


A slim fast commercial. Slim fast is owned by Unilever, as is Dove.


A commercial for Axe Body Spray. Axe is owned by Unilever, as is Dove.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tammy-bleck/life-is-like-a-burger_b_3936956.html
A link to the inimitable Tammy Bleck, and her views on Dove, and life being a hamburger. she's SICK OF THE LIES, people!


Here i read the Tammy Bleck article (with super fun inflection!) and also introduce my pop culture tour, and make my pre-emptive excuses.


Here i run through the way HuffPo qualifies as pop culture, and it's meaning in my life and in society.

I hate articles like this: 'the movie wasn't to my taste, I liked the book better!' 'Interacting with nice, sincere people is better than interacting with manipulative, disingenuous liars!' 'In&out is better than McDonald's and I believe that buying food at one rather than the other makes me MORE REAL SOMEHOW!' 'Advertising isn't straightforward!' 'I like Dove products because women who aren't thin are more real than curvy or overweight women!' Poorly made points, a woman who is clearly consumed by marketing and branding and has created a sense of self by buying certain products rather than others, and feels VERY FUCKING SMUG about it. And those dove commercials, come ON, don't act like that's not pandering. The chubby, curvy, and older women in those spots are striking, well lit, wearing PLENTY of make up. You don't see a varicose vein or cellulite on any of them. It's not like they picked up a group of women at a bus stop, they are non-traditional MODELS, and the campaign is NOT motivated by body positivity, it is motivated by the knowledge that they can pander to women who want to feel acknowledged, but still idealized... Women who aren't hot young stereotype babes but want to be tastefully sexualized and allowed to feel smarter and smug in their brand loyalty. Wanting to be idealized by a THIRD party so they don't have to feel guilty about doing it themselves like those "phony" people who DARE to put up a flattering picture of themselves on a dating website because they are INSECURE, LONELY, and want to be given a chance in person. OH MY GOD, this bitch is awful. She's like some upper middle class harpie pretending to be glucose intolerant and constantly making a point of working her brand identity as an ORGANIC FOOD PERSON into every fucking conversation forever and ever. YES, BITCH, I CAN see that you are carrying a whole foods canvas tote, you are such an incredible person, and just smelling your wheat free farts makes me visualize world peace and want to COEXIST. Fucking kill me.


video of me reading my response and talking about Dove and it's pop culture qualification et al.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-maclean/surviving-whole-foods_b_3895583.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false
Funny article that i read FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST after i had written my response to the Bleck article that illustrates the smug consumer brand identity hypocrisy that i was talking about. Funny when it all comes together, right?


i qualify whole foods as pop culture, etc. i attempt and possibly fail to tie all three pop culture entities together (dove, Huffington Post, whole foods). I talk about brand identity.


Whole Foods is actually a pretty awesome company at this point, i have to say.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cole Porter Sucks

300 Plus word essay that I can’t believe I didn’t see that I had to do:

I can’t write for shit, but I think you’re tits
Still, better to say than to leave unsaid
I can’t sing, either, but I’m a big believer
In feeling inferior
While I overfeed your head

In the first verse, I chose to mimic the somewhat formal pentameter of the Porter song, while introducing modern profanity and slang indicative of current lyrical trends that have become so commonplace today. By juxtaposing the formality of the syllabic rhythm and structure with modern language, I am attempting to delight the reader with the small surprise of bad words with formal structure reminiscent of the imitated work. This also serves as a segue-way and acknowledgement of Porter’s song (antiquated and, now- many decades later- stuffy) to my ‘updated’ version in which I cite more currently known equivalents. It is not unlike the idea behind sampling an established older song in order to set the tone, establish theme, and lend gravitas to a new pop song intended for top forty, except this is intended to be a bit of a joke, as lyrically I am also mocking the subtext both large and small of a desperate man with an inferiority complex who cuts himself off at the knees by employing really shoddy simile ad-nauseum over and over for the duration of the original work.

You’re badass
You’re an octagon ring
You’re badass
You’re MoMA
You’re Kim Deal on bass
You’re a Fendi bag
You’re Fifty Shades of Twilight
You’re Roger

In the second verse, I continue to mimic the original and simply swap out references that were current at the conception of the Porter version for references that are more easily recognizable today, while continuing to tonally update through repetitive use of profanity. You’re the top becomes you’re badass, the coliseum- a site for violent spectator recreation – becomes an octagon ring, such as is used for it’s modern gladiatorial equivalent (minus intended death), UFC tournaments. The Louvre becomes a museum so modern and current as to have the word modern in its name- MoMa, the Museum of Modern Art. Strauss symphony gives way to Kim Deal, an alternative musician known for her amazing work on bass in such seminal bands as The Pixies and the Breeders. Bendel bonnets were status asserting hats- like, Little House on the Prairie hats- that have a modern equivalent in IT bags- purses- manufactured by Fendi, et al. The appearance of Shakespeare on Porter’s song gave me pause, as Shakespeare was long dead by the time Porter was conceived, and as per our given definition of popular culture in class, Shakespeare would not have qualified during Porter’s lifetime any more than Shakespeare would qualify now, despite the fact that for the last several hundred years, there is no other playwright in the known universe whose works are produced more often. Overlooking this fact, I reference Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight. I wouldn’t want to over think it. Finally, to wrap verse two up, I reference Roger from American Dad as opposed to the (still) very iconic Mickey Mouse, although today when someone refers to someone or something as ‘Mickey Mouse,’ it is typically intended to denote immaturity or dilettantism. I cannot speak as to the perceived meaning during Porter’s heyday. It could mean “Hey, you’re awesome. Like Mickey Mouse.”

You’re Summit Plummet
You’re an abandoned amusement park
You’re a crystal studded skull
I’m without inherent value of any kind, I’m Charlie Sheen, I’m Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls
But if I’m all those not-awesome things,
Somehow that translates into you having lots of qualities

Verse three switches out the Nile for the world’s largest waterslide, the Summit Plummet, found in Florida. The Tower of Pisa is swapped for what, for my money, would be an equivalent in ruined cool, an abandoned amusement park. The Mona Lisa’s smile is exchanged for the Damien Hirst work, ‘For the Love of God,’ which is more commonly known as ‘that Bedazzled skull I saw on Instagram.’ I swapped out Porter’s flop, wreck and worthlessness for Charlie Sheen (noted flop and arguably worthless wreck) and the legacy raping fourth Indiana Jones film.
I continue in this manner for the duration of the rewrite, swapping out old for newer, more recognizable equivalents. I also continue to overanalyze Porter’s premise, ridiculing and undermining it to great comedic effect by being excessively literal of what his citations actually entail if you think about them.


"You're the Top" by Cole Porter (1934)



At words poetic, I'm so pathetic
That I always have found it best,
Instead of getting 'em off my chest,
To let 'em rest unexpressed.
I hate parading my serenading
As I'll probably miss a bar,
But if this ditty is not so pretty
At least it'll tell you
How great you are.

You're the top!
You're the Coliseum,
You're the top!
You're the Louvre Museum.
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss
You're a Bendel bonneti,
A Shakespeare's sonnet,
You're Mickey Mouse.


You're the Nile,
You're the Tower of Pisa,
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, baby, I'm the bottom you're the top!



You're the top!
You're Mahatma Gandhi.
You're the top!
You're Napoleon Brandy.
You're the purple light
Of a summer night in Spain,
You're the National Gallery
You're Garbo's salary,
You're cellophane.


You're sublime,
You're a turkey dinner,
You're the time of the Derby winner.
I'm a toy balloon that is fated soon to pop
But if, baby, I'm the bottom,
You're the top!

You're the top!
You're an Arrow collar.
You're the top!
You're a Coolidge dollar.
You're the nimble tread
Of the feet of Fred Astaire,
You're an O'Neill drama,
You're Whistler's mama,
You're Camembert.

You're a rose,
You're Inferno's Dante.
You're the nose
On the great Durante.
I'm just in the way,
As the French would say, "de trop."
But if, baby, I'm the bottom,
You're the top!

Reworked by me, Seth

“You’re basically better than me and I think that reiterating that endlessly will endear you to me somehow”

I can’t write for shit, but I think you’re tits
Still, better to say than to leave unsaid
I can’t sing, either, but I’m a big believer
In feeling inferior
While I overfeed your head

You’re badass
You’re an octagon ring
You’re badass
You’re Moma
You’re Kim Deal on bass
You’re a Fendi bag
You’re Fifty Shades of Twilight
You’re Roger

You’re Summit Plummet
You’re an abandoned amusement park
You’re a crystal studded skull
I’m without inherent value of any kind, I’m Charlie Sheen, I’m Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls
But if I’m all those not-awesome things,
Somehow that translates into you having lots of qualities

You’re badass
You’re an assassinated conscientious objector
You’re badass
You’re fancy alcohol that probably costs too much
You’re light pollution in a foreign country
You’re a museum in London in addition to being a museum in France, so essentially you are breaking the laws of space and time
You’re the money that a reclusive German actress could command
You’re plastic wrap

You’re badass
You’re cooked poultry
You’re how fast a really fast horse can competitively run
I’m an impotent, withering toy
But if I’m all those crappy things,
In my warped view of what meritocracy is,
This makes you exceptionally valid as a human being

Oh my God, how many verses of this horrible song do I have to write

You are STILL BADASS
You’re a really nice accessory that again, denotes status
You’re badass
You’re currency
You’re a dead dancer’s feet
You’re a nobel laureate playwright, also dead
You’re an old puritanical hag sitting in a rocking chair looking unnecessarily unpleasant
You’re English cheese

You’re a rose… I’m not changing that because we still have roses
You’re somebody who spends a lot of time in multiple levels of hell and I don’t get how that’s a compliment… I think Cole Porter was just mad-libbing this song by the forty-seventh verse
You’re Ashley Simpson’s new nose (it’s better than the alternative)
I remain inferior
Even the French think I’m shit and they like Jerry Lewis
But if I’m I suck that bad,
that only makes you more badass

DIY: If you missed today's class, you are responsible for rewriting the lyrics yourself with modern pop culture references and posting them to your blog. You will also need to write a 300-word essay explaining why you chose the substitutions you did in your rewrite and how those substitutions reflect modern popular culture. This must be submitted by September 18 for you to earn XP for this quest. If you miss the deadline, you must complete the "Ooops" quest to earn the Pop Culture Maven badge and progress in the class.

You want the extra credit that the class earned as well? Then provide a link to a video of you SINGING those lyrics. Oh, yes, you heard me! We sang in class and it was fantabulous. So warm up the vocal chords, set up your webcam and let 'er rip.

Seeing What You Want To See (Because it Feels Good), OR Reading Quest 1

If people really see what they want to see (patterns) based on 'feelings' being reinforced by chemical factors (dopamine) and this leads to erroneous conclusions because it feels physically and neurologically good to be flooded with dopamine, is the inverse true? Would someone with a dopamine deficiency be more likely to be accurate?

In the case of Ann Klinestiver, this seems to be the case. She has Parkinson's, and her dopamine circuitry is sick, dying, and she has the lack of motor control to prove it. Despite her physical failings, her logic remains intact. Her otherwise reliable life remains reliable, save for her malady. Upon the introduction of a dopamine agonist (basically steroids on crystal meth for the remaining neurotransmitters capable of producing and disseminating dopamine into her body) her physical symptoms cease and desist, but her logic disappears. She essentially becomes a slave to the kick her system gets when she gets her dopamine neurotransmitters to give her an extra hit of SURPRISE dopamine (the sweetest kind, chemically) from winning at slots. It's Pavlovian Bell on top of Pavlovian Bell. Like the dog that has been conditioned to start salivating at the ring of a bell because it indicates the beginning of stimulus/food, so too does Ann the schoolteacher start 'salivating' upon arrival at the casino. When she actually wins, she gets a bonus hi. It would be like if Pavlov started scratching his dog's belly while it was eating its expected reward. Ice cream with syrup suddenly submerged in unexpected whip cream and cherries. I could go on.

As we recall from the book, Ann the monkey-backed school teacher loses her life ruining medication and starts having the tell-tale shakes again- and how- but she's handily beaten her gambling addiction... which was never really a gambling addiction. It was a dopamine addiction, a stimulus addiction. She was like a crack mouse drinking cocaine water and ignoring her food until death. Again, i could go on.

So, the inverse. There is a theory called depressive realism.

We all have heard (and many of us may believe) warm fuzzies like "if you work hard enough, you can be anything," "you'll meet the right person someday," "They're in a better place" "this is happening for a reason," and so on and so forth. Many of us say stuff like that when all is well, and take comfort in these um... well, let's call them extremely simplistic reassurances to staggeringly complex and often bleak realities and questions. Shorthand comfort for the needy. Alms for the poor. So this flies for many of us much of the time. Then your mom dies. Or a close friend. Or a beloved pet. Maybe for some of us on a more tenuous tether, we pay for the large french fries and instead get a medium. If you're Paula Abdul, perhaps you are not chosen to design the outfits for the live-action BRATZ movie that you had been living and breathing for, and thusly do not feel as though you are being recognized as the gift to mankind that you know in your heart-soul that you are. All of a sudden, the skies darken to a roiling black. There is a gnashing of teeth, a beating of brows, epithets hurled at your stylists- followed by a heavy, hot weight in your belly. A pink light bulb in your head and heart flickers, pops, and goes dark. THERE IS NO GOD.

All those weak-sauce chicken soup for the emotionally lazy banalities only serve to make you furious.

If you're already depressive- consistantly, unendingly depressive- you're already there. Well, maybe not THERE IS NO GOD there, but dopamine light enough to not be frequenting a headspace where you're believing it when everybody tells you how alright everything will turn out always no matter what you just have to believe and tap your heels three times and think happy thoughts and hey have you tried the secret, that really works, Oprah and Suzanne Somers said so if you think positive, positive things happen to you...

Wait, that sounds familiar. That sounds like a basketball team that believes that if they're doing well they will continue to do well because of their streak, when actually, the opposite is true.

The (perhaps depressive?) basketball player who doesn't believe in the hot streak merely because he 'feels it' and doesn't take the shot ends up being the statistical best shot.

My research consists of what was in the book 'how we decide' by Jonah Lehrer, previous knowledge of Pavlovian theory, Neurotransmitters, and psychological theory. Here are some sources, some of which contain further work by Tversky and Gilovitch, the team that was cited by Lehrer as having studied the 76er's. I could cite more academic sources, but since we're doing a general discussion thing more than hard academic paper, I felt this would be sufficient.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depressive_realism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Gilovich
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuristics_in_judgment_and_decision_making
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amos_Tversky
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_conditioning

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

IMMINENT MILESTONE, PEOPLE!

HOLY CRAP, I just checked my stats, and i'm almost at 100,000 page views? probably 92,000 of them are me obsessively checking this bitch, but still. damn.

HUM(anities) JIBBER

I'm using the old SLWMAC repository for my humanities class. I'm sure everyone involved will be very, very sorry.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

you would never call me baby if you knew me


every person on earth feels that way. it's hard to say something so obvious and universal without sounding trite (or maybe it's the kind of thing you have to say when you're super-young to get away with? i don't know about that, though, i roll my eyes half out of my head at some of the tired old chestnuts i hear tumbling out of kids' mouths. sorry, these sidebars can go on and on) i like this kid.



Monday, August 13, 2012

for legal reasons

had to take the car crash post down. nobody's missing it anyway, lol.

here's radical face's 'glory' instead. i'm a little stuck on it.



words:

I was born when they took my name
When the world turned wicked, when I joined their game
But I turned and fought them
Like you always knew I'd do

I sat and dreamed at the foot of your bed
You split my skull and reached inside my head
And pulled out the pictures I'd been wishing I'd forget
And you stitched me up then
And wiped the blood from off my chin

Now I sit on the rooftop's edge
The muddy street beneath my swollen head
Trying to forget you
To believe we've never met

And the sky is wrecked, full of rotting clouds
From chimney mouths spewing smoke around
And I can't stop coughing
My lungs just won't calm down
But still I keep grinning
As the blood from my face stains the ground

A bird, caught in the wires
Bleating for help I can't provide
(I'm not that big)
I hope for the best but nothing changes
(I'm sorry)

But I was blessed with bad eyes
There's a lot that I miss but I don't mind, I'm not that old
I'll find out what broke me soon enough

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Got Hit By A Car



this is the somewhat less than ideal version of my face after i got vehicularly made over by some girl born in the fucking nineties over graduation weekend here in tucson. while i concur that the look is striking, it made my crazy hair and piercings somewhat pale in comparison (possibly due to a loss of whole blood). anyway, that is what i've been dealing with for the better part of the last thirty days. preceding that, i got in a bike wreck that partially tore my left rotator cuff, so give or take ten days at most, i have been out on short term disability for the best of the last two months. when my friend told me to go out and do something interesting, this was not something that had crossed my mind. i was thinking more along the lines of subversive macrame. you know, really STICK IT TO THE MAN.

i don't remember being hit. i just remember being in the ambulance for a minute, and from there, my version of chronology leapfrogs to the trauma unit where they try their even best to de-picasso-ize me into a real life three dimensional entity. thanks, vaguely foreign training doctor! they cut off my favorite outfit, except for my blood drenched shoes and my helmet (praise allah that i had been having "you should wear your helmet" juju floating (uncharacteristically)in my brain for the preceding ten or so days. i'm in the trauma and CDU for a couple more days, ever more the perfect spitting image of a post-modern elephant man, before they discharge me with a souvenir size bucket of percocets and muscle relaxers. i won't lie, they were the breath of god. i hurt every time i woke up.

my job struggled to say the right thing, to be grudgingly supportive. i just started working again the other day (last night was my fourth night back). i have to say, my back hurts like a bitch by the end of my shift, and this shit probably won't fly in ten or so years. still, i'm working poor... very poor. so what do us poor losers with limited skill do? we suck it up and keep on fucking keeping on. praise allah for my high pain threshold. or praise my blue collar alcoholic upbringing. potato/po-taw-toe.

anyway, i'm doing better-ish, but let's be marsha fucking brady real here, yeah? now i'll NEVER BE A TEEN MODEL.



They had to sew the left nostril back on, i have the broken teen in the upper front and center, i look like my nose was sluiced open by a jaguar, and the left side of my throat looks like i was the sole survivor of a nightmare on elm street sequel.

i all thought this was sort of a testament to my inherent bad-ass-ness, as i essentially walked away without so much as a broken bone (though i did suffer a mild brain bleed) and i walked around the first several weeks saying shit like "you should see the CAR!!!" you know, reassuring myself, reassuring others. i wore a helmet, thank god, and since the damage was so largely to my face and throat, i assumed that my bike- made of METAL and RUBBER must be in excellent shape. last week when i was able to make my appointment to collect my baby, i was greeted with the following sight:

so after seeing my brand new bike twisted into a four hundred dollar pretzel, and after an incident in which i rode my OTHER bike to seven eleven and laid down my helmet while i paid only to realize that my helmet- the one that saved my life when i got it- was nothing less that caked with blood. the straps, the interior helmet, the whole thing was like IT should have been in an evidence locker.

whatever, this happened three weeks ago. i'm freaked out, but that's what's going on with me.

and the super duper fun times keep on coming, right?

it's just before i saw the bike and the helmet, i was kind of laughing it off in a way. facial trauma when you get hit by a car, but not a single broken bone? kind of a slap on the wrist. when i got my bike back i was ripped from my delusion that it was minor all along. i could have gone under the car instead of hurtling away into relative safety and well being. the helmet full of dried globs of blood... i should get it bronzed with a plaque that says THANK YOU underneath it.

i almost died, and it has (of course) fried my waffle a little bit, but i tell you what, i don't fucking want to die. and apparently, it's not easy to make that happen. just saying.

thoughts, just thoughts. just trying, TRYING to process this wacky shit.

got the bill. 25 grand. gonna lawyer up here pretty quick. wish my fuckup ass all the luck you can muster.

love,
seth





Tuesday, March 27, 2012

suck it, admirer... and you spelled emotionally wrong

seth, i like you too much to continue. im an emotianally damaged, neurotic mess. i dont know how much of last night you remember but i meant it when i said i like you. i need to focus on other things right now. know that ill think of you often.

now doctor horrible is here. to make you quake with fear. to make your whole world neal. and i wont feel...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tom Petty is Kind of the Shit

it has been said before that solely based upon the genius of the video for don't come around here no more TP&theHB deserve mad, MAD props, and i am certainly NOT going to disagree, but i would like to go off on the awesomeness of both some of his wildly successful mainstream hits and videos as well as some lesser known works that for WHATEVER REASON never made it into heavy rotation. I don't know how familiar you guys are with patrick bateman... i'll try not to be too creepy clinical.
this is sort of my first non-misery oriented post in quite a while, so please- be kind. i don't feel quite "back" yet, but i am TRYING, and i feel like i'm getting closer. Tom Petty has been a big part of that, in the musical component of catharsis sense, for whatever reason.

[ALSO- sidebar- i hope you guys enjoy the new header pic. i look like holy hell, i just woke up and clearly didn't even try to look pretty, but THAT FUCKING SCARY ASS MONKEYSHINES MONKEY is apparently something that Robert bought for me a few months before he died. If that doesn't indicate how mind-melded and close we were, NOTHING WILL. it is an example of a profound understanding of who i am, NOT AN EASY FEAT, LET ME TELL YOU (you know, because i'm so deep and complicated, lol) and the only other time in my life i've seen such a perfect gift was (this is arrogant, but TRUE) when i got rob the carol channing ventriloquist doll. OH, HOW I WISH HE COULD HAVE GOTTEN TO SEE MY REACTION TO RECEIVING IT! his partner michael did, though, and that was a joy and a blessing (oh, sick, i just used the word 'blessing'- please kill me). i love you, Robert! I miss you!]

In no particular order, apart from ballads vs. non-ballads/'rockers' (with videos when possible, which should be all of them in this day and age, and given the wealth of Petty concert footage, which is, you know, supposed to be one of the great musical experiences one can have. i've seen bob dylan live, and i realize he's like four thousand years old and everything, and that his voice was never a vocalist voice, and i realize that at one point seeing him perform was like seeing god and by the time my ass got around to it, it would be kind to say that he is a BIT past his prime by any reasonable standard, but WOW being a transcendentally great writer and a sonic pioneer does NOT make you a valid stage presence, and this is turning into an off-topic rant so moving right along):

Rebels:

ok, before i even get into the song, please make note of the backup wenches at :48 - :52, because they are of A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES, MOTHERFUCKERS!

sadly, i must begin with a concession: calling yourself a rebel is lame, at least at this point in time. possibly it's always been lame. if anything, Fonzie from Happy Days butt-raped the cool out of being a self-proclaimed rebel. Real rebels just go about being ahead of their time or outside of society (alá Patti Smith) like the rock and roll niggers that they are. and yet, YET, this song holds the hell up. This unforgivable "i'm a rebel" sin is bypassed, the proverbial two-hundred dollars are collected.

Excusing THAT: Tom Petty, especially in his youth was, to quote my once-clever and brutally articulate mother, "uglier than a bucket of assholes," although, as with many ugly people, they make ever more dashing, distinguished elderly people. Paradox. anyway, off topic again. So he was an ugly, weird, bug-looking motherfucker. AND YET, there is no DENYING the presence. Check the quick little facial expressions at the beginning, the movement (he looks like he's fucking the back of his guitar, but it doesn't seem to be an intentional, Jagger-esque effort as self-sexualizing), the swagger, the ROCKSTARNESS, but without the APATHY or the MOCK-INDIFFERENCE- he is being COOL AS FUCK while being OPENLY HAPPY AND EXCITED TO BE THERE (i wish gay guys at bars could master this trick- you CAN be awesome and sexy and still be really happy and nice and friendly at the same time, it CAN be done).

Next, lyrical validity. The simplicity is deceptive: on the page, not hearing the song, the words are pretty good, but not apparently brilliant. what many people don't realize or take the time to think about (although, dear reader, i am sure that you are not that way, because if you're reading this you are of better stock, am i right? of course i am) is that writing a song, enunciation and delivery must be considered. simple pentameter is not enough- that's why there aren't musicals in Shakespearean verse, at least none that i know of, and if there were one, a good one, i'm sure it would be somewhat well known. Petty is an absolute master of this: his inflection elevates his lyrics ALWAYS, which is not to say he is not lyrically brilliant. He stylistically tends toward non-abstract narrative, character stuff, storytelling. sort of a seventies southern styled corridos kind of thing... i mean, he isn't the only person who does it, but he uses broader strokes than, say, Bruce Springsteen or John Mellencamp, who are more geared towards 'and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened to these same people' kind of narration.

check out the lyrics in their entirety here and just click the x on the popup offering to send the ringtone to your phone and you're good.

My personal lyrical highlight from the song:

She picked me up in the morning/and she paid all my tickets
Then she screamed in the car/Left me out in the thicket

Well, i never would of dreamed/that her heart
was so wicked
Yeah, but i keep/coming back
'Cause it's so hard
to kick it

HEY! HEY! HEY!

and then the exTREMELY sing-along-able chorus kicks back in.

oh, it fucking kills me, it's like bukowski is the character in the song- there's the jail reference, the fucked up woman who rages out, the addictive allusions... and let us not overlook the simplicity on the page versus the way that they turn into perfectly fitted Tetris pieces when he SINGS THE WORDS. Rapture.

Final point: this is a southern pride song. How the FUCK do you do that without being yucky or "i'm on the mountain with mama and paw drinking moonshine and i love trucks and yay trailer park realness" alá modern country, (ugh) kid rock, or even other southern-ish rock music like (UGH) Lynard Skynnard? he even makes mention of those "blue bellied devils," and not that i feel that i have to break this down for you, that's an allusion to hating the north during the civil war. BUT HE DOES IT, and- at least to me- it's not offensive. you never get the "he hates black people" vibe, you never even get a "he hates everybody above the mason-dixon line" vibe, even though he basically SAYS IT in the song. He's in character to a certain extent, though the performance doesn't read that way.

Tom Petty is exempt from many well-established guidelines for being awesome. he can call himself a rebel (even call the FUCKING SONG "REBELS"), he can do legitimate southern pride and talk shit about the north without seeming racist or even offensive while being simultaneously sincere and himself AND in character. He's a fucking wizard... not a grand imperial wizard of the ku klux klan, though, just to be clear :)

ok, this is a long post... i'm sure i'm writing this primarily for myself- i doubt many of you have any interest in tom petty, so this might be a series.

it's been cool, though! to write again, to put something on here that wasn't about grief or loss or whatever.

i think next up will be either yer so bad or swingin' or possibly room at the top, if you guys are familiar with any of those. oh! maybe i'll do insider, one of the songs that he wrote for stevie nicks but ended up keeping for himself, lol- this happened several times!

stevie nicks has said that she wanted to quit fleetwood mac after rumours and JOIN TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS. WOW, that would have been a very different musical universe, huh?

anybody who's still reading my shit, thanks for sticking it out, i know i've been difficult.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

written and unsuccessfully published on 11/02/2011: so i've been trying to edit my post about robert, but for whatever reason, blogger isn't letting me save changes. i wrote it a few hours after i found out he was dead, and it was late and i was calling people to talk about it, but nobody was up so i wrote about it. i just wanted to say that i don't really want to die, i was on my third forty and deep in grief and that's what came out. i don't believe in god, but robert sure did, and i was/am angry that something like that should happen to him. anyway, i'm up in prescott now. his partner michael got in last night, and i'm surrounded by amazing friends and things are as good as they can be given the horrible circumstances.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Friend Robert Gonzales is Dead



Robert barely knew me when he made a concerted effort to pull me out of the wreckage of my life. i was doing daily labor and couch surfing with no personal belongings beyond a ratty post-post-second hand duffel full of lost and found clothing from the kicked out bin from a series of half way homes. he barely knew me, but he was like "i'm sick of you being in flux. fuck that. you're coming to stay at my place." and so it was. i moved in. he arranged me to take over his lease. he got me a job at the resort he worked at. he got me dress clothes, he took me to meetings, he was amazing, he was like pure love.

yesterday, while he was helping his sister angie move, he got in a car accident and now he's dead. i can't fucking believe it. if i had never met him, i know for a fact that i'd be dead. i am so broken hearted i can't even express the pain. he is one of the most amazing, selfless people i've ever known and to think that he's dead is such a slap in the face of fairness, reason, and cause and effect that i am in a profoud tailspin of faith and so on and so forth. his partner michael isn't even in the state. i'm zooming up to prescott tomorrow to um... you know. be there. i love robert so much, i want to die with him. i can't believe he's gone. i can't fucking believe it. no no no no no no no. no fucking nooooooooo. where is your god now, world. where is your fucking god?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Words Very Nearly Fail Me At Times

This guy is a GRADE A CUNT, and if you don't think so, i hope you end up marrying this guy because you deserve it.




MY SELF SUMMARY
I'm a University of Arizona graduate, I studied marketing and work in the field. I grew up in California before moving to Arizona as a teenager. I attended high school here and was involved in several sports. I'm pretty laid back, I like to chill out with friends and have a few drinks. Play sports. I like to travel and see new places. Enjoy some great sex.
I don't like drama. While I'm on the subject on things I don't like; fems and flamers, fatties and chubs, old men, unemployed and uneducated. PLEASE DON'T message me.
WHAT I’M DOING WITH MY LIFE
I've graduated from the U of A and now I'm working my dream job, I continue to grow in what I do and embrace my growth as human being.
My ultimate goal is to open my own ad agency and marketing firm and have a global clientele.

I’M REALLY GOOD AT
at sports, I lettered in Baseball, football and swimming. I'm also good at sex, I've told I'm amazing and I only attribute it to my nice friend below the waste...lol I'm pretty good at making my partner feel good too.


THE FIRST THINGS PEOPLE USUALLY NOTICE ABOUT ME
Guys tell me they notice that I'm fit and in shape. Girls say they notice my eyes then they tell both tell the truth and tell me the bulge in my pants...lol

FAVORITE BOOKS, MOVIES, SHOWS, MUSIC AND FOOD
Don't care to read much these days.
I like action movies, the more fighting and explosives, the harder my erection,
I hate foreign films and think that subtitles are dumb. I don't want to spend time reading during a movie. Most of the time they are low budget anyways.
Music is pretty much open, I do like alternative and rock, but sometimes catch myself listening to pop.
I love food! A day at the beach and eating fresh seafood seaside is the best. Never can pass up a good surf and turf. I like Mexican and Italian food as well, just can't cook for the life of me.

I SPEND A LOT OF TIME THINKING ABOUT
Honestly, sex. I'm young and have a great libido. If YOU CAN INTEREST ME IN YOU, then I think you have a good catch. I can have great conversations, they just need to spark my interest.

ON A TYPICAL FRIDAY NIGHT I AM
Chillin with friends, usually on 4th Ave getting drunk, not at the gay clubs!

THE MOST PRIVATE THING I AM WILLING TO ADMIT
The most private thing I’m willing to admit I've slept with my ex-girlfriend's brother.



I’M LOOKING FOR
Guys who like guys
Ages 18-27
Near me
For new friends, long-term dating, short-term dating, activity partners, casual sex

YOU SHOULD MESSAGE ME IF:
You're HOT, you like how I look, You like sex, you think you can handle me. I like to be outdoors and stay busy and fit, if you are a runner, swimmer, hiker, sports guy or cyclist we'd get along fine.
You shouldn't message me if you're; FAT, OLD, feminine, an IDIOT or looking for a "life partner" I'm 23 and NOT ready to settle down.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Did You Miss Me?



Reboot coming very soon. It has been a hard fucking year, and i think i'm ready to talk about it (as well as random bullshit, as is my wont). So much to say.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sinéad's Script



self-servingly swiped from the smart and clever Kubla Kong.