Monthly Archives: November 2010

Why Everyone Should Listen to Heavy Metal

Really. I won’t elaborate.

Okay, let me elaborate. If everybody listened to metal, the world would be much less confusing.

“What music should I play at the party?”
“Some Opeth, dude. Everyone will love it.”

“I’m depressed. What should I do?”
“Just listen to some Opeth, dude.”

“There’s this girl I really like, but I don’t know how to get her to like me.”
“Serenade her with some Opeth, dude.”

“Yes! We’re getting married. Now we just need to decide on a band for the wedding.”
“Get Opeth to play, dude.”

“Mr. President, polls show your popularity is down, what do you intend to do?”
“Don’t worry, we’ll just give everybody free albums. Some Opeth, dude.”

See? Everything would be so much easier. Nobody would fight, we would just listen to metal all day. We would work in metal factories, metal mills and metal mines, making more metal. Metal bands would achieve great success, and be the most popular people in the world. All the big music awards would be given to them. There would be music stores on every corner, selling metal albums. We would all gather in designated public metal zones basting the latest releases and headbang together. We would punish criminals by taking away their metal. We would reward do-gooders by giving them more metal. We would become a worldwide metal army– nay a COALITION, spreading the awesome word of metal. Nobody would listen to any other kind of music, or else be assaulted with sticks (made of metal.)

And that’s why.

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Koff Koff

Diseases. We all have them. Not necessarily the cancers or the really fancy sounding sicknesses. But if you break it down, they’re just problems, with solutions ranging from ridiculously easy to expensive and/or hard. On TV, we only see the problems with unfathomably difficult fixes. Overthrowing an evil empire, or defeating the very embodiment of all evil in the world- Nay, the UNIVERSE. But in real life, more of our problems are mundane. They’re the easy-medium range problems. And maybe if we spent an hour a day on each of them, they would go away. But what happens when you have 25 problems? Those problems we have aren’t intimidating by themselves, sometimes so much so that when you tell people about them, they wonder why it IS a problem at all. But they all cluster together and fuck you up, like a huge… well, you know.

Have you tried being the great fixer? Just buckling down and going “Okay, screw this, I’m dealing with ALL of these, NOW.” Well that doesn’t work. Not for long at least. Even the most organized person with charts and Powerpoints about managing your time well won’t be able to keep up a problem free lifestyle. Because while you can, doing so leaves you with virtually no time for anything else. So you spend the whole time keeping leaves out of the pool, you never have any time to swim. I could have come up with a more poignant analogy, but original ones about this particular topic are in short supply. It’s like spending all your time trying to keep your shorts in supply, you never have any time to wear them. Try to fix everything, and that’s all you’ll be doing. Not even considering people asking you to help with their problems. Eventually, you’re just going to get tired of it.

Besides, I firmly believe that one of the best way to deal with your problems is to give them a big FUCK YOU and not care. For a while, at least. Or more than a while. Though that works in more of a spiritual-emotional capacity, rather than a practical one. We’re never going to stop having stuff to deal with, we’re never going to be truly at peace. The trick is finding ways to be at peace while all hell is breaking loose around you. Report due tomorrow? Fuck that, I’m watching Buffy. Important business-type meeting later? To hell with that, I want to kill virtual people instead. There will never be a -good- time to just relax, and as people get older that becomes more and more true. But trying to fight that makes people older faster. Shit is going to keep coming, until the day we die. And don’t even get me STARTED on heaven.

Practical advice? Got nothing. That’s all on YOU. And yes, I’m aware that people have “real” problems: starvation and poverty and whatnot. But do you care about African children with no food? Sure. Enough to actually do something about it? Didn’t think so. If an old lady a few feet away from you falls and breaks her hip, you should probably help her. But if an old lady in China falls and breaks her hip, nobody expects you to call 911 (or whatever you’re supposed to call in China). But if your grandmother falls and breaks her hip while she’s going on vacation in China, you ARE obligated to care. It’s all about distance and connections. And a lot of people I know aren’t particularly near or connected to starving children in Africa. Those problems are only “real” to the people who actually have them, and the people actively trying to do something about them. They’re no less “real” than your problems are to you. It may sound cold, but why does the world still have to deal with things like that? People tend to forget that we ARE people. Imperfect. In fact, most of the time very deeply flawed.

So maybe just deal with that nasty rash down there before worrying about the possibility of World War III. Of course, as I’ve said, it won’t end there. We’ll all keep trying to cure our diseases, trying, patching up leaks here and there until we finally drown. Sad, isn’t it?


Thank God for Drafts

I don’t seem to post much. But I’m not unproductive, I swear. I write on here quite a bit, and at this particular moment, I have maybe eight drafts that I have yet to finish. It seems that I’m one of those people who never finish things. I don’t know why people do it. Maybe it’s because they’re just too eager to go on to the next new thing. But I don’t seem to be doing many new things either. So I’m forced to believe it has something to do with my working style.

I DO finish things… eventually. When I write anything of any substantial length (that is, more than a paragraph), I can never finish it in more than one sitting, unless I’m feeling particularly motivated. Not to mention I seem to hate everything I wrote if I re-read it the day after I write it. But this is why sometimes I think the best job I could get would be a freelance writer. Sure, I’d be dirt poor. Hell, I’d probably have to pretend to be nice to dirt, so he’d share some of his dinner with me. But at least I’ll be able to take my time, and put out good(?) work. Then again, I might grow up and decide that I want to… eat. And be able to afford a Playstation 5 or something.

I have really no idea what to expect from the future… But I suppose that’s why it’s so much fun.

 

 

Okay, I’m going to publish this with minimal editing, just to see if it helps with the above not finishing problem…


Just Another Day

I’ve had this wallpaper on my PC for quite a while. It’s stayed on there for quite a while despite its simplicity and lack of trippy flashy things, blood, pirates, or TV show references. Blue text, black background:

The wallpaper in question

We’ll all be okay. Eventually.

At least, that’s what that picture says. I can’t just think it though, that won’t convince me. And if somebody says that, it just means that they care enough to say something, but not something¬† that actually helps. But this picture is different. It says that somebody out there actually believed it enough to make a sign (or at least hire somebody to make one), bearing this one extremely hard to believe phrase. But if somebody out there can believe it, I suppose I can too. But it’s not the easiest think to think. Cause everything WON’T be alright, will it? Hell no, there’s that test you have to study for, your family that’s about to fall apart because of your DAMN DRUG PROBLEM, or the mere fact that you know there’s a crapload of bad days to come.

But there’s the thing. The sign says what everything WILL be alright. None of that badness will actually happen, it’s all still in your head. And in there, you decide what will and will not happen, and dammit, you can decide that nothing bad will ever happen again, ever. If you say something enough, you’ll start to think it’s true.

It won’t -actually- be true, but if that truth is limited to yourself, to your own head, leaving the outside world to deal with the repercussions, it will be. Keep telling yourself that you’re attractive, and you won’t magically grow abs and biceps (That totally happened to me though. True fax.), but tell yourself you’re confident, and you’ll think it’s true, which means you’ll start acting confident, which will make it true. Congratulations, you’re a fucking psychic.

Back to what I was saying though. Sure, thinking that nothing will ever go wrong, ever is just a set up for disappointment, but disappointment is just another flavor of depression. And you’re going to get depressed eventually, so you might as well be able to see it coming and know what you’re dealing with. The worst kind of disease is an undiagnosed one, right?

I’m not saying go around thinking EVERYTHING is sunshine and puppies. There are still a good deal of bastards out in the world, huge corporations are still trying to take all your money, and politicians are still trying to steal your soul, and thinking otherwise is a good way to get… nowhere. But constantly reminding yourself that everything sucks isn’t exactly helping either. So that’s how I get through my life, a few days at a time. Maybe someday I won’t need a picture to tell me everything will be alright. Maybe someday, nobody will, and people will look at that picture as some sort of post-modern beardcore art that’s ironic or something. Maybe it WILL all be alright.


Sailing away…

You must be wondering what this will be about. Another piece mourning the sinking of the Titanic maybe? Or I could be offering a helpful tip or two for when you’re taking your dingy out for a sail (duck when the boom comes around, don’t drink and boat, but bring sandwiches). But now, for you see this is all about friendships. Oh, yes.

See, I’ve been pondering this particular topic for a while, comparing my own friends to the ones on TV. Honestly? Television friends win. Always. In any show that depicts a gang or crew, hell even a posse, those friends are so stuck together that it verges on marriage. And what’s more impressive is that they keep it up for however long the show is going. Always sticking by each other and all that crap. Sure they fight, but they always make up sooner or later. Sure, maybe cause hiring new actors is a pain, but STILL. A real life friendship will never be able to come close to a television friendship.

TV friends always seem to know when something’s bothering you. They have some sort of super sense that tells them when “Leave me alone” means just that, and when it means “Just sit here with me quietly”. Real life friends might be able to tell something’s bothering you after you were all maudlin all day (especially near a Well), and ask you what’s wrong. Then they give you advice that doesn’t really help and they go back to thinking of themselves. Cause they have their own damn problems.

Real people are selfish, you see. All of us are. Even the people who help the poor or teach blind kids or something like that do it for themselves as much as for anybody else. Maybe it’s for (self)fulfillment, maybe it helps them take their minds of their own crappy lives, or help ease that guilt they feel for NOT helping. Maybe they’re pulling some stunt to get famous.

That’s another thing that TV gets wrong. On TV, in the movies, there are usually good guys and bad guys. But here in the real world, everybody has a mix of hero and villain. Won’t bother elaborating on that, you know it’s true. We’re all morally grey as much as we’d like to think otherwise. Maybe hundreds of years ago, it was easier to tell right from wrong. Or at least tell the white hats from the black ones. “Are they from here? No? They must be destroyed.” But now that the world is bleeding together, all the black and while mixes to coat us all with sticky, sticky, grey. Sure, there are morally grey characters on TV. But that’s the morally grey that’s entertaining. They’re the characters that have to decide to kill one to save hundreds, or something like that. Not like us regular people. We have to decide whether to run that red light so we’re not late to work.

That’s another reason why TV friendships will never be real. Like I said, we’re all selfish. We don’t sacrifice everything we have for somebody else. Not unless we’re about to die, anyway. Cause on TV, the characters don’t have anything else to worry about. Outside the show, they’re just flickering lights on our screens. Flickering lights can afford to give selflessly. But not us. We have jobs and responsibilities and crap like that and playing by aaaaaaaallllll the rules has never gotten anybody anywhere. So if you think you can be there for a friend ‘no matter what’, try deciding between going to that meeting that’ll get you a big promotion if you go, or picking up your friend when he’s gotten himself arrested or something. We can’t blame anybody for thinking of themselves though. We’re only human, after all.

So that is why, among many other reasons, you will lose friends from time to time.¬† And there’s nothing you can do about it. They might stick around for a while after they stop caring, out of lingering loyalty or respect or something. But sooner or later, you’ll be alone. Again. Then you find new friends. And it’s not like some definite cycle so you can see them off with a speech and teary eyes. They just kind of… fade away. And you can hardly tell things are different until they are. Every friend you make has an expiry date, and when you have a lot of friends, it’s harder to notice when they up and leave. But on the bright side, you do it to other people too. So there’s that.

But hey, if you think you’re an exception… go ahead. Prove me wrong.