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Where to begin? Do I lead off with something profound? Can I even produce something profound? Not with this sort of pressure I canít. Itís Canada Day, July 1st, and as good a time as any to start a project like this. Iíll be writing all of my entries in Microsoft Word first and then transferring it into 100words. That way Iíll always be bang on with my word count. Itís science. Wrote comedy with a friend today. Shall be meeting some other friends for a barbecue, beers and fireworks. Although not at the same time. Would be too dangerous.
Canada Day, the morning after. Woke up at noon with a belly full: 3 Coronas, 3 prime hamburgers with requisite bun, mustard and ketchup, 1 hot dog, 1/4 of a lemon meringue pie (partially thawed), random assortment of pretzels, potato chips, other food stuffs, a generous gulp of Pepto Bismol (does this qualify for advertising revenue?). One thing I fail to find inside, however, is a feeling of national pride. I wish it were there, but ďCanada DayĒ just doesnít do it for me. Remembrance Day is probably a better time to reflect, I suppose, and far less wantonly consumptive.
At work. Listening to an album that hasnít yet been released, per se. This is the first time Iíve done this, I swear. (Will the RIAA read this?) In truth, I have refrained from the practice until now not because of a sense of respect for intellectual property but more so because I like getting an album when the artist intends it to be heard. But with this release I couldnít control myself. Besides, I fully intend on purchasing the actual album in a weekís time anyway. What harm can a sneak peek do? Fast forward one week: total Armageddon.
Scooter Libby. Commuted. Wouldnít expect anything less slippery from a guy named Scooter. Although, letís be fair. He didnít decide to let himself (a convicted criminal) go free. That decision was left up to the Supreme Being of The United Skull and Bones of The World. ďTaking a shit on justice is the reserved privilege of me, George Walker Bush (Texas Ranger).Ē ďHasnít he already suffered enough?Ē he pleads, like Sally Struthers with an armload of African tots. ďYes, certainly,Ē agree the wearers of the Red Badge of Courage. Only a blind justice could allow such a subterfuge of reason.
I read a sad story about a young man who was brutally murdered by a friend. Apparently, the killer was inspired by his hours of playing Manhunt, a violent video-game. A life has been lost and two families are torn apart. Can you guess the victimsí favoured culprit? Yup, Manhunt. Look, I sympathize, I do, but if a teen, with what appears to be severe mental problems, compulsively plays a game rated MATURE you canít point fingers at anyone but yourselves. Did we not learn anything after Columbine? Violent video games canít stand in the place of a sick person.
Well, Iíve done it. Five days in and Iíve already missed an entry. I stink. I really, really, stink. I waffled over whether to give up and start again in August but then I got my wits about me and remembered the old line: ďBetter late than never.Ē Well, unless, of course, you are talking about your girlfriendís period, where late is certainly not better than never. I find myself to be quite reflexive in these lilí entries, like the only thing I can think to write about is the act of writing this in the first place. So postmodern.
It really pains me to see local, grassroots events become so heavily commercialized. What was once a quaint, yet bustling, summer-time celebration is as much about world culture as it is about corporate culture. There are the bank-sponsored stages, and the independent vendors having to share space with COSTCO and Pizza-Pizza. I know itís the way of the world but itís disappointing. I wish that an event organizer could weigh the potential sponsorship dollars against the decay of the ďfeelĒ of the event and be able to say ďNOĒ when a proposition, while providing cash, will (ironically) cheapen everything else.
At the aforementioned cultural festival in my hometown there was one booth that really caught my attention. It was, for all intents and purposes, a booth for Jesus Freaks. ďJesus Loves MeĒ ďI Love JesusĒ ďHow Will You Spend Your Eternity?Ē the t-shirts read. My favourite, though, was ďThere is no in beTWEEN for JesusĒ simultaneously extolling the virtue of choosing which side of the battle youíre really on and being very clear about just who should where this shirt: someone who is no longer a child but not yet a teen. Remember: Stupid t-shirts does not a Christian make.
The ways in which I know that I am no longer a child:
-I really like fried-egg sandwiches
-I sometimes fart without wanting to
-I often choose to pee sitting down. Itís like a nap
-My knees get sore if I donít stretch often
-I get angry with those who are younger than I
-Saving money seems like a really good idea
-There are nicer desserts than Jell-o
-I actually have thought ďwhat was I thinking?Ē
-I love the newspaper (and not just the colourful parts)
-I talk to people about the weather
-I donít find potty humour funny (not!)
Recently the Pope told sects other than Roman Catholics that they were, at the very least, second best. Why? Because they donít honour the power of the Pope. What would this discussion sound like in the playground?
Pope: Hey cool kids, I think youíre dumb because you donít care about what I have to say
Cool Kids: Exactly. So why would we give a shit what you have to say about us now?
Pope: Drrrrg (blinks)
Cool Kids: Now get lost or the other losers will think itís okay to talk to us, too.
Iíve been thinking often lately about the term ďironicĒ and how heavily it is used now. From wearing a ďJesus Is My HomeboyĒ t-shirt to throwing an INXS song into the mix at a club, hipsters have really cornered the market on ďirony.Ē The funny thing? In the strictest sense, none of this actually ironic, it is not the opposite of what is being contended or argued. And this is how hipster culture actually achieves the highest order of irony: the irony of calling something ironic when it is not, is truly an unparalleled irony in itself. Touche, hipsters, touchť.
Why is writing comedy so hard? The ideas seem easy. I mean, if I can make myself chuckle Iíve already started on the right foot. But extrapolating an idea to a joke or sketch seems almost prohibitively labourious. What sort of lead-in will I use? How will the characters orient themselves? How can I make sure that my dialogue, by virtue of its unintentional weaknesses, doesnít become the funniest part of the routine? How thin a line is it between edgy and disgusting? Does it matter? Wonít there always be an audience for either/or? Should I write Nickelback songs instead?
I am a 25-year-old Harry Potter fan. Wimpy? Maybe. Odd? No. I have never seen such a blanketed positive response amongst such a wide swath of people (fundamentalists excepted). And it harkens to a time I wish I had seen for myself. The buildup to the release of a new Beatles record was tantamount to hysteria in the 1960ís and I think the world we live in today is so media/art/meme heavy that it is tough to unify many people for a single event. Not so with Harry Potter. The crowd is electric at the outset, reverent by the end.
Why canít people learn to accept an apology? What sort of psychology is at play when a clearly conciliatory gesture is met with derisive shooing? In essence, why do some people have to be so fuckin grumpy?
I approached some neighbours about a noise complaint from last night. Apparently, the music from our computer speakers was too loud at 11:30pm. 11:30!? Fuck, I should be complaining to the super about them being too quiet. It creeps me out and it leads me to believe that they may have died in their apartment days ago. Now thatís an inconvenience, people.
Iíd like to think it possible that we are in the midst of an evolutionary stage, surging forward from a reliance on faith to a place where not only does reason govern, but it also comforts, fills the void, so to speak. I have little doubt that this is happening, however, as the processes of evolution have thus far shown themselves it is unlikely that I will see a distinct change in my lifetime. Sure, we are less superstitious now than a hundred years ago, but giving up on folk knowledge is a lot easier than rethinking your Sunday mornings.
Iíve been spending my time, as of late, playing the video games that so captivated me in my formative years. My favourite? The Legend of Zelda for Super Nintendo. It is literally magic. Even though games today have progressed by leaps and bounds, the relative simplicity of this game is what makes it so captivating, and frustrating. ďIt should be easier,Ē I often think. But itís not. It takes brains and a digital dexterity of which I can only fondly remember. What I wouldnít do for the near zen-like state I used to reach as an eleven year old. Magic.
In my job I often get the chance to speak with law students and/or lawyers, the like of which I will be joining in 8 weeks/4 years, respectively. The hard part is that they often come across as pushy, arrogant know-it-alls. Is this what I have to look forward to? Will these people be my classmates? Am I going to want to punch them/myself in the face regularly? Can I come out of this a good guy? I hope so. But there is a tiny fear that the grind will surely do just that. Grind ďmeĒ down, leaving an asshole.
I realize that everything Iíve written to this point is cursory and unrepresentative. Yes, I like to be facetious, but is there anything real in that, or is it a cover? No need for armour now. The end of a relationship opens up all of the things youíve been trying to suppress, hold in for the sake of holding on. But when you donít have to anymore thereís little reason to keep doing it. I thought about quitting this project, too blue. But then I saw how people kept writing after 9/11. A tragedy of one is a sorry excuse.
A better day in some ways; worse in others. The only one you want is the only one you canít have. You try to convince yourself that moving on is the best way, but is it? Canít I make the necessary changes? Of course I can. But do I know how? That, my friends is another story. Who can help me, though? Most likely itís the one Iíve told for so long, ďI donít think you can help.Ē Sad irony, really. I would give everything up to get the happy times back. But could I risk summoning the bad ones?
Still wondering why it is that the feelings that led me here are so difficult to locate now that Iím on the other side. Itís like not being to find your legs after crossing the street. But it is all deception, really. The grass isnít actually greener on the other side, but the hope that it is so is sometimes too much to leave uninvestigated. But a search of such isnít always good, isnít always right. You canít simply take the risk with these things, you canít assume that it will be alright. Because it probably wonít. Not now, anyway.
Home is the place where these things should retreat, but my trip there really only made it worse. Home illuminated what has become different and troubling, made me wish that home was once again unencumbered with feelings of doubt and instability. The family helps to make things better but the home itself can feel so empty sometimes, when you canít fill it with the feelings you used to. The term is ďuncannyĒ, when something certainly is the same but it appears different, changed. Never did I think that studying literature would help explain the inexplicable some years down the line.
I am getting bad at keeping up with this. I write almost daily on my blog but doing this is tough. Thatís why I like it, I suppose. Itís not nearly as easy as I expected it to be. AS such it gives me some structure, something to work at. When the fun and direction drains from most other things there is still an outlet to in which to venture. In here I can maybe discover a little more, or at the very least, inspect whatís just below the surface. I doubt I will continue after this month, though. Busy.
Okay, I take it back. I do want to keep writing, I do. But will I have the time? Will I have anything to write about? Sometimes I wonder if my interests are slipping, if what used to draw me out is now becoming formless and rudimentary. Whatís the term, a jack of all trades, an expert at none? Thatís my biggest fear, that my desire for knowledge will erode my collective base of understanding to a compendium of snippets, each one unable to serve me in its own right. How do you begin to manage the infinite possibilities ahead?
I saw a concert with my dad on the weekend. Was it any good? Well, have you ever heard of Def Leppard? I think you have your answer. Seeing ďPour Some Sugar On MeĒ live is a pleasure that I recommend for all, but never more than once. You just need a taste; anything more would be an overdose, and the Lep would never want that. The show would have been better if we werenít surrounded by mouth-breathers. And you know what? Fuck the metal sign. It looks dumb. Really dumb. Itís just boring, beer-fuelled, sophomoric groupthink. Plain and simple.
What is so damn important about Harry Potter? This isnít angry, more thoughtfully rhetorical. Yes, I lined up and yes I subsequently devoured the book in record time. Was it worth the wait? Yes, it was. See, wrapped up in the story proper is the sense of something that happens so rarely: a piece of culture was released and many, many people cared, they same way the used to care about a new Beatles record. Iíve always wondered what it would be like to witness the release of Sgt. Pepperís, to know that excitement and I think I now understand.
The sad irony of the michael vick case? The majority of the 50+ dogs rescued from his dog fighting ring will need to be euthanized because of the learned ferocity. Whatís more sad? Nike is distancing itself from its contract with Vick in the wake of thousands of PETA members lodging protests. Where were the PETA members to join in the fight when it was revealed that Nike had less than exemplary production codes? Frankly, if youíre going to stand up for a pitbull youíd better stand up for a twelve-year-old Flilipino, donít you think? A sad, sad irony indeed.
Reading Marquez. 100 Years. Fuck. Heís good. Magical. Realism. Magical Realism. In the fantastic is a place where I want to live. I could buy a flying carpet as easily as I could catch a case of insomnia from kissing my mother goodnight. The gypsies visit frequently. They are kind, and donít steal. Well, no more, say, than youtube steals our time. Can books still be this good? Is there something lost when technology outstrips fantasy? Is 100 Years of Solitude even possible anymore, anywhere in the world. Doubtful. But thatís not all bad, I guess. Read this book, please.
I have a definition of the infinite that doesnít include an old man with a white beard or 72 virgins. In fact, my infinite extends less to the future than it does to the past. We were born from the infinite, without a push. The infinite was always there, and then so were we. The infinite ahead is for someone else. What I am is finite. When there is no longer a body for this soul it too will become finite, gathered up in time, only a memory for one who saw me smile, but nothing to touch or bottle.
Do other people think in rhetorical questions? It is as if I organize myself by treading water in the whirpools of investigation; a question without an answer is in itself enough of a solution for me. I will get to the bottom of it all, someday, but until then it will be like stacking dirty plates next to an already crowded sink. I cringe to think that how I understand knowledge is somehow neurotic, unsure of itself even when it has to be. Thereís no time to be wishy-washy. Make a plan and go. Sort it out, fix it later.
Well, itís official: Transformers is the worst movie ever made. Hyperbolic? Maybe. Derision misguided? No. Granted, the effects were amazing and blah blah blah Michael Bay blah blah blah. But I fail to see the success in being able to seamlessly render the transformation of a truck into an ass-kicking robot while making product placements about as smooth as making love for the first time
Secret Agent: ďBoy, these Nokias are something else.Ē
Take away the laughable dialogue, continuity errors, and a convoluted plot and all you have left is a decent episode of Popular Mechanics For Kids. Fuck off, fuckin Transformers.
And here I am, the last entry. Iíve enjoyed posting here but I doubt I will keep it up. Not because it isnít a fruitful exercise but rather because it is too much. I make time to post in my blog fairly regularly and Iíve kept a daily journal since the first day of the year 2000 (aka The Day After Tomorrow, remember?) The writing isnít as hard as it is coming up with something different to write about. But to anyone wanting to write more I think this space is a perfect fit. Au Revoir, 100words, go in peace.
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