Media diet, busy-ness, relationships, life, learning and you


The last few months have been some of the busiest of my career (Thanks, President Trump!*).

The level of busy is positive for income and also for how it’s teaching me about my craft. While I make mistakes all the time on sets, I’ve learned how to deal with them better.

Another way to look at it is that I turn failures into opportunities. And that generally feels good.

Tina and I haven’t had a day off in what seems like forever. There wouldn’t be any real way to count. It would be exaggeration to claim no day off in months. There’s not a day that goes by when we don’t do something work related.

When we’re busy, my social life, media diet and reading life turns to shit. It kills me when I feel like I can’t keep up with my friends, or even maintain my personal media diet of books, exercise and mediation. Through the thick of it, I try my damnedest when and where I can.

Last Saturday night, Tina took some time to spend with her cousin Kelly and other girlfriends. I hunkered down and worked the night away on some interiors photography that had a hard deadline. It’s work that I’m really proud of, but can’t share because it has to publish first in a magazine. After that, I can share it.

Most of the night, I listened to one of my favorite radio stations: Nova Radio France. They play a mix of House, Jazz, some disco, etc. I heard a version of a Radiohead song once that I can’t find and it’s killing me. A lot of the music on Nova is bass-driven, and I think that’s why I like it so much. I used to play bass (try to anyway). Plus I get a little taste of French between songs, or in French songs, or in interviews they do with DJs.

Lately, they’ve turned me on to a pair of beautiful twin artist who go by Ibeyi. They’re super thought provoking and talented. Plus, I have a weakness for female vocalists.

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With the horror of last night’s Las Vegas shooting comes a flood of responses


I don’t have time to properly respond with a personal reaction to the horrible terror shooting last night in Las Vegas.

I can say that: I hate violence. This stuff weighs on me. Hard. It makes me angry. It makes me emotional. It makes me sick. I’m sure I’m not alone.

The variety of responses though is sometimes awful on its own.

David Duke blames the Jews.

Alex Jones is claiming a liberal conspiracy by the Democrats and their Islamic allies.

Pat Robertson is blaming disrespect for president, flag and God.

President Trump sent his warmest condolences to those affected.

I spent about a minute reading the conspiracy nut blow jobs over at Breitbart on their thread about the shooting.

If the above five resources are any indication of the future, man, we’re fucked.

On the flip, I’m particularly drawn to bright minds like Jason Kottke, who wrote this morning:

America is a stuck in a Groundhog Day loop of gun violence. We’ll keep waking up, stuck in the same reality of oppression, carnage, and ruined lives until we can figure out how to effect meaningful change. I’ve collected some articles here about America’s dysfunctional relationship with guns, most of which I’ve shared before. Change is possible — there are good reasons to control the ownership of guns and control has a high likelihood of success — but how will our country find the political will to make it happen?

The whole post is worth a look. Link above.

If you read/saw some worthy responses to the shooting, please share them in the comments. If you read some particularly disgusting ones, hell, post ’em too.

Thanks.

 

 

Is reality real? The Simulation Argument


One simulation argument proposes that:

at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.

Hit the link to read more.

I really don’t know how I feel about all of this. I haven’t explored it enough.

I don’t have a degree in math. I accomplished a few viewings of sci-fi movies and took different philosophy classes in college that explore Cogito Ergo Sum. How do we know we exist exactly and what surrounds us is anymore than a computer construct.

I attended a Christian college in North Carolina called Montreat College. It’s a little school in the mountains with a Christian slant, but I feel that I got a pretty good liberal arts education. Our bible classes were pretty in depth and showed us scripture from a more rounded perspective. My freshman year challenged my level of evangelical faith more than any other time in my life.

In high school, we were brainwashed taught that a liberal arts education at a secular college would basically be — to put it in realistic terms —  the equivalent of being Satan’s bitch.

I chose Montreat because it promised a liberal arts education with a Presbyterian influence. The staff were all Christians, after all. Safe!

At the time, I felt like that was safer for my mortality. I kind of regret that choice now. I wish I had a more prestigious educational diploma to point at when people ask me what college I went to.

Since I spent a semester overseas and I wanted to graduate on time, I had to make up some classes the summer of my junior year. I took two or three literature classes and a Philosophy class at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Going to a state school placed me close to whoring myself to Satan’s grasp. I assure you I thought I was going to hell just walking through their doors.

I remember being blown away by my Philosophy 100 or 200 class. It was as secular as nothing I had ever experienced. Extremely “Liberal” by my waining extremely conservative standards. There was not a hint of any familiarity with the “Christian” worldview that I came from.

I remember the classes discussing how philosophical thought brought us through some ideas of wondering about our existence and whether we know for sure whether its true or not.

When Matrix came out, all I could think of was that it was Philosophy 101. I thought it was beneath me, if you will. And I yawned the entire movie.

This is all to say that I’m somewhat turned on by the subject, but I feel like my level of education suffers too much to really make a statement of any substance.

Something that has been rattling around in my head again lately thanks to a few different current events in my world, though, has been the idea of the paranormal and the afterlife.

Think about it this way:

Many people think souls or life essence exists at the point of birth (yes, some at conception). Whether or not you’re a Christian or whatever, most people I know think that the body dies and a spirit lives on. Some think that the spirit then goes on to live in heaven (or hell). Some think that the spirit might dwell in an invisible realm at earth level with a kind of connection to the so-called tangible world we live in.

My problem with the whole idea that humans are born and then live their life and then die and then live in another dimension is that what in the world was going on before they were born. What were they before that point?

Say you think the world is 10,000 years old and you were born in 1975 and died in 2000.

The “they” is telling me that your spirit was not existent for 9,975 years. It floated around without a voice. Without a language. And it wasn’t until they passed through the vaginal wormhole that they were given the ability to possibly communicate with others in the “afterlife”. What about the goddamn prelife?

There are people out there waving their hands over crystal balls, turning over tarot cards or wiggling divining rods only access spirits of those who were born and died. The mediums only have access to those who were named, lived a life of some kind, and now speak through mediums who are sooo blessed with psychic gifts, they can talk to only the ones who passed through the vaginal wormhole into the world.

The spirits/souls all speak the language of the medium as well. Kudos to them.

It’s this idea that for all time, before you were born, you were ABSOLUTELY nothing. Somehow a zillion other people became brains of thought millions of years ago. They, and only THEY are either in heaven, hell or wandering the earth communicating through psychics.

Given passage through a vagina, these people, and these people only, landed the opportunity to pass into heaven, hell or whatever the fuck you believe in.

I happen to accept that the universe is billions of years old. And the idea that all these “souls” waited eons before mental birth some millions of years ago … and that that birth, life and finally death passage through the wormhole into the next life or eternal life … and that that ONLY pertains to human spirits … that shit needs to be revisited when looking at the Bible, the Koran, the Matrix, et al … except the Simulation Argument.

That one is safe from this kind of head scratching.

 

“Shame and vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity”


Especially in younger neighborhoods around Chicago, you’ll notice that when young women — and some men — pass store fronts with big windows, they will turn their heads to see their reflections. It’s almost as predictable as it is annoying.

Those same people will never give anyone any eye contact, but they’ll always give themselves a once over any time they’re able to.

This only happens when their heads aren’t buried in their phone screens or taking selfies to share on social media.

In my French class this week, we talked about the phenomenon known as selfies. Selfies being the now ubiquitous self portraits we see on social media. Girls and guys hold up their phone and snap portraits of themselves then they post for all the world to see their duck lips, cuteness, hotness, hairdos and whatever the fuck else.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Fucking Fairest of them All? 

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Vox: how climate change makes hurricanes worse


I keep hearing talking points on the fake news declaring any discussion of climate change as political. See here and here.

Politics ≠ science.

But writing politics ≠ science is declared a liberal talking point, therefore dismissing or even trumping the statement.

It’s sad really.

Science is predicting with great accuracy what’s happening. But that doesn’t matter when the truth is trumped by a political view point. Ugh.

Also: Houston is experiencing its third ‘500-year’ flood in 3 years. How is that possible?

 

Twin Peaks, big fans, contrived art, sado-masichism and you


My favorite show from the 90s was Twin Peaks. It was on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. when I was in my Sophomore and Junior years of high school.

At the time, I worked at a sandwich and ice cream joint called “Mayberry’s” on Lexington Ave in High Point NC. My typical schedule had me working every Thursday night until around 9:45. After work, I would race home to catch as much of the show as I could.

I loved every second of Twin Peak’s madness. The variety of characters. The dreams. The supernatural. The giants. The little people. Bob! Bob! Bob! It was truly a fascinating, and sometimes unnerving and scary show. I’ve rewatched all the episodes many times as well as re-watched the prequel “Fire Walk with Me.”

When it was announced that a new season of Twin Peaks was being produced again, I was through the moon. I waited for it to return and I subscribed to Showtime on Amazon Prime so that I could keep up with the show and revel in it with all its fans.

I’ve watched all the episodes and rewatched several of the episodes. And just when I think, “Yeah! This show is going to be off the hook. IT’s going to rekindle all my feelings for how great it was and no can be!”

That’s when I deflate like a child pulling on the mouth of an inflated balloon. Continue reading