Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Working Out the Kinks

No, no-I don't mean that we're going to listen to "Lola" and lift weights. I mean that there are a couple of problems with this site that have become apparent, foremost among them that one has to be a blogger.com member to leave a comment. Signing up is free, but it's still a pain in the ass, and I was under the impression that this site's ethos is to provide a free forum for exchanging information. It's one thing if I have to be signed up to blog in the first place, but an entirely different set of principles makes each one of you having to sign up kind of unreasonable. So, sorry about that--I am mystified.
Second, there's talk of advertising on the blogger admin page; ostensibly, it seems that Google, the parent company, offers a service whereby they screen your blog for content, pick its most identifiable themes, and coordinates a relationship between advertisers and the blogger, all at no charge. So far, I haven't been able to figure out how to do that, but rest assured that there will come a day when my sole purpose on this planet will be collecting ad revenue.

Now that those administrative issues are out of the way, a word about the new NYC subway condoms. According to
http://www.nowpublic.com/nyc_subway_condomsStatistics, New York City has the highest AIDS case rate in the country--more than LA, San Francisco, Miami, and Washington, DC combined. In an effort to stymie the virus's reproduction, the city released standard latex condoms with wrappers bearing the emblem of the city's subways. I have a few problems with this: first, who cares what the wrapper looks like? The condom, as far as I understand, bears the color of its parent subway, but doesn't have a letter or number on it. Colored condoms have been available for years; where's the novelty/fun in all of this? Second, it's not like people don't know what condoms are, or that they exist, or for what purpose they exist. If someone isn't going to use one, putting the 6 train on the wrapper isn't going to help anything. The notion that emblazoning a piece of foil will foster more safe sex is absolutely absurd. Third, until the city manufactures a condom with pictures of crazy people, rats, old Metrocards, sewer water, struggling musicians, noise pollution, and social anxiety, I will refuse to believe that they've created anything close to a loyally depicted subway product.

Stay safe, New York
MC Metrocard

A Pre-Posthumous Elegy for Lou Reed

I'm home after watching an acid-shattered Lou Reed maraud around the Carnegie Hall stage in a painfully colorful blazer looking for, seeking--demanding--a melody. Unfortunately, he did not find one, nor did he find his intonation, nor his pre-LSD clarity. Nor his concurrent-to-LSD clarity. His incompetence can only be conveyed by quoting "Ecstasy," his most vacuous poem/song/atonal rant: "I have a new scar / Over my heart / I call it...Ecstasy [big, mindless guitar chord] ...Ecstasy." What? I'm completely lost; someone explain that to me. I have more than 3,000 songs on my iPod, many more than that on my computer, and tons more on tape, CD, DVD, and all other extant musical mediums. I spend most of my day either listening to music, singing to myself, or playing with other musicians. And I have NEVER, not once, heard a line that made less sense than that. I've been to open mic night in Brooklyn, and watched Def Poetry Jam. I've covered a xanax in 3 beers, walked into the freezing cold dressed in a wife-beater and boxers, punched myself in the face, and, with my blood, trickled phraseology that far outdoes the freakshow that is, "I have a new scar / Over my heart / I call it...Ecstasy [big, mindless guitar chord] ...Ecstasy."
I call it...shit.

In between Lou Reed-induced wretches, I had four salient revelations at the annual Tibet House benefit:

1) Ben Harper's voice strays from the pitch during live performance. It's almost like he can't hear himself, or--and this is my theory--his voice isn't strong enough to hold the melody.

2) It hit me during Ben's first song, "Amen Omen," that watching Philip Glass, the world' preeminent postmodern composer, back up Ben Harper on the piano is a stroke of Divine grace the likes of which one can only see at a big benefit show. Artists like Philip and Ben would typically never play or record together, and it's a condescension for Glass to learn a four-chord acoustic ballad. That said, they should do it more often.

3) I might get flogged by a group of Birkenstocked UC Santa Barbara students for saying this, but the beat poet generation is completely overrated. Patti Smith (of singing fame) read an Allen Ginsberg piece during her set, and it was grasping for direction, a tad longwinded, and just not timely anymore. I've read a bunch of Kerouac, Kesey, and Ginsberg, and I can't help but surmise that what they did meant a lot in 1959, but doesn't tickle the public interest in 2007. Their semi-anarchistic vitriol doesn't sound so vitriolic, and their rage doesn't sound so angry. They weren't overrated in their heyday, and they're probably undervalued in the "cultural mover and shaker" vein, but their voice is not as timeless or abrasive as it undoubtedly was once thought to be. And if a group of conservatory fairies from California takes issue with this, they can email me at getajobhippie@ucsb.edu.

3A) What did it for me was when my friend Katz used to quote at random from Ginsberg's "America." Take a look for yourself:
http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/america.html. And two years later, when a little personal and social adversity might have taught me to better appreciate the Beat alienation and angst, Patti Smith reaffirmed that it's not me, it's them. And I don't care how cultured you purport to be--there is NO way you got through "On the Road" without falling asleep somewhere in mid-America.

4) When Michael Stipe and Patti Smith played R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts," I realized that there have been quite a few recent instances in which I found myself saying, "That's gotta be the best triple meter song I know." (For those who aren't musicians or huge insane losers, triple meter is the way a waltz is arranged, with three beats per measure and the emphasis (usually) on the first beat: ONE-two-three, ONE-two-three, ONE-two-three. You can stop tapping your foot now). So I decided to compile an impromptu list of some of my favorite songs in three (besides for the trillions of blues and classical pieces in three):

You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman
Everybody Hurts
Whipping Post
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (and the change to 4/4 is hall of fame)
God Bless America (by The Damnwells--the best band nobody's heard of)

Special thanks to Rivas for reminding me that I love Whipping Post and LSD--but not as much as Lou Reed does. And a special mention for my favorite song in three du jure, "We All Have Ourselves," by the semenal (but not seminal) American rock band, Blondes Pass Out. Here is where I insert their iTunes and MySpace links.

Stay strung out, Lou Reed
DJ Duple Meter

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Welcome to Blogger.com!!

As you may or may not know, this is the first in series of steps aimed at taking over the less successful countries in our midst: Haiti, Rwanda, Canada, etc. That work starts here, at dbloggerblogs.blogspot.com, where the musings, ruminations, and contemplations that will shape said takeover see the light of day.
Besides, this site kills MySpace, and that alone makes it all worth it.
Poke around and read some old posts, make a suggestion about the layout/schematic, and let me know what you think about this here project.

Stay loyal, readership
DJ Blogger

Justin Timberlake is Really, Really Good

[Admin Note: This blog is probably going to move shortly to blogger.com. Does anyone know how to move all my past blogs without having to copy-paste them one by one?]

Anyway, I've been holding on to this super-secret allegiance to Justin Timberlake for some time now. I hated him in N'Sync just like everybody else, laughed when he released "Justified" just like everybody else, and generally dismissed his ongoing solo career--just like everybody else. I called him a retread, a packaged, corporate, commerical pop product, and propounded that he, along with certain others--Christina, Britney, the Simpson sisters, Michael Jackson's corpse--was ruining music.
Then he brought sexy back, and pledged his affection for his love. Then he performed on the Grammys and completely blew The Police off the stage.

In this convoluted, convulsive literary world, there are not many writers to whom I look up. Most are either too stodgy or too colloquial, or too bound up in their own success to breathe appreciable material. I do have one influence/unbeknownst-to-him-mentor-and-muse: Bill Simmons, or "The Sports Guy," the ESPN.com columnist essentially paid to blog about sports and culture. He doesn't do interviews, doesn't cite statistics, and certainly doesn't have any particular expertise other than rabid fandom and a knack for uncanny self-expression.
Bill (yes, we're on a first-name basis) kept a running diary along with the Grammys, and offered this during Mr. Timberlake's "My Love" performance:

"Justin Timberlake is performing right now, although he made the tragic decision not to sing "D*** in a Box." Hey, it's OK to think he's talented, right? Two hit albums AND he's one of the best SNL hosts ever AND he sold at the highest point possible on Britney's stock AND he wrote the best revenge song ever (the "Cry Me A River" song that pretty much murdered Britney's soul) AND he's plowing through every hot female in Hollywood right now. He's a hero, I say."

I second that, Bill. Let's examine Bill's argument, piece by piece:
-Obviously, two hit albums are factually inarguable. The guy had two hit albums, regardless of anyone's relativist/subjective evaluation of said albums.

-One of the best SNL hosts ever? That may be something of an overstatement; indeed, SNL has suffered a gradual, painful, incessant deterioration since the early '90s, while purists (read: my dad) would argue that the original cast (Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, and Garrett Morris--the original Tim Meadows/Tracy Morgan uproarious token black guy) embodied the pinnacle from which subsequent broadcasts have declined.
Still, JT was one of the best "crappy modern era" hosts, replete with humor, passable acting, and, as Bill mentioned, the all-time-great Dick in a Box. That and Lazy Sunday are the overwhelmingly best programming of the past 2 years. Is it merely coincidence that an all-time modern SNL highlight coincided with JT? Hell no.

-The Britney argument is what pushes Justin over the edge. Just like one might not agree that he was one of the best SNL hosts ever, one might reasonably assert that Britney's stock rose slightly after the break-up, followed by her precipitous drop from glory, punctuated by K-Fed, kid in the car, and finally, ex-K-FED, the most inglorious implosion we've seen since OJ high-tailed it in a Bronco. But this much is incontrovertible: Justin Timberlake had Britney for the bulk of her glory days, probably took her virginity (or at least took most of it), and had the foresight to sell at or near her peak. That is beyond talent--that is prescient, brilliant, and inspirational.

-JT did NOT, however, write the best revenge song ever. Come on, Bill: ain't you ever heard 2Pac's "Hit 'Em Up?" The dude got shot, then stole Biggie's song, wrote new and better lyrics, and mercilessly eviscerated Biggie, Bad Boy, and east coast rap. Oh, and he also included the claim that he slept with Biggie's wife.

-Just like his two hit albums, that he's plowing through every hot female in Hollywood is also a factual truth. Take Bill Simmons' near-9pm note:
"8:59 -- [John] Mayer upsets Timberlake to win the Grammy for "Best Pop Vocal Album." JT looks bummed out for a split second until remembering that he bagged Jessica Biel and Scarlett Johannson in the past three weeks."
Exactly--plus, he just broke up with Cameron Diaz, and, of course, he had Britney a while back.

All of this goes to show that, despite our misgivings about what JT represents, or via what medium he achieved fame, the guy is a dynamo. Not to mention that the tracks off his new album are the best-produced hip-hop songs we've heard since Outkast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below." It's better than The Roots' "Game Theory" in terms of production value and dynamics, and dwarfs "Idlewild" by an urban mile (hell, the songs I write on my laptop during political science are better than most of "Idlewild." What was Outkast thinking? That they'd sell tons of albums on the coattails of "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below"? Well, probably, because that's exactly what they did.)

And did you see him at the Grammys? If you didn't, log on to YouTube and search for "Timberlake Grammys." His voice is no studio mirage--he can wail, he can go low, his vibrato is masterful, and he can dance the hell out of a song. Plus, you KNOW he boned the girl who sang with him. It ranks high in Guaranteed Score pantheon, just ahead of Tommy Lee with any country blonde and a shade behind Tommy Lee with any country blonde with big boobs.

A hero, though? That's where Bill went to too far: JT hasn't had a string of solid releases yet, nor has he endeared himself to the musician community--he can't play 20 instruments like Prince, and his vocal/dance/performance talent isn't so transcendent, a la Michael Jackson, that die-hard afficianados wholly appreciate him. At the rate he's going, though, he'll get there one day, suit-clad and crew-cut, Hollywood bombshell in tow, professing his love for his love.

Stay spectacular, JT
DJ Divisive (hopefully not, but let's see how people react to this)

This Might Be Moving Up, So I Might be Moving Out

Like I've said innumerable times before, this blog is for the sole enjoyment, pedagogic advancement, and distraction of my readership. Lately, I've been receiving multiple messages and entreaties telling me to move this blog off MySpace. I'm not particularly averse to moving--MySpace takes forever to load, its blog authorship screen has very few options (even bold and italics are hard to use), and MySpace's many, many evils are well-chronicled.
However, being the amateur that I am, I would have no idea where to move: do I appropriate a page on Blogspot, create my own website, or even stay put? Convenience is always an important factor, and MySpace, despite its shortcomings, offers some degree of ease.
However, I have to believe that the vast blogosphere contains some better-suited position for these posts. Maybe there's even a site that would take all my previous work and import it with little hassle. Maybe, while perusing cyber real estate, I will come across someone who I can call my soulmate for some nominal hourly fee.
So please let me know what you think--post a comment, email, call, IM, write a letter, post a bulletin in the Queens College cafeteria, or even usurp my political science professor's larynx and have him, in your physical stead, offer a concept.

Stay stationary, other myspace blogs
MC Moving

Drowning in the Vastness--Good, Bad, or Just Inevitable?

The stirring crossfire that just transpired on my wrap-around black leather couch has me pondering our place in this universe, and more specifically, wondering whether I will be remembered 10, 20, 100 years from now. As my co-pilot, Alex "see, absorb, experience" Rivas just pointed out, there aren't many figures who lived 100 years ago whose names I know. I may bask in the benevolence of their institutions, or feed from the sap of their success (metaphor? you tell me), but if you would present me with a phone book from 1907 I would be hard-pressed to humanize even a handful from that name bounty. Living in New York thrusts the dilemma forward with more immediacy: are we all drowning in the vastness? And, if we are, is that necessarily a bad thing, or is it simply a way to semanticize and quantify a universal inevitablity with no inherent value, good or bad?

There are those who see meaning in patterns. From mathematicians to philosophers to chemists to musicians, entire populations decode the sequences that structure how we live. Losing one's identity is a repeated pattern that, as far as anyone can tell, takes hold not long after one passes. There are those who lose it before they die (that is, as far as I can discern, one of the greatest prison-related tragedies). There is signifcance in that pattern, insofar as life and existence seem to lose their ineffability and, thusly marginalized, they infect us with a preternatural obsession with reinfusing them with meaning. What we want from God is not much different than what we want from ourselves or those around us: a significance weighty enough that we can convince (or delude, depending on who we/you are) ourselves that what we do has staying power, and will continue to orbit in this stratosphere beyond what we can ever know.

Achievements have a very short half-life. Even the most lofty, worldly accomplishments--Nobel Prizes, Olympic medals, space travel, otherwordly wealth--decompose rather quickly. Try to name three Olympic medalists from the 1920's, or 5 nobel prize winners from the same span. And as they erode, those who accomplished those feats erode doubly fast, erased from the unpenned universal history that once featured them so prominently.

But is that really the worst thing? After all, as our virtues are lost, so are our sins, our bad relationships, our angst, worry, and war. If everybody is a saint at their eulogy, we must be transcendent just before the moment at which we are forgotten forever. And if our souls really do live on past our deaths, then imagine the bliss when your eternal essence can glimpse a world in which, even for a few moments, your failings and shortcomings have nothing to do with how people construct your reality. And even after you're forgotten, your soul lives on forever, fated to an enchanting playground with everybody else who has been long-forgotten.

Stay supernal, souls
DJ Decomposition

Taking requests--I'll have nap, make it a double

I've been deluged with blog subject requests the past few days--and by deluged, I mean that yakir and samara both asked me for one, on separate, days-apart occasions. But still, my self image being what it is, and with an hour and a half to kill before I further damage that self-image at open bar hour on the upper east side, those two requests feel somewhat daunting. Hence deluge.
We'll set out in chronological order, with a pyschological phenomenon so evil, so vile, so poisonous, heinous, acidic, and revolting that it sent the veritably self-assured yakir hyman to my disappointingly unfunny facebook wall (but that is a discussion for another day). Yakir asked why it is that, when one is talking to a girl and one laughs during conversation, the girl typically misconstrues your laughter to mean that you're laughing at her.
Oh wait--I just had an idea. We're going to address the second request simultaneously: Samara asked me to expound on why it is, exactly, that women haven't realized that breasts rule the universe, and that women possess a boundless power supply against which no male force can contend. I mean, seriously, cleavage is so persuasive that America wouldn't be in this Iraq mess right now if President Bush caught a gander of some fleshy iraqi boob. See how bad the burqa is for world peace?
So, as I'll try to demonstrate (now that Scrubs is over and I can concentrate again), the two answers are interrelated. Why do girls think you're laughing at them when you're clearly not? Why don't girls understand bosom power? The answer is one and the same, and it comes courtesy of Elliot, the eminently attractive, tragically insecure blonde doctor on Scrubs.
Inside every woman, 16 or 60, is an insecure teenager wreaking havoc on her psyche. Listen to me closely, because I don't want to be misunderstood. I don't mean to say that women are emotionally fragile psychologial lightweights whose self-worth shortcomings engender distorted perceptions of reality and failure to recognize their potency. I don't mean to say this at all (although, after re-reading the last sentence, I think this blog could go a whole different direction if it was aimed at a chauvanists-only audience. That direction? North-northeast.)
No, I mean to say that women CHOOSE to have those self-defeating thoughts. They opt for it, in the interest of fairness. I've always been of the opinion that women are smarter and more capable than men. You don't think they know that you're not laughing at them? Or that their busts pack more punch than tyson (before buster took him down)? Of COURSE they do, but women--in addition to smart--are nurturing, caring, considerate, and empathetic. They don't want to destroy male-kind, even though they could. So they don't dominate the world with their breasts because they're too nice to do it, too concerned with our delicate egos and machismo to claim what could easily be theirs.
As for the laughing, that's a trickier question--if they're so smart, why are they getting this wrong? Well again, they're not. That's just the behavioral byproduct that results from them manifesting their insecure teenager: it's a double edged-sword that, while it protects us men from being sublimated to every female we come across, also puts women in an intensified, over-analytical space, a space in which an innocent laugh, eye roll, or hand gesture could be misinterpreted ad infinitum.
We should be thankful to women. That they operate within that attitude is out of consideration for us; consequently, if it makes them a little misguided sometimes, we just have to shut up and masturbate.

Stay deluded, interpersonal impressions,
DJ Dapper

ps--did i just write that?

I'm only deviant if you are...and you are...so I am

Deviance is...deviance is....the definition begs pauses much like "littering and....littering and" from Super Troopers, with a few distinct variations:

1. That opening scene from Super Troopers had nothing to do, even potentially, with misplaced body fluids.
2. Incontrovertibly, deviance has to do with something that defies a norm--be it societal, moral, epistemological, or metaphysical. In Super Troopers, the two counts were eventually revealed to be littering and smoking the reefer--neither of which is deviant in any of the above-mentioned realms.
3. What's deviant and what's discussed in Super Troopers have absolutely nothing to do with each other, and it's absurd that I just spent a number of sentences exploring that possibility.

Now, there is expository work on deviance that most people ignore, the type of hard-line policy initiation that delineates where, and when, deviance is actually unacceptable. Most would concur that pedophilia is deviant, and, similarly, all would concur that two consenting adults making relations is not deviant. But what about something hazier, like two consenting 11-year-olds having safe sex? Is that deviant? If yes, says who? And if not, what the hell's wrong with you?

It has come to my attention, in the midst of these aimless hypotheses, that there is an individual who has been parked outside of my house for the past 2 hours. This is not only strange because this particular individual does not live here--it's odd (and possibly even deviant) because he wears exaggeratedly tight pants, headbands in his unnecessarily curly hair, and values scarves over ice cream in the summertime. This particular character is on the phone, lost in a hazard of telephone wires, infidelity, fashion crisis, and queens. May G-D have mercy on his soul, inasmuch as he won't understand tomorrow why sitting in an idle car for two hours on a dark street is somewhere between laughable and arrestable.

However, we have tangentified (and, in the process, invented the word 'tangentified'), and the deviance all about us is no doubt reveling in its perpetuated ambiguity--we still don't know what it is, and since one cannot know something without first knowing what that something is, we might never discover deviance's unadulterated essence. However, that we have even tried may be deviant in and of itself--as I said earlier, nobody these days bothers to expolore deviance as much as they exploit/celebrate it for monetary/sexual/social/academic gain. And if we are deviant, and we know WHAT we are, then we can know ourselves. And we, my friend, are an amalgamated, anti-cohesive group of deviants.

Stay deviant, derek zoolander
MC Maladjusted

Behold the Beauty of Audiophonics

With all the world's oppurtunities at my fingertips, and the full wondrous assortment begging exploration, headphones occupy the dais. That's right--headphones, and not the obtrusive over-ear kind, and certainly not (God have mercy) the intrusive, uncomfortable, and erratic earbuds. The headphones that the Rastafarian UPS man just carried over my threshold are white, on-ear, external volume control AKG 27i's. They are, moreover, my gateway to sonic bliss, and a suitable conversation piece for most sub-corporate affairs.
For anyone with a life, with hobbies, loved ones, or just a preternatural obsession with young children, headphones might not be declarative equipment. It is only because I'm lacking something, anything more exciting than padded earcups and extra cord length (note: that may or may not be a metaphor) that I'm lauding my outrageous fortune, announcing to anyone who will tolerate my volublility that my imprisonment in tawdry iPod experiences is over.
This development sends a strongly-worded memo to subway riders everywhere: there is hope for your music on the F train. Noise-cancelling headphones are tripe; in fact, noise cancellation technology--from the most discouraging shatter-prone earbuds to Bose QuietComforts--represents an inherent sounds degradation, and the music quality it yields suffers proportionately in measure with how powerfully it cancels noise. The only way to avoid the noise while maintaining a song's integrity is to utilize headphones whose size and shape naturally form a spatial barrier between what's outside you and your ears. Thus, I present to you the 27i.
On another, completely tangential note, school is boring, writing is not, and my house needs a thorough cleaning. I'm also thinking about bass lessons, but not as seriously as I'm contemplating the difference between good and evil (or, more correctly, morality and practicality). And it seems as though the world is not melting after all, since half of Queens College is sick and the other half is currently contracting whatever the first half has. School has always been a disease-cultivating petri dish, from the great chicken-pox outbreak in nursery, to the germinating shigella in elementary, to the incipient STD culture in high school, and culminating in the post-secondary cold-n-flu epidemic. This country needs a complete sanitation and hygiene overhaul, since, despite our western health ideals, we cannot help but give rise to generation upon generation of sick kids.

Stay healthy, San Diego
DJ Disease/MC Malady

Ambien Music

Everyone is dying. Now, evolutionary inevitabilities aside--and yes, global warming/terrorism/disease notwithstanding--there's been an awkwardly layered set of deaths the past few weeks, and this is not a trend that I'd like to see continue. The plague started with my great-grandmother last month (don't send me flowers--she was 104) and has since eveloped friends' mothers, one friend's grandmother, and nearly, but not quite, got its hands on another friend's grandmother the same morning. I am omitting names for obvious reasons, so if anyone would like to be identified by name, either post a comment or let me know.

All this dying has got me to thinking: what are we doing here? By that I don't mean to connote the hackneyed and ubiquitous "what the fuck is this life all about," but rather, the less hackneyed, slightly-less-ubiquitous, "what does the world expect from us before we die?" This has less to do with abstract symbolism and kafka-esque insectitude than it might let on; when you think about it, the question is this: we didn't ask to be here, and we're only here, moreover, because two people--who had no idea what we'd be like once we got here--decided to (or accidentally) put us here. So, in essence, do we have any responsibility? If we didn't ask in to the program, how much do we owe it, and how much obligation, if any, do we have to sustain it, perpetuate it, or even make it more pleasant than it already is?

Which brings me to my next point, and this one I will adorn with names. Evy, back from birthright (and with a shitload of tsfat pictures that threw me into a big, silent religious crisis), is still having trouble sleeping. She used to remedy insomnia with benadryl, which is Iroquois for "over the counter valium," yet ceased her cough syrup consumption when she started developing with it both a dependence and diary-worthy emotional connection. Still, her sleep remained somewhat intact towards the end of 2006, but started flaring up again before birthright. Not only can she not sleep now that she's back, but she told me about two startling developments:

1--when she was in israel she was sobbing in her sleep
2--crying might be an abberation, but she habitually talks/laughs/mutters while she's catatonic

As many of you might now, I am also burdened with insomnia, which I should kick before 9:30am classes begin on monday morning. But that is there--it is not here. So forget that.
All this talk of staying awake brings me back to my first point--everyone is dying. And now I mean in the broadest sense: we'll all be ex-animate one day, reduced to what people want to remember about us and less so what they don't. It's up to us to shape our respective legacies, and in doing so to affect something so indomitably present that our impact cannot be denied. For some, that will be a family. For others, a scientific or artistic achievement. And for a few, it will be something less glorious, like a cameo role in the incessant string of terrible UPN shows.
So why not stay awake, maybe accomplish a little bit more? I'm not endorsing insomnia, or even saying I enjoy having it, but there is something important about not always getting the sleep you need. Like Regina always tells me, balance is the key in everything, but if you told me that I couldn't attain balance in my sleep, the next best thing would be to get too little of it. Better to see more than to see less.

Stay soporific, home shopping network
DJ dozing on

Friday, February 23, 2007

I Don't Understand Anybody Anymore when they Talk about Their Feelings

Why am I always so sad when I'm writing? That's something I've asked myself for months now, as the blogs and articles piled up--and so did the misery. What is left to explore is why, then, the sadness makes me so happy. Can the two emotions coexist? Are they one and the same? Are they both so indescribable, fantastically fleeting and evasive, that I could confuse one for the other?
In fact, it was just the other day that I realized that the whole world is happy and sad. Ever been on the subway and been able to swear---SWEAR--that everyone in your car was miserable? Or, ever been in the same position and been SURE that everyone was ecstatic and empowered within their lives? Maybe those two aren't completely separate perceptions, or, better yet, maybe they're the same one: the distance between salient emotions is only as considerable as we say it is, since the only thing that stands between happiness and sadness is the direction of the half moon your face makes when you express one of them. And with that negligible distance properly put in perspective, it is a wonder that we so ghettoize sadness and revere happiness. After all, we cry for both, we laugh for both, and we consecrate both as emotional landmarks that dot our lives' map. Why not bite the bullet and admit (to ourselves, if no one else) that the two might not be so far apart?

Plus, don't we all laugh when we remember the sad times, and cry when we remember the good times (or is that just what my mom told me?)? We're so emotionally confused that we may as well stop deciphering and cataloguing individual stem emotions and start grouping them shapelessly--good, bad, indifferent, harmful and benign suffices for me. I don't need despondent, morose, swooning or disconsolate to indicate sad--let's keep it rooted, simple and accessible. As much as I may be an unnecessarily adorned linguistics proponent, sometimes only the simplest diction will do--and emotions are precisely the type of fickle, capricious entities that beg a dumbing down.

So, with that, I'm tired (not exhausted, lethargic, drained, weary, or tuckered out), and I feel like I was just force-fed a bottle of merlot and half a turkey. how're those for feelings? iChat and a bottle of auchentoshen 21 are calling, and my friends aren't. So with that, i bid you adieu.

Stay tiring, tryptophan
DJ Darkmeat

I Hate Tom

Here goes: I was all ready to send a blog about beer, its virtue and preeminence in my life. But when I clicked "post blog," myspace froze and i lost everything i wrote. compound that with the fact that i've been drinking (field study for my beer blog, of course), and you can imagine how frustrated i am. i don't know who the fuck "tom" is, or why he has a flashlight in his profile picture, or why he runs such a shitty site, but suffice is to say that his space is not my space. my space is the tiny alcove in the corner of my room where i pretend to be an intellectual commenting on thematic and societal trends. my space is where i will bury tom's body when i am done building a lego house with his exoskeleton.

however, my anger got me thinking--what, exactly, is frustation? outside of a maddening emotion, frustration is particularly dangerous because it embodies the impetus to not act, to allow the stodginess it engenders to dictate inaction and resignation. it is hard as hell to keep on typing after the beer blog fiasco, and it's going to take some serious reflection time (read: masturbation and then a cigar) to get over it. furthermore, and even more unsettling, is the possibility that i've let frustration dominate my modes of action and thought for years; after all, my success tonight in overcoming frustration owes more to the half-empty corona to my left than to an achievement in self-control.

the most i can do, now that my magical ale-related verbiage is resting in derelict non-existence, is to bestow upon all ye who read this the wish, most sincere and ale-aided, that frustration cease to play a prominent role in your decision making. if not for my own victory this evening, i would not have done what i'm about to do at the end of this sentence: copy and paste this shit so that tom can't fuck it up again.

Stay tactless, tom
MC malice

ps-speaking of frustration, does anyone have an in with incubus? fuckers at epic records won't return my calls.

I'm Afraid of my TV

In the last blog I referenced the enormous TV that found its way into our living room. However, I did not understand its power's scope until today, when I found myself watching--watching--the premium music channels. You know, those channels that stream songs, just like radio, that are divided into genres/epochs that flash photos of the artists as the song plays? I'm watching those. Beyonce looks huge, and hugely gorgeous, while Noel Gallagher has some explaining to do. And these are the audio-only stations--you can imagine how livid I am the ESPN HD isn't part of our programming roster.

After starving myself from TV since I was 18, this television's arrival represents the biggest challenge yet to my non-telivitory (word??) existence. This TV is huge, has perfect resolution, has symphony hall audibles, and is tempting me to change my moniker from DJ to DVR. And now, as I flip to the electronica channel, Mr. Samsung is offering me--holy shit--Daft Punk, which channel 616 tells me used to go by "Darling." How can I resist?

In other news, I came into contact with a number of Israelis at the Queens Center mall yesterday. It seems the "shitty-stand-in-the-middle-of-the-concourse" business has been taken over by Sabras, who flock to this country for the abundant selling oppurtunities in aroma therapy, dead sea salts, cinnabons, and jewelry. I, in turn, pretended I was a homosexual non-Jew, devoted to my boyfriend Diesel, yet looking to score with an Israeli salesboy. I failed on that front, but I had some memorable exchanges with that salesboy's girlfriend, who was working at the stand next to his:

HER: "In Jerusalem they're very aggressive against people like you, but in Tel Aviv they have parties where all they do is...um...the stuff you do."
ME: "What kind of stuff? Dancing? Being fabulous?"
HER: No...the....uh.....other stuff.

HER: "In my country people like you can't be in the army."
ME: "Why not? We all go to the gym 5 days a week, we have great physiques, what's the problem?"
HER: "I know, I don't get it. But they do have parades just for you guys."

And, for anyone who's curious: Queens Center Mall, top floor, aroma therapy stand, open till 9:30pm. Girl's name is Tommy--you won't be disappointed. I'll bet you a year's worth of hand salts on it.

Stay lucrative, lower than sea level locales,
DJ Dead Sea

Matrimony, Tsfat part deux: Robin, Dave, Bad Scotch and Arbitrary Cognition

There are certain expanses that make writing seem impossible, time periods that cling to one's soul like a noose around a creative neck, and literally choke the inspiration away. The past few days have been one of those periods, for reasons unbeknownst to me. Life is good, friends are getting married, tsfat's finest imports are stewing Stateside, and the facetious vacation spirit is manufacturing jokes at a completely stunning rate. So just what is to blame for being stagnant?
well, first, a sense that i don't belong here. evy called me from israel at 2am eastern hemisphere time on new year's to say that her tour bus was approaching tsfat (note: for those of you who don't know--and who saw the matrix--tsfat is my proverbial 'girl in the red dress.' its very enunciation cripples my reasoning abilities, and a future visit's prospect makes me....wait....wait....yeah, there it is: wet my pants). That got me thinking that maybe briarwood, for all its quaint residentiality and obtuse motor vehicle operators, is not my ultimate fate. adding to my uneasiness was the presence of yakir and avi shimon christopherson, two holy land denizens moonlighting as inspirational american presences. how can i, what with my ibook g4 and propensity for languages, excuse not taking a long vacation sunbathing and writing on a rooftop in tsfat if these two knesset consiglieri can find time to condescend to these parts?

This blog, in short, was made possible only by robin and dave's wedding (note 2: robin and dave are adorable, in the way that easy bake ovens and world peace are adorable. note 2a: jewish weddings are propelled by the drums. every other instrument is purely ornamental, save for the lyricist and maybe--maybe--the bassist. the drums control everything: dancing intensity, speed, hora cohesiveness, rate of drunkenness, etc.). Sitting in the light of two ikea lamps in a subdrunk haze just a few hours later, i can messily remember feeling like anything is possible if two hippies whose relationship spawned in jerusalem's bohemian enclaves can tie the knot at a swank country club in westchester county. for that, and for the hundreds of dollars worth of booze i consumed tonight, i am thankful and prematurely hung over.

and now, courtesy of that hang over, a few random thoughts:

1. some guy i met at columbia said that radiohead and muse are qualitatively comparable bands. is he fucking kidding?

2. i love music as much as anybody, but someone has pull the carpet out from under reggaeton. hasn't anyone realized that the entire genre consists of one infinitely long song, cut up into syncopated 3-minute sub-songs? Wikipedia asserts that, "Reggaeton blends Jamaican music influences of reggae and dancehall with those of Latin America, such as bomba and plena, as well as that of hip hop. The music is also combined with rapping (generally) in Spanish."
Well, wikipedia, I have news for you: in actuality, reggaeton is a brilliant ruse operated by anti-glacier activists intent on distracting people from some of the world's hottest places--jamaica, latin america, and puerto rico, to name a few--so that the latter don't complain about the unbearable heat while those activists perpetuate global warming.

3. speaking of global warming, i don't think we're giving this phenomenon enough recognition (and no, for those who are wondering: an al gore feature film does not count as enough recognition. i don't care what, exactly, you're trying to recognize, but al gore will chronically fall short of getting you enough). It was 69 degrees in new york this saturday. 69 DEGREES!! ON JANUARY 6TH!! what would happen if it started snowing in the summertime? we'd all be crying foul about "global cooling" or writing our representatives on the hill to decry our compromised environment.

4. radiohead and muse? go suck a dick.

5. my roommates and i just bought a 50" tv for the living room. i'm going to regret that as soon as i realize that it's socially unacceptable to watch pornography on a 50 inch screen while there are people in the house.

6. the music industry is retarded. i'm not going to expound or elaborate, but take it from someone who spends all week navigating the music bureaucracy: when the clergy of yesteryear first composed gregorian chant, they weren't intending to generate the A&R department at geffen records. think i'm wrong? call geffen records and ask for mos def. see how far YOU get. i masturbated twice before i realized that "geffen" is hebrew for, "mos def would rather wipe his ass with chlamydia than talk to you."

7. what's with baseball salaries? i know athletes are grossly overpaid, and that i'll never understand it anyway, but this off-season makes me feel like i'm on crazy pills (zoolander, anyone?). mediocre players are signing deals worth way more than $100 million, and not-even-superstars are getting close to $150 million. which gets me to thinking: i'm seriously wasting my time blogging.

8. when i ask for scotch at a wedding, i don't want dewer's or cutty sark, and i especially don't want a glib bartender to try to convince me that all whisky is really just scotch with a different name. all of those scenarios are both disrespectful and deflating. every wedding, bar mitzvah, sweet 16, circumcision, lawsuit, NASCAR event, and make-out session should come standard with at least one bottle of sufficiently awesome single-malt scotch. call me ron burgundy, but there's nothing i like more than kicking back in my aquajet 3000 with my standard meal of steak, eggs, and yogurt, and, of course, a glass of scotch.

Stay subpar, dewer's bottling company,
DJ dominican dance hall

Matrimony, tsfat, and speculating on what it all means

Staring at the passing digital minutes propped in the upper right hand corner of my laptop does not make them click off any faster, nor does it disintegrate the shrill moments that keep a head off the pillow and magnetized towards the sick, laboratorial computer fog. In truth, it's been a long time since anything was solved by staying up way too late and hoping that ESPN.com has something more interesting than my half-baked stream of conciousness.

But thinking about the passing hours has me thinking about my friend Binny, who is probably in his room in Teaneck thinking something much more profound than most of us: about marriage, committment, love, karma, G-D, Judaism, sex, law, religion, fate, children, companionship, and eternity. That's because, while I'm typing and replaying Anchorman lines to myself, Binny is about 16 hours from being married. His tuxedo, like mine (I'm the best man) is in the closet, hanging expectantly, and the ruminations making the rounds in his mind have him "flustered," as he told me a few hours ago.

Maybe he could take a lesson from the rabbinic Weingot family, the father and son from which are in Brooklyn now, on a week long jaunt from Tsfat to attend a wedding in Williamsburg. What they believe is what I believe; namely, that the Almighty is not the canvas that overhangs the universe, like a tarp excercising its wingspan over a baseball diamond. They believe in a much more essential, necessary G-D, He that is intertwined within everything, is integral in everything, and is, in a limited and incremental way, ipso facto everything. His immediacy is at once discernable and indiscernable; discernable because it is everything, indiscernable because, with no context for His inexistence, it is almost impossible to sense His presence. There is no foil for His excellence, no vacuous ying to His supernal Yang.

So, while Binny will likely never read this, and these demented pearls of wisdom will hide silently behind his wedding's hullaballoo, if what I said holds any weight, then He will be there, irreversibly, and His sponsorship of Binny's marriage is factual, a celestial inevitability. And if Binny ever doubts his decision, he can rest assured that, while the digital minutes materialize in their steady advance, so does His influence in all that we do, say, and create.

Stay Divine, Binny's nuptials,
MC Marriage

The mid-night after midnight

There is an easiness at the penultimate moments in the night, the brief kindness right before the incipient light refracts off the countless closed window-panes aligned like suburban dominoes. These hours are innocuous, they're forgiving, like a smiling tide that atones for its rancorous caprice with a swift, generous push back towards shore. Rabbinic lore maintains that pre-dawn is the time that God is, indeed, generous, and prayer is easy. Unfair as it may seem, the panes of time that the fewest see are the slits in which one can see the most: clarity, like all organisms, survives best when competition is the least, and the heart of the night offers no distractions to dissuade from focus, from attention. It is the only time that stands alone, whose hegemonic trait is not that it is work's domain, or some other endeavor's rightful host. It is a time which represents nothing more than itself; it is at least and at most exactly what it is: an epoch with certain volume, time, distance, and form. It is two hours, three hours, perhaps more, or, oftentimes, somewhere in between, in the crudely cut gaps between whole numbers. And what's most remarkable about that is that nobody cares; the time is as much as one makes it, as many units of time that one devotes to awake-ful nothingness. It is completely volitional, and that is what makes its utilization so rewarding. If one is not compelled to take action, in other words, yet acts nonetheless, that action is essentially pure, and the ascribed reward will be fittingly refreshing. To voluntarily confer meaning is to endow an otherwise empty vessel with a taste of infinity, with a spark of something so outrageously unnecessary that it is beyond this dimension to describe why one did it in the first place. That is untainted infinity, the presence of something created from nothing, ex nihilo, and improved forever by an unforced choice for improvement. That is the beauty of the night, and its easiness; for it is never more natural, more graceful, to accomplish infinity than at one of these crudely cut hours, in the wilderness between tired night and harried day.

Stay tranquil san diego,
MC melatonin

I'm Listening to the Words of My Main Men, Safe!

emember reading the poem "Ode on a Grecian Urn" in school? Sure you do--you don't know who wrote it, or what, exactly, it has to do with reality, but you read it. And you probably studied it in the context of learning what an "ode" aims to accomplish. As I recall, an ode, since the literary age's dawn, is a tribute, in marked contradistinction from an expression of gratitude. Gratitude connotes a relationship: one person, drawing a benefit from something or someone else, thanks that thing or person. An ode, though, is much more independently expositive; in other words, an ode doesn't necessitate a relationship. Whoever wrote "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (I think it was Keats, but who knows......wait.....ok, google says it was keats. i feel validated) didn't have a relationship with that urn (a relationship that I could write about without censors getting in my way, at least).

The problem with odes, though, is that they're boring. They don't have to involve a relationship, they often don't, and nobody wants to read about your abstract feelings for something to which you have no relationship. And it's for both those reasons--the lack of relationship, and peoples' non-interest in a non-relationship, that I never wrote an ode to my readers. I was under the impression that there were very few people who regularly read this, and that, moreover, those who read it felt removed, like internet frequenters accessing heartless zeros and ones from a distant, anonymous source.

Then yesterday happened. First, yakir posted a comment all the way from the world's first wireless city (take that, stockholm), stating in no uncertain terms that checking this blog space is an integral step in his morning routine, and that Israel is seriously lacking for strong coffee. For both comments I am grateful.

Then I got a call from Joe Fro, all the way from the world's first city to have Donovan McNabb play college football (let's hear it for Syracuse!!), who told me that he reliably turns to the blog for "respite" during finals, and that he appreciates that I take the time to write, even past the 100th posting. He also told me that the triglyceride molecule chain undergoes chemical homestasis maintenance in the fourth phase of miosis. Once again, for both pieces of information I am most thankful, except for the second one.

Neither were interpersonal surprises: I have much love for both Joe and Yakir. But what's interesting is that Yakir's comment and Joe's phone call weren't about me, per se. They concerened phenomena--reading/checking a blog space, irrespective of who wrote it. There is a relationship between the written word and its reader, and then, only if that relationship is successful, might the reader communicate to the author something about the writing. And it is only when the relationship between the reader and the written morphs into direct communication between the reader and the author that an ode is enriched into gratitude. So I'm glad I refrained from an ode, and appreciative, more than a blog can say, that blog number 104 will do good things for good people.

So if there's anything you'd like to say, good or bad or neither, feel free to leave a comment, call, email, or drop by my pad for single malt and a jam. As for yakir and joe, i have individual messages for both of them:

Yakir--You're my main man. Wish you played that wedding at the Waldorf.
Joe--If you ever fucking call me about environmental science again I'll suffocate you in your sleep with a burlap sack full of your own conscientiousness. New Deal in philly 12/16? lemme know.....

Stay unchained, methelynydioxymethamphetamine,
DJ dungeon depravity

Montreal City, where the grass is dead with frost and the girls are pretty

Much like yesterday's, today's entry is intrinsically tied to a caffeinated, scholastic environ. Today, however, I've moved north of queens, to the province of quebec. I'm typing in a cafe on McGill campus, where I readily made two observations worth noting: 1, that Canadian students feel perfectly invulnerable, so much so that they fall asleep in campus cafes with their computers and purses exposed; and 2, that i inexplicably wandered into a place where students feel perfectly invulnerable, so much so that they fall asleep in campus cafes with their computers and purses exposed. i've only been here for an hour, but i'm already up two packs of contraceptives, three wallets, a travel-size bottle of bayer, and a textbook called, "Hawking: in the blink of an eye." Evidently, astrophysics is extremely popular in Montreal.

there is much to which i can look forward, despite the coarse cold and the early sunsets. there is a return trip to willie the barber, who will have me arrested if i make one more gratuitously sexual comment while he's cutting my hair. once i'm shorn, i will be off to an imax, for which i will certainly not be sober. following the multimedia intake, existence will consist in microbrews and a shitty french-canadian cover band, the type that opens and closes every show with a distorted "no woman no cry," or, better yet, with the "lead" guitarist playing the american national anthem with his teeth. or--and this takes a really terrible band, but it's exceedingly enjoyable--the "blues jam" that ultimately yields to jump jive n wail, which, if all goes accordingly, the singer won't be able to sing. so he'll stop after 1-and-a-half verses, completely panic, and turn it over to the unsuspecting drummer, who will suddenly and unexpectedly solo badly for 32 bars while the rest of the band huddles on stage, assumes a falsified non-chalance, and decides that they'll close the show with a crappy stone temple pilots cover. but they'll forget to tell the drummer, so when the rest of them hit the opening chord for "vasoline," the drummer will still be soloing, everybody will get really confused, and the show will implode to a halt.

then everybody will clap, put on their thermals, don gloves, put up hoods, and wrap scarves just to withstand the 30 outdoor seconds it will take to hail a cab. this is a quirky city, if nothing else, but there's something irresistably charming about a major urban center in which you can get off a plane, hail a cab, and repeat over and over to the driver, "pineapple fondle dildo," and still get to where you're trying to go.

Stay frostbitten, right middle toe

MC Montreal

Donnie Rums and Me in the non-Kosher caf

Status: sitting in the queens college cafeteria, listening to daft punk, chewing gum, wearing a blue sweater above lighter-blue jeans, the back of my hair is still wet from a shower i took 3 hours ago. on a caffeine jump from a bottomless wild cherry pepsi, just finished two slices of vegetable pizza, trying to decide whether or not i should be friends with the two purple-clad sheep in the corner pledging for a frat. wondering, moreover, if frats make any sense at a commuter school without a campus. brain fuctionality very high, but putting toether consistent, coherent thoughts is proving rather difficult. cutting class, by the way, is the best thing to do when you're cutting class. think about that one--it'll make sense after two ambien.

i can't remember the last time i compiled one of my trademarked handy-dandy-like-roofie-candy lists, and the world could use some enumeration right about now. i have donald rumsfeld on hand to help, and he looks like hell: hasn't shaved in a few days, a frosty, amorphous patch of dried spittle on his chin, collar half-up, cheap tie, just finished reading the classifieds, couldn't find a job that suited him. pity.

but what would suit him? here are some (numbered) ideas:

1. formulating iraq re-entry strategy, to be enacted immediately following iraq exit strategy is implemented
2. strategist for atlanta hawks losing campaign, in order to get number 1 pick in draft--operation "shock and fail" (courtesy or robusto)
3. refurbishing the exxon valdez
4. piloting "tribute to amelia earhart" commemorative flight to the bermuda triangle
5. any place he could get warhead from an indentured minor under his desk
6. opening for micheal richards on the "comedy for equality" tour
7. putting money on whoever is paired with tiger woods on the final 18 holes of a major tournament
8. speaking of gambling, maybe he could go into casino porn? "dealer busts," "double down," "the river and the flop," "splitting queens," "2 on black," "hit me," "slut machines," "i fold," all viable film titles.
9. sorry, still thinking about casino porn titles.
10. "assino????" nah.....

That'll wrap it up for me and donny, who by now is drinking from a flask he brought in a defense department dossier on drunken driving. and, just in case you were wondering about a deposed cabinet member's drink of choice, the answer (duh!) is the blood of iraqi children.

Stay despondent, Donald,
DJ world series of poke-her (nice)

I'm a Total Douchebag

I was all prepared to launch some sort of e-extravaganza to celebrate my 100th blog, some depraved combination of self-celebration and loathing, the sort of thing that insecure monarchs would do to commemorate a significant year of their rule: eat a turkey, behead a wife, sleep with some concubines, impale somebody in the public squre; you know, the usual. So when I got to 99, I started thinking of things I could do, but my mercurial mid-term memory betrayed me once again, and I actually posted number 100 without realizing. This is number 101, and since number 100 went so unceremoniously, number 101 has to be a little more introspective.
So here goes....

What i've learned through all this writing is that everything has a multi-faceted capacity: blogging, just like everything else, achieves many purposes in myriad arenas, but it took this oft-inane, less-oft-insightful posting universe to bring that to light. All at once, blogging could express a thought, help waste time at work, obnoxiously advertise for articles published in some newspaper, and/or a million other fledgling and disparate purposes. The key, though, was to realize that blogging (and all myspace/facebook/friendster/satan communication) simply represents an isolated, micro-example for what webster might term multi-funcionality.

More importantly, i've learned that no one really gives a crap about what i have to say. Nay, strike that---no one really gives a crap about what I--me, personally--have to say. Information's source is immaterial compared to its validity, and it was, and remains, heartening to see that i only got positive responses for the things that were undeniably substantive. there's no reason that anything I convey should be weighed more carefully than anyone else's utterances, and myspace bore that out. people gave a crap about WHAT i had to say--assuming, of course, that it was give-a-crap-worthy. if it wasn't (and i want to eat a cynanide sundae rather than contemplate how often that might have been), then no one gave two shits. and rightfully so; kudos to an acute audience.

third, i have to thank my friend monica, who is poetically, ironically, most probably never going to read this. why the thanks, then? because she showed me what myspace blogging was, and the first few were really just for her amusement. but once people started reading it, the blog expanded into the multinational, baby-killing, tuxedo-wearing, tax-evading conglomerate that it is today.
however, just to trace things back to where they truly began, to the dawn of an era, i hearken back to a day this past february or march--i'm not exactly sure--at about 10:15 in the morning. it was either a monday or a wednesday, beacuse those were the days i had english class at baruch with evelyn, who took me to the computer lab that fateful day and signed me up for myspace. so big shout outs to my main women, fo rall, booyakasha, respeck.

so where do we go from here? so many have asked that question--neil armstrong and buzz lightyear after they finished moon-walking, michael jackson and little boy x when they finished playing twister, U2 after the joshua tree, tommy lee after he got out of jail, K-Fed after britney (answer: the bank, beeyotch), bill nye after science lost its verve, the mets this year after (yet again) excreting a huge, steaming, game 7 pile of shit on their fans. And the list goes on....
but the answer here is that this blog isn't going anywhere. i quit my job a couple of weeks ago, so i have more time than ever to sit in my bathrobe and type while i take scotch from the mock gas pump sitting in my house. there will be less motivation to vent, since my work was a major source of aggravation, but i'm trying to launch a music journalism career, so there will be much failure to mourn, to be sure. i just want to create the possibility that every once in a while i'll be able to sit down, relate an idea, and await the inevitable silence that follows all bad writing. and for that i'm most thankful, and partially inebriated.

Stay loyal, dj blogger readership
DJ overestimating his popularity

Barbarism and the Pursuit of Happiness

I just used the word "barbarism" in a myspace wall post, and, in the interest of properly maximizing the word's utility, i must harp on it a few sentences longer. The term is robust hyperbole, since its essence implies something much more brutal, even primordially cruel, than the contexts in which we generally refer to something being barbaric. Mosh pits are "barbaric;" east coast-west coast rap wars are "barbaric;" even certain automated kitchen events, if performed either upon or in the presence of a fetus, are "barbaric."
And that's all I have to say about that, but it got something imposing off my chest.
I was reading chapter 9 of Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning," and he made an interesting insight into attaining happiness. He said that the "pursuit of happiness," per se, is futile, since happiness is not something that can be achieved independently. In this way, it is not like wealth, status, relationships, etc. Happiness, rather, is the naturally-occuring by-product of fulfillment and purpose. Finding a purpose, Frankl said, especially a purpose in which one can lose oneself and aid others, will beget happiness.
That, to me, is a comforting notion--we can all take a deep breath, relax, and stop pushing towards happiness. No more unhappiness over not having hapinness. Happiness is an independently operating entity that will either manifest or not, regardless of how hard we wish it to be so. All we've got to do is be good people, try to help others occasionally, and happiness will occur. And, if it doesn't, we can take our anger to Vienna and kick Viktor Frankl's ass.

Stay hope-inducing, inventor of logotherapy,
MC man's search for ultimate breeding

Trance Trance Trance Trance

Trance music is a vibrating, pulsating energy undulation. It takes its roots in disco music, which faded out of style and was replaced by low-fi techno in the 80's and 90's. The explosion that followed in Amsterdam, Israel, and India brought about what we know today as trance, a stylistic exploration of what happens when a rocket scientist DJ slingshots a ball of energy at your face.
But disco music was formulaic, as was techno, and trance is all of those genres, distilled into a finer sacrament, yet slighty more predictable. Its dynamics invariably coast along a sin wave: up, down, up, down, way down, way back up, eventually dumping into a silent valley that tends to the frayed nerves that followed the roller coaster.
Waiting for a trance explosion is like listening to a consonant train wreck. And when the two trains finally collapse upon one another, it's like mainlining a pillar of cocaine. it's like repartee with a bag of electricity, like trading barbs with a lawnmower. it washes over like a niagara wave of emotion, release, catharsis, thrill, and screams. It's like holding on to the side of a roller coaster, or hitching a rope to the back of race car and getting on skateboard behind it.
It's like...well...a perfect metaphor for cinema, its audacity endemic of being a person.

Stay riled, DJ Shadow

The Possibility of Possibilities, and What I'm Thankful For

I've spent the last few days specifically not contemplating what's possible for my life--I've been experiencing it. From the vagaries surrounding a jazz festival I'm planning, to the inspiration from Alter to write this blog (I love you, brother), to the water-drop sound of 49 people making nebulous promises to lead better lives, I have traversed from the land of stagnant hopeism to the lush playing fields of experience and awareness. No more is there a layer of rust emabalming my functionality, and a few days ago i would have said that it is my "hope" that everybody else could feel the same. But today is today, and today I know that "hope" is a four-letter euphemism for having already given up.
Ghandi didn't "hope" to create peace; he refused to eat or drink until the Muslims and Hindus stopped slaughtering each other in Calcutta. David ben Gurion didn't "hope" for Israel; instead, he delivered--with tentacled masses of of whiting curls towering over his person--the address that made Israel a reality.
And that's what we're all here for, anway--creating reality. Our words create new dimensions of being, and with each word we can either create or destroy a universe. The world was created with a word, literally, and it's in the process of devolution because world leaders have forgotten how to implement speech in such a way that mollifies conflict. Since we're all about to celebrate Thanksgiving, it's best to get into the holiday and embrace the possiblity of a benevolent reality, full of grace, power, and well-spoken holiday wishes.

I don't know how many people will read this, and the latent defeatist in me would cut this short and resign this composition to mediocre results. My real self, though, is creating the possibility that gaggles of people will read this, get a little inspired, and, even if just for an ethereal, ephemeral moment, get enrolled in the world of possibilities. Creating the possibility of possibilities is the first step towards empowerment and peace, and it is the thing for which I am most thankful this holiday.

I'm also thankful for being enveloped in a world of support--family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, roommates, even people with whom I haven't communicated in years are all constructive substance. I'm happy that I get to bond with my iPod on the subway every day, and that I manifest a genuine emotive response when I type of this computer.

When the Pilgrims came to this country, they did so bearing the smallpox pandemic and a sea of resentment for the indigenous peoples. We haven't changed so much since then--we're still spreading pandemics, definitely still harboring resentment, and we're maniacally addicted to displacing what has taken root and positing fleeting constructs in its stead. It's time to rectify Thanksgiving, and it has to start with a possiblity.

I'm starting that now, and then taking a nap, and when I wake up I will stare at the ceiling in my room and give thanks.

Stay powerful New York,
MC Possibility

I'm So Upset Over Pizza

They say that the olfactory sense carries the most sentimental significance; that one smell, more than a touch, a taste, or even a sight, can trigger memories of time seemingly immemorial. Nostalgia, in this sense, is a nostril product, and the clasification of smells often determines mood: a smell can remind someone, wistfully, of home, or a specific person, or a place, or even an isolated time. In my case, smell is espisodic: I remember stories when I breathe in foods or places or people, and I unconciously catalogue each smell I know, awaiting the next oppurtunity in space-time to revisit a particular scent.

So it is with great sadness that I learned of plaza pizza closing. Growing up in Teaneck, NJ wasn't thrilling, or even unoppressive. The only thing we had (until we could raise serious hell in high school) was a ridiculously enticing and homegrown pizza franchise. Jerusalem Pizza was a landmark on Teaneck's main stretch of civilization until it closed a few years ago, amidst much fanfare and gloom. Its sister store across town, Plaza Pizza, remained open even after its elder sibling fell. I spent almost every high school lunch period in Plaza's overcrowded foyeur, chomping mindlessly at a pesto-tomato special while the air filled with bitching about teachers, tests, homework, suspensions, et al. If nothing else, it was a place to go to feel human, where students, for 45 minutes at a clip, could be regular people with regular money eating regular food. No pencils, no books, no curriculum, shirts untucked, language censors off. And that is what closed down last week--a hallowed ground for an underrepresented faction of society. Appropriately, it was bullied out of existence, as the landlord raised the rent above feasability, and Plaza fell like autumn leaves smothered with extra cheese.

What I'll miss most are the smells: the tinny, curiously less-than-pizza waft that greeted you at Plaza, the canned mushrooms in the calzones, the unmistakable scent of fountain soda in a paper cup. I'm ashamed to admit that I'll even miss, in a masochistic way, the gym-soaked odor offered by the freshmen, which was so strong on some days that it begged suicidal thoughts.

My friend Zach's mom (if Zach is reading this, let me say this: ani mushtam achshav. ani lo yodea mah zeh omer, but whatever) bought and froze two slices of pizza on plaza's last night, one for each of her sons. Both live in Israel, and now both have a piece of their youth waiting for them upon their return. My friend gabe sent me a morose, swooning email outlining the profundity of his grief over plaza closing. as for me, i drove by its former storefront last night (i was in teaneck for a concert) and deliberately did not look at its hollow skeleton. There is a facebook club decrying what happened, as well as a general consensus among teaneck's kosher connoisseurs that the town's two remaining pizza stores--which shall remain nameless (you can thank me later, pizza crave and ej's)--are not up to par.

This leaves us with an interesting split between two differing types of teaneck thought. On the one hand, teaneck loyalists would argue that it remains as vital as ever to patronize town eateries. Meanwhile, real teaneck loyalists--Zach, his brother Jason, Yakir, Gabe, Binny, myself--have no choice but to abstain from teaneck pizza, since the thought of abandoning the Jerusalem Pizza empire, even post-mortem, is too much to bear.

Stay classy Dassi, Cobi, Carmello, Petraceo, Habers, and the entire JP family,
MC Marinara

Kudos to Willi the Barber

There was once a small, soft-spoken aged wizard whose name was Willi. Spelling his name with a flamboyantly absent "e," Willi arrived in Canada from Austria at a young age, presupposing that he would find success and love outside of his native land. His correctness proved the archetype for his shearing career: always correct, always wise, and sagely adept with a flat edge and hair dryer.
I encountered Willi just over an hour ago. On the precipice of embarking on a night out in Montreal with a wispy countenance and untamed locks, I led my comrades to "Le Cartier," a personal grooming establishment with a propensity for stockpiling Penthouse magazines and para-anti-Semetic (yet tastefully, and audaciously, not so) stylists. Four in number, we each received tailored heterosexual treatments--the groom to be, aghast at the rate with which the side of his hair multiplies, was shorn to evenness. As for the rest of us, all single and wanting very much to taste as much French onion soup as we could over four days in Montreal--well, the specifics of our haircuts are irrelevant. Just know that I will think of Willi fondly, and often. Of all the Viennese people I know, he might be the oldest, and for that I thank him.

Stay shorn Sherbrooke Boulevard,
MC Montreal

Feudalism and Fiefdoms: Why Can't We Get Over Ourselves?

I'm throwing out a special request to Regina, who asked for 300 additional words about whether or not everything eventually loses its novelty. I might not make it to 300, because I'm about to vomit from gratuitous caffeine intake any minute now. But I'll do my best.

The simple answer to the question is yes: everything, no matter what, no matter how good or bad, inevitably gravitates towards an accommodated medium. I learned about accommodation in AP psychology, wherein I gathered that our faculties naturally adapt to a new stimulus. Accommodation is what makes it hard to listen to the same band for 2 hours, or talk to the same person on the phone for long intervals. You don't exactly tire of that band, or that person, but the body's response to prolonged exposure to any given thing is to give it less regard.

That said, because human beings (or some, at least) possess human souls, we have the subjective ability to recognize that we are accommodating, and to relate to a given stimulus in a new way and infuse a fresh appreciation. Without that ability, I don't know how any long-term relationship would last, or how anyone could hope to enjoy their career past the first few months. In fact, so inherent is this 'fresh perspective' ability in the human condition that you have to be a complete lazy ass to let significant relationships go stale.

The problem, really, is that we live in an out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new culture, a culture that de-legitimizes 60 gig iPods in favor of newer, similarly superfluous 80 gig models; the same culture that has to elect new officials to the house of representatives every 2 years to appease our insatiable appetite for change, and, moreover, our absurd conviction that perfection is attainable--and through politics, no less. A thousand years ago, the average life expectancy was about nine and a half, and, if you were lucky enough to make it past childbirth unscathed, you almost certainly led a miserable serf life, toiling in your aristocrat's fiefdom while the higher-ups courted maidens and invented croquet. But you don't read those serfs' complaint-riddled memoirs today. Granted, none of them could read or write, but the Scottish countryside isn't strewn with ancient field art depicting images of suffering and oppression, is it?

We complain about the upcoming election, and our slow wireless internet, expensive starbucks latte, waiting for the subway, gas prices, crackberry syndrome, and the mets (guilty man right here, but still: fuck carlos beltran in his strike-3-taking ass. how can you a) look at strike 3 with an 0-2 count, bases loaded, and 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th of game 7, when your team is down 3-1, especially when you absolutely OWN the cardinals?? As in, the cardinals ascended to a heretofore uninvented level of fear every time you came up to bat; and b) strike out on the EXACT SAME inside corner curveball that got Cliff Floyd THREE BATTERS EARLIER?? Are you nuts? How could you not see that pitch and think, in your 17-million-dollars-a-year-to-play-baseball soul, that maybe the pitcher's trying to strike you out also, and that maybe it would be a good idea to swing and try to save the season? I need an ambien and a jaeger shot...)

Everything we need to be content is right in front of us. Instead of modifying those things, we should be embracing them, and investigating new ways to stay satisfied. If a bunch of feudal peons could do it, then we can do it also.

And there are your 300 words, plus another 300 or so, plus my long-time-coming mets rant.

Stay innovative steve jobs,
DJ I'll never use a cd player again

School Sucks

The first thing I said when I came home after my first day of first grade was, "School sucks." The next thing I said, after the second day of school, was, "School sucks." Since then, I expanded my "school sucks" verbiage to "school sucks a lot," "school sucks hard," "school sucks so much," and, "school really sucks."
After suffering high school, I took two years off to explore narcotics in Israel. Which I did..and discovered, by the way, that potheads are potheads no matter which country they're from. What I also discovered, though, was that I missed being in school, if only for the immediate affirmation of getting an "A," the type of cheap and easy gratification the real world doesn't harbor. Meanwhile, however, my daily ritual no longer consisted in awaking to a visceral stress knot and exhaling audibly until dismissal; instead, I was as excited to leave bed as is psychosomatically possible before noon. There was music to play, cheap vodka to drink, girlfriends to see, a country to traverse, and an interpersonal, deeply spiritual purpose to fulfill. While not getting grades made it slightly more difficult to achieve validation, it also liberated an entire generation of treaded-upon schoolies unto a vastly different set of objectives: big, life-changing, mind-expanding objectives (and I don't just mean mushrooms in the negev; that's only part of it). What you did, and how well you did it, was judged on a purely humanitarian scale, and was determined by how many good deeds you affected. A biochemical thesis was about as useful as arab citizenship, and that is to say, not as useful as academic machinery would have you believe.
But still, after a few months, one can take anything for granted. And I took this new lifestyle as such, and started complaining about wanting an education, and pined for scholastic enlightenment. Ultimately, I came back to America, enrolled in college, and walked in to my first class: English 101.
"Class," the octogenarian said in her slow, aged hum, "before I start to lecture, I'd like you to write down, on the 3x5 index cards in front of you, an objective description of the room in front of you." This is not, I thought, scholastic enlightenment, but it was only after she read the cards aloud that I realized what a mistake I'd made.
"This one is from David," she said, squinting her cataract-riddled lenses, "and David wrote, "The room is really nice. The people in here seem tired."
Holy crap, I thought. Holy crap. A room full of college kids who can't delineate between subjective and objective. And that is how, after 10 minutes, I emphatically lost faith forever in the American education system.
Part of the problem is that students learn early on that they are completely disempowered, that they are at the teacher's whim, the principal's whim, the dean's whim, the TA's whim, the rules committee's whim, and their parents' demanding whim at home. The only way to survive is to navigate, in a disingenuous way, school's heaping demands: anything from half-assing and cliff-noting to copying and cheating to complaining and begging. No one really wants to be in school, but everyone wants a respectable GPA; however, success and apathy typically can't co-occur. So it's up to each student to develop an effectively succinct shortcut to prosperity.
Another part of the problem, for anyone who's still reading this 570th word, is that school presents an excruciating existential dilemma: is school really important? Do grades matter? Is this the most important thing I could be doing with my life? And, for atheists and actual existentialists, the real crux lies in the observation that, if life is empty and meaningless, then what the hell am I spending so much time in school for?
I don't know...I really don't know. But I have to go to my poly sci class, so I have to stop writing.

Stay torturous academia,
MC probably going for his mba

Sex Crimes!!

Sarena..I hope you enjoy this...

The appellation "sex crimes" is a slight misnomer. A "crime," according to dictionary.com, is..well..I'm too lazy to look it up, but I'm sure it would have something to do with any and all acts that are anti-legislative, or does not fit within the tenets of a political-social structure, or something like that. A "sex crime" can certainly be that; that is, it can be something that cannot theoretically coexist with the maintenance of a law-abiding community.
However, there are some sex crimes that are way too imperialistically enforced, to the extent that one could extenuate what happened; for instance, an example of a overblown sexual policy is sexual harassment in the workplace. Is staring at someone's ass really a crime? It might be offensive, but it's definitely defensible, and its lasciviousness is certainly deniable. So, really, a sex crime is an inaccurate term. Maybe "sex faux pas" is a better distinction.
Either way, what remains to be determined (cue a gravelly voiceover) is the state of self-actualization in sex crimes/sex faux pas's. What also remains to be seen is how the hell to write the plural of "faux pas." I went with apostrophe-s, but I don't believe that's correct.
Self actualization is the empowered excercising of one's deepest desires. If one wants to be a filmmaker, for instance, to self-actualize for that person would be to take actual, practical steps towards that end. Self-actualization is generally regarded as crucial, and a hallmark of healthy living. So let's say that one's innermost desire is to stare at asses in the workplace all day..should one deny oneself an actualized life to be more socially-legally responsible, or is that exactly the type of suppressed bullshit that our litigious society fosters?
And, moreover, staring at someone's ass is perfectly acceptable, and even a flattering expression of admiration, withn a host American sub-cultures. Clubs, strip clubs, bars, prostitution speak-easies, and everywhere else that I spend my evenings completely subvert the sex-averse job environment in which many of us waste away. Call them hubs of degeneration and devolution, but I call these beautifully expressed pastime houses; places at which anyone could freely intone a sexual desire (assuming you have a few singles and a vasectomy). I'm like Beck: I want to defy the logic of our sex laws.
So what are we to do? Which are more real: our jobs or our strip clubs? And, seriously, where could we make the most money? And, while we're at it, what will the next porn innovation be? It started with print and periodical porn, then VHS porn completely changed the way people spend time alone in their rooms, and the interent porn completely changed the way people spend time behind stained red curtains at internet cafes. Where do we go from here? Mail-order porn stars? Free bags of MDMA when you register for bangbus? I can't believe someone's not making money off this already.

Stay staring guy with the rainbow scarf who blocks his ISP number,
MC minute molestation

It's Time to Blog (Procrastinate)

School started inncocently enough, with a touch of campus, a pinch of hope, and one pepperwheel turn's worth of optimism. That has all fallen by the wayside, as mid-October is greeting me with midterms, papers, and assignment. Luckily for me, the internet exists, so I am free to waste time in any fahion I deem appropriate. Luckily for the NY Mets, winning 12-5 in St. Louis means that they will have a rededicated viewer tonight, who swore, by the way, that he might take a year off from fandom should this series go awry. But enough about my promises--we're here to bitch about scholastics.
Time was, back when movies cost a nickel and prostitutes less, school was more of a formality than a requirement. Only the rich, priveleged, and gifted would go; everyone else picked a vocation, started a family, and was generally unconcerned with comparative politics, organic chemistry, and macroeconomics. But along came the roaring twenties, what with Dorothea Dix, the progressives, the shakers, and babe ruth, and the post-industrialized academic climate was never the same. Like law school is for many today, college became a convenient and sophisticated way to waste time. It rose as a staple along the east and west coasts, converged inward, and met itself somewhere in Nebraska, where it established a storied college football team and rows and rows and rows of educated corn.
Pause for a second and picture the scene: millions of people, reeling from the industrial revolution and the great depression, are instructed to disobey their intuition and, instead of working a job, are enrolled in institutions of higher learning. Some take this literally and fill out applications for UC Santa Barbara, SUNY Albany, the University of Miami, and the University of Colorado. Others take their education and biochemical homeostasis slightly more seriously, and patronize the Ivies, inadvertently condemning the east coast to perpetual generations of geeks, losers, virgins, outcasts, actuaries, political theorists, malcontents, and people with very thick glasses. Furthermore, a rash of financial pragmatism hits schools with less-sterling academic reputations, and college athletics is born.
Decades later, the job market, for all its usefulness, is now telling us that we need a graduate degree to keep afloat. To that I offer two arguments: 1, if I was the smartest person ever, would I need grad school to get a good job? I don't mean just "smart." I mean literally THE smartest person EVER, IQ-calculated-in-scientific-notation, business-card-embossed-with-the-sinews-of-lesser-intellectuals, manifesto-published-in-the-Times smart---like really, really fucking smart. You get the picture. Would I really need a grad degree? If not, then this disproves the finality of the law that necessitates grad school. And, if I would need grad school, then this scenario debunks the myth that graduate education is a well-conceived medium.
2: school wasn't a prerequisite for a successful life 100 years ago, was less important than fighting for one's country in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 90's, and today, and graduate school is superflous beyond explanation. In fact, it can be argued that the sole constructive outcome of a college education is the ability to look back in wonderment and ask oneself, 'why did i do that?'
the answer, inevitably, will be drugs and ass, so i guess it's tolerable after all. but don't think i haven't thought about it.

stay unimaginative essay about a mother with a disease who has to cope with stigma,
MC fall semester

Tow Trucks and Flava Flavs in South Beach

I've been very unmotivated to write anything lately, and that includes blogs, articles, concert reviews, e-mails, love letters...you name it, I haven't written it. But, as the time for sleep approaches--or, more accurately, as the time for sleep wishes to approach, yet I ignore its beckon--the environment is right for creativity.
As always, there are an overwhelming number of things that I would like to accomplish with this posting, but, as always, I will probably fail amidst a vast web of directionlessness and staid motifs. All the while, hopefully, my body will lose charge like a cell phone that's been on standby for far too long. However, despite my inability to convey things of import, there are interesting tidbits that are worth mentioning: I spent yesterday, for instance, in Miami, crusing with the top down on a chrysler crossfire in the 95 degree sun, doing 100 on the highway from a podunk reservation west of the city to south beach. Neil young on the stereo and sunglasses protecting quarter-size pockets of skin under my eyes from a tan, I realized how lucky I was to not be in NY, where rumor had it the weather was hovering around 50, with a steady flow of rain. While the purpose of my trip was confidential, suffice it to say that there are a few Miamians whose kids will never be the same.
Once in South Beach (and, just for clarity, I will not discuss anything but my Miami trip from here on out; the promise of "interesting tidbits" was a dirty, perverted lie), my associate and I parked our beautiful baby blue convertible in a shopping center lot, and left for 20 minutes to grab a bit to eat. Upon returning, we found that every parking space in the 30-car capacity complex was empty, whereas, only 20 minutes prior, all the slots had been carred.
We found that the owner of Dunkin Donuts--a sad, sad propietor who should encounter nothing but snake bites and open sores the rest of his life--makes a practice of spying on the cars that pull into his lot; those that enter his store or another establishment on the premises may stay, while those who venture off are towed at once. In fact, the cabbie who drove us to the impound lot told us that the owner splits profits with the towing company, and keeps a BC radio on his person at all times, so that he can order a car towed by the waiting trucks, which we saw idling just around the corner from the parking lot.
So, after paying 180 dollars (well, my boss paid, but there's no need to be picayune), we were off to the beach, where the water was glorious and the unintentional Flava-Fav impersonators were plentiful. The flight back was uneventful, save for playoff baseball and a the largest crossword puzzle I've ever seen (131 across and 127 down, I think), and the ride home from the airport was comfortingly pre-arranged.
The point of all this? Never, ever, ever park your car in South Beach on the corner of Aston and 15th in the Dunkin Donuts parking lot.

Stay impounded every car in Florida,
MC Miami

Synagogue and Sigur Ros

whenever i go home to teaneck for holidays or weekends, i usually spend at least an hour sitting in synagogue with my father. clenching an unused prayerbook, i spend the hour vasciallating between opinions of different albums i own, running through song lyrics (when i was in high school i prided myself on being able to run through the entire "master of puppets" album, including drum fills and note-for-note guitar solos in a single friday night service), and feeling indescribably awful for the people who sit through that mundanity thrice daily.

this weekend in teaneck began just like any other: show up, rip sister's israeli cd's, make sister mix with music that my parents don't want her listening to, promise father i'll shower in a minute i just need to answer one more email, then set off to synagogue, practically emanating a trail of dread on the sidewalk behind me. but as i sat through services, mouthing hadag nachash and sigur ros innocuously to myself, it dawned on me that i really don't know why i do any of it: the dressing up, the fake praying, the synagogue, the handshakes, the fake smiles, the contrived religious fervor, the song lyrics, the yarmulke clips that hurt my hair. except that, not only do i not have a reason for doing it, but i am equally lacking a reason to avoid doing it; i'm lethargically clueless, i determined, and carrying through on a practiced series of motions primarily to avoid confronting the vast emptiness that lies inanimately beneath my frantic busy-ness.

instantaneously, i knew and felt instinctively that the epiphany made me smarter. viscerally, even, there was a psychosomatic change, and somehow, with a revelation having so much to do with behavioral vacuousness, my cognitive abilities graduated to a deeply metaphysical significance. see what sigur ros can do for a revelatory experience? i swear, even when i'm doing crossword puzzles i want to have sigur ros playing in the background to contribute to the illusion of profundity. nothing says "do not disturb: deep thoughts in progress" like a person filling out a crossword puzzle and pounding sigur ros.

and, just in case you were wondering, the answer is yes: it's even harder than it seems to sing songs in an invented language, despite the apparent similarities between the "hopelandic" and icelandic tongues. in fact, half the fun at an east coast sigur ros show is experiencing 5,000 emotional new yorkers attempting to mimic falsetto phonemes for 2 hours. I've done it more than once, and I think it's only slightly easier than predicting the next thing a dog is going to say, or building a castle out of running water.

Stay diatonic, nordic music
DJ five alarm pyre

I Can't Believe That...

Last night someone got a $75 ticket from a subway cop for wearing his blades on the train platform at 3 am.

The lethal combination of one gay guy, one karaoke party, and three mixed drinks means that said gay guy can feel up half the girls at the party.

I can write a 6 page essay in two hours, but President Bush can't read a 1 page, 15 minute speech with correct enunciation

The singer from Massive Attack put his british cell number in my phone, and I didn't even realize until I woke up the next morning. This is not a metaphor.

"Pour Some Sugar on Me" hasn't been inducted to the rock n roll hall of fame based on all the strip club revenue it generates

"Pour Some Sugar on Me" actually has some redeeming musical value.

"Pour Some Sugar on Me" is just a little more popular than it should be because of the whole 'one armed drummer' thing.

"Pour Some Sugar on Me" is too long to put on a license plate.

Anchorman didn't win an Oscar.

Will Ferrell is of this earth.

We can't find a political position for Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Owen and Luke Wilson, Steve Carell, and Ben Stiller to fill collectively.

We found, nonetheless, a very important one for Bush to serve all by himself.

The US constitution doesn't specifically reference prostitution, marijuana, alcohol, or tobacco.

Rent prices in Tokyo and London are more expensive than prices in NYC.

America is yet to embrace trance, drum 'n bass, and breakbeats music.

Meanwhile, it took America hundreds of years to stop embracing slavery.

The weekends always have to culminate with the Jets losing.

"Pour Some Sugar on Me" isn't mentioned among the best songs of the arena rock era.

Stay great, Def Leppard
MC make it a maple syrup

Dr. Frankl, You are Much Smarter than Me

I spent the bulk of my yom kippur poring over "Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning," a 154-page romp through several therapeutic techniques, ontological insights, and words in foreign languages that I will never understand. I chose this book for two related reasons: one, because it's the perfect medium between a holiday prayer book and a comic book, and two, because its author, Dr. Viktor Frankl, is an Austrian Jewish Holocaust survivor who's gone on to become perhaps the most celebrated pyschologist in the world.
I read about half of "Man's Search" around the start of 2005, when I was living in Israel and thristing for anything written in English, especially something written in English that wasn't also written by a Rabbi. I didn't really understand the book then, but, feeling that I've been armed with 2+ semesters of American college (ha!), I picked it up at Barnes and Noble and saved it for Yom Kippur's ample down time (read: the entire Yom Kippur). Essentially, I was not only incorrect to assume that I'd understand the book this time, but I was also tragically misguided as to its message: it is not, as I hoped, a direct proof or disproof of G-D's existence. The parts I understood comprise a technically-based litany of very complicated things I don't really get: a proof that the concience is based in something transcendent, presumably G-D, and isn't just our moral compass. A 3-page analogy/comparison whose conclusion is that concience, love, and art all stem from a spiritual, unconcious place, and that all 3 suffer when we try too hard to reflect conciously on their origins.
This much I got, though: very hungry. I got very hungry when I woke up in the morning, even hungrier when I used all of my mental energy to get through 54 pages of Frankl, and hungrier still when it dawned on me that Yom Kippur is coming again next year, and I don't even know what to wear.
I hope everybody who observes had a meaningful holiday, in whichever way that might be, and I hope that no one's life is as difficult as trying to skim "Man's Life for Ultimate Meaning" in the back of a dimly-lit synagogue on a fast day.

Stay hungry, Eddie Vedder
MC Repentance

Extolling Yahoo Beta Mail, and Other Relevancies

Today I offer a hodpodge of odes, assembled from the swaths of gratitude I feel every day for small trivialities that amalgamate in a great, pleasing satisfaction. One of the travesties of thanksgiving, i think, is that no one prepares for it; i don't know one person who sits down in the middle of the day and recounts all the things he/she is thankful for. There are literally zillions of preposterously invaluable additions my life has taken on within the last 2 weeks, not to mention the past year, past decade, or past lifetime. Not to mention, I should add, the relative pace at which the Mets approach a world series championship, in anticipation of which I have been wearing the battered and paint-splattered Mets hat I wore to shea stadium in 2000 when the amazins clinched the pennant against the cardinals. But I digress.

Back in the forum of topicality, I call to your attention the greatest technilogical advent since internet-accessible pornography: Yahoo! beta mail. The new mail system is so good for so many reasons, none of which more important than its striking likeness to microsoft outlook. Since the day i converted to beta mail, no one at work has been able to walk by my desk and recognize, as they've done for the past year, my wasting time checking my emails. since the whole office operates on outlook, a cursory glance at my screen conveys the artificial impression that I am doing work, while, in reality, I'm emailing back and forth with public relations friends regarding the virtues of professional pornography, specifically vis a vis amateur pornography (long story short: more profitable and better looking girls).

Etching the virtues of yahoo beta mail brings me to my next small pleasure: my email contacts list. Sorting through my hundreds of contacts affords a small moment wherein I am extraordinarily popular, even a cyberspace celebrity. Typing any letter--even 'x' or 'q'--in the "To" window generates a mouthwatering drop-down rolodex fit more for a monarch than a malcontent. Meanwhile, sixteen million miles away, tucked under six feet of earth and a monument, the bones of Alexander the Great resound with envy: could it be that I have more friends than the conquerer of the known world? Well, since Alejandro didn't have email, and I do, Yahoo! beta mail tells me that I am incalculably more conspicuous than he (incalculable because the number of his contacts, zero, cannot be multiplied to reach my number, because of the multiplicative property of zero and my outsized desire to belittle individuals who conquer more terrirtory than I do).

The last items I'll visit are my thoughts. Without those racing, confusing, and possibly hypomanic sons of a bitch, where would i be? not on beta mail, that's for fucking sure.

Stay lucid, hypothalamus

MC dissolved in a puddle of single malt scotch

PS--what are you thankful for? Licorice? Prison? The Constitution? The trace amounts of mercury in every can of tuna? Hit me up--I'm very empathetic.


Much underrated is the function of the word "indeed." Scholarly to some, obnoxious to others, "indeed" is best utilized in circumstances of doubt and overwhelmedness. For instance, one might find oneself playing darts in Gramercy with a tall, drunk anglo-saxon named Chris. Chris might, for argument's sake, trumpet his sexual exploits with remarks like: "So I had this one chick over at my place, and she was like, 'Your sheets smell like another woman's sex.' Then she stormed out...that's the second time that happened!!"

Response: "Indeed."

For another example, we travel to the outskirts of Queens College's Powdermaker Hall, a sunny expanse of bench and concrete frequented by lunching students. It is here that one might encounter a professor, awkwardly walking with shoulders aloft and chest inflated, as if to say, "Look--I'm a professor." This professor may walk over to you, lock his/her gaze upon your food-trodden face, and demand, with much sass, "Hey, how are you?" It is then that, food in tow, one might meet his/her professorial gaze, and pronounce, "Good. How are you?" And this professor, emboldened by your engaging, haughty retort, might counter, "I'm just great, thanks."

Response: "Indeed."

"Indeed" is the type of word that can avert wars, steal maidens from their castles' virginal grips, or even tame a wild evangelist. There is no earthly bound for "indeed," just as there is no phraseology sufficient to convey my appreciation for it.