Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
ok i saw ryan favorited this video:
naturally i was intrigued so i researched further and found this:
i really want to see this movie.
Monday, November 23, 2009
August 14, 2009 by clander
If you find yourself trapped in the middle of the woods without electricity, running water, or a car you would likely describe that situation as a “nightmare” or “a worse case scenario like after plane crash or something.” White people refer to it as “camping.”
When white people begin talking to you about camping they will do their best to tell you that it’s very easy and it allows them to escape the pressures and troubles of the urban lifestyle for a more natural, simplified, relaxing time. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In theory camping should be a very inexpensive activity since you are literally sleeping on the ground. But as with everything in white culture, the more simple it appears the more expensive it actually is.
Camping is a multi-day, multi-step, potentially lethal activity that will cost you a large amount of both time and money. Unless you are in some sort of position where you absolutely need the friendship of a white person, you should avoid camping at all costs.
The first stage of camping always involves a trip to an outdoor equipment store like REI (or in Canada, Mountain Equipment Co-Op). These stores are well known for their abundance of white customers and their extensive inventory of things for white people to buy and only use once. If you are ever tricked into going to one of these stores, you can make white people like you by saying things like “man, this Kayak is only $1200, if I use it 35 times I’ve already saved money over renting.” Note: do not actually buy the kayak.
Next, white people will then take this new equipment and load it into an SUV or Subaru Outback with a Thule or Yakima Roof Rack. Then they will drive for an extended period of time to a national park or campsite where they will pay an entrance fee and begin their journey. It is worth noting that white people are unaware of the irony of using a gas burning car to bring them closer to nature and it is not recommended that you point this out. It will ruin their weekend.
Once in the camp area, white people will walk around for a while, set up a tent, have a horrible night of sleep, walk around some more. Then get in the car and go home. This, of course, is a best case scenario. Worst case scenarios include: getting lost, poisoned, killed by an animal, and encountering an RV. Of these outcomes, the latter is seen by white people as the worst since it involves an encounter with the wrong kind of white people.
Conversely, any camping trip that ends in death at the hands of nature or requires the use of valuable government resources for a rescue is seen as relatively positive in white culture. This is because both situations might eventually lead to a book deal or documentary film about the experience.
Ultimately the best way to escape a camping trip with white people is to say that you have allergies. Since white people and their children are allergic to almost everything, they will understand and ask no further questions. You should not say something like “looking at history, the instances of my people encountering white people in the woods have not worked out very well for us.”
Friday, November 20, 2009
My favorite archbishop Rowan Williams gave a speech on Thursday in Rome, speaking on the recent move by the Roman Catholic Church to invite in Anglicans who are weary of the Anglican Church's alleged extreme liberalism. Williams defends his position on female ordination and tries to smooth out some of this Anglican/ Roman Catholic conflict.
Here's a link to the full speech that he gave yesterday...
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
russians + vodka + kerosene lamps = fire
steeple chase champs
guy steals microphone from reporter, gets tackled
arabs and their cars
dolphins playing with circular spinning water bubbles underwater - insane
eagle gets a mountain goat
tour de france dog
stephen colbert being himself
F@%# Cat - a bizarre but hilarious video
great footage of cycling falls and fights etc...
holy s@#$ - plane crash
insane chopper take off
a bus crash test goes crazy as it keeps going and hits viewers
insane bike crash
darwin award candidates play with fire
sleep walking dog hits wall
arnie defends his decisions
dog scared of blow up alligator
two boats crash into each other
Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
In the next couple of months a few things are happening that I am really excited about. The first being thursday night, with the Royal Bangs playing the pilot light with Drummer. If you have never seen the royal bangs, let me tell you...they are great. They put on a show unlike most bands that I see, and I see a fair amount of music. I would love for all of you to be there in the pit next to me on thursday night, and I really want you all to come. The show is high-energy, beeping sounds, and flashing lights, and great music. So that is the first. Next thursday is Port O'Brien at the pilot light. It is one dude who grew up super rich and lived on a fishing boat with his family in alaska for fun. so most of his stuff is really good. I will be at that show. That weekend, friday 23-25 is a James Agee festival. Agee was a knoxville born author who was an incredible writer in: fiction, journalism, poetry, and screen writing. Some of his films are playing at various locations around town. That saturday, oct 24, is also an event that I can't get into but some of you may be interested in, YAZOO brewery are having YAZOO night at preservation pub in market square so you can get their delicious beers. On Nov. 4th in nashville the whigs and the features are playing a joint show at the cannery ballroom. Both are awesome.
I will be at most of these, all but the beer one, and I would love for you all to join me.
Thursday Oct. 15 Royal Bangs w/drummer at the pilot light $8 10pm *It would be a good idea to get there early for this one.
Thursday Oct. 22 Port O'Brien @ the pilot light $5 10 pm
Friday Oct. 23- Sunday Oct. 25 various James Agee to-do's, including Night of the hunter at the Bijou.
Saturday Oct. 24 YAZOO night @ Preservation Pub in Market Square
Friday, October 9, 2009
So, I woke up to work on my speech for today, and Bing walks into my room to tell me that Obama has won the nobel peace prize. dang, that's some news. So since then I have seen a whole lot of facebook status' that are, all from christians calling the nobel peace prize committee stupid or calling obama the antichrist. what do y'all think about all of this?
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
You are standing in front of a room with a lightbulb inside of it.
You can not see if it is on or off.
Outside the room there are three switches.
You may turn the swithes anyway you want to.
You stop turning the switches, enter the room and know what switch controls the lightbulb…
How do you do that […]
The man that made me what I am won’t tell
The man knows what I am won’t use me
The man who uses me doesn’t know it
What am I?
The man who made me sells me
The man who bought me won’t use me
The man who uses me doesn’t know it
What am I?
An old king is about to die and he has no offspring to inherit the crown. So he summons the three wisest men from his kingdom and puts them to a test. He tells them that he is about to put them in a room and have his aide put a hat on each of them. Each hat may or may not have a dot on it, but at least one hat will have a dot. They may not touch the hats, nor communicate in any way. The first one that correctly identifies whether his hat has a dot will become the next king. If he is wrong, or if he breaks the rules, he will be killed. Then he sends all three wise men into the room.
The king then tells his aide to put dotted hats on all three.
A few minutes later one of the wise men returns and announces proudly that he has a dot. How did he know?
A while back a friend and potentially a member of this blog posed the very good and though-provoking question (an action typical of this individual). It followed as such: how can a God in a religion such as Christianity as it is set forth by Presbyterians justify the combination of original sin and predestination? Where, basically as he put it, an individual not among the chosen would basically be born damned since he/she is born in sin and is also damned by not being predestined to enter into eternal life.
Over a year of occasionally considering this potential deal-breaker, I have a couple of thoughts, but my hope would be to hear some others.
First, although God is full of grace, I believe that he is also perfectly just (If he isn’t then forget Christianity altogether). With this in mind, it would follow that the problem here stems from either our imperfect understanding of justice or our imperfect understanding of predestination… or, as Daniel would say, “it is probably an lack of understanding of justice… and probably also a lack of understanding of predestination”
We have, I believe, a natural intuition of what justice is because a lack of justice or fair play is enraging. So, what are we missing here?
Also, predestination/election, if God is perfectly just and Christ death atones for our sin, satisfying God’s perfect justice, how is it only for the elect?
I know that most of these trails lead to this thing called faith. I have also been told that free will and predestination are like to pillars holding up Christian faith that are wholly separate but somehow coexist. I don’t know. I’m just trying to evoke responses touching any aspect here.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
via: the onion
TUCSON, AZ—Though initial calculations showed it to be on a direct collision course with Earth, a pansy-ass asteroid approximately the size of Rhode Island has instead altered its trajectory to avoid the planet by more than 40,000 miles, astronomers at the University of Arizona reported Monday.
Enlarge Image Asteroid
This wuss missed the Earth by a long shot.
"Guess it just didn't have the spuds to go through with it," Richard A. Kowalski of the school's Catalina Sky Survey said. "Real big surprise. Maybe you can try again when you accrete a little more mass than 6.32 x 1015 kilograms, okay? Chicken-shit."
Kowalski said that one month ago Asteroid 2009-XG2—nicknamed "Old Limp Dick"—was following a path that, even accounting for heat friction and gravitational pull from other celestial bodies, gave it a 97 percent chance of striking Earth. Further observation and calculations, however, indicated that the asteroid would instead tuck its balls between its legs and change its course by more than 22 degrees.
"This potential extinction-level event turned out to be a puss-out of cosmic proportions," Kowalski said. "Earth didn't even flinch. You know what, why don't you give it another go, little guy? Huh? You can even take a free shot at the moon to warm up."
Enlarge Image Observatory
Scientists in this observatory used a high-powered telescope to track the asteroid's path right to the point of its monumental puss-out.
After a brief pause Kowalski added, "That's what I thought."
Many astronomers who have spent their careers monitoring asteroids have echoed Kowalski's conclusions. David L. Rabinowitz of the NASA-funded Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking program claimed that, despite the overwhelming data to the contrary, no one in the astronomy community had any doubt that the asteroid was talking out of its ass.
"Everybody knew that asteroid was a poseur," Rabinowitz said. "If it didn't have the balls to come within 100,000 miles of Pluto 15 years ago, how's it even gonna consider messing with Earth? What, did it think it was going to be another 1908 Tunguska Event? Don't make me laugh."
Rabinowitz also estimated that even if the asteroid had managed to remove its giant tampon and hit Earth, it most likely would have landed harmlessly in the ocean or the Sahara Desert.
"This asteroid's an even bigger pussy than 6489 Golevka, if you can believe that," he said.
Though astronomers across the world agreed that the asteroid probably still sucks on its mama's titties, a number of scientists have come out with different theories as to why it tore ass out of the solar system at 47,000 miles per hour.
"Have you seen Earth? It would have housed that asteroid so bad," University of Chicago astronomer Lucas Donovan said. "If it even tried making impact, you would have heard exactly two sounds: us hitting the asteroid and the asteroid hitting space. Little piece of shit got off lucky, if you ask me."
Plans to launch a probe to measure the composition of the asteroid were scrapped after NASA scientists concluded it was made up of 0.5 percent basaltic crust, 0.5 percent carbonaceous chondrite, and 99 percent bullshit.
"Goddamn chicken-shit planetoid ain't even worth it," acting NASA administrator Christopher Scolese said.
There is currently no strategy in place to prepare for a possible return of the asteroid, as NASA physicists have theorized it will likely throw itself into the sun from the utter shame of being such a weak-ass little bitch.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better.
Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.
Investors by a 5-to-1 margin choose capitalism. As for those who do not invest, 40% say capitalism is better while 25% prefer socialism.
There is a partisan gap as well. Republicans - by an 11-to-1 margin - favor capitalism. Democrats are much more closely divided: Just 39% say capitalism is better while 30% prefer socialism. As for those not affiliated with either major political party, 48% say capitalism is best, and 21% opt for socialism.
The question posed by Rasmussen Reports did not define either capitalism or socialism
It is interesting to compare the new results to an earlier survey in which 70% of Americans prefer a free-market economy. The fact that a “free-market economy” attracts substantially more support than “capitalism” may suggest some skepticism about whether capitalism in the United States today relies on free markets.
Other survey data supports that notion. Rather than seeing large corporations as committed to free markets, two-out-of-three Americans believe that big government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.
Fifteen percent (15%) of Americans say they prefer a government-managed economy, similar to the 20% support for socialism. Just 14% believe the federal government would do a better job running auto companies, and even fewer believe government would do a better job running financial firms.
Most Americans today hold views that can generally be defined as populist while only seven percent (7%) share the elitist views of the Political Class.
Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free)… let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.
Monday, April 13, 2009
I know this is annoying and really last minute, but due to a series of events completely and totally out of my control, I was forced to miss my column deadline this week. As a result, I don’t have a column to submit to my editor, and The Daily Beacon may fire me as a result.
Now I know you all are thinking that I’m one of those lazy and inconsiderate students who never does his work and then e-mails the class at the last minute looking for a handout, but I promise that I’m not. What happened was that my roommate spontaneously burst into flames while we were driving my mother to the hospital for my uncle’s funeral.
But it gets better, because as we were driving to the fire station to put him out (this is after I dropped my mother off at the hospital), I was abducted by aliens who erased all of my column ideas from my brain. Then I returned to Earth to discover that my car had been broken into. Luckily, they stole only my Beacon column notebook, while leaving my iPod, cell phone, wallet and stereo system intact.
Anyway, this is the first time I have missed a deadline EVER, and I was hoping that some kind soul would be willing to e-mail me their column or even some column notes. I would be more than happy to reciprocate by providing you with all of my old columns and column notes. I’d even be willing to pay you $10 for a good outline of some column material. Heck, any woman out there with some good column ideas and a love for Indian food and/or alien-abducted editorial columnists might even get a date out of this. (Not that it’s likely you’d want one.) The point I’m trying to make here is that I’m desperate, and would really, really, REALLY (you know what I mean) appreciate a little help from someone willing to do my work for me.
Also this might be a good time to mention that, what with the current rash of piracy on the high seas, I’m anticipating some delay on the return leg of my upcoming naval voyage to Somalia. This may indeed interfere with my ability to prepare a column for next week, but it will also prevent me from being able to prepare for (or even attend) my final in Economics 494: Economic Forecasting and Model Development.
If anyone is willing to prepare for and take my Econ 494 exam, that would be super awesome! Unfortunately, the professor checks our IDs after the exam, so I’ve attached a picture of myself (see left). If anyone has a similar facial structure (I’m more than willing to provide a wig and eye color-changing contacts), please let me know. I’d love to get you to sit in on that exam for me.
One more thing before I go. I happen to have come into the possession of a couple of pricey downtown condos just prior to the big housing bust. Now, however, I’m getting ready to leave Knoxville for good, and I really need to unload them before I do. I had planned to get rid of them under one of the new treasury bailout plans, but unfortunately it seems as if I’ve missed that filing deadline as well. (See above, re: spontaneous combustion, funeral and alien abduction.) Barring a federal bailout, I would love to get a few of you in to sublet, if you’re interested. Four bedroom, three bath, scenic downtown views.
Also I almost hesitate to ask, but I need a new kidney. Any volunteers?
Thanks! You guys are the best!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
For those of you who watch or read the news, you may know that this week London is hosting the G20 Summit. The G20 Summit is a meeting of the leaders of the world's twenty largest economies. President Obama and nineteen other heads of government are in London today and tomorrow to try and make sense of the current recession. As would be expected, this event has sparked lots of media attention and outrage from people who feel betrayed by banks and governments. Today, London's financial district was subject to a large-scale riot. I was fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough) to be there.
I arrived outside the Bank of England at approximately 2:30pm and joined a mostly peaceful protest. At the point that I arrived, the windows had already been smashed out of a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland, one the main culprits behind Britain's economic crash. But that had happened two blocks up the road and the protest I joined was more like a party. The police had separated the protesters into two groups, one in front of the Bank of England, and one across the intersection where I was, as you can see in the photo. Fifteen minutes or so after I got there, the two groups grew tired of being manhandled by the police, and in a matter of seconds, both crowds crashed through the police lines, joining up in the middle. This left lots of very scared police officers isolated in the middle of the protesters, and they proceeded to punch their way out of the crowd.
At this point, the protesters had ejected all police out of a three block stretch of Queen Victoria Street leading up to the Bank of England. The ordinary police officers quickly donned riot gear and began to systematically cordon of the area so that no protesters could enter or leave. The east end of Queen Victoria Street was a full blown street party with music blaring and joints being passed. The west end, however, was fast turning into a battle zone as protesters tried to force their way through a police cordon in order to join up with another group of protesters. On the north side of the street is a branch of HSBC, a bank. All the bankers were trapped up in the building for fear that if they came out, they would be beaten by the mob. At one point, a group of bankers was watching the protest from the roof, and the crowd began to chant, 'Jump! Jump!' At one point during this stage, I took a photograph of a (I believe) very scared police officer.
After this went on for a few minutes, the riot police began to force us back up Queen Victoria towards the Bank of England. I believe they did this for two reasons, with the first being to separate us from the protesters on the outside of the cordon, and the second reason being that they wanted to clear us out from in front of HSBC so the bankers could leave in safety. Clad in full riot gear with shields and batons the police crashed into the protesters and steadily began to push us back up the street. At one point during this process, some protesters took a garbage bin and threw it over my head, crashing onto the helmets and shields of the riot police right in front of me. The police then reacted by charging the crowd and bloodying a few random people with their retractable batons. In retrospect, I can identify this as the point that the protest became violent and turned into a riot. The police kept pushing us, and we put up scattered resistance, but we were no match for their shields and batons.
The police pushed us back several hundred yards until we were in an intersection in front of the Bank of England. We were confined to an area maybe two hundred yards across. The area, shown in the first picture, consisted of a large seven-way intersection and a courtyard in front of the Bank of England. I tried to find a way out, not wanting to be trapped by the police, but every exit was blockaded by police in riot gear, as shown in the photo. I tried to talk a police officer into letting me and my friend Dani out, but to no avail We were trapped with an estimated 5,000 protesters.
There was sporadic clashing for the next few minutes, and as the violence waned, a carnival atmosphere took over. People began to dance in the street and play loud music, all the while vandalizing the sides of the banks exposed to us. Basically, the police held a cordon, and within that, anything was fair game. After being trapped in this smallish area for an hour and a half or two hours, the protesters grew quite restless.
On the south side of the Bank of England, a line of riot police held us up, and just a few yards behind them, another line of riot police held up another group of protesters. Both groups tried to break the police lines in order to join up, as had been done earlier in the day, but the police realized they would be in great danger if this happened, and became very violent in an effort to move us apart. I was near the front lines taking photos of police clashing with protesters when I heard several long whistle blasts from behind the police line. The riot police charged into us, beating people with their batons. As this happened, 8 to 10 officers on horses gallopped up behind the police line. Fearing I was about to be on the losing end of a cavalry charge, I and about a thousand other people ran like hell.
Realizing this line of riot police was not going to be defeated, the mob moved to the next exit, clashing with police there. I was standing near the front line again, as rioters began to move past me in pairs or threes, carrying 6 foot long metal barriers over there heads. Realizing what was about to happen, I put my camera away and tried to back up, but couldn't for the density of the crowd, so all I could do was mutter 'Oh fuck,' to my friend Dani. The rioters lined up just across from the police and proceeded to throw these heavy metal barricades into the police lines, no doubt causing some injuries to the police force. Naturally, the police responded in kind, launching the fiercest charge I had seen to this point. Dani and I turned to run with the crowd, but we were obstructed by some large debris on the ground. Dani began to fall, but I caught her underneath the elbows, keeping her from being stampeded. For the next couple seconds, we stumbled awkardly, trying our hardest not to fall. I looked over my shoulder for a brief second to see the police charging up my ass, beating the living shit out of anyone the could get their hands on. I was genuinely terrified at this point. Immediately following that, I snapped this picture of a guy who couldn't manage to get out of the way of the police charge.
After this episode, I went to a police officer on one of the lines, and made small talk with him. It turns out he's been to Tennessee several times and is quite interested in college football. He could tell I was a bit nervous, and I asked him kindly if Dani and I could leave, but he said he had orders (best excuse ever for treating other humans like shit) and that no one was allowed to leave. He told me the safest place to go was the middle of the courtyard in front of the Bank of England, seeing as this was as far from the police cordons as we could get.
Dani and I went and sat down in the middle of the courtyard. We were tired and began to look at photos I had taken so far. No sooner had we done this than the police launched a charge right into the courtyard, right where the officer had told me I'd be safe. Scrambling to our feet, we ran and climbed up onto an elevated flower bed, with the police closing in right behind us. To my surprise, the police proceeded to close in on us from all sides, closing all of the protesters into an impossibly small space in the intersection. A very tall police officer in riot gear told me to 'Go!' and I said 'Where the hell am I supposed to go? There's no room?' And he pointed at me, made a walking motion with his index and middle finger, then pointed over my shoulder. Stunned at this ridiculous gesture, I showed him one of my fingers, followed by a very polite 'Fuck you.'
As I made my way across the intersection, I saw a group of protesters burning a couple of mannequins dressed as bankers. I would have thought this was funny four hours ago, but at this point I was too tired and pissed off to care, not to mention the burning plastic smelled terrible. As I walked away from this scene, I saw some protesters begin to throw large pieces of flaming debris into the police lines. At this point, I was sitting on the street smoking a cigarette, wondering how long the police were going to hold us.
Around 8:30 pm, I was released after 6 hours. They released us five at a time to prevent us from regrouping and attacking the police from behind. I began the long walk home as the Tube was shut down in that part of town. As I sit and watch the news right now, I have just seen that a dead man was found outside of the Bank of England. I can only assume that he was a victim of one of the stampedes caused by the police charges. I don't really know how to wrap this up. All I can say is that the G20 will fail to produce any real solutions. Governments and financial institutions will continue to take advantage of other humans, and humans will continue to act violently towards one another. I saw things today that I won't forget for a long time. I'm glad I made it out with only couple bruises, particularly after hearing that a man died right where we were. I hope you guys find this interesting.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Apparently the shamwow guy punched a hooker repeatedly in the face after she bit his tounge and wouldn't let go.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
"An 18-year-old has secretly painted a 60ft drawing of a phallus on the roof of his parents' £1million mansion in Berkshire. It was there for a year before his parents found out. They say he'll have to scrub it off when he gets back from travelling."
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Spring Break is almost upon us. While I sit here in my geology lab, the breeze rolls in through the windows, and I just want to be on the beach with the bueys. Friday we will leave, in a glorious caravan to laguna beach, Fl. Hopefully we can make the Panama run in under twelve parsecs! (just kidding a parsec is 31 trillion kilometers) but seriously, I hope that we beat the traffic down there and have a glorious time. I don't care how the weather is. I mean I want it to be sunny and hot, but even if it isn't it will be ok, because I am going to be relaxing with all of my best friends, the bueys. this blog's namesake. We shall dine on much fresh seafood: oysters, crab legs dipped in butter sauce, peel and eat shrimp, fresh blackened grouper, a cookout full of brats, and even a pancake breakfast one morning. I am so excited that I want to not study for my terrible spanish test that I have tomorrow. It is what I have been looking forward to for weeks, finally my hopes will be realized. hopefully they will be fulfilled beyond my wildest expectations. I love you guys and I am very glad that we will get to spend a week relaxing on the beach together. We will get to see a sans-architecture adam for the first time since the beginning of freshman year! I can't even wait. T-bone is coming!
On a sad note, we will miss the three bueys that will be out of country. Dyson, Bing, and House, I want you three to know that you will be sorely missed. I wish that you could all be coming with us and relaxing, but you will have a good time in london. Just know that we all wish that you were with us.
and then there is this again:
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Naturally, feeling curious and rebellious, I bought it for a mere pound. This was a small, personal act of rebellion against my American Southern conservative Christian upbringing. I did not realize this beforehand, but this infamous and villified piece of literature measures but 30 pages in length. As soon as I got home, I began to tear into it, curious to see how the hype surrounding this pamphlet matched the reality of its contents. What follows is a summary/review of what I drew out of The Communist Manifesto.
SummaryIn the first few pages of the pamphlet, Marx proposes that humanity is divided into two groups: the bourgeoisie and the proletariats. In short, the bourgeoisie is the ruling class and the proletariats are the working class. The proletariat exists for the sole purpose of making the bourgeoisie money, or capital. The proles provide cheap labour for minimum wage, and then in turn, the bourgeoisie makes a huge profit on the goods produced by the proletariat. Once the workers earn their measley paycheck, most of it is taken back by the bourgeoisie in the form of taxes, rent, and purchased good.
As Marx continues to describe social conditions of Europe, he talks about several ideas that are still prevalent. He touches on the idea of globalisation, and claims that, in a sense, it is a sort of colonisation attempt by the bourgeoisie. It is in the interest of the bourgeoisie to 'civilise' foreign people, such as occurred with Africa and Asia at the hands of European imperialism. In doing so, new markets are created for the goods produced by cheap proletariat labour, thus increasing the capital of the bourgeois. Marx also proposes that some nations are essentially enslaved to other nations. This is an idea that we refer to now as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd world nations. These are terms we use frequently, but most of us don't understand the meanings of them. 1st world nations are essentially the bourgeois nations. 3rd world nations are the proles. the 1st world uses the 3rd world to produce cheap goods and labour. 2nd world nations are typically communist or socialist nations, and sometimes play the role of 1st world nations and sometimes play the role of 3rd world nations. Marx also talks about wage labour, an idea now know as 'wage slavery' to some. It proposes that hiring oneself out for wages (especially low wages) is akin to slavery. Sure, you're getting paid, but only just enough to survive, just as slaves are treated.
Marx procedes to lay out ten foundations of communism, which are known today as the Ten Planks. I won't list them because they make no sense out of context. Basically, they propose taking the property and money of the bourgeoisie and dividing it among the proletariat, because, after all, the proles are the ones who earned all the money for the bourgeoisie anyways. Towareds the end of the pamphlet, Marx says that communists support any revolution against the established order, regardless of who is rebelling or why. This echoes a bit of anarchism and you begin to understand why the two schools of thought seem to be linked. Not until the very last paragraph of the publication does Marx call for violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie.
First of all, let me say right now that this is not an easy piece of literature to read. It took me over two hours to read 30 pages. I found myself reading paragraphs and sentences over and over again to understand them. The fact that it was translated from German probably didn't help.
To be honest, I am surprised at what I found between the covers of The Communist Manifesto. It was mostly a diagnosis and not a prescription, if you follow me. Marx devotes the vast majority of the book explaining and analyzing the flaws and evil of the current structure of society, and very little time proposing solutions. Many of Marx's diagnoses ring true, unfortunately. The plight of workers has improved significantly since 1848, but it is still evident that workers exist to make the bourgeoisie money, and for no other reason. They are still paid as little as possible, but thanks to unions, the wage is now actually somewhat of a living wage. Also, the diagnosis about enslaved nations probably rings truer now than it did when it was written. Why is all of our shit made in China and Taiwan? Because it is cheaper. Essentially, their economies are subservient to ours (for how long, who knows).
I do feel, however, that Marx has an oversimplified view of society. Only on two or three occasions is the middle class mentioned. Marx paints a picture of a world inhabited solely by wealthy executives and politicians, and blue collar workers. No white collar workers are to be seen. It is possible that the middle class was much smaller in Europe in 1848, but I still felt that they would have been mentioned somehow. Throughout history, the middle class has been extremely influential, and most revolutions have started in the middle class.
After reading The Communist Manifesto, it is evident that Lenin and Stalin in particular, departed from Marx's ideology quite sharply. At the end of the book, Marx has one sentence where he encourages violent revolution. Marx was NOT anti-democracy. He recognized that most elected officials come from the bourgeoisie, and saw the need for reform, but there is certainly no mention of a Premier or a Politburo and the lack of elections and what not. It is evident that the totalitarian aspect of communism was purely Lenin's and Stalin's additions.
While Marx and his writings have been villified in western society since the Cold War, I found The Communist Manifesto quite un-radical. Sure, Marx proposes violent revolution, but look at how our nation was founded - a war over money. Marx was no more violent than any of our founding fathers. His political ideologies regarding property are a bit radical, but not mind-blowingly so, and, in these days of economic turmoil, they start to seem more and more valid.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
First off, I guess I'll say that this is not going to be "poetic" (House 1) but rather, I just want to share my feelings with you guys about a few things. I am clearly known for making the classic pity jokes around our group of friends. I have thrown out so many divorce and fat jokes that I am completely desensitized to them. I am saying that in the hope that those jokes are not where you mind will go when you read the next few sentences. As all of you know Rita and I broke up after just over two years of dating. I don't like to show it or talk about it that much but i has been really hard on me. I suppose that it isn't hard in the traditional sense. I think that I made the right choice and it has helped me grow in ways that I don't really know how to explain. It hurts because for two years I put the majority of my efforts into that relationship. I showed her more of myself and gave her more of myself than almost anyone (insert a dyson dirty joke here), but seriously it is hard seeing something you pour so much of yourself into fail like that. It's hard knowing that 3 months ago I was holding her in my arms thinking she might be my wife someday. I cant explain why it has been hard but I just has been. I said all of that to set up my main point (clever transitional writing).
I was reading Romans today and came across something that I had read before but really caught my attention for some reason. Paul says, "By Gods will I hope to come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed." I hate when people pull out one sentence from any piece of literature and push there own agenda with it, but I can't type all of Romans 15 so bare with me. If you have the time read it to get the full context. It is so amazing to see that he views spending time with these people, his friends, fellow believers whatever as refreshing. I thought about you guys, my friends. Some of the only times of my life that I would call "refreshing" have been spent with you guys. I thought about Paul the people he planned to visit. I wondered if the prayed every second they were together and fasted and studied scripture. I kind of doubt it. I bet they ate together and laughed. I bet they spent time talking and simply enjoying each others company. Like us I bet they told stories. I don't want to list specific examples but some of the only things that have helped me get through this stuff with Rita has been the good company, the good conversations, and all that comes along with having such incredible friends.
I really do love all you guys and I love how special what we have is. I know that inevitably I will be an ass to one of you soon or I will be the opposite of refreshing or simply not be a good friend, but with that in mind I hope you all know that your friendships mean the world to me. Hopefully this hasn't been boring to read or think about. Just remember our jobs are to love each other well(semi-impossible) and in some way help each other towards God.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
"Hey man, can you spare some change"
"Sorry, I don't have any money on me."
...Except the freaking debit card in my wallet.
Don't worry. This post is about Food in the Fort, not a rant on how I (slash we (we = people (people = fortunate people))) don't give a shit about people who can't give me anything. Well, maybe it's both. The above exchange needs no explanation. It is so so much easier to walk by a person who is calling out for help from poverty than it is to take time to do or think anything. Even when I do stop, the motivation tends to be, "you know what, I (key word) am going to do something for this man. I'm going to do something good (2nd key word)." Wow. I bought a homeless man a quarter pounder to avoid feeling guilty. Here is the deal. I support buying homeless people quarter pounders, I'm just pointing out what dirty rags my efforts to do good are.
So what? Feeling guilty is in no way the answer behind any cosmic door. Where is the change? Perhaps I can offer one place: Food in the Fort. Here is what volunteers do there that resembles volunteer "work": nothing. You walk around with the different people who come in and take food off shelves and put it in a bag. These people know the rules and they have hands, basically the only physical contribution you make is being sure each person does not get more than their fair share. And yet wednesday mornings at Redeemer are so freaking powerful. Why? I finally get to stop DOING and I get to start BEING. All your contribution is just being there, listening, talking, remembering names, and looking people in the eyes. Food in the Fort is not about the volunteers, it's about the people who are seeking help. They have stories. They have personalities. I stood one week and listened to a guy tell me his life story for 20 minutes and then try to convert me to Christianity. I am not saying I don't have selfish intentions there too, but it is much more difficult when I am not actually doing anything to feel this sense of self-rightousness.
Sure you can give monetarily (I would definitely encourage it - checks with Food in the Fort on the Memo line), but it is on Sunday mornings when there is none of this, "I did something GOOD for you. Hope you are grateful." Oh yeah, they need plastic bags too.
Final take-away for me: loving is a whole lot of being and some doing. I need desperately to learn this in my own relationships. I can't buy friendships and I can't buy salvation. All I can do is show up, and I know that God is working through me to sanctify my dirty rag of a soul.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I am writing this specifically for the Galbraiths out there. I will be brief, for I am sick, and wish to snooze. But a frightening thing happened last night at the Oscars: we saw a man awarded for being feminine.
Let's travel in our minds to the heart of Africa, where the deer and the antelope play. Now focus in on the great plains of the sun: wild rivers, gushing watering holes, African Wattle trees, and (of course) Pride Rock. Now, bear with me...a gay lion.
Are we serious? Yes we are, says Hollywood. The big boys from the West Coast have flexed their guns and defied scientific reason. It is with great remorse that I admit that the words "manly" and "girly" are now loose leaf terms. What is a man without "manliness"? What is a female without "femininity"? With this I implore the consideration of the birth of a new genre of sexes: the Feman and the Womale. With these new titles for the gay man and lesbian woman, we need not be confused anymore by the meaning and implications of words such as "manliness" and "girlishness". Hell, I'm going to bed.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Heres my take on why the new U2 album is genius, why my opinion hardly matters, why Monger has listened to too much WmtnN to appreciate it, and why THIS Journey music video plays a part, (take a few minutes, click the link and watch that video, its gold. Specifically 2minutes 8 seconds in). First of all listen to the album on Myspace.com/u2, maybe while you read this. Sorry if my post is too long winded.
Let me start off by saying: I know less about music than probably everyone else. 'cept maybe Galbraith. (just kidding dude, i just wanted to say "cept") But really I'm no music critic, I dont read pitchfork or musicblogs for fun, I haven't seen all the Oscar nominated films from the past 10 years, I dont read books by Ron Weasley's quidditch keeper try-out counterpart, and I dont know what Mickey Rourke's favorite color is. So take everything I say as coming from a low place, and all my lyric analysis as probably wrong and misinterpreted...
This album is amazing, the band seems to be more contemplative and unified as they have gotten older. Signified by some slower almost retrospecive songs, and some songs that the band sings parts together (check out Unknown caller), Bono's voice can't even be discerned from the rest and I think thats pretty cool.
The album opens with the title track No Line On The Horizon. Too often we don't think about why artists or bands choose album titles or song names, and honestly I hardly ever delve deep in to the darkian depths of music.
I think the title and the song simply convey the idea that there is no clear cut idea of where we should be heading. We can't really discern an up or down, wrong or right. Its kind of ironic how the older U2/Bono gets, the lyrics are just as confused about the way things are as ever, maybe even moreso. Still hopeful though. I like the song musically alot, lots of classic Bono "Oh's" and "Whoa's"
Im going to dissect a few songs just for the heck of it.
Track 2: Magnificent- Bono's attempt at a worship song,
"I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise…"
Still, with confusion he adds-
"I was born to be with you... After that and ever after I haven't had a clue"
and for some reason the lyrics "Only love, only love can leave such a mark But only love, only love can heal such a scar," echo with no trace of cliche in my mind the more i think about them.
Also noteworthy is Edge's guitar playing. Though the whole song is filled with typical Edge-style-delay-effect picking, his solo at 4 min. in is really of the ordinary for him, and I love it.
Track 3: Moment of Surrender- The song opens up with a beautiful symphonic swell, and moves into a groovin' soul filled tune carried by Bono's screaming voice. The guitar solo near the end again is totally different for Edge, Claptonesque and so so tasty.
This song lyrically is pretty heavy, Bono adresses relationships. He talks about the strange paradox of marriage:
"I tied myself with wire
Until the fire played with me"
I Think we can all relate to that- we all want to let our horses run free if you catch my drift, but in order to do so we have to tie ourselves down? Its a strange frustrating concept, for guys like me atleast. Also, the "fire" that is sexual connectedness is far more dangerous than we realize.
"Two souls too smart to be
In the realm of certainty
Even on our wedding day"
Im not sure if he's saying the uncertainty is a good thing or not, but I think it ties in with the idea of surrender, to God and to the oneness of marriage. We dont really know what were getting into, but surrender is the only option for new-good-change to come over us. Maybe THIS is the answer Bono is searching for in this yearning song.
Back to the song, "The stone was semi-precious" is a tasty morsel of a line.
"I was punching in the numbers at the ATM machine
I could see in the reflection
A face staring back at me"
"Every eye looking every other way
Counting down till the pain will stop"
"I did notice the passers by
And they did not notice me"-point to a irrelational world, think about it, I'm looking into a screen right now as I type this "relating" with you as you read it on a screen. The line counting down till the pain will stop is a sad reality for so many people walking around, and we do nothing to help each other.
Track 4: Unknown Caller- I think this song is again about the technological mechanical world we live in "Force quit and move to trash" is something we've all done, and the lyrics in that part of the song are almost chanted. At the same time I think its about seeking to listen to a God we know nearly nothing about, calling us to do things without answers. Make sure and listen to the end, for another amazing guitar solo, and some organ playin thrown in there.
Track 5: I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight- guuuughhhahhh, this song is awesome. This is where the Journey video I mentioned earlier comes into play. I am here to propose that U2 was inspired by the Journey song "Faithfully" (which coincidentally appears on the latest Girl Talk album on the track Play Your Part pt. 2) to write this song. Ok not really, but the opening to "I'll Go Crazy" sounds eerily similar to Journey's love ballad, Who cares if it uses the word "baby" 3xs in a row like some other U2 song, when it sounds exactly like Journey? Anyways its a great mixture of 80's melody hooks, plus some lyrics dealing with doubt and struggle.
This song has a few good lyrical gems as well:
"Is it true that perfect love drives out all fear?" references 1 John 4:18.
"Change of heart comes slow...It's not a hill its a mountain" is a pretty cliche line, but it reminds me of the wise words of Bill Delvaux.
Also anyone remember Mr. Dark writing "kick at the darkness till it bleeds light" on the board? well Bono gets close with "Let's shout until(into?) the darkness, squeeze out sparks of light"
I did a little research and the line Mr. Dark quoted is from a Bruce Cockburn (go ahead and laugh, giggles-wise) song. That U2 actually referenced in their song 'God Part II' on 'Rattle and Hum': "heard a singer on the radio late last night says he's gonna kick the darkness till it bleeds daylight". So if David Dark, Bruce Shaftblister, and U2 (mentioning it twice) think this is important, it must be.
Track 6: Get On Your Boots- I like most disliked and mock(and continue to do so) the sexy boots line, i still dont really get it, but I think what Bono is trying to say connects with the lines in the song:
"I don’t wanna talk about wars between nations
Not right now," and "you dont know how beautiful you are."
When we are apathetic about war/politics/life we dont realize the worth of human life and ourselves, we cheapen it, we dont get it, there are people who alot of times are more worried about sexy boots, (Bono included, I think) than bombs destroying houses in the middle east. Its kindof a jab, a bucket of ice-water in our face when he shouts sexy boots.
Welp, thats all I can conjure up for now, I'll leave the rest of the songs alone. I do however encourage you to look up the lyrics online and read them as you listen, and think about them obviously. Its theraputic.
I'll leave you with one last lyric snippet
"Choose your enemies carefully, 'cause they will define you...They're not there in the beginning, but when your story ends."
New album is up on Myspace. Doesn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary for U2 minus a few exceptions such as the beginning of "FEZ-Being Born". One of the new songs "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" uses the same "baby, baby, baby" line as in the song "Ultraviolet (Light my Way)" off the Achtung Baby album. Also, some parts of "White as Snow" have the same melody as "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". Im not saying any of this is bad but simply that as a devote U2 listener I kind of expected more. Some of the other new songs even make "Get on your Boots" seem not that bad. Nonetheless, I am still planning to see them in concert when the oppurtunity arrises.
I give No Line on the Horizon 3 Bonos / 5