Friday, December 31, 2010
Change is inevitable. Progress is good. Liberalism's role in society is to embrace change. Conservatism's role in society is to oppose change. Through the struggle between these two forces, the change which happens will be kept in check. Neither side can ever outright embrace the fact that both forces are necessary or the balance will be thrown off. Without the force of conservatism present, society's evolution would probably look a lot like natural selection. A random mutation occurs and the adaptations which are beneficial to the survival of the species will stay until the environment makes it so that they can no longer survive. This sort of evolution is not what the human species wants. We want to control which changes occur. We want to mold all of creation to fit the moral standard. This is why we cant just let change happen however it does. We have to guide it.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Something funny I noticed. guys can't hang around other guys too much or they gotta worry about being gay. Also, when they are hanging around other guys they can't possibly be having a good time. Its more suitable to be like, "man this sucks...if only there were some bitches here." But if there were some bitches present, it would suck way more because everybody would turn into animals, and those who don't would be sitting there all lonesome and depressed, either that or just pissed off at the whole situation. I'll come out and say it: I prefer the company of men. I prefer the sex of women. I would rather hang around men most of the time cuz it's funner to talk to them and we understand each other better, and I would rather go off and have sex with a woman when the night is over. You know what I mean. And a guy that hangs out with nothing but females, he's branded as gay, and maybe that's cuz he usually is. Or maybe he's a pimp, but the point is, be consistent. Don't give one guy shit cuz he likes to hang out with guys and another guy similar shit for hanging out with girls. That makes sense right?
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
When you shoot a basketball into the air, toward a hoop, immediately you are struck by an opinion about whether it's going to go in or not. Sometimes the opinion is very certain. Sometimes its not so certain, but that feeling strikes you regardless of whether or not you want it to. The opinion which strikes you is a belief, and you don't have a say in the matter. I know this is what my last article was about, but I keep meeting people who think that belief is a choice, so this is still on my mind.
The above basketball analogy came to me just recently, and I think it encapsulates how I see this issue very well. Belief happens constantly and so does choice. We are always making decisions and prioritizing and planning and acting and communicating. Belief and choice are different functions of our brain, I think. Belief is a part of our perception. We act on our beliefs, or should I say, we try to act on our beliefs. I think the more time we have to make a decision, the more likely that a decision will directly reflect our beliefs.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
If you understand the concept of 1+1=2, you understand that the mathematical phrase, like any mathematical phrase is true by its very definition. It is true because one definition of 1 is that which becomes 2 when 1 is added to it. One definition of 2 would be 1+1. You get it? A number is an abstract representation of an amount. Of course there is no amount which is actually 1, but if there were such an amount as exactly 1, add another portion of exactly 1 and you would definitely and surely and absolutely get exactly 2.
If you understand that 1+1=2, you understand that you hold this truth without choice. You have no say in the matter as to whether you believe it or not. You know it to be true because you perceive it to be true. Something which you perceive to be true is a belief. I read an article on wordpress by someone named Laicite, and they spelled that out for me so that it finally made perfect sense. A belief is not a choice. A belief is something you perceive to be true.
So with this mentality, the only form of Christianity which would make any sense is Calvinism with its concept of "election" where God chooses who believes in him and who doesn't. So that would explain why the concept makes no sense to me whatsoever. I wasn't chosen. This is sad. God's gift of reason was actually more of an eternal curse and not a way to make sense of the world.
But of course I'm joking. God has given me some sense of reason and clear perceptive abilities to make sense of the world around me so that I might best serve those around me and help to make this life a blessing. If I shut my eyes to what I see and hear and understand, it doesn't mean I am choosing to believe that the Bible is the only true inspired word of God. It means that I don't believe that this is true so I must prevent myself from finding out for sure. It would be more of a fatalistic agnosticism or something to take this approach. It would be like saying, I can never know for sure, so I might as well shut my eyes and dive in full force to that bs which is most accessible to me.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
What is this concept of "the lesser of two evils?" It is an idea most commonly used when a person has to choose between two (or I guess it could be more than two) choices, all of which are unfavorable. This choice is sort of an act of damage control. I understand that this phrase might be useful in pointing out the stickiness of a situation, but I would like to point out how, if taken literally, the idea is a contradiction in terms. I would say that "good" is the lesser of two evils. And I guess you could also say that "evil" is the lesser of two goods, but really there is no such thing as "the lesser of two evils" because if we have a choice between two things and one is the better choice, than it is "good" in this sense, by definition. "Evil" is the bad choice, by definition.
Friday, July 23, 2010
The Christian culture would behoove itself to stop using the word "truth" so much. In fact, if they could cut that word out of their lexicon all together like they did with "fuck" and "shit," they might find themselves in better shape and losing fewer souls to the dark side. The proactive approach that Christianity seems to be taking now, in its strongest circles, is to redefine the word. This is not going to work. Its a noble idea, but its just not going to work. They succeeded with the word "life," I do believe. It now means having Jesus in your heart or something. They succeeded with "good" and "evil." These words, now, basically represent the poles on a continuum which represents one's adherence to or rejection of Christian traditions. You know, come to think of it, they might succeed in redefining the word "truth." But once they do, it might make it harder to win converts. The easier thing would be to rid their world view of the concept all together. They're half way there. Science has a stigma about it. Questioning and thinking is sort of frowned upon or laughed off. I think there could be a real draw to a religion that never speaks of truth and just pulls the individual into this imaginary world without acknowledging any ideas of proof or lack thereof. The ultimate good could be a sense of utility. This would give Christianity a leg up on secularism whose culture seems in so many ways to embrace an endless searching.
Monday, July 5, 2010
To appreciate music is to appreciate language in its abstracted form. It is to appreaciate all the elements of communication separated from their assumed purpose of relaying a clear-cut peice of information in a precise and documentable manner. Without this necessity we have the elements of rhythm and tone and harmony and pitch functioning still to communicate, but now, it is to stimulate the right side of the brain rather than the left.
I think that with regular old human communication, there is this necessity to put forth some solid idea, but the other elements are present also. You want to have a sense of timing and pitch and entertain that right brain also, but music takes out the first part to focus on the abstracted elements, perhaps with the goal of enlightening us to enjoy the music that we make with each other everyday by just talking.
Friday, May 14, 2010
What is the difference between talking with someone and deciding that you like or dislike them based on that encounter and seeing someone's art or music and deciding that you like or dislike them based on that encounter? There is no difference. These are both forms of expression and neither is the "official" form of expression. If you walk by someone on the street and neither of you choose to speak to each other, that was still an interaction. That was still expression and communication. Your making judgements about that person based on this interaction is equally justified as with any other type of interaction. If you see a painting on a wall, you are interacting with the painter simply by seeing what he or she has done. It is no different than someone speaking to you, except for the fact that it will be more difficult to respond. Well, actually it might be said that after seeing the painting, every action you do for the rest of your life is a response to what the painter showed you. Same goes with if it was some person speaking to you, though. A response is not just a verbal and immediate reply.
Friday, April 30, 2010
When we examine art we see that it is communication. Communication in the most traditional sense is seen as art, where before it had to be segmented off into the other netherworlds of perception. The respect that was once owed to painters, sculptors, composers, rock-stars, movie stars, is now in other hands. The art of verbal and visual direct communication is now being perfected on YouTube. I'm rather excited to see what this is going to mean for education, fifty years down the line. It seems the schools are going to make a more educated decision when it comes to picking their teachers. They will be able to inspect carefully a teacher's ability to teach. This is very much an understatement because they will have access to understanding the teacher's mind because they will be able to track their growth from the very earliest stages of their life. Children will grow up in an ocean of varying ideas and ideologies and be able to examine everything and make sense of it. Those who are in charge will understand exactly the nature of the puzzle pieces which it is their job to fit together. Children will get to learn under instructors which they already know they respond to, because the resource will be put in front of them. Different kids learn different ways and it will be much much easier in the future to see who fits where.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Everything you do that can be perceived by another individual is communication whether you think about it that way or not. There's no gettin around it. Art attempts to isolate this into a medium and say that the artist can communicate whatever he wants because this is art; this is a separate world from reality but this is an illusion. Its a construct that both the art maker and art viewer agree to unspokenly but the artist will break the agreement if it is in his interest or for reasons of ethics.
Monday, April 12, 2010
More new thoughts about rap, namely gangster rap. Having a very narrow, very primal message and then, basically riffing on that same message over and over with every album and every song leaves the variable to everything but the message. It might be sort of the same relationship between classical music and jazz.
Lets say classical is all about the ingeniousness of the composer and jazz is all about the ingeniousness of the performer. The job of the composer is to create a masterpiece. The classical performer must do the masterpiece justice. It might be a professionally trained performer or a small child learning violin or some schmuck whistling it down the street. The focus is on the genius of the composer. Jazz is about the genius of the performer, the individual, riffing in his own unique way on some supposedly simple tune. Sure its nice if its a brilliant composition, but a brilliant performer can express himself through twinkle twinkle little star or happy birthday or anything. With classical, the message is what the composer has to say. With jazz, its what the performer has to say.
So now lets look at gangster rap, or gangsta rap. I'm not sure the proper way to write that and I feel like a tool even writing about it in such a fashion, but I don't give a flying fudge. The message is more or less the same in more or less every gangsta rap song, and I can tell you it right here, but the whole point is that words aren't enough to communicate an idea. I see the message as being something like, I'm a very dangerous and powerful person. I will kill you or hurt you badly and not even blink an eye. I can get any woman I please and I will treat them like property. I smoke weed and drink all the time. People are always out trying to kill me, but of course they can't. I might be leaving stuff out, but that's the gist of it. The rapper talks about himself. It can be very specific. I think the more specific the better. You don't wanna say I shoot people with a gun, you gotta talk about exactly what sort of gun it is, and you must be specific about all of your possessions, your cars and drugs and what not. I might be drifting off topic a little bit here. A point I am getting at is that if the message stays the same the variable is the word choice and the delivery and through that the rapper will express his own personal ego. The rhythm of the words is of utmost importance. Gangster rap turns language into an instrument. That sums up my thoughts on this pretty well. Scatting turns the voice into an instrument, but gangster rap turns language itself into an instrument. Well, I guess I could say hip hop in general, but I feel like gangster rap is a more pure device for of this, because I think the term "hip hop" allows for the rapper to have a message like in the singer songwriter tradition, but when this is taken out the words can be varied much more because the listener will know what you're getting at. He'll know your talking about your gun or your car or your weed...or maybe your dick.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I'm just gonna make a prediction right here and now. Rap is going to be something which unites all languages. It might be...oh...I'm gonna say 300 years, but we'll see. Well, I won't see, but someone will see. Its gonna be all one language and its gonna be thanks to rap. Cuz, think about it, rap is like a mushy melting pot petri dish of language. Formal rules of grammar pronunciation and use and most everything are out the window and its all based on sound really. The artist wants to be understood most likely, but the burden of understanding is on the listener. Its like when DOOM says, "He who ain't get it ain't suppose too..." and then he says a bunch of other stuff cuz its a whole song and that's just a small quote.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
If you look up, "creativity" in the dictionary, and I did, you find: "The use of imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of artistic work."
I think we can substitute the word, "art" for the words, "artistic work." There is little difference, except in the fact that "artistic work" sounds like it's trying to be "art." Or it might be the dictionary being hesitant to use the word "art" all by itself because its too heavy and up for debate. Artistic work is aspiring to be art and may actually be art but it might depend on if the perceiver regards it as "art."
The dictionary defines "art" as "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination." It also speaks of what is typically considered art by mentioning painting and sculpture and it speaks of purpose when it says, "works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."
So I guess the point is to use your creativity to paint or sculpt something that is beautiful and evokes an emotion, for the most part. The point is to create a moving decoration. I'd say that's pretty noble. I was thinking about the word "Ingenuity," and wondering if it might be a synonym for creativity in the way that I see it, and be more thorough than the word creativity when it comes to the way the general public uses those words. Like what I'm getting at is, if the word "creativity" didn't exist and instead the word "ingenuity" existed we might be better off.
The dictionary says "ingenuity" is "the quality of being clever, original, and inventive." I like the sound of that. That holds within it creativity and much more. And you know, I would say ingenuity is more valued than creativity in general, but I think it needs to be supported in our education system. Its just a slight little change for the better. Forget about creativity. Its all about ingenuity.
Monday, March 29, 2010
I think I have art history all figured out. I'll tell you where we are right now, or rather where future historians will say we were. Its like this. The way art history comes across to me is it starts out very limited. Painting and sculpting is art, and slowly but surely other things become art as well. Then modern art comes and post modern and now its to the point where anything can be art and its up to the viewer as to wether they are perceiving art and its up to the maker of the thing or idea or situation as to weather they are making art. So where does this leave us? Well it leaves me asking the question what's the point of the idea of art at all? And it has me answering this question by saying, "the point is creativity." Creativity can manifest itself in any situation in life. Its lateral thinking. Its seeing the whole picture and recognizing similarities of patterns between two seemingly different things. So what does it take to be a good artist? Can a painter be less of an artist than a stay at home mom who doesn't paint or draw but only takes care of her children? This sounds like a weird question, but stick with me. I would argue "yes."
A painter could be well trained and know all the proper techniques and what sorts of subject matters and poses are thought of to be beautiful and he may hardly have to think creatively at all but just go through the process and produce an elegant piece of "art." But tradition guided him the whole way through to completing his objective. As for the mom, what if it's her first time being a mother and she has little guidance. She knows more or less what the child needs to survive and grow up and be healthy, but lets say she's naturally a very creative person and she uses that creativity to make the right decisions that bring up this child to be a happy and integral part of society. Her audience was partly the child and partly the world in which the child will grow up in and be a part of and she has, in this situation, an intimate relationship with her audience through her "art."
So its all about ethics then too, huh? Yeah. Can a work of art be created that in the end is destructive to those around it and life as a whole? Well, I don't know. I would say, no, but I would say, lets stop using the word "art," if at all possible. Its probably not possible though. The real question is the question of purpose. What is the purpose of a painting which hangs in a house who's only purpose is to be looked at, hanging there on the wall. Its purpose is decoration and this is as noble a purpose as any I'd say. Is it only decoration? Of course not, but no matter what type of artist we're talking about, a piece can always be looked into on a deeper level to evoke other feelings and thoughts. These thoughts may be about the artist's experiences and thoughts about the world or the culture the painting was created in or any kind of commentary the work might be making. But this can come about from any act of creativity. If you can think of a situation where no creativity is possible, that's only because your mind hasn't solved that particular puzzle, and that's where the creativity comes into play.
Let's think of an example. People might have said at one point that shoe design can't be a place for creativity. You just need something to keep your feet safe from stepping on stones. You need some laces so the shoes will stay on, but look at shoes today. There are all kinds of different shoes. This is due to competition. Competition requires creativity. Competition use to be mostly a matter of who was the fastest and had the strongest muscles, but now its, more than ever, a matter of who has the strongest brain, and since the brain is capable of creativity there's no holding it back.
So where is art today? Art history tells me that today we are all artists because we are all required to think creatively. In most any situation there's a way you can break the rules of tradition and get a better outcome than you would have if you just stuck with them. Its a matter of always being on your toes and having your brain on. Life keeps moving. If you want to be alive you need to understand that you get some sleep once a night and even then you're thinking. There's no rest. There's no getting to a comfortable point. Enjoy it. Roll with the punches. Be an artist however you know how to be an artist, but always remember the point of it all is to enjoy the company of your fellow humans.
Monday, February 15, 2010
is the chemicals you put in your body.
Alcohol, tobacco, caffine, and good ol THC. These are all wonderful things aren't they. I have about a cup of coffee or two a day. Can I go without it? Not too well, but I'm gonna be quittin here pretty soon. I've scheduled for myself a steady and progressive abstinence from these fine
chemicals in the beginning months of 2010 and through out the duration of the year. In 2011 I will allow my self to partake once again, but in a much more moderate way. I'm tired of being dependant on these things for my ups and downs. I been done with the weed for about two months now and am happy without it. When I was smokin I was pretty out of control with it. Some people are good with moderation, but anytime I had a little bag of it in my possession it seemed I had to smoke every chance I got. I couldn't save it up for another time. When 2011 comes I think I'll keep it to one day of each month. That will be much better for me. As for alcohol, I will quit entirely although I never really had any addiction to that. I may allow myself a drink once in a blue moon but my status among my friends will be that of the tea tottler. Tobacco I'll be quitting entirely. Caffine. Um. I'm not sure. Maybe once a week. I've yet to decide that one for sure. I don't think I can make the proper call for that until I'm off it. But at the current time I have, like I said, about a cup or so a day. In fact I'm drinkin a large iced coffee right now, and it's SOOO good.
There comes a time in a man's life when he needs to decide what sort of person he wants to be and just fuckin do it. I can't live with myself if I am a slave to my every vice. Now that I got a good woman who showers her affections on me without hesitation and makes every effort to show me real love and experience this world beside me, I can be strong and do this. She is the best part of waking up, and I will be strong for her and for myself.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
So, like, with God and stuff. People say God gives us free will cuz he wants us to love him freely of our own free will and stuff, and yeah. Its like how can he say, "I give you free will to accept me and love me or not" and stuff, and then if we don't accept him and love him he will send us to a place of eternal torture if we don't and send us to a place of eternal bliss if we do. I have had a few girl friends and stuff and many relationships, and its hard to be good to somebody when they're not good to you, but its possible. And if I want someone to love me freely of their own free will, I think, ideally, I would just treat them like a regular person kind of rather than setting up some kind of reward system. The fact that this reward system has supposedly been set up, makes me suppose that God wants to push me to love him as hard as he possibly can. Like, he'll do everything but violate my free will, BUT, since I have my doubts about the bible and since I know I have sinful nature, and since it doesn't seem to me that a loving god would send anyone to a place of eternal torture because it seems inconsistent with the whole loving God idea, I wish he would, just up and violate my free will. Reading and talking about the bible and theology really feels to me like an elaborate manmade doohicky built to justify a book which was written by a bunch of different human beings who really didn't know what they were talking about except for a spark of insight here and there, which can be found in any book. Anywayze. God is real, but the bible is fake. Thats alls I gots for now folks.