Friday, November 28, 2008

Stop the Christmas Insanity.


The AP reports a 34 year old man, a temporary worker for Wal-Mart during the holidays, was trampled to death by an anxious herd of retail zombie moms attempting to get $30 off of a camcorder and $4 sweatpants. I was thinking about this when I mixed this little 30 minute set.
I don't even know what to say. This man's death is the perfect example of the abuse and suffering caused by modern life. I hope before he died he was able to ask someone if they wanted a store credit card- or his managers might not put up a $3 plaque in his honor. The rich oppress the poor, and wealth as identity devalues the lives of the poor. The police who attempted to provide CPR to this man were also trampled and shoved. Shoppers were forced to evacuate the store, and were reportedly very angry that they had to leave.

If there wasn't a "War on Christmas" before, there should be now. Christmas deserves to be a ritual observed by the devoutly religious Christians among us, at church. The very day after our nation observes a sweet holiday about being thankful for what you've got, we go out and get in line at stores to wait all night in the freezing cold for the chance to buy Chinese junk that's only being marked up 500% instead of 800% FOR ONE DAY ONLY. Ask around, most people's favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.
The communities my wife and I work in are absolutely flooded with "Giving Tree" type operations. Apparently, lots of kids might not get a good Christmas this year. You're going to call me a curmudgeon, but I learned the most from the disappointing Christmases when my family didn't have much money. I'm happy that my parents didn't go into massive personal debt just to shut me up about wanting this or that. Take a look at the chart I've stolen and tell me if you think we've let this get out of hand enough.
So I'm now joining the leagues of people who wish they could cancel Christmas. As a nation, we ought to be adults, and get every little child nothing for Christmas. I'm starting to view Christmas culture as another extension of the "permanent adolescence" mental illness that pervades American society. Instead, we should have a nice meal, play a board game, and have a long serious talk about how we got here as a culture. This is sick. Don't donate to charity in my name, either. Keep your money. Tell your children that the generations of entitlement mentality have completely destroyed your ability to get anything but high interest credit to buy them things with. Tell them that poor children shouldn't get piles of stuff for Christmas like rich children. Because being poor sucks, and maybe they'll be motivated to do better for themselves as adults. Instead of buying a television so big it tips the trailer over on store credit and then not paying the water bill for six months.
It's the hard lessons that stick. Just ask anybody who lived through the last depression.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Everything about this is perfect

The mix, the tone on the piano, the great taste in combining high and low fidelity sounds, up front and blurriness... it's just RIGHT.

I love the references to both surf and blues- it just needs over saturated film to be sensory overload.

Can you smell the lurching tapeloop drums?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Living the Good Life.
Spent this Saturday on a day trip up and around the Olympic Peninsula and to the Pacific Coast. US101 is a beautiful drive through almost all of trip, except Forks, which was a nasty, muddy dump of a town. Ruby Beach is unbelievable-check the pictures. Ate at a nice, nice restaurant in Port Angeles with the generic name of Bella Italia. Port Angeles is full of weird, anti-social people with less social skills than people in Wyoming, if you can imagine. Great service at the restaurant, though. I had bleu cheese and fig ravioli with roasted chicken, chanterelles, and corn.
Politics has kept me interested a little bit lately. I'm so so happy to be out of the south, because now I don't have to hear the racist, social conservative banter at work about how much the world is doomed because of Obama. I still get to see it occasionally on Facebook, where someone on my wife's list recently posted: 'I took my last vacation today before Obama takes everything away.' But the distance makes it funny. I think what this election has said is that the "real america" that Palin talks about is still there. But the unpatriotic america that they heap scorn upon, the liberal, rational, progressive, America, has finally edged them out. Maybe now we get to be the real America for a change. I would love to see an election in my lifetime that looked like Libertarians vs. Democrats vs. Green Party, where the Democrats are the centrists, and the spectre of social conservatism can stop embarrassing us on the international scale that it does now.
I never realized what a societal parasite the belief that "the world is nearing the end times" could be. When you don't believe that one simple idea, you can get so much done. Suddenly, problems are there to be solved, not observed as signs that the end times were nearing. Eliminating that one concept from public discourse makes ecologically sound policies possible. It makes long term planning in government possible- and popular. I saw a sign up yesterday announcing an event planned for 2036- that would have been seen as an assault on religion in a lot of the country. It's so refreshing to meet so many people that don't reach for that stale idea just the instant they see something bad in their city.
My "new" life is keeping me busy. There's a new fruit to try at the roadside stand every other day- persimmons and apples and grapes so big my hands feel small just eating them, so much to learn about IT and teaching, etc. Although the learning has really slowed down lately in tech.
I'm continuing my hiatus from music for a while longer while I save for an MPC. I'm just not feeling the drive now that there is so little struggle in my life. Life is so easy when you have enough money to stop worrying, and you don't have that "surrounded by maniacs" feeling.