Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
DISCLOSURE: I was born around the time the Beatles broke.
I took their music for granted because it was there.
I never thought they were ever great because of their talent - only George Harrison (bless his soul) appeared to me the most professional of the lot - but because of the marketing savvy of Brian Epstein.
(BTW - He was to Lennon what Mr. Herbert was to Chris Griffin in the "Family Guy". Think about it, eh?)
All of Lennon's songs in his solo carreer sucked except for "Whatever Gets You Through The Night" (muchas gracias, Elton).
I (figuratively) shed more tears for George Harrison, the 9-11 victims, my ex's mom and my father (Of Blessed Memory. Amen) than I did for Lennon (to whom I shed a couple as a sign of respect).
Mark David Chapman now represents more of a threat to himself than to anyone with a pulse and synapses. Back then I thought he should fry - murder is murder, anyway - but then I don't care.
I wouldn't blame Lennon for destroying Western Civilization as We Know It - the post-WWII/-"Cold" War complacency of the constantly satiated masses took care of that - but he deserves neither beatification nor deification.
Lennon was just a man with a guitar, attitude and ideals, chained to a wife with Lady MacBeth ambitions, who managed to make a lot of money for what he did and what he became.
Nothing special. Nothing terrible. The rest of us will just keep living.
Rest In Peace, Eggman.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Whatever you do, don't look down.
They should have brought up some watermelons, just in case...
He ain't left. He's playing to stay. And he's kickin' it oldschool.
I'm-a get this game.
Now if I can get my hands on an X-box for cheap...
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
For the past 2 years I’ve delved into the wonderful world of social networking in the form of Facebook.
So far it has been a good long ride, but recently a few changes and challenges have occurred.
A lot of this is personal – only a few people know what I’m going through, and right now I’m going through a healing process.
I need to recharge, reassess, rearrange and reinvent.
Most of all, I need to write and vent.
Facebook is a place to get reacquainted with those left behind and to keep in touch with everyone that you meet in your travels. And it’s great to know that the ones I know are doing fine.
But as I said, there are some personal issues that need to be worked out, and there are times that I hardly use Facebook because of them.
So as part of my own healing process, I’m taking a hiatus from Facebook. I’ll be using my resources to concentrate on this blog and YouTube. I need to create and improve on whatever talents I have.
Over the past few years my views and outlook on life have changed dramatically – sobriety does that. Yet I still struggle with staying on the right path. When you deal with multiple addictions, you’re dealing with a potential to relapse back into one of your vices. And relapse is a bitch. You fall back into that rabbit hole that seems to have deepened since the last visit.
I’ve been there. I don’t want to go back.
So I’ll do what I enjoy doing best. I’ll write. I’ll post. I’ll create. I’ll invent.
But most of all, I just want to live my life. And learn to love myself again.
So… there you go.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
CNN just fired his ass and all the pundits are pouncing on this latest slow-news non-issue.
Don't get me wrong. As someone who sits himself down in front of a camera delivering news as a glorified talking head, ol' Ricky Retardo ahould have known better than to shoot off his mouth on XM Radio.
Tsk, tsk. Painting Hebrews with the same tainted brush does not your job keep. Especially at CNN, rh?
It used to be that Rick was a decent reporter at a Fox affiliate in South Florida. But I suspect that eventually all this success and notoriety would have gone into his teeny weenie head.
And now Sanchez has joined the ranks of unemployed pros such as Don Imus, whose outspoken views have gotten him into more hot water than a lobster with nine lives.
Don't let the door beat you up when you leave, Rick. You deserve to get spanked for this.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Even though my vitriol has diminished over the years - 4 years of sobriety can do that to you - I can still recognise right from wrong from absolutely abominable. I occasionally fly off the handle if I witness something that may not fit in this plane of transient existence. Due to work and other obligations, I no longer have that luxury to play blog pundit as much. And having experienced my own demons, I can't be too judgemental either.
Yet Debbie has managed to say most of what I feel considering that like me, she's a child of a Holocaust survivor. Like me, she recognises the threat of fascist islamism, even though we do disagree on the Muslims. As an agnostic, I do cringe at times when Debbie would bring religion into the picture - for me, organised religion is ideology.
Yet I can't write enough about her blog and therefore ask that you check it out for yourself. Yes, you'll have trolls in the comments section, but at least you'll be challenged. And a challenge is what we meat puppets need once in a while.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
You have chosen a profession that, for all its perks, could eventually kill you in the end.
You decided take on this career with all the stress and hardship that exceeds being a postal worker, mine clearing specialist or call centre technician.
You have the ability and opportunity to check yourself and get the necessary help.
But, yeah... bills have to be paid and the travel's always free.
Get some rest, okay.
Monday, July 12, 2010
These are some of the examples explaining the basic tenets of evolution.
When I first got online way back in the early 90s, I was convinced that this invention was going to be big. As early as 1986, I had a feeling that eventually everything that we need for communication and entertainment will be reduced to 1 box, 1 screen, 1 user.
I'm quite sure that everyone would want to have this 1 box to talk to others, order some chow mein, take in a concert or a movie, get an education and simply frag some poor sucker to kingdom come in WOW.
Not to mention having a box to groove to some tunes.
So I am quite surprised that Prince (the artist formally known as Prince Rogers Nelson) would reject the internet that he once embraced as a medium for his insane creativity.
In an "exclusive" interview by Mirror journo Peter Miller, Prince proclaimed...
"The internet's completely over. I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it.The Mirror article was mainly about Prince's upcoming release "20TEN", his views on his current life and his eccentric creative processes, but it was this one quote that caused this storm of controversy throughout the web and the traditional media - you do remember newspapers, tv and radio, right?
"The internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good.
"They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you."
Whether Price had a point or was simply shooting from the lip at the time is irrelevant. What started me to think was the revolution that started at around the same time I discovered the internet.
This revolution is called streaming media.
To reiterate the basics of the internet, information in forms of pictures and words get broken down to bits - ones and zeroes - then get reconstituted at the end-user's machine of choice. Back in the 80s, the compact disk format was starting to take off, and my assumption at that time was that sooner or later television, radio and stand-alone music players would be rendered redundant, if not obsolete, by this new medium. All this thanks to a roomie's Commodore 64.
Fast-forward to the here-and-now and we see iTunes, Hulu and YouTube getting into the public consciousness. We have media players such as the granddaddies of them all, RealPlayer and Quicktime, and it's bastard offspring Winamp, Windows Media Player and the iTunes player. Kids - and adults run amok with their iPads and its rivals and variants. And don't get me started with the iPhone, the iPad, smartphones, laptops and netbooks. I suspect that my vision is slowly coming true, that for some reason the proliferation of the web into the public consciousness is starting to worry Prince.
Understandably so, since the availability of more bandwidth, affordable computers and more user-friendly software and hardware has made the once wild, wild web into something more mundane, more accessible, more democratised.
We've seen various iterations of peer-to-peer file-sharing software come and gone: Napster, Gnutella, LimeWire, Kazaa, BitTorrent, etc. The traditional media, stuck in the quagmire of their own paradigms, struggle to comprehend why they are losing their shirts while at the same time working to apprehend, stifle and even eliminate what they see as the threat to their survival and relevance. Metallica's Lars Ulrich may have crippled Napster, but those who have the access to better bandwidth and software will always barter files ripped from the medium that was legally bought, And the video streaming sites that started up as simple entities have become monsters.
We the masses have the capability to share ideas with a larger audience, Social networking sites have forced the world to shrink. Independent, unsigned artists now have an audience of millions to receive the fruits of their labours, whether in form of movies or music. If you want the news that fit your views, there's bound to be a site somewhere. People are making the web into the image that they want to see in any way necessary, at any time as required, even if it means writing silly blog posts or doing the Numa Numa tune to death.
And then there's Prince.
With all respect to someone who has proven himself to be prolific, rebellious, talented and so prosperous that he could write his own paycheques, Prince may have been felling a little threatened by the scores of upstarts taking advantage of the web's democratisation. Maybe he's become aware that all that technology that was once solely belonged to studios like Paramount, MGM, Abbey Road and Paisley Park have now fallen into the hands of the great unwashed proletariat determined to unseat the aristocracy of the Old Guard from their collective throne. The monoliths and conglomerates are no longer alone as content providers: those of us with talent, tool and bandwidth have hopped into their electronic, digitised hot-tub.
So what is left for the Purple Prince to do to be considered a revolutionary, an iconoclast, an individual?
He simply shut down all his websites, packed up his bags and started to give away his new cd for free. Through the Mirror, no less.
Back to basics. Back to the streets. Back to plastic hardcopy. Whatever floats the Purple boat is fine. He has already made his mark, regardless of medium and is entitled to his opinions and work ethic. Blood sweat and tears indeed.
And life goes on.
For Prince, the internet may be over. For many, it's here to stay.
For me, it's just evolution.
Go with the flow.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Neither do I tolerate X-tian Supremism, Extremist Judaism nor any forms of militarised faith.
Having said that, in a liberal democracy freedom of speech is a reality. As much as we love the truth, sometimes we have to take in the lies as well. That's how politicians get elected. That's how crap from American Idol get into our airwaves.
And hence, we get Dr. Zakir Naik, president of India's Islamic Research Foundation.
The Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), Mumbai, India, is a registered non-profit public charitable trust. It was established in February 1991. It promotes Islamic Da’wah - the proper presentation, understanding and appreciation of Islam, as well as removing misconceptions about Islam - amongst less aware Muslims and non-Muslims.A noble cause that makes sense. Sadly, Dr. Naik own presentations may leave something to be desired.
To be fair, Dr. Naik seems to be very erudite. Witness this:
Okay - so he's a bit condescending. But like all lobbyists and salesmen, he knows how to spin the spin.
Of course, I can't claim to have seen all his presentations, so I can't be too quick to judge. If only he can follow his own advice in this more benign example...
Let the man speak so the others can challenge him. That's the beauty of free speech.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Or at least something that resembles it.
The fact is that it has only been 20 years since the Soviets have rebranded themselves as Russians for the same reasons that the Russians have rebranded themselves as Soviets, in the same way that the porn industry has rebranded itself as the "adult entertainment" industry: it just looks good on paper.
Say what you will about W, at least he was standing his ground when he proposed an expansion of the SDI to the former Warsaw Pact nations. Sadly, he didn't have the guts to say to Vlad Putin that the US simply couldn't trust Russia enough at the very best of times. (All these years of Soviet subversion and destabilization still hurt. Find any Pole who could trust a Russian at his word.)
What we actually have here is the ongoing clash of 2 post-colonial behemoths. Needless to say, the US always have good PR, regardless of scandals, skullduggery and endless attempts at social re-engineering (thanks, Hollywood). Russia's PR, though, is an endless exercise of spin-doctoring, book-cooking and reckless chest-beating, chased with Potemkin villages of manipulated facts and state-sanctioned fiction.
Wanna know more... click here.
And yes kids... Jacques is back. Not quite in the black, but still primed to take up slack.