Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Young and Naive

It’s decidedly becoming a struggle to find the words for me to explain the importance of blogging; I can’t keep reiterating it enough. Especially when I hear an asinine comment like:

Let me preface this by saying that I won't ever use words like "blogosphere," or pretend that my opinion is in some way fresh, exciting, or relevant to anyone who does not know me personally. I am creating this 'blog' (what a faggy word) in order to actively fuck with my friends who also have 'blogs.' I believe the practice of famous 'bloggers' linking to each other's entries in order to create some false sense of traffic is both pathetic and impotent, in the grand scheme of things. Actually, in the fucking small scheme of things too. (Andy’s Blog)

I don’t have the time nor the energy to keep explaining the importance of this to the “cool” people; however, I will link to my school blog in order for those who think as Andy does to check out an extensive collection of posts (and other blogs) which proves my point. Because everyone’s “opinion is in some way fresh, exciting, [and] relevant to [everyone] who does not know [you] personally” regardless of how faggy a word blog is.

Don’t worry ya’ll will get it eventually—hmmm… maybe you’re witnessing the value of a blog already.

As for the Tucker Max dilemma… Well, first off, I may have misguided my words if people are assuming that I believe that he is making his stories up, or that I consider him a bad storyteller. This is certainly not the case. My previous post only deemed this man a bad writer—which he is. I believe this detail to be self-explanatory.

I knew the TM phenomenon was going to be brought back up again. Here’s how it goes in my eyes. TM is a regular old guy who depicts his life 1,000 times cooler than what it really is. That’s cool, though. One can’t argue with his recent success and fame, right?

The reason I even decided to write on this subject was because of the fact that I was reading through his forum and read statements like:

He’s one of the greatest writers of our time. period. (TM Forum)

Someone actually wrote this. So, on my blog, I decided to torpedo this idea by showing that he is a good exaggerator and storyteller but nothing else. But, I guess I was a little misunderstood.

Ultimately though, I am still surprised at the stories he tells—and I enjoy reading them. I just got his book a couple weeks back; it is very entertaining. I don’t know if I will every label myself a Tucker Max fan, though. I think Andy has WAY better stories. This is one I think he wrote for a creative writing class. He has better and I think they’re coming soon (I want to read the bed-shitting story).

I just want to throw in one more facet going back to the lying posts that Ed and I wrote. Andy hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

However the problem with Ed's approach, and the reason he will be labeled as an asshole, is a lack of tact when telling the truth. When a girl asks if she looks bad in a pair of pants, and she does, saying "Yes you look fucking ugly" would be the truth. And you'd be an asshole for telling her the truth in that way. There is obviously a more tactful way of letting her down- Well, sweetheart, I just don't think it's your style. But I like when you wear ______.

See? You told the truth, but you are also NOT an asshole (Andy’s Blog)

It seems that Andy and I are in complete accordance on this situation, and Andy does a good job of exposing the need for tact. Kudos, Andy.

That’s it for now, folks. Cheers.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Smack That

A brief note on current music: I’ve been hearing a lot of nugatory rants on the uselessness of modern rap music. If you recall my older Blogger blog (which I would link to if it hadn’t been mysteriously deleted) I also mentioned my hatred for the simple and pointless lyrics of new-age hip-hop. But I digress…

Lyrics are made for the simplicity and complexity of one’s mind. I suppose writing lyrics is just like writing in general; the writer must keep his/her audience in mind. Well, for what it’s worth, I believe that rappers have done a good job at this. While I, and some of my other friends, would not necessarily buy into the “pointlessness” of the lines in the new Jay-Z lyrics (as Dave points out) this doesn’t mean that they are going unnoticed or even unloved.

Actually, I was watching the girls varsity basketball game last night at Wallkill High School, and I actually heard one of the college-aged guys in the stands sing this lyric: “smack that… all on the floor” (or whatever the real lyric may be) and follow this outburst with a statement that I found to be irritating and profound; he said, and I quote, “this guy is a fuckin’ genius.”

Pissed. I was irritated—what the hell was this guy talking about!? He just sang one of the most meaningless and unfledged songs that I have ever heard. But, alas, I was wrong—at least too callous.

Just because there is no underlying meaning and juxtaposition doesn’t mean that the song doesn’t fulfill its purpose, right? Music to me is something very sacred; music to most people is very personal. Who am I to judge what good lyrics are or not. Maybe a person would enjoy music without imagery, metaphor, allusions, and substance. I suppose the “smack that” guy is right—maybe that rapper is a genius. He seems to have done something right. Who’s to say what the quota of a true genius is.

Life is filled with opinions, right? Well, I, personally, could never get into this new-age jargon that is hip-hop. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate and recognize what these entrepreneurs are doing. I could even mention that I used to be a big fan of rap music, and that a current hypothesis of mine combines immaturity with the artlessness of these lyrics (there’s another time and place for that discussion).

There’s only one sentence that I can write to end this post:

I’m with Dave—in my opinion, he’s right—but, I won’t let my outlook fog true verity. Cheers.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hidden Literacies

Being the die-hard Nets fan that I am, I usually read about ten articles a day that pertain to my favorite NBA basketball team.

As I read through the articles on the Nets Daily website today, one, in particular, stuck out. This article is one that investigates the weird hobby that reserve center Mikki (pronounced: Mikey) Moore has. Mikki has six different snakes which he loves. This is interesting in itself but not what I decided to write about today. No, the most interesting part of this article was in written, in extremely small print, at the bottom of the page.

After reading the article, which was very intertaining (a word that I’ve decided to create, a mix between ‘interesting’ and ‘entertaining’) in itself—how could it not be with all of those Snakes On A Plane jokes—I noticed that there was small print after the article that read:

To find reference information about the words used in this article, hold down the ALT key and click on any word, phrase or name. A new window will open with a dictionary definition or encyclopedia entry.

Why not give it a whirl, right. It was awesome. It’s like every single word on this page was a hyperlink to some New York Times database. I can’t help but think how this new kind of literacy could be intensely handy in a classroom (and out of the classroom for that matter). It’s a new way to learn which would appear (at least in my case) to be very efficient.

Very interesting… more coming later. Cheers.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Flat McDonald's

My situation as of right now has been quite disheartening for me. Fortunately for you, I won’t bore you with my life predicaments. Unfortunately for me, these issues will continue to arise until I’m blessed with a full-time job. Anyone want to hire a hard-working, aspiring, writer/teacher?

The despondency of my day started off with waking up at 6:30AM only after going to bed at around 3:00AM. After a grueling, hour-long, drive to the Palisades Center in Rockland County (to drop my girlfriend off with her father), with Brooks, I was in great need of nourishment. Being the high-class American that I am, I decided to make a quick stop at the ever-healthy and attractive McDonald’s.

The flat world strikes again! As I’m walking out of the restaurant, after voraciously devouring a bacon, egg, and cheese on a biscuit, I noticed a small, red, sign that read: McD’s is WiFi. I was quite shocked. Now I can fulfill my greasy-food quota while writing to all of you wonderful folks, sweet.

On the way out, Brooks mentions that this is the worst possible place to have wireless internet available. While I definitely wouldn’t want any grease all over my new computer, I don’t necessarily agree with Sir Christopher. Personally, I would like to have internet access everywhere I go. I would like it in the car; I would like it in the bar; I would like it while I’m eating; I would like it while I’m sleeping. Sorry, I had to do it.

This is where we will be in the years to come, folks. At first I was upset spending $5.71 on a mediocre egg sandwich and a hash brown that will eventually be the death of me, but after finding that McDonald’s is taking the proper steps forward that most businesses should be taking—it was easier to swallow.

Who am I kidding…? McDonald’s breakfast is delicious.

I've investigated this and it's relativity to Cortland, NY on the Cortland Downtown Blog. Check it out. Cheers.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Color of My Sin: Please Come Home

I’m not going to prevaricate. I love a lot of diverse music. But, for whatever reason, Thrice has always struck a chord with me. Lyrics are of paramount consequence when I’m choosing a song. I can’t listen to all of the new-age rap music because of the horrendous lyrics (there’s a colossal opinion for ya’ll). I was fortunate enough to get Dustin Kensrue’s (the lead singer of Thrice) new solo CD entitled Please Come Home almost two months before it was released! I know… I’m the man.

If you bought the CD yesterday it also came with three Christmas song covers which he did for the Holidays. It’s like winning a million dollars and then them telling you that there’s a car parked out back and the keys are in it.

I’ve had this album for a total of 12 hours and I’ve already listened to it four times (no, really) all the way through. It is truly incredible; an epic decision in my life. The music is so much different than anything that Thrice would produce, but the lyrics are Thrice-esque—I guess this would have something to do with Dustin writing the lyrics for both…

The track listing is as follows:

Track 1: I Knew You Before
Track 2: Pistol
Track 3: I Believe
Track 4: Please Come Home
Track 5: Blood & Wine
Track 6: Consider the Ravens
Track 7: Weary Saints
Track 8: Blanket of Ghosts

The three special holiday tracks are:

Track 9: Please Come Home for Christmas
Track 10: Go Tell It on the Mountains
Track 11: Silent Night

Thus far, I would have to say that “Pistol” has been my favorite. It’s genius, and I won’t ruin it by attempting to describe it. It’s not just a love song, folks.

This CD has been on my mind for a while and I wanted to publish a blog on this subject so I will be able to reminisce and remember the passion I first had for this album. Go buy it, now—well, when it comes out. Cheers.

The Quest For Feedback

Content appears to be the most tricky facet in writing a weblog. Some bloggers believe that the easiest way to get past this obstacle is to depict his/her day. This premise works wonders if you happen to boast an interesting life, or if you’re talented at the art of exaggerating. I’m prepared to bet that most bloggers won’t get significant feedback (in the form of comments, e-mail, whatever) when writing about their day.

Sally writes: So after I got home from my final I decided to go shopping. Ah, but DAVE called, and he’s such a hunk, so I decided to stay and hang out with him. It was so Romantic.

Even if you were someone who was friends with Sally and Dave—there’s not much you can say to respond to this uncomplicated post. That is unless you’re Dave’s current girlfriend. I appreciate the audacity of bloggin’ anyway, though.

So we’re back to the dilemma of what to write a propos. Well, there’s no real answer to that. A couple of the blogs that I read regularly have been MIA. I understand that finals week has muffled the blogosphere and I use that as an excuse for myself, but the only way to get better at something is to do more of it, right? Well I’m not a fascist dictator and I’m often left with blank spots on this very same category but I do know that I used to write about my day… It didn’t work out for me, as you would probably surmise.

I would recommend, again, this book. And also, I would like to implement a new, and soon to be trendy, phrase which is: when in doubt, blog it out. I’ll let you take what you would like out of that. “Go tell it on the mountain…”

That’s it for now, folks. Cheers.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Billions Of Minds Are Better Than One

I remember a couple of years ago when I created my first blog. It was a LiveJournal blog, and it didn’t go so well. I wasn’t discussing anything of importance (or was I? Read on...). Most of my posts consisted of what I thought to be unsystematic thoughts that made with no sagacity, daily occurrences that I was certain no individual was concerned with, and my personal deliberation of intelligence. Back then (I write that like it was fifty years ago) blogging wasn’t “cool” at all. Now, though, it’s really starting to pick up. Two of my very good friends, Brooks and Eddie, have both stepped into the blogosphere; both of these blogs are quite impressive. On my educational blog, which has been set up didactically, I have been asked as to what the definition of a blogger really is.

Wow. I’ve been exploring this inquiry for a couple of weeks now. I’m actually publishing to this blog instead of the more appropriate blog for a number of reasons. Mainly because I haven’t truly figured out what it means to be a blogger. I guess consistent writing is of utmost importance, but does that make me a blogger? I digress to Wikipedia (my new savior).

This site labels a blogger as “a contributor to a blog or online journal.” I can live with that. Or can I? I would actually like to argue that there are some people who consistently publish ideas as to which I care nothing about. Then again, I’ve found useful information in stranger places.

I continue to stress over the idea that I would like to believe that there is more to a blogger than someone who regularly maintains a web log. After careful consideration, though, I would argue that there isn’t. No, the learning network that blogging in general creates is huge. Everything and anything that anyone has to say can and, most likely does, have informational worth. A blog that deals strictly with movie reviews is valuable for obvious reasons. But, a high school boy who anonymously keeps a blog outside of the classroom only to vent is precious on many different levels.

Psychologists are already studying why people write blogs, and I wouldn’t be surprised that if in upcoming years psychologists are studying blogs to explore individual people. Just as we explore the literature of famous authors as a view into their lives. More and more people continue to jump aboard the blog train; for a blogaholic like me (I maintain three blogs) this is encouraging. I’ve studied and recognized the educational value of blogs and I hope that more and more people become in tune to this revelation.

I know I got off on a sort of tangent there, but, overall, it seems easy for me to label anyone who jots down his/her ideas onto a blog, regularly, is indeed a blogger. This question seems to echo a similar question mark, though: what is a writer? I’ve studied writing on many different levels and I’ve had a blog; I consider myself a writer and a blogger. (I don't believe that a person must "study" blogs in order to become a blogger.) Am I right in making this conjecture? I’m not completely sure, to be honest. All I know is that when I wrote, in the first paragraph of this post, “On my educational blog, which has been set up didactically, I have been asked as to what the definition of a blogger really is” I was actually being redundant. I truly believe, whether intentional or not, that all blogs are created with value for each and every reader. Even my first blog (I would link to it, but it appears that it's been deleted)!

It’s like the common phrase “two minds are better than one”, right? Well, what about millions and millions and millions and millions of minds. Think about it. Cheers.

Liar, Liar, Liar...

Ed’s recent post has really intrigued me. Understandably I would have to agree with the common consensus and allow lying to be categorized as a character flaw. Although I don’t truly believe that it is a bad habit if you use it correctly. I would argue that lying is a skill. The definition of lying would seem to leave little room for debate. “Intentionally trying to deceive someone” is a hard statement to defend.

Is deceiving someone really a bad thing all the time? If you knew a person whom only had three hours to live, would you let them know? I know I’d let him/her live those three hours without the angst of contemplating and rationalizing death. How about those Full House episodes when DJ lies to get Stephanie out of trouble? [Side Note: Ro MAKES me watch the Full House reruns every Mon., Wed., and Fri. while we eat lunch.] “No Dad, Stephanie wasn’t out driving around with those high school kids!” It appears less of a vindictive act when it can be used positively, right?

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Eddie’s idea. He’s not going to lie at all, and, while this is very valiant of him, he will get labeled, as he so correctly identifies, as an asshole. It’s unfortunate. This reminds me of the movie Liar, Liar. “What’s up,” says one of Jim Carey’s character’s co-workers. While trying as hard as he possibly can to hold it in, Carey bursts out and says, “Your cholesterol, FATTY!” What’s worse: calling out a character flaw, or using one of your own to control it?

As long as I can remember I’ve been taught that lying is bad. Well, I guess anything is bad for you in excessive amounts. But, in reality, we need to understand what we’re dealing with. I’m not always going to go by what other people have told me. Sure, lying CAN be bad, but that doesn’t mean that it IS bad. That’s what I think, how about you? Cheers.