Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Mommy, what was a man?

mom

Mommy, some of the girls at the academy said there used to be something called a man?

A man? What are they teaching at the academy nowadays?

Is it true, Mommy?

Well yes, it is true.

What happened to them?

Well dear, you see men were very mean to mommies. They never did things that mommies wanted to do, just things that men wanted to do.

What did men want to do?

Men just wanted to drink alcohol with their friends, and watch games.

What games?  Like volleyball and softball?

No games that used to be called football.  Violent, mean games.

Ewww.  I don’t like men.

Don’t be scared Penny, why there hasn’t been a man for 10,000 years.

What happened to all the men, Mommy?

We won’t talk about such things, now get back to your homework.

God I wish my parents had beat me.

mad

Parents need to start hitting their kids. Every time when I’m at the grocery store and I see some little Epsilon spawn stuffing Little Debbie snack cakes into his vacant face, I think, This is the future, this is the end of life as we know it.   As disturbing as the lower caste are, the Betas, Gammas, and Deltas who shop at Whole Foods are even more frightening.   Their descendants, who go to Montessori and Waldorf schools, a new generation of the New Age.  What will these offspring be like when they are 18, in 2025.  What will they think of us, the elderly?  Will we be provided for?  Will they have any respect for us?

Is the Apocalypse happening?  It’s happening right now, all around us.

What of celebrities’ kids?  What of the Alphas?  They are constantly followed by a horde of paparazzi, and around the age of two something amazing happens, they become conscience and they start posing.  How could they not, their just copying their parents, in their stepford lives.  They start pouting their lips, they start narrowing their eyes, they start trying to be cool.  Will any of these ever know anything real?  Or will they just live in their ivory towers and study evil.  The ivory towers of the science fiction past.  In 2009 we live in the future, the future is behind us.  the end times are a thing of the past.  The mouth breathing epsilon tosses the plastic wrapper to the grocery store floor and opens another..

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Crisis at Blockbuster

Let's rent a movie!

Dan Hegelman stood in the aisle, turning the DVD over in his clammy sweaty hands. “Look at that little stinker,” Hegelman thought to himself, and then his beady little eyes shot up suspiciously to check if anyone was looking at him. “Well look at little Miley Cyrus, all growned up,” the balding, overweight, almost 29-year-old thought as he read the title, “Hannah Montana: The Movie”.

“Hmmmm,” the 325 pounder pondered while he cleared his throat, adjusted his ball cap, pushed his glasses back nervously, and mouth-breathed.  He could have passed for 42.

Turning the DVD over he read the back.  “Gosh she’s cute,” the unemployed community college drop out thought aloud. Dan wrinkled his nose.  “How long have I been wearing these sweatpants?” Dan thought, sniffing.  “At least a week, mmmm, when was the last time I bathed?…hmmmm…hmmmmm, I don’t know…”

Dan put the DVD back and continued walking around.  Just glancing through movies, not with anything particular in mind, he spied it…and with a surprised grunt the large man snatched up the latest High School Musical, the last one on the aisle, he couldn’t believe his luck.

“Sweet!” Dan thought as he made his way to the register.  “Someone must have just returned it.”
Grabbing some Milkduds on his way out he stopped at the Hannah Montana cut out.  Something in her eyes suggested something that made him think twice, but his mom had only given him 5 bucks.  He hurried to the register and checked out.
On the drive back, in his grandpa’s ’91 Mustang, Dan thought how he would have the apartment all to himself.
Life was good for Dan Hegelman.

Inside the Monsters of Folk

mof
Connor, for the last time, I’m not trading with you, I get to be George and thats final.

Look we all agreed we were gonna pull names out of Mogis’s military hat and that was who we were gonna get to be. Everyone’s been real cool about it, and we even agreed to one round of trading cause you threw a huge shitfit, but this is getting ridiculous.

I know you don’t want to be Bob, everyone knows you don’t want to be Bob, cause you’ve been freaking out about it for hours. I know its soooo obvious that your Bob, but an hour ago you were bitching about having to be Jeff Lynne, so we let you trade with Mogis, but if now your insisting on being George, i’m just gonna let you know there is no way I am trading with you, cause I love George and I really think of all of us, I’m the most like him.

Look.  Jim picked Roy, and that’s awesome cause Jim just nails Roy.  Then Mogis picked Bob, then I picked George, and you freaked out.  Then you wouldn’t pick so we picked for you and now your saying its not fair cause you didn’t get to pick….I mean, c’mon man!

Look. We wouldn’t of had to pick out of the hat in the first place if you didn’t freak out about everyone agreeing that I get to be George, and you have to be Bob.  Alright.  For the millionth time, I know it’s Totally Obvious that you would get to be Bob, but who cares if it’s obvious? I mean nobody cares except you!

I’m done talkin about this! We’ve been over this a billion times already and its final, your Bob, I’m George, Jim is Roy and Mogis is Jeff Lynne!  Look Connor, if you want, you can be Tom Petty, whatever, just run it by the other guys, but there’s just no way were doing a redraw.

Cowboys Fantasy Football

Hello world!

Another Recycling Conspiracy

Something stinks in the city of Austin:

Imagine all the slim jims and hooch

According to The Statesman, in an article about the city’s recycling contract that is up, Austin has lost $2 million since the fall of 2008 due to the recycling contract it has with Greenstar.  If the contract is extended, the city will lose $7 million by September 2011.

Now, I can’t help but wonder what secret society is behind a scheme where a bum can turn in a bag of cans for some change, but the city can’t even break even by recycling on a large scale.

Who's behind this, any way?

Never mind that restaurants and bars in this city aren’t eligible to recycle the way that private citizens can.  If they choose to recycle, it’s because they have made arrangements with a company other than the sanitation department.  I guess their volume of cans and bottles means nothing compared to the pizza boxes I throw in my recycle bin.

The worst of it, from a “green” point of view, is that the main reason it costs the city so much to recycle is that it is all trucked down to San Antonio.  Not until they power the trucks with the dried cheese from aforementioned pizza box will it be worth the energy and time they are flushing down the toilet.

Crazy About Shoes

It puzzles men everywhere, the seemingly universal affection women have for a new pair of shoes.  Unarguably a trip to the shoe department is the surest way to coax a fantastic mood out of a woman.  Yes I do already own 4 pairs of black stilettos but that in no way precludes the need for another.  So what is the fascination?

For one, there are so many unique and colorful choices.  Shoes have become an art form and a pretty shoe can make even the ugliest woman feel more thoroughly put together.  High heels force a posture that is tall and confident and calculated.  The incline in the heel which throws women slightly off balance requires an effort on their part to restore balance in the way of taking each step in a careful manner.  It forces the female hips to sway seductively in order to progress sufficiently.  If you gain five pounds from the ice cream you promised yourself you weren’t going to succumb to, your shoes still fit perfectly.  There’s an evil little boost of confidence women gain from slipping on her most outrageous pair of red sling backs because we know that other women notice shoes, and we know when we have on the most enviable pair in the room.

No doubt I’ve made little progress in convincing any men here that women are in fact sane and rational creatures.  We may not be sane, but there is rationale to every decision we make.  The inputs that go into our tastes and preferences are collected and considered, though completely overlooked by men.  Women are accused of being shallow and emotional creatures, but I submit to you that anger is an emotion.  Now let’s re-tally the who’s more emotional poll.   Women have figured out how to process emotion and the outward residual is sometimes tears, sometimes laughter and sometimes, it’s a shiny patten leather pair of Mary Jane’s.   Don’t judge us, we know what we’ve got going on in our heads and in the end, what’s the price of a pair of shoes when it means a happy woman.

The Point of Ecstasis

‘To be outside ones’ self’ is ecstasis. I felt outside myself last night.  I went to a show to see Ume and The Laughing at the Highball.

The Laughing (photographer : Cory Ryan)

 

The Laughing were really good.  The very precise drums and heavy bass seemed to set the tone for the very rhythmic and melodic songs.  These guys put on a good show and they’re a good  band with a hell of a lot of upside.

I have to add that the PA quality of the venue wasn’t that great.  The vocals, for both bands, were hindered by the equipment, but both made do fairly well.  And the fact that they’re two bands grounded by the music helps, ’cause the instruments sounded fine.

Ume (ooo-may)

 

 

 

 

Ume, was definitely the highlight of the night.  That whole band is talented and they do put on a hell of a live show. Lauren Larson is something else on

the guitar.  I was basically right in front of her, and every time I opened my eyes, and found myself in it’s body, I noticed me studying her hands to try to learn how the hell she makes those damn good guitar sounds.  Hell, she was probably outside herself too.

Lauren Larson of Ume

 

 

 

 

It’s nice to find talented peers of mine.  And so close to home.  I can’t wait to see these bands again at SXSW.  I recommend giving them a listen.

I don’t think I explained the point of ecstasis but, it’s really just something realized when you’re outside yourself.

http://www.umemusic.com

http://www.wearethelaughing.com


Nashville 2000

Beware its siren beauty

Gary, Jay and Joe Don sat in their Nashville apartment trying to figure out how to get the next months rent.  They had pooled all their money and were still 200 short.  Gary looked at Jay, who looked at Joe Don, who looked at his shoes.
“Well, we could…” Gary started, but was quickly glared at by Jay and Joe Don.
“Well, I guess we decided we’re not doing that, man, so forget about it…” Joe Don cooly drawled.

Still, they all sat there, knowing exactly what the others were thinking.
“It’s just that,” Gary started to a vicious glare from Jay, “you know what the Nashville executive said and….”
“Shut Up Gary!! That’s crazy talk, we’re not doing that!!!” Jay screamed.  His neck was taut, bolstered with adrenaline.

The intensity in the room was at fever pitch, an awkward silence permeated.
“Well, y’know it’s this or get jobs….”
“Get Jobs? Are you crazy Gary? We didn’t move to Nashville to wait tables??? We moved here to start a band!!!”
“Yeah, Jay, and the only way we’re going to make that kind of money is by…”
“By what Gary, why don’t you just say it? By What??”
“By doing what the record executive said we’d have to….”
“But if the record executive meant that…. then…..”
Silence.

“I think we should do it,”Joe Don whispered.  Jay immediately turned on him.
“Are you all going crazy!!! I mean, am I losing my mind or are you guys really….” Jay’s voice trailed off as he saw his answer in Gary and Joe Dons eyes.

“This is Nuts,” Jay intoned, “I mean this is Crazy Talk. Do you hear yourself?! Gary?!? Joe Don?!? I mean, what would the guys at home say…”
“The guys at home are working at gas stations Jay, that’s why we moved to Nashville!” Gary countered.
“He doesn’t even want to do it with all of us,” Jay screamed in a panic,” he just wants to do it with Joe Don anyway, why can’t he just do it with Joe Don ?!? I mean why can’t me and Gary just watch?!?”

“Look Jay, calm down buddy..” Joe Don said placing a reassuring hand on Jay’s knee, ” we want you to be a part of this, we really do…but me and Gary talked about it earlier, and were going to do this with or without you,” Joe Don coyly drawled slowly removing his hand.
“And besides, Jay,” Gary continued, “it will probably only last a couple of minutes anyway, and who knows, maybe you’ll end up liking it…and than its over…no big deal, y’know?”
Suddenly Jay jumped from his seat, “I’ll do it!”
“Yes!!!” the three jumped in the air in euphoria.  The three triumphantly group hugged.  Right at the moment the phone rang.

Ring
The three stared at each other.
Ring
Utter silence.
Ring
Joe Don hesitantly answers,
“Rascall Flats Band”
“Be at my office at the stroke of midnight….(click).”
Joe Don turned and looked at Jay and Gary, the phone slowly fell from his hand…

Justin doesn't mind

Consciousness here at home.

Phenomenology of Spirit

Since I haven’t been contributing much I’ve decided to add a paper I wrote for a class on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit I took at St. Edwards University, here in gorgeous Austin, TX. I found this paper as a page in a notebook. I don’t know where the original I turned in is, so I’m just typing it out here, editing as I go.

I open with a quote from section 134 of the Phenomenology of Spirit:

“The result…in it, the unity of ‘being for self’ and ‘being for another’ is posited; in other words, the absolute antithesis is posited a self-identical essence…dissolved.”

-So how do I say that simply?

Hegel

It makes sense that the absolute antithesis would be a self-identical essence. The essence is the concern, (but not quite yet the question). Hegel wants you to know that ‘being for itself’ and ‘being for another’ is the way that consciousness negates a one-sided Notion. It negates the one-sided ‘knowing implicitly.’

Consciousness creates for itself objects to recognize as they are immediate; as objects are first realized. Consciousness knows immediately that some thing is. The object is for the sake of consciousness to become aware of as it is, also being immediate.

(I’m sure that makes sense to some people. I know the quote is too short but I don’t have it here, look it up it’s section 134 from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. You would probably want to read it all in order to get a better understanding of what I’m saying. But it’s a pain in the ass to read.)