Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I am really getting heavy into the first third eye blind disk.

Dan you're gonna have to do better than that for an update. I hear tell you have become Superdan, Mega Dan if you will, and yet your online presence is smaller than ever. Tsk tsk tsk.

Stumbled upon a page containing all of the writings of H.P. Lovecraft yesterday, so I read "The Call of Cthulu" and I FINALLY feel qualified to read web comics. I tremendously appreciate the reputation Cthulu in geek culture. He is a being of incomprehensible malice, a demon sealed away to await an apocolypse far more terrible than any foretold in even the darkest of human religions, and in geek culture he has been reduced to a plush toy. Apparently there are slippers you can get. Magnificant. Tickle-me-cthulu.

I kinda liked the lovecraft I read but I will be honest, I expected it be a little...I dunno, better? The first story I read was kinda hokey. Cthulu was better, but I dunno, some of the word choice was hackneyed, some of it just a tad too racist/white mans burden to read comfortably. I do like the notion that these demons came from beyond the stars and are operating on some sort of a cosmic time table, and it is all natural, and they will awaken when humanity has reached their level of englightenment and freedom and has tossed away morality and restraint. Then and only then shall Cthulu and his fellow beasts rise up, and they will teach humanity new dances and unheard of delights. It's terrifying and yet so liberating. So I think that it is brilliant to make your unimaginable evil just omnipotent self-indulgence, especially if its aim with relation to humanity is to share those qualities for the purpose of greater delight for all involved. Monstrous and great. Tickle-me-cthulu.

Gonna watch Code 46 tonight. Something about sci fi, probably phillip k dick involved. I wanna read phillip k dick.

Apparently Alison has been having odd dreams. Snicker.

Am now reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. I could never do woolf before, Mrs Dalloway has defeated me soundly at every attempt to scale her walls. Lighthouse doesnt seem different and yet it is, completely. It is so smart and so cleverly constructed and I feel brilliant because I pick out subtle elements that I know I wouldn't have been able to find by myslef, say, a year ago. So it is progress, in reading this book and liking it I am lining my education against the wall and marking its height with a pencil.

I also just finished (finally) Hells Angels by Hunter S. Thompson. It was really great, just a joy to read the whole time. The ending was good too, I think I like Thompson and will read more of him. That may induce me to take drugs in scarcely imaginable quantities but frankly I could use a phase like that in my life.

On my list of things I want to read and devour (and if you send me any of this I will love you forever): America the Book by Jon Stewart, Bruce Lee: Artist of Life by John Little, the Calvin and Hobbes canon, and a good book about meditation.

In terms of things going on OUTSIDE my head, let me see. It has been shite weather, raining the past few days. Watched half of Knights Tale the other day, which I really liked but had to turn it off cuz something came up and then we returned it. But to rewind, thursday was I believe Amadeus and two bottles of wine at Jackie's. Went (hungover) to an overnight friday night seminar thing where we talked about the seminar in kyoto in two weeks and then went out drinking and eating (all you can eat all you can drink at asahi beer garden. recommend.) Saturday got home, went (uber hungover) to Matsuyama with Jackie for a party at Kei's. Got to the party. Half heartedly talked to a few girls, the pretty one had a boyfriend, had a few drinks, went to sleep in front of a speaker before the DJ's even wrapped up. Woke up (reeeally hungover, with a speakerbuzz headache) the next morning, had cold refried beans from a can, felt the world spin, assumed it was hangover but was actually the earthquake off kyushu I guess (?), went home. Umm. That night met Joshka the new neighbor of jackie and alex who is sadly not into video games and is who is walking away from the tech game for a while. Sat around a while with him, he left, watched Monsters Ball which was good, then watched About Schmidt which frankly offended me. Did not drink. Crashed at Jackie's. Monday showed Joshka about town, went home and ended up back at Jackie's with Alison and a few movies and we ate dinner and crashed there and then tuesday was work and I worked and then went home even though I forgot my pillow at jackie's because frankly I forgot what my apartment looked like. So today am at work for another 50 mins then (surprise surprise) dinner and movie at jackies then I have to return movie at tsutaya by my house so I go home and then tomorrow is work and friday is work and weekend is beach BBQ if the weather likes us. Cannot wait to get back into beach bbq season.

I have like 9000 yen until 4/1 which is 90 dollars which should be okay but I owe 30 dollars to karate so I have been ducking the teacher but thats bad so Ill just take care of it tomorrow and use my emergency do not use under any circumstances money in the bank at the states which I have already touched twice but have about a hundred bucks left woooo.

Who is coming to visit me? Karen? Zach? Sarah? Dan? Turner? Pateras? I am demanding all of you to come. Seriously for like 700 bucks you could hop a round trip to osaka and a hotel room (or we stay at Pats, hey buddy) and we bum around kansai for a day or two. You can eat raw horse, drink good sake and knock up a fillipino sex worker in a snack bar. It'd be a good time.

I am learning so much Japanese lately it makes my head spin. I am on the verge of being advanced but my vocab blows which blows.

Oh and come on no need to flame my posts with comments, please? My fragile self-esteem is balancing on a razor's edge, you are going to send me spiraling into painful oblivion. Or just kinda irritate me, if you dont wanna read my blog please dont read it.

Anyway 45 minutes left of work, gah. Am preparing for my cultural exchange thing next week. It wont be as bad as I was afraid it would be, I am writing everything I will say out in advance, preparing tons of questions for everyone, etc. The theme is sports, so we will talk about popular sports to do in america vs japan, pop sports to watch, the reason people do sports, the attitudes behind sports (interesting note: according to my teacher, in Japan kids are handled very strictly when it comes to sports. The idea is, "What the fuck do you mean you cant?!?" and so the kids try really hard in order to not anger or disappoint their coaches and parents; in America, on the other hand, the general attitude is one of "Good job!" and so kids try hard in order to get praised even more.)(Also, the sort of silent "Do" attached to every sport - not so silent in traditional Japanese stuff (kendo, judo, kyudo, etc) "do" 道 means way or path or road, so its a much more goal oriented process, whereas in the states its much more fun oriented. Again, I am generalizing), then I will teach them some english (body parts!)(arms and legs, people, minds out of the gutter), then we will play a game of some sort with the body parts.(!) Simon says or something similar. It's an hour and a half but I can give a 10 minute self introduction (witty and charming, as it must necessarily be), talk for 5 minutes about the goals of these cultural exchange nights, spend 40 minutes addressing various aspects of the theme (sports: 10mins whats popular, 10mins why do it, 10mins what have you done, etc), then the rest of the time with english and game. No problem at all, though I do wish theyd tell me if its going to be like 10 people or 60.

After this, then, I have to prepare a speech about ukrainian history for the niihama guide club. Half an hour. Last time I did something like this I sort of danced around for 45 minutes relating vague anecdotes about the Cossacks and Poles and Russians and Turks, though I left out much of the venerable zeal such stories contained when I heard them in my youth from various nationalistic ukrainian old people. And of course the jewish conspiracies behind it all, the japanese just wouldnt understand the subtlties involved. (this is me rolling my eyes at the silly games of the old world) Anyway this time I would like to prepare better and maybe tell some folk stories. The part of me that is ukrainian still wont play right with the rest of me, I need to sort out my relationship with my heritage. I think if I could I would shed it like dead skin, but sadly that's easier said than done. And dont get me wrong I dont find it worthless, I just...I dunno, I identify myself as world citizen and so the treasures of ukrainian heritage wouldnt be any less mine were I to shed any sort of ukrainian identity I have in favor of a more world-embracing less jew-and-russian-hating viewpoint.

Except of course those treasures of ukrainian heritage which involve spitting in the face of overwhelming odds, of refusing to play the role assigned by the world etc. That sort of Romantic notion of course appeals to me very strongly, but it goes hand in hand with nationalism and bigotry and I am philosophically opposed. But it's cool. In the end its all just religion and fucked up education. I'd like to see a world where the outcasts are the ones trying to impose anything to begin with, because world citizens are so secure in their situation that tyrany is laughable. Then maybe I would favor nationalism, when nation could be defined as nothing more than a club of malcontents, friends all, intent on turning a perfect world on its side out of ennui. Tyrrany would be open opposition to freedom in the name of inequality, which of course it is now but somehow has the opposite reputation depending on the color of the flag.

I think I might be a bad person. I tend to hold others in contempt, my natural inclination is to dislike most people. I have been giving this much thought. I can act real nice and cordial to everyone but then I am being fake, putting on a show to seem like I am not really bad. But of course bad I am, bad am I, and in that case I am not only bad but dishonest, so isnt that worse? So maybe there isnt just a single bipolar spectrum between good person and bad person, it crosses with the one for true person or false person. And then our final rating is "okay" or "not okay." Generally I act rude and selfish because fuck you, so that makes me bad and honest, so that means I am okay. Were I bad and dishonest, I would be not okay. This is like the Ayako thing, I could have kept dating her but it would have been a sham and I would have felt dishonest and it drives me nuts. Were I a good human being I would have just been happy, right, and this isnt just an ayako thing of course but a good human being is content and at peace with his surroundings, not filled with hate, so were I a good human being it wouldnt have been dishonest to stay with her, but since I am a bad human being the only way I can keep my "ok" status was to leave her. Actually now that I think about it there is no reason to overlap the good/bad with real/false, I am only talking about real/false. I like people who are real even if they are bad, but do I like people who are false under any circumstances? Maybe. Must think through. And anyway its all just about who I wanna hang with anyway, so universal ethical structures can suck my moped. Which I dont have. Anyway this is why I can hang out with Chris Guile who is kinda bad just as easily as I can hang out with Brian Turner who may be Christ Come Again.

But I recognize that most people even among my friends are just putting on shows out of fear. I used to think people were afraid of each other but am starting to think that the reason for the mask or facade is fear of self.

I know this sounds all very holden caulfield and of course we all wear masks for situations, but a group of rebels in a perfect world would shed their masks from each other at the very least so that they could work in honest unison to do a bad thing knowingly. And I respect that in a sense.


Are you still following me?


If you have come this far congratulations, here is a cigar ====. I dont actually know how to make an ascii cigar. I wonder how long this particular rant is. I wish I wrote more things I liked a lot, that way I could publish this as a sort of gonzo blogging. Blogs are the natural forum actually for gonzo arent they? They are all about being in the middle of the shit. Blogs and embedded reporters should all take a look at Hunter.

So what is this I hear about some woman with a feeding tube and crazy parents? I hear tell it is on all the news and reasonable people the country over are kind of amazed that it is a big deal. Well, duh. America has become fundamentalist.

I want to establish RIGHT HERE and RIGHT NOW: if I am EVER in a persistant vegitative state where my mind is jelly and there is no hope of recovery, for gods sake slit my wrists, dont keep me alive at tremendous expense for whatever half-baked warm tingly feeling it gives you to see my moronically grinning mug. Unless all I am to you is a body, and my physical presence hooked up to gleaming metal instruments is really all you want from me, well, I guess I cannot stop you. But that is terribly disrespectful, I would hate to think I was being kept alive just so you could look at my face. Talk about objectification. But if you care about me, respect my wishes and waste me. No pulling no feeding tubes, either, just shoot me. And if anyone objects I want them buried with me.

Ha, actually, see if you can mummify me, that would be cool. Then maybe get my favorite professors and servant girls together and send 'em into the pyramid with me along with one reactionary conservative for every complaint.

I also like this "little eichmans" professor, but that's probably just because I am a flaming liberal and understand his point. Freedom of speech is fading fast. But, you ask, what if some professor started blaming the jews or something? Wouldnt I want him fired? Nah. I would just want him to debate openly on the subject matter with evidence for his claims. All this professor has done was draw a comparison between two examples of oppression, in my opinion, and the veracity of his claim can be tested with careful examination. To my understanding he is not making vague claims or citing mysterious texts or protecting sources. If you are upset by him then show his claim to be untenable. Even then dont fire him, either he will relent or he will be forced to acknowledge his claim to be irrational. Right?

Ah but if you find his claim to be distasteful regardless of its veracity, well, thats another matter. But that's kinda personal, no? Maybe challenge him to a duel but I dont know that he could reasonably lost his job over it.

Though America and its inhabitants surprise me every day. They have the highest standard of living in the world bar none and yet this? Surely Americans are looked up to as paragons of how to live by people everywhere (granted, not necessarily as paragons of how to conduct foreign policy) because we all need the sense of justice in the world, but wow, can you imagine the disillusionment of nepalese peasants to learn that they are more in touch with reasonable living than the people who voted bush in? or bush himself? Good stuff.

Anyway I can never tell if it is bad when I get heavily into my own opinions in my blog. On the one hand it is my blog and thus my prerogative (did I spell that right?) but on the other hand it is probably irritating to read, unless you find me interesting in which case we should go out for coffee.

But yeah, comment, tell me what you like and dont like about my blog. I am not promising to cater to my readers, but I am curious. I would appreciate the feedback.
Very glad that you've reached an understanding with Woolf, one of my favorite authors. I've heard that To the Lighthouse is her best work--maybe I'll read it soon. Keep writing, because I enjoy reading and re-reading your blog entries and learning more about you. I love your style of writing because it truly does seem to capture what you're thinking and communicate ideas directly to the reader without a self-conscious filter.
I don't actually like cigars, as it is.
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