Thursday, July 30, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Our fascination with Whack-o Jack-o has never been only, or even primarily, with his prodigious skills. It was with the way he personified our culture's most central ambitions to whiteness, immortality, wealth, real estate and fame. Lodged somewhere between the superhuman and the alien, aspiration and disgust, Jackson was a grotesque reflection of our collective desires.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
"We can never exert the influence over others which we can exert over ourselves. If we are better, if we show love, patience, and understanding of the weaknesses of others; if we seek to never criticize but rather encourage, others will do likewise….” (Shoghi Effendi: Lights of Guidance, p. 83)
Monday, March 16, 2009
Each soul chooses for itself.
No other can choose for it; in all the world there is no authority for anyone save his own soul....
Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing:
One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it, and then it's gone. But to surrender what you are, and live without belief--that's more terrible than dying--more terrible than dying young."
--the character of Joan of Arc in the 1946 play "Joan of Lorraine" written by Maxwell Anderson
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Be my best friend and find me that on an LP.
I'm not really sure what to think of the fact that traffic here has stayed pretty much constant despite my neglect of The Thirteenth Floor. Not surprisingly high, but consistent nonetheless. Either I'm doing something right or I'm not doing anything at all, I suppose.
I said I wouldn't talk if I didn't have anything to say. I'm not necessarily here to vent, to talk about daily life, to reflect on the injustices in everyday occurrences, I have journals for that and privacy concerns about that. I'm not here to bootleg music, to ridicule others, or to gossip about people I probably will never meet. I'm not interested in building up a huge internet following nor do I have a fantastic agenda for publishing a really insightful blog. What am I here for then? I guess I'm waiting for inspiration to strike. Maybe when I have something that I believe to be worthwhile to say it'll hit a few more people than if I just tell a couple of close friends. Maybe I'll write something that the person who happened to stumble over here from a mistyped Google search will read and have it hit home. Maybe in sharing a piece of myself those who know me in "real life" will read something that makes them realize I'm just like them or not like them at all and it will incite some necessary (for either party) conversation. Maybe it's just wishful thinking. I really want to get a Tumblr and just post up quotes and stray comments and pictures that happen to move me - but at the point that I'm combining Twitter and Blogger when I already have both, I'm pretty sure I'm just getting lazy and contributing nothing to this pseudo Internet society. Meh.
Soooo it's about 1:30 AM - an hour or two before my usual bedtime. I've studied literally from dawn to dusk this week and I've had my fill. The things that happen physiologically after being in the libraries so many hours in a week are really strange. Emotions are a lot more variable, you lose sight of what's an appropriate reaction, your eating habits get downright questionable, and you start operating on what feels like the margin of The Matrix. I love it. I've had more meaningful, prolonged conversations with people I rarely get the chance to see this week. While I've missed a week of cramming for dance shows, I have met a ton of other obligations and accomplished a lot academically. I have seen how campus is different at 8 AM from 4 AM - it involves multiple raccoons - and taken the time to sit for a minute and enjoy the moment. I'm especially reflective because the finish line is in view - this game of higher education is winding up in May and I'm starting an entirely new chapter of life. The road has been anything but easy and now I stand in a place where I wonder if my adolescent self would even recognize who I am today. "I've seen fire, and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end." (c) James Taylor. I've carefully, painfully, sometimes impatiently refined a self and a faith that will have to see me through. I've lived days where I didn't think it was possible to be more alive and I've lived other days where I felt more intensely than words can express that, were it not for my faith, I would not be standing. I've seen absolute evil and beautiful grace and sacrifice. Endured the worst times of my life right next to the best. Kissed headstones of those dearest to me and welcomed a whole slew of lifelong friends. Confirmed every young person's fears that I don't always fit in, and realized that I wouldn't ever want to. Learned the hard way that if you don't stand for something, you absolutely are destined to fall for anything - only to bounce back knowing that "nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent" (c) Eleanor Roosevelt. I'm not sure what tomorrow will look like, much less the rest of my life - but it's through the insane amount of perseverance ( in addition to a whole lot of blessings, perhaps some luck, and a support team you can count on) that it takes to make it through college and young adulthood on nights like tonight that I know I'm living for a purpose, that this thing is bigger than me and you, that if I can just rise above for one more day I might get another moment of clarity. I guess I did have something to say. Thank you, and good night.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Sir Smilupe showed me this application called "Wordle" that translates your text or blog or random website into a "beautiful word cloud." How appropriate that the biggest word is "listen" on mine. Just a'tuning my ear. Despite my lack of posting, I think it's a cool selection of words.
Monday, January 19, 2009
"Remembering MLK (again)" - an MLK post that is incredibly well written and insightful - whether or not you agree with his views of how MLK Day has been transformed and manufactured since his death in '68. Definitely skip on over and read it. The conclusion is striking:
I wonder what Martin Luther King would think of his eponymous day. Of the MLK lesson plan - long on heroism, patriotism, and feel-good rhetoric but short on violence, non- or otherwise — in my son’s classroom. Of the fact that his holiday’s roots in organized labor have been completely forgotten. Of the painful irony that corporate sponsorship proved key in passing the law marking his birthday.
More than that, I wonder what those sponsors would think if they were transported back to Grosse Pointe, on March 12, 1968, to hear King deliver his “Other America” speech, including the line, “a riot is the language of the unheard.” I suspect they wouldn’t recognize that Dr. King. I wonder how many of us would.
I listened to MLK's "Mountaintop" speech today on the radio and wanted to post it up for anyone who stops by and hasn't heard it. I think it's my favorite MLK speech and especially meaningful because he's so aware of what he's accomplished and he was assassinated less than 24 hours later. In Austin 88.7 is playing MLK's major speeches today throughout the day and it's absolutely breathtaking and heartbreaking how relevant they still are today. I had the fortune of being in D.C. last spring break and standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and looking over the "I have a dream" inscription pictured above (and man how I wish I could be there tomorrow!). I feel like any words I could produce to describe the emotions attached today and tomorrow would fall far short of what I want them to do so I'll let the speech speak for itself.
You can read it [and watch a portion] by clicking here.
Listen to Part 1:
and Part 2:
On a related note, they played this on the radio too, although I prefer the Five Stairsteps version myself: