Friday, May 30, 2008


I read some of Genesis recently, and I'm always enamored with the idea of God. In terms of the whole bible, the task of internally coming to a place where you can reconcile God with Jesus is not easy. The two, who are the same, and yet not the same, the ongoing paradox of Christian theology. Also, I've been thinking about the idea of God in context of feeling and acting on emotions that we as humans can understand, more specifically the emotion of regret, or remorse. In Genesis, Chapter 6, verse 6 it says that, "The Lord was grieved that He had made man on earth and his heart was filled with pain", in just that one example, God was not happy with what he had made, so unhappy in fact, that he wiped all of mankind from the earth, saving just one "prototype". In my head I can just imagine God drawing out the design of life, and at a certain point, realizing he was moving in the wrong direction, so he started over. God made a mistake!? That idea is comforting to me. I don't fall in line with those who get all up in arms when someone questions the actions/motivations/behaviors of God or Jesus. The idea of God experiencing human emotions only validates him. A friend of mine mentioned the scripture as metaphor and should not be taken literal...I wondered about how we will always chose what we want from the Bible. I think I should go back to school and learn all about Theology. All this talk about Reverend Wright and his contextual theology. If contextual theology is validated, and I think that it is something to be taken into account, then what does that mean? And to what ends to we take it? Does the story of Christ change slightly depending on what race you are, what time period you grew up in? And if you say no, then how do you align your personal experience with those of other people, other cultures, and all come to an agreement. As nit picky as that may be, it creates conflict, which is the poison of man's intellect and arrogance, fragile and shallow faith. I had a discussion the other day with a man who was almost 20 years old than me and we basically going back and forth, arguing/discussing politics which led to discussions on human nature, and this did nothing to eradicate, or even shift my outlook on the cycle of living. I mentioned that theories are as worthless as ideals. That comment comes off as ridiculous, but I don't mean it in the same brazen manner in which it sounds, there are contexts here. But by the end of the conversation, we had dug ourselves so deep into the understanding that if human life, at this time, in this country, is only an act of survival and preservation, and ambition, then what is it going to take to everyone on one page moving towards one goal? Do we even need that? Well, I'll tell you that it won't be done through Capitalism, because the idea of capitalism undermines a communal aspect of existence, unless you count the common idea of pursuit of wealth, which creates shallow partnerships and deep fractures, I think it ultimately divides more. You only need to look on the news to see its evidence. Am I a socialist? No. What are we conditioning ourselves for? What are we preparing our children for? What can you even afford to do? What time do you have to do it? The idea of "distraction" is a sleeping giant that will never let you alone long enough to break from its grasp. This is not national, it is global. it's 98% vs 2%.

Hmm, but what else! We're in Seattle for a wedding of a good friend of ours, and I'm excited to be here, although, I'm not too motivated to go out tonight. I'm a glorious 5th wheel in this situation and I'm not sure I want to be around so much affection and love and hopeful futures as I will be tonight, and this weekend. But that is not to say I am against the idea, I am merely envious, and fortunate. I'm in a hotel bed watching Nascar on mute. I think I'm going to write a friend of mine a letter, and explain myself to her, not because I need to, or because I owe it to her, but mainly because it's comforting to write letters. And it is very easy for the recipient of the letter to ignore said letter, by just throwing it away. I feel like I'm being more productive when I express myself to another person, that way it puts in an objective context and there is more a chance for you to hear how ridiculous you might sound, or it might validate your position more. It lets me move forward. Do you think it's depressing to realize that the problems you experience have been being dealt with for years, and those problems are nothing new, nothing more valuable or unique than any others? Or would it be more depressing if your problems and issues were unique? Would it make you feel more validated while you complain and sulk? I think I prefer the former, it encourages a non dramatic existence, and forces you to live and not dwell. How unfair it is that when a loved one, or any person dies, the world continues to spin, and maybe at first you are appalled and unable to even imagine going back to living your life, how insensitive you might think it seems, but unless that world didn't keep spinning, you might just die yourself. Maybe your heart couldn't take the pain for too long, the world is spinning mercilessly to kick you into gear and keep you focused, because the last thing the deceased want is for the living to lose sight of what is important, and not give up the beauty and joy of living. It's a crazy thought, bodies just shutting down. I was going to write something, but I lost my train of thought. I think that your life, and your emotions are validated by those you love and those who love you back. I am not a person who employs a solipsist thought. I am not interested in the cosmos, parallel existence, the science of fascinating as all of those are. I am more interested in interaction and the mystery of humanity and their social/mental architecture. The true slant of human nature.

I went to a bachelor party last night and I felt like I was in a parody. Not to fault the company, it was all very surreal. I have only my parents to thank for my dwindling rationality and my social manners.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

beach volleyball

So here are some pictures from our time in Philadelphia. It's great to be writing again, I just wish I had more time in the day to head over to Jim's Steaks on South Street. So far we've been spending most of our time across the river in University City, injecting ourselves with coffee and bad yet wonderful food. Walking around college campuses always reminds me that I loved college, but hated classes. I walked over to a 7-11 yesterday, on the way I walked passed a soccer field littered with ambitious athletes, doing exercises and honing their "fundamentals"...then I walked passed a make-shift beach volleyball court. Beach volleyball settings are always unfitting when I see it just propped down in the engineered designs of urban areas. Was "beach volleyball" called "beach volleyball" from it's inception? I imagine that when volley ball was first played on the beach, it was just considered volley ball, and their location was chosen out of necessity and convenience, not chosen with intent as a specific and identifying characteristic of the general sport which was meant to give it more variety or appeal. Is "beach volleyball" to volleyball as "arena football" is to the NFL? I think not.

As you can probably guess, from the superfluous nature of this post, that I am mostly likely holding my tongue on a few things...maybe I'm doing my best to keep from bitching about the low class political moves of the Hillary Clinton invoking the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in relation to her obstinate and, some would say, hopeless campaign. Or maybe I'm holding back on my critique of Bush's recent comments in Isreal regarding the appeasement of terrorists and relating it to the Democracts. (This topic lends itself to a very long post regarding my opinion on the geo-political landscape, the current administration's very detrimental actions over the past 6 or 7 years, the shear thick headed, misguided, jockish, gung-ho imperialistic approach to foreign policy. The undermining of civil freedoms as declared in the constitution, the extreme violations of human rights and war-time practice as dictated by the precedence of history, the Geneva Convention, the UN and the war-crime trials of the past. The degree of the double-standard is being pushed to the envelope, not to mention they completely hypocrtical stance on WMD's, which was the scapegoat for leading America into an unjust, politically and economically motivated war over control of a country's natural resources, which now has greatly increased the threat to our national security. I'm shutting my mouth now) Maybe I'm wanting so much to talk about the new Elbow record, which I'm heavily recommending you all buy. I need to go to a record store, my friend suggested some music for me, I need to find it and buy it. I could talk about a lot, wait, i take that back. I'm coming to find my range of conversational topics very small, due to both my lack of knowledge on many subjects, and also my complete indifference. I feel my I'm a one trick pony when it comes to having a conversation. If it's not politics, music or philosophy and God, I'll most likely keep my mouth shut and slip out the back door. Wait, I admit, I can also talk about celebrities for a long time. Whatever, just ask Benj, he'll tell you what I'm all about.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


i started to write a blog, but i re-read it and it was trite, something about politics and the silly fact that we believe what candidates they say on the campaign trail. anyway, we're in philadelphia right now, trying our best to be creative and all that. lately, i don't have anything to say. here are some pictures. isn't it funny that i posted a picture of myself? the two photos aren't related at all, one of them was taken in seattle and the other was taken in dallas I think, can you tell which is which :-) I have a few books to chose from, and it's either "one day in the life of ivan denisovich", or "the master and margarita"....any suggestions on the two? I'm hungry and bored to the depths.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Street Preachers and shame

tonight was silly. i was making my way down to the back booth with a healthy stride full of intent when all of a sudden i heard a man speak into a microphone about how the jews killed jesus!! i couldn't help myself, i had to ask the man what he hoped to achieve by saying such a thing.....i attempted a small round of dialogue with the two gentlemen, but i was not surprised when they continued to fall back upon the status quo defense. they did not penetrate the surface of the complexity involved with christianity at all....but i wasn't surprised, nor was i completely comfortable with, my interaction. While this man was talking into my ear about repentance and the ten commandments, i glanced to my right and noticed a slew of fancy dressed club going skeptics and wise men spewing their mouth off as they crossed the street, and all of a sudden I felt drenched in the stink of my own self righteousness. Though i did not make a public display in an attempt to embarrass the street preachers, i did not have any goal in my discussion, i was just curious to see why they said what they said and if they had really thought saying such a thing would achieve their goals. although, I was not surprised when the discussion immediately became a pathetic battle of wits between, what I can only assume to be, an honest man, and myself. I used to see these types of people when I went to UCF, they would stand by the reflection pond in front of the library screaming very vitriolic things to kids passing by on their way to class.. why do I even bother? It's times like these when I create my own grief and then get all huffy and long winded, my dad would've just said "well son, what do you expect", and my friends would've been saying, "zach, quit wasting your time and let's go to the bar"...and ironically enough, being out at the bars was one of the things these street preachers were chastising me for! It's humorous. I was playing the roll of a contrary cliche. so, i stopped, took a deep breath, smiled, shook their hand and walked on. It's hard to see good intentions being employed in such a tragic context, and it is surreal when I become aware of my existence and interplay amongst all of these people, combined with all that my mind has criticized, repeatedly failed and wandered at. Once I reached the back booth, I caught one song of a genuine nature and danced my way back to a clutter of college idiots gathering at the center of town...i just rolled my eyes and bought a hot dog. lately i've been worried that i would hate myself (or at the very least, be annoyed with myself) if i ever came in direct objective contact with myself through a parallel universe. I would avoid people like myself. (i just used the word "myself" four times in very a close proximity)

I was at a table with my friend, we were discussing record collections or 3rd eye blind or something when this sweaty gentlemen came up and started boasting about the contacts his band made at the very esteemed Florida Music Festival (catch my sarcasm?) Apparently his band got approached by major labels and big fancy management was funny to listen to. Innocent enough I suppose, who wouldn't be excited about making contacts for your band, but forgive me for checking out when a dude in a loud bar starts yelling about how Sony BMG is interested in his band, and how Paramore's manager approached them, and then not even showing any interest in any other part of the conversation at hand. I noticed that he had one fingerless glove on his right hand (and in my head that immediately creates a negative association in the world of music and it's tragic marriage to fashion)...the gentlemen was polite though, and I do not know him, but the first impression was a doozy. He walked off and my friend had a funny smile on his face and we went back to talking about other things. I had fun. I feel a bit rude for saying what I just did, but I'll keep it in the post anyway. I can be really analytical, and those analysis can even be based on little information, and I realize the flaw in that...but I start on this idea about something and I can't shut up. I think people could mistake me for being very hung up on things that are quite inconsequential, and it's not that I really care so deeply about it, I just get into the idea for a minute, and then snap out of it and can easily go on to the next conversational topic with no skin off my knees.

I've had a great time in Florida, I bought some books and my dad gave me some books too. I bought some records and my dad even gave me some records too. I saw Radiohead (is it wrong to be bored with their perfection?), I ate a lot of good food. I also heard about this book called "The Greatest Thing in the World" that was written by this scientist/theologion named Henry Drummond

I acquired these books:
--My Name Is Asher Lev
--In Harms Way
--The Five People You Meet in Heaven
--On The Road
--One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich
--The Master and the Margarita

I acquired this music:
--Narrow Stairs--Death Cab for Cutie
--The Free Wheelin' Bob Dylan
--Elvis Costello and the Imposters--Momofuku
--Gram Parsons--GP and Grievous Angel
--Elbow-The Seldom Seen Kid

on Vinyl:
--Mitch Rider and the Detroit Wheels--Breakout
--The Beatles--Rubber Soul
--The Rolling Stones--London
--Johnny Cash--Live at San Quentin
--The Eagles--Their Greatest Hits
--Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings--Take It To The Limit
--The Beach Boys--Little Deuce Coup
--The Band--Cahoots
--The Byrds--Mr. Tambourine Man
--Waylon Jennings--Greatest Hits
--Arlo Gutherie--Running Down The Road
--Janis Joplin--Greatest Hits
--Bob Dylan--John Wesley Harding
--Elliott Smith--XO and Figure 8

Bye bye....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

it's a pleasant surprise to see rationality displayed on TV

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

i don't usually do this

but why not, if you live in VA, check this out.

Sunday, May 18th, we are playing a benefit show in Leesburg, VA with none other than Smashmouth :-) Tickets are $15 dollars in advance, and $20 day of the show. The address is as follows: 41834 Bristow Manner Drive, Leesburg, VA 20175. Here is a link you can check out for more information. www. liveatbelmont. com

Saturday, May 10, 2008

time off.

I'm in Florida.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

part 3-es muss sein

"I am living a life and forming opinions, I am being defined by what I see, what I hear, what I experience, and the "continual process of becoming", which I have mentioned before. I will be an old man, joyous and bitter after living a life of travel, both literal and metaphorically. The things my parents have always told me are resurfacing and making my life a bit easier to take. I'm joining the ranks of normalcy, and with any luck, entering into the the cycle of stories that will maybe teach some distant relative of mine a small lesson. I'm sure there are a million like me, but we're only connected if we desire to be."

There are two certainties when it comes to my subjective existence; frustration and humble gratitude. This blog usually shows the former, for many reasons, one of which is that frustration and angst is always more inspiring than a pleasant complacency. I could talk about my gratitude, and perhaps I will. It's best to keep what I love the most at a very basic and unevolved. It is always an exercise of will to keep your tastes and sources of happiness in a very humble place, because if there is anything that this country believes in, it is the irrational american dream of everything that is external and fleeting, and subjective to market trends; which of course, are dominated by people whose existence is defined by one word--capitalism. I'm not talking about the version of capitalism that encourages human intellect and fairness of competition, no, i'm talking about the version of capitalism that encourages the worst aspects of human nature. (I digress so easily, I'm like a child, or a product of the trash culture blitzkrieg). What am I thankful for? It's simple really, and my whole existence will hopefully a display of gratitude towards these things, but I'm not sure I've been passing that test so far. There are certain people in my life that are responsible for who I am, and there are certain things which have played a large role in my design, many of those things I've mentioned in the last two blogs. (There is still one aspect of my design which I haven't touched on yet, and that is the political sphere, but I have refrained from that because I think it's tiresome and yields very little revelation in comparison to the surgery of the human condition, and people don't want to hear my rant about my socialistic tendencies, which are wrapped up in the blanket of a reality which would probably prove to expose the short-comings of socialism, much like reality exposes the short-comings of everything else which is "ideal"..maybe some day) :::::big breath:::::
What can bring me to the verge of tears is awareness of the "evolutionary irrational" display of love. Paternal, TRUE agape, romantic and familial love. Self sacrifice of the highest degree, all for even a moment of happiness for the person which that love is expressed. My friend recently had a baby, and his existence ceases to be a selfish venture at that moment. From the time that child is born, all purpose moves from self preservation to the preservation of your child, to the point that you would stop living, even if it meant that your child could live one day longer. I use the term "evolutionary irrational" not in the scientific sense, I use it to express the extreme self sacrifice of one's own happiness and life for someone other than yourself. Survival of the fittest is challenged by the idea of true love.

My eyes hurt right now, and I'm exhausted from the rain and roads of New Jersey, and the constant bombardment of cheap gimmicks and drunk teenagers. Tomorrow, we play one more show with Switchfoot and then I fly home to Florida, where I look forward a lot of porch dwelling, soft lights and the enriching deadness of dusk in May. I had a lovely time with a friend of mine last night. We drove around Newark New Jersey, got lost, and finally found a Burger King at around 11 p.m. and proceeded to talk about the environment, indifference, child labor, and one boy and one girl. I talked a lot, and while in the rambling depths of my rant I started noticing her eyes drift, and I can't blame her. I lost my train thought numerous times and was probably incoherent. She was polite enough to let me talk myself stupid and then I stopped. I've known her for a while, I met her years ago on warped tour, she was working the recycling tent.

I titled this blog "es muss sein", which I got from a book, which mentioned the german phrase in reference to a piece by Beethoven. It means "it must be" and I like it because it connects with my idea of resignation. I don't think of resignation as a bad thing, nor does it represent complacency. I think the human mind should always be working, considering the endless array of collisions and near misses in life. Resignation refers to the therapeutic deep breath that is necessary. Considering every unanswered question you face in life, and considering how lost people become in their justified search and sometimes tragic cheap fix, it is very easy to become an enemy or, a complete contradiction of your naked, naive, infant self. Resignation, for me, is the undercurrent of rationality and "big picture" view that will keep you sane. I can resign to mystery and at the end of the day appreciate it, even though it can easily wear down on you. Resignation is a shift of perspective, from the tension of fighting current to the liberation of letting it take you where it wants. Let your eyes wander of their on will and they can find some wonderful things. I can't understand how people can ignore so much, but I can't understand how people can become trapped in their bitterness, and in my life, I am lucky for the people who pull me out of the mud and slap me around a little. I'm stubborn maybe, opinionated, but my parents and my brother kept my head square on my shoulders. There is just as much good as bad. I realize that, so get off my back. Thank you.
Es Muss Sein