Monday, July 28, 2008

woody allen kick

I've been watching a lot of Woody Allen movies lately. it's making me crazy. right now I'm 27 and everything is fragile, and all of these Woody Allen movies, from the 80's and early 90's maybe, they all seem to revolve around these central themes, one of them being dissatisfaction in relationships. Although, the dissatisfactions are so vague and typical. These frustrations and painful reflections, identity crisis, that I'm assuming are simply a part of growing together, or growing apart. These characters are pathetic (and by pathetic, I mean accurately human), that is not to say that the problems aren't validated, but it's as if the characters are so quick to give up and so quick to build these problems into something that indirectly supports their egoistic desires. It gives them some reason to hold on to aesthetic ideas of passion, as though it is able to be a burning constant, damn the haunting ghost, the subconscious. I watch these movies pretty close together, one after the other; and obviously, they were released years apart..I think that is affecting my opinion. I love them, but they are all so similar. All the characters are neurotic, or chasing after the greener grass that may hold firm beneath your feet for a short while, but ultimately the greener grass keeps moving, being so cruel as to leave behind glowing blades that fool you into thinking the chimera is something attainable if you just make that leap. Passion can be demonic. Woody Allen is becoming a favorite, I think he maybe dramatizes these normal issues simply for illustration, to comfort people; or maybe his life is defined by the interactions shown in the films, and that is something that would dictate his art, of course. I think these movies can continue being made because there is no generation that these problems favor, and there are no people who can avoid these thoughts and second guesses, the torturous wanderings, there are no discriminations. Similarly, there is no catholicon. I'm watching Hannah and Her Sisters, and this line is in it, "....but it's my fault. For all my education, accomplishments, and so called 'wisdom', I still can't fathom my own heart." The more I think about it, the more I like the fact that his movies are similar. It kind of reaffirms the truth, that the problem is with the person (to no fault of their own, existence is no picnic, it's all such a thrill), and not conditional, or based on a result of external influences, although, there is the question of familial environment, (for example, this post is a reaction based of the quilt my parents have sewn for me). The problems are a product of the human, flailing, hopeful, in love, lustful,arrogant, naive; a Jackson Pollock painting of influence, psychology, ego, religion, society, culture, etc. How can we not be lost? Generations pass them on to the next, and each generation tries their best to understand them, conquer them, make them into art, to make some sort of truth out of them, and how arrogant! As if new problems are born of this new complex breed, as if a new current of genius creates problems that weren't even possible before. This is not to deny the contributions of each generation, the contributions which come from their own journey into the maze, their own ambition, their own understanding.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the surge

"You rarely see an interview couch such hopeless inanity in the pretense of not getting an answer to the question, but, what can I say? Couric's a whiz at this. You see the problems coming a mile away when Couric frames the discussion as a response to people "scratching their heads," people "asking why," and people whose "eyebrows" are raised. Such people, of course, do not exist and cannot be named. Tis the beginning of a Straw Man argument, which has sadly become the first resort of many in the press. From there, the line of interrogation is rivetingly unconcerned with substantive analysis of Obama's Iraq War position - it's a silly little trap of false logic, in which Couric attempts to get Obama to admit to the obvious - that 100,000+ troops in Iraq have affected the conditions in the country, and hang a false admission of "Surge" efficicacy around his neck.

Obama seems to understand the trap is being set, but he disappointingly fails to expose it for what it is. In his foreign policy speech, delivered before his trip, Obama did a fine job in differentiating the tactic of the "Surge" as but a thin sliver of tactic within a larger foreign policy strategy that has failed to deliver any of the outcomes that were promised. Even if we could cast the "Surge" as an unqualified success, the overall strategy has netted America four major failures. And within the larger context of a failure to find WMDs, a failure to improve America's security, a failure to thwart or even impede al Qaeda in the wake of 9/11, and a failure to prevent malign regional forces like Iran and Hezbollah from increasing their regional influence, the "Surge" is entirely without relevance - a fourth quarter field goal when you're down four touchdowns.

All of this should have been, and likely is, apparent to Obama, but with Couric, his decision to get Talmudic - to borrow an appropriate term - does him no good at all.

Still, it is Couric who carries the greater malignancy in this exchange, and there's no greater offense than her question, "But talking microcosmically, did the surge, the addition of 30,000 additional troops ... help the situation in Iraq?" WIth that word, microcosm, one can see the main toxin that's embedded in Surge Logic (TM) in high-contrast clarity. That is Couric carrying water for the McCain campaign, attempting to assert that the "Surge" is somehow a "microcosm" of the War in Iraq, the logic being that if we can admit that the "Surge" had any positive effect on the conditions in Iraq, then we must also admit that the War On Iraq was a success.

Against this toxin, Obama needs to come hard with the antidote. Making the Four Failures, outlined above, a central part of the puchback, is an essential first step. Obama would also be well-served to hit back with some Iraq War history - explicating how violence diminished as a result as some pre-Surge events, like the completion of Baghdad's sectarian cleansing, and the Anbar awakening.

And the latter point is critical, because Obama's opponent, John McCain, recently gave an interview in which he either demonstrated a complete lack of awareness of his beloved "Surge" or chose to actively lie about it. The interviewer on that occasion? You got it! KATIE COURIC.
As Ilan Goldenberg wrote, "This is not controversial history. It is history that anyone trying out for Commander in Chief must understand when there are 150,000 American troops stationed in Iraq. It is an absolutely essential element to the story of the past two years. YOU CANNOT GET THIS WRONG."

But McCain did, and Couric didn't offer up any of the same furtive, insistent questioning. The critical difference? Couric's brain is too stuffed full of idiot oppositional talking points and Straw Man arguments to actually know anything about the Iraq War. And that's why the Glory Days of TV News are over."

and oh yeah, speaking John McCain's knowledge on the happenings in Iraq and the Surge's success--

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

some studio pictures

Hey everyone, i'm going to post some studio pictures.

Writing the songs are fun, hanging out with Matt and Ben (pictured above) is fun. I received a lovely letter from a friend when I got home. She even sent me a book and mixed CD. The mixed CD has a song by the Beatles called "It's All Too Much", and it's eerie how well she can pin point an emotion of mind without having talked to me for a few weeks. In all honesty, her and I haven't had a solid conversation in over a month. She sent some pictures as well, which I put on my wall with push-pins. It's hot in my room. I need a swimming pool. Oh, it would also be nice if John McCain didn't think that Iraq and Pakistan bordered each other. I'm no expert on the geography of the middle east, but I'm not running for President either, and isn't foreign policy supposed to be his strong point? Uffda. Maybe it was a silly mistake on his part, maybe it's his age. Senility is creeping in, which is also rather an interesting/frightening thought. Then again, maybe it's nothing to be concerned of. Maybe I've been reading the Huffington Post too much. Maybe? I'm losing my mind.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

last day

this is our last day in philadelphia. i'll write more about it when i actually get back to my house. we recorded the bulk of 4 more new songs, and i also have pictures. here's a video of something unrelated.

Belle and Sebastian are good.

Friday, July 18, 2008

the wrench

"i'm tired of dancing on a pot of gold flake paint
oh we're so very precious, you and i
and everything that you do makes me want to die"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Where do all the russian girls hang out? I met one in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire and she didn't like me talking to her. I didn't ask her much, just general questions. Although, she was working behind a counter at a beach front hot dog/pizza restaurant. Her name was Olga. I suppose I could've waited till she was off work, I mean, what do I expect really. I don't even know where my infatuation with Russia comes from, I've only heard bad things. I think it only comes from the literature. I am not a communist sympathizer, well, maybe I can sympathize with the idea, but I would not prefer to live in a communist society. Ayn Rand has affectively assuaged that desire. The Russia of Ayn Rand the Russia of Dostoevsky are completely different, although, neither are pleasant. All I read about in the book is things like cabbage soup, samovars, and icons. The weather is either oppressively hot or bone-freezing (in the stories anyway). The closest I've been to Russia is London, and that is not close to Russia. Is it even "Russia" any more? I know it was called the USSR for a long time. I should get on the world geography train, the geo-political as well. Is it OK to consider Milan Kundera a Russian author, probably not, he's Czech. I'll get there some day and it will be very surreal.

It's strange that when I ask people where Toledo is, they rarely know.

I think there are some Russian circles in VA Beach, I met one when shopping for furniture. Interesting people are like ghosts in Chesapeake. Translucent or disguised figures drifting in and out of Panera's or through the doors of coffee shops in Ghent, at times in which I am not around. Everyone I see is straight out of the factory, suburban made and suburban ready. There is no fault to be had there, just not what I want.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

are you kidding me?

seriously, how is this guy even a viable candidate.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


We're recording more demos in Philadelphia right now. I don't have any pictures. Our approach right now is fairly "take it as it comes"...some of the songs are built upon one chord progression. It's exciting that way. Starting to record a song which has no end keeps the song very vulnerable. That can be a great advantage or a problem, depending on your focus.

I think I mentioned earlier that I have been thinking a lot about the idea of "suffering" in relation to spiritual growth. So far I haven't gone too far outside of the existential idea, sticking to Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky. I relate more to what they say because it is anchored in a belief in Christ, as where Jean-Paul Sarte is not. I think that Nietzsche, despite his reputation, is not the God hater he's made out to be. It's not that he hates God, in fact, his idea of the "superman" is very much God like (although modified as glorified "christ like" man, too anthropomorphic perhaps). The phrase that is commonly attributed to him, "God is dead" is a critique on humanity, and I think that his distaste for Christians maybe translated, or evolved into a general distaste for God and religion in general, he thought it was slavery. I won't claim to agree with what he says, but I can very easily identify with the general idea. Although, moving into things that CS Lewis has said, Albert Camus and the Bible, this idea of human suffering is inevitable and something that is completely justified. I have been finding parallels in ideas, and perhaps the approach is different, or the source of inspiration, but I do believe there are similarities. I'm not quick to say that "suffering" is something to be desired, but I do think that it is inevitable if one is truly seeking to understand God and seeking to reconcile the paradox of Christ and human design. I don't want to confuse ideas though. I'm not talking about depression. When I use the word "suffering" it is in direct relation to something internal, the gap that appears when one considers the longing of the human spirit, the curious behavior of human nature and what the world has to offer. I've heard people say to me that the reason for rejoice and happiness lies in God's sacrifice, Jesus's love, and his rise to heaven. Although, there are two ways of looking at it. Suffering and Joy are not mutually exclusive, in fact, I think they exist in very close proximity. Jesus's life on earth is not necessariy one of triumph, his DEPARTURE from earth was.

That's what I've been thinking of, and some other things too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

passing time

I know I haven't written much, and also, I know that posting a link from another website does not count as a new "post", although..well, I might as well say it....I really really don't want McCain to win the election. I just thought I'd give you this link, it's not necessarily more revealing than all of the other articles I've read, but it does bring to light a few things that were passed over this week in the News. Of course, when there is a sound clip of Jesse Jackson mentioning how he wants to castrate Barack Obama, I'm not surprised the more important issues were pushed to the back of the priority list, as is usually the case with the main "news" outlets these days.

Monday, July 07, 2008


it's all uphill and full of petty shame, and morning regret.

Friday, July 04, 2008

left to right

i'm at the bottom end of a unidirectional, linear flowchart. left to right.
i'm leaving tonight.
happy birthday day america, sorry we've ruined your good name.

in the spirit of the 4th---"When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon"