Wednesday, February 16, 2005

ah, les vacances!

well, this time tomorrow, i shall be off flouncing about the world in pursuit of quality reefer like the stoner pilgrim that i am. (i'm going to europe, and thus inevitably amsterdam) this upcoming week has been what's keeping me going all year ... the thought of freaky jungle sex and pot that would make snoop dogg blush.

so, i shan't likely be posting on here. perhaps, though, perhaps.

in any case, enjoy your reading week, westernites, and those of you who aren't... well. enjoy just another boring, alienating, and soul-sapping week of the capitalist mode.


Monday, February 14, 2005

fuck tv: a brief thought

how 'bout this.

why i hardly ever watch tv: because i hate being fed. 90 percent of the time that most people would spend watching tv, eg. push media (cos i'm not saying i don't watch it, just hardly ever sit down and watch it on my own), i spend using pull media. i don't have to schedule my life around books or the internet or any of my vast array of pirated media, je choisis quand je veux les voir! i don't have to change channels because of lame ads, i don't have to be subjected to formulaic network schlock, and the tv shows that i actually want to watch (family guy, six feet under.... uhh.. the simpsons maybe?) i can either download or get on dvd. except for this one cartoon that's on treehouse that i totally fucking love, called timothy goes to school.

but i guess probably the biggest reason that i hardly ever watch tv is so that i can persist in my pseudointellectual fallacy of a belief that i'm somehow flipping off the proverbial Man.

c'est tout.

too much writing.

it's midterm time. and i've been writing a fuckload. hence lack of blog entry, at least lack of blog entry with words.

well, i guess me writing a fuckload doesn't really have much of anything to do with midterms. actually i've been writing a story... it's kind of lame and out there, but recall i want to apply for creative writing, so i wrote something new. i'm gonna hand it in with another story, and hopefully they'll read both. at which point i think i would probably get in. (maybe?)

in any case, last night was a binge-drinking and drug-consuming frenzy, and i'm obviously blown out of my mind in this picture. mit postformal party last night, take note of what the fuck i am wearing. this is what happens when you smoke a joint like this and then purchase the night's clothes from value village. all in all, a good night. please note those of you who don't know me, that i am not intending to post this in a lame, "i've got a girl on my arm" kind of way, but entirely in a "look what a fucked-up idiot ali was last night!" kind of way.

informal poll:
the girl in this picture thinks that she looks more retarded than i do. by relying on such exhaustive methods of inquiry as looking at it, i'm pretty sure that she looks great, whilst i look like something is being forcibly inserted into my anus. any thoughts, o ye hypothetical audience?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

see: "Joints, Epic"

it was a long day at work. Posted by Hello

Monday, February 07, 2005

a ramble and a half.

so, i took acid for the first time this weekend. i've kind of gotten away from the psychedelics lately, cos my total lack of a belief system kind of turns on me when reality is falling apart in front of me. but, i'd never done it, so i figured i had to at least once. never would have thought that two little squares of paper could have messed with my brain so much. if i had to describe the experience in a sentence, i'd say that it was 24 hours strapped into the freakiest ride you can imagine with all your existential dilemmas and buried neuroses. and i'm saying literally twenty-four hours. i took the hits at 2pm on saturday, and i was debilitated until well past 2pm on sunday. sleep was a distant memory, as was coherent thought. in any case, i thought i'd write a little bit about some of the thoughts that i had whilst tripping. these are nowhere near as revelatory as they were while tripping, but interesting thoughts in any case.

one of the most comforting things to me whilst freaking out in the face of my metaphysical angst was playing music. which led me to some conclusions about music. one said conclusion was that music's power has to be tied in some way to being and time. i'm not a huge heidegger fan, but i think that music is on a very primordial level tied up with those two concepts. first, it's a means of being. i had the strongest conviction whilst playing this shitty little keyboard that sound truly is a means by which we can be in a different, non-physical dimension. it's a way to escape simple physical being into a more abstract, 'sonic' being. and second, it's fundamentally tied up with time. obviously, rhythm is central to music. music is a reminder of the passage of time, and as it happens, it's eternally past. so is all of our reality, but music works in a way that reality doesn't. the rules of harmony mean that music forms patterns which we can easily feel, hear, and respond to. it's like aristotle's distinction between poetry and history; history, ergo reality is chaotic and seemingly without form. yet by organic development poetry picks out aspects of history in order to show causality, and draws out the form which is inherent in reality.

which got me to thinking about syncopation. said shitty keyboard had this function whereby it would play shitty rhythms and such, which was kind of fun. me and my roommate went off marching into the woods with instruments and playing for the trees and such, and i found out that by pushing a different button, i could make it do a little break-down, or drum fill, or whatever the hell you want to call it. this made me think again of the parallel between music and life. sober life marches along to the beat, but altered states of consciousness are pretty much the equivalent to a drum fill in the beat of life. the whole song can't be syncopated and offbeat, or else it'd just be a mishmash. but a song without the odd fill is boring as fuck. rhythmic variations are the embrace of kairos, whilst steady beats are the slaves of chronos. we can't succeed in life without some obedience to the march of chronos, but without our moments of kairos, we can't truly be alive.

playing music with people got me to thinking about conversation. i commented that "basically, everything that you can say on acid boils down to 'dude, if you were me, just then, it'd be awesome.'" that's really the hopelessness of language, isn't it. it's this effort to convey a state of being to another person, yet it's really only conveying words. the state of being doesnt follow the words, the words can only make a halfhearted stab at evoking that state of being. music, on the other hand, conveys a state of being relatively directly, at least compared to language. music is différance taken to its logical conclusion. while our actual perceptions of tones might differ, that really doesn't matter. as beethoven so aptly noted, it's not the notes that matter, it's the spaces between. a minor third, for example, sounds the same no matter what notes it's being played on. you might not be hearing the exact same sounds when you play music with another person, but you're hearing the same music. when i was really tripping, that realization messed with me to the point that i didn't particularly want to talk at times. but then as i came down, and i had lunch with my family that came to visit the next day (!!!!) i realized that the fallibility of language was no excuse not to try.

um, anyways, that was kind of rambly, cos my thoughts were rather obviously somewhat disjointed. it was some fun times. i had alot more things to say, but i got bored of writing them. so, that's all.

Friday, February 04, 2005

a room of one's own?

i need to write a story. if i want to take creative writing next year, i've got to submit a piece by february 14. but i'm just having so much trouble. i have no fucking clue what to write about. so, my project for the weekend is to read lots and smoke weed and think of something clever. but subtle. and, oh, god knows what all good things that i like about good writing that i force myself to try and do. as a sad result, my 'creative' writing is always weirdly stilted, at least when i read it. it's like.. fuck, so many parts of this are good, but they don't fit together cos you're trying too damn hard. in any case. i was going over some stuff that i wrote for creative writing in grade eleven (fuck, that was a long time ago now!), and i came up with a piece that i thought i'd post in the hopes of gathering some comments.

i didn't edit it or do anything to it from what it was... if i ever do write something decent, this will be my juvenilia. i'm sure it'd be worth something on eBay. in any case, it's lame, and trite, and doesn't flow as well as i'd like it to, but i dunno. i wrote it in class the first day, i think, and it's got kind of a pureness that i sort of like. maybe just cos i was less of a dick back then. ha!

so, tell me what you think.

peace (a hymn to the nirvana of those who have lost all they have to lose)

The tall sad spires of red clay that scratch the Arizona sky stand quiet, unmoved by the ravages of time, ever changing, never quite the same, but always rooted deep within the land from which they were carved. At the foot of one such spire rests a small wooden cabin, dangling from the heavens by a plume of white smoke, sheltering the land's one companion, a dark solemn Navajo. The wounds of time, spears, and unshed tears carve canyons in his face and in his soul deeper than those which dot the desert's crimson landscape. Warming his calloused hands by the flickering scraps of flame in his stone hearth, he rests his weakening body, his only possession, upon a log worn grey with the patina of four thousand years of culture.

He recalls the ways of his elders, their unquestioning devotion to the spirit world. He recalls the ways of those who would be his elders had they not been born half a world away, and he cannot help but recall their unquestioning devotion to their own spirit world. More than anything else, he recalls the sad, explosive collision of the fundamentally identical. In the depths of the flame, he recognizes the faces of his brothers and the faces of those who would be his brothers but for the bitter shades of brown that drove them to hatred. And in the pool of blood beneath the jackrabbit that hangs in his window, he sees the strange pigment that would eventually blot out those shades of brown that inspired such rage.

As he steps out the door to feel the dusty ground of his homeland for the last time, he thinks to the supposed truths that have been forced upon him across the span of his years. For the first time, he is at peace with all of them, yet he accepts none of them. His mind, ever deemed weak by the standards of a cruel society, is at last comfortable with contradiction. The jagged chasms that scar his soul run deep and calm with rivers of love that should long ago have been boiled dry by the fires of hatred. The wounds across his face flow with a hundred years' worth of joyous tears. One final sigh flows from lips that have taught far too little, into a world that needs teaching far too much. The spirit of the desert breathes its own sigh and again finds itself alone.

a "conversation."

conversation between me and poor english speaker.

"thank you for calling toyota canada, this is ali, how can i help you?"
"uhh... i ... am ... accident?"
".... okay?"
"you...send someone, for help?"
"do you need a tow truck, ma'am?"
"uh....... is... 2004 matrix? i am accident."
"ma'am, do you need a TOW TRUCK?"
"what can we help you with ma'am!?"
"my english ... is not of good. my car was accident, i need someone help."
"if you give me a second, i'll transfer you over to our roadside assistance department."
"just hold on."

i push the button to transfer her. the computerized voice lady says "Press 1 for service in English, Press 2 for service in French."

the question is, what the fuck do i press for what this woman was speaking!?


i'm very racially tolerant. i'd love for there to be one universal language, and we could all live in harmony and buy the world all kinds of cokes. but as it stands, there isn't, and thus it's expected that people who want to function in a given society will learn its language. thus, racial tolerance aside, i'm much less tolerant of people having no fucking clue how to speak the english language. and i see no real problem in making fun of them for it. i'm sure if i went to china and started speaking chinese, they'd sure as hell make fun of me for what a mockery i was making of the language. foreign people are free to not be able to speak english for shit. and i'm free to hate talking to them until they do. every call i get in which i have to repeat myself over, and over, and over again, just makes my day that much longer and more irritating.

note also that the term "racial tolerance" is kind of sickening. it's like ... race is this defect that people have, so we should learn to accept them in spite of it. how about the fact that maybe race is completely meaningless, and that it's not something we should 'tolerate,' it's something we should ignore? people are people are people. i guess it's just another example of a linguistic construct that marginalizes difference.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

today in community initiatives gone awry.

finally. they've shifted their focus from ethnic cleansing to that of a more mundane sort.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

traditional marriage should be under attack.

i'm sick of hearing about same-sex marriage.

one of my favourite pieces of art was in a gallery at McGill, where i was for god knows what reason. but it was basically this 50s' style retroish poster that said "Gay Marriage - You Might As Well Be Straight!" and the artist was so overthetopfully gay that it tickled my fancy. cos it was an interesting thought, and something that hardly ever gets brought up in the current same-sex marriage debate.

so, in the interest of pissing off bleeding-heart liberals as well as bible-thumping traditionalist conservatives equally, i'd like to say that, no, gays shouldn't be allowed to marry. not in the way that we think of marriage.

why? well, this is the part that's gonna piss off the falwell types. and hopefully make some people who believe themselves progressive (or at least objective) do a little progressive thinking. note that this is a development of something that laura kipnis talks about at some length in against love. i was going to quote directly, but i was too high to find the quote. and of course, in the process of writing my recollections of her point, i came up with my own. remember?

basically, i think that the whole debate over same-sex marriage is misguided. the movement in favour of gay marriage takes as one of its premises that gay couples should be able to enjoy the same economic and social benefits as heterosexual couples. why hasn't anyone made the extremely obvious seeming observation that maybe ... just maybe ... reaping the benefits of a social contract to which we all contribute shouldn't be keyed to our marital status? essentially, government resources are being directed to married couples rather than spread equally amongst all people. why should married couples get all of this money (both in the form of baby bonuses etc., and in the form of tax breaks, etc.)? shouldn't resources be distributed equally, regardless of whether or not one is married? it's just a covert means of control by which the state enforces a traditionalist morality upon its citizens.

oh yeah, neocons. you're saying. oh! but what about the benefits that wives get when their husbands die! (yeah, they don't use no gender-neutral language, that's for fucking sure.) what about all this shit! well let me tell you what I think about that shit. i think it's all pinko commie liberal bleeding-heart welfare-state bullshit! i think that citizens need to, as part of this OWNERSHIP SOCIETY, take responsibility for their own damn well-being. if Tyrone gets gunned down in a drive-by, and Lakesha can't take care of little Tyrone Jr. and LaShawnna without her "crive victims recovery benefits" and the linke (note also that the obviously racist example is me playing tongue-in-cheek neocon! it's fun; try it), that's their OWN FUCKING FAULT. they should have invested in stocks and bonds. and Tyrone was probably a good-for-nothing loser stoner anyways.

yeah, that's right neocons. your arguments got rebutted with a neocon rant. what the fuck do you think of that?

*i like the fact that total neocons reading this right now is likely ... 0. maybe this guy though! NEOCON FUCK!!! Pass the BONG!

sorry. (if you're wondering how many times i said "neocon" in those two paragraphs, it's 6. well, 7 counting that last one.)

where was i.... right. so, what's the logical conclusion here? i think it's that maybe the state should get the fuck out of what people do with their interpersonal relationships? honestly, how can it be justified that the state has any say in who or how we marry? i think that the best way to preserve the sanctity of "traditional marriage" is to withdraw the involvement of the state. individual churches and their congregations should be free to recognize their own concepts of marriage as they saw fit. there you go, mormons. you can marry tons of girls (though it still better be consensual.). there you go, christians, you can feel free to deny from your pulpits that whatever the gays do sure isn't marriage. and gays, atheists, hindus, muslims, scientologists, zoroastrians and all you other underappreciated minorities, you can do whatever the hell you want to celebrate the decision to be faithful and loving and monogamous.

besides, gay couples would never get married in a court house, would they? so why do they need the government's help? they'd have it someplace nice and well-decorated and tasteful, and they'd probably make up their own vows and whatnot. if they want to get married, why don't they just start doing it? just call your partner your husband, and the republicans be damned!

i dunno. maybe i'm totally out there. but it just kinda seems like a crutch to me. i don't see why the church or the state need to be involved in order to validate the sanctity of a real union based in love, trust, caring, and all of those things that "traditional marriage" is really supposed to be.

that's all.

armchair political economy and you.

so, i was just watching ABC news for a few minutes.

note that a few minutes is about as long as i can watch network news before i get really bitter and change the channel. this is why i changed the channel from abc.

now i'm going to admit that i haven't got all the details about social security. but from my dilettantish point of view, and from what i've read in the new york times (some of those nuggets!) and commie shit like atlantic, it's not as bad as bush makes it out to be. it could be basically tweaked a bit, just like it has been already, and it would go on functioning perfectly well. i dunno, i'm not writing a paper, look it up if you're interested.

so ABC is doing this lame-ass feature about social security, complete with bullshit computer animations and other glitzy crappery. and they pretend to be halfass objective. they have TWO economist talking head types. TWO DIFFERENT ONES! no way. well, my need for objectivity is satisfied.

and my roomate commented about how lame and neocon these talking heads were. which is true. they are right-wingish, just like everyone else tainted by the ol' capitalist mode. these days, close involvement with the economy is to neoconservativism as HIV is to AIDS.

but the worst thing, the thing that made me want to change the channel, was the format of this documentary. the talking heads leaned a bit to the right, but they tried to be realistic. after all, they were experts and as such have to maintain at least a semblance of sticking to facts. (never mind, for the moment, that the entire capitalist economy is a fiction, and has no "facts," that's a completely different story.) but their attempts at realism were pretty much beaten into submission by Concerned News Anchor Type. basically, he just kept throwing such pointed questions at them, that their loyalty to 'facts' betrayed them. he would basically ask for specific figures which would highlight the weaknesses of social security, then cut to a lame animation of some sort. at which point Concerned Narrator Voice would draw his own conclusions about how fucked the system was, with the implicit decision that it would have to be privatized. you could practically see the talking heads realizing that their words were about to be twisted in this creepy neocon way and desperately trying to drive home that it wasn't really so fucked as all that.

but then... the kicker.

after enough pretending to be based in fact, ABC decided to turn to the old standby of dubya worship. they played a little clip of bush being witty... and then cut back to Concerned News Anchor Type saying this. and i quote, as best as i can remember:

"It's obvious that this system is in need of an overhaul. Now the question is, will Bush's proposed reforms be enough?"


tell me where i lost you. so, your lame talking heads tried to tell you that this system has a slight problem. and needs some reforms. so you conclude that privatizing the damn thing and pulling out grandma's damn social net might not be enough? jesus. what should we do, you fuck? put them on an ice floe?

i'm not going to work out the truth table for that one, but i have the feeling that it's not a truth-functionally valid argument.

i got bitter and changed the channel at that point. marginalization of dissent? hmm?


then i watched cnn though, and it was relatively good. or at least, pretended better.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

a thought-turned-neomarxistpinko-rant.

i put my computer to bed, then booted it back up cos i had a thought. i think that we put a hell of a lot too much stock in newspapers as a medium apart from television. (yeah, i know, not everyone puts a hell of a lot of stock in that anyways. but whatever, go with it.) sure, newspapers may offer a lot more in-depth content and thoughtful commentary than the television news. the 'liberal media' idea has largely been advanced due to the fact that sometimes, newspapers do the right thing. they go all anti-hegemonic and actually overcome some of the failings of the capitalist media.

but even as this crumbles, something more important should be considered. the evolution in the form of the newspaper brought about an emblematic transition from lots of small type to lots of big type and pictures (and ads). this is a pretty obvious shift toward opiate-of-the-masses slop shovelling into the collective mouths of the nation. it's part of a general transition from literary time in history to a more oral time. and by oral, i don't mean the fun kind.

oh, but form doesn't really matter that much, you say. it's content that does matter. sure it does. if you read it. when's the last time that anyone actually sat down and read a newspaper. like, the whole thing. every story, in every section. this is like, three, four hours of good reading. more if it's sunday. the times is like, a day's worth. even i don't... and i read a LOT. (*digression. i only skip the lame sections. sports don't interest me, business is like a conservative took a dump in the presses, and all those bullshit "travel" or "cars" type sections are just like crackers upon which fuckloads of ad revenue are smeared.)

most people just pick up the newspaper, rattle through it looking at the pictures and headlines, and picking out the odd story that catches their attention. i'm talking from observations of how people (don't) read newspapers. it's like, a bias toward news that's either photogenic, or really, really gross. the incisive commentary, the in-depth reporting, the broad analysis of serious global issues (*not some freak-of-nature wave... like, the poverty and hunger and constant widespread death) .... those supposedly redemptive aspects of newspapers don't have pictures of paris hilton or dumbfuck guns-for-hire getting strung up from bridges to attract the body politic's attention. not when distracted by the millions of other things that the postindustrial capitalist economy piles on us, anyway.

thus, these little nuggets of counterhegemonic gold get buried, where just sad, cynical, pseudo-intellectual weiners like me get to read them and brood. and also the widespread demographic of people with lots of time on their hands. like me, also. i guess. errr.. i don't really have that much time on my hands. i just waste it by reading.

note also, that thought turned into a rant. goddamnit i need to go to bed.

i didn't even read what i just wrote and i'm real baked. so i suppose that came off kinda snippy. ah well, snippy it is. the state of the world calls for snippiness.