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Guidelines

MUSIC:

  • Buy, and memorize, Abbey Road.
  • It’s exactly as ridiculous to like a band for being popular as is it to dislike them for the same reason.
  • Most of us cannot afford true high-end speakers. Buy a good set of headphones. I use Sony Studio Monitors.
  • While the industry is in chaos, stumbling around blindly trying make money in this new digital era, free downloading need not be a bad thing. If you like a band, see them live. Buying merch at a concert (or on their website) will earn the artist more than buying 10 of their albums at a store.
  • Ultimately, to artists with enough talent to do so, should be able to make a comfortable living practicing and performing their art. As high-fidelity, ala-carte, DRM-free music is made available online at a reasonable price, it is a fans duty to pay it.
  • Auto-tune needs to be annihilated. Like polio.
  • As much as the concert may be blowing your mind, a cell phone video will do nothing to capture to sound or energy of the show. A telephone used to to share that sound will transmit only noise, annoying noise. Put the gadget away and lose yourself in the performance!.
  • Do you own “music” from any of the following: Creed, Nickelback, I.C.P., Limp Bizket or Celine Dion? If no, move onto the next item. If yes, do the following: put down this book, find a large, rigid, flat surface, smash your head into said surface multiple times. Repeat daily until the offending items have been destroyed.
  • Unless a band asks for requests. Don’t offer them.

DRINKING:

  • DO NOT DRIVE DRUNK! It is a constant source of amazment and confusion the frequency at which I see a person stumble out of a bar, get the keys out of their pocket and drive their stupid asses home. Being drunk, by definition, means that your judgement is impaired. Leave the car at home and use the fucking taxi-cabs. If you are unable to understand and follow this one instruction, do us all a favor and kill yourself now.
  • The point at which you no longer want one shot, where you want 5 more is the point at which you need to stop taking shots.
  • The best way to lessen a hangover is to drink one water/juice/soda for every two boozy drinks.
  • Always, always tip your bartender/server. That shit may look easy. It is not. If you cannot afford to tip, buy whatever bottles you need, call a couple friends, turn on your stereo and enjoy drinking at your place.
  • Bartenders usually remember good tippers. They always remember non-tippers.
  • If there’s no line at the bar. If the bartender is obviously not busy. Go ahead to ask questions. Showing people how and what to drink is a lot of fun. If, however, the bar is busy, just order your fucking drink. Be ready with your order, and have the money ready when it’s presented to you.
  • If you like shots that require a shaker and mulitple ingredients, don’t order less than 2. Find a friend and buy ‘em a shot.
  • Blue is an immascualting color for a cocktail. Unless there is a beach within walking distance.
  • As your drunk deepens, listen to your friends. If they are, in unison, telling you that you’re acting like an idiot, you are.
  • Drink the expensive stuff first. The refinements that you’re paying for will be lost halfway into a drunk.
  • Guys, be aware that many women will let you buy them a drink having no intention at all to “get to know” you. And women, don’t let some dumb sap waste his money on you. Have some fucking self respect. Say no thanks. Move along.

DRESS:

  • There are countless ways to express yourself. Don’t let your clothing be the only one.
  • Expensive labels impress the vapid. They require neither vision or flair. Everyone looks good dipped in Prada.
  • Don’t chase fashion trends. Be aware of your surroundings, but know that simple and classic will never be out of style.
  • Be conscious of the actual shape of your body. Dress for it.
  • One well-made piece will elevate everything else you’re wearing.

DRUGS:

  • Stay the fuck away from the needle.
  • The only thing addictive about grass is never being bored. It sounds great but it can completely absorb your momentum.
  • Be aware of what the drug(s) are doing for/to you. Take hard looks at your life on a regular basis. It’s all to easy to lose your shit completely.
  • If you regularly carry shit in your car, you will go to jail at some point.
  • If you move to the harder stuff, the point is to get in and out. Experience the high. Revel in it. Then get the fuck out. It’s a matter of chasing the first high. It will NEVER be that good again. Never. Ever. Not even for you.
  • Selling this shit isn’t for amateurs. Are you willing to go to prison? The idea scares the shit outta me. There are too many other ways to make money.
  • Cigarettes are, by orders of magnitude. the most addictive drug you will ever find.

Politics:

  • Politicians are not fools. Introducing needless complexity and dogma is a proven strategy to drive the reasonable out of a debate. The fringes are easier to control.
  • The only chance we have of real change is well-informed voters placing their ballots.
  • Don’t get caught in a media wind-tunnel. Whatever your leanings, vary your media sources.
  • Money speaks louder than words.

MISCELLANY:

  • There are things your mother never needs to know about.
  • Don’t lie.
  • Omitting information is not necessarily lying.
  • Read books. They make you smarter.
  • Learn to cook. Everyone should be able to produce at lease one great meal, and breakfast.
  • If you consider a person your friend, airport rides and help moving are not optional.
  • Don’t monopolize conversation. Learn to recognize when you’re doing so.
  • McG is a hack. Brett Ratner is a hack. Diddy is a hack. Thomas Kinkade is a hack. Carlos Mencia is a hack. Nancy Grace is a despicablehack. Rachel Ray is a hack.
  • No God responsible for our creation, who knows intimately the contents our hearts and our minds will punish up for anything other than the true nature of them. Religious dogma is helpful in practice but useless as a criteria for judgement or bias.

Of Monsters and Men

Digging into my recently acquired HuluPlus account, I was watching recent Saturday Night Live. “Of Monsters and Men” was the guest.
Immediately, there’s a strong Arcade Fire influence. They were so perfectly coiffed and costumed, I wondered how many record executives were watching from the sides.
But, damn, they’re good. Horns and tambourines. Shouts of ‘hey’ used frequently, to great effect. It’s super catchy indie-pop. Well produced, but not overly-so.
Lead singer/guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and co-singer/guitarist Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson are a great duo. His Belle and Sebastian-like tenderness blends nicely with the brighter tonal range of Nanna. Again, their sound is so very reminiscent of Arcade Fire. But that’s a sound I dig a great deal.

More on NSA

As I’m reading the data being released. I am becoming more concerned with this current NSA program. The comments from the whistleblower that he could access a full slate of wiretaps on any person, anywhere. This is troubling. It appears (shockingly) that there has been a much larger overreach than originally reported.

My original point that what’s needed here and what is happening, is a fundamental rethinking of our wiretapping policies.

I do support the right of the government to have some wiretap authority over our communications. It is a tool necessary for effective law enforcement (don’t agree? watch the wire and come back to me). Like all public policies, it has been and will be abused. But it’s utopian to push for a world completely free of governmental surveillance.

It’s going to be interesting to see what more this whistleblower has to say. To watch his prosecution and his possible request for asylum in China (conjecture on my part). It is a very interesting case.

NSA Freakout

Regarding the NSA surveillance programs. I’d like to see the country relax a little bit. Yes the government is gathering a lot of data and yes it’s unprecedented. But we are dealing with new technologies. It appears that the only data gathered is general telephony activity. Phone numbers, times of calls and what not. No calls are being listened to here (and could you imagine the power required to actually listen to everything?). Ron Paul is going to file a lawsuit. He should. This is how things change. Laws get passed. Lawsuits got filed. The courts weigh in. The Legislature and Executive respond. The people respond through the ballot box.
Everybody take a deep breath. This is not the first time we’ve been spied on. It won’t be the last. Pay attention to the process, be concerned. Act when necessary. As always.