In Other Words. . .

A sanctuary for thinking people.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Born in the Wrong Era (and Time Travel)

It is currently fashionable, at least among my fellow youngsters, to decide that one's self was born in the wrong era, and consequently which would have been the correct era to be born in.

Foremost, this seems to be evidence of just how powerful we see ourselves. Instead of accepting our birth as it happened, we like to decide that it was an accident. Furthermore, do we have no hope in our collective future? Time travel is a widespread curiosity. Many people fantasize about going back in time to see what it was like, or even to live there. I doubt many of us would get along very well without modern conveniences, in the first place.

Maybe this is an extension of a want for personal identity. Everyone wants to feel special. If they identify with a certain period in history, then they can take on the reputation of those years for themselves.

If this is what we pine for, then who will work toward a better future? Our nation has focused on progress for hundreds of years. That is how we have arrived at our present position in the world and created all those wonderful eras that seem so novel compared to the Information Age. Should not our focus be creation and not spectating?

"When you glorify your past / your future dries up"

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hello Again

Hello again. I apologize to you, faithful reader, if you do indeed exist. I've been wondering what blogging would be like while having a following. Maybe it would feel more like a job, more like a real thing. Solid. Tangible. With real, virtual people interacting all the time. It doesn't seem to be that way now, but I don't mind. Your reward for stumbling upon this here website is something I just wrote yesterday. I hope it does serve as a reward.
It would seem that after many thousands of years of progress (or at least gleaming inventions) that we, the human race of homo sapien lore and antiquity, would have stored away enough sense to do away with that preposterous emotion known most popularly as love. Yes, love. Sappy, sentimental, cinematic, and perpetually original in its own right. You most likely know of it already. If you don't, I'm not willing to become your tutor in the matter, not because I know too little of it, but because I'm tired of wrapping it up tight with shimmering and effeminate lace that looks fitting only because societal discernment has painted it as such. Don't believe me? Is my writing of this piece gaining me any shred of masculinity? No. Please admit that. Lust is masculine, as is detachment. That's what they say, anyway. Nonetheless, persons of all kinds love. Or perhaps only the young ones do truly, though even they are learning well the art of cutting ties. I apologize for my earliest statement. We, the human race, of creative stupidity, are in fact well on our way to eliminating love, that most inconvenient emotion. This news will ring well to the self-proclaimed romantics, that is, if it can be rightfully called news. Call it a bulletin instead, almost a warning, but I wouldn't want to be the wet blanket of this wondrous party, so kindly stop at bulletin. However, the way of parties includes an eventual finale, which is a not-at-all-grand hurrah preceding morning, and, naturally, the hangover. This message has turned rather ugly, and for the record was not at all intended to sound negative. In my defense, it flowed here on its own current, so to speak. I end, as always, with the last word, which happens to be this: the few, the soulful, and not the masses, as has been found, continue to love for the simple reason that love is the most beautiful of possible mistakes, and that is enough.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Quiet Rebellion [A (Short) Short Story]

Home is where the heart is. His heart is in the city. From a distance, it stands as an artificial mountain tha bends the sunlight with glass and mortar. The buildings flaunt unique qualities, but are bound to conformity by their nature. The gears are always moving: shoes shuffle on the sidewalks, clouds roll overhead, the ambience of passing cars clashes with soft melodies. The music rises from a remote corner of this massive mountain where a true musician sits.

The man's appearance reveals his profession. Years spent dragging his fingers over the guitar's strings have left them rough and blistered. They are long fingers with more bone than flesh. The clothes he wears are ragged and ruined. They were once expensive, but now the cracked leather and tarnished buttons serve only to remind him of his prosperous past.

His eyes are tired from witnessing the never-ending changes of life. The hope they once held spilled out onto the pavement long ago. Now they stare straight ahead, not seeing anything while he is lost in thought. Strangely enough, he smiles quietly, a rebellion against his situation.

The sidewalk is his humble stage. His guitar leans gently against his body and is a part of him. Playing is automatic. A billboard across the way advertises a local music store. Games, shows, and merchandise with the musical motif have all appeared at one time or another. To him, it is all the work of pesky businessmen who prostitute beauty in the hope of third quarter gains.

This is where beauty lies. As always, authenticity goes unnoticed. The strings shake, propelling notes that he fashioned together, and they float on the breeze. His music flows through the city. It follows the bricks bodly, striking out to find an audience before being lost in the traffic.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hey Look: A Poem!

I was taking a walk in this random place when I found this random poem written on a nearby wall written by this random person and signed anonymous. I thought I'd share it because, if nothing else, it made me think. I don't want to give my interpretation because I want to hear new ideas, but if anyone at all actually reads this and comments, I'll be sure to share my thoughts as well.

Have a Good Day.

The image of
Home floats by--

Freedom to move
Maybe a girl
Quiet and laughter
Sing the praises
Of each new day

Then I see
The picture fall away
Because it's flat
A cheap postcard
Taped to a bleeding wall
And someone
Breaks a drum in the hall
And screams in envy
Of the fresh and
Drying color on
The floor

Nonsense-bombs hit hard
And pound in
The ceiling
Not much time left
To look out
The window
But I do
Even though
It's been
Painted black

And behind me
My bleeding wall
Comes nearer

Monday, March 14, 2011

Viewfinder: California

I'm from the east coast, so traveling to LA was an experience, to say the least. It's hard to believe that such strange landscapes are just another part of this huge country that I know so well for its green forests and hills of the east. I still don't have a real sense of the distance since I flew, but the batty luxury of Hollywood came to life quickly. I never found a really quiet place during my visit. Even in the wilderness by the shore, the waves create a sound like highway traffic in the distance. I don't really know whether I could live there. (Thinking about having to choose a permanent residence at all gives me a claustrophobic feeling.)

So there it is: the paradiso of America. No wonder Californians are more relaxed.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bleeding Hearts Are "In"

Non-profits are springing up like weeds. Or maybe they're just coming to light. . . Either way, the U.S. of A. seems to be on a mission to make the world a better place, or is that just the pretty slogan we like to wear across our t-shirts?

The environmental movement got things going several years ago. Those groups alone have been quick to place the environment above the importance of human beings, by the way. Many of my peers, if not all of my peers, have latched onto this movement with a death grip as well as being huge supporters of homosexuals.

By no means am I putting down either of these causes. The Earth should obviously be protected, but I don't believe the state of things is as terrible as some people say. We should also not discriminate against gays, but redefining marriage is a rather drastic undertaking. My point is that young people need to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves. Look at the 60s and the Vietnam War. Whether you were against the war or supporting it, no one really knew what was going on. Has anything changed since then? I see t-shirts for Darfur, for suicide prevention, for homosexual awareness, and for the planet, but many times the shirt is the most that that person is willing to do for the cause. Perhaps they simply don't know how to help.

At any rate, I fear that our obsession with doing good is just an extension of our long-lived goal: making ourselves feel better. Kids are flocking to a cause because everyone else is. Celebrities are doing plugs for charities, social media sites make it easy to show others how wonderful you are by "liking" a non-profit, and beloved characters in movies and on television are often the non-conformist weirdo.

In simple terms, being weird is hip. Not everyone is taking the bait. After all, someone has to represent the jocks and cheerleaders, but everyone else wants in on the trend. The effect is a bunch of empty suits waiting to be recognized for their non-existent efforts to put an end to [human trafficking/discrimination/pollution/eating disorders/low self-esteem/ignorance].

This isn't a criticism as much as it is a call to arms. If you're gonna stand for something, stand up and be ready to fight to the death for it if need be! Forget how great you look in Project RED shoes and take 5 minutes to find out if there is a way to volunteer. This isn't a parade for displaying your knowledge of the downfalls of society. Earn your colors.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

To: Us Kids--The Doldrums

As a kid, I could never understand why adults hated winter so much. I would have done anything to secure a 4-5 inch blanket of powder to be used for sledding, forts, fights, etc. Now I'm just excited for spring. Thunderstorms, fresh air, and new growth are infinitely more appealing than this Winter Wonderland. Why?

If you have never read The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, go buy it now (or, to be fair, you can also rent it from your local library). In this witty children's book, the Doldrums are a physical place, named after the general feeling of boredom and apathy. One arrives there by not thinking and leaves by doing the opposite. The inhabitants of the Doldrums lie around all day not doing anything in a style reminiscent of an 80's bike gang.

I am making this obscure reference because the Doldrums doesn't really exist for kids, but the rest of the human race knows it well. Kids get bored all the time, but since their goal is to have fun, boredom can disappear as quickly as it came. To them, something as simple as snow is a reason to rejoice. If it melts, no problem! Now they can play football, and baseball, and tag, and draw on the sidewalk. To adults, snow triggers only practical repercussions: the roads will be bad, the windshield will ice over, the driveway will need to be shoveled. Also, this time of year in general seems to stretch life out before our eyes in a single thread. Everything that is happening, has happened, or will happen, is clear, and not a bit seems interesting. This mundane state of existence threatens to last forever.

For the last two weeks, I have been sitting solidly in the Doldrums. Much of my time has been spent lying in bed, thinking about all the things that need to be done. Very few things give me the motivation to get up, one of which is hating not having anything to do. Part of the problem is the time of year. The dreadful winter weather is coupled by the concept that summer is out of reach. There are no major holidays for quite some time. Simply, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, or so it seems. Days and entire weeks blend together because nothing happens to make one stand out from another. One struggles through 5 work days, if not more, to reach the almighty weekend which ends up flying by in the blink of an eye. The cycle repeats ad nauseum.

I am mentioning all these depressing realizations in order to combat this growing mental sickness. Take heart, all you children of the Information Age! There will soon be (brief) salvation from this stretch of boredom and crippling monotony. It will arrive with the return of the sun and preside over the resurrection of all things green. Time, in its abundance, will be wasted without care. Worries will be distant annoyances that can be put off until tomorrow. We will wonder how we ever forgot the art of relaxation. And the breeze! The breeze will knife through the branches, creating that beautiful white noise of nature that we have been craving since the last leaf fell. We will take for granted the golden sunlight of the twilight hours and the pavement left warm from a day of heavenly light. And when the air goes cold again, the memories of these days will serve our warmth better than a thousand wood fires.