Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's Hard to Dance and Type at the Same Time

There really is a good reason I've been so obnoxiously excited about my new portable storage thingy. I've got a lot of music that I need to listen to, not very many hours in the day to do so, and a lot of dead air space at work. I've been listening to internet radio, but I really need to get better acquainted with the music that I've hoarded.

There are a lot of albums and artists that, when I see the name, I recognize and know that I like, but for the life of me can't picture in my head what they sound like. I very much want to have a specific, emotional attachment to the music that I like.

So the space between my ears at work has been filled with the following:

a renewed appreciation for pop-punk thanks to NoFX,

the desire to turn off all the lights and lie on the floor with Scanner,

pride for my "hometown" care of Ozma,

wonder at how I managed to completely overlook Kit Clayton,

longing to live in Seattle where people actually know the name Bikini Kill,

awe at the production value and complexity of the God of War soundtracks (thanks to Mahea),

a continuing inability to wrap my mind around Radiohead, despite my enjoyment of them,

vowes to listen to Doctor Rockit more often,

and frustration as I listen to the Doves over and over and each time seem to be doing work and am unable to remember a single melody or lyric to account for that warm fuzzy feeling I had while listening. I guess that just means I need to listen to them more.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Belief in Everything

I'm going to try to make this quick. That probably won't happen.

Being atheist does not mean you have a bleak outlook on life.

It doesn't mean you don't believe in anything.

It does not mean you think you have a license to loot and rape and murder because there are no consequences.

It certainly doesn't mean you are apathetic and unemotional.

Here's what atheism means for me (not to me, because that would suggest that atheism was some sort of belief system; it actually defines what you don't believe in, which gets misinterpreted to mean that you don't believe in anything).

It means I believe in a world without a moderator. No guiding force, no eye in the sky who's hand you can shake, nobody to please. It doesn't mean I think there's no goal in the universe, no creator, no ultimate destination. Those could all be.

Many of my personal beliefs have nothing to do with God. No, I don't think there's a goal, or life after death, or a beginning, or an end. But all of those could be true whether God exists or not. I actually am perfectly happy having a god in the world. I just think it's more likely that there isn't. Evidence just seems to point that way. Granted I have no good explanation for "the beginning" except that there probably isn't one. Ironically, it seems like a physical universe with a cause for each effect can't have a beginning or end.

Anyway, the point is to vent my frustration with the assertion that I must be a bleak, unhappy and uninspired (not to mention immoral) person if I don't think there's anything after I die.

Quite the contrary. You see, I feel like I have gained a heightened appreciation for life now that I think that's all there is. After all, what better reason to enjoy things and do your best than the notion that you've only got one shot at it.

But that's not really why I think life is so great, even without God. The way I figure it, experience is not only a great privilage, it's also a responsibility. We can sit and gaze at the stars and think about them and be awed at our own powerlessness and think about what incredible forces are at work. But none of those forces can look back. No sun will ever marvel at the life on our tiny rock or be proud of what an incredible wonder it's own being is. We're the only ones who can be happy and frustrated and remember. I almost want to say "nothing is beautiful unless someone can see it." We should be respectful of the amazing accident our lives are by making the best use of them. Make art and be happy.

I can't think of a more tragic waste of consciousness than destroying it or causing others to lament it.

Thinking about life without God makes me giddy with excitement. I'm not embarrassed to be a monkey's descendant. I'm proud to live in a world where you start with a twig for digging out termites and end with Black Dice. Or for that matter, Boston!

I think the good is worth the bad, because the good is so glorious that the alternative of just...nothing...isn't worth sacrificing it to prevent the bad. For that matter, the bad is always at least partly good, and the good is never all bad.

So Rise up, rise up!

Dance and scream and love!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Mahea and I went out last night to take pictures of the fire. There were so many people there on the bridge you'd swear it was a fireworks display.

This is the first fire I've been emotionally affected by (though I figure I ought to be more upset). I think I usually assume that the people who's houses are endangered by fires knew the risks when they bought such expensive views. In addition, unless the fire is particularly nasty, they likely have the opportunity to evacuate and save a number of their posessions. In this case, however, it seems like the zoo and observatory and horse ranch (yes there's a horse ranch, didn't you know?) are really stuck with being unable to protect themselves in any significant manner.

I'm sure that shows my ignorance of both fire victims' abilities to adequately cope with fire loss and the zoo/observatory/ranch's understanding of the risks associated with their locations.

Even so, if the authorities do end up deciding that they in fact did catch whoever started this particular fire, I hope know what, I think I'll just keep my wishes on that topic to myself.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sweet Ninja Jesus, I Hope It's Dubbed

The download has already begun.
Who will watch this with me?