Tag Archives: understanding

selections from Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“She’ll come back and be a serious Americanah like Bisi,” Ranyinudo said.

They roared with laughter, at that word “Americanah,” wreathed in glee, the fourth syllable extended, and at the thought of Bisi, a girl in the form below them, who had come back from a short trip to America with odd affectations, pretending she no longer understood Yoruba, adding a slurred r to every English word she spoke. (78) Continue reading

Posted in dear diary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

selections from Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (2014)

“In life, as in mutual funds, past performance is no guarantee of future results.” Continue reading

Posted in oxford, poetry of the universe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i love you like i love the ocean

an hour later: 14mg of 2C-E on the 38 Outbound. a golf course. Lands End. Eagle Point Labyrinth. the beach. a starfish. two starfish. several starfish. millions of anemones. tiny, massive anemones. a fallen tree. 14 more mg of 2C-E on the fallen tree. prancing on rocks across water to a massive boulder. staring at the open sea. staring at a tweeter on the boulder. staring at the Golden Gate Bridge. the setting sun. the setting sun. the setting sun. the setting sun. prancing on rocks across higher water to my comrades. staring in silence. the setting sun. the rainbow sky. the where does the night begin? the lush water. the lush rainbow water. the lush rainbow water singing the eternal rock & roll song. Luna playing rock music. the moon rocking the earth. the lush water. the rich ocean. the rainbow-colored endless everything flowing and ebbing the shore, ebbing and flowing the mind. hot chocolate whiskey. uncertainty. go back to where you came from. a walk in the dark. under the trees. death. thinking of death. thinking of Chris dead. thinking of mother dead. thinking i understand not love. i say i love the city. i say i love the ocean. i say i love my cousin. i say i love my mother. i know not how much. i know only so little. i try so hard. i fail so hard. walking in the dark. the bridge, the rocks, the city. what a good choice. like humans do. lights in the sky. lights on the hills. lights in the sea. lights in my eyes. lights in my brain, flashing all the same. engines, animals, boxes, hallucinations. walking in the dark. the Sutro baths. blocked off staircases. trusting my hungry, thirsty body. retreating into dark alcoves. sitting on the dark throne. contemplating community. understanding unity. walking in the dark, listening in the dark tunnel, giggling. a balance act. loving to stay dry, not needing a nut nor a sandwich. no risk necessary, just love and peace and silence. but war has given us mars. but time has given me pain. but time has given me love. but what will the net result be? when i die, will i be warm. to be alive is to be cold. contemplating community. death. understanding unity. life. off the beaten path to return to street lamp civilization. the height of Sutro’s madness. the twinkling fogless city. the end of the Geary line. the roller coaster 38 Inbound. the black panther and his aura. the rushed goodbyes. the long quick walk through downtown, crazy. depressing dada, nobody there but the walking dead. no funk no beats not forever at least. Continue reading

Posted in dear diary, poetry of the mind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

notes from 2012: The Return of Quetzacoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck

“Love never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” — 1 Corinthians 13:8 Continue reading

Posted in oxford, poetry of the universe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Franklin

In which the Hero walks in the angry streets and hears beautiful sounds. Continue reading

Posted in dear diary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

thalassa [archive]

i have tripped so hard in march.

out the door down the down down the spiraling marble stairs stopped for a flash at the flush glass door over the dog down the steps around the bush run run run down the everyday street with no name left and in up the steps up the up tripped and painless up up up the square spiral steps keys and everything and money and nothing else and back down again out the building across the street at the stop on the bus waiting waiting waiting in the bus off the bus scamper through crowds so huge across the street round the corner at the stop at the stop at the stop hands sweaty at the steps heart thumping at the stop eyes watching for the stop feet pacing on the stop mouth smoking at the stop body moving squirming grooving growing cooing falling heaving moaning sighing seeing stooping setting sun swirling at the

girl, explosion.

she hatched from an egg and her name means the sea, she chases pigeons for fun and eats chickens to stay alive, she stares at things, saying wow, and then thinks while biting the inside of her invisibly and horribly scarred cheeks, her hair used to be short but it’s getting long and she sounds like a professor because she’s never been wrong, she’s sailed, she’s flown, she’s ridden on trains, she collects rocks and glitter and other sparkly things, but none of that matters except that she hatched from an egg and her name means the sea, thalassa, la mer.

Meryl arrived tuesday night, almost exactly a week ago, and we spent the night realizing that we were together. taxi, taverna, beer, and friends, we took her to the famed dirty alley, but she wasn’t very impressed with the level of dirt. she is from new jersey, after all.

wednesday, Greek Independence Day, was a day of revolutionary flopping. sleeping in, we missed the parade at syntagma square and whatever other festivities, but we didn’t mind. we ate some delicious feta eggs with orange juice and flopped around a ton before going outside for a little walk. we wandered through the national gardens, laughing at the silly caged creatures at the mini-zoo, circling around ponds, and exploring the unknown regions of the park. as we left the gardens, it started to rain, but that didn’t stop us from walking most of the way up likavitos hill, even in the pouring rain. Meryl had to wipe her glasses clean a few times to take in the view and our clothes felt like soaked sponges, but it didn’t really matter. once we returned to our dry cave, we didn’t leave for the night. we (or at least i) ate massive amounts of pasta for dinner and porpoised out the rest of the time.

we spent thursday exploring antiquity, from the national archaeological museum to the agora to the acropolis.

for all the talk about the gods that i make here, there, and everywhere, i have yet to actually give any physical offering to any of the gods themselves, even to beautiful Athena. well, at least someone finally did:

from the agora all the way to the acropolis, Meryl collected flowers of every sort, shape, size, and color into a pretty little bouquet, which she offered to Athena on the steps of the parthenon. as she placed the votive offering on the steps, one of the guards whistled angrily at her, as if giving an offering to Athena in front of her most majestic temple broke some sort of law. i seriously felt a little worried for the fate of the man chastising people for giving offerings to Athena. after thousands of years of being spit on, the goddess has plenty of extra rage to unleash.

i had planned for us to eat and nap and be fat and merry until nightfall, but when i found i lost my debit card, the evening descended into a slush of stress. it’s okay, though. just annoying. i took my sugar mama out to bios, where we chilled with some whiskey and a few of my friends very, very briefly, but we had to leave very shortly because we had an early ferry to catch in the morning.

ah, the sea:

with the sea stretched out before you like a blue glass desert, one cannot help but descend into the fiery depths of their boundlessly rich thoughts:

for seven hours or so, we slept, stared at each other, thought about everything, ate pasta, drank hot chocolate, smelled the sea, stared at the sea, felt the sea spray in our faces, and talked talk takk…. i could go on a transglobal voyage with that girl. this time, we got off at city-icing on a volcano-cake island, Thira!

we let Maddy, Xanthe, and her awesome Californian friend Donni take our ferry back to Athina, though sad they didn’t decide to stay longer (they got bored of the island). our hostel/motel/hotel/house/home was located in Fira, the capital city of the tiny island. the guy in charge, George proved extremely friendly, driving us from the ferry to our hotel, helping us to our rooms, pointing out all the sights of the island, helping us rent a car, and at the end of our trip, dropping us off at the airport. for friday night, we saw no sights but the walls of our room and a little bit of Fira, including an amazingly delicious, intensely romantic quiet dinner with awful music selected from the 80s and 90s playing in the background. what a crazy friday night.

in the morning, we rented that white piece of crap, 25 euro for 24 hours. that’s 96 cents an hour! what a steal! and the little piece of crap handled like a dream. the island’s got one main “big” road (one lane each way, a lane you can actually fit on) making the whole place feel like a race track. i had a lot of fun driving, especially since it was my first time in a couple of months. a much needed refresher, as we roamed from beautiful rocky site to beautiful rocky site. i forgot what a little rock collector i had with me:

she probably spent about an hour total the whole day crawling on the ground searching for the perfect rock. i think she had about twenty after all was over and done with. i took about five. it’s even more funny because she’s been collecting rocks since she was just a little girl. such a creature of repetition. but as Elise pointed out, i’m really no different. here’s a picture i took of Meryl in the Bay two years ago:

and here’s my same photographic genius of the same photogenic girl just two days ago:

we are fractals. or something. or maybe it’s too big for me to even start to comprehend.

early afternoon we went to the black sand beach wow wow wow then we drove to the red beach where we laid out for awhile and even put our feet in the water wow wow wow then we drove to a lighthouse on the tip of the island wow wow wow then we drove to the highest point of the island wow wowzer wow finally we drove to Oia to watch the sunset wow wow wow ! wow ! wow ! honestly i don’t want to know what it’s like to live in such a beautiful place, because i assume you must get jaded after awhile. all we did was drive around, stop, look, and say wow! that’s all i wanted to do. oh, and eat. i wanted to eat. after our dinner the night before, we decided to eat simply, but then this happened:

delicious items, from top-frame to bottom: Meryl, water, white wine, squid pasta, Greek salad, fried cheese, goat soup. yum yum yum yum yum yum yum. definitely my favorite picture i’ve taken in awhile. Meryl got some awesome pictures on her camera too which i cannot wait to see.

anyway, i feel like i’m necessarily glazing over a lot of saturday because so much of it was just the sea, her pretty eyes, and wily mind. fill in the blanks.

sunday morning we woke up confused by the time change, repeated the Fira omelette experience, and got driven to the tiniest airport i’ve ever seen. it was probably about fifty steps from curb to gate. i was pissed we had to walk ALL the way to gate 6 when gate 1 clearly wasn’t being used. ridiculous. in flight, Meryl at her window seat wowed out at the wonderful views (which i was just about growing tired of myself) while we had a jolly time eating the tiny complimentary chocolate croissants and orange juice. on the bus ride from the airport back to Athina, we listened to one earphone each of Merriweather Post Pavilion [Live], the playlist of mpp live versions that Adam so lovingly compiled for me. things were definitely winding down.

what kind of girl washes her rocks? i don’t know but one of them left for Praha today. see you soon shooting star! don’t burn so bright you melt all your rocks! Continue reading

Posted in dear diary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

here’s looking at you, kid [archive]

what a crazy life. i’m going to tell you two of my favorite lyrics of all time. the first is from Daniel Johnston’s “To Go Home:”

gee, it’s great to be alive
takes the skin right off my hide
to think i’ll have to give it all up someday

i was introduced to it from M. Ward’s cover, but both sing it like they mean it. how can you not? how can you not think about how much this skin envelopes you, how much it is you, how someday you will be forced to shed it? when either Johnston or Ward sing it, i envision them staring into the abyss, acknowledging that someday they’ll step up to it and say, “okay,” embracing the infinite. in a similar vein, the next lyric gives me chills to my bones every time i hear it. it’s from Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.”:

can’t believe how strange it is to be anything at all

i guess it doesn’t really look like anything special sitting there all by itself in italics. it’s the way Mangum sings it. just this horribly overwhelming sublime revelation that we’re on a dot spinning around an infinity of dots, and just how STRANGE it is to be ANYTHING at all! you are something and so am i! how strange! how curious! i don’t understand it and neither do you but we keep spinning like marbles in space. this is how living people stare into the abyss:

last night rob, melissa, and i watched Casablanca. it was my second time seeing it but it’s definitely a film worth watching multiple times. and it’s a movie where love doesn’t really work out. maybe that’s why it’s so brilliant, because we all know too well how it feels when love doesn’t really work out. each of us can “remember Paris.” but WHY doesn’t love work? because we have to move to another country? because we get bored? because one of us is married already? because of fear? all of these reasons and none. love fizzles out like life. a swirl of colors turns to blackness, an orchestra burns to the ground. i just want to understand what is happening to me and what i am doing to everything around me and yet i don’t want to think about it. i want to love the universe as selflessly as a rock, but my beating heart won’t allow it. someday, i say to myself, someday. Continue reading

Posted in dear diary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beyond Good and Evil [archive]

i’ve been reading a lot the past couple days and i’m supposed to read about 150 pages more tonight. i am so happy.

for literature class i read my very first Nietzsche: “Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future.” we weren’t assigned the entire book, but i actually read the entire 80 page packet that our professor uploaded online for us. don’t take “read” to mean “understood.” i definitely didn’t know what the hell he was talking about half the time, but i don’t really mind. maybe this makes me seem ignorant or inferior or unsophisticated, but i’ll be the first to admit that sometimes when i read these guys (Nietzsche, Freud, etc.) i feel like i’m just laying the primer of understanding. complete and something-closer-to-definite understanding (i believe) only comes with multiple readings. either way, i’m reproducing some interesting selections here, either to respond to or just for the hell of it.

the packet started with Part Two and i soon learned that Nietzsche has divided his complete thoughts into thought episodes in the style of something like chapters, but much much shorter. these thought episodes range from as long as one sentence to multiple pages, but the first one certainly got me very excited to keep reading:

O sancta simplicitas! In what strange simplifications and falsifications man lives! One can never cease wondering once one has acquired eyes for this marvel! How we have made everything around us clear and free and easy and simple! how we have been able to give our senses a passport to everything superficial, our thoughts a divine desire for wanton leaps and wrong inferences! how from the beginning we have contrived to retain our ignorance in order to enjoy an almost inconceivable freedom, lack of scruple and caution, heartiness and gaiety of life–in order to enjoy life! And only on this now solid, granite foundation of ignorance could knowledge rise so far–the will to knowledge on the foundation of a far more powerful will: the will to ignorance, to the uncertain, to the untrue! Not as its opposite, but–as its refinement!

Even if language, here as elsewhere, will not get over its awkwardness, and will continue to talk of opposites where there are only degrees and many subtleties of gradation; even if the inveterate Tartuffery of morals, which now belongs to our unconquerable “flesh and blood,” infects the words even of those of us who know better–here and there we understand it and laugh at the way in which precisely science at its best seeks most to keep us in this simplified, thoroughly artificial, suitably constructed and suitably falsified world–at the way in which, willy-nilly, it loves error, because, being alive, it loves life.

oh man, why did you keep writing after this brilliance? you captured it all right there, but you had so much more to say, so many more walls to tear down, so many wrongs to right. you knew you were going nowhere but you kept on going. maybe i’ll just skip over all the stuff i consider bullshit and copy down what i think his choice moments of brilliance. that was 24, here’s 35:

O Voltaire! O humaneness! O nonsense! There is something about “truth,” about the search for truth; and when a human being is too human about it–“il ne cherche le vrai que pour faire le bien”–I bet he finds nothing.

what have you found, my friend? nothing. but i sense you fear detachment, like all human beings……

Not to remain stuck to a person–not even the most loved–every person is a prison, also a nook. Not to remain stuck to a fatherland–not even if it suffers most and needs help most–it is less difficult to sever one’s heart from a victorious fatherland. Not to remain stuck to some pity–not even for higher men into whose rare torture and helplessness some accident allowed us to look. Not to remain stuck to a science–even if it should lure us with the most precious finds that seem to have been saved up precisely for us. Not to remain stuck to one’s own detachment, to that voluptuous remoteness and strangeness of the bird who flees ever higher to see ever more below him–the danger of the flier. Not to remain stuck to our own virtues and become as a whole the victim of some detail in us, such as our hospitality, which is the danger of dangers for superior and rich souls who spend themselves lavishly, almost indifferently, and exaggerate the virtue of generosity into a vice. One must know how to conserve oneself: the hardest test of independence.

detachment + detachment + detachment + detachment – detachment + detachment = independence? i’m trying to make an equation out of your electrical impulses and failing miserably. tell me, Nietzsche, if independence is so important, what is this obsession of yours with the majestic plural?

Measure is alien to us; let us own it; our thrill is the thrill of the infinite, the unmeasured. Like a rider on a steed that flies forward, we drop the reins before the infinite, we modern men, like semi-barbarians–and reach our bliss only where we are most–in danger.

i’m now going to skip over Nietzsche’s misogynistic rant and instead mark the tainted spot with an apt quotation from Goethe placed in a footnote by the translator: “The greatest human beings are always connected with their century by means of some weakness.” alright back to Nietzsche. how about a couple short ones? 275:

Anyone who does not want to see what is lofty in a man looks that much more keenly for what is low in him and mere foreground–and thus betrays himself.

are you saying that the way we see others could possibly reveal something about ourselves? i’m going to take this all the way and say that the way you see others tells us only something about yourself and nothing about those others. from 276:

In a lizard a lost finger is replaced again; not so in man.

oh? i’ll just refer back to the Goethe quotation and move on. classic wisdom in 285:

The greatest events and thoughts–but the greatest thoughts are the greatest events–are comprehended last: the generations that are contemporaneous with them do not experience such events–they live right past them. What happens is a little like what happens in the realm of stars. The light of the remotest stars comes last to men; and until it has arrived man denies that there are–stars there. “How many centuries does a spirit require to be comprehended?”–that is a standard, too; with that, too, one creates and order of rank and etiquette that is still needed–for spirit and star.

i like what you’re saying here, but i’m not sure about the star metaphor. by the time the starlight reaches us, that star is already dead. so when i finally understand what you’re saying, will it cease to be truth? ok, maybe metaphors weren’t meant to do anything more than relate in one clear concise way and the image fails on all other sides. fine. but i’m also slightly offended because nothing is more completely true and comprehensible than our very own personal star, the Sun. it’s still there and it’s why i’m still here. apologize to it. and stick to simple brilliant statements:

Every profound thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood.

maybe. i think what you’re really getting at comes a few lines later, in 292: we’re not afraid others will understand us, we’re afraid we’ll actually understand ourselves.

A philosopher–is a human being who constantly experiences, sees, hears, suspects, hopes, and dreams extraordinary things; who is struck by his own thoughts as from outside, as from above and below, as by his type of experiences and lightning bolts; who is perhaps himself a storm pregnant with new lightnings; a fatal human being around whom there are constant rumblings and growlings, crevices, and uncanny doings. A philosopher–alas, a being that often runs away from itself, often is afraid of itself–but too inquisitive not to “come to” again–always back to himself.

besides the wonderful quotation i opened up this post with, this piece here blows my mind open making me think i should be expecting a sequel to Athena’s leap from the skull of Zeus. and i think you might disagree with me here, but i think you essentially described every human being on this dear planet. what is human but not an experiencing, seeing, hearing, suspecting, hoping, dreaming thing? “O humaneness!”

Nietzsche, you pissed me off most when, in a parenthesis (like it were oh-so-clear), you write, “I, the last disciple and initiate of the god Dionysus.” you were a classics major, but even i know that this is what the ancient Greeks called ‘hubris.’ i hope Dionysus turned you into a dolphin. O humaneness! Continue reading

Posted in dear diary, oxford | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

firsts [archive]

they finally posted the coachella lineup:

FRIDAY: i can’t stop loling it up. what a complete joke. paul mccartney? nobody cares about paul mccartney except paul mccartney. hey paul: Hey Jude sucked then and it sucks now. i wish they had gotten John Lennon instead. i hear Morrissey is cool, so i guess people could watch him instead of franz ferdinand. Meryl raved a bit about Leonard Cohen but i know nothing about him. Conor Oberst is a dick but i’m sure he’ll put on a cool show, along with Beirut, Black Keys, and Girl Talk. god i think the only act i would actually be crazy about seeing on friday is M. Ward. i’ve also heard a lot of good things about the Bug from people whose music taste i respect.
consider: Aphex Twin and mum alone destroy this entire lineup.

SATURDAY: the killers? the killers? people listen to the killers? i mean, the killers? the killers was the band that i kept comparing nin to the day The Hand That Feeds leaked. my head dropped in my hands and i almost cried because my favorite band in the whole universe was turning into the killers. now the band i used for such lofty comparisons is headlining coachella on saturday. awesome. amy winehouse? i don’t know. Thievery Corporation is cool and all, but it’s really just second-rate Portishead. everyone loves TV on the Radio and MSTRKRFT but i have yet to get into either. Fleet Foxes!! Mastodon! Henry Rollins?? Hercules and Love Affair? Dr. Dog? Calexico? alright these are pretty cool acts, but still nothing that really wows. i’m pretty sure this was the killer (ha) day for me at last coachella.
consider: Kraftwerk, Portishead, Animal Collective, and Prince vs. Thievery Corporation, Amy Winehouse, Fleet Foxes, and The Killers

SUNDAY: wow! a good headliner! i actually would love to see The Cure, but they’re not going to make me crazy about missing the festival. with My Bloody Valentine, we’re starting to talk. Public Enemy? apparently Sunday is the day to go. i guess Sebastien Tellier, Junior Boys, and Supermayer might be cool to see. but still…..
consider: Roger Waters performs the Dark Side of the Moon followed by Justice afterparty.

as much as i bitch about the lineup, it pleases me immensely to see how much it sucks….. because i can’t go anyway! moving on.

i bought my first pack of cigarettes yesterday. why? i am a big proponent of experimentation and indulgence. experimentation opens up the mind to the world and its many ways. i feel that the unexperimenters have destined themselves to the couch in front of their tv, watching reruns, fast forwarding through commercials, eating the food they know they love, happy, content, placid, bored. experimenting not only helps you understand the billions of people and animals and rocks and nothingness around you, but it also helps you understand yourself. indulgence is less defendable, in my opinion, but it just happens to reflect a big part of who i am. jumping into a pool is far more interesting than inching in. i like to spread out my arms and say Everything Everything Everything. i can’t just “like” bands, i have to obsess over them. i am going to enter the world of smoking while in Europe and then i’ll leave when i return to the US. i actually made a $20 bet with Xanthe last night that i will never buy a single damn cigarette in the US. as naive as it might sound, i am serious about this. why smoke tobacco when you can smoke marijuana?

yesterday was also the first time that i went to a lesbian bar. i’m friends with these girls that live together–Xanthe, Maddy, Caitlin–and the latter has been here since last semester. she wanted to take us and since they’re all really cool, i didn’t have any problem with it. the four of us, sam, and whitney went together and had a pretty sweet time. for not being a lesbian (besides being the kind stuck in a man’s body, ha ha), i actually really liked the place. it was chill.

today i woke up around 2 and got out of bed to get myself some lunch at cya. i ate alone, but since i’ve managed to get my iphone on the wireless network there, i made good use of the time to read a ton of nytimes. apparently a bunch of neo-forests are springing up where older rain forests had been slaughtered earlier, with such great intensity and speed that scientists around the world are going ? ? ? what’s going on ? ? ? are environmentalists crazy ? ? ? i wish i understood the world ? ? ? it’s funny watching people try to figure out what the hell is happening around them. it made me happy to see that millions have been protesting in the streets of France against sarkozy. no matter what the cause, i always support protest. it makes me happy to see people getting pissed off and yelling. they seem so alive!

i actually found myself surprised to read some nice articles about the US. apparently senators can still do things. i don’t know the details of the bill, but it seems good enough on the surface. unfortunately, “The bill would increase tobacco taxes to offset the increase in spending, estimated at more than $32 billion over four and a half years.” it sucks that smokers get punished for something they should be free to do without special taxes. raise taxes on broccoli and alcohol and roller coasters, too.

dude. look at our fucking president:

what. a fucking. baller. Obama makes signing a bill look like moonwalking. i’m down with girls getting paid the same as boys. then after calling out the bulls on parade, he tells people to just chill out a little bit. leaving lunch, i started a little wander through the streets of Athens. a few minutes after starting my walk, with all the nytimes running through my head, a smile just broke across my face. the sky was a pale blue with some scattered puffs of clouds and i actually felt good about things my President was saying and doing. i almost wanted to go up to some random person and say, “hey. do you know Barack Obama? he’s my president.” this is so unlike me and i’m still remembering that he’s plugged into one of the most corruptible systems in the world, but still. things are looking pretty alright so far. he seems to actually think, care, consider. he seems to hate bullshit and bullshitting around. he seems cool. THIS is the guy i would want to kick a few beers back with.

i have a map of Athens pinned on the wall behind my computer, so i’m always thinking with my eyes, i want to go.. there! the closest thing to me was what looked like a giant cemetery. so i started wandering there, mapless, and eventually found it. i don’t know how it compares to say, pere lachaise, in size, but it’s pretty massive. i just walked through it directionless, trying to get lost among death, and i eventually got deep enough in that the ambience of traffic was nearly muted. death obsesses me. i really have no idea if other people are down with exploring random cemeteries by themselves, but i think its pretty profound. i think a lot about how everyone thinks about death. we think about those who have gone before and we wonder when our own time will come. we wonder why so many people have such big markers, but then we consider those who were left to the dogs.

in classical Greece, being left for the dogs stood as one of the, if not the one, deepest disgraces one could suffer. personally, i wouldn’t mind being left for the dogs. they’re hungry dogs, and even if you hide under meters of marble, they’ll find you eventually. Continue reading

Posted in dear diary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alive [archive]

i’m thinking and thinking and thinking but nothing notable of the day before comes to mind. maybe i’ll go off on another metaphysical rant.

there’s this constant nagging feeling within me that the more i think i understand the Universe as a whole, the stupider i become. the more i seem to see the grand picture of society and its cellular wheels in motion, the more awkward in society i act. the more i know about everything, the less i know about anything.

it’s like when i listen to the song Alive by Daft Punk. i feel the rising tension, the breaks, the pounding bass, i see it all before me rising like a mansion of earthly delights. yet i cannot explain its architecture. i don’t know what key it’s in, i have no idea what equipment they’re using, i can’t imagine how long it could make something like that. but i walk through its rooms daily, lie on its furniture, lick its freshly painted walls. i’m done with this metaphor.

the point is that i often find myself sitting in class, head lowered, eyes bright, thinking, not thinking, conceiving, trying to capture everything, envisioning a man rowing down a river, his arm pushing against the current, his family in the winter, pushing against the current, the accumulation of wealth and knowledge in complex societies leading to wars between civilizations, pushing against the current, copper, iron, lead, tin, glass, volcano, ocean, alloyed against the current, interdependence between peoples, interdependence between cultures, interdependence between creatures, interdependence between their cells, interdependence between chemicals, interdependence between atoms, interdependence between worlds, centers, i am the center, god is the center, gold is the center, wisdom is the center, i am pushing against the current, god is pushing against the current, gold is pushing against the current, gold is pushing against the current, wisdom is—“ronny, what do you think?” “uh…i’m not really sure what you’re looking for.”

if that paragraph looks like one picture to you, i am astonished.

if i were a genius, i would have written a book already and i’d be giving lectures and i’d have my own wiki and an army of critics would sharply disagree with me and the pope would condemn my teachings and teenagers would masturbate on the phone with their girlfriends after bragging about how they read my work and loved it but didn’t understand it and a rapper would rhyme my name with “spur” or “stir” and then the paperback would come out and then i’d die truthless and unhappy.

but i’m not a genius.

if you say something enough, does it become true or do you start to believe it? everyday i tell myself that Athena is with me, and now i’m actually starting to say it to other people. it obviously starts as a big joke but i bet any day now i’ll be seeing her next to me everywhere i go. or maybe i’ll be following her like Telemachus or something. i think it would be awesome if people started calling me an Athena freak, in contrast to the same old boring Jesus freaks. i think i could take them all, with Athena on my side. have you seen her helmet? it is badass. i wonder how president obama would respond to my saying, “i only remain faithful to the one true god, Bright Eyes Athena.” he’d probably give that sweet little chuckle that won him the election. i’d grill him and say, you made sure to mention your precious muslims and “nonbelievers” in your inauguration speech, but i think leaving out the Athenians will very well prove to be your most heinous mistake. prepare for blood to run through the streets paved on your precious soil.

in case you didn’t know, i’m obsessed:

Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo
Bangalter / de Homem-Christo Continue reading

Posted in dear diary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment