Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Equal Consideration

Some would like to dismiss consideration for any sentient being that isn't human because it's lower cognitive abilities, or it's allegedly more limited emotional spectrum. But I would argue that equal consideration for all sentient beings should not be dependent on the mental or physical capabilities of the being.
Those who would argue the former point would mostly likely be inconsistent by the fact that they would likely consider the happiness and/or wellbeing of a mentally retarded human, but not that of an animal.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

fashion as a fetter

There was a time for me (and I suspect for all of us) when I was unaware of "fashion," in reality it was more that I didn't care about it; I knew what I thought looked good, but I was okay with going to school or what-have-you wearing clothing that was regular, generic or plain so long as it was reasonably clean. It wasn't a choice not to care, it simply was natural for me not to be overly interested in it; if it had been a choice, then I would have cared, just in a different way.
Anyways, now days things are different. I do care about the styles, what is new, what is edgy, what is redundant and what is over with. But I'd be okay with all that, if only it didn't permeate every activity I did. Too often I gauge the coolness of an activity by how cool it looks not only that, but I also often judge the legitimacy of a thing by the how aesthetically pleasing it's setting and people are. 
This is developing slowly into something which Buddhism might call a fetter, (something which stops you from reaching enlightenment and ties you to suffering) it might sometime prevent me from seeing the truth in a thing because of that things hipness or lack of hipness. I think I know the answer to reversing this process though. I need to immerse myself in something that I care greatly about. Consciously spend more thoughts on a passion.
I want to state that despite all this I am not anti-fashion, I simply think that something used mainly to impress others could ever worth that much time.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

To Quote a Friend: "A Blog, About Blogs"

Okay, okay. I know I just now posted, but whilst doing so a thought came into my head that I don't feel like saving to share later. It's small, coarse and perhaps endearing enough to be suspicious, but that's everything a blog post should be, right? Which brings me right into the matter at hand.
Blogs are such an interesting format for people to be channeling their thoughts into. Blogs are seemingly uncommon and-of-the-way enough that when we write in them we are confident that readers and friends won't venture from the downtown of facebook and texting far enough to reach the suburbs where our blogs reside and so we take on a certain amount of intimacy and sincerity with our reader (which we are sure will never come), that we lack in our status updates and photo comments.
Yet we have not wholly forgotten that we are on the internet for heavens sake, we do not go so far as to cross the threshold into diary land (at least not most of us) and it is this which makes blogs so wonderfully different from so many other writing outlets. The idea that someone might, that someone conceivably could search out or stumble across our stash of harvested thoughts, it is this which gives us the feeling of obligation to keep our posts coherent, somewhat relevant and organized. It is also this possibility that keeps us posting and attempting to keep our posts fresh, interesting, and intelligent. It's exciting to wonder who our ghost audience might be and to try and prompt them into giving comments and starting discussion.
Yep, blogs sure are crazy. I think what it comes down to is that we humans like to be peeked in on. We actually kind of want people to see us somewhat exposed, and for many people, their blog is a window, through which they bring to light, perhaps not their deepest and darkest,but certainly many of their more abstruse thoughts, hoping a few people might be spying in on them.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Perhaps a Little Too Snobbish a Thing to Say

Many people are in the habit of having notions that they want to believe so much that they just build their philosophy around--or subscribe to a philosophy that fits well with--these notions. I am going to tentatively point this out as a typical habit in "western" thinking.
Another way of pointing this out would be to say, we typically feel a great amount of guilt for a great amount of the things that we do, but rather than change these things we would seek to justify them, in such marvelously ingenious ways, that we come out fooling even our own selves.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Apology or: How I learned to stop being frustrated by Wikipedia's cursory articles (on art and literature) and recognize them as manifestations of my high probability of enjoying the art, on which those certain articles had been written

At times I find myself exceedingly frustrated when I hear or read about a film, book, or any piece of art that I find worth looking into, but upon turning to Wikipedia, I find that the article cannot adequately explain whatever it is that I am looking up! My mentality at these times usually goes something like this,
"I'm a busy man! I need to know what art is worth spending my time on! And G-D-it, Wikipedia, it's your job to help sort it out for me!"
It's ironic (and worth noting) that I simultaneously can think this and also understand that any piece of art that I am personally likely to classify as "great" will capture a concept in a way that will not be able to be explained adequately and will only be fully understood upon viewing and comprehending the piece itself.
In other words, the things that I find "inadequately" explained on Wikipedia (I say "things" meaning art) are likely to be the things that I will most enjoy. So I apologize, Wikipedia, for thinking that you were slacking off. Keep up the good work.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Objectivism and Torch Bats

To make a long story short, a little over two years ago I read Ayn Rand's Anthem in Elventh Grade English. This was my first introduction into any "real" philosophy and the extreme individualist ideas portrayed in the book fit well with all my afore made conclusions--in which, I think it is appropriate to mention, my conservative background played no small part. Needless to say, I quickly latched on to Objectivism (the philosophy founded and taught by Ayn Rand)--and being, at the time, an even more avid reader than I am now (if it is possible)--I rapidly devoured all of Ayn Rand's fiction in no time, washing them down with many an objectivist essay.
As I'm sure any one of my friends will tell you, at this time I was an insufferable zealot who tried, at every opportunity, to shove in some sermon on "rationality" or "the importance of selfishness" into the casual conversation or heated forum debate. However, after a matter of months my zeal subsided and I stopped searching out youtube philosophy wars and objectivist celebrities. Since this time I have researched and have become acquainted with many philosophies and my readings have strayed far and wide from the straight and narrow that John Galt would like to have seen me walk, however, like the old, faded and long outgrown aquabats tee shirt hanging in my closet, I cannot bring my self to simply discard it and walk away.
Maybe it's fond sentimentality towards my first philosophic harbor, maybe it's the time and energy that was invested in it that makes it hard for me to drop it for good, or maybe I think that it's still good for something: that there's still some life left in it. I think that I had a thought just now that sums it up perfectly, this connection that I still feel with my objectivist roots comes from the fact that I don't really want to lead a John Galt or Howard Roark life, but I would like to live in a world where someone could, if they liked.
I think it is also worth mentioning here that I saw the afore mentioned tee shirt being worn by my little brother this morning, maybe someday he'll pick up The Fountainhead too.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Haiku #1

The boy on the bike
as I mowed the new grass
looked back at me

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cover that cover

This is a plea to book publishers everywhere; a plea for you to stop ruining perfectly good books with awful book covers. Look, I know that it's superficial and ridiculous of me, but I have and will continue to judge books by their covers and when, the other day, I traveled to the local book store and saw one of my favorite  books with a horrendous cover, I thought of all the poor people who may never read that book just because of some photoshopped fire behind a silhouette. So once more I am imploring that if you are in doubt about what to wrap a book with, just stick a blank white cover on it, with the title and author printed neatly in black on the center.
Thank you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010


smash a tv-vomit into a bucket-tables breaking-kick it when you're done-eat eat eat-crumble the headphones around your ears-shattering-grazing past your ear-open the door open the door-roll out onto the highway-poo poo poo-take what you've got and build a sculpture of yourself-shatter the mirror-put on the mask-split it at the seams-underbelly-take out the batteries, put them into something else-running out of power-don't touch it-kill the beast-harness the animal-liar-stealer-hypocrite-I promise, I promise, I promise-I'm not

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wait, what?

If I truly have free will,
Then why is it that I've always done what happened
and never anything else?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

No need for the large air tank, we're not diving too deep here.

Anyone who has been keeping up with this ridiculous blog knows that my last few post have been subject to some amount of levity, however, I'm breaking the humor streak (to, no doubt, the relief of the majority of my few readers) and getting "down to business," as one might put it. I will be journeying back into, what some might say is my home field, that is, moral philosophy. I hope I haven't frightened all my readers back to facebook with those two words, but I also hope they provide ample warning to the remains of my audience that this might not be the cheeriest, nor the easiest, read. For those who wish to "bail" now, here are a few exits to other, somewhat worthwhile, pursuits.

 Exit #1

 Exit #2

 Exit #3

Alright, now that we've ditched the others at various internet roadside cafes we can, just you and I, finally have out this one-sided conversation without worrying about the other's overhearing.
Now, I'm going to do a "right-side-up" pyramid thing with this article (starting with an idea about a specific subject and using it to make a broader point) I dearly hope that Mrs. Jenkins never finds this, but should she, I say, in my defense, that this is no news article, and I am no reporter.

Alright, alright, alright. I'll get get get to it. I'll just come right out and say it, what the freak is with the concept of Justice? I really don't get it anymore, it doesn't fix anything. I'm talking about punishing someone for a crime or wrongful action. I can understand imprisoning someone because they've shown that they are a threat to society and their fellow man, but why do people have to tack justice on as a reason for it? How is that any good? When did vengeance become a state endorsed activity? Now, I know the issue runs deeper than this, and there is a lot of ways one could respond to this, (something I hope happens, and which I encourage), but the point I am trying to is this: just because a concept--such as justice--has been ingrained into you by your culture or environment, does not mean that it is "good" or even necessarily that it even makes sense. It's important to think these things through with honesty so that you're not using supposed moral concepts to justify your actions or lifestyle.
I was planning on this being much longer, but--to your relief, I'm sure--I have decided to end on that note. Take this post however you want, like always, I'm just saying...

Monday, March 22, 2010


Now, I know you're probably already snickering, but this isn't what you think. I'm simply noting an observation I made the other day concerning the crew, and our apparent love for balls of all sorts.
Think about it. The first time I went over to Pat's house, one of the first things I noticed was several rubber band balls laying around. Think of George and that giant ball of chewed gum he kept in his freezer. And I'm pretty sure someone had a lint ball going there for a while. I even saw Dakota eat a ball once--a little strange, maybe, but which of us hasn't felt compelled to manifest, in some form, our love for balls. Patrik has, for hours at a time, divulged to me his interest in rubber "bouncy" balls, and him, myself and George once went on a whole mission--into the deep, dark, and very very dank lair of Mr. Summers--to rescue one of our most beloved balls.
So, without going into what Freud might say about this balls obsession, I think we can all say that we love our balls, big or small, light or heavy, rubber-band or made of gum.

Monday, February 22, 2010

List Countdown

This is a post about lists and ten hopefully interesting personal feelings I have about lists.

10. If I see a list that is a countdown--especially with ten or less items in it--I feel extremely curious and am drawn into reading it.

9. If I see a post or article with a list in it--and the items on each list are two or less sentences--I tend to gravitate toward it, and am more likely to finish it.

8. However, if the items in the list are longer (say a paragraph or two) I am immediately turned off and am less likely than ever to read it.

7. If one of the items in the list has an eye catching word or phrase that I have personal interest in, I always want to see what it is saying. (these include names, book titles, and songs like,






6. If there is a space between each item, I feel like it's more readable.

5. I always feel productive when I write lists, but I also feel productive when I read lists. It gives me a specific number of facts I have newly learned.

4. I think that newspaper or magazine article (and especially blogs) that are entirely in countdown list form are more widely read.

3. I tend to "take the writer's word for it" more when reading a list.

2. I've found list writing to be a destructive habit when it comes to listing things I want to do. I often (subconsciously) feel that, when a goal of mine is written down on paper, it'll just hop right off the page and go get itself done.

1. I feel satisfied when I reach the end of a list. I think everyone does.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cookie Cutter

This story is fictional, it does not represent the views of Carl's Jr. Inc or any of it's subsidiaries. My agenda is also, in no way, to promote any animal rights interests or anything like that. It's just a story.

Sitting at a Carl's Jr table--moodily observing the costumers that I would be cleaning up after when I returned from my thirty minute lunch break--a boy of about seven to nine caught my eye. He was keeping a prudent distance from his party (a small family consisting of himself, two parents and a baby) and sporting a bright blue beanie, an over sized dark green long sleeved tee--with the sleeves pushed up past the elbows, and light tan shorts; his wardrobe was obviously of his own design and he seemed to have a damned high opinion of it (in spite of what his mother may have said before they left the house). He was staring at me with his mouth slightly ajar (as only boys of seven to nine who dress themselves can stare at seventeen to twenty year old boys) and continued to do so for a few moments after I started watching him. Realizing I was returning his stare, he hurriedly looked away, straighted his posture (and his dignity), and silently told me with an offended sideways glance that he could not help his being seven to nine and that any judgements I passed on his age and lack of facial hair would only result in loss on my part.
Losing interest for the moment--and not wanting to injure the pride of any more pre-pubescent adolescents--I began staring out the window and contemplating more global issues--such as how one might elude washing the lunch dishes. I was interrupted in the middle of a scheme--which included faking some sort of skin disorder--by a loud and embarrassed reply by the afore mentioned boy to his mother's question as to whether he'd like chicken stars,
"No I don't want any stars!"
"Well would you like a hamburger?"
"No! I'll just have some fries." and with that the boy moodily stomped off to the farthest table from any of the resaraunts other inhabitants.
I promptly forgot about the incident, finished my modest lunch, and returned from break.
About half an hour later--after having failed in eluding the dishes--I was pointed, broom in hand, toward the lobby, and sent on my way. I marched to my usual starting point for this chore--the children's playland--and began my task. I was going about my business under the impression that I was alone in the room--a fact with which I was mildly pleased--so I was startled, and slightly put off, when I heard a sigh emmiting from the other side of the play structure. I shifted my thoughts to more "others-are-in-the-room" topics and continued my sweeping. Upon reaching the inhabited end of the room, I saw that the occupying individual was none other than the seven-to-nine year old boy, looking sullenly out the window into the parking lot. However I did my best to ignore his presence and went about my business. When I breached a seven foot proximity to the boy, he looked up at me, slightly surprised to see me there. I gave him a nod, and, after a few moments, added a how's-it-going. He grunted in reply and returned looking out the window, then he added--not as one who wishes to criticize, but as someone who wishes to make up for a grunt of a reply with some offhand observation--"Your guy-ses fries aren't very salty."
I stopped sweeping and leaned on the broom (in a manner that has, no doubt, ruined many a good broom at restaurants all over the globe). I told him that I was aware of the fact and that I shared his distaste for under salted fast food. I also added--this being something that I had actually spent some time thinking about--that when I was cooking fries, there was, by no means, any shortage of salt on them. He broke a small smile and asked me if I cooked often.
I explained to him that I was being trained to become a shift leader and I cooked once or twice a week, I was also about to divulge to him the ruthless manner in which certain people were prone to take advantage of shift-leaders-in-training, but, remembering his age, I spared him the ramblings of an angst-riddled employee.
He was silent for a moment, then as if he had remembered something, his face turned into a scowl and he looked out the window. I awkwardly resumed sweeping.
The boy suddenly exclaimed, without turning his head, in a high voice, "How come you cut the chicken into stars!?"
His sudden outburst caught me off-guard and I fumbled out an explanation about our lack of control concerning how chicken nuggets arrived to us. The boy continued to look out the window, obviously absorbed in his own thoughts. He then quietly explained, more to himself than to me,
"I mean, I like chicken, I always get the chicken nuggets at other places, but they don't really have a shape, you know? It's like, when they're stars, they're cookies or something, but it was a chicken once, you know? Cutting its body into some cutesy shape just freaks me out a little, is all..."
I was about to mumble some reply, but was cut short by the boy's mother entering the play place.
"Come on now, it's time to go, let's let the nice sir finish sweeping."
The boy got up from his perch, and began walking out, head down and hands in pockets, but before he was able to leave the room I called after him, "Hey, kid!"
The boy looked back at me surprised and almost frightened looking.
"I'm with you, man." I finished.
The mother looked at me awkwardly as she left the room, but the boy laughed and ran out of the building, beaming.
The sun shone through the window, revealing a few fries scattered around the window area. I swept them into the dustpan and moved on.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Great Scene

I was trying to write a blog post on this scene, but I watched it and decided it speaks best for itself.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Silly Grown Ups

It often happens, whilst we travel down the road of life, that we find that trite old platitudes that we scoffed at, actually turn out to be quite true, however, some, when observed for any length of time, we find are actually pretty ridiculous. This is the case for one such saying, which someone pointed out to me a while ago (I can't for the life of me remember who, and it's bothering me terribly).
"Friends don't let friends do stupid things."
Friends actually let friends do LOTS of stupid things, despite what parents, teachers, scout masters, dare advisors, seminary instructors, and that guy who talks to you in junior high assemblies will tell you. The fact is when someone is your friend they usually want to do the same things as you do and have roughly the same capacity for intelligence. Friends are the people who usually don't bother you about your grades, chores and homework. Not to say that a friend doesn't sometimes fill the roll as a mentor or guide, but usually at that point they are doing just that, filling a different role.
I dunno, maybe I'm wrong. It just seems to me that real friends be themselves around you, for better or worse. Maybe even trying to put a label on what makes a friend is ridiculous, I don't know. I'm just saying...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Categorical Imperative

I've had a few ideas for different blog posts, but I've found that many of them lead back to what is called the Categorical Imperative. So I've decided to just explain this concept, and hopefully it will aid those who frequent this blog (Pat and Dax) in better understanding crap that I may post in the future.
First of all, the Categorical Imperative is one of Kant's theories (it is, in fact, the fulcrum of the moral branch of his philosophy). The principle is this: Always act according to that maxim whose universality as a law you can at the same time will. Now I know that this is one of those really long sentences that you don't feel like tackling right now, but before you go back to tetris, let me try and explain it more clearly. What it is saying is, that you should only do something if you think it would be good if everyone were to do the same thing. An example of something that would not work under the Categorical Imperative: you want to borrow money from a friend, you tell them you'll pay them back at the first opportunity, however you know that you have no intention of paying them back at all. If we put this into the formula we see it cannot work; if everyone were to ask for money without intending to pay back their debtors, not only would no one get paid back, but no one would lend money because everyone would know that everyone was lying. Lying is something that only works when the majority of humanity doesn't lie about the majority of things.
Now for the sake of not making this an overly lengthy post I'm going to end things here. It should be known that this isn't quite the full concept of the c-i, but it is a crucial idea to grasp. If you want to know more about it here's a link to follow, I'll probably be posting more about this sort of stuff in the future.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Brothers Karamazov

Okay, I admit it's long, and it's no book to pick up unless one happens to have ample reading time, but if you ever happen to be able to read Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov I highly recommend it. It really gives voice to many thoughts that I think we've all had, but that I have never heard expressed coherently. I'll spare you further review (People raving about their most recent obsession can be pretty tiresome).

Monday, February 1, 2010

Goodbye, Buddy

J.D. Salinger's books changed my life, and even though he wan't publishing anymore, while he was still alive I felt like his works were still continuing. His death marks a definite end to his writing. So I suppose my sadness at his passing is rather selfish, but for what it's worth, I felt like Buddy Glass what my friend, and I'll miss him.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

What's Satan's deal?

It may strike one as rather morbid--if not superlatively dark--that my first blog post should be on the archetypal lord of all evil. I can, however, assure all readers that the devil is not an entity that I allot much of my thinking time to; I merely happened across this thought several minutes ago and, as it is the first that has struck me as a good blog post, I decided to share it.
Now with that rather lengthy, and mostly likely highly unnecessary introduction, I will get to the point of this post.
If Satan has had all eternity (or even the last few million years, depending on what you may believe) to think (this post also assumes that you take the Devil to be an intelligent individual being, those of other opinions need read no further) why would he spend his time spreading sin and unhappiness throughout all humanity? If it's true that he is eternally damned to his state of...well...damnation...and has no hope of returning to "heaven" or "the presence of God" it follows that there's the guarantee that he'll be getting no reward, so some would say he spreads evil because there's no point in him doing good. But this would assume that there is no intrinsic reward for doing good, which--I hope--most people know not to be true. So the question--however ridiculous it may seem--is posed: why doesn't the demonic under-lord and his minions spread good instead of evil, thereby at least giving themselves some remote satisfaction in their own existence? The only logical answer one might be able to give (while still maintaining the existence of such a being) is that he MUST spread evil, in order to maintain balance, in which case he is disqualified as an intelligent individual entity capable of choice.
I'm not really looking to state anything here, or come to any sort of conclusion...I'm just saying.