Friday, August 8, 2008

My New Favorite Blog

I'm not sure how he would feel about this, probably he would not approve, but seeing as I have had a growing Orwell obsession over the past few years, I'm still excited at the prospect of reading his previously unpublished writings, every day.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

John Six Pack?

So it's about time Kwame is hauled off to jail. And good on the Judge for doing what everyone has been saying needs to be done for months now. But "John Six-Pack?" since when is this a term that people use? I'm not sure how to feel about it...

Friday, August 1, 2008

10 Things Everybody Needs to Do

Warning: this is a self-helpish type post based on Jezebel post from three months ago, that was based on an Esquire article. So basically it’s totally unoriginal, but really what isn’t anymore?

Anyway the Esquire article was all about “skills” that mens should master, so then Jezebel counters with 25 things ladies should learn to do, which was for the most part pretty right on. But really, for all of our differences, there’s a lot of things that both men and women do, if not for themselves, then for everyone. Because really, us humans are fucking up left and right (myself very much included) So here’s my list:

10 Things Everybody Needs to Do

1) Make Your Own Stuff.
Humans have become lazy, fat, stupid, and pretty useless in the past 50 or so years, and in the process most of us would be totally helpless if/when the whole giant machine o’ progress stopped. The Pioneers made their own homes, food, clothes, all of it. The least we can do is learn one practical skill. Plus I imagine you’d get a giant sense of satisfaction from creating something, and you’d save some money/not contribute to all the gross conspicuous consumption. If that's too much to ask, then maybe everyone should just learn how to do basic modern stuff, like un-clog a drain, or change a tire. Because no one should be that helpless.

2) Spend Some Time with a Kid.
Yeah sometimes they can be little jerks, but kids are so refreshingly un-adult. And face it, adults can be a real downer: jobs problems, relationship problems, drinking problems… Kids generally like fun stuff like playing and laughing. Plus it can suck being a kid, adults being un-jerk like to them every once in a while can help them too.

3) Live without Stuff.
Semi-related to knowing how to make your own stuff, knowing how to go without stuff is a infinitely valuable skill. How many times do all of us utter the words, “I need _____.” Unless the sentence ends with air, water, food, shelter, or health insurance, chances are no you don’t. It’s really remarkable how much people can live without, and more importantly how happy they can be without constantly wanting more stupid crap.

4) Take No For an Answer.
A lot can be said for not taking no for an answer, for pressing on in the face of rejection and adversity. And that’s just the problem; so much has been said that people are left thinking that the world owes them something, that they possess some sort of special talent or that they can wear people down if they are persistent enough. Perseverance isn’t always impressive, sometimes it just makes you look like a fool. You got to know when to fold ‘em….you got to know when to walk away.

5) Stop Thinking about Yourself.
It really doesn’t sound like much to ask, but think about how hard it is to spend an entire day not thinking about yourself. Nearly every big and small thing we do everyday is all kinds of me-focused. If everyone could spend one entire day thinking about how their loud talking at a concert, insistence on blocking subway doors, and unsolicited advice makes the rest of the people around them feel, it wouldn't fix the any global problems, but at least it might people more aware and day-to-day life less annoying.

6) Shut up.
Ah the sound of silence! Scary as hell. Rare too. There seems to be very little time during one's day where there isn't some noise, TV, music, talking. While you're at it, try cutting yourself off from the world for a day (no news, no cell phone, no TV, no Internet) What would occupy your mind if it wasn't constantly being distracted. Probably you would get very bored, which of course probably means you're boring, which we all are kind of. But it's good to come to that realization every once in a while.

7) Go Outside.
It's not everybody's thing, and that's fine. We don't all have to be "Into the Wild" types, and there tons of awesome stuff inside. But as cheesy as it sounds, being outside makes a person feel more alive. Nature can be pretty f-ing amazing, it can calm and excite a person more than anything on a screen. Also, while you're out there it wouldn't hurt to get a little exercise...

8) Read.
Yeah it's obvious to say, but if you pick the right books/magazines/papers, they really can change the way you look at life and the world. And even if you don't pick the right ones, it's probably still way better than what's on TV. Plus it gives you something to do on the train.

9) Quit Something.
I've quit lots of things in my life (meat, drinking, men, soda, TV, MySpace), some successfully and some less so. If nothing else it gives you a sense of power and control when you follow through, and a better understanding of willpower, desire, and yourself when you don't.

10) Love Someone.
I almost didn't want to write it for how trite it is, but really it's an essential part of being a human. Not just having affection for, or infatuation with, or desire for someone, but loving someone so much that it's scary and painful and the most wonderful thing ever.