Monday, March 24, 2008
I read up on Che Guevarra, and he was basically the Osama bin Laden of the 60's and 70's. He wanted to foment Civil War wherever he went, in the name of Socialism. He is seen as a hero of the common people, and the class disparity in South America meant that he had many people willing to listen to him. The huge wealth gap in South and Central America today is why Che is still revered there. The problem is that most Civil Wars only end with the slaughter of those who they are ostensibly supposed to be helping - the poor and voiceless - and the people who win are generally as bad as the ones they replace. Much of the wrath of South American Revolutionaries is directed at the U.S., but the U.S. only screwed with South and Central America so much because of the Cold War. If Che and Fidel hadn't aligned themselves with the United States greatest enemy, then we most likely would have left them alone.
And for those who love Che, btw, he has said that he would have launched the nukes Cuba had against the United States. So if it were up to Che, none of us would be here right now. The man himself was less important than what was made of him postmortem. He became a symbol of revolution. The fact is none of his actual revolutions produced anything more than brutal military regimes. The only one that survived was Cuba, and that is due way more to Castro than Che. In fact, Che seemed to fail at his only chance to really be in charge of govt. in Cuba. His methods of violence were antithetical to a peaceful society, and in that way he showed more of a Stalinist nature. which we all know isn't good for anyone.
In the end Che is really more of a tragic figure than a romantic or inspirational one. Right now his image fuels capitalism in the form of Che merchandise, and how much of that money do you think goes to poor people in South America? Che is the Tupac Shakur of social revolutionaries, more important in Death than in Life. What he fought for was worth fighting for; how he went about it was wrong. Even Castro said that Che had aggressive tendencies, and his inability to work with others is what doomed all of his attempted revolutions. That's why the only place he was really successful was in Cuba, where he had Castro to temper his passion and ideas.
Author Christopher Hitchens, who was a socialist and a supporter of the Cuban revolution in the 1960s but has since changed his views, summarized Guevara's legacy thus: "Che's iconic status was assured because he failed. His story was one of defeat and isolation, and that's why it is so seductive. Had he lived, the myth of Che would have long since died." [stolen from wikipedia].
In the end, Capitalism isn't perfect, but there is not one Communist country in the world that is doing well economically, except for China, and China has more problems than you can believe, including intense religious persecution and more Civil Rights abuses than in all 8 years of Dubya's administration. Not a good track record for the Commies, but they kick ass at the Olympics
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Ok, that being said, let’s move on to this week’s topic. Emo Music seems to be a recent affliction, a plague that is being suffered only by today’s younger generations. But like most music, Emo existed in a purer, better form long ago when it existed under another name; Soul music. Sad love songs have been around forever, but I believe that the particular sort of woe-is-me genre of sad love song that typifies Yes, I’m not talking about punk music where Emo is generally thought to come from, the origin of super-sad love songs comes from the Soul music of the 60’s and 70’s. If you don’t believe me, I have some examples for you.
Let’s start with "Sideshow" by Blue magic, 1974.
"Let the sideshow begin (Hurry, hurry)
Hurry, hurry, step right on in
Can't afford to pass it by
Guaranteed to make you cry
See the man who's been cryin' for a million years, so many tears
(So many tears)
See the girl who's collected broken hearts for souvenirs
It's more exciting than a one man band
The saddest little show in all the land"
That’s just a small sample. If you listen to the whole song, you had better be in a pretty good mood or it will really get to you. This song is just sad for no damn good reason. It is especially horrific if you visualize a circus where people go specifically to see people who are horribly and irrevocably depressed and/or get off on the sadness of others. It would be like having tours of Psych Wards. Even I think that’s sick, and as you all know, I’m an immoral savage. Next up we have "Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles from 1967:
"Now if there's a smile on my face
It's only there trying to fool the public
But when it comes down to fooling you
Now honey that's quite a different subject
But don't let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Cos really I'm sad, Oh I'm sadder than sad
Well I'm hurt and I want you so bad
Like a clown I appear to be glad ooh yeah"
This one I’m sure we can all relate to, and it was written back in the 60’s. This is also what I consider to be one of the happiest sad songs ever. Seriously, if you haven’t heard this song, #1 shame on you and #2 try and sit still while listening. It has an incredibly upbeat and danceable rhythm to it. Just like the song, the happy music masks the sad content of the lyrics. The song has the added bonus of self-flagellation by referring to the singer as a "clown" for letting the woman go, and for playing the part of a happy guy while he’s a mental wreck inside. There is so much subtext to this song, it really is the ground floor of Emo. We like to think that everything great was made in the last 3 years, but it turns out that this just isn’t true. Let’s go to another heart breaker, "Cause I love You" by Lenny Williams, from 1975. The setup is pretty simple; man loses woman, who, apparently, he loves.
"And finally I went to bed, but I found myself waking up a few hours later
And the tears were running down my face
And my friend told me, he said, Lenny,
You just oughta forget about her
But I told my friend, I said, You know
Maybe you’ve never been in love like I’ve been in love
And maybe you’ve never felt the things that I’ve felt
But this is what I told my friend
I said, You know, sometimes you get lonely
You get lonely, you get lonely
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
And I cry, I cry"
Not only are the words to this song powerful, and there’s a heart rending spoken part, part of which is quoted above, but the real emphasis is from the way Lenny sings it. You don’t feel like he’s singing a song, you feel like you’re watching a play, you feel like he’s on his knees in the rain and the woman he loves is on her porch in front of him shaking her head no. He is literally pouring his heart into the microphone and it was recorded. I personally doubt Williams sung this song more than once, because he lost party of his soul when he sang it the first time. I really think he put more into this song than he meant to. There’s a rare film of Lenny Williams attempting to sing this song, but only being able to croak out vague resemblance of the original version. I dare you to find a Deathcab for Cutie or Yellowcard song that elicits this kind of passion. You just can’t.
If you want more examples, email me. I can keep them coming The point is anything you like is probably stolen. And if you really like it, it was probably stolen from a Black person ;)
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
It’s gotten to the point in this world where online dating is just as bad as going out into the real word and doing the same thing. I am not sure why this is, but it has driven me to the point where I almost want to be in a relationship just so I don’t have to deal with having to find a date anymore. Thankfully, I work with married people, who strongly, STRONGLY encourage me to stay single as long as possible, so it all seems to balance out. But honestly, it seems that people are more paranoid about meeting people online than in real life, yet they engage in the activity of looking online more than looking in real life. For example, I wrote to one woman on OKCupid, who I actually had known in the past but lost contact with. I sent her two extremely friendly messages suggesting we meet for coffee; in broad daylight in a public place. There was not a hint of “lets meet in a deserted alley around ” in any of my messages. This was the response I received.
I appreciate your persistence and diligence in trying to make contact with me. However, I have to tell you that I am not interested in pursuing anything with you. I haven't responded to your messages, despite the many you've sent, because I was hoping I wouldn't have to say it outright - generally these things are communicated through more subtle means.
I wish you luck in your life and in your loves, but I don't have a place in either of those.
First of all, can I say how much I hate the "soft" rejection? Rejection is rejection, and no amount of sugarcoating is going to making it better. No one's feelings are going to be saved by being ignored, in fact, that feels 100x more painful, believe me. And women, for the love of God, PLEASE stop this nonsense where you think that ignorning someone communicates that you have said NO to them. You know what means no? NO MEANS NO!!! And don't give me the line that guys should get the point, because A. no one is a mind-reader, and B. for every girl who says non-communication should be a hint, there is a girl who says she is too busy to answer her emails and that people shouldn't be offended if they don't get an answer right away. Basically, for every excuse a woman can give for not being straightforward, there is another woman somewhere who can present the exact opposite argument. We as men (and even for women who like women) can't know automatically which is which so please, practice being straightforward. It is in everyone's best interest.
Now for the record, I sent this particular female 2 (two) messages, the second of which was a two sentence missive asking if she was well and if she had heard about my blogspot. That’s what prompted this telenovela-style “Dear John” response. Also, this same woman had no more than a week previously written a journal entry about how she liked to be pursued by men, leading one to think that she liked persistence. She forgot to mention, that she only likes persistence from guys she considers to be attractive and not from, say, me. Not that I am not attractive, I happen to know people who believe that I am… she just does not happen to subscribe to that particular philosophy. I'm fine with that, can't please everyone after all. I just hate the passive-aggressive way she went about it. I wasted time on a lost cause when I could have been writing or reading webcomics instead of writing to her. At least in a bar you don't have your rejection drawn out over a space of a few weeks.
I’m not really sure why this happens. I guess in some cases maybe I just have a mutant ability to pick crazy paranoid girls who freak out easily. It’s been brought up on several occasions that I may have a tendency to just subconsciously pursue women who will flake out extra easily. Some people have flat-out stated that I’m a crazy-chaser, but I don’t think that’s true. I have found that the more interesting a woman is, the more prone she is to have certain eccentricities, but that does not mean that I necessarily look for signs of personality disorders in the women I want to date. That’d be more psycho than anything. And even I’m not that crazy. Then again… the last girl I talked to on OKCupid went from wanting to date me to saying we could never talk to each other, and every spot in between, in the space of two weeks, so maybe I should lay off the “special” girls for a bit.
This does not just happen to men though, as I thought it did. I know exceptionally attractive and desirable women who get this same crazy illogical treatment from men on the internet, but I have a hypothesis about this. Men are lazy, barely evolved pond scum 80% of the time. The kinds of men that absolutely have to use internet dating sites are almost entirely of the pond scum variety. Now this type of man is usually only looking for one type of woman; dumb sluts. If a girl looks like she’ll be any type of work at all, then he is not interested. The first thing he is turned off by is intelligence, as he probably is not too intelligent himself. This man knows that any halfway intelligent woman will see right through his stupid lines and lame ploys, and that automatically is too much work for him to get the sex that he’s after. Basically this guy can look at a woman and tell if she’s gonna fall for his line of BS or not. He is easily intimidated by confident woman, and usually looks for women with low-self confidence who he knows will be easily impressed with a few compliments and a few drinks. Bottom feeders like this are equally dangerous because they make confident woman doubt themselves, when in reality those women should be glad they scare thee assholes away.
Some of these guys maybe actually intelligent, but these types are even worse, because they are incredibly picky and snobbish. They are the first ones to find any flaw in a woman (usually physical) and hold that against them. These douche bags will take any opportunity to make another person feel bad about themselves. I personally want to snap these guys necks with my bare hands when I see them in person, but since they know they are universally despised, they usually do their dirty work from the safety of the internet. They can get a woman’s hopes up by have coherent and attractive profiles, but then turn out to be the same kind of genital-inhaler as one would find in any bar at 2 AM. The only difference is that they have the internet to be able to reject woman to make themselves forget about their tiny pride and even tinier penises.
So what’s to be done about all of this? I suggest the neutralization of a major percentage of the adult population of the world, through perhaps a robot/zombie holocaust. It’s the only thing that will for sure keep men and women from hurting each other.