Saturday, July 28, 2007

I must make you understand...

This is simultaneously the greatest and stupidest song I have ever heard. It's incredibly appropriate nowadays in the age of Facebook and Myspace and whatnot.

I can't believe this took so long to happen.

Normally, I try to stick to our country's idea of "innocent until proven guilty," but since Mike Vick's boy rolled on him, that is hardly a glimmer of hope. The people of Newark know (sadly), Stop Snitching.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The sum of all fears...


I don't even know what to do with myself now. I haven't watched the show in a month because I don't have a TV, but now I can never go back. I am heartbroken.

I need some proper water.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

happy belated birthday to me...

They live by the beat like you live check to check

So what I did last year was post a verse describing the feeling of turning 20 from the flawless "Illmatic" LP. Sadly, there are not any verses I know about turning 21 (possibly because so meany rappers fall off before then), but I will try. OutKast released "ATLiens" when they were 21, and I like those guys, so here are some verses from "13th Floor/ Growing Old":

Dearly beloved we are gathered,
like soap is to lather we come clean
Some issues need to be addressed like envelopes I mean
Oh like Liberty Bells yes them bullets keep on rangin
On fire like the Georgia mass choir we keep on sangin
Bringin our folks closer together
cause they severed us from the get green
Light and we ain't gon' stop until we hit the big screen
Psych because no one is free when others are oppressed
So, we hit the stage and then we fly back to our nest
Growing old

Like some eagles, people don't understand
Just like their parents don't be carin
I'm speakin about you playin with that phony stuff you sharin
in your raps Mercedes Benz and all your riches
Thinkin you got it, but get it get it, but you ain't pimpin no bitches
Cause you flaw, in, fallin like leaves into driveways
Isn't it lovely smokin good and sloppy head on highways
Friday's are tight but Saturday just makes it old
When tonight's are hot warm enough to feed your soul
Growing old

You can figure out for yourself which member wrote which snippet, the point remains the same. Growing old really is not all it was cracked up to be when you were 10 or 12, at least in my estimation. People you know have grown up at a scary rate (marriage, kids ah!), while others refuse to change at all, and very few people are growing at their own pace without interference from society's pressure. I guess because I turned 21 I should be "living it up" and doing what ever I feel all the time, because there are no consequences, right? I don't know if I buy that based on the way things have worked out for people I know. Parents and older adults always tell young people to enjoy the moment, but sitting here writing this, I am reminded of Yoda in "The Empire Strikes Back" teaching Luke on planet Dagobah, "You must unlearn what you have learned." He also gives the most useful advice I have learned this summer (before I came out west):

Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless.
The idea of living for the moment is nice, though I think it should be reworded to get people to understand that where you are now sort determines your future, Or, to quote Qui-Gon Jinn, "your focus determines your reality." What I mean to say is that just enjoying the moment is not enough, you need to be aware of yourself all the time to do what you want. But of course, I know nothing, and I am quoting a puppet and Aslan. Seeing as how this is my last summer free of any real responsibility, I have planning to do, and the more I think about it, the more daunting it becomes. Sure, I have plenty of help, but what if I want something different for right now than my advisers? Or what if I am wrong, and go down a path that leads me to the exact place I promised myself I would never enter? I apologize for the vagueness, but I like to keep my internet life somewhat private. Looking at Yoda's speech, I am left wondering what I should want, or if I should even go out looking for something. (I'm sorry, this is going to get ridiculous) I think Yoda and Qui-Gon would tell me to listen to my feelings to do what's next, and not go searching for something I crave that may or may not exist. I know there's some quote about the Force and your feelings, but I am too lazy to find it and I've done enough quoting for the night. I'll figure out what's next, somehow. I hope.

So anyway, what did I do for my 21st? I was sick, so I stayed in. But today...

Blam. These suckers are comfy. And incredibly simple. But mine have green soles. Hopefully I'll be here on Saturday, exercising my age to catch up on the many concerts I've missed. There better not be a lot of hipsters there, or heads will roll. All right, one. Oh, and Jason, feel free to contribute any time.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

brush yo' teeth...

looks like someone beat Ahmmad and I to the punch. Shout to Jason for sending me the link. You could contribute to our free internet space, however. Y0u are the one who wanted to resurrect it, and I still do all the posting. Curiouser and curiouser.

"News & Notes" tries to do "Fresh Air" but the interview is A) shorter and B) of worse sound quality. Although, I must say, it is very hard to ask new questions to a guy who was just interviewed a few weeks ago for a half hour. Props to Farai Chideya for being a legitimate journalist. I like Larry Wilmore (a lot), but how did he rise to liberal, middle-age grown-up fame so suddenly? I think a bigger question is why NBC/Fox/Comedy Central/NPR/Keenan Ivory Wayans all caught on, but black America has not. BET could use him, since they just show reruns of shows he used to right for and they don't have a news program, anyway. But whatever, that's sensible to me, an educated person (of any type), and BET cares nothing about my type.

And if there are rumors that you could lose your job during the first of your contracted five years, you are not doing something right.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

where are all the black people?

Check out this article from author Martha Southgate. I cannot say I particularly liked the one book of hers I read (she has 2?), as the idea that women are alone except of that one man (the Man, I will call him) who is always around and will always care for them, does not really strike me as a constructive idea to teach young girls. But that was my interpretation of the book,and is not very relevant to the rest of what I have to say. So, I present to you this article, where Southgate is struggling to figure out why there are not more "literary" African American/ Black writers. As Jason and those of you who have been following me know, I have been struggling with why there are not more black people in the sciences, and this article hints at something that is much more widespread than I thought. Black people are struggling, at least those born after a certain era. I have no idea how to explain why it always appears things are getting worse for black people since the "glory days," though I think it might be useful to take a look at the people who were very young during the Civil Rights Movement, as they are more or less middle-age and have at least one generation under them (like my parents). Now, I don't want to point fingers, but since so many people like to decry young black people/ the gov't/ history/ etc., I think it's fair that the people who were around (but were too young to participate in) the Civil Rights Movement should face some responsibility for not passing on their successes (and there have been quite a few). They reaped the benefits of affirmative action, integrated schools, had access to greater training and jobs than most black people before them, but their kids have, on the whole, royally fucked up. Now, I will concede that black college enrollment is up in the South (or up down in the South?), and black people are making strides. But if these things are the case, then why is there still an achievement gap, and why are public schools like the UC's so low on black students (especially males) when they have what I consider the most inclusive college admissions process around (UT-Austin has it too, according to my neighbor). I just do not understand how a group can proclaim both tremendous success and tremendous setback at the same time. Really, only black people in America could do some silly shit like that.

Anyway, I went paintballing today. It was awesome. Talking to my friend who's from around here and is showing me around a bit, it's really interesting to see what kinds of things people take up as hobbies and why. I didn't get a chance to ask any of the regular players what they love about paintball, but I will admit there is a certain excitement associated with shooting/ being shot at and not having to worry so much about getting really hurt that makes it fun. Maybe I'll find and ask a regular at some point. I also almost got swindled by a Hindu monk last Saturday. I was walking around campus (it's awesome, and huge) and this guy came up to me talking about a debate that's being had on evolution vs. creationism, something I am totally interested in. He then took out a copy of the Bhagavad Gita and said I should read it. For the record, the oldest book known to man is physically one of the densest collections of paper I have ever seen. So he asked for a small donation (I had 42.50), and I took out 2. He wanted more, and I wanted change. He had none and tried to convince me it was OK. No, sorry. He asked a friend of his, and some random guy, and I told him I needed the money for groceries and I would pass, but I would show up to the discussion (which I missed because I was in the lab, oh well). He said it was his last copy, I told him I was sorry, but Bradley must eat (not in those words), and then he left and I sat on a bench. I got a book about meditation as consolation, he got my 2 bones. He then sold the book to some other guy for at least $10, and came back to me trying to give me the book (I thought he was out of them?), to which I had to decline. An interesting experience to say the least.

They get so big so fast, then shrink even more quickly.

Life in the lab is still slow, I am going to try and flesh out this project of mine more this week in terms of design, what it will/could mean, what we already know, why it's important, etc. 2 days until Transformers, suckers.