Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre: An Opinion

[Note: This entry started out as a series of coments over on Evil Science Chick's blog. Check her out -- she rocks.]

Personally, if I want to watch a movie that makes me reflect on Jesus' life and death give me "The Last Temptation of Christ" anyday. Now, that said, a couple of opinions/observations. Let me just start by saying that I, in no uncertain terms, think The Passion of the Christ is overrated. To say the least. A perfect example of buzz coinciding with the current religio-vogue, resulting in a runaway blockbuster sprouting from what is, essentially, a skillfully made, artsy, subtitled, religious grindhouse film.

If Rob Zombie got religion, he'd make the same fuckin' movie.

Some folks claim that this brutally violent and astonishing bloody film is simply Mel Gibson's story of Christ as reflected by these modern, ultra-violent times. Sorry -- that's horse shit. "The Passion of the Christ" is really nothing new, as far as drama goes, nor as far as explicitly violent and gruesome content go. Gibson just revived an outmoded dramatic form for modern viewers, and hired wonderful cinematogrpahers and art directors to bring it to the screen.

Exceptionally gory passion plays were a long-standing tradition for hundreds of years, from the middle ages up until I believe the 1800s in parts of Europe. While ones depicting the crucifixion were typically only performed during the Lenten season, outrageously "grand guignol" style "deaths of the saints and martyrs" dramas were terribly popular for a VERY long time. This was partly due to clerical opposition to theatrical productions that weren't explictly theologically-oriented (so theater owners would have to stage them in order to keep business going), but also because the audiences were often familiar with the content and would get excited by the opportunity to see a staging of some ghastly death or other.

Many of the productions used to get waste and scraps from the local charnel houses for use in the productions. The stages would be piled with the innards of all sorts of animals and dripping with buckets of blood. It's the most basic of sensationalist theater, and was very popular with the lower classes and the poor for obvious reasons (pure spectacle, not much in the way of intellectualism, purely visceral/emotional appeal), although the "upper crust" were certainly happy to go slumming and take in one on occasion.

Now, as far as people saying that "the passion," as a Christian tradition, is specifically concerned with the suffering and death of Christ, and therefore Gibson was simply adhering to these traditions, well, OK. Sure. "The passion" is about the crucifixion, not the totality of Christ's purpose. But that's also my primary critique of the film's content (and of passion plays in general). They shoot really low, aim for the lowest common religious denominator, and run with it. They focus attention purely on the part of the story that inspires anger, fear, outrage, disgust, pity, etc. -- base emotional responses -- without addressing the higher purposes that are fulfiled by the crucifixion. Emotionally and viscerally engaging, but theologically hollow. I've always had a problem with people who have tremendous resources at their disposal not attempting to do something new, challenging, significant with them.

It's the same problem I have with George Fucking Lucas and his crappy new Star Wars films. All that money, and that's the best you can do? Lucas recycles B-grade, Flash Gordon style sci-fi narrative, and Gibson recycles archaic religious theatrical tracts. Both lob a bunch of cash at them to make them look great. The end results are serviceable and full of technical and artistic achievement, but ... dramatically? Has something new been created? Has something about us, about what we think and why we think it, or (in Gibson's case) about what we believe and why, been illuminated? Nuh uh.

To put it in a less religion-oriented context, imagine watching explicitly gory footage of a motorcycle crash. You get to see, in close-up and slo-mo, as the victim's head in caved in by a tree or wall or something. Then, graphic footage of his organs being surgically removed from his body, one after another, for two hours, at which point he finally convulses, coughs up copious amounts of blood, and dies. Nasty, right? Stop at this point, and it's just repulsive and exploitative.

But if you place it in the context of his organs then being used to save the lives of a bunch of people who would have died without those organs, his suffering and death attain meaning. Context is everything, PARTICULARLY in the story of Christ.

Ultimately, that's why I feel like "Passion of the Christ" is little more than a slasher film for the WWJD set. The context of Christ's sacrifice is ultimately far more significant than Gibson's Jerusalem: CSI-style portrayal of his betrayal, torture, and death, and yet he chose to ignore the message and the meaning in preference to the bloody spectacle.

Happy Easter.

Mood: Relaxing
Now Playing: Nada

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Butch Dog Food

Oh ...

... man ...

... these ...

... are ...

... funny!

Mood: Amused
Now Playing: Jane Monheit, "Copme Dream With Me"

Thursday, March 10, 2005

"... find the ones without the hoe-downs"

Each paycheck I tuck about $100 or so into a little "mad money" account I keep for myself. Sometimes it's just extra cash in case we come up a bit short due to unexpected expenses, other times it's for gadgets or trips or a nice dinner out or whatever. Luxuries.

Rather than spend the $200 I had managed to sock away for a new iPod Shuffle, I instead chose to spend it on tickets for the family to see Varakai here in Austin. Far better use of the money, I assure you. Best $200 I've spent in a very long time. And I'm sure I'll get the iPod one of these days. Just not this month.

This was my second Cirque du Soleil show (Christine and I saw Dralion in Washington D.C. with our dear friends Linda and Susan about 3 years back -- wonderful, wonderful, wonderful). And after seeing this one I can pretty much guarantee I'm sold for at least a few more of their shows (definitely want to see Zumanity in Vegas next time we're in town. I mean, that's Cirque with BOOBIES. What's not to like?).

So, 5 things I love about Cirque du Soleil:
  1. Costumes that look like "Mad Max" as envisioned by Jean Paul Gautier.
  2. Otherworldly French warbling and glossolalia is just so darn hummable once the show is over. (Okay, maybe not. But the music always makes me think of what Dead Can Dance would have sounded like had they decided to go techno. And that's cool.)
  3. Contortionists. Pretty contortionists. Pretty contortionists who undoubtedly speak with a thick accent. Woof.
  4. Clowns that actually make me laugh, as opposed to making me want to run from the tent screaming "Mommy! Scary clowns!"
  5. The fact that I gasp in surprise, lean forward in fear and anticipation, or blurt out "Oh wow!" like a kid at their first fireworks display about 150 times during any performance, without the slightest hint of irony or sarcasm. If you know me, you know that for me moments without sarcasm are as rare as a decent bagel anywhere south of Jersey.
It was amazing to see this live with my kids. The whole experience is so overwhelming, so saturated, that they just sort of settled into this wide-eyed wonder after the first fifteen minutes. Of course, it was all happening after their typical 8:00 bedtime, so exhaustion was clearly a factor. That said, they did both make it most of the way through the show before finally just passing out.

It was funny. As I watched the end of the show I felt for a second that I was somehow cheating them by not waking them up for the finale. Cirque shows have this way of making me feel simple, unadulterated, child-like wonder, and I wanted to share every bit of that with them. And then it occurred to me that as an adult, experiences like Cirque are treasured because make me feel like a child again. But they, being children, feel like that All The Time. So, even though they slept through the last 15 minutes or so, they weren't really missing a thing.

It reminds me of a line said by Felicity Huffman's character Dana on the late, lamented, brilliant show Sports Night, when relating her wakening to the power of theater after seeing "The Lion King" on Broadway.
"The music began and I just started to cry. I don't know where it came from. It was like ... church. I didn't know we could do that. Did you know we could do that?"
Cirque du Soleil makes me feel exactly like that.

Mood: Happy
Now Playing: Poe, "Haunted"

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Bad Dogma! Bad!

Jeez, man, I just can't win. I think this blog may need to be officially renamed to something like "Gregg's Daily Tale o' Woe."

So, I'm heading to work this morning after spending an hour at the gym, stretching and soaking in a jacuzzi to try to get the muscle spasm in my damn back to relax a bit. Driving along the road, and all of a sudden the oncoming traffic slows and then stops. I look up ahead to see what's the what and I see this girl, young, maybe 17 or so, running after a small dog (shaggy thing, couldn't really tell the breed -- maybe one of those schnoodle things). She's on the opposite side of the road from me, running against the flow of traffic. The dog is managing to stay a good 5 or 6 feet ahead of her, darting in and out of the road. Traffic in the opposing lane has stopped, at least, but no one is bothering to get out of their cars to do anything.

So, I'm crawling along in my car at about 1 MPH, trying to decide what to do, when I see her trip and fall, flat on her face, along the side of the road. Well, that's it -- I need to do something. As luck would have it, there was a turn lane coming to an end right beside my car, so I scoot over into the turn lane, turn on my hazard lights, and hop out of the car. I jog a bit to catch up with her, get her attention, and tell her to just jog slow and I'll go around a few car lengths and get ahead of her so I can block her dog from running away.

Finally, someone in the opposing lane gets out of their car to help, and the two of us jump out in front of the dog, startling it and making it turn around, at which time the girl is able to scoop him up. So now the dog is wriggling in her arms, thrashing about, trying to get away. She's crying, and out of breath, totally freaked out, with a nice big scrape on her chin from the fall. So I try to help her contain the dog before he gets away again and ...

Ta-da. Little bastard bit my thumb. Two nice big rips, couple of smaller scrape points. Not too deep, luckily, but painful and annoying.

And to add insult to injury, as I'm walking with her to make sure she's OK and the dog has calmed down, I notice a guy standing in the road about 100 yards up. I say "Is that your house up there?" and she says "Yeah, that's my dad standing by the yard up there."


OK, folks -- if your daughter is chasing your dog down the side of a busy road with a 35MPH speed limit during rush hour and she trips and falls flat on her face in the gravel, what do you do? I gotta imagine that most folks wouldn't just stand there, watching. What an asshole.

So, on the plus side I like to think I got some extra special bonus karma out of the dog (dogma?) bite to supplement the good karma for doing a selfless good deed.

But still. Owww.

Mood: Pleasant, slightly self-satisfied
Now Playing: Nada

Monday, March 07, 2005

Gotta Love Them Screwed Up AIM ID Conversations

So, my buddy Matt just stopped by my desk, laughing hysterically. Looks like a group of folks somehow wound up with his AIM ID, and have it confused with someone else's. They've been IMing him all day, talking about people they know and what they're all gonna do later, and after trying to tell them like 10 times that he had no idea who they were or who they thought he was he started playing along for laughs.

What follows is a transcript of the latest conversation he wound up in with one of his new online ... errr... "friends."

Gotta say, the whole net sex thing has always left me sort of, well, confused. This doesn't clear things up any.

I also find it more than a little disturbing that the woman (assuming this is a woman -- who really knows?) claims to be a lawyer and she thinks the person she is talking to is "in da 8th grade." Matt keeps this up, he could be creating the next Mary Kay Letourneau.

Note: The AIM ID's of Matt and his new friend have been changed. Not looking to get anyone in trouble here -- just find the whole mess too fuckin' funny.


ASPYLIPS (4:03:48 PM): u sick bastert say my name
mrmatty (4:04:36 PM): I'd have to say your name is Mr. Can'tSpellShit
ASPYLIPS (4:05:23 PM): do u want me to break up with u is that what ur saying i noooo i might not be soo quick in da bed... but comon baby i make out veryy veryy go0d
mrmatty (4:06:42 PM): Yeah I think it's over , Im going for the more Intellectual type- maybe a plumber
ASPYLIPS (4:06:55 PM): yea but im a trivesta
mrmatty (4:07:32 PM): You could be a turnip for all I care
ASPYLIPS (4:08:00 PM): but but antoni i thought we were soul mates u noo what im gunna send u dozen roses
mrmatty (4:08:20 PM): Roses Shit, send money.
ASPYLIPS (4:08:32 PM): how much
mrmatty (4:08:44 PM): Give till it hurts
ASPYLIPS (4:08:58 PM): oio yes now ur talking
ASPYLIPS (4:10:38 PM): shall we do it in a taxi
mrmatty (4:11:16 PM): nope - how bout just stick to the giving me money part.
ASPYLIPS (4:11:43 PM): nope u have ti fuck me 1 last time soo whats ya adrsss
mrmatty (4:12:23 PM): 1901 E Main ST.
ASPYLIPS (4:12:57 PM): noo its not isnt it near 90th street u noo it used to be across the street form Panda Sport but nooww it close downv
mrmatty (4:13:27 PM): Well I moved since then gota keep on the down low
ASPYLIPS (4:13:50 PM): no no i reebr that u live ion apartment and near these houses... u noo like 2 familia
mrmatty (4:14:29 PM): Oh yeah thats right, I just forgot for a second
ASPYLIPS (4:14:50 PM): u live in white 1
mrmatty (4:15:21 PM): Yeah but it's gonna be painted blue and gold next month
ASPYLIPS (4:15:48 PM): ooo yehhh those colors make me horney
ASPYLIPS (4:16:11 PM): now wen we meet just sey the two colors BLUE AND GOLD and i wont have to take no momre ViAgraA...
mrmatty (4:17:23 PM): Well shit you might want to take the Viagra too and frickin blow your mind
ASPYLIPS (4:18:52 PM): oo yehhhh anythig u sey
mrmatty (4:19:12 PM): Really - how bout the money then..
ASPYLIPS (4:19:40 PM): yes how much 100,000
ASPYLIPS (4:19:54 PM): but only if we have sex over the computer
mrmatty (4:19:59 PM): You talking PESO's or greenbacks
ASPYLIPS (4:20:15 PM): wat
mrmatty (4:20:32 PM): what wat
ASPYLIPS (4:21:10 PM): wats ur adresss so i can send u the money
mrmatty (4:21:57 PM): Just bring it when you come over on the bus.
ASPYLIPS (4:22:23 PM): i dunt noo ur exavct adressss
ASPYLIPS (4:22:30 PM): only if we have computer sex
mrmatty (4:23:12 PM): Tried that once the mouse kept getting in the way
ASPYLIPS (4:24:31 PM): yoo onlyif we have computer sex u get ur fucken 100,000 dollars.. u noo Cyber
mrmatty (4:25:31 PM): Hey I never agreed to a lousy 100 grand you gotta have more than that
ASPYLIPS (4:29:10 PM): um.. ok let me seeeee 1.5 million
ASPYLIPS (4:29:59 PM): haa.. how bout that papi chulo
mrmatty (4:30:31 PM): You couldn't coem up with 1.5 million if you had 10 Wall-Mart jobs buckey.
ASPYLIPS (4:31:05 PM): i am a lawyer and i own a buisnesss did u forget baby remebr u came to work wiht me .... and u fucked me on my desk
mrmatty (4:31:35 PM): That was you! Man I must of been totaly wasted.
ASPYLIPS (4:31:54 PM): ...?? and u got aboner when u saw me in my bra
ASPYLIPS (4:31:59 PM): u were like wow a C
mrmatty (4:32:14 PM): Was I slurring alot too?
ASPYLIPS (4:33:15 PM): yeahhh
mrmatty (4:33:29 PM): That figures.
ASPYLIPS (4:33:39 PM): yeah and u kept SlapPing my ass
mrmatty (4:34:07 PM): Thought I was playing ping pong. Was I counting to 21.
ASPYLIPS (4:34:21 PM): nope we did it up to 75 secoonds
ASPYLIPS (4:34:55 PM): soo lets CyBerR....ahh
mrmatty (4:35:00 PM): What play ping pong?
ASPYLIPS (4:35:13 PM): nooooooo when u were fucking me
ASPYLIPS (4:35:34 PM): i feel ur penus goign into my vagina
mrmatty (4:35:34 PM): Must have been someone else I've never lasted that long.
ASPYLIPS (4:35:43 PM): yeh yeh yeh yeh u did
ASPYLIPS (4:36:00 PM): i remebr u were like ahh 75 u screamed out i was like wow!! ur g0od
ASPYLIPS (4:36:08 PM): tjen u were screaming whats my NAME
mrmatty (4:36:10 PM): Must have been that antonio dude you keep mentioning
ASPYLIPS (4:36:16 PM): whats my name BIATCH
ASPYLIPS (4:36:19 PM): u r Anotnio
ASPYLIPS (4:36:55 PM): rmebr i ahve big green eyes i have tan skin i am a C i have a big asss and i am around like 5'2 nad i 100 pounds......
mrmatty (4:37:49 PM): See couldn't be me my eyes got poked out in the war.
ASPYLIPS (4:37:56 PM): we did it in da Taxi and then we did it in my office then we did it at ur friends bosue in da bed room
ASPYLIPS (4:38:22 PM): i see u i saw u after skool.... u were wearing Blue iwas in my Mercedes driving around skool.......
mrmatty (4:38:23 PM): Wow a Trifecta!!
ASPYLIPS (4:39:00 PM): what is thAt
ASPYLIPS (4:39:14 PM): seXxy Men
ASPYLIPS (4:39:23 PM): i love u and ur friend byee NoW sexxy bitch!!!!!!
mrmatty (4:39:38 PM): It like 3 as in Tri and Fecta as in something else having to do with gambling
ASPYLIPS (4:40:11 PM): welll ur in da 8th grade and u were wearing blue and u g out with this gurl i fogor her name byeeeeeeeeee sexxy muther fucker
ASPYLIPS (4:40:22 PM): MWa xoxox
mrmatty (4:40:31 PM): OK sizzlechest!
ASPYLIPS (4:40:48 PM): ooo why than you
ASPYLIPS (4:41:26 PM): does that mean that i have a big chest
ASPYLIPS (4:41:31 PM): i remebr u were licking my clevage
ASPYLIPS (4:41:52 PM): u there SexXY
mrmatty (4:42:11 PM): It was probably the drewl from my drunkin state
ASPYLIPS (4:42:41 PM): nope i rmeebr i was weairng a black bra and u were just licking m clevage and u were pinching my b0obs
mrmatty (4:43:02 PM): I was not punching you in the boobs
ASPYLIPS (4:43:15 PM): noo u were PINCHING MY BOOBS
ASPYLIPS (4:43:25 PM): best sex ever
mrmatty (4:43:43 PM): Due to the boob punching?
ASPYLIPS (4:43:53 PM): oo fuck me
ASPYLIPS (4:44:17 PM): Yehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh i feel it
mrmatty (4:44:21 PM): How bout I punch your boobs some more
ASPYLIPS (4:44:27 PM): oo why not..
mrmatty (4:44:50 PM): OK here it comes
ASPYLIPS (4:44:54 PM): ok
mrmatty (4:44:57 PM): I'm winding up.
ASPYLIPS (4:44:57 PM): im waitin
mrmatty (4:45:07 PM): fist are a twirling
mrmatty (4:45:24 PM): here's the delivery
mrmatty (4:45:48 PM): whoa went a little off the mark
mrmatty (4:46:01 PM): missed the left booby
ASPYLIPS (4:46:14 PM): noo i sed Pinching u no wen u grab them and u pich it or squezze them not Puch them u were amking out with me against the wall and i was going down then weni cam up we started makin out with me soooo moree then u were like OMG then u started grabbing my tuts
mrmatty (4:46:18 PM): Cold cocked you right in the forehead.....
ASPYLIPS (4:46:22 PM): tits**
mrmatty (4:46:28 PM): Down you go....
ASPYLIPS (4:46:30 PM): i want it to go in my ear
ASPYLIPS (4:46:33 PM): oo yeh
ASPYLIPS (4:46:44 PM): wiht some whip cream on tope and a cherry to top it off
ASPYLIPS (4:46:54 PM): u see me slurpoiing
mrmatty (4:47:03 PM): I rifle through your belongings and take all the cash and credit cards....
ASPYLIPS (4:47:31 PM): babybe if u want them take them allll ust come and carest ya b0dy
ASPYLIPS (4:47:50 PM): ma*
ASPYLIPS (4:47:56 PM): fuk me
ASPYLIPS (4:48:12 PM): fuck me harder Antoni scream my name
ASPYLIPS (4:48:24 PM): as loud as u can (Isabella)
mrmatty (4:48:29 PM): Oh my God you are coming out of your unconsiousness
ASPYLIPS (4:48:35 PM): Isabella F-------
mrmatty (4:48:43 PM): and babbling incohernetly
ASPYLIPS (4:48:48 PM): wtf
ASPYLIPS (4:48:59 PM): your science teacher Ms.kahndash
mrmatty (4:49:10 PM): From the missed boob punch aren't you reading ....
ASPYLIPS (4:49:24 PM): i noo u fuckedd Mr lanon tomatoe head
ASPYLIPS (4:49:51 PM): :-* kissses
ASPYLIPS (4:49:56 PM): Mathew WIllfart
ASPYLIPS (4:50:15 PM): heyy Sexxy papi
ASPYLIPS (4:50:24 PM): Mathew its not ANotni u can come and talk to me
ASPYLIPS (4:50:31 PM): omG ur duck is soo bigggg
ASPYLIPS (4:50:41 PM): DickK
mrmatty (4:50:53 PM): You calling me a dick?
ASPYLIPS (4:51:28 PM): noo i seed ur D!ck i sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo B!G
mrmatty (4:51:47 PM): Yeah well you should get a gander at my duck.
ASPYLIPS (4:51:55 PM): omG i would love 2
ASPYLIPS (4:52:07 PM): i wanna fuck u soo bad can mastabate me
mrmatty (4:52:42 PM): Can I bring the duck
ASPYLIPS (4:52:44 PM): comon come to my housee... SexXy
ASPYLIPS (4:52:50 PM): oo sure and the buttered MonKey
mrmatty (4:52:58 PM): OK was bus do I have to take?
ASPYLIPS (4:53:07 PM): B63
ASPYLIPS (4:53:37 PM): comn Blue guy comonb fFUCK MEEE
mrmatty (4:53:50 PM): Thats not a bus thats a binga number
ASPYLIPS (4:53:56 PM): g2g sexxy bye wma xoxoo
ASPYLIPS (4:54:09 PM): i luff yew soo much sexxxXXXy Papiiii
ASPYLIPS (4:54:14 PM): heyy.. HOEEDICK
mrmatty (4:54:14 PM): grg r2d2 xz9er for - o
ASPYLIPS (4:54:16 PM): Pussy
ASPYLIPS signed off at 4:54:21 PM.

Mood: Amused, confused
Now Playing: Cibo Matto, "Viva! La Woman"

Thursday, March 03, 2005

More, Inc. (TM)

I've been feeling kind of stuck all week, creatively speaking. Ever since I posted my brief piece about Bill Hicks, I've just sort of felt ... at sea. Kind of deflated. Kind of depressed.

Everywhere I look I see the idiocy he talked about. Crass consumerism substituted for genuine experience and feeling. Selfish malevolence wearing a cloak of righteousness. Apathy disguised as activism. It's those stupid magnetic ribbons on people's cars. It's rent boys posing as journalists with the probable knowledge and blessing of our "leaders." It's religious zealots pretending that posting religious documents in houses of law somehow honors the ideals of America. It's being beholden to a political system that consists of two sides of the same fucking coin, with one side coming up more often lately and so many people pretending, or worse yet really believing, that things would be so much better if the other side would just get a chance.

And it's multitudes of people, covering their eyes, ignoring reality, desperately trying to avoid seeing just how bad things are getting, distracting themselves with sit-coms and talk shows and self-improvement videos and inspirational reading and video games and news programs that are more scripted and less real than reality television shows. People thinking that contributing a dollar or two for a rubber bracelet simultaneously proves to the world that they "care" about people with testicular cancer and excuses the absurd consumption that defines their lives. People desperately trying to be/have/get/spend/show More. Becoming more significant than other people by buying more THINGS. More patriotic. More caring. More conservative. More liberal. More, Inc.(TM).

And I'm not above it. I'm not immune. I'm a product of my culture, such as it is. I want things. I accumulate stuff. I earn, and then I spend it to make myself feel ... more. Bigger. Important. Significant. It's like if you're not buying mor stuff, you somehow cease to exist.

For example, right now I want a new car, even though the one I'm using is just fine. I tell myself I'd buy a new one, but it would be really fuel efficient, one of those Prius's, maybe, and that somehow makes it OK. Plus, they're cool, right"? And people I don't even know, but who I think matter somehow, will think I'm a really cool guy for driving a hip, liberal, progressive vehicle. Cool! And that way I won't have to actually do anything to get my Progressive Liberal Membership Card aside from make my lease payment every month.

"And besides," says that little voice in the back of my head, "don't you deserve a new car?" The voice of Madison Ave., somehow implanted within the neo-cortex of every red-blooded American.

And I want a Bright Blue Dot for my car, so I can tell people I don't know that I'm really a liberal and I'm so damn outraged and that I'm Not One of Them, all without ever actually engaging with Them and talking to Them and trying to change their minds or enabling Them to try to change mine. And this way I can go around feeling like I somehow made a difference, really stood up to the conserva-nazis that are destroying the things I love about this place, even though all I did was spend some fucking cash on a sticker and then went back to, oh, I don't know, shopping or eating or watching TV.

I Want. It's what I do. It's what most of us do, isn't it? I mean, really, at the base, isn't that what we are? I'm a Consumer, like pretty much everyone in America. Consumption defines us. It's what we are, it's what we do, it provides the Alpha and Omega of Life in America. I accept this, even though I know it's shortchanging myself to an extent. But at least I can try to consume responsibly. I can try to consume in a way that doesn't deny things from others. And I can try to teach my kids to look at the bigger picture.

And I try. I really try. But I don't think I'm making a lot of progress.

I think I really need to explore Buddhism.


In closing, another quote from Bill Hicks.

The world is like a ride at an amusement park. It goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly coloured and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, "Hey - don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride."

And we ... kill those people. Ha ha "Shut him up." "We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real."

It's just a ride.

But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. Jesus, murdered. Martin Luther King, murdered. Malcolm X, murdered. Gandhi, murdered. John Lennon, murdered. Reagan ... wounded.

But it doesn't matter because: It's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love.

The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
Mood: Dour
Now Playing: Brian Eno and David Byrne, "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts"