29 03 2007

Gone going gone everything gone give a damn. – Jack Johnson

I’m heading to San Diego starting Saturday with Nate, Katie, Charlie and Janelle. We’ll be back Friday. I’ll be sure to take pictures!

Society, socializing, sociability and community

25 03 2007

A band I like, Wookiefoot, sings a song that has lyrics I really like: “Come unity come unity, come unity, come.” The idea is that we need to make ourselves part of our community, whether that’s local or global.

This point was illustrated to me recently when I went down to the park to toss the frisbee around with some friends. My sister and her friend came, then we had another buddy show up by car and one more a half hour later by bike. The day was the first beautiful Wisconsin day we’ve had in a long time, and the park began filling up: three girls kicking a soccer ball here, two games of hoops there, even a guy plowing through the ice on the lake with his kayak (crazy). There were probably seven other groups playing frisbee, ranging in size from two to six people per group.

Since the ability to throw a frisbee halfway decent is about all it takes to play ultimate, we decided to try forming a game. As we went from group to group, one after another said they weren’t interested in playing. We got two groups of two and absorbed one other from a group of six while two more groups had good reasons for deferring. Overall it was a poor-sized game relative to the number of people in the park who could actually toss a disc.

I wonder if this is another sign that our generation is unwilling to socialize. I’ve read theories by some who suppose that the loss of community is the death of every society. I notice everywhere that neighbors are usually unwilling to socialize unless forced. True block parties rarely happen (unless you call the drunkfest that is the Mifflin Street block party a genuine block party.) Our sociable neighbors back at my parents’ house are leaving and being replaced by people who keep to themselves. Even the neighbors upstairs in my apartment rarely make the effort to talk. Granted, I haven’t often initiated contact with them, but still, chance meetings should be conducive to more than a simple grunted “Hi.”

To add to that, my generations’ sense of social responsibility seems to be low. Volunteerism and activism seem to be things of the past. I still see people volunteer, but it seems that all too often it’s for class credit or resume padding. Todd Gitlin made me aware of the bigger form of activism that goes on. We spend money to show our support for causes rather than activating to make changes. Think of the red “AIDS ipod”, $5 of which goes to AIDS research, or fair trade coffee or any number of other spending choices. While I don’t mean to bash this kind of spending (because it is worth the consciousness), I feel that promoting capitalism for the sake of helping others doesn’t quite make sense. Why not take a role in the community and working with people directly? Work at a food shelter once a week, do some kind of counseling or perform another selfless act.

Am I completely off base? Are college students becoming more active in relieving the world’s problems? Are university students becoming more caring instead of less caring?

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23 03 2007

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RIAA boycott and (yikes!)

23 03 2007

Gizmodo has an RIAA boycott in effect. Try it out! I rarely buy CDs, but I’ll start being more conscious. Anyone who reads this, let me know if you’re going to do it!

Also, looking at digg, I found a story about how a woman is allergic to electromagnetic waves. holycrapcheckitout. She gets skin rashes and her eyelids swell to three times their normal size. Now you see why … (yikes!)

Oh cruddy crud, dental school

22 03 2007

┬áRemember when I wanted dental school? Yeah, I do, too. Those were fond memories… kind of. I’m always entertained by the searches that bring up my blog. If you pray to the Google gods, “please god let me into dental school”, (not as a phrase), my blog comes up. The second entry is the following hilarious link:

Tales from the Dental Crypt

Regina, Regina

20 03 2007

I needed my Regina Spektor fix since I (ironically) lost all of my ripped mp3s upon attempting to back them up. I went and got the streaming live show recorded by Bob Boilen’s All Songs Considered on NPR.

Spektor’s songwriting prowess makes her one of my all time favorite artists. Here are the lyrics to her song “Sailor Song” from her 2004 album Soviet Kitsch. (I tried to fix up the lyrics as best as I could since the lyrics sites are so awful. It seems like once one person posts incorrect lyrics, they all do. I used the live NPR version to fix the lyrics, so a couple nuances might be wrong, but these are oodles better than the ones I found through Google.)

Sailor Song by Regina Spektor

She will kiss you ’til your lip bleeds
But she will not take her dress off,
Americana, tropicana,
All the sailor boys have demons
They sing “Oh Kentucky why did you forsake me
If I was meant to sail the sea?
Why did you make me?
It should’ve been another state
Oh state…”
Cause Mary Anne’s a bitch
Mary Anne’s a bitch
Mary Anne’s a bitch
Mary Anne’s a bitch
Mary Anne’s a bitch
Mary Anne’s a bitch.

Does it matter that our anchors
couldn’t even reach the bottom
of a bath tub?
And the sails reflect the moon
It’s such a strange job
Playing black jack on the deck,
Atop this giant puddle, dressed in white
We quietly huddle with our missiles
And we miss the girls back home
Oh home sweet home
Cause Mary Anne’s a bitch
Mary Anne’s a bitch
Mary Anne’s a bitch
Mary Anne’s a bitch
Mary Anne’s a bitch
Mary Anne’s a bitch!

‘Cause she will kiss ’til your lip bleeds
But she will not take her dress off


19 03 2007

I learned recently through navigating the blogosphere that a lurker is one who views blogs, but fails to post comments on those blogs. More specifically (says Wikipedia), a lurker is one who views any of a number of self-published internet media types, but “rarely participates”.

I have reason to believe that there is a lurker viewing this very blog. I get stats on the blog, and I can see hits, as well as search engine terms used to find me. A lot of those terms are for things I’m obsessed with, like Arrested Development references. Others are for obscure things like songs by Godspeed You Black Emperor. Yet there is one search term that makes me suspicious: “co, the badger”. Very few of my friends know about this blog, as I haven’t made it public while I’ve been making my transfer from my old blog. In fact, I’d put money down that there are only two or three people who know about it. I can only think of one name right now, though.

Anyways, I don’t care if you tell me who you are or not, but stop lurking and start commenting. You can do it anonymously, you know. You are my only regular reader, after all.

Well, another completely exhausting day. Time to hit the hay (before 11:00 tonight! YAY!) A lot of interesting projects are boiling in my brain stew. I’ll let them out soon, my pretties! MUAHAHAHAHA!