Saturday, July 16, 2005

VHX or Beta?

Hit up the Black Cat last night with Leslie. It was fun. The band was VHX or Beta, and they didn't suck in the slightest. The singer sounded exactly like Robert Smith of the Cure, and they definitely had a certain 80's sound going on. However, if that was all, they wouldn't have been nearly as cool. Instead, the best description I can think of is crossing The Cure and The Crystal Method.

I've been listening to a few songs from American Idiot, the Green Day album. Are they sucking less? I mean, I never thought they were bad, but I never really thought they were spectacular, either. This latest incarnation of their music seems to have gotten a lot better. Either that or the rampant anti-Bush'ism littered throughout the thing resonates with my soul.

The Stone Roses rock!

I find it endlessly amusing at the things people get angry about. My boss flips out when people don't sign certain documents that come into our possession. Or when the spreadsheets we use to track our work fall into alphabetical order. My friend Robert gets livid when his soldier in a videogame doesn't reload their gun fast enough. And don't get me started on how intensely pissed you can make a person when you point out facts regarding our (or any) government. And they say I'm not grounded in reality...

Of course, I'm guilty of losing my temper at ultimately inconsequential things. I once beat a Tekken machine after losing a match to Yusef. I mean, I took a flying jumpkick at it, rocked it onto its side, and permanently fucked up the right joystick. I once tried killing a guy (no joke) for pointing out I had a heavy bounce to my walk (I like to think of it as a happy spring).

Recently, I like to think I've gotten a lot better about this whole anger thing. Essentially, after figuring out Yoda was right about the fear leading to anger leading to hate leading to suffering, I've managed to axe half my problems at the bud. I haven't had a violent fit, haven't had the need to intoxicate myself into oblivion, and I haven't wanted to kill myself in over a year now. w00+!

Ironically, I also nearly poisoned myself with my own cooking. Go figure.


At Sun Jul 17, 01:38:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

You relayed a “theory” that the government created the whole crashing of Flight 77 into the Pentagon as an elaborate farce to cover up something else, in effect insinuating that the government conveniently ended the lives of around 125 military personnel and civilians, and about 64 passengers on the flight. You claimed to believe it was absurd but we know that you wanted to believe it was true, just so that you could add another insult to the current administration that you probably believe won via electoral conspiracy. You may believe that bringing stuff up like this is great for conversation but I think you fail to fucking realize some people actually care about what happened on that day. Unlike the rest of America, I’ve lit a candle for the past three years since the incident because it still matters to me. I don’t go around spreading callous rumors about a sensitive topic because I think it’d be a great conversational piece. Try to justify your actions all you want with whatever liberal bullshit you can pull out of your ass. I just hope your “God” doesn’t let up on your miserable existence and give you better adjectives to describe your life with other than “meaningless” and “unfulfilling,” you piece of trash.

At Sun Jul 17, 03:37:00 AM EDT, Blogger Danger said...

1) Never even crossed my mind that the government was trying to cover up something it did. The "theory" as put forth was that something else entirely happened and they wanted to know what. Read that how you will.

2) I don't need anything else against this administration. I didn't need anything from day one, when someone without a popular majority won the presidency and started enacting domestic policies I didn't agree with. For the record, I have said bad things about Clinton and I have said good things about Bush.

3) If you didn't want to talk about it along those lines, you should have said something. I'll ignore angry retorts, but I will always respect a request to shut up from a friend.

4) Not a week goes by when I don't think about 9/11. I don't remember the way you do, perhaps, or the way our government or media asks us to remember, but trust me you, that day is on my mind a lot.

Grow up. I've accepted that folk don't have my priorities or understand how I feel about a lot of issues, but I stopped excluding them from life and directing burning rage at them every time they casually bring up something I'm touchy about.

For what its worth, though, sorry.

At Sun Jul 17, 10:03:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

Dammit, I let you know early in the conversation that I believed it was highly disrespectful to the people who died, people who I've grown up with, people understand the meaning of sacrifice. You just chose to continue. Do that with any actual soldier, sailor, airman, or marine in a bar and you're going to receive a beating. Not some school yard roughing, more of one where you wonder if the guy's going to stop, wondering if that next kick or stomp is going to bounce your head on the pavement too hard. These people don't like to be told even the slightest hint that they signed their lives away to fight and die for a shady government agenda. How would you like to come home after months of deployment in a cold desert where you wake up every morning and wonder from what direction or window you'll be shot at from, only to hear some pampered civilian out in public essentially telling their friends that the lives of your fellow servicemen and women died in a government cover up? How would you like to come home to that, to see the people you're protecting by being out there and doing a job that no one should ever have to regard you as some piece of soul-less trash just because the pampered public's seen too many conspiracy movies? Let me guess, you've thought of all of this already. **rolls eyes**

At Sun Jul 17, 11:40:00 AM EDT, Blogger Danger said... the offensive part is that I suggested , perhaps, the government our armed forces serves may not be being truthful and thus the value of life of these soldiers is diminished for it? I sure as hell don't think that is even remotely true.

I've already told you I thought this whole theory was bullshit. I will, however, stand by my statement that its everyone's right and duty to question the government and demant the truth. You talk about sacrifice and the thankless job, and how stupid conspiracy theories make it all seem worthless, but its infinitely worse if people were dying for reasons other than what we've been told. It isn't something anyone likes to hear, but it would be dangerous to take the official stance at face-value.

I can respect the dead and still question why they died. For many, theres a difference between why they choose to go and why they're sent, and I don't think that's fair to them. And if I'm going to be beaten to death for having the courage to question, then fuck it. I was taught (by my very conservative father, mind you) that this country was born from dissent and that dissent is one of the highest forms of patriotism. Dropping the subject? Any time. Backing down from my ideals? Not so long as I live.

At Sun Jul 17, 01:45:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

This country was born of dissent, yes, but the dissenters were led by an extraordinarily intelligent group of men. They took action against an unfair government across the sea, won, and created a government after revolution that lasted more than 200 years. These people were fucking exceptional. To say dissent is the most patriotic thing an American citizen is idiotic. It's the same reason that hillbilly militias hide behind, spreading unfounded rumors that the corrupt federal government is run by the Zog or Zionist government behind the curtains. It's the same reason domestic terrorists such as Timothy McVeigh hide behind. If you want to count yourself amongst these idiots, go on ahead. I still rest my case that spreading rumors is a dangerous thing.

If you want the right to complain, go live in a country for 18 years of your life in countries which aren't commonwealths associated with the United States, enjoying many of the benefits of statehood while remaining semi-independent. A place where the people your age regard you with distrust and hate simply because you are a mix of their ethnicity and that of an outsider, leading to beatings and cuts on a frequent basis. A place where the only friend that truly understood you dies of a drug overdose. Go and actually experience something resembling a bad life. Then go actually push yourself to actually becoming a better person. Don't half-ass it, procrastinating all along the way. Then you'll have the right to complain, the right to feel depressed, the right to feel suicidal. Or perhaps you'll realize maybe there's worse things in life and that the one you're living now is actually quite comfortable.

At Sun Jul 17, 11:54:00 PM EDT, Blogger Danger said...

I'm not going to get in a pissing match with you over who had the more miserable life. You can have that one, if you want it. You don't have to earn your rights, though. Not according to a lot of the same wise men you extoll above.

Whiny 22 year old virgin computer gamer geeks have rights (and a bunch more); I just happen to use mine in ways you don't like. Liberty is an unalienable right, not a priviledge that I had to earn. And I'm not the one that came to that conclusion first, either. I give my thanks to those that preserved it in the past and present, and I think that when it comes down to the line its something I can give my life to preserve for others, but this doesn't mean I am complacent because I've had it better than most everyone I know.

At Mon Jul 18, 12:25:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said... father was a career soldier, and I often disagreed with policies and orders he had to follow--mostly because I hated having to stay awake at night wondering if Daddy would ever come home.

So one evening after he returned from a six month stay in Bosnia, I asked him why he risked his life for a nation whose government stood for many of the things my family firmly disagreed with. He told me he did it so other people didn't have to. He told me he volunteered for his less-than-agreeable duties so that those who disagreed with the government and the military could retain and enjoy the right to sit safely at home and whine and criticize things they would never fully understand. He said he was a soldier so other Americans could be stupid, if they so chose, and their stupidity wouldn't be fatal to them.

And though he was very serious and solemn in the way he answered me, I always suspected his answer was flippant,and perhaps even a little bit bitter--until today. Thank you Danger, for proving my father to be 100% correct, and for making his 23 years in the military worth every moment. Thanks to men like you, men like my father are able to do their duty.

At Mon Jul 18, 12:33:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

Seems like someone understood all of what I said.

At Mon Jul 18, 09:47:00 AM EDT, Blogger Danger said...

As an indication of why all the previous was completely pointless, I was actually about to say the same thing about anonymous's post. I read it and felt validated.

At Mon Jul 18, 10:04:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

Looks like you were right in this case, Meg, he wasn't clever enough to understand your comment. Two bucks says he claims to have understood it fine?

At Tue Jul 19, 01:17:00 AM EDT, Blogger Jack and Coke said...

what the fuck?

I leave you two alone for one weekend to go booze myself out of my mind and this is what I come back to...

At Tue Jul 19, 04:48:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

It's been said many times already and I'll say it again. Shut the fuck up, Jack.

At Tue Jul 19, 06:39:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>your life in countries which aren't commonwealths associated with the United States

Just want to make a point, that is NOT all bad. The leading to beatings and cuts on a frequent basis is totally bogus. One example: Singapore. Singapore is an English speaking Country, I would recommend you guys to visit one day.

I am fortnate to have the oppertunity to do so, as I remember that I heard a news about the possible whipping of American for spraying paint at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The point for mentioning this is that: While that kind of structure might not be the perfect model, the idea is that if every1 is willing to sacrifice a little freedom, then the country Can be a safer place. Singapore parents might not mind their young daughter to dress in provacative outfit and walk around/take public transportation at night. Do Americans have that kind of "freedom" to enjoy?

2. Conspiracy
There is only one comment I want to address. I remember it's illegal to yell fire while inside a movie theather. Hence, there is inherent danger at making theories without sufficient evidence. However, to complete shut it down and even put a label as "BS" would be an overkill.

To do it politely, we call it a tease. To do it rudely, we call it a sexual harrassment. If Danger rearrange and present his argument differently, maybe it would be a Times magazine material, of course, I don't suggest him to get arrested, like that unfortnate individual (an example of overkill, for those of you who know what I am refering to).

At Tue Jul 19, 08:37:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

1. Ha, I should've elaborated more in that paragraph. The "commonwealth" statement was more of a snide retort in "Danger's" way since he's lived most of his life in Puerto Rico. The kid whines about how bad his life is and gets depressed quite a bit, so I decided to ellaborate on how mine was. I was beat regularly in as a child living overseas in Korea and Germany for being mixed. The Koreans didn't like the caucasian in me, the Germans vice versa, so they expressed it with punches, kicks and shoves. Since being a rat never helps much with school administrations, I saw to remedying the situations by working to better myself rather than sit around and cry about my problems. That was the point of that. College was the my first time living in the United States for a prolonged period of time, and I've never enjoyed this level of comfort elsewhere.

2. Daniel knew that the military was a sore spot for me. I've made that clear many times in many conversations in the past. He just chose to ignore it and kept pushing the subject even after I indicated that I was getting annoyed. Had he done this in person I would've kicked the shit out of him and gladly gotten arrested for doing so. It's not polite to antagonize someone, especially about their families. The military has been my "family" for 23 years and I'll be damned if I let someone potentially indicate that their losses were meaningless.


My Mother always punched me in the mouth one more time for "apologizing," claiming that they were a waste of breathe, that the person should shut up, accept their punishment and then go with life.

At Tue Jul 19, 09:40:00 AM EDT, Blogger Danger said...

A lot of choices were made in that conversation, David, but you're the one that chose to make it about the military when I was talking about the government. If you can't appreciate that they aren't synonymous, that isn't on me.


At Tue Jul 19, 09:53:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

You think it was totally out of the blue that I brought up the military? Have you forgotten the purpose of the Pentagon building in Washington DC? Jeez.

At Tue Jul 19, 10:21:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dave, did that dude really say that we should check out life in other countries? Fortunately for me, I was not on the receiving end of prejudices in Germany like you were, Dave, only because I looked like a German (of course that never helped any when I opened my mouth). However, I did not spend my entire eight years in Europe just sitting around Heidelberg (oh, the torture, right?)--I did actually manage to venture into other countries.

Which brings me to the absloulty clumsy statement made by the other anonymous fellow about provocative clothing on public transportation. I usually dress pretty conservatively by American standards. My tshirts are usually crew neck, simply because with size DD, anything other than a crew neck looks like a titty shirt. So, when I went to Turkey and Egypt, I dressed the way I normally do: conservative shirt and jeans or slacks. In the States, people normally consider me a prude by my clothing, but *gasp* this was considered provocative and seductive in Egypt and Turkey. "Why is this?" you ask on bated breath, waiting for the answer. It's because it isnt what their culture considers apropriate. I was on display simply because people could see the general shape of my body, the skin on my forearms, and my face. In their culture, I WAS clothed provocatively. If you go to Singapore and look at the women's clothing as "provocative" or "seductive," you are doing the typical "American pig" thing by applying rules of our culture to other countries. If this is how you handle your "extensive world travel", are you really as cultured and enlightened as you think you are?

Clothing is a very WEAK argument for freedom. If you dress like a skank within the rules of your culture, you get treated like a skank. If you dress in a manner that is considered acceptable, you have the freedom not to be a target. This is true for every country everywhere in the world.

Sacrifice to make a country a safer place? Absolutely. This is precisely what the military does, and the sole point Danger seems unable to grasp.

Dave, your friends are very interesting, and I bet they are very amusing to drink with on a Friday night.

At Tue Jul 19, 10:47:00 AM EDT, Blogger Danger said...

I am fairly sure I got that sole point. What I feel everyone is missing is that I'm saying people have the right to question whether or not our government always gets that point. Specifics aside, it isn't prudent to accept what politicians say at face-value, and asking questions (even stupid ones) forces them to either tell the truth or lie.

I like to think that in the long run the latter choice is not sustainable and is found out. Then we can elect someone better. But you still have to ask...

At Tue Jul 19, 02:32:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

From whether or not the government blatantly disregards the lives of soldiers in order to cover up something in the Pentagon to size double D breasts? God, I love being American.

At Tue Jul 19, 09:46:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>> Singapore parents might not mind their young daughter to dress in provacative outfit and walk around/take public transportation at night. Do Americans have that kind of "freedom" to enjoy?

That is the entire sentence, which includes key words such as "public transportation" and "night" and "young daughter." Outfit is only one of the key words. Please do not take it out of context and only quote partially on one word. Focus on the word provacative will not do you any good.

Thank you for missing the point regarding "if every1 is willing to sacrifice a little freedom, then the country Can be a safer place" entirely. Please take a class on how to read a text as a whole.

At Tue Jul 19, 11:23:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

"Thank you for missing the point regarding "if every1 is willing to sacrifice a little freedom, then the country Can be a safer place" entirely. Please take a class on how to read a text as a whole."

Go take a class on spelling and punctuation.

At Wed Jul 20, 12:58:00 AM EDT, Blogger Danger said...

"Boy, that escalated quickly... I mean, that really got out of hand fast!"

-Ron Burgundy

At Wed Jul 20, 03:45:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

"Well, agree to disagree."
- Ron Burgundy

At Wed Jul 20, 10:08:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Kicker said...


My father's father and grandfather both served in the military and, from what I knew of them, defined themselves mainly by that distinctinon. He himself volunteered as soon as he was eligible, because of the South East Asian Conflict, not despite it. First, though, he was in the ROTC at Yale '64-8, which meant that a large number of bored, otherwise reasonably intelligent people spent a rather astounding amount of time and energy making his life miserable, ostensibly because of their objections to Johnson Administration policies. To be fair, though, I think they did it because they just wanted what most of us wanted in college; to smoke pot and impress girls.

My mother's father worked in the post office for thirty years. He lost his job when someone labeled him as a Communist (which, if we go by the party's official roles, was a lie), after which he became a labor organizer for some time. Her mother escaped a life more rural than I can easily conceive with no more damage than a few scars and a burning dislike of anyone who thought to tell her what to do. My mother herself grew up in San Francisco, to which you can apply any prejudices you like and still have a relatively accurate idea of what that was like.

So, it should not suprise us that among these two, as the patriot, my father was, by far, the single greatest source of political dissent in our household. It was from him that I gained the belief that open discussion is the most vital of rights, and that being able to participate in it honestly, calmly and maturely is a virtue. That's probably all anyone needs to hear to know where he falls in our modern political situation. Valuing honesty to the degree he does means that you find every President since...okay, since ever, more or less unlikeable.

End of Prelude and attempt to communicate a woefully incomplete picture of myself as a politically aware human being.

If democracy is king, and we want him to be an informed one, so is dialogue, and if dialogue is king, if we want it to be as productive as possible, so is protected speech. If speech is king in any subject people find important, it is inevitable that some of those people will become offended by opposing positions. Those people should hold tight to their wounds, as few other things will help them define and understand their own positions as well as that moral outrage provoked by their antithesis. Unfortunately, if speech becomes calculated to provoke hurt, as it so often does when humans feel hurt themselves, it also becomes worthless in the context of dialogue. So, people who have been wounded intentionally should call the offender on his bluff, and people who find they've been wounded unintentionally should bite their tongue and continue to explain their position and listen intently to the opposing one. Thus will all participants come the closest to learning the truth.

So much for dialogue. Most people, especially me, don't bother with that save in exceptional circumstances. We reiterate the same position over and over without considering why we hold it or why others do not. We gleefully interpret disagreement as attack, because it lets us feel put upon and morally superior. We use every trick we can to make ourselves look clever and attractive, and our "opponents" ridiculous and smarmy. We yell our platitudes until the other person gives up and goes home, or at least, until we're satisfied. In short, we debate. Dialogue is like the coin in the Prisoner's Dillema: It is gained only if every single person involves cooperates towards it. Debate is the failure of dialogue, and it's as much my first instinct as anyone else's, having difficulty giving up the instinct to mistrust the ability "those who disagree" to discuss openly and honestly.

As only one person, I am by definition unable to give examples of dialogue, but I think I can give a few counter-examples of debate. Thus:

People who honestly believe that George Bush called down the thunder on the Pentagon personally (and with our Inter-magic, we can see there really are such persons) are misinformed, unwittingly or willfully. If they refuse to take notice of the information obviating this position, they are delusional, and merit our pity. People who honestly believe that an American Government has never take actions that endanger the lives of its fighting men and women for transient political or personal goals weren't paying attention in High School Civics. If they refuse to take notice of the information obviating this position, they are delusional, and merit our pity. People who honestly believe this Government would never take such actions hasn't been paying attention even in, say, the past week. If they refuse to take notice of the information obviating this position, they are delusional, and merit our pity.

A pre-made response to any offered counter-debate: Please, don't promise to "kick the shit" out of me. That would demonstrate the logical infallibility of your position to such a degree of rigor I would be given no choice but to agree. I would also be unable to draw ironic parallels to the State Department's Iraqi Strategy. You piece of trash.

There. Debate. Did any of those statements of position (they were hardly arguments) sway anybody? Despite all the tricks employed that would gain laughter and appluase from some, did they do anything but convince reasonable people of my own dickhood? I wish to believe that they did not. I wish to believe that people say things I disagree with not to disagree with me personally, and that both they and I should find out why we each beleive what we do. I can't prove it, but I suspect believing and acting on this belief would make men better and wiser than otherwise.

So I suppose, in the end, the statement I can most strongly agree with is that people in the service die so that Americans can be "stupid." Everyone wants to demonize the people they disagree with as "stupid," among other things, to gain points by contrast, and so I readily equate "stupid" with "disagrees with me." So to villianize and oppress those people is to dishonor the sacrifices made to protect them.

The intensely intelligent and driven (and rich and white, to complete the list of their virtues) people (male people, forgot that little plus) who declared the independance of the American Colonies did so on the presumption that dissent was not just the right, but the responsibility of all men, and further, that a Nation founded in dissent and ruled with dissent would prove strong enough to last the ages against any threat it could conceivably face. It is a mad, impossible dream, in which I proudly share. It has a place in it for all of us, for every citizen of our nation, indeed, for every nation and citizen in the world.

Except. Except for he who wishes to destroy dialogue, silence debate, and limit speech. His masters are not mine, his country is not mine, his dream is not mine. He is alone, and while my heart aches for him, for the sake of my dream, I cannot willingly concede him a single inch before I concede my life. He forces me to become his enemy, and I must soberly accept the task of protecting the world from him, wherever that takes me, fronts foreign or familiar.

It is my most fervent hope and wish that he realizes someday that he has nothing to fear, that the dream is big enough for one more, and that we can all be stronger, be "stupid," together.

At Wed Jul 20, 11:36:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

Great, another idealist, or is it?

At Thu Jul 21, 01:40:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>Great, another idealist, or is it?

More constructive than you ever will be, at the least.

At Thu Jul 21, 08:10:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

What ever you say "Nick." Go back to posting on that Random Donkey business, you seem pretty "constructive" there.

At Thu Jul 21, 09:23:00 PM EDT, Blogger Don't Panic said...

"My father's father and grandfather both served in the military"

Does this mean your daddy had two daddies? Not exactly something the military encourages.

Be constructive and use clear and proper grammar.

Dave, it's too bad you aren't as constructive as this fine, brilliant fellow.

At Thu Jul 21, 11:54:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it how people starting making personal reference and track down the dissident. Sure, start focusing on the person, Not the issue. That definately shows the intelligence and hypocrite of this blog. It's great for display and dinner jokes.

Like what they say, people of the same kind like to hang together. I feel a need to wash my keyboard for typing comments on this blog.

At Fri Jul 22, 08:32:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wash it while its plugged in. Make sure there are a few naked wires exposed.

At Fri Jul 22, 09:06:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

Go back to your cartoons about school girls with big eyes and small mouths, your "Engrish" could use some work, losers.

At Fri Jul 22, 05:24:00 PM EDT, Blogger Danger said...

1) I don't think you can electrocute yourself with a keyboard.

2) I think the flaming for this little thread is about exhausted.

At Fri Jul 22, 06:51:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

Rumor has it that you can actually wash keyboards inside dishwashers, after all.

You're right. Time to take this pissing contest out of my house and into theirs. You should've known I'm rather vindictive.

At Sun Jul 24, 10:51:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dave/Scott said...

Funny, I used one of your own tricks to end this. "Hollow, emotional argument" indeed.


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