Signs of Creationism vs. Atheism

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As you, the reader can tell, I am touching on a very sensitive subject.  I may put my personal beliefs into this post, but I am not here to pose my belief and painstakingly defend them.  I actually have participated on numerous online debates, and actually, they were very informative.  Not on the actual arguments, but on the argument itself.  I believe at the very core of this debate, can be broken up from coincidence.  I am quoting from the movie Signs:

People break down into two groups when they experience something lucky.  Group number 1, sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence, a sign, evidence, that there is someone out there watching over them.  Group number 2, sees it as just pure luck, a happy turn of chance, sure there are people in group number 2 are looking at those 14 lights in a very suspicious way – for them this situation isn’t just 50/50.  It could be bad, it could be good.   But deep down, they feel that whatever happens they are on their own, and that, fills them with fear.

There’s a whole lot of people in group number 1.  When they see those 14 lights, they see a miracle.  And deep down they feel that whatever is going to happen, there’s going to be someone there to help them, and that fills them with hope.  You have to ask yourself, what kind of person are you?

Are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles?  Or do you believe that people just get lucky?  Or, is it possible that there are no coincidences?

And guess what the movie title is?  It is Signs.  So the movie is making a statement that there is no coincidence, that there is some forces that watch over us.  It’s a good movie, and very thought provoking, with some constant humor that will make you chuckle.  It’s a good watch.

But what I really wanted to say, is I started a huge debate online with creationism vs. atheism, and I opened with an alternative to what Mel Gibson said.  I started with a word, that I think is the correct word, however it really ticks off atheists, and that’s the word “faith.”  Simply put, I said that in whether or not you believe in a God or not, both outcomes practice faith.  That fueled the fire, but at the very end, where they stopped responding, was when I started being more specific with what I said at the beginning.  I started talking about coincidence, and how for some people, there is never a coincidence, while others there is just coincidence.  And that is what sealed it.  We argued aspects of the big bang, the cosmos, physics, mathematics, biology, what have you.  It all doesn’t matter.  What matters is if you believe in coincidence, or do you believe if there is something more?  So what did I learn?  The Creationism vs. Atheism debate fundamentally is a philosophical debate, rather than the debate on interpretation of various facts that humanity has found.

  • Faith –>  belief that is not based on proof.
  • Belief –>  confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.

Therefore:

  • Do you believe in coincidence, or do you believe there is no coincidence?
  • Do you have faith in coincidence, or do you have faith that there is no coincidence?

All I did was change the word and they were okay with it.  But they literally mean the same thing in this context.

There is something I wanted to explore.  Let’s assume the entirety of Mel Gibson’s analysis.  People that just believe in luck, know that they are alone, and so they have fear.  People that believe in something more than just luck, they are filled with hope.  What would be the implications that this is the case?

The first thing that comes to mind is the life cycle of empires.  In Sir John Glubb’s essay, The Fate of Empires, he talks about societies that do not believe in a God or Gods.  Which means, that according to this analysis, many people were in the state of fear.  And in this state, it makes us make decisions and do actions that would be different if we were not scared.  Now when looking at that work, there is no doubt that the US is in the Age of Decadence.  Which means, there is an increasing amount of people that are not God fearing people, which means they are scared.  Look at our society?  Fear begets fear.  It seems like it’s a snowball effect.  The media pumps out fear, and we like it because we are scared.  I’m not really sure as to why that is.  Why is it, that when I am scared, I enjoy watching things that make me scared?  I just know from personal experience, with me as well as other loved ones – they were scared, and they expose themselves to fearful stuff.  I do not necessarily understand the psychology of that to be honest.  But it also makes me wonder, what kind of society would we be if we were not scared?  What policies would we put into place?

Personally, I do believe in a God and a spiritual realm, but I have problems with particular views, however I haven’t really put in the effort to resolve these problems in either outcome.  But I feel that’s where a lot of people lye.  They are spiritual, but they do not put effort into that spirituality.

In any case, that one scene in this entire movie, encapsulated what I have learned is the core philosophical argument with the creationism vs. atheism debate.  If someone, on a philosophical level, can refute one side and prove the other, I would argue it would be for sure the best philosophical find ever, and one of the biggest intellectual leaps humanity will have ever done.

Thanks for reading!  Post comments!

 

 

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The Book of Eli Analysis

This is an older movie so I am not too stressed out about spoiling the movie. I did want to take the time to dive into what the movie was trying to say, and at one point the writers view is the core message of The Bible. I don’t think I am even going to take time to summarize the movie.

Eli you learn later is blind. “I see by faith, not by sight,” he is quoted to saying, and he literally can see from faith. He wears sunglasses not to protect his eyes from the sun, but to not show people that he is blind. He has been given special privileges from God so to speak. He took on a task that has taken him over 30 years, surviving off of a wasteland. It isn’t just the surviving from the elements, but from gun fire. The first gun fire scene Eli was literally standing with no cover, and the audience hears bullets flying by. This maybe typical in other Hollywood movies, but this one had a purpose. It was showing that God was protecting him on a more literal level. Not to mention when he gets shot, and somehow by God’s plans, a friend comes and helps save his life.

He takes life and he hates taking it. Probably the coolest action scene is towards the beginning of the movie. He uses his blade. And after he was done protecting himself, he slams his blade with disgust. It’s to show that he follows what he reads. He knows it was to protect himself, but he hates taking the life of another.

What made the movie more interesting was the stance of the antagonist. He wanted to use The Bible as a means of power. By using their faith, they could be more righteous by building more towns, or something to that effect. He wanted to use faith as a means of expanding his power, of having his people follow him. By slanting the word of God, he could control his uneducated citizenship into doing things mainly for himself. I feel considering the statements made in his movie, the writing are showing not only what was done in the past with God, but also what should be done instead.

When I think about religion being used as a means of power, I automatically think of The Crusades and The Inquisition. As I understand it, by using what the bible says about bringing Christianity to all parts of the Earth for the second coming, this justified eliminating or saving the heathens. This created more conquest, and therefore more power. Depending on how you worship Christianity, there are some denominations that have you pay money to help loved ones pass into the after life – in the olden days, you had to pay the priest in order for your prayer to be heard by God. The Inquisition brought fear to the church, a fear that was used as a means of power. You fear the church, you do as the church says. These were once dire moments of our history, but people of God have evolved so to speak. Now through the Christian faith, there are different flavors of worship, but I believe what The Book of Eli said as to the main message of The Bible, is basic but very true.

Keep in mind Eli has been reading this book (it’s in braille) every night for 30 years. He is asked by his friend, the one who saved his life, indirectly, “what did you learn from this book?” Keep in mind she has no concept of God, of Jesus, or Creation, I mean anything. It’s the last Bible on the planet. Eli said, “Do onto others you’d want to do onto you.” The Golden Rule basically. This message is shown through love and caring throughout the entire Bible. I would argue that at some points the love is hard to see – however especially in The New Testament, love is a theme found throughout the book.

On this issue of spirituality, and faith, I think there comes to be two kinds of people that approach this phenomenon on whether or not to worship a certain religion. The first kind, take a leap of faith and believe in that God, to later find the evidence for that religion. The second, are people that require proof in order to worship whatever said God. The main difference that I can see, is for one the second group have to put forth loads more amount of effort to even come to a decision. The first group is able to put their belief into something and not require proof. This is admirable, but did they make the right decision? Only faith will tell.

Eli basically said if you were to remove knowledge of all the various characters of The Bible, and all the various stories, that the main message is the golden rule. Imagine, as John Lennon would say, what our society would be like if we treated others as we would like to be treated. It’s really difficult to be that way in our current society, with how people are vultures with our money. As they should be, because it seems if there is a financial incentive to do something, regardless of the ethics involved, you do it. As I have said before, our society is individualism. You could expand individualism to units of people, like your immediate family and friends. It’s okay to look out for the ones you love, but it is not okay to do that at the expense of others livelihood. People have forgotten that, people have forgotten the message of Eli. I wouldn’t be so against capitalism if it didn’t corrode the souls of so many people that partake in it. We seem to be taught the golden rule, but we refuse to execute that into our lives. Admittedly, that is the hard part. It is much easier to learn of a concept, rather than to incorporate that change into your life. I hope we can come together as a people, rather than be divided. We are so divided on so many levels. But class, sex, race, religion, political ideology just to name a few, we are so separated that we aren’t even an American people. What drives this conflict, is money, even where race is involved. Didn’t this book say money is the root of all evil?

When Eli prayed, he didn’t ask for anything. He thanked the Lord for everything. He will only take that of which is given to him, and what is planned for him, but he will not request it. If we all showed that humility, our world would be a much better place.

“Image no possessions,
Wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world.”

“Imagine” by John Lennon

The Double Helix of Science and Spirituality

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To start off this post, I’m going to share a poem that I have written.

“Spiritual Stars”

Man travels through life
Easily distracted by immersive information
The progress of our ancestors
Rests as Man’s foundation
Planting an addiction for answers
Our understanding – blossoming flowers.

The floret never touches the sky
It can never reach the stars
(The universe expands to infinity);
No matter the sacrifices and the scars
Path to Truth has utmost affinity
For Man to rip each others’ humanity.

An honest man looks at history
The Enlightenment the most recited
Men upheld to their ideals
Dividing which once was united
The Church never allowing appeals
Ignoring reason, and what it reveals –

Men ahead of their time
Their knowledge grinds with society
Shedding assumptions of culture
Their deeds proclaimed notoriety
The Church, feeling their credibility will rupture
Men killed in response for all their glory and wonder.

It was times of blood, and the victim was reason
All to keep the established beliefs
Most people blame the irrationality on religion
As a result people suppress spirituality underneath
People strive to make a logical decision
Rather to look onto God with submission.

Humanity does not know for sure,
if there is a God or not
Logic declares each a possibility;
Usually spirituality is negated
Blamed for taking the essence of humanity
Theories constructed, for God is hated
Something at some point had to of been created.

God may not be accurately expressed in our texts,
Could not spirituality and reason co-exist?
What would unfold, with the double helix
of reason and religion?
The floret would grow past the cold mist
When we show humility and make that admission
Our understanding would only depend upon our ambition.


This post will essentially talk about this poem, and well, a specific song that talks about the same thing.  “Science” by System of a Down.  Here is the song and the lyrics:

Making two possibilities a reality
predicting the future of things we all know
fighting off the diseased programming
of centuries, centuries, centuries, centuries
Science fails to recognize the single most
potent element of human existence
letting the reigns go to the unfolding
is faith, faith, faith, faith
Science has failed our world
science has failed our mother earth
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Letting the reigns go to the unfolding
is faith, faith, faith, faith
letting the reigns go to the unfolding
is faith, faith, faith, faith
Science has failed our world
Science has failed our mother earth
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Spirit-moves-through-all-things
Science has failed our mother earth

(Sorry for the format issues.)

First, I want to talk about the song specifically.  If you notice, he takes a Platonian view of matter in this world.  “Spirit moves through all things” is like the lifeforce that Plato theorized about.  (Plato’s Lifeforce –> Energy)  Secondly, the message that is trying to be portrayed is that science has hurt mother nature, however I would add science has really benefited humanity at the expense of mother nature.  Not to get too political, but when we have the technology to not only take care of our planet but provide the needs of our society, it is usually shot down simply because of money.  An example of this is renewable technology.  Arguably, it might be that science isn’t at fault, but rather the desires of men.  The desire to maximize an electronic spreadsheet, at the expense of not only the planet, but of humanity itself.

There is a common message, between my poem and System of a Down – in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the poem was inspired by System of a Down.

It’s the idea that not only is spirituality not credible in the realms of science; not only is it obvious to see that spirituality (energy) is in all things; what of the possibility of spirituality being accepted in science?  What about that possibility?

As my poem suggested, the actual ways of the spirit realm may not be expressed in all of the world’s religious texts.  It could be expressed by one, who knows.  The point is that either possibility is an unknown, so why not study objectively with the possibility that spirituality exists?  Furthermore, I pose the possibility that aspects of the spirit realm is actually found.  Wouldn’t finding Truth behind those properties of this spiritual realm, wouldn’t that open our eyes to other aspects of our universe as well?  Thus, looking for aspects of spirituality in science, not only has the same benefit as studying science without it (IF God or Gods are not out there), but prepares humanity for finding something that could climb us ever closer to Truth.  Meaning, if we are open to the idea of a spirit realm, it could either not be true (the same as not looking for spirituality at all), or it could be true and we unlocked another world to our perception.

If we were to find a spiritual realm, the double helix of spirituality and science would be created.  One as part of the other.  And with this deeper understanding, the closer to Truth we would become, having spirituality and science being the genome of our expression.

To close, the song by System of a Down is very artistic.  When the music turns into a different beat and melody, it’s Spirit.  They’re trying to portray the strength as well as aspects of this spirit that they are talking about.  The harsh and grungy sound is science, while the pleasant and tribal sound is spirit.  It’s peaceful, no?

And with that, comes my second attempt at changing how frequently I post.  Again, I am completely open to the concept that I could be flat out wrong, and that others may disagree with me.  I just hope that my reader, that you’re actually thinking along these lines and came up with thoughts of your own.

Thanks for reading!

Tron Legacy Analysis

 

This movie I have really enjoyed recently.  I felt when I first saw it about five years ago, I didn’t really appreciate the fullness of the film.  It’s beyond the great special effects, music in accordance to action, and the wardrobe.  I mean these costumes look like they were engineered in the future.  They did a good job.  Daft Punk being in the futuristic bar was a great touch.  The story is well written, and brings about themes of love, perfection and imperfection, as well as God and creation.  It’s a very compelling movie, and really makes the viewer reflect on the statements on these themes.

It starts with the father son relationship, of the Flynn’s.  His father decided to pursue ideas that were way ahead of their time, get enveloped in creating utopias, while realizing that “perfection” was right at his finger tips (more on the perfection them later), and it was that of his son.  I quote, “I would give it all up for just one more day with you.”  In order to really appreciate the power of those words, I have to explain the premise of the movie.

Flynn was able to take the human image and put it into a digital self.  Sort of like a Matrix I guess, but different intentions and conditions.  In this world, Flynn is God.  He created a program to protect users (himself) named Tron.  He then created a program, a digital representation of himself, to create the perfect system.  That program was named Clue.  With those three, they created utopias.  First one they created, only programs could exist in the world.  They finally after that attempt, started over and made a utopia for both programs and users.  In a super computer for the time it was made, in the bottom of an arcade, there was a universe and Flynn was God.

In fact, the image that is presented in this post, is my favorite part I think.  It is the moment that God revealed himself to His creation after many cycles.  Everyone goes in to awe and fear was expressed.  There was a program that was praying the in the presence of Flynn.  Imagine that?  First, imagine being God.  Isn’t that insane?  He created all of that.  As shown later in the film, Flynn has powers that only He can have.  Since He has the master file on his disk, He can manipulate what He created.  Imagine seeing God right in front of you.  I would just wait and stare in awe honestly.  To actually be with the Creator, brings a mixture of emotions I can’t describe.  Imagine living in a world where they know there is a God, and they know who He is.  That society has a much different psyche than ours, and in a sense, I envy them.  I would love to have the luxury to have seen my God and know that He is there.  What is interesting, is Flynn doesn’t hear prayers.  It’s something I have thought hard about with our Creator, does he actually listen to prayers?  Or does he let the system run and does something else?  I will never know.

Now it is understood the strength of those words, “I would give it all up just to spend one more day with you.”  He would give up being God to be with his son again.  He was forced to stay in The Grid because the portal closed.  He hadn’t seen his son in years, and he thought he would never see him again.  Flynn knew what had to be done in order to get The Iso and his son out.  That is why he said,”one more day” because he was going to merge with Clue and create an instant explosion followed by a complete reset.  Flynn died, but The Grid remains to be manipulated, or improved, by his son.  Flynn knew he was going to die, and it would of given up his life’s work, at being God, to be with his son more.  That was more important to him.  That is really strong, and shows what we all desire and what usually happens.  Father’s aren’t home making the cheddar, and some get so caught up in their career it is more important than family.  A song that shows this well is “Cats in the Cradle.”  It’s a cycle.  The boy mimics a distant father and becomes a distant father.  Most of us yearn for a close father because not only is it human, but a lot of us have had distant relationships with our fathers because of our society.

There is another love story.  The son Flynn and The Iso.  Iso’s were literally a result of The Grid.  They were a different race of people created by The Grid.  Flynn, God, not only created a digital frontier and utopias with programs, but created another being that lived in The Grid, with their own DNA.  Clue saw them as imperfections, and slaughtered them.  “It was genocide.”  The Iso, she is the last remaining Iso, that Flynn saved.  Imagine, being saved individually by your Creator.  In any case, The Iso’s DNA could revolutionize technology back on Earth, and was the true purpose of The Grid to Flynn.  His creation, of living beings, He truly is a God if one thinks about it.

Clue was programmed to make the perfect system.  He did it well.  Flynn had a long time to think, and told this to Clue.  “The thing about perfection, is that it is unknowable.  It’s impossible but it is also right in front of you all the time.  You wouldn’t know that because I didn’t when I created you.  I’m sorry, Clue.  I’m sorry.”  When his son went to the portal, there were images of his son when he was younger.  To show what he was thinking.  “See ya kiddo.”  Flynn then combined Himself with Clue, resetting The Grid.

I don’t know why, but that quote is making me think of a concept.  Could the world be more perfect that we originally thought?  I think it is a perfect super-organism.  Meaning it has processes that ultimately balance everyone out, and is cyclic to bring motion to the planet.  There’s a carbon cycle, a water cycle, an oxygen cycle, a carbon dioxide cycle, and the list goes on.  It’s a perfect system, that was created through the laws of this universe.  But could it be more perfect?  Perfection to us is pure symmetry, uniform color, evenly divided angles.  Sterile.  But could the structure and all of the planet be perfect?  Sure the structure is different than our preconceived notion of perfection, but what if Flynn is right?  What if perfection is unknowable?  Then our views of perfection are not valid because perfection is unknowable.

Could it be possible that perfection is our universe itself?  Could the very variable leaves of a tree actually all be perfect?  Sure there is variance in nature, but it is truly random, and that could mean true perfection.  Maybe a part of perfection is variability, or randomness?  Maybe our preconceived notions of perfection blinds us from the perfection right in front of us.  Excuse my french, but it’s the fact that we fucking exist in the first place.  I believe there were systemic steps, and I think considering all the Earth like planets we are finding, we are bound to find life.  If we are truly alone in this universe, then those are planets for our taking.

Singularities.  There is no reality.  There is no time.  There is nothingness, but a infinitely small and dense particle.  Do you think that particle could of exploded in an infinite amount of ways?  After all, there is no reality.  The singularity exploded with just enough energy to produce the exact mass of 14 decimal places to create a universe that is flat and eventually harbors life.  That to me is perfection.  Iso’s are us.  As a result of the flow of energy becoming more efficient, life was systematically created.  We are the result of energy.

This movie has really changed me.  I think the climax of the film, where Flynn explains perfection, has actually changed my perception of the world.  I think we are living on a perfect planet, in not only processes, symbiotic relationships, but also in structure itself.

I’m going for a walk I think tonight.  Thanks for reading.

A Song that Sings True to my Heart

Websites don’t provide the lyrics accurately for this performance.  I will manually write them.


“The Stone” by Dave Matthews Band

I’ve this creeping

Suspicion that things here are not as they seem

Oh reassure me

Why do I feel as if I am too deep

Oh I’ve been praying

For some way to show them I’m not what they see

Oh I’ve done wrong

But what I did I felt needed be done, I swear.

Oh unholy day

If I leave now I might get away

God knows it weighs on me

As heavy as stone and as blue as I go

I was just wondering if you’d come along

Hold up my head when my head won’t hold on

I’ll do the same if the sames what you want

But if not I’ll go

I will go, a long

A long way

From that fools mistake

And now forever pay

No run, I will run and I’ll be okay

But I was just wondering if you’d come along

Hold up my head if my head won’t hold on

I’ll do the same if the sames what you want

But if not I’ll go, I will go a long

Long way

Burry the past for I don’t want to pay

Oh how I wish, this

To turn back the clock and do it all over again

And I was just wondering if you’d come along

Hold up my head if my head won’t hold on

I’ll do the same if the sames what you want

But if not I’ll go, I will go a long.

I need so

To stay in your arms, to see you smile hold you close

Oh God how it weights on me

As heavy as stone and a bone chilling cold

I was just wondering if you’d come along

Just tell me, you, will.


This song is especially close to me, because I have made some serious mistakes in the past.  And, I would love to find a partner and fall in love.  So really, this song is perfect.  It is about someone who is trying to get over, maybe even running away, from an action in his past.  He is wondering if a girl would come along with him, and there is a “blue bone chilling cold,” which basically means a depression when dealing with the unknown.  Is she going to go with me, or not?  If she doesn’t, I won’t see her again.  The point in time of not knowing, and also realizing that he could be moving on without her, brings a bone chill cold.

Recently I made a bad mistake.  I apologized, the apology was accepted, but now I have to deal with the guilt of making that mistake.  If “I could burry the past for I don’t want to pay, oh how I wish, this, to turn back the clock and do it all over again.”  I would.  I hope this person sticks with me, and treats me the same as before, but that might be asking for too much.

First I want to take note of the drum part.  If you want to listen to the best version, listen to their studio version.  It is absolutely killer.  He can’t do that part in a concert series, because he needs more energy and stamina for the rest of the concert.  That is why generally, in my view, their studio versions are much better than their live versions.  What I love about Carter Beauford, the drummer for The Dave Matthews Band, is that he doesn’t show his whole hand during the song.  When listening to the studio version, he adds a little bit here and there, and then he creates a climax with the lyrics of the song.  It is quite beautiful, and artistic.  Not a lot of drummers know to pull back, and to gradually add layer of color after layer of color.

My favorite band lyrically, and poetically, is Dave Matthews.  Another really good one is “The Dreaming Tree.”  He has a way of portraying so much meaning with very little words.  He is very concise, and in a way, it adds more room of interpretation with the least amount of words.  This way, his music sometimes has room for interpretation, and allows the audience to extract the meaning that means the most to them.  Sometimes his songs aren’t like that.

If you notice, his music changes to meet the mood of his lyrics.  When he is talking about wondering if that person would come along, and to care for one another, the mood of the song completely changes.  This is followed by when he says he will go away, there is a tone of sound that brings about a feeling of conflict and pain.  The space between the tones fit perfectly for what he is trying to say.  Artistically, as well as musical talent, Dave Matthews Band is one of the best there is, however I understand if people don’t like their music.  But for me, their music has gotten me through moments in my life that were pretty dire.  I know I said I was going to focus on one song, but I want to share a song that I have only heard him perform once at a certain concert.  And that too, has a special place in my heart.


 

Again I can’t find reliable lyrics.  I will type them.


 

“Old Dirt Hill” by Dave Matthews –> He plays this with Tim Reynolds, not his band.

Ride my bike down the old dirt hill

The first time without my training wheels

The first time I kissed you I lost my legs

Bring that beat back to me again

Screaming shouting, loud oh innocence

In the days in what we did would never end

Smoking under the railroad bridge

I used to ride my bike down that old dirt hill

And the first time I kissed her I lost my legs

Bring that beat back to me again

Screaming, shouting, loud oh innocence

In the days when all we did would never end

Screaming down that old dirt hill

Bring that beat back to me again

Bring that beat back to me again

But you know when it gets hard

Is when the days I remember, seem so far away

I was just kid, but that’s what I miss

It was just one kiss, but that what I miss

Bring that beat again

Smokin’ under the rail road bridge

Bring that beat back to me again

But you know, while it gets hard

Is when the days I remember

Seem so far away

I was just a kid, but that’s what I miss

I was just a kid, but that’s what I miss

Take me back, take me back to that beat again

When I was a boy

When I was a boy.

 


Literally in my life, there was a favorite hill that I would go down in my old neighborhood where I grew up.  There was an old railroad bridge and old rail road tracks that are currently being used now for the public transportation system.  Finally, there was my first french kiss.  And it is the best kiss I have ever had.  Not because it was the first one, or because she was hot, but because goddamn she knew how to kiss!  She was really good!  I have direct similarities to my childhood from his.  And, when life gets tough, I do think about that point in my life.  I had neighborhood friends I would play with outside, literally all day.  We would go to each other’s house and watch movies or just hang out where it was cooler.  When we got older, going through puberty, we started liking one another, and that is when I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

I didn’t share with my best friend at the time how I felt, because I didn’t want to lose our friendship.  I loved her, truly.  And I missed on an opportunity that would of been nirvana.  It is one of my first major life lessons.  Take those risks, and possibly establish that love, because you may never have that chance again.

Also, right before college I started to smoke weed right next to the railroad bridge.  Some of the best memories is getting high there, or getting high with my friends.  But I was abusing more drugs not only for the euphoria, but to mask the fear that I was going to lost my best friends, possibly forever.  And essentially I did.  But I will always remember those friendships, because they are probably going to be the best friendships I will ever have.

The smoking of the weed also induced something that would change my life substantially, and mostly for the worse.  But when I think of riding my bike down that hill, kissing girls, jumping on trampolines, playing four square, sledding, I mean everything that we did, there is such relief from my stress.  I remember how innocent and pure we were, and how our days’ stress was whether or not we would play capture the flag.  It was a beautiful time and a beautiful neighborhood.  What’s interesting is when you go through the neighborhood, they still have the speed limit to really low with the warning, “There are children playing in the streets.”  That warning was put in place from my group of friends and I.

The music is very repetitive, and the lyrics are very “direct,” meaning they are easy to interpret.  But as it is special to me, everyone can remember their childhoods, and reminiscence when life was much more simpler, and less stressful.  During my years of heavy weed use, I will admit I didn’t want to grow up.  I wanted to remain where I was, a kid.  Because I was so happy, I didn’t want to have the stress and anxieties of being a grown up.  I will say I have grown up to the point that I have accepted that life will change forever for me.  That my kid days are over.  But I can always remember, and my memories are beautiful, and it releases the stress going on currently in my life.  I will never forget.

R.I.P Leeroy.  That band will never be the same without you.

Thanks for reading.  I’ll be going back to economics probably next post.

The Revolutionary Theme in Film

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

There are two movies that I have recently watched, and it has been awhile since I have enjoyed movies.  The first movie, is The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay Part 1 and then Exodus Gods and Kings.  And really, the main theme that I keep seeing in these movies is some sort of revolution.  Exodus has been redone by Hollywood I don’t know how many times, and it makes me wonder why they focus on that one story so much.  What my theory is, is it has to do with revolution.  Mazerunner was another example.  The game essentially forced these kids to risk their lives to exit the maze, a sense of rebellion/revolution.  I want to explore as to why this theme keeps recurring throughout movies over the years.

First, since the first movies of this kind have been successful, it is a recipe to be repeated by Hollywood to maximize their profits.  But why do we like them?  We like to see the oppressed to be free of their bondage.  All throughout human history, there have been revolutions because living conditions were so poor, or their treatment was so unjust, there had to be something done.  However, with the repetition that this movie theme is used, it makes me wonder, is there another purpose to this?  When the revolution is successfully fulfilled, there is a better life for many.  Seeing that moment, feels good, and maybe why these movies are so successful.  However, I think the action of putting revolutions on the big screen, undermines actual revolution.  What I mean is, when people watch something fictional on the big screen, and see the loss of life and risk involved, mixed with current contentment in their lives, people don’t even think about enacting a new government forcefully.  When I say contentment, is our way of life is decent enough to not risk for many, even though the quality of life for everyone could greatly improve if our government was forcefully abolished.  So since we have large amounts of things to consume, and we are programmed to consume at a young age, we don’t think about the possibilities of other lives.

And just as fictional stories show, there is risk involved, including one’s life.

I suppose peoples’ standards of living are at the point they aren’t willing to risk their lives for the possible betterment of humanity.  After all, things in theory may end up being practiced completely differently.  But I see so many problems with our economy, our government, and our way of life.  I suppose my life right now is fine.  I get to watch movies, play video games, listen to an insane amount of music, and have libraries full of databases and books.  However, as one example of so many I could list, The Supreme Court of the United States just issued a verdict that basically says if the owner of the property is not present, cops have the legal authority to search the property.  That basically undermines the fourth amendment.  I’m saying this, because ever so slightly, our Constitution is degrading.  We as a people revere it so much, but are not educated about it.  And our way of life is moving further and further from the intentions of our forefathers, allowing greed and apathy to consume our population.

And these movies?  In a way I think it is a defense for the establishment towards the idea of the masses revolting over what is going on.  Because the people in power, and the people making all the money, feel it too.  They dehumanize, just like any moment in history, people making less money than them, to justify their exploitation.  But they know it isn’t right.  There was a UN study done on social stratification, and it found that countries with the most social stratification had the least quality of health among all classes of that population.  When Donald Trump sees a homeless man, two things occur.  There is a pyschosocial stress experienced between the homeless man and Donald Trump.  This stress, leads to failing health.  Donald Trump, to deal with the psychosocial stress, dehumanizes the homeless man.  The homeless man, probably feels the stigma associated with being homeless, and feels worse about themselves when they see affluence.  Both parties experience stress, and both parties have less health because of it.

I also see these movies as an expression of a fantasy.  I think it in a way, because it is enjoyable to all of us, we desire a better life.  It speaks to us.  But because it is on the big screen, it is undermined.  “Because it is a movie.”  Nevertheless, I feel there is a desire in people for a better life.  For example, what the band MGMT feels.

They are giving up on life, because they don’t want to work the 9-5 life.  They don’t feel like they are living if they live that life.

So will America keep consuming movies about revolutions, or will they one day do something about the state of this country?  Time will tell.

I want a nation of workers, not thinkers.  -John D Rockefeller

 

“Goodbye” by Army of Anyone

So my last post was a success, and frankly writing about music that I enjoy is very enjoyable.  Not only do I get to share my thoughts on the matter, but it records a song on my blog that will forever be there.  It is a way to never lose these songs, as I have experienced the losing of vasts amounts of music – my iTouch was stolen.  Now to the song!

Lyrics

The meaning of the lyrics is pretty straight forward.  It is about a break up of a romantic relationship, where on one side you feel anger towards the person for hurting you, but at the same time you long for that person.  Because the love of the person is still present, he still wonders about his lover in the context of the break up.  What about her heart break?  Will she even miss me?  But what is repeated, is that pain and longing for that person experienced when love is broken.

What really stands out at the beginning of the sound is the guitar and drums.  The bass is hard to discern, but it adds a good foundation and color to the sound.  I think the first bridge is so engaging, with how there are essentially two melodies going on at the same time.  There is first the guitar and second there is the singer.  The drummer is a great rock drummer, and knows when to fill and not to fill.  He usually fills into the chorus, where things change.  The guitar and bass are playing to supplement the lead singer, in essence playing harmonies.  The “hey” at the beginning of the chorus brought me chills the first time I heard this song, it really is that beautiful to me.  I also think that the melody itself brings a tone of longing and sadness, I can’t really describe it.  The sound of the chorus is really rich and complete.  There is a lot of overlapping of sound, rather than single lines produced by guitar, bass, and drums.  It really sounds good.  Basically the song can be divided into three parts: the stanza, the bridge, and the chorus.  (I am a huge fan of this drummer)  The drummer is being musical with his playing, and understanding that the music isn’t about him, but also not being shy about his capabilities.  The main purpose that this drummer is doing is providing a transition between the three parts above.  The key is the same throughout those parts, but they are very different in content.  His fills keeps the intensity of the song while providing a segway into the next part.  When there is that strong statement of a guitar solo, he holds back to let the guitar sing, but he then adds intensity to the bass drum for the next chorus.  Then finally, the drummer provides a climax of the entire song with his drum solo.

What I love about this drum solo is it is pretty straight forward playing wise – I mean any descent professional drummer could easily play this fill.  However sometimes in simplicity of execution is sometimes the most beautiful (I mean look at Beethoven, or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity).  What I love about this solo is the very obvious triplets that he puts in towards the end of the fill.  It brings a lush rhythmic variety that doesn’t take away from his solo, and if anything sets up nicely the very end where he works down his set in addition to base drum rolls – he creates a climax of the entire song.

I remember hearing a preview of this song on the iTunes store and I immediately purchased the entire album.  I do remember that the entire album came nowhere close to this song in musicality and quality.  I have not heard anything from their other albums, but I am afraid that this song is so good they won’t be able to achieve this standard frequently.  Which is a shame, but it does make me cherish this song even more.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t hear this song again, because I could only remember the name of the song and not the band.  But thanks to auto complete I was able to figure out the name and band of the song, where I was finally able to hear this song again.  I was really happy, and then engaged into the overall experience like when I heard it for the first time.  I feel that pain and longing, and the understanding of wanting pain for the other person.  It brings out compassion in me, because we know what it feels like to be heart broken.  That intense emotion, is why I love music so damn much.  That drum solo gives me the chills too, which is another reason to hang onto this song.

I am a sucker for drums.  I was a very good and well practiced trumpet player, but my passion has been the drums.  I watch drumming DVD’s as well as youtube drum covers, to learn how certain fills are done.  I do plan to get a drum set one day, but my living situation has to change.  As a result, a lot of my favorite tunes have really good drummers.  The last music review of Paramore showed off a punk drummer who is extremely good.  So I admit I am biased towards good drumming over other instruments, but usually the rest of the song has to mesh well.  I do pride myself with thinking I have good musical tastes, but this is utter opinion.  I have a friend who just listens to local radio, and thinks that music is really good music, because she doesn’t take the effort to find other music out there.  I am willing to bet anything that doesn’t sound “popular” will be shunned by her, while I can’t stand her musical tastes.

I do hope though that my readers not only enjoyed this song, but got something out of reading about it.

Thanks again for reading.  Till next time.

Thoughts on “Hallelujah” by Paramore

I wanted to try something new and write about music.  I have noticed through the years that I have plenty of thoughts stemming from music, and it would bring a sense of relief to get those thoughts out there to those who care to read.  So depending on how this goes I will probably do this again.  First, let me show you the song that I am going to refer to.

In my opinion this song is so much stronger than most of their material.  The punk sound really came out, and the drums sing while showing his true capabilities (It is in my view, that he holds back too much with the rest of the tracks on this album).  The lead singer’s voice, her voice, tops the sound off with her clarity and precision of tone.  Finally, the sound in accordance to what is being talked about bring images of golden daylight resting on lush tree tops.  I usually fly in this song because of the image of the dove.  This song brings me a sense of excited happiness, like an eager energy wanting to experience the future.  It brings me back to the feelings I had growing up, when life was filled with wonder and lots of happiness.

To what she says, I see two meanings that are obvious to me (thanks to the video), however there is a separate personal meaning.  The first obvious message that this song is trying to portray could be that of reuniting lovers.  While deciding to try again, she is determined to make this new relationship last forever, and celebrates in her excitement for the future.  The second message, and most likely the message intended by the band, was shown through the video.  The song encompasses the experience of their band, and their celebration for the future.

If only time flew like a dove

Well God make it fly faster than I am falling in love

This is pretty deep stuff, deeper than most of the material out there.  Doves mean a multitude of things, but what it means to me is a “good” future in this context.  Time is bringing good tidings into their lives.  The second line for me is harder to discern a meaning.  What would happen if favorable time traveled slower than she was falling in love?  Does she cease to love?  I think this may mean that she wants God to continue their good tidings so that she can continue to fall in love more with her life.  Then she changes this part.  It turns to:

If only time flew like a dove

Well we can watch it fly and keep looking up

To me this means that if tidings remain to be good, that they can just experience time and take it all in.  The image of somebody remaining to look at the sky, reminds me of being a child, when I would look at the different shapes of the clouds.  Essentially, I was happy, and that is what this line is communicating to me.  She is saying she will take the tidings, waiting for more, and remaining to be happy.  After these moments in the song, she exalts “Hallelujah!”  She is thanking and praising God for her life, and she wants to make this moment in their lives last forever.

But there is a personal meaning that I take from this.

I take it to the spiritual context.  I take it that this song is celebrating the reunion of a person and God, and they will work to make the relationship last forever.  The dove is also a symbol in The Bible, obviously, in conjunction with the praise of hallelujah, as well as the golden forests, mountains, and blinding white light that this sound creates for me – I cannot help but feel that this song is talking about a relationship with God.  I have even personalized it to the point that the song was a song expressing that relationship.  Who knows, maybe the band Paramore intended this song to be spiritual but decided to show it in more marketable context for their listeners.  Nonetheless I feel that music can have multiple meanings for a multitude of people, and that is the true beauty of art.  Art is personalized and is intimate – it brings about emotions, messages, wisdom, etc. to the observer.  In everyday conversation, I rarely ever dive into what other people think or feel about particular songs, most likely because it is hard to be familiar with the same music as someone else.  When that does happen, the conversation usually reveals the opinion of each person in regards to the song, but nothing else.  Since I am living with guys, it would more than likely turn into who knows the most music, because guys want to be dominant.  What is interesting, is guys don’t compete into how much they take from their music, more than likely because most people don’t take the time these days to truly listen to music.  I know I am guilty of putting Pandora in the background while I do something, essentially creating a more pleasurable white noise.  I wonder if that is how most music is experienced.

One thing I do know is that I used to partake in the album experience.  I would judge on how the overall flow of the tracks were.  I’d check out random artists from the library, usually striking out but still in wonder listen to every track.  I feel that since being an adult, I don’t have the time to do that anymore.  I barely find time to read.  Realizing this makes me think about where we want society to take us.  Is having more material things more beneficial than getting the most out of what you have?  I don’t know, I just find it rewarding to listen to an album multiple times and trying to find out what that song means from the writers, as well as my own, point of view.

One thing is for certain!  Paramore’s drummer can really ride the set.  I hope you all enjoyed the read, and thank you for taking time out of your day to read my blog.

Till next time.

Weep for Day by Indrapramit Das

I decided to venture out of my comfort zone, and read a sci-fi short story.  I did so because I don’t have the brain muscle right now to read my next book, and I still want to improve my writing.  I have recently purchased a membership on a writing website and there is so much that I find myself wanting to write.  After my previous post, one of the things I want to try for the first time is write a short story based off some of the ideas of Enslaved:  Odyssey to the West .  After reading this story, I have so much to learn, and I even got a brand new idea!  But I won’t bore you, my blog readers, with a detail review of the work.  I wanted to talk about some of the messages that was portrayed in this story.

One of the core concepts is the idea of ally and enemy.  Basically, the person that feels righteous for their war is fighting their enemy, and the organization opposed of this stance, their enemy is the righteous one.  I know that maybe confusing, and I know that maybe obvious.  But I think it has huge implications with the war on terror.

Simply, as I understand Jihadism, the United States is evil.  And, they must use force to abolish us.  Muslim extremists is just one interpretation of the Islam religion.  But I feel this war will never end.  Considering that this war is based upon religious interpretation, as well as the fact that there are deaths from both sides, we are undoubtedly going to fuel the fire by killing militants and civilians.  The only way to really resolve this conflict, which maybe way too late, is to reason and hopefully make compromises from both sides.  If we can stop the motivation by ideology, we can ensure that the war could stop.

What I am trying to say, is extinguishing the opposition is never the right strategy.  Put simply, during the killing of human beings, other human beings who witness the killing will want to rise and take their place.  Killing doesn’t solve anything, and it only brings more heartfelt pain to both sides.  It is true that Al-Qaeda struck first on 9/11, and that day should never be forgotten.  But I would also argue, that the United States are doing practices around the world that set them up for an attack out of anger.  I would advise watching Confessions of an Economic Hitman.  Considering our ways of lives of the west, and the ways of lives of others, it is true that some responsibility bears on them, but I would argue, on us as well.  By forcing countries to sell their resources below market price to the western corpocracy, we have milked areas dry for our way of life.  It was just a matter of time before the US was attacked in my opinion.

And, since killing is never going to solve the dilemma because more people are going to see America as their enemy, this war on terror is never going to end.  Which I believe, is exactly what the rich and powerful want.  They want a war that never ends, because it is a good stimulant to the economy.  War is good business.  I do believe that capitalism has gotten that evil and greedy.  I believe people want people to die so their pockets get more full.  And to me, it is sick.  This decay of morals is more evidence that we are in the age of decadence.

I know this maybe hard to read.  I know this may offend.  But I hope this forces you, the reader, to examine what you think is going on with this “War on Terror.”  Will it ever truly end?

Another message that this great short story hit home is that knowledge is the better solution to conflict.  The main character was understanding the enemy of her race, and was realizing that her race were purging their enemy; their enemy is just trying to survive.

Again, this hatred against The United States is other peoples’ way of trying to survive.  Their resources are too scarce or communities are too violent, and in some areas, we directly affect that.

But again, we have to show empathy to our enemy, and use knowledge from their vantage point to be able to solve our differences.  They must be willing to reason too, and be willing to show empathy as well.  I am saddened to think that this will only happen until so many people have died, that it forces a side to come to a resolution out of desperation.  And, a central requirement for the negotiations to work, is that both sides show humility.  When both sides acknowledge that they killed many people, and they are sorry, can a resolution take fruit.

But this is hard.  Our enemies hate us on an ideological level, and we are reinforcing that by killing brothers and innocents.  I seriously think the method of making radical Islam extinct is flawed, and I think our leaders knew this and wanted to fight this for their money and power.  I’m sorry of this is hard to hear or I offend, I am just sharing what I am thinking after reading that story, and I hope this post will make you think as well.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Analysis

I was fortunate enough to play Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  The game was a great quality game.  The writing was superb.  Character interactions with the voice acting really made the characters come alive, which created a game that was the means to telling a story.  In my opinion, some of the strongest games ever made told an interactive story – like reading a book.  To finish off the game review part of this post, the graphics were superb.  My gaming machine is not top of the line by any stretch of the imagination and had to play the game at a measly 800 x 600 resolution.  But the game was still pretty!  The colors were very bright and bold, and really showcased the variety of the Unreal Engine.  I was impressed.  The sound effects that were tied to different instances and interactions in the game was of the highest quality and really tied in the experience.  You add that on top of a very thought provoking story and character development, and you have a game that will always be remembered.

With that done, I can now focus on what I really want to think about.  It is the implications and statement that this story brings.  And so I am going to make it known from here on out I will be spoiling the game.  Because, in order to have a resolution of the story one has to beat the entire game.  So if you want to play this game and enjoy the experience like you should, then I advise you close the browser or tab and stop reading.

The beginning starts with one of the core three characters, Monkey.  He is called monkey because he resembles one – not through looks but by mere actions.  He battles with his fists and a staff, and is able to climb pretty much anywhere.  He is very strong.  You learn throughout the game that he may lack the computer intelligence, but his resourcefulness and survivability and bar none.

In any case he wakes up in a capsule.  He cannot move.  The length of the trip was another 16 hours.  There is a red taint portrayed around his eyes to show his suffering.  He can’t sleep, is insanely bored, and can only stand in a capsule.  He can only think – nothing more.  Across from his capsule he sees a “slave” escape her pod.  This is the introduction of the second core characters, and her name is Trip.  Trip has a computer mind that can not be surpassed.  She uses her wrist computer to hack the pod she was in, and she continues to move through the huge ship.  Monkey with his resourcefulness escapes his pod and follows her.  They run into one another in the escape, but Trip leaves him for dead.  At the very end of the escape Trip occupies the last evacuation capsule.  Monkey on the other side pleads for her to let him in.  She pulls the trigger.  Monkey, clinging on for dear life, hangs onto the evacuation capsule until their landing.  This is the very beginning of the game.

When Monkey wakes, he finds a metal band across his head – Trip has enslaved him.  He wants to hurt her, but quickly there is cerebral pain experienced by Monkey.  And so, Monkey is forced to assist Trip in returning back to her hometown.  And the game is a story of their travels, and the growing bond between them.  At one point at the last stages of the game, Trip takes off the headband saying, “You can go.  There is nothing holding you back.”  Monkey looks at her with such seriousness in her eyes, “Put it back on me.”  Trip did.  I think the reason Monkey did that was because he knew himself enough to know that he would want to leave to survive.  He is a survivor.  The only way he would see things through and ensure the safety of Trip is if he was enslaved.  It was a beautiful moment.

Anyways, Monkey and Trip return to her self-sustaining community to find it slaughtered by mechs.  She is devastated and wants revenge.  This is the motivator to the end of the game, where they actually make it to Pyramid.  Pyramid is an entity responsible for enslaving millions of people and creating wastelands with its mech warriors.  The entire game the player does not necessarily know the motives behind Pyramid.  But Pyramid is exactly that.  It is a giant luminescent pyramid.  It was in a desert.  Which shows some resemblance of Ancient Egypt.  When Trip and Monkey enter the pyramid, they see thousands upon thousands of people standing in order engrossed by images being seen on their headbands (the same device that Monkey is wearing).  There is a man in the center, working freverously on a computer, wearing a mask and obviously being kept alive with mech technology.  He is very old.

It turns out that the old man was feeding memories of life on Earth before the big war.  The “slaves” were lost in a world of old Earth, living good positive experiences.  The old man wanted to provide those images to the masses to ease suffering, because all that is left of the world is wastelands with mechs.  Which he created by the way.  In his delusional eyes, he was doing humanity a favor.  He was removing the suffering of the world, a suffering that he helps contribute, by providing a new virtual life to the masses.  Even Monkey was transfixed.  He wanted to beat the argument of the old man at his own game, and had the images uploaded to his headband.  Monkey was starting to get lost in the images and memories, however Trip doing something for herself for once, kills the old man, bringing the entire pyramid back to reality.

The obvious statement that the story makes is that experiencing True reality regardless of the suffering involved is the right thing to do.  Otherwise one is not living.  The game also shows the danger of giving one man absolute power.  Even men in power are prone to delusions and faulty thinking, so even putting in place a leader with an extremely high IQ wouldn’t relieve that possibility.  I am however, for providing a ruling class consisting of individuals with exceptional intellectual ability.  Sort of like The Jedi Council in Star Wars.  I think that would be a much better and efficient way at ruling the country rather than having hundreds of representatives that just make up one third of the governmental body.  Our system has worked for sure, but I really do think it is time for a change.

But I think humanity is going to face a problem like this in the future.  Gaming technology is only going to improve and become more engrossive.  Eventually there will be virtual reality, and eventually we could probably pick the experience we would want to experience.  Humanity will undoubtedly create a reality that is better, easier, whatever the word, than our current reality.  Now we all have this desire to experience the reality for truly what it is.  But what if humanity could create a self-sustaining system that would provide a better reality for everyone?  We would definitely lose track of what is real.  And no real progress would be done to progress the species to other parts of the galaxy and beyond.  But isn’t the goal of humanity is to provide an oasis, a heaven on a planet so to speak?  It is in my experience, that we can already create better realities than our own.  I think eventually mankind would have the potential to create a self sustaining system bring virtual reality to the masses.  It could be individual instances, or it could be group.

So why am I sharing this?

We have to make a decision about video games addiction and video game entertainment as a society.  If unchecked and not debated, it very well could be possible that humanity will induce a Matrix onto themselves.  If that is what humanity wants, fine.  But we have to start thinking and debating along those lines.  We have to start making those governmental regulations to curb our tendencies.  However, it could be argued that someone is going to do it anyway if it is possible.  Which means I am scared.  The worship of a world created by humanity is the definition of idolatry in the eyes of humanism.  It will bring us further from being human.  And it is only until we become closer to what makes us human, do we feel more fulfilled.  That is what humanism would say.  But why does more fulfillment coincide with more suffering?  Is that a truth that we must accept?

Great provocative game.  The gameplay was great, the graphics and sound were great, and finally the story and character progression was very good.  I am very lucky to be able to experience this game in its entirety.

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