Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Good vs. Popular, part one: "The Good, the Bad, and the Bieber"

As a musician who performs for a certain part of my living and my enjoyment, the Eternal Question of "good" versus "popular" has practical as well as academic applicability.

Let me first establish that ideas can be both (things can be good AND popular) and it is also possible for them to be neither (things can be neither good NOR popular).  The refuge of the neurotic is that if one's art is not popular, at least it is good.  And that just isn't true.

I'd also like to establish that many creators want their content to be both good AND popular.  Popular means it is widely experienced and disseminated -- good means it is held to be meaningful and worthy of attention.  I certainly wouldn't complain were both to occur with this blog, for example.  

Let's look at YouTube.  As of today (Feb. 27, 2013), the top six videos of all time are:

The Second Storm: more or less

The much ballyhooed second winter storm of the year arrived today.  Though it was hyped almost as much as the first and the masses did gnash teeth, it ended up being partially a disappointment here (at least by my standards).  At my place, another 6-8 inches fell, but the warm temperatures meant that very little of it stuck to the roads or sidewalks. In the end, it looked about like it did before.

I did get the opportunity to look out of my windows over the lawn towards the boulevard and drink Jameson from a coffee mug, while watching the slate-colored sky.  Several times, the snow would slacken and it would be a still tableau.  Then the wind would rise again, and more flakes would fall.  Nothing like the storm from last week, when the white-out obscured even the trees just outside.

Because I left my previous job in December, I didn't have any pressing places to be.  I simply made sure that I had enough veggie burgers, goat cheese, and kids cereal to make it the couple of days until I could easily leave again.  Painless, thanks to preparation.  The grocery store was busy, but a single person with a basket can dodge and weave with the best.

There are rumors of a new snow event on the horizon, but nothing concrete as yet.  I am always thrilled by anything that accomplishes two things:

1) keeps snow in the air.  Because... well, snow!
2) helps keep seasons distinct.

Point 2 really annoyed me during last winter, when we had a pathetic amount of snow.  It felt like eternal autumn, as though the machines never fully engaged to give us winter.  I can never fully appreciate the Spring eventuality unless things have been truly bleak in the depths of the cold season.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Occam's Gay Razor!

SOURCE: Scott Lively, 'Kill The Gays' Bill Supporter, Pushes Claim Obama Is Gay, Dating Reggie Love 

The linked article concerns Sco
tt Lively, pastor and head of "Defend the Family", and his assertion that the President and his former personal assistant, Reggie Love, are in a homosexual relationship. Pastor Lively has previously asserted that high-ranking Nazi homosexuals helped to orchestrate the Holocaust.  This calls to mind my college roommate's assertion that the Nazis "killed homosexuals BEFORE they killed Jews."

If homosexual Muslims are willing to spend the time required to get married to opposite sex partners, have children, and spend an entire life telling people they're Christian, I don't see how we can possibly prevent the gaypocalypse.  

(Note: "gaypocalypse" is very different from "gaypocalypso", which is an exciting and danceable music genre.  Baracas are optional.)


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Suffer for thy art

Today it snowed.  I took some video and still photos.  I had hoped to use my proper camera, but my batteries wouldn't charge.  I had to make do with my phone instead.

The still album is here:

The videos are on my YouTube channel here:

I suited up something fierce to go out in it, including enclosing my right foot in a plastic bag.  Why?  My boot sole is split from left to right at the ball of the foot, which causes moisture to leak through from the bottom up.

By the time I made it to the corner of the property, I was breathing heavily.  The only sound I could hear was my rattling breaths and the sizzle of snow falling on snow.  The roads were a mix of plowed over ruts and fresh snowfall.  I picked my way across, managing to dodge the ONLY car still moving.

Snow storm video

I shot a bit of video from the window of my place as the snow was rolling in.  I tried from the windows in the living room, but the big flakes swirling against the glance didn't give me enough of a clue.  When I pulled down the upper sash, a bunch of snow blew in.  Plus, it was *cold* outside!

So I moved to my bedroom window, which has a small overhang porch outside.  Snow still blew in, but not quite so much.

Anyway, it's snowing.  And I'm happy.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Post-Sleep, the second time

Me, partially gooped
My second trip to the sleep study clinic ended this morning at about 5:20am. I arrived last night and was greeted with a stack of paperwork identical to the stack I filled out when I visited two weeks ago. My sleeping habits haven't changed. My allergies haven't changed.  My height hasn't changed. The nurse (same one from last time) explained that they've tried to get the overseeing company to cut down, but they haven't responded.

It's just as well, because I got there for an 8pm appointment.  The paperwork took me about 10 minutes, and she immediately started sticking stuff and strapping things.  No time for my beloved Shakespeare volume, alas.  By 8:40, the lights were out and I was listening to the whirring of the air machine.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pre-sleep II: The Re-Sleepening!

I'm headed back to the sleep clinic tonight, but this time I get to use a Bi-Directional mask instead of the Constant flow one I used before (BPAP vs. CPAP). When they called earlier in the week to say that I needed another appointment, I was resigned. That means I let out a long breath and said, "Sure. Whenever." I sure didn't think much of the first time around, but I suppose hope this is helpful in the long-term sense, so I made the appointment for the first available time: Thursday evening.

Only after I called my mom and gave her an update did she say, "Valentine's Day?" With just a hint of the "there wasn't anything better to do that night?" sympathy. And I said to myself, "Oh. No wonder there was an opening."

But no, I don't have anyone else expecting me for this love holiday. I would ordinarily say I'd rather do anything than sit through another night of watching my eyelids while the machine hums sweetly, but I'd CERTAINLY rather be out to dinner with anyone.

I have the appointment for 8pm, which means I guess I'll be sitting there with electrodes gooped to my face for even longer before they release me in the morning. I'm taking a book, my complete Shakespeare. That way, I can read until they turn out the lights and then bash myself into unconsciousness. It's foolproof!

I really hope I actually sleep this time. That would be awesomely helpful, for my sanity if not for actual Andy-science.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

"If someone asks you if you're a god..."

The publication Time put Marco Rubio on the cover this week, titled "The Republican Savior".

Marco Rubio went to Twitter and said, "There is only one savior, and it is not me. "

I'm not sure if this means that Rubio only thinks of the word "savior" as being related to "Savior".  His tweet is patently false: anyone who saves anything from anything is a savior.  The capital S denotes a particular savior, in the same way that a capital G indicates a particular god.  That's how our language works.

Or maybe he's just got Jesus on the brain. If you're a prospective upcoming presidential candidate, perhaps it is incumbent upon you that you should mention Jesus at any opportunity.

AIDE:  "Senator, if you'll just step this way..."

RUBIO:  "Jesus."

AIDE:  "I beg your pardon?"

RUBIO:  "We should all step the way Jesus did."

AIDE:  "Yes, sir.  But what I meant was..."

RUBIO: "We should mean Jesus."

AIDE: "I don't think that..."

RUBIO:  "Not Jesus."

AIDE:  "What?"

RUBIO:  "If we don't think something, it should be not Jesus."

AIDE:  "Won't you lie down, sir?"

Or maybe he thinks that the savior of the Republican Party *is* Jesus.  Not in the religious sense (though probably that as well), but in the fortunes of electoral politics.  The metaphor is often used about Republicans "being in the wilderness" when they lose yearly elections.

The editors of Time had the best response to his knee-jerk answer:  "Point taken, but we just said you’re the ‘Republican savior.'"

Friday, February 01, 2013

Post-sleep (after a fashion)

My resting place for January 30th
[Warning: this entry is long and contains descriptions of medical procedures which may be distressing to some.]

As the previous minor update stated, I went to a nearby "sleep research facility" this week to spend a night subject to quiet contemplation observation.  Here's the teaser spoiler: if I need to do this to continue with "not dying", I'll make it work!  But the entire experience was an exercise in unpleasantness and non-comfortableness.