Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Happy Birthday!, Reprise, Gorillaz, Michael Vick Redux.

First off, Happy Birthday to my Yurble, who turns 1 year old today. I joined Neopets one year ago (although I could have joined it much earlier, like in 2000), and I can tell you that it's an addictive, wonderful way to waste time on the World Wide Web. The TNT has done a great job of making the virtual world one that makes you feel like you're at home with it, and, despite their recent attempts at the "Neomall," the site is totally free. The Altador Cup was amazing (although we didn't win, Mystery Island came in 5th place), and the plots recently have been engaging and fun. I look forward to getting 1 million NPs, leveling up my Yurble, and being able to beat the bosses at the end of the plots. And if you want to join Neopets, just let me know, and I'll send you a referral card.


In Borders a few days ago, I rang up a customer, a mother, with her daughter (about 5 or 6) and her grandmother. All throughout the transaction, which was kids books for the child, she begged for candy, interrupting her mother, which told her no firmly. Which was all good, until her grandmother stepped in and bought her the candy she was whining for. All that did was reinforce the idea that her grandmother loved her more than her mother did, because Materialism, in today's society, is Love. I've already written blogs about this, November of 2006, so I won't re-hash that, but it was worth noting that sometimes, if the parents say no, the grandparents say yes, and that's not always a good thing.


i've been listening to the Gorillaz CD Demon Days, which is not something I would usually listen to, but it caught my attention when it was being played over the radio at work. It's what I call a concept album, because it's not one that you listen to for individual songs (although "Feel Good Inc" was a single hit), but rather it is a work of art, a masterpiece where images are painted through sounds. And I've looked at the Lyrics, and found that, for the most part, they don't really make all that much sense, but that, in this rare case, it doesn't matter. The words themselves make a landscape of sound (the word "soundscape" was used for Paul Simon's latest flop, Surprise and so I don't use that term). And this makes sense, because, according to the Gorillaz unofficial fansite, that was what the band creators were attempting. It was a sojourn through night, through the terrors and dreams and sounds and issues of the night time, with social commentary thrown in. Very well done, and although I do skip the tracks where a lot of rapping is done, I appreciate this work much more than other hip-hop/rap music. The last three tracks make up a theatrical story that, along with the video of Feel Good Inc., produces a world that is at once mesmerizing, foreboding, and nostalgic, all at the same time.


Okay, since I said something about Vick in my earliest blogs, I'll say something about the recent events as well. I think that we can all agree that Vick has talent athletically, and that he could have been a really good Quarterback (see my earlier post, October of 2006). However, that has now all been flushed down the toilet because of his own choices. There is nothing to be done for him now except prayer. We all have the urges to do things violent or wrong, and we have to abide by the laws that society and our culture sets down for us. Moreover, we have to understand that the choices we make that effect other people (or animals) must be made with their best interests. Obviously Vick has made the wrong choices, and the sad thing is, that he might not learn from the bad choices, even if he does wind up in prison. We can only pray that he does. If football (organized violence) isn't violent enough, then go find a good video game to beat people up on, and not taking things out on wives, friends, strangers, or animals. I think that's one reason violent video games can be a good thing, although there are many arguments to oppose that theory.

And why, oh why did they trade Matt Schabb to the Texans?????? Well, hopefully Joey Harrington can thrive under Patrino, and he can return to the excellence he had at the University of Oregon.

Next time I'll post my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows without spoilers (I think) and the appropriate links to OSC's reviews and arguments. I'm sorta waiting until he does his review to post mine, so I can link to it.

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