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Topics - LMNO

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Bring and Brag / Music challenge
« on: January 29, 2015, 07:51:54 pm »
So, I'm doing the RPM Challenge, which is sort of like NaNoWriMo, but for music.

10 Songs, or 35 minutes of music created in February.

Yes, I know I can loop one pattern for 35 minutes.  It may come to that.  I could also record myself snoring and send it through a delay and distortion pedal.  I may do that.

Anyway, I'll keep you updated.

Apple Talk / Sincerity is the new Ironic Sarcasm
« on: January 20, 2015, 03:45:22 pm »
I'd like to thank PD for pointing out the hot new trend in youth culture: Being a Genuinely Nice Person.

I played a show on Saturday, and it was pretty great.  Everyone was being really cool to each other.  Instead of the historic Boston dance, the "Stand In The Back With Arms Crossed, Judging", people were having a good time, applauding, dancing, and helping each other out.  It came through in the bands, too.  There was one band from NY called "Common Folk", and it was two guys who looked like ratty gutter punks, playing acoustic guitars and belting out songs without a mic or amplification, sounding like a cross between a punk anthem and a sea shanty, singing about how people should be nicer to each other.  The night ended with the closing band inviting all their friends on stage to sing along, and everyone was simply enjoying themselves.

Coming from an earlier era of ironic detachment, where taking an interest in something was considered uncool, this is a welcome breath of fresh air.  Out of self defense, I've built up a cynical shell of dismissive condescension over the years, but I've always felt like simply being a nice guy who engages with the world to be so much more FUN.  Hopefully, the kids will let an old fart have a go at this.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / My Day with a SJW
« on: January 09, 2015, 08:13:31 pm »
So, yesterday on FB I ran across a self-proclaimed “fat activist”, and I had a chance to speak with her in chat about her beliefs.  I came away with mixed feelings.

It all happened when Roger wrote (cross posted, I think?) a rant about how people in a Cause heel-dig and screech if their buzz words are challenged, or if additional information or First Thoughts were questioned.

As it turns out, she was a near-perfect Object Lesson.  Roger basically wrote a rant predicting a specific set of behaviors of a person with a Cause, and she pretty much acted exactly that way, right down the list. 

I was curious to see what would happen if I didn’t rise to the bait and removed as much buzzy language as possible, and crafted questions designed for yes/no/maybe answers.  So I sent her a PM, and asked a question that I thought would clearly establish a common reality, i.e. a biological base.

She couldn’t do it.  Every response veered off into “shaming” or “stigma” or “morality” or “discrimination” or “I think that question is used to torment humiliate and terrorize people” (real quote).  It then became obvious she was flat our rejecting certain nouns all together, as if when something is “named”,  it becomes an evil social tool solely designed to hurt a minority group of some sort.  I didn’t mock her or belittle her or try to condescend to her, I simply and politely tried to get an answer.

She then asked why I was so interested, and I told her that I had no bias about size (I don’t consciously, and if I do subconsciously, it’s down so deep I can’t hear it/can’t bother to care about it), and I was just curious to talk with an activist outside my social circle.  We chatted a bit more, and it became clear she was getting genuinely confused about a man and a woman having a non-screeching, non-flaming, polite conversation about fat activism on the internet.  The conversation ended naturally, and then she thanked me “for listening and not making fun of me”.  End scene.

So, as I said, my feelings changed as we talked.  I started out hilariously frustrated trying to get a straight answer out of her.  I mean, we’re talking total nutbag Social Justice Warrior here, oblivious to reality and shifting her fallacious appeals with every sentence, sending up flares and barbs designed to distract and derail.  It’s one of the few times I’ve seen this first hand, as I mainly use Tumblr for gay (and not-as-gay) porn. 

And then, as she started becoming bewildered, I realized that most likely was how the majority of her online experience goes, as arguments and invectives and threats and shrieks and triggers and mockery.  And that it was honestly unusual for someone to be polite and respectful, even while disagreeing.  And it made me sad, and sad for her that this was how she experienced life, at least online.

So yeah, this was going to start as “LOL SJW”, but it ended up… Melancholic? Would that be the right word?  Or Pity, as Aristotle used it, “a kind of pain in the case of an apparent destructive or painful harm of one not deserving to encounter it”. 

So.  Yeah.

Apple Talk / Speak No More
« on: January 06, 2015, 04:27:28 pm »
So, I went to Sleep No More in NYC this New Year’s Eve.  Here’s kind of what happened.

First, they take your coat, and give you a red velvet cloak, and a mask:

You’re then led up a dark flight of stairs to a dark antechamber with a dark wood-paneled bar.

You know what?  Let’s just assume the working adjective for this whole thing is “dark”.  As both a descriptor of the light level, as well as the presented subject matter.  It’s easier that way.  Anyway, onward.

The group is given a shot of some kind of absinthe cocktail, and are led into another room.  Or to properly say, only some of you are let in.  This is the first in several ways they try to separate groups, as the night is best experienced alone.

A woman with a vaguely Scottish brogue welcomes you, and gives a brief instruction: You’re to remain silent for the next three hours.  She then gives a toast, you drink your shot, don your mask, and are led down a pitch-black hallway.  Some groups are ushered into an elevator (Mrs LMNO was in one of these groups.  They went up a floor, pushed one person out, closed the doors, and took the rest of the group to another floor).  Others were led out into a decrepit graveyard.

If the mentions of the ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ outfit, absinthe, and enforced spookiness are making your eyes roll, stop reading.  You’ll pull an ocular muscle.

The entire performance takes place in an old hotel, four or five stories high.  Each floor has been totally gutted, and sets have been built that change context and narrative as easily as walking through a door: a mental hospital turns into a woodland maze made out of dead branches; a room full of suspended doll parts abuts an accountant’s office; a bedroom becomes a ballroom.  Smoke machines are utilized often, and overall is an ominous ambient soundtrack that sounds like the Kronos Quartet fighting with the soundtrack to Eraserhead.  The guests are free to wander about the floors any way they’d like.  There is no set route, and there is no one to tell you what to do.  You are in unknown territory; you have no idea what’s going on.

The other thing about the rooms is the attention to detail.  The guests are allowed to go everywhere, touch everything.  If you go into that accountant’s office, you can look through the ledgers, open the drawers, examine the paperwork, notice that there’s a hidden doorway that leads to a small darkroom with pictures of vivisected human bodies hanging about….

If you’re getting the impression that the entire place feels like an uncomfortable dream with no linearity or familiarity, you’re getting the hang of it.  Because neither the floors or the rooms have any causal relationship to each other, you quickly become disoriented and lost, trying to find that room that was like the hold of a ship with a scratchy radio playing Kurt Weil songs, only to find yourself in a saloon with a baby doll lying in a font filled with congealing blood.

Then, movement.  A man is charging forward, unmasked, with a torn shirt and suspenders, being followed by a blonde woman in a blue dress.  He stops; she attacks him.  They struggle.  They start shouting at each other, but you can’t make out the words.  Are they even words?  She turns away, sobbing.  He storms out.  Still weeping, she stands and heads in the other direction.  What do you do?  Do you follow the man, the woman, or keep exploring your space?

This is where the “performance” part of Sleep No More happens.  Characters move throughout the sets and between floors, interacting with each other, and sometimes alone.  Often, there are great stretches where nothing happens on a particular floor, or room, and then a quick three minutes of furious flurries of action occur.  But no one is around to tell you where anyone is, who they are, or what the hell is going on.  You just have to come across them, and choose for yourself who to follow, or where to go next.  They move as if they are dancing (modern dance, of course), sometimes as if in slow motion, sometimes with violence and rage.  Not to get too repetitive, but “dreamlike” can be used as many times as “dark” can.  There’s also plenty of nudity (full frontal, both sexes (yum)).

Not to say that the characters are made up from blank cloth.  It’s not required to know the play, but the characters and themes are (VERY) loosely based upon Macbeth.  If one had no more knowledge than a quick scan of Wikipedia on the cab ride over, it is very easily to identify Macbeth, his Lady, Banquo, Duncan, and Macduff.  The themes of treachery, infanticide, and the supernatural all make an appearance. 

Maybe there’s even a coherent storyline.  The way everything is set up, it seems impossible to follow each performer around the building, while keeping tabs on the other.  I would guess it would take a dedicated effort and several visits to see everything that happens in those three hours (which, come to think of it, is kind of a brilliant way to sell more tickets).  The performance ends by the sets  getting shut down from the top floor down, which drives the audience into the ballroom, where a final scene takes place.  It’s pretty powerful, if you’re into that sort of thing.  You’re then led back out to the antechamber, which has been transformed into a speakeasy-type bar serving drinks and playing music, bringing everything back into the waking world.  You now can remove your mask, find your group, and talk about what the fuck you just saw, comparing notes.

7/10, would go again.

Apple Talk / Whirlpool Memes
« on: December 06, 2014, 08:20:23 pm »

Literate Chaotic / On The Road to Nowhere
« on: December 02, 2014, 03:12:24 pm »
Slate Star Codex does a takedown of On The Road:

On The Road is a terrible book about terrible people. Kerouac and his terrible friends drive across the US about seven zillion times for no particular reason, getting in car accidents and stealing stuff and screwing women whom they promise to marry and then don’t.

Dean has stolen about a dozen cars. He has married one woman, had an affair with another, played the two of them off against each other, divorced the first, married the second, deserted the second with a young child whom she has no money to support, gone back to the first, dumped the first again so suddenly she has to become a prostitute to make ends meet. Later he will go back to the second, beat the first so hard that he injures his thumb and has to get it amputed, break into the second’s house with a gun to kill her but change his mind, desert the second again also with a child whom she has no money to support, start dating a third, desert the third also with a child whom she has no money to support, and go back to the second, all while having like twenty or thirty lesser affairs on the side.

(much, much more at the link)

Apple Talk / Peeving
« on: December 01, 2014, 01:33:06 pm »
I'd like to suggest a new word, or at least a standing definition of a word, to be used (if so desired) at PD.

"Peeving" v. A post where the author is frustrated, annoyed, and generally aggravated about a minor behavior or situation of a personal nature.  The post is most often hyperbolic in nature, and likely polemical.  The author is fully aware that the post is riddled with bias, may be petty, and is more of a gripe or complaint rather than an observation or constructive thought.

A post which is peeving does not require the following responses:

-Unsolicited advice
-Arguments against the premise
-Semantic parsing

[Peeving] I'm ok with the fact that you have a self-imposed dietary restriction.  I'm even ok that it is ridiculous, and has no basis in medical fact other than it helps restrict caloric intake.  But for the HOLY LOVE OF GOD, that doesn't make it ok to come to my city on a holiday vacation where we go out to eat, and bring it up EVERY SINGLE TIME you look at the fucking menu, and then argue with the waiter that the chef can make a lamb stew without carrots, JUST FOR YOU.  You are THE FUCKING WORST.  Just look at the fucking menu, order what fits your needs, and maybe ask for a substitution, so long as you're POLITE about it.  THEN SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT YOUR STUPID FUCKING DIET.  [/Peeving]

« on: October 21, 2014, 10:41:01 pm »

Apple Talk / Let's argue about pointless awards for subjective things!
« on: October 09, 2014, 02:33:58 pm »
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2015 Nominees:

Green Day
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Nine Inch Nails
Lou Reed
The Smiths
The Spinners
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Bill Withers

Lou, Kraftwerk, and NWA, for sure deserve it. Chic and Withers? It would be nice, but not holding my breath. NIN, maybe.  Joan Jett should punch Sting and Green Day in their collective throats.

Apple Talk / Link No One Could Have Predicted...
« on: September 16, 2014, 05:22:11 pm »
Libertarian ‘Utopia’ Styled After Ayn Rand Book Spectacularly Falls Apart Almost Immediately

A community made up of American ex-pats deep in the South American hills of Chile...was supposed to be a libertarian paradise of rugged individualism. Instead it cost many of the people who bought into it almost everything, and now is buried under lawsuits...

EDIT: Upon a closer reading of the article, it fell apart because the whole thing was a scam and never really started in the first place.

Discordian Recipes / Suggestions welcome - cider
« on: September 15, 2014, 03:28:50 am »
So: House party. Someone brings over cider, and leaves it here. But it's not really cider, it's Angry Orchard cider with Elderflower, or some shit. Really sweet. Five bottles.

OK, maybe I can braise something? But fuck, I don't use cider. So, how would you mitigate the floral, apple-y sweetness into something worth eating?  Otherwise, I'll just dump it.

Principia Discussion / That's odd...
« on: August 15, 2014, 12:46:21 pm »
I was sure the Law of Eristic Escalation ("Imposition of Order = Escalation of Disorder") was explicitly stated in the POEE Principia Discordia.  But I can't seem to find it.

Anyone have a decent reference?

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Amazing, long post is amazing, long
« on: August 05, 2014, 06:44:04 pm »
Ok, Cain already referenced this, so I'm not trying to say this is the first time this has been mentioned on PD.  But I though the blog post was interesting and important enough to warrant its own thread, so here:

This is really long, but it's great. It's a variation on The Machine™, on Monkey Mind, on Common Walls, and it's really, really wonderful.

And incredibly long.  Honestly, give yourself some time if you're planning on reading it all at once.

When you're done, I'd like to talk about it.

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