New Twitter Approach

What if you had to use Twitter to simply provide an update of your status? No opinions on the ‘news’ of the day. No links to other media.  No didactic renderings of philosophical thoughts. No commentary on religious and spiritual conundrums.  Just actual things happening to you personally, pertaining to you.

Well, that has been my new approach for Twitter in 2013. I am decluttering my mind, focusing on what I am personally able to report about me, myself, and I.

Selfish? Hardly. Factual? Yes. 

I am not entirely ignoring the world around me. But 2012 brought a sort of fatigue for all things contentious. I realized that getting sucked into the news, the twittersphere, the media hypnotism which frames the crisis du jour and the whatever it is we’re all supposed to be harking to is counterproductive to my own creativity.

So if self-preservation is selfish, I guess there’s some of that. But mostly it’s a weariness of the self-serving agendas, the cons, the manipulations, the real lack of substance to anything being peddled as content.

It’s a wasteland out there. News, TV, movies… all have fallen into a miasma of what might be the most appealing thing to the most people who are being forced into one of a few molds.

This blog post, for example, has been market-tested. It is targeted to those 30-40 somethings who see themselves as aware of current affairs but outside the mainstream. They are rebels but follow the rules. They work a job but their career is life itself. They have a family, but like to have time a carved-out for esoteric hobbies, such as large-scale origami or vintage refrigerator racing or competitive haiku. They live in small towns but shop in the city. They deposit with the big banks but micro-invest in efforts such as Small-Scale Methane Farming or Elastic Recycling or Non-Compressed Vegetation Re-Growth and Rehabilitation. All of these are hot, bleeding-edge, though-leader type of technologies . And this blog will capitalize on those types of… blase-blase ergo yadda-yadda mea culpa viacom viagra may be immersed in water shark-bait malleable trussle knobbed fortune’s club foot.

We apologize for the technical difficulties. We have spun into a psuedo-post-modern vortex of random surrealism. But that’s really nothing new.

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Journal: 8/13/2011

Recent activities:

  • Joined Weight Watcher’s.  Wife joined at work.  My work needed a body to join.  So far, so good.  I’m right around 197.  It’s definitely a different experience at the grocery store looking at food in terms of points.  But, it’s a balanced approach, as far as I can see. Nearly all veggies and fruits don’t count.  My daily point allotment is 40.  In the future, when the food rationing comes, this will be the way everyone has to eat.  Just joking.  But, it does seem like a good rationing scheme, eh?
  • Purchased an Alesis MultiMix8 USB 2.0 mixer.  It hooks up to the laptop and allows for all inputs to be picked up individually in recording software.  I use a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) piece of software called Reaper.  With the USB mixer multiple instruments can be performed and recorded individually.  With a standard mixer, the connection to the computer is through the main stereo jack.  This allows only one stereo signal to be recorded at a time into the DAW.  The upshot is that each individual instrument is part of the mix and, once recorded, cannot be separated.  However, with the USB mixer. each individual instrument is recorded on its own track and therefore can be manipulated after recording.  Advantages?  Expanded creativity and time savings.
  • Reading.  Books surrounding me right now are:  Perelandra by C.S. Lewis, The Symposium by Plato and All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren.  I’m terrible at keeping a reading schedule these days.  I kinda just like to have the books around, in some stage of mental consumption.  But, I’ll get around to reading them all at some point.  Well, maybe not all.  No sooner had I ordered All The King’s Men as part of Norm McDonald’s book club (see @normsbookclub on Twitter) that I landed, at random, on one of the movie channels showing a film version of the book, right at the end.  They call that a ‘spoiler’.  My interest died.
  • Music.  The rock snob’s penchant for hating the band Rush notwithstanding I have recently obtained their entire catalog on CD, including all remastered items.  What I found in my hunt for these is that the remastered version of the album ‘Presto’ (released in 1989) has a disc that is indistinguishable from the original version.  Therefore, used CD outlets can easily confuse the original version for the remastered version.  I found this out after ordering the remastered version used off of Amazon and while driving around in my truck, which has a decent stereo system (for factory stock), and not being happy with the sound with what I heard.  The sound was tinny, with no heft in the bass, and subpar stereo separation.  I ordered the CD new from Amazon and, although the identical item by looks, the new version sounded quite a lot better.
  • In addition to the Rush, the following CD’s are sitting around me: Sonic Youth’s Live Performance at the 2003 Anthology Film Archives, Red, Hot & Rio (Various Artists), Lady GaGa’s Born This Way (Deluxe Edition), A Portrait of Aldo Nova (Compilation), Laibach’s Sympathy For The Devil E.P., and the Digipak edition of U2’s Achtung Baby. A strange menagerie indeed.

Journal Post – July 16, 2006

Sunday Out

Saw ‘A Scanner Darkly’, a Rotoscoped film by the King of Rotoscope, Richard Linklater, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick.  His first film using this method was ‘Waking Life’ which was sort of a hit parade of various ordinary people talking about their own personal philosophy, the world, life, and other matters in that vein.  The technique, though, is basically taking filmed material, running it through a computer and doing some animation work to make the whole thing take on a cartooned aspect.

‘A Scanner Darkly’ is about the war on drugs and corporate contracting of government services run amok.  The corporation with the government contract to incarcerate drug users and dealers is growing the plants that make the drugs.  The corporation called ‘New Path’ creates the supply of criminals (via the government criminalization of non-sanctioned narcotics) and, all too conveniently, provides the solution.  The highly addictive and brain-rotting drugs that New Path trickles down to street level get in the hands of every bored, depressed, over-worked, over-tired, and sleep-deprived lower middle-class citizen.

After the film, hit the Galaxy Café.  It’s a version of a world I love so much, that vision from the 50’s of what the future would look like, with the sleek surfaces, the overt outer space references.  Out of seven classic sci-fi film posters on the wall, I own three of the films on VHS.  Yes, I am a complete geek. You haven’t figured that out yet?  They are:

Forbidden Planet (featuring Robbie the Robot from the ‘Lost in Space’ TV show).

The Day The Earth Stood Still (repeat after me – ‘Klaatu barada nikto’)

War of the Worlds

Then it was birthday shopping, splurging on myself with some help from a $20 Barnes & Nobles gift certificate from the Chaz Man.

Some stuff I picked up:

Mojo – July Issue

Big focus on Thom Yorke of Radiohead.  Interview on Radiohead, plus an extensive review of his new solo album plus reviews of all their new live songs that have yet to be recorded and may never will be.  (They currently have no record contract).  Includes CD compiled with material by and like soul-funk great James Brown.

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

The Man in the High Castle

Two novels by Philip K. Dick.  This adds to my collection, which consists of ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ (Blade Runner was adapted from this novel) and ‘Radio Free Albemuth’, which I read for a Freshman year college class called ‘Colloquium:  Grokking the Bug-Eyed Monster, Speculative and Science Fiction’.  My own story, ‘Why to Buy the 3521 Plymouth Sun-Hopper’ was born out of an assignment from that class.

Global Underground 10: (Various Artists – Special Edition 4-CD Compilation of Dance Music)

Comes in a velvet red box that reminds me of the type that old vinyl compilations came in back in the day.  Dance music akin to electronica.

Loony Tunes:  Golden Collection Volume 3.

Four DVD’s filled with my favorite Saturday Morning cartoon.  Could anything be better?

A bunch of other CDs, which I got used from Plan 9:

Queen’s Greatest Hits

A find.  This is essentially the same Greatest Hits album that my brother bought when I was in Middle School on vinyl.  There a few songs added, but the original album and this one has the song ‘Flash’ on it (my least favorite as a kid), but it’s a rare version that only existed on the single version of the song, which is likely, deservedly out of print.  But it’s funny when you can’t find something how much you want it.  In this case, it wasn’t the actual song I wanted, but to complete that particular collection since for the longest time it was out of print.  I actually bought the ‘Flash’ soundtrack (awful, awful) to recreate the set prior to finding this gem.  There was a rumor going around in college that I was a big Queen fan.  No more so than anyone else who grew up listening to classic rock.  I mean, who doesn’t like ‘Another Bites the Dust’ or ‘Under Pressure’ (prior to Vanilla Ice stealing the bass line).

Journal Post – July 15, 2006

37

July 15.  Hot and humid.  I turned 29 again for the 8th time just the day before so we had a party.  An outdoor, cook-out-esque party without the grilling. Fried chicken catered by Wal-Mart.  Swimming pools.  Two five-foot kid style pools complete with rubber ducks and absorbent, miniature footballs.  Squirt guns.  We used the kiddy pools to soak our feet and shot each other with the squirt guns.  I shot myself.  Seems like I dried out instantly.

Most of the party was held on the deck.  “Nobody’s done anything on bureaucracy,”  Pasquale said, talking about The Office and Office Space, comically dystopian views on corporate cubical life.  He suggested I write something in that vein on government employment.  I have rare insight.

It seems like everyone has childhood memories of croquet.  The croquet course I set up had kids in mind.  Wickets out of the natural paths around the house so kids didn’t trip and knock their front teeth out.  Speaking of which, I learned the importance of wearing a helmet.

Our Quote for Today from the Future

“Back then, they called it ‘business efficiency’ and at first that was true, but by the early 21st Century, what it really turned out to be was a bunch of sadistic assholes who got their rocks off watching people squirm and suffer.”
–Rognalt Q. Timbuckner, Management Guru and Corporate Strategist (2132-?), virtual lecture to business class of 2176

Today’s Post from the Future

“It seems to me that the demise of the conservative movement in America happened due to the fact that they came across as ‘the missionary-position party’ and great swaths of Americans were quite bored with that social ideology. Some were outright offended by the affront on their basic social liberty while others were just yawning uncontrollably in the dark nest of the voting booth.” -Jo Jo Yin Draught-Henderclein (2134-2201)

Out The Door

Well, folks, this version of Swatting At Flies has met its usefulness and is slated for demolition. All content found here has been transferred to http://www.swattingatflies.com, a full-blown, WordPress-powered blog, with all the bells and whistles that my own domain provides.

So, within the next few weeks if you’re still reading this, you won’t be, because it will be gone.

Now I know it sounds sad, but it’s going to be OK… the new blog looks so much cleaner and nicer and all the words are exactly the same. You can visit it anytime and it will be your new best friend. So, don’t worry. You don’t need blogger… except of course if you would like to visit The Silence Bureau’s blog page at http://www.thesilencebureau.blogspot.com. That would be a nice visit. Have some tea. Watch a nice movie. Maybe chat a bit… maybe play cards… I hear they are very nice there and they even have Parcheesi… that’s a fun game…. why I remember when I was young… or was that Yahtzee? I get those games confused… Anyway, what I was saying was…

Keep

Keep… buy time… in a bottle… wrap it up… keep it clear…
try to manage your senses….
can’t allow you to hurt me again…
that’s what ‘keep’ means to me… and spontaneity…
Why?
your lost soul… i found it inside a very wet box…
I almost ate it, but…
I can manage… your complexity…
when you talk I hear drums
heart is a metaphor
for delicate things
bruised knuckle from a snapping branch…
the clearing trees… the facade…
a front yard to impress passers by
and the hillbilly neighbors
all gathered around the fire
and their coolers in their driveway
as if every day is a bar-b-q….
why not just pitch a tent and rent…
Out the house?

Comments

Comments have now been enabled on this here Swatting at Flies blog, so if any of you high falutin’ types wanna opine on something you have read here, then you go right ahead.

But be warned, it’s moderated by Jack ‘the Snake’ Mackarone, who doesn’t take a whole lot of guff from no one no how, so be careful and play nice. Jack knows how to look you up and hunt you down.

But seriously, moderated comments are available in Blogger, which I have just noticed, probably years later than they were made available. So, comment away!

Real Life

Comment found at http://www.loljesus.com, a slightly bawdy send-up of religion, mainly (obviously) Christianity. Although the website is a joke, the comment is quite serious:

It is not okay for people to believe in Bullshit, when people DIE because of the Bullshit. If I believed MAGIC would cure my son’s cancer, and refused life saving scientific medical treatment – I would be a NUT and a murder of my son.
There is no difference between believing in MAGIC, and PRAYER or GOD.
It is pretend BULLSHIT.

People need to grow up and start believing in REALITY.

There is a whole REAL world out there ready to be discovered and embraced and explored. It does not have demons or angels, heavens or hells, nor Gods nor Devils. It is just real.

The only evil in the world, is what Man does to Man… & Man usually commits evil against Man, in the name of religion.

It is time for Man to evolve to the next level and abandon things that are Pretend.
It is time to embrace, the Real.

Left by Golden Ratio on March 7th, 2009

I quote this now because I believe I am more and more in agreement. I used to believe that faith in the unreal, the ‘spiritual’ is a sign of goodness, a sign of someone who is seeking the truth. I am far more of the opinion now that this approach has more the effect of anesthetizing individuals to real life. It’s a coping mechanism.

What is ‘real life’? To distill it down into a philosophy for living, I would say that ‘real life’ is choosing your actions willfully rather than passively. Rather than simply allowing impulses and influences to rule you, take your education, your experiences, your knowledge, and keep learning and keep experiencing and keep educating yourself every day.

Find out what you’re good at and do it productively. Stop wasting your time. Enjoy your leisure for the rejuvenating time that it is. Stop running on the hamster wheel of life and pretending it’s OK to torture yourself.

‘Real life’ is ups and downs. Its elation and disappointment. But it also is enjoying a simple sensation or none at all, just being in the moment. Your life is long and when it ends, it will end. You will never know anything after that point. You will never even know that you are gone. Wake up and experience what is now.

Prepare for the future? Yes, of course. Be smart. There is no need to hasten death, but you are responsible for yourself. If you want to believe that God gives you certain sixth sense powers and angels take care of you and that you are going to die and go to heaven, think about what the underlying causes of these thoughts are. Are you really simply coping with events and things that you cannot control? Are you really looking for answers to unanswerable questions?

Instead of trying to rule the universe vicariously through belief in God, why not learn a new language or learn to play an instrument or walk in the park or get some fresh air some other way. This lust for power that everyone has that they have to attach their ego to ‘The Almighty’ is a puzzle. You have all the power you need. Take it and wield it with responsibility. And enjoy yourself for a change.

Stop striving for the ever-illusive ‘perfection’ and enjoy the variety that is inherent in living.

Just What is ‘Treason’?

To question and openly debate issues when you have an honest disagreement with your political opponent is not treason. To oppose war, in enacting a pacifist philosophy is also not treason. To raise your voice to air your grievances against government policies in our American system of free and open speech is not treason.

But to openly call for the failure of a sitting American President, to organize others of your political philosophy to openly oppose elected officials in demagogic, egotistic hysteria for what amounts only to personal gain, this is treason and should be recognized as such.

Again, speaking your mind and attacking specific policies while advocating a different course of action is one thing, but to wish for the American government to fail, simply because it would be beneficial for your point of view, is the epitome of what is to be anti-American.

I am very open to free speech of all kinds. I disliked many of the Republican policies of the last eight years and the twelve years prior to Clinton, actually. I believe everyone should be able to have their say about specific policies and specific ways they think the government can do a better job. But, simply stating that you want our government to fail so that you can look like less of a loser than you are is simply treason and, worse, sheer stupidity.

Rush Limbaugh should be jailed and tried for treason. He has baited the federal government into such an action with his obvious, blatant position against America. At worst, he should be executed. At best, he should be deported. But what country would take him?

The only reason I would ignore him is a) he is irrelevant b) it would only make him a martyr in the eyes of his mindless horde of followers. That said, at some point the anti-American corporatist right wing of the Republican party needs to be dismantled. If I were the Republicans I would be working on that very quickly right now. That is their last hope of remaining a viable political force in the future.