Archive for September, 2008

Heroes, Thomas Friedman, English and the Crazy Street Preacher.

Today was, interesting. After a boring Anthropology test, I skipped BIO100 class (yeah i know, and i don’t care) and a mostly (except for a little brain tease and a chapter of the Baghavad Gita) boring ENG class. I ran into ASU’s crazy preacher and a disappointing trip to the library, i finally got home in time for Heroes.

So, from the beginning.

My Anthropology test was fifty questions long and took about fifteen minutes to finish, it was mostly a boring play with words. I am quite certain that i failed it, because i apparently wasn’t paying attention in class as well as i thought (next time, I’ll have to refrain from reading Yeats during class) After that I walked over to breakfast. I read a bit afterward and then after my iPod battery died I went back home to recharge it and maybe watch TV before English, since I had already decided to skip BIO.

I fell asleep and woke up just in time to get to English, where I read the first and second chapters of the Baghavad Gita, because the teacher went on analyzing Thomas Friedman’s latest Op-Ed. I am a big Friedman (The World is Flat) fan, but unfortunately, my English class dissected and analyzed the article past the point of no return. Which made me mad, because they missed the whole overall (holistic) point of the article.

Then after class I ran into the Preacher who goes by JK (Just Kidding maybe?) He went on for about an hour and a half screaming about Jesus hating everyone and how he was a prophet of the lord because he wasn’t a “perverted homo masturbating weed-head” like us (which made everyone laugh). He only seems to serve as comic relief for us. He promised to be there again, so i have to remind myself to take my Bible to contradict him, if he ever stops shouting that is. Which leads me to believe, sincerely, that he is on something, weed perhaps? or maybe some prescription stuff?

After this, I managed to get home again, eat, sleep for about an hour, then watch some Stargate Atlantis and then finally Heroes!

Heroes: Villains (I love writing that) episode 303: One of Us, One of Them, started out with Flint, The German, Knox and Peter (in Jesse’s Body) starting out a bank heist, while Mama Petrelli purposefully gave Sylar (Gabriel Gray) a new ability, and Noah Bennet meet his new partner, who happens to be (as i predicted) Sylar, who is now beginning to explore a new ‘good’ side.

At the end of the episode, Micah meets Tracy (who, as i also predicted, is a clone) and Future Peter finally pulls Peter out of Jesse and then everything goes to hell as Knox escapes, Sylar harvests Jesse’s power, Flint gets shot, and The German is possibly dead, much to my grief because The German seems like such a calm and twisted individual.

Meanwhile Claire and Meredith have a little masochistic mother-daughter talk, when Meredith forces Claire to explore her feelings via locking her in a metalic train wagon and heating up.

Why I Did Not See The Presidential Debates.

This Friday, were the first presidential debates, and i opted not to watch, listen or read about them. Odd right? me not caring? But i have a reason, a few actually.

One: is quite simply, i am tired of all the bullshit. Obama lies, McCain lies, they throw shit at each other and then everyone is either happy or angry.

Second: Other than a few people who care, and who have also already chosen a side, nobody watches the debates, and no one can sincerely say that their vote is going to swing this late in the race. There may, MAY, be one or two people, but most people have already made up their minds and are watching with a bias. Besides, it’s not like rational thinking has an impact on Americans, we tend to just go with what mommy and daddy say, so there really is no point to them watching, the very fact of their birth has already chosen for them.

Third: I went to a movie. I saw Burn after Reading. It was an awesome movie, but it is not worth buying on DVD.

Fourth: Mongolian Food Rocks.

Fifth: I already knew what each candidate was going to say, I’ve heard them say it before, and I really didn’t want to hear it again. And the bailout plan in Washington is likewise giving me a headache, the thing is simple really: create a committee. We do it for everything else, why not this plan? Why argue needlessly over something both candidates agree on: Paulson cannot be trusted to handle it alone, and needs supervision. So, create a temporary committee to reside over the handing out of the money, make sure that the corporate leaders get a payout (otherwise they’ll never agree) but a small one, and make sure that the money does not go into the wrong pockets. Its simple really, almost elegant.

And Finally: Yeah, i’ve covered it all.

Supernatural Season Four

Its fall, and most of the TV seasons are starting up, one I watch often, aside from Heroes, is Supernatural.

Season Four kicked off with a nice new twist that has my best friend raving in anger, and me smiling like an idiot.

Dean was brought back from hell by an Angel, Castiel to be exact, the angel of Thursday. I have no idea why God would send the angel of Thursday to rescue him, but i like it. The reason behind it has to be something with the nature of the rescue, which as of now i can’t find out if its a classic tale type or a motif: the sinner warrior returned from hell by God. Somewhat of a Constantine-like idea (the movie, not the Emperor)

Jim Butcher has likewise had a turning point in his Harry Dresden Books: Dresden who could draw Hellfire for his magic, due to a run in with a demon, can now, after divine intervention, draw ‘Soulfire’ for the same purpose.

Back to Supernatural.

The series now has an incredibly amazing and almost biblical edge to it, one brother, Sam, aided and trained by demons, and Dean, risen and guided by an angel, now fight side by side. This of course, leaves Bobby on his own in the middle, perhaps representing humanity?

One thing that the Series writers got right is the nature of angels, as Ruby put it “They smite first and ask questions later” and later as Castiel said ‘read the Bible, angels are warriors of the Lord” Which makes me wonder, where the hell (no pun intended) did the idea of angels as being all nice and guardians come from?

i looked, but i couldn’t find and answer, but i did find an interesting fact about Mormons: they believe that Michael the Punisher is actually Adam, and that Gabriel the Messenger is Noah. My thought was of course: What the FUCK?? Seriously? But yeah, seriously. Just one more thing why I will never become Mormon, sabotage of way cool mythological creatures.

And angels are way cool. i can name five reasons:

1-eternal, they literally are immortal,

2-created by the Word of God (as an atheist, i find this a very sweet fantasy).

3-Insanely powerful, strong enough to herald the end of the world.

4-Flaming Swords, seriously, a sword made of eternal fire.

5- Live in Heaven, not only are they immortal, they get to be immortal in paradise.

and finally, they rose Dean from the dead, even if its not in the canon, that is still awesome, because that means that we get to have a season four of Supernatural.

Anyway, turns out that the New Age Movement, in many of its even more numerous branches has picken up angels as part of its evergrowing collection of worshiped gods, goddesses, crystals, Atlantaen alien babies and whatever (i made up the Atlantean alien babies, btw)

I Missed Dancing with the Stars

Since i am a HUGE Heroes Fan (as you can abviously tell) and since  i was unwilling to Not watch the Heroes Premiere, i ended up not seing Dacing with the Stars, a show, that i usally care less about, but this season, one contastant in particular is, well, i am a fan, lets just leave it at that. So now i have to find it on iTunes (if its there) or elsewhere online. I serously wish at this point that i had two TVs. that way i could have Heroes on one and Dancing with the Starts on the other.

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Last Night was the Third Season Premiere of Heroes.  Suresh, so aptly, read this poem at the end of the episode. Which was, by the way, incredible.

Angela Petrelli’s power is revealed. she can see the future though her dreams, does i Told You So mean anything right now?

A Wizard of Earthsea

I finally read A Wizard of Earthsea. Even though i have read it once before, in seventh grade alongside The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, i dismissed it as a bad read. of course I later realized that I was wrong, but i actually forgot the book. Much like i vowed never to read anything by C.S. Lewis.

But since I’ve found myself with quite a bit of free time I’ve been able to go back and read the book again. And i was much impressed. I will now quite certain that after Heroes: Villains Premiere i will go back to Hayden and read all of her books (Heroes is in 22 hours!!!!!!! I am so insanely hyped up about that!!) over the next month. The reason i must read them there is because I’ve had my checking out privileges revoked due to unpaid bills. So, if you can’t reach me, it will be because I’m reading in the library, where i have no cellphone coverage.

And i am very sorry that i ever questioned the book. I knew that Ursula Le Guin is an awesome author, but i somehow dismissed this series. So, i’ve printed a ist of her works and i’m going to work my way down the list.

And i am incredibly happy that for the first time in my known life, i have found a hero of a fantasy novel who isn’t white!! I love it!

Anyway, i need sleep before Heroes, so good night and good luck!

Why the Tao Te Ching (daodeking) Can Never Be Briefly Disscussed.

First day of ENG101 (yes, i am picking on the class again!, but I bring this up again for a reason, as previously mentioned, born in my ASB102 class)
We had a small discussion about Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. One student said that one chapter in particular (Chapter 3: Hushing in Ursula K. LeGuin’s translation, my favorite version) where it says:

  So the wise soul
  governing people
  would empty their minds,
  fill their bellies,
  weaken their wishes,
  strengthen their bones.
 
meant that the wise government would have to keep their people in ignorance. But this idea is completely contradictory to the fundamentals of Taoism. Especially if taken in context, not only with the culture, but with the rest of the text. For example, as i told Rob, my favorite chapter, Taoing says:

  The way you can go
  Isn’t the real way
  The name you can say
  Isn’t the real name.

As LeGuin says:

  “to those who will not admit morality without a deity to validate it, or spirituality of which man is not the measure, the firmness Lao Tzu’s morality and the sweetness of his spiritual council must seem incomprehensible , or illegitimate, or very troubling indeed.”

  So, the very idea that a government would act while keeping ignorance among the people could be understood, especially after reading Chapter 17, it again appears that the ideal leader should be manipulative and keep the people without thinking. But the meaning, once place d in context, is just the opposite.

Once such ideas begin to be understood or discussed there is a tenancy to forget the the original purpose of the Tao Te Ching was not to be a manual for leaders, but a guide to the Tao. literally, the having the Way guide the Way. much like the concept (or non-concept) of Zen.

Back to the point I was trying to make. The Tao cannot, and should not be summarized. It is not responsible, and not beneficial either to the students or to the Tao itself.

By the way, I strongly recommend reading the Tao Te Ching, several times of course. I read a chapter or two every day. I am not a spiritual person, or religious, but I read of the Way and I try to live in the Way. I especially recommend LeGuin’s translation. other translations are very forced, and forcibly translated in order to have political meaning. LeGuin’s version is translated with the poet in heart. Translated for the sake of Tao and beauty, not for classroom politics, and Western obsession with dry ideologies.

Actually I recoment all of LeGuin’s Works, especially The Telling, and Gifts. Both are beautifully writen and, if you really must, have deep meanings and parallels in society today/