Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Friday, April 29, 2011

'03, '04 The Rock Years Part 1

Well yesterday I did my top 10 defining moments in rock, but you know what I realize. The most current was from 2000. Heck more than half were from before I was born. What the hell. So now I'm going to talk about the year that rocked my world, 2004.

I wouldn't realize it then but in my head '04 will always be the best year I was listening to the good stuff. I admit it I didn't turn to rock until about 14. I should preface this by saying for the sake of me keeping my sanity I'm disregarding release dates and am just going with when I experienced stuff so there is a lot of stuff from '03 too. Lets get started.

Lets Get Born: Jet and Get Born

Jet "Cold Hard Bitch"

JET | Myspace Music Videos

Jet released it's Album Get Born in '03 but didn't get a listen until '04 and it was awesome. "Cold Hard Bitch" "Roll Over DJ"and "Are You Going to be my Girl" were making the radio rounds and I loved them.

Yo Wake Me Up : Evanescence and Fallen

Same dealy the album was released in '03 but the vids made the rounds in '04. Amy Lee and that voice. Damn. She's got pipes. Anyway Fallen was one great album.

Linkin Park and All That was Meteora

This hit just as I was getting into anime and it made me think about what you could do with animation if you did it right. That and I loved the lyrics.

And that wasn't the only hot track on the album either. You also had "Numb" and "Faint".

The Whites Have a Seven Nation Army: Elephant is Released

It wasn't first time people started to look at The White Stripes, but this was part of their climb most definitely.

MTV Mods Was Wicked Awesome

I wish the show was still around and I will remember it fondly. MTV would take popular songs and the mash them up with video games. For a guy like me who loved games and music it was a hell of a lot of fun.

There was more and I'll get into it later but for now I think I'll break for lunch.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Top 10 Defining Moments In Rock History

Every culture has those moments where it defines, re-defines, or reaffirms itself. Rock is no different so here are my top defining moments in rock history.

10. The Kid is Not My Son: Michael's Moonwalk
May 25, 1983

Say what you will but Mike changed the game. And this is the moment the world looked up and said this isn't the same boy from the Jackson 5. It ushered in a new musical era.

9. Ladies and Gentleman, Rock and Roll: MTV Airs
August 1, 1981

For better or worse, after MTV music became a visual medium. Mostly MTV changed how people got music. Also like I said in my intro to channels month it gave music lovers a place to get info about music. Which leads me to.

8. Punk Rock 101: Kurt Cobain's Death
April 8, 1994

To this day nobody knows exactly why he did it. But most agree the Cobain had problems. He was the reluctant voice of a generation and he hated it. His death made people question how much of the look and style of rock existed because of it's icons and whether or not that might be a problem.

7.The Band May As Well be Working at a 7-Eleven: Courtney Says Fuck You to The Labels
June 14, 2000

I know. I'm going to get some flack from adding her to the list especially right after Kurt, but hear me out. Now a days people hate the record labels. A lot of that can be traced to a little speech Courtney Love gave in 2000. She pretty much spells out how the labels have been giving the screws to artists for years. That speech pretty much paved the way for how now days bands bypass the major labels entirely with myspace and itunes.

6. That's Enough!: The Who Literally Blow up on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
September 17, 1967

I don't how. I don't know why. But this moment so screams rock and roll. Damn you late great Keith Moon and your not telling anyone you added more explosives than planned.

All that leads me to the one where I'm going to cheat.

5. Where The Hell is Paul Revere When you Need him : First British Invasion

I wanted to stick to moments but well the British invasion is just too important and it's hard to find one defining moment for that thing. I'll get into why later but in the early 60's there was real doubt as to whether this rock and roll thing would survive. That is until the Brits got their hands on our old records. They dug it. A lot. It inspired them. Heck the Stones are named after an old Muddy Waters song. Rock and Roll wasn't dead. Rock was alive. Rock cried from the heavens, "Wherever there is a kid and a guitar I will live."

5. The Shot that Started The Heavy Metal Arms Race: Dave Mustaine Is Kicked out of Metallica
April 11, 1983

You young wiper-snappers and your Lady Gagas and Keshas. SLAP. Miles, you're only 23. Stop shaking your old man fist. Anyway in the 80's and early 90's there was a heavy metal arms race. The Triumvirate, Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth, were all trying to outdo each other in how complicated and how fast they could play. Yes ladies and gentlemen we have this era to thank for the double pedal.

Why? Because the lead guitarist and front man of Megadeth Dave Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica, and vowed he would be better than them. There is a bunch of stuff around that. It is a legendary rivalry.

But the result is what I want to focus on. It set up a competition in metal that lasted for over a decade and dominated the sound of rock and roll.

4. Metaphorically Flipping the Bird to the Queen Takes Balls: The Sex Pistols on The Thames
June 7, 1977

First off, The Sex Pistols did not invent punk. It was more a result of a convergence of attitudes and musicals styles of the mid to late 70's. That said this was big.

To understand have to know bit of non-musical history. In particular Jubilee day. I'm American so I'm talking a bit out of my ass on this one, but Jubilee day celebrates Queen Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne. In 1977, due to it being the 25th anniversary, there was to be a larger celebration than usual all culminating with a royal procession sailing down the river Thames. Two days before that was going to happen the Sex Pistols rented a boat and decided do sail down the Thames playing "God Save the Queen", and I don't mean the version the queen would have actually liked. Forevermore rock and roll would be about quasi-angrily sicking it to the man.

And yes we Americans did rip off the melody as "My Country Tis of Thee".

3. Sex, Drugs and Politics : Jimi Hendrix's National Anthem
August 17, 1969

There are disagreements as to why he did it and what he was trying to say, but Jimi's guitar shooting a machine gun, throwing grenades and manning the chopper, it was important. Rock was no longer just about kids having fun playing and listening. It was about how people saw the world and how they communicated those views through music and culture.

2. The Pelvis of Elvis: Hound Dog on Ed Sullivan
September 9, 1956

I'll admit it I rip on Elvis a lot for being a white guy who danced and sung like a black guy and was then credited for the creation of the entire genre, but there is no question that he widened rock's audience and helped define what rock and roll would look and sound like in that age. This right here was the moment America looked up and said this rock and roll thing might be important.

1. The Day the Music Died aka The Death of Richie Valens, the Big Bopper and Buddy Holly
February 3, 1959

Towards the end of the 1950's rock was being questioned. A lot of folks thought it was just a fad. Not only that but a lot of rock and roll legends were starting to become unable to practice their craft. Elvis was drafted in '57 and in '59 Chuck Berry was arrested and eventually imprisoned. All this came to a head in February 1959 when three of rocks legends died in a plane crash. It was the day the music died. Nobody knew what would happen to rock after that, but people knew it would never be the same.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Southfield Regular City Council April 25, 2011

Regular Southfield City Council Meeting for April 25, 2011. The meeting took place in the Municipal Complex in Southfield, Michigan.

Topics Include

  • May 3, Local Millage Election
  • Adding uncollected bills from code enforcement services (grass cutting, noxious weed removal,etc to the tax roll, - Presentation of Mental Health Month
  • Resolution for Child Abuse Prevention Month -
  • The shooting of two dogs by the Southfield Animal Warden
  • Zoning
Audio from the meeting can be found here and here.

The Agenda and related documents can be found here.

Nick The All That Spin-Offs

Ah the great grand tradition of the spin off. Trying to preserve that which made a great show even when the show has to end, or using it as an opportunity refocus old ideas. Some of my favorite shows were spin-offs, Daria, Angel, Batman Beyond, A Different World, Xena heck even The Simpsons.

But I'm not here to talk about every spin-off. I'm here to talk about the All That Spin offs. First off let me get into what all that was.

Back in the early days of Snick, a lot of what Nick was trying to do was create kid friendly versions of various genres of television. For your Twilight Zone/Outer Limits style anthologies you had Are You Afraid of the Dark?. For your Star Trek style science fiction you had Space Cases. For your Matlock /Murder She Wrote style mysteries you had The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. And for your Saturday Night Live style, (I've said it before and I'll say it again this is where Kenan Thompson got his start.) you had All That.

All That wasn't Nick's first sketch comedy show but it was it's longest running, not counting the weirdness that is You Can't Do That on Television, clocking in at six or ten depending on how you look at it, seasons (they canceled it for a while and then brought it back.) . It's also the sketch show people tend to remember.

Anyway even during All That!'s original run Nick had a few spin-offs and eventually some of those spin-offs off got spin-offs. It's the six degrees of All That people.
Anyway lets get started.


The next few are going to be weird. One of the segments for All That! was Action League Now. Eventually Action League Now! moved to Kablam! which was a cartoon anthology series. It was fun and cooky, just the way I like it. Back in the day Nick made a lot of shorts. A lot of them got their own shows. (I'll get to the wonder that is Pete and Pete later) Which leads me to...

Angela Anaconda

I like it when revenge is carried out on jerks. Besides that I don't remember a lot about this one folks.

Action League Now!

I love It's Just Some Random Guy. The style and comedy is very similar to Action League Now. First it was on All That, then Kablam, then finally it got it's own show. The show was very arc based, but was still very surreal, largely thanks to the characters being cloud cuckoolanders.

Kenan and Kel

During their All That days Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell were a pretty popular comedy team.

So popular in fact, that Nick decided to give the two their own show. It was a sitcom with Kennan playing the straight-man to Kel. Kenan would think up so scheme to get the two money, or girls, and it would backfire, partially because of Kel's cloud cuckoolander tendencies, and because it was a bad plan from the start.

The Amanda Show

And now ladies and gentlemen I will begin to show the linkage between All That and I-Carly. Not unlike Kenan and Kel, Amanda Bynes eventually became popular enough for own show.

It was a variety show not unlike All that, and like most sketch comedy shows it had lots of characters. My favorite was Penlope Taynt Amanda's biggest fan that was obviously Amanda. Anyway here's a clip that serves the duel purposes of showing Penelope and introducing the next show.

Drake and Josh

By this point you know what I'm going to say. These two, Drake Bell and Josh Peck as well as Nancy Sullivan, eventually became popular enough for their own show. Which now I think on it was a lot like Kenan and Kel. Actually I think the living room set might have even been the same though I'm not sure.


Miranda Cosgrove was, wait a sec. Eh whatever. Miranda Cosgrove was immensely popular on Drake and Josh and eventually got her own show ICarly. Though unlike all those other shows she's not danzaing it.

P.S. When I originally wrote this I forgot one show

The Nick Cannon Show

Right before they canceled, the the first time around , All That, Nick Cannon was one of the actors and well you know the drill.

Audio for Southfield City Council April 25, 2011 Committee of the Whole Meeting

Topics Include

  • Proposed Spending of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), especially the spending formula the city has to use in order to obtain the maximum amount the grant allows
  • Energy Auditing and Retrofitting of city owned buildings.

Audio of the Meeting can be found here and here.

The agenda and related documents can be found here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Let not the Trench Become a Canyon

When reading my next few words keep in mind I am flag waver, born on Veteran's Day. I have a few problems with America. Don't get me wrong I love my country, but Chris Rock had the right of it. When you're black you have to look at America a little differently than everyone else.

My problem with America is there is often a schism between what we say we stand for and what we do. When we were climbing the mountain top saying we were the land of freedom, we held slaves. When we said we were the land of opportunity signs went up in shop windows saying no jobs for niggers, spics, paddies and chinks. When we said we were a land of popular sovereignty, we were assassinating fairly elected heads of state. When we said we were a land of law we were taking part in torture.

I will say it again. There is a schism between what we say we stand for and what we do. I love all the rhetoric. I love the talk of freedom, individualism, opportunity, and rule of law, but often that's all it is, talk.

What pisses me off all the more is that we are often blinded by the talk that we don't see our own hypocrisy, nor do we want to. We assume that we are the land of the free and just solely by our nature and not by our labor. We must remain vigilant and realize that it is our duty, mine, yours, all of our duty to make this country align itself with what we believe is the character of it's people.

As I have said, before one of the issues in the current budget debate is how we should practice our ideals. I have no answers for this question. I just pray that this will not be another time in our history when our offspring will look at us with shame and say we betrayed ourselves. We must find an honorable compromise between our morals and our wallets lest the current trench becomes an indomitable canyon.

Rise Against - Endgame Review

Rise Against
3 1/2 out of 5

I love Rise Against. Right now, they are probably the hardest sounding band your likely to hear on the radio. I also like this album. I said like not love. It sounds somewhat less heavy than their last one, Appeal to Reason.

But that's not my real problem with the Album. My real problem is that a lot of the songs start to sound the same on the album. It feels like their was more diversity on Appeal to Reason.

When I listen to an album, I want to go back to the tracks and say this one was really great or this one wasn't, but its hard with this album because they all sort of blend together, which gets boring for an entire album. Worse, its hard to sort of just say okay I won't listen to the entire album just my favorite one or two tracks because they all sound the same.

That being the case I like their sound. Like I said ,Rise Against is probably one of the few hard rock bands left, in the current musical landscape.

Right Here Right Now

The days were starting to warm up and congress was starting to fuck up, but hey what's new people. It was 2011, April. A few months after graduating, I was still living with my folks, not a job in sight. I had done a few odd jobs and had just enough cash to pay my bills for May. I was also working on a blog, of course like the rest of the universe trying to do stuff on the internet I had no idea how to make it pay. I was just grasping at straws, trying to see what worked and what didn't, a few random ideas swirling around my head.

With it warming up I was thinking about heading out. Problem with winter is there aren't any people out, especially in Detroit. It's a sore sight. I figured it would be good to get out and see the sun again. Anyway tomorrow was the day of two city council meetings. They normally only had one but things were weird. I hadn't looked at the agendas yet but there was a lot going on. A local millage election was going to be held on the third and I had only half-assed paid any attention to it. I had technically registered to vote, but I was wondering if ethically I actually should vote on this one. Since I didn't have a job, I didn't pay taxes so would it be fair for me to weigh in on that kind of thing. All hell screw it.

It was an Easter Sunday morning. I was trying to think of things to write about. I had a few ideas, but wasn't in a mood to deal with any of them. Mostly because I wanted to listen to music while writing and the research on those two things would take me from it. Mainly I wanted to write a music review of an album I wasn't in the mood and figured I should give it another listen before I write about it. I also should have recorded some audio for something else.

While rocking to the Dead Kennedys' rendition of Viva Las Vegas I couldn't shake the feeling that I had forgotten something. Ah screw it. If it was important it would bite me in the ass soon enough and I would figure it out. I needed to find something to do. I thought to myself maybe I should work on the fiction. I had been working on a story game. I always said I was almost done with it, but the truth was that I had lost the story. I had reached a part where I knew what should happen, but not how to right it. Maybe it was time I picked up my other stories or started new ones.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gorillaz - The Fall Review

The Fall

I'm going to be honest I don't like this album. I can enjoy it, but in order to do that you have to be in the right mindset.

To start off let me give you some background on the Gorillaz. In 2001 Jamie Hewlett, one of the artists behind Tank Girl and Damon Albarn released the Gorillaz first Album. It was a pretty great one. I still listen to Clint Eastwood and 19-2000 a lot.

Anyway it's a virtual band. One of the points behind it is to create that virtual band. It's a really cool, really intensive art project.

I loved the Gorrillaz first two albums, Gorillaz, and Demon Days, but I didn't really like their third album, not counting remix albums, Plastic Beach. It was a little too trippy for me.

The Fall is a lot more like Plastic Beach than any other album they've done before, but is also a pull back from it. Most days I wouldn't like it, but it has a good sort of repetitiveness to it. Ultimately the music speaks about monotony, the slow drudge of moving without real purpose. This is traveling music. There is a reason for that, but I don't want to get into it.

Oh what the heck. The album was created completely on I-pad while Albarn was on tour. I respect that, using new tech to make a new sound, even if I don't particularly like that new sound.

My problem is that this is music you have to get used to. It's like Yahiko said about Kaoru's cooking in Rurouni Kenshin. You aren't supposed to have to get used to it.

Korra Aang Differences

Due largely to all the fanart on Dev art, I've been thinking about the New Avatar Series Avatar: The Legend of Korra.

Nick's been pretty tight lipped about it. All I've really heard has been from these Wall Street Journal articles and this line test.

Mostly what's been described thus far is the setting and back story. Aang lived a good life, had a kid eventually keels off at the rip ole age of 70, or 170 depending on how you look at at. Korra, a waterbender, becomes the next avatar and hangs in a wretched hive.


Mostly what I've been thinking about is how I feel the narrative must differ from the last series based on the info I have thus far.

1. Smaller scale
Avatar: The Last Airbender focused on a 100 year old world war. The creators have said that this series will stick to Republic City, which I imagine to be a kid friendly version of Shanghai as portrayed in The Goddess.

My point is that the creators had the challenge of bringing us down from possible world ending conflicts to a single city of vice in an interesting manner. I wonder how they handled it.

2. Steampunk ahoy!
I love me some steampunk.

Far too often we forget that beyond the digital revolution we've had far more societal and technological revolutions. The creators have already said that the Mechanist started a technological revolution.

I'm curious how that would affect the previously established setting. That and I love the tech porn of steampunk. Gears, billows, pipes, pistons not to mention the quirky underpaid overworked and quite skilled engineer characters who keep it all working.

Note To Self: Get a multimeter, and the Swiss army knife with computer tools.

3. Doing the Avatar Thing Right

A lot of the drama of the first Avatar series is that no one knew exactly how this avatar thing was supposed to work. Nobody had seen one in a hundred years and the usual training procedures just didn't happen for Aang. Most of that had to do with the war, but with it over and Aang's son hanging around. Korra has more of a guide book on all of the Avatar stuff. It would be interesting seeing how it's supposed to work.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Miscellaneous Nick

A lot of the shows on nick fit into some sort of block or category. I'll get into those later, but some are hard to categorize so I'll just get into them.

Welcome Freshman

Honestly I don't remember a lot about this show. It was a little bit before my time. It started out as a sketch comedy, then changed format later on. Getting info this one is hard.

Hey Dude

Now this one I do remember. It was awesome, and funny. Though in retrospect I think it had a bit too much in common with the next show I show you. My favorite episode was the season 5 episode War where the cast plays a game of capture the Flag.

Salute Your Shorts

I always felt like Micheal. My favorite episode was Wrath of Kahn, Jr. , where the camp supervisor's niece instigates a prank war. I really dig how that episode ends.


Oh God the sheer surreal craziness of this show. Pewee's Playhouse has nothing on Weinerville.


Like I said before this show was like youtube before there ever was a youtube. The entire point of the show was show content created by kids.

Clarissa Explains it all

Clarissa Explains It All (1991-1994) by TVJunkie08
I'll admit it. I had a crush on Melissa Joan Hart when I was a kid. There I said it. Anyway now that I look back at it I see a lot of precursors to the style I loved in Malcolm In the Middle. Mainly breaking the forth wall. The show would often start with Clarissa, well, explaining her predicament. Anyway the thing about Nick is that they really knew how to make a good sitcom. Better yet they knew how to make just good old fashioned comedy. Next time I'll talk about all the All That spinoffs, and yes that does include depending on how you look at it I - Carly.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Will it just get to 55 Degrees F already (Day and Night) playlist

Day Shift

Back on - Chain

Smash Mouth- All Star

Smash Mouth - Walking on the Sun

Barenaked Ladies - One Week

The Seatbelts - Ask D.N.A.

Big Jim's Ego - Stress

Find more Jim's Big Ego songs at Myspace Music

Night Shift

Anna Tsuchiya - Rose/Zero

Mos Def- Umi Says

Erykah Badu - Next Lifetime

Alice in Chains - Got Me Wrong

Find more Alice in Chains albums at Myspace Music

Garbage - Bleed Like Me

Soul Asylum - Can't Even Tell

Pearl Jam - Do The Evolution

Eddie Brickell and the New Bohemians - What I Am

Common - I Used to Love Her

I Found My Muse A.K.A. How Learned To Stop Worrying About The Bullshit And Just Have Fun

Note: All of these were done yesterday.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Seven Ladies Prologue Draft 2

The blight came, not slowly but swiftly. All those with power had left prior to this trouble. All that remained were the heralds, the keepers of the old tales who might have known how to reach them. The heroes and gods had passed from this world many years hence, only known in the legends warriors tell to one another and the bedtime tales mothers tell to sleeping children.

They say prior to the first age, the world was without form. It was unimaginable void filled not, but with her scattered dreams. In the darkness rose a single consciousness and it chose to awaken and to walk. It created not just the world but the concept of form. For the first time there was a stasis. For the first time the world stayed the stayed the same or close enough to it for it to be named, and bound.

For the first time her mind dwelled on not just what she saw, but what she was, and what could be. She walked and wherever she walked the void retreated and form followed. Soon she felt trapped. There was earth, and there was form, but there was no flesh. She wanted to touch and be touched, to scratch behind a furry ear. To wrestle a beast to the ground, and to kiss a man's lips. She had walked alone for eons and it bored her. She pressed a portion her will outward to be left outside of her, and thus life came to the earth.

She continued to walk, and as she walked she for a time met a man. His name is no longer known lost to the ages. He lived and died as all men do, but she loved him. They coupled and thus her children came to be.

For a time it was good. Eight daughters and one son were born to this original goddess. Before the second age they were content. The eight saw their mothers will and coveted it. They each in turn asked her for a portion of the land in which their will could be exercised. The son did not, for unknown to all even him he had been given the gift of time. He dreamt not of what he willed but of what would be.

The land was divided into the nine Kingdoms, mountain, forest, desert, sea, farm, ice, sky, city and grave. Even then the daughters were content, but they had already shown that jealousy was in their nature. Soon war broke out, generations long war.

The war was passed down from father to son and mother to daughter, none knowing why except that it was the gods' will. In the final battle, the battle that ended the second age, the world shook and the first goddess spoke. Anger radiated from her like light from a flame and thunder from a darkened cloud.

Furious at her children she reclaimed her will and made them forget what they were, but the people did not. They were cherished and loved. Soon all but one had taken with someone and had a child. These children became the first monarchs of the land, the first line of our heroes.

At least that is what they say. The things of which I have spoken occurred in antiquity. Times of trouble have since come, gone and returned. The world is not as it was then and never again shall be. In times like this we need, even the memories of our heroes, and that is what to be recorded. These tales will live once more in or hearts and rekindle that which is us.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Soul Brother Wolf 1

All this talk of playlists is making this brother want to get funky. So what truths does the wolf want the people to get with. First off no mater what trials and tribulations everything will be okay. At the end of day all cosmic power lies with God and all earthly power lies with the people. No matter where they lie, liars and thieves will get their due.

All the brothers and sisters out their run in each others crew. Never forget that most everybody owes somebody something. We all live on God's mercy so we should all have some of our own. Forgive others trespasses and debts as long as you carry God's loan.

Speaking of faith it doesn't matter if you believe, just treat folks as if there is some sort of judgement for all. It doesn't matter if you have the call. Just try to avoid man's fall. Try to live in a way that when you die folks will grieve.

Now on to the more mundane. Live life as if it were a game. Never be afraid to hop on the train. And don't worry if folks call you a little insane.

Keep on Pushing (Get Your Mind Right Brother) Playlist

Frank Sinatra - High Hopes

The Dirtbombs - Underdog

Smash Mouth- Come on Come On

Find more Smash Mouth songs at Myspace Music

Luthor Allison - Life is a Bitch

George Thorogood - One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer

Fort Minor - Remember the Name

Eminem-Lose Yourself

Ac/DC -It's a long Way to the Top

Kiss - God Gave Rock and Roll to You II

Slash -By the Sword

Soul Position - No Gimmicks

Find more songs like No Gimmicks at Myspace Music

Gil Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Find more artists like Gil Scott-Heron at Myspace Music

X- In this House that I call Home

Find more X albums at Myspace Music

Distillers - The Hunger

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Look not into the Maw of the Void Lest Ye be Devoured AKA Today Was One of My Demon Days

Today was a bad day for the spirit. For weeks now I haven't had a new idea, and furthermore I began to believe that even the old ones weren't worth anything. Thank God for Charles Schulz and Hunter S. Thompson to get me out of my funk. Do what you can and screw the rest. For good or ill the world goes on.

I was looking for a sign, that "In the sparkly quintessence the goings on of we little men matter for something" Then realized, fuck it if they don't. Regardless, we live. "The game is long and in the end it's only with ourselves."

I've got a few weeks before my next round of bills are due. Just get off my ass, get past all the psychological bullshit and try to do something with the time I do have. I'm confident I can scrap the money together like I normally do. Why the fuck am I so goddamn miserable? With all the shit going down in the world the truth is my life isn't all that bad.

Mostly it's just that I don't know what to do. I'm not just out of writing ideas. I'm out of ideas period. I don't have a clue what I'm doing. Some days I see myself building something, and I can deal. Today started as not one of those days. Most days I have faith that the old adage is true. Content is king. If I keep writing, and if I try to write well eventually I'll gain a decent sized audience, be able to pay my bills, look my folks in the face and reassure them that I'm alright without them giving me the yeah right look. Today was one of those days when I lost that faith. Tomorrow is a different day, but today I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "What am I doing."

I hadn't said anything of any real meaning for a while. Sure it might be fun to talk about cartoons, but man needs more than fun and more than work. Today was one of those days when I felt I couldn't have either.

On days like this there is only one solution. Realize that none of my problems are immediate and count my blessings. At least for the moment, none of the collectors are knocking on my door. It's the Sabbath so not working today isn't so bad. Heck, it might even gain me a few points with the man upstairs. I'm in one of those moods where that matters. Even if I have pitifully low readership some folks come to this site and even seem to enjoy it. I generally like the material I've written so far.

Mostly my angst comes from being in a vacuum too long. The only people I really talk to on a regular basis are my parents. While I love them I keep getting the feeling that they don't understand my writing. Besides them all I have is the void. I push stuff out and other than my gut feeling have no way to know if it's good or bad. Other than my gut feeling I have no way of know if the entire damned effort is good or bad.

Today was one of those days where I needed more than just my gut feeling.

It's time for me to talk about my blog again. Goddamn It.

In a recent Anime News Editorial Marzgurl said something that really got me thinking. She prefaced the editorial to tell her audience that she does not do these in order to try to be a journalist. Before I continue with this post let me say that I really respect and even like Marzgurl. She was doing what any good writer nay any good business person should do, making a statement of principles and revisiting it when their audience or consumers object to that statement of principles. She has the right to define what she does, but what she said made me think.

It happens all the time. National newspapers and radio stations pick up a story from the local news and repackage it for another audience. That has some journalistic value, at least as long as you don't flat out rip people off.

It made me think about what I am doing. The truth of the matter is I still don't know what this blog is suppose to be. I'm just doing stuff. Sometimes I want to be a journalist. I went to school for it and respect the work. Other times I don't. I said it before and I will say it again. I threw an arrow at the major dartboard.

I left U of M and went to a community college because I didn't know what else do, and my parents were pushing me to stay in school. I had no sense of direction and still don't. I just took a bunch of classes I thought I would be interested in and was lucky enough that they transferred. I had to fill out the Michigan State application and went, "Okay what do I want to do? Well I kind of like writing." For more on that experience read Fallen Warrior, and yes that was a shameless plug.

When I do dip my toe in the journalism waters, like those city council meetings it's because it's work I think has value and that's something I feel I personally need right now. I don't have a job, and I don't see one coming anytime soon. I need to do something that at least makes me feel like a productive member of society.

That said, I am afraid of going whole hog with it on this blog. There are a bunch of reasons for this. First off I don't have the resources or the credentials to do it without taking on a crap ton of risk. The more of these public meetings I go to the more I think about doing interviews. The problem with that is I do not want my blog to become some political tool. The normal way to prevent that is with variety but, at least in my head the following phone call goes differently for a blogger.

Me: Hello
Possible Interviewee: Hello
Me: I'm a blogger and just finished an interview with someone about a story that involves you. Would you care to comment?

If I were from a larger organization they would know or at least be aware of the possibility that the story would be printed and read with or without their comments and it would be in their interest to say something. From a little guy like me, not a chance, and I don't want to just get the side of the story that's willing to talk to anybody. And worse be known as the guy who just gets the side of the story that's willing to talk to anybody.

Note: This is not a hypothetical there is a pretty important issue getting ignored with tuition release. I am pretty sure I could get the parents to talk to me. They've gone to the school board consistently since February and look like they would do anything to open up the conversation, but I seriously doubt I could get the school board to talk to me.

Beyond that this blog started out as place to put my very personal writing. I want to keep it that way. I have my own somewhat fuzzy rules on when and how personal I get, but if I turn this into a news site or rather if I decide to go whole hog with journalism it brings up a series of ethical questions about my writing.

My writing is always best when it is personal. That is a truth I cannot avoid. Right now I deal by tagging things and hoping my audience is intelligent enough to know when I'm writing in my news voice, my literary voice, my pissed off voice, or my Miles from round the way voice.

The one ethical conversation in my J-school classes that always rubbed me the wrong me were the ones on role segregation. I like to write. While being a newsy has value I like writing for the simple sake of writing more. People expect journalists to be journalists all the time. I can't deny that yes, sometimes I put on my journalism hat, but I want this blog to be more. I created it as a place where I could say the things I can't in real life. I created it so I can be all the versions of myself I can't be in real life. I don't want to give that up.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Post-College Know-It-All Hippie

I am a post-college know it all hippy
What does it get me.
I aint happy.

My pockets are empty
I write and nobody reads
I only do my best work when I'm angry

And to be honest I don't care about the trees
I just want to do what I love
Like a gardener on his knees

I am not a man from above
I do what I do for the work
It's far time I take off the gloves.

Young Folks Walkin' 'Round With Their Heads in the Sky Playlist

This post is a response to this blog post. Here is a listing of political songs that came out in the last few years. After re-listening to these songs most of what I was going to say sounds stupid. All I will say is that, they are about important issues.


Mos Def- Katrina Klap

Emmanuel Jal
- War Child

Fort Minor -Kenji (Note: This is not an official music video)

Fort Minor - Kenji (Original Music Video) from ShadowfoX Productions on Vimeo.

Rise Against - Re-education (Through Labor)

M.I.A.-Paper Planes

The White Stripes - Icky Thump

The Offspring - Kristy Are You Doing Okay

John Mayer - Waiting on the World to Change

Facebook Comments

Note: These Comments are from all across this blog.