Monday, February 25, 2008

Oh, and about the Poop Cult

I've been meaning to make it more apparent that I'm also blogging about media for an AMST class which can be seen here.There are some overlapping videos and discussions and I would rather not post the same things twice if I can (videos, subject material, pictures). To think, I've gone so far without blogging only to suddenly do twice as much.

Update: Now that it's over, AMST 325 was a class that covered ground but simply didn't get me to where I want to end up. I was already fairly familiar with things. It's a class I would've liked to hear the instructor talk more about than the students because while we're submerged into this popular culture it is not always apparent to us what it is that is either going on or attempted to be explained to us. I don't know if many people know much about post-modernism, post-structuralism, or late-consumerism but it would have been nicer if the discussions of those things had more to do with their conceptual cores than their mundane, anecdotal, face-value summations. If the study of media and culture can show us anything it's that there is more going on than what we immediately see as going on.

It is with that is mind that perhaps I should explain about "Poop Cult." It is an obvious corruption of Popular Culture where I am referencing the popular notion that popular culture is filled with mindless crap. While this is true, it is also deceiving. My invention is ushered from my memories of Beavis & Butthead, two of the most premier popular culture icons of my generation. Where people find disgust and abhoration for Beavis & Butthead is where they cease to appreciate or even understand what the show is saying. It is not idolizing the modern teenager, it is mocking them severely. The greatest irony of the program was that the audience it insulted watched it the most! This seems to hold true for Mike Judge and his socially relevant creations & commentary where he moved onto. King of the Hill has a strong "good ol' boy" following, every office rat and smarmy movie goer saw Office Space, and only the smart-assed culture snobs saw a movie like Idiocracy where the smart-assed culture snobs get bred out of existence by ultra-reproducing morons.

And if you can't appreciate that, kill yourself.

Another painfully black & white post!

Sometimes two topics are better mashed together into one:
We, the semi-unwashed masses of The Rogan Board™, declare that the internets (all of them) are for the lack of having a life, liberty to jeer others, and pursuit of porn. Well, until Joe up & decided to cancel the porn rule. See, The Rogan Board™ used to enact a rule for newcomers that they must post pornography within their first ten posts. It is still in strong agreement of many who browse The Rogan Board™ that one can tell a lot about a person by what sort of porn they enjoy and are willing to share with others. And I could tell from my first few glimpses of the place that "these crazies are my sort of people".

It all started for me one year ago. I was looking around for information about DMT and isolation tanks when I found a lot of material coming from this guy: Joseph Rogan. I knew him from his stint on Newsradio as well as Fear Factor but didn't really enjoy him as an individual until I heard some of his stand-up, read some of his blog posts, and watched some of "THE JOE SHOW". In the pleasure valley that is the forum there is much to be shared: pictures of the day, videos, news articles, and gossipy personal interest discussion; This place is called "Shit Talking 1o1". The alternative forum is Special Ed, where many have been sent to reform their retarded ways. We're somewhat elitist in that sense, but it's all fairly understandable.

The community on his forum are mostly comprised of people that I can either tolerate, enjoy, or admire to some extent. It has a surprisingly deep well of information which is a welcomed change. I can go to the "Yes, I even steal comic books" thread and find or request just about anything on the subject. A friend of mine runs that particular thread, though it resides in "teh tard forum", and it is particularly well received. It's good to visit the inmates, check in on progress and all that, watch them fight for a loose bagel or such. The moderators of the forum are reasonable people but their human. Though, if a person gets all bent out of shape because of a 'tarding or some sort of negative feedback then they're quite obviously not made for The Rogan Board™. We're a tough skinned folk. We can look at gore and laugh, though some members have turned into little girls as of late.

This little nook of the internet is pretty well self regulated. Even if a mod doesn't come along, the community is pretty even handed with the ridicule. But with everything social, there are variants. Back when I joined, Joe Rogan had called Carlos Mencia out for being a joke theif & a hack. I wasn't aware of this web-social event until I'd joined for a few days. The board had become flooded with a certain ilk of parroting Mencia haters, "Joe good job!", "LOL Tell him Joe", "Joe!!!!1! Can I wash your back?!!/?". The join date of "February 2007" had become a stamp of persecution, being that the flood of "newbs" had the native community irritated. This has perhaps happened again in recent weeks as I've felt the board has been lacking in interesting fiber. I'm noticing a lot of new, not so stimulating, people. However, I doubt it's a seasonal influx more than it's myself becoming tired of the place.

I've had my run, and I still visit for the interest and hope that I'll find something funny or mentally stimulating. Maybe I'll come back to it fired up with enjoyment but lately I've been sinking back into a nerd hobby from my past: Warcraft III's DotA & the related community. MOON ROCKS!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Music development & Ishkur

Before I move on to the next blog post, I wanted to share something. I've been a great appreciator of music and sound ever since I could hear; my mother loved '60-'70s Rock and my father liked the big band crooners. I've never been a big stickler for name referencing, dropping, or even the deeper qualities of music nerd-ship but I have been on the prowl for delicious noise since I was old enough to influence my parents' pocketbooks. Hard to believe, some of the first music I had my parents buy was punk and pseudo-punk: Greenday's Dookie and Kerplunk, Misfit's Walk Among Us, and I remember my mother's friend's much older son liked Guttermouth so I got a live album of theirs (I didn't comprehend what "Live" implied, bad acoustics and low screaming fans-- which worked for that album at least). It's not that I didn't like the music either parent was listening to (my father also had an appreciation for older country: Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, Hank Williams Jr.) but rather that I wanted more music and they just weren't listening to anything else. And they still didn't even when I started to, so it became a personal thing for me in a way; I had all the time in the world to understand and appreciate the music that I was listening to.

Which brings me to Electronic music. I know there are tons of people that "don't get it", don't like it, and don't have any clue about what they're talking about. The latter includes people who claim to enjoy Electronic music and are partially responsible for the great confusion. What great confusion? Why, the great confusion that plagues the population of mankind as to what in the hell this E-lec-tron-ic music is! And boy are you lucky that I found a solution, rather, that this fellow named Ishkur made a solution for you (all).

Now, if you've been browsing the Evolution Control Committee's website like you should be then you may have already caught this. It is Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music. and it is comprehensive. Begin with the basics and then click the tutorial (read all 14 pages of history). Once you've completed the ground work you can move on through: House, Trance, Techno, Breakbeat, Jungle, Hardcore, and Downtempo. He's done an impressive job of organizing the time lines and relative connections between super-genres and sub-genres. Ishkur even provides various samples of each musical styling and a hint of commentary as to their value to music in general. I've thought of myself as fairly well versed on the subject but Ishkur has done far more homework than I even comprehended as relevant. But it is (relevant). Really. His critiques are poignant, wholly agreeable, and encourages readers to continue their surf through the annals of Electronic music history. It's examples like this that make me wonder whether people create things like this out of sheer ingenuity or through perseverance of completing a final project or dissertation.

Enjoy the time sink and if you have any leftover knowledge when you're finished, just put it in a box and save it for later. It tastes better the next day.

No, that's O.K., I like having responsibility.

I do not feel the government should regulate the content of any media, particularly the domains of the world wide web. I think the control exacted upon various forms of media strip the national community of its intelligence and common courtesy. An example of radio regulation can be analogous to simple conversation: if a person is talking then it is best to allow that person to finish before the listener begins; if a person is broadcasting at a certain frequency that another wishes to broadcast at, then that person should wait for the then current broadcaster to finish. The simple practice of manners amongst people can free themselves of these regulating bonds. These bonds restrict what others can say to their audience, and almost more importantly: what the audience can hear. Any audience.

As for the internet in particularly, I can't see why the government should parent children or parent parents. More than that, I can't see why it is anyones' responsibility to regulate what another person sees. If the person viewing or hearing any given stimulus does not like it then that person has the free will and brainpower to stop. Censorship deprives the society at large of proper stimuli that may better shape us as a people; simply because something is generally displeasing or earnestly horrible does not equate uselessness. It has always been my view that the "negative" things in life are exactly what make those "positive" things so damn appealing. I don't think I'll ever find away to argue against that.

Pending Update

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I Rule!

Two blog assignments in one post:
My father was strongly encouraged to retire early in his career from his last mainstay at Hughes Aircraft Systems; he had been working in computer networks since UNIVAC. I was in middle school when this happened. I suddenly became poorer. I felt very cheated because most of the things bought for me up to that point were useless: old toys I was already melting and chopping with a hand ax outside with my friends, clothes that I would neither wear or fit into, and school supplies more appropriate for elementary school. This inspired a knowing of functional and quality items as opposed to flashy or trendier items, although they were not always simply discernible to me. That knowledge required growth that I still attempt to maintain and build additions to; any feasible trade or market I can become interested in will be made note of for all future intents and purpose. That is to say, as I grow older and hopefully more intelligent I also intend to grow ever-long as a consumer citizen.

I try to buy only what I can honestly rationalize and aim to keep within my means. For large (relative to myself) purchase, I do my best to research prudent information before the day of sale. The bulk of my income is spent on modern basic expenses: rent, food, car insurance, (mostly school) books, and gas. By myself. My longtime female companion encourages more spending, but not so much more. She's reasonable. I don't live in the best place while in school. I buy my books online (17 credits, 300+ courses, $200), and the food I buy should be reasonably priced. And I buy ingredients rather than packaged food and pre-made meals. I cook and I can't imagine why people wouldn't insofar as they're lazy and don't know what to do. Cooking saves money, tastes better, and makes you a better person.

I don't buy much clothing either. I'm poor, what logic can be sustained by purchasing garments more fitting for the fashion season? I enjoy proper style (as best lectured to me by Esquire magazine and my own adopted sense of the subject) but simply cannot afford it. I try to stay informed and buy appropriately when I can. I'm not at all cheap but I am reasonable. I recognize business because it's of interest to me; it should be of interest to everyone because everyone is involved. When I walk into an inner city Safeway and see very poor quality strawberries sold 50% overprice, I pity the community as a citizen.

I'm a young and learning DIYer, dabbling in the interests of subjects ranging from music manipulation to home construction to food production and manufacturing. I mean, I intend to keep down this road of information, rationalization, planning, and diversifying. When I have my own home I will have a vegetable and herb garden and hopefully an area to butcher and cure my own meats. I hope to maybe construct something like a smoke shack, a porch, and a greenhouse. I want to do as much as I can for myself as is reasonable to my own lifestyle and make as much room for such as possible. If I can't do something then I want to know who really does.

I've recently been coming back to the website of a group of musical bandits called The Evolution Control Committee since they've updated their internet space. I suppose I'm one of the sort of viewers that they find ideal, wet behind the ears and interested in mastering the funky tunes of Earth for the purpose of personal creativity. Of course, I need money for all the proper equipment (I have been slowly acquiring bits and pieces over the years). They advertise upcoming events that they feel prudent, which obviously include shows. But they don't charge for their music. They can't. Sale of much of the music they've made would violate current copyright laws, and that's what they're into. They advertise that notion too. The E.C.C. advertise their views and creations and not much else; on the music page you can find a link to Drown Radio concerning their participation in the Crate Digger Deathmatch. And while big companies may not like the E.C.C., or rather the F.C.C. might not like the E.C.C. (get it?), they should. Why? Because the E.C.C.'s form of musical styling, the mash-up, in fact advertises previously released media that could easily inspire as much as a financial revisiting to the original work. Sadly, the bigger corporations don't always see it as such grand marketing. Business is not yet ready for the culture that the E.C.C. thrives in.