Sunday, April 26, 2009

Periodically, through the 5+ years I've kept this blog, I've stopped to ask "Wait on, why do I keep writing here?". This is usually done in extremely arid periods for my creative side, where I wonder whether I'll ever be able to write anything meaningful again. The truly devoted reader will also remember posts that attempt to subsequently answer this question, which are usually along the lines of "As long as there is the capacity to feel a connection to something out of the mundane and ordinary, the desire to write will accompany it naturally". Does that mean the periods where I write nothing are filled with sweet nuthins? I don't think so. I think it's just that chronicling every such event is, firstly, infeasible, but also can lead to the chronicling overshadowing the living. There's the classic xkcd comic about going on a beautiful trek only to think about what a good blog post it will make; that, I think, is the danger.

I assume that there is going to be a time when I decide to quit while I'm ahead, and I wonder what, if anything, I will discover about myself looking back. I find some of my older writings quite painful to look at, not just because of their content. I sometimes worry that the undesirable elements that manifested them - the blackness of four years ago - still have some capacity to arise. The positive? I think the environment we create can help offset these inner demons, to quell them to some extent. I don't know if simply having put these demons to the page is enough to fully conquer them, but at least it gives one a clearer sense of what the enemy is.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Good Old Games is an incredibly rare instance where an idea that seems amazing and yet impossible (due to market issues such as demand) actually comes to fruition. Who knew these guys could get publishers to agree to the concept? There have probably been many casual frequenters of abandonware rings wishing for exactly this site. Personally, I find it wonderful that there are people who share my taste for classic era PC games, and also that there is now the potential to very easily purchase them. Again, its existence is truly amazing! I haven't bought anything from them just yet, but only because I don't have time right now for a good ol' game. Summer might see a splurge, because something like this has to be supported two times over.
Just for the record - I still think GS is a good reviewer, and all-round astute writer on popular song. As I've grown somewhat older, my worship of him has slowly subsided, but on reading one of his essays the other day I realized that his writing can still be pleasing. I think even he will admit that some of the opinions he has expressed are not so tenable - the death of popular song, for example - but I've yet to find many people who can match his calm, as-close-to-objective-as-possible reviews. Nowadays, though I have very humble aspirations in terms of writing about music, I'd still like to be as good as possible. GS is still as good a role model as any to work to this end.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Laze aside, early mornings aren't a favourite because they catch my mind in an awkward state - between the drowsy quiet of the late-night and the equally drowsy quiet of the late-morning is something of a bazaar, abuzz with voices speaking what seem to be deep truths. Unfortunately, some of these voices turn out to be nonsense, but it's hard to suss out at the time. A class I'm unable to place are those that mock the optimism I've tried to build over the years - the voices of the perpetual critic and pessimist. I probably created them, but I don't really want to listen to them in the morning; partly because at that time of day, what they say is awful persuasive! Of course, as the day goes on I can calmly refute their points one-by-one, but those early morning blows revive ancient doubts and worries. They remind me that when I say I'm captain of my nihilistic side, that's only in the waking hours. Which I should have realized means very little.
A follow up of sorts to the candidacy post. Big, life-changing events, can just occur. They just happen, and that's pretty much it. They needn't be accompanied by approving signs from the divine, such as coinciding dramatic changes in the world. It might seem cynical to take this to mean that life is very seldom about you. But I think one can see it as reassuring. It suggests that if bad patches are the product of some malevolent force, they may just be our moment in the dark; a necessarily finite period of time, because, well, that force has lots of other people to get to. It's slightly odd for me to argue this, given that I personally feel as though life is at least partially "about me", in that it's propped up by the confluence of personal events. But I concede that it isn't always the case, as my recent experience has shown. So the above is an attempt to try to make a little more sense of the eternal enigma which I concede, again, might just be wishful thinking. But, if you'll permit another aphorism: life might just be about finding out how to view everything in its proper way.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Jesus etc.

As I made my way through the usual post-lunch crowd, I noticed a man with a fairly modest looking sign standing quite self-contentedly among the usual horde of students with their colourful promotions of clubs and charities. The content of his sign was less modest, though, and claimed to do no less than prove the existence of the Lord, among other things, in 5 seconds. Knowing that all manner of cranks and fools abound on this particular road, I normally would not have paid him any mind. But an insidious part of me wanted to go past him and hear his case; I don't know why exactly, but I can guess that it was to feel some sense of pity and maybe superiority. As I drew closer, however, the more charitable part of me kicked in, and I felt that only bad could come of this; most likely he would spout some nonsense, and I would be able to laugh at his ignorance. While this might have provided some brief amusement, it seemed then to be extremely mean-spirited, and clearly the wrong thing to do. Realize that all this was in the space of a few seconds, of course, and so before I could consciously walk the other way, I was already within earshot of him. He was talking to a couple of people, who looked as incredulous as I probably would have. Would have, had he not been so happy with himself. There was no bitterness typical of one who rants that we have forsaken the Lord, nor was there the condescencion or pity of one who fears the path we have taken. His simple case was made & sealed with a laugh that was, among other things, so innocent, and consequently, genuine. Looking at his face, I could not help but feel a profound sense of empathy as I heard his words. In all, I think his case was proven in much less than 5 seconds.