Cranky.

Oy, I just got ripped a new one by a customer. Not fun. Especially since it’s not something I was involved in, so I was just kind of staring like a deer in headlights. Not only that, there was nothing I could do to help him either. SWEAR WORDS.

Grumble.

Christian music sucks. Most of it anyways. It sucks in all the ways that lowest-common-denominator pop music (and I mean “pop” here in the broadest sense) sucks, but it also sucks in that it applies all that suckiness and sends it right on up to God.

You would thing people supposedly in tune with the higher power that created the universe would have a better idea about what true art is, wouldn’t you. Nature, for instance, is true art, even if God only defined the patterns underlying it.

For crying out loud, the Catholic church has had a better grasp on what is and what is not good art for the past 500 or so years. If you people with your guitars and ridiculously simple and flat out wrong lyrics can’t get it together long enough to pump out just one, one interesting song, why should I listen?

LOLLERSKATING

I think the internet has radically changed what is seen as “funny”. Not just a little, but in ways I don’t think we can even understand. With rapid transfer of any information at all, we’ve been inundated with things like flamers, trolls, shock images and websites, internet memes, and every weird lifestyle under the sun. The internet is the Wild West, if the wild west had furries and tentacle porn.

I mean think about it. We’ve graduated from thinking horrific images are, well, horrible, to laughing at them; a reaction prompted (I think) sensory overload. You see goatse.cx, you see tubgirl, and suddenly most of the internet is tame in comparison. You see stuff like that a whole lot and your brain just closes it out: you laugh because you have to. It’s the same reason doctors and nurses and cops and firefighters seem so callous and cold. It’s a defense mechanism.

There’s one shift the in dynamic of funny. Another is in the area of metahumour. Let me illustrate. You’re chatting with a n00b, and he says something like this:

n00b: omg i just got halflife 2 runnig!!!!!1

You of course realise he’s simply forgotten to hit shift on the last key. But this is an opportunity for rich mockery, so you type:

you: didja really!!!11

You have made fun of the n00b, sure. Maybe this becomes a meme (the example above sure has). Of course, in order for people to be sure you’re not simply mis-typing and instead are engaging in a brand of humour that only the elite can emulate you type:

you: wtf is going on here i am so confused!!!111

Three ones. Suddenly you have meta-humour. Then someone else takes it one step further: meta-meta-humour that no one can mistake as a typo:

meta: wtf is going on here i am so confused!!!111oneone

The mockery is obvious. But not only is it mocking internet n00bs, it is mocking the original meme. However, some genius comes along and takes it one step further:

genius: wtf is going here i am so confused!!!!111oneoneoen

They have mispelled the last “one”! Now not only is this sentence mocking n00bs, it’s mocking the original meme, and it is mocking itself. This sort of humour simply did not exist before IRC (unless you count Oscar Wilde plays, in which case it did, a little).

Of course most of the stuff that gets passed around the internet these days is low-bandwidth content, meaning that its humour is very, very simple. Take for instance a YTMND page. Looping graphic, looping music, text. Simple. But some of them are so very funny. Hamsterdance was simple. It got old quick, but it was simple. Think of an internet meme or viral video: it’s all pretty simple isn’t it? The apropos humour of the Chuck Norris fad. The Engrish mistranslations of All Your Base.

The thing is, internet humour is hard to understand if you’re just landed amongst it: it will appear at the first glance both absurdist, disgusting, childish, and incomprehensible.

Take FYAD for instance (Wikipedia it if you don’t already know what FYAD is): its main joke is that there is nothing to get. People in FYAD don’t like n00bs for one reason, the being if they stay there long enough they might get that there’s nothing to get and join in on the not getting. But antithetically, if you get FYAD suddenly you understand that’s precisely why the forum is so funny. It’s all those things: absurdist, disgusting, childish, incomprehensible by turns, and so meta it hurts.

You see this sort of funny creeping into society, too. I won’t bore you with where I’ve seen it, but it’s out there. The internet is leaking, I think. And it’s changing what people see as funny, one broadband connection at a time.

Bullet points for a Monday Morning

  • I woke this morning with a massive headache. Not to mention that this whole weekend was totally screwed sleep-wise. Caffeine hasn’t fixed the head problems yet; anyone like to mail me an aspirin or nine?
  • Have you ever wanted a life without drama? Maybe it’d be pretty boring, but all the same, right now I want a life without a single drop of it.
  • There are days when life is flying by around you on every side: it seems like everyone else is doing anything and everything, but you’re doing nothing. Maybe you want my drama (you can have it!). Maybe you feel bored, monotonous. Maybe you start manufacturing the things you don’t have: love, action, movement. But when does the line blur between what you have molded and shaped, and what is real? Or is there no difference?
  • Here’s a decision: I will never, ever date a person I met over the internet. Especially now. In fact, the day I rebound with an internet person is the day you have permission to track me like a animal and shoot on sight.
  • This morning I splurged and bought Starbucks. Not, mind you, the sort of drink that needs emo glasses and pretentiously-shaped facial hair (yeah, I’d like a half-decaf venti nonfat extra hot no-foam latte with half a shot of hazelnut and a quarter shot of vanilla, and could you be a darling and add a nip of soy in there for me?), just a regular coffee. Which turned out surprisingly lukewarm. I don’t pay that extra fifty cents for lukewarm coffee, Starbucks!
  • I haven’t had any alcohol in a week. Whee! In related news, I just downloaded Sid Meyer’s Alpha Centauri, and boy, do I miss that game. Good times. Except that I always get trounced by the computer players, who, as it turns out, are not entirely smart in any measurable way. This says something about me.
  • One last thing: I sincerely hope that each and every one of you is having an excellent day. Even you. Yeah, you heard me.

Spill

I will spill. Yes, it still hurts to think about you. I strangely still care what you think of me, though so much time has passed: I hope this will pass with more time. I am confident it will.

It’s odd how people appeal to me as if I’m a good person. Where do you get this idea? You should instead appeal to my baser instincts. They’re much more likely to respond.

It’s odder yet how we build images of ourselves as we’d like to be seen, isn’t it? Anyone honestly looking can find theirs. I am strong; I am confident. No, I am scared; I am terrified by the world.

There are words I say to evoke the appropriate reactions. Falsehood, yes. There are things I do to make things easier. But I am no knight in armor. But in the end these are not games, nor am I moving pieces to attack or counter-attack. It is what it is. Maybe it’s bullshit.

I am becoming who I am. It bothers me. I am falling in love slowly. It frightens me half to death. I have told you everything inside of me and you still think yourself the worst of us two. Different you this time. But I am letting the fear pass through me and I think you should too. There’s no compelling reason. I will simply give you what I have never given anyone before. It isn’t much. It’s just all of me.

Looking around my apartment I fail to see a trophy. Nothing won. I feel like a stranger these days, to myself, and to my supposed friends. I am moving soon to a new place to match what’s inside of me, so I can be a stranger in a strange land.

Bullet points for a Friday Midmorning

  • I am learning the art of being Zen. I’d say it’s fun, but that would be so unZen. And also unBYOB if you know what I’m saying.
  • Coffee last night was really fun: if you’re reading this, let’s do it again, sooner than later.
  • Coffee on Tuesday was also quite fun. Let’s do that again, ladies and gentlemen. Next Tuesday, perhaps? Wonderful.
  • Modest Mouse. Mmm. Yummy. “If it takes shit to make bliss, then I feel pretty blissfully.”
  • If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
  • Tonight, Matt’s birthday party. Are we still going with the ghetto theme, peeps? [editor's note: Dan is so white it hurts a little bit]
  • Also apparently Sherry got into an accident recently. Thank God and Volvo she’s alright.

This is how the world works.

Do you ever wonder how the world works? I do.

Once, I thought it worked on sheer willpower and a plan: I had many of them. Mix those with a dose of manipulation. I remember not long ago sitting down and sorting future threads out in my head; if I do this, what happens as opposed to doing that or that other thing. Then second and third order consequences. Scarily, I was so often right. Life shouldn’t be that simple, and situations that easy to manipulate.

It isn’t, of course. It’s wheels within wheels. And I am all too human in ways not obvious at the time: I can’t for instance, rely on myself to carry out my plans as I chart them. I also can’t anticipate everything. I screw up even in the most obvious of places. My body can ignore my mind, sometimes even shut it off altogether.

It was – I’ll admit it – a Godless way of working things. Take the ratio of hours spent planning to hours spent praying. What does that tell me now?

Or more to the point, you don’t play God. God plays you. I am not big enough to even know the rules. This is the real endpoint of understanding destiny (not the disengaging you might expect), knowing that I do not know what I cannot know. My perspective is my perspective; God’s is God’s.

Which is how life works. In that sense, life is God, the world is God. Call that fantasy as you wish and push forward with your mastery of the gears. You will never understand the mechanism because you’re no more than another cog.