Saturday, January 02, 2010

Odyssey Two

2010. It's finally here.

Big fucking deal, really.

When I was a kid, science fact and science fiction both drove my imagination, as well as my hopes and dreams for the future. Up until the Challenger disaster in 1986, my mind was always making my eyes look skyward. Star Wars, Classic Trek (TNG would appear in '87), The Jetsons, books by folks like Arthur C. Clarke and Issac Asimov...

The possibilities were endless.

And then reality stepped in. Ruined by religious interference and conservative thought at the absolute wrong time, we're nowhere near where we dream we'd be by now. This auspicious date - made legendary by the Clarke story and Peter Hyams film - has finally arrived, and we're nowhere near where we should be.

I know it's almost silly, but I really have to get it out of the way first. Look: We sent people to the fucking MOON 40 years ago, so WHERE THE FUCK IS MY FLYING CAR? Why did we reach that lofty goal so long ago, before my lifetime, and then just... stall out? Why have we not been back to the moon since the mid 70's? Why do we NOT LIVE THERE? Why the hell did these massive human achievements just die off? Why do we limit ourselves to our own orbit, just sending probes out to other stellar bodies? Why don't we have a lunar launch facility to travel beyond our own galactic back yard? Why?

Here's something to think about: For Christmas, I got myself an HTC Droid Eris. This little device fits nicely in my hand. And it has far, far, FAR more computing power inside of it than the entire Apollo Lunar Program's fleet of vehicles had inside of them. And those ancient machines TOOK PEOPLE TO THE FUCKING MOON. Sure, my phone can let me get my email, take pictures and let me post them to Facebook, and even take control of my computer to post blog entries, but it won't let me leave the trappings of planet Earth.

Here's something else to think about: The Space Shuttle fleet will be retired soon. Know what's replacing them? Nothing. There's nothing ready to fill in the gap. Everything is going to be handled by Russia and China now. Once the Shuttle fleet goes, America has nothing.

We went to the motherfucking MOON in motherfucking 1969. And you mean to tell me that, in 2010, I have to watch the once proud American Space program roll over and play second fucking banana to the Ruskies and the Chinese?


Look, I don't have a problem with the Russians, or the Chinese. It's not the Chinese's fault that their government are a bunch of greedy dicksplashes. It's not the Russians' fault that they had the same problem for damn near 90 years. I have full faith in their space programs, as well as that which is developing in - of all fucking places - India. But for half a century, America was either gunning for the lead, or in the lead. And now here we are, in what, at least third place?

Same goes with Science in general, which brings me back to the flying car thing. Why has science stagnated so damned much? The promises of technology have pretty much been limited to computers and hand-held devices. Our cars get a little smarter, yes. But they're still designed to be gas hogs compared to the rest of the world. Our phones get a lot smarter, yes. But they still can't really hold a phone call anywhere yet, and commercialism makes them expensive and a pain in the ass to deal with.

Computers are a kind of barometer for this whole thing. My computers should tell you something: My first was a Pentium at 166MHz in 1996. My second, a Pentium III at 550MHz in 1999. I saw my first 1GHz system in 2000. We peaked at 4GHz sometime in the mid 2000's. And... That's where we are now, in 2001. After a decade of chip speeds going insane, we seem to have leveled off around the 3 to 4GHz mark: My current system is clocked at 3.32GHz. What gives?

I can only venture guesses as to why this is happening, and since you're reading this on this particular blog, you know exactly where I'm going to go with it. Faith in sky men makes us Stupid. And Stupid makes us make bad decisions. Religion made us stupid at several points in history, declaring true science as heresy and suppressing scientific thought and knowledge for centuries. Then it made us sheep, made us blindly follow idiocy in the name of God: Hence the election of top officials who's priorities don't include meaningful scientific development. Our nation stagnated for a long time under administrations like Reagan/Bush I/Bush II. That's 20 long years.

What were their focuses? Wars (Iraq twice, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and let's not forget the massive FAIL of the 'War on Drugs'), Deregulation (which led to bad loans, bank failures, and your bills being sky high for pretty much any reason the company billing you can think of), and pretty much ruining this country. And they did it on the backs of silly, ignorant religious Americans who simply don't know any better and follow blindly as if they really were sheep.

Proud to be an American my ass. How can I be proud of not fulfilling the promises and dreams of 2010, and deliberately taking this nation from first in the world in so many aspects, to mediocrity?

Where we are and where we should be are two very different realities.

Still, though, I do have hope - and yes, even faith - for the future. I'm hopeful that we can get this monkey off our backs and get back to the business of bringing the future back up to speed. The dreams of Asimov, Clarke, Roddenberry, and so many others can finally be realized - and we're dropping the ball. We have to fix this, and soon. Stop singing silly songs and being complacent.

Live. Dream. Reach. Realize. We can do this. All we have to do is get started again...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Obligatory 2009 Year-In-Review and Lyric Post Title Post

365 days. Counting this one, 72 posts. 73 if you count one I deleted out of pity. Who knows how many words, because I'm too lazy to count. So many rants, so many raves, no ROM reviews (sorry, Earthbound Zero fans, still no ROM either), yet so few posts overall. Yes, it's been a rather insane year for the ol' Lost Kid. Of course, there will be the listing of lyrical titles, but first, a look back at a very crazy year in the life of a foul-mouthed wannabe citizen journalist and entertainer with a soapbox and nearly zero self-censorship.

It started like a lot of the previous years have, and it will end just the same: Absolutely bone-chilling. Bloody weather (+1 self high five of Python-ness). All the talk about Environment this and Global Warming that and blah blah blah hippie nonsense - coupled by the equally ignorant yet closer-to-correct opposition - madness. If you just sit back and look at all the data we've collected since the dawn of modern meteorology, it's not hard to figure out what's happening to this ball of dirt floating in a giant vacuum we call home.

This year, we lost Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett - ON THE SAME DAY. First the pin-up queen, and then the king of freak pop. We all know who got more coverage. Farrah went out with quiet dignity, yet she was damn-near ignored by the mainstream media given the circumstances surrounding Wacko Jacko's death. I remember that day well: Stuck in a dually with Justin, who insisted on having the Sirius tuned solid to, of all networks, Faux News, so he could listen to the wall-to-wall Jacko coverage and say "Man, that's a shame" over and over and over and over...

Yeah, I wanted to strangle him by the time we got to Hermitage, believe you me. It took all my willpower and a walk to the local Sheetz to keep me from smacking him upside the head for that shit.

I've finally struck back out on my own again, thank whatever fairy tale figure floats your boat. The new apartment is nice, albeit a bit poor in the heat retention department. All in all, though, it's worth the work and the worry. Between the DJ gigs and Buck-It booking more shows (we have five or six coming up in the next two months, already well more than I ever did with Tempered Edge in the same timespan), it's a livable situation, and I couldn't be happier.

Well, I could, but one new thing does make up for it...

OMG DROID! Yes, I got myself an HTC Droid Eris for Xmas (thank you, Mom, you RULE!), and holy shit, I'm in love with this little gadget. I haven't really gotten balls deep in apps yet, but the ones I do have are both fun and incredibly nifty. And now, I will type this next paragraph - using my Droid as a wireless keyboard:

So yeah. Basically how it works is the phone app connects to a server program running on the computer you want to control. Then once it connects, it uses the touch screen to emulate a touch pad mouse. It also makes use of the phones virtual keyboard, obviously.
Tada! I know, it doesn't look any different. But being able to use the Droid as not only a keyboard, but a wireless touchpad mouse as well, has become the ultimate in lazy geekery for me. I'm able to start videos from my couch now, nearly completing my in-house on demand setup. All I need now is a workable front-end and I have it made. If you're curious about the app, click here.

Sadly, Electric Avenue is no more. The last show was at the end of January (with Buck-It, of course), and the restaurant closed its doors a few months later after just barely hanging on. Sad to see the place go. It really was the nicest bar in the entire region, it just had some off-color customers that really put people off to the place. Otherwise, the food was good, and the fun was even better. I'll never forget my five years there, the times we all had, the cuties that worked the day shift, and the nights stuck in that little DJ booth at the corner of the stage. Farewell, Electric Avenue! So many memories, so little time to cram them all into this not-so-quick post. I may have to stop and make a sandwich, though...

2009 was spent completely in bachelor mode, and quite honestly, it was time well-deserved. Although I do miss the company of the opposite sex on a regular basis. That, I'll have to resolve to work on in 2010...

I broke down and signed up for both Twitter and Facebook. Yay, right? Just like everybody else. Does that mean I sold out? Well, sort-of. All I'm doing is whoring my stupid little blog and getting into fun discussions with interesting people. And also making my family feel uneasy, which is always fun. If you all want, you can add me on either service (and if you came here from either service, welcome) and follow my boring little life, tweet to status update to blog post to naps in the early afternoon. The joys of growing old geeky...

Old chapters concluded, new chapters begun. I'll have a little bit more on that next year (snicker snicker), but for now, I'd like to get on to the music. And speaking of music, please imagine a little proper snack time music - perhaps "Let's All Go To The Lobby" or the parody from ATHF:MFFT - as I go make myself a sammich. Yes, that should do nicely...

~( :: Some Time Passes :: )~

There we go, much better. Now then, on to the lyrical entries from this year! Did you spot them all? Well, here's you're year-end checklist!
1. Newt Sensation - If you loved the 80s, then you should recognize one of INXS' bigger hits indeed, here adjusted for political funny.
2. Deny Your Maker - From Alice in Chains' "Man in the Box," and good advice for any religious believer.
3. All Alone, Or In Twos - The greatest band in history: Pink Floyd's "Outside the Wall"
4. The Evil of the Thriller - Duh. Click and be amazed.
5. Cuts Like a Knife - Bryan Adams: Canada owes us a big one for that guy. Double sad, he shares my birthday... From his song of the same name.
6. Hey, Kids, Rock and Roll - Depending on your age or preference in music, this is from "Rock On", originally by David Essex, but covered by such names as Def Leppard, 80s soap star Michael Damian, and Silverifsh...
7. Do You Really Want To Know? - A semi-whispered line (and only words at all) from the DJ Dado techno mix of the X-Files theme song.
8. After The Rain - The title of an album and song by Ricky Nelson's kids: pretty boy rockers Matt and Gunner, AKA Nelson.
9. Spelled G-Double-E-K... - Genius rhyme from nerdcore sensation mc chris' anthem for the rest of us, simply titled "Geek."
10. So I Looked At The Bartender... - Classic blues rock track "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" is the song, but most people know this Rudy Toombs-penned ode to getting wasted as heard from the legendary George Thorogood and the Destoryers
11. And finally, If Only In My Dreams - "I'll Be Home For Christmas." You pick your artist. That is all.
Right on. Good tunes that fit the mood. You can never go wrong with an awesome soundtrack for life. Just too bad that this year's soundtrack was so bloody short, at least as far as post titles go. Oh well. Maybe a New Years resolution to blog more? Where have I heard that before...

Oh well. The sammiches have been eaten, the songs revealed, and the year has been reviewed. It's now time for me to get some sleep. I have a long day tomorrow doing two things: having a wonderful New Year with my friends and tweeting this blog post occasionally.

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful New Year as well. Find a DD, and have a good time, responsibly. You all have to stay alive - I have yet to convince you all to write comments!