9:46 PM Comment0 Comments

The two biggest policy concerns surrounding online activities are most likely privacy and freedom of speech. Citizens around the world are fighting for their right to privacy and free speech on the net but also counterproductively, fighting to monitor and keep criminals out. So obviously, with these two opposing forces it seems like we're doing an endless dance back and forth. In good news, Standford students are designing a "Do-Not-Track" software for internet browsers. As it stands websites collect information about users which allows them to better advertise and market towards them. This software would stop third party websites from collecting this information, protecting internet users' privacy. Combined with legislation (which is in the works) to force companies to respect the "Do-Not-Track" software, this will be a great step forward in the pursuit of internet privacy.

Unfortunately, freedom of speech on the internet has been taking a hit in the last couple of weeks. As we watch individuals gaining more privacy we see the US government's privacy being violated with the latest WikiLeaks release of US diplomatic cables. Of course, I wholly support WikiLeaks in its quest for transparent international relations (provided that innocent names are redacted). The treatment which WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange are receiving in the international community is one which is sad for the state of freedom of speech on the internet. A year ago President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the freedom of information which the internet provides (in criticism of Chinese censorship) however now, faced with WikiLeaks' latest leak, they are condemning the very idea of freedom of information. Meanwhile, companies, like Amazon and Paypal are dropping their support of WikiLeaks supposedly because of violations of Terms of Services, however as the list grows it becomes reasonable to question what the motivation is and who gave the executive order. Whoever is behind the attacks on WikiLeaks, the outcome is the same, one step back.

On a similar story concerning freedom of speech on the internet, outshined by the stories on the leaked cables, the US government recently seized dozens of internet domains responsible for sale of counterfeit products as well as distribution of pirated material. In the list of websites shut down was bitTorrent's search engine as well as a number of websites which were dedicated to promotion of hip hop music. The law which was passed allowing the US government to take down these websites essentially allows the US government to block any website which hosts copyrighted material, ranging from piratebay, to youtube, even to Facebook and other websites which allow for the storage of information. Again, this appears to be another step back.

Hopefully, these latest developments will result in greater awareness for the cause of freedom of speech and privacy on the internet.

10:43 PM Comment0 Comments

In an exciting new development, NASA is planning ahead (probably the only organization in the United States to do so). NASA has begun funding research into a long-term 100-year program dedicated to deep-space projects. Included in this package is a new but simple proposition that few have even considered to make manned missions to Mars more economically viable.

Long has NASA said they would send men to Mars and return them home safely however few have been able to make such a mission economically viable. What some have suggested is to cut out the return trip, with launching off Mars the most economically and technologically difficult part of the undertaking. Now obviously this isn't press-conference worthy news, because of the inherent commotion it would cause but it is an extremely intriguing idea.

Under this concept one or two astronauts would be sent to the red planet on a one-way ticket, knowing they would never return to Earth. Now one immediately thinks, "suicide mission" however under this concept missions would be sent to resupply the astronaut regularily with the ultimate goal of setting up a self-sufficient base. Eventually more manned missions would follow up, expanding the base and human presence on Mars.

It really seems a promising concept. What's more is it would encourage further action in deep-space.Where, in the Apollo program, astronauts landed on the Moon, went home and then the world largely forgot about space for 40 years, one-way missions to Mars would necessitate further missions and interest in deep space. The proposal has also been made to send astronauts to Mars' moons Phobos and Deimos in the same manner.

Instead of the old barbaric way of NASA, building, conquering, abandoning, this program could be the necessary stepping stone to making humans an inter-stellar species. Instead of abandoning the program in a been-there-done-that fashion, they will build, conquer, pioneer, and... build.

8:53 PM Comment0 Comments

This is the opening question. The hills came alive, it was wonderful.

7:07 PM Comment0 Comments

Don't you think that the Ground Zero memorial should be a tribute to all humanity, not just America and its stereotypical vision of the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant)? It wasn't just Americans that lost their lives, and all those who did represent a much larger picture of injustice in the world. I don't know, guess I'm just an idealist.

Regardless of the fact that dozens of innocent Muslims were killed in 9/11, regardless of the fact that the proposed Islamic Center in Lower Manhattan does not actually contain a mosque and cannot even be seen from Ground Zero, this non-controversy is out of control. It just so happens that in the middle of Ramadan Islamophobia is at a high-point. To this day around 20% of Americans believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. I fear for the ignorance of some Americans, it just so happens that the festival of Eid, marking the end of Ramadan, falls on September 11th this year. Let's hope that no one mistakes religious celebration for boasting at the "glory" of terror.

Don't let a few bad apples spoil the whole basket. That's all I'm saying.

9:24 PM Comment2 Comments

Lately, there has been a rash of bicycle thefts in my neighbourhood. Living in an upper-class suburb, that means expensive bicycles and pissed off, paranoid neighbours. While the rest of the passersby are buzzing about the problem and complaining, "Somebody should teach them a lesson!" I am laughing at the whole situation because A: What is someone doing with a $2500 bicycle anyway? Honestly everyone else only uses one of their 15 gears, why do you need 30? AND B: The crime duo's Modus Operandi (Celtic... just kidding) is absolutely fantastic.

See, the two will target a house with their garage doors open, they will ride in on their own bicycles, usually one-gear speed-bikes from a by-gone era. They ride in, take the expensive bikes and drop off their antique jewels. In one case they actually left a tandem bicycle (or bicycle-built-for-two) in the place of the more expensive bikes. Now having recently traveled to downtown Toronto (haven of hipsters) to see the Arcade Fire's concert promoting their new album "The Suburbs" (which was a fantastic show by the way) I came to be well acquainted with the idea that one-gear speed-bikes are hip. Thus I have concluded that these felons are stylish in their crime.

If I did not believe that these ne'erdowells were simply trying to make a quick buck and cause trouble, I would dream up some story of how these were Robin Hood Hipsters stealing from the rich, and bringing hipster style to the masses. They steal the (needless) $2500 bicycles pawn them off and purchase, at garage sales, through the internet, etc. old jewel junkers to give to their "victims." Really they are just trying to make everyone a little bit cooler and a little less snobbish.

(The Picture: My own contribution, okay I stole the parts, but I spliced 'em good....ish)

Musics: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs (Music Video)

3:31 PM Comment0 Comments

New Header! D;
Made in Photoshop CS2!

1:23 PM Comment0 Comments

Self. A word for the elusive but ever-present enigma that is supposedly at the very core of our being. It is difficult, near impossible, to define, and yet few educated citizens of Western civilization would argue against the self's existence (unless they are a fan of Nietzsche). With this seemingly unanimous, universal belief in the concept, it must simply be accepted that the self is necessary and permanent aspect of each individual in society.

However, this is only partially true. Yes, the self is necessary to our capitalist society, creating the necessary competitive drive to keep the gears of our economic machine churning. However, the self is not necessary, and often detrimental to other systems and situations. Think of the French Revolution, it was an enlightened revolution against an absolutist regime. It marked the self-realization of the masses of Bourgeois who came to the conclusion that, as individuals, they were not getting all they could out of their current economic situation, whereas the aristocracy and the clergy were living the high-life. While the result of the revolution could be argued beneficial, it is clear that the concept of self is detrimental to absolutism. In fact, during this time, the sense of self in the Bourgeois proved to be the most destructive and subversive weapon against the Bourbon dynasty.

Also, the self is not a permanent facet of the individual, in fact, the individual and its subsequent self has historically been in flux most recently coming into existence at the end of the Dark Ages, with the advent of philosophy and early capitalism. Before the Renaissance, the masses of serfs were content to be just that, serfs. They did not consider that life could be better for themselves, because the closest thing they had to a sense of self was a sense of role, as an impoverished labourer. This shows a more universal concept which dominated society, not as a collective of individuals, but a single unit, operating as one with smaller parts. The same can be said of the former Soviet Union. With all Marx's talk of self-realization through labour, communism, at least in its impure "dictatorship-by-the-proletariat" form, proved to nearly eliminate the sense of self in labourers.

Let us ponder the state of the self in our technology-driven capitalist society. Some would argue that the self has come and passed, and remains only as an illusion in our society. Marx would claim that as slaves of the "God Money" we confuse our role in our society for our true self. That would make me an unemployed student. More and more when trying to define the self, we run into problems, attaching our roles in our society, our families, our friend groups, etc. to aspects of our self. In doing this we are defining our place in a greater community and in turn defying our individualism and the very concept of the self. Therefore, it must be argued that either, we once had a self and we have once again lost it (to technology?), or that the self never existed except as maybe an illusion.

If we don't have a self, does that make us slaves? Our government gives us freedom, but our state of being, existence, or whatever it boils down to, takes it away. It can be argued that we live in a constant state of slavery, under a fascist regime that ironically gives us absolute freedom. Few among us truly understand their self, and still fewer embrace their freedom. Maybe the only way to be a true individual is to defy all your roles in society.

Disclaimer: Defying your role in society can lead to infidelity, STDs, physical harm, incarceration, suicide-by-cop, etc. This blog does not condone illegal actions in the name of discovering one's "self". Really it is hardly worth it.

Related Blog: Along with self-based and community-based societies comes the idea of isolationism and Unitarianism. This is a good argument for why the latter is a fundamental and necessary part of society: Why Nietzsche Was Wrong.

9:58 PM Comment0 Comments

Anna Chapman (assuming that is her real name, not a pseudonym) is one of the 11 suspects recently captured by American authorities in connection with a spy ring in the suburbs of North-eastern United States. The radiantly ravishing Russian red-head, living in New York, described herself as 28 years old, divorced and the daughter of a Russian diplomat. Her and the 11 others were groomed to infiltrate policy-making circles in the United States and report information back to Russian authorities through hidden text in photographs.

So what does this sexy spy mean for American and Russian relations? Well Russian President Medvedev just finished meeting with American President Obama and the two nations praised thawing relations at an all time high since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Little did they know that Ms. Anna Chapman would heat things up even more. Will this mean renewed distrust amongst the two powers? It's hardly news that the two are keeping an eye on each other (these 11 probably representing only a tiny fraction of the much larger espionage going on in the United States) but with the case so close to the public eye, it could mean disaster for the renewed ties between the two countries.

Regardless of the outcome, Ms. Anna Chapman represents the new face of espionage. A sexy, tech-savvy, suburbanite, she seems extraordinarily ordinary. Entrepreneur by day, sexy Soviet spy by night, only a lonely middle-aged comic-book writer could have done it better. How can we be sure that our neighbours are who they say they are?

8:00 PM Comment0 Comments

I'm trying to get back into blogging, like I once was, addicted. But relapsing is very difficult, so I'm going to take bigger hits. Not write an essay or something. But more impacting hits. I'm going to take it in and send it packing straight to the addiction center of my brain. I'm going to meditate on that shit. It's going to be wild. Anyone reading this thinks I'm heavy into drugs now, but I'm not into them at all. Taking bigger hits was just a suggestion from a friend.

What has been on my mind today is Plato's Allegory of the Cave. I wrote a couple posts (and months) back about how environmental alarmists fucked the cause with their doomsday talk, and I just realized the relevance of the Cave. We all live in blissful ignorance inside the cave, looking at shadowy figures, left-overs or doubles of the truth. Then when we ascend into the world we are blinded by the light of the truth, we see the true origin of the shadows, we see reality, and we long to be in the cave again, where we return, no longer ignorant, but indifferent. That is what happens with environmental alarm-ism. We don't like what we see, we can't handle it, we ignore it.

You can't unknow something, but you can ignore it.

4:15 PM Comment0 Comments

This flag is not meant to directly offend anyone. It does not necessarily reflect the current or past state of the British or United States governments, but only a single possible, and not necessarily likely, future on the current trajectory.

Recently, I watched the film V for Vendetta, a sci-fi thriller about a near-future fascist Britain. This image, which apparently original to the film, was present in the basement of one of the characters, a relic of a time of unfettered freedom of speech (today). The caption read, "The Coalition of the Willing, To Power." I was instantly attracted to this image, as it is just that perfect level of controversy that has the capability of getting one thinking. It was an interesting political statement, saying that with the War on Terror and the War in Iraq the governments of the United States, Britain, Canada, etc. took on more characteristically fascist measures in the name of national security.

I rooted around and found the image in one place: Raincoaster's Blog. I found it interesting the discussion they had about this image and the comparative state of freedom in the United States and Britain. Presumably from Britain they all agreed that the United States, with its habit of wire-tapping in the post-9/11 era, is less free than Britain.

Personally, I disagree, Britain is equally, if not less free than the United States.
To me this is evident by the fact that Britain has the most surveillance cameras per capita in the world with over 4 million Closed Circuit Television cameras installed nationwide, compared to a few thousand systems in the United States. In Britain all major city and town centres have Closed Circuit Television. According to studies there is little indication that these systems actually prevent crime, so really, they just provide a window for the government to look into the lives of citizens. This must be considered at least an equal rights violation to the United States wire-tapping.

With these cameras potential for Britain to become an autocratic state is clear. We must ask ourselves, before allowing a government to put in place measures to watch us and "protect" us from ourselves, do they have good intentions. No one wants to believe that their government will hurt them we'd much rather believe that our fellow citizens will hurt us, but at the expense of national security and the prosperity of the masses, they will take away our rights. It is not enough to simply know of past evil, history WILL repeat itself if we don't understand it and if don't act to prevent it.

9:41 PM Comment0 Comments

Rush, Canada's greatest band, and arguably one of the world's legendary bands. Praised as having forged a genre of their own over 40 years and 20 albums, they are truly revolutionary. It's about time this band had a Rockumentary. Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, stealing its name from their world-renowned song Limelight, was unveiled at Toronto's Hot Docs Film Festival last Thursday. The film is said to boast a complete history of the band from its early days playing high school gigs (It's noteworthy that Rush apparently played my high school back in the day) to its latest album Snakes and Arrows.

For a band that has not experienced a lot of drama or tragedy, but a steady stream of success since its early days, some, including Geddy Lee himself, worried that there was no story to tell; however the directors are being praised for successfully and intelligently portraying the history of a great band. As their style has changed and developed over the years Rush has remained the same group of nerdy outcasts they were from Day 1, without too much upset. Despite the seeming lack of drama in the band the director's supposedly went to great lengths to dig up the whole story. The film leaves no subject untouched as it explains the grim history of Lee's parents (Holocaust survivors) and Peart's personal tragedy with the loss of his wife and daughter.

The documentary will be released as Rush prepares to do a summer tour of North America. They will be performing a long anticipated set of their pivotal album Moving Pictures in full, with such songs as Red Barchetta, Limelight, YYZ and Tom Sawyer at four Canadian venues and many more American venues. Personally I'm looking forward to seeing them in all their glory at the Molson Amphitheater on July 13th.

8:49 PM Comment0 Comments

And Al Gore killed it. He killed it along with 100s of millions of people in the low-lying coastal regions of the world. How? Just like that. In saying the words, "100s of millions of refugees," he sealed their fate. Its not a new idea, many top environmentalists rail against environmental alarmism. The fact is, the masses, can't take it. It will shock us, and move us but at best we'll unplug our cell-phone charger, at worst we'll become jaded by the sheer scale of death, destruction and the seemingly minuscule possibility of salvation. So if education is not the answer, what is?

Its all about media, and granted Al Gore has started to catch on to the new way, slowly. The only way to start a massive social movement, is to make it cool. Look at the 60s for example. There were a few die-hard activists, rebels, "revolutionaries." Some people will claim that the true hippies, in blowing up banks, did not shy away from violence as a method for social change. If only a few people were truly active then why is it that an entire generation of youth was branded that way? They seemed to protest the Vietnam war. They weren't all radicals, or rebels, they were all followers who served the radical cause just as they served the conformist cause in the 50s. Why? Because it was cool.

Nothing sounds better than free love, peace, truth, beauty and individuality. It was marketed incredibly easily. The masses respond to these words because they are strong. Granted Al Gore's words, death, flood, global climate change, refugees, extinction, etc, are strong words which demand response. Unfortunately the masses choose the wrong response, run for cover, continue hiding behind their consumer products, the threat is just too heavy. The only way most people will think twice about climate change is if they are buying a new "green" product from Wal-Mart.

However, the "green" consumer revolution is the ultimately WRONG response to Al Gore's words. The fear of the unknown in people leads them to consume, and corporations found the ultimate way to make them feel better about themselves, provide a product they can hide behind that will effectively remove their fear and guilt. With "green" dish-washing soap, I can continue to use disposable razors, drive an SUV and throw out half my dinner every single night, without having to hide from the wrath of the world's prominent environmental alarmists or worry that my children will blame me for destroying the world.

Regardless, this same marketing technique is what is needed to shake people into movement. No one will protest because "millions of people will die" but thousands will protest because "they love polar bears" or "they are proud to be human." The masses respond to the positive and shy away from the negative, however it may affect them. The same model that made Obama president, "Yes We Can" rather than the Republicans, "but but but, he's a socialist" is what is needed to make people demand environmental action. The vast majority of us are sheep, following a leader. Machiavelli would turn over in his grave, but in the modern world, it is better to be loved, and to preach love, than to preach fear.

The same goes for any cause really. If you want to create passion for a cause, or just the illusion of passion, it is crucial to spin it positively. Through film, television, print, the internet, etc, people can become inspired and awed by the sheer beauty and preciousness of our planet. At this point, it must be said that this extraordinary beauty is fragile, and we must be responsible for its salvation. With this information and passion in hand, the masses can be motivated, moved and not afraid to take action. So relax Al, and you too reader, when you see someone who claims to be an activist but acts contradictorily, don't call them out, include them in your action, encourage and nurture their activism, make them a part of a greater movement. Then environmentalism will be cool, and they will have no choice but to listen.

Don't fear the future, be proud of being human, learn about the world and love your planet.

8:01 PM Comment0 Comments

Should life inspire passion?
Or passion inspire life?
Are they mutually exclusive?
What if your passion is life?

6:03 PM Comment0 Comments

Warning: This blog is long and boring but has brief references to World of Warcraft and Muse.

When looking at economics and industry there are three basic divisions.

Primary Industry: Resource Extraction, Mining, Forestry, Agriculture, Fishing
Secondary Industry: Manufacturing, Construction, etc.
and Tertiary Industry: Retail, Services, Banking

Quaternary Industry: I will be focusing on Tertiary Industry which makes up over 60% of the economic output of developed nations. Specifically I will focus on the sector of the tertiary industry that some have dubbed the Quaternary Industry. The tentatively named Quaternary sector is the sector of the economy devoted to development and sharing of information. This includes a wide range of services from the internet, to research and development, to entertainment, to education. This sector is all about buying and selling information, knowledge and ideas (which in itself seems an odd phrase). Its weird to consider the fact that in a society where we consider thought to be free, something as intangible as an idea can be bought or sold. Aside from that, where is the resource to back it up? Should we be concerned that a majority of our economy is based on immaterial information locked up in peoples brains as well as fragile servers that crap out if a stray dust particle lands on them?

Virtual Economies: Its an idea I've toyed with for years, since I saw the first online communities pop up. It is the idea that virtual goods and information could be bought and sold from an online world that could in theory develop its own economy. Of course we aren't talking a world-class currency (yet) but these do exist. Second Life is a virtual world which boasts its own virtual currency and economy. Citizens, who comprise a wide variety of nationalities pay in for the services which the Second Life world supplies and some companies even make money from Second Life services. Essentially Second Life has imports and exports as well as an internal economy despite being a completely virtual non-existent world. Other examples of virtual economies are not so complex, like online MMoRPGs such as World of Warcraft where virtual economies develop out of the illegal trade of in game items for real money. These pay to play games reflect a different side of the virtual economy though.

Entertainment: The entertainment sector of the quaternary industry revolves around a lot of services, including music, video games, and movies. In most cases these economic interactions represent the end of the line with final sale and with an increasing dedication to digital media there is no resale value in these purchases. Essentially in the past 10 years entertainment has become a service, and in some cases just a transfer of information, rather than a tangible product. This is entirely due to the internet which has even gone so far as to remove certain facets of entertainment from the economy almost entirely as pirating the latest Muse CD becomes more and more popular to the frugal consumer.

The Internet: This is the least tangible of all. Imagine this, you pay a subscription to a website that gets paid by advertisers who are selling domain names and server space to a company that sold the web design to the website you're currently viewing. Cyclical and confusing is the nature of the internet economy. It is based solely on the growth of the internet which at the present moment, almost every industry in the world depends on. Almost all business interactions (legitimate or not) rely on the internet in some way. Companies put money into the growth of the internet and in turn the receive services which potentially make them money. Other companies, some of the wealthiest, Google, have made the majority of their money solely on the internet, their goods and services locked up in servers and data. If I had to hazard a guess how much money is locked up in the internet I would have no idea where to start, considering the vicious cycles I outlined above and the fact that all industries seem to now rely on the internet.

The Implications:
-most of our economy is based on fragile things knowledge, data, info., etc.
-we don't have any concrete resource to back up these services
-these are entirely new untested, unquestioned industries except for education

Concerns: Should we be concerned for the economic stability of such a system? If billions of dollars are on the line is the threat of cyber-terrorism significant? What back-ups are in place in the event of cyber-disaster? Can we maintain the internet economy? There is little economic theory on the subject, maybe because its not a problem. I have only a vague understanding of economics but it seems to me that too much money is tied up in services that cannot be backed up with resources. If you want to be guaranteed a job in the event of a cyber-disaster, go into the primary or secondary industry, preferably on a local scale.

These are the unintelligible, unorganized thoughts on current economics by an average blogger, hope you enjoyed.

7:55 PM Comment0 Comments

I suppose there are many reasons for polygamy. First and foremost is the traditional feminist view that polygamy is simply a result of patriarchal misogyny in a chauvinistic society. It is a way for men to control women and oppress and suppress them. In this ideology polygamy is portrayed as the ultimate way to objectify women; females become collector's items. Are there positive attributes to polygamy though?

Some would argue that polygamy does not show a disrespect for women, rather the opposite. While on the surface it seems that women become objects most polygamist marriages only exist provided the man is able to provide equally for his new and his old wife. While in a world with large feminist influences this seems wrong condemning women to be the dependents of men, in most polygamist societies the women are not fully capable of providing for themselves. So is a man in the wrong for taking on more than one wife? In polygamist societies a man is highly respected based on the number of wives he has, not because he is living some erotic polygamist fantasy but because he is capable of caring for so many people in his life.

Along with the current moral implications of plural marriage in the world, the past and origins must be taken into consideration. What is the societal imperative for polygamy? Well without digging too far it is evident. What conditions would make it important that one man marry many women? Polygamy exists in many primitive and sometimes warring societies. These are societies where men are scarce; gone off to be killed in warfare or in the hunt. However, women in polygamist societies are much safer and stay at home where they provide caring for families and cook for men. Because of this the gender demographic can become skewed. The only logical solution, in which marriage is imperative to community, is for men to take on multiple wives.

However, the unfortunate truth about modern polygamy is that it is not done out of necessity. Many young males are forcibly excommunicated to reduce competition for wives as gender demographics are more equal in modern polygamist groups, such as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Groups such as these seem to be dominated by chauvinist patriarchs who wish to maintain a needless hierarchy. While this is not morally accepted these groups do experience certain benefits. Polygamists enclaves tend to enjoy a higher sense of community as they all tend to rally around the a small number of patriarchs and the a small set of surnames, so simple personal events such as funerals can host 1000s of people in an otherwise small town.

Maybe there will be imperative for polygamy in our society one day. It is possible that with another World War the Western World could see a dramatic decrease in the population of males proportionately to females. In such a case plural marriages will begin to look more appealing. Though if past conflict is any indication, and with present trends of reduced casualties in modern warfare, I doubt we'll see a significant downturn in male population proportionately to women for quite some time.

9:42 PM Comment1 Comments

Everyone knows them. Those bands that are legendary. Their members, household names. Their music, anthems of a generation. Who are the legends? Unarguably, The Beatles, Queen, The Rolling Stones, The Who.

Even today decades later, you'll be hard-up trying to find a person who can't sing a single Beatles song. Between Lennon and McCartney they wrote the greatest, most recognized yet diverse library of music in history. Because of the sheer volume and variety of music there are few people who cannot be touched by the music of the Beatles. From McCartney's "Yesterday" to "I Am the Walrus" the Beatles have something for everyone. They lead a revolution among musicians, where they may have lacked in musical complexity or deep lyrical meaning they raised the bar for performance, style and innovation.

As for Queen, they're songs "We Will Rock You" "We Are The Champions" and "Another One Bites The Dust" have become anthems that have transcended generations. Like the Beatles, Queen and especially Freddie Mercury raised the bar for stage performance. The Cult of Personality surrounding Freddie Mercury with his eccentric style and his eventual struggle for life has certainly been a deciding factor in Queen's legendary status. The lasting impact the late Freddie Mercury and his band have had on music is staggering; they really meant what they were saying in "The Show Must Go On."

The Rolling Stones have had a similar effect as the former two. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards with their life-long dedication to deviancy (with songs questionably named "Brown Sugar") are synonymous with fame, excess and fortune in the world. The only thing that could have boosted their legendary status is if Keith Richards had died of a drug overdose 20 years ago. Then again its their (partially) intact band that has probably kept them in the spotlight over the years, where some bands peter out because of petty squabbles, deaths and break-ups the Rolling Stones have maintained a good relationship and a steady flow of fame.

Finally The Who, is definitely a legendary band. Enjoying worldwide fame The Who got us rocking with catchy, goofy songs like "Pinball Wizard" and they defined a generation in their song "My Generation." I think another good measure of their legendary status is tonight's Super Sunday (Don't wanna get sued, d:) Half-time Show in which they played their iconic songs "Who Are You" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." With CSI being an avid advertiser of The Who in modern day America, they remain a household name, enjoying the status of legendary.

While there are more that could fit into the description of Legendary, and possibly even better. These are four examples of legendary bands. Using these bands as a model, with their accessibility, innovation, style, stage presence and personality, can we predict the legendary bands of the future? What bands that we listen to today, will be become immortal? A few bands are on their way.

U2 has a familiar sound, a unique personality and Bono is a household name. There are few people who don't own or know and enjoy U2's music. Though, there are some who would wager that U2 has reached its peak in fame, having been formed in the 70s, and that it's music is not accessible enough to the masses. They could go the Queen route, having less accessible music but a cult of personality surrounding the lead and a habit of extravagant stage performances. With continued success and nurturing of Bono's reputation U2 could become the next in a line of truly legendary bands.

Another band to keep your eye on is Muse. Straight out of Britain and relatively new, Muse is gaining popularity in the United States and the world with play-time in the Twilight movie. Its semi-unfortunate that their State-side fame comes from this source but it could have its ups. With young women who watched Twilight getting into Muse, they could enjoy some of the same fortune that lead the Beatles to legendary status, the sex appeal and the faint female fans. Muse is by far the most atypical candidate though. They are a truly innovative band and the have a complex but accessible sound. If Muse were to gain legendary status, it would be a glorious day in the Renaissance of Rock.

This is all I have the energy to write today, so I'll beg the question... What bands do you think will gain legendary status in the future, and what bands do you think already have?

9:31 PM Comment0 Comments

Its that time again. My [tentative] finale MMoM post. Well technically I've never done this before, as the last M stands for month, and I've just begun doing monthly musicians, so really its the first time. BUT NEVERMIND THAT! This is the [possible] finale, so we'll go back to the beginning. I started with his most recent single "We Fall" a shining example of his newer work. Then you heard his earliest single "Gua" a raw beat with heavy African influence. You also heard his little-known song "50 Cent" which is another shiny example of his new work. Finally, you'll hear one of his earlier break-out singles "Warchild." This song is less hip hop and more spoken word poetry. The words are chilling, the beat chaotic. The effect is obviously light years short of the transient (non-existent) peace and happiness experienced by a Sudanese child soldier, but Emmanuel Jal effectively disturbs and concerns listeners with this song."I believe I’ve survived for a reason … to tell my story to touch lives."

Emmanuel Jal- Warchild.

Aha, I'm kinda feeling this might not be the finale... I might squeeze another in tomorrow. There's so much I realized I've missed!

9:41 PM Comment0 Comments

Today's blog is about... cats. They only like you for your warmth! Its true, for all their "affection" and "kindness" they only stick around if you're warm and cuddly like a teddy bear in the campfire. Did you ever hear about that psychic cat that lived in an old-folks home? Yeah, it apparently always sat on the beds of patients that were about to kick the bucket. What no one realized is that these people either had an extremely high fever or they were under a heat-blanket because they were wasting away. So the cat naturally gravitated towards the warmest possible place which happened to be the beds of folks looking towards greener pastures. Nothing Satanic or Demonic, just cold, calculating instinct and self-preservation. My cat sits on me, when I'm warm, but he'll lie on the rough metal heat duct over me any day of the week if the furnace is burning. Don't get me wrong, I love cats like I like painfully forced metaphors. But the reason is, I have great respect for their independence. They don't need love they just need a nice sun-beam, some litter, some nasty food and the occasional cracknip. Dogs have loyalty, but who cares, cats are the ultimate in self-serving survivers!

PS started the tentative final edition of my three blogs, the Deserted Diviner on which I posted a nice review about the movie "The Road." Readers will love how I completely missed the major points of the movie and took it at face value.

12:49 AM Comment0 Comments

That at this moment in time, I do not care about anything worldly or political. I'm too tired. My brain is shutting down. All I think of, if anything is frivolity. I feel like... 50 cent. Like I could glorify the ghetto. That is if I'd ever even been in the ghetto, much less experienced the gangster life. Anyway, this is my excuse to play this song by Emmanuel Jal. Its a shout out to 50 cent and like-minded rappers to change their ways. Its a condemnation of the modern hip hop scene and all that corporate stuff. Not that I care, as I said before. Really, its just a mildly catchy song, with no important meaning especially to me.

"50 Cent" Emmanuel Jal.

10:37 PM Comment0 Comments

Its true. Girls don't like space. And I'm not talking emotional space, ones personal bubble. I'm talking outer space. The final frontier. Take a poll of all the women you know, chances are if they are under 30, 99% don't have any interest in space whatsoever. Female: space is boring, empty and space travel a pointless and unexciting endeavor. Now that's not to say that all men and boys love space, but the number of boys who grow up idolizing astronauts is markedly higher than the number of girls. What is it about the male psyche that draws them to outer space? A cold, inhospitable, desolate void where nothing can logically survive without mechanical life support (even this point is argued against by Star Trek. See, space whales). What is the appeal? Is it the science, or is it the adventure? Or some combination thereof? In the 1500s did the boys all rave about the New World, adventures and untold riches while the girls scoffed at them and played hopscotch? Who's to know? Of course, there are female astronauts, female space enthusiasts, it just seems they are quite rare, especially in this time of space stagnation. And truly my interest in space was only sparked after going to the Kennedy Space Center and seeing the Shuttle launch in the third grade. Somewhere along the way I forgot my dream of being an astronaut though. I could have been on my way to the moon or Mars, isolated from the bulk of humanity for years at a time. So yeah, there are some downs, but I can't see how you can't recognize the excitement of the adventure. The prospect of doing something completely new and untried. Of breaking the limits of human exploration and forging new and exciting goals. In the end, this post has nothing to do with gender, just a growing disinterest in space exploration in today's world. My friend wrote it much better; it sounds much less sexist than my own. Here it is: Classic Renaissance: The Space Age (Warning: May contain painfully forced metaphors and pedantic douchebaggery.)

11:26 PM Comment0 Comments

So, now that I'm doing Movement Musician of the Month I'll be doing little features on other non-MMoM artists, in between, because a month is a long time to wait if I find a cool song. So here's the first little mini-feature; "Haiti". This is a song by a Canadian Band called the Arcade Fire. This song was written by one of their vocalists, Régine Chassagne, as a tribute to her home-country Haiti. The song is upbeat, while Régines voice is haunting and beautiful in French. She sings about the regime of Duvalier who was responsible for the deaths of many in her home country and speaks of her lost relatives. Throughout the song little shreds of hope are offered, specifically when she sings about rebirth. But enough of my feeble interpretation, enjoy it for yourself, take your own meaning from it.

I feel like its worth it to post the lyrics hear.

Haïti, mon pays,
wounded mother I'll never see.
Ma famille set me free.
Throw my ashes into the sea.

Mes cousins jamais nés
hantent les nuits de Duvalier.
Rien n'arrete nos esprits.
Guns can't kill what soldiers can't see.

In the forest we lie hiding,
unmarked graves where flowers grow.
Hear the soldiers angry yelling,
in the river we will go.

Tous les morts-nés forment une armée,
soon we will reclaim the earth.
All the tears and all the bodies
bring about our second birth.

Haïti, never free,
n'aie pas peur de sonner l'alarme.
Tes enfants sont partis,
In those days their blood was still warm

10:01 PM Comment0 Comments

The hit single "Gua" by Emmanuel Jal, is a song that expresses his people's will be be independent, at peace and happy in their land. The word "gua" means peace in his native Nuer and power in Arabic. This song is not your average hip hop tune. It has strong African and tribal roots like much of his music. In this song, Emmanuel Jal speaks out for the freedom of his people, "my people will plant seed in the land."

Emmanuel Jal's song "Gua" has parallels to Haiti's situation. Haiti is an economically depressed nation much like Sudan. The people of both Sudan and Haiti suffer homelessness, poverty, and violence. They are forced out of work, unable to farm their land and displaced from their homes in times of disaster. The thing that is truly profound about the situation in Haiti is that when we open our eyes we realize how close we are to abject poverty, that the conditions that make Africa so impoverished exist on our own backstep. It seems the government blinds us to Haiti. Why? Because what would happen if we realized the extent of the poverty in Haiti, and did something about it? Would we then we would have the moral obligation to do something about the poverty in Africa as well?

With no further adieu, Gua.

3:33 PM Comment0 Comments

As some of you may have heard, there was a devastating magnitude 7 earthquake in Haiti. Its old news for more than one reason, A) I'm a couple days late so my news source is basically irrelevant and B) Every other week disaster strikes there and the masses averts their eyes from the squalid world of Haiti. As earlier predicted, relief agencies have stated that the death-toll in Haiti could be up to 100,000 and growing. So far the world has pledged 330 million in aid and the UN is making an emergency appeal for 550 million. The United States has moved 10 000 troops into and around Haiti to help deliver emergency aid. With some 300,000 left homeless and hungry things aren't looking good.

So what can you do? Spread the word, pledge donations to online or local charities that are supporting the cause in Haiti. You can even text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate 10$ which will be put on your phone bill. The convenience of the electronic age. Don't just look at the horrific pictures coming out of Haiti and say, "Oh that's awful, someone should do something about it!" They are there to guilt you, and maybe we should feel guilty. I'm thinking of going in depth, on my other blog "the Curious Chronicler," about the issues in Haiti that have made this disaster so serious.

Update: I completed my meager analysis on why Haiti is the way it is. Here it is:
Haiti: A History

US sending 10,000 troops to earthquake-hit Haiti
Red Cross Canada

Later, I'll be posting another song by Emmanuel Jal, hopefully that will fit the situation in Haiti. Any ideas? To all those, approximately zero people who read this blog, not to mention who also listen to Emmanuel Jal, I challenge you to donate to the Haiti cause.

7:57 PM Comment0 Comments

Born in Sudan and forced into the military at a young age, Emmanuel Jal was forced to fight for the Sudanese People's Liberation Army. He was eventually rescued and brought to school in Ethiopia. He has taken a long journey from fighting as a Warchild to being an internationally renowned musician and activist. Emmanuel Jal is probably one of the most well-rounded Movement Musicians advocating peace and happiness as a means to an end rather than violence and vengeance as some other artists seem to suggest. Emmanuel Jal combines happiness, realism and truth in his music when necessary to convey his message. His music is written in a variety of languages from English and Sudanese Arabic to the Southern Sudanese language of Nuer. Emmanuel Jal is a representative of many international groups for abolition of child soldiers and he has maintained a "One Meal Per Day" fast to raise money for schools in Sudan.

Organizations Emmanuel Jal represents:
Make Poverty History
Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers
Control Arms
Emmanuel Jal

We Fall - Emmanuel Jal
A single off of Emmanuel Jal's upcoming album.

10:17 PM Comment0 Comments

It was a day, a long one. From dawn... er... noon, until now. I put the finishing touches on my new blog "The Curious Chronicler," I made some minor headway on my data management project, and I killed the white on my painting. Quite an accomplished day, right? Well I don't feel accomplished. I've failed a friend. Not been there for them, and now they're in trouble. I just hope they'll listen to me now. I hope its not too late. Thought, its a powerful, and dangerous tool. Using thought, you can justify just about anything. Rational or irrational. What's most dangerous is not when someone is completely rational, or when someone is completely irrational, its when someone can pick and choose. When you can use both logic, and intuition to come to a conclusion, that's when you most thoroughly believe your outcome. Look at me, breaking down human thought and emotion. Into simple categories, as though I know something and can change the way people think, well I can't and pretending to know something won't help. Let's just hope my irrationality wins out this time

Also I'm thinking of changing to Movement Musician of the Month, so I don't run out and so I can profile more songs from each artist, and if I find anything neat outside of the MMotM I'll just do a little profile on it one day.

Tomorrow I'll introduce Emmanuel Jal. Januarys MMotM.

8:29 PM Comment0 Comments

Ponder that phrase for a second. One Mississippi. For a set of instructions off of your average shampoo bottle, it has a lot of meaning. If you consider for a second the phrasing Step 1: Lather, Step 2: Rinse and Step 3: Repeat, it doesn't specify to simply repeat steps 1 & 2, so in theory, you should continue in an endless cycle. It kind of defines or consumer society, not solely because shampoo CEOs added the repeat in order to sell more shampoo, but also, because we all live this robotic life. Our day is a step by step guide, and when its done we repeat. Every once in a while there's something different thrown in, but still week by week, month by month, year by year, we lather, rinse and repeat.

Movement Musician of the Week: Rise Against "Re-Education (Through Labour)"

12:44 AM Comment0 Comments

Its a New Year, and a New Decade, time for reception, reflection and resolution. And in some places in the world its time for rioting for reform. In Canadian government its time for a temporary recess. Okay, I'll stop with the R-litteration. It's simply my way of making fun of more serious situations, I mean, its the new year right, I shouldn't be fuming about world issues and governments and shit, I should be making statements of hope at least. But when the Stephen Harper prorogues government to avoid scandal surrounding torture in Afghanistan and backlash over the Copenhagen talks its ridiculous, especially when you consider he did so just before New Years when no one would pay attention, and parliament resumes after the Olympics when we'll all be too proud of our athletes to care. So his little act of dishonesty will strategically put Afghan detainees and climate off the table for the months ahead and prolong his inevitable fall from grace. Aside from that, we have rioting in Iran again. Some people claim the reformers are going to take power. I just think that the reformers are going to get their lights knocked out. Sorry, that's my New Years soapbox. Amongst all the holiday celebration we can easily lose sight of reality. While we should be happy and hopeful we have to remember what the reason to be hopeful for is. We can't just hope things will get better without knowing what is wrong in the first place. The holidays aren't a time to ignore our problems they are a time to remedy them. Let us hope for the new year, and the new decade, that the Copenhagen Accord, is followed up with an actual legally binding treaty come next December in Mexico City. Let us hope that violence in Iran and other countries stricken by authoritarian government is relieved and freedoms encouraged. And let us hope that governments world-wide will be held accountable for their corruption and dishonesty towards the public. Let us just hope to live in a happier, but not falsely so, world come 2020.

Movement Musician of the Week:
I'm going to continue with Rise Against, as I only got one, mediocre post in about them last week, unfortunately I was busy, and lazy, and ignoring the important things in life. I couldn't do them justice in just one shit-tastic post. So here it is, possibly their most well known songs. A soft one, but it packs a punch. Those who don't know the story, pay attention to the flag. "Hero of War"

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