Friday, August 29, 2008

Complex, yet Ignored

“Gangsta rap often reaches higher than its ugliest, lowest common denominator, misogyny, violence, materialism and sexual transgression are not its exclusive domain. At its best, this music draws attention to complex dimensions of ghetto life ignored by most Americans. Indeed, gangsta rap's in-your-face style may do more to force America to confront crucial social problems than a million sermons or political speeches.”

- Michael Eric Dyson

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stories are Relics

“When, during the course of an interview for The New Yorker, I told the interviewer (Mark Singer) that I believed stories are found things, like fossils in the ground, he said he didn’t believe me. I replied that that was fine, as long as he believed that I believe it. And I do. Stories aren’t souvenir tee-shirts or GameBoys. Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”

- Stephen King. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Scribiner: New York, 2000. pg 163-164.

Story is just there. What a great way to think of story. I think this ties in with my thesis that Story is the nature of reality.

I find that I discover stories as I write them too. I don’t outline. I just write and the story reveals itself. It always feels like I discover the story as I work. I don’t know how it works exactly but it works and we are not the only writers that have said this.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008



"Perfection to D, is quite essential
He has to live up, to his potential"

"I work real hard all day and night
I get to it and do it cause I want it right
I got bass, (tone), I use, (y'know)
And then I rock (the funky) rhyme (on) the (microphone)
I got a funky fresh (car) with the funky fresh (bar)
I'm a funky fresh (star) and I'm up to (par)
My name is D.M.(C!) down with Run and (Jay)
Is everything copacetic y'all? (Kind of A-O-K)"

"PERFECTION (yo yo yo, what we talkin bout, what we talkin bout)
PERFECTION (most definitely)

- Run-DMC "Perfection" off the album "Raising Hell"

This is one of the best rap groups ever (if not the best) I love the way they trade off lyirics, words and syllables. Classic rhyming.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What it was like Before

Ephram tries to consul Amy after her loss;

"You know, after my mom died, everybody told me that I was gonna be ok. That it would take a little time, but I would heal. Well, that didn't ever happen; not really anyway. . . What you're feeling right now Amy, it doesn't ever really go away -- not completely. It's not like, ya know, you're gonna go back to being the person you were before they died -- the person's gone. It's more like something inside of you breaks and your body finds a way to compensate for it. Like if you busted your right hand, you figure out how to use the left one. And sure, you might resist for a while because you're pissed off that you have to learn all this stuff again that nobody else does. Eventually your body takes over and figures it out for you. And you’re glad, because if it was up to you. . . you'd look at your broken hand forever and try to figure out what it was like before."

- Everwood TV show

Monday, August 25, 2008

No Free Lunches

“Nothing in life comes easy. You have to pay the price! Everyone has to pay the price. Write that down. Memorize it. Underline it. I don’t care what people say, there are no free lunches!”

- Sean Covey. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Fireside Books. pg 216.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Writing Falls Short

“The word is only a representation of the meaning; even at its best, writing almost always falls short of full meaning.”

- Stephen King. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Scribiner: New York, 2000. pg 118.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Storying Gives You Control

“Storying the event, that is, putting it into a context with commentary and feeling, is changing it and controlling it.”

- Joseph Gold. Read For Your Life: Literature as a Life Support System. Fitzhenry and Whiteside: Markham, 1990. pg 90

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Before He Cheats

"Right now he's probably slow dancing with a bleach blonde tramp,
and she's probably getting frisky

Right now, he's probably buying her some fruity little drink
cause she can't shoot whiskey

Right now, he's probably up behind her with a pool-stick,
showing her how to shoot a combo

And he don't know

That I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive,
carved my name into his leather seats
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
slashed a hole in all 4 tires

Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats."

- Carrie Underwood "Before He Cheats"

The first time I heard this song I was howling. I thought it was funny how the main character in the song gets back at a cheating boyfriend.

The video is pretty funny too.

I'm not a big country fan but this one sure got my attention.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dragons Can Be Defeated

“The important thing about any story where you fight a dragon is not that you’re telling people that dragons are real. But that you’re telling people that dragons can be defeated. And that is a huge, true thing. And something that should never be forgotten.”
- Neil Gaiman, writer Beowulf from the DVD bonus feature “Beasts of Burden”

Monday, August 18, 2008

Take the Time to Listen to Them

“If you take the time to understand and listen to your parents, two incredible things will happen. First, you’ll gain a greater respect for them. …

Second, if you take time to understand and listen to your parents you’ll get your way much more often. This isn’t a manipulative trick, it’s a principle. If they feel that you understand them, they’ll be much more willing to listen to you, they’ll be more flexible, and they’ll trust you more.”

- Sean Covey. The 7 Habits of Highly effective Teens. Fireside Books pg 177.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Heaven is a Good Conscience

"I believe that everything you do bad comes back to you. So everything that I do that's bad, I'm going to suffer for it. But in my heart, I believe what I'm doing... is right. So I feel like I 'm going to heaven. I think heaven is just when you sleep, you sleep with a good conscience, you don't have nightmares. Hell is when you sleep, the last thing you see is all the f*cked up things you did in your life and you just see it over and over again, cause you don't burn. If that's the case, it's hell on earth cause bullets burn."

- 2pac

Thursday, August 14, 2008

True Cost

"The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run."

- Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Won't Settle For Nothing

"I wouldn't settle for nothing
I couldn't settle for that
I'd rather settle for something I don't believe in
than listen to anymore of your chit chat

There's no way
that you'll win
Cause I'm here
Starting all over again
Take back your pieces, take back your pawns
Take back your armies, I'll take back my arms
Positions don't matter, you move first
If I move last, somebody's gonna get hurt - get hurt

I wouldn't settle for nothing
I couldn't settle for that
I'd rather settle for something I don't believe in
than listen to anymore of your chit chat

Cause there's one thing that's intact
They're my dreams and it's my turn to laugh
Pushed all the buttons
You pressed all the luck
optioned the options
I don't give a
Fortunately, you move quickly
I move too fast
nobody's winning
You know it just can't last - can't last

I wouldn't settle for nothing
I couldn't settle for that
I'd rather settle for something I don't believe in
than listen to anymore of your chit chat"
- Headstones "Settle" off the album "nickels for your nightmare"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Upside to Anger

“The only upside to anger then, is the person you become. Hopefully someone that wakes up one day and realizes they’re not afraid of its journey. Someone that knows that the truth, at best, is a partially told story.”
- The Upside of Anger movie.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Worry Destroys

It is not work that kills men, it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more on a man than he can bear. But worry is rust upon the blade. It is not movement that destroys the machinery, but friction.
- Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, August 8, 2008

Nature of the Media

“Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication. The alphabet, for instance, is a technology that is absorbed by the very young child in a completely unconscious manner, by osmosis so to speak. Words and the meaning of words predispose the child to think and act automatically in certain ways. The alphabet and print technology fostered and encouraged a fragmenting process, a process of specialism and of detachment. Electric technology fosters and encourages unification and involvement. It is impossible to understand social and cultural changes without a knowledge of the workings on media.”
- Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiorce. The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects. Penguin Books: Toronto, 2003, pg 8

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Experiences are Storied

“It is then brought into consciousness and “storied,” normalized and shared as family history, and so becomes part of the open record of the child’s experience.”
- Joseph Gold. Read For Your Life: Literature as a Life Support System. Fitzhenry and Whiteside: Markham, 1990. pg 87

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hold Your Soul

“I look 'em in the eye but they cannot see,
I tell 'em from the heart but they don't believe,
I hit you in the place where you keep your dreams,
I fertilize your mind when I plant these seeds
My heart drums the beat
I circulate the world with the air I breathe
I need to reach the world with the words I speak
Kyprios, I got the ink in my soul that bleeds.

I am just the messenger,
giving you the messages,
I ain't got the answer
but I'll show you what the question is

Diamonds ain't forever
Even gold will go,
All you've got is you,
you'd better hold your soul,
fight back, get back, live that and take control,
All you've got is you so,
baby hold you soul

One thing, effects the other, so in some way,
were all connected to each other
fathers and mother, sisters and brothers,
and other motherfuckers under it all,
who wanna make you suffer

But its straight though, carry your weight load,
Try and make a difference when you're making the peicos
It ain't so bad little man, it could always be worse
I tell the truth and it hurts

The world is my perch
and I leave in a herse
but I will leave it better than when I was seeing it first.”
- Kyprios “Hold You Soul” from the album “Say Something...”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Science Misses

“Science can never speak of the sanctity of life.”
- Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Shalom in the Home author on Word this Week 4 Nov 2007

This is why I believe to get a true picture of our reality we need to look further than science. We need to explore good literature and works of art. And we also need to pay attention to the world religions. Each of these things hold truths if we listen.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Inoculate Against the Future

“Reading stories about what hasn’t happened to us yet can inoculate us to future problems by giving us practice, safe, imaginary practice, at being in the problem now.”
- Gold, Joseph. Read For Your Life: Literature as a Life Support System. Fitzhenry and Whiteside: Markham, 1990. pg 134

Reading fiction can help prepare us for things that haven’t happened yet. What a cool concept. I don’t think this is a reason to read per se, but it is definitely one of the benefits.

I think we are influenced by everything we come into contact with. Good literature can transport us into different situations and times. It makes sense that we can learn from them.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, August 1, 2008

We Remember Everything!

“Their extraordinary and consistent detail, which was evoked each time the cortex was stimulated, and exceeded anything which could be recalled by memory, suggested to Panfield that the brain retained an almost perfect record of every lifetime’s experience.”
- Oliver Sacks. The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Other Clinical Tales. HarperCollins: New York, 1985. pg 137

This reminds me of another quote from Douglas Coupland’s Microserfs.

“Karla believes that human beings remember everything. “All stimulation generates a memory – and these memories have to go somewhere. Our bodies are essentially diskettes,” she says.”

Okay, so if any of this is true, I think my diskettes have been erased or something. My memory stinks. I don’t know why but it just does. I’d like to believe that the memories are there somewhere. I think they’d have to be. Accessing them might be the real problem. Maybe there really is something to this idea.