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Archive for July, 2002

music euphoria and the music industries greed.

Tuesday, July 30th, 2002

I sat down this morning in depression over not finding a job and lost my self in the frequencies and amplitudes of my music collection. This is the first time since I left for Europe 10 months ago that I have completely lost myself in my music. The feeling of sitting in front of a pair of big speaker with the lights off and completely giving yourself over to the sonic bombardment of your eardrums is one of the most enjoyable I know, and I have missed it. I am a music freak as anyone who really knows me can attest to. My CD collection has, at times topped a thousand CD’s (why I don’t have them anymore is a story about a girl.) At present my music collection numbers somewhere in the 300’s and ranges from Anime soundtracks to Mozart, from Ella Fitzgerald to Nine Inch Nails, God Smack to Sarah McLaughlin, Phantom of the Opera, Tribe Called Quest and Skinny Puppy. I like music. And there is little better in the world than forgetting yourself in the beats and melodies of good music and felling the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end as the tempo crescendos or the singer hits a high note.

Unfortunately, today, that feeling did not last long. As I sat down to write this journal entry I was listening to Rammstein’s Mutter. I checked my email and wrote a few replies then opened up LiveJournal.com and started to write; Rammstein played out and I slipped Shakira’s Laundry Service in… and my computer froze. It took me a few minutes to figure out what happened; the CD which I purchased used in England had a small note on it that I paid no attention to when I purchased it: “will not play on PC/MAC.” I did not pay attention to it when I purchased the CD because I normally run Linux which plays these so called “copy protected” CD’s with no problem. Anyway, I managed to save my journal entry but had to reboot my computer to get the CD out of the drive. I am going to call Sony Music Entertainment Holland B.V. tomorrow and request a new CD. How fucking dare these corporate big wig, greed driven fat cat’s call me a thief simply because I try to play a CD I purchased in my computer. How dare they accuse me of a crime before I have even had the chance to commit one? I purchase a lot of music, but if these ass holes do not provide me with a new, non-“copy protected” copy of Laundry Service I will boycott Sony Music—and I will down load all the music I would have purchased from these greedy fucks from the internet.

i am beggs stream of thought…

Tuesday, July 30th, 2002

beggs still needs a job, beggs needs a job now, beggs thought he might have a job at biap however it looks like corporate politics may have nixed that, in other words management restructured beggs out of a job, beggs cannot seam to get a reply from most companies he applies to and the ones he does get a reply from tend to be based in other countries and tell beggs that unless he has a work permit they cannot help beggs, so beggs is back to square one, beggs has sent out so many resumes that he is fed up with it and yesterday he decided to go and look at volunteer work around the world, now beggs thought that maybe beggs could just call up some volunteer agency and say that beggs would like to drive a land rover full of food and humanitarian type stuff through high mountain passes to starving peoples in parts of the world which beggs could not pronounce, but as beggs found out volunteering to help these charities is not easy, there are lots of questions to be answered and they expect you to pay for the privilege of helping to distribute their charity, now beggs understands that beggs would have to pay for his own airfare and stuff but finds it confusing that he has to pay the charity like he is going on vacation because this is not archeology or something this is humanitarian relief and beggs just wants to help for a while, beggs has no money and so beggs cannot pay to help the poor people beggs is the poor people so beggs filled out a peace corps application and if beggs does not have a job by the end of next month beggs will send in the application and the peace corps will send beggs to some part of the world with a name that beggs cannot pronounce and beggs will work there for two years and have fun but when beggs gets back beggs will be broke and without a job back at square one, now beggs is going to quit writing in beggs livejournal because beggs is tired of referring to beggs in the third person and beggs needs to keep looking for a job.

new york, new york!

Wednesday, July 24th, 2002

Well, I did get to go to New York City over the weekend. I apologize for this posting being on Wednesday but I did not have time Monday after I got back and I went to DC with J——- on Tuesday to the National Gallery.

Anyway, I caught the train on Friday from Union Station at noon, got the New York Penn Station at 3:15—and hour ahead of what I told A—–. The reason I was early was I reserved a ticket for the train that got in at 4:30 but when I looked at the schedule at Union Station that train was an express and my ticket was not good for express trains, they told me I could take the one that was an hour earlier. It’s a good thing I took a ride in to the Metro at 9am with Mike, otherwise I would have been really late! As it was I still had two hours to kill in Union Station—so I bought an issue of the Economist, have not read that since I got back to the US!

I got to Penn station early so I grabbed a slice of good old New York Pizza –Yum!– and read the rest of the Economist while I waited for 4:30. However at 4:30 A—– was not there, at 5:00 I had him paged, at 5:30 I had him paged, at 6:00 I had him paged and at 6:30 as I was walking over to have him paged yet again I found him. Turned out that he had to work late because the S&P decided to take all foreign stock out of the index, I don’t know he works with stocks and this was a major problem!

We got back to his house at like 7:30 and Sherman had just showed up! So we decided to go out and get some beer and have a night of movies at his house. We ate lots of New York Bagels and watched way too many movies over night—and drank a little.

Next morning we headed to Coney Island, about a mile walk from A—–s house, for the afternoon. We walked along the board walk, got something to drink and rode the Cyclone. A good time was had, I actually managed to get a sun burn on my face and shoulders which have now returned to there natural color—they make Casper look ethnic!

Anyway, we headed out and went clubbing Saturday night, the first place we went was not happening so we headed to a second place that was very good, Central… something or another. Sherman got trashed out of his mind, and on the way into the city I sprained my ankle! We stayed out till 6:00am, had breakfast with a couple of girls A—– knows who where on their way back from the city at the same time as us, then crawled into bed to sleep the whole day.

We all got up in the early afternoon and watched TV while Sherman worked through his hangover so he could drive home! He left about 5:00 so he could get a good nights sleep and head to work the next morning. A—– and I went to a baseball game, Coney Island Cyclones, for a while. Watched some friends of his taunt the visiting team in true New Yorker style before they decided to taunt the guy who asked them to stop being so loud.

Sunday night A—– and I went into the city to catch a movie and dinner with his girlie, Melissa. I think A—– should have gone to bed because he had to get up at 4:45am and got to work Monday, and Melissa and I both said that we where fine with just hanging out for a while and leaving early, but he insisted on going to see Road to Perdition. I think he just wanted to spend more time having fun and being out with his girlie. Anyway, we dropped her at her place at just after midnight and proceeded to drive back to Brooklyn. Of course since A—– wanted to get to bed ASAP there was construction on the Battery Tunnel and it took twice as long as it should have, but we did make it to bed just after 1:00am.

Monday morning—at 4:45, we got up and got ready, so we could catch the 6:00am train into the city. A—– headed to work and I headed to Penn Station. My original plan was to stow my bag at the station and head down the the harbor to go to Liberty and Ellis Island for the day, but since my ankle hurt and there was a 7:10 train back to DC I just grabbed a Coke and hoped on board. I’ll do Liberty and Ellis some other time.

It was a great weekend, got to see Sherman and A—– again and get drunk and dance—just like in London! I have to go see them again soon, or better yet, when I get an apartment they have to come to DC to see me! The whole weekend can be summed up with what Sherman said when he saw A—– and Me: “Dude, it’s so weird to see you too and not be in London. Man I miss you guys!”

Now I have to go, C—— will be back today—that’s gonna be weird since I am at the Mische’s! and there are two Dutch teenagers coming to stay here for a couple days on some church exchange! It’s going to be a circus here! Ciao!

nyc

Wednesday, July 17th, 2002

Well it looks like I might actually have something to rant about after this weekend… I am going to New York to stay with Flugie—and Sherman will be there to make it that much better! Wonder if Sherman will bring his sheep? We can all go to the city and get drunk and pretend we are still in England! It should be a blast! If I only had some more money! Damn! Being broke sucks!

i need at job! now…

Friday, July 12th, 2002

AAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEE! need a job!

now, please.

reflection on america as the great nation.

Thursday, July 4th, 2002

Since today is Independence Day here in America, the first since the terrorist attacks, everyone will be espousing how wonderful America is and how great it is to be and American. I guess I too have a little patriotism in me because I do love being an American. I want to live in Europe one day, but I will never give up my American Citizenship. I think being in Europe for a year has opened my eyes even more to what it means to be an American, I understand it for the first time.

Every American has heard the “we take our freedoms for granted” speech in one form or another, but it takes something to truly understand what it means, and to understand those freedoms. The events of September 11, 2001 awakened many Americans and many people took more time to think on those freedoms and I suppose many people came to a new understanding of what our freedoms mean. I thought about it and from and intellectual point of view I understood that those freedoms do not exist in other parts of the world—and exist no where in the same way. Soon afterwards I had an experience that made me understand in a much more realistic way what separates America from the rest of the world.

I attended an anti-war rally in England in the fall—not because I was totally against the “war on terrorism” but simply for the experience. At the war rally a man attempted to burn and American flag as a statement. Apparently it is illegal to burn a state emblem in England (those I don’t suppose they would enforce that rule if it had been the Afghan flag.) And the man was taken by the police and the flag burning stopped. This small incident was kind of funny at the time and all my non-American friends mumbled things like “police state” under their breath. Latter on as the day wound down and I thought about it the significance of not being able to burn a state emblem started to really sink in.

I am old enough to remember the Supreme Court ruling that burning the flag was a form of free speech and therefore protected under the Bill of Rights. So had the anti-war rally been held in the US the flag burning would be legal—but not in Europe. That is where the true meaning of those freedoms we take for granted come from, and there is no way to describe that meaning to anyone who has not lived with them and lived without them.

When I was in Greece in December my friend C—- asked me why the “Right to bare arms” is so important to Americans. To him the question of guns is simple—they are illegal in Greece because they are murder weapons. I really could not explain to him why it is important to most Americans to be able to own guns. To say “it is because the Bill of Rights gives Americans the rights to own arms and that many Americans are afraid that if the government takes that right away we will begin a slide down the slippery slope to no freedoms,” does not really capture the meaning and the reason. To C—- the question is black and white, to America it is beyond even shades of gray and is filled with countless colors.

One day at dinner in England I was joking with a girl about American, her pointing out all the things that where “wrong” with America from her point of view and me defending them. At one point I just said America was the greatest country on Earth. She laughed and said “yea, whatever.” But when I challenged her to name a better one she became a little angry and started really attacking America. Then one of the British guys at the table came to Americas defense, saying “no, he’s right—because the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights are three of the most philosophically enlightened documents in the world. To base the government of a country on that is amazing, most of the rest of the world’s been trying to copy and improve on it for the past two hundred years—and failing.”

These events, and many others I had in Europe really bring home what is means to be American, what the freedoms we have give us. Individually many freedoms we enjoy may not seam very important, a few have taken on lives of their own—freedom of speech, right to bare arms, etc.—but our freedoms are more gestalt, it is the whole that defines us as US.

America is the great experiment in modern democracy begun by the founding fathers. And more than two hundred years on we have not fully lived up to many of the goals they set; we have yet to achieve “liberty and justice for all,” or to realize that “all men are created equal.” The ideas may have been born in the Europe of the Enlightenment but the reality belongs to Americans.

My friend R—– said to me that patriotism is a bad thing, that it is the cause of tribalism and war in the modern world, that humans need to move beyond the idea of the state, that patriotism perpetuates, into a more global mind set before we destroy ourselves. But I think that a little patriotism is not a bad thing as long as it does not blind you to the needs of the world as a whole. The terrorist attacks on American have rejuvinated patriotism in America. In the beginning it was blind patriotism but hopefully people will reflect on what it means to be American and will look at the effect that America, it’s wealth, it’s power, it’s ideas and it’s problems have on the rest of the world. Hopefully people will realize that to be American is to be part of the great experiment, and that the goal of that experiment is the betterment of mankind, not just Americans.

nobody loves me.

Monday, July 1st, 2002

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