Category Archives: Ramblings

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I don’t know how big Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was in your neck of the woods in the mid to late nineties, but growing up in a suburb around Cleveland (where the group is from), they were everywhere.

It just so happened to coincide with my “hip-hop” phase, which just so happened to coincide with approximately the seventh grade, Tupac and Biggie getting killed, and puberty. I lived in a mostly (92%) white suburb about 45 minutes by interstate from Cleveland, but my friends and classmates laid claim to Bone Thugs all the same.

Looking back on middle school, it’s hard not to think of it as a perfectly odd experience. I was surrounded by wanna-be gangsters, obsessed with the latest Jordans and trends in hip hop culture. And my school wasn’t even the “black” middle school. Yeah, the “black” school still existed back then.

In my hometown, we had a multitude of elementary schools (five or six), which combined into two middle schools, which combined into one high school. A remnant from an even more racist past was the fact that the town was divided in two by a small canal with two bridges.

My side of town was almost entirely white, middle to lower-middle class people. The other side of town, oddly, consisted of almost the entire black population of the city, flanked by upper middle and upper class neighborhoods, the upper class neighborhood being one of those “developments” that seem to sprout like cancer wherever people who fancy themselves to be wealthy live. Projects for white people, where all the houses look the same, and the lawns are all tended by Mexicans.

Anyway, back to my original point, my school was far too white for the kids to be experimenting with blunts and black & milds, let alone to hear “nigga” in the halls, but it happened. The only thing I remember about the day Tupac died was watching a bunch of white trash girls cry. Bone Thugs were everywhere, it was really weird.

Most of these friends and classmates would graduate to Juggalo status by high school, as the natural transition from middle school white hip hop kid, but I continued going through other phases in music. Early high school was System of a Down and Slipknot, and after that a whole conglomeration of whatever I found on the internet, as that was that shining, lawless period when Napster was blooming.

Now, I pretty much listen to whatever. If I don’t like it, I turn it off. If I do like it, I find other things like it. Music is awesome.

spam comments

Every day I look through my spam comments. It’s not to make sure nothing got culled by accident, because I don’t really care.

It’s simply to remind me of what I never want to be: a leech on the internet, a waste of bandwidth, a groveling loser trying to attract clicks to my shitty, hastily thrown together website about diets or hawking dog snuggies (no shit, that’s in there today).

You people are the scum of the internet.

Here’s a pro-tip if you actually want to comment here. Don’t link to anything. Nothing. Not even a plaintext URL. I will delete it. If you want to plug your shit, shoot me an email, I’ll look at it, and if I like or whatever you’re hawking, I’ll plug it. Thanks. Otherwise, go away.

I do, however, enjoy the actual comments they use, the lure hiding the hook, designed to flatter and stun the weak-minded seeking desperately for approval and attention from the internet. Here a few from today:

I couldnt have said it any better to be honest! keep up the awesome work. You are very talented & I only wish I could write as good as you do :) …

This on a post where I said nothing, merely posted a video and threw in a part of the lyrics I liked. But oh gosh, how my heart overflowed when I read that comment. I am a genius! The internet has spoken! They looove me!

Have another:

this is a good style for me. thanks for the hard work.

I did a tiny bit of writing on that post, but it was far from hard work. Three paragraphs, following a quote from the link.

My point is that they appeal to your vanity, and most bloggers, let’s be honest, they have quite a bit of vanity. Ego up to here, and then some. Some might let a comment slide because it looks good, is complimentary, whatever. Maybe they just want those pretty numbers by their post titles, looks good.

Tell you what. Hit more, and I’ll explain what we can do about this.

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letting it evolve

One of the best parts of keeping a blog, as I have sporadically in the past, is the beginning phase, when you’re not really sure what it’s gonna be. You just throw random crap at it and see what you like.

I write a bit, as a hobby. I’m currently working on a brand new project, a “novel”, which I put in quotes because it sounds pretentious as all fuck, but it is what it is. It’s set in an apocalyptic setting, possibly zombies, I’m letting the story evolve in my head as I write, which has advantages and disadvantages.

With the story, I could sit down in an afternoon or two and write out a detailed outline, with plot twists and all of that stuff. But then the writing, to me, doesn’t feel as organic. It’s just not as fun to write, and since I’m not getting paid for it, fun’s the only thing it’s about.

Instead, I start with a character, whose name is likely temporary but whose personality is well-defined in my head. He meets other characters, who are only very slightly less defined in my head. The situation they’re all in is clear in my head, and their individual and group goals are clear.

So what I’m doing is just letting it flow. Sure, a lot will have to be cut out. I have entire paragraphs where I’m just describing things, and they’ll have to be cut or condensed. It’s all for my benefit, because once I write it, it becomes more clear in my head, more concrete, not just a nebulous fuzzy vision in my brain.

The characters act the way people would act, speak the way people would speak, and it’s a story that’s unfolding as I watch. It’s exciting.

It’s kind of the same way with this blog. I have an idea for a post, and I post it. I don’t care if anyone reads it, I’m having fun. I don’t have a direction to go in, I just go.

leave your fanboy at the door

Here’s one thing I’ve learned in life so far, and it’s something that I don’t think a lot of people think about. I’ve told several people this, about one thing or another, and I don’t know if it’s ever sunk in.

If you are a member of any “fan community” for something, be it a forum or a Facebook page or whatever, you’ll notice that feedback for a given thing tends to rise and fall. People that were raving about a show last year will be saying that this season sucks, and that they should go back to this or that, and that it’s just not the same. It’s universal, it always happens.

What is happening here? I noticed it in myself when I was a sad lonely post-high school teenager, and was a “fan” of a radio show. I was a regular on the forums, where myself and other fans discussed the show and other things (at a 1:20 show to otherthings ratio). After a while, you run out of things to talk about, and you start analyzing harder. You listen closer. You become more critical. Eventually, you find enough things you don’t like that you start to think that everything you liked about the show is gone, and you point this out, and other people start to analyze harder, and it starts what Dwarf Fortress would call a tantrum spiral.

In reality, in most cases, the show’s probably not worse, just different. Think back to the old days, when you first started enjoying this form of entertainment, be it a band, a TV show, a radio show… whatever. You turned it on and enjoyed. That’s it. Now what are you doing? Be conscious of it. Really inspect your own actions as you “enjoy” this form of entertainment that you’re growing to despise.

Chances are you’re overanalyzing, and romanticizing the past. You’re not just enjoying the entertainment anymore.

The solution? Keep an eye on yourself, and back off. If you’re a nerd like myself, obsessive fanboyism comes with the territory, but don’t let it ruin your enjoyment of great entertainment. I’ve listened to new episodes of the show I used to enjoy, and find that I like it just as much, even though it’s changed massively in the few years since I last listened, because my critical eye has been glued shut.

It’s why critics of all kinds are such assholes, especially those that get paid for it. They pay close attention for things they don’t like, rather than the things they do. They pay more attention to the bad than the good, it just hops out at them and it’s all they see.

It’s a survival mechanism you’re going to have to learn to develop, if you want to just enjoy the things you enjoy and not end up a bitter old fuck bitching about some TV show on the internet, wondering how so many idiots could still like this thing that was “so much better” when you first found it.

For extra credit: apply it to everything and find out that it works in all aspects of life, from jobs to relationships to your car.