Hypocrisy in Action

The King of Pop is dead.

Physically anyway, his mind, talent and sould died a long time ago. I admit, I’ve never been a big MJ fan. I did like the Jackson 5 as I grew up, but always found Jackson, well annoying. I did like the Thriller video a lot, but never managed to like the song. I always found him to be highly overrated, and questioned people’s musical taste.

His death doesn’t change that. Nor does it change the countless surgeries, baby dangling, molestation charges, Bubbles the Chimp, Neverland and every other freakish thing printed about him.

His real legacy isn’t his music, it’s how one person, who apparently was never tightly wrapped to begin with, could be so consumed by delusions and fantasy simply because he had the money to indulge himself. In spite of what he’d done in the past, he hadn’t done much lately, other than make plans to perform with his family. his, is a story of tragedy, a tragedy of his own making. All the masks, surgery, oxygen tanks and money couldn’t save him.  The statues and paintings of nude boys that had been up for auction couldn’t save him. In the end, nothing could, except himself, and he was either too arrogant, or dumb to see that.

And now, he’s finally escaped his demons, family, fame, court cases and money problems.

Which is more than he deserves.

And yet the gnashing of teeth, the wailing wall of pop culture, will forget all the things that made him a staple of jokes for the last 20-30 years.  Today they shed tears for his passing, while yesterday that laughed at him for passing his skin off as white. Hypocrisy knows no bounds, and I’m beginning to think it’s become our nation’s true pasttime.


A True Survivor

I made a quick post on this over on Shocklines, but felt the need to elaborate a bit more.  First, a bit of family history. Outside of immediate family, we’re not an especially close family. Years go by sometimes before I talk to a cousin; my Aunts, UNcles and granparents are all deceased. Some cousins are of the born again variety and have no interest in talking unless they can try to convert. One cousin killed himself by throwing himself in front of a train.  So while what happened is old news, it was new to me as I hadn’t known about it until today.

Through my cousin Bobby, he told my sister about his sister, (my other cousin and one I haven’t seen in 20 years or so), had been having an affair with a coworker. Her husband found out, and killed the boyfriend, and shot my cousin Rosanne 9 times, including once in the head, and hacked at her 4 times with the dull edge of a machete.  The fact she survived is amazing, the fact she is functioning is astounding. I’m still not sure when it happened, but it had to be after my Aunt Eileen passed away (about 4 years ago).  Boby is in Florida for some job training and will visit my sister this weekend when hopefully I’ll be able to get more information.

I mention all this due to some twitter feedback I received about it, and wanted to give a more in depth idea of what had happened. I’m still not sure what to think, or feel, as this is something you read about, but never picture ever happening to you.

I’ll update this over the weekend when I find out more information.

Of ipods and Boxed sets

Most people know I lost my cat this week, and rather than rehash it right now, and depress myself (just as I’m feeling better), I wanted to talk about a couple of things that helped bring me some respite from the overwhelming loss and grief I’ve felt this week.

The first is a new iPod I received as a gift.  I’d sold my old one on eBay last month, and received a replacement from someone who will remain anonymous. what I got was an iPod Touch  2G.  Now, I’m no Apple fanboy. There are things about ipods I really like, and things I hate. not being able to replace the battery is one thing I hate.  The DMR on my past iTunes purchases is another. And like all Apple products, it’s always a question of price. However, I also love the design and simplicity of the iPod-though iTunes leaves a lot to be desired.

Anyway, I charged it up, loaded my music on it, and realized how much more there is to the Touch than just playing mp3’s.  Near a wifi hotspot? I can jump on the net using a full version of Safari. Need to enlarge a web page to read something? A couple of taps will do that. Have some pictures you want to show someone? Just sync them to your iPod and you’re good to go. You can enlarge the photo with a tap or gesture as well. Want to play games? Not only does it do that, it does it pretty darn well. It will never replace a PSP or DS, but for quick on the go gaming it’s hard to beat.

Oh yeah, it plays music too. Here then, is one of my chief complaints. with my old Nano, pausing was as simple as pressing the single button.  with the touch, I have to press the home button, unlock it (keeping it unlocked poses the risk of pausing, forwarding or going to the last song if you’re not careful), then press pause. not very convenient when you have it in a shirt pocket.  The earbuds that come with it, are the same crappy ones Apple has been foisting on the public since the ipod’s debut. All in all, despite some design flaws, this is an amazing little gadget that I’ve quickly become infatuated with.

So what am I listening to? A boxed set I mentioned back in November, Marillion: The Early Stages, a 6 CD box set containg live performances recorded from 1982-1987.  This is, in my mind a must have for Marillion fans. There are a few songs that get repeated (Garden Party shows up 4 times-which annoys me because it’s not one of my favorite songs), but for many, the arrangements are different enough to keep them from being repetitive. There’s a bit of Fish doing what he does best (aside from singing and songwriting), which is between song banter. Dubbed “The Official Bootlegs”, the sound quality is far better than expected. Is it state of the art? No, but neither was recording back in 1982.

This set shows a band evolving, maturing and ultimately going from small pubs to stadiums. I’m not sure how much non fans, or people not familiar will like it, but for those who know and love Marillion, there’s no excuse for not having this in your collection.

Skull Fragments – A review

Less is more, is what author Michael Arnzen inscribed in my copy of Bone Fragments. Indeed, it is, and in this case also an understatement.  Originally appearing in 100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories, Bone Fragments is divided into 12 micro stories about skulls.  Yet skulls are almost incedental. In 200 words or less for each section, Mike manages to create real characters, real situations and most of all real shock. A very quick read that will haunt long after you put the chapbook down.