December 2001 Archive
December 29th 2001: Bright Future
Before I get into things that have been going on lately, I want everyone to check this link out. This got me all fired up and my response got too long to post here. Check it out in my philosophy section.
In other news, I've been feeling the ups and downs of the home town. Specifically, my Oregon Driver's Licence is expired, and it's given bar owners who don't want me around a reason to kick me out. I've never experienced such blatant discrimination: the little glint in the old fat bastartd's eye that says, "I don't like the looks of you, you shit, and you're not drinking in my bar." It really made me angry, because it's total underhanded bullshit. I don't even get that if I go somewhere way out of my class in New York... the specific spite that small town people give to city-boys, I suppose. Unwelcome in my own home town. Fucking A. On the up-side, my favorite local diner is better than ever, Mark's driving his vintage '60s Firebird, and the fog continues to inspire my nighttime ramblings.
December 28th 2001: The Morning
It's been a good one, riding the bike across town, fueling up on fresh orange juice and coffee to counteract last night's martini drinking, listening to the positive sounds of Jurassic 5, watching the sun break through the clouds over the city of my birth. Everything is clean. Today Mark should be back in town, which improves my quality of life even further. It's going to be a good new year.
I got a great link from my friend Nate for a page about Maslow's pyramid of human needs. It's real interesting to me, especially vis-a-vis Eric Ericson's stages of psycho-social development (there's a link for that somewere down lower on this page). It seems to me that every time you hit a new phase with Ericson, you have to climb up Maslow's pyramid all over again. Personally I think I'm doing pretty well right now as an extrovert playing with self-actualization and transcendence. Also, I find the constant breaking of things into threes highly intriguing (three: it's a magic number).
December 27th 2001: Reflections on stuff...
I've been thinking tonight about our nation's response to September 11th, the way that many people I know here in Oregon seem to have had their ability to process and deal with the events crippled. It's saddening to watch friends harden and turn bitter, or withdraw from certain aspects of life. I think of the yelling and screaming that went on in Union Square in Manhattan in the days after the tragedy, of the circle of people who would gather every night to sing "Give Piece A Chance," of the fact that that never made the news. I can't escape the feeling that there was a tremendous opportunity to move forward as a nation, as a group of people, in the aftermath of those attacks, and I can't help but fear that we've lost it. The spin has been spun, and the circus is already in progress without our input as to what the show will consist of. Maybe it's not too late. I sincerely hope not.
Addendum: I got email from a friend who's spending holiday time in Virginia and it sounds like people there are having much the same kind of reaction.
December 26th 2001:Merry Whatever-You-Celebrate
I do a secular Christmas with the family, simply about being together and giving eachother nice things that show we know a little bit and invested a little time in searching for something. Or that we cared enough to read the list... whichever. In any event, it's a great season if you want it to be and I hope you enjoy it. I've been doing a lot of thinking about religions, both of the old (christianity, islam, judaism, bhuddism, hinduism, etc etc etc) and the new (consumer capitalism) and trying to figure out where we all went wrong. Fabulous armchair philosophy, look for updates soon.
I added a previously un-digital text. This is a nice inspiring (I think to think) piece that I wrote in the evening after 9-11, a hymn to ward off the feelings of impotence and insignificance in the face of tragedy. I call it, "...And I'm Not Fucking Around..."
Also, I saw the film Memento, which if you havn't seen you really should go out and rent today. It's one of the best uses of the meidum of film for full-mind entertainment I've ever experienced. Genius directing.
December 24th 2001 (2:33am): Too Much Information
Things that happened today. Saw Lord of the Rings and thought about the power and merit of epic and ontological film making. Went to super-mug sunday at Max's Tavern and talked a lot of smack with people. Rode my bike home in the deep Eugene fog. Great weather pheniminon: visibility at 1.5 blocks maximim and everything hazy magical. Then watched the late nite news recap and was once again frusterated at the bullshit that seems to stream inevitably from everyone on TV's mouths. I can't help but thinking that a simple truth-teller could really generate some ratings, by contrast if nothing else.
December 23rd 2001: Star Watching
"You can't see so many stars from the city." I remember that was the central line in the one AP Compsition paper I got a perfect score on in high school. It was all about the opportunities for magical/metaphysical experience and transcendence that nature continually offers us. Much as I trust in their basic worth and ability to advance the central cause of humanity, I can never truely believe that the hard sciences will explain everything there is to living. Just as the trick of binding energy into matter (the magic of e=mc2) a mystery, so is the trick of binding matter and energy into life, into consciousness. I saw many stars biking home in the below-freezing night. So good to breathe the fresh cold air, looking up and experiencing wonder.
December 22nd 2001 (2:45 am): Miscegenation
In case you didn't know, I'm very pro-miscegenation. I like the mixing of cultural, racial and class groups. I think generalism (in the sense of Buckminster Fuller or Darwin) is a source of both long-term preservation and also beauty. To that end, I had a social-group-mixing dinner party tonight at my mom's place (she's house-sitting somewhere across town). It was a grand success. I hope it sets a new precident for interrelationships and fun filled frivolity. After the party many of the attendies retired to a local pub, where I joined them and saw the people I'd always thought of as "the grade below me" bellying up to the bar. Cheers to les enfants terribles, and let's all just fuck each other until enought of us are the same color that we can get past it.
December 21st 2001: Sexual Politics and Many Updates
Whirlwind. Finally have some bandwidth, so I'm posting like a madman. Last night I reconnected (at long last) with some of the monkeys and went down to '80s night at the local rocknroll hole. I was meeting my punkrocker friends there too, and ran into the ex-girlfriend (plus her girlfriend, too), so it was a joyous get-together. I had a hellafied good time dancing, but evenetually got dragged down by the cheap sexual vibe of the whole affair. My original game plan had been to get silly and then try to help my friends hook up, but they were more interested in getting drunk. With such a lack of purpose, there's only so long you can shake it in the presence of lots of ladies before you start playing eye-contact games with people. It was depressing, really, but still a bonafied all-american good time.
In a bizarrely related update, I put the text from my latest performance, a talking piece about love and truth and communication, into my text repository.
Externally, there's a phenominal article by Lawrence Lessig (actually, answers to good reader-posted questions) on slashdot about intelectual property law. If you're interested in copyright and your rights online, check it out. He writes "We need translators. We need to translate the values of the network into terms that nontechnical people get." That's me, baby!
Finally, it's an interesting phenomina, meeting people (friends who live back on the west coast, mostly) who read this website. I really feel guilty when I don't have a personal page for people I know. Really need to get a digital camera (maybe if I can get a little extra work while I'm back here) and get shots of more of you up here. Maybe start out with just text. Also, debating whether or not to give the url to my dad... exciting times.
December 20th 2001: My Ethics
Fortune smiles! My sister got her financial aid statement and she will be able to attend Emmerson College starting in January. I'm proud as hell. I also added a little more drug stuff.
Been thinking a bit lately about what the right way to live is. Have thoughts... basically it all boils down to making something of your life, which at root entails meaningfully engaging other individuals. If you don't engage with others is some way, you're a bit invisible. Not that you can't go off and do something on your own or that isn't related to others, just that the real value in doing that lies in learning or otherwise adjusting your self so that your interactions with others gains a higher meaning. I was thinking about this vis-a-vis my mother's renovations of the house. I know it's important for her to re-make the space she lives in so that she can live a better life, but I worry that she'll get trapped in a consumerist home-improvement "Ikea nesting urge" cycle. Need to develop that thought some more.
December 19th 2001: Back in the USSR
The return! I stayed up in Portland with Luke in his house of rock and roll, watching documentaries and being general PDX degenerates. It was a grand time: authentic mexican food, freezing cold nights, coughing up blood from drinking too much (really... it was quite frightening). I took the Amtrak commuter train down with my friend Nick from LA yesterday, and now I'm back in my ancestral home of Eugene, Oregon. It's good to be back in a world that's full of quiet, nice-smelling things and friendly, if slow moving, people. My mother has done extensive re-modeling on the old house, so it now seems a much more adult place than where I grew up. Expect many updates in the coming days about this coast/side of my persona as well as personal history.
December 12th 2001: Let the Good Times Roll
Added my mom to the site. And a few more drug pages.
Hey! You know what? Fuck depression! I caught my Aunt Sheena's Blues Jam last night with some good company, spent today up in Chappaqua with Peter Crawford (one of the good guys) talking about the future of business, the internet and various lessons of life. Saw his kid to. Uber cute. Then I had a damn fine rehearsal for The Quick Fix. I say things are going pretty well. It's going to be a fun 72 hours before I jet back to Oregon.
December 10th 2001: The only constant is change
Man, seems like everything is breaking apart lately. I just had an unfortunite phone call last night from Yulia saying that it's not working out. To summarize, I feel like a jackass. Probably deserve it. I had strayed too far from one of my core philosophies: The Truth Always Feels Better. I called my friend Mark up for some moral support, which he dutifully provided (look for a page soon featuring "Wild Bohemian Values"). But I also learned that two of my favorite rock and roll bands, the Murder City Devils and the Amazing Crowns broke up too. Sad day for Rocket Koenig.
Also: happy birthday to Grandma Madeline, whatever cosmic state you're in. She'd be 93 today.
December 9th 2001: require('inspiration.php')
I love doing this website because I wrote that the other day. It's the php code that causes the little "Outlandish Josh would like to..." boxes to pop up on all the interior pages. By the by, I added my bridge trips idea (just look down and to the left, or click here), as well as a page about my favorite burger joint, my awesome sister, my favorite frequent houseguest, (and some embarassing sex stuff). Enjoy!
December 8th 2001: Getting Better All The Time
I've updated a few things today. I added a page explaining the etymology of "outlandish" as my operative adjective. Expanded my love page (a little). Added outlines for sex and drug sections to the vice area.
Also, I've been thinking about a few additional features to add to the site. One of them would be a log of the odd things I see riding over the Williamsburg Bridge (which I do, on average, more than once a day). That would really require me to get a digital camera...
December 6th 2001: Liberty on the Line
In case you didn't know, Uncle Sam wants to tap your phone, read your email, log your keystrokes, detain your foreign friends without arrest and sentance you both at closed millitary tribunals. In addition to that, multinational technology and media conglomorations want to lock you in to inferior services and deprive you of your technological and cultural liberty as well.
But we'll see... it makes me nervous that the guys in congress are almost all over 50 and they're making laws to govern systems and cultures that they have no possible way of completely comprehending. Same goes for the suits at MPAA, record labels, etc. Same old corporate/govt BS.
Maybe the elephant/flea paradigm will in time become true of nations as well. All the hot, talented people will get enterprising, jump ship and form their own state. If you think about it though, this is already true: very very few truely bright people get into politics, which brings me back to my first problem...
December 5th 2001: Stuff du Jour
In follow up to yesterdays notes about identity, I went looking for a refresher of Eric Ericsons stages of human development. I remembered them (sort of) from high school, but was fuzzy on the finer points. Lucky for me I have google! Here's a link for all you other self-analyzing introspective folks out there. Ironically enough, I found it via a homeschooling website. What a wacky world.
Outlandish updates: added life sections for love and vice. Don't get too hot and bothered, I'm still working up the courage to post anything very personal. Baby steps.
December 4th 2001: Identity Online
I found a fascinating article about online roleplaying games in South Korean culture, specifically in relation to violence. The article is here (time.com). It took me back a few years, when I did my "denizens" website as a final paper (Spring 2000, about 18 moths ago). I had a whole section about virtual public spaces and what it does to identity. The 21st century is going to be fun.
December 3rd 2001: New Stuff
Well, I had an ok weekend. You win some, you loose some. There's a serious need for literal and figurative housecleaning in my life, and a major burst of productivity before I head back west (on the 15th). I added stuff about the monkeys (friends/family of mine) and Billbo Baggens (artist, father-figure, farm man).