Saturday, November 30, 2013

I listen to my heart and I listen to my soul,
I don't know who you are, or why you want control,
My mind that is, my psyche and being too,
Why would the thought of me giving my body to you,
Cross your mind, however strange it may be,
Someday, you may come to the brilliant realization,
That not all desire to be as you, be they across the nation,
To put you in your place, and to give you some perspective,
Is essential, just as your system, digestive,
Be that a poor rhyme, or acknowledge my faults should I,
Like I've said, I don't know who ye be, or why you a piece of this pie,
So desire,
As if I were to inquire,
Shall we then begin to converse,
And to traverse throughout the universe,
Arguing and battling with words,
Until our minds and consciousness become blurs,
During this recording of this epic tale,
I imagine a boy reading this as a snail,
A reading assignment, surely by a cruel and twisted teacher,
Why, oh why does this boy invariably say, "Sure"?,
And retort and respond,
Unknowingly until one spawned,
Be it long,
Or be he strong,
This boy is a product of futuristic society,
A place I cannot comprehend, for the sense of anxiety,
That persists,
And exists,
Thoroughly and spontaneously,
Yet unchangingly,
Through every crack and every whack,
Disciplinarianism makes its come back,
This boy, forcibly forced into a laborious labor,
Sadly, there be no mayor,
But merely Big Brother,
The sightful other,
Of whom we do not know,
We have never known,
And may never,
As if that was to sever,
The past from what we know know as the future,
This is a bruise to recorded history,
A gap in our timeline, renders it now a great mystery,
Big Brother prevents us from private communication,
Throughout his nation,
To be bottled up for all of eternity,
Until humans may reach great Mercury.
Be that a time long from now,
Be it then, or be it thou.

Written 9.24.09

Her words are asinine,

So much so it takes time,
For her to think of a rhyme,
And to perfect it to sublime,
She is loyal to her last name,
Lazy and all, yet all the same,
She directs all her efforts towards herself,
The polar opposite of Santa's selfless elf,
She hogs our wares,
And never cares,
She speaks without thought,
Apparently she, from school no intellect has brought,
Which is incredible, surprising, and shocking to say the least,
As if the transformation from a man into a beast,
No capacity of thought, abstract,
As if to suggest we reenact,
Laws, prohibitive, and obsolete too,
You may think her effect spans to all but you,
But sadly you are wrong my friend,
As my sister's effect bears no end,
It is thoroughly contagious,
Like bacteria, spontaneous,
I can not explain its ability,
In order for you to see,
The commonground, the marketplace,
Everyone with the same face,
It's a party each night,
Please don't get a fright,
Of the social image you're developing,
How people perceive you and everything
It's an assembly of self-absorbed people,
I understand if it's that you don't feel,
Quite so connected,
It's about being respected,
Those ignored,
Open the door,
By themselves, lonely, alone,
Recommending to throw a stone,
At those impostors,
Those clowns without word,
Spewing from their mouths, flies tubby custard.

Written 9.24.09

The Hope to be a less than avid gamer

Video gamers now for the past few decades have been classified as basement-dwelling enthusiasts who religiously play video games, and can at any given moment, answer trivial questions about video games. I have had friends that have either self-consciously devised a lifestyle that prohibits and makes unfashionable the frequent playing of video games, or simply accepted the hobby and never thought twice of it, and intentionally decided to committ any number of hours playing games per week to playing video games.

Written 9.21.09

The Allegory of the Advertised Person

Advertisement has been used in many forms of media dating back since ___  in [form of media]. Through advertisement, people, much like sheep, are exploited in order to achieve a capitalistic, monetary, and largely, selfish gain. Advertisers, more often than not, ultimately end up helping companies of different industries. This is what I like to call the 'Trickling Wonder of Capitalism'. Take a supplemental protein program. If the people who were advertised the program do in fact gain some extent of muscle, they are more than likely to have a larger food intake, spend more money on petroleum, as he or she frequents the grocery store more often, and have a greater need for water or other beverages as he or she spends more time working out.

But one must consider there is an extent to which one person is unknowingly willing to be exploited of his or her hard-earned wages. That is, if the given product can be sold effectively and convincingly. Billy Mays resembled a literally outstanding figure in the advertisement industry for his perceived enthusiasm and vigor. The average customer's perception rarely consists of a scope that analyzes the particular presentor's demeanor or ultimate goal other than to sell a supposedly quality product. From the standpoint of the average customer, it may indeed appear as if the presentor is trying to be friendly, but one must be constantly aware in cases when the product is outside one's essential needs in life.

Similarly, sheep are given food, albeit paid for by the owner of the sheep, but in return, the owner receives wool, and ultimately, a profit. Despite the sheep's unawareness of the exploiting, they instinctively eat what they are given, no matter how poor in quality. The same may in some cases apply to humans. Humans generally attend school for a relatively large portion of their lives, and while a given person's skill in math, science, or otherwise objective tasks are reliably positive, [as the schools of today seem to be betraying their older counterparts' emphasis on the humanities, such as reading, writing, and art], peoples' ability to discern and learn or to reflect from a past purchase that was unsatisfactory is commonly quite low. There certainly are industries in which are very much so intertwined with the Internet and many modern forms of media, where many of the participants, if you will, of that particular form of media are largely aware of other individuals' reactions and impressions of any given product, and will rarely, if ever, blindly purchase a $60 video game for example.

The video game industry, being one of the world's youngest and lucrative industries, has been commended for the responsive following it boasts. In many cases, this is a market that restricts its own growth, yet challenges game developers to satisfy gamers' expectations, while providing a conglomerance of ideas seen in either previous installations of a franchise or a recent competitor within a genre. While there are in fact gamers that will blindly purchase the same sports game franchise year after year, there are an innumerable amount of gamers that present a stunning amount of thought into each $60 purchase of a video game. This, among many other quirks of the video game industry are what render it a self-thriving, self-improving, global-effort of capturing the imaginations, hopes, and dreams of people ranging from all ages, and defying the barriers of last-year's already cutting-edge technology.

Written 9.15.09
Obsessed with the physical interaction,
The quick, charming attraction,
What feels good and nice,
You'd think it'd need some spice,
The pleasant tune and ride,
Rarely ever inside,
Underestimating the joys of life,
And choosing to participate in those that are rife,
Bored by the most fascinating of musings,
And expecting entertainment to sprout from the most brutal of bruisings,

Written 9.11.09

Top Gear

Top Gear features insightful reviews of practical everyday cars, to seemingly ironic critiques of ear-splitting supercars, as if that was to say they were cost-efficient. The producers always seem to know when to break from reviewing cars in order to avoid monotony. They do this by throwing some challenges into the mix. The challenges vary from utterly absurd acts of impossibility, to demonstrations that are made out to appear far easier than they presumably are, courtesy of our dear Stig. The Stig is almost Top Gear's mascot. He is a wordless driver, dressed in white Alpinestars overalls, with a mysterious white helmet, whom of which outmatches any of the charasmatic speaking hosts in terms of lap times and inherent driving skill.

The car reviews progress as your average novel, film, or video game review would, and use understatement and fictitiousness to their advantage. The reviews take place on Top Gear's own test track, which evidently, was previously owned by Lotus Motors, and even before that, served as grounds for manufacturing aeroplanes for the Allies in World War II.

The reviews themselves have a distinct formula that nearly every successive one either improves upon, or follows exactly. Traditionally, the reviews inevitably come to a "But", "However", or "Although", and will degenerate into harsh and senseless criticisms, evicerating either the minute or gargantuan failings of the particular manufacturer. But what makes the reviews genuinely entertaining are the gleeful expressions of sensation any of the three presenters may use, which is certainly refreshing to know the person you are watching on television is greatly enthused with whatever he is presenting.

I simply love the unabashed approach the Top Gear crew embraces in order to run with the unknown racecar driver cliché, or in this case, the Stig.

There has been some criticism of efforts to identify the Stig.[34][51] The Times criticized the outing of Ben Collins by the Daily Telegraph in an article which asserted that the "identity of the white-suited Stig ... has been an open secret within the motoring world for some years, with newspapers refraining from publishing his name, to uphold the spirit of the programme."[40]

Written 9.8.09

How should Apple go about controlling the quality of the content on the App Store?

As of what seems to be going on throughout the past few months, the Apple App Store seems to drastically diminishing in its quality of content. That's not to say the apps released prior to Summer 2009 were any better per se, but rather, how much of a comidity apps have become as of late, and how tiresome most app genres and concepts have become.

There are most likely millions of apps neither you nor I will have any hope of seeing. Unless by either word of mouth, or a lucky or accidental query, we as customers are sadly restricted to the filters that make up the App Store, and make it that much harder for indie developers to get ahold of this revolutionary market, when they may actually may have the next great piece of software on their hands. There's truly no convienient way as of now to find what's out there.

Especially given the fact that the most prevalent 'sect' of iPhone gamers, if you will, are what we would call 'casual', I wouldn't imagine Joe, the businessman is too thrilled to go app hunting so that he might have the blissful opportunity to possibly play a remotely fun game that controls well. And that's perfectly understandable. I don't care how mindless their expectations for iPhone apps are. I agree: when you're on the go, the first thing you want is some fresh, easy fun.

I don't get the sense that the average casual gamer is particularly patient, discerning, or knowledgable about what makes a good app, as they feel they themselves are not reliable enough to wade through the truly heinous apps and pick out a gleaming star of an app, or maybe even ask friends about apps they recommend.

I think Apple should not let the App Store, considering its young state, go to waste by any means. Apple should take an active role in policing the content that is literally crapped out by the world's shoddiest "game" developers (if they can even be called that). I have seen an innumerable supply of iMafia ripoffs, with Respect Points rebranded and all for your money-wasting pleasure -- iPhone "MMOs" are reskinned cashins that The Godfather app company have all but exploited to the fullest possible extent. I hope to God iPhone gamers' ratings bear some meaning, and if they do, the iPhone gamers themselves have some sensibilities with their tastes in games, and aren't always looking for the next cheap and utterly disposible thrill. If Apple expects to have the App Store grow in any way, they better start making some restrictions on the blatant 'The Godfather' cashins. Look at their latest contribution to the already skyscraper-high pile of steaming crap on the App Store: Girl Wars. If you look at the description, you can get a sense for how contrived and throw away this whole "game" surely is. And the sad thing is that I think I may know a few, if not several girls that would play that. (And what makes it sad is that there's so much better content out there that is not reaching its critical mass -- such as Rolando 2 for example).

But I don't mean to generalize -- there have been some excellent apps put out by indie developers that have received some much deserved recognition and press, and have made us all appreciate the App Store and say how great it is.

Using Area 5's weekly Co-Op show as a radar for new and exciting apps, it's clear the App Store is currently in a bit of a slump.

Written 8.25.09

Becoming a Student

Last year, or by the end of the 2008-2009 Saint Ignatius College Prep schoolyear was a year in which I gained a true understanding of how to be a student. During my freshman year,   held at Lyons Township High School, a local public high school, I never truly committed myself to my schoolwork. As each night, I would play video games religiously, seeing no reason not to, while my grades remained at a substantial level. Lyons Township nurtured a sense of not caring about school. But a year later, as I transferred to Saint Ignatius College Prep, the same lifestyle did not apply. Giving minimal effort towards homework or schoolwork outside of school proved to be severely detrimental. Towards the latter end of my Sophomore year last year showed similarities to my Freshman lifestyle, where as a hobby, I would write, and express myself, feeling good and gratified, possibly even intelligent. Then I adopted a new maxim for life; "If you can't beat them, join them". This thought came about as Ignatius students began calling each other 'intelligent' purely due to grades. I could not stress enough to the pretentious Ignatian girl in my English class how little relevance intelligence and grades share. I then finally realized that whether I like it or not, people will always perceive grades to correlate to one's level of intelligence. So after having this revelatory understanding over this past Summer, no matter how eloquent I am, no matter how articulate and perceptive I can be, people will always expect you to have good grades, and by learning this, I began to understand that if one wishes to succeed in school, one must have the ambition, desire, and even wherewithall, to put down the Xbox 360 controller during school nights, no matter what.

Written 8.23.09

I hate the routine

I hate the routine, the forced lifestyle that all of us must endure,
I hate the routine that has provoked the dark suicidal thoughts in us all,
I hate the routine that makes me grateful for any free time I may have,
I hate the routine that makes me keep track of time,
I hate the routine that forces me to write in order to cope,
I hate the routine that requires no creativity, as those who have mastered the routine, yet are clearly less intilligible than myself succeed,
I hate the routine that surges stress in us all daily,
I hate the routine that mercilessly knocks the incling of personality we each resembled, prior to our embracing the routine,
I hate the routine that supposedly, will one day make formidable professionals of us all,
I hate the routine that limits our time we spend with our families,
I hate the routine that mandates me to sit in a classroom full of students all day who consider themselves brilliant purely because they happened to fill in answer C, rather than answer A,
I hate the routine that consists of a blaring alarm clock, and a gloomy morning,
I hate the routine that was employed by adults who assume ubiquitous stupidity of teenagers,
I hate the routine that restricts my full potential in activities I consider worthwhile and a possible profession, such as writing,
I hate the routine that has me witness innumerable faces that appear sleepy and lifeless,
I hate the routine that situates me with individuals who dismiss me entirely,
I hate the routine that consists of a large amount of teenagers who have no desire to learn and to succeed,
I hate the routine in which I witness individuals who assume their wit based on the name of the school they attend,
I hate the routine in which so much more could be done other than the undeniably objective, mind-numbing homework we are assigned each night,
I hate the routine in which I must endure a senseless beating of the French language a year behind, when I could be enjoying the brilliant sounds of the German language, a year ahead,
I hate the routine that has me sitting in a stifling library on the fourth floor, contemplating every drawback, and hoping for the most of every hardship,
I hate the routine in which I must suffer criticism, misunderstandings, as well as ignorance,

But, I do in fact love the routine in which I can sit down, satisfied, knowing I either contributed to the English language in one form or another, or have provoked some sort of existential questioning.

Written 8.20.09

Friday, November 29, 2013

What if the world...

What if the world...
Was ruled by those who marked answer C, rather than answer A,
Was ruled by people who copied their answers right out of the book,
Was ruled by individuals who copied their homework from a peer,
Was ruled by those who cheated on their finals,
Was ruled by persons who have spent their lives, relying on the creativity of a textbook to merely get by,
Was ruled by those who have never done their homework in time,
Was ruled by those who have never used a more complex vocabulary than that of a pre-schooler, unless displayed on a piece of paper otherwise,
Was ruled by former short-attention teenagers, incapable of stringing together an intelligible, coherent sentence, absent of the retortion, 'Um',
Was ruled by individuals who never have had even a slight ambition to perfect a skill,
Was ruled by people who couldn't concentrate or bear to think outside of the box for the specific tax at hand?
Was ruled by laymen who cannot operate and take care of a computer, although they are immensely more user-friendly than they could be,
We may as well all keel over then!

Written originally August 19, 2009

There is a girl...

...I met in Germany while studying abroad here in Frankfurt. She found me an apartment, helped me get settled in it and helped me with countless other things. We were the best of friends. I made her laugh, I made her smile, I cheered her up when she was sad and I spent every day with her for about two to three weeks.

I liked spending time with this girl so much that we could do nothing together and not care. We would exchange my American English for her German language tips as we spent each day together. And most incredibly, I was never the one who asked to hang out. She was.

We ate together, we walked her dog together, we wandered the streets together. I was never so confident, so comfortable with a female other than my mother in my life before. She told me I was attractive, funny and that she likes me. But I never said anything because I valued our friendship more than anything else. I preferred a long friendship over a short relationship. And did certainly not want to jeopardize that, nor her current relationship, in any way.

I was honest with her every step of the way. I told her I cannot lie. Which was also true. She appreciated that.

At no point did she not seem to not also enjoy spending time together. So I, too, happily complied when she asked to hang out. And each day, we ate, exchanged language lessons, walked and so on.

We shared two classes together and she was happy to help me with any confusion I had in either one. Easily one of the nicest people I have met here in Germany.

I spent time with her at the tail end of her seven-year-long relationship. She was as happy as can be all up until she broke up with him.

And then, one day, I was doing homework with her and she began to cry about her loss. I did my best to cheer her up. I put my arm around her saying, "You're still my favorite person in Germany" or "I've been worrying about you every day." They were meant to be more friendly than flirty. But perhaps they were lost in translation. Take note of those two remarks.

She seemed to be one of the most genuine people I have ever met (and I still believe that to be true) and we exchanged real emotions every day; emotions and stories I gladly listened to and shared myself.

Never did I hold her hand. Try to kiss her. Touch her inappropriately. Tell her I like her. Or even tell her I love her. If I were any other guy, the myriad of winky faces, smiley faces and any other variation thereof she sent to me via social media and text messages would have told any average, sex-crazed guy to go in for the kill. But I didn't because I thoroughly respected her then-current relationship and by all means, did not want to ruin it, interfere or influence its outcome.

I valued our friendship above everything else and was having plenty of fun doing nothing with her.

But after I made those two remarks, everything has been awkward between us. I have tried to reach out to her, talk to her in person and what have you. But she has been acting anything but herself for a while now. I don't know what it was I said (perhaps one of the two remarks I mentioned above?) or did. She has been regularly ignoring me in large group settings, giving me only one-word answers instead of her usual responses and not smiling or laughing with me. Suffice to say, we have not been hanging out at all lately.

I understand it could be that I have been suffocating her lately and that she wants nothing to do with me at the moment, so to compensate, I've not been talking to her less electronically. Every time I have seen her in person, though, I have greeted and hugged her as usual, but she never looks as happy to see me or talk with me.

I talked with a mutual friend of ours and told the mutual friend that she's been acting unusual, but the friend said she's no different. In addition, I heard the two talking in a different room (the mutual friend and I are roommates) and the girl was indeed herself with this friend; she was laughing, joking and having a good time. But around me, she is stale and boring.

Perhaps me not talking is aggravating the problem, but it really makes the guy look pathetic when he sends a text and doesn't receive anything.

I'm guessing any semblance of a relationship is the absolute last thing she needs right now, so I told her when she was sad that I'm not like most guys and just like spending time with her. (By that I meant to say I'm not looking for anything else other than friendship, but I suppose that could have also been misinterpreted).

I am open to being wrong because I admit I have never had a girlfriend and am not especially good with girls; all I can do is talk to them, anything past that is beyond me. That is why I tried my best to treat this relationship as delicately as possible. All I really am concerned about is losing a friend. I almost hope she finds another guy so she can return to her normal self.

This transition was so abrupt and disorientating that it's been forcing me to ask myself "what did I do that was so wrong?" My guess is that she is not used to guy friends, assumes I want more than I actually do and wants a break from guys at the moment. But does that justify acting the way she has?

How do I proceed and react to how she's acting?