Exporting Culture

Quebec certainly has a very unique culture, and it appeals to the masses within the province. What is surprising, though, is that nobody else is even remotely interested in Quebec culture. If you look at practically every other nation, there tends to be something unique offered and, even with the American cultural imperialist dominating everything nowadays, there is a market or has been at some time or another for art from different nations.

Quebec has little to offer. If you look in terms of music, you will be hard-pressed to find a Québécois artist that appeals to anyone outside of Quebec (forget Celine Dion...I think she became American long ago). All I think of in my mind is crap like Roch Voisine, Ginette Reno, Gerry Boulet (ok, ok...other than cult status), Plume Latraverse, Beau Dommage, Les Cowboys Fringrants, Les Colocs, etc. Nobody else wants any of this shit.

In terms of film, practically the only movie that got any mention outside of Canada was Les invasions barbares, and not without reason. A lot of NFB-produced films, especially in terms of animation, used to be very influential years ago, but not so much nowadays.

Canada, a country with a much less cohesive identity and culture, has produced far more music and film which has been appreciated outside the country. Admittedly, it's difficult to say how much of this might be related to language issues, but language doesn't tend to be a barrier for real art fans, and it is precisely them who are not interested in Quebec culture. This is definitely a phenomena that should be studied in more detail, and something that I would like to look into, given the time. Definitely it has something to do with the Quiet Revolution, but the lines are blurred.


Jawdropping stupidity

I mentionned in my previous post how certain people tend to overshadow important aspects in life and put on a pedestal retarted situations. Eric also mentionned how ridiculous it was that certain people were overwhelmed over such things as bestiality. So I thought I'd share an anecdote and use it as grounds to push forward the idea that society is full of mental cases.

So last night, I get a phone call. This girl was suppose to pass by my studio today to get a shoot done and herself ranked amongst the company. Given the holidays though, it's all pretty much optional. Her call comes at around 10:42pm. She monologues for a while at how ridiculously busy she is and how she sounds like a 'business women' that day. I personally laugh at how ridiculously unprofessional her life is so I'm stuck holding the phone far from my ear so she doesn't overhear me, but I let her rant on anyways.

Later on, I meet her by coicidence at a poolhall where her friends are trying to organize their New Years' Party. The only words she speaks, in an overstressed tone of voice giving the 'I'm exhausted' gesture, is that there is somehow bad timing involved in whatever activity she is currently doing. Now, I'm not sure if she means bad timing as in my showing up, or bad timing in whatever she's doing. I get to meet up with our mutual friends and that's when I'm explained the 'dilemma'. Turns out, the girl is organizing the night and she needs tickets to get into this New Years' Party that's taking place in some club. Not such a bad idea, get a bunch of friends together in a specific place and simply have fun together. Stupidely though, it turns out she basically relied on one guy to get the tickets and this guy isn't inclined to give them away because he doesn't want certain people to be there.

Already off the bat, I find this to be completely ludicrous. Never organize something and let it rest on a contact's shoulder. So this contact backs out, then decides he'll get them the tickets anyways, in the meantime, since the contact originally pulled out a few others pull out. So out of 13 needed tickets, now only 6 people want to show up. This is fucking retarded. This basically means that out of 13 people, a good 7 were insecure followers. Once they saw their wonderful leader's lead be vitoed by some dickweed in a matter of seconds, they decided they didn't feel secure enough to follow.

Back to me though, part of this magnificent 10:42pm phone call, I'm asked when it is that she should show up the next day. This is a very suspicious question. Nobody asks 'when should I show up?' when they were scheduled to be there all day unless all the sudden they have specific times at which they can show up. So, I tossed her idiotic arrogance aside and asked her when she could show up. She gives me two different times: either 11am or 4pm. I tell her off about the 11am because I was stuck working all night. I just showed up at the poolhall to say hi to a few friends.

By the time morning comes, I get barely a few hours of sleep and get woken up early. So I decide I'd just go to work earlier and get my work done properly and schedule the bitch for 11am. Turns out she decided to sleep in, and she monologues once more about how she was busy and how New Years is ruined. I, again, have to hold the phone far away so not to have her overhear me laugh. At some point, I get fed up and tell her her friends are mentally challenged and display social awkwardness. To which she replies she's going to be really busy that day and she better get going 'or else'.

If you've ever scuba dived without the oxygen tank, so basic dives, you'd know that at least once a year you push your limits. You end up going deeper then expected and on your way back up you start to lack oxygen and struggle to get up. You push, kick, thrust and almost gasp to get all the way up to the surface. You are at the mercy of the elements, and things are out of your control. So you panic...but you basically make it back up. This is how this girl looked, except she was doing this over some New Years' Party tickets.

If she really wanted to spend time with her friends, tickets wouldn't have mattered. Now, it makes it look like friends were simple collateral and a geographic establishement is the important element.

Wow, the life of a West Island girl...so fucking exciting and stressful. Give me a break.


Crying in Kong

So I saw King Kong (the new CG jackoff fest version...) a few nights ago. The funniest thing to me about the whole movie is that there was a good number of people crying in the theatre. When I was walking out, there was a row of asians sitting and not moving, most of them visibly moved (too bad it wasn't Godzilla...). It got me wondering what exactly they might be crying about. I came to the conclusion that they are crying about the impossibility of beastiality. The big gorilla is just so misunderstood! He just wanted to love the beautiful young girl! How sad is that. But, you know, it's much better the other way around, I think Kong should shove his 10-storey high penis into her asshole and get it over with. Maybe the movie wouldn't be quite so sad then. At least it would be satisfying.

This really shows how a director can manipulate the audience. Ingmar Bergman, when making Persona, decided that he wanted it to be like a film within a film. He wanted us to be aware of how he, as a filmmaker, could manipulate our emotions. To this effect, we are shown the projector turning on at the start, and the film disintegrating halfway through. Is this reality that is disintegrating, or a creation? Bergman goes even further by showing the crew filming the movie briefly in order to make us aware of how we are simply being subjected to the director's game.

I wouldn't quite credit Peter Jackson with being a great director, but it's interesting to see how a film can manipulate people's emotions completely irrationally. People are crying because the characters on screen are sad. We do not know these people. We, in fact, know that they do not and never have existed. The character of Kong is complete fantasy, yet there are still people crying because of impossible beastiality.

We're all fucking dogs

No, not as in we are fucking, but as in we are dogs. Anyone who's studied canine behavior will tell you that a dog has issues when it isn't given any tasks to complete. Often times, a dog becomes deliquent and exhibits signs of boredom when they aren't given a specific job. If you simply caress and love your dog, odds are very good the canine will overtake you.

The canine hierarchy is simple and everyone's got their place. If you aren't placed, then you aren't in. You've got to know who ranks above you, and who ranks below you.

This is pretty isometric when compared to our society. We have many problems with deliquents and crime. And it isn't surprising when we find out that most people hate the job they're doing. So I'd like to propose a research in which we correlate crime and job satisfaction. Then a research that correlates job satisfaction with depression. The subtleties of the ladder are harder to gauge, such things as tasks that aren't considered to be employement. Also, satisfaction isn't a quantifyable variable, so finding a way to properly express and quantify such an 'emotion' is going to be a hard task.

But keeping with the idea that we're a reflection of the animal kingdom that once surrounded us. I predict the results of such research to be in favor of the canine behavior being a reflection of us humans.

Something else that needs a looking into is the phenomena in which when no problems surface in our lives, we try to find some or create some. I'm, of course, talking about several people who get into conflict relationships and make a big deal out of small things. I think humans are simply problem solvers and we just can't stand not having problems to solve. Maybe this spawn from the fact that we no longer have to hunt, cultivate or protect ourselves as much as when we were pure animals. It can also spawn from the fact that all those elements are still present but we are limited by the authorities we have set up for ourselves. We can still hunt, but on a limited basis and we still feel under attack by different entities in society, yet we cannot take the course of action that would be considered to be personal because then it is considered vigilantism or simple conspiracy. But hey, who am I to judge right?


Happy Secularmas

Hello, hello. I hope you all have a wonderful godforsaken Christmas, or non-denominational holiday of your choice. As for myself, I don't go to church or listen to the ratznigger the pope's words of guidance. I generally cover myself with hog's blood and worship the devil as all atheists do on this holy day. We also have a feast of fetus-heads and celebrate our lack of values. As you know, good values can only come from the church. This is why I hope there is much war in the world this year and that most of you will die.

Sarcasm aside, I hope you're all enjoying your time off school/work to spend time with your loved-ones and generally pig out on slaughtered carcasses with stuffed anuses and other feast-like ammenities. Hopefully everyone is enjoying whatever consumerist/capitalist over-indulgences they have received. It's the time of year to reflect on our values and think of those less fortunate than us. What better way to do so than by eating about 20 pounds of food and buying gifts at Wal-Mart. Cheers!


My Own Research

I just got a research proposal back that had been given in for grading and review. The topic is on urban renewal and several related areas as they pertain to Canadian cities. Now, in my proposal I cited numerous sources that I will be using. I did, however, state that I would base a certain amount of my final research paper on some personal research and observations that I have conducted in the area. I got a good grade on the proposal and all that, but was actually shocked that the grader took objection to the fact that I would use my own research, and didn't quite understand what I meant by the comment. What? You have thoughts? You've examined a situation? Impossible!

This goes back to what we were commenting on a little while ago about the arrogance of the education system, thinking that everything absolutely must be cited from academia who are clearly more educated in the area than someone like me who has gone out in the field and seen the results of urban renewal projects. Surely I will base myself on many other accounts of the phenomena, but my own views and experiences on the topic are, and should form, an important component of this. Of course, with the arrogance, as I said, nobody actually understands this. You have to be an expert and have a Dr. in front of your name in order to pronounce yourself with any credibility on a topic of social sciences. Get real. As for urbanization, rural developments, urban renewal and sprawl, I feel these are topics that I have a certain degree of competence in due to my own long-term interests in the field. I have also been able to travel the streets of cities and to see with my own eyes how these phenomena are present in Canada today. It seems to me that anyone who has any observation skills and intelligence whatsoever, and has lived in or around a city for most their lives, should be able to form an opinion on such a topic.

Unfortunately, the reality, as I stated in my post on sedentary lifestyles, is that we've only really seen a minuscule fraction of the cities in which we live. If you think of Montreal, how many people do you know who basically have seen the Ste. Catherine St. area downtown, the few blocks surrounding their house, the few blocks surrounding their school, and then just the links in between. It is absolutely astonishing. When you have been living in the same place for years, yet can travel 10-15 blocks and be completely disoriented, you have a major fucking problem. No wonder why there is so much arrogance in academia. Of course you're not qualified to speak of issues affecting cities....you live in one!


I may have posted on this a while back, but I don't remember. Either way, you're going to hear it again because it's one of my biggest pet peeves. People who incessantly sigh should be fucking shot. I was writing a final yesterday in a big room and starting about half-way through, this greasy curlie-sue fat fucker kept sighing every 5 minutes. Not just a slight sigh of relief here, I'm talking about this all out loud, exaggerated sigh like a fucking little girl. You know, if life discourages you so much, why don't you just get it over with and slit your wrists right now. Your contempt for those around you is grounds to be impaled, anyway...


There are more mental cases then we think

This is an interesting analysis of society through my eyes. This is exactly the type of study I would enjoy conducting throughout University and the rest of the my life. I'd enjoy spending the rest of my life proving specific mental disorders present in our society and easily get rid of them. Of course, this might mean that mental hospitals will become huge prisons, but hey, society would be fixed.

From personal observations and gathered data over a period of 19years, I can safely say that a good percentage of the population is struck with some sort of mental disorder or even downright exhibit signs of mental illness. From the get-go, the best way to explain myself, I have to expires my disgust with the amount of anxiety attacks people have having on daily basis. I can safely say this would probably be one of the reasons why communication has gone awry. To begin with, North American society has had the fashion of pointing out the many different major questions and dilemmas adolescents go through. It has almost gone to the point that it is never depicted in society how much more dangerous and important the period that a person goes through between adolescence and adulthood. The problem is that we all have an idea of what a teenager is, and what an adult is. We all understand the very basic stereotype of what an adult should be yet never point out how to achieve such a look realistically. So in society, we're shown the opposites, but never shown the gradual part. It is only normal that most people are stressed today by the fact that, to them, the future is uncertain, they don't believe themselves to have become adult yet.

This divides people's minds. Somebody, in this case, might simply look at what an adult is, and reach the goal. Somebody else might see what an adult is, and only see an unrealistic goal. Stress caused by uncertainty can cause many mental disorders, and to a certain point make them retarded in the literal sense of the word. I'd love to make an emotional IQ test. I can guarantee that most people will fall into the retarded category, and this unbalance between knowledge and emotional awareness can cause depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, unable to make sane decisions, etc...

How is it that somebody can not have any goals in their lives? I understand the basic logic: That you can't keep going up in line because of the way society is made, but I think its way too basic of a logic. People lack a sense of security, and it drags others behind, so they end up not having short term goals to keep forward and keep going up the ladder.

The reason I'm writing this is I often see people make idiotic choices, choices that if a true adult was present, the choice would have been simple. I think we lack a major test to seriously prove that most adults are in fact retarded and more of a nuisance. I'm not simply talking about the current adults, I can safely say that this generation's adults will most likely be as retarded and a nuisance. People say we put to much pressure on our kids to grow up quickly, I find we don't put enough, we just put too much of it on the negative side. We teach them about "bad things" in society before they can even understand why these "bad things" came to be. From a child's perspective, drugs are actually quite a smart idea. We cram in their heads that its not, so of course they'll grow up to dislike and abuse of the drug. Dugs of themselves are still not used properly in society, and they can have a wonderful impact if the people are educated properly. The way I understand it: Everything is a tool. If we're never taught how to use them properly, we end up ruining them.

What's with the constant fear society always has? Fear of drugs, fear of terrorists, fear of the boss, fear of the students, fear of the people. Fear of everything. For fuck's sakes, we have fear of politicians now. People fear because they don't understand. Their fear, from my perspective, can be evidence to the amount of mental disorders that are present in society.

We fear the world when our personal territories need not be so big. I'm quite content with the affairs of things to be honest. I can travel the world if I want to, and I don't understand country divisions in a way. I understand the idea that society will grow when united, but how can we grow when we can't educate ourselves properly? The world's my backyard, not simply Canada. I'd love to see the world, constraints such as money don't seriously matter to me. I believe people have a fear of money, people want it because it brings them security when it actually gives them less security. That's another way of explaining the large amount of mental disorders. How can somebody properly live amongst society when he/she can't understand the actual danger? When someone can't identify dangers properly, then how can be convicted of murder? That's actually part of the American judicial system, to plead someone guilty or not, it is a simple matter of explaining and proving that the person who's committed the crime know that he/she actually did something wrong. So if someone can't tell true danger, then they can't possibly know right from wrong.

By my diagnostic, 90% of the population would be insane.


Becoming Sedentary

It scares the shit out of me, but I've been increasingly sedentary during this school term. Looking at the lives of most people, we aren't actually encouraged to move very much. Any movements in our day to day lives stem from necessity rather than any type of desire. We go to the store because we need something, for example. For the majority of the population, the most travelling they do is to and from work. This is a horrible situation to be in. There are so many sights to experience out there, and we have the honour of inhabiting such a naturally diverse and beautiful planet, but we don't get to see more than a minuscule fraction of it out of choice. Instead, we live sheltered indoors, never really using many of our senses to their full potential, and instead seeking routine and comfort. Society does not encourage us to explore or be curious about our surroundings and those who do are often even discouraged from doing so. If you become too curious in an urban setting, you are bound to be asked by someone what you are up to. By stepping out of the routine and being slightly unpredictable, you have become a threat.

The trips that we are encouraged to take actually are really irrelevant to geography, but are rather related to climate and certain features we look for such as beaches. We are encouraged, for those who have the luxury, to take time off from the tedious and stressful environment of the city and job that we are trapped in, to take an expensive trip to a resort destination. We are not in the least bit interested in how we get there, and the plane, while extremely efficient, essentially removes all aspects of geography and progression. We are not interested in those who live in these destinations and how they view the world. We are not interested in exploring this new territory. We are not interested in attempting to understand the location or truly experience it. Rather, we are teleported into another world, and make this our home for the short period that we are there. We have a complete disregard for anything surrounding us because we paid to have this fucking nice backdrop, so we couldn't be bothered. Through a quick change of environment, we hope that it will have meditative benefits and that we can simply forget all other sources of stress for a little while.

The truth as I see it is that we in fact belong outdoors. It is in our primal nature to explore our environment and to attempt to understand it. We have a certain type of bond with geography that is difficult to pinpoint, but we have admittedly done a good job at suppressing in order to be able to conform to the 9-5 life. One of the ways that many of these problems could be solved would be through exploration. In fact, by driving to a destination instead of flying, the slower sense of speed allows us to savour locations instead of taking them for granted. In the end, I believe that the final destination is considerably more rewarding because the transition to it has been gradual. It really is a shame that we are almost not permitted to explore, as we are meant to. There has to be a true purpose to everything. I say that purpose is human nature. Why should we explore? Because we are naturally curious beings and have ultimately suppressed this facet. There is so much to see and experience that you often cannot fully be "whole" if you limit yourself to knowing a 100km square radius (and only a fraction of that, at most). Looking around me, most of the people I know have a good knowledge of the few streets around them, around their work or school, and routes to common major destinations. But why bother with anything else? We're so fucking stupid and naive.

Addendum on Stupidity

Just a quick point I wanted to raise in regards to the documentary on stupidity I was watching earlier. Bill Maher made an interesting comment about how everything on television is geared toward a teenage audience, as if we ruled the world. In fact, another person added how important it is from a business perspective that they do this. Studies have shown, for example, that brand loyalty is developed in the teenage years, so it is not only important that advertisers cater to this audience in order to hook them, but also for broadcasters to offer programing which will potentially hook us to their network.

But, what Bill Maher points out and is especially pertinent, it's funny how there is in fact no real "adult" programming on television, and that adults really aren't respected for what they are or should be. He points out that North American culture is the only one that doesn't get it. Being an adult is a situation of hierarchy because they have learned more in their lifetimes. This is visible in older societies where the town elders would be the most respected for their knowledge and virtue. On the other hand, if we look at the world today, adults really have no time to cultivate anything past the teenage intellectual level. They do not have time because of work and other pressures of the world. In essence, there is nothing for teenagers to aspire to, which could be one of the reasons why nobody is really encouraged to develop their intellect. As far as adults go, the only knowledge that the large majority of them acquire after school are specific tools that they need to use in their work life. What a world...

Parents Are Kids Inside

Parents, and all adults for that matter, appear to have strange outbursts of child-like behaviour from time to time. One one hand, this isn't surprising. We attempt to look at adults, and especially our parents, as being on a different level. They should be above childish jokes and be more predictable and mature. Yet, at the same time, it really strikes me that, in their behaviour, they're just like teenagers with a few more wrinkles and responsibilities. My father has always wanted to try and be a friend to me somehow, or try and blend in on the rare occasion as if he was still young. Most of my friends' parents have also come down to this level on the occasion. Both my parents get strange outbursts of happiness or emotion or desire which just seems to trigger from time to time. It's as if all of a sudden they were mentally freed from pressures of adult life and had the freedom to make a childish joke or act in a childish manner. It really freaks me out to think that, in my current state of mind, I will simply no longer be able to act the way I do in many situations because of external pressures. It also freaks me out to look at my parents' personalities and imagine them as if they were my age and friends of mine.

Calling all ethnics

I'd like to express my distaste with Old Navy commercials. Ever since they came up with their "all white" concepts, I'd like to make a plea to anyone in a position of power to get rid of the individuals who are responsible for this disgrace.

For anyone in the dark about this, because I do believe the less TV someone watches the better, the Old Navy commercials have decided to go all out and use as many cliches as possible. From the almost completely filled with white people commercials, to the ridiculous smiling poses. In these commercials, all women are dumb blonds, and all men are big macho men. The occasional black person that pops in gets the very few downgraded lines.

So, if anyone has any power, please kill whoever decided this concept was good and should be continued. I can't believe I'm the only one pissed off by this, and I'm fucking white!



I haven't really felt compelled to write anything as of late, and I've been too busy with finals and turking, anyway. I also haven't really done much out of the ordinary, so the monotony of it all doesn't inspire ideas.

However, I watched an interesting documentary called Stupidity yesterday which really raised some good ideas. Not the best documentary in the world, but it points out how few studies there actually are on the topic. The actual scholarly books on the topic would barely fill up a shelf. Most of the books on the topic rather cite examples of stupid behavior so that we can all get a few chuckles.

I will attempt to summarize some of the points of the documentary, though I will no doubt fail to do its content justice considering it's about an hour and a half long. First of all, there is an interesting comment in which a person interviwed states that calling a person stupid is one of the worst insults possible. In many ways, stupidity is a very taboo topic. We have IQ tests which look at a certain form of intelligence, but this documentary was also looking at cultural and social factors. For example, the vast majority of people cannot properly define stupidity. It appears to be a subjective classification to begin with, even though the definition itself is a person who exhibits behavior that lacks intelligence. An important thing also was noted, that it has nothing to do with rank in society, because you can have university professors who are really...stupid.

As far as cultural factors go, the documentary focused on how stupidity is rewarded in our society. In fact, there is absolutely no pressure or encouragement to become intelligent in any way. Not a single thing that we see on television is really all that intelligent. Numerous reporters and journalists were interviewed and all stated how they were forced to write at the level of a 12-year-old because this was believed to be the average mental age of many readers. Essentially, this consists of limiting vocabulary and sentence length. You have to assume that your readers don't really knwo that much. The fact is, if it's too complex, they will simply go elsewhere for their dose of information. This phenomena is even more present on television than in print.

Also, the documentary looked at trends in programming like Jackass, and the Steve-O show and ensuing riot that happened in Montreal a few years ago. It was noted that many people like Adam Sandler and Steve-O, are in fact not stupid at all, but are simply aware of what their audience wants. At the time, Steve-O was reading a book on the Rwandan genocide. However, the appeal in "dumb" programming is that it offers us a quick and easy laugh, and it is also related to the superiority complex. By seeing people do far dumber things than we might be or are doing, it essentially makes us feel good. In regards to television, one of the interesting quotes was that, if you are wasting a beautiful day to instead sit down and watch television, you don't want to be enlightened, you want to see crazy shit. The bottom line is that, considering the increased ease of access to information that we have, we still choose stupidity over it all.


The gift dilemma

Call me psychotic, but I've got problems when it comes to getting or giving gifts. Something about the thought makes no sense sometimes. You see, for me, gift giving should only accure when a gift is practical. You need something, you get something. Somebody needs something, you give them the thing they need.

So when it comes to birthdays, christmas and other such holidays where giving/getting gifts is 'required' I'm thrown off. Feels as if a gift I would give, instead of becoming practical, might simply become a burden to the other person. Take even jewlery for example, if you are to give a necklace to somebody, maybe this person will be burdonned by the fact that she might have to wear it around you. Do I want to be the cause of all this stress? She might even be so stressed as to not lose it, break it or get it stolen that I might be creating more of a problem then anything else. It works the other way around, if I'm given a gift that requires a wear or anything of the sort, I wonder if the person who gave it out is expecting me to wear it around them or something.

Call me cheap, but the gift giving idea is simply fucking ludacris. A gift means something when it comes in handy. So to illiminate all sorts of problems, I've categorized the two types of gifts that are worth giving out in times like these: Something you can borrow, or something that is useless.

There, no problems can enssue. You can borrow something, it means it's practical. You give something useless, then the person won't have any problems doing anything with it. I understand that I mentionned issues with jewelry before, but I do find that jewelry should fit in the useless category.

I also find clothe to be more of a hassle then anything in the world. Sizes and such. What I find ridiculous falls into the category of the element of surprise a gift is suppose to give out. Not only are you suppose to surprise the other, but you also have to find out their size and so on so forth. Stupid.

Eric already mentionned the issue with gift receiving around specific occasions. So I won't repeat it, simply re-mention quickly that I also find it stupid I have to figure that I want something all the sudden.

For a more positive note, my solution to gift giving will always fall into art for me. I enjoy art quite a bit, and I find art to be no burdon for somebody. So I enjoy shopping art galleries, all sorts of art: Writing, paintings, sculptures, rocks, drawings, movies, etc... Art to me feels like the only gift that means something to me, and feels right sharing with others. So I enjoy giving a piece of art as a gift. The only issue is the expenses and the locations of such stores. Rare are the times I find adequate stores in Montreal. I think the only place I felt at home for such shopping needs was California.


Are we growing too quick?

I got a sense of vertigo today, although it was quite obvious to me for a while it truely hit me that the people I hang around with are far from becoming adults (when I say this, I'm refering more specifically to Emily's group of friends). When I'm with them, I am usually the youngest to be in the group. I'm 19, everyone else is much older. It's also an obvious fact that I represent often times one of the only men that hang around. Whenever there are more, they usually are around the age of 22.

So as I sit there, at a cofee shop, I look around and realize just how far these people are from becoming adults: They smoke, they work at Maxi, they 'tell secrets', they make immature jokes, they giggle at the slightest thing, they're barely in school, they don't think of the future, they still have issues dealing with people, they're depressed, they can't get relationships to work out and they certainly aren't moving forward with their lives. I'm not writing this to simply look down on them, but I do get that feeling that I'm not with the right crowd.

The first thing I'd like to point out, is that smoking has lost it's meaning amongst the adult world. As far as observations goes. I feel that smoking is more of a teenager phenomena. Our attempt at an adult choice, often completely ridiculous. This is the statement we like to make: We're old enough to take our lives into our own hands. Of course, instead of doing something positive to display such a thought, we smoke. Fucking idiotic.

Second thing, what's with our attempts at trying to turn our relationships into adult relationships? I'm not sure I can explain this properly, but I mean communication wize. It seems the older we get, the worst the communication becomes. I feel the reason why communication deteriorates is simply because a lot of us realize that things aren't just going to get done for us and that we'll have to work for them. Some of us still fight greatly to keep this from happening.

Third, I simply believe that a lot of us miss guidance when we grow older. The way things are heading for me, I will have established a lot in the next five years. Probably have set up myself nicely until retirement. Will I get bored? Of course, but not very often given the fact that I do have long term goals and a lot of the world to explore. The people that surround look as if they have no goals, and having some might simply be a weakness because hey, let's face it, 'things are suppose to fall on our laps'.

You know something, the west island is full of this hypocritical bullshit. I've met several people who have dissassociated themselves with computers simply because it might make them look like nerds. In the business world, I can tell you that the models I work with themselves have expressed concerns about computer hackers and shown their knowledge of computers. They aren't of course fully knowing of computer language, I'm as ignorant as them in the departement, but fuck, at least they reconize the fucking technology. These girls are hot, and they're smart. They don't have time to waste with fucking reputations. This is business. So why can't we fucking grow up?

So is our youth growing up to quickly? No. The reason why we can't make proper decisions is because we're used to being pampered. If this is a middle class/upper class phenomena, I'd be more then glad to see the lower class and working class rise up and knock these lazy assholes off their feet.


Stream of consciousness in chat

I have become conscious of the evolution of my instant messaging technique. It seems to me that as we evolve and adapt to the medium, there are several significant changes that we make in terms of our communication in order to make it more efficient. Without looking at specific linguistic issues like the shorthand vocabulary that has developped (which I don't really support, anyway), I think the structure is especially interesting to examine.

For example, I seem to speak in much shorter sentences, for the most part, when I chat. Furthermore, I break up sentences into multiple messages. This isn't a conscious decision, but it's an attempt to emulate actual speech, I believe. By turning instant messaging into more of a stream-of-consciousness medium, it is possible to ensure a constant flow of information much like actual speech. It's quite impressive when two good chatters speak how they can almost convey as much information as they would if they were face to face.

The second element is emoticons and other demonstrations of emotion. This is very important if we are to make it into a medium which is in fact human at its root. Even if a person is not overtly emotional in face-to-face conversations, our eye has a wonderful ability to discern emotion and empathy simply be examining minute changes in the human face. You only need to watch an Ingmar Bergman movie to understand that, by looking at the face, you can often times understand what the person is thinking without even having them express their emotions. For the most part, this is done subconsciously, but it's a very important part of human interactions. In chat, much is the same. In order to not feel as though we're talking to the wall, emphasis on emotions are somewhat important. It has amazed me how thrown off I was, when speaking to a person online for the first time, that this person used very little emotion in her manner of chatting. I just kept thinking to myself "what the fuck is wrong with you? Are you ok? Are you suicidal? Why do you sound like a bot?". We can turn this medium into one that can effectively convey a message, but I think it requires practice and some form of consciousness of what we are trying to achieve.

Inter-Couple Relationships

An interesting thing happened last night and it got me thinking about how relationships between people evolve depending on their relationship status. As time goes on, couples no longer feel interested in hanging out with single people or especially with only one other person. For whatever reason the couple begins to depend more and more on each other for all forms of social interactions and so they can no longer properly behave as individuals in many situations.

So last night my parents were talking about the fact that they invited some friends over for supper tonight. My dad was saying that he had to go into work today for an urgent meeting and that he might only be back home about 30mins after they show up. So the funny thing here was my mom's reaction. She completely hated this idea and was hoping that my dad could be home earlier. This is especially funny since my parents have been friends with these people since well before I was born, so it's not like they're strangers. It just seems that my mom felt very uncomfortable being with them without my dad present. Just an observation on balance...

The difference in talking between sexes

An idea was sparked in the last blog, and something happened today that made me think I should push things a little further.

For the longest time, my girlfriend has asked that I not take any part in her driving. She doesn't want me to see her drive, doesn't want me to hear her drive and doesn't want me around if she is to drive. She just got her liscence and she's got some phobias about driving and has been having them for quite a bit. The whole concept frightens her to some extent and the last thing she wants is somebody like me judging her even if I am not to voice my opinion. On top of that, now she's stuck having a standard car which makes driving an even harder task.

Basically, what happened is that with all the times she's expressed her dissaproval of me as much as watching her drive, it turns out I did. I was standing in the main hallway of her house and out of the corner of my eye, through the half-impossible-to-see-through-front-door-window and from an awkward angle I happened to have seen her drive. I was discussing a few things with her mom, and she had specifically told me not to look or be near a window. When she found out, she was extremely angry and stayed angry for the whole day.

So, here comes the communication part I wish to discuss, now that the situation is properly explained. (I hope)

From a guy's perspective, me, the incident of it's own is one big prank/joke. I personally didn't find anything wrong with what happened. Other then the fact that I did see her drive, and I had made it very clear that sooner or later I was going to see her drive. So it seemed like the inevitable happened. That the situation was the reason for her anger. That it shouldn't be such a hard thing to fix. A simple encouragement and pat on the back telling her she had done good and there was nothing to worry about when it came to her driving, to me, felt like a fix. After a few minutes, the problem would go away.

Guys seem to see the situation that's present. That's how we go about things. We do have long term goals, and we do like to think of the future, but we do it one event at a time.

Her perspective was completely different.

Women see things on a larger scale then we do. The reason why she was angry for the rest of the day had nothing to do with the situation itself, as I had forseen it. She was angry because I had disobeyed something she had vocalized many times. I had not done what I was asked, something simple. She was worried that on a larger scale, I would simply never do what she asked me to do. Such an event seemed to have taken away her security.

Why do so many couples break up? Because they fell to identify these things. She was mad and shut down for most of the day, whereas I was already putting the incident behind me. Of course, we discussed it in full details as I wouldn't be able to write her perspective on this blog. Yet, I do find it interesting to see this amazing contrast between both sexe's.

Communication comes on different scales. It certainly isn't the same for men and women. Certainly worth a good study and a look on my part. Could learn a thing or two, I know it would certainly not change the way I think, but it would help me comprehend the impact on things a bit more.


What ever happened to straight talk?

Another little snippet, what happened to straight talk? It seems today all we do is speak sarcastically, ironically and on some occasions metaphorically. What's the deal? Have we all lost the art of speaking straight, honestly and to-the-point?

Maybe it's just my paranoia but I feel like I always have to go through a long mental process to seriously analyze what somebody is telling me. I've gotten better at it, and I've gotten around to play around with words myself. It seems that semantics is becoming a seriously important part of our sociolization. Words aren't set to a specific definition, and all the sudden become something completely different depending on the words we use.

I'm now a PR for a company, so it's more important now then ever that I choose my words carefully and that my phrases work smoothly. I'm lucky, considering all that I have to write isn't filled with bullshit, but I have to be careful to avoid any ambigious phrases or words so as to keep people focused on the fact that we aren't out there to screw over people.

I think this becomes even more obvious when speaking to the opposite sex. I've overheard so many times couples splitting for semantics. Communication is possibly the first and grandest problem in our society, but it's no wonder when we all forgot that the main reason we began to speak was to make things direct and understandable to everyone.


Sucks to know things

If education has ever helped me in understanding anything, it's that knowing things is a strong disadvantage. Whever I'm stuck writing a paper, whether the length be 500 words, or sometimes 2000 words, I find it the whole footnote system to often be completely ridiculous. I'm stuck having to work harder to provide sources to previously aquired knowledge. How is that any way to learn?

I find myself at the biggest disadvantage. I can't sound smart or else I'll have to somehow find out where I got my information from. And besides, isn't the point of these institutions filling up our minds with knowledge so we don't have to go book hunting everytime a question surfaces?

I lost a lot of motivation when it came to papers in Cegep. Often times, I felt like a simple overlook of my previously aquired knowledge was already good enough. Rare were the occasions where I learned something when doing an assignment.

What happens with anecdotes though? If I had a diary, would I need to reference that? If somebody told me a good story, do I need to reference him? I'm confused about these laws on plagiarsm sometimes. I feel the military way of referencing information to be quite irrelevant sometimes. So what if you weren't precise enough as to what page, paragraph and phrase you used to help you? Isn't the book and author enough? Why would a page number bother anyone? Whoever read your paper wants to know your findings, if he/she has to filter through fluff they'll stop reading.