If You Build It, They Will Come.

Friday, July 26, 2002

I have a new place to live... and it is good.

The Joe is going to spit out his opinions now.... enjoy.

Amelie... Was it good, was it bad...? Joe says, "Eh..." The photography was brilliant, which is also part of why I enjoyed Vanilla Sky. The screenplay was nominated for an Oscar. I can see why. I enjoyed the "he likes..." parts. Other than that... nothing special. Like I told Jon, it was cute at best. It was decent, bordering on good. Definately one to rent once. No rewatch value, there's no emotion in it. Amelie smiles. Then she smiles more. Then in one brief scene, she cries. Then it's back to Amelie smiling. She's got a great smile, but to base an entire movie on it....

That lady out in front of Planned Parenthood... Get a damn life. Seriously. I've never met you, but I know you already. You're the tye of person who has never had an original thought in your head. If I could find someone to take some pictures or film it, I'd be right out there next to you with my big "Signs Kill Trees" sign. Moron.

X-Box.... POS System. Why? Name something XB exclusive that's any good.... Halo? It'll be out for PC soon. Morrowind? Out for PC already. That leaves you with Project Gotham (Gran Turismo is better), and DOA3. And sure, DOA is cool, but Soul Calibur 2 is coming out for Gamecube soon. Everything else is on every other system. It's truly a Microsoft product, in that the first few shipments in November when it was released were full of bugs. We got three or four back before Christmas, more afterwards, KB got one back that caught fire. No joke, the XBox was smoking. It's powerful, and people hear that and think that it's the best. Of the three next gens it is the most powerful, and the heaviest. That means it's gotta be good. So ok... what are you going to do with it. No game uses that power, and there are no good games out there. You could watch DVDs, but then you have to pay $40 extra. So kids... don't get an XBox. Or at least wait until Ninja Gaiden in March. Sadly though, it's probably going to suck.

Sports Night.... Ok, I've been kind of holding back on this one. See I've got like three friends that are convinced this is the greatest show in the history of life. Everytime I ever saw it when it was on primetime, I hated it. I obviously wasn't alone, because now it's on Comedy Central at 3:30am, just a booming time slot. It does however have to compete with Insomniac Theater, and Don Lupre infomercials. This show to me is like a baseball game, leaving me frustrated thinking to myself "Just get on with it!!"

Typical normal show dialogue:

Man: Hey I think I'm going to the game tonight with Ricky instead of Todd.
Girl: Why don't you want to go with Todd?
Man: Do I need to give you a reason? I'd just rather take Ricky.
Girl: Fine, have fun.

Same typical dialogue, except on "Sports Night", whilst walking around an office looking busy....

Man: I'm going to the game tonight with Ricky.
Girl: You're going to the game tonight with Ricky?
Man: I'm going to the game tonight with Ricky.
Girl: Why are you going to the game tonight with Ricky?
Man: Because I want to go to the game tonight with Ricky.
Girl: With Ricky?
Man: With Ricky.
Girl: I thought you were going to the game tonight with Todd.
Man: No I'm not going to the game tonight with Todd.
Girl: I know, you said you were going to the game tonight with Ricky.
Man: Yeah and if I were going to the game tonight with Todd, I would've said Todd. But instead I said Ricky.
Girl: Ricky.
Man: Ricky.
Girl: What made you decide to go to the game tonight with Ricky.
Man: I'd rather go to the game tonight with Ricky, than go to the game tonight with Todd.
Girl: But why not go to the game tonight with Todd?
Man: Why not go to the game tonight with Todd?
Girl: Yes, why not go to the game tonight with Todd?
Man: I thought we established I wanted to go to the game tonight with Ricky.
Girl: Is that the only reason you don't want to go to the game tonight with Todd?
Man: Do I need to give you a reason that I don't want to go to the game tonight with Todd?
Girl: I'd like a reason why you don't want to go to the game tonight with Todd.
Man: You'd like a reason that I don't want to go to the game tonight with Todd....
Girl: I'd like a reason why you don't want to go to the game tonight with Todd.
Man: Because I'd rather go to the game tonight with Ricky.
Girl: Fine then go to the game tonight with Ricky.
Man: I will go to the game tonight with Ricky.
Girl: Have fun tonight at the game with Ricky.
Man: I will have fun tonight at the game with Ricky.

That's no exaggeration. If you read it really fast, it sounds perfect. I could've been a writer for Sports Night while it was in new episodes. Too bad I didn't think about it that week. I could hear the director now....

"We only have five minutes of content.... how do we stretch it into a 22 minute show? Make them repeat each other all the time! Good idea! Uh oh, this show only has four minutes of content... what do we do?? Uh... how about we run the opening and closing credits twice, we'll repeat them too! Great idea!"

This show is on at 3:30am for a reason.

The BK Back Porch Grillers.... Mmmm.....

otnemeM .... woN siht saw na emosewa eivom. A yllaer lanigiro aedi ot tup a nips no a lamron mlif. ekiL siht golb, lla sdrawkcab. I ylhgih dnemmocer siht eivom.

Moving.... Eh... packing sucks, but hey, its a new place. My room alone at our new place is bigger than my whole apartment.

The WWE.... Assclowns... you blew it. You were worried about your ratings on Raw, you had it fixed, and you blew it. The idea of Bischoff vs Stephanie McMahon and trading wrestlers back and forth is a safe pretend way to play the old WWF vs WCW game. It works. But come on. You had the original D Generation X back together. Shawn Michaels and Triple H. You had it. Now I guess if Michaels has found Jesus and doesn't want to swear anymore, then fine, DX is gone, but don't tease us with it. People have been waiting for that since Tyson. Then you had Triple H pedigree HBK, and I was mad. But hey, good job on getting Rey Mysterio. That dude is awesome.

That's it. I gotta go pack.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

"I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." --William Penn.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Only at this age could I realize that I haven't eaten in just over 32 hours, stop at 7-11 and get a chilli cheese dog at 5:15am.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Sweet. It's go time.

Remember before I said I wanted to argue with an athiest? Well, I can now do so. The following is a logical argument broken down by an athiest pertaining to a flaw in the idea of god.

Two qualities which are often attributed to people's gods is that of perfection and that of "creator" - at least of the universe, if not also directly of this planet and all the plants and animals on it. To what degree, if any, are these qualities compatible or incompatible? There are two very good arguments which suggest that they are incompatible; and to the degree that they are valid, the existence of such a god is improbable at the very least, if not impossible.

The first argument is based on the idea that a perfect being quite simply has no need to create anything at all:

1. God is perfect.
2. God deliberately created the universe.
3. Perfection entails the lack of needs or wants.
4. Being perfect, God does not now nor ever has nor ever will have any needs or wants.
5. Deliberate creation entails an effort to satisfy some need or want.
6. Being a creator, God at one time had some need or want.
7. It is impossible to have some need or want and also to never have any need or want.
8. Conclusion: God, if it exists, is either not perfect or has not created anything.

So we can see, if God is perfect, then God can't have any needs or wants and, hence, wouldn't bother creating something. On the other hand, if God deliberately created something, it must have been because of some need or want - even if it were as simple as curiosity.

Before I start, let me say I am not at all religous. Honestly, I've been to church like twice in my life. But I find this debate fascinating. My position is that I believe in a god. Not the God, a god. My views on religion are really different from just about everyone's I've ever met. But I'm not an athiest. I think there is actually more proof for the existance of god. Let me restate that. I think that the arguments that god doesn't exist, are as flawed as the ones that say he does. This one for example.

Premise three is unacceptable. Perfection does not necessarily entail the lack of needs or wants, unless you are perfect at not needing or wanting anything.

per·fect Pronunciation Key (pûrfkt)
1 Lacking nothing essential to the whole; complete of its nature or kind.
2 Being without defect or blemish: a perfect specimen.
3 Thoroughly skilled or talented in a certain field or area; proficient.
4 Completely suited for a particular purpose or situation: She was the perfect actress for the part.

Perhaps creating the Universe is part of what makes god perfect. There's this dude with all this power, and he decides to use it to make all these worlds and stars and things. He creates this glorious work as only the most perfect of artists could. He starts at least one planet filled with people, plants and animals, as only a perfect creator could. Keeping all that power to himself would, in my opinion, make god selfish, stagnant and lonely, and to rid himself of that and top out at perfect, he made stuff.

Free Will. Religion teaches that God gave us free will, so that we may make our own decisions, decide our own futures, with no coercion from God. If we do good things or bad things it is entirely down to us, God just sits back and watches over us.

This makes no sense at all.
If God knows all things throughout time (as he must, if he is omniscient), then he knows every action I perform, every decision I make throughout my life, before I have done them. If God knows exactly what I am going to do on 10th July, 2030, then how can I do anything other than that?

God, however, being the Creator, had prior knowledge of your actions at the time of the Creation, billions of years ago. He set the universe in motion, knowing all that would happen throughout time.

Try it for yourself.
Right now, this minute, exert your free will.
Do something, anything at all, that you don't think God could have possibly known you were going to do.

Can you do it? Can you surprise God?

If you can, then God is not omniscient - he is not all-knowing. And if he is not omniscient, then how can he be omnipotent - unlimited in his ability?

If you cannot, then how can you think you have free will? You cannot do anything other than that which God already knows you are going to do.

This is so retarded it's almost funny. First of all, I find that most athiests are angry christians or catholics. They use arguments like, "there is no god because Jesus Christ was never divine. He wasn't a prophet, he wasn't the son of God, because... (insert reason here)." Great, you're athiest because you don't think Christ was divine. Way to go brainiac. Jews believe the same thing, but they aren't athiest. Buddhists don't buy into the Christ figure, but they aren't athiest. Your argument boils down to, "There is no god because Christianity is wrong." You are the people who are white bred midwestern small town Americans who have no idea that there is an entire world outside the village limits. And now, onto the compatibility of omniscence and free will.

Ever see that guy stare down the tank at Tienemen Square? That famous video byte of the guy in sandals playing chicken with a ten ton tank and basically winning? That is free will, because I sure as hell wouldn't have done it. "But Joe, maybe God already knew that was going to happen." Yeah, and everytime the video byte starts on the National Geographic channel, I know how its going to end. So now let's say I can go back in time, like the ghost of christmas past, and watch it live as it happened. The guys still got free will, but he's going to do the exact same thing, because you only get free will once. I can't flip a coin and call heads AND tails. I have to pick one. I can't sit here and say, "You know what? Instead of taking Erin to the prom, I'm going to ask Amy... four years ago." You get one chance. You as a human have a singular timeline. You can take it anywhere, but you can't change where you've been. The idea that god is omniscent through time is really the only conceivable way to rationalize his omniscence. Maybe to god, this is all a rerun.

Then does god have the power to change our minds? Sure. But why would he want to? Everything that happens works. There is a reason, there is a purpose, there is a meaning, there is an answer. It's hard to see, I'll give you that. People asked "Where was god on September 11, 2001?" The only way I can answer that question is with another question. What makes you think god is an American? Athiests say that because god is all seeing, all knowing, all powerful, and all caring, then there shouldn't be evil in the world. But there is, so god doesn't exist. Hmm... Good one. Well thought out. But what is evil? Name something evil. Osama bin Laden? Is he evil? To us. To the Afghanistan people who were parading in the streets on Sep 11, not so much. Evil is subjective. It's opinionated. I could say Marilyn Manson is evil, and athiests would take offense saying he's just misunderstood. (I don't think Marilyn Manson is evil, for the record.) So I think the question is really, why do bad things happen to good people. And I'll be damned if I know. I think it's because we cannot see the whole picture. We in the grand scheme of existence, are children. We're the kids screaming "Billy can go to Disney World with his parents, why can't I go too?" or "Kelly's parents let her get her ears pierced, and when I do it, I get grounded! It's just not fair," to the heavens while god is probably saying, "when you're older you'll understand." But we now, like we then, choose not to hear it and proceed to pout and hold our breath until we're blue. Did your parents ever spank you? Ever ground you for "no reason"? Think that's because they didn't love you?

So now I've bashed organized religion, and I've bashed athiesm. If you don't understand where I stand now, then I guess you never will.

My only thought about god is, whatever his name is, he's a utilitarian philosopher.

Monday, July 15, 2002

Hello children.

Well I'm working on Jessica's belated birthday present. Belated for once not because I forgot, but because there's no humanly possible way I could've given it to her on her birthday, unless you believe in time travel, in which case, I'd like to direct you here.

Her gift from me is going to take a lot of effort and many hours sitting here staring at this screen. In which case it's a good thing she's gone for a while, because it will give me time to finish it. I brought a camera to her 21st birthday "lets-get-her-drunk" party. My gift to her is a vhs tape of roughly 38 minutes of random unorganized video whittled and edited down nicely into a watchable short little 35 minute movie. Give or take, I'm trying to keep as much of it as I possibly can, you only have a "get-me-drunk-I'm-21" party once.... well except in my case, I had four of them.

See the thing is, all the work put into this, all the editing, and sitting around while it renders, and getting songs timed right, and designing visuals, and moving things, and trimming things, and getting new songs, and stuff.... it takes an ungodly amount of time, and patience, because it can be as frustrating as all hell. But god, I love it. I have so much fun doing this. I've gotten about 17 minutes done the way I want it, with only a few changes needed. So far, rendering included, I've logged somewhere around 15 hours. I usually figure on average, a minute in a film means an hour of editing, so I'm kind of ahead schedule.

I've come to a conclusion though. Ordinary Life is going to be a much larger endeavor than I had previously imagined. I mean, I knew it would take a lot, but crap man.... here's what I'm up against.

A minute of Hi-8 digital video tape costs about ten cents. 18 dollars for 3 one hour tapes. I figure this movie will be a good hour and a half from beginning to end. Now, it's not staying on a Hi-8 tape. Here's the big catch of the whole thing. Jess and I did our scene in Jeremy's apartment. It's a 4-5 page scene. Lots of dialogue though. The scene when edited will last close to five minutes. Because we have tons of different takes, and we screwed up a bunch, tons of different angles, this one five minute scene took up an hour and a half of tape. Two tapes for a five minute scene.

My hard drive is 20GB. I've always said it was a good size for holding my MP3's and occasionally a game or two. With Jess's video on here, (only the first 17 minutes, one raw copy, one polished copy) I have like 1.5GB left. One minute of DV is about 200MB. Five is a gig. Ninety is 18GB. The movie, whence finished, is supposed to be 90 minutes. The movie, whilst being edited will take up the raw and polished versions of the film, somewhere around 36GB. Each scene alone is at least five times more raw footage than necessary. At least. The scene we shot, 7.3, takes up about 18 times the amount of space it will require when finished. Solution: I need another hard drive. If I pop in a second 60GB, that gives me 80GB, 70 or so that is actually workable. That is plenty. Problem: A second 60GB HD is about $200-300 more than I am able to spend at this point. Temporary solution: I don't need it yet. Possible permanent solution... my birthday is in two months.... Possible other permanent solution... Get a job as an ice cream truck driver.

... you think I'm kidding?

Thursday, July 04, 2002

It's the Fourth of July. So far so good. But I feel the need to drop my thoughts on this whole Pledge of Alliegence controversy. It's crap. Total crap. Call me un-American for saying the pledge shouldn't be mandatory. I think that it makes me more American. "Under God." It's funny. Because if this were "Under Allah" this wouldn't have even been an issue. But because it's "God" and most of the country believes in free speech, as long as it is restricted to only say things that coincide with their beliefs. So tell me, what is free about that? I'm standing up for free speech by saying it shouldn't be mandatory for anyone to have to recite anything.

Allow me to make my point in another fashion. My uncle, one of the most "American" people I know, sent me this email the other day. In it, it said "Under God, or bite my ass and leave." But in another spot, there was a letter written by an Aussie about how great America was, and in this letter, the one point that turned this whole controversy on its head was made, an simultaneously went completely unnoticed.

"An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses. An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God."

Athieism is technically a religion, because it's beliefs about a spiritual world, specifically that there is none. So an athiest being forced to say "Under God" during the pledge of alliegence violates his right to free speech. The government forcing this on any member of it's population goes against what America really is. But because this country is run not by common sense, but money and special intrests, this is an outrage. Let me break this down for all of you who still are blind to where you live.

You're not in a country by for and of the people. You're not in a democracy. This is not the United States. Whatever you do, don't doubt that I love this country. Love it. This is a wonderful place to live, if it weren't for all the people. I don't mind that this is a republic, not a democracy. The republic works, for the most part. But this country isn't by the people anymore. It's a country run by politicians who say they're for the people, but are really for the intrest groups. The fact that everyone can vote makes it a democracy, but the fact that we vote in an electoral college takes away one man one vote, so it isn't a democracy any more.

They're raising the cigarette tax fifty cents. Do you know how much it costs to make a pack of cigarettes? Somewhere around 12-15 cents a pack. How much does it cost the government to make cigarettes. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Do you realize how much of a gigantic profit in taxes the government makes on the sales of cigarettes? Why in the world would they ever want people to quit? They don't. They make a ton of profit, and most of them work for the tobacco industry. This is also why marijuana is illegal. Who would buy a pack of Marlboro tobacco cigarettes when they could buy a pack of Marley marijuana cigarettes right next to them? It's a competition that would wipe out the tobacco industry. MJ is better for you than tobacco, it's non-addictive, and it makes you feel a lot better, it can make you more creative, in a better mood, it makes you think a cat is the most hilarious thing you've ever seen. Does it put you in a state where it's harmful to drive? Sure, it could. But not as bad as three shots of JD. So is it in the interest of the people that it's illegal? Not at all, it's in the interest of the tobacco industry, which means it's in the interest of the government.

But hey, that's fine with me. It really is. The only thing that bugs me is people who don't realize where they live. Don't be a hypocrite. Forcing your beliefs on others is why we started our own country in the first place exactly 226 years ago today. If you don't want to say "Under God," you shouldn't have to say "Under God." It only shows how much better of a country we are for not forcing our beliefs on others.

Happy Independence Day.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

You want to be groovy? Huh? You want to fit in? You want to go to the big dance? You want to be the king?? You'll be the fool!! Shampoo will play you for the fool!!

I'm on a mission. I'm turning it all around. Like I said. You'll see. I'm gonna be the king.

On another note... a completely different note... something feels vaguely familiar. It's weird. I feel like I've been given another shot at something. But I'm not sure. Fate can be confusing sometimes. Like you're given a choice between door number one and door number two. The first time you pick door number one, right? Behind it is a nice fresh out of the oven, warm chocolate chip cookie. Mmm... so good. Then for some crazy reason, you're given the choice between door number one and door number two again. You know that cookie is back behind door number one again. But given the circumstances, you still don't know if you made the right choice. Behind door number two, there might be a million dollars. Or there might be absolutely nothing. There could even be like Freddy Kruger, and if you pick his door, he'll chop you up man. I mean, you could play it safe and figure that you made the right choice the first time, the cookie is the grand prize, and go for it again, with no chance of getting cut up by Freddy. But given the fact that this is the perhaps only second chance you get, playing it safe could mean that you miss out on the do-over that could make you a millionaire.

At this point in time though... I hear the sound of metal claws scratching at the back of that door... and you know... there's nothing that can beat a warm chocolate chip cookie.... or is there? This could get interesting. Or... maybe I'm learning through repitition. Maybe it isn't worth it. No, it's not. I doubt it anyway. But I guess you never know. Or maybe you do. Do you? Is this a shot at another cookie, or is it a chance to do it right and get the big bucks? Or is it an affirmation that I did it right the first time? It is our daily choices that make us who we are. Should I pony up and bring both my barrelfuls?

At times like this, I find that if I just actually think about the actual situation, I deep down really know what to do. In all honesty, a cookie doesn't sound all that bad right now.

I hope you all enjoyed my inner monologue.

Hail to the king, baby.