Monday, October 13, 2014

Triumphant Columbus Day Return

Hey everybody, I'm back.

I remember starting this blog like three years ago. And I thought that I had all of these funny and sarcastic things to write and tell the world. And as it really turns out, I only had like one funny concept. Which was the conquistador history month one. And that was a pretty funny post. I'm really proud of that one. The rest of the stuff I've written on here is largely sub-par and I will readily admit that.

And now I have two years of experience living out in a big city. I've seen a lot of things, been through a lot, and I think almost most importantly, I've had the chance to develop a lot of my own ideas and concepts about the world. Which is an important thing for everyone to do at some point in their life. Your parent's ideas about how things work will only get you so far.

I find that I really enjoy writing. I don't know that I necessarily have important things to say, or even regularly coherent things to say. But I have a number of thoughts about the world that I'd still like to convey to whoever wants to take time to read them. And whether anybody reads this or not, I find writing therapeutic, so I'll probably write anyways.

I felt like today would be an appropriate day to return to posting here because it is a day to celebrate one of the most well-recognized conquistadors of all time: Christopher Columbus.

Just look at the smug grin on that mofo.

Well so, if you went to a public school in the United States, at some point you were probably taught all about how Columbus sailed the ocean blue in the year 1492. Great rhyme, it's the only way I remember the year that happened anyways. The story is told that Columbus was the only person in the world that believed the Earth was not flat and that he wouldn't fall off the edge if he sailed too far. I love that part of the story. It makes Columbus sound like this hero who was defying the great scientific and geologic minds of the day by destroying "established knowledge" to sail directly to India. It makes him sound so romantic and heroic.

The truth is, pretty much everyone and their dog knew that Earth wasn't flat. Because the concept of a flat Earth was thrown out when people realized that was ridiculous. Don't think that people didn't still mock and berate Columbus though. They sure did. But not because he thought the world was round, simply because they all knew that the world was waaay bigger than Columbus thought it was. And there was no way he was going to just sail on over to India and back in a few months. They didn't necessarily know that there was land in between them and India (although Leif Erikson already had that filth on lock up north), but they did know that there was probably a gigantic ocean in the way where he would probably die with all of his crew from undernourishment or dehydration.

Luckily, the Spaniards were a bunch of greedy bastards, so they called up this lunatic Italian and gave him three ships and told him to make it happen. Columbus sails on his ships, the Niña, the Pinta, and the Tupac (Obligatory Step Brothers reference - warning, language) and makes his way to what he thinks is India. He sails for a few months and one early morning, the guy on watch spots land out in the distance. He wakes everybody up and they're all pumped to have found "India." There was apparently a reward from the king of Spain that was supposed to go to whoever spotted the land first. It should have gone to that guy, but Columbus claimed that he already spotted the same land the day before from his cabin. He then claimed the prize for himself. What a homie

They make port and find the Arawak people, who swim out to the boat to greet these strange visitors. Of course, nobody knew they were called the Arawak people. Columbus and all of his men were convinced they had landed in India. They were actually in Cuba. But since they thought they were in India, they figured they would go with the politically correct term and call all of these people Indian. And Columbus, businessman that he is, decides that these people would make perfect slaves. They were all very willing to do what they were told and gave up pretty much anything you wanted.

Columbus goes on to take like 500 of them back to Spain with him as slaves and then is sent back on another trip to "India" to bring more slaves back. They start hitting up other islands nearby, crippling the native populations with disease and murder and slavery. Columbus was after gold too and was sure that there would just be fields of gold lying around. So he would get groups of indians together and tell them they had to go find so much gold, otherwise he would cut off their hands. Unfortunately, neither Cuba, nor the Dominican Republic and Haiti, nor Puerto Rico have any fields of gold lying around. They had traces of gold dust at best. This resulted in lots of indians trying to run away and dying or not finding the gold and getting their hands chopped off and later dying. 

Columbus did a lot of things. Most of them were pretty terrible. He made four trips to the Americas. And on every trip, he was still convinced that he was in India. People back in Europe had recognized and reported that this was a new continent. But Columbus wouldn't have their filth tarnishing his reputation. So he stuck with what he firmly believed. That all the scientists and geologists and cartographers were wrong and that he had found a direct path to India.

So there are two questions at play now. First, what's up with celebrating such a terrible person once a year? Second, why are you telling me any of this?

Excellent questions. We'll talk about the first question first. Presumably, we celebrate Columbus Day because he pretty much was the guy who got colonies started in the Americas. Granted, he really only discovered islands to the south of what is now the United States of America and he never admitted to not finding India. But he opened the way for the colonization of the United States. And I guess that's something.

Celebrate is a strong word to use with Columbus Day. Does anybody really throw Columbus Day parties? It's not a bad idea. That's got some potential to it. I guess you'd have some Italian food and some Spanish food and maybe some berries and corn and stuff, but you'd have to refer to all of it as Indian food. If we're being honest, the only thing I really see that happens on Columbus Day is that the post office is closed for no apparent reason. Aside from that, nothing else changes.

The point is, we honor this man because he opened the path for colonizing the Americas. And because of that, we turn a blind eye to all of the heinous acts he committed. Which were pretty numerous. But we have to teach the kids about something and we can't teach them about pillage, plunder, rape, and slavery. So instead we talk about how Columbus is this great hero and he became friends with Squanto or whatever and they all ate corn and discussed the stock market together over turkey dinner and Bud Light after watching the game together. I may be mixing up my stories here. But you get the point.

This ties in with question number two about why I'm telling you this. Because I want to talk about ignorance and turning a blind eye to things. We've all heard the phrase "ignorance is bliss" before. And it's a great phrase because it's absolutely true. It seems the less you know about things, the easier it is to cope with life and existence in general. Especially when those things are negative. This doesn't mean that ignorance is the best policy, simply that sometimes it is the easiest way to deal with things.

It is much easier to look at Columbus as a national hero who discovered America than to try to pick apart his actions and decide whether he was really honorable and worth closing the post office for him or not.

It is much easier to not think about turmoil and pain and death in other countries. I don't think we fully comprehend the scope of what people suffer in some areas of the world. Not that we necessarily need to understand that. But it's easier for us not to think about it.

It is easier to not think about the Ebola outbreak in Africa and the possibility of it spreading to other countries. Yes, I understand all of the implications of first world medicine and better living conditions that would make it difficult to spread to developed countries. But it's still a threat. And it's a threat that I honestly prefer not to think about. It's easier for me that way. That's kind of how the human mind works.

And all of this begs a third question. Is this a bad thing?

To some extent, no. There are many things that we really don't need to think about and it doesn't matter if we worry about them or not, it will have no effect on us. But at the same time, it's like an ostrich sticking his head in the ground when he's afraid. Or a child who closes his eyes and assumes that he's now invisible to everyone else. It just doesn't work. The things we can't see or think about can definitely still hurt us. I don't often think about brain aneurysms, but those could hit anyone at pretty much any time.

And I guess what I want to say is that we need to be more critical about the things we choose to focus on or not. If something is a legitimate concern, then we definitely shouldn't play the ignorance game. But when things are only going to bring us worry and concern, then we're safe to pull the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil card. We just need to be sure that those things are actually safe to ignore.

I often struggle with this and I worry about things unnecessarily. It's something I'm working on changing. I think we could probably all work on it to some extent. As long as we are choosing the correct things to focus on and ignoring the things that don't deserve or need our attention.

In the meantime, I'm going to buy a pizza and drink copious amounts of soda to celebrate Columbus Day. Good luck out there, you guys.

Monday, January 28, 2013

New York City

You guys, New York is crazy. Just thought I'd let you all know. That's all. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hard Out There for a Pimp

If anything, my life is full of controlled chaos and frustration right now. I found this video and it was relaxing; mesmerizing even. No jokes today. Just enjoy this. 

If you want entertainment, look here.

Enjoy homies.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Most Annoying Question in the World

So sorry for the three months of silence. Living in Simi Valley doesn't have quite the same charms and time availability as BYU. It sufficeth me to say that those were the glory days. Life now is largely boring. I work all day and then come home and teach piano lessons. I might hang out with someone if it's a good day. Otherwise, I live a largely boring life. I tried to write something a while back about the Tupac hologram at Coachella. It was alright, but my heart just wasn't in it. So I'm going to try to make up for it with some ranting. Oh also, I've decided to put random links in here to things I'm discussing or things I just like. It's an adventure because you never know what I've placed behind that blue link.

Roughly a month ago, I finally got my mission call. Being the baller I am, I decided to open it up at Carl's Jr. with my parents. Nothing fancy. Except we were at Carl's Jr. Which is freaking awesome. Anyways, I opened that filth up and it was the perfect mission call. New York, New York South, Spanish speaking. The city so good they named it twice. And Spanish speaking? So tight. It was a very exciting moment in my life. I proceeded to make a number of calls and post it on Facebook to get started on my most liked status to date. 226 to be exact. Almost double my previous status about Fergalicious. Back in the days when 123 was my record. Good times. My Facebook whoring is only getting better with time.

Regardless, people are finding out about my mission call. And when people at home see me, it's been a while since they've seen me last. You know, the whole, I went away to college thing. So they ask me what I'm doing. Inevitably, the mission call comes up. And let me tell you. Without fail. Every single time the mission call is brought up in conversation. Whoever the person is. Whatever their relation to me. They will ask: Are you excited?

For those of you who have never experienced this question in this situation before, let me tell you, it is the most annoying, frustrating, stupid question in the world. When people ask me this question, the only thing I feel for them is pure, bitter hate. This sums up what I'd like to do to people who ask me this question.

Seriously though. Of all the things you could possibly ask me about my mission, you're choosing to ask if I'm excited? No. Screw you. And the horse you rode in on. Of course I'm excited! Why else would I give up two years of my life and pay all this money voluntarily? If I wasn't excited about it, I wouldn't be going. Think of all the other potential questions. Maybe, what cities are in your area? What do you know about Puerto Ricans? Are you concerned about getting shot? Have you brushed up on your New York rappers?

As for that last question, absolutely. At least, I'm definitely working on it. I've decided to go find any and all rap songs about New York and start learning them now. Good thing I've always loved Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z. Such a great song. And Alicia Keys kills the chorus. So good.

So if you ever talk to me, whoever you are, you're welcome to ask me more or less, any question you'd like. But if you ask me if I'm excited for my mission, I will smack you across the face. And probably light you on fire afterward. Just a fair warning.

Aside from that huge frustration in my life, that's about it for my life. I'll see what else I can write on here in the near future. Maybe I'll even go back and fix my Tupac hologram post. Because looking back on it, it was pretty bad. Or maybe I'll finally write about why I hate Mormon culture. That was the reason I started this blog. I'll get there someday. In the meantime, enjoy some B.O.B. on New York.

Friday, March 9, 2012

White Rappers

I had the greatest day of my life last Wednesday. And it all happened because of Twitter. Hoodie Allen tweeted back at me after I tweeted that I was excited to see his show in May. When I saw this, I literally got up and did a dance in my room. By myself. Without music. Then I proceeded to run down the hall and announce to anyone I met that Hoodie Allen tweeted at me. Granted, not one of the people I told had any idea who that was. Most people thought it was Woodie Allen, the filmmaker. Which I agree would have been pretty cool. But not quite as cool as this. Hoodie Allen will always hold a special place in my heart because his music is the inspiration for the name of my blog.

So recently I started thinking about the music I have been listening to most. And as I thought about it, the three rappers I listen to the most at the moment are all relatively unknown white guys. And I happened to discover all three of them through Youtube. 

The first of these is Hoodie Allen. My friend sent me a text one day and asked if I had ever heard a song called "You are not a Robot." I hadn't, so I immediately found my way to a computer to check it out. Within a few minutes, I found myself entranced by this man. 

Weird video, true, but I still think it's awesome. Ever since watching that, I found him on Facebook and discovered that he offers all his music for free. He's really a clever dude and he's got an interesting style. Check out his stuff on Facebook, you won't be disappointed. 

The next of these is my homie George Watsky. I found him through a random Youtube video. It blew me away and I ended up watching videos of him rapping for the next hour or so after finding the first one. 

I did some more research and found his self-titled album he had recently released. Being the pirate I am, I quickly downloaded that filth and started listening. My world has never been the same. Watsky began as a poet. I've listened to some of his poetry and it is way good. He has some really thought provoking and entertaining stuff. Go listen to him, either his poetry or his music, it's all fantastic.

Last of these is probably my favorite at the moment. I legitimately don't remember how I found this guy. I was delving into the deepest, darkest depths of the internet and stumbled upon something that led me to this video.

From the first viewing of this, I was hooked. I had to find everything this man had ever done in his life. I found a free mixtape he had recently released called Scrublife with this song on it. I started listening. And never stopped. Just about everything on there is golden. I have been listening to these songs for almost a year now and I'm still not tired of any of them. Last fall he released another mixtape called Eviction Notice. Wax had done it again. Almost every track made it's way into my list of favorite songs and many of them are still there. Wax has also had a solid influence on my blog. He has a song called "Limousine," where he talks about a flying limousine. It's a wonderful song and I loved the idea, that's why I stole it for the URL of this blog.

So when I saw Hoodie Allen announce that he was going to be touring with Wax this spring, all my wildest dreams had come true. It prompted me to tweet at them and resulted in the greatest day of my life with Hoodie Allen tweeting back. Wax also tweeted at me, but it wasn't nearly as exciting. So now I have to go to this concert. No matter the cost of the bridges I'll probably have to burn with my mother. It will be worth it.

I guess my reason for writing all this is that I just want to share these gems with the world. If you have a spare moment, go listen to them. Not everyone is going to love them like I do, but it never hurts to check them out. Anyways, after having talked about white rappers for so long, all I can think of now is Dom Mazzetti. So I'll end with this.

That's justice. 

Friday, February 24, 2012


So I'm in this dumb Anthropology class. Which should really be called an African Studies class because all the professor knows about is Africa. And I guess this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I just feel like it's a misleading title for a joke of a general ed. Seriously, that class is lame. Here's a picture of a cute African baby we watched a movie about once.

That's my boy Ponijao. He's a pretty chill negro.

Anyways, we have to read this dumb book that the professor wrote called "An Introduction to Anthropology." And, surprisingly, I actually find this book kind of interesting on occasion. Last week we read about the origin of ideas. I was fascinated by this chapter. Not fascinated enough to write thoughtful answers on the assignment, but enough to actually spend time thinking about this throughout the rest of the week.

It discussed how people come to have different ideas on things and how ideas become truths. And I got to thinking about this. Where did my ideas come from? Why do I believe the things I believe? How come I can accept that there are however many billion stars in the universe, but I don't trust a sign that says "Wet Paint"?

The book talks about ideas relating to an Anthropological standpoint. Which is boring to me. So of course, I related it to things that I care about. And that generally involves comedy and funny pictures of cats on the internet. How do people come up with funny things? I like to think that I'm a pretty clever guy, but then I go on the interned and I am blown away by how brilliant these people are, whoever they are. Take, for example, this picture I found the other day.

It's freaking genius. I had always just assumed pencil sharpeners were magical machines that somehow made your pencil sharper. I would never have thought to put a mini lumberjack inside of them though! It's incredible, the amount of genius you can find out there. There's also a lot of filth, but let's not get into that *cough*BYU Memes*cough*

So what makes these things funny? Is it the unexpectedness? Is it the imaginative acceptability? Does that last sentence even make sense to anyone other than myself? I've contemplated this question for a long time, and never really gotten anywhere. This is as close as I ever got to an answer.

Except imagine me passed out in a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles. Granted the cat is cuter though.

So I didn't really have any groundbreaking ideas to discuss here, I was just thinking out loud. Or thinking in text I guess. And I needed an excuse to put up some of these pictures I've found. Let's see if I can throw one more in there before the end of this.

Now with an abrupt topic change, Conquistador History Month seems to be going fairly well. I haven't been keeping up like I had hoped at one point, but my fellow conquistadors really took the idea to heart. Shout out to my homies and fellow conquistadors Emily Stewart and Olga Belikov. They have single-handedly kept the tradition alive where I have slacked. Our venture to California yielded even more conquering expeditions, including one Huntington Beach and a shopping cart in the middle of an intersection at three in the morning. There's only a week left, so I encourage everyone to do their best to conquer those things that they've always wanted to conquer.

Someday I will figure out what makes things funny and how we come up with these ideas. And when I do figure it out, I expect I'll look something like this:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Mormonized World

So I made the decision in my life to come to this school called Brigham Young University. And don't get me wrong, I really do love this school. I have met some incredible people here and am learning wonderful things every day. Well, mostly every day. But anyways, as you probably know, this school is very Mormon. Which makes sense, as 98.6% of the students here are LDS and it is a designated religious school supported by the church and the First Presidency. All great stuff. And before I continue, I want to clarify that I know the church is true, and this post is in no way an affront to the Mormon religion.

If any of you have a Facebook and are friends with people at BYU, odds are very high that in the last three days your news feed has been assaulted by posts from a page called BYU memes. BYU memes was created by a good friend of mine and, I must admit, is an utterly genius idea. Taking memes, which are already hilarious on their own, and applying them to the stereotypes at BYU opens the door to a gold mine of comedy. And at first, the posts were of the utmost quality. Few people knew about it and those that did were willing to put in the time to come up with clever, insightful jokes about BYU. But over the next day, almost one thousand people joined this new page. And with more followers to the page, came more frequent posts at a hugely degraded quality.

The creators of the page are sick of the garbage that is put up and they're tired of people putting up offensive things and complaining when they are taken down. I have actually tried to avoid Facebook today because I don't want to see anymore stupid people posting stupid memes about BYU.

I do have a reason for telling this drawn-out story though, aside from purely venting my bitter anger and hate towards people who discover the internet and suck at it. It made me realize that when people take worldly things and try to Mormonize them, they end up being terrible. And this is only one example. Let's move onto another favorite topic of mine, movies.

Mormons have this thing with movies that is simply retarded. They feel that if someone goes through and edits out all of the bad parts that it becomes an okay movie to watch. First off, this straight up ruins the movie. Having seen a few of these edited movies myself, I find that it is truly a stupid practice. If you don't want to see these things, then don't watch the movie. Cutting out all of the bad parts of a film is like dropping food on the ground, brushing off some of the visible dust on it, and still eating it. Sure your bagel bite might look clean, but you did drop it on the floor and it's probably covered in invisible filth, especially if it's in the Cannon Center. On top of that, the edited versions really suck compared to the original. They take out so much of the film that it oftentimes becomes choppy and unclear in places. I believe that it ruins the integrity of the film. Just an example of Mormons taking something great (movies), and by Mormonizing them (editing), they become lame.

Another example is curse words. Mormons have taken curse words, altered them, made them stupid, and use them on a regular basis like they are the coolest ideas imaginable. Take, for example, the changing of "hella cool" to "hecka cool." Now you just sound ridiculous. Or perhaps "fetching" instead of the F-word. Not that I advocate the usage of said word, but if "fetching" is the best you can come up with as a substitute, then just don't talk. By saying "fetching," you have the same intent as saying the actual word, but you sound dumb as a brick. Again, not that I support the use of any curse words, but I hate that Mormons feel the need to swear, and so come up with these ridiculous substitutions. And if your alternate word sounds normal and flows well, I will gladly approve of it. Otherwise, Mormonized swearing is really a blight on our Mormon culture.

I guess that's enough ranting for now. But just watch out for examples of Mormonization in your world. I guarantee that if you are Mormon, you'll be able to find plenty of examples. And this isn't to say that everything Mormon is bad, I just find that when Mormons get ahold of good things, they oftentimes become crappy. So my advice to you I guess is to keep it real. Don't try to make things fit your culture. Accept them for what they are, whether good or bad, and let them be. Trust me, it will work out in everyone's best interest.