Friday, September 10, 2010

Ideological Boundaries

It is surely an odd feeling to realise that all of your beliefs are no more than an ideology. We all hold different beliefs that keep us held together and we all have a different insight that developes our moral obligations. Depending on culture, these ideas may change dramatically. These ideas are even substantially different within people of our own cultures.

I have lived by a guided set of rules that I believed to be a norm, but thanks to a class I am taking in sociology, I realise that I am not even close when related to others in the world. The daily activities that I go about, acting to remain within the social acceptability of my peers is no more than a constructed ideology that applies only within my country.

The clothes that I wear, the way that I speak, the actions that help me define my-self as a properly acting social being is just a product of my social environment. What scares me about this knowledge the most is that there is no possible way to judge if our thoughts or ideas are accurate to how we conceive them to be. We wander life blindly, just trying to conform to the social standard, but everywhere we go, the expectations that people have of us change.

Fiction; as Raw as it Gets

"I started this piece last night with no concrete ideas in mind. I just started writing and let whatever came to mind come out. It may be something or may not, but here is the first part that I will attempt to add to."

-Part 1-

“You know, George, you are pretty narcissistic.”

“What do you mean, narcissistic? Explain yourself.”

“You have a critical theory about everyone. You know everything about everyone, down to when they last bought their groceries to when they last had sex. What kind of god do you think you are being able to make such predictions about people?”

“Come on James, look around you. Everyone is performing within these social boundaries that govern all of our lives. Why do you work, clean yourself, mow your lawn, or do anything that you do? You are a victim like everyone else, trapped in this unfair system, just trying to survive.”

I watched James eyes stare up towards the sky in thought. He has never been the brightest guy, but always a good listener. He used to be a star athlete, but as life has been taking over, he has aged quickly, and you could tell something was tearing him up inside. He has slowed down physically as well, lacking in energy. He looked towards me with his fist clenched, ready to attempt an argument.

“You can’t say that. If you were so engrained in the system, you couldn’t possibly have that much insight into it. You do everything within boundaries also, everyone struggles.”

I interrupted, “Not everyone struggles as we do. The system was developed to benefit certain social statuses, certain images, class structures, and being a young poor adult, this makes us the scum of the system. There must be some kind of way that we can find the loop hole to make this system benefit us...”

“How do we do that?”

“I don’t know the answer to that yet, James. I need you to help me think of something. Let’s start by looking around at the social ties and connections with other people and try to find a connection that we can use to benefit us.”

“Okay... How about Martha, from across the street, how is she effected by the social system by your interpretation?”

I looked across the street at the tall mediocre green house across the street where Martha lived. She was an older woman that nearly everyone in the neighbourhood noticed, but no one talked about. She was a bitter old woman, and extremely obese. She was mean, fat, and severely unfortunate on her looks.

I looked over everything that I could see about her, analyzing her past actions, trying to think of an explanation for what she was. The only few times I’ve seen her are when she is outside her house in her driveway. Her husband, some guy who weighs like 90 pounds, is part of some huge company and loves to make sure that he puts himself into his social rank. He’s probably 200 pounds lighter than his wife and he is one of the angriest people that I have ever met.

“Forget about Martha, what about that douche bag Bill.” I blurted out, thinking about the past encounter that I had with him. It was when I was younger, maybe grade seven. A couple of friends of mine and I were lighting firecrackers in the park at night after we snuck out of the house and this guy came rolling up out of nowhere. It was dark, I was a little kid, and I was scared. This guy just comes in screaming, I thought he was going to kill us. He was in our faces yelling at us about how incompetent all of our parents are and calling them out. It was the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever witnessed. I was pissed off, being bullied by this guy. That was pretty much my only encounter I have ever had with the guy, but I have avoided him ever since.

James must have noticed the look of anger building up in my thoughts.

“Don’t start some rant about him. I know how much you hate him, you’ve told me one hundred times already. I want to hear your story on Martha.”

“What? I don’t have that much hate built up man. You are talking like I’m Charles Manson or something.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life Life Life

A new day with new things, new classes, new people and new professors; it is overwhelming. We have entered into the orientation week of trying to get back into the groove. I am pumped to try for an A+ year and I’ve been working on strategies to maintain a high GPA, but it is taunting to look over the year’s worth of work and try to prepare.

My day overall was pretty unsocial besides one occurrence of possibly making a new friend. It was extremely disappointing to be wandering the halls searching for all my new classes alone, not really knowing anyone, when I strive on socializing.

The schedule system made my Thursdays really long and painful, so today was a day that I just wanted to get through and now it is all over. Well, almost, besides the huge pile of books that I am procrastinating going through.

Not many people around seem to be like me, but then again, it is only the second day. The majority of people here are probably feeling the same anxiety that I am about being thrown into a new environment. I guess there’s still time for things to start looking up, but then again, my new home, three blocks away was nice, especially when I had a two hour break in between classes to waste. I should be studying right now, reading books, writing assignments, but I am writing on my blog. I guess this has become my new journal.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A taste of the Outdoors

Today, after attending my orientation for school, a friend and I decided to wander some pathways near my house. While making our way through the path, we found ourselves next to the river. We stopped, taking in breaths of scenery that were painted all around us. I went crazy with my camera and took some outdoor shots of the surroundings. We followed the pathway to a dead end in the industrial area of town, after climbing a fence to part of the path that had been blocked off. There were dead trees lying over the path and it had not been taken care of. Here are some pictures of our adventure.

The rush of adrenaline that causes your mind to slow down into single framed thoughts, every beat of your heart, rushing chemicals throughout your entire body, and the tingling sensations of thrill are all products that can be produced from something as simple as a skateboard. My board, is not long, but has bigger wheels than a regular skate. It is shaped a bit larger, and curved to resemble a surfboard. It’s not the traditional style of long board, but it’s the one that I ride and prefer. I’ve come to love the feel of my board.

Every little push, every little bit of momentum that brings me forward; it is done in a smooth glide with style, with a little help from my board and a sense of equilibrium. People who have never tried it can never understand the feeling. It is like a drug, with addicting highs of death defying chemical rushes. It takes me, at speeds of up to 50km/hour through traffic, around vehicles, down any hill that is paved.

With friends the rush can be shared, skills can be challenged; the motivation to go big is increased. It isn’t until I reach the height of my ride, nearly gaining speed wobbles, causing my breaths to increase and my adrenaline to peek, that I feel I have achieved a beneficial ride. The ride will always be there, waiting for me, taunting me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Vinyl Addiction

The music industry has shifted course with the production of new artists. The availability of recording software and equipment has become more common, giving the average musician more of an opportunity to record. The future of downloaded music and online advertising such as myspace and youtube give artists more opportunities to share their brand of sound.

This is all fine and dandy besides the point that music is losing revenue in album sales, causing artists to focus more on merchandise sales. Due to this, music is losing its sound, putting more strain into their image and products rather than the music itself.

I have lost touch with the music scene, unable to accept any of the new artist’s bullshit. The music is getting worse with artists such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. If you listen to this shit then you have your own issues to deal with, but I have found an alternate method to finding the most inspiring listening sensations.

It all started when I inherited an old record player from my Grandpa equiped with a bunch of records. While flipping through the old stack that was left behind, I found that some of the music had more energy and effort put into it than any of the CD’s that sat with dust in my collection. I listened intensely, finding oldie favourites to let the needle run over. The sound was vintage, not like the new age style, but had its own groove which created a music trip that I have been unable to experience any other way.

After over-listening to every good record that I found, I started searching thrift stores. They had piles of records for fifty cents each, so I just grabbed whatever looked neat, not really knowing what I was buying. The experience of getting a new sound with every vinyl that I put on and hearing something unrelated to today’s pop-culture was a mystery filled with excitement. Every new vinyl, every new sound, it was shopping for music without knowing what you were about to hear, aboloshing the artist image bias. The sounds aren’t new, but they are being re-experienced with a new generation of insight, and being enjoyed altogether as they should.