Thursday, November 30, 2006

FYI: One-time tax credit verifies that when you're filing your taxes for 2006, you can get a credit for a federal excise tax refund. Just thought everyone should know. And, note to government: you don't have to tax everything. Thanks.

Song lyric of the day:
"Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I’m the Taxman"
- the Beatles, Taxman

Monday, November 20, 2006

Is there an exception to this rule?

In a recent conversation with my friend Aaron, I posited that any musical artist who refers to themselves within the lyrics of their own song automatically sucks. As examples, I cited perennial MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, and that perennial why-the-hell-does-anyone-like-you group the Beastie Boys ("Hey look at us, we can all three scream the same word at the same time, and better yet, we always do it on the last word of a particular verse! We must be super talented!"). Additional examples that occurred to me later include the Backstreet Boys and the New Kids on the Block.

So, before I officially add this to my list of Mott's Laws, the question I want to pose to the gallery is this: are there any exceptions? Any insight would be appreciated, as a Mott's Law related to music is long overdue. Thanks.

Song lyric of the day:
"Live in an apartment that bums me out
It don't get better when the lights go out
Waiting for someone to come along and find me
At least I'm breathing
At least I'm alive..."
- Eve 6, At Least We're Dreaming

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Intolerance on the "progressive" continent

No, no, NO!

The Netherlands is seeking to forbid Muslim women from wearing veils. How many European countries have we heard contemplating these ridiculous laws of late? I thought Europeans were supposed to be "progressive".

Someone needs to let the Europeans in on a little secret: true progressivism means choice. Certainly, many would consider the veils to be symbolic of female oppression. Some may consider covering the face in public rude. But these are not our decisions to make. What a person wears must be left to the individual. The true oppression stems from attempting to regulate such things. Doing so under the guise of anti-terrorism is even more deplorable.

Which brings me to a side point: recently, during an argument about homosexual rights which I started but then mostly stayed silent, one party remarked, "Oh, so we should just tolerate everything?" to make the apparent point that homosexuality was something reprehensible that we should not tolerate. I let it slide at the moment, but now would like to comment on it.

The answer is yes. We should tolerate everything, at least from a legal perspective. It is not the government's job to legislate morality, because then the government would have to define what morality is. And how do they do that? Many use the Holy Bible (Torah, Koran, et cetera) to define their own morality, or perhaps even (from their perspective) a universal morality. However, no government of a free country, certainly not one with our Constitution, can adopt any one of these books in particular as doctrine. We have to allow people to choose their own moral perspective, insofar as it does not impede the rights of others to choose theirs. There may well be universal morality, but how can we legislate that without violating someone's freedom of choice? And then of course, there is the paradoxical issue of whether we can tolerate intolerance, and to what extent? Blarg, it's all too confusing.

Forgive the unintended rant. It was written by a pillar of salt.

Song lyric of the day:
"And it is true what you said
That I live like a hermit in my own head
But when the sun shines again
I'll pull the curtains and blinds to let the light in"
- Death Cab for Cutie, Marching Bands of Manhattan

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another random song...

After certain unnamed individuals asked when I was gonna post again, I figured I'd throw up another song. This one also is untitled at the moment, though I was considering "Bliss?" Yeah, I don't really title my songs anymore, I guess. (I also tend to refer to it as "the one with the cool riff in open E-flat".) Not much too this one, it's pretty short and sweet and just fun to play. Anyway, enjoy.

Vanished on the ocean
Still plagued by emotion
Well, I don't wanna know
No, I don't wanna know

You went undercover
What did you discover?
I don't wanna know

No, I don't wanna know your crime
What you do on your own time is fine
Can't believe you used to be divine
Even though you crossed the line
You caught a buzz off dirty wine

Have your cake and eat it
Swear you won't repeat it
I didn't wanna know
No I didn't wanna know

Watch the thread unravel
How far will you travel?
I didn't wanna know
I didn't wanna know that

Ask another favor
Did you like the flavor?
'Cause I still wanna know

Yeah, I still wanna know that taste
Wonder how much more time we will waste
We throw our dreams away with all due haste
Even though he self-defaced
Part of me wants to take his place

So disappear
Deep into a fog of alcohol and lust
Never fear
Love always seems to favor the unjust
Your gold will soon begin to rust
Like ash to ash and dust to dust
You've broken the last vestiges of trust

Drowning in the ocean
Used to feel emotion
But now we'll never know
Now we'll never know

Went in undercover
Couldn't find a lover
And now we'll never know
Now we'll never know

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Well, that was quick

Sayonara, Rummy!

Song lyric of the day:
"So long, so long
And on to the next one
Go on, and it won't be too soon
You're lost and gone
Betcha saw this one coming"
- Guster, So Long

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's been a while...

...since I last posted a new song. I almost posted one a few weeks ago, but ultimately decided not to, as it is both excessively dark and unfortunately mostly true. (Anyone who is curious about that one, let me know and I'll email it.)

But today I finished a new one, as yet untitled. I'm considering either "Limbo" or "If I Weren't A Little Crazy, I'd Go Insane" (the latter being the lyrical centerpiece of the song). Other suggestions are welcome. The song itself is fairly straightforward, but features three lyrics of which I'm particularly proud, including one pun that should delight Jeff. Bonus points to anyone who guesses which three.

Anyway, without further ado about nothing...

Found a good excuse to waste the day
Gonna do it 'cause it's there
And if I ever had another way
I must have lost it on a dare
Haven't called an old friend since last May
Hope she knows that I still care

But it feels like everyone else is moving on with their lives
And it feels like heaven sent an angel yet to arrive

Take another sip from your silver cup
And complain it isn't gold
They tell me I'm way too young to be giving up
So why do I feel so damn old?

'Cause it feels like everyone else knows how to escape the past
And it feels like heaven's angels just aren't quite up to the task

And it seems there's been a downgrade in the company that I keep
And even though I'm seldom tired all I wanna do is sleep

And I wanna wake up seven years ago
Back before my life was plagued by sex and death and vertigo
And I've killed so many brain cells
But I wish I could still know what I knew back then
But I guess that things can never be the same
Oh well, if I weren't a little crazy, I'd go insane

'Cause it seems like no one ever knows how lucky they are
And the more we're stuck in limbo, the more we lower the bar

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Electronic voting

Today I performed my civic duty by voting. I know there are at least a few readers of this blog who choose not to exercise this right, due either to apathy or disenchantment with the whole process. While I understand your concerns and certainly support your right to make that decision, I would offer the following counterargument: vote anyway. Go to the polling place and make your voice heard in some fashion. Cast an empty ballot as a statement against all the candidates. Vote entirely for incumbents if you're presently happy, or entirely for their opposition if you're not. Hell, write yourself in for every single position (that would be hilarious). But participate. Or at least don't bitch about the results.

That having been said, I was pleased as I cast my vote to note that the electronic voting machines here print a receipt for every vote cast, recording exactly which votes were recorded by every voter. A little Big Brother-ish? Perhaps. I'm not sure how much information is contained on these receipts, and not sure who has access to them. But ever since my Network Security class made me aware of the numerous security holes that exist in pure electronic voting, I have become convinced that such receipts are essential to maintaining the integrity of the democratic process. After close elections, these receipts can be examined by independent committees and the results validated. What I'm saying is some sort of record beyond electronic impulses should be maintained.

When you go to vote (assuming you aren't one of those I mentioned above), find out whether the machines you're using (assuming you aren't in Bumblefuck, U.S.A.) maintain hard copies of what votes are cast in some way shape or form. Primarily because, if not, they really should and perhaps you should write your Congressman, but also because I'm curious how many actually do. On second thought, make my curiosity the primary part.

Song lyric of the day:
"Just sit back and relax
Don't worry, I've never been one to notice much
But I'll be the first to say this is crazy
But if it's everything I'll ever need
It's everything I'll ever need"
- Days Away, Keep Your Voices Down