Have we lost our language to corporations? ROFLMAO

"ok, finally got my SP1 upgraded to SP2, then SP3, and got my AVG 8.5, and IE7."

I saw this line on a website. It cracked me up, for a minute.

Then I started thinking about a conversation I recently had with a friend where we talked about some really confusing stuff, and when it was all done I realized we hadn't said ANYTHING but brandnames & product specs.

And that is the language of Information Technology, and the reason Open Source must win. The marketing teams for software (and hardware) are sucking up so much of our brains with chatter that has no meaning that it dilutes everything in our society.

Instead of researching or investigating, we "Google" things. We "chat, IM, email, or txt" instead of 'real' f2f IRL conversations. I play pbp rpg's instead of f2f IRL rpg's.

When William Gibson & other scifi folks wrote about Otaku, I did not think they were describing the future average American. But perhaps that will be the deal -- World of Warcraft has brought us to a new world where 'in real life' is becoming far less relevant. In fact, IRL can be a hardship b/c you can't trade & exchange files or data as easily.

I want to offer some alternatives:
  • all new technology aims to enable people to do things without being stuck in a chair
  • all new technology aims to help people be more effective face-to-face in-real-life
  • all new technology strives to enhance human connections 'in real life' rather than forcing humans into isolation while trying to reach out to new people.
We have a long way to go before we're 100% corporatized speech, but we're above 5%, I think.

RED ROOM blog entry -- OBSESSION is my ART and my TOOL

RED ROOM sends me an email, asks me, ""What are your obsessions? Your passions? Your fixations? ... Just tell us what's on your mind--a lot of the time. " A nice, harmless invitation for me to blog on their website.

I wonder, why do they care? Does anyone in the USA really care what I think? Then I realize ... Ah yes, they are trying to get more 'hits' and 'views' on their website, which increases their stats and (theoretically) makes them look better to advertisers. They ask me to talk about myself, which they will in-turn re-package and give to their viewership for free in hopes of more 'hits'. Even my composing on their website generates 'hits', so they have already won. I'm fine with that, however, because it's a win-win world and we can all build partnerships of success -- at least they said that in my last business class.

This is the new economy, it seems; an economy about hits and views and commodification of other people's lives as Blogs in order to market and sell them to a viewership that never pays for the product -- however, someone seems to have forgotten the MONEY piece, at least for us little folks.

MONEY, the medium of exchange where one valuable item is evaluated and traded for another valuable item. Something is not working in this equation here. Advertisers are messing things up, don't you think? Advertisers are paying pennies to have their ads put up with your content, which actually is NOT adding value but subtracting value and annoying viewers, but the viewers contentment is not seen as a valuable thing. Advertisers are STEALING part of your brain-space and not paying you for that. So the equation is already fucked.

The topic of money arouses in me a powerful temptation to rant about the CRIME of the Wall Street Bailouts. In fact, I can't resist writing the number out: $750,000,000,000 in bailout money to the banks. The bankers just did the largest bank-robbery in all of known history, and the media 'explained' it away, and then moved on to Sports.

I want to rant further on the insanity which enabled Bush Jr to give away billions of dollars with minimal oversite to the richest Americans, but instead I will stop here and invite you to read any of MY RANTz on MY BLOG on MY SITE, rekzkarz.com. (Aha! I can pitch and market and sell myself EVEN AS you are pitching and marketing and selling me! So there!) I have a bunch of posts about the Bailout Robberies. In fact, I even shot an entire video of RANTz about the state of the USA, but this is not the place to market my videos... or is it?

Back to the topic: Obsession

I feel I'm an expert. I've been clean and sober for 13 years. A sober addict, I still attend 12 Step meetings and give my hand out to newcomers who are for the first time imagining the possibilities of living life without being trashed constantly. Many new people to 12 Step Programs may not believe such a thing is really possible. 13 years ago, I didn't.

But new people keep on coming, and some of them get sober. They change, they grow as people. They move past the alcohol and drug abuse, and once those drugs have faded many realize the obsessive quality has not gone away, but 'graduated' to other things, like food, sex, internet, gambling, objects and cluttering, relationship addiction, and more.

In un-fucking themselves, they have woken up -- and realized they were fucked.

But the good news is that the same skills learned in getting clean and sober can be used to clean up the other stuff. And many of us do that, successfully.

But does that remove the underlying obsessiveness?

I have been doing an Artists' Way group for the past 5 months. It's a powerful transformational meeting on Monday nights at a humble local restaurant. We started with 12 people, and now we are widdled down to three. We are not the strongest or most successful of the bunch -- we are the ones who feel there is a benefit in meeting. Last Monday, we experimented using a "Coaching Yourself" book and I felt it was very successful. We uncovered some common truths about ourselves that none of us realized we shared: Obsession, and the desire to force ourselves to perform rather than enjoying ourselves.

I generally see obsession as one of my strengths. I'm 'intense', people find me to be a 'powerful' personality. Obsession runs counter to balance, so I need to remember to eat, walk, find time with friends & my girlfriend, laugh, etc. But it is so powerful, the desire to continue what I am doing, that I can do superhuman feats (even now that I'm without drugs), such as:

  • operate my computer for 12-18 hours straight without food, water, or a pee break
  • stay up from midnight to 7am for several nights working on a project
  • work a 12 hour day on a film set, and then work another 12 hours that night at home
  • compose a song, edit and do multiple versions, and upload it to the internet (the 'tapes' on my blog site)
  • send 50 emails in a day, update multiple blogs, touch my facebook account, & do graphic design work
  • watch 10 hours of TV on a DVR (but with fast-forward, I can squeeze in 12+ hours of actual content)

and the superheroic feats continue... I had always associated these unique skills with my 'unique nature', my 'extreme personality', being driven or inspired, and later my 'addictive nature', my 'ADHD', and so on. Several doctors have wanted to give me psych medicine (and I tried some) to cure me. To fix me. To make me more like ... everyone else. This is the goal? To make me more able to do a corporate 9-5 job, to work at a supermarket, to be a bank teller. The goal was to make me "normal".

I'm grateful that I wandered into a Kundalini Yoga class years ago in Los Angeles where the Sikh Yoga Master began talking about ADHD several minutes after I had wandered (late) into the class. He said ADHD is not a disease or an ailment, it is not something needing to be fixed. He believed ADHD people need to be given the tools to create, and then released to do their creations.

Awhile back, I decided to re-label my world. I come up with new ones daily. So far, here's a few good ones to reclaim my language from 'them'.

  • Right to Life Supporter = Fetal Rights Activist (or better yet, Fetus Protector)
  • Socialist = a supporter of fairness and sharing
  • Marxist/Communist = a potentially violent believer in sharing
  • Anarchist = a person who believes, "if I'm not hurting anyone, leave me the fuck alone!"
  • Capitalist = an advocate of "let the rich be rich, let the poor be poor"
  • 40 hour 9-5 work week = slavery (albeit with some consent on the part of the enslaved)
  • Non-violent Crime = occurs when a person who is not able to work for a reasonable wage opts to engage in non-violent actions (drug dealing, shop lifting) to survive. Also a term for not wearing your seat-belt, smoking cigarettes near a door, public nudity, public sex, and using any drug that hasn't been endorsed by the Government, including smoking a plant.
  • NEWS = programming by media (and government and corporations) which informs but will not outrage people enough to demand justice. A conscious propagandistic manipulation of the population. News is a product to be consumed and not cause problems with the entrenched system of oligarchical capitalism.
  • Conservative Republican = Fascist (a believer in a strong union of government, business, and religion, where the upper class is far above the lower, sometimes offering protection for the poorest, sometimes guaranteeing death for the poorest)
  • Democrat = Centrist (a moderate position, someone ready to compromise, but doesn't completely advocate the total exploitation of the poorest parts of society or the world)
  • Radical = Left Winger (a revolutionary who believes in change, and often in concepts like 'freedom', 'equality', and 'sharing'.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) = Artist

I know somewhere in my head that a BLOG entry should be short and sweet, and have some nice pictures, in order to keep the reader's attention and be more easily consumed. A BLOG is not a book, and reading something on a computer screen is not a fun activity like reading a book. (Know why? Computer screens are flashing direct light into your eyes constantly, painfully burning images onto your retinas. Books are the joyous observation of natural sunlight bouncing off an artfully designed wood-like material covered in wonderful patterns. Aaaah, it's soothing really, and despite the regrettable loss of trees, the light is generated without us creating pollution.)

So I guess I'm done.

No, I forgot, I want to add one point. When we are challenged by Obama, teachers, mentors, friends, or whomever, to question what we are being told, how do you DO that? Yes, I'm asking you. I can offer the following suggestion: Take whatever is being told to you, rephrase it with your words, say it (out loud if necessary), and see if it makes sense. If not, you are being lied to. Here goes a few examples:

Bailout of banks -- "We need to give more public money to the institutions we are all giving our money to, because they have mismanaged our money." <-- does that make sense?

Iraq War -- "We need to send our troups to a foreign country where the USA overthrew the leadership because the USA thought this country had attacked us because our President implied this, but now we know they didn't attack us, so we need to stay there and kill the terrorists there to help them to have a democracy like we have." <-- does that make sense?

Economic Crisis -- "Because housing prices dropped and no professional financial people predicted that, the USA needs to loan the largest lenders public money to loan to private businesses, or the 'free market' economy will collapse. Furthermore, because of this crissi, it is acceptable for large businesses and State Governments to lay off massive numbers of their employees and have salary cuts, but the government cannot force businesses to limit the salaries of their highest paid executives."

Obession is a tool ... against bullshit.

This blog entry is reposted on RED ROOM - here.

RPOL.net, a new TV show project, Kimba's Cave, FishBiteFish, Burning Man

RPOL.net is an interesting site. A facebook friend John suggested I come on-board a game & give it a whirl. He offered to GM something, but nothing has begun yet. After playing Dungeon Crawl addictively for a few weeks, the 'play by post' phenomenon seems much more interactive and keeps the feel of real roleplaying... sorta.

Oh, did I mention the game we are playing is AD&D (1st Ed)? It's almost like a trip back to highschool. However, on RPOL.net you can RTJ ('request to join') into any kind of game hosted on there -- they have scifi games, 'free form' games, anime, horror -- or you can attempt to run your own game. For a gamer like me, this is quite a bonanza.

The site is setup really well also. They have multiple 'roles' (ie GM (game master) & player), each with unique abilities on the site.

The GM can setup NPC's (non-player characters, ie anyone that is not a player) with stats and backgrounds, and sets the scene. The GM also posts rule mods, makes decisions, and so on.

Players accounts are more limited -- their posts will all be as themselves, where-as the GM can post as themselves or as an NPC. Players also can post a character sheet (between themselves & GM), a description for other players to see of themselves, and an avatar (ie a pic).

From there out, it's mostly posts, rmail (emails which stay on the RPOL.net site), and private messaging.
Some interesting caveats:
Posts are generally in normal type, speaking is usually in a color, and 'out of character' comments are written with [OOC: blah] tag. You can also use italics and bold type, like a standard webpage. Another helpful functionality is the ability to insert 'private messages' into a post, which allows one person to read a line of text (but no-one else). This can be helpful for posting dice rolls or a note (backstab my friend Fred) to the GM without everyone seeing the results, or for making plans and whispering to other characters.

The commitment for the game I joined, a GreyHawk game, a is to post daily. I think this will keep things moving along. It's also very helpful for my creativity.

RPOL.net is a free site, but they take donations. I'm going to see how this game works out, but ultimately I'll kick in a few bucks too, probably.

On a related tangent, I just met with my friend Allen to brainstorm and kick-off a project about a roleplaying game themed TV series. Having watched multiple internet TV shows that touch on this theme, it seems we both have some insight into what we don't like about the genre. Figuring out what we would like however is a different matter.
But we have a premise, which sounds great, and some unique ideas.
So now we're heading off to pre-production (writing, later casting, and then finding locations) and also some research on game companies that might want to help us succeed -- maybe even promote the project.
Goals: We are aiming to do a show where non-gamers would enjoy it, and obviously gamers as well. We also want to make money for our work, rather than doing everything for free w/o any compensation in the equation -- as has been the case for both of us recently.
My girlfriend seems to think that making a good gamer show is an impossible goal. Aha! A challenge!

In the middle of our meeting, a guy named Kimba hit us up and pitched us his TV show. He gave us a copy of the DVD to look at (and then took it back). He said he'd spent 10 years and $20k of his own money making the show, but was unable to get it screened or sold.
Find it online:
Youtube video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv5U0rBMuBM

I just watched it. Whoa. Unusual and creepy, especially for a kid's show. Kimba said his show was like Peewee Herman, but I'd add -- if Pee Wee was communicating to Satan. (At one point, Kimba gestures to his demon friend, and his friend blows fire and conjures a knife into Kimba's hand.) Seems like 'knowing your audience' might've helped this project a bit.

Lexann and I went to see Zhenya & Desiree's new band play their first gig. Their band is currently called "FishBiteFish", and it was a good little party. We both figured Desiree could sing, and we were right. All the band members seem very skilled.
We had a blast, dancing & chatting w/folks. I brought my friend Johnik, who randomly vanished for most of the party. I was concerned about him, but it was all OK, he just took a long walk with a random dude (a DJ) and they had been talking. We reunited via cellphone just before leaving, so he got a ride back to E.Bay.
Some dudes were giving Lex the vibe, but ... she's hot, it's just part of the deal. I can live with it. HA We all laughed about Robin, a dude that always leaves a 'too intimate' lingering touch when he passes by. Gropey, I guess you could say.
It was a great surprise to see Denis, an old Burning Man friend that I had not seen in years. I met Denis and Xian at Burning Man back in 2003, and when they split up I kept relationship with Xian but hadn't spoken to Denis in ages. It was nice to see him, and I was stunned at seeing him after the years b/c he seemed radically changed -- ie, he seems no longer angry. Perhaps graduating college, having a child, and getting married do that?

I'd like some of that too! Um, I mean, to feel happy, grounded and chill.
Or maybe I'd like it all? HA

Oh yeah, Lexann and I are off to Burning Man at the end of the month!!!! I'm excited and nervous, very aware of what we need to do to go, and ... this is going to be FUN! If you've never gone to Burning Man, it's worth going. From my perspective, it is a hallmark even of the biggest paradigm shifting phenomenon of the 21st Century, the DIY (maker's) Festivals. Post-post-modern society is not about producers & consumers, it is about everyone being enabled to produce consciously, and everyone being enabled to consume what they feel best represents their self-concept and morality. Plus, I love the artwork and the 'Mad Max' feel of the thing.
(This pic is from Gary Cohen, http://www.portraitsontheplaya.com.)