Stuff I Wish I Had Made

There have been so many great writers, artists, and poets before us: Wordsworth, Raphael, Byron, the Shelleys, Dali, Shakespeare, to name a few. And whether you like it or not, they've impacted us profoundly. Everything we do reflects back on their work -- they knew how to make our feelings tangible. And then there's my contemporaries, who are able to do the same thing. Here's a collection of some works I loved.

I couldn't of course make available every single thing I liked -- I have to keep some of my favorites to myself! Books weren't listed either, as I don't feel like housing whole libraries of all the books I enjoyed.

 

"Song", by John Donne

This just about sums up my feelings about women in general. Men aren't all that much better, I guess, but they're not the targets of my frustration. I thought about posting "Woman's Constancy" or "The Canonization", but I liked this one the most.

"Geeks and Spooks", by Bruce Sterling

"The big story about crypto is a power struggle between two American tribes: geeks and spooks. Occasionally innocent people blunder into this situation, but they get lost, either because they don't understand the technology (that's what geeks say) or they're not to pry any further into stuff beyond the reach of mere civilians (that's what the spooks say)."

"'Net Apocalypse!", by Keith Ferrell

I don't subscribe to the whole 'Net apocalypse theory. By the way most people define it, it's happening every day, because the 'Net is often so lagged in the afternoon that you can't do anything.

However, this article written for c|net uses the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as the main dangers for the Internet in the future. Whether you believe it or not, comparing the Millenium Bug to Pestilence and Famine to address shortages fascinates the Hell out of me.

"Nottingham Sheds the Robin Hood Image?", by Maureen Johnson

Sometimes people do the silliest things. Like remove a legend from their city because they think that legend is tainting their reputation. Yes, the business thinktank in Nottingham is trying to get rid of Robin Hood because they want to be known for their business. It ain't going to happen, guys, and you don't need to get rid of a Medieval figure to do it anyway.

"A Modest Proposal", by Jonathan Swift

Man, you should have seen me when I read this the first time. When I got to the part where the true point of the story was revealed, I almost fell off my seat. "Did I misread this like I completely misinterpreted the symbolism of the buck in that obscure Wordsworth poem?" But no, I read it correctly. Swift's a riot.

"The Web & How to Love It", by Lance Arthur

Lance has the particular ability to sum up in a few words what I try to say in a few paragraphs, and I respect him for that. And he taught me a few things about the Web in this essay. Writing like this makes me go back every day to see if anything new has been posted at his site.

Lance Arthur is the author of Glassdog, an award-winning personal site, and, in my opinion, the best on the Web.

Pres. Roosevelt's speech on George Washington's birthday, 1942

Back in the day, when every day brought a new national crisis to the United States, it was important for our presidents to be stern and eloquent, even when speaking about issues that could affect the stability of the nation.

Roosevelt's speech is now oft-quoted for its reference to the Axis calling Americans weaklings and playboys. It inspired the nation to do many great things afterwards and to have confidence in its own abilities.

"Sonnet X", by John Donne

Written in his usual, beautiful style, Donne paints a different picture of the almighty and merciless figure, Death.

Everything has more than one side to it. We live in a three-dimensional world.

"Corn in the Sahara", by Alexis Massie

Pandora, who is able to turn on both body and mind, writes consistently fascinating essays on a regular basis. In "Corn in the Sahara", she explores the future of the Web. I can't say I want to agree with what she has to say, but it's a very honest look at a struggling medium.

Pandora is the owner of PBoT, a site where various authors write about their lives under Greek mythological characters' names.

"The Morality & Metaphysics of Email", by Michael Kinsley

I admit it. I like Microsoft's goals. I just don't like how they're getting there, stepping over competition.

Michael Kinsley, who is just plain cool (but is a little weird to be around, I'm sure, from seeing him on various TV shows), writes about how e-mail is being praised for the wrong reasons. He tells the reader of an interesting quote, "At Microsoft, the phone never rings." Very intriguing article. Man, I wish I worked at Microsoft.

Kinsley's article appears in the Forbes ASAP: The Big Issue magazine. Other interesting articles are written by Bill Gates, William F. Buckley, Jr. , and my dad. Yes, my dad! Like what you've read so far of this issue? Then buy it.

"Virtual Reality Makes Everyone Principals", by Frederick Turner

My dad bought this issue of Forbes ASAP right before I went on the plane to go back too Austin. This article of his is in it, and I guess he knew that article would be right up my alley. And it was. He knows almost everything, and I say that not as his son but as an admiring writer!

Fred (as I call him) has explored the reconstruction of our world very thoroughly, so when you read this article, don't be thrown off at the beginning, like I was. I guess, since I've lived with him, that I figured his wishes not to use e-mail or computers beyond a word processing level carried over into this article. I was wrong.

"Porphyria's Lover", by Robert Browning

Delightfully twisted. Gives me chills.

"November Rain", by Guns'n'Roses

A lot of people didn't like Guns'n'Roses after they switched to a different kind of sound. "November Rain" is one of their epic songs, and it has to be one of my favorite songs ever.

Too bad I can't place the music video online. Oh well, maybe when everyone's zooming around on cable modems and companies aren't so strict about copyrights, eh?

"Burst", by Anthrax

Anthrax isn't regarded as a popular anything, really, but upon closer inspection, I found I liked their lyrics and their music. I don't expect you to like them after reading this, though ("damn white trash heavy metal groups...").

"Until the End of the World", by U2

There's something about the melancholy sound and beat of this song that I love. I can listen to it over and over like a mental patient. If this song doesn't make you feel mellow, I don't know what will.

It would be entirely possible for me to place just about every U2 song on this page, but I won't. They're all so good though...*sniffle*

"Estranged", by Guns'n'Roses

Guns'n'Roses. They've consistently produced albums I've thoroughly enjoyed. But I liked their epic songs most of all. One was "Estranged", the third part of a music video story which probably won't be completed. The storyline makes no sense, but the videos are titillating and the music never wears out.

"Estranged" is nine minutes and twenty seconds long, plenty of time to put me into a melancholic fever every time I listen to it.

"Hallucinogenous Bullfighter", by Salvator Dali (.jpg, 135k)

Textbook Dali. If you look from a perspective other than your first one, you'll see the matador on the right side and the bull with the large pins in it on the left.

Not everything you see is as it first appears. Now if people would actually remember that...

"The School of Athens", by Raphael (.jpg, 111k)

I think this fresco was my first encounter with Renaissance art. I think, in fact, that it was the first painting I ever became attached to.

It's such a beautiful idea to have all of the greatest philosophers in one place, relaxing and debating outside of the School. If only I could be there, mingling with them... The painting has a lot of hidden things as well -- some speculate the boy hidden in the picture may be Raphael himself (of course, Raphael put him there).

"The Scream", by Edvard Munch (.jpg, 52k)

If "The School of Athens" wasn't the first painting I became attached to, it was "The Scream". The figure in the painting sums up how I feel about things sometimes, and it's comforting to indulge in the chaos of colors and maelstrom of emotions.

 

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12/03/08 MOOD:  (mood:  yellow)