Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I finally went and bought a couple textbooks for my classes. It's nice to think that those are the last casebooks I will ever have to buy. I'm done with buying textbooks. From now on any books I buy will be for fun or for work. I'll get something out of them.

I was also looking at the job board and realized I was looking at the wrong one. I'm looking for a job for next August after I get my bar results. I'm going to be a lawyer. I need to look for jobs that are described as associate or lawyer. It's nuts. I don't exactly like looking at the lawyer board b/c it usually has requirements like "5 years experience" which I don't have. It'll be at least 5 years, but the numbers under the pay part are much bigger. Oh, to make more than a few thousand dollars a year.

I'm in my last set of classes I'll ever have to take, dealing with my last semester. I can't wait to get out of school. There are days where I would rather stay in a chair and let my cat gnaw on me then get up and go to school. But now I'm almost done. So many lasts. I've got my eye on may and it's only January.

I just realized I fucked up my taxes, man I start thinking about refunds and I get greedy and I get to far ahead of myself.

Maybe I should work on my A paper before I get all gung ho about this passing the bar stuff.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Back To School

I tried to post yesterday but blogger was messing with me, or else it was my internet connection b/c I couldn't get on myspace either.
Anyway, yesterday, as I thought about starting classes today, I momentarily began my semesterly ritual. I began thinking, "This semester will be different, I'm gonna read, I'm gonna write my own outlines, I'm gonna be a great student."
The second I started thinking this I realized the hypocrisy of the whole thing and decided that I'm not going to do any of that. I'm going to bust my ass at work, I'm going to try and get interesting speakers panels, and I'm gonna read fun books. School be damned.
The only question left was if it would be rude to leave the plastic wrap on the one textbook I bought and if I could use old textbooks that are the same color as the textbook we're supposed to be using in the rest of my classes? I took the plastic wrap off but I'm not sure I'm buying anymore textbooks.
One of the classes I have to take is Ethics. I like ethics a lot. It was my main interest in philosophy. Professional ethics are usually pretty pathetic systematically. People who half understand some ethical theory, say Kant's categorical imperative, misapply them in some aspect of the profession and try to justify it with fancy language. I decided that I would try and keep the class practical. I know I can't date a client, but how about his Probation Officer? I can't date the clients wife, but can I wife swap with him? At the very least I should be entertained.

Quick bit of advice. "Your honor, I didn't pay for those drugs." is not a good defense at a hearing to see if your parole is gonna get revoked.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ice Cream

Don't put it in the fridge.

Moving on, this is in the Times today. How many times do they refer to Korn as a brand in the article? Sure sounds like downloading is commoditizing music to me.

I actually kind of feel bad for Korn, they took a $25 million advance and there revenue decreased by roughly 70% last year. If this tour doesn't sell well they'll be cranking out shitty records for years to pay that off.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What do I get

I just want menudo like any other, but what do I get?
I only want tamales, husks rapped at the end, what do I get?

Anyway, after reading about Cindy's tamale eating I miss home. Some of the assistants brought tamales the other day and they were good, but not like my mom's. Man I miss tamales. I'm not saying I'd gut you in cold blood for tamales, but you probably shouldn't turn your back to me.
I did make queso dip. I ran out of tostadas. I feel like Rodney Dangerfield.

So, I'm loafing about drinking fabulous coffee (I made this coffee at home, there was no barista involved and yet it was still fabulous, I wonder if the people at Powell's miss me?) and I came across this stupid article. It claims that downloading has lowered people's appreciation of music.
A couple of music psychologists conducted a study and that was their conclusion. I won't get into the whole Popperian debate of whether psychology is psuedoscience b/c it's not falsifiable. I'll just say that these guys are dumbfucks. This is a classic 'correlation is not causation' issue.
First they monitored people over two weeks. Quick question, how many of you realized your favorite record was your favorite record after two weeks? How long did it take most of y'all to really start appreciating Orange Rhyming Dictionary by Jets To Brazil? It's a lot freakin' longer than two weeks. It wouldn't have mattered if I downloaded Jets or bought it on vinyl or on CD. It's a complicated record that takes a while to understand. It takes a lot of relistens to appreciate. Bloc Party, Postal Service, Wolf Parade, Screeching Weasel, Teengenerate, Prince, etc took a while to start getting. Some of the music I had to grow into. You can't figure out anything about a person's music in two weeks, except maybe that their taste sucks.
They found that people find music more like a commodity. Hey wow, major label music is a commodity, even MC Snow? This has nothing to do with how it's distributed. That perception is created by its marketing. Is music any more of a commodity b/c I got it through CD Baby without the trouble of walking to Jackpot? Having Britney Spears hock Mountain Dew in her new single creates this perception. Major label music is marketed as a commodity. That's what major labels have done to it, not downloading. Nobody will hold a perception of a band like Casiotone For The Painfully Alone as being a commodity whether they download it off of itunes or go buy it from the record store.
Major labels have fed the commoditization of music by creating insta hits, contentless crap like Limp Bizkit, or pablum so bland that you can only relate to it on the most superficial level. Find me one billboard hit that resonates like Iggy Pop's "I wanna Be Your Dog". You can't do it. Did these "music psychologists" ever listen to Sigue Sigue Sputnik?
They felt that television shows provided the opportunity to appreciate live music. Christ, Double Christ. If major labels hadn't screwed musicians out of record royalties then musicians wouldn't be charging $50 a ticket for their show to cover their advance. Imagine if tickets were only $15 to $20. People could go see a real show. Where does illegal downloading come into play on unconscionable record contracts? So I would argue, and be right, that it's major labels producing and marketing crap that has caused a more ambivalent attitude towards music, if such an attitude exists. But does it?

These fucking geniuses (It's a latin word so I know I pluralized it wrong and the irony of mispluralizing genius is not lost on me, only the correct spelling is.) go on to say that "people now actively use music in everyday listening contexts to a much greater extent than ever before." That supports your point, pinheads.

They blame technology for the change in the nature of the music experience. It has changed it. I can now get ahold of Ozomatli, Cafe Tacuba, and Molotov. I listen to music within my cultural experience, and tons of people are doing this. I can relate much more closely to Molotov than to Creed. Better bands are reaching their audiences, qualitatively Arcade Fire stomps on anything released by a major label in the last two years (Excluding "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas, b/c that was freakin' inspired.). I can relate to a piece of music that echoes the efforts of the artist better than any prefab boy band sound.
They claim that people have a passive attitude about music. This is the part that kills me. People putting up MP3 blogs (see the sidebar for my music passivity assholes, that's just what I browse for music, that doesn't even count band websites, zines, talking over email with friends, myspace, or going to shows) or learning html to put a song on their myspace page is not passivity. Downloading a song and managing your playlists is a much more dynamic music experience than listening to the radio or reading someone's "Top Ten Records of 2005" out of Rollingstone Stone.
Your relationship to music has nothing to do with how you got your music. It involves the quality and integrity of the music process. Is the audience treated like a person or a dollar bill? The major labels have produced crap and people recognize this. It's not the downloading, it's downloading crap. It's not a lack of appreciation, it's a lack of respect for the major label music system. It's not a lack of interest, it's a lack of interest in major label music.
I can tell you I care just as deeply today about my music as I did pre-Napster. I can even evaluate my music better b/c I have access to stuff I never would have known about before downloading. The Reigning Sound would not mean as much to me today if I wasn't able to google Stax Records and find out about Sam and Dave. I email bands more often than I ever wrote letters or joined fan clubs under the major label system.
Go to warp tour. You tell me all those kids have a passive relationship with music. You tell me there was even anything similar to what goes on at Warp Tour, Sasquatch, or Coachella before downloading. Without music downloading I wouldn't know about some of my new favorite bands. I wouldn't have seen two documentaries in the last two weeks about the Ramones. I would have remained ignorant enough to respect music pyschologists and their stupid conclusions.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The New Year

I woke up New Years day and I wanted menudo. I wasn't hungover, I was just tired and I've been feeling drained for awhile. I thought a good bowl of menudo will pick me up. After a little bit of thinking I realized that I didn't want it bad enough to spend 30 minutes driving to Hillsboro to get a bowl. The only good menudo I've found has been in Hillsboro. I wasn't going to eat the crap in a can. I gave up my dreams of menudo and wished I was back at my tia Irena's house and then went to get some coffee.
On my way to Powell's to get coffee I passed Laughing Planet Burritos. I don't like laughing planet, it's hippie Mexican food. Tofu pastor doesn't work for me. It's borderline sinful as far as I'm concerned. Possibly a hate crime.
Well, as I passed Laughing Planet they had a sign saying "psuedo menudo". I stopped and looked for a better explanation. What is psuedo menudo? I finally went inside and read a description of the soup. It was basically broth with chile paste, grilled vegetables, and tofu.
Do you want to piss me off? Do you hate me? Is there some specific reason why you want to knock me down and kick sand in my face? What did I ever do to you?
Taunt me with stupid ruined hippie versions of food I crave. I would deny Christ way more than three times just to get a descent tortilla at this point. Serve me bland enchiladas? You and Me, outside right now. You want to flaunt fake menudo to me? I'll cut you. If anybody is stupid enough to offer me bad cabrito they better be ready to take a midnight swim in the Colombia river with concrete shoes.
Psuedo Menudo? People who do shit like this probably spit on the Virgin when nobody's looking.

I may be a little tense b/c I'm supposed to be working on my paper.