The world was supposed to end last Saturday yet nothing seems to have changed. Harold Camping predicted that the rapture would occur on the 21st of May 2011. Previously he predicted the rapture would occur in 1994 (can you see a pattern here). Of course he also goes on to suggest that god will destroy the Earth and the rest of the universe for good measure on the 21st of October. This seems like a pretty bad idea to me, it’s not like he’s putting in a hyperspace bypass or anything. It’s like having a really intricate model that you’ve just spent several millennia building only to smash it to pieces because you’re bored with it and can’t be bothered fixing a few mistakes you’ve made along the way. I’ve poked a bit of fun at the idea of ‘the rapture’ recently, mainly because organized religion gives me the irrits, but also because if I am wrong then I’m going to be in a fair bit of strife anyway, so why not poke the bear.
If I have made a rather large error in judgement then it’s off to hell for me, which supposedly involves a lot of fire, brimstone and eternal damnation. Looking around these days there already seems to be plenty of fire and brimstone with the earth trying it’s hardest to turn itself inside out of recent years. If someone asked me for a description of eternal damnation I’d say something along the lines of “going to work day in and day out, only to give half of what you earned to someone who thinks little of you (aka the taxman/Hades/Satan), all whilst people around you suffer horrible deaths due to starvation and war. Then when you’re not slaving your guts out at work you have to suffer through infomercials and telemarketers”. Yep, sounds like the rapture may have occurred a while back and we just have realized we’re already in hell.
My last post got me thinking about my love of music videos. A fond memory through my teenage years was watching Rage and Video Hits on Saturday and Sunday mornings (yes, they used to be on both days). Thankfully they weren’t full of ads and a couple of fools rabbiting on about who knows what (or whatever the latest music festival is). Anyway, thanks to the wonders of modern technology in particular YouTube and iTunes, music videos have never been so accessible, even the ones I used to watch. Since I worked out how to embed YouTube videos in my blog I’ve decided to put a few of my favourites together.
Only the Young
Continuing on the Brandon Flowers theme, below is the last music video he made for his debut solo album Flamingo. Flamingo easily ranks up in my top 5 albums in recent years. There is a lot that is new, yet the voice of The Killers is unmistakably there. If you like The Killers and haven’t heard this album do yourself a favour and have a listen. The video for this song features Cirque Du Soleil Le Reve, a spectacular show that uses acrobatics and bucket loads of water. If we ever get back to the USA and go to Las Vegas I’d love to check it out.
Never Let You Go
Evermore are a great New Zealand band (thanks to @Albums_Blog from albumsyouprobablydontown.blogspot.com for correcting that they aren’t an Aussie band, even though they reside here now) and they have a number of songs on my regular playlist. The track Never Let You Go from their 2006 album Real Life is one of my favourites. I love how they use snippets of old footage to represent the lyrics from the song, it seems to emphasis the lyrics even more.
Take on Me
Ok, so I was only 11 when this track was first released, but it still managed to have an impact on me. Apart from being a great song it has a very cool music video. The video won several awards when it was released and included the technique of rotoscoping (sketching over the live footage to make an animation).
New Order are a group that have spanned several generations especially if you go back to the Joy Division days. I can’t say that I’ve been a big fan of all their music, Bizarre Love Triangle from the album Brotherhood is one of my favourite tracks. I do like several tracks from the 1993 album Republic, including Regret and World. The music video for World is filmed in Cannes and features a series of steadicam shots. I love videos that take you on a Journey, probably why I love Russian Ark so much (I must remember to tell you about that some time).
Perhaps I won’t bore you with too many videos all at once and break them up over a few posts, so stay tuned. I hope you’ve enjoyed these videos and maybe seen a couple of tracks you like.
In the song Magdalena by Brandon Flowers, there are the lines “please don’t offer me your modern method, I’m fixin’ to carve this out of wood”. Supposedly this song is about a religious pilgrimage from Nogales to Magdalena and the story of the area around Sonora (that is about a brief a summary as you are going to get, I read a post about the meaning of the song that was several pages). Anyway, I am not generally one for looking at metaphors/meanings/symbolism in most things I listen to, watch or read, mainly because it is a bit beyond me (except in this article which is pure gold). I much prefer to take whatever meaning/symbolism/interpretation that comes to me not what the creator is trying to deliver. Of course occasionally (rarely is probably a better word) my interpretation and that meant by the author are similar, although I have a feeling it is not the case with these lines from the Brandon Flowers song.
If you knew where I was going with this post you might be inclined to tell me to stop rambling, so I’ll get on with it and put you out of your misery, or create some depending on your tastes and or literary abilities.
A great dilemma I have is my desire for everything that is technological and everything that is not. Those who know me often put “geek” in the sentence when they are talking about/to me. This comes from my love of having the latest and greatest gadgets including MacBook Pro’s, iPhone 4’s, iPad’s, Kindle’s the list goes on. The idea of reading/writing/watching/listening to everything (including writing this blog) using some form of electronic device really appeals to me. There is something about being connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, no matter where you are on the planet that is almost comforting. There has been many a word said, when I have attempted to use said technology whilst on holiday or late at night lying in bed.
What many people don’t know about me is my love of everything that is old (or at least old fashioned). I own a fountain pen (even if my handwriting is not really suitable for it), several of my favourite watches have no battery (yes I have to wind them up) and I still do like to have certain books in paperback. When time and money allow I would love to get my hands on an old valve amplifier to play my music, I strongly believe that modern technology has made music harsh and almost sterile. Whilst I don’t plan to switch my entire music collection over to vinyl, there is something nice about the warmth old equipment gives music. A leather satchel that has been worn with time and use has much more charm that the synthetic bags of today and whilst sharing your thoughts with everyone else (like I am now), the privacy of a well made journal to pen your thoughts is also a joy to hold. In recent times I’ve even toyed with the idea of buying an old film camera, but god knows where you get film developed these days (I used to be able to do it myself).
I consider myself lucky that I was born in a time before computers (before everyone had one at least), mobile phones, ATM’s and CD’s. I think this is why I have a love for all that is old and want to keep it near me. I don’t want to give up my technology, in fact I want all that is the latest/fastest/coolest. I just want to use it whilst listening to some music that has warmth to it and occasionally take out a pen and piece of paper from something made of leather.
Dictionary.com defines fate as “the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed”. I want to tell you a little story that I hope helps you see why I believe in fate.
A man was walking his dog one day, as he had done many times. On this particular day, for no apparent reason, the dog decides to run out onto the road. As often happens when dogs run onto the road it was hit by a car. The driver of the car did not stop and the man was left with his dog lying on the road. As luck would have it the dog was not seriously injured, so the man picked up his friend and tried to flag down other motorists to help him get the dog to the vet. Eventually a good samaritan stopped and offered the man and his dog a lift to the vet. Naturally the man was quite distressed and whilst driving to the vet our good samaritan became distracted by this and drove through a red light at an intersection. The car collided with another car coming through the intersection, the result of which I would only describe as fate. You see, whilst the human occupants were wearing seat belts, our injured dog was lying on his owners lap. When the cars collided the dog was thrown against the windscreen and killed. Fate had decided the dog was going to die that day.
You may think I made that story up, but as I had the misfortune of being indirectly involved in it, I can testify to it’s truth. It is one of the thousands of pieces of evidence I have observed that tell me fate is the hunter. Something I’d like to make blatantly obvious is I don’t believe in god or gods. This did cause some difficulty when trying to rationalize my belief in fate, after all, who or what is doing the prescribing? I have thought about this long and hard and have come to the conclusion that we are responsible for our own fates. We make decisions and take actions that lead us down particular paths. Fate is just the interaction of our paths with the paths of others. An important point with this is that everything, not just people, has it’s own path, from the individual atom, to the tallest tree, and to the universe itself. Everything has paths that are constantly interacting. Sometimes these interactions seem extreme or unusual, I just call them fate.
On a side note, another man who believed in fate was Ernest K. Gann. He wrote an amazing book about his life as a pilot in the early days of civil aviation. He talks about his belief in fate and how it nearly took (or saved, depending on how you view things) his and others lives many times. I highly recommend this book to anyone, it’s called “Fate is the Hunter” and you can pick a copy up on Amazon here.