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from paidia to paideia

Updated: 2015-09-17T01:22:52.457-05:00


NBA Lines Day 7


Last night: 3-5
Overall: 25-28

Kings (+5) over Raps
Magic (-1) over Bobcats
Warriors (+2) over Pacers
Bulls (+3.5) over Heat
Portland (+8) over Celts
Knicks (+7.5) over Nets
Hawks (+3) over Bucks
Hornets (-10.5) over Sonics

NBA lines day 6


Last time: 2-5
Overall: 22-23

Denver (+2.5) over Hawks
Magic (-6) over Bulls
Wiz (-2) over Knicks
Cavs (-1.5) over Griz
78ers (+9) over Rockets
Raps (+8) over Pistons
Warriors (-7.5) over Minny
Suns (-7.5) over Clips

NBA Lines Day 5


Yesterday: 8-3
Overall: 20-18


Pistons (-10) over Bobcats
Celts (-7) over Wiz
Minny (+15.5) over Spurs
Orlando (+7) over Jazz
Bucks (+13.5) over Suns
Kings (-2.5) over Pacers
Mavs (-6.5) over Clips

NBA Lines Day 4


Yesterday: 3-0
Overall: 12-15

Bulls (+2) over 76ers
Celtics (-11) over Nets
Lakers (-11) over Bucks
Nugs (-4.5) over Magic
Toronto (-5) over Knicks
Bobcats (+8.5) over Cavs
Hornets (-11) over Heat
Dallas (-8.5) over Sonics
Atlanta (-3) over Wizards
Rockets (-10) over Timberwolves
Warriors (-9.5) over Grizzlies

NBA lines day 3


Yesterday: A Brutal 4-11 (I didn't know that Nash would be out, or that Ray Allen and Big Baby were sitting out the game...and I paid for picking against the Blazers. Shame on me).

Overall: 9-15


Detroit (+3.5) over San Antonio (this one is betting with my heart, not my head).
Memphis (+4) over Sacramento
Utah (-6.5) over Phoenix

NBA Lines Day 2


Yesterday results: 5-4

76ers (+8.5) over Raptors
Cavs (+2.5) over Hawks
Rockets (-5) over Knicks
Nets (-8.5) over Sonics
Celtics (-13) over Bobcats
Bucks (-4.5) over Heat
Hornets (-2) over Lakers
Pistons (+2.5) over Mavs
Suns (-11) over Pacers
Warriors (+2) over Blazers
Magic (-4) over Clippers

NBA Lines day 1


I wanted to see how good I am at NBA gambling, so I'm going to test myself by picking the over/under for each day's games, just to see what my record would be.

Bucks (+6) over 76ers
Wizards (-3) over Rockets
Sonics (+9.5) over Cavs
Nets (-2.5) over Bobcats
Lakers (-6.5) over Grizzlies
Heat (+1.5) over Timberwolves
Knicks (+7) over Bulls
Jazz (-8.5) over Pacers
Kings (+6) over Magic

Your present?!? You're *my* present!!


All I want for Christmas is Charlie Watts.


Album du Jour #22 - What The Funk


I haven't done one of these in 5 months, but that's because I got tired of the pressure I created by myself with the extensiveness of my reviewing. So now I'm going to just say a sentence or two; enough to make me feel a sense of artificial completion of some menial task, but not enough to require any time or effort. Oh, and it will keep me honest in my conviction to listen to all of the damn music I have (which, as winamp dutifully reports, would take some 65 days to do in one sitting). Sometimes I'll pepper my brief album comments with philosophy thoughts of the day, just to keep up that (useful?) juxtaposition.

Today's album: Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights. My roommate Zoey got me into a funk kick, and so I went about trying to find what good new funk/soul music is out there. Sharon Jones is more or less regarded as the best currently doing classic soul, and it is really, really, really, really good.

(image) (this photo reminds me of two important facts I learned in jazz band in high school: trumpet players are self-important, preening fools, and sax players are either virgins, creepy, or both)

Meta-aural-thought: Too many people I know only like EXTREMELY lo-fi indie music. I like this music and sympathize with it, but don't understand why one would exclude everything else. Because: 1. What did electricity ever do to you?
and 2. Black people make good music too.

Husserl wrote down daily observations and thoughts in manuscripts that eventually totaled more than 45,000 pages after his death...and often claimed that his most important work was done there, but it was too massive for him to deal with or publish. Should I be doing more daily philosophy writing, even if it isn't going to be "useful" to me in any conceivable sense? I doubt I'll ever be in a position for them to be concerned about the Wardiana, but even if so, I don't know if I can bring myself to care about my posthumous reception and influence.

Tote Rag with a Rote Tag


I'm trying to write poorly tonight. Speed requires not re-thinking. What part of the brain should I stimulate to solve paralysis? Oh yeah, I have to pinch the spine!

Despite my (thus far) success in trying "rough draft" style writing so that I can go back and do meaningful edits (instead of belabouring every sentence, and treating a mistake like a potential miscarriage), I still need an outlet for good writing when I'm in "writing mode" (especially while listening to Mark Farina on ginormous headphones at 2am...why haven't I downloaded Rainbows yet??). I just think it is amusing that that outlet turns out to be on a basketball blog.

Barely Becoming Brian (an ode to Dexter, a show I am head over severed heels in love with)

Dr. Jekyl and Mr Snide


The TV is on, but I'm not really paying attention. There was some crappy commercials on - which I am very good at not paying attention to (Seth sent me an email about a funny commercial that I would have completely forgotten if not for the youtube link he sent me...I push such things to the periphery of my consciousness). One line from a commercial, however, I did listen to - it was something about how an acorn contains the potential of an entire tree, and this was supposed to be some metaphor for some shitty product/service. In any case, being who I am, this naturally got me thinking about abortion.An acorn does not contain all of the energy of a full grown tree, as the commercial said. It is not as if all of that life energy necessary to sustain an life is somehow compacted into a super potent seed...that energy is gained by absorption of nutrients, and photosynthesis, etc. But people allow their linguistic tendencies to project upon their assumptions about the world, and thus tend to view the acorn-to-tree process as just a transfiguration of one thing. A thing might have changes, but we wend to assume that all of its essential characteristics are somehow present in all of its stages.This explains why pro-life people point to conception as the moment that life "begins". Something I have always wondered: why conception, and not sperm cells or ova? Don't those both contain the genetic blueprint for a person? Of course, this would be inconceivable, because then it would be murder to have your period...or one is a murderer a billion times over for each sperm cell that dies without producing a child (men are far less saintly than women).To prove that "life begins at conception," one must show that there is something essentially different about it from the prior moment. What makes it more life than before?The problem is that the process of becoming a human being is a gradual one that does not lend itself to our desire for hard and fast distinctions. Obviously in the 3rd trimester it would be wrong to abort, but a baby could be medically kept alive outside of a uterus by that stage easily, and there is advanced sensation. To make use of an absolutely ridiculous example: there have been tons and tons of comedies that have the "fetus thinking/talking" joke, but Danny Devito's voice never starts until the fetus is relatively baby-shaped. Even when imagining we don't conceive of dividing cells as possessing those most unique human traits in that way.The point is that we always forget how philosophical category mistakes are at the core of some of the deepest (and most frivolous) issues that we deal with on a day to day basis. People want a hard and fast moment to point to the commencement of "life," and since we ascribe thingliness with unity, some act as if conception is a sufficient condition for life, not merely one of many necessary ones. Complication requires thought, context, and deliberation...and deliberation has become to be widely regarded as "inaction". And it gets in the way of imposing ethics upon another; the democracy of self-decision making and the traditional interpretation of power are at odds. Presenting the "right to choose" as just about the particular choice of particular women is excessively limiting; this is not just an issue "for" potentially pregnant women. Instead, it is about the right to choose in general; to throw off the conveniences of viewing language as a utilitarian microscope through which the world dances for us. Language is a memory of an echo. Every word can expand itself onto a symphony of meaning if we let it, but the instant it becomes a confining can have deadly ramifications. Even when trying to save lives.[...]

New HBO show with David Cross and Bob Odenkirk


The possibility outlined here makes me so happy, I can only indicate this fact by stealing one of Joe Mathlete's creations, the HitlerPenis RainbowJizm Kablooie:


things that are things that are things that are


One movie that struck me a great deal when I first saw it was Linklater's Waking Life. For obvious is an immensely lived-philosophy kind of film. Linklater is perhaps my favourite director - from Slacker, to School of Rock, to Before Sunrise and After Sunset, (all must see films in my opinion). Already appealing to my then-budding desire to be overwhelmed by everything (to be replaced by....a wanting to overwhelm at my whims, but turn it off when I need to go out and be functional?) - Waking Life was the perfect mind-bending flick to watch when stoned (a once omnipresent habit I lost some years ago).One scene in particular that stuck out in my memory was of a movie (director? critic? thinker?) person being interviewed about what he calls the "holy moment" that film can capture. I should explain: Waking Life is comprised of a fellow who is uncertain if he is in a perpetual dream he can never escape from...some new, transcendent, dream to end all dreams. He spends his time alternatively in and out of awareness of himself and his condition...much of the movie involves him being entirely absent from scenes where people pontificate on matters about life, death, the capacities of language and communication...and dreaming and waking consciousness most of all. The limits of the human experience. These scenes seem to suggest that he has himself died, and the dream world functions as a boundary or home of death.(the) One character I was referring to in that scene was talking about how film has an inherent relationship to the actors, and that the traditional view of acting - which lauds those who can act the most "different" from their "real" selves - is badly mistaken. In essence, the way in which hollywood producers tend to make roles with famous actors in mind - is a good thing...there are lots of examples of this. Lost in Translation might well be one of them (an aside about how the internet can lead you onto other and other things - looking up Lost in Translation on wikipedia to make sure my memory of it being an original screenplay was correct...led me to 1. put Marie Antionette on my Netflix list, because I have long wanted to see Sofia Coppela's follow up, and 2. to discover a quotation from Robert Frost about poetry being "lost in translation", which is a perfect pretentious intro to place on an Emerson paper that is mostly written but I've been kicking around for awhile about the role of nationality and language in the figure of the poet as imagined by Heidegger).One morning (this morning) I had woken up, but didn't want to get up, be productive, any of that. So I thought I should browse the movies available on Ondemand (we now have all premium channels, which is an absurd amount of programming I haven't really exploited much) and see if anything caught my interest. One of showtime's ondemand offerings was a movie called I Am A Sex Addict, which was described as an autobiographical documentary about a filmmaker's struggles with sex addiction. I'd never seen a documentary about one's self on such a personal level, so the description was intriguing. I had always agreed (without having fully worked out my thoughts on the nature of film) with that Waking Life clip...that viewing film as just stories with moving pictures was limiting. Books were better for that format because stories are meant to evoke the imagination. Movies are a new and fundamentally different format that are about those specific people, those bodies, moving in time and space.One can imagine my surprise when, as I started this movie to see what it was all about (not expecting to really watch it), it turned out to be the same guy who was in that Waking Life clip! Caveh Zahedi was the filmmaker (and subject) of this movie, [...]

I love the local news


Currently a guy is "reenacting" the senator from Idaho's claim that he didn't really proposition an undercover cop while in a bathroom. The senator, while in a bathroom stall, hooked his right foot around the cop's left foot, which is apparently a signal for wanting a discreet hookup (or is it discrete? The one that means secretive, not separate plots on a line). The senator claims he just uses a "wide stance", but the brave and truth-seeking newsman shared his thoughts on how it would be difficult to get one's foot that far into another stall accidentally, showing how far he can get his with his pants around his ankles.

This was immediately following a segment about a woman whose fence was graced by a knot in the shape of Jesus' head!!

To cleanse my palette, I watched the following:

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Eating Bubblegum Pie


Paper writing times usually coincide with music acquisition times, for obvious reasons. So allow me to share the albums that have got me in their tentacley grasp during these trying times (aka, me trying to work and mostly failing)

1. Missy Elliott's Respect M.E. Well, obviously (Basement Jaxx remix!)

2. Chromeo - Fancy Footwork.

This is one of those instances where I pick up something on Pitchfork's recommended list, and I turn out loving the shit out of it. A genre that can only be classified "electrofunk", it may only be 2/3rds of the way through 2007, but I'm calling the Gregorian calendar year right here and now: this is as funky as it is going to get. The album is about 75,000 times more interesting than you think it would be based on the cover art seen above. Adjust that number if you particularly like or dislike the cover art. But there's no way you can listen to a few lines of "Bonafied Lovin'" without needing to dance a little. Or you're a soulless blight on society. Bonus Chromeo factoid: they're the best Arab/Jewish collaboration since my favourite episode of Wonder Showzen.

3. Neil Young's Greatest Hits. This also needs no explanation.

Also listening to: of Montreal's entire catalog (although I was shocked how different most of their earlier stuff is), Tracey Thorn's solo album, and the Pixies and Posies.

vapid, ho!


Unlike misbehaving pets (damncatthatpissedonmyLegos15yearsagoruiningmywholecollection), you can't take cultural mini-trends to a guy who couldn't handle med school veterinarian to be put to sleep. But if there were such a Dr Kevorkian for Memes (a concept I detest - fuck you Richard Dawkins - but is somewhat fitting here), his first order of business would be to give the gift of death to the stupid love affair people have with pirates and ninjas these days.The way in which those two figures have been given such prominence is interesting in its own right. Why have both gotten grouped together and treated in a similar fashion? The clearest similarity is that both are incredibly anachronistic...but then, so is butter churning, black smithery, and Republicanism, and those things aren't inherently "humorous." I think the way in which both archetypes operate entirely outside the social order is the decisive factor - the interest in pirates and ninjas belies a wistful longing for the possibility for an individual to truly operate contrary to the rest of society in a successful and active way (aka, not just hiding in a bunker in Montana or being irrelevant to society). It does not appear likely that individuals will ever have that level of power vis-a-vis society again. Celebrities and the super-rich are usually even less powerful than most, because they are bound more than most by the demands of society. Owning expensive things doesn't have much to do with power, can liberate from basic needs, but it can also be its own form of shackle if pursued relentlessly (witness any reality show "star" who structures even their privacy around the need to be a pathetic clown for a brief payday). Ninjas and pirates were never about having really expensive things (or at least, the idea of both that we have....remember the Simpsons episode where Bart and Lisa are looking for buried treasure, and they have that hilarious flashback to a pirate suggesting that they keep the stolen treasure to buy things instead of burying it, and the captain just stares at him for a moment in silence before shooting him in the head?).That unplanned tangent into the psychology of our interested in pirates and ninjas notwithstanding, the point is that these things aren't inherently funny. Anything can be funny given the right context, but people substitute cliches for imagination and wit. I realized that things had gone too far when I received the following facebook invitation:What is this?? Why are ninjas fighting pirates? Why do I care, or feel the need to pick sides?!? Just as our collective need to talk about snakes on a plane was forever cured by the movie Snakes on a Plane, we need some massive event to get all this pirates and ninjas crap out of our system permanently. That's why I want them to make a big, empty, absoludicrous movie Ninjas vs. Pirates. No protagonists, no plot...just a bunch of ninjas fighting a bunch of pirates for 100 minutes. After that, no one will talk about ninjas or pirates again for CENTURIES....actually, that movie would probably make a ton of money. I always knew I should be a Hollywood producer!![...]

Bibles, Beats, Bliss


In random assorted links and thoughts time:1. My grandfather, while alive, was one of those total grandfather-cliches. His life consisted of playing trombone in World War 2 while fighting (I'm fairly certain he did both at the same time while marching uphill). After that he owned some vague company that neither I nor my mother are really clear on the details of. Then he spent the rest of his life playing the piano and trombone, finding fault with things, and playing golf. He would do pretty decently at senior PGA events and whatnot. Although I guess one really interesting thing about him was how he was the only one of 10 siblings to abandon the Mormon church; so I have him to thank for my non-Mormony life, I suppose.In any case, I never thought that I follow in his golfing footsteps....until now!!! I discovered the British site Eye Candy, which is the first (that I'm aware of) merger of caddy services with an escort site. Hot women who don't know anything about golf will carry around your clubs for you. Have you ever been as excited to be 70 in your life? If you need to kill a few minutes look around in the "meet the caddies" section. Two of my favourites:a. The twinsMy questions: Do they both carry the clubs at once, or do they trade off? And if so, what does the one who isn't holding the clubs do - just stand there? Why do they have different hobbies and film stars, but the exact same favourite facial feature, singer, and holiday destination?b. Sky BlissThis is the most fucking intense caddy ever. It looks like he watched Zoolander and then decided to make the look "Blue Steel" come to LIFE. Look at that gaze. Could you remember what your own name was in the midst of that arched left eyebrow, let alone whether to pull the ball left or right on the 11 hole? I love how his favourite part of his own body is his "personality", and that, when asked to use just one word to describe himself, he went out of his way to add an unnecessary word in "Sublimely friendly." Sky Bliss doesn't play by any of the fucking rules. I'm just shocked that his favourite colour isn't "tree" or "happiness."I mean...I could really keep going forever with this. One chick's answer to "favourite film" is "I love films!!" The girl whose favourite holiday destination is "Catherine Zeta Jones" (and who is a fine example of British taste for beauty). The girl whose answer to "best facial feature" is "I have 2 lips, eyes." This guy's hair. It is all so perfect. 2. Some kid who was in Charles in Charge, Willie Ames, has apparently made a career for himself doing shit-ass Christian knockoffs of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers called "Bibleman." The show is pretty brilliant -but the new forthcoming video game based on this show really, really takes the cake. WATCH THIS CLIP. This is a NEW game. I love it.3. And now, for something actually useful. Well, kind of.It was strange, getting into electronica in college...if just because I had almost no friends who shared my tastes, and living in Walla Walla....well, there's not any good chances for me to go see this music in clubs. It is hard to get a feel for what is going on with most electronica genres unless you live in San Fran or New York, really. Finding new music was particularly confusing because there are SO MANY genres in electronica. For anyone interested in looking at the different genres, subgenres, hearing what each sounds like, and seeing how they are intertwined...this is a great guide some guy has been maintaining for a few years now.4. Usually TV is pretty dead during the summer - not that I need to waste my time on it - but it seems like there is always o[...]

Fergie pisses on herself my childhood


This is an addendum to the post before last...another thing I would do if I had a lot of money and, like, didn't care about starving people and whatnot - I would DEFINITELY buy a ton of animatronic robots from Chucky Cheese and similar places and program them to sing along to some of my favourite songs. Some memories from your past dig into your brain more sharply than others, and for some reason the way in which Boris and Natasha's robot mouths moved when they spoke at the Bullwinkles in Montclair my grandmother used to take me to....entranced the shit out of me (the jets of coloured water helped too). In any case, this video is clearly the greatest thing humankind has ever done. Except for the song choice.

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Golden Unlaughter


Someone from my undergrad philosophy programme sent me the following link, which is fun stuff - a random nietzsche quotation associated with a random family circus cartoon.


How to exploit nature betterly


This is already a well established fact, but celebutards are stupid. Why do these talentless whores get boring pets like hairless dog-rats, or biting monkeys? If I had money like that and I wanted a pet that reached absurd levels of cuteness, then I would try to get:1. A pangolin.2. a Pudu, the smallest species of deer ever.3. A sentient, transsexual trash heap (I'm not joking. One episode of Fraggle Rock the trash heap changed from a woman to a man. This confused the Fraggles).4. A Kurt Russell.But then again the only reason celebrities get pets is to have "unique" fashion accessories. I think that fashion is a force more dangerous than landmines. A fashion mentality is the ultimate expression of wasteful capitalism - wanting and valuing things based merely on their newness and rarity. This mindset has taken over technology, politics, it a stretch to say that Project Runway should inspire as much loathing as Project: Manhattan?[...]

He's like some guy!


I apologize for taking a 2 week absence from my writings here. In reality, I have a handful of half-finished entries that I shall endeavor to publish in the upcoming days. My lack of productivity mainly has to do with the fact that I refuse to spend time blog-writing while at home (where I have a combination of paper writing, Oblivion, and increasingly busy social life to keep me occupied). But here's some of the note-worthy events to occur recently:
-Saw the White Stripes at the BU arena. Missed damn near a third of the show, but it was still fun.
-Lost my glasses about a month ago, and thus had to stumble around blind for weeks until I could get a new prescription and have new glasses ordered. Damn expensive too - of the many health insurances I've had throughout my life, the one you pay Boston College a ton for is easily the worst. I got more off my glasses due to a "BC student pity discount" the eye place I went to has than anything my insurance was doing for me.
-My good friend Erin is moving to San Diego soon for the next phase of her academic career, so it has been "Erin Week" this week. I realize that it is also Shark Week, but that is ok, because Erin is more or less just a sexy shark. This involved my very first karaoke experience - a rousing rendition of "The Humpty Dance." I riffed on the "All the Samoans in the the Humpty Dance" line considerably.
- We threw an 80s party, which featured a grand total of zero philosophy folks (first time that's happened), but there were loads of rowdy Irish folk, fun new friends, and a bunch of cops! First time the police have shown up at any of our parties (out of 11 or so majour ones we've had the past few years). Great fun.

Making Sense on the Dollar


It is a little known fact that the word "communication" was originally coined to mean "spreading of communist munitions". Back in the first few decades of this past century, people spoke very rarely; it was a concern that wanton free exchange of information would educate the masses and lead them to question the harsher aspects of capitalism. Thus, silence reigned supreme, and speaking was largely viewed as an insidious means of spreading Marxist insurgent notions. Movies of the era provide proof of this; only when profits began to fall did Hollywood allow its actors to speak on film, which was a large part of McCarthy's wrath against the industry a decade later.Of course, capitalism is nothing if not a wily, adaptable beast, and today we find ourselves beset on all sides with new ways to communicate, all benefitting the "Al ighty ollar." Unfortunately, the proliferation of means of communication has outpaced our ability to establish solid societal standards behind these newfangled technologies. We forget that it takes time to make such decisions - Alexander Graham Bell was trying to figure out what kind of greeting to give when you answer the telephone, and his first idea was to rip off sailors with "Ahoy hoy", before "hullo" became ubiquitous.So if I am to pretend I had the power to set standards (and given my megalomaniac tendancies, this is something I am well practiced at), here's what I would enforce regarding newer methods of communication:Text Messaging:It has become common place to use any craptacular mangling of words when sending text messages, but I don't see the justification here. Sure, it is not a fast method of typing in general, but that's no real excuse. If you're looking for faster, then just leave a voice mail. The only situations when you're permitted to type like "ur goin 2 stor lol?" is if there's an emergency or something. "OMG jim died car reck hug firez". The only thing I skimp on in my texts are punctuation marks (occasionally), if just because that can be more of a pain than most things. Also, since I abjectly refuse to pay 5 dollars per month for unlimited texting capacity, recieving each one costs me a dime. Maybe this is why I cringe at short, misspelled texts.Emails:Not much to say here, but one thing needs mentioning: how is it that fairly competent people can't spot the difference between an email hoax and an un-hoax? It just seems fundamentally obvious in the way these emails are written...even when it isn't a commercial pitch. For instance, some number of months ago an acquaintance sent me an email detailing the dangers of a new date rape drug that was finding its way into circulation and being used against women. All the email was trying to do was spread caution about drinking from untrusted sources, or leaving your drink vulnerable, etc - all reminders of caution that are important be pressed hard. But the email felt fake to me, so I looked up the new date rape drug that it was talking about...and sure enough, that was a hoax. I had no idea who the hell could have started this hoax and why - there are enough reasons now to practice due caution against date rape, why muddy a good message with made-up stories? Or was it just someone who enjoys spreading dis-information (the opposite of the dot-communism/Wikipedia effect)? Very strange, to me.Instant Messaging:IM is not like being on the phone with someone; you're not necessarily "in a conversation." People pick up and leave, or have computer/internet malfunctions, or get di[...]



I don't really have a good excuse to post this link, but it is funny, so a quasi-pertinent simpsons quotation will have to suffice.

ambulatory epiphanies, take 2784


As I was walking home just now, I realized that if I lived forever, I would have time to form my Hall and Oates tribute band: Ollae and Hats. Here's the kicker: Ollae would be the one wearing all the hats!!

Death is a cruel joke.


Brian and Music


(every once in awhile I write about the history of me vis-a-vis one of the relevant aspects of my life. interesting to anyone not-me? Dubious. But it makes for good procrastination. Check the "Brian and Stuff" label for more).My first memory of music was from when I was 3 or 4...driving in my father's 57 Chevy (the pride of his existence at the time). I think the car was close to this colour, I can't recall. The radio was playing Madonna; I didn't register it as much at the time, but I can recall him not liking it much. I have a stronger association with that car and music from just a few years later, when at some of the old timey 50s style restaurants that they have out in LA where you get served in your car. Big bopper-esque rock n' roll jamming...this might be the first time I felt a sense for anything that is "past." I have since grown impatient of the tendency to glorify the immediate past (or, even, the ancient past, aka those who think ancient greek philosophy is worth pursuing to the exclusion of everything else), but it is hardly surprising that one feels an awe at seeing the neon traces of world I can never inhabit.MTV was present in the late 80s, and I recall seeing a Dire Straits video once, I think...but whenever I had unfettered access to a television back then, I would always choose Mario or Zelda over Money for Nothing; drawn to worlds I could conquer over ones that felt designed for an entirely different crowd.MTV became important to me again when I was 10, 11. Living in Portland now, I was suddenly confronted with LA for the first time; via the Chronic and whatnot. Choosing the birth town by way of hip-hop (and preferring it to actual contact), I come to my most embarrassing story about my relationship to music:For the christmas during my first year in middle school, I received my first cd player. A quaint boombox, that would be forever marred by its time spent in beach sand, chugging along to the tune of 8 D batteries. In order to justify this device and get something aside from Z100 on the radio, I requested a cd, and my mother picked up a band whose music video she had seen me watching: Kriss Kross. I kind of liked this cd, even though I sort of thought it was childish. That reservation didn't stop me when our 6th grade homeroom class had some sort of weird party thing, and I immediately volunteered to "bring the music" to show off my new device. Cut to the bus ride home; bus trips being times for me to hide underneath my cherished Oakland A's hat (which was lost on one of these bus rides, thrown out a window by some malicious student) from the 7th grade kids who would constantly make out in the seats to my front. One of these older kids asked to check out my cd player on the way home, and I gave it up without thoughts of refusal. It got passed around, and as we approached home I began to wander the aisle looking for it; someone finally passed the cd player back, but later I discovered that the Kriss Kross cd was no longer in there! I couldn't find who had taken it, and I mentioned this to my mother...not realizing that she would of course buy me another one, when I would have preferred a different cd (the novelty of jumping up and down on my bed along to "Jump, Jump!" long having since worn off). And that's how the first two cds I ever owned were both Kriss Kross.I soon expanded my collection, thanks to the handy deals BMG and Columbia House promoted in or[...]