Tuesday, December 15, 2009


It seems like only certain majors in college really allow creative freedom. Being a journalism major has been fun simply for the fact that I was able to mess around with school-purchased cameras and audio equipment, but I didn't make anything that I truly wanted to make. Every assignment I turned in was something I found to fit a requirement.

It seems like college should be a huge experience that allows greater freedom from the high school classroom walls, and it should teach you how to think or create instead of what to think or what to create.

The fact that I am now thinking, "Good, college is done. Now I can make something I care about," seems backwards to me. Rightly, the best work of these 4 (or in my case, 5) years should be what you were encouraged to create in the classroom rather than the things you worked on between class obligations.

I hope that colleges out there do exist that encourage true creation rather than guideline-based repetition.


I am getting back into writing letters. I couldn't sleep this morning while my brain was forming the outline of a serious letter to an ailing friend, so I got out of bed and wrote it. A few pages later, it was finished, and after some friendly advice, I'm unsure as to whether or not to send it. My general outlook on serious letter writing, the kind that is done to allow the writer real expression he or she is otherwise deprived of, should always be encouraged, because what true harm can come from expressing your beliefs to someone. The only real worst case scenario I can imagine is that they simply disregard the letter and don't reply. We'll see.

The other letter is an unfinished letter I started writing to my parents at the beginning of the semester when I was on a huge letter writing kick. It touches on a few of the things I am excited and worried about this semester and mentions new, budding feelings for a girl who has since become a large part of my life. I was thinking about it last week, and decided it would be cool to finish it now with my current thoughts on the same topics and double-date the letter and send it. That one is happening.

Watched Almost Famous today. That movie is still great, though the raw movie quality actually seemed a bit worse than I remembered.

I'm hopefully going to go finish Philip K. Dick's "Dr. Bloodmoney" after I finish writing this post. It is interesting. It focuses on a bunch of telekinetic civilians living in a post-apocalyptic US west coast, living under a physically degenerating god-like disc jockey revolving around Earth in a satellite. Kind of reminds me of my multitude of 2012-based dreams I had last night.

I am a sucker for anything post-apocalyptic.

Monday, December 7, 2009

San Diego

I went to San Diego over Thanksgiving break. Having someone to stay with saves hundreds of dollars. I highly recommend it when possible.

I just got my camera back and uploaded some photos.

There are a lot more. We showed up at the airport with 2 digital cameras, Denise's film camera, 2 disposable cameras, and an old polaroid camera.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The end of college

The end of college is so close now. I have about 2 weeks of classes left, and then this spring I have to complete an internship and then I will be done.

I couldn't be more excited.

I decied that college is not nearly as necessary as everyone makes it seem. I told my mom this and she agreed with me and expressed the same feelings about it as I had, which was nice to hear.

I'm glad that, in a couple of weeks, I can finally have the time to devote my brain to creating things that are important to me. I've always wanted to be a more productive writer, but I never write. I'm not sure if this is actually because I don't have enough time (like I tell myself) or because I just don't have it in me to be a writer. We'll see what happens when I don't have college holding me down.

I talked to a friend from the University of Northern Iowa, and he also has no plans come next August, so we are going to move to Portland and work bad jobs and live in a bad apartment and make bad music and write bad literature. I hope that the combination of all that will churn out something which is good.

Everything is experience. Experience involves feeling. Feeling is good.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Amazing Einstein Essay I stumbled upon

There is something amazing about being able to say that Einstein and I think alike on something.

Here it is. Enjoy

"How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people -- first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving...

"I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves -- this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed empty to me. The trite objects of human efforts -- possessions, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible.

"My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a 'lone traveler' and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude..."

"My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized. It is an irony of fate that I myself have been the recipient of excessive admiration and reverence from my fellow-beings, through no fault, and no merit, of my own. The cause of this may well be the desire, unattainable for many, to understand the few ideas to which I have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle. I am quite aware that for any organization to reach its goals, one man must do the thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility. But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose their leader. In my opinion, an autocratic system of coercion soon degenerates; force attracts men of low morality... The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.

"This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor... This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man... I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence -- as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."