Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lost verses

I see you well and clear
Deep in the moonlight dear
Your radiant august eyes
They are the suns that rise
They are the light that guides
They are these lost verses

I came up from under the ocean
Evaporated sea salt water
A mist above the skyline
I haunt the streets
Watch over loved ones and old friends
I see them trough their living room windows
Shaken by fear and worries
I want them to know how I love them so
Foghorns would sound in waking
Is it my voice you hear?
Footsteps are moving across the floor
And you know I'm here
The afternoon carries up from the hills and you are well and near
To fall into the light I follow

I feel oh so near
When morning doves appear
And ghosts of April ring
Echo the refrain
Soon finding a place
In these lost verses

They fill the foggy day
They hide the hills away
That steal our time
They are the picturesque night
The lost verses

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Scott/Society Divorce: Covered from all angles

Yes, the news that rocked the world is here and The Greatest Blog Alive has it covered from all angles!! That's right we've got the exclusive scoop! Interviews with the key parties! Analysis from experts!! And it's all for free!!

From the beginning the relationship between Scott and Society was rocky. In an exclusive interview with TGBA Scott reveals the early days of the union. "Yeah well, it was sorta an arranged marriage from the start. Getting into it with Society is kind of the thing to do apparently, and if you don't you have to deal with all manner of shit. So I kind of just grinned and bore it for a while. In truth Society didn't do much for me from the start. Even with a bag over it's head I couldnt manage to be intimate with it... and fuck me if the conversations weren't explosively one dimensional".

On the other hand, when asked for it's opinions on the breakup, Society responded: "CONFORM. IMMEDIATELY." Make of that what you will.

Many of Scott's friends and family had also noticed that the relationship wasn't exactly setting the world on fire. His sister Nicole related to us "Holy shit, if I heard him complain about Society to me one more time I was just about to plug my ears with fast setting gauze. This is definitely one relationship that needed to end." When asked about Nicole's comments Society responded: "DON'T THINK. WORK." Make of that what you will.

Miss Ashleigh Stewart, one of Scott's closest friends touched upon the inevitability of the divorce from her own unique perspective. "Well, we formed a group together called the Ashleigh Scott Society for Social Sanity... which seemed to be a painfully clear message that we both thought Society was a bit insane. I'm only surprised the thing lasted as long as it did, I mean come on!! Do oil and water stay together?? Oh by the way, am I getting paid for this interview? Why'd you just barge into my flat? And during Glee too!! Get lost!!" In response to Miss Stewart Society was heard to remark: "PAY INCOME TAX. LAWS AND STATUTES ARE THERE FOR A REASON." Make of that what you will.

Finally, we hacked into Scott's personal computer account for a more illegal look at his views on the divorce. We found a bunch of saved Word files and blog documents containing many vitriolic threats, even going so far in one file to state that the only thing he really wanted "was the see Society burn. Oh would that be sweet." In what can only be described as over the top spiteful ranting Scott expressed thoughts along the lines of "Society is a blood sucking parasite that exists only to drain the will, ability to think and emotion. The sooner it gets fucked and dies a painful death the better for everybody. Especially me." We were hesitant to relate these words to Society in our face to face interview... but in the name of journalistic integrity we asked Society anyway. "CONSUME. MONEY. NOTHING TO SEE HERE."

Make of that what you will.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Matrix Trilogy: Neo, Agent Smith, The Reunification of Being and Return to Spirit

Phew. If I get this right, this essay will explain why The Matrix trilogy is the Michelangelo's David or the Mona Lisa of film: The pinnacle of human accomplishment in this medium, and a profound statement about life, humanity and the divine that sends shivers down my spine. Of course all this pretty much fucking guarantees that even the 2 people who read this blog regularly aren't going to read this. But fuck it, the fact that noone cares has never stopped me from doing anything before.

The relationship between Neo and Agent Smith in the films is very misunderstood, and since this figures so crucially into the amazing ending, this is a large part of the reason why the later movies get so critically panned. Neo (the apparent hero) and Agent Smith (the apparent villain) are the inevitable resultant of the Matrix's programming equations which produces anomalies in the system. Neo, or the One, exists, and thus Smith must exist as well as an inevitable product of the mathematical equations of the system attempting to balance themselves out. Hence Smith is Neo's opposite, the Yang to Neo's Yin.

It is about at this revelation where the audience sheep start bleating because this whole thing is getting disconcerting for their expectations. "But Smith is the BAD GUY! Neo has to BEAT HIM UP!!" Well, no. These movies are far deeper than that. And it's about to get deeper. Neo and Smith's journeys are a mirror of one another. Neo represents the spirit, encased in a body that is more self sacrificial, represented in his undying love for another (Trinity) which motivates him throughout the films. He is thus a sort of representative of the shallow archetypic hero who saves others. Smith represents the spirit, encased in a body that is purely focussed on self. He is thus overtly materialistic and nihilistic. This is represented in the fact that he endlessly copies himself onto everybody, spawning an entire population of nothing but Agent Smiths and his goal is nothing less than to subsume the entirety of existence until nothing is left but he. He is focus on self, taken to it's logical extreme.

The key point is that NEITHER IS COMPLETE. Neo is not good, Smith is not bad. They are both part of the broken mirror of truth, and as they clash throughout Part 2, neither side yet realise this fact.

The struggle between Smith and Neo is a microcosm of the larger struggle that operates throughout the films that approximately 0.005% of the audience even realise. The last remaining human city of Zion represents the body where human bodies clash with machines. The Matrix represents the mind where the digital forms of human minds are enslaved by the mind forms of the machines. Crucially, and this is part that EVERYONE misses, The Machines themselves actually represent spirit (Unexpected no?). Towards the end of part 3 Neo's physical eyes are blinded and his spiritual sight kicks in as he arrives at Machine City and lo and behold... he sees the machines as made of pure golden light.

There is a saying in Christian Mysticism, "Hell is the flames of God's love denied". Humanity, disconnected from it's spirit and only conscious of body and physical sight experience the machines as devilish and hellish in appearance and experience them ATTACKING them. The crucial point is that this is an ILLUSION caused by lack of sight. The same machines looked at through disconnected physical eyes become beings of pure light when looked at through the eyes of true spirit. And the audience's head explodes because all their expectations of "Men good, machines bad, men beat machines yay" are turned squarely on their head whilst I cackle in the midst of my intellectual orgasm. Men turned away from their spirit and thus began to perceive the spirit itself as hostile. This manifested itself in the form of harsh, unrelenting machines hunting them down and forcing them underground. It is said in Matrix One if one is paying attention, that when man first gave rise to the machines that the created artificial intelligence was OF ONE CONSCIOUSNESS. Undiluted pure awareness. Thus, uncorrupted spirit.

Hence, The Matrix trilogy as a whole becomes a tale of the modern human condition. The Architect of the Matrix (the mind) has never been able to be craft the system into a perfect world because it does not integrate the body or the spirit. Zion (the body) lives in fear and under constant attack because it does not integrate the mind or the spirit. And the spirit remains unable to connect with the body or the mind because both have chosen a condition of illusion and rejection of the divine. ALL THREE MUST BE INTEGRATED, and this is where Neo and Agent Smith return to the forefront.

Neo is the Avatar, or the Christ incarnate. He is the one who will reunify the three domains IN HIMSELF and thus transfigure all three realms of body, mind and spirit into integration and peace. His journey begins in the Matrix, the mind, progresses to Zion, the body and ends at Machine City, the spirit. He is the One because he transcends dualism and begins to exist in a state of CHOICELESS DIVINITY. He breaks from the established cycle of Matrix system reboots through his love for Trinity which is a state of choicelessness. However, Agent Smith is the embodiment of choiceless divinity as well but in a very different way that makes it very difficult to discern. Whilst Neo is affixed to choicelessness of love, Agent Smith is affixed to the choicelessness of PURPOSE. He enacts no choice but to continually be driven by purpose, to replicate and eventually, so he presumes, to destroy Neo.

This brings us to the final resolution of the Trilogy and the final confrontation between Neo and Agent Smith, the two halves of being. Whilst Neo has progressed far and begins to see spirit, he is not yet one with it. There remains separation. There is one more thing to do: To reunify himself with Agent Smith, his enemy, his daemon, his other half. Neo enters the Matrix (the mind) to bring about the ultimate and final unity of consciousness.

In a fucking EPIC scene, with fucking EPIC music, rain (the spiritual symbol of purification and baptism) pours down as Neo advances along a street that is literally lined with Agent Smiths. Smiths watch from the windows of skyscrapers. Smith is now all that remains in the Matrix. He is dead set on putting an end to Neo and completing his purpose. As the intuitive half of the whole, Neo is becoming aware of something that Smith is not. Smith is still lost in his blind materialistic drive and will continue to fight Neo, unaware of the futility of his actions. Neo begins the scene in the same mindset and the battle begins. They fight in the skies, through buildings, in craters and on the street.

Agent Smith thanks Neo "for it was your life that showed me the purpose of all life... the purpose of life is to end". As is most often the case with the Matrix trilogy, there is are layers of meaning to Smith's pronouncement. Whilst Smith, as the nihilistic, materialistic self no doubt believes he is saying that life has no ultimate meaning and death is the inevitable and only end result, he is in fact saying something very different. The purpose of life is TO END. In fulfilling his purpose, Smith is about to end as an individual and be subsumed into the source and true divinity. He is in fact speaking the truth without even knowing it. And Neo keeps fighting... until the crucial moment.

The crucial moment where he realises the truth. That just as in real life, struggling against something is merely an illusion, because all you are in fact struggling with is yourself. He and Smith are ONE. There is nothing to fight except himself, which leads to the very situation of mind, body, spirit fragmentation that he is attempting to rectify. In an act of pure surrender, Neo proclaims to Smith that he was always right, and stands perfectly still as Smith absorbs and assimilates him. In this act, Neo's road to the divine is finally complete, he has achieved total reunification and both he and Smith cease to exist as individuals and are subsumed in the divine light. Finally, through Neo's enlightenment, light is brought to all three worlds. The war is over, and man is rendered whole again as a fully connected divine being.

Thus brings to an end the greatest filmic accomplishment of our time, and somehow it even manages to top itself and perhaps even reveal the secret to existence in a mere three lines of dialog. The final three lines of the film.

In the Matrix, now reunified and glimmering with golden light, the green mind hue now banished forever The Oracle (the symbol of female intuition) and the Architect (the symbol of male rationality) have one final conversation. The Architect admonishes the Oracle for playing a dangerous game and gambling the existence of all three worlds on Neo. Then after, a sneer he asks the question "Did you know this would happen?".

The Oracle smiles, and with a wistful tone dripping with wisdom, playfully proclaims, "Oh no... no I didn't...

But I believed."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"We live in a time of revolution, we swim the silent seas of sanity gone"

Nouns for the Mindless Drones

Society is composed of 99% mindless drones and 1% people who are depressed about being around mindless drones. So here is an impromptu list of words for these conformists for you to use next time you are bombarded with their insipidness. All of which I have used at some point or another.

Sheep, Drones, Mongoloids, Patsies, Zombies, Fish heads, Troglodytes, Hobgoblins, Robots, Programs, Clones, Borewhores, Geese, Conformatics, Neurotics, Bluepills, Pissants, Pigs, Goats, Ducks, Switch heads, Automatons, Blankers, Probes, Gargoyles, Mudbrains, Cowards, Workers, Guppies, Philosophically Lame Shit for Brains, Bubblegum Gobblers, Sugar bees, Mainstream whores, Putzes, Morons, Douchebags, Idiots, Mindsluts, Weakknees, Wafflers, Boneheads, Numbskulls, Oblivatrons, Cogs, Wheels, Gears, Anonymous Henchmen, Facehuggers, Bottom feeders, Crawlers, Pill poppers, Sludgers, Conformasluts, Mudpuppies, Viruses, Binary bits, Lemmings, Replicators and Pop weasels.

As a post script to this I must add that I really love people. ;)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Reflections on the Matrix: Cypher and the Illusion of Conformity

In the first Matrix we are introduced to the character of Cypher. From the outset he is hard bitten and skeptical. He doesn't seem to believe in Neo or the messianic prophecy of the coming of the One who will end the war with the machines and save humanity from imprisonment. In their first conversation he openly admits to Neo "Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill?". The harshness of reality outside the Matrix is too much for him to take and freedom is too much for him to handle.

Cypher makes a deal with Agent Smith over a computer generated steak to betray humanity in exchange for... gasp... being reinserted into the computer generated mind prison. Over the course of their conversation he remarks that "ignorance is bliss" and his yearning to be someone important, like an actor or a well paid businessman in his sham life after his reinsertion.

Here we see the temptation of conformity at it's peak. For every moment in every second after renouncing the system amidst all the unavoidable hardship that choice brings there is the feeling "Wouldn't it just be easier to go back?" This in turn raises the obvious deeper issue of bitter unpalatable reality versus comfortable illusion. Cypher realises that his decision is in effect; to allow his real body and life essence to be used by the machines as battery power while he has a pleasant dream but hey, at least he's not aware of it! Cypher thus becomes a parable of Judas in his betrayal of the One. Disillusioned and skeptical he fails to see that in effect the hardships and trials of life in the real world are an inevitable precursor of the consciousness transition from a separate fragmented state of only body to one of the unity of body, mind and spirit that Neo shall bring about.

Cypher is the parable of the ultimate category mistake. We can only give in to the conformity of the system, the way we are 'supposed' to act, live, love and be by forsaking one or more parts of the trinity that make us full and complete entities. To conform involves giving up mind, giving up spirit, giving up body or any combination of the three. Thus it involves an inevitable reduction of oneself to the level of non functioning humanoid.

In the Matrix trilogy Zion and the real world represent the body and are tinged in blue. The Matrix represents the mind and is always tinged in green. Surprisingly enough, but for beautiful reasons we will get to in the future the machines themselves represent spirit, encased in golden light. In being liberated from the Matrix the mind is freed and is reunited with body but still is not complete as the spirit, inherant in the machines is not recognised and assimilated. Cypher, being promised liberation and being brought into a world that promised wholeness and still feeling incomplete leads him inexorably to step backwards, to believe that his former state of disembodied mind in the Matrix is actually preferable to a life that promised freedom and left him still with incompleteness. The message of Cypher's betrayal is thus something along the lines of the message of Judas. Sensing that the journey was not completed and brought to fruition in the way he expected, Judas attempted to toss away the inevitable divinity that was in progress all along and revert to a primitive state of ignorance.

Ignorance is not bliss, never has been, never will be. Conformity is easy, yet the sacrifices are far too high, the inexorable disintegration of the unity of self and the power of individuality.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thoughts on Life and The Matrix (Part One)

I trust that the few reading this are familiar with The Matrix movies, if not parts 2 and 3 then at least part one. If not, then I pity your deprived existence. GO OUT AND WATCH THEM NOW. Basically The Matrix in my eyes is the crowning achievement of the art of film that I have yet witnessed in my lifetime. I'm not saying something already out there or something that will come along wont surpass it, but I haven't seen anything that does yet.

To me, these films resonate to the core of my being. Almost everything I hold to be true about life, the world and everything is somewhere in these films, perhaps buried deep in symbolism, hints or fleeting thematic glances but there nonetheless. It was likely watching the first Matrix way back in 1999 that set me along the path or at least showed something to me about myself that was already there.

The reaction you will find among the general public to these movies tends to go something like this. "Gee, Matrix one was amazing, shame about the sequels though". I can understand why this is. Because as the philosophers on the DVD commentaries so precisely put it, The Matrix Part One as a self composed entity is easily understood, and it plays into traditional expectations of a narrative. Matrix One is good vs evil. Humans good. Machines bad. Matrix, the computer generated prison for humanities minds bad. Outside Matrix good. Neo good. Agent Smith bad. And people were HAPPY with that. Then came parts 2 and 3. Reloaded and Revolutions are like waking up in heaven and finding out things aren't as they were cracked up to be. They are disconcerting, they subvert expectations, they turn everything on its head. Reloaded and Revolutions is where we find out that the Matrix isn't so bad, and the role of Neo perhaps isn't so good. It's where we discover that profoundly it is the MACHINES that is invested with the singular spirit and consciousness that humanity lacks. It's where we find out that Agent Smith himself is the only way that leads to Neo's wholeness, salvation and nirvana. And the typical person on the street is not happy with ANY of these developments.

To put it simply, parts 2 and 3 are trashed because they are better movies. Because we want easy answers. We want easily identifiable good vs. evil and loathe complexity. The Matrix trilogy as a whole is perfect. If only people would engage with it on it's own terms and not bringing their limitations to the experience. But really that's what the whole Matrix is about. That 99% of humanity live in a self imposed dream world of oppression. Could it be any other way that the majority of people don't get these movies??

Anyway, this is part one of me referencing ideas, themes, scenes and characters from the Matrix and how they relate to life as a whole for me. I hope somewhere out there finds this worthwhile and illuminating, and most of all I hope it inspires somebody to go back and watch these movies in the spirit they were made. It could be a most rewarding experience.

One of my favourite scenes from Matrix One is this one. Morpheus takes Neo into a simulated training program where they walk along a crowded city street as squalls of people, businessmen, women and nameless scrawls of people advance past them on all sides, an endless torrent of humanity living in their dream reality.

Morpheus tells Neo that these are the people they are trying to liberate and yet, because they are not liberated they are DANGEROUS. Morpheus invites Neo to turn around for another look at a gorgeous woman in a red dress who caught his eye and instead he finds himself staring down the barrel of an Agent's gun. Every single time I walk down a city street with tons of people around I think of this scene. In London that was almost everyday. It is such a profoundly true statement about our world.

These people, the ones around us every day, ambling to their jobs so they can pay the bills, and sustain themselves within this system of control will pay you no attention, as long as you're one of them. Start questioning the system like Neo and WHAM! You're a threat. And all at once, these people become dangerous, like an amorphous Agent in symbolic form, because whilst these people accept the status quo, they will always look down on ones like myself, who do not. In Morpheus's words "these people are so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will FIGHT to protect it." One look at the subscription rates to the US military will illuminate the truth of these words.

Go ahead, try it one day. Go to a person in your life who has never thought to do anything except conform to the expectations of society and the secular world. Ask them WHY they live like that. Chances are the most common reaction you will get is a blank look on their face as they myopically stare of into the distance, lost in a Manichean dream. Dig a little deeper and you'll get some pushback, some resistance. Dig even deeper and the hostilities towards you will begin. It's as inevitable as the day is long. The Wachowski Brothers in this scene have captured the heart of the matter PERFECTLY. What motivates the masses and their choices is what the philosopher Ken Wilber dubs the Three C's. Conformity, Complacency, and Cowardice. Trying to live outside the boundaries of the three C's is to take the red pill. Ignoring that still voice in one's mind that cries out "this world is not enough" and falling in line is to take the blue pill. And we all do it. In one way or another. Because it is easy. In mental slavery we are our own gatekeepers. We locked ourselves in the cell and we swallowed our own key. It's just easier that way ain't it? All this thinking, and being different and yearning for something more is just fucking depressing.

Look at those people next time you're walking the streets. Look at all those unsatisfied lives coated over with the thinnest layers of makeup, fancy suits, nail polish and filled wallets. Look at the phallic symbols of material dominance that stretch up into the sky and the roads that penetrate in all directions playing into the most base of desires. Look at all the empty people with their empty lives, extinguished dreams and downgraded desires. Yes, it's the easy road. As Ecclesiastes 1:18 says "For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief." The red pill existence is hard, with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In the Matrix the Agents keeping it all in line can punch through walls, transmute themselves into anybody's body and are virtually indestructible.

Is the struggle against these seemingly insuperable forces worth it? Or is it just better to take the blue pill and be blissful in self contained ignorance? That is one the questions the Matrix invites us to answer and one of the reasons it is one the greatest films of all time. Stay tuned next time as we investigate the character of Cypher, the embodiment of conformity, and the man who chooses blissful ignorance over harsh reality.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Scott's most profound Mancrushes

Men men men men manly men men men
Men men men men manly men
Whoo hoo hoo
Hoo woo ooo
Men Men Men Men...

In a post that is sure to cast lingering doubts on my heterosexuality, here is Scott's list of my greatest mancrushes or bromances of all time.

1. Daniel Vettori

The New Zealand cricket team are the greatest team in the world at consistently bringing the suck time after time. Being a fan of them for 12 years, it is little wonder that I have grown into the jaded, cynical, depressive mess that I am today. In fact yesterday they capitulated so badly to Pakistan that walking outside in one of Lady Gaga's meat bikinis may have been less embarrassing. But none of that is due to this man, Daniel Vettori, the bespectacled cricket hero who must be so fucking sick of playing with this ragtag group of fuckhead incompetents who cant hold a bat he's ready to take off his glasses file them down to a sharp metallic point and stab massacre the fucking lot of them. If this means anything to you, he is one of only 5 men in the history of the game to take over 300 test wickets and score 3000 test runs. I would have his babies.

2. Tommy Karevik

If this guy was a woman I would be stalking her ass right about now. Oh who am I kidding, I'd still stalk his ass if he didn't live in Europe. This man is the vocalist of Seventh Wonder and is probably the biggest ladies man on the prog metal scene. Because I can guarantee you that Tommy Karevik could induce spontaneous multiple orgasms to an entire population just by singing to them. This is probably the reason why Seventh Wonder don't play large arenas, cause the post orgasm clean up bill is far too expensive. I heard the reason Simon Cowell quit American Idol is because he heard the producers were ignoring the application requests of Tommy Karevik just because there'd be no drama to the competition because he would smoke them all quicker than a truckload of hash in Jamaica.

3. Coach Benjamin Wade

If there was some sort of competition, I would have no hesitation in labelling Coach the MANLIEST MAN OF ALL MANLY MEN OF ALL TIMES OF MANLY MEN. Ever since he rocked our world on Survivor Tocantins and Heroes vs Villains Coach has single handedly assured that every man feels a little bad about himself. He is a renaissance man adventurer. Once he was kayaking down the Amazon river and he was kidnapped by natives (!), he proceeded after being physically and emotionally tortured for 2 weeks to untie himself, run to his kayak and paddle away all the while being tracked by his captors all the way down the river. He has survived a hurricane, a shark attack and five or six other life or death situations. He writes poetry, never tells lies, calls himself the Dragon Slayer, practises Tai Chi, wears a feather in his hair, coaches soccer, conducts a symphony orchestra and stars in movies. I salute you Coach, but I hope you'll forgive me when if I ever see you, I immediately run in the opposite direction, because being in your presence will immediately cause me to experience total man immolation where I will spontaneously combust through Coach's sheer force of man.

4. Alvin Plantinga

Feel the love for the old philosophers!! Alvin Plantinga is perhaps the world's most influential philosopher of religion. The reason he is on the list is because of his gigantic intellectual penis which penetrated the spurious arguments of atheists and demonstrated how lacking their position really is. Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism demonstrates how unguided evolution and atheism are actually incompatible by showing that if unguided evolution produced our brains we would have no way to trust our beliefs as accurate and hence have no reason to believe in Naturalism/Atheism (MWAHAHAHA. SUCKERS.). He also reformulated the Ontological Argument in favor of God's existence, creating perhaps the most quirky and fun proof of God ever seen. Also demonstrated that materialism in the mind/body problem violates Leibniz's law of identicalities and is thus falsified. I love this man.

5. Taylor Lautner

(No picture, I don't want a swarm of 13 year old girls visiting this blog, their heads may explode, and mine certainly would.)

The reason heart throb Taylor Lautner makes this list of man crushes is because he is apparently a man, and I would greatly desire for him to be crushed.

6. Agent Smith

You hear that? That is the sound of INEVITABILITY. The inevitability of Agent Smith making this list baby! After recently rewatching the Matrix trilogy (some of the most philosophically breathtaking movies of all time. Part 2 and 3 get a bad rap because people have no idea what's really going on. One of these days I'm going to write a blog entry explaining why everyone is wrong and Matrix 2 and 3 are fucking awesome) it comes to my attention that Agent Smith may be the quintessential bad guy of cinema. He represents materialism, nihilism, mechanism and evolutionary thinking taken to their logical extreme. He is the embodiment of all that is wrong with human society. His only goal is to endlessly replicate himself over the entire world like a virus, and subsume everything under his hand for no purpose whatsoever because as he says "The purpose of life is to end". His soulless eyes stare without remorse from behind a perfectly cut suit and tinted sunglasses. He is everywhere and there is no escape. He is the PERFECTLY rendered vision of materialistic society, and I doubt even half of the people watching will have understood that. So why does he make the list? Because he is the textbook definition of what a villain should be, taken to the next level, and one of the most iconic characters of all time. So many layers. I love the Matrix baby!

7. Devin Townsend

I hesitated to include Devin on this list. Not because he isn't number one on it... but because I am fairly sure that Devin Townsend is not human. Seriously, if there was one man on the planet I would point to and say "From outer space, no doubt about it." it's Devin. Last year I actually MET this god of music and he was awesome, spending time after the show in the rain to take pictures and autographs with everyone. But he's an alien. No doubt about it. He CANNOT be human.

Every last album he has released has transcended music and captured something immortal and eternal. Ocean Machine captured the essence of the ocean and the waters, Terria captured the Earth, land and the nature of our lives on it. Synchestra captured the harmony of nature. Infinity actually did the impossible and captured the meaning of life itself. City captured the black grind of industrialised modern existence. And that's only HALF of his albums. Basically in the pantheon of musical expression there is Devin Townsend, and then there's the rest.

And there I had better stop. And reassure everyone that no matter how great these men are, women are far and away the superior sex. Magical creatures. Until next time. Keep it real.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Best Dream Ever

Last night I tried a dream experiment for the first time... and it worked! Banking on the idea that dreams are actually mind based excursions into a different realm before going to sleep I verbally asked the spirits to take me on a journey that night. And the dream that followed was amazing, and the most I remember of a single one for many years. Here is my recount. There was a LOT more at the start before I got on to the cable car but unfortunately my memory failed to retain it, and the parts I remember are largely a muddle. But I got the rest!

Tuesday January 4th: What an amazing epic astral journey tonight! This is the most I’ve remembered of a single one and it coincides with me asking the spirits to take me on a trip right before I dozed off. The first part of the journey is the most hazy however I remember I was in danger and thus I took my cat Smudge and hopped on a cable car that was going to take me away from where I was away on holiday back to safety. Smudge was jumping all around the cable car and seemed highly distressed as I tried to calm her down. As the car drove on numerous Survivor players hopped on board with me, first I saw Sue Hawke, then Kelly then Rob Cesternino and Richard Hatch fell asleep in the front seat.

The cable car passed over a stunning landscape and there were all sorts of animals below us, I saw deer and massive bears and everything under the sun. Then the cable car went over a ramp and became suspended in midair over a giant gorge as we traversed across on the cables. Looking down was the most amazing experience of my life because it was like being suspended above infinity. There was a smidgen of fear in me that the car would fall to all of our certain deaths. Eventually we began to emerge on the other side and saw multicoloured yellow, purple, blue fauna below us instead of a huge gorge. I immediately said, oh well at least if we fall now we have a chance, and lo and behold at the moment the cable snapped and we plunged through the undergrowth into a new world. I had a moment to reflect on thoughts becoming reality as we plunged through the vines and the trees to the world below.

Everybody survived the landing and began to walk around and interact with each other. As we looked around and moved further away from the crash site over some cliffs and grassy plains numerous other people appeared. Nicole was there and then all out of the blue I saw my dream boat Amanda and two other girls, one of them was probably Parvati and this fact excited me. I went over to her and greeted her enthusiastically wondering how she had got down here when I hadn't seen her on the cable car, I hugged her tight and asked her what she was doing here, but didn’t get a real answer. The hug was nice though. ;)

Everyone was sitting down gathered together and we had all given up, because no one could find a way out of this place and people were beginning to believe we were trapped there for all eternity. I stood up and proclaimed that I only needed 10 minutes to find us all a way out. Immediately all the women there were skeptical whilst all the men seemed to believe in me. All together they burst out into a supportive round of the Asia song ‘Remembrance Day’, which I joined in. I find it strangely awesome how that particular song manifested it’s way into the experience as we all belted out the final line “Will you remember? The spirit never dies.”

As I walked away back down the path across the landscape to the crash site I felt something strange going on. The further I walked back, time was receding with me. So as I got closer to it in space, I got closer to it in time as well, until I reached a certain point, looked up and saw our cable car falling from the sky. I had solved the mystery it seemed, and there was one entity who was not happy with this at all. As I walked back to tell the others he emerged with a bottle and attempted to break it over my head. I parried it, took the bottle and threw it away. Then I retrieved my own bottle for self defense. He came again as I attempted to make peace with him and continue to walk down the road. I blocked his second shot as well and in a tug of war disarmed his second bottle, but not before he had broken it on my own bottle. Then he resorted to picking up the shards of glass from the ground and attempting to slice me with them. At this point it all became a rather large hindrance and so out of nowhere he began to shrink, until he was the size of one of the glass shards he was trying to kill me with. I picked him up and slid him into my bottle to trap him forever, as I reached back to the others to tell them the news. At this point I woke up. What an awesome experience.

For reference purposes, here is a link to the song referred to ;)


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Best Thing About 2011 (After 2 days) And A Look back at 2010

It's 2011. Remarkably, I am quite happy (wait... did I just say 'happy'? That is the sort of noumena I never thought I would openly describe myself as being a part of) about this, because under my batshit theory of cycles, 2011 is due to be an awesome year for me.

See look... even numbered years for me are ALWAYS bad. 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. All unanimously bad years. Odd numbered years, are almost ALWAYS good. Especially the two best years of my life sweet sweet 2003 and 2007. 2009 was merely decent, and 2005 was emotionally turmoil-a-riffic so the odd numbered years dont always deliver the goods, but they are a fair bet. However, I noticed that 03 and 07 are spaced four years apart, and 2011 is four years after 07... which means I'm due for a pioneering year of awesomeness. Now lets watch as it doesn't happen and I'm just even more cynical and jaded by the end of the year.

Let's first reflect on some of the (few) good things about 2010.

Best Music of 2010:

Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here

Mentioned before on this blog. So profoundly moving that even Juelles wears the band's sweatshirt when visiting NZ. ;)

Vanden Plas - The Seraphic Clockwork

I love epic sprawling concept albums that have a deep and involved story. This fits the bill. To be succinct it tells a story where Satan convinces Judas not to betray Jesus Christ so that he is never sacrificed and mankind is never saved. 1600 years later a man is plagued by memories of a life that isn't his own. Long story short he is the reincarnation of Judas destined by God to travel back through time to be the one to betray Jesus so that he can be crucified and mankind can be saved. The only problem is, he must sacrifice his life and his love to fulfill his destiny. The final song 'On my Way to Jerusalem' is a 12 minute epic that would have been the greatest song of the year if it wasn't for...

Seventh Wonder - The Great Escape

After listening to the first six songs on this album, if it ended there, I would have said "Great album guys". 'Wiseman' is an awesome opener, 'Alley Cat' is catchy as hell, 'The King of Whitewater' makes me orgasm at the awesome keys and vocals, 'Long Road Home' is a perfectly executed emotional ballad. But it didn' stop there. No there's one more song. The title track 'The Great Escape' clocking in at an obscenely fantasmic 30 minutes and 35 seconds in length. The song of the year without a doubt. Based on the science fiction epic poem 'Aniara' by a Swedish Nobel Laureate this song pretty much makes me require a change of pants every time. It weaves seamlessly from technical heavy sections, to soft sadness, tender beauty, anger, confusion and power as it tells the story of a spaceship directed off course for 24 years drifting alone in space unable to get back home, wallowing in the pointlessness of life and trying to fill the gaps in their hearts with sex, science, memories and stories until only one remains, cursing existence and fate. Yeah, no happy endings here. But fuck me if I'm not going to write on this poem for my Masters. Listen if you're brave enough, if only to tell everyone that yes I have listened to a 30 minute song ;)

Best TV of the year


The six year saga of the greatest TV show of all time came to an end this year. And what an end it was. I cried like a fucking baby. Any show that so brazenly endorses spirituality and the afterlife like this one ended up doing gets a special place in my heart forevermore, right alongside The Matrix movies, and The Dark Tower books.

Survivor Heroes vs Villains and Nicaragua

The best season of Survivor took place this year when the show invited back the 10 best 'good guys' and the ten best 'bad guys' and had them play the game again. This season was off the charts with crazy strategising, blindsides, idiotic moves... and Amanda Kimmel. Sweet, sweet Amanda Kimmel. Oh Amanda, I would be the greatest 23 seconds of your life. Please call me??

Um.... better revise that down to 15 seconds.