Friday 31 July 2009

Sarcasm: The Language of Friendship

So I see my friend, Kraig, that I'd met earlier that day at orientation. I'm all, "Hey Kraig! Having fun?"
"He doesn't want to talk to you!"
I am informed by a girl I've never spoken to... or seen, until about thirty seconds prior.
For a milisecond, I am confused, and awkwardly try to figure out what she meant... but only for a milisecond. Then I know. She's like me.... she's sarcastic.

It's a wonderful paradox, hard for some to swallow and harder for others to practice. Being mean is the best way to make friends.

For example, my Orientation Assistant (OA), Helen, and I "clicked" pretty quickly, and it's probably because we were both constantly making fun of everything and everyone around us, including each other.

It's easy to be nice to people you've just met, to ask them where they are from, what they are into, and how they like orientation so far. However, it's way more fun to ask awkward questions that poke fun at them... just a little.
Like making fun of the girl from Mexico... , New York.
Or making "townie" jokes about the kid from Colonie.
Or refering to the Serbian kid as "Serbia".

Sure, now and then you might meet someone who isn't really into getting made fun of, or doesn't understand your sarcasm. Personally, if someone can't take sarcasm, our friendship wouldn't really last too long anyway. There's a line between sarcasm and being offensive and it doesn't take too much common sense to know where it is... so don't cross it.

Just keep in mind that sometimes a sincere compliment does not go as far as, "um wow, you're cool!..."

Wednesday 22 July 2009

Past and Present Evils

From the time we are children, until our teen years, we are told not to do impolite, rude, or improper things. Our elders are appalled by the TV we watch, the music we listen to, and the language we use. So it begins, the belief that the past was not as socially corrupt as the present.

Yesterday I began working in a 154 year old house, or "the mansion" as I refer to it. This house is gigantic; with three fireplaces, more bedrooms than I cared to count, and bathrooms all over the place, you could easily get lost. Every time period left behind one artifact or another there, including photo albums, almanacs, even fan mail to an artist who lived there. While scrubbing the residue of years past off the hardwood floor, I wonder in awe about how much this house has seen: grandeur parties in the roaring 20's, the evils of slavery before the turn of the century, and probably the most comfortable lifestyle in town during the Great Depression.

Just being there makes the past more real. The last 154 years are no longer simply fictional scenarios described by history books... They were lived through, lived in - just as that house was - by people not so different from you and I. Being there, and realizing this, assures me that past decades were no less corrupt, no less evil, than our present day.

Monday 20 July 2009

Venturing into Emofest

It was a heafty price for an incredible reward. I am by no means a fan of "emo" culture, and have a short fuse when it comes to so-called "scene" kids. Despite this prejudice, I found myself in a sea of spiked green hair, eye liner, and 3OH!3 shirts on Thursday. I recieved judging looks from vain girls wearing plaid, and bows, and sometimes plaid bows. Feeling quite out of place and a bit embarrassed to be there, I wished I had a sign to wear reading: "I only came to Warped because I am a Flogging Molly superfan."

Steve, Eric and I grudgingly endured the Devil Wears Prada crowd in order to secure a nice spot for Flogging Molly's show. We encountered boys that seemed sure they were the toughest around, although I'm almost positive they would have fled at the first indication of an actual fight. Eric now sports a battlewound recieved during a fight over DWP drum sticks, during which I actually lost him. After I found Steve, Flogging Molly eventually took the stage and rocked the place with Paddy's Lement... although, I barely got to enjoy most of the music they played, because I was a bit busy. I had to focus all my energy to remain standing up among a packed crowd of swaying and pushing. I lost a flip flop, and got hit on the head several times with waterbottles and the like. Worst of all, the body of someone who thought it would be cool to crowd surf was thrown on me every 15 seconds, and with my height and strength, they more often than not ended up nearly hitting the ground. Once, I felt my shirt tugged on and turned around to see Steve on the ground, eyes wide, horrifyed, as he was getting stepped on and fallen on by those around him. My hair was pulled, my toes were stepped on, my head was kicked. It didn't seem worth it and Steve and I began to make our way out of the crowd, sideways.

That's when I ran into a girl I'd met earlier that day, a short, spunky chick who had sat in line with me for FM's signing (about an hour and fifteen minutes, we were first!). She was with several enthusiastic, energetic boys, and althought they too were getting shoved left and right, and were holding up bodies of crowd surfers, she was finding time to dance and jig inbetween the chaos. I joined her, singing and dancing when we could and trying to hide behind our larger male friends. Finally, during the last song (What's Left of the Flag), things began to look up. The crowd surfers were smaller in number, the crowd calmed a bit. The boys around us began to jig (or attempt to) and formed something of a kickline. Steve joined, as did random others, while we laughed and took pictures, and eventually danced along. Those two minutes of nearly uninterrupted celebration were worth every kick I recieved to the head, every bruise I got, the flip flop I sacrificed. That short time was filled with the purest feeling of celebration I think I've ever experienced. It was not drug nor drink induced; simply music, singing and dancing, with some friends we might never see again. We shared that short time together and parted ways to drive home and sleep for ten hours or more.

It might be a bit arrogant to say that Flogging Molly was the only band at Warped Tour that could provide such an experience... I'll say it anyway.

Wednesday 15 July 2009

Drinker's Education

Last night at the Kid Rock/Lynyrd Skynyrd concert at Darien Lake, law enforcers started to actually care about underage drinking - 96 arrests for this alone, on "The Hill". It would be that parking lot across the street from the venue, which often becomes one gigantic party, a haven for underage drinking.

I've always supported the idea of lowering the drinking age in the US. The general view of alcohol consumption in this country is, in my opinion, unhealthy. Instead of being a normal, natural part of life, it becomes frowned upon in most situations, for people of any age. Minors are told to not look at, touch, or think about drinking until they are of "age". This age requirement is older than that to get married, or to serve in the military. This implies that drinking alcohol is a more serious decision than marriage or laying down your own life for you country!

Most other cultures, anywhere in the world, have much better outlooks on alcohol. Teens are TAUGHT how to drink RESPONSIBLY, instead of being left to experiment for themselves in unsafe situations. Would you rather your child drink for the first time with their family, or at a shady party?

It is time for the drinking age to be lowered. While I don't think our nation is ready for it, I really like Scotland's system: at 14, you can have one drink in a restraunt with your parents/gaurdians, at 16, you can have one drink in a restraunt by yourself, and at 18 you can buy. I think this successfully eases teens into drinking responsibly. If high school drinking is such a concern, make the age 19. Whatever happens, it needs to happen ASAP, for two reasons: We need to change alcohol's place in American culture, and I want to be able to drink at concerts without getting arrested.

Monday 6 July 2009

Standing By Iran

While Iran is in the midst of a crisis that will change their nation forever, the worldwide community is watching, wondering how they can help. It's obvious militial help is not the best option at this time, so anyone wanting to express support for Iran must do so in a creative manner. Here, Jon Bon Jovi has teamed up with Iranian Superstar Andy Madadian to record this version of "Stand By Me". It's available for free download here, in hope that it will be passed around and shared with the people of Iran, to let them know that the US as well as the rest of the world is watching their struggle and supporting their cause. I would love to see this inspire others to do similar things in support of Iran's revolution!

Thursday 2 July 2009

I just set blogger up to my cell phone so i can text blog now! I have no idea when i would use this, but i think it's pretty sweet. :)