Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A Scanner Darkly...

I have not read as many Philip K. Dick books as I would like to, but I have read "A Scanner Darkly" and I am very curious to see how the film adaptation turns out. "A Scanner Darkly" has to be in the running for most difficult book to adapt ever. There are so many elements intrinsic to the story that take place within the minds or imaginations of many of the characters that at times the book is confusing to read, let alone adapt for the big screen.

A Scanner Darkly Posted by Hello

That being said I am extremely hopeful about this project because it looks to be some what revolutionary in its use of animation and or rotoscoping (not sure which term applies). In order to whet your appetite here are some pictures from the production that have been released and a link to the trailer.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Techno Lust and Catholic Guilt

I want an iPod...and I think that I am going to buy one next month. This is not an impulse purchase. In fact this is one of the most carefully planned purchases I have ever made. I put less thought into buying my car. Of course whenever I get ready to buy something expensive my Catholic guilt complex kicks into overdrive and I begin to analyze every aspect of the impending purchase.

  1. Is the item worth this expenditure. In order to make this determination I have to estimate how much I will use an item before it I get bored with it and move onto the next thing. Because an iPod essentially serves as a portable receptacle for music, I feel confidant that as long as I enjoy music I will use the iPod. Also because part of the iPod experience involves transforming my music into an intangible form this will protect me from any attempts made by the RIAA to switch formats on me.
  2. Always delay the purchase. If I can wait a month or two before buying something I know that it was a well reasoned purchase. I have been toying with this idea for over a year now and I have been ripping my CD's to iTunes since Christmas. I guess it is safe to say that my desire is not fleeting.
  3. Deflect the guilt by imposing restrictions. This is one of my favorite things to do in order to minimize the guilt that I will feel for buying something shiny and new I try to figure out a way to purchase an item without draining my bank account. So I will delay a purchase until a week when I know I have worked extra shifts and I will receive a bigger paycheck. This time around I decided that I would buy my iPod entirely with pocket change. I have been rolling coin for about seven months and I am surprised to say that I have almost saved up enough.
  4. Get the approval of others. I also like to casually mention my desire to buy an iPod to my friends with the hope that they will give me their approval. There are some pitfalls to this plan. Sam wholeheartedly endorses the iPod plan and would most likely drive me to the Apple store this afternoon if I asked him. Others don't see the point of it.
The point of the iPod is the feeling of liberation that I expect to feel when I can walk around carrying every single CD in my pocket. The joy of not having to deal with my car CD player when it arbitrarily decides to begin skipping for about a month. Not having to cringe in horror as passengers in my car get their fingerprints all over my CD's or God forbid, drop them on the floor. Best of all I won't have to worry about returning to my car only to find that some thief has stolen two binders worth of CD's. This is my greatest fear and not only because it would mean that I would have to undertake the impossible task of replacing the purloined discs but because I know that nobody would enjoy the music as much as I did. I guess I have to buy the iPod not for me of course but to spare the innocent thieves who might steal my music by mistake.

Friday, February 18, 2005

"I Am Not Going To Die For Dischord...."

I was driving my girlfriend home and listening to 20 Years of Dischord, when I inadvertently drove across the centerline while reading the track-listing on the back of the box. As I pulled the car back into the proper lane Colleen exclaimed; "I am not going to die for Dischord!" The funny thing is that my immediate reaction was "I would."

Dischord is my favorite record label for more reasons then I could ever list; but the biggest reasons would have to be integrity. The people who formed this label, the bands that are part of it and the records that they have released are the embodiment of unflagging quality, and an unwavering dedication to the DIY principals that made punk great.

I remember the first time I heard a Dischord band; I had just graduated from High School and it was early summer and I was driving home from the dentist's office. All the windows in my Delta 88 were rolled down and the radio was tuned to 89.3 WAMH, Amherst College's radio station. Every Friday around 3pm there was a student who ran an excellent history of punk show and I always tried to listen, if I wasn't near a radio I would make my brother tape it for me. That afternoon was the first time I had ever heard a Minor Threat song and it blew my mind. The song was Minor Threat and the minute the first notes hit my ears my hand went for the volume knob and I turned it all the way up. I was impressed by the honesty, the intensity and the potential of the song. I instantly identified with it and the more I looked into the band and other bands on Dischord the more I liked what I saw.

This is the music that I wanted to be a part of, not for fame not for money but because it seemed like here was a group of friends who were making great music and having a blast. They achieved their dream and they did it themselves without ever selling out or compromising. The best part is that they are still doing it today. These songs always make me feel hopeful that it is still possible to achieve my dreams no matter how impossible it seems, so long as I am willing to work my ass off.

Dischord is not just a record label it functions as a shepard for the D.C. Hardcore scene simultaneously preserving the past and helping to create the future. This is why the label is so has never been allowed to become stagnant. I could go on and on singing the praises of the music and what it means but I think this article sums up the entire situation quite eloquently.

So if I haven't convinced you to die for Dischord perhaps I can convince you to swing by the website and place an order for 20 Years of Dischord. It is worth every penny.