I've gotten my first nasty note in the comments section, I have arrived! If you like this page well enough to visit often, you know I have a sarcastic tone, or a tounge in cheek flair to my writing. If you don't realize that, then you probably think I'm an asshole. Well, I am not an asshole, but I'm not a nice guy either, and I'm smart enough to realize that I'm neither. I never met a nice guy, well, maybee my grandmother, but I'm sure she knew things about herself that she didn't like either. Anyone who thinks they are a "good" person is in denial, no one is perfect, or as they used to teach it in Sunday school, we have all fallen short, we are all in need of God's grace. Now some people can bring out the best in others, my grandmother was one for that. I'd like to think on any given day I would offer you the best I have to offer, but some people just bring out the worst in me. It's said that the quirks that bother you most about other people tend to be the same things you dislike about yourself. If' that's true, than I hate myself for being mean, selfish and lazy, and rude. That's what bugs me about other folk. Anywhoo, if you leave nasty comments here check back because I'll try to answer them, where possible, with coolheaded, open minded answers, or further queries. Hey, "R" lets chat.
David Blaine [2:53 PM]
With Easter and Passover here I want to offer everyone warm holiday wishes. I'm not very religious, but I am a believer. Sometimes in the horrors of life it is hard to see God's love on earth. When you are feeling low, feeling unable to help yourself, I would suggest you take a moment and try to help someone else. Offer a kind word, even just a smile. There are two ways I have experienced God. One is in the silence. That is one of the reasons I like to go for long bicycle rides alone. The other way is through other people. I believe we are all given opportunities to carry God's blessings to others. I have certainly been on the receiving end of those blessings many times. I hope that when I stand in judgement some day, I haven't missed too many of the chances I had to reciprocate. For those of you who are embroiled in battle against lifelong enemies, please pause a moment to consider that the God you are worshiping this week not only made you, but he made the people you are fighting as well. You may have to fight, I don't judge you. You need to judge whether or not you are doing the right thing for the right reason, and in the right way. God bless and protect all. Peace, D.
David Blaine [8:32 AM]
Click, lightswitch on. Something, down deep, bothersome, what is it, not patriotic, uhm, oh Mr President, why do you keep calling those other countries the Axis of Evil? First step to dehumanizing the enemy, give them a nasty name. It's not a new idea. Some little nazi sonofabitch did it in WWII also. Tell me this, I've met some nice guys from the middle east. Their first names are like, Eman, Faris, Raza and Padram. They are just like other young people I know, students, forming ideas, wanting to build some security for their futures, they like Americans, they are worried that their government and our government isn't getting along, but there isn't a lot they can do about it as individuals. They don't have the same freedom to speak as we do here, for one thing. So let me ask you, would you like to go over and kill them and their families, these people you don't even know who like America and would like to get to know you? No? OK, then, let's go crush the Axis of Evil instead, same people. Quit the name calling. Start the hand shaking.
David Blaine [6:06 PM]
Oh, and just so you don't think I'm a poser, yes I know that Wooden Ships was also recorded by Jefferson Airplane on their Volunteers album (I even remember what an album was) in 1970. But David Crosby and Stephen Stills co wrote the song with Paul Kantner and the original CSN album was released in 1969. It is the version that most people are familiar with. If you want to understand the idealogical goals the flowerchild movement was striving for, relisten to this "say, can I have some of your purple berries? Yes, I've been eating them for six or seven weeks now, probably keep us both alive." Yeah, then farmer Brown got off his butt and started a berry farm and then everybody ate. Ok, I'm going back to work now!
David Blaine [8:48 AM]
Ryan, over at Beatniksalad asked about my leftists vs conservatives bit from the other day. He mentioned leftists being concerned with a strong and redistributive state. I've never heard that term before but it sounds like socialism, I'll defer perhaps to some of my Canadian friends to decide that, they have that wonderful health care system up there. In my view the conservatives are chiefly responsible for there being anything to redistribute. Sure, they use "labor" to produce the goods, and the wages of labor then purchase the goods, making the "man" rich. But let to themselves, the left would spend the grocery allowance on pot and smoke in the alley while their kids starved to death. OK, I'm making an inflamatory statement, a gross generalization. But I am a child of the flowerchild generation, do you recognize the lyrics on the left? Wooden Ships? OK, so if my generalization is wrong, why did all the communes fail? How come no one is living on love? Why did most of the old hippies shave and go back to school and get a real job? For that matter why do Crosby Stills and Nash still tour? It's for the love, right? Hah, still need the bucks. Not Neil, though, Neil's still cool, chillin with his family and living off his investments. Ok, I'm done ranting, and again, I'm just throwing out an overly simplified, highly unfair overview of how I see the differences between those who choose to work to get ahead and those who think the world owes them something. I really hate the left vs conservative labels anyway, because I don't know which one I am. When it comes to social justice issues like the death penalty I'm so far west I think I'm in the Pacific, but thats another page.
David Blaine [8:24 AM]
I just wanted to mention that it's the 17th of April in the friggin United States and we have a forecast for freezing rain today!
It's true, we have 4 seaons here, Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Road Construction. They are trying to do road construction in front of my workplace this week. I don't know if you can lay asphalt over ice though.
David Blaine [8:20 AM]
Seems the French are surprised that Americans are taking the boycott thing to heart. Seems wine importers have stopped ordering French wine, or is it that we'd like a little less French whine? No business can ever take it's customers for granted. You have no idea how much a customer's business is a gesture of his good will. Does anyone really believe that the only decent wine in this world is from France. Besides the French I mean.
David Blaine [9:25 AM]
Winds of Change asked what I thought (well they asked readers what they thought) about the different views towards progress which are held by leftists and conservatives. Some observations: Lefties seem to want to preserve "freedom", of choice, expression, speech, whatever, no matter the social costs. The individual should never have to reign in their whims and wills for the greater good of society, society should have to bear the burden of putting up with such colorful characters as say, Al Goldstein, publisher of Screw magazine. Righties want to save the world by building things, companies mostly, and righties can justify getting filthy stinking rich that way, because the more they make, the better off everyone else is supposed to be. Whats "filthy stinking rich"? The president earned $400,000 last year for duties as president. No problem there. His income off his investments, just the interest earned, was more than that. He has to have one hell of a 401K, No?
Like I said, just observations. I think either system works, as long as the people involved are basicly good, honest, moral people. It's the individuals on both sides who are really selfish with hidden agendas that ball things up. Another observation: Eventualy you learn almost everyone has a hidden agenda.
David Blaine [10:30 AM]
This is maybee a foolish question, but doesn anyone have links to Cuban Blogs? Not Cuban Americans, Cubans living in Cuba.
I don't know if anyone there would have free access to play online like that. If so, let me know, thanks.
David Blaine [5:21 PM]
Looting, again. This time the antiquities from Iraq's national museums are being stolen (sorry, looting is just stealing) and ruined. Things dating back 7000 years are going to be lost forever. This isn't as sad as the loss of life, but it runs a close second. It is certainly ahead of the destruction of property. Building can be replaced, these artifacts are gone forever.
David Blaine [9:49 AM]
On to the Middle East. What I thought was great news today was an announcement by Hashemi Rafsanjani that he was supporting a referendum on whether to restore ties with the US. This marks a significant shift in the former Iranian president's political position. A referendum would have to be confirmed by the Ayatollah who has so far rejected such talk as treason. Still, not so long ago Rafsanjani would have also thought that way, and he changed his mind. Perhaps the leaders of Iran are paying heed to the feeling of Iranians at large, that would almost seem democratic, wouldn't it? Is this as big a deal to Iranian's as it seems to me? Let me know.
David Blaine [9:41 AM]
Cuba revealed recently that they had spies who infiltrated the Cuban community in the US and reported back to Castro on the Cuban-American dissident movement. These spies had access to US government information because they were trusted members of the dissident community. This was a long term program.
This seems like a total waste of lives to me, a small country so close to our shores should be an ally, not an enemy. To me, inflciting an insistance that each country follow a particular form of government isn't a lot different than someone who insists everyone should join their religion. I'm sure Castro qualifies as a dictator, and I'm sure he is ruthless in the face of dissidents, but I think he has a genuine interest in the welfare of his country. Helping him instead of spitting in his eye would probably be the best thing to happen for the average Cuban in 30 years. Now of course if the US did decide to quit this behavior, the exiled Cuban-Americans would howl. They have been waiting 30 years plus to go back to Cuba and take things back away. I would really wonder in a free election between Castro and the leader put forth by the exiled community, who would win. I wouldn't be surprised if Castro is very popular with his people at large.
David Blaine [9:40 AM]
There was one other religous news story yesterday, although it isn't new, a stone ossuary (burrial box) from the Jerusalem area is inscribed "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" Many point to it as proof that Jesus had a blood brother. Catholics maintain that Mary never had relations with Joseph and never had any children besides Jesus. Oh!, Oh! My head hurts, I'm having to think deep thoughts, help me! (of course I gest) Many think the term "brother" was meant in the broader sense. I've said it before, I'll repeat it here, I'm smart enough to know what I don't know, and probably can't or won't ever know. It really doesn't matter, I'll bet my soul that James would have said the same thing as Jesus, love one another
David Blaine [9:40 AM]
When I was young there was a movie called "2001, a Space Oddesy" The theme song was titled "Also Sprach Zarathustra". I now know this roughly translates into "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", but I only learned who Zarathustra was yesterday. He was the founder of one of the oldest monotheistic religions, started in the area that became Persia about 8000 BC. It was the official state religion, and it lasted until being displaced by Islam.in the seventh century AD. I discovered this because the Zoroastrian's (as the remaining followers are now know) are building a new temple near Washington DC. It is thought there are about 200,000 followers worldwide, with about 15,000 of them living in the US. I find it fascinating.
David Blaine [9:39 AM]
So many things to write about today, starting with one close to home. To the person who poured three 5 gallon pails of used motor oil onto the roadway, and left the empty cans on the side of the road, you are an idiot. You are polluting the enviornment, and almost any service station that changes motor oil would have accepted that oil for recycling, at no cost to you.
David Blaine [9:39 AM]