Talking to a brick wall...

Rants & Raves

Rants & Raves

Old Rantings

—[26-2-00] I have kept promising, over and over, many really interesting thoughts running through my head without ever delivering. Well... now, for once, in perhaps a return to what the rants page was once long long ago, I will rant about one! ... What is the target of my current mental effusion, you ask? Gaming. And People. If you think about it, the two have gone together, for the most part, from the start. The earliest, simplest games you ever played were those you played with your friends. Almost all board games, card games, word games, ... all require at least a couple of people. As we grow older, or if we are just particularly secluded, we learn games that you can play with yourself, or games in which you and your opponent, the creator, each get only one turn. Word games in the newspaper or certain card games could be thought of as this sort.
Now... what I would consider intersting is the fact that until very recently, almost all computer games have been of this second type. While consoles specifically have emphasized multiplayer to some extent, both computers and console systems have had games for which multiplayer capability is an 'extra', and the one player game is the reason to buy. I think it is perhaps for this reason, to some extent, that computer and console games have gotten such a bad reputation in the world at large: They could tend to produce ... not anti-social so much as a lack of social behavior, as the gamers find many of their rewarding experiences to be with those things that do not involve other people.
Recently, however, we have seen a trend in these games towards being multiplayer: The N64 supports not two but four controllers. The Internet has made multiplayer the main attraction of many games. Quake 3: Arena, from what I hear, is solely multiplayer, and in that genre there are thousands of servers running constantly for each particular game. And just the other day, Square, maker of the Final Fantasy series, an extremely good (and recently popular) series of 'Role-Playing' games, (though they are really something else entirely,) has announced that FFX will have online capabilities and FFXI will be solely online/multiplayer! This trend is very interesting to me, as I have always considered console and computer games to be one player at a time sorts of things, having grown up with them as they were in their earlier days. While I can't pretend to know where this is going, it appears sometimes that someday video games will be all nothing but social games, which I, as an old fogie of the videogaming community, would find to be quite sad. I suspect, though, that we are in fact headed simply towards a balance. Either way, it seems that the Gamer and his solitude are soon to be parted, a thing for which I am glad.

—[3-2-00] Another Rant?! I thought you were dead! ... Ok, I was dead. It happens to the best of us, right? No, of course I'm not dead. I've just been busy with too much half-life, an e-mail Diplomacy game I'm attempting to run, getting back on track for the semester... in fact, writing this is preventing me from much-needed sleep for a Calculus test. But things like that don't matter, now, do they? Anyway... It's funny how when people are off doing other things they kinda disappear from your mind.. or you think of them in some weird fashion reserved generally for those not living. Ok, not exactly the same, but you get the picture. Imagine those people who go off for a few years on a mission or something. You kinda forget... As far as you're concerned, they kind of cease to exist unless mentioned. I guess we silly human types have to do that sort of thing to keep from being overwhelmed, no? Maybe not, but it's at least one plausible explanation. Am I here to explain though? Not at all... I'm here to ramble. And I seem to be doing a fair job of that so far. If this is your first look at my rantings, by all means scroll down a ways. I was a lot deeper when I was younger. Better, though, I ask, to be deep for everyone else's sake or to have fun for the sake of your own life? ... well, I asked you! ... Wrong! HAHAHAAHA! The correct answer is it's somewhere in between. But I didn't list that as an option. Anyway, I have several moderately intriguing concepts running through my mind at the moment, so maybe you'll be seeing more of me now. See ya.

—[14-11-99] I had lunch with my family today. My sister took an interesting transcript of our conversation. I found it to be moderately insightful. Anyway, here you are: Economy Allowances Devaluing Decades before Yen

Eventually Japan doesn't flow bother interest smaller savers worth less. Accounts cutting it now stocking Apple 13 dollars 1,350 up till prices conforming to Arby's. Driving mommy self feeding expectations slow growing to finding saying it again. Certain are ok, Jack beating pharmaceuticals watching Money retirement. Brokers are diverse for buying Dads and offsetting expecting go out a media pushing salaries toward social depending increase holding breath Microsoft and TI 80's dwindling. Court case needing stuff for happening alternatives.

  -Kat McCormick

—[28-8-99] It's funny, you know, what can happen in an english class. I'm dueling with someone - I haven't seen her face once, but my hair, generally, is only a few inches from the hair on the nape of her neck. Wer're sitting down, actually, not even breathing hard, but we're fighting- to the death it seems, over someone neither of us know if, if either of us do anyway. And I haven't seen her face.
She stabs, pricks on a fault or two, as I rapidly (try to) fend her blows. It's not me she's fighting, you know, but a poor kid that works, or rather used to work, in an A&P. But if she wins I lose all the same. He's shallow, she says, dipping a little out of him and scraping the bottom just to prove her point. He's uneducated, I say, but not stupid. Look at this noble-- ha! he's only trying to squirm out of it-- he's taking responsibility! But my tip is blunt. For my blade to be material, she'd have to believe in it, and she's already biased to her side. Funny how that works.
Prof. asks a question, she nods her head, I notice as I shake mine. She's wrong, of course. How can she win? But she doesn't really even know she's fighting. And then class ends, she gets up, hands her paper, walks back, and there it is. No cruel mask separates her face from the world. Her face is blank, tired, my mind is blank, tired, and Sammy from the A&P slinks away, only as harmed as he was before she started. And I go back to writing, and here I am.

—[22-9-99] Ok, I had nothing to do today during lunch so I, for the first intentional time in my life, (pardoning schoolwork of course) so- do not judge too harshly. Anyway, here, a silly little poem for you!

    Looking Through the Glass 

    What a fantastic
    Wonderful world lies 
    Just Beyond... 
    on the other side 

    Though the mind wanders freely, 
    Unseemly feet are bound, 
    grounded- Our side's chattel. 

    As much as we wish it 
    No artist's pen 
    Will lift us - as Alice. 
    Though our minds may follow 
    Our feet, more material than she- 
    On our side of the glass 
    In the slough- 
    other feet, 
    left behind by 
    wandering mind.

—[20-9-99] Wow. I'm 19 now. How the years slip by. And all of you 40 year olds sitting there chuckling to yourselves saying "You have no idea..." Well... you're right, I probably don't. But then I still am of the opinion that I grew up a little earlier than most people and then decided only last year to get back what I left behind. I'm so glad I did before it was too late. Then again, judging from several 40 year olds I know, maybe it's never too late. I should hope so. But for now, I'm off to college, talking to my friends only online, making little progress on new friends here, and happily reverting to my former and more natural semi-depressed / lonely state. My friend Kenny metaphorically referred to depression as an old glove that is hard to throw off— something like that anyway— He's right you know. I feel quite secure when I'm depressed. Or at least alone. One of those is really quite natural to me, and they DO go hand in hand a bit. Then again, for those wondering, depressed may not really mean sad. And I AM getting my share of happy too- it's nice to live again in the same town as my family. But it's also nice to be closer to the shy little kid whose chosen friends all resided in print only that I was not so long ago.
Paragraph 2: (Wow, this is a new precedent! now apparently you can get two nonrelated rants for the price of one!) ... Well, I noticed that this page has become increasingly personal. While it has always been in some way personal— as in related to me specifically rather than general humankind, or at least specifically my view of things pertaining to general humankind— This is perhaps not what it was intended to do. This isn't a commentary on my life I realized. That's what my journal's for, though I am too much of a pansy to publish that to the world. Not that I keep a very good journal anyway, as you may have guessed from the frequency of updates HERE. The two (this page and my journal) tend to mirror each other in activity, as you might have expected had you known of the other's existence. Anyway, I suppose I'll try to be a little more following ideas and real-world things that aren't so very specifically related to my thought and ideas, and instead try simply to present my thoughts and ideas ON these things. Hope this suits most of you better. And unlike in past rants, where I was in fact -"Talking to a brick wall..." - I can hear your responses and respond to them now! Just point your browser to the 'Forum' section of the page. Hm. Now That could be an interesting thing to rant about.... ::devious smile::

—[22-8-99] I've been avoiding this page and my journal a good bit lately. I'm not entirely sure why, but it has a lot to do with a feeling of apprehension I've been getting whenever I am about to do something productive recently. Like pay insurance or credit card bills. Or sign up for college stuff. In fact, there's a terrible lot of stuff I even need to do online here, but haven't. I have no idea why I have this weird aversion to doing simple things that would improve my life, but it has been around as long as I can remember. So- now, here I sit, ranting at you people rather than composing, coding, or filling out my inventory. Which I have to have done today. Really, I don't know how I've survived except on the kindness of others, which makes me feel rather rotten, though I suppose I've offered kindness as often as accepted it. Still, agh- And yet, I've done more recently than I have in a long time- talked to Tracy ( the excellent artist whose work I have copied ) gotten into college, started Fourth World again, the list goes on if I exaggerate not too much. So- I really have no idea what else to say now, except that this whole thing had no apparent purpose at all. I guess I can do that, since its my page and no one reads it anyway, but sorry for wasting the time of all the imaginary people here I'm talking to anyway. I'll write regarding college soon. I think. (sigh) .....

—[14-7-99] Has it really been almost four months since I last wrote here? I don't remember it being so long- I've had a hundred ideas which should have been up here in just the last one of those months, much less all four. I don't truly understand how it is that I can just forget about these ideas that pop up into my head so often. Most of them are well worth remembering. Still, with College, graduation from High School, my trip to Europe, Freshman Orientation (joy), Moving to Florida, back to Austin, and such, I can see how I've not had a lot of time to write down silly ideas on my computer. Anyway, just to clarify, this isn't one of those awesome ideas. I am simply babbling here, with no purpose or intended message, simply because I felt very very guilty about letting a thousand hits go by without 1) even knowing it, and 2) ginving ANY of those people anything to show for their effort. So- here I am. Babbling away, as I said before, just filling your mind with random crap. That's ok, I guess, many schools do no better. In fact, I think the entire Sophomore class of Florida International University could easily quit right now and make a hugely successful comedy show on nationally syndicated television. You can bet that they didn't learn THAT from their Calc I teachers. Um... anyway, enough bitterness for a moment. I came here to write. I guess I've pretty much done that. So- now that I'm kinda tired and committed to doing more to update this page frequently, I will go. Bye. Miss me- I missed all you guys and girls. Stuff. Bye. (one down, one to go. Tomorrow sound good? { Yeah right. } )

—[19-3-99] Ok. My last rant was very depressing, so if should only make sense that this one would be uplifting. Alas, that may not be so. Then again, it might. I'm listening to the Castle Theme from 4th right now, so it almost might HAVE to be! Anyway.... Let's see... I was thinking, a few nights ago, about life and the world and everything. I've always been brought up in a pretty ... Christain worldview. Heaven and Hell, and your deeds determine your life, and nothing is predestined. Well, maybe I should clarify, a very AMERICAN worldview. I at some point stepped away from some of that, mainly the part that happiness is based on achievement in the eyes of others. At some point, I realized that people could be happy anytime, and in any situation they wanted to be happy, if they truly wanted to be. I, in any time or situation, could let go of the world and just say: That is what it is, and that is all. There is nothing wrong, and nothing needs to be changed. If, say a dear friend died, I could escape the grief, or never experience it, by doing this... I noticed it was rather similar to many eastern religion's concepts of "removing oneself from samsara". The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that is exactly what the people in 1984 could do, the very thing that let millions of people in the dark ages become vegetables never questioning what the Church told them. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a rant against christianity, dear no, Christianity is the closest religion I've ever found to what must be right. This willing loss of ... in a word, care, is what I'm going against. We MUST live our lives, because they might be all we have. Every moment, every pain, every joy, all is a part of our lives, and if we remove ourselves, yes, we won't experience pain and loss, but I think it is better to have both suffering and happiness than simply existing without emotion, as some computer. I will not yet accept that the world is a cold and uncaring place, and that people are at their peaks vegetables, and that thinkers only create their own doom. I care, you, reading this care, and if at least something in you, be it laughter at my silliness, throbbing with agreement, or hatred of my ill-formed ideas, if SOMETHING moves, and you are alive, then I commend you. Only in life can we find happiness, not away from it. So- closing, I'll bring a little saying I've had for several years, since I was about 12: Without sorrow, there can be no joy.

—[18-2-99] Invariably, a man who puts his life into his work is left with nothing. There was once a Mozart within me, very strong he was.... Even now he fights, wrests my life back into the same patterns. I could pour out my soul for the world to hear, to see, but at the cost... When I did not love the world around me, I was most willing to give myself up to it, and now that I cannot bear to leave it, I fight so that I do not have to give it a thing. What is this, so wronged.... I truly am a different person than who I was such a short time ago, no thanks to whatever skills and intelligence I posessed. When, finally, I began to know people, to listen, experience, even live, I found myself slipping away to the darkness and then something else rising, happy, alive. I became this, it is so good.... To live, like never I had before, to actually enjoy in pure happiness so much of each day. Oh, there is enjoyment in the melancholy of a dying creator, very much... All of it, though, so sad. And I am so young now, was so old then, and I can remember. what was it like to be a bitter old man, a compassionate old man, to have given the world yourself that you might selflessly take its pity. But, the world is worth so much, I cannot let myself lose sight of it. Today, and since I started living, I would not give it up for anything. Friends, people, a world that cares for and about you, is it so selfish to want? And when you are offered a life you love, you cannot give it up, you grasp it with everything you have, but... not grasp, for it is easy to hold. You sit back, watch, live, laugh, enjoy the world as it enjoys you. Just smile, right now. Whatever you are, you can do that- What does it bring to you? You can almost laugh? I know the feeling, just absolute mirth and joy, it is the greatest thing in the world. Anyone who has really lived knows what I am talking about.... Or, when you smile, is it bitter? Does everyone else get some small poison when you smile, but for a select few? Smiling is your little revenge, a way of perhaps enjoying a bit of a world designed solely to spite you. I do not know this feeling, not personally, but somewhere I remember it... never in my life, but I know it. Or, has mozart visited you, have you given up so much of your soul for an ignorant world? This one I do know, I knew it for too long, when I was too young... You smile, you feel happiness, but ... pity, or at least sadness for the world that is so simple, while you are not... so happy that it doesn't see your pain, but you love it so much regardless. And I know, really I know just what it would mean to have part of that world walk up and say just- I do understand, I am not ignorant, I too have given up myself for this. But then, you'd know, it is one of you, the few, the sad The lonely Hollow Bright star, burning Like a flash of gunpowder, all brilliant, Dazzling, We gave it all Gone in an instant- For what, Remembered, but A flash? The world gone. There, a little piece of my soul for you, may you never return it. I've lived and died enough, Maybe you can see it sometime too. Mozart returns. I return.... Again, I remember, a hall, stones the size of your body, curled up into one large block of unyielding matter- so protective, so stifling... But so creative, lending to aloofness and the ability to be above the world so much that you lose yourself like no commoner can. And music, the ultimate voice of that within us, flows, music I felt, I created, someday off long long away. And then, of course, The blaring loudspeaker, eight to five, up and down the field, eat at Giorgio's afterwards, a Double Gulp at Seven-Eleven, Life, samsara. But what, it is the key to --- what? Blake had it? There is no happiness without sadness.... Leave me, I want to be happy once more before I go so that perhaps I won't go just yet... Thank you for taking me in..

—[12-12-98] Okay, well, thanks to some nice little insights and responses to my last post, I'll have a SUPERB rant coming to you soon, but until then, the normal fare will suffice I think. I've been putting a lot of time into a few things recently, and losing a lot of other things. Example: Silent Night+Ukranian Bell Carol mix, Caclulus Integral Subtraction, choose one. That's what I thought. Christmas IS coming up, after all. So, you can see, my grades become of much less importance to me than, say, convincing my band director to put me in top band and play REAL music. Not that the bottom band plays bad or fake music, but in the top band the music is almost always much much more feeling. Which is the way I like. Let me take this instant to point out the 3 best composers I can think of at the moment: Gustav Holst, Antonin Dvorak, and Tschaikowski. If you ever see a Barnes & Noble $5.00 Classical music sale on any of these composers, DO NOT hesitate to grab them. Then, listen while doing homework, being depressed, or playing with legos for astounding results. Much better than that Biggie Number 5 deal at Wendy's you had the other day. Stupid inflation. I remember a time when drinks were $1.00 at the most. My grandpa probably remembers when a whole meal was 15 cents. Damn. Well, that's quite plenty for you now, eh? More more more... see you soon!

—[29-11-98] I am here. Why? Because I said I would be. Someone told me, why don't you write more rants? My first response was- you actually read those? But, since you're here reading this, obviously people DO read these from time to time. So- the topic of conversation: me. Why would anyone want to listen to me? because I'm funny? Certainly not, as I am about as funny as any programmer is, which is nil. Becuase they see inspiration in my music? Umm.. yes, maybe my music has inspiration, but my prose is just a little short of even small town newspapers. So- why DID you read this, and are you ever going to read another one? I hope so, but don't expect it. Tell me what you think about these, please, and if I should ditch them or write a lot of them? Or just write better ones. Talk to me! TALK TO ME! PLEASE, ALL OF YOU, TALK TO ME!!! ... yes, as a friend put it, I certainly am an emotional roller coaster. When I want to be. ;) That's it. bad john, no biscuit.

—[16-11-98] Here we have a transcript of a conversation I had but a few minutes ago- it is strangely fitting me, and if you read this, Cyberludwig,sorry if it offends you at all, you were not the object of my outburst, only the catalyst to one I was well in need of having. I edited out many one word responses for space's sake.

SquareFool: well, I'm going to get a drink- I'll be right back. damn I am actually angry- this is not a feeling I am accustomed to.
OddballJoe: why are you angry?
SquareFool: and I don't think I even really have a right to be angry.
SquareFool: from the posts that Cyberludwig put up
OddballJoe: oh. Well that's very understandable
SquareFool: mostly at myself for writing music that lets anyone think I know so freakin little about real music
OddballJoe: feh. I think Cyberludwig just doesn't get it
SquareFool: I hate to be passionate, but real, people playing classical music is the one single most powerful thing in my life- more so than any religion or theology!
SquareFool: and somehow he saw me as one so foreign to it......
SquareFool: I wrote a really passionate angry and non-sugar coated respose to the last post, which I didn't want to put on the board, for people's sanity's sake, ... god....
SquareFool: I'll be back, I'm getting a Dr. Pepper.
SquareFool: and my Cello.
OddballJoe: hahhahhha.... ok
SquareFool: it wasn't meant to be funny. dangit... I'm sorry joe.
SquareFool: you don't need a bit of this crap
OddballJoe: no, it was truly....
OddballJoe: I dunno. The sound of defiance in that IM was beautiful. And You don't need any of the crap I put on you, but you take. It's what friends are for.

—[Fall 1998]Well, I think I've moved quite enough now. It's funny how these places offer free space and such- so many people are given a chance to express themselves through whatever capitalistic purposes these sites have. I, for one, am glad of this. As long as advertising supports the net, the net is free, like television and radio. What's the point? Well, I know that I have been terrible about clicking on the links of various sponsors, but I hope to change that. With the advent of Internet Commerce, and me getting a credit card, I plan to make every use of the Internet's capabilities. It sets me to thinking about how everything is already tailored to the conveniece of the consumer in America, and how all the technology that actually has helped humanity was developed for selfish purposes. Perhaps capitalism works because it plays on the selfishness of people: If working harder means getting things you want, everyone works harder, and more is achieved. Since the world isn't filled with angels going to work and having wars and running countries, maybe we shouldn't try to believe that the poor human substitutes can act like angels. One in a thousand can, but that's not enough, so I think the best that we as intelligent and thinking beings can do is to take advantage of our weaknesses. It only makes sense. May the future be bright.

—[Summer 1998] Ahh... New fresh typespace... As you probably do not know, Goecities recently increased its amount of free web space from 3Mb to 5Mb. While pondering this unexpected turn of events, It occured to me that I am seeing things in the area of Technology increase at an incredible rate. Those 5Mb could so easily be filled. In my short 17 years of life, I have seen more change in the world than someone would have who lived for literally hundreds of years in the middle-ages. As we pursue knowledge and our answers are quickly found, I wonder if we will ever run out of questions. Does the parabola ever actually reach the asymptote? Can we really do whatever we want to? The human race in general has proved countless times to be as beautiful and terrible as any dream... What lies in store for us has mostly to do with what we choose it to be. I know my path, do you know yours?

—[Spring 1998] I have made it my quest to learn to use the ultra-efficient Dvorak keyboard layout, and to try to convince as many others as possible of its inherent superiority. I have been using the keyboard for ... a month now, and have yet to regress to qwerty. So, you ask, what the heck is this new keyboard-thing? Well, it's not actually that new. Long ago, when the giant behemoths called typewriters roamed the earth, people began to learn to type. They got better at it surprisingly fast, and the poor typewriters were often too slow to keep up, so they vented their pent up frustration by jamming on the poor users who were simply trying to write newspaper articles with a fair amount of speed. So... those who made typewriters solved the problem by designing a keyboard which slowed people down as much as possible. Guess what you're using. Very good. So, here I am, and here I remain. So far, anyway.


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