Thursday, June 05, 2003

I am actually quite proud of myself. You see, I was reintroduced to this site last night. I had first stopped by a year or so ago, set up this blog and promptly forgot about it. At the time, I was heavily into using an online jounaling site (, but at the time it was having some fits and starts; in short it wasn't working very well. So, I started, half-heartedly, to look for another home. I had heard of blogs, but I didn't have any idea as to what they were or could do. I'm still not a hundred percent sure exactly they can do, but I'll learn.

I wrote a couple entries here last night and this morning, but i couldn't get them to post on the website I had just templated, so I monkeyed around with it a bit. After clicking on different buttons and changing the template I had chosen I clicked the right button and suddenly I'm blogging good and proper. And here I am; taking another small step into the world of cyber. I'll admit, freely, that I am still very much of a neophyte when it comes to things computer. I'm not very comfortable when it comes to new things with computers. I'm scared I'll mess something up and end up breaking, or frying my computer.

Now I guess I'll be spreading my time between here and my other online journal ( I can't believe it, but I may actually have that much to say. I can't promise it will always be highbrow or very literary, but I'm sure it won't be boring.
Somtimes in a rush one forgets to do something properly. Or as a newbie to a certain genre of computing one gets excited and begins to push buttons and links in no regard to their computing safety. That happened to me, but no harm is done. Just some egg on the face and defeated ego. But this, too, shall pass. And I shall march bravely onward.
Music that makes me think; that's what I like. Pink Floyd makes me think, everytime I listen to Pink Floyd it takes me all day to wrap my brain around the images and thoughts I had while listening to it.

The last few years, though, I have migrated to another musical form, or forms. I have started listening to big band, blues, and jazz music. This music hits me somewhere else. I don't have to think about it, but that doesn't make it bad. I like jazz in particular because its so free flowing. I can let my mind wander over the musical score and I am often surprised at the things I think about. More often then not I get an idea for a poem or a short essay. For example, right now I have the radio on, the gentle sound of a trumpet floats over a slow moving piano groove and a brush beat on a drum. I allow myself to tag along mentally. I find words along the way and place them here in this blog.

I know it seems and probably sounds funny, but that's the way I write. I have to have music in the background, and the type of music I'm playing more often then not is reflected in the words I use; the more intellectual stimulating the music, the academic, is the the right word, the writing becomes.

Here's a question: why do we care about Martha Stewart? Raise your hand if you think Martha Stewart is the Anti-Christ, or at the very least, Satan incarnate? I'll admit it freely, Martha Stewart scares me. I find it frightening that one person can market themselves into a brand. That's happening a lot now a days; it seems everyone lately is carving their niche out of the great popculture world of competing subcultures and making themselves into the Brand of brands. There are whole bookshelves full of marketing books. Tons of them, some good, some bad, some horrible, some excellant.

Here's what it is and why we care about Martha Stewart. We care because she became a part of us whether we like it or not. Everyone has a schtick why can't she? She did, and therein is why we are all, whether we like to admit or not, so happy and pleased, either consciously or subconsciously, that she is on her way down, or at the very least some of her luster has been worn off. Her schtick of "Mrs Good Clean AmeriKan" is the very thing that has done her in, plain and simple.

Its amazing how easily we, and I include myself in that "we," are hoodwinked and made to think the way the media wants us to. We buy things because there is a pretty model that waves her hands in a particular way, or we eat something because if we don't we won't be cool and our friends look down on us, or we drink a sugarbased beverage because an ad tells us it will make us feel better, or better yet, we buy lawn greening equipment because we fear our neighbors might look down on us.

A few weeks ago i got a cd from Adbusters Magazine. Let me say at the outset that I skim the magazine for the fun of it. I find some of their politics and stances to be a bit, how shall I put it, extreme. Well, I got a cd from the magazine. It had some great music on it, but at one point there is this guy saying something to this effect: "Hello, I am me and I am using this to make you buy that." He said it over and over again to a hypnotic beat underneath. As I drove home from work I thought about that. How true. We have so many things competing for our attention and money. We are bombarded every day with stimuli. Marshal MacLure was right when he stated "Media is the Massage."

I know I have become desensitised to it all. I don't realize that I am being marketed to. Its all subliminal. Case in point: a few months ago I was in a Blockbuster video store. I was waiting on line to rent a movie and they had a television on. There was an ad for Vanilla Coke. I had never had a Vanilla Coke before, as I got to the counter I saw a Coca-Cola display; on the top shelf were plastic bottles of Vanilla Coke. I remember reaching for it, thinking I was thirsty for one, but I stopped short of grabbing one. I realized I had never had one so i was not sure what one taste like; that led me to another realization: I had no idea why I wanted one, but then I realized-- I had just been had. I had just been marketed to and I didn't like it; a suggestion had been placed in my brain pan and I had reacted to it, just like a Pavlovian dog. I was pissed off, I almost walked out of the store leaving my video behind; I didn't, but it was a close thing. I had learned something, though. I always kind of though (hoped is more like it) that I was immune to marketing; that I could make my own decisions and I wasn't swayed by ads and such, but I was wrong. I can be and am swayed by such things. That bugs me. Really, it does. And I think therein lies my feelings of glee that Martha Stewart is having her problems. She marketed herself to the world as one thing, but suddenly we are starting to see something else, the ugly underbelly of her empire.