2006.11.13

Unplugged, Unshocked

10.09.50 - Mark

Every once in a while I get hit by the fact that I'm outside anything resembling cultural norms. The fact hit me a few times this weekend. It's first blow was Friday night when I went to see Borat. I know several people who have described it as disgusting, who have suggested that it should be NC-17, or suggested that parts of it may have gone too far. Except for the 70% of the time they were laughing like crazy. Personally I didn't think it was great. Yeah it had some good lines that I may joke about with friends, and I got a few decent laughs out of it, but overall it wasn't extremely satisfying. Sort of a weekend afternoon movie feel too it, good enough to watch, but not enough block everything else out.

When you get to the disturbing, disgusting, and generally sickening stuff people complain about, I really didn't feel disgusted. It's stuff that I can easily do without seeing and hearing, but it wasn't that shocking to me.

The other strike was when messing around with MacHeist. I kind of got interested in the MyDreamApp thing they finished up a few weeks ago and had the oppurtunity to check out to start playing this alternative reality sort of game they've developed. I play this hidden message type web games on occassion and while some of them do have some pretty good challenges in them I've been finding them largely unrewarding. In the example of MacHeist, of the three prize pieces of software I now have free licenses for, none of them really appeal to me, which is almost hard. I've been a junkie for mac freeware and shareware since I first connected to AOL over a long distance line around 1995.

In the end this doesn't really matter, I'm perfectly fine being outside the box, as long as I have a decent idea about what the inside looks like.

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2006.04.30

One World Divided

19.33.49 - Mark

Tomorrow there's going to be a 1000-man rally tomorrow in Dobson, NC about some of the immigration issues that are swirling around in our nation's political cesspool - and the local congress critter is anti-imigration/pro-"national security" in a big way.

I've been against the mentality of closing up our borders and allowing the government to monitor citizens' actions because I haven't seen the evidence that it protects us. I dislike the idea that this nation is no longer a shelter for the best minds of the world - those who question the government are condemned and their legitimante concerns are muted while those that want to push the border of human achievement are not allowed to do so.

More recently, I've been feeling that this nation isn't. In the broader picture it seems like this nation is divided in so many trivial ways it has stepped over the line of sickening. Religious individuals think they're the minority while the athiests and agnositcs claim the same title. Republicans and Democrats battle as if there's no tomorrow. Racial and ethic cultures clash internally while they all clamor against the foreigners.

In this day and age when its just as likely for me to hear about the latest news from Eurasia as it is to know what's happening on a local street corner borders have really become a pointless imaginary line in our minds.

Even thought I favor less government, the idea of Supranational Unions like the EU, or a World Government are tempting ideas

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2006.03.26

Leaving Mayberry

11.30.57 - Mark

Mount Airy is a good town. Boring as hell and ignorant at times, but over all its a good place for families. It rests in the Piedmont near the Blue ridge Mountains and the area surrounding Mount Airy is stunning, which I was reminded of while spending some time at Raven Knob yesterday.

It's also somewhat well known as the hometown of Andy Griffith and a recognized inspiration for Mayberry.

Ever since I moved here a few years ago being Mayberry has been a big deal for the town, since tourism has taken over as the main industry since the textiles moved out of the country. I can understand that, however a year or two ago the city brought in some economic consultants and after talking to various people in the community they came to the conclusion that while Mayberry was a good tourism launch pad , the city needed to divirisy its tourism appeal into "lifestyle tourism" focusing on simple living, outdoor activities, arts, crafts, music, etc. But for whatever reason this study hasn't been widely circulated in town.

Insted of pushing those other avenues, we have everyone and their dog trying to capatilize on Mayberry. Mayberry Square, Mayberry Motor Inn, Mayberry Courthouse, Opie's Candy Store, Snappy Lunch, Floyd's Barber Shop, Mayberry Auto, Aunt Bea's (resteraunt), Mayberry Weadding Chapel, Squad Car Tours, Wally's Service Station, the list goes on. Even the main website for the chamber of commerce is VisitMayberry.com. There's even a business called Mayberry Internet Auctions on the outskirts of town.

Rather than trying to move past Mayberry as the actors who stared in the show die off (the latest being Don Knotts about a month ago) we're seeing more and more business come in trying to cater to the Mayberry Sect, some successfully like Snappy Lunch and Floyd's, others not so much (Mayberry Pet Store), and when we disappoint fans, its major news, like a pair of fans from Georgia came to visit Snappy Lunch, only to discover its closed for renovations to bring it up to code. They might not get their desired meal, but they'll get into the local newspapers (I don't want to know how the paper discoverd that story).

It's all a bit disappointing, and I really want to see more people in the community try to move past Mayberry, because in 5 or 10 years, I don't think its going to be as successful as it is now.

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2006.02.16

Hell just got a bit colder

19.10.54 - Mark

Who would have guessed it - Garfield can actually be funny. Just remove Garfield and/or his thoughts







Original thread
More at Something Awful

Not all of the remixed strips are funny, many just point out how sad Garfield strips really are, but the fact that I'm laughing at comics that were created by a group-think brand-oriented committee is amazing. Hurray for remix culture!

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