Sunday, October 31, 2004


This guy on this clip is sick! His moves are absolutely incredible! His name is David Bernal. If you want some more info.

While you're there, check out this addictive game. Why is the music so damn catchy?

And you've probably seen the end of the world, but it is still funny. :)

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Happy Halloween!

A Baggins in the mist?

"New archaeological discoveries by Australian and Indonesian scientists on the Indonesian island of Flores are revealing that until at least 13,000 to 12,000 years ago, modern humans--our species, Homo sapiens--shared this planet with a totally different species of human being--a three-foot-high dwarf hominid with physical features usually seen as dating from 1.5 to 4 million years ago."


"Researchers have so far unearthed remains from eight individuals who were just one metre tall, with grapefruit-sized skulls. These astonishing little people, nicknamed 'hobbits', made tools, hunted tiny elephants and lived at the same time as modern humans who were colonizing the area." - Nature

I think it is great when something supposedly 'shocking' is discovered. In actuality, what is discovered is that there are mental blocks that keep out real possibilities from being explored.

Pyrrhus, we are victorious!

It seems that there may have been many more civilian deaths than previously thought. I abhor this situation and feel sick at the thought of all those innocent people dying.
Is it worth it?
Things are supposedly worse than when Saddam was in charge and there have been so many missteps that someone should be in prison. It is not that just that mistakes have been made, it is that this was a war based on false premises using fear mongering to gain authorization instead of reason and discourse. Bush et al. have used the power of the world’s largest military to undermine and invalidate the very concept of freedom they supposedly are saving. Hypocrisy! Condemnable hypocrisy.
The most grievous insult is the pious self-deception that accompanies those masquerading as saviours. This administration is blinded by unmitigated devotion to their own egos and their supposed ‘faith.’ The reality is that these people are the destroyers of lives, hopes and principles. 100,000 lives? Dammit! People are dying! These people are not worthy to lead. They have no honour.

Like so many others, I am ineffably frustrated when I hear of these things happening. I take solace in the thought of a surreptitious samurai’s sword slicing swiftly through jugulars; karma demonstrating that it actually exists and exists in this lifetime.
Then I breathe… and realize that there should be a better way. Yet, looking at the cost-benefit analysis, maybe some people should be ‘removed’ to save the lives of others. Imagine hearing a plane fly overhead means that bombs are coming. Salvation does not explode upon impact. Maybe we all need the shit kicked out of us just to realize that others have it happen so often?

Non-action can be as bad as an action. Apathy in the face of injustice is not excusable.
We’ve gotta do more.


When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.—Nietzsche

I came across this quotation on someone's livejournal, and just thought it described my life all too well. One could say 'fatigue leads to irrational cognitions,' but Neitzshe's is better.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Population: None ;)

"It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.
-The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

Monday, October 25, 2004

The last 15 minutes rocked!

I was just listening to Richard Dawkin’s tribute to Douglas Adams while glancing over an article on evolutionary theory as well as Matt Good’s blog, which I left to watch CNN for 2 minutes and then Jon Stewart for 3 (taped the rest). The kicker was watching clouds of various density pass under a waxing moon which beautifully illuminated the sky with those wonderful colours that accompany such events.
Makes a Happy Darren.

I take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. - Adams

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Eye of the Coffee

First off, please watch this: here or here

Ok, while I was watching this I laughed out loud. I found it so damn funny and thoroughly amusing. I did have the knowledge of it being an advertisement ahead of time and that caused me some concern. I was oscillating from delighted to disdainful that Survivor is actually in the ad selling themselves. I guess my question to you is this: what are your thoughts? Do you think that this commercial, which I admit is funny, is bad? As well, what are your thoughts about commercials using popular music to sell their product? (hopefully your thoughts aren't "stop being so analytical"?)

My one cent (I couldn't find the other)
I think nearly all commercials are bad. Public service announcements and the very few ads that need to bring our attention to a worthwhile product new to the marketplace are about the only things that are not blots on our mental space. Everything else is usually trying to sell you something you don't need in a dishonourable fashion.

What about artists in commercials? (Swiff it good?) Obviously, this is up to the artist and one would have to ask each of them on a case by case basis. Sometimes it is not in their control, other times it is. I believe Moby's "Play" is the most licenced album in history (700+), but he seems to have tenable reasons for his decision. 1) His goal was to get his music heard because radio doesn't usually play his genre and 2) Either they can use his song or some knockoff which people might associate with him and recieve no money. At least he can use the $350,000 from GM to give to greenpeace or something. I cautiously belive him after seeing his apartment on "Cribs." He seems grounded.

As for Survivor, well Rocky III was probably what really popularized the song, which was also selling the song. I think movies are slightly more defensible than commercials (despite the increased blurring between the two), but it depends what you are trying to achieve.

As I wrote this I watched the commercial 2 more times and then put on the actual song. I lauged each of the times, but, of course what I really like is the real song. The commercial is funny, but I have a feeling the replay value will soon diminish. Or if the commercial becomes really successful will Survivor be remembered for helping Starbucks? (more so than Rocky III?)

The other issue is that it is Starbucks. They are like a virus! They currently have 8500 stores and are looking to have 30,000! They are all over Toronto, and in Vancouver there are two Starbucks kitty-corner to each other. I guess it is important to be able to look at a Starbucks whilst inside a Starbucks. Seattle is even worse. I think nearly everything bought at Starbucks is superfluous. Moreover, do people need a double shot of expresso to 'bring on the day?' If so, I think that is almost a bigger problem.
The commercial is successful in that I am actively spreading it and it will likely help form positive associations to Starbucks even if the specific product is not sought. I take solace in the fact that this commercial will not cause me to purchase anything from Starbucks. Most of the time, when a commercial is 'successful' I can only think that our culture has allowed an corporation to manipulate my thought processes to have me desire things which do not help my existence. Success!

An antiquated band whoring themselves to help manipulate our very thoughts through a megalomanical corporation that profits off our drug dependent culture?
just good fun?


Saturday, October 23, 2004

The Dude Abides

A recent viewing of the Coen brother's "The Big Lebowski" justifies the noting of some worthy catch phrases (difficult as it was, I picked ones without swearing)

You're out of your element Donny. You're like a lost child wandering into a movie theatre wondering...

No, no, you're Mr. Lebowski, I'm the Dude. Or duder or El dudarino if you're not into the whole brevity thing man.

Smokey, this isn't Nam, this is bowling. There are rules.

-He has severe emotional problems.
-You mean beyond pacifism?

Don't mess with da Jesus!

Yeah, well, that's like, your opinion, man.

What we have here are a series of victimless crimes.

Ve cut off your Johnson!

Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism, at least it's an ethos, but nihilism...phhhh (italics-dbcm)

Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women, man.

In accordance with what your last wished might very well have been.

If you haven't recieved your fix, enjoy the beauty of technology.

Friday, October 22, 2004


(CBC, Moore, Globe)

"The Bush Administration has decided that it will stand by its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s flood rather than by geologic forces, according to internal documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)." Sigh.

Looking to register voters in a swing state? Do it the sketchy way!

"Republican Supreme Court candidate Tom Parker passed out Confederate battle flags at the funeral of a Confederate veteran's widow in June and spoke at a birthday party in July for the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, Parker confirmed Friday." Ugh! Are people nuts? Is this what the 'heartland' is all about? Double sigh.

At least we still find time to feed our respective monkeys

Oh Walmart, you pioneer of artistic understanding!

You know, if you wanted to make a big light because most of Saskatoon suffers from SAD, you could've just said so. You didn't need to have some elaborate scientific cover. ;)

The story itself is worth reading, but the sentence "...You never want to question a judge's ruling..." from anyone, let alone a Democratic Senator better be just for public appeal versus any sort of reasoning(!).

Cuddly and Ready to Please?
"Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhao-xing... told The Globe and Mail that the planned $7-billion takeover of Noranda by a consortium of Chinese state-controlled companies is just a small part of a strategy to invest heavily in this country's resource sector."

Prime Minister Paul Martin welcomed a Chinese proposal to purchase mining giant Noranda Inc, he did mention some reservations about human rights records. He said they'd think about it and discuss it, so I guess that's resolved.

I guess America is a model for the world. (I wonder if they will cause the country to sink a couple inches in another 10 years?)

The 21st century may be China's because of population size and rapidly developing technology and business sectors. General Info. (The improper English at the top amuses me)

Looks like the real thing can be beaten. It is interesting to note that more countries have Coke than belong to the UN.

Overconsumption threatens ecological balance, WWF warns. The actual content of the story is important, but I will admit one of the main reasons I posted this one is because I still associate the "WWF" with wrestling, despite their loss of the name. Consequently, the headline is much funnier when read with the tone of a wrestler trying to hype up something. "Oooh yeah!"

Lastly, because you need a smile amidst the fray.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Why I like Matthew Good

Today, this is what Matt Good's blog had to say:
"At what point did the lives of strangers become so unimportant that their loss no longer registers? At what point did we trade in our humanity for cable, for faster food, for never ending isles of fluorescent-lit nothingness? At what point did freedom become arrogant and arrogance necessity?

I would like to think that there is more to us. I will spend the rest of my life fighting to make sure that there is. You can join me by clicking here."

Those are exactly the thoughts I've been having lately. There are millions and millions of people in need around the world. A lot of their pain is not from 'natural' problems, but because developed countries are actually causing the problems.

People are starving and I can't decide what watch.

The more I learn about the world, the more I feel that for me to win (cheap clothes, food, oil, electronics) someone else loses.
The argument could be made that the people working in sweatshops are happy relative to their Socio-Economic-Status (SES), but this is flawed. They are called sweatshops for a reason, and it isn't because of the jazzercise class at lunch.

Many of the goods consumed in the developed world are made by those forced by desperation into to an unreasonable amount of labour or for an unreasonable amount of pay.
If you do not think others being caused this much stress so you can have more junk you don't need is not a problem, I think you need a more salient experience, like meeting someone and having then tell you about how hard their life is (even relative to their SES).
If you still don't care, I'm
a) angered and saddened, but I can somewhat understand and will do what I can to show you why I think you act/feel in error
b) Feel you are part of the problem and your non-existence might help the situation.
The former is the best path for my goals, but I mention the latter out of honestly. (Dang human emotions)

Just try to think about the effects of your actions and non-actions. (As well as what you choose to support regarding brands, foods and entertainment)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Caught in the... uh... what's it called?

Jon Stewart (who you should all be watching) recently appeared on "Crossfire." The transcrip/clip is available here (shpanks Meese). In case you are interested in background, Crossfire is a 'debate' show where left and right hatchet people attack each other in quickly paced segments. As well, Stewart has referred to Robert Novak, one of the hosts (who isn't in the clip) as a "DoucheBag for Freedom" because Novak outed a covert CIA agent supposedly for the 'right to know' but likely because her husband was (I believe) ambassador to Iraq and didn't agree with Bush's plans.
Regardless, enjoy the show. (and it might make some of Stewart's recent shows more sensical)

Saturday, October 16, 2004


I was reading Racheal's Live Journal and she posted a link to a great protest flash-video, The Unamerican Song. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Finding the lost art of the intelligent picket sign?

Just checked out the third and final debate, I would say that Kerry won again, but not by in an obvious way. (Of course, I'm a little biased)

The important thing is that there were two billboards in the background during post-debate coverage/commentary which were absolutely hilarious:



We can sleep more easily knowing that the decision to elect the most powerful man in the free world is in good hands. :P

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Think about it...

If you open up the brain, there's nobody home.

(ps: I've been working on this one for two years)

Monday, October 11, 2004

See below

Awwwwwww.... :(

Christopher Reeve died quite recently and I thought it important to give him special mention. Despite his numerous roles on stage and screen, he will be remembered for his portrayal of Superman. This is true for most of the population and especially so for me. The paradox of someone who portrayed Earth’s greatest hero first not being able to walk, and now not having life, is quite saddening. Admittedly, I do not know much about the man, except that he was a fighter in his quest to walk again and was critical raising funding and awareness to spinal cord research.

Personally, Reeve was the cinematic reification of my idolized fiction. Superman is a hero of mine, an admirable fantasy when human being are too flawed to be worth of emulation. Superman does not exist with a consistent appearance in his various roles in various media, but for me the human face of Superman is Christopher Reeve; it is likely it always will. It’s just sad, is all.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

In other news....

Form Moore's homepage I was amused that someone had already called the election for Bush, I guess foreshadowing, like there war tactics, is becoming overt instead of covert. (and it seems to be a true).

Rock on, Wangari Maathai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Derrida has passed away. Sorry, Dave :( If one is looking for content...

As well, the great Rodney Dangerfield passed away.
Lastly, Jon's book is Number 1. :)

Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Objection to Being Stepped On - Robert Frost

At the end of the row
I stepped on the toe
Of an unemployed hoe.
It rose in offence
And struck me a blow
In the seat of my sense.
It wasn't to blame
But I called it a name.
And I must say it dealt
Me a blow that I felt
Like malice prepense.
You may call me a fool,
But was there a rule,
The weapon should be
Turned into a tool?
And what do we see?
The first tool I step on
Turned into a weapon.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Last Samurai

I just watched the film "The Last Samurai" for the second time. What a wonderful movie. There were two dialogues that were worth mentioning. Both tap into my perspectives on the world. The former regarding the nature of free will and subjective uncertainty, the latter regarding my attempt to appreciating all things.

KATSUMOTO: You believe a man can change his destiny?
ALGREN: I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.

KATSUMOTO: You have nightmares.
ALGREN: Every soldier has nightmares.
KATSUMOTO: Only one who is ashamed of what he has done.
ALGREN: You have no idea what I have done.
KATSUMOTO: You have seen many things.
ALGREN: I have
KATSUMOTO: And you do not fear death, but sometimes you wish for it. Is this not so?
KATSUMOTO: I, also. It happens to men who have seen what we have seen. And then, I come to this place of my ancestors… and I remember. Like these blossoms… we are all dying. To know life in every breath… every cup of tea… every life we take. The way of the warrior.
ALGREN: Life in every breath.
KATSUMOTO: That is Bushido.

It's about getting it right, not about being right

I believe there is an objective reality. Consequently, there is a correct assessment/interpretation of the universe(s); some views will be more correct than others. The notion that all views are equal is refuted by imaging a person who thinks they can have unassisted flight. This person will be shown to be wrong when they encounter the ground in an abrupt manner. As well, imagine someone who thinks that all views are not equal. This view is a direct contradiction to the view that all views are equal. Therefore, the notion of 'equality of viewpoint' is inconsistent and paradoxical. Paradox is not necessarily invalidating, but it seems to be so in this case.

When I engage in debate, I am comparing as much as I can remember about my current view to that of another. I am sincerely trying to get at as much Truth as I can. It is not about being right or wrong, it is about discovery, understanding and Truth. I try to remember that it is not about me, but if I seem to lose my way please remind me of this post. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Because we should all know them...

These are two of the most important documents that affect your world, try to read them sometime before you die. (Hint-reading is easier when alive)
1) Universal Declaration of Human Rights
2) Canadian Constitution

Monday, October 04, 2004

SpaceshipOne wins the Ansari X-prize

We shall now clearly enter the age of commercial spaceflight. I saw the rockets kick in on tv and it was amazing. I almost feel like my generation isn't as impressed as it should be. Please take a minute and really try to picture a plane above the earth as well as how much research and development across centuries went into the occurence. News and homepage

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Ought not a thought come from more than nought?

Where do your thoughts come from? When you think, what makes one thought pop into your head more than another one?

Try this: Read the previous two questions again, but this time try to be aware of the ‘words’ as you read them in your head. Although, there is no sound, it almost seems the words are ‘out loud,’ but within your head.

Try this too: Most people don’t know this, but Canada has been involved in many secret military operations that have killed numerous people in part of South America.
What did you think/say when you read that? “Really?” “Where?” “What is your source?” “I don’t believe you!” something else? (actually, I would be interested in knowing what you thought, so please post it)

Lastly, I want you to think of the last time you had a heated discussion with someone. I imagine the words just flowed out of you, quickly and effortlessly. Some may have been appropriate and maybe some were not. The exchange can be so seemless, one might only think about their words afterward.

What I am trying to describe is how the thoughts we have and the words we speak seem to pop into our heads and leave no trace of their origins. It is truly a fascinating experience. It is as if ‘you’ don’t actually have any control at all when thoughts pop into ‘your’ head.

Any thoughts?

Friday, October 01, 2004


Sarah has a very thoughtful video out. It sounds good, too. Please check it out. Try to think of where all the money in the world goes and where it could go. (as usual, Matt Good was my informant)

My Weekend - Part III (Sunday)

The Darren rested. I wish that that were true, I was bagged most of the day. I packed in ‘not my suitcases’ and got things ready so I wouldn’t have to do much later. Rory and Owen, who had stayed over but left to do some moving, returned around 2:30 wherein I drove us downtown, picking up Sara along the way. The lights weren’t all bright, but it was great to see big buildings again. ;) I decided on Queen & Younge area because I feel it is wonderfully diverse and I won’t similar happenings in Halifax. We checked out Black Market and Rory and Owen each bought a book at a pretty cool bookstore. Walked by the ChumCity building, and I had memories of driving a produce truck. We listened to some Spanish guitar outside the Eaton Centre and made our way to Younge. Popped into Urban Outfitters long enough to be annoyed with commerce (I did laugh at a shirt that said Jehovah’s Fitness: Running and jumping for God). I was looking for a Wendy’s to get a Frostee, but it wasn’t meant to be. We walked up for several blocks and then down the other side. There were just so many people! The prostitot’s were out, and so were their midriffs. On a similar note, see “Downtown Dromedaries” blog. We chatted and I bought a soft ice cream cone. Let’s just say it seemed quite phallic and there were some jokes when I dove in. I still say there wasn’t enough girth. More people and back to our somewhat sketchy parking spot to return home. On the way we saw an ad for a Barbie line of clothing. Guh! The girls were pretty young in the ads, but I still think to be representative they should have implants. (hiyo!). The marketing for emulation of a fictional doll known for more in her cup size than cortex in her head… what could be better for a developing girl to experience (don’t forget the non-functional genitalia). Sigh.
Once home, I lay down for 20 minutes before having a delicious (oyshi!) meal of ribs and bruschetta. Another friend, Alex, joined us soon after dinner for the couple hours before I left. It was great to see my friends again, but a bit of whirlwind to say the least. Hugs were exchanged and then my mom drove me to the airport. I’m going to miss my mom. Bloody big things these terminals are. I read a bit of a journal from Japan and laughed to myself whilst waiting in line. On the plane I tried to sleep, enjoyed the little views I had of the cities at night and read a bit more about Einstein. Mike was kind enough to pick me up at 1:00am. Nice moon on the way back, but boy was I tired.
Wow. 68 hours. A wedding, good friends, my couch and the lakeshore: a good trip.