Tuesday, April 22, 2008

By Brian Turner (Printed in the Washington Post) is veteran of the Iraq war.
Sunday, April 20, 2008; Page BW0

If a body is what you want,

then here is bone and gristle and flesh.

Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,

the aorta's opened valves, the leap

thought makes at the synaptic gap.

Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,

that inexorable fight, that insane puncture

into heat and blood. And a dare you to finish

what you've started. Because here, Bullet,

here is where I complete the word you bring

hissing through the air, here is where I moan

the barrel's cold esophagus, triggering

my tongue's explosives for the rifling I have

inside of me, each twist of the round

spun deeper, because here, Bullet,

here is where the world ends, every time.

-- By Brian Turner (A poem currently being passed around among American soldiers in Iraq)

I will add nothing else to this poem for it speaks for itself.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Out of the Murky Depths of I Tunes...

Where the hell did I get this from?
While going through my newly 'acquired' music on my i tunes, I discovered a CD I never knew I had. It's The Grates' Gravity Won't Get You High CD, released in 2006. I found it at the bottom of the list of songs and didn't have a CD or artist title so it wasn't listed like the rest of my music. But this CD kicks ass! I love it! And am sad I can't remember who I got it from! On of the best songs is Trampoline -gotta love the whole line about 'use your bed like a trampoline if you know what I mean. Just for love if you know what I mean'!

The Grates sound a little like Veruca Salt, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Sleater-Kinney. The entire album is very strong, with up tempo songs. It is rough around the edges, with the drums and guitars providing a driving and melodic beat. The vocals are great as well, but the lyrics aren't too clear -still catchy music! Anyways, I don't really have anything to say but that this CD is awesome, and it's like I just got a new CD. But not really. (Below is the video for 19-20-20 which is off this CD)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Purpose in Archaeology: Musings from the Pipe

Why do people spend their lives devoted to gaining a better appreciation of the past? Why do people pursue the endeavor of archaeology? These questions are one and the same. Some people, I think, are interested in only the objects of the past. They recognize that the past is more than mere objects, but their interest lies only in these objects. Myself, I am interested in the why's of the past. While I may never answer any of the big questions of the past, I am still pursuing aspects of these questions. I should stress here that these are my opinions of the direction of archaeology and that they are in no way superior to the opinion's of others.

What I am referring to here are issues of origin. Perhaps not the origin of life, but the origins of the issues within life. Questions such as why is violence such a profound aspect of humanity and what specifically makes humanity unique in respect to all other organisms? Outlining how humanity has changed and remained static over the millenniums is a crucial question for me, and if these questions are pursued one may be able to better inform the present upon why things are the way they are and how to better understand them and possibly correct them. For people to understand and correct current problems, one needs to understand how they began in the first place. How were these issues tackled by previous cultures and peoples? How did these issues come to be and what was the context for them being born? To understand these questions people today can illicit contemporary instances where these issues might be born once more or could employ methods from the past to rectify the issue of the present.

This may sound steeped in arrogance in comparison to other academic disciplines, but I think a certain measure of arrogance is needed in any of life's pursuit when one is passionate about it and wants to explain why it is important. Archaeology is unique, probably not any better than any other academic pursuit, but definitely unique. It has its problems but its potential has only begun to appear. It is often mislabeled as a pursuit of the past for the benefit of the past. I would argue that this is untrue and potentially debilitating to the discipline.

A quick example of what I am referring to is that of urbanization. Today big cities could be considered as hubs of multitudes of problems: violence, poverty, homelessness, corporate greed, isolationism, noise and physical pollution, and many more. Through an archaeological analysis we can see how urban centers first formed and what problems were associated with them and how these problems were addressed. Further, non-urban centers can be looked at to see the differences between the two. Were there shared issues between urban and non-urban centers, and if so are these issues a matter of humanity's nature or are they the result of their specific contexts? These are highly interesting questions for myself that I believe most people either gloss over or take for granted. (The image below is of the settlement /mound complex Cahokia in Missouri that dates to AD1000-1600).

While objects are highly informative and intellectually engrossing, they do not represent the complete past for me. I need context and I need to make it relevant to today. I need to show how archaeology is about a multitude of endeavors that do not pertain only to the past, although that unto itself is a noble pursuit. I think I'll have to write about these issues more.

Friday, April 4, 2008


I love cake. Cake is sweet and mysterious. When you cut into it you never know what will be revealed. Will it be layered with strawberry jelly sandwiched between moist vanilla cakes? Or perhaps a solid monolithic slab of chocolaty goodiness? Either way the surprise is always wondrous!

The new Cake CD, B-Sides and Rarities is another mysterious delight. It all begins with the base, a cover of Black Sabbath's War Pigs. While this is not their best cover song for they did not give it their signature spin, it is still very enjoyable. Lots of horns and well enunciated lyrics -why that should be a luring feature of this song I don't know, but it is dammit! Probably their best cover song however is still I Will Survive from their album Fashion Nugget. The second song on the CD's tracklist is Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town which is likely my favorite track off the CD. It is a bit twangy, but in a good old 1950-60's country way. The lyrics are fun and the ending is an unexpected but pleasant surprise -like finding a cherry drifting inside that chocolate cake!

At the end of the CD are three live tracks. In May I will be seeing Cake live in Calgary and really can't wait. I've wanted to see these guys since I first saw their video on Much (way back when Fashion Nugget came out). They don't seem to tour Canada too often, but these three live tracks are great! John McCrea's vocals are amazing, with the same great clarity and emotion that one gets from the CD's. The band also sounds tight! One of the things I love about Cake is that the lyrics are created to compliment the band's overall sound and not vice-versa like in so many other bands.

I'm not describe anything else off this CD because A) I'm really tired and I should have read something instead of typing on my blog, and B) I think you should just buy the damn CD. It's great and you will definitely enjoy it! However, if you have never listened to a Cake CD before, I would rather recommend either Fashion Nugget, Motorcade of Generosity, or Pressure Chief. Those are definitely their best three albums, but this latest contribution is still worth picking up!

Oh, how could I forget to tell you that the CD's cover is scratch and sniff! When the hell have you heard of someone making a scratch & sniff CD? It's worth it buying the CD based on just this fact alone!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fading Caffein


I want coffee to be pumped directly into my body. Fuck the container. Not that I mind cutting down a few trees to make a receptacle for a fine cup of coffee, for after all when I die I would be honored to have a fine cup of coffee drunk out of me. Soft lips searching for a liquid that can engage the brain and enrage the nerves. Pumping through the lines of the body, swirling through the tubes and slushing down into the pit only to sit and be soaked up. Soaked up like salty sweat into a shirt. Exposed to the air and the public, something that was once so private and vital but now available for the world to see.

Fuck it. Kick it down and sit. Take it as your own. Act like you wish you would and rethink it later.