Wednesday, August 24, 2005


End of a Friendship

I know the title of this post may sound a bit harsh and overstated, but after what I am about to write, I fully expect to lose one of my best and closest friends. I am enjoying the Harry Potter books. That's right, Zhubin, I have turned to the dark side, forsaken the light, and have read that list of tomes that encapsulates all that you find wrong with most modern literature. But I don't care...Let me explain.

I have recently finished reading a book by Steven King called "On Writing" where he gives his life story as well as tips to anyone who is considering writing. Throughout the book he gives examples of what to do when writing and then talks about authors who do this well. In one of his examples, talking about importance of story line, I think, he mentions J.K. Rowling and how she is very good at this. Now, I finished the Dark Tower series a while ago and, suffice to say, if Steven King said Joe had become a witch, I would have probably built the bonfire before asking myself why Mr. Caldwell HADN'T FINISHED MY VIDEO...sorry...tangent moment... Anywho, I think King is a great writer and so decided that, with his blessing, I too would see what this was all about (NOTE: My wife wants me to point out that she had been telling me to read these and that I would enjoy them long before a book told me to and that obviously a page of text has more influence than her...I told her to go cook me something...I woke up hours later...)

The argument that we have had for so long seems to center on the fact of reading for enlightenment and intellectual stimulation versus reading simply for pleasure books that may not discuss, in depth, the extreme subtleties of life as we know it. SOME (notice no names, Zhubin...) would say that reading and writing derives its validity for what it can tell us about the human condition. Namely, in novels such as Crime and Punishment, Heart of Darkness, and the like, we see life as it is, in all its shades of grays and all its grit and grime and therefore can derive from its bared pages a more integral and understandable view of who we are and what life is. I can agree with this to a point. I believe that these novels, as well as countless others, show us a deeper look at who we are and thus deserve to be studied and elevated above, say, Danielle Steele.

However, SOME say that this is the only point in reading. To take oneself out of one's world, to enter a land in which we deal in more absolutes and which our imagination can run free, a land in which good versus evil is quite apparent with very little difficulty seems like a very uselss waste of time. I would say, however, that it has many uses, some of which almost as worthwhile as "Zhubin Literature". Whereas Crime and Punishment might deal with one man's psychological struggle, Harry Potter deals with similar weighty issues such as death, prejudice, hatred, jealousy, and other major themes, and may perhaps have be better in some aspects because it can be interesting and stimulating to those who enjoy "weightier" novels as well as a younger reader or someone who perhaps does not enjoy or lacks the education or gift to understand heavier literature. It can appeal across the board in way some "Greats" cannot and therefor must have something of merit in it. Both have their place, both are good and useful in their own right, but to say that reading should be limited to the cultural and educational elite and should deal almost exclusively with the inner working of the human condition as it is rather than a world of what could be, seems to be unfounded elitism.

Your rebuttal...

Monday, August 22, 2005


Happy Birthday Graham

Well I am making a habit of being late wishing all my friends a happy birthday (Rachel I know I missed yours too so happy b-day to you as well!) so I figured I would keep up the tradition and be a week late for Graham. G-Dogg, I hope your day was fantastic...welcome to sucks...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Work...We don't need no stinking work...

Well ladies and gentlemen, I have been in England for close to two and a half months now and I have worked probably 10-15 days TOTAL!!!! However, this in not from a lack of trying. So far I have engaged in being fired from spraying perfume, selling inheritance tax advice, giving massages to people in bars, and refereeing snowball fights in July (thank you college and graduate school!!!)

However, I finally passed a store approval (meaning I BSed my way into them thinking I knew how to spray perfume...which way does the nozzle go?...) and should be working there at the beginning of september.

Also, have had auditions for Joseph (shout out to Zhubin and Bone) and Mary Poppins and had an audition today for a US and European tour which I have to go to call backs for tomorrow. Now, the reason I mention all this is that, before Mary Poppins, I auditioned for My Fair Lady. Both of these shows are Cameron Mackintosh shows and thus I was auditioning for perhaps the most influential casting director in London Musical Theatre and both shows I had to audition in English accents. Now my accents are good, but when you, as an American, walk into a room of Englishmen and then do a song in a cockney accent, you can't help but feel like you've walked into the classroom with only your underwear on. They're all weighing you with their beady little English eyes... I just think it's funny that the team of casting people who will be most influential in my career here have only seen me be English. Go figure!

Anywho, I also wanted to pose a question like Zhubin did, but perhaps this one will be a bit more difficult.

Would you rather:

Know there was a God and you would go to Heaven but have the most miserable and long life possible (75-90 years of pain, disease, perhaps disfigurement...anything that would make each minute seem like an eternity and also be completely alone and unloved by any other human on the planet)


Have the most perfect life, family, friends, career, health...everything is honestly perfect and every day is a dream, but you know that when you die there is nothing after it

Your rebuttal, sir....

Ok here is the question changed slightly:

A life full of suffering with the chance of an afterlife


A life full of happiness with no chance of an afterlife

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