Dead Caterpillar

The universe is a vast cosmic conspiracy ...

Snide remarks on Windows 8

Sunday, Aug 18th, 2013

If car designers were anything like Windows UI designers, you’d search for a minute before finding the door on the latest model of your favorite BMW. If car designers were anything like Windows 8 UI designers, you’d be forced to climb into the car from the roof because seriously, where is the fucking start menu on this thing? Oh, that’s right, there isn’t one. Microsoft re-imaged as a new and hip Mac-like version of itself. Simpler is better amiright? Touch screen amiright?

Jesus, if it up to me we’d all still be working from a Windows 98 UI. Why must we change our entire way of life every time Microsoft wants to make a buck by releasing another OS? It’s the biggest scam since inkjet printers.

Everything was hunky dory with Windows 98. 95 to 98 was genuine progress. 98 offered something 95 didn’t have: network support, an enormous libraries of drivers, plug and play (sometime called ‘plug and pray’ by those less-enthused) and Direct X compatibility. Ah the glory days. Then ME came along.

Monstrous ME. Despicable ME.

Windows ME, otherwise known by PC world as “Mistake Edition,” was a complete disaster: buggy, slow, incredibly inefficient, as unstable as T-Rex on a tight rope. XP was Microsoft’s solution to ME and XP was everything it should have been: an amplified version of Windows 98. Then came Vista and even non-computer people (muggles) were smart enough to realize Vista was shitware. Almost as an admittance of failure, almost immediately after the Vista launch, MS announced Windows 7 and posed it as a solution to Vista. Of course businesses and consumers still had to pay for that solution, which was essentially a fixed version of Vista.

So when are consumers going to catch on to what appears to be an elaborate con-game run by Microsoft to deliberately churn out buggy operating systems (ME, Vista), so they can offer expensive solutions (like XP and 7) to their own mistakes?

And don’t even get me started on Windows 8 features. Come on, cloud integration? Touch screen? A built-in store? Sounds much like the innovations of another popular computer company I know of.

One which rhymes with “papple.”

Here’s a thought: Microsoft, why not compete on what’s traditional rather than what’s new and hip? Many computer people (aka wizards) prefer the traditional over what’s new and hip, because we know that things that work, work that way for a reason. Car doors open up on the side of a car because it makes a whole lot of sense… leave the friggin’ car doors where they are! Ah god dammit, at the very least keep the start menu which was the hallmark of windows operating systems.

The only practical benefit I see in upgrading to a new OS is the step up in physical memory and processor limits. But, umm, I’m no computer engineer, but why should hardware be limited by software? Shouldn’t the number of buttons on my shirt be limited by the size of my shirt rather than something arbitrary, like the color of my shirt? It never made sense to me. Hardware should only be limited by hardware and not completely arbitrary OS limitations.

Linux distributions do not have these absurd memory/processor limits. Linux distros are free. Which goes to show that the hardware limits imposed by Windows are all part of Microsoft’s conspiracy to squeeze more money from consumers and ultimately, take over the world.

Too bad Apple beat them to the punch.

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On walking

Sunday, Aug 4th, 2013

I go to great lengths to get my 3-4 walks in every day. Raining outside you say? I laugh in the face of danger (and drizzle). Elevator not working? I’ll jump out the fucking window. Massive, impossible work project due by noon? Fuck it, I’m going for a stroll. Rain, sleet or snow. Sand storm, hurricane, zombie apocalypse, I’m out there one foot in front of the other, because I’m a walker.

It’s my thing yo.

I like it because when you’re walking everything around you is moving and you’re moving too. The whole world is in flux. Moving, movement, change … Point is, you’re not standing in place. That’s why walking is so much fun.

You can be out there in the trees and bushes or you can be in your head and just start reminiscing. I meditate when I walk. It’s very zen. I can zero in on a heavily abstract programming problem I’ve been fixating on for hours and somehow, the solution will present itself after minutes of walking. It’s weird, it feels like I’ve got 3 times the mental firepower when my legs are moving. Which is why I don’t sleep on my problems, I walk on them.

When in doubt, go for a walk. That’s what I tell myself.

And corners. There are few things in life, outside of roller coaster lines and horror movies, that deliver as much raw suspense as street corners. Anything can be on the other side of a corner … a squirrel,  a hot dog stand, sure and sudden death, your soul mate. But usually it’s just another street and just another corner …

Ahh did you see what I did just there? I implied that corners are, like, a metaphor for the unexpected things in life. That was some real fancy literary shit I did just there.

Anyway, walking is fucking beautiful, I just wanted to put that out there. And don’t even get me started on mowing the lawn and the smell of fresh cut grass. That shit’s poetry.

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Tuesday, Jul 23rd, 2013

I worry about whether to go left or right. Then if I turn right, I worry if I should have turned left. But if I had turned left I would have worried about not turning right. I think sometimes I need to just drive.

Drive, yeah, like that Incubus song.

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An excerpt from my book …

Saturday, Jul 20th, 2013

… I started but never finished. Like all of my “books.” This one was called “The Billyad” and it was a tongue-in-cheek modern representation of “The Illiad.” A parody. The premise was actually pretty funny … and some themes like the fact that all the women in the com-epic-al poem have adjectives in front of their names describing physical attributes. Freckle-faced Ophelia, Big-breasted Bertha, Ugly Ann, Maybe-an-eight Kate… You get the idea. It’s like social commentary or something … cuz you know, women get objectified and stuff.

Anyway here’s the excerpt:

“And what lineage do you claim?”

“Bert, Royal Bert, most revered name,
From the house of Tom, who with
the trade of pizza making:
making soft dough and mixing sauces,
fresh tomatoes sauces and fine cheese:
parmesans, alfredos, provolones
He made sweet calzones and spicy,
succulent Sicilian dishes.
Bert Wed Alicia and bore my father, Jeremy
who bore Ted, Ned and me
His son, Jason, most noble heir,
and rightful –

“Enough of this blatant self-flattery!”
Screamed Billy.

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Why you laugh at Downey’s line: “Never Go Full Retard”

Sunday, Jun 30th, 2013

Because even in depictions of our ugliest, we must dress up, embellish and put things into an ideal form, otherwise we simply wouldn’t digest it. It’s why the social outcasts in teen dramas, unlike their counterparts in reality, are actually far above average in terms of physical attractiveness and demeanor.

the perks of being a wallflower movie poster

Wallflower? Are you fucking kidding me? Try teen model who befriends another teen model and British starlet slash universal sex symbol. Fuck this movie.

No one is going to make a movie about actual unattractive people, because no one would want to watch it. Because no one is attracted to the unattractive. For the same reason, no one is going to make a movie depicting actual, full-on retards. No one would want to watch it.

Hence, you never go full retard.

The true losers will never have their stories told.

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Give it a rest, privacy whores

Sunday, Jun 23rd, 2013

So you’ve read 1984 in highschool and watched “V for Vendetta,” which means you’re practically an expert in preventing dystopian futures, and, naturally you’re a bit worried about wiretapping because that’s what the news has told you to worry about.

Seriously, wiretapping. Of all things: Alzheimer’s, nukes, erectile dysfunction, TERRORISTS, you’re worried about wiretapping because it would be a fucking travesty if the government were to listen in on your after-dinner phone conversations with Aunt Jude.

Fellow Americans, give the whole privacy thing a rest. And by ‘give it a rest’ I mean shut your stupid whore mouths now. The government does not care to listen to your after-dinner phone conversations.  And the government already has a database of your phone numbers. It’s called a fucking phone book you twats!

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Email notifications from Hell

Saturday, Jun 22nd, 2013

Receive an email from Amazon for “Product Review Feedback.”

Unsubscribe from “Product Review Feedback” in user account settings.

Receive an email from Amazon notifying me that I have been unsubscribed from “Product Review Feedback.”

Unsubscribe from email notifications for “General Account Changes.”

Receive an email from Amazon notifying me that I have been unsubscribed from “General Account Changes”…

Curl up in a corner and cry.

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Why internet nerds hate internet explorer

Thursday, Jun 20th, 2013

There’s nothing wrong with Internet Explorer, intrinsically. At least not to the end user. To the end user, web pages are just as pretty in Internet Explorer as they are in Chrome or Firefox. The real subject of ridicule isn’t IE, but the typecast of people that use IE.

As a web developer, IE is the bane of my existence but that is only because I need to deal with obscure browser compatibility quirks while getting pages to display properly in older versions of IE. But the end user doesn’t comprehend any of that. To the end user, the pages are just as pretty as they are in Chrome or Firefox. It’s the type of end user that is the subject of ridicule… It’s their acceptance mentality. The sort of people that use Internet Explorer are the sort of people that don’t question the options they are immediately presented with and this betrays Technological Inferiority. That is why we internet nerds scoff and chuckle to ourselves when we see someone using IE. Also because we’re better than everyone else.

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“This is The End” was a good time

Sunday, Jun 16th, 2013

Okay, this movie is not for everyone. Especially asthmatics. Seriously, my ribcage still hurts from last night. I struggled to catch my breath in between cackles of laughter during the Whitney Houston scene (if you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about). This one’s up there with “Anchorman” and Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian.” I didn’t think you could fit so much funny in 107 minutes. In one scene, James Franco and Danny McBride engage in a pedantic argument over the proper etiquettes of masturbating in someone else’s house… You don’t need to hold a degree in funny to know that scene was funny. You don’t even need to watch the scene to find the humor in it, you can just read my banal description again.

James Franco and Danny McBride engage in a pedantic argument over the proper etiquettes of masturbating in someone else’s house.

Pfffft Hahaha! It’s spit-your-drink-out funny!

In another scene, Jonah Hill is possessed by a demon and his friends are forced to perform an exorcism but end up lighting him on fire instead. Channing Tatum becomes McBride’s bitch  and mad props to Tatum for having the balls to tuck in his balls for that scene.  Oh yeah, and Michael Cera plays a coke-snorting asshole in a jacket.

Who would have guessed, in a million years, that Michael Cera would play a coke-snorting asshole in a jacket? That’s exactly what is so god damn brilliant about this movie. It completely dispenses with any form of convention. At first you think all the actors play themselves but when Jonah Hill goes full on fruity with a strange  Mr. Rogers-type persona, you don’t know what to think.

Michael Cera’s Stupid Asshole in a Jacket persona is perhaps the funniest because it creates this odd sort of cognitive dissonance when you realize Cera is playing a character contradictory to his typecast. We’re used to seeing Cera as a mild-mannered, quirky  and endearing boyish figure. But in “This is The End,” he snorts coke and slaps Rihanna in the ass. Comedy gold! I found this sparkling gem on the IMDB page.

Initially Michael Cera wasn’t really slapping Rihanna’s butt, but rather making the motion and stopping right before touching her. As a result, the scene wasn’t working on camera because it looked too fake. Eventually Cera asked Rihanna if he could really slap her butt, she said yes but on the condition that she be allowed to really smack him across the face each time. Cera agreed.

Ha! By far the funniest sentence in that paragraph is the last: Cera agreed.

“This is The End” is a satire of everything:  the Hollywood lifestyle, the Apocalypse genre, the dick joke genre … shit, even religion! At one point, the characters come to the realization that they are in the biblical End Times and everything they are experiencing is foretold in the book of Revelation. This leads to a curious discussion about God. At some point in the very cheeky discussion, the actors stumble into the doctrine of the trinity. In an attempt to better explain the concept of God being three in one, James Franco makes the analogy that God is “like Neapolitan Ice Cream.”

Neapolitan Ice Cream. I fucking lost it.

The movie takes a lot of passes at religion but in a very smart, subtle way. It certainly doesn’t take any potty shots. Writers Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg don’t make fun of End Times Christian theology by explicitly telling us how absurd it is. Instead, you whisper this is so absurd to yourself when you watch an almost literal interpretation of the book of Revelation play out.

Okay, so, bad guys go to Hell, good guys go to Heaven. Sounds good in theory, but what about the logistics? Is there some kind of threshold of good deeds you need to cross before you can be beamed up? And what are you going to do when you get there? Surely if it’s any fun it will have roller coasters and weed… The movies explores those ideas and I think those ideas are at the core of its utter hilarity.

Also, Michael Cera snorting coke and slapping Rihanna in the ass. Nobody saw that coming!

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The Rains of Castamere

Saturday, Jun 8th, 2013

Let’s talk about GAME OF THRONES SEASON 3 EPISODE 9, the fucking pearl harbor of television. The episode that will live in infamy. 6/2/13, the day “The Rains Of Castamere” first aired.  Never forget!

I don’t normally write positive reviews. I find it easy to describe why I hate something, but when I love something, I don’t have words for it. I pretty much just stare, dumbstruck.

We all know what should have happened, what ought to have happened, according to modern television tropes. According to pretty much every TV show plot ever. What should have happened is that the Starks, the good guys, kill the Lannisters, the bad guys. Then Robb takes the throne to avenge his father’s death, yada yada yada. That should have happened. And yet that would have been completely forgettable.

What did happen, though, was … Holy fuck, completely unforgettable.

It was just another happy Westeros wedding, with wine, dancing and general festivities. Until the instruments begin ominously playing “The Rains Of Castamere.” … Until that dastardly look Lord Bolton gives Cat, just before she realizes… just before


Fuck! I lost my shit. That scene was perfect. Good drama is like a good back stabbing: completely unexpected and cuts you deep. Or should I say, hehe, in Talisa’s case, front stabbing (*commence slow clapping*).

Willie Nelson (aka Hogwart’s disgruntled janitor) captured a lot of the nuances of cruelty in that scene, like taking a swag from his wine glass while watching the Starks’ butchering. I mean, who does that? Only a Frey. And the utterly helpless look on Robb’s face… That look said it all. Sometimes, the good guys lose.

Oh but it was just perfect. I won’t forget it.  Everyone at work is talking about it. Hell, the whole country is talking about it. Amazing how fictional events can sometimes have more of an effect on society than real, actual events. “The Rains of Castamere” is sort of like my generation’s version of the JFK assassination. I know it’s not real but, it feels real and that’s got to count for something.

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Burnt bread is way underrated

Monday, May 27th, 2013

I’ve been getting into toast. Toast, not so much as a food, but sort of like a hobby. Cinnamon toast. Cream cheese on toast. Cottage cheese on toast. Toast with hummus. Toast with jam. I love toast! I have it several times a day. I have yet to find another person that shares my enthusiasm for toast.

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Why I’m a Pagan

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

I was born three times. The first time, it was a physical birth. The second, I became a born-again believer and accepted Jesus Christ as my Personal Savior. The third time, I gave up Jesus and was reborn into The World of Rational and Critical Thinking People.

Because …

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I gave up childish things.” - 1 Corinthians 13:11.

(And believe it or not, I’ve misused scripture in worse ways. During my college years I justified drinking with Mathew 4:4, “Man cannot live on bread alone!” And in keeping with the wisdom of King Solomon, I abstained from all labor under the sun because “vanity of vanities, all is vanity! What profit has a man from all his labor In which he toils under the sun?” I knew my catechisms.)

Nowadays  I wouldn’t call myself a skeptic, atheist or anything like that. I still believe in a lot of things. A lot of crazy, far-out things too. I’ve also seen some crazy, far-out things (as if that counts for anything). But I have learned to be distrustful of the things I believe and even the things I have seen. Because I have been wrong before (read: because I have been Christian before), I will always be suspicious of my beliefs. I am distrustful of them. I am wary of my own personal biases. I would not die for them. I would not kill for them. I do not look down on others who do not believe the same things I do. Okay that one, maybe, a little, but I do not accuse others of committing a crime, worthy of eternal punishment, for not drawing the same conclusions I have about God (or lack thereof), our origin, destination, etc..

Because genuine belief or disbelief does not equate to sinfulness or wrongdoing. “Credulity is not a crime.” Your willingness to believe something says nothing of your virtues as a person or the quality of your soul. It is just that simple.

Sure I could choose to believe that the Bible was the inspired word of God. It would be easy. I could also choose to believe in countless other books written by countless other people, all pouting the same thing, that theirs is The One True Religion, that, when you die, you go one place really great if you followed all the rules and procedures correctly, or one place really bad if you didn’t. Too bad if you were born in a Muslim country or, from the perspective of the Muslims, too bad if you were born in a Christian country. Too bad if you made the mistake of believing in the wrong thing during your lifetime. It’s off to the eternal soup with you… And that soup is hot.

Well, that could be true – any number of religious dogmas could be true. Theologians use a lot of smart-sounding words and arguments after all, there’s the Ontological Argument, the Cosmological Argument and I hear they’ve even got a teleological one. But there is one argument which defeats them all, and it is not taught at seminaries, or any religious institution for that matter. I’m speaking of the argument of Common Sense.

The Common Sense Argument says that God didn’t give us free will so he could command us to use it the way he wants us to. That God didn’t do the most honorable, glorious act ever by sending his only son to die for us to save us from … himself. That voice inside your head which Christians believe is The Holy Spirit? That’s actually your conscience speaking. Your conscience, not to be confused with certain members of THE ALMIGHTY GODHEAD.

And regular, plain ol’ heathen folk have consciences too. We’ve all got magical voices in our heads. Alright, none of us are perfect. The very word human implies flawed, hence why we say things like I’m only human.  We’re only human but we are at least better than the evil, worthless hellbound pukes popularly depicted by The Bible and other great works of fiction. Everyone struggles to do the right thing, just as much as they struggle to do the wrong thing. We’re not good or evil. We’re both. Isn’t that fairly obvious?

I also despise the Christian tenant that this life is a meaningless speck of dust in comparison to eternity, so we might as well just give it all up to Jesus. And that a temporary existence without God would be tragic and meaningless so … heck! Might as well just give it all up to Jesus!

Could it be that one day I will die and everything I did and all memory of my life will eventually be forgotten? That might be true. But nothing can change the fact that I was once alive, that I was here, that I lived and did things, that I happened. Whether I can or cannot be remembered has no bearing on the fact that I happened.  I actually happened dammit and that’s enough for me. It has significance. So I am not intimidated by the thought that there might not be a God or an afterlife. At least not intimidated enough to break my ass on an old wooden pew for an hour every week.  I can find more worthwhile things to do with my time on Sunday morning like sleeping or reading or making waffles.

Besides, I am not convinced death is the end. We are all born with that same intuition which refuses to comprehend non-existence, which tells us there is  more. I believe there is something hiding behind the curtain. I could be wrong.

And if  it turns out the Christians got it right, I doubt I’ll be eligible to pluck on harps in the clouds with the flying  naked babies for the rest of eternity. I would be a hypocrite to not admit that I might be wrong. Erroneous is a more fitting word because wrong implies wrongdoing, but if the Christians got it right, I’m going to hell for sure. God will boil my ass. Forever! Along with pretty much everyone. Though, honestly, I wouldn’t see the point in any of that (Christians cite something something er uh FOR THE GLORY OF GOD! something something something). Still, I am not afraid. I’m okay with that. That’s a risk I’m willing to take (which, coincidentally, is the same thing I’ve told myself before making my best life choices). I’ll take my chances with pretty much everyone.

Same goes if, on the off chance, the Qur’an isn’t a load of horseshit. If the Muslims win the come one, come all Dice Roll for Eternal Destiny, I doubt Allah will be rewarding me 72 virgins, especially since I just called his holy book a load of horseshit (and I would add that the prophet Muhammad is a NINNY, but that’s as far as I’ll go because I value the area of flesh and bone that connects my head to my shoulders). If the Hindus got it right then I guess I don’t have too much to worry about. Unless I’m reborn as a malformed Aardvark or something. Maybe I’ll be reborn as a cow? I think I’m moo material. I’d also settle for a moose (Cool!) Nirvana? (Awesome!) But no matter what happens, I’m sticking with my guns.

I’ll pull a Marcus Aurelius (or whoever it was) and take comfort in the fact that If there really is a God and he’s a double-o God, a good God, then he will understand why I have chosen the path that I have chosen.

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Idioms are for idiots

Saturday, Nov 10th, 2012

“Money doesn’t buy happiness”

Yeah but I’d like to make some and find out for myself just to be sure.

“Looks can be deceiving”

… and so can personalities. Idiot.

Come to think of it, looks aren’t at all deceiving in comparison to personalities. If you’re ugly, you’re ugly. If you’re fat, you’re fat.  There’s no hiding it. But if you’re an evil, treacherous, lying conniving bitch, there’s plenty of ways to hide it. It’s a magical thing I like to call the makeup of personality.

“If life give you lemons, make lemonade.”

Let’s face it. When life chucks you a bag full of lemons, the last thing you want to do is make lemonade. Lemon squeezing is tough work. Sometimes the lemon juice gets in your eyes. Forget lemons. I much prefer it when life pours me a straight glass of lemonade. Or Whiskey.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

First off, what picture are we talking about and what words are we talking about? The devil is in the details. Somehow I don’t think a picture of some old grandpa’s ass crack holds a candle to 1,000 words of William Freaking Shakespeare. Now if it’s Stephenie Meyer we’re talking about, I don’t think her writing holds a candle to a picture of some old grandpa’s ass crack. So you see, it would be difficult to find a picture that was worth exactly one thousand words. Unless of course you took a picture of a thousand words … wow, that’s metaphysical.

“There’s no I in team”

But there’s an an M and do you know what M stand for?? ME!

“Think outside the box”

The very fact that you are repeating that cliché means you have failed, utterly, in your own attempt to “think outside the box.” The very meaning of the idiom contradicts its usage…

“Don’t think outside the box. Don’t think inside the box. Think about the box.”

I made that one up working at the ol’ box factory. I told all my coworkers. I thought it was very clever. To this day I continue to use it as an amusing anecdote in conversations… No one has laughed at it yet but I remain hopeful.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Also, you never miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

It is what it is.

Of course it is what it is! What else could it be?! It certainly isn’t what it isn’t!!

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A hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Sunday, Oct 28th, 2012

This whole storm of the century thing has got me excited. The radio DJ says “we’re in for a whoopin.” It gives me an excuse to stay at home, which is where I’d be anyway on weekends, but I guess it’s comforting to know that this time, everyone else is staying home too.

I just came back from Michaels to stock up on candles in case the power goes. Note: I am a grown man of twenty three, capable of growing sideburns and a full moustache. So you can imagine that I wasn’t exactly overjoyed by the prospect of walking into Michaels for the sole purpose of purchasing scented candles. But it turns out they had quite the selection: Sparkling Pine, Buttercream, Apple Cinnamon, Cranberry Chutney… I found myself browsing the candle aisles for an unmasculine period of time. They come in all sorts of shapes and themes … Fall candles, Halloween candles, Christmas candles. Jesus, I spent the better part of an hour sniffing candles. I think that there is such a thing as Candle Crazy. Full grown men of twenty three are not immune. Now I know why they have entire stores, like Yankee Candle, dedicated to candles. People get Candle Crazy!

You laugh but my room is now filled with the sweet aroma of Pumpernickel.

After Michaels, it was off to the book store to find something to read by candle light. I picked up “Sad Desk Salad,” a novel about the career of female celebrity gossip blogger. By God! It has just struck me now that the target audience of that book is almost exclusively women! And this after the candle shopping incident … I think I might be developing feminine tastes!

Excuse me as I do a few chin-ups, briefly check the sports section and practice loading my pump action.

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Product Recommendation: Spotify

Saturday, Oct 6th, 2012

I’m saying goodbye to CDs, ipods, radio stations and all other traditional forms of listening to music.

I once considered myself a Music Pessimist. That is, I rarely enjoyed music. Listening to the radio became an exercise in eye rolling because “I Will Wait” by “Mumford and Sons” played on the radio eight times a day. Every day. That and the same Maroon 5 songs, “Some Nights” by (not so) “Fun” and all those Pink songs about being a tough rocker chick who doesn’t care what the world thinks, even though the world has to listen to what she thinks nearly every day in the top billboard charts, a million times over. It’s nauseating.

The record companies pay the radio stations to repetitively play shit so they can sell 6 million copies of Adel. I know this because I used to be a radio junkie. I’d scour the web, hoping to find a station that genuinely played variety. Through internet streaming, I tuned into dozens of radio stations all over the country: Houston, Chicago, L.A, New York, you name it, even stations in the U.K. I hoped to find The One, a station without mind-numbing repetition. But guess what? I’ve found that every station follows the same template. You can’t get true variety. It’s remarkable. ‘The One’ doesn’t exist, not here in Virginia, not in New York, not anywhere. Because to play music, the radio stations need to cater to the record companies, i.e. the people that actually own the music. And the record companies make money by selling 6 million copies of Adel every year. The best way to advertise Adel is to spam her singles on their network of puppet radio stations fifty times a day. So live DJs don’t even pick the songs anymore. Basically, it’s a fucking conspiracy.

And the only alternative to radio, really, is my ipod. But with that comes its own slew of chores: downloading the music (cha-ching), importing the music into itunes, pruning and organizing the library, transferring music to the ipod, backing up the itunes library, etc, etc. Then when my hard drive fails (usually about three times a year), I’d have to repeat the process all over again. I just don’t have time for that.

So I became a Music Pessimist.

The solution

I’ve concluded that ownership of thousands of songs in any format, digital or not, is completely impractical. That’s why I’ve decided to stream all of my music through a free service called “Spotify.” There’s no ownership involved, which removes a lot of the impracticalities. But although I don’t actually own the songs, the playlists and library that I create in my Spotify account will literally be saved forever. No need to back them up because I never downloaded the songs, it’s all streamed. In a way that provides something more permanent, more possessive than actual ownership. My library and playlists last forever, and I will always have access to them so long as I have access to the internet. But if I buy the CD, the odds are quite high that it will be scratched up and unusable within a year. Why pay for something you can’t keep when you can get it free and actually keep it? That’s my logic in now using Spotify for all my music needs. From my home computer, I can get the entire collected works of Bob Dylan instantly, on a whim, at the click of a button. And when I boot up my work computer: Bam, it’s all there. No file transfers. No downloading, all I need to do is sign into my spotify account using whatever (phone, computer, music player) from wherever.

Spotify gives me the ability to search for any song, any artist and instantly have access to titles… The quality of the music is better than radio and I can create my own radio stations based on preference within Spotify, sort of like Pandora sans the constant ads. And unlike Pandora, I can skip songs and play them as many times as I’d like. So it’s sort of a dream come true for me. Spotify. Try it out. In the digital age, the world needs a smarter way of listening to music.

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