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It can be tickled.

This weekend hundreds of men, women, and children will wait in line to buy the Ipad. The release has been hailed by the Financial Times as a, “polariz(s)ing moment,” for Apple as well as technological progress. A touch based product has been released before and failed, but not by Apple. There is hope for touch technology’s advancement.

The device operates on a platform that is navigated by touch. I am neither a tech-shaman nor electric historian- Clipse spits, “touchscreen component\makes ya hot don’it.” Yes, I am warm.

However, these advances cause me to wonder are we giving too much humanity to technology? Will history, in a Lepidoptera effect, remember this as an irreversible and a “so much depends upon a red wheel barrow,” event?  Will this further contort, and warp the expectations of the common person? Let me elaborate:

Touch is a two part phenomenon; there is a catalyst and there is a reactor. A husband brushes the back of his wife’s neck. A jealous meatball pops a guy who was hitting on his girl in the face. An older divorcee’s fingertips linger as she places quarters in an attractive vendors hand. The nature of each situation is contingent upon both elements. With this technology one half of this equation is already calculated. Nothing that does not breath has been able to be able enter into this experience with us. Sylicon, plastic, glass, and metal now receive our touch, and from that information (to call touch information!) deduce our wishes. If a man did this to a human it would be strange slavery. If he did it to the raw materials in an Ipad he would be a lunatic.

There is suspense in the exchange, and humans cannot deduce, rely, or calculate the outcomes of touch. This technology provides the interaction with a reaction guaranteed.

I am not decided as to what I feel about the Ipad. I dislike the name (cringe at the obvious jokes that everyone knew long before they were made), but understand that there are only five vowels and that the letters i, p, and d need one. (ipud sounds like a mini-golfer with a lisp). I am interested to see what psycho-socio repercussions this technology will have on our everyday life.

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Obama

Progressive; Insurance?

As President Obama passed his health-care plan I felt full of emotion. The feeling was reminiscent of the time I won a hundred and fifty dollar gift certificate to JcPenny’s.  My mind tells my body to react, but without a clear understanding.

Additional emotion filled me when I read that Obama had dedicated the signing of the bill to his mother, who had haggled with insurance companies around the time of her death. I was gripped by the revelation that perhaps Barack Obama was driven by a lust for vengeance. Does he hate insurance men? I thought. Is there such a demographic? If there is and they are anything like banks I also dislike them. However, I felt betrayed that the governing voice of the nation could be motivated by so exclusive a stimulus. Is this Healthcare bonanza fueled by a personal vendetta?!

I caught myself. Here is a man defending his mother. I rescind my hesitancy and I applaud President Obama. I will clap for any son that has a vehement actions on behalf of his mother.

Legislation and national action has been sparked by a parent before in out nation’s history. Former President Bush had lingering doubts about his father’s Arch-nemesis, Saddam Husein. America is fortunate that our President’s mother-inspired-action (M.I.A.) that is neither foreign nor violent. In fact, this bill to my mind seems flawless. This fact is the origin of my JcPenny’s emotion.

JcPenny's. Home of equivocal emotions.

It is speculated that the plan will insure 32 million previously uninsured Americans. I am one of those previously uninsured and am thankful that I will be covered as a result of my citizenship and age. For students there will be loan forgiveness, for each state there will be a different health system approach, and we will have universal health-care, the best in the world. There is speculation that America is too big, that there is not enough money nor doctors nor good will, but such speculation seems silly in contrast with the beneficial possibilities. The magnitude of America was conquered by two of the first Americans and should no longer be a problem. Not enough Doctors will initially make a couple hundred thousand individuals very busy for ten years, but four new medical schools have opened, which is an encouraging trend. As for money I don’t think that anyone is afraid of inflation any longer. It works in Belgium why not here?

What bothers me is if this plan is as good as it seems why is there so much opposition? Thirteen states have filed suit against the national government. In Rochester, NY a brick was thrown threw a window at the local democratic-headquarters! Senator John McCain is complaining that someone, “poisoned his well.” The opposition is entirely Republican, and it seems unlikely that they are all off their elephants.

It seems like there must be a serious flaw that I just can’t see and as a regular American adult this makes me worry. Insurance companies certainly see the end of their profit, but who had any affinity to those monsters?  Those for bill might be myopic, but it seems to me that the Republicans are furious not for justice’s sake, but because definitive action was taken, and might end up being remembered as Democratic progress.

Pondering the possible outcomes of this bill is worrisome, but the future of America is always shaded gray and a little rainy. However, I am confident, because Obama is acting with his mother in mind. How can anything evil come of that?

The Yellow Bird Project

I might suggest that the greatness of a human should be calculated by the amount that they do for the benefit of others. When I was a younger man I was fond of banking self esteem on the backs my peers. I teased and harassed classmates, my parents, and my sister. While I committed my acts of terror I was happy and content, but when left to myself (in the folds of nature, or on the open seas) I found nothing savory in my actions.

I moved a distance since middle school, and have discovered, yes, (drum roll) doing nice things is rewarding. I stumbled today upon an organization dedicated to this principle.
The Yellow Bird Project is a non-profit organization that sells t-shirts designed by musical artists for charitable causes. This is Indie rock philanthropy. Artist’s such as TV on the Radio, Elvis Perkins, Devendra Bandhart, Grizzly Bear, and Bloc Party all have T-Shirts featured on the website.
The proceeds of the shirts go to causes decided by the Artists. Tunde Adebimpe, TV on the Radio’s Frontman, submitted this t-shirt;

TV on the Radio

TV on the Radio T-Shirt

for Haitian relief. Charity organizations include Brighter Planet, World Wide Fund for Nature, Interval House, and Safe Space.

Originally what attracted me to this organization was their theme song. The song was written and recorded by The Tallest Man on Earth, a Swedish singer/songwriter. He is on tour, has a lovely little mustache, and sings folk-inspired ballads. His music is exclusively for enjoyment and will be showcased at the Middle East Rock Club on the evening of April 21, 2010.

The Tallest Man on Earth

I first came upon La Blogotheque a couple of summers ago. It was a summer where sweat, bacon cheese burgers, and screaming 10-12 year olds were a huge part of my life. Needless to say that an innovative concept fusing music, distant lands, and video was welcome.
The concept of Les Concerts A Emporter (A Take Away Show) is contingent upon an artists musical adaptability. Artists such as Fleet Foxes, The Arcade Fire, Noah and the Whale, Beirut, and Lykke Li have all been filmed performing by Director Vincent Moon in unique or unorthodox areas. The music is cut down, and the footage is raw. To me Les Concerts A Emporter feels like an event on a vacation that my father happen to catch, and happened to be a audio and video savvy with.
If you are Franco-phile then the feel of these videos is undeniably French. If you lived in France or are French you might have a different opinion about them. The cinematography is beautiful and the music is intimate. Here are some of my favorite videos;

The Arcade Fire one doesn’t begin until about 4 minutes in but is worthwhile. Enjoy.

Yeasayer – Odd Blood — O triple negative

Odd Blood

Odd Blood

I was anticipating Odd Blood like a man with a bloody nose anticipates a small cylindrical bunching of tissue. However, upon reviewing my anticipation was rewarded only with a ruined album length shirt.
Yeasayer’s first album was one of the best albums of 2008. All Hour Cymbals was an eclectic mix of electronic rhythms, sampled nature jingles, and classic rock rifts. I attended a Man Man show opened by the group and enjoyed their stage act more than I enjoyed the headliners raucous. Yeasayer, composed of two braided members, a scraggly front man, and a clean cut drummer performed dance-beat-informed renditions of their freshman LP. A promising harbinger for fruitful musical streak.

However, while I expected progressive and grand musical leaps in Odd Blood, I received  a grouping of catchy pop ditties loosely compiled into an album. Frankly, the album has no depth. I don’t mean to say that the record plays like a Keane album, there is diversity between tracks, but it is puzzling. The opening song The Children, is computerized ad nuasea. Instead of marking their territory Yeasayer sacrifices their identity. Paired with tracks like ONE, a catchy 80’s era jive, and I Remember, a almost pensive electric piece, the combination is jarring.

The album in comparison with All Hour Cymbals is a musical metropolis in shambles, but still some pinnacles of the Yeasayer of old remain. The songs Ambling Amp, and Grizelda both contain soul-earth-water loops, and warbling harmonies (redeming features), but if you want warbling harmony why not just listen to Joanna Newsom’s new album?

Trout King

Aaron Wardwell, The Trout King, performs a rendition of George Cromarty and Ed Rush’s plastic Jesus in his living room. Aaron will be attending Gordon College in Wenham, MA next year, and hopes to play shows in the area. He is currently signed to Yes Yes Love Orchestra.

You can hear more of Aaron’s music at http://www.myspace.com/mybrotheraaron, bellow is a recent video of his work.

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