December 31, 2010

Overdue Music Demo

I mentioned a couple years ago that I was working on a song called "Savior." When I posted that, the lyrics were complete, but I was still working on the music.

Well...I'm still kind of working on the music. I know what direction I want to go, but the middle section I have in mind is a crazy breakdown with some intense drumming and Hendrix chords. Unfortunately, that kind of thing is really hard to write, especially when you can never seem to get around to it.

Anyway, since I'm back in Pittsburgh for a couple weeks and can take some time to jam, I figured I'd record a quick demo of what I have so far. You can hear the beginning of the breakdown at the very end of the track (I kind of played the wrong chord for a couple measures on the left guitar and was too lazy to fix it, but due to the intentional dissonance, it's hard to tell).

Those of you who just slogged through that musical jargon can now check out the demo and leave your thoughts in the comments:

This new embedded Tindeck player is pretty sweet.

Posted by CD at 03:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2010


So, anyway...

I noticed a while ago that one of my roommates has a copy of Atlas Shrugged, and since I was familiar with the basic premise and its apparent relation to certain events of the present day, I decided to finally give it a chance after years of avoiding it because of, among other things, its intimidating 1000+ page length and the cultlike behavior of some of its more rabid fans.

So far, the score is open-mindedness 1, CD 0. This thing is both genuinely interesting and slightly frightening.

I'm only about 300 pages in right now, so I'll probably have more to say if I ever manage to finish it, but it does contain a few plot points that are disturbingly similar to the current economic situation. For example, in the early stages of the book, the National Alliance of Railroads adopts the so-called "Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule," which limits supposedly unnecessary competition in the name of social welfare and is reinforced by the argument that if a large railroad system cannot survive on its own, it is entitled to public support because of the service it provides to the community. "Too big to fail," anyone?

As you may know, the main thrust of the book, and much of Ayn Rand's work in general, is that altruism is a self-defeating philosophy, and only rational self-interest can propel humanity to its greatest heights. In this case, this is represented by characters who give long, self-righteous speeches about how proud they are of having never made a profit, or of giving jobs to people who didn't deserve them (because hiring someone who is actually qualified is selfish) contrasted with characters who live for their work and actually help thousands of people by using their knowledge and skill to make money and provide goods and services, but who are viewed with suspicion because they didn't "sacrifice" anything in doing so.

Once again, look at this and compare it to our political climate today, with people railing against "corporate greed" and "Wall Street fat cats" while proclaiming that extending unemployment benefits and raising taxes on "the wealthy" is the best way to stimulate the economy.

Like I said, I'll probably have more to say if I actually finish the book, but I do want to point out one rather interesting difference. In AS, the characters who support the altruistic view actually live by their principles. The guy who brags about never making a profit is fucking serious when he says that (he ran a bank and blew all its funds on giving loans to people he knew couldn't pay them back). Another character who rants about the evils of making money has never held an actual job. These are broken individuals, but they are, for the most part, just really, really ignorant while still being fairly honest.

On the other hand, here in non-fictional 2010, the people who seem most obsessed with "greed," etc. are people who already have a fuckton of money. Our country is full of rich people who demand that the rich pay higher taxes even as they do everything they can to avoid paying theirs at all (John Kerry immediately comes to mind). And don't even get me started on people like Al Gore who feel that they're entitled to violate their own standards on economic or environmental concerns because they care so damn much that it's okay when they do it.

Thoughts? Anyone else read this entire book and want to correct me on any misconceptions?

Posted by CD at 04:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 03, 2010

Life Intrusion

You may have noticed a lull in blogging once again. This is due to, among other things, a bit of political burnout after the election and an intensified focus on trying to find work, but my mind has also kind of been on more important things lately.

I could go into more personal detail here than usual, but I think this article is more than enough explanation. If you haven't figured out why by the time you get to the last line, you're probably not the kind of person who would be reading this blog in the first place.

Incidentally, that story is rather poorly written and contains some factual errors (a person reported to have died is, in fact, still alive as far as I know, and they overcame the supposed cause of death in the mid-'90s), but it gets the job done.

Not really much more to say than that.

Posted by CD at 04:57 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack