Recently in NYC Category

There was a great article by Thane Rosenbaum in the Wall Street Journal today. The article is entitled The President Has Kept Us Safe. In the article he goes on to discuss how he believes that our President has kept us safe from terrorists in the nearly 7 years since 9/11. Here is my commentary on the article:

I, as Mr. Rosenbaum, also did not vote for Bush in 2004 (I wasn't of age in 2000), but regardless of whom I voted for, President Bush was reelected and I accepted that choice. I've never talked badly about him at all; I realize that he has an extremely difficult job, much more difficult than I can even imagine I am sure.

That doesn't mean that I support absolutely everything that the President and his administration have done, as the article mentions the Patriot Act as an example: I certainly don't agree with our government infringing on the rights and the privacies of our nations citizens, in fact I am very much against it; but I can at the very least understand why such measures were taken. They were undoubtedly put into place to protect the American people, not to hurt them. I also do not believe that they are wire-tapping my telephone or reading my messages.

I was also in New York on 9/11, and it's absolutely correct that the people had a completely different mindset at that time. I can clearly remember the most liberal people that I knew, people who now support Barack Obama, suggesting that our country simply attack other nations without any evidence at all against them, nations in the middle east, simply because they may have had something to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Those very same people quite suddenly changed their tune as the years passed; now they're against the war in Iraq and think that it was a terrible idea from the very beginning. They're vehemently supporting Barack Obama and the Democrats, and they trash our President every chance that they get.

Now you could make the argument that the people that I speak with are simply ignorant, but if you actually read some of the comments made by Barack Obama followers right here on the internet, you can see that the people that I speak with are not much different from any other Barack Obama follower.

The article is absolutely correct in saying that the winds of change take to the American people as a hurricane takes to a wind chime. They forget that not even 7 short years ago they were the very thing that they are now so against. They are the ultimate hypocrisy.

The Housing Bubble


The drop in housing prices in many parts of the country is not necessarily a bad thing. The value of homes in many areas of the country was increasing at an unsustainable rate that had absolutely no basis in reality. It wasn't demand, it wasn't the cost to build those homes, the price of wood and labor did not rise with the price of the homes; it is because the prices were being artificially inflated by everyone involved in the sale of homes; from the builders, to the bankers giving the loans and in turn packaging them up and selling them to investors, to the buyers of those securities, to the buyers of the actual homes, likely some of you people reading this, we consumers that wanted our investment to continue to increase at such an astronomical rate.

It wasn't real, and the reality is that if the bubble continued it would have made things much more difficult for future generations to buy homes in many areas of our country. It would be like a couple fresh out of school trying to buy real estate in Manhattan, except without any of the actual value that is derived from the huge demand for real estate in Manhattan. The truth is that everyone involved was at fault, including the consumer. It's understandable though, of course the businesses and workers involved wanted to make as much money as they possibly could, and the consumer simply wanted a solid investment that they hopefully wouldn't have to worry about in the future, something that they could rely on, something that would always be there for them.

Sadly most people didn't see the bubble bursting, as is the case with all bubbles, so we now have to deal with all of the issues that are being piled on to the deflating price of housing in the United States; such as the credit crunch, the rapid devaluation of our currency, and a general lack of confidence in a majority of our fellow Americans with the economy and our country as a whole. Adding all of this to the numerous other political issues that the country is currently dealing with has made things much worse than they should have been. And then all of the problems are amplified once again due to it being a general election year.

We have to understand that all of us are at fault for the current economic issues; we can then come to the conclusion that the securitization of debt is a good and powerful tool for our economy, and as such it should not be overly regulated into something much less useful.

From Various Thoughts on Music


I'm going to write about some of the greatest songs of all time. Some songs are not only classic, but they are also musically, lyrically, artistically pure and genuine, beautiful. I will discuss what the songs mean to me, why they are great, as well as information about where you can listen to these songs, when they are from, where they are from, where they were recording, as well as other miscellaneous information. It should be fun!

The Diamond Sea by Sonic Youth

The song itself is from 1995 and was written by Thurston Moore. It was first released on the brilliant Washing Machine album. There are three versions of this song: The album version which is 19 minutes and 35 seconds, a radio edit which comes in at 5 minutes and 26 seconds, and an extended version which is an amazing 25 minutes 50 seconds. It was released in 1995 as the first single from the Washing Machine album, the single has the radio edit and the extended version of the song, as well as the song My Arena. There was a video created for the song which used compiled footage from the 1995 Lollapalooza tour, Spike Jonze and several other well known directors were involved in the creation of the video.

The lyrics read:

time takes its crazy toll
and how does your mirror grow
you better watch yourself when you jump into it
cause the mirror's gonna steal your soul
I wonder how it came to be my friend
that someone just like you has come again
you'll never ever know how close you came
until you fall in love with the diamond rain
throw all his trash away
look out he's here to stay
your mirror's gonna crack when he breaks into it
and you'll never ever be the same
look into his eyes and you can see
why all the little kids are dressed in dreams
I wonder how he's gonna make it back
when he sees that you just know it's make-believe
blood crystallized to sand
and now I hope you understand
you reflect into his looking-glass soul
and now the mirror is your only friend
look into his eyes and you will see
that men are not alone on the diamond sea
sail into the heart of a lonely storm
and tell her that you'll love her eternally
time takes its crazy toll
mirror falling off the wall
you better look out for the looking-glass girl
cause she's gonna take you for a fall
look into his eyes and you shall see
why everything is quiet and nothing's free
I wonder how he's gonna make her smile
when love is running wild on the diamond sea

To me, these are some of the greatest lyrics ever written. The combination of the lyrics and the music make for not only one of my favorite songs of all time, but a song which I believe is one of the greatest ever recorded. The music is simply gorgeous, a masterful composition of sound invading, pummeling it's way down your ear canals. At some points you won't know if you want it to stop or not, but you will most certainly continue listening, waiting for that breakthrough of pureness and beauty that we are all so hopeful for. At times the song can seem a sonic stillbirth, an amalgamated abortion of sounds destroying your eardrums and you know it, yet you turn it up a little louder.

The lyrics are much the same. They are an expansive journey inward and within ones deepest self, tickling our egos and insecurities in ways that we never thought were, and hoped not possible, especially from this punk band from New York. What were they doing writing like this, playing 20 minute explosions of emotion, touching us on nearly every level? This was unchartered territory for the band, a new and great discovery to be shared with everyone that wanted to expand their musical horizons.

Lyrics written, interpreted as I may, looking, digging, finding, deep within oneself, some deeper meaning of what is of a real, actual value, and what isn't. Exploring how not only this revelation affects you, but how others around you, in your life and out, affect you just the same. Discovering and overcoming whatever insecurities that you personally may have had by ripping them to shreds with words and feedback seemingly from another planet, certainly from another level, a level that we were most definitely not on until The Diamond Sea.

Then in the end, we come to an understanding and hopefully even an acceptance of what we've come to realize by the end of the song. We have been a witness to true artistic beauty and that can never be taken away from us. In one single song we have learned to search, find, explore, and then understand and accept the innermost feelings that we allow to be affected.

That's just it: The Diamond Sea, just like any other music, is what it is, and is what you make of it. If we allow ourselves, then we end up seeing and understanding that these things are not of any great importance, and only then are we able to break from our bonds and prejudices, whatever they may be, and truly be free.

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