Archive for November, 2009


Americanized bullshit

Let’s clear the air here. When it comes to our American traditions we have nothing that belongs to us. Everything is a sick and twisted version of the truth that has been so distorted that we don’t believe the truth when it’s pointed directly at us.

For a quick and easy example: A Quick Google Search of “where do wedding traditions come from” This comes up with a page full of lore and tradition. Lets for The sake of just curiosity and example, click the top link. Which ends up being this one right here. http://www.bridallinks.com/articles.asp?artID=14

Now as you go through this you see that nothing as far as you thought you knew as far as wedding traditions are concerned are actually accurate. Everything is distorted from the truth.

Holidays are no exception to the rule.

Halloween starts what I call “5 months of hell” Between Oct 31st and March 15th we have 5 pretty significant holidays. Now let’s look at the root of two of the most significant holidays. Halloween and Christmas.  I skip Thanksgiving because the American public at large also skip this holiday when it comes to this season. Skip it as in “it’s minor and doesn’t matter as much.”  Well. True or not, the premise is the same. It is about time spend with your family to give thanks for what you have. Supposedly, this hasn’t changed short of wither or not we’re thankful for our family. Which for many years I wasn’t, and I didn’t care. This has changed some recently but it doesn’t change the fact that millions of households have their Christmas trees and lights up WELL before Thanksgiving. Because it’s the MORE important holiday… obviously. You know, birth of a fictional god and that stuff. (insert eye roll here.) Just as a side note, I had my Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving this year. And honestly it’ll be the first, and last year that will *EVER* happen. I  did my husbandly duty and kept a promise to my wife. The rest is moot.

Now Halloween, Commonly known has “All hallows eve” But.. Seeing that it’s called “Hallows eve” it would seem to suggest that the real attention should be on the following day November 1st. Which in some religions and countries is the new year and the celebrated “day of the dead”

So the attention is cleary on the wrong day. The correct day is Nov 1th. The 30th of October  In Detroit this Is known as devils night, the city used to have a tradition of being lit up on fire. Pyromaniacs would start the old warehouses out of protest and ignite the city.

The origins of Halloween is from the celts who lived some 2,000 years ago in an area now called Ireland, UK, north part of France. They celebrated their new year on November 1st. (Day of the dead) This day marked as the last day of summer and their harvest and the beginning of their new year.  It also marked as the beginning of the dark cold winter in a time of year that was often associated with Human death. The Celts believed that on the night before the new year the ethereal lines between the world of the living and the world of the dead became blurred. On Oct 31st they celebrated a holiday called “Samhain” it was believed that ghosts of the dead rose from the earth from the graves from which they were buried. They believed that often they just caused trouble. Celts believed that due to the sheer amount of presence of the ghostly presences would make it easier for druids and Celtic priests to make predictions about the future.  For a people who lived in a very wild world these prediction were their only comfort during the long winter months.

To celebrate they would build huge bonfires where people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to Celtic gods.  During this celebration they wore costumes make of animal skins, then they would re-lit their hearth fires in their homes from flames from the sacred fires thinking that it would protect them from the coming winter.  Having your fire go out in your home was a bad omen.

It remained this way until the Romans came and took the vast majority of the Celtic Territory, in the course of the hundreds of years that the Romans had control of the lands the Roman traditions were merged with the Celtic tradition. The First day of the now two day festival was the Roman festival of Feralia day. The day where the Romans celebrated the passing of the season. The second day was Pomona the Roman Goddess of Fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona  is the apple and Incorporation of the this celebration into the Samhain tradition would go far to explain the current tradition of bobbing for apples.

Before too long the Influence of Christianity had spread into the Celtic lands, And the Catholic church declared it as a day to honor saints and Martys. This was done to replace the tradition of the Celtic festival of the dead with the related but now “Church sanctioned” Holiday. The holiday was renamed to All-hallows or all-hallowmas. The night before the Traditional Samhain tradition, would be referred to All hallows eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’, were called Hallowmas. Therefore Changing the face of this tradition to as we know it.

Again, was this ours to begin with? No, it was the Celts, Distorted by time and repeated take-overs from hostile countries seeking power.

This is just one holiday.

Christmas isn’t much of a different story to be honest.

It’s a time known for shopping, and for Christian people, The Birth of Jesus. However History proves to us that this in fact incorrect. This holiday has been around long before Jesus’ Birth. The earilst form of Christmas was from the Norse, who moved evergreens in doors as reminders of life and set logs on fire as a promise of good fortune. The romans tradition was A week before the Winter solcitce (December 21th ) began celebrating,  with food and drink in honor of Saturn the god of agriculture.  People would go caroling in the streets for money, Decorate their homes with evergreens. This day was often feared through mythical means due to it being the longest night time period of the year. However, there is some differing opinions on this. As some Romans seems to be particularly segmented to Solders and Political figures would honor Mithras the sun god. Who’s birthday was to be believed to be on December 25th and was to be the holiest day of the year. As the time went on the pagan traditions were challenged, as Christianity took hold throughout the empire. Now the bible date of when Christ was actually born isn’t actually known as the bible does not specify a timeline.  Since Pagan Rome  already celebrated the Birth of the sun god believed to be the holiest of all gods on December 25th The catholic Church adopted the birth of the Christ child on that day. To incorporate their beliefs onto the pagan Romans traditions. In the 4th Century the Catholic Church made it official declaring it as it fest day of the nativity. The church new that it could not completely outlaw the festivals of the Romans traditions of Christmas so it came to attempt to alter it to their own. They would allow the Roman Traditions to continue up to the 21st of December, so long as the Birth of Jesus on December 25th was observed. The Evergreens that were brought indoors were decorated with apples. Signifying the garden of Eden.

The story of Santa clause begins in that same time period (sometime in the 4th century.) with the death of St. Nicholas. A Turkish bishop, the anniversary of his death became known as Saint Nicholas day Dec 6th. Where good children would wake up to Gifts, and bad children received nothing.  In the early 1800’s in America a poem was written. The Night before Christmas. This seemed to solidify the holiday for what it was. There was no description of what Santa Clause and his image was highly debated. This was to be settled by a cartoonist who drew a rendition of the man he envisioned to be Santa Clause with a full white beard a jolly face and a sack full of toys. And a new American icon was created.  This became essential to link Santa Clause to shopping.

However, The biblical Connection between the Day of Christ Birth, and the pagan traditions, and the Christian traditions incorporated into the already existing pagan holidays, makes for fuzzy logic in celebration a day that some religions have promised to have happened. When there is in fact no direct connection Scientists and scholars have come up with an estimate that Christs birth was actually in September.

Now the thing that fascinates me, is before “Christ’s birth “ was noted In the old testament. there is a passage from the prophet Jeremiah Condemned the Tradition.  (Jeremiah 10:2-4)  of decorating Christmas trees.

Do we really have any traditions of our own? Not really, we steal what most people have and borrow it and then alter it to our own thoughts. Me.. I’m pagan by choice, I always had a really difficult time with the stories and the reasons for celebrating these holidays. I grew up in a very Christian home. But being different I questioned everything I was taught, and as I got older I found that many things I thought I knew, were wrong. They didn’t make sense.

Christmas is a holiday celebrated for different reasons by different people, my reason is for my wife and kids. They like the holiday, so I participate. It is only for them that I do so. I however have found that learning new things about the origins of where things have come from has created in me a low tolerance for those who want to force their beliefs on me and my family. Sure Christain beliefs has it’s benefits, but with that we need to learn tolerance for others. We can’t just expect others to have our beliefs because of where we live or how we were raised. It’s one thing to ask if they want to participate in a Christian event, it’s another entirely it have an expectation that we will because we were raised in it. We grow we learn, if we do not adapt our lives to what we learn then we become hypocrites of ourselves and hate in others what we hate in ourselves. A a life full of self loathing an hate, brings only self created misery.
(Footnote credit:  I found a lot of this information on www.religioustolerance.org and www.history.com, so giving credit where credit is due they did the initial research I just read it and expanded my mind.)
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Odd Nuances of my office….

So yesterday on my way to the bathroom I noted that there was a box with a Christmas tree in it. Unopened box, looks like it was newly purchased. When I came out of the bathroom, the box had been opened. There was a full tool box full of assorted tools, and guy standing there with a batter run power drill in his hand.  He was staring into the box as if he didn’t know what to do, which you could clearly see that in the box was a tree.
Later that day I walked down the same hallway, the box, the tree and everything was gone…  This morning the tree was there and setup with lights on it.
I like to think of myself as a good husband, and sometimes this means I do things that I *REALLY* don’t want to do. Such was the example as a midnight showing of New Moon… This was not worth a midnight release and losing the sleep over. It was.. horrendous at best. After giving it some thought (not too much though I didn’t want to hurt myself thinking about this particular item.) I’ve come to the conclusion that stephine meyer is an idiot, and so is her choice of director, and if meyer was as involved as she should have been a lot of things should not have happened…  perhaps she needs to read her own book again. The director in question who’s name eludes me — obviously has no idea how to direct her way out of a dung heap. And Clearly… hasn’t read the books, and if they have.. then shame on them.
The Characters has a whole were shallow and lacked depth. Hollywood added a lot of crap which didn’t happen. The BEST part of the whole movie was a 30 second scene that didn’t happen in the book. And took out a lot of stuff that I felt were important in the book series. Edward being a vampire who can read people’s minds is a difficult fighter to beat as he can read your thoughts then react to it before you can move.  In the book Edward gets into a fight where he puts the smack down on another vampire. In this movie… he gets his ass beat like a girl who’s been chained to a wall. It’s not even entertaining to watch, it was humiliating.
I will say that out of the book series (which I did read with my wife at her behest) this one was the absolute worst one to read… I want to throw the book against the wall and start it on fire. The way Jacob is written drove me insane.  (Wolf.. not vampire…)
Problems I saw. Edward for two movies now have shown a complete lack of emotion, despite said description of emotions on his face in the book series. This made his words sound like they came out of Microsoft’s Sam Text-to-speech interpreter.  Completely unbelievable.. although Microsoft Sam gives more emotion than Edward did. He’s a complete pussy, for someone as described as one of the cullens best fighters he gets tossed around like a fucking rag doll.
Bella, behaves as if she’s giving lines on a stage. There is NO passion in her words what so ever, again Nearly completely emotionless. She didn’t climb on the back of the fucking motorcycle, they were an hour and a half away from Lepush and Jacob didn’t just “Walk out and leave” at the movie theater.
Mike didn’t throw up in the movie theater.
The BEST scene was a scene were Victoria was stalking  Charlie. The wolves intercept, and chase her off.  A scene that  wasn’t in the book…
During the “vote” Things said during this time were said that were not explained much much later.
In the end. The director cannot direct.
Jacob was the only one with any acting ability *AT ALL* in this movie, The kicker here for me Is that I know Rob and Kristen both have inherent acting ability and CAN act the parts. If the Director would let them do it in the way that is described.  As it currently is, it’s worse than a b-rate movie. And I’d rather watch the intergalactic gigglo to New moon…  at least that is entertaining… if nothing else it’s stupid humor. Maybe if I was 13 and sported female anatomy I wouldn’t find it so repulsive.

Turbine always gets it in the ass.

Actually I’ve been playing DDO, its very Diablo Esq. but let’s clear up a few misconceptions. The D&D Franchise is Owned by WOTC (Wizards of the coast.) not Atari. Atari is the managing company that is in charge do doing distribution.

Now seeing that DDO is using WOTC’s Licensing, and they (Being Turbine) had to get approval for it. And WOTC controlled EVERY aspect of the creative process, the game itself suffered a lot because WOTC played Big brother the entire time until 2 years after the game had been live.

For example, WOTC Demanded that Turbine make combat D&D type format. (I.E. More sterilized than Neverwinter Nights was.) Turbine argued and said “Not a good idea, it won’t’ translate well.” WOTC said “do it anyway.” So Turbine did. WOTC came out to visit to see how the game was going they put them on a server and said “This combat sucks… Why does it suck?” Turbine again told them “You told us to do it this way, and we told you it wouldn’t translate well.” and WOTC responded with “oh.. Then do it this way…” Turbine again told them “That’s better.. But it still doesn’t translate well; it’s going to bomb out if that’s what you want.” WOTC Said “Do it anyway ”

6 months later…

repeat the above situation.

Turbine had VERY little control over how the creative process was completed.

2 years after DDO when live Atari/WOTC backed out of their agreement and said “Meh whatever you want… but you have to pay us royalties.” Atari’s contract promised a certain amount of monetary support and Distribution for 5 years (I think, trying to remember details) they backed out 2 years into it. Turbine is actually in the Right on this one. The Fact that DDO is kind of a flop, the interface and user tools suck is because they didn’t get a chance to do them correctly, WOTC micromanaged everything.

Let’s take DDO and compare it to LOTRO. Turbine got creative freedom and rights from Tolkien enterprises in 2004, as a result. Lotro is doing phenomenally. Second biggest MMO on the market at the moment, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun to play. If Turbine was given the OPPORTUNITY to do what they felt was best in the first place, it wouldn’t be in the sorry state that it is in fact in.

This is the EXACT same situation that AC2 Got thrown into. MS micromanaged everything, ‘cept MS tried to shut down AC2 in 2003, and they were ORDERED by MS to stop development until contracts were fixed and turbine had Capital to purchase Ms’s rights away. That’s why we had 3 months which nearly NO content, they had about 2 weeks to do 6 weeks of work.

Saying this is turbines fault. is 50/50 – they got in bed with the wrong person for the right reasons… but they didn’t know it was the wrong person at the time until they came home with an STD, and a Tattoo that says “I love Bertha”

In the case of Atari, They went to Turbine and said “we need money or we’re going to have to shut down” Money that Turbine was finally making. They lent the money to Atari to keep them alive and kicking in the industry with the promise that Atari would repay it via contract agreement.

Atari NEVER upheld that agreement, then bailed on the process.

Now the Micro Transactions makes a shit ton of sense doesn’t it? With Atari not paying back the Debt, Lotro Subsidizing DDO (AC1 is paying for itself from my understanding… just fucking barely… but they are breaking even.) they needed income to keep their own heads above water. Does it bring down the level of the game? Sort of. But Micro transactions are not part of the rights they setup with Atari and WOTC; I believe the contract was only for SUBSCRIPTIONS. Therefore this goes back into Turbines pocket to keep them afloat. A Lot of people bitched, but it makes sense in order to keep going, and keep very smart, very intelligent people employed. I don’t think that Turbine fucked up DDO. IMO, it’s not their fault. It’s Atari’s/WOTC that DDO is in the state that it is in.

Dear, Bill, Kerry, Richie T.

In today’s debate over education and partially making Fun of Richie T about some of his marriage requirements  I found myself heavily offended and insulted. I called in and was quickly blown off and then disconnected. The fact remains that you as the DJ who was asking for people to call in with opinions weren’t allowing many, myself included a chance to actually give them. But people you know you allowed plenty of air time to discuss them. This is your radio show and this is your right, but in my opinion you were practicing a form of favoritism if not discrimination.

That being said my opinion on the topic of education matter is as follows. While I will not debate that education is critically important,  I do feel that having a degree doesn’t guarantee any form of higher intelligence. There are lots of benefits from having one, additional Income, an example to your kids, something to fall back on while the economy continues to tank. However, this doesn’t mean you should pigeon hole yourself either.   Both my wife and I are constantly learning new things,  I have several certifications; some that I invested 150+ hours in, which in many cases is the equivalent  of a college education. The experience I’ve gained from self taught courses has been to me, more valuable than spending 4-6 years in college. The point is that everyone should strive to continue their education, wither or not they have a degree or even went to college in the first place. I think you (Richie T)should find a women who you can meet with on an intellectual level regardless of her college status.

This is also something you need to pass on to your kids. For example:  My kids are exposed to Mythbusters, Time warp,  and the History Channel, we’ve taken them to Clarks Planetarium, Thanksgiving Point, and The Living Planet Aquarium to expose them to things that aren’t being taught in the school system anymore. This list is a very short list of things we have done. There is a desperate need to teach them things that promote science and history, these are things that are severely lacking in today’s education system.  In 5-10 years it might be something else that is severely lacking. The “no child left behind” program  has stunted the education system in a way that has determinable effects on the education system as a whole, the long term effects we have not yet seen, but when it hits people will wonder what happened.  As parents we recognized that we needed to pick up the slack, not only in ourselves but in our children.

Do my wife and I have college degrees? No, we don’t. But this doesn’t make us less valuable members of society.

To the program as a whole. I’ve been a listener for nearly 20 years, this is the first time that I’ve had my intelligence insulted. I’ve been in complete agreement and support for many of the things you’ve said and done. (such as the Gay Marriage Billboard in 2002ish.) I view myself as a very open minded and intelligent person. I don’t think that I’ve ever had a desire to not listen to your program anymore until today. Needless to say you’ve left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and a more than a little disappointed.

Still a loyal (with some trepidation) Listener.

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