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Banksy. January 17, 2010

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“People are taking it out of you, every day. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.”

Amy Lee, you own me. January 14, 2010

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Anywhere“, “Where Will You Go“, and “Hello“, by Evanescence. Those tracks … just amazing. The FIRE that you feel when Amy sings – it’s nearly indescribable! Those songs make me think of rain, night, love letters, flowing long dark hair against fair skin, eyeliner, crying, screaming, love, that girl at the PostSecret event with the shaky voice that didn’t think her secret would make anyone laugh or applaud (check the video here, at the 2:46 mark), those two girls at the Slipknot concert that brought them a painting and a scrapbook and thanked them with tears in their eyes (check it out here, at the 8:56 mark), all-consuming single-minded love, The Crow, staying up all night talking, being young and just not having it all figured out, holding hands at the mall, meeting at a park, hiding out in a bookstore, finding solace only through each other, and everything else pure and wonderful in life.

I miss you. So much. December 17, 2009

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Dear Soulmate,

I miss you.

That, in and of itself, is nothing new, but lately? I seem to miss you more and more each day. I’m not even sure how that works, exactly – after all, how can you miss someone that you’ve yet to know? I don’t know, but that is how I feel. There are some days when, for lack of a better way to explain it, I just feel like I’m fading. Like everything is slowly, inexorably moving away. The only thing that can bring it all back – the only recourse I really have – is thinking of you.

You keep me breathing, laughing, loving, hoping, wishing, dreaming, thinking, feeling, crying, singing, listening, and living.

I have so much to give, share, and express – so much passion, intensity, feeling, and, most of all, love. Honestly, it scares me. It terrifies me, possessing all of that and not yet being able to share it with you.

I have written to you before that I will wait for you as long as I have to, and I mean that every bit as much now as I always have and always will.

I can’t imagine what we will be like together, and I can not wait to see what it is that we will create. I want us to create something – to refer to it merely as a “relationship” is so superlatively understated as to be absurd – so strong, pure, powerful, dark, light, sexy, beautiful, unwavering, and all-encompassing  that it defies further description. I just want YOU! I require nothing else! I do not WANT anything else! How could I? How could I ever look past you? How could I ever – for even one second – not have you in the very center of my thoughts, wishes, and dreams? Even considering that is repugnant to me! I would rather not live at all than live like that!

It’s now nearly five a.m. It’s taken me hours to even write this. My angel, I would give everything I have – in a heartbeat, without a second thought – if that meant being able to go to sleep tonight by your side, holding you against me, my fingers in your hair, my palm on your cheek, and my heart yours.

Missing and awaiting you tonight more than ever,

Jordan

A Birthday Letter December 8, 2009

Posted by Jordan in Thoughts, Twilight.
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Dear Moon, UC, all of the incredible women on and around LTT, LTR, and the rest of the Twilight fandom, and every single person I’ve been able to get to know because of or through it –

Wow. I don’t really know of another way to start this, other than simply saying wow. Wow.

I’m overwhelmed as I try to textualize all of this – the happiness I feel for Moon and UC on LTT/LTR’s Birthiversary, the extreme gratitude I feel towards the amazing people I’ve been privileged to get to know for all that they have (probably unknowingly) done that has served as a light among darkness for me, the sense of awe I still feel for all that has grown out from the book series, the profound sense of privilege (and responsibility, in a sense) I feel out of being part of this community, and, most of all, the deep, unwavering love I feel for all of it. ALL of it. And all of you. Including you. Yes, YOU. If you’re reading this – even if I don’t know you very well, or if we haven’t met in person, or if we haven’t had the chance to talk very much – I want you to know that I am fervently thankful for you, that I am HERE for you in whatever way that I can be, and that I love you.

This is not just LTT/LTR’s birthday – this time (this approximate time, anyway) also serves as my personal Twi-versary. Here’s a bit of minutiae that none of you know about: I still have the receipts for my purchases of each of the books, so I can tell you exactly when it all started for me. November 9th, 2008. That was the date, last year, when I – totally unaware of what I was getting myself into – picked up a paperback copy of Twilight, curious as to what all the hype was about. I ended up reading the first six chapters – up to the Port Angeles trip – in the bookstore that night! I completely lost track of time in the process, and was finally brought back to Earth by my realization that the store would be closing in a few minutes. Stunned by the world that I had stepped into, I decided that it would be pointless to even make the slightest pretense of not being fascinated by all of it, so I bought the book that night (along with John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” on vinyl. Pretty good haul, wouldn’t you say?). I even made sure to buy that same paperback copy of the book – the first one I ever picked up. It’s now something of a prized possession for me. I bought an advance ticket for an opening night showing of the movie and went by myself, since I hardly even knew anyone else who was into it back then. I was initially kind of bummed about going by myself, but, once I got to the theater that night, it didn’t matter. I completely forgot about that, because I was STUNNED by the scene that night, and what I saw. Even though – shock of shocks – myself and the couple of other guys in attendance were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the girls there, I discovered that it didn’t really bother me, and that I actually liked it. I can’t say that I expect this to make much sense, but I also felt my innate sense of protectiveness and nurturing, because I CARED about all of those girls in the theater that night. Nevermind that none of them even knew who I was – those girls MATTERED to me (and continue to matter to me), and I savored every single second of that night’s experience, because I got to see all of them at their most beautiful – thrillingly, wonderfully happy, unapologetically female, and just alive. FULL of life. That was one of the moments that gave me an inkling of what kind of person I want to be, and what kind of existence makes sense to me – I want to contribute as much as possible to those moments, and to helping those girls, and others like them, know that I CARE. 

I’m not even sure of where next to go with this letter, or what else to say (or type, rather). I am sure, however, that I have been extraordinarily blessed by all of you, and by all of this. I consider myself very lucky, and, if I may, I’ll venture into TUCT (Total Unabashed Corniness Territory) for a moment and sign off with this: I love being a unicorn, I wear that label with pride, like a badge of honor, I love that some now know me as “the OG unicorn” or simply as “the unicorn”, and, most of all, I love that some call me “our unicorn”. Yes, I am. I am happy to belong to all of this, and I will be here as long as you all will let me.

Love (and spider monkeys),

Jordan

So, Fromm and I were discussing love recently… November 30, 2009

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I was reading Erich Fromm’s “The Art Of Loving” the other day, and there was a particular point he hit upon that really made sense to me and got me thinking. Basically, what he said went like this. Whenever people start thinking about love, or about relationships and why they might not be involved in one, a mistake that a lot of them make is think that the problem lies not within themselves, but with who they know. In other words, a lot of people, in an effort to make themselves feel better – and because we all carry some amount of self-bias – convince themselves that they’re not really where the problem lies. The problem is that they just haven’t found the right person to love, they tell themselves. While this can hold some situational merit, a lot of the time it’s not entirely true. Fromm made what I thought was a brilliant comparison – he said that a person thinking that way would be like a novice painter wrestling with why he isn’t a master of his craft yet, and then convincing himself that the problem lies not with his own lack of skill, but with the dilemma of his simply not having found the right object to paint yet! If he could only find the right object, or muse, or inspiration – why, he wouldn’t need to work on improving himself! He would just know! That, Fromm says, is what people essentially do with respect to love. They tell themselves that they just need to find that right person, and then everything else will fall into place without extra effort. On the contrary, though, Fromm argued that love is an art form that can (and needs to be) worked on for the sake of improvement, just as any other form of art can be. Sure, your situation and environment can play a part, but the biggest thing is YOU.

That has really stuck with me. I can be BETTER, and I try, continually, as sincerely as I can, to be better. We all can, and we all need to. I mean, just look around – the world needs us. Our culture isn’t about lifting each other up anymore. It’s about tearing each other down. We should all be investing as much as possible into being part of the solution to that problem, not the perpetuation of it.

Love.

A train of thought. Want to jump on? November 24, 2009

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Here’s a train of thought that I’ve kind of been mentally kicking around a lot recently. My housemates (a husband and wife who I’m extremely close with – we’ve all known each other for years) and I were talking about relationships (of the romantic variety, of course – as if you’re surprised), and about the reasons people remain involved in one as opposed to ending it. I think that the apathy often exhibited – whether or not it’s done intentionally – towards the whole thing is frightening. Here, then, is the main idea, the main thought, that really resonates with me and that I wish was more widely understood:

People need to judge their relationships based on the presence of what is great, not the absence of what isn’t great.

Let me attempt to explain. It’s far too easy – and far too common, unfortunately – to just set your relationship standard really, really low. Doing that makes it all too easy to lull yourself into a false sense of satisfaction, because, hey, your relationship is pretty much guaranteed to be a success! Going by that messed-up evaluation, anyway. It’s going far beyond the lowest common denominator – what I’m talking about is when people measure themselves against nearly the lowest POSSIBLE denominator. It’s such a cop-out – “Well, we haven’t yelled at each other today, no one threw any pancakes out of anger at breakfast this morning, and we don’t really MIND each other – yeah, we’re all good! Why not, right? I like the company, we have some fun … what’s so bad about it?” Just … no. NO. That’s the COMPLETELY wrong lens to look through. I mean, if you set the proverbial bar unnaturally and unrealistically low, then of COURSE it will be easy to jump over it. Duh. It’s apathy manifesting itself in the worst of ways. When someone is asked about their relationship,  the response that should come naturally should be the rattling off examples of how/why theirs is great, not how/why theirs doesn’t suck. Understand the difference?

three fragments October 16, 2009

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Be That As It May

Decency all but vanquished, prostrate and weak to even a cursory glance

A cautious eye or a threat to the trance? Show concern and be regarded askance

Those onlooking might cry out in dismay

But the world has cut out their tongues, be that as it may

 

Tombs

Perspective is lost on those with a pulse

Consciousness does not always correlate to cognizance

For any hope of escaping first-person, we must seek out the buried

Dig ever deeper, or cut your throat and keep walking

Bring out your dead

 

Dusk

The darkness looms as clouds, acute and overwhelming

Ever advancing

Romanticism laid to waste through self-inflicted wounds

Existence isn’t the safest of planes to be on tonight

I want to just be there for those that need someone. October 2, 2009

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Here’s one of my new discoveries: Mayday Parade’s “Miserable At Best” is just a great, great song. It’s so sweet, and pure, and youthful, and effervescent, and wonderfully evocative. I just love it. It’s what my heart looks like right now, even though the lyrics don’t apply to me. That doesn’t matter. It’s the mood.

Today. Right now. October afternoon. It feels lovely outside, I have the rest of the night free, and I want to DO something! Listening to “Miserable At Best” makes me want to just go, and meet people, and go to a park, and hug, and cry, and find a lonely girl whose room is covered in Twilight posters and just spend time with her, and hug her, and make her feel special, and order pizza and watch a movie, and just make her feel warm, and make her understand that it does NOT have to work the way that the outside world does, and remind her that there are actually people out there who care and who don’t want to just pass her by. That girl – and I know she, and others like her, are in my city, somewhere – that girl and her feelings, they MATTER. The rest of the world might be content to just roll their eyes, but those girls, and what they’re going through, are IMPORTANT to me! I want to be there for them, because I CARE.

Today’s young people – Generation 2009 – are the most literate, self-aware, intelligent generation that’s ever lived. Paradoxically, even despite the whole Web 2.0 movement and all the ways we now have to stay connected to each other, today’s young people also feel more isolated, more ostracized, more misunderstood, and more alone than any other young people ever have. I want to help them, and I want to help change that second part.

Good news! I still exist! September 4, 2009

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Wait a second. Waaaaiiit just a second here. Has it REALLY been a bit more than two months since my last post? WOW. Inexcusable. Although, the one thing I will offer in my defense is that I can’t force it. I can’t make myself write something if I’m not “feeling” it. If that sounds nonsensical to you, then that makes two of us, because I don’t pretend to understand it either. Anyway – some random, stream-of-consciousness thoughts on what’s been going on recently:

  • The SHLF Project is continuing (original post about it can be found here) and I love it. I’ve given out over 130 messages so far, with many more to come.
  • College football! Starting tonight! I’m a bit excited. IMO, all these people (and polls – I’m looking at you, AP and USA Today) that have Texas ranked above Oklahoma have got problems. I’m no fan of either team, but OU is going to be the better team this year, and they’ll beat UT.
  • November is going to be awesome. My homeslice John Mayer’s new album, Battle Studies, drops on the 17th, and, later that same week, there’s this little movie called New Moon coming out that I may or may not be really excited for.
  • When I heard about Obama nominating Ben Bernanke for a second term as the Federal Reserve Chairman, all I could do was close my eyes and shake my head. Bernanke has become symbolic of everything that is wrong with the way our country’s monetary system works. It amazes me that more people weren’t up in arms over Obama’s re-nomination of him – it’s not like this information is hiding on some underground blog, or whatever. You can see it on Youtube! There are more videos than I care to sit through of Bernanke getting absolutely SCHOOLED, before Congress, on the way things should work. Granted, it’s mainly Ron Paul doing the schooling, but that doesn’t surprise me, at this point. I mean, just do a Youtube search for Peter Schiff. He predicted, with sometimes astonishing precision, exactly what has happened to our country’s economy, he was saying it years in advance, and no one listened to him! He’s a believer in Austrian Economics, which is, shock of shocks, the same school of economic thought that Ron Paul (another guy who tried to warn us of all the danger we were facing) subscribes to!

Whew! I apparently am still capable of blogging!

What I am not. Not yet, anyway. June 20, 2009

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Ok, so, my last post was about what I want. All of that still applies. This post will be about what I am not. At least, not yet. I remain hopeful. If you’re confused – and you probably are – keep reading.

First, before I can really explain, you should watch this video, and then continue reading what’s below it.

Now, you may have indeed watched it, but did you really see it? Did you truly listen to it?

Since you’re all caught up, here’s what I am not.

I am not good enough, pure enough, decent enough, or worthy enough to bear witness to art that is that beautiful.

It’s a bit of a sobering thought, but it’s true. I don’t deserve to get to experience something like that. I don’t really know how (or why) I’ve been deemed lucky enough to get to experience it anyway, and I don’t really know whether my being cognizant of this is a blessing or a curse.

But, as I said above, I remain hopeful. I don’t know what the process is here, or how I’m supposed to reconcile any of this with myself, but I’m trying. I can be better. We all can be.