grown men acting like schoolyard bullies

former UFC middleweight champion chris weidman just won a fight after three consecutive losses and now feels like he’s on top of the world so he has been calling out the current middleweight champion, michael bisping, in interviews and on social media.

i have always hated the ridiculous ‘trash talk’ aspect of MMA and sports in general but today it particularly bothered me. it came at the point that weidman made fun of bisping’s crossed eyes (a detached retina injury which bisping sustained in a UFC fight several years ago). it just seemed especially low, especially childish, making fun of someone for something they can’t help.

at that point, i thought about the fact that these are arguably two of the toughest men on the entire planet, yet here they are acting like children. it’s paradoxical, and incredibly sad that

  1. the toughest men are either authentic living stereotypes of meat head fighters, or
  2. the toughest men must lower themselves and engage in these kinds of phony public feuds in order to garner more interest in their sport.

these people are already risking their well-being and lives for sport and entertainment, and they are the best in the world — this is like the olympics. the stuff they do is incredible. people should be amazed and awed without having to buy into ridiculous WWE-like storylines about grudges and betrayals. and if they really mean some of the stuff they say, like making fun of crossed eyes, that’s even worse.

regardless of which way i look at it, it’s incredibly disappointing.

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the worst part is that bisping was actually quite handsome before he turned his face into ground beef with years of fighting.

“a strong voice coming from the space”

a while back, i made a few lists of my favourite songs of all time (they can be found here and here). i have another one to add to the list: jabdah, by koto.

specifically, the 7″ remix (seen above) is my favourite version, largely because of how it starts so strong, right out of the gate.

an old friend of mine introduced me to koto a year ago. he sent me this link as a half joke along with a bunch of other “serious” music but this was the only thing that stuck out to me. i loved the synth sounds, the melodies, the flow of the song, the guy’s keyboard dance moves, his karate gi, the space station stuff going on in the background…all of it. it was sort of like babymetal in that i knew it was silly and i shouldn’t like it so much, but i did, and i still do.

something else about jabdah that i loved was how it made me feel. it makes me feel really fucking happy, like i just don’t care anymore about pollution or politics or any of that boring shit. at first i thought it was just because it’s a happy, upbeat song, but after listening to it many times in the last year and giving it much thought, i realized recently that the reason it makes me feel so good is that it literally makes me feel like a kid again when i hear it. so i wondered why it would make me feel like a kid, and i realized that it was the combination of the various synth sounds with the melodies — together they remind me of other 80’s synth music i liked as a kid, particularly danny elfman’s gratitude and harold faltermeyer’s axel f, both from the beverly hills cop soundtrack.

now, this element has a few layers to it: like most kids, i didn’t worry about all the stuff i worry about now. life was simpler and happier then so hearing music that reminds me of that happy time makes me feel good. that part is obvious. but going further down the rabbit hole, i also remember listening to the beverly hills cop soundtrack while on a road trip with my dad to drumheller, alberta to see dinosaur bones. i remember camping with my dad and brother, loving the tyrrell museum, eating rocky road cereal (a once in a lifetime treat from my dad), and visiting our relatives who had pinball machines in their basement — all things i really liked and have since associated with the beverly hills cop soundtrack.

so when i hear jabdah, its overall sound reminds me of the beverly hills cop soundtrack, which reminds me of that great road trip with my dad and brother, which reminds me of how good it felt to be a carefree child doing fun things. that’s why i like it so much.

well, that and the fact that jabdah‘s just a great song.

i like unraveling these mysteries of my own mind. i’m like my own therapist sometimes.

used car values – throughout the ages

in 1997, i bought a 1987 dodge omni from a used car lot for $1000.

in 2001, i bought a 1989 toyota tercel from the same lot for $2800.

in 2007, i bought a 1991 VW passat from a private seller for about $2300.

in 2009, i bought a 1987 tercel privately for $800. it needed work.

in 2012, i bought a 1990 toyota corolla for $1300. it also needed work.

my point is that used cars hold their value way better now than they did when i was a kid. i mean, my first car was only 10 years old and in good shape so it was a steal at $1000 — and that was from a car lot so you know i overpaid for it. if i was to buy a 10 year old car now — a 2007 — the only way it could be so cheap would be if it was a sunfire that had been beat to shit by some scum who smoked and puked in it, drove it into walls, etc.

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what a bargain!

so instead, i’m continuing to buy vehicles from the late 80’s/early 90’s, and i’m still paying the same prices for them, even 20 years later.

that’s fucked up.

even in 2017, cavemen abound

i’ve read a few articles lately about some people involved in the mixed martial arts community that are vehemently opposed to homosexuality. one of these guys is ramzan kadyrov, who is both the leader of the russian republic of chechnya and an owner of an MMA gym and fight promotion there. his government has been condemned by the UN for allegedly kidnapping, torturing, and murdering gay men. kadyrov denies the allegations but paradoxically openly supports “honour killings” of homosexuals by their family members. he goes on to say there are no gay men in chechnya, and if there are, they should be sent to canada “to purify [chechnyan] blood.”

another chechnyan MMA promoter, mairbek khasiev, was recently quoted as saying, “sometimes the devil is afraid of the thoughts within a faggot’s head.”

i can’t believe that in this day and age, these kinds of values still exist. it makes me feel like we’re back in the middle ages and criminals are being publicly tortured and killed while throngs of civilians mad with bloodlust scream excitedly and pelt the dying with stones and rotten food. it makes me feel like humans are still the same nitwits who once believed in witchcraft and magic potions, like a lot of people are still so dumb that they react to things they don’t understand or relate to with fear, anger, and violence. think of a monkey smashing a phone in terror when it rings. that’s about on par.

what’s even worse is that i know the same ‘values’ (it seems like an oxymoron to use that word there) exist here in canada too. they are not as common and are usually veiled because the people who give such a shit about what other people do in their private lives know their opinions are not condoned here, but they’re still there, simmering just below the surface.

all over the world, human beings are just horrible. despite all our technological advancements that might suggest otherwise, the human race will probably always be guilty of incredible ignorance, stupidity, and a desire to violently force our beliefs on each other.

the funny thing is that i almost feel like a hypocrite for denigrating these folks. am i no better, judging them for their personal choices?

oh yeah, i don’t advocate anyone murdering them so i guess it’s a little different.

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i wouldn’t cry if he died though.

i hate madonna

i know, there are a ton of equal and far more hate-worthy people in the world so why pick madonna? why focus on her? because i watched her video this morning. it’s that simple.

i’ve always hated madonna. she had some great singles back in the 80s so i picked up some of the albums those singles came from but except for those hits, the albums were utter trash. she didn’t even write the songs and they were still juvenile child’s play, so stupidly simple and straightforward. terrible music, terrible lyrics, terrible vocal performances, not even any hooks. by the mid-90s, even her singles sucked. so i haven’t given madonna much thought since about the year 2000 when i realized all this.

then a few years ago, i saw this video.

i learned that madonna can barely play an instrument despite being a lifelong career ‘musician’ (i use the term loosely, obv). even worse is that she dressed up in ‘rocker clothes’ (all black with those stupid fingerless, knuckle-less, open-backed leather gloves that i’ve never seen in real life because they are completely impractical) and finishes the godawful performance with a sad impression of a grand rock n’ roll finale ‘big guitar strum.’ wowee! it was all so pathetic that it has stuck in my mind clearly since i saw it those years ago.

while listening to zepellin recently, i decided to revisit this video to see if it was as bad as i remembered. it was, but even worse was the next video in the list, bitch i’m madonna. i had never heard of this song before but i noticed it had over 240 million views. i thought, how could i have never heard this song when it’s obviously so popular? i wonder if i’m missing out on something good here? so i gave it a listen.

guess what. more trash. incredible.

  1. musically and lyrically, it’s just a cookie cutter new pop song, full of phony attitude (calling everyone ‘bitch’ and people giving double middle fingers), outrageous partying, and outdated EDM. i’m sure madonna would consider herself a trendsetter but i think that hopping on a bandwagon several years too late is anything but. this seems like a song and video that kesha threw away which madonna then eagerly picked up. that’s not a compliment to kesha, either. she sucks too.
  2. ‘featuring nicki minaj.’ every new pop song ‘features’ some other pop artist. it’s stupid. if a song can’t stand on its own merit, if it relies on guest appearances by famous people to garner interest, you know it’s a piece of shit.
  3. madonna is 58 at the time i’m writing this. i believe there is a way to be yourself while simultaneously aging gracefully but i don’t think madonna is doing it. i think she is having a really hard time admitting her age, and she looks positively absurd parading around as if she’s a 21-yr old hot brat. i actually wish this video was shot in HD so i could see her cracked, withered husk more clearly.

however, i take solace in the fact that the song has 1.5 million ‘likes’ and .5 million ‘dislikes.’ that’s a high ratio of disapproval for such a popular video. i’m grateful that a fair chunk of other people in the world feel similarly to me on this.

RVs/travel trailers/campers are the pinnacle of designed obsolescence

we have a ’79 bigfoot travel trailer. we got it a few years ago for a decent price because i could see it had leaked a bit over the years. we figured we’d get a few years of use out of it before i had to do something about the damage.

here we are after a few years of use and guess what. now i’m doing something about the damage, and i’m annoyed as all hell.

the biggest appeal of fiberglass campers — so i used to think — was that they were less prone to leaks and water damage than other designs. but that’s bullshit. every window, vent, skylight, marker light, brake light, door frame, and screw is a hole in the fiberglass and a potential leak point. and when water gets inside, what does it find? super thin plywood walls, a plywood floor, and flimsy wooden cabinets. when those things get wet, they’re fucked. the floor can take a bit of moisture but if it’s covered with linoleum (like ours was), you can’t tell that it’s routinely getting soaked and rotten. that’s why there is a giant hole in the floor right by the door.

i’ve removed all of the linoleum and properly disposed of the asbestos-filled stuff, fixed the holes in the floor, and ripped off all of the rotten, delaminated plywood wall coverings. the next step is to reseal everything so it doesn’t leak again for a few years.

unfortunately, the windows are turning out to be a big pain in my ass. each window is not just the source of one potential leak, but THREE: where the window frame mates to the fiberglass camper shell; where the window frame mates to the pane of glass; and where the frame of the sliding window mates to the overall frame. there are seven windows in this fucking camper, and seven windows times three seals is 21 seals. that’s a lot of seals to replace, and i guarantee you that each one is going to be a real whore to install.

i am nonplussed about this project.

now that i’ve got that off my chest, i want to bitch about the bigger picture. using wood in things that are prone to leaking is such a dumb, ridiculous design but that’s what the majority of campers/RVs/travel trailers consist of. i think the manufacturers like them that way though since it means the product will look great for 5 years, only to need expensive repairs at that point that will only last another handful of years. before you know it, the thing is 15 or 20 years old, rotten, and outdated-looking, and no one is going to to pay big money to have a rotten 15+ year old camper fixed so the thing will likely get junked, which means someone out there is going to end up buying another new, overpriced, poorly designed camper that will require the same expensive repairs soon. hoo-ray, the cycle continues!

i’m aware that i’m quixotic but i sure do wish more companies would try to make shit that would last instead of making junk that breaks fast so you have to pay through the nose to have it fixed a bunch, and then ultimately buy another.

on top of that, all the fancy new travel trailers you see on the road are also junk. i went to a dealership a few years ago and looked at a bunch just out of curiosity, and every thing on it i touched was flimsy and on the verge of breaking already. typical shiny, cheaply-made garbage. i had the salesman show me a few models that were just a few years old and he pointed out where the seals had already failed on them and the water damage that was already done. he eagerly used this as a jumping off point to tell me how much better the seals are in the BRAND NEW models.

yeah right. i don’t believe i’ll ever see an RV that can last more than a few years without leaking, and if i do, you can bet it will not be in the price range of a lowly plebe like myself.

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i wonder how much it costs to replace the seals in this thing.

summer’s end

i think i write about this every year, how i feel like summer is already coming to a close when it’s only hardly begun. it’s a wonderful feeling though so i don’t feel bad revisiting it.

today it hit me while i was walking the dogs on cobble hill mountain. i walked over a rocky face that was covered in yellow arbutus leaves. they crinkled and snapped as i stepped on them. the ground was dappled with sunlight and the temperature was cool and pleasant. i was suddenly reminded of some of my favourite memories, of thanksgiving and halloween songs and decorations in my elementary school class room, of the giant maple tree and its piles of leaves in the school yard, of the grey skies and crisp air of those days. the feelings associated with those things are tough to beat. i feel like they are integral to the adult i have become. it’s funny how such small, vague details from childhood can have such a lasting, shaping effect on us.

summer is fine and all but after the summer solstice, i really just embrace the fact that each day is just a little bit shorter than the last, that each day is a step closer to the images i see in my childhood memories of fall in shawnigan — a step closer to maximum darkness.

i love watching summer die.

i don’t even like this song that much but somehow it does manage to somewhat capture the feeling i’m talking about. i’m sure ben will be pleased. it was between this and as the seasons grey by testament. i like that one more but this one just seems to fit better.