Languages Are So Fucking Cool

You want to learn a language? Go to the country where it is spoken. Immerse yourself in it. And if you can’t do that, then I recommend getting a girl-/boyfriend who speaks that language. You’ll learn more from them in two months of affectionate conversation than in two years at a language school. Okay, I am exaggerating somewhat, but you know what I mean.
Tell your loved one to speak to you exclusively in their own tongue. It may seem inconvenient at first, but you’ll be amazed at how quickly you learn the basics in this way. And you will find that it enriches your relationship as well, because you will actually start to really listen to them. You’ll be hanging on every word, every accompanying gesture, trying to figure out what in hell they mean. You will notice things about them, about their way of thinking, their way of seeing the world, that would otherwise have escaped your attention entirely. You will be forced take them in as a whole, instead of just as a person talking to you, saying something the second half of which you understand before it even leaves their mouths. You think.
Do you listen when people speak, or are you just sort of homing in on what you think they want to say? Think about it. I am sure you will find that your understanding of speech is like a sort of predator… you are looking for certain words, certain patterns of speech, and you pounce on them like a cat, thankful that you’ve found what you wanted. You’ll scarf up those words you thought you heard, you’ll bolt them like a wolf, without chewing a single bite. You don’t give a damn if you heard them correctly or not. You’ll even give an answer… most likely it will fit, hallway at least. But only halfway… but, no matter! Your opposite in conversation will bolt down your answer without really hearing! They will accept anything you say, as long as it isn’t completely incongruent with what they said… and so on.
This is the way people communicate. They aren’t really listening, and what they say isn’t hardly true, and even if it’s true, it probably doesn’t really pertain to the actual topic of conversation. Christ almighty. It’s a wonder anything is ever understood. Oh, but it is, at least subjectively… they believe they understood you, and you believe you understood them…
Well, better than nothing, right? Yeah, right.
Like I said, try a new language. Do a breakfast in Hindu, with the whole family. Try a Chinese breakfast. Each person can look up a few words, and then… waugh! When everyone is getting hungry and no one knows what the fuck anyone wants, gestures help, and: Ugh! Ugh! Grunts. That is something everyone understands.

Interview With the Author No. 222 (x3)

Hellstrøm: God?
God: Yes?
Hellstrøm: Okay, just wanted to make sure you’re there.
God: Yeah, right. So what’s ’bout this new book?
Hellstrøm: Same old same old, man meets woman, good conquers evil, love wins over hate, indifference and fatalism.
God: Aha. Very original. You guys never do learn, do you.
Hellstrøm: Well, God, the human race is…
God: I wasn’t talking about humans. I was talking about authors.
Hellstrøm: … well. *clears throat* I always wanted to ask you a question, God.
God: Yeah?
Hellstrøm: What kind of music do you listen to, I mean like, when you’re chillin’, and have time to listen.
God: Jazz.
Hellstrøm: Fuck. I hate jazz.
God: No big deal.
Hellstrøm: D’ya mind if I ask some more questions?
God: *raises his bushy patrician eyebrows* If you must.
Hellstrøm: I must. Just wondering how long you’re going to go on like this, letting people kill each other in your name.
God: As long as it takes… *sighs* say, who’s interviewing who here?
Hellstrøm: Haven’t the slightest.
God: Me either. So, what else you want to know?
Hellstrøm: What is the answer?
God: What… to which question.
Hellstrøm: The question.
God: Oh, please…
Hellstrøm: No, really…! *clears throat* Really! *grins*
God: *frowns* You tryin’ to ace me out, man?
Hellstrøm: No, no, Jesus, heh, I mean God, no, I mean, uh… well, you know what I mean.
God: *laughs heartily* Yeah, I know. Thanks for the interview.
Hellstrøm goes home and listens to 100% Song from The Mekons.

Mr. Deity Calls Out the Pope

A great pointer from Why Evolutionist is True here, hence the reblog. The video just brings up so many things I agree with…

Why Evolution Is True

Using uncharacteristically strong language meant to explicitly demonstrate his rights, Mr. Deity (Brian Dalton) calls out Pope Francis for saying that there is no right to criticize religion. (TRIGGER WARNING: Maybe not for kids?)

h/t: jsp

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Half on the Horse

Foot in the stirrup. You’re almost mounted. What do you actually want to do? Those are the moments where you start off half-cocked. You’re almost in the fucking saddle, but… what in hell are you doing? You know you want to go, but… where to?
Beware. Just like a smart horse, life notices when you are not fully in control, and that’s the moment when it will buck and twist under you like a damned corkscrew. It’ll throw you off like nobody’s business, and most likely you’ll mash your balls on the saddle-horn on the way down. God damn that hurts.
There you lay. The horse is calm now. Maybe it even licks your face. I didn’t mean it like that, it seems to be saying, you can get on me now, if you still want to. Sheesh, watcha doin’ down there anyways? I was just caperin’ a little, didn’t mean to catch you off guard an’ all, hehe.

Music is Everyone’s Possession

Who said that? John Lennon, no wonder. „Its only the publishers who think it belongs to them.“
You know why? Well, you’re probably thinking about the artist’s right to make money from his work and so on. I can understand that viewpoint. But what you have to realize is this: I can take a song in my head, and play it for myself. Again and again. So who does it belong to then? Am I supposed to pay a percentage each time I listen to it in my head? Who is monitoring that? And when I make variations on it? When I improvise, based on the original, who does that belong to?
The same thing applies to any book I’ve read. When I think of passages from a book I’ve read, do I have to pay the author something for those thoughts? There are people who can repeat a book they have read page for page. When they repeat that, do they owe money to the author? When I write, I often paraphrase things I’ve read, or use the ideas presented there and go off on my own little tangent. Is that plagiarism?
I am sure you would agree it is not. The question is, where is the border? The second question is, who should decide where that border lies? I’ll say this much: I do not believe a lawyer, or a committee of lawyers, can decide the question.
Music can be so beautiful, it straightens your lopsided head right on out. It hits you between the eyes and pierces your brain like a white hot knife. It sends you floating on high, transported from this world. and then it hits you low down, below the belt. Man, it hurts, makes you cry out like you’ve been stuck with a knife, like a stuck pig… and you have been. Music twists on knobs you never knew you had. Music can turn you inside out. I wonder, can you write like that? No. No author ever wrote something that can twist me like that.
Listening to Tea with Cinnamon from Katzenjammer. This song reminds me of two women at once, and that kills me. Depends on the mood though. Sometimes I hear it and just think: yeah, yeah, skip it.
Music kills me anyway. There are songs I can hardly hear without crying. Not while they remind me of anything, necessarily, but because the music speaks with me. It is so beautiful, so poignant, that the tears just plain squirt. It isn’t sadness, but rather an overwhelming sense of deep feeling that forces me to cry. The tears may be of joy, or fear, of love lost… or found.
Once, many years ago, I was in the cathedral in Cologne, seeing the bloody sights. As chance would have it, there was an amateur choir of five men there, who happened to be visiting, and spontaneously, right next to me, they sang a chant they obviously knew well. Some kind of gregorian shit, y’know. I tell you, it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. It reverberated in those (holy) chambers in such a way that I burst instantly in to tears. I was in bliss, not because of God, God forbid, but because of the simple beauty of it. The beauty of their combined voices, those combined tones, in that incredible chamber.
The Germans say: he lives near water. Someone who cries easily „lives near water“. Well, I live near water, in certain situations, fucking badly damaged romantic that I am. Crash and burn, baby, crash and burn, says the little cynical bastard in me. It’s when you burn that you start to feel, and when you feel you realize you are alive, and that life is worth living. Life always begins in the ashes of death. So get up, and listen to some music. Listen to the tears. Listen to the water flow.
All those feelings… who do they belong to? Whose song is it, when you listen to it? Who wrote that song? Do you think those fellows in the cathedral knew what they did to me? Do you think they cared about making me pay for my experience? That is what John Lennon was talking about. He wanted to change the world, and that was all he cared about. He knew that every single person would make their own song out of what he created.
Listening to Come Together as rendered by the Butthole Surfers. But it doesn’t matter what I am listening to, really. The point is that I am listening.