* It's a comfort knowing the 800 billion or so American dollars President Obama is planning to pour into the black hole that is the American economy will soon be used to finance the private jets and swanky yachts of top excecutives while their companies self-destruct. Why I am so cynical about this I can't really say. Last time I checked I was an Obama fan.
* I am currently reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I really enjoy it. Maybe a bit too much. Today I was seized by a sudden desire to drop everything, buy a motorcycle, and spend the rest of my life cruising the wastelands of the American Midwest and pondering the deep philosophical questions of life. Then I remembered that I don't have any money.
* I didn't get a chance to watch the Oscars, but I sort of followed it. I haven't had a chance to catch Slumdog Millionaire, but I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was somewhat surprised that the Academy ignored the superb Gran Torino, which was probably the best film I've seen this year. I generally enjoy the movies that the Oscars honor, but the whole culture of Hollywood makes me sick. Why is our culture so image-obsessed? What is it about celebrities that attracts us so much? What about the people who really make a difference in this world, like teachers and doctors and farmers? Our society is so superficial. American beauty is only skin deep. We ignore the true beauty and wonder of the human soul and focus only on outside appearances.
* I read a quote by the absolutely brilliant author David Foster Wallace in which he examined the underlying idea of suicide. "All this business about people committing suicide when they're ' severly depressed '; we say 'Holy Cow, we must do something to stop them from killing themselves!' That's wrong. Because all these people have, you see, by this time already killed themselves, where it really counts.....When they 'commit suicide', they're just being orderly." Aside from being deeply disturbing, this quote is quite profound. All of life, I believe, is a search for joy. Without God, people gradually destroy themselves from the inside. Without something more, what is there to live for? Where can joy be found? We fill our lives with distractions in order to shut up the demons in our own heads. We can't even face our own thoughts. A clear, honest look at who we really are is enough to drive anyone mad with despair. We can't stand the stark reality of existence. Some of us God rescues, others search their entire lives and die unfulfilled. Still others kill themselves for peace, in a last, desperate attempt to find rest and joy. I am so very grateful God found me. I shudder to think where I would be without Him. For David Foster Wallace, the reality of life was too much. He killed himself in 2008.
* I graduate high school this May. Forget college. I've decided I'm gonna be a rock star!
* Green Day's new album, 21st Century Breakdown, is due out in May!!!!!!! Ok, I know they're not exactly the cleanest band lyrically, but no one can deny that they are uncannilly brilliant in their own screwed-up way. A hamster could learn their guitar riffs, but somehow they come up with great tunes that really strike a chord in the listener's head. Their 2004 release, American Idiot, is an all-time classic. If you ever get a chance, sit down and read the liner notes. The lyrics are severely depressing, but they capture in a unique, clear-eyed way the emptiness of American society.
* I am listening to U2's latest, No Line on the Horizon. It is brilliant. Go out and buy it when it hits stores on Monday. Really. It's a great piece of music.
* Last of all, I have a question. Is there really any constitutional basis for an amendment outlawing gay marriage? I don't agree with homosexuality, but aren't those who practice it entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness just as much as I am? Is it really fair and just to forbid gays to marry? Let me know what you think!