Friday, January 15, 2010

Good vs Evil

While reading a fantasy book, I came across a good piece of dialogue between two characters. It was a discussion about Good vs Evil. Once you have read it, you may think, like duh....obviously, but we probably wouldn't have thought of it if we had to ourselves. Just something for you to ponder about.

Background: Prince Robert is talking to Sir Neil (A knight). At this time Prince Robert is in talks with a country called Hansa about a possible alliance (thus peace), but Sir Neil is against because they have been their sworn enemy since the beginning of days.
"Until I came to Eslen, I thought my world was large. The sea, after all, seems endless when one is upon it, and the islands seem uncountable. But then I came to discover all of that could fit into a cup if the world were a table."
"Poetic" Robert said.
"In the little cup of the world I lived in," Neil went on, "things were pretty simple. I kjnew who I fought for, I knew why. Then I came here, and things became confusing. As I travel farther into the world, they became more confusing yet."
Robert smiled indulgently. "Confusing how? Did you lose your sense of right and wrong?"
Neil returned the smile. "I grew up fighting, and mostly I fought Weihand raiders. They were bad people because they attacked my people. They wer bad people becuase they gfought for Hansa, people who once kept my people inbondage and would do it again if they could. And yet looking back on itm most of the men I killed were probably not that different from me. They probably died believing their cause was just, hoping their fathers would look from beyond the world and be proud of them."
"Yes, I see," Robert said. "You may not know this, but there is a philosophy of considerable weight built on that same premise. It is not a philosophy suited to the weakminded, hoiwever because it suggests-as, in fact, you just suggested-that there is really no such thing as good or evil that most people do what they think is right. It's just the lack of agreemnent on what is right that leads us to believe in good and evil."
"Uou traveled great distances, Sir Neil. Leagues. But one can also travel, so to speak, in time, through the study of history. Consider the argument that sits before us now; I am vilified for trying to strenthen our bonds of friendship with Hansa and thus avert a war we can ill afford. My detractors point out that by doing so I create conditions that might allow a Reiksbaurg (Leader of Hansa) to take the throne a few years hence."
"Now, why should that be considered wrong? Becayuse Hansa is evil? Because they desire control of this kingdom? And yet my family, the Dares, wrested Crotheny from Hansa in a bloody conflict. My great-great-grandfather murdered the Reiksbaurg emperor in their Castle. Who was good and who was evil then? It's a meaningless question, don't you think?"
"I'm not as learned as you," Neil acknowledged. "I know little about history, even less about philosophy. I am a knight, after all, and my job is to do as I am told. I have killed many ,men I might have liked if we had met under other circumstances, because they weren't - as you say - evil. We were merely serving masters at cross-purposes. In some cases, it wasn't even that. To do my duty, I had to stay alive, and to stay alive sometimes means killing others.
"As you say, most people in this world are just trying to do the best they can, to protect the ones they love and the life they know, live up to their duties and obligations."

Keyes, G (2006) The Blood Knight (pg. 341-342). New York.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


A bookmark is a thin marker, used to keep one's place in a book when the book is put down, and allows the reader to return to it with ease.

As I was growing up, a bookmark was something set in stone for me. It was a piece of paper or card and it was laminated. Now it is a different story. I was inspired to write this article after receiving what is probably the best bookmark in the world.

I want to breakdown the different types of common bookmarks people use these days.

I was going to say this is perhaps one of the oldest forms of bookmarks, but the more I thought about it the more I think I am wrong. It is perhaps one of the most recent forms of bookmarks, and the worst. Why is it the most recent? Well because paper and books were scarce a few hundred years ago and it would have been sacrilege to have bent pages in the book (I still feel this way about dog ears).

Pros: You don't need a real book mark.
Cons: I regard you as a lower life form than an amoeba.

Probably the oldest form of bookmark. A bound bookmark is usually a piece of thin fabric that is attached to the book itself. Prevalent in older books or books that are leather bound. Now it is usually found in bibles.

Pros: Right there when you need it.
Non-transferable.....unless you really want to

First used by the filthy rich and now by the most common of people. Quite a prevalent form of bookmark these days. Used because it is handy.

Pros: Usually readily available. You can also use the $1, $5, $20, $50 or $100 bill.
Cons: Don't use them for library books or borrowed books. You might find yourself poorer.

Laminated bookmarks are probably the most prevalent kind of bookmarks these days. They can be bought straight up from a store or they can be made. An excellent activity to do with your kids.

Pros: Looks good, can be personalised, lasts a long time.
Cons: Feeling guilty when you lose one that someone made for you, but then feel utterly relieved when you find it a day later on the street!

Probably the best bookmark in the world. Seriously. Just look at it! I received this from a friend for Christmas 09' and I must say, it has been my favourite. It is a little bit smaller than a small sized paperback and only a few millimeters thick.

Look at me rambling.

The fabric bookmark is becoming more popular these days. They come in different sizes and usually are in the shape of a normal bookmark. Felt is a common fabric to use and can be also layered with other different coloured felt to give it a cool effect.

Pros: Way more stylish than laminated ones. Also has all their pros.
Cons: Harder to make than laminated ones, can get dirty.

I hope that I've made you think a little more about bookmarks now. Yes I know there are other forms of bookmarks, but these are the ones that are worth writing about.

Just another reminder to look at my sexy sexy bookmark.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Albums of the Decade

So while I was making a Yeah Yeah Yeahs CD, I came upon an article that lists the top 50 albums of the past decade, with The Strokes coming in at number 1 with 'Is This It'.

While I appreciate that music is very subjective and no ones list will ever be the same, I will attempt to make my top 10 albums of the last decade. My list should be quite interesting because it is similar to the above list yet not.

Top 10 List in no particular order.

The Strokes - Room On Fire
I'm not sure why NME have 'Is This It' above this album. In my opinion this one is clearly the best album, so much more refined. However, 'You Only Live Once' from the album 'First Impressions of Earth' is my favourite song from them.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell
It was a toss up between this and 'Show Your Bones'. Definitely my favourite band with a female lead singer and perhaps the find of the Noughties.

The Killers - Hot Fuss
Very surprised that this album...nay...this band was not on the top 50 list. Two of my favourite songs from this album aren't even singles!

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
The first British Band to get me excited about British music since Oasis and Pulp. A very good listen and amazing for their debut album.

Muse - Absolution
'Plug In Baby' is the song that got my attention, the album 'Absolution' made me fall in love with them and their concert at the St. James Theater blew me away.

Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly, Angry Mob
This band surprised me with this album. I got it on the cheap and thought I would take a gamble. I scooped the pot.

My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
I think the first song I heard of their was 'Helena' and it was a music video. The song didn't grab me but the video clip. It is gothic and reminded me of the Smashing Pumpkins. When I saw the lead Singer Gerard Way, I thought it was Billy Corgan with hair. I never looked back.

Radiohead - Kid A
Everybody was up in arms when this album came out. What were Radiohead doing!!! What happened to the catchy pop/rock songs. Well I got 'Kid A' as soon as it came out and am still listening to it now.

Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say, That's What I'm Not
Another British band that has made it big thanks to Jools Holland. Raw and Loud. Just how I like it.

Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist
I just couldn't leave them out of it! Their first album in 7 years. Sure it wasn't really the Smashing Pumpkins of old without D'arcy and James Iha but it was a still good listen. If you didn't know, Smashing Pumpkins are releasing 44 new songs (all for free), one at a time on their website.

Honourable Mention:
The Hives - Your New Favourite Band
Technically a best of compilation but were relatively unheard of before this album.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Years!

I normally try to stay away from energy drinks like V and Redbull, though I do have them occasionally. However last night, I had about 5 of them mixed with Vodka. What a fail.
Too many Vodka Redbulls = way too amped and no sleep.

Anyways, I had a great time with my friends at 'Our House' and even banged into some old friends who I would love to catch up with.

Happy New Years to all!