Tag Archives: corruption

IC Bracelet Campaign: Tony

 

Invisible Children may have passed their bill through congress but the war is not over yet. Attacks are becoming more aggressive and more deadly. This video highlights Tony. He overcame a very difficult time and became a mentor to others. Tony joined Invisible Children’s Face To Face Tour and spoke about growing up in a war-torn Village and what he had to go through in order to survive. Warning: This video is another tear jerker.


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I drove my old unfaithful in a mindless fashion and met number seventy-nine. I parked in a parallel fashion in the nearest space to the door. There I sat, content in the fresh, cool, air-conditioned car. I turned the key backwards and the low hum of the engine and the sound of the car radio were immediately silenced. With a general feeling of resignation I grabbed the handle of the door and pulled. The car door swung open with a creek and the stagnant heat punched me in the face as I had feared it would. The thermometer on the dashboard read 93 degrees. I dragged myself with a defeated persona to my front door jiggling the key in the lock before swinging the heavy wooden barrier open. Entering my apartment I immediately hit the fan. I stood in front of the old plastic and metal box which decorated my window like some kind of souvenir from 20 years ago. A zephyr politely greeted the beads of sweat which had accumulated upon my brow. A cooling sensation caused a shiver and the dewy droplets evaporated into the air. A melting aura of relaxation draped my being and I liquified and fell onto the couch. I tried to combat this sleepiness which had overtaken me but to no avail. Instantly my mind filled with moving images. Tree tops were swaying to and fro and people began to whisper. There was a silent stream which was surrounded by long grass. Picturesque clouds filled the sky like fluffy cotton balls. I fell into a deep sleep and began to drool from the corner of my mouth. Scents and colours and feelings were all so vivid. I knew that this seemed too perfect. I knew I was dreaming. I fought with my mind and I finally woke up. I maintained a state of reality for more than a few moments and realized that I was on my couch in front of the window fan. I took a careless hand and wiped the crust and drool which had formed on my face, I walked into the hallway. I climbed several flights of stairs and exited outside to the roof. Pulling out my favorite Zippo, I light a cigarette and drew the smokey air from the filter end of the rod. I closed my eyes for a moment. Suddenly my mind began to rush with thoughts. Memories and ideas proliferated and flooded my brain. A swift surge of energy and power came sweeping over my entire body and then nothing.

Abrupt and fatal ending!


Playing God

I want to start by saying that I have no religion. I was raised Catholic but over the years have come to accept that religion is not for me. Although I am personally against religion I have no problem with anyone who wants to practice. My lack of religion has allowed me to ask questions without accepting blindly. Being an open-minded person I have humored myself with many different scenarios of existence. I want to explain one scenario that has stuck in my mind for a long time. If nothing else it is informative and humorous.

Human beings are intelligent creatures. When we think of life and existence, we tend to put ourselves at the center of everything. We use other creatures as food, transportation, garments… We also utilize the worlds resources. These things have become essential to our daily lives. We have created a world in which we can function to the best of our abilities, no matter where we are. Even less developed countries have technology that did not exist hundreds of years ago. Humans have built technology up to a staggering level. We have television, cell phones, the interweb, Mp3 players and so on. We have extended life spans by way of medical technology. We have added innovations to televisions which allow us to see images in high-definition or 3 dimensions. We have computers in the pockets of our designer jeans. We drive energy-efficient vehicles which allow us to travel long distances. Humans have created a world in which almost anything is fathomable.

This brings me to my theory. First, there is a question. Where did WE come from? GOD? Well, that depends on what god is. My theory takes into consideration that god is or was a being. My idea of god is one that was not omnipotent, omniscient nor omnibenevolent but a being who wanted answers. God created man as some sort of experiment. As humans we can understand the need for wanting to know more. We are conducting experiments at CERN in Switzerland in order to try to figure out how the universe was created. We constantly seek answers to questions about life and existence. Lets just say that God was trying to figure out answers to questions too. Lets also assume that god is a creature (an ant, dog, bird…). What if god created us in order to find a super intelligent being? Humans are undoubtably very intellectual.  This is the key to my theory. When god created us (super intelligent beings) he/she/it became obsolete. In an instant god became just a being and humans became god. We have come so far with technology where we are now building a world. We act as god by trying to make a world where people live long and healthy lives. We travel across the world at incredible speeds. We monitor lives via the internet, security systems and computer data bases. We live among our creators and yet we have no idea that they created us.

What is next? Humans have expanded Infomation Technology (IT) to a level we never assumed possible. IT professionals have predicted that IT will continue to grow every year. We are making computers faster and more user-friendly. We trust computers with all of our information. We type in social security numbers, passwords and credit card numbers. We upload photos and videos of friends, family and loved ones. Computers have become such an important component to our existence that it would now be difficult to imagine a world in which they did not exist. Computers are so important that we continue to try to make them better and faster. IT professionals claim that in this lifetime they will create computers that will have awareness of self. What exactly does this mean? If a computer is self-aware that means the computer is a being. If you unplug your self-aware computer, you are turning off a life. Computers have every tool necessary to become more intelligent and much more functional in society. We rely on computers so much. Just as we were created by a less intelligent being so continues the passing of the torch. Once we create a computer with self-awareness we then become obsolete. What purpose would we have in society? Computers would be able to understand what is needed in order to live. Planes, automobiles and trains could govern themselves. Computers would be able to constantly upgrade themselves. They would become faster, smarter and stronger. Humans would be as useful as a common house cat. Sooner or later the computers would create another “being” which would make them obsolete as well and so on.

This was one of many theories. I understand that it might sound like the ramblings of a drunk man but honestly, have you read the bible? A virgin with a child, a man in the sky, a dead man who comes back to life. If I were born at the right time you would all be reading my stories and claiming it as truth. Don’t take religion too seriously. Ask yourselves questions before you accept blindly. Who knows? You might stumble across the key to your existence.


INVISIBLE CHILDREN DID IT!!

Congress has passed the Invisible Children’s LRA disarmament act. There is still a lot of work to be done in the future in order to bring the child soldiers home. Together we have all helped bring Africa’s longest running war to an end. Thank you!!


A Kingdom Created

You and I shall rule this place. From atop our kingdom of clarity we set our sights upon a world of insanity and ignorance. Your plans to bring the sky crashing down might just work. Perhaps the robots and aliens will let us live. And as our arrows pierce the sun a smile plasters your face.  In a blink I disappear, confirming your belief that I was made up all along. The darkness blankets your existence and you are alone. The land is strewn with the bodies of the fools.  Alone in a cold world with the crippled and immobile. You enjoy sipping the blood of the damned. You laugh as you wipe your beard with a tattered sleeve. You lay your arm over my shoulder and we smile as we smoke and drink and laugh. You and I shall rule this place.


Murder By Death- “Good Morning, Magpie”

Anyone who knows me already understands my passion for music. You also know that Murder by Death is my favorite band. For those of you who are less familiar I will have to clue you in. April 6th marked the release date of Murder by Death’s 5th full-length album entitled “Good Morning, Magpie”. Back in January, when I found out about this release I was destined to find some hint of what the new album would sound like. I clawed my way through internet sites which all lead to dead-end roads. There was not even a YouTube clip. Then, one magical day there it was… a new song on Murder by Death’s MySpace site. I was immediately hooked to this song. The song title is “Foxglove”. At first listen I got a Johnny Cash meets Tom Petty vibe. The music melds perfectly with the almost haunting lyrics. Singer/Songwriter Adam Turla stated “This is the closest thing to a love song that Murder by Death has ever written”. When you hear the lyrics on the rest of the album you begin to understand what he means.

On March 20th 2010 I found myself at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. My friend Pete and I witnessed one of the best Murder by Death shows to date. Just flying in from SXSW in Texas Murder by Death made it to CT in order to put on an excellent show despite being sleep deprived, injured (Dagan) and missing a keyboard (thanks to the airline). We bumped into Adam (whom I have interviewed in the past) and he even offered me his cup of Whiskey. I told him that MBD was the most interesting and creative band in the world. Adam looked at me with a look of appreciation and said “That is great, thank you so much”. The band played a lot of their older songs and a few new songs. Now that my appetite had been whet I needed to hear the record version of these new songs.

Katy from Vagrant Records was able to get me a promotional copy of “Good Morning, Magpie”. I felt like a closet smoker who was puffing away behind the tool shed. I was listening to the greatest album in the world and it had not even been released yet. I must have listened to the new album over 100 times in one night. This album had listenability from beginning to end. The album offers the very best sound of Murder by Death. MBD have grown as a band over the decade they have been around but they have not forgotten their roots. “Good Morning, Magpie” is the follow up to the bands 2008 release “Red of Tooth and Claw”. The 2008 album was described as having an old west oulaw feel while being able to maintain a fresh sound. “Good Morning, Magpie” somehow offers a 1920’s feel with a modern touch.

Murder by Death would not be who they are without Whiskey songs. “Good Morning, Magpie” does not disappoint. The first two songs on the album are about Whiskey. The first song, “Kentucky Bourbon” was written by cellist Sarah Balliet, while she was cleaning her tub. Although the song takes a jab at Tennessee Whiskey, she claims that the song is just “very positive about the good stuff”.  “Kentucky Bourbon” is an intro which leads to a second Whiskey song, which sounds like an Americana/Irish drinking song titled “As Long as There is Whiskey in the World”. I can imagine this song being a huge hit in Irish pubs across the world.

When singer Adam Turla was writing this album he decided it would be best to write without distraction. He decided to go alone on a camping trip up in the Smokey Mountains. Adam soon found himself longing for human interaction. His need for the touch of a woman helped him create the song “Foxglove”. The overall feeling of loniliness is mirrored on the album. The songs cover topics ranging from death to all out destruction. The song “White Noise” is one of the darkest and most addictive tunes on the album. It brandishes a deep impending hum which stirs fearful feelings. The music and the sharp lyrics combine to give this song a voice which keeps you listening.

Aside from the lonliness factor the album also speaks a lot about nature. The closing song on the album is called “The Day”. Adam used his experiences of his camping trip compounded with his theological studies to devise an incredible ending to “Good Morning, Magpie”. The song is about a god who comes and reclaims the earth while causing complete annihilation and pandemonium. This song is very powerful and it is at the end of this album for that reason.

In addition to being so dark and eerie Murder by Death are also a lot of fun. The song “You Don’t Miss Twice (When You’re Shavin’ with a Knife)” is an elaborate mix of bizarre yet memorable sounds. It sounds as if there might be chains, a spitoon, clapping and a washboard being played in the background. The rhythym of the song is very fun and the lyrics are reminiscient of Tom Waites.

I give “Good Morning, Magpie” two big thumbs up (I wish I had more thumbs). Come out and see Murder by Death play live. Don’t miss them. They are currently headlining a tour and will most likely come to your area. So whether you are from Texas or Connecticut (like me) or Germany or Spain go get your tickets now. You will love Murder by Death!

UPCOMING SHOWS

Apr 11 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah * [tickets]
Apr 12 – Scottsdale, AZ @ The Rhythm Room * [tickets]
Apr 13 – Santa Fe, NM @ Corazon [tickets]
Apr 14 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory * [tickets]
Apr 15 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s Alternative Lounging (Indoor) * [tickets]
Apr 16 – Houston, TX @ Mango’s * [tickets]
Apr 17 – Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves * [tickets]
Apr 19 – Hattiesburg, MS @ Thirsty Hippo *
Apr 20 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade Downstairs * [tickets]
Apr 21 – Birmingham, AL @ Bottle Tree * [tickets]
Apr 23 – Ybor City, FL @ The Orpheum * [tickets]
Apr 24 – Orlando, FL @ The Backbooth *
Apr 25 – Gainesville, FL @ Common Grounds * [tickets]
Apr 27 – Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern * [tickets]
Apr 28 – Baltimore, MD @ The Ottobar * [tickets]
Apr 29 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East: Downstairs * [tickets]
Apr 30 – South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground * [tickets]
May 1 – New Haven, CT @ Café Nine * [tickets]
May 2 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg * [tickets]
May 4 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom * [tickets]
May 5 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s * [tickets]
May 7 – Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls * [tickets]
May 9 – Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop * [tickets]
May 10 – Kalamazoo, MI @ The Strutt * [tickets]
May 11 – Madison, WI @ The High Noon Saloon * [tickets]
May 12 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock * [tickets]
May 13 – Iowa City, IA @ Picador *
May 14 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall * [tickets]
May 15 – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Rock Club * [tickets]
May 22 – Chemnitz, Germany @ Fuego a la Isla Festival
May 23 – Beverungen, Germany @ Orange Blossom Festival [tickets]
May 24 – Berlin, Germany @ Festsaal [tickets]
May 25 – Cologne, Germany @ Gebaude 9 [tickets]
May 26 – Hamburg, Germany @ Molotow [tickets]
May 27 – Munster, Germany @ Gleis 22 [tickets]
May 28 – Heidelberg, Germany @ Karlstorbahnhof [tickets]
May 29 – Munchen, Germany @ Ampere [tickets]
Jun 1 – Amsterdam, Holland @ Paradiso
Jun 4 – Leicester, UK @ The Musician [tickets]
Jun 5 – Birmingham, UK @ O2 Academy 2 [tickets]
Jun 6 – Glasgow, UK @ King Tuts [tickets]
Jun 7 – Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute [tickets]
Jun 8 – London, UK @ Luminaire [tickets]
Jun 9 – Oxford, UK @ O2 Academy 2 [tickets]
Jun 10 – Exeter, UK @ Cavern [tickets]
Jun 12 – Cardiff, UK @ Barfly [tickets]
Jun 14 – Cork, Ireland @ Crane Lane Theatre
Jun 15 – Dublin, Ireland @ Academy 2 [tickets]
Jun 17 – Barcelona, Spain @ Sidecar
Jun 18 – Madrid, Spain @ La Boite
Jun 19 – Bilbao, Spain @ Azkena
* Headlining tour with Ha Ha Tonka and Linfinity

Special thanks to Katy @ Vagrant


IC Haiti

Invisible Children is teaming up with Charity: Water for an incredible event that will provide the displaced people of Haiti with clean water. Invisible Children recently won $1 Million and now they are donating $100,000 in order to help drill wells and latrines. IC is able to do this because of you. We have all come together and supported the Invisible Children in trying to stop the longest running war in Africa. We have donated our time, money, voices and bodies in order to let the world know that we want justice for the children in Uganda. Now IC is speaking out and putting their money towards other people who are suffering in the world. The earthquake in Haiti destroyed these peoples lives. Men, women and children were killed in an instant. Homes were leveled and food supplies contaminated and ruined. Within hours of the event, the world knew what had happened. Visit Invisible Children and Charity: Water to see what they are doing to help.

Thank You