Sufjan Stevens – Dear Mr. Supercomputer

If anybody was interested in catching a glimpse of a fantastic track that will be on Sufjan Steven’s upcoming July 11 release The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album, then you might want to download his song Dear Mr. Supercomputer here at Pitchfork.

I can’t wait. I have both of the vinyl recordings of Greetings From Michigan, the Great Lakes State and Come On! Feel the Illinoise! because I’m awesome and wanted to have 7 extra songs off of them… So, yeah.

Communication, Vera and me.

Image, Source: original negative

So, today it rained in San Luis, kind of unexpectedly given that this is the end of May. Of course, any kind of weather is a little unexpected to me given that before today, I hadn’t looked at the weather report once in the last three months.

I have a communication problem, currently. No, not with Nicole, nor with the powers that be… it’s with Vera. You know, my car. She… poops out. No, NOT FECAL MATTER. Just… gives up on life.

Turns out she has a problem with me leaving the headlights on. This has happened a ridiculously large number of times in the last few months. I blame it on the fact that she doesn’t beep like other cars do when I leave them, letting me know I’m a moron and someone should shoot me in the face. No, she prefers to suffer in silence.

So, does anybody know someway I can either fix the beeping or fix my brain so that I don’t do this anymore?

The problem with passion.

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll copy film

Tonight, I was at Farmer’s Market here in SLO, which is in and of itself a very rare occasion. I guess I just don’t like crowds that much, but today was really great. Ran into old friends, caught up, joked around about what it means to wear “professional attire” to a function if you happen to be, say, in a line of work where professional attire might be a bit uncouth. I’ll let you fill in the blanks there…

And so, I return from going to the restroom to see a friend of mine being accosted by a “believer.” Now, I know that many people are tremendously sensitive to discussions regarding religion, and so I do recognize that for many there is a fine line between discussion and accosting, however, even I felt that she was being accosted. I couldn’t believe how much I disagreed with how someone presented and represented a philosophy I agree with.

So, on that topic, tips for anyone that wishes to talk religion with me, or anyone, for that matter:

1) It might be a good idea to recognize that everybody believes things differently, and that’s the beauty of our lives, of the free will we’ve been given. I’ve found that with wisdom comes the knowledge that we are nowhere close to knowing it all, particularly when we talk about deities that are purposefully outside the realm of our understanding. Even though I call myself a Christian, I don’t believe the same things that many other Christians do, or at least I don’t believe them in the same way. I often believe that truly trying to understand what others believe adds depth to understanding my own beliefs.

2) Don’t assume that you can make grand, sweeping generalizations that pretty much nullify centuries of philosophical thought. For example, saying “we know murder is wrong, because it comes from hate, and our sense of right and wrong was given to us by our creator,” presents a few logical flaws. I told her that I believe that sometimes people can murder out of love, and that human motivation for action isn’t as cut and dry as she was making it out to be. My friend and I also added the fact that there have been all sorts of people who believed it was within their religion to commit human sacrifice, or the great number of people who were murdered in Christianity’s name (and probably are still, somewhere in the world).

3) This is perhaps the most important one of all: Listen to what the people you’re talking to are saying. Don’t interrupt. Interrupting, particularly when you’ve been asking for input by saying “Am I right?” just means that you’re only interested in attacking and proving your point. People get awfully resistant to anything you say when they have to go completely on their guard. And when I mention that you are interrupting me, please don’t interrupt me to contest your point some more. If you want to try to convince a wall, then you’ll probably get further than you were with me today.

Anyhow, I’m really not trying to bag on Christians. The truth is we all get passionate about things, and it can be a little overwhelming for others in conversations when we get passionate about our point. I can be a little overbearing when I talk about, say, Farscape, which is seriously one of the best TV shows ever made. I’m sad to say I’ve actually been in arguments about it. So, be calm, be patient, be willing to learn something from the conversation instead of just trying to teach.

I bet you’ll probably find yourself with an increased understanding of your passions.

Whew.

Well, the latest issue of Women’s Press is finished, as is almost everything for my Magazine project… all that’s left is the Commencement Cover, due Monday. I feel tremendously honored to be the guy designing my own graduation’s commencement cover, and I’m really glad that now, I have time to work on it.

So, Saturday, I’m going to San Simeon for the day with Adam Toqe. It’s going to be awesome.

Women’s Press

So, I’m just working full speed for the next issue of Women’s Press. Wednesday at 6 is when the files are due, and I’m really lucky that I don’t have any more classes until Thursday morning.

Dr. Keif, if you’re reading this, thank you for being out of town this week.