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Month: December, 2011

the problem of happiness

What an ugly world, what an unexciting new year, what a dull this year, look just how pointless my existence is, see how awfully uneducated unqualified I am, my prospects in life are bleak, no one is less significant than I am, how terribly socially awkward I can be, I am a sophist, I am idealistically skeptical of every thing I commit myself to(which is enough to disastrous combination) and is there a minimum as to how unloved someone can feel?

I don’t like year ends, I loathe festive seasons, it does absolutely nothing but triggers my andropause. I am envious of happy people. I have stubborn dopamine glands and it’s probably easier to clamber up every volcano in the world bare footed than just be happy. Happiness, who the fuck invented that concept, the word had better not exist at all. It’s reductionistic by nature and contrast so annoyingly with everything else that man prides himself on. The same applies to love, but don’t get me started on it, I’ll save my rants for that the next time we meet. But here, welcome to my whimsical thesis of why the word “happiness” better not exist at all and what should we substitute it with.

My name is man, my species is unreasonably successful through reasoning, I’ve found science, I’ve found math and most importantly, I’ve found the arts. But who is to judge and say that I am better than a poodle or a platypus for experience is life. And when experience is concerned, who can discover a better experience than happiness. Simple the idea may be but grave it’s implications are. An ant with the jaw muscles of a alligator, how disturbing.

Happiness, how does it work exactly? Is the whole theory that surrounds happiness set points irrevocably true or just scientifically cogent. Is there a objective measurement to these set points or is it all arbitrary? It can’t be the former! Happiness is a sensation, sure you can know what leads to this sensation by splitting one’s skull open but you can’t possibly measure how sensational eating a piece of Oreo is. Then it must be arbitrary, but how do we know your methods of scaling of happiness is even briefly similar to mine, how do we know a pair of siamese twins joined by the dick are truly happy people and isn’t paid just to shame first world citizens in front of television screen as they munch on their nachos. Ok, it’s can’t be arbitrary as it only complicates the problem we have on hand so if it can’t be measured what good it does to say anything about it? Infinite regress of depressing questions on happiness? Achievement unlocked, loading stage 2.

Just a neurological causation? If it is, all hail the weed loving hippies and to hell with the wealth loving hypocrites. If it isn’t than is it a part of us at all? By the rules of evolutionary psychology, the clockworks of our primary emotion must all be systematically engraved on your brain as a result of evolution. So the “veins and nerves” that tracks happiness must exist neurologically and it isn’t just “an idea” like you know “evolution”. If it is, is technology not yet advanced enough to entrap humans into a virtual world that distracts them from the brutality of life as robotic hands caress these nerves of ours. Is it not possible? It is possible! How incredibly smart I am! What an ingenious idea, I just defeated life didn’t I? Quick quick, spill out your money you ugly mercenaries, shake the grave of Steve Jobs, he must be most elated, it’s time to fund this machine and defeat life with me! It’s time to play God and conquer life like no one ever did …. oh wait. This machine does exist, it’s called the computer and I am typing on one now and I am still not happy and the same applies to the hippies and they are still not happy with their drugs. A neurological causation? Theoretically yes, practically not really.

So we can’t measure happiness and as lucid as Oliver Sacks tries to be, we are unsure of what causes it. In fact, we are not at all sure what is it or if it exist(not the concept) like your fridge does or more relevantly, fear does. It may very well be a word just to coin a general yet enigmatic feeling that people share and OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE THAT!? YES! THAT! THAT INVISIBLE HORNLESS AND FLIGHTLESS UNICORN GRAZING ON THE FIELD. No, this isn’t a prank! It was there, it really was. Although it’s hornless and flightless I am adamant that it is a unicorn and although I can’t see it but I can feel it, therefore it must be real! REAL! It’s there! Oh god, you are incorrigible, how hard must I try to convince you of it! Why are you such a cynic towards everything why can’t you be gullible like everyone else. You are making me boil and straining my nerves and … oh never mind, it has galloped away to the greener side of the field and I am no longer occupied with your radical expostulation. Let us not be distracted and get back with happiness.

Where were we again? Oh yes, the conclusion. The concept of the word happiness is a troubling one and had better not existed at all. Life will be so much cleaner and more sober by substituting it with either distracted/occupiped or in-distracted/unoccupied. The next time you are unhappy about anything, just think of the invisible unicorn and consequentially, how little you know about happiness to be unhappy about it.

the perfect playlist for a boring christmas

have a merry christmas and a brilliant new year (:

The early bird specials for AOTY 2011

I am doing this early to avoid my judgment being clouded by lists from the others, be it music vloggers or prolific music review sites. Having witness the pattern of albums release year after year, I am certain that Black Key’s El Camino will be the last of 2011’s gold nuggets. From experience, nobody releases anything good in later December. Expect nothing but reissues, itunes live sessions and poorly compiled EPs just to pay the land lady the rent that has been due for 9months. With that rambled, even deciding my list nearly a full month before new year, I am confident no changes will be made in the days to come. It’s an attempt more calculated than careless, rest assured.

When it comes to music reviews, I am normally terse with my words for I find it hard to translate what my ears feels into spoken words without coming up with rhetorical essays filled with expressions that mean so different from one person to another. How do people even relate to the words “dynamic”, “impressionistic”, “mellow”, “intimate” and “virtuosic” when reading a Bon Iver album review. How much does it say? Or does it say anything at all? Or perhaps there’s an objective meaning to all those jargon and by carefully reading it, the melody of the album will naturally transpire into your auditory nerves but it’s just so I am too thick to get it. Must be. It baffles me on why and how are the pockets of music journalist bloated.

Knowing that I will be saying practically nothing while listing my list. Before I begin with it, allow me to briefly share some of my thoughts on 2011 releases in a nutshell. The first quarter of the year caught me by pleasant surprise. Good albums were regularly churned out in pairs or more every week and there were at least three brilliant ones within that quarter. The first quarter of the year could literally be crowned as the golden age of Electronica. The next quarter was … agreeable. Between April and May, the mediocre albums were innumerable but there was at most a single brilliant album. That accolade belongs to Smoother by Wild Beasts. Eventually, the quarter ended strong thanks to the contributions of Bon Iver, Cults and Fucked up in June. The remaining half of the year was disastrous. Arguably the worse music drought that I had ever suffered from. Even stooping my standards, albums that I would consider decent were exponentially decreased and the catastrophe persisted till date. Indie “superband” Mister Heavenly first LP was an expected disappointment, Laura Marling’s was an unexpected one and the only two saving graces during this lull period happened in October thanks to Bradford Cox and Youth Lagoon. In the nutshell of a nutshell, 2011 as compared to it’s past 5 precedents is weak as crap. Nevertheless, here’s the list that no one cares for, my top 20albums of 2011. All texts and no pictures, I am lazy.

Tied at 1st: James Blake – James Blake, Bon Iver – Bon Iver
3rd: Devotchka – 100 Lovers
4th: Youth Lagoon – Year of Hibernation
5th: Destroyer РKaputt
6th: Wild Beasts – Smoother
7th: Atlas Sound – Parallax
8th: Man Man – Life Fantastic
Tied at 9th: Bibio – Mind Bokeh, Metronomy – The English Riveria

11th to 20th in no particular order

Toro Y Moi – Underneath the Pine
Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys!
Peaking Lights – 936
The Weekend – House of Balloons
tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
Cults – Cults
Beirut – The Rip Tide
St Vincent – Strange Actor
The Black Keys – El Camino
Braids – Native Speakers

A shitload of honorable mentions.

White Lies – Ritual
Fujiya and Miyagi – Ventriloquzzing
Eleven Tigers – Clouds are Mountains
Cold War Kids – Mine is Yours
Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
Cut Copy – Zenoscope
Asobi Seksu – Fluroescence
Telekinesis – 12 Desperate Lines
Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
Alex Turner – Submarine OST
The Kills – Blood Pressure
Jamie Woon – Mirror Writing
Okkervil River – I am Very Far
Danger Mouse/ Daniele Luppi – Rome
The Antlers – Burst Apart
Friendly Fire – Pala
WU LYF – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
Washed Out – Within and Without
Mister Heavenly – Out of Love
War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
Neon Indian – Extra Extrana
Real Estate – Days
The Black Keys – El Camino

Disappointing albums

Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
Sigur Rios – Inni
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Tennis – Cape Dory

I love my list and I hope it isn’t cliche. Bye.

Important dates in my life.

26th January 2010 – Andrew Bird
7th January 2011 – Owen Pallett
7th Febuary 2011 – The XX
26th March 2011 – King of Convenience
20th August 2011 – Moscow Olympics

And on 9th July 2011, here’s an adorable conversation between me and Liyun regarding bands we will sell our kidney for just to spend an hour with …


Again on the 26th of September, the same topic but a different platform.

Today after dinner and after dinner masturbation, this happened.

Better than christmas, new year, my birthday and the day I lost my virginity combined. 18th March 2012, I’ll add that in my list of reasons to live for.