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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Modern Poetry in the Age of Technology

Technology and Modern Poetry
Yeats's Poetry, Drama, and
 Prose (Norton Critical Editions)Technological advancements of the past two decades have spawned what future generations may come to view historically as a great poetic Renaissance of sorts.
The ability for a writer to instantly publish his or her work and make it instantly available at light-speed to a given or potential audience, has allowed artists world-wide a historically-unprecedented wherewithal (and incentive) to write and publish regularly.
The unprecedented volume of material out there (which grows larger every minute) does make it difficult for an artist to make a name for his or herself, as well as for those who appreciate such art forms to quickly and readily identify the best of the best of today's poets.
Time will make up for these human shortcomings, and today's greats will ultimately be found and remembered.
The following is an excerpt from the previous post, including a brief poem I wrote about technology and poetry:
A Poem about Poets, Poetry and the Age of the Internet
From the perspective of a non-poet who has become a fan of an internet-age poet, I wrote the following in dedication to Mystic Dave, who was the subject of my previous post appearing on this blog entitled: Mystical Poetry: On MysticDave and W.B. Yeats.
I certainly do not possess Dave's poetic ability, so if you're expecting to be bowled over by the following, you may want to readjust your expectations before reading.
That said, I thought it would only be appropriate if I at least made an attempt at expressing my thoughts on the matter in an artistic form before wrapping up this post.  So without further adieu, I present to you the following:
On the Artists of Poetry
'Tis a shame and great many a pity
Taketh the world, often more than a century
To fully appreciate the writings so many
From the countless great linguists - the fine artists of poetry

On Poetry: Mystic Dave and William Butler Yeats

On Poetry, Mystic Dave and W.B. Yeats
I had the good fortune a few months back of discovering the website and blog of a Salt Lake City, Utah-based 'mystical poet' and political commentator who goes by the name of "MysticDave".  Dave's blog/website is called: Mystical Poetry, Prose, and Political Viewpoints.
In Dave's own words, his blog is about:
"Mystical poetry and prose about spirituality, dreams,death, war, peace, politics, Earth, love, art etc. Spoken word poetry, 2012, music, and political videos included. Enjoy the trip!"
I've become quite the fan of Dave's site in recent weeks, as I've spent some time going through his various writings from over the years, and find myself increasingly impressed with each new piece I read.
I find Dave's poetry is exceptional, and his political writings definitely thought-provoking and well presented.  That said, his style I find even more fascinating, and eerily reminiscent of one of my favorite poets if all-time: William Butler Yeats.
About W.B. Yeats:
The Collected Poems of W.B. YeatsAs an Irish citizen whose family hails from Co. Galway, where Yeats spent a good portion of his life and wrote some of his finest work, I have long had a fascination with the man and his amazing literary achievements - not to mention his ideas and viewpoints.  This is particularly true of those writings pertaining to mysticism and/or spirituality, Celtic mythology, politics and its role in society and musings on life in general.
The general philosophy that manages to incorporate all of these concepts and make it work I find even more amazing.
Over the years, Yeats adopted many different ideological positions, including, in the words of the critic Michael Valdez Moses, "those of radical nationalist, classical liberal, reactionary conservative and millenarian nihilist".
Any philosophy that can incorporate everything described in Moses' description of Yeats' ideological positions with any degree of credibility is worthy of a deeper look all its own.
Yeats' Tomb in Drumcliffe Cemetery
I have twice visited Yeats' tomb, which is located in Drumcliffe Cemetery, in Co. Sligo, Republic of Ireland (photo below).
Back to Mystic Dave
In his own words, Mystic Dave is a "47 year old outdoors type who loves live music, hanging out in the great outdoors, spirituality, writing and reading poetry, learning all I can from this journey called life, and meeting interesting, open minded people along the way."
For a one-line autobiography, that's not too shabby.
The man is a phenomenal writer and poet, and it would not surprise me in the least if centuries from now, the world's finer liberal arts institutions mention Mystic Dave alongside names such as Robert Frost and W.B. Yeats.
In any case, I highly recommend checking out his site and having a look through some of Dave's poems.  I have been extremely impressed, and I don't think you will be disappointed either.
A Poem about Poets, Poetry and the Age of the Internet
From the perspective of a non-poet who has become a fan of an internet-age poet, I wrote the following in dedication to Mystic Dave.
I certainly do not possess Dave's poetic ability, so if you're expecting to be bowled over by the following, you may want to readjust your expectations before reading.
That said, I thought it would only be appropriate if I at least made an attempt at expressing my thoughts on the matter in an artistic form before wrapping up this post.  So without further adieu, I present to you the following:
On the Artists of Poetry
'Tis a shame and great many a pity
Taketh the world, sometimes more than a century
To fully appreciate the writings, so many
Of the countless great linguists - the fine artists of poetry
It is my sincere hope that all reading this post have found the read entertaining enough to make it all the way to this sentence, and I hope you all check out Dave's site, and that you find it as enjoyable and enlightening as I have.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Regarding 311 Singer Nick Hexum's Private Island

This post is effectively a personal letter that began as an email typed originally on the "contact us" at MelodyKey.com. It has been modified from its original version to be better suited to this audience.

If you weren't already aware, 311 singer Nick Hexum owns his own island. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, it is my understanding that he recently put it on the market for sale or lease.

I admittedly have no clue whatsoever what his financial status looks like, and people have gotta do what they've gotta do in tough economic times. That said, if I ever were so blessed as to be so well off I could afford my own island, it would be a cold day in Hell if I ever decided to get rid of it. Then again, not everyone in the world has a stated goal of world domination...

For what it's worth, I love 311's music and have attended at least seven of the band's shows including three 311 Day events in New Orleans, Louisiana.

I too aspire to one day own a private island, although the way things are looking, I may have to resort to a forceful invasion as the funds just aren't there to buy one (don't worry, Melody Key is not on my list of targets ;-).

While there's no way I could ever at this point in my life afford to own or even rent my own island, I think the fact that you, Nicholas Hexum have done just that (bought your own island), is about the coolest thing I've ever heard of.

As if you're not cool enough being the front-man for 311 and everything, you own your own f%$#@*g island for crying out loud!

While for the most part I disagree with your political views (at least those with which I am familiar - and for the record, I did say "for the most part"), I truly and unequivocally respect and admire your work and your success.

My purchases of your CDs and concert tickets helped you reach a point of financial stability that allowed you to do what I have long dreamed of - own my own island. I am not the least bit jealous of your accomplishments, and in fact am happy for your success and proud to be a part of it. One would be a hypocrite to envy the success of others while aspiring to one day achieve a comparable degree of success, at least that's how I look at it.

Anyway, from a B-List social media "celebrity" (tongue well implanted in cheek), congratulations on your success Mr. Hexum, and the best of wishes for yourself and those close to you for the indefinite future.


Disclaimer:  I don't really have any plans to forcefully takeover an island or nation-state of any sort. That paragraph and the bit about world domination constitute an attempt at satire and nothing more.

Here is a photograph of the island owned by 311 singer Nick Hexum:

Melody Key: 311 Singer Nick Hexum's Private Island
 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Generalizations Invalidate Arguments

This blog post began as a comment I made in response to a comment I encountered at Mixx, on a story about an incident involving racism at Wal-Mart.
The comments referenced throughout this post were written as a response to the following comments by a Mixxer by the name of kpreston200. The following is a sampling of the quotes being referenced throughout this article:
"Because everyone is getting tired of blacks using racism as an excuse for their woes..."
"The REAL way to end all of this is to finish school, go to college and act like a respectable member of the community willing to work with others and respecting others space."

"I was enrolling my daughter to college and this black kid walked by with his sagging pants and underwear hanging out! This is fucking COLLEGE!"

"She was mad at me for telling him to pull his pants up that he was in college ready to go out into the world and become someone. I mean WTF?"

"There is white trash also but it seems that this excuse is getting old and it's being used to get away with every anti-social behavior from calling each other the N-Word yet they are ready to kill when someone else says it."
My initial response to these remarks was the following:
@kpreston200
"You do realize you're talking to a U.S. Marine, don't you? I consider him a respectable member of society, as do I all servicemen and women."
To which kpreston200 replied:
@FatLester
"So what is that supposed to mean? I'm a retired U.S. Army Major so what."
The following is my reply to that particular remark, written for the sake of explaining and further clarifying the underlying meaning and motive of my initial statement:

@kpreston200
I respect you as well.  Specifically, I was referencing your quote about "black people" 'acting like respectable members of society'.

What I was saying is that the man you've been debating is just one of many, many examples of just that. He has offered to potentially (if not actually, I don't know the specifics of his military career) put his life on the line in defense of other Americans, and to the best of my knowledge, he is of African-American descent.

There are few actions people can take on their own behalf than volunteer to defend the United States that will earn more respect from me, for that given individual --- regardless of whether or not I agree with him or her politically, or regardless of whether or not I like the person. I can respect someone without liking and/or agreeing with him or her. For the record, that is not to say I dislike katmicjus --- please make no misunderstanding about that. We do occasionally disagree, but my above-point was spoken in a much broader context.

Essentially, my point was that your wording was too broad to constitute a valid argument.

Each individual is responsible for his or her own decisions in life regardless of race, religion, etc. There are good examples and bad examples no matter how you break down the demographics.
In other words, by referring to "black people", you are committing a logical fallacy in that each black person (like any other person) is an individual who must make choices in life and cannot by lumped in with other individuals who have the free will to make their own decisions. That fallacy invalidates an entire argument, and pursuing it beyond that without restructuring the framework and terms is an exercise in futility.

We were all created as equals, and each individual human being is 100% responsible and accountable for the decisions he or she makes in life. Different people male different decisions, and groups cannot be accurately lumped in together based upon arbitrary factors such as race.

Does that help clarify the original remark and help answer your question?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Your Thoughts: Should I Run For Congress in 2012?

This post began as a discussion over a joking remark I made at Mixx about what my first action would be upon being inaugurated if ever elected President, and how America would have to wait a while because of the Presidential age requirement.

Another SuperMixxer by the name of JacksSmirkingRevenge had this to say in response to my remark:
"@FatLester
Lester 2012!!!!
er, whenever you get old enough.....
hurry up, will ya!!"
(NOTE: For those of you who didn't know, most of the internet knows me by the alias of "Fat Lester". Fat Lester is my longest-tenured cat (15 years old). Strong evidence suggests he is a hybrid of some sort between regular house-cats and/or barn-cats and a bobcat.) 

Anyway, here is my serious response to a statement made in what was supposed to be a completely nonsensical conversation:

America: Do You Want Me (Peter Egan) to Run For Congress in 2012?
@JacksSmirkingRevenge
You know, if the deadline is inauguration day instead of election day, I would be able to run for President in 2016. If it's election day, the country may have to settle for my representation in Congress.
Realistically, Steve Scalise (the Congressman representing my district) is in all likelihood going to challenge Mary Landrieu for her Senate seat in 2012, and I may well run for the open First Congressional district seat vacated by Scalise.
I worked on the most successful campaign in the history of the district (Bobby Jindal, 2004). I've also worked for, assisted, advised and/or consulted for at least two other Congressional campaign (Billy Tauzin III's unsuccessful campaign against Charlie Melancon and Art Schwertz's campaign against now imprisoned Bill Jefferson); a Senate race (did some minor volunteer work in coordination with Senator David Vitter's interns); as well a campaign for the state legislature and a campaign for a local office.
I've played around with Voter Vault (if you don't know what it is, don't ask...). I've organized phone banks. I've coordinated door-to-door efforts. I've written copy for mail-out and hand-out stationary. I've put up no less than 3,500 or so yard signs of all sizes, and secured locations for no less than 300. I've recruited volunteers at constituent gatherings. If I recall correctly, towards the end of the campaign Jindal's staff appointed me to the position of "territory manager" (or something to that effect), which basically meant I had authority over all the other interns and volunteers in that area. I've witnessed first-hand the planning and coordinating of big-name fundraisers (I got to meet former V.P. Cheney, former House Whip Tom Delay, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and others at these events). Meanwhile, I had the honor and privilege of working alongside now-Governor Jindal in his office for approximately eight months.
Oh yeah, and I would not lose a debate, regardless the opponent, questions or venue (I've got a podcast of me debating a successful attorney to back up that statement).
In other words, I've got a pretty good idea of what it takes to win and would have a few noteworthy supporters going in (not going to mention any names just yet). The most likely major opponent at this point would be Jefferson Parish Councilman John Young, who has made no secret of his intentions to pursue higher office.
I like my odds in that match-up, and I'm not particularly afraid of any other non-incumbent dark-horse no matter how much of their own money they're able and willing to spend.
That would make for a nice political resume were I ever to run for President. Not that I particularly want the job, but somebody's got to do the deed described in the Mixx story referenced at the top of the thread (I'm not going to repeat it here). No one else has stepped up to the plate yet.
I have mixed feelings about even being a Congressman, but the way I see everything playing out it appears it will be there for the taking. While it's not something I particularly want to do, it's something my gut tells me I'll regret later on in life if I don't.
I might attach a poll to this post and simply follow the will of the people. If you happen to be reading this and notice such a poll in the right side-bar, please vote in it and try your best to be honest.
In any case, I'd turn that entire f-----g city (well, district if you want to be technical) upside down if and when I ever get there.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Use of Conscious, Controlled Vizualization Techniques to Get the Most Out of Life

I recently came across an absolutely terrific guest-post by Henri Junttila on Steve Atchinson's blog. The post had to do with the topic of controlled visualization - the harnessing of one's imagination and controlled, goal-oriented focusing thereof for the sake of long-term goal achievement and all-around life improvement.

I personally saw a few parallels between Henri's in-depth insights and what has come to be known as "The Secret", although he does not mention the phrase by name within the post, at least not to my recollection.

Junttila touches upon an array of similarly themed broader concepts while focusing on the more tangible side of the equation as opposed to the quasi-mystical approach taken at times in the movie(s) and book(s) about "The Secret".  That said, the parallels that are present are too obvious to ignore. The whole concept behind "The Secret" is essentially the same exact thing, which is the use of the mind for the sake of manifesting in reality one's ideal life and life circumstances.

Junttila writes more in terms of his own experiences and from his own perspective. His writing is far more down-to-earth in nature and free from all the highly speculative claims that marred the credibility of the (nonetheless intriguing) famous movies and books related to the subject.

While I would certainly not advise against anyone reading this renting (or buying) and of the books and/or videos about the "The Secret", I would advise readers of this blog to check out Henri's post before doing so to familiarize yourself with the concept so as to be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not it is an investment of time you wish to pursue.


That blog (Steve Atchinson's blog) has got a tremendous amount of well-written, thought provoking material all throughout the archives. Don't be surprised if you pass by there to check out Henri's complete post if you end up hanging around awhile captivated by the barrage of mental stimulation (of the good variety).
As for a little bit about the author, Henri Junttila is a freelance writer and the creator of the Wake Up Cloud, a blog about self improvement ideas for conscious people.

Great post Henry, to all my readers, I highly recommend it --- and I make VERY FEW recommendations.  Take that for what it's worth, adios y buenas noches.


My mother, Pamela Egan, has written a few self-improvement articles of her own. I figured that since we're already on the subject, I might as well include a few links below to articles my mother has written that fall into the same general category as the one described in detail above.

Pam Egan's Self Improvement Articles:
If after reading Henri and Pam's articles about self-improvement techniques of the mind your curiosity has been sparked to the point you crave more information, the website for "The Secret" movie can be found here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Revoluiton Health Blog Published Post Just in the Nick of Time...

Slow Page-Load Time Nearly Cost Site User-Generated Blog Post

By: Peter Egan Jr.
 


I was already frustrated. I had written a decent-length post that I intended to publish on my mother's health blog at RevolutionHealth.com.
When I went to click on the button to publish the post, everything froze. My entire browser froze, eventually requiring me to shut it down and restart Firefox. I was rapidly becoming angry as I had given up all hope that my hard work was still there to be published, and was beginning to flirt with the idea of accepting that if I wanted it online I was going to have to write the whole damned thing again.

Luckily, I had copied and pasted the text of the post to a blank page in the forum of the Mixx Immature Content Community, although I had not saved it.
Sure enough, once Firefox had rebooted, although my blog post had been deleted from the page at Revolution Health, the text was still present on the forum page in the Mixx community, allowing me to simply copy and paste the text right back into the post page, do some minor editing, and attempt to republish the post.

When it started to freeze up on me again, I decided I'd just re-copy the text to this blog and publish the post here. Right as I was beginning to perform the editing necessary to move the post to this blog, the attempt at publishing it at the blog at Revolution Health finally went through.
Next time I try to publish something to some third-party site and it starts giving me trouble I'm just going to publish the content to one my own domain names.
That site (Revolution Health) had better improve its page-load times, as it nearly lost a full-page of user-generated, user-submitted content due to slow reaction time. To those in charge of that site, consider this your warning  ;-).
In any case, the post at RH can be found here: Trichinella Worm Spreads Through Undercooked Bear Meat.

The Revolution Health post was a derivative of a post originally published at ExplosiveDiarrhea.info entitled: "Trichinosis: How Bear Meat Causes Explosive Diarrhea", which was actually a fairly serious news write-up on a report released by the CDC regarding infections of the roundworm Trichinella.

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