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 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:


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:
"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:
"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:

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 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.