A Band from Nevada

Houston is a boring, sprawling suburbia where the heat’s oppression is matched only by the humidity. Throughout high school, I wanted to get far away, hopefully to a college on the coasts.

Yet over time, my disdain for Houston has transformed into love. Even though I only lived in England when I was in diapers, I still tell people I am English but only to seem mysteriously European in order to impress chicks. The truth is I was raised in and love Space City.

Everyone has an attraction to the place they are from, so numerous bands are heavily tied to their city of origin—the Beatles and Liverpool, Nirvana and Seattle, the Clash and London. However, no band’s artistic output is as closely linked to their hometown as the Killers. Their entire discography is about living in the shadow of Las Vegas. Continue reading A Band from Nevada

James Harden Is Second-Rate

There is always a better option than me. The job I wanted went to someone more qualified. Instead of dating me, she picked the better-looking, more-successful guy. My cat ran away, probably to an owner that pets her more.1)Or she got hit by a car.

But you don’t always have to be the best to win. LeBron James has been the best player in the NBA for the last 7 years. He doesn’t have 7 titles. Like the narrator in that Versus commercial said, life, “isn’t a math test. This is a completely different kind of test. One where passion has a funny way of trumping logic.” Anything could happen. Continue reading James Harden Is Second-Rate

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1. Or she got hit by a car.

Sherlock: The World’s Smartest, Loneliest Man

“You’re really smart,” my coworker said to me, the college dropout. She is wrong about me; smart people don’t flunk out of university. However, I am fine with only having average intelligence. The BBC series Sherlock shows how isolating true intelligence can be.

From the first moment we meet Sherlock in “A Study in Pink”, we and John Watson are in awe of his abilities of deduction1)Technically, induction.. Sherlock quickly recognizes John is a former army doctor who has a strained sibling relationship, is looking for a flatmate, and has a psychosomatic limp. But the abruptness of the conversation shows that Sherlock lacks emotional intelligence. Continue reading Sherlock: The World’s Smartest, Loneliest Man

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1. Technically, induction.

Kanye & Continuity

Never look back on the things you once loved. Growing up, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was my favorite show, but it does not hold up on more recent viewings. The transitions between the Japanese and English scenes are obvious. The acting is terrible even though the high school students are all played by actors in their twenties or thirties. And even the updated effects of the 2010 re-version are terrible.

But none of those reasons are why I stopped watching Power Rangers in the first place. Maybe I had just outgrown the series by the time Power Rangers Lost Galaxy came around, but I felt the reason I stopped watching was because there was no longer any connection to the previous series. From the first episodes to Power Rangers in Space, there was a central story arc, culminating with Zordon’s death, while the cast of Rangers and villains were replaced only gradually over the years. From Lost Galaxy onwards, there was little continuity between seasons of Power Rangers.

Most art comes in single-serve packages. The most successful sitcoms on TV, like The Big Bang Theory, have few story arcs. Katy Perry’s next album will have little to do with her last. Continue reading Kanye & Continuity

Freedom

My childhood was completely normal. I grew up in a two-story house in the suburbs of Houston. My parents didn’t beat me, nor did I ever go hungry, as evidenced by my obesity. There is nothing I can find in my formative years to complain about, except for the usual lack of control a child has over his own life.

School was fine, even fun sometimes, but I still had to go every morning. Even when I was sick, my mom forced me to sit in science class with snot running down my face. My classmates called me Typhoid Matt. And every time I had to go to the bathroom, I had to ask the teacher; nowadays if my boss made me get a hall pass to go to the bathroom, I’d tell him where to shove it.

The only thing my parents valued were grades. Play time and relationships were frivolities.1)The joke is on my parents though, because they’re never going to have grandkids because of my stunted social skills. Learning didn’t matter unless there was an A to go behind it. Continue reading Freedom

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1. The joke is on my parents though, because they’re never going to have grandkids because of my stunted social skills.

Mad Men: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Spoilers for Mad Men and The Sopranos follow.

“How hard can getting up for an 8 A.M. class be?”

I asked myself that question as a freshman at UT. Like every college student learns, the answer is, “Damn hard.” Your pre-semester optimism gets cut every morning your alarm clock rings.

I asked myself that question before my first year at community college. “This time will be different,” I thought, but now I want to stay in bed every morning. No matter how much I want to change, I keep making the same mistakes. Continue reading Mad Men: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Restarted from the Bottom

I fucked up my life. In high school, I was a straight A student who graduated sixth in my class of eight hundred. I was accepted to the University of Texas as an honors biomedical engineering student. My first semester GPA was a 4.0.

Then I slacked off, and everything went to hell. I failed classes and lost my scholarship. Engineering turned into philosophy, bringing constant questions of, “What are you going to do with a philosophy degree?” In May 2013, I dropped out. Since then, I have been slaving away at the same grocery store I worked at in high school

Today was my first day back at school in two years, albeit community college. Even though I have previously taken multivariable calculus, differential equations, and discrete math, I am currently enrolled in college algebra. I have forgotten basic math concepts like factoring, and I keep making careless arithmetic mistakes. In my academic career, I have restarted from the bottom. Continue reading Restarted from the Bottom

Game of Thrones: The Vows Men Make

Full spoilers for Game of Thrones follow.

Most of America dislikes Kanye West, but none of them have produced a genre-redefining album. Kanye has made three.1)The College Dropout808s & Heartbreak, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Musical genius allows you to be arrogant.

However, a legitimate criticism against Kanye is that he broke his word to his mother. At age 20, he dropped out of Chicago State University to pursue his music career but declared in “Hey Mama”, “I know I act a fool, but I promise you I’m going back to school.” As of 2015, he still does not have a bachelor’s degree.

Yet Kanye keeping his promise would be a waste of time. A bachelor’s degree will have no impact on his career. College is for people just starting to blaze their trail. However, it still bothers me that Kanye has not kept his word. Should you keep your promises even when doing so is foolish? Maybe that’s the time you should do so the most. Continue reading Game of Thrones: The Vows Men Make

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