Google Video redux

Just thought I’d throw this out there. If you’re reluctant to bother changing your useragent, you can get download links for google video (as well as Youtube and several dozen other sites) formatted for you simply by entering the URL into the form provided on this Video Downloader 2.0 page. They also offer a firefox extension.

Los Estados Unidos

Call me crazy, but I think people should sing the National Anthem in the language they identify with. Time and again I hear this rhetorical nonsense about assimilation of culture. I listen dumbfounded at the postured and imbecilic words of the leaders and fellow citizens over the debate about immigration.

It’s entirely inevitable that some of the culture will combine and become homogenized; that said, the entire concept of culture is very dear to us all. To threaten a man’s culture is to threaten his very essence in most cases. You gape your mouth at the violent backlash over what you consider to be mere cartoons, a mere expression of free speech. Yet you also gape your mouth and clench your fist at the notion of someone burning your flag in protest; a flag you are quick to remind many sacrificed their lives for.

And then you requite the imposition that immigrants will remain only through the justification it would be too costly and even then impossible to fulfill the wish to remove all of the illegal aliens.

No, nein, nyet. Unless you are a First Nationer, you have to admit to being here illegally. Grant yourself amnesty, but grant amnesty for those that are here under good faith to work. The criminals are not of one citizenship and legal status. The illegal Mexican worker is in most ways helping, and ought not be taxed at those wages even if they were to be taxed. The legal citizen CEOs are far more damaging in their reckless choices to lie, cheat, and steal for their stock prices.

Until we recognize that making something illegal has never once made it go away, and until we actually try to come up with an elegant solution rather than a rash backlash, we will continue to suffer by our own hands.

So, to me, if a Hispanic American wishes to celebrate their cultural identity through song, and in doing so establish a new cultural identity that embraces the new land of these United States, I will gladly listen, learn, and sing along. The rest of you can shove your fingers firmly in your ears and refuse to acknowledge that this is not a gesture of disrespect, but one of friendship and kinship.

10,000 Days

From a poignant tribute to Maynard’s mother to railing against television, messages of hope and indictments of man’s great crimes culiminate to form the latest Tool record.

As Tool is my favorite band I’ll do my best to keep this review brief. The album really speaks for itself.

The album contains very classical elements, including influences of 1960s & 1970s rock & roll (including Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd), as well as the influences of Jazz & Blues. These are found alongside the “progressive rock” sound Tool is known for, and the two sounds transit seamlessly between one another.

Part of the motive for Keenan’s vocal stylings are revealed in the two-song tribute to his mother Judith Marie Keenan (“Wings for Marie (Pt 1)” and “10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2)”). In the latter, a mention is made to the gift his mother passed on to him, which seems to indicate a large role Keenan’s mother played in his development of his voice.

Each song on the record hits hard in its own way.

Loving rememberance for his mother and dispisement of superficial Christians who would attend her funeral are brought out in “Wings for Maire” and “10,000 Days.”

The human tendency toward being swept up in illusions and habits in “Vicarious,” as well as the two-part “Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann),” and “Rosetta Stoned.” The last even gives claim to the doom of man under a particular ailment.

“Vicarious” may fit the bill for “radio friendly,” as I don’t listen to the radio enough to make that determination. It seems odd to me, however, for a song as anti-television as it to be deemed such. It details the commercialization of tragedy via the media, to turn us all into their vehicles of profit.

“Rosetta Stoned” and its introduction “Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)” are a story about a man on an acid trip who finds himself in the hospital still coming down. The medical personnel ask him what has happened, and he reveals the strange journey he has been through to be told the horrible fate man has in store for himself, except he has forgotten.

“The Pot” and “Right in Two” reveal the predatory, self-righteous nature of man in his quest for dominance. Musically, both are candidates for protest songs of Vietnam, transformed into a modern climate.

“Jambi” and “Intension” walk a line between hope and malevolence.

Finally, “Lipan Conjuring” and “Viginti Tres” confound us in their abstract, fragmented natures. The former is a First Nations track of chanting and drums, while the latter is a bizarre soundscape in the vein of “(-) ions.”

Anyway, as I said I’ve kept it short. I may add more if I feel it necessary, or alternatively write up my in-depth interpretations at a later date.

Butcher redux

Well I seem to get a lot of hits on this page from people looking for Butcher information.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to throw some resources out there since my page doesn’t really have the wealth of Butcher-related info that you may be looking for.

Here is a nice show review of Butcher, and also on that page you may find a review of a Danny Carey project called VOLTO!.

This page has the lyrics. It’s not a great format, just the raw lyrics. Also, realize the final song “Cold” is an interpretation as that track did not have lyrics included in the liner.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Hopefully this will help those that end up hitting this site looking for Butcher info.

More redesign on the way

This is an article about USAG Roberto Gonzales calling for new “data retention rules” for ISPs (the people that you pay to use the internet).

Basically, he says there’s a need for a standard because the people that do crime fighting need that information.

The reason why this is stupid is that we could all be masking our data, what servers we access, etc. Tor is a program designed to do just that. It works reasonably well, but it would work better if more people used it. If you are going to continue to “crack down” on businesses that provide services for the internet, most people will begin to use that sort of technology. Once that happens, you lose the ballgame altogether.

It’s a mixed bag, and it’s another area of the world where we need to have a sit-down as a society and come to a solution. But we’re too fucking lazy. Ah well, maybe the next species to evolve thumbs will think of it. Selah.

As a side note, I want to say I love every single person, and I believe we are capable of making changes to this world that will serve us and future generations in ways we could only dream of. Please, why don’t we?