Wednesday, November 15, 2006
A Wrinkle in Time
This past weekend, I went with Lauren, Cory, Katie, Laura Kavazanjian, and Seth to a bluegrass show. In friggin' Beijing. Of course, it wasn't so Beijingy inside the club. It was mainly other whiteys, although its doubtful that they were redneck whiteys. But by golly, they were redneck for the night. It was the Sparrow Quartet, with Abigail Washburn (pictured here in a hilarious juxtaposition with some Chinese military guys).
It was interesting though; listening to bluegrass in Beijing and what not. What made it especially disorienting was the fact that Bela Fleck was playing with them. For a brief moment, it seemed that the fabric of the universe opened up and the bizarreness of the situation was fully realized: I have seen Bela Fleck play 15 minutes from my home in the country and seen them in the capital of China, the farthest I've ever been from my home. The bizarre situation created what Katie described as being "A Wrinkle in Time", her theory being based on some obscure book that I'm sure no one has ever read.
Watching the performance, I couldn't help but be thrust into nerd-think again. These thoughts always creep in when I least expect it. I'd like to think that I let these emotional moments impact me in a way that I can't put into words, but I couldn't help but thinking that the music would have been awesome in this sci-fi show called Firefly that I'm in love with. The show is supposed to be a "Western-style sci fi", in which the future implies that the predominating two cultures on Earth were the Chinese and American/English. So... the fact that Abigail Washburn was singing bluegrass songs in Chinese seemed to scream to me that it would have been awesome in the show. Oh well, too late.
Speaking of nerd-think though, although I couldn't be more happy about some news back home regarding certain political parties and a certain Secretary of Defense, I can't help but be pissed off vicariously through Nicole. I am astounded by video games and the industry today. Nowadays, it seems so... tainted. I'm not talking about tainted in the sense that Grand Theft Auto is turning today's children into carjacking, prostitute killing, drug dealing, gang banging, misogynist, volatile sociopaths. I'm talking about how greedy and bizarre the game-makers of today are. Its just so weird to think of the new ways companies are cheating their customers by exploiting the features of online service and the addictive nature of the customer base. I mean, it sounds like EA games are going to start charging people 10 to 15 dollars for offering things that have already been available to gamers for free since there ever were games. Not only that, but game systems are so freaking expensive nowadays. The PS3 is 600 dollars I think, and that's if you don't want to shell out the moolah for the "cheap" system (500 dollars). This is getting way out of hand. Not to mention the fact that when you "reserve" the systems, you aren't even guaranteed to get them after they're released! That's the whole freaking point of a reservation! It blows my mind. These absurdities of American ways of life -despite the fact that some are avoidable- are the types of things I really don't miss about the place, and are the types of things I really, really don't look forward to when I come back. What a strange place. What strange ideas. And to think of how they try to spin the things they do to put themselves in a positive light. Or at least in a slightly less sinister light.
Ok, I've pissed myself off. I'm going to go and think of something positive for a bit.