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Supreme Master Chief Road WarriorPoet Taffin, M.D.

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Halloween 2006 [Nov. 4th, 2006|07:14 pm]
Supreme Master Chief Road WarriorPoet Taffin, M.D.
[music |Iron Maiden - Dream of Mirrors]

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Although she's doing the old standby "Sexy Witch," this girl said she was a big Ren Faire geek. She was nice enough to help me try to recreate a famous X-Men cover and the bar manager (who took the pics) was nice enough to let me play with the claws with out fear of getting arrested.

A million more Halloween picsCollapse )
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"Character is that which can do without success." [Jun. 7th, 2006|12:12 am]
Supreme Master Chief Road WarriorPoet Taffin, M.D.
[music |Thrice - Hoods on Peregrine]

"Character is that which can do without success." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I read this quote and asked myself if that meant I had character or lacked it. I've often said that I need to see some results, experience some success in any given venture to keep going. The term "instant gratification" comes up, but I find it kind of offensive, preferring to call myself "results-based."

I guess you could say I have some character because I have in some small way endured. I haven't completely given up (as much as I'd like to) and I'm not dead. Maybe life is doling out just enough success to keep me invested.

I think I've talked myself out of liking this quote. It almost equates character with irrational faith, something I don't care for in any form.
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Just as good the second time [May. 30th, 2006|06:30 pm]
Supreme Master Chief Road WarriorPoet Taffin, M.D.
[music |Thrice - Lullaby]

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The Last Stand [May. 26th, 2006|04:30 am]
Supreme Master Chief Road WarriorPoet Taffin, M.D.
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That was the best movie I've ever seen.
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Even Steven [Mar. 9th, 2006|04:47 am]
Supreme Master Chief Road WarriorPoet Taffin, M.D.
[music |Slipknot - The Blister Exists (Live)]

Remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry lost a twenty dollar bill, then found another one? After several other similar incidents of losing one thing and then gaining an equivalent, he declared himself "Even Steven." Well, remember how last post I talked about getting a wristband that would let me meet my favorite band, Bad Religion, then go to a screening of their new live DVD? Well, after staying up all night and all day, I took a short nap right before I had to leave for the meet and greet. I'm sure you can guess when I woke up- about two and half hours too late. I thought it was only the latest symptom of what I fear to be the return of my Don't Give A Fuck attitude. The attitude that, in my estimation, was partially responsible for me reaching 240lbs and a deep, isolating depression in 2004.

Yet another symptom when I arrived at the free concert Neko Case was giving at Amoeba Records to celebrate the release of her new CD. I told Rich it was important to show up early for these things. So I got there about 5 minutes before it was supposed to start. The place was packed, but I did my usual of sneaking up as far as I could and then getting in on the edge. Ususally this results in my being right up against one of the side speakers at a normal venue (the reason I am functionally deaf for conversations in loud areas). This time I was just up against a rack of records and convincing employees that it was totally cool for me to be there despite fire regulations. Neko went on and played a painfully short 30 minute set. She was still great and you should see her if you get a chance (she's on Jay Leno Thursday March 8th). Animal lovers may be heartened to know she brought her dog Lloyd with her on stage. She signed her CD afterwards and I went to buy one while Rich held my spot in line. While the checkout girl was commenting on my name, I saw a familiar looking guy walk in. I took a better look at him and sure enough, it was Mr. Brett, guitarist and writer of about half of Bad Religion's songs (and all of their hits). I dropped all my stuff and told the clerk to "hold on," and went over and professed my love in the straightest way possible. I managed not to be a total stalker, but I wasn't as cool as I would have liked. I got a picture with him, but not an autograph (for some reason I have no interest in them now). Afterwards, I got back in line and had Neko sign my CD. We got hustled through the line and I got to spend more time with a punk legend than her. No photos were allowed with Neko in order to keep the line moving.

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Brett sure looks thrilled to meet me, but he was very cool. As you can see, pretty tall as well. And even though he looks more like someone's dad than a punk these days, I must say he looked pretty fuckin' good for a guy who has done as much drugs and lived as hard as he has. If only the camera were as kind to me.
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I am in my favorite band's DVD, now and forever. [Mar. 7th, 2006|08:30 am]
Supreme Master Chief Road WarriorPoet Taffin, M.D.
[music |Slipknot - Circle]

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The Bad Religion Live DVD came out and I am in it (just the credits, it seems). I look terrible, but my goal was achieved. I am in my favorite band's DVD, now and forever. I got a wristband that lets me meet them and see the DVD viewing party in a movie theater later tonight for buying it at Virgin.
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Fuck Brokeback [Feb. 19th, 2006|08:25 pm]
Supreme Master Chief Road WarriorPoet Taffin, M.D.
[music |Thrice - For Miles]

There, I said it. Fuck Brokeback Mountain and everyone who thinks I (or anyone else for that matter) need to see it. Or else I'm less of a movie fan. Or even worse, a homophobe. It's gotten to the point where the only person I can talk to about it is my friend Charlie who thought it was a decent movie with a terrible script. Certainly nothing worthy of 8 Oscar nominations. Hell, my dad has even seen Brokeback.

I don't know why I am expected to have any interest whatsoever in this movie. I don't like gay movies and on top of that, I don't like cowboy movies that don't involve shootouts. I have not seen a single Heath Ledger movie (at least not one I remember), mostly because he hasn't made a single movie that interested me and I think he's a non-entity onscreen. The only Jake Gyllenhal movie I've even seen is Donnie Darko and while I liked it, I think it's easily the most overrated cult movie of the decade. And I would have been outraged if he'd been cast as Batman as he was rumored to be. Other than thinking Ang Lee is a swell director, I have no reason whatsoever to pay money to see Brokeback. Keep in mind that I didn't bother seeing Titanic even though James Cameron made my favorite movie at that time, Terminator 2, because nothing else about the film interested me. I truly regret completing one year of film school, because now everyone expects me to see every movie that's a critical darling and, even worse, to justify any opinion I have about any film. Look, I don't like Stanley Kubrick or Terrence Malick. I don't owe you an explaination of why just because I had some discarded dreams of being a filmmaker. Hell, I don't think I owe that even if I were currently a filmmaker.

But that's not what pisses me off about Brokeback and its wave of unconditional support. What upsets me is that, at its core, it's a movie about two people carrying on an affair despite being married to other people and having children with those people. I know that just because people are making this a touchstone of gay culture and rights doesn't mean they approve of everything the characters do in it and that they would probably say that it's society's expectations that forced those men to lead double lives. But that's bullshit. If I wanted to say American Psycho was the most important movie of the year and essentially my "mission statement" as a person because it examined the emptiness of a superficial existence, that'd be fine. But it's still a movie about killing and torturing people and you could certainly accuse me of endorsing misogyny if I went around talking about how great Patrick Bateman was (I do both of those things, btw).

I think there is no greater sin than cheating on a lover to whom you have promised fidelity. I've never done it and if anyone ever did it to me, I could never forgive them. I truly look down on anyone who has done this and I don't ever think there's an excuse. The whole "I didn't know I was gay until after two kids and 15 years of marriage" or the old "society won't accept my true self so I have to keep up an act" are both sickeningly selfish and despicable excuses. One of the biggest point supporters of gay rights try to make is that gay people are human beings just like anyone else. If that's true (and I think it is), then they should be held up to the same standard as anyone else. The way you treat you partner has fuck all to do with society's expectations and everything to do with how much you respect them as a person. I haven't heard too many people call cheating on your partner with a different gender heroic or acceptable, but there is an implication that it's different than merely cheating on them with their same gender, or that it's somehow different. I especially encounter couples who allow the female to have sex with other women as she pleases and I am fiercely rebuked when I respectfully call that a double standard. Those people either do not respect their relationship and see it as some sort of playground (which is fair, as long as both parties agree) or do not respect themselves. Either way, I think it's sick.

You might call this a rant and I might agree. But the point is that I am fucking sick of Brokeback Mountain and now that I've made such a big deal out of it, I certainly won't be watching it any time soon.

P.S. I'm not watching Capote, either. I like Phillip Seymour Hoffman and think a starring role has been a long time coming for him, but I don't think he really needs that much acclaim for what amounts to a nasally impression more suited to SNL than a Oscar nominated film. I just couldn't take it seriously for 2 minutes in the trailer. I can't even imagine 2 hours.
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Having kids linked to depression [Feb. 8th, 2006|02:50 am]
Supreme Master Chief Road WarriorPoet Taffin, M.D.
[music |Dragonforce - Fury of the Storm]

Another good reason not to have kids. When people ask me why I don't want to procreate, I will refer them to this.
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Introducing... Harrison [Nov. 16th, 2005|03:20 am]
Supreme Master Chief Road WarriorPoet Taffin, M.D.
[music |Rise Against - Halfway There]

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My second cat. All 2lbs of him.
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Greek History Week: Greek Ego [Sep. 15th, 2005|03:36 am]
Supreme Master Chief Road WarriorPoet Taffin, M.D.
[Tags|]
[music |Avenged Sevenfold - Remenissions]



This entry in Greek History Week is late by anyone's standards. It's being written off the cuff and very little effort is being put into it. Yet I am confident you will enjoy it and shower me with praise and adulation for it. That sentiment alone perfectly encapsulates Greek Ego in practice (if not origin). I could leave it at that and let it self-referentially define itself in and endless loop of a lonely man who finally managed to suck his own penis. But that would be disappointing by anyone's standards (the part where I leave it at a few sentences, not the subsequent simile).

Greek Ego. It's a term I've heard a lot, but one others might not be so familiar with. A Google search for it produces nothing but Biblical translation results (since all Romatic translations of it flow from Greek manuscripts). Fuckin' Judeo-Christians. You can't get away from 'em. Neither could the Greeks, I suppose, who traded Zeus and his churlish pantheon for Jesus just like everyone else. But back to those disappointing Google search results (the cornerstone of all post-internet scholarship). We're well into the fifth page of results (ever been desperate enough to go that far for something that wasn't related to porn or piracy?) before we get at what I was talking about- the common feeling among Greeks that they are at the center of the universe, not only as individuals, but as an ethnic group.

Cat Stevens, that most apostate of Greeks, describes the feeling of "nothing is as perfect as I am," simply as, "You know, Greek ego." Of course Islam washed all that away and that's good for him. I don't know any Greeks who haven't totally disowned him, because the only thing more foreign to the heavily Christian Greeks than fucking Islam is admitting, or even bragging about the tempering or even dissolution of one's ego.

A well-written paper (by well-written, I sarcastically refer to the constant use of "me," "I," and "Here's what I'm going to tell you in the next paragraph"- I didn't even write like that in fifth grade!) is kind enough to reprint the following quote, because I never would have read the book that contained it:

The Greek tongue (of Homer's time)...cannot frame words to express that "I" am one thing and the tradition is another....The Greek ego in order to achieve that kind of cultural experience which after Plato becomes possible and then normal...must separate itself out and by an effort of sheer will must rally itself to the point where it can say "I am I, an autonomous little universe of my own, able to speak, think and act in independence of what I happen to remember." (Havelock: pp. 199-200)


This of course couches in philosophical terms a concept that I am trying to understand purely in, y'know, slacker intellectual terms. The way that college freshmen talk to each other in dorm halls after a long night of drugs and booze. But it's still interesting to think of what we jokingly refer to as Greek Ego arising as a rebellion of sorts against tradition, almost as if the "Me First" '80s of America sprang forth fully formed from the head of "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down" Japan. Greeks are clannish and fond of tradition, but like America (some of the founders of which were enamored enough of the Greeks to consider making Greek our official language), individualism is strongly encouraged. Bold strokes are favored and as long as you do it confidently enough, you can go ahead and do something other than your father did.

But your father did do some amazing things (if you were Greek). As did his father and his father's father all the way back to Kronos. It's pretty obvious that the Greeks are stuck in the past, drawing so much of that arrogance from it, and why not? It's probably the best past anyone has, aside from perhaps the Egyptians. Not a whole lot has gone on in Greece since the classical times, but much of our society is based on the foundation they laid. Much like the Muslims who feel like the Crusades happened yesterday, most Greeks think the Pelopennesian War happened last week. Who can blame them? America is a young country, so all our great victories are relatively recent and honestly fresh in our memory (the defeats cleverly revisioned into slightly lesser victories). Germany's most recent claim to fame is a cause for nothing more than shame. We cling to the good moments and if we didn't, we'd probably feel like shit. To paraphrase Shinji Ikari, what's wrong with living in the past if the present sucks?

What have we learned about Greek Ego? Not a heck of a lot. Like most of my high school writing, I set out to prove one thing and ended up proving nothing, thanks to some quotes that had fuck all to do with my plan for this entry in Greek History Week as well as a general lack of direction and focus. But I'm not going to go back and start over or even read back and try to improve this academic abomination.

Because it's fucking perfect the way it is.
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