Blog News

Because the real Opiate of the Asses goes by the name "Ego" now. Fuck you.

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Revised Opinion of Rap versus Metal

I created a post a while back, in the earlier days of the blog about my opinion of rap music. My views have changed a bit since then, and I felt it necessary to write out a post detailing my argument.

I can appreciate some aspects of rap, such as the poetic qualities of the lyrics and the skill it takes to mix a track. However, in general, genres like metal (REAL metal), ska, rock and punk take more skill to write, convey emotion better, and are generally of higher quality.

Here's a breakdown of some of the aspects of music, comparing rap and rock in each respect.


The "instrumentals" of most rap artists aren't actual instruments, they're computer generated noises. They're mixed to a pretty simple rhythm, often just 4/4 time. The most variation you'll get is maybe adding on another (thin) layer of sounds every few measures and a change during the chorus. For the most part it's just a loop of the same sound while someone raps over it.

The instrumentals of rock consist of (commonly) electric guitar, bass guitar, and drums, all of which take a certain amount of skill to play well. And since each instrument is played by an individual band member, it also requires the skill to coordinate with the other band members to create a good sound. This is particularly true for Ska bands, since Ska also includes brass instruments such as trumpets, trombones and saxophones. At any given time, there are a LOT of people playing, and since it's Ska, they're playing very fast, and therefore rather skillfully. While some of the smaller bands usually use simple time signatures such as 4/4, bands like Tool use extremely advanced time signatures called polyrhythms.


This is where rap gets the most credit, because this is basically all rap is. Rap gets points for rhyming lyrics and their poetic qualities, but that's pretty much all it gets points for. Rapping isn't singing, it's just like reciting poetry to a beat, so there's no need to have the skill of a good vocal range, only a decent talking voice. During most songs, their pitch stays pretty much the same as well, it's practically monotone. The emotion of the lyrics doesn't carry through into the music.

Unfortunately for rap, rock also gets big points in vocals. In terms of lyrics and meaning, rock is on par with rap, but in terms of emotion and vocal range, rock takes the cake. In rock, the singer is able to convey his emotion with the pitch and the volume of his voice, screaming out anger or agony, or smoothly singing out happiness or quiet despair. Rock conveys emotions that rap can never convey with its droning.

Live Performances

Rap artists have the whole stage to themselves during a performance, and often they use that space. Rap seems much better live because the artist can punctuate the ideas he's trying to get across with his motions. In terms of effects, there are mostly colored lights, backdrops, and pretty standard things for any performance.

Rock effects are essentially the same, because there's only so much you can do on stage, but a rock band's stage presence is drastically different. The whole band is up there, dominating most of the space on the stage, and they're all active, able to show their emotion through the music and through their motions as they play. The singer's presence is often most dominant, depending on the way the band sets itself up onstage. Because of the way that rock is able to convey more emotion, the singer is far more active, and far more fun to watch onstage than a rap artist.

To finish this off, I'm not saying rap is bad, I'm saying rock is better, and that's why I listen to genres closer to rock than I do rap. Rock takes more skill and more emotion than rap, and an equal if not greater amount of lyrical ability. Rock is better. Period.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stupid Shit we do in Psychology Class

My psychology class is a fucking party. Just thought I'd share.


The being that haunts your libido

I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with us.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why Trickle-Down Economics Don't Work

In lieu of any better writing material, I'm going to explain why the concept of Trickle-Down economics is flawed.

The theory behind Trickle-Down economics is this: if the rich have plenty of money their wealth will circulate in the form of their industry. In theory, this is a very propserous system for everyone. The simple reason this doesn't work is plain old greed.

Lets take a look at the elite who are supposedly circulating their wealth. They do literally everything to AVOID circulating wealth. They take their jobs to third world countries so they can exploit impoverished workers and pay them less than the minimum wage in the USA. They find every loophole they can to pay less taxes, they donate to charity for the sole reason of public image, and they make cheap but overpriced products that we only buy because of their advertising.

This of course does not describe every rich guy out there, philanthropists like Bill Gates exist, but they are a rarity.

Andrew Carnegie had the right idea back in the industrial revolution. He provided quality products at low prices, paid his workers well, and when he died, gave most of his wealth back to the government. When you reach the top, your question shouldn't be "How can I gain more money" but "how can I use this money to contribute to and better society". Money isn't meant to rot in a bank somewhere, it's meant to circulate. Money is the blood that keeps the economy alive. If the money doesn't flow, the economy starts to die.

The best way for the rich to contribute to society is to bring jobs to the USA, or if they're adamant about keeping jobs in third world countries, pay the workers the USA minimum wage. If they start paying taxes and actively donate to charities for legitimate reasons, not just for public image. Even if the rich people do this, they will stay rich, they own giant corperations that pump out more money a minute than some people make in a year. They have so much money in the bank, they could quit their jobs and live off their interest alone.

Trickle Down Economics don't work. The reason in pretty much inherent in the name. The rich choke down the stream to keep "their" money to themselves. All the reaches down is a trickle.

Monday, December 17, 2012

On Gun Control

The recent tragedy in Connecticut has brought the multifaceted, vague, and generally convoluted subject of gun control to my attention. I quickly took a stand on it, but soon realized that my stance wasn't perfect, and I fell into a huge argument about gun control. Today I'm going to try and make some sense of this issue and generally organize my thoughts.

Lets start with the two extremes and work from there.

Banning guns completely is generally a bad idea. While they may be awful tools of death, they are needed in war, law enforcement and general defense. Without guns, we as a nation would either be conquered or fall into anarchy pretty quickly. The problem is this: Outlawing guns will make outlaws the only ones with guns. The law does not reach the lawless, and since guns exist, they will exist on the black market, available to criminals, but not to anyone else. It's pretty easy to see why this wouldn't work for very long.

Legalizing all guns is pretty much just as bad. The theory behind gun legalization is that if everyone has a gun, no one will commit crimes at the risk of getting shot by anybody. This would generally create a lot of fear and paranoia for everyone. Furthermore, complete legalization of guns would limit free speech. People get into heated arguments over their opinions all the time, and occasionally physical fights over them. Now give everyone a gun. You no longer have to agree with everyone because if you REALLY don't like them, you have the option to shoot them. Martin Luther King and JFK would have been assassinated a LOT sooner if guns were easily available, and we would have seen a lot more assassinations through the years if this was the case. You may have a gun with you, but they can still draw and shoot you before you can react.

A good quote describing this situation goes like this
"Guns should be illegal because criminals exist, but guns should be legal because criminals exist."

Now lets take a look at the Connecticut massacre. If you don't know the details, I suggest you read up before reading this next part.

The only person anyone can blame is the shooter himself. The one who obtained the gun illegally, shot his way into an elementary school and started killing innocent children. The mother of the shooter is not at fault, she was acting within the law. She was a gun enthusiast, she obtained all of her weapons legally, and trusted her children enough to teach them to shoot them. The next step up is the blame the gun control legislation. My current question is, where should we draw the line? The current legislation is that civilians with no link the the military can own semi-automatic weapons, but not fully automatic weapons.

 I am unwilling to pull the line any further back than pistols. Everyone with no violent history should be able to own a pistol for a home-defense situation. When I have a wife and kids in my home, I want to have the ability to defend them against any intruder. You don't have to kill them, it's just as simple to incapacitate an intruder with a gun as it is to kill them, it's all a matter of where you aim.

Semi-automatic weapons I'm a bit torn on. While I do want to defend the rights of everyone who legitimately owns semi-automatic weapons, such as gun enthusiasts, I cannot think of a situation, short of an army invading, where in individual would realistically need a semi-automatic weapon. I think a reasonable compromise would be to allow the ownership of these guns, but ban the ownership of lethal ammunition for them. Only allow the sale of nonlethal ammunition, or blanks. While this would not keep it out of the hands of  criminals with access to the black market, it would have prevented the tragedy in Connecticut. The shooter may have had the gun, but he wouldn't actually be able to kill anyone with it.

I suppose my position on gun control isn't actually gun control, but ammunition control.

Anyway, food for thought, post a comment and tell me what you think on the issue.

Techie Joke

I'm not dead, just lazy and busy, but mostly lazy. I'll try to get back to writing regular posts this week, but no promises.

In the meantime enjoy some dumb shit I made in class.

Nvidia graphics cards are the actual cause for global warming.