in General

Pre-Hallowe’en Delight

Well, I suppose it’s time to check in, though there’s not a whole lot to share. I’ve been rather busy with work in the days since my night of wandering, but tonight I was lucky enough to be able to go to dinner with my parents, sister Ilea and her fiance Greg. We ate at a Texas Steakhouse, a resturant not so vegetarian-friendly (there were only a couple of meals for those of us who don’t eat meat) and with a very devious menu item. There was a G. Dubya sandwich that we all half-jokingly threatened to leave over (none of us are fans of that fellow, naturally). I ended up having portabello fajitas, which were actually quite good and helped to dispell that feeling of distaste that one has when finding an establishment you’re eating at endorses a certain war criminal. Overall it was a nice meal. When I departed from the car I left my parents with my copy of Boomeritis, in hope they’ll appreciate it.

I recently discovered Generation Sit, subtitled “spiritual practice in the 21st century,” a blog that explores spiritual and related topics with an integral lean that does offer some criticism of others in the field (including Wilber), which I do feel we need to be open to in order to advance the movement. With entry names such as “Jesus & Nietzsche IV: The Sound Of Crap Falling On Deaf Ears,” there’s a healthy bit of humour, but the core of this site is a lot of solid discussion on a number of important or simply facinating topics.

I’m always delighted to read new offerings from Ross Laird, one of my favourite writers, who I’ve mentioned several times (see “Grain of Truth” and “A Stone’s Throw” for my thoughts on his two published books). Tonight I read his newest essay offering, “Geek Life,” in which he explores life in the digital age as a form of spiritual ritual. I’m sure many of you fond of computer geekdom will find it amusing.

And herein lies Toto’s curtain. For in many ways, geeks are like the rest of us: they simply use the tools at their disposal. Sure, they’ve learned a few tricks that take them out of the mainstream. They grok the byzantine syntax of the console. But mostly, they’re just smart young men (a few women, but not many) with uncertain futures living in a society almost irredeemably dumbed-down. Every religious revolution begins this way: disillusioned youth, dedicated to an idea, time on their hands.
Ross Laird, “Geek Life

I don’t disavow my own geek elements, and I certainly don’t shy away from spirituality, so I was happy to find Mr. Laird writing something so close to what I’ve been pondering lately, that Spirit and empirical eye (the drive of most geekdom) can find a strong marriage today.

In honour of Hallowe’en this week, I want to point you toward two of my favourite music offerings of this season. First, Metric’s “Monster Hospital” video has recently been released and is quite appropriate for this time of the dead, with music-making corpses and other horror film elements. On a lighter note, the greatest Hallowe’en benefit song ever recorded has been released, is titled “Do They Know It’s Hallowe’en?,” and is accompanied by a very appropriate and funny video. The North American Hallowe’en Prevention Initiative, which includes the likes of Arcade Fire, Beck, Buck 65, Devendra Banhart, Elvira, Feist, Peaches, Rilo Kiley, Chris Murphy, Wolf Parade, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Nardwar, created this gem, which benefits UNICEF and takes a much needed shot at west-centric benefit songs (like the not-so-religiously-tollerent “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”). You can buy the benefit single online, like I did, via my favourite online music store, Gallery Arts & Crafts (they sell MP3’s, not proprietary music that works only with some players).

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