Saturday, December 04, 2004

Paste magazine, the requisite Neil, my religion and the idea of belief

Listening to Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al.

A couple days ago I got the latest issue of Paste magazine. An awesome, great magazine that just keeps on getting better. Every issue comes with a free CD featuring artists like the Thorns, ?uestlove, Los Lobos, and the Polyphonic Spree. It's essentially been a magazine about music, especially the best and the brightest on the indie scene. But this latest issue had a Wes Anderson cover about The Life Aquatic drawn a la the Criterion Collection covers for Anderson's Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. There are articles about films like Dig!, Tarnation, and Festival Express and...wait for it, wait for it...IN ADDITION to the usual complementary CD (this one has Neko Case, Earlimart, the Comas, Autolux, and more) it came with a free DVD featuring a handful of short films, some new film clips, various music-related things to watch and of course the requisite music videos that you'll never see on MTV. Hell yeah! I'm sorry; can you tell my breathlessness and excitement just by my erratic typing? Argh. So yes--subscribe to Paste, you'll not regret it.

Listening to Billy Bragg's Sexuality. Love that braggart.

Oh, Neil Gaiman has written something on the Annotated Grimm fairytales for the NYT Sunday Times Book Review. Finally something un-boring in that section!--I was going to kill myself if I had to read anything more about the National Book Award candidates. So there's the requisite Neil update for today. I wonder how much longer this obsession is going to last--it's getting damn annoying.

I've been writing more, which makes me happy, and next week should be pretty easy school-wise so I'll have more time to read and write and paint and do other things that make me happy. Maybe I'll cook. Learn something new and fantastic. I love being young, I love being healthy, I love getting excited about things. Really, excitement is the best feeling--it's not the same as anticipation, really, it's more a warm and happy, giddy feeling because you know you're about to do something good.

That is my religion; I believe only in goodness. I was thinking about religion and death...and's difficult, it really is. I don't believe that Jesus was God, but I believe he was the son of God just as every man is. And I believe he was a very good, very idealistic and inspirational man. And I do believe in God--or gods--I believe in him because I can just FEEL that there's something bigger, and usually when I pray (which pathetically tends to be only when the going gets tough) he helps me out. But I don't think I believe in Heaven, though it's quite nice to imagine. I think that when we're gone, we're gone...and that's a scary thought. So the only conclusion I can draw from that--and this is a TENUOUS conclusion, oh it feels like it has a big hollow hole in it--the only conclusion is that we have to be as Good (with a capital G) as is our capacity for as long as we're around, and maybe if there's enough goodness then something magical will happen. I can't...think straight. But I do believe in goodness, quite strongly.

I will believe anything. I'm gullible, yes, but that's not the sort of belief I'm referring to--I mean that I believe anything could happen...I believe that aliens and magic and dragons and gods might exist. I'm not an airy fairy or whatever you're thinking. Both of my feet are on the ground. I understand science, evolution, logic. But if tomorrow someone told me that everything I knew was false, and here's the truth...I wouldn't believe it blindly, I wouldn't join a cult, but...I would look at it with an open mind. Who's to say the general opinion is the right one? Who knows anything, after all? Think of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Maybe we're all looking at shadows upon the wall.

I just remembered Sam's "I Believe" speech from American Gods. So there you go.


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