Because I can't think for myself...

...I'm ripping off my brothers "Life Canon" blog. Well, it's not only that I can't think for myself--I'm also bored and haven't posted anything in a while. Plus, I think it'll be interesting to see how my "Life Canon" will stack up next to Tim's...interesting to me at least. I'm playing pretty fast and loose with some of the things I'm listing here but it's okay...I play by my own rules!


So without further adieu, here is my Life Canon, in no particular order.


1. George Orwell's 1984 - I first read 1984 in high school and it would be a serious understatement to say it influenced my outlook on politics and government. I don't know how many times I've read the book but I typically try and re-read it once a year. Although I now credit 1984 as a major influence in my political philosophy I should note that, when I first read it, it wasn't as if I was struck in the head by a lightning bolt of revelation or anything. I liked the book immediately but in the past few years my appreciation of it has grown exponentially. If you've never read it you need to immediately.


2. Get In The Van - Henry Rollins' compilation of journal entries from his days on the road with Black Flag pretty much defined my idea of what punk rock should be. I read it for the first time in high school but have revisited it several times since then.


3. 97X WOXY FM - I'll never deny being a music snob. I love everything esoteric in the world of music. If it's unpopular and underground I'll eat it up like delicious blackberry cobbler. I wasn't always like this though; as a kid I didn't really listen to much music and what I did listen to was top 40 nonsense and classic rock. It wasn't until I discovered 97X WOXY in my formative teen years that my love for music really exploded. WOXY exposed me to a a vast spectrum of amazing musical deliciousness and, like a glutenous German child, I gobbled these bands down like so much wiener schnitzel. If it wasn't for 97X I probably would never have discovered Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain or Joy Division. I also would have never discovered the joy of name dropping obscure bands in order to gain valuable "indie cred." I'm normally not sentimental, hell, I normally don't even have emotions, but the night 97X went off the air I made it a point to listen all day. I even teared up a little when they played their very last song, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2. If you know me you know how much I love music and I love music because of 97X.


4. The End of Faith - A few years ago I stumbled on this book in the bargain section of Borders. I purchased it on a whim because it was cheap and was written by a fairly militant atheist. I've considered myself an Agnostic-leaning-towards-Atheist for a long time now but, up until that point, I'd never really read much into the subject of Atheism. For me, reading The End of Faith was a really galvanizing experience. Living in the Midwest I don't run into many Atheists or Agnostics that aren't 15 year old Slipknot fans and this book was a well written breath of fresh air. Reading The End of Faith not only strengthened my resolve as an Agnostic but also lead me to re-evaluate a lot of positions I'd taken on topics other than religion.

5. Thus Spoke Zarathustra - I read this for the first time eight years ago. It played a large roll in helping me develop my beliefs on morality, good and evil, religion, and the meaning of life.

6. American Beauty - The film American Beauty played a major role in influencing my beliefs about personal freedom and happiness. It also taught me to squeeze the most out of every day because you never know when a closeted homosexual is going to shoot you in the back of the head.

7. MTV's The State - Okay, so The State was only on MTV for two years and 90% of America have never heard of it but I still contend that it was one of the funniest shows ever broadcast over the airwaves. If I had to make a list of things that influenced my "unique" sense of humor, The State would be on the top of the list. If you've never had the chance to bask in it's glory I truly feel sorry for you. I can't imagine living in a world devoid of Taco Mailman, Old Fashioned Guy and monkey torture. It's my firm belief that The State was not created by mere mortals. How could any puny human possibly conceive of the comedic genus that is "The Fast Food Sketch" The answer is: They couldn't. I contend that The State was actually developed by Odin the All-Father in conjunction with a cadre of of Jewish writers spawned from the union of a Jewess and Zeus disguised as a golden bull. If you're wondering why I thought that last sentence was funny it's because of The State.

8. The Rush Limbaugh Show - I hate Rush Limbaugh...really, really bad. I'm not going to go into detail about why I hate him so much, that's not what this blog is about. Suffice it to say, I think he's an obnoxious blow hard who uses his bully pulpit to spread misinformation and outright lies to his legion of mewling followers. Why would I include his show on my list if I hate him so much you ask? The reason is simple: Listening to his show taught me the importance of critical thinking and questioning what I'm told. For some reason, a mystery to me to this day, I started listening to Limbaugh's show in 2000. Every time I would tune him in I'd hear at least one fact I knew was inaccurate and several that I suspected were inaccurate. Often, my curiosity would get the best of me and I'd research something I heard on his show on my own. More often than not my suspicions would be confirmed, he was either lying through his teeth or he simply didn't know what he was talking about. Over time my distrust of Limbaugh evolved into a general distrust of everyone in the media. Soon, I was hanging out in my college's computer lab for hours on end pouring over articles I'd found in information databases. It was during those late nights that the cynical ass I am today was born. It was also when I developed a debilitating addiction to Lexis Nexis. And it's all thanks to Rush. I salute you you fat, obnoxious, drug addicted liar.

9. The Demon-Haunted World - This was the book that really got me interested in science and reason and the potential they both hold to better all of our lives. It also started me down the road towards Agnosticism/Atheism.




Comments

wes said…
1984 is perhaps the most important book ever written. As is Catch 22. You forgot Catch 22.
Tim Mathis said…
I hope you don't mind that I changed the post date and time on this so it would show up after the stupid picture links I put up last night while drinking some Japanese Beer. Kirin Ichiban!

Now that 97X is gone, you should listen to www.KEXP.org when sitting in front of the internet late at night. It's the only other good radio station I've ever found.

It's interesting that the Sagan book made your list. He talks about J.Z. Knight (Ramtha) in there. Her compound is a few hours from here in Worshington. Seeing the movie Contact produced an early moment of religious questioning for me: Jodie Foster's unwholesome beauty combined with Sagan's scientification of religion...
Tim Mathis said…
Oh, 97X is back...
wes said…
Kirin Ichiban is the worst shit ever bottled.
Tim Mathis said…
I disagree. I get a giant can of it for 2 dollars, and it goes down smoothly.
wes said…
of course it goes down smoothly. its watery rice/corn "beer". rice and corn. hmm. i wonder if any countries could use those two crops right now.
Tim Mathis said…
Yes! We can! To make fuel to power our cars!

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