Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Friday, April 27, 2007


I was looking at my friend Meredith's blog, and I realized something. I'm not very good at this blogging thing. I looked at a bunch of her friends' blogs, and they are just better looking, with more and more interesting content, and better looking. I'm going to have to work on that. I am compelled to improve.
On a related note, I have a confession to make. My sister-in-law called me "very in-the-know", but I am sad to report that is just not true. I've thought at times it was, but I am constantly reminded about how much I don't know, and how hip I'm not. Not that I'm sure I want to expend the effort to be so hip, but sometimes the thought crosses my mind, and a passing sigh my exits my mouth.

P.S. That wasn't a plea for encouragement and "Hey, buck up lil' camper, your just as hip as Danny Zuko, you're the BEE's KNEES!" So don't. But thanks, though. Honest.

Commencement III

Part tré.
Alternative commencement was interesting. I don't know what I expected, maybe I was a bit bright eyed, idealistic. Eric Bybee spoke first, one of the so called "BYU 25" as I'm sure they would like to be known. Nader suggested that title, but more on him later. Then Ash Sanders spoke, the ringleader of the local counterculter. She was obviously passionate about her topic, and had a well crafted speech, but I can't say I am with her on everything she said. Pete Ashdown spoke next. I felt like his speech was a little loaded, quoting scripture and patriotic lines. Say what you think, then tie it to the Sermon on the Mount. A technique I think is a little...I don't know...cheap? Thats an ugly thing to say, it wasn't a bad speech, but it wasn't my favorite either. The Executive Director Emeritus of Amnesty International, Jack Healy spoke. Maybe I'm just cold blooded, but I didn't feel inspired by his remarks either. I don't want to go out and change the world out of guilt, I want to be moved to action by some nobler emotion. His words on the sad state of human rights throughout the world only left me sad and upset.
Then the big attraction, Ralph Nader.
The man was...welll... boring. Again, uninspiring. He made a slow start, but when he got into his swing, he was just all over the place. He shotgunned a plethora of issues: socialized medicine, the electoral college, gluttonous CEOs, campaign finance, corporate sway in the legislature. He mentioned some legitimate problems, I have to confess.
But his "solutions" were far from. He neglected that, while the existing structure has its pitfalls, so will the replacement he offers. I felt like every remedy he proposed was just as fraught with logistical and ethical problems, and just as prone to abuse if not more. For the most part, he was proposing a much more socialized system, mandating utopia, a blessed land where Big Brother will take care of you. I'll pass.
So in the end, while I agreed with the fundamental idea behind the alternative commencement, I felt like the realization of it was a disappointment. What can I say...I'm a pretty traditional conservative.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Commencement Part II

Well, whoever wrote Dick Cheney's speech deserves their pay. He did an excelent job. My roommate's dad pointed out that he hit all the right points for the audience. He mentioned specific places on campus, by their nickname. He talked about his wife's Mormon Pioneer heritage. He praised the University for their sports triumphs, the "stone cold sober" status, and called BYU one of the best universities in the country.
Not a speck of controvery to speak of. Good.
Now on to part deux, the BYU Alternative Commencement, featuring Ralph Nader.
There certainly aren't as many people here as there were at the Official commencement. As it stands right now, there are hundreds of people here in the McKay Events Center at UVSC, as opposed to the probably 10,000 people at the Marriott Center earlier today. The dress is not as formal, the hair is generally longer, and there appear to be more glasses in the audience.
I'm biding my time till the event starts. From what I was told, it should have started 15 minutes ago. But it looks like it will begin soon. More later.


I'm not graduating, but I have several friends who are. So here I am in the Marriott Center, awaiting the proceedings. The headline this year, as you've probably already heard, is one Richard Bruce Cheney, or Dick as most folks call him. Our country's Vice President. I honestly don't feel like I know enough about the man, so it will be good to hear him speak, whatever the remarks are.
Another note you've probably already heard is the backlash. The small but vocal BYU counterculture has not taken V.P. Cheney's presence here lightly. They object to what they would say is a warmongering and unreasonable man being welcomed to the Lord's university. For those in the LDS community who do not support the current presidency, it must seem an upsetting sight, the man you feel responsible for the death of thousands of Americans, not to mention the tens of thousands of Iraqis, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries with a man they sustain as a prophet, seer, and revelator. But so it goes, those with power discusing their often overlapping stewardships.
In addition to getting plain ol' MAD, however, the counterculture has done something significant. I don' know who's idea it was first, but somehow the idea was circulated to get Ralph Nader to come speak as an alternative to the conventional commencement. They needed to raise thousands of dollars to get him here, though, and it seemed a long shot.
Never underestimate grassroots could be the lesson from this, though, because just a couple days ago, a local documentarian covering the movement posted some remarks on a very popular blog. He included a link to the site for donations, hoping a few would notice and contribute.
Within hours, thousands of dollars were pouring in. They far exceede their needed funds.
Anyway, I'l post more later. My ol' Homeboy, President Cecil Samuelson is speaking, followed by Vice President Dick Cheney.
P.S. Church President Gordon B Hinkley is also here, as well as Richard G. Scott and David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the 12.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Done Bowling.

Well, after me raving about our bowling league for so long, I have an
update. First, we won, #1 in the league. I'm not celebrating though,
because it feels like a false victory. I'm not that good, and I honestly
don't know how we won. It just wasn't that competitive, appearantly. And
update the second: I have a bowling injury. Ya, believe it. I noticed
toward the end of our tournament that my hand was hurting, but thought
it was just sore. But I went bowling again a couple nights ago, and it
hurt. Bad. Like I'd hit it with a hammer. That's what I get from bad
bowling form, a stress injury on the base segment of the ring finger.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Local Rap Scene

I'm not a connoisseur of rap. I don't really listen to the stuff. But I am told it’s a rare thing when rap is really great. On the other side, it’s my personal opinion that it’s often nothing to scream about, and frequently just plain bad. And I don't just mean moral content, though NWA isn't really known for their uplifting melodies. No, I mean quality, people, QUALITY! Severely lacking in especially the local scene.

A Disclaimer: This might get a little personal.

Case in point. How does this happen?
Watch the second video down, a personal favorite.
I can't tell, is he kidding? Seriously, is he? Explore the site, I don't think it’s a joke, and if it is, it’s expansive.

Also, another local I've encountered. In his defense, I believe he is actually handicapped, no joke. 'Nuf said.

This next one, though, is a treat. Better quality, and done mostly (about %87) as a joke. D-licious is a friend of mine, one I've mentioned before on here. He's the second guy rapping.

But maybe there is a market for this kind of stuff. VH1 had a whole show dedicated to it. Then again, VH1 isn't winning many Emmys.

And now I'm rambling. Sorry. I'm done.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Same Song

An Observation:

I know its old news, but I heard a report that the Red Hot Chili Peppers' newest single,"Danny California", is actually plagiarism (or what Francois Truffaut would call "homage").

Also, every Nickelback song is the same song.

It was pointed out to me today by my roommate Dave Smith that two songs that I like very much are actually the same song. I checked. He was right.

Download the file after you click on the link. Its a recording of me giving an intro to a CSS/Spoon Mashup. You will hear how EXACTLY the same they are. I had to speed up the Spoon song some, but still. The bass line, man, the bass line is the same same same thing in both.