Enter the Matrix

In the beginning of November, Muse released their nth studio album titled Simulation Theory. I didn’t know about it until the 12th of November when the Guy Fawkes celebrations died down in my head, so it took me by surprise.

Before I go any further, a little history of my musings with Muse… (hehe)

It all started when a good friend of mine introduced me to the alternative rock genre, particularly with Muse and The Resistance as he had purchased it when it was released. I wasn’t that much of a music person as I was mostly exposed to oldies such as ABBA, Laurika Rauch, Die Lappop by Carike Keuzenkamp (which has a bad memory attached to it) and my own overture of Vangelis’ Conquest of Paradise (don’t ask). I also had a cape that my aunt made me that people kept telling me was Batman, but I always corrected them by saying I was Zorro – my favourite anonymous weapon-welding crime-fighting-justice-bringer-dressed-in-all-black back then (I also used the cape in conjunction with a white mask and pretended to be the Phantom of the Opera – which is still my favourite stage production).

I digress. Before listening to The Resistance, the particular friend told me that this rock band had different genres in each of their songs rather than just being a lot of screaming followed by a loud electric guitar solo. I wasn’t all that interested, but I listened to it. Oh boy! Was I in for a shock? To use my words from back then – “It is AWESOME!”

After that day, Muse became my favourite band and I would listen to all of their stuff over the next few months (this was before I had a working knowledge of music, the internet and life in general. Heck, my first album that I wanted was Enrique Iglesias!). I got stuck on Supermassive Black Hole, Sing for Absolution, Map of Problematique and Time is Running Out. Then Drones emerged and my perfect little musically challenged world collapsed. I was so excited that I bought the album the day it was released. I listened to it and was really quite disappointed by the whole experience. To me it was half-hearted. It wasn’t good, but I refused to give up on the band that opened the world of music to me. I kept on listening to their older stuff. Two or three of their songs still find their way into every playlist I make.

And then Simulation Theory happened. As stated, it took me by surprise and I got it immediately. Whilst downloading, I read the description with caution as I didn’t want another Drones moment. I read it and got really excited when it said things like ’80’s’, ‘synth’ and ‘a bit different’. I was hesitant with that last one, but hoped it would be ok.

Well yesterday, on the 18th of November, I finally listened to the whole album in one sitting and I have to say – it’s brilliant! The rock and the synth and the 80’s theme is just brilliant. The lead singer, Matthew Bellamy, sings with purpose again and both the lyrics and melodies are excellent! From the first song on the album – Algorithm – you are caught up in the beat and the story the album is trying to portray. Long story short, it’s essentially the Matrix. It’s all pretty much “break out of these blockades of the modern world, the dark side of this simulated void you are living in and dig down into your inner soul and experience something human without any electronic pressure near you as it propagates a thought contagion to make you all think the same, so get up and fight this algorithm”. No, no applause necessary… Thank you, thank you.

So the album is brilliant. The entire thing is brilliant, which is a rare happening these days. I remember when Bastille released Bad Blood. I listened to it and it was the first album of which I liked every single song. Then, after a while, I listened to Lorde’s Pure Heroine. Same thing. I liked every song. Then a long time of good songs and crappy songs (the mid 2010’s were a dark time for music). I then learnt about Barns Courtney and bought his album and I liked every song. Lorde’s second album – Melodrama – came along and there it was too (almost didn’t, but upon listening to the specific song again, I realised it isn’t as bad as I initially thought). And now, Muse’s Simulation Theory is added to that list. It’s at the top, right above – which in itself is way above the rest.

Now whilst my opinion matters very little in the music world and, in fact, the rest of the world, I enjoy this. It is not about which is the best genre, artist or decade. It’s about what you enjoy. I personally enjoy whatever I like. Today it’s alternative rock, tomorrow it’s pop, after that it’s jazz. My playlists are made up of a wide variety of genres and artists and I love it.

The one genre that I really don’t like and that I will probably never listen to is rap or reggae or whatever it’s called. Kanye West, Jay-Z, DJ “I Scream My Name in Ever Song” Khaled and even Eminem don’t attract me whatsoever. It just sounds like a bunch of gibberish that doesn’t go along with the beat. Is it impressive? Definitely, or some of it, but I don’t like it.

To quote a quote I read a while ago, “Good music is like good chocolates, to enjoy it you have to remove the rapper first”.

War & Peace

In the last five or six thousand years that humans have walked this planet (evolutionists, please feel free to keep your opinions to yourselves), only 268 years has been spent at ‘peace’ and then it has only been bits and pieces. The rest is filled with war, famine, disease and other pretty gruesome things. What does that say about us humans?

It could all have been averted, if we weren’t so greedy. I recently watched the movie Watchmen. Now for everyone who hasn’t seen it, I won’t spoil it. It is a really good example of what is wrong with this world. It is about a dystopia so concerned with war that they forget that peace is just a decision away. But no, everyone wants to have the best and most advanced weapons and armour that can repair itself.

I find that wrong. Life is not about who has the most money or fame or whatever. All that can easily be taken away. Life is about making a lasting impression. Scientists contribute to society in the form of discoveries, artists by their music, paintings, sculptures etc. and actors and actresses by the roles they play of people who had a lasting influence. The list goes on and on and on.

The only way that I can see us changing as a species is if we individually decide to change the world for the better. But at the current rate of descent, I honestly cannot see that happening.

Technological Progress

I want to talk about technology. Over the past few years, technological progress has increased by quite a margin, compared to 50 years ago. We are able to talk to someone on the other side of the planet and it is as if they are sitting next to you. It is incredible!

Sometimes though, I wonder, how much more technologically advanced we can get. There is this game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, where humans get dramatically altered. It started out all well and true, with a disabled scientist wanting to be able to  walk again. So he engineered prosthesis that embeds itself in his nervous system. It didn’t take and he remained a cripple for the rest of his life. But he didn’t give up. He created more advanced prosthesis for other disabled people and created a multi-million dollar company.

Unfortunately, someone thought, “Hmm, why do only disabled people get to have augments?” And that is what I am afraid of – normal people being forced to get high-tech gadgets and stuff they do not need, or want.

Anyway, for us ‘normal people’, we can only wait and see where technology takes us. The fact that I typed this post on my PlayStation 4 both intrigues me and scares me…

Stupid Laws

Stupid Laws

Hi everyone. This blog is going to be about – well – the heading says it all.

 

 

Horses are forbidden to eat fire hydrants.

This is from Marshalltown, Iowa, USA

How are horses going to eat fire hydrants???  The only way is if they suddenly become very intelligent and start hitting it with a hammer. Or put it in a shredding machine and then mix it with some hay.

 

It is illegal to get a fish drunk.

In Ohio, USA

First question – How DO you get a fish drunk?

Second question – How do you KNOW when a fish is drunk?

Third question – Why would you WANT to make a fish drunk?

 

All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday. (Repealed)

Massachusetts, USA

This one was repealed, but it actually had good use. Every adult male must have carried a rifle to protect against Indian attacks. Very useful. I wonder if the Reverend had a hand gun?

 

If a steam locomotive is driven on roads, a man must walk in front of the vehicle with a red flag during the day and a red lantern at night to warn passers-by.

England.

Why would you drive a steam locomotive on roads? What about motor vehicles on railroads?

 

 IT is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

England again

How then are they going to punish the person who died?  The death sentence perhaps?

 

Cats are not allowed to chase dogs up telephone poles.

Minnesota, USA

Sorry, can’t give any comment, laughing too hard!!!

 

It is forbidden to bring bears to the beach.

Here is one from Israel

 

Can someone please tell Mr Bean to leave his beloved bear at home when going to Israel?

If you are released from prison, it is required that you are given a handgun with bullets and a horse, so you can ride out of town.

Canada

If you give someone a handgun and bullets and a horse, they might as well cause havoc in the town and go back to prison again. It doesn’t make sense!!!

 

Minors are not allowed to purchase cap pistols, however they may buy shotguns freely.
 

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Are they out of their frikken minds?!

 

Sources: http://www.stupidlaws.com, http://www.mirror.co.uk, http://www.dumblaws.com