Tuesday, January 31, 2017

To Catch a Thief- Brief Film Review

To Catch a Thief is an Alfred Hitchcock film, released in 1955.

This is my first Hitchcock film since Birds, back in '07.

I dug it in almost every way.  The performances were well done.  The costumes were wonderful.  The setting on the French Riviera in the 1950s was gorgeous.  Characters spoke in my two favorite languages throughout.

French was well integrated into the movie.  It wasn't used only in scenes here and there to show they were in France.  Unless it was the American or British characters speaking to each other or the French characters speaking to the english speakers, the French characters spoke French.  Being a French language learner and enthusiast, it was an enjoyable aspect to the film.

The plot revolves around Cary Grant's character, who is a retired professional thief using his experience to catch a notorious jewel thief to clear his own name.

I give this film the Zytroft stamp of approval.

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Deploraball: A Victory Celebration S1:E19

"Zytroft" Season 1: Episode 19

This is my highlight video from the Official Deploraball the night before the Trump inauguration.  Many thanks to MAGA3X for throwing the hottest inaugural ball in town!

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Friday, January 27, 2017

Late Night Coffee: Podcast #1

After a few attempts, I finally was able to successfully record my first podcast.

It got real meta, folks, especially when I listened to it myself.


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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Monday, January 23, 2017


I have found in life, that I naturally avoid drama as much as possible.  I don't know if it's a passive aggressive thing or some internal wiring, but drama is a turn off and I avoid it.  On the other hand, conflict I tend to embrace, especially when it's political in nature.

I know drama can fall under the category of conflict, but assume they're two different things.

This last Thursday night, I attended a fantastic inauguration party in Washington, DC.  The Deploraball (pictures and video to be posted within the week).  Outside the National Press Club building, a group of "Anti-fascist" protesters gathered to protest the event and to obstruct the entrance way.  These "anti-fascists" where employing some very quite fascist tactics.  These were all dressed in black, faces cover, uniformed with Antifa insignia.  They were there to silence those with different political opinions than them.  They threw various objects such as eggs at Trump supporters.  They brought the violence to a peaceful night where a bunch of folks were getting to gather to have fun and celebrate the victory.

Anyway, my feelings in this situation, engaging verbally with protesters, were of exhilaration.  I experienced this one time before when I went to a Bernie Sanders rally in May.  At one point, a single Trump supporter showed up to protest the rally, and after some words back and fourth between the Bernie folks in line (who I was among, but not supporting) and the protester, the Bernie supporters began to charge across the street towards him.  I was right among them but pushed back against the charge.  The Trump protester had a right to be their.  He was was not being violent or breaking any laws, but these kids were about to engage the guy, a single fellow, merely trolling to be honest.

This was maybe 1% of the intensity of the protests in front of the Deploraball, but that was my first taste of political conflict.  In front of the National Press Club, things were revved up and like a powder keg.  The Anitfa crowd was extremely belligerent and angry.  Whereas the smaller number of Trump supports there, who were dressed for a ball, hair done, ties and suits on, all walked around and through the protesters.  We had the biggest grins on our faces to see and record on our phones these sore losers throwing a complete tantrum.

But as the police were able to make a corridor for ball goers to enter the building, they got even more violent.  They were climbing on cars and getting in the riot police's faces.  In these exhilarating and exciting moments, I impulsively shouted the things I was thinking at these idiots, completely uncharacteristically of me.  Many times in life I've been in awe of something wonderful or at odds with an opponent, but have never really been one to shout things and make a fuss.  Something about an event such as this, one where rioters were being completely hypocritical and stupid, on top of the fact that we ball goers were the winners, just brought it out of me.  Makes me want to fight.

I suppose I am naturally wired to embrace real conflict, as apposed to drama.  Conflict is were those that are right and wrong collide.  That is where you have the most to gain.  Drama is  something with no stakes.  It's easily dispelled by level headed communication.  Conflict has real stakes.  Conflict is something that can be won or lost.

When you are at odds in life, choose to embrace conflict rather than drama.  You stand much more to gain.

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

5 Rules for Romance in the Modern Age

1.  Keep text messaging to a bare minimum.  Texting causes confusion and misunderstandings.  Your life will be far less stressful this way.  A side effect of this rule is you can be more productive when you aren't caught up and distracted by your phone.  Being more productive is good for you and it's good for the relationship.  It gives you motivation to be a better boy/girlfriend.  Doing productive things gives you more pride in yourself.  Instead of constant texting, a meaningful phone call is a great replacement.

2.  If you're a guy, don't date girls from a gender studies/feminist background.  I'm not saying all these girls are dangerous, but the universities are feeding this toxicity of false rape culture into their brains. Your life could be ruined by simple sex regret turning into a false rape accusation.  Also, if you want more than replacement number of children (3+) or children in general, feminists aren't usually the women most eager to be mothers.  These ideas may not be pleasant but it's reality.

3.  Go out on dates.  Especially early on.  There's a reason the greatest generation had better marriages.  They got to know each other first.  They explored compatibility on the first few dates, rather than salvaging compatibility after a child comes along.  Dates are fun and wonderful and a great opportunity to demonstrate how romantic you are.  There are endless ways to converse and get to know each other, whether over coffee, pasta, pho, maybe a walk in the park or a hike along the nature trail.  It's up to your own individual romantic sensibilities.  Also, romantic dates makes more intimate romance more meaningful.  And no one said you can't go on a fancy date followed up by some Netflix and chill.  What matters is finding those connections.  Remember the Love Trefoil!

4.  If you will be spending an extended amount of time at a distance, write letters!  Long distance in a relationship can be hell, and will likely spell the end of your relationship if the time away is indefinite.  Rule #1 is an important part of success and failure in a long distance situation.  Letters are a wonderful and romantic supplement to those meaningful phone calls.  Letters tend to be good sources of reassurance, since phone calls cover much of the day to day "what's new."  Let your letters be love letters pouring out the gushy and/or more poetic nature your romantic feelings.  These serve an important role in keeping the fire burning.

5.  Sing the oldies to you darling.  This last one is just a personal preference, not a steadfast rule.  As I mentioned in the Lyre le Temps review post, I come from the classics and one of my favorite eras of music is the Swing Era.  Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin and other greats all sing tunes from the Great American Songbook.  Many of these songs are the most romantic songs to me.  They are rather simple but eloquent, and they perfectly convey many common feelings that sometimes people have trouble expressing.  I will sing these from time to time to my girl and due to my beautiful voice*, it works like a charm.  I do this for above mentioned reasons but essentially I truly love singing them.  Also, sometime I have trouble expressing those feelings and so its a win-win situation.  And music leads the way to romance.

*No really, it doesn't matter if your voice is shit, mine is...not bad

There we have 'em.  Let me give give you the brief list recap.
1. Minimal texting
2. Avoid dating feminists
3. Go on dates
4. Write Letters
5. Sing to your love

Dating and romance is a complex undertaking, with many different aspects and approaches.  It's also quite simple and easy.  Romance comes naturally if you let it.  So let it.

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Flea Market and Mindset

Please pardon the pause is posts.  I have now returned from my sabbatical, ready to produce more great content for the Festival of Ideas.

What have I been up to? Well, since you asked, I've been away on business doing my usual coffeeslinging but also taking up some entrepreneurial ventures.  Despite this being the most basic form, it's an important step towards professional level entrepreneurial-ship: The Flea Market.

Selling odds and ends isn't the most lucrative business, but for what its worth, my first day running the BithMart was successful.  I turned a nice profit and got a feeling for selling my own merchandise, setting my own prices, and haggling.

What's really important is the entrepreneurial mindset that I'm fostering here.  I've been reading books and blogs and listening to podcasts and watching videos all about stuff pertaining to the goal of success and being your own boss.

When I go off to my job, I think of it as going on business.  It's all about how you frame your day.  I frame my day to day with my goals in mind.  Everything you do should focus you on your goal.  Even the most mundane things can be framed.

Almost everything I've learned about mindset lately I can attribute to Mike Cernovich.

Going to work= Going away on business
Going to the bank= Reviewing your portfolio
Going to college= Investing in your future

If kids these days were taught about investing in high school, and were taught to look at college as an investment in their future, perhaps they wouldn't be indebting themselves for gender studies and art history.  I know, I majored in history, I'm not exempt from this.  But at least I'm turning the ship around.  And I don't mean the flea market, I'm talking about MINDSET.

While running the BithMart, the quote of the day was "I'm about to go get high, f*ck this." Presumably, the flea market wasn't any fun.  This quote and the hoody-ed gent who spoke it reaffirmed to me that I was on the right path.

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Screenshot of the Week

I've been watching some Report of the Week videos (excellent channel, I recommend) and in today's video an image tickled me.  I paused and grabbed this screenshot:
Anyone familiar with this channel knows how mild mannered and reserved the host (Report of the Week/ReviewBrah/John) is.  When he makes faces like this, it's like him breaking character, even though he isn't acting.  

When I first began watching the channel, my initial thought was "this guy is the greatest actor on Earth."  But after further views and a little research, the man on the screen is a genuine portrayal.  Which, makes this channel even more original.  I initially began watching these videos waiting for the joke at the end.  But there is none.  What makes this channel entertaining beyond the well articulated reviews, is possibly what I think makes Wes Anderson films entertaining.  The host of Report of the Week's dry and sarcastic humor is completely non-self-referential.  Wes' quirky and unique characters portray true emotions in real situations, and their strangeness doesn't detract from the performance.  

Another important aspect about Anderson's films, that relate to Report of the Week, is that Wes' films take place within an artificial world, but the character's realistic emotions make the world believable. The viewer is able to immerse themselves in a made up world and not feel out of place.  

Report of the Week does the same sort of thing.  The host wears many elaborate suits, many of past age and all create a juxtaposition with the commercial and consumer back drops of fast food establishments.  His demeanor is like that of a old-time news reporter, and accent close to that of James Altucher.  His whole being is that of percieved artifice, at the same time reviewing items of delicacy that also could be considered artificial creations.  Fast food is far from that of traditional cuisine.  

These are the things that stand out immediately when beginning at Report of the Week, just as Wes Anderson's eccentricities stand out when you see his films for the first to fifthish times.  But once you get to know ReviewBrah (as he's known by his fans) all his peculiarities fade to the background, and the first thing you notice is the person you've grown to know.  After watching Rushmore ten times, each viewing afterwards you immediately are tuned into Max Fischer's emotions and words.  You aren't as focused his exterior.  The VORW podcasts give more inside to the life of the Report of the Week.

Report of the Week does a week shortwave radio show on Thursday nights.  I wouldn't know how to start telling you how to hear that.  Online I know is one way and also you can review it on some hertz level via shortwave radio.

Anyway, this article came a long way from a humorous screen shot but I think we covered some good ground here.  Be sure to check out Report of the Week, you may dig it!

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Thought of the Day

Monday, January 9, 2017

New Art!

An acrylic of canvas titled "Review of the Week"
If you like it and want to own it, you can shoot me an email and we'll work out a deal!
"Aladdin Sane" watercolor.
A blotchy Trump, "MAGA."

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Song Review: Looking Like This by Lyre le Temps

I was recommended this song by a new friend and coworker.  I don't know what the song is about.  I did not search up the lyrics because I wasn't feeeeling the song quite enough to check the exact lyrics.  But, I very much appreciated the jazzy nature and influences of the song.  It keeps to an eight count danceability in the main refrain.  I noticed the underlying Benny Goodman-esque clarinet, and liked it.

The aspects of the song I cared less for were the rapping nature of the verses.  This is simply a matter of personal taste.  I believe this song is of the electro-swing variety, if I remembered correctly from the recommendation.  Upon further research on the genre, I'd suppose this song does fall under that category.  In my humble musical opinion though, Looking Like This resembles more of a splicing together of bits and pieces of jazzy composition and entirely modern hiphoppy bits.  Perhaps this is just another example of personal taste since I would tend to approach a song like this expecting stronger jazz elements.  I come from the classics and also classic rock.  So perhaps if this song hand rock influences as opposed to hip hop, it'd be more preferable to my taste.

But, I think all around it's an upbeat and all around catchy tune.  It combines some hoppin' jazz elements with a modern sound that can easily grab a modern listener's ear.  I give this song a 6.4 out of ten of the new scale of Zytroftian musicality.  To understand what 6.4 means is to simply interpret 6.4 as whatever you'd like, since Looking Like This is the innagural rating on this scale.

Below, I've included a playlist of some more electro swing tunes for your listening pleasure.  Do exclude the first on the playlist, Sing Sing Sing by The Benny Goodman Orchestra, as electro swing.  Nonetheless, it's an uberclassik and favorite.  Do give it a listen!

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The "Ziggy Stardust" Reflex

Confidence requires a little bit of self indulgence.  If someone asks you, "are you attractive?", your immediate reaction should be, "hell yeah I am," like a reflex.  If you hesitate, it is the manifestation of your doubt.  Changing your reflex switches your default from self doubt to self confidence.  This will also increase your spontaneity in social settings.  This important shift I call the Ziggy Stardust reflex.

When you look in the mirror, you want to automatically say, "Damn! Look at you!"  My old college roommate John was the master of this, despite not being the slimmest fellow.

Why do I call it the Ziggy Stardust reflex?  Well, theres a line from the David Bowie song, Ballad of Ziggy Stardust, that goes"...making love with his ego..."  Although I'm not really sure whether the context of this line in the song really relates to what I'm talking about in this post, but it gets the idea across.  The line in and of itself holds the ZS reflex's essence.

Being reflexively confident in yourself is to make love with ones ego, to an extent.  It is wise to not become vain and self absorbed.  But some self love is healthy.

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Judeo-Christian Philosocentric Theo-fluid Spiritual Agnosticism (JCPTFSA)

*Pre-note: please enjoy the tangents and ramblings*

I wrote about spirituality and religion on the Bithiyan in the past, but never went into any specific beliefs that I tend to orbit around.  That's why, today, I'd like to discuss:

Judeo-Christian Philosocentric Theo-fluid Spiritual Agnosticism

I think the easiest way to explain what all this means is to break it down piece by piece.  I begin with Judeo-Christian because I come from a Catholic Christian background.  Additionally, the culture of the United States and the West (my culture) is founded in Christianity.  Philosocentric, I'm not sure is a word. Anyhow, I use it to signify what I retain and respect from mainly Christianity, but also other religions as well.  But not all.  And what I've kept are the main philosophical, moral, and ethical principles behind the teachings.  Theo-fluid simply refers to not having an exclusive relationship with Christian philosophy.  Eastern spirituality and philosophy has its merits as well.  Spiritual follows in line with the prior sentence but also with my connection to my culture and history, nature and the cosmos, and the ancients.

Jay Wilde could tell you about a spiritual moment I had on a rollercoaster.

Finally, all these adjectives and caveats are piled onto agnosticism.  I've never experienced any empirical evidence for the divine or a metaphysical existence.  Yet I think that there is some bigger meaning to human existence.  The idea that there are things out in the universe, such as immense nebulae, foreign galaxies, and things so far away we will never truly experience them, creates out of its grandeur a sense of purpose.  There is someone or some energy in the universe that can perceive what is imperceivable to us.  Even though we cannot experience sitting on the icy planes of Pluto, it exists.  Since it exists, it can be perceived.  Therefore, some one, perhaps a nebulous conscious energy, can perceive it.  That supposed energy is part of the universe.  So are we.  The universe is one, and all things come from the same source.  From a diverging point, the atoms that make up your body and the atoms that swirl around the farthest away galaxy our technology can detect, both came.  Another thing is the past.  Charlemagne ruled the Franks under the Carolingian dynasty.  But no one today can truly prove that history was.  Yet whatever was past is now present.  The bouncing of molecules and the heat of stars led to the birth of agriculture and later the industrial revolution.  That led to the existence of human present day.  History is a thing that no one will ever see again.  Nonetheless we have entire academic fields and institutions dedicated to it.  I have a  degree in it.  All that is, is connected.  This has come a far way off of agnosticism.  But I think what I'm getting at is: that it's not all meaningless.  I've always sort of interpreted agnosticism as the lack of proof for a truth, while swimming in a pool of people that all claim to have the answer.

What is the secret of the universe?

Since I don't think anyone can give a definitive answer, I'll select a place holder until we find an answer:  Fashion

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

A Day in the Life: S1:E18

First of 2017! "Zytroft" Season 1: Episode 18

This episode is titled "A Day in the Life" and has an alternative in video title, "Un Jour dans la Vie."  In this video you can see some more deliberate Wes Anderson influences.  I like his style of directing and tend to naturally emulate aspects of his style, such as framing and symmetry, but my work I keep in the realm of originality.  This video does make use of Wes' favorite font, Futura Medium.

Enjoy the episode!
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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

From the Code Of Birthdays

Chapter 4, Section 6. page 77.

"Birthday Cake:

Any cake eaten on one's birthday, whether designated "birthday cake" or not, can be called "birthday cake" by the birthday boy or girl eating the cake.  One, who's birthday it is not, may only call a cake "birthday cake" (in reference to their own birthday) if the cake has been designated "birthday cake" by a third party acknowledging an early or belated birthday celebration."

Monday, January 2, 2017

Book Review: The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art

During high school, I picked up this book at a small shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I remember digging the name, Dawn Treader Book Shop, because of my affinity for the Chronicles of Narnia.  I always read it on and off meaning to study and master the book's material.  As I still am prone to doing today, I started reading it and never finished it.  

But finally over the holiday, I was watching some Metatron videos and I got in the mood.  I took it back off my bookshelf and read the WHOLE thing.  It's a rather short book.  It was ridiculous to not finish it before now, oy.

Anyway, The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art was written by Stephen K. Hayes.  He was the first American to ever study ninjutsu at Japan's "last historically unbroken ninjutsu tradition."  

This book does a good job of being a general overview.  Hayes goes over the long history of the ninja and how they did the jobs the samurai code wouldn't allow the samurai to do.  Hayes tells about his meeting of the Togakure-ryu master Masaaki Hatsumi and about his time at the school.  He goes through fighting techniques and ninja tools and weapons.  He parallels these explanations with stories of his experience learning about these techniques and tools.  Finally, he ends the book with a section on the ninja's psychological tactics and the spiritual side ninjutsu.

I enjoyed all the combat and training related content, but what really made the book for me was that last section.  Hayes does an excellent job at simmering down complex philosophy into a Sunday evening reading session.

For those of you who would like to read a well balanced overview of the ninja, including personal experiences of an American martial artist in the Orient, ancient weapons, and eastern wisdom, then I recommend this book.

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Shema Humata: Tass Sheshco