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The Urban Dictionary

Emo

Juvenile most of the time, reviled some of the time, but never banal, the Urban Dictionary provides an alternative take on the everyday, and the night-time in-between.

It is dressed downwards of mature sometimes, maybe most of the time, but that is why it is the “urban” dictionary—just like a city, you do not visit this place with your mother:
You do know what LOL means right? OMG!!1! Lol, Mum pls stop using teh internets!1!!
Clearly, the Urban Dictionary is by and for the “Google Generation,” the generation which, to quote from the horse’s acne spotted mouth, was:
brought up by doing their homework using Google, as in ’damn, all these kids in the google generation get A's’.
You'll note that being educated by a search engine has not necessarily been a step forward for grammar. Likewise, in this dictionary, proof-reading and spelling are out of step, lagging far behind. Did somebody say spelling? On this topic, the juvenile consensus of the Urban Dictionary is remarkably mature:

Spelling

  1. A lost art.
  2. What people are incapable of doing on the Internet.
  3. Absent from the internet.Spelling, O Spelling, where art thou? Along with grammar, punctuation...?
The internet may still be predominantly American, but in matters of pronunciation, the Urban Dictionary is at times refreshingly international, waving the global flag for the Queen’s English as the rest of the world, with stiff upper lip or otherwise, correctly enunciates it:

Aluminium

How the entire world (except the Americans) say aluminium. Why? Because that's how it's spelled. Brit: Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust. American: You mean Aluminum? Brit: No, I mean Aluminium. Moron.
Everything is not as it seems in the Urban Dictionary. Words do not just mean what they mean, or even what they have evolved to mean, for on these mean, new, lexicographical streets, words are melded into new and wonderful shapes, twisted, turned and bent in a manner that would give Samuel Johnson, author of the first dictionary, a meltdown. You could say that in the Urban Dictionary, words become like plastic:

Plastic

A materialistic, fake man or woman. In particular, someone who is attractive yet lacks any sort of depth whatsoever. Everyone in this club is plastic.
It is perhaps not surprising that there is no entry in the Urban Dictionary for the author of 1755 A Dictionary of the English Language, for his child, now generations removed, has been herein defined to door-stopping, fly-swatting irrelevancy:

Dictionary

A very large book full of information about how words are spelled, pronounced, used in a sentence etc. Although originally intended for reading, the dictionary serves many functions: it can be used as...
  1. a stepstool
  2. a flyswatter
  3. a paperweight
  4. a doorstop
  5. firewood
  6. etc. etc. etc.
Likewise books are deemed no longer relevant by the precocious Urban Dictionary, and without search field and ability to instantaneously edit or copy and paste, depressingly one dimensional and linear. Which to paraphrase your English teacher is a shame, because despite their page turning, stitched and bound irrelevancy, books will never cease to have hidden dimensions of imagination and mind, dimensions not always apparent in their noisier, brasher successor:

1. Book

an object used as a coaster, increase the hight of small children, or increase the stability of poorly built furniture. where do you want me to put your drink? oh, just leave it on top of that book.
But every rule and just coined and spun at home homily admits an exception—who would have thought of the just consigned to paperweight and wastebasket book becoming a synonym for “cool”?

2. Book

Cool. In the T9 predictive text on cell phones, the numbers 2665 spell both "book" and "cool," but "book" is the first word to display. To save time, it is left and understood to mean "cool." be there in 20 book. see ya then.
Every generation adopts and adapts words to make a language all their own; if you didn’t grow up watching nursery rhymes on DVD, the Urban Dictionary is your looking glass to a wonderland of language you have probably never heard:

Meew

One of the best words ever.. can be multi-purposeful... basically it's a cat noise.. and implies confusion/question... Billy: OMG I went and got a trichi today... Sally: Meew?
While much in the Urban Dictionary can be classed as new and unfamiliar, one can not always assume all that is from beyond the horizon of right now is even a twisted path to making sense—clicking on the dictionary’s random button serves up words and phrases so nonsensical that a team of untrained monkeys could not have typed their way to a place of less sense:

Tocka

rapper from the Nasti Nati it's a new craze going into a new phase merk out and do the down da way -tocka
In the Urban Dictionary, sense and meaning is often found in a popular culture context. The respective 1970s and 1980s martial arts and ninja crazes give the following contemporary stereotype its brick-breaking cultural pin-point:

Basement Ninja

A person, usually male aged 13-35, who practices inferior self-taught fighting, killing, or stealth techniques in the basement of his/her parents' home or in a basement apartment. Typical hobbies include collection of decorative 'ninja' weapons for the purposes of practice and display. Typical behaviours include exhibition of martial arts proficiency, provision of stealth tips, and demonstration of human pressure points. Anybody who carries nunchucks to a 7-11 is a basement ninja.
Are you spending too much time online to avoid doing work offline? You’re a procrastinator, and the Urban Dictionary has got you coined:

Procrastinator

One who will do anything, including spending an entire day looking up random words on urban dictionary, to get out of doing work. This habit often has a terrible effect on that person's relationships, work, or grades. I am a procrastinator
Yes, this internet age dictionary is broad and multi-participational—anyone can submit a definition or word, anyone else can vote it up or down—but no matter which dictionary you use, the rest of the world just does not understand Canada:

Canadian Heritage Moments

Commercials made by the Historica association of Canada, outlining Canada's "achievements" in 60-second shorts. Considered by Canadians to be hilarious, people of any other nationality just don't get them.
Serious and overbearing from a distance, Germans are a people also often misunderstood, but not by the all-embracing, always glib Urban Dictionary:

1. Germany

A country that is ambitious and misunderstood. Everyone wants to be like Germany but do we really have the pure strength of will?

2. Germany

The country Hitler wasn't born in. Guy 1: Hey, do you know where Hitler was born? Guy 2: Not Germany. Guy 1: k.
Oh the youth of the today, they are so shallow, so infatuated with the temporal and passing, can we find any wisdom in any of what they say? Of course we can, but first we must understand the contemporary parlance within, the internet age idiom of cynicism and heavy sarcasm. Translated so, the following are as cutting and subversive as the polemic of any time:

Illegal Immigrant

Anyone who is Mexican and anyone who is mowing your lawn. Anyone who runs across the U.S. border with Mexico Mommy, look at that guy mowing the lawn. Look away, George. He's Mexican and he's an illegal immigrant, and he'll steal your ice cream if you keep looking at him.

Television

The early 21st century drug of choice. A shared illusion, making its addicts think they have friends, a life, access to good information, and the critical thinking skills to form valid opinions. Fatal in large doses. Paul spent the day eating Cheetos and watching Television, then had a light heart attack in the evening.

McDonalds

A place where people eat alot, get fat, and then sue to get money. I ate at McDonalds everyday for 7 years and now I weigh 500 pounds, so I'm gonna sue them to make some cash.
No matter the culture, no matter the time or clime, the feeling and spirit of the human heart will always beat and breathe to the one timeless tune. Once upon a time and century distant, love-lorn haiku poets wrote of these same sentiments, under the very same half-clouded moon that shines today:

Ear Synch

If you miss someone a lot and are away from them, you can both listen to the same song at the same time, and you will feel a deep connection to the other person, you will imagine what they are doing and feeling. It is different than talking on the phone. Both people get a strange feeling of bittersweetness and connection while the song is playing.
There is something soothing, reassuring about such moments of zen-like connectedness occurring in the most nontraditional of situations, and it is a reassurance that no matter how far we as human beings run, with iPod on and iPhone charged, from our cultural and social roots, we will never be able to SMS or Wikipedia ourselves away from the basic human condition:

Zen

Form is emptiness, emptiness is form Q: Does a cow have Buddha Nature? A: Moo
The final word on the Urban Dictionary to a seer-poet and library vast of his work, Sri Chinmoy Library, in haiku form:
E-mail is man-connection, And not God-communication— No, never!Sri Chinmoy

What Matter Age?

What goes around, comes aroundThere’s a funny saying about things that go around coming around. Usually it’s karma, an eye for an eye and a sow for a reap—the great spiritual law of the universe that dictates bad things for things done badly, good for that done gladly. But inspiration goes around as well, and more like a fire than the predictable arc of an arrow—leaping, dancing, taking light as it spreads; a force that creates and multiplies rather than destroys. A blog comment by a reader inspired me to write an entire post in return, a list of childhood memories which beget and became My First Meme, a charming, illumining anecdote on age, meditation and self-transcendence at Sumangali.org:
Age does not matter. Until his passing at age 76, Sri Chinmoy proved that to me. Through his life of meditation and self-transcendence he showed me that perhaps I am not as limited as I think. I hope to continue forgetting how old I really am. I hope to feel amused, rather than bound, if I do happen to remember, and grateful to Sri Chinmoy, especially if others find it funny too.
The torch is passed, the wheel turned. And so it goes...

What Matter Age?

I can relate to the sentiments above in so many ways. At age thirteen, and in my first year in High School, I would at times be mistaken for sixteen or older, not because of my size, but my attitude and demeanour. I was overly serious and “adult,” something of an grown up trapped in a child’s body, and for the most part related to my elders better than my peers. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing unless it is making you miserable. It was and then some. Now twenty years on and thirty-three, I find age to be a bit of a joke. I have reached a kind of dim, twilight zone, like a purgatory between youth and senility, where I have to stop and think to remember my age. I still can not believe I am in my thirties, and for that matter during my twenties I could not believe I was not a teen. This is only because of meditation. With the regular practise of meditation—in which I am certainly no expert, but hopefully an advertisement for: a poster-child for meditation’s slow-dawning felicitation to experience life in the ever present, ever lasting now—I again feel as I did before those forgettable, teen-aged years. Like a child. Like myself once more. Musing upon the inevitable forward march of age, I am reminded of learning to drive recently—several years ago in fact—in which getting over the insistent feeling that I was an impostor acting as a grown-up—driving seeming like such a grown-up thing to be doing—was far harder than getting a handle on the rules, firm grip of the wheel. John Gillespie, postmanLikewise my career. After years striding the streets as a postman—a card-carrying job for loners, introverts and others who wish to drop out of the ‘nine to five,’ or in my case, approximate a wandering, meditating monk, composing poetry while roaming up to thirteen kilometres a day, I exchanged hair shirt for one starched, press-ganged into a pre-press job with a design company, and rejoined my last seen at university, career-making peers on the cusp of their thirties, threshold or over of marriage, mortgages and children. What a joke it all was. Feeling like a child trapped in a far too big body I had to get head around idea of being an “adult,” or at least its outer appearance; joining serious colleagues in serious decisions about heavy responsibilities and pressing problems—not to mention getting in line for performance appraisals and promotion, a necessary evil when regular, expensive overseas trips to supply my meditation habit—or self-enlightenment sanity excursions as I subtitle them—were a necessity. Throughout my extended tour of the five-days-a-week world of adult duty, I was always keenly conscious of the illusory nature of it all, of its secondary status to the pursuit of my ageless, real identity. Funnily enough, and this is a very real letter of recommendation for meditation, I find that people value a person who can bring a child’s touch to a serious situation, a person able to laugh and to joke, remain good-natured and even-tempered when others do not. I was genuinely moved by the extent my colleagues showed their appreciation when it was time to move on from that job—their sincere, heart-felt sentiment running to pages on hand-made leaving card. Not to mention all of the hugs I had to dodge. In feeling like a child still, I in truth should be grateful to my mother, whose raising of me was anything but conventional—I am “old” enough, or at least wise enough to appreciate this now. Now sixty-five and looking barely fifty, she is a guileless, child-like woman, and as far away from adult politics and game-playing as is possible; it is I her child who has to point out the alternative interpretation of occasional, unintentional faux pas. Her youth-like, light of heart qualities I once mistakenly sought to uproot in myself, leave behind in a wrong-headed, head-strong rush to “grow up”—early, regrettable attempts at self-transformation with a labourer’s pitchfork, rather than the meditation’s gentle pruning. Sri Chinmoy by Pavitrata TaylorBut most of all, I can relate to Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy of self-transcendence—transcendence of mind, belief, achievement and of age. In this respect alone I have so much to be grateful to my meditation teacher for. Initially self-taught in meditation—I am something of an autodidact in most things; a good quality when one remembers to be humble, or the much that one does not know—I have come to learn that meditation is so much more than a moment of peace, or a silent mind only in a silent room. Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy of the child-like heart, of living as a child rather than living childishly, has re-invented my life in the most remarkable ways, transformed me in a fashion I once could not imagine. Compared to my former self, you could say I am re-born. Photo Credits
  1. Teh Google
  2. Mail model John Gillespie, Post News, Dec 2003
  3. Pavitrata Taylor

From Out of the Ether a Golden Egg

Sri Chinmoy by Pavitrata Sri Chinmoy by Pavitrata TaylorOne normally apologises when one has been inadvertently amiss in something, and recently I have been very amiss—my writing here at A Sensitivity to Things literally missing in action, very much to my own regret—for in its absence I miss writing like near nothing else. But how does one say sorry, sincerely and originally, when “I’m sorry I haven't posted for a while” is officially the most common opening sentence in blogging? More fittingly by writing something new in my opinion, making amends and righting wrongs by writing, jumping back on the horse instead of moaning its distant, departed form. For a while I had a Comment of the Week™ feature, a device which delivered a dependable, near ready to eat, half to fully baked with only a little heating or writing on my part, blog topic each week, but such a feature requires not just commenter but author too, the hen house absolutely necessary before discussion of chicken or egg can begin. Ex nilhilo nihil fit. Nothing comes from nothing. Well, the goose has laid a golden egg this week. A magical comment delivered to me, quite unexpectedly, out of the internet’s magic ether.

A Cheerful Fellow

Pavitrata Taylor, self-proclaimed, self-evident “cheerful fellow,” is a photographer who recently started a fine site dedicated to his photography (including personal favourite pictures of meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy), and he revealed himself to have more than just a talented eye, talented pen leaving a comment of epic proportions in response to Thirteen Facts About Me As A Child. Well done Pavitrata, Commenter of the Week™—you can take it from here.

6 Childhood Facts by Pavitrata Taylor

  1. My first school was next to a graveyard in Malaya. Nothing the teacher had could match the passing funeral corteges.
  2. My first teenage school was a Catholic College in Belize. My RE teacher was the Head of the College. He had me down to burn in hell for not being a Catholic, as I was allowed to skip Mass. Later he ran off with the school secretary and a large chunk of school funds. Interpol caught up with them living the high life in Hawaii.
  3. The Catholic College was next to a small busy airport. Ask me anything about Cessnas or Pipers or Dakotas - the best plane that ever flew. Bar none. Nothing the College had could match that!
  4. My next school was a Methodist School in Belize. I got beaten for getting into an argument with a teacher as I said Australia was not the same thing as Australasia, she said there was no difference, I disagreed.
  5. I got thrown off my bike by a skull on the way home from school. Riding high speed across the mud-flats I hit a bump - the top of the skull embedded in the hard mud - and went flying. I dug it up and took it home; t’was a miraculous thing, I contemplated it for so long, put flowers and a candle by it, and gave it a name. I planned a burial with some wise words by Geronimo from my Niehardt book of Great Indian Chiefs, but my dad found the skull and it was taken for forensics. I never saw it again. I guess that first school in Malaya got me thinking early about stuff.
  6. Even Dakotas have their limits. One crashed into a river bank five minutes after take off, overloaded with a massive cargo of cucumbers. The pilot vanished. They thought he had survived and run off, as some suspicious plant substances were also found in the wreckage. A few months later a farmer killed a big alligator up-river. The pilot’s watch was found inside the alligator.
  7. I was a cheerful fellow, for all that. Still am.

Beautiful Moments in Film #1: Dedication

Dedication (2007) by Justin Theroux

Rudy: That's life Henry. Henry: Yep. Rudy: You know what life is? Henry: Life is a horrible little giggle in the midst of a forced death march towards hell. Rudy: No it isn't. Henry: An interminable wail of grief... Rudy: No! Life is a single skip for joy. Henry: (sigh) I know...
A realist, two feet planted firmly on the ground, looks down and pronounces that this, here and now, is life. A poet instead dreams of flight, and bravely leaps up into the air... If life is a skip for joy it requires one to enjoy, remember the time we spend in the air, rather than dwell upon that spent on the ground. Or in the ground for that matter. These are the Newtonian laws of happiness—the ipso facto necessity of optimism and hope instead of pessimism and doubt, for life is a cup both half-empty and half-full, poison-laced and nectar-brimmed, a meal we cook either satisfying or not by our very perceptions and attitudes. Dedication Movie PosterHenry Roth (Billy Crudup) is a character who sees nothing but the landing at the end of life, the death awaiting him when his skip—more leaden-footed stumble—touches the ground. Dedication begins with Henry as a realist, but his realism really an excuse for an all pervading, bleak without respite pessimism, a pessimism which, in an endless circle of causation, justifies his fear and perpetuates his misery. Henry ends the film taking a leap of faith, dares blindly to hope against “facts” or “proof,” chooses no to longer look down.

Pessimist, Optimist, Realist

A pessimist is he Who shuts his eyes To the rising sun. An optimist is he Who looks up and sees Through the teeming clouds. A realist is he Who faces the clouds And adores the sun. —Sri Chinmoy The Wings Of Light, Part 3

ABC News on the passing of Sri Chinmoy

A video and news story from ABC on the passing of Sri Chinmoy on Thursday, 11th October, 2007. Download link
Oct 12, 2007 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Spiritual guru Sri Chinmoy, a peace activist who inspired his followers to feats of extreme physical endurance, has died at the age of 76 at his home in New York, a statement from his organization said on Friday. Chinmoy, who suffered a heart attack, died on Thursday. Chinmoy was born in India and in 1964 immigrated to New York, working in the Indian Consulate. He later started a meditation center that eventually spread around the world. A statement issued on behalf of Chinmoy's followers said he had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Friday. He was a strong supporter of the United Nations and his charities sent food and medicine around the world. Chinmoy's followers were said to take on a regimen of vegetarianism, humanitarian service and extreme physical challenges as a way to inner peace. He set an example by running ultra-marathons before switching to weightlifting. Acolytes said he was capable of lifting airplanes and had written more than 1,600 books of prose and poetry in his quest for world peace.
Read more: ABC News: Peace activist Sri Chinmoy dead at 76.

Daily Blog Tips Blog Writing Contest

With the deadline fast approaching in the Daily Blog Tips Blog Writing Contest, the time has come to submit my own favourites, chosen from the final list of 122 submissions (Disclaimer: I may not have fully read them all). In no particular order I enjoyed reading:

Winner talks small

“I'm a winner!” WinnersForgive me my fist pumping, flag waving and shouting into the air. I won a competition the other day. I haven't won anything in a while. There was a drawing competition when I was eleven; a pencil crafted picture submitted to a national children’s television show the winner of a logo emblazoned t-shirt. I didn’t wear the shirt much. My classmates decided it, and its wearer, were not cool. I won a Calendar Prize in my second year of high school, an all-round achievement award named after precisely I don’t know what, and awarded for high marks in exams, being selected for an inter-school sporting team as well. A cheque for $60, I spent it on several books, not exactly disproving the jeers of my ‘friends’—“nerd!” Jeers, and sneers aside—and probably better forgotten—A Sensitivity to Things is a winner, the joint winner in fact of the 2k Bloggers membership competition, admitted with fellow “Down Under” blogger Flabuless and Going Like Sixty to the august ranks of two thousand top bloggers. Perhaps not an exclusive number were we to gather in a single venue, but elitist enough out of an estimated 60 million. Sixty million monkeys typing? To paraphrase Technorati, there’s got to be one or two primates worth reading... Will success go to my head? Friends are doing their best to help me avoid an inflation of the ego—regular taunts of “Johnno Bloggo” suitably deflating to burgeoning writer’s pride. And it is worth mentioning, in a spirit of humility, that friend and far more prolific blogger Tejvan is a member of 2k Bloggers as well, and has been for a considerable time. Once more I arrive on the band wagon late...