Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I feel pretty bad that I did not buy this comic when it was in print. I always wait for the trade in my defense, but now that this comic is out of print and isn't being reprinted, I feel a bit down. At least Abel has the good sense to put the issue up on the net instead of letting people get ripped off by dumbass comics stores that still have that old tired collector's mentality. I'm sorry, but charging overinflated prices for old books is what keeps them in the boxes and out of people's hands. People shouldn't wonder why their old stock moulders if they are still playing on the old 'rip off the fans' mentality.
I'm torn on this issue. On one hand, I know that teachers should protect students, even if they are blatantly asking for an ass whupping. On the other, I like to have the little douchebag slapped hard a few times, and maybe kicked in the nuts. This nativist bullshit gets old. We had it against the Germans, we had it against the Irish, we had it against the Chinese. I know he's still in high school, and not the brightest apple in the barrel, but dang, read a book instead of just spouting your daddy's racist views all the time.

In some real good news, here is a link to a apparel company that doesn't make stuff with slave labor, and uses American workers. W00t!

However, sometimes I feel that no matter my own failings, at least I'm smarter than the KKK. Of course, that's nothing to be proud of- that's like saying 'well, I pay my taxes!' or "well, I didn't beat my kids to death this year' not very high expectations all around.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I have decided to join Sequential Swap. They set it up so people can swap their gently used graphic novels. Sounds like a good way to get some of that stuff out of the house, while getting new stuff for little to no money. Of course, I worry that I do not have many desirable books, but that'll be alright.
An interesting thought occurred to me yesterday. I noted that I had taken a Japanese class for two semesters, read some books about Japan, watched some anime and read some manga, and engaged various Asians in conversation, yet I do not believe that I know much at all about Japan. Contrast this with someone who has watched a movie about some black people once, so thinks he/she knows all about the complicated history of black folks, and you might notice why I get so irked by morons. Basically, the take home message is- don't assume you know.

Also, here's an article about how the American Dream is really the American Myth. People seem to think that hard work makes you rich despite the people working two and three jobs and still not making it, despite the fact our job market went south and many people are still not on the ladder. I worry even a BA isn't enough nowadays.

Monday, December 29, 2003

I've decided to sell a bunch of my old stuff on eBay. First, I am auctioning off three Card Captor Sakura DVDs. Buy them together, and I might give a discount on shipping.

Also, I am selling two MTT!(Magic User's Club) Tv DVDs.

Chance Pop Session DVD number one is also going.

Also, an authentic Wedding Peach CD.

All of this stuff is starting bidding at two and three dollars, so this could be a cheap chance for you to cute up your anime collection or to buy something for the anime fan you forgot this Xmas.
I have continuing performance anxiety about actually writing(blog entries don't count), so I will talk about magazines. I'd like to encourage magazine readers that if a magazine gets too ad full, too fluffy and too plain ignorant to cancel their subscirption and to subscribribe to a better magazine. Vote with your wallet to promote intellegent reading matter.

Also, here's a link for teachers about prejudice. So many people are asshats in regards to this topic. Maybe some of the people reading right now have heard of a guy saying 'all girls are golddiggers' because one girl was a skank or 'all blacks are lazy' due to watching a Tv show with biased imagery. I think that 5 or 10 people can not represent millions or billions of people. Especially not just five people you just said hi or bye to.

And now for some authentic good news! Black Commentator talks about people trying to bring healthy food to the ghetto. So get out there and revitalize a community! If everyone went and did a little extra, things would improve, I think. It doesn't have to be anything big- donate community garden food to the poor, go in and clean up a vacant lot, maybe volunteer in a soup kicthen. With the time people spend listening to AM radio or Fox news they could have cleaned up the country I think.
Man, look at the photos of this store! It's like my dream comic store- too bad it's all the way in California. I prefer clean, well stocked comics shops to dirty fanboyish ones.

Speaking of entrepenuership, here are the stores of two ladies who have decided to go into the health and beauty buisness. I am rather tempted by the low poo bar, myself., and I would like a black nerds unite shirt. wonder if the majority of women who become web entrepenuers go into the health and beauty or clothing buisnesses. It would be interesting to see a break down on that.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

I think I have linked to American Elf a million times. I just can't resist. It's a comic that makes you feel good, but not in a sappy way. There are cute moments and a cute art style, but not the over flowing river of glurge you often get from some comics. It's the kind of down to earth, but still positive thing that I just can't get enough of. Usually when you're looking for something that doesn't make you hate the whole human race, you get a bunch of unrealistic bullshit. Like this Christmas special my mom was watching. It was all about the magic of belief- and I'm thinking what has belief ever done for us? It hasn't fed any babies, it hasn't cured any one of anything, all it does is keep us sitting in the same damn place while the powerful folks fuck us over.

But little moments with family, now that I believe in. Not some sentimentalized idea of family, I mean your actual family- you know, the one's that screwed up and really annoying? The ones who drop in and draw all over your walls and eat all your food? Yea, that's what I believe in. Not some pansy ass idea that just believing in random shit, no matter the reality is going to get you anywhere.
An article about the mysogynistic comic artist Dave Sim. What I took away from the article is that while art is great and all, don't get too wound up in it or you'll go nuts. Of course, taking a shitload of LSD doesn't help your mental state either. So chill out, have some wine, raise a kid or two. It'll be cool.
I have finished The Way We Never Were, so I will attempt to review it. A bit about the book's politics first- while Coontz tries to portray herself as a moderate, often offering run downs of liberal and conservative takes on certain family issues, she takes a more liberal approach, seeing economic and social factors as things that cause certain family formations instead of moralizing or saying that the devil caused women to become single parents to defy god or something.

Basically, it was a pretty well written and informative book. Coontz succeeds pretty well in cutting through the hysteria with facts. The only area which I thought was a bit sensationalized was the one about the black family, but it's really hard for a white(?) author to accurately talk about it, and she did a pretty good job of not saying "well, those lazy blacks are inherently different and evil, that's why they have those alien family styles', but about talking about how history and economics intersect to cause problems. I really liked the approach she uses- talking about the historical background and the economic trends that cause certain family styles to be more adaptive is a lot more useful to my understanding than just screaming about how the family is falling apart.

All in all, I recommend this if you want to actually learn about the family rather than hearing self serving moralizing. Historical amnesia doesn't serve us well if we want to solve our problems.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

This review of Love and Rockets is great. Read the rest of the magazine too! I really like discovering new magazines that I haven't seen before- digging through the obscure ones, looking for one with real content. I wish I could subscribe to them all. I want to support people making words that can help us understand things, to give us a different perspective, and not have them buried under a million dull glossy magazines where even the articles are ads.

Friday, December 26, 2003

About Kwanzaa being 'made up'- all holidays are made up. Humans are the ones who say that this day or that day is significant. We are the ones that decided that Feburary 14th would be a holiday for lovers . We decided that we'd honor our mothers in May. In many other countries, children aren't dressed up every October 31st and sent around the neighborhood for candy. We create holidays by agreeing that the day is significant, and in what way to celebrate its significance. Nothing makes us celebrate a day for an idea or an event besides tradition, and you have to start a tradition for there to be one.

I know that much of the BS is just veiled racism- I mean, noone bicthes about Saint Patrick's Day- and someone had to decide on the date, and the manner of celebration. Humans created this celebration too. Of course, I think thinking about positive values is a bit better than drinking til you puke(I'm sure St. Patrick's Day originally had positive values, but nowadays mostly people just drink) , but that's just me.
There has been a lot of arguing on about whether relaxer or texturizer use is allowed to be talked about on the site. I'm a bit torn. On one hand, I'd like more people to learn that relaxers aren't good for you, that texurizers blow out kits and silkeners are just relaxers, and that the hair that grows out of their heads is perfectly acceptable. I mean, it must not be very good for your self esteem to think you need to 'fix' your hair.

On the other, folks just want to enjoy the site and talk about their nappy hair, not hear the ignorant comments of those who don't have clue one. There is a transitioners board for those who are growing their hair out before they cut it(perms are permanent- you can not reverse the straightening effect- that's why the hair must be cut) but some people bypass it.

The politics of hair are interesting to me. It seems strange to me that whole large amounts of people grow up thinking their hair is 'bad'. I remember I used to hate my hair, because it 'had' to be straightened unlike white people's hair. But now I like my hair. I merely disliked all the fuss with trying to change what it was. Being unable to scratch your head for a week and having scabs in your head, and having your hair always fall out would make a patient person grumpy.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Oh, and remember that Stanford is trying to research protein folding. Also, they want your computer processing power or something. It might not do anything or it might help someone discover a cure for Mad Cow disease. It's your computer processor, you decide.
You know, the bad part is that the world distinctly doesn't care if you're a good person or work hard or think happy thoughts. The even worse part is that people think it does. Some anti Christmas cheer to think on.
What I got for Xmas- I got Hana Yori Dango Volume 3, in which the soap opera madness gets even better. This manga takes the brutality of high school to its logical conclusion. I also got The Way We Never Were, a book that challenges the idea that all through American history the American family has been a man, a woman, their 2.5 kids and a dog who never depended on anyone outside the family(and especially not that evil gov't) for anything, and Forgotten Readers, a study of black literary societies before the Civil War. I also got earrings, a pen that is fancy, and a journal with a cloying picture of an angel. There was also a random pink and white makeup case given for no reason, and also, some money was given that I will invest into savings so I will have a stake. My plan is to save money so that I can either get a high ticket item like a car or save up for emergencies.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I'd like to note that Slam Dunk is awesome and that everyone should go out and buy a million copies.
I wonder what to do with my crappy paintings. I like to paint, but due to my lack of actual talent, I can't paint anything recognizable/anything that isn't recognizable but just looks cool. However, I worry that it'd be a waste of materials just to toss them. Then again, if my mother finds them in the house(although now mostly I am in another city) my mom will hang them up, thinking that this is 'art'. I actually managed to persuade her to take down this horrible sun from the den- it looks just like a child's sun minus the smiley face, and contrary to the rules of good composition is smack dab in the middle of the canvas. She stuck it up in my room.
Go on gal! This woman has decided to promote her rosemary growth spritz over the internet. Web entrepreneurs are awesome, so I have linked to her site. Reminds me of this guy I know- went from selling his comic collection in the flea market to having his own shop. Sure, I don't like his shop, but hey, it's not like I know.

Monday, December 22, 2003

On a more cheerful note- the using a metal tin lid for a palette idea actually worked really well. I feel like talking about something I notice, but I don't know what it is called. I see it in my brother and his girlfriend talking about their friend who is returning from Guatemala to open up a free trade store. I see it in people hustling- selling caps and scarves on the internet, selling collards and watermelons off the back of trucks. I see it in girls boldly carving cucumbers in science fiction club, and artists attempting to project porn out of car windows.

I see it in psychics that come to dinner, and complain about their crazy covens, and cartoonists selling subscriptions to their comics online. I see it in people collaborating to make true porn comics over the internet, and women serving vegan soul food, and the women outside selling earrings.

It's like painters in Paris painting outside where the tourists can see them. It's like musicians playing gritty clubs every weekend. I'm sure it is like the grandma who creates a day care in her very home. I don't know what it is, but it makes me feel a whole lot better about life.
Now that I'm back at home, I get to see more local news. Such as the fact that my old high school was firebombed. Of course, they probably won't get much punishment for this. Sure, they were hopped up on cocaine, and could have seriously hurt someone with their asshattery, but the police have more important things to do like hassling minorities. It just seems that if you're rich(and being white gives you bonus points) committing a crime just isn't as likely to mess up your life. George W. Bush snorted some cocaine now and then and he's President. Even Al Gore's kid will get away with a ticket for his weed, not jail, and this certainly isn't the first time he's messed up.

People would find all sorts of pathologies if it was a black kid- oh, the black family is breaking down, oh if only the black community would pull itself up by the bootstraps- despite the fact that these kids were not getting any parenting at home obviously. In high school, if I had even thought of smoking tobacco let alone cocaine, my ass would have been grass. Yet these kids did cocaine and didn't have any thing productive to do besides make up plans to get revenge on the school. And their mom had the audacity to be like it was a mistake. Dude, a mistake is when I misspell a word, or when I paint blue when I wanted to paint orange. I simply can not conceive of a way that you can possibly mistakenly firebomb a school.

My message with this posting is that asshats come from all classes, all colors, all religions. Some are not worse than others. Whether it's the asshat black kid who smokes weed, the asshat Chinese kid who shoots folks, or the asshat white kid who firebombs the school, they are all asshats, and do not reflect on the larger character of normal people. Also, that you should freaking parent your kids. It's ridiculous that it can get to the point that they are taking hard drugs and firebombing schools without your knowledge. I know it takes effort, but if you don't want to do the work, tie your tubes, so the rest of us don't have to pay higher taxes.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Some people say Kurds captured Saddam first? Could be.

But onto more pressing matters- the church's Christmas program sucked. Instead of more logically having the program where it was free to get in, we got tons of food, there was action at all times, and there was plenty of dancing for all, we had a program in which we had to pay ten bucks, we got nutritionally correct servings of food, there was an hour lull, and the only entertainment we had at times was some little babies who really needed a spanking.

I had stupidly thought the program would be from 3 to 5, but no, we sat there til 7, and most of the program had to be cut, due to the fact that we spent hours sitting there, when they could have been performing. It wouldn't be so bad if it was free- I mean, doesn't charging ten dollars freeze out the poorer members of the church?

They could have at least used the money to donate to the community instead of having 17 Christmas trees. I'm glad I'm not religious, or I'd be really mad.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

It's good to see gym class trying to be something other than a social pecking order orderer. Teaching kids competitive sports tends to mostly show them the negative values- winning is everything, only one person gets anything, and it's not you. Teaching kids exercises they can do and enjoy shows more positive values- multi tasking- exercising and having fun, that exercise is something they can do, which promotes good health, everyone can have fun.

An interesting article about race. Read it. I especially like how it contrasts what whites think about race( those lazy blacks woke up one day and decided to be offended) and what blacks think(these racist whites woke up one day and are still racist) but I must warn you it does rather take the blacks' side.
Wallpaper of the WeekIt's time for the wallpaper of the week- courtesy of Wilde Home for Wayward Catgirls.

On Civility

Also, I think civility actually benefits our civilization. For example, it is profoundly less likely that I would be called the n word on the streets than it was in the past, and nothing bad has happened at all. In fact, I see no evidence at all that petty insults, rudeness,etc, makes for a better society. So why do we think having our children abused in the schools by future criminals is a good idea? Schools should prepare you for life, and part of life is learning to not be a giant asshole. This may be shocking to some, but the qualities required to not be a giant asshole are some you might recognize- self control, empathy, consideration for others, responsibilty for your own actions, inner strength, recognizing differences without treating people differently, controlling your temper, learning not to be jealous, getting what you want without hurting others.

However, it takes nothing to be a giant asshole.

Warm Hats

These hats look warm. Remember to support small buisness. They are the people scrambling up the ladder to make the day brighter. Mixed metaphor fun!

Friday, December 19, 2003

I have to admit that once you get used to a certain hair routine, it's hard to break it. I am used to being able to put some good goopy conditioner on, and comb through with my wide tooth comb, and then be able to twist up with my lock and twist gel. What I miss most is my wide tooth comb- it's really hard to put your hair into a protective style without parting and combing it through, and I really want to try flat twists or something like that since it's winter. All these spiky combs with their teeth too much together aren't getting it. My hair is knotted up already. I wanna trim!
This says everything I wanted to say about books versus movies much better than I could ever say it.
The Christian Science Monitor cheerfully reports on rising scores in urban schools. My opinion is that you need to challenge the students. Don't just let them do boring word finds all day - prepare them for a higher level. Of course, I think parents should do their part too. Educate your child- watch educational films with them instead of whatever is the latest thing that is being hyped to the skies, read them books, have children's educational magazines in the house, get books with math games in them. Your kid will thank you later. Even if your school is teaching to the test, if you supplment your kid's education, they'll be informed.

I would exhort parents to teach their kids about their own culture and the cultures of other people as well. History instruction doesn't tend to be too hot in the public schools from what I remember. If you're a black parent, your kid could go around knowing nothing about the history of blacks in America besides Martin Luther King and slavery.

Also, a personal thought- I really liked those American Girl books when I was a kid. I highly recccomend them for parents of little girls. They had very lively stories about girls in historical times, and a back section with lots of pictures and history about the time period. Of course, they hock a lot of other merchandise. I have an Addy doll from when I was into those books. It's a really well made doll too.
I feel like writing because it seems like a vocation, and a man needs a vocation. Maybe males need it more than females, what with gender roles and all, but each person probably needs to find a vocation or they'll be lost, I believe.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Black Commentator remarks on Dean's uplifting speech. An excerpt:

'In America, there is nothing black or white about having to live from one paycheck to the next.

Hunger does not care what color we are.

In America, a conversation between parents about taking on more debt might be in English or it might be in Spanish, worrying about making ends meet knows no racial identity.

Black children and white children all get the flu and need the doctor. In both the inner city and in small rural towns, our schools need good teachers.

When I was in medical school in the Bronx, one of my first ER patients was a 13-year-old African American girl who had an unwanted pregnancy. When I moved to Vermont to practice medicine, one of my first ER patients was a 13-year-old white girl who had an unwanted pregnancy.

They were bound by their common human experience.' - Howard Dean
Do you want the right to say something about blacks? I have been advocating the read a book or shut the heck up plan on several of my posts. Well, here's a more detailed explanation of this read a book or shut the heck up plan. And don't worry about being too busy- if you read just a page a day, you're ahead of the game.

First, the novice should start with fiction. Due to watching TV too darn much, and not using their critical thinking skills, many people have gotten the idea that blacks are a monolithic mass of semi literate gangsters. This is not true. To become accustomed to the idea that blacks are people too, a glimpse into the black psyche is needed, Start with the masters such as Ellison, Baldwin, Hurston, Morrison, and Wright. Literary fiction tends to be best, although while much 'urban fiction' is trash, and I wouldn't read it to be informed about the human experience, it's still better than the stereotypes on TV.

Second, history. To segue into this, some works that blend personal stories with history may be helpful. Roots and Black Boy are recommended. Roots shows that slavery wasn't all blacks and whites dancing on the plantation, whistling Dixie, for example. Black Boy is a seminal work, focusing on its author's hungry boyhood in the South, his disillusionment in the North, and even his brief Communist leanings. History helps you understand such questions as 'why is there segregation today?" 'why can't blacks just pull themselves up by the bootstraps?",etc. My poor recommendations would include Forgotten Readers, which talks about literary societies in the North before the Civil War, A People's History of the US(while not all about blacks, it includes some good material) and the Autobiography of Malcolm X, which talks about one man's involvement in radical movements.

The third is sociology. This informs you about on going problems. I still need more on this myself, but read some bell hooks, or maybe Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together... One book I found interesting, although technically not about blacks, is How the Irish Became White- this was interesting to me, because race is a bit arbitrary (for example, what race do you think this man is? Can you tell right off?) and learning about how it becomes defined is interesting. Also, since AP History, I had wondered how society went from disliking the Irish and considering them only slightly above blacks to liking them. This, of course, is only the beginning. There are many different paths you can take and many different interests you can peruse. Hopefully, through trying to learn about race, other things will start to interest you as well. One can become quite intellectual on a library card- let us all remember the example of Richard Wright, who became educated on a library card he sweet talked his co worker out of.

Also, this is not part of the original post, but is related- white america- this chick is being paid to lie to you. She is being paid to stir up race hate. Note that instead of blaming this guy for his own actions, she blames 'diversity' - hoping to lull you into thinking "I bet if diversity went away, reporters would be honest and all would be right again" Don't believe it! She's just using the scapegoat of Cajun -Native Americans to sell her shitrag of a newspaper. Being a woman, she's benefiting from 'diversity' too, but that doesn't sell as many newspapers.
On Tuesday night, I went to a midnight viewing of Return of the King. I'd like to warn you that I may spoil the movie for those who haven't read the book/seen the movie hereafter. I thought it was amazing- the special effects were spot on, but didn't override the drama of the film. For example, the ghost tribe(I've forgotten their real name) is shown in glorious special effects, but the movie does not become an effects movie- it retains its plot. I liked how near the end, Frodo and Sam remembered the Shire- because there was no scouring of the Shire in this film, it became even more important to remember what they almost lost. The movie had all the right things- despite a few too many flashbacks(do we really need a flashback of something we were shown 15 minutes ago?) and what I call 'trailer lines'- stuff like Aragon saying 'What does your heart tell you?" to Gandalf or Eowyn saying "I'm no man!". I don't know whether either of those lines ended up in the trailer, but those sort of hammy lines annoy me.

Also, a final reminder- please shut up in the theater! Two of my companions(while great people, with good foresight- buying the tickets early and getting to the theater two hours before was a good idea- we were in the front of the line, which was really long) talked a lot and it was pretty annoying- not every quip is funny, and not every semi exciting scene needs to be clapped at or shouted about. Then again, that just may be my movie preferences- I just like quiet, I guess, especially if I have never seen a film before.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Hip hop- the new minstrel show. I especially agree with the author about how Caucasians will be listening to more rap, and then be scared of black folk. I don't listen/watch this crap since I don't want people to see these negative images. Like it or not, most people are too ignorant and lazy to pick up a book, in which blacks are represented well. For every 'OMG! We have relationship problems' book, there is at least one book that shows a good picture, and even the OMG, relationship problems books don't deal as much in stereotypes because books make it easier to represent people as humans instead of as types. That's why I say people shouldn't get their information from TV and movies- it's really hard to deal with complexity in those mediums, it seems. Comics can deal with complexity, such as Lance Took's Narcissa, and also give a visual punch.

Although, something strange happened. I got a holiday e-card from Lance Tooks and I do not even know him. Strange.

Monday, December 15, 2003

While half doing my work(still figuring out bond angles) , I saw this great news- Tokyopop in Walmart. Some comics fans see a divide between manga and comics, but I see them as two ways of doing the same thing. So when I see this, I say "Awesome, more comics in the mainstream'. It may appear to be a fad for some, and maybe it is to some extent, but if even just a few people keep into comics, comics will have a whole new base of customers.

I used to be exclusively a manga fan before getting turned on to comics. The first American comic(besides Betty and Veronica) I picked up was Stuck Rubber Baby* and then I was hooked. I don't have much cash, but I love getting into the more indy of American comics.

Also, I think manga is good for American comics because it inspires people to start making comics. Sure, they may use the big eyed style, but they are still new comics creators, and some are quite talented. Comics can't go on with the same little fanbase of 30ish men- they are going to die off. So young blood is needed, and if it's achieved by giving people what they want, so be it.

*which is a beautiful work about a gay young man, and his apathetic involvement in civil rights- I like how he is like it'd be great if blacks got their civil rights, but isn't on fire over it. It's more realistic seeming than the heroic white liberal swooping in and saving all those poor blacks. I also like how the racist whites are drawn. They aren't all wearing KKK hoods, some just think 'oh, maybe those communists are making them feel discontent' or 'maybe the negro isn't as smart as us white folks, but we should still treat them as human beings' (not actual quotes) I like that because it allows the reader to understand that racism isn't just going around yelling 'damn n words' it also involves other attitudes.
I feel like studying for my chemistry final is futile. I'm not going to be able to learn any of this, especially not enough to use it on the test. Most of this stuff I can only do the problems in the book- for those who don't know, the problem sets are very different- in the book, they give you information you need to solve, on the test, they do not give you any of the stuff you need , or expect magical intuition out of nowhere- which of course, can not be taught. But I know I must study to feel better, but then again, it just seems like a waste of time- no amount of practice is going to make me able to do the problems. Math geniuses, shut up. I know you are able to get all the problems right by just looking at the book, so how is that supposed to help me? The problem is that you can't teach math without being good at it, and if you're good at it, you have a certain sort of brain, so you can't reach the rest of us. Of course, this works better if you're not a giant jerk, and avoid ridiculing people.

Also, a man giving a beautiful tribute to his fallen brother.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

A page that is actually anti bullying. I am so shocked I am linking. But I have to make myself suffer by 'studying' (feeling like shit) for my chemistry final that I am sure to fail. Anyway, I haven't done enough suffering to feel good about it either. At least two weeks of painful studying need to be undertaken for me to feel good about failing a test.

And while not suffering, I also like to read Invisible Adjunct. You know it's bad when you've had so much sunshine pumped up your ass that you're like YEA! GLOOM AND FUCKING DOOM FOR ONCE~!!

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Natural hair can grow long. Look at the last picture on the left. Yea, the text is a bunch of BS about how 'great' it is that these people paid them to 'fix' their hair(what most folks need to fix is their wallet, and it's not getting fixed paying $50-75 every six weeks), but I thought it was good to see a black girl with long natural hair, as many say that blacks can't grow long hair.

And here's a fun site dedicated to one woman's hair journey. I may try banding my hair - I've always wanted a cute little afro puff. Also, this site has tons of infomation- check out the myths and FAQs if curious.
Yesterday, I went to the perfect sort of party for me. First, it was a small group of people I mostly knew. I'm scared of strangers, slightly. If we're introduced, it's ok, but I get mixed up trying to think of things to say. Also, I don't feel comfortable around large groups of people- I find them much harder to approach and start talking. Second, it was not the type where people just sit around in a room- I like parties with party games(although in this instance we played Super Smash Brothers and Mario Party instead of say...Parcheesi) . I feel much more comfortable with speaking in the context of something done together instead of just popping out randomly with something. If I have to approach people, I find it much harder to talk. Also, the noise level wasn't too high. I feel like I can't talk above loud music.
Another thing that confuses me. When people say that people liking you doesn't matter. What world do they live in? Certainly not the world where you have to be super networked to even have hope of getting a job, certainly not in a world where they think populairiy contests wins on your resume mean anything. The next time you feel this sort of contradictory bull come out of your mouth, think about it. How can I hold two opposing ideas in my head at the same time? I don't know how people do it, but it's mighty strange.

Friday, December 12, 2003

I am still too tired to do my work, so I'll write something that's been on my mind. I think being racist distracts folks from their real problems. For example, for all their huffing and blowing about blacks, most of the whites doing the blowing don't live anywhere near a black neighborhood, have barely any blacks on their job, and have very few blacks at their college(for all their huffing and blowing about blacks getting in and blacks getting scholarships, they could have studied for the SAT and increased their score or actually done their work, and raised their GPA)

This interests me because it's just amazing to me that people would spend their time spouting off lies without doing any critical thinking whatsoever. To me, the truth is readily apparent- that blacks are like people all over- we have good folk who work hard, and we have bad folks who suck, and we have people who are in the middle, and people who lean both ways, and people who are sometimes one way and then the other. I guess having a scapegoat makes people feel better, but doesn't it make your real problems worse? While you're complaining about how blacks are this and that, rich people are outsourcing your job, they are laying folks off for more profit. If the people aligned with those rich folks could get no more money or votes off of your race hatred, the rich people wouldn't be stopped, but they'd be pretty well slowed down.

This amazes me- I know there's no big conspiracy to make people believe lies, just a bunch of groups working in their own self interest, but how some people consistently choose race hatred over their own well being is amazing to me. It's like the poor whites before the Civil War- they could have gotten higher wages without all that cheap slave labor, but they didn't do anything about it. Some people will say, this is not the past, but when you guys are ready to come into the future, I'll stop talking like it is. Because that sort of thinking is past thinking- thinking you are entitled to all the power, all the money, all the spots.

People may be like 'well, race doesn't matter',etc,etc. But they say that because they don't believe they are affected. Just because race doesn't make any sense biologically(I mean, it seems you can be up to 80% white, and still be thought black - that old one drop for people mixed a bit less recently ) doesn't mean our society isn't controlled by it. I think even whites are negatively affected because all the time and money spent hating and spreading lies about blacks could be used in improving the situations of whites.

Here is also a link by a Canadian talking about race in Canada. I have heard that in Canada that even old white ladies don't shy away from black men, despite them the descendants of Africans just the same as American blacks. However, I do not know if this is true. But then again, I heard it's not true. (read this link, it says a lot of things better than I can)

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I don't want to do my work, so I will blog. I encourage everyone reading this blog to undertake a public mental health project. Say nice things to others. Bite your tongue if you have useless judgments to make. (like don't go around talking about stuff people can't help, like a lisp or a limp)Try to listen to others and have some empathy. Don't spread gossip or rumors. Don't cause a problem and then yell at someone for having it. Think of it like environmental volunteering. You don't throw trash on the street or burn your car in the yard, do you? Then don't mess up our mental environment by being a judgmental prick. I admit that I have strong opinions, and entirely do not have any patience for racism, I mean read a book, damnit, but I don't go around putting down chubby folk or spreading rumors like many people do.
A homeless girl talks about how it feels like to be called homeless trash. I think it is a good idea to get stories from the people themselves instead of feeling smug in our heated homes after tucking away a big meal, and talking about what other people should be doing. Whenever I feel the impulse to judge a poor person, I remember my difficulties in chemistry- hard work does not necessarily mean reward. Not to mention, it's not like there is some magic that prevents me from getting a brain injury, tomorrow, even. Instead of talking big about how we would never be homeless, maybe we should attempt some compassion. Something is breaking down in our society, and we can't fix it unless we stop blaming and start working. And no, giving a can when you are guilted out of it by the Boy Scouts does not entitle you to pass judgment on others cruelly.
James Kochalka Ruins Xmas. Warning: a hint of breast feeding. Of course, this link will not be relevent in a day, because I don't know how to link to the individual comics, and I can't access the archives due to my lazy non paying behind.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

This link talks about bullying. An interesting tidbit is that bullies are more likely to be involved in rapes and assaults later in life. To me, that's a no brainer, because if you are taught that you're allowed to hurt people with no repercussions, and this is reinforced by experience, how are you going to get the message that hurting people is wrong? I would prefer that schools and parents were more aggressive about this, but it takes less work to demonize the kids being bullied and to make excuses for bullies, so I'm not holding my breath.
Here's a stanza of poetry to reflect on-

Before our mettle is tested
We easily consider ourselves strong
Before we see our children want
Not elaborate things
But a christmas bike or easter shoes
It's easy to say what should have been done

Nikki Giovanni, 'Gus (for my father)' The entire poem is in the collection Cotton Candy for a Rainy Day.

This is slightly related. Tim Wise turns the rape of the corpse of MLK back on some folks. I dislike people twisting the words of a great man to fit their own racist agenda. The same people misquoting King forget some of his important words. A paraphrase- we should learn to live together or perish together as fools. Wouldn't that condemn people who are bent on not sharing society with everyone else?

Monday, December 08, 2003

The article "On the relevance of Education for Black Liberation" has awakened some new thoughts in my mind. For those interested it is in the Summer 1978 (Vol 47, No. 3) issue of The Journal of Negro Education(why the journal had not or even, I believe has not changed its name is a mystery to me) on pages 266- 282, and authored by Joyce Williams and Ronald Ladd. It critiques the idea that formal education will cause equality by talking about the pay gap for blacks and whites who lived in the ghetto and got the same amount of education.(hopefully this has been rectified by now)and posits that black self education has been more helpful since it does not mean that blacks need to assimilate to white culture, and doesn't have the culture based judgments that formal education seems to. (if you don't have a big vocabulary, well, just use the dictionary, is a bit less limiting in life than you don't have a big vocabulary, you're shit for brains. )

I think that people of all cultures should self educate. Even us college educated people should always be trying to read and learn. We can't take in all we can or should know in a life time just by sitting in a classroom, although classrooms are helpful. We should take the initiative ourselves to be where we are supposed to be in the realms of knowledge. If we don't educate ourselves, anyone can lie to us, and try to say that's the truth. If we have the knowledge, we are not so easily swayed by every jackleg politician. So read early, read often,and read critically.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Here's an interesting site about Wicca, from the point of view of someone who seems to be annoyed with people who believe they are Wiccans for fashion. I don't know much about it, but while pretending that chanting words will make stop lights last for a shorter period of time might be fun (I read this 'spell' in a book by some chick named something ludricous like Silver WolfRavenMoon when I was 14 at a birthday party, so don't take this as a real comment about anyone's actual beliefs. ), you should try to figure out what you believe and not just be making a fashion statement or going along just because your parents believed that.

Also, here's an uplifting (NYTimes, registration required. Just put in fake info) story about a bunch of people really excited about Howard Dean. This is what I call authentic good news. A lot of upbeat stories seem forced to me. They tend to gloss over real problems with some cute psych pop optimism. But I like a good story of people getting excited about things, putting some energy into life,etc.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

This is a pretty good essay about whining about the pussification of the American male. It also reminds me of something that has been bothering me for a bit. The co optation of the 'victim' stance by certain people, while acting like people with real problems can't say anything about them.

For example, there's the guy who is always whining about how he A)can't get into college B) can't get a job C) can't get scholarships because of those darn minorities, but if a black talks about a real problem, they are the anti Christ. I'm sorry, but I got waitlisted to Brown, and did I say "waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, they hate me because I'm black"? No, I sucked it up and went to another school. I am not getting fat scholarships but I'm not being like Oh, they hate me, they are so racist. I'm like I gotta get my GPA up. I mean, if gays are supposed to have 'personal responsibility' over the fact that they want to have sex with members of the same sex, why can't these people take responsibility for their own personal failings?

Friday, December 05, 2003

Wallpaper for the week, and FYI, internet accelerators are spyware.
Common Racist Ploys:

1)My best friend is this and that, or I'm not racist but....

If something racist comes out of your mouth, you're racist. If you don't want the consequences of being a racist ass fool, shut the fuck up.

2)Well, it's all the black's fault...

How is it the black man's fault that you can't think? I remember reading in Forgotten Readers about how hard people worked to make people respect the negro, and I remember many good blacks today that work just as hard. The racists don't care. We could be a superhuman race of saints and they'd still spew that shit.

3)But I didn't own any slaves!

But you sure did reap the benefits. Also, if every person just stood up, and say "I'm not believing any more lies about anyone else. I am reading and learning about a people before making any more claims about them" How many racists do you think there would be left? By not standing up against racists, not learning anything about blacks, and then parroting lies from others, you become complicit.

4)It's soooooo haaaaard to [learn anything, to read a book, to keep my mouth shut if I don't know jack]

It's not anymore harder than learning to wipe your own damn behind. Stop making excuses. I know guys who haven't been to college, and work regular jobs who aren't racist. If they can find time out of their busy schedules to not be an asshat, so can you.

5)[Any arguments from historical amnesia]

Read a book. I know shit about C++ programming, so I don't talk about it. Simarily, if you don't know shit about people don't talk about them. You lose your right because you're a dumbass. I don't go around making vast generalizations about fucking Pakistanis, because some Pakistani dudes pour acid on their women. I don't go up to Pakistanis saying 'You people hate women' or blaming any attacks against Pakistanis on that, do I? You know why I don't do this? Because I realize that the actions of crazy fools can't stand in for millions of people. Unless you realize that, shut the fuck up.

6)I'm soooooo discriminated against, like I had to apologize for saying the n word!

This echoes the popular whining of Recontruction, during which the KKK was formed. WAAAA! The slaves are free! I'm soooooo oppressed! Shut the fuck up and learn what it is to be oppressed, or shut your mouth. I like how people like to pretend to be victims and then yell at folks with real problems. F.Y.I. Having a black within 200 miles of you is not a real problem, and get off your ass and do your schoolwork instead of bitching about blacks, and you wouldn't have any problem with scholarships.

7)Any broad generalizations based on one or two blacks

Now all whites or [insert your group here] are sheep fuckers, because I know some nasty ass farmer is probably doing something. To simulate how this might be annoying, look at these guys. What if everyone thought you engaged in similar behavior because you happened to share similar coloring (you and millions of other people)? That's why you are being an asshat when you do this one.

The basic message of this list for illiterates is if you don't know anything about something, shut the fuck up.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

I discovered a bundle of the entire Fancy Lala series. This is a really sweet series about a little girl who discovers a magical pen that allows her to change into an adult. She gets discovered and is on the path to fame. My favorite features of the show are its general down to earth flavour. Instead of having this totally unrealistic little girl who is perfect in every way becoming instantly famous and getting a cute boyfriend, she's just an average kid who likes to draw and is a bit flaky, she has to work hard to become famous, and family relationships are emphasiszed over romantic.

Also, Utena is cheap now.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Linking to old news about Bush's AWOL so I will not be remiss in linking to this. Yea, that made no sense, but Rumsfield makes about as much. Here is a link to a photo that is not safe for work or people younger than whatever the legal age is to look at a naked woman's bottom. This was linked on The Comics Journal board as an example of David Boring's favorite type of woman. I would like to read that comic again- I can't remember much of it but the plot points, the art, and how somehow it seemed really complicated.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

I talk about race on this blog a lot because I feel not educating or not trying to at least get a tidbit of information out is being complicit with racism. If you just let something go on, you become guilty yourself, and I'm not going out like that.
This guy kicks ass for lighting a candle instead of blowing one out and complaining when others cursed the darkness. I applaud that he decided to listen to someone else instead of making excuses or being lazy. I'd also like to note that when you say "life's not fair" you're making it unfair. If you want life to be better, you don't give it up, you don't try to actively make it worse. You try to make it better. Talking about life's not fair when someone's in a bad situation is lazy as hell. Why don't you get off your high horse and get out and help?

Some infomation about Esctasy- drug trials may have been faked. Also, some more stuff by that guy
See the November 23rd post about the Borders strike on this page for context to this ramble. Anyway, I think they should keep on the people who actually know about books. It may be a few dollars cheaper to hire someone who doesnt' read, but the customer isn't going to buy a book he/she can't find because the idiot in your store can't even find the Madeline L'Engle books. I don't see how a store can even expect any customer service at all if they don't pay decent wages. Some people will whine about how the customer is always right, but if you're not being paid enough, it just gets easier and easier to just tell the customer to fuck off.

Monday, December 01, 2003

This comic strip shows my philosophy towards people better than I could say it. Also, Young African Americans Against Media stereotypes could use a bit more content, but it's a good starting place. If you don't have good sense, remember- people choose what news to run, what pictures to show, what experts to call in the media. Also, a special treat- it's an interview with Robert Crumb! Plus, Kochalka brand cuteness daily. It's American Elf! And no, it's not supposed to be funny- it's a diary strip. Also, satire=cool. And sweetness- Marmalade Boy's finally coming out!

Sunday, November 30, 2003

I finished two books today. A People's History of the United States made me feel very hopeful and uplifted, because Zinn talks a lot about ordinary people being heroes. He talks about whole communities banding together for a decent wage, about blacks standing up for equal rights, whether it's refusing to budge or not being scared to die, he talks about people who burned draft cards for peace, despite the consequences. Sure, I wish he had put in more about the Black Panthers and gays and Latinos(these last two he mentions in the afterword as things he has not paid enough attention to) but overall, I like it. It's not about a bunch of guys who sit up in their ivory towers while everyone else does the working and fighting and dying, it's about the people who actually do it.

I also read the second volume of Hana Yori Dango(called in the US- Boys Over Flowers). It's still as good as ever- Makino may stand up against everyone, but she's far from a cardboard 'strong woman' . My favorite addition is her newly rich childhood friend who responds to being chased through the school having garbage thrown at him with "Is this exciting or is this exciting? I've never been chased by so many people before!". With lots of fun and love triangles, this series continues to be good despite the art. I hope it continues because it's thirty five volumes. I should pick this up first thing every time it comes out, since Viz will drop a series like a hot potato if it's not selling enough.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

It's time to educate yourself. People try to say that poor people in the US are all rich or lazy because of their obesity, but a factor that is invisible to rich folk sitting up in their towers calling names might be the problem- maybe, the lack of availability of fresh fruit? So many things like this would be solved if we just had the intellectual rigor to think before we spouted a bunch of judgmental BS out of our mouths.

Although here are some more people talking about gardening for the hungry. Take note- they didn't sit around slagging off the poor- they kicked ass- which is way more than the slaggers can say.
I watched Gone With the Wind yesterday, and I was shocked at all the griping. While in real life, there would have probably been more griping- people are not automations, I am so used to people automatically knowing what to do in movies or at least not griping that I was surprised. In Panic Room, Jodie Foster's character doesn't seem to waste any time being afraid, and knows exactly what to do in this situation(people breaking into the house) While that's fun for escapism, it's pretty silly to expect real people to be like that, although there tends to be a lot of feeling that they should be.

But in GWTW, folks were devastated by their houses being burnt, disliked hard work when they had to work, and just weren't hunky dory folks. I'm a bit shocked at it- a modern day Melanie would sweep down and lecture them all about how they are all creating their bad situation through negative thinking. But this Melanie continues to be nice through it all, and doesn't scold Scarlett, even when she deserves it. It's so strange to even think that archetypes have changed so much. Scarlett's got some underlying strength, but she sure isn't the steely eyed Termanatix that we're used to so much lately. Melanie's the good girl who would have been full of platitudes, and judgments nowadays, but instead she's just a good hearted simp.

I don't have anything intelligent to say about this, it just surprised me.

Friday, November 28, 2003

A true patriot is one who tries to uphold a better America for all people. Let go of your hate of the other, try to listen to other people, and cultivate some compassion, and you'll have done more for America than any flag waving politician has ever done.

This blog is pretty good, although a general word of advice should be offered. Don't gripe about having to share the culture, just go and join the dance. Don't worry, you don't have to be afraid.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

The War Against Boys is an odd piece of infotainment. For example, I think the book would have been a lot better if she had cut the rhetoric and packed the book with facts. Is it really necessary to whine about wasting valuable classroom time with telling people that sexual harassment and rape are bad, and then turn around and start talking about 'character education' and teaching about manners. While I'm all for manners, it's not the primary use of the school. If parents abdicating their responsibility to teach manners, should the school teach them?

especially since she spent the whole first part of the book whining about having this ideology taught in the schools. Is it ok to teach any ideology in school? Is it only ok if you agree with the ideology? Also, she complains about research methods such as surveys and interviews of children, yet after one of these complaints, she uses a survey of women and men- 70% of the boys say yes to casual sex, and a 100% of the girls say no to sex. There's no control in this. Where's the outrage? Not to mention, she gripes because some teenage girls are not exactly the soul of wit and wonderfulness. Yea, the average 16 year old is going to make this wonderful response to a question. Not only that, she gripes because they say valorize a girl who wants to write an essay from Hitler's point of view as outspoken, instead of some nice nelly who is well liked by class mates and has a high GPA. The outspoken girl is valorized because instead of going along with public opinion, she thought up a creative idea. Yea, she's going to be thought of as weird, and 16 year olds do like to shock, but weird people bring a lot of energy into our civilization. New things have to happen or civilization will run down, that's what they forget.

Her anecdotal evidence leaves something to be desired too. She's talking about these schools and how after they implemented character education, they had better conduct, but how does she know that the character education caused that? The classic illustration of this is that ice cream eating and crime levels go up together. Does one cause the other? She also uses the words moral education, but I'm not sure if she knows that morals and values have been co opted to mean bigotry and ignorance.

Not only does she do that, she accuses people of patholgizing boys, but she attributes the same pathological attributes to them. She talks about how some people seem to think that boys are protobatterers, but then at the end, talks about how boys are full of more aggressive behavior, and how we need to civilize them in same sex classrooms.

And a final thought- she is always appealing to common sense. That's a flawed tactic of rhetoric, because she assumes that everyone agrees with whatever she is talking about. Also, it coerces the reader to think "this must be alright- everyone thinks that, it's common sense!"

Also, this post has a lot of rhetoric. I'll point out some of the more obvious pieces here. I use the words 'gripe' 'complain' and 'whine' very often when speaking of the author's viewpoint. This is an example of using negative words to create a negative feeling. I used a scary 'they' at the end of the 2nd paragraph. Dehumanizing your enemies has worked for both sides and every side in between. I also did not bring up that I like the fact that she doesn't think bullying is cool, but think that using that to put neo con indoctrination into schools isn't cool. Oh, guess where the rhetoric is in that sentence. Read carefully for more examples, and remember, I was just a pundit, so remember, that pundit on TV or radio has just as much currency as I do.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Happy Early Thanksgiving! And if you're ignorant, it's your own damn fault, not the person who points it out.
Yea, I agree with the guy who says that you are happier accepting that you are imperfect. I'm not saying that self improvement isn't admirable or that we should give ourselves slack and not others slack, but holding ourselves to the standard of perfection all the time is stressful. This is one of my problems- of course others hold me to a standard of more than perfection, which I can never reach which causes problems. I don't like people who hold you to impossible standards and then yell at you for not reaching them.
It'd be easier to swallow the unbalanced budget if it was being used to help people. Why don't people say the heads of corporations are just lazy if they need gov't subsudies to survive? I mean, it's their raison d'etre to make a profit. (I'm not the head of a big corporation) Also, this guy brings on the science, which I mean to mean agree with me

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

It's hard to make a movie of Lolita, because everything you see in a movie is seen as the truth. Lolita is filled with a mixture of fantasy, lies and truth, and it's up to the reader to sort them out. It takes more than one reading to figure out if Lolita is really the girl Humbert Humbert describes, and whether he is just playing with your emotions to get sympathy. But in a movie, it's harder to show a shimmering veil of lies over the truth- what can you do? Intercut the fantasy with what's really happening? I'm not a filmmaker, so I do not know.
If you say someone is whining, you're not listening. I admit I am not perfect- I think people who think that saying "African American" instead of the n word is on the same level with the murder of Emmet Till, well, they are kinda whining. But then again, it's not like they understand what they are talking about. It takes a lot more than listening to a few pundits to know about the entire history of America and it does take effort to read a book or listen to what the blacks are saying without dismissing it. I wish there was some way to let people know that they shouldn't think that what pundits say is true- they are entertainers put on TV to make you watch- not the news. It's like Al Sharpton. Yea, he's a guy, he gets some attention, but he is under no obligation to tell the truth or even act in a way that make any sense at all, whatsoever.

I guess critical thinking would have to go on. For example, whenever someone's saying "Well all them blacks are having babies on welfare, and that's why we prejudice" You gotta ask yourself "Is that even true?" "Does that apply to any other group?" "How does one thing follow from the other?" "Is that ALL blacks or just a few, who could just be the shitty blacks. My uncle Ambert fucked a sheep once. Does that make me a sheep fucker?" But I guess it's just easier to swallow the prejudice whole like you don't have good sense, and then blame the people you are prejudiced against. But then again, people with dirty hands will tell all sorts of lies to make them seem clean, although they could be really clean if they just stood up, stopped lying, and took some responsibility. But I guess that's just an excuse to avoid paying taxes, isn't it?

And for those still here, go, educate yourself.
I will copy off my blog hero Dirk Deppey, because I want to comment on this particular quote.

"I was talking to [cartoonist] Chris Ware, who wrote maybe the most depressing book ever put out. But then, in a way, his work is like a comic strip where at the end of every page, it just gets worse. Instead of a punchline, there's the opposite of what a punchline would be. As the book goes on, it just gets further and further down, until you're wondering, 'How far are we going to go with this?' It just gets worse and worse and sadder and sadder, and I was asking him, 'Why not have a character who's happy?' He said the entire culture was organized for people who are happy. People who are miserable need reassurance that other people are miserable."

- Ira Glass,
producer and host of the
NPR radio program This American Life,
in an interview with The Onion

This quote is why Chris Ware is my hero. What he says is true- our culture has no real place for people who aren't full of pep and consuming vigor. If you're unhappy, even if it's for a 'good' reason(and 'good reasons' are very narrow- even a very important feeling like a worry about the future, which is the whole rest of your life, is brushed off with an 'it'll be ok', despite the fact that it won't be ok, and maybe may not ever be ok (and it's important to understand that)- and not to mention any feeling that maybe people should reciprocate your kindness, noooooo, mean and hurtful words are ok, any protest is taboo.) you're an outcast. This is a very funny thing because misery is a more common emotion than happiness and bliss. Things that make one miserable go on naturally, and of course, there are those people who are convinced,strangely enough, that life is so happy they have to fuck up people's days, presumably to keep a balance.

But one works hard for a spot of happiness, and sometimes even how matter hard you work, it eludes you, and to add to your misery, people will positively blame you for not being happy, even if your brain chemistry might not be balanced, although theirs could go unbalanced and get that same scorn. But noone thinks that the bad things they are blaming people for could ever happen to them- which is pretty darn short sighted. I'd like to leave everyone with the take home knowledge it's bad luck to make fun because someone is depressed or overweight or simply not perfect- as that could be you, and what if that person can't resist revenge? It's better to be a good person than to be a douche. Thank you. Also, it's bad to create a bad situation and then blame someone else for it. If someone is miserable, you better not make them more miserable with platitudes or insults, or you're to blame. So suck on that.

Monday, November 24, 2003

It's Food for Fines time. I wonder if the "I owe $500 to the library" guy can take advantage of this?

Also- "It is trite, but urgently true, that if America is to remain a first class nation, she can no longer have second class citizens" - Martin Luther King Jr.

And remember to donate to bring a soldier home.
This just in- the government helps you, not just your scapegoat of the week. So when you're complaining about made up stories of welfare queens and begruding kids their Headstart, think about this.
A big problem in life is that life is not like TV. This wouldn't be a problem if people didn't expect it to be like that. We talk to people like there aren't thorny complicated problems that can't be solved in thirty minutes, the fact that not everyone is this autonomous master of their own destiny(I'm a whole lot freer than someone dying of AIDs in a poor country without education- and I get this freedom because of lucky birth), and that sometimes bad things happen, and it's not pathological. Jane can be teased by the bully without being an evil person. If there's a problem, we just give pat self serving answers that try to take the blame away from us or our society.

If we try to treat things like this like they are these imagined TV problems, what will happen? We thought we could go in with guns and everyone would love us. What should we do? Should we pull out? Wouldn't that destabilize the country? But how can we stay when many don't want us there? Will we bring back Iraq's army? These question don't have the sort of pat self serving answers that everyone thinks they should.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Link potpourri- The US trains terrorists, but they usually terrorize brown people in other countries, young people are asshats who can't figure out that they need to pay their phone bills, and some dude in a dress. Also, separating the art from the artist, featuring photography(my favorites are the African photos),, and reviewing comicst tips- how not to be the guy who writes a one sentence summary of the story and then says "I liked it" and nothing else. Along with two bonus racial urban legends featuring authentic good news.Enjoy!

Saturday, November 22, 2003

I think everyone should read Lolita before watching a movie of it. It is because of my belief that Lolita is a masterpiece- it's a tale of self deception, it's a tale of tragedy and loss, and even a bit of beauty. It's really hard to portray something that is very subtle in a movie, I worry. I love the movies, but there's just not enough space to put everything in- two hours just isn't enough.

The novel Lolita is pretty dependent on wordplay too. You get lulled by this murderer's fancy prose style and then he throws a hook in to throw you. You'll be reading pleasantly along and then Humbert will talk about guardians with orphans on their hands and knees. There'll be fits of self delusion and spaces of clarity.

I talked with a guy who had seen only the movie, and he was like "Oh, that was the one with the freaky little girl?" and I'm like no, asshat. And yes, you have time. If you have time to watch shitty reality show after shitty reality show, you have time to read a book, and maybe even think.

But here is a part of an amazon review blurb for Reading Lolita in Tehran that so beautifully summed up Lolita, I am reprinting it here:

'"Lolita," we discover, becomes a story of a girl who finally escapes from the clutches of a man who wants to erase who she is and turn her into a figment of his imagination. '
In my uninformed opinion, I'd say that we'd need a whole lot less therapy if people were encouraged to be kind to each other and maybe even take the time to listen to someone else for a moment, but since that interferes with buying more shit or something, we can't develop any empathy or try not to be asshats for five seconds, so yes, there's gonna be a lot of therapy going on since noone can talk to anyone anymore.

And if you say, that's just human nature, you're part of the problem, so shut the fuck up, and hopefully shoot yourself so you could actually contribute to humanity.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

I don't fault Eminen because of this. He repented. I'm not saying that whites should go around saying bad things about blacks, but apologies, in my eyes, will be accepted. Also, since nowadays, he isn't just enjoying black culture, then running back to the suburbs and whining about reverse racism and the slight possibility that a black person might come within 200 feet of him, I'm willing to give him a pass. What I don't like are whites who enjoy the fruits of our ancestors'(and our) labor, enjoy the culture and music(including that descended from our music), and then come back bitching about blacks, that's just too much. But as long as they respect us, and respect our culture, they are free to enjoy it. Fun is for sharing, you know.
Paper Extension! I'm glad I didn't miss Def Poetry Jam then! It was great- the poets all put real energy into their performance, and there was tons of laughter for all. Also, today's main event-

Phrases That Might Be A Tip Off That You're a Douche:

1) Life Isn't Fair- It's probably not fair because you've created an unfair situation and tried to pin it on the victim, eh? If I spit in your face, it's my own danm fault, not some disembodied 'life' or whatever.

2)Get Over It- Nice empathy and respect for other's feelings. Maybe you should try to listen to someone, asswipe.

3)Your feelings aren't my responsibility- Nice way to take responsibility for your actions. People have way more control over what they say than what they feel, douche.

4)You're Overreacting- Nice way to imperialize your own feelings on someone else's turf. Listen up, dirty rooms drive some people nuts, but I'm not like that. So, do I denounce people who hate dirty rooms or call them names? No, I understand that people can be different from me. People react to different things differently. I dislike it when people say hurtful things to me or disrespect me.

5)Any Variant of Sticks and Stones... - Words can hurt, take responsibility.

6)"He was just joking"(when you weren't there, it's ok if you were there)- It's very rude to tell people how they should feel about something, especially if you weren't there.

The three main characteristics of a douche seem to be lack of respect for others, lack of empathy and lack of responsibility for their own actions. I don't mean the sort of responsibility that lets the people who create bad situations get off scot free, I mean the kind that says "Hey, I control what I do to others."

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

AIDS as a disease of the wealthy..? This self test applies mostly to management, but it also covers many characteristics of the general douche. Also, this advice isn't too sappy, so I will post the link. I'd also like to note that things don't have to kill you to majorly fuck you up.

On another note, the Final Fantasy radio station on netscape radio needs to start playing more older Final Fantasy music- it's just as good as the music from newer ones.
Newsflash: it seems that racism still exists. Racism denyers(wrong word? but kinda like Holocaust denial- I mean, there are all the facts in front of you, but you chose to stick your fingers in your ears) take note. Also, I'd like to remind everyone to not commit crimes, but dang, it's not so cool that one group can go, commit crimes and then at the end of the day, they are still pretty cool, and one can fly straight and still be fucked with.

I'm thinking about that old soc 101 concept of labeling theory(look up Saints and Roughnecks by Chambliss if interested) in which the poor guys got labeled criminals for the same behavior(basically drinking, small criminal mischief) as the rich kids did, and for which they got thought of as just boys being boys. Maybe social power has something to do with who gets labeled a criminal(even in error- the mere assumption that blacks are criminals can fuck up someone's chances) but I don't know.

Monday, November 17, 2003

A guy from the business school was talking a bunch of stuff about diversity. He told the story of a woman who said "Talent is distributed randomly through out the whole population. If you hire from only one pool, you're overfishing." Think about that. Of course, if you needed to hear that, you're not thinking about it, are you?
I think the very idea of a poetry slam proves that poetry is not dead. Put a little hip hop dressing on it, get the poets to perform a little, and folks are lining up to do it, and even to see it. Something that is dead- no amount of dressing up or anything would be enough to revive it. What I really liked about the slam last night was the sense of the poet's getting out their anger and frustration at their alienation. Others 'make you into an alien' but you don't got to drink the poison, you can spit it out, on the mike.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Even free shit discriminates against singles. I got free tickets for the Def Poetry Jam, and got two of them. Ain't that a shitter. But I got a Unity T Shirt(a small!! woah!) so it's all good. They were handing them out at Better Luck tomorrow if you could answer their questions about Unity events. The poetry slam itself was good- a lot of energy- everything from a guy slamming about McDonald's french fries' former lives as slaves, an Asian guy wishing he could get some Jet Li on some folk's asses when they assume all Asians are the same, and a guy critiquing folks who try to act like they are Afrocentric, but don't know shit about Africa.

This weekend has been pretty good. The ivy pull was pretty cool, but the ivy was really dense this year. If you pulled up one runner, you pulled up a fuckton trying to get the one you want out from under. Also, the community garden was started. I just painted some wood because I didn't feel up to using a saw or a pickaxe. The plan is to give the food to the hungry. Kick ass!
In Love Actually, Natalie is not fat, yet everyone insists on talking about how 'chubby' she is. That's ridiculous. If you want to talk about how fat someone is, get a size 22 person to play the girl, not a size 6. A lot of things stretched belief in that movie, but somehow, I worry that people have gotten so messed up, that they actually think a size 6 is fat. There are a lot of people who are actually fat without defining it down to anyone who has had a sandwich this decade.
MARIN SAMPSON, CEO, SICOR, Inc.: What profound advice can I share with you? I recently saw a quote that sums up how I feel about advice. If it's free, it's advice. If you pay for it, it's counseling. If you can use either one, it's a miracle.

And I say- amen.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Also, the Atlanta Community Food Bank is killing some Nazis with its Community Garden Initiative. Not only does it empower folk to grow their own food, that food can then be donated to hungry folk. Also, gardening improves the health. Keep kicking ass and taking names, ACFB!
Why I whine- I see myself as a primary existence, a full human being, not provisional. I don't see my self as less important or less human than the myriads of people my age bitching about bad boyfriends, whining about tests or just thinking unhappy thoughts about their job. I don't think my concerns are any less important than theirs because...? because what? I can't even answer my own question here. There just seems to be so little difference between me and the folks I see bitching and moaning all the time and getting away with it.

Although one time I exploded since people are always whining around me, and I never get to say anything. This guy was moaning about how unfair his teacher was, and was getting away with it. For the same offense I would have been lambasted. How dare you whine! It surely must be your fault! So I was like 'shut up, if I had said that I'd be told to stop whining" He apologized, and I felt really bad..

Friday, November 14, 2003

(spoilers for Better Luck Tomorrow) Better Luck Tomorrow was pretty good. I liked Lin's camera style. The funny parts were funny, but there were a few notable holes. Like how does Ben get over his cocaine habit? One day, he's like I don't want to do this any more, and we don't get to hear anymore about it. Isn't cocaine really addictive? Also, where is everyone's parents? I don't think that study groups can cover for all the shit that goes down here. Despite the problems, I would like to see it again, even if it's just to see if things clear up for me.

Also, I saw the film at a free showing, so it was weird having the most sqemish girls on the planet in front of me. "Oh my god, gross! a woman's body!" (and I bet these girls have been plugged in every hole except for those too little- let's get real here) and sure, the worms were a little gross, but not that gross, dudes.
While being pissed off about morons(I'm sorry, but just having to apologize does not infringe on anyone's academic freedom. She could say asshat shit all she wants and still keep her job, but she has to take the consequences of her actions- just because someone is rich and has a higher station in society doesn't mean that their actions suddenly become consequenceless) and accommodationists(yea, we totally can't fight AIDS if we're against racism! Negro, please. We have come a long way, and I'd hate to see that eroded because we think the fight is over, or that not being insulted in places we pay good money to go is too much to ask. ) I am encouraged by these radical cheerleaders. Sure, it's a strange idea, but it's good to see people putting some energy into something positive instead of just trying to fuck people over where they can or just scramble for the dollar. I feel a bit of hope for young people, seeing them try to do something constructive.

At least I'll have an awesome Saturday- ivy pull, a community garden opening, and maybe even Love Actually.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Wallpaper of the week- Rydia! W00t! Due to chem, my intelligence has gone down and I have started using crappy slang.

Tight! It's about time! Some may complain, but this guy was just dumb. If I put a monument saying "All you fucking douches should stop being assholes" on the lawn of a court building, people would probably take it down with good reason. Just because his stupid monument dealt with religion doesn't entitle it to special treatment. He'd probably complain if some Muslim dude put up some verses of the Koran or some Wiccan put up some stuff saying "Do what thou wilt and harm none"(probably wrong, no disrespect). So, why does having a Christian monument make it any better than any of these others?
I'm concerned about the little things- living a life of servitude at a restaurant, getting ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and depression from the stress, the possibility that I'd be a failure and have to kill myself. However, since others are concerned about important things like does this dress make my butt look big,the small things are shoved off the table

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I got Nadesico- The Complete Chronicles today. W00t. For only $56( cheap for a real one.) I hope Right Stuf has a CPM sale when my wallet recovers so I can get an Utena box.
I really like Mishima's Confessions of a Mask, because of the dual nature of the protagonist's selfhood. There is what the protagonist and the reader know to be true- the protagonist true sexuality- his homosexuality, and there is what the protagonist protrays to the world- hetrosexualiy. I really like the tension between the two- between what's really going on and what's supposed to be happening.

It reminds me of Dubois' idea of double consciousness- seeing yourself both through your eyes, and the eyes of others. I think more people should read Confessions, despite the masochistic tendancies of the protagonist, but I am just that weird sort who loves to look underneath things. It's sort of the scientist's impulse, the desire to find out what is happening for real.

Scientists, in general, don't seem happy with "The elders told us so" or "God did it"- they want to know why people get sick with the flu, why some children of blonde haired parents have brown hair, why Alzheimers desvastates the brain. I think this impulse would be well transimitted to other fields of inqury. Looking into things can't hurt, can it?

Monday, November 10, 2003

Here's a fun art gallery. I like its theme of being a 'school' for catgirls. Not only does it give the page focus, it also allows the owner to write some amusing descriptions, giving the page even more personality. Many of the pictures are a bit fanservicey, but that's to be expected when you pick such a subject. (I believe the owner of this page is female- and while sexy, the overall feel is less of a drooling teenage male and more of a healthy appreciation for the bodies of women)

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Jessica Lynch seems a bit annoyed about the handling of her case. Also, a more complete story, informed by doctor's testimony. I would hope that readers of this blog know to read several sources, and not to get all their news from TV, which has to cut the story down to a 3 minute segment.

And wow, those Brits are on top of things. I swear I didn't know half this stuff. Of course, yadda yadda, but if you don't have anything constructive to say..

Saturday, November 08, 2003

I don't feel like studying- so two things-

An awesome thing I saw on video tape recently. This guy was fed up with this other guy fucking his girlfriend while he was trying to sleep. So he rolled some pencil shavings into a 'joint'. The guy falls for it, and smokes it, and starts coughing. The other guy starts to feel some remorse, so says "It'
s pencil shavings!" But the other guy doesn't have the sense he was born with. He says "I can handle that" and grabs for the joint. The other guy eludes him, but he gets it. He tries again. Finally, the other guy stomps on the 'joint'.

Another race thing- whites can have ethnic pride groups. Just declare yourself the German pride or the English pride or the Greek pride group if you're so hyped to have a white pride group.

I like this blog post.
Why I am not a conservative: I think things are way more complex than they say it is. For example, for the last few posts, I have been cussing out racists. Racists tend to think that simplistic solutions will solve all blacks problems: If they pretended to not be black(they'd be treated the same, assholes don't stop their racism because you deny your who you are- but if everyone who identifies works together, maybe we could get somewhere), weren't inherently stupid(this argument is false), and weren't lazy(also false.) To refute the last two, note how many whites are stupid and lazy. For example, the Hilton sisters just sit around and party and look cute. Many folks haven't worked a day in their lives for things- they just inherit money. Fewer blacks have that advantage, so as they start off poor, maybe some of the smart will rise, but the medium and stupid have strikes against them, and even some of the smart get discouraged.

Also, for example- why aren't all blacks rich in the forty years that they have had full rights? First, only two generations(to me, a generation is about twenty years) have been born since then. The black middle class has boomed, as the opportunities have grown. However, the sheer inertia of the whites' 190 year start causes a gap. Where you start off affects where you end up. Because my parents got to go to college and have the opportunities available to them(while blacks in earlier days could go to college, the opportunities were teach or preach), I get to go to a swanky college too, giving me opportunities to fill my resume up with goodies. You also have to jump over some people's attitudes towards blacks. Because of TV putting in blacks whenever something bad happens, many people can become influenced. Also, if a teacher believes that say, the black students aren't as smart as the others, she may label some learning disabled, where she might have given the white kid an extra push. Then the black kids languish in a class room that doesn't teach anything, and are turned off of school.

Not to mention, the practice of using property taxes to fund schools fucks up the schooling of poor folks of every race. And about other ethnic groups- Asians(legally immigrating- also some groups of Asians have problems, but everyone mostly just ignores them) are picked for the best ones. The ones with college degrees(not everyone can even go to high school in places like Japan and China), the ones with successful careers as doctors, say, already. So of course they are going to have a high income, and everyone wants their child to be a success, so the (legal) immigrants push their sons and daughters, and if you come in with a leg up.. (Even blacks from other countries are more likely to have college degrees than native born)

Also, about the oppression of the Irish- after a generation or so, they could learn English, and change their name, and very few people would be the wiser. Try doing that trick while black. Not to mention, the Irish were able to blend in after the sanctions were lifted. The sanctions have only been lifted from blacks for a very short time.