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.
And as for racism, that goes triple for people who are more than willing to slag blacks off, but unwilling to read a fucking book or even talk to a black person. And it's not the 'darkies' fault you don't have a job, damnit. Get your head out of your fucking ass.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Racists make me fucking sick. Dude, if you can't refrain from saying nigger in front of a black person, how can you even call yourself an intelligent human being? I cuss a lot in my head. You can often read me cussing in this blog. However, when I am in public, I refrain from cursing. Now we get to be thought of badly, because one person doesn't think that maybe she should be polite to others. Thank you, Mrs. Asshat. I would have fired that bicth's ass, just so people could see we don't tolerate asshatery.

And don't wear fucking blackface. If you do, you're a fucking moron. I'm sick of racists, why don't they just move to Siberia, and stop fucking up our country if they can't understand that they aren't the only important people in the entire fucking world? Yea, I'm saying that everyone's concerns are important, not just the concerns of rich whites, and if you are whining about it, sit on a pin and spin. Or better yet, read a fucking book for once. Maybe start with this

After I wrote this rant, I remembered that I was stopped by a news crew and asked about this. However, I hadn't heard about this at the time, and so did not get on TV. Good, as I am ugly and inarticulate.
It seems that Spring of 2004 will be a very bad time for my wallet, what with Freaks and Geeks coming out on DVD, and now, the announcement of Invader Zim.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

That's pretty funny. And don't despair. There are women in other places than bars and clubs*. You could even get a better quality woman(although I have a bias against promiscuity, I admit it) there.

*Guys think if they can't hack it in the club scene, they are doomed to failure. But there's tons more stuff- there are clubs you can join, classes you can take(men say that dance classes have tons of chicks), friends you can ask if they know any lonely chicks.
Here's an essay about unrealistic optimism. I agree, although I tend to have the delusions of nomalacy sometimes ( I am over optimistic that I can conquer my difficulties at math by doing enough problems.), I realize that that's not a good thing a priori, and I shouldn't try to make people have such delusions and call them names if they don't. I also(possibly delusionally) believe I am more realistic than most people. A note: I have a tendency to get sad, and despondent. It's not as bad as true depression, which numbs folks out, making them incapable of enjoying life for weeks or months, mine only lasts for about an hour or a few hours. However, I find it's better for me to just let this pass, than berate myself for feeling like that or try to pretend that I don't feel bad. Usually something in the actual world has made me feel like that, and usually if I don't deal with a problem it festers. I need to fix the problem to feel better.
Also, on the below note, here's a critque of self help books. I like his(her?) example of realistic thinking.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Another rant for the road, before I pass out. I think social control optimism is just despair with a happy face. I like to make up names for things, that's why I call it social control optimism instead of some perfectly fine word that I'm sure people would use. Social Control Optimism means the whole put on a happy face, stay in your place ideology people are fed. From writing down affirmations to people who think we all create our own reality(as if death would go away if we didn't think about it) to trying to get people not to think any non positive thoughts, keeping everyone running around in circles is popular.

The people who like to use this tell you not to 'whine' (don't be ashamed to whine- who are these people to say they have more power than you? The whole 'whining' thing is a power relationship- I think I have the power to say whether you can express your opinions or not), tell you you need to 'try happiness' (as if one couldn't think and be happy at the same time) or try to pretend that everyone whose life isn't one mass of crazy happiness is this terrible person. (it's another power thing- if a poor person falls on hard times, people bleat about personal responsibility, but a rich person never has to take responsibility for anything it seems)

However, real optimism is different. It sees that there are problems, but believes that change is possible. The problem is that you have to think non positive thoughts about things. Like if you see a bunch of drugged out kids on the corner, instead of thinking "They brought it on themselves, those lazy bums!", you might have to have some empathy for them, and think about ways to keep kids from getting to the point where the only pleasure they have in contained in a needle. It takes a lot more work than just thinking happy thoughts. You have to face reality to change it.

Well, the reason that I am so jazzed lately is that I see everyone around me, and they are all excited about their plans and dreams for their lives. I see some professors excited about their life's work. Today I saw a woman speak about Black classicist and I was in wonder as this women seemed to be in love with a man years and years dead. I hear about these heroes- these men and women who gave their whole lives to something, and I simply can not turn away and feel despair and just shit on life and other people all the time like I see these people do. I can't anaesthetize the wounds with platitudes or say 'life sucks' and go on to ruin other lives. I want to be like the people I see full of hope and vigor. There are people out there who truly enjoy their lives- for real, not just in daydreams.

I may not be optimistic all the time, but I don't try to fuck up anyone else's life because of it, and that makes all the difference. Also, here's a fun 'crazy' rant, which rings pretty true to me. See the interview for some fun actual optimism.
I believe that everyone has power. That no one has to let others control their minds. If you're young, think on that, and for everyone,act on that. I believe in revolution. Not the revolution of splurting blood, but the revolution of turning on our minds.
In my world, there are two kinds of people, cool people and douches. You can tell a cool person by their dreams and goals. They want to uplift their communities or have high personal goals for themselves. You know they are going to make it, because they don't have time for no mess. They spend their time building things up. These people kick ass.

But douches on the other hand, they are up to no good. They spend all their time spitting on anyone who doesn't have it as good as they do. They have plenty of time to complain about how others bitch and whine(i.e. someone who can't beat them up or isn't richer than them expresses an opinion) They love to lay platitudes about how things are supposed to be done on you, but are full of excuses when they can't do something. They give shitty ass advice (like saying shit or get off the pot to a depressed person) and then whine when the person has the balls to tell them to fuck off. Douches think that ruining people's lives makes them better people. They think that bad things happen only to bad people. They never think. So to all the douches, fuck you. If you recognize yourself, you're less doucheish than most douches. You can recover. Try to sink as much energy into trying to improve the world as you do in tearing down your fellow men.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Today I went to a non controversial controversial panel on affirmative Action. While I appreciated the speaker's knowledge, there should have been a dissenter, just for color.

Also, I am really interested in tension between what is supposed to happen and what really does. Our myths say 'if you work hard, think happy thoughts, and compete against others, all will be well". But to me, these myths are ringing hollower and hollower every day. There are so many things I can't just resolve with 'they are just bad people'. I want to find out what is really going on.
I sent a letter to the Emorywheel protesting this offensive article. It appears below:

Reducing a serious mental disease to being �ungrateful� is a slap in the face for everyone at this institution who knows someone who was ever depressed or even anyone who actually thought about the subject. I say you take your volunteer work to the mental hospital to see some depressed people instead of just wagging the finger. I am aware that it is not popular to have empathy for others or actually try to understand their problems before mouthing off about what bad people they are. However, it is greatly more selfish to not care about your fellow man, than it is to have emotions that some people don�t agree with. People are not obligated to change how they feel to please you.

I am sick of the pathologizing of people having any emotions other than a near manic state of happiness. Bad things happen, even to good people, and we become sad as a result. Reality doesn�t care if you didn�t worry, and in fact, worry can empower you to do more than if you were in la la land. I know a mere letter can not make you think before you insult billions of people, but I�d like to remind thinking people- this isn�t Brave New World, and it shouldn�t be. Better a danm than a Gramme.

Monday, November 03, 2003

New study gives evidence that prayer makes no difference in healing of disease. I'd like to remind people to go to the freaking doctor if they have health problems. Herbs, happy thoughts, and prayers are nice and fun, but it's not ok not to get checked out. There is no conspiracy against the herbalists, etc.- if a scientist proves some popular therapy works, he gets a lot of attention for his work. There's actually more temptation on this side.

I'm a bit skeptical about the whole religion and medicine thing. It's good to have a chaplain on hand if people need it- but couldn't some of this time spent on studying this be better spent on things that actually cure, not just make you feel better about it? We're awfully touchy feely for a people with lots of diseases still needing cures. Also, folks, look at the data bank on the 2nd or so page.

I'm not a religious person, but if there was a God, you'd think He/She would provide brains and the opportunity for people to use them to help each other, rather than sitting back and just relying on him to bail them out of everything. So go, use your brains.

I actually prefer anime to religion, personally. It's good for you- you laugh, it distracts you. But I have never heard of anyone dying because of anime.
Victims of the world, unite! I think that being pissed off is a much better response to being fucked over, than worrying about what you did wrong, and how you could have possibly caused this. The latter is my tendency, which is of course, encouraged by society. If someone does you wrong, you're supposed to whip yourself about it. Although, as of late, I've been getting angry. It's not ok to be an asshole just because I won't blow you away with a gun. It's not ok to hurt others because you have an inflated sense of your own importance.

People may complain about victimhood, but the only way to not be a victim anymore, is to ignore their rhetoric. Hating yourself only keeps you chasing your tail, and noone can kick any ass but their own that way. If you're so busy worrying about how awful you are, there's no room for any real action to be done against those who have hurt you. Those people tend to prey on those who listen to morons who think that just ignoring them will work. Don't do it, kiddies. Punch them in the face, take the suspension. I think even your parents would understand that.

Believe me, noone has the right to hurt you. I don't care how big they are, how rich their parents are, how they act when the teachers are watching. I guess that's my public service announcement for the day. Too bad I can't go in and tell kids that at school. It'd be a bit too edgy for schools and cause some problems. I mean "No one has the right to hurt you"? That would be revolution in schooling. People would actually be able to learn maybe. Oh well, a pipe dream.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

It seems that iTunes is steaming right along, getting to the million song mark about three and a half days after release, twice as fast as the Mac version. I wonder how this will change things. I know I waste substantial time fooling with it.

The good ol' Onion, funny and true! Assholes aren't very fun people for me. I prefer mature people who can make a joke without leaving someone scarred for life. I'm all for humor, but the sort of humor everyone can laugh at and enjoy. When someone makes a mean joke, I usually end up thinking about how I would feel, causing it not to be very funny. However, if someone makes a funny joke, I laugh and enjoy myself. I am not a funny person, although I tend to try to create an environment where funnier people can make jokes and everyone can enjoy themselves. I'll say something knowing that a person who can make a joke will, and everyone laughs without making anyone want to kill anybody. So by recognizing my weaknesses, I compensate without being a jerk.

This article is a very good overview of the state of our hysteria about teen sexual health. I especially like the point about giving teens things to do other than fuck or hang around in the freaking library(when I was in Memphis, tons of unsupervised teens were in the main library because they had nowhere to go. They can barely even go to Peabody Place because of the restrictive dress codes- they put the mall up in an urban area, with projects, and then expected the people from there not to go) I'm not a parent, but couldn't they at least donate some time to Habitat for Humanity? When I was a teen, I loved that shit. It should be even better for dudes because strength and heavy lifting gives a nice way to feel masculine without doing something negative.
Right on*! I'm sick of seeing the same old black film. Innovate, damn you! The last good black film(and that's stretching a bit) I saw (Sunshine State) was directed by a white dude(although I did think he was black, the movie was that good- I'm not putting down white people, but it's hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes) We have such good movies as Eve's Bayou, Devil in a Blue Dress, and Do The Right Thing in the 90s, but in the 00's, what we got? Some more minstrel shows? I don't want to see black folk act like clowns- we got enough clowns in real life, I don't need to see it in a movie. They need to have more stories that simply deal with life, or at least a believable character or two. We have had some progress, not all black folks in movies are from the ghetto(as a non ghetto living black person, I think we should represent, personally) but there's a great deal more places to go.

*Giancarlo Esposito is black and Italian for those who don't know. I liked that, since Sal and his folks are Italian. I like that Spike showed some white people with ethnicity. White people didn't just appear in the US, they came from Europe, darn it. Many white folks I know can tell you what percent they are this and that. But then again, I'm probably just a weird person, but seriously, you got the dishes from this or that great grandmother, sometimes even festivals about their ethnic pride. That would be interesting to talk about in a movie, personally. I also like black movies about the different cultures of black people, as we aren't some big monolith, you know?