Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's in a War Zone

Ok, not really, but it damn sure sounds like it. I have never seen anything like this before in my life. It's illegal to import fireworks here, but it's not illegal to sell the damn things. The result of which is that bottle rockets the size of Hulk Hogan's arms have been sold old the street for the past week, and it sounds like the city is going to turn to rubble any minute now.

Not really in the New Year's spirit this year. I've got a mild case of the flu, which I'm battling with Alka Seltzer cold plus and hot buttered rum. I was going to stay home tonight, but can't face the explosions and gunfire (yeah, ya heard me - I forgot to mention that part earlier) all by my lonesome. I've rallied, I've dolled up. I've hidden the circles under my eyes with heavy black eyeliner. Maybe no one will notice me dying slowly in the corner of the party. Yikes. Anyway... tomorrow I can sleep all day. SO there.

I hope you all have a fantastic New Year's Eve, and all the best in 2006. I'm going to go try and hunt up a taxi now. Wish me luck. :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Telling it like it isnt

I read this op/ed piece in the LA Times Online today that expands on the concept of being overly PC. Click on the title above to read the article. I have to admit, it got to me. Really.

The gist of the piece is thus: In the attempt to cover the war(s) in the Middle East, the lanugage used by the media is so couched in niceties that we lose sight of what the fight is about in the first place, and we tend to forget that there is real death, real blood, and real horror that goes on every single day. The media is no longer presenting a picture of reality, but a prettied up G-rated version that is suitable for family viewing.

If this isn't bordering on censorship, then I don't know what is. Every little bit of our right to free speech that we give up (oh we can't say "short people" anymore, we have to say "vertically challenged"), gives just a little more leeway to those who once upon a time called Mark Twain a racist and banished Huckleberry Finn from school libraries, and gives credibility to those who claim that Christmas is offensive to other religious groups. Most people I know from different religious backgrounds have the intelligence to know that one's own beliefs are not so easily swayed by seeing how other people worship/celebrate/whatever you want to call it, and respect other's rights to their own beliefs. Duh. (In my personal opinion, Christmas has become so damn commercial that there is hardly a trace of the religious aspect of it left anymore anyway.)

As far as the media is concerned, it is their job to report the truth, and truth cannot be accurately portrayed if you can't call a war a war. What it boils down to is politics - politicians afraid of losing support of the constituency if people got a good look at what is really going on. They are basically telling you, America, that you are too stupid to see it and make a proper judgement. To quote A Few Good Men, "You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth."

If people are willing to spend 20 minutes in the grocery store deciding which brand of low-fat cottage cheese to buy, analyzing the fat content versus the sodium, calories from sugar versus starch, why aren't they just as willing to do the same for the information they take in? Most people don't immediately buy the first car on the lot, they comparison shop - but do people comparison shop when it comes to their own informativeness? Information is a commodity in today's world, and must be treated as such.

I beg you to not take your information from one place. Look around - read international newspapers as well as the local ones (they're readily available and FREE on the internet). Don't take all of your news from 30 second snippets on TV. It's your responsibility as citizens to keep yourselves informed. Don't become a part of what Chomsky calls the "mindless herd," believing only what is spoon fed to you by media conglomerates looking to make a quick buck. Information is everywhere - get some, digest it, make your own choices and judgements. This is freedom. This is what America is built on - choices and the freedom to make them. Take advantage of it.

End of rant. Thank you for listening.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I'm having one of those days. I'm half-sick (AGAIN) - well, more than half. Didn't go to class today. Stayed home instead. My head's been pounding and I can't stop coughing. Maybe if I'd give up smoking (AGAIN) it would be better. Grr.

Have you ever had so much work to do, and known exactly what you needed to get done, but found yourself completely paralyzed and unable to do any of it at all?? That's where I am. I am overwhelmed to the point of complete shut-down. Maybe it's pure panic, and if that's the case, it'll pass in a few days. Except for the fact that this has been going on for a week now. It's totally self-destructive to sit here and stare at the piles all around my living room floor and ignore them. But that's what I've been doing. The longer they sit there, the more urgent they become, the more stressed out I get, and the bigger the meltdown becomes. Why can't I do anything about this??? WHY WHY WHY? I dunno. I'm going to smoke on it now.

I did accomplish one thing today while lying around being sickly. I took out the trash. Only because it had started to smell. I'm pathetic. Boo.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Taking PC a step too far

"Sperber's not-thinness led to steady supporting and character work, and finally a lead in the 1990 Fox sitcom, Babes, about three not-thin sisters."

This is a quote in an actual news article about an actress who passed away this week. In spite of the solemn tone of the whole thing, this sentence made me laugh. "NOT-THINNESS"?? Who is he kidding? He might as well have written "the big fat piggie bit it this week", it would have been just as sensitive. People kill me.