Ye Olde Archive Archived Posts: 2004-2009

27Aug/05Off

Why George W. Will Save Our Country

Good, now that I've gotten your attention. You know how a lot of medicine that you have to ingest tastes like shit, but if it didn't taste that bad then it probably wouldn't be as beneficial? Well, I think that's Dubya. Before you burn my blog to the ground, I'll explain.

This idea started when I glanced over the Friday cover of the New York Times, and perused an article which talked about rising energy costs. The article mentions that even though the national temperature average is still in the 80s, people nation-wide are already worried about budgeting heating costs for the winter, with prices higher than most of us have ever seen, and not estimated to drop any time soon. Common ideas were to turn the heat down, and put on a sweater, be it for a home, a school, or the workplace. But you know what, I think that's perfect.

Let's face it. As a nation, we're coddled. We've had a good run of prosperity lately, and no matter how much people will bitch about monetary imbalance, the amount of people in "comfortable" financial situations seems to just keep growing. I know I can't cross the street without getting bumped aside by a new SUV, a fat woman pushing 8 kids in a Wal-Mart SUPER-STROLLER (tm), or some guy younger than me with leather pants and a new BMW. The thing is, our financial gain has nothing to do with us becoming smarter, stronger, or more driven than we have been in the past. On the contrary, the lazier we get the more shit seems to get handed to us. Think of the "No Child Left Behind" act. Oh, you have a LEARNING DISABILITY!? Well let us just bend over fucking backwards to make sure than when you're 25 you can still force someone smarter and older than you to bow to your will. Because really, that's the trademark of our society now. The more you suck, the more you can boss people around that suck less than you. I was reading movie quotes from "Stand and Deliver" the other day, and I think one applies here.

There is two kinds of racisim, Mr. Escalante. Judging a group because they are a minority, and NOT judging a group because they are a minority.

Granted, I'm not talking about race. What I'm talking about is natural intelligence and ability. Perhaps we could insert "intellectual prejudice" for "racism", and make the quote more applicable. The point is that while it may not be right to judge a group because they are less intellectually skilled, it's not necessarily right to NOT judge them because they are less intellectually skilled. More simply, while it may not be nice to point and laugh at the dumb kid, you should still realize that he's the dumb kid. I'm so going to hell for that ...

So to get back on track, we're coddled and we're letting people who don't deserve to run our businesses run them, who don't deserve to be our managers manage us, and who don't deserve to friggin' fry our "freedom fries" run the country. And for that we get to start worrying about our energy costs in August, and we deserve that.

See, Bush isn't the problem. Yeah, I was upset when he won the first time. I was absolutely DEVESTATED when he won a second term. Whether or not he cheated is moot, the fact remains that about half the people in this country WANTED him. And that, to me, means that he is just the symptom of a much larger problem. Those people we are trying so desperately to "not leave behind"? They're growing up, having hordes of "little miracles", and they're voting. They run our Wal-Marts, our McDonalds, our movie theaters and our Auto Dealerships. They sell us insurance, they buy stock in Starbucks, Microsoft, and Enron, and they run for office. And they're part of the problem, but they're not THE problem. THE problem, really, is that this is a self-propogating cycle. More than that, they're gaining momentum while we're losing it, and things seem pretty bleak. But then, like a pile of rotten refuse gleaming in the Texas sun, they offer us a solution. George W. Bush.

I'd like to side-track a little bit to offer up an oil analogy. It's fitting, don't you think? We've all seen those big oilwell contraptions, with the big hammer thing rotating around the big piston thing, mesmerizing us with its tireless tick-tock efficiency. At some point, I assume it's before those things begin their work, men strike oil deep in the earth (sticking a giant drill deep into the ground is as close an analogy to "raping the earth" as I could ever think of), and it gushes to the surface in all its black-gold glory. Sometimes, the oil catches on fire, and you have a hole in the ground that becomes a flame-geyser. Can you say "not fun"? To put out these fires (and my point is coming up here very soon), they don't try to lessen the flow of oil, or pour water on it, or smother it (in any conventional sense). They certainly don't attack it with their liberal ideologies and they don't try to plug the hole with Michael Moore (though that might be worth a shot). What they do is they set up an explosion so big around the jet of fire that it feels puny in comparisn and dies (kind of like if a guy were all full of cock and swagger, and to bring him down you send Orlando Bloom into the room). Okay, so really it's an oxygen-deprivation thing, but the point is that to put the fire out, they make a much bigger fire, which steals the little fires oxygen, and both of them end up not being able to sustain, and die.

George W. Bush is our explosion. (Whew, took me awhile to get there. Sorry.)

We've got the steady flame of mediocrity burning strong in the American heart. How do we fix that? With a supernova of mediocrity that'll steal all the oxygen from the little mediocre flame, and they'll both burn out.

The energy thing is a start. People who are colder tend to move more. The best heat solution is body heat, and the best way to maintain body heat is to stay active. This, in turn, will start to help with our obesity problem. Also, improved bloodflow increases brain activity (though plenty of jocks have proven that this is not a solution by itself), so people might get a tiny bit smarter.

Our economy, which is not going to be able to sustain this level of prosperity indefinately with W. at the helm, will suddenly get a lot tougher. Ideally (and I can be a naive idealist at times), this will increase job competition and create a more rigid standard against incompetence. Sure, you may not get a grad student hired to cook your fries at Burger King, but in general a tougher market will mean that the lowest of the low will have to bring themselves that much higher to compete. If not ... well, it's Darwinian, and I like it. I think I already mentioned that I'm going to hell for this.

In "What is to be done?", Nikolai Chernyshevsky wrote of an ideal society based on peasants in a social commune. In it he lauds a social commune of peasants that live in perfect peace and suffer from absolutely NO conflict or unhappiness. Other than the impracticality or such a society, it shows a prevalent underlying ideology that conflict is intrinsically "bad", and only happiness and contentment are "good". Dostoevsky, with great contempt, often referred to Chernyshevsky's utopic peasants as being no better than an organ-stop. Particularly so in his "Notes from Underground":

Besides, he will at once be transformed from a human being into an organ-stop or something of the sort; for what is a man without desires, without free will and without choice, if not a stop in an organ? What do you think? Let us reckon the chances–can such a thing happen or not?

The reason I mention this is that I feel like our society now is perilously close to an ideology where we would be better off without choice, freedom, or free will, so long as we are safe, warm, fed, and "happy". I say "happy" when I mean content, and though I think they're worlds apart, I'm not sure most Americans could describe the difference. I won't get into it here why I think a "happiness"-based society is ridiculous. I think Chernyshevsky described it well enough, and in reading his description it's fairly clear to see why it's patently absurd.

But that's what we're doing. On a day to day basis in our society we are getting rid of conflict. Classes too hard for some students? Make them easier. Too hard to get a job? Hire those poor, unqualified folk. Better yet, promote them. Let them run the company. Too much trouble to be in shape? Introduce more fad diets than anyone knows what to do with and start selling salads at McDonalds. No, don't worry about exercise. So long as we're skinny, who cares? We don't like to see failure. We don't like to admit that any task is too difficult for any person. We're all equal, right? It seems like we'd rather have those people with exceptional qualities lower their skills to a more average level (we don't want to make anyone feel bad, right?), than try to really push those who don't have the natural abilities. Sure, plenty of teachers work hard to do just that. I mean, we've all seen "Dangerous Minds", right? At least twice as many don't care.

I'll bring this all around, and finish up, by saying that a slow decline into mediocrity is a subtle thing. A warping of values into something that will destroy our society can be even moreso. Dubya is as subtle as a pygmy monkey thrown at your face. And in this case, he may be just the splash of cold water we need to realize that it's sink-or-swim time folks, and it might be better if a few of us sink.

Filed under: news 2 Comments
26Aug/05Off

‘Cause I don’t wanna dream alone…

So last night I met the girl of my dreams ...

it's a pity I was only dreaming.

It was incredibly vivid, and I woke up really disappointed that it hadn't really happened. For what it's worth, if you see her around, she was: tall, about 5'8", I'd guess, with a medium/fit build, and shoulder-length medium-brown hair worn back in two braids. She had a kind face and a mischievous smile.

I'm such a sap sometimes.

------

In completely unrelated, and more disturbing news, I'm concerned about the number of people who have been finding this blog with various searches for Second Life "furry avatars". Seriously though ... ick.

Alternately, I wonder how long it will take someone to start making movies using either "Second Life" or "There.com". With the amount of freedom these programs offer in both character creation and movement, it's only a matter of time ...

Filed under: love, personal No Comments
24Aug/05Off

It’s a G thing, part the second

Google has released, in beta, their IM software. It's called "Google Talk", and it rocks my little world. I don't know where you can download it from, except that I can send you an invite if you like. You NEED Gmail to use Google Talk, so if you need that, let me know and I'll send you an invite for that as well.

Cool points for Google Talk:

  • It's connected to Gmail, so you get email notifications.
  • It's tabbed chatting, in a cheaty sort of way. IM me and I'll explain it. 🙂
  • It fully supports voice chatting, so talk to your friends in China for free.
  • The UI is simple, minimal, and ad-free. It reminds me a bit of ICQ, back in the old days.

    I won't claim it doesn't have some room for improvement (can you say "integrated google search function"?), but it rocks the hell out of everything else available, on day 1. But that's just one man's humble opinion. Comment me an email address, and I'll send you an invite. Let me know if you need Gmail as well.

  • Filed under: news, socialweb, tech No Comments
    23Aug/05Off

    Like photos to the tribesmen

    It's nice having a good view, good company, good beer, and good conversation. 'Nuff said.

    Filed under: photo No Comments
    21Aug/05Off

    Sunset from the second story

    As the sun began to subside behind the horizon, I thought I would try out some of the manual settings on my digital camera in the low light. These two are pretty straight-forward. Some of them turned out pretty crazy. Let me just add, I love sitting out on my balcony at night and watching the stars, and the lights, and the quiet. It may, in fact, be the best thing ever. Really.

    Filed under: photo No Comments