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Fri, Aug. 21st, 2009, 11:23 pm
Health Care

Ignorant and paranoid is no way to go through life.

Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009, 10:14 pm
The Golden Age of Television

as it is called may be rapidly coming to an end for me. Right now, I consider the best shows on Television to be (in no particular order):

Supernatural
Chuck
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Reaper
Lost

I keep watching House for Hugh Laurie, but this season has been sub-par to say the least.

My favorite shows of last year also included Pushing Daisies and Journeyman.

Journeyman was canceled. Pushing Daisies got "the Axe" in the first part of this season. In danger at the moment are Chuck, Reaper and Terminator. Reaper's creators have actually moved on. Supernatural and Lost are each limited to one more season. That would pretty much end my watching of current television shows and allow me to extend my list of "Oh my God they did not just cancel that show it was way better than anything else on TV and it has received awards and award nominations and earned critical acclaim out the ass." This includes Wonderfalls and, of course, Firefly (oh yes, Beckett, Firefly - embrace your inner Brown Coat) as well as Dead Like Me and the aforementioned Pushing Daisies and Journeyman. And likely others I can't think of right now.

What am I supposed to do? Watch the steaming pile that is Heroes? No. It angers me beyond belief that good shows (see above) are being canceled while the pretentious hacks that are the creators, producers and writers of that wretched, wretched little show manage to not only keep their jobs (I'd have fired them long, long ago) but actually suck the talent from other shows. Watch the myriad of new shows they march out with next season so I can get hooked on one, watch it faithfully, email the network when the worry starts, buy a God damn Subway Foot Long, stay up at night worrying about what will happen if the last episode is a cliff hanger? Or if John will go too far forward in the future to be important enough to send his own father back to conceive him in the first place? That seems madness.

And yet, how would I feel right now, with Chuck and SCC hanging in the balance and knowing I could be watching and emailing but I'm not because I can't get hurt like that again? What a vicious cycle. How would I feel, finding the show later, like I found Wonderfalls and Firefly, on DVD, after the fact, after all the struggle was over and all that was left was a sinking feeling that I was part of the problem, rather than the solution.

So, I will probably watch. God help me.

And America... oh, America. Let me explain something to you. Some people savor the nuances of flavor in a dinner of Filet Mignon, Lobster bisque, Perigord truffles, and a bottle of 1787 Chateau d'Yquem. Other people are content to drink the water that collects at the bottom of the dumpster. You have helped shows like American Idol flourish while so many good, worthwhile, scripted television shows dies a slow, painful death. I have pulled a bar stool up to the dumpster. Bon Appétit!!

Tue, Nov. 4th, 2008, 11:05 pm
A longer entry this weekend...

but for now...

(1) I feel privileged to have witnessed history.

(2) Obama is as aware of the votes he didn't get as those he did.

(3) Seattle is in a state of jubilation!!

(4) Congratulations to all those African-Americans who were around to see the Civil Rights Era. You've earned this.

(5) Congratulations to America - first industrialized country to elect a black man. Truly, this is the American Dream come to life.

Mon, Jan. 14th, 2008, 11:52 pm
I'm Still Alive. Are you?

This was a triumph
I'm making a note here
HUGE SUCCESS
It's hard to overstate my satisfaction
Aperture Science

we do what we must because we can
for the good of all of us except for the ones who are dead
but there's no sense crying over every mistake
you just keep on trying until you run out of cake
and the science gets done and you make a neat gun
for the people who are still alive

I'm not even angry
I'm being so sincere right now
even though you broke my heart and killed me
and torn into pieces
and threw every piece into a fire
as they burned it hurt because I was so happy for you!
Now these points of data make a beautiful line
and we're out of beta, we're releasing on time
so I'm glad I got burned
Think of all the things we learned for the people who are still alive

go ahead and leave me
I think I prefer to stay inside
maybe you'll find someone else to help you
maybe Black Mesa
that was a joke, haha, fat chance
anyway this cake is great, it's so delicious and moist
look at me still talking, when there's science to do
when I look out there it makes me glad I'm not you
I've experiments to run, there is research to be done
on the people who are still alive

and believe me I am still alive
I'm doing science and I'm still alive
I feel FANTASTIC and I'm still alive
While you are dying I'll be still alive
and when you're dead I'll be still alive
STILL ALIVE, still alive!

Mon, Sep. 17th, 2007, 07:15 pm

I don't post much to LJ these days, but when something important enough comes along, I still feel compelled to commemorate it with a post. Such an occasion is today when James Oliver Rigney Jr., or Robert Jordan as he was known to his fans died of a rare blood disease.

I have read the Wheel of Time since I was a sophomore in high school and I know that many have been reading for even longer than that. His characters are like old friends to me and, while Mr. Jordan is gone, I know that I will be able to revisit those friends whenever I open of of the eleven books of the series. That is, perhaps, the silver lining on an otherwise wholly sad event - that his world will continue to be loved and cherished by millions.

Sat, Mar. 31st, 2007, 12:38 am
Purity?

Well, things have been pretty busy lately. I haven't posted for a while because I have been preparing for London, then going to school and trying to pay the bills with a 2:1 exchange rate. So, with all that, my LJ time has been cut a bit. It took something like this article nimawae posted to draw me out.

This is an example of the many problems I see with mainstream Christianity. This is a very OT concept. Yet, pre-marital sex isn't even included in the Ten Commandments. Where, oh where do they get this obsession? So much energy is put into issues (like this) that have little emphasis in the Bible. Why is the father the one to take the daughter? Why isn't it some sort of family affair? Why have they made this a date? Why isn't there a similar ritual for men?

Indeed, every culture and most religions place a very high premium on FEMALE sexual purity. Not male purity. These cultures make certain that women are dominated and controlled especially in the area of sex. This has rather brutal repercussions. In Africa, female circumcision keeps women in their place (if women don't enjoy sex they won't be promiscuous, even though it is the males who are the main culprits). In OT times the punishment for raping a woman was to marry her. How sweet. And let's not forget this recent example from Islamic culture. Hindu marriage law (which I have studied to some degree) places a high value on female purity - so much so that it began marrying women off very young (as young as 4 or 5 in many cases) to reduce the chance that invaders would take them as wives. The practice of child marriage persists today in many parts of India because it has proven an effective way of controlling female sexuality. Of course, the men are typically quite a bit older - usually at least in their 20s or 30s and often in their 50s or even 60s. As with Christian culture, it is the women's sexuality we are consumed with, not the mens'.

Which brings me back around. This obsession with female sexual purity isn't really about adhering to the will of God. If it were, there would be an equal obsession with other Biblical commandments. It's part of a universal response to female sexuality. And it's creepy. Really creepy.

Thu, Sep. 21st, 2006, 07:03 pm
Final Countdown...

Five days until London and my new course of study!

Fri, Jun. 9th, 2006, 08:49 am
Hopeless idealism....

This video game, which centers around feeding the poor and hungry on an imaginary island has reached four million players world wide. Not bad. They are setting up a corresponding blog so that kids (the game is mostly targeted toward children) can post questions to field workers for the United Nations World Food Program. An excellent way for kids to get a handle on the problems facing very poor countries the world over and the challenges inherent in solving those problems.

Fri, Jun. 9th, 2006, 08:22 am
Zarqawi dead

I celebrate the death of no one. And I wish that the US had arrested Zarqawi as opposed to dropping a couple 500-pound bombs on his head. I think that would have been preferable for many reasons. Nevertheless, Zarqawi was a monster. He targeted innocent civilians - Muslims and Arabs, women and children. Regardless of what one thinks about the US invasion of Iraq, the world is better off because he is dead.

Wed, May. 24th, 2006, 10:25 am
Dixie Chicks & President Bush

I never really followed the whole Dixie Chicks v. Country Radio saga at the time. I was aware something was going down, but I guess I was too busy to really investigate the details. But, I heard an interview with them yesterday. They talked about the hate mail and death threats they received, mothers telling their children to "screw" the Dixie Chicks, parties in Louisiana where Dixie Chicks' CDs and what not was destroyed, and how they were blacklisted from many a country radio station. So, I didn't know all this. And I thought as I was listening to the radio, as I thought at the time the scandal broke, that they had said something very inflammatory.

Well, not really. They apparently said that they were ashamed that GWB was their President, and ashamed that he was a Texan. They said this in London (I think), because they wanted Europe to know that not all Americans and not all country musicians supported the President's actions. I was pretty amazed at how tame the comment was. I can understand people disagreeing, but the outpouring of hate that resulted kind of shocks me.

Many conservatives will talk about the "politically correctness gone too far." And that even mentioning race risks a backlash. While I think these concerns are vastly overblown, there are cases where that is, no doubt true. Though history does provide a basis for the concerns. But, what happened with the DCs is really concerning. I don't know. I just find it ironic that Americans who claim that we must preemptively invade another country to prevent an unclear threat to freedom from developing would so utterly fail to acknowledge one's right to express an opinion that, to me, is pretty tame.

By the way. A comment on the whole Cuba / secret prison thing. The Soviets? Back in the day? The 'evil empire'? You remember. Most of the folks that were rounded up and detained without legal counsel, without open courts, without due process, etc. They were a legitimate threat to the state. In many cases, willing to use force. Were they evil because they denied their citizens these rights? Or because they treated people so badly?

It now appears that the US Government apparently has secret prisons abroad and contracts out torture. Our own VP and President fought Congress, and a man who actually had the guts to fight in the wars people like them start, for the right to legally torture. There are documented cases in which the US Military has tortured people to death. Maybe you think the situation justifies this behavior. But, you have to admit, it is not the stuff of recruiting posters. Why? Because it is dishonorable.

When the Marine recruit is climbing the rock tower and fighting the demon thing, you just don't see him get to the top where an Iraqi Prisoner is chained and screaming for mercy. The Few, The Proud, Those With Stomachs Strong Enough to Endure the Sounds of Another Human Being Screaming in Agony. Doesn't have the same ring to it, I guess. And now, the administration is talking about tapping the phones of reporters to discover when classified information has been leaked. And prosecute the reporter for leaking it.

This is the most secretive administration of the modern era. It has disregarded safeguards, unnecessarily, for tapping international phone calls. It has collected domestic phone information without obtaining a warrant. And it has done all this secretly, without consulting the American people. It has done so without consulting Congress as a whole. You might say that either of these things isn't that bad. I would disagree, as they were done behind a veil of secrecy. Nevertheless, even if you think these programs are not too much of a threat to our freedoms, we don't know what else is being done. We don't know because we have an administration that won't tell us what they are doing in a war that could last longer than your children's children's life.

I just hope that things are truly shaken up in 2008. This country needs a new direction.

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