March 2009


Go away.

And in other news:

Hipsters are considered apathetic, pretentious, and self-entitled by other, often marginalized sectors of society they live amongst, including previous generations of bohemian and/or “counter-culture” artists and thinkers as well as poor neighborhoods of color.

From Wikipedia’s entry on hipsters. Self-righteous bastards.

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“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of the town. They shall say to the elders, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death…” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

I describe this blog as “musings on multiple matters,” but somehow I’ve neglected to writing about my two biggest passions in life: Sports and music. So, I’ve decided to go ahead and include that here so that I can share some of the things I’ve learned and experienced with whoever reads this blog. I’ve played piano all my life, guitar and drums since I was 13, and I occasionally fiddle with the bass. For sports, I played basketball and volleyball in high school (had aspirations to play college and beach volleyball) and after high school I played competitive tennis. To start, I’m going to give a few tips on improving your piano ability so that you can enjoy playing a little more. So, hit the “more” link and let’s get started!

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We’ve come a long way since that ad above might have been acceptable. If it, or anything similar to it, were reproduced today, well, it’s pretty obvious that the backlash would be indescribable. There was a time when women weren’t allowed to speak in public, vote, or to work where men worked. Just this past election, a woman ran for the office of President. Times have changed and women are slowly, but surely, being recognized as equal to men. Or are they? Does sexism still exist when women can hold public office, lead companies as executives, fly into space, and serve as some of the most respected and iconic figures of our time? I was sparked to write this after reading a brief post on feminism from a site, appropriately enough, called Superfem. (Since a particular post moved me to writing this, I might be referencing it a few times and offer my opinions and disagreements.) The answer to the question about sexism is yes. Yes, sexism still exists and it’s much worse than we think.

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Okay, so here’s the plan. You know that gazillion dollars (actual dollar amount adjusted for ridiculousnessocity) going to AIG for bonuses? The New York Times says we should totally pay them! Why? Well, it’s in the contracts! It wouldn’t bode well for other agencies and institutions if we started breaking these contracts for frivolous reasons (you know, like a shitty economy and a depressing financial climate caused by said agencies and institutions). So, if I hired someone to do some house sitting for me and I promised them $100 for it, I should have to pay it – no matter what. If my house is burned down by the house sitter by accident, I’ll pay anyway. A promise is a promise, right?

Thank heaven for The New York Times. For a second there, I was beginning to think that bonuses were typically performance based or a reward for performance – not a contractual obligation. So, if you fuck up somewhere along the road, maybe a bonus should be reconsidered. I guess you learn something new every day.

NYT also says we should pay because AIG, the ones responsible for a good chunk of the current financial hiccup, might be able to fix the problem. That’s right – the ones who caused a great deal of headaches are the same professionals that are best suited to get us out of this mess. We have every incentive to pay them these bonuses! Do you remember the house sitter who burned my house down? I should give him or her way more money to fix it and hope he or she doesn’t burn it down again in the future.

Get this garbage from Ed Liddy, AIG’s installed chief exec:

“We cannot attract and retain the best and brightest talent to lead and staff the company if employees believe that their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury.”

Sweetness. Now do you see what I mean? Feeding these giants with taxpayer money is an absolute necessity and the evil government is arbitrarily adjusting their compensation. We don’t need to know what he means by arbitrary because to ask would be, well, arbitrary. Right? It’s only $165 million. Just let them have it already.

Remember, the executives who will be receiving $3 million each also have families to feed and children to send to college. Liberals need to stop their selfishness.

I just had to post this picture because it made me laugh so hard. It’s great.

It’s 3:17 a.m. as I write this and I’m guessing it will be about 3:40 a.m. when I’m done. We’ll see. I can’t sleep, which is unusual, and I’m hungry but too tired to eat. I’m also thinking that what I’m about to write won’t make any sense at all, but I’ll take a stab at it.

I’ve been reading a few things online and thinking a lot. Mostly, it’s about attention spans and intelligence or what is perceived as intelligent these days. It seems like the Internet might be hurting intelligence or maybe a very specific kind of intelligence.

I like to read a lot. I’m going from one book to the next and I feel like I can’t have enough material around, so I surround myself with books and magazines. You know, to feel safe. I’ve been this way for the last seven or eight years – before that, I mostly read magazines and books required for school. Now, I like non-fiction. Some of my favorite authors are Steven Pinker, Christopher Hitchens, Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins. I am not a big fan of fiction, but I’m trying to get into it. Oh, and I absolutely do not like Malcolm Gladwell. I think he’s a fraud and anyone who thinks he’s clever is intellectually bankrupt. I read his two books and I can see exactly why they wowed the double-digit IQs of America.

Every so often, I don’t mind the 300-words-or-less articles or blogs. Brevity is so championed these days, but I think it’s because of the Internet and how it’s ruining everyone’s attention span and intelligence. It’s affecting me, too. I find it increasingly difficult to get through a few chapters in a book in one sitting or to read a feature (which could be several pages long) from a magazine like The New Yorker. Even in my writing, I’ve found that blogging, something I do for a few sites, has hurt my ability to read and write pieces that do more than summarize an issue.

Short articles, brief videos, and snippets of information overload the Internet and our minds. It seems anything that requires mental effort is a major deterrent for most people. Maybe I should make this blog entry really long so that most of you readers will go away.

Speaking of informational snippets, I find it hilarious when people try to make themselves sound intelligent or enlightened because they have an RSS feed. Good for fucking you! Yes, let’s talk politics or technology and enlighten or humiliate each other based on who’s read the most blogs. Please, impress me with your knowledge acquired from skimming through your Google Reader and the hundred word blogs you’ve written yourself based on scant info. Better yet, let everyone know how pretentious you are by writing about it on Twitter and linking to it.

What I love to do is sit and watch sometimes. Blog worlds are set on fire when tantalizing news hits the wire and everyone goes crazy talking about whatever is currently hot. Whether it’s true or not, it doesn’t matter; the hive mind is already at work into setting the “facts” into stone. Real smart. But what I love most are the people who decided to take two minutes to think about the news and decide its wrong and then tell everyone why.

Wow, because you did some fact checking or some critical thinking, you’re a genius! (And I love how casually some of these folks bring up the news, too.)

Here’s my problem with the Internet: Because information travels quickly and everyone is trying to get the news up before everyone else, journalistic integrity goes down the drain (something I’ve been accused of several times in the past). Fact checking is a thing of the past. Blog now, check facts later.

I have four minutes left.

So, the Internet is destroying intelligence. Sure, it’s bold and brazen to say so but it’s true. No one can stand to read anything that’s longer than 300 words anymore. (It surprises the shit out of me that the Amazon Kindle is flying off the shelves, figuratively speaking, when no one really reads books anymore – to kinda paraphrase Steve Jobs. That’s marketing power.) Most videos people view online are less than five minutes long. When searching for information on a subject, people will hit the back button in less than a second if it takes them to some page that (gasp!) is longer than two or three paragraphs.

I think I’ve finally mustered up some energy to get up and get food. On second thought, nah. I’m just going to sit here comfortably and go through my feeds so I can feel remotely enlightened and then wake up and forget everything I skimmed over.

It’s 3:40!