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Friday, September 25, 2009

Love?

I was just watching a BBC documentary on the Westboro Baptists Church and was deeply disturbed. I have read a lot about them, but actually seeing them in action for an hour was much more affecting. The thing that hit me the hardest was that lately I have felt as loveless for people as they do. Not like I am going around with "God Hates Fags" signs, or anything to do with anyone with a different sexual preference to me at all. I have just felt very loveless toward much of the human race...er, all of the human race.
I think in the last half decade of actually moving out of the weird post college limbo into an actual adult with a job, not to mention a wife and a kid on the way, I have taken on more and more responsibility and reacted to it by "manning up." As a byproduct of this, I have also been becoming gruffer and less empathetic toward pretty much everything that breathes. This is probably not a good fruit to bear.
After watching that documentary I looked outside and remembered how beautiful everything is, how wonderful people can be and all that hippie crap, and I think I will try to be just a little bit softer.

Monday, September 07, 2009

You Are Smarter than a Celebrity

Considering that about six people read this blog regularly, all either college educated or in the process, I think it is safe to say that everyone who is reading this is smarter than your average celebrity. This post is brethren to the post below it.
I wrote the Education vs. Ignorance post after hearing several local parents overreact to a video that will be shown in public schools this week. Apparently (I haven't seen it, so I have to use this word) a video of President Obama simply encouraging children to consider the importance of education is, according to some people, brainwashing. I guess telling children to "stay in school" and "try their hardest" constitutes a threat to our young people, or as one person so eloquently put it, "communist nazi propaganda". I was not aware that Socialism, far left of the spectrum, and Fascism, far right of the spectrum, could be combined into one super-evil political milieu that our President somehow personifies. Apparently, as the person saying this is a "non-elitist", this is possible.
All that to say that another video, this one not featuring nor endorsed by our President, therefore obviously not the video that will be shown our children, has been floating around the web:

This video features a parade of mostly college-dropout (in some cases high school-dropout) celebrities. Clearly the principal made a mistake in showing this video to the students, assuming the video would be innocuous when it is obvious on one viewing to be otherwise.
These celebrities are just as numbskulled as the citizens who believe this is the video that will be shown to their children, though. Sure Gina Gershon can say "I pledge to support stem-cell research," but could she explain to you what it is? I seriously doubt it. I doubt many of the celebrities could tell you anything more intelligent than your average loudmouthed, self-righteous, uneducated person I ragged on in the last post because they are just as uneducated. The only difference is that they are in a self-important Hollywood bubble that not only balloons their perceived need that we have for them, but also inflates their feelings that somehow intelligence got them to a position where their voice can be heard. Just a hunch, but I am guessing it probably didn't. I think history has pretty much proven that physical appearance has no correlation to intelligence. I will just take a logistical leap here and say that if the previous sentence is true, most celebrities are idiots. That being said, I know that everyone who reads this blog (especially you, lovely wife!) are miraculous combinations of both.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Death of Facebook

I was reading my favorite section of the Sunday paper--the comics (or the funnies as my wife and I say)--when I noticed a disturbing trend. At least three comics mentioned Facebook. Facebook has so well infiltrated society that I can't even read Sherman's Lagoon without coming across it. That is pretty lame.
I wonder what the trajectory for Facebook will be? One hundred years from now, will we still have Facebook much in the way we still have Fords? Will we just have a sleeker, more fuel-efficient version of facebook? Will we have something completely different or will the invasive, electronic-life-sharing phase of our modern culture end?
When I came of age in the 90s (about the same time, arguably, the Internet came of age), the big thing, as evidenced by much output of modern media at the time (The X-Files, The Matrix, and a hundred or so techno-conspiracy thrillers) was paranoia that the government or some entity was following us, tracking us, trying to steal our identities, or at the least, know all about or business. Now people put every detail of their life on Facebook. Heck, people even give detailed information on their plans for the night as their statuses. If we had these capabilities when I was in high school, I would have been afraid that:
A. People would know no one would be at my house and try to rob it, and
B. All the mystery in my life would be gone
Society at large does not seem to be much concerned about these things anymore. If they were--heck, let me say 'we' here because I have a Facebook and there is truthfully probably information on there that I pretend I would like to keep private but don't--if we were concerned about these things anymore, we wouldn't all have Facebook.
I wonder where this leads us to as a society. It's not like we can all go back to being private, right? I mean, far more former introverts are getting facebook accounts than any amount of people actually dropping their accounts. It appears this is a fad that is here to stay, but how long until a Facebook account is so necessary that it is mandatory? How long until jobs and colleges actually require you to have a facebook in order to belong to their institution? To take a great leap here, how long will every thought going on in our heads be private? If we are already so apt at allowing perfect strangers to see photographs of us our with our friends, how far off are we from allowing everyone to know what is really going on in our heads? Is secrecy and privacy a good thing?
You're darned right it is. Otherwise we would have all been created as telepaths, and we weren't, so I think we should think about the ethical implications of letting everyone in the world know everyting about us.
All this to say I am cancelling my Facebook account. I am tired of feeling like I am willingly putting my life on display. I am cancelling it right now...wait...no I'm not. Otherwise, how can I keep up with every little thing everyone else is doing?
I think it is my right to know these things now...and that is sad.
EDITOR'S NOTE: IN NOVEMBER OF 2010, HE DID, INDEED, FINALLY CANCEL AND DELETE HIS FACEBOOK ACCOUNT. HE HAS NEVER REACTIVATED OR CREATED A NEW ONE