Tuesday, September 30, 2008

my cause

I may not be researching a cure for cancer and I’m rarely on a hunger strike to fight the tragedies in Darfur, but I believe some of my posts really do benefit society in simple and… ahem… somewhat shallow way. I may blogged about fashion faux pas and movie etiquette, but this is a SERIOUS post. This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. It gets me as heated as any discussion on abortion and until the day I die, I will never change my very harsh views on this issue: Gum Control.

The good people a Doublemint, Bubblicious, and Wrigley’s have provided society with a little piece of breath freshening terror. Nothing makes me want to reach over and punch someone in the throat more than if someone is popping his or her gum. It’s loud, obnoxious, and (unlike the throat punch) completely unnecessary. Gum is a convenience whose soul purpose is to freshen our breath. I don’t know when gum chewing became a form of oral entertainment. If you want to keep your mouth that busy, get a bag of sunflower seeds, try to tie a cherry stem in a knot, or have a sloppy make-out session!

Equally offensive is the smack. The last time I checked, looking and sounding like a cow is anything but attractive. The sound of mastication and the sight of your saliva covered gums get my blood pressure to dangerously high levels. I can’t even explain how much more repulsive smacking is with actual food. SICK OUT! What’s wrong with people? You don’t deserve gum, get a mint!

Sure, this might not be as hot of an issue as say, gun control. But unless this gets under wraps, believe you me, there’s gonna have to be an exponential increase in gun control legislation at least for me. Please consider this post a final warning to end all smacking and gum popping. From now on, it’s gonna be throat punches all around! Personally, I choose not to chew gum whatsoever for the fear of becoming victim of said practices I oppose.

PS – Please consider THIS a big fat thank you to parents like my S-I-L, Abby, who continually reminds her daughters not to smack. And a big high five to my friend, Kaitlan, who is also an avid hater of the gum poppers! Thanks ladies!

Monday, September 29, 2008

shocking incident

Monday morning, breaking news on CNN.com! No, I’m not talking about the Wall Street whirlwind or the #1 story, Tina Fey’s SNL return as Sarah Palin (wonderful priorities our news hungry society has.) I was actually on the crime section and an article caught my eye. Now, it might be my lack of good coffee that seems to be putting me in such a charming mood, but I find myself upset again.

CNN.com routed me to a local New York ABC affiliate’s story about an officer who was stripped of his badge and gun for a Taser Gun incident that led to a person’s death. Here’s Cliffnotes version of the incident. (Most likely) certifiably insane man running naked on a fire escape of a New York apartment building. When he reached a ledge (approximately 10 feet off the ground) he began jabbing the pursuing officers with an 8 ft fluorescent light. They Taser, he falls, and unfortunately dies.

For starters, I would give my left arm to see something that crazy. But, on the serious, does this whole incident warrant punishment of the officer? First of all, who dies from a 10 foot fall? I mean that’s high, but a smattering of broken bones seems like the only casualties of such a lame height. Second of all, the man was running around naked/crazy and a danger to himself and those around him! You don’t screw with the badge! He was physically assaulting a few of New York’s finest!

I’m no expert on police tactics, but it’s not like they were pistol whipping him to death. According to the article, in situations where an individual is a belligerent danger to himself or others, Tasers are the weapon of choice. So, without knowing other details that the article didn’t provide and I don’t feel like researching, why is this man (who was just doing his job) now probably out of one?

Let me tell you, if I were relaxing in my apartment, watching Project Runway, minding my own, and a crazy, naked man broke into my apartment and started pointing his 8 ft fluorescent light at me, I would want the cops to SHOOT him! I hate the cases of so-called police brutality when they Taser, night stick, or mace an individual who is being aggressive towards the men (and women) in blue. In my opinion, this man played with fire and he got burned! Yes, there are certain cases of actual police brutality, but enough is enough. When I get that flashlight in my face, it’s ‘yes sir,’ ‘no sir,’ ‘no, that’s not my goat,’ etc. I don’t strip down and run around like a fool… usually...

Friday, September 26, 2008

5 Rules of Parenting

Yay! I’ve blogged about this before, so here are even more parenting tips from a single, gay man with absolutely no children. I don’t offer these suggestions because I am an expert (although I did take a lot of human development classes… I didn’t pay attention). I am making these important suggestions because I am a member of society that frequents public venues. So, here we go…

Rule #1 – Movies. I’ve also blogged about his topic, but let me reiterate. The second you had your kid, unless you have a sitter, you gave up the right to sit through an entire movie or go to one after 8 pm. If your child is whining, crying, or talking, God made lobbies for a reason! If you can’t abide by these rules, get NetFlix.

Rule #2 – Restaurants. Unless the dining venue has a play place attached to it, the restaurant is not a place for your child to run around and explore. As a waiter (one whole summer @ Cotton Patch… that’s right), if your child makes a mess because he or she think yellow corn goes great with the carpet, YOU need to clean it up or leave the biggest tip of your life!

Rule #3 – Wal-Mart. This place is bad enough. This evil, money saving corporation may be many, MANY things, but a playground isn’t one of them. If your child runs out in front of my cart because you lack proper discipline, I will hit them. This rule is also enforced in malls, theme parks, etc.

Rule #4 – Phones. Your child may have mastered the ‘mama/dada’ vocabulary, but they aren’t quite well-seasoned conversationalists yet. They may sound cuter than a box of kittens, but do NOT give them the phone to repeat the same word over and over when I want to have a conversation with you! Hold the phone and let them say ‘hi’ and take it away. Also, if they’re new at the talking and don’t say it right away, don’t make me waste my cell phone minutes on what seems like hours of ‘come on, say it, come on, say mama.’

Rule #5 – Conversation. This one might just include me and my ‘youngest child syndrome,’ but I like attention. So, when I am trying to have a conversation with someone who may have children, don’t ask me about work and other things and let me talk for 2 minutes and go into 7 different stories about little Susie or Gus. Just because you can procreate doesn’t mean that you can dominate a conversation. Childless people are people too.

Until your kids reach an age to know better, they are YOU. Every annoying thing they say or do is your responsibility. Their mess is your mess. Until they reach the age to be put on trial as an adult, their misdemeanor is your misdemeanor. Deal with it! Let’s just say it’s in the FINE print in What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Reality Sucks Edition.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

civil rights done wrong

Ok, some of you out there may think that I am a horrible person for this, but my friend emailed me a link to a website that shocked and/or confused him, and he knew I would have a similar reaction. Usually, I would receive funny FWDS, links to a funny YouTube video, or a random retail website with cool new ways to waste my money. Not today…

NAAFAonline.com is the website. If you don’t bother visiting the site, the acronym stands for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. It was founded in 1969 to “help build a society in which people of every size are accepted with dignity and equality in all aspects of life.” First of all, I didn’t think ‘fat’ was the preferred and politically correct term of choice…

Furthermore, are you kidding me?! I’ve never had to deal with issues of weight, but this reaction merely stems from my disdain for pointless ‘civil rights’ organizations. I don’t remember the Bill of Rights having waist sizes in it anywhere. Plus, what defines fat? Do you have to meet certain measurement requirements to join? Also, what do they hope to accomplish? Do they want some sort of overweight affirmative action? Will the government start requiring that every office have a plus size employee? Are they going to march on congress to legalize Fat Marriage or appeal the ground breaking Fat v. Wade? Are they going to lobby to increase funding on fuel efficient hybrids that run on bacon grease? Mmm… bacon!

Yes, unfortunately, there is a social stigma surrounding being large and in-charge, but they really want to equate the battle of the bulge with ACTUAL civil rights movements? I believe in the need for acceptance on all levels, but these just aren’t the same. To an extent and in most ordinary circumstances, weight is a controllable factor for an individual. It’s absolutely nothing like gender, race, sexual orientation, or religion. (Yes, religion is technically a choice, but sacred practices and beliefs don’t have a thing on whether or not to call Jenny). By the way, I don’t remember a mustached man murdering 6 million fat people in the 40s. Or was that in the same history book where the KKK burned crosses outside Krispy Kreme? Was Matthew Shepard tortured and killed because he was gay or just fat? Do the14th and 19th amendments have a section regarding Fat Suffrage?

Barring certain rare genetics, physical disabilities, thyroid problems, or plain big boneness, why not focus all the energy, sympathy, and money that is in such a program and pay for a few gym memberships, suck-n-tucks, and/or entrance videos to The Biggest Loser: Season 7? Plus, the social health trends are such that the fat people are no longer in the minority. So, NAAFA, mission: accomplished. Or you could just be happy with the way you are and to heck with society. Even if you’re skinny, people in society find something about you to hate, so unless you’re a fat, Black lesbian, I don’t wanna hear it!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

motivation 2.0

A friend of mine left this comment: “how do you force people/teach people to become motivated? Second, how do you teach people to be responsible for their actions (which I think is the other key problem with our society)?” For starters, I didn’t know what to write about today, so thank you for the solution to my problem. Unfortunately there are no easy answers to such a question that baffles just about every hard working, tax paying, upwardly mobile American in our 50 states.

I honestly think there is little solution. There isn’t an incentive and/or punishment that can motivate the unmotivated. Should we throw more money at them? Should we improve programs that reach out to these people and preach the merits of personal development? There are a number of individuals who honestly have the motivation yet lack the resources to escape the cruel hand life dealt. My heart goes out to them, and I fully support government programs that help clear the path and help push them along. However, too many individuals are fully content with taking a Pedi-Cab all the way down easy street. But, on this road, it isn’t the guy with crazy hair, a touch of BO, and killer legs pulling the cart. It’s unfortunately people like you and me.

So, I lack a good answer to this question. Incentives and consequences are the only things that seem like quasi-solutions. However they don’t seem much help either. The incentives are clear. With a little help in the beginning, the incentive is becoming a member of society that is more of a valuable cog in this societal machine and less of a leach on our backs. I’ve said it before, although I don’t throw a party when I pay my rent, bills, or car insurance, the sense of satisfaction from doing it on my own makes up for the sad balance in my checking. Also, unless we want crime rates to soar and an increase in roadside bums, I’m not sure what detrimental consequences our nation can offer the leaches for lack of self improvement/motivation. Any consequences that enter my mind would probably label me a barbarian or some heartless sociopath…

So, I believe that part of the answer lie in expectations. The rights that are afforded to the everyday American citizen are a system of protection and a way to attempt to level the playing field. However, it is not a contract between government and citizen that guarantees a certain lifestyle or things that are anything but basic human rights. A huge chunk of the reason I lean more right than left lies in my advocacy for personal responsibility. Obama preaches on change. Many of those changes seem to be a foot in the door to socialism. I want LESS government in my life. Unless I am a criminal or victim of a crime, I don’t see why the government should be involved in my personal life in anyway. The expectation should be set that government serves as a means of protection and temporary support in catastrophic situations, not a nurturing mother to breast feed you all the way through retirement.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

motivate me

Well, after an unprecedented and may I mention intelligent and well-balanced response from my last post of my opinions and Devil’s Advocate POV on the criminal justice system of America, I got to thinking. My two friends had, and please call the web developers now, probably the most intellectual Facebook conversation in the site’s history. Both brought up valid points and interesting arguments, but the fundamental idea I got from the entire conversation is that something is wrong with Americans. Notice the ‘s.’

People nowadays are constantly bashing America and its social systems for not working, catering to the lazy, or being intrinsically barbaric. As long as they exist, capital punishment, 2nd amendment rights, and welfare will constantly be debated, bashed, and reformed. While the pencil pushers and legislators work with the funds of the tax paying American, no amount of laws, edicts, or amendments can change the inherent nature of the citizen.

The key to success on any level is of course motivation. Sports teams don’t win championships without it. Students don’t get labels like Valedictorian if they lack it. And the average American is in desperate need of it. But does the latest Bill on Capital Hill endow it? No.

Motivation is a quality that comes from within the individual. Teachers, social workers, politicians, pastors, parents, etc can support, instruct, and be role models. But no person on this planet has the power to make people have the internal drive to better themselves. Sure, Oprah can blink at a pile of pages and make it a best seller, but no matter how much she shakes her arms and raises her voice she can’t make me care. Teachers are having their motivation chipped away piece by piece by the little punks in the back of the class who care more about MySpace than mathematics. A young man who can list every starting player’s career stats on the Chicago Bears offensive line can’t pass Freshman History because he won’t put down his Madden 2009, get out of his dorm, and go to class. Do these individuals lack the resources or opportunity?

In America, motivation is a resource more scarce than petroleum, yet it seems to sell it self away for so much less than the $3.67 I filled up with this morning. We are a nation of blamers that constantly tear down the systems. When those walls crumble and the smoke clears, you’re going to be left with a group of people with dirty hands and heaps of apathy. I believe in exponentially increasing the funding in the education system as well as offering easy outs for the dropouts who wish to slip through the cracks and live a life of remorse. I also believe in a welfare system that is teaching people to fish, not throwing them out by the boatload on my tax dollar.

If a man had a recipe for the best martini in the history of the olive, it would do him little good if all he had was cheap vodka. Americans from coast to coast need the reform. The participants in these systems to better American need the motivation to better themselves to turn government handouts into real opportunities to become contributory members of society.

Monday, September 22, 2008

wrongs made right by the right

I just finished reading a really short article out of a town in Wisconsin that made me want to stand up and cheer for the American justice system. No, I’m not being sarcastic. I suppose it is just some of the surprisingly extreme conservative views I have, but I love nothing more than a government that is big on crime.

The little blip of an article that I was routed to from CNN.com was about a man who stole a piggy bank with about $20 in it from a child’s room. Due to blood left at the scene of the crime, the piggy purloiner was found and convicted of this and another robbery. For both, the man will serve 2 consecutive 6 year sentences. Turns out $20 nowadays can get you a lot more than it used to, about 12 years in the pokey and all the soap on a rope you can get your slippery hands on. Thanks to the old geezers on C-SPAN and the occasional hot hockey mom, the Grand Old Party does come through on certain occasions.

This stringent form of justice should hopefully deter miscreants who believe that the laws of civilized society are below them. Pickpockets and robbers of Wisconsin beware, it turns out ‘America’s Dairyland’ is serving up some sharp cheddar sentences. I am proud to live in a state that believes in the merits of capital punishment and other penal policies that strive to serve as deterrents of further atrocious manifestations of the flaws in humanity. Yes, some people argue that the harsh severity of certain punishments don’t serve as any deterrent, but in my opinion the one ‘deterred’ individual is the proof in the pudding, and this justice is quite delicious!

So, listen up bleeding heart liberals who believe in so-called rehabilitation, ‘humane’ punishments, and other alternatives to more stringent forms of justice, I’ll end by stealing a line, ‘don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time!’

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I read an article that made me chuckle. Once again it came from CNN.com experts who were talking about parenting again. The headline alone was the money shot that I think a lot of parents need to hear nowadays, “Is your kid really gifted? Probably not.” While this statement might come off as a little harsh, does that make its inherent life lesson and spoonful of tough love any less true?

The article cited that by actual standards only 2-5% of children are truly gifted. Growing up, I remember being tested and placed in Gifted & Talented learning (shocking, right?). But, let me tell you, there were a lot of kids in there who couldn’t navigate around a tree! Looking back on those days, while we were shuttled from our home rooms into the GT classrooms, I can’t help but feel sorry for the children that didn’t make the cut. What standards did they test our giftedness? To what bar did we measure up to and others fail to meet? I think it was lame. I mean, we were in 2nd grade. Although they might have thought I was G&T, I was an extremely temperamental, occasional bed wetter. I’m sure there were plenty of mediocre kids who didn’t have to sleep on plastic sheets! That would only be embarrassing if it still happened, but whatever!

I think parents and educators nowadays set expectations for young ones far too high. Why are people making basic, elementary education into a competition? Granted, in high school, college, and the real world, an individual’s worth is usually measured in terms competitive edge, but why instill that cutthroat attitude into children who don’t even have all of their adult teeth? On that same note, why are parents and organizers completely neutering the idea of friendly athletic competition? Losers get medals and trophies? In a field of competition where the truly great and dedicated should be heralded for their abilities, we strip them down to a level of mediocrity where the child who should be getting picked last is the new team captain! I’m not saying to beat a team of 8-year-olds who lose their soccer game. But for goodness sake, don’t give them a trophy or medal for participation. Give them a good old fashioned pizza party and a ‘do better next time.’

This post doesn’t really relate to the article as much as inspired by the fact that people are constantly putting the wrong labels on children and stripping true achievements in instances where they truly deserve attention. It’s ok to pretty much call ½ of a class not as smart or ‘gifted’ than the rest, but it would a travesty of a child’s self esteem to let them know they don’t play a sport as good as their fellow competitors?

Anyone else confused?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

growing pains

Once again, I was perusing CNN.com for interesting articles affecting our world. While I browsed through endless articles praising/bashing Palin, slipped into a mild depression in the crime section, and got a little laugh from the entertainment tab, I stumbled upon the health section. Top headline was concerning parenting, Parents: When to back off, when to step in. Even though I have no children, I have plenty of views on parenting that stem from my person beliefs, the way I was raised, and how I see my brothers and sisters raising their little ones. Anyway, here we go…

CNN.com called upon 2 parenting experts to provide commentary on a number of situations that everyday parents face throughout their children’s lives all the way from the sandbox to their very first apartment. I found the article equal parts helpful/informative as well as repulsive. I mean some of the situations were great. If a 4-year-old is having problems with sharing playtime with his/her peers, intervene as a neutral parent and make everybody get along. Good advice, doctors. They also pointed out that this doesn’t quite work as well when your child is in 7th grade. Other than the obvious, duh, this was good advice. Now, time for my rant...

As the article progressed through the life stages of your child, so did the ludicrousness of the situations. A college student is having problems with his or her roommate’s messiness, partying, etc. The experts encouraged parents not to intervene and call the dorms. What child is so bound by their mother’s apron strings that they are not self sufficient enough to deal with problems of not even the real world yet? There was also a situation brought up stressing that if children receive bad grades in college to not intervene and contact the professor. What parent needs to be told not to do that? Unless there is some extraordinary circumstance that might require law enforcement and/or an ethics committee, chances are your child is either stupid or partied to hard to make it to class… I smell a trade school graduate Class of 2010!

The final nail in my back was the post-bachelor’s situation. It was about a situation where after 1 year in the real world, with a job, your child is unable to make rent month after month but constantly has new gadgets, clothes, etc. While you wouldn’t want your child living in a FIMA trailer or under an overpass, crack that whip and enforce a little thing called a budget. The pen to my parents’ check book apparently dried up, because they did just that. While I don’t kick my heals and sing a ditty every 1st of the month as I write that painful check, I am glad to be self sufficient in earning and budgeting my own money. It’s called growing up.

If reading this, you feel that any of these situations do require your mommy or daddy to hold your hand and wipe your butt, please drop out of college or quit your job and move into their basement, buy yourself a Nintendo Wii, and enjoy an infantilized (and may I mention, SINGLE) life.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

fashion faux pas

Call me shallow, call me vain, but after a few well-received posts on basic office fashion etiquette, I figured I would extend my tips to the rest of the world outside the 9-5. When it comes to the ‘standards’ (or lack thereof) of personal appearance, I’ve got quite a few qualms with a good chunk of society that doesn’t seem to own a mirror.

One of the most blatant travesties of hair would have to be the mullet. Newsflash losers, it never is, was, or will be in style. Billy Ray may have rocked one to coordinate with his achy breaky, but do you really want to make him your fashion role model? Ladies, I have nothing but pity for those of you who think you can pull off the She-Mullet. While I’m on the subject of hair, unless you are a woman, highlights are never a good idea. God gave you the head of hair you have for a reason. So fold down your collar, and accept a mono-chromatic head of hair!

Also, why do some people like to buy clothes that look like they should be in the before picture of a Subway commercial? I pay extra to have my clothes fit better, not hang off my body like they were pulled out of a bargain bin at the Big-N-Tall. On the same note, skanky girls and gay/metero guys, too tight is also a visual misdemeanor. You may have gained some weight since you bought that pair of jeans, but when they don’t fit, they don’t fit. Why accessorize your jeans and baby tee with a layer of flab with an unsightly muffin-top?

Graphic tees with cleverly written slogans, catchphrases, or mildly inappropriate innuendos are best left to halls of high schools around the country. Yes, I might own a few, but they are strictly reserved for working out, going to Wal-Mart, and laundry days. Ladies, those graphic tees that have slogans like ‘your boyfriend wants me,’ ‘naughty girl,’ ‘angel,’ or anything of that genre, there is no need to plaster your misguided self-esteem across your chest.

These few things are just choices people make that make me equal parts nauseous and confused. Do these people not have friends that go shopping with them and express their appropriate disapproval of the purchase? Does their bathroom come equipped with a funhouse mirror that distorts the unfortunate visual reality that is about to walk out their front door? These people are turning heads. And not the kind of head turning where a hot girl walks by in a bar and all eyes are on her. This is the kind of head turning that causes pile-ups on 35.

Monday, September 15, 2008


It may be my unnatural love for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, but this is one of the BEST political sketches of all time! What a way to open the new season of Saturday Night Live! Enjoy!

It's called English y'all.

Most of you attended or graduated college. I’m fairly confident in saying that all of you graduated from high school. And I would wager that a good deal of you use the English language just about everyday. Whether it’s something jotted down on a post-it note, a hilarious comment/wall post, or a term paper, you also use this thing called English, or something you consider to be close enough.

In this world of text messages, emails, instant messaging, and other casually digital forms of communication, the advance in technology has led to the decline in the proper application of language. I’m a firm believer in the idea of use it or lose it. So, when the day comes that you’re putting together your resume, emailing your boss about a raise, or diving into the blog-o-sphere, wouldn’t you prefer that what you write at least appear intelligent, cohesive, and memorable (for the right reasons)? I don’t care if you were the #1 producer in whatever field you work in, putting that information on your resume with tragic grammar is a lot like serving a perfect crème brulée in a sweaty sports cup.

For those of you who slacked off during high school or too hung-over during college, please consider the next 5 minutes you spend reading this your English crash course. These few simple rules can guarantee that you won’t make blindingly stupid mistakes, as for the content make like Bon Jovi cause you’re livin' on a prayer.

-Your v. you’re is probably my biggest pet peeve in English. You’re stupid if your little brain can’t figure out the difference. Psst… 1 is possessive and 1 is a contraction. ;)

-There/their/they’re is another jumbled, hot mess of English. There is a group of pigeons eating puke. Their breath is going to stink. They’re disgusting.

-Subject verb agreement is another biggy in my book. Where is the books? It hurts my fingers to even type it… Where ARE the books?

-Accept v. except. Some may think this is a potato-potato debate, but there is a notable difference. I accept the flaws in others, except bad grammar.

-It’s (it is) v its (possessive). It’s rude to watch a dog lick its… you know…

Now, this isn’t an all inclusive list of the things that should/need to be fixed, and I am also guilty of the occasional typo and/or oversight. But like most things being marketed these days to the inquiring masses, good grammar is sexy. Nothing would make a prospect’s stock fall faster than if he or she spoke or wrote like an idiot. I don’t care if you look like the love child of Catherine Zeta-Jones and George Clooney; bad grammar is a turn off. If it talks like a fool and writes like a fool…

Thursday, September 11, 2008

the blog bug: New POV

Ok, after 3 posts in a matter of hours, you probably think I don’t work whatsoever, but this one isn’t mine. I’m borrowing it from my friend, Langley. She is a very intelligent woman, a great friend, and an even better drinking/karaoke buddy! She said she reads my posts and she decided to blow off some political steam as well… I adored this post and Langley was nice enough to allow me to redistribute it here!

**Note: If you are a Democrat, and are not open to hearing another opinion do not read further. We will most likely not remain friends.

"These are serious times and they call for a serious debate... spare me all the phony outrage. Spare me all the phony talk about change."
-Mr. Obama

SPARE YOU?!?!? I'm amazed you haven't choked on all the word-vomit tirades on change. Not on how you will change things, but more of the same old 'Bush is terrible' ranting we've heard for ages.


Our nation is in a dizzying downward spiral and I do not blame the current administration. We have created a bunch of losers and whiners who feel entitled to EVERYTHING. It starts young... trophies for even the losers in sports. Sure nobody wants to see a child cry, but would they rather see a 21 year old that wants $85k salary for working 30 hour work weeks? High school students deserve an A for turning in late and error-ridden work. Teachers aren't supported by the Administration because they have to jump through irrelevant hoops to qualify for state funding. Almost daily there are public marketing campaigns with grammatical or spelling errors. There is no pride in workmanship, maybe because there are no longer workers. Everyone 'deserves' to go to college. Do they? Trades people are just as necessary as college grads. Why do we have inflation? Because it costs ridiculous amounts of money to hire a plumber or painter. Now, since college grads are a dime a dozen... that is the going rate.

So, what do liberals want to do? They want to give rewards to people who have not earned them. Welfare doesn't help anyone, it teaches them to abuse the system and not get out of their situation. I have seen first hand abuses of the system. Times are hard... for everyone. P-Diddy had to stop taking private jets and other multi-millionaires have had houses foreclosed on. So let's tax people who make more money more than we tax people who haven't been able to help themselves? I don't think so. I don't understand the argument of, 'but they have more to contribute.' SO WHAT...THEY'VE EARNED IT! If the unfair card is played it should be on behalf of the wealthy who have supported the country for years. It's wrong that people who are in this country illegally are getting healthcare, education, use of our roads, and a plethora of other government services and you want to tax US CITIZENS who have worked hard and are doing well for themselves to cover this spending?!?!?!? What encourages being successful better than punishment?

Mr. Obama is aiming at being a 'man of the people' and that would be good, except for the American people are stupid. They jump on bandwagons like trampolines. I believe Mr. Obama is a bandwagon and not a vehicle of change. If anything he is a vehicle driving us toward destruction. The fact that Lauren Conrad makes $75k an episode is ridiculous. I stand by idly listening to people praise Obama. It makes me physically ill. I agree things need to change, but not because George Bush made a mess. This isn't the Republican mess, this is America's mess. We are a spoiled nation and we need some tough love. How can a man pandering to everyone's complaining and whining make any real changes?

I consider myself a conservative but not a Republican. When we take our minds off the issues and become loyal to one party or another we more easily fall victim to 'logical blinders.' Instead of fawning over Mr. Obama and vilifying McCain, talk about the issues...but please, first THINK about them. Don't make political decisions based on your heartstrings or your tear ducts.

Any Democrat friends left? Hehe.

Diagnosis: Apathy

Unfortunately, nowadays it seems the ballots, like Luby’s Cafeteria, are only populated by members of the AARP. Voting turnouts for people my age are lower than ever despite the efforts of organizations that try to instill a sense of patriotism, support, or whatever into young adults. As sad as this truth is, am I the only person in this country who think the Declare Yourself and 2004’s – failed, P. Diddy endorsed – Rock The Vote are pointless wastes of time, money, and advertising?

I don’t care how hot Jessica Alba is or how much bling P. Diddy can sport, none of these things can get the average young adult to care. Apathy is a rare disease that only the patient can cure. No amount of influence from others can make someone go out and cast their vote anymore than teachers can motivate those slimy, trashy dip-wad teenagers who could care less about getting a high school diploma.

Individuals would rather complain, mock, or detest the results of what will be the most pivotal election to date that actually go cast a vote. But that’s a 21st century American for ya. People will wait in line for hours, even days for the iPhone 3G, the Dark Knight premiere, or tickets to their favorite rock star, but they can’t take what a ½ hour out of 1 day in November to participate in democracy. Why are we preaching to China, Iraq, and other countries that democracy is such a great thing when more than 1/3 of our nation had better things to do Tuesday, November 2, 2004? (And that statistic is only taking into account the 1/3 of REGISTERED voters…sad…)

While this vast group of careless Americans share the burden of hypocrisy, the lowest voting turnout for any demographic is 18-24. I’m all for organizations that try to instruments of information. But no amount of research, statistics, or flashy photographs can make someone give a shadoobie. So, save your breath and do something that young Americans will respond to. We could always use another summer action blockbuster, bass bumping club anthem, or shameless celebrity endorsed product. You know, less than ½ of individuals 18-24 voted in the 2004 election. Is that the ½ that is ALWAYS asking me if I want fries with that?!?! I’d bet my Big Mac that’s the truth.

See you at the polls, Grandma, crotchety old guy, and mean old lady at my office!

fight the 3D future

So, I saw Wall-E back when it first came out and in Disney’s latest computer animated powerhouse, there was of course a trailer for things to come. Bolt is slated for a holiday release and bound to family favorite. Now, granted I will see this film and am a big fan of all Disney/Pixar productions, but does anyone else just miss the golden days of animation?

Now, not to knock the genius computer nerds/artists, but why has traditional animation gone the way of the dinosaur (literally Land Before Time anyone?!). Some of my best childhood memories are… well… tormenting my older siblings and parents. But, I also remember watching a lot of true animated classics in between my auditions for The Good Son.

Like I said, I enjoyed finding Nemo and I think Boo from Monster’s Inc. was adorable. But, no clownfish, racecar, Incredible, or green ogre will EVER compare to the timeless magic carpet rides, moments under the sea, or a big wolverine-ish beast in formal wear dancing with a hottie in a golden dress. What child hasn’t bawled their eyes out when Bambi’s mom get strapped to the back of 4x4 or when those ghastly gazelle put James Earl Jones in traction? What little girl (or futurely gay boy) didn't sing every song from the Little Mermaid at the top of their lungs when anywhere near an open body of water (bathtubs included)?

My final qualm with these 21st century productions is merely musical. Perhaps it’s my love of musicals, but growing up with songs like Kiss the Girl, A Whole New World, and Can You Feel the Love Tonight made these movies the amazing pieces of celluloid they are. Would it have killed Nemo or Buzz and Woody to hum a little ditty? They incorporate music into the films, but very few original, Oscar winning numbers have been incorporated into these fun, fanciful creations of late.

So, parents of the world, if and when they unlock those sacred Disney vaults to re-release a classic, open your purse strings and buy them. Your children will thank you someday when they don’t feel deprived of a picturesque animated childhood like we were. Oh yeah, go buy The Goonies while you’re at it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

a rancid reality

So, I may be a little hypocritical in writing this next post, but what is up with reality TV. My amazing source of material, CNN.com, provided me with another gem with an online article titled, “Reality TV breakouts can go on to stardom, riches.” It got me thinking. In our current entertainment industry, the truth of this statement can only be surpassed by its inherent sadness. Has the American audience become so retarded that the same tired gimmicks and socially retarded individuals will entertain us week after week and season after season? In a word, unfortunately, yes!

Now, I am a big fan of Project Runway, Top Chef, and any other reality competition that tests the TALENT of its contestants. Their creative flare and love for their given industry has landed them on a completive platform that can elevate them to a place where they can truly shine in their field. I am, sad to say, not opposed to reality shows that showcase ALREADY famous individuals. I tune into Kathy Griffin’s show. This sassy, unapologetic ginger is hilarious to watch as she pokes fun at her own lack of celebrity. Anyway…

What is up with reality television? Back when it all began, the virgin seasons of Survivor and American Idol were captivating, national crazes. Like most things rooted in fanatic, when will these shows either pass on or be locked away forever? They are coming up on the 18th season of Survivor… really?! After 18 different groups of cutthroat competitors eating dung beetles, forming/breaking alliances, and shedding pounds on the beach, why not just rename the show ‘Camping Sucks’!?!? When it comes to American Idol, I love my Kelly and Carrie, but in its 7 seasons of finding the best talent across America, what other superstars have they created? That stupid Sanjaya and Chinese Ricky Martin wannabe were bigger household names than that rotund Ruben Studdard (Season 2 winner) ever was. I read an article that said the Top 10 of every season is in but not guaranteed some sort of record deal. What’s the point of the finale if you know a majority of the Top 10 will be releasing an album that will find itself in a Truck Stop Bargain Bin?!?!

How is it the party conventions and debates bring in moderate ratings while these rancid shows are bringing couch potatoes by the millions?! My fellow citizens, I beg you to show me some of that good old American apathy and tune out so these shows will merely become a thing of the pass to be mocked relentlessly on some VH1: TV That Sucks Special.

Monday, September 8, 2008

In a perfect world: an unnecessary post

In between posts regarding the media and my political views, I guess a third category of my blog content falls under my understanding of people, or lack thereof. I feel that this topic is important enough to share with the world (and by world, I mean handful of readers). But however universally applicable it can be, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be posting about this topic, but here it is: bathroom etiquette.

I suppose this might not be necessary if Ms. Emily Post would have thought to address proper procedures in the powder room, but alas she probably assumed that most of her readers weren’t born in barns or houses sitting on a foundation of cinder blocks. I went into the bathroom and saw pee all over the toilet seat. Mind you, this was at my nice office building bathroom (no public access), not a 7-11 on some God forsaken highway. I thought I worked with a group of well mannered adults; however there seem to be a few wolves wrapped in sheep’s skin. Who in this world is too good to either lift a seat or pee in a urinal? Personally, I think urinals are more fun because the whole concept of accuracy is pretty much a non-issue. Luckily, I was just walking into the urinal to get tissue to blow my nose, because if I would have had to take a shadoobie and seen that seat, this blog would be much more colorful to say the least…

Also, as a courtesy to the janitorial staffs of the world, when you wash your hands (and sweet bacon, I hope you do), is it absolutely necessary that you have to leave the vanity looking like the sink exploded? Is it that hard to keep Biblical level floods away from the backsplash, counter, and mirror? Either the answer is ‘no’ or I’m not washing hard enough. When it comes to paper towels, if you use one, throw it in the garbage. If your Lebron James skills are less that sub par and you miss, pick it up! Unless you are 4 years old, your mother did NOT come into the bathroom with you and you should clean up after yourself!

Finally, when it comes down to it, going to the bathroom is a lot like most sporting activities. It requires basic courtesy, good hand eye coordination, and choice equipment. So, let’s keep it clean folks!

*I obviously only have 1 point of reference when it comes to the bathroom so I’m assuming women as a whole are either marginally better or much, much worse… I have come to this conclusion because since they go in herds, they either hold each other accountable of bathroom etiquette or compound the mess due to increased numbers as well as their junk (make up, feminine products, etc.).

**This post was aimed at the sketchy world of the public bathroom. If you find yourself guilty of any of these faux paus in your personal bathroom, I have nothing but prayers for you… and your house guests…

Very Misplaced Authority

So, I go over to a friend’s house last night for a little guilty pleasure television. Yes, I might not be 17 anymore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy watching the VMAs anymore. I guess that last statement is a half lie, because there was a large chunk of the broadcast that boiled my blood and turned my stomach…

Ok, why does every left leaning individual in this country harp on FOX NEWS for being biased to the right? First of all, if you hate it that much, tune it to any of the other news broadcasting networks. Secondly, I would rather one channel unapologetically cater to their viewing demographic than have a nauseating stream of idiots spouting the liberal support with very little intellect or authority to support it.

10 minutes into the broadcast Russell Brand, the host, went to a mind splitting monologue/rant about his support for Obama and need to get the 8 year reign of terror out of the White House. Problem 1: you’re a British comedian who looks like a butch, filled-out Amy Winehouse. Problem 2: you’re a British comedian who looks like a butch, filled-out Amy Winehouse. But, really, who gives this guy the license to speak with such authority on a country of which he is not a citizen and a field of which he has no expertise? Please show me your Green Card along with your Masters in Political Science/Journalism, then we can talk…

Now, to give Brand a break, there are plenty of citizens/entertainers who also need to sit down, shut up, and stick to what brought them to our attention in the first place. Here’s a tip, it wasn’t their thesis on the Sociopolitical Ramifications of Increased Foreign Relations with North Korea. Just because you can shake your booty, bust a rhyme, or have an Oscar on your mantle, doesn’t mean that you have earned the right to become a pseudo-pundit. You have a talent, just shut up and use it!

I don’t care if you are even saying things that I personally agree with, most of these people belong to the inner circles of Hollywood, not Mensa. While Natalie Portman may have a bachelor’s from Harvard, I’m willing to put a lot of money on the fact that most celebrities spent more time waiting tables than debating hot button issues in a crowded lecture hall…

To summarize, my primary complaint is the flood of stupid coming off the red carpets. On the serious, I just wanted to see Britney Spears comeback, Christina’s new song, and ‘Lil Wayne’s performance, which was almost ruined by these Wolf Blitzer wannabes.

PS – Don’t even get me started on reality television B-listers (Heidi, Spencer, etc.) who think they can use 2 out of their 15 minutes of fame to provide commentary on the upcoming election!

Friday, September 5, 2008

who do i hate less?

Is it just me or has political discourse degenerated into playground level tactics of mudslinging? From the way they present their speeches and platforms, our would be most powerful man in the world seems to be chosen by a process of elimination. Having watched the conventions and looking forward to the debates, you would think Obama and McCain’s camps were fighting for Homecoming Queen, not leader of the free world.

With all the finger pointing and calling out on issues or experience, it seems that our candidates are more concerned with why his opponent shouldn’t be elected instead of focusing on why he should be. When you go to cast your ballot, are you thinking ‘who sucks less’ or ‘who do I believe in’? I would hope that the American voter walks into that booth with feelings of the latter, but why are they catering to the enemy of my enemy is my friend idea? Instead of instilling a sense of following and inspiration in convictions in the average voter, opposing sides merely want you to hate the other person so much that you would vote for anyone but them. In lieu of bashing their policies and lack of experience, why don’t you reveal what you’re bringing to the table? Focus on your strengths, not your opponents weaknesses.

Political discourse should be rhetoric focused on highlighting achievements and stressing qualifications, not an overly wordy version of ‘would you rather.’ If you believe your candidate lacks experience, instead of pointing to their few terms in office, boast about your multitude of terms. You get the point… All in all, I just believe that great leaders should stand self evident of their greatness because they are, not because they convinced you his or her opponents self evidently suck. Let's keep it clean, boys!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pitbulls, y'all

First of all, thank you CNN.com for providing me with endless material to read, form opinions on, and relay to you via this blog! So, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that this isn’t a politically aimed blog (whew!). But, the bad news is you might think I’m completely evil, heartless, or any other equally appropriate (in your opinion) adjective to describe me after reading this…

Remember about this time last year one of our favorite quarterbacks straight out of the ATL was tried and convicted for his inhumane hobby of dog fighting. One small note, this stupid story took up way to much of the media’s attention, but that’s not my point. But seriously, people cared more about these mutts than the tragedy in Darfur. Anyway, my point is 1 year later, I come across an article about the rehabilitation of 4 of his dogs. The title alone drew my eyes and dropped my jaw, $800K, 1 Year Later: 4 Michael Vick Fighting Dogs Saved.

Ok. Hmm. Where to start? So many things wrong with this situation. Let’s start with the basic issue of taste. Is it just me or pit bulls completely straight out of some trailer park? I don’t mean to offend people who may own them, but they are banned in dozens of regions and countries for their overly aggressive behaviors. Who wants a dog like that? I think pit bull, I think trash. I’m just sayin’.

Now to my actual point, someone or some organization spent $800k on dog rehab?! Dog rehab… I love my dog, and I love animals in general, but for the love of bacon, couldn’t almost a million dollars be used in a better way?! First of all, with overly passive or unskilled owners, pit bulls develop their aggressive tendencies, much less with an owner who brutally used them for entertainment/sport. What are the chances that this rehab will even stick? It doesn’t seem to work for Amy Winehouse, much less these 4-legged friends with most likely similar IQs…

That money could be spent to purchase 80,000 bed nets for malaria prevention in Africa or those funds could help Habitat For Humanity build over a dozen homes for families in America. Why not cut a giant Ed McMahon check to help fund research on cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or whatever, pick your poison?!

Cute or not, they are still just dogs. I feel bad for these 4 dogs, but my advice is to get a shotgun, go Old Yeller on them, and be done with it. Then you can use the other $799,000 to benefit, I don’t know… people! (I'm just guessing that 4 shotgun shells might cost $1). Same goes for you people who spend thousands of dollars for a cute purse to carry your tea cup size whatever around in. Excuse me while I go projectile vomit on Paris Hilton.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I’ve been posting a lot lately, so I’ll keep this one short. I read an article stating something along the lines of the fact that high-profile teen pregnancies like Jamie Lynn Spears and Bristol Palin might lead to or be a contributing factor to the rise in teen pregnancy in America. Like I said, my simple response is “Are you freaking kidding me?!”

I’m sorry, but why not have a little thing called personal responsibility and stop blaming the media and society for personal mistakes and errors in better judgment. Seeing a 17 year old B-List celebrity or daughter of GOP VP doesn’t make me wanna get pregnant (if it were possible) anymore than watching CSI or Law & Order (all 2 million incarnations) makes me want to be a criminal investigator! Gee, I went to Sea World the other day, now I wanna be a killer whale! Pssh!

If I weren’t sitting at my desk surrounded by coworkers, I would scream out loud! I guess I’ll save it for the car ride home…

stand up for something

After watching a powerful documentary, perusing CNN.com’s latest news about the GOP National Convention, and seeing such events through my own eyes, there are a few things about freedom of speech that I just don’t understand. While I revel in this constitutional right, there are effects that are so disturbing I would gladly shut my face (or stop my typing) in order to do away with the unholy spawn of the freedom of speech.

In a word: protests. While I laud the days of MLK and others who stood up to injustices, most modern day protests are merely a spectacle of a. The proactive attitude of these extremists is nauseatingly misguided. Now, I’m not speaking about all protestors, but the peaceful, positive ones aren’t the pictures you see on CNN.com or the nightly news. We are bombarded with the idiots whose only skill is plastering hate on pickets. This abhorrent side effect of freedom has merely opened up a platform for those individuals equal parts stupid and loud!

Yeah, I might not agree with some of Grand Old Party’s political agenda, but you know how I respond, I don’t vote for them. The fact that our law enforcement that should be… uh… I don’t know, solving and preventing crimes, is called out to fight off the bleeding heart liberals who are protesting the Right’s right to convene. What is this proving or accomplishing? Likewise, anti-gay protestors who line up to spout hate at Pride Parades and other large gay friendly functions, what in the world are you doing? Do you not have anything better to do with your time than spread hate one slur at a time? There is absolutely nothing constructive about your efforts. The only thing you’re proving to me is the fact that the eugenics movement deserves a second look.

Here’s a Grand Old idea, why not channel all that misguided energy into an actual evil. There is nothing apparently evil or endangering of the public about a few homos walking down a blocked off street or a bunch of old white guys converging on St. Paul. Why not invest your time and efforts into cancer research, world aide, and/or any other legitimate organization aimed at making this world a better place to live? Why not save your pennies on paint, pickets, and poster board and donate to UNICEF or Susan G. Komen? I understand that you protestors are so full of hate that you need some sort of conduit for that emotion, so pick a more constructive emotion and stand up for something you believe in, not against something else that doesn’t concern you.

There is nothing sadder in this world than misguided, scared individuals who channel their hate in the masses. Well, maybe drowning puppies, but there would have to be a lot of them…

*Tune into CBS, NBC, or ABC September 5th for the simultaneous live airing of Stand Up To Cancer special!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

an empowering education

So, one story has been blowing up the media waves recently. No, I’m not talking about torrential ravaging of America’s coastline (which people probably should be focusing on more). I’m talking about GOP VP Sarah Palin’s pregnant teen daughter! While I laud the painful public admission and the more recent choice her daughter made to keep and raise the child, I am still utterly confused at some of the conservative somewhat conflicting POVs on Pro-Life and abstinence-based sexual education?

No, I’m not saying that when everyone walks into the doors their freshman year of high school throw handfuls of condoms at them, but shouldn’t sexual education give teenagers the knowledge and facts regarding this (for some reason) taboo topic? Certain groups argue that such education would give our young adults the green light in the bedroom, but think of the alternative education they are receiving…

Our popular culture is on its way to becoming a soft core porno. Sex is everywhere. It is a tool geared towards the consumer, a ratings grabber for the audience, and explicit in its saturation in our entertainment. So, while you might be teaching your children to not have sex whatsoever, the world and their peers are going Nike and saying ‘just do it.’

While every mother and father would hope and pray that their children can exercise self-control until marriage, what of the majority of those children who can’t? Do you really want them going into the bedroom with a second rate education or sub standard tools at their disposal? Universities don’t hand out diplomas to idiots who didn’t pass a single class, and the DMV doesn’t give out licenses to less than adequate drivers. But, humans aren’t given a license to have sex. Most parents avoid the awkward conversation and simply say don’t do it. So, for most teenagers, it’s a very monkey see, monkey do schooling. Hey, Carrie from Sex and the City is doing it, why not me? Ross and Rachel did it. That skinny chick and Dr. McDreamy do it. Why not me? These are their instructors in all things sexual. It’s an archaic tradition to not educate out of fear. Women and slaves were banned from proper education for fear of the social consequences. That seemed to have worked out. I can’t be certain of the consequences, but I am pretty certain that leaving teens in the dark on sex will lead to dire decisions in the dark.

Sex is a life-threatening behavior. I’m not even just talking about the fact that nowadays STDs are more common than a winter cold. I’m talking about the fact that getting knocked up ends your life as you knew it! The McCain camp and their Evangelical supporters are preaching in one voice that a child, Palin’s included, is a miracle and a blessing. While they are correct in saying this, the reality is that this is probably the most time consuming, expensive, and life altering miracle you’ll ever have! Why not shed more light on the hardships and sacrifice that go along with having children?

I guess my final point is, most young women who are in such a situation aren’t the daughters of the ‘could-be’ most powerful woman in the nation. Sorry, Oprah! They are daughters of the average American who may or may not be equipped (financially or emotionally) to bring on such a burdensome blessing. So, save your breath on abstinence (most kids aren’t listening) and preach on the life changing consequences of actions and preparation on how to keep things under wraps… pun intended!